Monday, August 27, 2012

Kinky Twists

So I did the kinky twists on my daughter’s hair and I like the way they turned out. I think they look okay for my first attempt. I will be definitely doing these in the future. It didnot take long either, only two hours. I braided the twists first for about a inch then started twisting the rest of the way down.

I used the Marley braiding hair in the color 4. It blended very well with my daughter’s hair color. These pictures are a few days old so she had played and rolled around and made them slightly frizzy. The top part is pulled up in a ponytail and tucked under in a bun.


Week 4 Recap on Weight Watchers

So week four recap is going to be very brief. I did not follow the plan exactly and I went out of town again this past weekend so I was at the mercy of eating whatever was available at friends’ houses, the continental breakfast at the hotel and the restaurants we stopped at. I ate in moderation and did not go overboard.

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

Total weight lost so far: 4.4 lbs

So I lost all the weight I gained back last week exactly. If you can see, today I weighed in at exactly what I weighed at the beginning of Week 3. I will work hard to have another successful week. I am shooting for 3 pounds. I am going back to tracking points and sticking to my allotted daily points value. I’m excited about the weeks to come.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Might Attempt Kinky Twists :)

So one of the things I love about YouTube is that you can learn how to do certain things from other people. I have been thinking about doing some kinky twists on my daughter’s hair but have never seen anyone do it. If I watch someone, I can get the idea of how it is done so that I can experiment myself. That is where good ol’ YouTube came into play. I went on there today and watched a few tutorials and I think I can do it. So it’s my plan to try them on Friday. If they turn out okay, I will post some pictures. Wish me luck.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 3 Recap on Weight Watchers

So I went to Kansas City, Missouri this weekend with my fiancé and youngest daughter. We had a blast. We were visiting some of my fiancé’s old friends and they were really nice and funny people. We drove out on Friday night and took all day Monday driving back. It was a 13-hour trip each way. There was beautiful scenery throughout Oklahoma and Kansas so although the drive was long, it was not unbearable.

So taking a trip out of town is not the best way to end a week on Weight Watchers. Monday thru Friday was great. I worked out on each of those days, stuck with my daily points allowance and was on track to lose 2-3 pounds this week. Then I travelled Friday night and all that changed. We drove from 11pm Friday night until noon on Saturday. So around 12:30am I was sooo hungry, normally at this time I would be sleeping and hunger would not bother me too much but since I was in the car, I could not sleep very well, and my hunger really started to bother me. Knowing that I would probably not be able to stick to the WW plan on the trip, I asked my fiancé to stop and McDonald’s and I ate a fish sandwich meal. Not good.

Then we get to Missouri and our friends were very hospitable so they cooked on Saturday twice for us, lunch and dinner. The wife made our plates and placed them on the table for us. The food was delicious…wonderful Ghanaian cuisine but the portion sizes were huge. I am not exaggerating in saying that the amount I eat all day, all three meals combined, was probably the amount of food that was on my plate for one meal. I struggled to finish it all. I did not want to be rude by wasting the food, nor did I want it to seem as if I did not like the food, it was just a lot food. I ate it all. Sunday, I ate breakfast at the hotel, went to a Chinese buffet for lunch and ate another large cooked meal for dinner. Monday was spend on the road driving all day long so we made stops at fast food restaurants to eat.

This weekend did major damage to my weight loss progress. I know it cannot be actual weight gain, or maybe it is…

Week 1, Monday 7/30 -- I weighed in at 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

Total weight lost so far: 1.6 lbs

So this is currently Week 4. I will keep going, I won’t let this setback halt my efforts to get down to my goal weight. It is definitely discouraging but it is not totally unexpected, I knew what I was getting myself into this weekend. This week on WW has already started out wrong. I already told you how yesterday (Monday) went and today is no better. I have not tracked any points for yesterday or today. I did not get a chance to workout yesterday, can’t workout today or tomorrow, so if I lose any weight this week, it will be a blessing because it definitely will not be because of my efforts.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Relaxer Day & Maxi Hair Review

So, I am going out of town tomorrow (Friday) so I decided to relax my hair today. Saturday would have been 16 weeks post but unfortunately I had to relax early because of my trip.

The relaxer went well. I used the same relaxer and same process as I have used in the past. Here are the results. This is just blow-dried hair. I did not do anything else to it. Excuse the quality of the pictures. I took them with my cell phone.

I got great growth this relaxer. I cut my hair on May 5th and three months later I have this much growth (seen below). The picture on the left I took the same day I cut my hair, the picture on the right is from today.

Not sure how many inches I gained but it is enought to motivate me to stick with this hair journey and continue to take the multi-vitamin I have been taking.

So here are my thoughts on Maxi Hair vitamins. I have been taking the time released maximized version of this particular brand of vitamins. It requires me to take two a day and I started out by taking one in the morning and one in the evening until I realized it was easy for me to forget to take the evening pill. Now I take two in the morning and since they are time released, I think that is okay (meaning I do not think that I am loading my body up with too much to absorb at once since they are time released). The bottle does not specify that the vitamins need to be taken at separate times of the day, it just says take two a day.

The pills are fairly large but not large enough to choke or gag me. I did notice when reading the reviews for this vitamin that some people complained about the size of the vitamin and having difficulty swallowing it but I have had no issues with that. The vitamin does have a medicinal taste/smell. In the reviews, people complained about this as well. It doesn't bother me because I throw the pill in the back of my throat and drink water to wash it down so I rarely taste anything. I only taste the vitamin if, for some reason, I did not swallow it properly on the first try and water has already touched the vitamin causing it to begin to dissolve a little.

These vitamins did not bother my stomach whether I took it on a full or empty stomach. Most of the time I took the vitamins with food because that is what the directions say and I don't want to compromise the amount of the vitamin that my body actually absorbs due to not following directions.

After seeing the rate of growth I received over the past few months of taking the vitamins, I definitely believe they contribute to faster hair growth. I have not noticed thicker hair, nor a change in my texture, just faster growth. So far, I definitely would recommend this vitamin.

Okay guys, I will be back soon. I have been on a roll with updating my blog. God Bless.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hair of the Day

So the bantu knot out I did this weekend only lasted a day. I tried to pin it up when I went to bed Saturday night so I could salvage the curls for church on Sunday morning, but it did not work out well.

Last night, I did a braid out and here are the results. You can really see all my new growth in these pictures. I did it on dry hair which always gives me a looser wave pattern than if I were to do it on wet hair.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 2 Recap on Weight Watchers

Week 2 went a lot better than week 1. I was able to stick to eating the allotted amount of points all week. During the weekend, I was able to eat what everyone else was eating, but in moderation so that I did not undo the progress that I made Monday-Friday.

I exercised four days this week -- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday. Work obligations caused me to miss going to the gym on Thursday. I have been doing the same exercise routine which is 45 minutes on the elliptical machine. I would like to switch it up because I know your body can because accustomed to doing the same workout and the workout can become less effective over time. I like the elliptical machine though, so I am having a hard time trying something else like the treadmill or cardio bike.

On Saturday, I felt the urge to eat one of my most favorite foods in the whole wide world, lol. Paht Thai! So, I went and got some.

The good thing about Weight Watchers is that you can eat whatever you want to eat. You are just eating it in moderation or smaller portion sizes...whatever it takes to not exceed your daily points allowance.

I am excited with my results for week 2.

Week 1, Monday 7/30 -- I weighed in at 172.2 lbs.
Week 2, Monday 8/6 -- I weighed in at 170.8 lbs.
Today, Monday 8/13 -- I weighed in at 167.8 lbs

Total weight lost so far: 4.4 lbs

Today starts Week 3 and hopefully another successful week!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bantu Knots!

So last night I took my braids out. I enlisted the help of my 7 year old daughter so we got them out pretty quickly and I was left with this....

I knew I had about four weeks of shedded hair mixed in with my real hair so I carefully and meticulously combed through my hair removing as much hair as possible because I knew if I did not, once water hit my head, it would be a wrap. In other words, if I washed my hair without properly removing the shedded hair, that shedded hair would get tangled and matted into my hair, aided by the whole washing and conditioning process, to a point where knots would be almost impossible to get out.

After I washed and conditioned my hair and started detangling, I noticed I had two fairly large sized knots towards the back of my head. I don't know what contributed to those knots because my hair was fully detangled before washing and I had done my best to remove as much shedded hair as I could. So why the knots?

Anyway, I am very VERY happy I decided to buy the Mane N' Tail detangler before removing my braids because I really used it to help me last night. I soaked those knots in detangler and very slowly and carefully worked the knots out. The first knot took about 10 minutes with minimal hair loss. The second knot took about 15 minutes and almost brought forth tears. My hair was so matted together that I felt no matter how much I worked at it, I would end up either having to cut it out or just rake through it until the knot came out itself with all my hair attached to it. A bit more patience and added conditioner helped me work that knot out and I ended up with some breakage but not enough to cause me major concern.

So after that ordeal was over, I blow-dried my hair. I could not possibly dream of air-drying my 15-weeks post hair or I'd be looking at more knots and tangles around the new growth. After I blow-dried my hair, I moisturized it, sealed it with shea butter, and put it in about six bantu knots.

When I took the bantu knots down this morning, here were the results.

I love the way it looks. My hair does look alot shorter than what it is but the curls will fall as the day goes on and the style will look even better with looser curls. I have done bantu knots in the past and each time I do them, they always come out differently. No complaints though, I love the style.

My plan in to relax next weekend. I'm feeling this stretch is done. I don't want to encounter and more tangles or knots. It's kinda scary.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Time for the Braids to Come Out

This has been an incredibly long and stressful week. Tuesday through Thursday I woke up at 6am to make it to work by 7:30am, only to not get off until 6:45-7pm. I’d make it home around 8pm and have just enough time to wind down for a few minutes with TV or internet, take a shower and get in the bed to do it all over again the next day. Now it is Friday and I am thankful that this week is nearly a thing of the past.

The good thing about having my hair braided and waking up early for work is that I don’t have to do my hair. In the morning, the only thing I have been doing in changing the flower hair clip to match what I a wearing for the day. That’s all. No brushing, slicking down edges with gel, re-bunning or anything like that. I have loved it! Tomorrow makes 4 full weeks that my hair has been braided so definitely time to take them down. I had originally only wanted to wear them for 2-3 weeks so I definitely have kept them in long enough to make the four hours of braiding worth it.

I cannot wait to wash and condition my hair. I bought some more Mane N’ Tail detangler just in case my 15 weeks of new growth causes me trouble when I am ready to detangle after I wash and deep condition. I also bought 2 more bottles of the Maxi Hair vitamins because I really like it and have definitely seen results over the past two months of using it. Like I’ve mentioned before, I will do a full and proper review after my next relaxer so I will have some growth comparison pictures to show you all.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 1 Recap on Weight Watchers

Week 1 on WW did not go so great. This had nothing to do with the program but everything to do with me. The program is a very effective tool to assist with managing how much food you consume everyday so that you can create the caloric deficit needed to lose weight, but you must have the willpower to only eat the amount of points you have available to eat.

Monday – Friday I did well as far as willpower. I would eat oatmeal or fruit for breakfast at home and would pack my lunch and dinner to take to work. I get off work at 6pm and my commute home normally puts me at the house anywhere between 7:00-7:15pm.  I really want to stick with the goal of not eating after 7pm so I have been packing my dinner and eating it at work at approximately 5:30pm.  The only  problem with this is if I cook for my family when I get home, or if my fiancé cooks, I am expected to eat when everyone else is eating.

For example, on Thursday night, I cooked some okra stew for my fiancé to eat for dinner. He made some banku to go with it and when the banku was done he said, “Let’s eat.” I explained to him I had eaten dinner at work and that I was trying not to eat anything after 7pm anymore (this was around 9:30pm so even worse). Then he said something to the effect of how was I going to cook a delicious stew and not eat any myself. The stew was really good by the way. Anyway, I ended up eating the okra stew and banku that evening then had to search the internet to see if I could find the nutritional value for the food. Because it is Ghanaian (African) food, I cannot just plug the food into WW online and have the system pull up the points value for me. WW won’t even recognize something like banku. Luckily, I was able to find the nutritional information for both the okra stew and banku, although the okra stew’s recipe was little different from how I cooked it. I am sure the nutritional values will be slightly different but it gave me a pretty good idea of what I was eating and how many points to track.

By Saturday morning, I was still within my points allowance for the week so I just had to make it through the weekend which proved to be difficult because I was at home all weekend, bored majority of the time, and that is when I eat out of boredom. To make a long story short, I ate all kinds of stuff this weekend and I am sure I ate more points that I was allowed. I ate Nutrigrain bars, Fiber One Brownies w/ milk, bananas and cashews (one of my favorite snacks), and more African food such as spinach stew and jollof rice. I was not motivated to go online to try to track down the nutritional information for the African food again so I just didn’t track points this weekend.

So, what was the end result you ask?
Last Monday, 7/30 -- I weighed in at 172.2 lbs.
Today, 8/6 -- I weighed in at 170.8 lbs.
I lost 1.4 lbs.

I could have easily lost more if I would’ve stuck to the plan like I was supposed to but I am still happy because I lost weight. I will always be happy when I lose weight, even if it is just a small amount just because it is a loss and not a gain.

So on to Week 2 on WW. Wish me luck!!!