Transforming My Life

Last week I embarked on a journey that is sure to change my life. I started Transform 20 and let me tell you, it might only be 20 minutes but you are down in it without any breaks. A modification is encouraged if you need a break, BUT don’t STOP!

Shaun T is the creator of this workout so you know you are going to be rolling your eyes and wanting to kick over the TV.

Or is that just me?

I Have to admit that I have a Love, Hate relationship with that man. He will push you and I swear I am cursing him out the entire time. I remember the first that I worked out to his Insanity program I thought to myself, this man has lost his mind. But I quickly became hooked. Insanity helped me get into the best shape of my life. My last baby was turning 2 and I was determined to tweak this crickety body back to what it once was. Shockingly I was able to accomplish my goal with hard work and a kick butt nutrition plan.

So then life happened and homegirl put back on some unwanted pounds but I had fun doing it. Zero regrets because I am blessed to be able to move and go back to where I was. But the sad fact is……I’m older, which means my metabolism died. Okay maybe it didn’t die. But it definitely had one foot in the grave.

I am depending on Shaun T to save me and my clients. Shaun T pushes me to be my best and then I return push my clients. Well most of them, my older clients would run me over if I tried Transform 20 with them.

Here is a sneak peak of the 1st week of the program. If you like what you see and would like to change your body with me then leave me your email/phone number.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored!

~Belladonna~

Some Like It Hot

The question is, do you? If you had to rate your marriage or relationship with your significant other, would you say it was hot or not? If not, what are you going to do to make it hot? Some of us are perfectly fine with a lukewarm partner. Let’s face it we are living in a world where couples are swinging in order to keep their relationship on a hot status. Many of my clients were either swingers or personally knew swingers. They all told me that it was exciting and kept their marriage interesting. Ummmmm I think not.

Here is where I stand. Swinging gets a big fat HELL NO from me. If I have to do something that preposterous to keep you then you aren’t worth keeping and I will enthusiastically move on with my life. Cause that ain’t hot!

I have been married for 18 1/2 years and we have never once entertained that idea. Do I have eyeballs and notice attractive men? Of course. Does E have eyeballs and notice attractive women? Yes, he does but he better not even look that way. Just kidding. Looking never hurt anyone but he better not stare.

I feel once folks allow their marriage or relationship to take that turn then please sit by and wait for the next event to occur. When swinging gets old then what is next? We all get used to situations and are always in search for more. We need more to fulfill and satisfy us. So at what point do you say okay I am all swung out and I am content with just being with you? Will that point ever come?

What are your thoughts?

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored.

~BellaDonna~


I’m Crushing On ME

Hey, you sexy, gorgeous, sophisticated, well-educated love muffin!
Who me?
Yes, you!
OKAAYYYY then……HEYYYYY!

What if you woke up every day and looked in the mirror and said;
“Damnnnnn girl, you are fine.
You just woke up and have bed head but still killing the game.
You are one sexy Lady!”

Can you imagine if you said this? Your day would be fantastic. But chances are you are doing just the opposite. We have a terrible habit of being so hard ourselves. Continually looking at fat that we want to lose or hair that we wish was different. The list is never-ending.

So as of today, I demand that you STOP!!! Be your own Women Crush Wednesday and then choose to crush on you every single day!

Don’t wait to be somebody else’s crush when you can be your own. I love when I see women that are bold and know that when they walk into a room…they own it. Be the kind of woman that isn’t intimidated to take a seat at a table full of powerful men. Know that you are their equal or superior. Don’t let anyone take away your voice and self-worth. I am a huge believer that you are as strong as you believe you are.

I’m a visionary, dreamer, and an optimist. It took me years to get this way. Once upon a time, I would get so furious when I saw someone looking at me. I automatically thought that they were thinking something gut-wrenching about me. So I would give them the glare of death and well its safe to say if they were thinking something positive they weren’t anymore.


I became exhausted from this way of life, and I knew that I needed to inject change immediately. I started to love myself and remove self-doubt. I know that I’m intelligent, I’m a good person, and I would give anyone the shirt off of my back. I stopped fantasying about changing my view of myself and wanting to be the type of woman that I admired. I started to repeat the following to myself and I now do it on a regular basis:

I will always and forever…………

Be that woman
Be that bold
Be that brave

Be your Woman Crush EVERYDAY but since it is Wednesday…claim it!

Happy Woman Crush Wednesday

You could have chosen any blog to read, but you chose mine, and I’m honored!

~BellaDonna~

I’m Not a Coward Anymore

I remember before she died her tone became harsh and other times silent with me. I can’t blame her because at this point she knew she was dying. She knew that her body was finally failing her. She battled with diabetes and went through dialysis for over 10 years. She had her leg amputated and learned how to walk again. When life kept throwing rocks at her she caught them and laid them down softly out of her path.

I’ll never forget the day that she found out she was diabetic. We were walking through the mall and she could not quench her thirst so she kept getting large cups of water. Then she told me she needed to sit down because everything around her was spinning. So we set for about an hour and talked and laughed. An hour always felt like 10 minutes because we meshed so well together.

The next day her mother took her to the hospital and she found out she was diabetic and long after her kidneys started to fail her. She started dialysis and felt so refreshed and strong after each treatment. She told me that she could feel her body being cleaned as she sat through her dialysis.

Can you believe that she would fall asleep during her treatments? I was always amazed and so proud at how she kept an upbeat attitude. Negativity and lack of hope wasn’t an option. I looked forward to receiving or giving her a phone call after I knew she was home from work or the hospital. We would talk for hours about the past, our day, tv shows, history, and books. She loved to read and was an exquisite writer. I have never had a conversation with anyone else like I had with her.

The last time we spoke and no not because of her passing but due to my cowardly lifestyle. But anyways we spoke for 6 hours and we were dead tired the next day. It was worth it. During that phone session we cried, laughed, told jokes, talked about letting the negativity go and stop trying to save someone that is already gone. That is a whole other story and I will get into that in another post. However, our phone conversations or weekend sleepovers were always like this. My husband didn’t know if he would walk into a room and find us crying or laughing at any given moment. Geesh I miss that!!!!!!!

We went from talking once a week while I sat and watched my sons baseball practice to once a month. Before I knew it a whole year went by. She sent me a text and told me that she wasn’t doing well and her skin was turning dark in several places. She was tired and ready to let go. Her body had enough. She told me that she loved me. I have read that text message more times then you can imagine and it gets more painful to digest each time.

The next day I wrote her a letter because I was too scared to talk to her. I didn’t want her to tell me she was losing her fight. I wanted her to win. I was selfish and I was a coward.

“I should have been there to hold your hand to wipe your tears and to tell you to believe. But give me a chance to do that now I can’t change how distant I was but I can be the friend that you need me to be now. My fear of losing you is strong but my fear of not being with you right now is stronger. Brandi, I was a coward and I’m sorry. I’m here now and desperate to pray with you and help you believe that you are holy and worthy to be saved! “

I’m too late… Your body is free now and you have both of your legs back. Your kidneys are strong, skin is smooth and all one shade.  You’re in Gods hands. You’ll never be alone.

Tears are pouring down my face as I write this. Not because I’m sad but I’m grateful. I am proud that she chose me to bless with her presence. I hope that she understands that I was a coward and too scared to say goodbye. It was the coward in me that made me look the other way and pretend that she was well. I wanted to believe that Brandi would be with me forever.

We all handle the death of a loved one differently. The pain is real and feels like it will last forever. It is so devastating to know that you will never see that person again. When they are gone you can still hear their laughter and when you stare off into the light you can see their face.

Brandi, your death has forever changed me. I’m not a coward anymore.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored!

~BellaDonna~

Broken People

A broken person will always try to break you until they find out what you’re made of. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people have entered my life and tried to recreate what God had intended. But wait, don’t get me wrong if your thinking that this applies to strangers only then please think again. Broken people are in all areas of your life. It’s your job to identify who they are and ruin their plans.

I am a mother of 3, and I am continually telling my children to be mindful of whom they are bringing into their life. They have to be aware that their company carries a definite presence. A broken person will watch how you move and interact with people. They will make it their mission to ruin peoples perception of you and your positive view on life.

Let’s face it we all know people that will laugh and talk with you and make you feel as though your existence matters. Then as soon as you walk away, they will do everything to destroy your character. In the past that behavior would have infuriated me. However, I learned to deal with it the best way I know how. By saying nothing because I can show you how strong I am better than I can tell you.

My strength lies with the ability to use every situation as a building block. Not only will I use that block to step up and get me closer to greatness. But I will use that Block as a barrier and never allow you to reenter in my comfort zone. My peace of mind is far too important to allow broken people in my area. I refuse to forgive and forget. I have always had an issue with the phrase. Instead, I will forgive, but I will never forget what that broken person did. Pushing the wrong behavior to the side and pretending as though nothing ever happened is doing a disservice to yourself. Oddly by forgiving and forgetting and then allowing that person to reenter your life is a reward. Why would you choose to reward negative behavior?

Now allow me to repeat, I am a firm believer in trying to forgive the broken person because it will free my mind. However, I have zero interest in learning who or what broke you. I can pray for you and wish you the best. But I can’t waste my life on trying to figure out why people do what they do unless I am of course a trained psychologist. Which I am not so, I would be of zero value to you in that regards. Instead, I only choose to offer my fellow positive, and uplifting, beautiful persons this advice concerning broken people.

Broken people will always try to break you until they find out what you’re made of. So be brave and stand firm on the truth that you are too strong to break and therefore to determine to lose.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored.

~Belladonna~

Jumbo Stuffed Pasta 🐚

My love for Italian food is ridiculously crazy. If I don’t make it once a week, then you know something is wrong with me. I have made everything from Manicotti to Baked Ziti, Ravioli, Tortellini, Lasagna, Italian Meatballs, and everything in between. Did I already say that I LOVE pasta? Oh okay, I think you get it.

If you follow me on Instagram and check out my insta stories you will see that I make pizza a lot. I make it so much that I can do it in my sleep. So based on that you might think that pizza is my favorite Italian meal. NOPE! You would be wrong.

Hands-down one of my favorite meals to try are stuffed jumbo shells. I have had them stuffed with cottage cheese and spinach, lobster, shrimp, ground beef, and Italian sausage. There is an endless number of options! But let me tell you two secrets to having a fantastic shell.

Step one….. do not overcook the shell that is the absolute worst thing you can do. Overcooking your shell’s will cause them to become limp and making it impossible for your ingredients to stay inside.

Step two…..stuff the heavens out of your shells. No one wants a half stuffed shell at least not me!!!

Ingredients

  • One box of Jumbo Shells
  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • Two teaspoons Black pepper
  • Teaspoon Salt
  • 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese

Boil your pasta shells for 5 minutes and set aside to cool.

In a heated pan add olive oil and sauté your spinach.

Any large bowl mix cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, black pepper, salt, and spinach.

Begin to stuff shells 🐚, place them in your pan and drizzle with olive oil.

Cover and Bake on 375° for 20 minutes

Uncover and broil for two minutes.

Please refer to my previous post on amping up bottled pasta sauce or making homemade sauce.

To complete your meal add either my crusted Parmesan salmon Or fettuccine, thin pasta noodles or baked chicken.

I always add a large Caesar salad with this meal. Just adds that bit of a crunch that you need.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored!

~BellaDonna~

No Comparison

We are living in a superficial society. Who has the best butt on Instagram or the best breast? What part of me should I expose so that I can get more followers and get that one person to notice me and “Fall in Love”.  We are always comparing ourselves to the next person. Please believe me when I tell you that males do this too.

Instagram is flooded with some of the most beautiful people in the world and trying to keep up with filtered images can be tiresome. Trust me I know. I am so guilty of scrolling and scrolling and then questioning my entire existence. I remember this one day I was feeling so good about me. I was having a good hair day, my thighs were looking more firm because of all my squats. Don’t even get me started on how my stomach was looking flatter and I saw a couple of ABS exposing themselves. Then I did the unthinkable…. I opened Instagram!!!!

Instantly, I became fat, not so attractive, my makeup looked as if a blind man applied it. Needless to say, I felt like I needed a complete makeover. But that isn’t even the worse part.  I kept scrolling and read uplifting, positive posts and then I felt like hmm, okay it’s not just my external that is in need of a makeover but my internal as well. At this point, I need an entire redo of my whole self!

I don’t know about you but I hate feeling like I’m not good enough.  When deep down you know that you are. We are so hard on ourselves and I think it comes naturally to most of us to give compliments and praise. Then look down on ourselves.

So let’s flip the script and make a pledge right now.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath in and exhale

  • Give yourself 5 compliments.
  • Make a quick mental check of things that you are good at
  • What are the things that come naturally to you and others may find difficult to do
  • What are the things that make you happy (what energizes you)

Once I started to do this and think positive about myself I felt like I was winning. There isn’t one picture of someone else that can make me question my worth. Not internally nor externally. I’m able to scroll through IG and maintain my confidence.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m a mother of 3! Two of which are teenagers and need a mother that is confident and not second-guessing herself. My main job as a mother is to teach them to be self-confident. So in order to do that, I think I need to be as well.

If you aren’t able to see the beauty in you then stop scrolling and back away from social media! You have been warned.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored!

~BellaDonna~

Take Me As I am

I get so frustrated when I see people transform into something they aren’t, just so they can get the attention of whom they desire. Do you know how amazing  you are? I mean do you realize that there isn’t anyone else alive like you? You are powerful, strong, breath takingly gorgeous and have the capability of being anything you want to be.

You don’t see your worth right now because… why would you? You are surrounded by negativity, jealously, lies, and poor unapologetic treatment. You are forgotten about because everything surrounding you is chaotic. Your life is a literal storm.

Think about it, Is there anyone in your life reminding you that you are a QUEEN, a KING and that you are worthy?  The answer for most people will be No! It’s very common to go your whole life and never he a positive word about you.

Over the years I have learned to stop talking and just listen. I love to people watch and figure out why folks, young and old behave the way they do. I see people on a daily basis throwing themselves at people and will destroy their self worth just for all eyes to be on them. Acting so over the top just so people will stop and stare. However, at some point I want everyone to know that just because eyes are on you doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Some folks are looking at you as an object that they can use and then throw away. Better yet laugh at. Meanwhile you are still left feeling empty and in search of finding that ounce of pride and courage to say “Take me as I am, flaws and all”.  Admit to yourself that you are over acting so extra and you just want to calm it down. Take a sit and RELAX. I can’t take it, you’re making me tired!

But one of the things that I love to do is talking to people that are searching for love and wondering if they will ever find it. They usually want to know if there is something wrong with them and what do they need to change in order to find the right person. Oddly… the conversation always turns into self love. Knowing who you are and having confidence is a key factor in finding the right person. We have all heard the old saying, “if you don’t love yourself than how can you love anyone else”.

You will always be in search of love,  as long as you are empty and full of self doubt and constantly changing and hoping those new changes will bring a positive outcome. Just stay consistent and work on YOU. Not at new you but a better you.

If we all stayed searching for love we would come up empty and broken hearted. Everyone you see will be a prospect and lets face it, the folks you see on a daily basis are not for you. They might be for someone but not you. Your desperation will have your mind playing tricks on  you. Don’t fall for it and run… run like hell and don’t look back.

I know and you know that no one wants to act or conform to something that isn’t uniquely their own style. But it takes time and age to figure this out. Most strong people weren’t always strong but it took time to find strength and self love.

Not everyone has someone that is screaming positivity in their life. So here is my challenge… be that positive voice, be that positive presence. Watch how your words will help the young and old step boldly into the next chapter of their life. This will help you too. As long as you stay in a positive mindset and an upbeat outlook your life and others around you will blossom.

It takes patience and years to reach that self  love status and when you do reach it your only words to others will be “Take me as I am”.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I am honored!

~Bella Donna~

To Weigh Or Not To Weigh

l use to wake up every morning and hop right on the scale. I let that insignificant mood snatching scale ruin my day or make my day. I’M SICK OF IT!!!!! So I say to hell with the scale. Take your life back!  Start a challenge with a group of friends like I did and just go….make yourself give up all the foods that are BAD for your body.

Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people that will ignite your soul. They will energize your desire to be better. Let’s keep it real…. having friends on the same mission is less expensive than hiring a nutritionist or a personal trainer. However, if it is in your budget than of course utilize their services! Great way to guide you in the appropriate direction.ABC18489-7A0A-4443-8F84-20D30B6A8B17

I have worked with a wide range of clients that needed to lose 10 pounds to 100 pounds, were battling depression, diabetes, kidney failure, recovering from strokes, post partum depression, menopause, teenage blues, recovering drug abusers and alcoholics.  All of these groups of people could not be more different but they all have one thing in common.  The one thing is battling weight.

We are all trying to accomplish the same goal, but we need to approach it differently.  We all need to take steps that are custom made for us. Stop comparing yourself to everyone and stay off the scale!!!

Figure out what works best for your body and be kind to yourself.  Losing weight and getting healthy is a process. So enjoy it!

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I am honored!

~BellaDonna~

Apple Crisp Goodness

I am in LOVE with this dessert and I am trying not to make this everyday.  The key to this dessert is letting your apples soak in sparkling apple cider for at least an hour in the refrigerator. So if you want to make this the day before you desire to eat it, then that would be perfect.

Eat this dessert warm with a big scoop of your favorite ice cream.

You could have chosen any blog to read but you chose mine and I’m honored!

Bake: 375 degrees for 30 minutes

Apple Crisp

  • 6 Red Apples
  • Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 table spoons of cinnamon
  • 4 tbls of butter

Topping:

  •  2 tablespoons butter, softened
  •  1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • 1 egg, beat