The Greatest Lie Millennials Believe

Welcome to S&T’s #TBT! This week’s post is an official throwback post from 2015. I’m considering whether to re-release old posts on the blog every first Thursday of the month. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section! 

I remember when I found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real. I thought to myself:

Now, why would I ever believe that an oversized man in a big red suit fit down a narrow chimney with Christmas? How exactly did he fit? How could one man fly 24,901 miles in 24 hours around the world delivering gifts to 9 billion children? And how did he travel on an object intended for snow? Could he have at least rented a private jet?

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But I did. And if you’re honest, you did too.

In fact, we’ve all believed menarche at some point in our lives. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we millennials have endorsed yet another lie.

We believe that if we follow our passion, then the money will come. Money’s not important as living our dream life.

Now, I’m not saying that money is everything, but to the person who invented this quote, have you ever not had any money?

Have you ever been broke? Now, I’m not talking the Awww-man-I-can’t-afford-to-eat-at-a-five-star-restaurant-broke, I’m talking the I-don’t-have-money-to-eat broke. I’m talking the should-I-pay-rent-or-should-I-buy-my-children-food broke.

I’m talking the I-can’t-attend-your-birthday-party-because-I-have-$10-in-my-account-and-can’t-even-afford-to-pay-for-gas-to-get-there broke.

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I’m talking BROKE without the “K” or the “E.” You’re so broke, you’re BRO. Can’t even afford the last two letters of the word.

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I’m Trying To Be Great But My Body Won’t Let Me (Part II)

In last week’s post, I discussed the challenges I’ve had losing weight in my 30’s. I gained 10 pounds in one year and when my belly was bulging from the cute outfit I had chosen to wear in my engagement photos, I decided to make a major change. I needed to be back to my normal size by August for my wedding. I encourage you to catch up here, if you haven’t already.

Caught up?

Great! Here we go.Read More »

I’m Trying To Be Great But My Body Won’t Let Me (Part I)

Imagine this.

You’ve spent the entire day getting ready for a huge event. Your make-up is perfect. Hair’s on-fleek. Outfit’s snatched. You feel like a million bucks. You do your Naomi Campbell walk into the event. Strutting your stuff. You stop; grab your phone and take a selfie. You look at the photo to admire your beauty and what do you see?

A strange man in the background making a funny face in your picture. He just photo-bombed your selfie. Now, the photo you thought would embody your moment has now resulted in minutes of aggravation as you desperately crop the weirdo out of your image.

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Source: Giphy

And that’s how I feel about my body.

I’m over here, kicking butt at life: meal planning, exercising, and getting my beauty rest and my body refuses to lose weight. It acts like it’s allergic to weight loss.

I used to be a nice size. I’m 5’2. When I met my husband five years ago, I was 27 years old and 126 pounds. That was my natural size. No gym or counting calories needed. I simply ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. And I’ve always been a potato, rice, bread and pasta lover, so I ate a lot of that.

On the rare occasions that I wanted to lose weight, I would put forth minimal effort: fast for a couple days or maybe follow a juice diet for 2 weeks. And BAM! I’m at my goal weight.

But those days are gone like audio cassette tapes.

My body started to change when I turned 30. That year was an eventful one. I relocated to North Carolina and enrolled in a graduate school program. My days were long and filled with studying, writing papers, and completing group projects. Snacks were my late night companion. Exercise and I grew further apart. I gained 10 pounds in one year.

I was the largest I had ever been. Clothes that I had been wearing since college couldn’t fit me anymore. Suddenly, I had a muffin top. To lose weight, I turned to my go-to smoothie diet. I lost 2 pounds in one week, but I was having weird indigestion issues. Issues I had never experienced before in all my years of crash dieting. I was forced to resume a normal diet, which for me, consisted of carbs and sugars. The indigestion went away, but the pounds – they returned immediately.

Pounds Coming Back On
Source: Indigy.com

I didn’t have time to worry about losing weight though. I was focused on finding a new job. I was also on an unintended shopping spree. None of my old work clothes fit anymore.

My heart broke each time I tried on an article of clothing at the mall and it was too small. Forget finding clothes that were cute; I just wanted something that would hid my love handles!

I did not like what I saw in the full-length mirror anymore. My eyes had always been a source of insecurities, but not my body. My self-talk was terrible.

“If you’re unhappy, babe, why don’t you just lose weight?” My then fiance (now husband) asked.

It’s a novel idea.

But, I couldn’t do it.

It’s not because I didn’t want to. It’s because I didn’t know how. I was a foreigner in my new body. I didn’t know what it needed. What used to work (fasting, smoothie-and-Tostito diets, juice diets, etc.) no longer worked. Such diets would now result in debilitating headaches or weird indigestion issues.

Oh, and then there was exercise. I didn’t have money for a gym membership, so I relied workouts on YouTube, but I was miserable and unmotivated. When my alarm would sound in the mornings, I’d ask myself, What’s the point? And go back to sleep.  

can't get out of bed
Source: Piceland.com

The last straw was on New Year’s Eve in 2016. My fiance and I were taking engagement photos. I had been shopping for the perfect outfit all week and my belly bulged from each of them. My wedding was 8 months away and I vowed that I was not going to walk down the aisle looking like the Pillsbury DoughGirl.

So, I had to change…


Stay tuned for Part II, where I discuss what I did and what I learned in my journey to lose weight for my wedding day. Oh, and follow me on Twitter @scribsandtosts. See you next Thursday! 

The One Flaw That Always Made Me Feel Unpretty

pexels-photo-568027It’s not by happenstance that the tagline for my blog is “Her journey to self-love.” Falling in love with myself has been of importance to me and through my blog posts, I share what I’ve learned along the way. I’m not the only one on this mission. Millions of women around the globe struggle with insecurities and/or low self-esteem. I share my story in hopes that women will find it helpful in their healing.

My story begins with a condition I’ve had since birth. I was born with a droopy right eyelid, often called a lazy eye. The condition caused me to have difficulty seeing out of my right eye. In order to see objects, I would tilt my head so that the object before me would be seen with my left eye. Eye doctors worried that I’d lose vision in my right eye if it wasn’t being used enough. To avoid this, they prescribed an eyepatch for left eye. If my left eye is unavailable, I’d be forced to use my right eye. As a toddler, I also had surgery to raise my right eye lid.

My early childhood was filled with eye doctor appointments, eye exams, and silly comments from from and classmates who would often ask, “What’s wrong with your eye? Are you sleepy?” and my personal favorite, “Why is one of your eyes bigger than the other?” I hated going to eye doctor appointments. I regretted the fact that I had to wear an eyepatch. I wished I was born with normal eyes like my mom, dad, brothers and everyone else in my family.Read More »

5 Unconventional Productivity Hacks For Happier Life

When I was laid off from my job seven years ago, I lost my apartment and was forced to live with my parents. I was living paycheck to paycheck, so when money dried up, I had no emergency fund. Life sucked. My confidence went down along with my back account balance. I could not enjoy life the way I once did. I vowed I’d never be broke again.

Here at S&T, we aim to enlighten, encourage, and empower women to be the best they can be. Financial prosperity supports our goal. How can you live a fulfilling life when you’re consistently broke? It’s hard. I’ve tried. Part of our mission is help you achieve financial prosperity.

Unfortunately, our 9-to-5 jobs will not get us to the promise land. Sure, it will help you pay bills, go on a few trips, and pay off some student loans, but real financial gain is through investments and entrepreneurship. The average person spends 8 hours of their day working for someone else. After a long day at the office, we juggle our other priorities: gym, family, housekeeping, etc. It’s difficult to invest the time and energy to work for yourself, unless we master the art of time management.Read More »

My Fear of Becoming THAT Married Woman

 

Would you like to hear my secret?

I’m afraid of becoming THAT married woman.

What do I mean by THAT married woman?

I am so happy you asked.

She is boastful, too busy, and is unable to relate to her single friends. Married women behave as though a bug has injected them with an inflated ego, causing them to be extremely obnoxious to others, especially singles. I’ll explain.Read More »

On My Playlist: How To Fix A Broken Record Podcast

To break the monotony of a day at the office, I often listen to Podcasts. I like podcasts that offer insight on a variety of topics, while still entertaining me in some way. Last week, I discovered How To Fix A Broken Record, a podcast based on a book of the same name. The podcast’s author, Amena Brown, discusses various topics in her book: natural hair, the importance of loving yourself, single life, married life, and the adventures of adulting in the social media age. Amena and her guests will make you laugh, reflect, or perhaps reevaluate life. So, S&T, if you need a pick-me-up during your day today, I highly recommend How To Fix A Broken Record podcast (and the book too)!

 

A Black Woman’s Conversation with a White Man About Race

A 30-year old body is a rebel. It does whatever it wants to do, with little regard to what I want it to do. When I turned 30, exercise moved from optional to mandatory. I’ve taken on a new fun physical activity to stay in shape: road cycling.

Hubby introduced me to the world of cycling 2 years ago. He purchased a performance bike, began cycling with a group of people, and fell in love with the sport. His love for the sport was infectious. I purchased a road bike in April and started bike riding as well. Twice a week, we cycle with various groups in our neighborhood. Hubby, a more seasoned cyclist, rides with intermediate riders. I, on the other hand, cycle with other beginners. We usually meet at a location after our respective rides.

On one Saturday morning, I returned from my ride before hubby. I noticed a White man in his group and asked him whether he had seen my husband. In retrospect, iI had never seen this man before, so he probably had no idea what hubby looked like, but I didn’t even stop to consider that.

He responds, “Would it be racist if I asked you if he were Black?”Read More »

Why I Was Away For So Long

It’s not unusual for me to hop out the shower prematurely, grab a towel, and run to my iPhone to jot down a fabulous idea for a blog. It’s not uncommon for me to pull over during my commute to the office to write down an idea for a blog. At the office, I leave a blank notepad on my desk to jot down ideas as soon as they come. Normally, blog ideas flow consistently.

I took a 15 month hiatus from my blog. Why? My life was so full of activity that I honestly had no mental energy to conjure up a blog post, even when I tried. 2016 and 2017 were eventful years. I graduated from my graduate school program in August 2016; endured a 6-month job search (from May 2016 through December 2016) and 14 interviews with 10 different companies; accepted a job offer and settled into a new career; relocated to a new apartment in the Raleigh-Durham area; and planned an Atlanta wedding from North Carolina. I was so busy, I don’t even know how I managed to stay on top of everything. Sadly though, one of the things that I truly adore, was put on the back burner: my blog.
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Not Another One

Last Christmas, my husband and I went to the movies to see Fences. We’re both huge Denzel Washington fans, so an opportunity to see his movie made the day enjoyable.  This Christmas, Denzel’s movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq will be released, so obviously, I suggested we watch it. He showed some hesitation about going to a movie theatre on a holiday. His reason: Christmas will bring a huge audience to the theater, making it vulnerable to a gun attack.

I nodded sadly, acknowledging what life has been for us living in an era where mass shootings are becoming common. Nowadays, the simple act of seeing a movie in a public location is scary.Read More »

My Life Changed Once I Started Doing These Things

I have undergone a transformation. I’m like a butterfly that emerged from a cocoon after experiencing some tough challenges. I’m better for it. I’m thankful for the hard times because I’m happy with the woman that it has made me. I’m also grateful for what the tough times forced me to do.

  1. Live within my means.

Two years ago, my life mantra was YOLO. You only life once, so splurge. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. While it’s true that no one knows if we’ll see the light of tomorrow, it is wise to ensure that there is something waiting for us in case we do.Read More »

My Wedding Vows

Hey S&T! I’m a newlywed! My wedding was in August. Ceremony and reception were both beautiful. The best part is that I married the man of my dreams. My wedding vows are written below:

You are my favorite person. Kind-hearted, brilliant and driven. Considerate and encouraging. Wise and positive.

You have changed me. You’ve changed my perspective. Your companionship has made me bolder, more confident and fearless. The way you sacrifice on my behalf is awesome. I am grateful that no matter how much pushback I gave you back when we met, you persisted.Read More »

The Power of a Good Story

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I’ve always loved the art of storytelling. But, I never thought that story-telling could make the large impact on the world that I’ve always desired to make. Perhaps, this is the reason why I never took it as seriously as my career in healthcare. Because healthcare is more noble than storytelling, right? Wrong. As Viola Davis so eloquently stated during a historical moment at the Academy Awards in February:

People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories. The stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition. People who fell in love and lost. I became an artistand thank God I did—because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.

Storytelling is powerful. I cannot tell you how many movies have brought tears to my eyes or made me reevaluate life. What I do on my blog is tell stories of my life. I didn’t think of it as much, but when I stopped writing, I had a people ask me, “Why don’t you blog anymore?” Your blog is what inspires me. It’s those words that have brought me back to my first love – writing.

Lately, I’ve been contemplating my life purpose. I recently met a woman who I believe is living out her life’s purpose and  I cannot tell you how much she has inspired me, motivated me, and helped me through life’s obstacles. She is truly amazing to be around and if that’s what living in your calling looks like, then count me in.

I want to get back to  S&T, I can’t promise you a consistent blog schedule. But, I will promise you that I will go back to my first love.

The Doctor Orders For A Successful Career

Every morning when I was in elementary school, I would wake up and complete my routine: wake up, read Bible, pray, bathe, brush teeth, get dressed, and eat breakfast. After breakfast, however, I would make my way back to my bedroom and write my schedule for the day on my dry erase board. The board would look something like this:

7:55am – 2:55pm School

2:55pm – 3:30pm Ride the bus home

3:30pm – 4:00pm Eat a snack

4:00pm – 5:00pm Do homework

5:00pm – 5:30pm Watch Saved By The Bell

You get the picture. Read More »

Where My Fondest Memories Were Created

today_blogpostI grew up in the Greater Atlanta area, in a city 20 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta called Marietta. My house is located right off Sandy Plains Rd. My family and I moved to that home in 1992. Back then, Sandy Plains was two lane street. It was a stark contrast from what it is today. Nowadays, everything one needs is located right along Sandy Plains. Grocery stores, pharmacies, my high school, dentist offices, doctor offices, fast food restaurants, cemeteries, post offices, pet stores, movie theaters, bookstores, and even hair salons. My high school hangout spot was the Chick-fil-A off Sandy Plains Road.  And even when we got older and wanted to frequent nightclubs; the neighborhood nightclub was a short 5 minute commute from Sandy Plains.Read More »

How I Got My Groove Back

GrooveBackIt’s not the “groove” that you’re thinking about.

Let me explain.

Career-wise, the last 5 years of my life have been the most challenging years ever.  I finished my graduate school studies during the Great Recession and attempted to land a job at government and not-for-profit organizations, which were badly affected by the economy’s downturn. I was left to work for minimum wage in jobs I’m ashamed to admit on a public platform.Read More »

So Hard To Say Goodbye…

GoodbyeIt is only appropriate that I bid farewell to one of my best years ever by updating my blog. It has been a phenomenal year for me. I was unhappy with my life in December 2014 and in February 2015, I decided to make a change. I did what was necessary to make the change I was seeking. Not everyone was happy with the changes I made, but I knew it had to be done. I persevered. I am a better person for it. My transitions were not easy, but it was fulfilling; it encouraged me to grow and to learn more about myself in the process.

2014 posed questions; 2015 provided answers to those questions. I cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store.

If there is something you want to change in 2016, be that change. It may be difficult, but it will be worth it.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

 

Image Source: Forbes.com

 

On The Time Bullying Was A Good Thing

The radio can be a bully. How many times has a song played on the radio and you didn’t like, so you flipped to the next station that was playing the same song? No matter what station you found yourself listening to, the song was always on the radio. It was as if the radio is telling you, “I don’t care what you do, but you are going to like this song. I am going to force you to like this song.” This is precisely what happened between me and my local radio stations. But, a positive outcome occurred. I began to appreciate the words from the seemingly ubiquitous pop song, “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfield. The song so closely reflects the message of this blog and I couldn’t resist posting.

The lyrics reflect a woman’s dedication to loving herself, and putting herself first. (There is a bit of a sexual undertone in the lyrics, but we’ll ignore that.)

It is the type of song I could imagine a woman listening to after experiencing a break up from her boyfriend. You know how women go into their post-breakup rants about how they could do better all by themselves? They don’t need a man. Yep, this is the song you’ll find on their Spotify playlist. But, this song is not only suited for post-breakups, this song could be applied to women in relationships too.

For the woman in a relationship, it is easy to forget to take care of yourself. It’s easy to forget to exercise, eat healthy foods, and to do the things you did before he entered your life. It’s also easy to forget to take time out for yourself and do the things you enjoy doing. Life can become hectic when you’re sharing it with someone else, so taking a step back and chanting to yourself, I love me, is a must.

Thanks, Hailee, for your self-empowering debut single. Hopefully, we’ll continue to see you on the Top 40 Billboard Chart.

Love,

Me