Self-Growth Is A Constant

Hey loves,

I know I haven’t written since the last post but I have been in the process of doing a lot of growing, book reading, re-evaluating and soul searching. I have had a pretty busy last few weeks also from certain situations arising that take my attention from the things I love to do. But, no harm done- back to the grind, still doing the things that I love.

I am currently riding a wave of newness. A new beginning for me within the firm I work for is approaching therefore giving me excitement for the unknown. I’m still coaching clients via Herbalife, sharing the ideas I have through my social media platforms, and continue to find new skills and talents that I can work on this year to share with the world. I’m beyond excited to be able to!

To give you guys a quick update on the position, it started off as something I have been trying to obtain last year because of the skills I want to gain that I did not have awareness to from my very few years of adulthood. For a quick explanation of what that is, I am in the business now where networking is a requirement for growth. I realize that the best way I can attempt to mold and shape my views/skills is by speaking with and communicating with tons of different people with different personalities without judgment to understand how to adapt to them. I used to believe I wasn’t a people person because I considered myself as an “introvert” or “shy” and really what I ended up finding is that it translated to the fears I have of rejection.

Long story short, this position did not accept me last year but did accept me this year, and in all reality, fell into my lap. The moment I did not get the job last year, I was disappointed but made no issue of dwelling on it. I quickly moved on and found myself in predicaments around people who were going the opposite of positive growth. Luckily the opportunity presented itself again and I decided this was no coincidence, it was the Universe telling me that this was the step I needed to take. My inner voice strongly agreed with it, applied and got it.

I worked extremely hard, since the last time I wrote and still continue to work hard on expanding my mind and opening my mind as well as my heart to the idea that I can design who I am and my life. It has been an extreme breath of fresh air. Ever since, nothing but blessings have come my way. Yes, with some resistance but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t work around.

I have started by taking myself out to dinner or lunch, breaking myself out of the mold I put myself in for so long, finding it unnecessary to require company in order to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. It is insane how your own beliefs can box you up and keep you home because of any inkling of discomfort (I’ve clearly read one too many spiritual books since I started this self-growth journey.)

I have found myself more aware becoming much more inclined to smile and look in someone’s eyes to be able to feel their energy as well as the moment. So many small things that I found myself doing that I stopped myself from believing in for a few years, I started to see become so far removed. I continue to shed each layer of limiting beliefs, conditioning, and habits that kept me from being the best me I can be.

To get a little deeper, I have also found myself in a position that did push me back a few steps. There was something that presented an inner conflict when particular situations and persons appeared in my life. I had in a few occasions started betraying my inner voice, not listening to my gut. I almost felt myself lose control.

I was able to see that I was adding back on the old habits and conditioning. I became again, insecure and feeling my self-esteem starting to shake that my ego started to arise. I didn’t feel like myself anymore at one point. Then, my inner voice shouting as loud as it can in me, pulled me away from the toxicity of the air that was my fear, worry, doubts, and meaningless desires to remind me where I’m going. Still, although a pain to have to go through, all of it was necessary.

It helped me see what it is I truly want, who I was becoming and who I want to be. It helped me also notice how these moments of despair can also easily sprout joy and happiness once the focus shifts. The disappointment and sadness was acknowledged. I let it settle in for a moment. I coddled it and told it that it was okay to visit but that it had to go now. Now, it was time to focus and concentrate on the things that bring me joy and happiness and release any attachments and expectations.

Although some old habits started to latch itself on, it wasn’t strong enough. Luckily I love myself and others far too much to destroy the work and progress I built. My skin became like oil, preventing conditioning and toxicity to hold. Suddenly, they all fell like leaves and blew into the wind. I have been practicing so much forgiveness from that time of my life- forgiving myself and others and letting go as gracefully as I can. In the end, I feel no bitterness. I feel more alive than I ever was because I embrace each moment and truly felt everything. I realize I am less afraid to be vulnerable and that’s where I found my courage.

Now, I am happy because I know that I am not what I have done, what I believe, nor my habits. I know I am not my past. I’ve learned how to find and be the light when it’s dark and also find light in others. I focus now on the intention of what my energy and presence will give when I am somewhere.

I was fortunate enough to come across people who’s light came to touch me and be part of what’s considered my only life’s journey, whether it was good or bad. A million, trillion, billion people in the world, many I don’t know, many places I haven’t seen but I’m beyond blessed, to see the ones I have and know and it doesn’t stop here! Growth is a constant, ever changing, evolution of a revolution against societal conditioning. More to tell later…hopefully soon!

Love,

Martha

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The more things seem the same, the more they seem to change.

I’ve been having writers block lately but with the desire to write. I took out my notebook yesterday and my mind wanted to fill up the papers with words I had in my head but I got distracted so I ended up not writing and just did the basic. There’s a foundation I never want to stop and want to continue which is writing as much as possible the five things I’m grateful for.

I have just been doing a lot of spiritual healing, more so having a better attitude and reacting less to triggers. I have grown up in a world where I cared too much about what people thought and how people felt that I couldn’t be as honest as I wanted to be. I am in a space where I’m allowing my values to take over my past and renew my present. I have started to care less about what people say and do and more about what I can do in my own power in response. For a moment I also ran into a hiccup. It’s true when they say that some wounds will appear when you don’t deal with them at the moment that they happen and it’s crazy how much I was even willing to hurt myself because I didn’t love myself enough to address them. Just recently heard a video in which Mel Robbins spoke on a statistic on the odds of being alive right now. 1 in 400 trillion. In short I’m one lucky son of a gun. So even though in a sense I really try not to take my life so seriously now, I still take into consideration the fortune of getting to ride this world in the life that I have been given.

So I found myself in a sea of emotions recently, reminding how human I was and unforgiving I was to myself. I felt as if I was drowning in certain moments, like I couldn’t catch my breath and I was treading for survival. There were wounds that opened up and I had to learn to forgive myself for them. At first I wanted a lot of things to go a particular way because of them but I ultimately figured there’s beauty in the mystery of life. There’s beauty in not forcing things to happen the way that you imagine in your head. There’s beauty in letting life take it’s course and just having the best attitude about it and taking action to ensure the course is smooth.

I found that some things are not forever but that beautiful memories are life’s way of reminding you the great stories you came across being forever for you. Life has a way of introducing even more beautiful memories, much more beautiful than we could reminisce on. So much of that reminded me to focus on the present and I have often had to bring myself back a bunch of times. I am very satisfied in being able to pull myself back though by allowing myself to feel certain things and allowing myself to let go of the fluttering butterfly of emotions that land in the palm of my hands unexpectedly.

I am just lucky, so lucky to have been working on healing my wounds, something I never even thought I’d get to do but I do them so that my daughter won’t pick up the damage. I am also lucky to have been loved, even in those moments when I have felt at my lowest.

Always grateful for the things I experience and happy for life I’m breathing.

Love,

Martha

The “M” Word

Hello again. I have finally reached a moment of absolute clarity to where I can hear my thoughts as full of words unspoken with life that I felt the need to write.

A few weeks ago, I went through one of the worst times of my life since the start of the year. It’s really true what they say when they say you never think it’ll happen to you until it does. To be honest, it wasn’t that I thought it couldn’t happen to me but that it just never occurred to me of it happening until reality set in after the doctor spoke to me about it with sad eyes. Fortunately I read so much about it prior to it happening, that it luckily prepared my mind and eased a lot of thoughts I had.

I went through my first miscarriage. I feel brave to talk about it now because I finally allowed myself to accept it and move forward once we found out it was failing. That word is so strong with the way they said it. They called it a pregnancy failure ultimately. Technically that’s the term used for it but it sounds so negative. I was just fortunate enough to have met this situation with a mind that I’ve been prying open.

It all started when I was late but I was late and not pregnant, so it was very concerning to me what was going on. I had home pregnancies telling me I was pregnant and I had one doctor tell me it was too early to tell. I had to know since I was so late, why it showed I was pregnant when I’m not or if I was pregnant, why wasn’t it showing up? I continued on normalcy by working out and eating healthy. It was just nerve wrecking to not know what was going on until I finally went to my first doctor appointment and we saw the proverbial yolk sac but in my case, no fetal pole. I was stamped with threatened miscarriage which obviously sent me through an emotional downward spiral (with raging hormones no less). I was just stuck in the unknown, maybe a baby will show up but maybe not.

I got knowledgeable with terms and initially I was filled with hope because of all other stories and thinking,  maybe I can save it. I stayed as still as I could for 2 weeks, doing very minimal things, not working out, eating whatever I wanted. I know they say some of these things are inevitable but I couldn’t give up until I was given confirmation that it wasn’t happening.

My body finally took it’s course and did what it had to do to let it go. I felt relief, sad, and grateful all at once. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it at first because I didn’t want any sympathy. I think watching people with their sad eyes when I mention my miscarriage made me more sad than my actual miscarriage and I certainly didn’t want to cry about it. I think I just made it to a point in my life where I felt and knew there was the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt faith in myself and in my life that things will get better. Very shortly after I got over it and got back into my routines and habits. I was able to lift myself back up.

I knew I would because I always did. My mind state was that I would survive this and try again when I felt ready. I wanted to avoid the heartache of having it happen more than once in a year so I’m in no rush. I’m finally at peace with it and thought to myself, I wonder if I was ready anyway. Was there something in the Universe saying that it would be best if I waited longer? I always wondered if I was being protected from something that would’ve came from this. I always decided that if things happened the way it did that I would just trust the process. I knew it could have been worse than it was and for that I am grateful.

I just appreciate the support my mom gave me. I appreciated her more than ever because I’m not sure how well I would’ve went through it without a little bit of support from someone who has gone through it. I realized then how much only a little bit can do but not only that, I was grateful to get to know the experience so that if someone I know goes through it, I’d be able to be there for them too.

If you have any stories, feel free to post whether successful or not ❤ I’m just grateful to be alive, have the one that I do have and have felt love from my spouse throughout it all.

With Love,

Martha

Enjoying New York with a New Perspective

There is this small town I grew up in, in New York that I always imagined one day I would leave. I left that small town probably when I was 19 years old in pursuit of a different life thus I ended up in Ohio. Living in Ohio, I have experienced a new world. It’s nothing compared to the quietness of a small town that I grew up in. Where I am in Ohio is very city like and always full of people and things to do. I am near the center of it where countless people from countless cities around frequent. There are a wide range of limitless options whether it’s food, bars, relationships, schools, etc. I have yet to even get through all the new restaurants and shops that exist around here. Even though it’s busy all the time and it feels like my head spins when I drive up and down the different cities around here, I found a place I can call home, even if it’s completely different in comparison to what I used to call home.

Then my actual home calls to me and I answer the call to visit. When I go back, each and every time I visit some place I used to visit, I create a new memory. Like this time around, I went to my hometown in NY recently and made a point to relax and enjoy the local businesses near my hometown. Unlike what my younger self would have done, my 28 year old self experienced an appreciation for a small business called DeFelippis café. I just itched for a local coffee that wasn’t Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonalds (something that I could’ve gotten anywhere) and wished I had brought a book on my trip, so I could have a few minutes of silence. It was late in the morning when I was eating a few biscotti’s while having simple conversation with my fiancé while people watching at DeFilippis café. The richness of great customer service at a local café as well as the quality of their coffees and pastries reminded me that I could never find that in a franchise.

Two of the four mornings were spent like this except for the mornings I went to eat breakfast at Tilly’s. I would always see that really nice red head lady with glasses. I’m sure she’s been working there longer than I can remember and it just gave me the feeling that I never left. I spent one of those Tilly mornings eating breakfast with one of the friends I have known since I was little. She is someone who is always friendly and warm and managed to understand my fiancé’s humor. We spoke endlessly about her plans and her dreams avoiding any negative talk like the plague. She introduced me to a Greek omelet which was something I have never tried before, thinking how I have looked over the menu tons of times and always overlooked the experience of something new. I made sure to order something different the next time I went.

While I was NY, I also experienced a whole different appreciation for the small towns near my hometown. We spent a lot of time at this bar where I danced literally like no one was watching to some 2000’s hip hop music around I used to listen to. I visited that same bar later when it wasn’t as busy and I think that was the best visit there because only a few people were there and we got to enjoy a drink. I just wondered how I missed out on being an adult in the towns I used to live in. Being back had brought me strong feelings of nostalgia.

I spent most of my time with my sister and brother in law and nephew. I got to walk up from their spot to this huge open field for a small workout, you know, to make sure I “stay on track” (didn’t last very long). It reminded me how nice it was to be able to walk to a location without the struggle of needing to cross busy streets to get there. Every time we would drive by Morningside, I just thought about the times I used to play there when I was a kid, swim in their pool, and boat in their lake. Being outside around this time let me inhale the most cleanest air that nature could offer.

Then when I come back to Ohio I’m reminded that I enjoy stopping by but I probably won’t go back to live there again. I will keep the times I enjoyed there as what they are- as memories to hold onto and do my best to not take for granted the cities nearby now that my daughter will end up calling her home.

Love,

Martha

Grateful Holding You

One of the very few things in my life that brings me tremendous joy is holding my daughter in my arms to put her to sleep. Every time I hold her, I always think to myself how much I will miss her warmth. I take the moment to really soak up the present. I smell her hair and her skin, her 4 year old skin that only grows. I cherish feeling her be that small for the last time because all she’s going to do is grow. So I sing to her and I try to remain aware and not feel so quick to go watch a movie and have me time. My mind often wonders to what I’m going to do when I have my me time but this time, it will be her time.

I think one of the things I struggled most with as a new mother was being able to bond with my child. I don’t feel ashamed to say it because it’s true. It was my struggle. I had been feeling depressed before and after pregnancy. I had to force myself to even get up and do things as well as take care of the baby. I was tired all the time and moody. It was one of the most difficult transitions/phases of my life. I thought I would never be able to grow out of it but with new transitions and phases in life, comes challenges. I pushed through the challenges I faced wondering if I would ever get through them. Eventually, I grew from them. It was those challenges and painful moments that molded and shaped me to work on becoming better.

When I didn’t even think I would become an adequate mother let alone a good mother, here I am. Although I can’t consider myself great or perfect-your good old trophy mom-I mean she’s fed, loved, and dressed so that counts right?

I think we as mothers put so much pressure on other mothers to get it together when in reality it’s a struggle. We struggle to take care of ourselves because we’re so busy taking care of new life when we have newborns. Taking care of oneself is harder when breastfeeding. At that point you are simply a buffet for your human that needs you. I still struggle today. As parents we all struggle. It’s a different beast to face every day, literally.

We are teaching a human or humans who are new to the world how to be human and to be a decent human all the while some of us adult humans have become cynical from the trenches of adulthood. I find that I had push myself to start developing so that I may be able to fill my cup so that I can pour into her cup. It’s to the point that I’ve considered my body a shell, a miraculous vessel that I have to care for if I want to continue to make more or give quality time to my daughter.

Then, there are those moments of clarity in parenthood. Like when I have filled my cup with positivity and joy. There are those days I fed my spirit with the word of the Bible and I feel satisfied in my self development so that I can apply myself and be with my daughter in the best version of myself that I can be that day. I do it to where I can finally feel like, I made it through.

I make it so that the end of the days are worth it. After smiling in the midst of chaos of bills and adulthood, I would finally get to hold her while she sleeps. I feel the most sense of fulfillment when the silence fills the room and all I hear is the whispering of my  voice singing “Los Pollitos” while I listen to her heavy breaths of exhaustion.

There’ll never be a better feeling felt as a mother than to feel your little creation safe and sound and for that, it is all worth it.

Love,

Martha

Weight Loss – My journey

I found Herbalife maybe about a year ago. To this day, I’m very thankful I came into the opportunity. It has not only helped me grow mentally but also allowed me to use an outlet to discipline myself in various ways through the trials and tribulations.

To give you a backstory about how my weight has fluctuated, I actually grew up overweight and at some point in my youth had accepted that I would always be overweight the rest of my life. I’ve experienced the comments of being overweight throughout my entire childhood which really chipped into my self-esteem. Growing older though and understanding how everyone’s body is different, opened my eyes to how things actually are. Seeing a lot of how genetic make up was heavily involved with how our bodies come to be, I came to know that some of my genetic make up made it clear that it would be easy for me to gain weight and very hard to lose it.

I spent a lot of elementary school wearing baggy clothes and a lot of my middle school doing the same because I was overweight. I didn’t eat healthy either. A lot of the times I would eat fast food like burgers and fries. I was never into eating vegetables or even salads. In fact, I loathed the idea of a cold soggy food item entering my palette. Sometime after though, I started to lose weight. I wasn’t eating healthy but I stopped eating after a certain time to lose weight and only ate a small bowl of rice for dinner with moderate exercise.

Soon I became very skinny. There was a moment when I had a fear of gaining all the weight back and reverting back to that place of being classified as overweight thus being unfavorable again so I kept the weight loss going. I found myself in places many girls find themselves in, which is with some sort of of B.O.D. I felt that I was fat even though I fit in size 0 pants. I had been during my sweet 16, extremely underweight for my height. My sweet 16 picture is a reminder of what I would look like if I allow myself to have a wrong misconception about my weight.

Throughout high school regardless of the views I have had of myself, I was always interested in playing sports and always participated in whatever gym day activities happened. I actually enjoyed them because they gave me a release (mind you I was a teenager). Shortly afterwards, during my junior/senior year I stayed after for gym sessions to keep me busy from things that I thought were important at the time. I had done track briefly. I had only taken maybe 1-2 years of cheerleading and by college I was one of the first full blown boot camp cheerleader trainee. All the while still I was eating ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I wanted with no knowledge of nutrition by then but since I was doing so much cardio my metabolism was high up there so I didn’t question it. I made it to Ohio with the same mentality, just working out and having no structure for food or working out like when it came to weights with the machine. Still, I was eating what I wanted.

Soon I became pregnant and STILL thought I could eat whatever I wanted, thinking that my body is the same 15 year old body can just eat whatever and workout and I’ll be good. I didn’t understand how portion sized work, how my brain processes food when I’m full, how carbs worked, and how water can help one feel full. I also didn’t understand the sugar levels fluctuating hormonally. I gave birth and shortly after found that I was overweight. I couldn’t even go shopping because I always thought my 15 year old metabolism would kick in and I’d lose the weight. I was dead wrong!!

Something I won’t forget whenever I do look back into some experience was just wondering why whether I got really skinny or not, I was never toned. I did have the misconception then that I didn’t want to gain muscle, assuming I’d look bulky if I did. This was a time where I had very low self development and had never asked questions to get answers. Knowing what I know now, a lot questions of questions were answered. Most/all of them were answered after getting into Herbalife and learning that they’re protein shakes. The protein powder got me more involved into wondering the science behind it and how it would help me tone up. I did notice certain muscle groups forming shortly after starting Herbalife.

Fast forward to when I joined Herbalife. I discovered plenty of things. At first, I thought Herbalife was just going to give me products I needed to lose weight. I didn’t think much about the products possibly assisting me in muscle gain. All I saw were people who had been running towards goals I had in mind. I just wanted to be fit and lose the blasted pounds I could NOT shake off. Herbalife literally was the vessel I needed to make me understand what I needed to do to get to where I want to be. I didn’t understand how important certain meals needed to be not just for weight loss but also for muscle maintenance.

I was introduced to a whole different kind of world that not only assisted me with what I needed physically but I found what could help me business mentality wise. I was introduced to things like self-development and being disciplined as well as social media marketing. Mind you, I very rarely had anyone train me to do these things. I at my own pace applied myself to do things I wanted to learn. I found myself building up today physically and mentally to the person I want to be. I found myself in a mind space that’s very peaceful and I am just very thankful that I was able to find this opportunity and learn a different kind of discipline and consistency and understand the truth of  what it would be like to be self-employed.

This is written as a piece based on my experience.

Love,

Martha

Disclaimer:

Consumers who use Herbalife Formula 1 twice per day as part of a healthy lifestyle can generally expect to lose around 0.5 to 1 pound per week. Participants in a 12-week, single-blind, study used Formula 1 twice per day (once as a meal and once as a snack) with a reduced calorie diet and a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Participants followed either a high protein diet or a standard protein diet. Participants in both groups lost about 8.5 pounds.

My Weight Loss Journey – Starting over (Postpartum)

I will never forget the first time I went shopping for some work pants a while after giving birth to my daughter. At the time I have been using my maternity clothes, trying to hold off buying new clothes, thinking I will lose the weight (soon in my mind). I realized later on that I needed variety.  This was the first time I felt confused in my body. I still felt like I was in the same body before I got pregnant.

I learned the hard way how untrue that was. It was the first time I didn’t know where to start with in sizes as an adult and the last time I had this type of problem was in my childhood which obviously was not under the same circumstances and could wear any baggy t-shirt to school, not like a corporate job where I had to dress business casual everyday. I had to spend a really long time and a lot of energy to figure out my correct pant size was and this put me in a bout of depression. For a while I did not feel like myself and felt down. As trivial as it sounds, we women care a lot about our appearance.

So in trying to figure it out, I was entering fitting room after fitting room and could never find anything that felt and looked flattering. I also had not wanted to reward myself with new clothes that I felt I would potentially wear temporarily.

Then one summer, I  went on vacation to Virginia Beach with my family and just felt so tired from walking and riding the bike that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I wanted to. It was still enjoyable but I felt like it would have been more enjoyable had I had more energy and stamina. This desire to run in circles with my daughter on top of my clothing dilemma inspired me to start a weight loss journey.

I initially started with the 10,000 steps a day and I was counting mentally and just kept guessing which I’m sure looking back I probably overestimated how much I actually walked. At the time, I didn’t lose anything but then again, at this time I wasn’t watching what I ate.

Then one day a person I respect very much just told me to incorporate calisthenics and I had no idea what that was so I looked it up. All I thought was that looks hard. I couldn’t even do half of one push up at the time. Then what started off as something gradual working out twice per week for 20 minutes became progressive and now I work out at least 4 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour. These were the first YouTube channels that I felt would help me:

Fitness Marshall
Club Fitz
Dance with Jessica
Popsugar Fitness

When it came to my diet, I saw an interview with Dr. Oz on the Breakfast Club which is a radio station I frequently listen to. In the interview I remember Dr. Oz using visuals to inform on the effects of sodium and sugar intake. I managed to remember the picture of what was going on but am unable to remember the date and time.

I didn’t realize how much sugar and sodium can affect our bodies so negatively. There is apparently a recommended daily consumption limit for these things according to the Health.gov website. So I learned to maintain sugar intake between 25-30 grams and not exceed that amount daily. That’s for ONE day, so that means throughout my entire day, what I eat does not exceed my sugar intake. However, I realized how one can EASILY go through that. Like with a can of coke – it’s exceeding the daily limit and having two would’ve doubled that intake. I found that most processed foods contain so many grams of sugar as well. After so much research of sugar intake, I also found that being used to sugar consumption can also lead to Leptin Resistance(Shapiro, A., Mu, W., Roncal, C., Cheng, K.-Y., Johnson, R.J., & Scarpace, P.J. (2008).) in which the brain no longer “hears” the message to stop eating.

I had that problem for so long then with the above knowledge, I took control of my life back and have never felt more energy. People ask me constantly what I have done to lose weight and it’s really the only true and same message we all know but refuse to believe. It’s all blood, sweat, and tears in eating healthy and exercising often. There’s no secret nor magic pill that will take you there. It’s all pure hard work and most people often only see the result and don’t really see anyone do what it took to get there. Weight loss I found requires consistency, discipline, and a “can-do” attitude.

Maybe you had a different experience? If so, leave comments below! Let me know what YOU did to help motivate you, get you started, or what you did to lose/gain the weight you did!
Love,

Martha

References:

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/healthieryou/html/chapter8.html

http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/the-growing-concern-of-overconsumption/#.Wo22z_6ouCo

Shapiro, A., Mu, W., Roncal, C., Cheng, K.-Y., Johnson, R.J., & Scarpace, P.J. (2008). Fructose-induced leptin resistance exacerbates weight gain in response to subsequent high-fat feeding. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology , 295(5), R1370–1375. doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00195.2008

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/theres-just-no-sugarcoating-news