Tag Archives: health & fitness goals

July-September GOC Final Update: Margaret (#5)

Standard

mjg 1 GOC Nov 2012
This is a July/ Aug/Sept update of the 2012 GOC. Here I am summarizing my accomplishments, challenges, continued commitments as well as lessons learned.

Hair
I continued to involve myself in the mid-week modified co-wash using H2O/Aloe drench, shea butter mix and coconut oil. Love it!!! With the fall/winter season, I realize I will need to up my moisture and there have been some awesome ideas presented here to maintain moisture for a week or more.

I am still washing with Terressentials Left Coast Lemon Mud Wash (undiluted) weekly. I also have a bottle in Lavender Garden when I want to switch it up. My hair seems to favor the Left Coast Lemon more due to the essential oils. ACV is used monthly before the mud wash on the days I henna and continues to work well.

Henna and Ayurvedic powders (Amla, Brahmi and Bhringaj) monthly make my hair conditioned and dark. Although I do not use indigo, I mix my henna and place in the freezer a month ahead of time. I understand repeated henna’s as well as freezing and thawing henna will allow your hair to darken.

mjg 6 GOC Nov 2012

I found a new HG … Blensblend 3 in 1 Conditioner. It is an all natural conditioner that can be used for 3 purposes … detangler, rinse out and/or leave-in. I have been using it just as the conditioner in Shelli’s cool and seal technique. Once it is placed in my hair, any existing tangles melt like butter and the slip is phenomenal. I have also used the Blensblend hair and body butter after applying Giovanni Direct Leave-in (GDLI). I have not used the new formula for GDLI, however I plan to soon. I have also experimented with adding full fat yogurt to my deep conditioners. Works like a charm.

Finger detangling is continuing to work well especially with slippery conditioners. I pre-poo weekly, prior to every wash, with coconut oil and will switch to EVOO for my Fall/Winter Regimen. I may start using the comb at least once a month as a safety measure and for trimming purposes. Any stylist for the most part will comb prior to trimming. I have dusted my ends during this time and have a recommendation for a stylist, who I will consult with soon for a trim. Regarding length check, I appear to be at waist length at my longest layer. (Excuse the oily hair/fingers) lol. I am aiming for continued growth with hip length being the ultimate goal.

mjg 5 GOC Nov 2012

Health & Fitness
Carlson’s Fish Oil has been great; however I am going to order Viviscal to further support my goals (I have some thinning that has to be tackled). Walking 6 days per week is not a problem due to having a partner to encourage. Being consistent with fitness classes have been more of a challenge due to my second job schedule. This particular portion of the challenge I am continually working on. My food vices are no-no’s right now as it seems the items I like are those that cause my GI problems to occur.

Cleansing
I am continuing to work on this element of the challenge as well. On a good note, although negative situation continue to raise its ugly head, I have been blessed with strength to stay away from the drama and toxic situations.

I feel that I have not obtained the goals I originally set forth and plan to continue my plans throughout the remainder of the year. My reward will come next year in the form of a trip to the mountains in Spring 2013. Life is full of its challenges and I am not going to allow these defeat me.

Shelli, with everything you and your family have endured this year, I appreciate the strength and perseverance you have shown during challenging times. We take so much for granted. Thank you for sharing with us the good and bad. I hope all of you ladies did well as we continue to isnpire and uplift each other. 🙂

XOXO

mjg 2 GOC Nov 2012

Check out the rest of  Margaret’s GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May-June Update

Advertisements

Final GOC Update: Cassandra (#26)

Standard

Hair
Wow. First, I wanted to thank you all for all of the kind comments throughout this six month challenge. I have learned so much about taking care of my hair from viewing Shelli’s site and the results don’t lie. My hair when straightened is about an inch short of BSL and shoulder length when curly. My edges has filled in more with daily use of my Castor Oil oil blend and I expect it to grow more. I’m still following the Curly Girl method and have a set regimen in place, which might be modified with the upcoming cold weather. If anyone has a CG-friendly moisturizer, please let me know. I’ve reached my hair goal and will be looking into finding more styling options other than WNG or Two-strand twists.

Health & Fitness
Overall, the weight loss journey hasn’t gone as well, but I’m ready to continue the challenge on my own. Since my hair is at a length that I am comfortable with now, I can focus more on losing weight. I didn’t make my 20 lbs weight loss goal, but I have lost a lot of inches. Even though I didn’t make my goal, I am still planning on purchasing the Garmin FR70 Fitness Watch with Heart-Rate Monitor. I will continue doing the Supreme 90 DVD, but I’m thinking of buying the Turbo Fire DVD to increase the workout complexity.

To read Cassandra’s GOC journey from the very beginning, check out these posts:

Initial Submission
April Update
May Update
June/July Update

Final GOC Update: Michelle & Chloe (#13 & 13.5)

Standard

Hair
Ok, so we when we left off last folks, the summer was just beginning and school was ending. Our routines were all over the place; this was mainly due to activities that the camp did (water play!) and going swimming. Chloe’s hair was in braids or twists most of the summer. Earlier this year, I bought a large HE HH SHAMPOO, thinking it was CONDISH and it’s been sitting in my shower not being used. So, I began diluting it in a dye bottle and washing Chloe’s scalp in between braiding or re-twisting sessions and I LOVE IT!! Don’t get me wrong, the TMW is “DaBomb.com,” but it’s not as easy peasy to apply and wash out like the diluted HEHH poo and the SMELL of HE HH is wonderful!

I’d follow the scalp wash with the AO Honeysuckle condish, wring dry with a white tee, and apply KBB Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In and voila…DONE! One major event this summer was Chloe got ANOTHER cut, first one was in March of this year and she lost about 2 inches. And then Tameeka, the Curl Whisperer, cut an average 1.5-2 inches all around and shaped her curls (see the results in the slide show here). Now her curls fall better and look more balanced. Tameeka confirmed Chloe has more bulk on one side so it looks like its growing unevenly-HAIR is cray!!!! Anywhoooo, I haven’t let her wear it out since the cut, just because the braids and twists would last 2 weeks and that meant only 2 styling sessions a month. Just for the end of the GOC, I’m going to wash and let her wear it out for pics for you guys.


My hair was doing ok, but then I went to the Haircut Party and no more random straight pieces. I mean, NOT ONE! Tameeka cut my hair and I was so nervous, because she stood behind me the whole time and was measuring by pulling pieces on either side together, but it worked!!! I lost length, but I gained a head full of curls, I mean ALL curls. It’s crazy because, I BC’d, then I rarely applied heat to my hair, so I don’t think it was heat damage. But, I just took it as par for the course that all curls are different, even ones on ones head (lol). But I know different now!

Moving on, I have “jacked” MahoganyCurls’ WnG routine using Paul Mitchell’s The One and Eco Styler Gel (Protein One), smoothing each row within each of 4 sections. I have been able to achieve 3-day, “lookin’ good hair” and 4-5-day, “ok you pushing it, but still can rock it hair!” Day one is flat but curly and Day 2 is the best hair day (IMO), because it softens up and expands. I LOVE IT!!! Update to that update: Just this past weekend I read CN’s reggie on how she just ‘smooshes’ in her leave-in and styler and rolls with it … and, guess what? It works for me too!!!! Still using the same products, still applying in 4 sections, but the application is less tedious and takes half as long, 15 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes. And, I don’t have day one flat and curly hair!!!! So I’m doing my happy dance!

One other thing that has changed since my cut, I can’t pineapple anymore. I told Shelli it looks more like a peach and it takes away from my curls (straightens them). So now I just sleep on my satin pillow F-R-E-E! On another note, I’m yearning for some color (RED) and have been eyeballing the Garnier Nutrisse Hair Color line with the foam application … would love to hear if any other naturals use it and their thoughts!!


Left: Garnier Nutrisse hair color; Right: Hair Color Crush, Quest for the Perfect Curl

Lessons Learned – Hair
Ok, so although this challenge started out with a length goal, I believe I achieved an even better reward, a head full of healthy curls that are growing. I’ve learned that protective styling isn’t my strong point and I might just be a WnG girl (gotta get my diffusing skills together for the winter). This has weaned my PJism down a lot for my hair to just a leave-in, a gel and a shine serum when needed. Now, for Chloe’s hair, protective styling works and looks good when released. My PJism is still alive and kicking when it comes to products for Chloe’s hair, because of all the styles she wears and different products achieve different look … #dontjudgeme. As for Chloe’s goals, I’ve maintained her healthy hair and hoping the curly cut will help keep her curls balanced as her length comes back. I plan to see Tameeka in February/March of 2013 to have her trim/maintain our cuts.

Health & Fitness
Ok, so I have been keeping up with running with Black Girls Run (BGR). They are SO supportive; I couldn’t do it without them. I’m doing the C25K (Couch 2 5K) and I’m able to run for 2-3 minutes straight. Thank God for the walk interval, but I see progress. I’m running 2-3 times a week, 2.5-4 miles a run, and I look forward to it.

I know I will need to work in some strength training, but one step at a time. I’m working on my pace and endurance and then distance and time. I’m eating a lot better, but not 100% clean. I know that will make all the difference in the world if I could just eat right all the time, but 80% is better than none. I’m drinking more water, not half my body weight, but definitely more than ever and I love Vitamin Water DragonFruit and Tangy Citrus. It’s a lot less calories than my faves Pepsi/Coke.

Lessons Learned – Health & Fitness
Ain’t nothing to it, but to DO IT! Just as with my natural hair process, patience is key. The results come from practicing healthy habits, like eating and exercising, and the results will come. I’ve come from a TWA to BSL, so I can reach my weight goal of being in the 130’s and overall healthy! Good luck to everyone and I can’t wait for the next GOC!


To see where it all began, check out Michelle and Chloe’s other GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May-June Update

Rock Bottom

Standard

I have a confession to make. Full disclosure. This past Saturday, I went to Shoprite … solely with the intention of buying a 6 pack of their DELISH buttercream icing cupcakes … and I ate them all … by myself. #dontjudgeme. Ummm … yeah … THIS was after realizing last week that my “fat” clothes are screaming mercy. My previously slim and toned arms are showing serious signs of dimpling (too kind a word). My knees have all but disappeared in the tree trunks that I call legs. And let’s not even talk about my thighs and gluteus maximus … MAXIMUS being the operative word. I’ve also been extremely tired, sluggish and unfocused.

Now, I know that this is not news to most of you, but I completely fell off the wagon and failed in regard to my GOC Health & Fitness goals. I haven’t done a Health & Fitness post in ages, because neither health nor fitness have been a part of my vocabulary for the last several months.

But now it’s time to try this again. No … wait. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” So, I cleaned house on Sunday, hit the grocery store on Tuesday and began the 6 week Cardio Max “plan” … again … this past Monday.

This is a progressive routine where you start with Bob’s 20 minute “boot-cap” workout for the first 2 weeks (Level 1), then add on Jillian’s 10 minute “explosive super-cardio drills” for weeks 3-4 (Level 2) and finally finish weeks 5-6 by adding on Kim’s 10 minute kickboxing workout (Level 3). I purchased this DVD last winter. I never made it past Bob. *smh*. But this time … this time … pray for me y’all.

I’ll also be doing a 10 minute Abs of Steel workout 5-6 mornings a week. Oh, and one last thing. I busted out my three pairs of Delfin Spa Bio Ceramic Anti-Cellulite Shorts.

(Drugstore.com for $38.99 and Amazon.com for $39.99)

Yes, you read that right. Three pairs. I got my first pair years ago and, although I can’t say for sure if they reduce cellulite, they make my thighs, butt and stomach sweat like crazy. Amazingly though, I only feel the sweat when I take them off! Anyway, I feel like they really helped shrink this problem area of my body and less fat means less obvious cellulite. I think my legs looked the best they ever had outside of when I was competing. So, I bought two additional pair a while after I purchased the first as I wanted to wear them every workout and didn’t want to have to worry about washing the same pair every day (hand-washing required) or hoping they would air dry by the next (which they never did).

So, I have three pair of these anti-cellulite shorts. Why, then, did I buy a Groupon for two pairs of Zaggora HotPants?

Mind you, I’d never heard of Zaggora HotPants until I saw the Groupon. Well, I did it because now I will have FIVE pair of anti-cellulite pants to get through the week without having to wash them … and … there was a significant savings on the regular price ($26 for the shorts, regularly $71.72; $39 for the capris, regularly $95.63). So, I figured, why not! I hope that they are a little thinner than the Delfin, but I suspect they may not be based on the appearance. They seem to be made of the same “scuba” material as the Delfin (of course they are advertising new, thinner HotPants now:/). Anywho, I still haven’t used my Groupons, but I plan on ordering the pants/shorts this week and will report back on them at a later date.

Alright, so to wrap this up, I weigh 135 pounds now … that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. I need to lose 15 pounds to get back down to my ideal weight of 120. I won’t be posting daily on my progress, but I plan to resume posting at least once a week on my routine and/or on something Health & Fitness related.

I may fall off the horse, but I always get back on it.

************************************************************************************

When did YOU know that you hit Rock Bottom in regard to your health and fitness? What helps motivate you to exercise and/or improve your eating habits?

June/July GOC Update: Cassandra (#26)

Standard

Hair
I still haven’t measure my hair, but I can tell how much it has grown by how much my hair hangs down my neck. Since April, I’ve been a strict CG Method follower. But, since I’m more concerned with my hairline growing back more fully, I’ve started to use castor oil again and have become more of a modified-CG follower. In June, I started to incorporate pre-poos and using sweet almond oil to keep my hair moisturized. Normally, using conditioner (Tresemme Natural) as a leave-in works well as both a leave-in and slight hold. But, with the 100+ temperatures in Northern VA, my hair was starting to feel really dry and brittle. So, first I tried using Eco gel to lock in the moisture, but I feel it was too “heavy” for my hair and discontinued. Now I’ve been using Paul Mitchell “The Conditioner” as a leave-in conditioner.

My edges are still the problem areas for me to get to regrow. So any help will be appreciated! I will have to wait to see if the castor oil will work again. I read up on the benefits of sweet almond oil to help with hair loss and have mixed the almond and castor oil together to moisturize and massage my scalp and edges. I’m going to give it awhile to see if it will make a difference and jump-start the hair growth. Only other issue I’ve noticed is a lot more hair shedding. I know it’s shedding, since the bulb is attached. But I wanted to get others thoughts on if this was a normal “shed” process?

Health & Fitness
June and July have been pretty active for me: (1) Started a new job (Yippy!); (2) Planning a move in late July and dealing with packing/movers; (3) Dealing with the commute. So, with weight loss, what little I did lose previously was wiped out due to not having the time to exercise and eat home-cooked healthy meals. I’m not going to lie … the McDonald’s workers know me by name :). But by August, I should be settled and have a routine set ,so that I can plan time to go to the gym and take exercise classes. I know I have a lot of excuses as to why I’ve haven’t kept up, but I’m ready to re-commit and finish strong for the challenge.

Check out Cassandra’s other GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May Update

April/May/June GOC Update: Brittney E’Lise (#37)

Standard

Hiya everyone,

It has been a long time since I have update and I’m sorry for that. In short, life got in the way. And while I can give ya the “411,” that is not the reason you are reading this. So, I figured while I am pre-pooing and catching up on the first season of “Being Human” (the BBC version), I can let you guys know what is happening with my hair.

May

Hair
I wish I could tell you that I did some amazing stuff, but, with my sister’s Prom, I barely did anything with my hair other than washing it every time I needed to. HOWEVER, at the end of April, I found something that made me have a heart-attack … a braid that WAS NOT attached to my head. I will tell ya that I nearly lost my natural mind. After I finally calmed down (it took a while), I made myself readjust my routine. When I air-dried, I tried to keep the braids from weighing down and adding extra stress to my hair by pulling them up into a ponytail. I also went ahead and made a appointment to get my sides and nape redone. Those are my more weaker spots and I’m pretty sure that is were the “dreaded” braid came from.

Also, shortly after my initial post, I read about tea rises and I used them after every wash. I was using black tea (Lipton) to help with the shedding. At that time, I was watching two lovely YouTube videos from naturals by the name of Chesalocs and MsVcharles.

Health & Fitness
Health-wise … yeah we aren’t going to talk about that.

June

Hair
Ah, it is now three months and I am ready for these lovely braids to come out of my head. I was ready to take care of my loose hair again. However, I don’t think I was ready for how long it would take for them to come out. Now, at this point, it was already three months and I knew any longer and it would be dangerous to the health of my hair. I thought that, because I have watched YouTube videos of take down methods … Yeah … those weren’t applicable to my hair for two reason: Most people only kept the braids in for a few weeks to a month at the longest and their hair was four times shorter than mine, which meant that I could not comb out the yarn with a rat-tooth comb.

So, with a bottle of cheap conditioner, scissors and water, I took them down. And it took me 77 HOURS OVER 11 DAYS … this is not made up folks. It is the real business. Braids take longer than twists to take down in my mind. The picture of the two hair balls that resemble something Cousin It hacked up are my shed hairs from a normal weekly process (left) to the yarn braid one (right).

And yeah, that looks like a lot of hair, but I promise you that 90% of it is shed … and, well, the other 10% was when I got vexed late at night taking it down. So, the only cons I had with this style was I hadn’t learned how to curl the braids, how long it took me to take it down and how long it took for me to air dry. But, I am going to try it again in the fall, but maybe twist this time.

I got back to my usual schedule of washing and co-washing. I will wear twists during the week, since at my job there is a high chance of getting random pieces of cat/dog hair in them and it easier to pick out of my hair in twists than when it’s loose. And, the weekends, I wear twist outs and braid outs. I finally got down the method of pin curls and braid out thanks to another YuTube natural, Naptural85. I have a pic of a hair style I used of hers recently, where, if you are lacking volume in your ponytails, you can “fake it.”

I also learned how to detangle my hair when in twists easier with the help of Urban Bush Babes … detangle not from the bottom but from the top. While I wasn’t crazy about it, it made sense when you think about it, because shed hairs comes from the scalp, not the ends.

I also had something very important happen … I FOUND MY FIRST GREY HAIR … right smack dab in the front on my right side. I have no problem with this other than it seems as if this little guy didn’t get the memo about what it’s supposed to be. It is as straight as straight can be … not even a wave. Not cool y’all.

Health & Fitness
So, once again, health-wise … I lost weight and while that is usally a good thing for some, for me it’s not. It’s more of a stress thing. I started taking Biotin, but it wasn’t for my hair on my head. It was more for the hair loss I got in other places (like my eyebrows). I haven’t noticed a change other than when I was taking it more than three times a day … my face had a fit. So now I take it two to three times a day.

So, that’s really it. And now, introducing my hair for the first time to you lovely people. She doesn’t have a name yet, but that is her in all of her glory (well, in a streched out, pin curl style really). See you guys next month. And if anyone has any tea rinse combos, I would love to hear them.


Missed Brittney E’Lise’s initial GOC-The Sequel submission? Check it out here.

April-July GOC Update: Mershauna (#14)

Standard

by Mershauna of The Dancing Optimist

Summer is going by so fast. I cant believe that we’re practically halfway through July! I’m enjoying time off from school, but I’m missing my dance classes. A lot of changes have been going on as far as fitness and hair. I also moved into my own apartment! I will say that I am definitely ready to be back in school. Summer is making me lazy, lol.

Hair
I’m so excited, because I’ve reached goal of MBL before september! I’m hoping to be full MBL by then.


It feels like it has taken AGES to reach this mark. It’s probably because I’ve always based this off my sports bras, since that’s what I’m always wearing, and they come down pretty low. I want to be waist length by 2013, which should be easy. Since I barely have a torso, my waist is about 3 to 4 inches away from MBL.

Because of this lofty goal that I’ve set, I’m really buckling down when it comes to my regimen. No more down and out styles for me. I will be rocking twist or box braids since I can wash my hair easily without having to take them down. I’m also trying to strengthen my hair, so I bought Aubrey Organic GPB conditioner and their J.A.Y. shampoo. I haven’t tried them yet, so my fingers are crossed. I’ve also been using Aussie’s Split End Protector since I’m prone to split ends. But, I haven’t been using that long enough to tell if it’s a keeper.

Fitness
I’ve been really slacking lately. I’ve been working out only twice a week. That really has to change. I’m maintaining my weight of 136, which is good, but I want to be down to 120 by next year.

My diet has changed a lot. Jon and I have cut out red meat to only once a month and he’s lost around 20 or more pounds! I’ve been eating mostly vegetarian in hopes to get healthier and help with the weight. It’s also a way to force myself to eat more vegetables. There’s free yoga at a farmers market here on Saturdays, so I’m hoping to start that soon.

Goals

  • Drink more water.
  • Walk more.
  • Workout more (gym and dance).
  • Stick to my regimen and diet.

Check out Mershauna’s initial GOC – The Sequel submission here.

Want to see where it all began with the first GOC? Find Mershauna’s entrée into the first GOC here.