In college, a few of my friends and I took advantage of the free wellness activities offered on campus. Our torture choice was Pilates. Man, that was a real work out. That was also four years ago. I’ve had a brand new mat, still in its package, laying in the trunk of my car for over a year before I decided to stop being lazy. So when Wellness Wednesdays rolled back around at Atlantic Station, I finally put my mat to good use.
In honor of National Women’s and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Co-founders of The Red Pump Project, Karyn and Luvvie, decided to present an event around several U.S. cities. The Red Pump Project is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.
To commemorate this day, I attended Cupcakes and Condoms, hosted by the Atlanta ambassador, Skyy Banks. We spent our afternoon mingling, chatting about sexual health and, of course, eating cupcakes.
No need to rehash the hell of a week that I had. Needless to say, I was extremely happy to go out for drinks with friends.
My friend Nykita is visiting from Liberia. We met up at Prickly Pear for dinner and drinks. Apparently, Friday was also National Margarita Day so naturally, I indulged in my favorite activity. I’ve been DYING to try this margorona thing since last Summer. Now I see what the hype is about. It’s pretty much amazing.
It’s not secret that I love food. But breakfast isn’t something that I’m good at remembering to eat. I’m not much of a morning person so if I eat anything, it would be a packaged snack. The new recent craze has been smoothies. Never really cared for them until I learned that they don’t have to taste as thick as a milkshake. So today, I started a 30-day green smoothie challenge. I follow Simple Green Smoothies on Instagram and I’ve gotten TONS of great recipes to try.
All you have to do is sign up for the emails. Don’t worry about trying to figure out what to blend. You will receive a weekly email with recipes. Easy. This is a great way to start off the new year eating clean and healthy.
If you find that you don’t like the recipes they send you, by all means, experiment. I started with all the fruits (and veggies) I already had in my fridge. Staples: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, bananas, oranges, tangerines, grapes, kale and spinach.
I would encourage you to join me on this challenge. If you blog about it, send me the link! Let’s share recipes! Let’s do this!!! Here’s to a healthy new year.
Since I gave away my virginity at 20 years old, I’ve been battling with the idea of sex and regret. I used to think I would wait until marriage. Not seriously though. It was just the thing to say. But growing up, I had this weird feminist mind set so it kinda didn’t matter because I didn’t take guys seriously enough to even consider sex. But after I gave it away, I felt pretty empty. Like well, that’s it…do I go grab a bowl of cereal? Was there supposed to be fireworks? Fanfare? If there was, it didn’t happen for me. And it really hasn’t happened six years later.
I’ve come to the realization that when it comes to sex, I am weak. Not weak as in I’m always after it. Weak as in I won’t stop it from happening. I can count on one hand the times I’ve asked to have sex. I never wanted to have the blame put on me, if any accusations were to be made. No one could say, well, she wanted it. Mmm, not really, I just went along with it. Which to me, is worse.
At 26 years old, I had to stop and ask myself some serious questions regarding my sexual behavior. Patterns that seemed to happen the same exact way with different men. Surely, after the third time, one would have to stop and think, “it’s ME, not them”. And it was me. I now believe that God placed roadblocks in my sexual life that I literally jumped over to ignore, until they smacked me in the face via doctor’s visits, dreams and blatant disrespect. And I couldn’t (and still can’t) blame anyone but myself.
One year ago, I wrote a letter to my 15 year old self expressing all that I would experience in ten years. A good chunk of it was mainly about sex. My, how times changed. That’s when I realized that I really needed to do something about this problem. So many times I’ve tried to give it up and failed. I did realize though, you can’t give up sex if your partner is not willing as well. You will battle on your own and you will lose.
Many times I’ve attempted celibacy and failed. After listening to the dating series by Pastor Andy Stanley called The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating, I decided to give it another try and focus more on what I will gain and not on what I was missing out on. It has been an interesting journey these past few months. It’s funny how much clearer you can see deception when lust is not clouding your judgment. And not to say that this is an easy road but it sure is a whole lot cheaper (physically and emotionally less taxing).
The decision to be celibate (again) is the reason I feel more confident in speaking to young women about the decisions that women make involving sexual activity. It is the reason I feel compelled to educate young women and girls about sexual health and protecting themselves. And thanks to the new Affordable Care Act, all women will be able to get the proper preventative care services. No longer can we blame anyone else for the decisions we consciously make regarding our sexual activity.
Is celibacy for everyone? It sure as hell isn’t for me but it’s the discipline I need in my life right now. If you’ve chosen to have sex, take control of your body. I’m so tired of hearing the HIV rates in Black women increase. We’ve got to protect our bodies (and our hearts).
As we continue to celebrated Women’s History month, it is important to hightlight tomorrow: National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness (NWGHAAD). Heavy supporters on this cause are the founders of The Red Pump Project.
What is it?
According to The Red Pump Project, “It’s a nationwide initiative to raise awareness about the increasing impact of HIV/AIDS on women & girls and encourages ladies to take action. While progress has definitely been made in the areas of AIDS prevention and treatment, women still represent 27% of all new AIDS diagnoses, with African-American women accounting for 66% of that group. This year focuses on this statistic, “Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States.””
How you can participate:
- Rock red pumps or flats tomorrow!
- Attend a Red Pump event in your area, if available.
- Stay abreast on issues/updates concerning HIV/AIDS awareness via Red Pump Project’s Facebook, Twitter and website.
- Be safe and get tested.
Spread the word.
To learn more about this day and information in your area, visit the NWGHAAD website for more details.