Loving Me.

[caption id="attachment_4586" align="alignleft" width="298"] Image from NFD contributor Rhonda Hicks, courtesy of www.lacreasewalker.com)[/caption] I’ve gained 10 pounds since my event, The SheTreat, last September.  Before then, I had lost 40 pounds as part of an intentional

Image from NFD contributor Rhonda Hicks, courtesy of www.lacreasewalker.com)

I’ve gained 10 pounds since my event, The SheTreat, last September.  Before then, I had lost 40 pounds as part of an intentional healthy lifestyle change.   Along came the October, full of several family birthday celebration desserts and then Thanksgiving crept in with all its starch-heavy deliciousness. Let’s not forget Christmas, which was Thanksgiving on steroids and then of course, the New Year celebrations full of more scrumptious eats.  I could feel them coming back little by little but traded the enjoyment of the moment for the added pounds.

I am now back to juicing regularly while trying to regulate my portions and snacking, which is often my worst enemy.  Yes, I want to get back to where I was, but you know what?!?  I am determined to love me even in this “plus 10” state.  I can’t get discouraged about it because I did it to myself with every bite, sip, snack, appetizer, meal and dessert.  It was all me and I must own that.

This journey parallels with so many things that we each experience.  There are ups and down, set backs and successes.  Times where everything is going smoothly and days when nothing goes right!  During the journey, I challenge you to remember a few affirmations to get you through…

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Only YOU can make YOU happy!  I constantly remind myself of and relearn this lesson all…the…time.  Sure, your partner, your family, your friends, your job, your social circles, can contribute to your happiness depending on how it is defined, but only you can decide to be truly content with yourself.  Only you can accomplish your individual goals.  Only you can choose to be positive.  Only you can fulfill your individual commitments.  You control your attitude, feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions.  Make the choice to choose to be happy, whatever that means for you.

Perfection is a myth!  There may be such thing as the perfect sunset or vacation destination, the perfect meal or dessert, to most perfect piece of art, prose or song.  There is not or will there ever be, however, a perfect person.  We all have flaws, faults, areas of improvement, etc.  Although we should strive to be better, even our best selves, there is no such thing as perfection, so why try to achieve the impossible?  It will never happen and that is okay.  We are ever evolving, changing, growing, learning, teaching, giving, receiving along with the people that surround us and with the world in which we live.  If we remain on the infinite continuum of growth, we will be moving in the right direction.   Love the person you are today and strive to be better and do better, always.

Take care of you and know that you are good enough.  As you are.  Right now.  In this moment.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Don’t think that you are less than.  Never think that you are not worthy.  It’s okay to feel down sometimes, but don’t stay down.  Get back up and try again.  Smile and mean it.  Encourage others.  Most importantly, take time for yourself.  If only for five minutes of morning meditation before you start your day.  Take that extra break at work to stand in the sun or smell the rain.  Schedule that massage for next week.  Go out to dinner with the girls.   It’s okay to be a little selfish to preserve your sanity.  You will be a better partner, mother, daughter, friend, boss, employee, because you chose to take care of yourself first.

As always, I take heed message as I journey with each of you.  I had a quiet moment to myself this morning before getting ready for work, I prepared my juice cleanse for the day, my massage is scheduled for next Monday and I am ready to take on the day and all that it will bring!  Yes, there will be times when I struggle, I cry, and I get frustrated. But, then I breathe, reflect and think about the overabundance of grace and blessings in my life.  You should, too.  Breathe, Relax and Love Yourself.  First.

Rhonda Hicks
Rhonda Smith Hicks is a wife, mother of two, IT professional, entrepreneur and cancer survivor. She is originally from New Jersey, however, has called North Carolina home for the past 25 years. Rhonda holds a degree in Business Administration Management from Meredith College. Her corporate career has been in the fields of telecommunications and IT, primarily focusing on project, account, and personnel management. In November, 2009, Rhonda launched her first entrepreneurial venture, Amazing Grace Event Management. Over the past six years, she has had the opportunity to plan and manage events spanning from milestone celebrations and weddings to small business and large corporate trade shows on both a national and international scale.
Rhonda is an active member of her community. She is the president of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter for the National Association for Professional Women (NAPW), which is the largest women's networking organization in the country, with over 600,000 members nationwide. The NAPW, whose president is Star Jones, also includes a nonprofit organization that supports four organizations - Dress for Success, The American Heart Association, Girls Inc. and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation - all of which are important for today's women. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, whose main thrusts are Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service. Rhonda is also a Sunday school teacher and member of the Youth Ministry Leadership Team at her church. When Rhonda is not busy taking her daughter to Girl Scouts or cheering on her son at his basketball games, she loves to travel and spend time with her family. She enjoys hosting gatherings at her home to bring family and friends together for food, fun and fellowship!
Her latest venture, Project She©, is her personal passion. Because she lives the life of a busy wife, mommy and business woman, Rhonda understands the challenges and stressors that can be overwhelming on a daily basis. This project was born out of those experiences and it is her hope this forum will serve as a place for women to support one another in the name of encouragement and positivity through the powerful bond of womanhood.