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"Natural Beauties Who Follow My Blog"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"15 down with 5 plus to go!!!!!!"

As some of you know my DH and I are ready to start a family so when I went to my doctor she said that I should be in the best health/shape possible before I get pregnant which meant I knew I needed to lose some weight. I am 5'7 and I found out that I was about 14 lbs overweight based on my BMI, go figure I thought I was looking good (just kidding, I knew I had put on some weight). When I got married 6 years ago I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life at a whopping 178lbs and before I started this diet I was slowly approaching that magic number again at 173lbs. So I decided I needed to change my eating habits, get my workout plan in action, and make a lifestyle change so that when I lose the weight it will stay off! My goal is to reach 150 by the end of April because that is when I plan to end my diet, yes I said diet, I had to start somewhere (smile).

I started working out everyday for 30-40 minutes (walking, eliptical, weights, exercise ball, crunches, squats, leg lifts, etc.) and I also started the Slimfast Optima plan at the end of January, actually January 29th to be exact and my plan was to diet for 3 months total so that I can reach my goal of 150. For my height that puts me about 9 lbs below my healthy weight and it also gives me a healthy BMI, so I will be satisfied :) So as of today, April 11, I have lost 15 lbs, which brings me to 158. Now the question is can I lose 8 more lbs by April 30th? Possibly, but I will be satisfied with 5 more at least bringing me to a total of 20 lbs loss. I do want to be a few lbs below my healthy weight so that it will be easier to maintain and so that when I shift between a couple of pounds here and there I will still be within my healthy weight and a maintain a healthy BMI.

If any of you are interested in checking what a healthy weight and BMI is for your height and body type you can check out the Center for Disease control website, I found this website to be the best and the most reliable resource:

Now some of you may be thinking why would she lose 20lbs+ to then turn around and get pregnant. Well, I am glad you asked that question? The doctor said that when you are within your healthy weight with a healthy BMI you will lose the baby weight much faster and it is not suggested to gain 30 to 40lbs unless you are underweight, but more like 15-25 when you are at a healty weight. Also, since I have built new healthy eating habits with less junk food and more fruits & vegetables, have changed my lifestyle by eating smaller portions, and implemented a daily exercise routine, I will be more motivated to get back to my healthy weight and I will know how to do it successfully without dieting (in addition, since I was an athlete throughout highschool and college I have adopted some of the excercises and tips we used as athletes). The reason I did slimfast is because I wanted to lose the weight a little faster so that me and my DH could get busy making babies because I am not getting any younger ((((Laughs))))).
Anyway, I just wanted to share my good news because I have been feeling soooooo good!
Photo taken today by my DH. My DH doesn't think this photo highlights the weight-loss as much with this outfit, but I was in the mood to post this message tonight so this is the best I had for the moment (smile). When I finish my 3 months I will do a celebration I DID IT post with a outfit highlighting my curves and swerves (((((hahahehe))))).......

My hair is free style with a ponytail pulled up with one of the hair ties that my blogging buddy Cheleskilove hooked me onto that I purchased at WalMART. (Locked 3 years 9 months).

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you....Chosen Vessel


I hope my fellow blogger and Sisterlock family member Brunsli does not mind me snabbing this from her blog but I wanted to give Kiri some love also. Please vote, vote, vote, this girl deserves to win, the video is POW-ER-FUL!!!! Below is the message Brunsli posted regarding voting for Kiri:

A girl like her ... deserves a scholarship (updated)
Kiri Davis was in third place and far behind on April 6 when I originally posted this. Now she's a close second. Please take a moment to vote for her again today, tomorrow, and the next day. (Thanks for the update Sunsail!)

Remember Kiri Davis's short film called "A Girl Like Me" that everyone was talking about last fall? (See the video in my Sisterlock information section of this blog). Well, CosmoGirl.com is having a scholarship contest for teen filmmakers, and Ms. Davis is a contestant.
and vote for her! You can vote once a day.

I never would have guessed I'd be promoting anything related to Cosmo on my blog!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Be Strong- In Christ!

Locks and the Black Woman

Locks and the black woman:
It isn't about what's on your head, but in it............
Photo illustration by V.C. Rogers

My heart hurts. It aches for my nappy-headed compatriots. I recently read another e-mail forum response from a woman who signed her message as "Successful Black Woman," and then proceeded to explain why it's critical that African Americans perm into oblivion all of their natural hair traits so that we can be deemed acceptable to society.

Black self-hate is so incredibly powerful, I am often awestruck by its singeing sovereignty in the hearts and minds of so many of my people. Surely, by now, the force has become incarnate—something with horns, perhaps.

I need to say from the outset that I absolutely love my hair. Four years ago I went to someone certified in the Sisterlocks hair system to start the locking process. Sisterlocks aren't very common in this area, but in a nutshell, the locks are much thinner than traditional locks. Most people don't know what they are, and I'm frequently stopped by black women asking, "What are those?" and "Is that your real hair?"

Mal, who tightens my locks every six weeks or so, says a lot of black women find it difficult to believe that their hair can be both beautiful and natural. I know she's right. I endured 40 years of hair abuse to get to this point, starting with "creamy crack"—what locked sisters call the crème relaxers—braids, two-strand twists and extensions. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years committing crimes against nature. And yet, the choice to wear locks was a difficult one; I spent six months researching and thinking about it. And yes, I did wonder what "society" would think ... but not for long. The hubby was like, "Whatever makes you happy," and that was all I needed to hear. I picked a style, and the day my locks were started was truly one of the happiest, most freeing days of my life.

Which is why comments like the ones from Successful Black Woman are so disheartening. The debate began anew when a college student cut off his locks so he could get an internship at Black Enterprise magazine. I don't judge; it was his decision to make, and I hope it worked out for him. What I find hard to tolerate are those African Americans who really believe that in order to be successful, you have to do all you can to slip past employers without them noticing that—gasp!—you're black.

Listen to Earl Graves, Black Enterprise's publisher, in February 2000: "Simply put, we must remove every reason—including things as superficial as our style of hair or dress—that an advertiser, an event sponsor, a subscriber, a job candidate and even a co-worker might have for not wanting to do business with us."

Anyone seen Earl lately? You can spot his oversized, 1970s-Superfly-pork chop sideburns from 50 feet away. If you honestly think your hair is the only thing preventing you from getting a job, you've got another think coming.

My 14-year-old daughter prefers perms (or relaxers, the correct term for most of us). I would love to see her with Sisterlocks, but it's not my decision. She is a free spirit, loud, intelligent, funny and athletic. And she likes her hair the way it is. She has a handful of close friends, white and black. Her music preference is metalcore, like Boys Like Girls and Jump Suit Apparatus. I strongly dislike their music, but again, it's not up to me. I would no more demand she only listen to certain types of music than demand she stop using chemicals on her hair. My job is to help her be as healthy, successful and happy as possible, and it doesn't have a thing to do with her hair.

My 18-year-old son is into the art of graffiti, anime, martial arts and Japanese. His world is rap, break dancing and some skateboarding—and his locks were started just over a year ago. He collects friends like fleece collects lint. In fact, they are very much like lint—different colors and shapes, some of indeterminate origin. He is quiet and his unfailing respect for others has parents and professors raving about what a great person he is. I don't like the way he chooses to wear his clothes, but I honor the young man he's become and his decision to major in graphic design. I can't imagine him working anywhere where artistic expression, personal or professional, is restricted. He wouldn't want to, and I wouldn't want that for him.

I like to believe my own diverse tastes and style helped my children to know that they're free to be who they are, as long as they do not buy into the false tenets of a make-believe culture that negates their heritage or the pervasive abstraction that there are degrees of blackness: You can't have white friends, or like rock music, or you can't be successful if you dress and act "too black" or if you are sporting locks.

I've heard that crap all my life. I think '60s Motown and '70s soul comprise the best music ever created. But am I less black because between Al Jarreau and Kanye West are CDs of Elton John, Steely Dan and Carole King? Or am I too black, because my strong, healthy locks flow past my shoulders, or because I have a bookcase filled with African-American literature? Do the Shakespeare and Stephen King collections balance it out? Is it OK if I still listen to NPR on the weekends?

If I ever thought I needed others' approval to be myself, I'd likely be dead by now. Dead, because my internal organs would have burst from the persistent compression as I wound and twisted myself into a knotted, pretzel-like being to suit everyone's belief of how I should look, act and sound, complete with a lobotomy to ensure I'd be incapable of original thought. india.arie summed it up well in her 2005 hit, "I Am Not My Hair": "If I wanna shave it close or I wanna rock locks, that don't take a bit away from this soul that I got."

If people are freakin' out over locks, it's because of the chains on their brains—like Successful Black Woman, who insists that by embracing all those things that ensure our hair never is seen in its natural state, we ensure our acceptance in the country into which we were born, America, not Africa (her distinction, not mine).

I am so very, very proud to be an American. But tell me: What is American hair?

Thus, the heartache. I feel sorry for people like her who are so brainwashed that she can't even see all the happily locked and successful black professionals likely in her midst. Probably something with horns blocking her view.

Leslie J. Ansley is the content manager for Consultwebs.com. She also consults with Ego Marketing Group and owns www.la-creative.com and www.trianglegrapevine.com.

Friday, April 6, 2007


How Jesus Might Look Back at the Cross
Reverend Austin Miles www.crosswalk.com

The world today is in chaos. There are no restraints in human conduct. Absolute values have long been abolished. Good is considered evil, and evil is considered good. And never has The Cross been more offensive to society than it is today. Sin abounds. Any mention of the name Jesus Christ brings contempt and ridicule. His name is blasphemed and many public displays of Christianity have been declared illegal, while at the same time, pagan religions are readily endorsed and encouraged. Seeing all of this, would Jesus have second thoughts about Calvary? How would He look back on his sacrifice
today? Think about it.

Prayerfully pondering these questions, this writer speculates what
Jesus might say to us today as He looks back to the Cross:

... But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is
with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Our time reference is much different in Heaven than it is on earth.
If you were to be with us in Heaven, you would see an entire life
spin out from birth to death in a matter of seconds.

This is why coming to earth to face Calvary's Cross was the greatest
challenge I have had to face during my existence. First I had to come
under the earth's time system of seconds, minutes, hours, weeks,
months and years.

Even more challenging was agreeing to inhabit an earthly human body
with its inherited sinful nature. A body that would feel the
driftings and currents of the world as well as the pain.
And it may surprise you to learn that I had to exercise extreme faith
to go through with this.

Remember, I began my sacrificial life on earth as a baby... a new
birth on earth. As a baby I had to be fed, bathed, and diapered like
any other baby. I had to learn to take my first steps, learn to
understand and speak words, and, experience the growing pains of

The time passes slowly for young people and soon there was such a
feeling of distance between where I was at that time, and my time in
Heaven with my Father, that it almost seemed a memory that may or may
not have actually been.

And while instinctively I wanted to be about my Father's business,
the Jews in the synagogues would curtly ask, 'Who is this boy who
asks such questions? Isn't this Joseph the carpenter's son?'
I eventually faced the appointed day... a day where I would take on
all the sins of mankind
, a day where I would (in a human body) die a
disgraceful, excruciatingly painful death while the Roman soldiers
ridiculed me and religious leaders mocked in the distance.
And yet, this was the only way that mankind could be redeemed, saved by Grace, and reconciled to God. Without this sacrifice, all would perish, which had been Satan's plan since the Garden of Eden.

My human body was capable of the same temptations and stress as
yours. This is why that in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing what I
faced the next day, I sweated great drops of blood. And yes, at one
point (giving into the body I inhabited), I cried out: 'Abba, Father,
all things are possible unto thee; take this cup from me...
nevertheless, not what I will, but what Thou wilt.'

The reality of what I faced was now before me. The unspeakable pain.
Having to endure all the sins of mankind in my body... having to be
taken to hell and back, to be ridiculed and to have one of my own
disciples betray me... for money.

I had to call on every ounce of faith I possessed to go through with
this. But I had no choice. The world itself was at stake. And my love
of mankind was such that I would have none perish.

As my Father promised me, and, as explicitly detailed throughout the
prophecies, the entire event went exactly as foretold, ending in
great victory. Lucifer suffered his greatest defeat as the keys of
death were snatched from his hands.

Death was conquered, giving instead, to all who believe in Me,
everlasting life with me in Paradise.

Looking at the world today... a world filled with violence, chaos,
sin, unspeakable crimes against humanity... and even seeing those who
call themselves My servants cutting down each other and distorting my
Word, one could well ask, 'Was it all worth it? If you could go back,
would you go through the crucifixion again?'

Yes I would. I would go through the whole thing for any ONE of you here. That is how much I love you.

When you join me in Heaven, you will understand why I would want to
share this Paradise with you. Heaven (you will see) is filled with
exquisite peace and joy, and a place where you will inhabit perfect
heavenly bodies... bodies free from aches, pains and disease.
On second thought, let me clarify something. There will be one
imperfect body in Heaven. And every time you see the nail holes in my
hands and feet, and the scar in my side, you will be constantly
reminded of how much I love you. And let me add, it was all worth it.
So come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek
and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my
yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Remember, Jesus died for all of humanity and He still lives today in those who have accepted and received Him as their Lord and Savior. If you would like the assurance of Heaven please invite Jesus into your heart right now; Pray this prayer with me right now:

Father, I come to You just as I am. There is nothing I can do to earn salvation I cannot work my way into a right relationship with You. The Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith as a gift from You. I confess that I have sinned against You and others. I ask You to forgive me and wash me clean with the precious, life-giving blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son. I believe that He died for me—He took my sin upon Himself and died on the cross for me. And I believe that He was raised from the dead, giving me power over the enemy. Jesus, I ask You to come live inside of me. I don't understand everything about being a Christian, but I invite You into my life to help me learn daily how I am to live. Thank You, Father, for Your gift of restoration and eternal life. I am so grateful for Your love and mercy. In Jesus' name, amen.

Welcome to the family of God. On my website you will find resources that can get you connected with a local church in your area and help you start your relationship with Jesus. You are welcome to email me at any time!

Warmly, Chosen Vessel
Email: hischosenvesselministry2005@yahoo.com
Rev. Austin Miles, an interdenominational chaplain based in Northern
California, is an award-winning writer and author. He was a writer,
researcher and technical consultant for the multi-award winning TV
series, Ancient Secrets of The Bible, which originally aired on CBS
TV. He can be reached at: chaplainmiles@aol.com

Related Links
Holy Week: Walking to the Cross -- Rev. Brian Bill
Last Words on a Final Friday -- Frank Wright, Ph.D.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"Lock Survey"

Okay ladies, now I know we all love our locks but I wanted to get your input on any minor or major problems that you have had with your locks and how you resolved the problem.

One reason I like doing different types of surveys is because I think they are beneficial for the locked community. Information is power and I have learned so much from the many comments on my blog on how to care for my locks and how to address some of my hair issues like my "runaway hair line."

I love to learn and I really love to share the knowledge with other sisters and brothers so that we can all be empowered to make good "hair decisions." So I would really be grateful if you all shared your experiences with all of us.

1. Since you have been locked, what are some of the "minor" or "major" hair issues you have been dealing with?

2. How have you resolved the problem or how are you resolving the problem? If you have methods, products etc. that are working for you, please share.

This post is not at all meant to discourage anyone from getting locks, its primary purpose is to inform and prepare all of us so that we can have a positive hair experience. Our hair is far from being "problem free," no matter how we are wearing it, but from my experience, since being locked, for the first time I can actually say, I LOVE MY HAIR and I have had less problems with it. I must admit, when I was permed I began to detest my permed hair and all of it's expensive problems, but with Sisterlocks I can shout glory HALLELUJAH I AM FREE !!!!!!

Thank you in advance for your input!
Chosen Vessel