Jamaica 2014 (Trip #1)

WARNING: Image intensive!

My Jamaica trip was over a month ago, and I took a ton of pictures. Below are the best of the bunch, and I hope I captured some of the beauty of the island.

It was definitely an adventure, for many reasons. One, I seem to have fallen in love. Two, it was so much more interesting seeing the interior, away from the pretty resorts. Yes, there is a lot of poverty, but people make do with what they have fairly well. I had a blast hanging out with A for a full 10 days straight. The sex was amazing as usual. His family and friends are great – and I was able to swim in the ocean for the first time in years!

This is my favourite image, it captures the beautiful mountains. We did a lot of driving within the middle of the island, through the mountains. The roads can be treacherous but the views can also be breathtaking:


Every house is painted in it’s own creative colour/designs – it makes for a really colourful landscape:


This is view of the ocean on the way to visit A’s uncle’s house (under construction). We got a bit lost and had to ask for directions:


One of my favourite moments was in Montego Bay at Pier 1 – after a day at the beach we came here for dinner:


A’s mother’s dog – adorable! We became good friends:


Sunset on the first night there:


A panoramic view outside of A’s house:


A’s neighbour’s house – this guy lives alone but in the early morning hours he will start yelling at a woman who isn’t really there. Very bizarre:


A “tyre” shop, these are everywhere:


A bar on the side of the road – these are also everywhere:


A banana shop – there is no shortage of fruit:


Sunset from down the road outside of A’s house:


A’s house is the one in the center:


One of the first places we went was Mystic Mountain just outside of Montego Bay:





On the way to Mystic Mountain we passed this “Duppy” (Ghost) Church. It’s actually called that on Google Maps. The story goes that the congregation was being harassed by ghosts so they abandoned the church and moved to another one down the road somewhere. The church now sits abandoned and most locals won’t go near it. I, of course, had to explore it. It took me a week to convince A to take me back there. He stayed well outside and refused to enter the grounds, so I explored by myself!

p.s. I am not haunted from the experience and I was not harassed by ghosts:












One of the best days was when we went to YS Falls – these are natural falls that you can swim in. Aside from being beautiful it was so refreshing:







Finally, some randomness! I was happy to find Heineken, but Red Stripe isn’t so bad either:


Relaxing on the veranda at A’s:



Montego Bay beach (more for locals than tourists):


A guy on stilts:


Hope you enjoyed!


Belly Check: Let’s see how long this lasts

After last week when I indulged in way too many chocolate cupcakes and drank far too much on saturday I decided to go on a semi-diet. I say “semi” because it’s the only thing I’ll stick to (at least I’m honest with myself and my lack of willpower), AND because we should all know that diets are a short term solution only. Also I’m selfish being that I’m a Millennial and don’t want to give up the things that I love. Fuck that, I’d rather moderate it and not suffer from withdrawal of chocolate cupcakes and cheese.

Here is the plan:
– Drink more water. Even more than I already drink, which is well above the 8 cups a day that is recommended. I think this is the only thing that has made me not become a fat cow already.
– Drink less alcohol. Like Rob Ford, I am going to cut back on my drinking but not stop completely. Unlike Rob Ford, I am not going to stop getting completely wasted in public, but that’s only because I never did that to begin with. Also if I have a drink I will also be following it up with equal amounts of water to hopefully negate the fatness of the delicious alcohol.
– Monitor my caloric intake. I am using an app called MyFitnessPal which was super useful the last time I shed a few pounds. You input your details and how much you want to lose and the app tells you how many calories you should consume daily to reach your goal. You then input everything you ingest and it accounts for exercise, adjusting the caloric intake the more active you are. This app made me walk up 14 flights of stairs numerous times so I could “afford” to eat that last cookie or drink that last beer. My dogs were really not impressed though with the stair-climbing.
My goal is to lose 1 lb per week until I’m happy enough to stop. As I don’t have a scale and don’t plan on getting one any time soon, I’ll be measuring my success (or failure) by literally measuring myself. I don’t want to lose too much because:
1. I don’t need to
2. I don’t want to lose my boobs (they’re small enough already, I’d like to keep them as they are)
3. I don’t want to lose my ass (AKA my man seducer)
I do, however, want to lose the paunch I feel I’m getting in the mid-section. I am getting to the point where I can’t justify it as a “Botticelli belly” anymore, so I’ll be taking a pic of my stomach every week to see the change (or not). Also, I’m hoping that by documenting this experiment I will actually stick with it.
Any suggestions for losing mid-section fat without losing anywhere else (and without resorting to liposuction) would be greatly appreciated!

We Are the 15%

Love, InshAllah

interfaith marriage

We absolutely love this blog We Are the 15% –  a crowdsourced gallery of pictures of interracial families. The blog was created in the wake of the ridiculous “controversy” over a Cheerios ad featuring a family with a black father and white mother. Check out the commercial below and then head over to the website to view (and maybe submit?) some beautiful family pictures!

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Body Image 101: I can’t get no satisfaction

Body image is a funny thing. Not in a “haha” sort of way, but more in an ironic way because I can never seem to be really happy with my body, no matter what my size is.

When I was in my teens all I wanted were boobs. I was super skinny and tried a mélange of things to gain weight, some even very unhealthy things. Despite my efforts the most I was able to put on was about 10lbs, bringing my total weight to 130lbs by the end of high school.

130lbs put me at the very low end of a “normal” weight based on my height. I still didn’t have boobs, much to my chagrin, and I hated my body. When I slept with men for the first time my shirt always stayed on because at least I could fake my lack of a chest by wearing a good push-up bra.

I felt like a super awkward stick person. I’ve been told I’m pretty for much of my life, and at times I guess I believed it, but for the most part I did not feel womanly at all.

And I desperately wanted to feel like a woman.

I tried to feel better about myself through self-photography. As a result I have a number of images of myself in various degrees of undress. It helped somewhat – in looking at the images I was able to see what others saw, which wasn’t so bad. As soon as I critiqued myself live in front of a mirror, however I again hated what I saw.

In my mid-twenties my body started to change. I gained weight, switching to the very high end of “normal” and at times was even over “normal” and into “overweight.” I am lucky I guess in that I’m tall so even when I was heavier it wasn’t noticeable. I grew boobs and hips and an ass, all the womanly parts I wanted when I was younger but didn’t have and couldn’t get.

And you know what? I still wasn’t happy. Suddenly I had days where I just felt fat and couldn’t for the life of me find something flattering to wear. I went from one extreme to the next with no stop between to feel satisfied about my body.

I did an informal experiment with Mr. Dreads and Mr. Spice this weekend, both the only men who have seen me nude since my ex (and I couldn’t very well ask him!) I showed them a scale of women’s bodies from underweight to obese and asked them to place me on that scale. I also did the same for myself.

Both men placed me in the middle of average weight. I placed myself at the high end of average, bordering on overweight. Clearly there’s a disconnect here. I know both men love my body, and really I should trust their judgement because they’ve seen more “real” women nude than I have, certainly. Actually, I really shouldn’t care at all what they think, but I do.

Of course I do.

Oh well, here’s to learning to love my body….

– image: me