All the news that fits…

Wow. I wrote more than a thousand words towards my novel. I’m excited and nervous and scared. Simply, I’m a mess. I know that’s not news, especially to those who know me well.

Hey, did you know Robin Roberts is gay? Is that news?

Yes, Roberts is a highly recognized newscaster on ABC’s Good Morning America. And yes, Roberts fought and won her battle with breast cancer and later with myelodysplastic syndrome. Roberts’ public and publicized health issues brought much-needed attention to both diseases, and that’s definitely news. In fact, Roberts’ resolve to share her private battles with America is why I started watching GMA again.

In December, Roberts shared another private moment when she Facebooked (yes, I just made Facebook a verb), “…I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.”

It’s been nearly two weeks and the media still treats Roberts’ coming out as news.

Trust me, Roberts being gay is not news. The fact that Roberts has been in a loving relationship for 10 years is newsworthy especially when stats show the average American marriage lasts eight years.  Now, that’s news.

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Selfies!? I feel so dirty…

I read Yahoo’s “Trending Now” daily. I ask myself “Is he/she dead?” before clicking a name. Not kidding.

Rebecca claims celebrities pay to be on the trending list. I disagree.

Today, I clicked Kim Kardashian’s name. She’s No. 1 on the trending list.

No, she’s not dead and no, she hasn’t done anything to deserve trending (score one for Rebecca). Wait, I take that back. Her butt made the list and that’s deserving, right? You see someone claims Kim has been photoshopping (butt-shopping?) her selfies. Yes, I just used the word selfies, I feel so dirty.

While Butt-Gate 2014 will trend for the rest of the week, I wonder if Yahoo heard that some UNC Chapel Hill athletes could read only up to the fifth grade? This didn’t make the trending list at all. Again, not kidding. A Chapel Hill learning specialist even recalled tutoring a student-athlete who couldn’t read multisyllabic words.

CNN’s own investigation of student-athletes at public universities across the nation showed many could read only up to the eighth grade. While CNN notes their survey is not exhaustive, this result is staggering and still not trending. Hmmm?

By the way, there’s a Velveeta shortage. It’s No. 3 on the trending list.

CNN: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders – CNN.com.

Rest in peace Dexter…

I tried to write this goodbye yesterday, but couldn’t. It’s nearly impossible to say rest in peace to a childhood friend who was only 44.

I’m not sad; no, I lie. It’s a lie I’ve been telling myself for days. I am sad—sad I’ll no longer see Dexter when I drive to Itta Bena. Sad it will take me years to remember—to admit—that he is gone.

I’m not sad for Dexter, I’m sad for me. You see, anyone who knew Dexter would know that sadness was not in his vocabulary. He was not a noun type of guy.

Dexter was full of life, so I guess that means he was a verb or maybe an adjective. Yes, adjective seems to fit.

He was lively and definitely always full of movement.

He was also spontaneous. Planning is for suckers and Dexter was no sucker. He enjoyed the moments.

When we were younger I wanted to be more like him. I tried and tried, but sadly, I’m a planner. Lately I’ve been trying to add more spontaneity to my day. I’m really trying ‘cause Dexter would want that for me. Sigh. Rest in peace my friend.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!

One of the biggest issues for me in 2013 was my inability to stick to a schedule. This year will be different, especially with my trusty pink Filofax planner by my side. Check out today’s schedule:

January 3, 2014

7:00 a.m.        elliptical workout

7:30 a.m.        breakfast

8:00 a.m.        write blog

8:30 a.m.        complete novel outline

 A bit much, huh? I figured as much, so I Goggled, “How to stick to a schedule.”

Hmmm? One site implied that over-planners, like me, tend to be too optimistic to the point of being unrealistic. That explains the schedule above.

Another site recommended building in margins, planning breaks and planning for interruptions.

Planning for interruptions? Huh? I definitely need practical advice, and decide to call my sister, a mother and teacher.

Danielle bragged she simply knew how to stay on track. Really? Just as I’m about to hang up on her or throw my cell across the room, she said, “I also plan by the hour and I don’t beat myself up for not getting to everything on my list.”

Awesome sauce! This advice is much better than her suggestion that every woman should have a thug lover. Yeahhhh, that’s definitely a discussion for another day.

The Year of Me!

Phew, 2013 is behind me. It was a year peppered with more highs than lows, yet, I seem to remember the lows more visually and more painfully. Are those memories accurate? Probably not, but last year’s lows are pushing me to make 2014 better. Those lows are why I’m dedicated to becoming the person I want to be. It’s a scary journey, but I’m determined to make 2014 the Year of Me.

“The Year of Me.” It has a nice ring, don’t you think? A year dedicated to me should be easy. It’s not. It’s day two, and I’ve failed me already. That 7 a.m. elliptical workout did not happen. No worries. Instead of berating myself over past mistakes, I’m moving forward. That’s why the 7 a.m. cardio became 3 p.m. yoga. Better than nothing at all, plus I feel great.

The Year of Me is not just about my health. It’s about discovering who I am and whose I am. It’s a professional and spiritual journey. Today, I plotted and outlined my second novel. This novel won’t yellow away in a drawer. This is “The Year of Me.” Why don’t you consider making 2014 the year of YOU too?

What’s the deal with mothers?

On Sunday morning a family friend called to say my mom had been rushed to the hospital. “Not possible,” I yelled. “I just spoke to her.” Denial, thy name is Deborah.

I drove way too fast and was a wreck by the time I walked into Greenwood-Leflore Hospital. I forced a smile on my face, kissed mom, then asked the doctor what happened. The gist: rapidly beating heart plus labored breathing equaled mom passing out. What the Facebook?

The nurses and doctors poked and prodded mom throughout the day and night. They took way too much blood, but soon were able to say mom has high, make that very high cholesterol and a thyroid problem—both treatable. Whew!

Later that night, after watching “Seinfeld,” mom asked “What’s for dinner?”

Me: Probably whatever the doctor approves. 

Mom: I don’t want that tasteless cafeteria food. Just get me a bacon cheeseburger (pause) from Wendy’ (longer pause) not McDonald’s.

Me: (Even longer pause) No cheeseburgers for you!  

Mom: Oh, don’t worry. It’s small and I’ll take the cheese off.

It’s been two days since mom left the hospital. She’s still not feeling her best and she is still complaining ‘cause I wouldn’t buy that cheeseburger. 

Everybody get up…

If you haven’t tried kickboxing, you should. I did and it kicked my butt. My quads and inner thighs are a bit sore and my biceps burn when I lift up my arms. I mentioned this to my younger brother who said, “Just stop lifting your arms.” Well, that was…unhelpful.

I knew I was in trouble when the 20-something-year-old former cheerleader (sorry, I meant instructor) skipped and hopped her way into the dance studio. I groaned, but managed to kick, hop, and uppercut my way through the 30-minute workout.

The music was full-blast. I moved my body and bobbed my head the entire time. Don’t judge me: “Blurred Lines” is a catchy, if somewhat rape-y sounding song.

It was a great workout. I flailed around the studio like Elaine Benes or T.I., but I’ll definitely try this class again.

Kickboxing is not the only new exercise I’ve tried this summer and it’s certainly not the only one where I’ve looked silly.

So far I’ve embarrassed myself in rock hard abs fitness, Zumba and Piloxing. On top of that, I’ve om(-ed) unbecomingly and loudly during Pilates and yoga classes.

What’s next? Maybe I’ll help Robin Thicke figure out what rhymes with hug me.  

Whipped cream can’t keep you warm, but…

I eat way too much sugar. I binge on ice cream when I’m bored. I gorge on Oreos when I’m stressed. Last night I drank a 20 oz. soda ‘cause I had a headache. Sadly, it worked.

Definitely time to do a sugar detox. Sigh. But isn’t “detox” just another word for diet? I am so freakin’ tired of dieting.

A few years ago, I joined a Christian-based diet group ‘cause a friend’s husband lost 50 pounds. I didn’t lose a pound, but I did gain a few new friends. I’ve tried Slimfast too. It worked, but it kept me running. Yes, that was a potty joke.

Weight Watchers was okay, but I hate tracking points and I’m pretty sure I hate Jennifer Hudson. Seriously, have you seen those commercials?

Just recently I decided to go forgo dieting and go cold turkey. I stood in front of my refrigerator and proclaimed, “No more sugar. No more cream. No more candy. I will be lean.” By day three, I was sitting on my kitchen floor having a romance with a can of Reddi-Wip.

My sister, Dani, wants me to join her on Ian Smith’s 6-week “Shred Revolutionary Diet.” I’m cautious. Is this another diet disaster waiting to happen? I’ll tell you more later, or I’ll let you know where Reddi-Wip and I are registered.

Pina coladas, daiquiris and bootylicious-ness…

Vacations are wonderful. It’s that time of the year when you can sleep as much as you want, swim as much as you are able and eat as much as you desire. Oh, yeah, and drink as much as possible.  

Yes, Montego Bay was great and the rum was even better. Rum is not bad, per se. One jigger (seriously) of rum has only 97 calories. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a shot of rum without “extras.” It’s those extras that hurt my waistline.

Let’s start with a vacation favorite—the daiquiri. Did you know that a strawberry, pineapple or Mandarin daiquiri contains 112 calories or more per cocktail? Too bad I would have all three—in one day. When not sipping daiquiris, I would gulp a pina colada or two or four. Those icy concoctions have more than 500 calories per six ounce. What’s more, a six-ounce hurricane contains 250 calories. If you think a mojito would have been better, then you would be so wrong. Each mojito added 200 calories to my booty, which is not looking so bootylicious.

Good thing my Jamaican vacation is over, ‘cause I’m not ready for this jelly.  

Is strong the new skinny?

Have you seen the latest Old Navy commercial in which Boys II Men serenade a group of girls wearing white jeans? I would love to be that skinny.

What? Wait. Shouldn’t I want those jeans? Damnit, I’ve been brainwashed, again.  At least those jerks from Abercrombie & Fitch are honest about only wanting young anorexic looking girls to wear its brand.

It’s not hard to wonder why women starve themselves to be skinny. Sophieologie (visit her site) suggests women should aim to be skinny strong. I like the strong part of that.

A strong woman does not starve herself. No, she tries to eat well—most days. If she falls short and binges on, say, Doritos; she forgives herself. And, she doesn’t restrict her calories to make up for the binge. No, she cooks a healthy meal the next day and takes a five-mile walk.

Ladies, let’s stop striving to be skinny and instead focus on being strong, i.e. healthy. A few weeks ago, I completed the 10-Day Ab challenge. My new challenge is to strength train three days a week. My goal is to be strong, plus have a waistline and biceps that would make Michelle Obama envious.

 

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