The Joy of Life Through Exercise

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Lately I’ve been really pushing myself more than ever when it comes to working out and eating right. I realize that there is a joy in working out. Once you finish your challenge of the day, your mind becomes clearer, your body becomes stronger and regenerated, and you have added energy to conquer your day that follows.

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I have increased the number of days that I work out during the week by one, so now I am working out 3 days a week as opposed to 2. I find that this has made a huge difference in the results that I am seeing. Someone once told me that if I want to lose weight, I should follow the 80% diet and 20% exercise plan. Although I may not stick to this 100% or all of the time, I try to use this theory as a guideline.

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Over the past two months, I have been going at it hard, in a good way! Just last week, on Tuesday, I did a 2 and a half hour workout without weights. It was mostly cardio focused and walking up the stairs around 20 times and then coming down. Also, along with the walking, we challenged ourselves by skipping some steps along the way. That really burned! When we reached level 5, we stopped and did 3 sets of 10 burpees. My fitness mentor really likes to challenge us.

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I’m really looking forward to the summer because we’ll be taking longer power walks with weights up and down hills. I like working out outdoors because it forces you to be creative and come up with new and wicked workouts. Sometimes just being in a gym can get a little bit boring and repetitive. In terms of my fitness journey, I want to keep going because working out brings me so much joy and confidence in my life. I may not be Arnold Schwarzenegger now or in the next 5 years, but as long as I strive to be healthy and fit, I will make it to my own standards.

Here are some exercises that I enjoy doing even though most of the time they kill me, but I still enjoy it:

  1. Burpees – the worst/best but most effective. This exercises engages your abs, your legs, your arms, pretty much your entire body. Great full body workout that my Fitness Mentor has introduced me to. I hate it, but I love it.
  2. Squat and Side Lift with Weights
  3. Around the World with Weights – great for your arms
  4. Tricep Dips, The Fly, and Bicep Curls
  5. Jackhammer Exercise
  6. Planks – different variations to target different areas of the body
  7. Mountain Climbs

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While you are working out, it’s all about mind over matter. When you can push yourself beyond your capacity and limits, you are truly growing and your muscles will thank you in the long run. My fitness mentor always says you gotta push, you gotta make your muscles cry in order to get results. If you don’t believe me, come with me one day and you will see what I’m talking about. It’s all about the transformation of the mind, the heart, spirit, the soul, to transform an unhealthy body into a healthy body. At the end of every workout, we often say “Healthy body, healthy mind”. Peace and blessings, happy Easter everyone!

 

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2017 – The Year of Transformation

It’s 2017, the year of transformation. When I look back over my life, I have seen some results. I can remember as if it was yesterday when I entered the arena of exercise. I was so new to this world of exercise. It was overwhelming, unpleasant, and not really enjoyable at first. I thought, why do people put themselves through this torture?

Now, I can’t imagine a life without working out. Being active is super important to me and I make it a priority and a way of life. I have to dedicate at least 2 days of work outs and have recently been trying to improve my eating habits by choosing healthier meals.

In terms of my fitness goals for 2017, I would really like to work on getting those 6 pack abs. My toughest challenge will be to figure out which foods are healthy and will help me to get buff. I love food, so it’s going to be a challenge to  let go of some of those foods that will erase my 6 pack from manifesting itself. I will keep you guys updated on that. Wish me luck

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In order for transformation to take place, you have to be prepared beginning with your mind, heart, and spirit, and soul. You have to really understand what it is you want to transform within yourself, why you want to transform within yourself, and what steps must be taken. I really saw a lot of positive changes within myself towards the ending of 2016 and I am continuing this journey of personal growth in the year of 2017 – the year of transformation.

True transformation is never easy and takes time and lot of hard work, but it worth it in the end. After every workout session, we have a saying and it goes like this: “Healthy boy, healthy mind, Woooooooooo…..” This is not just a saying, but has become a way of life for me. I am encouraged to go on and inspire others to do what you have to do to make it in life. Change can lead you to your goals and transform you into the best person you can be. Never give up, stay positive, and always grow! Welcome to the world of transformation!

The True Meaning of Happiness in 2017

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Over the past three years, many people have been looking for the true meaning of happiness. The true meaning of happiness comes when you are secure in what you are looking for, and secure with yourself. The true meaning of happiness can only come from within. Many people are trying to look for happiness in all the wrong places and people such as money, power, sex. Over the years, true happiness comes from within.

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When I look at sunshine I see happiness. Going to the park and hearing the birds chirp and the water flowing reminds me of happiness. Happiness is not just in playing bingo but a way of life that we can all create for ourselves if we start within. You can find happiness everywhere if you are content and at peace with your soul, but you can also find unhappiness everywhere if you are not satisfied with yourself.

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I also found happiness in helping and relating with people who are experiencing mental health issues because I myself am a mental health advocate. Helping others brings me happiness because I know that even if I make a positive difference in one person’s day I know I have done a good job. Doing good things, being a good person, putting my best foot forward, will always make me happy. I realize that happiness also comes from having a good wholesome relationship with God and also having a good and wholesome relationship with your fellow men. Having some type of faith, whatever you believe in, can keep you grounded and lead you to happiness.

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Just viewing life and being around people makes me happy. I realize that to make myself happy I’ve got to drop off unhappiness first. Anything that is negative, that hurts me, that puts me down, must be dropped off. All I want in my life is positivity all around me. As I look in life, many people really don’t know what happiness is all about and it’s very sad. They are so focused on material possessions that they forget to appreciate what really matters. I think what really matters is our family, our good friends, our faith, and of course, our health. If we are healthy, loved (even if we are super popular) we should be grateful and happy.

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One of my mentors always says “I am living my life like it’s golden” and I believe that living this way brings happiness. I believe that happiness should be expressed in the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you dress, and the way you act. Spread your happiness because happiness is contagious…just like love is contagious!! Yes we can be happy, and we deserve to be happy. Peace out ya’ll, see you next time! 🙂

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Welcome to 2017: The Year of Greatness

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As we look back to 2016, it was a hard year for some of us, we had to make changes, and change came and we left 2016. Some people couldn’t keep up and they were left behind in 2016 but for me, I’m pressing forward and I’m changing little by little for the better! I hope that for those that weren’t able to keep up in 2016, that 2017 brings them more strength, positivity, and hope.

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Today’s blog post will be about my 2017 goals and this is not a new years resolution, but just some things that I want to continue improving on:

  1. Keep on exercising and pushing myself. My ultimate goal this year is to get a gym membership at this new gym I have been trying.
  2. Find more salsa and zumba classes to join this year.
  3. Co-Facilitating WRAP groups
  4. Educate myself more on all things mental health and make connections with mental health advocates
  5. Blog more and share my stories with the WordPress community 🙂
  6. Be a good friend and a good advocate
  7. Be an example of good things to come
  8. Do more communicating with other and be more self-aware
  9. Constantly work on myself to improve on the knowledge that I have
  10. Understand that the sky is the limit
  11. Be willing to change and grow in order to reach my goals
  12. Help others who are in need

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There are steps that I need to take in order to achieve these goals. It may not be easy but it is worth it because I’m starting to like challenging myself. While I’m challenging myself, I see the changes in my every day life such as 1. I’m not as tired as I used to be, I have more energy. 2. I have more of a determination and positive and outlook. 3. There is a fire that is within my hear that is not going out. 4. I’m stepping up and I’m challenging myself to be better. I will be better. In the wise words of our North American President, Barack Obama, “YES WE CAN, YES WE WILL, and YES WE DID”.

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In closing, change is not as dangerous as we think it is. Change can help you get yourself together and press on to do what needs to be done in life. Good change is great for our growth.

 

 

What to Anticipate in the New Year: 2017

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2016 was a rocky year at first but I think the challenges tested me and forced me to grow as a person. I was watching WWE a couple of weeks ago and my favourite wrestler came back and his name is Goldberg. After fighting Brock Lesnar, he said in his speech, “I came, I fought, and I conquered the beast called Brock Lesnar“. In 2016 there were a lot of challenges. Many ups and downs but I grew and I am still growing.

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To be honest with you, the most significant changes that I personally saw and adapted were fitness related. I know that I worked out hard this year and dedicated my time and sweat into maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I can see that it is paying off. Although I am so happy about this, what made me really happy was  hearing feedback from some people close to me that I have changed (for the better) and grown as a person in this year. That was really nice to hear it motivates me to continue living my life as positive as I can be, to help others when I can, and sometimes I am learning just to say no when asked to do something. I think I have been kinder this year to others, but I have also learned when to put my foot down and where to draw the line.

I’ve learned also that people come and people go. Just this past month I’ve celebrated my 43rd birthday and it feels good! Even though I did not do anything special for my birthday, I went to the gym! And I pushed myself past my limit! But it’s great just to know that I am alive, I’m well, and I’m just happy to make it to another birthday. I’m living life like it’s golden!

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As 2016 is coming to an end, I still think that many of us can still make it if we put ourselves in high gear and end the year strong. When you end the year strong, you have momentum to go with you into 2017! 2016 is about naming and claiming things that you want in life but in 2017 I declare that it is the year of manifestation and victory! We need change in so many aspects of our lives and change comes with challenges but we can make it.

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In 2017, I would like to:

  1. Going to the gym
  2. Do more studying – about anything and everything, learn more
  3. Help people with their problems aka WRAP Training, Peer Facilitator
  4. Teach Fitness at Routes
  5. Listen more, speak less and know when to say no
  6. Get your passport
  7. Save some more money
  8. Explore Toronto some more
  9. Make new friends
  10. Take some more salsa and zumba classes
  11. Enjoy life
  12. Look for love ..in the right places
  13. Be a positive influence in life
  14. Start travelling
  15. Be grateful

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I will be posting another blog post before the new year, but I do want to wish you all a Happy, joyous, and safe time in December. I know how busy this time of year is and we are so busy with last minute preparations, gifts, etc. but don’t forget to appreciate the little things in life because when we realize what we have and what we know it will propel us and ground us and we will be unmovable in 2017! For those who want to go to the gym and can’t, just go for a walk, a light jog. Just start! You’ll feel great! Peace!

 

What it Means to Resolve Things in Life

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re·solve
rəˈzälv
verb
verb: resolve; 3rd person present: resolves; past tense: resolved; past participle: resolved; gerund or present participle: resolving
 1. settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter).
2. to deal with (a question, a matter of uncertainty, etc.) conclusively; settle; solve.
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I’ve been looking over my life for the past couple of days and I have seen where I need to resolve some things– not only with myself but with my surroundings as well. I realize if I don’t resolve things I will end up with a heavy heart, a heavy mind, and a heavy spirit, not including a heavy body as well. I realize that I needed to say “I forgive you” and it takes a lot to say those 3 words.

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I was watching a program on TV and the host was talking about resolving issues in our lives. I realized I really needed to be the bigger person and tackle these issues head on by resolving them. Sometimes it’s hard to say I am sorry but I realize I have to do it because I need and want to be free.

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So many people are afraid to admit that they need help and support and I’ve realized that even the smallest act of kindness can impact those that are hurting or suffering. Saying sorry is not easy, but living your life with a peaceful mind will translate into your relationships. Because saying sorry is not always easy for me, and for many people, I have learned that there are other ways to say sorry. You can say sorry through many different ways.. and one of those ways is through your actions. Showing kindness, respect, showing that you are attentive to people’s needs and feelings, giving back, and not holding any grudges are other ways that you can show someone that you are sorry.

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To me, resolving means that you are actually making a decision in order to come out of the situation. I think when trying to resolve a situation with another person, true resolution happens when both parties can come to common understand, or at least peacefully agree to disagree. That is one of the steps of resolving personal issues that you are facing in life.

Peace On Earth
Peace On Earth

The Joy of Thanksgiving

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           It’s been a while since my last blog post and I know that Thanksgiving was a few weeks ago but I still want to run with the Thanksgiving spirit. Many people, including myself, have a lot to be thankful for even if we don’t live in a glamorous mansion or have the most money to our name. We are breathing, if we are lucky enough we have the opportunity to eat, to smile, to be surrounded by friends and family and for some of us, we have the opportunity to blog and share out stories with the world. We have a lot to give God thanks for even if sometimes we feel like we don’t have enough. Some of us are lucky enough to rely on family and friends for support, but unfortunately not everyone has family or friends that they can rely on.
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Thanksgiving can also be a time of laughter, a time to meet up with friends, and also a time where people can find love – it all depends on what you are willing to open yourself up to! The possibilities are endless as long as you have an open and positive mindset. Just this past week, my church held a Culture Day which brought people together from all walks of life. I really enjoyed this because I felt like it carried on the Thanksgiving spirit as we all found ways to relate to each other. This year on Thanksgiving I went out with friends, made new friends, and had a good time overall– Thanksgiving was good and golden! But when I looked out into world or even reflected on my surroundings, I kept in mind that not everyone is as fortunate as we are or as I am. Keeping this in mind, I humbly appreciate what I have in life and I pray that each person can find their own peace and joy at some moment.
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On Thanksgiving I got a phone call that brought tears to my eyes from my sister who lives in British Columbia. She called me and said to me,”Brother, I love you and I know mom loves you too. I’m just hoping that your Thanksgiving was very good and hope to see you soon.” This was a very special moment in my life and it meant a lot because I realize that family does matter. We may not talk every single day, but when we do talk it is a reminder of how much we mean to each other and how connected we are despite the distance.
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A little bit before Thanksgiving, a group of us enrolled ourselves in some Salsa Classes which was a very enjoyable experience! The Salsa Classes lasted 6 weeks and took place every Tuesday. I never danced Salsa before, or at least not professionally, but it was an experience I will never forget. It was fun, challenging, and if you think you ARE in shape…salsa will really put you to the test! But fortunately, with a bit of work and some struggle, I passed. I used muscles in my body that I never even knew existed during these classes! The class is over now but I am looking forward to taking Salsa Classes in the future and would even consider learning Merengue and Bachata! I have discovered a new-found passion for dance and if you have any contacts in Toronto please feel free to let me know so I can let my group know and we can experience the joy of salsa dancing together…please…hook a brother up! 🙂
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I never knew that Salsa and Zoomba were so similar and now I realize that truly, I have lot to be thankful for. The opportunities that are presented to me to be able to experience these wonderful moments with people from different cultures allow me to grow as a person and for that I am truly thankful. It’s nice to be back and I will continue blogging and I look forward to reading your blog posts! And maybe we can all attend a Salsa Class together because salsa is good! Peace 🙂
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