Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wellness Wednesday- Seeking Help

For this weeks installment I wanted to climb on my soap box for just a second and talk about the stigma surrounding mental health. I will be the first to admit that MH treatment has come a long way but it is still not taken seriously enough.

In some cultures there is a belief that you can "pray it away." While I believe in God I know people who suffer with schizophrenia and they pray for their audio hallucinations to stop ALL THE TIME and still they continue. There are some people who believe that those with mental illness are "not strong enough." I disagree. Think about it, how hard is life in general. Bills, work, weight, life, love, children, cooking, cleaning..... there is a daily struggle to manage things and ensure that our own needs are met. Now consider having schizophrenia, suffering with depression, or even a panic disorder and still have to manage all those same things. Mental illness is not asked for. No one wakes up and says hmmm I want to be very sad and feel worthless, or today I think I want to have auditory hallucinations that tell me how terrible I am and tell me to harm myself.

I chose this topic because as I was doing an intake (the person's initial appointment) today the woman flat out said "I don't really think all this will help." When I asked her to elaborate she noted that she did not believe in MH treatment and that people needed to "suck it up." Needless to say I was becoming irritated and somehow intrigued. I asked her if she was aware that she was in a MH clinic and seeking services and she stated that she had tried everything else in the world and wanted to see what therapy was all about. The intake was pretty uneventful from there but I started wondering, What is so wrong with seeking help.

When your car makes a noise you take it to the shop, if you feel a pain in your leg you see the doctor, so why is there such a sense of weakness associated with seeking emotional help? There are people in the world suffering in silence. They do not understand that their extreme fear of crowds, increased heart rate, and sense of panic is not uncommon. They think that they are the only ones who have these experiences because they are too afraid to share. To afraid of what others will say about them. This could lead into a whole self esteem post but that is for another day....

What I want you to take from this post is it IS OK to seek help. If you are somebody who does not need help that is great be thankful for your strength and resiliency but DO NOT make others feel bad for having enough courage to see a professional.... That is why we went to school all this time...

Happy Wednesday give yourself a hug and be well!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Biggest Loser Week 4

Well dolls another Monday is upon us... BOOOOO So I am going to make this short and sweet. I have no idea how much I weigh. I could not get on the scale. I feel swollen, indulged in alcohol, and couldn't stand to see another 1 pound loss or heaven forbid a gain. So in essence Im taking this week as my no weigh in week. Sue Me... The scale in my bathroom mocks me, when Im busting my butt she barely moves down, I make two mistakes and she cant wait to leap forward so no thank you.

In other news I have restarted JM30DS and I am already sore! Those are the longest 20 minutes of my life! Whew!!! So I am going to do it for a complete 30 days along with my other stuff so that hopefully I can see some results and finally post some before and after pictures! I know this was a quick post. I will have more updates this week but I'm tired, have a sick baby, and a sick fiance... Lysol anyone... I swear their poor immune systems are sooo weak, or maybe its the weather. I hope you ladies did well! Happy Monday!!!

This is me after JM30DS and 1 hour of cardio... Tired is an understatement

Thursday, January 24, 2013

NSV- Link up

Hello ladies!!!! Ugghh is it Friday yet? LOL Im not sure about you all but this week has killed me... Moving on Im linking up with KTJ and Lex to talk about a NSV I had this week. For those of you who may not know in the weight loss world NSV is a non scale victory. Often we measure our success by that darn scale and she/he can be a rude BIAOTCH at times!!! Which is why we must celebrate the NSV.....
Sooo... anyone that knows me knows that Chillis is my spot!

 I love that place and mainly for the happy hour dont judge me!!! So I have a coupon for a FREE DESSERT(because Im in the club and get emails from them) and I DID NOT use it. The whole way there I was thinking well I will just let mini me have it because its free. Who was I kidding I would have grabbed a spoon and dove right in as soon as hit the table. So it may not be much but for me not ordering the FREE dessert was a major NSV this week!!!!
I wasnt the only adult who enjoyed happy hour at the table!!! LOL
Im already prepard to do extra cardio for those drinks too!!! LOL!!!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wellness Wednesday- Depression

Its WEDNESDAY!!! Which means we are that much closer to Friday. For the second addition of wellness Wedneday I decided to talk about depression.Depression is very common in males and females. However as progressive as society is there is still a stigmatism related to mental illness and a lot of those inflicted with depression tend to suffer alone, in silence. Those who are unfamiliar with depression or have never experienced do not understand why their friend or loved one cannot seem to “get over it…move on…cheer up.” It is hard to understand why some people struggle in dealing with daily life stressors. Clinical depression is much more than “feeling down.” It is a chemical imbalance that has to do with hormones. The clinical definition found in the Diagnostic Statiscal Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM is as follows:



A.   Five or more of the following symptoms have been present during the same 2 week period and represent a change from previous functioning: at least 1 of the symptoms of depressed mood or loss of interest.

1. Depressed mood.

2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities.

3. Significant (>5% body weight) weight loss or gain, or increase or decrease in appetite.

      4. Insomnia or hypersomnia.

5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation.

6. Fatigue or loss of energy.

7. Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt.

                    8. Diminished concentration or indecisiveness.

       9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

B. the symptoms do not meet criteria for a mixed episode

C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

D. The symptoms are NOT cause by medical conditions or substance abuse

E. the symptoms are not better accounted for Bereavement, the symptoms persist for longer than 2 months or are characterized by marked functional impairment, morbid preoccupation with worthlessness suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation

What this means is when you are bummed about a test, that extra pound on the scale, or whatever it is. You are NOT clinically depressed. It is important to note that the symptoms have to be occurring at the same two week time frame. For example of you are having an increase in appetite then 3 weeks later your appetite is back to normal but you are now sad (probably because of the weight gain) you are not depressed. Depression is very over diagnosed in some instances and under diagnosed in others.

It is over diagnosed as some people enter the clinic crying and naming all the symptoms and they clinician does not ask has there been any major change (death, loss of job etc). If there has been a major change and there were no symptoms prior then it is NOT clinical depression.

In other instances a person may have the symptoms and be the definition of depression but die to pride, cultural issues, lack of knowledge and many other reasons they never enter the clinic.

After reading this post you are NOT a professional. DO NOT try to self diagnose. However if this hits home for you or someone you know seek help within your community. Mental illness is serious and should not be taken lightly. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you feel depressed and struggle through daily life. There is no weakness in admitting that you need help. It is just the opposite, seeking out help when you need it shows that you are strong.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Biggest Loser week 3!!!!!

Monday already!!! I need a snow day or a hey you don’t have to come to work Monday free card LOL!!  Happy Martin Luther King Jr DAY!!!!! Woot woot... since I am procrastinator I did not take my floating holiday early enough to get today off so I'm at work. Blah... Anywho I was terrible this past week I only worked out twice (this does not include doing squats daily) the only thing I was consistent on this week was the squat challenge and increasing my water intake. So when I got on the scale I had to be proud of myself I was -1.... I am convinced I lost my one pound in here: my daughters room, and how she left it before going out of town... but the joke is on her because when I clean I like to feel accomplished and THROW CRAP AWAY!!!!! *evil laugh*

Notice the trash bag... I went on a rampage

Some child is going to be very happy. It wont be mine but hey we cant always have it our way LOL  I had 2 bags to be donated, and 1 bag for trash!!!!

That cardboard is Z world that she built so I couldn't let it go
Now if I could only get the rest of my house in order... Oh well one battle at a time. Here are my stats:

Last week weight- 205

This week weight 204

Pounds lost this week- 1

Total pounds since challenge started 7
I am so stepping it up this week. I mean come on I am sooo sick of looking at a 2 on the scale. This means adding 30 day shred to my regimen, and actually getting back on program! I know I have to move this body to see any real loss. Im excited to get back in the gym... Dare I say it, I almost missed the place.... well almost....

5 for 5 Link up

Hello ladies!!! I have decided to link up with Jenn and Jessica for the 5 list. Since I am doing so well with my ither link up I have become ever so ambitious!!! If you have been under a rock and havenet heard if it (like I was) then  here. Since this is my first time I have nothing to report so lets get to the list:
  1. Start the 30 day shred... I have made it to day 12 but never beyond... #LOSING
  2. Deep clean my home, even if I have to go a room per day. (My house is not big, its an apartment actually so you have no idea how lazy that makes me sound LOL)
  3. Fold the laundry that is already done... I despise laundry and in my residence I can never get ahead of the game
  4. Do a little homework every night -Im in grad school...AGAIN... and this procrastination will be the death of me.
  5. Juice one meal per day every day this week- hey I have to start small I Love food.

So there you have my 5 now head on over and link up your 5!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wellness Wednesday and a guest post!!!!

As you all know I recently started Wellness Wednesday. For this slot I am featuring mental health topics and related issues as I feel they are underrepresented. For today's post the amazingVeronica of V Watts thoughts has agreed to guest post and share her story of bulimia. Please read and then head over to her blog. She is an amazing mommy, wife, and like most of us on the weight loss journey!!!

Here's the story...
My husband has now had six and a half years of recovery while I have four and a half years. He actually co-owns and runs a sober living community for men. I can tell his story in a nutshell. He began using drugs and alcohol at the age of 14. It was a rough road. He got sent to jail a few times. One of the last times was for possession of cocaine. He got into a program called Drug Court. This program was long and very strict. This is where he began his road to recovery. He had one month of recovery under his belt when I re-met him.I knew Cole from a class we had together in college. He began working with me a restaurant. I thought his one month of recovery was uh-mazing! Seeing as to how I was still dealing with bulimia at the time. Well, God is good and Cole threw himself into recovery and did all that was necessary to get himself back to good. It's been 6.5years and he's still going strong.

My story..
I became bulimic at the age of 21. This is much later than most girls or boys develop it. In order to understand why, it will take going back even further into my past. At the age of 6 I was molested by a young neighbor friend. This of course led to all sorts of complexes, irrational body image issues, etc. I was an overweight child and young adult. I topped the scales at 220lbs. I began working out and eating better as a senior in high school. By the time I was 20yrs old I was 160lbs. Things were going great, health wise anyway.
I never felt like I was losing control of the weight loss process. It wasn't until I began dating that, mentally, something changed for me. The only way I can explain this change of how I viewed and felt about my body is the fact that when I began dating I realized that people were taking notice of the way I looked. My parents did not allow me to date when I was in high school. I was 20 years old when I had my first boyfriend. And although the most we ever did was makeout I think that the realization that people(guys) were taking notice of my body sent me into weight loss overdrive. It was such a double edge sword. On the one hand(like most women) I wanted to be found attractive. On the other hand I hated attention towards my body. This is where alot of the mental struggle existed. I was tormented by wanting to be thin and when I'd obtain my goal I was not happy with my body for various reasons. When I felt that I was receiving unwanted attention I noticed that I would put on weight. I think subconsciously it was a way to protect myself. If I was overweight then such and such person won't find me attractive and thus won't approach me. Crazy, right?

At first the purging would only happen if I had overeaten a bit. Then as I realized the relief and outlet that it was I began to purposefully overeat(aka binge) in order to purge. The binging and the purging were both enjoyable to me. On top of all of that I began to become obsessed with working out. I was into heavy weight lifting and running. This, too, soon became part of the bulimia. I would workout up to three times a day for hours at a time. I began losing more weight. I got down to 138lb of pure muscle. People would compliment me on my physique and although I always felt like people were lying if they said I looked good, or thinner, or pretty their comments would spur me to further adhere to the bulimia.

My family found out about the bulimia about a year and a half into the addiction. I lived at home but I was extremely good at hiding my binging and purging. As many bulimics do, I was good at seeming perfect and together on the outside while crumbling and dying from within. My family tried to help me. They would beg me to stop. But anyone who has ever dealt with an addict or someone dealing with an eating disorder knows it is not quite that easy.
Fastfoward a few months later to when I met Cole. His recovery absolutely astounded me. I had never known anyone else with an addiction who was in recovery. We began dating and he slowly but surely by his actions began to show me that freedom from an addiction is possible. A good friend of mine also directed me to the therapist that I still see to this day. She specialized in eating disorders. She began to help me realize the core issues behind the bulimia.

A couple of years later, a bout with doctor prescribed weight loss amphetamines caused me to start having some crazy side effects. I went to see a general doc about it. I was always very very honest about the bulimia and such with any physicians I would see. Otherwise, how could they correctly diagnose me? Seeing that particular doctor was a God orchestrated event. He happened to have had a good deal of experience working in an eating disorder clinic. He said that continuing down the path I was taking could leave me dead by 36yrs old! I was 26 at the time. This hit me hard. So did all of the other horrible side effects that he mentioned. I had done plenty of research on my own about all the monstrosities that can occur from bulimia. But somehow that day it just clicked. I walked out of that clinic vowing to get into recovery that day!

I remember the first few days of my recovery. It was a nightmare. I cried all day everyday. It was as if my bestfriend had died. Bulimia had been my go-to-pal! It was there for me whenever the chips were down. I needed bulimia like the air I breathed. Those first few days of recovery I binged and binged. Basically I was subconsciously daring myself to purge. But I didn't. I remember calling Cole and telling him in broken sobs, "I can't do this! I can't be in recovery forever!" And I will never ever ever forget what he told me. He said, "You don't have to." This jolted me. What did he mean I don't have to be in recovery forever? Wasn't that the point of getting into recovery in the first place? He went on, "You don't have to be in recovery forever. Just for today." This was such a relieving and freeing comment. I couldn't do recovery fooorrreeevvverrrr. But I could do it today. And if I couldn't do it all day today I could do it for the next for hours, and if not that then the next few minutes. I could do that! Each day would bring more strength to withstand the desire to return to bulimia. A year later I told my mother that when I look back at my struggle with bulimia it is like I am reading from a book; a book about someone else's life. It is a rare occasion where the strong urge to return to my bulimic days enters my mind. But it is a fleeting thought like taking the next flight to Hawaii would be nice. They are both options but not ones that I would take seriously.

It was a difficult journey and one that never truly ends. I learned a lot about myself and through therapy I began to deal with old issues that played a part spurring the bulimia. In the very grips of my addiction, when I would pray that the Lord would allow me close my eyes at night and just wake up in Heaven, I never thought I would live to see myself living apart from it. I am living proof that recovery is possible! Well, it's been 1623days of living out my recovery one day at a time. I feel extremely blessed to be on this side of addiction. I feel like this is a second chance at living a great life and I am taking full advantage of it!
I would again like to thank Veronica for sharing her story with us!!! No go on and show her some blog love!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Struggles and the Love that Helps Me Make it!!

I'm often asked "why do you blog". There is no short answer. I enjoy the friendships, stalking other blogs, the accountability, but as with my career I want to inspire others! I recently read a blog about a woman suffering with endometriosis and was so touched I thought I should pay if forward and get real with what is happening to my body...

Recently I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarion Syndrome (PCOS). I have been in total denial. Pretending that Im tired from work, my cycle doesnt hurt as bad as it does, the BC pills are working, or the weight gain is all my inner fat girl (who has now eaten my skinny self). when the truth is I am at fighting a WIN-ABLE battle but at a deficit.

The principal features of (PCOS) are anovulation (a cycle with no ovulation), resulting in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea (missing cycles even when not pregnant), ovulation-related infertility, and polycystic ovaries; excessive amounts or effects of androgenic (male) hormones, resulting in acne and hirsutism (basically being extra hairy in places other than the top of my head); and insulin resistance, often associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among affected women.- this is from Wiki

My doctor basically told me it is the reason for my bad mood swings. The days I wake up and don't understand my own feelings. It is causing my weight loss to stall as weight gain is a principle feature. Acne, excessive hair, and having cys around my ovaries. Since I do not want any more children he was not very patient and hurried through his explanation even though I waited over an hour to see him. Needless to say I will not see him again *kiss my future insurance checks buh- bye*

So this is my daily struggle. the positive side is that my loving fiance who I was slightly jealous of this morning as he did not have to go to work spent the entire day researching the condition. He has found a list of foods that will aide me in losing weight, a pill that women are taking to help control their weight and other symptoms and he sent this text message "I have been reading all day and every review has been positive. I want you to be happy again and I will do anything to make that happen" Ladies, can we say tears at my desk at work!!!!

This just shows that true love does exist. This man is home sick and could be doing anything he wants but he is trying to help me. I have never had this type of love before and I honestly thought it was for books, TV, and that "perfect couple" (we all know them). Its not though its for every one. I am so blessed to have him

Monday, January 14, 2013

Biggest Loser Week 2

Ok ladies let me get right down to what you want to know. I only lost one pound this week. Im going to say because I lost so much the previous week. I dont know I was consistent with my work outs, and I ate healthy with only one cheat meal (I cant do cheat days they cause too much damage). I think what killed me is my water intake. I have got to drink more water. I have a cup that I know I need to drink and refill 4 times for the best benefit but 3 times is a minimum and I struggle with it. I need to just open up and shove it in (thats what he said) I guess.... In other news Monday has not been good to us. The fiance is in the ER and work has been a beast. I will have to update you all tomorrow for further news... Have a great week hope you all did well.
Last week weight- 206
This week weight 205
Pounds lost thuis week- 1
Total pounds since challenge started 6

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

I have been scouring the blog world and what seems to be popular with moms and wives/ fiancĂ©s is we lose ourselves. I have read about 4 posts asking who am I…I too lose my own identity in the day to day hustle that is life.  So in an effort to stay true the Toya that is more than mini me’s mother or the Mr.’s fiancĂ© I will be adding a little something each week to my blog…


As a mental health therapist in community mental health I see the worst of the worst. Think of the lowest of the socioeconomic status and the lowest level of education coupled with the highest level of illness. I am over worked highly underpaid and very much under appreciated. Let’s be clear no one ever gets into the helping profession for the money aside from doctors LOL. No seriously if you saw my check, and compared it to my work load, and expectations you would understand. Still I love helping others and I am passionate about mental illness. Mental illness is like the black sheep of the world. It gets the least amount of funding and attention. Think about it. When the election was happening did either candidate mention mental health? Education, homeland security, money, gay marriage, all very important and discussed to some degree but no one said boo about mental health. It was as if depression schizophrenia, depression, PTSD, addiction, anxiety, or paranoia we nonexistent. I could on and on about this for days but instead what I will do is weekly I will do a small education type post about mental health. These post will range from funny stories about my day to day grind, to education about specific illness, and just things that bug me in regards to mental illness…. We will start with the term “manic depressive.”  PLEASE PLEASE for the love of GOD, BUDDAH, BROTHER ROCK, and all things holy stop saying manic depressive. This is no longer an acceptable term. The correct term is bipolar (I will explain in a later post). Manic depressive was used in earlier versions of the DSM (another post) to describe a condition where the person goes from manic stages to depressed stages in there moods. This term is no longer appropriate and the only people who use it are those who do not know any better. Those of us in the field, or who have access to Google secretly laugh at you and think “Ha they are stupid who says that.”

So consider what are some things that bother you about your chosen profession? Is there anything in particular related to therapy or mental health you would like to see featured on one of these posts? Please comment and tell me what you think. I would love to hear from you.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday, Weigh in, and Biggest Loser Link Up!

I am all over the place with this post so try to go with me LOL! Lets start with the usual ITS  MONDAY LADIES!!!! It was a good day for me. I worked out and work was not terrible lol. Who is glad to have the kids back in school raise your hand *raises both hands and then jumps* LOL... Well I have been blog stalking searching lately trying to find some new reads and motivation when I stumbled across Robin. She was talking about doing a weight loss link up and I have never done a link up of any kind so I thought why not. So here we go... 


The Java Mama is hosting a biggest loser link up and you can get all the details by clicking on the link here. This link up is bitter sweet for me because I have been lying to myself saying I am going to write a bear all post where I disclose my weight but because of one reader in particular I cannot seem to type the number. I have so many reasons, and explanations. I have so much to say that could move some to tears but then I'm thinking uh uh lets be raw like Eddie Murphy no need to sugar coat anything. Hell that's what got me in this mess. So here it goes... I have battled with my weight as long as I can remember  In the 6th grade I put myself on a diet (Where were the guidance counselors and school programs then huh? LOL ) lost 25 pounds and seemed to have mastered my weight. I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I exercised.  By exercise I mean take a dance class, walk around the mall, learn the latest dance moves. Nothing like the torture I put myself through now. I competed in beauty pageants from the time I was 18 months until I got pregnant at 19. So back then it was nothing to lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks to be "competition ready." I guess looking back I have never been "happy" with my body. I did not fully appreciate how thin I was and easy my weight management was. geesh if I only I knew then what I know now... Anyway at 19 I get pregnant and it was as bad as it could be, do not misunderstand I love my daughter and she is a blessing but I was 19 and I was not ready. From then on I had no control. My weight went up and down but mostly up. Gone were the days of eating whole pizzas taking a nap then going for a nice stroll and not worrying about weight. When I went into labor I weighed 198 so I decided that I would never be that big again. I got down to 165 then life happened and I was 178. I started working in Social Services going to lunch with co workers, pretended not to notice I was buying a bigger size, made excuses about fabrics, started taking only head shot pictures, and got on a scale and cried when I saw 190. I called some guys I knew started lifting weights with them joined a gym did cardio on my own and got back down to 175 (still not a happy place).So lets come into the present day in the last year I have gained 30 plus pounds of happy weight. My fiance is a chef. But who the hell am I kidding it was me eating fried chicken like it was going out style, drinking alcohol like a client, putting potatoes with every meal and being down right lazy.  No one is to blame but me I did this to myself. So I have to fix it for myself. I have been on my most recent weight loss kick for a while now. You can see my goals here. My plan is to eat clean and train dirty. There is no better way. I am going heavy on the cardio and I have recently incorporated weight lifting. Now here are the numbers
SW- 220
CW- 206
GW- 150

My weight on Jan 1- 211
My weight on Jan 7- 206
For a loss of 5 pounds

Excuse my gross toes. I need a pedi and had not put my lotion on yet LOL!!!!

Looking at these numbers knowing I will hit publish I feel naked, ashamed, and liberated. Well at least I have some accountability.... Wish me luck!!!

The Pink Bridal Show!!!!

Hey hey hey!!! Ok So I am under the 12 month mark before I say I DO!!! *does happy dance* Let me just say that it is very exciting and overwhelming. I have never planned a wedding before. I watched a friend of mine do it and saw some things I liked and hated but man there are a bunch of details that you really have no idea about. The day I got engaged I ran out and got this binder after spending 30 minutes in the book store comparing. While it is pink and pretty and came with a nice carrying bag because it is huge it is overwhelming as hell, and has a lot of things you do not need. I for one write big and the sheets they give you to compare vendors leaves no room for notes. Sooo I ditched there sheets, decided to get my moneys worth went to google and pinterest and got more ideas. I went  here to get better ideas on creating my own binder. Now I still have the pink thing I have just decrapped it and added stuff that I honestly need..... Now moving on...

wait one more thing.. I know some of you are all like uh hu what about technology "there is an app for that" and I know there is because I have downloaded and uninstalled all of them LOL!!!! But I like the pen and paper thing. Plus I have dreamed about having a wedding binder FOR EV VER!!! LOL Some things I am using Excel for and simply printing out new sheets as they are updated. Once I figure out how to link them I will but for now go to the above cite she is awesome..... 

So I went to the Pink Bridal Show and it was amaze balls. My fab fiance, maid of honor, and mom went with me.

Pink is not my fav color but hey it was hella fun. There were a lot of vendors and I made some great contacts, If anyone is in the market for wedding planning go to a bridal show. It is like a on stop shop. Dont wear heels though it is a lot of walking I felt bad for this one bride clearly her feet were hurting (Ok secretly I laughed at her she should have known better lol)
wrist band
my badge ... I was VIP lol

Another sign

The convention center
Sorry  didnt get more pics I was on a mission... Expect more wedding post as things start to unfold... Oh yea stay tuned Im doing my very first link up tonight
 once I figure out how LOL

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year- photo dump and reflection

Hello Bitches!!!!! This post is a little lengthy and picture heavy FYI....It is officially a new year and I need to get my crap all the way in line because in 333 days I will strut my fat ass if I cannot stop eating everything in sight hotness down the aisle. But first let me catch you all up on some other things... You all know my aunt passed (and a week after she was buried her husband of 27 years, my whole life, died. Seemingly from a broken heart) and we were finally able to bury her. So the family loaded up and went to New Orleans.... If you follow my Instagram you have seen a few of these. If not go follow now

She was totally not sleep LOL... She loves her granddad!

 The fiance and I being silly in the hotel...

He will only indulge me to a point... 

I almost feel bad for him because I love pictures!!!... Surprise Surprise my brother Martels came to New Orleans. He has been only one other time that I can remember, and we go at least once a year...

My oldest brother Cederic's Daughter and my mini me

My father and his brother Charles

My cousins came and got me and took me to my first drag show, or "punk show" as they called it. It was an experience but not what I had hoped. Side note- I watch Noah's Arc, anything else by Patrick Ian Polk I can find, and Queer as folks, so I was excited and a but let down.... However my cousin was one of the "stars" per say... and here he is Katey Red/ Kenyon Carter himself... Google him and let me know what you find LOL

My little cousin Zion

The gas station has alcohol!!!!

Road snack, it was gluten free and said jalapeno so I was game. It was good too!

IDK why I took this pic maybe to remind me that we stopped in AL? LOL

My Father and My Daughter

She was awakened to use the potty
Shameless selfie in the bathroom LOL

How I started the trip at 6am

Just us being silly

So I recently added weight lifting to my routine in hopes that the weight will come off quicker. I have been doing well with my workout I just need to reign my eating back in. With 333 days to go I have NO time to play. It is like I am a moron when it comes to food. I know in my brain that what I eat makes a huge difference and that all my sweat is for nothing if I'm not eating right but I STRUGGLE!!! I will be honest the holiday season, vacations, funerals, and travels gave me just the excuse I needed to let my fat girl come out to play...

I even went to the gym while on vacation!!!

My nephew!!! I love this BABY!!!!

MY FAMILY being silly

Please keep in mind my daughter's life goal is to be an FBI agent and we watch Criminal minds. Please don't Judge me its always on ION and cable is not in the budget!!!!

Getting Ready
In her gear eyeing the suspect


LMBO!!!!!!!!! I was cracking up as this whole scene unfolded!!!!!.... This is me on the second to the last date night me and the Mr had in 2012. I know my hair is terrible but I WORK OUT!!!! my shoes were killer but they didn't make the photo... Yet another reason you should follow my Instagram *shameless plug*

Telling myself suck it in you don't look too fat... #lies

Reflection- While 2012 gave me 30 extra pounds it also gave me the love of my life. When I tell you this man drives me insane at times BUT he is so Amaze-Balls!!!! He loves all of me in spite of me, and is super with my daughter. Before we were ever engaged he was already saying "my daughter this, my daughter plays soccer." I never knew what it was like to have a man that actually cared and wanted to be the man if the house and love his woman, and not do these things for social media or for the hype but because that is who he is as a man. *Shoutout to his PARENTS*  He is everything I need in a man and I must lose weight so that he can have a Pinterest worthy moment when he sees me walk down the aisle.  that I feel great when I walk down the aisle and I am healthier all around... With the economy, violence, down low men, and all around bad things in the world I feel so blessed to be in a better more settled place in my life this year. I do not do new years resolutions because that crap rarely makes it February  I am going to continue to strive to be a better person, Christian, mother, fiance, and therapist. I understand that growth is a constant but I am dam sure going to enjoy the journey because life is not promised.

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