Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Lesson from Bow Making

Anyone who really knows me and has been to my home during the holidays knows that I LOVE to decorate my home for the holidays. Thanks to a mega Christmas store closing a few years ago, I have tons of beautiful ornaments, three trees, and other gorgeous Christmas accessories, including ribbon.

One thing that has bothered me about my beautiful Christmas decorations is that I didn't know how to make my own Christmas bows. How can I take such pride in my Christmas home decor and NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE MY OWN BOWS! So, this year I decided that this was my year to make handmade bows.
My first attempt took 1.5 hours! Yep, 1.5 hours! I was ready to give up. It was taking way too long. I called my mother to vent. Then, I took my time, focused, figured out what type of ribbon and method worked for me and low and behold--I had made a handmade bow that wasn't too shabby.

After the first one, I tried another and in less than 10 minutes, I had a beautiful handmade bow (pictured above). Now, I am a Handmade Bow Making Machine! I've been making bows while on the phone, while watching TV--it's now like second nature. I've even made bows for friends!

Learning to make bows made me reflect on my fat loss journey. It seems like getting the hang of this journey and be consistent is taking way too long. At times, I lose focus and forget work works for me. But, then I take a step back and take time to reflect on what works for me and visualize a leaner Shay Shay. And it all comes together. I am in this place right now. It's the holidays, so it will take extra effort. But, I am up for the task!

I AM Shay Shay! The Bow Making Machine!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Focus Shay Shay: One Goal at a Time!

Have you ever felt like you were floating through life without a plan or focus? Or, do you have so much going on that you are trying to accomplish it all and rarely accomplish much on target?

Well, it gets like that sometimes. Lately, I've been super busy! I'm juggling quite a bit: work, maintaining my relationship, family-ship, and friendships, managing my volunteerism and tennis, and of course trying to stay the course on this journey toward Losing Fat and Winning. Over the last couple months I have been overwhelmed to the point that my shoulders would just get tight and in knots--which rarely happens to me. Not good Shay Shay!

Recently, I learned an important lesson--on the tennis courts (see my addiction is a good thing!). In the first round of a recent play-off match, my captain/partner and I just couldn't get it together. At one point, we started talking about ALL the things we needed to do to get back on track. We were talking fast; talking on top of each other--we were just trying to figure it out because we don't lose 0-6--EVER! Then, my partner shared some wisdom: "okay, we're trying to do to much. We need to focus on one thing at a time." Ah, makes so much sense.

We eventually pulled it together in the second set and won, and almost had the whole match won as we played a third set tie-break. Although we lost the match, we fought hard. We recovered from a big ol' doughnut (there is no LOVE when the 0 is yours) in the first set that could have lead to a total beat down in the second set--but we were not going down like that!

I took the loss pretty tough, though--especially after being the top seed in the entire flight! But, I learned a great lesson on the court that day that I'm trying to implement in small steps in my every day life. Already I've accomplished some small goals in my daily life using this simple lesson: Focus; One Goal at a Time.

Stay tuned . . .

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Before There Was Shay Shay . . .

There was, is, and will always be Omia.

Omia is my maternal grandmother and my middle name. Close doesn't even begin to describe our relationship. MY grandma is awesome (emphasis on my because everyone wants to claim my grandma; Shay Shay CAN be selfish when it comes to Omia!)!

She's beyond sweet, super generous, very active and still wiling to try new things (despite arthritis and being almost 79 is slowing her down-a bit). Oh, and did I mention how she spoils me with homemade sweet potato biscuits, zucchini bread, and dill pickles (I am a foodie because of her and my mom). She also taught me to appreciate fresh fruit and vegetables, so that part of eating clean wasn't so hard to adopt.

Grandma also has quite the sense of humor! She is visiting this weekend. It's just the two of us. And I am enjoying having her with me so much! After a nice day at the Fernbank Museum, Grandma and I returned home to rest and watch movies. One movie's character wore a dress showing LOTS of cleavage. Grandma says, "I didn't know it was the style to wear your stuff all out like that. At your mom's birthday party [her friend] had on a blouse low cut like that. I told your mom she should tell her that her buttons were loose. I sure am glad your momma told me that it was the style of the blouse before I said something myself."

I just laughed and laughed! These are the moments are cherish.

Well, the sweet potatoes have been boiled for biscuits tomorrow. I just had my last piece of zucchini bread for the night.

Back to movies and moments. . . I am Omia loving my dear Omia!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Motivation; Not a Meltdown!

Yesterday morning did not get off to a good start. Although I am making really good progress toward my birthday goal (11 lbs down), I had the hardest time trying to find something to wear. I searched and searched my closet, but I just couldn't find anything that I wanted to wear. Or, if I wanted to wear it, it just didn't fit the way it use to fit (i.e. just a little snug--almost fit, but not quite--some of you know what I mean).

Anyway, I finally found something, but the whole thing was a tad frustrating. I almost had a MELTDOWN. But, then I thought about how I got rid of all of my larger sized clothes. I never want to get comfortable gaining a bunch of weight ever again!

My potential meltdown turned into MOTIVATION!

I am motivated to keep on the journey, to keep working toward my goals!

I am Shay Shay!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Forgive Me, Please

I am one of those people who don't hold a grudge. I am pretty forgiving. Not only does my faith teach me to forgive, it's actually pretty stressful to carry around the weight of animosity.

Well, there is a pair of jeans in my closet that are not so forgiving! They are "designer", which translates into not a real size; they don't have that wonderful gift to women--Lycra; they are not full in hips and thighs. There is NO GIVE in these jeans.

So, what is Shay Shay to do? I am going to make them like me! The scale is one indicator of my progress, but these jeans will really let me know I am doing. So, how will I get these jeans to like me--to forgive me?

I will Keep the Momentum Going!
  • I will continue to make good, clean eating choices in the right portion and at the right intervals throughout the day
  • I will continue to strength train and get in adequate cardio
  • I will continue to consult my accountability buddies (my daily food/exercise emailings and Monday and Thursday check-ins)
  • I will not totally deprive myself and enjoy a treat meal a week, so that I can maintain this lifestyle when I reach my goal
  • I will face the music and try on the jeans once a week no matter how the previous week of eating and exercise went--got to keep it real with myself! The jeans will not lie!

I am up for the challenge! I Am Built for This! I Am Shay Shay!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Prodigal Shay Shay Goes Home!

Despite a little "ah, the bed feels so good" hesitation this morning, I slid out of bed and into my gym clothes, and drove to the gym around 5:15 this morning. Once I got moving, I realized that I really wasn't tired at all--amazing what getting at least 7 hours of sleep will do for Shay Shay!

Although waking up so early can be a drag at times, it is so worth it! I must remember that I LOVE the 5 AM gym! During the 5 AM hour there is no searching 10 minutes for parking--no stalking other gym mates to see when they will be done with equipment--no "I'm just coming to the gym to be cute and socialize and maybe get on the treadmill for 15 minutes." Folks at 5 AM are there because they are committed; they are on a mission (I mean to BE at the gym that early, you have to be!).

What I like most about the 5 AM gym is that you get to "know" people. Now, we may not necessarily know each others' names or any details about each others' lives, but there is still a sense of solidarity I experience in the early morning gym. It's like we are a family. And when a regular member of the family has been gone for a while and returns (ah, that would be me), it's like Welcome Home Prodigal Daughter! People smile or nod at you to signal they have "missed" you. Some may even say, "long time no see, it's good to see you." And then there are my "best friends" of the morning who say, "haven't seen you in a while; you look really good."

Home is truly where the heart is! Outside of tennis, an early morning session in the gym is my favorite way to work it out. I am at home at the 5 AM gym. Any other time just doesn't seem right. I must keep going Home.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Take Advantage of the Break Shay Shay!

After such a WONDERFUL weekend with Sweetie, I woke up to rain, rain, and more rain. Then I drove to work in rain, rain, and more rain! So, no tennis practice tonight. No after work meeting or function. I had a pretty hard workout yesterday, so my body is saying rest. But,, it is also saying, "You're tired; you want to sit on the couch and just watch TV at a normal hour for a change."

But, I am on a mission! I need to cook! Fuel is needed to get me through the week. I am going to get off this couch, cook some baked chicken and ground turkey (haven't figured out HOW I am going to cook it yet) and then get my rusty dusty to bed. I need to rise early tomorrow and hit the gym! No late night of Law & Order (regular, SVU, Criminal Intent--any would do) re-runs. I am going to bed and get some adequate rest for a change.

I must take advantage of these moments. They don't happen often.

Off to the kitchen!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shay Shay Has The Taste

Anyone who really knows me knows that I truly believe that clean eating is essential to living a healthy lifestyle. And those same people also know that I am a true foodie. I LOVE a good meal and dining experience. I am always willing to try new cuisine (including some interesting grasshopper tacos marinated in tequila in D.C.) all in the pursuit of pure enjoyment of a good meal.

This is why the true foodie in me and my Sweetie look forward to each October and The Taste of Atlanta! What is so awesome about The Taste for me is that it is in the Fall (again, my favorite season), and I get access to about 80 restaurants of Atlanta. This year I had Venison Chili and Goat Cheese Grits (yummy!) and my favorite treat of the 2009 Taste: Coca Cola Cupcakes! I had never heard of these tasty treats. I don't even like--gasp Atlanta--Coca Cola (or any other soda but ginger ale, which I may have once every few years (no exaggeration!)). When I approach the West Egg booth they had several cupcakes from which to choose: Red Velvet (always a good treat if baked right), Black Bottom (chocolate chip cheesecake-sounds good too) and Coca Cola (hmmm). I was immediately intrigued by the Coca Cola. I learned that they use actual Coca Cola syrup in the cupcakes (I was a little on the fence when I heard this, but what else would be in a Coca Cola cupcake??!!!??) and also caramel (which I do enjoy on a good dessert!). So, I tried one. And IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so awesome, I went back later to have it as my final Taste of the day. Yep, that's right I had 2 cupcakes! Now, I have not fallen off the wagon. I have been really disciplined all week (all month for that matter) and keeping track of my food journal because I knew The Taste was awaiting me. Now, The Taste is over for me. I have enjoyed it and now it's time to move on with my journey to toward losing 25 lbs by my birthday (November 21st).

Important takeaway for Shay Shay: I can be disciplined without deprivation. Choose my time when the calories are truly worth it--make it special. Don't make these times often. A lifestyle of living fit and healthy and having the body I want is worth more than any one treat.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I AM Built For This!

Yes, I AM Built for This! What is This? Any challenge I face!

Last Sunday was Women's Day at my church. The dynamic, young woman minister, taking her text from the biblical event of David and Goliath's battle, preached that "I Am Built For This". It was such a compelling message that I couldn't let the week end without sharing my perspective.

The sermon was a powerful reminder that there are no giants that I cannot slay, no mountains that I cannot move--no matter what the circumstance!

Now anyone who knows me or this blog knows I can relate almost any experience I have with my journey to Lose Fat and Win!

For months I had faced the giants of sweets, large portions, a d doing the bare minimum exercise for the goals I seek. I faced late nights without adequate rest, contentment, and just plain ol' lack of discipline. But, I am now back on track! The last month has shown me that I AM Built for This Fight! I have gotten back to the clean eating principles that have served me well, and I am seeing results. I still am not putting in the work in the gym that I need to get the real results I want. But, I know that I AM Built to be a powerful woman of iron too! I am finding that I really do miss strength training (not to mention that my body misses it too). So, I just need to get back at it and consistently!

I AM Built for This! I will be victorious! I am Shay Shay!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eat Your Veggies, Shay Shay!

On my way to work Monday, my stomach decided to punish me. Without sharing TOO much, let's just say I was very uncomfortable--the sharp pains were almost unbearable! The only thing I could put on my stomach without slumping over was my trusty Ezekiel bread!

By Tuesday afternoon I figured out what could be wrong. After reviewing my food journal, I realized that there was something missing--dark, leafy greens!

So, Wednesday morning I got up and fixed an egg white omelet full of dark, leafy, fresh spinach. Coupled with my Ezekiel toast and fruit spread with no added sugar, I had one tasty breakfast to start my day.

And OH THE RELIEF! I started to feel better and feel my system correcting itself almost immediately. I threw in some dark, leafy lettuce for lunch and dinner too and had another spinach omelet this morning.

I'm looking forward to a pain free rest of the week. Thank goodness for food journals!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Support Really Does Work and Finally Back on the Courts!

On Labor Day I wrote about a New Season of Shay Shay. I said I wouldn't go into too many details about how I would get myself back in gear, but that I would just do it.

Well, I AM DOING IT! I am getting back to the basics, and I feel awesome! I am still not where I want to be with my routine, but I am getting there! This journey is a marathon; not a 50 yard dash!

One key detail that has proven to be wonderful is the support of my friends! With one group of friends, we email each other for motivation and give updates on Mondays (to start off the week right) and Thursdays (and to take us through the weekend to end it right). Then with another friend we email each other almost daily with our food, exercise, and sleep journal. Then I have informal support networks--friends and associates who know I'm on the journey and tell me I am looking good or want to get on the fitness train and want just want to shoot the breeze about it.

The accountability has been AWESOME!

Getting myself back in gear is helping me to move better on the courts too! Yesterday, I just went for balls that were seemingly too far gone to get--BUT I GOT THEM! I stayed mentally focused and calm too. And WE WON! It was soooo good to get some competitive play in yesterday. The rain has finally ceased. All the tennis addicts in Atlanta couldn't wait to get on the courts. It was a great day of tennis!

Have a great Monday!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A New Week; Another Opportunity

Happy Monday!

As I reflect on this past week. I am really proud of myself. I stuck to my guns, stayed focused on my goals, and lost 4 lbs! I didn't feel deprived of tasty food; the exercise wasn't a drag--it was awesome! A great week for Shay Shay!

Now on to a new week. I travel for work this week, so I have another opportunity to challenge myself to stay focused. This week will not be as easy. My routine will be broken; I will be dining out a few days for all meals. But, honestly I know I can make good, clean choices while dining in restaurants. I just have chosen not to do so in the past.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Finally, A Break From the Rain and Investing in Me!

Since Monday evening, the rain, rain wouldn't go away. Well, yesterday afternoon, finally the rain took a break. I hit the courts! It felt great! I felt great! What a difference clean eating and consistent exercise makes! I hit singles with a very experienced player and she had me all over the courts. But, I was moving! I moved well. And, I returned some pretty nice shots. I didn't feel sluggish. My legs didn't feel like lead. I felt awesome!

I need to remember this feeling. Every time I want to compromise on clean eating and exercise, I need to remember this feeling. I know it has only been five days, but I have to capitalize on this feeling. I have to invest in what I know works. Effective investments yield effective results. I have to invest in me! I WILL invest in me--working to be the best Shay Shay I can be!

Keep the Momentum Going!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Keep Tracking and Keeping Focused

Happy Friday!

As I move into the weekend, I must keep focused and keep track. With just four full days of eating clean, working out diligently, and keeping track of what I eat, I already feel better and am seeing results!

Now, it's the start of the weekend. And, bad habits Friday-Sunday will lead to bad results Monday! So, Shay Shay must continue to keep track and keep focused!

In addition to keeping my food diary, I am also keeping track of the fattening foods I avoid and assessing a dollar value to them. I will put aside the money equivalent of what I avoided and use it to buy something when I reach my goal. I'm keeping a running list on this blog under my Goals section.

In just a few days of keeping track of what I have avoided, I have learned quite a bit:

1. I DO have WILL POWER!

2. It's so easy to eat something bad everyday. In isolation it seems like "oh it's just one "treat" and one day. But, then tomorrow comes and another treat tempts you. And BOOM! I've Gained 5 lbs--in one week!

3. Just because others indulge, I can be social and not indulge. Get some gum; drink some tea. Even if in shape friends indulge, you don't know what they are doing when they are not with you, so you can't compare your habits to what you see in that one moment. Stick to your guns and goals Shay Shay!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Hump Shay!

Happy Hump Day! I can't remember the last time I was home on a Wednesday as I have been traveling quite a bit for work the last month. This morning I woke up and went to spin class before going into the office. And this evening I actually made dinner at dinner time (chicken, spinach, and parmesan egg white omelet with roasted sweet potatoes) and have been putting away suitcases, washing and folding clothes, and just picking up around the house. AND I AM LOVING IT! This may seem strange; I just had a day of the gym, work, and housework, right? Just routine stuff, right? WRONG!

Lately my routine hasn't been routine at all.--never really unpacking suitcases, spending the night in hotels all the time, eating out and late all the time, missing meals, in and out of airports all the time. Just madness. Without my routine, I lost focus.

This week marks the return of the focused, determined to meet my goals Shay Shay. Now, I know that life can get busy and hectic and that daily routines get interrupted--sometimes for weeks! But, I have to make sure that when things get busy, I take a step back--take time to re-focus. I will have to take a step back to remember my goals, to remember how good it feels to look and be fit, to remember how hard it is to get back on track after a long hiatus from being focused on health and fitness.

I know I will do it! I have no choice.

So, today is more than just a regular ol' Wednesday, a normal Hump Day--it's Hump Shay!

Watch out now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Good Day; Taking Days One at a Time

Although I looked in my closet yesterday morning in complete frustration because I don't feel comfortable in any of my clothes, yesterday was a good day (Note: giving away your bigger sized clothes is a great motivator because you can never really get too content with weight gain unless you don't mind re-buying the same type of clothes to fit your current size as it balloons upward. I MIND!).

It was a good day because all day I ate the cleanest that I have eaten in almost four months! I was reminded that good ol' fashioned preparation and focus is not as hard as I think. I feel better and lighter already!

So, I am looking forward to today. I'm already off to a good start: morning kettlebell workout; packed my meals for today, had a hearty breakfast of old fashioned oatmeal with flaxseed, bee pollen, cinnamon, and 1/2 banana, 3 boiled egg whites, 1 slice Ezekiel toast, and green tea.

Today will be another good day. I will reach my goals one day at a time!

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

To All My Friends on the Journey . . .

Let's Do This! By this, I mean--let's make the lifestyle changes we desire to get the RESULTS WE DESIRE!

All this week, I have been having conversations with beautiful, strong, and dynamic women about the desire to get fit/drop some pounds. All of us are at varying stages of fitness, but we all have one thing in common: we are not content with our current state of fitness.

So, I am dedicating this post to all the ladies I know (and those I don't know) who are taking control of their fitness and who are smart enough to know that having a support network and accountability is key to fitness success!

We WILL reach our goals!

Keep in touch!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

On the Road Again . . .

. . . traveling to places where I've always been! Yep, it's time to board the plane for another business trip. The challenge: make sensible, dessert free choices all week! Hit the hotel gym, despite the 7 AM meeting start tomorrow (hmm, this means I can't stay up all night watching the US Open!).

I know I am up for the challenge. I know I have no choice but to meet the challenge! I've worked to hard to get to this point. I like looking and feeling fit. I know I will like looking and feeling even more fit! I don't like looking and feeling squishy.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day! A New Season of Shay Shay!

Happy Labor Day!

I look back at my most recent post claiming that I would "Free Myself for Independence Day" and my first reaction is: "Here I go again! Another holiday, another declaration. Another post where I have to 'fess up that I haven't reached my goals." But, I am going to focus on the positive. Quite a bit has happened in the last couple months (not necessarily listed by level of importance):

1. My USTA team (I'm captain) made it to the City Finals! We came up short of full victory, but boy did we have an awesome run! I LOVE my team! My skills and confidence on the court are dramatically better than last year on the court. I am determined to Keep the Momentum Going!

2. By God's grace, I walked away from an attempted carjacking with just a scratch and as a bonus--they assailants only got away with my crackberry! A BLESSING INDEED! Psst-please don't tell my grandparents!

3. I was selected to join the Corporate Leadership Council of the Fernbank Natural History Museum--what an awesome place! This will be a great opportunity to network and get more involved in my community.

4. I have been traveling for work A LOT--a blessing to have a job and one that I really like! But, I am tired! I have been able to spend time with my family in between trips (Boston with Grandpa; my hometown of Surry at my parents new beautiful home), which has been priceless.

5. My Sweetie got a wonderful job opportunity, but in Florida. I miss him, but I am so VERY PROUD OF HIM! He's doing some awesome work!

6. I ate grasshoppers. Yep, first twigs and bark and now grasshopper tacos. I am a true foodie, so I'll try almost anything (in a restaurant-LOL!) once. The restaurant didn't try to disguise them in a bunch of sauce or anything. I could see exactly what I was eating. They weren't bad, but I don't have to order them again. I am just thankful for the experience.

So, as you can see, life has been great!

What hasn't been great, though, is what I mentioned when I started this post: I have not met my goals. The good thing is that I know exactly why. I have gotten soft when it comes to intensity of working out; I have gotten very lax with eating clean; so, my body is just responding accordingly!

So, as I embark on a new season-Fall (Don't you just love the Fall) and a new season of tennis-Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA)(super competitive-I'm so excited to start Sunday!), I am also embarking on a new season of Shay Shay. I won't go into a lot of details about how I am going to step it up in the gym and get my eating habits in check (traveling is NOT an excuse). I've said it all before. I am just going to let the results speak for themselves.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Freeing Myself for Independence Weekend!

I know I can take every occasion and find a connection to my journey to Lose Fat and Win in Life! Why should July 4th be any different!

On Friday, July 3rd I woke up, got on the scale and then had a little talk with Shay Shay! I shared my internal dialogue with two dear friends and decided to share with the world (or at least the few that support me through reading my blog." It went something like this:

"I'm getting sick of myself. My discipline has gone to pot! I'm eating horribly; not doing any strength training. I'm just not Shay Shay. It's Friday-almost Independence Day. It's time to free my mind. Find some balance; find my me--the best me I can be. Only two full months of swimsuit weather left, and I'm once again saying, "I don't like me in a bathing suit." Skinny fat is NOT cool! So, with BBQs galore approaching, I need to focus. Focus is the only way I'll get these 20 lbs and 8% body fat off! Focus Shay Shay-Focus!"

The next day, July 4th, I hit the road for the Peachtree Road Race. I have never done the Peachtree, which is a HUGE deal in Atlanta (NOTE: I'm finding that in ATL, if it is a homegrown event, then it is BIG!--Atlanta Lawn Tennis is waaay bigger than USTA and the Peachtree Road Race, with 55,000 participants is much bigger than the ING Georgia race I did back in March. But, I digress).

Due to the foot issues I have had over the last few months, I had not run in a while. I had not trained to run the Peachtree. I was going to just share the 6 mile experience with a couple girlfriends and just stroll. Well, I already have a natural fast stride. So, I was walking pretty fast. Then, I hit a stride and started walking faster--leaving my friends (thanks for understanding and being so supportive). Then, I started RUNNING!! It felt great! I was reminded how awesome fitness feels. I felt free; I was floating. So, although I only ran about 1 1/2 miles and power walked the rest, I felt like I earned my coveted Peachtree Road Race shirt. I'm looking forward to next year!

So, now it's July 5th. The last day of the long weekend. I'm tired, but I am looking forward to tomorrow. A new day; a new opportunity for me to work toward my fitness goals.

Focus Shay Shay, Focus!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two Years of Losing Fat and Winning In Life

Wow! Time really does fly when you're living a fit and active lifestyle!! It's been TWO years since I determined that I would live a life of eating clean, consistent exercise, and taking care of me--Shay Shay!

What has happened in two years?:
  • Lost over 50 lbs
  • Lost close to 20% body fat
  • Dropped from size 16 to size 8
  • Ran a Half Marathon
  • Can do men push-ups

Has it been easy? To be honest--kinda. Do I get in ruts and don't want to workout or want to eat everything in sight--clean or not so clean? YES!! Do I have moments when I hate to get on the scale or put on my fitter jeans? YES!! Honestly, I just got out of such a rut and moment just a few days ago. But, do I also know that when I prepare, focus, and do what I know is best for me and my body that I will see results? OH YES INDEED!!

The great thing about my new lifestyle is that it is truly a way of living for me--not a diet. I appreciate that life has ups, downs, victories, challenges, and opportunities. I appreciate that with living there is a new day to do better than I did yesterday--in all areas of my life, including my physical well-being.

Although I am STILL NOT at my initial goal after two years, I am good. I know that WILL get there!

So, Congratulations to me--Shannon Omia, Shay Shay. Keep the Momentum Going!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm Free . . .

Shay Shay is free to play tennis when I want, any ol' time!!!

I rested my foot for a few weeks, and it is amazing how the healing progressed! Go figure?!

Today, the podiatrist said that while I still need to take care of my foot until it completely heals, I can now get on the courts and play as much tennis as I can handle! I am so excited!

I am also really excited about my Summer USTA team. I am captain (I still don't know why they entrusted me with this responsibility). We have a wonderful group of ladies---talented on the courts and just good people! We are building upon the leverage we had during Winter USTA when we went to the semi-finals and shooting for the City Finals! We have the talent to do it; we just have to PLAY OUR GAME!!!!!!! TAKE NO PRISONERS!!!

Let's Go McGhee Super Slammers!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Celery? Random Thoughts of Shay Shay

Everyone who has tried to lose weight has heard: "eat celery". It's low in calories (almost completely negligible), but can still keep you full. Then, you hear: put some peanut butter on it. Well, I didn't buy it! Until, I bought it!

After losing over 50 lbs, it gets harder to lose the remaining 15+. So, I am really practicing the art of burn calories more than I consume. To do this, I had to try something new. So, with the nudging of my favorite fitness magazine, I added celery to my snack list.

I eat a tablespoon of raw almond butter, which I love. And, low and behold: I LOVE the snack! Now, of course the celery doesn't taste like anything without the almond butter. The almond butter really is the key to the snack. But, the bonus is tht the celery requires so much chewing that it really does satisfy my urge to munch and my body's need for a snack.

So, here's to celery! I'm a believer!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Great Weekend of . . .

Sorority Sisters, Friends, Wedding Bliss, FOOD and Spirits!!

This weekend was a very busy, but oh so fun! With my dear sorority sister's wedding during a long weekend and lots of company in town, there was a lot of tasty food and some tasty beverages to be had. And I HAD IT! And IT WAS GOOD! Starting with Friday night's post-rehearsal festivities and ending with the Memorial Day barbecue at my favorite Chef Joel Shaw's home, there was oh so tasty food everywhere!

And then came Tuesday. And the scale. And the extra approximately 6 lbs!

But, am I fretting? NO!! I have the tools to get back on track. And today I am back on track. These 6 lbs will be gone in no time, and I'll be down even more and closer to that bikini before I know it. Also, seeing progress and some "before" pictures of me inspired some of my sorority sisters to get a better handle on their health and fitness too! I'm looking forward to journeying with them as they progress.

So, although I have to put in a little extra work because I back tracked, I have no real regrets. I had a fabulous weekend with my sorority sisters (Shout out to Eternity and Redemption!), my tennis crew (Yeah, Ladies of McGhee!) and friends (The Shaw Family is always wonderful hosts!).

This healthy lifestyle is a constant journey. As I progress, I will get a better handle on how to better manage food and spirits during times of prolonged celebrations. Rome was not built in a day and neither are fabulous bodies!

I'll post wedding pictures later this week. I'm pooped (but I did get in a kettlebell session today!).

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's going on with Shay Shay?

Things are going pretty well these days. Although I'm not on the tennis courts (and therefore I'm healing nicely now), I am finding ways to still remain active. My strength training with weights and kettlebells has picked up because it does not impact my foot, and I got back on the indoor cycling bike yesterday (it was great and no pressure on my foot! yeah!).

I am also eating with much more discipline these days, and it is paying off for me. I went jeans shopping on a whim a couple days ago. I picked up size 8 designer (but discounted) jeans, which always seem to run smaller (or that's what I use to tell myself). And THEY FIT! And I LOOKED GOOD IN THEM!! This was a huge deal for me because although I was wearing size 8 pants, I had not graduated down to size 8 jeans. Looking at myself in the mirror gave me more motivation to Keep Up the Momentum! I really do see that bikini on the horizon!

Hmmm, let's see what else is going on with Shay Shay? Oh, I have discovered Bison!!! I have not eaten beef in 10 years because I just didn't make lean choices. I was a "Whopper, with extra pickle, no cheese, cut in half, please, kind of girl." I like Turkey and Blackbean Burgers and was content with them--until I discovered BISON!!! Oh, my goodness! They taste better than beef to me AND have LESS FAT than Chicken!!! Yes, LESS fat! I've heard about Bison and how lean it was from clean eating guru Tosca Reno, but I just hadn't tried it. Thanks to My Sweetie, I'm now hooked!!

Last thing: I'm on Super Maid of Honor duty this weekend. It's my dear friend and sorority sister Gina's Wedding Weekend (it brings me joy to see her so happy and excited about love!). All of my linesisters--ALL 11 of Us will be in town, along with our beloved Big Sister. I'm so excited to have them here!! And, of course, I have to relate this to my journey: I've been in a lot of weddings (not quite 27 Dresses, but I've had my share). This is THE FIRST TIME that I really feel good about how I look in my bridesmaid dress (which is short and I can actually wear again--unless it gets too big after I lean out more. LOL!). For the first time, I can walk down the aisle and not feel like everyone is looking at me saying, "My, Shannon has gotten a little plump."

Oh, one more thing and last thing for real: Since I started my journey in June 2007 toward better health and fitness, I've been wearing a fabulous hair weave. I didn't want any excuses not to work out (hair has always been an issue for lady gym goers, especially we women of color with chemically processed hair). Well, I took out the weave for the wedding and am wearing my hair--100% natural and virgin! It was so long and healthy. But, I have to seriously think about what's next. I will not chemically process it again. But sweating it out in the gym and the lovely Georgia humidity is going to make things difficult. Whatever I decide, I will not let this hair interfere with my new, active lifestyle. Shay Shay is just going to have to figure it out!

Well, since it's 5:40 AM, and I have a busy weekend I guess I should get some rest.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Now, I'm Working Out with My Man!

A few posts ago, I discussed Working Out Like My Man. Well, honestly, I was not very effective alone. So, I enlisted the help of My Sweetie. He has certainly risen to the task (even finding ways to accommodate my foot, which I am supposed to rest until it heals properly--Still NO TENNIS ARRGGHH!). I actually think he is enjoying seeing me in pain! I must admit, even as my quads and hamstrings burn, it is a good pain. I also know that it will pay off if I hold up my end of the bargain and eat clean, watch my portions, and stay motivated. Thank you for all your support, Sweetie!

Aaaah, STAYING MOTIVATED!!! Staying motivated takes work--go figure. It takes focus and keeping my eyes on the prize--not getting content with short term goals and letting long term goals fall by the wayside! Translation: Shay Shay! Just because you are fitting comfortably in your size 8 pants, don't forget that you have a FAT LOSS goal that must be reached if I'm going to dare wear a bikini this summer!!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's Been Way Too Long, But Still on the Journey!

I cannot believe that it's May and over a month since I have blogged! As I type, I am realizing already that I have missed it.
Ah, were do I begin?
ING Half Marathon: I guess the ING Half Marathon would be a good start. I RAN! I FINISHED (and within my GOAL)! AND NO, I WILL NOT RUN A MARATHON NOW! What a wonderful experience!!! I found a running buddy while waiting to start, and we got each other through--all the way to the finish line. Thank you to all my friends and family for your encouragement and support! And, thanks to My Sweetie, I actually have pictures to show for it!!!
A Set Back: Now on to my lack of motivation AFTER the Half Marathon. Training for the Half Marathon actually got me out of my weight and kettlebell routine. Then, I had a spell where I just did not eat like I know I should--I literally overdosed on Stacey's Pita Chips! While they are healthy, eating almost an entire bag in one sitting is NOT GOOD!! So, despite the Half-Marathon training, I had put on a few lbs--NOT GOOD! Hmm, maybe my lapse in blogging and the lack of accountability was a factor.
Tennis: My dear friend and sorority sister Gina was right--it's addictive! I pretty much spent all of April on the courts! I won my singles league division and helped my team make it to the play-offs, so I feel pretty good about the season.
My Feet: All the tennis has resulted in my feet taking a serious beating! The pain was so bad that I actually went to the podiatrist! Shay Shay is stubborn and prefers to tough it out rather than going to a doctor. But, I could not ignore what felt like knives sticking in my feet. It turns out I have "flexible flat feet" that are aggravated by the all the tennis. So, the podiatrist took cast of my feet, and now I have fancy, custom made shoe orthodics just for me. Yeah, me (you can't hear my sarcasm here)!
Having to get the orthodics was really no big deal, but while I was there the podiatrist noticed an ugly area on my foot that resulted from an over-eager pedicurist with a scrub sponge. The area had actually been bothering for a while--not because it hurt (it didn't), but because it was just UGLY!
So, he biopsied it. I was actually glad to have the area removed because sandal season is here, and I had no idea how much moisturizer it would have taken to make the area so slightly okay. The cut looks like a nickle-sized pothole on my foot and is sore to the touch, but did that stop Shay Shay from doing her thing on the courts (NOPE--see above). Staying on my toes on the courts actually felt better than walking! Imagine that (amazing what some painkillers, adrenaline and pure stubbornness will allow you to do!)
Well, although the victories were sweet, the podiatrist was not pleased with the progress of the healing when I went to my follow-up. Nor, was he content with my second follow-up today. So, today I am going to listen. I am going to take a break from the courts. My feet are "pretty" enough without having a yucky wound to add to the mix!
Back on Track: With the help of a plan from my favorite fitness magazine, Oxygen, I am back to my disciplined eating. I am also finding ways to exercise without putting too much pressure on my feet. I am under where I was before I had the set back. I am determined to Keep the Momentum Going!
Shay Shay WILL be READY for the POOL!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring!

Nothing Like the Start of Spring Time to Get Back on Track with Working Out! I will do my last longer run today before the ING NEXT SUNDAY!!!!!!!!

I'm really looking forward to celebrating with my dear friend and sorority sister this weekend. We are celebrating her upcoming nuptials to a wonderful guy with a night of FUN!!

I hope to remember to take pictures!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quite a Bit Going On

The next few weeks are looking pretty, pretty busy. I'm always busy, but the next few weeks are seeming to be more busy than usual. The ING Half Marathon is coming up at the end of the month (the rain has prevented me from training like I want/need), but I'll be ready. My wonderful sorority sister/dear friend is getting married in May--I'm co-hosting her shower/bachelorette party this weekend. I'm traveling for work, and work is really picking up (no complaints here). I have registered as a replacement player for a singles tennis league on top of my doubles team. I'm still trying to fit in strength/kettlebell training. AND, I'm trying to fit in rest on top of all of that.

Although blogging has become a labor of love, I may not be on as much at least for the next few weeks. Trust, I WILL HAVE MET SOME GOALS by the time I'm back on again.

Until I get back on, I'll be Losing Fat and Winning In Life!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Feeling Like Shay Shay Again and Life is Golden!

Today was the first time I felt like myself in almost a week. Although the bubble guts were not fun, it gave me time to really think about what and how much I was eating. Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty consistent clean eater, but I still have not been as consistent as I need to be (and probably was eating too many calories) to meet Shay Shay-style goals.

Now that I'm feeling like Shay Shay again, I'm more focused than ever. Today, I hit the pavement for the first time in about a week. My Sweetie and I tackled some major hills today (He, in a 40 lb weight vest!!!). It was a tough run, but I know I WILL BE READY for the ING Georgia half marathon in 20 DAYS!!

On a another note: Although I have been Losing Fat and Winning in Life for almost 16 months, Life for Me is Truly Golden Right Now! I have now lost over 50 lbs! I have to check my body fat percentage and pictures show that I have work to get into the bikini shape I want, but I WILL GET THERE!!

How do I know-- Because I AM SHAY SHAY!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Challenges Always Come . . .

Challenges always come, but they don't have to rule! The last few days I've been battling some type of stomach bug. Without sharing too much, let's just say I've been a little uncomfortable lately. I have had to eat very bland foods. The good thing is that clean eating made it easy because I don't regularly eat the grease and sugar that I've been told to avoid.

I was all ready to really start working out like my Sweetie and boom--I get the bubble guts. As I go through this journey toward optimal health and fitness, I'm learning that challenges are just a part of the excursion (sore knees, hurt foot, work, other commitments). I cannot let the challenges win. Although I haven't been feeling my best, I have still managed to get in some moderate exercise. I didn't want to let this setback get me into a "lazy" mode.

On the bright side, I'm really looking forward to Spring and Summer! The weather is supposed to be really nice this weekend. I'm hoping that my stomach will let me fully enjoy it. This is the first summer t/swim hat I'm really looking forward to because I WILL look great in that bikini this summer! With the hint of warm weather and body fat to loose, I'm more motivated than ever!!

Bring it on!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Work Out Like My Man; Look Like His Lady

Happy March 1st! A new month, a new opportunity to set goals and meet challenges! Steve Harvey has a new best selling book, Think Like A Man; Act Like A Lady. I haven't read it, but I listen to Mr. Harvey in the mornings, so I have some insight to what he means.

These days, I find inspiration and motivation in the most unlikely things. Mr. Harvey's book got me to thinking about the wonderful physique my Sweetie is developing and how he gets there. He doesn't eat any cleaner than I, but the intensity of his work out is 10 times mine. I am convinced that it is his workout that provides him with the body-shaping edge.

Starting today, the first day of a new month, which is the perfect opportunity to issue a new challenge to myself: Shay Shay will Work Out Like My Man; Look Like His Lady. I need to face the fact that my plateau (although I see progress) is more than likely due to the intensity of my workouts.

I am confident that with clean eating and more intense training, I will truly get out of this plateau and to my goal.

Shay Shay let's do this: Work out like my man and look like the lady that makes him stick out those new, buffed pecks.

Happy March!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Welcome Back!

What was gone?

Poultry. Almost a year ago, my trainer and I decided to eliminate poultry from my diet. My trainer had his reasons, but for me it was about lack of discipline. Although there are healthy chicken choices, I was just not making them. Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and biscuits in the airport while traveling (not the grilled kind either), Publix Mardi Gras wings (so yummy), and Chicken Quesadillas (with a plate full of chips to compliment) were my choices, and I would make them more often than I needed!

Giving up poultry really wasn't that hard for me. Once I determined that my health was more important than the taste of the bad choices I was making, it wasn't a big deal. This is how I've managed not eating beef or pork for the last 10 years. I really hadn't missed poultry at all. Grilled chicken and regular old turkey just seemed lame. Veggie and blackbean burgers replaced turkey burgers. It was all good.

Recently my Sweetie moved back to ATL. He is an awesome clean eating cook. He has really helped me add variety to my eating plan. Lately, he has been making chicken and peppers and his technique is very clean. One day, the chicken and peppers smelled so good that I decided to try some (no need to offend the cook, right?).

Well, that chicken was so tender, so flavorful AND SO HEALTHY that I determined that I don't have to totally give up chicken. My Sweetie's chicken is sooo good that I don't feel deprived by eating just some plain old grilled chicken. Because it's sooo tasty, the calories from (not to mention the money spent on) bad chicken choices won't seem worth it.

So here's to my Sweetie and his chicken and peppers! Tasty and packed with muscle building protein. Next, I'll have to try these super fancy chicken burgers he makes (all still within moderation, of course).

Well, I better get to bed soon (it's only 8:50 PM). I have a 5:00 AM training run tomorrow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Keep the Momentum Going!!

I have vented my frustrations; I have re-evaluated my training/eating plan; I have declared I'm going to get in that green bikini by Memorial Day weekend, and today I am steady and closer to the 140s than I am to the 160s!

For this, I am excited. But, this only means that I must maintain focus and keep my eyes on the prize! I must remember that consistency is key. I must, in the words of my Sweetie: Keep the Momentum Going!

I know I WILL reach my goals! I am armed with the tools; I just need to employ them with consistency! I have this conversation with so many friends in my support network. We get close to our goals and then for some reason, we allow ourselves to take a few steps back. I say "allow ourselves" because at the end of the day (at least for Shay Shay) it is about self-discipline and focus. If things seem out of control, and I start to incorporate not so great habits or neglect to perform my really good habits, it's about me. I let things get out of sorts. I can't blame anyone else but me! I have the control! And I WILL REACH MY GOALS!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just Some Good Ol' Fashion Honesty and Frustration

Things are actually going well with my running and tennis. I still am not getting to kettlebells as much as I would like, but I know I'll be able to get there a few times this week. Although I know I am getting fitter every day, I am still frustrated by the darn scale! I can't seem to shake the mid-150s to save my life!! I must say that this is FRUSTRATING!!! Yeah, I know it's not all about the numbers (heck, I am wearing size 8 slacks as I type! Two years ago, I would not have dreamed of getting back into a size 8). And, yeah, I am in the best shape of my life. And, yeah, I have more muscle mass now. But, I WANT TO GET OUT OF THE 150s, and I NEED to flatten out my back and get my obliques (aka for Shay Shay: the NOT so loving handles) in better shape if I'm going to debut that green bikini by Memorial Day weekend!! And, this is NOT just about Shay Shay's vanity issues. From a health standpoint, I really am still carrying a little too much fat for my age and height. So, losing pounds = losing fat (IF I KEEP UP THE STRENGTH TRAINING--CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE MUSCLE!!).

Okay, Shay Shay. Enough of the venting. I know what I need to do and how I need to do it! I just need to DO IT!!! Once again--the Three Cs: Commitment, Consistency, and Seeing Results! I'm committed to this, but I need to be more consistent with strength training (even while training for the half-marathon), and I know I WILL See Results!

Whew, now, I'm feeling better and ready to conquer!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oh How Sweet It Is!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

And a Sweet Day it is! Today, I did what I never thought I would ever do (but knew I had to if I'm going to be ready for the ING Georgia Half-Marathon). I ran for 1 hour 50 minutes; approximately 8 miles!!!!!!! Now, for many folks, this is not a big deal. But, for Shay Shay--it's a BIG SWEET DEAL!!! Prior to training for the ING Georgia I had never run more than 5 minutes! I used my bum ankles and sometimes annoying knees as an excuse.

But today, I hit the pavement, and I am really on my way to those 13.2 miles!!! I probably could have run more because the more I ran the better I felt; but heck, that's all the training plan had in store for me today and it is Valentine's Day. Now, don't get me wrong, there was a point around minute 40 that I thought about stopping for the day. It was getting darker, and I thought tomorrow morning would be brighter. I could just do the session in the morning. But, I stuck with it, and I'm SOOOO GLAD I DID!!

To top it all off, as I approached the front door at the completion of my run there was my Sweetie with a card and a big dose of kudos! I opened the card to the tunes of She's a Brick House by the oh so funky Commodores. It was PERFECT because today I really do feel like a "Brick House. . .Mighty, Mighty, letting it all hang out!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rocky and Shay Shay--Eyes of the Tiger!

Remember Rocky IV? I sure do. I remember going to the theatre with my parents and being totally engrossed in the drama of it all as he battled and endured the strong and powerful Russian athlete. Although I was just a young kid, I remember being struck by the very different methods of training by the athletes. The Russian trained in a state-of-the-art facility with highly technical equipment and was surrounded by scientist monitoring his every move. Rocky, on the other hand, took it to the barn and the snow-covered roads and mountains. He used his body weight (and others for that matter--remember him lifting his family in that wagon?!?!) and simple tools in the barn and outdoors to get himself ready for the fight of his life (pretty much literally). These simple, but gut wrenching methods surpassed the highly technical workouts of the Russian. In the Russian's words, Rocky "was not human."

Rocky IV may have been fiction, but it teaches a real lesson about training. Besides having the overwhelming desire and discipline to be great, I am learning that I get the most challenge out of the most simple workouts. What are you talking about Shay Shay?

I remember the days when trainer Murph and I were just starting to work together. He had me pulling him (yes all 200 lbs of him) up and down the gym with a rope (my good friend would yell--now I know who to get to tow my truck), doing "prison" squats, and lots of step ups and step up jumps. Many days we would never use the machines. It was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.

And let's not forget kettlebells. I can't say enough about this form of training. This is a no frills gym; the training space is about the size of many family rooms, and I LOVE IT! And, I mean really, we are just swinging and lifting what look cannonballs with handles, but what a workout!

And running. My training run today is really what sparked this Ode to Rocky. Because of cold temperatures, I had been doing my runs in the gym on the treadmill. Today I finally hit the pavement for a 55 minute run. I felt pretty confident as I had done an hour on the treadmill at a pretty good speed with not much problem at all. But today, I must admit--it was TOUGH!! Running on pavement, I knew, would be different, but I did not have a full appreciation of how much tougher it would be. Now that it's over, I feel great about meeting the challenge and look forward to my 1, 50 minute run Saturday! The only way I'm really going to tackle this half-marathon is to get outdoors like Rocky and "eat lightning" and "crap thunder"!! Boxing Trainer Mickey, Rocky (1976)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sacrificing, but Winning in Life!

So, I had this idea that I want to do more than just exercise to get fit. I want to be an athlete. So, as I've shared before, I'm focusing on improving my tennis game (including reading a great book: The Inner Game of Tennis), I'm training for a half-marathon, eating for fuel (most days and working on getting better) and trying more non-traditional forms of training (like kettlebells-although this type of training is really catching on now).

What I am finding out that being a true athlete takes more than the average motivation and discipline. It takes real sacrifice--not just saying no to the calamari, fried potatoes, and homemade bread (some of Shay Shay's favorites). When I think about it, I've had to sacrifice time (time away from my Sweetie and some friends who don't share the love of tennis, and I have to hit the bed early to be fresh for the next training day), my body (my knees hurt from time to time; I have an annoying pain in my foot from playing tennis that I have been nursing the last few days AND I NEED A SERIOUS PEDICURE by a Professional--I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS BODY; it's the only one I have), and money (tennis, gym, and marathon fees aren't cheap, so I've had to cut back on some other things, recall that professional pedicure I need? ).

As one of my dear friends says, "Girl, why are you doing all of this again?" Really, despite the sacrifices, I AM HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE!!! Yeah, I need to figure out this time management thing, but I will figure it out and my Sweetie and friends have been super supportive of me. And yes, my body is not as young as it use to be, but I'm figuring out how to take better care of it when it gets a little beat up. And, if I wasn't spending money on tennis and gym related things, I'd be eating out and buying shoes and purses that I don't need or have room for (I have quite a nice collection already).

I truly feel like I'm Winning in Life! Work does not consume me, but I am more productive than ever. I'm meeting terrific new people. I feel great (and looking pretty darn good too! Watch out Summer--Shay Shay WILL BE READY!!).

So, actually, I don't feel like I'm sacrificing all that much because I am gaining SO MUCH MORE!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The McGhee Super Slammers: A Class Act!

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day for Tennis. It was the USTA Semi-finals and The McGhee Super Slammers were FIRED UP and READY TO GO! We fought hard in our 5 matches, but came up short -- 2-3. It was a tough loss--REALLY TOUGH LOSS! But, it is now behind us (sort of us) and we are ready to get back on the courts (most of us today for other leagues, including me (icing my foot now) and are looking for to the next season!

I am looking forward to getting better, getting stronger, getting more consistent, and getting more fit on the courts. Most of all, I am looking forward to getting back on the courts with this WONDERFUL GROUP OF WOMEN and our AWESOME and DEDICATED Coach Jerome!!! I have learned a lot about tennis and sportsmanship from these, but most of all I have built friendships.

Congratulations to the McGhee Super Slammers on a Season Well Done! In the words of our Captain: A Class Act. A Class Act, indeed!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sometimes I Wonder, Why Bother?

Lately, my sweetie and I have been growing frustrated with our dates. It's not because we don't enjoy each other's company. We always have a great time (including enjoying the awesome sounds and performance of one of my favorites John Legend on Tuesday at my favorite venue The Beautiful Fox Theatre! Thank you again, Sweetie!!!!). It's because we can't seem to find a restaurant that is not super expensive (and not used for a treat meal) that suits us anymore!! What are you talking about Shay Shay?

Well, we are cooking a lot more these days, and we are pretty darn good in the kitchen. Some of our clean eating favorites: blackened salmon or tilapia, garlic sauteed spinach or roasted broccoli, baked sweet potato fries, quinoa/quinoa chili. Hmmm, yummy.

So, when we go to the medium priced restaurants and try to get a somewhat healthy meal--the fish is never seasoned quite right; if veggies are drowned in butter, they can't seem to prepare them, and so on. Then, we tried a healthy place full of clean eating choices (even recommended in Oxygen magazine). Perfect, right? WRONG! Because we were use to eating so many of the things on the menu, we were a little bored with the choices! ARRGGHH

What are we to do? Well, we are going to keep cooking and for the most part save restaurants for the treat days/days when we don't mind spending a little extra dough. And heck, we can save a little dough in the process.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Shay Shay is Still Taking this Journey One Consistent Day at a Time!

Now that I have won the Battle with The Crud, I'm am back on track toward consistency with clean eating and training--taking one day at a day. Each day has become a goal day: 1. Eat 4-6 clean meals a day, emphasis on protein and complex carbs; 2. train with either kettlebells or weights and half-marathon training or crossing training and tennis, as appropriate; 3. get 7-8 quality hours of sleep a night.

I had gained about 2 lbs over the last week and a half. It's not a dire circumstance, but 2 lbs gained is not part of the grand plan! I'm not discouraged or upset--just more motivated and determined to be consistent with my lifestyle.

Consistency really is the key for me now. My body has gotten use to eating pretty clean, so if I treat even just a little too much and don't incorporate enough consistent training--here comes the pounds. The good thing is that I know this about my body. I know how it reacts to certain conditions. But, knowledge in of itself is not truly empowering. Making positive changes with the knowledge is empowering!

Shay Shay is powering up, fired up, and ready to go!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Oh, how Sweet it is!! We're Going to Round 3!

The McGhee Super Slammers do it again!!!!! The play-offs are not for the faint at heart! We battled on the courts for over 6 hours yesterday!!! I really have TENNIS FEVER (as I watch Federer and Nadal battle in the Australian Open Finals --at the CRACK OF DAWN)!!! This is truly an awesome experience. The athletic and mental skill and toughness of the players, the cheering in the stands from teammates (and no team can cheer like the McGhee Super Slammers!!!!!!) and fellow McGhee Tennis Center players---what a time!!! Nothing makes the day sweeter than to end the long day with a team victory and advancement to the next round. Last night's win came down to the last match (the team must win 3 of 5 to win), and the Dynamic Duo Darlene and Alexis DID THEIR THING AS ALWAYS!! When the battle is tough, you better bet on them! I LOVE to just watch them together.

All of our team played extremely well--extremely well doesn't even do justice. WE PLAYED OUR BOOTIES OFF!! Here's a snapshot of the rest of the team:

Alissa, our Line 1 singles player is a BEAST on the courts . Her endurance is off the chain! Push-ups on the courts between sets--I mean this girl is TOUGH!!

Marci, our Line 2 singles player is OH SOOOO SMOOTH on the courts. Fitness, skill, and smart tennis--these are her weapons and she is dangerous!

Angela and Timika, our Line 1 doubles players and team captains (your example is GOLDEN) are another Dynamic Duo! They are BAAAD. Again, don't bet against them! You'll lose!!

Then there is Renee and Shay Shay, Line 2 doubles. You would have never thought we played together for the first time yesterday! What chemistry on the courts!! We both love to get the tough shots! Look out!!!

Imani (my T2 tennis partner; let's do our thing Wednesday) and Gwen did not play today, but their contribution to our victory is just as important. There is nothing like hearing your fellow teammates cheering you on and believing in you!! And I don't mean a little good point here and there-- I mean CHEERING and Chanting and Jumping Up and Down, and Turning Around! Cheering is ESSENTIAL to Victory!

Kathy and Lauren couldn't make it out, but we would not be advancing to Round 3 without their contributions during the season.

And, Coach Jerome--you're the best! We WIN because of your instruction!!!

So, let's take advantage of the HOME Court next week and Do the Darn Thang!!! IT IS OUR HOUSE!!

I will post pictures from our post-match celebration of our team and Captain Angela's 40th Birthday later. OH DID WE PARTY!!!!!!

See you on the courts!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Attack of The Crud!

It never fails. Whenever I rip and run and run and rip and the weather does its hot, cold, warm, chilly thing, I get The CRUD!!! What is The Crud you ask? Well, I stole the term from my boss, but its that achy, stuffy, drained, but not the flu and can't figure out if it's a cold, but I know I'm not feeling like me feeling. So, these days, I've been playing a lot of tennis, having something going on every evening after work, training for the half marathon, not getting proper rest and you get my drift. So, the Crud comes on and reminds me that I need to REST!

Lesson: no matter how healthy you eat or how active you are or how many vitamins you take: for Shay Shay-- I NEED MY REST!!!!!

So, I'm resting more and slowing down this week (I also started taking Zinc today). I look forward to feeling like ME by the weekend.

Good news report: I'm doing better with keeping my food diary. I just need to face it: I cannot keep up with that little book I bought. So, I'll continue to keep it electronically in my blackberry. Knowing what works and sticking with it is half the battle on this journey.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We're Going to Round 2!

Congratulations to the McGhee Super Slammers for advancing to Round 2 of the USTA 3.0 Women Business play-offs!!! You are true role models of SMART tennis, TEAM SPIRIT, and let's not forget-- SKILL and the HUNGER to WIN!!! Such Ladies off the court; FIGHTERS on the Court. I LOVE IT!!! I am honored to be a part of this team and look forward to WINNING Round 2!

Thank you Coach Jerome for your invaluable coaching and commitment to our team!

See you on the courts!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is Just Too Funny to Shay Shay

I was reading my the online version of my favorite fitness magazine, Oxygen, and came across something that just made me bust my gut! Here is a tip for resisting temptation:

Shake it baby

“When you want a cookie, shake your head ‘No’ 100 times,” says Ahava Spillman, a motivational speaker based in Toronto, Ontario. “If you’re tempted to eat something even more delectable, like a piece of cheesecake, jump up and down 50 times instead. Not only will you burn calories doing the activity, you’ll also convince yourself to stay away from those fatty foods.”

Okay, they must be kidding right?!! Can you imagine what you would do if you are in the mall food court or in a restaurant and someone just starts shaking their head non-stop or starts jumping up and down. And what happens when you want both the cookie and the cheesecake? Hmmm, how much weight will one lose when she is committed to a facility for the insane?

Anyhoo, training and eating is going pretty well this week. I had a great treat meal at one of my favorite ATL spots. Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese, Crab Cake, Corn Bread Muffins, Sweet Potato Fries (and I don't think these weren't baked!)--OH MY! But, I am realizing that Shay Shay's stomach just can't hold what it use to--not a bad thing.

Well, it's 9 PM. Time to get ready for bed. Shay Shay HAS to get her rest. The 5 AM workout will be here before I know it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our President has been Inaugurated; Now the Holidays are Really Over!

Yesterday, I sat in front of the television all day to witness history unfold. I had once contemplated traveling to D.C. to be in the mix of things, but I don't regret being in my warm home and being able to witness the festivities from various perspectives. And YES, President Obama got in his work out before he began his marathon of a day yesterday!

When I woke up this morning to head to the gym, a feeling of "Gee, now the holidays are really over" came upon me. When I look back at my discipline with consistent clean eating and working out, for the most part I had been on holiday since my birthday (November 21st)!!

I am now 1 lb away from my pre-birthday weight, and I am charging ahead--knocking out 1-2 lbs a week/trimming my body fat 2-3 % a month until I reach my goal!!

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy MLK Day, Strength Training REALLY Does Make a Difference and I AM a Runner!

Today, the world celebrates the birth of one of the greatest men ever to walk the earth-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For the first time ever, I didn't just have a day off--I served. My Sweetie and I helped prepare breakfast at a shelter for families. During these tough economic times, I am truly thankful to be able to serve others. I AM BLESSED! Better than Blessed, and I thank the Lord!

When I went through my first journey at weight loss 10 years ago, I was a Cardio Queen! I didn't know much about strength training and thought it was for the guys who wanted to get bulky. Besides, I needed to lose FAT before I could think about building muscles, right? WRONG!!! I now know that strength training is essential to fat loss, and I have the evidence to prove it! When I lost the weight 10 years ago, I got down to 146 lbs and a size 8 pants. Today, at 157 lbs (Hmm, I don't think I've ever said exactly how much I weighed before; Shay Shay doesn't care, but I digress! ), I was able to buy and wear a size 8 pair of slacks! A 9 lb difference !! I can only attribute this to strength training and eating muscle building superfoods. My legs, arms, and abs are much more shapely at 157 than they were at 146. So, I am going to keep at it. I get frustrated at times when I feel like my progress is not coming fast enough, but I know that slow and steady WINS THE RACE!! I will have that lean, but shapely body I deserve!

On another note, I ran for a full hour today--FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!! My training called for endurance, not speed so I averaged about a 14.3 minute mile for a little over 4 miles logged today. My good friend asked my yesterday, "Why in the world would you put your body, especially your feet, through such a thing as a half marathon?" The sense of accomplishment I have today for challenging myself is why! I am looking forward to reaching the 8 mile milestone and then on to 13.2!! This round is definitely different from the last time I signed up for a half-marathon and didn't run. This time, I AM A RUNNER!! I AM SHAY SHAY!!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Shout Out to the McGhee Super Slammers!

I just want to say Congratulations to the McGhee Super Slammers (USTA 3.0 Women's Business) and Coach Jerome on finishing the regular season undefeated and in FIRST PLACE!!!! Thank You for being wonderful role models of team spirit and sportsmanship and for getting me back into the spirit and thrill of the game!!!! I'm looking forward to taking it to the next level with you as we enter the play-offs!

See you on the courts!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shay Shay, was that you I saw on TV?

Yep, this morning the Atlanta CBS affiliate show Better Mornings Atlanta taped its Workout Wednesday segment at Condition Kettlebell Gym where I workout. Although the cameras were around, we actually did a full workout this morning. I am really digging kettlebells and will be incorporating them more into my training. I can't wait to see and show the results!

I was actually interviewed during the segment, but it has not posted on-line yet. As soon as it does, I will share!

I hope the camera doesn't really add 10 lbs!

On another note: Happy Hump Day. I've done really well with training and clean-eating this week. Now, I just have to get over the hump and continue the diligence and sensibility on through the weekend! I will keep reminding myself that output is a direct result of input. So, if I want to say goodbye to the 150s and continue to perform well on the tennis courts and in half-marathon prep, I have to make sure that I put in the effort and watch what I feed my body.

Take care!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Shay Shay, Where Are You??!!!!

It's been a whole week since I've taken time to write. Silence definitely doesn't mean Shay Shay is not working toward goals. So, what's been going on with Shay Shay!?!

The 3 Cs

I have read that a Seattle Mariners outfielder once said that he had 3 Cs: Comfortable, Confident, and Seeing the Ball Well. Ha! Ha!

Well Shay Shay has 3 Cs too: Commitment, Consistency, and Seeing Results!

Commitment: During my last post I expressed my renewed commitment to my journey toward optimal health and fitness. I really have set my eyes on the prize and have a new focus that I have not experienced before.

Consistency: I am taking each day at a time. Last week I made time to consistently train for the half marathon and tennis and also got in a few kettlebell sessions. I made time to cook new clean meals (with the help of my Sweetie) and made good clean choices at restaurants when I had a social outing --sticking to what amounted to one treat meal for the week. Importantly, I got in some quality sleep each night.

Seeing Results: I am down 2 lbs this week. I am logging in good time on my training runs, and I am breathing really well. I have endurance on the tennis court that I have never had before. For instance, tonight. I finished up a make-up third set tie-break set (we were rained out Saturday). We fell short of the win (my partner and I fought hard until the end), but that's not the point. After the match, my wonderful partner and I played two of our teammates that came out to support us. During one point, I returned a serve on the Deuce side, ran to the Ad side and returned the ball, and then ran back to the Deuce side and returned the ball again. Okay, so you had to be there to get it, but all Shay Shay is saying is that I am now able to run all over the court and make good shots and still keep going, ready for more! What a high being fit brings!

So, I'm going to keep up with the 3 Cs or more accurately, the 2 Cs and 1 See. It is true that nothing really ever taste as good as being fit and lean feels. I am confident that I will get back to my pre-Christmas weight by next Monday--never to return there again FOR REAL THIS TIME! I have been to that weight, vowed to keep up the weight loss momentum (because I'm not at my goal yet) and to never return to that weight ever again, too many times over the last 6 months--CONSISTENCY is KEY). I am also confident that I will keep making strides on the tennis courts, the treadmill/streets, and in the gym.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Is it the 5th Already???

Really! I just feel like I rang in the New Year and now almost a week has passed! Time really does fly (but didn't I already know this and have been saying the same thing every year since I turned 30!?!) Anyway, today marked my first day of official half marathon training. Today's training was just 20 minutes of low intensity exercise. I hit the kettlebell gym for 45 minutes (not exactly low intensity), but was really bummed to hear my coach say that the tennis courts were too wet tonight. Oh well, such is life with no indoor courts!

Today also marked the day for me really getting back focused on clean eating. Not only do I have to lose at least 10 % body fat to reach my goals (and to be competitive in the friendly Weight Loss War I entered with some friends), I need to make sure I am giving my body the proper fuel as I train for the half marathon.

So, I have committed (are you for real this time, Shay Shay?) to having only one treat meal a week, no exceptions (Yes, I am!).

This will not be easy; it will take extreme discipline. But, I know I have it in me!

I AM Shay Shay!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!! Shay Shay is Celebrating Success and Looking Forward to 2009!

Boy did 2008 fly! Instead of reflecting on the 3 holiday pounds I gained (because they will not be around for long), I am going to reflect on my successes for 2008 and look forward to an even more successful 2009.

1. I am DOWN over 31 lbs, 10 % body fat, and 10 inches off my waist since New Years 2008. In 2009, I will lose at least 10 % more body fat.

2. I am in so much better shape. Yesterday, I put in 45 minutes in the kettlebell gym; played tennis for about two hours, and danced (I mean I really shook my groove thang!) for hours as I rang in 2009--and I still had lots of energy when it was time to shut it down for the evening! This morning, I woke up and hit the gym. Trust, did not happen in 2008. Oh, and I met my goal of doing 30 boy push-ups!

3. I took more "before" pictures yesterday, and my body has changed dramatically! There's much work to do, but I barely recognize the person of early 2008. In 2009, I will post "after pictures".

4. People are now using "skinny" and Shannon in the same sentence. Great to hear, but I in 2009, I will transform from skinny fat to lean and muscular (and super sexy!).

5. People have told me that I have inspired them to get healthier and lose weight. In 2009, I will work to continue to encourage and support my friends, families, and those I meet on this journey of Losing Fat and Winning in Life.

Happy New Year!