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10,000 Before 10. 

I’m reclaiming my time, sorry, my abs.

I’ve been so unfit, lazy and eaten all the things that easily disolve any amount of packs your abs may feign.


A few weeks ago, I went on the scale and the number I saw, Continue reading

Bring Back My Shoe.

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Yes, I want my shoe back.

I’ve been back on my fitness grind and all excited with the little changes I’m seeing on my body. Needless to say, the results have been fueling me to keep going.

Hence, this morning, I got up early, packed all my work stuff, got changed into my work out wear and got extra clothes.(Plan was to exercise, shower at the gym then be at the office early)
I’ll be covering an assignment tonight and may not have the time to attend aerobics this evening.

I was all excited and was even thinking of which songs I’ll workout to when I get to the gym. The last step was to wear my shoes…

I found just the right shoe and

couldn’t find the left leg!

Certainly, this shoe has got to be under the couch on the porch.. Phssss, it wasn’t! Next, I thought my neighbors were playing a prank on me.

Immediately, I thought my Jamaican neighbor had it. I was sitting on the ‘throne’ this morning when I saw his him pass by on my porch.  I was convinced he had them and was even telling my landlord that the neighbor must stop being silly.

I got mad but not super mad. I was sure I’ll walk upstairs and he’ll just hand over my shoe. Again, I was wrong. He didn’t have my shoe.

My exercise plans came crashing down right before my eyes!!! I couldn’t workout this morning.

I’m mourning the loss of my shoe. It may look really old, ugly, big, uncool and all that nonsense, but I want it back! That’s my only exercise shoe! Bring back my shoe!

This pair of Nike sneakers has seen me through a lot. It’s seen me through one break-up, several stressful days and even many happy days.

 

I’ve done many 5 mi + runs with this pair. This shoe has anchored me on several socarobic and aerobic sessions.

The last time that shoe was seen was Saturday evening while I was cleaning my apartment. It was right in front of my door beside the couch. There was no sign of any suspicious activities going on.

I even wore it on Saturday to the gym. If I knew that was the last time I’d be seeing it, I would have stayed at the gym longer. This isn’t the life I bargained for this week. I hoped I’ll eat right, work out like a pro and burn a lot of calories! 😦

I want my shoe back!

Now my only guess as to the whereabouts of this shoe is- the neighbor’s dog must have been a bit too excited and ran off with my dear Nike shoe.
The first time I saw that dog, I didn’t quite like it. If you ask me, I’d say the dog is silly and stupid. How can a dog be too friendly to just randomly run to your apartment and want to jump on your lap? sigh.No dog, we aren’t cool. you can’t just run around the place like we’ve been friends. I mean, even the landlord’s dog, which i’ve known for years doesn’t dare come by my apartment without my permission.

Anyway, I think my neighbor’s pest pet, may have gone away with my shoe,

I want my shoe back 😦

Folks, I’m accepting donations for a new pair. While you all flood me with requests on how to donate, I’m also accepting free espionage services as well as intelligence on how

we can recover my shoe.

Vou

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Meanwhile, I got these yesterday afternoon! You needed to see me working out at the gym… I felt so flyyyyyy!

For The Lungs

Gentlemen and ladies, girls and boys,

No kidding, this week, I got back on my running grind.

This time It is for real. Like no looking back, no procrastinating. All that is for punks… ( I can’t even keep a straight face while saying that coz I know I’m describing myself right there!)

I stopped running consistently sometime towards the end of 2013 and needless to say, the extra pounds found their way back to several parts of my body. I’ve gone to the gym since then and I think that may have helped in keeping me somewhat in shape and balanced.

However, the weight hasn’t gone down as fast as I want it to.

So I took to the streets…Literally.

After work on Monday, I got my running shoes plus workout clothes and headed out west. I was rather slow and stopped a few times along the 3-plus mi route, but I completed the run nonetheless.

The next day, Tuesday, I downloaded Runkeeper, an application that tracks your distance, the amount of calories burnt your pace and heart rate (I think).

Downloading that app gave me an extra push. That day, I was able to cover 3.8mi and stopped just once for a few seconds. The next day, I went over  4 miles and the same for Thursday too, without stopping.

I felt like a pro. Even though I know for a fact I may have looked like an idiot to people who drove by, in my mind, I saw myself like one of those long distance Kenyan/Ethiopian runners. In my mind, my body was all slim and trimmed, my legs stretching out in long strides, afro blowing in the wind, sweat streaming down my body, game face on…. okay, back to reality.

Considering I’ll be sleeping in town this weekend, I decided to go for a run this morning. I mean, It’s Saturday- that day you’re expected to sleep in and just lazy in bed right?

I was tempted to just stay in bed and not worry about exercising till Monday, but I remembered last night during a Skype conversation, my best friend Fareeza challenged me. She thought I’ll just put off running. I also remembered that I’ll be helping out with a BBQ on Sunday and of course, this means I probably will eat more than usual.

Though I was lazy and somewhat unmotivated this morning, I managed to complete 3 miles. I did stop and walked several times and for as long as a minute though.

Usually when I run or exercise, I think of phrases to chant or keep reminding myself of reasons I exercise. Most times during the aerobics at the gym the phrase to chant while staring at the mirror is “summer body! summer body!” Just kidding! (Not really)
And for when I run it is “pain is sign of fear living the body.”
But this morning, all of those silly new-agey phrases were thrown out the window. I dedicated the run to my lungs.

I’ve decided each run will be dedicated to one organ or part of my body or the other.

I did it for the lungs. Even though I didn’t go hard as usual, I’m glad I’m alive and healthy to exercise. I’m glad I got to witness the sun rise this morning. I was grateful for the sea breeze, the birds that chirped.

Having morning devotion while running was really fun. Usually, I’d run with fast paced music, but this morning, it was nice, soft but loud and uplifting in a sense.

I did it for my lungs today. It’s the kidney’s turn on Monday.

Oh and at some point too, I’ve got to dedicate one of my runs to The Nigerian Husband. I think for that one, I may want to wear all my wife material. I need something to show off like a peacock. That one will be a royal run. I’ve got to run for that Nigerian Husband oh! He deserves it! (I need prayers…lol this thing is becoming a bit too crazy for my liking! hahahah… but then, who cares right?)

(Now, let’s go photograph a wedding shall we?)

Smile, laugh, love, live, fart and be silly, life is terribly short.

Vou

I’m Terrible.

Throw stones at me, call me horrible names. I am not a nice person!

Wait, I’ll explain.
Honestly, this morning I woke up with my self esteem hanging down there in the minuses. But I still said my devotion and did what I had to do to show up at work, as I was under the weather over the weekend and missed work for two days.
Look, truth is, my mood this morning was sort-of self imposed. Almost like me sabotaging my own happiness and sanity. Well, I got to work and the songs I was playing did nothing but make me plunge deeper into my mood.

That mood sort of made me realize something though.

There’s this senior citizen who faithfully reads the newspaper I work for. He is the most sociable and outspoken senior citizen out there. He is not only jovial, but also very generous and maybe just a tad bit more flirty than he should be.

He dutifully comes to the office at least three times a week and brings with him lots of treats- cookies, fresh vegetables, wafers, candies, pies, tarts, you name it.
This nice intellectual, eclectic old man calls me his wife (For the record, he says he’s going to follow me to Nigeria in July and ask for my hand in marriage…lol) and demands to see me each time he visits. When and if he doesn’t see me, I’ll be sure to receive a call from him hours later.

With that said, sometimes, he happens to show up at times when I’m in a no-nonsense mode. He on the other hand, never takes no for an answer.

So let me confess, several times I’ve asked the receptionists to tell him I’m not in. As trifling as this sounds, I’ve even gone as far as hiding under my desk just to avoid him.

That’s horrible of me. I feel bad about it.

So, this morning, he showed up and I was in a very foul mood. I literally hid in the bathroom. When he was about to leave, I over heard him leaving instructions. “Tell my Vou I love her, and I know she likes the guava tart, so make sure she gets the only guava tart I got.”
My heart broke. See me going out of my way to hide from a poor old man who has mostly no other motives but to come share little of what he has and to have a conversation with some of the people he enjoys reading. 😦 Oh Vou, where is your humanity? Where is he love?
And after he said what he had to say, he told them he was going to be traveling and won’t be back till January.

I couldn’t let him leave without at least seeing him. I knew my conscience would torment me till he returned. For goodness’ sake, he means well.

As soon as he left, I ran after him, I yelled out his name in the street and he came back. The smile on his face when he saw me crippled my heart. I gave him a warm hug and we had our usual senseless chitchat. Trust me, after that, I felt good and my mood improved by 75 percent.

People, I’m always here preaching love, a cheerful life and all that feel good stuff, but I must confess, sometimes, I don’t follow those same principles. I try my best to live a happy and positive life, but some days, I wake up and nothing else matters and makes sense like being in bed away from humans.

As of today, I promise I’ll never run or hide away from that old man. Life is too short to shun people. Life is too short not to accept goodwill and smiles from people.

Please, tell me I’m not alone. Leave a comment and let me know when you’ve been a terrible person and how you’re working towards being a better being.

Please smile, accept hugs, lighten up a little bit… Tomorrow is promised to no man. This life is fragile and too short.

Vou

The Toughest Assignment Ever

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A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to tour “the most elegant ship built in the last 50 years… OceaniaRiviera.”

My heart sank. I knew all about cruise ships from a tour I took a few years ago. Memories f that visit still haunt me: a fancy lunch, glasses of sparkling champagne, a waiter unfolding a crisp cloth napkin in my lap, great company.

From the sound of it, touring the Riviera —  a luxury ship with about 800 crewmembers — would be even more difficult. Surely, I thought, my editor wouldn’t be so cruel as to make me go. I was wrong.

“Do I get hazard pay?” I asked.

“Nope,” he said cheerfully, as though he were sending me to cover a centenarian’s birthday.

I considered calling in sick. I considered tricking a bystander into taking my place. I even considered turning in my press pass and moving back to Nigeria.

But deep down, I knew what I had to do. For a serious journalist, backing out is never an option.

The public needed to know about the five-star amenities in the most elegant cruise ship in the world. If I didn’t work up the courage to go inside and emerge to tell the story, who would?

Besides, if I didn’t sacrifice myself, another reporter would have to take my place. I couldn’t let that happen to my colleagues, even though I knew the assignment would be the toughest of my career.

 

The tour

On the morning of the tour, I put on my best shoes and skipped breakfast, suspecting that part of my onerous responsibilities would include sampling five-star cuisine prepared by internationally recognised chefs.

I walked to Wickhams Cay with a sinking feeling, hoping that I would be turned away at the gate. I longed to go back to the Beacon office and spend the day writing about politicians, phoning grumpy government officials, and copy editing articles.

Anything but touring a luxury cruise ship.

As I neared the vessel, the tourists coming off were cheerful and smiling — no doubt because they were escaping from the ship, I thought.

Along with tourism officials and other media representatives, I was greeted warmly by Karen Negron, the international representative of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas for the Caribbean.

I had no choice but to follow Ms. Negron on board the 1,200-passenger vessel, which had docked a few hours earlier.

When we got on board, we were issued identification cards and led to an elevator. It took us up several floors, passing paintings, sparkling chandeliers, sculptures, dazzling lights and smartly dressed crew. My head spun.

 

Spa, casino, bars

We stopped on Deck 15, which houses more of what I dreaded: the ship’s spa, tearoom, conference room, a casino and bars.

Passengers sign up to stay on board for as long as 10 days, according to Ms. Negron.

I shuddered. If I had to do that, I’d miss my own apartment, where mosquitoes whine in my ears all night and crickets chirp all day. And I’d probably go crazy from the abundance of hot water.

As we walked through the corridors, I quickly got flustered. I didn’t know where to look. Outside the windows, the view was stunning, but inside the walls were decorated with paintings by Latin American artists.

The ship resembled an art gallery on the sea — and in a way it is, Ms. Negron explained: cruisers can purchase the art on display, some of which was marked “Sold.”
I was barely able to keep my cool and take photographs of myself posing on the Riviera — just to prove what I had survived.

The tour also included a trip to the ship’s spa, where serene music played in the background as we walked through corridors lined with fountains and plants.

I longed for the dusty, broken fountain at the Sir Olva Georges Plaza, and the dirt and noise of Main Street, where I usually spend my days reporting.

 

Six-course meal

As Ms. Negron explained that the 15-deck vessel has 10 fine dining restaurants with menus from all over the world, I knew the worst was yet to come.

I cringed as she listed off their fancy names: Red Ginger, Toscana, La Reserve, Jacques, Waves.

More than anything, I wanted to return to my desk at the Beacon and eat my usual meal of Ramen noodles and a microwaved baked potato. But duty called.

Ms. Negron led us into a large dining room, where we were seated under a crystal chandelier. A Sri Lankan sommelier kept refilling our glasses with wine, and I had no choice but to keep drinking it: I knew the public needed to know exactly how it tasted.

Gourmet food followed. I endured one course after another: miso glazed seabass in den miso marinate, risotto all’aragosta — but in the spirit of journalistic restraint, I’ll stop short of describing all six courses so as not to disgust readers. I’ll just say that when we finally left the ship, I could barely walk.

Though the experience was painful, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment for having completed the most difficult assignment ever.

If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Preserving the Sexy!

It’s no longer called “exercising,” but “preserving the sexy.” Yup sue me! lol…

I’ve been doing a really good job working out. I run at least three times a week and I’ve increased my distance to about 6 miles or so…and then I go to the gym twice a week.

I love the gym but there are a few things that tick me off. But then, maybe it’s just me being too touchy.

The last time I was at the gym, this lady who I think is new to the class, kept yelling out instructions simultaneously with the gym instructor. Like woman please shut up! I really don’t like it when people do that. My mind is wired to listening to only one person at a time. More than one voice at a time screaming at me sends me bunkers.  One of these good days, if she keeps on screaming, I’ll have to go have a conversation with her. When I used to go to the 5:30 a.m. classes, I had to walk out of the gym one morning. This elderly woman used to do the same darn scream thing too. My options one morning was to help her close her mouth or walk out. I did the latter.

And then, you have the guys at the gym who find it very difficult to keep their eyes to themselves. During my first week at the gym, those stares got me so self conscious that, on several occasions, I opted not to use certain work out machines, especially if there were guys around. Took me a few weeks to get over the pervs. I’m sure they still stare but I pay them less mind now. But there’s this Jamaican dude who stares uncontrollably all the blessed time. One day, and I mean really soon, I might have to deliver him a sermon on what not to do at the gym.

This one has to be the top of the list for me. People who fart!
This has happened at least three times. So you’ll be there working out, trying hard not to breath in too much of the sweaty air in the room, then some smarty decides to open their rare gate. I may have to resort to a “If-you-can’t-beat-them-join-them,” kind of strategy. sigh.

There are several other little things I’m not too keen of at the gym. I think I’ll stop here for now least I sound too grumpy.

Again, this has been another senseless post 🙂

Work Out!

My legs are sore. My arms are beyond sore. I can barely feel my lower abdomen. (Well, I don’t really feel significant pains.)Why? Your girl has joined a gym!

Now, I joined a gym for many reasons. To lose few pounds (duhhhhh). We all need to be physically active in our lives. So going to the gym is my own exercise. Going to the gym also helps me start my day early and gives me some energy I never had. (Even though it’s a bit insane that I wake up at 4: 3- a.m. and I don’t eat after 7 p.m)

And did I mention I joined the gym because Fareeza kind-of forced me into coming along with her? (Oh well, good thing I didn’t mention it before she bullies me)

Now for the very honest reason why I joined the gym. (No! it’s not because all the cute guys tend to go to the gym)

I Joined the gym to work on my Christmas body. (Yea, I know that sounds silly) but yea… I joined the gym to work on a Christmas body. People work really hard for a summer body, I work for a Christmas body. I don’t wear two-piece swimsuits and the sun is extra hot in the summer so it makes absolutely no sense to have a summer body. I don’t like being sun-burnt. (Note- I’m already seeing some results for example, a couple inches off my waist 🙂 )

That’s not to say I plan to show some skin this Christmas either (It’s going to be cold!)

No, I plan to have a healthy Christmas body so I won’t have to worry about over eating and not being able to fit into my clothes. Plus, I plan to get myself a dress as a Christmas present (Shhhhh don’t tell me…It’s a surprise)

With that out of the way, I thought it was going to be easy just going to aerobics classes, using the treadmill and that’s it.

Well, my first day at the gym gave me a harsh reality check. I left the gym with my abdomen hurting me, my arms hurting and my legs seemed to have lost the ability to feel.

I endured all the pain and after a week, I lost 2 lbs. (Yay me.) My goal is to lose at least 15 lbs in three months. (A bit extreme you think?)

I’m going to have fun losing the pounds while working on being healthy. And speaking of fun, I have lots of fun looking at some of the ladies in the aerobics class who unfortunately, are not on the well co-ordinated side of life. Well, I must give them some credit, they really do try to keep their body moving even if it means going in the opposite direction from the class or moving with no timing at all. If I mention their names, I’m sure one of them will bully me till the end of time (See my post for August 1)

But most importantly, I’m going to be working on my spiritual fitness as well. Going to the gym each morning, I turn on some music, take my time and walk down the hill as I have a one-on-one with God and myself. Nothing beats that type of fitness. The result of that… Heaven body!