I was grateful to be able to talk to my mother on Mother’s Day (yesterday), but some people no longer have their mother physically with them due to various health challenges and tragedies. In the past I’ve talked about my mother’s unplanned open heart surgery, the stress of depression (including why the stigma against therapy hurts the black community), and the recent murder of my stepson’s mother.
April 2013 was a great month for me. My life has taken some awesome, positive, encouraging turns. I completed the A to Z Challenge with 26 new posts in one month! Here’s a few other highlights:
- I ran a free promotion on my first book with Amazon Kindle. It hit #1 that week.
- I reached my 25 lb milestone on Weight Watchers, after battling a plateau for the past few months. (I’m less than 2 lbs from my goal weight.)
- Turbokick has taken a temporary backseat as I’ve taken up running into my workout routine. I completed a 6K, and felt unstoppable. I believe running 3 to 4 times a week has helped me break my plateau.
- My forthcoming book cover is complete. The book is in editorial now–still on track for a summer release.
- Made some great connections while networking, which I haven’t done since last year. One of those connections resulted in a spotlight on People You Need to Know Women’s Magazine. I’m expecting more fruit from additional contacts as well.
- Reconnected with two people I’ve loved, and made peace with them.
- Had an awesome, fun visit from my sister, whom I last saw a few months ago when I surprised her for her birthday. I love my family!!
I’m feeling really grateful about something else that’s pretty promising, but I’m going to hold my tongue for a bit. Can you guess what it is?
What are your plans for May?
Xavier Simmons and his famous father, rapper DMX (“Dead Man X”) were recently featured on an episode of OWN’s “Iyanla Fix My Life.” DMX admitted that he has done drugs most of his life and cheated on his wife numerous times, having 7 children with other women (in addition to theirs).
His oldest child (with his estranged wife) is now a man in search of a healthy relationship with his father. Unfortunately Xavier’s wish was not fulfilled–at least not yet. DMX was unwilling to accept Xavier’s request to get off drugs in order to have a healthy relationship with him. His attitude and speech was (I am paraphrasing)- “You can accept me as I am [an unrecovered addict] or else forget it.” DMX also cursed Iyanla numerous times and walked out on the interview repeatedly. He’s facing a lot of demons, and it was hard to watch.
Have you ever been a family gathering and someone told a child to hug someone that they did not want to hug? I’m really sensitive about things like that because I feel like it can open the door for child abuse by teaching children to allow others, especially older children or adults or those “in authority” to touch them when and when it makes them feel uncomfortable. A hug hello or goodbye may be innocent, but what about if the child really doesn’t know or like that person and then it goes further?
When K was really small I taught her that no one should be looking at her touching her private parts *unless we are at the doctors office and I am right next to her the whole time. If something like this happens when I’m not around she knows that is ALWAYS ok for her to come to me and tell me what happened, and that she should tell me right away and I will believe her and I will still love her it is not her fault. I have never been sexually abused, but her father was molested as a child and when he told his family members they would not believe him or address it. I learned from him that the pain from those horrific experiences never goes away 100%. It’s 2013 and people still think they can look at a person and tell whether or not they are a child molester. It also seems that people these days still go around with an attitude like “Oh that doesn’t happen anymore” or “That doesn’t happen to anyone that I know.” Those myths allow pedophilia and sexual assault perpetuate in our society. Continue reading
Shortly before that post, I ran on the treadmill at a 0 incline for just under 30 minutes. It was boring but it wasn’t terribly difficult. Then a few days later, on April 15, 2013, I showed up at the meeting place in the neighborhood for a group run. The Boston Marathon bombing took place just a few hours prior.
I decided not to bite off more than I could chew. This group’s route was 3.66 mi, and the weather was sunny, in the 70s. I told the leader and my 9 yo daughter who accompanied me on the run that I would run about 1 1/2 mi and then turn around and come back to home base. (This distance wasn’t random; I did 1.46 mi on the treadmill total a few days before).
Well, it turns out I did 1.46 mi BEFORE I turned around. I didn’t even realize it. I had my phone app recording my progress (I am using Map My Run) and happened to glance at it during a split.
Whoa! Time to turn around and go back up the hill.
Do you enjoy your own company?
Many married couples make it a point to schedule regular date nights so they can have their own one-on-one time and not lose touch with each other. I think you should also do the same thing with yourself. Continue reading
WW has just begun their annual campaign called Live Life Active (not an affiliate link). It’s an optional initiative where they ask you to commit to an activity goal for 8 weeks. Several prizes, incentives and discounts are available when you participate in your chosen activity each week. The grand prize is a trip to Costa Rica, but I’m not going to do this for the prizes. I want the psychological reward of what happens when I complete something (else) that I thought I couldn’t do. I’m a goal-getter, and I can stare a challenge in the face with the best of them.
My Live Life Active goal is to complete a Couch to 5K (C25K) program. Then sometime this year, I want to run a 5K. I have a strong hunch that finishing a race will do change my mindstate even more than it could ever change my body. (I do want both, however.)
I’ve read awesome post series from several bloggers like Sheryl and Beth who reached their goals on Weight Watchers (WW) and also run. A few people in my WW meetings have also completed at least one 5K race. It’s motivating, even though running is one of my least favorite sports-related activities. I know I need to build up my endurance if I am ever going to seriously teach the group exercise formats I’m interested in. I even joined Black Girls Run, and balked when I saw that all runs took place outside. I’ve been working out regularly for the past year–just not outside. (Hey–I’ve come a long way from the time where I refused to work out to preserve my relaxed long hairstyle).
What is your latest goal (in progress)?
As a subscriber and supporter of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), I had the opportunity to view an advance screening of a new episode of the Ecosense for Living show at the offices of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) headquarters. The screening was sponsored by Turner Foundation, EWG and GPB. After the screening was a short panel discussion with Ken Cook, the President of Environmental Working Group, Dr. Yolanda Whyte, a pediatrician and environmental health expert, and Dr. Gerald L. Durley, Pastor Emeritus at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. (Dr. Durley uttered the title of this blog and it struck a cord with the audience.)
Toxins in Our Food and Toiletries
Whenever I watch an expose like the one that recently aired on Dateline in March 2013 or see a discussion about it on a show like Dr. Oz, the FDA and other companies always respond with a lame message about how their guidelines are safe for the public (even though they’re not testing them honestly and regularly), and that they are not violating any legal guidelines.
Some HOAs and other places ban you from growing your own food in a garden. Kids love it. But more importantly, when you grow and cook your own food, you have more control over it. Buy your food from a chain grocery store or your average restaurant, and you’re play Russian Roulette with your food. Continue reading
Working It Out
I had a fabulous time yesterday at Hip Hop Hustle certification. I got a few minutes to teach a few 8-counts and it felt good! I’d love to perform in a show. (If I can get the video or picture from the training, I’ll add it to this post.) Now I’ve got a track record of getting certified for a new fitness format every month so far this year (just by coincidence). My plan is to keep networking and substitute teach wherever I can and then eventually lead my own classes once or twice a week.
It’s been 6 weeks since I took my AFAA certification class and I finally got my results: I passed! I only missed two questions.
PiYo and Insanity trainings are taking place locally next month; not sure I will do either of them until I start using what I’ve got, but I have a lot of fun and meet the coolest people (the Zumba instructors always represent!). It’s so motivating!
A week ago, I won the 2013 Stiletto Women in Business Award (SWIBA) Author of the Year Award! My friend Melisa also won a SWIBA, and she was one of the two people who congratulated me, which is the only way I was notified (a week after the awards ceremony).
As usual, I’m recapping my highs and lows from last month.
Valentine Anniversary – I celebrated the first anniversary of my first published release, What’s Wrong With Me? (the book and the journal).
Taxes Done – Following my usual tradition, I used TurboTax as I have for the past 13 years, and filed in February. I’ve already received my state refund and am awaiting my federal refund. I would rather have my money during the year than at tax time, but it’s hard because I already claim a high number of exemptions on my W-4 for my employer, AND I itemize annually as a business owner. I think there’s only been one year that I’ve owed money, and it was about $500. I’d love to get to a happy medium.
Missing My Mojo – Usually, I take TurboKick class on Tuesdays (I’m not teaching it yet). But this month I had to sacrifice because on most Tuesdays this month, I was with my daughter taking advantage of outings (field trips) with other homeschool families. When I returned to my TK class last week, another class member who is an acquaintance told me that I had been missed. I missed being there, too! Now I know that I can’t miss 3 weeks of TK in a row anymore. Since I became a certified instructor, I have access to the workouts on DVD, but working out at home is not the same as working out with a room full of other TurboChicks. I doesn’t even matter if I have a conversation with someone while I’m there or not. There’s just something about being around people, with all of us in sync with the choreography, that brings me great joy. What can I say–it’s the dancer in me.
My daughter K had one week in particular this month that was pretty awesome. She attended a live show with Nickelodeon characters, she went to a birthday party/sleepover with a friend who has a barn, and she met not one, but three stars from the Disney channel and Nickelodeon (the latter was a complete surprise). Continue reading