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November 26, 2015

Wash Day Sort Of & Reviews

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I shouldn't say sort of.  I did wash my hair today.  I didn't take my hair down on Monday night as planned because I wasn't going to get my hair cut until tomorrow.  Plus there was no time to sort out what to do with my hair while I still got two workouts in before the holiday.  I took it down last night, well I started out right after I finished running around but because they were so small it took me almost six hours to wrap that process up, but was so tired that all I did was did a brief fluffing out and then went to bed.  I noted a few spots that were knotted but nothing that couldn't be addressed after some conditioning.

I woke up this morning and grabbed almost ever deep conditioning mask and treatment I had (Dr. Miracle's, Moroccan Oil, It's a 10 and an Organix blend) and took some time to fully cover my hair.  Then I did my first really good detangle and covered my hair with a plastic cap and the Hot Headz (I think that's the name, don't hold me to it) cloth cover and went about my day.  I cooked breakfast and the turkey for lunch/dinner, almost took a nap and then had my only two meals of the day thus far.  Then I figured I should wash this out because I wasn't sure how long this was going to take to wrap up.  My hair felt like it was okay but I detangled again just to be safe.  I washed it out and felt a little place where it could mat if I wasn't careful but fingered it loose and then went for the post poo deep conditioner which in this case was just Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and a store freebie that I can't remember lol.  I only left it in for like an hour and washed it out in the sink to hopefully prevent any kind of post love matting.  I finger detangled until I put in my leave ins following the LOC method with an added bonus of an Aveda Smooth Infusion treatment to help the hair straighten.  And then I fired up my new hairdryer.

I will say I had massive reservations about how this dryer would hold up with all of the poof that was my almost five month and change post relaxer hair.  I knew it was more powerful than my other one which was supposed to mean it would dry faster but yeah life could super suck if the comb attachment and dryer didn't live up to its billing.  This was the only time ever that my hair felt like butter when a dryer hit it.  It worked quickly and really just made the entire process super easy.  I had to stop for a while because my other dryer I could hold like a big brush versus this one.  But the comb and dryer moved through all of the poofiness with not a bit of trouble.  I stopped short of flat ironing it since I'm going to have it trimmed tomorrow and her flat iron skills far exceed my own.  I'm going to tie it down at the gym tomorrow morning if I can wake up on time.  Hair appointment at 2 and then new photo when I'm not quite looking homeless.  I don't now just like dang have you EVER put a relaxer on your hair.  Now onto the reviews.

New Products: I have used Shea Moisture products before and my hair super duper did not like them.  I was hesitant to buy them as part of my transition but Carol's Daughter discontinued their transitioning line and Shea Moisture was recommended as a good alternative both online and by my old stylist (hey Keshia).  First it took a while for it to lather but when it did my hair felt clean and fresh and a few finger curls through stopped any major issues.  After I figured out how to open the conditioner it worked equally well and I probably could have stopped with the two of them but I added parts of my old staples just to keep it balanced with protein and moisture.  I will give a total thumbs up to the Raw Shea Butter and Argan Oil product line (I didn't purchase this kit because it's not available in the store but it shows you all the products I used except the finishing elixir which they didn't have in the store).  Maybe they aren't great for super straight hair but for hair in need of some love and moisture they were well appreciated.  For those of you that like numbers better 9/10, I do like more lather but it seems to do the job well so far.

New Dryer:  Hot Tools Professional Tourmaline Tools 2000 Turbo Ionic Dryer.  I played with about 6 dryers of varying price points before I went with this one and I'll admit a large portion of what I made my final decision on was that was red lol.  I was worried because when I have purchased dryers like this in the past the comb attachments weren't sturdy enough to handle the thickness of my hair.  They frequently broke and just left me irritated about finding a replacement.  My Gold N Hot was a god send when I found it but really after almost abandoning heat altogether over the last few years I hadn't noticed how ineffective it had become in working through my hair.  So yes it was time but no I wasn't confident.  As I mentioned earlier though it was amazing.  Watching the heat shift smoothly along with the fan speed was new.  On full blast though it would fry my hair so medium to high heat and no more than medium speed and I had dry soft poofy hair in a fraction of the time it would take with my old dryer.  I'd say really like half the time and that was with my old dryer being on bake your skull heat.  I highly recommend it especially if it keeps holding up with the wash days as the hair gets less and less relaxed.  Plus it's on sale right now and if you get it at Ulta (the link directs you there) then you can get a free styling tool with it and not the cheap stuff they are trying to get rid of either.  I got a 1 inch barrel curling iron (in purple no less lol) that was normally 52.99 for free.  So yeah it was 70 bucks but I got both products for 35 at that point plus the random coupons that Ulta gives out lol.  Thumbs up here as well.  For those of you that like numbers better 9.5/10--there's a knock on comfortability in the hold but it's good.  I'm pretty sure the Ulta model is missing the focused blow attachment but I wouldn't use that one on my hair so it wasn't a major loss that it wasn't in the box.  EDIT my box has all the attachments--I still won't be using the focused blower lol.

UPDATE: So I went in and got my trim today and the flat iron is so randomly foreign to me now that the smell of my hair is slightly maddening.  Regardless it wasn't as traumatic to do as I thought it might be so I'm going to just let the hair grow out slowly under a series of twists, braids, weaves and what not.  Here are updates of my barely neck length hair that will be hidden again in a few days.  Made it to the gym before the trim too--yippee!

The Wash Day Experience

November 22, 2015

Hair and all it's weirdness

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So I'm sure some of you are wondering what decision I made and truthfully I'm still dancing back and forth a bit.  I'm taking down my hair tomorrow after work and the gym more than likely.  I would have done it tonight but it snowed and the braids provide a little more heat on my sure to be cold if completely exposed head.  And after tomorrow's grocery store run my plan is to be a hermit unless  I can make an appointment for a trim before the holiday.  If it's easy enough to deal with then I will just head into a long term transition.  It's easier to do when I kind of didn't have to fight to make that decision in the first place thanks to wearing the twists since July.  If it's a hot mess where the textures meet I'll just chop it off and enjoy being curly until I can put it back into a protective style.  I'll get at least a trim either way.  My mother is totally not on board with the whole thing and thinks relaxing is just what I should keep doing until I die.  My ex and the guy I'm seeing are questioning the whole process but understand the desire to have healthy hair.  Both are in favor of protective styling especially if I whack it off.  I'll either update this post or start a new one later this week with the ultimate decision.  Thanks to everyone for their feedback and encouragement.  I haven't seen my super curly hair in so long I have no idea what it will look like.  On another note, last week was super not good for the gym or anything dealing with the life of raising my mother BUT there's always hope for the future so here's to this week being better.  Plus my boo won the year end championships in 81 minutes after spanking Nadal yesterday (6-3, 6-3) in about the same amount of time and Federer today (6-3, 6-4).  I was actually able to watch a large chunk of it instead of being stressed out like when they typically play.  Novak was putting on a clinic.  It was amazing.  And I got to see Little Shop of Horrors again lol.  Good day.

November 15, 2015

Updates and Apologies..again

Howdy all,

not sure who is still stopping by because I have been lackluster at best at updating this blog as of late but I did want to pop in today to share a few new things.  For one I am back on track with my trainer.  While I will mourn FitOrbit's easy to use platform, things have mostly transitioned well with my trainer Elizabeth on the new platform (TotalCoaching).  Much like FitOrbit you have to find the right person and price point for you.  The TotalCoaching app is actually working and while on my phone I can't log my meals super easily (or at all--if you know how to do this let me know lol) tracking the workouts is super easy and it has animated videos for 99 percent of them so that if I was confused on how an exercise should look I don't have to waste time searching on youtube to figure out what my body should be doing.  That doesn't mean I nail them all but I'm trying.  I was pretty good on food but getting better there.  And the last two weeks I actually made it to the gym three and four times respectively.  It feels great when I'm there even though my weight is going up and down.  I am consistently forty pounds down but there's a weird flux of those other ten pounds I shed that may just have been lax gym time.  Who knows but I am working on getting it all back off again.  Odder still, even though my scale and I are perpetually fighting my clothes and I are doing another tango.  There are days when all of my size 14 things feel too flipping big and then a day or so later things are good to go again.  And then the size 8/10 workout pants I bought to prep for the winter shed (none of the workout pants I like are actually available mid winter when I might be losing weight so I bought them early) legitimately fit and aren't snug.  It's seriously bizarre in my closet right now.

So now that you have been thoroughly brought up to date here's something else I've been debating.  As I noted in my last post I haven't relaxed since the end of June and my nifty Senegalese twists are making it so that I mostly don't care about that.  Which led me to think maybe I'm super done with the relaxer movement right now.  My hair loves me and I've been mean to it lol.  My stylist before the move kept encouraging me to go natural because my new growth was cute curly, I imagine like my nieces' hair because I never paid much attention to her and just encouraged the new dose of creamy crack .  When I take these down I'll be around 20 or 22 weeks post I think and I can either relax and see what my hair looks like nearly half a year with no relaxer, I can texlax but that's not high on my list, or I can commit to transitioning at this stage.  I am leaning towards the later to be honest.  There has been some sort of chemical on my hair since I was 11 and I would like to see if my hair can get past my shoulders again and be healthy.  No one seems to have a major issue with that, because of course I have asked many a friend and family member about that.  The issue, if there is one, is if I should just cut off the relaxed hair and start fresh--still protective styling with twists or something--or if I should just learn how to do the two step hair dance.  There are pros and cons to each for me so I would love to know your thoughts about moving out of the relaxer phase of my life.  Since I've embraced all of this change and wellness and new experiences for my life prior to turning 40, this seems like it could be another positive change but I'm of course anxious and wondering what to do first.

So if you've made it this far, I'm going to ask for your thoughts in the comments but also include a poll if I can figure out how to put it back in here lol.  Hope all is well with you and as life begins to slow down I will try to get back here more often.

You can vote once a day if you really want to lol and you can pick more than one answer during each vote.

What should I do with my hair?

Keep relaxing with the long stretches
Keep relaxing but don't stretch past 16 weeks
Nix the relaxer and chop it off
Nix the relaxer and grow it out first
Something else entirely
Poll Maker

The Wash Day Experience

October 17, 2015


Okay everyone.  I realized I haven't updated things in a while.  My last relaxer was in June not April lol.  It was a few weeks before my trip to Amsterdam because I got my hair twisted before I left.  The workout count is SHOT.  I won't try to fix that right now but I will keep a count some kind of way for the workouts till the end of the year.  FitOrbit which I loved so much has gone kaput but my trainer and I are still working together through Total Coaching now.  We'll see how this platform compares as my new plan starts tomorrow.  I am over my not sure I want to be smaller thing as well.  So life is okay.  My last hair detangling process was more complicated than I wanted it to be but it was because I left my hair up much longer than it should have been.  These will be out at the latest by mid November.  I'll relax my hair then OR whack off everything but the new growth.  There's lots of it, really lots of it.  How goes things with you all?

September 25, 2015

Lessons Learned In Silence

So it's been a good long while since I posted something new.  I have been working out when my energy and brain matter allowed it.  My hair is back in twists and I'm considering putting in set three to get through October and November.  I need to do a massive cleaning and get the clothes I've collected over to Goodwill or the Women's shelter.  So yes I've been fine but still not quite fine in the same vein.

I just realized what I was struggling with over the last week or so.  I've been in the midst of an identity crisis as it were.  My life is sort of portioned out into sections.  There's work, there's fitness and well being which usually overlaps with hair, there's my relationships and then there's taking care of mom.  As I've traveled, lost weight, and making different kinds of inroads at work I realize just how much energy has been invested in maintaining those sections.  Now some of that is unnecessary as I know work and family could blend more than it does but I like my monkeys in different barrels.  And my health and wellness stuff is noticed by people at work so there's no way to hide it there anyhoo.  My relationships well that's different.  I live squarely in the Bible belt and anything that's a little bit different isn't tolerated super duper well so I'm not willing to explore too much openness there. 

Having said all of that the thing that matters most to my fitness is looking at myself and my body and giving myself permission to no longer be a Lane Bryant girl.  That may sound crazy but I remember the momentary psychological trauma that came when I could no longer shop in Lerner or NY&Co which used to be a sister store to Lane Bryant--maybe it still is but I haven't seen them in a while.  When I was out of the 12s and had to find pants that accommodate my rear end and belly and the like.  I mentioned my shock and awe when I went jean shopping because I had to abandon my 18s and 20s and thought it was time for a 16 but I had slid down into 14 without noticing.  Well I've been there for a while and I'm holding somewhere between 45 and 50 pounds down depending on the day.  As I was looking for a bra that one of the models I primarily know from LB had released as part of her own lingerie line I realized that I legitimately hadn't considered where I would be shopping for clothes when the 14s no longer fit.  LB doesn't stock 12s as best I can tell and my 12 is likely to still be curvier than Old Navy intends.  In that moment I realized that I was probably doing a little self sabotage in my efforts because while I am not at the weight I would like to be at for certain there is comfort in knowing I can walk into Lane Bryant and buy whatever I want with some fair bit of safety and assurance.  Healthy is the goal but the brain has to follow the body and I hadn't given myself permission to be smaller yet.

I'm working on that now though and I hope recognizing the issue will help.  How are all of you doing?

August 16, 2015

So I'm Finally Back

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I knew it had been a while since I posted but didn't realize it had been two months.  Work was kicking my pretty little butt and even with my spectacular vacation in the middle of it I came back to yet more work.  I won't bore you with the details of that right now but there are things to say.

So as of my last post I had permed my hair and was dealing with super duper shortness as some breakage had happened due to some uneven relaxers over the last year when I was still going to the shop.  I waited three weeks to get some Senegalese twists put in 1) to give my hair a chance to recover from the relaxer and 2) switched up the braids because while I wanted a break the micros felt like they were just too hard on my hair.  They took longer than I thought they would to install but they got me through my week in Amsterdam and the rest of my teaching and work this summer.  I took them down yesterday about a week later than I wanted to but earlier than I had planned because the shop was open today and could get me in to redo them.  Last night I started a prepoo around 7 and then the lazy hit me after the joy of the take down and eating dinner lol.  I washed with my normal mix of Moroccan Oil and Organix products, conditioned with MO, Aphogee and Mizani products before deep conditioning with Dr. Miracles.  I didn't flat iron it as that seemed like it would be a wasted just for a length check.  I did blow it out and here's a photo of me before I made it to the salon.

Not sure if you can completely tell at this point but it's longer than it was six weeks ago when it went up but it wasn't amazing growth of which my hair has never seen.  More importantly though there wasn't breakage.  Just some normal hair shed since my hair hasn't been combed in over a month.  I was actually still planning to be at the shop based on the last install but the owner did my hair this time and she is just much faster than everyone else.  Plus my scalp isn't feeling super sore at the moment either which is always a plus.  Here's a photo of the after.

Unlike the hair cutting process it doesn't matter what length I say to make my braids they end up being down my back but the size is good and I'm happy.  I won't look like super gray hair lady during my conference call in the morning lol.

On the workout front I've been slacking since tennis lessons ended and need to get back on it.  Tomorrow after the call and another meeting I think it will be movie, gotta see Straight Outta Compton, and then off to the gym and maybe tennis if the girls are meeting.  I also got my pinup photos taken and back in the absence, wow I've been away a while damn it lol.  So here's one of those too.  What have you been up to?

The Wash Day Experience

June 14, 2015

Setbacks and Reboots and Moving Forward

Okay folks I haven't written in a while but that's totally my fault.  Life has been kicking my butt with the amount of work I've been doing.  My hair I thought was taken care of since it was up but apparently the braids were too tight in places as there was some breakage.  Not so much that I'm distraught but more than I would like.  Some areas grew like weeds but that has created an uneven neckline so it will need to be trimmed on Wednesday when I go in.  My plan after a lot of conditioning and protein and the like yesterday is to relax tomorrow afternoon.  I might have waited longer but I'm still teaching and on Friday I'm flying out for another pinup photo shoot.I was going to rebraid my hair in a few weeks before I take off for my first real vacation in a month of Sundays (don't you love old southern woman speak) just so I didn't have to deal with it but was planning on box braids or larger individual braids instead of the micros.  It again didn't do as much damage as it could and my hair feels oddly thick even if it's not down to my butt lol.  There is quite a bit of new growth that I need to take care of as well so we'll see how that goes.  If I'm not loving the hair life post vacation and work conference then I'll take down the braids and do a massive chop of whatever isn't super straight.

With all the hair out I can step on the scale and have a more accurate reading.  Turns out I was about right about how much weight they were adding to the scale because as of this morning I am officially 51 pounds down since I started working with Elizabeth at FitOrbit.  I can't say what weight I was at when I took the original photos but I was in a size 18/20 or XXL or XXL in vintage clothing at the time.  Now I'm in 12s and 14s and no bigger than an XL in some of the vintage clothing designers I love.  I actually shed a bunch of clothing that I can't wear anymore and my closet looked sad until I hung up the vintage clothing and now it has its own little section in my wardrobe lol. 

I'm very excited about the vacation even though I'm slightly nervous about going alone.  However, I've vacationed in the US alone so this shouldn't be too much worse.  I'm paranoid at all times and overly cautious.  I've gotten some good travel advice and now can't wait to catch my plane and wake up in another country.  And I get to do it again a few weeks later for a conference but this one will be more locally out of the country, just crossing the northern border.  Oh oh and I got a research grant so I can move forward with the studies I wanted to do this summer.  Yeah for me.  So yeah the hair thing not so much fun BUT the rest of my life is going well.

When I get back from the photo shoot, tennis lessons start and I'm thrilled that I can take my ridiculous amount of tennis knowledge and make myself look totally incompetent while I work out.  I'll try to take a photo or short video to share my pain with all of you.  What's up in your world ladies and the occasional gent?

May 29, 2015

Fitness Friday: New Routine!

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I have been sporadic again I know.  So have my workout routines.  I don't think I've updated that number along the side in a minute.  Damn I should do that.  Anyway, as I mentioned in my last post my weight has been hovering in the almost 50 pounds last range for weeks.  Part of that due to stress and not hitting the gym as much as I could be it felt like I was plateauing a bit.  I mentioned it to my trainer and we are switching it all up.  Today was my first day of the rebooted routine and I LOVED it.  One or two moves I need to perfect and I need to get used to actually jogging instead of just walking briskly.  Tried it today and both impressed and disappointed myself.  I haven't run in a long time for more than a few seconds so improvement there but I actually made it through three cycles of my walk, jog, sprint cardio time before my body said no mas.  We're going to tweak a few things and head back at it.  I'm a happy girl who is excited to get back in sweat mode.  Yippee and I signed up for tennis lessons so hopefully that doesn't you know kill me or more aware of how limited my sports skills are lol.  How are you doing?

Fitness Friday