Monday, August 31, 2009

Motivating your children

As mothers, we have a responsibility to our children. It is our duty to be good at whatever it is we do in order to encourage our children to live life to the fullest. Being a good mother means being fulfilled, in order pass on that fulfillment to our children.

Whatever you do, be the best at it. Whether it's your work, volunteer or hobby, be an example to your children by showing them that when you love to do something, it makes all the difference in the world. Paid or unpaid. In seeing you doing something with passion, your children will want to undertake activities with the same motivation and conviction.

"Doing what we were meant to do creates fun, excitement and contentment in our lives, and invariably, in the lives of the people around us. When you're excited about something it's contagious."Mark Victor Hansen

Your children are reflections of you, what you see in them, is who you are.MM

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Your Wellness

I want to thank my guest Blogger Fatima Da for this wonderful article on Wellness.

Wellness is a concept which has been around since the 50’s and is linked to Dr H.L Dunn (1896-1975). It has been defined as "an integrated method of functioning which is oriented toward maximizing the potential of which the individual is capable. It requires that the individual maintain a continuum of balance and purposeful direction within the environment where he is functioning.” The concept was not popular then, not until the 70’s and has been associated with alternative medicine. Generally wellness has been used to describe the healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit triad; a state that combines health and happiness. It can be viewed as the way in which we balance and cater for our mental/emotional, physical and spiritual health state and how we make choices daily to attend to our wellbeing. Approaches to wellness do vary and usually depends on who is using it or talking about it; I suppose the most important aspect is to promote the generally wellbeing of individual/s where they subsequently live a healthier and happier life.

However for some of us our emotional and mental wellness may be determined by our physical state where we may struggle especially if challenged by body abnormalities, genetic problems, accidents or various illness. The beauty here is that for those affected by ailments beyond their control, skills such as psychological tools can be utilized to help maximise the potential to live be happy and get the best out of life.

Research have indicated that people who have a happy and optimistic disposition and laugh more in their day to day life , live far happier and have a longer life span.

Moreover, research has also studied how positive attitude coupled with spiritual practices such as regular church attendance promotes health, wellness and healing.

The road to wellness and happiness can be paved by the small decisions we make daily toward our health. “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh! Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is” By M.A Radmacher. Good luck...... and God bless ... for additional resources visit my blog at ...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weight Loss


Exercise 3 to 5 days a week, preferably in the morning.

Find a routine you enjoy. Mix up your routine with cardio(aerobics), strengthening(weights) and stretching(yoga). This jolts your body into working harder and results in weight loss.

Strength training is very important. Women should really try to go for anywhere between 10 to 20lbs. Don't strength train everyday. Every other day is ideal, as you need time for your muscles to rest and recoup.

Eat small meals (approx. 6-8) meals a day consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables. Eat by colour, greens, reds, blues, oranges, yellows.

On weekends, treat yourself. It's never a good idea to totally deprive yourself, you will resort to binging and that will result in more weight gain.

When grocery shopping, shop on the outer perimeters of the grocery store. This is where all the fresh food is located, fruits, veggies, breads, dairy and meats.

Don't grocery shop on an empty stomach, you are bound to buy junk food.

Get a measuring cup and start measuring your food. It might sound tedious, but after a while you will be able to measure your portions without the use of a measuring cup.

If you're Canadian, get the Canada Food Guide and try to design your meals according to that.
Get your free copy of the Canada Food Guide here.

Drink plenty of water, but also include fruit juices and dairy drinks.

Stay away from fads, low carb, South Beach, etc.

Follow a meal plan. There are some excellent meal plans online or sites that help you create your own. Search under meal plans.

Get an exercise partner, someone as motivated as you or even more...they will hold you accountable should your routine begin to fall by the wayside.

STAY AWAY from the scale. How much you weigh is no indication of how fit your body is or how healthy you are. Instead, go by how you feel and how your clothes feel on you.

Remember, this is a lifestyle choice not a fad.MM

Friday, August 21, 2009

Me Time

How many times have you wanted to do something nice for yourself or just take some time out and rest, but found something else coming in the way? Funny how many of us can find the time for our husbands, our children, our friends, our jobs and to do housework, but what about ourselves? How often do you make time to relax and unwind, without the guilt factor?
As women, we feel that if we do something nice for ourselves, we are depriving our husbands, boyfriends, children and families. What we need to understand is that, in order to be the good wife, girlfriend, mother, or daughter, we need to be good to us.
Whether it's a good book, time in your garden or taking up a new hobby, time with yourself is very important. It allows you to put things in perspective, to get a new outlook and best of all, it gives you energy and the motivation to go on being Superwoman.
To have some me time is not selfish, in this busy world, it's necessary. So girlfriend go out to lunch, have a spa day, get a mani-pedi, you deserve it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Supportive Woman

Many of us expect when we get together with a guy, he should pretty much have his life together (a job, home, car, investments.) When some of us find ourselves-meeting or are in relationships- with men who do not have these, there tends to be resentment and regret.

I know many men that are trying to make successes of their lives, but dreams, like with most goals take time and nurturing. Ladies, support real, attainable dreams of those who want to make something of themselves and make their mark not only in society but in the world, not ridiculous ambitions, (I met a 40 year old man once, who was an aspiring rapper...get serious.) I have met many women who after meeting a man and learning of his circumstances and aspirations (unemployment, student, etc.) have already judged him as being unambitious or lazy. However, when these men realize their goals, these same women are calling them, trying to get a date.

Be realistic about your intentions in this type of relationship. Supporting a man with dreams takes time and if you are not in it for the long haul, then this is not for you. Nobody wants their time wasted. If hard times come (and they will), don't complain...too much. You knew what you were getting into. Success usually comes, but not right away. Also, don't let family and friends sway you from your decision to support your man. Misery likes company and some of these people might be looking for company for their own miserable situations. I have been the source of ridicule from girlfriends who thought I was wasting my time on a man with aspirations. He later turned out to be my husband.

Remember to not talk down to your partner because of impatience or frustration. He might already be feeling frustrated and defeated. Pressuring him about things beyond his control and insulting will not help matters. Be supportive. You would want the same if the shoe were on the other foot.MM

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Fitness is something we should all take seriously. Too many of us take our weight for granted. The truth is, without exercise and some form of daily physical activity, our weights will only continue to rise and our health will decline. Many black women find it difficult to get into a fitness regime. Citing excuses such as hair, children, school, work, family, etc.

Without regular fitness, we are leaving open the way to not only unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, excessive alcohol and fatty foods, but to illnesses, including obesity, diabetes (African Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes than white women of the same age) and heart disease.

To women who are thinking of starting an exercise regimen, follow these few basic guidelines and you will be well on your way.

1) Be serious about your fitness goals. Don't set unattainable goals that you know you cannot follow and are not willing to achieve.

2) Get a fitness partner. Someone who is as serious as you in meeting their fitness goals. This person is there to not only encourage you during your journey, but they will be holding you accountable if you start falling behind. Usually this person comes in the form of a spouse, partner, child or friend.

3) Start out slowly. Work up towards your goal. Exercising everyday is not sustainable. Start out a few days a week and then work up the frequency. Remember to take breaks. Your body, like any other machine, will breakdown if overworked.

4) Find some form of activity you like doing, this will help you stick to and obtain your goals.

5) Try something new. Changing up your workout is a great way to rev up your metabolism.

6) Ladies, please do not be afraid to lift weights. I have heard too many times from women, that lifting weights will bulk them up. This will not happen. You need testosterone to bulk up and even then, you need plenty of it. If you are curious about weights, go for it. Start out slowly and increase your weights - 10 to 15 lbs - you will definitely notice a difference.

If you are starting out on a fitness regimen, send me your before and after pictures. I will post them to encourage other black women to get moving.

Good LuckMM

Monday, August 10, 2009

Don't worry, be happy!

Don't worry, it will all work out in the end. How many times have you heard that, told someone or had it told to you? Looking back, was it not true? Did it not work out? Some people are professional worriers. Worrying about how they're bills are going to be paid, what they are going to have for dinner tonight, how to pay for their childrens' education, etc., etc. As humans, we have come to believe that worrying is natural. However, this psychological act is very unnatural. It is learned behaviour, along with doubt and fear. It is not surprising that the things we most worry about is what we fear the most.

To worry is to not trust in your and God's abilities. It is to say to yourself, I or God have not done enough, have not done what is best for me. People who stress over things are not as fulfilled as those who have a more carefree attitude. Carefree people are happier, more successful, are willing to trying to new things and make friends easier. Worrying robs people of true happiness and leaves a void for negative emotions such as disappointment, discouragement, anger and envy to set in. It can cause tension amongst family and friends and can cause and lead to serious health problems. People in our lives who worry needlessly are also bad for us, for their negative behaviour and habit may rub off on us.

Sometimes, it is better to keep things to yourself or to discuss your concerns and worries with just your God.MM

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Why not to worry

Lifetools for

Black Womens

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Faking the funk

As black women we love to fake the funk by leading lifestyles we can't afford. Buying things on impulse instead of paying bills, ducking creditors or trying to make a point to an ex-husband, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend and even family members. Many of us are fixadated on leading lifestyles that we perceive as being enviable. The thought is that, "maybe others will see me and want to be like me", or "look at me, I am doing better than you". Keeping up with the Joneses or just plain pretentious. We need to stop living as if we are only as good as the next trend. It's time black women began being honest with themselves. On the type of lives we can afford to live and our financial status.

Faking it, lying about it, getting angry, and getting into debt is just not the way, it only leads to trouble. We need to be willing to work for it, pray about it and not care what the next person thinks. We need to stop thinking that DIY makes us look cheap and being with a man with money but no manners is better than a hardworking man who is honest and loves us. We need to stop feeling guilty if we can't buy every brand name for our children and to be happy knowing they are healthy, clothed, fed and loved.

So keep it real. The Joneses might be better allies than enemies to compete against.MM

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Letting it Go

The end of a relationship can be very traumatic or liberating. I've heard of people who have done everything from throwing parties to committing suicide. As women, ending a relationship with a man can be very difficult. Why then, do we continue unfulfilling friendships with girlfriends? Friendships that have fallen by the wayside, no longer have a meaning, we don't care about or worse yet, infests us with negativity? One word: fear!

I had a friend who I had known for 20+ years. Things began to change with us when I got married. I started to see her less and less and spoke with her even less than that. When I had my son, it took her 5 months to come out and see us (we lived in the same city) and I didn't see or hear from her again until months after. When I had my daughter, I called her to tell her and we spent an hour talking about how things were not working out with her then boyfriend. I never heard from her again. I never called. It's been 2 years. I should've ended the relationship earlier, the signs were all there. I know of a sister who (in order to end a friendship) ended up running out of a train she was travelling on with those same friends. Later, when I asked why she didn't just tell her friends things were not working out, she said she was afraid to. We don't break up with our girlfriends the same way we do with our boyfriends. It's funny because, usually the friends we want to break up with are people who we have known a long time, who have been there for us, when we needed a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh or gossip with. The end of Toni and Joan's friendship on the TV show Girlfriends is a perfect example. It was no surprise, but it did leave me wondering why their friendship hadn't died years before.

We should not allow fear to keep us in bad relationships with our girlfriends. Relationships breaking down are a part of life and if you think yours is worth fighting for, give it that effort. If not, let the friendship go and lay it to rest, but remember to do with grace, tact, sensitivity and class. There's nothing more tasteless than watching a friendship breakdown on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.MM

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Celebrating your Spirituality

Ask most black women, and they would say that spirituality means having a God and perhaps being a 'believer'. For most, spirituality has religious ties. For me, spirituality is a lot more than just conforming to a religion or believing that there is a God. To have and believe in a God is a wonderful and fulfilling experience and to belong to a religion, means I know people who have somewhat of the same belief systems as I do.

To be spiritual however, encompasses that and so much more. It is a belief that you get back from the universe, what you put into it. Positive begets positive and negative begets negative. That nothing lasts forever and hardships will eventually be overcome. It is a belief that we don't walk this life alone and that while there are forces working against us, there are also forces fighting on our behalf for our success and salvation. It is being directed by a force that can't be explained but you know is there and is leading you, guiding you. It is knowing that something good or bad is going to happen without any forewarning and the determination to embrace or change the outcome. Finally, spirituality is knowing that you are more than the you, you and others see and the drive to make that inner you come out and shine. It is life with purpose.

To all my sisters out there, spend some time with yourself and celebrate your spirituality.MM

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Looking Back - Looking Forward

Every year around this time, I reflect on the year gone by and try to anticipate the one to come. Birthdays are funny like that, love it or hate it, as long as you have breath in your body, you can't avoid it. They are like a personal 'New Year'. I usually spend mine with family. Having a nice dinner with interesting conversation. As I reflect, I think of things I did right and wrong or could have done differently. None of which I can change but can definitely learn from. Watching my children play and thinking of how far I have come and how far yet I have to go. I treat myself to something, whether an item of clothing I've had my eye on or a pair of shoes and I always, always have something sweet. I believe that sweetness is a type of prosperity that you will take into the new year with you. For all those that have dreaded birthdays and only have seen them as getting older, don't despair. Look at it as an opportunity to become a new you, to do the things you have always wanted to do and to let your light shine.

For me, most importantly what a birthday represents is another chance to thank God for possibilities, hope, faith, outcome and his love.MM

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Doing our 'Thang'

So many of us have seen other black women doing things, and by things I mean careers, jobs, hobbies and activities. Things that we either wish we could do, had the time to do or the no fear attitude to at least try. I meet many women day after day who-when speaking with them-it comes out that they wish they had tried one thing or another in their life. I know many talented sisters who don't pursue their talents. Yet, when we see another sister out there taking a chance, we do one of two things, we either commend her for going out there and doing her 'thang' or we 'hate' on her. The latter is not right. What we should be doing is encouraging each other to pursue our goals and aspirations. We should not be 'downing' others' passions but instead be helping each other on how to improve on those passions to turn them into something bigger. We should also use that to inspire and motivate ourselves to find our talents and improve on them.

I want to tell black women out there that if you have a talent you are passionate about, pursue it. In time you will see, with faith, hard work and a positive attitude, big things will happen. For the 'haters', if you have nothing encouraging to contribute, please step aside and let the rest of us do our 'thang'. MM
(Painting: Touch of Envy, ArtPosters International)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Shades of Brown

How can you tell what shade of brown a black child will be? Look at their cuticles or the tips of their ears when they are born. At times it's hard enough being black, but we then go on to categorize ourselves in shades. As a young girl, I always knew I was a dark-skinned black girl. I don't know if I had been told or if I read it somewhere, but I just knew. In highschool, I didn't get as much attention from the boys as my light-skinned girlfriends except for that one month every year. During black history month in February, the attention was mine, but then it would fade away quickly in March. I once had a boyfriend tell me that he did not need to do anything for black history month because he was dating a dark-skinned girl. Looking back now, I don't think that was a compliment.

"Black as tar", "dark as night", or "so black their blue", these terms are as uncomfortable and as deregotory as white people's "pale as a ghost". We have become so used to these sayings, we don't see that it does nothing in uplifting each other. The shades of our skin should have absolutely nothing to do with how smart, attentive or attractive we are. A fair coloured girl was described as being passable in terms of her looks, the person had went on to say, "if she was dark, she would be in trouble." I've had conversations with black women where they have described light-skinned women as beautiful but dark-skinned women as "exotic", (like they were some rare animal at a zoo.) Vanilla, chestnut, mohagany, ebony are just a few of the terms we use to label our skin colour. I think it's time we went beyond these surface descriptions and looked at what really matters and what we have to offer. To our families, our friends, society and ourselves.

That dark-skinned girl is now all grown-up with little black girls of her own. It would break my heart if they had to deal with the colour issue from their fellow sisters as I had to. MM
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