Starting Off Right-hidden files from Jan. 1, 2013

I have started the New Year off right with working out. I worked out for a little over 70 minutes.  I got in 45 minutes of moderate activity and 27 minutes of vigorous activity.  I chose several workouts to do b/c I get bored fairly easily. I did some Wii workouts:  Walk it Out, Hip Hop Dance Experience, and Just Dance 3. Then I got in some walking on the treadmill. I must admit that I feel accomplished.

I have gained back some of the weight I lost before going on the cruise, 7-8 pounds. I expected that because I ate quite a few times on the cruise. When I got back into town for the holidays, I continued to eat A LOT. I am not disappointed, because it’s not like I was doing anything not to lose weight. I still have not given up, and I am looking forward to my workouts. I hope that this attitude continues.

Just know that while I have not had much recent weight loss success, it has not deterred me.  Like I’ve said previously, “I cannot afford to quit.”  If you are on this journey as well, remember that you can do it. It will take some time and dedication. How can I be discouraged when I know that I have not put my all into my weight loss journey?  Maybe there is some fear that is coming along with it like, “What will I look like?” “Are people going to start asking me all kinds of questions about my journey?” Previously I was invisible until I began losing weight. Then people started acting as though I was someone important. I didn’t like it. I was still the same person on the inside. I hated the attention, and I didn’t like new people talking to me because of something so superficial. I want to be around real people. This is still so early so I don’t know how things will pan out this time around, but I am here trying.

Sorry for rambling all around,

It’s Me

Issues-hidden files from 2009

So since about the age of 15 I have been having issues with my cycle. I kind of had to do a self diagnosis b/c at the time, doctors weren’t telling me what the problem was. They just gave a quick fix, birth control. It wasn’t until 2006 when a doctor finally told me what I had. It was as I suspected, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). This year was the first year that I really put forth any effort to lose weight. From January-March of 2009, I lost a total of about 30 pounds. I was working out like crazy to do it. Then afterward, I continued working with a personal trainer for months, and I couldn’t lose a pound. Finally I began gaining the weight back. It has been somewhat discouraging, but I will be going to the doctor this week to hopefully hear about what can be done to get better results. I am hopeful because I would really like to have children. I don’t want this to be a hindrance. I also came to the realization that my personal trainer will not listen to anything that I have to say. He doesn’t understand that there are other ways to measure progress such as measurements. Well, actually he knows, but he just hasn’t taken out the time to do it. He is more focused on those numbers on the scale. That might be fine if I didn’t have the issues that I have. I realized that I can’t continue to go to him and be made to feel like a failure b/c it is seriously annoying me and discouraging me. It’s causing me unnecessary stress that I don’t need in my life at this point.

That is all for now.

Slight breakdown-hidden files from September 2011

Well, today my hubby and I went out to eat for lunch.  He’s been trying his hand at photography. He was talking about being the photographer for a friend of his who is pregnant. I was like, “Hey, I thought I would be your first pregnant photo shoot.” I really don’t care if he has someone else first, but then I was like, “Well, since it looks like I won’t be pregnant anytime soon, that’ll be kind of hard.”  He doesn’t really say much about me not getting pregnant except that it’ll happen. At the rate I am going, it won’t. I felt so sad and started tearing up. It’s really sad sometimes just thinking about it. I want to be stronger than that food. It’s like I’ve always used food as a crutch, and it’s hard to back away. When I really feel down, watch out food. Sometimes I can be powering along making good choices, and then I will just turn around and foul out.

I have definitely been fouling out for the past several months. I can’t even say what month I started Weight Watchers, but it was closer to the beginning of the year. I think it’s been at least 5 months now. I have lost and gained the entire time. These past few weeks, I’ve been gaining. It has really gotten out of hand. I have got to get a handle on it before it is too late. I feel discouraged and embarassed, but I continue to go because I figure I will eventually make better choices.

Anyway, I have been getting my insulin checked every few months because of the insulin resistance that comes along with PCOS.  The first time I got it checked, it was at 120 when the normal range is 0-24.9. I was pretty far away from the norm. the last time I got it checked, it was at 27.1. It has been around that number for quite some time now, so my doctor increased my dosage of the metformin xr. What a bummer. She has encouraged me to get the lap band surgery saying that with PCOS, it is going to be very difficult for me to lose weight and keep it off. How friggin discouraging. She has told me that a low carb diet will work best for me. I just have to love myself more in this life and believe that I am worth it.

The 100th Day of School T-shirt

Back in the day, I used to be somewhat creative.  I always liked creating things.  I once took the old computer printer paper that was connected, some yarn, and cotton and made a pillow with some decorations on both sides.  Of course I couldn’t actually sleep on it, but well, it looked nice.  Anywho, fast forwarding quite a bit, since starting to work, then getting married, then having a child, I felt like I lost the creativity that I once possessed and just have no time or zeal for it.  When my son was in daycare, they started having home projects.  Since he was so young, clearly the expectation wasn’t for him to do them alone.  So, I started feeling a little excited about the projects. 

Fast forward a little more to Pre-K….So my little man started Pre-K this school year, and he has had quite a few projects.  This particular project was to create a t-shirt for the 100th day of school.  I was a little nervous about this one because although I’ve created many things, I’ve never really decorated fabric, or at least not that I can recall.  These days you can find ideas for just about anything on the Internet.  Pinterest is normally my top choice.  I found tons of ideas on the 100th day of school project and showed a few to my son.  He decided he wanted a monster on his shirt, so I had to decided how to execute.  I bought all of the supplies I needed in advance at Hobby Lobby so that I could finish the project early enough in case of problems.  The shirt was looking pretty good if I do say so myself. 

The morning of the 100th day of school arrived.  The shirt was so stiff, but I was able to get it on him.  

Then before we left home, at least three of the 100 googly eyes had fallen off.  I could see that more would probably fall off; however, I was not truly prepared for the sight of the shirt at the end of the day.  There were hardly any googly eyes left, and those “glue” spots had my skin crawling every time I saw it or even thought about it.  Ugh!!!

He told me the eyes were falling off everywhere, and he even gave some to his friends.  I think those eyes were being found for days at school and around the house.  I hid that shirt for some months.  I finally took it out and washed it, and the only thing left is the paint that outlined the monster’s face.  That made me laugh all over again.  

Although I felt it was somewhat of a fail, it wasn’t a total fail because we did count out 100 of those googly eyes and glue them to the shirt.  His shirt did make it to school.  

Have you ever tried your best and had a similar outcome on a school project with your child?  Leave a comment and tell me about it.  At least you know you’re not alone.  Like what you’ve read so far?  If so, like, comment, and subscribe.

Until next time,

It’s Me

Parenting Guilt

Growing up with PCOS and learning more and more about it over the years, I knew there was a possibility that I would be unable to conceive or that the road to conception could be filled with hardship.  I  prayed to God to bless my husband and me with a healthy child, and he did.  It almost seems like I was nobody before I became a mother.  As a parent, you know there is someone who depends on you for love, care, guidance, and so much more.  My son is now four, and this journey has not been easy.  There have been the late nights up worrying when he’s sick. I can normally tell when a fever is coming.  There are those moments of worrying about whether he will stand up for himself instead of letting others run over him.  Since he’s started school, I wonder/worry about him making friends.  I worry about the testing they’ve already started although he’s just in Pre-K.  I am always doubting whether we’re doing enough with him at home with teaching him things.

Then I have feelings of inadequacy surrounding the important role of parenthood.  I also have feelings of guilt because I feel like I don’t have enough time to spend with him because I work full time.  Then I have so much cleaning to accomplish.  Some things never get done, and some are like a vicious cycle.  I feel like I’m forever washing clothes or dishes.  I feel drained at the end of the work day; drained and frustrated.  I feel like I’m just a shell of a person when I come home.  There are some days I feel overwhelmed, and I struggle with finding/making time for myself.  I want to be a happier person so I can be the best wife, mom, sibling, etc.

It’s so easy for people to judge.  For instance, if it’s cold outside and you send your child out with a light jacket instead of a coat, people will think you’re a bad parent.  They don’t know that sometimes it’s taken everything to get the child into a light jacket.  Children can be very head strong, and they are also very intelligent human beings.  I like for my son to be able to make some decisions.  There are days I really have to laugh at the debates we have.  He’s somewhat of a know-it-all, and he’s come by that honestly.

So, the other day he wanted to go outside.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am not an outdoor person.  It was nice and warm out, so I took him out there.  He was playing in his playhouse initially.  Then he decided to play with the hose by the pool.  I told him countless times to stop.  I warned him about falling in the pool.  He told me that he wouldn’t.  I decided to do a workout while we were out there.  I noticed his antics with the hose were becoming increasing aggressive.  He kept looking at me as if he expected me to say something to him.  There was a splash, a cream, and then crying.  When I looked he was climbing out of the pool.  Um, for the record, the pool is cold.  Thankfully his head didn’t go in the water.  The only reason this boy was crying was because he thought he lost his new toy in the pool.  Once he realized it was in his pocket, he immediately stopped crying.  I ran him a warm bath.  As we talked about him falling into the pool, he told me that I was the one who kept us outside so long when I knew it was dark.  It wasn’t, but yeah, my fault.  We went outside the next da, and he said he would not be playing with the hose again because he didn’t want to fall into the pool ever again.  I love that boy so much.  He really keeps me laughing.  Although the journey hasn’t been easy thus far, and I don’t expect it to get easier, it has been very rewarding.

Hopefully we’re all doing the best we can.  I just pray that my best is good enough.  I’ll try not to beat myself up about it so much.

Until next time,

It’s Me

Lottery Dreams

I had never been one to play the lottery on a regular basis.  I barely knew how to play.  Back in 2017, I joined a lottery pool that had been in effect for quite a few years.  On April Fool’s Day, we won $5,000.00.  Had we played the multiplier, it would have been $15,000.00.  We were also one number away from winning the big jackpot which was over $100 million.  That was disappointing.  The day we went to claim our winnings we had some time to kill, so we ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  After we received our money, some of us decided to get a roll of tickets.  We split them, scratched them, and cashed them in for another roll either two or three times.  It was a lot of fun.  I don’t remember how much we ended up with, but eventually we didn’t have enough for another roll and decided to use the money for future tickets.  So since that day I realized how much fun it was, but also, I really wanted to win big.  I started playing.  I’ve bought a few rolls along the way and also just some single tickets.  People would laugh at my piles of losing tickets.  I wouldn’t throw them any of them away.  I couldn’t bring myself to, and every once in a while, I’d go through them to make sure I hadn’t missed any that were winners.  

This year they came out with some new second chance drawings.  You could scan in all of your qualifying losing tickets for a second chance at winning the particular jackpots that they had set up for it.  Yall, I had so many entries, and I have not won a thin penny!  I feel like I’ve lost twice.  There were a couple of people who literally won in every drawing.  Either they know somebody or they’re very lucky.  My lottery group and I have determined that this whole thing is one big hoax, unless you win.  I don’t even think we knew any of the people who have won aside from one lady who won $25 in the first drawing.  There are two more drawings, one at the end of this month, and the other is supposed to be the first of January.  I don’t have any high hopes, but I’ve decided to scan my remaining tickets.  At one time I had gotten discouraged because I figured I won’t win anyway, but I already lost once on the tickets, so I might as well waste my time and scan in the last of them.  When work would get a little bit miserable, we would decide to put in extra for more tickets.  I was just like if we’re meant to win, we’re going to win regardless of whether or not we have extra tickets, so we’ve calmed down a lot on the extra.  Oh, and all I’m going to say about online is that I played there too, and I didn’t win big.

Anyone with dreams of winning the lottery, good luck because the chances of winning are slim to none.  Now that hasn’t stopped me from playing, but I don’t play as often.  I’ve joked about how I’ve helped to fund my son’s Pre-K education as well as a few of his classmates.  Ridiculous! One thing I do know is that anytime I’m buying a ticket, I’m taking a gamble.  If you do choose to gamble, be sure to do it responsibly.

In case anyone’s wondering, “No, I haven’t won enough to quit my job yet.” If you do, please remember me, and give me a nice chunk of your winnings.

Check out a losing ticket.

Until next time,

It’s me

Growing Up

My son had gone to the same daycare since he was a baby, so a little over four years. Since he was getting ready to start school, I had to find a place that provides before and after school care. My oldest sister already had my niece in a decent place, so I signed my son up for the same place. His last day at the old daycare I took him around to say goodbye to his teachers. They loved up on him and said how they would miss him. We were all emotional, and he was all smiles and waves like, “Bye. I’m going to my new school.” They prepared him so well for moving up.

That next week he had to have full time care at the new center, and I really almost cried when I left him there. I wanted to run back home with him and just hold him, but I didn’t. I called back about two hours after dropping him off to check on him, and they said he was doing just fine. I felt better. When I picked him up that afternoon, he said he had a great day, so I had no issues with leaving him the remainder of the week.

This week was the start of school. My husband and I got to take him to his classroom. He sat there quietly, and I sensed he wanted us to leave so he could start his day. I asked him, and he nodded his head yes. We left, and I didn’t shed a tear. We are constantly wishing our children will just reach these next stages of maturity, and sometimes forget to cherish them I. Their current stage. Then we look back on some of those times wishing we could get them back. I am going to try and cherish him even through the ferocious fours…we already survived the trying threes. I look forward to seeing his continued growth. I mean it when I say that he is truly a blessing sent from God.

Open Letter to Maui Bigelow

Maui,

I’m sure you’re well aware of the impact you have on people’s lives.  You know your Life Styled Honors event is amazing and all that.  I just want to thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to attend and to bring people along with me.  Nakiba, Arhonda, and I had an awesome time over the weekend filled with so many smiles and an overabundance of laughter.  It was a genuinely happy time.  It was all of our first time attending a fashion show, which was absolutely amazing.  Listening to and observing such amazingly diverse and talented women all in one room was just a great experience.  Listening to someone like Hayet Rida speak about not knowing she was beautiful until the age of 26 (three years ago) and thinking, “As gorgeous as she is!!!”  It just lets you know that we are all everyday people having the same or similar struggles in life.  Not only that but the talks about letting go of toxic people who don’t have your best interests at heart, people who are just naysayers in general, people who don’t support you in your dreams, just really struck a nerve for us.  Be around people who encourage you, especially to do good things, to be great, to be you; That message rang loud and clear.

Nakiba and I were just talking about what it would have been like to have grown up around such positivity with women encouraging one another rather than always competing and putting one another down.  I’ve probably been trying to hide nearly my whole life not feeling like I was good enough, pretty enough, small enough, etc.  Why do people use me for what I have or what I know, I’ve often wondered.  All of the negative thoughts and self doubt and uncertainties…then I see you and this space you’ve helped create and you live life so unapologetically, you and the people around you, and you all give me optimism that I can actually achieve something in this world.  You let me know that it’s okay to look like I do, to act like I do, and to do the things I want to do, whatever they may be.  You let me know that it is nothing wrong with the way I look.  We have some family who have treated us differently just because of the way we look.  They don’t want to be in a picture with us or invite us to their events, but I know that it’s their loss.  If I’m not important to them, then they definitely aren’t important to me.  You have to think about the people who treat you well and treat them the same.

When I found you at the VIP Mixer, you made me feel like I was so beautiful even though I was feeling the complete opposite…Thank you.  I can hardly write this because I’m fighting tears.  I don’t do things with many people, but you make me want to get up and attend your event every year.  I know you’re a light where there’s darkness for many people.  While I’m still fighting the dragon that is me so much so that I can’t force myself to go and meet people that I follow on social media, I thank God for people who are like, “Girl, I got yo back and you gone meet these people.”  My oldest sister, Nakiba, went up to Crystal of Society of Harlow and told her I wanted to meet her, and she was as social as she looks in all of her posts on Instagram.  My brother, Martin, found Sabrina Servance and told her I wanted to meet her, and she was friendly as well and even introduced me to Addison.  By the way, I took pictures with Crystal and Sabrina.  It was pure joy!

Afterwards Nakiba, Arhonda, and I went out to 4 Rivers Smokehouse, and they gave us samples before we ordered.  The food was so good.  Although we were hungry, it was really about hanging out and having some girl time.  It was just nice to sit and chat, and laugh, and make future plans.

You probably already know this, but the gift bags were everything!!!  Thank you for having such an awesome event and helping to create a space for people like us. You are awesome!

Special thanks to my sister-in-law for keeping our kids safe and happy while we enjoyed ourselves because we rarely go out and do anything.

Just a few pictures from the weekend:

We’re looking forward to next year’s event.

Seeking Help

A couple of years ago I was going through a lot of changes in my home and personal life, and I became completely overwhelmed.  I work in a fairly highly stressful environment, but one of the things I had working for me is that I worked with my husband and my oldest sister.  I also had a good supervisor and worked on a very good team. 

The stress began when the team started dismantling.  My supervisor retired and people began leaving all around the same time.  My sister and my husband were among the people who left.  The void was felt all around.  It is hard to describe how things totally fell apart for me.  One of the changes is that my personal support system at work was gone.  My husband was working and living out of town during the week.  We had gotten into a routine where in the morning I got our son ready and my husband took him to daycare and I picked him up in the evenings.  Now I was back to rushing in the mornings.  On top of that I was being mistreated at work.  I was exhausted in the evenings and only bringing home a depressed, exhausted shell of a mom to my son.  I tell y’all, that son of my was sometimes the only way I made it through the day.  While I’m writing this, all of the emotions are rushing back to me and I’m crying.

I can remember one morning I was at my desk and my oldest sister called me on her way in to work.  I was on the phone crying about how I didn’t know how much more I could take.  She showed up at my desk to hug me and provide encouragement.  I sat at my desk crying so many days over the treatment of those people.  I had one co-worker who would take me outside for a breather. 

One afternoon I picked my son up from daycare, and I sat in that parking lot just crying like my world was ending.  He was telling me that everything was gonna be alright.  He was probably two at the time.  I talked to my mom who gave me encouraging words. 

This one day I had been in a meeting with some very disrespectful people who I had allowed to get my spirits down.  I was on my way to a luncheon and had tried calling two or three people who didn’t answer.  I sat in my car crying about how alone I was.  I was like, “I see how people commit suicide.”  I finally got myself together and went to the luncheon.  That moment was really scary though. 

This entire time my sister kept encouraging me to contact the Employee Assistance Program for some help.  I remember the final incident that pushed me over the edge enough to where I finally called the number for assistance.  They got me set up with a counselor.  That was one of the best decisions I ever made when I finally reached out for help.  It felt so good to talk to someone who didn’t know me nor any of the people or situations I needed to discuss.  It has been a big help to just talk about everything and realize that I am not just crazy.  Although I cannot control/change the people around me, I can control my response/reaction.  Counseling has somewhat helped me with coping. 

Some of my regrets about the two years I let those people control me is that I allowed it to affect my health.  My weight got out of control again, and with it went my blood pressure control, and I was diagnosed with diabetes.  I feel like I loss control of my life.  I feel so much embarrassment and hopelessness about letting people who really should not mean much to me cause me to lose so much of myself.  I’m still struggling, but I have been trying to regain control of my life.  I became more vocal at work, which could be seen as good or bad.  While some people think I’m a rebel, there are others who see me as a person who speaks when I have something valuable to say and it is always the truth. 

To anyone who may be reading this and who might be dealing with work and home stress or any jumble of emotions, don’t be afraid to seek help.  People look at you everyday and judge.  They think they know, but they have no idea.  Please try and treat people kindly because you really don’t know the things they may be suffering through in life.  I am still dealing with forgiving people who mistreat me and have been unapologetic about it because I still have to work with them as though things are fine. 

I am on a journey to becoming a better me.  I don’t know what all this journey will entail.  I’m scared, and I’m excited.  Most people who know me know that I live in fear a lot, and that’s something I’m trying to change. Stay well and join me in becoming a better me.

Until next time,
It’s Me

P.S.  Thanks to all the people who prayed for and with me during those trying times.  You all really helped bring light during some dark days.