Happy NYE ’17 Healthy People,  

So in a previous post I mentioned my final decision to no longer compete in the sport of bikini or figure bodybuilding. 

The following is my “burial” message or eulogy to the past four years of my involvement in the sport and everything that came with it, good and bad. 

Now I’m not forsaking fitness or a healthy lifestyle as bodybuilding and competition is honestly neither true fitness or a truly healthy lifestyle. It’s actually discrete  yo-yo dieting and psychological self-destruction at it’s best, because the weight loss is temporary and at unhealthy lows that the body cannot sustain long term.

But as a believer and follower of Christ,  I’ve realized how one can also develop an unbalanced obsession in the pursuit of rising to the top of the sport. The attitudes that develop,  the relationships you forsake, and the ungodly attention that it attracts, especially as a woman (it strips your modesty), and certain men prey on that concept. 

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self,the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

In other words: #DontFeedTheTrolls 

So in considering such things, God spoke to me through his word as He always so faithfully does beckoning me to walk away from the lifestyle and industry as well as certain people associated with it, but even moreso to also walk away from discussing it or sharing it on social media.🙊🙉🙈

So in pondering the instructions to walk away,  the following scripture comes to mind:

“Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.” ~Deut. 12:3


Image is everything in today’s society, I find myself regularly asking the question: “how do you want people to perceive you, what message do you want to send to the world around you?” These were questions I had to stop and ask myself as the predatory behavior over the past year continued to surface through social media comments, private messages, and even from people I once thought were my friends and once thought I could trust. So I’m tearing🔥 down every ‘idol’ , every image and remnant that relates to that era in my life, walking away from the industry and never looking back.🙈🙉🙊

So in this “Beautiful Eulogy” or Ecclesiastes 12 (quoted at the end of this post) I’m declaring my stance on my current perspective of the priorities, events and activities  of my life yesterday and today,  tearing down, and forsaking the worthless things and ideas that I once clinged so strongly to, in the  pursuit of so called “fame” as one of my former bodybuilding coaches put it; as he’d always say, whenever I felt like giving up on competing “that’s the price you pay for fame.” A worthless statement  in the eyes of God, when your life becomes centered around the pursuit of self satisfying glory and fame in the eyes of people.

So, needless to say that “fleeting fame” is worthlessness, in comparison to the Crown of Life God has promised to those who love Him.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.~ James 1:12

He also  calls us to also give our bodies to Him as a living sacrifices to His will, not our own, in order to truly worship Him in spirit and truth:

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” ~ Rom.12:1

So what are we clinging to? Notoriety,  fame, trophies, opinions of people,  validation, etc.? Today I’m tearing down those idols and throwing them in the fire! They are worthless in comparison to the Crown of Life and all that God has promised me in this life and the next. 

MY BEAUTIFUL EULOGY TO YESTERDAY & THE PROMISE TO MY TODAY:

Ecclesiastes 12The Message (MSG)

1-2 Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes, Before your vision dims and the world blurs. And the winter years keep you close to the fire.

3-5 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world. You can’t come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song. Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you’re well on your way to eternal rest, While your friends make plans for your funeral.

 6-7  Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.

It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke. The Teacher says that everything’s smoke.

The Final Word

9-10 Besides being wise himself, the Teacher also taught others knowledge. He weighed, examined, and arranged many proverbs. The Teacher did his best to find the right words and write the plain truth.

11 The words of the wise prod us to live well. They’re like nails hammered home, holding life together. They are given by God, the one Shepherd.

12-13 But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this:

Fear God. Do what he tells you.

14 And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.



The context of Ecc.12 describes my Beautiful Eulogy to yesterday and my Beautiful Beginning for the years to come.

“At the cusp of another year ending

Folding into another

Looking back over the past years


Standing at the peak of a beautiful 

3 decades plus 5 annuals later  

I remember the days of my Youth

With a smile and a content heart 

As I remember how a wise person once said,


Honor and Enjoy the Gifts of your 

Creator while you’re still young


Before the years take their toll and 

Your vigor wanes

Before your vision dims and the 

World blurs and 

The winter years keep you close to the fire.


Though I don’t consider myself old in age,

I am old in soul

Soul so old that perspective precedes all

Transcends all

In all, and of all things I do in life

This life, my life


This fit life, is it meaningless

When your body no longer serves you so well?

Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen.

No.


Not when you know purpose

And holdfast to perspective

Because in this life


At a predetermined time and place

The shades are pulled down on the world

Your world, my world, our world

Certain things grind to a halt.

Intentionally and unintentionally at best


People and places fade away.

Meaningless chatter ceases

Phony faces pale 

In the sight of authentic Grace


In those days when

You are awakened now by God’s-song.

His Purpose and Perspective

His Promise

His Peace

Overzealous ideals and 

Fleeting ambitions are a thing of the past.


The overarching goal is Love

Peace

Rest and

Vitality

For even a stroll down the road will have its terrors.


So remember the Gift and the Giver

Of the yonder years before  

Your hair turns apple-blossom white

Adorning a fragile body.


Yes, we’re all well on your way to an eternal Rest,

And Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over.

Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.


The Body 

Yeah that frail thing, every 

Bone and marrow 

Joint and tendon

Muscle and fiber

All of that flesh


Is put back in the same ground it came from.

And the Spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.


So just breathe and keep living and live well

Living for what matters most

That which is Eternal and

Will never fail, flee, fade or falter” 

❤Candice Maria 

                                              Travel Light

#NYE2017 

Thank you for traveling with me, until next time,  I am Candice Maria and this is Candice Maria’s {Faithfully}Fit Life❤

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****DISCLAIMER**** 

Sensitive topic alert!

Never thought I’d see the day when I’d feel this way. When fitness and training, for general health and well-being as well as sports and competing,   becomes more of a chore and a struggle than an enjoyable act of self improvement. Because everyone knows…

However for the past month, I have awaken every morning bag packed headed to the gym with no pep in my step,  no passion, no excitement,  no joy! Like a cloud of despair and defeat looms over my head. I started to feel somewhat just FIT(ish) … going through the motions with no true desire to really be in the gym working out or home prepping meals and counting macros, etc. but all the while frustrated about my tendency for overeating (future blog post), the ever climbing numbers on the scale and the tightening of clothes that once fit just fine.

Part of it is sheer exhaustion and fatigue from the rigors of recent changes and transitions in my professional nursing career, that will eventually settle out once I get on a stable life-work schedule and routine. A second part of it is also sheer discomfort and pain, as a result of past injuries and musculoskeletal imbalances that nag my aging frame at now 35 years of age, that will also resolve with routine trips to therapy and adequate rest.

But lastly, a third part  to my lack of drive is more recent, and many will say its resolvable as well, as it simply requires mental toughness. But how easy is mental toughness and resilience when the very act of lifting weights and training, despite my recent decision to never return to the bodybuilding stage (details in a future post), these activities become a constant reminder of a poor decision made just a few short months ago, and the individual involved who hurt you and damaged your trust in them and consequently your ability to trust in general.

Emotional pain has a tendency to manifest itself in psychosomatic fashion, and the physical pain and fatigue experienced in the first two reasons mentioned for my lack of drive to workout and train could also be a result of the following scenario I’m about to share:
How do you find focus or enjoyment in your training when a lot of who you are, and how you train developed from the past trusted coach-athlete relationship you once had with the previously mentioned individual over three years ago. Despite no longer being in a coach-athlete relationship context with this person, and having developed a more personal relationship  in recent months, you find yourself in a situation of being betrayed to a point of no return.

So many levels of emotion and gray areas of confusion and emotion run through my mind daily since I learned the truth about this person. Not only as a Christian, professional career woman and an adult athlete, but also as a coach and trainer myself, it’s hard to grasp the complexity of the intentions this individual may have truly had from the beginning in the past during our coach-athlete relationship and based on the behaviors that occurred in the present during a more personal relationship with this individual. The blurred lines, the recent lies, and the mixed communication, etc. How do you catch all the warning signs without being blindsided?

It’s like everything you once thought you knew about a person is damaged eternally, because the trust you once had for them personally and professionally was a lie. Furthermore, the confidence you once had in yourself, your previous sport, your training and nutrition routine,  and even your own morals feels like it has died. You feel shame, guilt, defeat, doubt, depression, and simply a sense of lost control over how you manage yourself in relationships.

Currently, as a USATF Masters Athlete member of the board and association chair person for disabled youth track and field preparing for my officials credentials , I’m in the process of taking the U.S. SafeSport training. In watching and reading through the lessons in each of the training modules, all I can think about is how these same issues of safety, trust and respect, the dynamics of the coach-athlete relationship, consent, power imbalances, emotional, physical, and sexual misconduct, etc. that happens in youth sports, also happens to adult athletes as well, but in more subtle ways that rest in a gray area of “Oh you’re an adult, so you should know better” or “you knew what you were getting into”.

However, lies, manipulative intentions, and predatorial actions, despite asking the appropriate questions and no matter the age of the coach and/or athlete (whether present or former), are still unacceptable. Especially when one side of the situation has no remorse or sense of a need to at least be honest or apologize for misleading the other person.

In such cases, the athlete is essentially left to pick up the pieces of the sports activities they once enjoyed and learn to love themselves again, understand that they are not to blame themselves for what happen, regain a sense of control, and surround themselves with the people who truly have their best interest at heart.

In an effort to not go into any further details on this topic, I will close with this: What do you do when it’s not FUN anymore….? Forgive,  Forget, and Move Forward. Train harder and live well. Let your negative thoughts drive you to be your best, thinking about it won’t change what happened to you, but your actions and choices you make going forward can change you, and that is the only thing you can control. As my belief system puts it, God will deal with those who hurt you, it’s not your battle to fight! So be blessed.

I do not consider myself a “VICTIM” in this situation, but instead a “VICTOR” because I learned the truth, despite how painful it was, and I got away before things could get any worse. The take home lesson in all of this is to always stay vigilant,  question everything, and if the answers aren’t good enough,  question it again…#StayWoke!

Watch and Pray 
Threats to your personal and professional morality and sense of self-worth are always around in every sport, at every age! As a matter of fact in every area of life itself because, not to start preaching,  but we are in a spiritual war (Read Ephesians 6:10-2).

So despite the recent incidents in my life, one thing is certain, and that’s that God has kept his hand on me on this journey. When I think about my bodybuilding journey in particular, I realized so many beautiful aspects about myself that for years I never realized or considered possible. I learned to love myself, embrace my perfectly imperfect frame and developed a undescribable sense of peace and zeal for life that so many people could not understand or even comprehend (Phil.4:7),  not even the person who helped me get back into the sport and eventually betrayed me years later. So credit is owed where is due, to God! For everything I am and still becoming, it was all God’s doing all the time. He created this athlete that stands before you and is still working on, in, and through me!

Situational setbacks can make you lose sight of the ONE who instilled your passion and enjoyment in your most loved activities. For me it was my personal fitness journey and athletic accomplishments.  Throughout my past and present athletic endeavors I learned so many things about myself,  I enjoyed the self improvements that I made in my 3rd decade of life and continue to set my eyes on God for the direction He wants to take this journey in next decade, and the one’s to come, because all the actual work back then and even now was performed by yours truly by the grace and hand of the Almighty God. To Him be the Glory and the Power Forever!

So until next time….on a lighter happier side of life …

~ I AM (still) CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is (still) ~CANDICE MARIA’S  FIT LIFE ~

Welcome to the final days of the #31DaysofMindfulness and the Meatless October Challenge….I hope you enjoyed learning from the journey as much as I did! 😊

Mindful Minute

“Not everyone will understand you, but those that matter will, and will cherish what you have to offer…It’s okay to let go.” ~ Candice Maria 

Many times in life, when starting a new journey to better oneself we meet opposition. Keep in mind that a lot of this opposition, especially that which originates from family, friends, or acquaintances is many times just a direct result of their lack of understanding of the purpose and passion behind your choices.

This does not mean in anyway that you are wrong or that they are right, and vice versa. It simply means that you have to do what feels best to you, not everyone will understand at first and in time they either will or will continue not to. However, nevertheless you have to do what feels good to your soul, your mind, and your body, I mean considering we only show up on life’s door with one of each… 😉

So if they don’t understand, hold fast to those who do, and let the rest go for the time being.

Mindful Mobility WOD

For these last few days you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 8 Rounds (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after or even during your other resistance training or athletic activities today.

Meatless Meals of the Day (MOD)

So this week’s meatless meal of the day is a simple fruit and nut spring mix salad from Publix deli along with a wonderful bottle of GT’s Kombucha (one of my favorite beverages next to plain water). 20171024_122009194780247.jpg

This concludes the blog updates for the #31DaysofMindfulness and Meatless October Yoga Challenge…enjoy these last final days and if you plan to return to consuming meat or meat products after October 31st that is OK, just as continuing to explore your new vegan, vegetarian, or vegetarian variation lifestyle that is also OK. Do what feels right to your mind, body, and spirit….simply treat it and feed it well.

Until next time ~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is ~ CANDICE MARIA’S FIT LIFE~

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Welcome back  to #31DaysofMindfulness and Meatless October Challenge. The following is your Week 4 Update and Overview for Days 22 through 28….

 

Mindful Minute

Welcome to Week 4 of the challenge, you’re a little over a week away from the finish line. 🏁

The following Mindful Minute words of wisdom and inspiration for this week is as follows….

 

Failure is never an option,  but a choice. Plan for success and believe in your plan.
 Take chances, and put your neck in the noose of life”  ~ Candice Maria 

 Loaded statements,  but definitely doable. This week is the final full week of the #31DaysofMindfulness and the Meatless October Challenge co-hosted by my friend DA ‘Grindseason’ Raimer and I. 

Let me go on record and say I will be the 1st to admit that a 💯  meatless diet or veganism is difficult for this self-proclaimed pescatarian. It was a challenge and a chance I took to test my body’s  own physical capabilities or lack thereof  to consume and thrive on a 100% plant-based diet. 

Primarily due to personal health reasons and my body’s difficulty in processing non-hemeiron food sources. I  struggled with balancing my hemeiron levels and maintaining consistent energy without always feeling tired, being hungry, and consuming more calories in high carbohydrates vegan protein and iron sources (quinoa, black beans and lentils) than my weight management goals cared to allow, along with the issue of non-diabetic reactive hypoglycemia or carb sensitivity .

 These imbalances were due to various reasons, to include being a very physically active, athletic African-American female, with a mildly distant family history of sickle cell disease (2nd cousin) among other geneticaly linked metabolic and lifestyle related chronic illnesses. However,  I’ve not been directly diagnosed with any of those issues, I  have been counseled and cautioned on my red blood count or inquired about my family history by my primary care providers off and on over the course of my adult years. However,  my proposed  self-diagnosed cause to my iron deficiency anemia is primarily due to blood loss and malabsorption. I’ll spare you the primary biological details on the blood loss lol. However, minor  blood loss can also result from muscle tissue damage from overuse or overtraing in the gym as well.

The current iron RDAs for adult nonvegetarians ages 19 to 50 years old is 8 mg (males) and 18mg (females). The RDAs for true vegetarians(vegans) are 1.8 times higher than for people who eat meat. This is because heme iron from meat is more bioavailable than nonheme iron from plant-based foods, and meat, poultry, and seafood increase the absorption of nonheme iron. 

So as much as I love veggies, I also prefer a low carbohydrates diet, and having energy without feeling like I’m having to over eat, only to never truly meet my daily iron needs without supplements. In essence, like a person with a true milk, nut, or gluten allergy or other nutritional imbalance, biochemically my body can’t absorb non-hemeiron in the absence of high hemeiron sources in an amount sufficient enough to meet my daily iron needs so that I can thrive successfully in my daily physical activities.

So failure is not an option,  it’s a choice you make to try or not to try, but you only fail by NOT trying. I could have chosen to quit the challenge,  but I kept going and listened to my body. Planned my meals and activities,  and didn’t push myself as hard in the weight room as I used to when I still consumed a diet that included fish and eggs and supplemented nutrients where necessary (iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B-12 and C, etc.)

 I took a chance, put my neck in the noose of life, and tested my body’s ability to live a certain lifestyle for a temporary moment in time. And yes, I look forward to November 1st and a hemeiron  rich piece of  salmon or tuna steak because it’s what my body biochemically needs in order to thrive and be biochemically balanced and well… 

Being none vegan doesn’t mean you are a terrible person, or that you are unhealthy.  It doesn’t mean you failed to live a health conscious,  enlightened life, it just means you understand your family health history and the health related needs of your individual body. The reasons why there are differing approaches to a “meatless” lifestyle: vegan(plant-based) or vegetarian and it’s hybrid exceptions for those of us who biochemically need or better absorb certain vital nutrients from eggs, dairy, and/or fish. You can’t neglect your biological wiring for trends and pop culture!

So don’t walk away from this month’s challenge believing that Veganism is a cure all and by God, nor is any other “lifestyle” diet (paleo, keto, gluten free, etc) At the end of the day it’s about knowing your body and creating BALANCE and MINDFULNESS through daily actions and food choices!

 

Mindful Mobility WOD

This week you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 6 Rounds (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after or even during your other resistance training or athletic activities today.

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Meatless Meals of the Day (MOD)

This week’s featured Meatless MOD’s is al carte vegetable selections from Trifecta System Nutrition

Organic Squash, Zucchini, Broccoli,  and Asparagus…

Squash
Asparagus
Zucchini
Broccoli

This concludes the Week 4 update and  overview for Days 22 through 28 of #31DaysofMindfulness and the Meatless October Challenge…until next time ~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is ~ CANDICE MARIA’S FIT LIFE ✌🏾

31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October Week 3 Introduction overview of Days 15 through 21….

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Week 2 wrap-up of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October….Day 14….

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Welcome to Day 13 of #31DaysofMindfulness and the Meatless October Challenge….

Mindful Minute

 

Live such a fascinating life, that it’s open book worthy” ~ Candice Maria

A life well lived, traveled well, and lived out loud….do you live a life so phenomenal that it’s open book worthy?

I recently received a birthday card from my younger brother that stated on the cover…”She made her own life, and it was beautiful” What do others say about your life? Since it’s Friday the 13th, what do you think will come to mind after you leave this earth, during the eulogy of your death at your funeral, as others celebrate your life here on earth?

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Upon opening the card, it goes on to say ” …. and pretty soon, everybody else wanted one just like it..” Powerful words to receive on a day when you are celebrating another year of your life. Do you have an open book story to share with the world? Is there something about your life that you believe will make a difference, impact, and shock the world?

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Tell it….Welcome to the #writersblock

 

Mindful Mobility 

If you have been following along with the challenge calendar , you should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio, along with a minimum of 2 rounds (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after your other resistance training or athletic activities today.

Meatless Meal of the Day (MOD) 

Today’s MOD feature is a Trifecta Nutrition System Sesame Mushroom Lima Beans:

Ingredient List:

  • Luna beans*

  • Onion*

  • Carrot*

  • Broccolini*

  • White cabbage*

  • Shiitake mushroom*

  • Scallion

  • Extra virgin olive oil*

  • Sesame oil

  • Safflower oil*

  • Coconut sugar*

  • Coconut aminos*

  • Grade B maple syrup*

  • Dijon mustard*

  • Lime juice*

  • Cilantro*

  • Ginger*

  • Basil*

  • Black sesame seed

  • Black pepper

  • Sea salt

  • Filtered water

*Organic

Nutrition Facts (The Macros):

Serving Size: ~ 350 grams (able to be divided into two 175g servings):

Total calories: 438

Total fat: 14g

Sodium: 532 mg

Total carbohydrates: 68g

Dietary fiber: 11g

Sugar: 30g

Protein: 10 g

This concludes Day 13 of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October Challenge….stay tuned for Day 14…

Until next time.. ~ I AM CANDICE MARIA ~ and this is ~ CANDICE MARIA’S FIT LIFE ~

 

Welcome to Days 8 & 9 of 31 Days of Mindfulness and Meatless October Challenge late post due to some recent travel for teaching and training ….

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