7 things that makes you realize you are getting older.

Lately I have been realizing, I am getting old.

Is it bad to grow old? In my opinion, NO but lately I have just been more mindful of time. Though TIME is relative, it brings the ominous feeling that if I don’t use it wisely, I am going to waste it and have all the regrets in the entire world. Or worst, I am going to justify my failures or lack of attempts to go after something I desire.

Lord, is something wrong with me, is this normal?

Here are a few Signs.

1. While watching sports, you realize you know mostly the Coaches and Analysts. When it comes to the players, a few looks familiar but the majority of them you know already retired.

2. The change in Music. Music is the sound track to life and when I am listening to what is currently on the radio I sometimes cringe. Also, when I am at wedding for someone who is getting married in their mid 20s, I realize I sit down when they are playing mumbling rap while people in the 20s, are having a grand ol’ time.

3. Still using the word, “grand ol time.”

4. You stop caring what people think. Of course somethings may offend you, but on whole, you feel more confident as you are more comfortable in your skin.

5. Eye Cream. The moment I felt like I was getting old. I started using eye cream and lots of it. I’m not quite sure why that was my go to…LOL. You start to care more about skin regimen.

6. Your taste begins to change. Whether it’s pertaining to friends, people, food, music…etc.

7. You sometimes realize it’s hard making new genuine friends. Though you get a long with a lot of people. You begin to realize, though you make new friends, you cherish the old friendships.

Overall, treat life like wine, you get better though you change in time.

DON'T WALK BY

Can I make a difference?

“Don’t walk by,” is a partnership with various organizations throughout the city of New York.

After donating my time this weekend, I was able to have an hands on experience of how this initiative is impacting our community.

When I first arrived,

I was somewhat sleepy yet making my way to the volunteer site in Manhattan on Saturday afternoon.

Upon arrival I checked at the host site Church. Everyone was assigned to different group, each group had a group leader and each group would be assigned to a certain location within the city.

After becoming acquainted with those that will be in my group, about 30 minutes later, the president of Rescue Alliance and other individuals spoke and gave us the step by step details of how to interact with those on the street and what we might encounter while we are out there.

Several things stuck out to me:

1. We called homeless individuals, neighbors, guests/friends. Our mission is to make contact with these guest and invite them to dinner. Food, shelter, and services were provided at the host site.

2. We were there to connect as humans being and not just giving handouts to make ourselves feel better.

3. No means no. If we are speaking to one of our friends in the community and they refuse assistance, whether it is food, toiletries, etc.. We had to respect their decision.

Obviously, if we were to see someone in distress such as bleeding, or is about to self harm etc., we were encouraged calling the proper health providers.

Many people at times just want to throw services at people but fail to make contact with them to build trust/ rapport before giving them something, whether it be socks or a dollar.

That was especially apparent when I met a friend in Grand Central that was so desperately in need. He was let down so many times by others that he refused almost everything we offered, except socks and prayer.

Though his feet hurt, he complained of arthritis,

he did not want to be seen by a podiatrist or sleep in a private-owned shelter etc. due to his past experience with other shelters. According to him, they were horrible. He claimed someone stole his belongings, etc. and his trust of others severely diminished.

After connecting with him through genuine conversation and concern. I was able to see him transition from being dismissive/guarded to opening up and admitting that he needs help though he was not ready to go with us to a facility provided that can give him services he needs.

I considered that moment a success because we were able to reveal to a friend that, yes you are still human (not in those words obviously) and we are not meant to carry burdens by ourselves, though we try and appear to be strong for others as we are internally dying.

Though this is not my first time volunteering in this capacity, that’s the main thing that stood out to me.

So overall, when we see a need in society…Many times, we are called to fill it.

Though prayer is an act and when accompanied by physical action, lives can be transformed.

Don’t get caught up in the details, just act.

So, get involved in your community and see how you can make a difference one life at a time.

Contact you should have in your phone

Suicide hotline: Call 1-800-273-8255

New York State Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906.

Crisis Text Line: Text "Got5" to 741-741

I cho-cho-choose Me..

Be mine!

The thought of someone putting everything aside to adore you with their time or with gifts seems to be people’s ultimate desire/wish.

So, when it comes to a point when you are tired of kissing frogs and cuddling with empty shells i.e. having someone around but the relationship is empty- emotionally…

What then?

Do you continue to wait around for the “ONE” to come around, continue settling for scraps or do you start to create your own joy and happiness.

What does your joy and happiness looks like when you are not in a relationship with someone else? People tend to forget they are in a relationship with themselves.

Being single as with many things comes with it ups and downs.

Ups, you are single you can roam the world. Downside, you can roam the world but you don’t want to do it by yourself. Also, those that are wedded and in sitationship…not really a clear relationship, they have their concerns as well. Many times people want to eat their cake and have it too and share.

At the end of the day, are you loving yourself and understanding your self worth. It’s not about selfishness or vanity/conceit. Many times is just contentment. It’s wanting the person in your life, not a parasitic leech in need of a relationship or someone in your life.

Do you enjoy being around you?

As I am embracing my singleness though I desire to be in a relationship, do I have options, of course. But, I am choosing to hangout with friends and have a great time while being dressed up on this day.

It took a long time for me to be content with being single because people are always wondering, “why are you single?" Singleness is not a disease, not a block you have to get over and a relationship is not the prize after overcoming “it”. Singleness is just you learning and discovering who you are and that which YOU, desire out of life.

I thank God for being with me in my singleness and it took me years to just be and be still. In addition, there are so many unhealthy relationships I could have been involved in. And on the flip side there are some many healthy ones I could have tainted because I didn’t make the time to discover who I am in Christ and heal from past issues and move forward in a stronger manner to build the life I Desire.

On a side note: The best part about this day is….chocolates and other things are on SALE tomorrow.

So, for the lone sole reading this, smile your time will arrive in due time. Discover yourself in the midst of it all. Try not to get consumed with lovey dovey movies and don’t forget if you are still missing that something. Ask God to fill those empty areas of your life and if flowers is your thing, send yourself some.

-Love

What a Fit Model eats in a Day

So, what’s for Breakfast?

Sometimes, your guess is good as mine. One of the most inconsistent things in my life is what I eat. Yet, my job is a Fit Model. I am suppose to maintain my measurements… interesting task to accomplish with this inconsistent eating habit.

Some days I have everything planned out like Mary Poppins. Sometimes (the next day), I am scrambling to catch the train to get to work on time and I didn’t eat anything for breakfast.

I remembered hearing it somewhere that Jennifer Aniston ate the same lunch for 10years. Two things popped in my mind, is that’s that reason Brad Pitt left her…is she too monotonous. Not justifying a man’s decision, it’s just my thought. And the other thought was maybe she should have left long time ago but held onto something because she was use to it.

But anyhow, back to my breakfast.

I start of my day by drinking hot water. I sip it as if it’s tea. If I remembered to buy lemons, it would be lemon hot water.

Oatmeal

one of the superbreakfast, is oatmeal. Yea, that word has been coined by me.

Oatmeal when done correctly satiates your appetite and leaves you feeling full for hours. Add fruits, flaxseed, and use honey instead of sugar when preparing it.

(don’t feed honey to babies)

Yesterday my oatmeal was done in a rush and it ended up in the garbage. umm. I didn’t have enough almond milk in the fridge and then I tried to add protein power to it to get all my nutrients and protein at once.

This can be done…I just didn’t do it correctly. ‘eh’

The key to eating consistently is to SHOP for groceries consistently*

Smoothies

Green ain’t nothing but color. But, sometimes it doesn’t give me that warm morning breakfast feeling. When I choose to have smoothies. I tend to use coconut water, fruits and Kale, Spinach, Lemon, ginger and protein power.

The lemon and ginger mask the protein powder shake taste and gives a refreshing taste.

Sometimes I am still hungry after the shake. It’s a great way to get nutrients and by the time I arrive to work, I’ll eat some fruits, such as banana, mango, etc water... until lunch time.

Nothing

In this age where eating disorders are rampant. This option is never the greatest option. This blog is not to justify eating, “nothing,” for breakfast. It is simply stating what I eat in a day and some of my mornings are not always strategically planned.

Usually I arrive to work at 10am and after my arrival, and I am feeling hungry, I go across the street for something healthy…fruits, yogurts, granola, etc. In the past a cinnamon bagel with cream cheese or a cinnamon bagel with bacon and egg would be my go to.

However, I am currently a vegetarian (4 months in) and I am looking for healthier options.

IMG_4954.JPG

My Lunch

YUM!

Yes I took time preparing it and it looked more delicious in person.

At work, while everyone eat out of containers, I usually put my food onto a plate.

1. I spend most of my time at work and I am not going to spend most of my time eating out of plastic containers… (side eye)..

2. When your food looks appealing and taste scrumptious…life is good.

In my plate I have boiled plantain, steam spinach, seasoned brown rice, and beyond burger meat with sauté onions. :)))))). The rest of the meat is hiding under the steam spinach. It’s not actual meat. Everything about it is vegetarian but it doesn’t taste like it.

Overall I usually have brown rice AND veggies+ vege-meat and vegetables and a handful of fries -OR- mashed potatoes and curried cauliflower, avocado, cabbage etc.

When it’s time for lunch….It’s time for LUNCH.

If I have a craving for fries, I get a small fries but I am trying to eat healthier. Fries aren’t the issue, I’m just trying to avoid excess oil.

Snack time

Most of the time I snack on fruits, almonds with chocolate. I started buying the 90% cocoa chocolate. I eat one or two squares of the entire chocolate bar.

Does it taste good….’eh’ at times but I’m getting use to it.

Once in while I would buy the TINY container of breyers ice cream and break up the chocolate in it.

Overall if you are going to eat chocolate, start training your taste buds.

Most of the name brand “chocolates,” are not chocolate at all just sugar and fats.

For me its being health conscious and not weight conscious.

Dinner

Sometimes I am feeling hungry other times I am not.. Once in a blew, I eat cereal.

For dinner, I would eat pasta with sauté onions, vegan cheese and a veggie pattie.

Some days, I would walk home and have a craving for pizza and grab a slice.

As a Fit Model I am not a type A personality where everything has to be planned out or measured or put together nicely.

That would be great at times but my most planned meals for the day I would say is my lunch. I put more effort and care into what I eat. It not only saves me money but it somewhat compensates for missing a hearty breakfast.

After finishing this blog, umm…I realized I should be more consistent. :)

Be mindful to make sure you get in your vitamins and minerals and stay hydrated.

Nike wins….almost every time

JUST DOing It.

Do I have a preference for certain name brands, not necessarily. I am more concerned with quality. But many failed to know the difference. They simply equate name brand with quality. For example if you decide to buy a leather bag, go and buy one that has good quality. However, we tend to gravitate toward a brand thinking it’s good quality because it’s such and such brand. Knowingly that name of the brand comes with a hefty price.

Anyhow, I find watching people consume to be quite hilarious and so damaging at the same time as if material things substitute for the emotional, spiritual or self worth/value. I barely watch television but when I do, I find commercials very interesting. The concept that a firm is paid millions to sell a product to an individual and to the impressionable minds of children; yet we go into the stores and purchase what’s advertised as if it is by our own choice that we are buying or leaning towards purchasing a certain branded product. The mere fact that many drink wines and eat strawberry covered chocolates on a regular or that you dip you cookies in milk is because at one point it was highly advertised and still is... But lets move on to Nike…..the supposedly controversial ad.

The thing that captivates my mind is how Nike commercials attempts and sometimes succeeds as the medium by which life and products meet, it is not simply selling a product as many do, but that are selling a lifestyle/humanity. The commercial intertwines with our everyday lives and aims to captivate our hearts and our spirit. Many people are simply trying to generate dollars and that's where they fail. Nike has been known to endorse controversial figure such as John McAvoy (high profiled armed robber turned triathlete) and the hashtag take a stand even if it mean losing everything in which shows the face of Colin Kaepernick. This is marketing that surpasses many brands.

Nike is in a phase of marketing that has more to do with life than generating dollars…though generating dollars is still a concern and it may or not be the sole factor. But, as they are backing Kaepernick, they themselves are making a stand even if they might lost some customers. However, their gains may surpasses their loss. They will gain loyalty and trust from a generation who desires more from the company they are buying from. Unlike many, they see that Kaepernick’s kneeling was for social injustice and had nothing to do with disrespecting the flag. Note: when has kneeling been a form of disrespect….take a moment to think about that. wait, let it sink in….

In addition, many are protesting the fact that Nike is endorsing an athlete…. Let that sink in as well. Will that change the cause or the revolution… probably not…that’s for another blog.

Let’s continue…

Many brands whether or not you like them, such as lululemon, chicfila etc. They are more concerned with creating quality and a better life by engaging in every day conversation and making a impact in this realm we live in and oh by the way, sell stuff too. Instead of trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents, how about do something greater and see how your company can transform lives, whether or not they are customers.

So many companies go on trying to change yet are expecting transformation. What do I mean? They go through several CEO and change positions. Changes occurs but transformation is no where in sight. Some people might say, how so? Think about it, we change from a child to an adult yet many have not transformed. They have simply become grown children and are living a reactive life impacted by the past. In a nutshell they are “Adults” but bruised children. In reference to companies, they have changed positions but carrying on in the same mindset.

Transform the mind be empowered by a cause greater than money and you will see the effect of within the company. It doesn’t mean you throw business model out the window, you just start living and working for something greater than your self and the almighty dollar.

Get In where You Fit In

Get In Where you Fit In.

A career as a FIT MODEL was foreign to me until I took the plunge and was honest with myself that I wanted to start modeling at the ripe age of 30.

Was I scared? Sure!

When am I not concern about the next step?... (that's for another blog). I was thinking, where do I fit-in, umm I'm not too skinny, I'm not fat...I am what I would call myself, slim curvy with the height of 5'7 3/4'' (171 cm) or round it off to 5'8'' or (172.72cm) with the weight of 137lbs (62.14kg). I started looking up different fields within the modeling industry and came across Fit modeling.

While still living in Massachusetts at the time, I applied online for a Fit Model position in NYC. I was called in for an interview, I was hired on the spot and within a couple weeks I relocated to NYC. For over 2 years I have been employed at the same company as a Full-time Fit Model. With a brief intense transition from the mental health field to being a Fit Model in NYC, it took a lot of adjustments. I slightly felt like Anne Hathaway from the devil wears Prada.

Here are a few tips I learned along the way.

1. work it out

WELL...not as much as this guy in the picture.

Many people commonly confuse Fit Modeling with Fitness Modeling. Am I in tip top shape? Nah, I still have traces of dimpled thighs.

You don't have to have the "perfect" body, just a proportional body.

Fit models are models who work behind the scene in fashion houses and with garment manufacturers and designers to ensure that the sizing and the fit of the garments fits comfortably on the consumer. Being vocal regarding how the garment fits is a necessary job requirement.

Work out sometimes...

eat right and don't freak out that you must maintain your weight to keep a roof over your head.

I did freak out at one point. I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that the job was easy but somewhat difficult.

I finally realized it wasn't a job; it was a lifestyle. It was beyond my working hours and it was about me making healthy choices as I ate daily and make good decision even on weekends.

"Never let your weight be an obsession"

I rarely ever weigh myself, but I can tell if I lost or gained 5 or 10 lbs. (2.2kg or 4.5 kg) based on how my clothes fit. Be mindful of the garments you are fitting. Being a Fit model for mostly outerwear, I can get away with a few lbs. For other Fit Models some company does a measuring every month.

I learned to have a healthy sense of self and confidence.

I also began to understand that not all my friends will eat as healthy as I do. Some will roll their eyes if I choose a salad or if I’m more concerned about whole wheat bread as oppose to just white bread. I continue to choose healthy options and in no time, some of my friends started eating healthier around me.

You may not look like a print model or have the height of a typical runway model, but maintaining your weight is a necessity.

Some Fit models work with modeling agencies and have several clienteles they go to at any given moment. This requires them to travel from one location to another and they charge by the hour typically $200 or so. I am underestimating it. I know someone in the field for 20yrs that charges $370/hr. and $300 for 1/2 hr.

On the other hand, I work for a company In New York City full-time. My current salaried work schedule is from 10a-5pm Mon-Fri which is not bad. When I am not doing fittings, I am writing blogs.

2. look Groomed

Make sure nails are always manicured/well kept. They do not have to be polished, but they must be clean and trimmed and the same for your feet.

As a fit model I am somewhat always on display and when I am trying on outwear garments, people are looking at me and at the same time they are not.

They are mostly looking at how the garments fits but essentially, I am still on display. In all, keep

a fresh clean looking face, for some people that is their natural look with lip gloss and for others, they need make up to look natural. At least know the basics when it comes to makeup.

…...NEITHER HAIR NOR THERE

Your hair is somewhat an important part of the job.  Yes, black people, not everyone wears an afro and white people not everyone's hair is straight.  I loved changing my hairstyles, but I realized that I must be consistent once I was hired for this job. 

I used to wear long extension braids, big curly puff. I drove the fit technician nuts, and he continually threatened to cut my hair off...and we both laughed. I began wearing protective styles (google it), and finally I went bald.

Literally I cut my hair and that made it all simple and easy.   I wanted to do a major chop years ago because I made a promise to myself that I was going to cut my hair at the age of 30. Now, I keep a wig at work, just in case my head is too small when I'm trying on the hoods for the coats.

 

 

…..TO BE OR NOT TO BE FASHIONABLE

Photo by Image Source/DigitalVision / Getty Images

Photo by Image Source/DigitalVision / Getty Images

You are what you eat...and to some degree people see you as such based on what you are wearing.  It reflects your image. Though you are not on the runway and no one expects you to dress as if you are, essentially it is good to have a well-groomed appearance and apparel to match. 

  • Take time to learn what looks good on you. 

  • Spend time to know what colors works and which one doesn't. 

This field has taught me to started caring about the things I thought were absolute nonsense.  I used to be the one that careless about what is in season.  I was the one who cares more about comfort than anything which means sweats, not just any sweats but baggy sweat pants were my Athleisure, leisure, outfit of choice. 

This doesn't mean you have to change who you are, just be more conscious of your outfit and what it is saying to others.  Again, this information is coming from someone who hates to iron, I rather put my clothes in the dryer to take out wrinkles than to pull out the ironing board. 'eh'.  

Since I moved to NYC and my clothes dryer is not as convenient as I would like it to be, I have pulled out the iron and ironing board several times, knowing I could not cover up the wrinkled shirt or pants.

3.Happy feet

As a fit model I spend a lot of my time on my feet depending on the season. I realized I can't stand in heels for over 2hrs. To someone else this seem like common sense but for me it was comfortable at the time. But after a while I realized my feet were swelling and when I arrived home after work, I wanted to sit and did not want to get up.

If it wasn't to eat or use the bathroom, I wanted to sit-down /lay down and have my feet elevated. Because I was on my feet all day, I did not want to go running at the gym or even go on the elliptical.

I realized I needed to massage my feet when I’m home and when I am getting a pedicure.

As I am learning to be fashionable, I realize that heels are not the answer to everything.

Learn to wear cute shoes and sandals and wedge etc. Still look cute and realize that during and after being a Fit model you will need your feet. Now a days, I leave a pair of black and brown heels at work. I wear sandals to work and if they need me in the showroom, I throw on my heels and switch back into my cute sandals when it’s done.

If I am doing fittings, I switch into my cute comfortable sandals. The same can be said if I wore cute boots for the fall/winter season.


4.

Over there...Under where?

YES! just as how all lives, black lives, our lives, blue lives…matters…your under garments matters as well.

Especially if you fit dresses, pants, active wear etc. bring couple bras and undies to work AND INTERVIEWS and after a while you will get a feel of what is required as you are doing fittings.

Keep in mind, your body is being used to simulate an actual consumer and having the proper undergarment, ensures having the corrects specs and feel of the garment.

If you are unsure as to what is needed, ask?

Be aware that your job is to change into different clothing so get used to it even if you are on your period and feel bloated.

As you are changing into clothes make sure you feel comfortable in doing so, ask to go to the bathroom to change or ask for a screen to change behind.

NEVER FEEL FORCED TO CHANGE IN an environment that MAKES YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. Keep that in mind. (look out for another blog regarding this).

5. David-cop-a feel

As a fit model you will be touched daily.

Please know which touches feel professional and comfortable and which touches are not aka sexual harassment.

In this field there are a lot of creeps that are disguised as bosses and supervisors that will want to “touch” the garment but essentially, they are trying to caress you.

Please report this to HR, your agency or even the police and a lawyer if necessary, if it arises.

Document, Document, Document.

Never blame yourself or feel intimidated.

6.Work, work, work, work,work?

If you work full-time in an environment when you are solely there for fitting and it appears that others around you are toiling, please understand that they would love to have your job.

You are vital to the production and design team and at times I have experienced people underminding this position.

I am blessed to have this position. This job does free up my time to work on other projects. I finished my book and I am looking forward to many more blog posts.

Use your time wisely.

Overall, love what you do and do what you love. Ciao