Now that I’ve woken up from my much-needed recovery nap 😉 …
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.
So my girl Beck says to me this week, “You know there’s a best costume contest?!” Who said what now?!?! An idea emerges and begins to take form.
Another piece to the puzzle. Thank goodness for a free month of Amazon Prime and 2 day free shipping!!!
Amazon Prime strikes again!
It’s really coming together now. (Turns out, I like yellow nail polish.)
Oh yeah … now you see what’s happening here.
WE FOUND THE REST OF THE FAM!!!!
Oh … we were so pretty, young, and innocent then.
It was quicksand I tell you!!!! QUICKSAND!!!! WORST. OBSTACLE. EVER!
*muttering* radda radda radda radda …
We survived!!!!! Those overalls weighed a good 15 pounds after the quicksand fiasco. Literally, I felt them pulling me backwards. We had to be pulled out of the wet concrete because we could NOT move once we had to stop. People were literally pushing us further into the muck … it was crazy. Thank goodness for our saviors (the guys). — with Rebecca Fleming Robinson.
Yeah. It was like that.
My overalls were so heavy the straps were cutting into my shoulders. But, Warrior still!!!!
All “cleaned” up after 15 minutes of hose time!! We were so happy to be in a WARM car!!
WARRIOR Victory meal!!! Yeah. It went down like THAT. I think we were allowed a cheat meal ;).
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!!
My 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.
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)!
And then there’s the improvisation to make up for exercises for which I don’t have the equipment at home.
(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!!!
And, I fit my size 4 skinny jeans!! WOOT WOOT!!
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!!
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.
(BTW: Already have my first spotlight lined up … *hint, hint*)
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!!
Well let’s see … this month has been quite the month. Moving … baby shower … studying *sigh*.
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*
See Gina’s very first GOC post here! Want to see how far she’s come? Check out her Big Chop Hairstory here!
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.
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.
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.
Missed StayWoo’s GOC entry post? Then check it out here.
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!!
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’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Condition or Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque (minimum 1 hr)
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).
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.
Breakfast (btwn 6-8 am) – 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) – 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.).
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!
And that’s it!! If you didn’t get your entry in time to be part of the “official” line-up, don’t fret! You can still “Play at Home” by creating your own GOC journal or blog, establishing your goals, regimen and documenting your progress!! So …
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’t 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 “Grow It” and “The Science of Black Hair.” 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.
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.
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!
Hair My situation is quite peculiar. I am currently transitioning and have approximately 2″ or so of new growth. Including my relaxed ends, I am at APL. I don’t want to cut my relaxed ends (BC) until I have a reasonable amount of new growth. I will probably BC when I have at least BSL of new growth. But, with my prom in a few more years, I don’t know if I have enough courage to BC and it is probable that I will endure a slow and painful transition. *lol*
My goal is to have waist length natural hair (without having to stretch it out, if you understand) SOMEDAY. However since this challenge is for 6 months, I would like to aim for shoulder length natural hair. If I don’t reach my goal, I’ll probably end up buying a LHCF membership and starting my own challenge (last resort). I also want to grow out my nape hair.
Health & Fitness
Current Weight : 110 lb.
Goal Weight: 105 lb.
I have decided to change my reggie to a less complex one.
The only products I’ll be using are knead oil and 100% petroleum jelly on my hair for detangling before braiding and EVOO,Syoss Moisture Intensive Care Pro-Cellium Keratin Essence Mist and that Dr.Miracle Stimulating Moisturizing Gro Oil (it comes in an applicator bottle) on my scalp during my braids.
I won’t need to pre-poo, because I washed my hair long ago on vacay in Beijing with Herbal Essences “Smooth & Sleek” shampoo and L’Oreal Intensive Care and it was AMAZING. The lather was great (this is the wash I was telling you about that transformed my henna wreck) and so cheap!
Due to the sudden realization that I am going back home in 4 WEEKS and soon to be a junior In high school, I decided to just braid my hair immediatly for the remnant of my time and I am just going to buy the hair and a moisturizer and go product crazy in America. *lol*
Drink my rose tea every 4 hours. I bought it in Beijing during my tour ride after a tea ceremony demonstration. In the back was a traditional tea shop. I will make a post and show pics of the tea leaves and thermo that I bought and the size of it.
Take One Source Advanced Teen Multi, Natrol Omega 3-6-9 Complex, Trader Joe’s Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin E, NAC Protein, Vitamin C and Vibrant Health: Green Vibrance Shake mixed with ground flaxseed and sesame seed powder.
Pre-Braids: Search and Destroy splits individually in nape hair (I got the time baby!), then Spritz and apply EVOO.
Braids: Spritz water or Syoss Moisture Intensive Care Pro-Cellium Keratin Essence Mist on cornrows and rub scalp for ultimate absorption. Then, apply Dr.Miracle Stimulating Moisturizing Gro Oil mixed with a little EVOO and castor, rose and 100% organic lavender oil and sesame oil. Make sure to do this daily
Health & Fitness
Go to hot yoga every Thursday.
Take belly dancing on Friday.
Do free-style exercise on machinery with my membership after classes.
Also, start eating more light protein.
No longer being a victim of my childhood insecurities caused by bullying, commercials and television shows depicting normality and healthy hair as long, silky, shiny and bone straight, ehich I obviously couldn’t achieve because relaxers provide a minimum amount of length retention. Or, in better words, freeing myself from being a mental slave.
Ridding myself of the self-hatred, abnormality, inferiority and torment I felt as a young child when I had to get my hair permed to look and feel “beautiful,” but other people didn’t, because their hair naturally fell like that. I was oblivious to what I now find to be naturally thick GORGEOUS curls, so going back to the old Kristen and being closer to the REAL me.
I’m curious to know what it feels like to have more then just a reminiscence of my hair
Getting back at my stepmother for perming my long natural hair at FOUR, without consulting my mother, and sending me back with burned and broken off hair (literally, like a centimeter was left!) compared to my waist length afro! *LOL* My mom was LIVID. After that, I just kept getting relaxers … until now!!!
Goals: Hair – Current length is just above APL stretched and it shrinks up to above my ears when curly. My goal is thicker and BSL straightened, grazing SL when curly, hair that is easy to manage and style; Health & Fitness – Lose 10-15 lbs and get back to the toned, energetic, track girl body I used to have!
Hair Curly Girl Method
Mon, Wed, Fri: Co-wash w/Tresemme Naturals;
Leave-In is DevaCurl One;
Seal with castor oil;
Apply gel of the day and put in pony or bun.
Tues, Thurs, Sat: Massage MTG into my scalp.
Every evening (except 1): Moisturize hair with H20/Lavender mist and seal with jojoba oil.
Every Sunday: Henna with DC (may have to modify depending on how my hair reacts);
2x/wk DC: 1x on Sunday after Henna and 1 time during the week.
Supplements/Vitamins: Take Viviscal and my remaining misc vitamins.
Health & Fitness
Workout 5-6 days/wk (Crossfit)
Drink 8-12 cups of water per day
Eat 5-7 small Paleo meals throughout the day with one cheat (non-paleo) meal per week
Get adequate sleep (at least 7 hours per night) and;
Strive to live stress free by implementing stress relieving habits into my life, including meditation.
Reward: When I reach my goal in September for my hair/body, I plan on straightening my hair and going on vacation to an island destination with my hubby!
Documenting: I plan on keeping a written diary so that I may track my progress throughout my 6-month journey. I AM SO EXCITED!!!
Goals:Hair – My hair has been natural for 11 years as of this May. My current length is armpit length. My goal is bra strap length. My hair is color-treated and I also blow dry and flat iron once a week, so I have to be very, very careful about how I maintain my hair. Health & Fitness – I currently weigh 135 pounds. My goal is to weigh 120 pounds and be at 17% body fat by June 13th.
Weekly (every Sunday) shampoo with Pantene Relaxed & Natural or John Frieda Sheer Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner.
Next is Neutrogena Hair Mask and detangling with a wide-toothed comb, followed by another Neutrogena Deep Conditioner and a rinse.
Then, I apply John Frieda Hair Serum and Chi Heat Protectant spray to all of my hair before blow drying with a brush and flat ironing.
I then take a light oil (Olive Hair Oil) and gently massage it into my scalp, which tends to be dry, and lightly apply the remainder to my hair, which gives it a light sheen.
Finally, I wrap with a silk scarf to protect my hair. I have not been as diligent as necessary with this final step, which I suspect will allow me to better retain hair growth. I think putting my hair in more protective styles and giving the heat a break would also be beneficial.
I also use the Aphogee Protein Treatment once every 2 months. I’m planning to make another trip to the hair salon in early June, before my birthday, for another color treatment.
Additionally, I have my ends trimmed every 2-3 months.