Staying fit on vacay

Working out is supposed to come naturally but for me is a struggle!!!  But as one of my IG friends well quoted “I still struggle, I just don’t give up”!

I get tons of body compliments of being “thick” in the right places, or as I’ve heard recently that I’m getting “skinny” because I work out more frequent 😬😔. Well on the contrary; I am 158 pounds and 5’5” I just carry the weight in the “right places” thanks to my mama :). My metabolism with this body type is extremely slow and my appetite is always high so I have to work out to stay somewhat in shape.  My goal is 150, toned arms and less cellulite…sounds easy right?  I also work out for health benefits and life longevity.  It relieves stress which as an Air Traffic Controller I live in a lot of it! Heart disease and stroke is the No. 1 killer in women, and stroke disproportionately affects African-Americans. Working out and diet is more important than vanity for me, although what I see in the mirror makes me happy and directly reflects my discipline.

My travel lifestyle obviously presents a challenge because diet options are not necessarily  a choice.  Some airports, specifically smaller overseas airports have only bar food options.  And I live for bar food!  When you are trying to lose weight or have a health goal that includes working out you have to be transparent and honest with yourself to succeed and for me that means I can admit that while on a trip all of my food choices will be in the moment with a hint of good decision making IF there are options.  I also indulge in alcohol which also inhibits good diet decision making, among other bad decisions lol.  With all of that being said I am open and honest with myself so that I work out a little harder before trips, meal replace, and plan to meal replace upon return so that I can live more in the moment and enjoy one of the best parts about traveling which is food!

I always pack at least one workout outfit on my travels!  I don’t always get around to going to the hotel gym, and when I am in an Airbnb that’s all the excuse I need to not work out!  Most of my vacations include exploring the city and walking around which is where I get the most of my workout.  I will walk a thousand miles 🎶🎶🎶 no but seriously I might if I have a drink in my hand and I am enjoying the views.  I will schedule a cheap yoga session, or work out on the beach which is actually pretty fun.

This year I plan to work out on EVERY trip, and I plan to not let 2 days pass without some sort of activity in my workout gear lol! Below is a video of exercises my trainer, Tisch, gave me for those Airbnb trips where all I have is a 30 min window and a living room.  This can also be enjoyable outside as in the video, and on a beach!  They were very challenging and I plan on perfecting all of these moves!

Hopefully this motivates you to get in a workout or two while living ya best life!  Or even to walk a little further.  Just get something started!

Visit Go Red for Women for cited facts and more information about the health benefits of working out, and how to educate our black community properly.

Additionally if you are in the Atlanta area book Tisch Tosch Training for some personal training sessions, or just visit her site for some cool health blogs and meal plans.

Cancun Feb 2018

This trip was a last minute birthday trip for me!  I found it on Groupon!  Yes Groupon has vacations that are super affordable and all inclusive through travel agents.  They do NOT pay me (I’m not that noticeable yet) so you can trust this review. 2018-02-20_13-22-40_000

So I booked a “Travel by Jen” vacation from ATL to Cancun Mexico and it was just under $400 per person, including the hotel that was all inclusive for adults.  When booking these Groupon travel agent deals, you must keep in mind that the cheapest deal must come with an open mind.  Most of the flight deals are on the low budget airlines; this trip it was Spirit airlines.  It does not warn you on the Groupon checkout!!!  I am not sure if you can be refunded if you do not like it, but you can upgrade it with the initial phone call to other airlines if you like.  Yes, you will have to call and talk to someone because Groupon purchases alone does not confirm your flight information.  If you choose to upgrade your airline it will be much more.  We opted to stick with Spirit because my travel coins are very important and last minute flights are expensive! Obviously are bags were extra and our layover in FLL was not that comfortable, specifically coming back home.

Our hotel was not that impressive as far as the “all inclusive” part, but it was cheap so I was satisfied.  The overall free food was not that great except one restaurant where we had to make appointments.  The liquor was free, top shelf, so that definitely made this worth it.  The location was amazing and the beach was amazing.  The “all inclusive” included all water activities except boat tours.

We opted for a tour to Chichen Itza, one of the worlds seven wonders, and booked it through our hotel.  It was very easy and the total was about $60 and included breakfast and lunch.  The tour lasted all day!  I mean the pyramid is about 2 hours away deep in Yucatan so they broke it up with a few stops, one in a “cenote'” underground natural pool.  I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and fell for the tour trap liquor bottle with our picture lol!  But the pyramid is filled with tourist traps and people hanging out selling things so be careful!  Nonetheless it is worth it and beautiful.  We were educated with lots of Native American heritage along the way and learned the history behind the entire land.

To summarize,  traveling does NOT. have to be all lavish and expensive.  I actually try to spend the least amount of money to make more trips possible fit into my budget.  Budget airlines are not my favorite but the experience of the trip and culture outweighs the sacrifice.  Thanks for reading!

Happiness is a Choice

Don’t let anyone take away you ability to choose.

I grew up in humble beginnings.  I always thought about how great it would be if I lived in an actual house versus an apartment, own a car instead of rely on public transportation,  make a salary, etc.  Then I grew up and all of those dreams aligned to something totally different, bigger, and even more out of reach making me unhappy.  One noticeable measure of happiness is my career and going to work everyday doing something I thought I loved. I would never in a million years as a child thought life with co-workers would ever be the way it is; I would have never thought that life would be so unhappy and miserable for people with salaries and material things that I only dreamed of as a kid.

Negative energy transfers, meaning if you wake up in the morning in a good mood, go outside to check the mail and the mailmen kicks your dog for barking at them and curses at you when he drives off, then you may get an attitude with the local barista because they forgot the “no foam” on your daily coffee.  In actuality, you were so caught up in the morning madness that you actually forgot to tell them “no foam”, so now that barista is rude to the next few customers, and then is continues to transfer.

One thing I am working on is stopping the negative energy.  Gossip stops with me, attitude stops with me.  I refuse to pass it on, and I choose to be happy.  Sometimes life can be like a dog chasing its tail and we are chasing happiness.  I am learning that that is fine!  Dogs are some of the happiest creatures anyway lol and we could learn from that.  Find something in the unhappy situation you are in that makes you happy and work on that all while deflecting negative energy.  Happiness is a choice!

Decide today that you will be happy 🙂 20170228_131237

The Art of “No” Part 1

By far the hardest part about growth.  If it is easy to say no then chances are you are selfish and this article is not for you.  We were taught at a very early age to share, but not to say no, and being selfish is bad, but is it???

Confession:  I have been jealous of selfish people in the past!  All until I learned to become selfish…to take care of MYSELF first!  I had to learned I was taught the one-sided definition of selfish.  I had to learn that one can not ask something of me selfishly, then call me selfish when I say no.  It just does not work that way!20170223_105608

You have to put yourself first.  Mind you, if everyone is selfish in every aspect then how will we have healthy relationships?  At some point you have to extend yourself for the sake of being selfless for the ones you care about!  Please do not mistake that for this!  You have to balance your needs and mental health while being there.  Absence is not all good either, unless you plan on being alone. You have to discern who is really there just to take, and then take some more.  Some people are there just to drain you and they may not even know it and it is your job to say….NO!  When it comes to family or long term friends, it is not always intentional which is why this becomes really difficult.

No I can’t babysit.  No I can’t lend you any money right now.  No I can’t take you to the store.  And NO you do not owe an explanation!  I have definitely fallen victim to the latter.  And when others tell you no then realize they are prioritizing their life, and it’s not right to make my poor planning their emergency!  They would if they had it and I should plan better next time.  It is no ones responsibility to bail me out of my messes except my own!

This is definitely a sensitive subject and deserves some practice.  Practice saying no today in a healthy way and see how better you feel without the weight of some other issues, even if it is as simple as you relaxing after work for a few more minutes because you demanded some time alone.