Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We Nearly Lost Her

My best friend nearly died giving life to her healthy, happy daughter.

Millions of women give birth every single day without complications—but for Chelle, whoever’s above or us below had other plans.

She lost so much blood. Her brain swelled. She went unconscious. For one tumultuous week the doctors were unsure if she’d live, and even if she did she would suffer significant brain damage.

Of course, like the champ she is, she lived. But even as we speak she’s in intense physical therapy. She has to learn how to use her arms, hands, feet, and feed herself all over again. Her short-term goal was to see, hold and raise her baby.  Nearly a month after having her child, she finally was able to do so.

Can you imagine?

We’re talking about a 27-year-old vibrant black woman. She was voted intern of the year, she just completed her master’s.

She’s a woman, who was so excited about the next stage in her life. Bringing her daughter in this world, her love.

When I received the news my world was flipped upside down. Every sense of security I had vanished. I heard about things of this nature happening to others but rarely does it hit this close to home.

As soon as I could muscle up the money to purchase a plane ticket, I went to visit her in Los Angeles.

I just needed to be there. 

I thought I was going to lose her without being able to tell her how much I love her.

I needed her to know that I am always there, even when I am not. I was horrified at the thought of her daughter growing up and not knowing whom I am.

I spent three days visiting her, keeping her company, and enjoying those moments. Like old times, we laughed, exchanged gossip, and gave recent updates.

High blood pressure was the culprit behind all of Chelle's pain and suffering.

Chelle’s experience taught me one important lesson—we are not promised tomorrow.

Although the saying was drilled into me when I was younger, realizing my best friend was on the verge of leaving us young—etched it in my soul.

 Everyday I lived my life looking forward and rarely savoring the moments of today. Recently I decided I want to cherish my moments. 

Sometimes we take too much on. School, work, family, and relationships—should all be healthy.

This month I took the time to clean out my mental closet. Those who cause excess drama in my life I let them float on into the distance. I let other people’s problems be THEIR problems.

Many of us carry the weight of things we don’t even need to carry.  We worry about things we can’t control.  The remnants of such things show up in our health—we gain tons of weight, we lose tons of weight, and we experience anxiety attacks. Some of us get depressed, or easily agitated.

It’s not worth it.

There are beautiful things in life, live them.  

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Best Father Around

Being fatherless, in my opinion, does not mean growing up in a single parent household. To me fatherlessness, means exactly that, there is an absence of a father. If your father was never home, had an addiction that devastated your family then to me you’re qualified to say you’re fatherless.  Or, like in the case of so many of us, our fathers were rarely or never there.

All I ever wanted from my dad was for him to call me on my birthday.

Out of all the days in the year, I believed his daughter’s birthday would be one that he’d never forget. Yet, he managed to “forget” year, after year, after year.

Due to my father’s absence I, like so many other women, was born with baggage.

I suffer from an unbalanced mistrust of men.
I can smell a no good dude a mile away.
But, I can’t always detect a good quality man. 

Like many of life’s wounds, I am slowly healing-- learning to let go, and let live.

My experiences have led me to strongly believe that all little girls need daddies.

Daughters often feel the absence of their fathers deeply. Angel Taylor belted these heartfelt words in a song about her father…

He took everything from us,
but he let us keep our fear.
He robbed the little picture called a family,
taken long ago, went away for so many years.

And it was as though
he took joy in listening to our tears.
And he would never apologize,
cause his pride was blinding.
Angel Taylor, Best Father Around, Album: Love Travels

…while Chrisette Michele sung these words to her dad, in her song “Your Joy.”

Cause no one loves me just like you do
And no one knows me just like you do
No one can compare to the way my eyes fit in yours
You'll always be my father
And I'll always be your joy

These are two different songs, two different messages, but their feelings for their fathers whether negative or positive are deep.

No matter what anyone says, fathers teach women two important things that a mother cannot teach their daughters.

  1. How to treat a man
  2. How a man should treat a woman

Fathers teach their daughters what men want by showing them their daily activities. Simple things like, knowing when your father comes home, he wants a little time for himself.  Or when the game is on, don’t bother him. We also learn from watching them interact with other people.

They teach us how we should be treated—that we shouldn’t be cheated on, lied to, or beat on. They teach us that a man’s love isn’t demonstrated by sex.

Teacher, teacher, please reach those girls in them videos
The little girls just broken Queens, confusing bling for soul
Danger, there's danger when you take off your clothes…
~Janelle Monae, Sincerely Jane, Metropolis: The Chase Suite

So many girls grow up not knowing who they are. Fathers help you learn your value. To them you’re the ultimate prize, and they teach you that.

Fathers protect their daughters­­– they may even be over protective. Not every guy is good enough for daddies little girl, and they’re right.

Just any guy should not be good enough for us—though we often forget that at times.

Fatherless daughters can’t learn these things from their mothers alone.

I was lucky because my grandfather really stepped up and he showed me most of those things. He taught me my worth, which is more than enough.

So what do you think? Do little girls need their daddies? Are there voids that daddies can fill that mommies cannot?  How has your relationship with your father impacted your life both positively and negatively? If you grew up fatherless, do feel you have emotional scars from his absence?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


As a self diagnosed insomniac I can tell you that a great nights sleep is like finding a great guy. It happens on occasion, and when it does you feel as high as the sky.

Except when it makes you late for the airport.

Something drew me away from my beauty rest, and it wasn’t the sound of xylophones from my iPhone. I dug my way out of the sheets and through the comforter and lazily glanced at the brown digital clock in the hotel room.

9:00 a.m.

Hoping the clock was lying to me, I jumped up out of the queen-sized bed, and over to the desk to grab my phone.

9:01 a.m.

Immediately it dawned on me that my flight from LaGuardia Airport to Washington DC was leaving in an hour and a half, and I still had to get dress, double check the hotel room for items I didn’t want to leave behind, check out of The Park Central Hotel in Manhattan, hail a taxi, and make it to the airport.

While getting dressed I called Delta Airlines to let them know that I would be running late and to see what my options were.

Called back.
Call again.
Still Busy…
Clearly I am running out of time.

I quickly shoved my things into my luggage and did a quick once over of the hotel room.

9:30 a.m.

Satisfied I wouldn’t leave my life in NYC, I rushed out of the room waited four minutes for an elevator, went straight to the concierge to see if the hotel had a some sort of Delta Airline insider phone numbers that could get me pass the busy signal.

9:37 a.m.

Waiting behind someone asking how to get to Greenwich Village by subway. It must be nice to be on holiday.

9:47 a.m.

Unfortunately, my only hope was to pray I could make it to the airport in time. No need to hail a cab, there was one sitting outside. I told the cab driver that my flight leaves at 10:30.

9:50 a.m.

I don’t know who was talking, but the driver was driving like I was about to have a baby in his cab. I mean, driving down the shoulder, forcing cars over, honking and everything.

10:07 a.m.

I hopped out of the cab in front of Delta Airlines just to find that there are thousands of people standing in line.

10:17 a.m.

I am told to go to the other Delta terminal, which is conviently ten minutes away by bus. Clearly I wasn’t making it to my flight on time.

10:31 a.m.

I watched the plane fly off into the distance with out me.

10:47 a.m.

While waiting for the next flight out at 12:30 p.m. I dozed off thinking about the extra hour I wish I had in that bed.  

Friday, February 5, 2010

Victory is Mine: Running On My Own Two Feet and Ish.

In the modified words of Kanye, “It’s a celebration snitches!!!”

“Grab a drink; Grab a Glass…”

Low cal or skinny mini of course!

I am sure you want to hear the good news…

Yesterday I bought some running shoes for $50.

That’s it. That’s all.

That’s why we’re celebrating!
*Doing the hustle*

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I was having trouble walking for long distances and/or running. I simply thought it was because I physically couldn’t run.

I am now one of millions of Americans without health coverage, thus I haven’t gone to the doctor for it. Lol

After doing my research on WebMD, I learned that my flat effin’ feet were the biggest problem.

Shin splits. Runners get them sometimes, and the running with the wrong shoes can also cause this problem.

The combination of not having arch support, and running on hard surfaces was doing a number on my joints and muscles.  

Last week, I sorta solved the problem by taking an ibuprofen to relax my muscles. It works, but I became worried that I would get injured if I didn’t fix the problem by purchasing the proper shoes.

So yesterday I went out and bought them. They aren’t the cutest things but they provide me with the support I need to run.

As soon as the snow clears, and the gym opens I am taking these blue angels on a trial run.

I’ve never been so excited about exercise in my life.

Other victories this week include:
Eating more green veggies.
Still drinking my water.
Still exercising.
Started my website (not ready for unveiling but it’s there).

What have been your victories for the week?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Crunches: The Bane of My Existence

You see, I am a tummy girl. All the women on my daddy’s side of the family has at least little stomach and not because of childbirth. I am convinced I was born without stomach muscles.

I am actively avoiding my Pilates Abs DVD even though I KNOW I need to work on my abs the most.

I hate crunches.

HATE them.

I HATE (emphasis intended) CRUNCHES! UGHNot just crunches, but core work in general.

Holding my stomach in is harder than using the elliptical trainer, or the stairclimber. That will be the battle I fight in the up coming weeks. Core work. Once a week until it becomes a habit.

In the meantime I’ve been working up to being able to run. It has been my dream to be able to run ever since I read somewhere that running strengthens your legs and abs at the same time (with out crunches).

I couldn’t before because I would get shin splits, but I recently learned that if I take ibuprofen before I do The Mile I can get through The Mile. Next week, I am going to jog a mile and walk a mile. Wish me luck. J

The best part about it is that I don’t have to hold my stomach in to run, of course its preferred but I don’t have to, which makes them great!

I weighed in today. My goal was 2.5 pounds for the week, and I lost eight.

Congratulations to me!

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Pants Are On The Ground!!!!

Woke up yesterday morning at 5:45 a.m. elated.  I actually slept a little.

Started my morning routine:

Brushed my teeth.
Took a bath.
Started combing my hair.
Boiled some water for my oatmeal.
Finished my hair.
Made my lunch. 
Ate my oatmeal.

Started changing my clothes, when I noticed…

My pants, size 14, were falling off. They were on the ground literally.  I had to go fish out my smaller sized jeans, still a 14, but definitely a slimmer fit.

Talk about a victory. That was actually last week’s subject on  weight-loss losers. Non-scale victories. Seeing my pants on the ground was definitely a victory.

I love seeing the results of my hard work though I didn’t expect to see them this fast. I seriously started my weight-loss journey on New Years like everyone else does.

I had a delicious and worth it relapse for two weeks in Los Angeles.  I ate In & Out, Orange Bang, Louisiana Fried Chicken, Pizza, and the hamburger stand. I thought “hey, I can’t get the same foods here in Maryland so I better eat it all while I can,” and eat I did.

Last week It was back to school, back to business, and back to achieving my fitness goals.

I went hard-core. Drowning myself in eight cups of water, counting calories, and going to the gym four days a week.

I’ve lost weight before. 

This time however my fat burning weapon is weight-loss education. I read everything on weight-loss. Tips, success stories, and stories about those who are losing weight but are struggling.  I spend time incorporating what I can, and vowing to make a new change every week.

The best thing I’ve learned so far is that it’s the little things that make a big impact like eating on smaller plates, drinking water instead of soda, setting small goals and sticking to them.

No gimmicky diets.
No quick fixes.

I weigh-in today to see if I lost more than inches. Inches are good but pounds are the ultimate goal. My goal for last week was 2.5 pounds. If I lost that I would be ecstatic.

My goal for the month of February is 10 pounds down.

Please, wish me luck.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't sleep on it, and don't eat on it. Work it out.

Today was one of those days where I wanted to curl up and die.

You know, the kind of day where when things couldn't get any worse it some how does. By about 5 p.m. I wanted the day to be over, and to just go home. Only there was one problem, it's my gym day.

Honestly, I didn't want to go. I mean when I'm stressed out I want to grab my blanket (I don't have a snuggie yet) and climb into bed.

Then I started thinking about all the work I put in this week. I counted every calorie, drunk all my water, and did my cardio workouts. I have a goal of 2.5 pounds by Tuesday and I am half way through.

I finally realize that I always use my stress as a reason to skip workouts and mess up my progress.

The truth is my problems are not going to be solved today and they definitely won't be solved under the covers or by missing my workouts.

I tried to rationalize not going to the gym by saying I am going tomorrow. However, it's going to snow, and there is no guarantee that I will go to the gym tomorrow. I always have said "I will go tomorrow," and the truth is tomorrow never comes. I'll never see tomorrow, as long as I am awake, the day is still today.

So I went to the gym, and as I started losing my breath on the elliptical trainer, and concentrating on how excellent my workout playlist has become all my problems mentally went away.

By the time I ended my workout my problems didn't matter as much. Though I came home to even more problems, my workout has helped me remain calm and relaxed.

I can't live my life anymore on excuses. Workout the stress, don't sleep on it, and don't eat on it. 

~This is my post but I also posted it on sparkpeople.com