Tag Archives: challenges

Warrior Dash 2013 (Morristown, NJ)

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WD16

Now that I’ve woken up from my much-needed recovery nap ūüėČ …

The Opening Scene

It was a rainy and unseasonably cool morning as we drove to the parking lot site at 7:15 am for our day of reckoning. As the shuttle (i.e. school bus) transported us up long, winding, wooded hills, our sense of anticipation rose. We arrived 20 minutes or so later to see work friends waiting for others and we joined the group. The last of the crew arrived and we headed over to the tents to get our packets and hand over the waivers that essentially absolved the event organizers of any fault in the death, dismemberment, or disabilities (regardless of level of neglect) that might result from the dangerous mission on which we were all about to embark. We grinned in the face of death!

Then we herded into a holding area to wait 15 minutes for the next wave to begin. We cheered on the prior group as they threw up their Warrior Horns and were released through the gates of HELL (fire was literally shooting up on top of the start line). ¬†Shortly thereafter … it was our turn. With a shout ¬†of … “5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1” … WE ROARED AND WERE OFF!!! Jogging right into this massive, nearly vertical hill immediately in front of us, which kicked many a butt … but, we made it. ¬†We survived the Warrior Dash (you can check out some of the obstacles that we faced here)!!

I’ll let the pics (and some captions ;)) tell the rest of the story.

That was a pretty dang cool way to get Day 167 of 365 Days of Fitness done ;). The muscles will need that hot yoga tomorrow!! Felt a Charlie horse almost kick in a few moments ago when I bent my legs up to take off my socks!!! Ate a banana with the quickness!! None of that!!

#thatisall

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Health & Fitness Journey Update

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StrongCurves_CollageMy home gym has grown a LOT in the last month!! But, that’s a post for another day!

Since I learned that a lot of you aren’t following Hairscapades on other social outlets, I don’t feel like I’m rehashing old news by posting stuff I shared on IG and FB!! So thanks to those who completed the poll!!! It was really helpful!! *mwah*

That being said, I wanted to give you all an update on my personal¬†365 Days of Fitness Challenge. Although I haven’t updated on here in a while (I update daily on IG, FB, and Twitter),¬†I continue to work out every day, mostly 30 minutes to an hour (but 10-12 minutes when time, energy, and/or location require it). As of this morning, I completed Day 162 (i.e. 23 weeks + 1 day).

On July 1st, I started the 12 Week At-Home Bodyweight workout from “Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building A Better Butt and Body.”¬†¬†This program provides 3 ¬†different weekly, full body/butt training workouts for the first 4 weeks, a second series of 3 workouts for weeks 5-8, and a third series of 3 workouts for weeks 9-12. ¬†The book includes several programs, including ones that can be done in the gym, workouts for beginners and advanced lifters, and lower body only workouts. It suggests incorporating High Intensity Interval (HIIT) sessions for the 3 alternating days a week.

strongcurves

I just started week 5 of the At-Home program yesterday. I do Strong Curves on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (workouts take about 1 hour with warm-up and cool down). The other days of the week, I do what I feel like. I try to incorporate kettlebell, abs of steel, running, and yoga into each week though, if possible.

This is what a typical week looks like for me.

Monday:  Strong Curves Workout A

Tuesday:  Kettlebell training with 20 lb bell and Lauren Brooks DVD (20-30 min.)

Wednesday:  Strong Curves Workout B

Thursday:  Treadmill (HIIT w/six-seven 1 min. sprint/1.5 min. walk intervals, 300 Cal Run/Walk, moderate run, and/or progressive incline walk) (30-35 min)

Friday:  Strong Curves Workout C

Saturday:  Treadmill (S/A)

Sunday:  Hot Yoga (Vinyasa Flow) (75 min.)

As stated above though, if time, energy, or location don’t allow, I might only do 10-25 minutes on my non-Strong Curves days. This is usually Abs of Steel, my short kettlebell workout, or a stretching video (relaxing, flexibity, or power). I even recently did a 10 minute YouTube video workout using my phone when I was away from home for a family reunion (YouTube is an amazing resource for all kinds of workouts)!

via Moms Into Fitness

And then there’s the improvisation to make up for exercises for which I don’t have the equipment at home.

day136(Chin-ups under a table and step-ups on a chair)

Now, I know what you’re thinking … “WELL?!?!?! With all of that, are you seeing results?” Why yes, yes I am!! Although my diet isn’t immaculate (I probably would be at my goal weight of 120 pounds [I’m 5’1″] by now if it were), I’m very happy to report that I weighed in at 123. 5 pounds this past weekend! That’s down 25 pounds from what I weighed when I started my 28 Day Health & Fitness Challenge in February!!!

weigh-in (7-27-13)7/27/13

And, I fit my size 4 skinny jeans!! WOOT WOOT!!

Down25lbs

I know it probably doesn’t look like it, but the jeans on the left fit too! Just … very loosely! LOL!! In fact, I wore both pairs of jeans the same day. I wore the low-waist, stretchy, wide-leg¬†jeans to work and changed to the high-waist, non-stretch, skinny jeans for dinner date night. It was a strategic maneuver to prevent myself from overeating!! I knew that I would feel it a lot more in those skinny jeans and would be discouraged from over-indulging due to the pain of the waistband cutting into my gut!! And it worked!! LOL!!

So yeah, I’m seeing progress, even in my most stubborn of areas ,my glutes and upper thighs! I’m not ready to share close-up and personal pictures yet (maybe I never will be?), but I am seeing improvements. And, at 41 years of age, I think that’s pretty darn good for 4 weeks!

And that’s where I’m at with my 365 Day Fitness Challenge. Oh!!!! And almost forgot! This Saturday, August 3rd, is my Warriors Dash!!! Oh. Em. Gee!! Wish me luck!!

Thanks for reading and for all of those on Instagram and Facebook who root me along, you ROCK!! Your words, likes, and ♥ encourage and motivate me every day!!!! And I hope that my posts do the same for you!!

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So, how do you guys feel about a “regular” Health & Fitness Spotlight ? I came up with the idea a few months ago and there was a lot of interest, but never executed. I feel like it would be encouraging to see the health & fitness journeys of other readers.

Whaddaya think??

(BTW: Already have my first spotlight lined up … *hint, hint*)

Hairscapades Bun Challengers

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Thanksgivingbun1

As most of you know, we are hitting the mid-point of the Hairscapades Bunning Challenge!! So, I wanted to take this time to let you know you can check out the progress of some of my fellow bloggers and challengers on their websites. And, not only will you see all of their pretty and creative bun styles, you’ll find product reviews, DIY recipes, fitness, beauty, finances and all kinds of other good stuff!!

marsimone1Marsha of Hairology (aka 24HourHair)

michelleMichelle of Radiant Brown Beauty

ReceRece of A Hair Story

christinaChristina of The Mane Objective

April GOC Update: Gina (#40)

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Well let’s see … this month has been quite the month. Moving … baby shower … studying *sigh*.

Hair:
I was on track with my regimen and decided to try out Bantu knots on my hair. I have to say that I was very happy with the results. I did that style for, like, a week. Then, proceeded to just wear my hair in a ‘fro. Very little effort and I had so much going on that I didn’t have time to really pay too much attention it.

Then I got an AWESOME blessing!!! I attended the NJ Hair Expo and was approached by a stylist for a product line called Isabella’s Own by Bronner Brothers. She said that she loved my hair (I needed to hear that!) and its texture. She asked if she could do my hair as a demo. Now, I don’t let anyone do my hair. I’m major paranoid that something is going to go wrong that will require me to cut it again *lol*. But, then she said, “I can give you a style that can last you up to a month.” She’s been doing natural hair for like 15 years. That was all I needed to hear! Two strand twists!!! I did not know how I was going to maintain my hair with all I had going on. So I had it done and whooopp whoooopppp, here we are!!!

Weight:
Don’t ask, don’t tell. *lol*

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See Gina’s very first GOC post here! ¬†Want to see how far she’s come? Check out her Big Chop Hairstory here!

April GOC Update: StayWoo (#1)

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Since contacting you about my interest, I have cut my hair … massively! I had a lot of damage from dye and I’m really not a transitioner, so I just cut it off.

Current Regimen:

  • I currently wash my hair once a week with Terressentials Mud Wash and then follow that with a 50/50 ACV and H2O rinse.
  • I then moisturize with Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie and follow that with Kinky Curly’s Curling Custard.
  • I sleep on a satin pillow at night (my bonnet will not stay on).
  • I re-wet my hair in the morning.¬†I make sure that I do not handle my hair at all while it is wet.
  • I maintain my WnG like this for about 5 days.

This is the most simple routine that I think that I’ve ever had and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know that sounds crazy but, I feel like I should be doing more with my hair.

Protective Styling:
In about 2 weeks, I’m going to install some yarn wraps. I’m really not sure what they are called but, they are not yarn braids/genie locs. These actually involve the yarn being wrapped around the hair resulting in a finished look that resembles locs.

Talk to you soon.

Stay

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¬†Missed StayWoo’s GOC entry post? Then check it out here.

GOC Contender #48: Me!

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Y’all knew this was coming, right ;)?

Name: Shelli aka Hairscapades aka SkillsGill

Goals:

Hair
After I cut off 2 straggly inches in the back on my hair and an inch in the front (see¬†here),¬†I got a professional trim this past Friday. I got about an inch cut off of my longest lengths in the back and 1/2 an inch off of my shorter crown. The plan is to keep trimming the longest length every couple of months in order to keep it at the same length and in the hopes that the crown will catch up with it so I can get that full thickness waist length perimeter that I’ve been jockeying for since the CurlyNikki/Kim Coles GOC last year ;). I also want to focus on protecting and growing my ultra fine (strand thickness and density) nape hair.


Full length (L); Shorter crown (R)


Please excuse my oily, pre-pooed hair ;).

Health & Fitness
I can’t believe that I allowed myself to get back here :(. I’m up 15 lbs, to 135 guys (can you see me sucking in my gut in those side poses? *lol* ;)). Yeah, I know … absolutely ridiculous.¬†So, my goal is to lose 10-15 lbs by the time I go on vacation to Cancun this summer so I’m back at my fighting weight of 120-125 lbs. I have a couple of months to get ‘er done.

This is the thing, I really need to find the work/home/exercise/blog balance. Over the last couple of months, my house has been an absolute mess. Paperwork piled on the buffet and kitchen table, dirty clothes falling out the hamper, clean and unfolded clothes piling out of the laundry basket, worn and discarded clothes covering every free surface except the bed, small birthday items lining the top of the couch, jewelry everywhere but the 3 jewelry cases in which it belongs … I could go on and on. It was bad.

When that happens, I get stressed and become immobilized by inertia. I’ve failed to exercise, eat well, drink enough water and have not even taken my vitamins and supplements in months. I’ve allowed the blog to dominate the majority of my free time and keep me up until midnight or later most nights, resulting in my complete exhaustion almost every day of the week. Now, y’all know I love you guys! But, this has got to stop. So, in order to ensure that I am exercising most days of the week and maintaining an orderly and clean household, my blog posts will become less frequent. I still plan on posting at least once each week day … maybe even twice on a good day. But, the 3-4 posts a day is not gonna happen (except today! LOL!). I need to slow down for the sake of my own health and well-being!! LOL!!

This is why there were no posts on Sunday or Monday. Wei and I spent almost 9 hours cleaning the house and there is still all of the laundry to do! It was major spring cleaning though and my mind heaved a sigh of relief!! I needed this to get myself mentally and physically prepared to get back on my A-game!! Yesterday was Day 1 … again!! LOL!!

Regimen:

Hair

Weekly:

  • Pre-poo and finger detangle dry hair with Vatika oil ¬†(minimum of 30 min.).
  • Conduct Search and Destroys (S&Ds) to eliminate split ends and SSKs
  • Braid or twist pre-pooed and detangled hair in 4-8 sections.
  • Shampoo hair in braids with DevaCare No Poo.
  • Condition and finger detangle further with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH).
  • Deep condition with heat (bonnet or winter hat) with JessiCurl Weekly DC, Darcy‚Äôs Botanical Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Condition or Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque (minimum 1 hr)
  • Use “Cool and Seal” DC technique.
  • Blot with Curls Like Us Curl Cloth and allow hair to dry until only slightly damp.
  • Apply leave-in (modified Kimmaytube recipe).
  • WnG or TnC to stretch hair (products vary).
  • Air dry and/or bonnet dryer
  • Wear hair out for 1-2 days.
  • Protective/low manipulation style for remainder of week (buns, updos, twists, etc.)
  • Use a mild protein treatment (ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor), as needed (probably every other wash days).

Every 4-8 weeks:

  • Two step henna/indigo (roots only application).
  • Clarify with Terressentials Mud Wash¬†(TMW), bentonite clay mask (working on a homemade TMW recipe!) or a diluted sulfate shampoo.
  • Do a heavy duty protein treatment (ApHogee 2 Step Protein Treatment). This is dependent on the acquisition of a hard bonnet dryer (I may hit Sally’s this week to pick up one I saw on sale for $99).
Daily (?):
  • Massage scalp with¬†EO mix, sunflower oil (to decrease shedding – more on this soon) and/or¬†Wild Growth Oil¬†(I purchased the light this past weekend, but may exchange it for the original formula).

Health & Fitness
I will start the mornings right by eating breakfast and doing Abs of Steel. I will put on my gear immediately upon arriving home from work and exercise. I will not write any posts until after I work-out.

Exercise (next 6 weeks):

After completing my work-out each day, I will post on the wall of our 28 Day Workout Challenge Facebook Group. (If you need some help getting motivated, maybe my post, Motivation, will help. I sure needed a refresher!!)

Supplements (daily after dinner):

  • 1 Pre-Natal Multi-Vitamin (Vitafol-One [Rx] until it runs out, then an OTC pre-natal)
  • 1 Biotin ‚Äď 2000¬†5000 mg (Nature‚Äôs Bounty ‚Äď Super Potency)
  • 2 MSM ‚Äď 2000 mg (Vitamin Shoppe)
  • 1 rounded scoop of Green Vibrance in almond milk or in a¬†green smoothie.

Diet (daily):

  • Breakfast (btwn 6-8 am) ‚Äď 1/2 c. oatmeal or cooked Grapenuts with 1/2 cup blueberries (Dole frozen/thawed) OR the aforementioned green smoothie; 1 cup of instant coffee w/2 packs of Truvia, 1 tsp agave, a little powdered skim milk or almond milk.
  • Snack (approx. 10 am) ‚Äď 2% or 0% fat Greek yogurt (fruit variety – Fage or Oikos)
  • Lunch (approx 12:30-1) –¬†Lean Cuisine (chicken/turkey/fish with rice or potatoes) w/added vegetables (spinach, broccoli or sugar snap snow peas) and a piece of fruit¬†(apple, orange, banana, etc.).
  • Snack (approx. 5 pm) ‚Äď Organic baby food (Ella‚Äôs Kitchen or HappyBaby/Tot).
  • Dinner (approx 8 pm) –¬†Lean Cuisine (chicken, turkey or fish w/rice, potatoes, whole wheat or orzo pasta) w/added vegetables (spinach, broccoli or sugar snap snow peas); fruit on occasions.
  • 60 oz or more of water (three 20 oz bottles in a metal thermos)
  • May also incorporate Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) Shake (Nectar Strawberry Mousse) as a post-workout recovery drink.
  • In bed by 11 pm Sun-Thursday (this is crucial)!!!

Need to get back to this!!

Rewards: Finding THE BALANCE!! Oh, and to feel confident rocking the bikinis I purchased last year (and have yet to wear) on my vacation in Cancun!! Improved health and well being!! There’s nothing like feeling strong and energized!

Follow me online: Well … you know. LOL!!

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And that’s it!! If you didn‚Äôt get your entry in time to be part of the ‚Äúofficial‚ÄĚ line-up, don‚Äôt fret! ¬†You can still ‚ÄúPlay at Home‚ÄĚ by creating your own GOC journal or blog, establishing your goals, regimen and documenting your progress!! So ‚Ķ

L E T ‚Äė S ¬†¬†G E T ¬†¬†G R O W I N G ! ! !

GOC Contender #47: Angie

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Name: Angie (mathskilz)

So many of us choose weaves and straight hair for various reasons (including myself). But, I believe if we as a “Society” were able to accept one another for who we truly are (race, nationality, etc.) and the BEAUTY of who and what we represent, so many things and beliefs in our lives would be so very different!

I wore a weave for more than 10 years. So, the top part of my hair is transitioning, the rest natural. It began with I was getting married!!! I wanted to look GREAT! And I did! From there on, it was convenience and I loved the look! Well, this look by far wasn’t cheap, especially if you wanted your hair to look as if it were truly yours! It wasn’t that I didn’t have hair of my own! Both my parents would say to me on those SUPER RARE occasions when I had my own hair visible, is that your hair? I would reply back, “Yeesss mom (or dad).” And their reply, of course, was, “I can’t understand why you won’t wear your own hair!”

Well, in September of 2011, I decided to become all natural!! I was definitely apprehensive of my choice, but I did it! OMG, it felt so good! What I mean is, I could actually feel my scalp! My own hair was blowing in the wind as I sailed down the street with my sunroof open! PRICELESS!!! It just felt good to me and I liked the way I looked with my own curls blowing in the wind! But others didn’t. My husband was okay with it. I’m a math teacher and my kids didn’t mind. I teach middle school and they are a tough crowd!

My first day natural!

But my mother? EVERY TIME she would see me would say, “Why don‚Äôt you straighten it out?!”¬†Or, “I like your hair the other way (meaning straighten it out)”¬†or would literally pull my hair!!¬†My brother, with whom I am very close, made a comment to my mom and sister that I looked thinner with my hair the other way (I am a size 16). My family, we are a very close bunch. There are a lot of us and we get together almost every weekend. We refer to ourselves as the 40 thieves, because there are so many of us. It’s cool! But, I began to notice every now and again people were making cracks about my hair. I let it go … but some days … it’s difficult. However,¬†I do plan to remain strong and steady.

The look my family prefers

I became very self conscious of my appearance, I no longer wanted to run into people I knew or go out, for that matter. I viewed myself as fat with a nappy head! But I still loved my hair! There were so many things I was learning about my hair! I had no idea my hair even had a curl pattern! I was both shocked and excited that my hair could do the things I was experiencing! I began to follow naturals on YouTube. I learned so much! My husband said I was obsessed and I was! I also became a PJ (Product Junkie). I even purchased a hairs steamer (I love, love that thing).¬†When I spoke to people about my natural hair journey, I became excited! I love doing my own hair.I even ordered two books from the internet: Chicoro’s ‚ÄúGrow It‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúThe Science of Black Hair.‚ÄĚ I now had a natural hair goal.

Goals: Two of my goals I have actually conquered. One was to stop smoking (which I did), two to transition to au natural and three to lose weight. OMG! Who would have thought it was easier to stop smoking than to lose weight! I missed the first GOC, but I followed along religiously. I picked up so many great tips along the way that I couldn’t wait to try!

Hair
I want to achieve BSL or, my ultimate goal, to achieve WL hair. I want to find and use protective styles (I haven’t found any yet that work for me).

Health & Fitness
I want to lose 50 lbs.

Regimen:

Hair

  • Pre-poo
  • Wash my hair every week with a conditioner (Aussie Moist, Herbal Essences Hello Hydration or Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner).*
  • Deep Condition with DevaCurl Heaven in Hair with my Huetiful Hair Steamer for an hour.
  • Leave-in: Kimmaytube modified leave-in conditioner.
  • Seal: Shea butter with jojoba oil and almond oil.
  • Styler: Braid out with Eco Styler Gel with Argan oil.
  • Spritz: Aloe vera juice, almond oil and glycerin.
  • Moisturize ends with Vatika oil and shea butter/jojoba oil or EVOO & Moringa every night.
  • Daily Supplements: Biotin 5000 mg and a daily multi-vitamin.

*I would like to try Terressential Mud Wash.

Health & Fitness

  • Work out at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes or better.
  • Eat more fiber and eat healthier.

Reward: A great vacation with warm and sunny beaches!

And last but not least … I am truly excited to participate in the GOC! I hope I can keep up! Thanks Shelli for coming up with such a GREAT site where people who have something in common can come together as one. It just feels … RIGHT!