Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I Built This Body To Relax In

 My Weight Loss Journey:
My New Lifestyle
“No one wakes up in the morning and says, 'I want to gain 150 pounds and I will start right now!’” (Cunningham) It sneaks up on you – the pounds – and before you know it your scale suddenly must be broken. When I was 184 pounds (seen below) I knew my scale was not broken; although I wish it was. Truthfully, I knew the only thing that was broken was my spirit. Once, I muscled up enough courage to stop feeling sorry for myself and take action, my journey began. It was not easy.

The pounds slowly crept on and off. Today, almost five years later and over 50 pounds lighter, I am still on my journey. When I tell people how much I use to weigh they’re usually in disbelief and they tend to ask “What did you do,” so I figured I would share my story.

The day it all started, the day I decided to go to the gym was the same day I declared a change. I did not wait. I did not say tomorrow, or next week, or next month; as soon as I was ready for a change, that same day, I walked myself straight into the gym. I stayed on one machine, the elliptical machine, barely 30 minutes before grabbing my empty water bottle and leaving the gym in a hot sweat. I told myself that night that, “If I am going to this thing, I am going to do it right.” I mentally prepared myself for the challenge that I knew was ahead of me. Those 30 minutes were difficult, but eventually – with time – 30 minutes turned into 40, which turned into 50. The process was demanding. However, over the course of time my body became conditioned, and my minutes spent at the gym extended well over an hour.

Gradually, I incorporated healthier eating habits. When stopping for a quick bite to eat at McDonalds I no longer order cheeseburgers, fries, and sodas; instead, I opt for salads and water. I noticed that the healthier I ate, the longer my stride, the faster my pace and the more energy I had for running – an activity I always relished in before the weight gain. Shortly thereafter, I hired a trainer – P90X. Although, P90X is an exercise program, it felt more like a trainer yelling "bring it" than a set of dvd’s with strategic workout routines.

Today, my goals have shifted. Weight is no longer the focal point. Now, I am concentrating on simply maintaining my health and toning my body. I eat foods I enjoy in moderation and track my calories. Yes, I am a calorie counter. Counting my calories has helped me maintain my figure while keeping me accountable for my actions. When logging my calories I consider how well or poor my eating habits have been; if I notice that there were one too many calories, especially due to sweets or fried foods I make sure not to skip a workout or I tend to stay an extra 30 minutes in the gym.

Click here, to learn more about calories!

 Moreover, I constantly research and familiarize myself with significant developments in fitness and health to assist me with my fitness goals.   

Additionally, I have immersed myself in numerous activities. As mentioned in, Work it Out, I have found it to be extremely refreshing and exciting to engage in different exercises and activities like: African dance, Brazilian dance, bellydance, running, swimming, yoga, Zumba, spin, etc. 

I believe the key to loosing weight and staying healthy is: courage, determination, support, and health/fitness awareness. Without courage I would not have been able to take the first step towards my journey and without determination I would have stopped a long time ago. Furthermore, the fitness awareness I have acquired along with the support of others has been critical in the maintenance of my health.   

Monday, June 17, 2013

Strangled By These Laces

(by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

I was seven years old, when I got my first pair
And I stepped outside
And I was like, "Momma, this air bubble right here,
  it's gonna make me fly"
I hit back-court and when I jumped, I jumped, I swear I got so high
I touched the net, "Mom, I touched the net," this is the best day of my life

Air Max's were next,
That air bubble, that mesh
The box, the smell, the stuffin', the tread,
In school
I was so cool
I knew that I couldn't crease 'em
My friends couldn't afford 'em
Four stripes on their Adidas
On the court I wasn't the best, but my kicks were like the pros
Yo, I stick out my tongue so everyone could see that logo
Nike Air Flight, but bad was so dope
And then my friend Carlos' brother got murdered for his Fours*, whoa

See he just wanted a jump shot, but they wanted to start a cult though
Didn't wanna get caught, from Genesee Park to Othello
You could clown for those Pro Wings, with the Velcro
Those were not tight
I was trying to fly without leaving the ground,
Cause I wanted to be like Mike, right
Wanted to be him,
I wanted to be that guy, I wanted to touch the rim
I wanted to be cool, and I wanted to fit in,
I wanted what he had, America, it begins

I want to fly
Can you take me far away?
Give me a star to reach for
Tell me what it takes
And I'll go so high
I'll go so high
My feet won't touch the ground
I stitch my wings
And pull the strings
I bought these dreams
That all fall down

We want what we can't have, commodity makes us want it
So expensive, damn, I just got to flaunt it
Got to show 'em, so exclusive, this that new shit
A hundred dollars for a pair of shoes I would never hoop in
Look at me, look at me, I'm a cool kid
I'm an individual, yeah, but I'm part of a movement
My movement told me be a consumer and I consumed it
They told me to just do it, I listened to what that swoosh said
Look at what that swoosh did
See it consumed my thoughts
Are you stupid, don't crease 'em, just leave 'em in that box
Strangled by these laces, laces I can barely talk
That's my air bubble and I'm lost if it pops
We are what we wear, we wear what we are
But see I look inside the mirror and think Phil Knight tricked us all
Will I stand for change or stay in my box
These Nikes help me define me, 
but I'm trying to take mine, off

I want to fly
Can you take me far away?
Give me a star to reach for
Tell me what it takes
And I'll go so high
I'll go so high
My feet won't touch the ground
I stitch my wings
And pull the strings
I bought these dreams
That all fall down

It started out with what I wear to school
That first day, like these are what make you cool
And this pair, this would be my parachute
So much more than just a pair of shoes
Nah, this is what I am
What I wore, this is the source of my youth
This dream that they sold to you
For a hundred dollars and some change
Consumption is in the veins
And now I see it's just another pair of shoes

Click here, to hear it and for
 a better comprehension!

Sources: 1, 2

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cigarettes And Whiskey


Cigarettes And Whisky 
And Wild, Wild Women

Perhaps I was born kneeling,
born coughing on the long winter,
born expecting the kiss of mercy,
born with a passion for quickness
and yet, as things progressed,
I learned early about the stockade
or taken out, the fume of the enema.
By two or three I learned not to kneel,
not to expect, to plant my fires underground
where none but the dolls, perfect and awful,
could be whispered to or laid down to die.

Now that I have written many words,
and let out so many loves, for so many,
and been altogether what I always was—
a woman of excess, of zeal and greed,
I find the effort useless.
Do I not look in the mirror,
these days,
and see a drunken rat avert her eyes?
Do I not feel the hunger so acutely
that I would rather die than look
into its face?
I kneel once more,
in case mercy should come
in the nick of time.

(Anne Sexton, Cigarettes And Whisky 
And Wild, Wild Women)
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