How To Avoid Messing Up Your Hair While Working Out…

Caption: Last night after my hairstylist RJ hooked me up! 

One of the biggest concerns that we have when working out is how to maintain our hair. I’m natural and have been for over 20 years, but I wear extensions. Curly extensions usually hold up with minimal maintenance. Straight extensions can be a disaster when you mix sweat & heat in. I used to think that all I needed to do was tie my hair up under a cotton bandana (or scarf) and I’d be good to go.

Well this morning I experimented with something new. I took 3 hair clips, the ones that look like this:

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I took my bang and clipped that up. Then I parted the back section and pulled the left half into one clip and the right half into the final clip. I then took a bandana and folded that up to create a headband and wrapped up my edges like this:

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The good thing about this was the bandana caught all of my sweat, and the hair remained sticking up in the air so it didn’t get wet with sweat.

After my shower, after I had a chance to wash my face I took the clips out and combed my hair & it was ready to go, undamaged. Here is my hair post sleep & post workout with no heat needed at all. I also don’t wrap my hair! I just sleep with a satin bonnet. RJ says with the right cut you shouldn’t have to do all of that for maintenance and I totally agree (and see exactly what he means).

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I was very excited about this because I saw my hairstylist last night to get my hair washed, conditioned and styled, and would’ve been mad if my workout this morning ruined it.

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Post-workout, I’ve been jamming to my 90s Playlist. If you’re on Spotify you can listen to it here.

Here are 5 songs that I have on the playlist:

“U Send Me Swingin” by Mint Condition

“In My Bed” by Dru Hill

“Crush On You” by Lil’ Kim

“Candy Rain” by Soul For Real

“Weak” by SWV

It has 326 carefully curated songs and over 24 hours of music. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Summer Body In Progress…

I started using the video recommended by our 31 Days of She’s Gotta Show Coach Akisha here. It is a 15 minute Shaun T Insanity Workout.

In the past, I have not been successful when I try to workout any other time of the day than first thing in the morning. I have also used the excuse, “it’s too cold outside” or “I don’t have a gym.” I am very excited to know that the only things I need to exercise I already have – my ipad and some gyms shoes!

I weigh 197 pounds. In order to not discourage myself, I am only planning to weigh myself once per week. My goal is to lose at least one pound per week.

I also sometimes to try to do too much too soon. Rather than stacking on the kettle bell, the jump rope and all of those things, I am going to just stick to the 15 minute workout first. In a week or two, once that gets easier, I may start adding an extra 5 minutes for something else. I will also take advantage of natural ways to get more exercise like walking the dog and walking with my honey.

Be sure to follow the hashtag #31DaysofShesGottaShow to follow our journey. There are a group of us getting to it!

 

A Conversation With My Temple…

Last night I signed up for a 31 Day Fitness Challenge with Akisha Lockhart of All I Need Is One Mic. I signed up for a number of reasons but mainly because I haven’t been putting my health & fitness at that top of my priority list. In fact, when it’s time to start cutting, editing and making room, fitness is always the first thing to go.

I haven’t liked to work out since I ran track in High School, and my love for running track wasn’t because I actually enjoyed running. I loved running track in High School because I loved winning. I loved to literally kick up dust, and push my body – my limbs, my feet, my lungs to their maximum capacity. My self-confidence increased every time I cleared a hurdle. I’m not quite sure if I was running towards something or running away from something but running gave me life.

Now that I’m in my thirties, I’m much more willing to have tough conversations with my self. One of the tough conversations that I need to have with myself is whether or not I’m treating my body like I care about it. In fact, I would argue that except for the mini health vacations I’ve taken, I’ve neglected the things that my body needs most – stretching, cardio, water and healthy food.

I see older people who need walking aids. I’ve witnessed older people’s bodies only work with pills… lots of pills. I feel like terminal illnesses are peering over my shoulder, especially considering that High Blood Pressure has taken residence inside of my body.

I know there is no quick fix, but I’m tired of:

  • Not feeling comfortable in sleeveless shirts.
  • Feeling winded when I engage in minimal exercise.
  • Aching feet, an aching lower back and tension in the shoulders.
  • Feeling frustrated when I really want to wear something but all of the good sizes (my sizes) are taken.
  • Grabbing a soda pop to cope with stress.
  • Feeling like I have to crop my photos from the chest up because I’m uncomfortable with my midsection.

Weight creeps up on you and the older you get, the harder it is to get it off. As I join this 31 Day fitness challenge my goals are simple:

(1) To get at least 15 minutes of exercise a day. I will be using the video that Akisha recommended from Shaun T of the Insanity Workouts.

(2) To make better food choices (at least 7 – 20 oz bottles which equals a gallon of water, less sugar, little to no bread and no fried foods).

I don’t have any other outcomes at this time, but just wanted to share what I’m going to be on. Feel free to join us! This time next summer I plan to have addressed all of the things I’m tired of. I will be blogging about my experience here, on Instagram and on Snapchat. You can follow @blkgrlunmasked on all social media channels.

The first official day of the challenge is today, November 3, 2016. I hope you can join us, and please feel free to share resources, encouragement & tips in the comment section below!

Off My Playlist…

So I’ve started working out again. I’m trying to lose about 20 pounds and I’m giving myself until the end of the school year to do it. I’m doing it the good ol’ fashion way – with my treadmill, diet & weights. Here are five great songs that I worked out to tonight. Warning: most of the songs below have explicit lyrics and include Hip Hop & House. I will share a variety of songs throughout this journey but these are the songs that came up on my playlist tonight 🙂

(1) Hoez Get Naked by DJ Assault (Available on ITunes) Listen here –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_9Tt4i9oBg

(2) Bend It Ova Remix by Lil Wayne Feat. Drake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWg6vIvMeWU

(3) 6 Foot 7 Foot (feat. Cory Gunz) by Lil Wayne: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7tOAGY59uQ

(4) Juke Dem Hoes by Mic Terror: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OgGZjtOtA

(5) Stankyy Legg Dirty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pne1C8yD7Zc (great for weight-lifting & squats)

Also, if you haven’t downloaded Rihanna’s new album “Unapologetic” what are you waiting for. I like most of the songs but this is my favorite right now. Rihanna makes great music to clean up to. It always puts me in a good mood. This song is called “Numb”:

 

Pin Up Your Goals

“When you become mom, you become the frame instead of the picture,” Lorna says a friend revealed to her. Becoming a mom is a shock to the system and its evident by the extra pounds, the extra sensitivity and the hickies the universe leaves on our skin (stretch marks).

On most days Lorna can be found at work, chasing after her beautiful baby boy or working her body out. Her second priority after motherhood is fitness. She is flexible when she does it, “either getting up early in the morning, at the lunch hour or when he goes to sleep. Fitness is a way of keeping a piece of myself” Lorna developed her love of running in High School and recently picked up the baton again last year after having Kaden. She wasn’t 100% happy with her post-baby body so she did something about it.

After researching on the internet and based on the recommendation of some friends she settled on Vavoom – Chicago’s premiere pinup and boudoir photography company that specializes in Vintage looks. It would serve the purpose of celebrating her new chiseled physique and it would be a tangible reminder to remain committed to her new active work-out regimine.

 

As Lorna reminisced about her photoshoot, you could hear the excitement in the pitch of her voice. It was a personalized experience from start to finish created by a former teacher who Lorna describes as “warm, patient and amazing.”  After entering the loft-style space, you are sent to Hair & Makeup with an “outgoing and friendly” staff, “by the time they’re done you feel pampered and pretty” and ready for your close up. Women can be comfortable in knowing that the entire team is all female. You can choose from their wardrobe collection, bring in your own or mix and match. From there, you are taken to the studio where Heather, the photographer goes out of her way to help you choose poses and props that flatter you. Lorna says “you’re immediately comfortable with her.”

 

After the process is over, you have a “plethora of products” to choose from including books or prints. “They will retouch a photograph right in front of you. They do stuff that highlights your assets. They don’t take out things that aren’t innately yours.” The pin-up shoot is truly a celebration of your beauty. In fact, the editing process takes place after each wardrobe change, and images are narrowed down to those you like. It also gives you ideas for different ways to pose. “She also edits one photo completely for you so that you can see what it looks like.” The final decision is like a delicate dance that you lead and anything that you love stays and everything that you hate goes. Your gallery is ready within 24 hours after the shoot.

When asked about self-image issues that women have, Lorna says “they stem from the media…we are always comparing ourselves which extends to our everyday life. You have this mentality like how do I measure up? In they gym, in the workplace, not just how I look, but performance wise and dealing with different aspects of our lives…” Her advice is to “surround yourself with activities and with people who support you being yourself.” If you’d like to consider a pinup shoot visit Vavoom here: http://www.vavoompinups.com/

 

P.S. I plan to sign up for my photoshoot in a couple of years to celebrate my 30th Birthday 🙂 It also makes a fun group activity for a bridal party or a special gift for your significant other!

 

Serena Williams Work-Out Secrets

Serena Williams is an professional athlete so her muscles are ripped, but she’s also naturally curvaceous. Williams also, like me, hates working out. She said “I actually hate working out. I hate working out more than anything, but I have to… when I’m running. I think about how much I want to win.”  In an interview, she said,

“I don’t look like Mary Kate Olson or Nicole Richie. I’m all black and I’m all woman baby. I have hips, curves, butt and boobs… I will never be a size 2. I will always be bigger. And there are tons of other women and people out there that share my same body type…”

Here are some of her workout secrets:

– Pilates 2 or 3 times a week (lengthens the muscles)

– Bikram Yoga (heated room around 105 degrees – can lose up to 600 calories per hour)

– An hour or two of cardio daily (following by strength training)

– Only eats grilled or baked chicken or fish + steamed veggies

Manifesting The Manifesto

I always enjoy when I accomplish something from my personal manifesto! Not only did I go out to get my skates today but I went to the rink! I will now be going skating once a week. The DJ played great music, I got to “break in” my skates and I broke a sweat 😉 I’m definitely a happy camper.

Here is the evidence:


Me rocking my skates and cute Pink skate bag. Skating brings back so many memories! It’s the closest I feel to flying.