Category Archives: Transformation

HoneySugaSweet Musings: “I’m Taking My -Ish!”


*This piece was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s “Somebody Walked Off…” from For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When Rainbows Were Enuf (pg. 49).  When I read the original piece after my break-up 7 months ago, I realized someone(s) had walked off with all of me.  The break-up was not unexpected.  The feeling that I wasn’t “me” anymore came as a big surprise. I gave away so much of myself not only to my ex but a few other ex-boyfriends.  But those former beaus didn’t take my stuff.  I willingly gave it away.  This poem is me willingly taking back my stuff !*

I’m taking back my shit

Yeah, that’s right

Call me Break-in Betty, Strong-Arm Sarah, Lockpickin’ Lucy

HELL! The name doesn’t matter

Because I’m taking back all my shit!

Not asking, begging, pleading

And damn fo’ sure not negotiating to get my stuff back

I’ve been confused and conflicted for WAY too long

Sobbing over my missing things

Lookin’ at my face on the milk carton wondering, “Who stole me? I wasn’t theirs to take!”

Today, I’m reclaiming and repossessing

Going to all the brothas that walked off with my stuff

And snatchin’ my shit BACK!

Grabbing me back

Gathering those fragmented pieces I recklessly left unguarded

Recreating the old me

Fashioning her into a new me that has always existed

I’m taking my pride, ego, flaws, time, back fat, big thighs, sunshine, laughter, ugly photo-taking face, tenderness, authenticity, prettiness, spirit, love…

MY EVERYTHING!

You! Mr. “I love you!” Mr. “You’re the one for me!”

I’m taking my shit, sir

The children you wanted me to mother

The wife you wanted me to be

The lover you never knew existed but knew existed for you

The lover you couldn’t inspire in me

The gift you couldn’t care for in the present

The facsimiles of my love you recklessly transposed on new thefts

I’m taking all that back!

Selfish bastards walking away with my shit

Hmph! I’m taking it back with vengeance

Passionately restoring the “me” I neglected to protect

Loving her the way I should’ve demanded

And when I get my shit back

Oh, because I’m going to get it back!

My fractured, fragile pieces aren’t going into a lock box

How selfish of me would that be?

Taking my stuff and hiding it away?

No! My recreated, redesigned, refashioned self will be on full global display

A touring exhibition of freedom, passion, and love

A collage of stolen and reclaimed moments called “Me.”

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Post #8: Its Good to Play in the MUD!


This weekend I danced in the Mud Band during D.C. Carnival…OMG!!!!  I had so much fun!  I had been looking forward to this day since I missed out LAST YEAR!  Being part of DC Carnival and the parade was on my bucket list (Another thing checked off!) making Saturday a great day in accomplishing life goals.

As I mentioned in the last Triple “F” post, I’m going through a major life transition.  This phase is truly about reconnecting with myself and loving all that I am.  I’ve been in a dormant cycle and apparently 2010 is my year of awakening.  One of the biggest awakenings has been accepting my body even though I’m not physically where I want to be.  Carnival definitely opened my eyes! :) I can admit now that my weight gain is equal parts inactivity and “hiding out”.  The inactivity is easy to explain.  I went from an active lifestyle in college, walking all around the biggest campus better known as Virginia Tech, to sitting in front of a desk for 8 hours a day.  My metabolism pretty much came to a halt.  But gaining weight isn’t just the result of being sedentary.  It is also a reflection of being scared of me. 

I have been “stacked” from a very young age.  When I was 12 I looked like I was 16.  I can’t begin to count the number of men astonished at my age after trying to hit on me.  I look older and have an old soul.  Add  my curvy frame…Good Lawd!  The attention I got from middle school on was RIDICULOUS!  I’m thankful for my family.  They love they gave definitely prevented me from falling prey to compliments from boys and men.  But part of my defense mechanism has also been to hide my figure.  In middle school it was baggy clothes (Thank goodness for ’90s fashion!)  My mother was horrified I would never wear a dress except for special occasions.  She HATED how lost I looked in all of my clothing.  She wanted to see her beautiful daughter.  I wanted bury her daughter in fabric.  It was easier to deal with life draped in layers.  Being bigger than my peers and learning to navigate the attention my body garnered was difficult at times.  I became much more comfortable in college (Yeah, your girl was good for leggings and a fitted tee) but that awkward girl was always in the shadows.  She took over again after graduation when the pounds began to mount.  Next thing I knew, she didn’t just pull out the fabric.  The chick buried me in flesh!!! 

If it wasn’t for Facebook, there probably would be no current pictures of me anywhere.  For the last 8 years I have made a conscious effort to avoid the camera (until more recently).  Pictures document all the weight I’ve heaped on over the years.  Pictures chronicle how I have/had yet to accept my sensuality and sex appeal.  But what’s crazy, it still comes through.  Even though the extra pounds have distorted my shape, it hasn’t distorted my sexiness, beauty, and vibrancy.  The awkward girl tried to cover it up but she can’t hide the essence of me.  On this Triple “F” Journey, I’m learning that I shine no matter what I do.  I have two choices: 1) Keep attempting to dim my “light” and continue burning myself (Burning = Weight Gain) or 2) Dance in my light and enjoy the glow of my spirit. 

I choose #2 by being in the Mud Band.  Extra pounds and all, I put on leggings, a tank top, and a whole lotta mud!  OH!  I felt free and beautiful and sexy and desirable and uninhibited!  My body may not be where I want it to be but it is attractive to me and a lot of other people!  The looks and the compliments felt so good.  They were so needed to remind me I am FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS!  I just gave into the music, let my body find the rhythm and let me shine brightly!  The men were like moths to a flame!  LOL!  Maybe not quite moths to a flame but I was my “flame” was appreciated.  

I’m no longer “hiding out”.  Right now, I’m a size 18 Woman.  That is fact.  The great thing about my Triple “F” Journey is that I’m changing that fact into history.  It starts with accepting  now matter what number is on the clothes label or what jiggle I can’t stand, I am gorgeous!  Some will be attracted to the light.  Others will seek shade.  But my shine is heavenly beautiful.  I learned that from playing in the MUD!!!!! Continue reading

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Post #6 “You Can Find Me in the Pages Essence!”


For all of February it seemed that I didn’t have much to write about.  Actually, I had lots to write about but somethings are better in the pages of my journal then on my blog.  I may be sharing my deeply personal Triple “F” Journey with the world but I still need to keep some matters private.  My Mom always told me to “keep something for myself.”  She is a very wise woman.

February and March have come and gone.  April is upon me and it feels like I have so much to share!  As some have already read, I was interviewed in the April 2010 “40 Ways to Get Fresh Start for Spring!” Essence article!  I had all but forgotten about the article when my linesister, Deidre, called and fussed me out about not telling her first!  One, I wanted it to be a surprise.  Two, it slipped my mind that the issue was on the stands.  The article came at a crucial time in my Triple “F” Journey.  I was in a funk for most of February/March.  The 50 inches of snow that fell in Northern Virginia pushed me off the healthy eating wagon.  Of course I munched on healthy foods but my hands mysteriously found their way into a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies.  Then they kept finding their way back.  And they found their way back their again.  LOL!  Being snowed in and working through a few emotional issues made it easy to eat whatever I wanted.  As always, food was there to comfort me and provide an activity to keep boredom at bay. 

I’m proud that I didn’t eat more than I did.  When I’ve fallen out of a healthy eating regimen before I typically felt guilty and ate even more.  Actions like that defeat the purpose of getting into shape and becoming a healthier person physically, mentally, and spiritually.  The true defeating action I took was not accepting becoming FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! would not happen over night.  Let’s be real-it took 9 years to pack on 75 lbs and sincerely acknowledge that I needed to get myself together.  Logic, and I am an EXTREMELY logical person, says its going to take time to change destructive eating habits, incorporate physical activity into my daily routine, and change my self-perspective.  The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.  Those steps add up to a beautiful traveling experience.  My Essence interview reminded me of just that.  I’ve just started and I have much more to accomplish.  But, this is a FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! path I am on!  I just have to keep taking one step…

Excerpt taken from the Essence April 2010 “40 Ways to Get a Fresh Start for Spring!” article written by Claire R. McIntosh. The article can be found on page 116.

2. Believe in the Domino Effect.  Jovette Gadson, 31, discovered what personal growth experts say our secret weapon when it comes to reinvention: Adjust one area of your life and you’ll likely set off a chain reaction of positive outcomes in others.  Gadson, a program adviser for a government agency who had gained 75 pounds over the last decade, knew she had to do something to get her life going again.

The Washington, D.C.-area resident decided to post her goals and poems online and let friends in on her mission to become “fierce, fly, and fabulous.”  A friend saw her posts and invited her to perform at an open-mic event.  Though excess weight had been her excuse to hide out, she made herself say yes.  For the big night, Gadson traded her outdated “intern look” for a sexy pencil skirt and knee-high boots, and performed an intimate poem she’d written about a former beau.  The crowd loved it!  She says the high she felt was “indescribable,” as if something deep inside her wer reborn.

Her newfound confidence led her to initiate changes in other areas.  She joined her gym’s wellness challenge and found a trainer.  She traded fruit for candy, cut out sodas, and upped her water and veggie intake.  Now, with the weight falling off at a sensible one pound per week, she’s confident she’ll reach her goal of a curvy 180 pounds.  And just recently, having polished her credit score, she prequalified for a mortgage and began shopping for a townhouse.  She wants to close on the property by April 30 to claim the federal tax credit.  With the $20 day she saves avoiding vending machines and eating out, she’ll have the cash to furnish it.  “I’ve been sleepwalking for nine years,” says Gadson.  “It’s time to feel alive again!”

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Post#5: “Daddyisms!”


***This post is dedicated to Angela and James. They, like me, are fortunate to have the coolest Dads ever. Unfortunately, they both lost theirs too early.***

After 39 years of service with Xerox, today Albert Gadson retires.  My Dad sent a message to his co-workers yesterday (March 30th) making the announcement.  He copied me on it as well.  I sat at my desk in tears.  The tears are even welling up in my eyes as I type!  My father is my hero.  I have looked up to him for so long.  He’s always willing to give.  He always has a smile on his face.  He always finds the best in any situation.  What can I say?  Al G. is a BAD MAN!!!My family and I joke that he has a place in heaven reserved and us “heathens” are holding him back.  But truly, my Dad earned all the praise, love, and appreciation he has received  and is receiving from family, friends, and co-workers.  Albert Gadson is just a good man.  And today, Xerox is losing a GREAT man on their team.

I’m dedicating the 5th post of FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! to my Daddy.  He’s a huge reason why I’m on this journey to live my life the way I want and to live it fully.  He has always pushed me to go after my passion and not feel guilty about it.  Dad doesn’t know it (well, maybe he does) he pushed me to be a stellar manager and consummate professional in any situation.  So, I want to share the Triple “F” lessons my Dad has shared with me over the years.  Enjoy these “DADDYISMS!”

Daddyism #1: Everyone else has lived their lives.  Don’t feel bad about living yours.  My father recognized I struggled with being a giver and People Pleaser at a young age.  He constantly reminds me that I have one life and I have to be happy with my choices.  Everyone will have an opinion about what I do, how I do it, and why I didn’t do it their way.  “Everyone” doesn’t matter.  “I” matter.  And “I” can’t live my life by what “Everyone” thinks I should be doing.  Word.

Daddyism #2: “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”  My father is a history and war buff.  Yes, he loves the Military Channel.  The World War II quote taken from the Latin phrase “Illegitimi non carborundum” (Don’t let the bastards grind you down) is one of Dad’s favorites.  You can’t let me people steal your joy.  Be who you are and never make excuses or feel guilty about it!

Daddyism #3: You can’t shit a Tech Rep. Do the best that you can do and move on.  True story.  One day my Dad’s boss wanted him to reach some impossible work goal even though he didn’t have enough Technical Representatives (Tech Reps) to get the job done.  My Dad told his boss he couldn’t “Shit a tech rep” and magically get the results wanted.  (Well, Dad couldn’t…)  You can’t give more than what you’ve got.  As long as you do your best, don’t stress about not being able to give more. 

Daddyism #4: Give from your heart or don’t give at all.  My Dad is a firm believer that you should give and love with sincerity.  If you help someone with the desire to get something back in return, don’t bother helping.  You’ll probably be disappointed by whatever they give to you.  Give because it will bring someone joy, relieve someone’s burden, or show someone how much you care.  Give from an honest place in your heart.

Daddyism #5: You gotta know the rules to break the rules.  This is my favorite rule and the one that has kept me out of major problems.  Ask my Dad about a Xerox policy or regulation and he can damn near quote it.  If he can’t quote it, he can tell you where to find it.  He was the same way about Air Force policies during his active duty years.  He always told me that when you know the rules you can legitimately get around them in most situations.  You have to know the guidelines to find the loopholes.  Plus, you can cover your butt when you break them!

There is one “Daddyism” that my Dad is completely mistaken about.  In his retirement announcement he quoted General Douglas MacArthur.  The General once told a joint session of Congress that “Old soldiers don’t die.  They just fade away.”    Well, Dad and the General are wrong.  Old soldiers don’t fade away.  They go on to fight new battles.  They continue protecting the people and ideas they love wherever they are physically or spiritually.  Today is my Dad’s retirement from Xerox.  The new battle is right on the horizon…

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Journey Post #4 (Stone by Stone)


Some readers may wonder why this post is titled “Stone by Stone.”  In post #2 I wrote that three people on separate occasions told me to be gentle with myself through this process.  I’m notorious for wanting to start the race at a sprint then quickly fad into a light jog.  Once I hit a slow stride I feel guilty about losing speed, stop altogether, and throw the slammin’-est pity party for 1!  Since I’ve begun reclaiming my Triple “F” status God and the Universe has strategiclly placed people along the way to remind me this isn’t a race.  I have time to reach my goals and to enjoy reaching them.  It’s the process that is the best part.  Feeling guilty takes away from that joy.  Letting others get to me about eating something unhealthy or not moving as quickly with certain changes takes away from that joy.  Wanting everyone to connect with every single post (which will never happen) takes away from that joy.  I’m reshaping a mountain.  That takes patience and care.  One day it will look as if the changes were there from the start.  But the transformation of rough stone into a beautiful work of art begins with chipping away 1 pebble.  “Stone by Stone” I am becoming the stunning architectural design God made me to be…

Its been about 5 weeks since I’ve started my Triple “F” Journey.  The process so far has been interesting.  There have been internal struggles and external factors that have made shove a sugary snack in my mouth for comfort.  Hazard of being an emotional eater.  Food is always there as your comforter and companion. 

There have been some great accomplishments since the last post.  First, I started this journey weighing 250lbs.  I currently weigh 244.8 lbs!  I lost 3lbs  this week.  Its great because I’ve been watching what I eat and paying attention to what makes up the foods I eat.  I’m not sure what my caloric intake was before I started my eating changes.  Now I try to eat between 1500 to  2000 calories.  Plus, I’m doing my best not to eat after 9p.  So difficult because that’s when I typically munch.  Water has been a fairly decent substitute for night time candy snacks.  I’m cleaning up my eating act but I noticed something strange.  As a matter of fact I noticed it when I completed a 21-day fast in 2008.  I don’t eat and drink enough period.  I can go an entire morning and early afternoon without eating.  By the time I did eat I’m starving and scarfing something horrible unhealthy.  I’m living proof that you need to eat 3 small meals and 2 snacks a day and eating nothing but junk will pack on the pounds.  I think because I’m not eating so much bad food the pounds are falling off.  (I have enjoyed chocolate chip cookies while being snowed-in this weekend.  They were tasty!!!)

While most of my neighbors in the Washington, DC area are cursing Frosty the Snowman’s visit (Over 30″ of snow was recorded in Dulles, VA) I am loving this time!!!!!  For the last 4 days I’ve been catching up on craft projects, planning events, and blog posts ;)  Its wonderful to reconnect with things I love to do and catch up on so many unfinished tasks.  Not only did I not think about food for long stretches of time, I got back to what makes me happy….CREATING!  I’m most proud of the jewelry I made over the past weekend.  Below are the coveted pair of earrings-

I realize that I have to find balance between what what recharges my SPIRIT and what pays my bill.  I would love to quit my job today and  just write, make jewelry, and paint wooden boxes all day long.  However, I like having  good credit, going on trips, and hitting the hot spots.  So until writing can pay the bills I will have a daytime job.  (And I have a feeling that one day in the not-so-distant future I’ll be a professional writer paying the bills  with my creative works!)  In finding balance I will also have to stop caring for others and take better care of myself.  That means finding time to see through creative projects, having a standing manicure and pedicure appointment (even if it’s at my home spa!) and just doing more that renews my soul not burden it.  I can’t help everyone nor can I please everyone.  Being a people-pleaser is one of my personality flaws.  It often leaves me stressed, angry, and sad.  I’ll never be a successful Triple “F” Threat drained and exhausted.  I’m tired.  No exclamation needed after that sentence.  My soul is tired.  And I am AWAKENING my soul!

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! The Soundtrack!


Week 2 has passed on my Triple “F” journey and Week 3 has quickly arrived…THANK GOODNESS!  There has been more emotional chomping this week than I’ve ever noticed!  In the past I would’ve beat myself up so much that I would have just given up.  Not this time around.  Eating my stress is not bad.  Giving into defeat is worse.  Even though I indulged in food therapy I also indulged in another type-Music Therapy! 

Over the last week I became re-acquainted with my good friend, Touchy Feely.  My iPod not only shares her music but her game apps generously.  LOL!  Seriously, I took this past week to upload tracks that have guided me to become a Triple “F” Threat!  I hope you enjoy the songs and add them to your library.  Trust, there will be more to come!

Jovette’s FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Playlist (Volume 1)

  1. “Flaws and All” by Beyonce
  2. “Slowly, Surely” by Jill Scott
  3. “A Woman’s Worth” by Alicia Keys
  4. “Take Me As I Am” by Mary J. Blige
  5. “I’m So Famous” by Joi (Triple “F” Theme Song)
  6. “Possibilities” by Amp Fiddler
  7. “I’m Good” by The Clipse
  8. “Stay Fly” (Clean Version) by Three6Mafia
  9. “On to the Next One” by Jay-Z feat. Swizz Beatz
  10. “Baby, I’m a Star” by Prince

FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! Post # 2 (January 17, 2010)


Becoming FIERCE! FLY! & FABULOUS! is tough! I have had great moments this past week sprinkled with a few rough times.  Guess that’s part of the journey.  Everyday will not be joyful or easy.  Some days will be a struggle.  Some minutes will be a test of faith.  But the point is to see it through to the end.

My cousin, a wonderful Omega Man, posted a poem quote that I hadn’t thought of  in 11 years.  See It Through by Edgar A. Guest inspires me to push forward when I want to be lazy or knock back a bowl of sugar!  (I really haven’t gotten that desperate…seriously.)  As the early American poet writes:

When its vain to try and dodge it,

Do the best that you can do;

You may fail, but you may conquer.

See it through.

As I write this post, I’m leaning heavily on those words.  I leaped off my 21-day fast wagon last Tuesday night.  Getting back on feels as if I’m trying to sprint with concrete Nikes…almost impossible!  Notice I said ALMOST.  Though I’ve slacked, I’m still making wiser food choices and not bingeing on sweets.  My water intake has increased dramatically and I’ve been soda-free for over 9 days.  AMAZING!!! I was drinking a 20oz Dr. Pepper at lunch everyday and a 16oz can of soda with dinner.  I had to be on the verge of desert thirst to drink water.  It’s all about the small steps and keeping at them.  In my healthy eating habits quest I found a low carb/good carb guide a high school friend suggested last year.  I’m going to follow this carb-reintroduction diet to find balance between loving sugary sweets and potatoes and finding love in good carb dishes.

I’ve also struggled with the prep work that goes in to becoming a Triple “F” Threat.  I hate pulling clothes the night before for work and hate making lunch even more.  But any change in habit needs planning and preparation for it to stick.  I was wishy-washy about fasting from the jump. Not because I couldn’t do it.  I successfully completed the 21-day fast in October 2008.  Lost ten pounds, thank you very much!  But my heart isn’t in it the same way this year.  That’s okay.  I’m going to focus on cleaning up my eating acting which will be a fast in some way.  The next couple of months are about resetting how and what I eat.  That’s where I need to focus my actions.  Eating lunch out of a vending machine is not good!  I’ll never reach my goal weight (180lbs) if I don’t plan better meals and make wiser food decisions when out.  When I do give in to those sweet urges and carb temptations I can lean on these words, “You may fail, but you may conquer…”

Now , this week has brought some Triple “F” Threat opportunities my way! For starters, I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating my sorority’s 97th Anniversary.  I met a group of sorors for brunch last Sunday.  I was able to celebrate our Founders’ Day with Alpha chapter and area sorors.  And I partied with my Loudoun County Alumnae sorors Friday night.  Each event reminded me how strong Delta’s bond is and how many sisters I really have.  It was great to connect with familiar faces and new ones.  This week pushed me even more to not be just financially active but more involved in Delta.  Working on those Triple “F” goals!!!!

Speaking of goals, I kicked myself out of my introvert comfort zone.  While at dinner with my soror, I introduced myself to two women next dining next to us.  I over heard them talking about federal government positions t various agency.  One woman is the CEO of a government consulting firm.  The other is in the Senior Executive Service (SES) at a domestic agency.  I saw a great professional opportunity served up on a plate garnished with luscious fruits and veggies just for me! And I dug right in! I introduced myself as they were leaving, told them about my background, and that I would love to talk more about federal government career opps.  Got both of their cards! (Go Jo!!!) They graciously and generously offered their time.  Remember, you have not because you ask not!

Saving the best for last…I performed at an open mic Wednesday night!  (Whew!  I’ve been in the streets all week!)  Its been at least 6 years since I done this but it was my time.  Thanks to Goldie Deane for inviting me to performing at the K.I. Service, Inc. open mic fundraiser.  After reading the first Triple “F” post she challenged me to share my artistic work.  I shook off the stage fright and did a pretty good job.  The experience has me typing up my poems and doing some much-needed rewriting.  More importantly, I finally told the world (a small segment of it) that I’m a poet.  Don’t get that confused with “I write poetry.” I’m a poet.  I’m a writer. I’m an artist.  Over the last 9 years I have hidden that fact.  No matter how much I try to bury it, it always comes through.  I’m working on my craft and have many lessons to learn as a poet/writer.  But I cannot deny anymore…I’M A WRITER!!!!!!

What did I perform? Check out When I Stare at You (2006) below-

When I stare at you

I see beauty waiting to be loved

I intensely watch your mouth

As passionate thoughts

Slip over your tongue and pass your lips

Soft lips speaking kindness to my heart

 

When I stare at you

I see a lifetime lived in a moment

Experiences shaped your beliefs

Molded your view of an extreme world

How you find a way to love it

How you find a way to better it for our children

 

When I stare at you

I see an unexplainable dichotomy

Strength too powerful to deny

Yet so humble, so sincere

How many will rest upon your strength?

The masses you will cradle in your arms

 

When I stare at you

I see the man I was meant to love

Compilation of idiosyncrasies intricately arranged

I study your enthusiasm, curiosity, and hunger

I memorize your humor and thoughts

Capture the vulnerability you openly share

 

When I stare at you

I think of our forever

Lazy Sundays spent on the couch

Watching sunbeams blanket your face

Listening to you talk to our son

Proudly witnessing him become the man you are

 

When I stare at you

I see the image create by words I’ve written

Countless phrases of fantasy

Now, I see the dream

A magical myth that is reality

Prove when I stare at you

 ***Please Do No Reprint Without Author’s Permission***