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Healthy, Fit, and Fabulous

Being healthy makes everything better…

New Year…New-ish Resolutions

Hi!  I feel like I should start off by channeling my inner Eric B. and Rakim, “It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, without a strong rhyme [blog] to step to.”  Wave your hands in the air, and wave ‘em like you just don’t care!  Be careful not to knock over your computer.  Ok, I’m getting back on task.  I know it seems like forever since I posted.  I apologize for the absence.

Have you ever had so much to do that you didn’t end up doing anything?  My head has been swimming with so many creative ideas, and I just have not written them down.  Dang it.  Somewhere, I have some brain cells that are a virtual literary black hole.  I don’t have a good Continue reading “New Year…New-ish Resolutions”

Birthdays and Epiphanies

Hey, folks.  I know it’s been a long time.  I’ve been distracted by my jacked up wrist and hand from that accident.  Not to mention, the pain and swelling have hampered my ability to spend quality time with my keyboard.  It’s still swollen and hurts, but it’s getting better.  My orthopedic doc said use it as tolerated, so here goes…

I still haven't had birthday cake, yet.

I feel like I should open with a rap.  Those of you that know my speaking voice should be laughing by now because I sound absolutely crazing rapping.  Back to the point.  I recently had a birthday and turned 37.  The funny thing is this is the first birthday that I actually feel different.  I remember turning 16 and knowing I could finally get a license, but I didn’t FEEL any different.  I remember turning 21, and it not even being a big deal because I don’t even drink alcohol.  I remember turning 24, and not realizing how much of a blessing it was to then be eligible for lower rates on car insurance.  My birthday this year started off very much unlike any other day.  I woke up at 3:20 am in excruciating pain.  It felt like someone was cutting the fingers of my right hand with knives and trying to squeeze the blood out.  As I laid in the bed in tears, I just hoped it would stop. Eventually, it became bearable, and I got myself ready for work. The day included a trip to hand specialist, some Cuban food with a friend, and watching So You Think You Can Dance.   The day ended up with me taking myself to dinner at a cute little bar where I sipped hot mint tea, munched on upscale chicken and waffles while reading Breaking Dawn on my iPad. See, nothing earth shattering there.  Well, the other little fact was that I was totally moved the outpouring of birthday wishes on Facebook.  I’m finally getting to the real news.  I woke up the next morning FEELING different.  I just felt peaceful.  I felt like everything was all right…I was right where I was meant to be.  I felt…happy.  Now, that’s the best gift and blessing that I could ever get.

Fast forward to a few days later.  I was saying goodnight to my 21 month old cousin.  She was grinning at me with these huge eyes and this totally toothy grin.  At that moment, there was no way I could love her any more…even if I had birthed her myself.  I realized that I was okay if I don’t have children.  I can love other children.  They don’t have to be mine.  Some folks are sitting there saying, but you can have children for years.  For me, I don’t want to be Kelly Preston.  I have no idea to be in my mid to late 40s kicking out babies.  When my parents were my age, I was 13.  My uterus has a time limit, and I’m not going to go into a panic trying to make sure it bears some “fruit.”  I know 37 isn’t old.  I don’t feel old.  I feel wiser, and I recognize that I’m getting older.  I can’t honestly say that I feel like I have a big hole in my life.  My life is filled with so much love.  I have the skill and talent to make a difference in people’s lives daily by just going to work.  I am financially comfortable.  I have a great family.  I have some of the best friends in the world.  I just don’t have anything to really complain about.  I also feel like I can’t say that I believe in God and have faith in his plan if I sit around second guessing the way things naturally unfold.

I have a phenomenal life.  I have freedom.  I have love.  I even have some power.  I am the queen of my destiny, and I challenge all of you to claim your rights to yours.  As we all get older, it’s time to improve what we can and make peace with the things out of our control. Peace and happiness are truly priceless.  Happiness is a choice.  I hope you choose it.

Much nub (doing a one armed gimpy cabbage patch dance while listening to Stevie Wonder),

Dr. Ericka

A Not So Ordinary Day in the Life of a Psychiatrist: on the job injury

This blog could easily be named the “hunt and peck” blog.  I’m typing this, while I’m all gimpy.  At times, I’m even typing with an ice pack resting on my wrist.  Yeah, I have to use my creativity for more than just blogging.  You may be wondering how I got here.  Let me tell you a little story.  Hi, my name is Dr. Ericka, and I’m a psychiatrist.  I was having an uneventful day at work until I heard screaming.  By the time I was able to intervene, the situation had already escalated. Continue reading “A Not So Ordinary Day in the Life of a Psychiatrist: on the job injury”

The Secret Dating Expletive: Potential

Potential.  It’s such a simple word.  According to Webster’s Dictionary it means “something that can develop or become actual.” Sounds innocent and harmless doesn’t it?  Wrong.  In dating, this word is sabotage, deceptive, and a set up for disaster.  Why you ask?  I could rant about this forever!  I really mean forever.  I’m going to show you some mercy and just give the short version.  What brings me to this topic?  I was watching the Nightline Faceoff:  Why Can’t a Succesful Black Woman Find a Man.  There was a segment where Hill Harper went on and on about potential.  Potential has a place, but it has historically not worked out well for black women, possibly other women or men also. Continue reading “The Secret Dating Expletive: Potential”

Mom’s Relationship Wisdom

I was having this marathon conversation with my best friend about relationships, when my mom pulled out these two slips of paper that she’d written a few weeks ago.  “What did they say?” you ask.  Here goes:

If you’re single looking for a man, make a list of the qualities you want him to have.  If your list has more than 10 items, mark off all but 10.  If you’re 21-25 mark off 2 items.  If you’re 25-30, mark off 3 more.  If you’re 35-40, mark off 2 more.  Now, if you’re 40 or more, mark off one more.  If you’ve reached 0, start making a list of things that make you happy to do by yourself because chances are that you’re going to stay single.  So just enjoy your life.”

Honestly, when I first saw this my response was to laugh.  At first glance, you may thing this is negative and hopeless.  I see something more.  Yes, it’s logical that the selection may go down with time.  Can you imagine a huge sale with the same quality of merchandise on day 7 as day 1?  There are the special finds that are from returns or online purchases that show up as surprises, but those aren’t the norm.  Do I think a good mate when one is getting “older” is a miracle find?  No.  I believe there are a lot of great women and great men still out there that are single.  Do I think there is some disconnect that is keeping all of these good catches from meeting each other?  Yes.

What do I get from mom’s wisdom?  The men out there as we get out there may not all be exactly what we first imagined we wanted.  There are some folks that are single (men and women) that are single for a reason.  Some people just are not relationship appropriate at the moment (notice I said moment not forever).  The question is do you settle and just “have” a man or do you hold onto your standards and see if you end up with one.  My thought is I would rather be alone that be one more person in a bad relationship.  Unfortunately, I see a shortage of happily married people.  At the end of the day, I agree with her last conclusion.  Regardless of partner or no partner, you have to enjoy your life.  Every day is a gift.  If you waste it, it’s gone.  You can’t control whether you find Mr. or Mrs. Right, but you can control your own happiness.  Happiness is a state of mind, so get to stating!

Much nub and health,

Dr. Ericka

My Name is Ericka

Hi.  My name is Ericka, and I’m a doctor.  Do they have tea instead of coffee at this meeting?  LOL.  If there really was a support group for doctors, I would definitely check it out.  Back to the real world.  I am a doctor.  I spend my days being an agent of change.  I have the honor of looking into people’s eyes and seeing their souls. As I psychiatrist, I am intimately acquainted with how physical health, mental health, and spiritual health are intertwined.  As with food, there’s much more than just the packaging.  I’m not here on this blog to be your doctor, but I am here to share my thoughts which are influenced by my experience of witnessing so many aspects of the human condition and observing the world with a keenly trained eye.  I believe I improve the lives of people that I know in my personal life, and I hope I can make yours better, too (if only by giving you a smile).

Much nub, health, and fitness,

Dr. Ericka

What New Year’s Resolution?

This year I came up with a brilliant New Year’s Resolution.  How do I know it was brilliant you ask?  Was it a moment of pure narcissistic bliss?  Nope, it’s seeing what happens when I stop doing it.  Rewind to January 1, 2010.  I had a heart to heart with myself and said, “Self.”  OK, just kidding about the conversation.  After turning over multiple ideas, I came up with the resolution to not snooze more than once each morning.  This would keep me from running late or missing workouts because I would snooze up to an hour.  Plus, I don’t know about you, but I don’t end up feeling a whole lot more rested from those 8-12 minute intervals of “bonus” sleep.  I started off great.  Then, it just crashed and burned after this car accident.  I’ve been snoozing and missing out on the time to complete tasks in the morning.  I snoozed and missed getting on the recumbent bike before work.  I snoozed and missed being able to do a deep conditioning treatment for my hair.  I snoozed and didn’t get in town in time to check into my hotel before work.  You get the point.  Not excessively snoozing is a simple intervention for a wide variety of tasks.  Time is precious.  There’s no good excuse for just wasting it.  Tomorrow, I will get back to my snooze only once lifestyle.  I’m excited about all the additional productivity that will come with it.  Wish me luck!

Oh, the informercial I was thinking about is the one for the Shake Weight.  I am sure that I’m not the only one that sees that commercial and thinks about something better suited for a bedtime use than home fitness.  I see the demand to target that resistant flab under the arm, but that visual just is too much for me.  I find it hard to take it seriously.  Let me know if you have used it and have had great results.  Maybe, I’m wrong to be distracted by that repetitive up and down motion.  LOL.

I’ve got to get that beauty sleep, so I can wake up bright and bushy tailed ready to take on the world tomorrow.  Sweet dreams to you, too.  Good luck on getting closer to your goals.

(Reaching to set my alarm)

Much nub, fitness, and health,

Dr. Ericka

A Sort of Green Light

Today, was my first day of physical therapy.  Not only did it make me feel a little better, but my therapist gave me permission to do some cardio.  She just told me to make sure that it doesn’t cause me any pain and to do short intervals at a time.  Woo-hoo.  I’ve been feeling sluggish, and I’m starting to get tics when I see or think about the gym.  That’s not a good thing, since I am still dealing with whiplash.  LOL.  Tomorrow, I have a date with the recumbent bike.  I never knew a bike could look so sexy (wink).  I wonder how people with more permanent or serious injuries find ways to stay fit.  Hmmm.  Feel free to let me know if you have any clues. That’s the big news for the day.  Tomorrow, will be my day to tackle an intriguing fitness infomercial.  You’ll have to come back to check it out.  Good luck on your journeys of health.

Much nub, health, and fitness,

Dr. Ericka

Eating on the Road

Tomorrow, I head back on the road.  I live in hotels 5 days out of the week, so I continue to search for the best ways to eat healthy with just a mini-fridge and a microwave.   I realize the first step is having discipline to avoid junk.  I have to have willpower when there is pizza, fried chicken, and all types of goodies around.  I actually eat better away from home than when I’m back at home with my family.  There’s just always something around.  No excuses.  Some people have mentioned raw diets.  Hmm.  Not sure about that, yet. I just know it may take being more disciplined, since I’m not burning off more calories with exercise.  Wish me luck with Physical Therapy and discipline.  Do you have any tips for me?  I’m open to suggestions:)

Oops.  I need to get my beauty rest.

Much nub, fitness, and health,

Dr. Ericka

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