Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

Make this your response: Dear haters, I still want you to win

I want you to win because I believe in empowering people, women and men. I hope to motivate and inspire you to believe it for yourself too. I want you to win, because I want to see you happy. I want to see you rise above your ways, thrive and flourish into something beautiful. Even when you don’t wish the same for me, I still want to see it for you. I want you to have all that you’ve ever hoped for, wished for and dreamed for. Everything that you think will make your life great or greater, even those things which cause you to envy, or despise who and what you don’t know- I hope that someday soon, that you can have it. I want you to win.

I want your life to be an on-going list of amazing experiences. All the places that you want to go visit, all the luxurious hotel beds that you want to sleep in, all the first-class flights, jets, or private charters and yachts you want to take, the house that you want to live in, the financial situation that you want to have, the emotional state of happiness that you need, and whips that you want to push, I want you to have it all. I want you to have the clothes, the friends, the networks and the support. Even though you don’t support me, I still want you to win. Even though you have not been a friend to me, I still want this for you. I hope that someday, in the near further, that you won’t have to live vicariously through anyone, and that you can have the life that you so desire.

I want you to win. I want you to place every egg that you have in one basket, and I want it to multiply for you. I want you to reap seeds of prosperity and I want you to love yourself. I want you to be able to do all the things in life that will bring you peace and joy, whether it’s to have kids, work a job you love, have the career that you want, the title in life that you want, and I want you to be with someone you love. I want you to have the relationship with family that you want, sip champagne just because it’s Sunday and enjoy brunch every day, with people who wish you well. All this, because I truly want you to win.

It doesn’t matter who you are, I still want you to win: Whether we went to high school together, and you judge your own success in life off who went further, or whether you are an ex, who can’t get over a past of pain, in which I never knew I brought to you. I still want you to win, whether we worked together at some point and you did your best to get me fired, I still want the best for you. I will still put my best, in sincerely wanting you to have everything you took, take or are trying to take from me. Whether you were a girlfriend to an ex, who never wanted to see me with him, whether you were a parent of someone I used to know, who hates me for no reason. Whether you are a teacher who never wanted to see me graduate, whether you came in, 2nd place to me in a competition for a title or position that you wanted, whether you are someone who gets sick at the sound of my name, I still want you to win.

Even though you secretly stalk me, wanting for a moment to swipe my happy moment, I want you to win. Whether you are someone who, with bad intentions and motives, prowls my social media, I want to see you win….Whether you are a church member caught up in the hoopla of lies and deception, games and trickery, with no will to see me come out on top. I still want you to win. If you are an attorney, who took my money, with no intention to help, but all the desire in the world, just to get information and then take it back to those who betrayed me, I STILL want you to win. Whether you have taken my deepest secrets and placed your own verse on them, creating your own rendition, before sharing them with more people, who are just like you, I still want you to win.

I still want you to win, despite the blatant ways you have tried to make me lose. I still want you to win, even though, when you knew the truth, you still sided with wrong, just to see me fail. I still want you to win, even though you take from me and I give to you. I still want you to win, even though we don’t know each other, but you judge me based off things you may have heard. I still want you to win, even though you constantly look for ways to bring me down.

You can have it all, but if your heart is not right and your spirit is corrupt, you’ll never be able to see it. You’ll never feel the joy that comes into your life, long as you’re blocking the door with hatred, spite, anger, envy, jealousness. Wishing Hurt, harm and pain on someone else, or damaging a person, sabotaging a person, destroying someone’s reputation, credibility and life; will never return to you all the things you want. I want you to win so that’s why I’m sharing this pearl.

I want you to win, so that you can stop hoping and wishing it away from other people, and so that you can stop dwelling on what they have, and how you wish they didn’t have it or how you hope they lose it. I want you to win, so that you don’t have to rely on your happiness coming from seeing someone else lose the things they have worked so hard for.

But, here’s the catch: I want you to wake up and decide that you are going to be happy and that you want to win, fair and square. Your win can not come from taking, stealing, lying, or being manipulative, deceiving and dishonest. That’s when you’ll know that you’re WINNING

Then, with intentional purpose, set out to just be happy. I want this for you, that you will be able to do just that- so that you can live again. So that you can shut off that internally redundant behavior of hating on other people; by which you have been gossiping, spreading and perpetuating lies and creating drama. I want you to stop engaging and dealing in acts of hatred toward other people’s happiness and their possessions.

I want you to have a life that is so full of the things you love, that you will no longer concern yourself with me or anyone else that you think is doing better or that may have the things that you want for yourself. I want you to have the luxury of being involved with things that can be positively life altering for you as well as a blessing to the world. I want you to experience a transformation that is so powerful, that you wake up and realize that hating on someone else, will never grant you the happiness that’s required to truly enjoy any of the things above. I am still rooting for you!

Originally published on Cafemom.com. See it here

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

5 Things That Every Super Single Mom Can Appreciate!

When it comes to showing a Super Single Mom, that you care about them, there are so many ways to do it. Vacations out of the country, expensive gifts, which include jewelry, such as: Promise Rings, and the Tiffany Diamond Pendent that she has been looking at, are nice, but are sometimes not affordable at the time and other times, the timing is just all bad.

When thinking about what to give that Super Single Mom, who happens to be a co-worker, your best friend, your relative, or your business partner, the gifts may also vary. You don’t always need to break the bank, to make grand gestures. When they are heart-felt and much needed, they are also appreciated! Here are some universal, fool-proof things, that every Super Single Mom can appreciate.

FROM A MAN:

romantic tripA Romantic Day Trip: (If you’re romantically involved) In which, she may stop calling herself “Single.” As stated, a full-blown vacation may not be possible or even feasible at the time, with regards to work schedules and raising kids. They take time off and proper planning, whereas a day trip is well within reach.

Pick her head on things she would like to do and local places she would like to visit, such as: The Botanical Gardens, The Arts Museum, etc. Plan a picnic, a walk in the park, or a boat ride to follow. For the day, make her feel like she is out of town, and away from the madness, even though it is just 10-30 miles away.

handwritten

A little handwritten note: Notes are perhaps the most sentimental thing you can do for a woman. Here are some ideas. Just tell her something that she has not heard in a while. Remind her of how you feel about her. Let her know how much she means to you. Be willing to be vulnerable. “You’re beautiful” “You are appreciated” “You look great today, as usual” “You are a great mother”

breakfast in bed

Breakfast in Bed: Nothing says, “Good-Morning” like breakfast in bed. Waking up to a home-cooked breakfast, is in the mind of every super single mom. If you are dating, to the point that you are occupying spaces together, the kids are getting along, and they spend an inordinate amount of time together, as the two of you pan out blending the families, whereas things are getting serious; this will earn you major cool points.

lunch

A Surprise Lunch/Brunch or Dinner: Surprise her with a date to one of her favorite restaurants. It shows that you’re interested/still interested in dating her, in that you even remember what her favorite restaurant is. Take care of the arrangements beforehand, so that she doesn’t have to think.

Women who have been working, thinking and making all the decisions at work and at home, all day, just want someone to finally say: “I made reservations for lunch, at The Walnut Cafe. I am picking you up at 1:00 P.M.” Or, “We have dinner reservations. I will meet you at the house, and we can go from there. I have made arrangements for a sitter. The kids will have dinner ready when they get home from school.”

bath and massage

A Massage: Schedule a massage or DIY. But do it good. If massaging is your thing, why not save on the masseuse, crack those knuckles and put those palms into action. Use some lavender, peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil, after she has taken a long, hot bath. She has been running around with the kid(s) all day, and she just wants to come home and relax. You can help her achieve this, by addressing those pressure/stress points in her neck, back and shoulders.

FROM FRIENDS ETC.

spa dayA gift card to the spa: A trip to the Spa, one evening on her way from work, is the best. If it’s coming from the company, it’s all around winning situation for the employee and the employer, when the employer gives her the 2-hour early dismissal from work, so that she can make this possible. If she cannot do it during the week, she will at least have the GC, so that when she carves out enough time or when an impromptu situation arises, where she can break away to use it, she will appreciate it.

family night

A gift card for family night out: Show your friend and Super Single Mom that you have thought about the fact that she does all the picking up and dropping off the children, at school, after school practice, sporting events and gets them ready for school and prepared for bed. Allow her a free night from the kitchen and give her a GC that will take care of dinner for her and the kids for a night.

cleaning service.png

A coupon for a cleaning service: You should have thought of this one before. How many times have you heard a Super Single Mom talk about all the cleaning that she must do when she gets home? How many times have you heard her complain about having to run behind the kids and clean up mess? Take care of one of those times, by giving her the gift of a cleaning service for the day.

bottles of wine

A bottle of Wine: I realize I could just be speaking for a small group of people, as I recognize those who may not drink wine. However, for those who do, and you know who they are (as I raise my hand, really-high) they will appreciate it, more than you know. Contrary to widespread belief, mommies do like wine. Wink-Wink. Working Mothers do like wine and when they have a moment to do so, they do sip. Guilty as charged.

wash car

Wash and Detail her car: That’s right! She doesn’t have time to do this. It needs to be done. She will appreciate it. There are French-Fries every-where, that match the little hand prints all over the windows.

Well, there you have it! Find one thing from the list above, and show a Super Single Mom, that she is appreciated.

Article Originally Published on Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Travel, Uncategorized

Why Moving Out Of My Home Was Bitter Sweet and Why My New Situation Is Sweet As Pie

I moved into my home, in the Sienna Plantation Subdivision of Sugarland, Texas; in April of 2012. I had every intention of making it home for at least the following 5 years. I wanted a place for my son to grow, to call his own and to run around with all the freedom a One-Year old could want. I wanted a community, where extra-curricular activities, in a family-oriented environment and a family-friendly neighborhood; were in plethora. I wanted the security of knowing that my son was in a safe neighborhood (as safe as it could be anyway – little to no crime) and in a home where he had a large backyard, to run wild in the grass. I thought of that land that our home sat on when I was in grade school, and how we could go outside in the backyard and have the time of our life, without being in harm’s way. I wanted this for my child.

I accomplished that when I picked out the house, April of that year. Even though the move was a sudden and quick move, only looking at two other homes before deciding on this one, I was completely satisfied. I found the house on a Friday and I had moved in within a week. When I looked at this house, I saw myself in the kitchen being able to see the entire backyard, as my child was playing outside.

As I walked through the downstairs, admiring the open kitchen and bar area, the entertainment living room, which had floor to ceiling windows that stretched over 16 feet, allowing natural light to illuminate the entire downstairs area; I settled at the fireplace. I gazed over the backyard, from corner to corner, while standing indoors, at the fireplace. The whole back of the home, was wide-open. I envisioned a flat screen TV above the fireplace, accompanied by fancy art, which would anchor both sides for symmetrical purpose. I am a person who often seek balance, and it penetrates each part of my life. The living room was just one. I fancied the idea of raw paintings, that would adorn the collar bones of the home.

The walls had yet to be painted. Just the way I like it… A blank canvas. I knew that I wouldn’t paint them either, because there’s something about the look of clean, white walls, throughout a wide-open home. I took noticed the multiple options that I had, for placement of family portraits and moments, which would be captured between my son and me, for the duration of our stay.

I moved beyond the living room, into the downstairs Master Bedroom, which had a window seat and another large, open window area. It was just the right size, just what I was used to. The Master-Bath was to my liking, as well as the walk-in closet that would support alllll the clothes, shoes and purses that I would be bringing. From there, I moved throughout the breakfast area and dining room, just before heading upstairs. Once upstairs, on the catwalk, I had a choice to go left or right to decide which room would suit my son. But I took a pause, for that breath-taking moment, as I looked down, over the living area. The tall windows allowed me to see beyond the fence in the backyard, into the bayou. The privacy was just what I needed.

I took the right… Headed right to the room that I knew would be perfect for the little one. It was just off the open play area, where if I were downstairs in the living room, I could look up and see him always. The other side of the house, seated two additional bedrooms and a full-sized bath. So, there I was. 4 bedrooms, large walk-in closets, plenty of room, open kitchen, entertainment living-room, dining area, breakfast area, large laundry, open floor plan with lots of natural light, large, fenced-in backward, 2 car garages and the home was located at the end of the street, last house in the circle… on Story Book Trail. I was good. I was home.

Fast forward 5 years later, after I had hung my coat, and settled in over the years, making this home my resting place; I wondered through some old photos. It reminded me of the first day that I moved in. I sat in that timeless moment of nostalgia. I cried, I laughed, I danced. I thought about the reality of it being March 2017, and how the close of my custody trial had also brought a close to my story, on Story Book Trail. I would be moving out of the home in a week. I needed to get away. I thought about some not so great moments that happened in the home, which caused me to view to home a little differently, 1-year into being there. I loved the home, but shortly after I moved in and only after I revealed my address, some random acts of vandalism began to occur. At that moment, I wanted out of the house, but I had to make the best of the unpleasant situation and remain put, until the time was right to leave.

I was getting so much negative energy about being able to live in such a lovely home, (how could she afford it, that’s not her home, who’s paying for her home, it must be a rental or did she purchase it, she doesn’t have a job, she needs to get a job). (And the best one of all, “she’s using child support money to pay for it” ALTHOUGH, I wasn’t getting child support, I was paying child support) and all of this was creating a ball of hate, which was beginning to grow legs, arms, eyes and vicious teeth. It was hovering over my life unwarranted. It was crawling through my home, disturbing my peace. It was killing the spirit of joy throughout the walls of my home. Every time I looked around, something else was occurring.

It was almost like watching an apple decay. A beautiful apple, turning from red to black. From plump, to a soft and fetal position. A series of events were tarnishing my home. From break ins while I was out of town, to tampering with my phone lines and security systems, to people showing up disguised as delivery services and phone company representatives, who only wanted to get inside my home to plant wires… to the home being rummaged through while I was away. Even installing a security system didn’t work, because through the phone lines and my computer, my space had been invaded, violated and my privacy was destroyed.

But then I thought to myself, this is the 5th year, and all that I had planned for. Everything that was pushing me away from that home, was pushing me into the direction of something so much greater. I did not understand while it was happening. But I understand it now. I understood it while I was packing up and getting ready for greater. I had my last dance with the home, entertaining my son and his friends as they ran about outside, playing in water wars and washing the cars. I had my last rendezvous with the home the last night over a bottle of wine. I had my last affair with the home as I sat in the soaker. I walked the home corner to corner, as I had done when I moved in, taking in all the precious moments that were spent there- from room to room. I sat in each room and prayed. I walked upstairs and downstairs closing all the doors, as you would, a book once finished. I turned off all the lights, disconnected all services, closed all the blinds and locked the door for the last time. I was smiling and I never looked back, as I drove away.

Had I moved, prior to the season for me to move, I would be in a repeat situation. I am convinced, that it was by purpose, that I remained in that house until all the court hoopla came to a head, where I was then able to move at my leisure, unbothered and unfollowed. GOD is still good.

“There is always a sign that Precedes the move of GOD” That was the sound of those doors locking, one last time. That was the sound of me driving away from Story Book Trail, as that story was over.

Walking out of the house, I could hear only “One Sound.” That was the sound of “The Anthem” featuring Gospel Singer, William Murphy and the Full Baptist Church. Halleluiah, you have won the victory. You have won it all for me. Death could not hold you down, you are the risen king, seated in majesty, you are the risen King! I am grateful that GOD kept me in the valley, hid me from the rain… forever, he will reign.

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel, Uncategorized

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Here’s 5 Things Anyone Can Do When They Are Bored

Play Sudoku – Don’t sleep on Sudoku puzzles. It has become one of the games that I play, which makes the time go by fast. It really is a fun game, but I must warn you, you will get hooked.

Sudoku is one of the most popular puzzle games of all time. The goal of Sudoku is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers so that each row, column and 3×3 section contain all the digits between 1 and 9. As a logic puzzle, Sudoku is also an excellent brain game. If you play Sudoku daily, you will soon start to see improvements in your concentration and overall brain power

The popular Japanese puzzle game Sudoku is based on the logical placement of numbers. An online game of logic, Sudoku doesn’t require any calculation nor special math skills; all that is needed are brains and concentration.

If you have an iPhone, there are three games I would recommend when sitting in hospital waiting areas or hair and nail salons, waiting for your number to be called. 8-Ball, 9-Ball, Anagrams and Word Hunt. For the same reason of jump starting and getting that blood to flow, word hunt and anagram is great.

8-Ball is real entertaining, if you do not really know how to play pool. It’s an uncomplicated way to learn, as its electronic and allows you to line up your cue and bank any shot. Well, with a few misses of course, but after a few games, you’ll get the hang of it.

Send a Post Gram – Who doesn’t love a greeting card, just because. You can download the Postgram App  for convenience, and after creating and customizing a post card to send to family, friends, and/or business associates, to remind them that you are still in business, Post Grams by Sincerely Inc. sends to U.S. Canada and Europe.

I worked as a Realtor for 10 years in Texas. During this time and even today, post cards were the number one seller at the marketing company I worked for. That is because Realtors realized the importance of maintaining contact with prospects, future home buyers and even those whom they have sold a home to before. Postcards remind people of what you do. “I sell houses” “I am an Estate Manager” “I am a Loan Officer” “I am a Chef” “I am a Landscaper” “I’m an Interior Decorator” ETC., Except be creative in how you remind them: “Wanted to wish you a Happy Tuesday, from your local Real Estate Agent” …” Greetings, hope you enjoy the Spring ahead. Don’t forget to Spring forward” …” A little reminder from your local Bake Shop” …

Even if it is not a business that you are running, you can always send a greeting card to people for no reason at all, just to say hello. Postgram is something that you can do right from the comfort of your home, on your cell phone. You never have leave the house. It’s not an email greeting card. It’s an actual plastic post card that will be delivered by mail to the recipient. It takes 5 minutes or less.

Organize and Clean – I used to manage a retail store called Just for Feet, way back when they were opened of course. This was in the late 90’s. I remember overhearing my District Manager tell one of the associates that if there is time to lean, there is time to clean. That stuck with me over the years, and so I made use of all my idle time, just by thinking of him saying that.

If you are home, or work, bored with nothing to do (and you don’t need rest) waiminute, when don’t we need rest as mothers? Ok… anyway, when and if a time comes where you do not need another second of rest, and you need to do something; tackle that junk drawer in the kitchen. We all have one.

Organize the kitchen pantry so that you will stop buying things you already have but just couldn’t find it. Clean out the refrigerator, there’s no use for that 10-day old lasagna that you said you were going to eat, 9 days ago.

Tackle and declutter that closet that you have been telling yourself that you don’t have time to do. You’d be amazed how much you can get done and surprised at the fact that you got it done, once you get started and just take your time. Section it off so that it is not so overwhelming. Focus on one part at a time. It’s not a marathon, so if you get tired just take a break. Pop on some music to get you excited about completing a task around the house.

Fold those clothes that are in the wash room sitting in that basket. You’ve already taken them out of the dryer. Why are they still in the basket?

Wash your car – may be a little hot at hi-noon to do this one. However, if it is in the evening that you find yourself bored, this would be something to do. Even if you’re used to taking it to the car wash, or having the kids do it… try doing it yourself one that when you have nothing to do. If the kids are home, help them with it. It saves you the money of having to drive it to a hand wash and detail center. It’s really a fun thing to do in the summer time with the kids anyway. If you are a single mom, and there isn’t a man around, you’d really enjoy this with the kids. It’s a great bonding moment. My son loves to wash my car, even though he’s just 6- years old. When I help him, it becomes a game to him. We find ourselves in a water war and it has one of your most memorable moments for the scrapbook.

Learn something new – A moment to learn, is time well spent. If you want boredom to take a hike, get back to teaching yourself to be productive in the process. Utilize every moment to get back to yourself. If it is Law that you are interested in, or Baking, or Design, or even learning how to use social media for marketing your brand or product; use this time to get online to find all the answers to your questions. Maybe you have a relative that is facing some health issues. You can get online to research that and become informed on how to deal with it, or find ways of helping them deal with it. Knowledge never plays out.

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If you were looking for me— these are the words that would lead you to me: Super Single Mom, Mother, Mommy Moment, Parenting, Love…

If you were looking for me— these are the words that would lead you to me: Super Single Mom, Mother, Mommy Moment, Parenting, Love…

Google is a wonderful tool for not only looking up dates of past, present and future events, or finding the correct answer to some of our health-related questions. It’s a major source for locating people also. It’s as easy as plugging in a name and a few key words about the person, and you are then directed to their blogs, their newspaper clippings and even their company and affiliation with companies in a lot of cases. While google has been under scrutiny for the information that can be found, as it relates to privacy and security; it is not google who releases that information. Googled is like the holding cell, for all public information that was placed on line.

Do you remember the infamous line, “Google Me” said by Model Jessica White …on the once a hit reality show; The T.O. Show? The world fell out laughing, that someone said that out loud. We knew that we could just “Google’ someone, but it was not something that we wanted everyone to know that we were doing. However, the shame in that is a thing of the past. It is no secret that you will possibly be “Googled.” Employers do it now and so do potential suitors. Women have used it as much as Men, and it appears that men are leading the game in “googling” people. I am surprised at the amount of times a guy has mentioned, “Well, I saw on line that…” “I googled her and…such and such” Sorry to bust you guys, but it wasn’t a secret anyway. It’s ok. We know you want to know as well and you deserve to google us, just like we google you. Don’t be ashamed. It’s not really snooping when it’s all out there, right? Hummm…The Jury is still out on that.

Anyway, I became aware of the amount of times my name has been googled, as well as by who in some cases; with the help of sophisticated technology. It’s like LinkedIn. LinkedIn can tell you who’s viewed your profile, and so can Google, when plugged in to these pretty savvy apps and programs that allow for you to see this data. You are also able to gauge which words or phrases have been used to search for you, so that you can determine better usage of the tags you use for anything that you post online, you’re your intent is to drive traffic. It took some trial and error for me to learn all the ins and outs and it was a personal situation that drove me to become interested in finding out exactly how people were locating me and how they were finding certain things online. I had to self-teach myself a lot and it took a lot or reading and researching. It all paid off though, after about a year when I had everything I needed, to show that most of my traffic was driven from my Tumblr.

For no rhyme or reason, maybe the ghost followers thought it was the safest place to search and stay up to date, as Tumble lagged in providing their customers with this data. It’s not that it wasn’t available, it’s just that it had to be requested and there was a lot of red tape involved, for me to collect it from them.

I am a woman of many words and as described by Opposing Counsel once, “You do a great deal of writing, don’t you…” To which, I held my tongue for the sake of remaining in compliant with the court…but I wanted to say, “Yes, and you do a great deal of reading, don’t you?” The fact of the matter is, long as you are reading, I will be writing. I thank people like him, and other cyber bullies, ghost followers and stalkers; for driving traffic to my blogs, so I can’t be mad at him and I can’t help it that he stumbled upon some truths about himself, which he found to be offensive. It was something about the shoes he wore, which seemed to rattle his feathers and put his panties in a wad…I can’t really remember…

I’d say it today if it hadn’t already been said. And because I like to stay current, and avoid repeating the same things, and causing my audience to become board with redundant articles, I just wave at him from afar, as I see that he’s still reading. It’s nice to have fans.

I had to learn that over my 8 years in blogging. It really shouldn’t matter who’s viewing your public blog. That’s what you want, especially if it’s monetized. Views equal $$. So, I encourage you to keep reading. I encourage bloggers to keep blogging. I encourage writers to keep writing, and Journalist should keep reporting. You cannot worry about “being found” because “being found” is your best friend in the world of blogging, writing and reporting. Find your voice, so that they can find you.

With that, it has become ideal that I use the same tags and search words for all post and all articles I post anywhere, for easy finding, navigating and linking from site to site and blog to blog. It’s like a chain linked fence…the more links in your chain, the mo…. When I have special post like say, for Father’s Day, then of course I would add that tag, but I would still use all the other tags that I have been using that helps my audience and potential readers find me at any point online.

And last, the song “Here I go” by Mystikal comes to mind: “You looking for me” Well, some key words that are sure to lead you to my front door will be: Super Single Mom, Mother, Mommy Moment, Parenting and Love…

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Here’s My Highly Non-Recommended Diet And Exercise Plan Which Happens To, I Mean Which Use To Work For Me.

I’ve never been one to stick to a healthy diet or exercise program and I’m not a considered a healthy eater. I don’t consider myself to be in the best of shape, with regards to being able to run a mile without becoming winded quickly. With that said, It should be obvious that I am not fitness GURU. I just happen to know my body, and what works for me.

I remember being 30-years old, when I got away with eating little Debbie snack cakes every night, and a gallon of Gatorade. I’d exercise in the evenings, after work, doing a 3-5 mile run walk outside around the track, followed by a 2-3 mile run, on the treadmill. After that, another mile on the stationary bike. I was 5-feet 8-inches, weighing in at 115 lbs, at 30 years old. I gauged my size and growth by a pair of jeans that I wore in High School and College. If I could still fit them, I was doing good. If I couldn’t, then it was time to peel back. It was as simple as that. I was hell bent, on remaining the same size, and so when my eating sprees got out of control, my motivation was to get back into those jeans.

Yea, it’s true. I go on ice cream binges, fried food fiascos and red wine Soirees that will make the person standing next to me say WTF! And I’ve always been the topic of discussion when it came to eating unhealthy food and staying the same size.

UNTIL LATELY. This is what they mean when they say it will catch up with you. It tracked me down like an ex from college that I was hoping to never run into. It came to my front door, unannounced and was on my living room sofa before I could say Calgon take me away.

It happened so unexpectedly. 15 lbs in 5 months gripped my waist, hips and buttocks like the seat of a luxury vehicle does, when it locks you by the seat belt, after slamming on the brakes! What was I to do? Age 39, at my heaviest and biggest size in life. 145 lbs and rising….But I only weighed 150 at full term pregnancy, when I was 33-years old, just to put things into perspective. I was panicking now. Not because I was caught up in “image” and societal shaming of belly fat and love handles… but because I could not fit my 20-year old jeans, in a matter of 5 months.

Most importantly- it is you who must be O.K. with your size and weight, your image and your features. Your accents and all that make up the beautifulness that you behold. In my quest to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it had nothing to do with anyone’s idea of my body or their opinions… but it has everything to do with how I wanted to see myself and what I want to look at when I look at myself in my own mirror. It has everything to do with what I find pleasing in my eyes when it comes to my very own body, and that is not a reflection of how I see anyone else who choose to be big, small, thick or thin. Hopefully when you go on your quest, you’ll do it for yourself as well, and not for anyone else.

But understand, my issue wasn’t with weight gain altogether. It was with “rapid weight gain.” My size is still good, considering my height and age…. but at this rate of weight gain, I could easily become the poster kid for many health-related conditions.

Many things contributed to my weight gain. Being home, and not being as active as I was before. I spent less time traveling and being away from the comfort of my bed. I was stressed over many issues surrounding the custody of my child, which kept me inside the house. I was running to the refrigerator every chance I got, for “something sweet to eat” just to pass time. I wasn’t shopping for healthy food any longer, as I did not have my child at home with me full time anymore.

After a visit to the doctor, I discovered I had issues with thyroid. I experienced a brief bout with pressure and a heart related concern, in which medication prescribed had a side effect of weight gain on top of that fact that I was also given a new medication for severe migraines and anxiety; which contributed to weight gain and my hormones were completely out of whack.

This is also why I would recommend that the first thing you do when you decide on any dieting and exercise regiment, to tackle weight gain or rapid weight gain, that you consult with your doctor first. You want to check your health by doing a temp check of the state of your body, so that you know if you’re fighting against something other than the fact that you can’t stop eating ice cream. It could be more. Address those issues, then you can find a diet that works best while addressing real underlying health concerns.

I had to think about it. All these things that I had come face to face with at 38-years old was new to me, coupled with the things I was voluntarily doing, which aided in weight gain. I realized that many of these issues I never faced before the age of 38, which is why I could eat the way I was eating. I lived a more active lifestyle then as well. If your lifestyle isn’t the same with regards to activities and health- you need to make a shift that tailors to the changes. You won’t be able to eat as much on less activity- or eat all day without exercising or watching calorie and fat intake.

So, where am I now? Well, I watch what I eat and I exercise daily. I stay away from scales. Scales are discouraging. I just look at myself until I like what I see. That may be at the same weight, but in more of a tone package. Same weight, with a healthier eating plan and a suitable workout plan that maintains health, weight and fitness goals. I have a note on my mirror that says, “Stand here until you like what you see” It’s like a Mantra of some sort, because it applies to anything related to esteem. When you look better, you feel better. When you feel better, you do better.

Lifestyle, Parenting, Uncategorized

3 Of My Sons Favorite Things To Eat And What I am Doing About It Because Frankly, I am Tired Of The Repeat

Have you ever heard the sound of a broken record playing? And if so, do you remember how you couldn’t get into the room quick enough to take the needle off the record? That is how I feel at dinner time these days, when it comes to feeding my 6-year old son. He’s a growing child, who needs to eat and as much as I care about his nutrition, it’s a challenge some nights to win. To my surprise, he is the one who is the cause of this broken record getting air time at the house. I thought he would be as tired as I am, about re-runs and threepeat meals.

It has nothing to do with that fact that I grew up eating chicken on what seems like was every night of the week, even though it wasn’t every night. Ok… who am I fooling? Yes, Yes. It has everything to do with that. I became tired of chicken as a child, and so, I can’t understand this phenomenon at my dinner table. Why would a child want the same thing, night after night, when he has choices? I guess when you like what you like, you just like it. Of course, this is not what keeps me awake at night, but should I be concerned? It’s not that he doesn’t like anything else, because I have witnessed him indulge in everything from BBQ to Pasta. But he doesn’t seem to want it anymore. He doesn’t seem to want a variety. Which is why………………….

I am even more tired of the following 3 Things That My Son Loves To Eat. Those things are: Rice, Macaroni and Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes. All of which find their way to my dinner table at least 4 nights per week, during extended periods. There’s only so many ways I can cook and prepare rice, even with there being variations of rice, such as: Long-Grained, Brown-Rice, White Rice, Spanish Rice, Dirty Rice, and Jasmine Rice. I am all cooked out of rice! I like rice, I just don’t want to eat so much of it during one week time.

I remember when my son ate everything as an infant and toddler. It made my life and decisions on dinner so much easier, to be able to pick whatever I wanted, and to know that he would eat. I cannot explain how my son grew out of eating, rather than to have grown into eating more and more of it. Is this normal? I remember when people used to tell me how lucky I am that my child would eat anything that I put in his face, and that most children his age were so difficult when it came to finding something that they like to eat. I miss those days. I miss them because now, it’s more work involved and lots of food that goes to the trash. Well, unless it’s rice, mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese. rolls eyes because I do not want another grain of rice, nor another mac n cheese noodle and I could care less if I see another potato. Not to mention the amount of starch!

However, I did find some pretty awesome recipes online that made me second guess my decision to go on a rice, mashed potato and Mac n Cheese strike. See them below. Perhaps if you are in this dilemma as a mom, you can benefit in making something that you’ve never made before, with the food that your little one insist on having. Since rice is on the top of his list, I found a few recipes that were worth sharing- that I will try before giving it the final boot…..It’s coming though.

BAJA Black Beans, Corn and Rice: Serving size 6 Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients: 6 cups cooked brown rice 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained 4 fresh tomatoes, diced 1⁄2 cup red onion, chopped 1⁄2 cup cilantro, chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper 2 dashes hot sauce

Directions: Cook brown rice. In a medium bowl, combine black beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. To serve, Place a scoop of hot rice in a bowl or on a plate, top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture. Stir together before eating.

Easy Fried Rice Ready in 30 Minutes, Serves 5

Ingredients: 3 cups cold leftover cooked rice 1⁄2-1 cup oleo (or butter) 1 medium onion (chopped) 2 stalks celery (chopped, or just use 3 cloves of garlic and) 2 carrots (diced) 1 cup frozen peas (or a small-medium part of ginger) 3 eggs (beaten, or 6) 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup soy sauce (to taste, and chicken msg) Pepper

Directions: Melt oleo in large non-stick skillet. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until onions are transparent and carrots are crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add peas and cook one minute more until peas are thawed. Push veggies to one side of skillet. Scramble eggs in empty side of skillet after the oleo spreads from veggies. Mix eggs into veggies and season with pepper. then put in small amount of rice and then. Add soy sauce. Then slowly mix in rice by the spoonful until all rice is added and all ingredients are well blended. Fry until steamy hot stirring often.

Jamacain Rice and Peas cook time 2 hours serves 8

Ingredients: 8 ounces small dried red beans or 8 ounces red kidney beans 1 quart water 16 ounces chicken broth or 16 ounces chicken stock or 16 ounces water 1⁄2 cup coconut cream 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice 2 scallions, finely chopped 1⁄2 cup white onion, chopped 2 minced garlic cloves 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 scotch bonnet pepper (left whole) 1 teaspoon brown sugar 2 1⁄4 cups uncooked long grain rice

Directions: Rinse and sort beans and place in a stockpot. Cover with several inches of water and soak overnight,-or- bring to a boil, boil gently for 3 minutes, then remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit undisturbed for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Bring to a boil with chicken stock, water, and coconut cream. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender and creamy. Add the thyme, allspice, scallion, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet, brown sugar, uncooked rice, salt and pepper. Check the level of liquid over the rice and make sure there is at least one inch of liquid (if not, you may add water or broth to cover). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve hot as a side dish, with Jamaican hot sauce as a condiment, if desired. For Vegetarian use water not the chicken broth or stock.