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Happy Friday: Remember To Stay True To You

It's Friday, l bet most of you are ready to swing, pick up your girls/boys and hit the beach scene because the weather is just perfect.

In the midst of all the happy weekend vibes, l wanted to remind you the importance of staying true to yourself.  The advent of social media, on the positive side has given power to the individual in terms of self-branding, self-promotion and it has also been a platform to stay connected with family and friends. However, on the negative side it has also birthed a need to keep up appearances and stay updated, there's a strong desire to be seen in positive light, being seen in the right places, with the right people.There's nothing wrong with that,  unless of course everything is within your means and ability. But, just remember that what you see on social media is not a true reflection of reality, so don't stretch yourself to compete with other people who you don't know how they are getting their means, so stay true to yourself.

According to Certified Life coach Michael Feeley, "Being true to yourself is a personal choice for truth, it starts with knowing who you are and accepting yourself, knowing your strengths, passions, limitations and purpose in life and then living that way all the time."

When we deeply understand how to be true, life takes a new meaning. It becomes easy to absorb and enjoy every moment of your life because you are only in competition with yourself. Therefore there is no need to compete with the Jones because your moments will ooze positive energy and you will be happier because you are in complete control of your life.   \

Feely says, "Examine your life and see if every single situation you are involved in is healthy for you and for your mind and your heart." He continues to say ask yourself: Am l being true to myself here? If not change it. Now that we are clear on self truth, let your truth shine, and have a wonderful weekend.

I am off to a fabulous weekend with my kids.

Toodles  💖💖💖

Trend Alert: The New Nudes

Back in the day nudes were exclusively colors that were designated only for classics like pants and trench coats, therefore the color palettes that dominated were khakis and creams.
 However, modern day fashion is pushing the envelope a little further we have recently witnessed the advent of fleshy pinks and champagne creams added to the nude palette. On runways and red carpets nudes have made it as the colour of choice when it comes to celebs choosing the sophisticated day or edgy evening wear. Depending on how you rock your nudes, you can pull off any look from elegance to cute boho chic -- nude shades provide you with that clean, fresh, refined and quite luxurious look.
The good thing about nude is that it's not a color that is exclusive to the daringly brave, it's an inclusive color that switches up our fashion game -- leaving one to stand out as a fashion trendsetter. Also remember that the internet has provided a platform that is inclusive in terms of individualizing one's style and also using your platform to be a trendsetter. So if you have been thinking about incorporating nudes this spring to your closet remember it's all about one thousand shades of nude. The brown's, beiges, rich creams, and all the other edgy in-betweens. 
Nude tones tend to look absolutely amazing against whites, denims and blacks however in the below pic l opt the all nude look from head to toe. The most important trick to slaying the nude look is finding the right shade of nude that suits your hair and skin tone .
Below are some of Instagrammers who have pulled the nude look just right.

A photo posted by lamNina (@ninaraynars) on

A photo posted by DrehambeGirls (@drehambe_girls) on

A photo posted by Nude (@nudecolours) on

If You're Offended By Rihanna's Nudity You're Missing The Point

Society responds favourably to the Dollys who conform to gender role expectations, but not so much to the Rihannas.
Earlier this year, Rihanna dropped her eighth studio album ANTI -- she is currently on world tour whilst unleashing videos back to back, leaving society to go bonkers over the perpetual nudity showcased in her work.
The latest video, titled Needed Me, showcases Rihanna wearing a sheer ensemble with just a thong, allowing her double lattes to hang free and totally shying away from the princess image. 
Lyrically she doesn't need any saving from a prince on his white horse, because she has already set a record on Billboard Hot 100 that surpassed The Beatles for second-longest cumulative weeks at No. 1 with her song "Work," featuring Drake.
"What is up with her and being naked. Like why show that to the world? Respect has been lost," commented one user on YouTube.
The uproar over the use of nudity in her latest video displays the disparity between male and female privileges -- especially when it comes to using nudity as an art form. The responses are cockamamie, considering that Adam Levine can be butt naked in his song "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf****r," and still get away with it accompanied by an applause.
Rihanna's bra-less, erotica-thriller fuelled videos are deconstructing social norms that place gender limitations on how women choose to express their sexual liberty, or how they should expand it or simply own it.
"I got to do things my own way, darling. Will you ever let me? Will you ever respect me?" Rihanna asks in the opening track of ANTI "Consideration."
Rihanna's videos also reaffirm the pressures of living in a male-driven society that demands a continuous supply of sex so that the male spectacle feeds off pleasures derived from objectifying women.

Towards the end of  Needed Me, Riri is seen entering a strip club gunning down what looks to be a member of a drug cartel. Perhaps it's OK that she pulls the trigger. 
If you didn't understand her concept, she is directing a metaphorical bullet towards the patriarchal structure that is oppressive to women. She is clearly opposing this dominance over the female, and she is using the same vices men use to extenuate their power, including money, drugs and strippers -- and she ain't apologetic.
Rihanna is combating the video vixen image that has been perpetuated in the mainstream hip-hop and R&B genres, in which black, sexually charged females have been successfully commodified since the 1990s. Rihanna is hypersexualized in her video, but unlike video vixens, Rihanna has agency of her body and looks comfortable in her skin. 
The Harmony Korine-directed clip shows how far the Barbadian beauty is pushing the envelope in regards to owning her nudity and not conforming to gender social constructs. 
If Rihanna chooses to use her body to refuse conformity, so be it. If you haven't yet figured out her deviance -- she is demolishing sexual boundaries, so it's probably time you stop bickering about her and get with the program. 
Besides, didn't she already tell you that she was a savage? 

The Weightloss Journey Continues

Have I mentioned how freaking happy I am lately.

l publicly announced my weight loss journey in January, l made it clear that l would be using conventional methods such as working out and eating clean to achieve my desired goal. Then l set out my next step to associate with ladies that have similar goals, making sure that the advice l internalize comes from people that have actually achieved weight loss in a similar fashion.

l also spoke to a Makhosi a good friend of mine, and her advice has been golden. "Don't focus on the weight loss, instead focus on being fit," she advised. l shifted my focus to fitness goals, and as l keep pushing myself further my motivation levels are skyrocketing.  Even on weeks l weigh myself and don't meet my goals there's always a sense of achievement because my endurance and resistance training in the gym is constantly developing.

Make S.M.A.R.T Goals

In order to safe guard myself from failure and position myself for success, l made sure to create S.M.A.R.T. goals -- specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound goals. I identified my goals as:
  1. I want to lose weight.
  2. I want to exercise more.
  3. I want to eat healthier. 
S = Specific
S.M.A.R.T. goals helped me crystalize my goals and make them more specific.  I had to identify what is my target, and what am you trying to achieve? My goal is to lose 70 pounds in 18 months. 

This picture below was taken on Jan 4, 2016 the day l started my weight loss journey. l was sitting at 231.4 pounds.

M = Measurable
The idea for measuring goals creates accountability. My current goal is to work out and do one hour of cardio four times a week. In-between my cardio, l aim to lift light weights daily. I bought 10 pound weights that l keep at home to use on days l am not in the gym. My goal is to do a combination of 100 lifts a day.

When l am in the gym,  l burn 500 calories In an hour, but my fitness target is to burn 1000 calories and 10 000 total strides within the hour. I am a work in progress.

A = Achievable
Are my goals achievable?  Yes, currently, l'm taking classes at University of Toronto almost daily, and l have huge breaks in-between.  Since my tuition also covers using the athletics facilities on campus l am renting a storage locker where l store my gym gear. So during those breaks instead of socializing with my peers, l am hitting the gym and l'm happy because l am productively using the breaks. On days l am not on-campus l am happy to work on my weights and stretches at home.

R = Realistic
I have had to be honest with myself in order to figure out what is realistic. l am not basing my goal on a lose-weight-quick trick from a fad-diet-advertisement, but l have mentally geared myself to put in the hard work.  If you divide 70pounds by 18months, my goal is to lose at least four pounds a month.

T = Timely
I believe that setting time frames for your goal allows you to see your progress or it also gives room for improvement.

In order to keep track with my goal l downloaded an app called Monitor Your Weight. It's a free app that helps motivate a person following a diet and/or exercise program to reach their desired target weight within a predefined period.

The first pic above was taken this afternoon and below is a screen shot of my progress;


Welcome! I'm Nina Raynars

Born-n-raised in Zimbabwe, I live in Toronto, Canada with nothing more than passion, a laptop, camera and a dream, I am on my #Kanye.
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