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Wellness Wednesday–Weight Lifting

 

 

The first fictional character I created, Lydia Love, was  similar to me in many ways. She had a great relationship with her mother. She carried a torch for an old flame. And as it relates to this post, she was an avid exerciser. Where we differ is with our level of commitment.

You see, at the time of the setting of my novel, Unfinished Business, Lydia was a single woman with only herself–and the man she couldn’t leave alone–to worry about. But no matter what was going on in her personal life, she hit that gym. I didn’t write any scenes with Lydia weight lifting as part of her routine, but she was definitely that type of woman to do whatever was necessary for the best sculpting of her body.

Not quite the case with me…

 

weight training

 

5lb…8lb…12lb…15lb

These are the various size dumbbells that I have acquired over the last 20 years. Sadly, I haven’t used any of them consistently but the 5lb-ers  come the closest. As long as I’ve been exercising I should be up to 25lb, at least, but I just can’t seem to stick to weight lifting long enough to increase up to that and beyond.

Why? I’m still trying to figure that out.

I know how effective weight training is for weight loss. When I observe others doing it, it looks a lot easier than pounding away on the treadmill for 30-45 minutes or swinging my arms and legs on the elliptical. But clearly it’s something about it that has kept me from developing a routine.

I read one article that listed intimidation as one of the reasons for not women not weight lifting. Hmm…I don’t think so. I simply enjoy–if I can use that word describing exercising–cardio. It’s easy to walk outside or get on a machine at the gym and then leave. Not so much for the weights. It’s something about standing in one spot doing reps or walking around looking for the right machine or an available one that I can actually use that keeps me away.

At 40 years old, I haven’t given up, though.  This lady right here has my new inspiration. If she can start in her 50’s, it’s not too late for me! Plus I recently read this article  explaining one woman’s argument against weight training an the author/expert’s counter for why she and I need to get over it.

I hope this article inspires you to incorporate weight training into your routine like it has me. If you already have this weight training together, provide your tips and tricks for sticking with it for those of us struggling. Help a sistah out!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Beauty, Hair, Hair Styles, Natural Hair, Uncategorized, Women

Roller Set Results

I was petrified walking into Sally’s Beauty Supply, especially after a stressful moment with my son about his report card. It doesn’t take much to over spend in that store. Y’all know how it is? You go in for a bottle of conditioner and come out with some hair clips, a $5 decorative headband, and some fingernail polish.

My target of the day: setting rollers

 

I used 1 1/4 pcks of these

 

Since I’m taking a break from the salon I decided to try a roller set of my hair. Of course that means I was watching YouTube. Anyway, I asked my beautician to do it on my last visit but she discourage me.

“Well you know it’s not going to look like you’re expecting. It’s going to be poofy.”

Not wanting to pay her to give me poofiness I decided this was a style I needed to do myself. I left Sally’s with 3 packs of rod rollers couldn’t pass buy 2 get 1 free); 2 packs of magnetic rollers (intended purchase), and 2 combs. Total cost $21– not the worst total I’ve accumulated  at Sally’s.

Last night was the night. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a pic of the before but here’s the pic of the results.


  
I like it. It’s soft and full of body. All I did was put a flat iron to smooth out the roots.

I tried to maintain the curls with two big Bantu knots, like one You Tuber demonstrated but I only got two days of curls I could wear loose. After that I pulled my hair in a side ponytail for the rest of the week.

Overall this process works great as a means of straightening or stretching my hair without heat. Surprisingly, I was okay sleeping in the rollers and it didn’t tak long to dry.

This method/style will definitely be a staple for me going forward.

Til Next Time,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: Diversify Your Workout

The experts say your body needs to be challenged with increased duration and/or intensity of exercises. I believe that to be true but I change up my routine more so to keep from being bored. If I’m bored, I won’t stick to it.
While walking is the main staple in my exercise arsenal, I diversify by:

1. Walking malls that include stairs and ramps

2. Attend Zumba class (when I’m in a funky dancing mood and don’t dripping in perspiration.)

3. Attend hula hoop fitness class. I was elated to find a class practically around the corner from me. It’s on Sunday’s so I can only attend once or twice a month when I’m not on ministry duty at my church.

4. Do apprx 2 wks worth of those 30 challenges (squats, abs, arms)

5. Pilates and/or Yoga (I prefer Pilates but need them both equally)

6. Stretching

Only thing missing from the above list is strength training. I’ll talk more about my challenges with this beast on my next wellness post.

How do you diversify your workout. Share in the comments below. Like and share the post!

Til Next Time,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: My Weight Watchers Results

 

Welp…my Weight Watchers session came to a lackluster end last week.

4.4 lb total lost

Nothing to write about but I’m encouraged enough to give it another try. Why? Because I’m no quitter! I can and will lose this stubborn 20 lbs.

Don’t worry. I’m not beating myself up too much for my little 4.4 lbs. After all, it’s better than I did 5 yrs ago when I tried Weight Watchers when I was only trying to lose 10-15 lbs. If memory serves me correctly, those end results were like a 1-1.5lbs.

But you can’t attain a goal without a strategy. Here’s mine:

  1. Renu Herbs Detox Trio- After listening to Gospel sensation Yolanda Adams rave about the results of Robin Anthony’s Detox Trio body cleanse products for the last few years, I finally did the tax-refund-thing-to-do and splurged on some products. I’ve been wanting to do a detox for quite some time but have been put off by some of the requirements like…not eating. I don’t do well with plans that don’t include eating throughout the day. However, with this detox trio,  I do have to eat as clean as possible and for the last couple of days I’ve been doing okay.
  2. Weekly weigh in WITHOUT looking at the results. Sounds like it defeats the purpose, right? Well, my experience with Weight Watchers was every week that I lost, I followed with a small decrease the following week. SMH for real. On our group’s Facebook page one member posted that she didn’t look at her results until the end of the 12 weeks. And she lost a whopping 14lbs! Maybe that method will work for me. In fact, when I’d lost weight in the past, I did it without weighing myself weekly, preferring a bi-weekly schedule.
  3. Making small changes  week at a time. Right now I’m working on not eating after 7pm. Also, at work, I’m drinking a 1/2 cup of coffee instead a full. Future plans include reducing beef to once a week, increasing fish, and going totally organic for fruits and veggies. The cleanse is helping me with that.
Our next session starts next week and I’m confident that I’ll have already lost 2-3 lbs from our last weigh in with the small changes I’ve already made. Plus the cleanse. I feel it working!
No worries. I’ll keep you posted. If you have any suggestions for small changes I can make, post them in the comments below. Share your progress or struggles, too. We can help each other.
Til next time,
L.A.
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Wellness Wednesday: Workout Buddy vs Accountability Partner

I’m off work btwn 4:30 & 5:30 everyday. My sister is off at 4 but has another job that age goes to some evenings. One friend works from home, sometimes days, sometimes afternoons with alternating off days. And all of us have children–children in activities.

So which of them can be my workout buddy? 

  
Each of them, but in a very different sense of the word.

Clearly we can’t always physically workout together. One friend and I have met at the mall a few times and a Zumba class. My sis and I are trying to go to a cycling class this Friday. But that’s just this week. Anything could happen next week.

But what we can do is always keep each other accountable.

An accountability partner keeps you on track with daily phone calls or text messages to inspire you and/or remind of your commitment. 

  You can decide.

I find it helpful being on either side of the call or text. Surely I can’t inspire or encourage someone else of something I’m not doing. Helping my friends is also helping myself. I benefit just as much when I’m on the receiving end. Sometimes it comes right when I need it.

Lucky I’m cool working out solo or with a friend, my preference being the first. That’s the introvert in me. What’s your preference? Share in the comments below.

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Natural Hair: It Won’t Always Be Stressful

My Sunday reeked of Saturday. With the exception of attending church, I washed clothes, hit up the grocery store,  went to the mall with my daughter (picked out my wedding anniversary gift for my husband to get me), and made a couple of meals for the week. But that’s what happens when I take a rare moment of sitting on my but all day Saturday for a day of rest and internet marketing of my novels.

Daylight savings time didn’t help. By the time I realized I still hadn’t washed my hair, it was nearly 9pm! If I hadn’t skipped last week for a similar time crunch, I would have let my bun have another run on unwashed hair.  However, the reflection of my bun over the past week demanded otherwise.

Thirty minutes later I was jumping in the shower with my Spotify app playing my favorite Tamia playlist through a portable Bluetooth speaker my husband bought back in December.

4 Things to Know that De-stresses Natural Hair Living:

stress free

Washing ones hair does not have to be a “day”. Sometimes it’s just a few hours if that’s what you have to spare. That may mean that you have to skip a few steps of the process. And that’s okay!

2. Air drying and styling can be a combined effort. When I was wearing my bun I would wash my hair, chunky twist it with moisturizing products to dry overnight and then put my hair in a bun the next day. I broke it up like this primarily because I deep conditioned for a few hours (see #3). Last night, I added curl defining cream to my moisturizing products (and flat twisted my hair for the night. Twist out ready to go in the A.M.

3. It’s okay to skip the deep conditioning (or hot oil treatment) if you don’t have time. For the last four weeks that I’ve been bun’ing it up, I’ve deep conditioned after every single wash. Got that bright idea from a You Tuber providing her tips for protecting her hair throughout the winter months. Nothing wrong with it but reality is that you don’t always have time for that 30-60 minutes. If you’re anything like me, you’re prone to get caught up doing something else ad then that 30-60 mins becomes 2-3 hours. Yikes!

4. It’s not necessary to use every product geared towards natural hair all of the time. Granted those are the best but if you’re in a crunch and have depleted all of your good stuff, a brief interlude with products of the past (before natural) won’t kill you.

These may seem pretty mundane but situations like last night used to drive me up a fence! Either I would have been up all night trying to get through 10 steps or I would have woke up stressed about how I was going to style my hair in the morning for work.

So for my newbie naturals or those teetering on the fence of coming over to the natural side, ever 20 minute long You Tube video of a naturalista pre-pooing, washing, conditioning, deep conditioning, air drying, moisturizing, sealing, styling–whew!–does not have to be your reality.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday-10lb Challenge 

I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was time to flip the calendar from February to March. For me this signifies the official end of my yearly indulgence in my favorite Girl Scout cookies–thin mints. You know, those melt in your mouth chocolate treats. Oops, let me stop talking about them like that before I’m tempted to buy another box. Two and a half was enough!

  
Flipping the calendar over to March also brings me to the last 4 wks of my weight watchers journey. If I stand a chance at making an impact on my weight, I’ve got go hard this month. Gotta make up for the last two weeks of February of stagnation.

My Plan of Attack:

Daily morning bursts of fitness 

Attending one high intensity fitness class per week (Zumba, hula hoop fitness)

Walking minimum of 11k steps a day

I can’t wait to report my success. How are you working to achieve your goals this month? Share in the comments below.

Posted in Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: Creating Meaningful Fitness Goals

My husband and I have a bad habit of falling asleep with our television on. He has a bad habit of putting it on a news channel. Why is this a problem? Mainly because I don’t want to be awakened to stories of carjackings, fatal car accidents, and senseless murders. The other morning this is exactly what roused me out of slumber sleep. I called out the name of Jesus for mercy on the world we live in, and then I immediately began questioning why I was stressing myself over the numbers on the scale. Blaming my previous day’s activity–eating an entire row of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies after lunch–for why I’ve been stuck on this roller coaster of gaining and losing 1.5 lbs.

roller coaster

When this life is over will those numbers matter in the least? Certainly not to those who love me. Heck!  Not even to those who don’t.

Still I longed to condone my over indulgence in sugar and carbs.

“It’s nothing wrong with eating a row of Girl Scout cookies in less than ten minutes. You only eat them at this time of the year.” I told myself the same thing I say every year around this time.

“Gaining weight is a fact of life. It’s not your fault that your metabolism is slowing down. How much you weigh has no bearing on the impact of your life in the world at large. Plus, you still have a cute shape that many women would love to have.” 

Sure, the above statements bear some truth. But the whole truth is that while I am living this life, I want to look and feel my best. And that really does go beyond the numbers on the scale. So while I do have a number that I’d like to see at the end of my weight watcher’s journey, I have some long-term goals that far outweigh that number.

I want to look 40 when I’m 60 and 60 when I’m 100.

I want to master hula hooping tricks because it’s fun and looks awesome. Guess I’ll have to keep going to hula hoop class and burn those 300+ calories an hour.

I want to get out of the bed every morning without achiness which means I have to work my body for strength, endurance, and flexibility.

I want to be able to choose from a larger selection of swimsuits.

I want to participate in “ride your bike to work” day every year. At the very least, I want to be riding my bike at 60 yrs old like my dad.

These are just a few non-weight related goals for me. What are yours? Share them in the comments below.

Til Next Time,

Naturally L.A.

 

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Spiritually Speaking–A Wasted Prayer?

  “Aah, never mind. I don’t want to waste a prayer on something so trivial…” My cousin said during a casual conversation she and I were having a few weeks back about a pressure cooker. She’d found one in a never opened box buried in her mom’s basement. She was ecstatic considering she’d been thinking about purchasing one. The find gave her the perfect opportunity to try it before buying it. Yes, even though her mom had forgotten all about the cooker, her mom wasn’t parting with it. In her first use, though, something went wrong. I can’t remember exactly what happened to the cooker, but my cousin feared that, not only was she going to have to buy her own cooker, she was also going to have to replace her mom’s. Just in case you don’t know, pressure cookers aren’t cheap!

It was at this point that she said, “I pray that this cooker is not broken, which she followed with the “wasted prayer” comment.

My immediate response was, “Girl, you can pray about anything. The big and the small; God can handle it all.”

“Pray continually,” it says in I Thes 5:17  and  I Peter 5:17 says “..casting all  your cares upon Him for He cares for you.”

Don’t these simple passages of scripture say it all? Considering prayer is what God designed for us to communicate with Him, it’s pretty impactful that His Word tells us to pray all of the time–continually. On top of that, he says to cast all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us.

Do those words warm your hearts like they do mine?

God cares for us and wants us to talk to Him all of the time about all of the things that are on our mind. My friends, that includes the big and the small, the significant and the insignificant.

The God we serve is so omnipotent that while someone across the ocean is praying for healing in their body, someone else can be praying for a job promotion or a passing grade on an exam. God can handle it all in His appointed time.

I don’t know about you but I’m glad about that. So follow the Word of God of cast all of your cares upon God and pray without ceasing.

He cares for you.

  
Naturally Yours,

L.A.