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!!