Tag Archives: Strong Curves

365 Days of Fitness: Strong Curves

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Just coming on really fast to update you all on 365 Days of Fitness. Yesterday, I completed Day 216 AND the Strong Curves 12 Week At-Home Bodyweight Program!! The last 4 weeks were KILLER, but sooooo worth it!! I’ve experienced such great progress and strength gains. When I started, I couldn’t do ONE unassisted chin-up. It’s not easy, but now I can do 3 sets of 3!!

And the strength I have gained in my legs, arms, back, and core are paying rewards in yoga!!

Crow to headstand to chatarunga to upward dog to downward dog flow.

Compass pose done the first time EVER. Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Day 217: Compass pose done the first time EVER.
Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Now, to take a break. NOT from exercising silly ;)!! Just from Strong Curves! It’s been an intense 12 weeks of doing Strong Curves 3 days a week and I haven’t been eating the best, because it makes me so hungry! So, my weight has stayed pretty much the same (with some up and down on the scale). In order to get my eating back on track and to give my body a chance to recover, I’m going into an active “rest” week. I originally planned to do 20-30 minutes of Vinyasa Flow yoga a day with a DVD I picked up about a month ago on Amazon, Shiva Rea Daily Energy Vinyasa Flow. I really like this DVD because it has seven 20 minute practices that you can do solo or mix and match. You can also follow pre-set programs that do the mixing and matching for you.

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I may still do this only, but I’m also feeling like I may throw some hip thrusts and cardio in there too. We’ll see how I feel and how the week plays out. But, I will definitely do at least 20 minutes of yoga every day. If I can do what I did above with one practice a week, I wonder what I could accomplish practicing every day!!

Okay, before I go, wanted to share two more things. I haven’t taken an after picture for Strong Curves and it may have to wait until next week … because the bloat is on, if you get my drift. But, I figured I’d share some more before and after pics from April and August. You’ve seen the abs in the past, but this is the first time I’ve posted my leg progress on the blog. You see, my lower body takes a lot longer to respond to exercise and diet. But, I’m getting there and I’m hoping that next week’s shots (plan to do a full body comparison to May … after a good week of eating *fingers crossed*) will look even better.

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And last, but definitely not least, two weeks ago, I decided I was going to start a new 10 minutes a day 365 Day Challenge. I have a dear friend with two very small children whose beloved 34 year old husband died this past week after an unexpected 9 month battle with leukemia. About three weeks ago, they placed him in an induced coma and I went to see her at the hospital. Her sadness, pain, and suffering hit me so hard. I tried my best to say the right words and tell her to keep faith and keep praying and God is a healer and performs miracles. But, I felt so helpless to really comfort her (though she has told me several times that my visiting that day and talking with her over the months has given her hope and kept her going). I just didn’t feel well-versed enough in scripture to explain why these things were happening and why, despite all their best efforts, things just went from bad to worse.

I had been praying for my friend’s family since her husband was first diagnosed, but I’ve never been comfortable with or good at praying on my own. After that visit with her, I started saying little prayers multiple times a day, awkward as they may have been and felt. The Sunday after I visited her, I was watching In-Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley (I really like him because he is a teaching pastor). I needed some spiritual encouragement and direction. He was doing a sermon on “A Strong Church.” In it, he spoke about the need to have a church where you bring your Bible and you study it. A few moments later, as I was preparing to leave for hot yoga, I started posting the following poster as a fitness inspiration:

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And something clicked. Yes, this applied to fitness, but it also applied to me and something that I’d been thinking about for years. I was really ready to work on developing a closer relationship with God and Jesus. I thought, “Just like I can devote at least 10 minutes a day to my physical health, I can devote at least 10 minutes a day to my spiritual health! I mean, shoot! I spend 30-40 minutes on Facebook and IG every morning!! I need to give some of that time to God!”

And 365 Days of the Word began that very day. I asked for suggestions on what books or apps might be helpful and several people recommended YouVersion The Bible, which is chock full of reading plans. I started The One Year Bible that day and completed Day 15 this morning.

YouVersion_TheBibleYouVersion_TheBible_Day1and2

Now, instead of waking up and grabbing my phone to check Facebook and Instagram for notifications and turning on the news to create background noise, I start my cup of coffee, say a prayer, and spend some quiet time alone with God and the “Bible.” I still have to stop myself from checking FB and IG and turning on the TV first … in fact, I turned on the TV yesterday and had to quickly turn it off. But, I’m working on replacing my old habits and routine with a new one, just like I did with fitness … one day at a time.

Okay, I have fifty gajillion other things I could share about this, but I know that I have started to ramble! This post ended up being far longer than I initially intended … but that’s how it almost ALWAYS is with me. Once I start, it’s hard to stop me ūüėČ and I thought it was important to share this new journey. I hope that you are glad that I did so.

Okay, that’s it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I need to go wash this hair and maybe …. maybe … there might be a blow-out in the immediate future that I’ll be sharing ;).

Lata Gatas!!

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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.

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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!!

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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*)

A Time to Trim

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Yeah … so, I’ve been pretty absentee around here lately in regard to any substantive hair and fitness updates. Between a very demanding and hectic work schedule and my daily workouts … I’ve just had no energy or attention span to write blog posts … though, I’m active on my¬†Facebook and Instagram pages daily *hint hint* LOL!!

Anywho, as I alluded to, my personal¬†365 Days of Fitness¬†challenge is still in full effect and I finished day 157 this morning. I’m quickly approaching the halfway mark; that’s when the real challenge begins as I’m trying to break the yo-you pattern that I’ve been stuck in for the last decade. I started a new program at the recommendation of my girl, Christabel of Chy’s Curlz, and it should help get me over the 6 month hump and “break the cycle.” I began the 12 Week Strong Curves At-Home Bodyweight Program from Bret Contrera’s book, Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body, on July 1st and I have one workout left in week 4. Buuuuuuttttt, this isn’t a fitness post, so more on that on another day … soon … I hope!! ūüėČ

Welp, speaking of what type of post this is … it is about HAIR and I hope that it will be the catalyst to me resuming a more regular posting schedule! Just like I’ve set fitness goals, I’m am setting a Hairscapades goal to resume blogging at least once or twice a week. That’s very doable. So, I just need to suck it up, control my self-diagnosed AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder ;)), and get ‘er done!

Okay … now that that is out of the way. Here is the first of several short hair updates related to the going ons of the last couple of months!!

Six-Month Trim

Back in June, my old GOC buddy and curlfriend, Tiffany, hosted another haircut party with my natural hairstylist and Curl Whisperer, Tameeka aka Jaded Tresses (check out prior haircut party recaps¬†here,¬†here, and here). It was about time for my 6 month trim, so I decided to wash, condition, stretch to air dry, and lightly press my hair (one pass with the flat iron at 300¬į) for the occasion. After, pressing in the morning, I placed my hair in a bun for hot yoga and this was my hair after I took my shower and was ready to head to the party.

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Yeah … those beach waves lasted all of 5 minutes #wompwomp. It was super humid and HOT and by the time I was sitting in the chair to get my hair trimmed … it looked like the this:

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And, after the trim (I was going for cleaned up, but not blunt, ends):

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And … because it was crazy hot and humid … I rocked a simple, but cute, single twist ponytail for the majority of the week.

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And that’s it for my first hair update!! Next time … I revisit the Curly ‘Fro!!

Oh, and before I leave … it’s POLL TIME!!! So … ya know … all the stuff that I just shared here, I shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as they happened. That being said, I’m wondering if this is redundant material for most people or if it is new for many who don’t follow me on those other platforms or prefer the blog. So, hope you’ll participate in the poll to help me gauge how to proceed!! Thank you in advance!!

(p.s. It felt REALLY good to write again!! Gotta make this a habit! LOL ;)!!)