Broke Back

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, I was in a rush to complete some pieces for Small Business Saturday at my shop.  I was rocking and rolling and went to pick up a deceptively heavy piece of furniture.  Nothing I haven't done before, I just picked it up wrong.  I picked it up so that the drawers were away from me and they slid out, quickly, and pitched the forward.  I felt something "give" in my back and the pain started radiating immediately.  I couldn't pick up my right leg or stand up.  I slid to the ground and rolled over on my back with my knees bent and my feet on the ground.  It was the only way I could find any relief.

Actual pic of me on ground waiting on The Robinator.

Actual pic of me on ground waiting on The Robinator.

The Robinator was in his office on a series of conference calls before he had to go to the office and, since my phone was in my pocket, I slipped it out and called him sounding really calm.

Robby:  Hello?  (sounding like...WHY YOU CALLING ME FROM OUTSIDE???????  YOU KNOW I'M BUSY!!!!!!!)

Me:  Heyyyyyy (sounding all casual like I'm just shooting the shit)...when you have an opportunity, can you come outside and help me with something?

Robby:  Yeah, okay, okay...in a minute.

So...I did what any red-blooded American with a smartphone in their hand would do.  I surfed Facebook until he showed up.  Snapped a few pics.  You know...the norm.  LOL!

He came out about 10 minutes later casually strolling.  When he saw me on the ground, his face registered mild confusion because hey...sometimes I just sit or lay on the ground...I'm country but when he got closer and I told him that I'd messed up and he saw the dresser on the ground near me haphazardly, he started moving faster.

I couldn't move.  The pain was getting worse.  He carried me upstairs because, I wasn't about to go to the doctor looking like I was looking, called the doctor and rushed me in.

Link Taylor piece that took me out.  Old super heavy, super well-made nightstand.  Humph.

Link Taylor piece that took me out.  Old super heavy, super well-made nightstand.  Humph.

Doctor determined it was a bad sprain.  Yall...I couldn't move my right leg without severe pain and screaming.  He suggested I get a steroid shot.  I declined.  He gave me some anti-inflammatory meds and muscle relaxers.  Silly me, I thought muscle relaxers were pain pills.

They aren't.

After waking everyone up screaming a few times in the middle of the night because I was trying to turn in my sleep, I called the next morning for pain meds.

I was told that my doctor doesn't prescribe pain meds.  To anyone.  Of any kind.

Wait, what?

This has been our doctor for 3 years now.  Neither of us have needed pain meds for anything.  But baaaaaaaaaby...if we need pain meds...DAMMIT...WE WANT PAIN MEDS.  So I did my thing I do when I'm trying to get what I want and or need.  After going around and around, turns out, the truth is that our doctor (ex-doctor cuz yeah...no) doesn't have a DEA license so he CAN'T prescribe pain meds.

Oh.

And this is how the opioid crisis ends up affecting us.  When we were in for real serious pain...we can't get pain meds. I was incensed.

Once I got some pain meds and was able to start stretching without that severe pain, I started moving better.  The worst part, however?  The drive to and from Houston for Thanksgiving at my sister's house.  SO TERRIBLE.  And the pain meds made me toss my cookies so I had to take half doses after eating two chewable Tums to coat my stomach first.  My body was so filled with foreign stuff I never take that I looked and felt completely different. 

When we returned home, I stopped taking everything to flush out my system even though my back still hurts. I can't deal with that hazy, super swole feeling and truly don't know how anyone can.  So I'm doing yoga, stretching and, to quote The Robinator, "sit your azz down somewhere and stop doing stuff!"

But see...that's hard for me.

The Robinator has not let me pick up anything heavier than my toothbrush.  He has been the most hilarious nursemaid the world has ever produced.  Let's me know what I'm in for as we grow old together.  *sigh*  Pure comedy. 

The whole, no DEA license thing was news to me and something I guess we all need to be aware of with our doctors.  People like us aren't trying to score drugs so to leave us in pain because a doctor CAN'T prescribe something to take us out of pain is just WRONG.

Humph.

Did yall know about the DEA license thing?  Would you use a doctor as your primary care doctor who didn't have one knowing that if you really hurt yourself he/she couldn't get you out of pain using pain meds?

Have you ever hurt your back?  What did you do to fix it?  Do you still have problems with it after you hurt it the first time?  Or did it completely go away?

Plant Based Starting Point

Okay...so we OFFICIALLY started today.  I was out of town the first two days of the month and wore the hell out yesterday so we couldn't start until today.  Traveling is hard enough with a gluten free diet so chances of my doing plant based successfully were slimmer to noner.

SIDEBAR...

Why in the world aren't there more healthy options in airports?  

Okay.  Moving on.

Today's menu:

Breakfast:  Oatmeal with fruit, walnuts, and flax seed.

Lunch:  Salad with kale, spinach, avocado, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, olives, 4 bean salad and sunflower seeds.  I made a dressing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, fresh pressed garlic, seasonings.

Snacks:  4 pieces of fruit and two solid handfuls of raw almonds.

Dinner:  Lentil Vegetable Soup

I modified the recipe because it seemed a bit bland.  I added two 10 oz. cans of Rotel tomatoes and green chilis instead of the can of roasted tomatoes and I put in 9 cups of vegetable broth instead of just 8.  I wanted it to be more soupy.  Oh...and I added more spinach.  Why?  I like spinach.  Duh.  LOL!

I seasoned it well and yall...it was pretty darn delicious and it made a really big pot so we can get about 6 more bowls out of this pot.  I think we'll do it for dinner two more times this week and freeze the rest.

I did some calculations regarding protein and that's going to be a challenge I'm thinking.  To find out how much protein you need to multiply .36 times your weight.  If that's what you want to maintain...you'll come up with how many grams of protein you need to do so.  According to my calculations, I'm off by about 12 ounces today.  I'll do better tomorrow.

Robby loved the soup too.  I need to fix his protein intake too.  

Again...the soup was GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!

Pause...Why didn't YOU tell me?

At peace buying plants!

At peace buying plants!

There are lots of things I've missed out on not having my mother in my life during my adult years that I could have really, REALLY used.  I've learned how to manoeuvre through life without her knowledge, however, and I continue to keep it moving.  This new thing however??????????    

I don't know how I'm going to get past it.

Men...check out now.  This ain'tcha genre.  You've been warned.

I've always had pretty basic Midol Weeks except for in the past when I've had a ruptured fibroid going on.  I used to be able to basically set them by clockwork.  They came ever 31 days and two days before I'd get PMS.  Cranky boots.  Tender boobs.  Water retention.  Backache.  Salt cravings (Lays Plain potato chips), etc.  I go about my business like all other women and make it do what it do.  I used a period tracker when I was trying to get pregnant so I knew when I was ovulating even as I had very painful ovulations and knew exactly what was going on when it happened.  After I wasn't trying anymore, I kinda let that go.  

A few months ago I was feeling really, really weird and messed around and asked Mr. Google one too many questions and determined that I might have Lupus.  It was two weeks after my regular Midol Week so it never occurred to me that it could be another Midol Week.  So yeah...Lupus.  I was seriously about to make a doctor's appointment when I had visual evidence that yeah...prolly not Lupus.  But I was way confused because I thought I'd just had a cycle.  I didn't know for sure since I wasn't tracking it but I thought so and I remembered other things like packing for a trip two weeks prior and having to take supplies so yeah...two weeks.  I told a friend who laughed and laughed and laughed at my "lil 'bout of Lupus" turning out to be Midol Week.

Again.

Thirty-one days later...Midol Week started up and, TWO WEEKS AFTER THAT...another one.  Now, at this point I'm thinking I must be crazy so I started using a new tracker:  Clue  

I like Clue.  It's easy to deal with and figure out.  BUT...Clue clearly thinks all this is crazy.  Like...Clue is so confused.  Clue is not here for this.  Clue thinks I'm inputting incorrect information.  LOL!  Clue is about to delete itself from my phone for making a mockery out of the awesomeness it has been accustomed to being.

My doctor says there is nothing wrong and that this is all normal for a woman my age.  Even when I shared with him that I get night sweats two nights before Midol Week no matter the length of that particular cycle so I know it's coming.  He just stared at me blankly like..."Yeah...and?  What do you want me to tell you?"

With these crazy cycles I'm a full, solid two pounds heavier than ever and, no matter what I do, I can't drop it until AFTER Midol Week is over completely.  Because of this, I'm my normal size for basically three weeks every two months.  LOL!  On my frame...that's a lot.  It definitely shows in my jeans and yoga pants.  I get crazy migraines before and after and well, twice a month for a year was bearable but now it's like six ever two months and well...those extra migraines are a hot, fonky fried mess.  I'm currently sitting here in shorts, a sports bra and a fleece jacket that I have zipped up.  I had it open an hour ago and before that...I had it completely OFF.  I used to only have to buy light and regular supplies.  Now?  Hand me them super doopers playa.  My already tiny bladder has clearly shrunk by about 50% of volume.  I can't drive from the house to Target without REALLY NEEDING TO GO TO THE BATHROOM WHEN I HIT TARGET!!!!!

Crazy talk.

I hadn't had any wine during Lent and had some this past weekend.  The wine made me too hot.  THE WINE MADE ME TOO HOT.  That might end up being the death of me.  

Oh...and during Midol Week, my ankles swell.  Had me on a plane once thinking I was going to need compression socks.

And again...my doctor says it's all normal for a 46-year-old woman.  He says some women go into perimenopause and stay there for a long time before it sorts itself out.  He says that if it's unbearable he can give me some drugs that might help but I'm of the mind that I put enough drugs in my body when we were trying to have a baby so yeah...I'm good with sitting around with a fonky azz look on my face as long as I can sit alone, in the cold, without a lot of talking going on.

Things that used to not annoy me now VERY MUCH ANNOY ME.  My people-ing skills now take significant prep time to be put on deck.  And, more than ever, I truly only want to do what I want to do.  I'm totally growing into one of those people who have a Zen garden with one of those rakes to make designs as meditation.  The only time I'm at complete peace is when I'm playing with flowers or digging in the dirt or on the sofa with The Robinator and the doggies (but only if they are NOT on top of me if I'm hot).

I said all that to say...these are things you don't really talk about out loud with folks until it is something you're dealing with and then...with only a few folks mainly your mom.  If she's not there...you gotta use another trusted source even as you know that everybody is different and will react to something this major...differently.

I'm totally going to do this without drugs because the side effects of the drugs used to treat these symptoms scare the plum piss outta me.  One Elder scared me so bad...she got me planning to start running as she says that it's the only way to keep the weight around the middle off by sweating A LOT via exercise.

I hate sweating but hell...I sweat sometimes just sitting.  LOL!

Now I understand the pink talcum powder puffs my mother and all her girlfriends had back in the day.  Hell...I'm looking at Shaq in the Gold Bond powder commercials with a steely glint in my eye.  I might need to incorporate some of that soon.

And I thought getting used to my gray hair was going to be the problem.  UGH!

Yup...it's like that.  These are the worst of times.  Getting used to this new normal is going to take some doing.  LOL!  Yet another reason to keep my baby wipe hand strong.

Plant Based Creole

When's the last time you asked Mr. Google a question and found that there was no assistance whatsoever in populating the search results?  Hardly ever right?  Right.  So...imagine my surprised when I typed in 'PLANT BASED CREOLE' and found straight crickets.  LOL!

Now...let's backtrack here so you know where this came from.  The Robinator has decided that he wants to train for another marathon.  I was like...cool.  Go you!  Then he was like...I think I want to train plant based.

Me:  Um...

Him:  Check out www.NoMeatAthlete.com and tell me what you think.

So I go and I read and I'm like...UGH but then I'm thinking...if he really wants to do this, I guess I'll have to help him.  I downloaded the app, Forks Over Knives, and placed a hold on the book of the same name on Overdrive because some smarty pants had checked out all copies from my library.  UGH!

And I kept reading and then I started remembering onefromphilly talking about how good she feels doing plant based and I thought to myself...hmmmmmmm...

Okay...now I'm real particular about food.  I like good food.  Bacon is the best thing ever in life.  And ribeye's grilled on the charcoal grill.  And lawd...CHICKEN.WINGS.

But I want to be supportive and I seriously doubt that this is something you can do without the support of your spouse.  I mean...The Robinator isn't about to start cooking.  You know that.  I know that.  He knows that.  

I gave up wine for Lent this year and I've stuck to it.  It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  You can do anything for 40 days right?  So I started thinking that maybe I could try the plant-based thing for 30 days just to see how it goes.  And...if I can't stick to it, certainly I can do my middle meal non-plant based if need be so I can still support him by doing something plant based for dinner right?  I mean, I want to do it the right way so he has enough protein to train and yeah...again...I can always grill a steak for lunch so I don't have to eat it in front of him.

In looking for recipes I came up with nada Creole initially and that made me giggle.

All that said, for the month of April, I'm going to try and go all plant based foods to see how it goes.  It can't hurt and I'll learn some new recipes, hopefully, that I like and figure out how to make it work for him while he trains.  A whole month of plants only.

This should be interesting.

Lemme go figure out that app.  It even makes the grocery list for you so yeah...that's gonna be nice.

Have you ever tried it for any length of time?  Would you?

Running Buddy Pouch. No Belt! No Tilt!

When I workout I use a fanny pack kinda pouch thingy for my phone.  After a while, however, the belt starts irking me something serious.  I go through different motions of trying to put it on over my shorts/tights and t-shirt so as not to get that horrid rub-rub.

And the armbands irk me too.  I have issues.  Seriously.

So I looked for something else.  I found it in the Running Buddy Pouch and used their chat feature to ask if it would work with my new phone, the Note 5 since it's pretty large.  I was told yes if I took into consideration the size of the case I'd use on the phone so I bought one thinking I'd buy the slimmest case possible.  

The case is pretty cool because you stick the flap inside of your waistband and it has strong magnets that keep it in place.  It won't move, tilt, etc.

When I got it I was bummed because it was such a TIGHT fit and, since the earbud connection is at the BOTTOM of the phone, I wouldn't be able to use it.  I was disappointed and used the chat feature thingy on their site again to let someone know that it didn't work.

Imagine my surprise when the phone rang and it was Greg from the company.  He told me to check out the insert card and then go to http://tinyurl.com/n7v4qml for information about how the mesh part is a ripstop material and I could put the hole in wherever the port is located on my phone.  I told him that it wasn't just that but the size of my phone too.  I was so impressed however, I decided I'd just give this one to Robby and I'll wait until November when the slightly bigger one comes out.  Like...who takes time out to call a customer anymore?????  For that alone, every runner on my Christmas list is getting one of these for Christmas.  Seriously.  That impressed me beyond reason.  I totally predict this small, family owned company is going to go far because of their word of mouth traffic.  There is just no way that you can keep something this amazing to yourself.

I just read some of the customer reviews who took it to Disneyland and other parks and I can't WAIT to use it on a roller coaster!!!!!  LOL!  Wheeeeeeeee!  Look ma no hands!

Greg...if you're reading this...yall rock.  I'm going to get a couple of those H2O pouches and the new pouch when it is released too.  Thank you for offering up AMAZING customer service.  Dude...yall rock.  

Ginger and Lemon Tea with Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

I love ginger.  Like...LOVE ginger.  I love handling it and then smelling my fingers after cuz it smells sooooooooooo good!

Sometimes I have tummy issues that I can't pinpoint and I've found that a cup of ginger tea with lemon makes it all better.  I sweeten it with a brown sugar simple syrup that I make a batch of whenever we run low.  Two parts water, one part brown sugar.  Bring to boil stirring until sugar dissolves.  Let sit until it reaches room temperature and store in a lidded jar in the fridge.  It's perfect to sweeten tea, cold or hot.  Just put a little bit at the bottom of your glass or mug and then add the tea.  DELICIOUS!

To make the ginger tea, all you have to do is peel a finger of ginger and then cut it up in either a mug or the strainer if you have a mug like mine (TeaForte KATI Cup).  Then, pour boiling water over the ginger until the ginger is covered and let it steep for ten minutes.  Next, remove the ginger by removing strainer or by pouring through strainer, squeeze a slice of lemon in it and voila!  Instant tummy soothing goodness that is, well, just simple goodness.  It's good to and for you.  You know...building up good gut bacteria and whatnot.  

Do you make fresh ginger tea?  Do you drink it daily or only when you have a tummy ache?  

Racial Fatigue: Become friends with the monster...

I'm a cancer survivor, an infertility survivor and a child abuse survivor.  In other words...life has dealt me a few blows that I've had to work really hard at overcoming.  This disease that I can't seem to overcome unscathed however?  Racial Fatigue.  I'm about to topple over from this shit.  Seriously.  It's too much.  Everyday there is more ish and people figure out how to rope all kinds of ish into it to make every.single.thing about race and how Black people ain't shit, weren't ever shit and never gonna be shit and lawd...I'm so over it.  I'M SO OVER IT.  

I watched that video of that football player who punched the chick at the bar.  When I first saw the video I was like...damn...he shouldn't have hit her like that.  But then I read the story and I understood.  She called him THE SLUR before she hit him and he was trying to keep her hands off him and then he just snapped and laid her azz clean the fug out.

I UNDERSTAND.

I don't want men hitting women.  Duh.

I don't want women hitting men.  Duh.

BUT GOTDAMMIT I'M SICK OF MOTHERFUCKERS THINKING THEY CAN GET REAL SLICK WITH THIS RACIAL ISH AND THINKING THEY ARE ON THE LANDING OF TARA GOING WITH THE WIND AND SHIT.

There are signs out here with that damn flag on it saying, "Keep the flag, change the speaker."  Like...them signs popped up the next day of the current flag controversy.  Nice signs.  PROFESSIONALLY PRINTED SIGNS.  Somebody sat down at their computer immediately and designed that gotdamn sign and then saved that shit to a thumb drive.  Then they went to a PROFESSIONAL SIGN PRINTER and had them damn signs printed up.  Approved the proofs.  AND PAID FOR THEM!  Stands and all.  Then...they knew exactly where they could put that shit up and be like...THEY COOL WITH IT.  I KNOW.  You spent all that time and all that money promoting something which symbolizes hate and oppression to so many people.  Just don't give a fug huh?

JUST DON'T GIVE A FUG.

JUST DON'T GIVE A FUG.

And Black people ain't no damn better.  Fools running around here talking about they trotting out Bill Cosby to distract you from Charleston, that damn flag and racism.  GOTDAMMIT WHY THE FUG I CAN'T THINK ABOUT MORE THAN ONE THING AT A TIME?  WHY THE FUG YOU GOTTA TRY AND LIMIT ME TO ONE THING AT A TIME?  OH?  I AIN'T BLACK ENOUGH CUZ I HAVE THE BANDWIDTH TO BE OUTRAGED ABOUT MORE THAN ONE THING AT A TIME?  Cosby been raping and all these damn fools know he drugging folks but still slurping his jello shots.  

People mad at Black fashion bloggers cuz they just talking 'bout fashion.  Well shit...that's what they blog about!  Don't assume that just because they aren't deviating from their chosen business message that they don't talk about these issues in their personal life.  I mean hell...how many businesses yall know out there polarizing folks and surviving?  Them damn bakeries that refused to make cakes for gay people are OUT.OF.BUSINESS.  Ain't nobody got time to mix up their money behind systematic shit bigger than life.

SHIT!

I was called a racist by a stranger behind that damn flag.  Me.  A racist.  Okay. *YAWN*  Rat bastid quick to say some ish like...THAT'S REVERSE RACISM! 

SIP:  SHUT.THE.FUCK.UP!

And Donald Trump?  And all these damn Republican candidates tipping around not saying anything conclusive setting up a pick for Jeb Bush so he can trot out his Latina bride as a stop gap?  Yeah...we see you Jeb.  We see you.  I gotta hand it to you...that one was perfect.  

So yeah...I'm suffering bad from Racial Fatigue.  Bad man.  I'm so sick of and tired of this ish.  I'm tired of the disparities I see from my vantage point.  I'm tired of the for real serious wrongs that folks turn a blind eye to.  I'm tired of feeling like there is nothing I can do no matter what I do.  I'm tired.  I'm tired.  I'm tired.

There is nothing I can do about how individuals think, of course.  I can just continue to be me and see something, say something when I feel like it.  I've always surrounded myself with good people without focusing on visual differences.  I always try and see it from all sides but I'm tired.  I'm so very, very tired.  This is how people become hermits.  This is how people just start collecting dogs, cats and reading books.  Tipping out every now and then to buy fruit salad in a can running their grocery carts into the back of people cuz they are just trying to get outta there and back to their home/haven as quickly as possible.

This climate is a moral sickness we're all suffering from and the antidote lies within our hearts.  Empathy.  That's all we need to start using.  Empathy.

"I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed.  Get along with the voices inside of my head.  You trying to save me stop holding your breath.  And you think I'm crazy, you think I'm crazy! Well that's not fair!"

Size 22 Model

I overheard a conversation yesterday about the Sports Illustrated first plus sized model.  They said she was a size 22.  I just asked Mr. Google about it and turns out they were wrong.  The plus sized model in Sports Illustrated is NOT a size 22...it's this chick:

Her name is Robin Lawley and she's a regular size 10 person so yeah...I'm confused that she is considered "plus size."

o_0

I think they were talking about this model, Tess Holiday who is the first sized 22 model to sign with a major agency.

I kept listening to the conversation unchecked and overheard a guy say that whenever an anorexic model is shown, people lose their shit so why should it be any different with a size 22 model since they both have unhealthy bodies.

I didn't join in on the conversation so I didn't say anything but I've been thinking about what he said.  I just had the conversation with someone and they had some interesting things to say too.

What do YOU think?  Overweight people can be perfectly healthy right?  But anorexic people never are.  Are all versions of what folks consider extreme as it relates to weight...unhealthy?

Overweight people exist so why shouldn't there be models to represent them in the fashion world?  We all wear clothes right?

THOUGHTS?????

 

Me Caught the Flu

And all the reports telling people it's no joke are correct.  It is NO.JOKE.

Now...I don't know if it hit me so hard and so fast because I'm missing the lymph nodes under my left arm because of my mastectomy or if this strand of flu runs over everyone quickly but I was feeling fine, got on a plane and halfway through my flight was NOT feeling fine.  I got the worst headache and then my chest started burning and I started moving real, real slow.  Like...my entire body hurt even my scalp.  It was tender to touch.  I pressed down on the soft part of my shoulder where it starts curving into my neck and it felt like I'd had one of those sports deep tissue massages.  NOT.FUN.

Now here's the part that annoyed the pig ish outta me.

So I called the airline to change my flight.  Told them what was going on and that the doctor would fax them whatever they needed to know that I really had the flu.  I'd passed out on the damn plane coming here so they had an incident report and I'm thinking that's all it would take.  The agent told me that sure...I could change the flight but that I'd have to pay change fee plus difference in cost of new flight.  Now...I'm feeling some kinda way because I'm sick and trying to not infect other people.  Well...I ended up snapping and told the woman that I had absolutely no problem whatsoever getting on that flight and going home to be sick in my bed at my home.  Not ONE problem because there is nothing more miserable than being sick AWAY from your own bed and home but I was trying to be socially responsible and not infect two plane loads of people and anyone I came in contact with at two airports including airline staff but she should probably check with her supervisor first to make sure that was her final answer.

Then the supervisor came on and tried to make it seem like she was doing me a favor by changing the flight and not charging me.  That pissed me off even more.  I'm like...ma'am...don't act like you're doing me a favor because you're not.  You're doing the right thing.  I mean really.  

So I started thinking about it and that's how we all get sick on them damn planes.  They show no mercy and a lot of people either A...don't know how to stick with them and be firm enough to get what they want out of the conversation or B...don't have the money to pay extra.  That change could have possibly cost about $500 extra.  

NO.

Airlines should figure out that the least sick people on planes spreading FOR REAL sick germs is a big deal and do something about their policies regarding.  I mean...that's just all the way wrong to not do that.  According to the first lady I spoke to, if I'd shown up and looked not fit for flying, they would have done something there but I'm like...that's bullshit.  I'm not getting up, dressed and packed to PROVE to yall that I'm sick when I can have my doctor send you a note saying so.  I'd still come in contact with other people and I'd run the risk of making myself sicker messing 'round getting up and out.

I hate non-logical stuff.

My fever this morning is down to 99.9.

The headache is gone.

Body aches still in place.

Cough is crazy bad.

But I feel better.

When's the last time you had the flu?  

Have you ever been sick away from your home?  That's a special kind of misery huh?

Free Workouts!

This picture has nothing to do with the post...it just makes me laugh.  LOL!

This picture has nothing to do with the post...it just makes me laugh.  LOL!

I'm of the mind that once you get really serious about something, you don't have a problem paying for it.  And, since we are all really serious about our money...if we pay for it...then we'll use it since we don't want to waste our money.  That said, when I hear that someone has hired a personal trainer, knowing how much they cost, I know they are about to get for real brickhouse.

But...what if your money doesn't support personal training, which can be pretty costly?  What if you don't have all of those fees runs/races charge to participate?  What if, once again, the universe if playing a sick joke on you giving you the willpower and the mindset but not the means to make it happen?

And...what if this is yet another one of the ways your own mind plays tricks on you by getting you all riled up to do something and yet...you end up not having any follow through?

I know someone who gets really serious about working out several times a year and I always notice that they start off by buying stuff.  New sneakers, yoga pants, tank tops, sport bras, sweat wicking socks and underwear, headbands, etc.  By the time she's at an actual gym...she's spent several hundred dollars getting ready.  She looks good from head-to-toe in that matchy, matchy way.  She gets in there hot and heavy for about a week and then...previous routine work gets in the way and let's face it...having responsibilities really does take up the majority of our time.  When you're a professional woman...being worried about what your hair is going to look like at the office later is a for real concern no matter what anyone says.  Nobody sees your biceps and abs under  your suit jacket but they do see your hair so I never, ever, EVER discredit anyone who is concerned about what their hair looks like after an early morning workout.

When I workout I keep my hair bound as tightly as possible and I never take it down until it has completely dried.  That's easy for me since I'm in complete control of my time, but for others...not so easy.  

And I get that.

So...you need to really know what your hair will need in order to be work presentable after working out.  If you know you sweat a lot and that your hair is very porous so it takes a long time to dry...you will need to build in enough time to use your blow dryer on the cool setting to dry your hair.  

And time is really the biggest deterrent I've noticed in people who don't workout.  

I have a friend who gets up before goodness in the morning to go workout.  She gets dressed quietly so as not to wake up other members of her household and she rolls out, returns and then gets ready for work.

She also has a husband who is home with their children while she does this and she understands and appreciates that benefit.  If you're a single mother of a younger child, you can't very well roll out leaving the child(ren) solo while you get your sexy on.  You'd have to get the child up too and take him/her with you.  At 5:00am.  Now...I know yall love your babies...but I don't know many of you who would wake your child that early and drag them to the gym with you.  You will CLEARLY elect to let them sleep while you have some quiet time in the early mornings.

So...what do you if these are your challenges and you don't have the money for a personal trainer you can go to after work while your child is in after care or in a program at the gym that you pay for?

There are lots of things you can do actually.  LOTS.

I know someone who used to be overweight.  They lost all of the weight by walking.  They opened their door and walked out of the house and then...walked around and around and around their house.  She's been doing this for so long, you can see her "track" around her house.  She lost all of the the weight over time and incorporated weight training into her routine.  She's one of the healthiest women I know.  When she's not home, she uses a treadmill to do the same thing.  Three miles of walking a day.  Just walking.  

It worked.

If you have Hulu, search for GAIAM workouts:  GAIAM on HuluPlus

The Wake Up Workout is pretty good to get your morning started and you can mix up the different workouts daily.  All you'll need is a pair of weights.  You can do these at home wearing your underwear if you want to.  LOL!  Add that to some walking and you'll have a pretty good start if you need a jumpstart that your finances will support.  Get up at 5:00am, do some walking and one of these and you'll get a good workout in as far as heart rate and working out muscles go.  I mean...you can't do this to train for a marathon mind you...but you see where I'm going here.  It's SOMETHING.

The worst thing you can do is nothing.  That just doesn't even make sense.  Some of these workouts are 20 minutes long.  Add 30 minutes of walking and you're well within an hour.  Drink water and get it in.  Once you feel like you have surpassed the skill level of some of these workouts...think old school bootcamp workouts.  I fully agree that these moves are great to maintain on your own:

The Only 12 Exercises You Need To Get In Shape  

I love planks, pushups, lunges and squats and all the variations of those.  They keep my butt and tummy tight.  Those things are important to me as I'm vain as hell.  A droopy booty would send me spiraling into a free fall of depression I'm sure so...when I say I love those exercises...please note that I really mean that I love what those exercises DO because baaaaaaby...sometimes they can drain your brain.

Another thing you have to make sure you do is stay hydrated.  I have a tiny bladder so I tend to hydrate significantly twice a day.  After I have my morning coffee, I try and drink as much of a 40 ounce bottle of water as possible.  I usually get about 28 ounces in before a workout.  Then...I don't workout for another hour or so so I can get my bathroom breaks all out of the way.  If I drink even the tiniest amount of water while working out...I will have to take a bathroom break so I tend to workout completely and THEN drink the rest of the water in my bottle which I immediately fill up again and keep with me at all times.

I generally make a pot of organic green tea to drink during the day.  Just one pot.  Sometimes I drink it unsweetened and sometimes I add a bit of honey to it.  Around lunchtime I hit another big swig of my water trying to make sure I've finished it all before 7:00pm.  I try my best to not drink water after 7:00pm so I don't have to get up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom cuz when I get up I wake Robby and, more importantly...Jaru.  LOL!

I weigh myself every.single.day.  When I get out of bed, I use the bathroom and then weigh myself.  That helps me maintain throughout the day.  If I'm heavier than I like to be...I adjust.  If I'm lighter than I like to be...I adjust.  I make sure I do what I need to do to look like I want to look at all times.  

I eat more fruit and veggies than pretty much anything else and only eat meat for dinner regularly.  Of course I have bacon sometimes for breakfast but honestly...that's maybe twice a month and I SAVOR those times.  LOL!  I.LOVE.BACON!

The meat we eat with dinner regularly is always a good piece of something.  There is pretty much nothing we don't eat but whatever we do eat I try to get the best of it that is available to me.  One of the things I want to try to do really soon is to try and go for as long as we can eating foods that DON'T come in any type of packaging.  I think that will be an interesting challenge.  Straight fruit and veggies and meat from the butcher.  Should be interesting.

I was having this conversation with someone recently and they pointed out that it was easier for me to stay in shape because I never had babies.  *YAWN* Since she has a sister who also never had babies and who is overweight...I made my point pretty easily.  ESPECIALLY since we both know PLENTY of women who have had multiple children and are fine as a glass of wine.  We all work with what we have no matter what.  We all know what is needed in order to maintain the body we want.  Some of us never slacked off and some of us did but to slack off and not work on it is the true, major problem.

You simply can't live a good quality of life without moving.

You can't.  Stop fooling yourself.  You simply can't.  

Do this for yourself.

This year, instead of buying something to start a workout or joining a gym you know good and well will take more work to get to than you have time allotted for, try working out at home using free resources.  Search YouTube, ask your friends who are in great shape, put on a playlist built with music from  your senior year in high school and first year of college and WALK.

Once you build a for real routine...then spend some money.  If you have it and IF that's what you want to spend it on.

No excuses is a for real thing when it comes to working out and eating right.  

What type of at home workouts do you do?  Are they effective?  

 

 

People Need People

Yesterday I found myself reading something about suicide.  I kept following links and clicking on related articles and it really made me feel so very sad way deep down inside.  Especially since this is the time of year that suicide touched me in an extremely personal way.

Every 40 seconds on a regular day someone commits suicide for a myriad of reasons.  During the holidays...that rate triples.

It seriously hurt my heart to think of people who feel that alone and hopeless.

I said something on FB about it and told people that if they ever needed someone to talk to just hit me up.  I'm sorry to say that more than a few took me up on that.  

During the holidays I hope you make yourself more aware of the people around you.  Try and smile a bit more and be nicer and kinder and gentler to folks.  You never know what folks are dealing with daily but we do know that the terrible feelings of loneliness some feel are greatly increased during the holidays.  You never know what that smile or kind word will do for a perfect stranger.

And you never know what receiving the same will do for you.

For Christmas this year I wish that everyone would simply be NICER to each other.  Open a door, give up your seat, pay it forward, give out baked goods to neighbors and/or coworkers, let someone in during traffic.  You know...simple stuff.

We have to help take care of each other.

Ebola Musings

I know this picture has nothing to do with Ebola but I stumbled on it this morning and it made me burst out laughing.  LOL!  Just a HOT.FONKY.FRIED.MESS!  NO MORE GOLF FOR YOU OBAMA!  

I know this picture has nothing to do with Ebola but I stumbled on it this morning and it made me burst out laughing.  LOL!  Just a HOT.FONKY.FRIED.MESS!  NO MORE GOLF FOR YOU OBAMA!  

If I contracted Ebola...I wouldn't allow them to release my name while I was being treated.  And you're damn sure not getting a picture of me to put up on the screen every 5 minutes.

So...the bride-to-be didn't just fly on her own.  She took the proper channels and asked the CDC to be cleared to fly and only flew once she received clearance.  Seriously CDC?  And this is why I'm still not surprised that the first patient was misdiagnosed.  They were woefully unprepared.

But hey...the CDC underwent budget cuts for emergency services back in 2012 and well...that wasn't a Republican driven decision...that was something agreed upon across the board.  So yeah...dumb move by all.  DUMB.DUMB.DUMB.

Racist Uncle, "They bet not let that lil' Black girl die.  The White people didn't die.  They let that lil' Black girl die and that dude's cousin is going to be back in the news talking about a stupid c-o-n-spiracy."

And he's right...people will keep up the c-o-n-spiracy talks.  Now...it doesn't make it true...but he's right.  We all know that they caught all the other people's symptoms MUCH earlier.  They just all happened to be White.  Bride-to-be knew her co-worker had it before she rolled out to Cleveland so yeah...she probably had it in her system the same amount of time but didn't start getting treatment days later.  They don't know enough about the disease for me.  No telling what the early symptoms do.

I'm glad they took her to Emory.  I know she's glad too.  Damn shame seeing as though she WORKS in a hospital but they had to take her to another hospital for proper treatment.

*BLINK*

I saw a dude from her flight on the news.  He said he bleached his luggage.  How does one go about that exactly?  And...does the virus live on inanimate objects?  In his defense, however, ain't no telling what it does and doesn't do because CLEARLY the information the CDC has provided us thus far is not comprehensive.

Yeah...that's the word of the day.

Dallas is asking for disaster status.  Whatchall think?  Warranted?

Head of the CDC is going in front of Congress today.  Me feel like he's about to be whupped to death.  Poor guy.

Are YOU doing anything differently because of the Ebola?  How would you feel if you were one of those passengers on the plane with her?  Would you feel some kinda way if you were on the same plane, later in the day, that she flew on earlier?

 

I Beat Cancer...So Can You!

I tell everyone who needs to know that I'm a breast cancer survivor.  I tell them calmly and matter-of-factly.  I don't make it my life story because it isn't...but I do share when people need to hear it.  And I tell them how I did it.  I tell them it was a no-brainer because, I get my yearly checkups done EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR.

Because of this, nothing serious gets a chance to sneak up on me.  It takes a long time for something inside you to manifest into something that can kill you so if I got a good checkup last year and they find something this year...then I'm confident it won't be anything that will kill me.

EARLY DETECTION IS KEY.

And Imma do what the doctor I trust, Preston Sacks, tells me to do.

I beat cancer because my mother took me to the doctor yearly for my checkups and I continued that.  I do them every year around my birthday so I don't forget.  I was with doctors for my birth so it seems fitting that I'll be with doctors every year for the anniversary of my birth.

Some friends were discussing how their insurance only pays for certain tests every other year now or every five years.  Fortunately, because I'm a cancer survivor, my insurance can't do me like that but...if they did, I'd honestly pay for the tests out-of-pocket.

Why?

Because I love my life, I love living and I'm living proof that EARLY DETECTION IS KEY.

When's the last time you got checked out?  

What are the rules of your insurance company?

Have they changed recently regarding what tests are covered when?

Have you had any "scares" recently?

 

 

P.S.  If you're in the DC Metro and would like an EXCELLENT gynecologist,  Preston is amazing.  I can't sing his prayers high enough.  I don't know if he's taking new gyno patients but he takes my personal calls and emails and has never turned down someone I sent to him personally yet.

Alzheimer's Disease (Old Timers) & My People

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him.[1] Most often, AD is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age,[2] although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer’s can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million people worldwide with AD. Alzheimer’s is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.[3]
— http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alzheimer's_disease

Unfortunately, my family has been affected by Alzeimer's disease.  We've lost loved ones to it and we have loved ones showing signs of it coming.  We sit and try and fix our face when a sign appears.  A simple question asked and discussed and then asked again within a couple of minutes.  With a normal smile.  No confusion.  Nothing to indicate anything else is wrong.   A good time being held by all and then...suddenly...that grip of fear squeezing the shit out of our hearts because we saw it.  We were there.  And we know what comes next.

And we're not ready.

Everyone has occasional memory lapses. It’s normal to lose track of where you put your keys or forget the name of an acquaintance. But the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease persists and worsens, affecting your ability to function at work and at home. People with Alzheimer’s may:

Repeat statements and questions over and over, not realizing that they’ve asked the question before
Forget conversations, appointments or events, and not remember them later
Routinely misplace possessions, often putting them in illogical locations
Eventually forget the names of family members and everyday objects
— http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/basics/symptoms/con-20023871

It starts out simple enough and gets worse.  Way worse than you'll ever be prepared for.  When you watched a beloved Elder furious and in severe panic because of their frustration in not knowing who are you any longer...it starts a crack in your heart that hurts.  FOR REAL HURT.

Because of how directly this disease has touched my family, I have a high interest in anything related to studying the disease.  I read something a long time ago which stated that since the disease was relatively "new" that the most likely culprit was diet.  As we progressed in the world of food preservatives, we regressed in many health related areas so it wasn't without merit that this was a very real possibility.  

I look at the diet of most of my family down South and I note the high fat content.  The dependence on processed foods.  The quick meals from fast food restaurants.  I think about how a body changes to adapt to nutrition starvation and begins to figure out how to fuel itself with the chemicals in the processed foods and then I think about the elders I have who aren't showing signs of anything except aging well.  And they eat mostly vegetables and fruit.  Lean meats.  They're not carrying around the belly fat.  Working out is a part of their daily routine more often than not and they are sharp with their New York Times daily crossword puzzle.  

We never really discussed why they eat differently than most.  They just always said, "I'm not eating that." and kept it moving.  Leaving it to us to make the comparisons and come up with our own plan.

Fortunately, my mother was very vocal about food and what she didn't trust.  Since my father didn't trust the government to do anything other than take from us...it was easy to become food paranoid in our household.

Back to Alzheimer's.

Yesterday I read this article and it was the first time the things I'd been thinking had validity:  UCLA STUDY: NON-DRUG TREATMENT MAY REVERSE ALZHEIMER'S

The standout?

In the UCLA protocol, patients made dramatic lifestyle changes. They avoided simple carbs, gluten and processed foods. They increased their fish intake, took yoga and meditated. They were instructed to take melatonin, get adequate sleep, incorporate vitamin B-12, vitamin D-3 and fish oil.

Within six months, nine patients saw a noticeable improvement in memory. One patient, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, did not show improvement.

UCLA researchers say the findings suggest at least early on, changing a person’s metabolic processes can bring back memory and cognitive function.

I sent this article to all of my Elders with the following message:  

Thought you’d find this article interesting. I don’t know about you, but with so many of my elders having suffered from this disease, it makes me very nervous.

Do you have it in your family or your family history?  Does it make you nervous?  Is it something that you will focus on preventing? 




Symptoms of Ebola

Symptoms of Ebola include

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Recovery from Ebola depends on the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.

From:  http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/symptoms/index.html