Box Braids And Why I Believe That The Idea Of Health At Every Size Is Nonesense

For the past couple of weeks I’ve had very little to say about my hair and with good reason too, I got a set of box braids! They are not small enough to be micros but not very large either. I would really like to say that I love them but honestly, even though I like how they look for the most part, they feel pretty heavy and because of their unnatural bulk, I am finding it difficult to style them in a way that doesn’t put stress on my roots.

I have taken to wearing them in either a side bun or a floppy side bun as in the picture below. It’s cute without looking like you’ve tried too hard. Next time I do braids however I am definitely leaving the extensions out and doing mini braids with my own hair.

Alma box braids

On another subject, I don’t often wear makeup as you may know based on my pictures on this blog but randomly for the last couple of weeks, I have had to resist the urge to purchase every bright red lipstick I came across.

It all started with a magazine article I was skimming through titled ‘Makeup for the clueless’ or something to that effect. Among other things they suggested mineral foundation, which I’ve had for ages (do they have expiry dates?) and depending on your skin complexion some bright lippy if you are in a huge hurry but want to fake that I’ve-got-a-fully-made-up face look.

I have always been the understated type preferring lip gloss or lip stain to true lipsticks but I though, why not? And now I’m in looooove with this bright red lipstick and I have literally worn it every day since I purchased it! I also picked up a couple of red and pink lip glosses plus some glittery red nail polish.

Don’t worry, I am in little danger of becoming a fashion/makeup blogger, I freely admit that I know very little and do not have enough of an interest in the subject. But for now, the red lippy stays.

I know I haven’t written a great deal about my body journey this year and it’s not that I’ve forgotten, its just that I have been searching for the right way to incorporate a healthy lifestyle so that it has a chance of sticking. I have dismissed quite a few options so far, mainly the ones that involve eliminating an entire food group, you know low carb, low fat, vegan etc.

I was thinking the other day about the idea of Health At Every Size, I read the book last year and even though I agreed with it at the time, I mean who wouldn’t want to blame genes and nature on your weight problems and give up dieting forever, lately the whole premise has not been sitting right with me. This is a brief overview of what the book is about for those who haven’t come across it:

Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem. The solution?

Health at Every Size.

Tune in to your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.

Health at Every Size has been scientifically proven to boost health and self-esteem. The program was evaluated in a government-funded academic study, its data published in well-respected scientific journals.

Updated with the latest scientific research and even more powerful messages, Health at Every Size is not a diet book, and after reading it, you will be convinced the best way to win the war against fat is to give up the fight.

Basically, accept that you are fat because there is nothing you can do about it. Hmm, on the one hand I can understand why some people feel that this is the best way forward. With so many studies now showing that dieting is the biggest indicator of future weight gain, we are all becoming more and more aware that diets simply don’t work. But is the solution to accept your fat fate an not bother? I’m not convinced.

ZebraWithout sounding preachy, we all know by now that being overweight is associated with a risk in a lot of diseases of prosperity, you know the ones: diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, stroke etc etc. How anyone can imagine that adding a bit of salad and fruit to our modern day food obsessed culture and accepting your ‘fat destiny’ as a healthy attitude makes little sense to me.

We simply don’t see fat animals in the wild, and of course here I mean animals that are substantially larger than others of their own kind. A fat zebra for instance would not survive very long in the scorching lion dotted plains of the Serengeti so it is to their advantage to remain trim. I also doubt anyone looking at the zebra would think that it was ‘healthy’, most of use would be thinking ‘What has the zebra been eating?!!’

Health doesn’t exactly come to mind when I see fat dogs and cats ambling around our neighborhood either, I tend to look a them with a mixture of distaste and mild fascination so when exactly did we lose that natural reaction when looking at fellow overweight human beings? Putting on some weight is perfectly natural but a permanent state of overweight is neither natural nor is it desirable.

I have always been a relatively healthy eater. I genuinely get at least 5-8 servings of fruit and veg every day and since last year, I am also an avid juicer. Actually this may explain my bad reaction to taking vitamins for hair growth, I already take in enough via my food so any supplementation is patently unnecessary for me. But do I believe that I am truly healthy in spite of my size? Hellz no!

Even though I don’t have any horrible disease, I do have a lot of niggling complaints which I would be willing to bet are weight related:

  • Creaky knees – They literally creak as I walk up stairs!
  • Terrible dry feet – I am having to scrape them weekly and sleep with them covered in olive oil and plastic bags to feel even vaguely normal.
  • Tight throat – My doctor diagnosed Globus Sensation which although does not harm me, it’s very unpleasant to experience it daily.
  • Hairy top lip – I hate this the most and cannot be without my hair removal creams.
  • Occasional snoring – I never notice it myself of course but I’m told that sometimes I am loud enough to cause concern. lol
  • Recurring bouts of fungal athletes foot which I have not been able to get rid of since picking it up at a gym in the late 90’s.

I don’t diet any more as I have previously stated but do I consider myself healthy? Truthfully no, there is a great deal of room for improvement. I am not happy with what I see in the mirror (or in photos) and while there continues to be that internal battle raging within me yelling ‘But I would rather be thin!’ I will not stop trying. Period.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, I don’t even claim to have any but I know for a fact that rolling over and accepting overweight as the norm is not it.

It's simple and free. Just enter your email address below.

  • Shar

    Love the look Alma and the braids are cute!

  • MsCurlyKat

    I love that lipcolor on you! That mineral makeup is great, on the rare occasion I wear that much makeup (eyeliner and lipcolor mostly for me), mineral powder is sheer and doesn’t itch on me. As for styling your braids (very cute!), When I have them and want to put them up, let’s say in a pony tail, I do this: I get them all gathered up and use my tool (elastic, scrunchie, etc) to make my ponytail. I make sure each braid is lined up neatly and everything is all smooth. Then, I use my fingers and slightly tug each braid for 2-3 rows all around my hairline, to loosen them up just enough to remove the tension, but not enough to make my style look messy. You get a feel for it after the first few times you do it. It doesn’t remove all the tension from your scalp area but it does remove it from the part that gets the most tension over our lifetime, the hairline perimeter. I do it when I put my braids in a ponytail, bun, french braid, any up-do. Makes a huge comfort difference too, doesn’t feel as heavy. Have fun experimenting with your cute hair!

    • Thanks for the pointers MsCurlyKat. I have an important appointment next week in which I reckon I may come across better with my own hair rather than braids so they are coming out at the weekend I’m afraid. So much for protective styling huh?

      • MsCurlyKat

        O no! And they look so new! Sorry to hear your hair-vacation is being cut short…

  • Nadine

    Hi Alma love the box braids. But I know what you mean, I’m feeling you they can weigh a little heavy
    at the roots. When I wear box braids I have to let them hang loose completely. But since my hair is
    acting for the first time in LIFE!! like it wants to reach APL! Noooooo box braids for me. I do self
    braids now with my own hair. If I want to let them show I do so if not, I wear a head wrap or a wig.
    By the way your skin is so pretty. And your mouth looks luscious, boy I would love to wear
    that lip color LOL!

  • curlyprincesses

    LOL LOL LOL at creaky knees (me too) and dry feet with olive oil and plastic bags! lol so funny. You are right though, we shouldn’t except overweight or unhealthy as ok. And your braids are so cute! I totally understand about the heaviness and unnatural bulk..that’s why I can’t do it. I was thinking of trying them again but what you said is confirmation to just box braid my own hair again. Thanks for this post and you look fab!

  • Kenzie

    I know I am late and all but what braiding hair brand is that

    • I’m pretty sure that it was xpression, the long one.

  • Kenzie

    Thank you for responding . Stay blessed