New Year, New Elle

2015 is here!  This weekend, I had a few friends over for a vision board party. (You chicks left all your fatty foods and wine for me to eat!  Don’t worry-I’ll find something to do with it!)  I didn’t finish my board as I was making sure my guests had a great time.  Instead of just going through magazines and cutting out pictures and quotes that I liked in previous years, I know EXACTLY what I want to include as I know the goals that I want to accomplish this year.

Over the past few weeks, different things have been shared with me to make me reflect on things and to help me establish what goals (I don’t do resolutions) I want to accomplish in the new year.  My main goal is to focus on me-spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically.  On the spiritual aspect, I’ve joined a local church (FINALLY!) that I love!  I missed my church during the two Sundays I was in SC for the Christmas holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the NYE service.  I can’t wait until they start Wednesday Bible study again in a few weeks.  In the spirit of being transparent, I’ve thought about seeing a professional, specifically in dealing with the death of Southern Mom.  I know that it is something that I will have to endure for the rest of my life, but I want to make sure that I am taking care of me first.  I’ve started working with a financial planner, and even though I feel like he has put limitations on what I can do (although he really hasn’t-I just hate budgeting), I know that his assistance will benefit me in the long run.  Lastly, I need to take care of my body-point blank and the period.  I need to eat better.  I need to start working out.  Not to sound vain, but I think I’m a cute girl.  And I feel that I can be even cuter once I start taking care of myself.  In short, I don’t want to just survive-I want to live.

I hope that in the next 360 days, I become a person that I am proud to be and that is better than the person I am today.

So what are your goals for 2015?

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Weekend Recap

So many things have happened since Friday that I have to put it all in one post, lest I drag everything out.  This post may be a little lengthy and reminiscent of when I first started this blog.  You’ve been warned…

First, a HUGE congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens!!!  They are my #2 team, after the Jaguars, of course.  I’m kinda mad that I didn’t take any pictures last night in my Ray Lewis shirt… And no matter WHERE I go, it’s always the old men that end of talking to me…but I digress.  It was an awesome game!  I almost thought that Baltimore was gonna mess around and let San Francisco come back like they did during the NFC Championship against Atlanta.  But Ray, Joe, and them held them off (barely) to win Super Bowl XLVII!  All in all, it was a great game to watch, and I stayed at the party until the end, even though my girls left me high and dry!

Next, can we talk about Beyonce?!?!  Now, I’m a HUGE Queen Bey fan, but treating her like an idol (Beysus) is NOT hot!  I’m about to start quoting scripture, but you guys know what the Bible says about “…not having any other gods before me…”  I was excited to see Kelly and Michelle on stage with her as well.   Of course, I’m making plans to see her when she comes to DC on July 29.  I’ve already got my crew together, and I’m SUPER excited!  I’ll be playing the Beyonce Station all day on Pandora! (I just hope I don’t start singing out loud at my desk…)  I also cannot forget Alicia Keys singing the National Anthem and Jennifer Hudson performing during the Pre-game Show.  I felt so inspired seeing these talented Black women perform on a large, international stage.  (And yes, I know we are not a fan of some of the personal choices that Ms. Keys has made, but this is a time of positivity.  Plus, who am I to judge???)  And speaking of feeling inspired…

I was in AWE on Friday evening watching the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards.  I made a conscience effort (and decision) to sit down and watch this awards show.  And I’m glad I did.  Kerry Washington (my girl) racked up, Harry Belafonte is untouchable, AND Diahann Carroll is still amazing at 77!  As a senior in high school, I made a decision and stated that I would not become a member of the NAACP due to their tourism boycott of the state of South Carolina. Even though the boycott is still in effect, I stated this weekend that I would consider joining the NAACP.  Watching the awards ceremony made me so proud and excited to be a Black American.  To see the accomplishments of my people from the past and the present brought joy to my heart.  Tears were brought to my eyes as I heard Diahann Carroll speak about Kerry Washington as the younger actress was presented with the President’s Award.  I was ecstatic to see Vice Admiral Michelle Howard win the Chairman’s Award; watching her story made me think of two of my favorite Black, female sailors-my “auntie” Madeline and my other play aunt/mother/friend and soror “Queen Tutt”. 🙂  And hearing about the things that Mr. Belafonte has done and continues to do in this country, specifically for young Black boys, made me realize that WE all could stand to do a little more to better our communities.  And hearing him speak about the ills still affecting our people showed a passion and truth that not too many of us are willing to face.

So, all in all, this weekend was great.  And busy…  But I won’t complain.  What were some of your favorite moments from the weekend?  Did you catch any of the big shows?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Fact:  In 1899, African-American golf fan Dr. George Franklin Grant received a patent for the world’s first golf tee. Grant, however, never marketed his invention, instead giving the tees away to friends and fellow golfers. (Shout out to Southern Dad and Southern Uncles for being avid golfers BEFORE there was a Tiger Woods. :))

I’m Done Being Fat (Update I)

Happy Monday, folks!  I realize it’s almost been a month since I’ve started my “Get Fit” kick, and I haven’t shared any updates with you all!

Well, I’ve been going steady with meeting my run buddy for 3 weeks now.  So far, I’ve lost 3.2 pounds.  This morning, we jogged for the majority of the first leg of our walk/run.  Each time we go out, we go a little further and move a little faster.  SI, my steady run buddy, has pushed me and inspired me in ways I couldn’t imagine.  We have yet to miss a run because we don’t want to disappoint each other.  The other young lady that also responded to my request came out with us once.  Apparently she’s working with a trainer, but we wish she would come back out with us.  A friend of mine, MA, comes out with us every now and then.  It’s a little difficult for her since she lives in a different quadrant than my running buddy and I, but when she doesn’t run with us, she gets in the miles on her own.

This past Saturday, SI, MA, and I met up with the Black Girls Run group that meets at the National Mall.  We had a blast meeting other ladies, taking a picture in front of the National Christmas Tree and White House, and fellowshipping afterwards at Starbucks.  (Thanks to SI for making sure I got that banana instead of the blueberry muffin.)  I can’t wait to go back out there with them in 2 weeks.  It’s awesome meeting other women AND getting a change of scenery.

To make sure I stay on my half marathon training schedule during the holidays, I’ve recruited some people to keep me company.  Southern Mom and I will be running together on Saturday and next Monday.  She’s afraid she won’t be able to keep up with me, but I’ve told her that she’ll be fine.  I’ve even talked Southern Cousin into running with me next week after Christmas.  She seems to think I’ll be doing a 10-12 minute mile; someone needs to tell her that may not happen…

And although I don’t hit the gym as often as I want (I go once a week-I want to go at least twice), this weekend I started this 30 day challenge that a friend of mine posted on Facebook.  It’s called 10-20-30.  You run or walk 10 miles a week and complete at least 20 push ups and 30 squats a day; you’re welcome to do more.  On Saturday, I even added 20 minutes of pilates into my routine.  (Yes, I only did that because in this month’s issue of “Women’s Health Magazine”, Kerry Washington is on the cover, and she discusses how she enjoys pilates. #dontjudgeme)  That 20 minutes was the best thing I could have done for my muscles after that run on Saturday.

So, in short, this “Get Fit” kick has been awesome so far.  I feel better, have more energy throughout the day, and have even inspired those around me to do better.  But, at the end of the day, this is about me.  I need to be healthy for me and live the best life that God has planned for me.  Whatever your motivation, I implore you all to add some type of workout to your weekly routine.  You’ll thank me later. 😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

I’m Done Being Fat

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was great!  My friend, BD, cooked EVERYTHING!  If your chef(s) was half as good as him, I know you ate well! 🙂

Unfortunately we can’t eat like that everyday, so… back to reality!  As I have mentioned here before, I am overweight…and that’s being nice about it.  Crazy me let Southern Cousin talk me into running a half-marathon with her and another cousin in March.  I have started and stopped training multiple times since this summer.  I have eaten well for about a week and a half then I go back to being bad and eating McDonald’s for breakfast, white bread for lunch, and drinking Cokes everyday. No more!  I decided that last week was my last week for being bad.  No more greasy fast food, no more white flour, and no more soft drinks.  No more coming up with excuses why I can’t run or go to the gym.

At the suggestion of a friend, I sent a message out to the Facebook group of Black Girls RUN! DC and asked for a running buddy that lives near me and is open to running in the mornings.  Yes, it’s dark at 5:30 am AND it’s cold.  But to my surprise, TWO ladies reached out and said they wanted to run with me!  So we set up to start yesterday.  I had a great run, and I’m ready to go out tomorrow and do it again. And I have apparently inspired others, because two friends have reached out to me because they want to start running, too.  Now, I’m not a seasoned runner by any means, but I’m getting there.  I know if I keep at it, I’ll be ready for this half-marathon in March! I also know my weak point is that I’m, well… weak.  My upper body strength sucks.  So I’ve made it my mission to hit up the gym on the mornings I don’t run to do strength training.  I have even set up a personal training session for tomorrow evening.

As anyone will tell you that’s into fitness, you lose the most weight by watching what you eat.  So no more biscuits and no more sodas, which have become the bane of my existence.  I’ve cleaned out the junk food from my cupboards.  I have oatmeal (the real stuff) for breakfast, fruit and whole grain popcorn for snacks, have bought groceries (lean meat, veggies, and jasmine rice) for lunch and dinner.  I even purchased a meal plan from Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss.

This extra weight I’m carrying isn’t going to magically disappear.  And it’s not going to be easy to lose it.  But if I work at it, stay motivated, and even have some friends along for the ride, I know I can achieve my fitness and weight loss goals!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

So I’m going through some old posts. As you can tell, I didn’t post any progression pics, and it’s because I wasn’t progressing. But Southern Mom and I have a friendly competition going on AND I now have a workout buddy who’s keeping me accountable. Most importantly, I’m running in a half-marathon next year with my cousins, so I need to get my act together!

Southern Girl in the City

I’ve been away from social media and the gossip of the internet for awhile.  I’m also behind on my favorite blog. (I caught up a little bit last night!)  As I logged on to Facebook to wish Southern Mom a “Happy Birthday!”, I saw a link for Demetria Lucas’ (aka A Belle in Brooklyn) column on Essence.com “Real Talk”.  Today’s topic discusses Boris Kodjoe and #FatExcuses.

Demetria goes on to discuss how Boris came under fire this weekend for his tweet saying he had nightmares about 300 pound women in thongs eating fried chicken grinding on him.  He went on to site statistics about Black women and how a large population of us are obese.  Of course, people got offended, but you can’t shoot the messenger.  The truth hurts.  And I should know; everytime my mom talks to me about getting more active, I balk.  I look at myself in the…

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Ok, I’ll Admit It…

I wish my hair had a little more natural curl.  I wish DC had 65-75 degree weather year round…and was 20 minutes from a beach.  I sometimes miss my momma.  I’ve fallen off a little.  And I’ll even admit I’m a little jealous.  Of what you may ask.  Well, I’ll tell you.  My friends’ weight loss.  It really came to a head for me this past week when I saw pics of my little cousin at Christmas, and she was obviously smaller than when I saw her last year.  And I’m sick of seeing everyone around me taking charge of their health and the way they look, and I’m sitting around like a bump on a log…literally. 

So, instead of drinking my customary Coke or Sprite during lunch yesterday, I drank water.  And I actually drank water for pretty much the entire day; I plan on doing the same thing today…and in the days to come.  The next step I’ve taken is not eating out all the time.  I took my lunch to work, along with healthy snacks, last week, and I plan to keep up this trend.  Most importantly, I need to get active, like really active.  To the point where I’m working out when I come home from work or starting my days with cardio.  It’s going to take some sacrifice.  And anything worth having is not going to be easy to obtain. And let me be honest.  I turn 30 in 3 months…and then I’m a bridesmaid in my linesister’s wedding.  I need to get my act together.  I want to leave my 20s behind me in this unhealthy body and greet my 30s in a healthier, upgraded version.  And truth be told, I think the New Boy can help me with getting in better shape.  (He’s very athletic.)  Yes, I know I’ve mentioned on this here blog MULTIPLE times about taking charge of my weight, but this time I’m committing to doing better. Even Southern Mom is taking charge of her health.  And I clearly can’t have her coming to DC to celebrate my birthday with a better body than me. 🙂 (Just kidding, Mom!)

So, that’s all I’ve got today.  I’ve updated the What’s Happening page (FINALLY!), so take a look.  Hopefully I’ll see you next week at my Happy Hour at Twelve Lounge.  Yes, I know I just talked about getting in better shape, but an indulgence is allowed every now and then. 😉  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Doing Better Already

If you’re a fan on Facebook, you saw last night that I decided to run in a 5K in November.  I know, YIKES!!!  But I am excited!  I had a little bit of insomnia last night, and I surfed on the net to see what 5K’s were coming up.  I decided to run in the Women and Politics Institute’s 5K Race to Representation.   The institute, located on the campus of American University, aims to “close the gender gap in political leadership”.  I figure why not do something to get myself in shape AND make a statement. 

My status even inspired 2 of my friends and sorors to join me during the 5K and my neighbor to ask me to go running.  The good thing is that they are both in great shape, so I can learn a lot from them!  And I will be following the Couch to 5K Running Plan.  I have to admit, I’m a little nervous, but with determination (and a little motivation from friends and family), I know I’ll be just fine. 

I’m always open to advice and suggestions, so feel free to share your running stories.  As I stated in a previous post, I’ll be tracking my weight loss with you guys, too.  Honestly, there hasn’t been much going on in that arena, but I have stopped buying a lot of juices.  I try to drink primarily water or Crystal Light (when I need a little flavor). 

If you want to see the plan I’m doing go here.  And if you want to know more about the race, or if you want to register for it yourself, check out more info here.  Like I said, I am excited, but a little apprehensive, too, so feel free to leave some words of encouragement! 🙂 Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!