Lose to Gain

I’m finally alone with my thoughts, still up and wide awake, completely in disbelief at how this past year has been a whirlwind of ups and downs.

People never tell you when you’re younger the things that are talked about around you whether they’re good or bad are a product of just life happening. It really just comes and goes endlessly. No one makes you feel comforted knowing that everything good AND bad happens to almost everyone and everyone’s “good” and “bad” aren’t so different. No one ever tells you it’s okay if you go through them and no one tells you how all you have to do is continue the struggle with a strong mind. Often, society makes it seem like they are ready to tear you down and make you feel inferior when when you aren’t always your best self. We are creatures of impulse, loneliness, confusion, madness, love and yet still manage to maintain some type of innocence deep down inside. There is still the innocence in us, the part of us that wants to feel like we matter, are loved, and are accepted for who we are. Almost every one of us finds ways to bring us closer to it.

We don’t anticipate everything happening so quickly as time passes, wondering what the next day will bring, wondering if we learned anything since yesterday.

All of our life experiences are vital for growth. It’s necessary to go through mistakes and forgive yourself. I was as gentle as I could be with myself, learning to love the woman who was hurt, the woman who was lost, and the woman who fought her way through to love and acceptance. That was the woman I saw during all my phases. The hardest part was staying dedicated to rebuilding myself into the woman who said no to things not serving my mind, body, nor soul in a positive way and placing boundaries where there weren’t before. There were so many teachers this year- so much of it taught me patience.

I have been lucky to have been loved so unconditionally in my life and I have been lucky to study the psychological aspects of the human experience and how to survive it by reading/listening to others’. I was fortunate to not only survive my human experiences but I managed to overcome and take any pieces that have bruised and broken to rearrange and rebuild.

I have learned to embrace loss and find the gains in them through multiple and imperative exercises of the mind, heart, body, and soul. I’m glad I leaned to embrace loss and be unafraid of it. There is a freedom of being unattached to an idea and an expectation that you can’t put a price on.

The gains were in how from beginning to end, I maintained vigor in my desire for my life to flourish and prosper- a priority. I never wanted to come out on the other side empty handed from what I can offer me knowing I can bring my experiences to the table. The only person you can truly depend on, is yourself. The person in the mirror is the only one who can make or break you and your future.

Love,

Martha D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Does Listening to Motivational Speakers Really Make a Difference?

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.

DIY Coconut Milk Shampoo

So what happened was, I just recently bought shampoo and unfortunately it got left behind in another city! We are going to more but since I am short on time and where I live seems to be a hurricane right now, I decided to make some shampoo at home! (I also had the ingredients though). I also wouldn’t mind detoxing my hair in the meanwhile with natural and organic ingredients to keep it healthy and soft.

But first ☝🏼 the ingredients.

The ingredients involve:

3/4 cups of homemade or store bought coconut milk

20-30 drops of the essential oils of your choice

3/4 cups of Dr. Bronner Castile soap (use baby for children/babies)

3 TSP of vegetable glycerine

1 storage container bottle you’d put it in.

Mine was a very basic dollar store bought squirt bottle. So with that in mind, my ingredients are based on how much that would hold without overflowing.

First in a separate bowl I placed the coconut milk, Castile soap, glycerine, and essential oils. I whisked very lightly to mix the ingredients for only a few seconds and poured it into my bottle. Then I shook the bottle.

See! Easy peasy. I didn’t even realize how easy it was until I quickly did it.

Note: you can use any essential oils you choose. The essential oils I have are from Young Living which are pure and home grown. I used purification because I could smell the hint of rosemary, the tea tree because tea tree ALWAYS does wonders for your hair, scalp, and skin, and the peppermint because it’ll awaken your skin.

If you use a few like I did, make sure you pour more drops of the one you want to smell likemore than the others. I put 15 tea tree, 10 peppermint and 5 purification. 

Thank you for visiting my blog today, hope that was helpful to you!

Love,

Martha