Tag Archives: Women

Body Goals, Gyms can Go

WOW, can you believe it?  We are in a new year already!  Where has the time gone? Like most people, the new year brings many resolutions, and one of those is, “I’m going to the gym.”  The first couple of months of the new year all gyms across the world see an increase in membership.  After that time, the number of gym goers dwindles down to the regular members, with only a few of the new members still going.  

Are you tired of buying a gym membership and not following through?  Tired of paying for a gym membership year after year, to find yourself not going after a couple of months?  Are you paying for a gym membership month after month after month and telling yourself, “I’m going tomorrow.  I paid for this membership.” But you never go?  If your answer is YES, keep reading. Here are 3 ways to reach your goals WITHOUT a gym membership.

ONE.

Use social media.  How?, you may ask.  Glad you asked. Social media is a great way to connect with people that are like-minded, people who have been where you are, people who can encourage and motivate you to reach your goals.   The best part of connecting with people through online communities is – IT’S FREE.  Who doesn’t like getting something for free?  You can find advice, encouragement, motivation, recipes, suggested workouts, and a community of people who will not judge you if you fall down.  

TWO.

Workout to videos on YouTube or cable TV stations, which are free and can add variety to your workouts. Consult your doctor before beginning any fitness program.

Check out these two YouTube channels that can help you reach your goals:

  • LBX FitnessThis channel has 30-day workouts men and women can do in the privacy of their home. The trainer shows participants how to do modified and full versions of the exercises.  This is one of my favorite channels.
  • Tiffany Rothe WorkoutsTry any of the following videos: Fabulous Fat Burning Workout, Waist Shrinking Tummy Tightening Workout, and Sexy Upper Body Workout.  My personal favorite is the 10-minute Booty Shaking Waist Workout.

THREE.

Start a walking group.  

Here are the steps (pun, intended).

  1. Create and post flyers to announce your meeting (or use social media to reach out).  Include time, location and a telephone number if you don’t mind taking calls.
  2. Get organized at your first meeting. Discuss how often to walk, time of day, days of the week to meet, location route, distance, and amount of time the group will spend per walk.
  3. Maintain your group’s momentum.  As the group leader, encourage the group to have a motivational meeting at least once a month
  4. Enjoy yourself.   The camaraderie you experience in a walking group can help you stay on track with walking for fitness.

Home Exercises

Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Complete four times with no rest in between. (If you need to, please rest). After doing 25 high knees, standing in place go right into 25 jumping jacks.

25 jumping jacks

25 standing squats

25 high knees standing in place

 

Tuesday/Thursday

Complete five times with a 30-second rest between sets.  After completing your pushups take a 30-60 second rest and start again from the top. 

45 seconds fast jump rope

25 bicycle crunches (left elbow to right knee, right elbow to left knee = 1)

20 pushups (can be done on your knees or feet)

You can also buy a jump rope, 3-5 pounds (or higher) dumbbells, ankle or wrist weights to add to the video or suggested workouts above for more resistance. 

Now do you see how you can reach your goals without buying a gym membership? You can do this!

Zhivi Williams has over 30 years of experience in fitness. She is the founder of LBX Fitness and author of Who Needs a Gym? Her motto is “Transforming the body starts by renovating the mind.”  Follow her on her website at www.lbxfitness.com and on all social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube – at LBX Fitness.

911…Who’s Saving You?

If your 2017 has been anything like mine, I ran out of the year like a woman with her hair on fire. Now that the year has gotten underway, I don’t know about you, but I am living my BEST life this year! What is the BEST life you say? Your best life is living the life that God has for you. Your best life is the life without and limits that we often place on ourselves because of our past.

As women we are the first ones up in the morning, and the last ones to lay down. By the time we get to ourselves we have nothing left! It would be great if we could wake up tomorrow and already living where we want to live, have the things that we want to have and already making the moves we’ve promised ourselves we would make.

It takes WORK to live your best life! In order to live your best life, you will need a YES, a NO, and a RIGHT NOW. You need to say YES to God’s will for your life! This will be the hardest part. If you can do this, the rest will be easy. When you say yes to God you are openly acknowledging that his will is what’s best for you. You are getting out of the driver’s seat. Ultimately, you are allowing God to lead you and relinquishing your life over to him and trusting that he will get you where you have to go.

You need to say YES to yourself. Saying yes means that you are pulling yourself from the back burner and moving your desires, ideas, hopes and dreams to the front. You are making yourself a priority. Now I know, you have children, maybe grandchildren, and a husband. But let’s put our own oxygen mask on before you worry about putting on someone else’s.

After you have said YES to God and YES to yourself you need to say NO. To who? TO EVERYONE ELSE! We have to learn to say no to the responsibilities and obligations that others try to pass on to us. No, I can’t go to your event. No, I can’t take you to the store. I’m helping ME! Don’t deny yourself so you can feel better about yourself. Now that doesn’t mean we should be rude, offensive, or even dismissive to others. But we should look at the ratio of time we give others in comparison to the time we spend on ourselves. If we spend all of our time helping someone else with their dream when will we have the time, passion, patience or resources to see our dream into fruition?

Once we’ve gotten those out of the way then we can get to work. When will we write out our dreams and goals: RIGHT NOW. When will we put what God told us to do into practice: RIGHT NOW. When will we start the business plan: RIGHT NOW. it won’t happen overnight. It takes time, energy, effort, and patience. If you don’t live your life, it won’t get lived because no one else can live it for you. If you’re scared, so what; do it anyway. Feel like it’s too big, great. It probably is too big and that’s why you will need God’s help. How will you do it? Glad you asked, let me tell you:

 

  1. Spend time in prayer and ask God what his will is for you. When he tells you, write it down.
  2. Pray daily over the plan he gave you for your life. Seek him for how and when.
  3. Give yourself deadlines, this will help you stay on task.
  4. Pray about who you should and shouldn’t share your plans with, some will be encouragers and some will be investors. But be careful of those that are leeches, they only want to siphon the good and leave you with the rest.

It’s your time! 2018 is your year to live! You will love your family more, serve your church more, and love yourself more!

Corner Prayer:

Lord, thank you for bringing me into a new year! Thank you for what you have for me this year. Lord, help me to let go of the things that held me back, disappointed me, or didn’t go my way last year. Lord, renew my passion for the things that you promised me. Help me to seek you in a new way so that I can live my best life. The abundant life that Jesus came to give me. Help me to be a better mother, a better wife, and a better kingdom woman. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Mentoring: The Time is Now

2017 was the year many of us broke free, made momentum, and defined new trends of success within our families and our spheres of influence. When I look back from this new space I occupy this year, I realize that I’m grateful for the struggles I’ve endured because they’ve led me to appreciate my successes in ways that I never would have if I didn’t have obstacles to overcome. I’m sure you can say the same. Looking around at the women I call friends, I’m amazed at the accomplishments we’ve made. Some graduated as first generation college students. Some kicked addictions. Some stepped out on faith and opened new businesses, and others decided to persist until they saw their first six figure salary or a doctorate in hand.

What did you accomplish? I dare you to identify one thing you overcame, one success that surprised you, one moment that you questioned would ever come. Titus 2:4-5 encourages us to mentor others as women of God, and even though we’ve all found talking about our accomplishments to be rewarding, I’ve found that talking about who you’ve brought along to learn from your accomplishments is even more rewarding. Mentorship spreads hope and makes the accomplishments we achieve appear even more attainable in the eyes of those who lead lives much like our younger selves.

November 2017 brought news that shocked many of us across the world with the revelation that slave auctions in Libya are still active today, and many were shaken because the new knowledge brought a sense of hopelessness for how to fix the problem along with it for the average person. Would you be surprised to know that slavery is alive and active in the United States as well? Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery, in which perpetrators use force, fraud, or coercion to manipulate and establish control over individuals who are exploited for profit. Here in Las Vegas, I meet girls and women who have been recruited, coerced, and forced into selling their bodies from small towns throughout the United States and beyond, and it’s scary to realize that modern day slavery has the potential to affect the women we call daughter, sister, niece, friend.

Lenore Jean-Baptiste is the Project Coordinator for Power ON!, a program in Las Vegas that provides youth that have been sex trafficked or are at high-risk to sex trafficking, mentorship by pairing them with community trained mentors. Lenore notes:

“Anyone that is trying to reach any level of success needs a mentor because mentors are the bridges to an individual’s next phase in life…Mentorship is vital to the community because it serves as an intervention piece that empowers a youth that has a life filled with problems, to living a life filled with promise.”

In honor of Anti Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Mentoring Awareness Month this January, let’s choose to mentor a younger sister(s) in our communities by consistently visiting a school to provide assistance, volunteering in a mentorship program, connecting with the youth in your church, or incorporating an internship program in your business. Mentoring matters. After all, could you imagine the possibilities that now define your life had it not been for someone that spoke into you, listened to you, or showed you the way during your time in need? Choose to pay it forward. Become the mentor you needed when you were in high school, when you nursed addictions, when you wondered if you would ever pay the bills. It matters. The quality of our world and the next generation of leaders depend on it.

Saving Yourself

Have you ever thought about giving cheerfully to yourself? Change the way you think about saving and realize that it’s okay to give to yourself.

Sometimes the things we learn in church concerning money can have a negative impression on how money is viewed. Let’s review a couple of statements you may have heard. Money doesn’t buy happiness! For the love of money is the root of all evil! How do these statements make you feel when you read them? For real, take the time to think of what each statement means to you. Personally, they put me in the mindframe that money is evil and the demise of society, as we know it. On the other hand, one is encouraged to give cheerfully.  The Bible tells us, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7). Let’s explore how financial stability can actually enhance your mood and establish ways to reward yourself, as well as the importance of creating and continuing a tradition of financial literacy amongst your family and friends.

Evidence suggests that a myriad of factors are more vital to our sense of personal and life satisfaction than money. But evidence has also been mounting that our economic situation — especially our level of economic security — does indeed have a lot to do with the degree of happiness we experience in our lives. Now, some interesting new research sheds additional light on the role our financial situation plays in how happy we are.

According to noted mathematical economist, Christian Bayer, and his colleague, Falko Juessen, having more money is indeed related to happiness, but not in the way anyone might first suppose. Money may not be the key to happiness, but our level of financial security does affect our emotional and psychological well-being. It appears that we’re most satisfied with our lives when we have some confidence that our level of financial comfort will increase steadily over time and that we won’t have to kill ourselves to maintain that increased comfort level.

Planning to splurge or setting a goal amount of funds to save can create happiness. Research literature reveals that we experience the strongest positive emotional response when we make progress on our most difficult goals. Psychology today states, “Progress on our goals leads to more positive emotions and more satisfaction with life.” It increases our well-being. In turn, positive emotions contribute to our motivation to act. This is a win-win situation if we can “just get started.” Verywell.com says that Goals matter. Setting the right goals, having a plan to reach those goals, and following through on what is required to reach or maintain those goals, can make the difference between having a happy, fulfilled life or not having a life at all.  

Pay it forward to the next. Once you save to save yourself, share it with anyone that will listen, especially if you have children or relatives that are close enough to see you go through the process and start a new tradition. Expound upon one of the golden rules about giving and CHEERFULLY SAVE YOURSELF!

BE_you_T_Ful Brows

Welcome Back Beauties!

Let’s say a little prayer before we get started. Why!? Because this subject is a sensitive one. What I will share with you is a very much needed aspect of our beauty regimen, yet it is often discounted as a cheap trick. When it’s not overlooked, let’s say, uuhhmm (clears throat) it can be handled with much disrespect and lack of care. What in the world are you talking about, you might ask? The Infamous Eyebrow!!! (dun dun dun).

Whilst everything we do when it comes to making up our faces can be regarded as a form of artistic expression, of particular note is the infamous eyebrow. There are feather brows, ponytail brows, squiggly brows colored/glitter brows, brow extensions, brow stamps/stencils…and on and on!! Our eyebrows come in different shapes, textures, colors and thicknesses, naturally. They change after years of waxing, plucking, threading and razors.  As we age, they can become thin, turn color, or be completely non-existent.

For daily use to help our small furry friends out, there are many items – powder, wax, dye, pencils, wiz, pomade, etc. Some of us use too many products, some too few, and others, none at all. This is a personal preference, of course. My concern lies in whether or not brow grooming is performed to the features of our face and eye shape. Eyebrows are NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL!! Let me repeat, Eyebrows are NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL.

As I have expressed in this column in the past, we all have different shaped faces, different shaped eyelids and guess what? Different shaped eyebrows. Whoa!… (gasps and bucks eyes here). Before any aesthetic treatment is applied to the brows, they must be the most complimentary to our face and appropriate to the eye shape that we all have been uniquely and individually blessed with. We must also remember that eyebrows are sisters, not twins. Just ask yourself this question, is any body part, eye, ear, leg, foot the exact same as the other? Ummmm, NO. So your eyebrows should not be. That does not mean they should look like lopsided distant cousins, but they should be very close in appearance once you’ve had them done.

Can you tell you how much I love the eyebrow?! And I’m always looking…lol.  Eyebrows have the ability to transport us from one era in time to another. They frame the face and can complete a makeup look (or look like something is missing). An eyebrow can bring us to complete horror or extreme laughter.

I’ll use myself as an example. I have been guilty of many beauty trends like the extremely thin eyebrow and the “overdone” eyebrow,  meaning my eyebrows didn’t meet in the middle and/or the tail of my eyebrow went all the way down to the corner or my eyes. I’ve had them too large or too dark for my small, hooded eyes. Forgive me!!  There are some trends that are better than others. I have changed eyebrow color based on the look I was creating. If it was a more natural look, I used more of a natural pencil color.  For a more creative look, I would use a darker color. Some looks are about personal preference. I absolutely never use black, ebony or granite on myself.  Granted, I have seen those colors work well on others. I have personally used all forms of eyebrow filler except dye. I must say that I am in love with eyebrow pencils. L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer is one of my most absolute favorites, and it is affordably priced.

As I’ve stated, everything here is largely my opinion and my personal preference, but I will add that I get quite a few compliments on my eyebrows. And some days I only fill them in, put on eyeliner and maybe add a strip lash.   With that said, I hope you will consider my opinions the next time you stand before the mirror to handle your eyebrows.

Here are a few tips for filling in brows and photos for one of my latest looks below.

1.  Brush with a spoolie brush prior to applying anything to them.

2. If the hairs in your eyebrows are long, you may need to trim them.

3. Use a firm angled brush for applying eyebrow defining concealer.  (Any other firm brush that you like is okay, as long as you have a steady hand). This is for use under the brow, and should match your skin color as closely as possible, especially if you aren’t wearing any other makeup. When applying a full face, the concealer color you use can be up to 2 shades lighter on your brow bone area.

 

Always remember to be a girl with hope, a lady with faith and a woman in love with the Lord!

Empowering Women, Igniting Change

With March being Women History Month it is only befitting for Nouveau Exposure to feature a woman who is impacting the world locally, nationally and globally. Carlisha Williams is a woman of many hats. She was born in Monroe, LA and raised in Tulsa, OK. She started her career as a young woman teaching and has grown to be the Executive Director of Tulsa Legacy Charter School. She also does consulting work as well as runs a growing organization known as Women Empowering Nations (WEN). She describes herself as a social entrepreneur. In her own words, she “helps leaders to identify their power, unlock their purpose and develop their platform.” Her passion ignites the most when she is working to empower young girls and women.

It wasn’t until Carlisha attended college that she felt something unlock within her to ignite change. Carlisha experienced her own struggles with self-esteem during her childhood and from that was inspired to help young ladies to be able to overcome any struggles they experience and take every opportunity she could to expose them to a world they never knew was accessible to them.  Upon her completion of undergraduate studies, she competed and won the Miss Black University of Oklahoma pageant and went on to compete for the Miss Black Oklahoma USA pageant. From her role as a pageant winner, she was afforded the opportunity to travel and speak with girls across the state of Oklahoma helping them to build their self-esteem and find their purpose in life. After her graduate studies ended, she resided in Gambia working on a consulting project with the Gambian government for a girls education program. It was also there that she started Women Empowering Nations with their Literacy and Empowerment program for girls. From there, she returned to the United States to participate in the Teach for America program.

Through teaching, she was able to see how all the pieces of her life had aligned together and to took advantage of the partnerships she had created. She brought the work of WEN into her classroom and other schools to provide social and emotional development for female students.

WEN has been operating since 2009 and promotes the self-esteem and leadership development of girls through mentorship, leadership, and travel seminar programs. In the United States there are girls participating in Tulsa and Oklahoma City in the state of Oklahoma as well as participants in Houston, TX. The participants and mentors attend the quarterly sessions focused on leadership development, team building, global awareness, women’s empowerment, advocacy, and more. The experience culminates in the summer with the travel seminar to The Netherlands and Tanzania in July where the girls will participate in the Girls Leading Our World Leadership conference that WEN will be hosting in Tanzania. They will have the opportunity to build relationships with Tanzanian girls and do volunteer/mission work. There will be connections made on the social level and exposure to places inaccessible in the local communities of the participants.

What is beautiful about the WEN organization is that the girls who were in one of the very first programs in Gambia have completed the program and graduated from high school. Some of those young ladies are now mentoring in their own branch of the program in their own country. This is truly an accomplishment in Gambia as Carlisha informs that only 30% of girls go on to even enroll in high school.  Not only are there past mentees participating as mentors in Gambia, but in the chapters in the United States as well.

The program directors are currently working to build a technology platform for the mentor relationships to connect with participants abroad and across the nation. This development limit he barrier of having to be in the physical location of a partner school. Now  mentors will be able to reach girls globally in their homes through technology.

With all of the work that Carlisha is doing through WEN, it is not as a faith based organization but the leader does have a Christian foundation. Carlisha is also a published author on top of everything that she does. She has written a book entitled Choosing Faith Over Fear.

“My motivation for writing this book was to share the story behind the glory and allow for people to realize that this life is precious and it is time to step out of your comfort zone and run towards your calling,” said Carlisha when asked what inspired her to write this book. She became an executive leader at the age of 28. Carlisha has been asked what her secret to success is to accomplish all that she has done. She simply felt the need to share her testimony of how her faith in God grew. People were able to see the success but were unaware of the choices that she had to make. Carlisha simply explained that for this reason she decided to share through this book how she has chosen faith over fear in her professional choices, relationships and self-views.

With a book having such a powerful title some would think that there just has to be a strong foundation of faith. Well, while Carlisha was raised in the church, there was a pivotal moment in the 7th grade when her life changed. Carlisha experienced a tragedy losing her best friend, at the time, who was murdered by their father. Carlisha recalls that she was supposed to have a sleepover at the friends’ home and her mother had told her that she didn’t feel right about her spending the night that particular evening and had her stay at home. The next morning a mutual friend called to tell her to turn on the news and she learned that the friend and her entire family had been murdered by the father.

The following week Carlisha attended a youth group that her friend would bring her to and remembers that the words the minister spoke that evening felt as though he was speaking directly to her. She feels that literally from that moment her life had changed. She began to travel to do mission work and witness to people in various countries. From there her view of the world was unlocked.

Carlisha’s life has been a puzzle coming together piece by piece connecting each story and building a grand portrait of what her heart has a desire to accomplish. She has a heart to encourage others and God has enabled her to continuously have opportunities where her past experience helps to build the future. To you, our readers, she says, “Really take a hold of your gifts and your passion to use it and not allow the obstacles you face or the pain and the valleys  you go through to be a detour from that path of purpose. Often times it’s in our pain that God transforms it into purpose to be used to bless the lives of other people.”

Melissa Fredericks

Melissa set out to write her book in February. She expressed the idea to Kevin during their date night and between dinner and a movie he took her to the store and purchased a computer for her to use to write the book. Hard work paid off because this past August she released her book titled, Journey to Self-Love.

Melissa considers herself an introvert, but if she has to pick something it would be public speaking. During the process of writing the book she found it to be stressful and intimidating. Her husband encouraged her to write as if she were actually speaking to women and the words began to flow. She wanted to share her story on personal experiences and struggles for universal issues with the readers. “I thought I could humpty dumpty myself to be this woman that I thought was beautiful and perfect and everything that I thought that I wasn’t,” said Melissa. As she reflected for writing purposes on her emotions while dealing with low self-esteem she found it to be therapeutic for her and even realized some areas where she was still struggling. She wants women to feel empowered after reading her book and understand that the way God created them is great. She has read books about many subjects that have brought about a range of emotions but she wants the women who read her book to feel empowered to change. The person in the mirror should be someone you like and love and anyone who struggles with that, as she did, should begin their journey to love themselves as is, no exceptions.

You might think that Melissa, a.k.a. MrsKevOnStage, was anticipating sales of hundreds of books. Well, surprisingly one exciting weekend Melissa’s husband, Kevin, took to social media to promote pre-sales of her book. Melissa recalls thinking she would order no more than 50 books and thought from that amount she would only sale a few from online orders and try to sale more at the Love Yourself Gabfest, which was recently held in Atlanta, GA. Well, thanks to her husband promoting her book she went from 50 books to over 200 in the first few days from online orders and needed to order more for the Gabfest.

When asked how she is handling the spotlight as an author she stated, “at the end of the day I still feel like we’re in the thick of the grind, we haven’t arrived. It’s still an adjustment.” Melissa has dreams and aspirations to accomplish and having this book published is just one of them.