Waking up this morning with my post Thanksgiving puffy cheeks, I almost panicked. Then I remembered the goals I had set prior to Turkey Day.
I had granted myself permission to enjoy the day of gluttony guilt-free. Today was the day after and I knew that my puffy cheeks were apart of the guilt-free pact I had with myself.
I knew that weight gain was a possibility but I also knew that I had the power to control just how much I was going to allow the scale to tilt. So off to the gym I went!
There was a time when I was over 268 lbs. Holidays were embedded with guilt and self judgement. After the holidays came the unrealistic goals that were never actualized. The unactualized goals spun into more guilt, self judgement and more eating. The cycle went on and on until I had finally had enough.
Nearly 6 years ago, I embarked upon a new weight-loss journey. Just after the holiday season. I wasn't sure if I would be victorious but I was. Now here I am having lost over 100 lbs. in a new season of life and a new holiday season giving myself permission to eat and enjoy it guilt-free with power and control!
How can you have your cake and eat it too? How is that possible?
It is possible. Knowing yourself and your own tendencies are key. What tempts you to eat certain types of foods? What are the circumstances? Are you a social eater? Emotional? Holidays are carry a plethora of triggers for eating. Recognizing your own triggers and allowing room for enjoyment will allow you to flow with the festivities and create opportunities for success.
In addition, studies have shown that the average american will gain up to 2 lbs. during the holiday season. This number of course may vary depending on the individual. Knowing this helps alleviate judgement, pressure and guilt and will allow you to set realistic goals while not beating yourself up.
Here are a few tips to enjoy food during the holiday season and not lose your mind, waistline and health goals in the process!
11/26/2015 0 Comments
Today I woke up and cooked my 3 sons a wonderful Thanksgiving breakfast before chatting it up with my sister on the phone in Georgia. I then dropped my guys off to their dad's in order for them to be able to spend time with family from out of town. My initial plan was to come home and work on business related projects. I had it all planned out. I was excited that I was not sad about spending Thanksgiving alone. I thought, "Wow! Anitra you have really come along way with your inner healing. God is good!" Until I got home. The feeling of aloneness struck me and I was almost taken off guard. This time, however, unlike times past I welcomed it. I embraced it. I felt it. I then wondered what was it truly trying to show me? I began to think and ask myself what it was that I truly wanted? What did I truly value about days like this.
The truth is that I value and long for connection. On today especially connection with family. Connection and family are two of my top priorities. Looking at the situation from a limiting place it would have seemed hopeless as all of my immediate family lives in the south and traveling isn't feasible at this time. My mom is in North Carolina and my siblings with their families are all in Georgia. I am the lone wolf that stayed behind in Michigan. As I sat with my feelings and began to think about my top values being family and connection it made perfect sense that I was feeling sad and alone on a holiday after having dropped my sons off to their dad's! Whenever our value system is under siege or in any way challenged we experience conflict inside. This conflict can look like anger, sadness, withdrawal, resentment or feeling helpless. Awareness of your personal value system can allow you to understand your reactions and allow you to create a new action plan for yourself when your values are being challenged.
Feeling sad or perhaps lonely isn't the enemy. Understanding why you are having those feelings and knowing what core thought is at the base of those feelings can allow you to move beyond those feelings so that those feelings won't overwhelm you and take you down the rabbit hole of despair. Acknowledging and validating your pain is important. Your feelings are normal and many people feel the way that you do when in your same circumstance.
So, what is my action plan? Well seeing as I had already prepared myself a Thanksgiving meal all I was missing was my family. So, I decided to call up my sissy and invite myself to dinner in Georgia via Skype! She thought it was a GREAT idea! I am currently at home working on my passion, my coaching business and awaiting dinner with my family via Skype. I feel great. Do I still miss my family? Of course I do! But what I don't feel is despair. I feel peace and contentment. I also feel gratitude for being able to coach my way through my own thoughts and feelings.
Takeaways: It's ok to feel what you feel. Your feelings are clues to what you value and raodmaps to creating opportunities of peace and fulfillment for yourself. Holidays can be difficult but they are navigable. Spend time loving you and create space for your heart. I pray that your heart finds comfort and peace during this holiday season. God Bless and KIAI!
The title of this blog post may put me at risk of sounding pretentious or perhaps annoyed. Both summations could not be farther from the truth. Please allow me to explain. I wear my hair in a natural style called Sisterlocks and my hair is quite long. For a Black woman this garners me a lot of attention. I have been stopped countless numbers of times by men and women who are astounded that as a Black woman I have been able to grow my natural tresses below my mid back. Most often I am asked is all of that my real hair. The looks I receive are ones of astonishment and awe. I am so full of joy to share a resounding YES! This is all MY hair! This morning I was stopped at the gym by an elderly Black woman with the same questions and with the same look of admiration and astonishment. I began to explore within myself the looks of astonishment, awe and admiration along with my own sense of joy. Afterall, it's just hair. Or is it?
For many Black women the struggle to wear our hair natural versus processed has been a real struggle. Our own natural coifs if not of a certain texture deemed to be "good" were not seen as enough. Our hair was a source of our shame. It was a source of the reality that we were born as inferior. It diminished our value. If we couldn't grow it naturally then we were not as valuable in comparison to other races of women that could or as compared to other black women that could. I as a woman with very tightly coiled kinks would have been labeled in the category as having nappy or "bad" hair. This inbred stigma was a great source of pain. The pain went deep not only in my soul but through my scalp with oozing chemical burns due to attempts at taming the hair beast with relaxers. When I finally decided to embrace my natural hair it was no less than a spiritual experience. It was a way for me to assess who I truly was inside and who I wanted to show up as in the world. It was a bold and brave declaration to myself that I was good and pretty enough even in the face of a (former)spouse that verbally berated my new look. I stood strong and stood boldly choosing to love and accept a part of me that for so long I was ashamed of.
I by no means am saying that women who aren't natural do not love themselves. Many women do. For those women they are able to see that they have a choice. They choose to wear their hair in whatever way that suits them. For others, however there is no choice. They are being controlled by not wanting to be seen as not good enough, pretty enough and worthy enough. Natural hair for Black women isn't just about hair. It's about discovering our value and knowing that as our authentic selves we have value. With this awareness and understanding comes the power of choice. For women who have not healed from internal pain brought on by many different experiences of being shown or told that they are not enough in their natural state there is no true awareness of choice. Weaving, wigs or relaxers are then done without thought. They become masks to hide shame. Some believe that they have no choice if they want to look polished, professional or the big one, if they want to get or keep a man. With facing who we truly believe ourselves to be and how our image of our hair plays a grand role we can heal the powerful internal dialogue that speaks dishonestly about our perceived inferiority. We can then decide for ourselves if we WANT to go natural rather than be forced into not being natural due to running from our fears and pain.
I believe for those who are astounded and admire my hair both Black men and Black women my hair represents a dismantling of their limiting beliefs about Black women with tightly coiled hair textures. Women with my hair texture generally were not seen as having beautiful hair by the masses. Hearing that your hair is nappy or "bad" sends messages that as a Black woman with tightly coiled strands you were second class in comparison to other women. It was therefore important to hide that part of yourself to avoid shame. There were some avant gardes that love natural beauty but by in large natural beauty was not beautiful for certain types of hair textures. As a professional Black woman with confidence and nappy hair my appearance for many debunks not only the myth that Black women cannot have long hair but more deeply and profoundly that we are not enough. We are enough in our natural state. We are stylish and versatile and are able to break a sweat and not miss a beat due to our hair. This gives me joy because it gives options. It heals hearts. It says to many Black women with tightly coiled coifs that you in your natural state are enough whether you want to shave it off or wear it long, whether you want to weave it or straighten it. You are enough.
Hair is not the end all be all. As India Arie said, "I am not my hair". However for many hair has kept them from seeing their value and from accepting and loving themselves. It is therefore worthy of exploration and healing. For you it may or may not be hair. It may be body image or something else all together. Whatever your "it" is please know and understand that your value lies deeper within and that what EVER you were born with or without is ENOUGH for you to show up as your authentic self and rock out this life as your amazing self. You have value. You are valuable. Embrace yourself. Accept yourself. You are enough. There is no one like you that can do what you do how only you can do it. You are the best fit for what God has designed and equipped you to do. Love you.Embrace you. God Bless and KIAI!
Awakening to your value is a daily moment by moment occurrence. The key to becoming aware of your value is to first understand that you are worthy of love and respect including and perhaps most importantly from yourself.
"Before trying a life coach I felt a sense of embarrassment to let anyone know what I was going through. It seemed too hard to face the truth about my life up until recently. It took for me to reach mental distress before I reached out for help. Reaching out for help to Anitra Rice was the best first choice I could have made to start my new healthy journey. With every session my thoughts become clearer on what I WANT OUT OF LIFE! Coaching is not only helping with my inner peace, but also my PARENTING is improving, which has impacted my son in a positive manner as well. Thanks Ms. Rice!"
Parent/Legacy Builders Parent Coaching Program
"It helped me to see that there are other people out there just like me" ~Taisha Glenn
Parent /Workshop attendee
"Great speaker that catches your emotion and attention. Creating a vision board was inspiring.
Anitra.... articulated my thoughts, feelings and journey so perfectly that it inspired me to the core of my being. God has given you a gift to be able to share and bring hope to those who are on the journey to healing in Jesus.... God has been so faithful to heal me... you've just put it into words and song. May God continue to bless you and others through you.
Hope Community Church
"Hearing Ms. Rice's story of her life, who would have known that she's been through what she's been through. The different exercises she had for the (attendees) to do were very helpful in understanding myself"
"This (Confidence Building Workshop) was wonderful...This (vision boarding) took me in so many directions! I realize I must change my thinking to draw up a plan."
~ Patti Dawes
Finding your way to your most authentic self and healthy path requires courage and forward momentum. Anitra helps you repurpose obstacles so they aid you on your journey. That was my experience. My 'demons' are now whipped, chained and pulling my sleigh forward.
~ Coaching Client
As a teacher I know we all struggle with starting a parent meeting off with positive things about a child who has been cutting up in our class. Well, one day, I was speaking to Ms. Rice about a student that has been significantly misbehaving in class. I told her how I was finally able to get the parent to come in for a face to face meeting. Ms. Rice shared with me how to start the meeting off by showing the parent empathy about having to receive calls about their child misbehaving in class and then how to proceed with asking the parent to help me be able to work with their child so he/she can be more successful in school. I must say I tried this with my parent and it really turned the atmosphere for the meeting around. The parent was not defensive about his child. He even did most of the talking after that with his child telling his daughter how disappointed he was in the choices she's making and how she is making it hard for her teachers to help her to learn all she can. After the meeting, the little girl was a different person. I truly feel that this was because I started the meeting off with the strategies that Ms. Rice had provided me. Thank you Ms. Rice for your help. You turned a negative to a positive meeting.
~Mrs. L. Herron
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