But before we get into the details of this month, let's recap last month's Best You Challenge!
RECAPPING LAST MONTH'S CHALLENGE
Last month's challenge was a doozy! Instead of focusing on one new habit, we focused on three:
A 45 minute HIIT workout every day
Drinking a Gallon of water every day
I went into this month thinking: I've got this. Seeing as I've been on #MyFitnessJourney for the past two and a half years, I thought it'd be a piece of cake. What I didn't take into consideration was the fact that I haven't full on worked out since last November. I've been spending the first part of the year working on my relationship with food. I have been intermittent fasting, I've been eating healthier and cleaner, and I stopped drinking soda all together.
Doing this came out of frustration. Working out sucks, but it's something that I can manage. But it doesn't feel good when I know I've been going hard in the gym but I don't see the results because of my poor diet. A fitness journey is 50% what you eat, 30%mindset, and 20% working out. I realized I wasn't going to start seeing long lasting change until I got my mindset right around food.
I find intermittent fasting to be a great addition to tracking macros. This allows me to eat whatever I want in moderation, while still working towards my goals. What I realized during this month's challenge was I still need work in the "moderation" area.
Even during the week when I vlogged my diet on the Phorbe Instagram page I noticed I was still approaching eating cleaner and healthier with a lot of hostility.
As far as the werk out portion of the challenge, it was a tough start. My muscles were so sore the first week. However, the more my body got used to the workout the easier it became. I became absolutely addicted to that post work out high. I also noticed significant progress in the amount of reps I could do of each exercise in the three minute period. For example, pushups, burpees, and mountain climbers were the most challenging exercises for me. On the first day of the challenge, I could only manage about 10 pushups 5 before stopping. By the end of the challenge, I was completing 40, 20 before stopping.
Drinking water was the easiest part of this challenge. Remember, we've done this challenge before exactly. So, I already knew what was up on this side. Over the years, I've learned to skip the fresh lemons that just go bad in 2 days and the lemon flavored oil and just use lemon juice. This way, I'm drinking water straight from my Brita filter instead of wasting money on bottled water. Helps the planet too!
All in all, this is a challenge that I will definitely continue on in my daily life. I lost a total of 8 pounds from our challenge. I'm feeling good and in the full swing of things. The only change I will be making is implementing a rest day for my body to recuperate. This week, I've been resting from our challenge. But starting next week, I will begin the Insanity program. I'm anxious but excited for the next part of my fitness journey.
May's Best You Challenge
Last year, while homeless at the height of the pandemic, I decided that it was time for me to bring some structure in my life. I knew that the pandemic would afford me the opportunity to rest and come up with a solid plan on how to find a home. Yet, there were still too many fleeting moments of panic throughout the day that I feared would only get worse over time. So, I decided to create a morning routine.
In fact, I didn't create anything new. The morning routine I began doing was the same morning routine that I practiced throughout my staycation just a couple of years prior. It helped me stay sane during a dark moment in my life. So, instead of reinventing the wheel, I just adopted that same routine to keep me sane while quarantining in my rental car.
This turned out to be the best decision I could have ever made. Practicing my morning routine allowed me to start each day on a positive and empowered note. Taking the time to nurture myself through the situations that I was in (homelessness and a pandemic) and mentally work through my feelings and thoughts on both, allowed me start making clear, concise decisions that eventually led me to finding a home, starting a business, seeking therapy etc
So, with this being mental health awareness month, I thought it would be a good idea to encourage those of you in the Phorbe Queendom, who don't have a morning routine to start one. My hope is that we will dive deeper into getting to know ourselves, our goals, and our pain points that need healing.
What Does a Morning Routine Consist Of
Because this is your time to spend time with you and reset your mindset, a morning routine should always be tailored to your specific needs. However, to get us started (especially complete beginners), last year, around this time, I did a daily series on my morning routine on our Phorbe Instagram page. See the different parts of my morning routine below:
Praying with God allows me the opportunity to confer with God on my intentions for the day while simultaneously releasing any fear, stress, or worries I may have. For futher clarification, take a look at our blog post on praying here.
I like to spend time learning from God by reading the bible through daily devotionals. If praying is my time to talk with God and ask questions, reading devotionals is my time to listen to God for an answer.
Reading your bible daily, memorizing scriptures, and listening to what the Lord has to say can provide you with the clarity and wisdom to tackle the challenges you face throughout your day. It's like suiting up for battle.
Not to mention, there's an extreme sense of accomplishment when you finish a devotional.
You can find devotionals on all sorts of topics. There are books like #ThePurposeDrivenLife. There are apps like #YouVersion , the #Bible app, #Tandem, and #SheReadsTruth. You can even find and download devotionals online. I personally love to use She Reads Truth.
I love listening to power music in the morning. I have created playlists in Tidal, my favorite music streaming service (because Beyonce duh), for both the morning and evening. These playlists consist of three to five songs to get my day started. These are my favorite songs that get me hyped, motivated, and in the mood to tackle my day.
While listening, I either lay back with my eyes closed, hug myself and sing along, or, if I'm in a really good mood, I have a solo dance party.
Here are the songs on my morning playlist right now:
Brown Skin Girl by Beyonce, Wizkid and Blue Ivy Carter
This is Me from The Greatest Showman
You Will be Found from Dear Evan Hansen the Musical
Defying Gravity from the Wicked Musical
just like magic by Ariana Grande
Meditation connects me to my higher self. It gives me the opportunity to completely withdraw into myself and confer with my true self and God.
There's no mask here. I am truly me and I take the opportunity to ask questions and work through any problems I may be having.
Connecting to my higher self also gives me the opportunity to tap into that sorce of abundance and love God has made available for us all. I can connect to that source and recharge. If yesterday was a bad day, today, that's all washed away and replaced with good energy, love, and confidence to make TODAY great.
Swipe through below to see some of my favorite meditations while I was quarantining last year:
3 pages handwritten every morning. All grammar, correct spelling, and proper words fly out the window. This is a freedom exercise where I'm not bogged down by rules. I write whatever is on my mind without thinking about it. If there's nothing on my mind, I write: "there's nothing on my mind".
This allows me to free up real estate in my mind so that I can tackle more important and creative matters throughout my day. It's highly therapeutic and once you start doing this, you'll find that you become attached to your morning pages. Instead of coffee, I find myself saying I cannot start my day until I put thoughts on the page.
If you need more guidance, check out our blog post on journaling here.
Exercising or Reading
The last and final thing I do during my morning routine is either read or workout. Right now I'm reading #ThePowerOfNow and as I said, I will begin the Insanity workout program in just a couple of days.
Reading is exercise for the mind and exercise is a way for me to strengthen my mind. Dana Chanel has a great saying: "I am not a slave to my body or my mind." I use that mantra often when I'm working out and pushing my body to it's full potential.
I used to workout three times a week and read the other four. My goal is to actually get to a point where I'm both reading for 30 minutes and doing a quick 30 yoga/stretching session every morning. I won't start this until after the insanity program, as I'm still planning to do HIIT workouts three times a week on top of the daily yoga.
For the best results a morning routine is best practiced early in the morning when the world is still sleeping and there are no distractions. For this reason, I choose to wake up at 4am to start my morning routine. The time is up to you though, just make sure it is a sacred time that you can use ever morning uninterrupted.
What is the Challenge
This month, I challenge you to choose three aspects of my routine to adopt and practice in your own life daily for twenty one days. Do each exercise for at least twenty minutes totaling 1 hour. Challenge yourself to do this every morning at the same time every morning without interruption. This is your sacred time to check in with yourself, find clarity, re-center and refocus.
I will be challenging myself to add another layer to my morning routine. One that I've been wanting to add on for quite some time now, power posing with affirmations. As always, I will vlog my progress on the challenge in the Phorbe Instagram Page's stories.
How to Join
Since there are 31 days in May, this month's challenge will begin on May 11thh and run through the end of the month. On May 11th, I will post the challenge's cover photo on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. To join the challenge, send me a DM saying: "I'm In". Then make sure you check in weekly for accountability and the chance to win free giveaways!
So Queens, what do you say? Are you ready to reset your mindset and start your days off empowered? -Queen Maree
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MAY 7, 2021