The Blog Before The Cut
Here it is – the long overdue hair blog. I’ve got a million reasons for wanting/needing to chop off my hair, like, yesterday. But every time I try to write them down, it ends up a jumbled snarky sarcastic mess that would probably be a better video than a blog. But I’m here, and I’m gonna attempt to stay organized so I can better explain to you guys exactly why I’ve made the decision to chop my hair off.
Now before you say anything – This isn’t something I’m taking lightly. In fact, I have wanted the exact same haircut for more than a year. I’ve slept on it, like 300ish times, so I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t some impulsive act of rebellion. And I do love my hair, don’t get me wrong.
When my hair is done (which is like, albino squirrel rare) it’s freaking beautiful! It’s long, shiny, and super healthy. I have approximately 5 split ends on my whole head. I wish I could say “I take really good care of my hair!” but I actually don’t. I just don’t ever do it. It’s air dried and thrown into a knot on top of my head like 28/30 days of the month.
That wasn’t a problem when I was single. When I was single, I had to look decent like… Twice a month. Maaaaaybe twice a month, if it was a good month. Now that I’m in a committed relationship, I have to look decent every weekend! And eventually I’m gonna have to look decent during the week! That’s a lot of work when your hair is really thick and down to the middle of your back. Back when I was single, I had all of Saturday to get ready. I could blow dry my hair, in layers, including small breaks to rehydrate; then I could straighten my hair, in layers, including small breaks to rehydrate; then I could curl my hair (should I deem it appropriate) in layers, including small breaks to rehydrate. The whole process took between 2 and 3 hours. FOR HAIR. Not including shaving my legs, not including doing my makeup. 2 to 3 hours, for the hairs on my head. The fact of the matter is that I just don’t have that sort of time now. Justin wakes up and he’s ready to seize the day, which always includes going into public. There’s three potential outcomes here.
And I know what some of you might be thinking. “The problem is simple – Just wake up earlier!” hahahahahaha, no. When I’m sleeping next to Justin, it’s a weekend. Sometimes I’m not even ready to get up when he gets up; I’m definitely not waking up any earlier.
And since I know someone is going to say it, I knoooooow short hair is just as much maintenance as long hair (like you still have to blow dry it and straighten/curl it). I get it. The grass isn’t green on the other side, it’s green where you water it. But I know me. And I know that I’m much more inclined to water MY yard than my Mom’s yard, because my Mom lives on 10 acres. Smaller yard, more frequently watered. Now that that’s cleared up, I’ll jump into the three main reasons I’ve decided to cut it all off.
Reason #1: I work in a fucking warehouse.
In Texas. In south Texas. It’s hot, even during the winter. Pulling my hair up doesn’t do much, because at that point it’s like wearing a wool cap over my skull and neck. Only it’s 110° outside.
Reason #2: It takes too long to air dry.
Summer, winter, it doesn’t matter. If I don’t do some serious towel drying (damaging) or blow drying (even more damaging) to my hair before I lay down for the night, I WILL wake up with wet hair in the morning. There’s no way around it. My hair is just too thick.
Reason #3: It takes too long to do.
I can’t just blow dry my hair and have straight, non-frizzy bouncy pieces of blonde falling down my back. It doesn’t work like that. Simularly, I can’t just comb my hair after the shower and have non-frizzy ringlet curls bouncing around. It doesn’t work like that. Every “style” my hair can possibly be requires products, a blow dryer, patience, and time. I have 2 of the 4.
Now, I’ve done my share of research. I’ve looked at pictures, watched videos, and read countless blogs by women who have cut their long hair off and what their experience was. I wasn’t searching for just the good ones or just the bad ones, I did a very general search and studied both sides of the coin. And I tell you, damn near every blog I see talks about how women get their hair cut and feel a twinge of regret in their stomach every time they see some girl with long flowing hair. This already happens to me, and I have long flowing hair. I see people online, on Instagram, even in the grocery store with hair that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine. But my hair never looks like that, even when I do it. Why? Because I live in one of the most humid places in the world! As soon as I walk outside, the hours I spent slaving over my hair is wasted because my hair starts to frizz and crease. In short, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m never going to look like someone out of a magazine. And that’s okay.
Let’s take a minute to talk about my girl, Khloe Kardashian. She’s known for causing some serious hair envy, along with her sister Kylie Jenner.
Only here’s the thing – both of these girls have someone on payroll to make their hair so amazing. Straight hair, beachy waves, curls, braids; they don’t do this themselves. They wake up every day and sit in a chair and pay someone a small fortune to make their hair fucking perfect. And shit, if I had the money, I’d be all over that! But I don’t. I’m just one person. I didn’t go to school for this, and I’m almost always short on time.
The point I’m trying to make here, the funny (ironic) part of this is that Khloe and Kylie both have bob haircuts now. Yep. They’ve both cut off their hair because on their off days (do they even have off days?) they want to be able to look amazing all by themselves. Short hair is more manageable whether you’re Khloe Kardashian or Chaney Robinson.
Thing of the people you know with long, flowing, gorgeous hair that gives you major hair envy. Write down 5 names. How many of those names are celebrities or random Instagram models? All of them? Okay. Instagram models have nothing better to do than sit around and do their hair while drinking their flat tummy tea. Lol. You can’t set that as a standard of beauty because honestly, that’s not standard at all. That’s incredibly rare. And I promise you (as a former bun chunker) she chunks it up in a bun after one picture for The Gram.
So in conclusion. I’ve made the decision to cut my hair several times in the past year. I’ve always talked myself out of it. But not anymore! Hair appointment is scheduled with Christine Benoit on May 24, 2016 at 1:00pm. (:
Texas Defensive Driving
I have recently been issued my very first speeding ticket! Don’t ask me why that makes me so excited, I don’t have an answer. Anyway, it was a Saturday afternoon, and I was driving down 99 between Cypress and Katy. I normally travel this particular road late at night, when the traffic is lighter and there are zero cops. On this particular day, I was going 83 mph, and the speed limit was 70. Oops. But really, who does the speed limit on 99?! I’ve never even seen a cop. I’d just made it out of the little cluster of cars I was in, maybe 5 of us, and I was the first vehicle over the hill. I saw the officer with his little speed gun thing pointed right at me, and I knew right then that I was caught. He got into his car and pulled into traffic behind my little cluster, eventually making his way to the front and pulling me over. I was really calm (unusual for me when being pulled over) and accepted my ticket with grace and a smile. I even thanked the officer for pulling me over. While I was traveling above the posted speed limit, I wasn’t driving crazy. It wasn’t raining, the roads weren’t wet. In fact, I was traveling with the flow of traffic! I’m just the one that got caught. I don’t think I was doing anything necessarily unsafe. I wasn’t texting, or weaving, or speeding past cars. I wasn’t late for anything. But I did get stopped, I did get a ticket, and that means I had to do defensive driving.
Now I’m technically an adult, but I don’t really know how to do adult things yet. I filed my own taxes this year, at the ripe old age of 22, and I didn’t lose a limb or poke my eye out or anything so I think I did alright. But I have absolutely no experience with defensive driving, or with tickets. So what did I do? I asked a few of my really smart coworkers. I got about 5 different opinions before deciding to do my own research. None of the people I asked were around my age, or had gotten a speeding ticket within the last two years. So while I valued their time, I couldn’t do much with their advice. I ended up calling my insurance company to see just how much my first ever speeding ticket would impact my monthly insurance payment. You would think maybe they’d forgive it, or cut you a break your first time around – NAH. The guy on the phone couldn’t give me an exact dollar amount, but he said that, in his experience, it would cost at least an extra $50 a month. And since my insurance is captured and quoted for 6 months at a time, that means I’d be paying at least $300 extra between now and Christmas. Fuck that. I’d rather pay for defensive driving and sit through the class.
Which is exactly what I decided to do. I followed the website on my original ticket, found my case using my personal information, paid a $120 fine (and pled guilty to speeding), and patiently waited for them to send me further instructions through the mail. Last week I got my letter from the Justice of the Peace, which stated that I was found guilty (which I think was established when I paid the original $120 fee), and that I owed a fine of $200 to be paid in person at the end of July… UNLESS I completed a TEA approved driving safety course, obtained proof of said course completion, and mailed it into the Court with the rest of the documents by my court date. All in all, I have to mail three documents:
So rewind to the part about me having to take “a driving safety course approved by the Texas Educational Agency”. Because what the fuck? There’s multiple courses? Why would someone even want multiple courses? Why the need for options? Why can’t they just be like, “Here’s a link to your 6 hour TEA approved driver safety course! Have at it!” But no. Now I’m faced with the problem of finding a TEA approved course. I had no idea how I was going to find a course, much less verify its approval status and credentials. Luckily, as my mother would say, ‘the drama was all mine’. A quick google of the term “TEA approved driving safety course” brought me to this website:
This website pulls up like a kajillion TEA approved courses. Apparently someone, or a group of someones, complained that the original course was too boring, because I’m telling you every other course was “a sense of humor – comedy ticket dismissal course” or “comedy course Texas – online ticket dismissal”. And don’t get me wrong, I love options, but as a first time offender I had no idea WHAT kind of course I wanted. I didn’t care if it was funny, at first. I thought “just give me the damn course!” but I later found that choosing one of the “fun” options actually made it less painless. Actually it was better than painless – there were memes involved. Not lying.
I chose the Fun Ticket Dismissal – Online Driving Course over at funticketdismissal.com and I really can’t say enough about this course. This course was like that teacher in high school that gave you the final, but with the answers in a different order, and then gave you the answers and all you had to do was memorize them. This course was very much like that. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down and finish my course in one day, but this course is designed so that you can log out at any point and log back in and pick up where you left off. There were a few tricky questions not covered by the review, but if you watched even a little bit of the video preceding the question it was pretty much self-explanatory. I highly recommend this course, fo real yo. There was 8 units, each unit was 7-10 pages long and included information and videos. There was 3 kind of videos:
I paid $25 for the class and an additional fee of $25 for the ‘school’ to collect my driving record and mail it to me with my certificate of completion that I earned when I completed the course. I didn’t know exactly how to go about collecting my driving record, and I’m sure it was painfully easy and that I should have saved my $25. But in this letter it says that the driving record is maintained by the Department of Public Safety. Which to mean translates into: You have to take a day off work (yes, a whole day) to fight DMV crowds to obtain a copy of your driving record. Taking a day off work means a chunk of my check is gone, way more than $25. So I opted to have the collection done electronically.
Patience isn’t yet a virtue of mine, but I’m working on it. In 6-8 business days, I should have 2 of the 3 items I need. The last item, the affidavit, was included in the letter I got last week. I need to find a notary, but that should be relatively easy.
I wanted to write this for anyone who might be like me. Old enough to speed, but too young to know what the fuck to do about your ticket. Here’s some friendly advice:
Even if you’ve never gotten a ticket before, I suggest taking this course. I saved $30/month on my insurance for the next three years by taking it. Even though I took it to dismiss a ticket. $30/month for a year is $360, so over the next three years this one $25 class will have saved me more than a thousand bucks… So worth it. Happy driving!
24 Day Challenge Conclusion
I’ve been really putting off posting this blog. I know this won’t be the typical “Day 24” blog post that some of you were expecting, and I hate the idea that I’m letting anyone down. A normal “Day 24” blog post includes pictures, the final weigh in, and before/after in measurements (which I didn’t take to begin with). But this blog isn’t going to be like that.
For a long time, I have obsessed over my weight. For 14 months I have woke up every day, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and weighed myself. Literally, at any point over the past year, you could have said “Chaney, how much do you weigh today?” and I would have proudly told you the number I saw on the scale that morning. At one point, my weight was even a part of my Instagram bio! I don’t know if it was a habit, or a ritual, or just an important part of my daily routine; but I do know that for a long time, I avoided staying anywhere besides my house because my morning weigh-ins were such a huge part of my day. If I was unable to weigh myself in the morning, I would stress about it all day literally to the point of being nauseous. I would literally obsess over my weight! And then, I would try to decide what I would consider an ‘acceptable’ weight for my weigh in the next day. I would throw myself into the next possible opportunity to weigh myself because the anxiety of not being able to quantify my success would have me in tears.
Around Christmas, when I spent a few days/weeks at my boyfriend’s house, I was a total wreck. I’m sure Justin will back me up on this – I was downright unpleasant to be around. As it turns out, I was a part of a “stay fit for the holidays” Facebook group hosted by my trainer friend, Mary, where you were supposed to post your weigh ins every week or every few days, I don’t remember the details. Anyway, the first weigh-in day came around (since I had been staying with Justin) and I told Mary I couldn’t submit mine that day. He didn’t have a scale! Being a good trainer, she assumed I was avoiding the scale, the very thing we were trying to prevent over the holidays by joining the group. She made some sort of comment about “Just go to the local gym, or Bath and Body works, and use their scale!” and I came UN – FREAKING – GLUED on her. That night, reflecting on my day, was the first time it occurred to me that my behavior was a bit… Disordered. I didn’t see the serious need to change my behavior, so I didn’t.
When I started the 24 Day Challenge, my main goal was to reduce my cravings and increase my energy. I didn’t set out to lose weight or “lean out”. In addition to my goal to reduce my cravings and increase my energy level, I made one other goal. I didn’t tell anyone about this goal accept for Justin, who had no idea how disordered I was about my weigh-ins, and consequently how big of a deal it was to me. I remember trying to casually slip it to him, “I’m going to try to not weigh myself until Friday.” It meant nothing to him, but I can remember the way my heart raced when I pushed ‘send’. I started my challenge on Wednesday, and Friday was 48 hours away. Why would that mean anything to anybody? But to me, it was agony. I had to take the batteries out of my scale and hide them in my grandparents’ room, where I couldn’t get to them while my grandparents were sleeping, in order to keep myself from weighing in on that Thursday morning. (This is after several months of declaring to Krista “I’m not going to weigh myself this week” and hiding my scale, just to go get it the next morning. One morning I walked to my car in a bath towel because that’s where I had put my scale in an attempt to keep myself from weighing in.)
Anyway. I made it to Day 3 and allowed myself to weigh in. I stayed away from the scale until the following Monday, Day 6, without too much anxiety over the matter (probably because I was away for the weekend). I was able to wait until Day 8, and then Day 10, a little easier. Day 10 was my final weigh in until Day 16. 6 whole days without stepping on the scale! 6 days without obsessing over my relationship with gravity! 6 days without dissecting every single thing I put in my mouth, and feeling guilty if I didn’t break a sweat. Revolutionary.
It took the 24 Day Challenge to remind me what this fitness journey is all about. It’s not about losing weight. It’s not about how fast you can run. It’s not about posting colorful meals on Instagram. It’s about BALANCE. For a very long time, I didn’t have balance in my life. I ate like a bird, or like a whale. There was no in between. One cheat meal could derail my entire week, maybe even my entire month. For a long time, I would go to the gym as a way to counter the food I’d eaten that day. I knew exactly how many calories I ate that day compared to how many I burned during my workout.
The whole “weigh-in” thing was my way of creating the illusion of control over this process. Yes, I was in control of my health, and what I ate, and how I exercised; but my weight was how I was able to quantify those things. I couldn’t see myself getting healthier. I couldn't see my body changing (or, not changing) from one day to the next. But I could see the scale change. And that’s why, even if I felt great and looked lean, I would be unhappy with my progress if the scale hadn’t moved. Being on a fitness journey is about balance. It’s about going to McDonalds, but not spending $30 and eating everything by yourself. It’s about allowing yourself to have FroYo, without also having a hamburger and 2 orders of French fries because hey, your diet is already ruined. It’s about being able to run and play with your cousins without having to beat your best time on the treadmill. And for a very long time, I have not known balance. There was no middle ground. It was either very healthy habits, or very unhealthy habits. If you’re familiar with the concept of the ying yang symbol, it means there is equal good and bad and you cannot have one without the other. But also, in the middle of the light side, there is a speck of dark. And in the middle of the dark side, there is a speck of light. For a long time, there was no speck. I was either all dark, or all light. I was craving wings after the gym? I’d have wings, and whatever else I wanted for the next week. I was either one extreme or the other. And I am so glad to have broken away from that state of mind.
As someone fairly big and involved in the world of fitness (on Instagram and through blogs), I always see fitness people talk about “finding balance”. I never understood it. In fact, at one point, I went so far as to say that balance is an illusion that people chase without ever catching. I remember saying that balance was a way for people to make weight loss harder than it needed to be. And I could not have been more wrong. I was the one making fitness hard. I was the one acting disordered for weeks at a time, eating clean and running until I threw up, just to throw it away for another period of time because I ate an oreo. Looking back, I can’t believe I was so nuts about it. I don’t know how I got to that point, but I cringe when I imagine the immeasurable damage I did to my metabolism by binging and then being restrictive, in cycles over and over and over again.
Anyway, back to the reason I’m here today, pouring my heart out to you all. The 24 Day Challenge. I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. I got rid of my cravings completely (and I do mean completely), and I have more energy than all the 6 year olds in a Pre-K class combined. I know on Day 10 of the challenge I was at my lowest weight of 179.6, and on Day 16 I was at 180.6. I did not weigh myself on Day 24 of the challenge. In fact, I haven’t weighed myself since Day 16. I feel amazing. I look amazing. I am running for the hell of it. I am still pushing myself in the gym. I am allowing myself to eat when I’m hungry (aka dinner), and I don’t feel bad about it. Not one little bit.
The 24 Day Challenge helped me lose over 14 pounds, eliminate my cravings, and gave me tons of energy. Health wise, the results are worth every penny of the $200 I paid. Emotionally, though, is where I have seen the most improvement. I am proud of myself. I feel accomplished. I feel like a well-rounded member of the fitness community. I understand the term ‘moderation’ and I have slayed the demons that once plagued me. And that, my friends, is worth way more than $200. I no longer feel anxiety when someone asks me to have dinner. I no longer feel the need to race the person on the treadmill next to me. I am refocused, I am confident, and that doesn’t come in a box. (:
So there’s a reason they call this the 24 day CHALLENGE. It’s hard. It’s really hard. Taking the supplements on time, drinking enough water, staying away from white bread and alcohol and fried food for more than three weeks…
Before I decided to take this challenge, the longest I’ve even gone without cheating on my diet was like 8 days. On the 24 day challenge, I was able to complete the entire 10 day cleanse phase without cheating, breaking my own personal record and getting me to my lowest weight (that I know of) of 179.6.
Since then, while my energy has been through the roof and my workouts have been crazy intense, I haven’t been eating the best. Stress eating always has been (and probably always will be) a problem for me. So when my hubby was laid off on Day 13, I freaked out a little. When I was reassigned at work on day 15, I freaked out a little. And when I looked up on Day 17 and it was a week until Relay for Life, well, I freaked out a lot. I’ve still been working out like crazy at least every other day (mostly every day, but I’ve missed one or two days) because my energy level is in the stratosphere. But my eating has been less than great.
I’d like to take a moment to clarify that my eating habits are not the result of cravings. I have been craving free since like…day 8? Somewhere in the cleanse phase. I haven’t for a second thought “omg McDonalds” or “omg Whataburger” or “omg Olive Garden”. None of that. Food doesn’t actually sound good to me. This is a stress eating thing.
And it’s not like I’m doing something omghorrible. I’m eating dinner. Something most normal people do! But in the last 14 months since I’ve started losing weight, I haven’t had dinner. Special occasions, cheat meals, yes… But I’ve never actually had a dinner meal consistently due to the fact that 6/7 days of the week I come home from the gym and pass out. But something about the stress in my life right now screams “eat dinner!” and so I’ve been eating dinner. It hasn’t been healthy, it hasn’t been cute. But it’s been helping me feel like an actual person. And that’s cool. Yolo.
My eating has been less than on point for the past few days. I got a new job, Justin doesn’t have a job, we’ve been spending a lot of time together which means a lot of drinking and a lot of food that I don’t normally eat. I’ve still been working out! But I’m beginning to think that 24 day systems aren’t for me.
I already know what happens when I give up. I want to see what will happen if I don't.