Saturday, December 10, 2011

O-M-F-Weight!!!!

My body has changed drastically in the past year and a half.  I have gained 15 lbs.  Oh-my-freaking-gosh!
Couple that with the my recent digestive problems and we have ourselves a metabolism meltdown that has left me with a (gasp) belly!  Sorry, this is very difficult for me to comprehend - I truly believe that I am in some serious denial, or at least I was until recent shopping excursions left me purchasing clothes anywhere from 1 - 2 sizes larger than what I consider normal for me.  But the belly thing - me looking like I did when I was 5 months pregnant, and I ain’t pregnant (note: I didn’t start showing until I was 5 months pregnant, so I wasn’t huge, it’s just that it was physically clear that if you looked at me, you could see that I was maybe pregnant).  Anyway, I am not pregnant, and as a result, I do not want to look pregnant.  Also, I see the weight gain in my face - oh my gosh!!!! Oh my freaking gosh! Shyt!

And the screwed up thing about this is that I started running, and I love it, and my legs do too, but my belly doesn’t, so what’s up with that?  I’m not eating ice-cream everyday.  I drink occasionally, but not even every week.  I drink a shit load of water daily.  I’m not snacking on chips everyday, so seriously WTF?

Ok, I kinda know what could possibly have contributed to this 15 pound weight gain in under 2 years.

I don’t eat enough. I (most of the time) track my food intake with MyFitnessPal, and the thing gave me a 1200 daily calorie goal, and, well, I don’t always meet it (and the 1200 calorie goal is my suggested minimum!)

I don’t work out every day.  I used to. 20 minutes of some cardio / strength training workout after I dropped me kid off at school.  Now I do it sporadically.  I just got so frustrated with not seeing any major results physically that I did get turned off, but I would work my ass off every weekend.  And doesn’t running around all day count?  Apparently not!

I don’t take my meds / supplements every day. I need about 10 pills to supplement my weak blood and other chronic issues, and even though it takes 30 seconds to a minute to swallow all those damn pills, sometimes I just say F-it!  Lately, I’m lucky if I take my daily prescribed meds (my apologies to my Grandma - RIP - for me criticizing her for not taking her meds on time and every day.  I get it now).

I still don’t sleep enough. This started way back when, when I was a junior in high school.  I went to boarding school and once you became a junior you didn’t have “lights out.”  And then when I moved on to the senior dorms, which had the computer labs in them, and were open all night, well, since I was on scholarship and didn’t have my own computer in my room, well, you see where this is going.  And then when I got to college, I attended full-time while working a full-time job, at the same time, at which point I was getting home at 12:45pm Monday thru Friday (well, I had my weekends off).  So the bad habit that started off as a small snowball, just turned into a gigantic boulder, of ice!  And I have maintained that sleep lifestyle (or lack of), for almost 20 years (I pray, and actually believe that I can in fact turn around the damage that I have done to my body).   It’s only recently - as recent as a few months, that I get an average of 5-6 hours sleep daily.  New goal: definitely a minimum of 6 hours sleep, but the goal is for 7 full hours sleep. (I’ve done good with the 6 hours, but I know it’s still not enough, though I feel better than I have in ages).

And did I mention that I’m going to be 37 in 6 months?  So you see, I need to shit or get off the pot when it comes to getting my shit straight (literally) regarding my entire well being.  And so it begins.

I believe that I have the capacity to be in better health and shape than I have my entire life.  I plan to.  Actually, I’m working on it right now.  This weekend I’m cleansing - just taking it easy with the food intake.  It was supposed to be a complete liquid weekend, but I caved and had a Caesar salad (with croutons!) and the shyt was awesome, no regrets, lol!  But I’ve digressed.  The point is sure, while I was driving to a friend’s place today, instead of putting on music in the car, I half-chanted/ sang “I’m hungry”, BUT I did some mind of matter Jedi mind trick on myself and said that I will stick to the plan of cleansing and getting my nutrients via green smoothies (which I have yet to make), fruits, vegetables, and other lite fan fare (like the incredible Banana Probiotic Yogurt that I had for breakfast).  I haven’t perfected my plan yet, and have reached out to sources for support - including a friend who guides people on a homeopathic/ natural way of living (I figure, just getting her involved in my journey holds me even more accountable because even she will be expecting results).  I’m looking into the kinds of changes that I know my body is going through, investigating what I perceive to be my overacting cortisol levels, and fine tuning my workout plan (I did 3 miles on the track today - running 1.5 miles straight and then alternating between speed walking and jogging an additional half mile - I have to jog instead of sprint as a result of my chronic asthma).

By the way, in the middle of typing this I made a green smoothie (spinach, banana, strawberry, carrots, banana yogurt & blueberries) and it looks like diarrhea in a cup, but I’m drinking it!  (it doesn't have an attractive smell either, but oh well... bottoms up!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Protein Treatment for Winter Hair

So people, I thought I would switch things up for a second and see if it would help if I added a mayonnaise based pre-shampoo protein treatment to my hair regimen.  Here is my proposed recipe:

1 egg
2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

I will dampen my hair, apply the mixture and let it set for 30 minutes (a perfect excuse to relax in a nice steamy spa bath).  Afterwards I will wash my hair with Shea Moisture's Hibiscus and Coconut Shampoo, and deep condition with Alter Ego for 30 minutes under a hooded bonnet dryer, rinse with clear water, use a homemade herbal rinse (rosemary and lavender), detangle, set on magnetic rollers, and sit under the bonnet dryer.

Side note: I've done the roller set for the past 2 weeks and while it dries and stretches my hair nicely, I've noticed a lot of fairy knot in the front of my hair especially - what's up with that?  I'm hoping some extra conditioning will help... I don't know, well see.

While I like my other pre-shampoo treatments, I figure my hair could use all the moisture it can get.  This recipe doesn't require a lot of ingredients - all of which I already have - and hopefully it won't hurt.  Stay tuned...

... 1 hour later...
that protein treatment did not got as well as I would have hoped.  As a matter of fact, once I shampoo'd and applied my deep conditioner treatment I had LOTS of shedding.  Now I won't completely blame that on the protein treatment, but my hair was feeling quite papyrus-esque!  Here's to hoping the rest of my routine salvages what's gone down already!

To Be Continued!...

Alrighty, so clearly, not all things are for all people and that's all right.  I'm not one of these bloggers who wants to preach what everyone should be doing with their hair.  Heck, if you want to put pigeon shit in your hair to make it grow, go for it! With that being said, I steered a bit from what I'd planned to do - in an effort to not be sitting under a bonnet dryer for two hours) and detangled, sealed with my oil mixture (castor oil, avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint), and then used a heat protector (IC's Hair Straightening Serum) before using a round bristle brush and my hair dryer on light heat. Now, I've had that pretty costly brush for years, and tried to use it in the past (to not so pretty results), but the stars were aligned for me tonight because it worked out.  You see, in the past couple weeks I've been doing the aforementioned roller set, but I noticed the fairy knots appearing out of no where, which  began to attribute to my roller set (it's the only major change I've made in the past month that I can sort of blame for the knots) so I figured I would try to bristle brush to help stretch the hair at my ends as well.  So it took about an hour, I did it, and I still had my big hair!

Here's a quick look at my hair growth progress from last year and a new photo from today :)





Saturday, November 12, 2011

When Products Attack

It is with a heavy heart, and completing the 6 stages of grief, that I report that one of my favorite products has turned on me!  It was so good while it lasted. It didn't cost a lot, but wasn't like a cheap one night stand (more like a summer romance), it made me believe in the good of humanity and that you could indeed find it where least expected.  It was so good on the inside as well as the outside. It was my ace-boon-coon, my partna who turned on me at the last minute like Gerry Butler did to Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.  I am speaking of it, whose name I don't even want to say , but must: Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner!
(Sigh)

So here's what had happened. I was loving my Suave Coconut conditioner like a half gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream after a long. hard day. And I was sharing this relationship with everyone - including right here in this very blog. My sis tried it and her response was not favorable, to which I thought, "she must be crazy" or "she must not be using it right."  And then it happened! Lord, honey chile! I washed and conditioned my hair with my Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner - and my hair felt like PAPER!  And not that expensive paper from Papyrus either.  As a matter of fact my hair didn't even feel like paper from the 99 Cent store - it felt like old-17th Century-hidden in a trunk- deep in the pits of an old slave plantation that had been flooded and burnt, to be pulled from its dark hole-and brought in to the light only to immediately wither and almost die -PAPER.  Broke my freaking heart!

BUT, I was in denial, for months.  I thought I'd moved on at first, thinking "oh, my hair just needs a break - like Ross and Rachel on Friends.  We'll get back together, after almost marrying other people, and live happily every after.  Well I thought my chance at a renewed partnership had come the other day.  I needed to do a quick co-wash to hold me over for just 2 days (I used a hair dryer with a comb attachment on my hair - something I haven't done for almost 3 months - and the damage was immediate, so I needed to fix it stat, and I THOUGHT my Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner was Old Faithful just waiting to come out of the closet and pitch hit with bases loaded, 2 out, and in extra innings in the seventh game of the World Series.  And what did Old Faithful aka Mariano Rivera in the Spring of 2010, do?  Something I never would have expected?  IT BLEW THE SAVE!

(Sigh)

So, I must give it a fond farewell via toilet (since my once faithful partner in crime actually doesn't work for anyone that I know).  Such a shame.  What a waste.  Is there nothing sacred people?  Can't a girl (ok, grown ass woman) have one thing that will always have my back? Dayuuuummmm. But it's ok.  In my brain stem I think I knew.  I didn't want to know, but I did. Dayum!

P.s.: (dis)Honorable mention to Queen Helene's Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream.  What in the hippity-hip-hop is going on?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

(Sigh) Dating...

...or should I say "not" dating. Ugh. It's just such a chore for me because I know I'm "different" and I have my issues, as noted in my aforementioned blog entries, but damn! Really? No amount of hypnotism and self reflection will make me understand why it's so damn hard for me.

The nastiest people, funkiest ho's (hey, ho's need love too), nastiest, ungrateful, unsympathetic people out there have someone, or at least have options, and my corny ass tries to flip things by turning "no one will date me" into, "well, I'm taking a dating hiatus" just to make myself feel better, lol!

It's funny, but it's sad at the same time. While I have acquired more confidence than I had even 10 years ago, I'm still not there, and I hate to admit (but I will) that the opinions of others do, in some way, feed into my timid approach to this dating thing.

Thing is, I look at things too practically. I'm so concerned (overwhelmed) with how I'm going to pay for my 10 year old's college years that I've all but abandoned the idea of the possibility of having more children. It's not a stupid thing, but it is a fear that is damn near crippling because I know I wont be finish paying my student loans until I'm a Grandma, and I don't want that for my boy. Then there's also the fact that I am now in the late 30s category, and let's say I meet Mr. "he doesn't get on my nerves all the time" and allow myself to get impregnated (on purpose this time) - that's not something that I'm going to rush into! And if I do take my time, I'll be a woman in her 50s with a young child. WTF? The people in my family never look their age - despite how I feel, I know I don't look my age, and my sis who is 2 years behind me practically looks like a fetus, but regardless of how I look, if I make it to my 50s, I will have the body of someone in their damn 50s, and I don't want to go to no play dates at my current "parent-age" - what I look like, being the age of someone's Grandma, with my 5 year old, trying to relate to the young moms and their spa dates? lololol!

So, I have a couple of options:
  • Date an older man (with kids of his own who are probably older than my youngest sibling - my youngest sibling is 15 by the way)
  • Become a young cougar
  • Try harder with the online dating thing (this is some exhausting shit! No one likes me- except for the fake West African scammers all names David - and they haven't even heard my voice yet, lol!)
  • Wear more revealing clothes (back to the older man thing, because the men my age don't even see me)
  • Get a nose job and liposuction, a weave, bleach my skin, trade in my Honda Civic for a Lexus, and shop at Macys and above only (no more $10 store) and trick some dude into liking something that isn't even a representation of who or what I am -- too much freaking work

I have to laugh. I have to, because I'm too old for this kind of thing to be keeping me up at night, and we all know I'm getting older so I need my sleep!

I would just love for someone to tell me that being myself - my practical, frugal, crazy, funny, serious, tough, loving, hardworking self - is actually enough, because it's either that, or make it clap on the pole so that I can pay these student loans off, make sure my son doesn't acquire student loans himself, and have someone tell me he loves me - despite his drunken stupor.

And so that ends my being a smart ass today :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In My Head

After taking the week to recover from my first long distance (almost 3 miles is long for me) run in over 20 years, I ran again, and in interesting weather as well (weather that went from constant rain to a freaking snow storm in October!).

Anyway, I decided that Michael Jackson would accompany on the day's journey, and it was a perfect choice (let me tell you, there is something about listening to "Man in the Mirror" when you're jogging and in a zone).

I realized something around mile 2. Life is like a race, and while I do want to get to a destination, where I end up may not necessarily be what I thought I wanted or needed, and that the journey is equally important in evolving into hopefully a better and happier person. In my head, while favoring my right thigh muscle, in the beginning I kept saying over and over to myself that "I have to do 3 miles, I have to do 3 miles" and then finally that chant turned into "I have to keep good form, I have to keep good form" because let's face it, what's the point of getting to any destination if you don't do it in good form, or with regard to real life experiences - with no class.

I may not end up rich, I may not end up with a husband, or more children or a new job, or whatever, but it hit me that living my life with as much class as I can, and getting through my experiences - yes, with goals in mind, but being present in the moment as well - is just as important as crossing that finish line.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm a Runner?

I did something today that I have not done since I was about 13 years old. I ran today!

Actually I did a combination of walking and jogging for about 2.75 miles (when adding the walk to the track it may even be closer to 3/3.5 miles - yes, I will be counting my distances) because of the differences in my body from that active 13 year old to this "mostly active' 36 year old. First, and basically most important is that I know have chronic asthma that so bad that a little cold for me can easily turn into pneumonia. Second, I hadn't working out consistently in over 2 months - it's been very sporadic - so while I knew I had some endurance and strength in the tank, who knew how that would translate to me running outside on a track as opposed to doing 20 minutes on my new mini-stepper or lifting hand weights.

I usually don't get nervous about a lot of things, but I admit I was. I knew there would be people there - especially considering the time of day (2:00) - who would be there, watching, judging, and possibly being straight up a-holes, so I didn't want to find myself in a situation where I'd have to directly deal with anyone's attitude. Unfortunately we live in a world so full of criticism where you'll have someone talking shit even though they aren't doing anything themselves, and with the change of climate in my neighborhood, I just wanted to avoid it all together. But you know what - I pay my taxes, so that track is just as much mine as anyone else's, so I put on my running pants, sports bra, t-shirt, y\Yankee hoodie (bought at Yankee Stadium for a ridiculous amount of money - hey it was freezing that day and I was desperate!), my sneakers (with insoles), set out to purchase a fanny pack, made sure the J. Cole album was synced to my iPod (I need my rap music when I'm working out hard - regardless of how ridiculous the music has gotten), and I got my ass moving.

And it was great!

I was so scared about the possibility of an asthma attack, but I didn't want to not do this because of that, so I did a combination of running and walking - I don't know all the running lingo, but it was like interval training. I was in constant motion for about 40-45 minutes (even when folks decided that the track was a perfect place to play touch football or soccer), I monitored my breathing - never forgetting what works for me (in through the nose, out through the mouth), engaged the core (but I wasn't anal about it), maintained my form, and when I accelerated, I jogged (I could have very easily got into my head and tried to compete with myself, therefore ending up doing something stupid like running at full speed, but I paced myself). I am so proud of myself. And I feel good - feel like I got a good workout (who knows how I'll feel later, or tomorrow morning, but I do like the burn so to speak).

Here are some of the benefits of jogging:
  • Strengthens the heart*
  • Increases the capacity of blood circulation and respiratory function*
  • Speeds up digestive system*
  • Increases metabolism*
  • Strengthens muscle and bone density*
  • Reduced blood pressure**
  • Increased HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol which helps control cholesterol levels)**
  • Improved endurance**
  • Stronger immune system (as is the case for exercise in general)**
  • Improved sleep**



*MotleyHealth.com
**FreeFitnessTips.co.uk

Monday, October 10, 2011

Old Settler

I just read an article on MadameNoire that made me want to chime in on the topic of women settling, or more to the point: for women to stop settling.

I'll try not to be a pessimist about this, because I still have hope for many things - but sometimes, not settling is hard to do for some things.  I do agree, however, that settling is not a good look at all.

For instance, in my experience with "relationships" it has been proven that whenever I settled, I have suffered many an emotional and physical ramifications.  And I always knew immediately "this shit happened because my ass settled."  If anything, I am more than honest with myself, especially when I screw up.

It's a great article, especially when one needs a bit of a pep talk to rise out of the dumps of despair.  Maybe I'll even get it through my thick head one day, lol!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mean Old People

One does not earn respect just for living longer than the rest of us.

My neighbor who lives in the apartment above me, and who is either 93 or 97 (it's keep changing every time I talk to her, but I guess after 90, it really doesn't matter), and who has lived in this building for 34 or 37 years (that also changes every time I speak with her), is a freaking noise pest.

She is going deaf. I am not, but apparently I am on the losing team and am forced to listen to news television until about 4am.  Oh, let me not forget how she keeps moving what I believe to be a wooden chair back and forth, several times throughout the night - and when I say "night" I mean from 11pm up until 4am most times.

You see, the first time I confronted her about the noise, she gave me the "I'm an old lady, I don't mean any harm" BS. She even gave me a hug and said she wanted to be friends.  I told her "Ma'am, I understand that you have some hearing issues, but you have to understand that I have a child who goes to school, and I go to work, and we both have to wake up really early in the morning, so we need sleep.

And do you think that worked? Hell no!

I was on the phone one night, around 11pm, and the person I was talking to could hear the sound of the 7th floor lady dragging this chair back and forth.  The other night, after being kept up late but the dancing chair, and then woken up early by the blasting TV, I slipped a not under her door.  The first line went like this: I am TIRED.  She got the note almost immediately, and turned that shit down.  Then, about an hour later, buzzed my ringer, not to apologize, but to tell me again about how long she's lived in this building, how old she may be, and how she has hearing problems in one of her ears (which means the other fucking ear is working fine, right?) When I brought up the furniture dragging, she swore "that's not me."  "So now I'm imagining things?" I asked.  She didn't reply directly to that, just said "she doesn't have a chair". Yeah-freaking-right! I am not deaf, and I know a freaking dragging chair when I hear one.  She also claims "I go to bed by 10:00, 10:30 the latest."  Actually, it seems like she wakes up around that time.  And now I sit here, after 11pm, listening as my walls vibrate from the sound blasting from her TV, so this is what I'ma do.  File a 311 noise complaint online.  Leave her a note in the morning - shit, my night is ending shitty, why not start hers letting her know (and if anyone wonders, hell no I don't feel bad - I've been going through over a year of this shit, complaining to management and the super, so I'm doing good on my, not "threats" but promises).

I share all of this to say "look lady, bravo on being 94 or 97 years old - whichever it is that day - and if you need someone to put in on some headphones just ask, but I cannot respect someone trying to play the "old person' card when they're being an ass.  And I peeped her game when I reminded her that we'd had this conversation before. Wanna know what happened? That soft, naive, "I'm an old person, let me do what I want' look on her face dropped, the bass went up in her voice, and one of her eyebrows went up (and I know allllll about the eyebrow honey. When my eyebrow goes up it means I'm about to cut someone), so it is officially war!  Chaaarrrrge!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Daddy for hire?

I am 36 years old, and a single parent to a 10 year old boy (pardon me, 10 and a half), and for the first time in my life, I'm sit here about to type the words that I have never even considered, to share with whoever is out there with insomnia who ended up on this page after initially looking for a cake recipe of youtube: I wish I had a father.

I hate to admit that the relationship of who should be the first man in your life affects your relationships with other people, and with men in particular, but it unfortunately does.  I thought it was good that I was this tough girl, representing the boogie down Bronx in my suit, raising a lovely boy and maneuvering a daily routine that, if I saw it written down on paper, would not understand how it's done. I thought that mean-mugging through the tough neighborhood where my son's school is housed just so no one would even think about messing with me, teaching my boy how to box, hell, raising my boy without his dad or a father figure - I thought "it's ok, it's ok".  It really isn't, and that's not to say that it can't be done, but I wonder when will the cycle end?

I love men, but men have not ever really loved me, including my own father.  One thing I need to explain about my father is that I did not meet him until I was about 2 years old because according to a letter that I found, he wasn't leaving college to "see some kid."  And then when he finally did "come home," it was fucking torture.  I don't know if many women have withstood lectures with a father who had notes - that he gave to me afterward - titled "3 Things that are Wrong with You" (on yellow post-it notes, sectioned via Roman numerals).  And then there was the time when he "disowned" me - apparently I was hopeless because I was "so much like my mother" but then a year later he tries to beat me like a dude because he thought I didn't say "hi" to him when I passed him in a stairwell...

Look, I don't write all of this to do a poor me routine, it is what it is.  The thing that upsets me is that even though I know that's how he was and that not all men are like him, I somehow have managed to live a life that has attracted men who are either unavailable or abusive emotionally (not physically!  One ex pushed me ONE TIME, and after I pushed his ass back I ended that, stat!).  So I guess I should really be mad at myself for not seeking better, not doing better.  And now here I am, 36, never married (which isn't an issue), never been loved, and now wants to curl up into the arms of a Daddy who will lie to me and say everything is going to be all right because I feel like a failure and I imagine that the hug of a Daddy would make it all feel even a little bit better.

Clearly, this is my issue, as many other women without their own Daddies have gone on to have love and very fulfilling lives, so I have to wonder, what is wrong with me?  Did he - my own Daddy - see the thing that is wrong with me decades before I was able to?  Does he have any advice (as I recall back when I was 13, apparently my problems were 1-Lack of love for family, 2-Lack of love for culture, and 3-Lack of compassion, and while I have to sincerely disagree, it must be something, right?).

Interestingly, I'm not one of these hateful hens out there who wants everyone to be miserable with her.  I love seeing the people I care about in love. I am just so freaking happy for them because the idea of not feeling loved in a romantic, or even parental way, is so painful, I honestly do not wish that on anyone. I love seeing people happy, just 'cause.

Well, hopefully in a year, a month, a week, a day - I can look back at this late night case of verbal diarrhea and laugh at my melodramatic self, but right now, I really am in search of an answer.  And I really would like a Daddy, even at my old age!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Me Time: For Moms


There seems to be a bit of a revolution happening around here.  All of a sudden, it appears that some moms and going to the local store by themselves.  Taking walks in the parks by themselves.  Even - gasp!  - going to a restaurant or the movies, you guessed it... by themselves!  And to that I say, It's about freaking time!"

Maybe I should have prefaced this entry by stating that this message is not for negligent moms - you know, the ones who tell their kids good night on Friday and then don't come back until Sunday morning (trust, I saw this kind of behavior with my own eyes when I was a child - not my mom, but an "aunt" - sorry, I wasn't having anyone think my mom was the one gone all weekend - nope, not her... anyway...).

So, like I was saying, it seems some of us moms out there are starting to realize that we aren't confined to elderly homes just yet, and that we should be able to take just a little time to enjoy doing things for ourselves that don't include making sure someone has their snack, or a change of clothes just in case a little one can't hold it, or going to see boring ass cartoon movies (or what I like to call "paying to take a nap in an uncomfortable chair and cold theater").  Or how about just being able to space out as you walk down the street, with the hope that you don't space out so much that you get hit by a vehicle, or by someone walking and texting!  The point is, some of us moms are reclaiming "Me Time!"

Now, there are different types of "me time."  There's the kind where you lock yourself in the bathroom and cry like Cochise (Cooley High reference) died all over again because your kid asked you for the 10th time why can't he sleep in your bed anymore (and that broke the camel's back).  Then there's that me time that includes locking the kids in their room and doing what we all did before we gave birth to them - vacuum in the nude blasting U2's Greatest Hits while sipping on a glass of something alcoholic. Or, just taking a walk somewhere, with no timetable, no real reason, except to just breath and be.

I decided, now that my son is in middle school and is forced to travel damn near 3 miles home everyday on public transportation, that maybe this was the real beginning of the cutting of the strings just a bit (I stress that because at the end of the day my child is still a child, he just isn't in diapers and doesn't ride his bike with training wheels anymore).  So at first I found myself doing things like going to the supermarket around the corner alone.  Then it was 'going to the hair supply store just 10 blocks north' alone.  Then it was 'I have to run to Riverdale to pick something up' (a 5 minute drive) alone, and just 2 weeks ago it was the "I'm going to see an adult (NOT porn) movie alone!'.  F.Y.I., I say Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, and Ron Perlman, and IT WAS AWESOME!  Both the movie, and the overall experience, despite the fact that my son calls me 20 minutes before the film ends to ask me when I'm coming home.

My sister happens to be doing the same thing now too with her kids.  Heck, the movie theater in her town is even closer to her than mine is.  And a friend of mine recently went to Ireland, leaving her kids with their father/ her husband, for a week and a half (forget the fact that they seemed a bit traumatized by the experience - they'll get over it - she looked great and refreshed!)

The point is, having children or a mate or both does not mean that we give up everything that made us who we were before these new factors came into our lives, because whether it's going to the movies, eating out once a month, taking an art class, window shopping for the hell of it, going to a street fair, going out dancing - all of those things made us who we were (and when we hopefully liked ourselves a lot.  If you didn't like yourself then, well, this isn't for you, no harm, no foul).  And the people who love us should support mommy "me time" because isn't what informed us of who we were in the early stages of our relationships - didn't that inform our personalities and what attracted them to us in the first place.  So moms everywhere, I beg you.  When your children are of an appropriate age, and when you are in a situation like me and many others who do not have physical support, when you can, give yourself the gift of "me time."  You'll love it.  And after your kids and/or man stop being mad at you, they'll love it too!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Who Knew?

I think I am allergic to bobby pins! W-T-Freak?

A few weeks ago I decided that this fall was all about the updo for 2 reasons: 1- I wanna be chic and do me and so something that isn't necessarily standard, and do me (I know I repeated myself). 2- With this new commute and extra time it takes to get my son to his school across town, I'm tired, and I don't want that tiredness to become laziness, and my hair break off and I end up looking like I'm a crackhead on the corner looking for my next hit.

There is also a #3- hair length retention. While I did go back to a lot of my old routines that worked well before I started trying things by a lot of these "natural hair nazis" on the internet, my routine did need adjustment, and I did just that.

So, I do the lovely tuck and pin do, and I love it. And other people do to. A colleague of mine - a white male from long island - who I'm sure could give a flying 'you-know-what' about the "natural hair movement" stopped me in the hall and said "I really like this hairstyle on you, and I can tell that you do too!" And then a woman stopped me in a bookstore and said "I love your hair. I just had to stop you and tell you - how did you do it." She also told me that it was a very attractive do on me after I expressed how nervous I was to do an updo with my big cheeks. So, I was feeling myself and the 'do a bit. And then my scalp started itching like the aforementioned crackhead on the corner looking for the next hit.

Now, considering I drink like a gallon of water a day, I was confused. And sure, I didn't oil my scalp everyday (I mean, really? Every freaking day????), but I'm not trying to have a haystack ontop my head, so I THOUGHT I maintained well enough. Well "wrong answer!" because like I said, my scalp was itching like a crackhead in a bad '80's movie.

Then I felt sores on my scalp - WTF! Again, WTF! The tuck and pin is not a 'do that is tight, pulling on the edges or anything else. So Why TF am I getting sores on my scalp. And then after a bout a week it hit me that I may actually be having an allergic reaction to my freaking bobby pins. Now I have not seen a dermatologist about this, but let me tell you (or whoever is reading) why I think this: because I notices that these bobby pins be shedding their painted layer at the drop of a hat, and when I was little and my own momma and grandmomma used bobby pins, I don't remember ever seeing them shed that painted layer like they do now - and I'm not just talking about the ones from the 99 cent store either!

So I Googled the "situation" and found that there are, in fact, other people out there with the same symptoms. So now I gotta find something in place of the metal bobby pins. When I do find an efficient enough substitute, I'll write a review, but for now, just damn!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Come on, mane!


Today is one of those DAYS!  One of those days when I want to shave it all OFF!  And usually I would chop it off and then let my sister know so she can yell "you cut it again!", but I am determined to grow this sh.../ stuff out so I can start sporting my old lady plats - that's all I want.  Plat it up and wrap it around my head - yes, I am ready for my old lady look, now.  But instead, I a here, trying to enjoy not laboring on this labor day, and I actually would like to scream.

So here's the deal, went on a mini vacation last week and did not have on my travel hair, aka braids (I took them out after it was confirmed that Hurricane Irene had destroyed my trip to the Caribbean - I was mad).  But I got my head together and we did a road trip that included time at a water park.  I figured, I'll just keep it pinned up, slap on some extra conditioner, blah blah blah.  Well the hair looked pretty good throughout, but it seems that I am now paying for it.  Got home, washed deep conditioned - twice (I won't even go into how the Suave coconut conditioner decided not to work for my hair any longer.  Now I have to find a new conditioner - dayuuummm!) - light blow out (of course with heat protection and all other kinds of hair protection), flat twisted for 2 days.  Whew.  Took the twists out this morning and my hair felt dry.  As the day has progressed, the dryness is driving me nuts because I feel like the next stop is "Breakage City" and considering all the new growth I acquired from my travel hairdo (for the travel that never was IRENE!), I am trying to keep on track and grow this sucka out.

Interestingly, my scalp feels fine, so I'm thinking my hair got fried in that sun in south Jersey, to which my response is "hell no."  So, what I am doing now is boiling together a mixture of green tea, rosemary and sage herbs.  I have used a green tea rinse in the past and it was great for stopping breakage, and according to my trusty resource, Tulani Kinard's book "No Lye", sage herb is good for strengthening the hair, and rosemary stimulates circulation.  I've already oiled my scalp with a simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, jojoba oil and tea tree oil.

Honestly, I planned to be wearing an updo in the coming month anyway, but when I touch my hair, I need it to feel a certain way.  It's like when I'm boxing and hitting the heavy bag, I know when I have hit the bag successfully from the sound of the hit on the bag.  My son came into the bathroom to me yelling at my hair and said "Wow mommy, you got a lot of hair.  I think it looks good."  And hysterical me yelled "no it's not, feel it! It's hard!"  He felt it.  And then he left the room, lol.  I share all of that to say that there is a possibility that this is all in my head, BUT I know how all this hair feels, and it ain't pretty.  Definitely not a 'Luv My Texture' day.

A word of Thanks


No BS – I’m grateful.

Today, I unconsciously spaced out while driving – although I did not know it at the time.  I did not see a street light at all, and even though I have driven on this particular street many times over the years, I did not see it.  It wasn’t until I drove through the intersection that my son told me what had happened, and I was so stunned that I’d done that.  For some reason I thought it was one of the streets in the area with a stop sign (leaving me with the right of way), but I was wrong, and even though the light did change to green when I was in the middle of the intersection, the point is that I ran a red light – and I was devastated at such absent-mindedness.
 
I sit here this morning after a week of ups and downs, but through it all I had maintained a relatively even temper.  Our trip to St. Thomas was cancelled because of Hurricane Irene, and I had to think of something quick (it’s not often that I get a week off).  My son is starting a new school and has to maneuver public transportation – which is something that’s new for the both of us. I had a bad reaction to Acetametaphen which scared the life out of me.  On the flip side, my son and I had a lovely few days away from the loudness of New York.  We did a lot of driving and talking and paddle boat riding and walking and just breathing a bit easier while not being overwhelmed by our standard routine.  And as I tucked my son in to his bed this evening I said to him, “Everything is going to be all right.” And I think I believe that.  And so I sit here, watching a marathon of the TV One series “Unsung,” getting a sneak peak into the lives – the successes and failures – of some famous folks, and I feel especially grateful. 

I’m grateful that I lived another day. Grateful my son lived another day.  Grateful that my son has worn more smiles on his face than I have seen in a long time.  I did my frugal shopping at DEALS, gifted my boy with a new bike (the child’s knees were hitting his elbows on the other one). Grateful that I ran into my son’s old babysitter in the park and talked with her for almost 2 hours. Grateful that it’s my niece’s 12th birthday.  Grateful that my son spent over an hour on Skype with his cousins.  Grateful that my thighs are still sore from a workout that I did 2 days ago! Grateful that I am still inspired to write (note that I totally ignore all grammar rules on this blog). Grateful that despite a little emotional flare up today, I feel calm (for now). I’m just so damn grateful that I made it safely to the other side of that intersection, and no one was hurt.  Yeah, I’m starting to feel my age and I have some new pounds that I’d never seen before, my hair is temperamental, I getting more grays and my back hurts more than before, but I am grateful.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Me" first, or "We" first?

There are those of us out there who have this kind of bad habit of putting others first too many times (maybe even all the time).  And that's a good thing, right?  To be a good friend always there and listening even when you're dead tired and wrestling with a pain that can be just as deep as the person you're being a steady rock for, right?  And then we hear it from our friends, family, maybe even co-workers sometimes when they cross that little imaginary line and decide to chime on on the supposed goings ons of our personal lives.  The "you need to take it easy" speech.

And yet, interestingly, the moment you actually put yourself first, it is those same people who take offense, or sometimes even become outwardly angry at you when a blue moon strikes and you assert yourself - against them.

Things that make you go "Hmm?"

Although I don't particularly enjoy upsetting anyone, if someone if upset with me because I didn't ask "how high" when they said "jump!", here's what I'm gonna do...

I'm gonna take a nap, hopefully get some good spirit and beauty rest, and I'll check you on the flip flop.

And if you're still mad, have fun with that - I'm 36 years old, and I got a life to live (hopefully a long one!)ha

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Product Review: Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Scrub


There are a couple of things I must mention before I get into my brief review of this product.

First, being a reformed product junky, this item was not on my shopping list when I entered the Sephora counter at my local JC Penny.  I went in there to get another acne skin care kit by Philosophy, and I thought IF there is something in there that I really need, then MAYBE I'll get it, but for the most part if I need something I will hit up my local Duane Reade, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, or wherever I can get a discount.  And considering the fact that his particular item is produced by Bliss, well imagine the $'s that flashed in my mind when even thinking about considering purchasing one of their products (which I know are very good, just not for my pockets at this point in time).

The second thing I must mention is that after opening the jar, I was immediately transported to a good time in my childhood.  I couldn't pinpoint the exact moment in time, but all of a sudden I was reminded of my beloved Grandmother and how she used to always give my sister and I little bath and beauty products.  I just remember sitting on the floor in her apartment in the Bronx and being surrounded by these smells that were both aesthetically pleasing as well as comforting... but I have digressed severely so let me get to it.

I am usually suspicious of body scrubs since I usually end up feeling like they don't do what I want them to do, which is to make me feel like I've been sandblasted, BUT I like this one, a lot. From the smell, to the scrubbing effect, to the price (I got it on clearance - the last one - for 7 bucks! The original price is $36, so I guess I'm going to have to save this scrub for special occasions until it goes on super sale again!)

The directions instruct the used to scrub the product on the body for a minimum of 5 minutes BEFORE getting into the shower.  They suggest that frequent "scrubbing sessions" will soften skin and invigorate circulation.

When I used the product I felt that the scrubbing feeling was significant without feeling like I was trying to remove 10 layers of skin. With lemon being a natural remedy for skin with acne, and with it's lightening properties, this is perfect for me as I work on evening out the skin tone on my shoulders and upper back especially.  Meanwhile, sage is said to work as an astringent, and antiseptic and an antibacterial treatment that acts as the perfect tonic for the skin, encouraging cell regeneration.  All the things I look for in a product for my finicky skin.  So at the end of the day would I recommend this product, at the regular price?  After just one use, with my skin still feeling quite exfoliated - which I like a lot - yes.  If you can get a hold of a small sample of the product, I suggest you try it out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is it that serious?


I love that there is so much information available on the internet for various things.  I have been stopped with the perms for over a decade, and had been doing exceptionally well with my do's.  I love that there are so many websites and so much more information available to me as well as some who are starting out in this natural hair journey, but I have to ask sometimes - is it that serious?

One time I made a comment on a blog about how I blew out my hair once or twice a week with a hair dryer (GASP!  Are you gagging?) and the verbal ass whupping I got on that site was, at first, laughable.  Later, when the audacity of  tone of several comments by folks named "anonymous", really hit me, I wished I'd had the presence of mind to quip back in the sarcastic nature that I do so very well in person.  And for the ladies who prefaced their comments with "I'm not judging..." uhhh, yeah, you are, and uhhh, it's about how I treat MY hair, so o-k lady.

Anyway, I just find it amazing how, in loving our hair, some folks come across as so judgmental, and downright mean and rude in some cases.  I even realized that this kind of behavior even seeped into my subconscious when I find myself reassuring women with chemically treated hair that "I'm not that kind of 'natural'.  And please note: I used the word "natural" for the example I just gave - I don't walk around calling myself a "natural" - it just comes across as so divisive (like the vegetarian who comments on the slaughter of cows when a person is about to bite into their burger. To me, that's some mean shyt!).

I've recently had to remind myself that I have to do what works best for me, and I have not been doing that - for a while.  I have a relatively healthy head of thick hair and now I want to obtain some more length. In trying to achieve this goal I found myself following routine that, although healthy, was not necessarily the best for me, and as a result, I wasn't seeing any results :(

Well, I done did my hair - the way I've always liked - did my nails, handling my skin care regimen (I'll address that in another entry) and now I gotta figure out what to do with my eye brows. I write all of this to say that I have not - in a very long time - felt the way that I'm feeling about the effort that I am putting into myself in a very long time.  Sure, I'm always short on time - when have I not been?  And sure, this is all so superficial, but it's my time, and I sure feel like I'm worth it, and of course I will have some low days (like yesterday!), but as I say many times, as long as I don't give up, I'ma be all right!

This "Hair" is taking control of meeee!!!

(nerd alert: my take of Maroon 5's This Love, lol1)
Anyway, I was only able to wear my kinky curly 2-strand twists for a little over a week because my hair got DRY! And I moisturized my scalp, my hair, heck I was spraying water, water with veg. glycerin - I was trying everything I could to lock in the moisture and it was just not happening, so....

...let's try something different, shall we?

Tonight I am going to co-wash my hair with Suave Essentials Coconut Conditioner, apply a hair mask using a recipe that includes bentonite clay, honey, extra virgin olive oil, and apple cider vinegar, and finish with Organix's Moroccan argan oil renewing treatment.  I don't know if I'm going to style it wet or dry yet. It all depends on the results of the clarifying treatment.




Later that day...

The hair mask was incredible - felt like may hair and scalp were detoxed without stripping it of all its moisture.  I am also LOVING Organix's Morracan Argan Oil Renewing treatment.  I'd tried one of those argan oil treatment packets by Creme of Nature a couple of weeks ago and loved the results on my hair and felt comfortable enough to invest the $8.99 for the Organix treatment, and it was worth it.  My hair felt pampered and I think the detox treatment had a lot to do with how well my hair took to the renewing treatment.  It felt extra soft and manageable, and coupled with the Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner (as part of my hair washing procedure as I used this before the renewal treatment), I got the best results from new products in a long time.  Let's see how this holds up in this nasty heat-wave weather, but for now, I am content :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

I Luv My Texture, but....

... I need a break.  Seriously.  I'm about 2 seconds from cutting ALL THIS OFF.

It has been a pretty frustrating month whether it's my hair or my life, and with this heat of the summer about to reign its terror upon me, I cannot deal.

With the locks, for some reason the hair looks like it ain't growing, but I know that it is which means my ends are breaking off (I've noticed this the past 2+ weeks).  And, styling it just hasn't been fun for me. Also the shrinkage in this heat is killing me.  For a moment I thought about using all of these products to go the straight hair route for a minute, but in July? In New York? Not happening.

With the life, seems like life is a vampire and I'm the juiciest human around because it is sucking the life outta me.

So, what am I gonna do?

I'm gonna put some kinky twists up in my hair (I do them myself, so that says me buckets of money and my hairline - ya'll know what I mean!), and nourish my scalp back to health.

I'm gonna put the job hunt in full action mode.

I'm gonna stop eating these damn chocolate chip cookies on my table.

I'm gonna work out hard each day of this 3-day holiday weekend.

I'm gonna meditate like a mutha!

And I'm going to relax.
There's always going to be something to complain about or not be completely happy about, but at the end of the day I'm here. That's gotta count for something.  I think it does.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New season, New Style


Ok, I will admit straight up - whenever there is a new season, a new year, a new whatever... I declare that I'm going to reboot my life with terms like 'get my sexy back' 'get my grown-woman on' - stuff like that.  Well, I have barely tried, and totally failed, each and every time.  A lot of reason behind my failures is because, no matter what, I just don't see myself as a sexy woman.  I see myself as this chick, on the grind, tired, working 100% but getting 35%, used to being unfulfilled, but still on the grind because it's what I do.

If there is a choice between doing my nails, or doing some laundry - laundry getting done.  Styling hair, cooking a good dinner - I'm gonna cook a good dinner for my son.  Between getting pampered by professionals or saving (or using) the money for something else that might come up - I'm saving the money for what might come up.  I am stuck in a circle of 'everybody else but me,' but trust, I am trying my to  change my ways.

There have been little successes.  I have invested more time toward my health.  I take a boat load of medications and  supplements - many which I already had on hand - every day.  I think I feel a difference.  I also met with several doctors on different problems I'd been dealing and am in the process of trying to make things better.   And just recently I have entered the world of 'calorie counting' (shout out to MyFitnessPal), in with the hopes of controlling the results of my changing metabolism. So, I'm working on it. But I do know that at the end of the day, if I'm not happy in my heart, all of these changes made will be for nothing.  I figure, the fact that I haven't given up means I've already won.

My Favorite Recipes: Oatmeal Mask for Acne


I tried this recipe when I was experiencing breakouts, and immediately saw a difference in my skin.  Enjoy!

Boil 1/4 cup oatmeal.  Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of aloe vera (I use it from the leaf).  You can stop here or add a little umph to the mixture, add 10 drops each of tea tree essential oil and geranium essential oil.

For extra dry skin, add banana and/or yogurt.

The Benefits of Lemon Water


I've always been a fan of lemons and even though I usually drink water with my meals, my alternative drink of choice is lemonade. Check out this article on the benefits of lemon water.

The Benefits of Lemon Water

Friday, June 10, 2011

All right now, Dr. Ian...

... I saw that your fitness expertise led to your team winning the Essence Magazine fitness weight loss challenge, and I bought your 4-Day Detox book months ago, so you got me.  I'm going to make a go at it.  And even though I may regret making such a declaration on  Friday, after a rough week, and after just using half the funds in my checking account to pay bills, I'm gonna start it, this weekend.  So let's see what happens, my imaginary friend. (and Lord help me!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Curly Pudding Recipe

After much research and prayers that I wouldn't screw this up, I have compiled and tested ingredients for my own homemade curly pudding, and I have to say this is the first product that I have used that has not left my air-dried natural hair, well, dry (as in dried out like hay).

Ingredients:
  • 18-20 oz curl activator gel
  • 10 oz Eco Styler Gel (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 2 oz Cocoa Butter
  • 4 oz Shea Butter
  • 2 oz hair oil mixture (I used equal parts coconut, castor, grapeseed, jojoba & extra virgin olive oils, and vegetable glycerin)
  • 2 oz beeswax
  • drops of tea tree essential oil
Directions
Melt the cocoa butter, shea butter and beeswax.  I did this by melting in a container resting in boiled water.
Add both gels in a mixing bowl.
With an electronic hand mixer ready going, add the melted butters to the gel mixture.
Add the hair oil to the mixture and tea tree oil, with the hand mixer still going.

Once the ingredients and combined, place in a container.

I used this curly pudding on freshly washed and conditioner hair, and sealed my hair with a mixture of aloe, castor oil and my hair oil mixture.  I think sealing the hair was a major contribution to the great results I had with the curly pudding. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spa at Home: Pedicure

Hey World,

I love the spa just as much as the next lady, but my wallet does not, which is why I am a big fan of DIY methods.  Today I'm going to share what I do to give myself a pedicure at home.

Tools:
Foot bath massager * castille liquid soap with essential oil
pumice stone or foot scrub * moisturizing lotion
nail clippers * emery board
cuticle remover * nail polish remover
nail polish

Remove nail polish from toe nails and soak feet.  I like to soak my feet in the my Conair Foot Bath massager, adding a couple of drops of castille liquid soap (with either tea tree or peppermint essential oil).  After a good 15 minutes I either use a pumice stone of foot scrub to exfoliate, clip and shape nails, and then I like to soak again for a few more minutes.  Pat dry feet and then moisturize, massaging feet and pushing back cuticles.    Once feet are fully dry and moisturized, apply nail color.  I like to apply base coat, color and then a top coat.  Allow nails to dry, and then enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Diet Status

... I just had to write a little something in the middle of the day to express what I'm feeling right about now.  I am STARVING!

This is the second day of my 2-week (or more) Breakfast shake, lunch, dinner shake routine, and I swear if Wilbur from Charlotte's web walked in my path right now I would grab some barbecue sauce and make it happen!

I had my shake this morning, and snacked on carrots and a banana (I'm kind mad at bananas right now, lol).  Had some lemon tea, and water, and the stomach pains had been hitting like labor pains for over an hour!  But alas, I have in front of me my chicken gyro (chicken on pita with lettuce and cucumber sauce) and I am going to relish this MF like it's the last supper!  I also got some chips (I know, I already admitted it as my weakness, but at least they're tomato and basil) and some popcorn (just in case shyt happens), so I'm thinking I can make it without snapping a pencil or someone's head!.  BUT I am determined to try this out and see what happens.  Pray for me.  And them pray some more!

Edited to say: I ate my chicken gyro... and I feel like I'm dying!  The gut is making noises like a dog that was starving and still mad even though I finally fed it.  I need to lay down on the dirty office floor now!  I need Day 3 to be better.  For the love of all that is holy!  How is the universe gonna punish a sister for going full throttle on the road to better heath?  Damn!

P.S. I don't even want the chips or the damn popcorn anymore! Ouch!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Same goal, different approach


Although I am not one of those women who dreads aging, I will admit to disliking a lot of the physical changes that I have noticed this past year.  The metabolism seems to be slowing down a bit, the energy level is damn near non-existent at times, there are these 10 pounds that don't seem to want to leave and I haven't seen an ab muscle in a while.  And I have been so resistant to go the starvation route because I love food dammit (grew up in a household with parents from the Caribbean and the South - what do you think!  Can anyone say barbecue chicken with mashed potatoes and plantains with a side of cornbread?), but I almost went there.  I almost decided to deprive myself in an attempt to see if I had any control over my body and whether I could change it (aside from the new tattoo on my back, lol! I'll share that experience another day!).  I really want to lose 15 pounds before that 'middle-age woman weight' starts knocking at my door, so my goal has been to get rid of whatever fat I got on a seemingly trim body (according to the opinions of others, but according to the person who sees me naked everyday - I beg to differ).  And let me tell this to the world - the shit is hard.  Damn hard!  I mean, when I start thinking about just drinking water all day, there's a problem!  Last summer I drank my shakes for breakfast, laid off the heavy food, worked out damn near every morning before work, and not a damn thing happened except I didn't get winded running up the stairs of the subway station (not saying that isn't a great thing, but no ab muscles?  Not even one?).

Anyway, I visited my local GNC, stocked up on my Total Lean Shake (meal replacement) mix, and perused the diet pill section when a store rep asks if she could help me.  And the floodgates otherwise known as my mouth opened and poured freely.  Things like "I tried everything" and "that shit don't work" to "I'm just going to eat vitamins" to "is asking to lose even 10 pounds too damn much" came out.  Somewhere in between, we had an actual conversation and established a plan. And here it is.

Food intake:
Breakfast - Lean shake
Early snack - Lean shake (different recipe from my breakfast shake)
Lunch - this would be the heaviest meal of the day
Afternoon/ Early Evening snack - something lite like popcorn or granola
Dinner - Lean shake

The goal is to follow this, along with a more intense cross training workout over the next 2 weeks and see if I tone more and maybe lose a pound or two.

Now I am not going to sit here and act like I might not swipe a slice of chocolate cake or apple pie or ice cream, BUT my biggest weakness is actually chips (and don't throw in vegetable dip or I'm a straight up goner!).  I'm the kind of person who makes a cake and gives away 75% of it because I will have a slice and then let it sit there until it molds.  Ice cream gets old in my freezer. Candy can go untouched for months - even a year, until I clean in out before my son preps for a trick or treating excursion.  I'm also not a soda drinker, although I did buy some a couple of weeks ago because I felt like it.  I'm more apt to drink flavored seltzer water, or just straight up water.  I don't even drink iced tea when I make it, but I will drink up some lemonade.  Same thing with heavy meats like ribs - which I make maybe 2 - 3 times a year (one being Thanksgiving). I get my craving, appease it, and then I'm good for like 6 months.  People think I am the most boring eater when I go out to restaurants, but that God for chicken or else I probably would be 10 pounds lighter, but I have long since digressed. The point was, chips has the potential to get me, but new rule for the apt - no chips during the work week!

I share that soliloquy of background info to say that I'm not up at 1 in the morning binging and snacking on anything I can get my hands on, and yet there has been no movement - at least in the direction that I would like - as far as my weight is concerned.  And I hate that I am not thinking about weight, but it is what it is.  I'm getting older.  The body is changing.  My health is not ideal (per conditions and deficiencies that I simply inherited).  I have to try even harder to avoid diabetes especially (and if I have to go full vegan to avoid that, damn right I will.  Somehow I'll make barbecue sauce on a celery stick work!).

Another thing that I did at my local GNC is purchase a weekly pill case for all of the medications and vitamins & supplements that I need to sustain good health.  In addition to my prescribed meds, I am also taking ferrous sulfate (iron), a hair, skin & nails supplement, multivitamin, CoQ10, colace (to balance all of the iron that I take now), and last but not least, my Omega 369 pill - all of this for a total of 9 pills daily (I should be taking a few more things, but those are just gonna have to wait. 9 pills. 9!).

This is day 2.  How do I feel?  Not so bad.  I'll feel even better after I shower and wash my afro after the workout I just had (btw, love my balance ball - talk about multi-tasking with the workout!), but the one thing that I will do is "just do it" (I know that reads weird, but flow with me on this).  I'm going to follow the plan, and not take any measurements or weight until 2 weeks from today. I am hoping for the best.  I am hoping that I stop being my own energy and do the damn thing.  I'm hoping to see change (I know I'll see it, but I'm feeling a little vain and I want to see the damn change).  I hope this works and puts me on the right track to an effective and doable lifestyle change, because I need it, bad.

Andiamo!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Aftermath


Sounds like a Dr. Dre album, right? lol!  Well, it is dammit!

I cut off the emotional fat I mentioned in a previous post.  I had no choice.  It was either go mad, or save myself, and when I did it, after I'd done it I felt a weight the size of a ton lifted off my back.

It's never fun to break the heart of someone you love, but what are you supposed to do when they keep stabbing you in yours?  Stand there and take it?  For decades?  What I have decided to do is wish everyone well and work on me, with the hope that in the future, when everyone is ready to acknowledge and address outstanding issues, there can be one big happy family.  If that day comes, great.  If not, I have have to live and preferably be happy in the process, so great either way.

Interestingly, for the first time in I think my entire life, I feel free to implement the kind of changes I know I've needed in my life for a long time, the only difference being that I don't feel the obligation to bring a whole gang along with me. I am a solo act when it comes to working on my sanity, happiness, quest for knowledge, peace, excitement and wholeness.  I'm getting older.  I want to get old.  I want to be around to see my son's many achievements... be a grandmother to his children... be a pillar in his time of need as an adult... to still say funny and raunchy things at times that will earn me the label "bawdy old broad!"  Whether I have financial success or success in my chosen artistic field - at the end of the day, before it all fades to black, I need to know that I made this a good run.  And so it begins (or "began" about two months ago), and I, therefore, offer a belated "On your mark...set...go!"

 Photo courtesy of the Digital Photography School

Self Preservation

I wrote the first draft of this post 2 months ago, and now finally have the guts, and the am free enough now, to share it: 

January, 2011
I have been contemplating something very heavy for the past couple of days, at least consciously (sub-consciously, I think this was something that I had wanted to do for a very long time but I didn't fully comprehend exactly what "this" was).

I learned a lot growing up, especially from my mother, and all of those things have shaped who I am today for better or for worse.  Growing up the oldest of seven... just remembering all that I did to "help out" exhausts me to this day.  I look at my son, who is about to turn 10 years old next month, and compare the responsibilities that he has versus what I had at that age and I am amazed that I am not in a mental institution or hate the world or something like that.  I cooked, I cleaned, I took care of kids, I disciplined, I slept with one eye open whenever my mom worked the overnight shift, I made Sunday breakfast even though people would complain that my pancakes weren't as thin as mommy's.  I knew about the bills- which were being paid and which weren't.  I knew about the frustration my mom was dealing with as an adult and a parent. I knew about the drugs my father took and the other women.  I knew that my father had a big job and a big position as director of a few group homes for teens, but he didn't share any of his money or pay any bills, which is why my mom would get on the cheese line often instead of being able to raise us in an actual house.

Did I also mention that for a majority of my childhood I actually lived in a two-parent household?

Did I mention that my father finally kicked my mom, me and my 5 siblings (at the time) out of the apartment we'd lived in for 11 years and kept the dog?

Honestly, just listing those few things alone exhaust me, but I have to ask, "is it a wonder that I am 35 years old and never married?  Single parent?  Still swimming in issues of self worth?"

See, I was the good girl.  The one who took care of everything.  The one you didn't have to worry about.  The one who - despite objections - would fix everything.  I'm surprised my nickname isn't The Fixer.  And even though I left home at 15 (got a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school), took care of myself financially since then, but was still be there to write a check for whatever anyone wanted,and be 'bad cop' to my mom's 'good cop' in the parenting area- what about what I needed?  Apparently that has never been important, well, with me being 'the oldest of now 7, who fixed things.'

To this day I have to remind people that I have 1 child. To this day I was still holding out hope, ready and willing to help any of my immediate family members who were ready for my support should they decide to finally do something opposite from the 'nothing' that they'd been doing.  To this day I still keep getting screwed over by those same people who are supposed to be there for me the way I'd been there for them most of my life.

In the Summer of 2009, I was in a car accident (I was not at fault -- I was hit).  My child was in the car. Car (which is names Kyle Reese) was almost totaled.  And we were driving through Virginia, en route to New York after coming from my grandfather's funeral in North Carolina.  My father - who had disowned me when I was fifteen - drove right pass the accident (for a minute I thought I was dead because it was just too coincidental to see him on the same road at that time).  Sometimes I wonder if God jokes around on folks, but I swallowed that because my father and I hadn't spoken with each other since I was 15 and he decided to fight me like a dude because he "thought" I didn't say hello to him one day - TRUE STORY, June 28, 1995.  And when I finally got home, back in NY, after taking my son to the emergency room just in case he was injured, after a now 12 hour drive... my mom didn't call me.  She called and spoke to my brother (who was in the car that hit me), but she didn't call me.  Why?  Well, I found out when I finally called and asked her - that it was because she "heard I was all right."  About a week later I had an emotional breakdown finally, because it'd really hit me: right after the accident all I cared about was if my child and the other passenger in the car was ok, and how I was responsible for getting them back to NY safely.  Forget the fact that I drove through VA, MD, NJ and NY with a hood that looked like an accordion.  Forget that my car was the only car in the 3 car accident that looked like it got the snot beat out of it. Forget that I had just come from a very emotional event.  I had to make sure everyone was all right - and there is nothing wrong with that.  What is wrong is when other people - my own family, my own momma - don't care if I'm all right.

It's been about a year and a half since the accident, and a lot of drama has happened over recent weeks.  Apparently, I wasn't supposed to ask my sister's and my mom why my brother's mistress was hanging out at their apartment.  And now interestingly, I have been silently shunned.  I say silently because no one has said anything to me directly - and I'm all about the direct approach - but when your little sister un-friends you on Facebook... "Houston, we have a problem!"  When your brother yells that you and your sister (the sibling after me) are "bougie" and we need to fuck off (forget the fact that I'd not had a conversation with this dude in years), AND your mom witnesses this, and says NOTHING... (this bears repeating: "dot-dot-dot").

Look, I'm gonna stop with the bullshit that I hate and just accept the fact that I have to make the phone call (if they actually answer the phone when I call) and tell everyone to lose my number. I recently told a friend that it makes no sense for someone with such a huge family to be so alone. There really isn't.  This type of thing has been going on for so much of my life, and now I've finally had an epiphany. I realized that I have to stop the madness. I have to cut the bad part off. I have to say to everyone - I'm done. Because I am not ready to give away my happiness any longer.  It makes me really sad to have come to this conclusion, but there is a sense of relief as well.  I'm really interested to see how I play this out.