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Things You Need for a Successful Start to Your Weight Loss Journey (emotional obstacles and the support you need)

Embarrassed to admit, that my weight loss plan is not really… going. When I was young, losing weight was so easy. If I put my mind to it, inches came off with barely no effort at all. To this day, I still claim “losing weight is easy, once I try.” That’s the main thing… have I tried hard enough? What are my barriers? Why am I not committed to this even after I write to the whole world that I’m doing this!? Again… I resort to making lists.

THINGS YOU NEED TO (START) A WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY
(things you need to (start) getting skinner!)

1).  Bad habits stopped Losing weight, especially STARTING the process, can be near impossible if you still carry bad habits like: smoking, frequent alcohol use, buying junk food, skipping meals, not getting enough sleep, etc. etc.  *JUST STOP — if you want to START this path to a healthier life…

2).  A support system  |  It can be really hard if the people closest to you, your partner and friends, are not supportive of you. Support comes in all forms the biggest one can be emotional support. I find it difficult to be motivated if someone keeps calling me fat and pointing out my flaws. And I would much rather hear “You can do it, let’s go on walks together” as opposed to “You keep saying you are going to lose weight, get off your lazy butt and do it.” In some cases (I’d argue most) it does the opposite of helping. A solid support system is a must. It’s hard to do it alone, emotionally.

3).  Measurement tools  I’m not just talking about a scale, calorie counters, mile trackers… I’m talking more about your own personal way to measure failures, success, and most importantly progress.. (and then talking about the progress and things that are working can be just as much a help…. hence, this blog (for me). ***I should be sharing my progress and failures with you.

4).  Self Awareness   |  Kind of goes with the above ^ Do I even know how much I’m losing or intaking everyday. And that is speaking about more than just food? How do I respond to world as I go on with my day? Am I happy and fulfilled? Do I enjoy my life? Ask someone in your life if they notice differences –  not in your looks/weight – maybe ask them about your general outlook on life, attitude, work ethic, etc. Chances are if you are unmotivated, unhappy in your job, in a bad relationship, etc. etc…. it can contribute to a failed weight loss attempt. Know yourself in and out! Weight loss truly starts on the inside!

I know what I have to do to really jumpstart this weight loss process. And in making this list (and plenty others) I am becoming more aware of exactly what is stopping me – and how I need to support myself better in this effort. I invite you to share your experiences about losing weight, and how you overcame the obstacles that were keeping you from simply… STARTING.

Until next time!

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Day 50: What I’ve Learned During my Shampoo-Free Lifestyle Transition

Hi guys! Sorry it’s been a while. I’m on Day #50 with no poo, and I am still loving it! I thought I’d share with you some things I’ve discovered throughout this process.

•  Hair type really matters. Just because the recipe says 1 TBSP of baking soda, doesn’t mean you have to follow it, every scalp reacts differently. (Thick hair needs much more)

•  The “shampoo” step of the baking soda wash really needs TLC. You can’t just wash quickly. Deep massaging and rinsing really is necessary.

•  Stress and other life factors play a role! I found that sometimes I could go a week or longer with simply rinsing my hair with hot water. On weeks where I was much more stressed, I noticed that my hair got greasier faster, and during these times did “the wash” every other day or so.

•  Hairspray and other products create grease and irritation faster as well (use minimally).

•  My hair is getting waves. I haven’t gotten a perm in about 2.9 years. But this process has really brought back the waves, it’s great! Not sure if it’s because my hair has always held a curl well and that I’ve gotten many perms in my life… but this brought it back for me!

•  I’m getting less strands in the shower! It truly seems that I am shedding less hair. I’ve always hated the fact that my hair comes out by the clumps sometimes, but this seems to be fixing that.

•  If it works, don’t fix it. I have been super curious about trying new strategies; a different vinegar product maybe, or adding a natural shampoo to the mix… but I’m leaning towards keeping consistent for a while.

We’ll see how that goes!

One thing I will investigate and write about next >>> What to do / What to dab onto your scalp to soak up some of that grease. I rub my fingers in it sometimes like ick, how can I help this?

Until next time!

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Update on My Shampoo Free Lifestyle – Day 25 “Patience Pays off”

Okay so it’s almost been a month since getting completely off shampoo and conditioner. I tell ya, it gets gross. I almost gave up a few days ago. Yep, Sunday night I decided I’m showering and shampooing my head that feels icky more than it feels good. I didn’t want to feel greasy at work Monday. I told my boyfriend I’m giving up on it he looks at me surprised “Why?” Usually I get no kind of reaction, I mean I didn’t think he was listening to me when I yab about this stuff. So I realized that this was something I talked about trying for a while, and I shared my story with everyone. I realized (as I’ve been ((shamelessly admitting)) only crawling into what is supposed to be a big intense, blog worthy weight loss story) that like getting my health in check, this no shampoo thing is going to just take time. ***sigh

It just takes time. Patience. Work. I’m in it for a better view on life, I’m it it for a healthier life… I’ll do the work. Everyone tells me patience pays off. Okay, I accept. Dang though, I wish I hadn’t lost 60 pounds during soccer Freshman year… like nothing… then maybe I’d know patience.

I can do it! It will pay off.

ANYWAYS

I fell asleep without showering Sunday, and even after inching out of bed thinking YES I’m going to shampoo my hair today ahhhh… I remembered this insight about patience and commitment, and I sucked it up. I did the baking soda | vinegar thing and called it a morning.

So… since starting this 25-26 days ago… I have done this cleanse I think 6-7 times maybe 8.. But this time, I actually used the vinegar again. Long story short, I’m not a huge fan of my hair feeling soft or silky. I do not, did not condition my hair with every shampoo. So after the first 2 times of doing this, I unsurprisingly starting skipping the vinegar too. Maybe this was a mistake because Monday night was awesome!! After a day of being in a loose braid, naturally air drying… my hair felt so SOOO much longer. (And I am notorious for thinking my hair never grows). Just touching it made me think it had to be like 2 inches longer. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just looking for validation, but I don’t care… things are paying off, I just need to be patient.

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Wow. Eager to see what will come of this? I’m excited. During those few weeks of uncertainty I kept thinking that if I gave up it’s because this may not be right for me. Maybe my hair was already thick and shiny and long enough that this wouldn’t do as much for me as it would for a thin, short haired person or someone with unmanageable or sensitive hair. Nahhhh! This is going to do something good for me, and I’m feeling really good about it now!

Salad Variations to Try!

Salad Variations to Try!

via Pinterest 🙂

Shampoo-Free Lifestyle: Transition Period – Days 4 – 9 Update

On Tuesday, which would be 3 whole days since I did the Baking Soda + Vinegar cleanse described in this post, and 6 days since my last wash with shampoo… I broke down and repeated the cleanse. By that time I did see a few flakes. I wondered why though. In retrospect, I don’t think I rinsed my hair well enough after the Baking Soda. I made sure to do that this time, in piping hot water.

After this, my hair felt great again… just like after a regular shampoo. The next days following left me feeling a little greasy, but not bad. I pretty much tossed it up from Wednesday to Saturday, at which point I did the cleanse again, exactly 4 days after this second one. I think what will start happening is that I’ll see more and more days go by before I have to cleanse again. (Cross your fingers!)

Below is a photo of how greasy and icky my hair looked yesterday (day 8 since I started this thing). It was so greasy on top and snarly/poofy on bottom from being in a messy bun. I really wanted to do the cleanse but actually never got around to it, so I did it this morning on day 9. The wash was much needed and the vinegar felt nice… it definitely works as the “conditioner.” Afterwards I let it air dry slightly before putting it in two wet braids with some lavender oil for smell. It felt and looked great. (While we’re on that, did you know that braids are good for our hair? My sister used to say that and wore it in braids almost every night. I followed suit, and still do often. It speeds up the drying process and keeps it feeling smooth, you should try it! Less snarls and easy waves 😉

All in all, for those of you following, I have yet to see a major difference with the look and feel of my locks since I began this new shampoo-free lifestyle, but I think the transitional phase is getting easier. Stay tuned!

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“Think yourself Thinner” (by Lauren Conrad)

“Think yourself Thinner” (by Lauren Conrad)

Shampoo-Free, Day 3 [photo update]

Last night I made the decision to wake up and do the cleanse, but I didn’t. I want to let it be …and I hope it pays off. I just threw it in a bun and said go with it! My head feels good. It does feel a little itchy… but still no dryness or flakes!  On a different note, I saw this article about easy up-dos for second day hair. I’ve always found that when I haphazardly throw it up like today it looks its best, but perhaps I will be forced to be more creative in the weeks to come…  See you at the next post!
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Shampoo-Free Lifestyle, Day 1 and 2: I feel greasy, but it’s okay

Immediately after initiating my Shampoo-Free Lifestyle  I started feeling good, which is the point of all of this!

After I did the Baking Soda + Vinegar cleanse   …I let my hair air dry after lightly brushing it, adding a squirt of that Olive Oil lotion I mentioned in the previous post. I feel now, that I shouldn’t have done that. (Thus why I will further research essential oils) But take it for me, do follow this tip… let your natural hair and scalp do it’s thing, totally refrain from chemical product during this transitional period. (no hair spraying, blow drying, nothing!) — Your poor scalp is recovering.

 Noted!

On this first day my hair felt lighter, less tangly for sure, very silky (the greasy kind of silky that makes me kind of uncomfortable like my hair is extremely thin and dull). It could’ve been worse. I wore it down pretty much all day which is huge for me. It looked fine. I felt no itchiness, there was absolutely no dandruff or flakiness. When I tossed it up it looked and felt good, no biggie.

Day 2 – I feel greasier and wanted to do something about it!

It’s Monday and I had to go to work. (Background: Last time I officially washed my hair with shampoo was Thursday. I had Friday off and did this Noo-Poo Paste on Saturday.) So today it’s been roughly 4 days; I felt pretty greasy. My hair looked very wet, and my hair does have that straw-like feeling I’ve heard much about, just around the roots. There was no dandruff though, I felt no itchiness whatsoever, still. Feelin’ good 🙂 I styled it the best I could today, but tomorrow I’ll try harder and give you an update! The best part about this so far is that I don’t feel dirty or gross… the “greasiness” is just a look – if I can deal with this for a while, I’ve heard it’s worth it. Till next time..

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Bye Bye Shampoo: How To Transform your Locks with Shampoo-Free Hair Care

I’ve become fascinated with this trend, have you heard of it? Some call it the “No Poo Method”… I’m calling it the Shampoo-free lifestyle. I look at this as less of a trend but more as one of the best kept secrets in natural beauty.

To give you a little background I’ve never been one to spend much time on my hair. I’ve always had long, thick locks, a head of hair really easy to style… but seriously – I never curl it, rarely spend more than 5 minutes on it, I wear it up every day… it’s getting old! So I’m starting to care more for my hair. And this no shampoo concept seems like a great gateway into a new, natural way of hair care.

You can start this process too! And I hope this post will help get you started. Before jumping in read on for more background on the true benefits of skipping over those traditional shampoos..

What shampoo and conditioner actually do

Traditional shampoos are actually detergents, yes DETER-agents. (Doesn’t that tell you right there that they work against you?) These chemicals are supposed strip your hair and scalp of dirt and oil to “wash your hair”. What they actually do is strip the hair shaft and all the wonderful, natural oils (called sebums) that your scalp creates. And the conditioner? That is meant to replace those natural oils in your hair, the ones that your shampoo has just stripped away. Well how does that make sense? All this does is require your scalp to be shampooed/conditioned on the daily. Or you just feel gross right? Dry, itchy, greasy and irritated!

This is not a good cycle for our hair, period. Because of shampoo and conditioner, our scalps overproduce sebum in attempts to replace what is being stripped away from the agent. When it comes down to it our scalps just want to work naturally for us. But they’re suffering! Our scalps are desperately trying to reach balance…

Let’s get our locks back to equilibrium!

Tips before beginning the process…

1).  Plan this process. Try doing it when you know your hair does not need to be flawless like for a Wedding, portrait, job interview, etc. (This whole process takes time)

2).  Clarify your hair before you start —- Since most chemical products contain silicones in them (which are not water soluble) there are many still stuck in your hair, and these are damaging. Get a “Clarifying Shampoo” to use as a final shampoo wash 🙂 (*do this whenever you’d normally wash your hair next) This final step helps ease the transition period. But if you skip it as I did, it may just add a week or two to your transition. I’m cool with it!

3).  Remain open-minded and read into this. It might not work as desired right away, just keep adjusting and trying new things for your hair type, color and thickness. (more articles below that can help with this)

Getting your hair’s natural balance back….  THE BASICS

Goal? Use Baking Soda and Vinegar as Shampoo and Conditioner replacement once or twice a week or less (as needed) – to gain back your hair’s natural oily balance, giving you BETTER hair in the long run.

Baking Soda = cleaning agent applied to roots and massaged into scalp

Vinegar = conditioning agent applied to length of hair

For oily hair — reduce vinegar + increase baking soda

For dry hair — increase vinegar + decrease baking soda

For long or thick hair — increase ratio of soda to water

For short or fine hair — decrease ratio of soda to water

Main tip? Be patient and just try for *balance – try different ratios of product and/or different variations of the product to get better results

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Keep in mind

This whole Baking Soda and Vinegar thing is working to bring your hair to its natural equilibrium. Some do this about once or twice a week, but some get to the point where all they need to do is rinse their hair in hot water for their “wash.” It’s really quite intriguing! ****REMEMBER**** you really want your scalp to produce its natural oils, so try hard to refrain from using any additional products (besides essential oils). It’s hard! You might want to stick to hats, head bands, and an up-do for a while… but it’s so worth it! Once the transition phase is over – product can still be your friend. But I’d still recommend the most natural products you can find. 

Stay Tuned!

Today marks day one for me. I will be posting more pictures and comments as I continue this transition into a Shampoo Free lifestyle! [Here’s Day 1 – 2]

Other great blog posts I’ve referenced on the subject:

Simple Mom’s post How to Wash your Hair Without Shampoo and her awesome 2 year later update

Leah of Code Red Hat posted a more detailed article about the No Poo Method > Never Shampoo Again!