Being a girl is scary: Me too

When I was a young girl, my mom warned me about being completely aware of my surroundings. She warned me to be careful where I went and who I hung around. She gave me this advice to protect me from a society that wouldn’t. But there are still bad places you can end up in and never see the danger coming. 
This place for me was a school bus. The things that happened to me one day when I was in forth grade has affected my life forever. I blamed myself because I had developed early. I had a womanly body and my wardrobe wasn’t adjusted to suit that because my parents still saw me as their little girl. I WAS a little girl. But I noticed how men looked at me like I wasn’t, and it scared me. So I tried to protect myself like my mother said. 
I felt like she must have some history or knowledge on the subject because she often questioned my sister and I. She was always making sure to ask “did anyone say or do anything inappropriate to you? If anyone touches you inappropriately or makes you uncomfortable tell us immediately. If they threaten you still don’t be afraid to tell us. If we are not around find another adult you know and get help.” 
When the time came, I froze for a while. I was on a school bus leaving my lutheran grade school which should be a safe space. I let my guard down only to be attacked by a boy two years older. He sat behind me on the bus and he kept sticking his hands down my pants. When I realized what was happening, I froze. But then I regained my composure and asked the little girl sitting next to me can I change seats, and sit next to the window. 
It started to happen again. He switched seats with his friend and started to stick his hand through the space between the window and seat. He started to grab my breast and I sat forward so he couldn’t reach me. He stretched his hands and pushed his arm through further to reach me grabbing at my butt and chest. The little girl next to me noticed. I stood up and started yelling help. The bus driver looked at me through her mirror and yelled “you better sit down before I come back there.” I kept saying help, help and the bus driver just yelled at me to be quiet. 
The little girl next to me was two years younger than me but she knew something was wrong, so she started yelling help too. Her brother was in my class. He would have her sit next to me to keep her safe while he hung with friends. I got worried my attacker was going to go after her. Her brother was sitting across from us. He noticed too, and told the boy to stop. His sister and I kept saying help, help as loud as we could but was ignored by the woman bus driver. The entire bus ride home I was squirming and dodging his hands. I kept switching spots with the little girl and he kept switching spots and putting his hands down my shirt or pants.
I just wanted to go home and get help from my parents. When we arrived at my house my parents weren’t home. So the bus driver took me to my babysitter down the street. She knew something was wrong because I kept crying. The other children that she watched, that went to my school and rode my bus, knew something was wrong because I kept crying. I kept saying “I want my mommy and daddy.” I don’t know why I didn’t want to tell her what happened. I felt shamed. So she kept calling my parents telling them it’s an emergency they need to come get me. 
When my parents came and got me I didn’t want to tell them for a minute. I just kept crying and hugging them. I was just so relieved to be home. To be out of that situation and with my family. Finally I told my mom and dad what happen. I describe the entire event. My parents were extremely upset and called the bus company and the school. No one believed them. 
The next day when the bus driver came to pick me up, my father went out to talk to her. He asked her did she see what happened to me and the bus driver called me a liar. She claims she was watching us and nothing like that happened. She said I kept making a ruckus on the bus and I was about to get in trouble and I was just covering because of that. My father said “maybe you weren’t paying attention” which made her mad; she started cursing my father out. My father decided not to send me to school that day and told the bus driver to go without me. The bus driver went to the school and told them that my father threatened her life and ask them the call the police. 
When I was questioned I stood up for my father and I told them that he did not say what she said. The bus driver used to flirt at my father and my father didn’t flirt back which used to make her mad. As a child I realize a grown woman was punishing me for that and lying. The school questioned me about the incident on the bus. Things got worse from there. 
The school questioned the parents of the boy and took his side. His parents were well liked and very active in the school. Despite the fact that I was not the type of child that lied. Despite the fact that I was a quiet obedient child, the school labeled me a liar. His father and mother got into shouting matches with my mother and father. Suddenly the whole school wanted to know what happened. 
I told my two “best friends” what happened. They didn’t believe me because the boy in question was really popular and all the girls liked him. I felt so alone with no support system at school. My parents asked the bus service to make sure the boy stayed away from me on the bus and they refused. My parents were paying good money and they wouldn’t even keep their child safe. So they switched me to another bus company. They asked the school to make sure he didn’t come around me and THEY refused. So whenever I saw him in the hall or at recess, he would come around me and I would go a different way. He would laugh and say to his friends “she still scared of me.”
I wanted to transfer to another school but my parents said “you have to be strong & stand your ground.” When he graduated I thought I was finally free. But his brother still went to our school so he still came around. His father taught a money management class to my 7th grade class, and was cold to me because he thought I lied on his son. 
The worst part was one of my “friends” that didn’t believe me kept putting me in situations where I would be around my attacker outside of school. She was boy crazy and she really liked him. She didn’t believe me and must’ve thought I was lying because I must’ve had a crush on him. I kept telling her “you need to be careful around him and I don’t want to be around him.” She kept bringing him up in conversation telling me how she thought he was so hot and asking me if I thought he was hot too. I would tell her I hate him and he hurt me and I don’t want to talk about him and she would just keep talking about him. She would call me up and tell me “I saw him pick up his brother today he looks so good.”
Things got worse after I graduated grammar school. I kept hanging out with my friend, and she would ask me to come to her brothers peewee football practice. When I would get there my attacker would be there watching his brothers team play football. My Friend would say “let’s go over there and sit with him. I want to talk to him come with me.” I would refuse and she would ask why, and I would tell her “because of what happened to me remember?” She would say “girl come on” pulling me over to him. She would sit down and I would walk away, and go for a walk. She would come squealing to me “girl why didn’t you stay he was talking to me he was so cute.” I was so distressed at the fact that my friend didn’t understand what I’ve been through. 
This went on for a while she would ask me to come to her brothers football practice. I would ask her will he be there? She would promise he wouldn’t be there and beg me to go so she wouldn’t be bored. I would go and there he would be, and my friend would try to get me to come with her to flirt at him. I started to resent my friend and hung around her a lot less. It seemed like whenever she would call me it would be to report on a sighting of my attacker. She wanted to talk about how she thought he was so cute and I didn’t want to even hear his name. 
She did this all the way till senior year. She did this until the day after my prom when she called me crying because he was killed in a car crash coming home from college. I felt weird about it. The first thing I thought is why would you call me to tell me he died? Then I felt bad for his family and his brother. Then I felt relieved because he won’t hurt anyone else. Then I felt guilty for feeling relieved that someone was dead. My friend asked me to come with her to his funeral and again I refused. I tried to explain to her that I’m the last person his family wants to see at his funeral. She didn’t quite understand. I feel like our relationship has been damaged because of her lack of understanding. 
I started to think now I will be free but that day on the school bus has changed me. I’m scared of men. Whenever a man is cat calling me on the street and he follows me for too long. I’m always afraid it will happen again but worse. When male coworkers pay me too much attention, and claim they keep forgetting I’m married when I bring up my husband as a defense mechanism to get them to go away, I’m afraid. I’m afraid no one will believe me. I’m afraid my curves and the way my body is very voluptuous will betray me one day. I hate my body. I’m afraid that people will say I had it coming because of the way I dress. I’m afraid that mothers and fathers won’t teach their sons how to respect women. I’m afraid for the little girls that I taught at church. I’m afraid for my little niece.
I really shouldn’t be afraid, but people in this world don’t have women’s back. Especially if you’re a black woman. We are overly sexualized and people believe that we brought it on ourselves somehow. I never forgot the teacher that said my leggings were to tight and that’s probably why the boy was interested in me. As if it was my fault. No one ever said boys should keep their hands to themselves.

He’s Been so Good 

      Ever since I rejoined my church choir there’s a song that has been defining my spiritual walk lately. The song is called He’s Been so Good by First Church of Deliverance🎶. I was first introduced to the song when I was a child hanging out in my uncles gospel record store. Back then the lyrics didn’t really hit me. It wasn’t until I was asked to sing it did the lyrics really start to minister to my life and the situations I faced.  
     To be honest I was put on the spot and forced to sing He’s Been So Good. I had alway tried to sing at my church but road blocks was always in the way to stop me. The only times I was able to push my way in and sing was at open mic nights and Black History Month programs. Every time I did one of those events people would tell me I didn’t know you sang? Sometimes the same people would say it every time I sag because my solos was few and far between. There was one person that never forgot that I sing. The church pianist lovingly called Sister Petey. Everytime I saw her at church she would randomly bring up how I have such a beautiful singing voice, and how she wished I was in the choir.

     So of course when I join the choir she ratted me out 😳 to the director. He’s was trying to find someone to sing He’s Been so Good and no one was going to do it. Just when he decided to sing the song himself Sister Petey called out from behind the piano. “Excuse me that girl right there 😱 she can sing it make her sing it.” The first thing I thought is if I don’t make eye contact with her maybe she’ll just forget about it. “That girl there the little Wade.” No she just kept saying it over and over and over again until the director gave me the lyrics and made me sing it. 

     When I was given the song I was told to have it ready in two weeks. So I started rehearsing the lyrics every day. Then I really started reading the lyrics. At first I thought I’m not worthy to sing this song because I felt so hopeless about so many things going on in my life. I felt like God had forgotten about me. It wasn’t until I really started examining the lyrics that I realize that perhaps this song was given to me to remind me how good God has been to me. 

   I had so many sad things going on and I still have those things going on. I realized I have a tendency to focus on the negatives and not see the blessing surrounding me. Like sure I can’t seem to conceive, but I’m blessed to have a wonderful niece and nephew in my life to fill that void. God keeps them safe, healthy, and well taken care of. 

       Recently my roof caved in and my pipes broke and my carpet molded over. There was water damage everywhere. I had to remind myself that at least I still have a roof over my head (when I was standing in the front of the house.) 

    My cousins (Yes with an S) died. Three on my dads side. Then my cat died two days after my birthday. Then I got sick and ended up in the hospital. I had to thank God for my cousins lives and my relationships with them. I had to thank God for my cat being by my side for 21 years licking my tears whenever I was sad 😭. Even though the hospital really didn’t help me and I still feel sick time to time. Weirdly enough I have to thank him that I stopped coughing up blood. I’m still here and it’s a blessing. A lot of people didn’t wake up this morning, I did. So I have to have faith that he is working things out for me. He didn’t have to. 

      Lately I’ve been so lonely. I really wish sometimes my friends did more to keep in touch with me. I know I work two jobs but a simple phone call could help me a lot when I low. No one calls me so lately I’ve been saying I don’t have any friends. My sister doesn’t even take the time to call me that often. I told my husband recently I wish I had a best friend. He looked at me sad and said “babe I’m your best friend.” It was at that moment I realized I was taking his friendship for granted. I wasn’t looking at the blessing God has given me in him. 

    God has a plan for my life even though I can’t see it right now. I can’t get caught up in where I’m not at in my life. I can’t let life’s setbacks get me down and make me zero in on my faults. I need to take the time to count my blessings because he’s been so good. 

Summer Memories 

When I was young, the summer time was my favorite time of year. To me, summer ment freedom, family, and fun. Now most people hear the words freedom and summer and they think of the forth of July. I say freedom because summer was a much needed break from school. Schools was not a pleasant place for me. I was always picked on heavily by teachers. So summer was a greatly needed break to recover, and rebuild my self esteem.
The family part comes in mostly because that’s when I saw them the most. My mother was a chicago public school teacher. Summer was supposed to be her break too. Sometimes if we needed money she taught summer school, but she rarely did. So when the summer came, I got my mommy back. During the school year she was so wrapped up in other people’s kids I used to feel like an after thought. During the school year she would stay at work well after all the other teachers had went home. She would pretty much stay until the buildings closed. During the summer my mom became a mom again. She would cook food from scratch, bake, buy us Popsicles take us anywhere we wanted to go. She would watch over us from the porch as we rode our bikes in the sun with our friends making sure nothing bad happens to us. She would plan block club parties while hanging out gossiping with all the other Mommy’s.

When she wasn’t teaching summer school she was free to go on vacations. So my father and mother would plan trips to Wisconsin dells and Disney World. They would take us to the beach almost every weekend, or a museum. We would go to the taste of Chicago and watch the fireworks. We would get ice cream at McDonald’s and drive around in Beverly trying to find a new house.

When she was teaching summer school and we didn’t go to church camp with my dad’s family, Chicago State University was our playground. We took ballet lessons, swimming lessons, tennis lesson, piano lessons and voice lesson. My sister also did modeling and science some summers. We had piano recitals at the museum of science and industry. One summer, my cousin Martha came to stay after college and it felt like having a second big sister. Even though she seemed bossy she watched over me and made sure I did what was right.

When I was very small before all my uncles died, summers was spent visiting and barbecuing. I remember my uncle Joe and Robert used to show me how to make things from found objects. We would walk around for hours in the neighborhood walking my dog picking up discarded popsicle sticks till they filled a small grocery bag. Then we would take them home to clean them. After they were dry we would build things with them with glue and ingenuity. We made log cabins and towers. Just about anything the imagination could think of.

Summers meant I got to see my cousins Rocky, Ray Ray,and Robin more. I looked up to them so much, every visit felt like they brought a little more excitement every time. It also meant that I had to go to camp at my family church. Even though I always felt alone and left out surrounded by so many people and family at KOK, I always had my uncle Jessie looking out for me across the street. I can always see him and aunt Florence in the window watching. And if I needed them all I had to do was cross the street.

The fun came in with all of my friends. When I was little there was so many kids on the block we felt like a small army. Most of the kids were my sisters age or older. There’s a small few that was my age. If I didn’t have anyone to play with on the block I still had my best friend Stephanie from school who would ride her bike all the way to my house (without permission from her mom) and play all day with me. I hung out at my friend Heather’s house and we would play Barbie dolls with our friend Page. Our big sisters would start water fights with the boys and we would spend all day filling up buckets and water guns to help the resistance. We were lookouts, tattletales, and Double dutch competition judges. We cuaught tadpoles in the whole and walked the Indian Trail. We road our bikes to the candy store and get pickles with peppermint sticks in the middle.

We had sleepovers and stayed up all night catching lightning bugs in pickle jars. We woke up in the morning and went back outside and didn’t come back till the street lights was on.

Now that I’m an adult and I really don’t get to do anything but work for the summer I look back on all these things with fondness. A lot of people I mentioned have passed away. Like my uncles, aunt, my cousin Martha, and my friend Heather. I think on these memories and think of them.

#Summer17Writing #GoldenFabulous

Should I stay with L.A. Fitness? Was my husband discriminated against? Need to make some decisions. 

        This morning I woke up with the intention to go to my L.A. Fitness gym and participate in my favorite Zumba class. My favorite teacher only has class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Like a lot of mornings when I don’t work I plan to go to the gym but I opt for working out at home instead. It’s not because I’m lazy, and I definitely hate wasting the money for a membership. I just can’t bring myself to return because of something that happened to my husband and I in July. 
        My husband and I both have two jobs each so we don’t get to spend a lot of down time together. When we do we try to make it count. When we got married I had already been a member of L.A. Fitness since 2009. My husband never joined because he works from 9am to 10:30 pm. It really would not make sense for him to have a gym membership if he really can’t use it. So I workout on my own. 

   Since we got married my husband gets a guest pass at the gym once every year on the off chance we both have the same day off. He had been so busy these past two years that he had no time to go to the gym with me. So when we realized we were off for the Fourth of July weekend we decided to hit the gym together. 

       It had been so long since we had gotten a guest pass I remember telling my husband to make sure he was still eligible. I thought the rules might change. I didn’t want to get all the way to the gym and he couldn’t get in. He read the fine print, and it said on the site and the pass we printed out that you can’t get another guest pass until 6 months had passed. Since it had been two years or more since he had visited I figured he would be fine. 

       I was wrong. When we arrived to the gym I checked in and my husband showed his guest pass. At first the person at the front desk said go right ahead, but then one of the gym managers asked us to meet them at their desks. He ask us if my husband had visited the gym before. My first instinct was to lie and say no. I had a bad feeling about the question. No one else I had brought to the gym was asked that question. However I figured they might have him on file from 2 years ago so I decided to tell the truth. 

      The gym manager asked Jon if he wanted to join. We then explained our work situation and how he just doesn’t have the time. So then the manager say “we can’t allow you to work out here unless your a member.” My husband was ok and said to me well you go work out I’ll wait in the car. I wasn’t having it. 
       I asked why was he not being allowed in. The manager said because he used a guest pass 2 years ago so he can’t get another. I asked my husband for his pass and showed the manager the fine print that says he can obtain another pass after 6 months had passed. He said ” well that’s not our policy any more.” So I explained that’s false advertising. I told him it’s on your company site also. He said well we don’t allow that. I then told him about how my sister had visited from another state and worked out with me on a guest pass on 4 different occasions. I’ve also brought other friends in on guest passes a bunch of times. Why has the rules suddenly changed with my husband? 

       This is when things got suspicious. The manager then say to us” well I’m the manager of this gym and I can bare people as I see fit. Ok so this is when I was about to lay into this guy, but my husband was like just forget it come on let’s go. As we walked back to the car I was so infuriated. I had been going to that gym for so long giving them my money and the felt it was ok to miss treat me and my guest. 

       Then I started telling my husband about one of the last time my sister visited. After we did a Zumba class together on my birthday one of the managers met her just before the door. He asked her if she wanted to join. She said no because she lived in a different state. He then tried to get her to sign up with a more expensive membership so she can go to any L.A. Fitness wherever she is livening. She declined and said I just had a baby so I don’t have the money for that membership right now. He then said to my sister. ” why don’t you get a job so you can afford a gym membership” my sister and I looked at him very stunned at the accusation that she was unemployed. She explained that she’s a journalist, and she does have a job it just wasn’t in her budget right now to have a gym membership. He then started trying bully her into signing up. We left with a bad taste in our mouth. 

       I remember talking to my sister about the incident and telling her I feel it was racist of him to say she didn’t have a job. I have to admit I thought about leaving the gym right then, but I had just started going. Looking back on that situation and then looking at the situation with my husband I felt that maybe it was time for me to go. So I stopped going to the gym as much so  I could take time to plot my next move.

        First thing I decided was that we should put it out on Twitter what they did. We made sure that we tagged LA fitness Twitter page so they saw exactly how displeased we were with them. Next I decided to put my membership on hold. I went through the entire process to put your membership on hold, and it said it went through. However when the next month came my membership dues came out of my bank account automatically again. Then I started to research how to switch gyms. There’s a LA Fitness much closer to where I live now. I’ve only visited once.  I don’t really like it all that much because it’s a little dirty. But a lot of things have gone down at the LA fitness I was currently a member of, and I felt that it was time for me to let them go. 

     I started doing my research and found out that I had to pay $60 to be able to go to a different gym. I think that’s ridiculous seeing as I am already paying a monthly due I should just be able to switch. I feel like it really should be a matter of filling out some paperwork and that Gym is my gym now. They want $60 to fill out the paperwork. To be honest it would be cheaper just to get rid of my membership altogether. Well the only reason why I still have a membership is cause I like to swim and I don’t know to many gyms in my area to have a pool. 

    This is when the story took a turn. Someone from LA fitness corporate call my husband to ask him how he enjoyed working out at the LA Fitness in Alsip IL. My husband explain the situation that had happened. The person on the phone apologized and offered my husband a week long guest pass. My husband still was mad about the situation so he just hung up in the guys ear. So he could’ve gotten a weeklong guest pass, but he wouldn’t of been able to use it because he has to be at work all week long at both of his jobs. So the offer was just a complete waste anyway. 

    I myself haven’t been back since that incident. I get up in the morning, and I say “OK I guess this has gone on long enough.”  I get ready for the gym I get to the door and then I change my mind and work out at home. At this point I’m not sure what I should do.  Should I just get rid of the membership and just continue working out at home? Since I haven’t been back I haven’t been swimming either, so what’s the point of keeping a membership to have access to a pool you don’t use? I’ve brought a lot of friends there that have joined. My sister joined another L.A. Fitness gym last year. I feel like I’ve given so much to that gym and was just mistreated. I’m not sure how to move forward in this situation. Should I just suck it up and pay the 60 bucks and switch gyms, or should I just leave all together. What are your thoughts? 

P.S. I wrote this during the time I would normally be at the 9:45am Zumba class with my favorite teacher. 

Look Forward 

   When I was a kid I use to play volleyball. Looking back I think I only did volleyball because my sister did it before me. I wanted to be great at it just like my big sis, but no matter how hard I tried I struggled. I practiced the drills at home everyday. I spent a lot of my free time practicing serving in my backyard. My sister even worked with me on occasion.  No matter how hard I worked I was terrible. One day my coach gave me some advice that I still try to apply to life. My coach gave me two tips that make since when you apply it to other fascists in life.

1) you’re too scared: 

   She said the reason why I can’t hit the ball when it comes my way is because I get scared when I see it. I aromaticaly convince myself that I will fail before the ball even reached me. This resulted in me tensing up and ducking for cover. 

   Sometimes in life we have dreams that we can see come true, but they scare us. We convince ourselves that we are not worthy. That we will fail, but that’s not true you can’t tell the future. So if you’re not clairvoyant you’ll never know the outcome till you try.  

2) You need to look ahead:

    My grammar school coach told me I needed to envision myself hitting the ball, and see it going over the net. I needed to train my mind to see a positive outcome instead of expecting a negative one. 

   Sometimes we convince ourselves that our plans will always fall through. I tend to think like this sometimes after a lot of let downs in life. In order to get myself out of a depressing funk I imagine better days. I look forward to new dreams, and triumphs. 

   Now after all the training, work, and practice was over I was doing better on the volleyball court. I didn’t realize just how good I had gotten till high school. Something happened to me and I used what I learned in grammar school when it really counted. 

    The summer before my freshman year was to start I did volleyball camp at my new high school. If you were picked that summer you got to be on the team during the school year.  On the first day one of the coaches informed me that she doesn’t like me because I’m a teachers kid and a Christian. She knew all of this because my mom worked at the school with her. She let me know early that she was going to do everything in her power to ruin all my chances till I graduated. 

   I was determined to win her over. I trained hard that whole summer. My sister even came in from college to help the coaches out. On the last day the two coaches walked up to my mom’s car and told me not to even bother getting out cause they was never going to let me on the team cause they didn’t like her.  

   I wasted my entire summer working hard for nothing. My sister was so mad she used some choice words at them. They demanded an apology but she refused. She told them you owe my sister an apology. 
   Fast forward to senior year. All the gym classes was playing a volleyball tournament against each other the last team standings played the schools volleyball team. Guess who’s class made it to the finals. When I came up against the schools team I decided to make a point. I wasn’t scared anymore, and I envisioned myself beating that team so bad. I wanted the coach to realize how stupid she was for missing out on my talents. My team beat her team. 

   After the game someone said in front of the coaches “why aren’t you on the team you’re really good.” I look at them and said “they cut me freshman year because of politics. Bad move I guess” and walked away. ✌🏿️

Military diet aka the three day diet. Day by day play

   When I first came across the military diet it was on YouTube at the end of last year. I decided to try it out right after thanksgiving to shed some unwanted pounds I packed on. If you remember some of my previous post I’ve been dealing with my weight all my life. 

    There is a long history behind my never ending weight loss journey. The first time I was ever aware I was thicker then most was in the fourth grade. My class mates told me while I was in the bathroom a teacher had been making fun of how fat I had gotten. From then on I started eating salads, exercising daly, and drinking slim fast shakes.   Looking back through pictures I realized I was just really developed. I was a Size D in a training bra world. I had a big chest wide hips and a little waist but to some adults I was considered fat. It wasn’t until I became an adult did I realize back then I was not fat. 

    My weight has gone up and down my entire life. I’ve only gotten to my goal weight three times.  All three of those times was after a lengthy hospital stay after a bout with gastroenteritis. It was not because of diet and exercise. Believe me that was really painful. The only time I ever got close to my goal weight with diet and exercise was just before my wedding. I was 210 pounds and I went down to 170 in two years. My goal was 150 but I still felt good and very proud of myself at the time.  

   So fast forward to three years after my wedding. Despite constantly exercising and eating changes I gained 40 pounds. It seems like nothing really works anymore to propel my body to sheds the pounds accept one thing. The Military Diet or three day diet. I’m going to take you through the last two times I tried this diet out. I want you all to know what to expect. This diet is not for everyone. Especially those with health conditions like diabetes.

   When I first came across this diet it was under the name the three day diet. YouTube had suggested a video from Rocio Laura called How to lose 10 pounds in 3 Days Safely Guaranteed. Naturally I was intrigued. It really seemed to good to be true. After watching her extremely long video I decided it wasn’t something dangerous, in fact doable. The diet really helped me see the error in my many food vices. 

    Things like I can’t go without sugar in my tea or coffee, or large amounts of salt. Everything I eat needs to have seasoning like lemon pepper, Green seasoning. I never eat anything plain. My parents never did and that’s how I was taught. To give an example my parent even taught me to put salt on watermelon. That’s what I have come a custom to. The diet taught me to enjoy the flavors in the food just how they are with no additives. Believe me It was no easy task. I really had to reprogram my brain to accept , and enjoy the food, and I did. Once I got out of my own way things started to go smoother.

Day one


   Day one of the diet the the first time I did the diet and the second I had different reactions. The first time I did the diet I thought day one was going to be hard and it was easy.  Back then I was working from 9:30 am till 11pm. The black coffee no sugar or cream gave me a lot of energy. The second time around on day one I drank organic green tea without sugar, and I was dragging. I did the green tea because I had always read it promotes weight loss. This caused me to have to use the bathroom a lot more but the weight didn’t budge. Day one with coffee I was not hungry,but with the tea the second time around I was starving. I developed a headache that stayed off and on the whole three days.

Day two


   Again the first time I surprised myself at how I was handling the lack of sugar and salt. I also had developed a habit of eating a small bag of chips everyday. I thought I was addicted because every time I give them up for lint I feel like I’m going to lose my mind.  However, during the diet the first time around I was good at managing my cravings. In fact I didn’t crave chips or sweats at all. I felt so much healthier eating veggies, fruits, and meats in smaller portions then I was use to. I felt energized and clean.

       The second time around I was craving everything. I wanted food I didn’t like, food I had never tried, I wanted to eat everything I laid eyes on. My sense of smell got stronger. I knew the bakery two blocks away was making cheese danishes! It got real. And that headache kept coming and going. I started to feel dizzy off and on. Since I switched jobs I worked less hour’s at the morning gig so I thought I wouldn’t have a lot of energy problems. I wanted to lay down behind the cash register so bad. The only thing I think could have contributed to the change was swapping the coffee for tea.

Day three

   The first time I remember day three was a challenge. I was working long hours on a Saturday at my old job. They had a tendency not to let me have my break on time. In fact I didn’t get it till one hours before close. I had eaten the breakfast and lunch before I clocked in. I just needed to eat the dinner during break. But that particular Saturday was a big sale day so things was very busy. We were not allowed to take breaks at the same time so whenever I asked someone else’s was always on break. A lot of people took longer then they should so I was one second from passing out when they finally gave me the ok. Then I couldn’t eat the ice cream till I got home late that night.

   The coffee had also started to make my bladder run a lot. But my old job liked to lock the bathroom to make us be more productive. That last night I got a really bad headache for obvious reasons. I was craving all types of food. My coworkers kept offering me candy and chips when the boss wasn’t looking. But I stayed strong. I had already lost 7 pounds and I really wanted to push for those last 3. 

   The second time. I started to feel sick. I started to rethink the possibility that this  was healthy. I felt like I was going to throw up, and pass out. I had a nasty headache that whole day. That morning I was eating the breakfast on the way to my morning job. Someone cut me off causing my food to fly off the passenger seat on to the floor. So I only really ate a cracker, a bite of cheese, and a slice of apple with black coffee. If it was not for the coffee I think I might have passed out. I think the coffee suppressed my appetite. 

   Lunch didn’t help me feel full cause I could only eat a hard-boiled egg and a piece of toast. I had salt and pepper on the egg cause you can have a little salt for tast. I devoured that egg in one minute. By the time my shift ended I really felt like I needed food or I could faint. When I weighed myself that morning I had not lost any weight. I kept telling myself that my breakfast falling on the floor would maybe help encourage my weight to go down. Looking back that was dangerous thinking. You should never skip meals to lose weight. 

   When I got home in between my morning and evening job I was rushing to eat that dinner cause I was starving. Of course I had that headache again because I didn’t eat breakfast and lunch was so small. After I ate the dinner I felt so full. I thought this should definitely hold me over till the morning. I was so wrong. I took water with me just in case to fill my stomach. Usually that works but this time it didn’t. My stomach had grown accustomed to me eating a small bag of chips while I was sitting in the coat check room.  So when I was not eating chips my stomach was like hey what’s the deal? Then it started growling like crazy. And again the headache came back. 

   I was so miserable and I did not understand what was happening. I didn’t get that sick the last time I did the diet. I just had a small headache because I wasn’t allowed to have dinner at the right time. This time I had dinner early and I still had a headache and was starving. I kept telling myself it’ll all be worth it once you lose the 10 pounds and it’ll kick start your healthy life. 

   The morning after the third day I could of delve into a whole bunch of unhealthy foods but I didn’t want to. I felt like my body is completely cleaned out of unhealthy salts and sweeteners. I wanted to eat fruits for breakfast and salads for lunch and just stay on a healthy kick. But those chips two days out came back. I did lose 8 pounds. I feel like if I had done coffee all three days I would have lost more and had less craving. 
     So the things that I learned from this diet is that I really do need to cut down on my sugar and salt intake. My father just suffered a heart attack and then directly after suffered a diabetic scare. My husband suffers from high blood pressure diabetes and my mother does too. My grandparents and my 3 uncle’s died at very young ages because of heart attacks. I feel like things need to change with me salt wise because no matter how much fruit, and vegetables I eat. No matter how much quinoa I consume, or if I give up meat, salt will probably be the thing to takes me out. 

   I know the three day diet may seem un safe. However it’s just eating smaller portions and cutting back on sugar and slat. It’s kind of a way to reprogram your brain to make healthier choices. It’s just up to you if that decision-making will stick or not in the long run. Now let me get back to that bag of chips I was eating. 

Check out these links to the full diets. 

How to lose 10 pounds in 3 days safely guaranteed 

The Military Diet 

The Pro’s and Con’s of photo editing apps 

    I’m not the type of person to be really into makeup. My mother only ever wears foundation and lip stick, and that’s all I ever saw when I was growing up. I didn’t even know you are supposed to put primer on before foundation until like a year ago. Needless to say when it comes to make up I can be clueless, but I’m learning.

     Lately I’ve been playing around with photo editing app’s. I have been obsessed with making my photos look more professional because I don’t have a good camera right now. Majority of my pictures are taken on my iPhone 5s and the camera is not totally up to my standards. I took a lot of photography classes back in the day so I’m really critical of the type of pic’ s the iPhone produces. I’m also very concerned with my layout looking good. This is sometimes hard for me to do because my computer has been on the Fritz. So pretty much everything I do is done through my iPhone.

   Some of the apps that I’ve Been using lately are VSCO short for visual supply company. This app has a large slew of filters that can be adjusted with their editing tools. I use Moldiv as a collage/photo editor. They have some really great magazine layouts. I use Repix when I feeling artsy. It’s half painting app half photo editor. Last but not least perfect365. This app right here is a special one. You can essentially completely alter your appearance. It’s a makeup app that if you use it correctly you can make a seamless transformation. Put all of these apps together and if you tweak them just so your iPhone photos will look like you used a $800 dollar camera. I’m still working on my technique.

   Some of the apps I’ve used in the past are Picplay, Pic Jointer, Camu, InstaVid video and photo collage, Snapseed, LiveCollage, Kia Xia photo collage maker. I went through a lot of apps on my pursuit to find the best. Now that I’ve assembled what I feel is my dream team of apps I’ve come up with my pro’s and con’s of photo retouching.



   Let’s face it if you’re working with a sub par camera your photos can come out poorly lit, heavily pixelated, grainy, and out of focused. For the most part I use most of these apps to counteract or undo poor visuals. I’ve found that most people online won’t take you seriously if your pictures look unprofessional. 


    Sometimes you can’t reverse the effects of a bad photo but you can add filters that can make it look artsy, so no one can see the bad effects. If your photo is badly lit you can use tools on a lot of these app’s to create faux lighting. An older app I use to use called snapseed even has the tools to burn certain parts of your pictures that have to much light. That app especially reminded me of being in the darkroom with my burning tools. Basically most of these apps make photo editing easy with out all the work, or expense.



   Ok now I’m really going to get into the psychological aspect. Perfect365 is an amazing app that meticulously changes a bad face day.  However it makes me extremely concerned and self-conscious. With this app you can create the effects of a full face of make up. You can lighten your skin tone, slime down your face and nose. Widen your eyes, while removing bags, soften your skin, remove blemishes. If you haven’t done your eyebrows in a while you can darken and arch them. If your eyelashes are to short you can darken and elongate them. You can deepen your smile, enlarge your lips, Whitten your teeth, and widden your eyes while making them appear whiter or just change the color altogether. You can even add fake hair.

   When I first downloaded this app I did it as a joke to make Bride of Frankenstein like monstrosities. I even deleted it once. But as I explored and fiddled with the app more I became better at marking the pictures look more realistic. That’s when the trouble started. Whenever I posted an edited picture Vs a none edited one I got an overwhelmingly favorable response from the edited pics. The comments are usually praising me for my beautiful skin and youthful glow. When I look at the before pic’s I feel like I look old, and tired. I thought I looked fine before the app, but now I find myself putting on more make up these days. All my adult life people have been going on about how I look so young. When I look at myself through the app I feel like I look haggard. I’ve been using this app for a year now and I have to say it is definitely chipping away at my self-esteem. I know I can’t be the only one that feels this way?

   When you step back and look at it from a bigger standpoint the app was created with someone else’s beauty standards. These standards are not the law of beauty, but it’s easy to get caught up into thinking it is. It’s easy to look at yourself through another’s eyes and feel like your not good enough. What I think is needed is the confidence in one’s unique beauty. You should know your beauty lives inside and out. When you know this no one or thing can waver your self-assurance. I’m not quite there yet. Recently a new male employee at one of my jobs had never seen me without glasses. He told me I looked terrible without them. He claimed I looked so tired despite me wearing makeup, and I should never go without wearing them. Now I had not really been wearing glasses long. I had contacts since high school. I knew I looked fine. No one had ever told me I looked bad before. When I looked in the mirror I liked what I saw, but I let someone’s criticism make me think I needed to look better. I never even thought about how this dude was always making a pass at me and getting mad when I tell him to back off I’m married. I never considered that he probably wanted to just make me feel bad. So I started researching how to get ride of bags and dark circles like a idiot thinking what others thought mattered. Sometimes the masses will try to bring you down because they are jealous.
   My husband does not feel he should tell me I look pretty. He thinks I should know it and not need him to tell me. So he rarely comments on my appearance even when I ask. The problem with that philosophy is human being are vain. And despite the fact that we should be able to assure ourselves of our inner beauty we rely on others for validation. Thus comes the invention of the selfie. Society is caught up In hiding our flaws to prove we are the best through the amount of likes we get. 

   App’s like these are fun, and definitely can hide a bad skin day. But if we all get caught up into trying to look perfect what happens to the unique person inside? Young girls and women will get caught up competing with something that’s not real. Men will have unrealistic expectations of beauty. Not to mention you can really cat fish someone into thinking your a model. Would you want to live In a world where nothing is real and no one is truly themselves? I think we really need to keep an eye on who we are inside, and not let apps and social media dictate beauty standards. 


Does Racial-bias-effect-Google’s-algorithm? 

Last night or early in the a.m. I received a text from my big sister. 

     I had just read about a married couple being used in a viral meme that falsely depicted their relationship. Worried and curious I grabbed my kindle and launched the Facebook app. The notification icon lit up and I saw my big sisters post. She is featured in a meme that depicts African-American hair as unprofessional for the workplace in a Google search. Here are her two cents. Check it out.   






     Now in some ways I completely understand the algorithm explanation. However, as my sister pointed out the blogs written by black women more than likely has the phrase professional hair in it too. I call foul on this excuse.

     I don’t have proof but a month ago I did a search on Google for natural hairstyles. My search results contained a Bevy of pictures of Caucasian women. I thought OK… maybe I should be more specific. Then searched  natural hairstyles for African-American women. Majority of the picture still were of Caucasian women. I should’ve took a picture right when it happened. I was on the train on my way to work. When I re-did the search later on that night I got pictures of African-American women. 

    It may have been because I was on my way to downtown Chicago and I was in a predominantly Caucasian area. When I re-did the search I was home on the southside again. I just know it confused  me very much. Why would my search results change based off of the area that I’m in? Some people may use the reasoning that african-Americans are a minority so we may not come up as often in searchers. However the purpose of the search engines are to give you the most accurate results. I feel that regardless of where you are if you search for something that is for African-Americans you should get African-American result. I Also feel that no matter what ethnic group out number the other the search results should show a vast array of ethnic groups. 

    I feel it was very suspicious that the unprofessional hairstyles in a workplace search contained almost only African-American women and vice versa for Caucasian women. I believe it speaks volumes of how society tries to oppress African Americans and other ethnic groups. They try to brainwash us into thinking our hair and features are not beautiful. The best way to keep perpetuating that way of thinking is to have the power and means to control what we all see as beauty. If it seems like the majority thinks that beauty is light skin, straight hair the masses will except it as so because there is nothing to contradict that thought. As diverse as America is it seems too easy to say this is a result of search algorithms. What are your thoughts? 

I’m taking a break from hair color


    It’s such a weird thing for me to say. Before I got my new second job I was considering coloring my hair purple. Now I’m not allowed to color my hair non-natural colors and it has me think maybe it’s time to take a break from color all together. I’ve been coloring my hair since I went natural. In fact I colored my hair the day I big chopped. My main reason for coloring my hair was because I really didn’t want people to compare me to my sister. 


Back in the day I went natural before her and then I chickened out. I was in high school and I wore brandy braids a lot of the times. So naturally my perm grew out. One day I wore my hair out when my sister was home from college and she liked it. So she went natural , and I got a perm. My sister stayed natural, and it took me a little while to make my way back. 

When I finally decided to go natural I transitioned for a year and a half. Almost two really. I wore braids the entire time. Whenever I told people I was going natural they automatically assumed I was doing it to be like my sister. There was a lot of things I did first that my sister would pick up and people would assume I did it cause of her. 

I hated the thought that people didn’t think I had my own mind. So coloring my hair seemed like the best thing to set me apart. it worked for a long time. However, now I feel like my hair has hit this plateau. As long as I’ve been natural my hair never passes bra strap length. It gets to that length and then breaks off. Usually in the winter when it’s cold & dry. 

   Over the years I’ve done a lot to try and retain length from using different oils like coconut and Jamaican black castor oil. Clipping my ends more regularly, and frequently protective styling. My Hair seems to be tired, so the only thing I can think of is it must be the color.  I color my hair myself so maybe I’ve been overdoing it and giving myself color damage.


   So I’ve decided I’m taking a year long break from color. My plan is just to transition the color out with protective styles like crochet braiding and other styles. I’m still doing research but I am worried about breakage between the dyed hair and the new growth. I was told by my old stylist that first dyed my hair that if I didn’t keep up my color it would cause my hair to break off. I can’t really find information to back that up but it’s a possibility. I will keep you all posted on my progress.