Meet the Author!! Dec. 6 from 5-6:30 at Deep Roots Market

In the Greensboro area?  YOU’RE INVITED!

Meet the Author 18

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Up at 2am, sneaking ham…


Yep.  I’m up at this ridiculous hour & I don’t even know why!  I guess it’s because I fell out on the bed asleep at 8pm.  Or it may have been the ham in the crock pot saying “Come get meeeee…I’m so tastyyyy” lol!  Either way, I’m up.  I’m thinking about the events this year & thankful doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.  I’ve had a phenomenal year.  Not because I received so much, but because I survived so much!  No, no life altering illnesses, tragic event or near death experience, but a lot of random stuff that made me slam on the brakes.  This year my thought process has been under construction.  I’ve taken time to be creative, dream & share.  For example, this blog.  It began as a way to express myself & also help promote my books, but now it’s a bit more.  I get to share my feelings outside of my usual circle.  That’s so cool!  And to see that there are so many others who are doing the same is great!  I am on FB, but those are my friends.  I’m on other social media platforms, but they don’t give you the same level of connection as a blog.  You really get to see where a person’s mind is if they write over 500 characters!  lol

So what am I getting at?  Take time to enjoy your life.  Don’t spend so much time trying to accomplish something that you accomplish nothing.  Don’t spend so much time trying to gain everything that you lose everything.  Teach integrity & love, not how to get your hands in everyone’s pocket.  Change lives, win hearts, win souls for Christ.  That’s noble, honorable & everlasting.  Slow down & relish the relationships you have.  Create new ones.  Nurture old or wavering ones.  Show appreciation.  Show up!  Step outside of your comfort zone & experience new life.

Take a neighbor some pie.  Send a thank you card to someone who changed your life.  Serve in a soup kitchen.  Take toys to the children’s wing in your local hospital.  Take the nursing staff at a hospital or clinic a gift basket.  Send someone a silly video to cheer them up.  Give someone a hug.  Buy someone something they’ve been talking about for ages.  Spend some money on yourself.

And finally, mail me a turkey leg.  Sorry, I got outvoted this year so no one wants turkey except me.  😦  And who is gonna buy a $15 turkey for one?!  Not this chick!  So I think I’ll call up a friend & ask them to save me a few slices if they can.  Relationships are great.  Be sure to take care of them.  They’ll take care of you!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Week 2 Hip Hop Abs Challenge! Day 1

Hey everyone,

If you’re trying this challenge with me, I hope you’re enjoying the results as much as I am!  I have lost THREE (3) INCHES doing the week 1 challenge & I’m NOT STOPPING!  I’m on week 2 & I started a new video, Hip Hop Abs Ab Sculpt Part I.  I can immediately tell the difference in videos.  This one is more engagement, but man it feels good!

If you’d like to join me, here’s the link to the video (or  click the pic)

ab sculpt 1

I had to go back to a pain pill about 10 mins in.  This is not the same level of intensity as before!  He took it up a notch!!  But it’s ok, because I’ll be reaping the benefits in 6 more days!

Again, I’m only using these videos from youtube & drinking more water.  No other workouts, meal changes or anything.  No change in work or sleep schedule.  So let’s see how this set of videos goes!  Just a side note:  this video was so engaging that as I’m typing, I can feel my abs clenching!  They’re much stronger & I can tell when I’m sitting, singing (oh my God, so much easier!) & at work.  My pants feel looser & I’m LOVING it!

I remember a few weeks ago thinking about trying those body wraps that people are using, but being too skeptical to try them.  I don’t trust anything that shrinks your body in 24 hours.  Sorry.  I’ll leave that up to someone else to test out.  But I don know that this is working for me!

So come on!  If you want better looking abs, jump on this challenge with me!  If you want to start on week 1, go back to my last 2 posts & start from there.  Or you can jump in today.  Either way, try it!  You’ll get results!!

“I Can’t Take it Anymore!” Workout results!!!!

Hi everyone!!

First, let me say thanks to all the people who chimed in & shared their experiences with this stress & weight loss issue.  I have finished my challenge as of today & I have some stunning news to report!

I want to start by revealing some history.  I was super skinny coming out of college (115 pounds) & I was really busty too, so I looked really…interesting.  After our first child I gained maybe 9-10 pounds.  I looked much better cuz I was finally curvy instead of a stick-person template (lol).    After the second & third, my body didn’t know what the heck was going on!  I was substantially larger, especially in the midsection.  I HATED it, because I had to go up 2 pant sizes to accommodate the “mommy midriff“.  I’d never had to diet or change my eating habits which were usually good.  My metabolism has stayed crazy high over the years & I still needed to eat every 3-4 hours.  I was doing well with what I ate- healthy breakfast (usually fruit or high protein), good lunch & dinner which was a meat, 2 vegs, plenty of water & dessert usually), so this was mind blowing to have to figure out how to lose weight!  I worked as a teacher, so I walked at least 5-8 hours on end a day & even when I worked part time as a teacher, I walked 2-3 hours straight at least 3 times a week.  So working out was part of the program.

What did I leave out as a factor?  Stress!  OMG, emotionally I can be all over the place if I’m not keeping myself in check.  You know, stressed over deadlines, relationships, finances, kids, who’s cleaning the fishtank or the shower, am I about to run out of gas AGAIN?!, you know that kind of dumb stuff.  Anyway, it took its toll.  I found that I was really tense.  Which sucks, because sometimes I found myself stressed about being stressed!  So I figured it was time to break the cycle & start doing things that made me relax & focus on the good in my life.  But that’s another post…

Anyway, back to present day.  I have taken my own challenge & am glad to report the following!

Here are the amounts I lost & the areas I lost them.  Fanfare please!

Arms:  Lost 1/2 inch!

Bust:  Lost 1 inch!

Hips:  Lost 1/2 inch!

Thigh:  Lost 1 inch!

But the biggest amazement was my waist loss.  This is absolutely incredible!  Ready?!  I lost……….



Let me say it one more time!!



AMAZING, RIGHT!?  I know I think it is.  I’m sooooooo happy!  I am definitely gonna keep going.  You just can’t beat these results!

Oh, I do have one confession.  Remember I said I was using a 20 minute video?  Well…after the first two workouts, I ended up going to the wrong youtube video & when I finally noticed, I decided to stick to the 30 minute workout that I could find.  I am so glad I did!  Now I’m ready to bump it up to the 40 minute video!  I wonder how many inches I’ll lose after 7 days of that??!

So I hope you have been inspired to get started, keep going or elevate your workout routine!  I’ll keep going until I’ve sculpted this temple from the temple of doom to the temple of “Dang, girl!  You have 3 kids?!”  LOL!!!

Ok, closing words.  I did not diet.  I did not change my eating besides drinking more water.  I worked out just using the 20 or 30 minute video (depending which day I could find the right one, lol).  I did not change my sleeping habits.  I did not work more or less (like on vacation or pulling more hours).  I JUST did the video & drank more water.  That’s it!  So, 3 inches down & I’ll just keep going until I’ve dropped a pant size or two!

Praise God!  I’m doing my thank you, Jesus dance!!!

So those who are on a diet/health plan/lifestyle change in order to tame your temple, how’s it going?



I Can’t Take it Anymore!

Before we go on, let me get some legal stuff out of the way:

*Disclaimer-I am not a medical professional.  This is what I AM TRYING.  This is by no means a suggestion or advice on how to take care of your body.  Please consult your physician or medical professional before making changes to your current exercise program or health practices!

I’ve had ENOUGH! 

I am having the “pre-40 fit”.  I have had ENOUGH of not being in the shape I want to be in.  No, I’m not trying to be some hardbody or some supermodel.  I just want to make some changes in my body.  So, I’ve started my own crusade.  It’s the “Tone up the Temple” crusade!  I have 3 kids & even though I look good (for having 3 kids), I want to get down a few sizes.  Well, not really.  Let me be more accurate.  I want to go down in my waist & leave (almost) everything else where it is.

So how am I going to do it?  Well, I’ve tried different things before like walking, changing my food intake (smoothies, high fiber, etc.), working out, Zumba, yoga, etc.  I think I just have commitment issues.  So instead of trying to change the world (my waistline) by doing something for a long period of time, I’m going to focus on one area for 6 days & see how it goes.  I know, I know.  There are those who will say, “Tonya, you should pick something & stick to it to really see results.”  Well I say, been there, done that.  For whatever reason, I hit a workout plateau quickly & then it gets ridiculous.  I just had to step back & take a look at why things work or don’t work for me.

For one, when I started trying to manage my weight, I started the wrong way.  I tried to jump in without finding the root issue.  I worked out for 30-60 minutes & then would pull a muscle.  Talk about frustrating!  So I tried lower impact workouts & wouldn’t really see any change in anything.  So I tried Zumba.  It was so fun!  In class.  But out of class, she was the most horrible instructor EVER.  She was emotionally & verbally abusive.  She’d send emails 2 or 3 times a week telling her class they needed to back up from the table, get our big butts up & get moving, tell us how fat we were & all manner of hurtful things I don’t want to remember right now.  Then she almost lost her class because HER BMI was too high!!    The class overall was good, I think I lost about 5-10 pounds.  But after a month of class I noticed I saw more improvement by drinking water than taking the class.  Not to mention that after getting all that abuse via email, I’d had enough.

Picture10I used to work out with the hubby, which was great.  But schedule changes, moving further into the boonies & cost increase took its toll, so we eventually stopped that.  Not to mention he’s a former pro tennis player & well, I’m not.  lol!!  We started working out together at home, but I found out that I am not a P-90X girl!  I had to tap out of that mess!!  I could not move the next day!  We have worked out together at the Y & that was fun, but after a while I hit my plateau.





The best results I’ve honestly had were with yoga.  Not hot yoga or the ones where they almost make it a religion, but the basic stretching, breathing, relaxing, get over it & get on with your life yoga.  My results with that?  I actually lost 10 pounds in the first few session!  But I know why.  My issue with weight is not the food I eat or the amount I move (I teach 3 times a week for two different 50 minute sessions where I’m constantly walking back & forth.  Not to mention the walks up the stairs or to the parking lot).  My issue?  STRESS.  You know, this stuff:



It was the one thing that I’d refused to acknowledge or address.  I was always “pressing past” whatever the current crisis was.  That’s not healthy at all!

I found out that I was pulling muscles when I was working out because I was tense from being so stressed out.  Once I started the class, I started to relax, my digestion became better, my focus was clearer, I slept better & the weight began to come off.  I also found it didn’t matter if it was face to face yoga class, video or even Wii Fit yoga!  It’s been a great experience.

The most major factor?  Water.  I started drinking more.  A lot more.  Like 2-3 times what I was drinking (I was only having maybe a glass a day).  But when I changed that, the water I was retaining fell off each day!  So I’m back to my “water diet“!  No more swelling hands or feet at the end of the day!  Teaching is a beast on your feet in case you didn’t know.

So all that is great, but I still have to deal with this issue.  I may have hit some potholes in the past, but this time, I am attacking one particular area.  Yeah, you moms know where that is (dun-dun-duuuuuuuun)…..

The Mommy Pouch

My battle began yesterday.  I said enough was enough.  I checked around & decided to try using Hip Hop Abs*.  I loved Zumba, but the pace was too fast.  It was also an hour straight.  Hip Hop Abs has a lot of the same moves, but at a pace I can handle & it’s only about 20 minutes long!  I can do that!  When I was doing Zumba, I was so sore the next day that I couldn’t write on the board & teach.  Forget that mess!

So I just finished my second session of my 7 day challenge to myself.  Here’s the itinerary:

Days 1-6: one 20 minute video session

Day 7: one 45 minute walk

*Since I’ll be working 3 days out of the 7, I’ll be walking 6 times as much as recommended, so I’ll expect my results to be a bit better.  Oh, one last thing.  In this challenge, you can only weigh & measure yourself on the 1st day & on the last day.  Don’t forget that step!  You’ll need to SEE the results you get!


I’ll also work on sleeping more.  Hey, my body’s gotta rest & repair itself from the extra work it’s getting during these workouts, right?

Last, a lot of water!!  Water has always been the thing that made me lose weight, so I’ll increase it about 2-3 times over the next 7 days.  Just a warning with that water retention…when you start giving your body the water it needs, you’ll have to run to the bathroom.  A LOT!  So don’t freak out-you’ve been warned.  lol

My results thus far?  Great!  I had more energy the first & second day.  I am starving so I am grabbing more snacks to nibble ever 2-3 hours (that is a big deal-try it, it works!)  I also was able to work out much longer using Hip Hop Abs & didn’t need to take a break on the second day.Picture12

Anywhooo…I am sure I will see results, because I’m already feeling the tightness in my abs.  Yay, Hip Hop Abs!!  Not to mention that my clothes already fit better!

Ok, my final words for today.  NO-I am not posting before & after pictures!  I will however, post the difference in my measurements.  So I’ll be back closer towards the end of this week to give you some updates on my progress!  Oh, and here’s a trick I use.  I take a pain pill before I start.  That way, I don’t feel the pain.  I feel the muscle tension & tightness, but it’s not usually for a day or so.  After the 2nd or 3rd day, I don’t usually need anything any more.  After I do this 7 days, I’ll check my results to see if it’s feasible to continue.  If not, I’ll go back to yoga.  It got great results in the stress reduction area & weight loss!  I just want my tummy flat (well, flatter) again.

So have you tried Hip Hop Abs?  What were your results?  Have you found results using something else?  Please share below!

Oh yeah, here’s a link to a site listed on the internet.  It’s not where I got mine, but if you want to buy a dvd, you could get one there (I suppose-use it at your own risk).


Confession: The Crazy Old Lady Was Right All Along!

mom daughterWhen I was growing up, my mom would call herself a “crazy old lady”.  Then again, she’d call her mom that, too!  Even though that may seem like a derogatory saying, she’d say it with respect.  It was usually in phrases like, “That crazy old lady outsmarted me again!” or “Little girl, you better listen to this crazy old lady!”


Now as an adult, I’ve figured something out.  My mom was right all along!  She’s given me words of wisdom for years & years.  Now as a mom, I can see exactly what she meant.  Thank God I kept some of her words “in the vaultMP900386355” to ponder on in later years!  I remember her telling me that my kids would be smarter than me (check!), that I shouldn’t start any habit with my husband like cooking, massaging, cleaning or whatever that I don’t plan on happily continuing for the rest of my life (check!) and due your due diligence when making an important decision (check!)  I’m still working on other stuff like:

Don’t work yourself to death

Don’t try to impress stupid people

Keep your priorities straight

Eat your vegetables with every meal

Drink lots of water

Keep your kids in undershirts until spring (with lows in at least the 60s)

Get plenty of sleep

Keep your oldest child in line & the rest will usually follow

Hug & kids your kids a lot & be sure they know you love them

And when I call her all stressed out, she says my all time favorite:

Ma:  You just need to SYADS.

Me:  Huh?

Ma: You are all worked up over nothing.  You just need to Sit Your A** Down Somewhere & chill out!

Now tell me that doesn’t solve most issues!  We as moms sometimes get worked up over dirt, dust, dishes, missed deadline or something else that is just not that big a deal!  We need to sit down somewhere & chill out!

So now, I find that my phone calls with her are better spent on more important things than striving to reach some crazy goal.  Don’t get me wrong, I still call on my mom when a child coughs too long, I can’t remember her chocolate pie recipe or when I want to get some good info on cool things to do.  She’s my rock.  I love her very much & I hope to pass on as much wisdom to my daughter as she did to hers.  But I want to live long, so I try my best to listen to her wisdom & actually USE IT!

Mother and Daughter HuggingFinally, I want to say one thing about the “crazy old lady”.  She doesn’t have me fooled!  She is surely a lady, but she’s not old (geez, she still looks like she’s knocking on 40!) & she’s surely NOT crazy!  She’s the smartest chick I know & I’m so glad to still have her around.

So I say all of this to encourage you to express love & gratitude toward your Mom or anyone you see as your Mom.  They won’t be around forever (as some of them continually remind us), so let’s do it TODAY!  They’re priceless & irreplaceable & deserve every bit of love we can give them in return for all they’ve shown us.

Oh and by the way, none of these pictures are of me or my mom.  She is not into putting her info on social media.  So in an ongoing effort to preserve my life, I honor her wishes.  My momma don’t play that!  So if you want to see her, you’ll just have to meet her some day.  lol

I love you, Ma!!!!!  xoxo