Staying Positive Until the Goal is Reached

It’s hard to believe that I completed my second trimester towards my health coaching certification.  I have grown so much in my competency as a result of those 14 weeks.  I have a two-week break before I start my last trimester.  I will have two “real” clients to coach for 10 weeks. Surprisingly, they were easy to find. I posted an email in the neighborhood directory. There are folks that are willing to help students. This may be a way to find clients when I’m ready to start my own practice. I’m excited and a little nervous. I’m confident in my ability, but this will be the real thing!

Science has been a good foundation for me, but the industry, in my opinion, has not changed as far as salary and opportunities. Since January, I’ve been on two, face-to-face interviews and two phone interviews. The trend has been that the hiring manager or interview panel liked me, but chose another person that they thought was a better fit.  This is frustrating when you hear it multiple times. In my opinion, some managers may be intimidated by my experience, particularly if they are young. Also, new graduates are more likely to accept a lower salary than a seasoned employee. Now that I think about it, there are many young people at my current company.  By young, I mean under the age of 30.

The future of my current job is uncertain. I feel like any day can be my last day.  The laboratory may move out of Maryland, which is not an option for me with a family. There are also no new projects coming down the pipeline. I’m only doing what feels like “busy work”. Right now, it’s my only option until I graduate. I am thankful for at least still being employed. With the reorganization that took place last year, half of the department is gone. There are only four of now when last year it was eight of us. If things work out that I complete my certification before the job ends, that will be excellent.  I will continue to keep my head up as the weeks continue.  I will work hard to make my dreams reality instead of working to fulfill someone else’s dreams.

The Transition From Science to Health Coaching

I started my second trimester at MUIH towards my Health and Wellness Coaching certification.  My first timester was quite intense and gave me the foundational knowledge. This semester will give me the tools needed to coach actual clients. I will participate in live coaching labs once weekly. I am looking forward to the learning and the interaction.

Although I’ve been in the science field throughout my career, I believe that I can be successful as a health coach.  The majority of my jobs have been contract positions.  When I finally land a permanent position, my position gets eliminated; this happened in November 2017. I discuss it in another blog post.  I worked primarily in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and food industries. My current position is at a plastic company. I have been there for 9 months. Unfortunately, my position, along with my manager’s and one other colleague’s, will be eliminated in 6-18 months.  Also, I feel like it is just busy work. In November 2018, there was reorganization within the department which led to a new director, a new department name, and two employees being cut. Welcome to corporate America. Once again, I am in the job market. This time, I won’t be caught off guard.

I am excited about my future as a health coach. Active listening will be a big part of the job, whether I work for a corporation or have my own practice.  It will be a slow transition; I’m not going to quit science cold turkey.  It has given me a foundation to follow my passion. My resume still has selling power. If all goes well, I can become certified by the end of this year.

 

5 Benefits of Pilates

 

At the end of the summer, I started doing Pilates at my local fitness center. I started doing one-on-one sessions to learn the technique. As I continued to become more accustomed to doing it, I started taking a 1-hour weekly class at 6:00am. With classes, a family, and working full-time, this is the only time I am available.  I enjoy every class; it’s a small class with 5 of us, mostly female. We have an awesome instructor. She is patient and is not a drill sergeant.  Even though my classmates have been doing Pilates for years, I am still able to keep up.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Pilates, many  of the exercises are done using a reformer.  As my instructor reminds me, some movements are harder, and I will get better with practice and time.

There are few benefits that I’ve noticed since taking Pilates:

1. Increased flexibility. I am becoming more flexible each time  I perform the exercises. Some of the exercises are challenging, but the majority of them are easy to perform.

2. Improving your core. Pilates is great for working your abdominal muscles and building a strong back. Previously, it was one of my problem areas.

3. Great alternative to yoga. If you’re not a fan of yoga, Pilates is a fun alternative. Please feel free to revisit my post on yoga.

4. Pain relief.  When I started doing Pilates, I was experiencing pain in the back of my left knee. It’s been about 3 months since I’ve had any pain in that area. Also, a classmate told me that it’s helped alleviate her arthritis pain in her hips and lower back.

5. Improved performance and injury prevention.  In 1912, Joseph Herbertus Pilates perfected the Pilates workout system. As a child in Germany, her suffered from asthma and other ailments. He turned to exercise as a means of treatment. During the influenza outbreak in England that same year, his trainees survived while thousands succumbed to the illness.

About one year ago, my legs and feet ached from standing long periods of time at work. I also used to suffer from plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I have not had any flare ups recently. The condition is very common.  Tim Hardaway, Jr. of the New York Knicks also suffers from the same ailment.

My younger coworkers notice my increase in vibrancy since starting Pilates. A few of my classmates are older than me, and they are very active. It is definitely an activity that I recommend. It can build strength; thus, it will prevent problems later on as the body ages.

A Message to My Followers

Hi Everyone. I’m sorry that I’ve been out of touch for a while.  This summer, I was accepted into the Post-Baccalaureate certificate program for Health and Wellness Coaching at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. I’ve completed one class with three in-progress. The school is very warm with many great resources.

Things are starting to get more intense now, but I am doing very well.  I have an “A” average currently.  In addition, I’m working full time and taking care of my family.  Since I have been out of school for a while, I wanted to start with a certificate. I should be finished by August of next year.  If I decide to pursue another Master’s degree, I would finish in 2020.  I have a Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry, so I’m not sure if I need another one.

The science field has given a a solid foundation to move into Health and Wellness Coaching. I am very passionate about health and wellness, as you may see from some of my posts.  With proper diet and exercise, I am back to a size 6; I have not wore that size in 12 years.  I want to help others reach their goals.  My goal is to have my own practice.

My son is doing very well.  He will be 8 years old in December. I’ve talked about the challenges we’ve faced with his autism. He has made so much progress. He’s reading,   making friends, and has not had any behavioral issues at his new school. I want to help those parents as well.  Diet and environment are so important for their physical and emotional well-being.

I want to continue to blog. I am learning so much that I would like to share with you. Thank you to those that still follow me.

My Fitness Journey, Part 3

Some of my readers out there may remember when I started my fitness journey in 2015. When I wrote My Fitness Journey, Part 2, I learned about “wheat belly” and made the appropriate changes at the beginning of 2018.  Now, we’re at the start of summer, even though for a week sometimes, we don’t see the sun where I live.

When I was laid off from my job in November, I discontinued my gym membership and focused on diet. I also started walking for 30 minutes if it was a sunny day. In April, my husband and I went on a 21-day Daniel fast for weight loss and overall health.  My husband suffers from diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  I have high blood pressure.  We also did a 3-day detox.  My weight dropped, and I felt better overall.

This past Wednesday, I met with a trainer to see the progress that I made.  When I started  this “journey”  I weighed 144lbs.  Presently, I weigh 130.5 lbs. with 28.7 percent body, and 50.7 muscle mass.  My percent body fat is in a normal range; however, if it goes down to 22 percent, I won’t need the high blood pressure medication.  My muscle mass should be half of my body weight, which would be 65.  My trainer was happy with my diet.  I don’t eat meat everyday, mostly fresh vegetables. Okra is a staple for me. When I do eat meat, it’s chicken, fish, or steak.

I am trying out a group exercise class that meets 3 times a week.  So far, I believe that it will help me reach my goals.  We perform exercises that work the core, arms, and legs.  I can be assured that I will be doing the exercises properly.  When you’re on your own, you may tend to “slack off’”.  The goal is the build muscle and reduce body fat to treat high blood pressure.  I have to continue to insure that my blood sugar and cholesterol levels stay within a healthy range. At one time, it was a struggle.  However, making lifestyle changes improved my health.  I will get another reassessment in 4 to 8 weeks.

 

 

10 Benefits of Dandelion: Is it a Weed or an Herb?

Every spring, we see dandelions growing in our yards and in the fields.  Many of us treat our yards with weed killer to get rid of them. If you learned that dandelions have health benefits, would you see reconsider killing them?

I was shopping at my local Wegman’s, and I bought some dandelion greens.  I buy them by the bunch.  When I got to the checkout line, the cashier asked me what I used it for.  It’s not a popular item,  like kale or spinach.  After telling her that I use it when I juice, she understood.   She mentioned that customers use it to make smoothies or even for their pets. (Keep reading to find out how).

There are many benefits of dandelion; you can use the root, the flower, or the greens. As I mentioned, I juice the greens along with pineapple, green apple, and flax seed meal. You can also drink  dandelion tea, cold or hot.

  1. Weight loss.  Dandelion is a diuretic, which means that it rids the body of excess water which helps with weight loss.
  2. Inflammation. Dandelion greens treat muscle aches and joint pain.
  3. Relieves constipation and increases bowel movements. Because I use it as part of my juicing regimen, it keeps me “regular”.
  4. Diabetes. Dandelion fights both Type I and Type II diabetes by removing excess sugar from the body.
  5. Reduces high cholesterol. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes are typically diagnosed together.
  6. High blood pressure.  Since dandelion works as a diuretic, it can help lower blood pressure without the unwanted side effects of a prescription drug.
  7. Cancer fighter.  Boil the dried yellow flowers in water and drink the liquid.  Dandelion purifies the blood and detoxes the liver.   Many of those cancer drugs, in addition to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can be extremely toxic to the body. (Why do most cancer patients lose their hair?).   Dandelions are high in vitamin K.   It’s been proven to work for “drug- resistant forms of cancer”. 
  8. Kidney failure.  Dandelion root strengthens the kidneys.
  9. Eye and skin health.  Dandelion greens contain over 100 percent of vitamin A to improve vision and fight skin infections.
  10. Chronic indigestion and excess gas.  Dandelion works great for dogs that suffer from digestion issues.

Remember, as we approach Spring, please pick the dandelions in your yard or wherever you can find them.  Our Power put herbs on the earth to heal us (Jubilees 10:12).  Shalom!

My Fitness Journey, Part 2

You may recall that I have been on a fitness journey for about 2 years now.  My starting weight in December 2015 was 146 lbs. I had some weight loss by early 2016.  It was 6 pounds that I recall.  My family and I moved in June 2016, and for some reason, we started eating out more frequently; I gained that weight back.  Later that year, I found out that I was pre-diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I had been diagnosed with high blood pressure at age 25.  I started working with a personal trainer  and began working to change my diet. My husband and I decided to go vegan for one month and take herbal supplements to improve our health.  Early last year, I had my annual physical exam.  My weight was stable at 143 lbs., but my blood work results were the best ever in a long time.  I didn’t have pre-diabetes or high cholesterol anymore!  The combination of diet and herbal supplements improved my health!

In October of last year, we decided to go back to eating vegan for one month.  We noticed a big difference in our health and overall well being.  After that month, we decided that we would only eat meat twice weekly. Usually, it’s fish, but also chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef.  We rarely eat dairy.

In the past month, we learned about “wheat belly” .  Today, the majority of the  wheat  is genetically modified.  Since the body does not know how to digest this genetically modified wheat, it’s stored as fat in our brains and in our stomachs.  Gluten is also something that we try to avoid.  I don’t eat wheat unless it is organic.  Since I eat dairy and organic wheat products rarely, my stomach does not look like a “muffin top”.   I can wear a dress without being paranoid that I look pregnant.  I get on the scale this morning, and I weigh 133 lbs!  I haven’t been working out in the last few months. It’s all from diet!  Working out will only enhance.  This is a weight that I am happy to stay at.  If you want to lose weight, you must change your lifestyle.

Christmas – Is Christ In It?

Hmmm….“Silver Bells”, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “Jingle Bells” and many more songs come to mind during this season.  As a child (and as an adult), I loved watching Christmas cartoons like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Classics.  Elf was probably my favorite Christmas movie.  I enjoyed seeing family, opening gifts, more good food, eggnog, and shopping!  Going to the mall in search of the perfect gift.

Then, it came to a point in which I stopped putting up a tree when I had my own apartment.  After I got married, we put up a tree for my son’s first Christmas. (His birthday is December 7th).  The next year, we didn’t put up a tree.  In 2012, we started to do research and found out the truth about Christmas.  Now, five years later, we don’t celebrate Christmas AT ALL!

We have been attending a Hebrew church for the past year and a half.  They teach us the real truth about these so-called holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  The Most High Power hates these days (Amos 5:21).  This only confirms that we were right for not celebrating them for the last five years.  For those of you that are reading this, you may or may not know the true meaning of Christmas.  When I was in the Christian church, they taught us that Jesus Christ is the reason that we celebrate Christmas.  He was born in a manger on December 25th.  Well, if we look in the Bible, we know that he could not have been born in the middle of winter because the shepherds were “keeping watch over their flock by night”  when Mary gave birth (Luke 2:8). The precise date of his birth was not mentioned in scriptures, but it is believed to be sometime in September.  On the Hebrew calendar, The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles all occur in September.  Some believe that Christ was born on September 11.  We remember what happened on that tragic day in 2001.  It would make sense for them to plan the so-called terrorist attack on that day.  We also see many natural disasters occurring during the month of September.  This year, three hurricanes occurred, back to back, causing excessive damage.

December 25 is actually Tammuz’s birthday.  Tammuz is Nimrod reincarnated.  The origin of Christmas (and Easter)  is Babylonian.  It actually started from Saturnalia, which  is a week-long festival that began around December 17.  Saturn, or Cronos, the Roman god of time and of the harvest, is where the festival gets it’s name. He demanded child sacrifice.  To this day, many children are sacrificed on Christmas.  

The Christmas tree is also pagan (Jer 10:2-5). It has nothing to do with Christ at all. So what does the Christmas tree really mean? There are many traditions that continue today as “spin offs” from Saturnalia.  Today, the Christmas tree is decorated with lights.  Originally, they used candles made from the fat of the burned bodies of the sacrificed children. (Horrific, but true).  People decorate their trees with colorful balls; originally, they used decapitated heads from sacrifice victims.  In some neighborhoods, you may see carolers going from house to house.  Before, they went caroling naked.  I’m sure today, that would be on the 6 o’clock news.  Christmas cards are another tradition.  We throw away every Christmas card we receive.

You can equate Cronos to the modern-day Santa Claus, an old man with a long, white beard who likes to surround himself with children.  As a child, I didn’t believe that ONE man could deliver presents to every child on Christmas Eve night by going down a chimney.  First of all, he was too fat to fit.  Secondly, we didn’t have a chimney.  In the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, the lyrics are “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake”. Who fits this description?  If you change the letters around in Santa,  you get Satan.  Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, he has been using the same old tricks to deceive.  He spends his time walking the earth  (I Peter 5:8).  Satan is, in fact, the reason behind Christmas!

When I tell my family or friends that we don’t celebrate Christmas, they don’t understand, even when we explain it.  They think it’s about family and gift giving.  They don’t want to disappoint their children, so they spend money on gifts they really can’t afford.  They go shopping at midnight or at the crack of dawn to catch those Black Friday deals. On the other hand, they’re sad because they don’t have the money to buy gifts.  You can buy your children gifts ANYTIME during the year.  My son and my husband both happen to have December birthdays, but we buy our son clothes and toys throughout the year!

The Feast of Purim is our time of gift giving. We celebrate this feast in February.  It is not a replacement for Christmas.  It is a time that we remember our sister, Esther, that saved our people  (the true Jews) from annihilation.

If you claim to be a follower of Christ, you should not celebrate Christmas, a holiday that has the devil all in it.  You can’t be lukewarm and play both sides (Rev. 3:16). Be either hot or cold.  In spite of what many churches teach, you should be able to use discernment to come to your own conclusions through your own research that Christ IS NOT the reason for the season.  We get caught up on traditions; we don’t read to see what the Most High says about these holidays.  We live in a very capitalistic society. Holidays are money makers for many corporations.  Most importantly, explain this to your children.  After all, you are the parent that makes the decisions. If you teach them early in life, they will remember as adults (Prov. 22:6).  With that, I say Shalom!

5 Ways to Cope With Job Loss

One month ago, I was laid off from my job. It wasn’t because of poor performance.  In fact, my peers always told me about the fine work that I did.  They expressed their compassion as well as their surprise. I was the only person in my department that was affected by this business decision.

My previous company decided to downsize.  As a result, a few of us were told that our positions would be eliminated.  I wasn’t totally surprised during my two and a half years of service; I’ve seen many of my peers, including two managers, get fired.  The company downsized at the beginning of this year as well. In addition, the company had a lot of turnover  that always seem to happen in waves.

Am I bitter about losing my job?  Absolutely not.  I believe that was the expectation from the management and my peers.  Many people don’t handle a job loss well.   I’ve experienced it before.  As a spiritual woman, I believe that everything happens for a reason.  Sometimes, it’s to protect us from more harm. Other times, it’s to make us stronger to prepare us for the events to come.

During this past month, I’ve used this time to pray and think about the next steps.  I’ve enjoyed spending more time with my husband and son.  I watch my son get on his school bus, and I see him when he comes home. I help him with his spelling, reading, and math.  When I was working, my husband did all of those things.  As far as the job search goes, I worked with a resume coach to revise my resume.  I’m working with a career coach and learning more about using LinkedIn.  I’ve enjoyed working with both of them.

I’ve always been told that you are not alone; there is always someone going through the same issues.  I hope that I can encourage those that recently lost their job or maybe have been unemployed for a long period of time.  Perhaps, you may have advice for me. This is what I will tell you:

1. Move forward and put the past behind you.  I know this is not always easy, but it’s very important that you do this.  When you’re interviewing, you don’t want to say negative things about your previous company.

2. Use your time off to your benefit.  As a mentioned, I’ve enjoyed time with my family.  I’ve also had time to write blog posts. If you’re not in a “desperate” situation, use this time to relax and plan your next step.

3.  Networking.  LinkedIn is a great place to start.  One referral, ironically from a previous manager, led to a phone interview followed by an on-site interview. Applying for jobs online at sites like Indeed can work.  ( I have been invited for interviews).  It’s always wise to be creative with your job search.

4. Turn your talents into earnings.  We all know at least one person with a legal “hustle”, whether it’s hair styling, coaching, cooking, graphic design, fashion, or singing.  I’m still working on this.  I recently connected with a former co-worker that became an entrepreneur.  She had been preparing for the transition all year.

5. Count every experience as a life lesson.  I took away some valuable experiences from my last position. There were days that I felt appreciated; there were other days that I felt like less than a person.  In any case, I had an opportunity to gain leadership skills and develop my public speaking skills.

Please feel free to share your job search experiences and advice that has helped in your development.