Relationship Weight

I tried on a pair of jeans that used to be big for me in the summer. They’re boyfriend jeans, which tend to be baggy. I got the jeans on one leg, and then the other but pulling them past my thighs was a problem. They no longer fit me! I gained weight. My friend coined it relationship weight. Sometimes when you embark on a new relationship, you gain unnecessary weight and I have all the signs and symptoms of getting too comfortable and picking up unhealthy eating habits.

Sign #1-I canceled my Gym Membership

Relationship or not, I would’ve canceled my gym membership because I don’t particularly like going to the gym in the winter; I don’t like when the brisk air hits you while walking out of the gym all hot and sweaty, it’s a terrible mixture of temperatures. I would much rather be cuddled up in my blanket watching reruns of “Living Single.” However, I do spend a lot more time with my significant other, which takes away from the time I could be at a gym so there you have it, faux pas number one.

Sign #2-Date More. Eat More.

It seems like when you’re in a relationship all you guys do is eat. You go on dates and eat, you spend the night in and eat. I’ve never eaten so much take-out in my life.

Sign #3 Comfort & Compliments

The compliments from my boyfriend are endless, and no I don’t get tired of them. His acknowledgement of my beauty makes me feel great but I’ve gotten too comfortable. He may “love me the way I am” but it’s never a good idea to lose self-control because of the validation you are getting from someone else.

The first step is acknowledging that I have a problem. I came to this conclusion last week when I ate 3-cartons of Ben and Jerry Red Velvet Ice Cream without a care in the world. I am losing self-control and I know it, but I will bounce back. Being healthy is so important, and I have to find ways to remain healthy while in a relationship or else…

pregnancy-weight-gain

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Thank Me Later: Quick Recipes your Man will Love

I was over Joe’s house one weekend and we both were hungry. When we first started talking I promised him, I would one-day cook for him and I guess no time was better than the present. After walking the dog, I took a stroll to the grocery store where I contemplated what I could make for this man. He’s a hearty guy, so whatever I made had to be fulfilling and appetizing (no struggle plates over here). I finally made my decision, which I share below and slaved away in the kitchen. What I noticed was that none of my dishes were significantly hard to make. It took less than 15 minutes to cook each of these dishes (not in total). So I wanted to share some quick and easy recipes for you and your significant other to enjoy:

Sausage and Peppers

  •  Hot Italian Sausages
  • Onions (Preferably Purple)
  • Red, Yellow, Green and/or Orange Peppers
  • Olive Oil
  1. Cut up the onions and peppers. Prepare to sauté in a skillet drizzled in olive oil (you can also season the peppers to add flavor with seasoned salt). Let simmer until it’s lightly browned and place on a plate.
  2. Cut up the sausages into small chunks and place in a hot skillet with vegetable or olive oil. Let the sausages cook fully.
  3. Mix both the sausage and peppers in the skillet let cook for about 5 minutes add seasoning for flavor sometimes I add a little bbq sauce for flavor

To add to the sausage dish I made Pasta with meat sauce.

Pasta with Meat Sauce

  • Penne Pasta
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Ground beef
  • Cheese
  • Peppers and onions
  • Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Basil)
  • Brown Sugar (optional)
  1. Put pasta in boiling water with olive oil and salt and let it come to a boil
  2. Sauté the Ground beef until fully cooked
  3. Add tomato sauce, brown sugar (optional), and seasoning to the ground beef and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add Pasta to the meat sauce and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add cheese and a little basil to top it off

You always need to add a vegetable to any great meal

Asparagus and mushrooms

  • Asparagus
  • Mushroom
  • Onions/Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  1. Sauté Garlic and onions in a skillet drizzled in olive oil for about 60 seconds (or just before it begins to turn brown) before adding the mushroom over a light fire.
  2. Add asparagus and let cook for about 5 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked for your liking (I love when it’s soft).

Viola!

Food for Your Man

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I Don’t Want To Wait In Vain For Your Love

I don’t want to cry, not a tear will come down my eyes. I don’t want to scream, not a breath will leave my mouth. I just want you to get it together because I won’t wait for you any longer. My patience is running thin. I know this is not the relationship I signed up for. I didn’t do so much work on myself to settle for mediocrity. I deserve more, I deserve all of you, and I deserve to be a priority and to come first. I’m not second best, I am first and someone will come into my life that will treat me as such. I thought it would be you, but it feels too hard, I don’t like hard. I like easy going, happiness, joy and peace. I want to feel all those things with you. I want to feel comfortable, secure and I want to believe that you are trust worthy. I don’t want to look through your phone, or doubt your loyalty to me. I don’t deserve that nor do you. So instead of waiting in vain for your love, I will gladly remove myself from the equation, because the relationship that I signed up for should include time well spent together, date nights every week, sometimes two or three times in a week, flowers, surprises, intimacy, love, weekend trips, getting to know the family, and friends and other fun easy going things that couples do to build themselves up into a strong team. I want the works, and it seems like our relationship is haunted by an unreconciled past filled with broken hearts and exes that you may or may not want and this dear friend is not what I signed up for.  I deserve the best. I will not wait in vain for your love. I will wait in vain for the love that has my name on it and unfortunately this is not it.

Getting To Know Someone…Again

To some people, one of the most annoying things about meeting someone new is the process of getting to know them. I have to admit, I used to feel this way but ever since I met my boyfriend, getting to know him is one of the most pivotal (and fun) times in our relationship. In a sense we are setting a foundation for the rest of the relationship by dictating our likes and dislikes, standards, and deal breakers.

I kept my standards high waiting for the moment when my Prince Charming would whisk me off my feet and that kind-of-sort-of happened. He noticed me at a party/concert we both attended and asked if he could put me on his shoulders. I said sure, why not? He picked me up but I landed on his bald head. He asked for a second chance but I told him absolutely not. The whole thing was pretty awkward until he asked for my number and continued on with his night. I did the same.

I thought about him; wondered if he would contact me but didn’t think anything of our exchange. Yes, his approach was like no other. I mean, no one has ever asked me if they could put me on their shoulders which is why he stuck out in my head, but aside from that I wasn’t interested in getting to know someone new. I was sick of the whole dating scene. I just wanted to be single.

He contacted me a couple of days later and I found out he was a special-education teacher, he received his degree from Boston College, his masters from Pace University and he was from Harlem. Although I was open to meeting someone new, I was not excited about it (in spite of his credentials). He was persistent and after a few weeks of texting we talked on the phone and sparks flew. Was this the guy I was waiting for my whole life? Our conversation was effortless. We talked for 3-hours and would’ve talked longer if I didn’t have to jump on a conference call. Every day leading up to our first date was filled with great conversation. Everything was new and fresh and we wanted to know everything about one another.

So we came up with 21 questions for each other. We each thought of random questions to ask one another to illicit conversation. Some of his questions dealt with the future he wanted to build with someone, while mine focused on who he was at his core. These questions proved to be helpful conversation starters but that wasn’t something we had issues with anyway. We enjoyed talking to one another and no question or topic was ever off limits.

In the case of my boyfriend, I don’t mind getting to know him because he’s special and I’m really into him. If I could know everything about his past I would because when you like someone you just want to know everything about their lives.

(Or maybe that’s just me)

Some helpful conversation starters:

  1. Name, Age, Where did you grow up?
  2. What are your views on love?
  3. Do you believe sex before marriage is wrong?
  4. Are you spiritual? What is your religion?
  5. Do you want to get married? When?
  6. What do you fear about commitment?
  7. What do you love about settling down?
  8. Do you drink? Smoke?
  9. Have you ever cheated?
  10. What led to the demise of your past relationship?
  11. What kind of relationship do you have with your parents?
  12. Do you have a lot of friends? Who is your best friend?
  13. Do you have children? Do you want children?
  14. Where do you work? Have you discovered what you always wanted to do?
  15. What are your interests? Passions? hobbies? Typical Friday night for you?
  16. Do you live alone? with family?
  17. Where do you go to school?
  18. How often do you believe date nights should be?
  19. Do you travel? Where have you traveled to?
  20. What would you have done differently in your last relationship?
  21. How important is health and fitness in your life?

Let The Baggage Go

My boyfriend kissed me on our first date. It was after brunch, we were walking holding hands, as if we were together for a very long time (in reality I met him a month prior) and as I was about to proceed down the steps of the train station, he pulled me in close for a hug and he kissed me.

I was pleasantly surprised and replied “I usually don’t kiss on the first date”

“Well now you do” he said.

It would take a few weeks before I got completely comfortable with kissing someone I barely even knew. What was the rush? I wanted to get to know him first before we jumped into the affectionate aspect of our promising relationship. One day I went over to his house and shied away from a potential make out session. To be honest, I just wasn’t ready. With time, we would get there but I didn’t want to rush anything I would regret later. He was frustrated and said that I was acting immature and he couldn’t be with someone who lacked affection. I was offended by his comment and went home. He apologized for upsetting me after I brought it to his attention and essentially backed off.

I knew there was something deeper. Why did he need to be validated with a kiss? Why couldn’t he be content with my word when I said I liked everything about him? Over time, as we started getting to know each other more, I realized his need for validation had nothing to do with me but his un-reconciled past with his ex. girlfriend. The more he opens up, the more I am realizing that he stayed with someone for 2-years who just wasn’t that into him nor wanted to be affectionate with him and his insecurity from that relationship is being projected on to me. I resented him for putting that sort of pressure on me, and warned him, that if he didn’t change I would have to move on.

Sure and behold, he listened to my rant, and thanked me for my honesty. He also apologized for his insensitivity and promised he would work on changing for me and I have to admit he did. I also came around to the whole affection thing because I also have issues with being lovey dovey. Finally finding someone I like is a new feeling. I’m so used to being guarded and wanting so desperately to protect my heart that it often makes me stiff and a bit rigid when it comes to intimacy but with him I am starting to feel so free and vulnerable and I am loving every second of it. As time progressed and we both began to peel each others walls, our affection for one another intensified and our initial issues are now an object of the past.

The Journey To My First Adult Relationship

I’ve been single since I could remember. After my first real relationship crumbled at 18, I’ve never been in a committed relationship since. I’ve been in pseudo relationships, you know, the ones where you’re together, but not really together. I’ve also been in the fill the void relationship, where you’re together but nothing about this union is representative of a real relationship. Before I knew it, I was 25, single, mingling but disappointed with the prospects, celibate and annoyed with my spinsterhood.

Reality hit me after I came back from Europe. I had an amazing experience and wanted nothing more than to talk to someone other than my friends and family about it. I yearned for a male’s voice in my ears; late night conversations as I reminisced about the food in Venice and the beaches of Spain. I had no one to call, because I pushed all male companionship out of my life in an effort to get closer to God. I began to talk to my fill the void guy, but soon realized he still wasn’t ready for something serious; he got older, but his games were the same.

A few months later, I attended my friend’s wedding in the Bahamas. It was a blast. We had so much fun and I even met a really cute guy, whom I later found out had a girlfriend (bummer), but I thought I liked him so much. Now, using hindsight I question did I really like him or was my infatuation out of pure desperation?

The Bahamas allowed me to reflect on my love life tremendously. While on the trip, I got some free time to call my fill the void guy, but he seemed so preoccupied, like he couldn’t be bothered. I wasn’t offended; I just knew that would be one of the last times we would talk. I watched two of my friends get married and I was so proud of them. They were adults, in an adult relationship and I was still chasing after the emotionally unavailable. I made a pact to myself, to continue down my path of singlehood. I was doing so well; maybe another year sans men would do the trick. Spinsterhood seemed far more gratifying than dealing with men on a whole.

A day after I returned from the Bahamas, I received a text from a guy that I promised a date night before I went on vacation.

Guy: Hey I haven’t heard from you but was wondering if we we’re still on for dinner tonight?

Shoot, I totally forgot, I thought. I picked up the phone and called him. I was sick of texting him anyway. How would I go on a date with someone and not once chat on the phone? Technology is the enemy.

Me: Hey, OMG, I’m so sorry I forgot about our dinner tonight. I didn’t want to text you so I decided to call you and really reschedule a time that we would both be available.

My pleas of forgiveness ultimately led to us speaking for about 3-hours. The connection was instant. He was unlike any other guy I’ve spoken to in a while. I was so excited. I know I swore off men but he was different. He made reservations for us to have brunch on Saturday and we talked every night leading up to our first date.

The first date was at Poco’s in the Lower East side. I was 2-hours late (major traffic into the city) but he was patient and waited for me until I came. He proved to be thoughtful, having a glass of Hennessey straight waiting for me. One of the first things I remember about him was that he grabbed my hand and held on tight until we got to the restaurant. The next date was a few days later at Spice. I believe it was at this time, I realized I had a thing for him. He was charming, thoughtful and looked at me with these piercing eyes as if he could read the insides of my soul. A few more dates ensued which led up to my favorite date at his house on a Saturday night. We ordered Italian take-out and ate in his living room, which he cleaned up for me because I told him I would love to hang out there. After dinner, we looked through an old record collection his mom passed on to him and listened to the sweet sounds of Jimi Hendrix and Boyz II Men . I found myself near tears, as I sat Indian style on his couch. As simple as it might seem, this was all I ever wanted from a relationship: companionship, commonalities, and someone who loved Boyz II Men as much as me.

One night, after our Scandal premiere party, we got into our first spat. He made an assumption that was totally wrong, and I was disappointed in him. Instead of our disagreement escalating, we talked it out like two-adults in an adult relationship. The irony was that we hadn’t talked about being in a relationship as yet. Once again, I was very impressed with his patience, his ability to admit his wrongs and his desire to make sure I was happy. He didn’t want us to go to bed with anything weighing heavy on our hearts. The next day I received the following text from him:

Guy: Should I ask or will you?

Me: Ask what?

Guy: Will you be my girlfriend” I think we have something

Me: Omg, I totally want to be your girlfriend. I was just waiting for you to ask 😉

And just like that I was off the market. But what does this all really mean? Is it weird that I feel like I lost a small portion of my freedom? Or that I can no longer do what I want to do without consulting someone first? What about the annoying quirks…can I still feel free to vent to my closest friends about this, or do I now have the obligation to protect him and the reputation of our relationship by all costs? To be honest these questions come out of fear. I am afraid that I don’t have what it takes to be a girlfriend. I fear that we will fall apart as fast as we came together. I’ve always feared commitment. I don’t want to love someone so much and watch it crumble to dust a few years later. What if I do end up marrying him, is it insane that I think about marriage already? How will he propose? When will we buy our first home? I fear that I will end up unhappy and stuck like so many other women who walk down the aisle with high hopes and end up in front of a divorce lawyer. I’m afraid of his past; the girls before me that can expose the man he used to be. I am also afraid of him finding out about my own past. I just might be afraid of it all. Yet all my fears are silenced when I’m with him and he makes me feel like I’m the only girl in the world, his gift from God. It’s a good feeling. I guess these are the risks we all take when jumping head first into an adult relationship.

Letter to my 19 year old self

Dear Lost One,

You are beautiful. Don’t you ever let anyone have that much power over you again. Yes, I get it, you love to be in love. You love companionship. You love having that special person by your side. You sometimes even go as far as to dream about true love one day. Your fantasies hinder you. It’s sweet that you have optimistic dreams of being in love but don’t confuse love with straight lust.
Once again you are beautiful. You have an amazing personality and you are so smart. You have the whole world at your hands and yet you don’t see that. You have dreams and aspirations. You are smart enough to make deans list and get over a 3.5 gpa every semester thus far. Yet your thoughts are warped around a guy who doesn’t feel the same way that you feel about him. He doesn’t like you that much. He doesn’t see your worth. And with knowing all of this, with knowing that he is not the man of your dreams you continue to chase him relentlessly. In math class your thoughts are surrounded by him as opposed to algebra. You can’t seem to get him out of your mind. What does he have to do to make you see that you are worth more than him. I mean he already has tried to talk to your best friend; He stood you up to sleep with other girls on New Years; He calls you once in a blue moon; After leaving your school and spending a wonderful weekend with you he uses facebook to tell the world that he is taking applications for wifey, and this is all in the span of knowing him for only 3 months. The red flags are there. Does he have to go to the extent of getting his ex girlfriend pregnant for the second time and forcing her to do the unthinkable…oh wait he did that. Does he have to scream from the rooftops “I don’t want to be with you” wait he did thatand finally does he have to critique your every move and make you feel terrible about yourself damaging your confidence…Yah he did that. Arent you embarrassed?
What will it take Lost One for you to see that you can do better than him? You still think that maybe just maybe he can change and if you drunk text him enough exclaiming that you both should be together then maybe one day he will realize this too and ask you to be his girlfriend.
Lost One, you are blind. How could such a pretty face be so blinded to your worth? How can you look in the mirror knowing that you are in college, working towards gaining a degree and yet you settle for someone two years older than you that cannot even get a job? You want so desperately to call someone who chain smokes reefers all day your man? What is wrong with that picture? Does he even know his own worth?
Aren’t you sick of being afraid to call him because he may not have time for you? Aren’t you sick of waiting around for his call and drop everything that you are doing so he can have your undivided attention? Aren’t you sick of being third best in his eyes? Lost one, you are so much more than this life you are living. You deserve calls every day, all day if your heart desires that. You shouldn’t be depressed, in your bed surrounded by darkness while your friends are living their lives. You should be out living yours as well. LOST ONE…HE IS NOT WORTH IT. Why can’t you see this. What is blinding you so…Do you even know who you are? You have picked up on all of his bad habits including drinking and partying to forget about the predicament you have gotten yourself into. When he ignores you, you find refuge with other guys. He sometimes makes you feel so low, that you have to be with another guy to feel better about yourself. You are not you. You are different. You have hit a rock bottom but you still haven’t learned. It will take two more years of turmoil and insecurity for you to realize you have had enough. It will take finally realizing that if he had the chance he would leave you for the next girl that was “light-skinned” enough to meet his standards. One day you will see you are better than this.
Lost one, you are so beautiful. The faster you see this the better you will be. Don’t you know that you could be using your time more wisely instead of wasting it with a low life. You spent a whole year preoccupied with someone who have yet to give you the type of attention you devote to him. He is too selfish to have a girlfriend and to deal with a girl as strong, intelligent and positive as you. He sees that you have a lot going on with you and he is threatened. Walk away as fast as you can he is not for you but hold on tight God has something greater and better in store for you, just exercise patience.

 

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Letter to my 15 year old self

Dear Young and in Love,

You are beautiful. You are mature and you get what you want. You are very blessed. Your life is in transition yet you manage to stay true to yourself. You are one confident person. You love your friends, you live for your boyfriend but you are not having such great luck with your family. They don’t understand you. They want you to succeed and you do as well but having a social life and being popular is way more important. You find out about your mothers past a lot during this period. It finally hits you that your mother was only 22 when she had you…22, which meant she was still very young and still had her whole life to live before you came into the picture. Talk about dreams deferred. You finally understand why your grandmother and aunt are saying “Shes going to end up just like her mother.” Does this comment sting? Sure it does because you are very protective of your mother. Although you are at odds with her, she means the world to you and you would be nothing without her.

If ending up just like your mother means being the positive light that she is, then you are more than happy to do so because she is a strong black woman who has been through it all, lost her husband at 26 and became a single parent over night, yet was still able to hold her own and not ask for one ounce of pity.

Young and in love, you are losing your way. School is not a privilege but a burden. You fake sick in the nurses office so you can leave school early. You invite all your friends and your boyfriend friends to your house after school and sneak them into your closet when someone comes home early. When do you have time to do your homework? Did you forget you need to do good in high school to get into a decent college? When will you realize you are jeopardizing your life by the poor choices you are making now…who are you? You spent all your life getting good grades and being smart. When will you understand that you have to start taking your life and future seriously?
Love. You are fortunate to have found true love at such a young and innocent age. You’ve met your soul mate. He is kind. He is sweet. He is innocent. He is patient. You have this unrelenting passion for him. You are in a love far greater than your years which is why you don’t really know how to handle your feelings and emotions. You are in a reciprocated type of love.
You live in a world where sex is the thing to do in a relationship. Are you ready for such a huge commitment? Well I guess you are, since you’re “so grown.” So once you and your boyfriend establish your unrelenting love for one another you take it upon yourself to say “Lets Do It.” His face is mixed with shock and excitement but he obliges quickly and that night, just like that, it happened.
The next day no one could tell you that you were not a woman. You called just about every friend you had bragging about how romantic your experience was. Romantic indeed. Till this day you can still say you lost your virginity with no regrets. It was with a guy who loved you more than anything and you didn’t have to fear like so many other girls your age that he would go telling every tom, dick, and harry about your escapades with him. Not only was he the love of your life but your best friend.
Young and in love you are a risk taker. You live in the moment, you take chances and you do things without thinking. Some of the decisions you make during this time will have an affect on your near future, yet you are living life and enjoying the trials of being a teenager.

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