Posted in Empowerment, Relationships

Life is all about COMPROMISE.

Life is all about COMPROMISE.

Do you hear this a lot? I know I do.

Now, I completely agree with this statement. We have to compromise on certain things. This is most definitely more significant when there is someone else involved, like in a relationship. No two people are the same, people do things differently, they think differently. So, of course you’d need to have some kind of understanding or compromise to make certain things work.

HOWEVER, there are some things that I personally wouldn’t compromise on.

What bothers me is when someone tells me what I need to compromise on. When I think of the word ‘compromise’, I think of the small things. People say you can compromise on the small things but don’t compromise on the big things, like your beliefs, morals blah blah blah. But who decides what’s big and what is small? I feel like what you choose to compromise on should be down to you. You alone know what you can or cannot deal with, so only you should be able to decide what is up for compromise. What is small to one person, could be big to another and vice versa.

For instance, there are some things I cannot personally compromise on. However, some people would see it as no big deal. Quick example, I CANNOT deal with dirt, mess and everything related to it. I’m not a clean freak, but I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be able to live with a guy who is messy/dirty. This is a personal thing. I have lived in messy houses and it was hell! This is something I absolutely cannot compromise on. If the guy is willing to change, then I might think about it. BUT if not, it would be one of those ‘no go areas’ for me. Now, majority of people reading this would probably roll their eyes, or think I’m making a big deal out of nothing. That’s completely fine, roll away. They’re probably thinking ‘If she had no choice, she would have to deal with’. Yes, If I had no choice I would have to deal with. I dealt with it for a couple of months, because I had no choice, but was I happy? NO. So, why make a choice or compromise that will make me unhappy? After 23 years on earth, I think I know myself well enough to be able to take informed decisions on MY life.

Relationships are hard enough to keep. Adding unnecessary stress to it does not help. So, before you get into one, think of the compromise that you are going to have to make and decide whether it is something that you can live and be happy with. It’s one thing to be able to live with it, it is another to be happy to live with it.

Till next time

-A

Posted in Culture, Empowerment, Relationships

Where is he?

do not choose the lesser life.

do you hear me.

do you hear me.

choose the life that is. yours.

the life that is seducing your lungs.

that is dripping down your chin.

-Nayyirah Waheed

Let’s talk about the Idea of Nigerian parents, not all, but most expecting you to get married as soon as you’ve graduated. It seems that they assume that with your graduation certificate comes a marriage license.

Now, if that is what YOU want for YOURSELF, and YOU have found a man that YOU are happy to live with for the rest of your life, then so be it. However, if you don’t have a man or you don’t necessarily want to get married straight out of college, this could be a problem.

As Nigerians, we get the “extra parents”. The community where everyone thinks they are your parents. Every person assumes they have the right to talk to you anyhow they deem fit because ‘they care for you and would say the same thing to their daughter’. So, even when your parents aren’t pushing you to get married ASAP, you have the aunties and the uncles at mosque/church asking about it. And if you’re lucky, you have the aunties that are really close to you pestering you to find a man and even telling you which mosques has more men. Every text or call you get is assumed to be from this ‘husband’ to be. You hear a lot of ‘You’re finished uni, what are you waiting for?!’, ‘See, your friend is married now, what are you waiting for?!’.

This might not seem like a big problem if you’re a person that doesn’t really read much into what people say. Like my friend says, just laugh and nod. I tried that, it didn’t really work for me. My laugh and nod were followed by a ‘Why are you laughing, you’re not getting any younger’. If you’re like my friend and it isn’t one bit of a bother to you, then kudos to you. Keep doing what you are doing. However, if you’re the opposite, then this post is for you.

It is so easy to convince yourself you are ready for something because everyone around you is telling you that you should be. But try to take a step out of it all and listen to yourself. Think about what you want. Please do not let people put PRESSURE on you. Everybody has their own path and things will happen at the best time. Do not let people rush you into something you’re not ready for. There is absolutely no need to rush, it will happen when it happens. Do not let them make you feel bad because you haven’t found the one yet. Life is not a race. It’s much better to take the time to find the right guy than to end up with a guy you’re not sure about or unhappy with.

‘women don’t have time, do what you’re going to do quick’

Lies! Take your time! Marriage is not something you rush into or should rush into. And it most definitely isn’t something you can rush out of. It is a life contract! Think about it! Remember that the people that are pushing aren’t the ones that are going into the marriage. It’s your life and whatever happens in it is your cross to bear. Our parents put pressure on us without realising they are doing it. It is up to us to try to withstand that pressure and focus on what we want.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with not having a man, yet. Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have anyone to bring home yet. Don’t allow them to make you feel bad over something that you have no power over. Focus on being the best person that you can be and the right man will find you when the time is right. Take the time to work on yourself. Know what you want and do not compromise on the important things. Be patient with yourself. I truly believe that things will happen at the right time.

My advice is to stay true to what you want and stay true to yourself. At the end of the day, it is your life and you should do what makes you happy. And whatever you do, make sure you do not settle. When you do make the decision to get married, make sure that it is your decision, not someone else’s.

Till next time

– A

Posted in Empowerment

Are you doing it right?

The other day, at the gym, a girl randomly started to cry. She was frustrated, as she had been going to the gym for close to a year and she felt like there was no progress in her physique. It was quite heartbreaking to see. A couple of days later, I was talking to another girl who happened to be feeling the same way. So, I decided to write this post to help those girls get the best out of their workout and to help keep the motivation going.

On speaking to the first girl, lets call her Sasha, I realised that although she exercised most days, my girl’s eating habits were terrible! This girl had a very unhealthy relationship with chocolate and everything else that isn’t so good for you. She wanted ‘fab abs’ and just could not see them coming any time soon. Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle. I understand that some people are naturally big and genes play a huge part sometimes. BUT, what you put in your body is just as important as what you do in the gym, especially when it comes to abs. I am almost certain that my girl has fab abs, it just happens to be hidden under the fat in her stomach. Sorry, doll! You cannot outrun a bad diet, especially when you start to reach a certain age. So, if you feel like you’re exercising constantly and you’re not seeing a huge difference, maybe check your diet. You don’t need to quit everything that you enjoy, but be moderate about it.

Sasha was trying to build her core, but her workout routine consisted of cardiovascular activities. This, yet again was hindering those abs. Cardio is good, but you’re going to need more than cardio to build a strong core. To build a strong core, you need a balance of both cardio and specific exercises to target those core muscles. If you have a target area, make sure that you are doing the correct exercises for that area. I would suggest researching and talking to staff at the gym about what exercises are best for your target area. You do not want to spend long days in the gym, only to find you’re not making that much progress.

The other girl, Tanya? Lets call her Tanya. Like Sasha, she’s a regular at the gym. Tanya’s goal is to lose weight in general. She felt like she wasn’t seeing any progress. So, I suggested she take progress photos. Progress photos helps you notice changes in your physique, that you might not otherwise. You are generally the last person to see the changes in your body. Scales might be good as well, but I generally don’t use them. This is because, when you train with weights, you build muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. I’m much leaner than I was before I started weight training, but yet I weigh more than I used to. So, try taking pictures of yourself every couple of weeks and compare your before and after pictures to see the differences in your body.

While talking to Tanya, she stated that her routine in the gym was getting much easier, but she kept doing them anyway. I don’t have a specific routine. I basically do what I am in the mood for. I do have days for different parts of the body i.e Lower body, upper body, core e.t.c. However, when I start to find something too easy, I try to make it a little harder. So, if you normally lift 10kg, and you’re starting to find a little too easy, push yourself to do a little more, try 15kg. Go the extra mile. Either increase the weight or increase the reps you do. Our bodies are amazing and the more you train, the stronger you get. It becomes accustomed to what it is used to. So, change it up. Push yourself in order to get the best out of your work out.

Enjoy the process. Make some friends at the gym, get to know people. Have a laugh with them, maybe not too much laughing. I almost got thrown out of a class because I was laughing too much and distracting the rest of the class. Join some classes, fun classes. There are different ways to get your cardio in. Not everyday, treadmill. I generally do not take part in classes, simply because I am very happy to work out on my own. I also find that it can sometimes disturb my routine. However, I tend to go on days when I’m feeling lazy and need motivation. I see it as a little competition between myself and the other girls. It just gives me the extra push I need on that day and keeps me motivated. It also reminds me that I’m not on my own.

Finally, Be proud of yourself! Be your own cheerleader. Applaud yourself for every little achievement. AND remember that Rome was not built in a day. Cheesy, I know! 🙂

I hope this helps.

Till next time

-A

Posted in Empowerment

You look fit.. why bother?

and i said to my body. softly. ‘i want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath. and replied ‘i have been waiting my whole life for this.’

– Nayyirah Waheed

So, the other day, as a friend and I walked to the gym, she asked me why I bothered going to the gym. Perplexed, I asked her what she meant and she replied “ well, you’re already fit and you have a great body, so why do you still go to the gym?” First of all, I was like “aww girl, thanks!” But then I had to answer her question.

Before I go into the reasons why I exercise consistently, I would just like to point out that being small doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is healthy or fit. People exercise for different reasons. Some people do it to lose weight, some people do it to get back at their ex who dumped them for that girl who squats. This post talks specifically about why I do it.

After thinking about it, I would say that the main reason I continue to exercise is because of the feeling I get after a good session. I’m not joking when I say that I walk out of that gym feeling like I can handle anything. But obviously, I wouldn’t know that feeling unless I exercised in the first place. So, how did I get to the gym in the first place?

Firstly, I LOVE my body.

I would like to take a slight pause here and just emphasise how important this statement is. Loving yourself means realising that you’re important enough and that your body is also a priority. Once you come to this realisation, everything else becomes a little easier. I am always looking for ways to improve it and make it the best it can be. It sounds vain, but I am that girl who checks herself out in the mirror while she’s getting dressed. I literally get dressed in front of the mirror. I would like to point out that this has not always been the case and saying that I love my body does not mean I do not have any insecurities. It just means that I have accepted those insecurities. Exercising helps me improve my body, moulding it into the best it can be. It gives me control over my body. It makes me feel in charge.

My first and second reasons are linked. Exercise is one of those things that simultaneously enriches your body and mind. From reading my posts, you should know that I am big on anything that improves your mind and the way one thinks of themselves. Exercising helps to improve my appearance, which then improves my confidence. Although, you don’t see immediate results in your body, the effort you put into it makes you feel better. I generally go to the gym after work. I start work quite early, so hitting the gym before work doesn’t suit. Going to the gym after a hard day’s work doesn’t exactly scream fun. However, knowing that I have just killed a 2 hour session after working all day, makes me feel like I can handle anything. I’m usually dying after it, but at least I’ll die smiling. However, I have to say that nothing improves my confidence better than seeing that tiny little change in my body. Or when somebody else sees it. Sometimes, you’re the last one to see it.

Thirdly, I exercise because I want to be healthy. It is no secret that being healthy keeps you alive longer. I genuinely feel stronger and happier. Knowing that I am constantly doing something to improve my health and body makes me happier. For me, It’s a lifestyle choice. I think before I put anything in my body. I do not diet. However, I do pay attention to how I treat my body because it is quite important to me.

I hope this answers your question 🙂

Till next time

-A

Posted in Empowerment

Be You

You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are” -Yogi Bhajan

Hi guys,
How are ye all doing? To all my ladies out there, this is for you.

This post is one that is very close to my heart. This is because I have had to deal with a lot of trouble from people about it, and they’re generally the same set of people. Fortunately, these people are either now out of my life or now at a place in my life where their actions and words have absolutely no effect on me. Good riddance!

The question is why do we always put down people that seem to be doing good for themselves or that seem to be confident in themselves? For example, a young girl comes in looking her best, make up fleeking, heels clicking. Straight away, most people come to the conclusion that she’s either stuck up or a complete bitch. This conclusion comes before getting to know her or before even talking to her. She could be the nicest person on earth, but she had made the error of walking in with her head held high. How ridiculous is that? Fortunately or unfortunately, I am generally that girl. I am a strong believer of the idea that the way you carry yourself has a huge impact on the way you think and feel about yourself. So, I usually do walk into a room with my head held high. My makeup might not always be fleeking, heels might not necessarily be clicking, but I make sure to walk in with confidence. Does this make me a bitch? To some, yeah. Apparently, I am stuck up and see myself as superior to everyone else. All I did was walk, more like werk. What leaves me feeling perplexed is how people assume that the way I carry myself has anything to do with what I think of them. I hate to break it to you, but I wasn’t thinking about you. Girl, I was so busy strutting my stuff, I didn’t even see you.

I do not understand why people insist on putting down people who seem to love themselves or are trying to love themselves or are simply just trying to be the best they can be. Why is it okay for someone to tell me that I look good, but when I tell someone that I look good it’s vain. I am all for complimenting each other, and I strongly encourage it. However, I don’t see why I can not compliment myself and why I cannot show that I know exactly how awesome I am. There’s a difference between loving and respecting the person that you have worked hard to build, and being vain. Being confident does not mean you think you are better than everyone else, it does not mean that you are self-absorbed. It just means you value yourself. What is the problem with that? I know a young girl, who is working her way to management level at a great job. This girl is 24. She comes in every day looking on FLEEK and gets her job done. Most people look at her like, ‘who does she think she is, coming in looking all fancy’ or ‘she thinks she is better than us’. I’m like ‘girl, you look great! help me make my brows fleeky and how did you manage to get here so fast’. Personally, I’m not into wearing makeup everyday. Mostly because getting out of bed is enough hassle for me in the mornings and I’m much more comfortable without it. But that doesn’t give me the right to put down another girl who does wear it everyday. It does not mean that she thinks she is better than I am. I am not where she is, but I look up to her rather than look down at her. I respect her, I do not slag her. I respect that she is able to wake up an hour earlier, look amazing and still hold a great position at work. Goals!

Personally, I have found that the people who do the slagging are either not going anywhere fast, jealous or just lack self esteem. They might not want to go anywhere fast, but you do. Do not let them dim your light. DO YOU! Be as confident as you can be. Love yourself and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it. Set targets and meet them, follow your dreams and achieve them. And when you achieve them, be proud and say it loud. You did it and you should be proud of it. So, you walk that walk and you talk that talk because you did your homework. And if you see someone who is walking that walk, do not discourage them. If anything, you should be encouraging them. You do not know what it has taken them to get to that stage. Don’t bring them down, lift them up. Self love has to be one of the hardest things to learn. When someone finally gets to the stage where they love and accept themselves, don’t ruin it for them. Focus on yourself. Mind your business.

Till next time
– A

Posted in Empowerment

But nobody is going to see it..

“Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend on the behavior and actions of other people. Never give your power to anyone else.”

 Brian L. Weiss

I am a girl, who likes to take care of herself. I like to feel pretty. I like to wear clothes that emphasises my figure. I like to get my nails done. I love to wear jewellery. In fact, I would cover myself in jewellery if I could. I actually go to bed with my jewellery on. I exercise frequently to keep my body in shape, in order to look good naked. I take care of my hair, most of the time (It’s a struggle). I cut my hair, because I feel it suits me short and I also plan to dye it.

I am also a hijabi, which means I cover my body as much as I possibly can in public. Thus, no one gets to see my washboard abs (I wish!). I try not to wear figure hugging outfits in public. So, no one notices that my squats are really starting to pay off. When I cover, most of my jewellery is hidden away behind my hijab, so nobody sees them. Therefore, I don’t get comments about how gorgeous my necklace or earrings are. The same thing goes for my anklet. My ankles are safely tucked away under my pants or skirt, so I do not get complimented on the beauty that is my anklet. My hair, although fabulous, cannot be viewed by the public. But yet I do it all anyway.

This begs the question “Why do you bother, nobody is going to see it?”. This is a question that I get asked a lot and every time someone asks me, I still feel a little surprised. However, my reply generally goes like this; I bother because it makes me happy. I do these things for myself. I was tired of my hair, so I got a fabulous haircut that suited me better and made me happy. I wear jewellery in places that people can see and people cannot see, because I love jewellery. It makes me feel pretty. I exercise because I want to be healthy and fit. I want to keep my body in good shape and I use exercise to achieve the look that I want. To those of you that might be thinking it, I am not married. I am not doing this for my husband. I am doing it for me. When I do get married, I hope that my husband will appreciate the trouble that I go to, to stay in shape. But that is only the icing on the cake, it is only a plus. I do what I do, because it pleases me. The fact that the public does not see the effect of any of these things does not decrease the satisfaction I get from doing them or the results I get from doing them.

I have always believed in the idea that, you should do things because you want to do them, and not for the satisfaction of others. So, I can’t help but think it absurd when people insinuate that there is no need to engage in some things because no one is going to see it. Don’t get it twisted, I appreciate positive comments just like everyone else. Positive comments can be very encouraging, but doing things merely for the sake of others can be self defeating. It is your life, and the only opinion that should matters is yours. Doing things merely for the sake of the comments you might receive from other people, is giving people the right to dictate your life. A right, which they should not have. It is your life, not theirs. Many of us look outside ourselves for happiness, and by doing this we basically give away the power to create our own happiness. We fail to realise that happiness comes from within.

Till next time

-A