Candi Cares

Encouragement, motivation, discussions on health & wellness, financial advice and love. All packaged in a nice little blog and sent from me to you.

Trick yourself Healthy


“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


I have learned that sometimes in order to reach my goals, I have to trick myself into doing the right thing.  Yes, my friends, it’s true.  Sometimes I don’t do what I’m supposed to do (gasp! Shock! Horror!)

This can be rather problematic when trying to reach my health and fitness goals, so I regularly have to be creative when trying to trick my lazy, impulsive Candice to not sabotage everything for the healthy, active Candice.  I wanted to share with you three tips that I have learned along the way that help me to stay on track and make better choices. Hopefully some or all of these will help you as you work towards your own goals in 2013.


Leave your purse in your trunk: Hi, I’m Candice, and I have a problem with not stopping for fast food on the way home.  And, c’mon, you can’t tell me that I’m the only one!  In order to combat the temptation of McDonalds, KFC, Chick-Fila, Wendy’s and the like, I learned a trick that plays into my overall lazy nature.  By putting my purse in the trunk when I leave work or home, it forces me to have to do the following if I want to feed my fast food craving:

1)      Stop my car

2)      Get out my car (and in the dead of winter, this is NO fun)

3)      Open my trunk

4)       Remove my purse and get out my money to pay for the food

5)      Close the trunk and get back into my car

6)      Purchase the “food” ( I hesitate to say food because, let’s be honest, we don’t even know what’s in half of fast food these days!)

In the words of my dear friend Sweet Brown “Aint nobody got time for that!”  (and if you’re wondering who Sweet Brown is, please watch this hilarious youtube clip and thank me later for providing you with a laugh.  By doing this small change to my routine  9 times out of 10 I end up going home and eating my preplanned dinner and all is well with the world.

Put your work keys in the locker at your gym: If you are one of those special people who have a gym membership but can’t actually remember the last time you stepped foot in your gym, this is the tip for you.  By placing an item that you know you will need the next day in your gym locker (if allowed by your facility) you are forced to actually go to the gym to get it.  If it’s not work keys, maybe it’s your outfit for the next day.  And since you have to go to the gym anyway, you might as well get on the treadmill for 20 minutes….right? And if you’re going to do the treadmill, your legs will be sore and you gotta stretch them out…..right!?!?  I think you see where I’m going with this.

Hide your Veggies: For those of you who are not big fans of fruits and vegetables, but know that they are good for you and want the benefit of their vitamin and nutrient goodness, try sneaking them into things that you do like.  I recently got a Vitamix and will puree different veggies and add them to breads, soups or spaghetti sauce.  You rarely can ever taste the veggies you’ve added, which is great if you have children that are picky eaters.  Also, freezing fruit and using it as ice cubes is a nice way to get a visually appealing drink and another fruit in your diet J


2013 Weight Loss Update:  I lost 3.8 pounds this week.  2013 has started off on the right foot!


Your vision for 2013!

vision boardIt is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~Helen Keller

I spent the better part of the last hours of 2012 cutting out quotes, words and pictures that represented what I wanted for my life in 2013. This was my first attempt at a vision board, and I must admit that I found the process of creating this board to be extremely eye-opening and beneficial.  Sitting around with friends and visualizing my life for the next 365 days is the way I would love to spend every New Year’s Eve from now on (although the occasional party would be nice too).

The purpose of a vision board is to surround yourself with images of who you want to become and what you want to have.  When you place this board somewhere where you can see it daily, and begin doing ACTION (all caps, bolded and underlined means this is important, just in case you were confused) to make those thoughts and dreams a reality, your life changes to match those images and those desires.

As I was creating my board, I was thinking about all of the things that I wanted to leave in 2012 and subsequently all of the things I wanted to take with me into 2013. It is important to identify and acknowledge past mistakes and faulty thinking and replace it with positive changes for the future.

Because I’m such a nice person, I will share with you my top three things I am leaving in 2012 and the three things I am taking with me in 2013. They are as follows:

The top Three Things I am leaving in 2012

Procrastination–  This is a big one for me.  I’ve mentioned in other posts that it has become second nature for me to procrastinate with anything that needs to be done right now. I have been guilty of the “I’ll do it tomorrow syndrome” and it has come back to bite me in the butt more than once.  We all know that tomorrow is not promised.  And, let’s just be honest, tomorrow becomes the next day, and the next day and the next day.  Better to just do it now and get it over with.

Overly caring about what others think– I have spent the better part of 2012, consumed with what others thought about me, my life and how I was living it.  Let me tell you everyone, it’s exhausting! And it made it difficult to get anything done because I was too consumed with trying to determine what others would think if I made this decision or that decision.  Once I recognized that EVERYONE has an opinion, and rarely is it the same opinion, it was easier to recognize the silliness in trying to please others. It’s impossible to make everyone happy.

The “All or Nothing” mentality- I have discovered that I have this all or nothing mentality in many areas of my life, and I have seen the negative  effects of this not only with my health, but at work and in my personal relationships.  Not being willing “live in the middle” causes lots of problems. Either I am completely doing everything that I am supposed to do…or I’m doing nothing. Either I’m exercising every day or I’m eating chips on the couch.  Finding balance and living in the “grey” can be a good thing!

Top three things I am taking with me to 2013

Planning-  My very first post on this blog was about the importance of planning.  This is the single most important habit to being successful in life, in my opinion.  You must have a plan and work diligently to execute that plan. Whether it be preparing meals for the week on Sunday, or creating a to-do list every evening before the next day, planning lets you know where you are going and how you want to get there.

Operating out of my comfort zone– We all have that space in our lives that we don’t want to leave.  The comfort zone and familiarity of our daily activities can honestly crush us and keep us going in circles. Never really moving forward or backward…..just doing more of the same. Well no more! Outside of the comfort zone is where the magic happens! It’s where dreams are realized and where goals are accomplished.  How do you know when you are operating out of your comfort zone? You get that little feeling in your stomach that makes you feel nervous and fearful.  Use this feeling to remind you that whatever is causing you to feel this way is something you must do!

Decisiveness- I have always been the friend that if you asked where I wanted to go for dinner, my response would be “Wherever you want to go, I don’t care.”  It takes me 20 minutes to order dinner and you can forget about picking a paint color for the house or buying a new outfit.  I have discovered that by letting go of my fear of judgment by others, it allows me to be more decisive.  I would like to make more decisions without needing validation from others in 2013.

So what about you?  What are the three things that you are leaving behind in 2012 and the three things you are taking with you in 2013?  Have you created a vision board for the new year? If not, I suggest you get to cutting and creating! You won’t regret it.  I can promise you that.

Happy New Year!  Make 2013 great….On purpose!!

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!!

Change only occurs when the pain of changing is less than the pain of staying the same.

There have been many times in my life that I have been tempted to completely throw in the towel. To stop trying to make positive changes and accept a life of being mediocre….never achieving any of my goals and never changing my life for the better.  I regularly let my fear of change, my fear of the unknown and yes, even my fear of success hold me back from living the life I always wanted to live.

But there is always that something.  Something inside of me that tells me to try just one more time.  Maybe it’s that I feel that there is so much that I want to share with the world, so much that I want to be and accomplish.  I sometimes feel that if I were to quit for good that I would not only be letting myself down, but anyone that was motivated by my journey down too.

I think that wanting to give up is a normal part of the growth process, especially when you are not hitting your goals as quickly as you would like to.  It is much easier to decide to stay the way you are and, let’s face it, less scary too.  The life that you live before you implement a major change may not be where you want to be, but at least it’s familiar!  At least you know that to expect!

Except you’re never quite satisfied and you always find yourself back at it, trying again and wondering why you wasted so much time unhappy.  The reason you keep coming back is because you were not created to be mediocre.  You were not created to just exist. You were created to do and be something spectacular. You were created to live an amazing life, full of health, happiness and love.

But changing your life takes guts.  Changing your life takes courage.  And when you put it out there that you desire to be better than you are today, then you can sure as hell expect some obstacles that are going to taunt you to “prove it.”  These obstacles…these tests…are solely there for you to prove how bad you want it.  And if you don’t want it bad enough, you will find some excuse to throw in the towel.

But what is going to be that thing that makes you decide to stick with it?  I hate to say it, but it has to come from within.  You cannot begin any type of lifestyle change for other people because it won’t last.  It has to be that you understand how this change will help you get to where YOU need to be.  It may take hours of journaling, prayer, screaming, self-talk and crying to finally discover that you are worth it. It may even take therapy.   But you’ll get there one day.  And the best way to get there is to make a decision that for the next second, the next minute, the next hour, the next day YOU WILL NOT GIVE UP.  You will not surrender.  You will move forward and face your fears. An amazing life awaits you.

Creating Healthy Habits

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~Aristotle

As I enter into my fifth week of my healthier lifestyle, I am recognizing that the key to success is found in the little habits that you create and implement.  These “small changes” can be the   difference between success and struggle.  Oftentimes we think that weight loss, increased endurance and better overall health only come when we do something major (like running a marathon, or eating only fruits and vegetables.)  While those things are excellent and to be commended, it is more important, in my opinion, to make small sustainable changes over a period of time that help you stay on track and stay committed to a better you.

I have recently begun laying out my clothes for the next day (including my gym clothes) at night before I go to bed.  This little habit ensures that I am not waking up and spending unnecessary time trying to figure out what to wear and if it’s clean or not.  I have more time to sit down and eat my breakfast, have prayer and quiet time with God and still get to work on time.  This one “tweak” has changed my mornings considerably! And I never have an excuse to not go to the gym because my clothes are all ready to go! (

Another habit I have adopted is that I have switched from diet soda to sparkling water.  The best part of soda to me is the carbonation (weird, I know)  and when I found out that I could get the same “carbonation effect” without all of the chemicals and still get a water serving in I was sold!  Not only is it easier for me to hit my water goals, but my skin has cleared up. Double win!

I think we all can find a couple of small things in our life that we could slightly tweak or change that would help us become a better version of ourselves.  My goal this week is to add one more small habit (and keep up with the ones I’ve been doing) to help me reach my weight loss goals.

Here are few small changes you could consider implementing this week;

–          As soon as you get home, before you do anything else, put on your tennis shoes and go for a 20 minute walk (or longer if you feel so inclined).  Not only is walking a great way to clear your head and relieve stress, but you will sleep better at night…it’s true!

–          Take the stairs at work.  And if you really want a challenge, instead of looking for the closest parking spot to your building, look for the one that is furthest away! Every little step counts!

–          Drink a glass of water before every meal.  Not only does the water curb your appetite, but water is just good for your body!

–          Say one positive thing about yourself daily.  Get in the habit of being nice to you!

There are many many more changes you can make to help you reach your goals, but I figured I would get you started with a few of my favorites.  If you want a list of even more changes you can make, I found a link with a few more for you to consider

What small changes are you willing to make to better your life?  Feel free to comment below and share! I’d love to have some new ideas to try in coming weeks.

**Weigh In Update** I lost 2.6 pounds this week for a total of 12 pounds down! ((happy dance))

Weigh In Results/ July Totals

Apparently the increase in exercise and cooking at home continues to pay off.  I went to weigh in today and lost 2.4 pounds!  I was really happy to see this loss because I had a slip up during the early and  middle part of the week which in the past would have derailed my weight loss.  My mom’s birthday was on Monday (which meant eating out and cake), I had a potluck at work, complete with spinach dip, gooey brownies and plenty of bread and chips and I didn’t get my butt to the gym like I planned.

But instead of allowing myself to completely slide off track, I owned up to everything I ate, forgave myself, put in some extra time at the gym and was extra careful towards the end of the week.  And the scale rewarded me for getting it together.  I’m proud of me!

And now for a recap of milestones reached in July:

– I lost 9.4 pounds this month

– I increased my time on the stairclimber from 10 minutes to 25 minutes

– I joined a running group and ran for more than 30 seconds

– I stayed accountable to my plan and never missed a weigh in


I am seeing progress and that is making me motivated to see more progress.  Can’t wait to see what August has to bring!

Let Go!!

Let Go!!

I was invited to be a guest blogger on my friend Michelle’s blog “Michelle’s Motivation.”  Here is a link to the piece I wrote on letting go.  When you get a chance, read it and let me know your thoughts!!

Run, Candice, Run!!

Run, Candice, Run!!

I am proud to say that I am no longer a running virgin! I almost did two miles today!

Go Candice, it’s your birthday!

I ran and nobody was chasing me. This is indeed progress.

This is a pic of the Black Girls Run College Park Cuties group. In case you couldn’t tell, i’m the one in yellow.

And i’ll be there for the run next week, cause i’m crazy like that!

Join me, won’t you??

Be your own best friend

The Most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. ~Carl Gustav Jung

I have learned many things the past 10,000 times I’ve attempted to get healthy.  But perhaps the most important lesson I have taken with me is that in order to make any change in your life, you have to get to the point that you treat yourself like you would treat your best friend…. with love, kindness, forgiveness, sometimes  a kick in the butt, but always with respect.

In the past, I found it much easier to be kinder and gentler with others and not so much with myself.

For example, when I used to make a mistake, or when I didn’t do something that I knew I should’ve done (like exercise or eat right,) it was the end of the world.  I used to call myself stupid and lazy and incompetent.  “I’ll never get it together because I have no self control! What is wrong with me?!?!” was how my internal dialogue sounded.

And the more I beat myself up, the worse I felt.  And the worse I felt, the more I did non-healthy things as “punishment” for not getting it together.  It’s a vicious cycle.

That all changed when I had a conversation with a friend of mine who heard me talking about myself negatively.  She cringed when I told her that I was “fat and lazy” and could never do anything right.  “Well that’s your problem,” she said.  “You probably wouldn’t have the guts to say what you say about yourself to your worst enemy!  Stop being so mean to you! ”

I was shocked by her comments.  I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks.  She was right.  I was mean to me.  And it had to stop.

Since that eye opening moment, I have made a conscious effort to find ways to be nice to myself and more gentle with myself.  When I make mistakes, instead of telling myself how horrible I am for not having self control, I replace that internal dialogue with “You can make a better choice from now on.  You can do this.  You are more than capable.”

And you know what?  You actually start believing what you tell yourself.  I feel stronger and happier when I’m nicer to me.

Listen folks, we all have issues.  We all have things that we like or don’t like about ourselves.  My issue is my weight.  I don’t like that I’ve allowed myself to get overweight, out of shape and unhealthy.  But you know what?  That doesn’t mean that I can’t still love myself completely right now. I’m not saying that I have to stay overweight and unhealthy.  I’m just saying that  I don’t have to wait until I’m in “healthy land” to finally feel like I’m a worthwhile human being.  I’m worthwhile right NOW!  This very instant.

And now that I am walking in this truth, it is easier for me to continue my healthy lifestyle.  Why?? Because I love myself.  Because I feel worth the extra effort to cook meals at home and exercise.  I feel deserving of all of the good things this life has to offer.

Come out of the darkness and viciously negative cycle of self-hate.  It does nobody, especially yourself, any good.

And even if you can only find one good thing to say about yourself, then repeat that one thing every time you begin to think negatively about you.  My thing is my smile. I think I have a beautiful smile and a great attitude.  As I started reminding myself of just these two things, I suddenly started to find other things to add to the list.  And I was on my way.

God made no mistakes when he created you.  You were fearfully and wonderfully made.  Don’t disrespect yourself by feeding yourself negativity that tells you differently.

Weigh In Results



Well I went to weigh in today and was told that I lost 7 pounds this week.  I guess planning and eating meals at home, exercising, blogging and making my youtube videos to stay accountable actually does work!  Imagine that!

Just for kicks, I’ll try it again this week. 

Join me if you like! I’d love to have more company on this journey. 🙂

Be the best YOU can be!

Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than YOU! ~Dr. Seuss

I’ve always considered myself a chameleon of sorts.   I easily adapt to whatever situation I am placed in, and can usually get along with most people that I encounter.  However, in order to accomplish this, a lot of the time I’ve had to essentially live a lie and change how I truly think, feel and behave in order to “fit in.”  If I was with a group that thought it wasn’t harmful to smoke in front of babies and they asked my opinion….”yeah, I guess all those studies that show second hand smoke is harmful are wrong.   You guys are probably right!” would be my response.    If I was around people who liked to go out to the club, I pretended that “clubbing was the best thing since sliced bread” when really I wanted to be at home watching The Bodyguard (doesn’t it always send shivers up your spine when Whitney Houston runs from the plane and throws herself into Kevin Costner’s arms for a passionate embrace??? Or is that just me?  **shrugs**).

But I have learned, my dear readers, that you cannot keep this up for long.  At some point, the REAL you is going to shine through.

And this happens because, quite frankly, you were not meant to be anyone else but who you are.  God gave you certain talents and gifts that he didn’t give to me or your mother or you friend Spike.  And when you try so hard to be who other people want or expect you to be and not who you are truly meant to be, you rob the world of the greatness that is you!  And you become bitter and unfulfilled in the process.

But in order to begin being the authentic you, you have to accept one unfortunate truth that there is no getting around.  Not everyone is going to like the authentic you.  And that’s simply because nobody likes everybody all of the time.  People can like or not like you for the pettiest of reasons.  They might not like you because you’re too dark, or too light, or you smile too much, or frown too much.  Maybe they don’t like how you smell.  Maybe they don’t like that you have all of your teeth.

A wise man once said “Show me a person that everyone  likes, and I’ll show you a person who is not being themselves.”

Okay, maybe a wise man didn’t say that, and maybe I just made that up off of the top of my head, but you get the point.

Being you takes courage.  And sometimes, when you are true to yourself, you may find that you are the only one who feels a certain way about a particular issue or decision.  And that’s okay.  Because what if the decision being made was whether everyone should kill themselves and you were the only one who thought that was NOT a good idea and stuck to your guns?  I know that is an extreme example, but the truth behind it is there.

And the more you continue letting your natural self shine through, the easier it gets.  You become happier.  You become healthier.  Because you are finally living in truth!

Today, introduce the world to your authentic self…the good, the bad and the fantastic.  The more you let yourself shine, the more you give permission to others to let their light shine.  In the words of my friend Sophia….BE THE LIGHT!

Enjoy your weekend!

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