Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment- Jim Rohn

In December I set my goals for 2015, and I have to admit, it has been a rocky start. It is the first week of March and I am not where I thought I should be at this point in the year. I can’t cry over spilled milk. I just have to keep it moving. On Instagram I constantly see people meeting their goals and seeing results. I am super happy and proud of them all, especially the people that I actually know like my bestie Erica who is a meal prep goddess! I see everyone making progress and I’m just scrolling and double tapping on IG, which is not helping me meet my goals at all.

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On one of those posts from the IG_Weightl0ss page was of a woman who was my height and roughly 7-10 lbs pounds heavier than me said something that clicked with me…

“It wasn’t until my 5’4″ frame hit 160 lbs that it really clicked- our bodies are a direct reflection of our lifestyle. So I changed mine- I started exercising, eating clean, and laying off the cocktails. I started goal setting, 5 lb milestones at a time…The process has taught me the ability of the body to transform when you train and feed it with the right foods. Patience and perseverance are key in any transformation.” Source

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OUR BODIES ARE A DIRECT REFLECTION OF OUR LIFESTYLE!

Boy did that resonate with me. In order for me to see change, I have to truly change my lifestyle.

She started small with goal setting. Usually when I get on this fitness and healthy lifestyle track I try to go all in at once. That was my first mistake. Humans are creatures of habits and it takes a lot to break those bad habits. We have to make a conscious decision to break those habits by setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals. Yes SMART Goals. I need to set goals that I know will require discipline, but I will have a greater chance of success.

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So my first set of goals is to increase my water intake (At least 6 glasses daily-It is a struggle for 4) and minimize the amount of times I eat out per week. Last week I ate out at least 4 times, and I want to bring that number down 1. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t want to cook, or I don’t want to eat what I did cook. I need to get over that. Also, I just need to increase drink more period. It’s not like I’m drinking juice or soda, I’m just not drinking anything at all, and that is a problem.

Next week I’ll report back on my progress. Do you set fitness and health goals?

How do you stay on track?

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On December 30th I held a Vision Board brunch with a few of my friends, sister, and niece (yes my, then 7-year old niece, made a vision board). On my vision board I have the words and phrases like, “Health, Love Your Body, Stronger than Ever…” to keep me motivated throughout the year. Last year I had lost a tremendous amount of weight on the Daniel Plan (over 15 lbs, that’s a lot for me) and I was the smallest that I had been in years. In no way am I saying I was overweight or obese…far from it, but I wasn’t healthy. So as I was motivated to keep this new lifestyle, but it was definitely hard to maintain. Eating healthy is so expensive. I mean a package of quinoa can be over $8. That’s a lot compared to a bag of white rice.

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I joined the gym with my mom and sister and was going consistently for about three months. I participated in the crazy physical challenge Tough Mudder in April, and after that my motivation to workout went down hill. I was “training” for Tough Mudder so I had something to work toward.

So then comes May and I went to New Orleans for Memorial Day and ate and drank more than I should. I didn’t realize what the food and liquor did to me, but when I returned my family members were asking why I looked swollen. I was confused. I looked at my feet and they resembled the feet of a pregnant woman in her 9th month. My godmother is a nurse and told me to get dandelion root tea to detox from the sugar, salt, and alcohol. I did and my body went back to normal after a day or two.

I had to complete my last summer of my 2nd graduate program and the schedule was 8-5 Monday through Friday and a few Saturdays. If I wasn’t doing school work, I was sleeping, looking for a new apt, or a new job. It felt good when my classmates noticed my weight loss, but it was extremely difficult for me to maintain my new healthy lifestyle because the food near Columbia is just ridiculously expensive and I didn’t have time to meal prep.

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I’ll speed this up…from September to now I have been totally inconsistent with everything. My weight has been fluctuating also but the last month it has been steady. Some of my clothes don’t fit, hence why I don’t post outfit photos anymore on the blog or IG. I refuse to go shopping lol. I did the Daniel Plan 10-day detox, I did the #FitGirlsGuide challenge, and I saw success with both, but I wasn’t consistent. So I went back to my old ways. Diabetes and high blood pressure run in my family. It’s in my genes. My family is pretty good when it comes to eating healthy and working out, so to still have member inflicted with these diseases is scary. I don’t want to change my lifestyle so I can be thin, but I do want to be healthy. That’s the bottom line.

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This healthy lifestyle is hard to maintain! I love food too much, and it seems like that’s the one convenient thing to do when dating and hanging out with friends. It’s always let’s meet for lunch, brunch, dinner, drinks, happy hour. These are the essential social activities for young modern women in NYC, but it ends up being very expensive and sometimes takes you off track of reaching your goal. This lifestyle takes creativity (for meal prep), commitment, and discipline.

This woman recently wrote an article “Being Thin Didn’t Make Me Happy, But Being ‘Fat’ Does.” I read the article and she raised interesting points. Being thin should not be anyone’s goal. Being healthy should be the goal. You can be thin and out of shape, have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, but because you are thin you think it is ok. It is not. If your goal is to be thin, then you will be miserable. Your goal should be health and happiness, and to look good in and out of your clothes (whatever looking good means to you).

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So let me break down the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good: I know what I am capable of doing. I have seen success when I was disciplined and committed to this new lifestyle.

The Bad: I became lazy and inconsistent with meal prep and working out. I said yes to too many cheeseburgers too often (nothing wrong with a cheeseburger once in a while) and said to too many opportunities to workout and eat right

The Ugly: I’ve gained all the weight back that I lost and a little more. I’m back a square one.

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2014 was an AMAZING year for me. That was definitely my season to flourish and bear amazing fruit in many areas of my life and I thank God for it. 2015 has started off a little shaky in a few areas, but I know this season, this winter I’m feeling, is temporary because no season lasts forever. So I’m done with the challenges. I cancelled my gym membership because I know I’m not going to go, but I have been taking advantage of the on-demand fitness options that I pay for with Fios lol. I’m not going to take baby steps, but I’m not going to do the extreme. I’m going to eat, I’m going to workout, and I’m going to live a healthier life.

The lob is not new, but it has become extremely popular over the last few years. For those of you who are wondering what a lob is, it’s just a long bob. So you have the sharp cut of a bob, but with more length. I like to change my hairstyle every few months and I may get a lob. I’m not interested in cutting my own hair at this point, so I’ll probably get a weave. Here are some lob styles that I may want to try for the fall.

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Look 1: Colored Lob…like Ciara, Rita Ora, and Nicole Richie, go for a style in a bold color that compliments your skin tone.

Look 2: Layered Lob…like Chanel Iman and Zoe Saldana a layered lob is great for faming the face

Look 3: Ombre Lob…I still love the ombre trend. While some people are going for blues, purples, greens, and other extreme colors, Jessica Alba’s honey tones are perfect for the fall and for the professional

Look 4: Lob with Bangs…like Kerry Washington and Naomi Campbell try bangs for a spin on this look.

I’m leaning toward the layered or ombre lob. If I decide to go through with it, I’l definitely post pictures.

What’s your favorite lob look? Would you try this hairstyle?

I have a confession to make…I rarely buy myself perfume. I really don’t have a reason why, I just hate going through department stores and being bombarded by sales associates trying to get me to sample everything under the sun. Sephora isn’t as bad a department stores, but I still never really have the urge to buy anything. With that being said, I do have an extensive perfume collection because I’ll get most of my fragrances as gifts from my family or my boyfriend. He honestly has purchased about 85% of my perfume collection and I am very appreciative of that. Early during the summer he bought me the Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Femme Escape to Panarea. I’ve always liked the original Light Blue, but this has been my summer staple.

Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue Pour Femme Escape to Panarea 1.7 oz.

Product Description

Dolce&Gabbana Light Blue continues on a journey through the Mediterranean with Limited Edition 2014, telling a fresh story of escapism. Inspired by the carefree spirit of Isole Eolie, the fragrances embody the sunshine state of mind, taking consumers on a new sensual journey. Light Blue Pour Femme ‘Escape to Panarea’ is a burst of Bergamot and Pear, which brings out the freshness encompassed by the combination of the rich scent of Jasmine and Orange Flower. The fragrance takes you on a more sensual journey, balanced by Warm Musky accords to complete the scent.

What I love about this fragrance is that it is light and fresh. Whenever I wear it, I get tons of compliments. It’s not overpowering, which is perfect for the summer. It is a nice balance between the fruity and musky scents.

Have you smelled Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Femme “Escape to Panarea?”

What’s your favorite scent for the summer?

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There are many guys who don’t think that they can benefit from a good skin care routine. They probably look at their wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, or any other woman in their lives and feel that skin care is too time consuming. Skin care is important for people of all ages, yes even children. I mean look at Pharrell, he’s looked the same since 1990,  yes it is genetics and some type of secret water that he drinks (I kid), but it’s also because he takes care of his skin. So gentleman, here are three simples steps that you can use to make sure your face does not feel like sand paper. I’m sure your girlfriend will thank me later.

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1. Invest in a good facial cleanser

Look for products according to your skin type. Please refrain from using the soap designated for washing your body alone. A good cleanser can make help prevent acne and irritated skin. It can even your complexion, brighten your skin, and make your skin feel silky smooth.

2. Invest in a good moisturizer with SPF

Vaseline or your typical body lotion. A good moisturizer pretty much seals the deal with your skin care. It can help your skin feel supple all throughout the day. It could also help prevent acne, even complexion, and soothe skin after irritation. A good moisturizer also has SPF. Sun exposure is serious, and if you are a guy that is very active with outdoor sports SPF it is especially important. So look for a moisturizer that is light weight with at least SPF 15-30.

3. Invest in good razors

Most guys suffer from in grown hairs irritated skin because of their razors. Invest in a razor according to your skin type and the coarseness of your beard. Also use a moisturizing shave gel to help soothe your skin during the shaving process, which can take a toll on your skin.

Here are some products that are great for men

So fellas make sure you cleanse, moisturize, and use SPF. Those are the three most important steps. An investment in quality products is an investment in yourself. Visit a dermatologist to discuss your skincare issues, goals, and also to develop a skincare routine suitable for your lifestyle.