Workout Change Up and Health Issues

Workout Change Up and Health Issues

Hi all! It is getting closer to summer and I am super excited! I just wanted to post an update on a couple of things today.

Workout routine change

I said a while ago that I like to do workout routines for a certain amount of time and then pick a different one. Well I am excited that I finished the eight weeks of the upper/lower/HIIT routine! I was getting sick of it to be quite honest.

My new workout routine is going to be the War Room Strategies (my post about it:War Room Strategies). It is going to be tough but wonderful! Like I said in the other post, I highly recommend this routine.

Since it is getting so nice out where I live, I think I will start walking for an hour in the morning after my son goes to preschool. I just feel like I am sitting a little too much. 10,000 steps a day is what I am going for!

Health issues

The monthly flare ups I have of horrible gastric issues is really getting to me. It usually only happens during the fertile window of my cycle but now it seems to be happening whenever. I hate these flare ups so much because I am unable to have quality family time during them.

I was thinking that I might have endometriosis so I posted my flare up problem on a forum dedicated to that condition. The women told me that it sounds more like a hormonal thing that relates to my PCOS diagnosis.

I want to get my hormones tested again so I can maybe figure out what is going on. Birth control is something that doctors like to prescribe for PCOS symptoms but I really do not like the possible side effects of them. Maybe with the hormone level results the doctor would be able to find the birth control that would work the best and not give me a lot of side effects.

I just need some solution to this problem. Enough is enough.

A Blast From The Past- 30 Minutes To Fitness: Muscle Definition Kelly Coffey Meyer

A Blast From The Past- 30 Minutes To Fitness: Muscle Definition Kelly Coffey Meyer

I was cleaning out my closet and I came across a lot of things from my past (okay not that long ago!). Instead of continuing to clean and organize I found myself just sitting in the middle of the huge pile I made. Memories came flooding in and paralyzed me.

2010: Back to health

This workout DVD pictured above was the start of a turning point in my life. I had just come off of a years worth of disordered eating and exercising. The anorexic voice was still there in my head but it was slowly being shoved away by a newer, healthier voice.

I did not always feel like walking to the fitness center at the college so I decided to do this DVD in my dorm room. From seeing the recommended weights of the dumbbells I thought it was  going to be really easy. I was surprised at how wrong I was.

In this workout DVD there are full body and upper/lower routines to choose from.  The weights are to be from five to twelve pounds. I ended up doing the full body workouts  three times a week for a couple of months using eight and twelve pound dumbbells.

Yes, I know that is not very much weight!

I realize that lifting heavy weights is a wonderful thing to do. However, this was still a great workout that I would totally recommend to other people. I can honestly say that I did get more arm and leg definition doing it.

This is great for someone who wants to work out at home and has a few dumbbells laying around. Do not expect any cardio and a happy, chipper trainer though. She is just there to make sure you get a great workout in.

Maybe I should buy more of her DVDs and make a three month routine out of it? That sounds like a good idea!

Cue the tears

Just seeing this DVD made me well up in tears. A lot of the visions from nine years ago came back to me. It was the time I took my health back. The time I broke free from the disorder that kept me in its strong grasp.

The good and bad memories that came back while I was staring at the cover are important. They are a part of my past and now I have moved forward.

I was feeling lost in life these past few months but finding the DVD filled me with hope and positivity. It showed me that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I have worked hard to get to where I am today so any sense of failure should be sent packing.

 

If you are reading this and you have been feeling awful about yourself lately, better days are ahead. Trust me. If you need extra help outside of yourself, then make sure and get it. Sometimes it is hard to get going in the right direction but you can get there.

I Have Dyscalculia

I Have Dyscalculia

I think that most people have a weakness in something.  My weakness is in the area of math. Only recently did I learn that there is a name for this. It is called “dyscalculia” and there are a lot of others out there that struggle with it.

What is dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a disability that affects the learning of mathematics. To some, it is considered the math version of dyslexia (https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/dyscalculia-facts#1). Some of the symptoms include:

  1. Trouble learning to count as a young child
  2. Trouble learning simple and complex math
  3. Trouble with spatial skills
  4. Trouble reading an analog clock
  5. Trouble with estimation
  6. Trouble reading large numbers
  7. Trouble counting money and making change
  8. Trouble remembering formulas

Growing up

I am not good at math and I never have been. My math problems first started in the 2nd grade. I remember it vividly. There were reading and math groups based on the level each child was at. I was in the lowest math group and the highest reading group.

There was one day in class where we had to write all of our numbers to 100. After the teacher graded it I saw that I had missed a bunch of numbers. I remember feeling so embarrassed by this. After that day it seemed like I was in a downward spiral failure.

I was doing so poorly in math that in the 5th grade there was some talk of me possibly having to be held back. This made me feel awful about myself. Fortunately, I was able to get it together so that my grade improved and I could go to middle school at the same time as all of my friends.

My math struggles continued on and in 9th grade I actually failed algebra. Like actually FAILED! I was so depressed and hated myself. Feelings of worthlessness consumed me.

My parents enrolled me in Sylvan Learning Center in my second semester of 9th grade. I hated going there but it did help a lot. After a while though, I stopped making progress and my parents unenrolled me. I recall some days being handed a math problem and I would just stare at it without a thought in my head.

There was no way that I was going to be able to do the required geometry course in 10th grade so I started an online program. I barely got through this to be honest. Fortunately, I ended up doing just well enough to pass.

At least I graduated from high school on time!

College

In the summer following my high school graduation, I took a remedial algebra course at the community college. I hated it but I did pass.  At that point in time I really wanted to be a nurse so I knew I needed to get better at math.

The math professor told me that I would be fine to take a chemistry course so that is what I did. Needless to say, it did not go fine! I ended up dropping out after the first week.

I realized that being a nurse would not happen so I decided on a major that did not require so much math and science. This major was Communication Disorders and was supposed to lead to a career in speech pathology.

In another post (College Experience) I talked about all the majors I have thought about so I will not go into all that again. Suffice it to say, nothing has really worked out for me in terms of college majors and careers.

These days

Even though I feel really dumb I try not to dwell on my math difficulties too much. I do have to thank my lucky stars that I am able to do simple math  (addition, subtraction, fractions, multiplication, division, simple algebra etc) because some people with dyscalculia are unable to.

I do wish my brain worked differently but there is nothing I can do about it. There have been many times where I have thought that dyscaculia has held me back in life but maybe it really has not. Maybe I was just not meant to be one of those things that require a lot of math? As in, maybe if I was able to do more complex math I would still have not liked those careers I thought about.

Right now I am just a stay-at-home mom trying to figure out what my next income generating gig is going to be. Going back to college is not really an option so I am pretty much at a loss.

Also, I really hope that my son does not end up with dyscalculia. If he does, at least I am educated on the subject and can advocate for him.

 

My Least Favorite Lower Body Exercise

My Least Favorite Lower Body Exercise

We all have exercises that we dislike more than the other ones that we do.  The sense of dread might rise within when it is next in the workout routine or we are cursing to ourselves as we are doing it.

As one is doing the particular exercise, they could have the mindset that it will be over soon. This may power them to get through it mentally and physically.

If one really despises it, then they should assess if it truly needs to be part of their workout routine. An alternative exercise could be chosen since there are a lot of different types to choose from.

To have a healthy life and reach fitness goals a person needs to arrange their workouts so that it is at least tolerable for them. There are days where one might not want to work out at all but overall there should be enough interest in the routine that it can be done somewhat consistently.

I have to admit that overall, lower body workout days fill me with dread. As in, I really do not like that type of workout concentration. Upper body days are where it is at for me. That being said, I would never choose to not have lower body days in my workout routine because I know that they are important.

There is one lower body exercise that  will never be tolerable for me. Do you want to know what it is? Read on!

I hate them!

Ready? My least favorite lower body exercise is (drum roll please)…

834df455372aed57e29eed322deb8617--dumbbell-squat-palms

Squats!

Yes, that is right. I do not like doing these at all. No matter how much I try to force myself to like doing them, it never works. I have to just face that I will never like them.

Squats are seen as an essential exercise in lower body weight lifting. It is said to work the full body especially the butt, hips, thighs, quads, and hamstrings. It is also called a “functional exercise” as doing it helps in our everyday lives(https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/strength-training-101-how-to-squat-properly).

It seems to have become a popular thing in social media for the past few years. There are dozens of Pinterest pins and Instagram posts about doing squats to build a better booty. They usually include pictures of backsides that are considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing  for inspiration purposes.

In short, squats are wonderful for us! I still hate them regardless. There are a variety of different types of squats that can be done and I hate them all. I do put them into my lower body workout days but I am screaming inside my head during each set.

Doing squats feels so uncomfortable and strange to me. I have went over my form through videos and with a personal trainer to make sure I am doing them correctly. Unfortunately, it did not matter or make a difference. They just do not feel right to me. I hate them!

I will continue to do them anyways in order to keep a relatively nice booty on me. There will never be a day that I will like them though.

Are there any lower body exercises you dislike/hate/despise?

 

Urban Decay Foundation Review

Urban Decay Foundation Review

I did a review of Smashbox BB Cream a while back. At that time I was a little discouraged that I would not be able to find a good foundation for me. I decided to go to the Sephora site two weeks ago to look through the top rated makeup that is on there. After looking at my options I decided on buying this foundation by Urban Decay.

The product

Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup is one of the more popular types of foundation out there. It is liquid as the name states and includes ingredients that are said to improve the condition of the skin.

The coverage is medium and it is supposed to dry with a matte finish. It comes in 26 different colors that are all labeled by number (.5-13).  They come in 1 oz containers and go for around $40.

My opinion

fbt

The picture above of me smiling says it all! I am so glad I found this foundation. My color number is nine (as per the shade finder test) which is perfect for my skin tone. It makes my skin more even with how it reduces the appearance of my hyperpigmentation marks.

The texture of the foundation feels really light to me and I prefer it to the Smashbox BB Cream. It lasted the whole day and did not change color on my skin like it has for other people. It seems like it would be kind of expensive if you are a person that wears makeup everyday. For me it will last quite a while due to the fact that I will not be wearing it that much.

Would I recommend it?

Yes! If you are on the prowl for a new foundation, this is definitely one to try out.

 

Have any of you used this foundation? How did you like it?

Here is a link to my other foundation review: Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream-My Review

 

23andMe Results

23andMe Results

As a person who was put in foster care as a baby, the genealogical side of me has always been a mystery. I love my parents who raised me but there has been a void inside of me due to not knowing who I came from.

Growing up, I was mainly around people who had their biological family in their lives. I would hear things about family resemblances as well as genetic risks they had. This fueled my interest in finding out information on my genes and maybe even meeting my biological family.

Then came 23andMe

In 2011 I found out about 23andMe through a forum I frequented. One of the threads in the genealogy subforum mentioned African Americans being given free kits for a limited amount of time. I jumped on this opportunity and was ecstatic to see the box in the mail a few weeks later.

I sent my kit back in the mail and had to wait two painful months for results. I was thinking about it everyday! My ancestry results did not really matter to me as much as the health ones did but I was excited to learn about both anyways.

My results

When I saw that the results were in one day, I actually screamed out of happiness. It was a little confusing navigating the site at first but it did not take me too long to figure it out. The fact that my hands were shaking from excitement did not help anything.

I went to my ancestry results first and it said that I am 86.9% African! I was not surprised about that high number because I have strong West African features. At this time in 2011 there were no details when it came to the specific countries that make up my African ancestry so I was left wanting to know more. I was still happy though.

A couple years prior to getting the test done, I had been trying to learn about the West African countries. It was so interesting seeing the women in the countries because it looked like I would be able to blend right in.

As far as the health results go, I learned some odd things. Some of which included that I have a gene for light colored eyes, I am supposedly more likely to have straight hair, less likely to need braces etc. Upon further look I read that the results were only applicable to white and Asian people in some cases. Looking back on it, the fact that my son ended up with blue/green eyes is an indicator that some of it could be true.

My relatives

I was actually hoping and praying that one of my biological parents or half siblings would be on there. That was not the case however. Sigh. Most of the relatives listed were of northern European descent and only considered to be my 5th cousins.

Maybe someday a closely related relative will join the site. I am not holding out too much hope though. It has been almost eight years since I got the test done and it has not happened yet.

The new results!

Recently the 23andMe company changed everyone’s ancestry reports and added some detailed information. They are now able to pinpoint more specifically where your ancestors came from. It was immensely exciting for me to see my African ancestry broken down after all these years.

The majority of my African heritage is from Nigeria. I have been mistaken for a Nigerian a few times in my life so this was no surprise to me but still wonderful to learn. I am really proud of my heritage!

You should get it done too

If anyone is interested in finding out more about themselves they should definitely check out 23andMe or the other companies that are like it. It is amazing to see how far scientists have come in understanding genetics.

Here are a few links:

https://www.23andme.com

https://blog.23andme.com/ancestry/haplogroups-explained/

You can look at my results here: https://you.23andme.com/published/reports/a8122a1df1054a84a9a2fa599e303a74/?share_id=a7662ad8c09848ef

 

Have any of you gotten tested by 23andMe or any of the other genetic testing companies?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That time I got Juvederm Injections…

That time I got Juvederm Injections…

In  early 2014, I became pregnant.  When I gave birth in December of that year I was excited to get my body back in shape. I started to work on it the day that I was released from the hospital. My goal was to get back in my favorite jeans in six months time.

My post partum shape up began with body weight workouts and less calories than what I was used to eating (but nothing too low). After a while, I started using weights again for my exercise routine. I also did a post partum Pilates DVD workout two times a week.

I seemed to be getting back in shape pretty quickly which I loved. Unfortunately, at around three months post partum  I noticed something weird about my face. There were these annoying lines forming. At first they were just faint but then after a couple weeks of me noticing them, they got deeper.

I searched on the internet about these lines and found out that they are called “nasolabial folds.” Just reading that they usually happen to people who are considerably older than me made me feel really self conscious. I was left thinking, “I am black! Why am I aging so poorly?!”

I had heard of facial injections before but I really did not want to go that route. People on forums recommended facial exercises and drinking green smoothies everyday to get rid of them. I tried these things for a while and my nasolabial folds did not get better. In fact, I think the face exercises made the folds worse. I must have been doing them wrong or something.

After doing more research, I  decided to take the plunge and get Juvederm. It is one of the dermal fillers on the market and it contains hyaluronic acid. It is expensive and it

That is how bad the folds were bothering me. I found a medical spa in town and booked an appointment. The cost was going to be $600 per vial and I was willing to pay for only one in hopes that it would be enough for me.

I was pretty nervous going into the back room of the spa because I thought it was going to hurt really bad. The registered nurse was very nice and calmed me down. She did try to sell me lip injections though which I thought was kind of silly.  I definitely do not need my lips to be bigger but I realized that she was just doing her job.

The injections only caused a little bit of stinging  due to the lidocaine that was in it and the fact that she had me numb the areas with ice beforehand. I received half of the vial in each fold and the results were amazing! Seeing my reflection in the mirror made me feel so good because I looked refreshed without those folds being prominent.

This was back in 2015 and I have not gotten injections done since then because I do not have the folds anymore. I am thinking that the nasolabial folds showed up because I was losing weight fast and then eventually my face snapped back to the way it used to be. Or maybe it is my perception that changed. Who knows. All I know is that I do not feel the need to go back for another injection.

Someone might think I am really vain for getting this procedure done and that is fine. Maybe I am vain. I had the money at the time and did my research on it so I decided to take the risk. This was my own decision to make.

Have any of you had Juvederm injections or are thinking about it?

 

https://www.realself.com/juvederm