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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Journey to a new self part #2

In the last post we were able to meet an amazing woman named Vonda. I would like to continue the online interview that I had with this wonderful woman. Her story will truly inspire you.

Why did you choose to participate half marathons?

Running had always been something that I had always wanted to do. As a kid, I would envy the kids that could run those laps in physical education with ease. It was always a struggle for me because of my weight, and inactivity. In the spring of 2012, I started participating in GirlTrek. GirlTrek is a national non-profit organization that encourages African American women and girls to be more active, and to live healthier lifestyles. I started with Girltrek as a trek team leader for the Coast to Coast Walkers, but later was chosen as a 2012 GirlTrek Trailblazer. As a Trailblazer, I had to choose a dream health adventure, train for it and complete it within a year. I didn’t have to take time to think of what my dream health adventure would be, I knew I wanted to train to run a half marathon! So, after 9 months of training (thank you Jessica Rice…best trainer ever), I finally achieved my dream of becoming a runner, and completed my dream health adventure by crossing that finish line at the North Myrtle Beach Diva Half Marathon. Many people thought I was crazy because one..I had never ran a day in my life, and two…I had osteoarthritis. But I did it!!!

The lesson that we can all learn from Vonda is simple, NEVER QUIT AND DON'T GIVE UP!!! Let us all live this way everyday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The journey to a new self

I was able to meet a wonderful woman via Twitter of all places. Her name is Vonda Vass Summers and her story has really inspired me. She is not only a naturalista, but has decided to make major changes within her life. When I noticed her on Twitter, I decided to start a correspondence and the more that I have learned the rest of her story, the more inspiration that I have found in it. Here's a snapshot or my interview with her.

What got you into health and fitness?
After being diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, hypothyroidism and depression in the early part of 2000, and was prescribed quite a few medications, I put on quite a few pounds, more like close to 100 pounds. I became interested in health and fitness when I received a wakeup call from my primary care physician during an appointment. I went to the [doctor] because of some symptoms I was having. My [doctor] had spoken to me on a number of occasions about the importance of me eating a healthy diet, and losing weight. Yes, I would try to follow his instructions, but I never really was truly serious about it, so I would lose some weight, but would always gain it all back again…with a few more added. But this appointment changed my life forever, it was the day that I was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and the possibility of having sleep apnea also, with was later diagnosed. My Dr. [doctor] gave me this information and told me if I wanted to live, and be here for my husband and family, I had to make some changes, and left the room. After throwing myself a big pity party, and shedding lots of tears, later that evening, I decided that Dr. Kenney was right; it was time for me to make a change! Before I went to bed that night I had signed up for Weight Watchers Online, and that’s where my healthy lifestyle journey began. On August 6, 2012, exactly 2 years from the day that I started, I achieved my goal of losing 100 pounds, became a Weight Watchers Lifetime Member and also became a brand new Weight Watchers employee, all in the same day!

How long have your had arthritis?

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the spring of 2010. After hearing my knees and ankles pop and click since my college marching band days (Go NCCU Sound Machine), a few years of discomfort during moderate physical activity, and having a really hard time when trying to sit and stand, I knew it was time to get things checked out. It was really hard for me to hear the diagnosis of Osteoarthritis. I was thinking that some of the things that I had been dreaming to do would never come true…because people with arthritis can kiss any dream of truly being physically active good-bye. Boy was I wrong!

How have you overcome your health challenges?
I overcame my health challenges through lots of prayer, determination and commitment. I was determined not to let arthritis, trigeminal neuralgia or any of my other health issues get in my way of reaching my goals. I had been overweight for most of my life, and on Aug 6, 2010, I had had enough of being sick and tired of being sick and tired….it was time for a change. I knew that Weight Watchers worked…it had worked for me in the past, but I had to change my mindset, and to look at this as a lifestyle change, and not just a diet. I knew that losing the weight would help me to become a healthier, happier me. So, I sat down and set some goals and mapped out my plan of action. I set short term goals of losing at least 5 lbs. a month and a long term goal of losing over 100 lbs. I also set weekly goals of eating a healthy diet, and staying within my points plus allowance, drinking at least 64 ozs. of water, being sure to get in my WW’s (Weight Watcher's) GHG’s (good health guidelines) and to get in at least 60 minutes of activity, 5 or 6 days a week. Being consistent, and sticking to my goals helped me achieve my weight loss goal, overcome my health challenges, and to go from taking over 30 pills a day to taking ZERO pills a day! Now, I won’t say the journey was easy, but it was so very worth it!

This interview was so wonderful that I decided to continue it on my next blog post. Check back for more information on Vonda Vass Summers and her healthy lifestyle.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hairstyles for your little naturalista....

I've had lots of fun styling my daughter's hair over the past 9, nearly 10 years so I decided to post different styles for girls. Hope that these styles help to give you different ideas on styling your little one. Remember that it's important to make styling natural hair fun for your little girl. I talk about natural hair and my love for it with my little one as often as I can. I want her to grow up and embrace her curls. Let me know what you think about these styles. Some of the styles I have tried and others, I would like to try. Enjoy!

The cute hair beads are a must always.
These are a sister and brother who are letting their curls go free.
The twists are a very cute hairstyle staple.
I hope that these different hairstyles give you some wonderful ideas. I  didn't include any of the various styles that use extensions. I wanted to show that styling your naturalista can be style, easy, fast and affordable. Try the styles and let me know how it goes.