I Am NOT NeNe Leaks and Neither Are My Friends. Why Reality TV is Doing Us All More Harm Then Good

Reality TV madness is now apart of our everyday lives. It feels like on every other channel there’s a reality show where people are fighting, sexing or getting drunk. Today’s youth have horrible role models like Snooki and NeNe Leaks and that breaks my heart. While I do not know these women personally, the behavior that they portait on TV is nasty, rude and wreckless. As god fearing, hard-working, drama free people in society, we must make sure we’re stepping up to the plate and positively impacting those around us. Everyone isn’t getting drunk, sleeping with anything that walks and yelling curse words from the moment they wake up till they go to sleep; it’s just an act for TV!

As parents and loved ones to children and teens, we must work hard to teach them why they can’t listen to the inappropriate messages of those like Katie Perry and Lady Gaga. We must introduce them to positive, holy yet still entertaining TV shows, movies, books and music. I’m not suggesting that our children live in a bubble but they shouldn’t be thrown into the crazy world to soak up all the junk and figure things out for themselves either. We must have standards, morals/values and be our children’s heroes and roles models, NOT degrading rappers like Lil Wayne! The world can not have our children!

Every other Tuesday I host a Christian married mommies book club. I love this group of women. We are all educated, hard-working, dedicated women whom are always looking for ways to glorify God in our lives, marriages and parenting. We explore ways to help build our husbands up not tare them down. We talk about how to keep it HOT with a capital H in the bedroom on a regular!! We read books about how to be better Christians and mothers. We laugh, cry and pray together. There isn’t any drama or competition. We love God, our families, each other and ourselves. I can count on these women to pray with and for me, to call or text me when I’m going through and to give me a word from God on the spot when I’m too upset to think straight. True friendship is worth more than all the riches in the world. (Let me state that this is not my only group of friends, I have many other amazing ladies in my life. This is just the group I’m discussing in this post)

Sadly, our story of positivity probably would never get any form of media attention because nothing super juicy is happening. If we were being caddy and rude to one another and arguing over who has more money and whose husband is the finest, then we could call it The Real Housewives of Detroit and everyone would tune in. But because we’re 9 women who look different, think different, have different household situations but are confident, loving and excepting of one another, many wouldn’t think that it would make a good show.

If you desire to start a business, get married, start a family, start a ministry etc you need to hook up with people who are successful in that area and make them your mentor. If you want to fail at life then follow the fake reality TV celebs and others in the entertainment biz who are completely lost and clueless themselves. I used to watch the Real Housewives of ATL a few years back and one day my husband said something profound to me. He asked me why I wasted my time watching a show filled with drama that was teaching me what type of wife or woman NOT to be. I decided that since I needed to keep working on my attitude, I shouldn’t watch TV shows that continue to show women arguing, cursing and neck rolling. I want to glorify God in my home as and watching junk on TV won’t help me to do that.

What are you watching? Who are you hanging around? Are you a positive or negative role model to those around you? Do your children see God in you? Do you respect your husband as God commands you too? Each of us needs to examine ourselves daily and ask God to show us how to be better. Thank you Jesus for your mercy, grace and love and the opportunity to get it right after we’ve messed up.

My Journey To The Fab New Me & My 200th Blog Post!

Happy 200th blog post!! Thank you to everyone for reading, supporting and commenting! March 31 is my blogs 2 year anniversary. The blog has currently received over 60,000 hits! I love what God is doing through me to bless others! Please keep reading and I will continue to be led by the Holy Spirit regarding what to post!

My Journey To The Fabulous New Me

Recently, I went out on a date with my husband and to my surprise, it took me a minute to find my make up. I had to stop and ask myself how long it had been since I put anything besides lipstick on?? Then I wanted to wear my contacts (because I’ve been sporting my glasses for almost the last two years) but I didn’t have any contact solution in the house. I told myself that it was time to bring back the old me and step it up a notch! I missed the old me who wasn’t always running around the house grabbing diaper bags, packing baby food and combing her hair in the car. I love being a mom but I decided that I needed to make time for it all and be fabulous in the process!

Last Friday, I worked a half day then took 2hrs to do some shopping for myself, by myself. It was a warm winter day and the sun was shinning! For Michigan weather, this was a big deal! By the time I was done, I had purchased 3 pair of earrings, make up, contact solutions and other hair care and hygiene products. I also stopped to get my eyebrows arched; something that I never seem to do on a consistent basis but that’s about to change. My hair dresser was out-of-town so I asked my mom to come over and help me do my hair. I was tired of not slowing down and taking the time I needed for me. It’s no ones fault but my own. My husband is super helpful and he tries to get me to relax and not do so much but sometimes it’s hard for me to just sit down. I needed to make myself slow down and make myself a priority and over the last six days I’ve done just that!

Once my hair was washed, pressed and bouncy, I put on my contacts, make up and earrings.  I looked like a new woman! I felt confident;  like a million bucks! My husband and daughter came in the bathroom and both grinned from ear to ear. My husband told me how much he liked my look and how he missed looking into my eyes without my glasses. He of course told me I was beautiful before and he liked the changes I’d made. He wanted to take me out so we got dressed, went to dinner and had a fun family evening.

For the last six days, I’ve gotten up everyday in enough time to nurse my daughter, talk with my honey, get my lunch, coffee AND do my hair and make up. Before my daughter, I would wear make up on the weekends (Hey I’m a social worker don’t judge me 🙂 But now I’d like to wear light make up daily and take time to make sure that I have the look that I want before leaving the house.

Ladies, life is busy with school, work, children, church, house work etc BUT we must take time for ourselves. We won’t be able to effectively do all that we need to do if we don’t take care of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. Here’s a list of ideas of things to do just for you: take a bubble bath, scrapbook, go to a movie, window shop, read a good book, work out, eat healthier and get more sleep. If you’ve been wearing the same hair style or make up, consider trying something new. When we feel comfortable, confident and rested, we’re at peace and much more happy. I’m sure our husbands, children, friends and coworkers were notice a change in our mood and will appreciate the new confident and relaxed us.  Take time this week and think about what you can do on a consistent basis just for you. Trust me you will be happy that you did!! Happy Wednesday!

It Always Feels Like Somebody’s Watchin Me

This Valentines Day, my husband gave our 10 month old daughter her first Valentines gift. He brought her some soft toy flowers and a cute basket. I  enjoyed watching him present her with the gift. Elyssa looked happy, surprised and intrigued by her new gift. The purpose of him giving her the gift was to start the tradition of being that special man in her life and being a godly role model of a father and husband to her. It’s so important for us parents to practice what we preach. Our children don’t need to see us talking the talk but not walking the walk. Their always watching so ask yourself what you’re showing them.

The night before Valentines Day, my husband came home with my vday surprise. He asked us to go in another room while he set it up. When Elyssa and I came out, Eddie had a beautiful arrangement of flowers, a huge I LOVE U balloon and my favorite candies and chocolates. We kissed and hugged and Elyssa watched us and grinned from ear to ear. It was as if she knew that something special was happening and she liked seeing us happy. I want to always provide her with the loving family that she needs and deserves. I will work hard to glorify God in my marriage so that she can see what it means to have a peaceful household with two parents that love God, each other and her.

Today I challenge you to be the best that you can be because people are watching you. People need to know that there is hope and they need to see Christ in you. Watch your words and actions. Live your life as if God is walking with you everywhere because He is even though you can’t see him. People are always watching you, esp once they find out you’re a Christian. So think twice before you speak badly of your boss or join in with others as they gossip behind each other’s back. Some people will never go to church so we have to bring the church to them. By setting a godly example for your children, friends, coworkers, you become a blessing and a walking example of God’s love.

Sad Soulful Love Songs, Why They Do More Harm Then Good

Back in college, when I was upset over one of my silly, unproductive and drama filled relationships, I would pop in one of my “I hate men,” CDs and wallow in a pity party. Somehow I thought that  sitting in the dark, listening to Tony Braxton’s The Heat CD (He Wasn’t Man Enough, Just Be A Man About It, I’m Still Breathing or You’ve Been Wrong) was going to somehow heal my hurt, help me to express my pain and give me the strength to go on another day. NOT!!!

There was a time when I did not own more than 3 gospel CD’s though I’ve always called myself a Christian. The majority of my CD collection was secular rap and R & B. I listened to Trina, Lil Kim, Kelis (I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW) and Pink’s first album, along with CD’s that taught me to be angry, bitter, revengeful and distrusting of men. No wonder I was a complete hot mess back then.

When I rededicate my life to Christ in Feb of 2002, I started to change what I read, watched and listened to because I began to understand how negative media was hurting me instead of helping me. As I began to read my bible, attend church more and hang out with other Christians, I discovered how peaceful, productive and fun life really could be without all the drama and negativity. As I stopped dating raggedy guys who only wanted to use me, chew me up and spit me out, my life got better. There was no need to listen to angry songs because I was no longer angry.

I realized that it was my fault for deciding to get in relationships with guys who were not saved and who let me know up front that they were up to no good. Why was I surprised that when I messed with dogs I got bit every time? Instead of continuing in the cycle of unhealthy relationships and mild depression when they didn’t work out, I decided to read books like “I Kiss Dating Goodbye,” by Joshua Harris, God’s Plan For the Single Saint by Pastor Andre Butler, Glass Rose by Pastor MiChelle Butler and Knight In Shining Armor by P.B Wilson. (There are a host of books out their for Christian singles, fiction and non fiction) I dedicated my time to building my relationship with Christ and getting to know myself. Ladies you don’t always have to be connected to a man. You can stand on your own as a single, successful, happy and confident woman. Relationships do not define who you are. It’s better to be single and happy than in a relationship and sad.

So the next time you find yourself pissed about your current relationship or the lack their of, instead of listening to “Just Another Sad Love Song” by Toni Braxton, take some time to pray, evaluate if the relationship is worth the drama and seek out godly advice from a woman who you trust. Life is precious. Don’t waste time on people or things that make you unhappy. Make the decision to live a peaceful, happy, drama free life. I encourage you to throw out the CD’s, books or movies that support the “angry bitter lonely woman syndrome” and surround yourself with uplifting, hopeful and holy media. I promise you, you will see a difference in your mood, attitude and life! I am a living breathing testimony of this!

Once I walked away from drama and focused on Christ and accomplishing my goals, I met my husband. He was nothing like the men that I had dated previously THANK GOD. He too wanted to be holy, have a drama free relationship and glorify God in his relationships. He is my blessing and I am his! Thank you God for my good man!!

Save The Drama For Yo Mama: 4 Tips On Living Drama Free

Here’s my Facebook status from 9/23/10. I received some great responses from the status so I promised to write a post about drama.

One of my biggest pet peeves are grown people who always have drama in their lives like their 15 but their 25+ years old. What’s the point? Having drama ain’t cute, it’s a waste of time! Get some godly, productive and faithful friends and date someone worthy of your time. I feel a blog post coming on! Lol

Examples of grown folks drama:

1. You continue to date guys that you know are bad for you. You and your man are always arguing, spying on each other and breaking up, only to apologize and start the cycle back over again.

2. You and your friends are always talking about each other and can never get along. This isn’t high school people, focus on developing a few close friendships instead of trying to have a clique as big as a football team.

3. Your always bouncing from job to job claiming that your boss and coworkers “just don’t like you” instead of seeking God about where you need to be, being mature and a diligent worker.

4 Tips On How To Live A Drama Free Life

1. Learn to love yourself. When you study the bible and discover how precious you are in God’s sight, when you start to appreciate your strengths and truly know your value, you won’t allow others to treat you like crap. Psalm 139:14

2. Learn to walk in love and forgiveness. No one is perfect. When a friend offends you or your boss speaks harshly to you, instead of cussing them out and telling everyone know you, ask God to show you how to be forgiven, merciful and how to walk in love as th bible commands. Matt 6:14-15 & Luke 10:27

3. In relationships, pay close attention to signs that the person may be bad for you. Guard your heart and end it when the red flags start popping up. No one wants to waste time jumping from bad relationship to bad relationship. Stop falling for the “bad boy.” Know that God’s got a hard working, respectful, honest, sold out for Christ MAN not boy, just for you. Be patient and trust God. Proverbs 3:5-6 & 4:23

4. Develop friendships with people who desire to live drama free. You must let go of friends that like to gossip all day everyday, argue over petty things, are easily offended and self centered. Birds of a feather always flock together. If you’re trying to honor God with your conversation and lifestyle, you must befriend others who have that same goal and are walking according to God’s word. Proverbs 11:13 & 20:19

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Biggest Winner: Whats Your Fit Plan Part 2

Week one of my fit plan went ok. I worked out four times but I wanted to do more. I started taking a daily vitamin and I increased my water intake also. I am off to a good start but I want to continue to do better. I tried to pay more attention to what I ate, how much of it and what time of day I ate it. I had too much junk food over the weekend though because my hubby and I went on a mini vacation to a water park. I got on the elliptical first thing this morning and had a great workout! My hair is in braids so I plan to work out even harder than usual now that my hair is no longer my excuse!!! 
Since I utilize cardio a lot for excercise, I googled information about cardio workouts. I wanted to know how often I needed to do cardio a week and how many calories I would need to burn to see some results. I was surprised by the info that I found. I posted that article below. 
I also googled how much water a week I was supposed to consume so that I could track my progress and know what my goal is. I posted that article below also. You know we need to write the vision and make it plan. You have to know where you are at now, where you plan to be and how you plan to get there. I want to be healthy and slimmer than I am now. I want to live a healthy and active lifestyle and I will do it successfully in Jesus name!! Amen! 
Question: How did you do with your fitness goals last week? Excerise? Water intake? Food choices? 
Following a Cardio Plan for Weight Loss 
If your goal is permanent fat loss, you need to burn enough calories to make a significant impact. Here’s why: In order to lose a pound in one week, you need to create a 3,500-calorie deficit; in other words, you need to burn off 3,500 more calories than you eat. A 30-minute power walk on flat ground burns about 120 calories. So, to burn off 1 pound of fat by walking, you’d have to hoof it for more than 2 hours a day. 
Don’t worry — no one should suggest that you exercise two hours every day! The best way to lose fat is to create a calorie deficit by burning calories through exercise and cutting calories you eat. For example, over the course of a week, you may cut 250 calories per day by switching from mayo to mustard on your sandwich at lunch and snacking on light yogurt instead of Fruit-on-the-Bottom. Meanwhile, you could burn an extra 250 calories a day by taking a one-hour walk or a half-hour jog. 
Cardio exercise is only one part of a weight-loss plan. You also need to revamp your eating habits and embark on a weight-training program. Also, keep in mind that losing weight is not as easy as it sounds on TV diet commercials. It takes a lot more commitment than just drinking that delicious shake for breakfast. And it takes time. Don’t try to lose more than 1/2 pound to 1 pound each week, and don’t eat fewer than 1,200 calories per day (preferably more). On a super-low-calorie diet, you deprive your body of essential nutrients, and you have a tougher time keeping the weight off because your metabolism slows down. Realize, too, that genetics plays a large role in weight loss. It’s easier for some people to lose weight than it is for others. 
Here are some general cardio guidelines for weight loss. We suggest that you consult a registered dietitian and certified fitness trainer to come up with a plan best suited to your specific goals and schedule. 
How often you need to do cardio for weight loss Here’s the cold, hard truth: You probably need to do five or six workouts a week. 
How long your workouts should last for weight loss 
Here’s another dose of reality: You should aim for at least 45 minutes of exercise, a mix of cardio and strength training, six days per week. Again, you don’t need to do all this sweating at once, but for the pounds to come off, the calories you burn need to add up. 
How hard you need to push for weight loss To make a serious dent in your fat-loss program, work out in your target zone most of the time. But keep in mind: If you’re pretty darned “deconditioned,” as the politically correct like to say, even exercising at 50 percent of your maximum heart rate can help build up your fitness level. 
You may have heard that exercising at a slow pace is more effective for weight loss than working out more intensely. In fact, many cardio machines have “fat burning” programs that keep you at a slow pace. But this is misleading. As it turns out, the concept of a fat-burning zone is no more real than the Twilight Zone. During low-intensity aerobic exercise, your body does use fat as its primary fuel source. As you get closer to your breaking point, your body starts using a smaller percentage of fat and a larger percentage of carbohydrates, another fuel source. However, picking up the pace allows you to burn more total calories, as well as more fat calories. 
Here’s how: If you go in-line skating for 30 minutes at a leisurely roll, you might burn about 100 calories — about 80 percent of them from fat (so that’s 80 fat calories). But if you spend the same amount of time skating with a vengeance over a hilly course, you might burn 300 calories — 30 percent of them from fat (that’s 90 fat calories). So at the fast pace, you burn more than double the calories and 10 more fat calories. Of course, going faster and harder is not always better. 
If you’re just starting out, you probably can’t sustain a faster pace long enough to make it worth your while. If you go slower, you may be able to exercise a lot longer, so you’ll end up burning more calories and fat that way. 
Which activities burn the most calories “Maximize your workout and burn over 1,000 calories per hour!” That’s a claim you may see in advertisements for treadmills, stair-climbers, and other cardio machines. And it’s true. You can burn 1,000 calories per hour doing those activities — if you crank up the machine to the highest level and if you happen to have bionic legs. If you’re a beginner, you’ll last about 30 seconds at that pace, at which point you will have burned 8.3 calories, and the paramedics will be scooping you off the floor and hauling your wilted body away on a stretcher. 
There’s a better approach to calorie burning: Choose an activity that you can sustain for a good while — say, at least 10 or 15 minutes. Sure, running burns more calories than walking, but if running wipes you out after a half mile or bothers your knees, you’re better off walking. Table 1 gives calorie estimates for a number of popular aerobic activities. 
The number of calories you actually burn depends on the intensity of your workout, your weight, your muscle mass, and your metabolism. In general, a beginner is capable of burning 4 or 5 calories per minute of exercise, while a very fit person can burn 10 to 12 calories per minute. 
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/following-a-cardio-plan-for-weight-loss.html 
How Much Water Should You Drink  
By Dietblog, eat right, get healthy 
Keeping Count: The Traditional View Guidelines are constantly changing. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine effectively overruled the 8 glass a day rule – with a new report. They stated a general daily recommendation of 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water for women and 3.7 liters (125 ounces) for men. This includes water from all sources (foods and drinks). Water intake from food will vary depending on your diet (higher fruit and vegetable intake means higher water intake). Some experts suggest that 20% of water intake comes from food. 
Here are some tips to keeping count. 
1. Wake up to water–literally. Before you eat or drink anything else in the morning, have a glass of water. 
2. Drink out of a measured bottle or sports drink container. If you know 1 bottle = 12 ounces, you can figure out how many ounces to drink to meet your body’s daily needs. Know your numbers so you can meet your goal. 
3. Track your intake with a loose schedule. Don’t be too rigid, but find a general schedule that works for you (say, 2 glasses in the morning, 2 in the afternoon, and 2 in the evening). This will help spread out consumption and regulate your water intake. 
http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/2007/06/07/how_much_water_should_you_drink.php

The Biggest Winner: What’s Your Fit Plan?

Last night, I went to bed at 8:00pm. Anyone who knows me knows that I (and my husband) are night owls and we usually don’t go to bed before midnight each night. Last night, we were both very tired and I was glad that we were able to obtain some much needed rest. My body woke me up this morning shortly before 7am and I decided to get out of bed and excercise. I have been carrying extra duties on my job since the middle of February and I have not been diligent in my workouts since March. Before I could think up a reason to not excercise, I jumped out of bed and started getting dressed, boy am I so glad I did!!

I had an awesome 30 min workout on my elliptical machine. I was jammin to my praise music and gospel rap. Even though I had not worked out consistently for a few weeks, I still hit it hard and did better than the goal I set for myself. Thank you Jesus! When I finished working out, the Holy Spirit bought 1 Cor 6:20 to my remembrance. Read both versions of the verse below:

1 Cor 6:20 (KJV)

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Cor 6:20 (AMP)

You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

Holy Spirit was gently reminding me that working out is about being healthy, getting slimmer BUT most importantly about glorifying Him in my body. My body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. I don’t want to treat my body badly by eating junk and not exercising. As believers we often pray for God to heal our bodies and undo the horrible things that we have done towards our temples, when all we have to do is be more responsible in keeping our bodies clean (those that may need to stop smoking, drinking, eating fast food several times a week), physically fit and properly cared for.

I want to bring God glory in my lifestyle (my speak, actions, media that I watch/listen to, friends that I keep, thoughts that I think AND the food that I eat) It’s not God’s will for His children to have to take multiple prescription medications a day, always going back and forth to doctors and staying in bed sick a few weeks a year. He needs us healthy so that we can take the gospel and share it with those around us in words and our lifestyle. Your coworker may not want to receive Christ from you if your always complaining about your health and not glorifying God in your body and actions. We need to be healthy as believers not only for ourselves but for ministry sake and those around us.

I remember when my pastor, Bishop Butler, told the congregation one Sunday a few years ago that he lost weight so that he could effectively travel around the world and minister the gospel. He explained that if he was not in good physical condition, he would not be able to successfully travel the world and bring people closer to Christ, which is his calling and purpose on the earth. I understand and I agree completely with what he was saying.

Now that I have acknowledged that I haven’t been glorifying God in my body, the HG has brought the word to my remembrance, what’s my plan from here on out?

  1. I will write out a healthy eating/fitness confession that I can recite everyday.
  2. I will ask God to help me change the way I see food and eating.
  3. I will work out daily whether on my elliptical machine, DVR , Wii Fit or walk around our complex. 
  4. I will decrease my sugar intake and avoid fast food.

Now that I have my fit plan written down and the scripture that I’m standing on, whats your plan? How can you glorify God in your body and spirit which are God’s? What areas can you step it up at? If you don’t know, seek God and He will tell you. If you do know, don’t beat yourself up about your short comings, simply ask God to give you the determination and diligence needed to meet your goals. God needs His people in good health (physically, spiritually, financially and mentally) so that we can impact the world for Him!  LET’S GO!!!!