Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week 23

Welcome to Week 23 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

Quick History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

First Six Weeks November – December 2015

 

Post Holiday/Winter Time Blues

 

Most Recent

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
Michael could easily lose 10+ pounds of weight in a week just by going on a unhealthy super low carb diet or dehydrating himself of water.  That’s not what this countdown is about!  This is about fat loss not weight loss!  There is a BIG difference between those two!

Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary (but way more accurate) measurement.


WEEK 23: April 15 – 21 2016

April 15th Stats
Scale Weight: 199.8 pounds
Waist: 33.4 inches

Week 23 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • Start taking 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Start a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the third week of doing a dedicated strength style workout. As each week passes, my body has been adapting. Last week my body got use to the “new workout” soreness and I felt I had a pretty productive lifting week.

This week, I could feel the carb cycling taking its toll during my workout days. The days before I workout, I have a lower amount of carbs & calories. What happens is that on the morning of my workout my energy is slightly on empty due to being depleted of the higher amount of carbs.

When I was doing a bodybuilding based workout, I mainly relied on fruit for my pre and post workout nutrition or I just trained fasted in the early morning.  Given the heavy weight I’m lifting, I need to ensure that I have proper nutrition prior to my workout session.

In case you haven’t been following me, I do intermittent fasting. I basically skip breakfast and don’t’ have my first meal until noon. I typically fast for 16 hours straight before breaking my fast for lunch.

That’s why I’ve been supplementing with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). This allows me to stay in the fast but still have nutrition to fuel my workout. I’m not a fan of supplements but for this style of workout, bcaas are needed.

With my body shifting between high and low calories, I’m still adapting. I’m progressing in my lifts but definitely felt “weaker” this week. I’ll be sure to keep a eye on this next week.

Sleeping

I was able to average 7 hours of sleep every day this week. I would prefer to get closer to 8. This was a week in which spring finally arrived so we had the windows opened for most days. That led to high and low temp changes, which affected my sleep. The more sleep I get the better my fat loss will become.

Eating

My wife and I came up with a good meal plan that allowed us to cook all our cravings at home this past week. I had a craving for some indian food, so we just made our own homemade chicken palak. I think we will be making more of that in our future!

I satisfied my sweet tooth by eating frozen mango chunks. If you’ve never tried them, get some! It’s a great way to get that creamy texture of ice cream/sorbet but in a healthy way.

Looking back at my food journal, I forgot about Friday night. I did have a case of “falling asleep on the coach but waking up” at 1 AM. That led me to eating another small serving of jambalaya and some Oreos. The Oreos did cause me to go over my calories for that day.

I made a note to myself that the only reason I ate them was because I was tired. No big deal, I accepted my fault and didn’t desire them for the remainder of the week.

Food Journal

Here are my delicious food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 15 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 16 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 17 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 18 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 19 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 20 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 21 2016

End of Week 23 Stats: April 22nd, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 199.0 lbs (0.8 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 33.3 inches (0.1 inches lost from previous week)

I’m suprised that the scale read 199 pounds.  The previous night it read 202.3 pounds.  That’s why I will say this time and time again….I don’t trust the scale!  I dislike that I called this series of blog posts “Countdown to 195” because it makes it appear that the scale is the best indicator.  The mirror and my waist measurements are telling me the truth.  The scale only let’s me know when I have excess water in my body from eating carbohydrates are drinking 80+ ounces of water.

My waist has gone down for the past couple of weeks, which let me know I’m making progress.  I know I wasn’t as active as I had been in the previous week.  This was the first week I completely stopped walking up/down my household stairs.  For the previous five weeks, I had been doing a stair walking routine for my cardio.

I planned on replacing those walks with walking outside.  During Week 23, I took 3 walks.  This upcoming week, I will make more of an effort to be active during the day as well.  Cleaning, hourly shadow boxing, break dancing…who knows!  But it’ll be something simple, creative and fun.

Additionally I will slightly reduce my calories.  My non-workout days are already pretty low so I will just reduce my workout calories from 2756 to 2556.

Upcoming Week 24 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 199 to 198.5 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Increase daily activity (especially during fasting period)
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2556 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 224 grams Protein
        • 288 grams Carbohydrates
        • 57 grams Fat

23 Weeks Down……4 Pounds to Go ….Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

It took two weeks, but I finally got the scale to display a solid 199.  What’s in store for me this upcoming week?  Homemade ice cream?  Protein Shakes?  Birthday cake?  Like life, the temptations and distractions are unpredictable.  But I’ll be here, will you?

Tune in next Friday for Week 24!

7 Reasons Why Being A Hero Is Hard

I always had a super secret growing up. It was something that I didn’t want to just share with anybody because you never knew how people would react. The secret first started when I moved to Virginia as a young boy.

I had just learned how to properly read and form sentences. I knew exactly what I wanted to use this skill for. No longer was I a kid who looked at pretty pictures, but now I was going to understand what was being said!

I remember approaching my cousin Rico’s room. Inside he always had stacks and stacks of comic books in drawers and on the floor. My cousin Rico, was not ashamed nor his best friend Damian. They were the two coolest older kids I knew. If they were not afraid to display their love for comic book super heroes, why should I?

I had always watched cartoons, and knew about super heroes. But now I was at the grand mecca of resources. From the first moment I read my first Spider-Man comic, my childhood obsession with super heroes and comic books began!

Growing Up With Comic Book Heroes

Fast-forward to today, and the kids don’t realize how good they have it! I remember the first X-men cartoon I ever saw. It was at 5AM on a Sunday morning. I had to force myself out of bed because the syndication channel aired random cartoons. And than I saw it! The heroes I had fantasized from reading my cousins comics on my TV!

Not too many people remember that cartoon because four years later, the X-men had a weekly animated show on Fox!

Now, the X-men’s parent company, Marvel Comics, have movies coming out every other summer! I would have never guessed this would be life in the twenty first century! These are exciting times for people like me!

As a youngster I gravitated towards Marvel Comics more than I did DC Comics. But that didn’t mean I never knew who Batman & Superman was. I knew all their storylines as I studied profusely through movies, cartoons and comics over the years.

As I got towards my college years, I got busy with schoolwork and life and lost touch. The last X-men storyline I fully read was the whole Onslaught saga where it turned out Professor X was the traitor (Not Gambit) of the X-men that the future always talked about.

[If you have no idea what I just said, remember I don’t judge those who binge watch Netflix shows! We all have our own obsessions at different points in our lives!]

Speaking of Netflix, it’s awesome that Hollywood has become fanatical with comic book heroes. I’m now able to get adult versions of Marvel Hero’s on Netflix.

Jon Bernthal as The Punisher In Daredevil TV Show

( Jon Bernthal was perfectly cased as the Punisher on Daredevil!!  Punisher & Daredevil together on a awesome TV show!  That’s a dream come true! Thank you Marvel and Netflix!)

It’s Tough Being A Hero

Heroes always at some point come in and win the day. That’s what makes them so appealing as a youngster. You need something to believe in and that’s where hero’s come in. But their lives are not easy. Here are 7 reasons as to why being a hero is so hard:

Responsibility

with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility-5-characters-who-could-beat-spiderman-your-f-710404

“With Great Power comes Great Responsibility”

This infamous quote comes from Peter Parker aka Spiderman’s Uncle Ben. It is a phrase that has haunted Spiderman through out his entire super hero journey. It was Peter Parker’s fault for his Uncle dying.

Peter had just gotten his Spiderman powers as a teenager. He decided to make some cash and in the process of being angry, he let a criminal escape. At the time, Peter didn’t feel it was his problem. Sadly that same criminal murdered his beloved uncle.

When we are going through our lives, we have to be responsible for our actions. One argument with a parent, or one bad investment is all it takes to completely change our lives for the worse. If we refuse to take responsibility for the outcome, we will never be as great as we could be just be being responsible.

Experience Pain

A young Bruce Wayne witnesses his parents murder right in front of him. That tragic situation motivated him to do something about the crime in his city. That painful journey leads to the creation of Batman.

We all live in this game called life. It’s egotistical to think you can go your entire life without experiencing some pain. Pain is a natural part of life. Yes it hurts. Yes it sucks. That pain helps us know we are alive. It let’s us know that we are human.

What you do with that pain is up to you. Heroes fight through that pain and try to become great. What are you doing with your pain? Are you caving into it? Or are you ready to wipe the tears from your eyes and get up!

Sacrifices

Barry Allen aka The Flash

In the 80’s Barry Allan aka The Flash was faced with a life or death situation. He was the only one with the power to prevent the Earth from dying, but by using his great power, he would die. Like a true hero he sacrificed his life to save the world.

This was not just some story of the week. Barry Allan actually died! He was gone from DC Comics for 20 years! It’s very rare for a comic book to kill off one of their most beloved heroes. Barry Allan truly did make a sacrifice.

We mere mortals don’t have to save the world from imploding, but there’s no question we have to make sacrifices. All the great hero’s do it. Some are easy to do while others take weeks of pondering.

Is the new job worth the extra hour-long commute? Is losing twenty pounds worth me giving up cake? The impact of the sacrifice is all in the eyes of the one doing the sacrifice. What’s easy to one seems like the weight of saving the entire world to others!

Physique

Heroes are expected to be in peak condition. How many overweight heroes have we seen over the years? Not too many. Our heroes have the physiques we always dream about. If you’re going to wear spandex, than I guess you should have a 6 pack poking out and not some tightly squeezed man-boobs!

In the heroes off hours they take the time to work out. How else do you think they look that way? Haven’t you seen famous athletes who look completely different now than they did 15-20 years ago? If you don’t keep your physique up, you’ll lose it in a heartbeat!

Public Criticism

Every move a hero makes is going to be criticized by the public. J. Jonah Jameson ripped Spider-Man apart every chance he got in his newspaper, The Daily Bugle. Lois Lane obsessed over Superman like a rock band groupie. The X-Men and their fellow mutants were labeled as freaks with smear campaigns run against them by religious and political groups.

Hmmmm does any of this sound familiar in today’s 24/7 news?

Heroes are held to a higher standard in the public eye. The media is doing it’s best to take a person down. Negative news is the best type of news. Remember that as the public looks at you.

Good Natured

Nightcrawler by designer SpiderguileA hero is defined as being noble and good. When the media is saying negative stuff, a hero is still going out and doing the right thing. While the X-men’s Nightcrawler was being perceived as a demon and monster, he still saved countless lives. He could have easily been what they defined him, but he chose to be good and stick to his faith.

We all know how much easier it is to be a bad person. Tearing people apart takes less effort than being kind to another person. Humans by nature like to do the easy things. You should strive to be better in your life. Say nice things to one another. Be a good guy!

Humble

A hero has to know when to keep his ego in check. Tony Stark aka Iron Man may be one of the exceptions to the rule. But for the most part a hero stays humble. Most don’t want the world knowing their secret identity. Imagine saving the world and not taking the credit. What sane person does that?

Every day we each have our own secret lives. How many of us truly knew the day-to-day sacrifices our parents made for us? How many people out there truly tell their family about the job they hate? Most suck it up and try to stay humble.

Archvillain

Dark Knight's version of Heath Ledger's JokerEvery hero has some type of villain to make his or her life miserable. Batman has the Joker. Superman has Lex Luther. Captain America has the Red Skull. The list goes on and on. No matter how many good things a hero does, the archvillian always finds a way to pop up and create havoc in a hero’s life.

I can think of several archvillaians over the course of my life. Have you had any bullies you had to deal with as a kid? How about now at work, is there someone that just makes your daily life a pain? That person is definitely your archvillian! Handle them like a true hero.


In Conclusion

As you read this, I hope you realize that superheroes are not just something made up in comics. Heroes are actually out here in the real world. They do things in secret every day.

The widow on minimum wage raising five kids all by herself. The Veteran who lost his leg protecting our country in a war that people ignores. The immigrant who went from persecution in his home country, to learning English and establishing the best restaurant in his city. The teacher using her money to pay for her students’ books.

The media refuses to acknowledge these heroes. Why? Because we know it’s easier to focus on the negative of the world than the good heroes do.

Does that mean the heroes stop doing good deeds? No! They stay in the shadows and continue with what’s in their hearts. To them, just helping out one life is a reward in itself.

I have had several heroes in the course of my life. I’m sure if you look deep enough in yours, you will discover some as well. Maybe it’s time you became someone’s hero.

Just be ready to give more than you take!

Mike’s Countdown to 195: Week 22

Welcome to Week 22 of me publicly broadcasting my goal of getting down to 195 pounds every Friday until that goal is accomplished.

History Of How I Got Here

2010 – Early 2015
  • Used weight training to lose 80 pounds of fat and maintained a healthy weight around 205-210 pounds based on home/work lifestyle.
  • 2015 goal to lose 15 pounds of fat that would equate to about 195 pounds (if no muscle loss)
  • Challenged myself to get to 195 during 2015 Holiday Seasons (hardest time for me to lose weight)

 

November – December 2015
January 2016 – March 2016
April 2016

**SPECIAL NOTE**:
Truth be told, Michael doesn’t care how much he weighs. The real stat that matters to him is his waist. That’s the measurement that tells the real story about his health/fat loss. One of Michael’s other goals was to have a consistent 34.5” or smaller waist size. Since waist measurements aren’t as sexy as weight loss, he decided to focus on the scale for these countdown weeks, while looking at the waist as a secondary (but way more accurate) measurement.

WEEK 22: April 8 – 14 2016

April 8th Stats
Scale Weight: 199.8 pounds
Waist: 33.5 inches

Week 22 Main Goals

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34.5 inches
  • Increase daily activity (ie: neighborhood walks, spring cleaning, etc.)
  • Maintain a new weightlifting routine emphasizing strength while losing fat
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

 

Observations & Challenges

Workout

This was the second week of my new strength workout routine. I could feel the difference between this week and last. My lower body was screaming at me last week whereas this week their was no intial soreness. That soreness was just due to being inactive for a week and doing something completed different.

For those that have been following me, I was primarly doing a bodybuilding style routine with high reps and low rest periods. This current strength routine is less reps but more rest in between exercise sets. My current routine is more about seeing how strong I am while losing weight.

Sleeping

I was able to get 7.5 hours of sleep every day this week. The key was forcing myself to be in my quiet bedroom before 9:30 PM. The only entertainment I allowed myself was reading.  I did get caught up on my iPhone one night but put it away when I saw the time on the clock get close to 10PM!

Depending on the time I turned the lights out in my bedroom, I set my alarm to wake me up between 5:15 and 6:15 AM. That insured me 7.5 hours of peaceful sleep. I’ll try to keep it up this next week.

Eating

For the majority of this countdown I was keeping track of my eating compliance. Basically I was allowing myself 1-2 cheat meals a week. When following this new strength protocol I decided to switch things around and not have classic cheat meals anymore.

My strength training routine involves me eating enough calories to support working out so on my weight-lifting days I eat more. I save my calorie deficit days for my non weight-lifting. This insures that I have enough nutrition to support my stressful workout days.

Looking over the history of this journey, I saw that my biggest faults were on the weekends. I decided to put a fix on that by not working out on the weekends. That would force me to eat cleaner.

To keep myself sane, I decided to allow myself to eat any food it takes to meet my macros. I’m disciplined enough to know how to get in all my protein, veggies and clean carbohydrate sources before moving on to the sweets.

Food Journal

Here is the Real World food stats for the week:

Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 8 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 9 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 10 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 11 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 12 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 13 2016 Mike's Diet Journal Entry for April 14 2016

End of Week 22 Stats: April 15th, 2016

  • Scale Weight: 199.8 lbs (0 lbs lost from previous week)
  • Waist: 33.4 inches (0.1 inches lost from previous week)

The number on the scale didn’t go down but my waist sure did. During the previous two weeks, I had massive weight losses on the scale. It was only a matter of time before I slowed down. This was one of those weeks.

Additionally, I don’t believe the scale. Due to the way I’m eating, my daily weight fluctuates. That’s why I don’t rely only on the scale to justify my progress. The visual and waist measurement tests are proof that I’m making progress.

I will not change my diet. I will stick with what I’m doing. If my weight doesn’t change but my waist shrinks, I’m making progress. If my weight doesn’t change and my waist gets bigger, then I would bump my workout calories down.

 

Upcoming Week 23 goals:

  • Drop scale weight from 199.8 to 199 pounds
  • Maintain a waist size less than 34 inches
  • Start taking 30-60 minute walks 2-4x a week
  • Eat about 1776 calories a day on my off days
    • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
      • 195 grams Protein
      • 160 grams Carbohydrates
      • 39 grams Fat
    • Eat about 2756 calories a day on my off days
      • For my fat loss/muscle maintenance goals that ideally breaks down to:
        • 240 grams Protein
        • 310 grams Carbohydrates
        • 61 grams Fat

22 Weeks Down……5 Pounds to Go ….Waist goal achieved and now must be maintained!

After two hot weeks, I reached a temporary stopping point. Will I still be at 199 pounds next week? Could I possibly be gaining muscle due to my weightlifting routine? Is a ice cream sundae on the agenda for next week?

Tune in next Friday for Week 23!

How I Finally Understood The Importance Of Leaving A Legacy

I will never forget my second business trip to Knoxville, Tennessee. I was going to be in town for a week’s worth of events and came prepared. I had mapped out the entire area and knew where all the grocery stores, restaurants and gyms were. I wanted to make this trip an exemplar trip for my upcoming busy 2013 business travel schedule.

Upon my Sunday afternoon arrival at Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport, football was on my brain so I rushed to my hotel room.  Once I got to my hotel, I saw the local TV station games were of no interest to me so I went to the grocery store. I picked up healthy food items that would keep my physique in check for the entire week.

Now that I had completed establishing my hotel “Safety Zone” (read Release The Beast), I proceeded to continue watching football while surfing the Internet. You see, Christmas was only a few short weeks away and I wanted to help my sister buy laptops for my nephews.

I called my sister and spoke about my gift ideas. After awhile, we started to talk about other topics. Eventually, I expressed to her how I had been reading this book on the flight to Knoxville that blew away my mind! That book was Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro & Napoleon Hill.

Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon HillThink & Grow Rich

Most inspiring entrepreneurs have heard of the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Not too many are aware of the Black Choice version. As an African American, I highly encourage you (no matter what ethnic background you have) to read this version of it. It’s captivating to read stories of poor Black Americans rising up and creating dream lifestyles despite impossible circumstances.

The last chapter I read before talking to my sister, talked about creating your legacy. Up into that point I never really thought too much about my legacy. I had always gone by day by day. Sure I saved money in the bank due to my well paying job, but I never truly thought about what I was leaving for future generations.

My wife and I currently do not have any kids. What I do have is several young cousins, nieces and nephews. As I started to think about their current lives, I realized that these family members are a part of my legacy. It’s up to me to make sure they understand what I have been through in this world. For better or worse, it’s my responsibility to look after them and share my past with them.

Is This My Life?

As I sat in that hotel room it was like a light was shining on me. I sat and thought about my daily routine. I had been just showing up at work without really having an end game in mind. I was collecting a good paycheck but didn’t really have a true purpose at the job. I was only content with being in the job position I was in and not moving upward. I start thinking that if I wasn’t going to move upward or laterally, what would my next twenty years look like?

Have you ever had a job where you’ve seen someone at the same position for their entire careers? Never striving to be anything more then average? Despite all their talents, they were just happy with collecting a paycheck and staying in place. Is that the type of person I wanted to portray to the next generation? Is that how I want them to remember me as?

If I was to die today, I started to think exactly what would I be remembered for? The person who never spoke up about anything? As a youngster I was always told how special I was. Everyone would tell me how smart I was. At what point did I stop advancing? As I read more and more into the chapter, I just knew that couldn’t be me!

My college years damaged me tremendously. I always hated school but after graduating college, it just furthered my hatred. (Note: I look forward to writing my book series about my college life later this year. It’s been loonng overdue! )

Despite my hatred for school I understood the importance of education. You need some sort of education to understand the past so you can properly prepare for the present and future. So where exactly was my future taking me?

Present State Of Mind

That thought provoking process a few years ago is what led me to the point I’m at right now. You see, I’m in the midst of creating a legacy I would have never guessed ten years ago. I always had bosses that saw the potential in me, and told me that I would be able to run my own company some day. I use to be too young and naïve to really listen to them. As the years have went on, the message they were trying to teach me has become crystal clear.

We all don’t know how much time we have on this planet. If that were the case, wouldn’t it be awesome if you lived your life each day! Whether that’s in business, family, relationships or fitness, just imagine actually living life to it’s fullest. Visualize the day you’re gone and the smiles on people’s faces. Not sadness and depression. But actual joy on their faces because they knew the life you lived. They know that you did not live a selfish life but one of excellence. A life of making this world a better place.

The Legacy Of Two Incredible Women

Aunt Betty

When I think about legacies, the first people in my life that come to mind are my Aunt Betty and Aunt Pam. My Aunt Betty passed away from cancer when I was six years old. I only knew her for a short period of my life, but it was long enough to leave a lasting impact.

Whenever I see myself eating something new and exotic, I think of my Aunt Betty. I remember the countless restaurants she would take my mom and I out to for lunch.

Chinese Food with sweet & sour chicken plus friend rice, lo mein noodles.
My First Sweet & Sour Chicken Experience was With Aunt Betty

There’s without a doubt that I got my love and passion for food from my Aunt Betty. To this day when I try new restaurants, I can’t help but smile because my Aunt Betty helped plant that seed in me. It’s a gift that she passed to me without even realizing. I look forward to thanking her some day.

Aunt Pam

My Aunt Pam was someone extremely special and dear to my heart. She was one of the nicest people to ever walk upon this planet. My Aunt Pam had two boys the same age as my brother and me so we were very close as children. Even when my mom moved from Ohio to Virginia, we still stayed tight like brothers. In the summers my brother and I would stay in Ohio with my Aunt Pam. That’s why I always felt she was my second mom. I didn’t’ shy away from calling her mom on occasions.

As I became older, it became evident the sacrifices my Aunt Pam made to make us all happy. She hid her pains and frustrations from us kids. Her exterior was only to make the people around her lives joyful. I have yet to meet anyone that knew my Aunt Pam that didn’t instantly feel in love with her generosity and kindness. She didn’t have wealth of money but she had a spirit about her that remains unmatched.

After high school, my college and professional career kept me from being able to consistently stay in touch with my Aunt Pam as much as I would have liked. The simple phone calls did not happen as frequently as they should because I took life for granted.

My Aunt Pam passed away in 2013.

I’m thankful enough to have been able to speak to her before she passed away and tell her just how much she impacted my life. Even in that short emotional conversation, I don’t think she got the full impact she’s had on my life. There’s so many things instilled in me from our time together. From the way I clean a bathroom, to the way I make a sandwich, to even letting my guard down so individuals could see the goofy side of me. That was her legacy to me.

A Legacy Is More Than Wealth

Both of my Aunts were not rich. Neither one had any type of monetary inheritance to bestow upon their families. What they did do was unknowingly leave something much greater than money. If I could only impact someone’s life 1/100th of the way those two impacted my life, there’s no dollar amount that could equate to that!

That’s the type of legacy I wish to achieve someday. If I could just change one person’s life the way they changed mine, I would have lived my life to it’s fullest! I can only hope to achieve something so similar to another person’s life.

As you go about your day today, think about my story and ask yourself ……What’s the legacy I’m leaving behind?

Naughty Junk Food Diaries: Earning Ms. Hines Office Goodies

“Mr. Moore……Ms. Hines will see you now”.

With that announcement, I rose up off my seat. Nervously I walked towards the door, not sure what to expect. This meeting was weeks in the making. My MicVinny Team had called Ms. Hines assistants several times to arrange this special meeting. Countless meetings had been cancelled because our schedules just didn’t match up.

But today it was finally happening. Today was the day Ms. Hines and I would finally meet. I had no idea what she would look like but I knew it was going to be unforgettable. As I approached the door I could hear the lyrics to The Weeknd’s “Earned It” echoing in the background as if I was in a music video.

You make it look like it’s magic
Cause I see nobody, nobody but you, you, you
I’m never confused
Hey, hey
I’m so used to being used

I had seen others like Ms. Hines around town and attempted developing solid friendships. But just like the song, I always ended up being used. I would put my trust into the friendship and only end up as a ruined wreck weeks later. Why would I expect anything different from Ms. Hines? What was so special about her that would change my recent history?

So I love when you call unexpected
Cause I hate when the moment’s expected

Love might be a strong word for this feeling right now! Heck, I was just about to meet her for the first time. But I was very appreciative towards this initial meeting.

254F34D100000578-2938347-Moving_mountains_Grey_then_demands_that_his_secretary_cancel_his-a-22_1422988075660With that mental picture, I walked through that door and gazed upon the figure in front of me. All I could think of was….

So I’ma care for you, you, you
I’ma care for you, you, you, you, yeah
Cause girl you’re perfect
You’re always worth it
And you deserve it
The way you work it
Cause girl you earned it
Girl you earned it

We chatted for over thirty minutes. The conversation just naturally flowed. Our eyes made contact our chemistry flowed naturally. Man, where was this girl all my life!

She had such a beautiful complexion. I instantly knew she was the result of two opposites. I could visually see one of her parents were a dark chocolate complexion while the other was of a lighter complexion. This pairing created something truly sexy and exotic called Ms. Haines.

You know our love would be tragic
So you don’t pay it, don’t pay it no mind
We live with no lies
Hey, hey
You’re my favorite kind of night

I poured my emotions into the conversation we were having. I told her right away what I expected in this new relationship. We both were professionals so I knew she could handle it.

I’m so used to being used
So I love when you call unexpected
Cause I hate when the moment’s expected
So I’ma care for you, you, you
I’ma care for you, you, you, you, yeah
Cause girl you’re perfect
You’re always worth it
And you deserve it
The way you work it
Cause girl you earned it
Girl you earned it

She blushed.
“Don’t blow it Mike!”, I repeated to myself. “You might be going to fast, slow down and remember what happened in the past.”

With that thought, I stood up from the couch and looked outside of her window.Man-Window-Capture

The afternoon had turned into evening as the sun lowered down. I turned around and saw that she had stood up right behind me.She was perfect in every way.

We approached each other…

On that lonely night
You said it wouldn’t be love
But we felt the rush
It made us believe it there was only us
Convinced we were broken inside, inside
I’m so used to being used

This once innocent encounter now turned into something neither of us expected. Passion inched its way into our hearts as we got closer and closer….

So I love when you call unexpected
Cause I hate when the moment’s expected
So I’ma care for you, you, you
I’ma care for you, you, you, you, yeah

I ogled her up and down with nothing but delight shimmering in my eyes. My shirt was forcefully thrown to the floor. I wrapped my arms around her and guided her towards the office table.

Immediately I searched from some sort of protection. We didn’t know each other that well yet and I always come prepared. In my pocket, I found it. I ripped off the plastic surrounding it and spread it appropriately.

Her eyes got big…..My eyes got big as we paused to grasp this moment……

Cause girl you’re perfect
You’re always worth it
And you deserve it
The way you work it

I opened my mouth and wrapped my lips around the sugary sweet goodness of Ms. Hines. I was prepared to go the distance. In what seemed like an eternity, our bodies became one as we approached our climax.

Once done, I got up and looked back at the damage we just did. I told myself I wouldn’t fall in love yet here I was, completely in love and completely a mess. She deserved better than me!

I immediately put my shirt back on, and threw my protection into the trash can. What once was pure white was now smudged with…….chocolate!

I told her I would call as I ran out that door with tears in my eyes!

“Don’t let her see you cry!!”

As I rushed out the door confused, I took one last look at her……

Three layer chocolate cake with vanilla frosting in the middle, chocolate frosting on the outside

Isn’t she sexy?

I know we shouldn’t be together but wasn’t this encounter worth it!

Cause girl you earned it
Girl you earned it