Summer of Action: Amber

Hair: Avoid heat as much as possible, reveal my true curl pattern, and strengthen my hair.

Beauty: Find the best ways to maintain clear skin.

Health: Lose almost all my belly fat.

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       My Grandparent’s 50th Anniversary with my beautiful cousins.

     ACTION!!! It’s my state of mind and being. This summer’s goals have been quite successful with a few adjustments. I’ll start with my hair. A couple of weeks before last semester ended, I tried to take on the challenge to avoid heat completely by doing bantu knots and chopped off 2 inches of heat damaged hair. However, after about a two –three weeks of attempting this hairstyle I realized that I “ain’t got time” to redo them every night. Soooooo I decided to go back to my regular bun or straightened hair, but take greater care of my crown of glory. Biotin (a supplement that strengthens and promotes cell growth in hair and nails) became a regular vitamin for me to take every other morning. Additionally, I used coconut oil as my main moisturizer, reduced the heat of my blow dryer, and changed my shampoo and conditioner to sulfate, silicone, and paraben free products such as Carol’s Daughter. My hair as grown fuller, stronger, and has a greater shine.

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Dinner with Owen and Breanna.

            My second goal targeted the topic of health. I wanted to lose almost all of my belly fat, which required an adjustment of physical activity and eating habits. This summer I decided to take summer courses and got a job. At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it. Then I realized that I have to make time for myself. If I can’t learn how to take care of the temple God has given me, then how will I be able to fully carry out his will. Exercise turned into my daily routine. I tried walking, Zumba, P-90X, Insanity, and a simple 10-20 minute abs and upper body workout (specifically for when time escaped me). My advice to everyone is to find something that you like and be conscience of your own bodily limits. I have a weak wrist and ankle due to a prior injury. Thus, I wore my ankle brace at all times and avoid doing too much Zumba and push-ups. A workout partner is great for accountability and encouragement. My friend, Breanna, and I pushed each other to continue even when we didn’t want to go any further. Adjusting my eating habits wasn’t as difficult as I thought. Diets never stuck with me because parting with carbs or meat was really hard for a Jamaican like me. Instead, my family and I decided to follow a 20/15 eating plan. I can still eat what I want, but in moderation. This essentially means eating only 20 grams of carbs per meal with a total of 6 meals each day. Overall, you can only eat 120 grams of carbs per day. I normally don’t eat 6 small meals a day so it gives me more carbs to eat within 3 meals. Additionally, you can only eat a total of 15 grams of sugar a day. I’m proud to say that I have lost about 3 inches around my waits!!!!!!!!!

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My final goal was to maintain clear skin. Little did I know that the main problem was in my daily habits. The first culprit was STRESS! Doctors and scientist have connected stress with acne but don’t have much scientific proof. However, I can testify that the moment my stress level went down so did the appearances of acne on my face. The next culprits were my hands. I had to avoid touching my face, even if it was just to lean my chin on the back of my hand. The oils of my skin and dirt of the day would accumulate on my face, which caused breakouts. Breaking old habits is DEFINITELY a work in progress. I became accustom to washing my face with soap once a day to not dry out my skin. I used lotion as a regular moisturizer on my body, but used virgin coconut oil about two times a week. The coconut oil locked in the moisture, got rid of any dark spots/scars, and made my skin really soft.

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My brother and I at my cousin’s Sweet 16.

There is only a few weeks left of summer vacation. I hope you all enjoy every moment of it and continue your summer of action goals. If you’ve been procrastinating, try starting now! You would be amazed at what you could accomplish in a few weeks. 😉

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