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.