Not So Fast…

Yesterday marked 30 days since I started my latest 30 day challenge and unfortunately I did not get the results I wanted out of it. On August 13th I downloaded an app called “Lose weight in 30 days” and was excited to get on with it. It gives daily exercises and a meal plan to follow and promises that you will lose weight in the 30 days…

I cannot give an actual review of the app as I did not follow the meal plan and after two weeks I stopped doing the exercises. As it turns out this app was not for me. It did not engage me and it did not excite me at all.

Not to be defeated though I have since bought myself an elliptical machine and has been using it three days per week. I have not lost any weight in the past 30 days but thankfully I have not gained any either .

The journey continues in trying to get the weight down and overall get healthier…

~Shermaine

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How I Lost 7lbs in Two Weeks

When I decided at the beginning of June that I would change my life (again) weight-loss was definitely very close to the top of the list of things I had to work on immediately. So I set out on documenting my food and after 21 consecutive days of doing so I visited a nutritionist for some advice on how to move forward.

His recommendation was that I go through a 2 week detox programme that would cleanse me and get me ready to transform my body. The detox consisted of 5 juices  per day and all the fruits and jelly coconut water I could afford. It sounded easy enough but the price was very high. I decided none the less to the push forward and signed up.

The nutritionist makes all the juices fresh each day so it is understandable that payment had to be made upfront and in cash. My pocket cried but I needed this and I was committed.

The first day was very hard for me. I’m used to eating my three fried eggs with three slices of bread and a large cup of tea for breakfast, fried chicken for lunch and maybe some more fried chicken for dinner.

So I put on my big girl pants and tried to not think of the 70 juices to come. And oh what an experience it was!! 

Each day the juices came numbered but not labelled so each juice was a whole new experience and sometimes a not so pleasant surprise. I bought fruits as often as I could and tried to eat between the juices to ensure I didn’t get hungry.

The programme would’ve been very easy if I was doing it at home but adding in the complexities of my job as an event planner gave me mini heart attacks on some days.

In the end I completed the two weeks 7 lbs lighter than I had started and with two less inches off my waste. 

The 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge App

It’s easy to lose interest in putting in the work necessary to lose weight especially after the honeymoon phase is over and I can attest to that.

So I decided to start another weight loss challenge, something to get my spark back. This time I’m using an app for guidance and I’m anxiously excited about it.

The app is called “Lose Weight in 30 Days” and while it makes no promises on how much weight you will lose in the 30 days I’m setting a goal for myself for 5lbs in 30 days.

The app gives workouts and a meal plan so I’ll try to stay as close to it as possible.

So… Hello new challenge the next 5lbs depends on you!!

Wish me luck!!

~Shermaine

My Compound Effect Project

Day 22…

It takes 21 days to create a habit, they say… Today I am at DAY 22!!

On June 1st I started my journey to a healthier life for the one millionth time. 

If you’ve been following my blog over the years you may be rolling your eyes now and thinking here we go again and understandably so, but bear with me because this time will be different.

Yes… I know I’ve also said that before and you have no faith in my words anymore but I’m asking for a little trust here… Trust that this time my approach is different, trust that this time I’m more committed than ever before, trust that this time it’s more than just about losing the pounds but a move to literally change and possibly save my life.

When I turned 27 on April 30th this year I decided that the next year of my life would be life changing. I had already set the ground work over the past year for some bold moves to come and I am ready to move full seed ahead. I detailed my goals and my next steps in my little notebook and immediately started to figure out how I’d be achieving them.

One such goal is to learn as much as possible from some of the greatest minds in the world. From this goal my Journey to 300 books was born (a quest to read 300 books that will ultimately make me the best version of myself). I opted to start with books about life lessons and Book3of300 is what gave me the nudge I needed to restart my journey to a healthier me.

Book3of300 is Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect which I listened to free of charge on mixcloud.com. The principle the book teaches is very simple but really profound and I plan to listen to it a few more times over the next few months.

In his book Hardy posits that if you make small changes, and commit to them over time the results will be compounded and inevitably yield amazing results. This resonated with me because every time I have embarked on my weight-loss or healthy lifestyle journey in the past I literally ran into it trying to change everything all at once and of course I would always lose steam after a week or two.

I listened as Hardy advised that in order to create new and healthy habits I would first need to become acutely aware of my bad habits. I would have to understand what caused these habits and what contributes to their success and eventually it would be easier to break them. There is no magic formula, there is no overnight sustainable fix… this would  take time and I will have to commit.

Before I even got to wondering how I would be able to achieve my desired results Hardy provided the answer. TRACKING!! Choose one thing you want to change and spend 21 days tracking every detail relating to it, he said, and so my food tracking began.

I bought a small notebook that goes everywhere I do and everything that goes to my mouth gets recorded. I’ve only forgotten to make the recording for two days over that period while I was working and quickly moved to rectify that.

I must confess that after 21 days I am surprised at how my eating has changed. By week two I had started to rethink some things I would normally eat because I started to feel a little cute about the possibility of using a second page for one day. And for week three I had started to plan from the night before what I wanted to eat for the following day and moved to pack a lunch kit to take to work with healthier snack options.

On Day 21 I decided to visit a nutritionist for a consultation. The cost burnt a hole in my pocket and his recommendation of a two week juice only detox programme along with exercise has hurt my heart but I’m busy figuring out how to fund it all because afterall, I only have one body and would love to be able to fit into my clothes again and would love to enjoy it for many years to come!

PS… I was craving a slice of Oreo cheesecake to celebrate my 22 DAY 22 milestone but then I’d have to write that down in my little notebook and that wouldn’t look too good with all the progress I’ve made… So I’ll just smile as I eat this Oikos Black Cherry Yogurt and prepare for my upcoming 14 day juice only detox programme…

Stay with me on my journey, I have a feeling it’s going to be an exciting ride.

I’ll keep you posted!

~Shermaine

Learning to Forgive

I am learning to accept that apology that was never offered… Learning to let go of things I cannot control… Learning to allow people to fix their own mistakes… Learning that hatred locks me in a prison from which only I can free myself… Learning that I am more than my past and I am destined for greatness… Learning to let go and let God… 
I am Learning to Forgive!
~Shermaine

2017… One Day at a time

It’s hard for me to believe that we’re only two months into 2017 as so much has happened to me and with me over the past few weeks.

I’ve been blissfully happy and painfully sad, laughed til I cried and just plain cried because I didn’t know what else to do… I started this year with an overall plan for improved health, wealth, friendships and adventures and so far it’s been an emotional ride.

Looking back I’m thankful for each experience and I am both excited and scared for what the rest of the year will bring.

So far this year I…

  • spent a whole day catching up with two of my dearest friends
  • took a trip to California and spent a week attending the Special Event Show and exploring Long Beach and Hollywood
  • bought a purse that cost more than all the purses I’ve ever bought for myself combined
  • worn makeup more times that I did for all of last year combined (if you know me you know this is a significant achievement)
  • took a trip to Westwood High with the bestie to attend the launch of our 135th anniversary celebrations (first time back in 10 years),
  • freaked out about work thinking that it’s all too much and I’m in over my head
  • felt frustrated by work and feeling like I’ve reach my limit with my current department
  • found the faith to remind myself that all things are possible through God
  • planned and executed two major live shows (Magnum Live and Redemption Live Concerts) … while working on several other projects as well
  • Bought into my company’s IPO… got a good enough number of shares that have now doubled in value in just three weeks
  • cleared a COK Debt con loan that I had taken out two years ago to pay off the Student’s Loan Bureau
  • lent money to someone I swore I never would again because he said he’d otherwise end up in jail
  • keep switching between giving up on the weight loss plan and being very motivated to keep going
  • “runalked” the Sagicor Sigma 5k run in 53:11 minutes
  • went on a “venue hunting” site visit  which turned into a road trip to Westend in Negril… absolutely stunning venues!!
  • gone through last term’s reports with the kids and dealt with the fact that 2 out of three are failing school
  • hit an all time low feeling I have failed the kids and they in turn have started to fail school
  • gotten angrier at my mother’s first born for her lack or contribution to her kids and her lack of concern that they are now failing
  • got a Valentine’s gift that melted my heart… “Nuts about you” he said 🙂
  • had to accept the fact that  Canadian High Commission didn’t trust that I would return home after visiting their country so they denied my request for a temporary resident’s visa… which ultimately means my plans to travel to see the hubby for his birthday next month are cancelled
  • cried myself to sleep realizing that I will not be seeing the hubby for another 5 months at least
  • missed out an a chance to visit lime cay for the first time ever cause I was too scared on going on the yacht because I can’t swim…
  • tried to encourage others to be their best selves even while admitting that I have a long way to go
  • spent waaaay too much money between the Dermatologist and the Dentist

I could go on, really I could… but for now I’ll stop here. Let’s see what more is in store for me this year…

As the journey continues I remain committed to improving health, wealth, friendships and adventures.

Cheers!

~ Shermaine

Facing the problem

Argument after argument after argument… It’s frustrating, it’s tiring, it’s depressing and all you want to do is escape.

Tempers are high, tension is rife, somebody is tired of always trying to make peace and somebody just wants to be right for once… Nobody seems to be able to calm down and think.

Think about what the real issue is. Why is it a problem that the phone rang, why is there an argument about the colour of the sky, why are you chastising him because he tried to help… why?

Nobody stops to think that maybe the one million little things are making a giant arrow which points to a much larger issue. Nine times out of ten, an argument about every little thing is an indication that there is something that needs to be discussed but both parties have been dancing around the issue.

Now, humour me for a moment and let us imagine that you are deadly afraid of dogs.

Its Friday evening you’ve had a pretty rough week and you just want to go home. You rush out of work early and as fate would have it there is a bus just ready to leave as soon as you get to the buS park. You start thinking of your weekend to come and you cant help but smile, some well needed rest and relaxation awaits you.

You smile sweetly as you disembark the bus and start walking towards your home. In 5 minutes the stressful week will officially be over and you can relax. All is right with the world… until you notice that there is a huge dog in the road up ahead. You walk this route everyday and you’ve never seen it before.

Fear kicks in and you freeze on the spot. What will you do?

You have three choices; you can turn back, you can remain as you are or you can continue and past the dog.

Choice number one and two doesn’t help you at all cause you don’t get to your desired destination. Choice number three is your only hope of getting home to that peaceful and relaxing place yet there are many things that will pass through your mind; will this dog attack you, can you outrun it if it comes down to that… all in all it is a risk you have to take.

Getting to that place of comfort will involve great risk.

That issue, that problem, that concern that you’re avoiding, it will only get worse if you don’t face it. And like that dog in the road its going nowhere until you do something about it.

Talk it through, find a solution… it might not be the solution you want it to be but it might be what is best for you in the long run.

Toodles,
Sherjei

UWI does this…

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DURING MY GRADUATION AT UWI IN 2011

During my time at the University of the West Indies I accompanied a friend of mine to the Writer’s Club on campus. She’s an excellent poet so she was right at home from the beginning…me, not so much. It just wasn’t my scene so after a few weeks I never went back.

I’ve often been told that everything we come in contact with impacts on our lives whether we realize or not and I do believe that to be true. Sitting here this morning reflecting on my years at university I think back to my first day at the Writers Club. Prezzi (as the leader was affectionately called) led the group in a chain poem entitled “UWI does this…” I was both amazed and amused at different people’s perception of the institution and the various struggles one had to face while being there. Most people had something bad to say but there was this one guy who tried to interject ever so often to remind everyone of the good the UWI does.

I don’t recall what UWI had done to all those people but I’ll never forget what UWI did for me and to me.

Being the last of my parents’ 5 children and the first one to go to university, UWI for me was an honour. It was as much for me as it was for my parents. It was also my shot at a better life than they could’ve imagines possible… UWI was my door to the rest of the world…

UWI was a place where I met so many people from so many different backgrounds and learnt more about culture in a single classroom at Carimac than I had studying Caribbean history in high school…

UWI was the place where old friendships blossomed and some died while simultaneously new ones were formed and lifetime connections were made.

UWI was the place where I met my future husband, the man who charmed me then, held my hand through my struggles since and has believes in and motivates me to this day.

Oh and yes… UWI is the place that gave me a degree Bachelors of Arts Degree in Media and Communication with a specialization in television broadcasting from the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (Carimac)

Everyone has their own ideas of the noble institution that is UWI, but for me UWI will always hold a special place in my heart. UWI played a significant role in making me the woman that I am today.

Sincerely,
Shermaine Grant B.A. (Aspiring PMP)

Walk by faith and not by sight…

I was going through some old draft posts and decided I would share this one from 5 years ago rather than deleting it…

“The woman who left home without enough money to get back but came back with change in her purse… My mother.

I recently graduated from the University of the West Indies Mona and is now staring down over a million dollars of debt to be repaid over a 7 year period as my students’ loan has a ridiculous interest rate. Of course I knew this going into Uni but I went ahead and signed all the papers knowing that it was my only chance to get that first degree in short order. What i didn’t know then was that the thought of repaying $1.2 million would be so stressful. Mark you I have not started repaying just yet so for now its merely the thought that is causing my beautiful black hair to become lightly decorated with a colour I didn’t choose to add to it.

Now I do have a job (if you can call it that) but at the amount I will have to pay per month I wouldn’t have enough left to get back to work the next month so of course I start worrying. But my mother has insisted that I don’t stress myself with it as everything will be just fine.

I’ve never been able to understand the level of faith by which my mother lives as she has smiled in the face of one adversity after the other.

In my short lifetime I’ve cried, shied away from challenges and sold myself short because for some reason I believed that there’s no way I could make it through.

But I’ve come to realize over time that my mother is right.

I rushed into a job that pays me very little and has no benefits partly because I thought I may not get lucky in the short term and I couldn’t afford to not work as the bills have to be paid.

I’ve always said I only want half the heart my mother has because I honestly believe her kindness would be her demise. But as times passed I came to realize that it is the blessings that she has accumulated through said kindness that have allowed her to survive all she has been through.

I still think I’ll be lucky to have half the heart that my mother has but having a heart just like hers wouldn’t hurt either.

Here are a few bible verses that gives me comfort…

  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we live by faith, not by sight.
  • Romans 8:24 – For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
  • 1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
  • Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

5 years later… I have cleared the student loan debt, her faith has not wavered and I am still praying to have a heart like hers.

Sincerely,
Shermaine

The Cure for World Hunger

If you came here to find the cure for world hunger then let me apologize now for having misled you as I have very recently learnt that I do not have the cure. I have however some advise for those who may be struggling on a weight loss journey as I am.

I have spent years, many many years, forcing myself to eat all the food on my plate because I was so concerned that I was wasting food while there were starving children in Africa (or downtown Kingston for that matter). But the more I think about this the more I realize that I have been absolutely crazy!!

How exactly is my over-indulgence going to assist anyone else? While I eat to the point of discomfort, these persons are still very much hungry and whether I chose to toss what I really should not force myself to chug down or to leave it for later these people will not even know.

There are several ways to assist those persons across the world who may indeed be dying of hunger but trust me when I say overeating is not one of them. All overeating does is

So I’m learning… learning that it is ok to not eat everything on the plate. My waistline may actually thank me for it.

On November 15, 2016 I started my weight loss journey again and today, 61 days later, I am trying to adjust my mindset as I have no progress to show for the two months that have passed. To be honest my workouts have not been frequent enough and my eating habits still need some work.

But this is a journey. A journey that does not promise to be easy but on I will take one day at a time as I kick one negative habit at a time.

Negative habit number one that must go is the feeling that I must eat everything I have on my plate… I must learn to manage my portions.

After all I’m not curing world hunger!

Toodles,
Shermaine