My Diabetic Gourmet Journey Day 6

My intent today was to be transparent about my body and lifestyle transformation journey.  What God placed in my spirit was to speak about what humbling myself really looks like.  I, like many others have the habit of comparing ourselves to others when setting goals and celebrating achievements.  However, I have discovered that I can’t even compare myself to my former self.  My ego tells me that I can set these lofty standards for myself, with no real guidance, rhyme or reason and still expect to bust them out with no problem.  So, as usual, God had another plan for me.

I finally went to cardiac rehab on Tuesday morning, with my playlist and headphones all prepared to get back into full workout mode, only to be rudely awakened to the seriousness of my heart condition and my diabetes management.  I was used to eating a carb heavy breakfast before working out last year because my blood sugar would drop before the end of my session and I would end up feeling nauseated and about to pass out.  So, with this old mindset, I ate some rice and veggies for breakfast justifying it based upon my old habits.  Much to my surprise my blood sugar was 310 by the time I reached the VA.  I also found out that it is dangerous to workout with a sugar reading above 300 because apparently your body can take it either way, low or high during the workout.  Since I had driven so far they allowed me to proceed while wearing a heart monitor.  First reality check.

Next I thought that I would get back to my 25 min mile pace on the treadmill, which to me is not fast at all.  I was embarrassed to find out I could only go at 1.8 for 10 mins, 5 mins on level 0 of the recumbent stepper and 10 mins of level 1 on the bike.  Second reality check and ego blow to my soldier mentality.

Finally I found out that I can’t let my heart rate get over 110 at least right now.  This means I can only do cardio for a max of 30 mins 4 times a week.  I can’t strength train until further notice. Can’t take any supplements and basically have to be ok with the fact that I may not be able to build muscle for awhile.  I joined the 5 star nutrition challenge with the intent of purchasing some detox and protein supplements to speed up my progress, with the rationale that as long as I stayed away from fat burners I should be fine.  My cardiac nurse let me know that I needed to change my body goals to simply focus on heart health for the next few months.  I was kinda disappointed to put it mildly.

That evening in my #MediaMavericks group #TeeJMercer was teaching on running your race at your own pace and not to compare myself to others because everyone has different circumstances, and I realized that I had been comparing myself to my old person, pre heart attacks.  The realization that I really have to start from scratch set in hard.  Just because my brain is telling me I feel fine, doesn’t mean it is actually so.  Ego and pride are tricky bastards.

This little bit of depression sent me on a wagon jump off my diet regimen to irrationally devour some pound cake.  After checking my account to discover I was overdrawn because I forgot about an automatic bill coming out, my emotional tailspin continued sadly and I didn’t even feel like cooking healthy.  SMH

The lesson here was that I discovered 2 of my binge triggers, depression and broke.  Glad to say I stopped my pity party within 12 hours and got back on track.  I did manage to not eat out and I made some delicious broiled jerk salmon and Green chile baked chicken legs. Still working on cooking some veggies and a pot of beans.

The other thing I am learning is to honor my body by resting when it calls for it, even if it is in the middle of the day.  I had to admit that as much as I love being domestic by cooking gourmet meals and keeping my house spiffy, that can’t be my priority these days.  Another bit of wisdom confirmed by Coach #TeeJMercer.  I wasn’t expecting to get such consistent life wisdom from joining this group, clearly confirmation that God directed me here at the right time.

So on the way home after penning this post during a pedicure, I was reminded of my final lesson which is to continue to dwell on my successes and not my failures.  Joel Osteen was talking about having a good opinion of ourselves and I wanted to end this post by saying that I celebrate the fact that I did eat healthy low sodium, low carb meals every day this week.  I did make it to workout so far twice, I managed to write this blog post and I listened to my #MediaMavericks group chats everyday this week which has kept up my motivation.  Although I want to be transparent, I am going to find a balance between candor and celebration.  I want to motivate and not add to ways in which we beat ourselves up daily.  So, I will end this by saying that we all are works in progress and by the grace of God, and divine timing, we will run our race at our own pace with our unique anointing.  Until next time, Be Blessed!

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Back From the Brink Again…Spiritual Warfare is Real

For those of you that are new to Wani’s World, allow me to reintroduce myself, My name is Wani, W to the A-N-I (In the voice of my favorite rapper Jay-Hovah, LOL)! Nah, but for real though a reintroduction is appropriate because I feel like a new woman in all ways after my experiences in the past couple of months. I am clear about my purpose and ready to stop bullshitting and get to work letting people know how empowered they can be by simply having faith. I struggled previously with clarity on how to use my gifts, both spiritual and practical skills, not knowing which was the clear path. Suffice it to say that God put a fire under my ass because people need to hear what I have to offer. He also showed me that the war going on for our minds and souls is real out in these streets and I need to get involved. So I have decided to just do what I do best, which is be me and express myself through my unique humor and wisdom in writing.

Which brings me to my two lessons for today: If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, not the goal (courtesy of #KimberleyPitts Life Coach) and Listen to my body’s messages (Courtesy of #LouiseHay). As the saying goes, when we make plans, we make God laugh. I went to bed Tuesday night with all types of shit on my To Do List and woke up the next morning feeling like someone crushed my right arm and hands with a brick. I have Sjogren’s disease, which causes flare ups that feel like a bad bout of rhuematoid arthritis. Unfortunately, I don’t have the Venus Williams version where I can still play in Wimbledon unfazed, but I manage alright. I actually was lulled into comfort because I hadn’t had a flare up in few months, so I was surprised that day by the pain. So, here is the other ish, I had a second heart attack on June 22nd, much to my surprise because I just had a heart attack on April 4th where a stent was placed in my artery to clear a blockage. I just knew that this would last for at least a year and I was not even on the lookout for any other cardio issues. Thank God for the Veterans Hospital, although they get a bad rap for their administrative services, I have no complaint about the medical care. Let me paint the picture for y’all…

I actually use Kaiser for my primary care because it is closer to my house and I get tired of driving all the way to DC for the VA. I started having symptoms like shortness of breath and tingling pain in my arms about a week prior and I sent an email to both Kaiser and the VA for advice. Kaiser Cardiology hit me back ASSURING me that my symptoms were NOT cardio related and I should continue with my regular workout activities. Although I requested to see the cardiologist after my last episode, they apparently did not feel it was important so we just talked via phone. I gave them the side-eye on this but since I am not a doctor, I figured well perhaps I’m just being paranoid. The Cardio nurse from Kaiser finally called to me to schedule an appointment for that Thursday so I figured there was no urgency, since she called me on Tuesday. As I was preparing to get my hair done in DC on Wednesday morning, I received a call from my primary care nurse at the VA desperately urging me to get to an emergency room stat! I was stunned because I had just been assured that I was good and I proceeded to argue with the nurse. Thank God she was persistent and made me promise to come in immediately. So, my plan was to check in at the VA ER and see what was good, then make it to my hair appointment after I was released. Ummm, yeah so that was NOT in God’s plan for me that day. I got to the hospital with no incident, but when I parked and was walking to the ER entrance, Yo!, I thought I was about to pass out. The pain gripped my chest and my arms buzzed like I was being stung by a million bees. I was like, Nah not again! Once I made it into the ER and was checked in, the attending Dr came and told me to thank the nurse that made me come in because she most definitely saved my life. I was having a heart attack right then.

I was immediately rushed to the cardiac catheter lab and prepped for surgery. Now here is where it got dicey… I was supposed to have some anesthesia but I don’t think the attendant put it in my IV soon enough. He was all busy talking and joking trying to put me at ease and I kept thinking, Umm I am still way too wide awake for this. I felt the cardiologist stick the catheter in my right wrist, and all of a sudden my artery started violently spasming! The more he tried to pull it out, the more it spasmed. I was in that joint cussing and screaming because it felt like someone trying to pull a cinder block through my vein! All with no damn anesthesia. I would not wish that pain on my worst enemy! They finally gave me some painkillers and was able to extract the catheter but the damage was done. My right arm was basically out of commission because of the swelling and bruising. Apparently my case was one of the worst they had ever seen and it has taken a few weeks for me to able to even get back to typing. I am still not at 100% functionality with this arm but again I thank God that it is usable. They did find another blockage which had formed right above the original stent and the original stent had started to close up.

All was rectified with my heart and I am about to start this body rehab from scratch. I feel like I am being stripped of every crutch I ever had and God is forcing me to do the emotional, spiritual and physical work to get back to my full capacity. I mean I had to give up weed, painkillers, salt, sugar, fatty foods, and I have to go easy once I get back to working out. This is now literally a life or death situation for me and I have to drastically change my diet, my exercise routine and overall my whole lifestyle. No more marathon grocery shopping and cooking days, placing unnecessary stress on myself to accomplish crazy unattainable goals that I set for myself.   In other words, I was really doing the most. My niece told me I need to take several seats, and I agree. LOL

I feel like this is where the spiritual warfare comes in. Every time I feel like I am moving forward in my calling to encourage people with my writing, I have a setback in some form of illness. However, I refuse to be held down and God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. I usually have a problem with following directions, basically because I feel the need to always put my Wani spin on shit. This time around, I am going to follow the instructions of the mentors that have been placed in my life because whatever I was doing clearly wasn’t working. It is so true that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. In the past month, I have been linked up with 3 free resources that are the answers to my prayers. #TeeJ Mercer of the Media Mavericks Academy has challenged me to stop lurking and Make Some Noise in the media with my gifts. I am starting a new exercise program with the VA’s Cardiac Rehab program and I have joined a 45 day nutrition challenge with 5 Star Nutrition to shed some pounds and drastically change my eating habits. My plan is to chronicle my journey in video and post some recipes under my other hashtag #thediabeticgourmet. One of my passions is to show how healthy meals can be delicious and not bland. I will stick to the meal plan but add my special touches to make the food enticing enough for me to finish the challenge.

So, with this in mind, pray for me y’all because again, this is a life and death lifestyle change for me. I know I am not the only one in this place and hopefully my journey can inspire someone else to change their lives and form healthy habits. I plan to keep it 100 at all times, which means that I will post my good, bad and ugly days. Just so I can really keep track of my emotional triggers that seek to knock me off my good eating. Again, this is also to help others track what causes them to binge eat because I am not alone in this temptation. So, let me wrap this up by saying the original plan changed because of my health issues but the goal is still a major lifestyle change. The struggle is real but I can do all things by the grace of God and in the words of Jay Z, I will NOT lose!  Until the next time, Be Abundantly Blessed!

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Taste of 3 Cities Baltimore Food Truck Festival: The Diabetic Gourmet Review

 

Taste of 3 Cities Food Truck Festival in Baltimore 

About last weekend, once again I got to indulge my passions of finding great street food, live music and enjoying some Baltimore people watching in the sunshine. This time, I actually had a goal, which was to see if I could make healthy food choices from the trucks represented and if the foods were really viable options for my picky palate. I mean, let’s keep it real, most food truck festivals serve food of the greasy, sweet comfort variety, and my will power is not always on point, so most of the time I will go for the funnel cake over the low fat sorbet or the gyro fries over the Greek salad. Just being real, that’s why I call myself #thediabeticgourmet. My gourmet palate overrides the usually bland healthier options sometimes.  Anyhow, with my trusty, health conscious BFF in tow, we headed to Baltimore’s Patterson Park to check out the action.

I have some stipulations that I go by when deciding which food trucks to try. First of all, there should be some type of line that indicates people are willing to wait for your culinary creations.. Secondly, if you advertise some type of grilled food, I should smell smoke and hopefully see some wafting up from behind your truck. Last of all, your signage and customer service should be welcoming. If you can’t take the time to adorn your place of business properly and greet your paying customers, then I’m not sure you put your best effort into the food prep either. Of course, cleanliness is a must, I need to see some plastic gloves and please don’t have the same person touching the money and the food.  With all of this in mind, here are my choices for the healthiest food trucks at Taste of 3 Cities Baltimore.

The first truck we stopped at was Crossroads Bistro, owned and operated by Brian and Nicole. All of their options looked delish but I settled on the Vietnamese veggie cannolis, with an Asian sesame dipping sauce. These were really good and the veggies were perfectly seasoned and roasted, with the sauce not being overpowering. I had to pace myself already because they were a bit filling and I had a long way to go. My friend ordered the Spanish Coney Island chili dogs, not as healthy but quite tasty. I couldn’t resist one small bite, for the sake of good journalism, you know?  Their customer service was excellent because they even provided us with some sunscreen while we waited for our order. We got there early to beat the crowds but the sun was blazing early as well. Just a random thought, I don’t recall having to use sunscreen as a kid. I thought melanin was the ultimate sunscreen but oh well, I guess the ozone layer is gone for real.

Next stop was the Pepsi promo stand where they were handing out sample shots of the new Pepsi Ginger cola, 1893. I’m neither a soda nor alcohol drinker but if I did, this would be the perfect mixer for some dark liquor like Bourbon or Cognac. Again, not particularly healthy but I’m sure I did no damage with that tiny shot glass. Right behind them was the Old Bay truck, handing out samples of snack mixes seasoned with Old Bay. The unique combinations, that included white chocolate chips and Chex Mix and popcorn were interesting enough for me to try them.  My first attempt to take a handful caused me to drop the whole cup. I figured that was God telling me to move along to the next truck, not worth the carbs. So I listened and moved on…

It was time to quench my thirst now since the heat was beating down and my little bottle of water was now warm. We came up on a Russian Food truck that served Birch Juice, straight from the Birch tree. I had never heard of such a thing but I was willing to try, it looked very refreshing and the Russian couple in line waiting for their Blini order encouraged us to try it. A quick Google search revealed some of the health benefits of Birch juice such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, Vitamins B and C and amino acids, all of which our bodies crave. I was pleasantly surprised by its lightly sweetened almost maple-like flavor, kind of like a flavored water. I can’t really compare it to another flavor because well, it was unique but definitely drinkable.

Now on to the real test, I decided to try the Goganics truck, simply because their food looked so good and clearly the name implied healthy. They had a few shrimp dishes but I chose the quinoa salad because I am really trying to like it. I’m ashamed to admit that I decided to take it home but it is still in my fridge, a week later. LOL. I really need to stop fooling myself but it looked so appealing, with the roasted peppers, red onions and feta cheese all crumbled on top. I think it’s a texture thing with me but the flavor was great. To be fair, all of their offerings like Lemon Pepper Wings and Shrimp Po Boys would have been my choice any other day, when I wasn’t attempting the healthiest options. I plan to go back and order a proper meal to really get the whole Goganic flavor experience.

My next to last stop of the day was the Koco Food Truck, which specialized in Korean food, which I absolutely love! Now, I can make a mean Bulgogi myself, so when I tasted their sample and it melted in my mouth, I was hooked. They offered what I thought was the best option for a flavorful protein packed meal without the starch of rice or bread. I had the BiBimBap bowl, which is an explosion of deliciousness in your mouth. It is comprised of the proteins of your choice, I chose Beef Bulgogi, along with cucumbers, carrots, spinach, bean sprouts and mushrooms. I had mine topped with an egg and some spicy Siracha sauce and I was in foodie heaven! That should have been my last stop but sadly my carb cravings took over and I succumbed to the hype of the Gypsy Queen truck’s Crabcake Cone. The Crabcake was good and so were the fries but the sauce they used was slathered on so much that it overpowered the flavors of the dish. I was kinda salty that I spent my $15 and couldn’t even eat it because it got so soggy so quickly. That was my greed kicking in.   I wanted to support the Jammin Flava truck but I didn’t smell any jerk coming from it when I walked by so I wasn’t sure it was going to be worth my dollars. By then, I was stuffed anyway so I didn’t need to even look at anymore food. This was definitely a great foodie event and I look forward to the next one. It is feasible to have all healthy food options at a Food truck festival, controlling my cravings is the real issue. Oh well, I love good food and it is what it is. Guess I need to amp up my exercise again and keep on cooking because clearly I’m not strong enough for outside options yet.  This weekend its off to NYC, Brooklyn to be exact and I’m eating on a budget and being health conscious so we shall see how it goes…

#TheGathering and #TheArtistsCompound will be putting on similar events all summer in the Baltimore area in case you missed the event. The next one will be at the Hollywood Diner Food truck park on 6/17. All information is listed at http://www.thegatheringbaltimore.com and www.artistscompound.com

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Food, Glorious Food and Art and Music: Baltimore’s Gathering of the Arts

Food, glorious food, and art and music. All of my favorite things in 1 place! This was the scene of Baltimore’s Food truck, art and music festival held this past weekend at the Hollywood Diner Food truck park at 400 E. Saratoga St near downtown Baltimore. I had a bit of a health scare earlier this month so I had to take a break from writing to regroup and heal but this was the perfect event for me to jump back into the action. Not perfect for the culinary temptations but definitely what I needed to entertain and motivate me.

Let me start by saying that although Baltimore gets a bad rap in the media, I have gotten nothing but love from the arts community and the folks that run www.artistscompound.com. The organizers of this event, aptly called “The Gathering”, created an eclectic mix of musicians, performance artists, visual artists, DJs and dancers to keep the event exciting for all tastes and ages. The festival location made it a beacon for, let’s say Bmore’s more colorful residents, some of whom clearly had love for the CoCo and that Drank..if you don’t get that reference, ask your kids. LOL. However, the unique mix of artsy folks, military vets and music lovers of all ages and races blended well together. There was the requisite hipster smell of patchouli in the air, but thankfully it was pushed out by someone hitting that good good and of course the delicious smells wafting out of the food trucks. The food options were definitely for “cheat day” only, especially for those of us watching our diets. The cheating was definitely worth the carbs! The GrrChe and Greek on the Street trucks had succulent selections like Greek fries tossed with olive oil, feta and parsley or a Jalapeño popper grilled cheese on sourdough. Since I was already in cheat mode, I even got grown and sampled a cocktail, a Strawberry Lemonade Vodka Punch. I couldn’t hang and passed it off to my partner but, the few sips I drank were quite tasty!

The selection of artwork was interesting but I was most drawn to a slowly sunburning Mike Ruzika and his son selling gemstones and crystals, custom cutting them to your preference right on site. I don’t think I have ever seen a vendor bring his stonecutter equipment to an event. Dude was serious about that thing and we got into a great conversation about crystals and their different healing properties. He even schooled me to something called “record keeper crystals” which are purported to contain wisdom and energy from the geological events that formed them. I am always drawn to unique information and his gems were beautiful, I will definitely be contacting him for some new jewelry pieces.

Now to the most important thing…the music.

There were 2 stages of musicians and DJs covering the gamut of genres from folk to Baltimore club music and everything in between. I started on the left side stage, cause it was closest to the food. Yep, being the foodie I am.  The performances consisted of a few bluesy folk groups whose music evoked the political mood of the country surrounding this upcoming election. The standouts, in my opinion were, the “Dido-esque” songstress Sara Hurwitz who alternated between the piano and acoustic guitar to convey her political angst. She kinda lost me though when she proclaimed that she does not vote…I mean isn’t that part of the problem? Another favorite was Conor Brendan and the Wild Hunt, whose voice was simply sublime. He reminded me of a mix of Adam Levine and John Mayer. A special shout out to the belly dancer Liz Slaterbeck and acrobatic dancer Lindsey Golden, whose eye catching costumes and performances added yet another dimension to this festival.

So, being the Hip Hop head that I am, I was ecstatic to see the DJs setting up on the second stage. I mean I was cool with the other music, but well, you know my steez. DJ Stylo got it started spinning a hot house set, until I messed up his groove by engaging him in a conversation about blending beats. LOL, Sorry dude, but you still worked it. However, my new favorite DJ, Styletto shut it DOWN with her set! She started it out easy with some current joints but then she slid into the Caribbean/Afrobeat set and I damn near lost my mind! She hit the Major Lazer, “Bumaye Watch out Fi Dis”, Sean Paul’s One Wine and then my current theme song, Rihanna’s Work. She had the whole crowd wining down to the ground…homeless, senior citizens and the youth going crazy. Of course she had to slip in some classic MJ and Crystal Waters for the old house heads in the crowd…yo, Styletto slayed Period. Let’s just say I got my steps in that day, despite the doctor’s orders to take it easy. I just can’t resist a good wining song, it must be the Trini in me.  Bmore Dance group took over the end of the evening with some Bmore style house dancing and B-boying. All in all, I must say this was a wonderful event, no drama and everyone unified by music, art and community love. Looking forward to the next Artists Compound event.

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The Diabetic Gourmet Update, 3rd week or so

So, I’ve consciously been on this #thediabeticgourmet journey for a few weeks now and I am happy to say I’m down 3.5 lbs, yes the .5 counts dammit. I have done this through a bread pudding binge, Amish market pastry binge, a couple of flare-ups and a full week of Starbucks crack-ucinnos. I can’t say that I have been especially disciplined with my diet but I have cranked up the strength training, which seems to be working. My little progress bubble was burst this morning though, when I woke up to hear that one of my favorite MCs, #PhifeDawg from #ATCQ lost his battle with diabetes and kidney disease, caused by the diabetes. I was up in here sad like I knew the brother personally. I felt like he was a friend in my head, because I can connect with him on a few levels; he repped Trinidad “Trini gladiator”, he was a “funky diabetic”, he was short like me aka “The Five Foot Assassin”, he was a New Yorker and he spit some of the sickest, wittiest verses in hiphop, especially on Electric Relaxation. My favorite line was “bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s furniture”, if you aren’t from NY then you probably didn’t get the reference.

Anyway, his death brought back the realization that this diabetes shit is no joke and I must stop bullshitting…again. I do currently have my blood sugar under control, but my last binge almost put me back up there. The silent killer in diabetes is the kidney damage though, which I tend to forget. I think that is my greatest health fear, kidney damage because after that it’s much harder to manage and in my experiences with friends, it only goes downhill from there. The crazy thing is that, I am a type 2 diabetic so I can effectively reverse my disease with proper diet and exercise. I know these things yet I continue to make questionable food choices, daily! WTF Once again, I have renewed my dedication to a better diet. This time around though, I’m going to be realistic with myself. Since I made it past the pastry counter and the Starbucks so far today, I am going to start with that goal. Little things right? LOL It’s a real challenge for me to get everything right on a daily basis. For instance, I could take all my meds on time, get in a workout, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch but then drink some Bucks and wonder why I can’t fall asleep until 2am. Or, run around all day buying healthy food but get home and don’t feel like cooking cause my Sjogren’s done flared up. Sigh…the trials of auto-immune shit. But, if you look at my medical record and all of my issues, you would think I would have died years ago. I remember my Doctor told me back in 2003, she had never seen anyone with numbers so high and still functioning. LOL I guess God had me then, and He has me now. I figure life is either too short or too long for me to continue bullshitting with my health because clearly I am still here for a purpose. I mean that life is too short for me not to use the gifts I have been given and life is too long to suffer through pain and sickness if I can change it with my actions.

Another thing I have realized about myself, is my hard-headedness has affected my soft ass! I basically have been bullshitting about my physical therapy too so my knees have been grinding again. As my trainer #GODA Brandon told me this morning, muscles don’t rebuild themselves. Dammit, I actually have to work on this? So here goes again for the umpteenth time, I’m like Diddy with this shit..I ain’t ever gonna stop. Well since it’s lunch time and I’m not in binge mode, guess I’ll go make a salad and stay in health mode. Until next time, Be Blessed!

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Diabetic Gourmet Journey Day 3

 

So, as promised, I’m keeping this journey completely transparent with you all. Yesterday, Day 2, let’s just call it Food Fuckup Friday, started off on the wrong foot. I went up into the Amish Market on an empty stomach. Mistake number one. I grabbed a bacon, egg and cheese pretzel to sustain the nausea quickly forming in my gut. I did well, only eating half of it. I walked around picking up all my healthy groceries, like fresh fruit and veggies, but then…I walked past the pastry department on the way out. Welp, you already know, 3 danishes and a pack of Buttered Rum Muffins later the tone was set for the day. After that, I said WTH and ended my morning with a Starbucks Butterscotch Latte. Sooo, I decided to go home and be productive by burning some calories up doing housework. I knew it wouldn’t erase the calories, but shit, it still counts. In my cleaning frenzy, I decided to Scotchguard and Febreze the upholstered furniture, which totally funked up the air with toxic fumes, so I needed to get out of the apartment. Well, it was lunchtime and my brain thought, “Hey let’s go get some more Jamaican food!” I rationalized that I would just keep it simple with a chicken patty, but what had happened this time was…umm I saw that bread pudding with the rum sauce and it was on. That common sense switch clicked off and the Greedy chick took over my brain. I was up in that joint ordering shit like I was a paid food critic at the Washington Post! SMDH

So after that fiasco, and my lack of working out yesterday, I really was starting to feel ashamed of posting the truth about my lack of discipline. I jumped up this morning ready to rectify the bullshit by eating a healthy breakfast and heading immediately afterwards to the gym. On my way to workout, I put in my Accelerate CD by Joel Osteen and got in a little Word and inspiration during the short drive. Now, I am still not used to this being overcome by the Holy Spirit in crazy places, like my car while driving. I already stopped playing certain songs on the treadmill because I damn near bust my ass when I am overcome with emotion over my blessings and how far I’ve come in this spiritual journey. However, God got me again. LOL

 

Joel was talking about how God wants us to love and fully accept ourselves with ALL our flaws and not to be ashamed of failures. God is interested in our hearts and our willingness to honor and please Him by doing right. God is more concerned with our pure hearts than our perfect performance. When Jesus chose the disciples, He chose people who on the surface were not qualified for such coveted positions. These weren’t the most disciplined people, like the Pharisees who performed every letter of the law religiously. The disciples were men from dysfunctional backgrounds who had a simple desire to honor God with their lives by being willing to follow and learn from Jesus. Joel was giving a good word and I was definitely receiving it but when he said, “ You wouldn’t be listening if you didn’t have a heart turned toward God. God handpicked you not because of your great behavior or character but because you have a heart that wants to do right.” I started to tear up because; I stay trying to attempt perfection and beating myself up after failing. Joel continued with, “ You have to learn to accept yourself while you’re in the process of changing. It doesn’t do any good to go around beating yourself up because of flaws and weaknesses. There will always be something to improve or some reason to feel wrong about who we are.” This last line though, was most definitely for me, “Why don’t you stop beating yourself up because you don’t perform perfectly and start accepting yourself because you have a right heart?” Whoa. I had to hold it together from bawling in the gym parking lot then because that line spoke right to my insecurities. He basically kept reiterating the need to enjoy the phase of the process we are in right now because it all works together for our good. Another mini-epiphany for me was when he said that I need to trust God with EVERYTHING, not just my goals and dreams but my flaws, addictions and weaknesses. I received that I am not a finished product, God is the Potter and I am on His timetable. There is no choice for me but to accept myself, trifling eating habits and all.

 

So, since I have learned how to work with my own crazy thought process, I have decided to focus on increasing my time in the gym and not my food challenges. I know abs are made in the kitchen, but the reality is I am doing the best I can right now. Managing eating on time for my diabetes, taking the time to actually prepare the healthy meals, dealing with nausea and having convenient substantial meals while I am out running errands…it’s just a whole lot. I notice that being in the gym around like-minded folks motivates me and makes me more conscious of my food decisions. For real, like I said before, at least I’m doing more than I was. I will be working out tomorrow with my trainer @GrowOrDieAth, Brandon and if he reads this I will definitely get cussed out. I guess that’s part of my process. LOL

#The Struggle is Real Until the next update, be Blessed!

 

 

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Time to Stop the Shenanigans #FoodBinge #BackToBeastMode

 

March, as I found out from the Internet and my Podiatrist’s assistant, is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. So, when I went to the doctor yesterday, Shernae, Dr. Mike’s assistant, made sure to remind me about that little screening kit that I’ve been sent home 3 times with since last year.   I’m all joking like, “I look at that damn kit every time I go to bathroom and I can’t get past the fact that I’m mailing a piece of my shit to you! I figured with all this other shit I have going on God ain’t gonna hit me with the cancer too.” So Shernae, got me good with this one, “God definitely got you, but the devil is busy”. I was so blown and then fully on board with following the directions on the package and mailing my shit in. LOL She made a really great point by reminding me that knowledge is the key to prevention and treatment.   Shernae went on to tell me her story about how a woman she had triaged a year earlier came back to thank her for being so persistent that she get a mammogram. Apparently, the woman had breast cancer and due to Shernae’s insistence, the cancer was caught just in time. Now, I had no idea that I would get a nudging from my triage nurse to get back to actively working on my health. I guess that was God telling me to stop the shenanigans, in all areas.

Which brings me to the food thing. My intent was, I find myself saying that a lot, to start a series of videos and posts documenting my return to healthy eating and exercise, but what had happened was…. First there was Snowmageddon, then there was Superbowl, then there was the weekend, the rain pain and whatever else came up. I swear I was on a chicken wing, cheese pastry binge for about a month! I can’t open my fridge or look at my kitchen counter without seeing the remnants of my madness. Krispy Kreme box, Tortilla chips, Leftover fried rice, and way too many takeout containers when I know damn well how to cook.

So, this morning, I jumped up all motivated and decided to get back on my grind. I reposted my affirmation on my fridge, “I Love to Take the Time to Prepare Healthy Meals For Myself”. I have to remind myself that I am worth putting in the effort it takes to make food from scratch, because it is what’s best for my body. My other trick is to ensure I make a menu for the week. For some reason I have anxiety issues if I see my fridge looking bare. If I have a variety of cooked food ready to just heat and eat, I will be less likely to eat out. Less likely, but you know, I still might have to dip out for some doubles or a taco. LOL Prime example, today after I made all that damn food, I went and worked out without bringing a snack for afterwards. So…err ahh, I had to get a fish taco from Baja Fresh. I’m a work in progress people. Real talk.   Anyway, my purpose for posting this journey online is because I need accountability.  In order for me to succeed, I need to stop with the intent and get with the actually doing. I appreciated all the support and motivation when I began my journey last year, so I decided to employ the social media route again. Since I have decided to be completely transparent, I am going to post both the successes and the failures. I know I’m not the only one who hates to see those folks on Facebook that only post all their salads and quinoa but neglect to post the Frappucinos, Chicken pot pies and Cheesecakes they eat that explain why when you see them again they’re bigger than when they started out. I already know that I’m not the one that is going to throw out the pasta I have at home. For some reason my thrifty side kicks in when I think about throwing out perfectly good food.  I figure with all my previous food faux pas, the fact that I am adding more fiber and veggies to my diet has got to count for something. I will post the recipes that I used for those of you that are interested. So, with all of that being said, I guess I will act like I need to get 8 hours of sleep and get in an early workout session in the morning. Oh yeah, although it was as gross as I thought, I did mail out my colorectal cancer screening sample today. Thanks again Shernae for reminding me how easy it is to do my part in preventing further illness. Now if I could just learn to follow doctors orders for my medications…but that’s a whole other issue. Until next time, be Blessed!

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