11 March, 2013

Fitness Update (with video) - March 2013

It's March 11th which means it's time for my first fitness progress update. One month is a really short period of time to expect a ton of results but doing these monthly updates gives me a way to be accountable especially since I'm no longer weighing myself (for the time being)

I ate out with friends a lot, threw a party for a friend which meant more eating, drank a lot of wine and whiskey and mixed drinks. This meant that I did not achieve optimal results and this I intend to remedy in the upcoming month mostly by making sure I'm tracking my calories and macros.

Guess what though, I built a TON of strength in the gym as follows:

Exercise           February      March
Squats              75lbs           110lbs
Bench Press     75lbs           95lbs
Deadlifts          70lbs           125lbs

So, that right there, is progress for which to be proud of.

Here's a video update:

Until next time, take care.

And remember, it's not about weight loss, it's about being the best us for life. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.


06 March, 2013

My Natural Hair Experience In Africa

My hair in Nigeria ( I was stuck in a dingy hotel room...shudder)
If you've read this post I wrote a while ago, you know that natural hair is not the norm in Africa and as much as that sounds non intuitive, it just isn't. And boy, did my hair become an object of much debate when I went home!

There were the few who thought it was "cool" and "how can your hair do that", "I'm sure you have some texturizer in it", "oh it must be an American thing", and "I can't imagine not having a relaxer in my hair." So, yeah, I got those responses for sure. What really threw me off though was the constant prodding by a select few to "fix" my hair or make it more "manageable". Quite a few people thought it looked like locs and assumed that I never comb my hair and this in their opinion was unacceptable.

I tried as much as possible to educate people whom I sensed were genuinely curious and just let the haters hate. I also tried to play if off as nothing but the truth of the matter is that it really got to me how uneducated my fellow Africans were when it comes to natural hair. As in ZERO clue that natural hair can have a curl pattern that does not need to be combed out to ensure it's manageability. What people are used to when it comes to natural hair is, chronically dry and damaged hair that is super un-moisturized and painful to comb through.

The ladies at the braiding shop blew my hair out. I had to comb it myself because they approached me with a fine tooth comb!
And then 6 of them gave me the tiniest braids ever!

Said Braids
I went to both Nigeria and Ghana and I must say that the response was more favorable in Ghana than it was in Nigeria. I even went to a "natural hair salon" in Ghana where they did two strand twists and loc extensions ( the newest rage). But even here, it was apparent at how even the stylists were uneducated when it comes to basics of moisture + natural hair = best friends. Here, I witnessed torturous sessions with fine tooth combs being raked through dry hair with no moisturizer and women wincing in pain through the whole thing. But as I said before, there is some progress because at least these ladies had the courage to ditch the creamy crack in a culture that is so dependent on it.

Alas, I left really satisfied that I had equipped my mama with the tools of the trade to continue on her natural journey and my best friend is going natural. So, yeah, amidst all the negativity, there exists some positivity.

Now, onto my plans to take the natural hair revolution to my home countries!


05 March, 2013

My Current Rgeimen + Low Porosity Hair and Color

I wanted to do a long overdue update on my current regimen. I've been doing the Curly Girl (CG) method for close to a year now and I must say, I'm in love! It has simplified hair care for me and I've had a chance to tweak things and now, I can't say I have many bad hair days. So what am I doing?

Well, as many of you might know, I got highlights in my hair last year and I kept it in for a really long time because I loved it.

Yet, about a month or two again, I dyed it back to black because it was due for a touch up and I'm far from my original stylist and I didn't want to risk someone not getting the color right. Anywhos, coloring has done my low porosity hair some good because it's made it easier for my hair to take in moisture and retain it so that is a great thing!

My regimen right now is pretty simple and I developed it by accident when I was in Africa. I took a bunch of products home but they were for my mom who went natural but didn't have access to decent product. So, because of the humidity and just overall ease, I wanted a really simple regimen with products that have good ingredients. In comes Kinky Curly, both the Knot Today and Curling Custard. The combination proved to be heaven sent because it worked really well with the humidity due to the glycerin content. I must admit, my hair was far from touchable because it was so sticky but it was very moisturized so I wasn't mad at all.

When I came back to home to Northern California (hardly any humidity) I just stuck to using the combo every four days for my wash and gos and guess what? I had moisturized hair without the tackiness!! WIN!

Hence my KISS (Keep It Simple Sista) regimen was born:

  • Every four days, cowash my hair with Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner and finger detangle
  • Apply the LUV Naturals Conditional Love conditioner from Kimmaytube and leave in for 15 minutes as a "deep conditioner"
  • Wash that out and apply the Kinky curly Knot Today as my leave in
  • Followed by the KCCC as my styler
  • and viola!! awesome hair every single time!

P.S.: I've been loving my hair cut but I think I might grow it out because stylists be messing up my touch ups man!