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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beware Of Costume Fraud

My husband and  I are planning our first trip to Trinidad for Carnival this year.  I have been following your blog for close to a year since we decided to play mas.  The majority of our friends have enjoyed many Carnival experiences and have already secured their costumes with Tribe. 

 This week I felt so excited to have secured a Mayan Eagle costume through an ad I responded to from even though the Trinidadian seller was asking for $800 US.  This was the one costume that completed the crew.  I wired this person the money she requested and  it arrived in Trinidad in less than 10 minutes.  The following morning she gave me some story about her trip to Tobago with her family getting cancelled and her needing to keep the costume for herself.  She then messaged a mutual friend of ours the same day of her plan to re-post the ad to sell the costume.  

Where is the protection of buyers from these type of sellers on these websites?  I have written proof from her emails that she was selling me the costume  and she had even called me to confirm that it was mine.  The sale transaction was complete, the money was awaiting her for pick-up.  Luckily I got wind of her story/ fabrication before she had a chance to tell me herself  and  was able to have the money wire reversed.

I understand that people want to make a profit from selling their costume, however, I can't justify how one can make a firm sale and then renege on the deal so that they could re-post the item in anticipation of making even more money.  Does Tribe and / or have any control over this type of fraudulent activity?   I have also contacted re. this matter.  I have been advised by Western Union to contact the local police to make a report, but I am undecided if I will pursue that avenue.  On one hand I want other buyers to cautious and learn from my experience and on the other hand, I don't want to make a huge deal over a Carnival costume. 

I believe Karma is a bi*#ch and will soon catch up to these wrongdoers. I have not yet landed on Trinidadian soil (my father's native island), but already I have been left with a bad taste in my mouth.   

Carnival Fitness Tips

  • PROBLEM :No carb diets will not get you that physique that you want.

Many people attempt to omit all forms of carbohydrates from their diets when gearing up for carnival. They attempt to totally stop eating foods like rice, flour and provisions because they believe that carbohydrates are the enemy. The hope is that in the absence of carbohydrates for energy, the body will turn to the excess fat that is stored. The fact is that the change in diet is usually so sudden that the body enters starvation mode and burns muscle instead of fat. The result? A slowed metabolism and even more flab! It's simply not healthy to go from eating as many carbohydrates as you want one day, and the very next day you attempt to go to zero carbs. It's just too much shock on the body.

SOLUTION: Gradually cut back on your calories. You should only cut calories to the extent that you begin to lose weight. As long as you are losing weight every week (apprx 2lbs per week for an average individual) then there is no need to make your diet any more strict. When the weight loss slows, only then should you cut your calories any further. One trick is to start off by cutting your carbs in one of your meals by half. Eg at dinner have half a cup of rice instead of one cup and replace with veges. Only when you stop losing weight from this, then cut back half your carbs at another meal as well, such as lunch. In this way, the changes are more gradual and the body becomes more accustomed to functioning on a lower level of calories so that your energy levels will not be affected and you will be shedding that body fat.

  • PROBLEM: You have lost the weight but on Carnival day that edge is missing
SOLUTION: Do not diet up to the day before carnival. Diets tend to deplete glycogen stores in muscles, causing them to look flat and therefore there's less tone. Eating higher calories from at least 4 days before Carnival will help replenish those glycogen stores giving those muscles a more filled look and therefore more tone.

  • PROBLEM: You do a million crunches and sit ups, but those abs don't come

SOLUTION: The truth is that it is impossible to spot reduce fat on any part of the human body without invasive liposuction (which in itself is extremely risky). No matter how many abdominal exercises that you do to develop those abs, once there's fat covering the muscle, abs won't show. Abdominal exercises do little in terms of burning calories. A fat loss regimen of combined nutrition, weight training and cardio will help you to develop those muscles and shed the fat that covers them.

Tip: The bulk of your workouts should be cardio and compound movements (squats, deadlifts, clean and presses). Compound movements burn more calories than isolation movements (such as bicep curls) because they involve a combination of muscles. Strength training has also been shown to keep your metabolism elevated for as long as 48 hours.

  • PROBLEM: Not Drinking enough water

SOLUTION: Water is undoubtedly one of the key factors in weight loss. Most persons think that they are drinking enough, but they actually aren't. A person on a caloric deficit should be drinking at least 10 glasses of water per day. Diet drinks and coffee do not count as a serving of water. Fat is best metabolized in a water rich environment. Without sufficient water, then the body finds difficulty in utilizing the fat stores for energy. It's always best to keep a bottle at hand at all times and keep careful track as to how much you drink to ensure that you are drinking enough.

  • MAJOR PROBLEM: over reliance on weight loss shots and pills

SOLUTION: Avoid these at all cost. The side effects range from as mild as cramps, insomnia,fatigue, heart palpitations, rapid pulse, increased blood pressure, nervousness, loss of memory and fainting to as severe as glaucoma, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, seizures, psychosis and death. Most of the common weight loss pills today, such as lipo 6 and Hydroxicut, recommend that they be used in conjunction with diet and exercise. Most people ignore diet and exercise as the major source of weight loss and simply think that these pills will do wonders. THEY WONT! The fact is that appetite suppressants and other weight loss drugs should be used only as a last line defense when diet and exercise are not enough and in most cases, they are enough, even if we don't think so. Most people don't need them. It's our urge for a shortcut method that drives most people into taking them. In addition, we can't stress how much diuretics for weight loss should be avoided. Any weight loss using diuretics is temporary, as you are losing water, your goal should be to lose fat, not water. The body is perfectly capable of getting rid of unwanted water, it doesn't need help. In addition, they can strain your kidneys and liver. Your body will thank you for the extra fruits and veges anyway, so stick with them and dump those pills and say no to shots if you have bought them.


  • Stick to the basics, your diet will be responsible for approximately 80% of your results and your exercise for the other 20%.
  • A good night's rest will also help reduce stress levels and it has been shown that persons who get at least 7 hours sleep at night tend to crave less junk food.
  • Look up healthy recipes and prepare them before hand
  • Drink water, water and more water
  • Avoid juice, soft drinks and other sugary drinks
  • Instead of totally avoiding foods that you like, try having a taste to help fight those cravings. A block of dark chocolate a day to fight those chocolate cravings is fine, just try not to eat the entire bar.
  • If you're hungry, volumize your portions by adding extra veges
  • Eat for your day. If you know today is an extra active day for you, then eat the extra food that your body will need. If you know today is a lazy Sunday, then cut back on your calories for that day.
  • Give yourself time to lose weight. Rushing your weight loss increases your risk of entering starvation mode and burning your muscle and slowing down your metabolism.
  • If you don't have the time to prepare healthy meals, consider a meal delivery service, such as Slimdown 360.

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