Racism Does Still Exist – Unfortunately

The other day my one of my family members posted something on Facebook that said:

509 Citizens have been killed by cops this year.
484 were male, 25 female.
238 were white, 123 were black.
420 had known weapons, the rest unknown.
More than half were mentally ill or on drugs.
Almost all had prior criminal records.
We don’t have a race problem or a cop problem.
We have a MEDIA problem, a drug problem, a mental illness problem, and an entitled welfare state breeding thugs problem.

Unfortunately there was no source for these statistics and I have no idea if they are true, however; later I saw a picture of a TV with the CNN logo clearly visible showing very similar stats. But I’m not going to assume this is or is not true, whether it is or isn’t really isn’t the point here.

One of my family member’s “friends” on Facebook (a black woman), clearly offended by the post, commented immediately saying “I’ve been Black for 47 years. Don’t try to tell me there isn’t a race problem. I live it everyday. Glad for you that you don’t have to walk in my shoes though and continue to live in your bubble. Good luck with that.”

There are many more comments by my family members, the woman and eventually myself and it got a little nasty. Here’s the entire thread:

Facebook Conversation

The family member who posted the original message, who is ABSOLUTELY NOT racist, asked me if he came off that way. And while I know him probably too well to say, unbiased, whether he came off as racist or not (I obviously think not), I do think he came off as defensive and I did have to point out that this woman has a valid point.

I know my family member was just trying to make a point that the Media has a lot to do with the current situation (which I TOTALLY agree with), especially if these statistics are correct. And we do have a drug problem, mental illness problem and an entitled welfare state breeding thugs problem (and by the way, a thug can be any color in my opinion). HOWEVER; we DO STILL HAVE A RACE PROBLEM! And I believe this is what offended the woman who saw my family member’s post.

You see, we are not racist. We were raised not to judge anyone by the color of their skin. We grew up poor and dealt with a lot of the similar things black people do because we were poor. But we were NOT black and we really have NO IDEA what it is like to be black. This woman has most definitely had to deal with things we, as “lucky” white people, can’t even imagine, because we are white. No offence intended here. She was right that that it is luck, pure luck, that we happened to be born white. At the same time, it is luck she was born black (good or bad, that depends on how you look at it). And even though we have had some shared experiences as my family member shared and I could as well, we really don’t have a clue.

My family & I are people who lean towards thinking most other people think like we do. (I guess that could be considered a bubble.) Unfortunately that’s not always the case. I’m always shocked when I see examples of racism; against blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, whatever in this day and age. I like to think that we, as a society, would be over that by now. And I really think it’s getting that way, to a point. Most of my friend’s feel the same way and I truly believe fewer and fewer people are, but it does still exist. I think we tend get defensive because we get lumped into a bucket since we happen to have been born white. This defensiveness is a result of that being so far from who we are.

Not all white people are racist. Not all blacks are criminals. Not all Muslims want to kill in the name of their religion. Not all cops are bad. Not all Asians are super smart. Not all Christians are homophobic. Not all blond women are air heads or bimbos. Not all women are dumber than men. At the same time – SOME white people ARE racist (so are some blacks/Hispanics/Asians etc…). SOME blacks ARE criminals (as are some white people/Hispanics/Asians etc…). SOME Muslims DO want to kill in the name of their religion (So do SOME so-called Christians; Westborough Baptist). SOME cops ARE bad. I think you get my point here. There are bad apples everywhere. We seriously need to stop stereotyping and lumping everyone into a bucket based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc… White people are killed by cops too – whether or not it’s twice as many as blacks I don’t know, but it doesn’t make national headlines every time. Why not???? Why does a black person getting killed by a cop make headlines???? I don’t think I’ve ever heard about a Hispanic person being killed by a cop either – why not???? These are obviously rhetorical questions, but they should make you think. Why does the media jump on these types of stories? I have my theories – but I’ll keep those to myself.

Look in the mirror. Do you think everyone who looks like you is exactly like you? Of course you don’t! Then why on earth would we think that way about people who look different than us?

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Something strange is happening

I haven’t lost (or gained) a significant amount of weight. I’m still TRYING to be mindful of what I eat. I’m technically on Weight Watchers again, but haven’t been tracking or really following the program. Yet, for some reason the image in the mirror isn’t quite as bad as it used to be (even the NAKED image]. What is happening? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Am I FINALLY starting to expect something worse rather than expecting to still see that 18-year old hottie? Am I accepting who I am and embracing my curves? There has been a lot of media hype lately about that subject. Are they subconsciously getting to me? I don’t really know how I feel about this, honestly. No Seriously! This could be really bad! What if I stop worrying about it so much and end up getting even bigger? I really can’t let that happen. What if I get complacent with where I am and just stay here – is that ok? I really don’t know… My confidence has been really good lately… is it just a product of that? I’m just feeling better about myself internally so that automatically translates to feeling better about myself externally? I’m so confused. Any thoughts on this? Has anyone else ever experienced this?

Reflection on 2013 and things to address in 2014

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Ahhh, well…. 2013 has come and gone {sigh}. That was a rough year for me; well, at least the last half of it. I somehow lost most of my motivation for life; work, school, my health-related goals. Where did it go? How and why does that happen? 

I did manage to buy a house and move… that was rough in itself. We found the perfect house, but almost lost it because it was a short-sale with renters living in it who didn’t want to move!!! They finally did, though, and we couldn’t be happier with our purchase. Not just the house itself, but the location and the lot too. Much closer to loved ones!

I did make it through a semester of college (2 classes) and passed them both; one with an ‘A’ and one with a ‘C’. I don’t usually get ‘C’s’ especially since my tuition reimbursement is 100% for a ‘C’. But I got through it. I definitely did not give that class my all though – I could have done better…. if I had the motivation to do so. 

Ya know, the one area I didn’t lose my motivation was in my new house! Maybe the excitement of the move and having this new house overshadowed everything else. I just love being there!!! 

I also had some health issues the past few months that turned out to be Wooping Cough!!! Who’da thunk it? I had been to an urgent care center a few times because I haven’t gotten a new primary care physician near my new house yet – those places are good for like stitches and stuff, but not general health issues. It wasn’t until I went back to my old primary care physician and explained all of the past illness that had plagued me and that seemed to keep coming back (at the insistence of my BFF, who is a nurse) that they were able to come up with the correct diagnosis and, finally, get me on the right meds. Had some teeth stuff go on too – two root canals and some fillings. NOT FUN!!!! 

My weight-loss motivation is seriously lacking – that’s probably the biggest thing that I lost my motivation for – it happens. Always happens!!! I kept going to the gym, but that wasn’t helping much since I have barely made it one day a week and haven’t been eating a healthy diet. I even stopped making breakfast in the morning because I just wanted that 10 extra minutes of sleep!

Soo…. here’s a list of things for me to work on in 2014:

1. Get better sleep SOMEHOW!!!

2. Time management

#2 pretty much sums it up, but just so I’m reminded, here are the things that need managed:

  • Bedtime routine
  • Work (oh, I started a new job, same company, in October too – my ‘dream’ job of Digital Marketing.)
  • Meal planning/prep
  • Gym (REALLY need to start going in the morning!!!)
  • Tracking food
  • Walking Dogs
  • School time
  • Homework time
  • Household chores
  • Social life (need to de-emphasize this, it’s consumed a lot of my energy. Maybe being so much closer to loved ones is too much of a good thing LOL)
  • Keeping up with my blog!

Here’s to staying strong in the new year!!!

It happened

MeI turned 40 yesterday. Am I fit? Well…. that depends. Actually, I would not say I am “FIT”, certainly not more fit than I’ve ever been, but there are improvements! Like, I can go up a flight or two of stairs without being out of breath. I can walk for longer periods of time without getting tired. I feel more empowered to do active things; to carry heavy bags of dog food, for example. To go up and down a ladder to paint a room with high ceilings. To mop the 2000 sqft of wood floors in my NEW HOUSE! But the weight is definitely NOT where I want it to be. So, should I rename the blog “FitBy41”? LOL I may not have reached this goal by 40, but I will reach it…. eventually. STAY STRONG my friends!

Juicing – day 2 – defeat already?

Before I begin talking about day 2, let me first explain the rest of day 1. As I mentioned in my day 1 post I was nervous about drinking my green juice. So much so that it sat on my desk for about 30 minutes before I could get over the grassy smell and was brave enough to take a sip. All my worrying was for naught, it wasn’t bad at all. I won’t go so far as to say it was GOOD, but it definitely wasn’t horrible. I drank the whole thing and felt full or satisfied anyway.

For my afternoon snack I had a watermelon juice that I was very excited about! I wanted to drink it when I made it the night before. So, around 3:30 I grabbed it from the fridge at work and took a nice big gulp…..and almost spit it back out! It was so tart from the lemon in it I could not drink it. I still have not. I want to add some orange to it to try and even out the sweet and bitter, but I’m already out of oranges, I just didn’t buy enough.

By 5:00 I was starving! All I could think about was eating junk food. I felt disappointed with how my day was ending up and that I felt like giving up already. All the way home all I could think about was what I was going to eat when I got home. I had an appt with the new trainer, Derrick, at 7 which is later than I usually go but I had to make up for missing Saturday. So, I didn’t have a lot of time at home before I had to leave for the gym, not enough time to make more juice, and I didn’t want any anyway. When I got home I grabbed the bag of grapes from the fridge, stuck them in the sink to clean them then started pigging out! OMG, they were the best grapes ever! But the best part….was chewing. Who knew chewing your food was so nice? I didn’t realize the value in chewing until that moment. So, grapes, not too bad of a thing to binge on. Since my husband agreed to do juice for dinner with me, we don’t have a lot of other foods in the house right now. I did manage to find some cheese in the fridge to snack on as we’ll, though; Italian blend shredded and shaved parmesan. Yum! I was also craving salt so the parmesan helped with that. Then I had a protein shake and went to the gym planning on stopping at Subway on the way home, which I did.

So, I discussed this with my trainer and he said maybe I shouldn’t go full bore with nothing but juice, but rather supplement my diet with it. I think he’s on to something. I do feel a little like a failure though. I didn’t feel like making any juice last night, I really wasn’t feeling well at all. My stomach hurt and I felt very weak and tired. So much so that I couldn’t even get up and go to work today. Is it from juicing? Who knows. I know my head hurts and my stomach still hurts now. I fully expected to have to go to the bathroom a lot the first couple of days (#2) but that hasn’t happened. Maybe that is why my stomach hurts?

I’m up and out of bed now, drinking juice that I made when I got up. This one has lemon, apples and carrots and I can honestly say it is GOOD! I think I prefer the juices with more fruits than vegetables, but that doesn’t surprise me.

I will carry on with the juicing, but I don’t think I can do only juicing. I will try breakfast, lunch and a snack juice, but eat a sensible dinner. And I will keep posting on my progress.

Stay strong!

Juicing – Day 1 Breakfast

I started my juicing journey this morning. Well, technically, it started last night when I spent an hour cleaning, cutting, juicing, then more cleaning, cutting, and juicing to prepare my breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack today.

My first juice for breakfast consisted of 2 oranges, 4 carrots, and 1 beet. It made about 18oz of juice and tasted ok. There was an earthy after taste, presumeabley from the beet; even though I peeled it as recommended. But overall it was good. I drank it down and it filled me up quite well. Fast forward three hours later I’m starving and wondering what to do. I’ve had 32 oz of water and NO COFFEE!

I will probably drink my lunch juice in about 30 minutes; that one is 8 kale leaves, 3 handfuls of spinach, 1 green apple, 1 cucumber, 2 celery stalks and 1 lemon. It is very green and I’m a little worried about it. Will let you know how it goes!

Stay Strong!

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Watched a documentary tonight called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead at the recommendation of my new trainer. It was about the benefits of juice fasting, or really just about the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables – raw, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Started out with one guy who just wanted to try it for 60 days and see what happens. He has an autoimmune disorder that caused him to break out in hives a lot. Along the way he talked to various people about their diets and how and what they eat. He met this guy who was over 400 lbs (429 if I’m not mistaken) at a truck stop who had the same rare disorder. He told they guy what he was doing and how it had helped and told him to call if he wanted the details. A couple of months later he called and wanted to try it. Long story short, he ended up losing over 200 lbs and got off all meds. It was amazing! I think I want to try it.

I’ll post updates! Stay strong!

I’m back!

I really need to get back in the game! I’ve been working out fairly regularly, although I missed all last week. I’m having trainer issues – like he’s not being very reliable. He’s moving up to “master” trainer, and if I want to stay with him I’ll have to upgrade my membership to “master” which = more $$$. I was going to do it, but I’ve changed my mind. The main reason I’ve changed my mind is because WE FINALLY GOT OUR HOUSE!!! I’m going to be moving soon, and changing gyms and trainers, anyway. I haven’t told him yet, but if I see him at the gym tonight I will let him know.

School is out and I got straight “A’s” – did anyone expect any less? I always do well, but always stress out about it! I try so hard to tell myself that I’m great and wonderful and I don’t need to stress out so much about it, but I always do anyway.

So, somehow, regardless of how good or not good I’ve bee, I have still managed to lose a couple of pounds. I’d been going back and forth lately, hovering around that 20lb lost mark, but as-of yesterday I’m down 23 lbs! I’ve been stuck here for quite a while, though. I know it’s all due to my food and eating habits. I’ve GOT to get more consistent!!! Now that school is out, I have no excuses! I guess thank goodness I have been working out or I’m sure that number would be much more grim!

Things at home are good! Took care of the daughter issues and things are really looking up. She finally got a job and is staying with a friend so all is well 🙂 She even came over last night and gave me my Mother’s Day gift early because she has to work on Mother’s Day. She gave me a beautiful butterfly necklace – I’m wearing it today. I love butterflies!

So, I WILL be posting at least weekly throughout the summer. Stay Strong – or get strong again like I am!!!

God must think I’m a bad ass!

**WARNING: Very long post!**

I recently saw on Facebook someone posted that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle so he must think I’m a bad ass. I feel totally like that today, like he must think I’m a bad ass because I’ve got a freakin’ lot to deal with right now.

This post will NOT be published to Facebook for all my friends & family to see. The ones who really care may happen upon it when visiting my blog or if they’ve subscribed (is there a way to tell who is subscribed?) and if so, so be it.

I am so stressed out, I think I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I have more than I can handle at work, and my cries for help are falling on deaf ears. I was supposed to go to Washing DC for our company’s annual meeting this week, but had to cancel because I have too much to do. We launched a new website two-and-a-half weeks ago, and it’s been a nightmare! I am constantly getting calls and emails from customers having problems with it. We tested it with a hand full of customers for two months, and pushed back the launch a week, just to make sure everything was perfect and it still isn’t. Mind you, we’re not the first to go on this new site – I don’t understand how it is working for the others…. but whatever. So, since that’s been going on I am unable to get the rest of my stuff done that I need to. I guess the only answer is to push back some other deadlines, but I really hate doing that!

But the worst part about everything is that my husband and I haven’t exactly been perfect the past couple of years, its been REALLY rough, but we love each other so we’re trying to work through it. Without going into the nitty-gritty details, things are very rocky right now and I’m scared to death we won’t make it through it. And if we don’t, it won’t be my decision. I struggle every day with knowing I can’t make him feel a certain way, I can’t make him happy if he’s unhappy, but I still want to do everything possible! It really does take two, though, and if he doesn’t want to put the time and effort in, or if he thinks it is over for him, well…. nothing I can do. But I do love him so much and I will be a complete mess if things don’t work out. We’ve been together for over 16-years now and I wouldn’t even know what to do with my life without him.

My daughter, who is from a previous (very brief) marriage, is also a source of stress; in general, and in my marriage. It has nothing to do with her being a step-child (well, not for my husband anyway, not exactly) and everything to do with differing parenting styles. She’s 19, not in school and not working. She has poor personal hygiene (showers every 3 or 4 days) and is just basically lazy. Her priorities have been her boyfriend, and her video games. (She & her boyfriend just broke up, though) Her chores; empty/load the dishwasher, clean the litter box every day, clean her bathroom, keep her room clean, and keeping her stuff clear of the general living areas, have been the same since she was about 7 and we STILL have to remind/force her to do them! She took 4 classes her first (and only so-far) semester of college and failed them all! She was not working while going to school so there is no excuse for her failing! After that happened, we gave her an ultimatum… she had 30-days to get a job and start paying $100/mo towards insurance for the truck that we provide for her to drive (during that month she was only to use the truck to look for a job, as we are the ones putting the gas in it), if she didn’t do that she had to move out. Well, then my husband had to go out-of-town for what should have been 4-weeks, but ended up being 6 and I was starting school and really needed her help around the house, and especially the dogs. So, we extended her time so she could stay with me and help me out until he came back. He’s been back for about 3-weeks now and she still doesn’t have a job. She says she’s doing everything to try to get one… and while I don’t think she is lying, I think she THINKS she is doing everything she can, but I think she can do more. She takes criticism and critique VERY hard and it turns into a big argument every time we try to talk to her about this stuff. She argues with us about EVERYTHING! So, all of this stuff REALLY bothers my husband, along with the fact that they don’t exactly have a great relationship. It bothers me to, but we differ in what to do about it. I don’t know what to do and I feel like my husband just wants her gone. Both of us just want her to grow up, but neither of us know how to make that happen….

I have been making working out a very high priority because I gave myself a goal (which I am soooo not on track for) of losing 100 lbs and getting healthy by Nov. 10, 2013. At the time I set the goal, I had a little more than a year to achieve it. I do still have 8.5 months to go, but I have still only lost 20 lbs. I have been working out regularly, mostly 3-days a week. But my eating habits (with the exception of this week and last) have not been the greatest.  I’m neither gaining, nor losing, weight. It is so frustrating because I feel like I’m working my ASS off and not getting any benefits. But at the same time, I know it is my own fault because I haven’t been eating right. I don’t feel like I had eaten THAT bad either, though. It is just not fair!!! This is the point, in the past, where I have just given up. Where I decided I was just destined to be fat for the rest of my life, and that I just don’t have the time to deal with dieting and everything that comes with it.  Then I gain like 30 lbs and start freaking out because I realize that there is no end to the weight gain if I continue to eat like that. I will be 400 lbs before you know it and I CAN’T deal with that!!! No freakin’ way! So, I’m really trying to break that cycle this time around, but things keep getting thrown at me from every possible other angle. I am not able to just focus on losing weight and working out. I have to deal with my marriage issues, my child issues, stress at work, school, and other general family and friend stuff at the same time. This is what makes me say God must think I’m a bad ass.

My best friend told me this morning that she realized how much of a priority I make working out when I wouldn’t give up my Wed. night personal training sessions for my mental health or to go to counseling with my husband, which is something I REALLY want to do!!!! But I can’t take time off work every week to go, especially since I’m already taking 2-hour lunches two days a week for school. And the only nights the counselor is available are Wed and Thur. I have training on Wednesday nights and school on Thursday nights. If it were just me, I would totally switch the personal training to another night and change my whole workout schedule to adjust for the counseling, but I have my workout buddy that I have to think about too. Wow, this all sounds very bad when I’m writing it down. My priorities are working out and keeping a commitment to my workout buddy over counseling with my husband to save my marriage….. hmmm… I need to think about all that. My workout buddy doesn’t entirely know about my marriage situation at the moment, I’m sure she would understand. Maybe I’ll talk to her this weekend and see what we can do to switch things up so I can go to counseling on Wednesday nights. However; I’ll have to make up that Wednesday workout (with or without the trainer) at some time, which means that is one more late night a week. That is a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it will save my marriage. But the whole reason I’m trying to limit the late nights is to try to save my marriage!!!! What a freaking conundrum!

School has probably been the least priority for me. I have definitely not focussed on it like I usually do, it has been really difficult to find the motivation for that. Despite my lack of interest, I’m somehow still doing very well. Maybe I have put too much into it in the past??? Maybe I’m just way more awesome than I think, not that I think I’m awesome at all!!!! I do think I underestimate myself all the time. Something else to work on…. someday. I just wish I could pass on some of my motivation to my kid and my husband, who both seriously lack motivation! People tell me that I motivate them, but for some reason my husband and daughter just aren’t.

So, that’s what’s up. That’s why I’ve been MIA for a month. Just trying to keep my head above water, but I’m still out here gettin’ it! Doin’ my thing! Still trying to have a social life because people like me and want to hang out with me, damn-it! LOL I want everyone to be happy. Even though I have all this stress right now, I still keep a smile on my face and maintain a happy-go-lucky attitude. Sometimes I think that is desceiving though, maybe why my cries for help are not answered – maybe I’m not crying loud enough. And I know my cries should be accompanied by potential solutions, but I the only solutions I can come up with are a) hire me someone !!!! or b) move deadlines, which I hate to do.

This past week, and last week, I have tried to do a better job of planning my meals, and eating healthier. Lunch has been a struggle for me for a long time so I’m trying to work on that. But the scale did NOT reward me on Monday for my efforts, so here’s to a better weigh-in this coming Monday. Wait… I can go back to Wednesday weigh-ins now that the Biggest Loser competition at work is over! Yay! I didn’t win, by the way. I think my total weight-loss was like 3 lbs. Pfftt.

Please pray for me to STAY STRONG!!! I need it!!!

P.S. I know there are so many people out there who are going through much worse than I am right now, and my struggles are mostly self-induced (school & losing weight) and I am thankful all the time for what I have and I don’t want to take anything away from anyone out there, some of whom are bloggers that I follow, and what they are going through. Everyone has their cross to bear and I know mine could be worse!!!

Been MIA have I?

Well, I don’t have time for a full on update, but I am still out here doin’ my thing. Some days/weeks are good some not so good. As I feared school has put a wrench in my plans, but I’m not giving up! I will not give up, I will stay strong, even when I want to just give up. But giving up is simply not an option.