Slow Your Roll


In our busy lives, we often race from one activity to another. I too am guilty of that; however, I make it a habit on my work days to get up early- before sunrise, before anyone is up in my home.  When the house is quite, I have the pleasure of  enjoying the amazing sounds of the birds singing.

Getting up early allows me to move slowly and freely throughout the house but also to take the time to observe the beauty of sunrise, birds flying and singing, and other amazing insects and creatures moving about. 

Earlier this morning, I found this cutie (baby frog) sleeping on the window pane next to the front door.  It’s such an odd place–up off the ground and by the front door handle– I just had to capture him sleeping. 🙂


Please slow down and take the time to enjoy the beauty of each day!

Happy Monday!  

Smooches! 🙂 

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Stop Being Afraid: Just Do It!

It is likely that at some point in your life, fear will prevent you from doing something. That “something” could be returning to school, making a career change, relocating to a new city or state, ending a toxic relationship, starting a fitness program, public speaking, starting your own business, or something else.

“Empowered fear is the mighty immobilizer.  tfc

The thing is, you give fear power by “living in your mind,” and the fear then becomes the biggest roadblock you create for yourself.  Instead of just taking the risk and see where your actions lead, in your mind you concoct absurd conclusions based on what ifs, and make  excuses as to why you cannot move forward,

In my early 30’s, occasionally I would see a sista with locs. At that time, locs weren’t as common and they were not viewed as socially acceptable or professional by employers and close-minded and uneducated people. Even today in a more liberal society, some people remain ignorant and believe the style is dirty, unkempt, and ugly.

Regardless, I have always loved their unique and free-flowing ability. Their lack of uniformity and rebel like style is appealing to me. When I see men, women and children sporting their locs, to me, they symbolize freedom and confidence. I especially love seeing Caucasian men and women workin’ the heck out of their locs and can’t stand when black folk of color take issue with them and act like the style belongs to black folk, but that’s a whole other post.

Why freedom and confidence?  Because of the mass confusion and general lack of knowledge about locs, people are often judged, snubbed, and ridiculed for taking a liking to the style.  Some level of confidence is inherent to comfortably and confidently wear the style.  Ask anyone wearing locs. They can tell you about the ill-mannered questions, statements, and odd looks they receive.

Nearly three years ago, when my son began his Loc journey, a woman thought she needed to correct me about decision to wash–that’s right–wash my son’s hair.  Smh! This black woman was convinced that my son’s’ hair would not loc if I continued to wash it.

Depending on the hair, the process can take months… many months. That notion is foolish and makes no sense because the water, I learned from my son’s professional Loctician, help the hair hair  loc),  Included in my son’s’ loc maintenance is always a good shampoo. His hair Loced with no problem.

As I sit and write this, my heart started beating fast again! Lol!! I am one hour and six minutes aways from a new chapter in my life.

While I am writing about the start of my loc journey,

this post is more about overcoming and conquering fears. 

After months of  serious deliberation and weighing the pros and cons of locing  my hair, I committed to begin my loc journey.  “I am expressing my creativity…” Lauren Hill, I Am Not My Hair.What took me so long?

I was afraid. Yep, there goes that immobilizing word again. FEAR!!!!!!

Afraid that I would not like the style.

Afraid of the early frizzy stage.

Afraid that if I changed careers, the style would beome a barrier.

Afraid that my locs would not be as pretty as my sons, my cousins or others.

Afraid that my busy schedule would not allow me to keep up the appointments.

Afraid of what I would look like with tiny coils in the early stage.

Afraid of not looking attractive.

Afraid of looking my age.

When I read over the list, I think to myself, “girl that is stupid!” Stupid but real.  You feel what you feel.

So how did I get over the hump?

Three weeks before my loc appointment, I decided to do something that I have not done before. Install small two-strand twists and wear them to work.

Th twist were a huge contrast to the big puff I wore all summer. Lol! After twisting my hair, my head looked so flat and small. While I was not convinced the style complimented my facial features, I pushed the thought to the back of mind, added more mascara, puckered for my favorite lip color, and kept it moving.. Lol!! The style definitely changed my appearance and this took some getting use to.

Now for the positive. For two weeks, I did not have to style my hair. With my active lifestyle, this was a bonus. As each day passed, I became more comfy and cared less about what anyone thought. I felt free from the daily grind of styling my natural hair.

During the two weeks before my hair appointment, I continued to gain inspiration and knowledge from bloggers and photos on Instagram and Pinterest. People don’t always realize how much they help others by posting pictures and by sharing their personal journeys.

The bottom line is, I simply made a choice to stay with my theme of living an authentic life and to do exactly what I have been wanting to do without looking back.

Fast Froward…

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, my loc journey officially began.   🙂 
The night before my appointment, I decided to flat twist my hair…  Lol!  Bye-Bye products!!


Drum roll……



My coils are so tiny, but eventually they will expand… I am eager.


The first week has been an emotional roller coaster!!   My locs were installed on Saturday. Sunday I worked out and sweated like a dog.  Monday’s hair wasn’t so bad, but after Wednesday’s spin class, I was feeling uncomfortable with all the frizz.  I felt like my hair was going in every different direction.

On Thursday, I wore a loc sock, but I think it was a big fail.  Lol!! 
All week the natural chica’s in the office were so supportive and encouraging. By Friday, I felt raggedy and needed to do something.

My long time bestie was burrying her mother on Saturday and there was no way I could have showed up with my hair all frizzed up.  I looked a hot mess so Friday after work I found a solution!!

Ta-da!!    

I bought this funky wig!!  Now my locs are happily nesting under my temporary hair. During my loc journey and until my locs begin budding, I think I will bounce back and forth, in and out of my wig; it’s so much fun!!

Whatever it is that you’re thinking about doing, just go ahead an do it!  The outcome will mostly likely be better than you ever expected.

Keep it movin!!  🙂


10 Things To Try Instead of Making A New Year’s Resolution

beauty-isnt-measured-in-pounds-quote-1The scale says I weigh 151.1 pounds. So what! I have weighed less but looked worse. Lol!

At 49 1/2, I’m fit, healthy, and am in the best shape of my life. 🙂

IMG_7390

Women are obsessed with their weight. Each day thousands of women choose to skip meals, pop diet pills, or start some fad diet.  And why? For the sake of seeing a magic number on a scale that falsely suggests they are… umm.. somewhat in shape. Or maybe it’s for bragging rights to share with peers? Oh wait I know!  The big one is to slip into “the gown” or “that dress” for a wedding, a high school reunion, or some other big event.

I dunno, but it is ridiculous and it needs to stop because unless a lifestyle change is made, the pattern will never end.

no one step

ATTENTION LADIES!!

Why not make today your last weigh in…  for a least a month or two. Go ahead– first thing in the morning hop your butt on the scale and record the number.

Afterwards pick up the scale and put it away where you will not be tempted to step on it for at least 30 days. If you haven’t had a checkup in the past year, schedule a visit ASAP and, with your MD’s blessing, for the next 30 – 60 days try the following:

  1. Eat breakfast every day!  A smoothie, oatmeal, or an egg white omelet.
  2. Don’t drink any alcohol (it’s only 30 to 60 days, you CAN do it). *Alcohol has sugar.
  3. Replace soda and juice with water.  Increase your daily water intake to 32 – 64 ounces (flavored bottled water doesn’t count).
  4. Avoid unhealthy and processed snacks such as, chips (all of them), Doritos, cookies, cakes, pies, candy, donuts, etc…  Snack on nuts, non sugary fruits like apples, strawberries, and blueberries.
  5. Eat fresh leafy and green veggies like spinach, broccoli, kale, broccoli rabe, asparagus, zucchini and avocados.  Avoid canned veggies like the plague but frozen veggies will do.
  6. Reduce your sugar (including honey) intake.  Read labels on everything you eat.
  7. Hold off on white anything and drastically reduce your  Bread, rice, cheese, pancakes, pasta, grits, cereal, etc… Replace with sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, or whole grain pasta (in moderation).
  8. Coffee!  Skip the fattening latte’s with heavy creams and milk. Switch to a non-dairy milk like plain almond milk. I get the caffeine fix! Drink the coffee, but skip the sugar and watch your cream.. less is best!
  9. Get movin at least 4-5 days per week.  No, you don’t have to join a gym, you can start out by walking.
    1. Wear a good walking sneaker.
    2. Time your walk and distance. I like the FREE app MapMyRun, but there are tons of options out there.
    3. Each day try to increase your pace and distance.
    4. Don’t talk on your cell phone while walking!  Doing this will slow you down.  Listen to musics that makes you wanna dance–that should keep you moving. 🙂
  10. Get a good night’s sleep every night. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Specific hormones and the metabolism are linked to weight loss. Sleep deprivation may increase your Ghrelin hormone, decrease your leptin hormones and will have you eating more– of the bad stuff you should be avoiding.

Skip the annual New Year’s Resolution; they come and go. Instead commit to a lifestyle change and do it now.

During the next 30 or 60 days, keep a journal. Pay attention to how you feel when you wake up and throughout the day. Record your findings. You might as well record how you feel, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

healthier Lifestyle

This post is inspired by a close friend who decided to take on a challenge of avoiding alcohol and eating better for 30 days.  🙂

After your 30 or 60 days are up, if you so wish, step on the scale.  You may or may not have lost weight, but I guarantee (barring any healthy issues) that you will feel 100% better than you did before the change.

For healthier meal ideas, visit my healthy eating board, soup board, or crock pot meals on Pinterest.

Not a day passes that I am not asked by someone about my lifestyle or seek advice about how to look like me, so that is another reason I wrote this post.

If you are at a place in your life where you feel compelled to make some positive changes, I hope and pray this post helps you.  Are you up for the challenge?  I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment below.  🙂

DM-Motivation-vs-Habit

 


A Quick Lesson In Math

It’s only Tuesday and I ran out of chicken! Darn! This is not cool on a weekday.  Clearly I underestimated and miscalculated my intake of protein for this final week.  Math lesson learned.  :0)

Was up at 4:30 a.m. this morning.

It is now just past 9 o’clock at night.

About 12 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast is baking in the oven. Two pounds of collard greens mixed with one pound of kale sit cooling on the kitchen counter.

The chicken is only seasoned with granulated garlic powder, black pepper, olive oil, and crushed red peppers.  No salt or "extra" spices.

The chicken is only seasoned with granulated garlic powder, black pepper, olive oil, and crushed red peppers. No salt or “extra” spices.

 

Kale/collard green blend with chicken.

Kale/collard green blend with chicken.

You’d think I would be exhausted after leaving work and going straight to the gym for more posing practice and a so, called “light” total body training at the gym. Haaahaaa! My trainer kicked my butt!

From crawling backward starting from a push ups position and dragging (backward) a 25 pound weight across the floor to arms curls and about 90 minutes of other “stuff” plus 20 minutes of cardio, I worked up a good sweat.

Wednesday I will be ready for the “light” workout. Lol!! I am not complaining because I actually enjoyed every minute of it.

Friends, family, and co-workers always ask, How do you do it? Where do you get the energy from?

The answer?  Eating healthy, which for me, means eating cleaning, getting enough sleep,  staying motivated and, keeping my head on straight (I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore) works well.  I want to say more, but I really have to go.

The transformation continues!!

A quick pic before showering and off to bed

A quick pic before showering and off to bed

Have a great day!


FREE Hair Care Report!!

I know…  It’s been a minute since my last natural hair update, but I am still on my natural hair journey.

For the record, having natural hair has not interfered with my running, CrossFit, and now training for my first Figure Competition.  Once you learn how to care for your natural hair, you’ll experience the freedom that the rest of us natural curlies know all about.

On June 26, 2010, I walked into KinHairitage Salon/Spa and met ShidaNatural.  From the moment I saw ShidaNatural, her big curly hair and her spunky personality inspired me!  Later in the consultation, she wowed me with her cavernous knowledge of the care and maintenance of natural hair.

I learned more in the nearly two-hours that I spent with ShidaNatural than I did in over 20 years of salon hopping trying to get the latest cut, perm, braids or weave.  Where have you been for most of my life?

Three years into my natural hair journey, I credit by knowledge base to ShinaNatural.  We recently chatted.  To my pleasure, I learned that she is working toward launching a book, “101 Natural Hair Care Tips for Curly, Kinky, and Coily Hair- Get ShidaNaturalized!!!”   Hurry ShidaNatural, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your book!!

One of these days, I will consider myself an expert on “my” hair.  Nevertheless, I am consistently solicited with endless hair care questions, such as “How did you get your hair like that?”  “What do you use on your hair?” and “Who does your hair?”

To discover the best way to care for curly, kinky, and coily hair, you just have to read ShidaNatural’s “FREE” special report,

“How to Care for Natural Curly, Kinky, and Coily Hair so that you Get the Best Styling Results ~ My Top 6 Tips”

 Happy readings!


To my surprise, a few years ago at a Halloween party, I was encouraged by two incredibly fabulous and inspiring women to compete in a figure competition.   Although fit, I was flattered, but never did I image myself competing on that level, let alone strolling across a stage in a itsy bitty bikini.  I also knew that my time was limited and I couldn’t make the commitment, so I graciously declined.

What is figure competition?  It is a body building competition where women are judged on their physique.  Judges look for muscle symmetry and definition, so intense training and a strict diet are key.

Because I didn’t really know anything about figure competition and the idea piqued my interest, I decided to attend the event as a spectator.

Since then, I’ve been to a couple of competitions.  I was amazed by how these woman, especially the ones over 40 sculpt their bodies to perfection.  I also noticed the absence of black woman on the stage.  Hello!  Where are the sistas at?  Sparse, to say the least!   I was disappointed.

Curiosity led me to YouTube, fitness magazines, and other internet resources.  The pictures and videos posted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, are jaw dropping.  The more I looked, the more engrossed I became.

My emotions have cultivated from having “a general interest” to an “intense yearning” to discover how I can transform my body into a lean and muscular skeletal work of art.   Yeah!  I said “work of art.”  After all, creating art in any medium requires time, patience, consistency, creativity, attention to detail, and commitment.  The result, as in any piece of work, is amazing!

So officially I am in pursuit to uncover amazing!   Project FitCom14 is underway.  LOL!  For the record, I am TERRIFIED!!!   When I imagine myself strolling across the stage in 4-inch heels and a two-piece swim suit, goose bumps cover my body and my stomach knots up.

Like a jury deliberating for a verdict, I have given careful consideration to this challenge.   What are the pros and cons?  How much time is required?  What are the costs?  How will the training affect my family?  Who will I train with? The list goes on and on.

While I am on a quest to uncover amazing, other factors played a key role in my decision.

  1. Life is precious and short.  I have this need to constantly challenge myself, but ten years ago, I certainly didn’t vision myself partaking in a competition of this nature.   With each accomplishment, a new challenge must lie ahead.  Down the road, I would hate to have to ponder, “What if I had tried?’
  2. Fitness is my lifestyle and my passion; so I always make that part of my “me” time.  Too many women, especially black women, slight themselves of their own interests and of taking good care of the body, mind, and spirit.  Women make sacrifices for their family, but not for their own happiness.  Over time, resentment and regret can seep into our soul and our spirit. I can support my family best by maintaining overall health and wellness.   At my best, I am a better listener, more patient and understanding, and can better deal with the daily challenges in life.
  3. Lead by example.  Recently an unsuspecting phone call from my 24 year-old daughter plastered a huge smile on my face.

Shaina:                 “Mom, what do you eat?

Me:                        “Healthy Food.”

Shaina:                 “I know that, but what kind of food?

Me:                        Laughter!  (This child has lived with me all her life.  She just moved in June.  What the heck was she doing  when I was slaving in the kitchen?)  I shook my head and laughed some more

Our exchange went on for a few minutes because I was trying to figure out why my daughter had a sudden shift and interest in “eating healthy.”  That is definitely not her thing.  Finally she laughed and confessed,

“You’re an inspiration!  OMG!  I saw that picture you posted on Facebook”

I almost fell over!  LOL!  “Oh that!”  She’s NEVER said those words to me before.  I posted a picture of my hair growth progress, but my shoulder drew  more attention than my hair growth.  Here’s the picture.

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth.  Instead my shoulder attracted the attention!  LOL!

This pic is supposed to highlight my natural hair growth. Instead my shoulder attracted the attention! LOL!

Seriously, I’m so happy that my daughter  is taking an active interest in her health.  If I can inspire, encourage, and help others see value in caring better for themselves and possibly save a life along the way, then my efforts are worthwhile.

So, on September 27, 2013, I made the commitment to compete in my first figure competition. Future posts will include my progress.   Ooooooh!  More goose bumps!!

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Project FitCom14 Is Officially Underway!