Healthy Again: Join the Revolution…Follow My Journey

il_340x270.657227209_6m8dI was up late last night working on my new e-book, blogging, tweeting and so many other things. I finally went to bed around the midnight (yes, that’s late for me).

Readers will be happy to know that updating you guys on my journey was just the motivation I needed to get back on the wagon.

I had an 8AM therapy appointment this morning, and I decided that I would kill two birds with one stone and run to my appointment this morning. So, I decided to sleep in my workout clothes so that when I wake up I will remember.

Even though I hate the restriction of sleeping in clothes (especially tight clothes), I decided that it was what I needed to do to get the ball rolling.

Well, it worked!

I ran to my appointment this morning and got there five minutes early! Then, I walked back.

I’ve also started tweeting more consistently. So, if any readers are interested in joining me on my journey and knowing what I’m up to in the realm of fitness and other personal things, follow me on twitter. My screen name is @fastinggirl!

Let me know if you’re also on a #healthyagain #weightlossjourney

It would be great to become a community here and on twitter who encourage each other.

Are you on a weight loss journey?

 Read Next: Binge confessions, #fattyslap and Accountability

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Healthy Again: I’m Fat Because I Have a Job…And Other Excuses

Today is Day 23 of my “Healthy Again” journey.

I have not gone running since the last time I posted a week ago. As a result, I have been hesitant to post any updates, but Lilac Blue encouraged me not to slack on my commitment to keeping readers updated. So, I’m here to confess.

Becoming a “lady again” is no easy task. After years of habituating to a mentality that puts appearance, health and well-being in the back seat and giving career the priority, it’s so hard to change my thinking to one that accepts that in order to get new results and have a complete makeover from the inside out, I need to break old patterns.

I keep waiting for the perfect moment to make necessary changes in my life.

I tell myself I’ll buy healthier food when I have more money, and I’ll exercise when I have more time. However, when will I have more time and money. My current excuse for falling behind on my marathon training is that I came up with an idea for an e-book that I want desperately to complete the first draft of by this coming Sunday.

I’ve been telling myself that once it is complete, I will start running again.

This is a slippery slope, because once you lose momentum on something like this, it’s hard to bounce back. I think I should just try my best to stick to my commitments, but that truly is a daily struggle for me. There always seems to be something that needs to be done, and most of the time it has to do with money.

Which brings me to a very important question: Do men expect too much from women?

I mean, many of them want us to  raise children, cook, clean and make money all while looking like Beyonce or Angelina Jolie.

You may or may not be surprised to find that I do not think it’s the men who are expecting too much. If anything it’s the “cash culture” that’s expecting too much. Cooking, cleaning and raising children have to be done in order for humanity to survive. Expectations about how to make money and how much money you need are the biggest hinderance to health and well-being, in my opinion.

Do you agree? Do you think society has too many expectations for women? Do you think men do? Do you think neither do? Do you think the problem comes from elsewhere?

Feel free to answer in the comment section.

Read Next: Should I Lower my Weight Loss expectations?

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Healthy Again: Day 16

I am currently sipping on a two banana smoothie while my hard-boiled egg cools. It’s been 16 days since I made that initial post declaring my intention to train for and run a half marathon on April 4th of 2015. I said in that post that I would update about how I’m doing once a week, I have not been successful with that, but I am now adding a “to do” note about this to my calendar (I believe it will help me keep my focus). This coming Sunday is my “weigh-in” day. It won’t be quite a full month since I started, but I wanted to maintain consistency in when I did my weigh-ins to fall on the first Sunday of each month so that my final weigh-in will occur the day of the race. My goal for my first weigh-in was written as ~213, but considering that a full month hasn’t passed I don’t think it would be realistic for me to expect to have lost 10 pounds. So, I will settle for ~216.

How I’ve been doing

So far I have kept to my running schedule.

Running – I am able to run about 3.5 miles now without stopping (to be fair, I am not new to running). I run pretty slow, though. My fastest is about an 11 minute mile. However, I don’t want to pay too much attention to time right now, because I feel like it would discourage me.

Eating – In my original post, I said that I wanted to switch to a plant based diet, but I found it very difficult. I have learned that it is more effective to make little changes over time that amount to big changes in the long run. For this reason, I will cut back on certain types of meat for now (like beef and pork) and over time cut out others. I also hope to create an eating plan and schedule that works for me. I am concerned that due to my current pattern of eating, that although I’ve been averaging running about 10 miles/week (plus a couple miles of walking), I may not see the 7 pound loss I’m hoping for.

Reflections

About three years ago I began a weight loss journey that led me to engage in risky behaviors (including about 26 days of fasting). During that process I lost 70 pounds. The following was the result which I documented in a e-book entitled “Black Ana: One Black Woman’s Struggle With Body Image and Disordered Eating” available in the Kindle Store.

dutch-b4-afterAlthough, I have not presently mastered the art of portion control, I do believe that what I am doing now is a step in the right direction. My “Ladies Again goal” is total health: mind, body and spirit. Through the work that I document on this blog, I hope to escape the mental slavery that our society holds us through twisted mix of seduction and demoralization. My mission is to encourage escape from a false freedom promoted by pseudo-feminist dictators and promote the true freedom that can only be achieved via a healthy mind, body and spirit.

A healthy mind allows us to make sound decisions about lifestyle choices.

A healthy body gives us physical freedom and opportunity to experience life to the fullest.

A healthy spirit gives us a sense of peace and joy about it all.

That’s true freedom that no dogmatic slogans and sound bites can offer.

If you are also going through a journey to become healthy again (or a lady again) share your story or show support in the comments below!

 Read Next: Fat friends, skinny friends

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Thoughts on Calvin

Photo by Ben Raynal via Flickr.
Photo by Ben Raynal via Flickr.
Photo by Ben Raynal via Flickr.

If the majority of women consider hooking up to be incredibly unsatisfying and unfulfilling, why do they continue to do it? This is what I thought about when I came across Hooking Up Smart, a relationship and dating site run by consultant Susan Walsh. As I read through all of the informative blog posts, I felt a rush of vivid memories flood back I had a random sexual encounter one, with a person when I was in college (half a decade ago), and I’m, still filled with regret. Regret that I moved so quickly with someone I barely knew (he was a mutual friend and we hooked up the night we met), regret that I never got to show him that I’m was not a whore in real life.

I was 21 years old at the time of the hookup, and I suddenly felt guilty about being overly conservative as I listened to all my other friends shared the details of their sexual conquests. The guy, lets call him Calvin, was my second sexual experience. I had a long-term boyfriend in high school, and had not dated anyone for the first two years of college. For most of my time in college, I was mainly concerned with keeping my academic scholarship and graduating school on time. I also did not drink much alcohol, which pretty basically much took me out of the binge-focused campus dating scene. But I did feel lonely at times and I wondered if I was truly making the best of my “young and fun” years by studying with friends every night in the library.

I decided in the final months leading up to my graduation from college that I was going to take life by the balls and give in to the feminist mantras mantras playing in the back of my mind: It’s your body and you can do whatever you want with it. Women can be sexually adventurous, too. Sometimes sex can just be casual with no strings attached. Every girl needs a booty call…

So, I drank more. I partied more. I smoked more. And I flirted a lot more. One night, I went over to my friend’s house to pregame (i.e., drink heavily before you drink heavily at a second location) and my friend introduced me to Calvin, who lived in her dormitory building. I knew instantly that he was attracted to me by the way he smiled and played with his chest. We both ended up making out at a party while we were drunk out of our minds. Later that night, after house party hopping for a few hours, we ended back a his dorm, where we tried to have very awkward sex. I was too nervous to have full-fledged vaginal intercourse with Calvin (someone I did not know) so I ended up fooling around (orally, if you get my drift). After he passed out, I sneaked out and went back to my suite. The next day, we both shared the details of the night’s sexual encounter with our mutual friends―I talked about his penis size, while he told friends that he wasn’t impressed with the lack of sex.

When I found out what he said about my reservations about full-on sex, I was furious and horribly embarrassed. And, I assume, that he was embarrassed about what I said about him as well. I also found out an additional detail: We didn’t event get intimate in his room; the deed took place on his friend’s roommate’s bed, who was out of town that weekend. Ugh. After the hookup, I could feel the disapproving stares from his friends. Since he was a mutual friend, I had to see a whole lot more Calvin against my own best wishes―I went with him to a few house parties, at group dinners and on shopping runs. Socializing with him was strange and awkward. The sad thing is that I thought he was actually pretty cute. At one point, I wanted to scream and say “I’m actually not loose! I’m quite conservative!” But the truth is that I was acting promiscuous in that moment. And I blew any chance with getting to know him without all of the awkwardness.

I decided then to never hook up with someone again, namely because:

  1. Sex is horrible: I think sex should be about intimacy and caring, and a sexual hookup skips over all of the intimacy that makes sex enjoyable. It’s also a strange thing to do something so personal with someone you do not know well. There is no way that sex between strangers will be as intimate, passionate or loving as sex between people who genuinely care for one another. Some research confirms that hookup sex is bad: One study found that only 40 percent of women had an orgasm during their last hookup involving intercourse, while 80 percent of men did. Roughly three quarters of women in the survey said they had an orgasm the last time they had sex in a committed relationship. I would much rather have sex with someone I love.
  2. Pregnancy risk: No form of birth control is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, which makes having sex with complete strangers extremely risky. There’s also the threat of sexually transmitted diseases, which makes hooking up scary and irresponsible. As someone who was raised by an overworked single mother, I have no interest in becoming a single mother myself.
  3. Loss of value: Men like to the chase of meeting and pursuing attractive women, and hooking up is a surefire way to make sure you never hear from the guy again. Getting pumped and dumped wears on a person’s self-esteem and self-worth.

My negative hookup experience is fairly common for most women. Studies have shown that sex is better if there’s an emotional component. Research involving 600 college students led by an evolutionary biologist at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and researchers at Binghamton University found that women were twice as likely to reach orgasm from intercourse or oral sex in serious relationships as in hookups.

So why do women do it? My guess is that women hook up for any kind of affection. Traditional dating is not happening anymore on college campuses, so the promiscuous hookup culture of getting drunk and having sex with strangers is often the only way for women to interact with single men. Yes, there (supposedly) may be women who say that they enjoy casual sex with strangers, but those women are certainly not the majority. I’ve never met one of those women in my entire life―have you?. Studies show that they majority of women want long-term and respectful relationships. I certainly do.

Five years after the experience, I now know this: My hookup certainly was not a one-night stand inconsequential event. I remember the experience wildly and I am still filled with regret. I will not be hooking up again.

Did you actually enjoy a hookup experience and expect nothing afterward? Share your hookup story below.

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The Hidden Feminist Agenda of Disney Princesses

2013disneyprincessSoft, musical voices, long flowing hair and dreams that “someday (their) prince will come” sounds like the farthest thing from a feminist agenda that one could imagine.

In fact, some of the looniest of the feminist blogs decry the “helpless” nature of the female stars of most Disney movies.

However, I see things differently. There is a particular staunchly feminist message in every one of the Disney movies and whether you see this message as a positive one or a negative one, it’s presence is undeniable.

 

Many feminists (who most likely grew up watching these movies) don’t recognize that it was this ubiquitous message that ignited their passion for female “liberation” in the first place.

This hidden yet ever-present message is simply this: that “being content in your own skin is not enough, because true happiness comes from outside of yourself”.

Wait, what?! You ask. How do they say this, and even if they do, what’s wrong with that? And further more, how is this a feminist message?

Slow down, Speedy Gonzales! One question at a time.

First off: How do they say this?

The Little Mermaid – A young girl (mermaid) is discontent with life in her father’s wealthy palace where she gets waited on and doted upon by a loving, king father and all of his servants; so she chases a fantasy of what life would be like if only she could be completely transformed even to the point of risking a potentially fatal procedure to live outside of her biological predestination.

Mulan – Shaves off all of her hair and pretends to be a man. Need I say more?

Beauty and the Beast – Belle lives a peaceful and fulfilling life in a quiet village where she spends most of her time reading books and complaining of boredom (even as she walks through the beautiful town full of friendly townspeople who all know her by name and happily greet her).

Snow White – Cohabitation with multiple strange men sans wedlock (because that’s not dangerous for a single, estranged woman to do at all, right?!)

Cinderella – Sneaking out at night for a date…

Pocahontas – A woman chasing the right to “choose” ends up confused about her vocation and reconciled to singlehood.

Ok, so What’s wrong with that?

Essentially, what I’m trying to help you realize through this article is that these movies are (intentionally or not) painting a picture that to be a woman, no matter how comfortable the circumstances, somehow means to be in a state of “oppression” and/or “repression” and as a result women should be seeking liberation.

Think about what exactly such a message does in the mind a young suburban teen who has been watching Cinderella all throughout her youth and reaches high school age where she is asked to do chores around the house when she sees her classmates going to house parties to tempt college men to commit felony misdemeanors. It will be pretty difficult to convince such a girl that her life at home with her parents, uplifting and benefiting her immediate community is of as significant importance as time spent exercising her “freedom”.

Or consider, the young college-aged child of immigrant parents who grew up innocently watching the Little Mermaid just like all the other Americans. All of a sudden, when it’s time to make decisions about her future, all the messages she grew up with seem wrong, because most adults only want to oppress young women and a woman is supposed to pursue a life outside of what she knows.

So, you ask “what’s wrong with that”… There is so much wrong with that it deserves it’s own book. Raising a young person to believe that what they know and all that they are is somehow inadequate or incomplete sets them on an endless and fruitless course of seeking a poorly defined (if defined at all) ideal of what she should aspire to be (and aspire for all of her kind). And perhaps this is the goal of some, to break others of any sense of internally-based validation so as to make them susceptible to any and all messages about who and what can provide a sense of self worth. And therein lies the problem.

How is this a Feminist message

Lilac and I have agreed that the term “feminist” is an inadequate word to use in describing the pedagogical dictators who believe that they have some kind of all-encompassing wisdom about the needs and desires at the heart of every female’s core and only they have the solution to this terribly debilitating need that results from an inherent sense of lack that all women everywhere feel that results from nothing more than being a woman. Further more, the term “feminist” is weighted with emotional and experiential implications that vary as widely as the people who hear or read that word. However, for lack of a more adequate term, we will be using this one to refer to the aforementioned “dictators”.

To the “feminists” of the type described above, to be a woman is to be oppressed no matter how happy you “think” you are. [Irony alert: Isn’t “happiness” a state of mind? So, how can you be confused about how you feel? Apparently these guys have telepathic abilities so strong that they not only know what you’re thinking and feeling, but also know what you didn’t know you were thinking and feeling!] These same omniscient beings believe that men are somehow hoarding all the happy-producing experiences for themselves. So, women should go find where men are keeping these happiness givers and collect their share.

girl proposalThis brand of “feminists” mask this ideology by pushing ideas like “freedom” and “equality” as things women are being deprived of and should be chasing after. Somehow, this freedom women should be seeking means running away from your current status as though out of a burning building only the building is in tact and your future would have been promising if you had only stayed put and recognized your blessings. This “equality” they urge us to fight for is to become like men, even when that means giving up what intrinsically makes you a woman. Don’t get married or have children, or at least not until you have proven to the men in your life that you are better than them! Yes, deflate their ego by emasculating them and while you’re at it, propose marriage to one of them too! (cuz they sure won’t be offering you any rings, Xena Warrior Princess!)

 

So, let’s summarize…

  1. The Disney Princesses come from a culture so obsessed with chasing “freedom” that it doesn’t recognize that it’s not in chains (or at least the chains are not of the kind from which they are seeking to be freed).
  2. Modern feminist extremists are pushing a type of freedom that urges women to do something (anything) other than what they are currently doing, even if what they are currently doing is perfectly fine and healthy and even if the other thing is engaging in dangerous behavior. In fact, the more dangerous the behavior the more worthwhile it is to engage in. Whether it is pursuing a relationship with a  likely violent beast or engaging in risky sexual encounters with multiple partners, the risk doesn’t matter as long as you’re not “bored”!

Read Next: Why is it OK for Men to Sleep around and not Women?

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Woman Takes Husband’s Last Name, Nutty Feminists Get Upset

Amal Clooney in her wedding dress
Amal Clooney in her wedding dress
Amal Clooney in her wedding dress

George Clooney’s wife, Amal, took her husband’s last name this week, and the feminist nutjobs came out in full force (which just basically means they tweeted or reblogged one another furiously). I normally do not have a problem ignoring celebrity “news” in the media, but this story caught my eye because a seemingly credible major outlet published a judgmental article from an angry feminist. In a column (I’m not linking to the article because I don’t want to give the garbage article any more pageviews), nosy “reporter” Nicole Lyn Pesce wrote “Amal Clooney’s name change divides women on a key feminist issue.”

Pesce’s statement is bogus on three levels: First, it’s none of Pesce’s business what a celebrity’s spouse chooses to do with their own name. The fact that Pesce would think that a celebrity name change would have the power to divide women is actually pathetic. Second, if a woman, decides to change her last name to match her husband’s last name, that is her choice. It is beyond me how a feminist could dismiss a woman’s right to control own her own name and image. As a feminist writer, shouldn’t Pesce automatically respect that a woman has a right to do what she wishes with her body and name? But no, respecting the decisions and opinions of others doesn’t fit the feminist agenda. Only they know what is best for all women. Feminists have the magical power to know what all women think and feel. Forget about the fact that Amal may be elated to become George Clooney’s wife. Columnist Amy Alkon agrees with this sentiment by calling feminism a form of authoritarianism:

Maybe you just think it’s nice to signal “My life has changed” by going in for an old tradition and taking your husband’s name. This is especially appealing if your name used to be Ahmadinejad…or…something, and your husband has a nice, easy, roll-off-the-tongue name like Clooney.

But, Noooooooo!…this absolutely cannot be, according to the dictates of the fundamentalists populating feminism. And, in case you were wondering, that’s because feminism isn’t about women having choices — it’s about feminists bullying women into making the choices feminists think they should.
family unit

Finally, Pesce’s comments are symbolic of a larger trend being propelled by modern feminism: the rejection of the family unit. When a spouse (man or woman, does not matter either way) changes their last name, they formalize the family unit. With a name change, two individual people with their own lives become one step closer to complete cohesiveness. Individuals morph into the Joneses, the Smiths and McGruires. There is nothing shameful about taking the last name of your spouse, and it’s pitiful that a writer would use her high-profile platform to try to admonish Amal Clooney for solidifying her marriage to her husband.

But there is hope: When it comes to name changes, the feminist agenda appears to be losing steam. In 2011, TheKnot.com surveyed 19,000 newlywed women and found that only 8 percent kept their last names; 86 percent took their husbands’ names, with the remaining 6 percent presumably modifying or hyphenating.

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Are You the Person that the Person You Are Looking for is Looking For?

Disclaimer: I am a Christian. However, even though many of the examples and analogies I am using will be done through the Christian perspective and using Christian references, I believe there is a take away message that any woman of any faith (or lack of) can apply.

Last year, a friend and I created a round table forum entitled “Christ-like and Dating”. It was a one day event for young adults (ages 21 to 35) to discuss issues in dating and relationships from a Christian perspective. In researching for the forum, I stumbled across a video of a sermon in which the pastor asked the question: “Are you the person the person you are looking for is looking for?”

Source: http://northpoint.org/messages/the-new-rules-for-love-sex-and-dating/the-right-person-myth/

The pastor tells the story of a young girl who lived a loose life by dating and having sex with many different men. I imagine her as any of my college friends who spend a lot of time trying to “find themselves” through binge drinking, drug use, tattoos and piercings. (Implications of these things upon the concept of femininity to be discussed in future articles). The story went on to say that this girl went to church one day with her mother and upon seeing one of the focused and driven Christian men gushed to her mother that she was in love and had found the person she wanted to marry to which the mother coldly responded, “do you think he would be interested in a girl like you?!” Upon hearing this the girl fell on the floor and wept. This was the point where the pastor asked the question “Are you the person that the person you are looking for is looking for?”

I actually have personal experience with this topic. When I went to college at the age of 17, I was an innocent virgin who had only kissed one boy one time and didn’t like it. (To be fair, it was an awful first kiss. He had no idea what he was doing). Anyway, when I was exposed to the freedom of a co-ed dorm and many horny and willing men, I got excited. Even though I never really lost my virginity to full intercourse until well after I graduated (I was 28 when it happened), I was on the prowl to experiment with the feelings that I had kept pent up for so long.

I had my eye on one particular guy. He was a white man; Bosnian and of the Muslim faith. The iSearching-for-Lovedea of what my African, Christian parents would think of the situation didn’t matter, I wanted to marry this guy. The fantasizing began long before he gave me a playful peck on the lips in a friendly prank, but imagine what something like that would do to a barely legal teenager with a  crush. I had fallen and fallen hard. Unfortunately, he and I were never to be. After years of flirting and dancing around the issue, I got the feeling that I was being a pest. I later learned that real men don’t play games and that if a man is truly interested in you, you will know and you will know quickly. Through this painful experience of unrequited love, I learned a lesson that never truly sunk in until I read the book He’s Just Not That Into You in 2003 or so, and that lesson is that if a guy is making excuses or you are making excuses for a guy for why he isn’t getting serious with you, then you’re wasting your time.

It was only recently (this year in fact) after playing a dangerous game of long distance, late night phone flirting that ended with a chance meeting at an airport terminal and the cessation of the receipt of further calls from the same aforementioned crush, that I finally wizened up and had to talk myself out of that sad unreciprocated fantasy.

In the weeks and months that followed, the picture started to become clear in my mind of why we didn’t work. Other than the obvious, surface-level, cultural differences (the implications of which I intend to discuss in future articles), he and I just would never had worked, because as blind as my love for him was, I don’t think his love’s vision had quite the same impairment. He saw me for who I was and for some reason that person did not fit into his world and if I had stopped to take off my rose-colored glasses, I might have observed the same signs of incompatibility. Honestly, I think I was just excited by the nuance of an unexpected caliber of gentleman recognizing my femininity and showing me attention of a flattering kind.

At the end of the day, for that relationship to work, I would have had to change in ways I was not motivated to at the time due to my core understanding of who I was at the time. The fact of the matter is, I was not the person that the person I was looking for was looking for, and I had no intention of becoming that person. The problems (including depression and low self esteem) came when I continued trying to force myself “as is” into the life of someone who was not interested in what I had to offer.

Now, more than 10 years later, I am finally realizing my worth, including a feminine value not worth compromising for anyone. I am learning that my joy comes not from the validation of that worth from men who never saw it before (but eventually see it through clever manipulation and coaxing), but from the shutterstock_106728764maturation of the original value through nurturing, cultivating and protecting it’s intrinsic nature and freedom of expression.

So, today, the question remains, am I the person that the person I am looking for is looking for? Well, I think so. However, I believe that in order for me to recognize the person that I am looking for when he comes looking for me, I too must recognize whether and if the person that I am trying to be is the person I am ready and willing to be for the rest of my life…

Read Next: Selling Our vs Selling it | Why Makeovers are Not Evil

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Healthy Again: Beginning My Half Marathon Journey

My 31st birthday will be on April 7th 2015. That’s about six months away.

This morning I was having a very long conversation with my very good friend and roommate, much of the content of which will become fodder for future articles on this site.

One of the things we discussed was the importance of a vision.

We concluded that it is not always necessary to know the road that will lead to the manifestation of your vision, but ultimately what is most important is having the end goal in sight.

As much as a talk about being a housewife or stay-at-home mom as noble professions, I am in no way endorsing a woman’s total dependence on a man or children for her sense of worth. I definitely believe that a woman should have a clear perspective of how she sees herself and how she wants to be viewed.

That being said, in my post about why I decided to become a lady again, I mentioned vaguely that I had weight loss and image goals.

I realized a while ago that in today’s world, there are plenty of women who have relationships and children who are less pretty and more fat than I am. However, I have also made the decision that I will never compare myself to any other women, but to myself.

I do not believe that the way you look weighs very heavily on how much of a lady you are, but I do believe that who you are as a lady is affected by the way you look.

Let’s face it, the way people treat you affects the way you behave and the way you carry yourself affects the way people treat you.

For this reason, I believe every woman should take a clear and sober inventory of who they believe they are and how they are perceived.

Furthermore, as one of my goals involves marriage, my fitness goals and my romantic goals are reciprocally intertwined. I think there is a lot you can tell from the way a man treats a well-kept woman versus an ungroomed woman.

Some men treat well-kept women better than ungroomed women. Depending on who you are you may or may not be flattered when these types of men show you attention.

Some men treat ungroomed women with more kindness than well-kept women. This too might be an appealing quality to you.

I prefer a man who treats all women with respect, but has chosen to adore me.

However, because he adores me, I think I would want to give him the gift of a sexy and physically fit woman.

So, in order to achieve this, I have decided for the rest of my life to set “birthday goals”. These goals are things that I can accomplish every year to keep me sharp and classy.

Also, I’m not a gold-digger, but I hope to marry a man who is financially well-off. (More on this in future posts.) I have read in various books about marrying wealthy men and observed from the high profile men in the media that men who do well often marry women who look good. More often than not when a wealthy man marries an overweight or unkempt woman, they have a history that goes back farther than the man’s wealth does. So, since I am not currently dating a diamond in the rough, I’m going to go ahead and “get right” so I can catch a big fish.

All this to say that I have decided today that I’m going to start setting yearly fitness goals (as well as goals of other kinds). My goal by my 31st birthday next year is to run a half marathon.

I have found this marathon near me: http://www.marathonguide.com/races/racedetails.cfm?MIDD=1923150404 which will occur near my birthday (April 4th) and I’m setting this as a goal to complete with my friend.

We have also found  5 month half marathon training program here: http://www.halfmarathons.net/20-week-half-marathon-training-schedule/

I have also always desired to switch to a plant based diet and I want to attempt it during this time so in searching for a “vegan runner’s diet”, I stumbled upon this: http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/eat-vegan-run?page=single

My goal is to update this blog weekly with regards to my progress on this goal (including which days I slacked and which days and rocked it) as well as revelations and reflections about femininity and it’s implications on what I’m doing and then once a month (most likely the Sunday of the week of the 7th of every month until the race) I hope to update this blog with “body shots” and measurements for comparison along the road of my fitness journey.

The following is where I’m beginning. Consider this Day Zero.

Measurements
Starting Weight: 223.2
Current Weight: 223.2
Goal Weight #1: 213.2
Birthday Goal Weight: 163.2

Bust Size: 112cm
Stomach Size: 115cm
Arm circumference: 36cm
Thigh circumference: 69cm
Glutes: 123cm

~::*BEFORE Pictures*::~

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Feminist lies: The myth of gender equality and the working woman

Controversial blog post alert! The last article about my employment situation inspired a new blog topic the subject of which is the title of this post. I’m going to get straight to the point.

What is the Myth?

The myth is that in order for a woman to have any value, she must be gainfully employed. In fact, she should be earning an equal or exceeding income as that of a man.

Where did this Myth Originate?

All myths have origins, so where did this one start?

This myth, in my opinion, is the extension of a CREAMist* agenda. This surreptitious agenda seeks to redefine every part of human life through the lens of the almighty dollar.

While the feminists of the 1960’s fought for equality in the workforce, I do not believe that what Susan B. Anthony was fighting for was for women, who were not interested in or capable of working in positions comparable to those of their husbands or other males in their lives, to be ridiculed for the decision to work in more modest roles, or not at all. I do not believe that all of the 1960’s Civil Rights activists were fighting for the death of the housewife or cultural homogeneity.

I say this, because I come from a family where all of my siblings are college graduates. I have two sisters (a doctor and an engineer) and three brothers (a Physical Therapist, a Chemistry doctoral candidate and a Packaging Engineer). I enjoy writing. However, that does not seem to be an option in the eyes of my family. In their eyes, I should work a full-time job or two saving money towards taking time off to write or writing on weekends and/or evenings towards completing my dream novel.

Am I the ONLY one who sees the BACKWARDS nature of this thinking?

If I want to write, and writing in and of itself (creative writing) is and of itself a skill that adds value to society and should as a matter of fact should be worth money; why shouldn’t I be writing? Especially if it is something I love to do.

Why do I have to defend my decision to do what I love? Why should I defend my desire to be healthy and stress-free instead of risking stress-related illness like depression, anxiety, obesity and cardiovascular disease by slaving away in jobs I hate and working for people who want to wield their appointed authority as a means of expressing repressed aggression because of others who used their own authority to do the same to them in an endless pyramid of oppression?

When did it become a not only acceptable, but a requirement that if you want to live contrary to the dominant culture (the CREAMist culture) you MUST work twice as hard for the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” promised by the founding fathers of this country?

When did the mentality become “I’m working a job I hate so I can have three weeks of fun every year, so YOU should too. In fact, YOU BETTER do it, because if you don’t you will be considered a disgrace!”

Now a days, if a woman doesn’t make enough money, she suffers the threat of starvation, homelessness and ridicule. Even if she becomes a housewife or a stay-at-home mother, she stands the risk of being ridiculed or comparably, getting those patronizing comments such as: “Oh, you’re a sta35t796y-at-home-mom? That’s a full-time-job too!” *insert self-assured smile here*.

When did it become unacceptable for women to live the lives they want? When did families stop being supportive of women’s healthy lifestyle choices? When did society stop being supportive of women who choose stress and disease-free lifestyles?

Is this not it’s own form of oppression? Am I the only one who sees that when stripped of the option of a choice…a healthy alternative…the pin-striped pantsuit becomes a Western hijab?!

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*I will henceforth be using the term CREAMist to refer to what I believe is the current cash-supremicist society. The term CREAMist comes from rap lyrics made popular by the CASH Money Millionaires which says “Cash Rules Everything Around Me. CREAM makes the money. Dolla dolla bills y’all!”

 

Read Next: Flexible Jobs for Women

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