Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Negative National Security Impact of Damaged Beyond Repair Black Men (DBRBM)

Stop Assuming that Black Men Ascending into Prominent Overseas Positions is a Good Thing

As a people, African-Americans just loooove to see a Black man get a prominent job. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. Our chests poke out, we raise our heads a little higher, and acquire a new bounce in our steps at such news.

We assume that having Black men in prominent positions is a good thing. We assume that more Black men having the ability to travel and live overseas is a good thing.

Sometimes Black men going overseas is not a good thing. In fact, in many cases it's a VERY BAD thing. It's very bad for our international image as Black people. It's also very bad for this country's national security.

DBRBM are busy making enemies overseas for the rest of us as African-Americans. They are busy making enemies for ALL Americans. We don't realize this because, like most Americans, we don't pay attention to international news stories.

But the foreigners that DBRBM harm remember. As well as their families, friends, and entire societies. The same way we remember atrocities committed by foreigners here.

Andrew Warren: Former CIA Station Chief in Algeria, Muslim Convert, Alleged Rapist

Consider the case of a Negro named Andrew Warren. As the Los Angeles Times story notes, until he was removed from his post, this individual served as the CIA's top official in Algeria until late 2008. He had previously held high-level positions in Afghanistan and Egypt. Los Angeles Times, January 29, 2009, "CIA chief in Algeria recalled amid investigation":

"Warren was described as a highly gifted officer, a convert to Islam who demonstrated a rare ability to blend in among Muslim communities across several countries.

'He's exactly the guy we need out in the field,' said a senior U.S. government official who had met with the accused officer in Algiers last summer before the scandal emerged. 'He's African-American. He's Muslim. He speaks the language. He seemed well put together, sharp and experienced.'"

[Yes, exactly the type of Black man that we get very excited about due his surface attributes. He is probably also yet another example of a DBRBM Sunni Muslim.]

The LA Times story notes that "Algeria is considered a top priority in the intelligence community because it has been a haven for Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group that has pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. The North African group was blamed for an August bombing outside Algiers that killed more than 40 people."

It seems that this Negro was allegedly putting date rape drugs in women's drinks, and then sexually assaulting them. [Shades of Dr. William H. Cosby, Ph.D.]

This story has also been covered by Al Jazeera: [Raised fist salute to our outstanding researcher, Lorraine, for bringing the Andrew Warren news story to my attention!]

This type of mess is at the high end. Pause for a moment to consider what the droves of low level DBRBM in the U.S. military are doing all over the planet. {shudder}

The Sorrows of Okinawa: U.S. Military Base = DBRBM Rapists' Fraternity House

The list of rapes committed by U.S. servicemen in Okinawa is endless, and continues up to this day. I'll focus on one incident that caused U.S. President Bill Clinton to have an emergency meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister.

From Wikipedia:

"The 1995 Okinawan rape incident refers to a rape that took place on September 4, 1995, when three U.S. servicemen, U.S. Navy Seaman Marcus Gill and U.S. Marines Rodrico Harp and Kendrick Ledet, all from Camp Hansen on Okinawa, rented a van and kidnapped a 12-year-old 6th-grade Japanese girl.

They beat her, duct-taped her eyes and mouth shut, and bound her hands. Gill and Harp then proceeded to rape her, while Ledet claims he only pretended to do so out of fear of Gill. The incident led to further debate over the continued presence of U.S. forces in Japan. "

Of course, their relatives whined that there was racism involved in their prosecution.

From the November 6, 1995, New York Times story, "Accused Marines' Kin Incredulous": "'It's very disappointing and frustrating,' said Kim Cannon, Private Ledet's sister, who is a deputy sheriff in Fulton County, Ga. 'It's political and it's racial. We're all black and we all come from small towns. I'm looking at three young black men who may face life in prison, and I just don't think this would be happening if they were white.'"

[Again, our familiar mantra: "young Black men." Doesn't your heart just bleed for them?]

Hmmm . . . Let's see what happened after they all served their time in Japanese prisons (foreign prisons usually don't play with inmates, by the way!):

From Wikipedia:

"The three men served prison terms in Japanese prisons and were released in 2003 and then given dishonorable discharges from the military. After release, Rodrico Harp decried prison conditions in Japan and said that the electronics assembly prison labor he was forced to do amounted to slave labor." [Mournful sounds of violins playing in the background.]

"Ledet, who had claimed he did not rape the girl, died in 2006 in an apparent murder-suicide in the United States. He was found in the third-floor apartment of Lauren Cooper, a junior Kennesaw State University student and acquaintance whom he had apparently sexually assaulted and then murdered (by strangulation). It appears that he then took his own life by slashing his wrists."

[Gee, I wonder what Ledet's sister had to say after this final incident. Was this "political and racial" too? Yep. They all sure sound like innocent men who were convicted on trumped up charges. Right.]

We Must Make Ourselves Distinct From DBRBM and The "Acting Black" Crew

All of the above is yet another example of why we must make every effort to establish ourselves as separate and distinct from DBRBM and the negative "Acting Black" Crew. Often, we have no idea of the overall negative impression of Blacks that has already been established by these Black miscreants while they were overseas. You DON'T want to reap what these creatures have sown for ALL of us in foreign countries!

*Addendum* At minimum, we must STOP doing our traditional, knee-jerk "Let's Rally Around Scum" dance. Including scum like the DBRBM (mentioned in the blog cited below) who raped several women while on duty and in uniform as a Los Angeles police officer.

*Update* For the curious, our intrepid researcher Lorraine has found a link with a picture of Ledet and his final victim. [Yes, she was White.] Here is the link :

The comments in the link point to another disturbing aspect of all of this: There might NOT be any mechanism in place to ensure that these creatures are automatically registered as sexual predators once they return to the United States. Lord have mercy.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wildest Dreams Check-In, Week 4

Today is Day 25 of the Power 90 program.

It's a Wash: This Week's Awful Truth and Gold Star Cancel Each Other Out

One the one hand, I've started mixing in the advanced cardio workout (Phase 3-4). On the other hand, I blew off the Ab Ripper portion of the cardio workout yesterday (Day 24). I've been about 90-95% compliant with the diet plan.

What's going on with you? How are your Wildest Dreams coming along?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Self-Purification: Run From Hateration and Arrogance

Enduring Victories Come From the Inside-Out

God has warned us that He will NOT change our condition until we change what is in our own hearts:

"Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)." Quran, 13:11.

This is why lasting, positive change only comes from the inside-out. Enduring victories come from the inside-out. Black folks have tried various surface techniques over the past 50 years. For the most part, all we've done is exchange one form of oppression for another. We have exchanged an external oppressor in favor of internal ones. We have exchanged external violence in favor of internal violence. In politics, we have exchanged White political hacks for Black ones.

With each step, our collective condition has gotten worse and worse. African-Americans have completed roughly 80% of the process of becoming a permanent underclass in this country.

It's already too late for most of us. The mental habits that lead to self-destruction are too deeply ingrained in most of us. They are an airborne contagion within most Black families and ALL Black residential areas. This is causing the devastation that we see in Black residential areas. If you're not careful, these same mental habits will infect YOU and lead to a reduction of YOUR life opportunities. If you want abundance in your life, you will have to cleanse your mind of the negative thought patterns that have become a common part of African-American culture.

Hateration is one common thought pattern that you will have to purge from your heart and mind.

Hateration is a Satanic Trait

When Satan saw God giving the rank that he wanted for himself to Adam, Satan decided that he would not let Adam or the rest of humanity enjoy it:

"He said: As Thou hast adjudged me to be erring, I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path, Then I will certainly come upon them from before them and from behind them, and from their right and from their left; and Thou wilt not find most of them thankful." Quran, 7:16-17.

Do we all recognize this attitude? Because God gave humanity a blessing that was not bestowed on Satan, Satan decided to "hate on" humanity. He decided to wish for humanity to lose its blessings. He even decided to take this rancor a step further and work to have humanity lose its blessings!

Oh, I'm sure that we can all recognize this attitude. We see it all around us. For example, we see it in the culturally-approved hateration that a lot of Black folks (strivers and otherwise) have for the Black middle class and Black elite.

Stop Hating on the Black Middle Class and Black Elite!

Stop hating on other Black people because they were blessed to grow up in comfort! Stop adhering to false "acting Black values" that automatically characterize such people as the villians within the Black collective. On a practical level, this sort of hateration blocks the hater's access to abundance. It also hinders the progress of those haters who do work their way into the Black middle class.

[*Note to striving HATERS: We see the hateration that you have for us. Perhaps you might keep in mind that, for the most part, you are coming to us. We're NOT coming to you for anything. You are looking to join to our professional organizations. You are coming to our neighborhoods. You are looking to be counted as part of us. You're looking to get into settings that we established, not you. We see the damage that some of you are doing with your "keepin' it real" poses in professional settings. If you persist in your negative and disruptive behavior, more of us might decide to actively exclude you from the various things you're trying to gatecrash your way into.]

Furthermore, I would caution the believers that this attitude of hateration toward those who were blessed with material comfort is NOT rooted in scripture. In addition to the above, I would remind you that scripture mentions righteous believers who came from the affluent classes. I would also remind you that poverty does NOT ennoble people. There are plenty of wretched, evil individuals who are poor.

This does NOT mean that people should necessarily love and adore the Black middle class and the Black elite. Simply that we should stop hating others for their blessings. This mixture of envy and bitterness is a Satanic trait that has infected the Black poor and underclass. There are some other Satanic traits that have infected the Black middle class and elite.

Stop Holding People in Contempt for Their Humble Origins! This is Another Satanic Trait.

It's healthy and legitimate to be thankful for, and appreciative of, being born in good fortune and positive circumstances. And there are (legitimate) ranks of people based upon their efforts and accomplishments. This is not at all the same thing as believing oneself to be superior because of one's origins. Which is an attitude commonly found among the Black middle class and the Black elite.

It's one thing to have (justified) disdain for ignorant, "ghetto," "hateration" behavior. This is something quite separate and distinct from holding people in contempt because of their humble origins. Which is an attitude commonly found among the Black middle class and the Black elite.

To me, the overall attitude of these middle class and elite Negroes (past and present) is not only distasteful. It's Satanic. The Quranic accounts of Satan describe the same attitude of superiority because of one's origins.

To summarize the Quranic account:

At first, the angels and Satan quibbled with God about His decision to create a flawed creature such as humans. They pointed out that mankind would be disobedient and violent. Nevertheless, God created Adam and taught him "the names of all things." God then questioned the angels about the names of all things and their properties. The angels didn't know; but Adam answered all of the questions correctly.

God then commanded the angels to bow to Adam as a sign of respect. The angels all complied. Not Satan. Satan objected and refused to do so because he felt he was from superior origins. He held Prophet Adam in contempt, and belittled Adam for his humble origins. After all, (metaphorically) Satan was made from fire and Adam was made from (lowly) clay. Dirt, as far as Satan was concerned. As far as Satan was concerned, Adam was a "tourist" who didn't belong in God's, the angels' or Satan's presence.

Does this attitude sound familiar?

Holding people in contempt and belittling them for their humble origins is EVIL. Period. There is widespread evil within the Black poor and underclass. There is widespread evil within the Black middle class and the Black elite.

On a direct, worldly level, those of us born to the Black middle class and Black elite can get away with having these attitudes. Unlike Black strivers who are trying to get into our organizations and settings, we're not looking for anything from the Black poor. The Black poor and striving haters aren't in a position to chastise us. However, God IS. Those of us who are believers KNOW that there's always a price of some sort to pay for embracing evil. There might not be an obvious, direct line connecting these evil attitudes and negative events. But embracing evil does result in diminished blessings.

If you want abundance in your life, you will have to cleanse your mind of the negative thought patterns that have become a common part of African-American culture.

Hateration and arrogance are some common thought patterns that you will have to purge from your heart and mind.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wildest Dreams Check-In, Week 3

Today is Day 19 of the Power 90 program.

The Awful Truth

Day 13: I had a 1-day Rage Against the Diet Plan Rebellion. Including NO anti-cancer juicing with Brussels sprouts. And NO anti-cancer cup of sencha green tea. What was truly upsetting is that the junk food I ate didn't even taste right anymore!!! Including my beloved, deep-fried seafood from Long John Silver's. {throwing my arms up in the air in disgust}

This "not tasting right" is what happens when you indulge in grease, sugar, and processed "foods" after you've stepped away from it for any amount of time. Feh!

Oh well, I got back in the dietary saddle the next day.

Gold Stars

I've been faithfully doing the workouts. I don't mind the repetition of the weight training workout, but it does bother me with the cardio portion. So, every once in a while I'll substitute Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout for the cardio portion. Her workout is also hard, and there are NO breaks! [Thanks for the video recommendation, Kia!]

Things The Personal Trainer Told Me Years Ago

Don't live or die by the scale. Especially during the first 45 days of any program. Body composition is as important as pounds. Muscle mass weighs more than fat. You can lose fat and gain muscle mass, which can cause the numbers on the scale to stop moving. This is why it's so important to take tape measurements of yourself at the beginning. Measure your progress during the first 45 days by [fractional] inches lost, and how your clothes are fitting you. NOT by pounds.

What's going on with you? How are your Wildest Dreams coming along?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wildest Dreams Checklist: Start Asking Yourself EMPOWERING Questions

As you have probably noticed, I'm an avid book reader. Last year I bought an Amazon Kindle electronic reading device, and I enjoy this gadget as much as I enjoy my iPod. For me, it's great because it can store many, many books without creating clutter in my house.

Anyway, here are some quotes that I'd like you to consider from The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires and the Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith:

"Distinction 1. Millionaires ask themselves empowering questions. Middle-class people ask themselves disempowering questions.

. . . This distinction reflects a universal principle that is summed up in the ancient scripture 'Ask and you will receive.' You will receive answers for whatever questions you ask, so you better ask empowering questions. The bigger your questions the better. Learn to ask yourself questions that stretch you beyond your current levels of experience. Questions hold the answers that you need to succeed." Amazon Kindle Locations 787-97 [emphasis added]

I thought of this because of a recent post by Gina, blog host of What About Our Daughters. Gina asked her audience to consider the question "If you could make the movie of your dreams about Black women, what would it be about?" Well, there was one commenter from the film industry who was focused on "proving" to the audience that the movies we want to see CAN'T get made. This commenter seemed angry and offended that people were daring to come up with possibilities such as viral YouTube marketing campaigns, etc.!

Too many Black women have this sort of attitude. If we want abundant lives, we need to break free of that sort of thinking. One way is to train our minds to ask ourselves empowering questions. In his book, Mr. Smith gives some examples of empowering questions:

"Which question is more empowering, 'How can I double my income this year?' or 'How can I get enough money to pay the bills this month?'

Do you see the difference? It takes the same amount of mental energy to think about answering the big question as it does the small question. Think about questions that expand your mind, because you will receive answers for any questions you ask.

Let's look at a few more examples. 'How can I make $1 million a year doing what I love?' or 'How can I get my boss to give me a raise?'

'What is life trying to teach me right now?' or 'Why do bad things always happen to me?' . . . 'What would I enjoy doing to stay strong and healthy?' or 'Why is it so hard to lose weight?'" Amazon Kindle Locations 797-807 through 807-18. [emphasis added]

Keep in mind that:

"Empowering questions ask what you CAN do and disempowering questions ask what you CAN'T do.

Disempowering questions also ask why things are hard.

Empowering questions make you feel good.

Disempowering questions make you feel bad. You can control the way you feel by asking yourself empowering questions." Amazon Kindle Locations 807-18. [emphasis added]

I've decided to make the Wildest Dreams Checklist a semi-regular blog feature. Please consider this feature part of your personal think tank. This checklist is here to brainstorm ideas in support of your wildest dreams!

What are some practical, (NOT metaphysical) empowering questions that you can start asking yourself RIGHT NOW?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beverly is Living Out Her Wildest Dreams in Paris. What Are YOU Waiting For?

This post is dedicated in deep admiration for a blog reader and commenter named Beverly. Beverly is the blog host of My Crazy Cool Life. I strongly urge everyone to check out her blog. You might learn something that could enrich your life!

Beverly doesn't know this, but she has become a source of inspiration and encouragement for me. [Especially on days like today when I've been wondering, "How much longer until I can ditch this job?" I'm working on several wildest dreams. Sometimes, I get impatient.]

Her blog is also a source of information! I just bought the book The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss because she referred to it on her blog. [Mr. Ferriss also has a very interesting and informative blog.] Who knows? I might decide to relocate somewhere else, too. [And not necessarily because I'm afraid of what may happen to Muslims in this country. As I've said before, I'm not going out like the Japanese-Americans during WWII.]

I smile every time I think about how this sister has gone from her self-description of being indoctrinated into what Rev. Lisa has called a "gravedigger" mindset, to living her dreams in Paris.

I salute her accomplishments. I salute her success as a dark-skinned Black woman who "got her crown back"! I also salute her candor and generosity in sharing the steps she took in a recent comment she made over at Rev. Lisa's blog, Black Women, Blow The Trumpet! She described how she:

Expanded her social network by building platonic relationships with non-Black men and non-Black women.

As this alternative social network grew (which also began to include romantic relationships), she began removing toxic Black folks from her life. [In particular, she started "divesting" from interacting with toxic Black men.]

Then she relocated to France.

Beverly's experiences (which she talks about on her blog) are living proof that it IS possible to start living one's wildest dreams. What are YOU waiting for?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Obama-ssiah is Coming!

Kudos to Mike Flugennock for designing the poster.

The poster says it all.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wildest Dreams Check-In, Week 2

Today is Day 11 of the Power 90 program.

The Awful Truth

Day 5: I bought and ate chocolate-covered raisins from one of the vendors that comes through the hair salon I attend. Thank goodness The Cake Lady didn't come by while I was there. She bakes and sell slices from the most mouth-watering cakes I've ever tasted. {sigh} I always ignore The Bootleg DVD Man.

Day 10: I overslept and missed doing the workout in the morning. Although, I did do it when I got back home from work. [For me, this is not a good thing because I'm less likely to work out in the afternoon or evening. I can always find so many compelling other things to do!]

General Awful Truth About Week 2: I'm struggling with the transitions between poses during the Power Yoga portion of the cardio workout. And I'm trembling while doing the Crescent Pose. I never liked yoga anyway. Hmmph.

Gold Stars

Day 8: I rode my exercise bike after work for "extra credit" cardio. [I won't be doing that very often. Overtraining is a no-no.]

General Gold Stars for Week 2: I'm faithfully doing the workouts, with about 90-95% compliance with the diet plan. I'm not sore anymore.

What's going on with you? How are your Wildest Dreams coming along?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Honor of Our Black Muslim Pioneers

This is a photo of Al-Hajj Wali Akram. I haven't forgotten about his struggles, and those of the other Black Muslim faith pioneers. This is a large part of the reason why I'm so disgusted with what has gone wrong among Sunni African-American Muslims. I said the following in response to a reader's comment to the post Demographics is Destiny: What Went Wrong with Sunni ("Orthodox") Black Muslims:

"Greetings, Aphrodite!

I'm speechless about the entire situation. When I think about the mental and spiritual journeys some of the early (1930s-1940s) Black Muslim pioneers took to escape from the clutches of a White supremacist version of Christianity...with HUGE obstacles placed in their path by racist Whites AND some immigrant Muslims......

This isn't the first generation of problems between AA Muslims and these Muslim immigrants. Here's a quote from the book Black Pilgrimage to Islam by Robert Dannin:

'Many new [AA] Muslims adopted a tabula rasa approach and absorbed whatever teachings came their way...Competing influences ranged from the diverse opinions of immigrant Muslims to American-style evangelists who supposedly had all the answers. In the first case, the immigrants themselves were in the agonizing throes of assimilation.

Much of the counsel they gave to their American brethren reflected Old World views that were being repudiated by their own children, indeed views they might ignore completely themselves when it came to personal or family business.' pg. 53. [emphasis added]

It's 70 years later and Sunni AA Muslims have come full circle back to having this sort of servile, subordinate relationship with these immigrant Muslims. Again. After our predecessors broke free of them. Mr. Dannin's book also described how foreign (Indian) Muslim immigrants from the Ahmadiyya sect financially exploited poor AA pioneer Muslims in the 1930s.

These pioneers were avidly interested in learning about the faith, and Indian Ahmadiyya officials took advantage of them until they broke away. One intrepid AA Muslim pioneer [Al-Hajj Wali Akram] declared independence from the Indian Ahmadiyya parasites in 1936 and founded the First Cleveland Mosque.

Our steadfast AA Muslim pioneers went through all of THIS...... Only to have their spiritual descendants dive head-first back into the vomit of Black self-hatred, Black inferiority, and docile servitude to non-Blacks. Words cannot express how disgusted I am with these slaves.

Peace, blessings and solidarity."

*Reader's Note*: Please leave any comments to this post in the original Demographics is Destiny comment section. You can read an interview with one of Imam Akram's descendants here:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Demographics is Destiny: What Went Wrong with Sunni ("Orthodox") Black Muslims

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif

Friday, January 9, 2009

Wildest Dreams Check-In, Week 1

The Get My College Body Back campaign is not a New Year's resolution. This has been brewing for a while. After college I did what a lot of people do: Gain 1-2 pounds a year for over 10 years. That's how people look up to find themselves overweight.

About five years ago I hired a personal trainer. I lost weight. Then I started slowly backsliding. I've gradually gained almost half of it back. So, I'm pretty annoyed with myself. I decided to do a lot of introspection about why the backsliding happened before I would engage in another regimen to get the remaining excess weight off. As I'll explain, there are still some aspects to all of this that I need to ponder. But I'll cross those bridges after I get my college body back!*Smile*

I. Power 90

After doing some research I decided to start the Power 90 program. Power 90 is a 90-day long diet and fitness plan that's designed to strengthen and tone your entire physique. AND get the excess weight off. It's a 2-disc DVD set that has three separate workout routines. It comes with a resistance band so there's no need to buy any other equipment (like dumbbells, if you don't already own some).

The three separate routines (cardio, resistance/weight training, ab exercises) come in two versions. The easier one (Phase 1-2), and the more difficult one (Phase 3-4). Actually, it's all hard. Being nosy as well as ambitious, I decided to try the Phase 3-4 cardio workout on Day 1. I had to take breaks. Keep in mind that I haven't been a complete couch potato. I regularly ride my exercise bike, and do rounds of kettlebell swings. However, I normally do these things about 3 times a week. NOT the 6 days per week workouts that are required for the program. So, I sensibly dropped down to the Phase 1 cardio routine. The literature indicates that most people transition to the Phase 3-4 workouts somewhere around Days 45-60.

II. P90x

Getting my college body back is just the first step. I was slender in college, but I wasn't toned. What I really want is to have a body that is what one of my friends calls "tight and right." Not crazy-ripped like Linda Hamilton was in Terminator 2, but definitely toned. After I finish the Power 90 program, the plan is to do a second 90-day program called P90x. The "x" stands for extreme. And it IS about extreme fitness. It has a reputation of whipping people into the best shape of their lives. If you're curious, check out the "P90x" YouTube videos that plenty of folks have sent in about their experiences with the program.

There's even a minimum fitness test that the makers suggest that you pass before attempting this program. Here are some P90x minimum requirements:

Pull-Ups. "Should be able to do at least 3 if male, 1 if female." [In my dreams.]

Vertical Leap. "Should have a vertical leap of at least 5 inches if male, 3 inches if female." [I've never done plyometric exercises in my life.]

Push-Ups. "Should be able to do at least 15 if male, 3 if female (or 15 push-ups off your knees). " [Umm . . . no. I haven't done push-ups since the martial arts classes. And I don't accept the notion of counting "off the knees" as real push-ups.]

Wall Squat. "Should be able to hold wall squat for at least 1 minute." [Finally! Something I can do! Hooray for me!]

Bicep Curls. "Should be able to do at least 10 curls with 20 lbs. if male, at least 10 curls with 8 lbs. if female." [Yep, I can do the 20 lbs. curls. That's the benefit of playing with kettlebells.]

The Ab Test (In & Out Crunches). "Should be able to do at least 25." [Umm . . . no.]

There are some other aspects to the test, but you get the idea.

III. Check-In for Accountability

I'm going to check in with you each week, and let you know how I've been doing with the program.

Today is a Day 4 for me of the Power 90 program. I do the workouts in the morning. That works best for me, because if I wait until later in the day there's a good chance that I won't do it at all. Somehow, I find so many other compelling things to do once the day gets started. The downside is that this means getting up an hour earlier.

Gold Star: I did the workouts, AND resisted yesterday's almost overwhelming urge to continue sleeping instead of getting up to exercise (Day 3).

The Awful Truth: On Day 2 I gave in to a craving for potato chips, and bought some while grocery shopping. Of course, this is contrary to the point of eliminating empty calories from my diet while I'm on this program. Which brings me to another point. For me, these programs are not-so-quick fixes. I'll have to figure out things that I'm willing to do for the rest of my life to maintain my future physique. That's part of why I did the previous backsliding. I was not (and am not) willing to follow the personal trainer's diet program for the rest of my life. It's just too restrictive.

This is why I'm so excited about the suggestion that an audience member named Blackout made in a comment to the Wildest Dreams, Part 1 post: becoming a "vegetarian before 6:00 p.m." This is something that I'm willing to do for the rest of my life to maintain a "tight and right" body.

Another bit of awful truth: I'm (moderately) sore. In all the little muscles (like triceps) that I rarely exercise. That's what I've noticed about the program. It has quickly pointed out the muscle groups that I have totally neglected.

I'll check in each week. I'm inviting you to do so as well, with your own efforts. I'd like to hear about your daily triumphs, and your not-so-great moments on the road to better nutrition and fitness.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Have Your Own "Wildest Dreams Tour," Part 1: Get Your College Body Back!

This essay is contained in my new book. I'm delighted to announce that The Sojourner's Passport site has launched! You can visit it at

Everyone, I can't thank you enough for your ongoing encouragement and support; I truly appreciate it. Your support is what made this possible. And here's a special shout-out to my web designers at Educo Web Design. They're nice people to deal with, and they do outstanding work!

Peace and blessings,
Khadija Nassif