Staying Motivated When Life Gets Tough

This is something that I’d normally post on my health blog fit2bemyself.com. However, I figured this is a message that could apply here, too.

Life gets tough sometimes. And it is in those tough times that it is most important to take care of yourself. Speaking from experience, one of the most stressful and emotionally draining things that a person can experience in their life is watching their loved one decline and face the possibility of them dying due to health problems, some of which could have been prevented with a little more self-care. 

For the past several weeks, I’ve eaten more than my share of hospital vending machine food, as if I needed any additional inconveniences to make eating healthier difficult. Watching a life deteriorate while trying to maintain my own life and bring up a child’s life is hard. Add to that financial troubles that make going to my favorite fitness classes nearly impossible. My haircare has also fallen by the wayside. How do you stay committed through all that?

Well, the good news is that things have turned around for my mother and her health has improved. My overall diet has not, but I have made a commitment to staying active, even when I can’t go to my pole dancing class or I’m not in the mood to go to spin. I hit my step goals on a more regular basis now. I try to hit my water goals every day. I take my multivitamin and probiotics every day.

Overall, this entire ordeal has made me look at life from a different perspective. My current job situation has made me more appreciative of what I’ve had before and more humble about what I currently have. I’m just glad to be alive. Today I am going to work a little harder on the hair care aspect of my self-care because both my hair and my psyche definitely deserve it. However, despite the obstacles I face attending fitness classes, I have no excuse not to move, especially since I am physically able to do so.

Ways to help maintain/achieve good health:

  • Stay hydrated – Drink at least 64oz of water daily but aim for half of your body weight in ounces. It makes sense because our bodies are 40-60% water.
  • Get plenty of sleep – Aim for 8 uninterrupted hours every night, if you can.
  • Eat more vegetables, less fried foods, and fewer desserts
  • Take a multivitamin
  • Walk as much as you can, if you can – If you are able to move, do so. Several of my relatives on my mother’s side have been diagnosed and/or have passed away from heart failure. However, it is possible to live a fulfilling, healthful life for many years with this condition with healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and appropriate prescription medications taken consistently.
  • I’ve eliminated the excuse of not being able to exercise at home because I bought my weights and yoga mat a long time ago. I also have consistent access to YouTube to find workouts when I don’t feel like making up my own. I realize that not everyone has that privilege. But if you have the luxury of the internet, use it for your health.

I know all of that is pretty basic information that many people have heard from numerous sources, but the most basic common sense information is what some of us need to hear every now and then as a reminder to do better. I’m not a doctor, but I am a certified fitness trainer and I work to educate myself through reading, listening to podcasts, and watching educational videos. I know enough about how the average human body works to know that those basic things will help keep it healthy. Every body is not the same because some people are born with health concerns or disabilities. But most of us would do well to stick to the basics without getting caught up in specific diets, fads, and methodologies.

From a personal perspective, I can speak about heart disease, diabetes, and sugar addiction. Congestive heart failure is what inspired this post today. Heart disease is not always preventable, but if you have the opportunity to avoid it, I suggest taking it. Watching my mother go through the ups and downs that she has over the past five years since being diagnosed hasn’t been fun. I’m sure if she could press the reset button on her heart and have it be strong and healthy with no worries of arrhythmias, blockages, or outright failure, she would. However, without putting too much of her business out there, some of her troubles might have been avoided had she taken better care of herself, followed doctor’s orders a little more closely, and simply loved herself more. 

Take care of your hair and skin. Move your body. Stay hydrated. Take care of yourself and stay committed to keeping yourself fit and healthy. 

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Book Review: Hunger by Roxane Gay

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself

I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

My thoughts:

I had been wanting to read this book for a couple of years. The title and subject matter had me intrigued as a plus-size woman myself. I wasn’t familiar with Roxane Gay before I listened to this book, but I am going to be reading/listening to some of her other books in the future. As for Hunger, I have mixed emotions about this book.

My mixed emotions are not because I think this is a poorly written story. I keep calling it a story even though it is not, it is a memoir. It is the author’s truth and personal experience with life. Lately, I have really been into listening to audio versions of memoirs read by the authors themselves because I just love biographies and learning about people and individual psychology. Listening to Gay speak was fine. I thought she did a great job of telling her story. However, it is the story itself that I have conflict with.

Gay’s story is not necessarily a pleasant one. In fact, it isn’t for the faint of heart at all, especially if you have dealt with traumas similar to hers. It is difficult to listen to her describe the wrongs done to her body by other people, which led to the mistreatment of her body at her own hands, which led to her overall perspective about how society sees her and how she sees herself because of her body.

Going into it, I thought the book would merely be a reflection over being plus-size, however, Gay’s story is more sophisticated than that, as most of our stories are. I guess I regretfully thought the presentation would be more shallow. Then again, I wasn’t aware of who Roxane Gay is before this book.

I appreciate her story and her storytelling. It wasn’t like a cohesive chronology of her life, but pieces. As I was listening, I felt like she was reading a series of journal entries or personal essays, which I didn’t mind at all. I thought that she expressed herself clearly for the most part. However, there were times where she would introduce ideas or past experiences or personalities and then say that it was too difficult to speak about or that she just didn’t want to speak about them and I found that a bit annoying. She doesn’t have to speak about anything that she doesn’t want to. However, whenever she did that, I felt like I was being left hanging waiting for and wanting more details and would have to force myself to forget that she brought up certain things.

Some of her thoughts about society and human behavior I disagree with, but it was interesting to hear. Some of the thoughts and experiences as a large person I could directly relate to. I’m not super morbidly obese, but I have always carried extra weight and know what it is like to have to explain to some people that I can’t always move the same way that they do or fit in the same places.

Roxane’s story is not an easy one to consume. I can’t say that I enjoyed it—it is never enjoyable for me to listen to/read a description of a sexual assault– but it is one that I can appreciate. As difficult as it was for me to listen to in some parts, I imagine must have been even harder for her to write and relive. Overall, I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

If you are interested in checking it out for yourself, I’d recommend getting it from the library. If you’d like to own a copy for yourself, you can purchase from Amazon*, Books-a-Million, & Barnes and Noble.

If you enjoy this website and want to support, you can either buy me coffeebuy my book, or shop in my eBay store.

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Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

I listened to the audiobook version of this book. I only listened to about half of it and never finished and there are a few reasons for that. First, the voice actor was terrible. Her voices for different characters were unbelievable and the pace at which she read the book was a bit slow. When I increased the speed on the app it sounded like the narrator was actually reading at a normal pace.

Second, the book is a little too long, in my opinion. Without increasing the speed of the audio, the book was nineteen hours long. This leads me to my critique of the actual story. I didn’t care for it. I watched the movie version when it was first in theaters and felt extremely disappointed when it ended because I felt it did not live up to the hype. I figured, maybe the book will be better. That’s usually the case with most books made into movies. After listening to the audiobook, I don’t feel like it that’s true for Fifty Shades of Grey.

There was nothing likable about Christian Grey to me. There was nothing likable about Ana. I really wanted to like them. I really wanted to be interested in the build-up between them and watch their relationship evolve. However, they bored me to tears. Even at times where Christian showed what were supposed to be redeeming qualities, he still came across like a controlling a**hole to me. I didn’t feel the chemistry, I wasn’t impressed by the sex scenes (perhaps I’ve read too many erotica books to really appreciate this) and I just kept waiting for something to happen when nothing ever did. It’s the same way I felt while watching the movie.

I borrowed this audiobook from the library and I didn’t get a chance to finish listening before my rental expired. However, I didn’t want to. I may muster up enough patience to borrow it again to finish it, but I doubt that will be anytime soon.

If you are interested in checking it out for yourself, I’d recommend getting it from the library. If you’d like to own a copy for yourself, you can purchase from Amazon*, Books-a-Million, & Barnes and Noble.

If you enjoy this website and want to support, you can either buy me coffeebuy my book, or shop in my eBay store.

*This is an affiliate link. I may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase using my link. This doesn’t cost you anything and it helps me to stay online and produce more content for you.

Poem: I Love the Way You Admire Me

I love the way you admire me.

Breath in sync.

Embrace as infinite as the sky.

With the view from where we are

I could reach up and touch heaven.

Stay at my side and let me warm you

and provide your place of rest.

Lay your head on me and squeeze for dear life

Let’s hold on to heaven forever.

 

© LeTara Moore, All Rights Reserved

 

If you enjoy this website and want to support, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi or buy my book.

What’s Been Going On March 2019

December was the last time I posted to this blog, but that does not mean that I haven’t been writing. Life in a Few Words is still my baby, but I have been nurturing some other ventures in recent months and quite frankly, just haven’t been in the right space emotionally to publish much of my poetry on here recently. A lot of what I write is personal, but for the past year, nearly everything I’ve written has come from extremely personal feelings and experiences. I guess that’s why I haven’t been as inclined to share much recently.

So, what’s been going on? I’ve been exploring my love for fitness. Yes, I’m plus-sized. I probably always will be. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good spin class or yoga. Actually, I’ve been studying to obtain a personal trainer certification and I started a fitness group online. I’m hoping to start a group in person soon. Along with that, I started a blog all about fitness and what I’ve learned about health and nutrition.

It’s funny. What started as me becoming more fit because I couldn’t breathe very well resulted in my losing approximately 30lbs and gaining so much perspective about myself, life, and relationships. I got a lot of great poetry out of it and I think I have a few stories I can write about it, too.

I’ll be sharing some new pieces once a week, for at least the next few weeks anyway. I still have it on my heart to publish another book, which has been titled Sunlight, Coffee, and Roses for the past three years. Hopefully, this year will be the year.

In the meantime, if you are interested in fitness stuff, check out my other blog fit2bemyself.com and subscribe!

If you enjoy my writing and would like to see more, I’d appreciate your support. There are four ways you can help me grow.

You can buy my book here: https://letarawrites.wordpress.com/books/

You can buy me a cup of coffee/leave me a tip: https://ko-fi.com/letarawrites

You can buy one of the books I review, regardless of whether my review is positive or negative. The majority of the time, I have affiliate links associated with the books I review. All of my book reviews are my honest opinion and I try to be as clear and thoughtful as I can be when I write them regardless of whether my impression of the book in question was positive or negative.

Or

You can simply share my website with others who may enjoy what I do.

 

Book Review: Kiss Me Before You Say Goodnight by Keith Kareem Williams

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Available for purchase on Amazon and directly from the author on social media.

Synopsis:

On a humid, hot summer afternoon in New York City, Omari walks onto a bar and spots a gorgeous, mysterious woman on the brink of tears as she watches her home country getting completely crushed in the World Cup of Soccer on the big screen television. Omari can’t take his eyes off of the beautiful woman so he buys her a drink, sits down at her table and after some pleasant conversation, finds out that her name is Andressa. What starts off innocently as a few drinks shared between strangers quickly leads to a scorching-hot, erotic night of passionate sex. However, what should have been the beginning of a steamy romance goes awry in a way that Omari never saw coming as he gets caught up in the deadly entanglements that Andressa was still trapped in. Her dark, dirty little secrets put both of their lives at risk.

My thoughts:

I haven’t had much success with reading books this year. Kiss Me Before You Say Goodnight is the only book that I have finished, though I’m hoping to add at least one more before the year ends. As a matter of fact, I may make time to skim through this one again very soon. Why? Because in the day that it took me to read this book, I forgot about all of my troubles and focused solely on the amazing chemistry between the two main characters, Andressa and Omari, and the drama that unfolded as a result of their relationship.

Williams jumped right into the steamy action in the first chapter and kept me hooked for the remainder of the book. The plot isn’t overly complicated and neither are the characters, which I appreciated. Andressa was as dangerous as she was beautiful and Omari was whipped. In some parts I found myself going crazy over some of Omari’s decisions regarding Andressa, but then I remembered that I, too, have been foolishly in love (in lust) and made some questionable choices as a result, so I couldn’t judge him too harshly.

I appreciated how quickly the story moved, but I didn’t want it to end. Spoiler: The ending leaves the opportunity for another book, so maybe there will be one in the future! While I won’t say that this is my absolute favorite book from Keith Kareem Williams, (Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls still holds that title) this one ranks high on the list for me.

Check out Keith Kareem Williams’ social media below:

http://reemafterdark.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/keithkareemwilliams

http://twitter.com/Reemafterdark