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

Advertisements

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

Healthy Living and Protein

So it has been a few months since I have been on this Herbalifestyle (ha ha) and so far I have to say the results have been phenomenal.

What started off as a simple direct mission for weight loss, ended up being a complete detox and rebuild of my life which in turn propelled me into a mission of growth.

Two events that occurred today, inspired me to write this post. First, was the realization that in the past, I used to be a heavy coffee drinker. I used to drink coffee at least 4 times a day. It would literally be very unhealthy amounts of coffee consumed but I always figured, well they help me use the bathroom and give me energy so why not, right?

With being months deep into Herbalife and forgetting my tea today, I tried to drink my first cup of coffee in a long time. I could only take a few sips before I decided to pour it in the sink and toss it out.  I honestly was in disbelief at how much I was able to wean myself from coffee to the point where I don’t even crave coffee at all. I actually had natural energy that I was able to stretch for the whole day. Thanks to my program I drink green tea and aloe at least once or twice a day.

Second, was being able to share resources and information I obtained from my Herbalife program to someone very close to me to provide encouragement and mental support. I did this with someone today by strongly suggesting to listen to TD Jake’s speaking “On Leadership”. I just felt useful to be able to offer something like this to someone for motivation.

I also want to discuss why I’m still on it, even though I have reached my weight goal. I really wanted to wait until I spent a little bit of time on it to really have given it a shot. To start, before I even got on the program, I have not been on any type of structured eating schedule and have not been drinking as much water as I thought I have been. I had already lost some weight post pregnancy on my own. This turned into a way for me to taking a real good look at how my eating habits were. It took a few months to really get into the swing of things but once I understood how it actually works, I took it seriously.

The controversy with protein shakes is that it’s not “food” and that it’s a “diet” shake meant to make you skinny only. I have actually found that Herbalife, although different in its own right, is similar to many supplements out there on the market that assists with weight management which is in essence modifiable based on what your goals are. A person like me who exercises regularly needs more protein to help my results go from “meh” to “wow”. (Georgie Fear, RD). I found that Herbalife was giving me the protein I need for muscle recovery.

Herbalife also has the ability to provide vitamins and minerals for people who are on the go, not eating enough, and for people who’s intention to lose weight. For the most part, unless you’re eating certain foods RAW (and some raw foods contain pesticides and chemicals), you are stripping away the enzymes that most raw foods have that are necessary for your body to function properly and well. (Dr. Mercola).

Overall, the diet or lifestyle change is based on your goals. Mine at first was to lose weight but since I decided I want to be toned, I realize that it’s a different way I need to consume protein and structure my workout plan. Ultimately it still involves protein consumption to support weight training.

When I decided on toning up, I found myself on another side of a spectrum that I never knew existed which ended up in my seeking resources and credible articles to help me understand where I’m trying to go as well as how to get there.

Small backstory. I used to be overweight growing up. I endured bullying and by High School I lost pretty much all the excess weight I had carried with me through most of my childhood. I had literally gone to the gym everyday and never did anything structured. I always just did my own thing and left. I eventually just got really skinny which looked unhealthy considering my height. I, at the time, didn’t know about protein intake post workout, pre-workouts, or even how to eat properly. End.

I am now in a place where I have experienced being inexperienced deciding to become a little bit more familiar with what I should be doing on a daily basis for proper weight management. These are things I have learned within the last few months after getting into my program with Herbalife.

What I have been taught throughout my journey also, is the importance of consistency and self-discipline. These will take you further because when you are disciplined you are showing your commitment to your results.

It is your mind which is the foundation of how far your actions will take your intentions. The more positive and motivational thoughts that you allow enter your mind, the more determined you become. It can potentially train your mind to speak to you in moments you need it. (Dr. Kell)

Maybe Herbalife isn’t for you or maybe it is. Who’s really to say unless you tried it? But I just know that much of my physical and mental aspects have changed since I started.

No, I am not providing you a biased opinion and I was not paid to write this. Trust me when I say I was hesitant at first, wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, and feeling very skeptical. I have also experimented in which I have stopped taking Herbalife to see what would happen and have been completely fine. All of this was just to detail my experience with it and to educate on the actual purpose of protein powder consumption. I’ve linked resources from reputable sources below for more specific information.

Pretty happy with where I’m at today and I’ve still got long to grow. If it seems like something you want to try or get into, let me know! The beauty of it is that it’s not only just for weight management but also for many other health benefits such as digestive, skin, etc.

Free wellness profile & meal plan by clicking:

https://marthadonis.goherbalife.com/Account/Register/Index/en-US?returnUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fmarthadonis.goherbalife.com%2FCatalog%2FHome%2FIndex%2Fen-US

Before starting any new diet or workout regime please consult with your doctor first.

Love,
Martha

References:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/10/cooked-food-diet.aspx

http://leadershiptrainingtutorials.com/leadershiptraining/women-in-leadership/does-listening-to-motivational-speakers-really-make-a-difference/#.Wn4Fqf6ouPo

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/protein-powder-guide

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.

Kids & Health

At first when your kid is still brand new (by a few months) and is starting just to eat, parents usually feed their kids either prepackaged veggies/fruits or homemade veggies/fruits because of time restrictions. Well, that is what we did.

At a very early point in my daughter’s life we introduced veggies and fruits. Somehow though, in our case, vegetables weren’t as consistent on her plate as she was getting older. Since recently my change of diet has been consistent, I have tried to make sure veggies are on the plate, even for her.

Her father was particularly vocal about his dislike for vegetables, particularly broccoli during her very early age. I had to advise him to use code names for this but too late. My daughter, being the observant child that she is, also ended up hating broccoli.

She really HATED it.

If it was green, it was nasty.

But today, I FINALLY got her to eat broccoli. I told her initially that what I was feeding her wasn’t broccoli (just so that she won’t have a biased opinion) but when she had that surprised look on her face I could tell that she LOVED it and I loved that she loved it. We celebrated to the moon and back.

I almost thought I didn’t have anything much to write about today because oddly enough I spent most of it sulking in my own bad luck.

It started off with not being able to do my eyebrows right, to my computer problems RIGHT before I left work, and right before picking up shoes for my daughter. I was going through it today!

However, a video I watched today made me think of how I was feeling and what I was expressing with my vibrations. I was just moody and unhappy but when I caught myself and smiled a little bit more, my mood changed eventually and the small things didn’t bother me anymore. I just felt great the rest of the day. Why were the small bothering me in the first place? My own thoughts.

When you control your thoughts by bringing yourself back to the present with your vibrations and let the bad stuff go, you will be at a better place mentally and spiritually. The rest will fall in line too.

Just know even the bad days have blessings too because when my daughter ate her vegetables and helped me bring the groceries inside, I knew at that moment that nothing else could change the happiness I felt from feeling like today was a great day.

Love,

Martha

September Update

Hey guys so glad to see you all back here!

So tons and tons has happened since I last posted. Last big event that happened was that I got proposed to by the man I have always wanted. Next thing you know, I realized that was asked of me afterwards is when’s the date, how, who, what, where, and I’m like, huh?

I never knew how weddings can get really complicated but I did know how I can use this as an opportunity to create something out of me. I did know that wedding planning is difficult but I felt like I could handle it. Then, to my surprise, I reached out to someone who was also getting married even though at the moment I thought she had already gotten married (I was trying to get referrals of catering, DJ, etc.) I wanted to create something simple and not so crazy since I decided if I’m going to do this I might as well try referrals first. Then to my luck and surprise she let me know one day she wanted start up a an event planning company. So we spoke and I feel personally that the wedding will be beautiful, simple and inexpensive.

Ladies, if you decide you’re about to get married, know that it is not a walk in the park. Research goes into the venue after you decide on a date because why? You have to know if they’ll even be available for when you want it! To my surprise, tons of couples schedule these things years ahead of time and I’m like within months of wanting to get married. Whoops! Well I wanted to do something cute and simple without it being effortless. If you have that kind of money, though, you’ll be able to afford a wedding planner.

I want there to show the work that I also put in to this but I trust the person I spoke with. Plus to me, this an opportunity to practice project management. Yes, that is a thing.

Anyway, I realized as of last weekend, I wasn’t exactly a “party girl” anymore. I went out to Spain for the weekend just to enjoy myself. I got sloppy reaaaaaaaaal fast. Definitely underestimated my capacity lol! I haven’t been out in a while though and the drinks after a while started to taste like water. By the time I realized how drunk I was, I was chugging water and water and dancing as much as I could to sober up. One thing I can say is I’m a professional sober upper haha. Bathroom, water, and physical activity. Food is ideal but I was NOT about to break the diet 🙂

Lastly, this one client I have been helping with her weight loss has been making me so unpredictably proud! It’s like insane and amazing to see someone change their whole bodies and lose some weight and keep it down and not only that but be able to incorporate physical activity. Literally I have made it a priority to help my community as best as possible. I just enjoy trying to get into the swing of things. Since I’m still learning it feels challenging but my client has been doing an amazing job so it makes me feel like I am.

I’ve revisited my past for a moment, sometimes one feels like before moving on or forward, one must reassure and accept the past as being what it is, the past. I just felt so heart freeing after saying my piece telling of my peace. It was liberating.

I just felt a lot of the times in my past I was too savage on my own. Lately though, I have been doing tons of things, even to this day, to work on it. Lately though, I’ve been focusing my energy on my strengths.

Don’t forget guys, to work on yourselves everyday. I cannot stress how important that is. Everyday if you can, listen to some motivational videos, do some physical activity, let your day be more than just another day of nothingness and you’ll see eventually the fruit of all your labors. One thing is for sure, hard work WILL pay off.

Love,

Martha

Sautéed Shrimp & Zucchinni

Hi guys, welcome back! So I know I did promise a Shrimp & Zucchini recipe for you guys to try. It’s super quick and easy not to mention deeeeelicious! I came up with this one day because Kroger’s was selling a bag of shrimp for like $13 dollars. I was like whaattt *grabs bag*. Lately we have been on this zucchini craving lately so I went and bought a few to cut up and sauté. The day came to make a quick dinner and it only took about 10-15 minutes to make! Like I said, so quick and easy especially for people who want to meal plan or just eat something quick but filling.

So first, grab a nice bag of shrimp, I would recommend the big ones, I grabbed a 21/25 count, because they get smaller once they cook a little in the pan (as I’ve discovered on my own).

This can serve around 3-4 and does not require much prepping.

Make sure to have:

  • 1 TBSP Butter
  • 1 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 medium uncooked zucchini (cut into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 1/2 TBS Garlic powder
  • 1/2 TBS Parsley
  • 1/4 TSP Black pepper
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1/2 Cup grape tomatoes (optional)
  • 1.5 cups of large-size pealed shrimp

What I did first was cut up the zucchini first into 1/4 inch slices and put it on the side.

Then I placed the olive oil in the pan and waited a few minutes to get hot. How I can tell if the pan is hot sometimes is I splash a little water and if it crackles, it’s pretty good on heat.

Then I place the zucchini slices in the pan and cook until it’s golden on both sides by mixing and flipping the zucchinis for around 5 minutes, during this time I sprinkle over the black pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Once it’s cooked I place it on the side.

Next, I put butter in my pan, assuming it’s still on and hot (using a check method first) I go ahead and add my shrimp to the pan and start moving it around to get the shrimp cooked on all sides. During this time I am adding my parsley in between and making sure all of the shrimp is lightly covered (add more if needed). The shrimp is cooked when you no longer see the greys and translucent of the shrimp. It should be a reddish, pink color.

I add my tomatoes at the end and let it cook with the shrimp by tossing and moving it around in the pan until the tomatoes are softened. Then I put my zucchini back in the pan to get hot and voila I’m done!

Now you can serve and what would be recommended is 1 and 1/4 cups to serve or however you decide you would like to eat it. Make sure you keep in mind portion control! Small meat, more veggies, and small complex carbs.

Unfortunately my husband loves the white rice and pasta so I had to make him white rice. I stuck with my shrimp and veggies though to keep it disciplined.

It is a HARD road to be disciplined but believe me, it will totally pay off in the long run and I will keep posting more healthy meal ideas for you health lovers and weight watchers.

Until next time.

Love,

Martha