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Life Lessons: Understand what you are getting yourself into

Posted Dec 12 2008 1:23pm
Day 12 of the 100 Reps Challenge

- 25 goblet squats (regular squat but holding a dumbbell in both hands at chest height)
- 25 crunches

Do this set 4 times (all at once or spread across the day) for a total of 100 goblet squats and 100 crunches! Mix up the crunches each time: do regular crunches, reverse crunches, crunches using the stability ball, and bicycle crunches.

Fitness Tip: When doing the squats, don't let your knees go over your toes, and keep your back straight! Stay as upright as possible; move slowly until you get the technique right and watch yourself in a mirror to confirm that you are performing the correct technique.

Hair Removal

Let's face it, it's something we all have to deal with (even if there seems to be a woeful lack of information about the subject out there), and depending on what form you use, it can be a painful process. More than that, the form that we choose can also affect the health of our bodies, as the professional sugarer (I have no idea what they are really called) who I see regularly tells me enthusiastically every time I see her.

Plucking and shaving are easily the most often-used, usually because of ease and convenience. It's something that can be done at home without the bother and expense of booking an appointment at a spa. They are also two of the safest options in regards to how good they are for the body; as long as you are plucking and shaving in the right direction, you can prevent any redness, and remove the hair with little pain or harm to your skin.

But there are other options too; everything from sugaring, waxing, laser removal, electrolysis, and threading, among I'm sure a number of others that scare me too much to want to pay attention to. Waxing is a fairly common process, but it is not nearly as gentle on the skin as sugaring is. If you have the option of sugaring over waxing, choose the sugar! If I've got to have the hair ripped off my body anyways, I'd rather have it done by something like sugar rather than wax. Sugar just sounds nicer, and to be honest, it feels way better.

Although laser hair removal seems to be promoted by a lot of experts (of which I most certainly am not), the idea of it isn't something which I would think of as being particularly healthy. Any time a laser is being put near my body, I'm going to be mildly concerned. But electrolysis is even more frightening; the process sounds similar to being electrocuted. I'll pass on that one.

Personally I have only experienced four basic kinds of hair removal: plucking, shaving, waxing, and sugaring. And it's surprising that I've even gone through all of those, considering my somewhat traumatizing experiences (ah, this explains why laser and electrolysis freaks me out..):

The first time I ever decided it was necessary to start plucking my eyebrows was in junior high. My friends all had their eyebrows plucked, all the magazines I was reading gave tips about how to pluck eyebrows, and it was time for me to jump on the bandwagon. But at this point I didn't even know how to apply makeup, so using tweezers would have been like handing me a power tool now (or operating any kind of kitchen appliance. Bottom line, it's a dangerous idea to let me play with those things). My friends kindly agreed to shape my eyebrows for me.

Thus, I found myself lying down on the hotel bed on our band trip (clearly I was a wild child), surrounded by six of my nearest and dearest friends, 2 of them armed with tweezers as the rest of them crowded around to give advice. It was as painful as getting my ears pierced had been, but it carried on for a very long time, and was punctuated with casually cheerful remarks such as "hm, that hair seems to be on your eyelid, don't blink!".

And so it resulted that by the end of the trip I proudly returned home with my eyebrows plucked (although slightly uneven). Naturally, the experience had been too painful for me to keep up with, so several months (okay, about a year) down the road I found myself with an appointment booked to get my eyebrows "done" by a professional. Key word here being "done"; how my eyebrows would be "done" was not specified.

The professional who did it was very sweet, chatting as she put some kind of warm creamy substance on my eyebrows- I thought it was maybe a moisturizing cream- and then without warning she ripped off much of my eyebrows with hot wax. I gotta be honest. I had thought she would be using tweezers to shape them. I had absolutely no idea that she would be using wax.

Needless to say, I have only ever tried using wax once since then, when I was in Costa Rica and thought it would be easier to use wax strips than a razor. It wasn't, the wax didn't work, and I had to wheedle a razor from my best friend. Later on when I started getting sugared regularly, I bought myself an at-home kit to try sugaring myself. I got as far as opening the box and reading the instructions. I've still got the kit, but have learned from experience that this is something I want to leave up to the experts (after, that is, they very thoroughly explain to me exactly what they are going to do).

Have you had any traumatizing experiences? Amusing anecdotes? Comments on your preferences or the health benefits of these different forms? You know where to leave them!

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