SUNDAY SOAPBOX: Strong Heartedness

There has to be something to be said about the strong hearted folks out there. When I think about some of the strongest people I know, they are some of the most sensitive and kind-hearted people. No matter how much they are hurt or discouraged, they manage to keep a smile on their face, positivity in their hearts. Which isn’t easy – especially when the world is so set on being negative.

Despite all of the heartbreak, my feelings being trampled, people treating me worse than a stranger, I am strong. You are strong. Despite everything, you are still standing, still surviving and still moving forward. You have literally survived every single bad day, every single situation that you thought would take you out, every single failure – you are a survivor! And that is something to be celebrated.

Stay strong even when it’s hard



Monday Morning Thoughts: You Deserve A Break, too.

I am a firm believe that our minds and bodies will tell you everything you need to know about yourself. Whenever I am getting extremely stressed out, nothing makes sense. I struggle to do even the simplest of tasks. I even start to panic about things that are not that serious. Normally, these are the signs for me that I need to take a break from everything and recollect myself. There are signs that your body gives you too – maybe reacting to things negatively, becoming pessimistic, or even becoming sickly.

You are so strong, but you deserve (and need) a break sometimes. Take time this week to unplug yourself from the world. Focus on clearing your mind and taking a break. Go to a coffee shop and read your favorite book for a few hours with your phone off. Go to the beach and listen to the water. Spend your entire day in bed if you want to. But take that break, you deserve it.

Stay Encouraged,


How to start working out (and stick with it)!

Decide you are going to change your lifestyle. Literally this is one of the hardest part of starting to work out. Make the decision to start working out. Start next week, or today, or tomorrow. If you pick a day in the future. STICK TO IT! Do not keep pushing it back. This is basically a date with yourself, why reschedule? Just start!

Pick somewhere you are comfortable with working out at. Maybe it’s the free gym on campus, in your dorm room, at home, Planet fitness, One Life or wherever! Just find somewhere were you feel good about going to work out! (Me personally, I love going to Planet Fitness. I don’t feel judged, or like I have anything to prove to anyone but myself. ) You could even start with doing a challenge like the one below.
Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 9.43.11 PM
Get a workout partner. A workout partner isn’t just someone to work out with, it’s someone to hold you accountable to keep you on the right path! They can also motivate you to keep pushing yourself further.
Eat healthier. I’m not saying, Cut out all the junk food in your life cold turkey, unless you’re really about that life (I am not). I’m saying make healthier food choices, really control your portions, drink a lot more water, get healthier snacks.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you miss a day, or eat something super fatty, it’s OK! Just be sure to get back on track, and do not waver on you path. In my opinion I would worry less about the number on the scale, but more about how you look (before and after pictures!!) and how you feel.  And don’t compare your workout journey to anyone else’s. Your body is as unique as your fingerprints, so how your body changes and the rate at which it changes will be different from anyone else’s.
Overall, just start somewhere and keep going!
How I got started working out: I really started by doing the mini 30 day challenges, and then eventually upgraded to doing like 4 at a time, and then really upgrading to going to the gym. So right now I go to the gym, do a challenge or two, and starting Monday (May 4th) drinking a gallon of water a day (I will do a before and after review in 4-5 weeks)!
Slow and steady wins the race and good luck with your healthier lifestyle transition.
Keep it Classy,
– T.Renae

Motivational Monday: Conquering the Fear of the Unknown

As my friends and I’s undergrad years come to a close, we all come to the point of self-doubt, fear and confusion. We all are trying to figure out what’s next, did we take advantage of all the things accessible to us or are we even prepared for those next steps in life? Undergrad at an HBCU (historically black college/university) has spoiled us with amazing teachers and professors, who were there every step of the way but as we step into the real world we all have a little doubt.

I’ll speak for myself and say I am scared and overwhelmed because for some reason I’m really starting to doubt my ability to succeed. We all have a fear of failure but we can’t let that fear scare us from succeeding in life. Nothing in life will come easy, everyday things become more challenging to abstain but you have to fight through it. You can have a little pity party because I have those but you can’t let that party take over your life, or overwhelm you. We have to take the steps in order to succeed, talking to some of your professors, researching up on the different steps, planning ahead, having multiple plans, and being ready to step out on faith. Our first and best step is talking to our professors because they have gone through similar paths and situations. Yes that can be scary but it’s worth a shot down your road of success.

This semester is the time to get out of your comfort zone because your time is winding down. Let’s get out of a comfort zone, get out of our pity party and get ready to conquer the rest of our college years. We can do this!

-A. Rochell

Letter To My Young Ladies

My Sweet Baby Girls,
Don’t be so anxious to grow up. By the time you are grown you will wish that you enjoyed being a kid that much longer. Being “grown” comes with a lot of responsibilities the world doesn’t quite prepare you for. Listen to your parents, you will always need them despite what you think. You only get to be a kid once, learn all you can and enjoy the ride.  
Enjoy life. In the words of Drake, “You only live once.” Do things you only imagined in your wildest dreams, take trips, meet people, fall in love. Make your life here on earth as magical as possible. However, remember to be responsible. Its okay to make mistakes, they cannot be avoided, but make smart mistakes. So many people make mistakes that are detrimental. 
You are BEAUTIFUL!!! Inside and out. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The negativity will come from many places, the hardest being from family. Brush it off, hold your head up high and keep pushing. You know you are beautiful and that’s all that matters. Anyway, God would never put you through something that he did not equip you to handle. 
You are a queen. Your elegance radiates for miles. Trust me, you will have your share of haters. That is not your problem, keep doing you, but always be kind. Be kind because you never know what others are going through and they don’t need you to be hard on them. A listening ear is what most people want, learn to listen to understand, not just to respond. Sometime it may feel like the kind gesture is not reciprocated, but character is something people admire. Do it because its right not because you want something out of it.
Smile and be happy. Not only will it help you age slower, its contagious. Smiling will help you feel better and live longer. Hey, you never know, your smile may make you the superhero of someone’s day. A smile speaks a million languages and a thousand words. It brings happiness to others and if you smile enough you will be happy more often as well. 
Fall in love. You will be lead to believe that you can only fall in love once. I am saying otherwise. You will not fall in love with every boy you meet or date. And I hate to break it to you, but half of them are not going to “love” you back anyway.The good thing is, you will fall in love with so many other things, books, places you’ve visited, puppies and clothes. Each love being slightly different than the other but love none the less. There is enough love to go around. 
However with love comes heartache. There will be a lot of that in your life as well. It is inevitable, but like most things it will come to pass. It will be hard, but think of it as a lesson to life that will help you go that much further. It is not about how many times you fall, but if you get back up. You can take your time getting up, just make sure you get up.
It is okay to ask for help sometime. Even the most independent people need a helping hand. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be willing to lend a hand too. People will remember that. 
Last but not least, remember you are not made of this world but for this world. You were put on this earth to make a difference, even if it is a small one. You are here to speak, spread, and live greatness. Always look forward and be the best YOU that YOU can be. Set examples, live and ultimately never stop growing!!