Day 01: 30 Day Challenge

Yesterday was a moderately successful first day of the 30 day challenge. I didn’t get to actually workout until 9:30pm after the fiancee went to work and the daughter went to sleep. Near the end of the workout she woke up and I was more than glad to stop and tend to her.

Remind me (or anyone 4 weeks after childbirth) not to do a pilates workout that focuses exclusively on your legs and core. My body was not feeling it. At all. But I finished the workout and had a good sweat. I was more sore than I should have been, but I’ve learned my lesson.

Something that I did not do at the start of this was make tangible goals. I know that goals should be quantitative and measurable, but I hate getting hung up on numbers. I shall get over it and set an outrageous goal. My goal is to lose 25 pounds this month. If I can reach this goal, I’ll be at a much healthier weight, and wearing clothes that just might be sized in the single digits. I’m nervous about trying to reach this goal, but goals should be challenging, right?

Wish me luck…and a much smoother workout next time around.

Brand New

This Shinhwa song seems completely apropos. This blog is undergoing a new start, as am I! Let’s go!

So it’s been way too long since I last posted. I’ve really come to have a love hate relationship with this blog. I’ve had so much I wanted to say, but I struggled with the tone, context, and even method of saying it. So I just chose not to say anything at all. I feel as if I’ve done everyone a disservice this way, including myself. But now I’m back to make amends in the best way possible.

I’m starting fresh.

I was recently inspired by my friend to take up a 30 day challenge for the month of June. Everyday I’m committing to working out at least 30 minutes a day. My readers (what few there are left of you) should know by now that consistency is not my strong point. In fact it is a great weakness. But I’m really going to challenge myself to do better. So this journal will be my launching point for keeping myself accountable, and for actually getting back in the habit of posting again.

So why am I taking this challenge? I need to get my life right. I’m tired of being unhealthy, tired of my asthma medication, and I want to set a good example for my daughter. Also, I’m 30 minutes from the beach and I wanna feel confident in some swimwear. Lastly, I’m getting married next year and I wanna look good. Not in the modest, “I want to feel good as I walk down the aisle” good, but “I want every head to turn and every jaw to drop” good with all the vanity that entails. So hopefully this month will be the jumpstart to a healthier lifestyle.

Now what are my limitations? Well my asthma sucks right now and I’m gonna have to take it easy in the beginning. I cant lose weight if I’m having asthma attacks every time I workout. So no Insanity for me…not just yet. Also, I just had a kid four weeks ago! Crazy, I know! I haven’t been given the ok yet by my midwife to do anything high impact. I probably won’t be given the ok until my next appointment which is the 17th. So for the first half of the month, I won’t be able to do as much as I’d like. This is where having a nutritional plan will help pick up the slack.

What’s my nutritional plan?  1. Restricting processed sugars and simple carbs. This one is going to be hard. I love my bread, pasta, and rice. But I know it’s terrible for me so I’ll cut it back as much as I can. 2. No fried foods or carbs after 6 p.m. 3. Eat more fruits and vegetables 4. No sodas or drinks sweetened with sugar/corn syrup/etc. 5. No more pork. Goodbye bacon… Now with this being said, I need to have a cheat day to enjoy myself…in moderation of course. My cheat day will be on Tuesday which is like my Sunday as far as my work schedule goes.

I will try my hardest to post everyday to work on this consistency thing. This is where I will need my beloved peeps to help keep me on track. I’ll measure myself every Friday and post the results, good or bad. At the end of the month I’ll post a before and after picture.

So with that being said, here are the first measurements! Wish me luck y’all!

Weight: 203 lbs; Chest: 38″; Bust: 46.5″; Waist: 40″; Hips: 44″

Back Again (thanks to Playdough)

So much has happened in the 9 months since I’ve last made a blog post. I finally moved to Florida, reconnected with family, got a decent job, and met the love of my life (seriously). Every so often, I would think about this blog and how, or even if, I  wanted it to continue. I’ve truly poured out my heart and soul on this blog, which has gotten me a lot of love, and a lot of unintended consequences. I’ve gained great comrades through this blog, and I’ve lost some people that I considered family. So for 9 months, I truly debated the future of this blog.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I would keep on keepin’ on with this blog. But I couldn’t get my thoughts down properly so this kinda fell to the back burner. And then Playdough emailed me.

Y’all know how I feel about Playdough. So when he wrote me about his new album and asking me to share the info, that was the jolt I needed to get back in this.

Playdough’s new mixtape Writer Dye: Deux or Dye comes out on 10/22 and I’m really excited for it. The first Writer Dye was nearly stellar, and I’m anxious to see if this sequel is on Godfather 2 status (entirely probable) or Grease 2 status (not very probable. Very few things are that bad.) There’s a special pre-order package available, but there’s only 100 copies so if you’re gonna get it, get it now.

Writer Dye is a project that has Playdough reimagining lyrics from iconic songs of multiple genres and molding them into entirely different songs. Playdough reinterprets songs from Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Queen, Modest Mouse, Digable Planets, The Beatles, Bon Iver, The Strokes and other classics. Writer Dye features top shelf appearances from OhNo, Von Pea (Tanya Morgan), Copywrite, Theory Hazit and Adeem. Expect a strong emphasis on song writing as Playdough continues to challenge his own wordplay and delivery. It’s an artisitc approach to songs you probably know, but what other emcee could flip this concept like Playdough does?

And if you’re in the midwest, Playdough will be doing some shows with Heath McNease next month, which should be awesome. You guys know how I feel about Heath. He’s a really great musician/rapper/freestyler/singer/fill in the blank, except he owes me a CD so he’s about to be relegated to just aight pretty soon.

Check out Playdough’s clever Queen mashup, “King of Queens” below, and make sure you pick up Writer Dye: Deux or Dye on 10/22. You won’t regret it. And if you do regret it, it’s because you have terrible taste in music.

Get What You Give

Not my favorite Jonny Lang song (that title goes to “Thankful” and “Turn Around”), but it’s still a great song nonetheless. 

On my birthday, I made a conscious effort to give things and not receive. I wanted that to be a stepping stone into how I approach this year, and the rest of my life. I have always considered myself a giving person, but I just wanted to take it to the next level. So on by birthday, I did the following things:

I sponsored this adorable child from World Vision. If I did nothing else, I would feel pretty awesome about myself. Every time I look at her picture or think about her, my heart just swells and I get teary. There is no reason why I can’t give $35 a month to help her and her family work towards a better life. Something on my 30 before 30 list: visit her in Mali.

I bought this awesome Celtics green watch from Hello Somebody. Not only did I get a big awesome watch that I can coordinate with all my Celtics gear (which I am doing right now, woot!), but the majority of the proceeds are going to help a boys’ school in Rwanda. $29 is such a small price to pay to do so much good. If I could, I would buy all of my friends one.

I got my hair did! How was that giving? Firstly, I was giving my fro a much needed break lol. But seriously, my Godmom was only going to charge me $30 because it was my birthday. I didn’t find this out until the next day after I had already paid her. I gave her $200. Why? Because she’s my Godmom and I love her. And beyond that, she deserved it, not just for doing my hair, but for everything that’s she’s done for me. Actually $200 isn’t enough, but it was a start and seeing her appreciation afterwards was more than enough.

For so long, I always gave but with an ulterior motive. Either that or just a poor attitude afterwards.But now I’m trying to give for two reasons: 1) because I have the money to give and 2) because I truly want to. Not to seek out something in return, or to wait for God to open the windows of Heaven and drop a few hundred stacks on me (which, for the record, I’m not opposed to at all). But there is nothing better to give just for giving’s sake and to show people how much they mean to me. Words are nice and are indeed necessary sometimes, but from now on, I want my actions to really reinforce how I’m feeling.

This feels like the start of something wonderful.

Awkward Black Girl: Season Finale

So I’m black and all sorts of awkward. So when this series came along, it made my life. After much, much, MUCH anticipation the season finale arrived.  Watch below, then let’s discuss.

I’m glad that she picked White Jay, and I am interested to see how Fred will deal with being in the friend zone. Is he gonna rebound with Nina? And how is Nina and J gonna work together in season two under Jesus?

“Jesus is in the building y’all!”

Speaking of Boss Lady: I’m so  upset her “boo’s” name is Jamiroquai…and he looked so scared! I don’t blame him.

Best part of the episode: minute 12. Angry rapper White Jay is kinda hot. It makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it.

Overall, I was very pleased with the episode, and I am so glad I got to see how the actors and production continued to improve over the season. I can’t wait to see how season 2 starts!

If you want to contribute to Issa Rae and Awkward Black Girl, go to awkwardblackgirl.com

The End of Heartache

Early morning workout + Killswitch Engage = Success. Aside: I forgot how much running always inspired me to stop being lazy and blog. 

I’ve really struggled with whether or not I should keep this blog going. I love writing, but it’s not really my passion. And as I’ve learned lately, my words have weight. I’m not entirely comfortable. I know that life and death are in the power of the tongue, but it never became more apparent to me than last year. I breathed life into a new chapter of my life that kicks off in less than 50 days and I’m totally excited. And I’ve also spoken death (unknowingly) into a relationship that was very important to me. That last sentiment is given me a lot of pause.

It seems no matter how hard I try, and no matter what I do, I cannot help but always be prepared to have my heart broken.

After so many times of picking up the pieces of my heart after its been broken, I’ve just decided not to let it be put back together. After all, it’s hard to break something that’s already broken? I understand that conversely it’s easier to break something down into smaller pieces once it has been broken, but the emotional side of me chooses to ignore that. I’ve always had this gigantic wall around me and it’s been so easy to maintain. And when people get close to me they get excited because they think they’ve gotten over the wall, which is mostly correct. But what they don’t realize is that there’s just another roadblock ahead. My truest thoughts and feelings are locked away like Princess Toadstool and all of the Mario and Luigi’s of my life are just at different levels. Some of my friends are a lot closer than others, but all of them are a lot farther from the end level than they think.

I know that’s not healthy, and I know that’s not entirely normal. So I will work on that to some degree this year. Last year was truly a prep year for all the things I’m heading to accomplish this year. I’ve got a lot to get done in such a short period of time.

I will be 30 in 2 years, 11 months, and 19 days.  Yes, the countdown has unofficially begun. You all know my trepidation at turning 30, but that fear is slowly starting to change into excitement. So I’m on a mission to get things done over that time. I’ve done a bit of living in these 27 years (more than I’d like to admit, honestly), but I’ve also squandered a lot of time.  So while my 30 before 30 list isn’t quite complete, here are some of the things I’m determined to get done, mostly this year:

1. Travel. My granny Margie was a travelling machine, and I told her before she died that I was gonna pick up her mantle and keep it going. And so far I have, but this year  I’m taking it to a new level. I’m getting a new passport soon. I’m getting out of the States at least twice before I’m 30. And I’m going to Puerto Rico for 3 weeks this year. I know that’s not technically out of the States, but I’ll take it.

2. Get more serious about business. I mean I have a business degree, I gotta have more to show for it than a piece of paper and a ton of student loan debt. So this year, I’m starting a real estate investment business, and I couldn’t be more excited.

3. Get less serious about people. And this is how the broken heart weaves back into the narrative. I’m not one to burn bridges. Ever. In fact, I’m the person that is constantly running back and forth trying to repair the bridge while the other person is content to destroy it. That is a lot of work and I have resolved within myself not to do it anymore. If a relationship is important I will engage, I will love, I will challenge, I will empower. But if the other person (or people) don’t do the same, then I will draw back. You may call it selfish or self-preservationist, but I just call it smart. I used to change certain things about myself and personality so that people wouldn’t walk out of my life, but now I see the foolishness in that.

So take note: If you want to flee from my life or take a sabbatical, then vaya con Dios! I would say no hurt feelings, but of course they are. The difference is I’ll mend them completely different way this time around.

 

So what else should I do before I turn 30? I’ve got maybe 6 things listed. But that’s another blog for another day…speaking of which

4. Take care of this blog. Like I said, I know that my words have weight, and people for whatever reason like to read what I write. So with that in mind, I’ll make a much more dedicated effort to post on a consistent basis. There’s so much that’s always wrapped up in my mind, so it’s not a lack of topics, just a lack of effort. But I shall fix that too! Starting now =)

11 Days: Music of My Heart

Excuse the throwaway NSYNC/Gloria Estefan reference. I had to keep my streak of “song titles as blog titles” alive. And it seems appropriate enough. So I’ll be reflecting the 11 songs that had the most impact on me this year in no particular order.

1. Playback – Collie Buddz The romantic in me instantly connected to this song. when he says “Your love is like a soundtrack,” that just conjures so many memories for me. I want someone to be able to say that about me. I want to be able to say that about someone. But I guess I’ll just have to keep waiting…

2. Last to Speak – Allen Stone I love, Love, LOVE this song. It just really hits home for me. As many gripes as I have about the Church, politics, and society, I’m not even in a position to offer a truly constructive criticism. So next year I’ll be working on removing the plank in my eye. Fun times.

3. For Once in My Life – B.Reith & PJ Morton This track came along at a perfect time in my life. It really confirmed that I need to stop letting my fears control me and start making some major moves in my life.

4. #CougarSwag – Heath McNease & Playdough I love this song if for no other reason that I can make a terrible spinoff called #PumaSwag and thoroughly disgust Playdough. This song is hilarious and it’s just fun.

5. Beautiful Things – Gungor This song just gives me so much hope. god really does make beautiful things out of us, and I’ll never understand why. But I’ll always be appreciative.

6. Where I Belong – Switchfoot This song slays me. Plain and simple. It sums up my view on mortality and living a life of consequence.

7. Give Me – Kirk Franklin f./ Mali Music How can you not love this song? Like, seriously.

8. Song of Intercession – William McDowell “The change I wanna see must first begin in me. I surrender so Your world can be changed.” Those lyrics get me so hard every time. I really do have to be the change I want to see in the world, and I’m slowly but surely making the right steps towards that.

9. Hang With Me – Robyn I know this is an older song, but I really discovered Body Talk this year. And those lyrics provide a great disclaimer for me to guard my heart the next time I enter a relationship. “Just don’t fall recklessly headlessly in love with me, because it’s gonna be a heartbreak…”

10. Dry Bones – Gungor I think they’re albums were my favorite of the year (more on that tomorrow.) The emotion is so potent in this song, you can’t help but be held captive by it.

11. Love is Here – Royal Tailor This is a fantastic song that very recently became a favorite of mine. It’s very Michael Jackson-lite, but I enjoy the complete work of the song. Royal Tailor is this generation’s Plus One, hands down. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing since I loved Plus One (especially Exodus…that album was just great), but I do see RT eventually being more successful.

Tomorrow I’ll break down my top 10 albums of the year. Until then, what songs really impacted you this year?