All or nothing doesn’t work

The first day of my cleanse I was doing fine…until I ran into dinner in the form of orange chicken and noodles — It was delicious and I regret nothing. 

However, after two more days, I realized that going cold turkey doesn’t work for me. So I remembered the baby steps technique: concentrate on mastering one thing a week. 

This week I decided I needed to stop my growing soda habit. And it worked, I lost 2 lbs.! Although I did slip twice, but I didn’t finish the whole cup worth of soda. 

Next week I’d like to concentrate on eating less cheese. I’m thinking of limiting it to one meal a day with cheese. If it were up to me, I’d have cheese on cheese with a side of cheese, but that’s what got me in trouble in the first place. So time to trim the excess.

I’m so happy, I found my results for the Zoo Run 5K. 

My number was 888, I finished in 1465 (out of 2000+) and I finished in 55:54 minutes! Woot! There was a time when one mile took me forever to run/walk, now I can do 3 in under an hour while still goofing around the zoo. I’m very proud of myself. 

I do have bad news. I won’t be able to run the Electric Run 5K, I had forgotten that I had an event the same day on the other side of town. If you’re going to participate in the Miami event, but haven’t bought your ticket, please contact me at The only way I can get a refund is if I transfer my registration to someone else.

Meanwhile, I’m going to keep training and look for a 5K I can run at the end of November or sometime around December. 

Back from the dead

Maybe I wasn’t dead, just inactive; on the internet, it’s essentially the same thing.

Walking around Zoo Miami after running the 5K.

Walking around Zoo Miami after running the 5K.

I’m back to chronicle a new adventure. I’m shifting from writing in a journal to blogging, so have patience with me.

For my birthday, I participated in a 5K. It wasn’t glorious. I didn’t prepare for several reasons, chiefly laziness, and I was bogged down with birthday cake and pasta from the previous night, I didn’t have breakfast before going and I started too strong — I was a hot mess. However, it was my birthday and rather than dying in the stampede of serious racers, my friend and I decided to take it easy with intervals of running, walking and playing in the zoo. I might have taken it too far when I detoured into the kiddie water park and ran the rest of the race drenched from head to toe, but it was refreshing and worth it (note: no kiddies were harmed in my romping). 

To all the volunteers with worried looks: No, I wasn’t sweating to death, you can breathe. Thank you for worrying. 🙂

I really appreciated the 5K because I felt it was the perfect icebreaker for my unhealthy habits lately. I’m resolved to clean up this mess and better myself mind, body and spirit. I’ve signed up for the Electric Run in November and I’m going to train this time. My goal is to run the whole thing, from start to finish.

Starting immediately, I’m going to participate in a 7 day cleanse to start fresh. Over the course of the next few months, I will be keeping an exercise diary on here. The last time I did this, I felt it really helped, so I think you can expect to see more of my posts in the next several days.

Wish me luck!

Taking a closer look at what I’m eating

So I was in the bathroom the other day when the thought occurred to me… it has been 2 years since the Spring Break I decided to change my life. 

I’m 50+ lbs lighter and I feel amazing. But I’m only half way there, but I can’t quite break the 220s. I wonder what it is I’m doing that keeps impeding my process.

To give you an idea of my regular food choices, I’m going to detail my meals today.


  • Croissant
  • Slice of Spanish omelette with potatoes and onions
  • 2 cups of fruit
  • Cookie


  • Salad: lettuce, cherry tomatoes, black olives, croutons, Italian dressing
  • Black beans
  • White rice
  • slice of lemon meringue pie
  • nougats


  • Ice cream


  • Meatless tamale with ketchup


On closer inspection, I think I’m just not eating enough vegetables and I’m overeating breads and sweets. So this week I’m going to focus on replacing bread and pasta with vegetables. On top of that I’m going to try to minimize the amount of sweets I eat. If I must eat sweets, I’m going to opt for fruits. 


2 years ago, a regular meal would have looked like this;


  • Cereal and milk


  • Cheese


  • Turkey and cheese sandwich on white bread
  • Chips
  • Brownie
  • More chips


  • Cheese


  • Pizza (half-whole)
  • Brownies/cookies/anything sweet


  • Chocolates


Big difference, huh? Yea, I’m proud of myself. I’m also back on my exercise game, as difficult as my schedule has made it, I am determined to get to my goal. 

Do you know what I always thought I looked like? The cyclops from Disney’s Hercules, at least in regards to all my rolls. It really depressed me for a long time. I feel much better about myself now, there are actually places where I see my muscles starting to show! 

Here’s to change and realizing our dreams. I have to somehow complete a butt-load of assignments. Best of luck to anyone else on their weight-loss journey.


With spring comes a new start

I’ve been terribly busy these past couple of weeks and consequently have not been taking care of myself. Looking back, I don’t think that is right. 

I think the key to success is strong body, strong mind. But I’m going to take that a step further. I want to be strong in body, mind and soul. I want to become physically fit, strengthen my memory and become a better Muslim. 

I always do better when I have a greater purpose in my work, so I’m going to take the next 9 weeks and focus on running, studying and praying. 

Why running? Last year, although I trained and ran my 5K, I’m not fulfilled with my results. I want to be able to run 3 miles all the way through. I want to be able to run 3 miles with no problem. So that is exactly what I’m going to do. 

Why studying? Even though I study enough as it is, I feel I could be doing more. I feel I could take that hour or 3 on Facebook and use it to read my own books or study for class. At the beginning of the year I made a challenge to read 60 books. I don’t know if I can complete that challenge since I don’t have as much free time, but I know I want to try. I at least want to read 30. I don’t think that is impossible. I also feel I could be working on my class stuff just a little more. 

Why praying? Well, its embarrassing but I have to admit I still don’t know how to pray and its been over a year since my conversion. I’d like to be able to participate in Ramadan a little more this year than just fasting. While I do risk tarnishing my actions by declaring them openly, I feel I need to make this declaration to help keep me on track. 

What about the cooking? Well, I’ll be frank, I haven’t been able to cook as much. I also want to continue that. I don’t think I’ll be writing about it up here, but I might share a post every once in a while. Maybe when I have more time I could write more about food. I’ll have to put this project on the back burner. 

For the record, I’m weighing 222.6 lbs. I want to get down to 180 lbs. Some way, some how I’m going to make it happen. 

Busy Bee

     I swear, it isn’t that I don’t want to write, its that I’ve been incredibly busy.
     I keep telling people, but they don’t understand HOW busy I am until I break down my schedule. Let me share my typical day.
Wake up
Drive to school
Drive to work
Drive to internship
Drive home
     I’ve had to throw cooking and working out on the shelf because I simply can’t do that as well as study as much as I need to. School is my number one priority. After that is my internship. Next is work and then my body.
     Are my priorities in need of some revision? I feel like that is the case. I feel like my body should come first. So even though I haven’t been cooking as much, I have made a point to take the stairs, eat good food and sleep. I know that without eight solid hours of sleep, I wouldn’t be able to perform as I have been.
    I have a lot on my plate, but I know that if I pace myself, I’ll get through it.
     While everyone is going to be at the beach I plan on catching up in school. I have to work on 2 presentations and 3 papers. Sounds like fun, huh? If I can do that and sleep, I’ll be happy.
    Not to say I’m not having fun this Spring Break. Yesterday I went to my bellydancing class, picked up my CSA box and enjoyed an afternoon with my best friend. When I came home, I spent the evening reading and was able to finish a book. It was absolutely wonderful. I even went to bed early! It was heaven.
     When I woke up today, after enjoying a slow morning, I took my dog for a walk then took a nice long walk in the park as I listened to my audiobook. I felt luxurious.
     Some people need to do crazy things or travel to enjoy their vacations, but after the semester I’ve endured, 2 days of doing nothing feels marvelous. I believe they call these staycations. I highly recommend them.
     Now, I’m off to take a shower and read, read, READ!

Why care about St. Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is actually a day that celebrates Saint Valentine, a saint that was executed for performing “weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote ‘from your Valentine’ as a farewell to her…” (Wiki). Pretty cool.

On top of that, V-Day is a day in which One Billion Rising brings awareness to the issue of violence against women. It was started in 1998 by Eve Ensler and another group of women in NY, and it basically is the performance of The Vagina Monologues. The proceeds of all the plays performed on this day go toward shelters and rape crisis centers that help victims. Also pretty cool.

Finally, V-Day is all about PLEASURE! Chocolates, love, food, sex. Its about taking a moment to indulge – either alone, with a partner or in a group. If you don’t have a partner, no worries, they’re only optional. Don’t waste an awesome day moping around just because you don’t have someone to get you a box of chocolates or a giant bear. Instead, take that time and do something that makes you feel good, even if its as simple as reading a good book.

Happy V-Day, friends.

Panda Bites Gone Wild

Honestly, this CSA business is a lot to handle. I have two zucchinis too many, some strange vegetable that looks like broccoli and corn had an illegitimate child and a tight schedule that makes cooking quite the task. Although, I have to admit a smug satisfaction comes over me whenever I realize that what I’ve cooked/eaten is home-made, organic and it supports local farmers.

Do I regret being part of a CSA? Not at all. At the very least it has been enriching (intellectually and nutritionally). Even the worms and the earth benefits from it because I try to bury scraps and stuff-gone-bad in the backyard so nature can have a whack at it.

All that said, I’m on my game, this Panda has gone wild. I’m running, studying, cooking, cat-sitting, and actually got a position in my school’s paper as copy-editor! I’m super excited.

I hope to accomplish a great many things this year. I don’t remember if I posted this earlier, so forgive me if I repeat myself. But I want to…

1. Run a 5K
2. Lose another 30 lbs.
3. Cross 3 things off my bucket list
4. Work on my future (in regards to money, my career, etc.)

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