Happy New Year!

The New Year is back and it’s definitely time for the NEW YOU!Β I just wanted to remind you all that my site has grown and moved to Freedom At The Crossroads and I’ve got a brand new post up about fitness, diet, and performance. You can check this and more right now!Β




Food? Waist? Why The Obsession?

wp-1484039503567.jpgWhy are we so obsessed with food and our waistlines? This question and more, constantly leave me with a bevy of theories or reasons why there is such a large number of women in the U.S. and the west in general  (and to a smaller degree, other parts of the world), who seem fixated on both food and their waistlines. Why the constant battle with our food? As a fitness and health strategist with a background in biological anthropology, I can’t help but wonder if something more complex, and culturally relevant is at play in this insanity, and dare I say, misconceptions based on misinformation.

This problem stems in large part, from a grossly uneducated and misinformed public with  regard to what constitutes basic “good” nutrition and the plethora of misinformation peddled by a large segment of the media, as well as the fast and processed food industries. Additionally, our food policies and regulatory agencies (i.e. FDA, USDA, etc) have failed to show leadership in this area. Let us get real with ourselves, our food choices are also (and in some instances, largely) driven by factors other than basic hunger (i.e. “I hunger, therefore I eat”).

The point here is that, individual’ taste’s, culture, habits, and environment etc, play a pivotal role in our food choices, and by extension, the current food-related epidemic (obesity, heart disease, etc) we are facing at both the local and national level. First, let’s revisit the basics of why we need to eat at all. We need to eat and drink (water, at the most fundamental) to live; food equals fuel for the daily life-sustaining functions of the body at the chemical, cellular, and systemic levels.

After that, there is no physical reason (technically speaking) why we need to eat other than to sustain life. What I’m driving at here is that, outside of eating to keep the body operating at an optimum level ( regardless of age, for instance) there is no real reason to eat anything beyond what is necessary for maintaining a “healthy body”. So why do we do what we do? Why are we so unhealthy in terms of what we eat and how that translates into our current health issues? While I don’t claim to hold all the answers to what will arguably, require complex solutions (I’ll leave that in the capable hands of academic researchers), I do believe that an informed public is one that is healthy and empowered.

Case in point, big agribusiness and the packaged food industry argue that it is “expensive” and “unsustainable” to buy local and organic food items; that there is no “real” difference (in terms of nutritional content or quality) between organic produce and conventionally grown produce. Additionally, they often point to “research” that supports their claims. However, there is an increasing body of unbiased research that not only counters these claims but also exposes a number of the myths about the benefits of consuming organic produce vs. conventionally grown produce, food additives (i.e. dyes in processed foods, etc) and so forth.

As an avid food lover and someone who wants to know what’s in my food, the fact remains that it is in my best interest (as well as the interest of my family, community and environment) that I educate myself and others about the food production system. Why? Food is life and we live in an age where unsustainable and unhealthy industrial as well as food production systems have taken a toll on both our health and environment. Furthermore, if we expect to have a habitable planet in the future, we need to demand much more of ourselves and the industries we choose to engage in. So what does that all mean? In simple terms, it is impossible to make the necessary changes for better human and environmental health, if we are ignorant of both the processes and or mechanisms that negatively affect us.

With regards to the waistline fixation? I believe it is a distraction away from the real issues surrounding our health; a symptom of a problem that is more complex than we as individuals (especially women) or a nation, are willing to address. Our health system ranks at the bottom amongst industrialized nations, in addition to the fact that  segments of government that are responsible for ensuring public health, safety, and our food production systems, are grossly underfunded (and remain under attack from industry-backed legislators, etc). Unfortunately that’s not where the problem ends.  Misinformation and miseducation is wide-spread in mainstream media with “infotainment” rather than “information” being served to the public on a daily basis.

If for no other reason than protecting our very lives and the lives of our loved ones, community and environment, “we” must become educated and active when it comes to our health and wellness. A crash diet, shopping at Whole Foods, etc, is not going to get the job done, nor will fixating on someone else’s perceptions of beauty help women and girls develop a healthy self-image.

I’ve literally lost count of the number of fitness gadgets, weight-loss shakes, and other helpful whatcha-ma-call-its,  circulating on the market. Most of these gadgets  are far more successful at parting you from your money, than providing you with any real long-term success. While the public has a role to play (self-advocacy, personal research, etc)  regarding its health care, the current dynamics and recycling of misinformation does not favor the general public. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we must be willing and committed to engaging in our food production systems (i.e. getting educated about where our food comes from, what’s in it, or what’s been added to it, etc) as well as playing an active role in changing the policies that shape both our healthcare and food production systems.

Hmmm, how’s that list coming along?

Hmmm, how’s that list coming along?

Well, how is it? You know that long list of to-dos that you were planning to tear through at the speed of light, like X-men’s blowing through the baddies all in a single flurry? Yeah, that one!
The bottom line is, NOTHING will change if I DON’T MOVE! So I decided to get my butt back in gear and REMEMBER why I started on this journey πŸ’ͺπŸ‘Š Maybe that’s not your story, but I know I’m NOT the only one who has or is struggling with health issues, trying to lose weight or is just straight up trying to make the switch to a healthy lifestyle. image

I’ve found tremendous support by becoming both a beach body coach and partnering with an awesome challenge group filled with people striving for the same thing. It’s HARD I won’t lie, but IT’S worth it, and most importantly, I’M WORTH IT!πŸ’ͺπŸ‘Š What about YOU,out there? Are you struggling too? Need some help and motivation? Feel free to get on board the crazy train to fitness, ha hahaπŸ˜‚
Follow this>>link << and let's get off the hamster wheel!!

FIT Tuesday…

FIT Tuesday…

Another day has come and goneΒ  but Tuesday is still going strong, ha haha! Yes I worked up a sweat >>hammering and chiseling<< my way to being fit and ooh so much stronger than I was yesterday!Β  I guess you could say I’m just a “bit” EXCITED when I look back over the last six months and say to myself “you’ve come a long way baby”!

Getting fit, healthy AND STAYING that way MUST be maintained;Β  you don’t just work to get there and then expect to magically stay that way! Ha ha, DUH! Good luck with that fantasy! 😦 πŸ˜‰

What’s your yardstick for measuring healthy? I hope it’s not “skinny” because frankly, there’re A LOT of UNHEALTHY skinny people poping up all over the Internet! A distorted body image is a great way to end up unhealthy and possibly lose your life! Eating healthy, having a great exercise and accountability regime IS THE BEST thing you can do for yourself! πŸ˜‰

Remember, there’s no shame in admitting you NEED TO change your lifestyle; it doesn’t matter where you start, JUST DO IT ALREADY! !!
P.s. I’m currently huffing my way through team Beachbody’s Hammer and Chisel workout regime with Segei and Autumn C….No pain, no gain! Ha haha…good pain, good pain *wink* πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ’ͺ

Your universe…create your space!

Your universe…create your space!

So yesterday I decided to take a nature walk after a muscle burning kick-ass workout and IT WAS GOOD! Yep, I did it and I can honestly say there’s nothing like the sense of accomplishment and pride you feel when you’ve pushed through and come out on the other side.

For me it was a big deal because this same time last year, I literally could NOT work up the energy, lung capacity and courage to do what I’ve done! I said to myself,Β  “REALLY?” “Are you really just gonna stay this way?” “Over weight, UNhappy, FEARful, and boxed in?”

Nuh Uh! I soo was not going out that way! Next comes a coworker and friend who supported me and got me started with an awesome program and a wonderful group of ladies, each with their own struggles and journeys,Β  BUT UNITED in staying the course of getting healthy, fit, and empowered! BOOMSIES!! YAY, YAY! *backsliding like Micheal Jackson now* Hall haha, OMG, what a freaking journey it’s been but it ain’t over yet.

Now I’MΒ  a fitness coach (shout out to my Beachbody buddies) and I’m humbled and empowered with the knowledge that I’m doing for others what was done for me AND I’M making money doing it! Can someone say, AWESOME!! and KACHING!!!Β  No its NOT ALL about the money, but it’s really nice to get paid for doing something you’re passionate about; especially in a world where so many people are suffering from poor health and nutrition.

All in all, Tuesday was a beautiful and hope filled day full of the sights, sounds, and yes, “smells” of nature. Getting outside and into the outdoors is a balm for my soul and there’s nothing like it. Maybe it’sΒ  something about the physical action of engaging with nature that makes you connect and define your place within IT-YOUR UNIVERSE!

Here’s MY JOURNEY and “say hello to my lil’ friend” ha, haha (love my AL Pacino movie lines, *wink*) as i share a small slice my outdoor therapy what about YOUR JOURNEY? If you haven’t started yours, feel free to join me on mine … πŸ˜‰

You can lose weight if you’ll just do…

You can lose weight if you’ll just do…

Alright! I’m giving enough warning at the get go that THIS IS ANOTHER RANT! Why? because I’m sick and tired of wam bam weight loss gimmicks that do abso-freaking-lutely NOTHING! They do not shrink your waist (well without compressing major organs, possible internal damage, need I go on?), get rid of fat in one area (a.k.a spot training) while leaving the other unchanged, or help you get skinny in 48HRS! I mean REALLY?!

IF YOU are truly being honest with yourself, you probably know this-like your little gray cells are beeping that bull crap meter LOUDLY! In the words of my mamma, if it sounds like crap, more than likely it IS crap; sorry to burst your bubble (not really though) but the reality of weight loss that is EFFECTIVE, is rooted in a healthy dose of reality as well as being honest with yourself about how you got here in the first place.

I’m no Einstein but EVEN I know that some wonder gadget (I use that phrase loosely) being lauded by some celebrity, etc (I’m always leary of celebs pushing stuff they don’t even use) or anyone else for that for that matter, is NOT the way to sustain a healthy weight, see real and lasting results, and JUST getting and staying fit! No No, NO! Don’t set yourself up for failure

I’ve been there and done that; sooo not doing it again! Committing to a healthy lifestyle is just that, a healthy lifestyle! Shortcuts usually lead to baad things happening and I’d hate to hear any more stories about someone ending up in the hospital because they used some weight loss gimmick and came out on the wrong side of it 😦

Being a fitness coach and working in Healthcare means that I see a lot of UGLY that comes out of these “shortcuts” and I guess that’s why I get soo pissed off when I hear about the “real” end results 😦 😦 I’m not saying every quickie is suspect, buuut be suspicious of all things quickie!

Change direction and think about something that actually works (a coach who’s on the journey with you, being part of an accountability group, meal plans, vast library of workout routines to choose from, etc πŸ˜‰ )