Monday, June 25, 2012

Positive thoughts

I feel like I have so much to be thankful for and I try to remind myself of this everyday. I had a slip up in life today. Somehow I got involved in a bit of drama by simply being a good friend to someone else. Someone had an issue with it and I think there was some misplaced feelings and I some how became a target in a mini war. It put me in a negative mood all day. I am a busy girl and a bit of a lone ranger even though I have my husband. I work alone at a table (I love my job), I am home alone frequently, I shop alone, I eat alone, I workout alone....etc. I am alone a lot. I don't mind it though because when my husband and I have our time together we make up for all the missed time that our work week creates. I find it almost impossible to have drama in my life since I simply have no time for it at all. So...with today's issue I couldn't believe that I allowed myself to feel negative. I am practicing positive thinking. I am doing it now more than ever and I think todays random event was just a test.  I feel as if it was a way of distracting me from my positive thoughts and I had to work really hard to switch my thoughts around today, but I did it. I think looking around at our homes and the things we own whether big or small should make us feel blessed. Concentrating on our food and appreciating a meal is a definite way to feel positive. Writing in a journal, reading, praying, organizing (for me...haha), thinking about our successes, a bath, or talking to a good friend are all ways to switch your thoughts around. So...Today I came home and organized a few things. I love to do it because I am able to take the time to look at my belongings and remember where I got them and I get filled with a grateful feeling. Anyways...The point of this blog today is to remind you that no matter what random situations come up that can put you in a negative place, you have the power to get back to a place of positivity. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My journey to becoming a performer/entertainer

Being a performer/entertainer has it's perks. It's fun, it's something I'm passionate about, I make money doing what I love, good pay, and I meet new people all the time. A lot of people will say my job is "easy." But, this is the judging the book by the cover syndrome. The downfalls of my job are stress, worries about catching a cold (because you can't sing or talk), having to be up late hours all the time, smoky atmospheres, drunk people, drunk RUDE people, added stress of making sure an entire building is enjoying their time (your the host!) and not knowing if I will still have my job the next week. As an entertainer who is self employed you never know what will happen the next week. Prime example...I sang at an establishment for 5 years which we will talk about in a bit and it closed down from one day to the next! Will a business change their mind? Will they want to go a different direction? This is stressful. You can never get too comfortable in one place. 
My journey as an entertainer had been a long one and I've definitely paid my dues. I have been slandered, hated on, fake friended, discriminated against, and stalked because of what I choose to do with my life. I had always been interested in singing and I was always interested in singing for people. My dad bought me my first karaoke machine when I was 9 years old and the first karaoke song I learned was Crazy by Patsy Cline. I would sing in my garage by myself or in my closet and would pray that someday I would be able to do it for people. As I got older and the choir years approached in middle school and high school I began to try out for solos. I would make every solo in jr. high! I was so excited to get to go up to the microphone and sing. When I reached high school I had a new choir director who's daughter was in our class. He was the prime example of someone who used favoritism. There was one time my friend Diana and I decided we wanted to join an exclusive  show choir at our school and we were instructed to pick any song of our liking and we would have to audition. We chose a duet with Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand. We practiced this ALL summer long and every chance we got. When school started our senior year we went in during our lunch hour to audition and literally knocked this song out of the park. All of our hard work and dedication had paid off! No one wanted to try out after us because we had done so well. In the back of the room stood the choir directors daughter with her arms crossed and her eyes filled with jealousy. We didn't make the show choir. We were crushed because we knew we were good. 
I started to develop a horrible case of stage fright because he constantly rejected me for every show, solo opportunity, etc. I began to believe that I really was bad. But then I remembered all the solos I got in jr. high and realized that this guy was just not going to let me in because of his daughter and the favoritism of her and all of her friends. I knew this because there were many awesome singers who had been rejected by this man along with myself. His loss! Funny how most of these kids were white too. Hmmm... Anywho, I decided to start going to karaoke with my friend Mark! He would host in a coffee shop next to the place I now do most of my gigs at! I would go out alone and sing Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears songs. Then my high school girlfriends starting joining me and it became so much fun. For 5 years (age 16-21) I would get a horrible burning feeling in my stomach when it was my turn to sing. Every time I would sing a note that feeling would go away and when I would have to pause during the song that burning feeling came back. My stage fright was the worst! But, I never let anyone know it. By age 19 I had already known Mark for about 3 years at this point. I became seasoned in karaoke contests. I would go out to bars alone and sing my little heart out and win! It wasn't always a win, but when I would even come close I knew I was on the right track.
Mark told me about a place called Graham Central Station. I had been there a few times and saw one of my girlfriends performing along with some entertainers and was mesmerized. He told me that they were holding auditions. I was soooo excited! This was in May of 03. He came back later and told me that most of the entertainers were downing the idea of me trying out. So...I gave up and said forget it. Then by August of 03 I changed my mind and decided to give it a try. I went in for an audition and sang with all of my heart. It was the only thing that I felt that I was good at and I needed to prove it to myself. I got hired that same day even though my Mom was totally against me working at a club...much less a place that had 7-8 clubs under one roof! I auditioned in secret and when I made it she was so proud that she didn't mind me working there anymore. I was a singer!!! I sang in a place that held almost 4.000 people and when I started it was packed to the brim. Everyday driving to work when I saw that sign I would get anxiety. I never ever let my audience know how nervous I was. I walked in like I owned the place. Through all of my years of performing and stage fright I never told anyone how nervous I was or how scared I was. No way! People smell your fear and telling everyone you're nervous only makes your nerves worse. I learned quickly that it was either fake it or fall apart. Just as I started to believe I was bad because of my choir teacher I started to believe I was awesome because of my "fake" confidence. That pretend confidence grew into real confidence and here I am years later running my own gigs thanks to Mark who I've now known for 13 years!  My point being....had I given up in August of 03 because of what people thought or given up because my choir teacher rejected me I would have never had the opportunity to model for local magazines, win several trophies at Borderfest, and be nominated for The Girls that Rock the Valley etc! I got numerous opportunities and paid jobs just by simply putting myself out there! I would had never had the opportunity to meet and get to work with all of the talented people I did at GCS. I never took one single day of performing for granted and rarely missed work because I knew this opportunity wouldn't last forever.
The girls were mean to me when I started Graham, I have lost contests to people who didn't deserve to win, had rumors spread about me, have had both my engagement and marriage picked apart, been on stage for hours because of corporate people in the building, had people come up to my face and let me know I've gained weight, been hated on because I've won a contest, gotten discriminated against at contests because I sing for a living, been made out to be a horrible person because I work in bars, and lost relationships. I NEVER gave up! So...when people say my job is "easy" they don't know the half of it. Haha! If being an entertainer is something you're interested in then you have to expect all of these things to come with the territory. You have to understand that you win some and lose some. You have to endure and get a thick skin. This is not the business for the weak! You have to know that things will not always go your way. But, most of all you have to understand that this is fun. If you lose the fun and you can't have fun doing it..then there's no point. So...when I say I've paid my dues...It means that I've endured, experienced, and have done this for 13 years! Just thought I'd throw my story out there for you all that need a little inspiration. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Level 2 Review of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred

So today I finished level 2 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! I will give you all a little overview of my experiences with it. I heard and read a lot of reviews stating that level 2 felt a lot easier than level 1. I have to disagree with that. I felt like the workout was definitely tougher and took some getting used to. From walking pushups, tougher cardio moves, etc I had to stop quite a bit more to catch my breath. Remember I told you that there are two girls in the back of Jillian that you can follow? Natalie is the girl who does the unmodified version of the workout and Anita is the one who does the modified version and is the one I'm following for this round. In this specific level you can tell that Natalie is having a super difficult time delivering the moves correctly and her form is a little sloppy which is a little scary for me being that I'm doing the unmodified version the next round. Haha! All I can think is...if this girl can't do it and she was hand selected for this video..what's a girl like me going to look like? lol! I'll give it my best shot when the time comes though. :)
In level 2 I felt like we concentrated on back, shoulders, and abs a lot more than we did in level one. Be prepared to have a sore upper back. I will say that some of the moves did get easier and some of them I still wasn't able to fully complete by day 10 of this level.  My abs were sore the entire 10 days of this level which I liked. I did not skip a single day in level 1, but did skip two days during level 2 meaning I stayed with this level for 12 days as opposed to 10. I skipped due to "lady cramps" and another day because I really was out of time and would've been late to work. Bummer. But, all and all I am proud that I made through another level and will be approaching level 3 tomorrow. 
I did take before pictures, but I'm still debating if I'll post them on here after the first round. Maybe after the second round when I'm feeling a little more confident. ;) As far as my measurements and weight go...I have gained a total of 5 lbs while doing this work out. My husband insists that it's muscle building, so we'll see. I will mention that he did say my booty is looking smaller and perkier which is fabulous! Haha! I lost another half an inch off my arms and that is pretty much all that budged this time around. I am not discouraged because as I mentioned before I was on "lady time" and I tend to retain a lot of water so I'm sure my measurements weren't precise.  
I am happy to see my arms slimming out and I did try on a few blouses and could see that my lovely back fat wasn't as visible. Haha! My stomach is slimming down a bit and my muffin top isn't as big as it was. I'm feeling stronger and healthier which is always a plus. I can't wait to finish level 3 to get my final 30 day challenge results. Then it's on to round 2 of the 30 day shred. If you all are interested in doing this challenge you can find this workout video on for about 5 bucks!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stress and Prayer

I have been having a TON of nightmares lately. I'm not even sure why.  I have been dreaming about people from my past that I haven't thought about in weeks, months, or even years that have stressed me out at some point in my life. I'm dreaming that I'm beating people up or telling them off.  I'm the type of individual that it's always go go go time. Friends and acquaintances always make comments about my life style. They always ask..."How do you do it? Do you ever give yourself a chance to relax?" The honest truth is 90% of the time no. I feel like if I'm awake, I should be productive whether it be editing a video, cleaning my home, making time for important people in my life, organizing something, working, getting ready for work, etc. I rarely make time for a moment to just sit and relax and when I do it's usually at night before bed.  So...when I stress out I don't even realize it! Haha! I swear my poor little stomach gets the shit end of the stick. I'll wake up with it feeling like it's on fire because I've had an anxiety attack in my sleep. With that in mind, I think I need a break of some sort. I've been doing a lot of thinking about friendships, work, and what I want out of life. I'm being extremely honest with myself. We can all tend to sugar coat our futures, friendships, and what we want all to not sound greedy or to please other people. The truth is I want MORE and I'm willing to work for it. 
I want friends who know what's going on in my life because they are close with me and not because of my Facebook posts. I have prayed that God will reveal these friends to me and it's coming along. People who I thought were friends don't even call me and those who I thought were acquaintances are taking an interest in what I'm doing. It's the craziest thing. Now a days we base our friendship statuses off of Facebook and I want good old fashioned friendships. Real friendships. Solid 2 way street friendships. What do I want for my future? Security, love, and happiness. I want nice things and I want a lot of money. I want a stable marriage and I want to be surrounded by people who love me and that I love back. I'm not at all being greedy. I am willing to work hard for all of these things and I want it because I want to have a child someday and I want him/her to feel secure. I want my step-daughters to feels secure and I want my husband and myself to feel secure. Money isn't everything, but it sure will provide a nice roof over my head, a car that won't give me problems, and a solid future for myself and my family. I want to be able to share what I have with others someday. People may judge me for this...but this is why I say I am being honest with myself. I don't care who judges me for the things I want. I want nice things in my life and I don't ever expect them to come for free. I love nice things and I intend on having them. I want to travel and be able to take care of my parents some day should I have to. 
Most people are afraid to express what they want out of life because so many people are standing in line ready to place judgement on them. Some people will take what they can get because they are not aware that they are capable of receiving more. We all have the capacity to fulfill our dreams.  We all have the option to have a limitless future. The question is: How far are we willing to go to get it? I am willing to jump every hurdle and exhaust myself to reach the goals that I provide for myself as long as I reach that finish line. I won't give up and I will always try to have a positive outlook on what lies ahead of me. Prayer is definitely the key. I can't tell you how many prayers have been answered for me in the past few months. Everyday I am amazed at something that I either hear, see, or learn because of my prayers. I can't even begin to tell you how my path in life has changed for the better simply because of books! YES...books ladies and gentlemen. I believe God puts knowledge in your path to help you and boy have they helped me. Yes I want more. Yes I'll always want more. Does this make me greedy? No. This makes me a living being. When we want more we can get more. When want for nothing...we will get nothing. God says ask and you shall receive and I intend to do just that. I should be allowed to ask the only person that I fully trust with 100% of my heart for all of my desires and know that he will put me on the path to get there. So...what are you waiting for? Ask away.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Jillian Micheals 30 Day shred level 2 update

So....Jillian's Micheal's 30 Day shred Level 2. Yea. This shit is kicking my ass.  Haha! I had a friend tell me that level 2 was easier for her and I saw a few reviews with people saying the same thing. No way! It's even tougher than the first level and I am pouring sweat. I have never been a heavy sweater when I work out, but this has me drenched and I love it. I feel new muscles getting sore and tomorrow will be day 13 on this challenge. I like that my cardio endurance is better and that I physically feel stronger. If you are approaching level 2 of this workout...get ready to work abs, arms, and back. I felt that in level 1 we worked a lot of legs, shoulders, and chest. I am sore in a new way. Not in that horrible bad mood don't touch me way. Haha! Can't wait to finish up the  next 8 days and take my new measurements. I forgot to mention in my last blog that I lost an entire cup size from my bra after finishing level 1. :( My booty feels bigger and boobies are deflating. lol! Keep on working it!