Sunday, October 30, 2016

I've become the Queen of Inches Lost

The Queen of Inches Lost, why does that sound like a bad Disney movie like the ghost of Christmas Past?  Le sigh. For the last three months I have lost ONE freaking pound. ONE. Who in holy fitness name does that. True I haven't been giving my all but I have been giving more than nothing.

On average I complete four out of the six scheduled workouts. I've been drinking at least 64 oz of water. And I haven't been going overboard with calories. Yet the pounds just won't move.

On the bright side, if there is such a thing, I'm shedding inches like crazy. Yep I can see my hour glass shape coming in and damn I look sexy. Overall since August 1st, I've dropped 12.5 inches total from my body. I am down two pants sizes, bra size down from a 38GG to just one G, and two dress sizes off this sexy frame of mine. My walk time has improved from 20.16 min per min to 16.52 mpm, my run time 15.11 min per mile to 14.49 (Aug and Sept I did not run at all).

That all sounds good and not to take away from it, it is actually pretty damned good but the weight just won't go away. Pretty soon I'm going to be a skinny 195 pound woman. From August 1st until December 29th, my goal was to lose 30 pounds, that's it. Thirty!!!!  I've lost, let me be exact, I've lost .7 pounds that sums up to 11 ounces. 16 ounces is a pound, in case you're wondering.

Something has to change. I know exactly what it is. My eating habits. I used to log every single thing and my goodness that gets tiring and tedious but at this point is so very necessary. I am a potato whore. I have to cut back on my starches and find suitable substitutes. And must I admit, I can not eat an entire pizza again. The fact that it's whole wheat  or whole grain thin crust with fruit and veggies as the topping mean nothing if I eat the whole thing. Moderation is key.

It's all fine and dandy to be the Queen of Inches Lost but I want other wins under my crown as well. The only thing on me heavy I want are my gems of life I gain on this journey not my weight.

Check out my YouTube channel My Twisted Life for daily updates.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

100 Days of Vlogs #26 // Girl on the Train (wreck) Movie Review

Heading to see the movie adaption of Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train. Paula should be mad as hell at the way they portrayed her novel. I understand novels have to be adapted some in order to make a movie but it almost seems like a re-write over an adaption.

The casting was horrible. None of the characters match the description of the book. One thing Paula Hawkins was good at was describing things. You have a clear visual of who these characters were and the movie doesn't even get close.

As I say in the video, I wanted to hop on the train and ride back to the book just so the girl could push me off. The movie was that bad. If I had not of read the book and wanted to see how it would play out on screen, I would've walked out the theater. I need to take a few days and soak in what my eyes just watched before I put it down on paper.

I do not recommend going to see this movie, however I still highly recommend the book. A more detailed review will follow after I've calmed down about how bad this movie was. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Twisted Travel Vlogs

I have traveled so many places and have never recorded my time there. I have plenty pictures but no video. These are some of my first videos beginning 2016. Here you'll get to see my travels from this point on. I'm not good with the camera yet but I'm learning. Hope you'll stick around, join me in my ventures and maybe I will see you on the other side of the world.

I haven't got the travel on a budget thing down. I don't think I should have to slum it all the time in order to see the world but there will be times that I will take the more economic road. 

Upcoming trips: 
Atlanta,GA                                                                  Oct 2016
Dallas, TX                                                                   Nov 2016
Tokyo, Japan                                                               Dec-Jan 2017
Shenghai, China                                                          Jan 2017
London, England                                                         Feb 2017
Los Angeles (again)                                                    July 2017
Honduras,Belize,Costa Maya,Cozumel (cruise)         July 2017 
Nashville, TN (Bootcamp Platoon Reunion)              July 2017
Samara, Costa Rica (possibly moving there)              Aug 2017

Wish list:
Africa (AncestryDNA will decide the country)
Australia & New Zealand
Geechee Islands, SC
Abu Dabi
Rosewell, NM

Previous Travels: I may put photos in video format
Toronto, CN
Niagra Falls, CN
St. Johns, Antigua
Georgetown, Barbados
St. James, Trinidad
Montego Bay, Jamaica
San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Jose, Costa Rica
Mogadishu, Somalia
Tiajuana, Mexico
Busan, Korea
Fujihara, Japan
Okinawa, Japan
Windsor, CN
Indianapolis, IN
Chicago, IL
Kansas City, KS
Miami, FL
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Orlando, FL
Newport, Virginia
Washington, DC
Raleigh, NC
Atlanta, GA
New Orleans, LA
Baton Rouge, LA
Cherry Hill, NJ
Philadelphia, PA
Santa Rosa, NM
Las Vegas, NV
Laughlin, NV
Phoenix, AZ
San Diego, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Oceanside, CA
Dallas, TX
San Antonio, TX
Detroit, MI
Flint, MI

I think there's more but I can think of them right now.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Queen of Katwe (Movie Review)

#QueenofKatwe was a beautifully told story of love, sacrifice, strength, and determination. The music,  the culture, the people, the pride...Africa. I felt connected to a stolen culture. This was a family. This was life in its most beautiful turmoil.

I saw many mothers I know in Harriet (Lupita Nyong'o), doing the best she could to keep a roof over her children's head, food on the table, while teaching them about hard work and pride. It explores the feeling of not knowing you are without until you've been shown more and the emotions connected to striving to get and be more than you've ever have.

From Brian (Martin Kabanza) and Phiona's (Madina Nalwanga) finger clicking to the clicking of teeth right down to the noise of celebration with sounds over words.It reminded me of things I used to do as I child and some even now. I never questioned where the habits came from. In some ways, I guess, a little piece of Africa had been passed down to me.

I found myself dancing in my seat in the theater to every rhythm as if the soundtrack told my being to move on cue and being the only black person in the theater it dawned many a stare. I heard one lady say,  "she must be African." I smiled inwardly and continued my journey through the movie saying each time I felt more connected, "Yep,  African. What else could I be." It was more of a statement than a question. Whether I was born on African soil or as an African-American, I am African.

Phiona with the help of her coach, Robert Kintende (David Oyelowo), discovered lessons of life and the strength she had within her through the game of chess. Kintende showed her how the pieces of the game were merely representations of pieces of a board called life. Chess was a game where the Queen ruled the board. Phiona was the Queen of Katwe.

In theaters now. I highly recommend going to see this movie.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Other Bad Carb

I know of many diets that stress watching your carbs. I have friends who are cutting out all breads, rice, pastas and potatoes to try to keep those carbs in check. There is one carb I think most of them are forgetting, even the ones who claim they are cutting out white sugar...what is that carb? Carbonation!

Yes, the carbonation from soda, soda pop, pop,fizzy, a cool beverage or whatever you call it from your part of the world is just as harming than the carbohydrates that are in them. Yet I, like so many other people, are addicted to them.

I used to feel a little big headed because I stopped drinking dark sodas long ago, well cola, at least. After all cutting out that corn syrup was major. Although if you give me some fried rice; a grape soda must accompany it. I didn't care about the Red dye #40, or the sugars, and holy moly, the carbonation.

I was able to cut out soda altogether for about a year. Not even a Sprite touched my lips. It was only because my kid did a science experiment with a nail and the fact it didn't dissolve that gave me pause. Now, I've developed several health issues I really need to address because of the other carb.

My teeth. I don't even think the damage I've done to them is reversible. The carbonic acid in carbonated drinks cause premature enamel breakdown. I have developed nine cavities in the past year. I go to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. The last time I went was when I was just starting to drink soda again. Boy was that a mistake. I haven't researched it yet but I don't think enamel can be restored but I can keep helping it from breaking down.

Bone health. A few years ago I was seriously active on my weight loss journey. I was achieving weight loss goals weekly, entering in 5ks, and enjoying an active lifestyle. One morning I walked out of my house and my ankle just snapped, crackled and popped. I have four pins and two screws in that joint as a result. I hadn't tripped, slipped or fell. I always say my daughter put a hex on me because it was her last day of school and she was mad I was making her go. I know the truth is I was experiencing my first case of bone deterioration. I was drinking a lot of soda back then. Studies have shown that the phosphoric acid in carbonated drinks break down the calcium in bones and active women are five times as likely to have fractures because of it. In addition to the tib/fib break, I have several stress fractures reveal themselves while running.

OMG, and the kidney pain. My left kidney is hurting right now. Unfortunately, I drank a soda, two, and it's what sparked this blog. In addition to the affects the sugar has on our kidneys the carbonation does a number on them as well causing inflammation and of course once they are swollen, pain.

Speaking of inflammation, have you ever wondered why you just can't lose that pregnant looking belly. Every where else you seem to be losing inches but in the belly you look like you're due any minute. Yep, its possible you've had one too many carbonated drinks. The carbonation is a gas and gas, well, keeps you bloated and distended. I know so many people who testify to weight loss just from cutting out soda. What's really happened is they have loss the bloat. Oh what a feeling.

There are so many problems with drinking soda that I haven't begun to experience, like heartburn, and I don't want to. Or maybe I have, maybe that was the burst of chest pains I was getting a few months ago. Yet here I am; bloated, kidney experiencing pain, tension in my left ankle and hefty dental work in the near future and I still have a bottle of soda on my nightstand. SMH.

I need to up my water game. Sure, I will be running to the bathroom in the beginning but essentially it will restore my kidney health, slow down the deterioration on my teeth and bones, regulate my bowel movements and help me reduce the gas in my belly. On top of giving me healthier skin, hair, and nails.
Time to let go of this addiction.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Leaving Kansas

My heart is heavy and my nerves are frazzled. While everybody I know is posting pictures of their little smiley faced munchkins heading off for the first day of school, I'm quickly reminded that my little Munchkin is not so little anymore. Soon she will be tornado-ing out of my home into the Wonderful World of Oz called college.

The first day of school pics will be, my one and only daughter, unloading the car and moving into her munchkin sized dorm room. Everyone else I know are gleefully easing on down the yellow brick road, happy their kids are back to school, leaving them an empty nest for the day but for me it seems as if I'm about to head into the poppy fields. I find that I'm lacking the courage to send my baby off into the Emerald City, I don't have the heart to stand the separation, yet I know she has the brains to make it out there and find her heart's desire.

So many things I worry about because I've always been her protector. I know she'll just be on the over on the other side of the rainbow but it feels like we'll be worlds apart. I hope I've equipped her with courage, knowledge, wisdom, and if she needs me or just wants it, she'll always find her way home.  I hope I haven't sheltered her and made her naive because she will have to face bad witches out there to get my pretty and then those lions, and tigers, and bears; oh my!

More than nervous, I'm proud. She has accomplished so much as a child far beyond societal expectations. She taught herself Japanese and how to draw. I want to take full credit for the who she has become but I know it is with some help from me but a whole lot of her own black girl magic. She's a motivator an inspiration; a wizard of her own making. She's the kind of child, no she's a young woman, who creates her own rainbows if their aren't any in the sky. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Anchors Away!

I did it y'all. I finally fucking did it. You can't possibly begin to understand how monumental this moment is for me. It's colossal in its nature. After years of struggling with my weight and most recently months on top of aggravating months of trying to lose one simple pound, IT happened.

This weekend, I took a little cruise down to Nassau, Bahamas with my family for my daughter's graduation cruise. In a few short days she will be heading off to college, leaving me to care for the pup and kitty.  I'm not ready at all for this experience. Neither is she because she has yet to pack.

Anyhoo, we flew down to Orlando via Frontier Airlines. This was my first time flying with them and my introduction to the staff was nothing to be desired. My attitude was instantly turned up by the rudeness of the ticketing agent. I don't want to get into details but I am filing an official complaint and will rip that bitch to shreds like I wanted to physically do. Some people really need to work on their customer service skills. I had to thank my damn self for doing business with them because she surely wasn't going to utter anything nice my way. I would tell you what started it all but I don't have a clue. She was rude and disrespectful it seems because we stepped in line or she woke up that morning, one of the two.

Frontier had more space than Spirit but the seats didn't recline, the tray table was only four inches in width, and they charged for everything. No free cookies, peanuts, or beverages on this flight. Even carry on luggage cost. It was more than checking your bag and you were the one carrying it.

From the airline we set sail on Carnival Victory. Our shuttle bus there was cool but on the way home a whole nother story. This cruise was way different than the first time I sailed. Everything that used to be free, there was a charge for. From the lanyards to hold your ship ID to going to the beach party the ship was throwing. I remember last time stepping off the ship right into the fun. Beach parties, junkanoo parade by the locals but this time the only thing I stepped into was a barrage of people trying to hustle your dollar out of your pocket. The taxi cab drivers were the worst. They followed you until you either got a cab or cussed them out. I did the latter.

Within thirty minutes, I lost my mom and she lost her ID. Luckily she had a passport too or she wouldn't have been able to get back home. Ugh, talking about all of this is exhausting. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed my little getaway. Maybe too much.

If you've ever been on a cruise or a resort with all inclusive buffet you will understand that eating healthier is hard to do. Sure, they had lines were you could get wraps or fruit but the lines would be so long you would pass out from hunger. I didn't think I ate a lot, I never went for seconds at the buffet. At the sit down dinner, I rarely finished my food. You couldn't substitute the way food was prepared. The deserts were less than desirable so I didn't indulge pass a bite in most cases but I probably drank more than my share of calories. I had so many frozen drink (non-alcoholic) I lost count on how many. Other than that I was downing lemonade left and right. Don't fret, I still got my water in but I had just as many glasses of sugar as I did water.

Here's the breakdown of the meals. Thursday afternoon's buffet, I had chicken strips, chili cheese fries, and several cups of lemonade. I can't begin to count how many. Then I had dinner which was ceasar salad, roast beef, potatoes and cheesecake. Maybe I did go overboard but I didn't eat half of the meat or the cheesecake it was nasty. I caught a movie and indulged in a couple cups of air popped popcorn. If it would've had seasoning I would've an entire bag.Somewhere during the evening I had a virgin strawberry daiquiri. I danced the night away and then had two slices of pizza (which was basically half a pizza) for a midnight snack. It was nasty too; super thin, sauceless and bland.

Friday for breakfast. I had an omelette, french toast and roasted potatoes with a couple cups of guava orange pineapple juice. Lunch was wingettes and chili cheese fries, two types of cake (half eaten), not sure what kind, and again lots of lemonade and a frozen strawberry mango drink. For dinner, ceasar salad, fried chicken (ate half). Okay typing this out....I was out of control with this food. Oh don't let me forget the alligator fritters, the black forest cake and a spoonful of molten lava cake, and a bag of gummy bears. Then I had a late night meal cheeseburger and fries after the movie. I cant even begin to tell you how disgusting that cheeseburger was. I don't even think it was real meat. I took two bites and it was over.

The next morning, omelette, french toast and hash browns, couple more cups of the guava juice. By the way, the omelettes were so greasy. The chef sprayed the pan with Pam and then put more grease in the pan plus added grease to the spatula every time he attempted to unstick the omelette from the skillet. I always headed straight for the bathroom not long after breakfast. My body couldn't handle all of that oil. We were able to get off the ship and venture through the Bahamas, there I was able to get some jerk chicken and macaroni pie. I had a fanta orange soda with this. For dinner, spring salad, veal Parmesan, potatoes and I decided at this moment to stop eating deserts and got a fruit plate, two croissants.

The last day, more gummy bears, french toast, croissant, turkey bacon,hash browns, and OJ. At the airport I picked up some empanadas and once I touched down at the house a cheeseburger, fries and orange drink from Five Guys.  What did I say in the beginning of the post, I didn't eat much. Serious side eye!

Back to my momentous moment; to the one thing after all this time, I finally did. Drum roll please.. no anchors away! Because I threw common sense overboard. When I got back home and stepped on the scale, I hit two hundred pounds. Yes, 200!!! I am so upset and upset that I can't think of any word other than upset to explain what I'm feeling right now. In four measly days, I somehow managed to put on 4.6 effing pounds. I'm officially fat. I knew I was overweight but I never considered myself fat before. Well I'm there now. Fat as fuck and no one to blame but myself.

OMG, I could kick my ass looking at all I've eaten. If I had been keeping this written down during my stay I think I would have been more responsible. I have no one to blame but myself. No one to blame. I knew something was wrong on elegant night on the ship. I had this beautiful turquoise laced dress that I wanted to wear and I usually step into my dresses. Well, I couldn't get the dress passed my hips. Then I tried to go over my head, I normally hate this method because I have developed claustrophobia in some instances and putting clothes over my head with the possibility of getting stuck is one of those instances. I didn't get stuck though. I couldn't get the damn dress to shimmy down my arms. I chocked it up as I bought it too small not realizing I was packing on pounds.

Two hundred effing pounds. The weight I dreaded ever reaching is now not far from reach but my reality. I want to cry but that wouldn't shed pounds so no need to muster up the tears. The crazy thing is despite the bad types of food I consumed, I walked my ass off. Each day I hit between 6-10 miles of walking. I said it last week that walking, alone, no longer benefits me. My body is too used to the routine.

My mom has surgery today, so before I get up to take her to the hospital, I will do a workout with weights. Walking is no longer enough. Excuses are no longer allowed. My heart, my health, my mental state can't take it. I need to toss this weight overboard before I anchor myself into a health situation that I can't come back from.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Blog Name Change Coming Soon

I find it suiting to change my blog name. Baby Steps to a Marathon was fitting when all I planned on talking about was getting fit and training for a marathon. Then, I started to add in my weight loss goals and I realized how much of a marathon that journey seemed like so I chose to keep the name.

I realize now, my life is so twisted, I have so many highs and lows and things that throw me of my game, that I need a title more fitting. I seem to be always searching for balance. I'm still on a journey of self awareness, weight loss, and better state of mind but there is so much more I do. I write (novels and poems), I travel (and I want to write about it), I love to dine out and also love to cook, I'm a mom (with the most awesome daughter), I have been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder and sometimes I have spontaneous outburst that journaling helps me with, I have strong political views, I have strong cultural connections, I love to read and go to the movies and I want to talk about them. Those are just a few things about me and I want to begin to share them all on this blog.

Over the rest of this month, you will begin to notice small changes to this blog. Starting with the name. It will be called Straighten Up, Fly Right...My Twisted Life.  I will change it by the end of this week.

The term straighten up and fly right basically means to fix your behavior or attitude and be a better you.

Twisted (adj) 1. forced of its natural or proper shape; crumpled. 2. (off a personality or a way of thinking) unpleasantly or unhealthily abnormal; warped.

It's strange to write out that definition and to feel totally connected to its meaning. My life is always twisting and turning in ways I can't imagine nor control. Yet, I'm always trying to straighten it out, make it right. Trying to always be in the happy medium of it all.

Soon as I learn how to properly make blog page tags, it'll be easier to navigate my post for those of you who only want to read one thing or the other. Hopefully I can have my website up and running as well.

In the meantime welcome to Straighten Up, Fly Right...My Twisted Life.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Finding My Roots

So I've decided to do the DNA test to see what parts of Africa I'm connected to. Although I'm curious of the other parts of me, the Motherland is most important because I want to learn more of my dominant culture and one day visit.  I was skeptical at first because I was thinking, "I ain't giving nobody my DNA to plant at a crime scene!" Yes I trust mostly no one. Lol, but then I remembered they already have it, I was in the military. So in a few months I will go forth with my inquiry. I'm excited! I just need to decide if I'm using Ancestry DNA or another company.  #FindingMyRoots stay tuned.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Weight Loss Journey // It's Been A Long Time

OMG y'all its been forever since I've posted a video and I apologize. Thank you all for sticking with me.

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. For the month of June I gained a total of 5.1 pounds. WTF is right. I have not been dedicated to the process and now I'm paying for it more than ever. I got up to my highest weight in life, 196.2. What's scary is all the weight is packing on to my midsection putting me at greater risk for stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. I'm too young to die. I need to start treating my body like I want to live.

I'm just disappointed that everyday feels like I'm starting over. I'm not giving up though. I quit so much that I need to learn to keep going on something and living life seems the best goal to not quit on.

I started a push up challenge that I didn't complete. I will start and finish that challenge. Veteran suicide is a cause I need to support being a victim of PTSD, so today I will begin the 22Kill Challenge once more.

I feel lost. I will find my way though. If I've learned anything from documenting this journey, I learned what I've been doing wrong. I haven't been pushing myself to my full potential. I know I can do better. I will.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Four Day No Meat Detox

If you know me, you know I hate to diet but something has to change y'all. Over the past month, even with as much walking and running I've been doing, 226 miles to be exact, I've managed to still gain weight. Yes, I know there is such a thing as building muscle and the muscle outweighing the fat but I know without a doubt I'm gaining fat too.  My increased inches are a testimony to this.

I'm baffled with my food because I don't eat much when I do eat. If I snack, my caloric intake is still well within in range and like I said, I've been burning calories like a mofo. There must be something medically out of whack. Oh wait, I have been eating out...a lot! So food wise, I'm going to do something considered drastic for me. I'm putting myself on a vegetarian meal plan for the next four days. Yes that's what I will call it, a meal plan over saying it's a diet.

Let me tell you, I love me a nice t-bone steak and turkey bacon. Ooh wee. My mouth is watering thinking of it. I'm not a big fan of chicken but I realize I eat it more often than not. My fish has been so limited due to all this modified food our farmers and government are doing but if I could I would eat a lot of fish. Not shellfish but catfish, salmon, tuna, and mackerel; love those!  No more of any of these for the next four days.

My plan is to focus on fruits and veggies. I was researching a lot of vegetarian plans and almost all includes dairy and eggs. That's strange to me since that comes from animals (meat) but helps make this detox a lot easier to handle.

I also found a three day fruit and veggie detox review online. Fruit Flush Diet. This review is saying the cons outweigh the good. The good, expect to lose up to nine pounds in three days. That is drastic as fuck to me so I don't know if this is actually a good thing. My average weight loss goal is one pound a week. I think slow and steady is the healthiest. My issue is I haven't been able to consistently lose one pound and my purpose is really to flush my system naturally and not focus on pounds loss. Other ways to do this would be to simply increase fiber and fresh fruits/veggies in my current meal plan but I want to do a body shock. Who knows I may like being a vegetarian.

The bad, they say, is the lack of calcium, vitamin D, omega 3, and vitamin B. Their plan states to drink protein shakes to supplement the protein. I honestly don't see how I would lack any of these things with my vegetarian style plan. I still have my dairy and eggs so that hits on all four of those things. Plus I am going to start snacking on almonds and walnuts too. Protein shakes, not happening. I'm not one to drink my food, which is, if you're asking, why I"m not juicing. Also their plan says no exercise. Are they crazy? At least 30 minutes a day for this chick over here. Ehh, the overall goal of this plan is to detox and this review is one persons opinion. I will try my best to document it all and give my opinion.

I currently weight.....drum roll please....196.2 lbs. That's 14.02 stone or 89.08 kg. Yes, I gained over the weekend too. That's a lot of heavy for a 5ft tall woman. Most of that is carried around my midsection as you can see in the earlier pics. While I know you can't target your body areas with exercise for loss, yes you can tone certain areas but you can't target a specific area for loss, you can eat certain foods that will help shed body fat in the midsection. Those foods are nutrient rich fruit and veggies. Which is why the vegetarian plan seems to be my best bet.

I also have a problem with making a weekly meal plan. Unfortunately due to that issue, I can't tell you what I am going to eat for the next four days. All I could think of was soup at the time I decided to do this. So far this morning, I've eaten yogurt with a crushed up Oreo on top (Oreos are vegetarian...true story) and drunk a cup of water. I hope to keep my water intake at a gallon a day. I read somewhere that whatever your weight is divide that in half and the answer is the ounces of water you should drink daily to aid in weight loss. The gallon rule is a general guideline, I'm struggling with that number so 98.1 ounces is far from reach. I love the motivational jugs to help you remember to drink, so I'm going to create my own.


This is the plan for today:  This is sucky, there aren't many fruits and veggies in my day today, but tomorrow will be better, I promise myself.

Breakfast  (I had planned on eating more but got lazy and didn't want to cook, started blogging and realized it was nearing lunch time)



Popcorn, small bag (I'm going to the movies, no butter no salt)
Walnuts, pistachios, cashews or almonds 

A big meatless salad usually consist of spring mix lettuce, cheese, onion, red pepper, croutons, imitation bacon bits, cranberries, and sweet onion dressing

Tomato Soup with grilled cheese

Water: 64 ounces (8 cups) 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

June Update: No Pavement just Pounds and Pains

Did not race at all.  Let me tell you, we've walked so much in the past two days at this conference my pains have pains. I don't think it would have been wise to run when I'm already hurting. Luckily the race only cost $35 so I didnt lose a lot.  Right now we're in our hotel waiting on checkout before moving to another hotel. So far my stay has been lovely.

June update: I gained 5.1 pounds for the month of June.    I took my measurements before I left.  I didn't enter the comparisons but I know I added inches as well.  Once I return home I start my week of vegetarian eating for my natural cleanse.  Well actually it's 4 days because I'm heading to Chicago next weekend, another anime conference, and my favorite restaurant is there and I'm not skipping that delight to my taste buds.

That's me in the elevator,  all 5ft and 196 pounds of me. I look thinner than 196. Legs, arms and thighs all muscle.  Belly, neck and face all fat.   That's the scary part, where I carry my weight puts me at great risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. I have to get my nutrition and exercise balanced.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#22Kill Push Up Challenge Day 4 // It's Not Easy

It's Day 4 of the ‪#‎22Kill‬
Push Up Challenge. If you haven't seen the first videos, the purpose of
the challenge is to bring awareness to the fact 22 veterans commit
suicide on a daily basis.

The challenge consists of me doing 22
pushups a day for 22 days. You can do any variation of these pushups but
they should be completed in one taping of the video and posted online.
Put the hashtag #22Kill

Next, I'm challenged to nominate one person a day to complete the challenge. They are in no way obligated to do the challenge but hopefully I am choosing people who will be down for the cause.

Today I nominate Ralph Shannon Jr. you start the challenge the day after you are nominated and have accepted.

Thanks for involuntarily volunteering when you said you had 22 push ups
in you. LOL. I met Ralph years ago at a club then found out we were
high school alums and turned into friends. He was training to be a boxer
and I think some of the traumatic stresses one can endure as a boxer
can be closely related to PTSD veterans go through as well.

friend Taunia posted a video yesterday explaining why she joined the
military and some issues vets can face that she could relate to. My
video was supposed to be the same but took a slight turn.

don't have to share an experience if you accept the challenge but you
never know if it could help another person if you did. Thanks for
watching. Until tomorrow. #22Kill

Sunday, June 19, 2016

#22Kill Push Up Challenge Day 1

22 day push-up challenge to bring awareness to the statistics that 22
men and women in our military killed by suicide each day.

I was nominated by Taunia, my sista from bootcamp. Once a
Marine always a Marine. Taunia thinks I'm more in shape than I am. LOL. I walk
and run but haven't done pushups in I don't know how long.

I love and support my Marine Corp sisters and if she wants
me to join in on this challenge then I will. In honor of fallen military
sisters and brothers, I elect to do 22 push ups for the next 22 days, post the
video and elect one person daily to join the challenge.

I elect my fb friend and brother Marine Mark.  Obviously, there is no obligation...but I
think he will be up for the cause.

To complete the challenge do 22 push-ups each day for 22
days and get one friend to join each day. Make sure to hashtag #22kill.
* Once you are nominated your 22 days start the following
* Every day you record yourself doing 22 push-ups. Try your
best to reach 22. If that means doing assisted (from your knees) push-ups or
that you have to stop and take a break that's fine but try to get them all done
in one video.
* Every day you must nominate a different person. Try to
choose people you think will want to do this and/or have the ability to do it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First Flight: One Step Closer to Serenity

On my way to Aruba.  This morning started off a little weird.  For some reason American Airlines had me booked with a child in my lap, therefore I couldn't check in
What the heck?  My last and only child was born 18 years ago. She too big to be on my lap and she wasn't on this trip. Prior to this,  the apartment reservation we booked got messed up.  The owner said she had me as four guest,  there is only two of us,  so she tried to give us a room.  Honey,  we paid for the apartment,  don't play.  At least I have leg room on flight this time. 

Everything at the airport has been going far,  we're only on the firsgoing,  from St. Louis to Charlotte.  Next stop Miami, then off to Aruba. I'm so excited, I could pee my pants. No really,  I have to go but the flight is almost over an the bathroom is too far. 

My only real issue, was the man next to me, he couldn't stop fidgeting. I think he was more nervous over a physical condition.  First he kept twisting the end of the seatbelt and then the hairs on his legs,  anything in his reach. The entire flight! 

We got to Charlotte and tried our luck at Bojangles. They used to be popular in St. Louis. Well,  not popular with my mouth and taste buds. To be honest my food wasn't bad, I had chicken strips
but my sis, Mocha,  had an "atrocious" meal and blueberry biscuit the "Boberry biscuit". Ewww.

Welp,  the next time you'll see me will be from our temporary accommodations and then our actual apartment.  

Thanks for joining me.  Like,  comment,  share.  Wait,  American Airlines think I have no class,  lol. That's what I thought of some of the crew. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

My Weight Loss Journey // Down 1.5 in, Travel, Health & Happiness

Yes, I lost 1.5 inches!!!  After two weeks of not doing a serious workout, I weighed in today and loss absolutely nothing in pounds. Not even a single ounce. What I did lose is inches off of my waistline and that my friends is an achievement. Smaller waistlines help reduce risk of diabetes, heart problems, back problems and more. I'm trying to break up with Dunlap (my waistline) for good.

I did go to the doctor after the brief burst of chest pains. Their finding turned up nothing. Not a damn thing. They have no idea why I was experiencing pain. That is good and bad in itself. One, I don't know how to prevent it from happening because we don't know what it was but not having negative test scores should be good.

I'm feeling myself a little these days. I'm about to start traveling more. I found joy in hitting the road or the open seas and I think my depression is a reflection of me not doing things I love.

Financially and emotionally things have stabled out somewhat, therefore I'm smiling a lot more these days. Stress has been greatly reduced!

I still have my half marathon coming up and I want to get more prepared for the run. My last and only other marathon I complete about 3 1/2 hours maybe 3 hrs 41 minutes. I want to do a lot better. This will be my first race outside of my city.

My 43rd birthday is Friday and I'm treating myself to a trip. I can not wait. I will be posting from my travels.

Thank you all for coming along on my journey with me. Like, comment, and share.

Current weight 190.9 lbs = 13.64 stone = 86.59 kg

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Random Write at 5 am

Today, I felt the need to write, at 5 am, the need to pick up a pen or strike the keys of a computer and just let the thoughts spill. I didn’t have an idea what would come out of my head when I first began. I don't think this will be poetic in its voice. I’m still clueless as to what will follow this word or the next.

I’ve been in bed for hours but sleep don’t come always. As I was dozing off earlier, my daughter woke me to ask for something so random at 3 am, her phone charger. I’m like, “what?” A phone charger at 3 am. She went to the car to go look for it and didn’t come back in the house for a half hour. She claims her and the dog were just sitting on the porch for a spell. I think that was a lie and maybe a friend dropped by on their way home. I was too tired to go see. Yep, I know, bad parenting. She is an overall trustworthy kid, except for the possibility of the lie but then again maybe she was being truthful, she is my child and sometimes a random spell outside on the porch in the middle of the night is warranted. The need to sit still and take in stillness. Yep, I do that often. When I was in Cali, I would do that nude. Although I did live on the third floor and my balcony was blocked by trees. When I moved back to St. Louis, I didn't enjoy that freedom of nature blowing against my bare skin often. My neighbor had a thing for me and was always lurking and looking, with his looking ass. 

I’m about to do some soul searching in the upcoming week. I had a financial blessing, I still don’t know how to invest. I’ve tried paying off my debts but now what? Buy a Subway or Penn Station. I hear they are affordable franchise fees on those. Ultimately, I would like to start my own publishing company. Yeah, maybe I will look more into that idea.

*sigh* I’m rambling but it feels good just to do so. So, back to the soul searching thingy. I love to travel but haven’t traveled outside of the US borders in a while. My study abroad January of 2015 was my last trisk. I know, that was just a year ago but I used to travel internationally at least four times a year. Man if you knew the details of some of those trips. I should’ve been a travel blogger. To see the world through my experiences, a single, socially engaging, financially challenged, black woman on the loose, ooh wee. Wait, I wasn’t single on some of those trips, so unmarried, socially engaging, financially challenged, black woman on the loose. Trust me, all those adjectives have had some type of impact on how my trips went. I was even a fugitive from my own country at one point. No, you won’t get that story tonight or this morning.

My light has been dimmed for so long I almost forgot how to turn it up. I’m ready for a new journey. This time, to relax and recharge the mind as well as a journey of self discovery. Every day I’m changing. I haven’t left the edges of my bed but things are becoming clearer as I type. Clarity is rewarding, especially when your path is illuminated and I feel like shining.

Check out my previous blog for my last travel adventure:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Taking Flight and Enjoying Life

If you follow my YouTube channel, Putting Off Pounds with Poetry, you would know this weekend I took a little trip. If you're not following my YouTube channel, WHY NOT??  Hit the link and subscribe because you've been missing out on my daily posts highlighting my 30 Days of Vlogging Challenge. Well in the midst of this 30 days, I got the bright idea to take a trip to New York City to go see my first Broadway play, The Color Purple. Let me tell you about this trip.  

It started off on a sunny Saturday morn' in the month of May. The birds were singing, the flowers were blooming and most of all, traffic was moving as smooth as a baby's bottom. My friend, Mocha, and I loaded up our little Kia Soul rental with bags of excitement and of course, two very small backpacks which carried all of our travel items. Yes, backpacks, for we were heading to Chicago to fly on Spirit Airlines, and they charge you for everything. Don't let them see you breathe, you may not get your lungs on the flight unless you cough up $10 with the lung. I truly believe this airline is the former TWA (teeny weeny airlines) reincarnated. 

Like seriously, Mocha is maybe 5'3" and I'm five feet tall, some say 4'11" but when I stand up straight and inhale deeply, I am all of the sixty inches that five feet will allow. So there should be no reason why I don't have leg room on a plane, right? Wrong. We were knees to seat backs and luckily for us the person's seat in front of us, didn't lean back. Nor did anyone else's.
Seriously who makes a plane the seats don't recline? On top of that, the back of the seat was curved at the top which means you were curving like the letter C with no spinal support. By the time you got off the plane you were standing like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. That's if you didn't lose your head when you stood. Thank goodness she didn't notice I smacked the shit out of the top of my head. I would've had to listen to jokes about that all weekend. Maybe she hit hers too. 

Despite this uncomfortable seating design, the crew aboard Spirit Airlines; can I hashtag them?  #SpiritAirlines The crew on flight NK630 from Chicago to NYC May 7th, made my trip comfortable and pleasant. They were friendly, seemingly enthusiastic about having us as guest on the flight, willing to help...all the things you would expect when it seems customer service is what is lacking in the customer service industry these days. I even had an attendant play blocker for me at the restroom to make sure I got in before another guest. They don't want you lingering in the aisle during flight so they have a lighting system to alert you when the stalls are empty. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of the plane and someone closer would beat me to it. When she saw I was having trouble she looked out for me. Damn I wish I would've gotten her name. Thanks homie!! and thank goodness the flight was short. Those seats were still uncomfortable but I would fly them again. My ticket only cost $34 there and $54 back home. My pockets were comfortable. 

We safely landed in New York City, the home of the rude ass people. My goodness, is it too much to say excuse me to get someone to move out of your way or after you shoulder check  them from behind trying to pass? I swear I had to bring my St. Louis attitude up against this New York State of mind within two minutes of being in the airport. I'm  was not in the mood for it, I was a little sore, tired, and hungry!!! Our food stop in the Chi got canceled due to Cafe Trinidad being out of business. My mouth was all set on some curry chicken and roti too. Then we had to sit in traffic, unlike the clear drive there, for almost an hour for nothing. I mean absolutely nothing! Why in the hell was there rush hour traffic on a Saturday in Chicago for no damned reason? We barely made it to the airport in enough time to catch our flight. No correction, we finagled our way to the front of the security checkpoint in time to catch our flight. Our shuttle bus driver said we were going to get turned away because we would be late. Mind you, he drove 2.1 mph from the parking lot to the airport transit. I learned about his entire life from childbirth to retirement and back to work on that ride. Of course one of us had to get super screened by security. Luckily it wasn't me but Mocha tried to throw me under the bus and said, "She the one you need to check!" Ha! I knew those breast and booty implants were going to be a problem one day. She says they're real though. Once we cleared security we tried to dash through the airport like O.J. Simpson back in the day when he was the Juice, only we ran like we had no juice at all and we were O.J. running at his current age. 

We made it though, but like I said once we touched down in New York, I wasn't in the mood for rudeness. I wasn't in the mood for anything but food only thing was, my friend Liz, the one in Brooklyn, the one who was supposed to pick us up at 9:00 pm, the one who told us to cancel our pre-planned ride from the airport, wasn't there! She hadn't even left the damn house. Brooklyn isn't far from Laguardia airport but with New York traffic and the airport congestion it was almost 10:00 pm before she reached us. She made it to the airport by 9:30 pm but the passengers with rides there on time, made entering the airport slow and tedious. Check my YouTube channel for the after flight video. 

Once settled in Liz's home, we were welcomed by the family. I miss this little lady. We met, wow, 24 years ago. We talk maybe two or three times a year by phone, I see her face to face even less but I consider her one of my closest and dearest friends I love her to bits but I was about to kill her for trying to force me to eat chicken soup all night. Mind you I was hungry but I guess not hungry enough for soup. Everyone in NYC thought it was cold. They had on full coats, goose downs, scarves and beenies. Here I am from the Midwest where the temperatures were twenty degrees warmer and I felt fine. Hot even. Maybe it was those 1000 stairs we had to climb to where we were sleeping but there was no way I was warming my already hot self up with a bowl of soup at 10:30 at night. The girl tried to feed us every snack under the sun and soup soup soup. I did eat some crackers, Angel Wing cookies, and an Oatmeal Cranberry Dunker from Trader Joes while listening to her mom tell us stories about some of the royal guest she serviced while working at the Waldorf Astoria for last 17 years, but that was it. Note to self: gotta find those dunkers at home. My weight loss family pay no attention to that. 

Around 2 am, Liz tried to force a bowl of soup in me anyway. Me nah wan no soup woman! Blessed be to glory the next morning we found a roti shop, Roti on the Run and I was in food heaven. The line was filled with fresh cooked jerk chicken, stew chicken, macaroni pie, chicken curry, fish cakes, beef patties and more. I was back in the West Indies with the tip of my tongue. Soca tunes were wafting through the air and if my great gran was there she would have popped me in the mouth because I was dancing at the table. Not only was the music good but when your food is on point, dancing is the only way to express the joy you feel. If you've ever eaten there and wouldn't recommend the spot, I don't give a damn, it gave me life. I had the Roti, stockpiled with boneless chicken curry, potatoes and chickpeas AND I got my pineapple guava juice. You couldn't tell me nothing. 

On the way we walked up on a deli & grocery called Obama 44 with the campaign logo behind the name. We had to get a pic. We got back to the house and started to get ready. Today was the day of our first Broadway performance. We were excited. We had to catch two trains into Manhattan and the route was easy to follow although getting on the train wasn't as easy. Liz was insistent on us not buying passes. She wanted to swipe her metra card for the both of us. It only cost $2.75 to ride but she was so adamant she blocked Mocha from entering the turnstile with her leg. It was confusing but hilarious at the same time. She eventually allowed her to buy, no refill a pass that was on the ground, but when the train approached, the pass wouldn't work. Insufficient funds it read. What the hell? Liz, this crazy Nicaraguan woman, pulled out another Metra card from her wallet and swipe just in time for Mocha to make the train. I was too through. My friend is nutso, love her!!! Once we started speeding along the rail, Mocha realized she left the tickets. We hoped off at the next station, which seemed like it took a minute to get to but ended up be a good little walk back to the house only to not be able to get in. Liz wasn't answering her phone, not responding to text, they have no doorbell, but no one in the house heard us knocking. Thank god the venue said they could help get copies of the tickets and the guy at the subway booth recognized us and let us back on the landing for free. 

The show was absolutely amazing! Jennifer Hudson did her thang as Shug Avery; everybody loves some Shug. What brought down the house for me was the young lady playing Celie, Cynthia Erivo and Danielle Brooks from OITNB, playing Sophia. They were ackt-ting! Yes, I had to put some respeckt on what they did on that stage. Don't let me get started on the singing. When I tell you they took me to church, honey I was baptized, delivered and born again from their voices. The entire cast lifted me to new heights. You couldn't help but get choked up at times. So much a guest choked. I can't really blame it on the play, it was probably food but right when Sophia was about to knock Squeaky into another Broadway performance, someone had a medical emergency. We didn't know it at the time. Since we were in the balcony we couldn't see what was going on. All we knew is they cleared the stage of the cast, turned on the lights, advised us to stay in our seats and keep calm. Of course we were assuming the worse.  We were in New York, in a theater none the less, it just seemed bad all around. 
Shit was getting real. Speaking of real, I did see Derek J from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I was supposed to get a picture with him after the show but I didn't think about it then. Oh well, I didn't come for him anyway, I came for this amazing production. Kudos all around. 

There was more to this adventure, more food, more craziness, long talks with old friends, jokes and 
fatigue. You had to be there to experience it all. The ride back to the airport was a journey in itself. We still were on teeny weeny airlines other now known as Spirit Air. I had my flight snacks pre-purchased this time around, which made the seat  in front of me even closer to my knees. Yet the crew was just was welcoming as the first one. Thank you Spirit Air. We hit a little turbulence and ended up with the same slow shuttle driver as before once we were in Chicago. Felt like reuniting with an old friend and then we reunited our bellies with an old friend, Bahama Breeze

I hate this restaurant is no longer in St. Louis. Yes, we had more Caribbean food. Mocha had the jerk talapia calypso linguine. I enjoyed the delectable taste of their citrus Breeze-wood grilled Chicken. I don't even know how many calories I consumed. I care but I don't. I did enough walking around New York that I'm sure I compensated with the continuous movement.  If it's one near you I would definitely go there. Make your taste buds happy.

Well I home now. Smiling because I enjoyed myself immensely. I will get on the scale another time. Now I have to prepare for my young woman leaving the house. She graduates next week and will be off to college in the fall. Tears of joy to follow.  I hope you continue to follow my blog and my YouTube Channel, where losing weight isn't just about working out but balancing life. Take it slow and find time to enjoy it. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Somethings Remain the Same

It's been one year since I openly announced my re-commitment to weight loss. Sad to say, nothing much has changed in a year. Sure I lost weight but it found me again. I guess it was because I was still in the same place, same head space, and using the same excuses. Same old story, huh?

So over this past year I have successfully loss over twenty pounds but you can't tell by looking at me or my scale. I've put every pound of it back on. I would be lying to you if I say, "Woe is me, I don't know what happened."  Lies!!!!!  I know exactly what happened. I didn't dedicate myself to the process.

Those of you who know me know, I'm against a lot of stuff. I don't juice, I won't meal prep, no fad diets, no pills, no this no that, yada yada yada, my list goes on. So you may be asking what the hell do you do then because obviously it's not working. Well, the things I do, WORK, at least for me, but I have to actually do them. My main goal in life is to be able to workout maybe three times a week, eat the things I love in moderation without the excessive weight gain. Right now I need to do more working out and less eating out just to begin to see significant changes in weight. I can cook just about everything I dine out for, I just need to do it. My health is improving overall but the fat I'm carrying still lingers. Truth be told for me, a simple walk for 30 minutes a day, helps me lose weight. It's a damn shame I haven't committed to that.

There are so many products out here that are chemically made, not even real food, or considered a drug itself like sugar, it gets hard to determine what to eat. I want to enjoy my food. I'm sorry but eating vegetables all day everyday is not what I enjoy. With the amount of pesticides, growth hormones and hybrid vegetation these days, even your veggies aren't 100% healthy. They are better for you I believe but I haven't scientifically proved it. Anyhoo, that's why I joined a community garden, so I can grow my own food. I must say the produce last year tasted so much better than those I've purchased in the market. This year I haven't begun planting. We had a lot of organizational changes which delayed us getting started.

So, as I've stated today is my one year anniversary on YouTube and I'm committing to some new goals. Go visit my channel for weekly updates on my weight loss journey Putting off Pounds with Poetry

One is to keep this blog updated. This is not just about weight loss, anymore. :-)

2016 Go For Gold Challenge  -  Walk/Run/Crawl 1000 Miles begun Jan 1st, I'm 320.5 Miles into the challenge.

100 Miles per Month - begins 1st of each month. I've completed 14.88 miles so far.

From My City to Yours Virtual Challenge - Complete Miles from St. Louis to New York 957 miles. Begun on Jan 21st. Every couple of weeks I will post pics from where I am along my journey using google. I created this challenge for myself. My first one was St. Louis to Chicago. As of today, I am 148.62 miles outside of St. Louis in Martinsville, IL in route to NYC.

Fit2LuvMe100 Challenge: The actual challenge began Jan 1st. Commit to 100 days of continuous movement last at least 25 minutes. I am scared to commit to 100 days. So I opted to try 30 days and began on May 1st. So far so good.  Click here for the challenge Fit2LuvMe100 Challenge

Vlog for 30 Days. Began on May 1st. I barely get my weekly vlogs up but it's day 3 and so far so good.

Coconut Oil Challenge: Use pure coconut oil on my face as a moisturizer and document the changes. I'm hoping to look less tired and have supple skin. Began May 1st.

Races: I will be heading to LA soon and I wanted to run while I was there. So I'm signing up for a half marathon in Long Beach, CA. Summer 7 Day 7 Half. I'm scared. It's already week three of training and I've walked a callus on my foot from wearing sandals and my ankle, with the hardware, has been giving me the blues.

Last but not least, get some rest. My sleeping habits have been so off. I woke up this morning at 2:45, it's now 5:13am. I really need to catch some zzzz. With that note, I'm signing off. Thanks for coming back and reading.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tasting Life in New Ways and Some Old

Just tried white balsamic vinegarette for the first time and I must say, I loved it.  I'm not a fan of vinegar in my food but this was so light and delicious that I may give up my cream based dressings. Sweet Vidalia Onion is my fave right now. I have a recipe for orange balsamic that I want to try. 

I bought a new tracker yesterday and I'm stoked about tracking my fitness again. Stuck with the same jawbone up move. It's a simple design and cost effective.  Does exactly what I need.  

Also yesterday I accidentally stepped on the scale and it registered lower than Sunday. Yes,  accident.  I tripped and the scale caught me. I'm cool, just clumsy. I ended Lent and ate chips the next day. I craved them the entire 40 days.  Habit not broken but I think moderation is doable.  Weigh in tomorrow before family sized meal. Turkey ham, yams,  green beans and mac & cheese is on the menu. 

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Monday, March 14, 2016


I don't know what my problem is. I make goals, write them down, say them out loud and then nothing. I start off energetic, fired up, and ready to go and somewhere along the way I lose all motivation to keep it up.

I feel like such a liar to myself. This doesn't stop with weight loss but includes everyday living. I'm looking for something but I'm tired of trying and fighting for it. Happiness. I just want to know what it feels like for more than a fleeting moment. I smile all the time and keep up the appearances I'm happy but it gets exhausting and frustrating.

I'm frustrated with life, my current and past life! Don't worry, I don't want to end it, I love living, I'm tired of trying to make shit happen to make it a happy life. I'm so burned out all, I want to do is sit still without me having burdens rest on my shoulders. To sit still and not have my world crumble around me.

I see the crumbling daily. In some things, I know I have the ability to stop the walls from falling brick by brick around me, but damn does everyday have to be a constant battle just to keep things in order? That's not living to me, it's struggling to make it. Struggling to survive. I'm so tired of the struggle. yet I fear that sitting still will make me crazy, crazier, if I get too comfortable with not moving.

I don't know anymore. It all seems so hopeless at times. I'm halfway through life and can't seem to enjoy what it feels like to be happy. From finances to love to weight loss to peace of mind in being still. It all seems like an unrealistic dream. A Utopian fantasy of my mind.