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

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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

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

You Are Exactly Where You Need To Be

We spend so much time each day trying to escape from where we are that we often miss the beauty of this life as it passes us by.

We get so caught up in what isn’t and what should’ve and could’ve been that we fail to see what IS.

It is natural for us to look back on our life and wonder how different it would have been if we had made a different decision in high school or college or at any random juncture, but these thoughts can sometimes do more harm than good.

The reality is there is no way to change the past (unless that time machine has been invented and someone is hiding it from us). So while we reminisce we must avoid getting caught up in the “if only’s” and focus instead on using all the lessons learnt from the past to assist in being more engaged in the present and ultimately chart the course we want for the future.

It is also natural for us to compare ourselves to others and wonder how they are “so far ahead” while we seem to be struggling by. Remember though that everyone has their own journey and no two lives are exactly the same.

Develop the habit of celebrating your own successes, regardless of how small you may think they are and be genuinely happy for the success of others and you will find that this is far more rewarding for you than the comparisons.

Today I challenge you as I am challenging myself, be present in THIS moment in your life! Appreciate the ability to dream about new adventures and experiences while knowing that today is just as miraculous as your dreams. Know within yourself that you can make a difference not just in your life but in the lives of those around you by choosing to focus on the positives that exists.

When you examine your life you may find that you may not have ended up where you wanted to go but trust that in this moment you are right where you need to be.

~ Shermaine

I am Just Right

My feelings as told by Ralph Marston at greatday.com

Just right

You’re not too old, too young, too rich, too poor, too big or too small, too outgoing or too shy, too ambitious or too lazy. You’re you, and you are just right.

You’ve learned from what you’ve done and from the consequences you’ve experienced, and now you’re ready to move forward with that accumulation of wisdom. Instead of judging what and where you’ve been, put your focus on visualizing what you can now do.

Don’t get caught up in deciding whether you have too much or too little. Simply decide what the best next step is, and take it.

If you’re constantly comparing yourself with others, you’re missing the point. You are who you are, and there’s enormous value in that, and it’s time to give your own special gifts to life.

Find great delight in fellowship with others, but don’t feel like you have to imitate them. The best thing you have to offer is you, so let go of the pretenses and worries and just have fun being yourself.

You are perfectly positioned to have a positive and unique impact on the world. So instead of fretting about being too much of this or that, just accept the way you are at this moment in time and do something wonderful with it all.

— Ralph Marston

Hello younger Me… Don’t forget to live

If you could talk to a younger you what would you say?

Would you talk about work, family, relationships, money? Would you give a warning, some words of advice or would you be lost for words and not know what to say?

Recently Olivia sent me an email titled “Thought of the Day”. In that email was a link that led me to a story about a 30 second conversation with your younger self and Its been playing on mind mind since. What would I say to a younger me?

5 years ago I would be starting University. 5 years ago I had very different plans for my life than I have today. Essentially over the past 5 years I have evolved significantly. So what would I say to myself then… Do I warn myself about the courses to choose and what major to do, Do i warn myself about the guys to date, Do I warn myself about some life changing decisions to come…There are so many things to say but with only 30 seconds to talk its hard to choose…

But the more I think about what to say the more it becomes clear what it is I would need to say.

All I would tell myself is to live. Forget about the world and just live!

I’ve spent so much of my life being responsible and doing the right thing that sometimes I wonder if I’ve enjoyed life enough. Have I given myself a chance to create some amazing memories?

I was told by a friend of mine recently that I’m trying to come out of my little box but its still obvious that I’m not very bold. This after I refused advise to buy a shorts with my butt cheeks exposed and bright coloured pants that scream please stare at me!

While I laughed at the time and tried to play it off I’ve given more thought to it after and it has stayed in the back of my mind. I was grown very sheltered. My parents were conservative and instilled certain values in me that has resulted in me subconsciously erring on the side of caution more times than not. So although I love the light green striped skirt on the mannequin in the store I walk to the rack to check whether they have it in black and white instead… That way I can wear the skirt with more tops and it wont stand out too much.

If I could talk to myself 5 years ago for just 30 seconds i would tell me to forget the world and just live… same thing I’m telling myself now.

Forget the world and Live. Make the most of everyday! Tomorrow is promised to no one!

“When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Toodles,

Sherjei

Inner Peace

Nena__)Some days inner peace comes easier than others but without it everything seems that much harder to accomplish. Take a moment today to relax and appreciate the small things in life.
In all things be thankfully and ask God to grant you the peace that passeth all understanding.

Philippians 4:6-8
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, ifthere is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things.

MEDITATE on THESE things!
Have a great Sunday!!

Sherjei

Motivation…

After Spending 3 days at home with food poisoning I’m heading back to work tomorrow and I’m not feeling up to it. I have slept for countless hours yet I am very tired and having eaten very little solid food since Monday I have zero energy.

I’ve been browsing through WordPress trying to find some motivation to settle my mind so I can sleep peacefully and head out early tomorrow and these quotes have given me some form of piece so far…

“One day we’ll all realise that feeling uninspired should be inspiration enough.” – Justin David Cox, Designer

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make. ~ Author unknown

The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.”

“I don’t need to know my final destiny right now, all I need to worry about is just getting on the path!!”

*inhales* *exhales*

now that I’m calm I need to get some sleep and try to make the most of tomorrow.

Toodles!

Sherjei