In Memory of: Big Sista T.G.

We weren’t blood relatives. She walked me to kindergarten every morning. She was my protective shield from older students (from high school no less) who shamelessly and wickedly robbed 5 year olds. She was someone who looked out for me. I don’t have a sister, but during those times, T.G. was one to me.

She passed away 4th of July week. T.G. was only in her mid-forties. She was an unmarried and childless black woman. Her funeral was on the most popular wedding day of the year, July 7, 2007.

I will not say I grew up in a rough neighborhood. Children are nakedly honest; that is how they deal with one another. I think today’s political correctness simply teaches them to be better liars. That’s different than learning how to be polite and being respectful of others. I always dealt with people with the philosophy of “do onto others what you want done to you.”

At a young age, maybe late teens or early twenties, T.G. lost her way. I saw her a few times after her “change.” She was always as I remembered: kind, thoughtful and rich with compliments. I don’t think there was a mean bone in her body. She certainly was never the fighting, brawling, hardcore harridans that occupied the block. Unfortunately, these are the folks that thrive in this society, they adjust to setbacks and disappointments better than others.

I don’t know why God took her so early, perhaps to end her suffering. I figured she died of a broken heart. She wasn’t the only one from the block who’s now resting in peace. I pray for all of them.


Weight Loss: Getting a Digital Scale

I’m not sure if it will make any difference in losing weight, but I purchased a digital scale. It measures the level of: body fat, water, and muscle. I found the body fat amount similar to what I get from web site calculators.

The Digital Scale is a Conair Weight Watchers brand. The picture is similar to what I bought.

I like it already. You select a program level (to identify yourself), then enter height, age, and fitness level.

It gives my exact weight, plus any half poundage. As weight normally fluctuates throughout the week, I stick to weighing in on Sunday or Monday only.

Each time I lose about 2-3 I hover at that same weight for almost 2 weeks. So, I’m hoping for some weight loss by this weekend.

And yes, I have crashed (see earlier posts).


Health Clubs: Why I Hate Them

I have joined a number of health clubs over the years. Like anything that I’ve used out of necessity (at the given time), I’ve grown to hate these places.

What’s my beef with them? I expect service and cleanliness, yet I realize I want too much. That’s a common theme with almost everything for me: I pay more, I still receive less.

1. Too expensive – I’d like a pay-as-you-go place. Haven’t found one yet. I know as a business model it wouldn’t work for most health clubs, but I’m sure they can think of something innovative to make it work.

2. Filthy – I have borderline germaphobia. After I wash my hands in the ladies restroom, I take fresh paper and use it to open the doors. I even grab the paper first before I wash my hands. I use the paper towel to turn on / off the faucet.

I loathed using the health clubs’ showers. I examine the tiles and remember every stain. I can tell you: they NEVER clean these places. Don’t even get me started describing my nausea when my bare feet touches the floor.

3. Those “strange” women – Look, your lifestyle is your lifestyle. Not everyone goes to the gym for same sex hookups. Take that nonsense somewhere else, like those bars or clubs catering to your special needs.

4. Chatterboxes – I understand, some people go to health clubs to widen their social circle, make new friends, network, etc. I’m not one of them. I am downright anti-social. It’s bad enough the place makes my skin crawl, staying longer than necessary to talk doesn’t work for me.

5. Sweaty Exercise Machines – Yeah, we see the posted signs about wiping up after yourself. How different is a health club from a toilet? Does anyone every really clean up after oneself in the public restrooms? (I have my doubts that they are scrupulously clean at home either.)

6. Snotty Bitch Staff – What is this place? An exclusive upscale restaurant or someplace where I drop a few ounces of sweat, wash my ass, and then leave? So what’s with the attitude? This place costs a lot of money and you aren’t going to be here in 3 months, so watch the attitude!

7. Grunting Man – You know this clown. He comes in, arms akimbo, with belted waist, does some posturing and flexing before the mirrors before heading over to the weights.

What’s the first thing he does? Bends down, does a clean snatch and jerk making the most disturbing grunts and yowls you’ve heard since you last went to the zoo. What creature is making that noise? The missing link?

8. Commentators / Judges – Do they exercise or is it their job to note your progress? Do they have a life or is it spent all day in the health club? Do they ever exercise? They spend so much time watching others, and talking about them that’ve forgotten the purpose of the health club: exercise.

9. It’s Hard to End the Membership – Finally, you understand why the contract is so long, so convoluted, and they insist on an automatic payment plan.

10. Someone is always on your favorite machine – That quick workout is never quick, because there’s always someone on your favorite machine. She’s taking her sweet time about it. No quick reps with this one, she’s going to be there for a while. Frankly, that’s how it is with all the weight machines, everyone likes them.

The health club is empty during working hours, and crowded during the “off” hours.

Although I hate them, I still may join one. They have the machinery I don’t. I need a complete and thorough workout routine with the weights – no matter the wait.

It would be nice if I could create my own custom workout and payment plan with a nearby health club.


Hair Day: Aloe Vera

I’ve recently switched to using aloe vera (no alcohol) in my hair. I was using castor oil grease and olive oil creme, but the stuff exacerbates my acne. I fight acne daily. It’s a battle between having clear skin and long hair.

Repeating myself: I wash my hair with conditioners mostly. I use Creme of Nature and / or Suave. I’m lazy. Like I do every time, I wash my hair while in twists. I treat my hair like it is dread locs.

I wrap my head in a towel to remove the wetness. While damp I take each twist, open, and apply a very generous amount of aloe vera. I comb my hair with my fingers to remove shed hair, unless it is the back of my neck and hairline. In those areas, I use a comb, sometimes a small tooth one. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. The hair in the back of my head is fine / smooth / soft enough for a small tooth comb.

I even put aloe vera on my face after doing my skin scrub / cleanse routine.

The picture above is the hair style I’ve been wearing since I washed my hair. I sleep with the comb in my hair.

My goal is to wash and wear my hair. I try to leave it alone until the next time I need to wash it. Since I work out daily, that’s about every 3-5 days.

My verdict: aloe vera is better than the greasy stuff. So far the hair is still soft and supple. As long as there is no breakage, I’ll continue to use it.


Weight Loss: The Holding Pattern – Part 2

There are many emotional issues behind the holding pattern regarding weight loss. I’ve certainly had my share of them.

Why the weight comes back or more won’t come off:

1. Getting tired of it. The exercises become boring. The body is adjusting to the torture, um, exercise and after a while I need to find new tactics. The incentive seems to fade, why am I doing this again?

2. Weather changes: Now, it’s too hot / too cold to begin that exercise routine today. I put it off. Next thing I know, six months have past and I’m over 30 lbs overweight again.

3. Emotional triggers: I get upset over something. Next thing I know, I’m wolfing down that salty snack I’ve been depriving myself of for the last few weeks.

Well funk that, I’m eating what I want, when I want, so there! After the binge, I feel horrible and eat more.

4. Unwanted attention: On some level (as an introvert) I likes being ignored as the “thick” or “fat” person. People accept me as I am. I’m the same person in a new body. I start to wonder, why weren’t these folks friendly before the weight loss? Shallow bitches.

5. Unwanted attention: Yeah, I know I’ve lost a lot of weight. Did I require your permission? (Some people don’t like you changing on them.) How many effing damn times are you people going to talk about how I look now? Did I ask your effing opinion about my weight? No? Then shut up about it.

There are people who think if you lose weight, you are doing it for them. WTF? Health is the number one consideration for weight loss.

6. Unwanted attention: The worst (to me) is attracting the eyes of men I didn’t want even when I was “fat” or “thick.” It makes me long for the days when I was chunky enough to be ignored by these guys. Hmmm. Maybe being 30 lbs overweight did have its advantages.

7. Unresolved issues and keeping it off. If losing weight is the goal, when is it accomplished? The hardest part is keeping it off, because if the exercises have to be heavy duty strenuous to get to this itty bitty size, and the food has to be constantly monitored, it becomes self-defeating. It must become a consistent, everyday good habit.

8. Unresolved emotional issues– Weight has been lost, yet if the “other” problems haven’t gone away, then nothing has been accomplished. The weight will come back and with a vengeance.

9. Don’t care – at some point, the indifference (to appearance) will return. So what, if I take an extra bite? So what, if I didn’t exercise? What’s the difference? And then the vicious cycle begins again.

10. The injury – I lose count of the number of times I overdid it on the treadmill. I would stop exercising, and this stoppage turned from days into weeks and into months.

11. Too much energy – when I start working out, I turn into this hyperactive child. I am so “psyched” and full of energy that I need to exercise even more. It’s similar to drug addiction, I need to work out more to hit my next high.

If I don’t, I may get so blue, depressed and down in the mouth that I stop exercising. So each time I work out, I have to up the ante. I’ve gone up to 90 minutes of walking, 85 minutes of running / walking on the treadmill, and stationery cycling at 13 speed for one hour. I do each exercise every day. For now, I never take a day off.

I know it’s coming. I’m going to crash when I reach my limit…