My Beautiful One #17 – SPEAK

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My beautiful one, it is true that silence is golden; however, it is also true that silence can harm. Sometimes, we remain silent because we don’t want to rock the boat. Because we’re comfortable in complacency and the thought of change makes us anxious. But the truth is, sometimes, we must NOT be silent. We must speak to express, to elevate, to change, and to make change.

“I have come to believe, over and over again, that what is important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” -Audre Lorde

Thank You, Diabetes: A Health Journey Year in Review

Thank you, diabetes.

You probably saved my life.

In fact, I would say you’re saving it right now.

In June 2013, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. As I mentioned in previous posts, after my doctor told me, she excused herself for a bit, and I bawled. I just knew I was going to die. That was pretty much the end result of many of my family members.

I cried that day, and for the first couple of months after the diagnosis, it would hit me that I had diabetes, and I would cry.

But that wasn’t the only thing I did.

Something sparked in me that day; I’m going to say it was the will to live.

The very next day, I went walking.

And for a year, I’ve been living through this health journey, and I will admit, it wasn’t always great.

Surprisingly, I took quickly to exercising. I ADORE walking and have even done strength training, elliptical, a bit of yoga, and Walk at Home and Hip Hop Abs. I even walked a half-marathon in May! There have been MAYBE five days in the past year that I just did not want to work out, so I didn’t. But I tell you what… I felt guilty as all get out over it.

My food intake did not fare as well as my exercising. I’m an emotional eater, and it doesn’t matter the emotion; if it’s an emotion, there is a cause to eat. I had many lapses in my eating, but I also had triumphs, like participating in the three-week Daniel Fast back in February, doing another 7-day food challenge in June, and incorporating more veggies and fruits and less bread, sugar, etc.

At some point, I will go on a bit regarding what I eat and what I do workout wise to assist anyone who is also going through the journey, but I didn’t want to get into a weepy, longwinded speech.

Therefore, let me share some highlights to close this baby out.

  1. In June 2013, my A1c was 8.8. As of June 26, 2014, it’s 5.3. Every time I went to visit my doctor, it went down. Because of this, she has lessened my dosage of Metformin.
  2. My blood sugar tends to roam around 80-110 consistently, and has so for several months now.
  3. My bad cholesterol is finally going down (now, to get the good one to better levels).
  4. My BP stays pretty steady (and wonderful) these days.
  5. In addition to the countless hours I spent doing strength training, workout videos, and yoga, walking was my primary exercise. In 12 months, I walked almost 900 miles: 888 to be exact.
  6. Since September 2013, I have lost 13″ off my waist, 15″ off my hips, and 9″ off my thighs.
  7. Since the start of this journey, I have lost a total of 83 pounds… all through falling and getting back up with my exercising, eating, and prayer life. Without the praying and meditating, without the friends and family members – digital and f2f – who have given their support and encouragement, I’m not sure I would have kept on the journey. Sure, I had a desire to do so, but this journey is extraordinarily hard, and without people to love, support and be accountable to, it makes it that much more difficult to succeed.
  8. You would think #7 would have been the BIGGEST highlight of the journey, but there is one more: for the first time in my life, I actually LOVE myself. I feel reborn, alive, connected with all senses, excited about what can happen next on this health journey. Through this year, I’ve realized I’m worth the struggle because the victory is so sweet.

Though this is a lifelong journey, there is a particular “goal” point that marks its end. I’m a little over the halfway mark to that goal, and I’m nervous and excited to see how it goes.

 

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Me today, July 1, 2014: hope you can see the difference!

 

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My Beautiful One #15 – Get Your REAL Joy

15 Photo by whimsy studios, on Flickr

 

My beautiful one, stop, be still, be quiet, and think on this question: What brings you REAL joy? Don’t live in complacency. Don’t live just to survive, to exist. Live to be aLIVE, to do the things that warm your heart, make you smile, make you happy to wake up in the morning. The more you do these things, the happier you’ll be.

One Week of Hip Hop Abs and I’m Still ALIVE

Thank God for the seventh day of a week because Shaun T actually gives us a day off!

Whew.

Six days in a row with Hip Hop Abs, and I’m alive to tell the tale.

There wasn’t a day that I didn’t feel the burn in my hips, thighs, and abs.

Add to that the fact that I’ve been doing a squat challenge, and needless to say, my thighs cry to me on a second-by-second basis.

I am diggin’ HHA right now though next week there are several days where I’m doing two of those HHA workouts in a day, so I’ll have more about how I dig it come next Sunday.

Although I didn’t lose weight this week, I blame that on my voracious need to eat BREAD–a lot, I did lose two inches off my waist, an inch off my thighs, and an inch off my hips.

Not bad.

This week, I will be more diligent with the food intake. My emotions and mentals have been ALL OVER THE PLACE, and the first thing I go to when I’m in that state is FOOD.

So, for this week, I’m continuing on with my second week of Hip Hop Abs, continuing on with the squat challenge (still have nine days to go!), and getting in some walking (doing a 40 miles in June challenge, too).

Let’s do this.

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And So It Begins: Hip Hop Abs

Well, my lovelies, I am afeared.

LMAO

Today, I start Shaun T’s Hip Hop Abs.

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I’ve been diligently working on my health for almost a year (anniversary is June 25!), and having just completed a half-marathon (walking, not running…YET!) and bringing in Leslie Sansone and other aerobics and strength training, I figured it was time to up my game.

Enter Shaun T, the man who will sweat out my hair in oh-so-bad ways and have me looking like a hot, puddled mess.

But all I can do is sigh, shrug, and gather the confidence to say, “Bring it on, bad boy!”

Pray for me!

 

Results of My 7-Day Food/Fitness Challenge

On June 1, I started a 7 Day Challenge.

7 Day Challenge

I didn’t have any real expectations of what I might lose or how I might feel during this challenge.

When I did the Daniel Fast back in February, I lost 15 pounds in three weeks, so a part of me figured I MIGHT lose five pounds during the week if I stayed on task.

I have to say that I found myself wanting everything I couldn’t have during the week, LOL, which was weird for me because during the Daniel Fast, I was GREAT for like the first 18 days of the 21-day fast (those last three days were torture!).

I craved my coffee (and I’m a sugar girl, so yeah, NO SWEETS). I wanted bread badly (this is one of my crutches right here), and I even wanted a glass of wine when I typically only drink maybe four or five times a year!

Things got REAL for me.

But I stayed the course.

I even tried quinoa and asparagus for the first time, and I learned that I LOVE them.

I worked out in beast mode, but working out has never really been my issue since I started in earnest last year.

I was doing 45 to 90 minutes per workout session usually throughout the day as I continued to walk and then added aerobics later in the day.

When I weighed myself at the end of the challenge…

.:insert drum roll:.

I had lost 13 pounds.

Needless to say, I was beyond stunned, but very happy.

Some takeaways:

  1. I will continue with no soda. In the last year, I think I’ve had four full cans of soda, and the taste of them didn’t appeal to me like they did in the past.
  2. I will work on finding alternatives to my bread craving. I recently bought some Flatout Hungry Girl 100% Whole Wheat with Flax flatbread, and I really liked it. Gotta keep looking for those good alternatives.
  3. I will continue to limit my red meat intake. I’ve gotten used to my chicken and fish with the occasional turkey diet, so this isn’t too painful.
  4. I will continue to limit my pasta intake.
  5. I will continue to limit my coffee consumption to only on Fridays through Sundays. This has been a little difficult for me, but it does limit my sugar intake considerably, so I’m going to keep at it.
  6. Biggest thing: I will be open to trying new foods.