During Week 2 of #30DaysofDope, I somehow managed to be not dope... I didn't post anything! I didn't e-mail you guys, barely posted to Instagram...I mean sheesh!
I didn't mean to leave you guys high and dry. So as to not be late two weeks in a row, I'm combining my week 2 and 3 update to share with you guys - the good, the bad, the ugly, and the delicious.
Let's dive in!
Am I the only one wrestling with Necessary Endings right now? Although I've read much further into the book, I find myself stewing around Chapter 4. The title alone is a gut punch -
When Stuck Is the New Normal: The Difference Between Pain with a Purpose and Pain for No Good ReasonListen.
Currently, I'm assessing that thing we talked about a few weeks ago via e-mail - yep, The Mane Objective. After a long, hearty conversation with Samuel, I'm trying to determine whether it's a necessary ending, or if I've succumbed to "learned helplessness". According to Dr. Cloud, learned helpnessness is "a condition in which the person adapts to the misery because they feel there is nothing they can do about it."
In the learned helplessness model, we interpret events in a negative way, seeing them as personalized (I'm what's wrong), pervasive (everything about this is wrong), and then permanent (nothing is going to change). In learned helplessness, we shut down in the face of things we can't control - to the point that we do not execute the activities and outcomes that we can control.
Was I hasty in my decision making and declaration about the future of my blog? Maybe. My goal for the weekend is to execute the activity on page 57 and:
- Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns
- In column 1, write down all the things that I cannot control that are affecting me as it relates to my blog/business
- In column 2, write down all the things I do have control over
- Take action on the column 2 items
During Week 2 of #30DaysofDope, I somehow managed to be not dope... I didn't post anything! I didn't e-mail you guys, barely post...
My first full week (and some change, since we technically started mid-week) was full of ups and downs - and I'm pretty sure i'm not the only one.
Let's dive in.
Reading Necessary Endings again is blessing me in ways I didn't think possible. It's funny how you can read a book during one season of your life, and then read it again at another time, and it takes on a totally different meaning. That's exactly where I am with Necessary Endings. When I first came across the book about 6 years ago, I was reading through the lens of necessary endings for relationships. In this season, I'm reading with my business lenses on, but also finding ways this applies to my fitness/wellness journey, too.
As I mull over and absorb the content of Necessary Endings (I'll go deeper in my e-mail with you guys!), I always return to one central point -
Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind, and moving on.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes (I don't know who said it) - every next level of your life will demand a different version of you.
In the coming days, I'll be asking myself a few tough questions about my focus, my time, where I'm directing my energy, and if it all aligns with my goals and God's plan. I've got a feeling I'm not going to like some of the answers I'll have for myself...
But that's what Necessary Endings is about, right? Taking an honest self inventory and learning to proactively end things before they're allowed to siphon off resources that could have been devoted to to other areas of our lives that would bear more fruit (or roses).
What things in your life is Necessary Endings challenging you to confront? Let me know in the comments below!
In my first e-mail to you guys, I shared that my goals are to follow the 80/20 rule for eating according to my macros, and working out 8x per week. Let's break that down some more, and shed some light on what actually happened.
I had a heart-to-heart with myself about my eating habits, what worked, what didn't, and how I can create positive progress for myself that sticks beyond this cycle. I realized that my previous meal plan set my carbs way low - and for me, a carb lover, that's simply not sustainable over the long term. I took a leap and signed up for Avatar Nutrition - it costs $10 a month, and I'm giving it a go just for this cycle of #30DaysofDope. If I end up liking my results/progress, I'll keep going. If not, I'll be a'cancelling!
The craziest difference between my previous numbers with MyFitnessPal and Avatar Nutrition is that even though I've set my goal target for "fast fat loss", my calorie and macro totals are still wayyyyy higher than they were. It's a mental thing that I'm trying to wrap my mind around - eating more to actually lose fat and build/maintain lean mass and strength. I got so alarmed that I e-mailed the Avatar Nutrition CEO (because I'm extra like that lol), and expressed my concerns. Mark was super responsive, broke the information down for me, and just asked that I trust the system. So I'ma trust the system until 30 days is up. I'll do a full review of Avatar Nutrition once my first month is up - but for now, just know I'm throwing back BSN Syntha-6 Edge (Strawberry Milkshake is to DIE for!) protein shakes and Isopure drinks (love mango peach!) like a mad woman.
|Tastes just like Strawberry Nesquik. Y'all have NO idea. I'm HOOKED!|
Now, about this workout thing. I decided that in order to break through my plateau and really go next level with my fitness goals, that I needed to do something that I've never done before. Make myself uncomfortable. Like really uncomfortable. So I decided to commit myself to working out 8 times per week. Yes, I know there are only 7 days in a week - so to avoid being in the gym every single day, I'm doubling up and doing two-a-days on some days. Gave myself a "trial run" from February 27th thru March 5th, and I hit 7 out of 8 days. The first full week of March (6th thru 12th), I hit 7 days again. In truth, this past week was a rough one. Family emergencies and special assignments took me off my rhythm, but I hung in there and did the best I could. In fact, as I write this, I made a conscious decision not to make today (Sunday March 12th) workout #8. Not that I didn't want to actually meet my goal, but I had to be honest. I'm late in getting this blog post up, late in sending my week 1 e-mail out, and I need to go to the grocery store to buy veggies and meat for #MealPrepMonday. I decided that instead of hitting workout #8, it would be much more beneficial for my sanity (and stress levels) to do the things I need to do in preparation for a successful week.
Plus, Lord willing - I'll be in the gym bright and early Monday morning.
HOW DOPE WAS CHASE THE LION THOUGH?! Oh my God, this second reading around blessed me in a mighty way! If you're anything like me, you've got several screenshots of various quotes from the devotional text. MAN. I was totally blown away again. I love it when two seemingly unrelated texts "talk" to each other - I totally believe in confirmation and I'm convinced that God put it on my heart to re-read Chase The Lion while re-reading Necessary Endings.
For me, the gut-check is knowing that God has put me on a path to achieve the goals and dreams He's given me - but there are some things, some detractors, some behaviors, practices, and projects that I've got to put down to actualize all that He has planned for me. I've got to assess and execute some necessary endings in order to give full chase to my lions.
Throughout the rest of the month, I'll be sharing some of my most memorable takeaways from Chase The Lion here and via e-mail with my #DopeFam. Stay tuned!
How did the first week of #30DaysofDope work out for you? Let me know in the comments below!
I'm a few days behind in posting this, but can you believe we're about to walk into week 2 already? This cycle is flying by. ...
What up #DopeFam?
Can I just tell you how excited I am to get this ball rolling? I stopped and started and stopped and started and stopped planning the first 2017 cycle of #30DaysofDope. I wanted to launch in January, but didn't wanna prey on the New Year Resolution type folk.
I started to start in February, but I knew I wouldn't be able to give it my all. And I'm very much of the mindset that if I can't do it right, I shouldn't do it at all.
That said, I'm so glad to have you joining me on this journey. I can already feel it - this cycle is gonna be something special. Something new. Something more dope than the previous iterations.
I know it's late in the day, but I hope you had an amazing day 1. Before the day is totally over (or before we get too far in to tomorrow), I need you to do 4 things for me:
1. Make sure you're on the list. When you go to www.30daysofdope.com, there should be a pink bar at the top of the page saying "Join the #DopeFam". Once you add your e-mail and first name to that list, you're in. If for some reason you can't make it do what it do, just drop me an e-mail at christina[at]30daysofdope.com and I'll add ya!
2. Download/pin/save/screenshot the official prep list for this cycle. You can find it on this post here, or download it direct here. We'll be chatting about experiences with Necessary Endings and Chase The Lion intimately on our weekly e-mails and posts here, and I want to make sure you've got everything you need to be on the same page with the group!
3. Write. Down. Your. Goals. Part of the journey to personal excellence is holding yourself accountable to the things you said you would do. When I e-mail the #DopeFam tomorrow morning, I'm going to share my personal goals for this next 30 days with you all. Feel free to write me back with yours. #accountabilitypartners
4. Document where you started. In the same vein as writing your goals down, the only way to measure your progress is to know where you started. If you're looking for a mental shift - say, going from feeling frustrated about xyz, start by journaling what frustrates you, why you're frustrated by it, and how you wish you would be able to handle/address the situation in an ideal world. Same thing with physical and spiritual. If I want to lose 5 pounds this month, or cook at least 2 meals a week, I need to start by being honest with myself about my current state. This may also involve a "before" picture - although you don't have to. It might be a hard pill to swallow, but I promise you'll be looking at yourself on March 31st like GO ME!
If you need a little more guidance, or a few tips on how to make this cycle of #30DaysofDope a success, click here to read my kickoff thoughts from the last cycle. Some of the info has changed, but the principles still apply!
Day 1 is almost done. The next 29 is going to be nothing short of amazing!
What up #DopeFam? Can I just tell you how excited I am to get this ball rolling? I stopped and started and stopped and started and stop...
Giving up things is hard. Letting things go is harder. But in order to break through that plateau and really go after the things that God has for you in life, some things (and people) have got to go. Through this book, we'll journey together in how to maneuver endings - both personally and professional - in order to experience growth.
Full disclosure - I bought this book years ago from Family Christian Bookstore (which I hear is going out of business), but never finished it. It's been on my heart to re-read and make it through to the end - so let's do this together!
Intermediate: Use MyFitnessPal (or any method above) to track meals - but take it a step further. Invest in a food scale like this one, or use measuring utensils to parcel everything out. Begin monitoring your food intake and making adjustments (or healthy swaps). In my first #30DaysofDope run in July, I used measuring utensils. By September, I was on the foodscale. Now, there's no looking back.
Advanced: Go full on meal prep status. Create your own meal plan, weigh everything out, and prep like a crazy person. Or, get a custom meal plan from my friend Kohran of A-1 Lifestyle by e-mailing a1lifestyle247365[at]gmail.com (that's what I did..and yes I paid for it!). Then weigh everything out and prep like a crazy person. I can tell you right now it requires the most discipline, focus, and effort. You have to be mentally ready for this one. And if you are, welcome! (P.S. - you're going to need meal prep containers like these that I got from Amazon.
Looking for some meal prep and healthy recipe inspiration? Click here for a few dope recipes (that I'll be adding to this cycle!)
Again, full disclosure - I read Chase The Lion earlier this year. But it's SO dope, I want to do it again. And with you guys.
Get on the #30DaysofDope e-mail list! This is where I'll be checking in with my peeps, answering questions, and providing exclusive information. I'll even be enlisting support from some of the dopest folks I know - and you can only get this stuff if you're on the list. GET ON THE LIST. I don't mean to yell, but it's super important :)
And remember - you're dope for doing this.
Her's the Pinnable March 2017 checklist!
Has the "2018 is gonna be the year for me" mentality set in yet? Are you throwing in the towel on 2017 and calling it you...
Can you believe the 30th of September has come and gone?! I can't. Last month quite literally flew by.
As my e-mail peeps know, I skipped week 3 here on the blog. No excuses - I just didn't make time for it. I didn't even read The Four Agreements on time - I had to play catch up on week 4!
None of this means that #30DaysofDope was a bust, though. It was quite the opposite. The July cycle was about discipline. September was all about balance. I can't wait to see what December brings (whoops! just dropped a hint right there lol).
Without much delay, let's dive into the last 2 weeks of #30DaysofDope for September. And #DopeFam, we'll be chatting via e-mail this Thursday!
The third and fourth agreements took me on a roller coaster ride, literally. It was bad enough to be challenged to not take anything personally, but to follow that up with not making assumptions? I was literally reading the pages like, "c'mon, son!" - but there was so much truth and value in Ruiz' words. Making and then believing assumptions is the root cause of a lot of frustration and drama in our lives, because we allow ourselves to live in this space where we're afraid to ask questions and feel burdened with the assumption that we should "already know". We're going to dissect this a little bit more in this week's e-mail, so make sure you drop your e-mail addy in the topbar above this post to get on the #DopeFam e-mail list.
The reason why the fourth agreement excited me so much was because the message coincided so well with #30DaysofDope. In fact, that pretty much sums up the challenge in four words. Not to mention, Ruiz echoes the sentiment I have expressed throughout the entirety of this challenge - excellence is relative. Your best will look different day to day, hour to hour. Doing your best is about more than X-ing tasks off of a to-do list. Excellence is about being able to look yourself in the mirror and say, "I gave it my best."
Honestly guys, my body is changing. It's a slowwwwwwwww progression (Jesus it's slow), but it's happening. I don't spend every day in the gym, and every workout isn't on 10. But it's happening, and I'm finally in a space where I feel like hard work and consistency is paying off.
|The Transformation... on the outside.|
|Lower Carb (and fat!) Ground Turkey Tamale Cups. Want the recipe? Let me know in the comments!|
And sometimes it meant eating the cake.
Overall, I committed myself to improving my eating habits and following (as best as I could) the macros laid out in my meal plan. Now that I'm learning more about food and fueling my body, I feel a lot more comfortable experimenting in the kitchen. If you follow #30DaysofDope on Instagram, then you know exactly the kind of meals and recipes I'm talking about. Plus, I share the recipes here on the blog too.
Question for my #DopeFam - would you guys be interested in a #DopeRecipes e-book? Just let me know in the comments :)
I haven't finished the Fruit of the Spirit devotionals. I said I wasn't going to rush through them, and I meant it. I've made it through love, joy, peace, and patience...and I feel like I want and need to go back and read them again before I move on. Sometimes I feel like when it comes to the Bible, we can pride ourselves on how much we read, or how many scriptures we know by heart.
But how many do we walk out in our daily lives? How much do we commit to understanding?
That's another reason why #30DaysofDope is set up the way it is. I didn't want to take a one-and-done approach to my relationship with God. It requires work, day in and day out. This time around, #30DaysofDope has given me a little something more than just an improved prayer ethic, or scriptures to commit to memory. Through everything that's going on, I've been blessed enough to experience the tip of the iceberg when it comes to God's peace. I'm not anxious or frantic. I don't feel overwhelmed. I find myself praying for others more than I pray for myself. I'm working on spreading positivity, and letting God truly shine through my actions and interactions with others. I ain't nowhere near perfect - but I'm trying. Some days are better than others, but I'm giving it what I got.
|Sometimes you gotta....|
Peace. Perspective. Balance. Just three of the things that this cycle of #30DaysofDope has taught me, and continues to teach me. #30DaysofDope isn't a magic bullet or one stop shop solution. It's about truly connecting mind, body, and spirit on the path forward to personal excellence. Just because September is over doesn't mean I stop or you stop. We keep going. The dopeness continues, so stay tuned for more. And don't forget to drop your e-mail in the topbar above this post - I'll be sharing testimonials from September cycle participants, tips on how to keep forward momentum, and more!
Stay tuned, #DopeFam!
Catch up on the September 2016 cycle here!
Week 1 Update
Week 2 Update
What is #30DaysofDope? Read about the challenge here!
Y'all. Y'all. YAWL. Can you believe the 30th of September has come and gone?! I can't. Last month quite literally flew...
It's day 15. We're at the literal half point of #30DaysofDope.
Summer is pretty much officially gone. As I type this update, I'm in my office, at my desk, wrapped in the most heavenly of blankets. I would show you a picture, but the truth is, I've probably got eye crust going on and I know my hair is a hot mess. So I'll spare you that tragedy.
Let's dive in to week 2. I've got some juicy deets for ya!
Straight up, The Four Agreements is taking me on a journey. And this week's stop along that path has totally thrown me for a loop. I have been simultaneously juggling trying to act out the first agreement (be impeccable with your word) while digesting the concept of the second agreement (don't take anything personally).
Here's me, having an imaginary conversation with Don Miguel Ruiz in my mind while reading the second agreement:
Me: So... like...I'm supposed to not take the fact that this man gave me the finger on the freeway personally?
Me: And if someone talks ish about me behind my back, I'm supposed to let it just ride?
Ruiz: Pretty much.
Me: Oh, and the chick that keeps plagarizing my work? That's supposed to be cool?
Ruiz: It's not cool, but it ain't got nothing to do with you.
Clearly, I'm wrestling with this chapter - even though I'm very familiar with the concept. See what the second agreement requires is a shift in perspective, a move beyond yourself and your particular set of lenses for viewing the world and everyday interactions with people. And in the weeks ahead, I'm gonna be grappling with this agreement, because I'm the person that looks for the underlying meaning in everything. I read between lines that ain't even there.
I say all that to say, I've got some work to do. If I'm truly going to be who God has called me to be, I have to take the second agreement and live it out. And just like last week, I'm talking about this a little bit more in depth with my #DopeFam via e-mail. So look for that later this morning! Not on the list? Drop your e-mail in that pink top bar!
This is one area in which I'm legitimately proud of myself. Last week, I said I was in the process of pushing out of my comfort zone in the gym. This week, I'm keeping that move going strong - and it's paying off. What's funny is that at the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to be able to squat 200lbs, deadlift 200lbs, and bench 150lbs before December 31st.
About a month ago, I hit that squat goal and exceeded it by 5lbs. Deadlift, I'm maxing out at 185 (my hamstrings need some work). And my bench goal? I'm nowhere near it - currently maxing at 95lbs. And we're on the precipice of the 4th quarter of 2016. My goals aren't changing, but my approach is. See, a few months ago I was in a rush to get there, so I was lopping on plate after plate - seeking to be the "strong girl" in the gym. But my form was wack. My motivation was off.
Now, even though it's late in the year, I'm taking a few steps back. Working on form. Building the stamina. The endurance. The strength. Doing things the right way, so that when I hit the goal, I know I worked for it, chiseled away at it, and didn't rush the process.
Ultimately, I'm realizing that through consistent effort in the gym and in the kitchen, the goals I want to achieve are within reach. It's not gonna happen in 30, 60, or 90 days (like some folks on Instagram want you to believe) - but I'm really casting my vision 2-3 years out and celebrating the small wins along the way. I'll be sharing my wins at the end of this cycle - so stay tuned!
My #mealprep game is on point - and even though I'm still doing this low carb, high-er protien situation, I don't feel super deprived or like I hella miss carbs. In fact, in some ways my meal plan has re-ignited my passion for cooking. Every few days or so, I find myself itching to test drive some internet recipe (to see if it's actually good or not), or challenging myself to make a more macro-friendly version of the foods I enjoy. And it's fun. As a matter of fact, if you haven't already, check out the Dope Recipes tab here on the site, because I'll be updating as I discover new recipes and ways to create food that's better for you and actually tastes good.
But I'm by no means perfect - I have my weak moments and it seems like there's been challenge after challenge this month. Restaurants every weekend for birthdays. Special gatherings with food. I shoulda took a picture of my meal at California Pizza Kitchen for y'all. It was hilarious. I literally ordered Kung Pao Spaghetti with chicken and shrimp, and ate the meat and 1 forkful of spaghetti. I literally left a bowl of wet noodles behind. Next time, I'll order Kung Pao Spaghetti with no spaghetti, lol.
And I did eat a crazy amount of cookie dough on Tuesday this week, but on this Instagram post, I share why I'm not trippin.
This week, I spent some time reading in the Before the Cross: Fruit of the Spirit devotional lesson centered on peace. And this is where I start getting excited about #30Daysof Dope, because the texts that I'm reading start speaking to each other. In truly seeking God's peace - the peace that can't be swayed by the thoughts, opinions, and actions of others, nor by my circumstances - I have to actively learn to not take anything personally.
Did you catch that?
God's peace - the peace that surpasess all understanding, isn't something fleeting. It doesn't disappear when my bank account looks funny, or only exist in me when everything's all good. But I have to do my part. I can't be tossed about by every situation and circumstance. I have to make it a priority every day, to trust God.
And for someone as strong-willed as me, it's definitely a process.
But God has shown me more than enough times, that He is in control. So whenever I'm feeling anxious, antsy, stressed, or like a certain situation isn't moving how I planned for it to - I have to seek God's peace. My favorite scripture for this - which turned up in the devotional - is Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.One thing I love about this passage of scripture is that it doesn't say "tell God what you want, an you'll get it". God isn't some cosmic genie that we call on to get a new car, job, house, or boyfriend. But what he does give us is his peace - something that money can't buy. Peace is what holds us over when we're looking for that new job, car, or significant other. Peace is what allows us to approach these situations with the perspective that God has tailor-made blessings for each and every one of us
We just gotta trust Him :)
Well folks, that's all I got for this week! I wanna know how your week went too! Drop your updates in the comments below - or e-mail me at christina[at]30daysofdope.com.
Talk to you soon, #DopeFam!
If you missed the week 1 update, click here to catch up!
It's day 15. We're at the literal half point of #30DaysofDope. Crazy, right? Summer is pretty much officially gone. As I ty...
|Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Shrimp Low-Carb Pizza|
|Top Row: Ingredients for my Jamaican Jerk Pizza. Bottom Row: Ingredients for pizza crust.|
|Mix. Knead. Roll. Bake.|
|Crust looks like this while baking|
|After baking: top side|
|After baking: bottom side|
|The finished product.|
|A lil' closeup on BBQ Chicken Pizza realness.|
|A cross-section of the crust. Looks, feels, and tastes like regular crust.|
Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Shrimp Low-Carb Pizza One of the hardest things about going low-carb is having to exercise extreme moderati...
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