Friday, April 29, 2016

Have your cake and eat it too! How to eat sweets and not get fat.

A high school friend of mine is now a certified personal trainer.  He fits your typical trainer profile of ultra low body fat and six pack abs.  He's even taken his fitness career to competitions and has won quite a few shows.

The last time I caught up with him, he boasted about how much he cheats on his diet.  He tells me that people can't believe that he indulges in red velvet cupcakes and other high sugar delights. Curiosity got the best of me so I asked him how he's able to break the rules and still maintain a winning physique.
His secret is to save the high calorie snacks for post workout.  Then he explains that if we indulge in sugary snacks while sitting around, all that excess sugar isn't utilized by the body.  Sugar that isn't put to good use, will essentially be stored as fat.  But sugar consumed, post workout, he claims, will be converted into energy because the body utilizes it more efficiently.

Although I trust his advice, I still wanted to see if this was indeed a true theory.  Off I went to research.  When we engage in rigorous activity, our blood sugar stores are depleted.  When we eat  foods high in simple sugars post workout, our body is ready to utilize it to refuel muscle tissue.  Instead of being stored (as fat), the sugar is quickly digested and used appropriately.

I even stumbled upon a video that talks about a study where cyclists were divided into two groups. One group given a healthy meal post workout, the other refueled with fast food.  When tests were preformed to see the impact of the meal, the researchers couldn't tell the difference in blood glucose and insulin response of healthy eating group vs the junk food group.   This could also point to the fact, that after a tough workout, our body is craving the sugar and will immediately put it to good use.

This is not to say that we should always eat ice cream and cake after a workout.  Ideally we should stick to healthy eating whenever possible. But, if you are going to do it, your best bet is to consume the sugar when your body needs it most.  A lazy weekend of indulging in sweet snacks is a sure fire recipe for fat gain.  You should also consider the level of intensity of your workout.  The more intense the activity, the less "impact" the indulgence will have on your diet.  Please don't go overboard, because if you consume more calories in a day than you burn, your body will still store the excess.  But if done right, you can still treat yourself, like my friend does, and still remain lean.

I don't know about you, but I see this as very powerful information.  Perhaps we can be a little more strategic about how we snack.  Instead of eating mindlessly and paying for our actions later. Why not save your favorite dessert as a reward for your hard work and avoid the consequences?
Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mark your Calendars! Dyson is launching the Hair Dryer of the Future

Last summer was especially hot.  So I began the search for a high quality fan.  Every so often, I buy a tower fan and, a few years later, it breaks down and I have to buy another one.  Finally, I was done.  I said to myself, "I need to find thee best fan on the market".  What I uncovered is that Dyson's bladeless fans were deemed as the best product out there.

I'll admit it, the price really turned me off.  But the countless positive reviews I read swayed me to take the plunge.  I grabbed the model that both cooled and had the ability to operate as a heater.  I figured that if a fan could indeed heat a small room, the investment would be worth it.  I'm now happy to say that I absolutely adore my Dyson fan. It helped me save a ton in utility costs. In fact, I'm going to purchase their full size tower fan this year.  I use the word "fan", but technically, it's an Air Multiplier. Because it's bladeless, I can put my hands right through it without fear of loosing a finger.

Yesterday, started like any other day. But everything changed once I got wind of news that Dyson is coming out with a hair dryer later this year.  You might be thinking, "so what,  I already have a hair dryer." Keep in mind that Dyson isn't in the business of relaunching tired old technology.  In case you missed it, my fan has no blades and has the ability to heat and cool.  
I think of Dyson as the Apple of household consumer goods.  They put a ton of intention into their design while pushing the boundaries of the old way of doing things.  And that's exactly what they've done with this new hairdryer.  The first thing you should know is that they invested millions of dollars into developing this new technology.  They've completely redesigned recreated the motor to a fraction of the size of your typical hair dryer.  Secondly, they've leveraged some of the same technology that brought us the bladeless Air Multiplier.  You can stick your fingers right through the middle of your hair dryer without having to deal with extreme heat.  It's also quieter than a typical hair drier.  

But what we should be excited about are the embedded heat sensors that are meant to prevent the hair from excessive heat damage.  They also promise faster drying times and a smoother finished product using "smooth air technology."  I have no idea what that means so I'm side eyeing that claim until I can get my hands on it.   Be prepared, it's not cheap.  When it launches the dryer will retail for $399.00.  I think the most expensive hair dryer I own is around $100.00. And I paid that much because of how hot the dryer can get.  If the Dyson dryer can give me healthier hair in a fraction of the time, I'm in.  Part of the reason my hair dryers haven't seen the light of day is how long it takes to complete the process.  I'm a huge technology buff and Dyson has already earned me as a loyal customer, so I'm counting down the days until Sephora  launches the SuperSonic hair dryer in September. 



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My quest to recreate the Korean Bathhouse experience at home

only have one regret.  When I worked full time, my travels included regular visits to Atlanta and L.A.  Both of these cities have local Korean Spa/Bathhouses.  These institutions have been around in Korea and Japan forever.  Its an experience revered as an ultimate beauty treatment.

I'm sure that most of us do at home facials. Maybe we pull out our facial steamer and apply clay mask afterwards.  Yeah.....that's cool.....but it's time for us to graduate to the next level.

The biggest draw of the Korean Sauna is the highly intense body scrub.  And when I say intense, I mean INTENSE.  They scrub you with all of their heart and soul. I heard a couple of accounts where you actually see the pile of dead skin as a reward for the experience you endured.  For some, this rigorous scrubbing is a bit too much, but to me, this sounds like heaven.

You all know that I'm a huge fan of facial and body exfoliation.  I try my best to give myself an adequate scrub in the shower, but there are certain areas I just can't reach.   I'm humble enough to admit that I need professional help.  I'm willing to endure 30 minutes of enthusiastic scrubbing if that means that I get to enjoy "smooth as a baby's butt skin" for summer.

The other key to the Korean Bath House technique is what they use to exfoliate.  It's called an Italy towel, and from what I heard, it rivals the Salux Cloth.  Don't let the name fool you. These babies are directly from Korea.  Since it was quite easy to find online, I went ahead and ordered one.  I made the mistake of ordering from a Korean seller and, weeks later, I'm [impatiently] waiting for it to arrive.  I'm seriously considering placing another order from this seller who ships from the U.S.

If you grab an Italy towel and use it for your own beautification, make sure to loosen the dead skin first by working up a good sweat or standing in a hot steam shower for a while [or both].  That way your hard work produces better results.

While preparing for this post, I did a quick search to see if there are any Korean Spas in my state.  The bad news is there aren't any authentic bathhouses.....but the good news is there is a spot [about 1.5 hours away] that offer "Korean Spa Services."  I'm thinking that means they are non-Koreans who fell in love with the concept and decided to open their own bathhouse.  Works for me!  Now I just need to schedule in some time to make it happen.

Can't wait!




C'mon, you know you want one.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Style Inspiration | ADORNED IN DELICATE ACCENTS


On some random weeknight, I agreed to meet a friend at Starbucks to catch up on work.  Normally, we meet at a more formal location so I was glad to convene at a casual spot.  It was good to not to have to adhere to a business casual dress code.  My friend, who's normally dressed to impress, was running late and decided to come in full laid back attire.

She wore a grey cotton top and a pair of jeans.  Even though she left the house in a rush, she still made sure the wear her signature face consisting of a bold cat eye and nude lip.  But what really created a balance and pulled her entire look together were the strategic pieces of gold jewelry.

I used to abide by the old way of thinking that grey tones look better with silver accessories.  Seeing this girl in the grey/gold combination completely shattered that myth.  Her pieces were dainty and unique.  Here statement pieces offered the perfect counterbalance the casual nature of her outfit.  And it worked so, so well.  You can tell in one glance that she had style.  And the only thing that set her apart from all the others hunched over their laptops, were a few strategically placed pieces of jewelry.

 I'm drawn to delicate pieces with both gold and diamond sprinkled into the design.  You can be fitted in an old pair of jeans and an oversized tee, but with the right accessories, your look screams laid back chic.  In fact, the more simple the wardrobe, the more impact your statement pieces will have.
These slender bangles are some of the newer pieces in my collection.  I stumbled upon them during an impromptu trip to a local jewelry store.  Unfortunately, the investment was more than I was willing to give at the time.  But, a week later, I still couldn't get them out of my head. Long story short, 30 minutes of searching online and I found the exact replicas for a fraction of the price. The originals were around $1,700 each. They're so beautiful that I had to grab both the gold and silver band.  If you have small wrists like me, you'll love them.  If not, don't worry. These cuffs have a hinge that opens up so you can easily get them on.  They are, by far, the favorite of all the bracelets I own.





Why Micellar water will be my go-to beauty product this summer.

A while ago, I stumbled upon a few videos where folks were singing the praises of Bioderma micellar water.  At the time, access to micellar water was limited because Bioderma was only available overseas.  People would reach out to their international friends to get their hands on it.

The reason why everyone lusted after Bioderma is because micellar water can gently cleanse and remove make up like no other.  The technology of micellar water was developed back in 1913.  Basically, instead of stripping the skin, this magical water attracts and draws out impurities.  So the entire process is highly gentle for those with sensitive skin.  It's so gentle that micellar water requires no scrubbing to thoroughly remove dirt and makeup.

Luckily for us, Garnier decided to throw their hat in the micellar water game.  This means that we all can experience what it's like to have our faces graced with the gentlest of cleansers.  Honestly, I had low expectations before trying.  Since I use coconut cider vinegar as a toner, I'm used to stronger products which makes me highly skeptical of ultra gentle products that claim to cleanse deeply.

But as soon as I had my first taste, I was hooked.  Just one look at my cotton pad and I knew that Garnier had done it's thang.  Although I had no makeup on at the time, I could tell that it would have lifted it with ease.

Here's what I love about micellar water.  Summer's around the corner and typically, as the weather warms, I take on additional steps to promote freshness throughout the day.  One of my favorite go to's are facial mists.  But I also needed a product that cleanses while I'm on the go.  Coconut vinegar is a no-go because of the intense scent.  But with micellar water, I can easily sneak into the restroom and freshen my face, neck or underarms.  If I can also remove excess oil from my skin, then I'm set for life.

I will never be without micellar water again.  In fact, I have detailed plans to create a travel size bottle to have on me at all times.  After a long flight, micellar water. If you have a long day out, micellar water.  Are you planning on attending any outdoor events, micellar water.  Anytime you want to cleanse but don't have soap and water in hand, micellar water is there.

Micellar water is everything you ever needed and more.

If anyone has tried both brands, should I still give Bioderma a shot even though I love Garnier?



Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday Motivation | Why your Bad Days are so awesome!

The other day, I received a call from a long time friend.  We hadn't spoke in a long time so I was curious to know what she wanted to talk about.  Turns out that she had a business idea and wanted to run it past me to hear my thoughts.

We talked about the pros and cons and went over a detailed business strategy.  After discussing the possibilities that could come about if she were to take action, we took some time to catch up.  While we chatted she told me that when the idea came, she immediately purchased the domain name.  She also mentioned not having slept much the night before because she spent most of the night creating new business.

As I listened, I got the sense that there were other factors involved with the sudden launch of her new company.  So I asked a couple of questions.  It turns out that she was highly unsatisfied with work and had a miserable day. The day was so horrible that she moved into fast action to change the situation.  I knew exactly how she felt.  In fact, I owe much of the success of my business to miserable experiences at my last employer.
The worse the day, the harder I'd work on my brand.  Sometimes, after enduring a 15 hour work day, instead of going to sleep, I'd stay up and work on my "second job." I didn't care about how much sleep I lost, as long as I didn't have to go through another day like that again, I was willing to do anything.  Looking back, I'm EXTREMELY grateful for all of those horrible experiences because they served as raw, high powered motivation to alter my circumstance.

Bad days are highly valuable.  Instead of going home, opening up a pint of ice cream, and falling asleep in front of the tv, you can create something productive and lasting.  It sorta reminds me of a scene in the movie Limitless.  Eddie takes a magic pill that awakens his brain.  After decluttering, he finally sits down and pumps out his long awaited novel.  Even though he woke up with less motivation than the day before, he still had his completed manuscript.

If we take massive action because of an undesirable circumstance, our actions will remain even when things go back to normal.   The key is how to maintain the momentum when the situation isn't as unbearable.  I'm motivated more by avoiding unfavorable circumstances than in pursuing positive ones.  So whenever a bad day strikes, I get excited!  The first thing I say to myself is "ok, what do I gotta do to change this!?!?   Suddenly ideas start flowing.  And resistance to taking action is gone.   There's no fear because the desire to change the situation is much greater than our need to stay in a comfort zone.  The comfort zone is what created the situation in the first place.

{I believe the level of action one takes out of frustration is way more activating than the action we take out of complacency}

Long story short, turn your bad days into your best days yet.  All of the discomfort and pain your feel when things aren't going well is extremely powerful.  Don't let that good stuff go to waste.  It creates a level of urgency like no other. Use it to fuel you into the massive action that you've been putting off.  And this goes for every type of situation, not just leaving your job.  Whenever you experience and undesirable result, move into action!  Move into the type of action that brings you closer to what you want to experience.

The other part of the conversation is how to fuel that same level of energy and action when things aren't that bad.  And that, my friends, is for another post.
Friday, April 22, 2016

Keep doing your scalp massages, this study shows that it actually works!

Most of us recognize scalp massage as one of the pillars of healthy hair.  The claims are that massages could actually stimulate hair growth.  Some of us might have even jumped on the bandwagon. And, after a few weeks or so, we've let go of the practice and moved on to something else.

But what if  I were to tell you that great results can be had if you just stayed consistent.
A Japanese study involving 100 participants (men & women) with balding hair demonstrated that utilizing a particular massage technique for at least 300 days (10 months) could regrow healthy hair.  According to the findings,  the "results demonstrated that all of them could have their hair regrown naturally and healthily."

If individuals with obvious balding could produce natural hair regrowth, imagine how much our hair could benefit?  The hypothesis for the study is that scalp thickness and softness may be a contributing factor to hair loss. And by addressing the health of the scalp, you can create normal growth again.  Dr. Henry Choy led the study and theorized that trapped sebum blocking the hair follicle, was the culprit towards stunted growth.

A lot of us are addicted to cleansing shampoos. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a good enough job of deep cleansing the scalp and removing build up. There are times when I scratch my scalp on wash days and can see build up under my fingernails.  When that happens, I like to mist my scalp with a little eucalyptus oil diluted with water.  I wonder if rigorous, regular scalp massage can help loosen some of that buildup for easier, more powerful cleansing.

The key to Dr. Choy's technique was two 20 minute massage sessions a day while kneading, rubbing and pressing on the scalp.  This creates maximum stimulation.  The greater the stimulation, the greater the blood flow.  The greater the blood flow, the healthier the follicle.  Healthy follicles produce strong hair (re)growth.   Apparently this technique is so effective that ALL the subjects regrew 90% of their hair.

Choy's massage technique sorta reminds me of Sanford Bennet's scalp pulling.  Both involve aggressive manipulation of the scalp and both are meant to be done consistently.  Scalp pulling was a part of Sanford's morning ritual.

Most of us reading this post probably aren't dealing with obvious hair loss.  But.....I betcha a lot of us may have clogged hair follicles.  And I'm certain that 100% of us could benefit from regular scalp massage.  Just like we exercise our bodies to maintain health, we should do regular scalp massages as a healthy habit.  If we live long enough, all of us will probably experience thinning hair. I believe it's related to deteriorating scalp muscle.  All muscles atrophy with age.  But most people don't think of scalp massage as a muscle strengthening mechanism.  But if we start this habit now, we could enjoy awesome hair growth today and forever.

If you aren't convinced yet, check out these before and after pics from a guy who followed Dr. Choy's regimen and documented his experience.

And check out this post for an intense massage technique that really promotes blood flow in a major way.




Thursday, April 21, 2016

Why Carbonated Water might be the best thing ever!

We're no strangers here to the wonders of drinking water.  We've talked, at length about all the benefits that can be had by increasing your water intake.  Since we're veterans at this, we need to step our game up and take things to the next level.
Maybe it's time to include carbonated water into our rotation.  Why, because there might be some associated beauty benefits.  This is especially true if you are soda drinker.  We've all heard the stories of people who effortlessly lost weight simply by eliminating soda from their diet.  Soda, is essentially carbonated water and sugar.  Sugar, as you know, will quickly convert to fat unless you burn it off.   If you simply replace soda with carbonated water, you'll eliminate tons of extra sugar from your diet hence the rapid shedding of pounds.  I'm not a big soda drinker but I do enjoy the taste of carbonation.  My favorite thing to do is add a few mint leaves & lime slices enjoy it as a zero calorie, virgin mojito.
You know how they tell you to drink a large cup of water before or between meals to help keep your fuller.  May I suggest that you leverage carbonated water to help curb your appetite?  The bubbles will fill you up fast making you feel fuller. This exquisite water can be a huge asset for you as you manage calories before bathing suit season.

Besides consuming it,  did you know that Korean women use carbonated water as a facial beauty treatment? Yep. What they do is fill a bowl or sink with seltzer water then dunk their face in it. You're probably wondering, why would someone do that? Well, because the little bubbles allegedly deliver oxygen directly to the skin. Some say this technique also tighten skin, deep clean pores and remove dead skin cells leaving you looking fresh.  Some have even dabbed a cotton pad with tonic water and applied it to the face like a toner.

Since carbonated water has a low pH, some like to use it on their hair. Carbonated water is said to mildly clarify and can make a great "after swim" rinse to help eliminate chlorine from the hair.  Seltzer water rinsing is also said to help curb humidity induced frizz.  I definitely want to experiment with a soda water rinse. I'm thinking of purchasing an at home Soda Machine so I can have all the carbonated water I desire.

If for nothing else, if you simply replace your sodas with flavored (unsweetened) tonic water, you'll at least experience the body benefits.  By the way, drinking several cups a day of seltzer water does count towards your overall water intake.  Plus you avoid the negative consequences of drinking soda like enamel erosion and bone loss.  Drinking carbonated water is just as healthy as flat water except that it's a bit fancier.  And you certainly deserve to drink fancy water.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ODE to the Greasy Pre-Shampoo Treatment.

Since warmer weather is approaching, it's a good idea to focus on retention to maximize our increased hair growth rate.  As I ran down the list of what best helps me retain, one of the first things that popped up was an effective pre-poo session.

Consistent pre-shampoo treatments can really promote healthy hair.  But does it matter what product we use?  A few weeks back, I painstakingly applied conditioner to my dry hair, section by section.  The process took so long that I decided to go to bed instead of completing the rest of my wash day session.  "I'll wash this out in the morning," I thought to myself knowing what the outcome would be.

The next morning, my hair was over saturated. I just knew that my hair strands expanded from all that exposure to a water based conditioner.  In the end, I'm not sure my hair even benefited.  That's when I decided to shift my strategy.
Immediately, I went back to what worked.  Instead of water based products, I would implement the greasy pre-poo treatment on wash days.  Water based conditioners might be beneficial during the dry winters but now my hair is looking for something different.

Greasy pre-poo products were made for the arduous detangling process. They give me a sense of confidence as I deal with stubborn tangles.  I can almost guarantee less manipulation related breakage whenever I implement a greasy pre-poo.  Not to mention that an overnight treatment with a greasy product has practically no negative consequence (other than a messy pillow if you're not careful).  As a matter of fact, the moisture produced by the scalp over night mingles perfectly with the greasy pre-poo product for an even better result.

Three of my favorite greasy pre-shampoo treatments are coconut oil, Burt's Bees Avocado and Ojon's Restorative Hair Treatment.  Coconut oil is my first choice whenever I'm experiencing uncomfortable levels of breakage.  I try to leave it on long enough to know that my hair is absorbing the protein.  Within a couple of coconut pre-poo sessions, my breakage is back in check.

If breakage isn't an issue, then I'll opt for Burt's Bees or Ojon.  Both have very different textures.  Burt's Bees is a thick, heavy product kinda like a natural version of hair grease.  I reach for Burt's Bees when I'm deeper in my stretch and I need something heavier to coat my hair.  Although it's super thick, Burt's Bees pre-poo rinses out easily which makes an idea product for thick haired gals.

Ojon, on the other hand, appears thick but melts like butter when you rub it in between your hands.  The first time I tried this product, I didn't like it.  That's because I used it during the winter. The balm retained it's thick consistency as I tried to apply it.  But, instead of tossing it, I pulled the brown jar out of my product closet and decided to give it another try.  This time, the product melted with ease between my hands. And my hair loved it!  Ojon is a bit pricier because it claims to address damage in the hair.  I recall seeing a noticeable difference in my hair every time I used it.  They've recently changed the formula to deal with the pungent scent. Hopefully the product is still as effective. If not, I'll update my thoughts in another post.

Spring/Summer, for me, means that I'll be relying heavily on the greasy pre-poo.   When the pre-poo is done right, the rest of wash day just seems to go so well.  I lose much less hair and, in the long run, this means better retention overall.

Monday, April 18, 2016

MANIFESTATION JOURNALING | Write out the Reality you want to create

Over the past several months, a reoccurring theme has been showing up in my life.  As a matter of fact, on Saturday I went to a seminar featuring a very well known financial expert.  During his short talk, he pulled out a journal from decades ago and read out loud entries that he wrote about the experiences he wanted to have.  As he read his intentions to the audience, I was floored at how accurate his life mirrored the desires he wrote so long ago.

Another coach of mine, is always talking about how much she was able to manifest through the power of journaling.  In one of her live events, she asked several of her journaling students to come up to the front, read from their journals, and share testimonies of how these desires were able to manifest.
Although I don't journal frequently, I do have a few from times past.  I have an old hair journal from when I first started my journey.  There are also a couple of others that chronicle some experiences I had years ago.  While I've been able to achieve several goals written in the journals, I'll confess that I wasn't writing with the intention to manifest.  I was merely trying to get my thoughts on paper.

Knowing how powerful the process of journaling could be, I've decided to reinstitute this practice. But instead of just writing about how my day was, I'd like to use my journal as a powerful tool towards realizing my goals.  Writing down your intentions is a powerful strategy because, to me, it represents the first step in bringing your goals from thought to reality.  Once your words are on paper, it has entered the physical world.

Years ago, I read a book called Write it down Make it Happen.  Actually, I didn't read the entire book.  The premise was pretty easy so I just decided to take her advise instead of reading all the details about why it might work.  I was floored with how much I was able to manifest from the list.  I don't remember all the goals I wrote down, but I do remember doubling my income and overcoming one of my most crippling fears by using her method.

Journaling can take her strategy to the next level because it incorporates one of the most powerful tools in the attraction process.  Emotion.  Instead of writing down our goals in bullet point format, we can elaborate on how it will feel when we experience it.  We can use vivid language to explain the exact details of our future experience.  For those of us who aren't great a visualizing, you might want to try creating a visual image on paper first.

You can dip your toes into the practice of Manifestation Journaling by writing down your ideal day.  If you could paint your life the way you want it, what would a perfect day look like? Write it down, read it aloud, and clearly picture it.  I can't count how many things I'm now experiencing that I first wrote down in my journal.  This is also a good strategy to change your vibration if you've been dealing withh less than desirable results lately.  Whenever things aren't going so well, we walk around feeling bad all day.  You never want to be in that position because you create more negative outcomes.  Instead, start the process of shifting your emotional state by writing down and focusing on everything you want to experience.

And when you journal, first get yourself in a feel good state. Pour yourself a cup of tea, light a yummy candle and play your favorite music in the background.  Take a couple of long deep breaths and allow yourself to get into a state of flow.  From there you are free to create the future you wish to experience.  Why not try this for 30 days and see what you can powerfully create through the practice of manifestation journaling.
Saturday, April 16, 2016

Rosehip Oil. Where have you been all my life?


If you're like me, you've probably got a wide array of carrier oils at your disposal.  You've tried them all.  There's no new oil out there that you need to experience.  Well, I'm here to tell you to make room for one more.

When I was researching lotion boosters that create an all over smooth skin tone, I stumbled upon rosehip seed oil.  According to the claims, this oil could actually help fade discoloration.  I thought to myself, "if what they're saying is true, I could implement rosehip oil as part of my acne scar reduction daily action plan."

The moment the bottle arrived, I tested the oil to see what's up.  The first thing I did was massage my face with a couple drops.  That's when the magic happened.  You see, I've applied many varieties of oil to my face over the years.  But rosehip is the only oil that I feel is qualified to be a true facial oil.

Here's why I say that.  If I ever want to wear face oil in public, I can only wear a tiny amount without walking around with a shiny face.  The only time I could probably get away with it is during the winter when my skin is driest.  Never have I been able to fully incorporate oil as part of my everyday facial regimen.....until now.

Rosehip oil is the ultimate skin oil because, unlike the others, it's completely non-greasy.  This is thee first oil I've tried that completely sinks into the skin, not just sit on it.  Not only that, the texture/consistency of the oil is so nourishing.  Rosehip is loaded with antioxidents, vitamin A, C, E, fatty acids and you can feel the luxuriousness of it as you rub it in.

This dry oil is perfect for rubbing on the body as well.  I have some scarring on my body that I want to address.  I can easily massage it on my body and not have to worry about oil transferring to my clothes.  You're probably wondering, "how can an oil help improve acne scars and marks?"  Well, according to what I read, rosehip has the ability to help promote cell turnover while increasing blood flow to your skin.  This may have to do with the vitamin A content.  If you can't afford a retin A prescription, why not grab a bottle of rosehip oil instead?

Whenever I wear it, my skin feels really moisturized and slightly dewy.  No greasiness in sight.  This makes it especially easy to stay consistent. The more consistent I am, the faster I get these amazing results.  I heard one woman call it liquid botox after seeing fine lines go away within two weeks of use. Everyone within the sound of my voice needs to get hip to rosehip.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Finacial Freedom | Breaking free from paycheck addiction


At around the age of 12, I started working for my dad at his small business. I worked alongside him for years until I entered corporate america.  Instead of going off to college like most of my friends, I stayed in town and worked while attending a local college.  While there, I met a classmate in his forties.  He was laid off from his previous company and decided to return to school for a career change.

He and I were walking to class as he told me about how he opted to take a year off work to determine his next move.  A bit surprised, I asked him how he could afford to do that.  He smiled and said that he had money set aside and that he didn't have anything to worry about.  For some reason, that conversation has never left me.  The idea of not having to think about money seemed almost unreal.  And I'll never forget the look of peace and contentment in his face knowing that he had nothing to worry about.

This week, a couple of friends invited me over to brainstorm business ideas.  In the midst of our discussion, I asked both of them this question.  "Imagine today is payday, but when you check your bank account, there's no direct deposit. What types of feelings arise when you think about not a having paycheck?"  One of the girls responded with excitement the other cringed.  I'll forever remember that day I logged into my account and, for the first time ever, I didn't receive a paycheck.  I haven't been without work since I was a child. Dad paid me daily. Employers paid me bi-weekly. Receiving money consistently was an expectation.

But more importantly, it was an addiction. The paycheck addiction was the reason why I postponed leaving my job for so long.  The thought of losing the security of a regular check freaked me out.  But the same thought excited me just as much as it scared me.  So I decided to start moving towards discomfort.   The first and easiest step to breaking paycheck addiction is to stop relying on your entire check.  I don't care if you save $5.00 or $500.00 each check, just make sure you don't consume all of it. Do whatever it takes. If your check is meager than focus on promotions and raises.

Once you get into the habit of saving, automate it and stretch yourself to reach lofty savings goals.  During my career, I've had to let go of dozens of people (for numerous reasons).  Some of them were in financial trouble and had a look of fear in their eyes after losing their paychecks.  Others were completely at peace or even happy about taking "some time off" to figure out their next moves.  The difference is that one was addicted to the paycheck, the other was not.

Obviously, receiving cash flow in the form of employment is a good thing. But think of reliance on a paycheck as breathing with the help of a ventilator.  The minute, the machine is removed, you can't breathe.  Having the ability to breathe on your own is a powerful thing.  

The ultimate step away from paycheck addiction is having the ability to generate income.  Going to work each day is one way to generate income.  There's a million more.  To me, earning a few bucks on your own has so much potential.  If you can make $1.00, you can make $100,000. It just takes a heightened sense of focus and consistency.  For anyone who one day desires to venture out and work for yourself, you should first free yourself of your paycheck addiction by saving like mad and putting your talents towards setting up other income sources.

Imagine how good it would feel to have zero worries if your boss walked in with bad news.  Or better yet, being able to choose if you wanted to continue to work there or not.  What if your paycheck didn't show up today or next Friday?  On a scale of 1-10, what would be your level of panic?  For me, that feeling was more exhilaration than panic.  But that wouldn't have been the case if I didn't start the process of unhooking myself from the paycheck IV.  If the thought of not receiving income for two weeks, a month, or 6 months sends chills down your spine, then get moving on freeing yourself from your paycheck addition.  Freedom awaits you.






Thursday, April 14, 2016

Insta Beauty Secret | Let's peek into Ashley's travel beauty essentials.


You guy's know that I'm a fan of Ashley's relentless dedication to flawless skin.  Thanks to her, I was introduced to Phace Bioactive's low pH cleanser and Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer.  So when she posted a flat lay of her travel essentials for an upcoming trip, I was elated.

As I took a peek at her travel sized beauty products, it reminded me of those days when I traveled weekly.  When you're away from home, you eat differently, the weather's different, so you have to bring all of your absolute best products with you to counteract anything that could go wrong.

If these are the product selections she chose to travel with, they must be good.  So let's take a gander and see if we can find any gems.
The very first thing that caught my eye PRTTY Peaushun.  I'd never heard of it before today so I had to do some digging.  According to the product description, this apparently is a super lotion with the ability to conceal imperfections, tighten skin, diminish stretch marks, and give the skin a flattering glow.  Sounds like witchcraft if you ask me.  I mean, how can one product do all of this?!  Apparently celebrities and makeup artists adore this stuff.  Reviews are a bit mixed.  But, I will say this, PRTTY Peasshun has me thinking about how to create a DIY version of this miracle lotion.  I have some thoughts that I'll share once I've had the chance to experiment.

Next to the Phace Cleanser is Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting BHA Liquid Exfoliant.  It claims to rapidly exfoliate the skin's surface while unclogging stubborn pores.  This product seems like a great compliment to Phace's gentle cleansing action.  BHA Liquid Exfoliant promises to drastically smooth the surface of the skin with its 2% BHA (beta hydroxy acid) formula.  When you're away from home, your skin can get a little defiant, so having a refining product with you is a must.

The little black bottle is 111 Skin's Celestial Black Diamond Retinol oil.  It combines two anti-aging powerhouses--going to bed greasy + retinol.  Retinol is famous for it's ability to stimulate cell turnover thereby revealing fresh, young skin.  Carrier oils are notorious for helping to preserve the skin while we sleep.  Diamond dust makes you feel all fancy and stuff.  Combine all three and you have a powerful beauty product.  The creator claims that once your skin adapts to the rapid cell turnover from the retinol, you'll be left with "fundamentally stronger skin."

Her sunscreen of choice is from a brand called La Prairie.  At first I was like "do you really need to spend over $100.00 on a sunscreen?"  But then I did some digging and learned that this SPF cream is more than just sunscreen.  It's loaded with antioxidants and collagen.  Essentially,  its a luxury beauty cream with SPF.  Most of the reviewers agreed that this anti-aging sunsceen was worth the investment.  I may add this to my splurge list in the future.
The last product that caught my eye is Mila Moursi's refining lotion.  At the top of their ingredient list is a myriad of fruit acids.  If you will recall, fruit acid peels are what helps Beyonce stay flawless.  One reviewer deemed Moursi's refining lotion as "Youth in a Bottle!  Another proclaimed, that his refining lotion was "Transformative" and that she received compliments from total strangers.  This product was developed by a celebrity skin care expert so they know how to bring out the best in our skin.  Check out this review and tell me that you don't want to try this like right now!


Oh Yeah... You Would Want To Do This
I was invited to participate in the Mila Moursi bootcamp a little more than two months ago. I wanted to use all of the products for several weeks before writing a review. I must say, I had a mini stroke when she told me how much the products cost! I purchased the refining lotion, the dual action serum and the anti-wrinkle creme.
I was hesitant to use the refining lotion because of the amount of glycolic acid in it. I do use chemical peels, but typically once a month. I must admit, I have 'good' skin and I didn't think I would notice any major change in my skin after using this product.
It did take a few days for my skin to 'adjust' to the products. I used the refining lotion every other night, to reduce skin sensitivity. But what I realized was that the refining lotion was slowly but surely improving the texture of my skin. The dark spots I had on my cheek from acne scarring were dramatically reduced after one week! I was sold on this product.
After using the refining lotion in combination with the anti wrinkle creme at night, I noticed that the tone and clarity of my skin significantly improved as well. 
My skin looks so fantastic I often don't wear any make up at all on the weekend. This is huge for me! I never did this before Mila. At work a colleague that I've known for at least 7 years told me my skin looks like, 'peaches and creme'. She insisted that I tell her what I was using on my skin.  You can't get a better compliment. I regularly receive compliments on my skin. People are always shocked to learn that I'm 49.
My make up application is also enhanced since using the Mila skincare regimen. I actually use far less product to achieve flawless results.
Just an aside: I should also share that I drink about 2 liters of water daily and I must have my green smoothies a few times a week. I don't do sugar. This too helps with having great skin
I am truly pleased with this product. I'm worth it...and so are you!  (review from Beautylish)
Of all the products in Ashley's travel bag, this one has my undivided attention.  What I learned from peeking at Ashley's favorite skin care products is that she's not afraid to invest in her skin.  This girl also loves refining products that produce perfected skin.  That's probably why she looks so amazing wearing little makeup.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#Waistsnatched | Hula Hoop your way to a smaller waist!


Today, out of the blue, I reached into my closet and brought out the old weighted hula hoop I purchased years ago.  It's one of two hula hoops I own.  The decision to purchase a weighted hoop came after reading about a few women who successfully lost weight and shrunk their waists simply by enjoying several hula sessions week.

A weighted hoop was said to provide additional resistance for better results.  So I went for it.  Eventually, the hoop landed in storage but I decided to bring it back into rotation for a couple of reasons.  The biggest of which is that hula hooping is what I consider a no-workout-workout.  Meaning, I can easily knock out a 20 minute session while watching my favorite show.  Rebounding on the trampoline is my other go to non-workout-workout.  I figured that I can alternate between the two and stay active while streaming my favorite shows.

To get motivated I did a little research to refresh my memory on what kind of benefits to expect if I stay consistent.  I hit the jackpot after stumbling on an actual study conducted on the effects of regular hula hoop usage.

The study enlisted 18 women to complete a regimen of 15 minute hula sessions, 5 times a week using a weighted hoop that weighed less than 5 lbs.  At the end of six weeks, researchers measured the hips and waist of the participants. On average, the women experienced a "significant decrease" in the circumference of their hips and waist. They also experienced reduction of their overall hip to waist ratio.  This is basically where you divide the measurements of your hip by your waist circumference.  Ideally, we should all aim to shrink our waist size. Not just for aesthetics, but because those with smaller waists are said to be less susceptible to certain health issues.

Here's where it gets interesting. The women who used a hula hoop for 20 minutes a day (and kept their diets the same) didn't actually experience any real weight loss despite the changes in measurements.  So what happened?  Researchers theorized that the fat once in the midsection might have actually redistributed elsewhere in the body.  This may sound undesirable to some, but for those of us who struggle with carrying extra fat in the midsection, this could be a game changer. I mean, who wouldn't want an all natural, super low cost "fat transfer"?

Check out this review from GluteGirl who conducted her own 6 week hula challenge after reading about the same study.

I can definitely see and feel a different in my waist from hula hoop 10 min every single day for 6 weeks.
The definition in my waist is more cleared,my abs feels stronger and my posture is much better.
And best of all…I have NOT lost any weight at all since the before picture!
The pooch I had in my lower belly is not that “big” as before,my waist is more defined,and my pants in the waist line are BIGGER for my waist now.
My waist only decreased with 1 cm,but It is more on my lower belly I guess(I did not measure my lower belly), plus I have gained 1 cm in my butt too:-) (from lifting weights)
1 cm loss in waist does not sound much, but I see more difference than it sounds like.  Plus my pants(most of them) are too loose for my waist now.
I will continue to hula hoop everyday for at least 2 weeks more and then I will use it perhaps 2-3 times per week.
Here is my pictures of my belly from how I look before and then after
Source
Her results serves as pure motivation to stick with this simple regimen of enjoying leisurely hula hoop sessions for 10-20 minutes a day.  Like Glute Girl, you can combine other exercises for full body benefits.  But it's nice to know that a smaller waist is possible as you catch up on your favorite shows.  Even though the women in the study didn't actually loose any pounds, there are quite a few videos on Youtube where others share their weight loss journey using hula hoop fitness.  In some of the videos I watched the women lost as much as 50 lbs over time.

Anyone else excited to start their own 6 week Hula Waist Snatching Challenge?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday Motivation | You're Never Gonna Feel Like It

A dilemma that I find myself facing, time and time again, is feeling motivated to follow through on an action that I vowed to do.  One moment, inspiration strikes and I quickly make a declaration based on that feeling of excitement.  Then, when it comes time to move into action, I don't feel like it.

Sure, I may produce a myriad of excuses, but if I were really, really honest with myself. The reason why I'm not doing it is because I don't feel like it.  I don't feel like working out or I don't feel like working on that project that was one of my best ideas only 24 hours ago.  The list goes on.

Over and over, I allow the silly excuse of not feeling like it to cause me to stall.  Here's the truth.  Whenever it comes to taking on a new action that creates new results, I will never feel like it.  Why not?  Because new actions require a great amount of effort. It requires acting in the face of resistance.  And, most often, we choose the path of least resistance.  That's the easy way out.

If we simply act on our feelings, then 98% of the time, we'll choose to avoid taking action.  With this in mind, we have to realize that "not feeling like it" is merely an expected reflex.  THAT MEANS THE WE SHOULD EXPECT IT.  Once we are aware of our natural tendency to renege on our proclamations, then we can start the process of overcoming this limiting habit.

Instead of focusing on the negative feelings associated with taking  action, I urge you to think solely on the benefits that await you.  I like to refer to this as "The After Feeling Effect."  I rarely feel like exercising.  But whenever I do it anyway, I get to experience so many short and long term benefits.  Same thing applies for whenever I tackle something on my to do list that I've been avoiding.  Almost 100% of the time, I know I'll experience a feeling of euphoria after completing something that I didn't feel like doing.  I know that you all have experienced this too.  Never, ever have I regretted a single work out in my life.  Never have I regretted taking an action that can grow my business.  But I have lots of regret about all the times that I chose to say no.  With the After Feeling Effect, I stay focused on all the goodness that will happen as a result of moving in spite of my feelings.   If we can overcome our resistance, we'll be rewarded handsomely.

Bottom line, when it's time to take action, don't expect to feel like you did when you made the decision to do so.  It's not realistic.   The only time you might experience the benefit of being motivated to take action is when you've successfully created a habit.  We all know that it takes many days of consistency to create a habit so until it happens, don't look towards motivation to carry you through.

The end game is to have what we want.  That is why we created our intentions in the first place.  We can only get to what we desire if we understand the principles of success.  Success requires action even when motivation is absent.  If you can really apply this in your life, you can change everything.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Pretty Panty Experiment | What happens when you wear nice underwear for 7 days

Once upon a time, I enjoyed shopping for beautiful undergarments.  I loved seeking out shades that went well with my skin tone.  Mixing and matching various pieces to create a new look was exciting.  Beautiful underwear was just as important as the clothes I wore over them.

Then time passed and life got hectic.  Once I had to deal with a crazy travel schedule and extra long work days, I sought out comfort above everything else.  Years passed, and the next thing I know, my dresser is full of uninspiring unmentionables.

Today, I ran into one of my favorite stores to take a gander at their jewelry assortment. After picking out a super cute pair of earrings, I started to make my way around the store to see what else I might find.  Before I know it, I'm standing in front of a display of several beautiful bra and panty sets.  Instantly I ask myself, "when was the last time you bought or wore pretty underwear?" That's when I realized how far I strayed from my former glory.

Fancy undergarments are what I consider a splurge.  But it's an investment in yourself that could pay off big time.  Do you remember when I said  wearing make up daily could result in you taking better care of your skin?  Well, I also believe that wearing pretty panties can bring with it lots of secondary benefits.

It's one thing to break out the good underwear on a special night, but what if beautiful lingerie became an every day occurrence?  Imagine the level of confidence that comes with knowing that you have on items that flatter your body in the most amazing way.  I have a sneaking suspicion that beautiful underwear will influence other behaviors that impact our bodies. We'll share the characteristics as women who take immense pride in their self-care rituals.   I wouldn't be surprised if wearing quality undergarments influences our work out and eating habits.  Honestly, wearing beautiful underwear is a critical part of your daily feel good routine.

So I'm starting a challenge for myself.  I'm going to purchase seven days worth of pretty new bras + panties. Then, I''ll experiment with wearing fancy underwear every single day, even if I don't leave the house.  It'll be something I do as an act of self love.  If you feel like you've let yourself go, the first place to start is by procuring beautiful, comfy panties that'll instantly shift your mood the moment you wear 'em.  Try it for a week and see what happens.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Flawless By Summer | Lotion Boosters that perfectly evens out your skin tone

Summer is rushing towards us. It's time for the inundation of posts on how to prepare for your most flawless summer ever.  As we all know, warmer weather means showing more skin.  Even if you don't fly off to some exotic destination, your summer attire (by default) will show off your arms, shoulders, legs, back, etc.

So let's start building the habits now that'll give us the results we want.  I'm a big believer in products and routines that multitask.  One thing that 100% of us do each and every day is lotion up after the shower.  Most of us do it for the purpose of preventing dryness. But why not tweak it so we get additional benefits as well.

What I'm talking about is pairing your lotion with boosters with the ability to even out our skin tone.  Today we'll talk about a few options that can easily be combined with your lotion.  The first lotion booster is an all time favorite of mine.  It's pure vitamin E.    My brother popped a vitamin E capsule on his scar every single day after receiving several stitches for a severe gash.  Years later, he has practically no signs of scarring.  A while back, I would slather my face with vitamin E oil before bed as part of my "go to bed greasy regimen."  I woke up with a glow that you wouldn't believe.  Now, I'll be adding a couple of drops of vitamin E to my post shower body oil routine.  I'll also be experimenting with adding vitamin C serum to my body lotion as well and see what unfolds.

Another booster I'm excited to use is rosehip seed oil.  What really sold me was reading about a study where women who used rosehip oil for three weeks, saw significant improvement in surface wrinkles and fading of spots.  By the end of the four month study, they claimed their skin was way smoother and most of their spots had disappeared.  Now, who wouldn't want to slather this miracle oil all over their body?

For problem areas, you want to use a lotion that will work hard to lighten pigmentation.  I used to break out on my chest and back and was plagued with embarrassing scars.  My salvation came in the form of daily exfoliation.  Scrubbing in the shower every day gave me normal skin again.  But that takes a while. If I had to do it all again with limited time, I would definitely grab a lactic acid lotion.  Or maybe one that combines lactic and glycolic acid together like this one from Planet Earth.  

I suggest a holistic routine that incorporates physical exfoliation (scrubbing) with boosters that continue to promote even toned skin once you step  out of the shower.  And by pairing it with something you do every day anyway, you'll have zero excuses for bringing out your flawlessness by summer.  
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Finally found the exfoliating cleanser I've been looking for.

For the past year or so, I've been on the hunt for the perfect facial cleanser.  My criteria was simple.  I wanted something gentle that could also contribute to furthering the cause of my skin care journey.  My research lead me to the wonders of low pH cleansers.  And, after discovering the regimen of a flawless faced beauty editor, I invested in an amazing brand called Phace Bioactive.

I really liked the cleanser.  It was ultra gentle and perfect for combating winter dryness.  But, as the weather started warming up, I felt like I needed a cleanser with a bit more punch.  As it gets hotter my skin starts acting up a bit more than normal.  I needed something that could help combat the excess oil production and congestion happening below the surface.  What I wanted was a gentle cleanser with the ability to properly exfoliate.
And I'm happy to report that this cleanser has arrived.  When I asked myself which brand should I try next, the immediate answer was Glytone.  I've mentioned them in previous posts but never took the plunge until now.  What I love about Glytone is their commitment to making high quality exfoliating products.  You all know that I'm an absolute sucker for skin exfoliation.  Glytone has dozens of options that'll help you create even toned skin from head to toe.

So, as a part of my daily action plan for eliminating acne, I thought, why not get a pH balanced cleanser that also contains glycolic acid for exfoliating and evening out skin.  It was a no brainer.  With a 3.5 pH, I knew this cleanser would be gentle on my skin.  The cleanser is comprised of 4.7% free glycolic acid.  The free glycolic acid value is the percentage of acid that is free to be effectively used on the skin.  At between 2-4% glycolic acid value we experience softer skin due to the removal of surface layer cells.

And that's been my exact experience ever since adding Glytone's Mild Gel cleanser to my routine.  Immediately after rinsing, I can tell that my skin is more than just clean, it's fresh and renewed.  While using, I do feel a very slight tingle as the acid penetrates my skin.  To get the most out of each use, I tend to leave the cleanser on for a couple of minutes before rinsing.  After each wash, my skin feels ready to take on the next step in my regimen.

I think I'm finally ready to stop my search for the ultimate facial cleanser because I've finally found it.  I wanted the ultra clean feeling you get from a soap but without over drying.  This does just that. Gentle exfoliation is like yummy icing on the cake.  The only time I might stray from this cleanser is to try their creamy version come winter.

If anyone is debating whether to try this cleanser, I say go for it. But make sure that you are committed to daily sun protection if you use exfoliating acids on a daily basis.

Stay flawless.
Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday Motivation | Here's how to get your promotion

I had a pretty short career in Corporate America.  I landed my first real job in my late twenties. And by the time I retired, less than 10 years later, I enjoyed multiple promotions and increased my salary by over 450%.  And during my tenure, I coached dozens of new hires, managers and executives on how to propel their careers to higher levels.

I thought it was only fair to share some general advice to all of you.  My hope is that each of you have a fulfilling career and earn healthy salaries.  My philosophy in life is that we should have the opportunity to enjoy all our heart's desires. Earning a decent living can certainly help make that happen.

So here are my sure fire tips to supercharge your careers

Small Fish, Large Pond.
Prior to landing my first job, I took on two unpaid internships at different companies.  Although both were great opportunities, I would never have taken a permanent assignment at either location because of the size of the organization.  Both companies were small and only had a few employees in my department.  This is a NO-NO!  A small company means limited opportunities. Not to mention that smaller companies might pay less than similar positions in larger organizations.

My strategy was simple, get in with a large company and bust my tail.  When the opportunity presented itself, it paid much less that I imagined.  But I had a choice, stay where I was and earn $10.00 an hour or take on a similar position at the hospital and make a few dollars more an hour.  I opted for the lower paid position because, at the very least, the company name alone would be enough to increase the value of my resume.  Sometimes when we're on  the hunt for a job, we accept the first offer that lands in our lap.  I invite you to think a bit more strategically.  Ask yourself, "will working here add value to my overall career?"

I made it a point to only work for companies that were household names.  It's like an athlete playing for a championship team.  My perception was that the next employer would value the fact that I performed well at a place that was successful and well established.  If I did well at an unknown employer, I don't think people would give me the same level of respect for my accomplishments.

WORK HARDER....FOR FREE
Once you're in the door, you should have in mind your desired GOAL SALARY.  My goal salary was around  six figures a year. Even though I was earning $10.00 an hour, I knew that I couldn't rest until my goal was met.  So what did I do? I sought out every opportunity to take on additional responsibilities.  I can't tell you the number of times I've heard someone say "they're making me work harder without paying me" or "I'm doing the manager's job with no raise."   In my mind, I'm thinking, that's the best thing ever!  It's like getting free management training.  People would pay for this type of experience.
About a year into my first position, my supervisor left for another opportunity.  In her absence, I gladly did everything they allowed me to do.  Did they promote me in her absence? Nope.  But when they found a replacement, the new manager appreciated how I was running the entire operation on my own.  She immediately gave me a small raise and then another, larger increase after my performance review.  Did I ask for it? Nope.  Did I feel unappreciated? Not at all.  I knew that even if I didn't receive a dime raise, I'd have lots of experience to talk about at my next interview.

DON'T BE AFRAID TO STRETCH
What gave me the greatest opportunity was taking on challenges that others didn't want.  I worked in a building with different divisions under one roof.  My division was calm, stable and pretty self sufficient.  On the other side of the building was a department known for all of its issues.  They couldn't keep employees, or management and would often have to call law enforcement to handle the craziness that happened there.  When a management opportunity opened up, no one wanted it....but me.  Actually, I had the option of two positions, one for a department upstairs and the one across the way.  The department upstairs was stable, across the building was a mess.  I knew taking on the challenging role would raise my stock 10 fold.

Keep in mind that when you interview for a job, your value comes in what you accomplished in the last position.  If I would have moved into a stable role, my success stories would have been limited.  But man, oh man, two years in that challenging environment and I was able to take on anything!
I've seen it happen in others as well.  Those that can take on a tough team and turn it around are those that get promoted the fastest.

DEVELOP YOURSELF CONSTANTLY
I went from being an entry level assistant to a high level manager running several departments in less than 4 years.  The biggest secret to my success was in my personal development.  Jim Rohn challenged us to work harder on ourselves than we do on our jobs.  I did just that.  There was never a moment when I wasn't reading a personal development book on leadership, goals, management, productivity, mental focus, financial excellence, etc.  I learned how present to myself professionally even though I looked younger than a lot of my employees.  I learned how to appear confident even when I was afraid of being challenged for my input.  I learned everything necessary to transform myself into a leader that can overcome any challenge.  My personal development journey made everything so much easier. I felt like I had a team of coaches on my side sharing the secrets of success.  And it all paid off.

If you just go to work, then go home and surf the web, you are allowing atrophy to have its way.  Set the intention of being better three months from now than you are today.  Doing so will make you stand out from your competition.

OUTGROW YOUR POSITION
The most important factor that determines if you'll get that promotion is if you've essentially outgrown your position.  This means that you achieved great results at your current role (high performance review scores) and you're stretching yourself by taking on challenges outside of your job scope.

Most importantly!  The earlier you take on a "leadership mentality" the sooner you get that promotion. What's a leader's mentality?  It's when you always think and act from the standpoint of what's best for the company and what's best for the employees.  When you operate from this higher level, you don't concern yourself with your individual needs, but in the needs of others. When people around you complain about the things that suck about the job, you gear the conversation towards finding solutions.  Instead of challenging your managers, you offer ideas.  Instead of just offering ideas, you enlist yourself as someone who can spear head the initiative.  Act and think like a leader and you'll become one.

Lastly, let it be known that you'd love to take on additional challenges and you'd like to contribute to the team at a higher level.  Don't be one of those people that says "I wanna get promoted."  See yourself as someone who wants to contribute at a higher level.  Once you make your request known, get feedback and get lots of it.  Be open to criticism and, most importantly, implement their suggestions.  And if you do all this and still don't get promoted. Keep doing it anyway and take all of your experience to the next employer who will gladly compensate you.

Side note: Please don't stay at a company more than 3 years without receiving a significant increase in compensation.  Annual raises are a joke, especially if your base wage isn't that high.   Go big!  If you're gonna be giving them 8-10 hours of your time every day, you should be compensated well for it.

Now go out there and get 'em!


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Study says that walking can create a smaller waistline than working out at the gym

The other day, I pulled out of my sub division to take a short trip to the post office.  While waiting for the traffic to pass, I noticed two brothers who live up the street.  They moved in about a year ago.  They're in their early twenties and overweight.  At least they were overweight when they first moved in.

Our neighborhood is near a major road with public transportation, shopping, and restaurants near by.  So although the brothers don't have a vehicle, they can get to where they need to go by walking.  As a matter of fact, these guys walked pretty much everywhere. At first they rode bikes but eventually, walking became their preferred method of getting around.

When I saw them crossing the street wearing fitted black tank tops and appeared noticeably thinner.  I was surprised and not so surprised at the same time.  Sure, I was shocked that these boys, who used to wear XXL size shirts were now average size with barely any signs of excess weight.  But, I wasn't surprised because, last year, I predicted it would happen.

That's because I've seen in happen multiple times before.  Over an over again, I've seen a (car-less) neighbor move in carrying lots of extra pounds only to have lost it by the time summer comes around. Since I'm always home, I watch them as they leave the house on foot every day.  Some go off to do something productive, others, leave just so they don't have to stay in the house.  One guy just walks up and down the road because he has nothing better to do. All of them, have visibly shrunk their size without doing much else but walking everyday.  Trust me, these guys are not deliberately working on their summer bodies.   They likely haven't made any adjustments to their diets to create the results they enjoy.  No....all they did was walk every day.

Its such a predictable outcome that whenever someone with extra weight moves in without a vehicle, I turn to my husband and say, "he's gonna lose all that weight soon."  To me, this appears to be the absolute easiest way to lose  weight.  And by easy, I mean "resistance free." They didn't have to purchase a gym membership, go low carb, or hire a personal trainer.  But they did change their lifestyle.  Because these guys were overweight when they moved in, I suspect their previous lifestyle was different before they moved in.  Walking became a regular part of their every day routine.

A recent study claims that those who walked briskly for 30 minutes or more had lower BMI (body mass index) and a smaller waist circumference than counterparts who participated in 30 minutes of heavy housework, moderate intensity sports, or heavy manual activity.   This was especially true for women over 50.

The newly transformed brothers reminded me of how important it is to keep moving.  Whether it means walking, dancing, or bouncing more. And, if I'm consistent, a healthier body will be a natural outcome.  I understand that walking everywhere isn't practical for everyone.  But each one of us can certainly walk a lot more than we do now.  I always hear about how important it is to live an active lifestyle, but seeing the benefits of it first hand (over and over again) takes everything to the next level.

 
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