Loving You

Oh lawdie! I don fell off the bandwagon...and it backed up and rolled over me! over and over again! Ok, dramatics, but I did fall off and have lost my consistency in my dietary choices and it shows!

Since I have gotten to a more manageable weight, I decided to keep going and made a goal of discovering/building some ab muscles. You know, I purport to still carrying around some baby fat...no, not from having a baby...from when I was a baby 30 something years ago! And since I have been lackadaisical about my eating habits and my efforts in the gym, my potential for a 6 pack has expanded into the potential for a keg. Ok, still a bit dramatic, but my magic number of 35 inches around my mid section is slowly becoming a thing of the past. And this sister is not happy whatsoever about that!

As a 30 something year old woman I am definitely aware of how my appearance affects my daily interactions. I have used my perception of my body and/ or how it looks in clothes as a block to some things that I have wanted to do. Sometimes while getting ready to go out, I'd get so frustrated with my appearance that I simply would not go. Or decide against making plans in the first place because I didn't want to face the lying 3 way mirror in the dressing room, which has a sole purpose of seeking rolls of fat and putting it on magnified display. Though sometimes trivial, our appearance can be a stumbling block in our confidence and how we portray ourselves. And women are not the only ones who do not always feel confident about our appearance...it's a human thing that also affects our 30 something year old brothers as well...some of them are just better at not caring as much!

So once again, I'm resolving to consistency in my eating. I had cut out all added sugar (blog entry about how I finally lost the weight is coming soon!) but have slowly worked it back in my diet. So, back to what has worked, and focus on sculpting the muscles that I see trying to take shape. But above all those things, I am resolving to love my body no matter what she looks like!

I've recently been reminded of life's realities and with that, the importance of love, starting with love for all of me..including the silver hairs forming at my temples, my "athletic" build, my interestingly shaped toes and all those fat rolls that seem to only appear when I need to feel my best. I must love all of it. We often find faults with our body and harp on it, whether it's the acne that make us look 12 rather than 30 something, the extra body hairs that make us think of our Auntie Sally's mustache, premature graying, skinny legs, baldness, man boobs, a crooked smile or whatever we think should look better in order for us to feel great. But these are all the things that make us who we are and we often do not have control over them - no matter how hard I try, I will not grow past the 5'7" at which I currently stand (in fact, I might shrink as I get older!)

So as I chase the appearance for which I've been working so hard, I will continue to love me and not be so quick to criticize and demean myself. All of me is perfect. Period.

Half-stepping Diva


What is you waiting for?

It doesn't take very long for 30 something year olds to realize that life is whatever we make of it. We actually have to get up and do something if we want it. It often starts after school when we learn that we have to actually apply for a job, attend interviews and hopefully get employed. If we want a spouse, we have to go out there and meet someone (if we haven't already), court and then work our way towards marriage. There is no longer a wait and it'll happen...whatever we want, we must pursue.

Most of us understand this concept in its broad sense. I mean, there are very few people at this stage of life waiting for someone to offer them a job just because their name is John or Mary, but somehow we find a way to wait for life to happen in other aspects of our world.

How often we do hear, I am waiting until X happens before I do Y. One of the most common ones that I hear involves weight loss. Many 30 something year olds would like to accomplish something that requires physical and mental dedication....so once they lose the extra pounds, they will train for a 5K. Or some of us afraid to work out in public and prefer to wait until we've lost the weight before joining a gym. In some cases, we are in pursuit of spirituality and religious knowledge, but want to wait until we have our minds right before pursuing a religious affiliation. My favorite of all times come from our 30 something year old brothers who want to "get their lives together" before pursuing a relationship or before taking the next step in a relationship. What are we really waiting for?

Life waits for no one. Many of us have attended enough funerals or heard about the passing of very young people to realize that there is no time to wait. Whether it's a new career, a chance at romance or pursuing our dreams, there is no time to wait. My mother always reminded  me not to put off to tomorrow what I can do today. And I think of that daily.

I often find myself in a place of comfort, not wanting to leave the perceived stability of my current, in  pursuit of what could be, or not be. And thereby miss out on a chance for something to change. Many 30 something year olds find ourselves stuck in a rut because we are waiting; for something to happen, for something to change or get better. Meanwhile, the hours are passing into days and soon enough years.

Do not wait for your skin to clear up before becoming more comfortable with your beautiful face. Do not wait to lose weight before pursuing anything, be it a date, clothes, love, job interviews etc. Do not wait for circumstances to be perfect before you take a chance at love. Do not wait for someone else to see the world, to go to the gym, to try that new restaurant, to see a play, to lose weight etc. Do not wait for a specific day/holiday before you do what you like. Do not wait for your bank account to reach a certain number to pursue what you really want to do. Do not wait to be less busy to spend time with people, or do things you've always wanted to do. Do not wait for the right circumstances to go back to school or pursue your career. Do not wait for the best circumstances to have children. Do not wait for a partner to be all that you can be.  And do not wait for the "right" time to tell those you love how you feel...the time may never come.


Chibok: Bring back our girls

I have been struggling to decide what my blog entry for this week should be. I have had so many thoughts flying around and could not find one that would settle long enough for a coherent string of words. As I pondered, I consulted with Facebook ® (yup, distraction ala motivation and research) and realized that like many of us, I have been sleeping on the news of the girls that were abducted in Nigeria.

I remember reading the news when it broke a few weeks ago, but did not keep up with it. In case you missed it, here's the synopsis:

In the middle of the night on April 14, 2014, over 200 young girls between the ages of 16 and 18 attending boarding school in the town of Chibok in North-Eastern Nigeria were abducted and their school buildings torched. Some of the girls were able to escape the attack. The details of the attack and what happened after are very fuzzy. It was initially reported that some of the girls were released, but as of now it sounds like at least 230 girls were taken. It is unclear which group has taken the girls though the proximity to local insurgent groups and the  magnitude of the abduction have narrowed down the possibilities. The government is reported to be negotiating for the release of the girls, but would not provide details. There have been some reports that the young girls have been married off to insurgents, an act not unusual in these circumstances. It has been over 2 weeks so far and frustrated and scared parents do not have many choices or resources to which they can turn. A march was recently organized to the capital of Nigeria to demand more action from the government. There is a call for awareness through social media using "#BringBackOurGirls" and "#WhereAreOurGirls".
Girls in Chibok, Nigeria
Four of the students that escaped
And exhale! I am so heartbroken reading this news. It is so easy to get lost in my world and forget the daily tragedies happening elsewhere. The reality is that the problems in the world are endless, but it is very disheartening that some people's stories are over covered while other equally crucial stories are barely mentioned. 

The young women who have barely started their lives have been afforded an opportunity at education which is no small feat, especially in their region where there is a war on education. Many families risk their lives and sacrifice all they have in pursuit of an education to better their lives and provide their progeny a chance at more than they had. In this region and in many parts of the world, education, even in its basic level is a privilege and sometimes a risk factor for early death. Yet still many of these families, knowing the benefit, keep pushing and fighting for their young boys and girls to have a chance at a new future.

It is very humbling to think about my world and how often I taken my education for granted. I am lucky enough to have grown up in a part of the world, though not that far from these young women, where education was automatic and allowed. I often do not appreciate that had I been born in a different time, or in a different place this education that allows me to freely share my ideas and learn and grow would not have been possible.

It has been a challenge keeping up with news about the abduction, however let's continue to raise awareness for the return of the Chibok girls; their lives are as precious as any other person in this world. Let's not take for granted that being able to freely learn is a privilege.