Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stuff Black Girls Do: Insanity Workout - Tia

A couple of people have corrected me about Shaun's name. Read the comments for why I'm not changing it. 
First and foremost, I'd like to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. I was having some issues with the number. Turning 30 is hard...(SHUT IT!!! NOT! ONE! WORD!)

Not a lot has worked out the way I thought it would have by now. I had plans for my life at age 15, 20, 30 and beyond. One of my goals was getting back in the physical shape that I know my body can handle. I've always played sports. I come from a long line of really athletic people. But with time and age and a heavy traveling schedule accompanied by a $70 per diem, I found myself not only not meeting my fitness goals but, well...pudgy.

At the beginning of the year I decided it was time to make a change. I decided that while I couldn't necessarily make things go completely the way I envisioned them, at the very least I could take charge of my health. If Halle Berry can look like this at 36

and Demi Moore could look like this at 41
then I could certainly lose the pudge and tighten up the rest.

I began working out. Hard. I was vigilant...until I got hurt. I'd set so many goals for my body with the "done by" date falling on my 30th birthday. (Hush!!) But in the weeks leading up to the big day, I found myself with a knee fracture and in a stabilization boot. Bummed doesn't even begin to cover it. I'm quite hard on myself. So even though, I'd managed to get into a size smaller pair of skinny jeans, nothing else on my body checklist had come to pass.

So on top of having a hard time dealing with my age, I found myself having to really come to terms with my body issues. There was A LOT of alcohol the evening before my birthday.

Now, I KNOW no "body" is perfect. I've seen the extent to which magazines airbrush and there are make-up artists out there who are MAGICIANS. So understand me when I say that though I'm hard on myself, I try VERY HARD not to be unrealistic about my body. The fact of the matter is I come from muscular, dense boned people. And not in the cop out, "I'm big boned and that's why I'm 200 lbs overweight" kind of way. But in the "doctor did a bone density test and I fall in the dense bone category" way. So I know what my body is capable of and I also know when I'm carrying too much weight.

After sobering up and eating cake and Cheetos for lunch, I decided that it was time to really take action. No more excuses. I'd been cleared by my ortho to return to regular exercise. And being the highly competitive, goal driven person that I am, I quickly settled on doing the Insanity workout. I figured if I wanted true results, I'd have to put in true work. Oh sweet Lord.

I'd like to say that I jumped right into the workout with ease. That I breezed right through it and scoffed at John T as he put me through the paces. I'd like to say all of that...but it would be a bold faced lie. Insanity is aptly named. Because you basically have to be stark-raving MAD to try it and stick with it.

In all of my year of running suicide drills, swimming miles every morning and working out with Nazi sadistic trainers, I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER had a workout like this. Just the warm-ups had me wheezing. I'm talking "Did my lung just detach?" wheezing. More times than I care to admit, I was certain I was going to pass out. Insanity is NOT A GAME. Even with no weights, it pushes you to the absolute brink. (My brother did Insanity last year and he said, "The reason you don't use weights is because if you did, you'd most certainly DIE!" This coming from a college athlete.)

I found myself talking about John T's mother (Apologies ma'am), his face and everything else I could think to insult as he screamed at me to, "Dig Deeper." And don't even get me started on the girl with the brown hair to his right. I REALLY dislike that broad. I do, however, like the girl who cursed at him when he asked how she was feeling. Mostly because I completely understood her pain.

I actually dreaded getting up for day two. My body was not having it. But my mind and my vanity reminded me of the skinny jeans that are the next size down. I remembered how good I felt when I got into my first pair of "goal" jeans. And I long for the days when I feel physically strong because I've worked out and eaten accordingly. So even though the muscles in my back and arms protested to the highest imaginable level of remonstration, I got up, laced up my shoes and powered through the next day's workout.

Yes, I did say unkind things about John T and the brown haired girl. Yes, I did almost start crying during the squat push-up thingies. Yes, I did have to do the walking push-ups on my knees because I can't do the real ones yet. But you know what, I finished the workout. And for now, that's a big accomplishment. One day I'll be able to do every move in the video and and do it WITHOUT cursing John T's name. But for now I have to keep working where I am. That's all any of us can do really.

So I encourage you to start somewhere. If you're thinking about working out, losing weight and getting healthy I applaud you. I know that first step can be scary. Walking into gyms full of toned, sexy, athletic people is enough to intimidate the best of us. And starting a workout program you can barely get through (or possibly can't get through at all) is discouraging. But I PROMISE you can do it. Take one step, then the next. You don't necessarily have to see the finish line, you just have to be able to see the starting point.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm need to take some hardcore pain relievers because my EVERYTHING hurts.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Tia!!!!

 Hey guys, it's Toya. Just wanted to share with you that today is Tia's birthday! A while ago, Tia hipped me to the episode of Grey's Anatomy where Cristina confessed to Meredith that she is her "person".  Now I don't regularly watch Grey's Anatomy but I know enough about their friendship to where Tia didn't have to explain to me what being someone's person meant.  If we had to say which one of us was Cristina and which one of us was Meredith well... let's just say I almost started tearing my own clothes off when Meredith helped tear Cristina out of her wedding dress and Cristina was crying "I'm free! I'm free!". I GET Cristina. Anyway, Tia is the Meredith to my Cristina.  She is my PERSON and I am so glad that God saw fit to look down and say "We have got to get these two to meet so that they can live their lives together and not put their crazy on anyone else until they are both respectably married."  Tia has constantly been my proof and reminder that God knows who and what you need when and regardless of if you know that you need it. Happy birthday Tia. You are my person.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Unrelenting Love for Dean Winchester - Tia

(Remember that time I forgot I was a blogger and didn't post anything for weeks..? Yeah...sorry about that.)

If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time you know that when I'm not on the road I work from home. There are definite perks to not having to go to an office: working in your undies, showering...if you feel so inclined, watching back to back episodes of Supernatural every morning while you work on reports.

I must admit, I never really gave Supernatural too much thought. Most of the shows on the CW don't appeal to me, so I just chalked this one up to being like the rest and never watched. Frankly, I can't remember what made me actually take the time to really tune in. I'm going to guess that I happened upon it while Dean was making one of his hilarious and smart aleck comments, which immediately hooked me. But I can't be certain. Whatever the case, the minute I realized that I enjoyed the show I knew I had to watch ALL episodes from the beginning. You can't just jump in in the middle and try to figure out why Sam is locked in cage "for his own good." No ma'am. You must start from episode one, fire in the house, mom on the ceiling.

So that's what I did. Thanks to Netflix, I was able to dive in from the start. And thanks to Netflix, I am hopelessly in t.v. love with Dean Winchester.

I like MEN. Manly, sweaty, rough and tumble men. Keep your hipsters, your artists, your skinny jeans wearing guys. I want someone who I know I can't beat up or push around. There is something terribly sexy about a man's man. (Side note: Men who carry guns for work or just because they have a permit and can legally do so, give me the vapors.) Dean Winchester is the epitome of the type of guy I like. Granted, he fights the supernatural for a living and thus has no "legitimate" income to speak of, but so what? There's just something about that smart-ass, punch throwing, rock song singing, classic car driving man that captures my full attention in every episode.

Oh, and it didn't hurt that this was the love his life

I'm just sayin'.

I'm pretty head strong. I can hold my own in most situations. So I have to know that the man I'm with can do the same. I feel like Dean Winchester would go to Hell and back for me. (He did for Sam.) And that's the kind of man I want. I'm ride or die but I need to be with someone who makes the trip worth it.

So while I know the Dean Winchester is just a character (And Jensen Ackles, the actor who plays him, is married...figures) I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled and fingers crossed for a real life Dean Winchester to come my way. I mean, seriously, how can you NOT love Dean?

He's just such a BAMF!!

This is worth ALL 8 minutes.

And this will only be funny if you're a fan of the show. Apologies to the non-Supernatural fans.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Aaron Camper Covers John Mayer's "Stop This Train"

I know this is usually Fun Music Friday but in light of what just happened, I'm kind of not feeling Fun Music Friday's today. Sorry to be such a downer but just when I hit play to listen to Aaron Camper (who is quite dreamy I must say) cover John Mayer's "Stop This Train", I got a message that a very good friend of mine's mother had passed away at 47. Reading the email while listening to this song was pretty surreal.

I hate the fact that it has taken a tragedy to remind me that I completely dropped the ball on writing about him on BGLU so without further ado, allow me to introduce to some and present to others the awesomeness that is Aaron Camper.  If you've never heard his music you definitely want to get on that because he's dope. Up until very recently he has mostly been known as a background and session singer for artists like Chris Brown, Jill Scott, Stevie Wonder and Fantasia.  His free downloadable mixtape Welcome to My World Vol. 1 boasts collaborations with heavy hitters such as Brandy, Kanye West and Swizz Beats as well as some great tracks like "Julia", "Hold You Close" and a cover of Boyz II Men's "Water Runs Dry".  Look for his upcoming EP "Madness" to be released on July 24. For more on Aaron Camper, check out .

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

As If We Needed More Reasons to Love Aisha Tyler: Check Out Her Video "No Ass At All"

Aisha Tyler is a straight up BGLU icon. How on earth did I miss THIS?! Back in 2003 I wrote a post called "Back WHAT Thang Up?" where I shared my woes of being a sista with a flat booty. Yes, we do exist.  I, for some reason, was not blessed in this area and over time it's become one of those things that I've just had to accept. Now I did just tell Tia Sunday night that if I weren't so scared about booty shots being lethal I would consider them but who wants to go to that funeral?  I don't even think my parents would go to my funeral if I died that way and if Tia went it would only be to talk bad about me.  I can just hear her now:

Pastor: "And now some words from Toya's best friend Tia."

Tia walks up to the podium and rolls her eyes at the casket covered in gerber daisies: "How this dumb heffa gonna die over some booty shots? Are you kidding me?  Booty shots?!?! Great legs, great hair and she fooled around and died tryna  get some booty shots?! What the...?!"

Yeah I'm not putting anyone through that.  So if being a sista with no booty is also your cross to bear, FINALLY there is a song you can back that non-existent thang up to. Don't hurt yourself girl.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Regarding the BET Awards

Sorry everyone but there will be no BET Awards recap this year. In fact, I just went back through our blog and realized that I haven't done a recap in quite a few years. Until BET starts setting some acceptable standards for what they will allow to represent "black entertainment" I would rather not draw attention to it.- Toya