Saturday, March 31, 2012

Things Women Say to Personal Trainers

Hello Beautiful Ones,

To Hightlight the topic of having a lack of motivation... Here is a funny clip of how we can sometimes sound when we make excuses about our health.

*Excuse the Profanity in the Title

I Can’t Get Motivated

Hello Beautiful Ones,
Sometimes we all need that extra push to make us get in the “fitness frame of mind”. Whether you are content with your weight or need to shed some pounds, fitness and nutrition should always be a top priority. You owe it to yourself to feel as good on the inside as you look on the outside. Remember, it is not about trying to look skinny; it is about being healthy.
Stop with all the excuses on why you cannot find time to work out or stay healthy. 
Here are a few reasons and tips to help you get excited and motivated about your path to optimal health:
Ø  Set Fitness Goals
o    Refer to my HEALTH model on goal setting
Ø  Do it for yourself
o   You owe it to yourself to feel & look great
Ø  Do it for your love ones
o    Be healthy for the ones who love so you can share precious moments for a lifetime and you have the energy to partake in fun, family activities
Ø  Surround yourself with positive people
o    Discuss your fitness plan with those who you can trust and those who will support you
Ø  Discuss your fitness plan with your doctor
o    Sometimes a doctor does know best. He or she can assist you with creating a meal plan and help you resolve health-related issues
Ø  Look at a photograph of yourself when you were in the best shape of your life
o   This will remind you of how fine you were and how good you felt. ;-)
Ø  Get a workout partner, join a boot camp, or hire a personal trainer
o    They can give you the encouragement you need to stay active and you can track your progress together. You can swap healthy recipes, exercises, etc.
Ø  Download a playlist of workout songs
o   Download your favorite upbeat or inspirational songs to a portable device. This will make your workouts less boring. Listen to inspirational music while cooking. Sometimes the television with commercials showing tempting food ads can be distracting
Ø  Buy a cookbook
o    Purchase a Cookbook that is filled with healthy, nutritious recipes
Ø  Workout While Watching TV
o    You don’t have to be an athlete, gym rat, runner, or cyclist to workout. Create a workout plan, like squats, lunges, crunches, while you watch your favorite sitcoms or reality shows.
Ø  Buy a dress or pair of jeans at the size you would like to be
o   So, if your birthday is in August and you are a size 16, purchase a size 12 and work hard to wear your birthday dress.
Ø  Join a fitness support group
o   You will be surrounded by professionals and women like you who struggle with weight loss and need motivation.
Ø  Buy a fun workout DVD, upload YouTube fitness videos, or if you have cable, view fitness videos by choosing the On Demand options.
Ø  Make it a Family Affair
o    Take walks or jog with your kids and/or significant other. If you have toddlers, walk with a stroller. Walk the family pet(s). Cook healthy recipes as a family. This is will instill the importance of health to your children.
Ø  Ask Hair Kitty Kitty for advice

Now you have plenty of reasons and useful tips to get started on your path to optimal health!
How do you stay motivated? Please comment. I’d love to know.
Good luck on your new fitness program!
Hair Kitty Kitty

Setting Fitness Goals

Hello Beautiful Ones,

One of the most difficult challenges in life is staying fit and healthy. During the years, 2008-2010, I gained 20lbs… that is 10lbs per year. It was various reasons why I gained so much weight so quickly: stress, poor eating habits, lack of exercise. I always tried new diets and exercises, but they failed every time. So early 2011, I decided to take action.  I found it useful to develop my own weight loss challenge for myself. I created a meal plan, actually used my gym membership, and worked with a personal trainer for motivation and strength training. But before I did any of this, I set goals for myself.

It is best when setting goals to present a challenge for yourself so you don’t get complacent or loss interest. Presenting challenges or increasing the level of difficulty will push your to conquer your goals. An action plan will reduce regressing back to old, unhealthy habits.

You can also use my HEALTH model that I used for hair goals to apply to fitness goals:

Have a specific plan and start now. Use specific goals. Don’t be too broad or vague. Don’t say, “I am going to work out”, instead you can say, “I will walk 4 days per week for at least 30 minutes”. See the difference?

Erase your negative attitude. You must remain positive. Negativity breeds failure. Please do not self-sabotage yourself with bad thoughts. You have to believe in yourself and believe in your goals.

Attainable & realistic goals. Understand that your body is unique to you. An unrealistic goal is to be 5’7’’ weighting 180lbs, and expect to be 140lbs in three months.  A realistic goal may be to be 5’7’’ weighing 180lbs and be 160-170lbs in three months.

Learn your body. Stop comparing your body to others. Do not assume skinny is healthy. The goal is to be fit not thin. Understand what exercises help you to burn the most fat and build muscle. Also, learn different healthy food alternatives that can replace the unhealthy foods you have been eating for so long.

Track your progress. Write your goals down and create a food and exercise journal.  Take pictures of yourself. Strive to reach target dates. A time limit will give you a sense of urgency and increase your desire to achieve your goals. For example, track how far you are running, how many laps you swap, how repetitions you do and the amount of weights you use. Get feedback if you are working with a workout partner, instructor, or personal trainer.

Have patience. Health is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Think in the present, not in the past. Your short term goals will lead to long-term success.

My fitness goal for 2012 is to consume more water daily, exercise for at least an hour 4-5 per week. Complete 3 5K’s, 2 10k’s, and one half marathon.

I hope my HEALTH model will be a useful tool in the journey for optimal health. I believe in you. Fitness does take hard work, stick to your goals and it will become second natural. If you have set backs, refer to your fitness journal for motivation.

 Most importantly, always consult a physician before starting any exercise program or making drastic changes to your diet.

Read my post, I Can’t get Motivated, for tips on how to get motivated to start a fitness program.
Please share your fitness goals for 2012! I would love to hear them!


Hair Kitty Kitty

My Fitness Story

About 5lbs from being at my heaviest weight
At healthier weight with slight muscle definition
Hello Beautiful Ones,

For as long as I can remember I have always struggled with my weight. I was never obese or called “fat”, but I was overweight and it took a toll on my body. As an adolescent, I did go through what many called a “chubby” stage. Once I shed those pounds going into junior high, the cycle of inconsistent exercise and a poor diet continued. I would lose five pounds only to gain ten.
My relationship with food was like a love-hate relationship. I love to eat sweets constantly, but hated to eat veggies and drink water regularly. It wasn’t until college where I tried to take my health a little more serious; however, I went about it the wrong way. I tried too many diets, Master Cleanse diet, The Sacred Hearts Soup diet, veggies only, Special K and Slim Fast diet. None were permanently successful. They may have worked for the first couple weeks, but I would have a relapse, going back to fast food and junk food. I would work out like a maniac only to get burnt out over time.
I had to do something to change this cycle. The extra weight I was carrying (especially around my mid-section) made me feel fatigued, bloated, and insecure about the way I looked and felt.
I stopped trying these quick fixes. I wanted to develop a lifestyle change; a fitness program designed uniquely for me. What made me change was when I went to my annual physical I was told I had high blood pressure. I was only 25 years old with high blood pressure. So just because I didn’t look “fat”, I was not healthy.
Last year I got focused. I created my own meal plan, hired a personal trainer, and developed a love for running. I went from 173 pounds to 148 pounds. Honestly, I sometimes still struggle. I never got back to largest size because I would tell myself, your health is most important. It’s not worth having a stroke at 30, if you can do something about it to lessen the risk.
This year and beyond, I plan to further my commitment to my health. I had to change my views on exercise and nutrition. With maturity, I learned my goal is not to be skinny/thin, but to be fit and healthy. I set concrete goals that I will follow. I have designed my own meal plan. I also plan to make sure I am consistently exercising through various fun activities.
So, what I am trying to say is, you are not alone in your struggles with getting fit. It is not easy. There are no quick fixes; no miracle diets.  Fitness is about being in good health through exercise and proper nutrition. You have to put in the time and hard work. With consistency and diligence, it will pay off.
Read my post, Setting Fitness Goals, to get started with me on our journey to optimal health!
Hair Kitty Kitty

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trendy Hairstyles of Spring 2012

Hello Beautiful Ones,

If you like to switch up your style each season of the year, here are a few purrfect styles that are trending right now:

Short and Sassy
Meagan Good

Shaunine O'Neal

High Bun

Lala Vazquez Anthony


Fish Braid

Angela Simmons

Long & Wavy

Evelyn Lozada

Big & Curly

Kelly Rowland

Taren Guy

What hairstyles will you be rockin this Spring? Please comment or post your Spring 2012 hairstyles!


Hair Kitty Kitty

Photo Credits:
Short & Sassy
Shaunie O'Neal: Jen Lowery / Splash News
Meagan Good:
Natural Model:
High Bun
Lala Vazquez:
Fish Braid
Angela Simmons:
Natural Model:
Long and Wavy
Evelyn Lozada:
Big and Curly
Kelly Rowland:
Taren Guy:

Vacation Hair

Tips Women Can Use to Maintain & Style Their Hair While on Vacation

Hello Beautiful Ones,
Going on vacation should be stress free. You should be out having fun, relaxing and enjoying yourself. You work so hard so you deserve a vacation and your hair should look fabulous.  Since vacation season is in full effect, I want to share a few tips that can help you prepare and maintain your hair when you are away from home.

Cleanse and Deep Condition Your Hair
You should not leave home for a couple of days and not fully detangle, cleanse and deep condition your hair. Your hair should still display shine, fullness, and style while you are on vacation. I also recommend using a good moisturizer or water-based leave-in conditioner to combat dryness and frizz.

Be Prepared
Plan your hair around your itinerary. Plan your hairstyles accordingly. Also, think of day-time hair styles and evening hair styles.

Pack Light
Bring travel size products and bring what it is necessary to maintain your style. Make a checklist of what you need to keep your hair looking great- Cleanser, Conditioner, Leave-In conditioner, Styler/Gel, Butter/Oil,  Hair Accessories, Comb, and a Spray Bottle with Water (use this option to dampen your hair if you do not plan to wash or co-wash).

Wrap It up
Pack a satin scarf or satin hair bonnet to protect your hair and your hair style at bedtime. Keep your hair wrapped or covered if you are planning a road trip and have times where you sleep in your car. This will also make sure you are not losing moisture and shield your hair from any environmental hazards such as wind exposure and UV rays from the sun.

Here are some suggested styles for Naturals/Transitioners and Extension Wearers

Naturals                                                            Extension Wearers
Wash and Go
Wet & Wavy Extensions
Afro Puff/Bun/Braided or Twisted Updo
Half Wigs
Two-strand twist or Twist Out
Whole Wigs
Braids or Braid Out
Rod Set
Bantu Knot-Out
Braid Out on Extensions
Side Braid/Bohemian Braid/Fish Braid
Pin Curls
Rod Set
Straight/Yaki Extensions
Pin curls on Straighten Hair
Braids/Twists/Braided or Twisted Updo

You can also add flair to your hairstyle with a nice scarf with patterns, a fedora, sun hat, hair flowers, plain and bedazzled headbands.
How do you maintain/style your hair while on vacation? Please Comment & please post any photos of your vacation hairstyles.

I hope this information was helpful. Have a safe and delightful vacation!

Hair Kitty Kitty

Hydrate Yourself

Hello Beautiful Ones,
We all love a nice glass of sweet tea or lemonade; wine or champagne, KooI-Aid or fruit juice. But some of us avoid water like a natural sista avoids a perm.
Drinking water is very important. I know this has been said a million times, but ladies it is true.  Our bodies are estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent water. Your lungs, blood, muscles, and hair contain water. You need water to regulate your body temperature and provide the means for pertinent nutrients to travel to your organs and tissue. Water is needed to transport oxygen to your cells, remove waste, and protects you joints and organs.
You know how it is if you go throughout the day and you have not consumed any water. Your mouth gets dry, your skin and lips are dry, your voice cracks, you feel fatigued and/or light-headed, your urine is a dark color, and sometimes you may get a little constipated. None of these symptoms are attractive and they are a sign of poor health. You are constantly losing water through sweat, urination, and respiration. You have to put the water that is going out of your body back into your body.
There are many benefits to drinking water. Here are a few:
Lose Weight
Feel Healthier; Feel Less Sick
Reduces Cramps
Relieves Constipation
More Energy
Makes you feel refreshed
More likely to have a youthful appearance with healthier skin

Here are a few tips to increase your water intake:
1.  Drink at least 8 glasses or 64 ounces of water per day- One way to take the stress is drink one glass every hour or every other hour. Drink one glass of water every hour at work to get that requirement accomplished.

2.  Add fruit- add lemon, oranges, or lime for flavor. You can also freeze the fruit and use the fruit instead of ice cubes.

3.  Add a straw- this will make it interesting. It allows you to purchase a cute, insulated, refillable container that you can take to work or take on the go. Place the straw and take sips or big gulps.

4.  When craving junk food or soda, drink a glass of water. This will make you feel full and lessen the craving. Plus, look at all the calories you are cutting out.

5. Try water enhancers: Mio, Crystal Light, Special K are great choices

Remember before making changes to your diet, always consult a physician.
It is getting warm and we are participating in a lot of outdoor activities, so especially drink plenty of water.
If one of the tips listed above doesn’t work, try another tip or create your own. Health is about exploring different options that will work for you. Sometimes you have to be creative and inventive.
Good luck on your journey to optimal health!
Do you drink enough water? Please share tips that you to increase your water intake.


Hair Kitty Kitty

Yes, It’s a Weave! So What?!?

7 Creative Ways to Give an Explanation to your Beau on Why you Wear Weaves and Extensions

Hello Beautiful Ones,
Whether you occasionally or frequently rock a sew-in, weave ponytail, lace front wig, or half wig, there is always an awkward time when your new beau will ask you if you are rockin’ your real hair or sporting a weave.
The subject of weave has always been a sensitive subject in the black community. Other races of women wear wigs and extensions all the time. So hair extensions are not just exclusive to us. We have many reasons why we wear these pricey pieces: glamour, fullness, length, or medical reasons.  Do not be embarrassed or ashamed to tell him the truth. Show him that you are the style goddess you were born to be. Hair doesn’t make you who you are. If he likes you for you are on the inside, he will accept your weave.
If you need a little help, here are seven explanations that can be used. (Make sure you exude confidence):
“I love my real hair! I'm not bald-headed. I use weave as an expressive styling option. It’s like playing dress-up”.
“I wear weaves to protect my real hair from environmental hazards, such as the sun and wind”.
“I am trying a new hair color”.
“My natural hair is already beautiful. I just wanted to add length and fullness”.
“It is more convenient for me to wear extensions when I work out. You want me to look good right?”
“I get bored easily… I have to switch up my style”.
“I wanted to try this new look without cutting my natural hair”.

Even if he is still clueless about why you wear weaves, he will respect your honesty and confidence. As long as your weave is clean, smells fresh, and compliments you and your lifestyle, he will accept the true fashionista that you are.
Ladies I hope these tips will help!
Please share the comments you tell a guy when he asks about your weave!
Good luck on your relationship!
Hair Kitty Kitty

What is Hair?

Hair 101

Hello Beautiful Ones,

I feel that if I am going to blog about hair and hair styling options, I first must discuss what hair is:  the structure and its components. How can you learn to care for your hair if you do not know what it is?

Let’s take a quick look at a scientific understanding of hair:

  • ·         We all have between 100,000-150,000 follicles and hairs on our head, which is genetically predetermined. (2)
  • ·         Each hair on our scalp is composed of a protein called keratin, which is made of amino acids. (2)
  • ·         Hair also contains lipids (fats), water, and melanin granules (this gives our hair color and minerals). (2)
  • ·        The hair follicle is a tubular sheath that encloses the root of the developing strand. (2)
  • ·         The hair (protein in the hair) beneath the scalp becomes hardened. (3)
  • ·         It is pushed out by growth that continues in the hair follicle. One the hair is pushed out of the scalp it no longer experiences cell division. (3)
  • ·         Cells that are no longer dividing are dead cells. (3)
  • ·         Technically, hair is dead. Not just the ends, but the entire strand. There are no living cells above the hair follicle. That is why when you cut or trim it, you do not feel a thing. (3)
  • ·         We sometimes assume it is alive due to lifelike characteristics: shine, elasticity, and resilience. (2)
  • ·         The hair follicle can produce other characteristics such as tightly curled hair, wavy, and straight hair, depending on your genetic makeup. Some people have hair follicles that produce wavy, curly, and straight hair and a combo of all three. (2)
  • ·         The hair shaft has 3 components: (1) (4)
1.       The Cuticle: An outer protective layer (Form overlapping scales which make the hair flexible). The cuticle has no color. You can “open the scales’ to allow substances and chemical to penetrate the shaft
2.       The Cortex: A Central Middle. (Determines the color of the hair). It is made of long fibrous polypeptide held together by 3 bonds: hydrogen, salt, di-sulphide or sulphur. The chains give us the ability to stretch our hair into different hairstyles
3.       The Medulla: A Central Core (typically found only in thick, coarse hair).
  • ·         The Sebaceous Glands (oil) are part of the hair follicle. These glands produce sebum, our hair & skin’s natural oil. (Not on palms of hands or soles of feet). (1)
  • ·         Sebum conditions the skin and act as barrier to prevent moisture loss. Sebum is made of a mixture of fatty lipids-glycerides, fatty acids, wax esters, squalene and cholesterol. (1)
  • ·         The structure of the hair gives it a healthy appearance (3)
  • ·         Depending on the porosity and flexibility of the hair, you can loss that healthy appearance. (1) (2)

Healthy hair strand

Damaged Hair Strand

Understanding the structure and characteristics of your hair is important. Please understand that hair is not living. This will help you understand the importance of preserving your strands, which I will discuss in future posts. You will be more likely to engage in healthy hair practices once your understand hair preservation. This knowledge will further aid you in developing a solid hair care regimen.

Did you enjoy this quick scientific breakdown? Please give me your feedback.

Hope this information will be useful in your hair journey!


Hair Kitty Kitty


1.       Audrey Davis-Sivasothy, The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care, ( Stafford, Texas: Saja Publishing Company, LLC, 2011).
2.       “What is Hair”, 2012.
3.       Chicoro, Grow It: How to Grow Afro-Textured Hair to Maximum Lengths in the Shortest Time, (ChicoroGYA Publishing, 2009).
4.       “What is Hair: Hairdressing Training”, 2012.

The Importance of Setting Hair Goals

Hello Beautiful Ones,

One thing I love about us women is that we are natural at multitasking. We all wear many hats: Mom, daughter, sister, aunt, student, businesswomen, etc. With our lives being so busy, sometimes it leaves us little time to care for one of our most dear assets: our hair. You work hard, right? So, why not put that same effort into the heath of your hair.  I know it is hard to set aside time to really focus on your hair daily when you have a lot of things going on.

I believe one reason we get frustrated with our hair and do not achieve the healthy hair we desire is because we do not set goals for our hair. Like anything else you do in life you have to create a plan for success. In life you have to consciously put a plan into action to solve any problem that may arise. So increasing the health of your hair is no different.

So, let me make it simple. Use my HEALTH model as a useful tool in setting hair goals:

Have a specific plan and start now. Use specific goals. Don’t be too broad or vague.  Instead of saying, “I want long, shiny hair”, say “I plan to achieve Bra Strap Length (BSL) and achieve length and shine by moisturizing daily”. Also remember, it is never too late to put your plan in action. Start today.

Erase your negative attitude. During this journey you must remain positive. Negativity breeds failure. Please do not self-sabotage yourself with bad thoughts. You have to believe in yourself and believe in your goals. Start to appreciate your hair.

Attainable & realistic goals. Understand your hair is unique to you. Stop comparing your hair to others. Set goals within reach that will fit your situation. Use a common-sense approach.  An unrealistic goal is to have shoulder length (SL) hair now and expect your hair to be waist length (WL) in 12 months. A realistic goal is to have shoulder length today and plan to attain armpit length in 12 months.

Learn your hair. How can you expect anyone to know what your hair needs to thrive if you don’t know yourself? It is your job to understand what products and methods work on your hair. Do your own research when it comes to your hair. The hair care process is trial and error. By setting goals you can reduce the errors.

Track your progress. Write your goals down and create a hair journal. Take pictures of your hair. Strive to reach target dates. A time limit will give you a sense of urgency and increase your desire to achieve your goals.

Have patience. Hair growth and health is not a sprint, it is a marathon. On average hair grows approx. 6 inches every 12 months. There are no shortcuts. Learning your hair and what it needs take time. Don’t rush the process. Be excited that you are on a journey to become a more beautiful you.

My hair goal is to have full armpit length hair by April 2013. I plan to achieve this by properly cleansing my hair & deep conditioning weekly and moisturizing daily. Also, I plan to wear protective styles 90% of the time.

So ladies, I hope this info was useful. I just want you all to stay encouraged and with each gain in your progress, do something to reward yourself. Don’t stress or obsess over your hair. Set your hair goals & make this process fun and you should be just fine.

Please share what your hair goals are for 2012? I would love to hear them!

Good luck on setting your hair goals!


Hair Kitty Kitty