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:

Curl Junkie Repair Me! Reconstructive Hair Treatment (12oz)
Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Creme
Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment
Scent: Gardenia-Coconut

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
  • 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
  • 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.

July 23, 2012 (Day 1)
August 21, 2012 (Day 30)
Lower Abs

07 August, 2012

Insanity - Week 2 Fit Test Results

Fit Test 1 (July 23, 2012)
Fit Test 2 (August 6, 2012)
1.     Switch Kicks
2.    Power Jacks
3.    Power Knees
4.    Power Jumps
5.    Globe Jumps
6.    Suicide Jumps
7.    Push-Up Jacks
8.    Low Plank Obliques

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!


06 August, 2012

Insanity Week 1 & 2 - Not Just The Scale

I just completed my week 2 of Insanity and I'm in LOVE with the program. I had to make a challenging decision after the first week based on my health and fitness goals. The bottom line is I want to have a lower body fat percentage. Based on this chart by the ACE (American Council of Exercise),

Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart1 Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart: How Lean Should You Be? 

my body fat of 28% (I got it checked by a trainer at the gym) is within the "average" range but I want to be in the "fitness" range of 21-24%. I know I can do it with the right program for ME. And right now, Insanity is that program. The challenge I had earlier in the week was whether to continue with Insanity or not. I debated this because I kept reading that Insanity is not a "weight loss program". Many people actually GAIN weight even though they LOOKED leaner while following the program. The reason for this is that since Insanity is a super high intensity program, you need to fuel your workouts properly. This means it's hard to create the caloric deficit needed to loose "weight" - after all, the ONLY way to loose weight/fat is to create a caloric deficit - and with Insanity, it is hard to create that deficit through food alone (more on this later).

And of course, I thought if I'm not creating that caloric deficit through eating less, I won't lose weight and I want to lose weight. But you see, I was not accounting for the caloric deficit being created by virtue of my workouts. Those workouts burn a substantial amount of calories and that counts toward my 500 calories a day deficit needed for 1 pound of weight loss a week. After reaching out to so many people whose opinions I value, I decided to stick with Insanity and I'm so glad I did because I FEEL.SO.GOOD after my workouts that my intuition tells me there is everything right with that even when the scale is not moving as I wish it to. 
It is therefore important to use not only the scale but also other metrics to measure success: i.e. measurements, body fat percentage, how I look in the mirror etc

  • I lost 3 pounds in 2 weeks: 179 - 176
  • I LOOK a little bit leaner :)
  • I FEEL stronger
  • Clothes FIT better
I will update with my fittest results after I do it today.

TAKEAWAYS for next week:
  • Protein shake after my workouts for optimum recovery
  • create and maintain a moderate caloric deficit (through workout and diet)
  • research and invest in a good Heart Rate Monitor
  • PUSH myself HARDER!
  • and have FUN
I hope that you enjoyed the post and if you are debating whether you should do Insanity or not, do your research and assess your fitness level and go for it!

P.S.: This ARTICLE  is the BEST I've ever read on everything to do with fat loss and a healthy lifestyle. It is super long, but it is absolutely worth the read. It dispels myths, teaches truths, provides guidance and overall is the BOMB! http://www.acaloriecounter.com/diet/

01 August, 2012

My Straight Hair Experience

Right after the salon visit
Since going natural almost 4 years ago, I've never gotten my hair professionally straightened until a couple of weeks ago. I wanted a different look, I wanted a trim to get rid of some of my single strand knots (SSK), so it made sense to get it professionally done.

 Yeah, I was not very happy as you can tell from my face
My salon experience was really nice, the stylist used Joico products and they smelt delightful and my hair did not feel too dry after she shampooed it. So, it was the typical, blow dry and straighten deal except the stylist did not expect my hair to be so fine. Literally, it felt like I had no hair on my scalp.
THIS is why I have come to adore wash and go's because my shrinkage is nature's way of saying...gurl you got no hair so let me camouflage it for you so don't be trying to mess with it!

Well, I listened because never again (never say never I know) but right now, I just can't see myself straightening my hair again. Suffice it to say, after unsuccessfully trying to impart needed volume to it, I washed it out the very next day as you see in this video here.

Since my hair was cut curly, the back was uneven and I didn't want her to even it so yeah, it looked a mess and this was day uno!

And my edges didn't have the camouflage the curls provide so yeah not feeling it at all

 This was the next day. I wrapped my hair the night before but apparently, it didn't work cuz my hair looked jacked up!

Morale of the story is, if you have fine, low-density hair. Take advantage of nature and your hair's unique characteristics and you ought to enjoy your hair a tad bit more that way! TRULY!
And so, by the next day, I was back to my beloved curls :)

  • Since I suspected that she might have used some silicones, I washed my hair with a sulfate shampoo. I used the Neutrogena Claryfying Shampoo because it is awesome at claryfication
  • My hair reverted with no problem but this might have been due to the fact that I DC'ed before getting it straighteded. Also, my hair is naturally super soft so no need for excess heat when straightening it
  • Even though I had no heat damage, my hair felt "elongated" even after the first wash. It went back to normal after a few cowashes.
Until next time, Adios and as always, share in the comment section.