Friday, August 5, 2011

Beauty Bites: Shea Moisture hair and body products

Last year during one of my monthly “Target runs” for body wash, lotion and other beauty essentials, I was stopped in my tracks by a product boasting the name “Shea Moisture”. Mind you, I’ve been trying to do the whole healthy thing for a while, and my skin is no exception. Knowing that Shea butter is one of the best natural moisturizers for skin, I decided to try the Shea Moisture Organic Coconut and Hibiscus body lotion (which also contains Songyi mushroom extract. Interesting right?). Needless to say I was hooked. The texture is so thick and smooth and my skin was supple to the touch after using only a little.

The positive results I had with the lotion prompted me to try the hair case system. I opted for the coconut and hibiscus hair system (there are several system types available specific to hair needs). I must say, this stuff is magic! I have “thirsty”, dry hair. So the moisture provided by this product is exactly what my kinks and curls needed.

The hair care system comes with the “Curl and Shine Shampoo”, “Hold and Shine Moisture Mist”, “Curl and Style Milk” and the “Curl Enhancing Smoothie” (a staple product of mine). I would recommend this to anyone with dry hair. Currently, I can only speak on how well it does on my natural hair texture, but I honestly think this stuff would work well for women who have dry, processed hair as well.

Overall, I would recommend all of these products to everyone. If you’re afraid to try the hair care products, at least give the body lotion a whirl. The products are priced a little high ($9 on average) but it’s worth every penny. Not to mention, you’d be supporting a black owned beauty product line which is extremely rare these days (Richelieu Dennis – Founder and CEO…. Yes, I had to research this excellent product).

Stop at your local Walgreens or Target and give this stuff a try! Tell me what you think!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beauty Bites: How to Grow Longer Nails FAST!

"Nail biting is a mild form of self mutilation"

O_o ...........Now what now?!?!

When I read this quote a few months ago I was rocking an acrylic full set covered in turquoise O.P.I polish. I wore fake nails because if I didn't have anything on top of my natural nail, I'd gnaw them off in a matter of seconds.

I've been a nail biter for 24 years (FYI: I'm 24 years old, smh). There has to be an ending somewhere right? Well....... thank God for that quote and my aunt's secret to growing longer nails FAST. I can finally say I am no longer a nail nibbler because I've learned to take care of my own natural nails.

Here's how I've grown my nails from nubs to a pretty decent length in one month (as seen in the pictures above):

Step 1: Remove old nail polish from nails
Step 2: Use a cuticle pusher and your favorite oil to push back your cuticles
Step 3: Soak nails in WHITE vinegar for 5 minutes. Rinse hands and nails with soap and water
Step 4: Rub nails and cuticles with Vitamin E oil. Massage for about a minute per hand, then rinse. Step 5: Coat each nail with Sally Hansen: Hard As Nails clear nail hardener (found in drugstores) Step 6: Choose your favorite nail color. Add two coats of the colored polish to your nails.
step 7: Add one last coat of Hard As Nails as a top coatStep 8: Dry nails using a hair dryer on low

Step 9: Repeat this process every 3 days or as needed. (I recommend 3 days)

Alright! I hope you guys get the same results I did. I'll keep you all posted on my nail growth over the next several months.

Stay Fit....and FAB!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fashionably Fit: Workout Gear for the Fit and Frugal

I'm always down for a bargain. Whether it's finding a designer handbag at TJ Maxx for half the price or scouring the racks of "vintage" dresses at a second hand store....a deal is a deal. The same rules apply when it comes to my workout wardrobe.

A couple months ago I found some cute workout pieces at two of the most affordable retail stores around: Wal-Mart and Marshall's.

Wal-Mart has thee cutest and comfiest workout sweatsuits. The best part is..... THEY'RE STYLISH!! I picked up a cute pink track jacket and black crop pants to match. The material is excellent and doesn't rip easily. I love my jacket and I plan on going back to pick up a couple more in other colors (although I love me some pink, lol).

I also happened to stumble across a cute pink workout shirt and yoga pants from Marshall's. It's very rare that I look for brands, but when I found Underarmour workout gear priced so cheap, I had to get it. So if you're looking for cheap workout gear with a label, definitely stop by Marshall's for a deal.

Remember, it's important to workout in clothes that you feel good in. I'll continue the search for fabulously fit finds and will share all of the good deals with you guys. Next stop... Targe' (aka Target lol)!!!

Pictured Upper Right: Danskin Track Jacket - $10 (Wal-Mart) / Danskin Cropped Yoga Pants $11 (Wal-Mart)

Pictured Left: UnderArmour Tee - $8.99 (Marshalls) / UnderArmour Long Yoga Pants - $11 (Marshalls)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weight Loss Progress Report: 19 Weeks of Courage

Lately, I've been telling myself "slow and steady wins the race" because I'm finding this to be true every weigh in. Weight loss really takes patience and the ability to overcome set backs.

I'm approaching my 20th week of my weight loss journey and two weeks ago, I experienced my first weight gain. Weight gain can happen for a number of reasons, so I wasn't too upset. I just knew I'd work harder the next week, which I did.

So far I've lost a total of 35 pounds and counting. I suspect there will be more increases in weight during this process, but the key is to overcome the setback the following week and remain encouraged.

Above, you'll find my latest progress report. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Find the courage to keep going! :-)

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the
end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
-Mary Anne Radmacher

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mia Amber Davis: Plus Model and Advocate Gone Too Soon

On May 10, 2011, the plus model industry lost one of it’s brightest stars.
Mia Amber Davis paved the way for aspiring full figured models around the world. I was shocked and brought to tears when I discovered she died at only 36 after knee surgery. It was almost as if I lost one of my heroes.

Davis used every opportunity to set positive examples for women of every color, shape and size. Observing her effort inspired me to embrace who I am today while working toward being the best me possible. She was a model, an advocate for plus size acceptance and the kindest spirit I’ve ever witnessed.

In 2009, I remember watching a CNN special on obesity, where Davis defended overweight men and women, referring to size-ism as the “last acceptable prejudice”. Her argument was valid, however, I’m not sure if her words were respected. I understood exactly where she was going with her statements and at that point, I knew Mia Amber Davis was more than a pretty face. She was passionate about making a difference for those who thought they’d never have a chance in today’s society.

Prior to her appearance on CNN and before becoming (in my eyes) the most popular Black plus model to date, Davis appeared in the movie Road Trip and lost over 100 pounds shortly after. Davis said that in order for her to become a model, (even in the plus industry) she had to lose weight. She also felt necessary to do so after a nearly fatal car accident, where she found herself repeatedly telling the emergency crew “I’m sorry I’m fat” while they struggled to carry her from the crash. At that time, Davis was 300 pounds. She knew a change was needed for her to improve her life and as a result, began working out and eating healthy. After losing a tremendous amount of weight, Davis went on to model for Ashley Stewart, Monif C. and was a frequent runway model on BET’s Rip the Runway.

Through all of this, she still remained an advocate for men and women battling obesity.

To this day, I’m still in shock that one of my role models is gone. Just days before her death, I remember her tweeting that she was excited about her future. Her fight and her success inspire me to be as excited for my future as she was for her own. Her story is an example of determination and the result of hard work.

Mia Amber Davis’ legacy will live on through me as I plan on helping others love who they are while working toward a healthier, happier future. Mia was all about having a positive view of self regardless of outward appearance. I want to encourage the same mentality among my readers, friends, family and everyone else.

Mia Amber Davis, you will be missed but never forgotten. You were truly a blessing to me. Rest in Peace.

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Cans of Crisco Gone Down the Drain

Last week marked 13 weeks!!!! I've been on my weight loss journey for over over THREE MONTHS! I learned last Friday that I've lost 30 lbs. total since starting in January. Yes 30 POUNDS! I'm excited!!!! I'm under 230 pounds now and I'm looking forward to getting out of the 200 range by the summer.

This is an exciting point for me because for a long time, I couldn't make it out of the 230 pound range. This is usually the point where I relapse, start getting lazy and reverse my progress. But I'm finally breaking that trend. I can see myself closer to the finish line and I'm so anxious and excited to get back into my size 12 jeans. I'm about 27 pounds away from wearing a size 12 again (yes, I can fit a 12 at 200 lbs). It's just all really exciting.

My biggest worry at this point is toning. What will my body really look like after losing over 50-60+ pounds? So, to avoid excessive "flab", I plan on incorporating toning exercises and strength training once I reach about 210 pounds.

I'm so excited y'all! And yeah, 30 pounds is the equivalent of 30 gallons of Crisco. Can you imagine how heavy that is?!?! It's also the same weight as 4 gallons of water. How many of you can carry four gallons of water at once? Yeah... I'll wait........................................ It's crazy to think that's what I was carrying on my body and I still have more to lose!

I'm not stopping and neither should you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fat Little Fit Goes Clubbin!

Fat Little Fit Girl has been getting it in on the club scene lately ya''ll! Woooo! Two Saturdays in one month is quite a stretch for me, lol. I'm proud of myself though.

I've noticed that my body mistakes dancing and prancing around the club as "power aerobics" or something of that nature, because baaaybeeey....I SWEAT like crazy on the dance floor these days. Sheesh... I literally need to carry a super absorbent cloth in my clutch because I cannot dance without sweating non-stop since working out consistently.

What I've learned is that my body is in constant fat burn mode. This is a great thing for me physically, but it's hard to maintain the excessive sweating in situations like this. Ya girl needs help!!!

However, on a less sweaty note.......... I can totally "drop down low and sweep the floor wit it" in 6 inch boots without a problem! Clonk [NeNe voice]!!!! I guess that's the plus side of clubbing after spending hours a week in the gym, lol.

Progress Report: 11 Weeks Strong

Yes...... this is yet another LATE weight loss update and I do apologize. Fat Little Fit Girl is still LOSING WEIGHT! It's been such a long time that I'm sure some of you were beginning to wonder, lol.

At the end of this week, I will be 12 weeks into my weight loss journey. I'm feeling great and seeing differences body wise. It gets hard sticking to my workout regimen and meal plan but I feel like I'm managing well.

Here's my 11 week progress report. To date, I've lost a total of 27 lbs. I'm almost 30 pounds down ya'll! Take a look at my progress so far and please share your progress with me. Also, don't hesitate to send me questions or ask for one on one encouragement! Stay strong during your fight to fabulous!!!

Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake. ~Author Unknown

(Hilarious right?!?! Stop sedating the HEALTHY person within you! lol. I'm totally guilty of this.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

How Much Weight Did You Lose This Week?!? (3/11/2011)

Once again, I'm late! Yes, I do apologize. But last week I did pretty good on the scale. I was able to knock off a whopping......


Another two pounds gone! I now weigh 234 lbs. I'm also beginning to see the progress. I think that's really important. Pictures will be posted once I reach 220 lbs. Unfortunately, I didn't take any "before" pictures when I was 257 lbs. So I might post pics at 200 lbs instead.

Well, good luck on your journeys! Stay encouraged. And if you fail, don't give up!!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Love Starbucks? Next Time Order A Shorty.

Living without a cup of Starbucks every now and then has got to be a sin. I'm telling you, I just need to have a cup of joy in my life.

When I first started my weight loss regimen I told myself I wasn't going to touch Starbucks..... O_O WRONG! I had to have some warm, yummy, goodness in my life.

The good news is that Starbucks offers options for the calorie conscious. You can order a drink with as little as 80 calories in it. With that being said, I've learned to order my drinks in the "short" size (8 oz.) instead of "tall". In addition, I request non-fat milk. My new drink of choice: The Chai Tea Latte...Yum.

I used to be a Tall White Chocolate Mocha girl with all of the whole fat milk, plus whipped cream. Today, I can't go that route. So the short Chai Tea Latte is my favorite drink when I crave the taste and atmosphere of Starbucks. It's naturally sweet and still has the creaminess of a coffee latte. The key is understanding how many calories are in your favorite drinks and requesting smaller sizes and healthier milk options (minus the whipped cream).

Here's a list of Starbucks' drinks with the least amount of calories. Remember, order the "SHORTY" (short). You can also get some of the drinks below made as frapuccinos....Yum! Happy Starbucks-ing!

I Lost A Car Tire!!

Last Friday, March 4, 2011 marked my seventh weigh in since starting my healthy eating and exercise regimen. I'm proud to say that I've reached one of my short term weight loss goals! I've lost 21 lbs to date!!!! That's 20+ pounds gone! That's the weight of a car tire! Who woulda thunk it! Ha!

Thinking about weight loss in increments of 10's or 20's, even 5's makes the process easier. I've lost my first 20 lbs. Now I've moved on to thinking about my second set of 20 (my second car tire). You have to keep yourself encouraged this way. Pick a weight loss goal for the month and stick with it.

Not watching the scale? Use measuring tape. Whether you're watching pounds or inches it is EXTREMELY important to take note of your progress to remain encouraged!

Here's my progress report since starting in January!

Stay encouraged people! If you fail or eat something that wasn't the healthiest, DO NOT QUIT!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fashionably Fit: Owning Sneakers

Not too long ago, I was the girl saying "I only own one pair of sneakers and I hardly ever wear them. I'm a high heels/cute flats kinda girl". ::Blank Stare:: O_O

When I reflect on that statement I cringe. The fact that I only owned one pair of sneakers and hardly wore them only meant athleticism didn't really exist in my life. That quote is soooo NOT cute or sexy to me now. You will NEVER catch me saying that again.

Currently, I own three pairs of sneakers with hints of vibrant colors to match my workout clothes (my newest pair pictured left). I'm adding to my collection month by month and I think it's so important to feel cute when working out. It's also important to be comfortable. Know what shoes are best for your foot type and your workout routine (I'll cover that in another blog). Looking good while working out boosts your enthusiasm and you'll probably workout more because of it.

Sneakers come in some of the cutest styles these days. So there's no reason why you shouldn't be proud to own and shop for fabulous running and training shoes.

Here are a couple of shoes I found while browsing online. Shop around! Find outfits to match your sneakers and make your everyday fitness wardrobe fashionable! I'm going to share more of my own "Fashionably Fit" workout pieces in some of my future blogs! Enjoy!

How Much Weight Did You Lose This Week?!? (2/26/2011)

So I have great news!!! After my midweek battle with a slice of carrot cake I still managed to lose.....


There is a GOD!!!! LOL. Let's just say I spent a large portion of my evenings in the gym this week. I was so nervous weighing in today but the end result was positive so...I'm happy. My new weight is 240 lbs.

Getting closer to my weight loss goals!!! Yay!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Carrot Cake Blues

Work can be the worst place to be when trying to lose weight. There's cake for every celebration. Cake for retirements, cake for birthdays, cake for anniversaries and cake just because office folks like cake. Unfortunately, today I had a fight with a piece of carrot cake. I mean... it was intense. I could just hear it arguing back and forth with me and sadly, the carrot cake won. :-(

Lol. You guys are probably like WTH is wrong with this girl. Seriously though, I went through a mental rumble with this cake. I ended up eating a small piece and the 274 lbs girl I use to be, was almost ready to make her appearance. I almost went back for seconds yall. Luckily, I didn't.

But any who... I'm going to put in work at the gym for the rest of the week because of this stupid piece of carrot cake. More calories consumed means more time at the gym for me.

SMH...we'll see how this turns out at weigh in on Friday. Y'all pray for a sista. lol!
"Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional."
- Roger Crawford

How Much Weight Did You Lose This Week?!? (2/18/2011)

This is extremely late but I wanted to post my progress as of last week. I weighed in early last week (Thursday instead of Friday) because I was traveling. So, how much did I lose?..........
My current weight as of 2/18/2011 is 242 lbs.

Always remember that one pound toward your weight loss goal is A LOT! Every ounce/pound counts! Our bodies aren't made to lose large numbers of weight every week and sometimes we may even plateau. So stay encouraged despite the numbers!

Friday, February 11, 2011

How Much Weight Did You Lose This Week?!? (2/11/2011)

Today was my first weigh in since starting this blog and I lost..................


My current weight is now: 243 lbs (started at 257 lbs).

I'm going to continue to post my progress each week. Good luck on your weight loss journeys!!! Please share how much you've lost or what progress you've made on your road toward a healthier life.

My Progress Since January 2011

Hi Everyone! I know I don't have a ton of followers but for those interested.... here is my progress so far since restarting my journey toward my weight loss goal. I will be posting an update tonight for this weeks weigh in and every week going forward! Here's what I've done So far!

"What are stumbling blocks and defeat before you, can be stepping stones to victory if you remain determined."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

To Carb or Not to Carb

Guilty Pleasure
Ok people.... I will admit it, I am a CARB-A-HOLIC!!!! Yeast rolls, lasagnas and cupcakes are some of my absolute favorite foods to eat. Sadly, they quickly become my waistline's worst enemy. :-(

Part of my weight loss success has been learning what foods should be limited in my diet and for me, carbs have to be cut down to a minimum. Don't worry though! I still get my nutrients for energy by eating what the experts call, Complex carbs.

Knowing the Difference Between Simple Carbs and Complex Carbs
All of the goodies I named above (mmm drooling just thinking about them) fall into the Simple carbs category. These foods lack in needed nutrients and can drive your blood sugar levels through the roof! If consumed too much, Simple carbs will inevitably cause you to gain weight, especially if you're not exercising.
(Some examples of Simple carbs include: cakes, candy, white flour breads, white flour pastas, sodas, corn syrup, high sugar cereals, fruit juice, alcoholic beverages/wine and table sugar)

All of the foods above taste good, but are the worst for anyone trying to lose weight. This is why I stick to Complex Carbs.

Complex carbs have a different affect on your body. These carbs are high in fiber, aid in improving your digestive system and keep your energy levels even.
(Some examples of Complex carbs include: Vegetables, fruits, beans, brown rice, yogurt and oatmeal.)

Bottom Line
For the best weight loss results I stick to Complex carbs majority of the time in my meal plan. On weekends however, I will treat myself to a Simple carb or two but always keeping control of the portions. At the end of the day, it's important to understand that your body needs carbohydrates to thrive, just choose the right ones.

So, when pondering on the question "to carb or not to carb?" always remember... Complex carbs are your friend in moderation. Carb, but carb well!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From Fat to Fit.... to Fat Again (My Story)

Accomplishing It All...I Think? O_o
Attending college was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I met new people, learned an overwhelming amount of work ethic and even snagged a promising career before walking across the graduation stage. All of my accomplishments sound amazing. However, during this phase of my life I failed to take notice of something that my academic and career goals depended on the most. That something.....was my health.

In December 2009, I graduated with a degree, a career and 274 pounds of body weight to my name. The weight gain was a result of over indulging in unhealthy foods and failing to workout consistently throughout my college career. I would often times start to workout and eat healthy, but unfortunately stop because I put other things before my well being, such as homework, jobs and my social life. Not being able to incorporate healthy living with these aspects of my life caused me to fail miserably at losing weight and I eventually reached my highest weight EVER. This needed to change fast!

-Graduation Day, Dec. 2009

The Turn Around
Several months after graduating and beginning my career as a business analyst in 2010, I began working out and eating healthier on a consistent basis again. I was determined to get as far away from 274 lbs as possible. During the course of four months I successfully lost 35 lbs. I felt much healthier and dropped two dress sizes. Not to mention, my new body weight of 239 lbs. My weight loss was meaningful, however I still had a long way to go. I continued working out and eating healthy for a little while after my 35 lbs weight loss achievement.

-Me 35 lbs lighter, May 2010

Giving In and Getting Lazy!
In October 2010, my weight loss spree came to a halt when I began working out less and eating more. I was well aware of what this habit would do to my body, yet I felt like I could take a break from what was in essence, taking care of me. By the end of December 2010, I'd gained back 18 lbs. Talk about giving in and getting lazy, SMH.

-18 lbs Heavier, Nov. 2010

The Journey Continues
After the avoidable set back of gaining 18 lbs, I've now taken total control of my weight loss efforts. Since January 15, 2011, I've lost a total of 9 lbs and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

Losing weight has been a constant struggle of mine, dating well before my college years. Each time that I've failed, I've learned something new about what it takes to be successful at losing weight and maintaing the results of such. Below is a picture of me after losing weight in 2004. I plan on getting back to that size and staying there (or lose a little extra) using the knowledge I've developed over the years of my fight with weight loss.

This blog will be dedicated to documenting my continued weight loss journey and I hope to inspire others along the way.

-Me at 198 lbs , April 2004 (MY CURRENT SHORT TERM TARGET WEIGHT)

Upcoming Blog: To Carb or Not to Carb