Sweat with Your Sole: Charlotte (Recap Pt. 1)

Just got back from Charlotte, NC for the Black Girls RUN! (BGR) Sweat with Your Sole Conference (in its 2nd year). I enjoyed myself immensely! Getting involved in BGR 6 months ago (an awesome running group) has changed my life, my mind, and my body.

I was so excited when the conference and its sessions were announced.  I immediately contacted my sissy, and asked if she could meet me and the girl in Charlotte to serve as my babysitter. She accepted.

Highlights

The sessions I attended were pretty good:
“Speed Training 101” and “Psychology of a Runner” were both presented by the same BGR  lead/ambassador. She won the 10K race last year. In the former, I learned some running drills for the track to help train myself to get faster. I also learned about goal pacing based on running one “give-it-all-you-got” mile after the drills.
In the latter, she talked about figuring out your “why” for running, what type of runner you are, and dispelling myths about running. For example, a few runner types could be A) Pacifier (someone who is forced to run), B) Socializer (runs with peers for the camaraderie), C) Improver (making a healthy lifestyle change), or D) Achiever (a goal-getter). Initially when I began running 6 months ago, I was C, but now I’m also B and D too.

Traci speaks
Traci speaks

My fan-out on Friday was sitting across from Toni Braxton’s sister Traci on a panel about health called “Running From You: Embracing Your Fears, Flaws and Frustrations.” Beside 6 other panelists, Traci talked about how she accomplished her 40-pound weight loss and took questions from us about her family and WeTV’s Braxton Family Values.  Because a lady from WeTV encouraged us to stay for this panel (and I wanted to hear from Traci), I missed the abs sessions I originally signed up for.

 

In the session “Bling Junkies,” my own BGR lead/ambassador discussed how to tame that craving many of us runners have for new gear (or new races). BLING stands for:
B) Budget – prioritize safety and comfort in whatever gear you choose, and make sure it motivates you to run)
L) Local – Consider local races and local running clubs
I) Internet – Use social media and running/sports companies to score free or discounted gear
N) Narrow – Limit the number of races you run. Consider volunteering for some (which might get you into the next year’s race for free or at discount).
G) Give and get – This is all about giving back. Volunteers often get great swag bags (running leads, race volunteers, etc.). Support your local running group and others even you are not a member.

 
I love line dancing, and I got an hour of it in first thing Saturday morning. Who knew that Blurred Lines had a line dance to it?
Come back tomorrow for the rest of my BGR conference highlights and takeaways.

~ TO BE CONTINUED ~

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Why Do You Run?

Bibs for my daughter and I to wear on National Running Day 2013
Bibs for my daughter and I to wear on National Running Day 2013

Today (June 5, 2013) is National Running Day.

 

Why I Run

I run to push myself to the next level. I have *never* run in my life until 8 weeks ago, and I see the difference. I also run to have a fun outlet with my daughter, alleviate frustration and other negative emotions, and will continue to run to keep this weight off since I recently reached my goal. Making new friends is a pleasant side effect of this newfound determination I have.

Continue reading “Why Do You Run?”

Thanks-and-Giving: How Much Do Compliments Cost?

Have you ever purposely changed something about your appearance–maybe your hairdo or a special outfit–and wondered if anyone (or a specific person like your partner) would notice?  Since my appearance has started to change from weight loss (17 pounds and counting), I’ve gotten some unexpected compliments from people who I didn’t expect to notice.

Upon arriving to youth ministry service one day about two months ago, I greeted the youth minister and he asked me if I was losing weight. I can’t remember his language verbatim, but he said could tell (the way he said it was complimentary). At that time, I had not noticed a change in my figure, so I was surprised to get the compliment.  Then a week or two later when I served again, his wife hugged me and mentioned that every time she sees me, she sees less and less of me because I’m shrinking (making gestures to indicate that I keep getting smaller).  Note that the youth minister and his wife are a good bit younger than me (I’ll touch on age in a bit).

It feels good to hear stuff like that. I love food, but there’s no food that tastes as good as being smaller feels. Continue reading “Thanks-and-Giving: How Much Do Compliments Cost?”

The Bottle That Changed My Life: Part 1

woman on scale in the bathroomThis post is about my personal experience as I come toward the finish line of Round 1, Phase 2 of the hCG diet, which I just learned about a month ago, even though it’s not some new fad.

The hCG Protocol

I believe that my body is the temple where the Holy Spirit dwells in me, but it’s been over a year since I treated it that way.  I rarely get manicures, massages, or even go to a professional to get my hair “done” these days. And I certainly haven’t been taking good care of my inner health, either.

Continue reading “The Bottle That Changed My Life: Part 1”

The Slow Fast

My church began a 21-day fast on January 1. I didn’t want to discuss it while it was in progress, but now that it’s over, I’m going to share some of the things I learned about myself– and God– during the first 21 days of 2011.

 

Waste (and Waist) Reduction

I wasn’t super strict, but I did cut out some foods and activities that I didn’t police myself on:

I ate NO fast food, pork, seafood, or red meat. (You wanna talk about denying yourself and crucifying your flesh? That right there was rough for me.) The second week, in addition to those dietary constraints, I ate only two meals a day, and I personally chose to do it after 3 pm. The third week, still following the same diet, I only ate one meal, and it was after 6 or 7 pm. I also cut out some reality shows in favor of non-violent, non-sexual dramas and shows (like the ones aired on the new OWN) that wouldn’t compromise my spirit.

I disciplined myself to read the Bible every morning and evening, and I listened to audio sermons at times when I felt particularly lost or weak about some things. I knew it was important to keep my mind focused on why I was fasting. I lost a lot of weight as a natural, physiological result, but that was not the purpose of the fast. I wanted to draw closer to God and get serious about some bad habits and things lacking in my life that I want to see manifest this year.

Who’s on the Throne of Your Life?

Matthew 9 tells of a story with Jesus and His disciples that illustrates the need for prayer AND fasting for some critical situations. I think it’s up to individuals to let the Holy Spirit lead them to fast in a way and for a duration that will personally benefit them in their situations and the reasons that they desire to earnestly seek God.

It was about time for me to get back to basics and put first things first. I learned to, as my pastor put it, take my stomach off the throne and put God back there (in His rightful place). I put lot of activities that I was giving priority (“idols”)—such as the internet, and certain reality TV shows to the back seat or kicked them to the curb altogether. I spent more time with my daughter, hanging out, and of course, praying and studying the Bible in areas where I am trying to grow, breaking mental strongholds, as well as some of the things I hope to accomplish this year. On the last night of the fast, my pastor said that those who participated and “paid the price” have set the course of their year on track. This fast wasn’t easy, and at times I was weary, but for me it was worth it.

To paraphrase two key verses I’ve been holding on to this month:

Without faith it is impossible to please God, for we must believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6

The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (makes great power available). – James 5:16

 

What are you believing God for this year? What—or who—is on your throne?

Progress, Not Perfection… I Stay Winning

In work, love, and life I aim for progress, not perfection. And progress is a process.

Progress is the Key to the Goal

I’m taking baby steps to work on some of the things I mentioned in my new years post back in November 2010.

 

The three things that have my priority right now are:

  1. Plugging through the edits and rewrites on my book (my editor finished two weeks ago so it’s time to get started).
  2. Winning one of my Toastmasters club contests this month: I’ve been studying 1999 World Speaking Champion Craig Valentine’s 52 Speaking Tips, the last of which I received this week, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to compete in a long time since I couldn’t compete last year as a district officer.
  3. Lexi’s 6-month Weight Loss Challenge: Although I don’t look it, I weigh 192 pounds (size 16) and would like to lose about 25 (I’ll fit a size 14). I’ve stopped eating fast food, red meat, and desserts,  increased my green vegetable intake, and hope to get some kickboxing/dance workout DVDs soon (any suggestions?) so I can feel (and be) more energetic.

I’ll write more about these goals as I progress. I’ll also recount my Lasik enhancement experience that is happening this morning (my left eye has been blurry since having done Lasik the first time 4 months ago). Although I don’t want to endure this procedure again, at least I’m not scared.

I Will Stay Winning in 2011*

As a continuation of my 2011 theme, “All I Do is Win,” I’ve come up with my own affirmations/declarations. May they inspire you to make your own list, and be a big winner this year, too!

All I Do is Win a publishing contract.

All I Do is Win the heart of my Boaz.

All I Do is Win the “battle of the bulge.”

All I Do is Win a bigger and bigger savings account.

All I Do is Win Toastmasters contests.

All I Do is Win clients and speaking engagements.

All I Do is Win favor over haters.

All I Do is Win friends and influence people.

All I Do is Win satisfaction and happiness.

All I Do is Win WHATEVER I put my mind and hand to do.

Aim for progress, and stay winning!

*It’s not grammatically correct, but I like it.