And today is my birthday!!! Whew! it has been a loooong time since I posted. I was actually moved to post in doing my yearly birthday reflections on what I’m doing and where I’m going. A lot has happened since my last post. I have moved to Texas and am loving being back in the South. I’ve gotten a place and am now back on my workouts. I’m currently on day 15 of the 30 Day Shred.
Here are my progress pics:
I have to admit, I was not seeing results in the mirror every day (hence the crazy look on my face), but I definitely see them in these pics. I’ve only lost 3 lbs so far, but I can see my waist getting smaller and my booty getting well… more bootyish. Not bad at all for 2 weeks! This actually motivates me to keep it going. I’ve tried 30 Day Shred before, but never finished it- this time will be different.
I’m gonna be posting more (really, I mean it.) I’ve got a lot of recipes to share along with updates on my workouts, half marathon training, and life.
I fell off the wagon. I fell off, hit my head on the way down, and rolled over into the gutter somewhere. It lasted for months. Several months.
There. Now you know.
Wait… in the spirit of transparency I should probably tell you more.
I gained almost 30 pounds… and it sucks.
There. Now you really know.
Well, you still don’t really know. 2012 has been a lot. A whole lot. One of my parents had has some major health problems, and I suddenly found myself in a situation where I was stressed, traveling a lot, eating Southern/fast food, and dealing with a very erratic schedule. Weight loss is easy when there’s nothing else major going on in your life and you got all the time in the world for working out and packing snacks. It’s not easy when shit happens.
And yes, shit will happen. Shit always happens.
In dealing with the shit that happened (I feel like my use of the word “shit” is becoming excessive now. I’ll stop.), I let all that other stuff outrank me taking care of myself. So… now I have to fix it. This was a 30 pound lesson, and I’m consciously taking my “healthy black girl” life back. As hard as all the other
shit stuff in my life is to deal with, letting myself go would only make it that much worse. I’m starting over with y’all. I’m already back in the gym. I laid out a schedule of the classes I like to go to. My kitchen is stocked with healthy stuff. I have an accountability buddy that I hope will harass me (shoutout to Marian!). I’m packing my lunch, and I plan to get some new cross trainers soon. I feel like I’m back in the game.
One more thing- someone did bring up to me that I should blog more when I’m going through challenges with living a healthier lifestyle, because it’s helpful to people. I get that. But blogging is this weirdly public, personal thing. It’s hard to do on a good day. It’s nearly impossible on a bad day- especially when the blog isn’t anonymous. Just bear with me. I’m getting better at it.
I let y’all know a couple of weeks ago that I was struggling a lil bit and working on getting myself back on track. It’s actually been going pretty well. I’ve been working out again, laying off the fast food, and eating lots of fruits and veggies. I’ve gone for a few walk/runs to ease myself back into running. The other day I was doing my cool down walk and passed an African lady I had run past earlier. I was sweaty, breathing hard, and not necessarily happy with my pace. But then, this kind woman yells at me “You are doing it, right?!?!” with a big smile. Since I could hardly breathe, I smiled and waved.
And you know what… that lady made my day. Sometimes you just gotta stop and recognize that even if you aren’t up to the level you want to be yet, you’re still there. Give yourself some credit! You are doing it. You are in the game. And that’s a whole heap better than what a lot of folk are doing. This week I also had a girl I went to school with tell me I was an inspiration. It still trips me out when people say that. Like really? Lil ole me? But it’s nice to know. I really appreciate the words of encouragement from others. I think I’m gonna make it a point to shout random outbursts of encouragement to other people on the trail. Hopefully I don’t scare anyone.
Keep doing it (and doing it, and doing it well…). This ain’t a quick sprint. It’s a marathon.
I haven’t been blogging. I thought about blogging. I really did. A lot. People even told me I should be blogging. But people don’t usually do things until they’re ready to do so. They teach us that as a part of public health behavior change. Today, I was ready.
The thing about naming your blog “Healthy Black Girl” and deeming yourself as such kinda puts you in an awkward situation sometimes. Some might assume that I eat, sleep, and breathe all things healthy, black, and girly. Don’t get me wrong, I do love those things, but I can’t be any one thing at every given moment… well, except for black. Yep, I’m black all the time. But that’s not the point. The point is that I’m not perfect and I shouldn’t put pressure on myself to be. Life happens. I get off track. I do NOT stay off track.
I was recently added to a blogging accountability group against my will and agreed to stay in it. It might actually be what I need to find my groove again. Last week I shared that I wasn’t blogging because I didn’t feel very “healthy black girly” and these were a couple of the responses I got:
“Leslie let me encourage you a lil bit – those of us who are striving to be Healthy Black Girls have days where we don’t feel so healthy. I think your readers will appreciate a post about that and if you have any tips to get back on track… That’s a part of the journey too.”
“People want to connect with real people. And not much hits home like ‘I was up. Then I was down. Then I made a decision to get back up.’
You are only alone in this if you choose to be. You are only a failure in this if you choose to be. I speak life into you as you continue to speak life into the healthy lifestyles of others and of course, YOURSELF.
The FACT is that you don’t feel very ‘healthy black girl.’ The TRUTH is what you do with those facts. I vote to attack those facts and keep it moving. You motivate me so I’m counting on you.”
How can you NOT want to blog when you get that from people?! Shoutout to Anilia and GJames!!! I have a lot going on in my personal life right now and have been doing a lot of traveling. I’m not all the way back on track (I just had three slices of pizza :-/), but I’m gonna do this. We’re gonna do it together. I might fall off the wagon, but I’m no quitter. Maybe y’all can give me some tips. How do you stick with your healthy lifestyle? What gets you back on track?
I do know that I’ll be better tomorrow than I am today. Let me go in here and pack my healthy lunch for work…
Yeah… I haven’t been consistent with my blogging at all. I’m working on that (for real this time). I had such an amazing run this weekend at the Cherry Blossom 5K that I wanted to share! My friend that was supposed to run with me ended up not making it. I put on my Black Girls Run shirt that morning and ended up meeting some ladies from the Black Girls Run DC Chapter. So glad I wore that shirt! I ended up running the race with them, and it was a great group! I’m always so happy to workout alongside other women of color making it a point to be healthy. I joined there Facebook group and plan to meet up with them for some of their runs. As for my race results, this wasn’t my best 5K, but I’ll take it since I haven’t been running as much lately. My chip time was 40:09 which is 12:56 min/mile. I decided to take myself to brunch after at Eatonville- even though the run in no way made up for all of my brunch calories consumed. Post-run brunches are the best. I had the Callahan… oh, and bottomless mimosas for only $12. #WIN
More pics from the race…
I’ve been getting into the running pretty tough, and it’s really training me in more ways than one. A lot of things in running mirror real life situations. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned so far…
You’ll never get to the finish line if you never cross the start line. The surest way to not succeed at something is to never start. If you had asked me to run a block a couple of years ago, I would’ve looked at you like O_o. In 2010, I made the New Years Resolution to run a 5K- just one 5K. I felt like I was gonna die after finishing my first race, but I did it. I get a high every time I cross the finish line, and that feeling is enough for me to keep doing it. I recently signed up for winter half marathon training with my running club. Half-marathons are 13.1 miles. I’m really looking forward to reaching that distance.
Everyone has to run their own race. When it comes down to it, you can have the best coaches and all the supporters in the world, but you have to WANT to cross that finish line on your own. Nobody else can do it for you, and you can’t do it for anybody else. When I started out running, I made friends with a couple of other girls in my running group. We all started out in last summer’s Beginning Women’s Running 5K program, finished it, and planned to move on to the 10K program. As the 10K program went on, we all became less committed and stopped running. This summer we all did the 5K program again and again planned to move on to the 10K program and complete it this time. Again, my 2 running buddies dropped out of the program. However, this time I stayed in the program. I made NEW running buddies that have similar goals. I ran my longest distances ever, and I greatly improved my time. I had reached out to them in hopes that they would stay in the program. Unfortunately, everyone that starts out with you won’t always finish their race. You can help people and support them, but you can want something more for someone than they want it for themselves. Also, we can’t depend on other people to keep pushing us either. You have to want it for yourself. We each have to run our own race.
You get out what you put in. Running ain’t easy- especially for long distances. I train. I do speed workouts. I eat well. I hydrate. I buy and wear the proper gear. When I don’t, my runs suck. When I do, my runs are awesome. You want a good outcome? Put in the work.
There’s always room for improvement. I think the overachiever in me likes this part of running. It never gets old, because I can always set a new record by running a longer distance or running faster. I can pick new races that have routes I’ve never done before. There are always new goals to set. Such is life. Right now, I’m trying to do better and better in several aspects of my life.
You’re much stronger than you know. No matter what distance I’m running, I get tired. It’s usually when I’m about a mile away from the end. A lot of times I even think about quitting and cutting my run short- especially when I’m running alone. There is no satisfaction in quitting though. I’ve discovered from my workouts that whenever I want to quit, I always seem to have a little bit left in me. When you push yourself, you’d be surprised at how far you can go.
I’m sure I have a lot more lessons I’ll think of or experience. What has your training taught you? Feel free to leave it in the comments!
I’m a little behind on posting this, but I finally did my first race in Mississippi. Thanksgiving morning I ran the Turkey Day 8K in Ridgeland, MS. It was a great course, although a little hillier than I expected in the last 2 miles. I finished in 1:01:02. I’m hoping to get my 8K time down to less than an hour soon.
I was super excited the morning of the race, because this is my first race since getting my Black Girls Run shirt. It’s super cute! I even had a couple of other black women tell me how awesome it was. The race was also cool, because a couple of other Tougaloo College alumni, Saundra and Jene, also ran the race. It’s always good to have other healthy black girls on the course. Special shoutout to Saundra, because she posted on our alumni page that she’d be doing it too. We met the morning of the race. She texted me and said she’d be in a “Black Girls Run” shirt. I was like, “me too!!!”
My next race will actually be in Mississippi too right before Christmas. The Holiday Hustle 5K in Canton, Mississippi looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’ll be posting pics from it too!
I’ve been running… a lot! At this point, I’m even comfortable actually calling myself a runner. The past two weekends I had two races- the Marine Corps Marathon 10K on October 30 and the Rockville 10K yesterday. These races were my first 10Ks, so they’re a big running milestone for me.
Here were my race results:
Marine Corps 10K 1:28:01, 14:19 min/mile
Rockville 10K 1:16:36, 12:20 min/mile
Although I’m nowhere near coming in first place, I’m proud of me. I took the Marine Corps race easy since I just did it for fun with friends, but I definitely kicked it up for the Rockville race that I did with my local running group. I remember when running for a few minutes at a time was tough. Now, I can run for over an hour. Yaaaaaay!!! Go, me!
Here are some pics from the races:
So usually when it’s been a minute since I blogged I come back talking about how I fell off a bit. Luckily that is NOT the case this time. I did go on a short vacation, but I’ve been really on my workouts and healthy eating lately. The newest development is that I finally got myself a bike!!! It’s something that I wanted for a while, but I was nervous about taking one one the roads and trails here. A couple of people I know have been doing a lot more cycling and then I heard about a Washington Post article called “Black Women Take Their Place in DC’s Bike Lanes” on the local radio. After reading the article, I joined the Black Women Bike: DC Facebook Group. The women in the group have been really helpful in sharing biking tips, and they also organize local rides. Plus, it’s just really great to find other women of color engaged in healthy activities.
I got my own bike a couple of weeks ago – which I love! It’s a Schwinn hybrid, and I’m thinking about naming it the “Lime Dime” – since my bike is a 10 .
This past Saturday I took REI’s Outdoor School Introduction to Road Cycling Course. I’m really glad I did. The class was 6 hours long. We loaded up our bikes, and went to Rock Creek Park. We were initially given a lot of good tips and introduced to our bikes. The class was small, and they have 1 teacher/4 students so I got a lot of individual attention. After a lot of parking lot practice, we covered 12 miles on Rock Creek Park’s trails and roads. There were some hills, and it was definitely a workout, but I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.
I’m actually looking forward to getting out on my bike more often and adding that to my regular exercise! Healthy Black Girls Bike!!!
Gee. It’s been almost 2 months since I’ve posted. That’s just downright ridiculous.
Well… I guess we should just jump right back into this like that brief absence never even happened. I’d like to say that I’ve still been out living my “healthy black girl” lifestyle while away, but I wasn’t. I was traveling, having fun, and eating all the cookies. I’ve been to Cali, Vegas, and had my niece here visiting for a little bit. There were some workouts in between, but I haven’t been hardcore. And what happens when we slack off? We deal with the consequences. Last Monday, I put on a pair of pants for work, and they were a little snug. Well, they were a lotta snug. Reality check! The scale has moved a few pounds in the wrong direction, and I had to pull myself out of the unhealthy foolishness.
I’m usually not one for hard-core dieting and detoxing, but I decided I needed to do something to get back on track. Since last Wednesday I’ve been doing the Fat Smash Phase I detox. I can eat limited dairy, unlimited fruits/veggies, egg whites, tofu, 2 cups of brown rice, and 1 cup of oatmeal in a day- no meat, no bread. It’s been going really well and helped me to snap out of the bad eating habits. It’s 9 days, so I’ll be done on Friday. I won’t be doing the rest of the Fat Smash Phases, but I will be going back to my regular healthy eating habits.
Being the “healthy black girl” doesn’t mean I do every single healthy thing right all the time, but overall I do make the effort to move my life in a healthier direction. It can definitely be a struggle sometimes, but this time I hope to stay on track.