Weight Gain Journey


I hope you are doing really well. I wanted to come to you today to share with you a journey I have been embarking on for some time now for almost two years. That journey is my attempt to successfully gain healthy weight. Big people are not the only people who sometimes have issues with weight. In fact, weight issues go both ways where one can be morbidly obese and one ca also be anorexic. Either way, both extremes are or may be suffering from some form of illness that prevents them from regulating their weight. I, on the other hand, do not suffer from any of these extremes. 

I have always been the skinny girl who can fit into any clothes she wanted (see pic below). I could walk into H&M and walk out with clothes where as some slightly bigger friends could not. I could walk into any store and be guaranteed an outfit. But as sweet as being skinny was, I knew wanted to gain some weight. Here I was, a whole college graduate and I only weigh 108lbs (48.98kg) and for the first time ever, struggled to find appropriately fitting business clothes. All the stores I visited somehow did not cater to me anymore (Businesswise). I did not let that deter me tho since the only reason I wanted business clothes was to attend job interviews. 

About two years ago, around January of 2018, I decided enough was enough. I was tired of being underweight and I needed to gain some healthy weight (I know you may be rolling your eyes but bare with me here). At some point you just want better for yourself okay? So I decided one morning I was going to get a gym membership. I had heard through YouTube and other social media platforms that weightlifting can help you gain some weight. And that afternoon after work, I walked my skinny behind into a Planet Fitness and got me a membership. 

But first, let me give you a lil background of me and the gym. We just didn’t get along (point, blank, period, as the kids would say). I hated the gym in my earlier years and avoided it at all cost. Besides, I was skinny so why did I need the gym? But now I need the gym to help me in my journey. 

I first went to the good ole Planet Fitness. It was a 3min drive from me and I figured I could use that as my beginner gym. I would go there first thing in the morning, work out, then shower and off to work. I did this for about a month until I realized there was an LA Fitness 1min drive away from me (how I did not know this is  beyond me). I eventually signed up with LA Fitness and kept visiting everyday. Even though I was beginning this healthy journey, I still drove to a gym that was a 3-5min walk. I would go every morning and eventually retained me a personal trainer. 

My trainer was good. I would make a 6am appointment once a week with her and we would go over my exercises and sometimes my diet. I did this until I had to move back to NYC and the cost of living went shooting up the roof. I had to cancel my LA Fitness membership.. I originally decided to keep my membership with them but unfortunately, it did not work out between us. Apparently, Upstate NY membership prices were different from NYC prices and I had to pay extra for what I truly think was a downgrade from the upstate facility. The only LA Fitness close to me was a 1 hour train ride away from me and a 30min drive away. I decided it was not worth it and canceled my membership with them (and that process was not easy). 

I decided to do some more research and eventually signed up for a new gym at Time Square called Mid City Gym. This gym is small and very Arnold Schwarzenegger-ish. Very old  school gym, almost like a basement gym (which it actually may be). I am currently lifting weights there 5 times a week and avoid it during the weekends. They have been instrumental in helping me with my journey. 

My goal is to reach 140lbs. I do not have a time frame to do so but I will do my best to reach my goal. But that is the reason I want you to embark on this journey with me.

Stay tuned for some more posts and workout videos soon!

How To Start A Simple Morning Routine

Morning Routines

Hello World!!!

Once again we are back and talking some more about our daily lives and routine. Morning routines and daily routines serve as a way to have a structured life. It helps you keep track of yourself and helps keep you accountable for certain things. You hear all the time to start a morning routine it will help you gather your thoughts and actions and organize your day but how likely are you really to start and stick with it? Keep reading and we will figure this out together!

Writing down my morning routine has helped me a lot when it comes to keeping my days, and especially, my mornings, organized and bearable. This usually starts from the night before, after dinner and cleanup. I take my showers at night so I shower and then hope into bed. This is when I write in my journal and document my day, what was good and what was bad and my thoughts. Then, I write down what I plan on doing in the morning. 

My morning routine varies depending on the day. Usually, my mornings consist of reading, gym, and work. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is brush my teeth and , maybe, wash my face then off to getting dressed for the gym. My bags are already packed with clothes for work the previous night so no need to pack in the morning. I then take the train to Times Square, where my gym is located. I work out for about an hour then shower and head to work.

Notice I did not mention breakfast. That is because I practice something called intermittent fasting. I do not necessarily skip breakfast, it just isn’t eaten in the morning. My first meal of my day comes at around 1PM and my window of eating closes at 8PM. This is a better way for me to eat and control my eating habits. 

There are many videos and articles about morning routines that usually takes more time than necessary especially when you are a beginner. Developing a habit is not as simple as people make it seem. Not everyone can wake up at 5AM in the morning and begin their day, especially when you have kids. You may wake up at 5AM but that time is not spent on you. You may also have a loved one who may need help in the morning getting ready and that takes time away from you. Start slow and develop a simple and steady routine. You can even incorporate children if you’d like.

To start a simple morning routine, you must have a good night’s sleep. You must be well rested to feel good throughout the day. Waking up 30 minutes before you need to get ready forwork  is all the time you will need in the beginning. If you have kids, try to wake up 30minutes before them if you want to do this by yourself. If you divide the 30 minutes into 3, 10 minute increments can be very helpful in developing a healthy habit. Before I started going to the gym, I knew I needed to develop the habit of working out at home before I headed to the gym. I would wake up 30 minutes before I had to get ready and do 15 minutes of yoga and meditation then the next 15 minutes was used to organize my thoughts and pray. I did this for three months before I actually signed up for a gym membership. 

You do not need to go cold turkey on your bad habits to see some type of difference. Most times, if you go cold turkey, you will fatigue yourself and may end up right back at square one. Taking things slow and monitoring your progress can make a huge difference.

Let me know how you plan on starting on your morning routine!!

The Side-Effects Of Relaxing Your Hair


Trying to go natural but don’t really have reasons to out down that creamy crack called a relaxer? You need an intervention and I am so happy you decided to come to me because I will list the six main reasons why you should quit that creamy crack.

Growing up our mothers relaxed our hair to make it easier to deal with, not realizing the dangers they were putting us into by relaxing our hair. The relaxer straightens your hair, ridding your textured hair of all its glorious texture, it’s fine curves and kinks and coils. This was the acceptable form of our hair both by society and by our own standards.

The conversation about black hair is very controversial. From not being able to wear it in public to the styles being banned in schools. We have had to fight to be able to wear our natural hair how it grows from our scalp. Black women and their hair will always remain controversial. 

Relaxers were accidentally invented by an African American man named Garret Augustus Morgan. Mr. Morgan, was trying to find a way to ease the friction on his sewing machines in his tailors shop. The friction of the needles will often cause the furs of the coats he was repairing to be scorched. He applied the solution and notice that the furs were a lot straighter after the application of the chemical. Morgan then went to his neighbor and tried the solution on the dog’s fur. After running a few tests, he decided to test this solution on himself. When it worked, he quickly established the G.A Morgan Hair Refining Company and subsequently sold the cream to African Americans. Morgan went ahead and invented many more things that we still use till this day, example: gas mask. 

There are negative side effects to applying relaxers to your hair and scalp. Scalp burns and hair breakage are not the only things we need to know about when it comes to applying relaxers to our hair and scalp. below are 5 ways you can seriously damage your health by applying relaxers:

1. Breakage.

When we were little, the relaxers put into our hair made our hair so brittle and weak it never really grew past our shoulders. We often hear people say: “I had long as a child but my mother relaxed it and it broke” and since we don’t know any better, we continue the cycle well into adulthood. And our hair still do not grow past our shoulders. No need to wonder why it never grows past our shoulders. We all follow the golden rule of black hair: Wear a bonnet to sleep!!”. Though we do wear bonnets, our hairs still suffer. We can then safely say bonnets were not the problem.

2. Burns

When you usually apply a relaxer to your hair, a telltale sign that the product is ready to be washed of is signaled by a burning sensation on your scalp. It starts off as a tingling sensation, then the burning starts. If you are not quick enough to wash it out, it will burn your scalp! Leaving you with sores, scabs and tender scalp. Do not forget the scars it may leave after the sores starts healing. Yeah, you do not want to go through that.

3. Thinning Hair

Whenever you relax your hair, it thins out. Relaxers work by penetrating the cuticle and loosening the natural curl pattern of each strand. This will then leave the hair weak, dry and brittle, which eventually leads to breakage.

4. Dryness

The dryness you will experience is due to all the natural barriers of your hair being broken down. Relaxers basically erase your hair’s natural curl pattern and exposes your hair to the bare air. Your hair is now weak and brittle and cannot absorb and keep any of it moisture. The result is dry brittle hair breaking off at the slightest touch.

5. Reproductive Problems and Respiratory issues

It has been proven that the creamy crack can lead to Uterine Leiomyomata in African-American Women. Uterine Leiomyomata are tumors of the myometrium that are responsive to estrogens and progesterone. A study conducted in 2012 showed that African American women who used relaxers were at higher risk of Uterine Leiomyomata than those who did not. The type of relaxer you use is also very important as it was found that women who often used lye relaxers were at a much higher risk than those who did not. Lye relaxers contain sodium hydroxide, a chemical used in, and highly effective, commercial drain and oven cleaners, and soap and detergents. A 2013 study, also concluded that usage of chemical hair relaxers does cause adverse effects and is “not a myth.” – You might want to think twice about that before applying to your scalp. 

If you want to read more about the damaging effects of chemical relaxers, you can visit https://www.science.gov/topicpages/c/chemical+hair+relaxer. Here, you can find numerous articles about the effects.

No Girlfriends?

I recently read an article on the Elite  Daily titled “Why You Should Never Trust A Girl With No Girlfriends” I was taken aback because this article is so blatantly wrong in reasons why some women have little to no girlfriends. The author Laura Argintar wrote that women who only have guy friends or as she calls it “the girl who opts out of the summer share-house by using some whack-ass excuse…”, only do so because they claim they do not want drama when they are the source and beginners of the drama they speak of. This couldn’t be any farther from the truth.

It is hard being a girl. Really, it is. Especially being in your 20s with as many girlfriends as the amount of fingers you have on one hand. While some girls do use the excuse of girls being dramatic, it is not the only reason or even a reason why some girls have more male friends than female. 

I am a girl with very few girlfriends. In my opinion, I always feel like girls I become friends with always have other friends they would rather hang with. Be it a best friend of a group of other girlfriends. I have always found it easier with males. They have always had an “I don’t give a shit” attitude. It is easier for me to talk to men simply due to the fact that I do not have to go into detail about what I am feeling with most of them and most importantly, I am a listener, not a talker. I don’t like talking much when I am with someone. I would rather they do the talking. You would be surprised how many men can talk!!!!! About anything and nothing at all. It could easily be a conversation about music to their pet turtles and girls! And trust when I say men do not stop talking when they are talking and as a listener I do not complain.

Throughout my college career I had the opportunity to join clubs and other activities which would’ve guaranteed me more girl friends but I was not focused on joining clubs. The courses were stressful enough for me. Joining clubs was not a priority when my grades were going down.

While we bash women for doing as they please, can the same really be said about a man who has more girl friends than guy friends? Or is this negative energy reserved only for women? We are so quick to jump down the throats of women whose actions we view as problematic and stay silent on the same issue when it is a male character. 

On behalf of all women with no girlfriends, we do not stay away because we find fellow women problematic or dramatic. We click with who we click with.

Gapped Tooth Girl

Growing up, if someone doesn’t point out the difference in your physical feature, you’ll always think its normal until you grow old enough to notice them. Same with teeth. Especially when you have a gap in between your front teeth. 

Children’s teeth have gaps in them because as they grow, their jaws are getting bigger but their baby teeth stays the same causing some gaps in their teeth. As their baby teeth falls out, they start to grow their permanent teeth and those new growths fill in the gaps. This doesn’t always happen though. 

The gaps found in adult teeth, also known as diastemas and can be found in the upper or lower front teeth and sometimes in both. Though we see many people without these gaps, know that having them does not mean there is anything wrong with you and that it is an absolutely normal occurrence. But I do agree there is a stigma around gapped teeth. Some find it very ugly and people even go as far as making fun of people with gapped teeth. We therefore develop insecurities around our gapped teeth and what ends up happening is, we close them either as kids or as adults.

See, growing up in Ghana my aunts and uncles always adored my gap. To them, it was a sign of beauty but to me, it was ugly. I always wondered why I had it and no one else in my family did. I would see people on TV and instantly gravitate toward their teeth. I would see how straight, white and perfect they are and wish I was like them. Magazines always showed models with teeth as white as pearls with matching chiseled faces and they were instantly god’s and goddesses. I would read through these magazines and instantly wish my gap was not there. I would pray to God to close my gap before I woke up the next morning. 

The gap, in some cultures, are considered the epitome of beauty. In Ghana and Nigeria, they are signs of royalty. Too bad they don’t teach us this when we are young. We see the people on TV and their pearly whites. After watching so many “perfect” people on TV, I began to compare myself to them. I always looked at their teeth first and I started hating my gap, then other parts of my body. I began to internalize the idea that if I don’t look like the Barbie doll my mother bought me or the girl with straight, white, and most importantly, gapless teeth on TV, then I won’t be considered beautiful. I had the white and straight part down. I just needed that ugly gap in between my teeth gone! It makes me look and feel ugly.

I remember at the age of 12 years old i asked to go see the dentist because I wanted to close my gap. My dad looked at me and asked if it was absolutely necessary to close the gap. I insisted it was absolutely necessary. But thank goodness we were poor!! We couldn’t afford braces and insurance wouldn’t cover it because “mY tEetH wErE alrEaDy StRaiGHt”. We couldn’t afford the Invisilign or any other cosmetic procedures.

I was stuck with ugly thing forever!

I was forced to accept my gap and move through life. I went to school and events as usual but my insecurities about my gap affected the way I smile. I never showed my teeth. I would always give a shy smile and when I laughed out loud, I would cover my mouth. I did this throughout high school and college. I would be told I have a beautiful smile and instantly offer rebuttal as to why it is not “beautiful “. It’s a smile, but not a beautiful one.

Little by little, I noticed there were more people on TV starting to look like me. They had gaps!! One of the first celebrities I saw with a gap on TV was As Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes from OITNB). In an interview she did with NBCNews, Uzo described begging her mother for braces. Her mother, just like my dad, declined her request for braces. Instead, she sat her down and explained to her the beauty in her gap.

Another notable celebrity with a gap on TV is Michael Strahan. When I first saw this man I had no idea what to think. I just said to myself, BOY!! HE IS BOLD!!. Michael is a retired pro football player who went on to co-host and was, for four years, the co-host of LIVE! With Kelly and Michael until his departure in 2016. When asked why he did not close his gap his answer was no matter how flawed his smile was by Hollywood standards, it is as much a part of his identity as his football career. 

How can we ever forget the one and only: MIKE TYSONNNNN

Mike Tyson, with his extensive history in the boxing ring and Hollywood, still refused to close his gap. Why is that? He did not care what Hollywood or anyone had to say about it.

I learned from these three and many more that I need to accept myself and my gap first because it may not be Hollywood’s standard but they are mine. My gap may be ugly to some but they are not living with it and my gap is rather different. My family tried to tell me it was beautiful but all I could focus on was how ugly it looked just because I was comparing myself to those on television. Everyone has that unique thing about them and I choose to accept my gap and enjoy its uniqueness.