Welcome To Chasing “Skinny”!

Welcome to your source for all things fitness related and then some. Here, you’ll find our version of “skinny” and it’s not intimidating or out of reach. Join the chase to hear about our current workouts, weight loss tips, healthy recipes, and more!

My Weekend Highlight: Fall Hair Update

Since Monday is rapidly approaching, I might as well reflect on my weekend. This one was a good one, though it really was focused on one main thing—my hair. Saturday was another wash day. Flashback to three weeks back when I took my twists out and I could not find my favorite deep conditioner posted below:

 

2014-10-19 17.45.40

 

Therefore, my hair was perturbed and uncooperative that initial wash day. The following weekend, I still could not find that stuff (I usually re-up at TJ Maxx). As I shopped with my fiance who was in town visiting, he looked perplexed and relayed that I should just grab another kind of conditioner. *Sigh* I had to explain to him that it didn’t work like that and that my hair was choosy and not fickle when it came to what products she gels with (pun intended). The following week, I was in Sprouts getting some more “goodies” for my Daniel fast when I went to the hair aisle out of curiosity. Ta-da! There she was, my lovely Giovanni <3.

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Happy, deep conditioned, coily hair

After deep conditioning, I had the style below in mind which I had been eyeing for quite a while:

To achieve this goddess braid, I finally followed the directions in the video, even though I reallllllly didn’t feel like doing much after washing and deep conditioning. I gave in and blow dried my hair on medium so that I could get my hair stretch out a bit. I’ve attempted the look above before without stretching my hair, but my  curls always made the braid look lumpy and sloppy and I didn’t have the length I needed due to shrinkage. Luckily, my hair was in mini sections any way, so it was actually a pretty quick blow dry:

 

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Stretched, bye for now curls

I copied the video as much as I could and was able to get my style for the week. I will wear this to the gym and work and hopefully, it will hold up. I am not very good with my hands, but I’m going to try to attempt more styles in the future after exploring more in the YouTube matrix.

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Close up

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Mission accomplished


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 Did you have any weekend highlights? New hair care discoveries? Share in the comments! :-)

Self(ie) Awareness: Stopping Comparisons & Seizing Your Joy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Let me just say that I believe that these days, this type of thievery has reached rampant levels, especially in my generation. I’m a part of Generation Y a.k.a. the Millenials (who get hated on all the time for having Peter Pan syndrome, feeling entitled etc. )  and who’ve been known for having an obsession with the self(ie). That’s a whole different discussion though. I’m focusing on the damage comparisons can have on daily lives.

As much as a blessing social media has become, it’s also a curse. If you choose to partake in one of the various social mediums, you spend your time sharing (or over-sharing) pieces of your life. You also see the supposed ins and outs of the lives of others. And you start to covet. Wonder. Want. Why don’t I have that? Why can’t I look that good? Ooh, I want that.

Maybe some folks don’t struggle with that *side eye* however, there have been plenty of studies that have shown that social media can make folks unhappy. For example, check out this study from Kyra’s alma mater, the University of Michigan.  I’ll be the first one to say that I’ve found myself questioning where I was positioned in comparison to others. The saddest thing about it is that 99.9% of what we put out in social media is what we want others to see and believe about us (duh). And even though most people have caught wind of this, we’re still trying to keep up with the Jones’ in several aspects. I totally understand why some people go off the grid and unplug from it all and just live, undocumented.

So what if we take out the “others” component and we’re just left with the “self?” I’m in week 2 of this mash up of the Daniel Plan. Besides altering my diet, I’ve pulled back on the amount of time I spend on social media and let me just say it’s been a breath of fresh air. I’ve been doing a bit of a weening process because I realized that I spend a lot of time on there. Whether it’s getting in my laughs from Twitter, updates from fam/friends on Facebook, and perusing pretty snapshots on Instagram—it takes up a lot of TIME. Time away from my real self.

 

Afterall, there’s more to the self than a basic selfie:

Selfie awareness.jpg

 

 

I’m not saying that others out there can’t inspire you or at least help you gauge what your particular goals should be. It’s great to have a model that is a positive influence (I’ve had models for my education, career etc.) I just think that there is a slippery slope which can lead to discontentment.  At the end of the day there are so many issues that we ALL face and you never know what another person is going through. So the next time you find yourself in the grips of comparison, just stop.  Think of your own progress! Sure I have my issues, which all don’t fit on my (real) selfie, but I shudder to think about what a snapshot would have looked like last year. I am my own measuring stick and I’m seizing my joy.

- Udeme

 Thoughts? Do you compare yourself to others which leads to negative thoughts feelings? Do others compare themselves to you?

Outfit of The Day (OOTD)

Friday.

Meaning casual day for me. I opted for bright colors today in the office. I am wearing a bright hot pink cover up that belongs to my middle sister. She got it from H&M. I am also wearing great capri work pants from New York and Company and low black heels from Alfani (not pictured). Check out my accessories below though!

I couldn't do a standing selfie. My bad.

I couldn’t do a standing selfie. My bad.

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New bracelet that my sister brought back from the Mother Land, specifically, Malawi. She went on an amazing mission trip there.

 

 

Still one of my favorite necklaces. Got this at at San Jose street fair earlier this year

Still one of my favorite necklaces. Got this at at San Jose street fair earlier this year

Have a great weekend!

-Udeme

Thankful Thursday!

“And when I wake up, everything I went through will be beautiful.” -Jill Scott110835-Be-Thankful-For-Every-New-Day

I’m awake and I’m thankful for:

1. Family,  near and far. I’m thankful that my familial network is huge and even though we are technically not all related by blood and many are my “cousins,” the outpouring of love is one of the best gifts I have in this life.

2. Health. I am well and able-bodied. I can see, I can hear, I can speak, I can walk. It’s the little things that are a blessing.

3. Love and an open heart to receive love.  Real, unconditional love.

4.  Friends, near and far.  Can’t express how thankful I am that my paths crossed with the friends I hold dear. Now, if only I could plan more vacays to see them more…

5. It’s almost the weekend  and I’m always thankful for that.

Thoughts? What are you thankful for? Feel free to share in the comments :-)

-Udeme

Seasons, ’14 + October Goals

I wrote a post about  seasons here on our former blog about law school.  Since then, I have changed and life has changed, thankfully. I was still in my early 20’s, still a student etc. It doesn’t seem so long ago, but life moves on and morphs and you adapt. And now as a fully fledged adult, the rules are still the same; life moves on and morphs. Adapting is in progress.

October-Scholarships-2014

Image courtesy of Collegegreenlight.com

The past few months have been a roller coaster.

Toward the end of summer, I was at a peak of absolute euphoria. The man of my prayers asked me to be his wife. I saw a new addition to my family born into the world and wondered at the miracle of birth. I spent precious time with family and friends.

As the season began to change, life continued forward and brought deep valleys. The death of a very dear loved-one and the heartache that follows.  Seeing loved ones in emotional pain.

It felt like I got a crash course of all the various cycles and stages of life all at once. The changes that this season have brought are known and unknown in the sense that while there have been evident changes,  there is no way to predict the effect the changes will have. What I know for sure is that every single moment is precious because life is fleeting. Everyone needs that reminder. Below are my goals for October which I hope will truly make me get the most out of life this month.

Goal 1: Complete the Daniel Fast

I am a Christian. I was raised in the Lutheran church my whole life. As time moved on and I went to undergrad and law school, I desired more than my parent’s “old time religion.” I wanted to discover Christ on my own. I’m still a work in progress, however, I truly believe that I am on the cusp of being more spiritually grounded now than in previous years. To my surprise, my church announced that they would be participating in the Daniel Fast starting September 28 and lasting 40 days. I’m a glad participant, though I am reallllly adjusting to not eating my normal foods. I have some hunger pangs yet I feel really good inside if that makes sense. Also, since I am coping with grief, I’ve been more in tune with my emotions and feelings and pouring my heart out to God during my devotionals. I feel more centered. My goal is to follow through and complete this fast while growing stronger in my relationship with Christ.

Goal 2: Reach out to family and friends via TELEPHONE

This is a typical goal for me, but one that has not been conquered. I keep in touch with very few people via telephone (Mom, siblings, fiance, a friend or two). My goal is to reconnect with friends and family that I really hold dear but that get lost in the shuffle. It’s always nice to know someone out there is thinking of you, plus, it’s nice to hear what’s going on in another’s life from them directly and not through the grapevine.

Goal 3: Workout consistently for my physical health and complete this October ab challenge

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This month, my workouts are important, but they are not the end all be all. I don’t want to beat myself up for missing a workout or two. I just want to try to be more active and to listen to my body and rest when need be, especially since my diet has changed dramatically. I am doing my own thing this month! Meaning no programs to follow except this ab challenge from my fave fitness Instagrammer @TameikaG.

Goal 4: Get the Ball Rolling On Wedding Planning

I’m engaged!

Le ring & le fiance

Le ring & le fiance

Woo hoo. I gave myself all of September to soak it all in and now it is officially time to get to work on these nuptials. I have created a Pinterest account and now I am trying to set up designated times to coordinate wedding planning with my fiance since we are still long-distance loves.

Goal 5: Live & Blog More

Lastly, I want to live. I work full time so on the weekends, I am always down for being a bum. I want to try to get out more and explore the bay area. There is a lot to offer and much that I am missing. I get Groupon and Living social deals on the regular so I should be able to get out the house and steal away a few times at a minimum. And I want to blog more consistently so I took a page from Kyra’s book and will be participating in this blogging challenge!

 

 

Thoughts? What are your goals for this month? Have you experienced big changes recently for better or worse?

Feel free to share below :-)

-Udeme

 *Note all links in this post are for reference only

A Day In The Life 9.10.14

Still loosely following the September Blogging Challenge!

7:30am - Alarm goes off.  Groan and hit snooze, per usual.

7:40am – My husband is particularly chatty this morning.  I lay in bed and we talk about who is going to pick up my mother-in-law’s puppy from doggy day care, what we should eat for dinner and how he woke me up taking antacids at 2 in the morning…you know, normal stuff.  I spent too much time talking so I don’t have time to make breakfast before leaving for the office.

8:30am – Arrive at work.  Snack on grapes and have coffee to prevent my stomach from freaking out.  I’m usually a wake up and eat immediately person.

9:00am – Have a client meeting first thing this morning.  Spend about an hour with them and send them off with their documents.

10:15am – Finally have a break to heat up a breakfast burrito.  I had this one from PJ Organics for the first time.  It was really good!  I’ll buy it again in the future.

10:30am-1:00pm - Work (which obviously includes catching up on blogs/news)

1:00pm – Head home for lunch.  I’m so spoiled living 10  minutes away from my office and it is so nice to be able to come home and eat real food and lay on the couch in the middle of the day!  I had a leftover shrimp and noodle dish that my mother-in-law made that I bulked up with some raw spinach (eating my veggies!)

1:00pm-5:00pm – More work.  Have an initial client meeting at 3 p.m. and work on some things for probate.  Sip green tea throughout the afternoon.

5:45pm – Arrive home.  Take the puppy for a short walk.  Eat a chocolate coconut Luna bar for a snack and watch 2 episodes of Gilmore Girls (Obsessed.  Forever and always.  Also, did you hear the news?!?!?!)

8:00pm – Finally sit down for dinner.  On the menu: buffalo chicken burgers courtesy of whole foods, spicy sweet potato fries, and broccoli…which I burned so only ate 2 pieces of.

8:30pm – Collapse on the couch to watch Coffee Town for the third time.  It’s embarrassing how much I love this movie

9:45pm – Shower/get ready for bed

10:30pm – Lights out!

-Kyra

Summer Beauty Favorites

 summerbeautyfavorites

Confession Time: I am addicted to hair/makeup videos on YouTube.

Confession Time (part 2): Getting married this summer gave me an excuse to spend an absurd amount of money on makeup and feel completely justified in doing so.

So, without further ado, let’s get into my faves!

1. MAC Fix+ Spray.  This is a setting spray that adds that “dewy” finish.  My skin is pretty oily in the summer so the dew occurs naturally, but this will continue to be a staple as we head into fall/winter and my skin gets dryer.  It works great as a setting spray, my makeup stayed put all day/night on my wedding day.  I also sometimes just spray this on my face when my skin looks dry and I’m wearing no makeup.  Great price too!

2. MAC Mineralize Skinfish in Cheeky Bronze.  I love this! I use this product as a blush, highlight (on cheekbones and inner corner) and also use it as eye shadow.  A very versatile product, especially for deeper skintones.

3. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Caramel.  Hands down my favorite concealer ever.  This is an awesome creamy, blendable formula (I apply it with my beauty blender).  I don’t think I’ll be trying a new concealer for a long while.

4. Amrezy Palette for Anastasia Beverly Hills. This was a post-wedding makeup purchase, but for such a beautiful palette priced at only $29, I had to pick it up.  I don’t think any palette has topped the LORAC Pro for me, but the colors in this palette are beautiful and unlike any others that I own.  The formula of the shadows are great and the design of the palette is perfect for travel!

5. GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment.  Let’s not even talk about the price on this stuff (I charged it to the game).  I discovered this mask while browsing in Sephora and picked it up based on the rave reviews online.  I bought it about a month before my wedding when my skin was going bananas due to stress.  I single handedly attribute having clear skin on my wedding day to this mask.  It is AMAZING. I used it 2-3 times per week leading up to the wedding, but now use it about once a week. If you struggle with acne I would get a sample of this at Sephora and see if it works for you!

That’s it for my summer beauty favorites! If you’re trying to step your makeup game up, check out my fave channels on YouTube

Nicole Guerriero

Jaclyn Hill

Teni Panosian (obviously a long-lost Kardashian)

Do you have any favorite beauty products to share?

Beauty trend you’re looking forward to for fall?  Personally, I can’t wait to break out my vampy lipsticks

Any cheekbone highlighters that you swear by for deeper skin tones? I’m on the hunt.

-Kyra

September Goals

 

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about my goals for the month of September.  Something about the start of fall and the “back to school” commotion got me thinking about goals.  I’ll  be honest, I’ve never been a huge goal setter, even though I know the benefits of writing things down and having visual reminders of what we want to accomplish.  I guess most of my life, up until recently, my goals were school, more school, and even more school, bar exam, get a job….then what?  Now that I’ve been employed in a legal job (thank goodness) for almost a year, I think now is a good time to evaluate some things I want to accomplish.

1. Make time to cultivate my creative side 

Let me just put this out there.  My job does not leave much room to be creative.  And now that the wedding is over, I’ve realized that I was using that as a creative outlet and I need to find other things to replace that.  For me, being creative can be a lot of things.  Some of the things I want to do are devote more time to blogging/writing.  I also want to make time to do more yoga.  I haven’t been since before the wedding and I always start to feel a little off-kilter if I don’t make time for a regular yoga practice.  Lastly, I want to continue reading for pleasure regularly.  I’ve done pretty good with this lately but I want to keep it up. If you’re on a Goodreads, add me (username Kyra SIms)!

2. Get back to regular exercise

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve exercised since getting married.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it; it was important to enjoy being a newlywed and soak up the time we spent going out to dinner and drinking too many glasses of champagne :)  I don’t regret it, and wouldn’t take it back, but it’s time to get back on track.  One of the big reasons (read: excuses) that I haven’t been working out regularly is because I’ve had analysis paralysis trying to find a new gym.  Since I moved across town, going to the gym I was working out at previously isn’t a realistic option since it takes me 25 minutes minimum to get there.  There’s a gym near our apartment that offers BodyPump classes (my absolute go-to group exercise class that I took while in law school) that I will most likely join.  It is so important for my mental and physical health to exercise regularly and I have to make time for it.

3. Eat more vegetables 

I do a pretty good job of making rough meal plans that I keep in mind when grocery shopping.  I’ve also done pretty decent at cooking at home during the week and going out only on the weekend.  But, I’ve definitely been slacking on my vegetable intake and I am going to try and be more conscious to include a vegetable in all of my lunches and dinners and one snack per day.

4.  Go on 2-3 walks per week

This goal might begin and end in September because winter in Michigan is coming (siighhhhhh).  But, my husband and I have been going on walks some evenings during the week and it has been so nice.  Talking about our days without the distraction of technology has been great for connecting after work.  Plus, the weather is still decent and fall is my favorite season.

5. Strive for balance

This will always be an ongoing goal, but life changes make it more difficult.  I could devote a whole blog post (let me know in the comments if you’d be interested) on how life has changed since getting married.  As I figure out my new identity as a wife, I also have to maintain/juggle my other relationships as a daughter, sister, aunt, employee, etc.  Equally as important I have to maintain and nurture the relationship I have with myself.  No easy task but something we all struggle with!

I think 5 goals is enough and attainable, nothing super lofty.  I should mention that if you’re a fellow blogger and looking for new content I was inspired to write this post from Girl Meets Life September Blogging Challenge.  Check it out! 

 

What are your goals for September?

Does the start of fall signify new beginnings for you?

Are you a frequent goal setter? If so, do you write them down, have a vision board, Pinterest board, etc?  Let me know in the comments!

 

-Kyra

My Straight Hair Routine!

So, I know I promised you guys a straight hair routine after posting my curly hair routine (check that out if you haven’t already!).  I think styling my hair curly or straight takes about the same amount of time initially, but when wearing it straight I don’t worry too much about upkeep until my next wash, unlike with curly hair.  Anyway, here are the deets!

Clarifying

Anytime I plan on using heat on my hair, I know I need to clarify.  I still stay away from shampoos containing sulfates.  I usually use Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle to shampoo and then follow up with a very basic ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) mix to make sure my hair is squeaky clean without using detergents! My ACV mix is about 1-2 tablespoons of ACV mixed with ~1 cup of filtered water.  I put this in an applicator bottle and spray it onto my hair and scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

Detangling

This step is the same as my curly hair routine, but I don’t divide my hair into sections as I’m not doing as intense of a detangling.  I use Herbal Essences “Hello Hydration,”Aussie “Moist,” or Trader Joe’s “Nourish Spa” and a wide tooth comb to gently remove any knots.

Deep Conditioning

If I’m straightening my hair I use one of my more high-end products to deep condition.  I don’t know if it actually makes a difference but it makes me feel better! Right now I’m using It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask that I found on sale at Nordstrom Rack.  I apply product LIBERALLY and sit under my hooded dryer for a minimum of 30 minutes before rinsing.

Blow-Drying

Before blow drying I section my hair off in about 8-10 sections and apply a light leave in conditioner/pre-blow dry product/heat protectant.  Right now I alternate between HealthySexyHair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In ,Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream, and Aveda Brilliant Damage Control Spray.  I want to emphasize that I don’t use much product when I do this, as I find I get the best end-result when I don’t use much product when flat-ironing my hair (which is the complete opposite of what I do with my curly hair!).  After applying a leave-in I blow dry on high speed, medium heat.  I used to use a blow-dryer with a comb attachment, but now I just use a brush to avoid the blow dryer coming into direct contact with my hair.

Flat Ironing

When I finish blow-drying I section my hair again, in roughly the same size sections as before blow drying.  I then further divide each section into smaller pieces and only flat iron my hair in about 1/2 inch chunks.  I use a Babybliss Nano Titanium flat iron that I love and was recommended by my hair stylist when I still lived in D.C.  I’ve tried using the “chase method” (check it out on YouTube if you don’t know what I’m talking about), but I haven’t really gotten the hang of it.  I usually just revert to how I’ve always flat ironed my hair, meaning that I NEVER get my hair bone straight, it always has some type of curl at the end, which is fine with me!  Here are a couple pics of my straight hair…

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bachelorette party!

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engagement photo :)

Maintenance

 Since I always end up with some type of curl in my hair, to preserve my hair overnight for the first few days I usually pin curl my hair.  Once the curls wear themselves out I wrap it at night until I decide to wash my hair.  If my ends start to feel dry I use a very light-weight oil (right now it’s Grapeseed oil) but only on the ends before tying it up at night.

satin bonnet FTW

Straight Hair and Working Out

I’ll be honest with you, I definitely consider the intensity of my workouts when I’ve put in all that effort to straighten my hair! For the first few days I will limit myself to yoga, weights, light cardio on the elliptical. or a routine I can do at home with a scarf on my head! After a few days I usually get over it and go back to my normal more high intensity routine and just wear my hair in a bun or a ponytail until my next wash day.

 

I hope this was helpful for you! If you have any questions or comments about my straight hair routine leave them below! And please comment with any new hair products you’ve been loving…I’m a product junkie.

-Kyra

Weight Loss Talk: The 80/20 Rule Is Real

They say you can’t out-train a bad diet and I wholeheartedly believe that statement is true.

2014-07-20 16.22.58

As of late, I’ve realized that for the past months, my food intake has not been so great. I’ve had too many cheat meals or fell off the fitness train (worked out inconsistently) or drank a lil too much wine or Heineken. My progress was so sloooooow. For a time, I was worried that my metabolism was destroyed or something from all my yo-yo eating habits. Then, about three and a half weeks ago, I really evaluated what I’ve been eating, especially since my workouts as of late have been pretty consistent. Finally, I decided:

“IF I DIDN’T COOK IT OR IF IT’S SUPER PROCESSED, I’M NOT EATING IT.”

This might sound drastic but it really hasn’t been. I’ve just been doing my version of clean eating and it helps me know exactly what I’m consuming. This means that I’ve been cooking a lot more. I cook on the weekends and I cook in bulk so that I have food to take to work EVERYDAY. I don’t play around with bringing my lunches/snacks and I have my handy dandy Trader Joe’s bag to prove it:

Trader Joes Bag

Verdict? I think it’s working so far! I lost 5 lbs the first week and 1 lbs last week ever since implementing this “program.” Also,  I’ve been able to see more cuts in my physique from all the weights I’ve been doing.  What do I eat?

Sample Meal Schedule.

Workout – 6:30AMish – 7:30AM

Breakfast 8:00AMish — 3/4 cup seasoned egg whites (I’ve been using fresh jalapenos, onions, bell peppers); Eziekiel bread (sesame seed is my current favorite); Strawberry protein smoothie on the go or 1/2 cup of oats + truvia + 1tbsp Peanut butter + Cinammon

Snack:  10AM ish– A serving of Almonds

Lunch: 12:30PMish—2 servings of seasoned chicken thighs + cup of brocolli

Snack: Whenever I’m hungry toward the end of the work day— Strawberries or a HEALTHY Trader Joe’s salad

Dinner: 7:00ish Turkey burger (bunless) with a salad and usually with a slice of cheese (sorry not cutting this out just yet)

Sleep: 10:00ish (this is vital so I included it, I sleep early because I wake up super early these days)

**Note, I switch my meals up but this is the most recent plan & I only drink water besides the smoothie I have for breakfast**

As for workouts, I am currently on Week 8 of the FitFreakProject. It’s going well and I have 4 weeks left. I’m excited to complete the program and to see how far I can push myself. And Saturdays are reserved for Bikram and I’ve been burning tons of calories every session. My goal is to just keep it up, be forgiving of myself when I slip up, and to get back on track ASAP. For example, I went to a family function this past weekend and there was a ton of RICE ( coconut rice, jellof rice, etc. p.s. I LOVE RICE) and other delicious high calorie foods. I gave myself some leeway to eat up, but I didn’t stuff my face.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call victory because I have a tendency to just binge out of control sometimes. The next day, I was back on point and on Monday, I was in the gym per usual. It was a great feeling to finally be able to jump back on track and not ruin my progress.

 

Thoughts? Do you believe in the 80/20 rule? Have your experiences with the rule been similar to mine? Share in the comments!

 

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