Thursday, December 30, 2010

My BIG Chop Story- Part 2

Most common question so far... Why I cut my hair

The simplest answer is that I was fed up.  Back in September I went through similar frustrations (i.e. difficulty with detangling) with my hair as I did the day before I cut it. I relaxed it then to make it more manageable and immediately regretted doing it. I intended to do a long term transition to natural hair and discovering that my hair did not like sulfates helped a lot but washing was still an hour long or more process. Not to mention drying. I air dried exclusively and my hair wouldn't dry completely overnight. I am sure that with some patience I could have found some solutions but with working out six days a week, being really busy, and having an irritated scalp and dry hair because I probably needed to wash it more often than once a week, I was at my limit. This particular week I washed my hair on Sunday (I put it off for a few days because I knew I wanted to go to Bikram), ended up going to Bikram and getting drenched in sweat on Tuesday and needed at least another rinse or co-wash (conditioner wash). As I pondered my options and the hour long detangling fiasco I might encounter, having little to no hair was waaaay more appealing.

Why I Big Chopped vs. cutting a little at a time

To me if I was gonna cut any, I might as well cut it all off. I think other people were way more attached to my hair than I was plus I was curious about what I would look like with short hair (I've never had a short cut). As I told one of my friends, "It's just hair!"

Why I cut it myself

I realized two things during the contemplation stage: 1) I am more likely to cry if a big deal was made out of the process eg. going to the hairdresser and having to answer to why I would cut off all my long non-damaged hair. 2) I might cry after the first cut but I was ready to deal with whatever the results were. So to save myself the drama I did the major cut myself and let someone else do the fine tuning. I also trimmed some more relaxed ends off after the barber cut and then a week later I went to a natural hair salon and cut it again.


On my birthday, I changed my Facebook profile pic to a picture I took the night before when I went out. There were a lot of compliments from friends and acquaintances. At school they also loved it. The only people who really didn't were some of my family members and one ex (his opinion don't count no mo', lol) but I kinda expected it. My cousin and sister-in-law both probably had minor heart attacks when they saw it. My sister-in-law promptly began searching for earrings to help me work the look and told me I should have provided warning before I came over, lol. One cousin was not amused... at all, another threatened to take me out of her wedding then informed me I would have to get a weave. Me ---> *blank stare*. Everyone else pretty much rolled with it. The chain of reactions is usually shock and mourning ("You cut your hair off! It was so long.") then questions ("Why?") then acceptance ("It looks good on you."). I am also pleasantly surprised at how many of my friends told me they were considering or were currently on their natural hair journey as well.

My BIG Chop Story- Part 1

Reflections from the day post big chop...
It's amazing how much of our value we place in what our hair looks like. We spend hours taking care of it. It makes our day right and adds a little pep to our step when its on point. We are even defined by it... "Do you know so and so?" "Yeah, the one with the long/short/or other adjective hair right?"

Well, last night after a haunting six or so hours of contemplation, I took the scissors to my bra strap length head of hair. Before getting to that point, I texted and called a few of my friends to ask their opinions on my plan to cut my hair off. Some thought I wasn't ready, most concluded that it was a major decision and I should probably take it step by step with a series of smaller cuts, and others just weren't sure if the cut would "fit" me. Well, neither was I. I was however grateful for the person that reminded me that cutting my hair would not take away from who I am. I spent hours on sites such as CurlyNikki and Naturally Curly looking at TWAs (teeny weeny afros) and hoping that I would see myself in one. As I prepared to make the first cut, I remembered that one of my friends had also done the big chop a while ago so I went back to the computer to look at her Facebook pics. It looked great on her... a little more encouragement... back to the bathroom mirror. The deal I made with myself was that I would start in the middle because if I changed my mind I could hide that section in my pony tail. And then I began cutting.

I fully expected tears after the first snip but the only thing that came to my mind was the time when I took a pair of scissors to the back of my head when I was a little girl out of frustration with it not "acting right" aka not staying in my ponytail (hide the scissors from your children people!). After the first cut I felt committed so I continued. The feeling of exhilaration was creeping up on me. A few minutes later it was time it was time for the final cut. Freedom! I stared at myself in the mirror, spiky hair everywhere, and saw.... me. I hurried to trim down my relaxed ends then jumped in the shower for the first wash. As soon as the water hit my strands, curls began to form underneath my fingers and I couldn't have been happier.

This morning I woke up, combed out my hair (which now reminded me of Coneheads) and began to figure out where I would go for a shape up and what products I would buy for styling. The salon I intended to go to was closed but a nearby barbershop was open. After assuring the barber that there was no oil in my hair, he agreed to do my cut and so began my first barber cut. After he was done, I was still in love with my TWA. I rushed off to Target and Sally's to buy hair gel and conditioner with a new pep in my step and a huge smile on my face. When I got home I washed again with Hair One, deep conditioned with Giovanni Deep Moisture and olive oil, added some Giovanni direct leave in, Olive Oil hair pudding and my hair oil mix (coconut oil, almond oil, Castor oil and Jojoba oil) and let it air dry. I had to go to class shortly after so I did my makeup for the debut. How did I feel? AMAZING! I love it! I felt free! And best of all, I no longer had to be a slave to my hair.

Stay tuned for part two.

Thoughts...old stuff, new stuff, it's all in here

First of all, Happy Holidays! I hope everyone has a Merry Chrismahanukwanza and a Happy New Year when it begins.

Lazy blogger... yeah, that's me! There has been a lot of chillaxing around here in the past week and a half.

Since my last post I cut all my hair off (Hello TWA  :-). Yeah, I ran out of patience.), had a run in with this...
Spin Bike
...on my born day morning, endured three to four days of pain after (hmm I must have lost all cushioning in that area!), and cussed out one of my bffs for not providing adequate warning about said encounter.

The Holiday Hoedown Challenge ended last Wednesday. Our team continued to rock the exercise minutes but we were not the biggest losers. I weighed in with a 3lb gain in the finale because honestly, it was my birthday week and all bets were off! It started off a slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and then had some of this...
Goat cheese and Apple Salad
Sweet Potato Fries

And continued with some of this...
Who needs cake when you can have this?
Baileys in Chocolate Shot cups

Yummies and...

Chocolate Fondue

Plus many more unphotographed indiscretions ;-). Good food, good friends, good times (and awesome gifts :-)). I thoroughly enjoyed the three day celebration! Thanks to all who participated/made it possible!

In addition to all that bday eating, there was "OMG, real Jamaican food (from Brooklyn)" eating and "10+ hours of driving in one weekend" eating and we won't mention "Christmas traditions" eating (that darn rum cake!). Oh yeah, no exercise either. I did get in a good (40 min or so) run on the Y's indoor track when I came to my senses woke up from many hours of post bday recovery slumber. I've been taking it easy since then and enjoying the holidays with my family so that means a hiatus from TurboFire and Chalean Extreme. To be honest, I think my body really needed it. I'll be back at it next week and restarting month three.

The Power of One- A new challenge started over at the Sisterhood and since I really enjoyed the last one, I will be participating in this one as well. The first weigh in was today and (somewhat) surprisingly I weighed in 3lbs lower than my final weight for the Holiday Hoedown Challenge. Our first challenge is to outline our healthy living goals for the challenge (which is 8 weeks long) and the New Year.

Here's my short list:

Run, run, run (a 5K and possibly a 10K... giving the Half Marathon the side eye). --I am excited about this goal because my shin situation put a damper on my running start this year but I discovered that I love running so here's to an injury free spring, summer and fall!
Be consistent with eating healthier and drinking a minimum of 64 ounces of water/day.
Lose the remaining weight and get to my goal weight!
Do more Bikram Yoga-- I love it!

Finally, I love it when I find a blogger who inspires me to step up my game. Check out these amazing ladies:

Fabulous Financials

That's all folks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brief Week 4 Holiday Hoedown Summary

This post is kinda late but I guess better late than never :-). I am sooo tired. I finished my last exam for the semester today and then went to catch up with the Christmas shopping that I've been missing out on. This week was full of exam stress and such but I fit in the TurboFire/Chalean workouts. I planned to do Spin as my new class but the frigid weather/ snow/ exam stress didn't permit. Anyhow here's the breakdown...

Wednesday- rest
Thursday- 47 (Strength and stretch)
Friday- 55 (Cardio and Abs)
Saturday- 48 (Strength and stretch)
Sunday- 65 (Cardio and Abs)
Monday- 30 (HIIT and stretch)
Tuesday- 55 (Cardio and Abs)

Total mins - 300
Weight down 2.6 from last week- 4.4lbs total for the challenge

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Week 3 Recap- Holiday Hoedown Challenge

This week sure went by fast and there are only two more weeks left in the challenge. Our team, the lovely Winter Warriors has been in the Top 5 for exercise minutes for the past two weeks. Yay us! The non-fitness goal for this week was to write three things that we will do to stay on track this month. Here are my three and how I've been doing with them:

1. Be diligent about and track my food and water intake -so far so good.
2. Eat a snack before attending holiday parties so I eat less of the not so good for you stuff - didn't work out for a party I went to last week but all in all I did pretty good and practiced some restraint at the evil desert table :-).
3. Try to keep my stress level reasonable (it's finals time) by being proactive - hmmm, working on this one.

The fitness challenge continued with tracking exercise minutes and they also encouraged us to try something new. I posted the follow as my goal for this area:

"I have been putting off Bikram Yoga for a while now. I think it's time..." Well, mission accomplished!"

My exercise minutes for the week with the usual side commentary:

Wednesday- rest
Thursday- 46 (strength and stretch)
Friday- 70- (Cardio, Abs, Yoga)
Saturday- 0- (had an exam in the morning and a holiday party in the evening)
Sunday- 45 (strength and stretch)
Monday- 112 (Cardio, Abs, strength, stretch) <-- making up Saturday's workout
Tuesday- 145 (BIKRAM! and Cardio and Abs) <--- sooo tired by the end of the cardio workout, my body doesn't like me very much right now.
Total for the week- 418 <--- WOW... bring on the rest day!

Weigh In- down  2.8 from last week (the 1.8 I gained over Thanksgiving weekend and then some!)

After yesterday's overzealous exercise session, my body is doing some serious complaining. But all in all it was another good week! And I earned this from my teammate.... Isn't she awesome?
Smiley from my fellow Winter Warrior!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bikram Yoga

One of my teammates in the Holiday Hoedown Challenge posted this pic and a huge "Yay!!!"on one of my comments in the forums over at "The Hood". I thought it was really sweet of her so I posted it here. What did I do to deserve it?

I completed my FIRST Bikram Yoga class!!!!! Yay me! I am pretty excited about it and it made entire rest of my day because like the 5K, I tried to talk myself out of this one too. Every excuse in the book-- "It snowed and the roads are messy." "I have to dig my car out." "I can do it next week...." Not to mention the "What ifs" ---> "What if I am not ready?" "What if I get dizzy or even worse PASS OUT?" I kindly reminded myself of how I felt after the 5K and when the opportunity presented itself this morning (I got out of class early), I seized it. I went to the noon class because I figured there would be less people to embarrass myself in front of it wouldn't be as crowed and sure enough there were only five of us there. The people at the studio were really nice and a very friendly lady showed me the ropes after I told her it was my first time. I appreciated that a lot since it made a whole lot more comfortable. She also practiced beside me and checked on me throughout.

When it was all over, I couldn't believe I made it. I never got dizzy and was able to get through the poses. I was starving at the end though and my tummy made that known to the entire class during the last savasana. I am so happy that I talked myself into it and look forward to my next session.

P.S. Remember to be nice to the new person in class. It helps :-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Week in Review- Holiday Hoedown Week 2 and Thanksgiving

The holiday season is officially upon us. Last week I took the party on the road :-) to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I was a little unsure about how it would go in terms of keeping up with my workout schedule and limiting excessive food consumption. On Thanksgiving day I ate a little bit of everything and I made most of the sides so I was able to control fat and sugar content. What I didn't do so well with was that I ate out much, much more than I expected to. I bought groceries so I could have food in the house but didn't even touch most of it. On the workout front, after rearranging my workout schedule a bit, I managed to get all the TurboFire and Chalean Extreme workouts in. I took resistance bands with me to do the strength training (you have that option in Chalean Extreme).  My little cousins (ages 6 and 8) had a lot of fun working out with me at home. We shared lots of hi-fives. I also did an hour of Zumba with my two older cousins and a family friend on Saturday morning. The class was led by Sistah Anyango of FLYY Fitness in the Hartford area and I must say it was hands down the best Zumba class I've been to so far. It even had reggae mixed in. Here's the workout breakdown for the week:

Wednesday- rest
Thursday- 0-
Friday- 90- strength, intervals, abs, stretch
Saturday- 60 mins- Zumba (with the family- loads of fun)
Sunday- 45- strength and stretch <---- after 6 hr drive!
Monday- 100- strength, abs, cardio <----- Damage control!!
Tuesday- 73 mins- cardio and abs
Total- 368

As I mentioned in my last post, I brought my water jug with me because this week's non-fitness challenge was to drink water. I will be doing this for Christmas as well. I am sure I look weird traveling around with a water pitcher but oh well, it gets the job done. I actually feel like I made improvements in the water drinking department this week. I refilled my pitcher at least one each day. It holds 7 cups and I think this was my average/ day this week. Saturday was probably the only day that I came close to drinking one half my weight in ounces.

Last week I picked up Marianne Williamson's book A Course in Weight Loss after seeing it on Oprah. I am on Lesson 11. I have only been reading the lessons, not doing the things that require physical action (rituals- hmm, working on that). So far I love it. It has helped me to identify the roots of my overeating and give more thought to the reasons behind why I gained the weight that I am working on losing in the first place. Great read.

Weight up 1.8 lbs from last week.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...