I have got to get back in the gym! When I last left you all i was in the beginning of my fitness journey and starting to fall in love with a lifestyle that included exercise.
I remained an active follower of this new lifestyle until about 4 months ago when I took on a large project that was incredibly rewarding, but also made me lose sight on fitness.
Now here I am. I have made it to the gym 4 times in the last two months. Now, in my defense I did have a strange medical problem surface in October, but that does not fully justify my negligence.
Between job stress, attempting to start my own business, and trying to remain mentally healthy I let my body take a back seat. I also have been dealing with loss of appetite the last two months so when it would be time to go to the gym I just have no energy. Life certainly has not been a crystal stair y’all.
I wanted to return to writing, because it is something that not only brings me enjoyment, it brings clarity. Clarity, is what I think I have been missing all of these months in my absence. I did not know how to maintain that feeling with out putting pen to page, or in this case, finger to keyboard.
Writing and fitness. Need to remember to keep these in my mantra. Otherwise, I will grind for money that I will not be able to enjoy.
I have now done a retwist (the fuzz was more than I could handle) and have introduced beeswax and Jamaican black castor oil into the routine. The thing I will need to re-inforce in myself is that locing is not an excuse to not take care of my hair. It will still need moisture.
More than anything I think this will be an exercise in discipline for me. Discipline has not always been my strength and I am slowly trying to change that about myself. By slowly I mean, this might take the rest of my life, but whatever.
In addition to my interest in gaining more discipline through this process, I need to fall in love with my hair again. I have been natural for 8 years, but I have struggled to find where I fit in on the naturalista spectrum. These naturalistas do not play out here on the interwebs, y’all. For as many open and free loving naturalistas there are the polar opposite, preaching a strict doctrine of pressing your own avocado pits for oil.
Coils and curls are beautiful and should be embraced, and as the language changes about how we talk about our hair, I also need to make sure that I take it upon myself to continue to love my hair no matter what.
Let the journey continue, onward and downward (ha!)
Another weekend comes to a close, and again I sit on my sofa in Sunday recovery mode preparing and reflecting on my place in this big ol’ universe. I spent time seeing friends, imbibing, laughing, and listening to good music. The crown jewel of my weekend was an almost 3 mile hike through a James River trail (the most exercise I think I have ever done on a weekend) with our final destination being the Richmond Folk Festival. Good beers were flowing, and I had a great time. I danced with my boyfriend and ran into some friends I had not seen in years.
I managed to backslide and hit the drive thru at Wendy’s for an oh so tasty classic single and a cola, the best hangover cure IMO. It is tradition that I allow the cobwebs to grown in my kitchen on the weekend, because everyone needs a break. Let’s be frank, I am doing the world a service by not cooking on the weekend. No one would want to come over for a full hot meal on Saturday evening when there are cocktails and small plates to be had. Note to self: plan a dinner party, but that will be for another post.
To anyone stumbling on this post thanks for baring with me through my stream of consciousness ramblings. I am on the mission to be a dedicated blogger and the only way to do that is to write and post constantly. There it is y’all, make sure you keep checking back for new posts or you could simply click subscribe in the left and get an email notification when I update.
Exercise is hard, particularly when you are trying to build it in as a part of your life and not just “that thing you do occasionally for a few weeks after New Year’s”. I have also been trying to make sure that I have been doing the same with my writing, but that is for another post.
For the past two weeks I have completed 3 gym days and I could not be more excited about my progress (lost 6 inches from various places thus far) but the thing that I am most excited about is that I am excited about exercising. Now I get in the gym and push myself, and it feels good. Granted, I am ready to pass out by 9:30pm on days that I exercise but it feels so nice to be a little bit stronger. I went from struggling through 30 minutes and watching the clock the whole time to powering through my work out and not even realizing that I have been at it for over an hour.
I went from barely breaking a sweat to not getting off of a machine until I was pouring and unable to breathe, this is what pushing feels like and for so long I was scared but it has actually turned out to be one of the greater moments of my life. In my job I can’t see results in a short amount of time, I certainly don’t see improvement this fast in any art form I indulge, but I have taken my body and made into something stronger. I feel proud. I feel motivated. Moving forward.
Have you ever just wanted to throw all caution to the wind and say
“I will not eat another piece of fruit, nor will I drink another ounce of water! On this day, I only want bacon and wine!”
Well, that day is today for me. I have managed to not totally fall off of the fitness bandwagon. Successfully completing two days a week in the gym for the first three weeks of the plan. I am headed back in today after a 4 day hiatus and I must say that I want to go, but I know I will be battling my laziness come 5pm. The mission for this week is to go a minimum of three times. I need to shorten the gap between my visits and I also want to feel all those happy endorphins a little more frequently.
I have also been maintaining my diet (I use the term loosely)fairly well. One of my main food objectives has always been to eat well because I have never been good about exercising . So, lean protein and dark leafy greens have been a staple of mine for a long time now. Don’t let some of the recipes you see posted lead you to believe that I eat like that everyday, because I have not the time or the energy.
For the firs time in almost a year I stepped on a scale and was SHOCKED by how much I had gained since I had last been on one of those contraptions. I have a new motivation as I step into the weight room this week, an actual goal. At first I did not want to put any strenuous timelines or goals on this process but one has developed organically. I am not quite ready to share that goal here but the overall focus is that I become stronger and healthier.
The internet has been a swirling pool of things I just can’t look at because of hate-speech, sexism, and all sorts of ol’ bull shit. I have been sitting back reading about all of the world events of the past eight weeks and find myself in a weird place. I am an avid enjoyer of reading the news and having discussions about political issues, but of late it has all been far more than I can handle (I am very sensitive).
Now, I have always been a little different from my peers and growing up my peers made sure that I knew that. Even in a performing arts high school I found a small enclave of other minorities in my situation but still did not largely fit in with the black population. My insecurities from middle school carried right over and I just assumed that I would not belong, so I found my niche with others. In that niche I learned to build confidence in myself, and found that liking DMX and British literature did not mean that I needed to be alone.
Now enter The Boondocks, I am now a feminist and not confused about what it means to be a Black American. I watched it and cackled for hours and all I could do was wish that Adult Swim would have built a brand that I felt was more attractive when I was a teenager. Aaron McGruder created something that so accurately represented my Black American experience that I felt a little less like an outsider in this world.
The dichotomy that is Huey and Riley is the perfect representation of my own feelings about the Black experience. I also feel strongly militant and that there is a need to dismantle this system that created this patriarchal power structure that I cannot seem to break free from. But I also love some Southern Rap.
Both of the boys are voiced by actress Regina King and I think that is one of the most poignant things about the show. The boys are two sides to the same coin. They are brothers and though they may seem to be enemies they are still a family. Being a nerd and into hip-hop always left me in a strange place in this world. I liked to read fantasy books, but I also knew all of the words to “Tha Block is Hot.” I love a long, silky, wet-n-wavy, as much as I love to style my coils into an up-do. I love a loud patterned pencil skirt, but I will also slap a simple cardigan with it.
Despite all the hardships associated with being a WoC I get the distinct benefit of being part of a generation of brown people that are making the rules for themselves. I wish I would have had The Boondocks a little earlier in my life so I could know that I was not the only one that felt this strange tear in my sensibilities.
It is hair, talk about it like you would anyone else’s. The problem that surrounds the dialogue about the hair of black women is that when people want to talk about it; they act as if it is not hair. It is an amalgamation of proteins and cells just like the hair of anyone else. Had I written about this a few years ago I would be an angry, screaming, finger pointing mess. However, in time I have mellowed out because I now know that what was making me so upset was the “othering” of my hair. Now if anything I have said here is offensive, then this is clearly not the blog for you. I do hope that anyone that just cruised by here either cracked a smile or at least learned how other comments about black hair can make us feel like we are existing on the fringe.
The musings of a WoC just trying to make beautiful food, an affordable lifestyle, and a successful career.