My First Whole30 Results and Lifestyle Update

Whole30 Results

My first Whole30 ended on Tuesday, February 9th at 11:59pm and I DID it! I’m so proud to say that I didn’t cheat AT ALL. Even when I had a team happy hour (water with lemon for me), a team dinner (I’ll have the steak with extra greens) and an all day team training that involved mimosas and bagels (!!! I brought steak and eggs and chugged my water). I had to prove that I could do this and I did. I placed a lot of importance on successfully completing this, not because I was chasing perfection (although I usually do), but because I had to prove that if I could do this, I could do ANYTHING. I have a high pressure job where my performance easily spills into other aspects of my life; if I’m killing it at work, I kill it elsewhere and vice versa. Since all aspects of my life are so intrinsically linked, I treated the Whole30 as a way to push myself at work, financially and in my marriage. This is what made my success so critical.

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Halfway Through My First Whole30!

I’m halfway through the Whole30 (in fact, when this publishes I’ll be on Day 15) and nothing has exploded. My husband and I never experienced the symptoms that seem to plague other people but we may be out of the woods on that. I was eating terribly leading up to my Whole30 so I was expecting the worst but I’ve also been working from home the last few weeks. This schedule has allowed me to be very hands on in the kitchen and a very stress free first week and I’m so grateful for that.

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The Healthy Tackles the Whole30

StrandedHHJ Whole30

Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is off to an awesome start because mine certainly is.

I’m taking time to prioritize my health and I’m starting with my diet. I have been eating poorly for months which made me feel bad so I ate even worse and felt even worse; see the pattern? As a result of these choices, my clothes aren’t fitting properly, my back always hurts and my skin is freaking out. I was able to ignore these symptoms for awhile until I finally got on the scale this week. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life; even heavier than when I initially started my fitness journey back in 2012. My shoulders slumped when the number finally registered; I have work to do.

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The Wealthy: May 2016 Financial Update

Money

I haven’t spoken about my financial wellness journey in ages but I’m ready to start sharing again. I’ve made some progress like budgeting every dollar I make, cutting up my credit cards and discussing financial goals and making a game plan  with my husband. I have also done some backsliding which is why I haven’t been talking about the journey. I’ve decided that sharing my wins (and fails) with you is the best way to add another layer of accountability and, hopefully, encourage those of you on the same path. Every month, I’ll be sharing a financial update that mentions how much progress we’ve made. Small wins are still wins!

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5 Things I Learned After a Year with Natural Hair

Yesterday was my curlaversary and I’m so happy I stuck it out! I spontaneously decided to go natural last year so I didn’t transition, I big chopped. After the shiny newness of my style and the joy of being part of a big, beautiful community wore off, I looked at myself in the mirror and wonder, “Am I still beautiful?” Yes, my husband said so and some days I even felt it, but not frequently enough. I looked back at old pictures of my relaxed hair and began regretting cutting it all of.  Long, straight hair had always been my favorite accessory but all I had to work with was tiny curls. What was I actually doing, anyway? It wasn’t long enough to braid so protective styles were out. I have all of these different textures represented on my head so I didn’t even have a consistent curl pattern. The longer it grew, the more I wondered how was I going to look presentable?

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Tuft & Needle Mattress Review

Made Bed

I love sleep more than Oprah loves bread. The only thing I love more than naps is sleeping in without setting an alarm. I’m pretty unique in that I can usually fall asleep on any relatively soft surface: air bed, futon, pull out couch, carpet etc.

I’m still able to fall asleep pretty much anywhere but, at the ripe age of damn-near-30 my body doesn’t feel the way it used to when I wake up. My husband and I had been sharing a full-sized mattress with a foam topper that just was NOT the business. The mattress sagged to one side and the foam topper would slide around in the middle of the night. Plus, the foam topper made the bed extra high which made it a challenge for me my dog Bailey to climb into and out of. Tired of waking up to aches and pains, precariously perching and scaling the bed, I knew it was time to upgrade our sleeping sitch.

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The 21 Day Water Challenge: April 2016 Edition

21 Day Water Challenge

I have fallen so far off my fitness game, it’s laughable. With the demands of my new job, I’ve had trouble getting back into writing, let alone practicing self care. Luckily, one of my Facebook friends explicitly asked me about the 21 Day Water Challenge (#21DWC) for March and I promised her one is coming for April.

Since we all need to start somewhere, I’m starting small: by getting my water intake back under control. We all know that water does our hair, skin, nails a world of good but it can also aid in weight management. With all of this said, the April 2016 21 Day Water Challenge is starting on Monday April 4th. If you’ve been slacking or just need some encouragement, this challenge is for you.

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A New Chapter in My Hair Journey: The Big Chop

It's about to go down!

It’s about to go down!

After 22 years of being relaxed, I’m natural again. I have been natural for a week and I’m still in shock. My overprocessed relaxed hair was about APL but limp, damaged and lifeless. Do you have any idea how irritating it is to get a wash and set and not have a style in about two hours? What a waste of time and money! After repeatedly trimming cutting my hair in hopes of achieving the dream relaxed hair of my youth, I decided enough was enough.

It occurred to me in the shower (where I do my best thinking) that I want to be natural by 30. Not GOING natural, I want to know my texture, love it and have some length. I’ve always flirted with the idea of transitioning but I know me. After months and months of stretching, I would see all the new growth and be like, “Ooh, I wonder how long my hair would be if I just relaxed it one more time!”

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A Trip Down Memory Lane: My Four Favorite Photos

Me and Hubbz

This is the last week for our BLMGirlsWrite February Link-Up. I’ve had a great time collaborating with SheBeKnowin and I hope everyone has enjoyed this month with us. This week’s topic deals with our favorite pictures. I’ve shared my top four favorite photos below. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I won’t offer too many of my own below!

Me and My Husband After Our First Date

My husband and I dated 3 years before we got married and we have quite a few pics of us together. After our first fancy dinner, we took this picture. This picture shows how genuinely happy we were to be together and even the light is soft and romantic. We want to make it a point to have more pictures as our relationship continues but this will forever be one of my favorites.

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Paint the Town Red with These Date Night Looks

Two of the best words that my husband can say to me are “date night.” We work opposite schedules and only share one night off so it’s always a good time when we can hit the town together. The one thing that gives me pause is selecting an outfit. The idea of dressing up is always fun but sometimes my closet can be limiting.

For the third week of the #BLMGirlsWrite link-up, SheBeKnowin and I thought it would be cool to plan looks for a night out. Whether you’re planning a date night with bae or looking to chill out with your girls, these three looks are sure to please.

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