Doing the Most: Let Me Be Your Motivation

This post is comprised of my notes from Chalene Johnson’s “Being Unstoppable” presentation at Camp Do More on June 18, 2013, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  [Note that some of my commentary is in brackets.]
Your purpose has a lot to do with your struggle. You’re the only one who can start/stop your progress.
I never say I hate myself–that’s talking about God’s creation.

Source: The Remodeled Life

You can’t love yourself until you love your story. In other words, make peace with your past.  Do you ever respect someone LESS when you hear their story? So why are you afraid to tell yours? Don’t be ashamed of it or afraid to tell people where you’ve been.

Continue reading “Doing the Most: Let Me Be Your Motivation”


Doing the Most: Unstoppable Action

This post is comprised of my notes from Chalene Johnson’s “Being Unstoppable” presentation at Camp Do More (CDM) on June 18, 2013, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  [Note that some of my commentary is in brackets. Chalene took a picture of us standing behind her before she began.]
Do more of the right things. You can do anything, but don’t do everything. Do the things with the most impact. Learn to take action in smaller steps. [This is related to her to-do list practices as discussed in her book, PUSH! Here are the steps to becoming unstoppable:

Source: Time Management Ninja

Step 1 – Know where you’re going. Have you ever been busy all day and then felt like you didn’t get anything done? You need specific targets. Pick one small thing you will do each day.

Step 2 – Tell people you’re on your way. Create accountability by telling people what you’re going to do. Give yourself a fast approaching deadline. [My goal was to make Lifetime with WW a few days after returning home, so while I’m in Vegas I decided that I’m not going to overeat every day, or indulge at every meal. Even though we are working out, you can’t out-train a bad diet. I’m too close to my goal to mess around.]
Step 3 – Identify detours. What distracts you or causes you to procrastinate? Address how you will handle those situations. [For me, it’s too many tabs open, phone, TV, internet, and Facebook. For me to get creative and/or productive, I have to shut out the world.]

Continue reading “Doing the Most: Unstoppable Action”

Doing the Most: Who’s House? My House!

a.k.a. Camp Do More Recap, Part 1

I started planning my trip to the West Coast to attend Camp Do More (CDM) last fall.  I was sad to learn they ran out of room before I finished saving my money to register ($400). Then I got an email in December, saying the venue had changed and a link was provided to join the waiting list. I registered and secured my hotel room shortly after Christmas. Then you know the rest–I got my certifications to teach even though I prefer staying in the mix.  But you haven’t worked out until you’ve been in a grand ballroom doing new choreography with hundreds of others all around you. I could see that energy on YouTube video highlights of years past, but experiencing it in person is like nothing else. It’s like the difference between watching your favorite celebrity perform in concert on DVD or TV vs. being in the live audience.

Because I have so much to say about my experience (and the creator Chalene Johnson suggested first-timers reflect on video), I made a video about it (see below). Tomorrow I’ll share my notes from her motivational lectures (which she told us to share) since this blog is primarily on personal development.

I loved the opening performance…. the energy was crazy.

This year was the first time CDM was not held in Orange County, CA. It took place on 3 weekdays preceding the Beachbody Summit, not a weekend, and in June instead of August. For these reasons and perhaps others, attendance declined for the first time, where usually it doubled. If it had been the same as always, I would not have been eligible to register at all, because the CA venue sold out and the best I could do was add myself to a waiting list until they changed their site location.

This Girl is on Fire: My Life in May 2013

My Weight Watcher’s 10% keychain is holding symbols of my milestones (from right to left): Live Life Active charm, Goal charm, 25 lb loss charm, 16 weeks charm, and 5K race charm. All that’s missing is my Lifetime charm–I’ll get it in June.

In May 2013, I got my new running habit off to a good start with some training runs and PRs.  I also met another celebrity (sort of), reluctantly renewed the lease on my dwelling, attended my first homeschool conference, saw my share of movies, met someone new, and got a taste of what my summer will be like without the girl. Read on for the deets… (except for the met someone new part, ha ha).


She’s Done Losing

I’ll start off my monthly recap with my two biggest accomplishments for the month, which include my Weight Watchers progress and running stuff.
According to my scale, which I weigh myself on periodically, first thing in the morning after voiding, naked), I reached my goal weight in April, losing 30 pounds since June 2012. But clothed at Weight Watchers, I didn’t reach that goal until Mid-May. I had a terrible cold (while it was 80s outside all week), so my appetite was smaller, but not by much. I think I hit the finish line by 1) wearing light dresses to the WW meeting, 2) eating a low carb diet for a few weeks, and 3) running about 10 miles a week, which is a fitness activity my body is not used to.  I’ll remain on “Maintenance” for 6 weeks before achieving “Lifetime” status near the end of June, so long as I weigh no more than 2 pounds above or below my goal weight (so far so good).

Continue reading “This Girl is on Fire: My Life in May 2013”

Getting My Hustle On!

Working It Out

Dancers onstage doing hip hop choreography
Credit: Just Dance Academy

I had a fabulous time yesterday at Hip Hop Hustle certification. I got a few minutes to teach a few 8-counts and it felt good! I’d love to perform in a show. (If I can get the video or picture from the training, I’ll add it to this post.) Now I’ve got a track record of getting certified for a new fitness format every month so far this year (just by coincidence). My plan is to keep networking and substitute teach wherever I can and then eventually lead my own classes once or twice a week.

It’s been 6 weeks since I took my AFAA certification class and I finally got my results: I passed! I only missed two questions.

PiYo and Insanity trainings are taking place locally next month; not sure I will do either of them until I start using what I’ve got, but I have a lot of fun and meet the coolest people (the Zumba instructors always represent!). It’s so motivating!

Honorable Mentions

A week ago, I won the 2013 Stiletto Women in Business Award (SWIBA) Author of the Year Award!  My friend Melisa also won a SWIBA, and she was one of the two people who congratulated me, which is the only way I was notified (a week after the awards ceremony).

I also recently found out that my book What’s Wrong With Me? is a finalist in the 2012 ForeWord Reviews Book Awards (Young Adult Nonfiction category). Continue reading “Getting My Hustle On!”

I’m Number One

I just spent a day at Georgia Tech during AFAA APEX weekend to get my fitness certification in group exercise (see Roselyn’s post for more details on AFAA APEX. I had been going back and forth for the past two months about whether or not to go for the certification. Attending in person during the APEX weekend made it less expensive, but it was still an investment. Not to mention the time in studying for the test.  I waited a little too long and drove myself crazy: by the time I ordered and received the textbook study materials and practice test, I had a mere 10 days to ingest the info (mind you, I have NO health/science/fitness background).

I’m #1!

I arrived on time, and the room was packed. I was one of 88 students!  We sat on mats on the floor of one the group exercise rooms. Our funny, experienced, personable instructor was a delight, originally from Japan. She made the day go by fast and put us at ease.  For each test we had to do, she made sure we were prepared and answered all our questions as we  reviewed pertinent sections and questions in the study guide. She also explained what to do and what NOT to do on the practical part of the exam to make sure we weren’t disqualified.
Some of the people in attendance were already teaching (lots of Zumba folks), but I thought you had to have the cert before you taught classes. In any case, everyone was easygoing and friendly; I had a chance to network with people and found that we had mutual friends in common and/or facilities we frequented.  After lunch, four examiners joined us for the testing portion of the day:

  • First, we had a practical test as a group, where everyone demonstrates warm-up, strength, and cardio exercises for a few minutes each (as well as appropriate stretches for each category). We lined up by number (my name always puts me in the front of the class).
  • Then we each did our individual presentations of one minute each, where we had to choose a strength or cardio exercise and present three levels of that the same exercise (since group exercise participants perform at different fitness levels). Since there were 88 of us, the instructor divided us into two groups. She listened to both people (somehow), and there were also two other examiners for each group that evaluated us.
  • Finally, we had an hour to complete a closed-book, 100-question multiple choice test. There were only a handful of questions of which I had to totally guess the answer (you can miss 20 questions and still pass).

The whole day’s schedule ran from 9-6; I left a little after 5.  I should have my results within 8 weeks, and hopefully I can start teaching TurboKick next month.

Pursuing Peace with Me: My Life in January 2013

Believe it or not, the first month of the year is over. For me, I can honestly say it’s been awesome. This goal-getter is off to a great start! I feel peaceful about the goals that I’ve been working on and what’s in store for me this year.

I started this month with a fast of sorts, but I modified it and changed it to clean eating–and I did pretty well until it was time to travel.

Surprising Sissy

Back on my birthday in November, I was at my sister’s house. She hosted Thanksgiving dinner, so I drove up (about 1,200 miles round trip). My birthday was the next day, and it was then that I decided that I would come back for her birthday, which was this month. I had my mother keep the secret (they live together), and since they also both work at the same place, I surprised her that morning with my daughter and flowers. She didn’t really react but she was happy to see us, and I was glad I could do it. (One of the benefits of homeschooling is that I was able to do it even while we were away from home–no attendance issues incurred.)

TurboGirl Grad

Fitness - Zumba dance training in gymI completed TurboKick training, which was long but exhilarating (get a taste of it in the video below). If that wasn’t great enough, I also had my first audition a week later with the owner of a dance and fitness studio nearby, and I was nervous, even though I know her. Her feedback was that my cuing, speaking and choreography were great, but I’m a little winded halfway through class, so I need to build up my endurance with running or other cardio activities. That way, she said, I can challenge participants who are pretty fit–I can then motivate and give them something to work toward.  I recently joined Black Girls Run!, so now I have additional incentive to participate in weekly runs.

The Accidental Homeschooler

I’m an “accidental homeschooler*.” I didn’t plan to do this, but after month 1, I’m happy to say that I feel freedom, peace (and surprisingly, patience). It’s going more smoothly than I thought–for both of us! The girl goes to her STEM classes and a set of elective classes (on two different days of the week). I’ve had to make major adjustments in our schedules, but I feel like that and the additional expenses with the “home study” schools and co-op group are worth it.

Other things I did:

  • Met celebrities and entrepreneurs Nicci Gilbert and Marshawn Lewis at a great event
  • Bought my first bed of my own (always had furniture from my former spouse or handed down from a family member)
  • Enrolled in a class with a new coach; my goal is to go from free to fee and build a stronger brand

Next Up

Things I’m looking forward to in February 2013 are:

  • Hiring new contractors for book (I am praying that it will go a lot smoother than last time)
  • Buying a new couch (again–never had one of my own)
  • Reaching my goal weight (I’m 5 pounds away)
  • Getting my tax refund (I’m almost done and ready to file now)
  • Earning my AFAA certification so I can become an official fitness instructor (I need to make all these investments pay off)
  • Yo Gabba Gabba Live! – I bought tickets for my daughter and I in October, so the anticipation has been building! (Cue the spontaneous chorus of “Hold Stilllllllll…. wiggle wiggle wiggle – GO!”

* – A term for those who homeschool by a process of elimination, not because homeschooling is their primary choice.