Home Friday 5 Friday 5: Five Things I Promise To Bring To BGG2WL In 2012

Friday 5: Five Things I Promise To Bring To BGG2WL In 2012

by Erika Nicole Kendall

So, yesterday evening, I received an e-mail from the Black Weblog Awards. And, while I was humbled by winning for “Best Food/Cooking Blog” and “Best Health and Wellness Blog” from the popular vote – that’s you guys! – I was blown away by winning “Best Personal Blog” and “Blog of the Year” from the judges’ vote.

Like, wow, Blog of the Year?

2011 was a bit of a scary year for me. Lots of attention came to the blog – Essence, Heart and Soul, Michael Baisden, NPR, Dr. Oz, The Root, SHAPE Magazine, Yahoo! Health – and I was, really, overwhelmed. It’s awesome to know that the things you share each day can help someone change their lives the way I’ve changed mine, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it made me also want to hold back a little bit, too. It’s one thing to lay your soul bare to an audience of 12. It’s another, entirely, when your audience is in the hundreds of thousands.

That being said, here are five things I know you want more of in 2012, and how I plan to do what I can to give it to ya:

1) More boot camp! I know lots of people loved the clean eating boot camp, and while lots of people were wondering how/why it ended, many others got the picture. It doesn’t end. You just keep going. You keep living. But, as BGG2WL has picked up a couple new readers since then (yeah, just a couple), maybe it’s time to bring it back. Say… for the new year? Like, next week?

2) More on cooking, food and life in my kitchen! I taught myself how to cook, but everyone is wondering “how the hell do you do that?” You stack cookbooks like CDs – hell, you stack cookbooks instead of CDs! – and you do lots of practicing… and lots of running to offset all that cooking. So maybe we need a “how to cook” series?

Ohhh, and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve got in store for February. Can not wait!

3) More food addiction discussion! People always talk about weight loss in terms of will power activity. “Eat less… and move more.” Clean eating proves that to be false, because I eat more now than I ever did at 300lbs, and I’m more certain than ever that will power is a joke. Talking about the components of food addiction that affect will power is an important key to understanding why clean eating is so important to success, and delving deeper into it is key to making my argument so convincing.

4) More about how I fought my demons: It’s hard to admit you’ve been victimized. It’s hard to live with that – it’s hard to be a survivor, even though it’s much worse to not be one – but I’ve come to a point in my life, now, where I feel so free and comfortable with my past that I can cry about it, laugh about what I’ve learned about myself in the healing process, and share how I got to the conclusions that’ve allowed me to lay it all at peace.

I don’t plan to do this all without a trained psychotherapist on hand, though. I’ve got two ready to contribute to the conversation on healthy healing.

5) More about my life, now: I’m a devoted pet parent to two giant fur babies. I’m a Mommy to an incredibly precocious kindergartner, who I’m so happy (and sad) to see grow up. I’m an excited fiancée to a pretty amazing chef. I love music history, can link you from Hildegard of Bingen to Nicki Minaj in about 8 steps, and have an end goal of being a tenured ethnomusicology professor once all my kids are grown. I’ve got goals, dreams and interests that all tie into what I do here that I’d never shared before, but I think it’s time that I changed that.

So many people ask me questions about my personal life – are you dating? how the hell were you celibate for so long? what’s with all the faces? – and though some of the questions are a tad bit more ridiculous, many of them are valid. I shared really intimate parts of my journey on this blog, and stopped because it began to garner too much attention. The fear of being judged or giving fuel to anonymous commenters was too great.

The irony in this, though, is that outside of my blog, I’m intentionally ignoring judgment from others. For goodness sakes, I wear a ‘fro and I lift weights like a grown ass woman. I have to ignore judgment from others… ’cause if I didn’t define myself for myself, I’d be crushed into others’ fantasies of me and eaten alive.

Why wouldn’t I let that apply on my blog?

The moments I was the most successful was when I wrote letters to myself – the sensible side of me writing to the emotional side of me – telling myself to be less afraid, be less cautious, be more daring, be more adventurous, be more of a believer in myself, have more faith… and I stopped that. I stopped that because I was afraid of what others would think of that dialogue.

I have to reconcile that with the advice my mother gave me which was true, but I have to evolve beyond it. She told me “If you’re not ready to hear what other people think, don’t put them in a position to give their opinion.” She’s right – I do have to protect myself, but I also have to grow. It’s not that I should “be ready to hear what people think,” it’s that I need to stop valuing the opinions of strangers altogether.

BGG2WL began as a place where I talk to myself. A place where I share what I learned on my journey. Holding back, here, because it has grown doesn’t do me any good and, really, only stifles my growth as a human being but the energy that I put towards it. It cheats any person who reads it, myself included.

So, dear reader, those are five things I promise you for 2012. What would you like to see more of on BGG2WL in 2012? Shoot, forget the blog – what you like to see more of in 2012 for you?

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Kait December 30, 2011 - 1:55 PM

I’m so excited and in awe of your self-awareness. Congrats to you on all your accomplishments, the most powerful of which (in my opinion) are not the ones that can be quantified or seen…the overcoming of fear (on Dr. Oz), the understanding that change is necessary. You continue to inspire me (and so many others) each and every day with your clarity, honesty, and no-holds barred commentary. THANK YOU.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 30, 2011 - 2:05 PM

Kait, you rock. <3

Kait January 1, 2012 - 10:15 PM

I try! I also hope that the article I just sent you (well the article reference) will knock your socks off. 😉

Happy 2012!

Tiffany December 30, 2011 - 3:19 PM

I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for bgg2wl (and for me). I don’t think I can add anything to this list because it’s exactly what I have been wanting to read more of. I am also thrilled that you will have trained psychologists on hand and hopefully start breaking a lot of the shame that exists around seeking out therapy in our community. Love the blog and I am grateful that I found it!

Rosie December 30, 2011 - 4:20 PM

I’m excited. I especially am looking forward to clean eating. I would also like to get into Juicing if you can post information and recipes on that.

PS. I love to read post about yourself. Entertaining and interesting as they may be, it also makes you more “real” and relatable.

deewhy? December 30, 2011 - 7:37 PM

congrats, on your successes. you deserve every accolade presented to you…what you do here is ….there are no words….i tell every young woman i know about your cite…not simply for info concerning weight, but to get clear, clean, straightford perspectives…on any number of issues, affecting black women…esp. young black women….

i love reading your opinions….i’d love to read more…particularly those related to what contributes to black women’s unhealthy relationship to food…i believe you’re a strong young woman…but i’ve read replies from some who are simply jealous of the success of your blog, and you…i don’t want to see you attacked or targeted by those types…

congrats again…you’re a phenomenal young women…

Brianna Leigh December 30, 2011 - 10:30 PM

That surprise in February better be an eBook! LOL
No, but seriously, you should write a cookbook! 🙂

Lisalis December 31, 2011 - 8:18 AM

Congratulations on a fantastic year of accomplishments! Continued success and thank you for being so inspiring!

LittleMsUppity December 31, 2011 - 1:23 PM

Keep up your good work! Your blog encourages me 🙂

Susan Albers has good facebook and blog tips and a helpful book about food addiction. Check her out here:


Monque January 2, 2012 - 11:37 AM

I’m looking forward to seeing your continued success in the new year. 🙂

Miss MM January 4, 2012 - 1:25 PM

Happy New Year!
Wow, that is quite the list of accomplishments. And well deserved. I “check in” with your site daily, and it has definitely motivated me to stay on track. This year I want to step up my journey and before reading this post I was considering purchasing one of your meal plans. But I was wondering if there is a clean eating one that goes with the Boot camp? If it’s starting next week should I wait to see what you post next week before doing anything else?

Erika Nicole Kendall January 4, 2012 - 1:34 PM

There will be, but that won’t be for a few weeks.

Lynne February 10, 2012 - 2:19 PM

I discovered your blog after reading an article about you in Essence. That first night I spent hours just reading all of the information on the site. I felt that a light turned on in my mind, and everything you wrote just made sense to me. I enjoyed your perspective and your opinion was always consistent. I just want to encourage you to keep on, keeping on. We are listening…. I am listening, and you are making a huge difference in my life, and my 3yr. olds life. I threw out the Ramen noodles I was feeding her because of you! My only suggestion is maybe a tab for some success stories or where we can see how clean eating has impacted others lives. Be blessed Erika!

Charey December 7, 2012 - 10:01 AM

^^ What she said! 🙂

MomAgainat40 October 10, 2012 - 1:28 PM

Hi Erika,
I am glad that I found you when I did. This clean eating is my first goal since I always start an exercise program and never change the way I eat… and guess what? I have started to lose weight even without exercise.. Imagine what will happen when I start to move my body. What I already appreciate about you is the extremely personal struggle you had with your weight that you shared. Your site is the first site that I have been to that I feel like.. “I CAN DO THIS”! Please keep “keeping it real” for lack of better words.

Tallulah Blige December 14, 2012 - 10:35 AM

Congrats on your success and thank you so much for sharing your journey. There’s so much useful info and motivation in your blog… you’re literally giving me life.

All the best in 2013.

Crystal April 8, 2013 - 1:31 PM

I would like to hear your thoughts about those organic type protein shakes.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 8, 2013 - 3:03 PM
Hanethia April 8, 2013 - 1:36 PM

Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Thanks for all that you do to help me with my journey.

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