So I’m finally home after having one of the best times of my life yesterday. I’m catching up and reading my Essence magazine (the August edition with Idris Elba) and reading the stories of women who suffered strokes and all I can say is but God.
It’s making me super grateful. I remember having the migraine of my life while pregnant with my youngest child. I also remember the flood of emotions after being told I had a blood clot in my brain. I’m super grateful for that migraine because it’s the one thing that alerted doctors that something wasn’t right. I’m grateful that I was spared from having a stroke. Had I not had that migraine I can’t imagine what my family and I would have had to endure. I am super happy that although the road from the blood clot wasn’t an easy one how much worst it could be. The doctors are amazed at how I didn’t stroke out and let me say I am grateful.
It’s the one thing that I think of when I don’t want to work out and eat the right things. My health is my wealth. I can’t do for myself or my family if I’m not at my best. To be at my best I have to invest in my overall health from the inside out.
I indulge but for the most part I am super cautious of what I eat or drink. I do not want to do anything that may cause large issues later. Ladies and gentlemen, please take your health seriously. I never really paid any attention to it until that day and even after that I slipped until I was weighed almost 3 years later weighing 190 pounds. I got on that scale at work of all places and secretly cried in the bathroom. I thought what type of sorcery was I on to eat myself to this point? I blamed breastfeeding. Yes when you first start out and are pumping I lost all of my baby weight in the first two weeks. Even my husband was shocked. Slowly but surely I needed more calorie intake but I took that to be more of the unhealthy choices and soon after I stopped nursing I had this 190 pounds of foolishness to carry.
That is why after that reality check I couldn’t see the weight like that anymore. Not being able to wear the clothes I wanted was a push too. No one feels good wearing clothes you have to wear. However I took the responsibility that it was on me to fix. Even if I didn’t have a goal of what my weight was to be, I couldn’t wear any more plus size clothes. I’m not knocking a plus size woman but my issue was from pure laziness and it wasn’t my size. It was the size that I accepted by not putting effort in my life. There was other areas in my life where I didn’t put effort either. So in December before the New Year hit I set out to change what I looked like and how I felt. Even with the recovery of my hysterectomy I have maintained my weight without working out. I will step back into my work outs this week and I’m super excited.
My overall effort in my inside is showing on my outside. I feel a new glow up in my life. It’s not just the clothes I can finally wear but it’s the fact that every single day I wake up and do the things that make me happy and whole. Please don’t let a medial scare take you out of here or bring you to death’s door. You can make the change today!
Since the days have been a little crazy and I haven’t blogged in a few days I figured why not today? So if you read my last recap than you know that I am preparing my house and myself for my hysterectomy. I figured since I have now had my gall bladder and appendix removed and outside of child-birth would be done with surgeries, but I am not. As I handle the logistics like meal prepping, laundry and cleaning (as if that will ever be done) my mind is all over the place.
Another issue that has come up is that I had to get a mammogram. I have never done it before until yesterday’s appointment. Let me dispel all of the horror stories and say that it isn’t life changing in the fact that you hurt so bad you can’t think. It is uncomfortable. It feels what ladies feel at the first few days of your menstrual when you are sore. It was painless and didn’t take long. I was pretty optimistic that things would go well until I got the results 30 or so minutes later and now I have to go back next week and have the procedure redone. Now before I allowed my mind to take me there with a grandmother and mother who have had their dance with breast cancer, the technician warned me since it was my first time I most likely would be called back. The reason is simple, there are no images to compare if there really is something wrong. So next week I will be back. Until there is a reason to worry I won’t.
One of the things I can’t stress enough is for ladies, please do monthly self breast exams. They are yours-touch them and make sure all is well. Breast cancer is devastating but what’s more devastating is having a line of defense to feel when something isn’t right but not use it. Be vigilant about your reproductive health as well. There aren’t a lot of do overs in the reproductive world. You need to care about yourself enough to check yourself.
So in the next week things are going to get crazy. My kids will be starting camp and finishing their last week of school. I will have had the surgery and my husband will be the one that the kids run to the most until I heal. I am okay with it. I have talked to many women that have all suggested a few things and one of the top things that all of them have stated was to be good to myself during this process. It’s a bit nerve-racking when I think and wonder if I will have to do hormone therapy and how that will affect me and my family mostly. I will be talking to the doctor about that in-depth.
Emotionally one of the things that I have felt was like wait I really can’t have anymore kids. It went away but it was a bit overwhelming. It wasn’t something I felt when I got my tubes tied after my 3rd child. I had no sadness in me until I found out about this hysterectomy. I can’t explain it but I know that other women have gone through it. It was like I was at a funeral. You know me and funerals never get along. So after about 15 minutes of this semi despair feeling I was okay. I got myself together. I was able to move on.
On a happier and lighter note, my son, my bubs graduates from preschool today. If you know me know nothing else I make all celebrations big. Now don’t get me twisted I am not inviting the masses or throwing a party. I do things like decorate his room, and just make him feel overall special. He has picked where he wants to go out to eat, just a day of showing him how super proud of him we are. He moved from one school to this amazing school and since he has been super happy. Seeing how unhappy he was before and now is such a relief. Listen let me say on a side note when you have good kids and they start getting into trouble, do your research. Find out what is going on. I noticed with my son he would tell us things and we would ask things and it wasn’t adding up. However what I should have done months ago was moved him. I felt it inside of me and didn’t act. I was more concerned with having all 3 kids in different schools. It’s a lot trust me but his happiness is worth it. He is smiling everyday at drop off and pick up. He has friends who parents are more geared to how we raise our kids. That matters trust me.
My job as a parent is to correct him when he needs it and celebrate him always. We are going to do that. He is super ready for kindergarten but I am not sure if kindergarten is ready for him!! This beam of light is going to be something amazing and not just because he is my child, but because he is determined to be great! Super congrats MJ!!
Please do not get me wrong. I think anyone doing anything positive is good news. I love that people are attempting to move past the backward thinking that has seemed to take this world over. However, can we just be real for about a few seconds? When basic behavior is like the best thing since sliced bread than we have a problem.
You are in a dating situation the man of your dreams is wining and dining you and pulls your chair out, etc now you are like see my man loves me? I don’t doubt he does. In a world where men and no not all men are too busy getting caught up in the negative things, playing video games and no job, making babies with no responsibility this could seem like a breath of fresh air. However the issue isn’t in the mere manners, it needs to be our own personal standards that have gone on a decline. Even when I dated the most thugs of boyfriends they pulled my chair out. It was the way I carried myself that lead them to know from the gate that if they never pull a dime like myself they was going to step it ALL the up. So opening up doors is normal for me during my dating processes. Opening doors was basic. It wasn’t because I carried myself in a stuck up way, I didn’t I was laid back but my mere demeanor said hey buddy, this is going to be a classy outing. Now this didn’t always mean I was at 5 star restaurants all the time either. I could go to a night of dancing in the hole in the wall but still be treated like I wasn’t living in the hole of the wall. I set the standard!
If you are married and your husband is super caring, we uplift them. We start labeling relationship goals right off the bat because a husband kissed their wife. Okay I get there are sexless and boring marriages (all by choice) but a simple kiss even a romantic passionate one making relationship goals only means that there are a lot of married couples who do not enjoy the union they are in. Kisses are done simply at the altar or union as a seal of commitment. So….yeah we have got to raise the standard. I had a conversation with my own husband and we acknowledged the highs and lows of our relationship and how outside things and distractions are often celebrated when we lack the self-sufficiency to love on each other and ourselves in the way it should be. A husband who simply comes home is celebrated as if he isn’t supposed to return home after his outside of the home obligations are done. He is celebrated and the phrase, “well at least he’s not cheating” comes into play. Like is he supposed to be cheating? I know cheating is big but let’s not give more respect to the cheater than the faithful? We live in a messed up world. The only way to make the world smaller is to learn to leave the outside world OUTSIDE. Spend more time making YOUR world what YOU want it to be.
If you are married and have kids and your husband doesn’t lift the finger to assist you with the kids some of it on you because you won’t speak up and other reasons is because he doesn’t think he should, I hear well at least he’s in the home. So many men are locked up or leave after they make the babies. This is true. However him being in the home still living like an absentee father is even more crazy. You do know they exist. They are simply bodies but they don’t do a thing but get the greatest father in the world book just because they stayed. Um, if you have a baby and make a baby it is YOUR responsibility to be there, provide, and dare I say interact and assist in the raising of that child. It is simply not okay to come in the home, say hi, watch tv and send the child to bed and think you have arrived in parenting. NO you need to be a force in the home. You need to be helping with whatever it takes to make sure you have healthy, loved and supported children. Ladies, if you have a man who is simply there don’t expect it. Also speak up and don’t berate him because he doesn’t do things like you do either. It’s give and take once ALL parties pay their part.
I believe in rewarding kids but kids are supposed to do good things if they are influenced in the right way. For instance every time your child does something he/she will NOT always be rewarded. Teaching integrity means that at some point they learn to do the right thing simply because it’s right and not because someone is watching them or will give them something. This is why some kids feel a sense of entitlement because you love your little love muffin and use rewards for everything. Reward systems are awesome. It can be used to motivate but should not be in the place of all parenting techniques. These little angels grow up and think the world owes them something and you and I both know that really isn’t how it works.
Like I have always pushed, balance is key. Never do more on one side over another. I know this whole not wanting to be “basic” is a thing but the reality is there are times when going back to the old landmark really does still work. The standard you set in your life and how you work through it should still be set by a measurement. If a person is worth your time they will know what your standard is. That is why some people go ga ga over things like good sex. Is sex supposed to be bad? Yes there are some sexual partners that don’t always do it right off the bat and you have to set the standard even in that on what you will accept or not. However some folks get one strong sexual partner and will throw caution to the wind over some wet sheets and weak knees. It’s like having a stack of cards and as long as one suit is good, you don’t pay any attention to anything else. Set the standard. Know you are worth to be treated the way you want and make no excuse for it. In time once your basic needs are met the other items will line up because you are looking through balanced eyes.
So we all have them right? Unless you are in business for yourself you have to work. I was always taught if you don’t work, you don’t eat. There are no handouts. Let me say even if you have landed your dream job, having others who you have to interact with can get annoying. It doesn’t mean you have to be at your wit’s end.
I am a firm believer in life not to allow any one person to get into my spirit so much that the sight of them makes my eyes squint. Now that is not to say that it hasn’t happened. It’s getting warmer out and although you would think that moods would be jolly people are people. These tips I am giving are the ones I use and reuse all the time.
- Don’t take your work home-give yourself about 5 minutes or so after you get off or after you speak to a friend or spouse about someone at the job and then let it go. The more energy you give a person even if they are not in your presence the more they irk you. Speak it and then release it and them.
- Know your supervisor. Sometimes knowing who you have to report will help the situation. There is always that co-worker that thinks he/she is your boss. Speak up. You are only going to get more frustrated if you don’t. You can professionally let people know where they can get on or off without being overly out-of-pocket. Little reminders of the such goes a long way trust me. You have to professionally back people off of you.
- Don’t Speak what you won’t do. If you are a talker and all you want to do is complain say that. However never put out in the atmosphere what you are going to do if you don’t plan to do it. People waste energy telling folks off and then don’t back it up. In an office setting there should be protocol in how you handle conflict. Deal with the issue and attempt to set aside the emotions of the situation.
- Be cordial-stop thinking that you have to be your co-workers friend. This false set of foolishness leads to more issues that can be squashed. If you and the co-worker don’t hang out outside of the office, stop allowing them to be on your social media networks and crossing the friendship line with you.
- You are in control of you. Adults should be their own person. Learn that in some situations hi and bye works. You are there to do your job or work on your projects. When you forget that at times you get caught up.
- Don’t get caught up in office banter. In order to have less problems learn when to disengage.
There will be tines when the list doesn’t work. Gasp. Yes people are people. Find it inside of you to stay in control. The biggest one is to learn to speak up. It’s usually the ones who hold everything in, and complain the most who have the worst interpersonal skills. They haven’t learned to walk in their adulthood. That alone will solve a lot of office issues. Never stoop to the annoying co-workers level. Remain in control. There’s a good chance they have rubbed others the wrong way as well. Never let them see you sweat. Since most of us don’t have bail money on deck, don’t lose control at work. Walk away especially from work place violence-no one wins. Take walks. Take a break.
So I have been asked questions about my weight loss journey and I want to answer them for you. For those who don’t know I have been losing weight since January. I have lost a total of 32 pounds to date. This has not be an easy task. My reasoning for doing it now and sticking to it was being super tired of having piles of clothes on my bed. I was tired of wearing other people’s clothes as well. What I mean is that the clothes I had come from others and wasn’t the sizes of clothes I should have been wearing. Some of it was too big. Some of it was sadly the right size but shouldn’t have been the size I was in. I got tired of every summer seeing some of the most trendiest clothes and trying to find the bigger size of it to be in . I was tired. I joined weight watchers on February 1st after losing 15 pounds on my own. Before Weight Watchers I wrote everything I ate and I applied the same method with Weight Watchers. I also work out at work on my lunch time. This has helped take the sting of “not having enough time” off the table. I also increased my water intake and take vitamins on a regular basis.
In the last few months I have cut my hair. I wanted the change and I have had short hair before but I decided to end my relationship with my relaxer as well. This was my decision and I don’t attempt to push my decision on anyone. I love my hair. I do understand that others don’t like it but hey when I look in that mirror everyday I feel great, I look great. I love it and I love me. To be honest to hell with the ones who don’t like it and that’s for the ones who do know me and those who don’t. I am on a journey to pour more into myself and this journey is personal. I also am finding out what makes me happy. I think happiness comes from the inside. I have been doing the work to make me an all around better person. This hasn’t come without backlash. I am not everyone’s cup of tea. You aren’t either so if you face change and you find it’s not being embraced don’t sweat it. People deflect what is wrong with them onto others. Life doesn’t have to be the way you want it.
So when I first started out I felt like I wouldn’t have enough food to eat. I felt like I couldn’t give up the processed foods I had been accustomed to. I felt like since I baked and made sure me and the kids ate enough vegetables and fruits I would be fine. I was in a sense but even with the 15 pounds on my own I wanted to be more disciplined. So I began Weight Watchers and I have done really well. Today to date I have lost 32 pounds. I am very proud of my accomplishments but I have a little ways to go yet. I have my stomach to tighten and some muscles to tone. So here are the things that I have gone through since this process has started:
- In the beginning my cravings for food increased. I learned that I can have what I want in the right size and I don’t have to eat it all or over eat to enjoy it
- I have had a lot of off scale victories such as having my clothes literally fall off of me and having to get a few pieces of new items. I wore a medium one piece jumpsuit and I hadn’t seen a medium since before I had kids. I bought a size 6 dress and it fit no stomach sucking in or anything and it looked nice. I am not a solid 6 I am in-between a 6 and a 8 but coming from a size 12 that is a great step.
- I have more energy to play with my kids, get things done and I fall asleep because I have gotten so much done not because I can’t walk up a flight of stairs
- Seeing pictures of me where my neck is smaller, face more defined and that tummy coming together has motivated me to want to take more pictures where I don’t use my kids to hide my belly anymore.
- Confidence has gone through the roof-I love how I feel and what I see. Even though I can acknowledge I have a little ways to go its great to know that I love what I see coming from the inside to the outside
My Formal Life
When I was in college I was a size 0 and then went to a 4. After my first child I was a solid 6 and everyone said the best compliments. When I started up the scale I would get “girl you ain’t as small as you used to be.” “We can’t call you lil’ Toi anymore” “You changed” “She doesn’t wear, look, etc anymore.” The comparison from my former life to when I was at my heaviest are all forms of pressure. I have 3 kids and I was happy and adjusting to the many hats I had to wear. It’s interesting is that most of the comments came from others who are much bigger than I remembered them and they were always heavier than me. Not one time had I judged them or asked them “what happened” or made rude comments. People are a trip. Even with the weight loss that won’t stop people from being extra. I will still hear people say well I am glad you lost that weight I was starting to wonder…. Now if you know me I will speak up. I don’t have to defend myself to people who in reality don’t matter. I don’t have to defend myself to people who don’t even check up on me. I have an answer for myself. I owe myself the new life. I can’t say that my family has had anything negative to say about my weight except that my kids know that I won’t a lot of junk unless I have prepared for it. Other than that I can say that this change has been allowing me to tune the world out. I actually ran into someone who was talking about me and didn’t see me standing there. When they were done I said well next time just ask the source. Their face turned bright red. It’s funny. I do not claim to be guru of weight loss I just know what is working for me and I am good with I see my body doing. So when I hit my weight goal I will reveal a pic of me at my heaviest and the new picture with the new weight. If there is something you want to do in your life weight loss or not tune the world out. Tune out the negative influences in your head and out. Tune and lock into your WHY. Know you can do it and it will be a challenge at the same time. One of the things that irked me was when I felt like I hadn’t loss much weight and felt like I was just not doing enough. Part of the journey is up and down or seeing not much change. Gradual weight loss is more important than dropping pounds off all at once. So be encouraged!
So I want to start doing a weekly wrap up with my readers. I first want to say thank you for rocking out with me. Some of you have been loyal since day one 2 years ago and some are brand new. Even if you came to see what I am doing and have something to say about that, either way you are here.
With this new weekly wrap up I will attempt to wrap a few news stories as well as personal highs and lows that went down this week.
- Missing black girls in the DC area. I have a 7-year-old and to know that these young girls are missing and not much coverage is being done to bring them or any lost child home is most disturbing. I need our men to step up and assist our single mothers in DC and all over the world. Men make such a vital part of our community especially in homes where no male is present. So let’s say a prayer that these young ladies make it home safe and sound.
- Violence breaks out outside the UK Parliament-it is the sad day that we live in where these senseless acts of violence and terrorism takes place. My prayers to those who were injured or lost their lives.
- The United States government as a whole. It’s no secret that Trump is in office. There are a lot of laws and a lot of back and forth taking place that affects and will affect of the everyday life. My suggestion is that we need to all start pulling resources together. We need to look out for one another. I have been saying this since I started this blog, we need to take it back to the old land mark where we would watch over our elderly, feed the kids, and help the single moms and dads where we can. A little can go a long way and not just around the holiday times either. Step it up all year-long
- Lost 2 more pounds this week. Even managed to almost loss my clothes on the treadmill. Contemplating if I should buy smaller size clothes as I have gone down one and a half but I am attempting to wait it out.
- Made some time for myself and I have a few things for myself this weekend. I am on a mission to attempt to balance my life as much as possible to not give more than I need to in any one area and pour back into my own life like I pour out into others.
- Daughter’s report came home and we are loving her new confidence. We are working with her on not just hearing what we say but applying. We want her to be strong and confident and speak up for herself respectively.
- Concurred the water demon aka drinking water more. I do not like water however its one of the best components to losing weight is increasing water. I can actually drink it whether its flavored or not and that’s major progress.
- Keeping up with my new natural hair style. I thought it would be harder especially with the fact that I work out at least 3 days a week but so far so good. See my blog on my natural hair, Natural is not a phase
Blogs for this week:
If you missed anything and you I hope you haven’t but if you did this is what we were talking about this week:
- Marriage and medical deal breakers. We helped a married couple navigate should they leave their marriage over a medical problem. You have to read my answer. It’s not always a flat-out no. Yes we have vows but sometimes……
- Rapper Future is not on my top list of greatest rappers. I do not like this just learned how to read, cookie cutter, make money off of stupidity rap.
- Open marriage in the communication lane and taking trips without your mate
- Whether or not you should leave a significant other who refuses to wash. The short answer is going to a yes…..
- We highlighted KJM a blogger that keeps it straight no chaser. Let me say she gets the nitty and gritty of where I leave off. I blog light but my mouth is just as sharp. Don’t know who KJM is, catch up
- Spring must do
So this has been a trying week for me in that I am still dealing with the aftermath of my kid’s school. I really am trying to find the appropriate way to start communicating and liking it my kids teachers. I believe in keeping decorum but the struggle is in having to save face after I am clear that personalities no longer mash well. Parenting is not an easy road. I as always taught to handle my business but I find that I am on a hi and bye level and I am not sure if that will be enough to salvage the broken relationship. I do not play when it comes to my kids. Once I see someone lie, discriminate, or even not give them the basic education they deserve my first step is to get through the year and think ahead on new schooling. I know that sounds like running but it’s not. I believe every child needs to have a good education. I believe they should be safe, and be in a welcoming environment. My kids do not go to school for free. So once I start shelling out rent payments and car notes I expect a high level of expectation to be met period. So I am still figuring things out and weighing out all options. The trick is putting my issues to the side for the better of my children but not taking no junk from anyone regardless of title or position.
This past weekend wasn’t a very good one for me. I had a hard time coming out of a funk. No I am not super positive every moment. I can go left real quick. It is something that I am aware of and try to stay away from others and retreat if I need to. My patience can become quick and the only ones I am not short with for the most part are the 3 that call me mom. I am working on getting better on working through my triggers. But hey I am human and I bounced back fine.
The statement of what it means to be a woman is so complicated. Some would answer this in relation to their status meaning a wife or mother but the reality is being a woman when you strip the titles is much more than who were are connected to or what connects us to others. Being a woman is one of the most liberating yet most scariest thing ever.
We don’t get the respect that we deserve. Find any woman it doesn’t matter if she is CEO of a large company or a stay at home mom, she is under appreciated She is expected to be everything to everyone all the time. She is to be dressed to the nine, fierce, show strength but not too much strength if there is a man present. She is expected to wear a lot of hats but not show emotion because emotion is considered a weakness. Women can be all of those things. We as women define us and that definition of who we are changes as the things within and around us change.
We are able to make things happen on small and large scales. We can handle a lot of things that come our way and are one of the most resilient creatures you will ever know. We don’t always get the chance to come back and get it right. Often times we have to be reactive due to whatever is being thrown our way. Women are beautiful no matter the shade of color. We are beautiful no matter what we own or don’t have. The beauty of a woman is to remain who she wants to be even when the world wants a certain reaction from us. We are in control. So what defines one woman may not work for the next. Let me give you an example. Every woman is not a mother yet motherhood isn’t what defines a woman’s womanhood. As long as she is a woman she is a woman. She doesn’t need to bear children to be accepted into this invisible club that she already was either birthed or in this day paid to be in. It’s that simple. I really get tired of all of non mothers who have to go through the 4th degree as to why. Yet there are women having, killing, or throwing babies away getting passes. Most of this even comes from other women and we have to do better.
Women are complex and beautiful. So for women’s month my goal is to highlight that. I don’t want to give you just the stories of women who are all making it but fail to showcase the failures it took to get to where they are now. There are so many no, falls, screwups, second chances, etc that take place and sometimes with the filters of social media all we see is the beautiful side. So when you as a woman are going through your dark side you feel alone. You feel like a loser when we all have these same moments. We all cry. We all hurt. There is a woman with fabulous still being dogged out by someone. There is a woman somewhere being told that she is less even though she is giving her all, failing, and then left feeling deserted. So ladies, ease up on all the judgments. We all trying to do our absolute best. So for women history month and beyond this blog will always showcase women in a positive light. We may always deal with the negative things we need to do better in but we will always deal with them in the manner where we all win.