Let’s talk about… Insulin

Lindsey Caldwell, the Community Awareness Coordinator with the American Recall Center, contacted me and asked if I would be willing to “talk about my medicine” for Talk About Medicines Month.

As an insulin dependent diabetic, there are a million things that I wish I had known before my diagnosis.  Unfortunately, blogs were not as popular at the time so I felt somewhat clueless and helpless about navigating a my path.  

Once the doctors determined that my body had stopped producing insulin, I was sent home with a vial of insulin, some syringes and a good luck slap on the back (not literally but that’s how it felt).  The nurse did schedule me for a Diabetes Education class a week later but that first night was scary.  I remember sitting on my sofa with one of my friends, looking at the little bottle and needles and crying as I tried to imagine how I was going to manage this for the rest of my life.  How was I going to inject myself EVERY DAY???  

Well, it doesn’t get easier but you will get stronger.

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5 Things I Wish I Had Known

  1. Your body really does need insulin.  I know that sounds crazy but I went through periods when I was first diagnosed of not taking my meds thinking that it might have been a mistake or that my body would be fine without the shots.  Wrong answer!  Your body really does need insulin so skip the denial and move to acceptance as quickly as possible.
  2. Create a system and stick with it.  If you are super busy like me, this may be one of your biggest challenges but you have to set an alarm or determine what times of day you are going to take your meds and stick with it.  I still struggle in this department but having a consistent flow of insulin in your body is better than erratic doses.
  3. FlexPens are awesome!!  Not only do you not have to refrigerate them but they are easy to stick in your bag with a few needles and go.  If you find that they are more expensive than the vials, consider getting a FlexPen to use during the day when you are at work/school and keep the vials refrigerated at home.  (Of course you need to talk to your doctor about which FlexPen is right for you.)
  4. Taking insulin doesn’t give you permission to eat whatever you want.  If can be very tempting to just increase your insulin dose and eat that extra piece of cake or pie but you will be better in the long run if you stick with a low sugar, low carb diet.
  5. Take your diagnosis seriously.  I can’t stress to people enough how serious diabetes is.  It is a silent killer because the effects don’t often show externally but high blood sugars can reek havoc on your internal organs including your kidneys, heart and nervous system.  Whatever your doctor tells you to do, do it.  It may be a pain or inconvenient but it will be much better than being dead.

Hopefully, this will be helpful for someone who may be newly diagnosed and trying to figure out how they are going to live with their new reality.  It has been ten years for me and it hasn’t gotten easy but I have definitely gotten stronger in how I deal with taking my meds, staying active and trying to eat the right foods.

[NEWS RELEASE] Applications available for @Macys Business of Fashion Program

Miami, FL – October 7, 2014 – After four successful courses, The Workshop at Macy’s, the retailer’s innovative “business of fashion” program begins accepting applications today for the 5th Anniversary class of entrepreneurs, who are poised for bigger retail success. In the Spring of 2011, Macy’s created this one-of-a-kind business of retail development program with the aim of mentoring and fostering growth within up-and-coming minority and women-owned businesses. This industry-first initiative has resulted in a number of new vendor relationships with Macy’s and has created a pipeline of enterprises that the company can tap for future product opportunities.

“We are very excited to kick-off the application process for the next Workshop class,” said Shawn Outler, Macy’s group vice-president of Leased Businesses, Vendor Collaboration and Multicultural Business Development. “This program was created to develop minority and women-owned businesses that make great products, but needed additional real-world knowledge and expertise to successfully manage and maintain a thriving business with a large-scale nationwide retailer such as Macy’s. Going into our fifth year, we are truly encouraged by the results so far with a number of graduates of the program now providing goods as Macy’s vendors and a host more in the pipeline for future opportunities. This program helps reinforce Macy’s long-standing commitment to vendor diversity and to providing customers with unique goods and services that meet their lifestyles. We can’t wait to see what the new applicants have to offer.”

The Workshop at Macy’s is a four and a half-day intensive training course developed by a consortium of experts from Macy’s Learning & Development, Macy’s Multicultural Merchandising and Vendor Development, Babson College, the nation’s leading business school for entrepreneurship, and with select Macy’s merchants and vendors. The specially designed business development curriculum is aimed at minority and women-owned retail businesses that make department store products and are poised to grow beyond self-distribution or low volume retailing. The goal of this annual program is to help create a pipeline of viable enterprises that will grow to become successful partners within Macy’s own vendor community often bringing unique goods and trend perspectives to stores across the country.

The Workshop at Macy’s allows selected participants to collaborate with fellow aspiring vendors, gain access to industry experts and solicit one-on-one business coaching. The course work includes classes on merchandising and assortment planning, marketing, EDI, financial management, and access to capital.

From intimate apparel to jewelry and cosmetics, the Workshop at Macy’s vendors all conclude that the program helped them identify opportunities and put into practice policies that have led to successful and long-term growth. Psychelia Terry, President and Founder of Urban Intimates, stated, “I found the Workshop at Macy’s to be more than just a ‘workshop,’ it was life changing. Every team that worked with us demonstrated unparalleled knowledge about retail and wholesale partnerships. They sincerely cared about our business and our future success as a brand and company. We will be forever grateful for the 700% revenue increase that we have seen companywide because of the training, hand-holding and detailed instructions we learned from the Workshop at Macy’s.” She added, “Our company now successfully partners with Macy’s and other retailers in the US because of the information we learned and put into practice during our training.”

Alex Woo, President and Designer of “Alex Woo,” a fine jewelry vendor concurred, “The Workshop at Macy’s provided an amazing support network of industry experts and leaders in the field of fashion and retail like nowhere else. As a Made in New York brand, the chance to work with the world’s largest and most iconic store was an opportunity that no one should pass up!”

Built as a long-term program, the Workshop team is in constant communication with current vendors and past participants as they progress through the opportunities outlined during the coursework. Mateo Bijoux, a graduate and Macy’s men’s furnishings vendor under the “Mateo New York” brand, referred to this ongoing open dialogue and follow-through, when he stated, “The Workshop at Macy’s was and is the foster father of my business! It has made me a sharper entrepreneur!”

WWD-ChairNew applications will be accepted beginning on October 7, 2014. To be eligible, an applicant must be the majority (51% or more of equity) owner, co-owner or otherwise have operational control (per applicable status rules) of a business that has been in operation for a least two consecutive years and be its primary decision maker.  Eligible applications will include a 250-word biographical statement, look book/line sheets or images of product including costs, resumes on all owners, financial statements for the business for 2 years, fall within the minority and women-owned definition of the program and provide verification of the business as a legal entity (i.e. Corporation, LLC, etc.), among other requirements. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by February 1, 2015 by 11:59pm EST. All information including full program requirements are available online at www.macysinc.com/workshop. All eligible applications will be reviewed and select applicants will be asked to attend an in-person interview. Final selections will be made after all prospective candidates are interviewed. The program will take place in New York City in late April/early May of 2015.

For more information on The Workshop at Macy’s, please visit www.macysinc.com/workshop.

2014 Diabetes Awareness Walk

You’re invited to the 2014 Diabetes Awareness Walk!

We will be walking from Lomax-Hannon Jr. College in Greenville Alabama around the courthouse and back on Saturday, October 11 beginning at 7am.

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Almost everyone knows someone who has been effected by diabetes.  The Christian Education Department of the AME Zion Church sponsors this walk each year during the South Alabama Annual Conference to help raise awareness about this illness.

Even if you can’t attend, show your support by ordering a tee shirt or making a donation through our Square store – https://squareup.com/market/christian-education-department

and

Invite your friends to join us – https://www.facebook.com/events/1468232756799508/ – by sharing this event on Facebook

As one of the more than 26 million persons living with diabetes, I appreciate the support and look forward to the day when the numbers start to decrease…

THANK YOU!

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Check out my interview on @mint about personal finance

I was elated when Mint.com contacted me for an interview about tackling personal finance. Check out the article and leave a comment or your questions -> https://www.mint.com/personal-finance-interviews/expert-interview-with-lakesha-womack-on-personal-finance-for-mint/

Thanks!

*Don’t forget to order your copy of My Money Matters on amazon.com today!

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10 Lessons Learned While Dating in My 30s

As scary as it is to admit that I am knocking on the door of the big 4-0, I am starting to realize that dating now versus my 20’s is a totally different ball game.  And this game… Uggghhhh… So, here are ten things that I have learned about dating and about myself:

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  1. Don’t be afraid to compromise but be clear about what you are compromising.  I have found myself in some situations where I have been called hard, tough, uncompromising, etc but often the issues that I am being called to compromise on – aren’t really in my best interest or the best interest of the “relationship”.  They usually seem to be beneficial to the other person. #iPass 
  2. God is not going to bless me with some one else’s husband.  I saw that posted by a friend, Makasha Dorsey, and it really struck a cord with me because I have met several married men who swear their marriage is in shambles, they aren’t happy, etc but the fact is – they go home to their wife every night.  Why should I be someone’s side chick?  Why should I want to settle?  How could I believe God would bless that?  If a guy really wants to be with you and he’s married, give him time to fix that situation and then get back with you.  You don’t want a man to leave his wife for you because chances are, he will leave you for someone else.  His integrity should cause him to want to do the right thing.
  3. Unpack your own bags.  I read a post that said something along the lines of we all have baggage, find someone who cares enough to help you unpack.  I totally disagree.  Work on yourself so that you can be open and free for the person who is interested in you.  Why put them through the strife of fixing the mess someone else created?
  4. If you can’t trust him/her, then you shouldn’t be dating the person.  Plain and simple.  If you can’t trust the words that come from the person’s mouth to match their actions, you are going to have serious problems.  If you say you’re going to do something, do it.  Ain’t no body got time to check you on every promise you make.  Either quit over promising and under delivering or step up and be who you say you are.
  5. Dating is the time to get to know a person before you make a commitment.  I can’t tell you how many “dates” I’ve been on where the other person thought we were in a relationship after the first date.  To me, the interview process is just getting started.  I need to know some things before I commit my future to you.  I have questions.  I need to see some consistency.  
  6. Be selective about who you share your dating with.  I don’t publicly date (meaning I don’t post pics on social media of the guys I go out with) because I don’t want everyone in my business sharing their two cents but if I find myself becoming interested, I’m not afraid to pull out my detective kit and do a little background checking among some mutual friends.  But keep negative, unhappy people far away from your potential happiness.
  7. Sex is not the glue that holds a relationship together.  Sex is like the icing on the cake, if its good (lol) but the glue – the butter in the cake – should be your ability to communicate with each other.  Find someone that you can talk about anything with, someone that you can trust with your past experiences and future dreams.  If you always feel like you’re having two different conversations, that the person isn’t hearing you; that’s a problem because you need more than an O to keep you coming home every night.  
  8. Don’t date potential.  Date someone based on who they are TODAY because they may never become the person that they are planning to become.  You need to be able to love them exactly as they are and if things get better – consider it a bonus.
  9. Relationships are a two way street.  Just because you’re interested doesn’t mean the other person feels the same way.  Be clear about what you want and be open to hearing whether the other person feels the same way.  Don’t get mad if they don’t and don’t pretend that they didn’t say what they just said if they said it.
  10. If he’s interested, you will know.  The best advice that I can give any woman is to let a man be a man and if he’s interested, he will let you know.  Men are pretty straight forward creatures and when they want something, they usually go for it and you don’t have to wonder.  They may have some questionable methods but for the most part, a man who invests his time into you is probably interested.  If he actually asks questions and wants to get to know you, he’s definitely interested.  If his idea of seeing you or spending time with you only happens when sex is involved, cut your loses because he isn’t really interested.  If he thinks spending money or giving you money should be enough, he’s definitely not interested and you shouldn’t settle for being a modern day prostitute.

You may not agree with the lessons that I’ve learned so feel free to share yours…

[Late] Breaking News: Womack joins Birmingham Business Resource Center

I almost forgot to share the latest news with my blogger family…

The Birmingham Business Resource Center announces LaKesha Womack of Womack Consulting Group as their newest associate.  LaKesha has almost fifteen years of consulting experience in a variety of industries including manufacturing, publishing, technology, retail services, financial services and transportation. Her firm specializes in business development, brand management, not for profit organization and political strategy services. Womack, a Vanderbilt graduate, recently relocated to Birmingham to attend Beeson Divinity School at Samford University.

BBRC is looking forward to working with Womack Consulting Group to continue providing training, lending and advocacy programs that assist entrepreneurs interested in increasing their capacity, their access to capital and their customer base.

For more information about Womack Consulting Group, visit http://WomackCG.com

For more information about the Birmingham Business Resource Center, visit http://bbrc.biz

Interview with Alabama Author Joi Miner

I love to see people living their dreams so when Joi contacted me about her new book, I was beyond thrilled to feature her on the blog.  Check out this interview and take a minute to order her new book – Vices.

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1.  When did you know that you were destined to be a writer?

I have always loved to write, but I think I realized I was meant to do more with my writing when I started to get paid to write poems for my classmates in middle school and high school. When I was a Senior at Jefferson Davis High School, in Montgomery, my creative writing teacher tried to get me suspended for plagiarism, because she said my writing was too good to have been written by a high school senior. I figured that could have gone one of two ways, I could have taken it as an insult and never written again or I could have, as I did, take it as a compliment and use it as motivation. I dedicated my first poetry collection to her.

2. Tell us a little about Vices?

Vices is an erotic drama. The main character, Bonnie Jones, takes you along on her journey to rediscovering herself after leaving an abusive marriage. You get to see her get into some very interesting fixes, get her heart broken, and find herself massaging away the pain and case of the lonelies with her vice of choice, sex.

Vices is what I like to call “autobiographical fiction.” It’s my life with a little bit extra thrown into it. It’s a very raw story, but I feel like it’s relatable. We all have been where Bonnie is or know someone who has.

It’s my first novel and was picked up for publication by Nayberry Publications. It’s set to be released on October 31st

3. Now tell us something personal about you. What is your favorite color?

Blue. When I was in kindergarten, they told me that pink was for girls and blue was for boys. But, I liked blue. I’ve made it my business since then to wear as much blue as possible.

4. Do you write full-time or do you have another profession?

I wish I was a full-time writer. For the last two years, I have been employed with Sykes powered by Alpine Access as a full-time work at home Customer Care Professional. I am also a full-time English/Creative Writing student at Southern New Hampshire University Online in my Senior Year (Class of 2015. Woohoo!). As if that weren’t enough, I am of this year, my 33rd birthday. *Gasp I just told you my age* Owner and Co-Founder of a small for-profit company, Poetic Advisory, LLC.

5. What was the best advice you have received as a writer?

The best writing advice that I have ever received was to never take writing advice. Lol.  Everyone is different. No one can tell you how to be your most original self. There are even debates about the basic writing techniques, so you need to find and do what works best for you.

Find Joi Miner on her personal website: http://www.joiminer.com

And on Social Media:

Vices will be available on Amazon, Joiminer.com and NayberryPublications.com.

Synopsis

vices5Everyone wanted a piece of Bonnie, but no one could… until Bonnie was at peace with herself.  Fresh out of an abusive marriage, 25-year-old Bonnie Jones is on a mission to recapture the youth her ex-husband, Keith, stole from her. With her young daughter, Zion in tow, she has to rebuild her life from the ground up. She finds solace in her poetry journal, cuddling with Zi, and the ability to leave her pain on the stage at the weekly open mic poetry readings.  When she has an itch she needs scratched or longs for companionship, she has her choice of partners to help soothe her suffering. Her one condition: they don’t spend the night. After Bonnie falls asleep, her demons have their way with her. Eventually, they begin to invade her waking hours and no amount of writing, sex, or time with Zion can keep her from having to face them.

Book information:

Vices, The debut novel by Alabama Author Joi Miner

Page Count: 320

Genre: Erotic Drama

Publisher: Nayberry Publications

Release date: October 31, 2014

Preorders available: September 24, 2014

Paperback Preorder Link:

Digital Preorder Link: http://www.nayberrypublications.com/apps/webstore/products/show/5260316