my journey to be my best self

Archive for the ‘health’ Category

legs, bums and tums

In health, Uncategorized on May 31, 2011 at 10:31 am

Well this is certainly not Eat, Pray, Love.  I started the morning with a brisk walk up Kensington High Street towards Club Kensington, the neighborhood gym.  I left early enough to be there in time for Legs, Bums and Tums.

This is how the class is described:

Targeting the lower body muscles, this class will help tone and reshape thighs, tighten buttocks and firm abdominal muscles.

Why did I read mat class in the description?  When the instructor walked in he looked like the Incredible Hulk, just not green but equally muscular on top.

I instantly thought, “What did I just get myself into?”  And I knew I was doomed when I heard Michael Jackson blaring from the speakers at a pitch that only dogs should be able to hear.

Apparently the best way to target legs, bums and tums is through step aerobics.  Damn.  The women in the class must be regulars because they are moving through the routine seamlessly and I am hopping up and down on the step trying to catch up.  Useless.  At some point I just started laughing. It is absolutely hilarious that I found myself in this aerobics class with the instructor walking around singing, “I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

I was relieved after 35 minutes when we changed the pace and finally got a mat and started toning.  After 25 minutes I was glad to lay on my back and listen to Kenny G.  60 minutes later I was so glad class was over but I am thinking about returning next week.


our best selves (guest blogger: mom)

In health, Uncategorized on May 12, 2011 at 10:21 am

I not only survived, I conquered a 3 day cleanse. All juiced vegetables and fruits for 3 whole days! Why you ask? Well, I did it with my daughter ( as some of you faithful readers already know). A great mother daughter experience ( right up there with getting our noses done). No really this was a good in the memory bank experience . 3 days of wiping the produce section of the local super market out, veggies and fruits flying all over the kitchen, red juices all over the counters and constant whining. But more importantly constant encouragement, 3 days of working a plan . And a good healthy plan, together. Doesn’t get any better than that (unless of course we were shopping and eating). Just kidding.

Now, where as my daughter was doing it to continue on her journey to be her best self (and as a mother I encourage that) and not as a diet ( I don’t encourage that). And btw she can’t afford to lose another inch and my mother who believes a woman should have “a little something on her” would not be happy about this “fat girl in a skinny girl’s body” or “being my best self” thing going on here. I encourage healthy eating habits , exercise and getting in touch with your body.

I, on the other hand already know all of that stuff and am flat out trying to shed these extra pounds that actually don’t belong to me! I am (like my girlfriend says) “bringing sexy back” (lucky for me sexy it’s just around the corner and not all the way down the block or in another town). And when my husband went to the store to get replacement fruits and veggies (he never goes to the store couldn’t find the kale because he didn’t know what raw kale looked like) and followed our instruction not to eat in our home for 3 days I knew then he was all about supporting this healthy, bonding, mother daughter thing but was certainly down with “bringing sexy back”! Now don’t get him wrong he loves me just the way I am, but what man doesn’t like a little excitement like the new bathing suit I’ll be wearing while on the beach with him? Or the new slinky little number I’ll let him take me to dinner in? And the new Gucci bag I promised myself if I completed the cleanse (ok, he doesn’t see how that fits in but hey whatever motivates you).

Well, as I said we survived and conquered this thing. We feel good, look good and shed 5 lbs. We spent 3 days together in harmony with a single purpose. To be our best selves. To work together, to be in a healthy relationship with one another, to love, encourage and support each other, well that’s my defintion of “being our best selves.” And yes we are!

L’s Mom

cleansing: day 3

In health, Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm

It’s day 3 and I am 5 pounds lighter. Thank God.  I deserve a reward for drinking fruits and vegetables for the last few days.

Yesterday I didn’t drink all of my drinks, making this more a fast than a cleanse.  I just couldn’t. I was drinking so slow and then next thing I knew it was 8:30 and I had 3 drinks to go.  And the first was coconut water. Impossible.  Mom drank all of her drinks.  Go Girl! But I was stuck after the second green drink.  What tasted so fresh and so clean clean on day 1 was so hard to swallow day 2.

I hoped if I started the day early I could drink everything and be done with this cleanse.  Everything tastes a little better today.  Thankfully.  Because yesterday I was complaining so much I really didn’t know if  I would make it.

I signed up for yoga class this morning and as soon as I signed up I thought to myself, “maybe this isn’t the best idea.”  When I laid down on my mat I saw stars.  It was psychological. It had to be. I am not malnourished. I am getting all of the nutrients I need through my juices.  So I needed to get the thoughts of passing out out of my mind and focus on my practice.  An hour later I was still standing and ready for my next juice.

When I asked my mom how she was doing with her juice she said, “Fuck.”  I felt her.  I made it though all of the juices except the coconut water.  I just couldn’t.  It tastes awful.  I didn’t expect it to but its really really terrible.

I was adding items to my mental grocery list all day.  I am so excited to eat.  To chew.  This is what we’re eating tomorrow: acorn squash, eggplant, broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocados.  I can’t wait to sink my teeth in the vegetables.

I have complaining the last 2 days but I think it’s was a good way to get a tune up.  And I am sure (even though it’s not acting like it) my body is thanking me.

cleansing: day 2

In health, Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I am making a list in my head of all of the things I would like to eat.  Almost like a grocery list except everything I see I add to the list. It was such a beautiful day that I decided to go to Georgetown. And as soon as I got in the car I thought to myself, “I wish I could eat today. Even frozen yogurt would be good.” Wishful thinking.  I hopped in with 3 juices and Keith looked at the green juice and I asked if he wanted to taste.  We had the most hilarious conversation as he considered tasting my green juice.

Keith: What’s in it?

Lola: Kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, watercress, parsley, pear…

Keith: You have me until pear.

Lola: What?

Everything tastes better day 1.  I thought it would get easier. But its just not. It’s getting harder and everything tastes awful.  I want to quit.  I absolutely don’t want to eat this tomorrow.  I watched (in pain) as Keith had a slice of pepperoni pizza.  I don’t eat pepperoni but I would have today.  So I survived that and then what do we walk upon?  Free Cone Day at Haagen Dazs.  Well damn.  Keith got a cup and I got one for my Dad.  When a bit dripped on my hand it took every ounce of strength I had not to lick it off my fingers.

I am trying my absolute hardest not to think about food.  But right now everything looks, smells and I swear would taste delicious.

Maybe I should just go to bed and start again tomorrow. Oh, no. I can’t I am only on drink 3.  I have no choice but to survive.

cleansing: day 1

In health, Uncategorized on May 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

We celebrated Mother’s Day with brunch on the rooftop at the W and by the end of the meal I was so full from my waffle, bacon and all-you-can-drink bellinis I fell asleep on the couch.  I remember more than an hour before feeling full.  Did I stop eating? Of course not.  It was a buffet.

I thought it was probably a good idea to drink a juice before going to bed last night so my body didn’t go into shock in the morning when I started drinking my green juice.  I made cucumber, celery and apple juice.  My mother said she wasn’t hungry before but was starving after her juice.  She also claimed to have a headache.  I told her it was psychological.  Since when did cucumber, celery or apple make her head hurt?

So here goes day 1.  Hope we make it through the day without passing out.

I started my day late. I wasn’t hungry but when my mom came home from spinning (I warned her not to go).  She started the morning with hot water and lemon and she was ready for her 1st juice: spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, watercress, parsley, pear, lemon and ginger.  She started complaining about the green juice.  To be honest, it wasn’t very appealing in the bottle.  At least with her ahead of me I would know what to expect throughout the day.

And according to her I would have to go to the bathroom all day.  She jumped up and ran to the bathroom as soon as she finished telling me this and I yelled down the hall, “I can’t believe you really have to go.” She replied, “I just hope I make it where I’m going before I have to go again!” Great. I am not looking forward to that.

I wish you could have seen her face when I told her I liked the green juice. Ok, fine it’s not good but it’s not disgusting!

Next juice: grapefruit and mint. Easy.  Ok, not so easy. I had a headache. Not a debilitating one but an ever present one.  I want to skip to the almond nut milk, date and vanilla juice.  But no, green juice is next on menu. Again.

The worst drink ever? Coconut water. And the Goya water has little chunks of coconut that clog the straw.  I really thought it was the end of the cleanse for me.  I couldn’t imagine finishing the can, let alone drinking the next day and the day after that.

Our kitchen has become a juice factory.  The amount of fruits and vegetables is unbelievable and the amount of time it takes to make just a little juice is disheartening.  But once you start on this journey there’s no turning back so I have to juice to be ready for tomorrow morning.

I packed the next 2 drinks with me in a little cooler: beets, carrots and fuji apples and the last drink, almond nut milk, dates and vanilla.  I finished these in the movies and had to run to the bathroom twice.

What have I gotten myself into? Oh well, day is over and I’m not hungry and barely miss chewing.


Mom: If I survive this I’m getting a pocket book.

Me: If you survive this you’ll have a clean, healthy body.

Mom: Good.  I can put my new pocketbook on it.

vacation is over

In health, Uncategorized on May 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

The perfect vacation is defined as sitting by the pool listening to the sound of the ocean, feeling a cool breeze while soaking up the sun and drinking pina coladas.   And that is how I spent the last 4 days in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

And every minute of it was worth it.  But now that I am back, I have to get back to my healthier lifestyle.  I want to keep my beach body that I debuted this weekend.

I will not bring back my eating habits from Mexico; room service, buffets, all-you-can-eat will be removed from my vocabulary momentarily.  But what I will bring back is a few new juice recipes:

  • apple, banana, mango
  • apple, spinach, banana
  • apple, orange pineapple

I just wish I could have brought someone back to clean my juicer in the mornings because that was the best part of having my juice in Mexico.  I am already dreading cleaning it.

skinny jeans: good thing im a skinny bitch

In health, Uncategorized on April 25, 2011 at 2:00 am

I didn’t think the hunt for skinny jeans would ever end and I just about gave up.  I walked past the jean table while talking to my friend Daniel and said, “maybe I should try jeans.” “Why not?” answered Daniel. Well, he clearly didn’t didn’t know what he was getting himself into.

As the sales attendant turned around I thought, “Perfect. A black woman. I can tell her exactly what I learned though each step of the process and she should be able to get me one step closer to finding a flattering pair of skinny jeans for my body.” And that’s exactly what I did.  She giggled as I pointed to my waist and hips and thighs and bottom as I tried to explain how each pair I tried hugged the different parts of my body.   After an evaluation she picked out a few pairs and I went to the fitting room with 1. my trusty friend Daniel and 2. my fingers crossed.

As we waited in line I remembered when I went shopping with Laura a few weeks ago.  I literally tried on every pair of skinny jeans (1 at a time because the sales girl wouldn’t let me bring more than 1 pair in the dressing room) with absolutely no success.  Would this experience pan out any differently?

Well the size 25s didn’t fit. Damn. I yelled out of the dressing room, ” Daniel, these don’t fit.” I was already discouraged.  But I did have the 27s to try on.  “Last chance,” I said to myself.  I pulled up the jeans and buttoned them and then stepped back.  I poked my head out of the door and said to Daniel, “I think these might actually fit.”  I stood in front of the wall sized mirror examining every inch of myself and Daniel said, “They look fabulous.”  Doubtful, I asked, “are you sure?”  “Positive,” he answered.  I thought to myself as I continued to inspect my self, “Should I trust Daniel? Or is he just going to say I look fabulous in whatever I try on?”

“Go get the black woman,” I demanded. “No way,” Daniel argued. I pleaded with Daniel and told him I could trust her and that if she said they were flattering I would get them.  We argued back and forth over the idea that Daniel should have to go to the floor to find a sales attendant and explain to her that I would not leave the dressing room unless she came and approved of the jeans.  While we were bickering the black man that was talking to the sales attendant before I asked her for help came out of a dressing room.  He was clearly listening to our conversation in his dressing room because he was chuckling to himself when we came out.  “Will you go get her?” I asked. When he said yes Daniel finally agreed to go on the errand.

After what seemed like 10 minutes later, no black woman and no Daniel. Damn.  When Daniel came back he swore he couldn’t find her. Suspicious. But he convinced me to get them.

As we walked down the stairs Daniel said, “I don’t understand why you are complaining.  Most women would kill for your body.”  “True,” I replied. “But I still have to be considerate of what looks best on my body. I can’t just pretend I am a tall, skinny white girl.”  All Daniel could say was, “Fair enough.”

Mission accomplished: I have a new pair of skinny jeans and I can’t wait to wear them!

is this weight watchers?

In health, Uncategorized on April 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm


When Daniel walked in the  cheese on the spinach lasagna rolls was bubbling in the oven. He asked what was on the menu and I told him.  And he quickly asked, “Is this regular lasagna or Weight Watchers lasagna?”  I wish someone else had seen the look of disappointment when I told him it was Weight Watchers. Well, not exactly but it is from, a blog with recipes that are all given points.

Ask me how many rolls Daniel had. 4. Yes, I said it. 4. Greedy. After he sulked. Sulked because he wasn’t eating Italian in the North End (even though he should have known better from his skinny friend).  But if you ask him what he thought of dinner I am certain that he would say he loved it.  Because it was absolutely delicious.  Let’s see if our next dinner at Daniel’s can top this!

I have to say I recommend the blog because you can feel good about your dinner and enjoy it at the same.

i quit the track

In health, Uncategorized on April 4, 2011 at 8:11 am









Once a runner, always a runner. But can one become a runner over time? I don’t know. I  have  been reading a blog written by a woman who is (among other things) a runner. She makes it look so easy. Well, maybe not easy but definitely enjoyable and most importantly – rewarding.

I have been telling myself that I should discipline myself to be a runner and my body will thank me. In my condition and tone class Allison drags us to the track once a week where she pushes us to jog, sprint, shuffle, grapevine and lunge around the track between crunches, push-ups, planks and wall sits. The problem is I hate it. Literally. I dread it the night before and it consumes my last thoughts before I go to bed.

So I quit the track. I told Allison. I refuse. She really motivates me in her other classes but I hate the track so much no one could motivate me. I rather be excited about my workout, look forward to it, enjoy it. I will challenge myself and it will ultimately be better for my body (and my dreams)

I hope Allison doesn’t call me a slacker.

im a skinny bitch

In health, Uncategorized on March 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I went to Allison’s beach body class this afternoon because she mentioned after spinning on Saturday that she would be teaching a step aerobics class.  So 1980s.  If I had a turquoise leotard, leggings, leg-warmers and some high top Reeboks I certainly would have worn them. I was excited for the workout but I walked out thinking, “Damn. No one in beach body is going to have a beach body anytime soon.” The girls in the class were not nearly as competitive as the girls in her condition and tone class (even though Allison has the same energy).

I guess Gabrielle felt the same way because after looking around the room and seeing that the other girls in the class were not enthusiastic she told Allison that we (yes, we) would go to back-to-back classes if Allison promised that we wouldn’t have to run on the track during the next hour. And I agreed to it (when did I become that girl?)

Tuesday is weigh day. I didn’t have time to weigh in when I first arrived at the gym so I snuck in to the locker room between classes. I took off my shoes and got ready to see how close I was to my goal feeling particularly confident because I noticed that my body is toner (than is ever has been) when I walked past the mirror a few days ago.

I lost 9.8 pounds since I set out on this mission and the goal was 10 pounds.

The girls in the locker room giggled when I yelled, “hallelujah” when I stepped on the scale but after months of everyone looking at me like I’m crazy whenever I say I’m on Weight Watchers that’s exactly how I felt.

And Gab and I didn’t do 2 in a row because there weren’t enough bikes for us to do spinning (and you know how much I love spinning).

Only .2 pounds off.  I can live with that.  The journey is definitely not over.  New challenges to come!