In this last weekly installment of The Journey, I’ve taken things kind of literally. I’m actually on one — in the past almost-two-weeks, I’ve driven to and through nine states — Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and now I’m in Washington DC. On the trip it’s been nonstop fun, friends, and yup – food.

I’ve been eating my way around the world.

Vietnamese, Thai, pan-Asian at Cafetasia, German at Lederhosen, Mexican at Hop Devil Grill, fantastic Korean at Wonjo in Koreatown, AMAZING Trini cuisine at Sugarcane in Brooklyn (you gotta go, you just gotta), good ol’ soul food at The Pink Tea Cup and at Amy Ruth’s, and just last night, Ethiopian cuisine at Almaz on U Street in DC, right across the street from the famous Ben’s Chili Bowl.

I must say, I have enjoyed every last bite.

So how in the world did I also manage to lose three pounds during this culinary adventure? Quite simply, it’s been a matter of balance.

Since I was little, one of my dad’s favorite mantras has been “eat little, live long.” I’ve never really took it to heart, until recently when I was diagnosed with HBP. Now I ask myself — am I really hungry? Or just eating because I’m bored, sitting in one place for too long, and trying to fill a void of a different kind with food? Quite often, that’s been my downfall.

When I’m thirsty and my body’s crying out for water, in the past I’ve answered the call with something edible. Now I answer the call with what my body needs – pure H2O. I’m keeping an eye on my caloric intake, and this vacation has been anything but sedentary — between taking a day-long stroll through Central Park and tackling my friend Jenny’s six flights of stairs every day, I’ve gotten more exercise on the streets of NYC than I’ve been accustomed to getting in Miami any day of the week. Urban hiking rocks, but a pair of good walking shoes is essential.

I can’t even put into words how happy I am to have signed up for the 50 Million Pound Challenge — online accountability has been helping to keep me in check for sure, and when I find myself in doubt, I ask myself – what would Dr. Ian say about the condition my condition is in?

I think he’d say, live your life to the fullest, but enjoy things in moderation. I needed some guidelines on balancing what I wanted with what I needed. And what I truly needed most of all was a change of routine. I chose kind of a dramatic way to do it, but it’s proving to be well worth the experience so far.

If you’re like me, and your job/lifestyle/mentality leads you to be sedentary often, do yourself a favor. Find some time this weekend to peel yourself away from the computer screen. Go outside, take a long walk with your honey, or by yourself – put on some good music and get out there. Or find your own favorite way to get up, get out, and do something active. It’s way too easy to get stuck in a life rut, a food rut, an exercise rut. It’s up to you to take the reins of your life back again. And if I can do it – so can you!

Every week for the last 8 weeks, I’ve been blogging about the 50 Million Pound Challenge — but the journey doesn’t end here! Look out for regular weight loss posts, served up fresh on a fortnightly basis. And tell me bellas — are you in a rut? Do you know what you need to do to get out?

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Niki says:
March 26, 2009, 3:21 pm
Sticking with my exercise and eating plan has been my biggest challenge. I am really gung-ho about it for a few weeks, then I decide I want to "treat" myself, then I decide that I am tired of getting up a hour early every morning, etc. until I slide all the way down my slippery slope. I do have the added motivation of my friend's wedding in Jamaica next year (I have a vision of myself in a bikini even though I have never worn one in my life, even when I was thin), but I know that can't be my driving force. So far, I have been able to avoid HBP (switching my birth control helped that go down, but since I stopped exercising regularly, I have noticed that my stamina and energy have gone down. I know that I want to look cute in the mirror, but I really have to know that being more energetic and healthy should be my goal.
Laquita says:
March 26, 2009, 4:03 pm
Great post - I really need to get back to my exercise routine :o)
LBell says:
March 26, 2009, 10:53 pm
I have an idea for a future blog entry: Walking shoes that are functional and attractive at the same time! I'm definitely in the market for some. :)
Leah says:
March 27, 2009, 12:34 am
You have motivated me to move away from the rut! Go afrobella! Grazie mille per questa posta.
Seymone says:
March 27, 2009, 12:38 am
Oh man.. I love Sugacane. Love love it. Best trini food in BK in my humble opinion. Unfortunately, I moved to Cali 2 months ago, so I wont be back there for awhile. Let me tell you, next time I am in BK, you better believe I will be at Sugacane. LOL
Zenzele says:
March 27, 2009, 8:53 am
I miss NYC, I really do. I'm upstate now, and though I don't have any weight problems, I rarely walk around here. There's not much to walk to, and if I want to hang out in a "walking" neighborhood, I have to drive there first, and then there's not much to see. I've recently made the same change as you, career-wise. I went back to self-employment several days ago, after working for a brief time, at a place I hated. Besides now being able to work from home, I'm vowing to get out more, and walk more often. I'm also going back to NYC more often - I really miss Amy Ruth's!
Kindred Smile says:
March 27, 2009, 9:46 am
As always, this post was inspiring. Keep up the great work, bella!
Shana says:
March 27, 2009, 1:02 pm
@ Niki . . . Birth Control is what did it to me. For me it drove my BP up so high that I eventually had a stroke in my left ear and lost my hearing in it. I urge women to not stay on the Pill for a long period of time because it really can have a bad effect on your BP . . .I am an example of it. @ Bella- Way to go Sis . . .I'm proud of you, keep it up!
1969 says:
March 30, 2009, 11:07 am
SugarCane is one of my favorite restaurants when I am home in Brooklyn. LOVE IT!!!
Wes says:
March 30, 2009, 4:00 pm
I'm so sorry I missed you!! But yes I agree- LOVE both Sugarcane and Pink Tea Cup... Matter of fact, I just had breakfast at PTC on Saturday.
BK says:
March 31, 2009, 12:31 pm
I am sooo happy you enjoyed Sugarcane!!!!! I'm going this saturday when I go home
pets says:
March 31, 2009, 3:41 pm
Congrats - any weight loss is a good thing!How's Max?


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