New Beginnings!

newbeginnings

 

Hello everyone! Happy New Year and I hope you are gearing up to have a phenomenal year! Time flies and although I wish it would slow down, I love the changes the New Year brings. While there are those who loathe New Year resolutions I love them! There is nothing wrong with “New Year, New Me”. What could possibly be wrong with growing and making a promise to become better? I am pretty excited for what I have planned regardless to whether I accomplish them all or none. Just the desire to want to change things shows growth. You see that there is room for change and possibly identified a weakness. Love it! For my resolutions they are mostly geared toward things I have been working on, career, financial, weight loss. Here are some of them:

  1. Lose 70 lbs (yikes)
  2.  Restart my Real Estate Career
  3. Get more serious about my investing
  4. Start taking care of the inner me more
  5.  Stick to a personal care regimen

 

What are some of yours? Have you gotten started?

A Bad Case of the Monday Blues!

monday-blues

 

I am having a bad case of the Monday Blues. I had an event to attend this weekend which I had been looking forward to for a couple of months. There was a theme and there was certain attire and colors that were requested. As you know I have been dealing with a weight gain that has put me at my highest weight ever, higher than I have been even while pregnant. I did not fully participate in the attire requests and my weight was the reason why. I did not feel comfortable in anything I tried on whether in my closet or in a store. I felt like I looked horrible and while my self esteem was low, I was still extremely upset with myself.

First let me put a disclaimer out there that I am in now way saying that plus size women look horrible. It is important to know what looks good on you, how to wear it and find your own sexy. But when you are not used to dressing yourself at a particular size you are lost and won’t necessarily know how to do it. I haven’t really just taken a real good look at how much weight i have gained. Yes, I have gotten on the scale and know that it is too much, but I hadn’t taken a real good look in the mirror. I literally wear sweatpants and t-shirts everyday, so that tends to be a tad bit deceiving. But this weekend, trying on ill fitting clothes and looking at myself directly in the mirror has done it’s job. There was a photo shoot and I am dreading the day that those pictures arrive. They are going to posted on social media and I am going to fall out. There were pictures taken with phones, that were posted and they tagged me in them. I politely removed those tags, nope, not having it.

I have not gotten on the scale lately and I’m not. At this time I do not have any short term scale goals, my goals are more nutrition based. This weekend has definitely opened my eyes to how bad my situation has gotten and how much work I need to do. I am totally committed to getting it together and as of this morning I have taken baby steps. I started this journey a little while ago but wasn’t fully committed. I am happy for this weekend events. While it made me sad it has also made me a better person.

Make Moves Monday

make-moves-monday

 

It is Monday and I hope all is well with you. If it is I hope you are still moving forward to and with even better things. If things are not well with you, I hope you are devising a plan to turn things around. I am constantly moving things around in my life, coming up with a different plan and just pressing forward. I am always in plan and action mode and you should be as well. And it has to be plan and ACTION! You can plan from here until eternity, but without action, does it really mean anything? Don’t wait for the perfect time, get moving, get going now. Don’t wait until after the holidays to start losing weight. Don’t wait until you score a better job to start working on your finances. Don’t wait until next year to start writing that book. Start making moves now, there’s no time for sitting idle and waiting on something irrelevant. Even the smallest step counts, and from there keep moving.  Your success, hopes, dreams, all ride on what moves you start making now. What are you making moves with?

What are you willing to sacrifice?

sacrifice

 

I worked all weekend long and I am having mixed feelings about it. A part of me is like ‘Great, because you’re going to have to sacrifice to get where you’re going’, but the other part is feeling some type of way for ‘abandoning my family’. I do alternate my weekends on taking them out, and although this weekend was not their turn, my not being there still had us bummed. I did speak to my children briefly about changing my work schedule and working on a few things, but I’m not certain any of us were fully prepared for this. I do plan on talking to them about how they felt about this weekend. My baby boy even asked me Sunday afternoon, if I was done and staying home. Ouch!

I know that due to the nature of the things I’m working on and where I am headed, there will have to be a great deal of sacrifice. I am sacrificing a lot at this time and I am looking for even more areas to sacrifice in. The shopping trips, salon visits, tv shows, social media all have been sacrificed and I’m okay with that. Family time, date nights and phone calls have been sacrificed as well. I have sacrificed my ‘get fit’ journey, but I’m not okay with that. So in return, next on my list: sleep. I need more late nights and early mornings. Live a few years of your life like most won’t……… I want what I want and I am so willing to go all out to achieve it all. Enough time has been wasted and I am unwilling to waste so much more. I knew when I sat down and made my plan that it would not  be easy. But I also knew that I was willing to sacrifice and put in the necessary work.

Is there something that is holding you back from your goals? You don’t have to tackle them all at once, start small. How about committing to not looking at social media for a complete hour everyday? Is there a tv show that you can let go? That tv show that is contributing absolutely nothing to your life, it is negative and draining, stop looking at it. How many times a month are you in  the salon, hair or nails? Can you cut out one of those visits? Do you spend countless hours per month reading magazines keeping up with the latest gossip and celebrity news? You have to sacrifice if you want to succeed. A sacrifice for your success is an investment in your success. What are you willing to sacrifice?

Wednesday Weigh-in!

wednesdayweigh-in

So today was weigh-in day and I am down 2 lbs. Yaay! That number is nowhere near where I expected to be at this point, but I’ll take it. My last weigh in was almost 3 weeks ago and honestly I am surprised to see the scale down at all. I have not been doing anything close to what I need to be doing, and that’s in all aspects. Eating properly, exercising, lift weights, drinking water, all of it, has been sparse to nonexistent. I have been so busy nonstop, and I just am not taking the time I need to do right. I am getting older and my metabolism seems to be even older. I need to get disciplined and I need to do it as soon as possible. I am having so much trouble making my weight loss journey a priority. I spend my whole day non stop working and building. I am never in relax or chill mode, unless it’s on the weekend with my family. But even still, I am not stopping to take the time to exercise and meal prep, and it has to change. I know the change in schedule has a lot to do with it, but I need to get a grip on this now. So what I think I am going to do at this point is change up my workout schedule. I have been attempting to do most of my workouts M-F, but that’s also when I am busiest with working. I am going to switch it up, try something a tadbit different and do the majority Fri-Sun. The other days will be comprised of shorter more focused workouts. I will check back with you in a week or so with my progress.

Texas State Fair!

Yesterday my kids were out of school for “Fair Day” and that’s what we did, attended the Texas State Fair. I am a transplant here and have been in Dallas for almost 5 years. I am originally from Chicago, Il and never attended the state fair there, as it was more than 3 hrs away. Here the fair takes place in my city, so it makes it easier to attend. I have been here for 5 fairs and have attended twice. I really enjoyed myself this time and think I might start going every year.

It is a very big deal here. Schools shut down for it and all students get a free ticket. People travel from all over just for this fair and it is actually the largest state fair in the US. I am not a sports person but I do know that a lot of the traffic is centered around some of the football games held at the Cotton bowl stadium.

My main reason for attending the fair is to eat lots of good food that is bad for me. I do like to get on some of  the rides but my thrill seeking days are long over. The upside down and long drops are no longer part of my game plan. So below I have shared some of my good eats with you.

 

  1. Fried Brownies-This was the best thing I ate, I believe for my kids as well

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  1. Fried Cheesecake-It was okay, I’ve had better. The fried cheesecake that used to be at IHOP was waay better than this.

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Fried Smores- It was decent, as gooey as I expected it to be, but not enough graham cracker flavor in it

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Fried Red Velvet Cupcake-This was very disappointing. I had a fried red velvet cupcake the last time, and it was moist and delicious. This one was dry and just bad. They included a chicken strip with it, and that was confusing. The strip was good, but confusing

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Fried Chicken and Waffle on a Stick-Nope, just nope not at all. It seemed like a heavily breaded chicken strip on a stick.

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There were a few other things that I wanted to try but was too stuffed to do so.

Fried Lemonade-I have not been able to wrap my head around this one yet, but I really want to try it

fried-lemonade Photo courtesy of David Maez, thrillist.com

Fried Chicken & Dumpling-This one is very new to me, and I am a lover of Chicken and Dumpling

fried-dumplings

 

My vision, My ceiling

I was talking to someone I’m very close with the other day regarding a particular goal I want to reach. The response was “That’s a bit much, that number is too high”. I simply smiled and continued the conversation, with my same numbers. He then said “If you only do half of that, you’re still fine”. He wanted me to realize that less was okay, and I should probably shoot for that. I didn’t feel the need to explain nor defend myself. I understood that his comment was not a reflection of me, but of himself.

ceilingfloor

It wasn’t that he was being a hater or didn’t believe in me, he simply lacks the vision that I have. He can not comprehend how it is possible to go from point a to point d. We are working on the same goals but his has him stopping at b, and guess what, b doesn’t work for me. He knows what he is capable of doing and has set that as his gauge, but it should be a gauge for himself only. And it’s not that he’s not capable of going beyond that, he has made the choice that is all he needs.

It’s not possible for everyone to understand, support and believe in your goals. My vision and goals are mine, and can not be limited by someone else’s limited thinking. They’re yours and you have to protect and nurture them. This is one of the main reasons I generally keep to myself with what I’m working on, everyone won’t get it, and there are some who will subconsciously try to stop you from getting it. It’s what I call a “lack mentality” and it can be dangerous. Never allow someone’s shortcomings dictate how high you will go.

Is It Uncomfortable Yet?

uncomfortable

 

I was at the gym working out today and there was a trainer near me working out with someone. He was continuously asking the man “Is it uncomfortable”? When I first heard him, I took it as though he wanted to make sure the guy was okay. I thought he didn’t want to push him past his limit. But as time went on I realized that wasn’t it. He got to the point where he was saying “Is it uncomfortable yet, keep going. Is it uncomfortable yet”? He wanted the guy to be uncomfortable. He actually wanted the guy in pain. When you are working out you’re supposed to feel the pain, feel the muscles burn. That way you know that it is working, you’re making progress, you are moving toward your goals.

This same principle can be applied to so many aspects of our lives. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with my friend that went like this:

Me: Well I’m comfortable at my job

Him: But you’re miserable

Me: I get that, but I’m still comfortable

Him: Do you know how crazy that sounds?

Me: Yeah, but it works

So many of us think like this. Comfortable works, I can get by with comfortable, comfortable will get the job done. But is that all we are trying to do? Get by? Being comfortable can lead to settling and missing out on all that you are able to accomplish. But what about the things that being uncomfortable can do? Being uncomfortable can bring about failure, mistakes and fear, but those are also the trials and tribulations of success. Success isn’t easy and being comfortable sounds a lot like easy.  Have you thought about what’s on the other side of uncomfortable? Are you ready to get uncomfortable?

Tuesday’s Tip: Budget Apps & Programs

 

Smart phone apps and dollar symbol

Yesterday I spoke on the importance of budgeting and wanted to give you a few apps and programs that can help get the ball rolling. I personally have not tried all of them, but they do come highly recommended. Most if not all are very easy to use are do not require any major tech knowledge. Give one a try, if it’s not a good fit, move on to the next one. Sometimes trying some simultaneously gives you a better idea as well.

Android Users:

  1. Prism Bills & Personal Finance

  2. Home Budget Manager Lite

  3. You Need A Budget YNAB

  4. AndroMoney

  5. Money Manager Expense & Budget

  6. Mint

IOS Users

  1. BUDGT

  2. Mint

  3. You Need A Budget

  4. Good Budget

  5. PocketGuard

  6. Spendee

Software

  1. Quicken

  2. You Need A Budget

  3. Spreadsheets-Excel, Google, One Note

  4. Mint

  5. Neo Budget

Money Monday: Budgets are Important

budgeting

Well it is Money Monday and I want to speak on budgeting. Last week I shared with you guys that I no longer have a full time job. Clearly that means that there will be income missing and I now need to restructure my budget. I am a firm believer in having a budget and find it hard to function without one. It goes hand in hand with me needing to have a plan, and anyone who knows me, knows that one of my favorite questions is “What is your plan?” I have to have a plan and I have to know that you have a plan.

Have you heard the saying “You have to tell your money where to go”? That’s what a budget does, you are making a plan of where your money needs to go. When you don’t make those plans the money just seems to disappear and you have no idea where it went. And you don’t know where it went because you didn’t designate a place for it. A budget will give you the best insight on the money coming in and out of your household. It will also give you the best start on saving and reaching your financial goals.

Preparing a budget does not have to be hard or complicated. I know there are all types of forms and software programs that can be used, but they are not a requirement. Honestly the ones I have come across are fairly easy to use, and might actually make the process easier. You can use a simple spreadsheet or where I started was handwriting it and drawing lines. It may take time for a beginner to get their total budget down, but you can start in some of the most simple ways.

The first thing I suggest doing is preparing a list of your monthly bills plus expense and then subtracting that from what you bring home per month. Certain bills might vary per month just as well as your pay might, but the difference generally isn’t that much. Take a look at what you should have left over. You need to figure out where that money is going, and where you really need it to be going. Comb through your statements and see where the money is going. If your statements don’t show it, then maybe it’s time to start getting your receipts and stashing them so that are able to look at them later.

Another way to start is by making a plan for your next check. If you get paid weekly, every 2 weeks etc, make a plan of what you need to take care of with that single check. Don’t list anything that will be paid with the following check, simply tell that next check where it’s going and get it there. There is no single way to get it done because every individual is different. Find the method that works best for you, but implement it as a regular part of your life.