It’s a new year, and most likely a new you is underway. My transformation didn’t need a start date to motivate me to get my ass in gear. I just needed to decide to grow. Getting to the point of making such decision to change often comes after a lot of loss, failure, rejection, and pain. At that point it’s easiest to just say fuck it, and seep into your couch, stuffing your face with pizza, watching Lifetime while the rest of the world turns their dreams into realities. Sure, I did that (Pizza Boy on repeat). Then after my little pity party I got my ass up and put in work! My growth over the last three months has been intense and exhausting, but so worth it. I’m ready for 2019, but is 2019 ready for me?!
After I published The Wig is my Security Blanket I started to grow my hair out accidentally, because I was lazy and skipped a week of shaving. My wig tape was still holding, so I became curious as to how thick my hair would grow in if I just stopped shaving. I also thought I might be more comfortable in front of my boyfriend taking off my wig if I had some growth to hide my bald. I don’t love that statement. I can’t say I am ashamed of my way of thinking, because I realized the problem. I was hiding myself from someone I loved. I didn’t love myself enough as I was to believe anyone else could love me either. This was my moment of truth. I decided I wasn’t growing my hair for him. I was growing my hair for me (and thank goodness, because his ass is gone, keep reading).
After a month of growth my hair was about an inch long and thicker than I remembered. I could see so much scalp, but I thought if it grew longer less scalp would be visible. My friends were surprised by how much hair I was growing. I was not. That is what is deceiving about my Alopecia Areata. My type is referred to as Diffuse Alopecia. Meaning it is spread out all over my head, not in patches. I am lucky because this type of hair loss does leave me with a full head of hair, it’s just pretty thin throughout. What is crazy is that I didn’t even know that Diffuse Alopecia was a type. I found out within the last couple of months by talking to other Alopecians. I have learned so much about my case by being open socially. The community is so supportive and knowledgeable.
Now my hair is about two inches long. Wig tape hurts and doesn’t stick as well. I have thought about transitioning to wigs that don’t tape, but instead fit my head with adjustable elastic. I have also thought about how I could rock my bio hair on its own. Hence the platinum blonde pixie look I debuted on New Years Eve. I always thought the contrast of blonde hair on my pale AF scalp would make my hair look fuller as opposed to brown on white. I was right! I can still see so much scalp, but not like I did before. It’s much more subtle. The blonde contrast is really masking my baldness and it’s such a statement no one is looking at my scalp. It has given me a new vibe of confidence that I am making my theme for 2019. No low self-esteem this year, this hair won’t have it! I don’t know if I will continue to grow my hair out, or keep it at this length and continue to dye it. I don’t want to commit to anything so I will just ride the wave and do what I want in the moment.
Speaking of not committing that goes for my love life as well. That relationship I was trying to salvage in my last post, the one I blamed my insecurities on, the one I thought I needed, fuck that. He wasn’t my person and that’s okay. That relationship was all it needed to be: A lesson. I learned how to love again, how to be vulnerable, how to speak up, and how to let my guard down (almost). Most importantly I learned not to blame myself. Insecurities are a bitch, because they blind you from your partners flaws. I was so consumed in my own flaws, fears, hairloss, and feelings, that I completely ignored his red flags that he waved so aggressively in my face. I saw those flags as red carpets that I strutted my ass right up, like “I have arrived!” Why do we do that?! I know I’m not alone here, because some of my girlfriends are going through it too, and they don’t have Alopecia, so I can’t use that excuse.
I needed to have my behavior put on blast so I could start working on myself. I started therapy because I didn’t want to be insecure and guarded. I needed to look in the mirror and love myself so I could know what love really feels like. Once I felt self-love, I realized he didn’t love me at all. I didn’t want to believe it, but once confronted he finally told me what I didn’t want to hear. Sure that stung, but it freed me at the same time. That heartbreak showed me what I didn’t want. An insecure woman falls in love with a guy that doesn’t love her, but this confident woman that needed to go through that to come out so self-aware will only fall for the man that truly loves her, flaws and all. I will never be emotionally manipulated again. I can’t be. I am too confident, my hair is too fly, and my head is on straight!
Having a higher perception of myself has cleared so much room in my head for new ideas and goals that I want to accomplish. I’m not caught up talking myself out of things, instead I am talking myself into them. It’s crazy! I am in the middle of a wild ride of a project now, that I am praying to the universe pulls through. I will let you know what that is later, but let’s just say I would not have applied if I was drowning in my negative head space. I am also so much more open about my Alopecia.
I joined a dating app just to post bald photos to rip off the bandaid of dating with Alopecia. I never really did that before since my relationship started when I came out socially. The responses from men were positive. Honestly, I didn’t notice a difference from the times I went on and didn’t post bald photos. After a week I was over it, because I hate dating apps but I was proud that I dove in and owned it. When I actually do start dating again I wont be hiding my Alopecia. Who knows what hair I’ll be wearing on my dates? Shaved head, platinum pixie, long dark brown wig with bangs? Maybe a new hair style for each date! The point is I have the confidence to be myself. It has only taken me 32 years, but I finally feel I have grown into my own.
Last but not least on my H list is my health. When your head and your heart are happy there is no room to be unhealthy. I can honestly say my body has never looked or felt better. This did not happen over the last three months. This has been two years in the making. Once I finished writing my cookbook I got rid of all sugar and flour. I don’t have willpower when it comes to food, and I am a self-destructive emotional eater. As I have gotten older my gut health has been a big concern. A lot of foods upset my stomach. I am a chronic bloater. If I eat quinoa, cake, an apple, or 100 other things in between I will bloat like I’m six months pregnant (I have pictures to prove it). It’s not pretty and it feels even worse. I had to gain control so I dissected my diet.
I started by taking an at home food sensitivity test from Everylywell. 96 foods were tested and ranked from moderate to low on the way my body responded to them. My moderate ranks were yogurt, cottage cheese, and cow’s milk. Mild ranking foods were eggs (which I ate everyday), almonds, bran, malt, peas, lima beans, cheese, sesame seeds, and even apples. I cut out everything but cheese. I highly recommend this test if you have tried every diet, but still have bloating issues.
I went on a pescatarian diet, which consisted of fruit, vegetables, fish, and sometimes cheese and bread. I was also preparing for a pageant so I was really motivated to not look pregnant with a food baby. I stuck with that diet for 10 months. Then last February I cut out my occasional meat cheats and really focused on more plant based meals. In September I cut out cheese and limited my fish intake. So now I am pretty much a vegan, but with the occasional fish. I also do intermittent fasting 16:8. I don’t eat for 16 hours, then eat during an 8 hour window from 1:00PM to 9:00PM. I have never been a breakfast person so this schedule has been easy to stick to, unless I am on vacation (there are no rules on vacation).
My gut has never felt better. I am less inflamed, and moody. It’s crazy how your gut affects your mood. It’s like another brain! I lost 14 lbs last year, and don’t see myself putting that weight back on. I feel too good. Even when I feed my feelings with food I am mindful about it. I have my head to thank. Being in this mature headspace has me focused, secure, and confident. I want the best for myself, and sometimes the best is Taco Bell twice in one week (modified vegan), because I’m human, damn it. I have learned balance and moderation, and most importantly to listen to my body. That, my friends is growth!
I hope your 2019 is full of growing pains, and that you don’t quit. You got this shit. You are the only one standing in the way from your dreams. Get off that sofa, turn off Lifetime, take the pizza out of your mouth (give it to me), and make it happen!
(I am practicing motivational speaking by the way, but don’t worry I’m not quitting my day job just yet)