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  • Does Locing Encourage Fitness & Weightloss?

     

    I don't know if it's just me, but looking through several loc albums, I've noticed that many women appear to lose weight as their locs mature. I've noticed this with Toy, Sharynleigh, Anaiskarim, Sonshinecurls, Beryl, Chocolatechaud and others. Also some ladies, who may already be at their ideal weight, tend to take on a more fit appearance (ie. Rockinlocs). What's the connection with the locing process and getting our bodies together?

    For myself, I know that I have made numerous attempts at weightloss and fitness in the past prior to locing. Sometimes I'd make great progress for months, only to fall off the wagon after seeing a little change. I'm not a huge eater, but I tended not to be consistant with working out. I am a vegan and eat rather lightly, but if I'm not being physical, I gain weight. Whenever I did find some consistancy, I'd eventually stop because I lacked the patience to reach my goals. But now, I'm back on it again...and this time seems very different. I believe the locing process has armed me with the patience and will-power to stay on course. I hit the gym nearly 6 days a week for 2 hour/day. If I can't make it there, I make sure I get my workouts in at home. I am excited and enthusiastic about finally attaining my weightloss and fitness goals...and I have to attribute this new found zeal and persistance to the transformative internal and spiritual growth that locing encourages. Also, sweating and wetting my locs daily presents NO PROBLEM, so that helps too.

    Have any of you noticed this in yourselves or others? And if so, what do you think the connection between locing and improved physical fitness is?

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    That's a good question.

    I'm in a completely different place than I was before I started locking. But I don't know how much of that has to do with locking and how much of it has to do with the fact that my 40th birthday is approaching (heck, it's practically here).

    I do know that my decision to loc had nothing to do with my age. I never said, "I'm going to loc in my late 30s." Similarly, I never said, "I'm going to go natural when I turn 30," even though that's pretty much what happened.

    But the actual realization that I needed to quit making excuses for my life IN GENERAL definitely occurred sometime in the 7 months between the day I began locking and my 39th birthday. That I know for a fact!

    After years of complaining about my weight gain, I began getting serious about weight loss and health in July 2004. Since then I've lost approximately 45 pounds. I agree with you that being locked definitely makes working out a lot easier.

    I also (try to) think more about what goes into my body. But that happened about 3 weeks BEFORE I began locking, when I realized that a wheat gluten sensitivity was behind a couple of chronic health problems I'd had for many years.

    I know I've seen people with locs who aren't in the best shape physically...but lately I've been seeing them IN THE GYM, so maybe there's something to this after all.

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    This is a very good question. For me, there was a connection between locing and improved physical fitness.

    When I made the decision to loc, I also made the decision to change other things about myself that I could control. It was more of a life decision (It was my 30th birthday).

    Like LBellatrix, I complained for years about my weight (I gained alot of weight while I was in graduate school and working full-time.) So I said to myself, since I am making a lifelong committment with my hair, I need to do it with my body too. So, I started eating better (lots of veggies) and working out and I started losing weight.

    I also made a decision to finally straighten my teeth for better dental health in future years, so around that same time, I got braces.

    So now I am locing, losing weight, and straightening my teeth. When I get my braces off (about two years) I will see a dramatic difference in my appearance and I am excited about that!

    So, locing made me committ to a lifelong change of better health - and I am thankful for it.

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    Thanks Aswadah for your comments.

    Locing my hair has freed up a part of my mind that wants the best for me. I looked at my baby loc pics and was alarmed at how I allowed myself to get so out of shape. There was a mind set that developed when I decided to embrace my naturally beautiful self. It made sense to me to look at the whole picture and to try to achieve my personal best.

    Since locing, I have changed not only my hair and weight but many other unhealthy habits. I try to look at life differently and listen a lot more. I am also less tolerant of nonsense and try not to allow garbage to clutter my thoughts and opinions.

    These changes were in the back of my mind before I started locing but once I took the first step toward change (locing) it was easier to take the others.

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    HA! It's been the opposite for me! Locs short, I was working out 6 days a week! NOW, my fat azz barely moves! op: {compared to 4 yrs. ago} but it has nothing to do with my locs/hair-growth, more to do with lifestyle change {marriage, job position, bills, stress, etc.} Overall, I'm still happy, even though I've moved into the "Low" end spectrum of the Plus Size World. {size 14-16, depending on the cut}.

    ~Peace!

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    I think it depends on where your mind is. If you grow locks during a period where you are also into holistic health then your lock journey will probably coincide with increased health and this can include weight loss and fitness. During my first lock journey I gained a lot of weight. I was always interested and inclined towards holistic health and lifestyle but at the time I wasn't actively working at using that knowledge to improve my quality of life.

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    IA with alot of what Sharynleigh said. Initially I cut my r-e-l-a-x-e-r out altogether for the sole reason of getting in shape so I can't say that locs did that for me it already existed. My loc journey has taken me to a higher level of consciousness about everything though so that all of that which may not have been at the forefront of my mind, surpressed or things that I was making excuses for all became unacceptable to me. It also really made me a lot more serious about using natural products on my face and body, REALLY changing my diet this time (vegan) and cleansing inside (detoxing) and more aware of energy - that which is positive and negative and where it stems from, and getting serious about my meditation and learning yoga. It's really given me a sense of living for today and following my passions. I have to say that I am proud to be where I am in my 20's

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    Thanks Aswadah for your comments.These changes were in the back...

    That is exactly right! All of the desire to make personal improvements are within, we know what needs to be done better than anyone else. But that first step toward external change (locing) seems to free you up to move forward and deal with that internal stuff. It's amazing. I always tend to think of the locing process as teaching me to have patience with others, but actually it is teaching me to have patience with MYSELF as well.

    Sharynleigh: You are quite welcome sis...gotta give props where they are due.

    All of your comments are very enlightening...please continue. op:

    Side note correction: I meant to write sonshinecoils not "curls" in my original post. Sorry sis. ^_^

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    I was talking to my neighbor about the benefits of going natural. I explained it to her in the terms of your post.

    My decision to loc my hair encouraged me to think more about my physical health. As you stated it has something to do w/ "patience & will power". I am concentrating more on eating healthier and maintaining a realistic exercise routine.

    For some it can trigger an internal change, but it also depends on how much of a change the individual desires.

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    no problem sis--goodness knows i don't have curls though.

    o/t: i've actually noticed in my own pictures what you're talking about--though much of how i look depends on the angle. i really need to be more disciplined in my exercise.

    locking definitely doesn't hinder sweating and getting messy. that's one excuse i DON'T have. my primary issue is not working out regularly vs. overeating--i don't eat very much at all. my problem is starting <_<

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    Hmmmmmmmmmmm..........you've got a point.

    I've become consistent with my toning exercises. I've always been holistically inclined and am really disciplined in what I eat, so diet and overeating has never been a problem. I've got a few stubborn pounds, but if I lose them, I might disappear.

    My issue was "making" the time to get in at least 1 hour of exercise per day. Locking has helped me to become less "rushed" and more consistent about taking time for me. I hope that made sense.............. ^_^ ETA: My patience was almost non-existent prior to locking. Now I can see the benefit in perhaps taking things a little slower.

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    I don't know if there is a connection, but part of me losing weight recently over 100lbs to be exact, preempted me to change my whole persona, ie loc my hair. If you look at my album you'll see the weight transformation as well as the hair transformation.

    lo

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    Good question, Aswadah.

    Locking made me take a long hard look at what I was doing in this area. With more emphasis on using natural products and focusing on attempting to get my hair healthy, I could not ignore that no matter what I did to the outside, if the inside didn't get what it needed, my efforts would be practically valueless.

    So, I am working on gettting my weight down to a healthy number and under control, practicing proper nutrition and exercising. It's turning into a complete transformation inside and outside. I'm glad I'm on this path.

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    *Pardon me, while I interrupt this thread to give more well deserved props...

    I don't know if there is a connection, but part...

    Over 100 lbs!!!! That's what I'm talkin' bout lo! Congrats on the wonderful progress, that's great.

    ...Thank you. Now back to posting & building together.*

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    This is a great topic! I enjoyed reading the answered and agree with so much

    I think going through a step by step process that...

    For me personally, I agree with this.
    Patience, better focus and locing for spiritual reasons has made me feel and lead a better life.

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    I think there can be a connection.

    I was not overweight before I loced, but I did have sloppy eating habits, sloppy fitness habits, sloppy skin care habits, sloppy dating habits, and I was sloppy spritually.

    I began to feel like a hypocrite for turning away from some behaviors and being stagnant in others.

    Growth in one area of my life has created a domino effect. Once I turn from one behavior, I find myself facing with another behavior to examine and turn away from. It's a never ending cycle of growth (if we allow it to be)

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    Also, I can't and don't use my hair as an excuse not to work out like when I was trying to maintain a weekly press and curl.

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    I think there can be a connection.I was not overweight...

    You are sooo on point here!

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    Growth in one area of my life has created a...

    WOW...this is really on point.

    First I cut back on products containing wheat gluten. Three weeks later I started locking. Then I quit b****ing about my weight and got serious about losing it. Then I quit talking about someday going back to school and started applying to schools.

    Now, after knowing for at least 5 years that I needed to leave Chicago (and talking about it for longer than that), I'm finally leaving to go back to school. And after talking about it for at least 10 years, I'm finally going to pursue the only graduate degree I've ever been interested in spending time on (Master of Fine Arts in creative writing).

    All of this has happened in the last 18 months or so.

    Being open to growth and change is terrifying at times but, as my sister said, you need to feel the fear and do it anyway.

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    I want to and decided to become semi-vegetarian. I vowed to eat more vegetables and less meat, although I have no problem with eggs, cheese and meat broths in my cooking and the occassional fish. However, I want to eat far more veggies and fruits than I usually consume.

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    For me it was the other way around (although I'm on my second locing attempt). I was always fitness minded and ate healthfully. But it wasn't until I decided to go back to school for a science degree that I became increasingly concerened with nutrition and the environment. My passion for health, natural/organic products and the environment grew.

    At the time I had been wearing my hair chemical-free for about 8 years, but I was still constantly fighting with it. It seemed to have a mind of it's own, always rolling up and getting tangled no matter how much water and patience I used.

    One day I made a connection between, my desire to interfere with the environment as little as possible and my hair. I realized that I was fighting what my hair wanted to do, which was loc. Interestingly enough, my hair began to bud and grow rapidly within weeks of starting my locs.

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    For me, locking was only part of my journey. Call it female midlife crisis, but I had a need for a lot of big changes.

    I am changing what I wear, what I do for a living, my hair, the way I respond to people: even went out and bought myself a house. I am taking better care of my physical and emotional health. Locking is an important part of this new journey.

    Maybe that is what you are witnessing in these beautiful sisters.

    I want to also mention that I belong to a group of Black artists. In my circle there are also writers, poets and filmmakers. I am surprised at how many of them (of us) are locked.

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    I believe it DOES have something to do with it! Every spring I go to the track and start walking a few miles everyday. Well... I ate so much this winter people didn't know I am vegetarian. I starting walking in April instead of May because I felt like I was making vegetarians look bad. I've been natural 5 years. The first week of May I decided to start palm rolling my hair instead of twisting. That same week I put myself on a strict diet. I even got on one meal a day. My flab is almost completely gone! I personally believe how you wear your hair can have an influence on other aspects of your life.

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