10 November, 2012

My Instagram Is Online

Hi guys, my Instagram account is live online so please come join in my random, gratuitous, ramblings through pictures! My handle is @chyscurlz so please FOLLOW :)

http://instagram.com/chyscurlz


Hair Cut | Africa | New Blog Focus

Man, this blog is looking like an abandoned child and it's killing me but you know life happens and according to Maslow's Hierarchy, you gotta take care of certain things before others (like maintain a blog) can happen. So, I've been taking care of things in my life.

I will be back to blogging but I'm going to have to change gears on what I write about. I LOVE natural hair! Anyone who knows me knows that I can talk about natural hair all day everyday! But when I think about the things that motivate me each and everyday and my biggest passions in life, it encompasses much more than hair. So, while I will still blog about hair, I will also write about things in my life that push me, motivate me and bring me the biggest pleasures such as fitness (weight lifting), fashion, and family just to name a few. When I think of the blogs that are my personal favorites, while they do have a distinguishing focus (crocheting, hair fitness etc), the bloggers also involve other aspects of their life that make them who they are.

Is the blog still going to be about hair? Yes, to an extent. But it will include anything and everything that gives me a unique voice and that I think people would like to read about. For an example, 
I have an upcoming trip to Africa, Ghana and Nigeria to be exact and I'm going to be blogging extensively about it since I haven't been home in almost 7 years. I will bring you what the natural hair movement looks like down there and talk about culture, fashion, food, healthy living and many more.
Basically, anything and everything that strikes my fancy. My hope is that some of that resonates with you and makes you keep visiting.

I'm excited about this new direction and I think this will enable me write more because after all, life is more than conditioners and shampoos.

Until later,

ChyChy.

P.S.: Oh I got a new hair cut and I'm totally digging it!


09 October, 2012

Randonmess, updates and end of Insanity


Starting weight: 179lbs
Ending weight: 172lbs
(more measurements to come)

Hi guys, I feel as though this is most neglected blog in the face of the universe and I want to say sorry for that but life just kinda happens.

I have sorta kept up with Insanity but I modified it to suite my lifestyle in month 2. I did the workouts as prescribed for the first two weeks of month 2 but the 55+ minutes at such a high intensity was way too long. So, I added in the month 1 videos and keeping my workouts around 30-45 minutes and then I added weight training back into the mix.

I will write more on it but I wanted to post my amazing results as of today. The BIGGEST thing I think I took from Insanity is that any workout as intense as Insanity will change your body but only if your DIET is on point!

Also, make sure the "weight" you are loosing is mostly fat and not muscle because that sucker is hard to build back up.

 Until later, ChyChy.

12 September, 2012

INSANITY Update - Eating More to Loose Weight

So, I'm about 2 weeks from finishing Insanity but I've been really struggling to get through the workouts. I was so weak, felt faint, not loosing fat (inches), definitely not loosing weight, sluggish throughout the day etc. So I knew it was time to go back to the drawing board.  


Using the calculator in the Elite Nutrition guide (which I should have done in the first place smh), I realized I was eating way too little and so I’m going to remedy this by following the recommendations and increasing my calorie intake from around 1300 to 2000 calories/day. I will adjust as needed based on my results each week. I will not do their exact same meals but I will be sure to incorporate some of the items here and there especially breakfast and snacks.   

In addition to nutritional changes, I'm also going to redo the last week of month and restart month 2. Let's see if I get the results I want. This is what my new and improved eating plan will be:



BMR = 1600 calories
Activity Level (moderately active) = 1600 * 1.55 = 2500 calories
Weight Loss: 2500-500 = 2000 calories/day
Eating 5 times/day = 400 calories a meal
·         Meal 1: Breakfast
·         Meal 2: Mid-Morning Snack
·         Meal 3: Lunch
·         Meal 4: Afternoon Snack
·         Meal 5: Dinner
*Notes: Eating too soon before a workout will lead to not enough energy for working out because the body is working on digestion. Eat 3 hours before a workout*  
Couple of questions:

 Do you ever find yourself going backwards when following a training program? Yes, I definitely could tell I was loosing strength because I was getting dizzy with the month 2 workouts and would not even finish some. That's when I knew I had to do something.

 Does the concept of eating more to loose weight scare you? It scares the crap out of me because I always thought, if you are not loosing weight, just eat less. But not so especially if you are working out and want your body to recover appropriately.

 Well, I will let you guys know how it goes.

Till later,

ChyChy. 

10 September, 2012

Personality Types - Why Protective Styling is Not for Everyone

So, this is a discussion I've had several times with my hubby (who knows very little about natural hair) and I'm finally getting in on film so enjoy the video but I wanted to write about it too. Here's the video for those who would rather watch than read it :)

Personality types differ and this is reflected in the different choices we make in our hair care practices. But, there is this widespread attitude and opinion in the natural hair world that there is a "best" way to take care of our hair regardless of who we are individuals. Well, this is simply not true. At least, for me, it has proven not to be true and I know if I feel this way, many more do too.I went natural around August of 2008 but I kept my hair shaved until October that year
when I started growing it out. Of course, like many new naturals, I knew nothing about how to take care of my hair and so I wore it in braids and weaves

while I researched and devoured videos on YouTube. When I finally got comfortable with wearing my hair out, I faced another obsession...that of achieving/retaining hair length no matter what!


This naturally meant that I gravitated toward those natural hair "gurus" who had longer hair because obviously they knew what they were talking about and if I followed their advice to the T, I will have long hair in no time. Well, that didn't work very well for me because the biggest common advice denominator was protective styling (PS). I commenced doing a bunch of PS as shown below:


 Now, when I say it didn't work too well for me, I'm not saying that you won't retain length with PS. It's actually quite the opposite because MAJOR length retention happens with PS. In fact, my hair retained the most length during the period I did mostly PS

I went from this ...                                                                                   to this in less 8 months


It was a failure for me because I HATED the way my hair looked like in twists. It was scalpy, I looked like a kid, and I just didn't like it PERIOD.* Disclaimer: if this is not true for you, then don't sweat it. It's okay if you love PS (because again, that meshes with your personality.* Another reason it was a failure was because as with everything else in my life, I like to be spontaneous more often than not. So, this translated to hair as well naturally  lol. I loved playing in my hair, wearing different styles and when I stopped wearing stretched styles (twist outs etc.), I discovered that I LOVE my natural curl pattern as well.

Upon this discovery just a few months ago, I got a hair cut and proceeded to start wearing my hair in a wash and go (WNG) 99% of the time and I've never been happier with my hair.


And guess what, this fits with my personality style better. I used to think that I didn't have the needed "discipline" to leave my hair protected for several days at a time. But now, I know it's not a lack of discipline....it's just who I am and that's okay.

I might not retain length at the optimum rate or I might have more of those pesky Single Strand Knots (SSK) than is desirable but that's okay because for me, right now, I'm in love with my hair and I have WAY MORE good hair days than bad ones so that means I'm #winning! 

Of course, since there is still that part of me that is not all care-free and whatever goes, I had to perfect my WNG technique and I have and I will talk about this in another post. But for right now, the take away is that, whatever personality type you are, don't expect it to be different in hair care just because we are dealing with #naturalhair which is often times a new and uncharted territory. Once you are done exploring, and watching all those videos and taking in all those wonderful advice from all those wonderful YouTube "gurus", you will the happiest caring for your hair the way that feels the most natural to you! That.is.all.

So a couple of questions for y'all:

What have you learned about your self through your hair? I love spontaneity.

Are you a PS girl or a WNG girl? WNG all the way! lol

Till next time,
ChyChy here.

02 September, 2012

Wash n Go Using Kiss My Face Gel and Castor Oil

I've been meaning to do a wash and go using the Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel and Castor Oil since I saw Nisus of It's Just Hair use it successfully a few months ago. Anywho, I finally tried it and I LOVED the results. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures but I don't think pictures would have done it any justice. The amazing thing about the combination is that it made my hair feel so so soft and moisturized and just overall awesome. BUT - and this is a but I say with much regret - I don't think it's a combo I'll be using often because I hate how untouchable oil makes my hair feel. When the hubby runs his hands through my hair, his fingers had an oil residue that does not work for either of us.

So unfortunately, I will stick to with either using the gel without castor oil (will let you know how it goes), Eco Styler Gel or conditioner only for my Wash-n-Gos.

Follow me on Instagram as I post pictures on there more frequently @chyscurlz.

Until Later,
ChyChy.

23 August, 2012

Curl Mart: Product Haul

 Photo: Having a #bomb #naturalhair day  http://instagr.am/p/Opev0jlwAX/
So, I did something that I hardly ever do...I bought a bunch of really expensive (by MY standards) hair products online (I did I use a 25% off coupon). You see, I love instant gratification when it involves purchases that cost a little more than average. So, when I make such purchases, I want to be walking home with it and trying it out in T-5 minutes. But not so with online purchases anywho, let me get to the products:

I bought 3 products by Curl Junkie:

Item
SKU
Discount
Quantity
Total
Curl Junkie Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment (12oz)
CJ1101
$4.35
1
$29.00
Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Creme
CJ488
$3.30
1
$22.00
Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment
Scent: Gardenia-Coconut
CJ943
$3.00
1
$20.00

I've tried two of the three products so far: the Repair Me! as a protein treatment and the Coffee-Coco Curl Creme here is my review of the Repair Me!

My Experience: 
  • I co-washed my hair with my Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle (TJTTT) conditioner 
  • Plopped my hair with a T-shirt  to get it damp and not dripping wet
  • Applied Repair Me! in small sections through out my hair making sure every strand was very saturated
  • Covered my hair with a plastic cap, did chores all day and didn't wash it off until the end of the day (about 8 hours total)
  • Rinsed it off in the shower
Pros:
  • I loved the smell, I love anything that smells pretty
  • My hair felt stronger to the touch, it felt as though it had improved elasticity which tells me that I got the protein I needed from it
  • My hair still felt soft to the touch
Cons:
  • Pricey, I don't know if I would want to purchase it frequently
  • It compares to the Aubery Organics GPB conditioner as a protein treatment
My Verdict:
I love it as a stronger protein treatment to be used every 2 weeks or as needed. I will keep it around and use it often alternating with the GPB to stretch the product.

That's it for now lovelies and I will be back to review the   Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Creme after I use it one more time.

Have any of ladies used any of the Curl Junkie Products? What are your verdicts?
   

21 August, 2012

The Power of Rewarding One's Self

 
I posted this picture on my Facebook page today showing how I rewarded myself for finishing the first month of insanity. Believe me when I say that this idea of rewarding myself is a novel one to me. I'm the person who is definitely harder on herself than anyone else. Usually, when I accomplish something, I will find other things I didn't do as well to focus on. An example is when I ran my first marathon in May, the first thing I said after crossing the finish line was "my time sucked". My husband looked at me like are you for real? just 5 months prior, you couldn't run for 10 minutes without dying and now you tell me your time after running 13.1 miles is "bad"?

That's when it hit me, I take myself for granted. I always look for the worst in me. To what avail  I asked myself? Well, what would happen is after all the negative self-talk, I will proceed into a downward spiral, albeit sub-consciously. That's how I gained back 7 of the 10 pounds I lost while training for the race. After the race, I stopped running, I started eating like I used to and the weight came back on. 

This time around while doing Insanity, I promised myself to pat myself on the back as often as possible because it is only by doing that can I propel myself forward. I still need reminders from time to time form the hubby (I missed 1 day of Insanity out of the 30 days and I about beat myself to death about it...didn't say I was perfect at it yet) to let the little things go and see the bigger picture. I'm doing that and I'm loving it. Hence, even though I missed 1 day...I did 29 days strong and I deserve those awesome Reeboks.

I have this on my computer background to remind me of the importance of self-recognition

 
source unknown

So, pat yourself on the back, pick yourself up, make the changes needed but always remember that 1 will always be greater than 0 so every little counts!

INSANITY - Week 3 & 4

My Insanity Day  30 Results (I need to use a plain background for pictures smh)

So, it is the end of week 4 and beginning of week 5 on this CRAZY thing called INSANITY! It has been by far the most challenging and nearly impossible two weeks. It was harder to find the motivation to get the workouts in. Another challenging aspect for me has been not seeing the scale move as fast as I would like it to. BUT I got almost all my workouts in (missed cardio recovery) and it felt good.

My takeaways from the past two weeks:
  • it's okay to modify the workouts if you truly KNOW that you've given all you can
  • if you miss a day, don't beat yourself up about it because there were 27 days you showed up and kicked behind
  • don't be afraid to ask a loved one for help/support. We are not islands to ourselves; it takes a community 
What I'm taking into next the upcoming month:
  • I truly do need to eat better to see more results
  • I'm truly aware that I'm going to have to dig deeper to get through the 60 minute intense workouts that month 2 brings and I'm ready to do that
  • appreciate the small things: how I can go through a full section without rest, how I can do that many more push ups etc.
Results:  

Metric
July 23, 2012 (Day 1)
August 21, 2012 (Day 30)
Weight
179
175.2
Waist
33.5
32
Lower Abs
37
36
Hips
44.25
43
Thigh
26
26
Arm
13
13
 

07 August, 2012

Insanity - Week 2 Fit Test Results

 
MOVE
Fit Test 1 (July 23, 2012)
Fit Test 2 (August 6, 2012)
1.     Switch Kicks
130
120
2.    Power Jacks
44
50
3.    Power Knees
75
90
4.    Power Jumps
26
33
5.    Globe Jumps
8
8
6.    Suicide Jumps
10
14
7.    Push-Up Jacks
11
17
8.    Low Plank Obliques
44
44

I wanted to post a comparison of my week 1 to week 2 fit test results. I improved greatly on many of the workouts, maintained the same on some and did less on one. I pushed hard, I dug deep and I did the best I could. I do think that I could have done better if I had taken Sunday off instead of Friday. So, basically, I did the fit test a day after doing the Power Cardio AND Cardio Abs.

Well here's to great things in week 3! As always, I will keep you guys updated.

P.S.: I'm thinking of doing a post on the challenges I had with the workouts themselves and how to avoid/minimize feet/calves pain if you have flat feet. Sounds good? OK!

TTYL :)
ChiChi