Natural Hair and Professionalism

Is natural hair professional? This is a question I’ve seen a lot online. I myself am on the fence about whether or not it is professional. Its more like I’m on the fence about whether or not particular natural styles are professional. Anybody that opposes someone in the workplace because of their choice to not put chemicals in their hair is discriminatory. But when you consider whether or not it is acceptable to where a “wild” afro, that makes things a little trickier. People have their opinions on both sides of this issue.

As I’ve stated many times before, I went natural during my senior year of college, which means I was still very new the the natural hair lifestyle when I was jumping out into the world, going on my first round of interviews, in search of a teaching position. The summer I graduated from college I went on 5 different interviews throughout the state. I straightened my hair for each and got no offers. I accepted a substitute teaching job in my hometown, and during that time went on another interview. For this interview I did not straighten my hair, but instead decided to wear it in a puff. I thought this was a happy medium. I put on a headband to hold down my edges and intended to take it off at the last minute, but I forgot and went into my interview with the elastic band around my head. Once I realized it  I was mortified, but thought surely if I was a good candidate the administrator wouldn’t be so vain as to turn me down because of an accessory. I did not receive a call back from that school. The next summer, one year after I graduated, I was feeling pretty down about myself because I still did not have a full time teaching position. One day I got a call from a principal at a school that I had not initiated any application process and asked if I wanted an interview. It was a little further from home than I wanted but I was desperate so I accepted. The first interview was over the phone, so no pressure there. They liked me so I had to do a interview in person. So the I faced the big dilemma once more, to straighten, or not to straighten. I decided not the straighten my hair. I washed my hair that morning so my curls would be moisturized and defined. I pushed the front of my hair back with a few pins. The interview went well, and the principal called and offered me a position an hour after the interview. I still wonder if it was my choice of hair style that prevented me from getting jobs before. Did I not get the jobs when my hair was straightened because I subconsciously wasn’t being true to myself? Did my accessory malfunction cost a position? Did my afro make me stand out in my final interview? I guess I will never knew the truth, but it caused me to never second guess myself and conform to what others think I should do as far as my hair and principles go. I decide what it acceptable for me, no one else.

I saw a post on Facebook, about a news broadcaster, that was told that as an anchor she couldn’t wear her afro, because it was distracting. Was this point valid? Or was it discrimination? Is it discrimination for some branches of the military to not allow women to wear braids, even though they are specific on men’s hairstyles as well? I do believe there is line between discrimination and appropriateness in different settings. I would not style my hair the same for an interview, just as I wouldn’t wear the same jewelry or attire as would in my everyday casual work dress. In some situations like in corporate business, what people wear is scrutinized constantly. So this wouldn’t be different as it pertains to natural hair. I guess people will have to do what I did. Test the waters, and see what you are comfortable with compromising.  If it is against your principle to conform to “the man” then do you. But if you want to take the easy way, I think the best option is to know your situation and what the norm is and play the cards your dealt with. Natural Hair is becoming way more mainstream, maybe within a few more years this won’t even be a conversation, it will just be the accepted norm.

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7 Reasons I Became a “Flexi” Vegan

 

Many people are familiar with the term “Flexitarian”, a Flexitarian diet or a semi-It's a Wrap!vegetarian diet is mostly plant based with the occasional inclusion of meat. I have decided to be a “Part Time Vegan”, which I guess you could say is a Flexitarian as well being that I occasionally include meat, but I still don’t consume other animal products such as eggs and dairy. These are the 7 reasons you should be a Vegan Flexitarian.
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  1. Recipe Creativity

Since I won’t be able to “cheat” with foods like bacon and cheese to create delicious recipes I have to get creative with my meals. Some of my favorite ingredients to include in my vegan meals are avocados, quinoa, black beans, kale, mushrooms, tofu, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes. I used these foods in my cooking before but even more so that I am focusing on vegan cooking. Mushrooms are a great meat substitute being that they give a dish a heartiness like meat does. Avocado often takes the place of creamy dairy products like yogurt, sour cream, and cheese. Black beans, tofu, chickpeas, and quinoa are very good sources of protein in a meatless diet. Almost nothing beats oven baked crispy chickpeas or tofu in a dish, well almost nothing except bacon, but I’m not going there. I’m constantly searching Pinterest for interesting ingredients that get me excited about preparing and enjoying meals even without meat.

2. Limiting Hormones and Other Chemicals

If you enjoy eating meat, fast food, and processed food I am warning you, DO NOT watch “Food Inc.” I saw it on Netflix and as a health and fitness professional I felt obligated to see what information the popular documentary had to offer. I’m not sure if I am happy that I know or that I am mad that it ruined food for me. Conventional foods are pumped with all kinds of chemicals to keep up with the consumer’s demands. First its the growth hormones, that give us chicken breast the size of footballs. Then the antibiotics, that may be causing bacteria to become resilient and end modern medicine as we know it. Then its the overall harmful and unsanitary treatment of the animals. I saw cows that had feces matted in its fur, from being packed in factories rather than rooming in a field. This also reminded by of slaves packed on ships during the middle passage.  I used to believe that it didn’t matter since they were going to the slaughter house, but it does matter. The harmful treatment passes down to us at our dinner tables. Not to mention the abuse that is done to the humans that must work in these environments. I hate to be that person preaching about bad meat is. I’m not going off it totally hence the “flex” part, but a drastic decrease was necessary for me.

3. Weight Loss

Eating vegan does not necessarily mean you will lose weight. I mean french fries and oreos are vegan. But a clean vegan diet, will definitely help. Animal based proteins typically come with higher saturated fat and calories, so if I’m swapping out things like fried chicken, hamburgers, and steak, for quinoa, tofu, and beans typically that will cause a calorie deficit and therefore weight loss. I do have to be careful, because with the saturated fats I lose with animal proteins, comes the “healthy” fats with plant based proteins. Nuts, seeds, and avocados while full of healthy unsaturated fats still pack a lot of calories. I find myself leaning on avocado because I love it so much and it satisfies a lot of calories, so I have to still use portion control. Even fruits can be a gamble because while its natural sugar, certain fruits like bananas, grapes, watermelon, and pineapple have a lot of fruit. So while a vegan plant based diet will hopefully help me reach me weight loss goals. I still have to make sure I am eating clean and using portion control.

4. More Nutrients

Eating a diet that focuses on real plant based products, rather than a lot of processed junk will ensure that I am consuming an abundance of nutrients. Because I am eating fruit and vegetables with every meal, because they are the focus of most of my meals I am guaranteed to reach my vitamin and mineral needs. A clean vegan diet includes pretty much all nutrient dense foods.

5. Cheaper

Meat is expensive. It is the largest part of my grocery bill, and while I am not dragging my husband and son into this, just the reduction of meat on my part will help us reduce our grocery bill. I would probably spend $50 a month on chicken breast alone. I used them so much; in salads or wraps for lunch as well as main courses for dinner. Now I only need to purchase meat for my husbands lunch and dinner. Although my son rarely eats meat anyways, he’s pretty much a vegetarian himself just my being a picky toddler. I live off of chickpeas and black beans when it comes to lunch and whether in the can or dried variety they are a fraction of the cost of meat.

6. Allergies

Many people have allergies to dairy products. I have done some research that suggest that humans should not even being consuming cow’s milk. We are the only species that consumes milk from other animals. This milk, like a human mother’s breast milk ,

 

was meant for their young. I wish I could say the decision I made was based solely on this, be I’m not that righteous.  A few months ago I discovered I was allergic to a few foods including milk and eggs. So minus the meat I was vegan already. When I first learned of this I thought I’d rather be allergic to meat that milk, but I’ve decided to turn this into an opportunity for self improvement.

7. I still like meat

This reason is geared towards the “part time” , “flexi”, and “semi” part. If animal protein are so bad, why not cut them out completely. Because I’m a foodie and I love all food, including and especially meat. I have always been a meat eater, but the grown up wiser me is making better decisions for my well being. I thought maybe I’ll stick with just seafood from time to time. But that just isn’t realistic for me. I enjoy eating a good medium rare steak, and will eat a pack of pepperoni myself, and bacon, don’t get me started on bacon. But I know these things aren’t good for me to be eating in excess, so I’ve decided to drastically reduce, not eliminate my consumption of meat.

This is why I’ve chosen the semi, part time, or flexivegan (whatever you want to call it) diet. I will always stand firm that moderation is key. I never, say never, when it comes to food. But I am making better decisions that will hopefully be worth the sacrifice in the long run.

My Kind of Nerd

Many people hate8795626821_9c50fb2de2_o the kind of nerd I am. I did not grow up reading comics and don’t know all the details,and the issue, of every comic, that every character has appeared. I developed my love of superheros, anime, and other nerdy interest late in life. I guess you could say that I am a late bloomer. I’d love to go back a re-read all the major comics and manga, but my time is limited. I can honestly say that although I’d like to take up reading comic books and manga it’s just not realistic for my daily schedule. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like these things any less. I just have to accept the fact that I’ll never be as knowledgeable as some one who has grown up around these things. I know what I know based on the movies and anime that I watch now and constant research online. Some would argue that I’m not a real fan and that I am cheating. It is what it is. I still like what I like.

That’s not to say that there aren’t certain things that I am not a “expert” on. I’d say I’m VERY well versed in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings because I read and saw the movies for these series many times. These are titles that I read as a child. Since Harry Potter was created during my childhood I read them as they were published. My mother stood in lines to get the books as birthday and Christmas presents. I ordered movie tickets online to ensure that they weren’t sold out. I read each book currently out in the series upon the release of a new title. Even as an adult I’ll read and watch the entire book and movie series within a week, just to find something I may have missed in the past decade and a half. As far as LOTRs, I of course did not read the books when they came out, my parents weren’t even born when they were originally published. I also did not watch the movies originally. Aside from Harry Potter I didn’t really enjoy the fantasy genre until I was an adult. I’m not sure what attracted me to Harry Potter as a child but it was not only “nerdy” interest I had growing up. Even still the original works for these series aren’t on going. Harry Potter has 7 books and 8 movies. Lord of The Rings has 4 books, and 6 movies if you included the Hobbit series. These are numbers I can work with and revisit. Although I am fully aware that there are other movies and books written about these series. Its more manageable than the literally millions of comics and manga I would have to read to be as well versed as I’d like to be. Even with Star Wars there are so many comics, books, and cartoons outside of the movie trilogies that I can’t even being to touch the surface of the details within this franchise.

My sort comings are one of the reasons I started the blog. Help me know all that I need to know. Comment, critique, and advice me of your ways. The more knowledge I have the stronger I can be. I love to engage in arguments and discussions, but find myself unable to because of my lack of knowledge in many areas. Sometimes I get off on the fact that I am black and female to people are amazed that I know the little I do know so I can get by mostly on that. Plus, within the general public I do know more than the average bear. But within the “nerdy community” I am a newbie and many hate the kind of nerd that I am.

Paleo Shrimp and Cauliflower “Grits”

Shrimp and Grits are one of my family favorites, but there are a few ingredients that don’t exactly make it “healthy eating friendly”. My original recipe includes bacon, butter, real grits, and cheese.  In my opinion almost any home cooked meal is going to be better for you than a heavily processed fast food meal, but there are ways to enjoy favorite comfort food without expanding your waistline.

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Paleo Shrimp and ‘Cauliflower “Grits”

Ingredients

Shrimp Topping: 1 12 oz bag of shrimp,  1/2 diced onion and red and green bell peppers, 1/2 cup dice tomatoes, 1/4 cup chicken broth, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 tbs. EVOO, 1 link smoked turkey sausage

“grits”: 1 cup cauliflower, 2 tablespoons vegan butter, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup chicken stock, 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast.

Directions:

  1. Drizzle one tablespoon of EVOO in a hot pan.
  2. Add diced turkey sausage and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add onion and peppers sauteed for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and seasoning lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. While mixture is simmering cook frozen cauliflower in microwave according to package directions.
  6. Place the cauliflower, chicken stock, vegan butter, nutritional yeast, and seasonings in food processor and blend until smooth but still chunky.
  7. Once turkey sausage and vegetable mixture on stove has reduced add chicken stock and continue simmering 5 more minutes.
  8. Add shrimp to stove mixture and cook until shrimp turn pink.
  9. Add cauliflower grits to a bowl and top with shrimp mixture.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Defining My Curls

Getting good definition for your natural curls in probably one of the most sought after abilities for those with natural hair. This is especially important if you have any 4 type curl. I would put myself at 4a/ab. My hair in the front is a loser 4a curl pattern, and the hair in the center of my hair is the thickest at 4b. When I was going natural I was praying for a bouncy 3c hair type, but I have learned to love wait I was blessed with. But even if you do have denser, tighter curls, that doesn’t mean you can’t have that defined curl look. There are a couple ways you can achieve this look regardless of your hair type.

Different Sets:

Setting you hair in various ways can help you achieve a defined curl look. This may not be the way your hair “naturally” looks, but that’s the beauty of natural hair, the ability to manipulate the way it looks so easily. You may choose a roller set, braid out, or twist set.

  1. Wash hair using your typical conditioner and shampoo (if any)
  2. Starting with very damp hair, apply your favorite moisturizer.
  3. Separate hair into small sections and apply gel. I use Eco Styler Olive Oil. It will hold the style without making it dry and crunchy.
  4. Put each section into your choice of roller, braid, or twist.
    • If you do a roller set I would choose either a straw or small perm rod set to achieve small, tight curls, rather than the big “Shirley Temple curls”.
    •  With braid and twist out sets, although more time consuming I get the best results with individual twist and braids, rather than cornrows on under twist. Under twist and cornrows will still look good, but for me they tend to be more wavy than curly.
  5.  Use your favorite drying method
    • For a very sleek and shiny look sit under a dryer until hair is completely dry. It takes my hair up over 2 hours to dry under a hooded dryer.
    • You could sit under the hooded dryer for a shorter amount of time like 20-30 minutes, then let it finish by air drying.
    • Or you can let it air dry totally. I usually set my hair the previous day and let it dry 24 hours. This works for me on a lazy weekend and my hair is ready to go the next week.
  6.  Once your hair is dry take out the rollers, braids, or twist. I CANNOT stress how important it is that you wait to take your hair out until it has dried completely. If you don’t you’ll have a puffy mess on your hands once it dries.
    •  When you have out your hair you have choice of separating your hair on leaving it in “clumps”. Sometimes I like the way it looks separated, others I prefer unseparated. For me it’s a catch 22. If I separate my hair, it can turn out fuzzy, if I don’t separate it doesn’t look at full as I’d like and it looks like its been set, not very naturally curly. I typically do which ever I feel up to that day. Choosing between roller, braid, or twist sets are away of achieving a defined curl “look” if your hair doesn’t seem to cooperate on its own.

Wash and Go:

I don’t get to use the wash and go method of defining my curls often. I can only use it during the summer as when I am not working, because my mornings are too early and hectic to attempt this during the school year. This method can be more difficult if you have 4b/4c hair. But there are a few things I can do to make the curls I do have “POP”.

  1. Wash your hair in sections with a VERY good, moisturizing conditioner, saturating each section. When I am attempting to do a wash and go I save it for a co-washing day, not a long shampoo and deep condition day.
  2. Lightly rinse each section out. I never completely rinse conditioner out of my hair.
  3. Ring hair out, so it is not dripping, but DO NOT towel dry.
  4. Apply you favorite oil to wet hair. I use extra virgin coconut, or EVOO.
  5. Apply your favorite curling moisturizer and gel (optional) to sections. I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Eco Styler Olive Oil gel.
  6. Blow dry hair. You can set under a hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes or run a hand dryer over your hair for several minutes.
  7. DON’T MESS WITH YOUR HAIR- this is my biggest flaw. Let the curls be or else certain places with turn into a fussy mess.
  8. My wash and go typically only looks really good for one day, but I can come times stretch it out by putting it in a pineapple at night and in the morning spritzing it with a leave in conditioner (water, conditioner, and oil) and reapplying some of the Shea moisture curl enhancer.

These are my techniques for achieving a defined look. What I do may not work for you. Everybody has to experiment to find what products and techniques agree with their hair. When I first went natural and came back to college after winter break I had a twist out. One of my friends asked me, “Why doesn’t your hair look nappy like it did in the pictures?” I took it as a compliment meaning that my twist out made my hair look like defined curly hair. But it did start to make me feel like doing these sets was a cop out, rather than embracing my natural hair texture. I know people who only wear there hair out if it has been set someway because they aren’t confident in their texture. I just see it as another style. Just like I wear different clothing styles, I change my hair style. Its not about not accepting my natural texture, its about getting the look I want at that point in time. I hope everyone can love their natural texture as well as learn different ways to style and show off the versatility of natural hair.

(Marvel)ous Mother’s Day

Captain America: Civil War

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The first event listed in 6 Anticipated Events for a Nerdy Mom was seeing “Captain America: Civil War”, and now I can scratch that off my list. For Mother’s Day some ask for flowers, others jewelry or clothes, but I’ve known for quite some time that all I wanted for Mother’s Day was to see “Captain America: Civil War”. Our grandparents watched our son and we got to enjoy one of our favorite dates; going out to see a superhero movie. I was very excited about this movie. To me it is the Marvel version of Batman vs Superman, so naturally in my opinion it was bound to be ten times better. As far as I’m concerned it was. I probably shouldn’t call this a review. Reviews are supposed to be unbiased, this is very biased. I’ll call it my opinion and views on the movie rather, than a review. SPOILER WARNING: after this point significant details about the movie may be revealed.

Synopsis

The movie takes place a year after the events of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and people want the Avengers to take responsibility for the destruction they caused and make better decisions. There are those that feel guilty enough about the innocent lives lost that they are willing to sign a document called the “Sokovia Accords”, created by the United Nations, to govern over the Avengers. In the wake of the signing of the Sokovia Accords it seems the Winter Soldier attacked the United Nations summit, killing the King of Wakanda. His attack caused people to believe even stronger that people with super abilities need to be put “in check”, but Captain America doesn’t buy it. He remains true to his decision, that the Avengers should make their own decisions and tries to help clear his friends name. It turns out the whole attack and scheme was of Zemo, a soldier from Sokovia, who wanted to get revenge on the Avengers for killing is family, by tearing them apart from the inside.

My Initial thoughts

On one side you have Iron Man and those that believe the Sokovia Accords are the best option for The Avengers. On the other side Captain America and the others that believe the Avengers should use their own judgement in deciding their actions. This is a major argument in any superhero series. It is pretty much what Batman vs Superman stemmed from except on a smaller, less awesome level. See Movie Review: Batman vs Superman. At first I didn’t know which team I would side with, but very shortly into the movie I began rooting for team Captain America. It is as the Cap said “What if they send us somewhere we shouldn’t be or don’t sent us somewhere we need to go.” Governments can’t be trusted with these types of things. The Sokovia Accords would turn the Avengers into some kind of team of henchmen. I had also been wondering about the absence of the Hulk and Thor. A little into the movie I understood why they couldn’t be in the movie. If the Hulk and Thor were to participate they would probably have been on team Captain America and with both of them on that team there would’ve been no fight. The God Thor would not have submitted to being ruled by mere mortals. And the Hulk would not allow the government to make him turn his beast “on and off” at their will. He didn’t even want to use it in the first place in the past “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. At first I wondered how it is a Captain America movie and not another Avengers movie. But it was not the Avengers being the Avengers. There was not world ending catastrophic event for the Avengers to assemble. This was Captain America trying to save his friend and the conflicts that arose from it.

Character Spotlights

There were several brilliant aspects of the movie in my opinion. The first thing that caught my eye was the budding romantic relationship between the Scarlet Witch and Vision. He is keeping her on “lock down” by Iron Man’s orders, but he is also trying to plant some seeds. He starts be attempting to cook for her then it does turn into a deeper conversation about their thoughts on the Sokovia Accords. And its like most of the Avenger’s members, they have different view points but still respect one another and want to avoid this major conflict that is about the occur.

The friendship between Iron Man and Captain America is obviously on the rocks, its the entire basis of the movie, but another interesting relationship dynamic comes from the Caps loyalty to Buckey, and that’s the relationship with Falcon. Its like Buckey is the friend from back home who never quite got it together, but they grew up and are like brothers and Falcon is the frat brother he met and college they are close now because they’ve experienced and helped each other so much to get where they are now. Falcon is completely loyal to Captain America, even though he knows he will go down with him. I’m not entirely sure if Falcon would’ve opposed the new laws if Captain America wasn’t. Now with Buckey all Captain America thinks about, its getting in the way of he and Falcon’s “bromance”. He even tells Buckey that he hates him, but they both come together in congratulatory looks when he kisses, Sharon Carter, Peggy Carter’s niece.

The best characters in the movie seemed to be the newer additions, including Black Panther, Spiderman, and Ant Man. It seemed like each team needed a bug. Spiderman and Ant Man provided some much needed comic relief and fun. Although, some would say that Spider-man’s role was unnecessary, his action scenes were some of the best and his youthful humor was much welcomed and has been the best Spider-Man I’ve seen on screen yet. Black Panther was EVERYTHING! In the movie he was seeking revenge for the death of his father, the king of Wakanda. He was strong and feline at the same time. I got chills every time he stuck a landing. As my husband said “he’s a cat, but not feminine like Catwoman.” They nailed the Black Panther. I am so glad to see another superhero of color represented. This may be a way to get more X-men integrated in the Avengers as they are in the comics. They have Scarlet Witch and had quicksilver, this could be a way to bring in Storm and then Wolverine. Fox and Disney need to get over themselves and let these movies intertwine as they did in the comics a lot. The whole Sovokia Accords tie right in the sides involved in mutant registration. But back to my man point Black Panther is OP. He has it all; wisdom, money, strength, power, I mean he’s a freaking King with super powers. He was the “REAL” hero of the movie and ended the cycle of revenge, by not killing Zemo once he found out he was responsible for his father’s death, not Buckey.

Possible Criticisms

There were probably all kinds of inaccuracies within the movie that some fanboys/girls hate. After watching Batman vs Superman I researched different things ( because I have not read a lot of comics) and began critiquing and comparing the inaccuracies. This movie itself was so good in my opinion that I don’t even want to know what they got wrong. I don’t want to ruin this good feeling I have about it. There are also those that are probably on the completely opposite side of me, thinking that Iron Man is right and the Avengers need a governing body. At the end of the movie, though, you see that Iron Man is questioning this and War Machine tries the reassure him that it was the wrong decision. If there was one flaw in the movie, I’d say that I expected more from Vision. His powers seemed like they should have completely overwhelmed anybody on the other side. The only person they had with that kind of power was Scarlet Witch and at this point she’s still a little untrained, but you could tell he already had a soft spot for her. Nobody was fight to their full potential, because this was a fight among friends, not trying to kill each other, but trying to get to a point when they can come together again. Some might say the movie was too long, but I wasn’t at any point waiting for it to be over. Another thing that really bothered me, was that I wanted Blank Panther to step into the Iron Man/Captain America fight and shed the same wisdom he had gained with them and ended the war. But it is a Civil War, so no way it could be ended this soon. They will probably continue it into other MCU movies, resolving it to protect the world from what ever catastrophic, world ending adversary they will meet up with in the 3rd Avengers installment.

I am completely biased. I love everything Marvel. It was a great movie, better than “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in my opinion and better than the rival “Batman vs Superman. Thank you, hubby, for my Marvelous Mother’s Day gift. Now the countdown to “X-Men: Apocalypse”

Leading for Self-Improvement

I previously discussed how disappointed I am with my weight loss progress. I had lost 50 pounds of the weight I gained from pregnancy. This brought me back to the heavier end of my pre-baby weight. I was feeling good about myself and encouraged to keep the momentum going in order to lose an additional 20 pounds to reach my goal weight. But, then I hit a wall. I found myself unable to continue my gym membership, thus unable to workout 1.5-2 hours that was critical to achieve the initial weight loss success. I wasn’t working out and I was also over eating. I found out around Christmas that I was allergic to wheat, eggs, dairy, and peanuts. My diet consisted in a combination of over compensating with what I could eat and just ignoring my allergies all together, rebelling and eating any and everything in sight. 3 months later and I am looking at a 15 pound weight gain. I identified my decrease in exercise as a catalyst for everything, so I wanted to tackle that problem.

Not being able to go to a gym and exercise is just an excuse for me. I have too many resources and too much knowledge about fitness. I am a Physical and Health Education teacher for crying out loud! I have to walk the talk and be a good example for my students, peers, and family. This is my passion and my calling in life. So I have to put in the work necessary to lead the masses. So how can I get over my own personal issues for the greater good? I decided to use my passion to motivate me. I am a very competitive person, which is what made the group exercise classes such a great thing for me. I took pride in being at the front of the class trying to out do or stay up to par with the instructor. Now that I don’t have my membership the only way to bring that same spirit would be to lead my own workouts.

Some colleagues of mine expressed that they wanted to lose weight by running the stairs in our school. I had previously brushed it off because I had my own workout regimen that was working for me. I decided that I would not only join in on their activities, but I would also invite them to some activities of my own. Another reason I did not reason jump at the opportunity to workout with them was because I didn’t believe what they were planning to do was effective. Of course doing stairs is better than nothing, but it wasn’t a very comprehensive exercise. They would not being running up and down stairs long enough to build any considerable amount of cardiovascular endurance and it would be focusing on building lower body strength. I didn’t want to rain on their parade so I just avoided the topic. Now that I am planning workouts in addition to theirs, I can give some advice and ideas without being condescending.

Previously I occasionally led Zumba Fitness classes, but it didn’t really take off. I wasn’t able to be consistent with my demanding athletic schedule and everybody did not like Zumba and dancing. Now I am planning on alternating between circuit training, weight lifting, running, HIIT (high intensity interval training), Dance Fitness (I can’t call it Zumba anymore because I am no longer licensed), and Yoga. I will lead workouts Tuesday and Thursday and alternate between the different types of workouts each week. As the instructor this will push me to do my best and be consistent for my group. When I workout on my own its hard for me to push myself without any competition so the intensity of my home workouts tend to be very low. I hope to lead by example; spreading the importance of fitness, introducing others to some new exercise ideas and concepts, and intensifying my own weight loss efforts. Plus, I gots to have a really hot body to pull off a lot of female Cosplay ideas.

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