Giving Thanks, Feeling Grateful…and all that other New Year Reflection B*S ; )


With the first month of the new year almost behind us (scary…only 11 more months until Christmas lol), I took some time off to clear my brain and reflect on 2016. Where my mind drifted to, was a random assortment of things and people I am truly grateful for. I get a lot of requests for me to share a bit more about me so this is my first attempt on the year.

Top 8 Things I Am Appreciative For:

  1. My mom- I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without her. She has made me independent and strong (maybe too much so!). She is my rock and taught me to stand true to who I am and my morals.

  2. Not being in my 20’s!- I couldn’t be happier to be 32. When people say that I look 27…I happily tell them my age. Your 20’s are such a learning experience and I wouldn’t trade them because all of my experiences (filled with happiness or stupidity) have made me who I am today. And I am extremely thankful for that!

  3. Affordable Fitness Fashion- I will be the first to admit that I do have a couple of pairs of expensive leggings in my closet (but, if you felt them and wore them for a work out, you might consider dropping $60 on them too!). HOWEVER, I do get a lot of DMs on Instagram asking me where some of my workout gear comes from and many people are surprised by my answers. Avia is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVE fitness gear company’s. Their gear is comfortable; they stay up on the booty and are extremely affordable. Avia is available online but if you don’t want to wait you could swing by your local WAL-MART ; ) Avia is also available in plus sizes so don’t fret about the sizing! C9 apparel is available at Target and I wear it religiously! Their apparel is cute, well-structured and can go from the gym, to errands, to even a dinner date with ease!

  4. Friendship- my friends are like my family, sometimes more than my family (shhhhh don’t tell!). A great core group of friends keeps you grounded, sane and mentally strong.

  5. Berlei Sports Bras- Let’s face it. I have boobs. I have tried to run from that my whole life but they somehow just get in the way. Finally, I have a sports bra to help solve a bit of the problem. Berlei is sold at Macy’s and is equivalent price wise to Nike or Under Armor BUT these bras are GREAT for fit big busted women who want to hold the girls down during on those intense cardio days. There are 2 other great features about this bra line….they are FREAKING CUTE (c’mon…you know if you are a girl with boobs that it is hard to find cute and practical bras!) and the straps are adjustable for design and tightening purposes. I am a Berlei convert for sure. Me and Serena Williams BTW (oh, I didn’t mention that? She endorses them!).

  6. Fitness- I have always been active and played sports but at the start of this year (thanks to an unflattering bridesmaids dress…sorry Kourt!), I decided to make a dedicated change. I started working with my trainer, Dominick Castillo of Cast Iron Athletics and became a fan of boxing and lifting. Working with a trainer pushes me to levels that I can’t mentally take myself (and I have a strong will). It’s been a tough climb but my dedication has paid off 10 fold. All of my fitness would go to waste without nutrition but contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight…it actually hurts you! Keep it simple, eat smart and don’t be weird. Oh…and most importantly, make your workouts your “me time.” If you like watching TV at the end of your day, then add body weight workouts during commercials to get your body movin’! I promise you won’t be sorry…just sore!

  7. Athletes Who Are Great for the Community- With so much negativity, it is so nice and refreshing to meet athletes who truly want to give back to the community and inspire others. Since I am based in Houston, I thought I would highlight 4 current and former local athletes that I am grateful for this year (It is important for me to note that I was really bummed I could no longer include Dwight Howard on this list because he is top notch when it comes to being active within the community!!).

*Whitney Mercilus- It is hard to imagine Whitney does so much more off the field than he does on the field, BUT he does! His charisma, desiccation and huge heart make him an important piece of, not just the Houston area, but the sports community as a whole. This fall, he started his own foundation, WithMerci. They will work to provide advocate services to families of children with disabilities. I had the pleasure of attending their launch dinner and my review can be found on the blog here. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Whitney and his foundation. Definitely check out WithMerci by clicking here for more info on upcoming events.

*Michael Chabala- What do you do when you are starting your career over at the age of 30? That’s something many athletes have to ask themselves and Mike was no different. After much “sole” searching, Mike was inspired to create a soccer inspired fitness program to help inspire others to shred their goals and stay in shape. His program caters to all sizes, weights, shapes and ages. I have never been a soccer player but have always loved the look of their bodies have had. Within 3 months of me going out to his program, SPHERE, I am a huge believer in his concept. To see my review on SPHERE’s signature program and their partnership program with the Four Seasons, click here….or for broader thoughts on the program as a whole, check out my past blog here : ) I also might add that Mike made the list because he is always willing to give back for a cause. He may not have a specific one he is necessarily loyal to, but his heart is big enough for all of them. Want to know more about Sphere? Click here or check it out under my main page in Pamela's Picks.

*Lance McCuller’s Jr.- I haven’t actually met the Houston Astros pitcher (yet), but those who follow me on any form of social media know that I absolutely LOVE animals. Lance and his wife started a charitable foundation with 2 goals: protecting pets and creating families. Even more so near and dear to my heart (as I have 2 rescue dogs myself…please remember to adopt and don’t shop), Lance and his wife teamed up with Houston Pets Alive for Mutts, Meows and McCullers in February of 2016. Lots of animals found their FURever home that day! For more info on the Lance McCuller’s Jr Foundation, click here.

*JJ Moses- The original Houston “JJ”. What can you say about him? He is simply one of the most well rounded former athletes I have ever met. He always carries a smile and his schedule is packed with Texan Ambassador events, charity functions and his motivational speaking engagements. Yep…JJ Moses is a motivational speaker, and an amazing one at that! JJ is a man driven and motivated by his faith and he loves sharing that with the world. If his sunny disposition isn’t enough to get your mind in strong place then his ability to speak to all walks of life will. I adore JJ Moses and I added him to the list last because he is a mentor of mine (as well as many others) and he deserved the final spot for simply being him. He embodies what I fully believe in, “aspire to inspire” daily and to all. Check out JJ’s web page here to hear some of his interviews and speeches.

8. Most importantly...MYSELF- This may sound like a conceited thing to say but it is very true. Ultimately I am most grateful for myself and who I have become. I have gained a self confidence that I never thought I could have and I have done so without wavering from my morals and beliefs. In today’s society, that is not always the easiest to do. It doesn’t always make friends, but that’s ok…I already have a pretty good group of those. I look forward to growing a deeper relationship with myself and seeing who the future me will become!

#reflection #newyear #michaelchabala #sphere #avia #friendship #selfconfidence

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