Listen To Your Body

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Weight is a tricky subject for many people. However, we live in a time that requires us to pay close attention to our health due to a disease that targets overweight individuals. Before COVID-19, diabetes and heart disease were some of the main hindrances to being overweight. While they were often associated with people in the obesity realm, they were at least controllable.

However, after COVID-19 happened, all bets were off. Over the past five months, I have noticed a new affliction appear within my body. My knees have started to ache. At first, I thought it was due to the bed we were sleeping in or an old injury. So, I purchased a new rail and a new treadmill last week. My knee feels better! They feel a lot better after working out. On the nights that I didn’t workout my knees felt a degree of pain that caused me issues throughout the day.

https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/fitness/a26828/myths-about-knee-pain-and-exercise/

I think something was happening to my joints. I have gained about 40 extra pounds over the past year, and the weight has started to hinder my mobility. I didn’t know just how bad things were until I started working out again. It shocked me and scared me when I couldn’t even walk a lap the first time I got on my treadmill.

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I used to swim, and when I wasn’t swimming, I would walk often. So, to get on a treadmill and not be able to walk a lap was terrifying. I continued working out, and now I am almost at a mile. I have been thinking a lot about goals and trying to figure out what mine should be. I do not have a number in mind, but I do have a couple of other things in mind.

I want to wear my favorite PJ bottoms, and I want to be able to walk two to three miles again every day. I would love to see my thighs get smaller and see my butt get slimmer. I am your typical hourglass shape, so it seems like most of my weight focus on two areas. I have never really had a lot of trouble when it comes to working out. Perhaps, this is why I freaked out about not being able to walk a lap.

We need to start listening to our bodies. Your body gives off indicators that something needs attention. In many ways, aches and pains are the engine lights that pop up inside us to warn us of upcoming issues. I used to ask my husband if he thought I was gaining weight or too much weight, and of course, he would say no. Inside I knew the answer, but I didn’t want to deal with the issue.

I welcomed his words of flattery to place a bandage on my pride. I would get the typical loving husband answer that went something like, You look beautiful no matter what, or whatever you do, keep the butt. It was all I needed to continue our foodie escapades and excuse for not working out. After my knees started hurting, there was no way around hiding from my demons.

Finally, it hit me that this new me was not me I wanted to be. I don’t want to be a prisoner to my body, so working out was the only option. I went out and got myself a pair of good exercising shoes and arm weights to go with my treadmill. I guess I learned a hard lesson the voice I needed to hear was the voice inside. Listen to your body, and take care of it before it’s too late.

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Ariana’s Going TO University

We often hear people talk about their majors and their successes as a right of passage. We think about all the years we invest in college and hang our certifications and degrees on the wall, but I want to bring your attention to the most important major. I am talking about the major that requires 18 plus years in the making and continues to grow even after we are no longer around.

We are our children’s keepers. Like a guardian protecting their sacred interest, we protect our children. We fight for our children when the world often tries to cast them aside. I know this because it happened to our 19 yr old after we finally settled down from our last duty station. It had been a hard 14 years for the girls due to their father’s constant deployments. We were like many other military families, and my middle child suffered for it. Did you know that there are countless children of military parents who are on some form of medication? There are a lot of children diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and an uncanny amount with ODD. When Ariana was 7 we had a military cop who talked to us about getting her a second opinion due to the alarming amount of things he had seen with meds and kids. The very first medication they placed her on was Concerta. She became so unstable that she was running out of the school and house. Her school asked me to come sit with her during instructions to help keep her from running out of the building. We took her off the medication and all the behaviors vanished.

By the time we settled down, she had been in four schools in three short years. It was enough to make her shut down. She started school in Savannah, GA. Then, my husband deployed to Korea. After he was in Korea he got orders for Fort Campbell. The girls and I went ahead of him by four weeks, and then the unthinkable happened. He was redirected to Fort Bliss.

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After he got to Bliss, his back gave out. They performed back surgery on him that left him 90 percent disabled. It was a horrible surgery, but there was nothing we could do. He could no longer lift 25 pounds, so he was no longer qualified for the Army. We moved to Garland, Texas, which was our final school after the madness settled.

Ariana shut down around that time. She was no longer interested in communicating with people. I informed the school that I thought her behavior had something to do with the numerous moves. However, we both agreed that something needed to be done because she wasn’t communicating.

The school gave Ariana an IQ test, which stated that she had an IQ of 65. I informed them that her IQ test was off, but they refused to believe me and said she would re-test later. The diagnostician stated that there was no way that the test would be off enough to make that big of a difference. I insisted that tests were known to be biased and that moving created another set of variables. Ariana was performing acts that were well above her 65 score, but people often think parents are just being parents.

Ariana entered Special Education and gained freedom from Special Ed English and Reading. After we moved her to another school, she was removed from speech too. We had her re-tested, and she was indeed higher than the 65. She scored high enough to have the intellectual disability label removed.

She lost time with math due to her moving back and forward. It created a problem, but she was able to regroup. We found out last week that and she was accepted by two colleges. We never let Ariana hide from work. She has ADD/ADHD and is not medicated due to her past issues with medication, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing well. She said from day one that she wanted to be a chef, so she will be attending Lamar University in their BS in Hospitality program which, is also a culinary program.

She was scared and didn’t want to apply to any universities because she didn’t think she could get it, but I told her to apply anyway. She has been in her culinary program for 3 years now. She has been through it all! From getting attacked to fighting to overcome educational hills, she has continued the good fight.

She was able to find coping in cooking and that made all the difference.

To those of you with children who are suffering from similar issues, never give up. Stay centered in their education and stay alert. Always monitor the work YOU see them doing. I remember at the start of the school year when remote learning was getting underway. I talked to one of her teachers who didn’t know us as a family. He informed me he would be her economics teacher. He later said that if she just attempted the work, he would pass her.

I politely told him that was unacceptable! I told him that I needed him to push her just like he would encourage any other student. Economics turned out to be one of her favorite classes because it involved money. I purchased books on economics and even quizzed her on definitions! She understands that we are great not by accident, but we are great because we try hard to overcome.

I have informed her that she might find herself studying in the library often as she attends the university and that she might need to get tutoring at some point. Yet, the tutoring is free, so it is hers for the taking! I will miss those moments of teaching extra lessons, but the phone is never too heavy to pick up.

For those who have followed her growth and story, thank you. She did it! Never give up on your kids and remember the most important major, is the one called parenting.

Partisanship Is More Dangerous Than COVID-19 In Texas

Over a month ago I warned about the dangers of opening Texas after visiting a park location shortly after our leaders initiated the reopening of Texas.

Part of our requirements for reopening detailed people gathering at parks in small numbers with social distancing and the suggestion to wear a face mask. However, wearing a mask and social distancing were soon forgotten as people hit the sun.

Today we are finding that a large number of younger Texans are getting COVID-19 and it isn’t surprising. Greg Abbott never followed through with any of the consequences for people breaking protocols set by the CDC. In all honesty, he did not follow those guidelines. Texas never saw the decline in cases that should have preceded any sort of reopening. Abbott and others like him blindly followed Trump. They did so at the risk of our lives and countless others.

At minimum the government should have mandated mask and a safe path towards reopening. This has been a very confusing time for my own young adult children. I have three children ages 14 to 22. The 18 and 22 year old have struggled with Governor Mom, yes I like others, had to become the official, serving in my household. Okay, maybe not official, but I had to certainty put my own rules in place. It has been difficult at times, the Black Lives Matter protest was a big issue and my girls wanted to be right in the thick of it.

All I could do was go by the numbers I had been studying on a daily basis and do my best to explain why the protest would be a health threat. At times I felt hard-pressed because I am black and I wanted to very much be part of the movement. However, my 14 yr old has lung issues due to childhood illnesses. My at risk person is my child, so I stayed put. My girls also stayed put because they did not like my 14 day self isolation rule if they went to the protest. We ended up staying at home and joining other KPOP lovers by drowning out racist tweets. It wasn’t the same as walking in the streets, but it was our way of standing up for something bigger than ourselves. Take the racist tweets out one by one!

This brings me to the whole idea of partisanship. You can be part of something or a group and still have a voice. It is up to us to elect people who can be bipartisan. Right now partisanship is our biggest threat because it is forcing people to pick sides. They are putting ideology over commonsense. You cannot lead a household this way, nor can you lead a country in this manner. Partisanship stops progress because it deletes others from being able to voice their concerns and have them taken into consideration. Think back to the start of Coronavirus in the US. Have you seen both groups ever really come together in a bipartisan way? The answer is NO. We are a country divided to the core. Our leaders are divided and estranged from each other.

Frankly, I am feeling very discouraged because there is a lack of guidance. It not only creates problems in our country, but also in our households. It is enough to make a person pause and wonder what comes next?

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Progress On My Garden

I just wanted to update you on my progress. I have been working with my flowers for a while now. I really like the color of my roses and have decided to try to grow roses from my mother bush.

The picture below is from the veggie bowl I created. I think I have a little bit of everything in the pot. The idea is to make salads for my family. I have two pots, this one is the largest.

This was the before and here is my after picture positioned below.

I have one more pot very similar to this one, but I only took photos in one greenhouse this morning! Here are the roses that I have started to grow. I cut the stem away from the mother bush. I’m not really sure if they will make it because I have never done this before, but here goes nothing. Also, I do not know how healthy my original rose bush was, which could be the reason why my leaves have holes in them. I do not know if I should cut them off or if they can repair.

See I have holes.

These are new roses that I purchased. They do not look really healthy, but I am trying to save them.

I upgraded my greenhouse to the one below because the smaller one didn’t give me an option of adding more plants. Plus I like privacy to some degree. My greenhouse is on the front porch which often faces people who walk up and down the street. So, this gives me that privacy and more space. This is a photo of the greenhouse on Amazon.com.

These are some herbs that I planted. So far I really like gardening. It gives me something to look forward to, right now I am trying to get my water usage to a healthy limit. I think my plants have too much water, so for the next few days I will hold off on watering. If anyone has any tips, please feel free to share!