Butterfly Spotlight

By : Lisa Tolufashe

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 42 years old, I have 2 daughters Alexandria (21) and Brittny (15), and a 3 year old Jack Russell Terrier named Button. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I am from Wilmington, NC. I moved to Charlotte in June 2001 when I got out of the military. I served 11 years in the US Army in various duty stations and the Gulf War. I enjoy working out, reading, and traveling.
When did you start running and why?
I was invited to the running group in Spring 2010 by my church member Janice Tucker. I consistently told her I do not run anymore. I told myself when I got out of the military I would never ever run again unless someone was behind me lol, with her urging I thought to myself what the heck what do I have to lose it is not like I have never ran before, even though I despised running in the military because we had to do it, I saw it as another way to challenge my body since I do LOVE exercising. So I decided to come out and have been running ever since.

Did you ever think you would be a runner?
No I did not think I would ever be runner, even when I ran in the military I did not consider myself a runner. Now, I like running. I like the way I feel afterwards like I have accomplished something. Running is very empowering.

How did those first runs feel?   How has it changed?
The first runs were okay, I was getting back use to running. I knew I could do it because I did it before for 11 years in the military. It has changed because I was running because I wanted to and not because I had to. I liked challenging myself in a different aspect.
What health benefits have you noticed since running?
My asthma has improved I am able to run without being out of breath-by learning to breath properly and building up my lungs by exercising. My knees do not hurt as bad-thanks to the injury prevention clinic. I wear my knee braces just to protect my knees so  I do not re injury them.  My pressure has improved, my cholesterol has improved. My doctor was trying to put me on cholesterol medication which I Refused to take-thanks to running and the healthy eating clinics my cholesterol is within normal levels without medication.
What’s in your playlist?
Do not run with music.
What are your running goals?
My running goal is to run a half marathon. I have ran a couple 5ks and a 10k.
What is one thing you do to reward yourself after a run?
Take a nice long shower, and give myself pedicure and pamper my feet.
What would you say to someone who wants to start running?
I would tell them they can do it that running is mental,  they can do anything they put their mind to. I would tell them they will like the way they feel afterwards-it is very empowering, and to make sure to be hydrated even when not running.
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A Butterfly Story

By: Shannon Steele

About Me

My name is Shannon Steele.  I have pretty much lived in Charlotte all of my life.  I currently work for the US Postal Service and have been there for about 14 years.  I am the mother of two of the most wonderful children, Jaedyn, 9 and Jaeda, 2.  I always thought about being a runner but never took the time to train or even pursue the goal.  I never thought that the goal would be even further away when I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure in 2010 after having my daughter.  I almost died.  It was a very devastating time for me.  I could not carry my new baby up the steps in my home or let alone do something as simple as walk around in the local Wal-Mart.  I would get so tired and out of breath that simple task were hard for me.  I have always said that my strength comes from God and through my children.  I was determined that I was going to snap back and take charge! Not just for me but for the fact that I had to let my children see that with God all things are truly possible.

First Runs

One day I was working at the Post Office when Loree came to the open a PO box for the Purple Butterflies.  We began to talk and she told me about the group. This was my chance.  I can’t begin to tell you how much she and this group have made an impact in my life!  Just when I thought my goal of being a runner was just a dream never did I think it would become reality.  I started this past March, two months before the two year anniversary of my diagnosis. The first runs were tough, but I caught on.  I started out slow because I knew that I had Heart Failure.   I have gone from running a couple of minutes at a time to running miles.  Of course you have those people that know about your condition and looked at me like, “Your doing what? Have you consulted your doctor?” No I hadn’t actually consulted my cardiologist, but I did consult my doctor and that was God!

Health Improvements

Since running with the Butterflies my health has greatly improved! My heart function has gone completely back to normal.  Even my cardiologist was surprised.  Since joining in March I have been able to run three 5K runs and one four mile run.  Just two years ago I had to leave my home cause I couldn’t walk up and down the steps, and look at me now!


Hopefully I will be able to run the 10K planned in August and I would eventually like to run a Half Marathon.  Anything is possible.

My Advice

My first advice to anyone who thinks they can’t be a runner I say to you, you won’t. Get your mind right and be positive. Positive energy brings on positive things!  If you think you can you will. You have to take yourself out of your comfort zone and step out with an open mind.  Know that you will conquer this just like anything else.  If I can do it with a bad heart surely you can too!

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Reflections of a Runner

Reflections of a Runner


Geri Jackson

In the beginning, I stayed in my head and said to myself, “I am not a runner.”

Always a little too heavy, a little too soft and never considered that athletic- kind-of- girl

I could set a goal to lose weight and exercise; and could never stay committed to me.

A party, a holiday, a failed relationship, or not making my health a priority became a reason to quit.

One spring day, a beautiful Butterfly flew by and whispered “every step, every mile together”

“Come join us! Set a goal, be supported, live healthier and HAVE FUN!”

Joining a group meant commitment, fellowship and people who understood me and my battle

Could I be a runner?  Could I set and reach a goal without giving up? Could I be a winner?

I was anxious and excited the first run, and couldn’t figure out what a “2 and 1” was???

It was the longest one minute of my life!  My lungs were on fire, knees wobbling and my heart pounding out of chest!

But I made it through my first run and was celebrated with a round of applause and smiles all around

I thought to myself, “I think I can do this” and decided I would take it one run, one goal at a time.

Four months have passed and as I prepare myself on running days I think to myself,

 I have run a mile in 15 minutes;

I have run to the bridge and back;

I have completed a 5k with my running club;

I have run 5 miles while holding a conversation;

I have new friends and sisters in running;

I have lost inches and become toned and

I have improved mentally, physically and spiritually.

As I join hands with the other Butterflies and bow my head, I hear a clear voice:

 “Thank you, Father God, for the ladies in this circle. Thank you for helping us make the commitment to our health.  Thank you for this beautiful day.  Please protect and be with us as we are on the trails today…”

 My spirit is lifted by the prayer and I know that He has given me a blessing in the form of this sisterhood.  I think to myself, “I AM a runner!”

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EHS Summer Hair Care Tips

Epiphany Hair Studio Summer Hair Care Tips

“Summer Has Sprung! Seasonal Changes and How To Handle Them…”

Summer months are generally very hot. People spend a great deal of time outdoors and in water activities. Exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can lead to dry, brittle hair that changes its color, and summer water activities can create unpredictable results when working with chemicals. This is generally the best growth time for hair. More active lifestyles, better eating habits and happy spirits all contribute to this. However, there are some side effects we must deal with….

*Chlorine Damage

The sun naturally oxidizes the hair and lightens the natural color. The more you expose the hair to UV rays, the lighter the hair becomes.

To offset this the following product is recommended:
*Dudley’s Q True Indulgence: Inner Brilliance Essential Oil Complex

Applying a small amount of Essential Oil Complex to wet or dry hair will buffer the effects of the sun and slow down the oxidation process.

Excessive sweating may occur during this time of year as activities increase. Sweating leaves salt deposits, which cause a drying effect on the hair and scalp. It must be removed with frequent shampoos.

The following regimine is recommended to keep those tresses in tip top shape:
*Dudley’s Q Deluxe Shampoo
*Dudley’s Q Moisturizing Conditioner
*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Sulfate-Free Shampoo
*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Hydrate
Leave-In Conditioner


*Dudley’s Q PCA Moisture Retainer
*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Bend Twist & Lock Gel
*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Control Locking Cream

Complete the finish look with the At Home Maintenance products to prevent dryness and add softness to all types of hair. They provide extra moisture, added conditioning, and extra holding power for hard-to-lock, curly or gray hair. Exceptional for natural or chemically enhanced tresses.

Water activities increase during the summer monthes. As a resuslt we are exposed to chlorine, which has a negative effect on natural hair and even more so on chemically treated hair. It is imperative to remove chlorine immediately from the hair after exposure. Breakage and dry dull hair can result if hair does not receive the proper maintenence.

The following regimen is recommended:
*Dudley’s Q The Shampoo (Clarifier)
*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Sulfate-Free Shampoo
*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Hydrate
Leave-In Conditioner

*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Sulfate-Free Shampoo
*Dudley’s Q iDiversify Hydrate
Leave-In Conditioner

These are just a few tips on how to keep your tresses in the healthiest condition possible during the Summer months. All recommended products can be purchased from my Salon by calling or emailling me and can be shipped if you’re not local.

Your Stylist,

*BLOG: www.epiphanyhairstudioCLT.com/talktome

Epiphany Hair Studio
“Not just an experience but…A LIFESTYLE!”

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Butterfly Spotlight

Tara Zollicofer


Tell us a little about yourself

I am 40 years old, married for almost 14 years to my hubby Derrick and have two beautiful and active children (Zion age 10 and Nia age 4).  We are originally from Maryland and relocated to NC 4 years ago primarily for a better quality of life for the kids.  I work at the VA as a social worker, and I enjoy reading and being with friends and family.  I consider myself to be a fun loving person who loves to laugh J.

When did you start running and why?

Well, lol, my co-worker and friend, Kecia, a Purple Butterfly member, joined the running club in 2011 and has been trying to get me to come out ever since.  I kept telling her, “I don’t run and I don’t like to run”.  Eventually, with Kecia’s constant urging, I came out one time last year and told her, “let me join when you all start a new beginner program”.  However, since turning 40 I have wanted to try to challenge myself and running is one of my challenges.  I saw the effects that running was having on Kecia and I decided to give it a try!  I joined the running club in March 2012 with the beginners.

Did you ever think you would be a runner?

Never in a million gazillion years would I have thought that I would be running!  I remember dreading PE in school and hated to run laps. I have NEVER ran, didn’t enjoy running and have never been athletic so running was the farthest thing from my mind!

How did those first runs feel?   How has it changed?

Those first runs were hard!  No need in sugar coating it.  Running 1 minute walking 2 minutes may not sound like a lot, but it was to me.  I remember being out of breath and just a mess.  I kept wondering if I really could do this running thing.  However, it progressively got better.  Every week I progressed and even though I grumbled when we ran a little more than we walked; when we ran a little farther, and then the dreaded BRIDGE; it pushed me to prove something to myself.  I remember when I was able to run 1 mile straight.  I had never done that before and it was a great feeling!!!!   

What health benefits have you noticed since running?

Prior to joining the running club, I had done Weight Watchers on the job and lost 35 lbs.  Since running, I have lost inches and am down about 2 dress sizes in 3 months.  I have also noticed that I don’t get as short of breath as I used to.

You recently ran your first 5k Congratulations!!

How did you feel prior to the race?

I never thought that I would be able to do a 5k and leading up to the race, I was excited, but very anxious and nervous.  I remember my heart beating so fast standing in line waiting for the race to start.  I kept thinking, “what If I can’t do this and have to stop and can’t finish the race”.


How did it feel to cross that finish line?

To cross that finish line was very emotional for me.  I knew I would be proud of myself, but I became so overwhelmed by what I, or rather God, had allowed me to do.  I cried tears of joy!  My friend Kecia was right there beside me running the whole race with me.  I felt so encouraged and motivated and accomplished!!!

Was running a 5K anything like you thought it would be?? 

I knew that it was not going to be easy, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be (except that hill was a killer).  I was glad to get the first race over and all that anxiety left as soon as I crossed the finish line.  I can say that the coaches made sure that we were adequately prepared for the 5k, and I am looking forward to running my next race!

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Butterfly Spotlight

Esther Bruce

Tell us a little about yourself

I am a fifty-nine year-old retired educator for North Carolina public schools and currently I am a part-time community college instructor.  I have a seventeen year-old daughter and a three-year dog.

When did you start running and why?

I started running seven weeks ago. I was introduced to PBRC when I met Loree at a line dance class. She gave me her card and I had kept it for over year. I could not see myself running but I was intrigued by the idea. I received a “go” when I consulted my doctor; however, I still was not a believer. In March I saw and talked with Loree at a church health and career fair. I thought that PBRC was destined to be in my future. I made a commitment to start the next Tuesday. On that day, I pulled into the parking area and saw so many women and I asked myself who I thought I was and what was I doing. I resisted the urge to keep driving as if I had not reached my destination. Breathe I told myself. Soon we had prayer and I thought surely I was in the wrong place when I heard Loree announce that we would start the warm up with jumping jacks! I was going to do what? Well, fortunately my weight is hovering around 200 lbs now so I did have the stamina and” just did it”. I have been running and praying to a higher power that made it possible for this unlikely runner to stay in the game one step at a time.

Did you ever think you would be a runner?

Absolutely not—I have weighed well over 350 lbs for most of my life and I would never have fathomed running as a part of my life.

How did those first runs feel?   How has it changed?

We started out walking two minutes and running one minute. That had to be the longest one minute ever recorded. I made it through the pattern to complete one mile that day. It was an awesome feeling for a woman who has never been athletic or had the physical stamina to participate in running to achieve this goal. The most significant change for me is that I have now run 1.2 miles without stopping. This is to me a God given blessing.

What health benefits have you noticed since running?

My blood sugar readings have lowered significantly. I am currently taking no medication to control blood sugar for the first time in thirty-five years! This withdrawal of medication occurred after my being with PBRC five weeks.

What’s in your playlist?

Artists: Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Donnie McClurkin, Whitney Houston, and a few others

What would you say to someone who wants to start running?

The environment in which we run is wonderful. We are coached in techniques and monitored to make sure all is well as we run. There is no competition or timing. If you think you might want to run, look for Purple Butterflies, join them and “just do it!”

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Butterfly Spotlight

Melody Walton-Porch

Tell us a little about yourself

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I have been in Charlotte for several years now. I am an Information Security Analyst for Wells Fargo Bank. I have one son who is a rising junior at North Meck High School, a new husband and new puppy as well. I enjoy traveling, reading, crossword puzzles, movies and organizing personal spaces.

When did you start running and why?

I started running this year when the beginner’s class began on March 13th. I started running to experience a different style of exercise other than going to the gym and doing the same routines all the time. I wanted to become physically fit and challenge myself to do something different and meet new people.

Did you ever think you would be a runner?

When I first joined the running club, I was a little hesitant due to some knee issues I was dealing with. With the proper information on how to run, what type of shoes and other tools, I was able to run, starting at my own pace and being consistent, I have been able to run without problems. The coaches have been great in taking the group step by step as a beginner.

How did those first runs feel?   How has it changed?

Initially the first month was a challenge for me, learning to breathe, proper form and working on not straining my knee. I had to wear two different knee braces, now I do not run with a brace at all. I actually learned how to make it relaxing and mentally enjoyable. I am now am able to run three miles and feel good afterwards !!

What health benefits have you noticed since running?

Since I began running, I feel like I have a new energy level, I sleep better and my mental state is clearer.  I have also lost a total of 10 pounds, whereas before with any exercise, I would only lose inches. This continues to motivate me, along with the proper eating and water intake.

What’s in your playlist?

In my playlist you would find a variety of things…LL Cool J, Kool Moe Dee, Ludacris, Jill Scott, Michael Jackson, Outkast, Prince, I love Old School !!!

What would you say to someone who wants to start running?

I would tell them to start with a positive attitude, a goal to become healthier and be dedicated. We only have one body…treat it as such.

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“Hop Into Spring! Getting Your Hair Into Shape For Summer…”

“Hop Into Spring! Getting Your Hair Into Shape For Summer…”

By Guest Blogger Dana Purdom

Different seasons require different haircare techniques to maintain healthy hair. As the seasons change from dry and cold in Winter to, warm and moist during Spring & Summer, hair changes with the climate.

Hair often goes from dry and full of static to frizzy and sun bleached by the end of summer. Preparing for this change of the seasons can help you have a better hair day all year long!

Balancing Moisture:
One of the hardest things to conquer with hair is ‘moisture balance’. Just when you get your hair all moisturized to combat the dry season, it gets wet and humid, and then the sun comes out and wreaks havoc on your locks.

As the weather starts to warm up and the humidity in the air increases, it’s time to CHANGE your conditioning habits by making a few adjustments.

While Springtime brings beautifully groomed gardens and 70-degree temperatures, it’s also the season when frizzy hair and flyaways are rampant.

Here are some causes of the most maddening effects Spring weather can have on your hair and what you can do to keep your locks luscious February to May!

(The Culprit): HUMIDITY
Spring’s influx of humid weather can leave hair flat and squelch even the most zealous efforts of styling. No matter what texture your hair has naturally, this is NOT the time of year to force your tresses into a natural style.

If your hair is curly, find a style that embraces your curls. If your hair is straight but tends to curl up in humid weather, incorporate loose, light curls into your style.

Product Recommendation:
Consider applying a ‘humidity resistant’ product like: Dudley’s Dry Hair Spray; which, has a silicone oil that provides a moisture repellant shield to protect styles, and polymers that preserve styles under hot, humid conditions.

(The Culprit): WIND
Wind creates massive flyaways! Windy gusts grab at split ends and create static-y looks, and damaged or naturally coarse hair has it worse because they have rougher hair cuticles, giving the breeze something to hold on to.

Product Recommendation:
Windy times call for hair accessories: headbands, ponytails and clips are a must! Also, try products formulated for blustery days like Dudley’s True Indulgence: Inner Brilliance; infused with a combination of essential oils, wheat germ & rose hip, that tame even the most difficult frizzies.

(The Culprit): MOISTURE
Constant changing moisture levels are in the air due to April showers. The problem? Frizz is caused by air trying to soak in moisture from the air.

Product Recommendation:
Try keeping a little product on hand throughout the day to use for smoothing down any strays that may curl up like Dudley’s PCA Moisture Retainer: prevents dryness associated with all types of hair – relaxed, curled or natural.

(The Culprit): HEAT
Hot air opens the hair cuticle, which leads to split ends, breakage and duller hair color. To beat the heat give your hair a blast of cool air using the ‘cool’ setting on your Professional hair dryer when you’re almost done drying. Cold air closes the hair cuticle and seals the moisture.

Product Recommendation:
Using Dudley’s silicone based, Total Control Liquid Gloss shine-enhancing spray will help detangle hair, prevents frizz without leaving any build-up. It acts as a thermal protectant when blow drying and/or ironing the hair and provides UV protection when out in the sun.

*Dana ‘Beautie_Cutie’ Purdom is a Licensed Cosmetologist and Healthy Hair Care Provider. My salon, Epiphany Hair Studio, is located in the University Area of Charlotte, NC.

**All recommended products can be purchased from at Epiphany Hair Studio (704) 962 – 9124.

WEB: www.EpiphanyHairStudioCLT.com

BLOG: www.EpiphanyHairStudioCLT.com/talktome

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“There’s No Success Without Effort”

By Guest Blogger: Dana Purdom

Thursday, March 22, 2012 was my first ‘official’ run of the season with my running club: Purple Butterfly Running Club (PBRC) We are an organization of women dedicated to running and the health & wellness of women.

I must say, I was truly taken aback when I saw how many women showed up. Only 2 years ago we were a small group of maybe 10 women. And today, we’re 60+ women STRONG! Women of all sizes, shapes, and statures.

We convened at the parking lot of the UNCC-University City Blvd Greenway entrance and took it over! People from afar were driving by wondering who WE were; like a solidified Professional Club *smiling as I say that*.

Unbeknownst to strangers, many of the women were 1st-time runners. Ask any of us, “how long have you been running?” and the consensus will be “I’m not a runner” LOL!

That’s what’s so wonderful about PBRC. There are various levels at which each person runs: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. So, if you’ve EVER given yourself a reason to say, “I can’t join because I’m not a runner…” then ask any of us ladies and we’ll all tell you, “neither are we” LOL! No runner gets left behind thanks to each group’s Team Leader(s), who by the way are awesome!

To my surprise it was great running with Loree. Being the Professional she is, she watched my running form, listened to my breathing and really paid close attention to me, all during her run. It was great! She was my personal coach and I felt extra special. There were some challenges when I just wanted to stop but I was determined NOT TO GIVE UP!

I’ve learned in life that giving up doesn’t reap rewards, and I like rewards. So, like the little engine that could I pushed and pushed myself to complete our goal without stopping, 3 miles, even the final hill.

I was so focused on finishing the run that I didn’t realize ALL the women were waiting and cheering for me at the top of the hill. I was the LAST runner to finish but their cheers of support made me feel like I won the race in 1st place! I wad so overwhelmed with joy that they were waiting on lil ‘ole ME.

When you put in solid effort, you build yourself a solid step from which to reach higher and stretch farther–you can stand up strong on the back of all your hard work and view new horizons you couldn’t glimpse before.

I will have that moment FOREVER etched in my brain and seared into my soul. If there’s ever a time that I think I can’t accomplish something, I’ll reach back to that day and know I CAN!

Posted in About PBRC | 1 Comment

Healthy Hair Care Tips For Women Who Workout…

“Fit and Fabulous!”
Healthy Hair Care Tips For Women Who Workout…

Guest Blogger: Dana Purdom


“It takes 1-2 hours to do my hair after a workout.”

“Salon visits are costly.”

“I don’t know how to manage my hair after working out.”

“How can I protect my hair while working out?”

“I can’t exercise today because I don’t want to sweat out my hair.”

If you’re a woman, more specifically an African-American woman, I’m sure all of the above concerns have crossed your mind. You’re not alone!

Moisture and motion can quickly undo ones efforts to maintain a professionally styled hairdo, with the result that many women end up avoiding physical activity all together.

African-American women spend a considerable amount of time and money transforming their hair with [chemical]relaxers and other treatments from naturally tight coils into silky straight locks. Or, quite the opposite, African-American women with natural hair, who want to know how to maintain their lustrous locks and keep it healthy.

WORRY NO MORE!!! There is a solution to this dilemma and my name is: Beautie_Cutie. If only one head at a time I can relieve women of this burden, I have dedicated my life to the health and care of women’s hair.

I hope the following healthy hair care tips & suggestions ease your concerns and give you the hope in knowing that, while achieving your physical health goals, you too can be Fit and Fabulous!

*Prior to exercising hair should be pre-treated/prepped with a natural botanical oil.

*Doing so prevents sweat damage to your hair during exercise by controlling moisture and salt buildup.

*Salty buildup causes the hair to break, shed, and become dull & dry.

*Hair should be washed with a mild pH balanced shampoo at least once a week to remove salt buildup.

*Condition hair with a moisturizing protein enriched conditioner.

*Prior to exercising and after applying natural botanical oils to scalp & hair, secure hair tightly with a satin hair wrap. Additionally, cover entire head with a bandana. This prevents any moisture from being released from the scalp.

*Do not remove hair wrap until hair is completely dry.

*Avoid over processing the hair by limiting heat, use of blow dryers and curling irons.

*Get regular precision cuts/trims to maintain style shape.

*Drink plenty of water, 8 ounces, several times a day; especially during and after exercise.

*Use quality products purchased from a Licensed Professional; as they are highly concentrated and contain ingredients and natural fillers as our own hair.

*Consult specifically with a Healthy Hair Care Provider for regular tips on how to care for and maintain your tresses.

Be encouraged knowing that you can look good, feel good and be empowered about your health. No longer do you have to make excuses.

**Dana ‘Beautie_Cutie’ Purdom is a Licensed Cosmetologist and Healthy Hair Care Provider. Her salon, Epiphany Hair Studio, is located in the University Area of Charlotte, NC. To schedule an in-salon consultation she can be contacted at 704.962.8124 or via her website. 

WEB: www.epiphanyhairstudioclt.com

BLOG: www.epiphanyhairstudioclt.com/talktome

Epiphany Hair Studio
“Not just an experience but…A LIFESTYLE!”

Posted in Hair Care TIps | 1 Comment