Friday, January 28, 2011

The "Beyonce Body" Challenge

Perusing around on the internet yesterday, I came across this picture of Beyonce:

 

Look at those abs...no wait, look at those quads!  Ooh la-la! And those obliques?  Fugetaboutit!

She's no fitness model but she looks outstanding!  And while her body isn't super defined (which I actually find it unattractive when a woman has bulky muscles), she looks toned and still looks womanly which is the look that I like. So as I finish off the last of my Chips Ahoy cookies (literally), I'm vowing that in a few months I will be close to this if not dead on.

And I don't know how old or new this picture is because I don't keep up with celeb gossip and the like however, Beyonce and I are the same age.  And if I really wanted to get technical, I'd go so far as to say that she's exactly one year older than I.  So if she looks like that, guess what?  I shouldn't be looking like...well, I decline on showing you my bikini pic right now but the point is, my body doesn't look like anything close to that.

Granted she hasn't had a baby and I have.  She has personal trainers and nutrionists and I don't but that's still no excuse.  I have to focus on what I do have which is a very nice workout facility at my disposal for free and enough common sense to know about nutrition--oh, and my trusty dusty "MyFitnessPal" app for Android. 

So there you have it!  I'm going to start my body challenge on February 1. Why not right now, you ask?  Because I want to finish the rest of my Chips Ahoy, that's why.  Don't judge me. :-)

So starting February 1st, I will be posting pics of where I am now (if I'm not too ashamed) and a sample meal and workout plan for the week.

Wish me luck! I've going on a cruise this summer so I need to be looking RiiiiiiGHT!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Most Beautiful You


When I first went natural, I was very self-conscious about my hair and how I thought others perceived it. It was a huge adjustment from being relaxed most of my life but as time went on, I began to fall in love with my cute little corkscrew curlies and I stopped caring whether people liked it or not because I liked it.

I did receive a few negative comments in the beginning and to my surprise, those comments came from people that were closest to me.  But then, I started getting compliments from strangers.  Both those relaxed and those that had just gone natural.  They would ask me questions like "How did you get your hair like that? I love it!"  Even a few of my Caucasian and Asian counterparts were saying they loved my "big curly" hair.

Then I would look at women who boldly wore their hair in it's biggest, most natural state.  For example:

Julia Sarr-Jaimos wears her hair full and big and works in like there's no tomorrow. 


Or Marsha Hunt (whose picture is posted in my cubicle as inspiration) That's old school fierce right there!


I began to think, why do I care at all?  Am I not proud of this hair and the way it grows out of my head?  Am I not still beautiful or pretty because my hair isn't relaxed anymore?  The answers: I don't, yes and hell yeah I am! 

After while, I would look at myself in the mirror like "Dang girl, you and that hair are pretty hot." 



I was changed and more confident than ever and I think I began to exude it in the same way I did when I was relaxed.  And soon all those that had negative comments had "magically" changed their opinions.  Mmhmm.

So I begin to realize even more that looking hot is not always about what's on the outside.  Looking good is mainly about feeling good about you.  If you feel confident and happy, you'll walk around with your shoulders back and your head up high and people will receive that--perceive it as beautiful.



Strive to be the most beautiful you, both inside and out no matter the opinion of others.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Current Twist Out Style

It's also "no makeup" day :-)
Recently, I stated that I was tired of the shrinkage I was getting on the first day of my twist outs and lately have been opting for an elongated look.  Normally, I'd twist my hair while it was wet but these days I've decided to blow my hair out and then flat twist it for medium sized ringlets as a result. 

Originally, to create this style I applied a dime-sized amount of Mizani Light Moisturing Hairdress and a little coconut oil before flat twisting.  The first day turned out perfect but not thinking, I walked into the steamy bathroom right after Chief came out and my hair, although still big and fluffy, ended up being a little frizzy and because my camera died I didn't get to take pictures of it.  Being the genius that I am, it didn't dawn on me until today that I could have used the camera on my phone.  Ha!  Here's day two, anyhow:

Last night, to fix a bit of the frizziness, I flat twisted my hair as usual and then misted it with my water bottle to make it just barely damp.  Then, I put about a quarter sized amount of Taliah Waajid's Lock It Up Gel in my hands, rubbed them together, patted the product all over my head and tied my scarf over it.




Tonight's mission: To get rid of the frizz!

My dream natural hair has always been none other than the wonderful Tracee Ellis Ross who is--hands down--my all-time favorite natural hair inspiration.  I wonder if I can achieve this by this time next year. :-)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Leaving the Past (Happy New Year)

Image captured by Kevin Thom
ANNOUNCEMENT: I had a GREAT concept for pics I wanted to take for this post but unfortunately my camera has passed away over the weekend and due to it's untimely death--no pics for now :-(
___________________________________________________________

The past year for me has been about resolution.  Not "resolutions" as far as making promises at the start of a new year knowing that these won't be kept but 2010 was about resolving issues from the past.  Old issues that just laid there, lingering, tucked away.

Issues like what, you ask?  At this point, it is of no value.  What I will say is that it was all those things that none of us ever want to deal with.  The things we treat as a child does the boogie-man once the lights have been turned out for the night. "If I close my eyes real tight and ignore it, it'll go away."

I'd pushed them all away.  Out of sight, out of mind, right?  Or so I thought...

When it all came to a head in the dead middle of 2010, I'd had about 8 years worth of stuff.  Even the bathtub was overflowing with stuff I'd hidden behind the shower curtain.  The closet, the bed and rug were all bursting at the seams.  Pushed into and swept under.  Little things, big things, urgent & non.

In the last 6 months of 2010, I was forced to deal with it all and it could have broken me and a few of my relationships but instead there were four great things that came out of it all:   

1. My relationship with Chief was strengthened beyond measure because I was really able to see the type of man he already is (not like I didn't know but I now know, for real) and the type of husband he'd be.
 
2. The issues were worked out and resolved.  No more being ashamed, no more hiding, no more avoiding. 


3. I learned that stuffing issues into the closet and under the rug don't make them go away--all they do is fester just waiting to come back out again after they've had a chance to worsen three-fold, seven-fold.


4. Best of all, I began a more serious walk with God on a level that I'd never experienced.

It took me months to get through the major parts and I'm still wading through the remnants but with confidence and transparency.  There is no more shame.  Looking back, I needed this in order to move forward because while I thought I was progressing, I was doing nothing more than running in place like a lab rat on an exercise wheel.  Now, I'm really walking with my feet on solid ground and soon I will be sprinting full speed ahead with no baggage weighing me down.

Another fact that I knew but chose to ignore was that God can't operate or dwell in any mess.  How did I ever expect for God to bless me with all that rigmarole silently simmering in the background?  As I worked those things out one by one, combing through the past and facing the truths that were set before me, I decided to place my primary focus back on God by seeking Him first in all that I do as Matthew 6:32-33 instructs and now I feel His power coming into my life all over again.

"...for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. .
 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Resolving past issues, moving forward and focusing on God.  That's power.  And as my path clears (because what was supposed to be behind me was in the way) I can feel more and more the presence of God with me. I can also see more clearly WHERE I’m headed as far as my personal goals are concerned because I'm no longer looking back.  I'm looking up.

In closing, to all you pretty girls and handsome guys, I say: To be better, you've got to do better and to do better you've got to know better.  Don't let your past hold you back from all that God has for you.  Whatever it is, no matter how scary or intimidating, face your past, confess it, beat it and only then will you be free from the bondage to move forward.