Tag Archives: fitness

Run the World, Thank the World, Pay it Forward

(Photo Nov. 2016)

Whaaaat? You want me to speak again? Ok, but I can’t promise you that I won’t cry…again.

HOLD UP! Reeeeewind. Here’s a little back story…It was around this time last year when El Diabs (Jenn Reyes) asked me to speak at Run The World last February. I thought “You want me to speak at a fitness event?! Easy-breezey. I’ve lost 100lbs. That’s all I gotta say and boom, mic drop.” 
As the event got closer I thought, “Oh snap, there will be new fit buddies to meet. Gotta look on point.” I spent double the amount of time at the studio/gym.  Since I wasn’t too good at the meal prep game yet, I wasn’t really eating right.  Overworking your body and not properly feeding it…bad combination. Something I’d discover soon enough. 

Also around this time, I started to get distracted (again). Some familiar faces came back around and I thought, “Hmm…maybe this time.” NOPE. Faaack. Here’s the thing, when you start compromising yourself and when you’re not true to yourself, you end up surrounding yourself with people who aren’t going to be true to you either. They eventually leave. And it sucks. So how do you deal with feeling some type of way? Take those emotions out at the gym. Oh yeah! Team No Rest Days!  Woohoo! Nope. I basically supersized the bad combo of overworking my body and not eating right by adding more workouts and mental/emotionally stress. RED FLAG, ANGEL!! Stoppppp!…too late. 

After weeks of doubling up on Ripped, Love The Journey Workshops, and Zumba, my body was done. Clean and press with a kettle bell is my isht. I own that exercise. That day, I couldn’t even lift, bro. Ugh. So tired and it was noticeable. 

Sure enough, interrogation starts. “You’re usually more explosive than that. Everything ok? Have you been getting enough rest? Have you been eating enough?” 

“I’m good. Just a little tired.” Stop lying Angel! She’s gonna know! She probably already doessssss know!! 

I woke up the next morning to a text, “Rest day today.”

After a quick discussion with my fit besties (Bri and Matt) about what the possible consequences would be if I violated orders to rest, I decided ok fine rest it is. After a few hours of much needed sleep, I woke up recharged and refreshed and most importantly, I woke up thankful. Thankful that there were people in my life who were concerned about my well-being.  

(Photo Feb. 2016)

Event day came up and I was ready. Because of the team, I was able to speak from my heart. I wasn’t too worried about what people would think of me or if people would look at me differently after hearing what I had to say. I knew that no matter what happened, they had my back. Stronger together. After the high fives, the hugs, some tears and about 50 new fit buddies, I left that event inspired. Inspired to inspire.

(Photo Feb. 2016)

So what does one do to say thank you? How do you say thank you to people who have sparked joy in your life and people who believed in you when you stopped believing in yourself? You say thank you by paying it forward. You become the spark for someone else. You take the torch and you run with it! A few months after Run the World, your girl got certified to be a Ripped instructor! Ayyyyyyyyy!

(Photo May 2016)

Never in a million years did I think that was possible. Even taking a Ripped class would have been a mission. 3 years ago, I would have said, “Nah.” I was busy at the bars drinking, chasing, and trippin’ (…on feelings. LOL. I just have a lot of them). I know what being alone feels like, but I also know what it feels like when someone makes you feel like you’re part of the team. I sometimes can’t catch a beat to save my life but when I’m teaching a class or taking a class, I’m all in. So be all in. In that hour, be there with your whole heart. Spark joy and pay it forward. You might be the reason someone feels like they’re part of the team too. Stronger together.

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Catch me, I’m falling

Butterflies, weak knees, uncontrollable smiling when her name came up on my phone…Danger! Danger! The Captain is in love…

I’m often asked what started my health and fitness journey…Truth be told, I fell for someone who didn’t catch me. Ouch. Whether I was physically too heavy or emotionally too heavy, it just didn’t work out and the fairytale ended before it began. Before I go on, let me make this clear…this is not a post about a break-up. There was no break-up. We were never officially anything more than just friends. Two people in two different places in our lives that just happened to spend a lot of time together. When that ended, I needed to find something to occupy my time and my thoughts. Dieting and working out seemed to be a pretty good distraction from my feelings (which I have a lot of…y’all already know this).  I started hiking at Runyon Canyon. Something peaceful about the view up there. Since I wasn’t going out that much anymore, I didn’t need to be at the usual after-the-club eating spots (Denny’s, King Taco, etc.). 

After a few months, people started to notice a little bit of a weight loss. I ran with that momentum and by the end of 2014, I lost almost 50lbs. 

Some time in the last two years, I fell in love with myself. What started as a way to keep me from getting lost in my emotions turned into a journey towards self discovery. I became all the things I wanted in a person: passionate, driven and focused. My sense of self worth a lot higher than it was back then. All of a sudden, eating healthy and working out mean something more. Every chicken wing I say no to, every nacho I pass up, every swing, every squat, every second in plank is a tribute to what I’ve become. The level of commitment to get this far is the same level of commitment I can apply in relationships with my family, my friends, and one day someone special. Cheers to 2016! New year, better me. Ready for all of life’s (and love’s) possibilities.

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Love the Journey

 Two years ago my then 5 year old Goddaughter said to me, “If you give a piece of your heart to everyone, you won’t have anything left for yourself…” A few months ago, as if she was following up on the lesson she taught me, said to me “…it’s ok though because there will be people who will give you a piece of theirs so you won’t ever feel empty.” Genius. 

Over the last few months, I’ve come across some of the most amazing people. People who have invited me into their lives and have become a big part of mine. They keep me encouraged, they keep me motivated, they make me feel loved and most importantly they’ve taught me that I can be myself. 

JennDogg aka El Diablo aka Oberon. This punk has been part of my life for more than 20 years but has made her presence felt more than ever over the last couple of years…Don’t let that smile fool you, her bite is just as hard as her bark. Stuck with her forever…possibly longer. FML. 

Vanessa. She feels bad for making us run (but she still does it). She thinks I’m a masterpiece 😁😍🙌🏼  She’s my favorite. 

Alfred and Sonia. He and I had a class together years ago. One time all we did was practice our signatures! Mine has stuck ever since. Because of him, I met her. Swolemates. Body and relationship goals.

Ann. I met her last year at a going away party. While holding a plate of nachos, I heard her say, “I have a weigh-in tomorrow, but I don’t give a fcuk!” I thought to myself, “Amazing. One day, I’m going to be good friends with that woman.” Glad that day finally came! 

Bri and Matt. Two of my favorite food buddies…I mean workout buddies. Can’t tell you how many nights I’ve just wanted to stay home or eat junk food but the “get your ass up” texts and the “we need to look hot” discussions motivated me to workout.  Bri compliments me all the time but it’s her progress pics that are amazing! Matthew’s drive and determination keep me motivated. Beast mode for sure. 

  There are others: Marzie who abandoned me to work out only at night…jk. Ray who I low key am jealous of cuz his amazing progress. He’s the LTJ superstar. One day, I’ll be up front like him. Nikki who keeps me cracking up all the time. I am legit sad when she’s not there. 

I don’t love working out. It’s early in the morning and every exercise gets harder and harder. It’s the people and the vibe that I love. I realized there’s never really going to be an end goal. There’s always going to be something bigger and better to work for. The destination ended up not being as important to me as the people I’ve come across along the way. Because of them, I know what it truly means to Love The Journey. 😉 

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Love the skin you’re in

It’s kind of an issue that my double Ds aka my source of power have been shrinking cuz of my weight loss. 

After having denied it for so long, I decided to go to my usual department store a few weeks ago…you know the one, the one that’s specifically for big girls. Anyway…the ladies are always super friendly to me and that day, it’s like a relationship was ending. I roll up to my usual sales lady and tell her, “My boobs are shrinking, it’s a problem.” After she takes my measurements she tells me, “Sweetie (I think it’s adorable when she says that), we’re running out of sizes for you. Soon, you’ll be too small for this place.” She set me up with a few things to try on and as I’m in the dressing room, I think to myself, “I need to take a pic so I can get a thumbs up or down from the crew.” The crew being my girl cousins and their bffs. Girly isht that I’m not used to so the more opinions, the better. I totally forget about the picture cuz I hear people come into the store and now I’m all about paying and getting outta there.  The lady rings me up and says to me, “Take care, Sweetie.” I walked outta there thinking I’ll be back from time to time to at least buy an accessory or something so I have an excuse to say hi. 

A few days later I found the pic and remembered that somewhere I had another pic from the beginning of the year. I’ve never had the guts to take a pic of myself without a shirt on prior to this year and if I did, that isht was deleted off my phone stat in fear someone might swipe and see it. YIKES! I put the two side by side and was like hmm. I managed to round up some courage and send it to some peeps thinking, “Are people gonna make fun of me for this?” The answer was the same across the bored… “You should be proud of where you are. It’s inspiring.” 

I know what it feels like to have to wear a sweater during the summer. Uncomfortable showing any kind of skin cuz of how big I was. I also know how it feels to have to stand in the back of the picture cuz I’m “taller” than all the other girls. The struggle of having to be surrounded by pretty girls all the time, I know, poor me…Blah, blah…sometimes I see the girl on the left and I turn away. It’s hard to look at and think that was me. Other times, I see that girl and am like, “That bitch is a badass…courage, strength, and drive…if not for her, the girl on the right wouldn’t exist. Good job. Yay me.” I used to struggle with staying motivated and inspired. I’m fortunate to have an amazing fitfam that keeps me going. On the days I’m not around them, I’ve found inspiration within myself. I can’t really find the words to express the feeling, but it’s like a high. I’m confident that I’m always gonna have the support of my friends and family but in the off chance I don’t, the person in the mirror will always be there. Hey girl, hey!! 

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