Activity Challenge

Hello Jewels and Gents! This week I’ll be focusing on making working out a habit. As the saying goes it takes 21 days to create or break a habit and 90 days to make it a lifestyle.

Now, the challenge is only to do some form of activity at the same designated time daily 3 times this week, starting today. Coincidentally, during this past week WW meeting the focus was activity. Probably not a coincidence for me, just confirmation that I need to workout. Anyways, I challenge any of you that want to join to start with 3 days this week and then 3 days the following week and beyond.

While my challenge says just 3 days, I honestly want to shoot for everyday. Because knowing me, I’ll start off great. Then, I’ll have what they call a rest day, next it turns into 2 days and then a week has gone by. So, if I can dedicate 30 minutes of my daily life to things I enjoy doing for working out like walking, jogging, or yoga, then I’ll be well pleased with myself. Now, if I add in some weights and other gym like stuff, even better. But, I’m sticking to the basics and what I know I’m happy doing, although I hate working out. Yet, we gotta do what we gotta do to get the results we are striving for.

Details regarding the challenge will be available on my Instagram @dmstrivingforhealthy. If you are going to join me for this week’s challenge of exercising for 30 minutes 3 times, share in the comments. I’d love to hear from you all.

Cheers Jewels, to more activity or if you’re already there thanks for inspiring the rest of us to get up and move!

I Joined Weight Watchers, so Here’s What’s Next!

Making healthy eating choices is the story of my life! I struggle so hard to eat right even though I know everything there is to it. I know what has proven to help me lose weight. I know the foods that make me feel bad. I know what foods are high in antioxidants, alkaline, good for my blood type, my particular metabolism, you name it, I know it! But… I STILL struggle to make the right choices that will keep me on a losing weight path whether it be to quickly lose the weight *cough cough* Keto and Quick Weight Loss Centers or simply counting calories- which is the slower route but better in the long run to keep it off.

Here is why I think counting calories is better. I have shared before how I have done Quick Weight Loss Centers program which worked. I lost over 30 pounds. Once I stopped following the plan, the weight quickly came back on. Then, I tried the beloved keto diet. That worked like a charm with intermittent fasting. I lost right at 30 pounds. Went on vacation last summer and got off plan. And…once the school year started, I began stress eating and oh my goodness the weight came back worse. Got on the scale I was up 20 pounds before I knew it. Basically, every time I have tried the quick route, the weight falls off but quickly comes back when I stop following the strict rules. And sometimes, in the case of QWLC I would be hungry. I was eating very little food; of course, I was going to lose weight.

My weight is something I have battled majority of my life. But being a mom now, I need to have an out pour of energy because my toddler is extra busy, and I really want to enjoy her.

Well to help a sista out, I joined Weight Watchers. I have been admiring Oprah eating whatever she wants and staying slim and all these other folks on her commercials. Plus, one of my great friends is a WW success story. So, I figured I paid Quick Weight Loss tons of money, why not try WW which is much less. I went to my first meeting, it went well. Then, I went to the second meeting, lost 5+ pounds my first week. THEN… I stopped tracking my points and eating whatever. That lasted for 2 weeks. The following Monday, I started tracking again, by Wednesday I fell off the wagon. Tried it again the next Monday. Lost 2+ pounds that week. So a total of about 8 pounds lost in a month. Not bad, right?

Yet, I was like this is taking too long. I want results now. I called my sister and told her I am starting Keto the upcoming week. Like that was going to keep me accountable. That lasted all of 5 days, if that. Meanwhile, my friend that has done WW before, she had gained a few pounds during the school year and started when I did in May to lose what she gained. Fast forward to today, she is steadily going down with the program! She may not always lose a pound a week, but she loses at least half a pound (which is what WW indicates, anywhere from .5-2lbs a week). Girl is down over 10 pounds. She is so faithful, and has a beautiful regimen that is so simple that I must get down to doing. However in the meantime, I am going to stick to tracking my points for now. Monday began week 1 for my restart, it’s ok if you are laughing at this point. I have restarted so many times in the past two months. Can’t help but laugh at myself. With that said, I have been on track since Monday. I track everything I eat, even down to butter. My friend doesn’t track that intensely. Perhaps one day I will get there. I did not weigh myself Monday as I refuse to get on the scale anymore. Yet, I will be attending the meeting this upcoming Saturday. Saturdays are my weigh in days. Fingers crossed for some rapid weight loss from a few weeks ago because I know I have probably gained during the time I was not tracking and eating whatever. But even with no weight loss or gain, I am going to press forward, and do better for the week after that.

I am sharing all of this to say that I have started an Instagram account just for this. I figured by putting it out there in a private IG account I may be able to keep myself accountable and on track towards a healthy weight. If you would like to follow along and provide health suggestions please follow me @dmstrivingforhealthy.

Apple Cider Juice. Recipe on my Instagram @dmstrivesforhealthy.

To all of you out there that understand this struggle, we are in this together. You can do this! I can do this! It is really just about making up your mind that you are going to cut out bad habits. There are so many people losing weight with WW, keto, counting calories, Whole 30, yoga, drinking a gallon of water a day, the blood type diet. Whichever of these float your boat, do it. The goal is to be healthy. My friend always shares how she wants to look good besides her kids when they take grad, wedding pics, and other milestone moments of their lives, and she is so right. I do not want my little one remembering me obese, out of breath, and looking plump beside her in those future photos. She loves me however I look, but I want to be my best self for her. And weight loss is not a race. With steady consistency in eating habits and incorporating more movement, we’ll get there. Most importantly, it takes loving the version of yourself you are now, and realizing that you will feel so much better as a lighter you. If you truly love thyself, you will do what it takes to heal and be a healthier you. I love being plus size. But this tummy has to go! We can’t be friends anymore. It aint’t cute, for one, and two, it is very unhealthy. I can write a list of reasons why having a midsection is unhealthy, but that is another post.

Lastly, look forward to challenges that I will be doing. Feel free to join in and share how you are doing as we progress. As being week 1, I just wanted to get started again with making better choices. Next week, I will implement a small challenge that will hopefully become a habit. I will share those on the blog as well as Instagram.

Best wishes to you all, Jewels and Gents! And to those of you who are already on a weight loss journey or in maintenance mode, feel free to share your success! I love recipe and workout ideas.

Cheers to healthy habits! Don’t forget to follow @dmstrivingforhealthy!

Beauty Product Review: Belif’s True Cream Aqua Bomb Moisturizer

If you’re experiencing summer as I have, then your summer truly started in May. That’s right. Here in the south things warm up a lot faster. We didn’t have to wait until June 21st to celebrate the first day of summer. She was already here sizzling us with her shiny bright hot rays a month in advance.

As we move into the hotter months, our skin care regimen must change. While summer was creeping up on us, I decided to try the moisturizer everyone was raving about. I had ran out Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar moisturizer, so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying something new. This new product just did not compare to the wonders of Hope in a Jar.

Before I give Belif’s True Cream Aqua Bomb a thumbs down, I must say it does hydrate pretty well. But, that’s about it. It did nothing more than that. My skin felt moisturized; however, the antioxidant fighting agents that were present in Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar were not there. Within a week of using the product, I could tell a difference in my skin. I had a few blemishes, and as Summer cranked her heat up, I had to use a tad bit more product as some areas of my face were intensively dry and flaky.

Hence, the verdict on this product is perhaps it is a great moisturizer for the cooler months of the year where you will not have to apply as much to be satisfied. Also, to get the most bang out of your buck, I do not see the point in paying just about the same price as Hope in a Jar for a product that does not deliver nearly the same results. If your goal is just to place a moisturizer on your face daily after cleansing I would go for a drug store product that is cheaper. On the contrary, if you’re like me and you are working on your Halle Berry now, ensuring you age well with time, use a product that many love such as Hope in a Jar that I can contest to be great with keeping away blemishes, anti-aging and wrinkles, and being the ultimate hope in a jar that you can find at your local Ulta or Sephora.

Now, I must share that I have been testing out a lot of new beauty products lately. When I run out, which was the case with Belif, that is when I will share my results on how well the product worked. With that being said, I have switched from Philosophy altogether to Aveeno. Many people kept sharing with me their success with Aveeno. That made me really want to try it. Thus, info on Aveeno’s products coming soon.

Hope this review was helpful and insightful. I have used the entire jar of Belif. It took about two months to do so. Perhaps it didn’t deliver with the results for me and some of you may have better outcomes. My Belif was purchased at Sephora for $22 for the 25ml container. The standard size is $38 for 50ml of the product. On the other hand, a standard size version of Hope in a Jar is $39. Both products are very much loved by users. And this is not to say I am done with Belif, I do want to try their other moisturizer which may be more suitable for my skin. Whichever way the cookie crumbles, I’ll be sure to share.

Until then, cheers to well moisturized skin, Jewels!

Interview with Journey to be Me

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview with Lynn Delaney the face and creator of Journey to be Me. We discussed elements of my book, That’s Me, as well as this blog and future endeavors. Check out the interview, and links to her pages are below.

Click to watch video
Click image to watch

Life was giving me the blues that day, so bear with that hat. It is for your protection, lol. You do not want to see what was under there.

Anyways, enjoy the video. Leave feedback and/ or questions.

HAPPY SPRING, JEWELS!

Don’t forget to follow if you aren’t already! IG| @theedonnamarie, TWITTER| @_theedonnamarie, check out my website| http://www.donnamarieleonard.com/

Journey to be Me IG| @iamjourneytobeme, Youtube| https://www.youtube.com/user/AVDelaney1

The Lash Depot Store Review

From the first glance, you knew they were meant to be. It is something about them that makes everyone rave over them. Yes, lashes! They are the beauty enhancer you want in your everyday look. When your lashes are on point, you really do not need anymore makeup. Well, a little lip color and you are poppin!

Lash extensions are one of the biggest things in makeup right now. Everyone is wearing them.

I must say that the few times I have worn lashes, I felt beautified. I know many women can agree, and that is why so many ladies wear lashes on the every day basis or even have individual lashes put on that last a few weeks. My eyes look dreamy with the lashes. The lashes are definitely an appealing piece to have on. So, if you have not tried lash extensions or you are looking for the latest in lashes read on.

The Lash Depot sent me a few sets of their Boss Lady lashes to try out. I was really excited to receive them and could not wait to try them. Of course, I did not wear them until I wanted to have that extra glitz of glamour. I did my makeup as usual, very basic day-to-day wear, then I added the lashes. There was a major difference between my mascara and the lashes. I truly took on the look of a boss.

The Boss Lady lashes by The Lash Depot are mink lashes. They are well packaged, and they are of great quality. The lashes are packed with an eyelash wand. I have worn the same set twice with no problems. I use the duo lash glue as an adhesive. The lashes do not come off until I pull them off. And for someone that does not wear lashes consistently, the Boss Lady lashes were very comfortable, hardly remembered I had them on.

I truly recommend this product. I am a beauty lover, and I believe in buying quality beauty products. These lashes are surely one I will add to my stash of makeup. Even for the ladies that are like myself, you may not wear lashes except for special occasions, the lashes carried at The Lash Depot are great to have on hand for those moments.

A great feature about The Lash Depot is that they are wholesalers. So, for those of you that are looking to rack up or add something new to your lash inventory, try THE LASH DEPOT! And if you just want lashes for yourself, check out their monthly subscriptions. There is something for everyone at The Lash Depot!

Thank you Lash Depot for sending me your lashes! When I want to have my ultra bossed-up look, I will wear my Boss Lady lashes.

Check out the Lash Depot at http://thelashdepot.com/ and Instagram, @thelashdepotstore, for all of their offers. Plus, receive 15% off your first order. Use the code NEWLASH!

Happy lash wearing, Jewels!

Build Yourself This 2019


“I am the sparkle in the gold.
I AM AMAZING!”
Donna Marie

The newness it brings, along with cheerfulness we sing, it’s a delightful thing. That’s the optimism that comes with the New Year. We excitedly bring it in, with hopes of achieving what last year did not win. But, this is not the time for any more excuses. This is the time for us all to embrace the hope the New Year has given us. 

For this reason, you have to accept the challenge that has been granted you, life. And you were only given one. So this year marks the start of completing those New Year resolutions. While failed attempts may spring about, you cannot give up. This is your year to achieve the unbelievable. Will it require hard work, and take you out of your comfort zone? Yes, but it will be worth it. Those nights you go down with the moon and wake with the rising sun, will all be for the good of accomplishing the life you have always wanted.  

This 2019, embark on creating the life you have seen yourself having. No more dreaming, time for your dreams to come to life. Walk in the path you have always known was meant for you. This is your year. There isn’t a more prominent time than now, to be in love with yourself enough that you give your dreams a chance to come alive.

There is nothing like waking up knowing that you are going to strive toward your greatness that day. Because too often, we drag ourselves out of bed to fulfill the dreams of someone else. But, it never has to be that way again.

You have the power within you to make greatness occur in your life. There are two simple steps to make this happen: believe in yourself and getting started. Once, you believe that you can possibly do it, you’re ready to take the first step. And then, you are on your way!

Last year, I learned just what it meant to step out of my own way and work towards my goals. And that was just one tiny step towards the big picture I envision of myself.

Jewels, if you do not have any goals this year other than surviving, I encourage you to build on the gift you have and elevate yourself. You deserve it.

Happy New Year, Jewels! Be You!

Taking Care of Ourselves: Breast Cancer Awarenes

Unfortunately, many have experienced the loss of someone dear to them due to this cruel disease. And while we are all aware that breast cancer exist, we must make sure that we are taking the steps to ensure our health. I have been left heart broken a few times in my lifetime learning that someone I cared about passed to this disease. It is so important that women educate themselves on understanding the signs of cancer as well as monitoring themselves at home.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation provides a great deal of information on how to perform an exam at home, early detection, the stages, treatment, support and much more. And there are several other sites out there that are credible in providing similar details.

breastcancerbeads
Bracelets serve as great reminders to be aware of breast cancer and other illnesses. I made these to distribute at Women’s Wellness & Fitness Day.

As women, we are so engulfed into being mom, wife, our careers, basically taking care of others that sometimes we do not take the time to check in on ourselves. We matter so much to our families. They are depending on us; for this reason, we have to take care of ourselves. So if you have reached that plateau in your life for annual mammograms, get it done. Even if you haven’t reached that age, it doesn’t hurt to monitor at home. We have to strive for great health, our families are counting on us.

Jewels, let’s always do what we can to stay healthy for ourselves and our loved ones. Your health truly matters. Without good health, we are good for nothing.

Raise awareness for breast cancer, Jewels.