Archive for diet

Growth and Change

// May 30th, 2011 // No Comments » // Animals, beach, Canon, diet, Exercise, friends, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS, Homeless Outreach, Me Time, Pictures

JAZZ & ART @LACMA 046This long holiday weekend  has been awesome. It started with jazz at LACMA and today it ended with an awesome day of picture taking with my friend Franklin, who was just one of my friends who helped me kick my weekend off. All I can say is that I’ve had an amazing, fun filled weekend.

Franklin and I have been spending lots of time together and I must say that it has been simply awesome getting to know him better and spend so time with him. I already blogged about how I met Franklin and already talked about some of the things he deals with in his daily life. It has been so cool to watch him open up and grow, so cool to watch him move from someone who barley spoke a word to someone who talks and smiles, so cool to watch him go from someone who stayed in his dark apartment, to someone who now calls me about going on picture safaris.

It is simply so amazing to watch how the gift of friendship can help to change things for someone. How simply showing up and refusing to allow someone to waste away can mean the world to the life path that someone is on. This is why the word “friendship” means so much to me and why I never just throw the word “friend’ around.

My friends are all straight and all couples,  newly weds with a baby, while another has been married a few years with aJAZZ & ART @LACMA 089baby on the way, another couple planning a wedding and the last couple has been together for a very long time. They are all great people and to be very honest they are great friends, not just supportive of me, but of my community work as well.  At times I feel like a third wheel, even though I know when they ask to hang out they truly want to see me and have some hang time with me.

Until Franklin I had no single friend and with him I get a friend who is not only single, but we also share the common interest of photography, jazz, classical music and so much more. Like me, Franklin is HIV positive, so there is just one more thing we have in common and one more thing we can help to support each other through.

For the past two months, maybe three I’ve been thinking of how I am going to grow and change, not just my organization, but in my personal life too. Just last month I had a great HIV check up and in order for that to continue I need to make certain I am doing everything I can to keep my body healthy and stay off HIV medications.

Purpose 118To address this I have been back on my bike and taking longer walks with Dodger, I am also doing all that I can to address more healthy eating habits, however doing this is a huge challenge on government assistance, but I am doing all that I can. The main thing is that i am making certain in get rest and plenty of exercise.

In addition I am also removing people, places and things from my life that only serve as distractions and yes, even problems or drama. This is going to be key in my overall health and well being. It’s funny to me how once you make your mind to be a better person all the way around, people, places and things start to work against you. All of the sudden people you never hear from are now calling, people, places and things start to do more to show up and be distractions and this is where I need to make certain I am clear in where I am going and what I want to accomplish.

The cool thing is this, with getting rest and more exercise I have seen major changes in my mood, my energy and my Sickle Cell is not given me that much of a problem. My days seem to be more full of energy and my stress level is very low. I seem to be smiling more, if that is possible for someone who smiles all the time.

Now let’s talk about my outreaches because they too are changing and I am adding an addition to my HIV outreach.

Do Something Saturday~that empowers people

This is my oldest and most visible outreach and for the past four years I have run this outreach out of my own pocket orMalibu Logoon State Beach 122 efforts combined with the backing and support of my friends and supporters. It’s been awesome and the people I have been able to reach has been great, but it is time to step it up and take this outreach to the next level.

I dont mind sharing my ideas or even talking with friends about what I want to do or how I can help them. But I must say that my feeling get hurt when I my ideas at work in organizations that do not even respect people like me. My feelings get hurt when I see people collect awards for an idea that was mine, but simply because they have the backing of some non-profit or people with deep pockets.

These past three months I’ve had to really swallow my pride and set my feelings aside and know that my ideas are at work making things better for people battling HIV and AIDS as well as people who are homeless or transitioning from homelessness into having their own place.

I’ve always said I do not so this for someone to call my name or to get some award, however it does not feel good to see other people take credit for my idea or something I’ve worked damn hard at. I simply does not feel good.

So no more will I allow organizations who wont even allow me to volunteer for them, take my ideas and use them for their good only to line their pockets and flip me or even people like me the middle finger.

I will say this as I have said all along, you cant help people if you do not speak with them and seeing what I have seen and reading what I have read from 4 very different mega funded organizations really makes me angry, but not in a bad way, i that makes sense. It makes me angry enough to do more, push harder and raise my voice that much more, so that people who are seen but not heard have their concerns addressed.

Malibu Logoon State Beach 193I am adding a support group for people battling HIV or AIDS to my Skid Row outreach. I am just so sick and tired and hearing the same old tired line from the “community” and even people at “ASO’s” when it comes to addressing the needs of people who are greatly affected by HIV and AIDS.

No longer will I wait for people to return emails after I’v sent several and even had face to face conversations with such people. I will no longer accept “they are out of my SPA area” I will no longer wait while HIV and AIDS continues the path it has always been on unchanged since the start of the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

After reading this you will understand why I need to remove some people, places and things in my life that only take up space and offer up nothing. I can not allow my health to fail me because I am not doing all I can to remain in good health.

Tomorrow is day 1 in the journey of positive growth and change for both me and my organization.

Today I ended my awesome weekend at Malibu Lagoon State Beach. I am uploading the 344 pictures I took and the video of the day is already live on my youtube channel. I will share the other surprise later this week in either a blog or vlog.

I hope you all have had a great holiday weekend.

Changing

// May 27th, 2011 // No Comments » // Animals, diet, Exercise, friends, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS, Me Time, photos

Purpose 146There has been so much taking place in my life. Like some of my friends I am experiencing a shift in life which requires me to “be still” It is also requiring that I look at people, places and things in my life that no longer serve a purpose….to be honest some of these things never served a purpose, but I just wanted to hold on to them. That is no longer going to happen.

It’s always so funny to me that right as I am about to experience a breakthrough in my life, people, places and things will come around or reappear in my life to only serve as distractions to take my eyes and attention away from where they should be. Now these people, places and things come in many forms, but none the less they are distractions and I can not allow them to trick me off my center.

One thing I know for sure about God is that he does not need to announce himself to me. He does not need anyone to tell me that he has sent them. You see I am his child and I will know if God has sent something for me. It’s always funny to me how people invoke God into their mess and then act as if you are not supposed to know it.

This week I’ve spent more time being present and listening to things around me. I spent time making sure that where IPurpose 210spend my time and energy is something that is fruitful. There is no point in me toiling in a field that will never bear any good fruit. Now I know this will go far over the heads of many, but for those of you who fully walk in love and light you know full well what I am talking about.

I’ve also been making certain I take more time out for me and not spending my time worrying about things I have no control over. I’ve been making certain that I am getting proper rest, doing my best to eat better and get far my exercise in so that I am able to move forward with the work I am doing.

It has been awesome to simply go to bed and get some rest. I can’t even begin to tell you just how much this has changed my mood, my spirit and this I can carry with me throughout my day. I realize that not everyone is going to understand and even care about what I have to say or what it is I am doing and that is ok. As long as God understands then I have nothing else to concern myself with. See with God I can do all things and with God I am the majority. I do not need to seek any other permissions or ask anyone else but God.

I’ve been enjoying the rich friendships I have in my life, I am taking the time to smile a bit longer, hug a bit stronger and live my life a bit better.

I am making no time for confluma (confusion and drama), I am not entertaining people, places or things that do not set well with my soul and I am not apologizing for it. I am not making time for people, places or things that only seek to distract me and I know what distractions look like, how they sound and yes I even know they will come bearing gifts and even say they are from God.

Purpose 401I am staying on my center and my center is God and I will not be shaken off, rocked off, pushed off, shoved off or tricked off my center.

Each day I pray from a hedge of protection around me and I know that there are people who pray the very same prayer as well. I ask God to bless me when I am in the city and while I am in the field. I ask him to be a fence all around. I ask him to protect me and guide my foot steps.

As I move to embark on my new journey in the outreach work I do for people battling HIV and AIDS, I know I will need to be rested, I know I will need to be on top of my game, but I also know I must ask God to bless the work and me.

If you are watching my Flickr page then you see I am spending more time with my camera in hand. I also working on creating a photography book and hoping to put together a photography show of my work as well.

Blessings

HIV Update

// May 10th, 2011 // 2 Comments » // diet, Exercise, health, HIV and AIDS

METRO 011So today was the day I made the trek to the valley to get my HIV lab results. I was really looking forward to these results because there were a few things that were some concern to my Dr. The first being my blood sugar and the next being my liver and kidney functions. I was pretty sure that all would be ok, but one can never tell.

I call this a trek to the valley because it is a long distance from where I live in Hollywood. Normally it takes me about an hour and half to get the my medical appointments. That is as long as there is no problems with METRO buses or trains, but if you live here in Los Angeles and depend on METRO to get from point A to point B, then you know full well that there is never a day where METRO runs without no problems, delays or trouble.

Now I was born and raised here in Los Angeles County, but as a kid I grew up in Santa Monica and never had to ride RTD as it was called then because Santa Monica has its own bus line and it does a great job taking care of travel for people who live on the Westside. But METRO is the nations number one bus line according to METRO, but there have been times  where I have called to get directions and three different operators using the very same system come up with very different ways to get to where I need to go. All of which are dead wrong.

I never look forward to riding METRO to places where I need to depend on their agents for directions. Also I feel thatMETRO 012METRO is very unsafe when it comes to overall passenger safety. I have been in the Blue Line Train when fights have broken out and nothing is ever done. I have been on the Red Line Train where the same thing has taken place. Furthermore there are no station agents at any of the stops along the METRO train stops.

METRO is how I get around and no matter how bad things are with METRO or how high the prices get and no matter how many fare hikes METRO issues, I have no choice but to use this system. Walking to my medical appointments is simply not an option.

With all that said, lets move on with my HIV appointment. In a word “GREAT” Everything was awesome. My T-cells are still very high and my viral load remains low and in check. My liver and kidney functions are normal, my cholesterol is perfect…in fact my Dr said it is better then hers. I’ve lost 18lbs, my heart is fine and lungs are strong. Overall this was an awesome HIV appointment and I was very happy with it.

METRO 015However I have been having a hard time sleeping at night. Once I am able to get to sleep I wake up and am unable to get back to sleep for a few hours or more. This has made me very tired and restless during the day. So I have been given a prescription for a sleep aide that has a small anti-depressant to help me sleep and also deal with the very minor amount.

I can take this pill until my sleeping patterns return to normal and then stop taking it. There are no side effects and no chance of me becoming dependent on it. My Dr. knows how I feel about taking meds to address a problem that I should be able to address myself. Even though I know there are some people who truly need meds to help them be balanced I also know that I am not one of those people.

I walked out of my medical appointment with a huge smile on my face and a huge feeling of knowing that should anything come up, I have a great Dr. backed by an awesome medical staff that will help me get through any challenge that is before me.

Even though the bus ride home was long and filled with lots of people, I was relaxed and at peace.METRO 008

DAY 3

// January 20th, 2011 // No Comments » // diet, Exercise, health, Health and Fitness, HIV and AIDS, Me Time

My last trip to the doctor was a great one, however there was a possibility that I had glass in foot. Since I was going in to meet with one of the medical advisors I also thought I would try to see my doctor as well. As soon as I saw her, she left her seat and came to give me a hug. It is always so cool to go to the doctor. Having my doctor hug me, much less know who I was or what we last talked about was not something I ever experienced at USC. Hell they never even knew my name, it was always “what’s your patient number” This has never been the case with my current doctor and as I have said before the staff is always so awesome and I am so happy that I am in their care.

So the bad news with my visit was the fact that my sugar was high, not that high, but it was something that I needed to be made aware of. There was also the issue with the weight that I have been packing on. I knew I could take care of both issues, all I had to do was get off my ass and do it. Well I guess i should really say that I need to make certain I am putting my health and well being first. So the very first thing I have done is stop eating so late at night and then going to bed after. I have also started watching my sugar intake. I’ve also started eating more whole grains, veggies and fruits. I am so loving oatmeal in the mornings at work.

The biggest things I have done is getting my butt back in the gym and going out for longer walks with Dodger at least three times a day. Today was day 3 at the gym and I must say I feel great. The biggest thing I have noticed is my energy level is way up and I am sleeping better at night.

So I am back in the gym and this weekend I will be back on my bike as well. I can’t  even tell you how long it has been since I’ve been on my bike, but I can tell you that the air is nearly out of both tires. I can also tell you that I know I have been on it at least once or twice, may three times since I’ve had Dodger. So I guess it is safe to say that I have not been on my bike in a good 9 months. WOW, 9 months, now that is a damn shame.

The good thing is that I am in good health and I know the next time I head to the doctor my sugar will be back in check and I will have lost a few pounds, maybe more. My main goal to not to make excuses for not taking care of myself, because the reality of things is that in not taking care of myself I am going down a dead end road that will lead to death.

I am taking my time with this, because this is about anyone else but me, it’s not a race, but it’s about my health and well being. It is about preserving my good health and not going down the road to high blood pressure and problems with my sugar. It’s about making sure I am around to enjoy an awesome life, my cool friends and to continue the amazing work I have created. It’s about my amazing life.

So here’s to my awesome health!!!

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