M.Y.H(air).M.M.

Since the ladies of Thump in Thought have been experimenting with different hair care products, We decided to list some black-owned hair care suppliers. You may notice a few of them have already been reviewed and some will be reviewed in the future.

  • Design Essentials
  • Pattern Beauty
  • Taliah Waajid
  • Mielle Organics
  • 26 King Wavy… for the fellas
  • Moisture Love
  • Miche
  • Camille Rose Naturals
  • Canvas Beauty Brand
  • CoCo Tique
  • Bask and Bloom Essentials
  • TPH by Taraji
  • Alikay Naturals
  • Obia Natural Haircare
  • Uncle Funky’s Daughter
  • Oyin Handmade
  • Amazing Botanicals
  • My Honeychild
  • KInky Curly
  • BeeMine Products
  • TGIN (Thank God I’m Natural)
  • Curls
  • Girls with Curls
  • Natural Joy Skincare
  • Adwoa Beauty
  • Alodia
  • Antidote Street
  • Avalah Beauty

Please share your favorite, go-to brands and/or products with us and if you try any from the businesses listed let us know!

Do you Know? No.

“Know your Rights” they say! I have heard this statement far too often, and finally I began to actually think on it instead of dismiss the idea.

I asked myself, “Do I know my rights?” “How many do I have?” “Where can I find this information?” “Do my rights change?” “…. I think they are the amendments, but then what are the Bill of Rights and how are they different from the Constitution?”

I … at 23, did not know my rights, so I began to wonder if my counter parts knew theirs and they didn’t. This fact inspired me to do my research, not just for myself but for my brothers and sisters. This information is needed more than ever and can not only save our lives but possibly some jail time.

If not us, then who? Me, I got you.

So to not take away from the purpose of this post, I am going to jump straight into it.

This is the MEAT. The Need To Know.

Your rights belong to you, not to the government, so essentially the amendments are to protect you from the government.

1st Amendment: Means that congress cannot establish an official state religion therefore we can exercise any belief we choose. It legally gives us our freedom of speech, freedom of press (the freedom to report news without being controlled by the government), the freedom to assembly (gather in groups for a common purpose) and the freedom to protest government actions that we do not agree with.

2nd Amendment: Gives citizens the right to keep and bear fire arms for the protection of our persons, property and individual liberty.

There are more specific laws that vary between each state. If you carry, KNOW YOUR SPECIFIC STATE LAWS.

3rd Amendment: Protects the right to not have the government force us to house soldiers in our home against our will during “peace time”. Our 3rd amendment only allows them to do so in times of war. This might be the least litigated law, however I didn’t want to skip over it.

JUICY STUFF FOLLOWS!

4th Amendment: protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. The government may not conduct any searches without a warrant, and such warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable cause.

If you are pulled over and asked to be searched, it is YOUR RIGHT to respond “I do not consent to searches.” You cannot be penalized, I repeat you cannot be penalized for not consenting. It is YOUR RIGHT! If you say no, and they do so anyway, they (the police) must prove in court that they had probable cause (reason) and you and your attorney can fight against that claim.

Do not say aloud “fine go ahead and search me” but follow their instructions. By saying “fine go ahead and search me” and leaving it at that, you then legally have given permission.

It is best to say “I do not consent to searches” as a full statement because they (the police) may try to trip you up and ask “Do you mind if I search your car?” by responding “no” leaves room for misinterpretation.

No you don’t mind? Or No you don’t consent?

Say you forget this wording, and or get nervous and just respond “no” and they ask you to get out of the car so they can search you and it… You can withdraw consent at any time. It is never too late to say “I do not consent to searches” Again if they do continue, deal with it in court.

If you are a passenger in the car of someone who gets pulled over, and the driver consents to a search (which they shouldn’t) you can speak for yourself and say “ I do not consent to searches”. Never leave your personal bags in the car once you exit. Ladies take your purse with you, Men take your bookbag/ fanny pack with you. If he or she tries to stop you , say that the property is yours and you do not consent to be searched.

After doing my research, it was advised to never give consent to be searched, whether there is something to be found or not simply because it is YOUR RIGHT. We should never waive our rights, and the truth of the matter is…a search is done to incriminate you, not to help you be free.

This next statement is your 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment included in one.

“I am not answering any questions and I want to speak to an attorney.”

5th Amendment: provides that citizens not be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment without due process (fair treatment). Citizens may not be tried on the same set of facts twice, and are protected from self-incrimination (the right to remain silent). The amendment also establishes the power of eminent domain, ensuring that private property is not seized for public use without just compensation.

The right to remain silent.

6th Amendment: assures the right to a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers, to be informed of the crimes with which they are charged, and to confront the witnesses brought by the government. The amendment also provides the accused the right to compel testimony from witnesses, and to legal representation.

The right to have a lawyer present.

Whenever you are asked “Do you know the reason you are being pulled over?” ALWAYS SAY NO. Never incriminate yourself. Legally all questioning is supposed to cease, however they may continue.

You can always exercise your right to be silent because if not you can dig yourself into a deeper hole. EXAMPLE: Getting caught with weed is a misdemeanor, but saying something as small as “I was just taking it to a friend, he or she left it in my car” now turns your charge into a felony because you are now found in possession with intent to distribute. You never tell the police that you have smoked marijuana, taken any prescription medication, drank any alcohol or used any other kind of drug any time in your life. It is not their business. They are not your therapist. It can and may be written in the police report in a manner that criminalizes you.

Exercise your right to remain silent.

Tell the truth, that you have nothing to say and want an attorney present. That is the truth.

Even if you have nothing to hide.

The last statement I’m going to cover for this post falls under our 4th Amendment.

“I do not agree to stay here with you for any reason. Are you detaining me or am I free to leave? . A police detention is a seizure of the person. If it is unreasonable, it violates the seized person’s Fourth Amendment rights. If it violates the Fourth Amendment, it is unlawful.

Remember YOUR 4th Amendment protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. The government may not conduct any searches without a warrant, and such warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable cause

Do not voluntarily offer to stay around with the police for any reason. Not for them to get dogs to search, not for them to ask more questions, for no reason at all.

Unless you are being detained you don’t have to give an ID.

Always assert your rights. Do not waive your rights .

All of the statements suggested for use when interacting with police is supported by our constitutional rights. However use YOUR discernment in any situation.

Some answers to the questions I asked myself before doing research:

There are 27 amendments of the United States Constitution .

The US Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified (approved) in 1788.

On December 15, 1791 the Bill of Rights was also ratified with 10 amendments.

The first two amendments in the 12 that Congress proposed to the states were rejected: The first was concerning apportioning representation in the House of Representatives; the second prevented members of Congress from voting to change their pay until the next session of Congress. The original “Second Amendment” though rejected at first was finally added to the Constitution as the 27th Amendment, more than 200 years later. Originally proposed Sept.25th, 1789. Ratified May.7, 1992.

Study this information, be in the know. If you are interested in me going over the rest of our rights leave a comment!

Love yours, Courtney B.

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution

https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-the-bill-of-rights-2#:~:text=The%20Bill%20of%20Rights%20has,integral%20part%20of%20the%20Constitution.

https://www.youtube.com/c/JayRameyLaw/videos

M.Y.M.Monday

Melanated Empath Candle Co. and Emporium

*Featured in the Thump in Thought giveaway boxes

https://www.melanatedempath.com/

WHYNOTus 

Some members (IG handles): @whyhnotduce @whynothauch @whynotneen @whynotflee @whynotgotti

WHYNOTus is a group of young innovators from Virginia. Their mission is to help their brand grow and to push the mentality of people to ask WHY can’t they be the next (superstar/doctor/model/artist/professional athlete, etc.) 

They have people in their group who have a strong passion for making clothes, music, designing logos, promoting, etc. 

Motivational words for you: You can literally do whatever you want to do in life. Continue to grind and nothing in life is guaranteed to you. Figure out what success truly means to you besides the riches and fame. 

Apparel available : https://whynotusva.bigcartel.com/category/tees

Phone: 804-467-2042

Instagram: @whynotusva 

Toffi Streetwear Clothing 

*WHYNOTNeen and WHYNOTFlee

In 2017, WHYNOTNeen began graphic designing for fun and ended up teaching himself how to make logos and cover art from YouTube videos. He end up creating the original teddy bear logo, but it was WHYNOTFlee that gave him the name, “Toffi.” At that point, there was no meaning behind that name, but it sounded dope and different so they decided to us it. 

Now that the brand has expanded, they decided to add meaning behind it, as originally they just wanted to wear clothing that they like. They weren’t planning on it being a big brand. 

That why they came up with:

(T)o

(O)ur

(F)riends &

(F)amily

(!)

They wanted to provide their own streetwear brand to their friends and family which has eventually extended to everyone (the Toffi family). 

Website: https://whynotusva.bigcartel.com/category/toffi-streetwear-clothing

Instagram: @tofficlothing 

Homemade Hair Aides

Now that I am building a new hairelationship, I am finding myself experimenting more and more. The trial and error process can be fun and exciting, but it may also be disappointing and overwhelming. Wearing Sisterlocks meant that I only needed shampoos and conditioning agents, nothing else. My conditioners were herbal rinses that sometimes included 4-10 drops of essential oils. I rarely used cream conditioners and I never used hot oils treatments. I would, however, combine oils to put on my scalp and hair prior to washing it (the night before or at least 4 hours before). My new hair goals are to clean, nourish, condition, moisturize and only apply products 1-2 times a week. I have decided to document hair regimens and share in hopes that I will assist others in their natural hair journey.

4/20

Shampooed with Love and Happiness Coconut and Jasmine followed by Carols Daughter Black Vanilla shampoo. (I generally shampoo my hair at least twice)

Applied homemade conditioner – one overly ripe avocado, 1.5 tablespoon mayonnaise (I’ll use 2 next time), 1.5 tbsp honey (use 1 next time and add 1-2 tbsp oil next time)

*I did not have any disposable shower caps so I wrapped with cling wrap and covered with grocery bag for 10 hours

Rinsed out, no shampoo, followed by rice water (sprayed on)

The avocado turns a brown color, don’t be alarmed.

Rice water was made by soaking rice in water for over a 22 hour period, sparayed on, sealed with cling wrap for 1.5 hours

Rinsed hair and sprayed herbal leave in rinse (herbs – nettle, sage, coltsfoot, horsetail; oils – olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, glycerine, roman chamomile (e.o.), lavender (e.o.) and lemon(e.o.))

4/21

Sprayed the herbal spray leave in rinse

Made cream based moisturizer/curl definer – shea butter (a little less than ½ cup), glycerin (1 tsp, use more next time), my mixture of coconut oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, dried chamomile and lavender, oils of lavender, lemon, rosemary, (I also added 1 drop of jasmine, 4-5 bergamot, lemon grass 2-3; I’ll add tea tree, more lavender and rosemary next time), and fresh aloe from plant.

4/22

Sprayed herbal conditioner and then applied moisturizing cream that I made.

I am noticing my hair has not drawn up as much as it would normally have. Now my hair is starting to curl up and spiral. It is well moisturized but greasy. This would be great for hair that quickly absorbs oils and moisturizers.

I was very happy with the results, minus the greasiness. I recorded my part of the “Don’t Rush Challenge” video a week after and as you could see, my hair was still lustrous and my twist out was gourgeous.

Stay tuned all week for more product reviews!!!

Thump out!

A Call to Prayer

First, I want to start off by saying thank you Lord for this moment in time to be still and be one with you.

I thank you for allowing me to see another day, because the walls of my room last night could have been the walls of my casket however, you saw fit for me in this day.

I thank you for the things I sometimes take for granted: my ability to hear out of both of my ears, see out of both of my eyes..

I thank you Lord that my nervous system that is fully functioning so that I am able to know when I am hurt.

Thank you for the movement of my limbs and my ability to physically move independently through you.

Thank you for the roof over my head and the clothes that cover my back.

Thank you for the food that nourishes my body every day, it may not be what I want but I never have to go without.

Thank you God for sustaining me through these times that the world is facing and drawing me closer to you. Always providing me with the opportunity to know that you are alive and desire me to the fullest.

Thank you for my family who is well in health along with my friends.

I thank you God for every soul that is reading this prayer. I thank you for bringing them here and I ask that you allow them to know it was not by accident. I ask that everything I am praying for myself and those that I love will apply to them also.

I ask oh God that, you keep me covered in the blood of your son Jesus Christ, as I progress through this day. Keep me safe and aware of myself at all times. Allow me to hear you clearly when you speak to me whether that is through signs or directly in my ear and not doubt that it is you.

Allow me to be in tune with the discernment that you have gifted me with and not steer away from it. Allow me to look like you and smell like you when I am around others. Allow them not to see Courtney M. Biggs (insert your name) but allow them to see you which resides in me.

I thank you in advance for productivity in this day. I will be mindful of what I spend my time on, and I will be effective in this day. I thank you for allowing me to overcome the hurt of my past so that I am able to be relevant in the present. I thank you God for the WINS! I thank you Lord for the lows … the growth moments that draw me nearer to you and to who I am destined to be.

I denounce right now compromising for others’ comfortability. I speak that from this moment on I will stand for and speak up on what: I want, I like, I desire, I care about, I don’t care about, I love, I don’t like and anything else, shamelessly. Please grant me the courage to do so.

I denounce fears from any origin taking root in my life. I denounce and reject depression for myself and those around me .. and those whose name I don’t know but walk past during the day.

I ask for your love to surround and overtake me right now. Fill every vacant space within me and replace everything that is not like you. Help me oh God fight for what I love and the tenacity to not give up. I bind every voice in my mind that is not like you.

I am prosperous. I am a child of God. You have plans for me.

No weapon formed against thee shall prosper – Isaiah 54:17 KJV

I love you all, keep your head up. We got this!

Until next time -Courtney B.

Growing & Glowing

Glow-Getter (noun): A driven busy gal who strives to achieve her goals in life while attaining a beautiful glow both inside and out. 

I found this definition and I think it fits perfectly. 

If you know me then you know that I stay “booked & busy” and I am very goal driven. Once I reach one goal, I am on to the next. 

I tend to focus on improving one aspect of my life a month. Examples of these aspects include improving physically, mentally, socially, professionally, and financially. The issue with that though is that sometimes when I move on to the next month, I forget about the aspect of my life that I focused on the previous month. 

So now that I have all of this extra time (since I am stuck in the house most days). I am focused on growing holistically, so that once I am back to my normal schedule I will already be in the habit of thinking holistically. 

Although some aspects are more difficult to focus on right now, I will not let that stunt my growth. I’ve mentioned before that I believe that this is an excellent time to focus on YOU, so I am of course doing the same. You may feel discouraged and unmotivated because of the craziness going on around you that is out of your control, but one thing that you can control right now is you and your mindset. 

“Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” -E.V

Here’s some insight on my growth in just these 2 areas: 

Physically 

I have not been working out 6 days a week like I planned (this includes 3 days of cardio and/or long walks), due to classes restarting, but I have been consistently committed to at least 4 days a week. That’s progress from not doing anything physical a month ago, so I am proud of myself and I am starting to see results. . 

As far as food, I only order-in once a week and I have cut back tremendously on pork and starch, and increased my fruit, vegetable, and water intake. I have had more energy, making me more productive, thus increasing my mood. This is honestly only the beginning.

Mentally

This will forever be a focus of mine, as I’ve shared previously, I think that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Honestly, this blog has been very therapeutic for me. I am able to share my thoughts in a positive way that may be able to help and uplift others. Thank you to everyone that has been supportive and engaging. You are all very appreciated!!

As I mentioned before, dancing and painting are also therapeutic for me.

Since classes have started though, I have not been focusing on those things lately, so that is something that I will work on fitting into my schedule over the next week. Although, I am not able to get my nails, lashes, or hair done, go to the hot tub, go shopping, or take myself out to eat right right now, I have been practicing self-care in the form of learning and doing my own hair, learning how to do my own lashes, scheduling FaceTime calls with friends (because I am missing my normal day filled of human interaction), finding new nature trails, or even riding around in my car listening to music just because I want to get out of the house for a while (SINCE I’M HERE ALMOST ALL DAY EVERY DAY). I am also appreciating the opportunity that I was given to SLOW DOWN and not be on the go all the time. Self-care looks a little different to me during this time, but it is still very much a necessity and it is adaptable to what I need that particular week. 

If you feel comfortable, in the comments, share some areas that you have been focusing on improving, or any tips you have for me to continue my growth! 

When you’re glowing on the inside, it is translated to the outside. Your skin begins to glow and you have a positive aura around you. I believe you should always be striving for your best self. Things do not change overnight and the process is continuous and sometimes challenging, but very much worth it. When you feel yourself getting discouraged because you are not the person you envisioned, or you have not reached your ultimate goals in many of the areas that I mentioned, reflect on the person you were 2 years ago, or even 6 months ago. If you are closer to the person you want to be or closer to your goals, then you are succeeding…you are growing. If you are not, focus on you, and take the steps to do that. Yes, unexpected circumstances arise, but you are in control of your future. Take advantage of that for YOU.

LIVE.LAUGH.LOVE yourself first. Until next time. Mwauh 💋 -Alex

Food For Thought

Greetings all! I hope you had a productive and enjoyable extended weekend. I know I did. I worked in my garden, made plans for several work related projects involving gardening education, put together a greenhouse with my mother and I cooked for and spent quality time with all of my children (future son-in-law included).

I have been thinking about creating a page to share recipes and yesterday gave more inspiration to do so sooner than later. Next Tuesday, June 2, we will post recipes to create a whole meal, from start to finish. We welcome you to join in the Food for Thought recipe exchange and we will feature those recipes in the months to come. The idea is to help each other with meals. I don’t know about anyone else but I know a few people, myself included, that get tired of cooking the same things every other week. Sometimes I just want something new, and complete, and where the recipes are all in one place.

Spending the day with my family, brought to mind family meals and get- togethers in my home as a child. Meals were usually balanced, prepared by my mother or father and we sat down at the kitchen table and ate together. Food was a major part of every celebration. My O’pa used to cook fish and/or shrimp, sweet potatoes and greens or salad, what seemed like every Friday evening. He would call and personally make sure you knew you were invited and were indeed coming. And when he wasn’t cooking anymore, he assigned duties and supervised the event. I refer to it as an event because I looked forward to seeing the family together, talking, laughing, fussing, fighting, crying, cheering, loving, supporting…I miss that. He transitioned in 2014 and that tradition stopped. I want to reintroduce that to my children and I want to encourage you all to join in.

Let’s bring family meals back, discussions and reflections; without cell phones, or television; or separate rooms and different times. If you already do it great, encourage us who may not. If your schedule is tooooo hectic, try to squeeze in one meal a month. If you do that already, try once a week…you get the picture.

If you would like to contribute a recipe, please email them to ThumpInThought@gmail.com with recipe as the subject. Feel free to tell us why you chose the recipe, what you liked or loved about it, and if you made any or recommend any, additions or alterations when preparing it. We will post new recipes, the first Tuesday of every month. I’m excited to try your favorite or families’ recipes and possibly see some pics of you enjoying them.

Thump out!

*The featured image was found on brain-smart.com

Constructive or Destructive?

“This friendship is beginning to have an impact on my mental wellbeing, but that’s how true friendship is supposed to feel sometimes, right?”

“I feel negative energy around my friends and I am beginning to mimic their negative traits, but I can’t stop hanging out with them because we’ve been friends for so long.” 

“I am putting so much into ensuring that we maintain our relationship, but that same energy is not being reciprocated. Oh well, they are family and family is allowed to hurt me as many times as they want and still be forgiven.” 

“I can’t see myself marrying this person, but nobody else is going to put up with me?” 

“I have not been happy in this relationship for a while and my partner does not give me the love that I deserve, but I don’t want to start the dating process over again. I should just stick with it, right?”

 If you’ve ever had thoughts similar to these, chances are you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

Before we get started, I want to preface this post by stating that how I navigate, and my perceptions of healthy and unhealthy relationships are based on my personal experiences, and what has provided me the peace I need. This advice and perspective can be utilized when navigating many types of relationships, such as significant others, friends, family, and even friends you consider family. For the sake of time though, I would like to mainly focus on romantic relationships because I have a lot to say. So, let’s get into it. 

Romantic Relationships 

I would say this is probably the hardest relationship to navigate due to you basically having to “interview” various people throughout your life, for one, hopefully long-term, role. Yes, when I say interview, I mean dating. Once official, and sometimes before then, it starts with the honeymoon stage…I know yall have heard of this. It’s when everything in the relationship seems to be perfect, including your partner. There are minimal arguments and it seems like they have everything you have ever wanted in a person. Unfortunately, this is when red flags tend to be overlooked. This is when you only compare them to your Ex, and as long as they are an upgrade from that, you’re satisfied. Just because they do one thing that you like that your ex never did (like getting you flowers) doesn’t mean that cancels out all the things that they do that you would have never tolerated before (like being talked down to). You may want to ask yourself a few questions: 

“Am I altering myself to fit into what this person wants me to be?” 

“Am I losing sight of my goals and aspirations to fit into this box in order to not outshine my partner?”

“Am I genuinely happy in this relationship?” 

“Can I see myself married to this person?” (if that is a goal for you)

DO NOT SETTLE and recognize your worth. Evaluate your partner on what they bring to the table rather than the potential of whatever you’ve imagined. I firmly stand behind the saying, “actions speak louder than words.” It’s important to recognize that what you’ve been given, may not be what you deserve. 

However, you may have to re-evaluate your role in the relationship. Are you giving it 100%, or are you just taking from it. If the roles were reversed, are you someone that you would date? In my opinion when relationships do not succeed, it is for one of three reasons, y’all are not compatible, one individual is not ready to be in a committed relationship/commitment levels are not equivalent, or one of the two individuals are not presenting their best selves. If you find yourself questioning if you are at-fault for your failed relationships, you need to spend sometime working on yourself. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but I know for me, I had to spend some much needed time learning and loving myself, as well as improving the “not-so-delightful” qualities that I have developed along the way. 

I am still a work in progress, but let me just tell you from experience, when you present your best self to the world, good things are attracted to you. What you put out is what you receive, and I must be on the right path because I am very blessed.

Another strategy that led me to being in a healthy relationship now is recognizing those red flags and learning from my failed relationships, as well as those that I have observed throughout my life. If you are able to pinpoint things that you know you will not tolerate, qualities that you would like your future husband or wife to embody, and are able to communicate when you feel a relationship is heading in a negative direction, steps could be taken to change that direction or it will allow you to weed out those that don’t deserve you, leading you closer to, or to, your forever partner. I am no relationship expert, but this has seemed to work for me in incredible ways.

Other Relationships

Because of my ability to be able to recognize unhealthy relationships, and the realization that I’m in control of who I allow in my space, I now know and I am able to articulate the things I will not tolerate. I am able to communicate when I feel I am being taken advantage of, whether it be big or small; and I know my worth. I am also able to step away from friendships that are not aiding in my growth, or holding me back. I walk away from relationships that I do not believe are meant for me especially when there is an inequality in the distribution of give and take. However, I communicate my reason prior to that because sometimes communication is just what the relationship needs. Sometimes that leads to a stronger relationship, and sometimes that leads to a permanent removal, but I have become okay with that. I do not settle in any other aspects of my life, so the same remains for relationships. I ensure that I am surrounding myself with positive people for the sake of my mental wellbeing. For the friends that feel like family, I accept them for who they are, but continue to love them from a distance. 

“A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better”

Mandy Hale

LIVE.LAUGH.LOVE yourself first. Until next time. Mwauh 💋 -Alex

Get active. Stay healthy.

Okay, I’m going to be completely transparent with you…I have gained 15 pounds since being quarantined, and I’m sure all that good food in London didn’t help. That is why I had a sports bra and leggings on in my section of the #DontRushChallenge, because I’d just finished working out. Some say, “you can’t tell,” “where did it go?” “it doesn’t matter,” but I know I have not been giving my body the love that it deserves. I know I have been putting my fitness to the side, and I know I have not been focusing on my physical health. Yes, this is partly due to all of the changes I had to adjust to, due to this pandemic, but about a week and a half ago I decided to not use that as an excuse anymore. I think my mentality changed to “Why should I put effort into molding a ‘summer body’ when I’m not going to have the summer I planned?” but it’s so much more than that. This realization is not only about my physical health, but when I look better, I feel better (which is why I was dancing after working out), and when I feel better, I do better. 

The biggest change that I have made is getting back to working out consistently. At the beginning of the year, I got a membership to Hotworx, which is basically where you work out in a sauna, and I was going at least 4 days a week. I paused my subscription for March, since I was in London for a week, and now they’re temporarily closed (like everything else). Long story short, I lost motivation. A week and a half ago, my mom called me with yet another challenge (Thump is always up to something or always cooking up something). Now my goal is to work out 6 days a week, and completely rest on Sunday…from everything (working out, school, and work). There are 3 key things that have been working for me as I restart this “getting snatched” journey. No, not getting kidnapped (as my mom would ask) LOL but naturally molding my body to where I would like it to be. If you are joining me on this journey, remember to strive for progress, not perfection.

A consistent accountability partner

Mine is my boyfriend, Isaiah. When I’m feeling unmotivated, he pushes me to reach my goal, and vice versa. When he’s exercising at 100%, it motivates me to go harder. Plus it’s more fun to work out together, to improve together, and we actually look forward to doing that together everyday. Working hard Monday-Saturday, makes us look forward to Sunday Funday even more now. 

Change of Scenery

Working out in the living room gets pretty repetitive and boring, and if you know me, you know I get bored and distracted easily. Other location options include our neighborhood, family member’s neighborhoods (keeping social distancing in mind, of course), the parking lot/front yard, and different trails.

 Isaiah introduced me to this trail about a month ago, since we were limited on what we could do outside of our homes. In total the trail is about 3 miles long and is the perfect spot to go to on our scheduled cardio days. Being in nature is so calming and relaxing, and once I get to the end I am forced to walk the 1.5 miles back to the car.  

The most interesting thing on this route though, are the rocks we find. A few years ago “RVA Rocks,” and painted rocks in general, started trending. I never found, or painted any myself, but I loved the concept and enjoyed the pictures of them on social media. For those of you that are not familiar with this, it is basically a creative act of kindness intended to make someone’s day better. People paint rocks and  leave them places, in hopes that someone else would find them. You can either keep it and paint another one to hide, or re-hide the one that you find. Anyway, I found one on our first walk on that trail (which is why I think I keep going back), and another the last time we went. 

I left the second one there for someone else because I was already having a good day, and figured someone else may need it more. I gave the first one to my little brother though, since it was a Ninja Turtle and he loved it! I then painted another to hide the next time I go. My goal is to find a new rock every time that we go to paint and hide it again. This should keep me entertained for a while, lol.

Eating/Drink Healthier

The numbers on the sides really hold me accountable and motivates me to drink water throughout the day.

Smoothies have also been very popular, with my secret ingredient being chia seeds (props to Courtney for that recommendation over a year ago). I also like to think of my favorite meals from different restaurants to see if I can recreate them. The other night I made a “Chipotle bowl.” Isaiah cooked the chicken on the grill, while I made the corn, beans, brown rice, sauteed peppers, and put the other toppings in bowls. Very delicious. 

“Getting Active” is not about “getting skinny,” it’s about self-love, and giving your body the healthy love it deserves.

LIVE.LAUGH.LOVE yourself first. Until next time. Mwauh 💋

– Alex