Happy Memorial Day

MemDay

 

Just wanted to wish a happy memorial day to the “Keep It Moving” family. Enjoy yourself wherever you are this weekend and we’ll catch up next week!

-Nichole Renee-

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/05/25/2238/

If a Slave Can Buy his Freedom, So Can I

 

This post is a bit eclectic and will take many expected twists and turns.  I just need you to mentally prepare yourself. Please have tissues, defibrillator, throat spray and holy water ready.  You’ve been warned.

 

broken-chain

 

I never thought that I would do it until I was faced with the decision.  I said a million times that I wouldn’t do it. Would I pay out the money or cut my nose to spite my face?  Some told me I was crazy.  Let me give you some background to my madness…

When I was a kid, my mom used to make me read books. I wasn’t too crazy about it (probably why I don’t like reading now), but what was really annoying was that she made me read these huge novels in the summer time–and do book reports on them.  Really?

She would give me books that she had read so I couldn’t even try to “bs” the book report. They would all be black novels: Black Boy and Native Son by Richard Wright, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and various novels on slavery.

The slavery books would really pull me in, particularity if it broached the topic of buying freedom. I thought it was so unfair that a person would have to save money to purchase themselves.

“If you greatly desire something, have the guts to stake everything on obtaining it.” – Brendan Francis

 

Freedom is not Free

African-Americans were enslaved for over 400 years. Some were given an opportunity (if you want to call it that) to by their freedom. They were given these ridiculous costs. Some saved money, gave it to the slave master and were robbed. They were told they needed more. The slave would keep working. I mean think about it. You have to give somebody money to get the life that was stolen from you. Really? But many did it for freedom.

In Roots, the character Kunte Kinte ran away many times to get his freedom.  We all know the infamous scene where he got his foot chopped off (in lieu of his “johnson” being chopped off…you men crack me up with that.  You’ll lose both arms, legs and all your teeth in lieu of that.  IJS).

In 12 Years a Slave, Solomon Northop had been a free man for decades and was kidnapped and forced into slavery. He thought about running away, but came up with other crafty ideas to obtain his freedom.

What gave these men the drive to be free is that they knew what freedom tasted like. They both were born free and taken against their will to some foreign place they were not supposed to be.

They did whatever it took to get free.

When they got their freedom back (Northrop personally and Kunta through his grandson Chicken George), they still had to fight to keep it.  But they got it.

Well, if they could do it under those circumstances, so could I!

 
Ralphie daydreaming

Ralphie daydreaming

A Girl Can Dream

 

So, those who know me well know I have all kinds of crazy, dramatic over the top plans and scenarios, sort of like Ralphie’s daydreams on “A Christmas Story.”  With that in mind, I had my last day in divorce court all planned out. I will keep it real for you.

As you know, I’ve been working out, and I was going to wear a killer dress than accentuated all of my key features—even if I needed to wear a girdle, body magic and spanx (yes, I know the new studies have revealed they smash your organs. It’s about the sacrifice).

I was looking for places to get a baby bump that poked out just enough—not the one that Selita had on Real Husbands of Hollywood though (that was just awful). The whole scene was going to be gangsta!

If the judge ruled against me, I had a back up scenario.  The judge was going to tell me that I had to pay and on top of that it was going to be some outrageous amount.

I was distraught.

I yelled at my ex: “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?  WHAT ELSE CAN I GIVE YOU?”

Then, it happened.  I went into “black woman blackout”– I snapped.

In a rabid state, I took off my suit jacket and threw it across the room.  “SURELY, you want this!” Then I kept going.  I took off my blouse and my shoes.  Then, I said “Oh, I know what you want.  You want it ALL.”  In Strange’ (Yes, Grace Jones’ character in Boomerang) style took off my thong panties ( you know you can’t wear regular panties with a killer dress), walked over to him and put the strings over his ears and put the crotch on his head.  “That’s what you want! THAT is all I have!”

Everyone in the room gasped.

Don’t act like this is the first time you heard something like that. For all the old-heads that remember Boomerang and for the young-bucks that don’t know, watch this clip:

 

Sometimes my southern belle persona needs to get shaken up. Now back to my daydream:

As the people in the courtroom sat in disbelief, I sat in the chair looking broken and defeated. Out of the midst my hot, new man-friend would appear.  He would pull out his checkbook, ask to approach the bench and tell the judge that he would write a check because this issue was standing between him and the woman he loved.

He would ask how much I had to pay and added $5,000 to it–just because he could. He would write the check and the judge would slam her gavel, jump to her feet and strongly state, “Now THAT’S a real man right there!”

The audience would go wild. I would cry, my attorney would be at a loss for words (a first), my ex would be stunned and my girlfriend Sharon (the co-chair of my dating consultation committee) would make an executive decision, immediately fast-tracking my new man-friend through our tedious approval process. My case would go down in history and become a living legend in Montgomery County.

Yes, Tyler Perry should call me for script ideas.  This I know.

Back to Real Life

I never got my day in court.

An opportunity presented itself to settle. Never even got to meet the judge in any of the three hearings that I had. How anti-climatic.

I made a financial offer and waited–much like watch night service.

So, yes I settled out of court.  An offer was made and my problem disappeared. Just. Like. That.

You may say why did you give your money away, I wouldn’t have given up a dime!  Yeah, I said that a million times.  But I needed to gain leverage on something that money can’t buy–my time and my freedom.  I was wasting precious months of my life over something that was going to end anyway.  Wasting time on lawyer fees, court fees, meetings, strategies…baby bumps.  It was time to get my life back.

Waiting to get the papers signed at the very end was probably the worst part.  It took MONTHS! It was like Moses watching all the Israelites walk into Canaan.  So close yet so far.

 

You may avoid suffering and sorrow if you don’t risk, but you simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing and has nothing. Only a person who risks is free.” – Bob Proctor

Now that it’s over

Let me tell you, I ran to the bank to cut that check.  I never wanted to let go of money so bad.

I can’t tell you how freeing it feels to be done. Unofficially, it’s been done since October but it’s just something about officially getting that piece of paper in your hand.  It’s like having a new set of glasses–I see things much more vividly now.  I got my swag back in a major way. I guess throwing that picture in the wash on new years day worked, lol!

For those of you still dealing with this situation ( I have a girlfriend going on year 9), your designated time is coming.  In the meantime, keep it moving and be happy!

 

 

 

I would love to hear your comments… and of course pass this post on to someone who needs encouragement today!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/05/18/if-a-slave-can-buy-his-freedom-so-can-i/

The 5am Workout for the Lazy, Excuse Makers like Me

 

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I mean seriously, who REALLY wants to get up and work out in the morning?

Well there are some.

When I worked out religiously at 5am, there were people waiting in a line at the door 10-15 minutes before they opened.  They would sit on the curb and chat with each other.  I really don’t know what the ham sandwich they talked about, because I was still in the front seat trying to snatch a few more zzz’s.  It was just too early for all that.

A few months back, I talked about getting back to the gym after another long hiatus.  I also talked about firing my trainer.  All that coupled with the winter, I was the queen of L-A-Z-Y!

In the last few weeks, I have been slowly (emphasis on slow) getting back into the game. I know the key is getting up early and working out before work, but I am just so tired and sleepy…and my head hurts just thinking about it.

But I have to do it.

One, I just need to.  Secondly, I just pulled out my summer clothes and I’m pretty sure most of them don’t fit (just keeping it real).

With that being said, the focus of this post is not so much on what to do at the gym, but how to prepare for early and frequent workouts.

 

Where does the time go!

Now for the anal and super-organized people reading, this won’t be such a struggle for you. You know how to maneuver and create time.  You still might not get up, but I have every confidence the time WILL be scheduled.

But for those of you that are not organized, have a lot of responsibilities or have those crumb snatchers (your children) waiting for WHATEVER, this might not be so easy for you. You ain’t trying to hear NONE of this.

Oh, don’t let me forget about the middle, night shift or entrepreneurs (you think you’re slick).  You also need to start your day (whatever time it starts) with some exercise.

Now, I am not a morning person (and actually not a night person either; yes, issues galore), so this whole working out in the morning is not a sexy concept for me either.

However, after studying highly productive and successful people, the common denominator is that they FIND and MAKE time to do those things that will bring success. Additionally, highly productive and successful people value their time.  Time is that commodity that we cannot get back. That time has to be planned out.

 

 “One of the most important keys to Success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it.” - Unknown

 

At the end of the work day, the average person is like a roach when you turn the lights on; they want to get out of dodge.  They are tired, ready to go home, have a glass and sit and relax.  In a lot of cases, people have another job or overwhelmed with other tasks that require their personal attention.

The last thing they are thinking about is working out.

With that being said, for those of us that want to make working out a priority but have a ton of stuff to do, it needs to be done before going to work. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted and use that as another lame excuse.  The T.V. is one of the biggest culprits of stolen time.

 

Benefits for working out in the morning:

  • The obvious: You get it out-of-the-way!  You don’t have to go later in the day unless you choose to.
  • Get your energy back. I doesn’t make any sense to combat fatigue with working out and getting even more tired, but that’s how it works.  If you are consistent with that, the fatigue converts to bursts of energy.
  • A regulated metabolism. Once you get on a roll you will actually feel your metabolism burning. When you feel hungry, your body physically needs food.
  • You start your day fully alert energized.  Unless you are one of those chipper morning people, it usually takes at least an hour to get going at work. I usually have a little extra bounce and am a bit more hype than usual when I work out in the am.  This annoys the heck out of my students when I greet them in the morning (they say, you were at the gym today weren’t you?). You just can’t win with these guys…
  • Check out these articles for more info10 Reasons to Exercise in the Morning, Morning Exercise for Weight loss, and 6 Benefits of a Morning Exerciser

 

Preparation is the Key!

When you prep your meals for the day, it pretty much has to be done ahead of time.  When I am on my A-game, I usually cook up everything on a Saturday or Sunday.  I am one of those people who can eat the same thing for breakfast every day so it’s not a big deal.

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Food for breakfast, snack(2), lunch for the week

For breakfast, I usually have steel-cut oatmeal, two slices of turkey bacon and a boiled egg.  This meal is at least 18 grams of protein, which is especially good if you are lifting weights.

Steel-cut oatmeal is much better for you because it is minimally processed and it holds better. I put it in small containers and put a layer of almond milk on the top.  When it is reheated it fresh as the day you made it.

The turkey bacon is in wrap-and-seal, two to a sleeve.

The second photo shows what would go in my lunch bag for the day: oatmeal, bacon, egg, a salad with grilled chicken or salmon, a cheese stick, a smoothie (made from scratch to cut down on processing and unnecessary sugar) and a bag of nuts.  There is also a bottle of water and a pack of Emergency.  I put everything (except the

Breakfast, snack (2) and lunch for the day

Breakfast, snack (2) and lunch for the day

water) in the bag the night before with freezer packs.  In the winter, I just put it in the car the night before.

For more details and specifics on weight loss and strategic eating, read my post The 45-day Detox is on. Eat a Biscuit for Me.

It seems like a lot of prep time, but once you get it down you can get it done fast while you are doing something else.  Then when the week comes you can just grab the items really quick and put them in the bag.

If you are prepared, it dramatically cuts down on snacking and eating something that will totally ruin your efforts for the day.

I frequently over-pack so if I don’t go straight home from work, I have some type of snack or meal to hold me over until I get home.

 

 “Life has two rules: #1 Never quit #2 Always remember rule # 1.” - Unknown

 

Take-Away

I hope that you will consider working out in the morning (whatever time fits your schedule), whether it’s a few days a week or every day.  The benefits far outweigh the annoyance of getting out of your bed at some God-awful hour.

You can make that time, even those of you that have small children (yes, the excuses can stop now).  Check out my girl Stephanie at Team Fit Mommy and she will show you how it’s done.  Actually, you can join us on her “30 Day Plank Challenge” for the month of May (the ladies and the fellas).

For those of you that are still not convinced and just the thought of getting the gym to look through the window is a task in itself, the video below is just for you.

 

 

 

If you like this post you’ll love:

 

What are your thoughts on this post?  What are workout tips or tricks do you have to share? Let discuss so make your comments below!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/04/28/the-5am-workout-for-the-lazy-excuse-makers-like-me/

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