This past year I decided that it was time to do something about being overweight. For the past 10 years I have battled the bulge. I decided that 2013 was going to be the year that I would conquer my weight loss battle.I decided that if I could start a natural hair journey and be successful I could also tackle a weight loss journey and boy was it a journey! I had to let my hair journey take a back seat. I continued to take care of my hair it just wasn’t my main focus. After you establish a healthy regimen you can do two things: 1) You can watch, measure and pray that your hair grows faster than the ½ inch it normally would grow in a month. Or 2)You can keep it moving and take care of any other area in your life. I chose to work on losing weight.
Did you know that 60% of losing weight has to do with the food you consume? I had to make some changes and I decided to start with my eating habits. Giving up fast food was easier than I thought it would be. Every time I ate McDonald’s my body would start feeling bad afterwards. It got to the point that I couldn’t stand the smell of a McDonald’s quarter pounder. One day I just stopped eating fast food and never looked back. Still to this day every time I pass a McDonald’s and think of pulling in to order some “food” I get a horrible taste in my mouth. I’m not going to say you have to “eat clean” and you can’t have any junk food, that isn’t realistic. When I gave up on foods I loved and decided all I was going to eat was chicken breast and salmon I found that my new lifestyle didn’t last long. I decided I had to make small changes instead. I increased my water intake. I’m not a fan of vegetables so I decided that the only way I was going to be able to get my daily vegetable intake was to buy a juicer. I asked a friend who was into juicing for some juicing recipes and she sent me a free e-book on 101 juicing recipes. I love my beet and green juices! Next, I tackled food. I decided that I would start cooking now I’m not a cooking connoisseur nor do I want to become one. I needed to buy healthy meats that were already cleaned and seasoned. All I wanted to do is place them in a pan. I found that Whole Foods was the grocery store for me. Let me add that I only buy groceries for myself so the price is comparable to a grocery store like Stop & Shop. I must also add that I only buy my meats and a few specialty items from Whole Foods. Buying prepared meats has helped me stay on track because everything is healthy and already prepared for me. All I have to do is cook the food. To this day I don’t eat 100% clean. I have found several alternative to the items I was eating but I will indulge once in blue.
Exercising is another important component that was instrumental in me losing weight. Before I go on to tell you about my exercise regiment let me tell you how I had to turn down a good old fashion fish fry. I am on vacation this week and I decided to visit my old job. They invited me to come back the following day to participate in a fish fry that they were holding. I had to say no. The only reason I said no was because I did not make it to my whole body conditioning class earlier that morning. You can indulge and enjoy yourself you just have to earn it.
Did you know 40% of weight loss is through exercise? I needed to get active because eating alone wasn’t doing it for me. I started using LivingSocial and Groupon as ways to find deals on different exercising classes. You can take a few classes to see if you like it for an inexpensive price. I started with a Ballet Barre class, let me tell you I have a real respect for ballerinas! At that point I was only going once a week because my LivingSocial deal was only for five classes. If you want to get toned I highly recommend that you sign up for a Ballet Barre class. I really enjoyed the classes and felt a like I was getting stronger but there was no physical change. I found another deal on Groupon for an all women’s boot camp class for $20 for ten classes! I convinced my best friend to join with me and we started taking the boot camp classes together once a week. My best friend had already been exercising and she had lost 20 plus pounds so she was an incredible support during the beginning of my weight loss journey. The boot camp program had just began so there weren’t a ton classes being offered so I was only able to go Sunday mornings. After the Groupon deal was over I decided that I enjoyed and I was ready to commit to the boot camp classes. Let me tell you, the class packages were not cheap. I decided in that moment that I was investing in health and that I couldn’t put a price tag on that. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts my best friend couldn’t commit to continuing the boot camp classes.
I set a goal for myself to lose 30 pounds and not to lose the weight too fast. I knew from past experiences that the faster you lose the weight the more likely that weight and then some would come back. A little over a year later, thanks to eating healthy and taking boot camp classes three to four times a week I have lost 22 pounds. If you want to start a weight loss journey I would suggest the following things:
- Create a Plan:
- how much do you want to lose
- how long will it take you to lose the weight
- Have a support system
- a workout partner
- someone to hold you accountable
- IGNORE the naysayers (You can do this!)
- Start making gradual changes
- say goodbye to soda and fast food
- side note: do you know you can use soda to clean your toilet! Think about that the next time you’re craving a Pepsi!
- increase water intake
- Set mini goals for yourself
- you accomplished eating healthy and exercised all week go treat yourself to a mani pedi.
- Its okay if you mess up! Remember Rome wasn’t built-in a day. You only mess up if you give up!!!!
The one message I kept and keep telling myself is that: I May Not be Where I Want to be But Thank You God I’m Not Where I Used To Be.
With summer coming to an end and my hair beginning to grow out, I find myself asking this question lately. In my previous blog post “The Good Hair Day Remedy” I discussed why temperature, humidity and dew point is so important for curly or natural hair. Now I’m questioning what am I supposed to do with my hair in the winter months? In the summer were trying to protect our hair from all the moisture in the air, I find it comical that we have the opposite problem in the winter. In the winter, at least on the east coast, there isn’t any moisture in the air other than when snows.
I am anxious about my first winter with natural hair. In the past during the winter months my hair was miserable; I suffer from dry scalp during this time and believe me I have tried every dry scalp remedy. Hot oil treatment, hair streamer, oiling my scalp with ever and any natural oil but nothing seems to work. My hair also becomes extremely dry because of the lack of moisture in the air and when I apply a thick creamy leave in these types of products tends to weigh my hair down. So I walk around with white flakes and oil hair, so not attractive! I read an article that stated that newly naturals, who did the Big Chop, have to start detangling after their hair grew out three inches. Guess who’s going to have three inches just in time for winter? Me!
So here’s my plan I’m going to wait until October and then I’m going to start researching what types of products I need to use and start buying samples to try on my hair to help me during this dreadful season. I have to remind myself that this is part of my journey and once I figure out how to make my hair look and feel great during the winter months I have reached this goal. Am I the only one feeling anxious about the effects winter has on natural hair?
Yesterday marked the one month anniversary of my “big chop”. You can read more about that in “Hair Today Gone Tomorrow”. After I did the big chop I was afraid that I was going to regret my decision. The decision I made to stop relaxing my hair, to transition to natural hair, to big chop so close to my birthday and to go to the barber shop and cut off the majority of my hair.
What I can say is that I don’t regret a thing! I was tired of the scalp burns from the relaxer and the dissatisfaction from hair stylists. I transitioned and fell in love with my hair texture and when I big chop I was happy that one, I listened to my mother and went to the barber shop and two, that I stop trying the control the situation (Hello, My Name is Melinda and I’m a former control freak) and allowed the barber to not only cut off my relaxed hair but most of my natural hair as well.
I’ve learned this past month what products and techniques make my hair happy. I can tell that my hair is happy when my hair naturally curls up. The leave in conditioner my hair seems to be in love with, right now, is Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner. I use this product as a direct leave in after I deep conditioner, as a daily leave in and when I do my version of The Curly Girl Method (CGM). My version of the CGM is when I co-wash my hair and I apply a conditioner and do not wash it out. Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner is the only leave in product I really need for my hair at this stage. My hair is naturally curly so I have learned that I can tell if my hair likes a product or not if my hair curls up; I have tried different products in my hair and if my hair doesn’t like a product my hair will looked like wool. Not to say that there is anything wrong with a hair texture that doesn’t have a curl pattern. But Every time I apply this product to my hair, my hair can’t help but curl up it makes my hair happy.
Given that it has been a month since my big chop I was contemplating if I wanted to show any progress pictures, I decided that it wasn’t the right choice for me. I would rather do progress pictures every three months. My reasoning being that I don’t think you want to see a picture of myself with a ½ inch more of hair every month. I would rather show you progress pictures of myself with hair that is 1 ½ inch longer, especially when you consider hair shrinkage. People have told me that their starting to notice that my hair is growing and filling out and I can tell when I wash my hair because I can feel that it’s a little longer. But after I wash my hair and it dries I’m not able to tell because of the shrinkage; so I’ll show you in September when my hair has grown another inch.
With all the information out there on the topic of hair I didn’t know if anyone would want to hear what I had to say. So imagine my surprise when I received email notifications about people “liking” and/or “following” my post. I am flattered that some of you “like” my post and that some of you are following Hair & Now. It is kind of you to take time to read my thoughts on hair and self-image. So thank you to everyone for reading Hair & Now. If there is a topic you would like me to write about just leave a comment.