On the Couch: Fitness Life w/ Marlon Coutee Jr.


How important is your body to you? Do you find yourself struggling with losing weight and/or eating healthy? To kick off a series of blogs dedicated to empower women to take better care of their bodies, we will be getting messages and advice from fitness trainer and nutrition specialist Marlon Coutee Jr. Ladies, when I tell you this guy is the truth . . . my oh my! Check out Marlon’s story, and get ready to be about that “Fitness Life”:Marlon's fitness side pic

Since a young age, I have always been an activity seeker. My family and friends have always looked to me for fitness advice. This could be due to the fact that I have stayed in decent shape. I truly understand the importance of staying healthy. In college, I worked with IUPUI Intramural Sports. I had key access to the weight room and gym. This gave me more practice to help others push themselves to achieve their fitness goals. After college, I moved on to the corporate world. I eventually grew tired of my capacity within Corporate America, and decided to pursue my NASM personal Training Certification. My VP at Bluegreen had a vision for me. Through that vision I was blessed with an excellent opportunity to be the first Corporate Wellness Coordinator with the company. Talk about purpose!  That position has helped fuel my desire to learn more and understand the total wellness spectrum . . . not just all fitness!! With that, I went on to earn more certifications and acquire knowledge that will be useful in helping others.

In addition to being a Corporate Wellness Coordinator for Bluegreen, I also work independently. I am a Personal/Group Fitness Instructor, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and TRX Suspension Trainer. My main goal is to educate and spread knowledge about total health and fitness. I also aim to educate the importance of creating a work/home life balance.

Through working in the corporate sector and independently, I work with a nice share of women. Often times I see women struggle with the battle of weight loss and overall maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s not to say that men do not struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle either. So here is a bit of advice:

Be confident and be patient! Embrace where you are right this moment, no matter what. Stop making excuses! It is better to try to prevent illness rather than try to react to illness. Realize if we cannot commit to our own selves we will fail to recognize true happiness.  Beauty comes from within; however, it is important to treat your body well. Everybody desires to look as good as they feel. You need a healthy functioning body to give you a better chance in life to spread that positive, loving legacy that lives deep down inside! Love and embrace your body . . . care for it like we do our cars. Embrace your journey! Own it!

Marlon

Well, there you have it! Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. It is so important feel good and look good. Your body is a temple. As women, we have a tendency of taking care of ourselves last. Let’s journey together to take the necessary time to out to take better care of our bodies.

You can contact Marlon at:

trainermarlon@yahoo.com

Instagram at: @_NoMoExcusesFitness

Facebook page: Fitness Life

IWU Blog Corner: Learning to Garden at IWU


I’m so honored and humbled by the opportunity to be a blogger for my alma mater Indiana Wesleyan University. As a member of the Alumni Association, I agreed to start writing blogs for IWU. I truly loved my experience there as both an undergrad and grad student. Because I am a huge advocate for higher education, I will share here on Coco’s Couch the blogs I write for IWU.

Back in October 2013, my first blog was published on the IWU Adult & Grad website. Going back to school and finishing my degrees was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It is never too late to go back to school! There is no greater investment, than investing in yourself! Check out my story on how I got started at IWU. Click the following link: Learning to Garden at IWU

~Hazel~

No More Hookups


no more hookups imageWhatever happened to the times where dating/courting actually existed? Relationship hookups has taking over the process of getting to know someone, and actually dating/courting them. Society has made hooking up so acceptable. I mean the casual hookup is everywhere! We see folks hooking up left and right in movies and on T.V., and we hear about it in songs. Because this is what society accepts, many people tend to think it’s okay to hookup, and will justify their reasons for it. What’s sad about this concept is that there are the individuals who hookup with people, and deep down desire a healthy relationship. But like a drug addict, it’s hard to stop, no matter how bad they want to.

I was that individual. I have been in several situations where I felt hooking up was okay. I mean we were spending time together consistently. We went out on dates (sometimes outside of my place or his . . . ooohh score!!).

Ladies listen to me: If he is always at your house, eating your food, watching your T.V.  &  you two never go out; you are not dating!!! Don’t confuse in-house hangouts with dating. Don’t get caught up by dating him and he’s not dating you. This another blog to write on later. Back to what I was saying . . .

We talked on a regular. But in each situation, something was missing. I wanted more. I wanted a commitment. After thinking this way for quite some time, I started looking at the value I was placing on myself. Here it is:

A nice dinner (let’s say about $40/plate) and a mediocre conversation,  in exchange for a night of tossing and getting tangled in the sheets. Sooo . . .  really I just gave up my cookie for a $40 meal and a conversation that didn’t even spark my intellect.

For some guys, I didn’t even get that out the deal!! I was letting myself get pimped out, and settling for less than I deserve. And like many women, I convinced myself this behavior was okay . . . that we will eventually end up together. That he will change or that I can change him. You cannot change no man so please get that out of your head! Then hooking up became old for me. I realized that I will never get to the type of relationship I truly desired by settling for these meaningless “hookups”.

So here is my message:

If a committed relationship is what you truly desire, then sis you have to stop selling yourself short for a “hookup”. You are only prolonging the process for you to meet the one God has for you. Trust me I get it:

You’re lonely . . . You’re like the drug addict and feel as if you could never abstain (trust me it’s hard but it can be done and it does get easier) . . . or You’re bored (this eventually became my excuse before I quit with the hookups).

Even though you may feel this way, please understand this: The right one is out there for you but you will never see him as long as your “hookups” are in the way. You are worth more than the price of dinner and a movie, a night on the town, a new designer purse and/or shoes, a weekend getaway . . . need I go on. Quit selling yourself at a cheap price! Know your worth!

It’s time to stop hooking up and let God write your love story. Your hookups are hindering you from receiving the one God has designed just for you. Your body is a temple . . . quit marrying men that are not your husband. 

~Hazel~

**image courtesy of Google Images**

Single on Valentine’s Day!!


Valentine’s Day:
Man do I remember when I used to feel down on this holiday. I have never celebrated the holiday besides the times when you’re a kid and everyone gets a card and candy lol. I had boyfriends and dated guys, but never celebrated this holiday. Never received flowers from a guy (including my dad) for anything let alone one of the busiest/booming days of the year for florists lol.
Trust me it was not because I didn’t want to celebrate, I dated guys who were jerks and never thought enough to actually spend the day with me. Notice I didn’t say they didn’t celebrate the holiday…it just wasn’t with me lol. Or I wasn’t dating at all.
So I found this holiday to be sad for me for most of my 30yrs being on this earth up until a few years ago. Something happened where I decided to no longer be down and out on this day. I took joy into celebrating me and having fun with my friends who were single as well.
On the Coco’s Couch Facebook page, I gave Valentine’s Day tips for singles everyday this week. Here are my tips to celebrate this love holiday as a single person:

1. Cook yourself a nice dinner! One year I cooked myself a nice dinner & watched a funny movie (no chick flicks or sappy love stories to remind me how I so wanted to be in a relationship). So what better way to celebrate V-Day than food in my belly & laughter for my soul lol!

2. Buy yourself a nice piece of jewelry! Every girl can use a little bling!!! Another year, Kay Jewelers was having a sale on some of their Open Heart Collection items. I bought myself this Open Heart key shaped necklace! I love it and still wear it to this day!

3. Get yourself some flowers! I decided I don’t need to wait on some guy to buy me flowers. Heck I walk past them enough in the grocery store, so one day I picked up some. And I must say they look pretty awesome on my dining room table! Fresh flowers always lift up my spirit, and make me smile 🙂

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4. Treat yourself to a spa day! I typically do this periodically throughout the year. I like to call them “Hazel Days”! I would go treat myself to a mani/pedi, full body massage, facial, get my hair done, or sometimes do it all in a day! It’s okay to pamper yourself! Take care of you!!

And for my fav…
5. Celebrate being SINGLE!!

20140214-095248.jpgYour season of singleness is just that: a season. It temporary! So stop mopping around because you don’t have a “boo” to celebrate today with! Today my friends and I are celebrating Single Awareness Day! Dinner & movie, plus a fun flirty night on the town!

Some of these tips may sound like something lonely people do to some of you, but trust me I’m not lonely. I was in committed relationships on this holiday and felt lonely. Your relationship status has nothing to do with feelings of loneliness.
So my fellow singles choose this Valentines Day to not be down and out, crying about how you are single and don’t have a date…choose to enjoy life, family, & friends. Choose to celebrate how awesome you are!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

~Hazel~

Coco’s Couch is on the Radio!


Quick update:
How awesome is this…for the past several months I have been guest appearing on Nathan McGuire’s radio show: The Love Connection Radio Show. It was officially announced today that I will now be co-hosting the show with Nathan! What an honor and a blessing to be alongside this awesome man of God, to help empower an entire radio listening audience!

Make sure you catch me on the air Feb. 24th & every 4th Monday of the month at 7pm EST. You can listen on AM 1310 The Light, by downloading the free AM 1310 app, or by streaming live at http://www.praiseindy.com