Self Help for A New Generation

It's one month into a new year. 
Write a new chapter, 11 more chapters to go. 

I am often inspired by people around me but yesterday was just one of those days that I saw the beauty, power and absolute possibilities thanks to those around me. Interestingly enough, all are Caribbean people (and notably, we all met at some point during our school years). I expressed my joy, "WOW ... to the people who share daily on Facebook. Your lives ... your LIVING is INCREDIBLE!"
*Photo Source: Fit & Lean in 2013

To further explain my statement, I continued to comment:

To those … making a conscious decision to get fit and eat clean.
To you … lost all that weight. Getting on that bike daily and posting daily inspiration.
To you ... 9 months pregnant and soon to be a first time mother.
To those ... sharing their fashion sense mixing prints and sharing fashion advice
To those ... keeping my carnival spirit alive, by posting pictures, music, info, etc.
To those ... excited about the arts, a broadway play, a visit to an art museum or a concert, etc.
To those ... testing their limits. Taking an art class. Learning something so entirely new and not in your comfort zone.
To you ... left the Western world to live in a foreign country where all the rules are different.

This is why I enjoy Facebook. I am often inspired and reminded everything is possible once we put our heart and mind into it. ... And more often than not, it becomes LOVE. And that's why I feel very uncomfortable with those who do not share on Facebook but maco (mind people's business) only! Here are a few people who have inspired me (even some have shared their vulnerabilities). Their stories and pictures ... 

Join: Fit & Lean in 2013

Yesterday marked my 1 month anniversary of creating this group and starting on the path to becoming “Fit and Lean in 2013” (what what)! (o; However, I want to give you a little more back story on how my second pregnancy affected my fitness.

So, I had a full term pregnancy (38 wks) and my baby was born almost 2 lbs bigger than my first daughter. This may be attributed to the consumption of those damn cinnamon melts at McDonalds that found their way into my passenger seat miraculously every now and again - or, it may also be attributed to the bloody 2 medium pizzas for $5.99 each deal at Dominoes - the jury is still out. But, I was doing pretty well in my weight gain range until after my baby shower, when my motivation to maintain a healthy “glow” and weight tanked. “Bring on the cheese, bread and sugar! Me luv them long time!” 

However, I gained 37 lbs with my second daughter, which was 3 lbs less than my first where my motivation to eat well waned earlier on. The fewer lbs gained must’ve been due to chasing around the wild one they call “Adiella”! (: So, cut to right after my 2nd delivery when the perks of being a patient in the hospital where your mother works kicks in. Three whole days of Complimentary VIP meal service...shrimp and steak…baked ziti…french toast and sausage…cakes, cakes and more cakes………………….oh, uh, sorry, got lost reliving the moment! So, to make what has become a long story short, right after the birth of my second daughter, not only was I eating like I was still pregnant, but I was eating like I was training for the Tour de France or what I like to call “the Kobayashi diet” (famous hot dog eating champion, in case you’re not a nerd like me)! And two months after her birth, I still had 20 lbs to lose to get to the weight I was right before her birth. But she is a true “carnival baby” and it was on the tail end of my usual fitness kick around carnival time. So, I was actually about 15 lbs from my “usual” weight.

ANYWAY, enough talk (well, maybe just a little more)! Finally, one month after I started my diet, I have lost 8 lbs with honestly minimal to moderate exercise (daily walks while pushing my 2 yo in a stroller and wearing my 2 mo in a carrier) and eating well. I know I could’ve had more drastic results with more intense workouts, but eating well always seems easier to me and TT carnival isn’t seeing me this year, so nothing is dictating my schedule except my own vanity and desire to live a healthier life. I will kick-start a more rigorous workout routine this month, however, and continue to share my journey (whether you want to hear it or not)! (o; And now for the conclusion of my cheesy infomercial with the much anticipated and equally dreaded “Results – month 1” pics. [Thighs and buttocks were cropped out to protect the innocent!] (:

 Source & Pictures above - Team Fit & Lean 2013 fog up de place!!!!


Instagram: @sxm_sumo

I met Ryan and my husband in the same night, at a fete, called 5th Element in Miami, in April 1998. And as fate would have it Ryan and I became friends. 'Though with time, we lost touch after college. When we finally reconnected, Ryan was maybe 3 times that shadow of the man, I had once known. 

Yet, something shook Ryan up in 2012. He set a goal to lose the weight for his sister's law school graduation. As time progressed, it also became about setting a good example for his 2 young sons. He changed the gears on his 'cycle alright. Soon enough, he posted pictures of his new diet, of him on his bicycle or at the gym. And just like that, he was no longer 'SUMO' Ryan. Even with his weight loss, Ryan still leaves me rooting for him at the end of the finish line!

Ryan - BEFORE:
Ryan  - AFTER:
now this is more like the Ryan, I knew.


"I painted this one for my dad's 60th birthday. Not exact but this is my version. Happy birthday daddy."

Last summer, my friend for over thirty years told me of her recent hobby, painting. I encouraged her since my mother paints and I respect creative types. Lisa could not paint a lick, as far as I knew. She knows it and will agree with me. So when she posted the following picture of her first painting.  I was just so proud of her. 

When I congratulated her and asked if she ever knew how to paint, she responded, "Thanks, girl. Well no to be honest," and continued to reveal what got her motivated, "I knew I had a creative side but never really tapped into it. I was down one day and decided to take a painting class. I never looked back. I fell in love the first day. I also had a teacher who allowed me to be free. I was allowed to paint whatever I wanted and she only assisted when I asked for help. She kept giving me positive reinforcement which helped because I was insecure (still am). I started saving pictures from the internet and photos that inspired me. I can shut the world out for hours, even days and just escape in painting. I am still a novice but I can gradually see improvements as I continue to practice. 


Last Spring, Siobhan mentioned her plans to relocate to Dubai. Since I visited Dubai in 2008, I felt it necessary to at least introduce her to another Caribbean friend who lived there and is a DJ. Happy to report the two have hit it off, and I find it quite amusing when they tag me in their 'fun-time' pictures. 'Though, I most look forward to Siobhan's posts and pictures of her new life in Dubai ... here's just a tease. 

 "The greatest fireworks display in the World! Wow! Wow! Wow! 
It was electrifying!"

"Celebrating with a client who has one of the most impressive houses I've ever seen and his car collection is nothing short of amazing - 25 Ferraris, 6 Bentleys, and cars I have never even heard of."


Yasmin and I went to high school in St.Lucia together. We even spent the first three years in the same class.  ... And one of the few, I still keep in touch with. What caught my eye was this black and white mixed print outfit. Yasmin posted the picture to encourage those of us intimidated to mix prints, to do just that. I just had to share. This mother of two and DC lawyer can throw down in the kitchen too! A girl after my own heart. LOL!


And there was just something so poignant about this comment from my college friend and first time mother in her thirties, who like me has had issues with pregnancy, "It's my birthday!!!!!! And probably one of my most memorable of all time as I sit here 9 months pregnant!"
So I'm encouraged that IT IS NEVER TOO LATE. Certainly, not too late to learn to sew, paint, make sushi, even Trinidad doubles. These are a few of the things I wish to take on in 2013. While so many people are stuck in a rut, this is meant to get you moving. Do not limit yourself. Just do it. You just might find your inner might! HAPPY NEW YEAR, better yet here's to the best NEW LIFE!


  1. Great post Ny. I am so honored by the feature and most inspired by the stories of the others.

    Love it !!!

  2. Inspired by each of these people. Thanks for making me a part of this post Nyree. Just looking at Lisa's painting is lighting that fire of mine to push myself with my photography more. Great post!