photo via businessinsider.com
Many of us are hoping to get in shape, so let’s get to it! There are many types of exercises, from deadlifts, to cardio, to pull ups. Here are five simple steps you need to succeed in your workout.
- Eat Carbs– Yes, carbs are your friend! I’m not talking about potato chips or Hot Cheetos. Complex carbs are exactly what you need to fuel the body, so you won’t feel fatigue. Some carbs include oatmeal, brown rice, bananas, beans, or even wheat bread. Carbs are essential to give your body the energy it needs through the workout. Moreover, carbs help build muscle, along with protein. Low carb diets result in nutrition deficiencies, fatigues, headaches, and a slower metabolism. Yes, carbs help you boost your metabolism!
- Warm Up- Make sure to stretch your body, right before you workout. It’s not a good idea to just jump into a workout, without preparing. This can lead to injuries and poor workout habits. For example, if your goal is to lift heavy for the day, then it’s necessary to start off lifting lighter, rather than just going for the plunge. If your maximum weight is 225 pounds, don’t start off at 225. Start off at 90 or maybe 100, and work your way up.
- Reps Matter– A lot of people think that reps are not important, but they are one of the keys to muscle growth. You don’t always have to lift super heavy to get crazy results. The best thing to do is star off doing lighter weight with more reps. For example, if you want your arms to be buffer, it’s okay to start off at 20 pounds, doing 5 reps. Or, if you are doing squats, it’s okay to start off with 25 pounds, with 4 sets. The goal is for the muscles to tear, because that means more muscle growth!
- Do Cardio– Many of us hate cardio (including myself). It’s boring, I get it. However, cardio is a great way to burn fat. The great thing is, you don’t even have to do that much to do cardio. There is the stair masters or the treadmill. 30 minutes a day will guarantee fat loss.
- Drink water– I can’t stress this enough. Get your butt some water! Dehydration is a terrible feeling. You can end up feeling fatigue and dizzy. Your whole workout will go to waste. Try at least half a gallon right before you workout. During your workout, take sips in between.
- Get off of your phone- When you’re working out, it’s best to be focused. Staring at your phone can really take away from your effort. Why go to the gym to stare at your phone, when you can be getting results?
photo via goalcast.com
Life happens. Sometimes we may love someone who does not love us back. Maybe our gym crush is in love with another woman, or maybe the girl of your dreams is marrying another man. Whatever the case may be, life happens, and once in a while, we break down and cry. Sometimes we feel weak, unwanted, low, have low self-esteem, and don’t feel good enough. I’ve been there before, and I’m here to tell you, it’s okay, and you will get through this.
Here are some ways to take control of your emotions.
Be real with yourself- If you’re feeling depressed, ask yourself why. What or who triggered you to feel that way? Acknowledging your feelings is the first step to change. Once you know the root of your feelings, then you are then able to address it in a healthy way. Being in denial will only hurt you in the end, and you will only feel worse. Be honest and raw with yourself.
Ask yourself, ” Is stressing over this going to change my life?” If the answer is no, then you can now take steps to move on. Say for instance, you are in love with someone who does not love you back. You can either cry about it and lay in bed or move on and work on yourself. Perhaps, you can get in shape, save up for a new car, get your master’s degree, or literally anything that will help you in the future.
If your plan is to sit there and feel sorry for yourself, you are wasting your time and energy. Nipsey Hussle once said, “Never let a hard time humble us.”
Apply your energy where it matters– Get off your ass, and move. Get up. Do something that will change your life. Take all of that pain you hold inside and use that energy to be the best you can be. If you want to be a singer or an actor, go for it. If you want to travel the world, and see Greece or Africa, go do it. Remember, your focus becomes your reality, and you have full control of where you choose to direct your energy.
Let things be. Realize you can’t force anything. The universe does not work that way. You can’t make somebody fall in love with you. You can’t control someone’s feelings or how they see you. The best thing to be is yourself. If people can’t appreciate you for you, then the best thing for you to do is live your life and never look back.
Don’t overanalyze. The worst thing to do is to think about why something didn’t work out the way you wanted it to. We may think or say things like,”Why doesn’t he/she love me?/ Why did my friend pass away?/ Why am I single?/ What’s wrong with me?” Negative thinking leads to false beliefs of yourself. Sometimes we are hard on ourselves for no reason. Accept things for how they are, but don’t overthink it, because it solves literally nothing.
Laugh at your problems. Our “problems” may not be as big as we make it. If you can laugh at yourself, then life will be much easier. Say for instance, you got cheated on. Sure, it’s going to hurt, but in the end, you can say, “Wow, I can’t believe I was with that person. What the heck was I thinking?” Or, maybe you once cried over someone you loved, and they’re not even thinking about you. One day you can say, “Oh, wow. I cried over him? That’s hilarious!” If your friend passed away, reflect on the good memories, and think “Wow, this person was funny. Remember that joke he would tell?/ I remember the days when we would get drunk together.”
Find the humor in life, because there’s nothing wrong with laughing during the hardest phases of your life.
Stuntin’ is a habit for David Banner! David Banner is not only a rap legend, but is one man who wants to empower black people all over the world. Moreover, he calls himself an activist, not just a rapper. Banner has collaborated with an independent retro basketball footwear brand, Ewing Athletics: the David Banner x Ewing Rogue. The David Banner Rogue dropped January 31, and is priced at $140 exclusively at EwingAthletics.com. The younger generation best remember him as “Philly Street” from the hit TV series Empire. He is also the head of his own media company, Banner Vision.
His goal, says Banner, is to focus on “The betterment of our people.” “I want to give other people opportunities,” Banner exclaimed, to FN. “Everything I do — from my production to my clothing line to my website — it’s a collaboration between me and my people. I just want to be one of those people who gives [others] their proper shine.”
Image Credit: Ewing Athletics
If you take a look, many black artists including Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, or Soulja Boy, support popular companies, including Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, or Dolce and Gabbana, but which black businesses are they supporting?
Where popular brands, such as Gucci and Fendi are white owned, multi-billon dollar, top-level, successful companies, rapper such as Nipsey Hussle was known to create his own lane. Nipsey Hussle was known to create black businesses and teach his community about black entrepreneurship. In a speech, during the 2020 Grammys, Diddy encouraged black people to own rights to their work, including music, films, etc. “We need the artists to take back control.
Banner’s inspiration comes from the Pan-African flag, and the Ewing Rogue consists of red, black, and green. Banner says, “Red is the blood of our people, black is our people, and green is the land.”
What he is doing in the community is giving black people a voice to create their own businesses, and also own what they create, so as a result, they can leave a generational legacy. As a result, they can give back to their own people.
“Now we need ownership and to guide where it goes; we create what’s popping, so it’s time for our community to benefit,” says Banner.
The message here is more than supporting black businesses. Banner’s message is this- supporting black businesses isn’t just being nice to the man down the street to support his local shop. It’s much bigger than that. If we learn to support and uplift one another, instead of focusing on white-owned brands, we would be so much more powerful, because we are worth it, and can possibly change the world. First we must find value in ourselves and our own people, and realize we are the future, and don’t need white validation to see the richness in our craft.Read More
Issa Rae– This “Insecure” actor, Issa Rae is one black leader who is making big moves, not only for herself, but for her community. In Slauson, Rae has opened up a cafe, called Hill Top Cafe. Moreover, she has a new music label with Atlantic Records, called Raedio. Look out for her new movie, called ‘The Photograph,’ which airs on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020. Ain’t nothin’ to be insecure about, girl!
Meghan Markle– This royal princess is the first black royal since the 1700’s (Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the first person of color in the throne). Markle is the first person to hold the title Duchess of Sussex. Markle also encourage the youth in the UK, joining One Young World.
Megan Thee Stallion– This Houston Hot Girl is obviously one of the baddest rappers in the game right now, with hot singles such as “Big Ole Freak,” “Cash Shit,” “Simon Says,” “Hot Girl Summer” and more. She is a rapper, who is also a college student at the Texas Southern University, earning her degree in health. This woman is soon to drive the boat into #FutureBlackHistory.
Misty Copeland– Copeland joined the American Ballet in 2001. In 2007, this ballet legend became their second black female soloist and the first in 20 years. In 2015, she was the first black woman in the company’s 75 year history. “You are going to hear ‘no’ in life no matter what you do. You just have to keep pushing and persevering. And I think it’s important to know that it doesn’t matter what your skin color is or your body shape is. Whatever you want to do, you should go for it,” she said in Elle magazine.
Dr. Shirley Jackson– Respectfully known as a theoretical physicist, Ms. Jackson is the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT. Also, she is the second black woman to earn a doctorate in physics in United States history. In 2015, she earned the National Medal of Science, from President, Barack Obama. Put some respect on her name, because Ms. Jackson isn’t here to make your daughter cry!
Rihanna– Badgirl Riri is doing big things, and stands as one of the richest female music artist. Now, that’s a big deal! Go, head Riri! She is worth at least $600 million. This badass female has her lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, which represents women of all races, backgrounds, shapes, and sizes. Her makeup brand, Fenty Beauty is also popular, due to the fact that she represents women of all backgrounds and skin colors. Now, that’s something to respect, off top. “All women deserve to feel beautiful and all women deserve to have a choice and an option when they go to the makeup counter,” she exclaimed on Entertainment Tonight.
Beyoncé Knowles– The Queen Bey is one the best selling music artists of all time, period! She has sold 13 million albums in the US, and over 118 million records worldwide (at least 60 million additionally with Destiny’s Child). Moreover, her brand, Ivy Park is also banging, and the Carter’s new Ivy Park x Adidas retail line dropped at noon in January, 2020. #IvyParkXAdidas made it to #3 on Twitter’s 10 trending topics. Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, no-no-no!
Many of us go through tough times, and sometimes, it may seem impossible to get over it. Perhaps, it’s a loss, depression, or maybe you feel alone. Whatever the case may be, you are not alone in these tough times. The truth is, we are hard on ourselves, and it’s okay to feel like this. The great thing is, there are ways to overcome the negative feelings. Here are some things you could do, that just might help you overcome your internal struggles.
- Recognize your feelings– The first step for change is acknowledgement. If you know you are depressed, recognize it, but ask yourself why you feel this way. For example, you may be depressed, because you feel lonely, and do not have many friends. When you find the root of the problem, then you can address it. If you’re sad, because you feel alone, you can take steps to be more sociable. Perhaps the solution to help your depression is to join some classes, have a conversation, or even seek professional help, if necessary.
- Work on yourself– I know this sounds cliche, but when life gets tough, the best thing to do is work on yourself. I know it sounds like I’m being rough, but trust me. A friend of mine lost her mother, some years ago. While this tragedy has affected her, she found a new way to cope with it in a healthy way. Her passion became working out and training other people, to live a healthier, happier, lifestyle. When you apply your energy elsewhere, you aren’t “forgetting” the problem, you are dealing with it in a healthy way that is beneficial for your own life.
- Learn to accept– First of all, you can’t control everything. Get that out of your head. If we can, that would be amazing, but life isn’t about getting what you want. Sometimes things happen that are out of our hands. So, what do you do? Nothing. Sometimes, learning to let go is the only thing you can do.
- Don’t guilt yourself– When things go wrong, it’s easy to blame ourselves for everything that doesn’t go your way. Realize that life happens, and you don’t have to be hard on yourself. Know that it’s okay to make mistakes, and you don’t have to hate yourself for it.
- Vent- Sometimes, having a conversation with a friend may be just what you need to get through the day. Have lunch or coffee, and talk it out with someone that you trust, or a friend who won’t judge you. Talking can really take away the pain, because you’re not holding in everything. Also, if you have a friend who listens, perhaps they can provide you with some honest, wise feedback.
photo via brooklynvegan.com
Megan Thee Stallion isn’t stopping anytime soon! As a matter of fact, she has a lot going for her this whole month and the next. Sorry, my friends, but Hot Girl Summer isn’t ending any time soon, and will carry to Spring and Fall. Since next week is Super Bowl, Meg is gearing up for one of the biggest moments of her life. Now, that’s a big deal!
On January 9, Meg shared a clip of video, captioned “A real Hot Girl kno how to keep a N***a heated.” Of course, Meg comes with fire bars and major twerk moves that nobody else can compete with. In the video, she is rapping with shades on, while two hotties are twerking in the back. Fans were obviously thrilled, and were already talking about her new album, Suga. “My next project, I will be introducing a new lady,” Megan told NPR in October 2019, “Her name is Suga. She’s besties with [alter ego] Tina Snow.”
On January 24, Megan dropped her first single of 2020, Suga, where she brings out her inner Tupac. And, trust, she let’s us know that she’s woman enough to take any man she pleases! In the track, Meg samples Tupac’s “Ratha be Yo N***a” in “B***H,” where she talks about keeping it real and being a bad b***h for the right type of man. This song is also #5 on Apple Music. Of course, Meg is a real woman who would hold it down for any guy, and will always get what she wants. Duh, she’s Megan Thee Stallion!
“I’d rather be a B***H (I’d rather keep it real with ya)
‘Cause that’s what you gon’ call me when I’m trippin’ anyway
You know you can’t control me, baby, you need a real one in your life
Them b*****s ain’t gon’ give it to you right”
Meg isn’t playing games at all this year. Look out for a new video with Phony Ppl, which is set to release on Friday, January 31. This is a hot collab song, called “Fkn Around,” and you already know it’s going to be lit!
Meg is also a part of Best Lyrics and Best New Hip-Hop Artist at iHeartRadio Music Awards, at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles. iHeart Radio will be live, March 29 on Fox TV, so stay tuned!
During Super Bowl, Meg will be performing at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest on January 30. On this day, DJ Khaled, DaBaby, and Meek Mill will be present. On the 31st, Vewtopia will be starring DaBaby, Cardi B., and Migos, and many more badass artists. Meg will be attending the ‘Return of The Tunnel‘ party at Avant Gardner on Sunday, February 23
Get ready for Hot Girl Spring, because Meg is coming for you, and is driving the boat all the way to the top!
Junru Bian / EyeEm via Getty Images
Like Daniel Power says, “You had a bad day.” We’ve all had those bad days, where it seems like the whole world is against us, even when we’re just trying to be good people. It sucks, right? We ask ourselves, “Why is this happening to me?” and “Is it karma?” No matter who you are, we’ve all been there before, including Beyoncé. I’m here to tell you, my friends, it is not the end of the world. Here are some things you can do if you think you’re having a bad day.
- Know it’s not the end of the world– Seriously! Today, I got a parking ticket, and was so hot, I wanted to scream. I had to calm myself down and look at the situation, without reacting. First of all, it’s just a ticket, and it will be paid off soon. If I can perhaps work an extra day at my job, and make $70 in tips, it’ll be paid off in no time! In other words, I have a whole month to pay off such a small amount. It could be worse. Like an annoying, expensive parking ticket or scratch on the car, the great thing is, we are here today, and can solve these problems in a heartbeat. It’s not that serious as we make it out to be.
- Listen to music- Whatever song that is that makes you feel alive, listen to that song! Sometimes, all it takes is music to put you in a better mood. Do just that! If there’s a song that make you forget about your problems, sing it at the top of your lungs. According to the British Journal of Psychiatrist by Finnish researchers, music helps cope with depression and anxiety.
- Exercise– Get out there, and move your body! If you’re feeling angry, go punch a punching bag. If you’re feeling sad, go for a jog. Take those feelings of grief and anger, and lift those heavy weights. If you can overcome a challenge in the gym, you can overcome it outside. Fitness is symbolic to life. We become mentally and physically stronger over time through tearing and breaking, sweat, and tears.
- Write– Whatever is bothering you, write it down. Get a notebook and write it down. Whether it’d be a journal, diary, or song lyrics, apply your energy to being creative. Writing things down helps organize your thoughts and gives importance to traumatic experience.
- Laugh about it– Like I said, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes, all we can do is laugh about a situation. That $70 parking ticket may be laughable, because I can ask myself, “Why did my dad stop to talk to me for 30 minutes when I could have left a long time ago, and avoided getting that stupid ticket?” Life is too short to be mad about everything and be angry. Just laugh at yourself, and you’ll have a smoother ride in life.
photo via SONY Pictures Animation
Back in 2012, Matthew A. Cherry Tweeted, “I’m gonna be nominated for an Oscar one day. Already claiming it.” 8 years later, that dream come true has been spoken into existence. Matthew A. Cherry launched his first Kickstarter campaign, creating the animated short Hair Love.Now, that’s something to brag about.
In black culture, it was the norm for black girls to get their hair pressed. Especially in Eurocentric beauty standards, we are taught that our hair has to be a certain way to be accepted in society. More specifically, black hair is only “good hair” if it’s long and fine, silky, or straightened. Eurocentric beauty standards have come a long way in history, which is why weaves and extensions have become super popular for black women.
What I love about this film, is that the audience can see a piece the black hair experience. Black hair is more than a “thing.” It’s a culture- a history of hot combs, perms, hair relaxers, beads, braids, cornrows, twists, dread locks, afros, and more. Black hair is not just hair, it’s history.
“It was just really wanting to make sure that they look like people we know. There are so many young girls that are so proud of their hair and they wear it with pride. And we really wanted to capture that with Zuri,” says Cherry.
This film is more so about black girls loving themselves, just the way they are. Black hair isn’t something that was deemed as “beautiful,” but I think society is finally starting to understand that being black has always been the norm, even if it wasn’t properly represented or treated in society.
In the short film, the girl is crying, because her hair is too difficult to be styled. This reminds me of reality, when a black girl’s hair is looked as “too difficult,” because of the thickness and nappiness. Even today, black women are denied jobs, because of their “ghetto” hair styles and textures. In the film, the little girl is looking up black hairstyles that she’s interested in, looking at a woman (who appears to be her mother). If you take a closer look, the woman is only repping black hairstyles. I think that’s important, because black girls do need to know they’re beautiful, even if society told us otherwise.
“I just thought it was a really good opportunity for us to show a young Black man that typically, when you look at him, some people may think, oh, well, he’s got a sleeve tattoo. He’s this, he’s that. What does he do? And then to surprise them with, no, he’s a loving dad. Again, we know these people. But the world is not seeing a dad that looks like that out. So it was really important for us to push that authenticity of that young millennial Black father with the dreads and then just flip that stereotype,” says Karen Toliver.