Tuesday, January 8, 2013

When life gives you lemons...make lemonade!!!

Over break I visited my main chiropractor. He was proud of my weight loss and wanted to look over my lower back and neck to see how things were shaping up and how recovery was going. I told him I was getting there although I couldn't run unless my life counted on it, and I was making sure to be careful with how I lifted and moved heavy objects. After talking with him about Rugged Maniac he pulled out my x rays and pointed to my lower spine. He told me not to run, or walk extreme inclines unless I wanted have more episodes like I had before or a surgery in my near future. His overall goal was to keep me from having surgery due to a deteriorating lower disc and work on creating a healthy spine.

I will say that my chiropractors have saved me a lot of pain and frustration, reduced my headaches, and they have been the best medicine for me. Thank God! I asked him for approved workout routines and he said: Pilates, yoga, swimming, biking, and walking. To my misfortune I will not be competing in this years Rugged Maniac but I will be researching into competitions for swimming and biking for the future.

Today I started back on my routine and enjoyed working out to my NY Ballet DVD. Had a healthy day of nutritious foods and enjoy not having early morning classes. I'm thankful there are other routines and ways to workout and create a healthy spine and back. Also that the Lord made me an optimist and not a Debby Downer.  Just because I was given some lemons doesn't mean I can't continue my path to a healthier me. I'm gonna make some strawberry lemonade and continue my journey because frankly I'm feeling a bit parched. (Yeeaahhh that was kinda cheesy hehe)


Oh side note:  I found out over break I'm down a pants size and shirt size, and my heart rate has decreased. I use to be 99 now I'm between 60-70. -happy dance-

Also my overall goals for this semester: 
To be more on time and prompt with my blog.
Increase Flexibility
Increase Lower Back Strength
Continue Weight Loss!
Read more scripture!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Working Away The Back Pain

Verse of the Day:  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139: 7, 9-10, 23-24)

Song of the Day:  Psalm 145 by Shane and Shane

Sorry this came out today, but there were so many videos to sort through. I hope these will help your back relieve your back pain as they have helped me. I have used and found majority of these videos very helpful and beneficial. Enjoy, and I'll see you tomorrow afternoon for Allergy Free Recipes!

Yoga Videos: 


Yoga Video 1 (12 Minutes) 
This is a 12 minute yoga video for beginners that will help stretch and strengthen your lower back. Repeated every morning will provide a great start to your day.

Yoga Video 2 (11 Minutes)
This will work on your hip flexers. If you have a job that requires you to sit a lot throughout the day working through this routine will help ease tension throughout your lower back. 

Spinal Tonic (39 Minutes)
This sequence targets lower back pain, and is conducted in an injury-prevention healing mode.

Yoga Playlist
Here is a yoga for lower back pain playlist with additional videos you may find useful as well! Some of them are very informative

Pilates:

Blogilates All time favorite website and girl to go to for challenges, Pilates, and awesome workout routines. She makes her workouts fun, informative, and enjoyable. Also you fill the burn! This will help strength your lower back, especially the side muscles that support and protect your spine.

Other: 

Lower Back Stretches for Sciatica
Lower Back Exercise Demo (THIS WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR BACK)
Lumbar Spine Exercises Incredibly informative and useful!
Top 3 Exercises For Herniated Discs
Core Strengthening - Lower Back Injury Prevention with Rener Gracie

Swimming: 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I'm back!!!



Verse of the Day: Psalm 91:3-6
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Song of the Day: NeverOnce by Matt Redman




And I’m back! The past month has been packed full of midterms, finals, late nights of studying and packing my brain full of information, unending text, visual aids, and lectures that go on for days.  Even though I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge throughout the semester it’s during the last two weeks I unexpectedly attain a case of amnesia and any common sense or knowledge I’ve had about my family and the simple things I love in life are lost in translation. My brain goes on auto pilot picking and choosing what I will and can remember for the last two weeks of school. Then once the last question is answered, the final is turned in, and I walk out the door of that classroom a moment of excitement rushes through my body. Then and there just as the excitement emanated I’m slapped with exhaustion and an urge to escape the school, the town, and rush home away from any test that deals with multiple choice, scan trons, and essay format questionnaires rushes through me. 

Although for today I wanted to reflect on how far I’ve come and share some pictures of myself throughout my weight loss journey. Many say a journey starts with a solitary step, one moment in time when we decide to change the war that's on the inside and out.
I'm on the far left if you can't tell. I weighed 260lbs. I'm standing with my second youngest brother Kenny, middle sister Dawn, her daughter and my niece Faith, and my Dad and Step-Mom.

At the top right was my after my Step-Dad's funeral and one of the first College Night's back at Berea Campus Outreach. My sister in Christ and best friend Christin (Bottom Left) was there as well, who has been a blessing and has a major impact on my life spiritually as far as guiding me and setting me eyes back on the Lord when I just need to vent and discuss. I remember going to her house in Charleston one summer while her husband was training and I had an amazing spiritual rest and recovery that was desperately needed. Also we had a movie night, as you can see we went the whole nine yards hahaha. (Top Right) On the bottom left is my fraternity sister and best friend Britney we began the weight loss program together and had great success. She is always rooting and cheering me on and a great blessing with a warm heart.  (She is in the bottom left corner) 
I completed my first weight-loss plan with my fraternity sister and best friend. I weighed around 227lbs here. 

A few weekends later my mom came down and we celebrated with a trip to the beach! Because this girl looovess the sand and the sun! 
I began to become frustrated about not breaking 227lbs. Then over the summer I found outdoor activities I enjoyed such as hiking or swimming. I would find new trails to climb or track.
I would go to the beach, hit up the pool and swim laps. I know the pic is kinda scandalous hahaha but love you and do you! Eventually I reached 217 and lost another 10lbs by just enjoying life! Below is an image of my friend Rodrigo and I trying our best to look fierce at the pier and me right before finals were over! 

One thing about being fierce..learn how to love yourself at any shape and size, know how to be fierce and have confidence wherever you may go in this world. If folks try and bring you down..literally I have observed this..majority of the time it's their own insecurity at play..it really is I promise...and just say..I like to say this in a soulful voice because I know it to be true "Chiiillddd I'm beautifully and wonderfully made..because why The LORD says so..I'm His creation...and no matter what size, shape, or color of my skin. I'm gorgeous and down right fabulous." Or if you since they have low confidence say everything that you just said about yourself but make it about them, because they need to feel amazing too. People who are the hardest to love need the most love of all. I know you see that on Pinterest and it's a famous quote somewhere but don't forget about your haters pray for them as well. ^.^


 Thanks for reading and taking the time to vist my blog. This Friday I'll have post about how to workout with lower back pain and disc issues. Then for Soul Food Sunday I'll provide recipes and links to help you through Christmas with friends and family that have dairy, nut, and glutton allergies.

Catcha later alligators! 
MJ

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Soul Food Sunday: Lean and Low Carb




Verse: Psalms 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will 
guide thee with mine eye.
Song: Can't Stop Singing by Tyrus Morgan 



Today started off my healthy low carb wellness plan. I’m watching my fat intake as well and making sure to incorporate healthy lean proteins throughout my day and 1 tablespoon of oat bran. Next week I’ll bring in dark leafy greens and vegetables rich in nutrients. I wanted to share with you today’s recipes for Soul Food Sunday. Feel free to share and enjoy with others!



Breakfast for Champions

2 Eggs
1 Table Spoon of Quaker Oat Bran
1 Table Spoon of Plain Low Fat Greek Yogurt
2 Slices of Butterball Reduced Sodium Turkey Bacon

Mix together the first three ingredients, pour into nonstick frying pan and scramble!
Take your bacon and wrap the two slices in paper towel. Place then on a microwavable plate and set for 2 minutes. If you prefer to bake or fry your bacon make sure to pat the bacon dry to remove any excess grease.  

Lunch
Italian Balsamic Vinaigrette Chicken

1 Bag of Purdue’s Italian Single Serve Chicken Breast (serves 5)
½ Cup of Ken’s Steak House Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon minced Garlic
1 Single Serve Pack of Stevia
10 Slices of Turkey Bacon

Set your oven to 375 degrees. Add balsamic vinaigrette, minced garlic, and stevia to a small bowl and mix together. Now wrap two pieces of turkey bacon around each chicken breast and set to the side. Drizzle over the bacon covered chicken breast making sure they are thourely seasoned. Next take your chicken and seer in the flavor! Place chicken breast into the backing dish and toss in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Seared Tuna Steak w/ Avocado & Cilantro Lime Dressing
adapted from both Tyler Florence & Dr. Andrew Weill
serves 1
1 fresh tuna steak – as big as you are hungry
1/3 cup lite/low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly microplane-grated ginger
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 teaspoon stevia brown sugar
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 handful chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 haas avocado – cubed
sea salt & pepper
 
Prepare your dressing. Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, stevia brown sugar, and lime juice to a bowl, and whisk together.  Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking as you do, until incorporated into the dressing.  Taste, and adjust oil/salt/acidity if needed.  Add the chopped cilantro and mix gently. Set a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat, until its hot.  Season the tuna steak on one side with plenty of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. Place the tuna, seasoned side down, into the pan.  It should sizzle loudly.  Season the side facing up, allow the tuna steak to cook for just a minute, and then flip it over.  Immediately spoon a large spoonful of the dressing over the cooked side of tuna.  It will sizzle around the tuna as it cooks for barely one more minute, forming a syrupy glaze around the bottom of the tuna steak. Remove from the pan to a plate, top with the cubed avocado, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.  Enjoy.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Guest Post 1: Turning a Quest into a Lifetime!



Hector Miray: Father, Pastor, Husband, Creator of Five Minute Frenzy, Comic Book Enthusiast, Rugged Maniac, and all around amazing dude!

Website:
Five Minute Frenzy

So in the fall of 2006 I wore a 3x tshirt, weight 350+ pounds, wore size 52 pants, and was generally a picture of unhealthy. One day a man I respected just pulled me aside and said “For the good of your life, your family, and your ministry, you need to get healthy. Start out simple and just stick with it. Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Walk 10,000 steps. Don’t consume more than 2,000 calories. Do this and you’ll get healthy.” So on November 6th 2006 I made a commitment to do those things. I did that and more. So on November 6th 2007 I had dropped from 350 to 170. I went from a 3x to a medium. I went from size 52 to 32. I felt amazing, more confident, and better about my life than I ever had. Story doesn’t really end there though. Around 2009 I started to slow down on my regimen, started cutting corners. When my second daughter was born she was hospitalized 3 days later. I spent the next 3 weeks sitting in a hospital room waiting and praying to see if my daughter would live. During that time people did the traditional southern thing, and fed a tragedy. 3 weeks with no exercise, poor dieting, and emotional fatigue. Here’s a little known fact. Habits are established over the period of 21 days. Bottom line whatever you do, or don’t do for 21 days becomes a habit. I had let almost 4 years of commitment go right out the window. Right after that I changed jobs, moved, and my mother died. I just completely let go. So I gained a good chunk of my weight back, lost my drive, and my determination. Here’s what I want to get across, you can never let go. There’s never going to be that point in life where you are “good enough” that you can just stop trying. That applies to everything; fitness, relationships, spirituality, creativity, etc etc. I got slack for a couple years and lost my fitness, if I don’t make an effort to constantly be a better husband and father our family falls apart, the same goes with friendships, the same goes with my walk with God, the same goes with whatever artistic efforts, literally everything. I’ve begun to see that life is constant motion, it’s perpetual drive. If we fail to constantly push ourselves forward we not only forfeit where we’ve been, we forfeit all we can become. So often we waitt for failure to motivate us to move. We don’t have to. In batman begins bruce wayne states “people need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy” If we just make this determination in our hearts to push, to strive, to not settle, we don’t have to have those dramatic examples, and we would be astonished what can truly take place. “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9. We need to do just that we need to plan our way, to make our determination, to set into our own hearts that we are going to strive. When we do that God truly does establish our steps. He takes our determination, or focus, our effort, and He uses them in ways we can’t fathom on our own. Colossians 3:23 tells us that whatever we do we should do with our whole heart, and not to man. So often I fail at the things I strive at because I’m not doing them with my whole heart. Or if I am doing them with my whole heart, I’m doing them for myself. I want to strive, I truly want to reclaim that determination and focus I had on that clear night 6 years ago. I don’t just want to prepare for a race or an event I want to prepare to live the rest of my life.