It’s Okay To Walk Alone

Sometimes the road less traveled, is less traveled for a reason. -Jerry Seinfield.

I had a conversation with someone today that made me realize you truly have to be careful with whom you share your dream and goals to, because people without really knowing and with “good intention,” can project their fears onto you.

And I’ve learned through many conversations is that, you may be doing something that no one has ever done, or that few have done, and that’s okay.  Its okay for someone to not understand the vision that God has given you.  Its okay for people to not understand your purpose.  It’s not for them to understand.

People will give you advice based off of their fears, their life experiences and their perspective. Its their point of you and their reality, not yours.  Remember that!

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It’s okay to not talk the way the world speaks. It’s okay to be different.  It’s okay for you to be calm in the midst of the storm! It’s okay to try something new! It’s okay for you to leave something that “seems” good for you for something that better for you! It’s okay to leave your place of safety in order to go after your dream! It’s okay to fail! It’s okay to be great! It’s okay for you to BE YOU!

Not many people will understand your journey! Sometimes you may have to walk that journey yourself and figure it out along the way.  That journey will build you up and get you to your destination at your appointed time.

Don’t let anyone talk you out of you living your life and living your truth! It’s okay to walk alone!

No matter how I feel…I’m going to do it anyway!

1 year ago, I verbally committed to focusing on my brand. I started this blog but did nothing with it. Sat on the plenty of great ideas for a whole year.  Here and there I would write a blog, but was never consistent.  As I am, with some areas of my life.  Sometimes I start something and end up not seeing it to completion.

4 days ago, I committed to write a blog post for 7 days straight.

Tonight as I sit here, not inspired, I decided to do it anyway because I said I would.

I often based on how I feel but this past year, I have learned that if live your life, based off of feelings, you won’t ever get anything done. Trust me, I know.  I work a full-time job, and have two kids that I have to raise and whoa am I tired once I get home.  That is one area of my life, that I can’t truly live out, based on how I feel. If I do, who would take care of my kids?

And……thats how I look at this blog now! It won’t write itself and it won’t build itself so I have to tend to it.  I have to stick to what I said I was going to do. This is my baby! This is something I’m passionate about.

I listen to podcast day in and day out and one thing that keeps repeating in my head is you just have to do it.  No matter how tired you are, no matter how scared you feel, no matter how ready or not you feel, just do it.  You’ll end up regretting years down the line and think, what if I would’ve started that, I wonder where it would’ve ended up at.

So whenever I’m tired, scared, or just not feeling it, I’m going to push past those feelings and just do it.

One big lie that we tell ourselves is that, we will do it tomorrow!  And we won’t.  I said that for over 365 days and I could’ve at least had half of those days in blogs written and I’m nowhere near that. This will be my 9th post!

So whatever your goal is, your dream, your vision, tell yourself “No matter how I feel, I’m going to do it anyway.”  Because if you wait for the perfect time, it will never come!

Fear will hinder you from greatness

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There are so many goals we want to achieve but because the results seem so far away, sometimes we give up without ever trying.

I am learning to embrace the process versus worrying about the results.

Over a year ago, I rededicated myself to my fitness journey and vowed to put myself first so I can be better for the rest of the world to whom I serve, whether it’s at home with my kids, my students who I teach, the boys I coach or just in general.

But sometimes, we can stop our progress because of fear of failure, fear of not getting it, or fear of looking stupid.

Today, I tried doing a handstand which is one of the movements you see in Crossfit workouts and events. When the handstand are programmed in our workout, I’ve always stuck to just my comfort zone of using the wall.

Last week, we practice the handstand skill and I decided to just go to the floor with a spotter.  And for a few tries I used the spotter but still wasn’t truly aware of my body and how to control it because I knew someone would be there to catch me.

I decided today to just go for it and really try to get my hips over shoulders and keep everything tight as we were told in class. “Squeeze those glutes, Victoria,” is what I tried to think of.

After a few tries I finally got it and held it for about two seconds.  TWO SECONDS, y’all. That’s a big deal to me. What is that saying? Slow progress is better than none and before I couldn’t even get those hips over my shoulders unless I had someone there with me and today, I did it solo.

I always saw this movement as something that I would probably never get or it would take me a long time.  And there are some other areas in my life that I look at and think the same thing, but I’ve learned that failing forward is the way to go because I at least tried and I’m learning from my mistakes.

It took me over 15 tries to get those two seconds but I was listening to feedback from my body and the more I did it, the more I trusted myself, upside down!

I use my handstand as an example but this fear that we have in trying something new that seems “far-fetched” for us or attempting something that we failed at before, can be applied in every situation. We need to not fear so much, and just go for it because you just never know whats going to come of it.

It is better to try than to sit back and wonder, what if????

Strong Like Rhino…..

Social media is a bittersweet environment for some….well I’ll speak for myself.  Scrolling through feeds, seeing all these perfect bodies, thin waist, beautifully shaped hips, and smooth skin.

Everyday, we feed ourselves by scrolling and scrolling and we get this idea of what the perfect body is suppose to look like.

I remember working out at a gym for a summer, and a trainer asking me after two months, “What do you do for your stomach?”  I was puzzled by his question and I’m sure it wasn’t his intention, but his question, made me think  back to the “perfect” body.  He said everything else was looking good but my stomach needed some work.

My fitness journey to attaining the perfect body, didn’t last long.  The gym, became so boring to me and my results were taking too long.  At least, I thought it was. I was eating healthy, or so I thought, but come to find out I wasn’t eating enough, in hindsight. And “fitness”, just wasn’t making me happy.

After that attempt, I decided I was going to go back to Crossfit.  I started Crossfit years ago but with my schedule added to my low confidence in my performance, I wasn’t motivated to keep going.

After seeing my friends progress with doing Crossfit, I decided to give it a shot again.  And whenever I would talk to her about body image, she always use to say “worry about getting stronger, and the rest will come.”

I didn’t understand that until 6 months into my Crossfit Journey.  My body did change and I didn’t care if my biceps were bigger than the man next to me or if I didn’t have a coca-cola body shape.  My concern was getting strong and being able to do things with my body that I thought I couldn’t do.

I saw female coaches and just my fellow female gym-mates, killing it.  I admired that.  I had those same coaches, pushing me out of my comfort zone and believing in me.

I stopped following social media accounts that made me feel like I had to look a certain way.  I started loving my body and what it could do vs. what I looked like.

Every few weeks I would check in with my body fat to see if I made any progress but that stopped after a while. I stopped caring about my body fat percentage and whether my waist was small enough and I started focusing on my performance.

10 months into my fitness journey, I completed my first powerlifting meet.  Before that I participated in the Crossfit Open and another Crossfit event called Fight Gone Bad hosted at Crossfit South Brooklyn.

Participating in those events, made me even more aware that I no longer cared about what my waist size was or what my body looked like.  It made me care more about, lifting heavier weights and beating my last time.

Now my goal is just to love my body just the way it is, make progress in my performance and get strong vs trying to attain the perfect body.

And what a better way to represent that in my favorite tee from Thirteen Fit Apparel.

I’ve come to love the journey.  And that’s all that matters.

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High Protein Yogurt

Some days I can easily get all my protein needs in and sometimes its hard.  I find that starting off my day off with a high protein meal makes it easier throughout the day for me to get it all in.  I try to avoid convenient protein products, but sometimes I may need to sneak it in.

Here is a snack you can have any time of day or just to simply start your day off. Keep in mind you can add your own fruits, just make sure you stick to a yogurt with no artificial sugars. Just plain!

This particular mix has 27g of Protein, 23g of Fat and 25g of Carbs.  If you want your yogurt to have less fat, put less nuts and you can do away with the chia seeds.  You can just go with the plain yogurt and fresh fruits.

High Protein Yogurt

  • Fage 2% Greek Yogurt (You can also use 0%)
  • Kiwi
  • Blackberries
  • Walnuts
  • Chia Seeds

You can get very creative with plain yogurt especially if you have a sweet tooth! I’ve also made this with chocolate and granola. See my previous post on craving Oreos and opting for this high protein alternative. What I really wanted were the Oreos?

 

Let me know when you try this! Would love to hear about how you like your yogurt!

 

 

My favorite accessory…..My Fro!! What’s yours?

There was a time in my life where I was not comfortable wearing my hair in a fro.  My hair would always be pulled back, up in a bun or straightened. Growing up, having an Afro or curly hair wasn’t popular. Or at least it’s not what I saw.

For years, my hair was always relaxed.  When I got into the military, never really saw my hair either because it always had to be pulled back and it’s the easiest style to do. But every chance I got, I would straighten my hair. DSC01312.JPGDSC01313 (2).JPG

I remember in 2004 (picture below), I was deployed to Kyrgyzstan and I was getting ready to head off base during my off duty time, I decided to wear my hair out. My friend in the picture, told me that she loved my hair how it was and I should wear it out more often.

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After I had my son in 2006, I wore it curly a little more often.

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Still straightening my hair for years after this.  I would get Dominican blowouts and flat-iron styled hair styles.sideofhair (2).jpgIt wasn’t until my daughter was born and I moved back to NY that I decided to stop applying less heat to my hair. Even though about two or three times a year, I would still go get straight-haired, hair cuts.

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That is when my hair started to blossom, but then I started experimenting with color, ON MY OWN.  Was not going to a professional to get my hair dyed.  After a few years playing around with that I decided to chop it all off, and start fresh.  I had the Halle Berry short-haired look.  Wish I had some photos to show of that, but I just was going through a phase that I felt I looked like a boy.  I always had sunglasses on top of my head to “cover” my short hair or always with a hat on.

When it grew a little because I wasn’t comfortable with my short hair, I dyed it again, just to give it some “personality” and so that I would look less like a boy.

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But then of course, I dyed it back to black.  I always play with color and then a few months later, I try to go back to my original hair color.

This is just a snippet of my hair journey.

Fast forward to now, I’ve gone through so many different hairstyles, hair colors and so many different emotions with my hair.

I heard it all from “Why don’t you come your hair? It would look better straight, have you thought about straightening it? Curls only look better with color in it.”

Looking back, I’ve learned to love my hair journey and most of all, love my hair as it IS!  I had to UNLEARN a lot of what I was told about my hair, how it was difficult to manage, its high maintenance, that it looks better straight and that I needed color in it to make it pop.

MY HAIR!! My BIG fro, my frizz, my curls-defined or not, dyed or not, it remains my favorite accessory.  I didn’t always feel that way, but I’m glad that’s how I feel now.

What are some things you had to unlearn about your hair or what you were told about your hair? I would love to hear about your hair journey!

 

 

My First Powerlifting Meet

On June 2nd, I competed in my first ever powerlifting meet. I had no clue what that even meant when I was first told about it. But it sounded bad ass, so I thought I’d do it.

Every morning, I  would check my Gym’s blog to see the workout of the day and boom! Here popped up the announcement of the 4th annual Iron Maiden’s Open.

The Iron Maiden’s Raw open partners with the Grace Outreach which is a Bronx based non-profit that work with women to further their education and gain financial independence.  It is a chance for the competitors to raised funds to help these women without access to financial aid in paying for their college tuition. (The Stay Strong Scholarship)

This powerlifting meet is women’s only competition where anyone can compete, whether you are an expert or new to it.

There are three lifts (Back Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift) and you are attempting to lift your heaviest one rep max for each.  All lifts that are successful with be the lifters total weight lifted and that determines your placing. There are 5 weight classes and I was attempting for the 165 and under weight class.

To be honest y’all, I had no idea what was going to happen the day of and I was so engulf in my work, I did not use my time properly to prepare for it nor did I read any of the emails in detail that were sent with all the information I needed to prepare for the big day.

Registration and Preparation

From the time I signed up on April 1st until the day of the meet, I still was attending my regular crossfit classes and was exposed to both the back squat and deadlift during that time. The bench press, I only saw it the two other times that I went to open gym.

One week before the meet (one of those two times I went in to work on my own), I went to open gym to play around with my numbers for the three lifts to see where I wanted to open up at. During that time, my friend who was also participating, saw one of the judges and called her over to watch her squat and see if she was hitting her depth (hip crease below the knee at the bottom of the squat).  I also asked her to check mine because I just wasn’t sure if I was getting low enough, but I was good to go.  She walked us through the commands of the lifts and it seemed pretty simple.

Two days before the event my friend asked me if I read the rules and I was like “what rules?” I felt so out of the loop! All I knew at this point were the different weight classes and I was panicking about that. I usually sit between 163 and 169…..depends  on what I eat the night before.

Day before competition

I got to the gym and they measured me for the height of my bench press and squat. And that’s when it hit me.  I was about to compete against some pretty strong women and I have no prepared for this at all.  I went home and weighed myself, I WAS FREAKING OUT.  I was sitting at 165.4 and I still hadn’t eaten dinner and was wondering what it was going to be like the next day.

Competition Day

The next morning I woke up and I was at 164.  I was so excited, but I dared not to eat or drink anything to play it safe. I was looking up ways to make weight without losing strength and I read so many conflicting articles.  I was so used to just eating my macros and hitting my numbers that I never really thought about making weight for anything.

I got to the gym and if I can display the energy that was in there on this post….oh man!  All I see is women lifting and the spotters were all women!! Women supporting women…..and women lifting heavy weight….I LOVED IT.

I just sat there, amazed!  The crowd was super encouraging.  Any time someone attempted a lift, the supporters were there to get them through it whether they completed the lift or not.

An announcement was made for the next session to go weigh in and check in. I made it!!!! I weighed in at exactly 164.

After I weighed in, I was excited to eat, but didn’t bring much with me but snacks and I wanted to eat a meal.  There was a Kimchi Taco truck outside and I ordered a chicken kimchi bowl.  I could only get through the chicken. I guess being nervous and eating, for me, my stomach just wasn’t agreeing the food.

I began my warm up.  I got nervous and I knew that I had hit my opening attempts during my “training” days, but I started thinking what if I failed, what if I don’t complete the lift. So many thoughts,  I even thought about those last attempts and wondered how can I hit such big numbers, would I be able to do it again?

The Lifts

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The first lift of the day was the squat. I approached the bar, pulled the bar out, waited for the squat command and completed my first lift at 170 but because I didn’t wait for the rack command, so that one didn’t count.  I watched a few women go before me and I kept telling myself to not forget to wait for the commands and I guess I was so excited about completing the lift, that I just racked the weight. My second attempt was at 185 and I felt good. I was able to complete the lift and I followed the commands.

During my “training” I hit 175 at 1 rep and I attempted for 190 for my final lift. I was able to successfully complete it. Looking back, I probably could’ve gone a little bit higher, maybe to 195 or even 200.

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For the bench press I opened up at 120.  Prior to competition day, I never tested out my 1 rep max.  I was doing maybe 3 to 5 reps, at about 117 to 122.  This is another moment, looking back on, I could’ve opened up a little higher. But my nerves got the best of me.  Too much playing it safe. I finished about at 130lbs.

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Now for the final lift and my favorite, the deadlift. This lift at this point in the competition was my favorite moment. I kept looking at the score board and by the second lift which I attempted at 235, I noticed I was sitting at 4th place and then someone went after me, and I was at 5th place. I believe she attempted at 240.  From that point on, that was my little push and motivation to go big or go home.

For my final attempt, I went for 250. Never attempted close to that on my days leading up to this, but I thought why not.  That 235 which I know I attempted before, I was able to complete two reps. I did it!!!!!  But that still had me sitting at 4th place.  So the other bad ass lifted, went after me and she attempted 255 I believe, and completed it which put me back to 5th place.

That moment in the competition, made me realize with a little motivation, I can push the big numbers and not be scared.  Something about numbers and placing that gives you that push to do a little more.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m content with my performance but I know for any other meet I plan to compete it, I want to be better prepared.  I want to dial in with my nutrition for meet purpose, because my macros and needs were based on my crossfit training.

Another point, I want to make is don’t play it safe.  I watched women that day, take risk with lifts and be both successful and unsuccessful with the lift, but I’m sure their thought was, “I took the risk anyway and I’m happy with the results.”

So often, we play it safe and we never get to see what’s on the other side.  If we play it safe, whether we are successful with our attempt or not, we don’t have any feedback as to how to move forward or what actions to take next.

Oh, and read the emails that they send to help you get an idea of what you are getting into.

Until the next meet……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day MURPH & Ripped Hands, 75 pull-ups later…..

May 28th, 2018 was the first time I completed the popular Crossfit Memorial day WOD called MURPH.

Murph is a workout in memory of a fallen soldier Lieutenant Michael Murphy, US NAVY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.  This workout was one of his favorites.  He named it “Body Armor,” which is why the prescribed workout can be completed with a weighted vest on.

The workout

For Time:

1 mile Run

100 Pull-ups

200 Push-ups

300 Squats

1 mile Run

Looking at that workout, right now, I can’t believe I completed it, but I did scale the volume.  So instead of the 100 Pull-ups, 200 Push-ups, and 300 Squats, I did 75 pulls ups-150 Push-ups, 225 Squats.  Completed both the mile runs, although, the mile to complete the workout, I don’t quite remember how my legs were moving to get around that block three times.

When I first arrived to my gym, I got there a little early just to see what the heats ahead of me were doing and I see athletes going from push-ups, to pull-ups, to squats and what a relief.  I seriously thought I had to complete the 100 pull-ups first before I moved on to the push-ups.  There are some athletes that do it that way, but so glad there were options.

Options where you were able to scale volume or movement. You were able to modified the movement, from pull-ups to ring rows, or push-ups to modified push ups as well as the run. If you chose to stick to the prescribed movements, you were able to scale the volume.

What is awesome about these high volume workouts, you get to break them up in sets.  When you look at a workout like this, at least for me, I thought there is no way I can complete this.  Too much of everything.

I had 20 rounds to aim for if I wanted to complete the prescribed reps but because this was my first go at MURPH….I split up my white board to 10 rounds, then another line under 15, then the last 5 rounds on the last line. My goal was 1/2 Murph.

My rep scheme that was also recommended by one of the coaches was 5 push-ups, 5 pull-ups, 5 push ups, 15 squats.  Completing that in 10 rounds, would make it 1/2 Murph, 15 rounds would be 3/4 Murph and 20 rounds would be finishing all the reps for each movement.

Before we started, I knew I had a few pull ups but wasn’t so sure about completing so many.  I asked the coach, if I didn’t see that the pull-ups were going well, if I could scale down to ring rows.  Thank God, I could.

But…..I didn’t. 75 pull-ups later and ripped hands, I completed my first MURPH.

I was fatigued. I didn’t know how much longer my legs would go, squatting,  my shoulders were burning during the push-ups and I didn’t know if my ripped callus would let me keep going.

At about round 6, my callus began to rip and I tried to change my grip to keep me from ripping them even more, but that didn’t help but I kept pushing.  I wasn’t about to let this small obstacle, stop me from doing pull-ups.  I would’ve switch to ring rows, but I felt that I worked hard to gain my strength back for pull-ups, so I was going to keep going.

Murph, for me, was more of a mental challenge.  Going in I didn’t think I could pull it of.  Didn’t think my body could handle it but once I got going, I just focused on one round at a time and once I got through that round, on to the next.

Sometimes we are so focused on the end product, that we forget the journey.

And the Journey for me during Murph was to not only challenge myself physically for the purpose of honoring a HERO who died fighting for his country, but to also enjoy what my body is capable of and to push myself past my mental barriers. I had to get out of my own way, by making a decision every rep to keep going and tell myself my body could do more.

That memorial day, I focused on what I was doing and my MURPH journey.  Although, many people were gone and out of the gym and either done with their mile run or starting it, I decided to keep going 5 more rounds. I completed 15 rounds, and went on to finish the mile.

I did my best, listen to my body, pushed past my mental barriers (and ripped hands) and completed what I thought was impossible.

 

 

To Travel Is To Live-Samana, Dominican Republic. Part II

After a two-hour ride from Santo Domingo, we finally arrived to Samana, Dominican Republic, PARADISE. We were greeted by staff at the Dominican Tree House Village and taken to the main area where we would be eating breakfast and lunch and enjoying quick breaks. After a few moments of checking in, I was taken to my cabin.

The cabins overlook the jungle and all you see are other tree houses and the beautiful landscape. 

My home for 3 nights and it was nothing short of amazing.  I got dressed and headed downstairs to meet my brother.  We were told by the staff that my other brother and the rest of the family, were over by the beach.  I thought, “How do they know that?”  Well the time spent there, the staff truly became apart of my family.  Yes, they were there to make sure we had a great experience, but it was like we were family to them. They ate with us, they danced with us, and they served us!

To get to the beach, it was a 15 minute ride on a bike, which I thought was so cool.  As we were riding there, my brothers chain came off the bike.  The local kids quickly ran to help us as we struggled to get it done ourselves.

Finally, we arrived at the beach.

Wait, before you continue reading and I hope you will. Check out my brother’s video of our trip.

Ok, so now that you are done watching the video, continue reading.

I didn’t know what the next few days would bring but from this day, I knew I was going to experience, MAGIC.  Breakfast was ready for us every morning, lunch was offsite and dinner was ready when our day was finish.  All homemade and all included in our package.  What more can you ask for?  I’m a foodie, so this definitely was my favorite part, along with everything else.

Day 1 in Samana, DR, was spent at El Valle beach, playing with local dogs and cats, swimming (well more like walking in the water for me until it got to my waist and then I got out) and sunbathing.

Day 2, began with a delicious breakfast followed by some ziplining.  It was a hike to get up to the beginning of the ziplining and I thought, “Okay cool, I’m gonna do one zipline and be done.”  Little did I know, to get down to the bottom, you needed to go through twelve of them.  Geez.  Thank God, I had a partner for 11 of them. Don’t know if I would’ve made it.  It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be.  Finally after the 11th one, me and my partner in crime of the trip, decided we were gonna go solo.  I ended up, going upside down and whoooooooooa……so fun!

When we were done ziplining, we were greeted and escorted by the locals down to the bottom. I mean they held our hand to make sure we were good going down.  How can you beat that?

After sipping on my pina colada from a pineapple, we cross the bridge and ended up at La Cascada Lulu (the waterfalls) where there was the rope swing and locals selling jewelry. I wish I had the guts to do the rope swing, but I just watched as everyone else, did it.  Maybe next time.

The evening came too soon, but we enjoyed a night of great food and dancing and watching some of the guest, balancing on a rope while we enjoyed our drinks and dessert.

Before we turned in for the night, we sat by the bonfire and chatted.

Day 3, ATV tour exploring the beautiful city. I think this day was my favorite, besides the food. As we were driving, we saw so many locals and I’ve never said hi to so many people.  All the people and the children were waving as we drove by.

We arrived at La Playita beach for lunch and afterwards just did some sunbathing and swimming (again, just went in far enough for my water to reach my waist). Actually, I was convinced to check out the coral reef, took a quick dip in to see in.

For the rest of the tour, we got to explore different beaches, a volcanic cliff, beautiful view of the ocean from this amazing community and we were also able to relax at Casa Tipica where we learned about life in Samana, how to make coffee, chocolate, rum and enjoy all of it as well.

Our second to last stop, Playa Rincon!  This was another favorite place of mine, just because of how my time at this location ended.  Before we left, we wanted to get a group shot of the family running into the water and that moment was hilarious.  Before I got to see my brother’s, wonderful put together video of our trip, I thought I was the only one that face planted.  I completely mistimed when to jump in the water and literally landed on my face.  Funniest thing ever.  Hope you caught that in the video at the end.  It was good to see, I wasn’t the only one though.

We ended this tour at this spot, I can’t remember the name but had an amazing view.

Another beautiful day that came to an end, and this was my last night in Samana. Salsa, Bachata, Tipica, Reggaeton and Merengue, fun-filled night of dancing, laughter and memories.

There is more to Samana, Dominican Republic and I can’t wait to be back to explore it.

This trip was one to remember.  Also, one that changed how I want to live my life.  If my brother would’ve never convinced me to go on this trip, I probably would’ve hung around in Brooklyn and not do much which is what I usually do on vacations. They say you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it.

I want to travel more and help where I can.  Before we left, one of the staff told us how they are hoping to create a recreational center where people can come and volunteer their time and skills to give back to the community.  Prayerfully, I will come back and return and do just that. There is more to life than just work, and paying bills and repeating that cycle.  And for all these years, I found myself, doing just that.

So here’s to traveling more, experiencing and getting to know other cultures, bonding with family and friends, and giving back to communities.

Here’s to living your best life.

 

To Travel Is To Live-Samana, Dominican Republic. Part I

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“Vicky, when is your spring break? I looked it up, looks like y’all are off the same week as down here.  So with that said, we’re taking a trip to DR during that week.  Daddy said he would already take care of the kids for you. Treat yourself after working so hard all these years going to school and stuff.”-My Big Brother

The text message that sparked it all.

I always wanted to travel but just didn’t know where to begin or I would think “Can I even go? I have 2 kids, single mother and so much responsibility. Would it ever be possible?”

Finally the day came. Monday, April 2nd and my brother, sister in law and nephew were on the plane, all ready to go. “We have a slight delay, we need to de-ice the plane.  It will just be a few moments and we will be on our way.”  A few moments pass by and now we need to de-plane because the snow was coming down heavy.

Now we are missing our connecting flight and had to go see if there was another flight we can get on that day.  Turns out, the Spirit Airline representative told us there was nothing leaving until Thursday April 5th.

We had reservations at the Dominican Tree House Village until Friday April 6th. “Looks like we can’t go anywhere.”  My brother, my sister in law and I just looked at each other and were brainstorming what could we do instead. We thought that maybe we could go to Florida and do something there.

“Is this really happening to me? Wow, now I have to stay in NY for spring break.  This wonderful tripped planned and I can’t even go on it.  Something always has to happen to me.” These were my thoughts.

“I found you a flight on another airline that leaves tomorrow morning for $367. Leaves from JFK straight to Santo Domingo on Jet Blue,  but you have to book it now because there are only 4 seats left.”

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Tuesday, April 3rd, on a 3 and a half hour flight to Santo Domingo.  We Made it. Thanks to the Spirit Airline representative who didn’t have to check for us, but did.

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The next 3 nights and 3 days, my perspective on life was forever changed. It made me appreciate what I have and I have a new found respect for people and their culture.  I stepped out of my comfort zone in many ways and I am grateful for the journey of GROWTH.

Stay Tuned for Part II

 

What I really wanted were the oreos….

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There I was watching my favorite TV show and suddenly, a craving.  I wanted the double stuffed oreos that were in my kitchen. Yes, I have junk food in my pantry….well not much, but I have some. Here comes the self talk-which I do often when it comes to my cravings.  I’m not sure if those junk food cravings will ever go away but I’ve learned self control which took me a while when it came to indulging in my favorite foods.

When it comes to making a choice in which foods to intake, you have to look at the bigger picture.  What are your goals? The small choices and steps you make each day will make a big difference, whether its the right or wrong choice. For me, indulging in my not so healthy favorite snacks, can become a whole day to a whole week to a whole year of just eating whatever I want.  Yep, for me, it went a whole 2 years of not caring what I put into my body. Eating whatever I want, won’t get me anywhere with my health and fitness goals. I mean,  I still eat whatever I want, but I’ve learned self control and educated myself on macronutrients and micronutrients-how I can make wiser food choices.  I’ll address that in my next post. Lets take a look at the macronutrients of the Double Stuf Oreos vs. my yogurt mix, pictured above.

Double Stuf Oreos

Serving Size: 2 cookies (But who really is going to eat just two cookies)

Calories 140

Carbs: 21g Sugars:13g (So really 34g of Carbs)

Fats: 7g

Protein: Less than 1g

Yogurt Mix

Calories 309

Carbs: 33g

Fats: 12g

Protein: 21g

Now who really is going to just eat 2 oreos?  I know I would probably eat a whole sleeve, especially if I am hungry. Actually, I have! In making a wiser choice with my greek yogurt mix which has 70% dark chocolate, granola and chia seeds, I was able to get more protein in, good fats, and just about the same amount of carbs as if I were eating 2 oreos.  Lets say I ate a whole sleeve of oreos (if you look it up its about 15 cookies), my calories for those 15 cookies would be 1,050 and my macronutrient intake would be 157 grams of Carbs, 52 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein. And thats just your snack, thats not including all the other foods you eat for the day.  Hmmmm…..I’ll take the yogurt mix please.