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April 22, 2015

Major Updates: Slim Down & Tied Up

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So the hair post part of this update.  I am one week post heading towards two.  I was tired of trying to figure out what to do with my hair so I went ahead and got it braided up before I changed my mind again.  Now in every way that is recommended not to do I've nailed a lot of them on this braid pursuit depending on who you look to for advice.  I got my braids early post relaxer and they are on the small side but not crazy tiny.  On the upside it's not human hair (again depending on who you talk to) so it's holding the look better and isn't super heavy on my hair.  And other than a bit of itching I didn't have any headaches or pains post braiding.  Now it's hard to get adjusted all this hair when I'm doing minor things but the gym movement has been good so far.  Granted that's only been two workouts but I'm not doing the puffy hair pat down right now and that kinda rocks.  I got some more braid spray and some braid shampoo today and we're going to see if we can get to at least the two month mark with the braids.  I'm not against a potential touch up if needed.  If my hair enjoys it and feels healthier then I'll get them again before my big summer trip.  So my hair updates will be a little different for a while.  Here's a photo of the new do.

Now the other update that may be just as big or little as the case may be lol.  I have lost almost 50 pounds now.  I'm about a pound way from claiming that milestone and will probably do a dance of joy when it happens.  The biggest part of that is none of my clothes are fitting or were fitting so I had to finally go try on new clothes.  I grabbed jeans the next size down and realized it was too big.  Same thing with the tops I tried on.  After a moment of disbelief I realized I am in size 14 everything lol.  I finally took a photo of myself and yeah it's not the body I used to have at all.  Still happy and glad to be moving forward but yeah I haven't seen this body since probably the 90s.  Here's a photo of that as well.

How goes your pursuit of healthy hair and bodies ladies?

The Wash Day Experience

April 12, 2015

Honey Who?: Tackling my own Honey Do list

The last few days, well week, has been completely nuts.  Such is any week before my mother goes on vacation.  Three doctors visits, an EEG, blood work, about ten little shopping trips for things only my mother would ask for (like summer robes cause you always need a robe in the house no matter if it is going to be 90 degrees), and then a post EEG meltdown that required a day in bed and random outbursts that accused me of both making her fly out and then not allowing her to leave to go do what she wants.  As of this moment however she has been with relatives several hundred miles away for almost exactly 24 hours and I am on my own lol.  That means adjusting to random noises in the empty house that I don't pay attention to when she's here.  And remembering to prep less food cause it's just me to eat it.  Other than that though there's a lot else to catch you up on.

So after I got home I finally moved the dilapidated grill out for the trash man.  I'm not sure if I have to call the bulk guys for it cause it's seriously falling apart but I was tired of waiting for it to crash into pieces.  That also meant tossing the grill cover that was a mess as well.I came in and bagged up a ton of things that had been sitting on the floor and needed to be tossed.  I relaxed my hair and it's much better than last time (went up to super strength instead of normal) but I would like a stylist to handle it again.  I need a trim in the back but I am moving forward with getting my hair braided and will leave it up for at least four weeks.  If it times out well I can leave it up until right before the pinup shoot in June.  I'll take it down let it rest for a day and then probably relax it again.  Whether or not it goes back up into braids will depend on how much my hair hates that process.  Some moments are great.  The others my hair is like chick I'm going to itch you until you break down crying.   Having said that though I kinda want it tucked away when I leave for my bucket list trip in July.  I'm not hitting all my bucket list spots--honestly I'm just going to one place BUT trying to keep my relaxed hair cute in another country doesn't sound like fun for me.  Plus I have to leave the country again about a month after that for a conference.  That's just up to Canada but again lazy on a quick trip seems like the best option. 

Today I have graded everything for two classes and all but one item for another.  I had to stop though because they were making me want to drink heavily.  I just got through having my lunch and now I'm writing you.  In a bit I need to wash clothes.  And I still need to get some smaller jeans or more belts or both.  Tuesday I'm going back to the airport I think so that I can try to get into that nifty Pre Check program before my flights start.  I have two trips to make for business before that too but those will be drives.  Life is busy but I'm happy and I am back to losing weight yippee.

I relaxed with the Affirm Fiberguard relaxer again on super not normal this time.  I probably left it on longer than I should have .  The front came out a little bit better than the back but not dramatically so in all honesty.  Detangling was a breeze after a quick deep conditioning post relaxer wash out (with a protein treatment and normalizing [neutralizing] shampoo from Affirm then a shampoo and condition with my Moroccan Oil products) using the It's a 10 conditioning treatment.  Anyhoo here are the photos--one post detangling and one post relaxer.

How goes life around your way?

The Wash Day Experience

April 4, 2015

Saturday Summary of Fitness Friday

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So I've been light weight MIA the last few weeks.  After recovering from being sick I had a ton of stuff to do at work so the gym didn't happen.  I finally got off my lazy behind (ok not totally lazy) after my two week down time amounted to a two pound weight gain.  Given that has not happened prior to this month I'll take it but it made me unhappy.  This is my first week trying the tweaked workouts that Elizabeth gave me and they kicked my butt, Monday most of all because it was a lot of alternating weight work which takes a while for my brain to catch up to and process correctly.  Over the course of the week the weight has fallen off which means the gain was solely because my behind didn't go get my sweat on.  I was able to stick to my diet easily enough despite being sick so yeah even when I'm in maintenance mode I need to make the gym life my life otherwise I'll be packing the pounds back on.  Which leads to a different conversation.

My body is smaller than four months ago of course and it's reshaping a bit as well.  My clothes are also now too flipping big.  The sweaters are beginning to look like tents and the jeans just depend on the cut but there's more room in most of them around the waist than should be allowed.  No big deal right I'm sure I have some smaller ones here and turns out no I don't.  I've been in the same weight class as it were for so long that I have jeans that are bigger than my current size but not a single solitary pair smaller.  So I have got to start adding to the smaller girl collection just like with my workout gear and unmentionables.  This may be a TMI moment so skip it if you want but I've always enjoyed my breasts even if shopping for bras could feel like I was going bankrupt.  So I was a little apprehensive about going in for a new set because I was worried about how much I had shrunk.  I honestly had no idea I just knew my bras were not fitting well anymore.  I explain the situation to the fitter who measures me up and says yeah smaller band but no smaller cup.  That seemed unlikely but I tried on the new bra and it was like I had found a new friend.  I was also a little perplexed on the cup size not shifting but for the moment I'll take it.  I'm down two sizes in the panty range as well so now I have all of these oversized things in that arena as well.  I plan on donating the jeans and clothes that aren't too beat up.  Underwear I'll dump cause yeah no but can you donate gently worn bras?  The ones that I wore a lot are just going to have to be made into something else or dumped.

Last bit of information or update for today.  I have totally abandoned my Polar F7 watch.  It worked for like a nanosecond on Monday and then kept giving me the check the heart rate monitor error.  As I have gotten smaller the thing is just glitchy as hell.  My Fitbit is still on preorder so for the next month I'm just going to work out without all the tech you know like before when we didn't know those things existed or that we needed to track those things lol.  Ok I think I'm done rambling for now.  Gotta go update the sidebar. 

Anyway how goes your fitness goals?

P.S.  I keep saying I'm going to share one of my dinners and haven't done so.  So here is last night's very delicious dinner.  It's another meal from my trainer.  Mustard Salmon, brown rice and lemon roasted asparagus.

Fitness Friday

March 24, 2015

Influenster Moment: Neutrogena Hydro Boost

Howdy everyone.  I am late on this as with everything thanks to that week of crappy illness.  I received a sample of Neutrogena Hydro Boost to review from Influenster.com.  Y'all know I love the free stuff and Influenster so this was a win for me from jump.

I wasn't sure how big the box would be but when I opened the box up the first thing  I saw was this card.  For some reason I was being stupid or slow or something because even the image of the water didn't make me think of how the product would feel when I put it on my face.

The packaging itself is cute.  Pretty sturdy which I would know because I accidentally dropped it.  I followed the directions on the package and waited until I washed my face and went through my normal routine before I put this on my face as its more of a moisturizer finishing kind of step.  The product looks much thicker than it actually is when you apply it.

It looks more like water now that I'm looking at the photo again.  I mean the color not the texture.  It looked smooth and it smells great so I was excited about what it would feel like on my face.  Initially it felt kinda oily which was weird.  I think I just wasn't anticipating that it would be so slick on my face.  Immediately after that though my face felt like it was a little tighter and my skin was a little smoother.  The only thing that was a downside to the product for me as compared to my Clinique product was there's no SPF listed as being part of the product.  I'm not outside all day so it's not as crucial but it would definitely make a good product better.  You don't need very much of it to cover your face which is also a plusand it does feel very intensely moisturizing.  However, if you don't like strong--albeit pleasant--smells this could be a negative for you.  It mostly disappeared by the time I was done with my first class about four hours after I put it on but if you are hypersensitive to smells that could be a long time.  This could be an ideal winter product though because my skin never felt dry while this was on and the winter wind can be a bear.

All in all this is a good moisturizer and if you don't need an SPF rating on it you should definitely give it a shot.

March 22, 2015

No longer in the sick ward

I am feeling better, almost completely normal lol well as normal as I get.  I'm back on the diet as of today.  Have a little cough to bounce back from but nothing like this time last week when I was pretty sure one of my lungs was going to come flying out soon.  I did wash my hair and am no longer looking like a thistle.  Here's a quick update.  I'll be back when I'm back in fighting shape.  Gym tomorrow maybe.

March 19, 2015

Quick Update

I haven't vanished but I have been all kinds of sick this week.  I am finally on the mend and will probably get back to the gym next week.  I made it in twice last week and then the floating germs overtook me and I've been down since late Friday night.  I actually use Doctor On Demand to get some antibiotics and that helped immensely cause I was not in the position to drag my butt out of bed to go to the doctor's office.  Will be back next week with more to tell.  On the upside I haven't gained any weight.  Yeah for fevered sweaty sleep I guess. 

March 8, 2015

Wash Day & Fresh Looks

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So new month is upon us.  It's not quite as cold this week which is good but I'm not sure if I prefer consistent cold like this winter or ridiculous amounts of snow but periods of warmth like last winter.  That is not to say we haven't had snow this winter it just hasn't beaten us up as badly as it did last year at the same time.  Hopefully that isn't talking up a new round of winter hell cause I would be so mad at myself for even bringing that up.

My last few posts I have been mentioning getting my hair cut or whacking it all off and I'm still not ready for the whacking it all off movement but if the next stretch works okay then I might start texlaxing or maybe transitioning.  While the relaxer moments here are land mines unless I do it myself, I've found a stylist who admittedly knew very little about African American hair the first time I saw her but has spent more time than I have in the three or four months since then learning about it and how to work with it and we discuss that when I go in.  So while I like to do quite a bit myself there are things I just can't do and that with her willingness to expand her horizons makes it easy to trust her with my hair.  So after putting it off for weeks, mostly because I kept forgetting, I finally scheduled an appointment for a trim.

I may have mentioned this before but my front and sides grow way faster than the back.  You will notice breakage in the back way faster and more extensively in that area.  So I figured it was time for an all over trim.  I knew the front and side didn't need as much effort but the back did.  I told her when I sat down I was thinking maybe an inch or two up front would be needing to disappear and then do what she had to in the back.  It's amazing when they listen.  Now I still need to spend time and effort nursing an all over growing movement but I'm happy with what has transpired as of now.  And good Lord my hair is GRAY.  The photos aren't dramatically different but you can see the results of yesterday's cut.

She washed and put on a conditioning treatment before the cut as well.  My hair actually likes the Aveda products in the salon too.  She did blow dry on high but her high and my dryer's high settings are massively different.    My hair does feel much better as well so I need to keep that in mind when a lazy moment hits again because it will so hit again.  How was your wash day?

The Wash Day Experience

March 1, 2015

February Final Thoughts: All Things Fitness (& Food)

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This past month was all kinds of bad for working out.  Yes I squeezed ten workouts in and yes I made a point of taking the stairs instead of elevators but I could have done much more.  Between the weather, stress at work and a basic major project hangover it was my not my most stellar month ever.  When I was there it was fantastic and I was amazed at how my body keeps changing.  My workout clothes that used to be snug are loose or too big entirely.  I'm at the point that I may have to adjust the band on my heart rate monitor again cause it's a little slack when I'm working out as of late.  And I have gone from actively avoiding the elliptical machine to spending forty minutes or more on it whenever I hop on that bad boy.  I'm within a half pound of one my bucket list items--lose forty pounds.  That may or may not happen this week but you know what I'm ok with that.  The weight doesn't have to pour off of me each week.  I'm not gaining weight and I'm losing at least five pounds each month which is what brings us to now.

It has felt like forever since I have lost more than five pounds and kept it off so this is a new experience for me.  While other people are noticing the weight loss when they see me for me I'm not seeing major changes anywhere except my belly which is shrinking, it's not flat but shrinking.  I've opted to upgrade the fitness watch as I think I mentioned in a previous post so it's just a matter of waiting until my plum Fitbit Charge HR is delivered.

As I finished my second bottle of water this morning I was amazed at my shift from water is disgusting to that is pretty much all I drink especially when I have my Mio or Minute Maid drops.  I'm not overeating and I'm not overindulging when I do have a cookie or brownie or something at work.  I'm committed to doing the food thing healthy now and can eyeball a good serving size and do check calories on things I'm buying.  I am by default counting calories because of my meal plan but I've been surprised about how not hungry I am eating a more balanced diet than the bored and ridiculous amount of food I was eating before.  And as my trainer has noted I'm still eating foods I like I'm just not making them in a way that would kill me and I'm not eating them to excess.  Time for a snack then beef kabobs and a baked potato for dinner tonight.

Gotta stick with it.  I will be pinup cute dang it.  More than that though I'm happy that I am not continuing to allow my body to be out of control just because I feel helpless to change it.  It's changing, slowly but surely.  I actually slid into a pair of my old size 18 Lane Bryant jeans on Friday and they were comfortable with a little give.  My other jeans are way too big now and if I don't wear a belt they would be in super saggy mode.  I haven't put on my dress pants as of late cause it's really freaking cold.  But I tend to be in at least one size smaller dress pants than jeans so whenever I brave the size 16s to see if they fit I will let you know.  I'm worried they will be too big.  The pants I loved from LB used to have belt loops, these do not which is just stupid.   How is the working it out going in your direction?

Fitness Friday