A New Journey Getting Back to Me [Birthday Edition]

Well now. It’s been months since I’ve made a new blog post. Now is as good time as any (as the elders would say).

August 27 represents another year of existence for me. I’ve had–and continue to have—professional and personal challenges, especially with my overall health. I have my round of medical appointments, working on getting back to a better and healthier lifestyle. I see some of my peers truly working it out, and keep telling myself “I’m going to do this. I have to get my health back in check.”

So many things are going on. As I write this post, I know of several people who are wondering about where they live due to torrential rain from a hurricane; the escalation of racism and prejudice with an “in-your-face” attitude; threats of war and no diplomatic talks; access to health care and basic human rights as a HUMAN race. I could go on…

In the midst of it all, I still say, “Health is wealth.” I MUST get back to me!

It’s My Time

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Too Many Reminders

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There is a time for everything,

    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Honestly, there are too many reminders among us to live life and not take it for granted.  We’ve seen or heard of so many people die from natural causes; illness; or senseless violence.  At times, you may question about the “spirit” of the human race.  I am reminded during these times of transition to live life, because tomorrow isn’t promised to us.

I was looking at my feet earlier today, knowing good and well I needed to wear my compression socks.  My ankles swell due to circulation and it may happen at night or in the day.  At these times, I prop my feet up or perform a manual lymph drainage.  Remember when I said in a previous post “Health is wealth?”  In order to do the things we wish to do, one must take our health seriously; it’s important.  I’ll have to invest in a new blender soon in order to get back to my green smoothies and healthier choices for snacks.  I look forward to getting back to that routine. I continue to purchase fruits and vegetables. My dinner was broiled chicken breast and kale.  Health checkups are a must; I’m due for a couple.  I had a physical earlier this year.

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If anyone would like to contribute to my health fitness journey, my birthday is on August 27 and gifts that would enhance and help my journey are definitely accepted:  a blender (e.g. Nutribullet, Ninja); single trampoline; gift cards to an athletic shop for workout gear; a dance class—just a few suggestions LOL

In all things, put your best foot forward!

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Celebrities  We Remember, Lest we forget

I Better……

I’ve been using more of the public transit system where I live. I’m grateful that I can access most locations using it. It’s rare that I would call on an Uber driver or a cab.

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With all this time spent using public transportation, I BETTER have lost some inches LOL! Of course, abs are made in the kitchen so it’s important to watch what you eat.  I continue to fix healthy meals but when I went home for a family reunion, that mindset changed LOL. I kept saying “Detox is needed once I return home.”

This is a short blog post. I continue to persevere and keep moving.

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I Don’t Wanna Lose the Momentum

I know it’s been a moment since I posted something regarding my health fitness journey.  Since I’m using more of public transit, it helps me to keep moving.  Additionally, what I eat is also a determining factor to pursuing and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

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I reported in my last blog post that I lost two pounds, bringing my current weight to 182.  That’s a BIG accomplishment from being 191 pounds.  I’d like to get it under 180.  I haven’t been within that frame since I moved seven years ago.  I’m also noticing changes in my skin and I don’t move as quickly as I did in my 20s.  And I’m overdue for a fitting this year.

I received several compliments about this picture.  The one with me in the red T-shirt was taken in August of last year.  The other two pictures are me RIGHT NOW.  That’s why I say I don’t wanna lose this momentum.  I continue to purchase healthier food.  I admit, I do fall short.  Overall, I feel I’m doing better and slowly becoming more aware of the changes going on with my body.  I continue this health fitness journey with a renewed spirit!

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DISCLAIMER: I got a little “swank” in my step, so excuse me for feeling myself with the music.  You’ve been warned LOL

I’ll Say It Again…LIFE IS PRECIOUS! (Part 2)

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At first, I thought I would give this week’s blog post another title but with all that’s been going on and hearing of more transitions, I’d name it again with “LIFE IS PRECIOUS.” 

I went to my doctor’s appointment on January 13, 2015.  I had a physical with a new primary physician who was—along with two medical students—very thorough during my visit.  My concern was of the sense of numbness in the tip of my pinky finger on my left hand.  Thought it would go away because I might have slept in the wrong position but it was bothering me for a couple of weeks. I sensed my body was alerting me to something.  I had my blood pressure taken—it was HIGH! I’ve NEVER had high blood pressure in my life! I do have a family history of diabetes and hypertension. I haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes so far (knock on wood).  It may be because of the condition of my ankles at night or a possible infection on one of my toenails that topical over-the-counter medication won’t cure.  I MUST stay active, so I walk and dance for cardio; watch my sodium intake; take breaks away from the computer. I’ll need to make an appointment with a podiatrist.  If my blood pressure isn’t down after a follow-up visit, it was suggested that I be placed on medication (which is something I DON’T want to do) and another physical exam will be done.

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The saying goes “We neither know the day nor the hour.”  Transitions occur every single day–somewhere in the world. It’s a constant wake-up call on how life is precious.  Just today, I heard of a young man who was actively involved in the community made his transition today. He was young.  On yesterday, another young man who was a producer with a particular hip hop collective, made his transition at the age of 26.  We can’t take life for granted. “We neither know the day nor the hour”….

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This post is dedicated to the memories of Tim Clark (@EntertainDMV on Twitter) and A$AP Yams (@ASAPYams on Twitter)

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DISCLAIMER:  The second video may be a little too much for some with its lyrical content but I would listen to the lyrics.

Survived the Seven-Year Itch (Anniversary Edition)

On January 10-11, 2008, I drove in my car (that I still have) from home to a begin a new life, a new chapter in Washington, DC–now affectionately known as part of the ‘DMV’ (DC, Maryland, and Virginia). For an earlier ‘geographical definition’, I was told it involves the District of Columbia; Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudon, and Alexandria City in Northern Virginia. These areas are geographically close, but you wouldn’t think so due to the amount of traffic on the Beltway (which is something I definitely had to get used to—still haven’t lol), namely I-66; I-395; I-495; I-95, and I-295 along with several bridges and an area called “The Mixing Bowl” in NoVA. I thought ‘Malfunction Junction’ in Birmingham, Alabama was an area to deal with LOL

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I moved for graduate school and potential employment opportunities. After one year in the area, I noticed my weight and my health was changing.  When I was in a relationship, I did good. When I was out of a relationship, I slacked off. I should NEVER base my pursuit and maintenance of a healthier lifestyle on being in a relationship. Do it because YOU want to like your life depended on it! I had to improve. I kept saying that I would do it and get working on my health.

Blog 1112015-page0001For those who follow and read my blog, I started sharing my journey due to the fact I needed to get my health in order. After my mother’s transition on November 9, 2009, it was a wake-up call for me. I prayed to God that a family history of diabetes and hypertension would not make me the next statistic, so I began Zumba; got involved with a 30-day meal plan; the place I lived at had its own fitness center; took belly dancing classes. I had spurts of health awareness. I did manage to lose 18 pounds and go from a size 18 to size 14 jeans.

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The one thing I’ve stressed in this blog is to take care of yourselves. My previous blog post last week was entitled “Life IS Precious.” Ironically, I had one of my fellow natives and social media friends make her transition at the age of 26.  She died from complications of sickle cell anemia.  As the saying goes, “We neither know the day nor the hour.” I was diagnosed a year ago with stage 1 lymphedema (swelling of my ankles). The fluid doesn’t leave my body or circulates well; isn’t contributed to diabetes which is a good thing.  This week, I have a doctor’s appointment due to one of my fingers feeling strange. It may be due to so much time spent working on my laptop with internet searches; keeping up with social media; blog posts, etc. I had to adjust my ‘ergonomic environment’ so I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable.  I wear compression socks to keep the swelling down. I don’t like them but it’s necessary.  I’ll definitely give an update of my doctor visit.

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Fast-forward:  On August 27, 2014, I celebrated by 45th Birthday and I’m so grateful to see another year in 2015! I’m not where I want to be but I’m glad that I’m not where I used to be.  I continue to pray, push, reflect, and believe that hard work in pursuing and maintaining a healthier lifestyle pays off!

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I dedicate this blog post to the life of Ms. Janeese Jackson, my fellow Birmingham native; entrepreneur; advocate for research and eradication of sickle cell anemia; and “Love Queen”. May you enjoy your eternal life celebration, Sis.

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Life IS Precious!

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I can’t begin to express how grateful I am that I’ve lived this long! I only have one mouth to profess the grace and mercy of the Most High!

For the past two weeks, the pinky finger on my left hand feels numb at times, which tells me something is going on with my body and I must address it.  In a previous post, I suggested that you listen to your body and it’ll tell you what’s going on.  I’ve never had this experience before.  I took to the Internet to WebMD to research a probable cause.  There’s a family of history of diabetes and hypertension and I vowed when starting to write this blog in May 2011 that I would break the cycle.  I need to see a doctor immediately so it can be checked out.

With so much going on in the world today, as individuals, we must take care of ourselves if we want to accomplish more in our lives.  For me, it’s becoming more conscious; spiritually; mentally; physically.  There’s so much that I want to do and I continue to ask for peace and draw closer to God while I’m on this journey.  I did my workout schedule and slowly getting back to my water intake. I can’t give up….and I won’t!

I’ll let you know of my progress. Just follow and read on. This blog post is dedicated to those who are no longer with us for one reason or another: Stuart Scott; John Quintero; Donna Douglas; Antonio Martin; Edward Brooke; Kajieme Powell; Mario Cuomo; Miller Williams

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