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I Am Rhonda James

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13 Signs You're Doing Much Better Than You Think

Monday, February 5, 2018

I know. Sometimes life hits you HARD. It feels like one thing happens after the other. It feels like you're constantly being knocked down. It feels like there is just no way to get back up. But I promise...you are doing better than you think.

We've all been there. We've all hit our rut at some point in time, and it was nearly impossible to see the sun shining through the cloudy skies. But for 2018, I've been learning to be more appreciative of the little things that reminds me I'm in way better position than it appears.

You woke up this morning

You have a job

You have a car

You have at least one good friend

You ate something today

You have a roof over your head

Someone loves you

You love someone too

You paid your bills this month

You have at least five outfits in your closet

You're healthy

You have time to enjoy a hobby

You can make decisions for yourself

Can you say that any of these apply to you? Trust me...you're doing pretty good.


I Stopped Eating Meat And This Happened

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


For my New Year's Resolution, I made the decision that I wanted to transition into a meat-free diet. I got to a place where I didn't enjoy how I felt after eating certain meals, and my body was telling me that it was time for a change.

Can't lie. The idea of giving up meat sounded absurd. I had been consuming meat my entire life. My thoughts were just like any other person that isn't familiar with a meat-free diet. How do you get protein? Are you only eating fruits and veggies for every meal? 

Well, I knew I couldn't just dive into this. I knew that I had my work cut out for me and I wanted to research as much as I possibly could about removing meat completely out of my diet. I constantly searched through Pinterest and Youtube for ideas, until I had a grasp on how I wanted to get started.

I didn't want to go cold turkey starting this diet. In November, I started off by removing meat from my breakfast. This was pretty easy for me as I never ate much meat for breakfast outside of bacon. Then, I started to remove meat from my lunch. However, for dinner, I would still prepare a meal that had some meat. It didn't take long before I began weening meat from dinners. 

Came January 1st, I removed meat entirely and was ready to take this seriously. I feel amazing, and have begun to see the benefits already. 

I Don't Feel Sluggish
Normally, after each meal I would feel extremely tired and drained. The only thing that could remedy this was to simply take a nap. I didn't even have the energy to walk off a meal. I just couldn't muster the strength. But now, I've noticed that although I am full I don't feel tired. If anything, I have a ton of energy. 

I Sleep Through The Night
I wouldn't say that I had bad insomnia. But, I used to have an issue with falling asleep at night and waking up much earlier than I needed to. Now that I haven't had meat, I fall asleep just fine and my alarm clock actually wakes me up. I wake up feeling well rested. 

I Know My Body
When you begin to put more good than bad things into your body (because let's be real, I still chow down on potato chips) your body can easily let you know when something doesn't agree with you. I went out to eat with a friend and I ordered a spinach and mozzarella quesadilla. Although it was tasty, my body knew within 30 minutes that it was too much for me to handle.

No More Postpartum Shedding
When I stopped breastfeeding my son, postpartum shedding hit me hard. My hair was coming out in clunks each time I washed it or combed it. It was so bad that I had balding and thinning around my edges. I wash my hair once a week, and by week three...I noticed that I didn't see clumps of my hair coming out. The shedding has decreased significantly.

Reduced Bloating
I'm not saying that I've lost a tremendous amount of weight within this month, but I have noticed that I am not as bloated. I'm not a dietician or scientist to entirely piece together how my not eating meat, but I'm pretty sure it's safe to say increasing my vegetable intake in place of meat has helped.



I Went a Day Without Talking and This Is What I Learned

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Verbal communication is by far my most expressed way of communicating. I have always been very vocal. If it's something I want, need, a question or thought, I had no issues with speaking up. However, I had a day where I couldn't speak and the lesson I learned from it was monumental.

I caught a really nasty sore throat that inhibited me from drinking, eating, and yes...talking. I couldn't even whisper. I was in so much pain that it didn't make sense to do the very thing that was making it worse. Having a one year old and my husband definitely made this challenging, but if I was going to feel any better it was a necessary step to take.

Obviously if I couldn't verbally say what I needed, I had to find other ways to communicate what was on my mind. But that's where the lesson comes in to play.

I woke up that morning and whispered to my husband that there was no way I could go to work that day. He asked what I needed and I couldn't respond. I placed my hand over my throat to sign that I'm not going to say another word. Not going to lie. It was a challenge. My husband would ask me a question and I'd be pointing and jumping up and down trying to emphasize what I really wanted to say. If others were to see me they would think we were playing a game of charades.

My husband would stand in front me guessing each gesture. "You want water? No. You're hungry?" I found myself frustrated by not being to able articulate what was so easy to just come out and say. I had moments where I'd endure the pain and just say it. Then, I would be upset that I made my throat worse. Eventually I got lazy with trying to find a way to say what I wanted and I just stopped trying.

So what did I gain from going a full day without speaking?

I had to really think about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I had to ask myself is this even important for you to take the time to master a way of communicating this. Is this even something that needs to be said?

Not speaking gave me the entire day to just observe. To do nothing. I then realized that I talk a lot. I can laugh at this now, but in that very moment I learned that I'm that chick. There were so many things I wanted to say. So many things I wanted to interrupt. I had an opinion on just about everything. There were things I felt were so urgent that I wanted to say right then and there. But my sore throat stopped me from all of that.

I learned to take a moment and think about what I wanted to say. I learned to take a moment and see how things will pan out without my assistance. I learned to take a moment and step down. I learned that some things aren't as important as it may initially seem.

I learned to take a step back and trust in my husband more. I learned to just adore my husband in that moment without feeling this urge to interject. Seriously. Each time I thought of something I wanted to say I just wanted to tell myself to shush.

Going a full day without speaking was definitely eye opening and forced me to take a moment to slow down and take a look into myself. I am more appreciative and understanding of the power of the tongue and going forward will do my best to work on it.


2018: New Year New Me?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Why do we set goals at the very beginning of the New Year? What is it about January 1 that motivates everyone to aim high and challenge themselves to do better the next year? You start to see those "New Year New Me" posts, and how much everyone wants to make a change the next go around.

The New Year is symbolic of the beginning. A fresh start. You can officially say "last year" and give yourself a redo. But the one reason for why people tend to roll their eyes at the typical "I'm not going into the New Year doing this" is because most times it doesn't stick.

Most people fail to keep their New Year's Resolution before March rolls around. Whether it's starting a new diet to lose weight (a big one) or learning a new word from the dictionary each day. However big or small the goal may be, society gets so hyped up over a New Year's Resolution that they fail to create a plan to follow through with it.

I can't deny it. I've been one to do this. Life sets in and I've ended up pushing away from that goal. But ever since I became a wife and mom, setting goals and actually keeping them means much more to me now.

I am all onboard for the 2018 New Year New Me. But in order to get going, I had to set a realistic goal. One of my goals heading into next year is to transition into a vegetarian diet. I am well aware that for someone who has been eating meat all their life I can't just go cold turkey. I  understand that I have to give my body time to adjust to this change. So instead of saying by March I will no longer eat meat. I am going to give myself some wiggle room in sayng by March I will minimize my meat intake to once a week.

If I know myself well enough, I know that bacon and a pizza will tempt me. So instead of seting myself up for failure, I will allow myself a day where I can indulge until I no longer require it.

Now how do I plan to stick to this goal? This is the part where we normally drop the ball. I need an action plan to do this. Creating a plan of action eliminates the guess work. It doesn't give me room to create excuses or go astray from the plan.


To transition into a vegetarian diet I've made the game plan to meal prep each week. If I have my meals prepared for the week, I won't have to worry about what I'm eating or being tempted to order out. Each Sunday, I will go grocery shopping and plan out what I plan to have for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. If the food is there, I won't have to make up excuses for why I'm in the Chic-Fil-A drive thru.

Regardless of what your goal may be, understanding what you need to do to accomplish your goal is the key. 

I'm very excited about pursuing this goal and seeing the results. I've been back and forth on the idea of trying it, and I'm finally diving into it. Choosing to pick up a vegetarian diet isn't a trend for me. I've noticed that I don't enjoy how I feel after some meals, and I want to change that.

Giving myself a checkpoint to ensure I'm on track is just as important. Evaluating your progress a few months within the year will help to keep you in check with this goal. Have you been working on it? Did you have more than a few cheat days? Is it time to pick it up a notch if you've been doing well?

I feel pretty confident that if I stick to those few components, I will keep my New Year's Resolution.

  • Set a Realistic and Attainable Goal
  • Create a Plan To Work On This Goal
  • Evaluate Your Progress 

What are your New Year's Resolutions?



Advantages of Being a Morning Person

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
backlit, clouds, dawn

I've always been a morning person. I love being the first one awake and getting an early start to my day. But my husband....not so much.

When we first started dating, I would be awake at 7 a.m. ready to get breakfast, ready to clean, and ready to go out and about. Him on the other hand, he had an alarm clock set for 11 a.m. It wasn't until we had our son that he finally jumped on the bandwagon and began his days early.

My body doesn't allow me to lay in bed past 8 a.m. If I do, it's most likely because I am not feeling well. I guess you can call it my personal alarm clock. I would lay in bed tossing and turning, seeing the sun get brighter and brighter, and would feel it's time to get up.

But I love being that morning person believe it or not. Yeah, I have days where I wish I could sleep in or I've wanted to lay in bed a bit longer due to lack of sleep the night prior. Even when I am not up and running before my usual time, I find myself upset that I didn't start early.

Why become a morning person? 


Early Bird Gets The Worm
You've heard this old saying. Well, it's true. When you start early you're more accessible to things that aren't available later throughout the day. Ever seen those holiday sales that seem to run out quickly before the afternoon even gets in.

Quiet Time
I love waking up before my husband and son because it's the only time of the day that I get to focus on just me. The sun is out. The house is quiet. I can drink my green tea in peace, and I have time to just simply focus on me.

You Have a Full Day
Starting your day early means having the rest of the day to do whatever it is you want. For me, I appreciate getting my errands completed by 11 a.m. because now I have the rest of the day to relax or just enjoy my free time. Most people are beginning to get their day started around late morning, and probably won't be finished until late afternoon.

You're On Top Of It
When you start your day early, you're most likely to be on top of anything thrown your way. There is no adjustment period or time required to "wake up" because you've been awake all this time already. Take it from me. Starting your day early can really be a load off.