6 Non-Christmas Films That Gas Me Up For the Holidays

Christmas movies are ass so here are 6 non- traditional movies (and 1 that is technically a Christmas film) that get me ready for Christmas.

I love the holidays, but I’m not a huge fan of Christmas movies…

I once stanned for The Santa Clause but ex-coke dealer actor Tim Allen’s willfully ignorant, conservative views has left a sour taste in my mouth in my old age. I’ve also never liked A Christmas Story and you can fight me right now if you feel it in your spirit.

These movies are not necessarily marketed as Christmas movies but give me the Holiday feels (mostly for no reason at all):

1. Moana (2016)

Three words: The F***in Music

Moana some of the best music that Disney has ever given us. Thank you, Lin-Manuel! I never saw Hamilton but I know it was a treat.

Although this is a new one on my roster, it’s one that gets me ready for the holiday season. The message, which deals with the struggle of staying loyal to your home life and being content with “Where You Are” in the present while also developing your dreams and going against everything you’ve ever known, speaks to me in a way a child’s movie has never done.

Moana’s self discovery throughout the film is so real, and it inspires me to steer off my linear path to dive into a career and a life that fulfills me. It’s a perfect feel-gooder for the holidays.

2. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Joker’s scarred smile reminds me of holiday cheer.

No, I seriously have no idea why I love watching this movie around the holidays. I love really big, over the top superhero movies (with the exception of the scalding hot garbage that was Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), so when The Dark Knight came out, I was first in line. I mean, I was literally first in line; I worked at the movies.

The excitement I felt for the release of this movie recreates itself every time the Joker pops up on screen and I’m taken back to high school; a pimply face black girl in an AMC Theater polo surrounded by various white dudes covered in sweat and wearing Batman costumes.

… They wore costumes. That’s probably what gives me the Christmas jitters.

3. Mean Girls (2004)

If there was ever a movie that described my late middle school, early high school career, it was this one. This and Boyz N The Hood.

I remember the day my mom scored a free screening for this movie and I could not mask how unimpressed I was. The poster and commercials did not do this movie justice; I just knew it was a generic teen dream film. But we saw the film and even my mother laughed; that’s usually how I know something is funny.

I was a woman possessed. I spent about 80% of my time talking about Mean Girls, and the other 20% of the time, I was praying for someone else to bring it up so I could talk about it more. I LOVED it and, to this day, watching it warms my cold, chilled heart.

That memorable open legged knee slap that The Plastics do while performing “Jingle Bell Rock” is a reason to watch this movie during the holidays on it’s own.

4. Toy Story (1995)

Although Buzz Lightyear is voiced by an ex-con, Woody just happens to be voiced by Tom Hanks, number two on my list of Older White Dudes That I Enjoy (with John Goodman being number one). The movie begins and ends on Christmas and, while I wasn’t one of those sociopathic kids that thought my dolls were talking to me after seeing this movie, I’ve always appreciated the fantastical premise.

Watching it now brings me back to being a kid and being engrossed in the film that questions: “What adventures are your inanimate toys embarking on when you’re not looking?”

Buzz Lightyear sucks, btw.

5. Just Friends (2005)

This is a serious hot take. I can probably count on one hand how many people I know that have seen this movie and they’re probably all of the people I went to see it with in eighth grade.

It details the main character – who was a fatty in high school – inadvertently returning to his hometown years after moving away to the big city and leaving his fat baggage behind. It’s more of a silly movie than a knee slapper; with goofy elements such as Ryan Reynolds with six turkey necks and a mother with a weirdly high pitched voice. But I watch this every year; mostly for that sense of nostalgia. It also takes place during Christmas.

6. The Lion King (1994)

My all-time favorite movie of ALL TIME *Dave Chappelle voice*

We used to consider this a black movie – mostly because of James Earl Jones and the fact that it was set in Africa – so I’ve always identified with the film. Which is a damn shame because why in the world do we STILL not have a Disney movie that feature black and/or African culture that don’t have the main characters as animals? They made a movie where the black girl was a FROG for 80% of the damn movie!!!

Ok. Let me dial it back. We’re not talking about that movie.

However, I just love this movie. It’s not even about nostalgia, it’s just really well done and the music is perfect. R.I.P. Mufasa. They didn’t have to do you like that.

7. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Consider this one a bonus.

My affinity for the macabre is probably the only reason why I like this movie. Because it’s weird af. When I hear the first few chords of the opening song, I get so geeked. It also is literally about Christmas, but also about Halloween, so I watch it in between seasons to give each one a fair chance.

I’m sure I have more favorites but those were what I could think of.

What are your fave holiday films? Let me know in the comments.


Remaining Body Positive AFTER Traveling

That body always looks good!

Look. I goes in on vacation.

I eat all the foods I want. I’m not a drinker but I’ll even allow myself a sip of something cute for the occasion. I squeeze my body into a two piece and flaunt on the beach like nobody’s watching because… well…

They’re not.

Nobody knows me in another country. Nobody’s stopping to say “hey, that girl doesn’t have a traditionally beautiful body she sucks.” And if they do, they’re weird. An important rule to remember: everybody’s body is acceptable on vacation.

I like to pack away my insecurities while traveling. While I tug on my clothes at home and constantly shove my already large shirt over my stomach, my tummy is almost fully exposed on vacation. I don’t care if people judge me; they’ll probably never see this face again.

I have a hard time recreating that nonchalance at Home. I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life and I automatically assume that people are disgusted by the FUPA protruding through my jeans when they see it. But this isn’t high school anymore. I saunter through the downtown streets of where I live. Faces of sepia, caramel, mocha, white, and otherwise shuffle past me as I maneuver my way through the sea of nondescript faces. None of those people know who I am. And even it they do judge me; they won’t remember me in a few minutes.

So, what is the purpose of not maintaining that vacation confidence at home? What – or who – am I really getting down on myself for? Is it my own personal insecurities? Is it theirs?

Why can I be completely OK with my body when I’m surrounded by unfamiliarity but totally insecure when I’m home?

Just something to think about..

It Ain’t Easy Being Me

I know what you’re thinking: who the hell are you? Don’t worry, it’s not what you think.

I’m a YouTube tutorial junkie.

I literally have to force myself to stop watching YouTube tutorials after work so I can shower. As soon as I finish agonizing through the disrespectfully thick traffic home, I immediately huff upstairs to my room, throw my backpack on the floor, flop down, and pull up a tutorial of some sort. Be it travel tips, natural hair care, cute styles, fashion, and the like: I’m always looking for someone to tell me how to function through life.

I’m not here to bash anyone who does tutorials. They’re usually meant to be helpful; not the end all and be all. Plus, I offer my own suggestions on this very blog. But I can say that over the last six years, I’ve implemented about 700,000 hair regimens, suffered through vegetarianism (no shade), starved myself with intermittent fasting, packed every travel bag military style, and embarked on a minimalism lifestyle because YouTube “told me to”. At this point, I am EXHAUSTED. My frayed, frizzy ends are proof! When does it become OK to stop following tutorials and start figuring out what works for me? I’ve spent so much time copying these regimens to achieve the results of others, that I’ve completely failed myself.

This journey, these results, are mine and mine only. The natural hair gurus and weight loss experts can provide suggestions (some really awesome) but figuring out what best works for your own body and spirit is of most importance to your overall success.

You know that girl with the bomb ass twist out who only used water and oxygen to get that voluminous style that frames her head like a glowing, luminescent halo? That water and oxygen miracle may not be in your forecast and there’s nothing wrong with that. Spend some time silencing the experts and listening to you.

*Sorry for the “I” issue. Apple done effed up…

BBC #2 (Week One)

So…. Yeah.

This week started out strongly but eventually morphed into a wastebasket filled to the brim with failure.

I started out the week eating healthily. Meal prepping on Mondays saves me a lot of time, money, and energy. I exercised Monday and Wednesday and used Tuesday as a day to catch up on much needed sleep.

Then it happened…

On Thursday, I ventured down to the little convenience store in my office building. No bigger than a walk-in closet, the store provides plenty of items like bottled water, pop (not soda), popcorn, sugary sweets, chips, deli sandwiches, hummus, and the like. I averted my eyes from temptation; pivoting to stare toward the healthy snacks nearest the entryway. But the small wooden rack packed with plastic covered, machine manufactured food items in the back of the store called out to me. I struggled, lifted up one leg to pull myself toward the items I needed to fulfill my body. But I gave in. The culprit:

A “Greek Yogurt”Double Chocolate Chip Muffin

I put the Greek Yogurt in quotes because that’s typically only added to make the item seem healthier. It isn’t. Don’t fall for it. It’s still a packaged muffin pumped with preservatives, sugars, simple carbs, and 580 calories. There’s nothing nutritious about a packaged muffin. Nothing, I tell you.

So, yeah. I gave that muffin what it was asking for and felt like shit immediately after eating it. I tried to make myself feel better about it by convincing myself that I was taking my sweet time with it instead of shoving it into my mouth like I always do. I didn’t feel better, though…

After that moment, I had officially barrel-rolled off the wagon.

By Friday, I had already quit my workouts, ate a piece of cake that some a*clown brought in, and began overeating every meal. On Saturday night, I inhaled a batch of mozzarella sticks and a whole small pizza in one sitting before going out to a Halloween party (where, in fact, I saw my ex).

But with that being said, I know I can do this. I’ve lost the weight before; I can do it again.

Consistency is so important at this point of my journey.

Measurable goals could be what I need to implement to get me going.

I need to:

  1. Be consistent. No overeating. Eat slowly.
  2. Workout at least four times/week (even on vacation)
  3. Don’t allow this week’s vacation to throw you off balance. You’re stronger than temptation no matter the setting.
  4. Lose 1.5 pounds this week

End of Week One Weight: 239 lbs (3 pound gain)

Week Two Goal: 237.5 lbs

Meditation: A Very Basic Guide

I used to think meditation was stupid. Spoiler Alert: I was wrong.

Defined as the act of engaging in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness (Merriam-Webster, mf), meditation has become a very popular subject as modern Western society shifts into a collective mindset where self-care is made a priority. I could provide some type of scientific insight on how meditation affects the hypothalamus and enhances your overall sexual responsiveness but really, who could care?
Regular meditation has influenced my life in so many ways. It has:
  1. Allowed me to focus on the present moment rather than let my anxiety push me toward worrying about the “what hasn’t even happened yet and may never happen.”
  2. Given me permission to clear my mind in the morning to create positive thoughts for the upcoming day and clear my mind in the evening to relax for bed. As someone that used to have trouble falling asleep at night, putting my phone aside to take three minutes and focus on my controlled breathing has changed the game.
  3. Caused me to sit and chill before losing my shit on those who try my precious patience. We’ve all been tried before (sometimes repeatedly) and it’s so easy to make a snap decision to let them have the first piece of your mind. However, meditation has allowed me to develop a heavily curated clapback that the other party so graciously deserves.
When I bring up meditation to any of my friends the first response that they give is usually, “I don’t know how to meditate.”
Girl, name a human that came out of the womb already in the Lotus position and began “OHMMM”-ing to clear their baby consciousness?!

You must learn the meditation technique that works for you and practice it regularly.

This is the technique I used when I first began meditating:

  1. I only meditated for a short period of time. 2-4 minutes (or even less) is perfect if you’re just starting out.
  2. I sat on the floor of my bedroom with my legs crossed (or directly in front of me), positioned my back comfortably against the bed, and placed my palms face down on my knees. I could lie and tell you I sat completely straight but my posture is awful so I’m not going to do that. Me and My God are working on this S-back, don’t you damn worry about it!
  3. I set a timer in my phone for 3 minutes. Sometimes I turn on some calming music without words (look up “meditation music” on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.) and sometimes I sit in complete silence. Both are effective. I close my eyes and begin.
  4. Immediately, I establish an intention for the meditation to remain focused throughout. Usually, my intention is to “clear my mind and begin/end my day with discernment.”
  5. I inhale through my nose for 4 counts (a completely straight back makes this easier). Usually, I try to imagine that I’m literally inhaling positive energy; like it’s a physical property that can be seen (picture it as a blue smoke if you’re extra like me).
  6. I hold in that energy for about 7 seconds, allowing the positive energy to metaphorically fill my body.
  7. I then exhale any negative energy (picturing it as a red smoke) and allow it time to exit my body. I audibly exhale from my mouth to expel the negativity. I relax every muscle in my body: from my shoulders to my neck, stomach, legs, and down to my toes.
  8. I repeat until the timer goes off. I always make sure that the alarm tone is something soothing because if it was that damn iPhone alarm sound, I’d lose my shit.
  • I’m no expert on any of this. This is just my experience with this topic and my way of sharing it. That’s what this website is about. If you want expertise, catch it somewhere else, girl.
  • iOS apps like Headspace and Stop, Breathe & Think offer guided meditations that work well for beginners. I preferred the latter over the former for no discernible reason but, presently, I don’t use apps at all. I’ll probably delve more into guided meditation later but she’s a long one already.
  • It’s OK if outside thoughts pop into your mind during your session. I’m sure the most seasoned meditator would tell you that outside thoughts continue to invade their sessions. When it happens, DO NOT chastise yourself: this doesn’t help you to improve your skills or create positive thinking. Gently remind yourself of your intention and refocus on your breathing.
  • Meditation is a practice. If you practice regularly, you will get better. Let go of your perfectionism and allow yourself peace.

I once felt skeptical about meditation. Hell, I thought it was hippy bullshit for most of my life. However, I love meditation now. I had to go through some really terrible situationships to recognize that I needed something to clear my mind of all of the thoughts that don’t serve or enhance me.

Also, I recognize that this post is VERY long.

Happy meditating!

BBC #1

BBC stands for Bad Bitch Challenge. No, I don’t like the word bitch. The title is just funny to me.

I’ve learned that putting off goals by telling myself that I’ll start tomorrow or on any specific date that isn’t right now will ensure that I’ll never start. This is definitely not true for everyone but it damn sure is for me, ok? I have to start now.

Now, weight loss is a mind-fuck. You have to be mindful of what you’re putting into your body every time you consume something. Boss lady brings Italian food for lunch? You must monitor your consumption. You somehow find yourself in a room filled from floor to ceiling with cookies? You must monitor your consumption. I know mantras can help for some people when they’re faced with eating challenges (like “put that shit down!”) but I’ve yet to find one that works for me. Mindfulness is key to consistently eating foods that nourish your body and this is where I struggle the most.

Exercise is a little easier for me once I got past comparing myself to other’s workout habits. I can’t go from being sedentary to a cross fit instructor in two days; it’s just unrealistic. I give myself breaks and I also allow myself to only go to the gym for 15-30 minutes.

There have been times where I’ve driven to the gym, parked my car, extended my hand near the car door handle, and then subsequently drove away with my middle finger out the window. I keep myself from doing this now by ensuring myself that all I have to do is workout for 15-30 minutes. I usually end up working out for longer but allowing myself that freedom gets me in the door.

Here we go:

Current weight: 239 lbs

Goal weight: 200 lbs

Exercise Frequency: 5 days/wk

Intention: Mindful eating without OVEReating.

Girl, What Weight Loss Journey?

I’ve been overweight for most of my life. How long does a weight loss journey last, girl? 20 years? I want OUT!

So, about me:

  • I’ve been overweight since I was six years old.
  • I was a daily binge eater throughout middle school and high school. I refused to eat during the day but then would go to town on ramen noodles, cookies, cakes, and any other type of processed food when I got home. I HATED my body and knew nothing about nutrition because they didn’t teach it in school. I had one health class in middle school and then nothing else. Like, what kind of shit is that?! Is it too much to teach personal finance and consistent health/wellness to middle/high school kids? Just basic life skills, right? Whatever so yeah, I was a binge eater and I didn’t even know that represented an eating disorder until recently.
  • I gained close to 40 lbs in college by eating Wendy’s, personal (and not-so-personal) pizzas, and Chipotle daily and also not lifting even a pinky toe for exercise.
  • I graduated and moved out on my own. I taught myself about nutrition and lost 30 lbs.
  • I then experienced two very toxic situationships and gained 20 lbs back.
  • I’m presently a yo-yo dieter lost in the sauce and I allow myself to binge on sweets and carbs because I feel like I deserve them.

I love to peruse YouTube for weight loss tips and motivation and I constantly see videos from women who have already lost the weight. While those are helpful (and absolutely necessary), where are those like me that are presently going through it? I’m so proud of those women, don’t get me wrong but where is the girl that struggles with it and obsesses over their weight every second of every day?

“Can I eat this and just work it off later?”

“I can’t wait to wear a crop top. I’m sick of my stomach.”

“I need to do better. I’ll get back on track tomorrow”

Shit’s hard, yo. It’s taken me 26 years to recognize that my mind does all of my bidding and that I haven’t learned to self-motivate because I never even knew that it was attainable. So now it’s hard to upgrade my mindset and get positive to stay positive. There has to be someone out there like me.

Truthfully, the purpose of this blog is for my own outward accountability: to be mindful consistently, to bless myself with a healthy body, and to stick to my goals. Posting this shit on the Internet for anyone to see could be a game changer for me and could also motivate someone else in the process. If one person reads my ranting and gets something positive from it, I’ve done my job.