Friday, December 28, 2012

SALE on Bee Mine Products -- 12/29/12



I used to love Bee Mine products, and still do, but the price plus shipping costs made me want to look at other more inexpensive options. For those of you who are interested, Bee Mine is having a sale tomorrow for one day only. 20% off is enough to entice me to purchase a few products again. My favorites are the Deja's Hair Milk and the Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer.

Quick and Easy Updo Using Prota Hair Clip-In Extensions


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!



I hope you had a blessed Christmas full of family, love and joy! It scares me to think of what this world would be like without Jesus. Let us praise His name on this special day and think of how we can make a difference in the lives of others rather than concentrating on what others can do for us. God Bless!

I have some great ideas for YouTube videos and blog posts coming up. I will be back after the holidays :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Relaxer Day & Trim

I decided to relax my hair a few days ago at 18 weeks post relaxer. As you can see in the video, I had to really take my time to detangle my hair before relaxing. I want the benefits of stretching relaxers, but sometimes it seems like the longer I stretch, the more difficult it is for me once it is time to relax. I know I once said that I was not going to stretch longer than 14 weeks to prevent tangling and breakage but I am not sure if that is what I want to do. I will think about it. 



I also did a trim. Check out the video below.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Working It Out



Man, I have been really working hard in the gym. Mainly cardio but it feels great! I am so blessed to work for a company that has several onsite gyms so on my lunch break, which is an hour, I go to my closest gym and get on the elliptical machine for about 45 mins. Dr. Phil keeps me company during my workout that I purposely schedule from 3-4pm everyday. Before this past week, I would put the resistance on the elliptical machine at a level 4 or level 5. I would get a fairly decent workout, but no sweat and no sore muscles…just calories burned. So last week I decided to crank the resistance up to a level 10. It was a bit tougher than what I’m used to but very doable. Got some sweat and burned more calories than normal. This week so far, I have put the resistance at a level 12. Even more sweat and more calories burned (per the elliptical machine reading) and my thighs and bum are sore. I think I will stick at a resistance of twelve for now because it makes me feel like I really worked out when I leave the gym. I am not even sure how high the resistance level goes. I’ll eventually find out :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not Giving Up


It is nothing like a picture to make you remember the things you may have forgotten, lol. Things like I am supposed to be losing weight! In this picture, I am much bigger than I would like to be. My arms, shoulders, stomach all need to slim down.

I cannot believe that the last weight loss post I did was over a month ago, October 31st to be exact. In that post I talked about how I had gained a few pounds since ending WeightWatchers. My ending weight on WW was 155.4 pounds. On October 31st, my weight was 158.6 pounds. Today, December 10th, I weighed in at 163 pounds. Good grief! I cannot seem to keep the weight off if I am not constantly working at it. Yes, it is the holidays, and yes, Thanksgiving was last month, but there is really no excuse to gain 8 lbs back in a couple of months. I have to do better and get back on track!

All last week I did not go to the gym. It was a stressful week at work and I spent my lunch break catching up on work instead of working out. So today (Monday), I am back at my weight loss journey. I am back to eating right and watching my caloric intake. Back to working out daily. Back to not eating after 7pm. Back to all the things that contributed to me losing the first 30lbs, minus the Weight Watchers.

I will be doing a weight loss check-in every single Monday until I reach my goal, which I have decided will be 136 lbs. That is 27 pounds to lose. Seems like a lot but it could be worse, so for that I am thankful.

I like to share with you all wonderful bloggers/vloggers that inspire me. I found this young lady on YouTube and her personality, spirit and attitude is so amazing. After just watching a few of her videos, I was hooked. I wanted to watch more and more because her determination and will power has given her amazing results in her weight loss journey. As of her last weigh-in, she has lost 183.8 lbs total!!! AMAZING! She lost a whole person! If that does not motivate me to lose the 27 lbs, I do not know what will. Talk you you all again soon :)


Friday, December 7, 2012

Being Exceptional at the Ordinary Things

I always wonder what is my full potential. I know I am not living up to my full potential and I definitely want to. I wonder if trying to live up to my full potential will cause me to drive myself crazy. You know what can happen if you are always trying to make sure you do everything perfectly. But really, when you think about it, it is not about doing everything perfectly. It is just about doing your best and you know when you have not done your best, when you have given less than your best because of various reasons. Some of my reasons for doing so are simple and straightforward. Maybe I feel lazy at the time, or maybe I feel like it does not matter because no one is checking behind my efforts, or maybe I feel as if someone else will do it so I don’t have to.

So I have been thinking, what if I tried to be exceptional at the ordinary things. What if I start thinking of life as a marathon, and even though I am tired, I keep pushing and keep pushing until the end. Yes, I know the end if far off from today and I know you can burn yourself out, but I think I will be able to tell the difference between the times when I have more in me to keep pushing and when don’t have anything left at all to give.

Being exceptional at the ordinary things....I think I am going to make that my motto for 2013. I truly believe it is the little things that count, the little things that bless my family, and the little things that are easier to overlook. What happens if I try to be exceptional at those little things? I think it will naturally and organically lead to greatness in the more substantial things we do in life. I would love to know your thoughts :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Enemy Lies...

I was reading one of my favorite blogger's blog today and she mentioned how the devil has been lying to her, putting thoughts in her head that were totally false, causing her to react negatively to her husband. She said that she has had an attitude of self-pity....you know that attitude that you can sometimes get where you feel as if no one is helping you, as if you are doing all the work, as if no one sees how much you do and no one seems to care.

Well, in reading her post, I felt convicted because this is exactly the attitude I have been having lately. The enemy has been lying to me, too. Unfortunately, I have fallen for the trap and have been believing the lies. I was getting frustrated at work because I felt as if I have been doing more than my share of the work because someone in particular was being lazy and not applying themselves as they should. I was feeling frustrated at home because I felt as if everyone relies on me for everything, even things that they should be able to handle on their own.

I have been feeling a lot of pressure from all of my responsibilities and with the enemy telling me that no one appreciates what you are doing, no one is courteous enough to help you, you do all the work and no one cares, etc., I was becoming bitter and sometimes a bit unpleasant to be around. I would be snappy when asked the simplest of questions. I would be critical and negative in most situations. I did not recognize I was doing this until I read her post. Then it kind of clicked, "Hey, this is what is happening to me, too."

The great thing about blogs and sharing on the internet is that you can help others to learn and grow. So after realizing how the enemy has been working in my life, I am making a conscious effort to ignore the lies. I am making an effort to look at situations from a place of gratitude because I have SO much to be grateful for but it is easy to lose sight of that when you are going through life's day to day drudgery.

I am blessed to have a family to care for even though sometimes it is tough. I know that I am already equipped with the tools needed to do the job, I just need to make sure I am approaching it from a position of gratitude rather than looking at my responsibilities as "just more work on my plate." I am blessed to have a job, and yes I may have to do more than my fair share of the work somedays, but isn't that better than being unemployed and not having the financial means to care for your family? It sure is. I remember six years ago I prayed very hard for this job. I was sooo happy to finally receive the job offer from the company and now I complain because I have to "work"....you see my point?

Check out the blog below that I was referring to in my post. This lady is a wonderful blogger and has truly been a blessing to me since I have started reading her blog. God bless you all.

She Looketh Well

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Staple 9 Products

Yep, another hair post, lol.

I realized when looking in my bathroom cabinets that I have tons of half used hair products. When I started taking care of my hair, I started using certain products which I considered my staple products but I would pick up products here and there to try out and now I have tons of half used products taking up space. I just want to get rid of them and organize the space they currently occupy.

The only products I feel I need are:

1.    A moisturizing shampoo
2.    A chelating shampoo
3.    A moisturizing conditioner
4.    A light protein conditioner
5.    A medium/heavy protein conditioner
6.    A detangler
7.    A daily moisturizer
8.    An oil/sealant
9.    A heat protectant serum/spray


That’s it! It may seem like a lot of products for some, but from what I have seen, it’s really not a lot. For the next four months, I won’t be buying any new products unless I am out of one of the things listed above. I will use all the products I already have and once they are used up, I will buy one of each of the nine products I need and stick with that. I will update you all with a list of products that I will keep as my staple 9 products. I am leaning toward inexpensive products (easily found at Wal-Mart or Beauty Supply store) because come January 2013, I will be in extreme budget mode. I did not put leave-in conditioner on the list because my moisturizer can double as a leave-in conditioner. Any suggestions for any of the staple 9 products?

SistaWithRealHair's YouTube Challenge/Contest


So I wanted to take a family portrait this coming weekend but I am still debating if I will or not because the scrape on son’s face is okay but it could be better. I know if I wait another two weeks he would be good to go for the picture but I am afraid within two weeks, another child will have scratched up her face playing. Hahaha….do I sound picky? Maybe I should just take the picture as is, it would be more realistic right? Kids get scraped up, I got scraped up as a kid with the pictures to prove it.

Anyway, so this past Friday after Thanksgiving, I decided to give my hair some TLC. I washed it, deep conditioned for an hour, and took my time to detangle it. It was a tangled mess after washing because of the new growth. I blow dried my hair and rolled my hair with foam rollers. I liked the results, see below.



I liked the fullness that the new growth gives my hair. I liked the results so much that I would rather have this look for a family portraits as opposed to freshly relaxed hair that tends to be thin and limp the first couple of weeks. So I am going to hold off on relaxing my hair for a few weeks and take the picture with my hair the way it is now. One of the ladies I watch on YouTube is having a challenge/contest starting sometime in December (hopefully Dec 21). I wanted to enter her contest and start with a fresh relaxer and trim. The last time I cut my hair was May 5th and I cut about 3 inches off. I have not trimmed since then, almost 7 months ago. Definitely time for a trim!


May 5th Hair Cut

Her YouTube channel name is SistaWithRealHair. Her hair is natural and very long. She uses a lot of unconventional ways to take her hair. When I say unconventional, I simply mean that she does not follow what all the hair boards, blogs, and YouTube hair gurus will normally tell you that you should or should not do. She does what works for her hair and I love her! I love watching her videos. The challenge/contest is open to anyone who is interested in joining. Watch her video below for details. She will be putting out an official contest video soon where you can sign up if you want to join the contest portion of the challenge.



FYI --  I just noticed she started a new YT channel. Check the info box of the video above if you were interested in subscribing to her so that you get the lastest contest info on the new channel.

I am so excited about this contest. This is the first hair contest I have ever joined. I am going to be making videos for this challenge and uploading them to YouTube and also to my blog so stayed tuned if you are interested…..and JOIN if you would like to, I think it will be really fun.

Stay Blessed Everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hair Update

My hair. It is quite something to see at this point. When I read other ladies blogs and watch their YouTube videos and they are 6, 8, 12+ months post relaxer and are still rocking their hair and looking nice I often wonder how do they do it! I am almost 14 weeks post relaxer, which is about 3 months, and my hair looks horrible. My roots are so thick and coarse that it would take careful and well-thought out styling to look presentable. Last night, after wearing my hair loose all over my head most of the day Sunday, when it was time to tie my hair up at night, it was extremely dry and tangled. I sectioned my hair into three sections, sprayed my Mane N’ Tail detangler on each section and started from my ends to roots gently detangling my hair. After the section was detangled, I moisturized it and sealed it with a mixture of shea butter and oils. Then I braided the section. After I braided all three sections I tied my hair up and that is how it remains right now under a wig cap and a wig.

The thought to relax my hair this week has crossed my mind but I want to stretch longer. That is how it always goes. If I plan to stretch for 16 or more weeks, around week 13 or 14 my roots are a crazy tangled dry mess. It is probably due to my technique for managing my hair at this point in my stretch which is just leaving my hair alone. I try to manipulate my hair as little as possible and sometimes this low manipulation technique leads to neglect.

I wanted to take a family portrait on Saturday, December 1. If I stick to that plan, I will probably relax my hair the Friday before so I can wear my “real” hair for the portrait and not a wig. We’ll see if I even am able to take the family portrait that weekend because my kids always have some kind of bump, bruise, scratch, or scrape on their faces. Conveniently, it is never at the same time. Once one person is healed, another person gets something.  So right now my son has a big scrape under one of his eyes that has not healed yet, we will see if it is picture ready by December 1. If not, the family portrait will be postponed and relaxing my hair with be postponed.   

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back to Work

My four day weekend is over! Those days off felt sooo good. I took Thursday and Friday off for my birthday to add to my normal Saturday and Sunday off. I had a to-do list approximately 15 items long and I would say I tackled about half the list. A tad bit disappointing given the fact that I don't get days off often, so when I do have days off, I need to get everything done that I possibly can.

 
I spent the evening of my birthday in the Emergency Room with the second child in our house who has come down with strep throat. I hope she is the last one. Strep and multiple kids in the same house do not mix. They really don't care about being contagious, they just want to play and interact with their siblings as they normally do which leads to spreading sickness.


Friday evening I went out with a couple of friends to celebrate my birthday. They took me to a fondue restaurant. I have never been to a fondue restaurant before nor have I ever eaten fondue so it was quite an interesting experience. I really enjoyed it. The highlight  of the whole dinner was desert which was called "Ying-Yang." It was white chocolate and milk chocolate melted in a fondue pot and they give you all kinds of treats to dip in the chocolate like pound cake, cheesecake, strawberries, bananas, rice crispy treats, marshmallows, brownies, etc. It was so indescribably good.





My fiance and I decided to go get a gym membership this weekend. They opened a new Planet Fitness very close to our house and were signing people up for $1 registration fees and memberships of either $10 or $20 per month depending on what gym options you would like. For the amount of money we spend eating out every month, $10-$20 is nothing and they gym is brand new and beautiful! I hope that I remain motivated to go. I already go to the gym everyday at work, but I wanted a gym membership to go to on the weekends and my days off since my work is very far, about 45 minutes away from where I live. Too far to wake up on a Saturday morning and decide I am going to the gym.



After the food and cake I had at work last week, the food and cake and chocolate fondue I had over the weekend, and not working out for the past four days, I am very afraid to step on the scale. I don't even want to know what that number is. I am scared to know the damage. I am feeling very frustrated right now with all things related to my weight. It is so hard and I just wonder why cannot I not just be. Why do I always have to worry about what is going into my mouth and the number on the scale. I cannot even tell myself that Monday I am going to start fresh and get back on track to losing weight because I said that last Monday and look at where I am on Sunday night, feeling frustrated and disappointed. I won't give up, though. I will keep at it.

Well, I guess that is all for now. I will do a hair update post soon. As you can see in the pic above, I am still rocking and loving my wigs. I will leave you with a candid pic of my sweet child that has been giving me lots and lots of laughs lately. She is growing up right before my eyes. I LOVE this little girl!

 
God Bless!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Twenty-nine & Feeling Fine!



Whoop, there it is! Hahaha, don’t know why I felt like starting this post with that phrase but that is what I feel like right now. Whoop, there it is….the last year of my twenties! Today is my 29th birthday. We’ve always celebrate birthdays at my job so it was no surprise for me to come to work today and find this display at my desk. If you look closely you can see a half eaten carrot cake, one of my favorite cakes. There were also a couple of gifts from two sweet friends that have grown close to at work. I am very thankful for them and for the gifts, too. It warms my heart.

 
 
 
Coincidentally, the day we decided to celebrate my birthday, we also had a holiday potluck at work. NOT GOOD for me since I decided on Monday I was going to really kick this weight loss back in gear. This was my plate below: turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, macaroni & cheese, corn casserole, broccoli & cheese casserole, green beans and a wheat roll. I must confess, I was a little upset that the darn plate circumference was not bigger so I could fit more food. Shame on me! I hit the gym at work shortly after that, lol.

 
So at age 29 I have sooo many blessings that I thank God for. I have the tough but wonderful job of being a mother and I cannot imagine life without it. I have a fiancĂ© who I love dearly, who supports me and cares for me, who will be my husband soon. I have a good career and have been with the same company for six years on December 4th. I feel so secure at my job and I am thankful because everyone knows how some people have struggled in this economy to find and maintain employment. It’s hard out there. I am thankful for the opportunity to get education. I am one class shy of completing an MBA. When I actually completed my first semester towards my bachelor’s, I already had my first child so I have managed to make it through my bachelor’s degree and almost complete a master’s degree while working full-time and mothering three (now four) kids along the way. I can definitely say it has not always been easy. At times, it has been downright exhausting and frustrating but I keep pushing every day. I keep pushing and keep praying. Also, I am blessed to have my health. I don’t take that for granted.

 
I love to set goals for myself and I would love to set some goals for me to complete for age 29 but in a couple of months it will be a New Year so I will save all my goals for a New Year’s Resolution/Goals list. There are so many areas of my life that I fall short in, so many areas that I would like to improve. There are many areas that the Lord has been speaking to me about, putting it on my heart to change. I have been listening and I will obey. When you know better, you do better. God has been opening my eyes and teaching me things I really did not know.

 
I thank God for another year. I thank God for my blessings. I thank God for the good and bad experiences that have shaped me these past 29 years. I pray for guidance, enlightenment, discernment and wisdom. I pray that I realize my purpose and use it to glorify God. Please pray for me, too J If you need someone to pray for you, I am here and would love to do so. God Bless.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

LORAC Pro Palette

I had been hearing good things all over the internet and YouTube about the Lorac Pro Palette so I decided to purchase it. I bought it from sephora.com for $42. At the time of purchase, I got the normal three free samples and selected all perfumes. I like to sample perfumes because I always looking for a new one that smells fantastic. I love girly stuff like that. I also got a free sample of Philosphy face wash, moisturizer, and something else....can't remember. Anyway, it was nice to get free stuff if you are going to pay $42 for an eyeshadow palette.

The first thing I noticed about the palette is that is was VERY thin. I am used to my two Urban Decay naked palettes so the thickness of this palette compared to those naked palettes makes this one seem very thin. Then I thought....thinner palette will equal less product, shallow eyeshadow pans, etc.

The top row of the palette is all matte colors (from left to right): White, Cream, Taupe, Light Pink, Mauve, Sable, Espresso, Black

The bottom row are shimmer colors (from left to right): Nude, Champagne, Gold, Lignt Bronze, Pewter, Garnet, Deep Purple, Slate

The colors are beautiful when looking at the palette but I was expecting so much more from this palette because of all the great things I have heard. People have warned that the shadows are very soft and that they are. You can barely put your brush in the palette and will end up with tons of product on your brush. This can cause lots of fallout if you are not careful. It can also can cause you to put too much color on your eye which will be difficult to blend out without being too intense.

The two colors that are second to last on the top and bottom rows, Espresso & Deep Purple, are so pigmented that they also look black when I put them on my eye. Highly pigmented eyeshadow is not a bad thing, but if I want a purple for an eye look, I don’t want it the purple to look black. The name does say deep purlple though, so I guess I was warned, lol.

I have used the palette for the past three days and have liked the eye looks that I have achieved. It’s a nice palette but definitely not my favorite. I could have lived without it. A lot of people prefer it over the UD Naked palettes because it has an equal number of matte eyeshadows compared to shimmer ones, whereas the Naked palettes have lots of shimmers and a couple of mattes. I personally prefer the first Naked palette over any palette I have tried including this one.

Just wanted to share my thoughts for any makeup lovers out there.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weight Loss (or lack therof) Update!



It is October 31st and the TRICK is on me! Well, I tricked myself into believing that I could slack on eating right and going extra hard on my workouts and still lose weight. If you remember, I wanted to reach my goal weight of 136 lbs by November 12. Well, that isn't going to happen. Since getting off Weight Watchers, I have slid back into my old eating habits. I think the only thing that is keeping me from gaining too much weight is the fact that I still work out 5 days a week most weeks, although the workout I do could be more intense.

My final weigh-in on Weight Watchers on September 24 I weighed 155.4.  A little over a month later (today), I weighed in at 158.6. So, it has been about a three pound gain in a month. If I continue this over the next few months, I will be creeping back up to the weight I was when I started. That is what I want to prevent. That is what I am afraid of and that is something I will not accept.

I think weighing myself weekly is so important because it keeps me aware of where I am and I will notice if the weight is starting to come back. I really think that maintaining my weight is something that I am always going to have to conciously work at. Because of that, I have to make lifestyle changes. Programs like WeightWatchers are excellent for giving you that jumpstart you need, but to maintain the weight loss after the program is over, you have to make lifestyle changes...changes to diet and exercise that are not only temporary.

I took my measurements on September 25th and wanted to wait about a month to take updated measurements. Unfortunately, over this past month I have not been working on toning and losing inches so I will have to postpone taking updated measurements because they are probably about the same.

That is about it. Just wanted to update you all with where I am on this weight loss journey. I want to seriously get back into losing weight again soon but I am hesitant with the holidays coming up, specifically Thanksgiving. With the holidays come food and sweets at work, at home, at parties and at friend’s houses. Always something readily available to sabotage my efforts. I’ll keep at it though.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lazy

I have not felt like doing ANYTHING to my hair lately. I don't know what I would being doing if I had not falllen in love with wearing wigs. So the question is, has wearing wigs caused me to become lazy with styling my hair or am I lazy with styling my hair because I have the option of wearing wigs? LOL.

 
 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sick and Seeing Double

I am suffering from some nasty cold right now and am about to climb into bed and sleep until I cannot sleep anymore (or until the kids wake me up first, lol). I just wanted to share this picture below of me and my youngest daughter Aine. See the resemblance?


Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Crazy Wonderful Life

So I was doing so well updating my blog in the month of September, cranking several posts a weeks but then thing started getting really busy. Last week, I welcomed another member into our family. A 10-year old girl from Ghana, my fiance’s daughter…..and now my daughter. She is wonderful, very well mannered and articulate. Extremely funny. The other kids immediately bonded with her, as she did with them. They laugh and play and enjoy each other’s company. I love seeing them all together. It makes me feel good. I have a full house and that feels good.

Last week, we got our newest daughter all registered for school, took her shopping for clothes since she only brought one small suitcase with her, and took a quick trip to Killeen this past weekend to spend time with some friends. She has adjusted so well. I expected lots of tears the first week and lots of missing her mother. Although she misses her mother, she has been mostly smiles and that makes me happy. I really want her to feel comfortable, like this is her home even though it is quite different from Ghana.

I have been practicing cooking more Ghanaian meals now that I have two people in the house who prefer Ghanaian food to American food. We eat both types of food in our house but I want to make sure I can cook both Ghanaian foods and American foods. It is important to me that aspects of both cultures are found in our home, from meals, to language, to music and more. My newest daughter speaks both English and Twi so we speak both in the house. I only know a little Twi so I incorporate it in where I can, and she has been helping me with my Twi which is awesome.

My plate is full! It is a good full though. I really enjoy being a mother. I have four children now, ages 10, 7, 4 and 1, three girls and a boy. I am going to put myself and the kids on an evening schedule. I feel as if I have to, although I am not sure if it will work out or not. I will try it. I need a way to ensure than I am accomplishing all the things I need to at night. It is easy to miss reading to my 1 year old some nights, or to leave dishes in the sink, or to wash laundry and forget to fold it. I don’t want to miss anything. I want my family to be well taken care of. I want my house to stay clean. I want my laundry to never pile up on me. So I will make an evening schedule and try very hard to stick to it every night. Dinner at a certain time, homework at a certain time, baths at a certain time, etc. Do you think this schedule thing is over the top? LOL, maybe.


It’s been so crazy busy for me that my mind has been all over the place. I am in the final week of one of my classes for my MBA. I knew I had a final paper due but did not realize until Tuesday that it was due Tuesday night by 12pm. I had not written one word of that paper Tuesday afternoon when I found out. I e-mailed my professor for an extension until Wednesday and he graciously granted me one. Yesterday (Wed) after work, I spent a few hours writing that 10-page paper and got it submitted. I have been blessed with the ability to put my thoughts into written words very easily, so writing research papers are very easy for me. Whew! I’m glad that one is done though; I cut the deadline close (well actually missed the deadline but you know what I mean).

This past week and a half, I have still been watching what I eat, although I have treated myself to a few goodies. Although the numbers on the scale have not gone up, they really have not gone down either. I weighed in this morning at 155.6 lbs. My last week on WW I weight 155.4 lbs so it’s pretty much the same.  Once I get back in a routine of work, school and family life, I will get back to seriously trying to drop the last bit of weight I want to lose. I am feeling real slim at 155 pounds. I am not sure why. It makes me question my ultimate weight loss goal of 136 lbs. For now, I will leave that as my goal, after I lose another 10 lbs  I will re-evaluate based on my physical appearance. Okay, that is about it. I am still rocking my wigs I showed you all in previous posts. I am eight weeks post relaxer now and have been wearing my hair tucked away for majority of those weeks under either a phony pony or most recently wigs. I love it! Who wants to do their hair everyday? LOL.

Talk to you all again soon! Hope your enjoying some wonderful fall weather. I wish the area I live in looked like the picture below in the fall. It is beautiful.



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Measurements

I took my measurements today and they are as follows:

Bust - 39 inches
Waist - 33 inches
Hips - 40 inches
Thigh - 24 inches
Calf - 16 inches



These are the main parts of my body that I am concerned with toning. I am not really concerned with my arms because I naturally have a muscular build and I don't work on toning my arms because I easily show muscle definition. Here is a picture below from 2010, I was approximately 145lbs and I was doing mainly cardio to lose/maintain weight. I was doing absolutely no strength training on my upper body and you can see how muscular I am...it is all natural.

 
 
The way I am built used to bother me. I used to want a more feminine build but I have come to realize that God gives you one body, one face, one shape, etc. You can tweak it here and there to get your desired look, but for the most part, what you are born with is what you are going to have. For example, my hips will always be slightly more narrow than my shoulders...no exercise will change that. I've learned that you can focus your energy on complaining about the things God gave you that you cannot change or you can focus your energy on more positive and productive thoughts. At this point in my life, I am satisfied with who I am physically. Losing weight enhances who I am but it is not changing who I am (if that makes sense). It is not plastic surgery, it is just a slimmer me.
 
Now back to the main topic which was about measurements. My goal is to decrease my waist measurement to 28 inches. I know, that is alot of inches to lose but I have been 28 inches before, even after going through pregnancy. My chest measurement is fine and I am sure it will shrink some as I lose more weight and I am fine with that. I would love to keep my hip measurement at 40 inches and if I could increase it to 41 or 42 inches (through adding more muscle to my bottom), that would be ideal. But just like my bust, I know that if I lose another 20 pounds, my hip measurement is bound to decrease so I will do the glute exercises I posted about earlier this month and go from there. Also, I have big thick legs. If I can takes a few inches off my thighs and calves, I would be happy.
 
So there you have it. I think a month is sufficient time to do an update on measurements to see if anything has changed. So I'll be back towards the end of October with updated measurements.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 8 and FINAL Recap on Weight Watchers

This past week was my last week on Weight Watchers. As I discussed in my recap last week, I think I am okay to finish the rest of my weight loss on my own, without the program. I have a good idea of what foods I should be eating, how many calories I should be consuming, and how much food I can consume while still maintaining at least a 2lb weight loss per week.

With that being said, ironically, this week was not a good week for me. It all started on Thursday. My employer was nice enough to treat us to lunch. The lunch seemed healthy enough, not too terribly bad: ham sandwich w/ cheese, lettuce & tomato, potato chips, an apple, two cookies. It was my intention to eat the lunch I brought that day but I decided to eat the box lunch because I was tired of eating the same things (my fault, not WW).


Then after I ate the lunch I started adding up the caloric intake of this lunch. Sandwich w/ cheese and mayo....potato chips and they were not even baked lays...two huge cookies (see cookies by the apple)....yikes!! So immediately guilt set in. I'm taking this weight loss thing seriously so guilt is a natural part of that I think. I hate feeling guilty when eating because we all have to eat to live. Some people can eat everything under the sun and moon and remain as slim as a pencil but I sit here feeling guilty over a ham sandwich boxed lunch. Don't know what else to say about that.

I have this perfectionist attitude that really messes me up from time to time. It is an all or nothing type of personality. If I cannot do it perfectly, then I won't even try to do it partially. If it cannot be 100%, I won't feel motivated at all about doing 90%. That is how I felt after consuming what weightwatchers.com considered 23 points out of my daily 26 points allowance in one meal! So that kind of set the tone for the rest of the week and weekend...I'd already messed up so I did not feel motivated to be so strict on myself the rest of the week.

So Saturday, I went to a birthday party and this was my menu over the course of a few hours: cheeseburger and sour cream/onion chips, cupcake, candy, slice of pizza, slice of cake, another slice of pizza and cups of kool-aid here and there. Not cool! Not cool if you are supposed to be on WeightWatchers and watching your weight, lol.

So Sunday, I had that same mentality that I had messed up and I was not going to lose any weight this week so I decided to eat two ice cream sandwiches back to back to satisfy a sweet tooth. More damage :(



Despite all that, I managed to lose a small bit of weight for which I am grateful. Here are my results:

Results
Week 1, Monday 7/30 – My starting weight was 172.2 lbs.
Week 2, Monday 8/6 -- I weighed in at 170.8 lbs.
Week 3, Monday 8/13 -- I weighed in at 167.8 lbs
Week 4, Monday 8/20 -- I weighed in at 170.6 lbs

Week 5, Monday 8/27 -- I weighed in at 167.8 lbs
Week 6, Monday 9/3 – I weighed in at 163.0 lbs
Week 7, Monday 9/10 – I weighed in at 159.8 lbs
Week 8, Monday 9/17 – I weighed in at 157.2 lbs
Final weigh-in on WW, Monday 9/24 - I weighed in at 155.4 lbs.

Total weight lost for 8 weeks on Weight Watchers: 16.8 lbs

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
On another note, I stepped on the scale sometime mid-week last week and heard a crack. The digital scale still worked and populated a weight, but after that crack I could not trust that it was the "correct" weight. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a new scale and also something that I have been wanting but did not have, a measurement tape. As for the scale, I bought the same one I had already, and sure enough, there was a difference in my weight when I stepped on the old scale compared to the new scale....not a lot though, like 8/10 of a pound.
 
 
I will be using the measurement tape here soon to take my measurements. Even though I am more than half way through the initial 50lbs I wanted to lose, I think taking measurements at this point will be good because I can determine where my body is headed with my toning efforts. Am I losing inches on my stomach? Am I gaining any inches on my hips/butt? Those are the type of questions I hope to answer. Talk to you all again soon. If you have not noticed, I am on a roll updating this blog this month :)


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Milky Way Saga Remy Human Hair Wig ~ Destiny

Earlier this month, I made a blog post about one of two wigs that I purchased from samsbeauty.com. Here is the post about the first wig if you have not read it already.

The second wig I bought was called Milky Way Saga Remy Human Hair Wig Destiny in the color 1B. Here is a picture of the wig, but this one has highlights in the front.



To be honest, the first few times I tried on this wig, I did not like it at all. It was something about the cut and the layers from the top to the bottom, it made the wig fall a weird way. So I decided to curl it with the curling wand and proceed to brush out the curls some so that it gave the wig a beachy wave pattern.

I loved the results and it changed this wig from one that I would probably never wear to one that I will be wearing alot because it now seems very flattering compared to before. The option to curl the wig is why I am glad I decided to purchase human hair wigs rather than synthetic.


 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Natural Hair




At age 20, I went natural...went into the bathroom with a pair of scissors, without even thinking twice, and cut off all of my hair. I was in LOVE with this hair you see in the picture. I loved everything about it at this length. I loved how I could condition it really well and it would just form these beautiful curls. I loved not worrying about styling it, just wash it and go. I would even wear hats sometimes tilted to one side that allowed a few small curls to peak out from the other side.

I don’t have the courage to chop it all off the way I did back then but I do miss the beauty, plushness and fluffiness of having natural hair. It is a texture that cannot be mimicked with relaxed hair. It spoke to my personality in a different way than relaxed hair does. I like both textures, relaxed and natural, but my heart misses my natural texture in this moment because I have not seen it in all its glory in years. There is no way for me to have the best of both worlds because when my hair was natural, I could not straighten it to a point where it would resemble relaxed hair. And to be honest, I did not try it more than a few times because I was fearful of damaging my curls beyond repair with heat.

Maybe one day I will revisit my natural hair…
 
 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Typical Meals for a Day on Weight Watchers

Points Allowance for the day = 26 points
Additional Points gained from working out = 3 points

 Breakfast
Quaker Instant Peach Oatmeal (2 Packets) = 7 points
Banana = 0 points
   Water = 0 points 


 
 
Lunch
Healthy Choice Chicken Margarita Frozen Meal = 8 points
Cashews (1 oz) = 5 points
Apple or Strawberries = 0 points
Water = 0 points

 
 
 
 
Snack
One Nutrigrain Bar = 3 points

 
Dinner
Baked Chicken Leg = 5 points
Salad of Romaine Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers = 0 points
Fat Free Italian Salad Dressing = 1 points
Water = 0 points











 

Total Points Allowance for the day = 29 points
Points used = 29 points
 
Sometimes I will eat two snacks during the day because I get 49 additional Weekly PointsPlus Allowance which are basically just points that I can spread out over the days of the week or use all in one day for a splurge. I always drink water because I cannot bear using points that could be used for food on something like juice or soda (I don’t even drink soda). What I like about WW is that some fruits and vegetables have a points value of 0 so you can fill up on those items and not use up your points.

I just wanted to quickly give you an idea of how much food I normally eat each day while on WW. If you are considering WW, the good thing about this plan is that it does not limit what types of foods you eat. You can eat carbs, sweets, even a cheeseburger or pizza if you want to, you just have to stay within your points for the day/week. Because of this, I think it is easier to stick to the plan. You don’t feel deprived of certain foods you love. The only negative to WW online would be remembering to go in and track what you ate. If you are busy, you may forget, although going to the website and tracking what you ate for the whole day takes only 3-4 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Toning the Glutes!

So over the course of a few days (a few minutes here and there) I have been searching YouTube trying to find some home workouts/exercises that specifically target the gluteal muscles. I wanted “home” workouts because I wanted some exercises that I could do right in my living room with no additional equipment necessary. I wanted to share with you two of the best videos I found on YouTube from FitnessBlender. These videos really gave a variety of exercises that can be done, very easy to follow, and once you memorize a few of the movements, you don’t even need the video. You can just do them whenever you feel you have a few extra minutes to incorporate a quick workout. These videos focus on the butt and thighs and although my main concern was my butt, working out my thighs as well can only be a plus.

What I have noticed with losing weight is that a lot of my feminine curves start to disappear….or “deflate” would even be a better word, lol. So I wanted to wait until I reached my goal weight to start doing toning exercises because I did not want to build muscle and add pounds on my body from the muscle. Adding weight that is muscle is not a bad thing but when you are trying to make the numbers on the scale go down, if the numbers start going up (for whatever reason), it is kind of a motivation killer. At least it is for me. I figured if I do these exercises with no weights or light weights, the muscle I build should be negligible on the scale. We’ll see J