Sep 26, 2009

Finally...Pics of my BC!

I finally bought a digital camera.  Yay!!  As you all know, I BC'ed about 3 weeks ago and I am loving my hair...I have finally "grown into it."  I am happy to say that I have even noticed some growth in this short amount of time.  I'm excited to see how long my hair will be next May when I graduate!  I moisturize regularly, usually two times day.  I co-wash 4 times per week and wash every two weeks.  I recently bought Carol's Daughter Hair Milk and Black Vanilla Shampoo.  Be looking for reviews on those products soon. Here is my current regimen:

  • Co-wash 3 times per week.
  • Shampoo every two weeks
  • Moisturize morning and night (Using my homemade spritz, aphogee balancing moisturizer or hair milk, and then my own oil blend)
  • Deep conditioner once every week
  • Aphogee Protein Treatment every 6 weeks
To my surprise, I get these cute little coils over my head.  Love it!

The Back

Lovin the Coils!

The coils are not as defined in the front

I have a big forehead, LOL.

Be Encouraged!!!!!!


Sep 7, 2009

Dirty Thirty Challenge

So, since I did the Big Chop, there is really no point in me doing the Dirty Thirty Challenge.  I will create my own strategic plan with the help of Dr. Phil.  If you haven't read his book, Life Strategies, you need to go pick it up ASAP if you're looking to make some changes in your life.  I had to read it for a class over the summer and it definitely made me think about the choices I make and how I often engage in self-sabotage.   After its creation, I will layout the full details of my plan for you guys.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

Stay Encouraged!


My Big Chop

I did the BC last Friday, September 4th on my 23rd birthday!!!

My experience at the salon, to which was my first visit, was not so great.  The stylist was one hour late, she rushed while trying to comb my hair (painful!) and cut it, and she cut too much off.  I managed to grow about 2 inches of new growth during my 7 month transition and I only have about one inch of hair on my head.  I probably don't need to say that I will never visit this salon again.

On a positive note, I am really enjoying my new hair, or lack there of.  One of my concerns, however, is that I look masculine.  I know that sounds crazy, but I really did feel that sense of uncertainty when I got dressed up to go clubbing with a group of friends.  I also wonder if men find women with minimal hair attractive.  I know...another crazy thought.  However, I know natural women attract certain types of men.  Unfortunatley, I just think those types of men are scarce where I live.  Ladies, what kind of reaction did you get after BCing or going natural from men?  Were you comfortable with your new look in the beginning?  I'm the one needing encouragement right now....


One more thing...As soon as I can afford a digital camera (hopefully soon), I will be posting pics and videos!!!

Aug 25, 2009

Under Construction....

My blog is under construction...I'm trying to change the template and add new features.
Please stay Encouraged!

Dirty Thirty Challenge Details

Here are the details I have set for myself for the Dirty Thirty Challenge.

· Pick a protective style Twist outs, bantu knots, buns

· Pick an amount of days you will workout I will be doing 30 days (not consecutive).

· Identify your hair growth goal and your health goal I will do this challenge until I lose 50 lbs. I need to lose my arm/leg jiggle and love handles. I would like to achieve shoulder length with my hair.

· I already use No-Heat methods, but I’m struggling with what to do with my hair for my birthday.

· Your ends must be protected for most of the day. I can make a really small bun, but I think that puts stress on my hair. I have not experimented with pinning up my twists yet, but I am willing to try. When at home, I will bag.

· Each work out must be at least 30 mins. long to count!!! I will combine my at home work-out DVDs (Biggest Loser) with going to the gym. I’ve had a problem in the past with getting bored with my workouts, so I’m going to mix it up. I plan to weigh-in every other week so that I can track my progress.

· Try not to be weight obsessed, the goal here is to get healthy. I will concentrate on how my body feels.

· Try to eat healthier! I will limit the intake of bread and potatoes because they cause my blood sugar to skyrocket! I will mostly eat food that it grown rather than manufactured.

· You must still find a way to be your beautiful self! No slum-dogging it to work for this challenge! Protective styling can be beautiful! I am falling more and more in love everyday with my natural hair. Transitioning is natural but it will be well worth it!

· I am adding this for myself…Extra Rule for Monica....I am allowed two shopping passes per month for non-necessities (make-up, eating out, clothing) for which I have a $50 limit. ( I need more financial discipline).

I need all the help and support I can get with this. I’ve tried to lead a healthier lifestyle so many times in the past, but have failed. Although within the past 6 months, I have started to eat healthier and exercise occasionally, I have not made that critical lifestyle change. Although I am extremely busy, I need to look at exercising as another job. I also need to change my negative paradigm towards exercise. I know this will take time, but it will happen.

Be Encouraged Beauties!!

"But Those Who Wait On The Lord Shall Renew Their Strength." Isaiah 40:31

Aug 22, 2009

The Dirty Thirty Challenge

I came across The Dirty Thirty Challenge on the Long Hair Care Forum (LHCF). I love that it combines disciplining yourself to acheive goals for both your hair and weight. This is challenge was created by music-bnatural-smile. I know I could be successful at this challenge because I do well under scenarios where rewards can be earned for good behavior. This challenge would give me tangible ways to "keep my eyes on the prize" so to speak.

*Epiphany*!!!!- I could add in a shopping rule. I am a chronic shopper, often buying things I do need or can't really afford. While I have improved my spending habits over the past 6 months, I still struggle with overspending. One of my goals is to decrease my debt by half by the end of the year.

Here are the rules:

  1. Pick a protective style .
  2. Pick an amount of days you will workout before you heat style/relax your hair again.
  3. Identify your hair growth goal and your health goal whether it be inches lost, weight gain, weight loss, arm jiggle loss... whatever... I will be doing this until I lose 30 lbs
  4. You may co-wash, DC, or whatever it is that you regularly do with your hair, but NO HEAT!!!!
  5. Your ends must be protected for most of the day.
  6. Each work out must be at least 30 mins. long to count!!!
  7. Try not to be weight obsessed, the goal here is to get healthy.
  8. Try to eat healthier! Working out is no good without a healthy diet!
  9. You must still find a way to be your beautiful self! No slum-doggin it to work for this challenge! Protective styling can be beautiful!
  10. Post your goals for this challenge and your progress! Every week I'll do a roll call!
  11. Anyone can join at any time... I'm not gonna close this one... Heck I doubt anyone will even join LOL.
  12. Extra Rule for Monica....I am allowed two shopping passes per month for non-necessities (make-up, eating out, clothing) for which I have a $50 limit.
In case there is confusion... you do your 30 (or whatever amount) workouts, then you are allowed to heat style/ relax. That is one cycle... Then you keep going til you reach your goal!

I will be posting my actual plans for the challenge in the coming days. My only problem is that my birthday is coming up (September 4th!) and I definitely plan to straighten my hair for the occasion. I will start the 30 day cycle over after that date to keep myself accountable to the challenge. Is anyone else on a hair care, weight loss, or self-improvement journey?

Be Encouraged!!!

Aug 18, 2009

Overcoming a dilemma

Let me just say that the Lord is good!

The past two days have been extremely stressful. As some of you may know, I will complete my internship at he VA (Veteran Affairs) outpatient clinic this school year. In ordered to qualify, I had to complete a physical. Well, on July 31st, I completed all but the lab work portion of the physical. I had to leave in order to arrive at my part-time job on time. (Looking back, I should of stayed and told JC Penneys that I was going to be late. A career is more important than a job). I had every intention of completing the lab work at a later date, but never got around to it. I thought it was just a technicality, since the doctor who performed my health assessment told me that he is recommending me for employment.

Fast forward to Monday, August 17th. I arrive at the new hire orientation and they tell me that my name is not on the list. At first, I thought it was a simple, fixable error. I was sent to the HR dept and was told that I could not complete orientation because they had not received the results of my physical. I was deflated. They told me that they would have a rep contact me the next morning. Meanwhile, I went over to the hospital and had my labwork done.

At home that evening, I decided to send that rep an email explaining my situation. Here is an excerpt,

I am due to start my work with the VA on Monday. I will not be able to do so if I do not complete the employee orientation. If I cannot start this Monday, I will be behind on the hours required for the social work program at NSU, lose my stipend, or even lose the privilege to be a social work trainee at the VA. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I do not want to lose it. I fully understand the magnitude of my error and I am asking if I can still make-up and/or complete the employee orientation this week.

Thank God, there are wonderful people out there who is willing to work with you and on your behalf! The rep spoke with her supervisors and they are allowing me to start work on Monday on condition that I complete the orientation the following week. I am so grateful because I could have lost the whole opportunity. Here is what this situation has taught me...

  • The Lord is faithful and merciful!
  • Nothing in a formal process is a technicality, especially with the federal government
  • Know your priorities

Best wishes

Aug 6, 2009

I'm Still Alive

I've been neglecting my blog...

This is supposed to be a mechanism to promote change in my life and I have not used it to do so. I will do better...

Here is an update of what's going on with me:

  • I have managed to lose 12 pounds and keep it off.
  • I have 6 months post-relaxer (and I'm going strong!).
  • Juggling the two part-time jobs, which has is going well.
  • I have been confirmed for my PAID internship at the VA (Veteran Affairs) Medical Center this coming school year. I went for my physical last week. They told me I am in good health, but I need to lose more weight (shocker!).
  • I am understanding my family more...especially my father. Things are becoming more and more clear everyday.
I can't believe my classes start again in two weeks. Where has the summer gone? Only one more year to go (for my Master's and then who knows!). I have some really encouraging and inspiring people around me, for whom I am so grateful. One of these people is a fellow blogger! Check out the Flawed Christian at . Follow her ASAP.

Best wishes always


Jun 30, 2009

I'm Transitioning in More Ways than One!!!

I am 3 months post-relaxer and I am loving my new growth! I can't keep my hands out of it! (I know this is bad and I will control it). I am still trying to build a proper hair regimen, however. I have purchased coconut oil, jojoba oil, several conditioners, and dr. bronners magic soap (for shampoo). I am interested in trying the hairveda and qhemet products. I want products that will maximize my hair growth. I am not interested in doing a BC (Big Chop) anytime soon. I love long hair on me. Any ideas about products or oils for naturals geared toward hair growth?

Be Encouraged

New MAC!

About a week ago, I received the items I purchased online during MAC's Friends and Family event. So here is what I bought:

Lychee Luxe and LoveChild lipglasses
French Cuff and Star Violet e/s
Currant lip pencil
Touch and Ravishing lipsticks

I'm loving these items, especially the Lychee Luxe! It's so beautiful on brown skin! I don't know exactly what to do with the French Cuff because I was expecting a different color payoff, but I will make it work.

Random: I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog again. I feel the name doesn't encompass the whole me....I don't know. I will ponder it.

Best wishes,

The Changing Beauty (for now)

Fat Smash Diet Update!

Fat Smash Diet and Health Update!

Ok, so a couple of posts ago, I stated that I was interested in doing the Fat Smash Diet program. Well, I started it and I am on the 10th day! Here is some info on this diet...


No More Counting Calories!

No More Wasting Time!

Bust Through The Plateau!

The New You Begins Now!


FAT SMASH is specifically designed to be a 90-day program with four phases that will ultimately re-wire your body and its relationship to food and physical activity for the rest of your life. At the end of the 90 days, you will have made small, but important adjustments not only in your food consumption, but your understanding and attitude towards food and the way you view the importance of physical activity in maintaining a healthy life. Each phase builds upon the previous phase like the levels of a pyramid that support the ones above it. The foundation and its integrity are what allow the peak to stand, so you must be careful in constructing the building blocks so that they might be as strong as possible to allow you to reach the top of your goals. Visit for more info on the program.

I bought for book for $1 on Amazon! The first 9 days is called the detox phase. I was allowed to eat fruits, vegetables (except potatoes), brown rice, yogurt, egg whites, oatmeal, beans, and….that’s it! I was only allowed to drink herbal tea and water. I struggled in the beginning; but, after the 3rd day, I settled into the routine. I enjoyed finding ways to create tasty dishes within the diet’s boundaries. I made vegetable stir-fry, vegetable soup, roasted vegetables, egg white omelets, roasted fruit, oatmeal cookies (sugarless and flourless), and black beans and rice. There are a wealth of yummy dishes you can make during the detox period so don’t get discouraged. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can! I love sweets, fried food, potatoes, bread…all of that bad stuff! However, I know that eating fattening foods will keep me from reaching my goals. I’ve made the decision to change. I’ve chose this diet program to help me.

Now, I’m in the second phase called “Foundation.” I can eat small portions of meat and a few other food groups are added as well. Earlier today, I cooked two small, lean pork chops on my George Forman. Shortly after eating them (I didn’t make a side dish) my stomach began to hurt and I felt extremely tired. Maybe this occurred because I hadn’t had any meat in 9 days or maybe it’s because meat, especially pork, doesn’t agree with me. Before starting the diet, I would get the same sluggish, lethargic feeling after eating meat (fried, grilled, or baked). I never had this feeling during the detox phase. In the coming weeks, I will experiment with eliminating certain meats from diet.

I have started a vitamin regimen: Fish Oil (Heart Health)

Cranberry (Urinary Tract Health)

Nail, Hair, and Skin

B12 (Energy and Metabolism)

I’m looking to incorporate a multivitamin. Finally, I have began exercising consistently using my Biggest Loser workout DVDs!! They are tough but I feel myself getting stronger and stronger everyday! I feel skinnier too!

Best wishes,

The Changing Beauty

Jun 26, 2009

RIP King Michael

The King of Pop has passed away. Michael Jackson, arguably the greatest performer of all-time, succombed to cardiac arrest yesterday. I was overcome with both shock and despair when hearing the news. Michael Jackson has meant so much to many people, especially me. I passionately love his music. He has been making music for over 40 years and his songs still touch my heart. I love dancing to his music as well (Dancin Machine or Thriller, anyone?) He is an icon. Although his life may have had some tragic events, he is still the greatest in my eyes. Songwriter, dancer (which is an understatement: Michael Jackson's dancing was more like art), vocalist, actor, humanitarian...Michael did it all. My condolences go out to the Jackson family. The King will be greatly missed.

The Changing Beauty

Jun 19, 2009


Ok...So, I haven't posted in a while. School and work has been kicking my butt. Fortunately, my classes end next week (Yay!).

I have decided to go on the Fat Smash Diet by Dr. Ian Smith from Celebrity Fit Club. I bought his book months ago but got the motivation to actually try the program after reading a young lady's story in Essence magazine. She lost 125 pounds in 9 months!!! Check out to read her story. Has anyone else tried this diet?

MAC's Friends and Family Sale ended yesterday. Best believe I bought some coveted items. I'm all over getting a discount on MAC items. I will update you guys on what I purchased. Also, I'm looking to buy a digital camera so that I can post pics of the looks I create. I am not a professional makeup artist (hopefully one day) but I love playing with makeup and experimenting with different colors. It's so much fun.

Is your brain healthy? Check out this site to learn what is takes to acheive optimal brain health.

Best wishes

The Changing Beauty

Jun 7, 2009

Sephora and MAC Hauls

Ok, part of this blog will be dedicated to beauty and fashion. I love both and if I wasn't studying to become a clinical social worker, I would definitely be working as a makeup artist or buyer for a department store (Nordstroms? Neiman Marcus?). I still aspire to become a MUA part-time.

So I recently visited the MAC counter and Sephora to get some much wanted products. I love the MAC Style Warriors collection. Go check it out...whether you have fair skin or deep brown skin, you will find something you love in this collection. At the counter, I picked up:

Purple Rite lippie
Bronze Hero lustre drops
French Cuff e/s
Creme de Violet e/s (Rose Romance Collection)
Carbon e/s
Twinks e/s
Blot film

I found more goodies at Sephora. I love the NARS brand and I finally got a chance to pick up some more of their blushes. From Sephora I picked up:

Tarte "Be Good to your Mother" tote set
NARS Exhibit A blush
NARS Dolce Vita set (Albatross and Lovejoy Duo and Dolce Vita lipgloss
Too Faced Papa Dont Peach blush
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Hopefully I will be able to upload pics of the looks that i will create with these products. Be on the look out for them!

Best wishes

Getting Back on the Wagon...

For the past two weeks, I've been eating lean and light. I'm so proud of myself. I unconsciously began to make better food choices, even when I had tasty, but less healthier options. This is a big change for me! Unfortunately, the past two days I have fallen off the wagon. I have been eating more and less healthier. I could definitely feel the difference in my energy.

I am determined not to return back to my bad habits! Today, I got back on track.
Breakfast: Bagel with cream cheese and orange juice
Lunch: Banana and water
Dinner: Sushi

I won't be eating anything else tonight. I'm not willing to follow a cookie cutter eating plan, but I would like to know more about "superfoods," foods that are extremely good for you and revs up your energy. I need more energy!

Best wishes

May 31, 2009

Definition of a Perfecto...According to Dr. Phil McGraw

"These people have taken it upon themselves to be perfect, unlike the rest of us.  They present this objective as though it were a virture.  They have to be perfect.  In fact, their "mission statement: is characterized by arrogance and condescension.  They don't expect you to be perfect, only themselves.  Ergo, they are way better than you:  'You can be flawed, whil I must be pristine perfect.'  But because there is no perfection, these people are constantly frustrated.  They never, ever reach their standard.  Although their days are characterized by constant, unrealistic self-degradation and little joy, they brag, 'I am a perfectionist.' The world says, 'Get a life.'"  

Perfecto is one of the styles of engagement Dr. Phil outlines in his book, Life Strategies.  He mentioned over 20 styles, but the Perfecto describes me most.  No matter what I do or accomplish, I seem to never be satisfied with my performance.  I'm always looking for more or better.  I don't necessarily think this is totally negative in that it does provide for serious motivation.  However, being comfortable in your own skin and satisfied with who you are is even more important than striving to be the best at things that may bring artificial or surface success.

Best wishes

Before the end of the year, I will....

Build a stronger relationship with the Lord
Lose over 40 pounds
Reduce my credit card debt by 50%
Transition to natural hair
Read 10 books
Leave the state of Virginia twice
Work on opening up more (making myself more vulnerable and less distant)

First Post...A New Beginning!!!

Wow!  This is a new venture for own blog!  I'm starting this blog because I believe that writing can be both therapeutic and a vehicle for change.  I am currently seeking to undergo many changes in life; hence the title, "The Changing Perfecto."  I will let go of my need to "appear" perfect while letting my physical and financial health spiral out of control.  I will gain control of the areas of my life that matter the most.  This will be my journey.  Change is hard.  But I am ready.  This is my time, finally.  I know, I know...I've been saying this for a long time.  But I feel it in my spirit that this time is different.  Several incidents throughout this past year has reminded and encouraged me that I do NEED to change.  I've been warned about my weight by an influential professor, hit rock bottom financially (I'm still techniqually at rock bottom), and I'm currently taking a wonderful counseling class where positive change is encouraged and supported.  The truth is...I want to be free.  Being fat and owing more than what I possess feels like living in a mental prison.  I'm ready to break out!