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.

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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.

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??

Weigh In Results

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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!

Change is Inevitable. Suffering is optional.

“Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

In May of 2008, I remember sitting in my office working on a spreadsheet and suddenly, the room started spinning.  Imagine the feeling you get after getting off of a rollercoaster and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.  I went home early that day and went to sleep, only to wake up the next morning seeing two of everything.  Let me tell you, turning on the television and seeing two Matt Lauer’s staring back at you is crazy weird.  But it went away as quickly as it came, and I shrugged it off as something related to my contacts.

I called my mom, because she’s a nurse and told her about my vision that morning.  She wanted me to get checked out immediately.  I, of course, felt she was being the typical Mother and overreacting, but I made an appointment with my doctor anyway.

My doctor did the exam, and told me that he thought everything was okay, but said I should get an MRI, just to be absolutely sure. I had never been in an MRI machine before, so I was actually looking forward to getting the scan.  Oh, how naïve I was back then. (FYI, if you’re claustrophobic, ask for something to relax you….you’re welcome in advance for this unsolicited advice! Lol.)

I got a call the next day from my doctor.  “The scan found something,” he tells me.  “I want you to see a Neurologist so he can discuss the findings.”

At this point, I’m still oblivious to how serious this is.  The absolute look of terror on my mom’s face should have been an indication, but, again, I thought she was reacting like any mother would react when given less than stellar news about their child.

We go in to see the Neurologist, and twenty minutes into the visit he says to me, “Yeah, you have some disease activity…..looks like Multiple Sclerosis.  We probably should do a spinal tap.”

Blink.  Blink.  Long Stare.

I’m sorry……..come again? I must have had something in my ear.  I thought I heard you say I had MS.  You know, the disease that causes people not to be able to walk or care for themselves….am I on candid camera??? 

And then I went a little nuts.  Because this cannot be happening.  I’m 25 years old!  I’m young! I’m supposed to have my whole life ahead of me! Is this some type of sick joke?

He tells me “not to worry” and that most likely I won’t be affected until I’m much older. You just may need a wheelchair by the time your forty.  That’s at least twenty years from now….want a pill to help you sleep tonight given what I just told you?” (Note to self:  Look into giving a course to doctor’s on how to break bad news to patients.)  

I remember being so low.  So incredibly low that I felt I had no one to turn to.  My parents couldn’t take it away.  My friends couldn’t take it away.  I felt completely alone and scared as hell.   I didn’t want to eat.  I didn’t want to sleep.  I just wanted to cry and scream and cry some more and throw things.

I was pissed off at God.  I was pissed off at life.  Woe is me, was my new mantra.

I remember that I started listening to Charles Stanley’s (my favorite preacher) sermons on the computer.  I started reading my Bible.  I decided that if God had done this to get my attention, then boy was he going to get an earful from me.  And then during one of my screaming sessions with God, I remember being overcome with a feeling of peace.  It was the first time since I got the news that I felt like I was going to be okay.  I can’t really explain it, but I can totally relate to the biblical saying “peace that surpasses all understanding.”  That is what I felt that day.

I remember going with my parents to get a second opinion.  I was able to see the top Neurologist dealing with Multiple Sclerosis in the area.  I was prepared for him to tell me that I would be in a wheelchair.  I was prepared for him to tell me that my hopes of husband, family, playing with my children and traveling were over.

He told me quite the opposite.  He looked me in the eyes and said what I wanted to hear so badly “Yes, there is something going on.  Yes your life will be a bit different.  But you will be fine.”

He went on to explain that attitude is everything when it comes to how well people handle this horrible disease.  He told me that it affected everyone differently and that other than beginning to inject myself every week (joy), that there was nothing else that I needed to do other than get enough rest and take care of myself.  “We’ll take each day as it comes,” he told me.

Before this diagnosis, I thought that I had control.  I lived in that fantasy world where nothing bad happens to you and everything is butterflies and rainbows.  When you are faced with a devastating diagnosis you are forced to grow up fast.  Things that once were so important just aren’t anymore.  Things that used to make you upset don’t even phase you.

I was really reluctant to share this post today, but God had on my heart for me to do it and I strive to be obedient.  I started this blog to uplift and encourage others who go through the same struggles that I go through and to help you know that you are not alone.  I have accepted that in order to do that, I will have to be “transparent” in a sense, so that others can see themselves through my experiences.  I want to give a voice to those who don’t yet have the strength to speak for themselves.

It’s been 4 ½ years since that initial diagnosis, and by the Grace of God I have been symptom free ever since.  I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me, but I know that whatever it has in store, that I am equipped to handle it.   I wanted to end this post by sharing with you all what going through this experience has taught me.

– I have learned to be a little kinder to people.  To be a little more forgiving.  You truly have no idea what someone may be facing personally.  Give people the benefit of the doubt as often as you can.

– I have learned that patience is indeed a virtue.  Not everything in life comes to you exactly when you want it to.  Things take time.  Relax.  Everything happens exactly when it should happen.

– I have learned to let go of those things that I cannot control.   When you are told that tomorrow you could wake up and not be able to see or walk, you gain a new perspective on life.  I only focus on what I can control today (things like my happiness, eating right, exercise and getting enough sleep).  I let tomorrow worry about itself.

– I have learned to laugh as often and I can, and never to allow life’s issues to “stress me out.”  At the end of the day, nothing is worth sacrificing my health and my happiness.  It truly isn’t that serious.

– I have learned to go after my dreams today, because you really don’t know if tomorrow is promised. You only have this moment.  Make the most of it.

And most importantly, I have learned that God really won’t put more on you than you can bear.  That he is who he says he is.  And that he is with you through every single storm of your life.  He never changes.  And every test and trial is an opportunity for him to show his greatness through you.

You can’t have a testimony without a TEST.  And this is my life’s test.  My goal is to forever share my testimony of living my best life, no matter what obstacles have been placed in my path, and to do it with a smile on my face and hope in my heart.

And to my fellow struggler’s, know that you are NEVER alone.  No matter what your cross is to bear, you have God and you have me here rooting for you!  You will be victorious!

 

Be Blessed!

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