Lose Weight and Lose Your Friends

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As I was driving this wonderful sunny morning, I heard an interesting phenomenon on the radio. Apparently, there is a study out there which says that people lose 1 friend for every 7 pounds of weight loss they achieve. This shocked me. Why would your friends stop hanging out with you simply because you lost a healthy chunk of weight? Well, here are some of my hypotheses:

1) Plain old fashioned jealousy: If many of your friends are overweight and have been secretly yearning to shed some pounds, but have either been unsuccessful at it or have just not gotten around to dieting and exercising, perhaps your weight loss could spark some jealousy. You losing 7 or more pounds could make them feel sad every time they hang out with you. You become the constant reminder of their unattained dreams. Perhaps they might be thinking, “This could be me. I could have lost 7 pounds. She doesn’t deserve her slimmer look.”

2) Birds of a feather flock together: Eating is often a social, bonding experience. Often times groups of friends meet up at bars or restaurants or hang out at home over a nice meal of pasta. Foodies often hang out with foodies. Eating is also comforting. If you’re having a bad day, your friend might buy you chocolate or other yummy desert. But once you’re on a weight loss kick, but your friends aren’t, you become the instant outsider.

3) Weight loss separates you from the pack: With weight loss often comes a new personality. Perhaps you begin to dress differently, your confidence level changes, your eating habits become different and you might even want to explore new hobbies to go with that new figure. It’s almost like you become a different person and leave your dear friends behind. It’s like the girl who got a kick out of watching old movies while eating popcorn now all of a sudden wants to go out and jog. That’s no fun! Sometimes you unknowingly become the killer of all things fun.

So before you embark on your weight loss journey be aware that 1 or 2 of your friends might kiss you goodbye. Are there any other reasons why weight loss could lead to friendship loss?

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Bring Back Our Girls

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I am not one who speaks on political issues or talks a lot about heavy topics, but from time to time, something happens in the world and it just hits my core. About three weeks ago (on April 14), over 200 school girls from Chibok-a town in Borno State in Nigeria were abducted by militants. In fact, I’m not even sure exactly how many girls were abducted. It’s been over three weeks now and the Nigerian government has made attempts to sweep it under the rug. I think this is a thing of shame that a government can look the other way as its citizens are terrorized. Luckily social media has picked up on this horrible issue and I’m praying that the Nigerian government will do something positive about it and rescue them. You can find more information on this issue by going to any social media outlet and using the hashtag #bringbackourgirls

I can only pray for the safe return of our girls. Their only crime was going to school to get an education, something I feel every human being has a right to do. These terrorists have threatened to sell our girls.

Stay strong girls!!! We have not forgotten you. BRING BACK OUR GIRLS.

Hopeful Thinking Momma

Surviving A Job You Hate

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It is every person’s dream to have a fulfilling career, but what happens when you find yourself stuck in a job you hate? Well, do not despair. Many a person has gone through this and come out alive, and you can too. Here are some useful tips.

1) Have some good coping skills: Do not let your work consume you. Even if you work 40 to 60 hours a week, find some hobbies outside your job to take the stress away. When you leave your job, leave everything work related at the job site. On your drive home DO NOT use your useful mental space thinking about your pointless job or your annoying boss. Never bring work home!!

2) Use vacation days wisely: Use up every last vacation day you have. Your body will thank you for this. Plan a fun trip with your friends, your spouse or even go alone. Spend the entire year dreaming about your ideal vacay and make it happen. If money is tight, find fun economical things to do locally.

3) Find a venting buddy: Some of us love to decompress after work by telling others what a crappy day we have had. Yes, this contradicts my first tip, but if I do not vent off my frustration to a friend, I might go mad. Limit your venting sessions though. Don’t spend an hour a day talking about the job you hate. Stick to maybe 10 minutes day. After you’re done whining and complaining, put the day behind you and move on.

4) Find a new job: If all else fails, put yourself back on the market. Most people do not have the luxury of quitting on the spot, so make an exit strategy. Slowly re-do your resume, browse websites to see what’s out there. Go for interviews to get the hang of the hiring process. Ask around to see if someone you know is hiring or knows someone who is hiring. Never let a job you hate eat away at your soul piece by piece.

5) Positive affirmations: While you are still looking for your dream job, let your work space be a zen area. Even if you work in a cubicle, write out positive quotes on sticky notes and plaster them all over your work area. I like to listen to positive music on bad days to get my thinking back on track. Let’s be honest, if you spend majority of your time thinking negatively, this will translate to negative moods and even eventually bad physical health. Do not let your job steal your joy. Hang around positive coworkers who can bring light to your day. Say positive things to yourself to get you through the work day.

I hope the above tips helped. How do you survive a job you hate? Comment below and hit the like button.

Have a great Monday!!

Positive Thinking Momma

P.S: Image taken from http://www.gracerules.wordpress.com

Creating Goals For Yourself

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Hello boys and girls,

Today I was just thinking about how many hopes and dreams I have. I mean I have goals for myself, goals for my spouse and goals for my kids. To further break those goals down, I have divided my personal goals into career goals, spiritual goals, fitness goals, spousal goals and relational goals. I have my goals firmly taped up to my closet wall so that I can look at them every day. I learned this technique from one of my college professors. He asked us, upon graduation, to write out our 10-year and 5-year plans as well as to detail how we were supposed to achieve them. So it’s not just enough to say: “I will be a successful therapist in 10 years.” You actually have to define success in measurable terms. Where do you see yourself working? How much money do you wish to make? What type of work will you be doing? What do you need to do this month to climb up that goal ladder? And the list goes on and on.

Ever since I wrote out my goals and stuck them to my wall, I have found that my drive to reach them has increased tenfold. I am working harder than ever because I do not want to disappoint myself. For my workout goals, I first detailed how I want to look.  I know how many days a week, as well as the duration for which I shall be working out. I have my workouts on a calendar and I love to mark them off daily. Putting things on a schedule is my way of sealing the deal. If I write something down on my calendar, I have to do it.  I get a kick out of crossing things off my lists.

Writing out all my goals seems to work for me. For my career goals, I wrote out what I want to accomplish ten years from now, then I also wrote out what I want to accomplish by December 2014, and on top of that, I set goals for myself month by month. This makes my 10-year plan less scary and more easily attainable. Some people are much more creative and make vision boards for themselves. I’m not at that level yet, so just writing my goals down in plain black ink appears to be working in my favor.

The cherry on the cake is finding SUPPORT. Find one or two trusty sidekicks who can help you reach your goal. If you know people who will encourage you when you want to give up, then put them on your team. Every person needs cheerleaders to whom they can vent when times are hard and who will smile at them when they achieve something small or something big.

How do you plan out your goals for yourself? What method works for you?

 

As usual, comment below and hit the like button.

Thinking Momma

Image taken from http://www.womenshealthmag.com

Why I Will NEVER Get A Dog

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I have to say, I am a dog lover. There is something that warms my heart when I see a furry silhouette walking by me. I actually grew up owning dogs at several times in my childhood. My dogs were not my pets, they were pretty much my friends. As a teenager, I spent many a day petting, brushing and spoiling my doggies. But sadly, my dogs eventually succumbed to old age and had to be put to sleep because they were in so much pain and were so sick that no one could do anything for them. It was the humane thing to do. I remember the day my mom called me to tell me that the dogs had to be put to sleep. I tell you, my mind was in agony for a while. Both dogs were about 10 years old, so they had been in my life for quite a while.

Now let’s fast forward 5 years later. My son is now dog obsessed and begs me constantly for a dog. Being that he is 5, he will not bear any of the burden that comes with caring for a dog. Look, I have 2 kids and a husband and I have no desire to take on the responsibility of caring for another being. As much as a dog will bring joy to our household, who will wash said dog? Who will bathe him/her? I cannot imagine what will become of me when the friendly dog reaches a ripe old age. Will I have to endure the trauma of losing my dog all over again? My weary heart does not grieve well. I also shudder at the thought of scooping up mounds of animal waste. No thank you sir!! My life is busy enough with juggling family and career that I can’t make space in my heart for one more thing.

Might I also add that my husband and daughter are not the most dog friendly people? My husband shudders every time a four legged creature looks in his direction, and our daughter pretty much has an anxiety attack at the sound of a barking dog. So you see boys and girls, although I love dogs and I think they are God’s gift to us, I will NEVER EVER become a dog owner.

Any thoughts on owning a dog? As usual, comment below 🙂 .

Non-Dog-Owning Thinking Momma

Is Breastfeeding Gross?

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When I was growing up, I must have seen thousands of women breastfeeding their kids. The African woman is not ashamed to feed her child on command. Because I grew up seeing this, I thought nothing of it. When I became a mom, it was a no brainer for me to breastfeed. It was just what all the women around me had done. I knew it had many benefits, and since my body was producing so much of nature’s wonderful nectar, I decided to give it a go.

Now breastfeeding had so many ups and downs. The up part for me was that breast milk eliminated all colic signs from both my kids. My son, who had the most sensitive tummy of all, went through so many different types and brands of formula. After a while he was put on hypoallergenic formula, but when I got sick of it all, I just gave him breast milk exclusively. He loved the taste of breast milk, it never upset his tummy, and he was gaining weight like normal. My daughter also had digestive issues which breast milk also eliminated. It was a win win. 

The down part was just weird. First of all, I had days when I was just sore sore sore. My son would latch on with full jaw power and my lovely lady udders would just burn with pain. Also, for some reason, people looked at me like I was a pervert. What is so wrong about a person breastfeeding in public? If I am all covered up and doing it discreetly, is it still bad? Some restaurants won’t let women breastfeed in their establishment. So I can enjoy your wonderful gourmet food but my baby needs to starve? How does that make sense? Some people think women should breastfeed in the bathroom. Would you eat in a nasty public restroom? Why should my baby have to do so? Others argue and say, “Why don’t you pump?” Well pumping isn’t for everyone. I say, “If you don’t like me breastfeeding my child and providing him or her with natural wholesome milk, then look away.”

Word to the wise: There is nothing sexual or wrong with breast feeding. It is completely natural and healthy for babies. If a mom chooses to do so, please do not make her feel like a leper. Let the woman live.

I have had to hide in my car, I’ve had to hide in changing rooms and I’ve had to sneak around like a thief so that my kids could be provided with nourishment. Luckily with my second child, I was able to pump for a whole year and I did not have to endure weird looks from people.

Breast feeding is not gross in my own opinion. It is simply a woman providing her precious little one with nourishment. Breast feeding has multiple benefits and a woman should not be punished for making that choice. I, luckily, was able to breastfeed both my kids for a year each and I’m proud of it.

To all the breast feeding mamas- More power to you!! Don’t let weirdos make you feel bad for your choice. What are your honest thoughts about breast feeding?

Happy Thinking Momma.

P:S: As usual, like my post and place comments below. I read and reply each one.

I want you to find a husband now (Before your eggs melt).

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I grew up in a culture that preached a conflicting message to me. With one breath my parents would say, “Get an education, become and independent woman, strive to shatter barriers.” But in another breath, I heard, “You have to learn to cook and clean for your husband.” “Is this the way you intend to act when you go to your husband’s house?” Mind you I was a teenager when all this husband talk was being thrown at me.

The subliminal message sent to me was that getting a husband was the be all and end all of my life. As soon as I graduated university, the expectation was for me to hook a man. So let’s get this right. I’m expected to get a PhD, make a 6 figure salary, be a domestic goddess, carry the flag for all independent women, and still find time to hook a husband? When do I get time for me? What about my own wants, goals and desires?

The pressure is endless. My parents were also counting as I lost eggs each month. Luckily, I got married probably earlier than they expected me to, so I escaped all their husband lectures, but I feel bad for the millions of women who would be happy without a husband, but the idea of finding a husband at all cost is shoved down their throats daily.

To parents everywhere: Let your kids live!! Stop reminding your girls that their biological clocks are ticking. It is hard enough to try to establish one’s career  in this competitive world without the added stress of finding a husband is placed on your head. Instead of pressuring girls to get married, why not teach them how to have nurturing, healthy relationships.

What are your thoughts on the issue of pressuring women to get married by a certain time and age? Comment below

 

Thinking Momma

What is Beauty?

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As I stood in front of my TV screen last night, watching Lupita N’yongo deliver an emotional Oscar speech, I thought to myself, “Who makes the rules about beauty? Who gets to choose who is beautiful and how is one added to the top secret beauty list?”

I grew up in an area where most people believed that beauty involved being a certain shade (light skinned). I was lighter than many others around me, but I still did not feel beautiful. “Why?,” you ask. Well because another layer of the rules of beauty was having curves. You see I was stick thin. Rail thin. Like a tooth pick. I saw nothing wrong with my natural God given small stature, but apparently my society thought I needed more meat on my bones. You see a woman must be round like the number 8, not straight like a 1.

Next was hair texture. No one liked what they saw on my head. They thought my hair was not dark enough, too thick, too coarse or “too kinky.” I saw nothing wrong with my mane. In fact, I was proud of all the hairs that sprouted atop my head. I was happy that my hair stood tall and proud, but the people said, “It is not good enough.”

Then came adolescence and the acneic skin. I had acne on my forehead, cheeks, chin, and even on my back and arms. The people also poked fun at me. They said, “Why do you have so many pimples?” They even called me “Pimple paradise.” Now that one hurt. I would stare at my face for hours on end hoping that one day I would magically have skin smooth as rain. But that has eluded me to this day.

At some point I was deemed too tall and too flat chested. At another point it was announced that my butt was too big for my stick figure body. After having my first child, I was then too chesty and too big. Boy was it exhausting. But I choose this day not to let the critics, the commenters, the spectators and the jesters define who I am.

Yes, I still have acneic skin. Yes my legs are still considered “too small.” My mane is still wild and marches to the beat of its own drum, but no one else is me. No one else can waddle like me. No one else has my same shade of skin. No one else giggles on command like a 2 year old. No one’s features, when combined with my brilliance and creativity, will be parallel to me.

I let the people talk. I let them spectate. As they laugh at me and as they pinpoint whatever flaws they think they see in me, I am busy building a life of joy. I am rising to take my place. Let the people in your life talk. But NEVER let the people’s words define you. You should see beauty in yourself because you are unique and can never be replaced.

Live life. Look to no other to tell you who you should look like. You define who you are and what journey you choose to go on. Let spectators spectate, but keep charging on as they watch you reach your pinnacle.

Have a beautiful Monday boys and girls.

Inspired Thinking Momma

 

P.S: Smile when the spectators nit pick. It makes them mad.

Potty Training Success

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My daughter will be 2 years old next month and I really can’t believe how fast she’s growing. She has been a little chatterbox for the past 6 months. She can tell us all her wants and needs, express her feelings in clear words and basically rule a small country (okay I exaggerate, but we know every mother thinks her child is Einstein’s descendant).

Because she always seems irritated when she soils her diaper and she can tell us before she goes in her diaper, I just assumed she was ready to potty train. Her brother wasn’t talking as well at that age, but he had been using the potty since he was 10 months old. I just thought, potty training would be a breeze for her. And so many moms claim that girls potty train easily. Nope!! It wouldn’t be my life if things ran as planned. My little opinionated princess has told me that the potty is “Eeeewwww!!! Dirty!!! Nasty!!!” Point well taken. I just knew the idea of relieving herself in a small pink princess potty was a no go. So I ditched the potty and chose to respect her wishes. My mom said I never went in a potty, so maybe there’s a genetic potty aversion syndrome in my family.

One day as my husband and I were walking the aisle at Big Lots we spotted a section that had lots of cushy toilet seats. We had her choose the one she liked (she chose Minnie Mouse) and we bought it. It was about $7 so we were both ecstatic (We meaning my husband and I. Our little girl couldn’t care less). From that day on we had her sit on the toilet and she didn’t make any disgusted remarks, so I thought “Wow! This might just work.” No it didn’t. The little miss can sit on the toilet all day but refuses to go.

Imagine my amazement when this morning as I’m applying eye makeup and getting ready for work, I hear my child say, “Help Mommy!” As I draw closer to the bathroom I smell something putrid. Alas my opinionated princess went number 2 IN THE TOILET!!! I can’t express enough how elated, excited, happy and overjoyed I was and still am.

Next thing she said was “Mad!!” Yes she was mad that I had the boldness to make her poop in the toilet. She refused to give me a high 5 and did not give me eye contact for about 5 minutes after that (her punishment for my cruel potty training ways). But there is hope. Maybe my baby will someday be potty trained. I was ready to resign to a life of diaper changes. I even had thoughts of her as a kindergartner still wearing diapers.

Moms and dads there is hope for you. If you are patient enough your little one will be potty trained some day (Just not at the speed, at the time or in the way you want. Those little ones know exactly what they want and we cannot rush the process).

Enjoy your Thursday

Happy Thinking Momma

Why I Hate Pregnancy

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No I am not pregnant, so hold the congratulations. I have two kids whom I adore and I have no regrets about them. They really are the highlight of my day and they give me countless funny stories to share almost daily. It is also precious watching them grow and develop into wonderful individuals. But when I think back to the 9 months it takes to cook a baby, oh boy!! I would never do it again. NEVER!!

I hear so many women say, “Oh pregnancy is such a joy and a miracle. To feel a baby kick inside you is so wonderful. The pregnancy glow is just gorgeous.” All I can say is “What glow?” I looked like a water buffalo the first go around. I had countless months of nausea and vomiting both times, swollen feet, fingers, ankles and a swollen face the first time. Let’s talk about extreme food aversions. I could not stand the sight of ranch dressing, Caesar dressing, yogurt and so many other random foods that I used to love before.

Pain was also real. The third trimester was hellish. I had random pains just shooting all through my body as well as so many health scares. I was also extremely tired the whole 9 months and sleep deprivation was real. The first go around was wrought with mood swings. One second I would be fine, then all of a sudden I would be on the verge of rage. It was scary for me and for my poor husband.

I will save you my labor and delivery story because that in itself was traumatizing. They say a mom forgets the pain of labor. Well they lied. They LIED. I remember every ounce of excruciating pain that trickled down my spine. I remember exactly how it felt to squeeze a watermelon through the eye of a needle. I love the outcome more than the process of pregnancy. I’ll take a baby any day if I didn’t have to cook him/her in my tired womb.

So boys and girls, people often wonder why I am opposed to birthing another little miracle. The above has all the details. I am so glad I got to experience all those difficulties, for they make me so grateful to have 2 healthy kids and a healthy body. I am thankful for every complication and health scare. They made me tougher and better prepared. They also taught me how to take care of my body better. I hope I haven’t completely scared any preggo women out there. Just remember that I’m the magic 1% or so of women who have dramatically traumatic pregnancies.

On the bright side, TGIF!!!

What is your pregnancy experience?

Relieved Non Pregnant Thinking Momma

PS: The picture above was taken from Pinterest. No copyright infringement intended.