Your Man Says He Likes You Just the Way You Are, But Do You?

How we lost 50 pounds on weight watchers

The Man and I at our heaviest on a cruise in Dominica, then at our smallest at a late summer BBQ.

I don’t call Gibran a keeper for no reason. Lucky for me, my husband lets me be myself and each day loves me just as I am, good or bad. That’s one of the qualities I love and appreciate most about him but I realized back when we got engaged that although this type of 24/7 support is beyond wonderful, it can also provide a false shelter for you to hide behind if you’re not careful. Though I weighed 170 pounds when we met in 2004, by the time Gibran was on bended knee in our living room on Christmas Eve 2009 I weighed a whopping 245 pounds. (No joke!) We’d both put on a few couple-comfort pounds when we first started dating by staying in, ordering in, and frequently going out to eat. But it seemed like for every 5 pounds he gained, I put on 15.

Now I must give Gibran immense credit for never once during those five years making me feel like I was any less beautiful or sexy in his eyes, but the truth is, I felt less and less attractive every day. He would tell me I was beautiful almost every day and for a while I thought I agreed. But then, I started to like what I saw in the mirror less and less and his compliments began to feel more like words I thought he felt he had to say. I don’t think he ever stopped meaning it, but I stopped believing it. I was thankful each day for having someone in my life who saw my beauty despite the season, the hairstyle, or the size, but I still felt incomplete.

He loved me but I had stopped loving myself. I’m naturally a very confident person, so this wasn’t easy for me. The worst I felt about it the more supportive he became but for some reason it took staring at an engagement ring for me to finally snap out of it. He asked, I said yes, and then the next day I joined New York Sports Club and Weight Watchers. My mission to love myself as much as my man loved me began. Over the course of 2010 I fought the urge to demolish every brownie  in sight and I chose Continue reading

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Flash Mob Wedding Anyone?

This spontaneously awesome flash mob wedding ceremony has gone viral, and if you haven’t seen it already you should, like now! This cute young couple staged an impromptu ceremony in the middle of a shopping mall and even threw an awesome song and dance routine to “Aint Know Mountain High Enough”. It’s quite the departure from tradition but still a wedding I wish I’d attended. I grinned all the way through this one. Some may argue that getting hitched like this isn’t special or memorable enough when it’s all said and done, but it looks like over 300, 000 You Tube viewers would disagree. But seriously, how cute is this couple? I dig it – but can you? Could this have been your dream wedding day? Thoughts?

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Dear Husband: Regrettably, I Am Not Ready to Change My Name (Just Yet!)

Charli Penn-Watkins Writer Editor Blogger Media SpecialistDear Man,

I know we talked about this over and over (and over!) again and because of that you’re probably not going to like what I have to say. I know how much it means to you for me to be Mrs. Watkins, and that as a sweet compromise you begrudgingly agreed to let me be Mrs. Penn-Watkins instead. I appreciate you caving in slightly in that department and I know you thought that was the end of the debate about itl. But, here’s the thing: I still want to be Charli Penn – at least for a little while longer. You won’t believe this, but it has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel about your name. I will always be partial to Penn, but Watkins really does have a nice ring to it too. It instead has everything to do with the fact that the act of getting married represents such a big union and ultimately such an enormous change (for the better) in my life that although it brings me so much joy to be your wife, I find just a small part of me still wanting to Continue reading

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Survey Says: Yes, There Is Such Thing As The Marrying Type (Plus Marriage Makes Men Nicer!)

The very fascinating findings of a recent survey comparing men’s behavior before they marry, during the marriage, and after one were recently highlighted on a New York Time’s blog. What’s perhaps most captivating about it is that the study compared twin males to help isolate biological and environmental factors. (Basically, is he born the marrying-type of does a woman make him that way?) Here are the meat and potatoes of the findings:

“The Source Does Marriage Inhibit Antisocial Behavior? An Examination of Selection vs. Causation via a Longitudinal Twin Study, by S. Alexandra Burt, Archives of General Psychiatry, a publication of the American Medical Association.

Women have long been saddled with the onus of ‘civilizing men.’ According to studies of varying reliability, once under the womanly wing of matrimony, men work more, make more money, go to church more, eat more healthily and drink less unhealthily. Sociologists refer to this as ‘the marriage effect.’ Continue reading

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Check Out Man Wife and Dog on Black Love Poster Today

Black Love Poster is a very beautiful submission blog paying tribute to black love. We’re on there today and if you have a beautiful photo or video to share you should submit it too! I’m beginning to love the simplicity and ease of Tumblr — am I late?

Charli and Gibran's Wedding on Black Love Poster

Very sweet site!

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Our Weird Love Habits Featured in Redbook Magazine (On Newsstands Now!)

Redbook Magazine Gaida Cover

February issue on stands now!

The feature’s called “Your Weird, Awkward, Dorky, But Somehow Romantic Moments” and of course we qualify. I share my addiction for karaoke video games and how awesome my husband is for playing them with me to cheer me up. (His rendition of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” is a hit every time!) He won’t admit it if you ask him, but he’s pretty good at the Jay-Z part. Ha!

If you want to read more of the feature check out the new February issue on stands right  now. (The fabulous Giada De Laurentis is on the cover!) See a sneak peek after the jump: Continue reading

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