Never Take Life or Health for Granted (In Memoriam)

Never Take Life or Health for Granted (In Memoriam)

I’m on the 21st day of the 24-Day Abs Workout Challenge.  Today will be 130 crunches; 52 leg raises and an 80-second plank.  This has probably been one of the most consistent moments where I’ve stuck to a program. In addition, I’ve been drinking my water equivalent to my weight: 94.9oz a day.  I’ve also been walking outside. The weather has been fluctuating between fall and winter these days LOL.

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At times like these, especially during my life journey, never take life or your health for granted.  This year, in 2014, we’ve experienced several transitions.  Two occurred within less than a week and both are an impact on my life.

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I’ve always heard about Bishop Leonard J. Olivier in name only when I lived at home in Birmingham, AL. I finally met him during a day of reflection a couple of years ago. He was instrumental in helping to establish my fraternal order family in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.  He had a beautiful heart and spirit and was affectionately known as “Uncle Bishop”, due to the fact he has several nieces and nephews. A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, he embodied the spirit of our Noble Order’s patron saint, St. Peter Claver.  I remembered when we celebrated his 25th Anniversary ordination as Bishop in the Archdiocese, Father Green mentioned that his favorite song was ‘Order My Steps’.  Ironically, the date he was appointed an auxiliary bishop was November 7, 1988 – the month and date of the founding of the Knights of Peter Claver, my fraternal order (November 7, 1909). Our order has been in existence for 105 years; years of service to the church, the community, and in the Claver Spirit.  ‘Uncle Bishop’ will be truly missed. He was 91 years old.

Marion Barry

Marion Barry, Jr. is STILL known as “Mayor for Life” for Washington, DC.  Living in another part of the country, the only thing the media spun were the personal challenges he dealt with in life.  It’s unfortunate that it took me to move to the area to learn how he truly made an impact on the community.  Mr. Barry LOVED DC and vice versa.  He established an excellent summer youth employment program. Many Washingtonians say that Mayor Barry gave them their first job and are STILL working.  He was charismatic; approachable; spoke to people; knew their names.  The last time I saw him was during the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington last year.  Along with the anniversary, many were gathered at the DC Veterans Memorial for a DC Statehood Rally.  I saw the man himself. He was instrumental in starting the movement for pursuit of statehood for DC and to increase the rights of ‘home rule’. I haven’t felt this way about a transition since Chuck Brown two years ago.  Another eternal life celebration is going on right now.  Marion Barry, Jr. will be truly missed. He was 78 years old.

I push myself each day to do better on my workout and my eating habits.  There’s so much that I want to do and I’m not able to do it if I allow my health to be unchecked.  I’m determined to win! I’m a work in progress!

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Getting Stronger Day By Day

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I’ve been working on this along with incorporating cardio (walking or dancing) into a daily workout routine. I’m determined to get back into a dance class (Zumba or another class) before this year is over.  Right now, I’m on the 18th day workout:  110 crunches; 48 leg raises; 70 second plank.  I researched a modified plank due to my feet.  It’s definitely better for me right now. I’ll work up to where I can do a plank as illustrated. In addition, my water intake has been pretty consistent so far.  Earlier today, the water was shut off in our residence due to a water main break near the community.  Fortunately, the water pressure and flow was restored in time for me to finish my intake for the day.  If it wasn’t then I had water in a gallon jug in the refrigerator.detox water

I still have a 4-pound weight loss and I am DETERMINED to go further! Nothing like the feeling of a health fitness accomplishment! I haven’t consumed any alcohol since September 7th, but I had a setback on yesterday: one alcoholic beverage at a networking meeting that I had along with an appetizer. Since I’ve refrained from alcohol, the effects were different.  I made a mistake after getting home via public transit. I tried my key in another apartment door. This one was on the first floor and I live on the second. The resident must’ve thought I was crazy! I kept apologizing to him and I was calling my roommate to let me in SMH.  I can’t let that happen again. I’m back on my journey today!

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My vision is to still lose 40 pounds by March 20, 2015. This will be fantastic for me! I still continue to watch my eating habits and move forward in taking care of my health—health is wealth—definitely a true statement.  As I’ve said before, I’ll wear my shades and move forward in faith!

Doing It…NOW (Life Celebration Edition)

November 9, 2009: A day that would change my journey and give me the wakeup call needed for my own health.

I had my phone on silent mode at work because I kept getting bombarded by telemarketers. It took an email from one of my aunts to make a phone call home.

Aunt: “Cat is dead.”
Me: “What?!?!”

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I could imagine the thoughts running through her head at the time. She was assessing on her own as to the cause of death with my Uncle and brother there while contacting help. My mother was supposed to go to work and didn’t call in–highly unusual for her to NOT call in sick. The glass on the door had to be broken in order to gain access into the house. She was lying on the couch in the living room. Imagine me being over 800 miles away and feeling helpless. I went into my supervisors’ offices, then told my co-workers individually. I actually wanted to work through the rest of the day but the numbness and emotion was too overwhelming. My boss strongly suggested to take the time I needed. I went for a walk; listened to voicemail messages. One of the hardest things I had to do was call my father and tell him that the woman who he helped bring me into the world is no longer with us. My journey was in a tailspin with graduate school and living day-by-day. One day, I’ll share my story.

Ironically, I received a text from an ex as to when I had planned to visit home. I texted back to say “Sooner than expected. My mother just passed.” I got a phone call right away. He expressed his condolences. I honestly didn’t want to talk at the moment. All I could think about was getting home.

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The last time I spoke to my mother was a few days before. I was preparing for a community fundraiser event. I just celebrated a one-year anniversary of my paternal grandmother’s life celebration (I don’t like using the word funeral now – sounds so dismal). I made it my business to tell her “I love you” and call her every week. Once I got by myself I  a different part of the country, you begin (you hope) putting things in perspective and appreciating what you have–namely family.

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Everything happened so quickly and some of the accounts are all a blur. I went from arriving at home to making preparations for a life celebration. If it weren’t for my aunts and uncles, I don’t know what my brother and I would’ve done. They’ve been through this experience eight years before with our maternal grandmother. THAT was a journey! Now here we are in the learning process and what it means to have ‘affairs in order.’

I say all of this to state my mother was the sole inspiration in writing this blog for the past three years. I vowed to break the cycle of diabetes and hypertension of doing better with my health.  As of now, I have celebrated a 4-lb. weight loss and had my last bottle of water for the day (six 17 ounces to be exact). My abs and legs are wondering why I mistreated them LOL. Four down and 36 more to go…. 

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I have challenges but who doesn’t? As the song says “What can YOU do today to make you feel proud?” I decided to keep moving and I’m doing it…NOW!

This blog post is dedicated to the eternal life and legacy of my mother, Catherine Davis Richardson. I love you, Mom.

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One of my mother’s favorite artists and songs…

Heavy D & The Boyz – Nuttin’ But Love: http://youtu.be/VJEbfeG2oAE

“I Remember Mama” Shirley Caesar: http://youtu.be/SLa7LYijFks

Finding ‘The Secret’ During My Journey

“I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.”

 

I’ve been truly inspired to change my way of thinking in all aspects of my journey, particularly with the pursuit and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

I went to a workshop last month that dealt with staying positive in difficult times.  I’ve heard this book title recommended before and didn’t know that my roommate had it. It’s entitled “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne .  There were several contributors—past and present—-to the writing of this book and a DVD, along with additional resources.  It speaks of how the mind is powerful and that we can change our present and future by changing our thoughts.  I’ve been working on some exercises in continuing to stay positive and to visualize that everything I want to accomplish is already achieved.  If I continue to harbor and send out negative energy on my journey, then the Universe will definitely respond to that with more negative experiences brought to me.  I actually feel better and look forward to what’s in store for me! 10736364_10152817436439267_1891180968_o

I’ve actually had several dreams of the near future and I’m enjoying it. It’s going to be fantastic wearing a new wardrobe.  I was able to purchase a couple of pair of new shoes which I haven’t done in a long time! They were on sale; comfortable; and most importantly, offer support to my feet.

shoesIn addition, I will be victorious in ALL things! I’m catching up on my Abs-So-Tightly Right 24-Day Challenge.  I’ve been drinking more green tea (kombucha) and water.  I’ve had a couple cups of decaffeinated coffee but that’s it. Even the tea bags have motivational and inspiring quotes.

abs challenge10800377_10152825103264267_588719345_oThere’s no limit to what can be done if we just change our thoughts and continue to stay positive.  Honestly, I couldn’t put the book down and finished it in a matter of days! I’m grateful for reading this book and even downloaded some free resources as well.  You should check it out at http://www.thesecret.tv.

I do remember a statement Steve Harvey would repeat: “If you change your outlook, you can change your outcome.”  No better time than NOW!

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I’m feeling good about the music I’m sharing because I’m in that frame of mind…and it hasn’t left me. I’m enjoying this! I know my song selections are unique LOL!