As I get closer and closer to the delivery of baby number two, I grow more anxious about the changes that will come. As we’re in the midst of a global pandemic that many people pretend aren’t real, I can’t help but notice how this pregnancy has been so much different than my first. One thing that has transpired is my interaction with people such as my coworkers. My first pregnancy years ago I was physically at work. I can remember the numerous lunch break trips to Walmart with two of my favorite people who were clearly buying things to prepare to shower me but they would say, “You don’t see anything.” As I’m a person who actually likes surprises to a certain extent, it want something that I dwelled on trying to figure out exactly what they were doing. I just went with the flow enjoying their company.

This time around my work environment has changed tremendously, and it isn’t even just due to the pandemic. I’ve found that there are many people who only have a heart for certain people, and I don’t happen to be one of them. Now I do communicate with some of my coworkers, but working in a hostile environment will do a number to you mentally and emotionally. That has brought about probably the most significant relationship change. I’ve shared my pregnancy freely with those who seem to care about me as a human being and with others only because I have to. I’ve literally had no expectations of people because I’ve allowed many of them to make me feel unworthy.

A large part of that is that no matter how much help I may need, I’ve not reached out much. Even in terms of a baby registry, I created one with intentions of purchasing what I need and not truly sharing it with people because I figure that no one truly cares about or needs to be inconvenienced by me. No matter how much people tell me they care about me, I somehow still don’t feel worthy. It’s crazy, I know.

As I lay awake at 3:30 am and decided I needed to purchase more big ticket items from my registry, I looked and saw that the main item I actually do need had been purchased among other things. My heart is filled with so much warmth. I don’t have a shortage of people who tell me they care about me and love me and speak life into me and my situations on a daily basis. My problem is that I’ve let a few people who don’t truly know me or even care about me determine my self worth. Ultimately they don’t truly matter. The good people matter. The love matters. The kindness matters.

I always try and do good by people. I always try to stand up for the people who are afraid to stand up for themselves. When it comes to myself, I don’t always treat me with the same kindness, care, and concern that I give others. I still struggle with finding my voice. I know it won’t always be so hard. Thank you to the people who have been my support system. This past year specifically has been very rough. There are some who will never understand, but there are others who have stood by me on the frontline fighting the good fight. Y’all, we are so much stronger than we think. We are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I know even on my darkest days, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. God has been doing such a marvelous work in my life, and I thank Him for being who He is and for providing me with all of these angels along the way.

While you’re out there in this world, remember to spread more love and kindness rather than hate. Most of us are literally trying to survive. Along the journey remember to save some kindness for yourself because you are worthy.

Until next time,

It’s Me

Seeking Permission

Do you often find yourself as an adult seemingly seeking permission? Well, I’m very guilty of that. It’s something I’m working on changing. Sometimes when we tell people that we’re doing something (what our plans are, etc.) and they start asking questions or offering suggestions, we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. I’m not asking for permission. I’m sharing my plans, and it doesn’t matter if they’re not completely thought out because I’m still going through the process. I’m not seeking permission to do something. I’m literally sharing. Perhaps it’s my own fault for sharing because I could just keep it to myself and just do it. I’m a person who is normally pretty free, and I guess that’s how I end up in these situations. Ultimately I end up doing nothing because it seems like I didn’t get the permission that I wasn’t truly seeking or I allow someone to talk me out of doing something that I wanted to do just because they can’t or couldn’t understand my vision. It doesn’t matter who you are, but if you’ve supported any of my ideas in any way, thank you. I’ve allowed so many people to make me second guess myself or feel like I’m someone less than because they don’t understand what I want or what I’m trying to do. It gets so frustrating. If I didn’t ask you for advice then please just stop giving it. Sometimes we just want a listening ear and I guess we pick the wrong person to go to. That’s why so many people do move in silence. I’ve watched so many people come out with all types of businesses, and I’ve been so proud watching them from the sidelines. It’s like they have so much courage, faith, and everything else it takes to trust that they will be successful at what they’ve put their minds to achieve. I have literally been in awe. My unsolicited advice is if you have something that you want to do, just do it without getting put into a situation where you are made to feel as though you’re asking for permission. Go forward and be great, and I wish you the best in whatever your future endeavors might be!!!

Until next time,

It’s Me

Pregnancy and Some of the Things They Don’t Tell You

So, finally I’m pregnant again. This time around is a little bit more difficult than the first. I’ve been experiencing some issues that I obviously had during my first pregnancy, but they are more pronounced this time around.

  1. Carpal tunnel-I’m reminded that my first time around I had some minor issues with my fingertips tingling when I would try and twist my hair, so I’d have to take frequent breaks. I didn’t think too much about it because no one ever mentioned that being an issue. This time around once I hit 24 weeks, my left hand and wrist began hurting terribly and I could barely use it. When I went to the doctor and mentioned it, I was told, “Yeah, that’s carpal tunnel. It’s common in pregnancy.” Interestingly enough most of the people I’ve mentioned it to have said they never heard or knew that and were as surprised as I. It has switched from my left to my right hand, and at times I’ve experienced the pain and numbness in both simultaneously. I think that is probably the worst. I was told that it should go away after childbirth, but I was also told that it is a possibility that it will not.
  2. Boldness of people-I already knew this one, but during my first pregnancy is when it was revealed. People want to comment on your weight (whether you’re losing or gaining). It’s none of your business!!! I really cannot stress this enough. I already have enough body image issues and don’t need your input. If I choose to share that’s one thing, but for the most part, please leave me alone and mind your business. I don’t care if you think it looks like I’m doing well because I haven’t gained much or if you think I’ve gained too much. WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN BODY. The only reason it isn’t so bad this time around is because of quarantine.
  3. Pain in the lower extremities-This time around things began aching much sooner. It’s like your body remembers the previous time(s) and is just preparing earlier or something. I don’t know. Either way I find movement a little more difficult this time around especially when it comes to working out. I’m trying to be kind to myself because after all, I am literally growing a new life inside of me.
  4. Exhaustion-First trimester and last trimester have been the worst. During the second trimester things were pretty smooth. It was actually one of the first signs that lead me to believe that I might actually be pregnant.
  5. Fear-Whether it’s the first one or another one, it’s scary. Having PCOS has made me very paranoid along the way. You worry about whether or not you’ll be able to conceive, then when it happens, you worry about whether or not you’ll be able to sustain a pregnancy. You wonder what the adjustment will be like trying to acclimated to having a new baby in the house. How will your life change? Will you suffer from post-partum? Will you have all of the help and support you need along the way? There are so many questions that you might have that you won’t really know the answers to until the time comes. There are some questions you don’t even know about in advance. Hopefully when these things come up, you’ll be able to get answers.

All in all, pregnancy and it’s symptoms vary from one person to another and also from one pregnancy to the next. You might become someone you don’t even recognize, but the one thing for certain is that you’re preparing to bring a new life into this world. That in itself is so beautiful. I am in awe of the abilities that the female body has. Even when you feel the weakest and most vulnerable, your body is being so strong and doing something so beautiful. Be kind to yourself along the way, and I hope that others are kind to you too.

Until next time,

It’s Me

Cookies…Yum, and Happy Mother’s Day

I really have been in the mood for some homemade cookies. I have not made any from scratch in years. For me, I’m always looking for the perfect recipe for anything I make because I want it to taste better than before. Well, I came across a recipe for some cookies called, DoubleTree Cookies from a blog called, The Little Kitchen.Net https://pin.it/3JzeC4V. The picture of the cookies just looked like they were going to be delicious. I decided that I would make them, and I did. I started at night, almost 8 pm to be exact. So, in the recipe, it tells you to refrigerate or freeze your cookie dough two to four hours or overnight. I figured overnight would be best since I had already gotten a late start. I definitely took the recommendation to go ahead and portion out the dough prior to refrigeration rather than trying to portion out hard dough. Literally all I had to do was pick up the individual portions, place them on the pan, and bake. That was simple enough.

If you’re looking for a good cookie recipe, I do recommend this one. Let me know if you try it and like it. My household did.

Until next time,

It’s Me

Still moving along…

Hey guys. I just wanted to do a quick post to let y’all know that I’m still here moving along. I’ll be honest of course and say that I am still struggling. The biggest struggle is probably the mental part of it. I have been consistently working out since my orthopedic doctor cleared me. When life happens my first instinct is definitely to fall into those old habits of using food as comfort. I also see that as a form of self sabotage. I’m going through some difficult times at work, and I want something familiar. I’m working on making better choices; choices that will better serve me, my body, my wellbeing, my goals. Since I am a work in progress, I don’t expect it to be easy.

I am so proud of myself for consistently showing up for my workouts. That is such a great accomplishment because I very easily quit different tasks. It gets easy to forget why you started something in the first place. Don’t be afraid to take a moment to assess where you are with meeting your goals and reassess your situation. You have to remember your why or find a new why. Do whatever it takes to get going again.

Let’s stay strong together, and remember, “We got this!”

Until next time,

It’s Me

Moving into the New Year

As the year 2019 comes to an end, I realize that I am stronger than I thought. Things this year that were meant to break me have actually helped to strengthen me. I have been on a journey of self exploration, just trying to find myself, my purpose, etc. I can’t say that I’ve found the answers, but I have been finding myself along the way. I have had some revelations. I still have not won the lottery. I am still going through some turmoil, but I have not been defeated. I am still here striving for better. As I go into the new year, I will do my best to not let those things that don’t serve me control me so much. I will not be chasing friends. If you’ve proven yourself to not be my true friend, I expect you to keep that same energy in 2020 and leave me alone. I will care more about myself and my well being. I am worth it. I’ve got some important moves coming up, some things that I find scary to do, but I must have the courage to do them. I encourage anyone reading this to stand up for the right thing, put yourself first, step out on faith and do that thing that you’ve been wanting to do. Don’t chase people. Chase after bettering yourself. Spend time with people who are there for you. I am worth it, and so are you!!! Stay encouraged.

Until next time,

It’s Me

Our Annual Photo Shoot

So, a little over a year ago I made a post with a picture of my oldest sister and me. The caption said it was a sneak peak and a post would be coming soon. Well, that post never happened until today. It was regarding our annual photo shoot that we are clearly dropping the ball on this year. That’s disappointing, but life has happened quickly this year, and there was no planning. Anywho…

Once again, it was time for our annual photo shoot. This was our third year. It was decided that instead of doing a boudoir shoot that we would just do a glam/beauty shoot. We didn’t do all of the preparation that we did the first two years. I think we both didn’t have very high hopes and weren’t necessarily looking forward to this shoot. We had goals that we didn’t meet, which was a little disappointing. We did remember that the ultimate goal was a feel good photo shoot.

We had a different makeup artist this time, Kawambee D. She actually came to the photography studio to apply our makeup. We had fun, and since it was a beauty shoot, we ended up with some bling on our faces. Our photographer had some new hair for us, and it was gorgeous. The music and the vibe were just right as usual, and magic was made. Let’s get into this by looking at a few pics from our shoot. Enjoy!

Walking into my destiny
I’m an Amazon
Wonder if that dream is to big…No girl, go for it.
Sisterly Love

Makeup by: https://www.instagram.com/kawambeed/

Photos by: https://www.instagram.com/pdillonphotos/

Until next time,

It’s Me

The Journey Continues

If you read my previous post, then you know I had lapband surgery. I was down 50 pounds and forging forward with working out and eating better. Then I was hit with a knee injury. I tore my ACL and medial meniscus in my left knee. I have pretty much been at home since September 17th. I had knee surgery October 21st. I have not been able to do cardio. I’ve only been able to do upper body workouts for the most part. I have gone through all types of emotions since I was injured.

One of the common judgments that people make regarding people who have had weight loss surgery is that we have taken the easy way out. Well, I can definitely vouch for the fact that it is not easy. At this point all I can ask is, “Easy where?” I still love to eat, I am still an emotional eater, so like I stated before, this injury has taken me through all of the emotions. In the beginning I was doing well food wise, but mentally I was challenged because I could no longer do my workouts. Although I was being physically challenged because of my significant decrease in mobility, my biggest challenge was the mental aspects.

I felt quite discouraged from the beginning, but I also started feeling very much alone and lonely. This caused me to go to my place of comfort, food. Of course that is not the way to cope, but clearly it became my way again. Then I had the feelings of disappointment in myself that I would sabotage myself in that manner. If I could change one things about the injury, I would change the way I dealt with my emotions. It was hard to watch my muscle definition and stamina revert because of my limited mobility, and while I made some good choices food wise, I definitely made some poor ones.

I was beating myself up over this lack of progress, but through this ordeal, I would like to believe that I have experienced some growth. I never want to wallow in self pity about what could have been. My knee got messed up, and I messed up in the process of recovery. I am still here with more opportunities to do better. If you can learn anything from me, please let one of them be that “HAVING WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY IS NOT TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT!!!” The big picture for me is that I have not gained back the weight that I lost after being derailed/recovering for the past two and a half months. That is definitely a huge victory. I have a good way to go mentally and physically, but I am here to see where this journey will lead me.

Until next time,

It’s Me

The Journey to Accepting Me

I battled with whether or not I would even share my story because of how judgmental people can be, but no matter what, people will judge me for something.  If my story helps even one person, then it is worth it to be transparent.  Here goes:

After struggling for so many years and watching my health decline and quality of life suffer, I began heavily considering bariatric surgery. I had several signs along the way that lead me to believe that this was the way I needed to go. My struggles with my weight date back to childhood. It’s something I’ve always dealt with, but it really got out of hand once I moved away from home and started working.

Back in 2010 I had a doctor who kept recommending it to me. She basically told me that with my PCOS my body craves carbs, and I would have a difficult time trying to lose weight on my own. I was not ready to go that route and decided I would still try and do it on my own. The years after that were filled with multiple weight loss attempts through dieting, exercising, etc in varying stages and much with little to no success. The most success I had was prior to conceiving my son where I had lost about 40 pounds, and I had to struggle to lose each of those pounds.

Around June 2018 I joined a program that had workouts and meal plans incorporated. By September my back began aching and I had a pain down my leg like I had pulled a muscle. I went to an orthopedic doctor to get checked out. The doctor I saw was around my age. They did an x-ray and didn’t find anything. Of course I didn’t want anything to be wrong with me, but it’s hard to have no answers. The doctor left out of the room, then he came back and told me he felt like he’d be doing me a disservice if he didn’t come back and talk to me. He told me that about half of my body weight was fat, and that I might want to consider having weight loss surgery. He said that at my weight I should not be doing high impact exercises because that is too much impact/pressure on my joints. He said I should be doing lower impact exercises like swimming. I tell y’all, I literally cried in the car because he wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t know. I thought about all of my successes and failures and just cried. This doctor really gave me permission to stop doing those high impact exercises that were doing more physical harm than good. They were taxing on my joints. This was my first sign.

An OB/GYN that I had gone to undergrad with was doing these Maternity Talks on Facebook live where she would speak about obesity in pregnancy and other maternity related topics. During one of her talks she told us not to be afraid to seek help through weight loss surgery so that we can lose weight and have a healthier pregnancy. She spoke of the difficulties that women experience while trying to lose weight and some of the complications that can happen when the mother is overweight and pregnant. This was my second sign.

Then one right after another there were about three people that I followed on social media who got weight loss surgery. Two got gastric bypass and one got the duodenal switch. I felt like I was getting one sign after another. I had decided on the lapband for myself. Some of these last instances happened after I had already begun the consultation for bariatric surgery.

I had my first consultation on February 4th of this year, my second on March 11th, and my 3rd on April 8th. With my insurance, the requirements were to have three nutritional sessions over a 90 day period and to get a psychiatric evaluation. My third appointment was less than 90 days from the first one so I had to have an additional one. At that appointment I finally had questions, a page full to be exact. My doctor answered every question. One of the many things I really liked about him is that he did not try to push me one way or another towards any particular surgery. Looking online in these support groups, there’s so much good and bad mentioned about each of the surgeries. One thing we have to remember is that someone else’s experience may not be our own whether it is good or bad. We have to weigh the pros and cons to decide what is best for ourselves and our lives in general. I felt good about my decision to get the lapband, and I just had to wait on a surgery date.

May 14-17th I was in class for work, and I got a call from my doctor’s office telling me that the approval had come through, and they were calling to schedule the pre-op and surgery. I wanted to schedule it for my next day off which would have been that following Friday, but I was a little nervous and also wanted to give myself a chance at really trying the pre-op diet which was the Sugar Busters diet. I told them that I’d come in on June 6th for pre-op. It was an all day ordeal, but everything was good to go, and I went in the morning of June 7th for my surgery.  My crew was with me. Y’all, I was so nervous, but I was ready. I still had those thoughts in my head like, “Maybe I can try one more time, etc.” I remembered this one guy along the way who told me that I did not want to miss my window of opportunity, and I just knew that I needed to go through with it. I went in that morning, and they took great care of me. I came out of surgery just fine. That anesthesia is so difficult to wake up from. I made sure I thanked all of the nurses there for taking such great care of me. They took me into the room where my family was waiting for me, and I was excited to see them, although groggy. They wanted me to get up. I really wasn’t ready, but I knew how important it was to get up and get moving to make sure I could recover well, so I did. They discharged me, and we went home. Things were definitely not easy.

I went back to work on that Monday, and I felt very strongly that I really should have taken a week off. I just went through the motions of getting everything accomplished even though some days it was very difficult. All in all, my healing was going well. I was definitely a little hungry going through the beginning stages. As more food was incorporated things got a little easier. I made sure to walk for exercise everyday whether it was walking outdoors or doing a Walk Away the Pounds video by Leslie Sansone.

I was asked about joining an online support community, and at this point I was down about 50 pounds from the beginning of my journey. I joined the community. There were options of live workouts, prerecorded workouts and meal plans, etc. Once I got the clearance from my doctor to do other workouts, I joined in. I was doing very well. I was able to do movements I hadn’t been able to do in a long time. My flexibility and overall mobility was coming back, and I felt so strong. Then on September 16th, I had less than ten minutes left in a Tabata workout. I was doing burpees, and when I came down, my knee made the most gruesome sounds, and I knew it was bad. I had injured myself.

If you want to know how I am navigating on this journey to accepting me, please be sure to subscribe so that you will be notified of any future posts.

Thank you to those people who pushed me to tell my story because as they said, “People need to read it.  You don’t know who you might help.”

Until next time,

It’s Me

5 Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Protein | Nutrition | MyFitnessPal

Consuming enough protein is important for mood, hair growth and more.
— Read on blog.myfitnesspal.com/5-signs-youre-not-eating-enough-protein/

Protein is an important part of our diet, yet studies have shown that many of us, especially women, are not eating a sufficient amount of protein on a daily basis. When I evaluated my diet, it was over laden with carbohydrates. With the new things I have going on in my life, protein is the most important nutrient for me to ensure that I am taking in. Are you eating a sufficient amount of protein to sustain your body? Are you tracking your daily intake of macronutrients? Tracking is the one way that will let you know how much of each macronutrient you’re I taking on a daily basis.