30 Day Clean Eating Challenge | A Family Affair

Greetings Daizies,

We all want to live our very best lives out here in the midst of taking things day by day. Part of that journey includes taking care of thE one body you have and what you put into it. If you’re out on the internet you’ve probably seen some variations of healthy eating challenges. Keto, liquid based diets, gluten free diet, no red met etc are all examples of diets many people are trying. I know a thing or two about cutting out certain foods for the best. You don’t know how hard it’s been not eating onions or tomatoes sheesh! So about a month ago, I was surprised to find out that several of my family members were going on a no meat, sugar, or bread challenge and I followed their journey throughout all of July. The participants included my mom, uncle, and grandma and later my sister and I joined in our own way.

Here’s what they each had to say about their journeys:

Mom, Znover

Q: What were things you hoped to experience from this healthy eating challenge?

Just a renewal in my body. We get used to eating a certain way and I wanted to experience a change. After the challenge, I tried bringing back things I normally ate and when I ate a small poundcake it tasted like a pound of sugar and I just couldn’t do it. Even my favorites, Saltine crackers, tasted like a bucket of salt. I now have a change in what I enjoy and what tastes good to me and it’s definitely for the better.

Q: What were your eating habits prior to the challenge

I was eating cookies. Pretty much junk food. 

Q: How did it make you feel?

Well with that you know because you think you’re eating what you want, you think it’s good. But until you do something like the 30-day challenge, you notice a positive difference.

Q: What was the biggest challenge during the first week?

Because your body is so used to having what it wants, the hardest part was overlooking the sweets and cookies, cakes, and pies that are so easy to pop in your mouth. Also, reading the labels was a challenge because I was so used to just eating whatever I wanted regardless of what was in it. But I made it through and I’m so grateful.

Q: What were your results from the challenge?

I’m not as tired, not as sluggish. I’ve kept my weight down and incorporated more exercising. I even have less headaches. I still read the labels and try to limit sugars. I feel really good!

Q: Advice for someone wanting to do a health challenge?

I think it’s a great idea to talk to your doctor to see if it’s best for you and to also get some advice. My doctor said what I was doing was a great idea but to make sure I incorporated some protein. I did this a lot through eating fish. You have to make sure you actually want to do this. You have to have a made-up mind and say “this is what I want to do.” 

MY HEALTHY LIFESTYLE STILL BEING MAINTAINED AFTER THE 
30 DAY CHALLENGE
Italian Turkey Brats..Barley & 
Brussels Sprouts..Yum..Yum..Goodt!! Lol!!
I GUESS AS YOU GET MORE MATURE(LOL!!) U EAT THINGS YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER WHEN WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER… THEM AVOCADOS ARE BOMB!!!
HAHAHAAA!!! 


Uncle, Peter

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Q: How did this challenge start for you?

It started as a challenge with my team at work. We wanted to do some sort of challenge. So I said, “how about no meat, no sugar, and no bread challenge”. Did a video and a fun thing for people to guess who would stick to the challenge and how much weight each person would lose. 

Q: What were the things you hoped to experience from this healthy eating challenge?

For one, I wanted to see better health results as far as my cholesterol levels. And also if I could stick with someone for 30 days then I could pretty much do anything. So it was a discipline thing for me. And doing it with others made it fun, especially since I’m competitive.

Q: What things did you do to help you be successful at this challenge?

One I knew I was starting this journey I immediately went shopping. I bought food for at home and at work so I could avoid cravings. I mentally prepared myself for this so I could stay determined, When I went out to eat I would get side dishes and still enjoyed myself.


Q: What did you learn?

The amount of weight you carry most likely has more to do with what you consume than what you do. Years ago when I was heavy in the gym, doing a lot of kickboxing, I never really lost weight. My weight often fluctuated. I knew that needed to change. With this, I did no working out and in 30 days I lost 22 pounds.


Q: What was your favorite meal?

I ate a lot of eggs in many different ways!

Q: Advice for someone wanting to do a health challenge?

It’s a lot more fun doing this challenge with a group of friends. Find some buddies and make it fun!


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Day #29 – Breakfast
Jalapeno&Cheddar Grits w/ 2 boiled eggs. Drink – OJ

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Day #27 – Mixed Greens & Grilled Salmon
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Day #30 – Final Day
Lunch – Smoked mustard and collard greens topped with freshly cut onion and jalapeno with side of cubed yams!


Grandma, Almeeta

Q: How did you find out about this challenge? 

I found out through my daughter, Znover. She was telling me about what she was doing. And then I saw Peter talking about what he was doing. So I said “oh I’ll try that too”. Doing things like this, just like with exercise, seem to be easier if you’re doing it with someone. And I’m glad that I did this. 

Q: What did you hope to feel after this challenge and did that happen for you?

I got out of this challenge everything that I was expecting to receive. I experienced what I hoped to experience and that was a healthy feeling – not tired, or run down. I lost about 10 pounds. That’s how I was feeling before I went on this journey. It was really good for me. I ate mostly fish and salads. I enjoyed it then and I’m enjoying it still. I feel healthier, lighter, and I have more challenges

Q: Were there any challenges in the first few days?

I had a craving to eat meat like a hamburger or steak. And especially on the third day I really wanted a Wendy’s Frosty. But I got through it by putting my mind on something else and reminding myself to stick to what I said I would do.

Q: What did you learn?

I was on this journey when I was younger where I would read the labels. It doesn’t take all of the heavy foods to be full or to enjoy your meal. I learned that I can actually go without meat. I could eat baked chicken or boiled chicken and it tastes just as good as fried. 

Q: Advice for people want to do it?

Be sure that you get advice from your physician to see if your body is healthy enough to go through it. Once that is taken care of, put your mind to it and stick to it. Do it for yourself. Don’t give up!

Late Lunch!
Sardines with a shrimp SAUCE, bowl or pared and peaches!

My Journey with No Red Meat Challenge


I didn’t want to post about my journey because posting it meant I would have people to hold me accountable lol. But I became inspired by my family to try something like this and see how it goes. I wasn’t moved to do a complete no meat, sugar, and bread type of diet at all but I have always wanted to try cutting out red meat for an extended period of time because this is one of the dietary tips I have seen to help reduce stomach inflammation which is one of the chronic issues I deal with. Red meat already was something I limited once I found out it could be a contributor to digestive issues, so really my intake of it came with my obsession of tri-tip steak sandwiches, burgers, burritos and hot dogs. Basically eating out and having that sharp craving for something salty is when I really reached for red meat.

I am 2 weeks in and I am so proud of myself! There have been several times where I’ve wanted to order something and had to stop myself. The main thing is taking the extra step to find a different option when I’m just trying to eat something convenient. It was hard in New York when there was a Philly cheesesteak restaurant right in front of us and we were starving. I wanted to try it so bad but I actually just got a chicken cheesesteak instead. I noticed a lot of things I like come in chicken or turkey form. Now I feel like I am in cruise control with this challenge. I haven’t noticed a huge difference with my health but mentally I don’t crave it like I used to.

Thanks for reading Daizies.

As always take it step by step

and

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Why Black Women Should Own a Cat

Greetings Daizies,

I’ve thought a lot about writing this blog post. There are so many reasons a person should get a cat, but I wanna speak directly to us black girls. I feel like cats have gotten a bad rep and even heard people say “black people don’t like cats.” No one really talks about it but I think cats are the perfect pet for black women. There hasn’t been enough praise for cats and more black women especially need to know why cats are the most amazing animals on earth.

1.Cats are your ride or dies for when it comes time to do your hair

Ladies, it takes sometimes several hours for a perfect twist out, braid out, or even just detangling. Not many people want to sit around and watch the process. Your hands are getting weak, your arms are trembling with fatigue, you’re almost about to give up when you look to your side and a beautiful and encouraging creature is sending you positive energy to keep on going with your natural hair tasks. Cats are there for you and your hair care. They want you to reach your hair goals! I could stop right there but I can keep going.

2. Give and receive love from a breathing being that requires very little from you

As black women we take care of just about everything. Kids, intermediate families, work, school, the bills…everything. We’ve been responsible for juggling many demands ever since we were old enough to and sometimes even before then. Imagine coming home to a breathing that doesn’t need much but your love and your love only. They are just as independent as you are and aren’t looking for you to do basic things like bath them, but just want to be cuddled and pet. If you’re feeling drained during the day, you won’t have to worry about another thing just zapping your energy from you. Cats give you the love you may sometimes feel like the rest of the world isn’t giving. All of this without the constant maintenance that other pets may require *cough cough*dogs.

3. Cats support you in your self care journey

As I type this blog, my cat Spencer offers his support

As I mentioned with cats and your natural hair journey, cats are patient with you in your journey to improve your overall self care. They are still, they are calm, and they are understanding. Lots of self care habits take time, such as doing yoga, journaling, or a face mask. You know what has the patience to sit by you throughout all of these processes? A loving and doting cat. Just wanting to support you and your heart’s desires. If you’re doing sedentary work like writing an essay or brainstorming, you’ll have a cuddly ball of joy to sit on your lap and make sure you finish what needs to be done. When you look down at them you won’t want to disturb them unless absolutely necessary which in return results in more productivity and a better chance of finishing what you start.

4. Be entertained but not agitated

Get lost in the antics of a cat sprinting across the room. Watch them unravel a bundle of yarn. See how interested they are as you unbraid your hair and take down the kanekalon. Or watch your cat simply watch you. Cats are can be a form of calm or upbeat entertainment without having to pay a monthly subscription like Netflix.

5. Cats increase health

The soothing vibration of a cats purr can stimulate the happy brain cells and increase overall happiness. Just letting a cat lay down on you and purr can relieve so much stress. The vibration of a cats purr is in the range of 20 hertz to 140 hertz and vibrations in this range are known to be effective in treating many diseases. Owning a pet in general helps reduce stress and lower our blood pressure. But cats in particular help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The American Stroke Association found that people who don’t own cats are 40% more likely to have heart disease or strokes. SO while you’re actively getting your life together, the extra added bonus of having a cat in your life just further adds to your black girl magic.

More black women should have cats. If you had a bad experience with a cat or two back in the day, don’t let that have you write off cats forever. They are truly pleasant little angels that are necessary for self care and will be there as you grow and thrive.

“Oh you’re only *insert young age* you don’t need to worry about it” and other phrases GROWN people say

“You’re too young to worry about that”

“When I was your age I thought I knew everything too”

“Just wait until you’re my age, you’ll see”

I kinda roll my eyes when I hear these phrases. I know it’s meant with good intentions…but helloooo every problem DOES seem like a crisis as a neo-adult. I listen to a lot of podcasts and all of them are hosted by black men and women in their early-mid thirties. Their perspectives are often eye opening and reassuring. a recent episode titled “Real Love”

I was listening to my favorite podcast, The Read, a few weeks ago in an episode titled “Real Love ft. The Ellises”, when there was a letter that a 23 year old girl wrote in for lookin for advice. She was so sad about a relationship about to end and she was scared she’d be alone forever once it ended. While they gave pretty solid advice, of course her age seemed to justify her thought process and fears.

“You are twenty…three” Kid Fury said. “ All the things that happened at 23 that I don’t even remember now?” Crissle chimmed in,“I was like oh I’m big grown now…I’m older than 21”. “I can legally drink for 2 years”.

When Crissle said when she was 23 she felt big grown because she was older than 21 I felt personally called out and attacked lol. I too, feel big grown at a fresh 23 and feel “mature” because I’ve been legally able to drink for 2 years. Well that sat me all the way down lol. h


“From 15-20 you think you know everything
From 20-25 you KNOW you know everything
25-30 you realize sh*t I didn’t know wtf I was doing
Then you spend your 30s tryna fix all the things you were doing in your 20s” – Devale Ellis

Question to the 30 somethings and older

Being in your 30s seems hyped up. Lots of people talk about it being a golden decade and clarity blah blah blah. Only time I doubt that is when I watch This is Us and Jack and Becca look hella stressed with triplets. But anyways, I write this so maybe when I am in my 30s I will look back and laugh and calm myself down for whatever it is that I’m stressed about then. BUT when I hear those things from those slightly older than me by a decade or so, sometimes it can be frustrating because it can truly feel like the world is crashing on down with my 23 year old problems. How can y’all be so sure that it’s just a lesson to learn and that I’ll get over it? What if it DOESN’T work out? Don’t you know that it feels like…a really big deal?

Then I think maybe y’all are right

I don’t even think there’s really an age where you do become “grown”. I took a second to think about the chapter in life before my 20s and think of things in a different perspective. In 7 years I’ll be 30, 7 years ago I was 16. When I thought of it this way NOW I could see why people older say the things they do. When I was 16 I was so stressed out to literal TEARS about deciding whether or not to do running start, college credit while in high school, or just do AP courses. I made a whole pros and cons list, cried, and had my heart beating fast and all anxious about how much I would be missing out if I took all my classes at community college because junior year was going to be the best year ever. I giggle about this now because it was…A REALLY BIG DEAL at the time. And now, I couldn’t tell you where more than 3 people from high school are right now and I worrying about missing out on high school was the least of my problems. Getting that college credit ultimately helped me apply to my major earlier, have junior status to apply for my first study abroad program freshman year, which helped me fit 3 study abroad programs all into my college experience, and study 2 concentrations while graduating in 3.5 years.

It mattered at the time but 7 years later my biggest decision is something I don’t even think about and something that worked out in the long-run.

Woo chile the wisdom that my twenties have bestowed upon me …jk. But forreal, I guess I kind of do see the point in what’s being said to me now. I WISH my problems were as simple as deciding if I want to take college credit or not sometimes. But how I dealt with things in my late teens until now have provided me with learning opportunities and experiences about how to make great decisions.

So I get it I guess

Maybe I’m not grown GROWN but I’m…grown-ish? There’s so many firsts happening in your early twenties. I know I’ll come out on the other side just as I have so many times in my life so far.

God bless these 20 somethings.

Life After College|Adulting in Real Life Finance Edition

Greetings Daizies,

I’m one month into working full-time, living in my first apartment, and finally having my cat living with me. I’m in the chapter I’ve always wanted. I have all the freedom of an adult and of course all of the responsibilities too. I originally was going to write an overview of life after college so far but turns out I had a lot to say about finances alone so here’s my piece on what I’ve learned about finances so far after 6 weeks working full-time and living solo.

Getting an Apartment

There are so many things I did not know that I thought I did. For one, when looking for an apartment, I was certain that all I needed to move in was the deposit. That’s all. In July, my dad told me I needed first month’s rent. I was stunned lol. What I had saved and what I would need were two different things and I was planning to move the next month. I had to think of all sorts of backup plans. But it worked out( thankfully). But the time between moving in and my first paycheck, funds were running on E. I had to use my credit card for most things which worked but was also stressful.

Paying Bills

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When I used to have 5 other people to split it with, all of a sudden I’m just splitting it with me, myself, and I. There’s so many different types of bills. There’s bills I didn’t even know I’d incur. But here I am having these funds exit my account lol. Having a list of all bills, the amount, and due dates will be really helpful for me as some are new, some are old, and most have different due dates.

Enroll in Auto-Pay for Bills

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“Uh ah Mr.Hart, didn’t go through. I even swiped it 3 times!”

I was so stressed when it was the fifth of the month and I had an email that my payment didn’t go through. “Where imma live?” I had to double check my funds and saw that it was coming out of the wrong account that wasn’t set up for bills anyway. The bank has 4 days to post that the payment went through, and for days I never saw any money come out of my account. Next time, I would follow up right away because after the grace period of 4 days is when you get a late fee. To avoid all of the confusion of having to make sure the right accounts are associated with rent, I went ahead and enrolled for auto pay so I don’t have to be at work thinking I’m about to get evicted.

Calling the Bank

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I called my bank and got the insufficient funds fees waived for that month. That’s a thing you can do. They want to make sure they keep “valued customers”. I had to ask a lot of questions regarding my accounts and getting answers to questions rather than assuming. Call the bank, call the rental office, call anyone in charge of your funds and fees if you have any sort of question.

Set Reminders for Yourself

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There’s some other non-tech friendly bills out there like water, utilities, etc. I have to actually call to pay it since they require Internet Explorer to access the online option. So I have it tacked to my wall and a deadline set on my phone.

Student Loans

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Okay so now they want their money. One of the lenders sent me a letter basically like “We say that you’ve graduated, congrats….so your date date is such and such date thanks bye”. So they really not gonna forget that I borrowed money? I didn’t have to take out too many loans so I am trying to pay my amount off fast and go (fast fast fast…fast like a lambo skrt skrt skrt) *Whoever can guess that song lyric gets points* I think it’s best I set up auto payment for that as well. I was also in the process of consolidating my loans when I looked carefully at the new offer and found that they were offering a higher interest rate. Now what is the point of consolidating just to get a higher interest rate? Since my plan is to pay the amount within 2 years, to me it made no sense to do all of that application work just to get a worse interest rate. I was 2 seconds away from signing but I’m glad I READ THE TERMS! Don’t just sign up for something because it sounds good.

Benefits

There’s a 30 day window to enroll in benefits if your employer offers them. Depending on what system is used, the options might save as soon as you select them. For example, I had started the process and had an idea of the medical and dental options I wanted so I selected the options and clicked the bubbles. I wanted to come back to it and confirm. Next thing I know, I’m getting the insurance card and welcome packet in the mail. I’m like I didn’t even finalize my decision! Welp too late lol. But good thing I picked the one I actually was comfortable with and was going to select anyways otherwise I would’ve been upset. Be careful with selecting an option even if you think they aren’t final.

There’s also the process of enrolling in 401k and company stock. I’m honestly still learning and I’m glad I can still change my options. I think I’ll have more knowledge and information once I get advice from my uncle who’s an expert on finances.

Day-to-Day Budgeting

It’s tempting to go on a shopping spree considering I live so close to all the places I love to shop. There’s a wide variety of sprees, I want all new makeup, fall wardrobe, shoes, hair products, and accessories. If I went out for all of those themes I would probably go overboard. I plan to set out a time to shop for each of those  types of things separately so that I don’t end up overspending and buying stuff just to buy it. Right now my most common expenses are groceries, cat food, and hair and skin products(I just love them). But I limit myself to doing major hauls and want to have a shopping list and a limit before I go out here and do the most. There’s things I love, things I like, and things I can’t live without (rent, food, utilities). Now that my big expenses are out of the way(furnishing my house, the deposit, etc), I want to start saving for things I love such as traveling and investing in my creativity. So that means having control and a plan with what money goes to things I like (hair products, clothes, shoes). That’s where I’m at with budgeting right now.

I hope this might help someone soon entering the “real world” and I hope to master this area of finance. I’m sure it’ll take a lot of practice and learning, just like everything else. Feel free to drop some gems if you have any. Follow my blog and subscribe for email updates, check out my latest YT video on: DaibyDai, and follow my FB page for more content!

bey

As always,

 

-POP (1)

Meanwhile in July

I love everything right now. I love not having to glance at my planner every day. The making of plans as I go. Being able to get up and go. Sleeping 12 hours. Traveling. Whether the trips are long or short, far or near. Just being. It’s a breath of fresh air. I just finished Americanah by Chimamanda Adicihie and I suddenly had this urge to write. I loved how the words added such unique detailed. Like without it, a certain essence of the character or the scene would’ve been lost. I would read for hours on end. Sometimes I  read till the birds started chirping. I previously never had the time to truly get lost in a book like that. I rediscovered my love of reading this past year. I love learning and relearning things about myself. This is the rest and fun I wanted for my break. I can do anything or I can do nothing at all. Everything is up to me. Now I have applied for an apartment. I keep imagining what it’s going to be like. A new neighborhood, a new routine. All in literally a month. What is it gonna feel like to be comfortable with the newness, for everything to be normal. I’ll go to work. An actual career. The one I wrote about on my vision list. It’s all happening just around the corner. A lot of my posts have some type of purpose and usually it’s planned. But not this one. I thought it would be nice to just reflect on the time in between one chapter and the next. Reflecting on this beautiful break I’ve had from the grind.The time of living life and having no responsibilities or deadlines to meet. I am on to new memories. One’s I’ll probably still talk about for years to come. This year has truly been one of my favorite. I am where I want to be.

As always,

-POP

 

Each Step Led to This Dai… UW GRAD 2018!

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Greetings Daizies!

I finished school a few months ago in March and since then I’d been patiently awaiting my official graduation ceremonies that would commence in June. I spent time visiting family and evens started a brief part time job tutoring and cherished my new relaxed pace of life remembering my vigorous schedule from college.  Oh yes I remember waking up to a to do list of “class, class, study, office hours, practice for interviews, homework, midterm practice” and then sleep and do the whole thing over again. I put all of my energy into making sure I did everything I could to get the best grades possible and secure a job for when I graduated. The actual graduation ceremonies would signify that I was completely and totally done. My college experience would come to an end.

My time off has been a break long needed and deserved. I loved being able to plan out my graduation photoshoot and all of the exciting details without having the stress of studying for classes and finals. Eventually June 3rd rolled around and I was so happy I was finally going to walk the stage after 4 years of hard work!

June 3rd – Foster School of Business Graduation

I spent my entire Saturday watching the latter half of season 3 of Parks and Recreation and doing the twist out of my life. It took my 5 hours to do my hair.  Small, precise twists with no gaps, tangles, or bulges. I fell in love with Shea Moisture’s Red Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter stretch pudding. After my grad photo shoot, I knew it was going to be a twist out product staple. Anyways, I was confident that my hair was gonna be poppin’ for my very special day. I answered as many last minute questions from frantic and excited family members as I could. But overall I was focused on maintaining a relaxed mood and taking the experience in.

That morning I woke up an hour before my alarm. My stomach started pulsating and my heart was beating fast. I was so nervous and excited. I always wake up early when it’s a big day for me. It wasn’t an interview, a big test, or anything I had to endure over the past 4 years… it was MY GRADUATION! When it was finally time to get up, I did yoga as usual but this time my eyes began to water as I began to contemplate how hard I worked, the obstacles I faced, and how much I dreamed of this day. For many years it seemed so far away but I was finally walking through the end of the tunnel to experience the light.

I thought back to 3 years ago, freshman year. I was taking my remaining prerequisites to get into the business school ranked #1 in the PNW and #14 in the nation for public universities. I was ready to take on the challenge and knew that that was where I belonged. I worked long nights, went to tutoring almost every day for Math 111/112 and breezed through Stats 220. I was so happy for the Daizha that was crushed after BARELY passing the Econ 201 and 200 prerequisites. I could clearly remember how anxious I was thinking about having to choose a backup majors just in case business school didn’t work out. I thought about how vicious the curves were in weed-out classes like ACCTG 215. I had an extra prep class at 7 IN THE MORNING *now i could never see myself taking an 8 am class in my entire life* but I sacrificed a comfortable start time for extra practice for accounting. And when I submitted my application I checked it over and over again before submitting only to have to wait for an entire month to find out the results. As I waited for the results, I had to calm myself down as my heart raced each night thinking about if I would have my dream of being in the business school. Fast forward to June 3rd, I was in my room, doing yoga and preparing to graduate with a bachelor’s in Business Administration majoring in both Marketing and Information Systems!

I was so excited to get to the stadium. I tried to eat as much as my nerves would allow me but don’t worry, I had some snacks in my purse lol. I saw some people I never saw in my life and some familiar faces from group projects I’d had over the years. I found my front row squad and we walked around to find our entrance. I could hear the crowd buzzing and we actually were about to start. I was one of the first people to walk out and the energy was amazing. I saw and heard my family cheering for me! It was an amazing experience. The ceremony just about flew by and I walked across the stage with a huge smile on my face and a twirl for the gawds.

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Graduation selfie

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Dubs up!

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Pure happiness

Even though it was cold and rainy at first, it made me feel so good that my family planned and decorated for my graduation beach party. I felt warm on the inside no matter the weather. It just felt good to be celebrated and congratulated for something I worked for. I loved my mom’s idea of every guest going around in a circle and saying their memories, thoughts, and favorite things about me. Words mean a lot to me. I’d say words of affirmation is my love language. And hearing how I’ve made others feel and all of the nice things my friends and family had to say about made me feel so special and appreciated.  I will always look back at that video when I need it.

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The sun came out for us! Family photo 🙂

 

June 8th – Black Graduation

I had a some days in between my first and second graduation. I was just having a pretty awesome week. I got to show my dad around Seattle for the first time and spend time with him while he was here. I had so many leftovers from my grad party that I’m still craving till this day. But low and behold it was time for Black Graduation 2018! I would finally be one of the black graduates receiving their kente stole. This day was a little hectic in the beginning I must say. Nails falling off, couldn’t find my preferred lashes, unexpected things, more rain, etc. I was feeling a little off for a minute but once the ceremony and speeches started I was just like ” oh well let’s just enjoy this” and decided to be in the moment. It was still a good week and the celebration must continue. This graduation was special because I was with all of the black students I experienced UW with. It’s a small small world as a black student at a PWI so it was beautiful to have a celebration just for us. I had fun on the stage too! Peep the video below lol.

 

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June 9th- UW Commencement

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The next day was big graduation with all of the graduates from the entire school, from bachelor’s on up to doctorates. Tons of people had been saying how long and boring the graduation would be or had been for them but I was still determined to go because you only graduate from university for the first time once. The rain held out this time for a while, thank God, because it was on the football field. I was literally running to my entrance so I wouldn’t miss the walk out time but I made it! I was so HYPED seeing how a huge football stadium filled with people all excited. I was so so happy to see my mom stand up and cheer for me in that huge crowd as I walked in. It was my final graduation of the week. This one was for the college experience as a whole. This stage in my life of so much growth and accomplishment. I was celebrating all of that.

All of the departments sat with each other and when it was time to present the business school, we were formally granted our degrees! OFFICIAL OFFICIAL OFFICIAL. A pleasant surprise was actually walking the stage to shake hands and receive my beautiful degree case. I thought we were only going to stand up and sit down but yay I got to walk the stage in the stadium. Literally this day was just so fun and the ceremony didn’t feel long at all.

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At the end, when the seats were almost empty, I gazed the entire stadium and took a deep breath. I really finished. The chapter was completely over. And I was like wow I’m actually going to miss this school. My eyeballs started watering again lowkey (aka crying) but it was like saying goodbye to an era where I became the adult me. I really took my whole life into my hands and learned how to take care of myself on my own. And now my life really changes from here on out.

I came in with a mission and I completed it. A college degree is a privilege that I am so grateful for and I don’t take lightly. It means so much to know that I can take care of myself financially and have the career that I’ve dreamed of having.Generational poverty no longer can have a hold on my lifeI can be a role model for my younger families and they can see that it’s possible to go to college, to travel, to take risks, and to do anything they want to do!  I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to receive a degree from a 4 year university. I’m grateful for all of the challenges, trials, and tribulations that I experienced while in college and because of college because they made me even an even stronger person.

Graduation season was everything I could’ve imagined and even more! Through the ups and downs I know that …. Each step led to this, Dai.

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Love always,

-POP

Update: Summer 2017 Fitness

Greeting Daizies,

I wanted to post an update regarding my summer 2017 fitness goals.During the earlier part of summer, I had signed up for a YMCA membership and was going to the gym 3 times a week. My ultimate goal was to loose 15 pounds by the time school started, become stronger, and have a healthier diet.

Readjusting my Weight-loss Goal to No Weight-loss Goal at All

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Fast forward to now and my outlook on fitness has completely changed. I was so adamant about loosing 15 pounds in order to achieve the weight I had when I was studying abroad. Now, I am not all about weight-loss. Last fall of 20016, I was traveling almost every week which meant walking about 20-30 miles a week. My lifestyle has changed and I don’t want to be stuck trying to force my body to maintain the weight I had at 20 or in high school.

What I’m focused on now is being active in a way that is sustainable. I’ve spent majority of college and actually most of my life with some sort of weight loss goal. Even in middle school I wanted loose weight, usually a small amount, but I always wanted to change something. At some point you gotta just be happy with how your body changes and the way it is.  I’m finally at that point now. My body changes as my lifestyle changes and I want to be more focused on working my way up to actually exercising frequently even when I get busy.

Now I want to focus more on my goal of improving my performance with working out rather than weight loss. This means, being able to run a little longer and lift 10 pound weights with my squats eventually. My weight will fluctuate a few pounds up and down and having a strict schedule of loosing weight became frustrating and wasn’t that fun. I’m at a healthy weight for my height, so I don’t want to put so much pressure on myself to loose so much weight just to be at the same size I was when I was younger. I want to love and appreciate the way my body is now.

Nap or Gym?

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The hardest thing with staying consistent was actually leaving my house to go workout once the weather started getting cold. After class and work, the main thing that’s on my mind is taking a nap, and once I’m in the house I’m in the house.It’s rainy season during the fall and winter, and there’s not much that can make me leave the house once I’m inside lol.So there were several weeks where I was in the zone juggling school and finding the motivation to exercise even at home was difficult. Towards the end of the summer, that fire slowly died down as I was so eager to end work and go to Ghana. When school started I went maybe once a month, and three times this month of December. Sometimes, I did workouts at home when I felt like it. Next year I hope to feel like it more, or maybe incorporate light exercise into my morning routine of yoga. I’ll have more time in the morning/afternoon since my classes start a little later next quarter (it’s my last quarter omg!).

But What About All Those Swiss Rolls?

Okay I can admit my diet hasn’t change much since my summer article. I pretty much eat whatever I want.  On a weekly basis I will most likely eat my famous homemade sub sandwich, some form of chicken and rice, peppered steak, oatmeal/cereal/bagel and cream cheese for breakfast. I’d say overall I have an average/healthy diet. I always have some apples, grapes, bananas, and oranges in rotation and of course I’m drinking plenty of water. But I am a sweets person, and I did just eat a box of swiss rolls to myself within 3 days lol. I hate depriving myself of what I love (chocolate cakes and cookies lol) so why should I? I just know that once I start, it’s hard to stop. Therefore, not getting into the habit of ALWAYS buying Tollhouse cookies and Simply juices are better for me. I “try” *keyword is “try”*

Overall, my biggest health success was accepting my body weight as is and having a more positive body image and increasing my water intake.

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Have a great New Year everyone!-POP