Monday, December 3, 2012

I was nominated for a Health Activist Award!!!!

I was nominated for a Best in Show: Community Award by Wego Health for
The Lupie Chicks
Please help endose my nomination Click Here: 

my URL is or naturally_lupie ( instagram) takes 5 mins to vote!
Voting will end on December 31, 2012
Help me continue to bring awareness to Lupus one chick at a time!!!!
Facebook Fan Page:
Twitter: @lupieeChick
Instagram: @naturally_lupie
**click link above to be directed to team page**

Friday, November 2, 2012

DAY 2: Advice For A Newly Diagnosed Lupus Patient #NHBPM

Being diagnosed with lupus can bring about a flurry of emotions. You may feel upset or nervous about what the new diagnosis means for your future. You may be angry at the idea that your life may change. You may even feel happy that after some time of not feeling well, you finally have a name for what was ailing you. Finally, your condition has a name. Each of these emotions is normal, and no reaction is the right one. In fact, you may feel all of these emotions at some time or another.

But beyond your emotional reactions, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. Below are some tips for moving forward after being diagnosed with lupus.

1. Get a second opinion. Before you begin your journey into chronic health care, you want to make sure you are heading down the right path.
I didn’t get a 2nd opinion when I was first diagnosed. My dermatologist originally diagnosed me (I had the butterfly rash across my face, and lesions on my neck and under my breast). After she performed her examination she was “certain” it was Lupus and referred me to a rheumatologist & neurologist who ran additional test and confirmed that I had Lupus. Honestly, that was the best day of my life. It answered a lot of questions and FINALLY I KNEW that what I was experiencing wasn’t my imagination. After getting over the initial shock, I was ready to battle & WIN!!!!!

2. Bring a friend or family member to be an advocate for you. You may need to have some tests done and see many doctors in the beginning. Having someone else there to take notes, ask questions, or just be an emotional support is very important. It is normal to forget a question, or not remember important information after a doctor visit. It is also great to have a supportive person with you who can hold your hand, distract you, make you laugh, or just listen.
I have never had a friend or family member come with me to any of my appointments (well my husband has attended 2 or 3 ). There were times when I wanted “support” and then there were times when I was happy I was there alone. From my experience, I have found that when people don’t understand what is happening they can be very judgmental. Going through the motions and of trying to come to grips with everything- JUDGEMENT WAS THE LAST THING I NEEDED OR WANTED!

3. Start a notebook or a folder for your healthcare. Take notes and ask for copies of your test results. Take time to actually read your tests and learn what they mean, or ask your doctors. Keeping a record now is a great start. It's always a much bigger job to back track and get records that you may need in the future. These records and notes can be helpful when you're seeing multiple doctors, dealing with insurance companies, applying for disability, etc.
Yes, yes, yes!!!!! I started experiencing a “brain fog” and I would literally forget what someone told me only minutes previous. It’s imperative that you keep records and minimum keep notes or download one the apps on a smart phone that will store your medical records and or notes for you. I remember an incident when my rheumatologist  had prescribed me a medicine that counter acted something the neurologists prescribed me, I ended up with massive migraines and I wanted to die (I was in that much pain). Once I gathered everything out of  my cabinets, purse, and night stand, I  went back to the doctor, showed them everything I was taking, and they figured out exactly what the culprit was. From that point forward I have kept impeccable notes and I always keep a record of my prescriptions ( dosages, strength, etc).  

4. Do your research. After being diagnosed with lupus, you will soon hear all kinds of words that you may not have heard before. Names of medications, secondary diagnoses, and symptoms can be overwhelming and scary. A great way to combat this feeling is to learn as much about lupus as you can and get yourself familiar with the lingo. This will help empower you in conversations with doctors and nurses. When you know what they are talking about you can ask appropriate and necessary questions. WebMD is a great place to start on your quest to educate yourself. There are many articles, posts, and videos on the site that are very informative.
I can’t say this ENOUGH!!!!! DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!!!!! I’m often asked for advice relative to Lupus. While I appreciate strangers, family & friends comfort level to ask me for advice ( treatment, & diagnosis), I refrain from giving medical advice. It’s not that I don’t care or I don’t want to share information, I’m NOT A PHYSICAN. Legally I cannot provide medical advice. I’m more than willing to share what has/hasn’t worked for me, but that information should not be used in place of a diagnosis or treatment plan.   I have this disclaimer at the end of every post The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. I encourage all of you to always consult with a physician before starting/stomping any Treatment plan, Nutrition (eating) regime, and Fitness plan. If you are looking for information and or support, outside of speaking with your doctor, I HIGHLY suggest that you become a member of the Lupus Foundation of America Chapter (in your state). The Lupus Foundation of America offers symposiums, teleconference calls, empowering events and the largest support group network.

5. Ask questions!!! Do not be afraid to ask questions, even questions you deem silly or unimportant. If you feel any kind of change in your symptoms, tell your doctor. I cannot stress this enough. You are a partner with your doctor in your healthcare. You need to take an active role. You are the only person who knows your body best, so if something feels off, say so.
You have to be your own advocate and cheerleader in this fight!!!!! No matter how minor the question may seem, ASK IT!!!! Make no assumptions!!!! Make sure that the doctor/nurses are listening and providing you with the approriate answers. You must be active and aggressive in your treatment  plan !!!!
Tips Provided by Web MD  ( my responses are highlighted in purple)
Until Next Time,
Live ~ Laugh ~ Love
 ¸.· ´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
(¸.·´ (¸.·'   The Lupie Chick
Stay Connected
Twitter: @lupieeChick & @AuNaturaleDC
The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 1: Why I Write About My Health #NHBPM

When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, I instantly took to the internet. I wanted to arm myself with as much information as possible. I was prepared to be over whelmed and immersed in everything regarding Lupus.  I was alarmed by the amount of “repetitive” information that was available. Everything was a repeat and very “ text book” .  I was clear what Lupus is (was), but I wasn’t clear as to how people lived with Lupus. What a day was like for a Lupie Chick .  How Lupus affected friendships/relationships/marriages.  How Lupus affected people’s mental state.  How Lupus affected peoples emotional/physical/sexual health. I had LOTS of questions.  I could not find what I was looking for; nothing was really answering what I wanted to know.  (For me), I needed visual, clear, concise answer(s). Based on the lack of information available, I decided to write from my perspective and keep it REAL & RAW (no sugar coating). If I was in pain I wanted to describe or show pictures of the type of pain or the intensity level of the pain. I was going to show my bare face (without makeup) and talk about the scares, the nasty remarks, and assumptions people make about you when you have an invisible disease. I wanted to provide an outlet for my fellow Lupie Chicks to know that they were not alone and we could cyber space high five each other.
I will never forget my first posting telling the world, I Have Lupus; people were calling me with tears in their voice telling me I had taken them on an emotional roller coaster. I heard from friends I havent from in years (more than 10).  It wasn’t my intention to make anyone cry or become upset, I wrote from the heart.  I wrote as if I was speaking to my girlfriends or family. I’ve found that my ability to be open and my style of writing works for the type of platform I’m building.
I’ve started posting daily pictures of myself saying Hello /Good Morning to my fellow lupies. If I miss a day, people will inbox me on Facebook or text me and say “where is our daily picture?”  I never knew that a simple picture would/could make someone’s day, or provide a little encouragement.  
Not too long ago, I received a mention on Twitter that said “because of the Lupie Chick I know more than I ever thought I could or wanted to know about Lupus and the struggle”.  I don’t know this young lady, never knew that she read my blog or tweets. I received a message from another young lady telling me “because of your blog I now know how to be a better friend “. I don’t get many (any) comments on my blog, and I wasn’t positive if anyone was reading my blog, UNTIL  I get the random messages, text,  or tags of people wearing purple, or mentions of “ The Lupie Chick”.  Just the other day, my hands had swollen and I was in severe pain. I posted a picture on line and a young lady asks “what’s lupus?”  I was in too much pain to type (reply) on my mobile, but I fought through and took a screen shot of the Lupus Foundation page explaining what Lupus is. Even in my mist of a challenge I was able to educate someone on this little known invisible disease.  I’m so honored and humbled to be able to do what I do, and I’m MORE honored and humbled to my readers and audience who help spread awareness.   I know that I will never stop writing, I will never stop bringing awareness, and I will never keep quiet - This is WHY I Write About My Health!
Until Next Time,
Live ~ Laugh ~ Love
Stay Connected
Twitter: @lupieeChick & @AuNaturaleDC

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Are you living in PEACE or PIECES??

Painting by Yvette Crocker
Yesterday I spoke to an ex (whom I haven’t spoken to or seen in more than 17 years). He seems so broken dealing with a lot of heath issues (specifically diabetes) and the lost of his immediate family members. He had been dealing with a lot of guilt from situations that occurred during our relationship and had remained in that moment. Listening to him made me realize that we have life choices.  We can live in PEACE or PIECES! I realized that I choose peace while he had chosen pieces. Yes, I know it is very difficult and hurtful to lose all of you immediate family members, and it’s also difficult to live with an illness (the same illness that had taken the lives of his family), BUT you have to choose PEACE. Choose to deal with whatever is before you and GO THROUGH IT (not around it).
I think back on all the test that I’ve had to take to have this testimony I speak about today. I have no shame and no silence.  I survived sexual abuse, domestic violence abuse, the challenges of being a teenage parent, betrayal, mis fortune, financial instability, unemployment, and now fighting for dear life to beat Lupus. I FOUGHT and will CONTINUE to fight EVERYDAY for the rest of my life.  We all have a responsibility to live our best life (whatever that may be). I know that everything that has happened to me happened for a reason to make me realize just how AWESOME I really am. I’m much stronger than I ever knew or imagined I could be. Do I have fear-of course I do.. but I have taken lemons (my fears & life challenges) and turned them into champagne (success)! This is MY LIFE- and whatever the devil has taken from me- HE CAN KEEP IT- BECAUSE MY GOD HAS SOMETHING BETTER FOR ME!!!!! I choose to live in PEACE!
To all of you that read this post- I ask you- how you will live the rest of your life? In PEACE or PIECES????
Until Next Time Fam

Live.. Love.. Laugh...

The Lupie Chick

Stay Connected
Twitter: @lupieeChick & @AuNaturaleDC

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Celebration of Life (My Life)

Me- 41st Birthday

Yesterday was my 41st Birthday (yes, I’m in my forties honey… I don’t look a day over 30 -at least that’s what a twitter follower told me J . Yesterday I took the time to reflect and appreciate the wonderful gift of life. This time last year I was still dealing with the diagnosis of Lupus and trying to figure out just how I would live. Besides a flare up and depression, what should have been a milestone celebration (my 40th birthday) was anything but. This year I decided things would be different. I’ve grown to accept that I will forever have lupus BUT Lupus won’t have me. I will NOT stop living. I will (and have) become an advocate and a glimmer of hope for all my lupie sistas who are still fighting. When I awoke yesterday (mainly from Face Book notifications – You guys were on it! Mini me had the first notification at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night), I immediately knelt down and THANK THE LORD for allowing me to live and survive another year-despite Lupus.

My New Grand daughter Mailia Elizabeth Fowler

I’m in a new city (I relocated to Atlanta), I became a grandmother for the 2nd time (hi Malia), my projects and businesses are thriving, I’m happy and BLESSED. I knew I would not sit around sad or depressed on my birthday this year. I was going to get dressed, put on makeup and rock out like only Mz. Sixx can. I decided I would get out of my comfort zone and I would start crossing a few things off my “50 before 50” list.

#My View- after the Falcons beat The Oakland Raiders 23-20

Yesterday afternoon, I attended my first live NFL game yesterday (Atlanta Falcons vs. Oakland Raiders). It was very exciting to sit in the executive suite (hosted by Verizon Wireless). The view was awesome- nothing like watching it on TV. I felt like I could reach right over and touch the players. I could see every move, every play, hear every cuss word (lol) and actually understood what was going on. I felt myself cheering and screaming like a Justin Beiber Fan (sweating out my freshly blow dried natural hair) cheering for the falcons to make a touchdown. For the first time I think this year, I had on my infamous 5 inch stiletto ankle boots, leather legging, and an Asian inspired top. Some of the executives kept touching my pants & rubbing my legs (Saying ummmm ” I like those” looking at me like I was a pulled pork sandwich). If I was conceited I would swear they were checking for me… My co workers surprised me with a cake, they sung Happy Birthday, and we DRANK LOTS OF WINE ( During half time, the band played the wobble- and YOU KNOW YA GIRL GOT HER WOBBLE ON!!!!!! The cheerleaders did a skit and the players do a chat- and you RISE UP (#ayeeeee) #Go Falcons, it was like a party (or maybe I turned it into one Nonetheless, this chica had a ball. Food, wine, good company, and the home team won-made for an enjoyable afternoon.

Me-Rocking my Leather Leggings

It felt good to get out-breathe fresh air- and celebrate MY LIFE… MY WAY! The celebration hasn’t stop and it won’t stop (in my Diddy voice.. “Won’t stop..Can’t stop”). I made a vow to myself to live MY best life and KEEP THE CELEBRATION GOING!!!!!!
** please peep the #purpleEverything #LupusAwareness-EVERYDAY**

The infamous Bathroom Pic ( in the Executive Suite @ The Georgia Dome)

Until Next time fam,
Live.. Love.. Laugh..
The Lupie Chick TM

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Instagram: Naturally_Lupie
Twitter @AuNaturaleDC & @LupieeChick

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Get past the excuses!

** In my Sunshine Anderson Voice** “I’ve heard it all before-all the excuses why you (me) can't work out.  I’ve decided to get up off the cough, bury the excuses and get moving!!!! My body is going down and it’s time for me to pick it up!!!!! I’m tackling my destructive habits, done with the pity party, and instead of investing in spanx (I’ve been known to wear 2 pair of spanx at one time-pretty much cutting off my circulation and the ability to wobble or drop it low I will invest in work out gear and equipment.
I went for a brisk walk yesterday for the first time since being diagnosed with lupus (July 2011). I told ya’ll that every time I make up my mind to workout-mister ole evil ass creep in. On my way home-it started raining, more like storming.. ok.. I’ll do the Zumba on the wii,**no excuses** mid way home, migraine was coming on.. NOPE-whipped out my peppermint essential oil and was rubbing my temples like my life depended on it ** no excuses**-Guess what?? I got home-it had stopped raining, and my migraine was fading to black… ITS ON!!!!!!!
I put on my T-shirt, leggings, and sneakers and hit the pavement.
** Please note the Lupus T-shirt, Lupus Bracelet, and purle shadow-#LupusAwareness EVERYDAY**
 Showing support to Running For Lupus with the "L" Hand Sign

When I was through I was a sweaty mess.. But I was ecstatic that I completed DAY 1 workout and didn’t cave into any excuses!!!! Below is my stats from the workout-using the sports tracker app on Android

The Top 6 Exercise Excuses and How to Beat Them

Just like everyone else, people with lupus need to exercise regularly or engage in some kind of movement, and most people with lupus can take part in some form of activity.
 We all know that being physically active makes you healthier; you'll sleep better, feel happier and more energetic. But when it comes time to actually get out there and start moving, many of us have a long list of excuses not to exercise -- too little time, too little energy, or we simply don't like to work out.

How can you get past the excuses and get moving.

Exercise Excuse No. 1: "I Don't Have Time."

During your TV shows, use resistance bands, or walk in place. Or use Tivo so you can skip the commercials and see a one-hour show later in just 40 minutes, That's 20 minutes of activity right there. Better yet, turn off the TV and spend your newfound time working out.
Music-When we moved into our new home, we didn't have cable for a week or so- we turned on the radio, I realized that most stations have an online presence so I could still hear my go-go and Biggie. I was moving and grooving all around the house.  
Your exercise doesn't have to be a formal workout either. Try making small lifestyle changes that help you move more: take the stairs instead of the escalator, don't drive when you can walk, and get a pedometer and try to increase the number of steps you take throughout the day.

People who exercise regularly make it a habit.  They haven't bought any more time during the day than anyone else. What we've done is prioritize it. We find time for things we value.

Exercise Excuse No. 2: "I'm Too Tired."

It may sound counter intuitive, but working out actually gives you more energy. Once you get moving, your fatigue will likely disappear.

You're getting the endorphins [feel-good hormones in your body] to release, and you're getting the circulation going -- as opposed to coming home and crashing on the couch.

It may help to work out in the morning, before you get wiped out by a demanding workday.  If you're not a morning person, don't worry, just work out whenever you feel the best.

Exercise Excuse No. 3: "I Don't Get a Break From the Kids."

Take the kids with you. While they're swinging, you can walk around the playground or the backyard, or jump rope. Walk the kids to school instead of driving them. During their soccer games or practices, walk briskly around the field.

Use your family time for active pursuit. Go biking with your kids or just walk around the neighborhood with your children. When the weather's bad, try active video games (Zumba, & Michael Jackson Experience are my favorites), dancing, at home work out videos ( my buddy told me that Julian Michael's videos are the #TRUTH).

Remember that your fitness is good for your kids as well as you. When mom or dad is more fit, has more energy, the whole family benefits.

Exercise Excuse No. 4: "Exercise Is Boring."

You should want it and feel good about it before you do it. And it should feel good while you're doing it."

So how do you get there? First, find an activity you love. Think outside the box: Join a sports league (I’m thinking about joining the kickball league next season). Or, if you love music, line dancing ( can you say wobble!!!!).  There's an exercise for everyone.

If it makes exercise more enjoyable for you, it's OK to watch TV or read while you're on the exercise bike or treadmill -- just don't forget to pedal or run.

Working out with a group also helps many people. Not everybody's cut out to go on a six-mile run by themselves.To find a group, look at meetups ( or simply recruit several friends.

Every once in a while, try something totally new. Mix it up so you don't get bored.

Exercise Excuse No. 5: "I Just Don't Like to Move."

There are people who really enjoy not moving. They prefer to knit, read books, or watch TV.

If it's sweating you don't like, you can get a good workout without perspiring excessively.You can work out indoors, where it's air conditioned. You can swim so you won't notice any perspiration. Or, try a low-sweat activity like yoga.

If exercise hurts your joints, try starting by exercising in water. The stronger your muscles get, the more they can support your joints, and the less you'll hurt. If you’re physical limitations is more serious, check with your doctor/coach who can help you figure out exercises that are still safe and easy to do.

If you don't like to move because you feel too fat, start with an activity that's less public, like using an exercise video at home. Walk with nonjudgmental friends in your neighborhood while wearing clothes that provide enough coverage that you feel comfortable.
Exercise Excuse No. 6: "I Always End up Quitting."

Set small, attainable goals. Then you're more likely to feel like a success, not a failure. If you exercise for five minutes a day for a week, you'll feel good -- and more likely to want to try 10 minutes a day the next week.

It also helps to keep a log and post it somewhere public (follow hash tag #DivaGettingFit on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).
 Having an exercise buddy keeps you accountable as well. My buddy is my sista friend Gayna. She encourages me, provides LOADS of tips, and holds me accountable.  Thanks BUDDY!!!!!

It's harder to start exercising than to stick with it once you've got your momentum going. Start a healthy habit today... you will feel better and will want to continue your healthy lifestyle everyday!

If lupus has you on the sidelines rather than in the middle of the action, this new low-impact exercise program, designed specifically for people with lupus, may be “just right” for you. Guided by a licensed A.C.E. instructor who also has lupus, this DVD offers a gentle fitness routine that you can practice in the comfort of your own home. The goal is not to become a super model but to get moving—and to improve your well-being in the process. DVD, 27 minutes.

Disclaimer: All exercise plans should be discussed with your physician or exercise specialist in order to maximize results and minimize possible harm.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trying to get bootylicious for ya'll ( well for me)

I’m back!!!!!! Sorry I was gone for so long- I’ve been doing Lupus walks, hosting lupus awareness events, and I was promoted and relocated to Atlanta, Ga.  A lot of you have kept up with me via social networks, and I promise to blog and not abandon you guys.
Overall I’m doing great-I’m not in a flare up, I’m controlling my stress ( sometimes), my skin is clearing ( I had a few stress induced breakouts a few months ago) and my hair is back thriving, growing, and healthy.  Now my weight on the other hand… errrr…. ummm yeah…
The time had come for me to do something about all this jelly I’m walking around with.  I’ve been really uncomfortable in my skin since packing on 26 pounds (thanks to predisone). My clothing are  too tight, my breast got larger, feet got bigger/wider, and I got a booty ( I’ll keep the booty for $300 Alex) after I eat, I look 5 months pregnant and my tummy leaves an imprint in my maxi dresses ( not cute). I have been in denial for months- telling myself- I’m thick, I look ok- I can wear this weight- UMMMMMNNN .. STOP PLAYING AND FOOLING YOURSELF DIVA… its unhealthy and it DO NOT LOOK GOOD.
I think my son tried to drop a hint on me a few weeks ago, when I asked him to grab me a soda ( while in Wal-Mart) he said “ which one? “, I replied “ the Pepsi” he said “ you know they have diet right?” ummmm BOY HAND ME THE DAMN SODA! ** THAT’S WHAT I WAS YELLING IN MY INSIDE VOICE TO MYSELF** I looked at him and said “you got jokes”, he said “I was just showing you”. No baby boy was telling me I was fat and I need to be on a diet!
Over the last few weeks I’ve been preparing myself and getting my mental in order. I’ve stop purchasing soda ( I don’t bring it in the house), cut WAAAAAAAYYYYY down on my cupcake consumption ( I haven’t had one in 3 weeks), down to 1 cup of coffee a day, have increased my veggie intake, and making healthy choices with my desserts (frozen Yo plait whips are the best!!!). I’ve explained to my husband and kids- this is a lifestyle change FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY! I will not cook multiple meals or buy grocery for me and a separate set for them- NO SIR- GOING BACK OLD SCHOOL- EAT WHAT I COOK OR STARVE (that’s what my mamma use to say).  I will not “diet” or do anything unhealthy- we all know they don’t work and I need to make lifestyle changes that I can live with forever.  I’m a work in progress but I have my eye on the prize.

I know I need to incorporate an exercise routine- BUT THE LORD KNOWS I HATE THE GYM!!!! **yikes**.  I’m not in a financial position to join a gym right now-so I will use my FREE resources ( NO EXCUSES). There is a park not too far from my house with a walking trail, there is a walking path in my neighborhood, and during inclement weather I will use my WII fit ( that i have YET to use). I will purchase a jump rope, hula hoop,hand weights, and resistance bands. ** I already have sneakers, and workout gear-just haven't used them**

Mister (my lupus) has been playing tricks on me! EVERY TIME I say I’m going to work out- he wanna show off, aches and pains in my legs, knees, and feet. I gave into his foolishness for a while- BUT BABY (in my Chrisette Michelle voice) it’s OVER NOW!!!!!! NO MORE EXCUSES!!! I’M NOT HAVING IT.

In order to track my progress, I needed to take my measurements and face the ugly truth.  $hit got real when I took my body measurements-BABBBYYYYYY- I was so embarrassed and angry.
My stats as of July 31st
Weight-217.50-DO NOBODY SAY I DON’T LOOK LIKE I WEIGH THAT MUCH- THE TRUTH OF MATTER IS- I DO!!!!!!! Trust me – I weighed myself 3 times to be sure
Stomach -41 inches
Breast -36 inches
Left thigh-24 inches
Right thigh-25 inches
Waist 41.5 inches
Health & Fitness CHALLENGE!!!!!!!!!
NO COOKIES/CAKE| CHIPS| COLA (including diet)| caffeine for 30 DAYS
Drink 1 green smoothie (minimum) 3 days a week 30 days
Minimum of (1) meatless meal per week (for 30 days)
30-60 minutes of moderate exercise 3 days a week for 30 days
·         Start slowly and build up gradually. Give yourself plenty of time to warm up and cool down with easy walking or gentle stretching. Then speed up to a pace you can continue for five to 10 minutes without getting overly tired. As your stamina improves, gradually increase the amount of time you exercise. Work your way up to 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
·         Break things up if you have to. You don't have to do all your exercise at one time. Shorter but more-frequent sessions have aerobic benefits, too. Fifteen minutes of exercise a couple of times a day may fit into your schedule better than a single 30-minute session.
·         Be creative. Maybe your workout routine includes various activities, such as walking, bicycling or (line) dancing ** try doing to cupid shuffle, wobble, and booty call, back to back, and see if you don’t break a sweat! #trust you will**
·         Listen to your body. If you feel pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea, take a break. You may be pushing yourself too hard.
·         Be flexible. If you're not feeling good, give yourself permission to take a day or two off.
My goal is to lose 10 pounds in 30 days and loose a few inches around my waist and stomach- I think that is attainable and realistic. My goal weight is 185 pounds, I would like to fit into my size 12’s comfortably, and overall get HEALTHY!!!!!!! Once I reach my goal weight and flatten the tummy-I will do something I’ve always wanted to do- a boudoir photo shot!!!!!!! Who’s with me??????
**waves** I know you want too- #LetsGo!!!!!!!!!
P.S. I decided NOT to post my "before"pictures ( I will post them on Sept 1st) and I will NOT step on the scale again until Sept 1st. Make sure you take pictures of your body during the 30 days and we will post at a later time.
Be sure to follow the hastag #DivaGettingFit on FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Disclaimer: The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before starting any eating or exercise program

Friday, January 27, 2012

Infinite Possibilities

in•fi•nite / adjective
1. immeasurably great: an infinite capacity for forgiveness.
2. Indefinitely or exceedingly great: infinite sums of money.
3. unlimited or unmeasurable in extent of space, duration of time, etc.: the infinite nature of outer space.
4. unbounded or unlimited; boundless; endless: God's infinite mercy

pos•si•bil•i•ty noun, plural -ties for 2.
1. The state or fact of being possible: the possibility of error.
2. Something possible: He had exhausted every possibility but one.

Most people start the day with infinite possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. I’m a planner, for years I would choose and iron my clothes (and accessories) for the week, I would plan my meals for the week, I grocery shopped for the month. Now I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It’s very frustrating, especially when the plans change, hence my common saying “I hate change”.

My boss gave me a sticky note that says “Change Energizes Us” I wrote NEGATIVE on the note. Change makes me bonkers and I have to re strategize to make it through the day. I now live with the looming thought that today may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous.

The difference in being sick and being healthy has to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted. The hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wish I could make people understand everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. When you begin your day, most people start the day off by showering/bathing, get dressed, go to work or school, come home, eat dinner, relax, go to bed. For me- it’s open 1 eye, the other, sit up, put your legs on the floor, stand up, walk to the bathroom..GET MY DRIFT- its 100 little jobs in one. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loving The Skin I'm In

People with lupus know the disease can affect various parts of their body, both inside and out, in a variety of ways. Though lupus is known to affect the joints, kidneys, heart and lungs, more often than not, one of the clearest signs that a person has developed the disease is the way it affects the skin.


Lupus had (in my opinion) had taken my beauty. My face was on display for everyone to give me that side eye and saying " what the heck happen to you??" Although my family and friends assured me that I was beautiful and it was "ok"- I felt like that ugly duckling. A dear friend of mine ( First lady of Blue Line Productions - Rana) sent me a message one day that read " I miss your pretty face". She was referring to not seeing me out and about at local functions in the DC metro area, I started balling- because I literally MISSED MY PRETTY FACE! I'm 6"2 and wear 5 inch stilettos ( well I use too, until lupus started affecting my joints and my feet- damn him!) and I would walk in a room LIKE I OWNED IT-( at least like I paid the light then came the red sores, the black scares, and the discoloration in my face- and my obsession with Dermablend!!!!! I would pack that stuff on like my life depended on it. I was hiding... and worse of all- I hated the skin I was in......

** wearing full coverage Dermablend makeup **

My physician gave me a referral to see Valerie D. Callender, M.D. to assist with my skin condition

Dr. Valerie Callender is an internationally recognized Board Certified Dermatologist, who is known for her expertise in Pigmentation Disorders and the medical and surgical treatment of Hair Loss in Women. Dr. Callender has written twelve (12) textbook chapters and many articles for academic journals. She has recently co-edited a textbook on the Treatment for Skin of Color

Dr. Callender office is located at 1220 Annapolis Road, Suite 315, Glendale, MD (301)249-0970. Her office offer a range of facial treatments, cosmetic procedures, & body treatments. On my appointment date- the office was PACKED! The ladies at the reception area were very nice and & courteous. My wait wasn't as long as I expected ( I waited maybe 15 minutes before I was taken to the examination room). Dr. Callender's assistant took a quick assesment of my medical history, and my concerns. 10 minutes later enter in Dr. Callender herself. We chatted a bit, she tried to lighten the "mood" ( I was very tense and nervous). As soon as Dr. Callender put on her gloves and started examining my face, the tears started to flow. She immediately stopped and comforted me. She continued her examine, speaking in a calm voice and re assuring me that all was going to be ok. I advised her what I had been doing, what products I'd been using, and just blurted out " I hate the way I look, I don't look good and I don't feel good". We discussed treatment plans, and she tried to assure me that she would help me. She asked me to trust her- she told me SHE WOULD NOT GIVE UP - MY SKIN WILL BE CLEAR AGAIN! At the end of the examine, I ask- " what makeup brand would you recommend for me?" she looked up at me ( dead in the eyes) and replied " NONE- when I get through, you wont need makeup!" ** what did she just say.. I wont need make up ... whoo freakin hooooooo!!!! let the treatment begin!!!!** {insert laughter from myself and Dr. Callender}

Below is my daily routine prescribed to me by Dr. Callender ( she actually wrote this down for me- including the steps!!!!)

** yes, my clarisonic is PURPLE in honor of my daily fight with Lupus**

Cleanse (w/ clarisonic brush & Neutrogena Forming Face Wash)
SPF 70 ( all over face)
apply hydroquinone (4% strength) to dark spots ( using a qtip)
optional: apply makeup

Cleanse (w/clarisonic brush & Neutrogena Foaming Face Wash)
Apply thin layer of Differin Gel ( all over face)
apply hydroquinone (4% strength) to dark spots ( using a q-tip)

I have been following this routine for 4 weeks. Look at me now!!!!!

No Makeup
**Excuse the pink hair rollers, I was setting my hair for a braid & curl out**

LOOK AT ME NOW AFTER 4 WEEKS!!!!!!! My skin is in the best shape right now. I owe it all to Dr. Callender!!!!! I'm positive that with a few more weeks of treatment I will be back to my beautiful dewy CLEAR skin " I loved before Lupus". As a physician, the most valuable thing Dr. Calender did was LISTEN!!!!! She allowed me to express my concerns and cry. She did a though examination and a though assessment of my skin care regimen( jotting down my current routine, noting the medications/creams previously used ( side effects, etc), eating habits, water intake, etc). She even gave me a "goodie bag" filled me with samples before I purchased full size bottles/tubes of the prescribed products. There's nothing more rewarding than a doctor that LISTENS to you and your concerns, and give you a "specific" treatment plan for your issues. I give Dr. Callender a A+ for a job well done, and she will FOREVER BE MY GO TO DERMATOLOGIST!!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Interview with God

Come in," God said. "So, you would like to interview Me?"

"If you have the time," I said.

God smiled and said: "My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?"

"What surprises you most about mankind?"

God answered:
"That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again. That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived."

God's hands took mine and we were silent for while and then I asked:
"As a parent, what are some of life's lessons you want your children to learn?"

God replied with a smile:
"To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved.

To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives. To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis!

To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.

To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.

To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.

To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.

To learn that money can buy everything but happiness and salvation.

To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally different.

To learn that a true friend in someone who knows everything about them and likes them anyway.

To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."

I sat there for awhile enjoying the moment. I thanked Him for his time and for all that He has done for me and my family, and He replied: "Anytime. I'm here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I'll answer."

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Author Unknown