Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Have the Genes!

For the Christmas holiday, my family (parents and maternal grandparents--see November 29th post for a picture of them) journeyed from Virginia to ATL. While there was plenty of delicious food to be had (and I did indulge but with some discipline so that I would not blow up) and of course lots of memories that I will cherish forever, I was also able to get some inspiration for my health and fitness journey.

Everyday, even in the cold and with flurries falling, my 86 years young grandfather (who broke his ribs from a freak tub fall just 8 weeks ago) made sure he got outside and walked the neighborhood. He didn't just meander along. He walked with a pretty swift pace. On top of that, on the one really warm day we had (I could go on about the cold, but I won't), he got out on the tennis court with me. I hate that I didn't get pictures (I know Jon--not good) or video! Granddad chased balls and was eager to get tips on improving his serve (which he hadn't practiced in probably 20 years!). After a few minutes of refreshing, he had some really nice serves! It was AMAZING!

Then there is my 80 years young grandmother. Now Grandma's pace is a little slower than Granddad's due to years of battling near death pneumonia almost every year around Christmastime for 5 years in her late 60s. NOTE: she hasn't been in the hospital in 10 years, which is when she decided to get a job in the fast food industry to give her something else to do (on top of her tailoring and custom sewing business). She still works at the joint at least 4 days a week, 5 hours a day. Yet, she has no problem parking a little farther away from the store front (no need to take up handicap spaces when there are folks who really need them, right?) and professes that it is good for her to trek up the stairs in my house. She also still cuts her own grass at home and is an avid gardener. Grandma also made sure that she didn't overeat (she's lost 50 lbs and is determined NOT to gain any back) and took in lots of veggies.

So, as you can see--I have the genes; I have role models for health and fitness. I have no excuses. If my grandparents in their 80s can still focus on being fit, then I certainly can!
This is why I got up this morning to meet G for training (it was a tough session for me, but I feel great-now that it's over. smiles) despite being a little tired from all the work it takes to be the super holiday hostess I am.

I love you Granddad and Grandma. Thank you for being my inspirations in so many ways!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Gift of Fitness!

With just a couple days away from Christmas Day, I gave myself a gift. My wonderful trainer and friend Anna Mae was blessed to get a job in her primary field, so that means I lost my trainer. This actually happened a while ago, and I definitely feel the absence of someone who pushes me in the gym,

Oh, I wish I was at the point where I can push myself really hard in the gym, but I'm not there yet. I can admit this. I know I will get there, but until then I need help.

So, I engaged a new trainer. G trained the Fit Club at work. One day I was in the company gym and G was there. He's been there before while I worked out, but this day I looked in the mirror and wasn't pleased. Year 2010 was almost over, and I still hadn't reached my physique goals. I've been close, and I'm not too far now (although with the holidays, I am a tad bit farther).

Then and there I called G over; I enlisted his services, and gave myself the gift of even better fitness.

This morning was our first session. It was tough, but it I feel great. I'm looking forward to getting back to training full time again. I'm looking forward to reach my goals for real this time--not getting close, but actually meeting them! Again, I am proud of myself and what I have achieved so far, but I know I have more focus and disciplined in me to meet my goals.

I am Shay Shay. I am Ready!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Way to Go McGhee!

The McGhee USTA 7.0 Mixed Doubles Team are City Champions! What a feeling?!?!?! Last season we fell short in the Finals, but this season was OURS! We'll journey back to Augusta in August and this time, I KNOW we'll be READY!

I am honored to be on such an awesome team with such wonderful, skilled, and seasoned players. I've learned quite a bit about the game from my teammates. I look forward to next season with them--in better physical shape and as a even better player!

Now, I can focus on my 3.5 Women's season! We're 3-0 so far!

Go McGhee!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

One Day to USTA Mixed City Finals: My 5 Point Focus!

My USTA Mixed Doubles team is headed back to the City Finals again! Tomorrow we hit the courts with the goal of taking the WHOLE thing this time!

We had a great, but cold practice last night. I was a little rusty at first as I hadn't been on the courts in---10 Days! NOT GOOD! The weather and my wardrobe proved a bit of a challenge But, I'm ready now. Planning to get on the courts again tonight.

My game plan (I doubt my opponents read my blog): 1. Serve to the Middle; 2. COME IN! 3. Turn, Bend, Lift, and FOLLOW-THROUGH; 4. STAY CALM; and 5. HAVE FUN!

I have an awesome partner who reads the court well and is great at talking through points. With the line-up our fearless captain V put together, I know VICTORY is OURS!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This Weather Will NOT Get Me Down!

While Thanksgiving in Virginia displayed beautiful, sunny, and not too chilly weather (I could go to the track without bundling up!), I came back to HOTLANTA and found dark, chilly/cold, and wet! This could be enough to get me down and off plan. Who wants to wake up and work out in this weather when your bed is so warm and cozy?

But, I'm on a mission! I can't afford to let the winter weather blues get to me! Hibernation is NOT an option! I started 2010 20 lbs heavier because I let the 2009 winter weather and holiday eating take over me. NOT THIS YEAR!

So, while I may not WANT to get out of my warm, soft t-shirt sheet covered bed, I MUST! Thank goodness for old school Tae Bo tapes. At least I don't have to leave the house every morning! Hmmm, I need to upgrade to DVDs and get a little more variety.

I will have to get out some mornings because I need strength training in my world. I'll just have to suck it up and remember the rewards! I have too many cute dresses I just got from Rose Couture NOT to get my full fitness on!

Let's Go Shay Shay!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Great Virginia Holiday and It Really Doesn't Have to be Either/Or!

There really isn't a place like home! I spent Thanksgiving in my little rural, one traffic light county--Surry. With my mother and grandmother, great food at the house is just standard and a major temptation! But I prevailed!

I exercised what I thought was amazing discipline. I indulged but didn't over indulge. I worked out almost everyday. The pay off was great! I came back home with my jeans fitting looser than they did when I left (I wasn't so disciplined during my birthday week, so they were definitely fitting a tad snug! LOL!). It really was not a case of EITHER blow my entire program OR avoid all the tasty delights. Moderation combined with exercise really did work for me. I'm pleased!

Anyhoo, I really did have a wonderful time. I got a chance to see some of my good friends, caught up with some of my high school mates (I even cheered/strutted my stuff at a charity alumni basketball game-- I STILL HAVE IT! Check us out!), and fellowshipped with about 80 family members for Grandma Omia's 80th birthday celebration (see my parents, grandparents and me with the family paparazzi!).

I'm back in ATL. While being in VA was awesome, I'm glad to be back in my adopted hometown.

Count down to Christmas! I'll be getting my major fat burn on as from now until New Years there will be social gatherings galore!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shay Shay's Adventures in Travel--No Nonsense-No Excuses!

This week I had to travel for work--again. As I know I'm approaching birthday and holiday celebrations, I want to make sure that I keep up my workouts.

Thank goodness for great hotel gyms AND free workout videos in the hotel room. While I was able to workout when I arrived that evening, the gym was quite full the next morning. I didn't have my jump rope, but of course I had my body. Between my own body weight and the FREE workout videos in the room, I worked up a GREAT SWEAT!

I am at the point--again especially with this celebration season--where I know I have NO EXCUSE not to workout! I may not get in the exact workout I want, but I can certainly get it in!

So--GET IT IN, Shay Shay! Get it in!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Good Thought: The Holidays Don't Have to be Either/Or

A week from today I will celebrate my birthday--34 years old and in the best shape of my life! My birthday weekend pretty much signals the start of the holiday season for me. With birthday celebrating, Thanksgiving less than a week away, and then Christmas gatherings soon after, the holidays can be (and have been) quite a challenge for me. Last holiday season I gained WAY too much weight. I vowed to fight back soon after. On January 6, 2010 I started training with Anna Mae and lost 20+ pounds by the following April.

This holiday season I am determined NOT to let the holiday eating and laziness get the best of me. I also will not totally deprive myself because that will lead to some type of food overload at some point.

Thankfully, I am not alone in this fitness journey. I am so glad that I subscribe to all sorts of resources that provide me with health and fitness tips and sanity checks. I just received this one from Tom Venuto who distributes the Burn the Fat Newsletter and Blog. He made the challenge of the holidays so simple: it doesn't have to be either deprive myself OR get in better shape. Mr. Venuto says I can do both. I have already said that I plan to lose 10 pounds by Christmas. I believe this is still possible. But, I would like to take it another step and challenge myself to be in better shape after the holidays than I am now. I know what to do; I just need to DO IT!

Here's the link to Mr. Venuto posting about the holidays:


The challenge starts NOW!

I am Shay Shay. I will be Fit for the Holidays and Fitter afterwards!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My How Things (like my wardrobe) Have Changed!

Last night I was doing some much needed folding of laundry. With all my traveling and busy weekends, I've only had time to put clothes in the washer and dryer and then throw them on the futon in my loft.

As I started folding and putting away my laundry, I noticed that my workout and tennis gear FAR outnumbered my regular clothes. I mean it's getting to a point where I'm running out of drawer space and will have to start--gasp--hanging up some of my workout gear.

While this not so organized person now has to figure out how to organize my workout/tennis gear better and not all that excited about it, I am excited that my wardrobe is reflecting my lifestyle.

I am glad that my workout wardrobe is not just for running errands, but for running and jumping and lifting and stretching.

I often say that I don't necessarily like the gym, but I do like being active. Of course, I can stay on the tennis courts for hours. But, my power hill run/walk last night reminded me that I like being outdoors--even if it's a little chilly and my legs HURT--and MOVING!

So, while I am not looking forward to coming up with a better wardrobe organizing system, I am looking forward to being very active for the REST OF MY LIFE!

Oh, yeah, and buying CUTE workout and tennis gear too!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Brrr, It's Cold, but Daring to Be Different

Whew, it's COLD! I know everyone is posting updates about how cold it is in ATL right now. Why should I be different? Because I AM!

This week, Sweetie reminded me in his comments to my last post that I need to Dare to Be Different!

Yes, it's cold outside. But, I don't need to hibernate. I need to keep getting up and out to train, play tennis (10 AM match with Reesey Cup this morning-BRRR), and get more cardio!

Yes, this is the season of pumpkin, apples, spice, and everything nice. But, I don't have to indulge at EVERY opportunity I am presented with what I consider the BEST time of year for Treats!

Yes, the holidays are approaching. But I don't HAVE to resign myself to gaining 5-10 holiday pounds (like I have done in the past--ahem plus a few extra).

And even while I type, I am Daring to Be Different at least from my norm. I have had egg whites, and I have had oatmeal. But I have NEVER put them together. I've seen my trainer Anna Mae do it. I've looked at her breakfast with great wonder (LOL!). The wondering has ceased! With a dash of cinnamon, flaxseed, and some apple juice infused cranberries--this protein power packed oatmeal is not only great fuel but very comforting (and yes I'll venture to say tasty) on a chilly fall morning!

So, This Is It!

I AM Shay Shay! I am Daring to Be Different!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Didn't Get Tricked; Feeling Good; Gotta Push, Push, Push!

I survived the Treats and didn't get Tricked! I did indulge in a few treats, but didn't go overboard. For this I am proud. (smile). Moving on . . .

I had an awesome leg workout on this super rainy morning with Anna Mae. It was tough, but I really feel good. I even got in a good cardio workout. I'm going to use this morning's session to propel me to do more than Keep the Momentum Going. I am going to commit to PUSH, PUSH, PUSH myself like I've never PUSHed before!

This hamster on the wheel pace that I am currently on is unacceptable to me. Am I maintaining the progress Anna Mae and I started in January? Yes. Can I do better to really reach my goals? MOST DEFINITELY YES! I have tweaked my goals a bit--setting some short term goals in addition to some long term goals. I KNOW I can reach them!

Oh, and I can't go too long without talking about tennis (yes, Sweetie, you're right. This tennis thing is an obsession. LOL!). My Division Winning McGhee Super Slammers Women's team (Atlanta Lawn Tennis league) fell short in the play-offs. It was a great season PUSHing from 1 point after week one to WINNING the DIVISION! Yet, this team is not going to rest on just winning the division. We're going to re-group and worker harder on our technical and mental games so that we can reach our goal and SOON--Winning the City!

My USTA Mixed Doubles team has also won the division and we play in the first round of the play-offs Friday. I KNOW we can get it done! Let's Go McGhee!

And, I am soooo excited that my colleague and T2 flex league Mixed Doubles partner, Marty, and I are advancing to the City Finals! We play this Sunday. I didn't play my best in the semi-final last night, but I never got down on myself. I kept PUSHing and Marty kept being an AWESOME partner. VICTORY was ours! City Finals HERE WE COME!

With all this rain, I could get back in the bed, but it's time to get moving with the rest of my day!

I am Shay Shay!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Treats Won't Trick Me!

It's that time of year where folks hit the stores and get all the candy and other sweets they can manage and distribute to all the youngsters and young at heart.

While these TREATS can be irresistible, I refuse to be TRICKED this year! My health and fitness goals are way too important for me to succumb to the overindulgence of chocolate, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup!

I still am trying to lean out and lose as much weight as Anna Mae has challenged me before my birthday. I haven't lost sight of my green bikini goal (although my timeline has changed slightly). AND I have some major tennis goals for this Fall and Winter (have won the Division in two leagues so far: T2 Flex Mixed (Go MF!); ALTA Women's (Yeah, McGhee Super Slammers!)--and looking for at least two more division wins and ADVANCING in the Play-offs toward some City Titles!).

My work travel has picked up, so I have to be extra diligent with the clean eating habits. I'm still not getting in the amount of cardio I need, but I'm determined to fix that! No excuses--other than these aching legs and knees from RUNNING THE FSU STADIUM BLEACHERS with Sweetie while in Tallahassee recently and a lot of POUNDING THE PAVEMENT on my way to winning these Division Titles and Advancing to the Play-offs in all these tennis leagues!

Well, I just finished training with Anna Mae (not legs of course!). OOOOh, Epsom Salt and Jacuzzi Jets here I come!

Then off to start my work day and then the weekend!

I am Shay Shay Fit. I won't be Tricked!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Challenge From Anna Mae . . .

Sooooo, my journey to Lose Fat and Win has not been the most disciplined the last month or so. I'm a grown up. I can admit it. As a result, my progress has stalled a little bit.

Well, last night my trainer Anna Mae charged my training partner, Reesey Cup, and me to lose as much weight as we can in the next four weeks as the holidays are approaching and we need some wiggle room. Isn't she generous?

Anyhoo, I am ready to accept the challenge. I am aiming to lose 10 lbs by my birthday (November 21st). Anna Mae says this is quite ambitious. She's right. But, I have always aimed for Wildly Extraordinary Goals. If I fall short, then I'm still in great shape! Just a little Shay Shay logic. You don't have to understand.

Here's what I am going to re-dedicate myself to doing:

1. At least 5 days of non-doubles tennis cardio a week
2. Maintain my food diary
3. Not blowing it all on the weekends with overeating unclean food

Then I still have my strength training sessions with Anna Mae and Reesey Cup. We started off the challenge right with a great session this morning.

Three things. This, I can manage because I AM Shay Shay! I AM DETERMINED!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Originial Omia--My Inspiration!

Just as it's starting to be really cold in the morning and the bed starts feeling a whole lot better than the weight bench, I got inspired by my grandmother--the Original Omia (her first name, my middle name)--to keep progressing on this journey to Lose Fat and Win! That's us at the Grand Canyon in 2008.

Grandma has always inspired me. She is so generous, loving, smart, hardworking--just a really great person! Everyone loves her. This world is better because she lives in it! I could go on about how at the youthful age of 79 and 11 months, she continues to advocate for the rights of her fellow seniors in her community. I could talk about how she made it possible for many families to travel the country on a tight budget and see places they would have probably never seen because of the bus trips (from Florida to Canada) she organized for about 15 years. I could rattle on about her rising before dawn to work in the fast food industry (starting at 70 years old because she "was up anyway") and then coming home (after a little rest) to tailor clothes for her customers and cut the grass or work in her garden still. I could share how she has overcome sickness and near death--a few times--only to come out stronger and stronger. Thank you Lord for her avoiding the hospital these last 10 years or so.

I could write for days about how wonderful Grandma is and how her active lifestyle keeps her youthful and strong. So what did Grandma just do to inspire Shay Shay to write today?

Drum roll, please Grandma has worked hard through clean eating (although I'm sure she's not familiar with the term; she just eats that way because it makes sense) and staying active to hit a 55 lb weight loss mark!

Yep, that's right 55 lbs! At close to 80, her metabolism is supposed to be slow. She's supposed to be too tired to worry about gardening vegetables and getting in some physical activity. But, she's doing it! She's getting it done, and it's paying off for her! Grandma said she was tired of carrying around "all that weight." She didn't like, "being so big." Go 'head Grandma! Speak on it!

How can I NOT keep working to reach my goals???? I'm carrying Grandma's name, so I better honor it and her by following her example.

Let's go Shay Shay! I have the genes to Keep the Momentum Going!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's Been Too Long . . .

Things have been super crazy with work travel, so I'm way behind with blogging. I'm still on the journey and working toward reducing my body fat percentage. Traveling makes it difficult, but I am not discouraged.

I'm overdue for showing pictures of my homemade protein bars (they weren't too shabby) and sharing stories from my Adventures in Travel (oh how painful running the bleachers at FSU is, but a great workout!). As soon as I settle down, I will get back to blogging regularly. I can't go too long without blogging because it usually means my life is a tad out of sorts--which usually means I'm not taking care of myself in the way I should.

So, I'll be back soon! My health and fitness depends upon it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feeling Like Me Again!

Ah, since my last post I've recovered from being ill, went to Los Angeles with Sweetie and joined about 3,000 fellow Virginia 'Hoos for a near victory against the USC Trojans, and finally had some days of rest!

I also finally got back to the grocery store and cooked! I didn't realize how much I missed eating my own cooking--egg white omelets, crab cakes, broiled salmon, grilled chicken, oh my!--and all the positive effects thereof: increased energy and better weight management.

I've even bought ingredients for Bulge-Free Brownies--protein packed 100 calorie bars that Oxygen Magazines claims are great for mornings and pre-workout. I'm going to endeavor to make them tonight. I literally can't wait to get home from my meeting to make them!

Stayed tuned!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Arrrggghh! Whatever bug has been going around I caught it! And I'm not pleased! This thing has really zapped all the energy out of me the last few days. It's not cool at all.

I've been trying to rest as much as possible (my body has forced me to rest much more than I typically would when I've been ill before), and I'm still tired!

At least I'm not all achy and the bouts of chills and then hot, sweats are gone.

Okay, Okay. No more whining.

At least there is plenty of tennis to watch since I haven't been able to get on the courts. So, life isn't all that bad!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chip Shot, Topsin, Serve Down T, Oh My!

I know it's US Open time, and the pros are doing their thing, but this blog is about me. So, I'm obligated to talk about me and my own tennis game!

This season my coach and team have committed to step it up big time! We're playing at a higher level, so our game must be at a higher level. We have to work harder and play smarter. As my coach says, "it's a new day!"

While I have done pretty well and have advanced nicely in a short time (City and State Championships at USTA 3.0; City Finalist-7.0 Mixed), I know that the game I have played in the past (less thinking and more hustling) will not get it done as I move up levels. I need more variety in my game--more weapons.

I am committed to working with my coach and team and building my arsenal. The last couple weeks I have been working on my chip shot, forehand topspin (a real challenge because I'm known for my backhand--NOT my forehand), and serving down the T.

I must admit that I was not all that receptive to the chip shot. I didn't think it was something I could really do. But, I'm working on it AND getting it (well, it's not super consistent yet, but I'm getting it more often than not now)! I'm loving topspin; it's helping me get over my forehand slump and mental block (I played a whole State tournament going AROUND my forehand--thank goodness it worked and opponents didn't really figure it out). And serving down the T--when I get it-it's sweet!

I haven't had an opportunity to test these skills in actual matches yet--just practice matches. But great practice makes great play. I'm committed to practicing. I'm committed to becoming great (well at least as great as an obsessed recreational player can be. LOL!).

I'm also committed to continuing to Lose Fat! A few of my teammates and I ran the hills before practice. Initially, this exercise was to prepare for the State and Sectional Championships, but I am going to continue to run the hills. Every match is important, and I can't get to City, State, Sectionals--and one day Nationals--if I don't prepare for the regular season!

I am Shay Shay! I am Committed to Preparing to Win!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thank Goodness No Junk Food Was Around!

Without going into all the details, let me just say that yesterday was a little bit stressful. Not the I'm about to fall apart kind of stressful. Just I'm really busy, I have deadlines to meet, and folks are not cooperating kind of stressful.

For many people, with stress comes the tendency to eat. Yesterday was definitely one of those days where if I had some potato chips, chocolate or gummy bears, I would have been all over them!

Thank goodness I had clean snacks instead! Without my clean snacks, I could have done some real damage. This is just how much munching my stress level required. But, at approximately 30 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and two ingredients, my Kamut snack cakes sweetened with agave nectar can't do much damage at all--even if I eat 3!

These were the perfect combination of crunch and sweet. These little cakes fed my stress level just right!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

So Wrong, but I KNOW I'm Right!

Whew, time is really flying! It's been about 10 days since I've blog. In the past this has meant that I was off plan, but this time I've just been really busy! I am DEFINITELY ON PLAN!

This past weekend I had family in town. It is always wonderful to have company, especially when they are awesome and easy guests! With company, however, comes food challenges. I am proud to say that I didn't not succumb to temptations. I cooked breakfast almost everyday, except one when we went to my favorite healthy options spot-Thumbs Up. We ate out during the day, but I was totally satisfied with tasty salads with chicken or salmon. I even cooked Sunday dinner and made sure I had plenty of clean options so that I could enjoy without feeling guilty or deprived. I even stayed away from the homemade bread and wonderful key lime pie--except for just a pinch of bread and a dab of pie from the serving knife during clean-up.

The biggest challenge for me was our cupcake adventure. We were in the mall and passed a cupcake shop. My family was intrigued. I said, "I don't know anything about this place, but if you want a cupcake I know where to go." So, we journeyed to cake heaven A Piece of Cake. This place makes some of the most delicious cakes (next to Mom and my buddy Gina) I've ever had! You walk in the shop and the smells of White Chocolate, Carmel, Red Velvet, and all sorts of other flavors hit you right in the nose. BAM!

I walked out of there without a cupcake. My family got a half dozen. I managed to even avoid them once we got home. Truthfully, I wasn't even tempted to taste one. I know I'm focused now!

Well, the folks at Piece of Cake must have spies who witnessed my triumph over the Cupcake Temptation. Tuesday in my email box pops an email that says, "Swimsuit Season is Over; Slip into a Delicious Piece of Cake" from no other than Piece of Cake!

How funny is that?!?!?!? It's like they KNOW I passed on their tasty cupcakes! How wrong is that?!?!!

VERY WRONG! But, I know I was RIGHT to pass on the cupcakes. I have a goal to reach, and I'm determined to reach it!

Besides, I have asked Gina for a Red Velvet Birthday Cake in a couple months. I can surely wait until then--especially because by then, I will be AT GOAL!

So, whatever Piece of Cake! I'm NOT FALLING FOR IT--at least for right now. I'll have my chance to indulge in one of your cakes one day. When I do-I would have earned it, and I will enjoy it!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Served for the Cure

This past weekend 7 of my fellow teammates and I journeyed north of The City and Served for the Cure to support the Miller Zell Soles 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk team. What a fabulous time of tennis and fellowship for a great cause!

Of course I packed clean snacks, but I also indulged a bit when the crew went out for dinner--and some great meals we had!

Now I am back home and have already gone to cycling class and had my spinach, egg whites, feta, and salsa on flatout.

I am ready for the week ahead and actually looking forward to pushing through to my fitness goal by the October 4th--6 weeks from now!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Know My Food Triggers and Will Control Them

We often talk about NOT eating certain things, so it was nice to get some reinforcement in a recent Jillian Michael's e-newsletter (they're great; I'm on all sorts of fitness e-news lists!) about not depriving ourselves and moderation. I like how Jillian talked about knowing your food binge triggers--things you can really do in moderation. My food triggers: tortilla chips, my grandma's zucchini bread and sweet potato biscuits and my dear friend Gina's Red Velvet cake. So, I don't keep tortilla chips in the house and limit my Mexican eating out and thank goodness Grandma is in Virginia and Gina isn't a full time baker!

What I'm learning to do now is to enjoy things I want and not beat myself up when I know it's just a treat and I'm working hard every other meal and day in the gym. Recently, it was a lamb burger from Marlow's with feta and some tasty sauce. I switched out the roll for a pita and got asparagus instead of fries and I was TOTALLY satisfied and in food nirvana. And after my tennis match the same day, a few of us went to Little 5 points to eat. It was about 10:00, but I was a little hungry. I passed up the calamari (which I LOVE!), homemade bread (which I LOVE MORE!)--both ordered by my pals--and the apple beignets with Georgia caramel sauce (and yes, I LOVE apple desserts and caramel!) and opted for the salt (easy on the salt I asked) and vinegar popcorn. Yep, salt and vinegar popcorn. It was sooo tasty! I was a little annoying to the waiter, I know because I asked if the popcorn was cooked in oil and when he said it was actually microwave popcorn that they spruce up, I asked to see the package. It met my requirements for not as much of a fat punch, so I ordered it. IT WAS SOOO GOOD! I really enjoyed every bite of it and felt great about my choice. I didn't feel like I missed out on anything.

This was a true learning moment for me. I know I can control my food triggers! I HAVE TO if I want to be Shay Shay Fit!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I use to love eating jello as a kid, but I sure don't like my legs feeling like jello! Yesterday my work boot camp did lunges and squats. This morning Anna Mae trained my legs. I usually like (I use to say love, but not so much lately. (smile)) leg day. Leg day is usually a better day for me because my legs are pretty strong and shape up fairly quickly-compared to other parts of my body.

Well after yesterday's workout and all the leg work this morning, by the time I got to abs and doing scissors I could barely hold my legs up in the air to perform the move. My legs literally felt like jello--not the well congealed and firm jello that has been in the refrigerator overnight. My legs felt more like the squishy, giggly jello that has only been setting for about two hours.

Okay, stop the whining Shay Shay! No matter how tough leg day was today, it's worth it to know that when I put on a skirt, shorts, or a swimsuit my legs won't LOOK like that squishy, giggly two hour jello!

For that, I am grateful!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rested and Ready to Go!

I did something yesterday that I rarely do--RESTED! Boy did I need it! I have the habit of going, going, going until my body decides to slam me down and force me to rest.

I've literally been going, going going since the first week of May when my team went to AND WON the USTA Georgia Women's State Championship!

With the Mixed State Championship being done for now (SEE YA NEXT YEAR!), I'm glad that I took yesterday to rest.

Today, it's back to packing coolers, work, working out, and meetings. I will go to be at a good time tonight because I see Anna Mae for training in the morning (yep, rested this morning too!).

So, it's off to work I go to tackle the day and the rest of the week, which is filled with a flex league match Thursday and charity tennis tournament this weekend.

I am READY! I am Shay Shay!

Monday, August 16, 2010

So Much Fun in Augusta!

I'm back from the USTA Georgia State Mixed Doubles Championship. My team didn't win our division and thus didn't advance to the play-off round, but we had a wonderful four days in Augusta--good times on the courts and also just hanging out. For my first time on the big stage for Mixed, I played pretty well. My partner did too. We were 2-1 in Augusta with a really tough and hard fought loss on our second day. Unfortunately, with my rating getting bumped up to 3.5, this is our last time playing with each other for a little bit (we are a 7.0 team, so partners have to equal to 7.0; he's a 4.0 player. We can't play together until we move up to 8.0).

Our team is already getting ready for the Fall season--recruiting players and discussing strategy to make us even better so that we Win the City and get back to State with a Win next time!

Of course, part of my strategy is to work to make my tennis game better and better and most certainly to get in even better shape through clean eating and strength and cardio training.

For today, it's rest for Shay Shay. I'm exhausted!

Monday, August 9, 2010

I now have Oxygen--I can Breathe Again!

It's no secret that Oxygen Magazine is a key part of my fitness lifestyle. I love the articles, photos, and the fact that it contains real women who have everyday jobs and families and still manage to look FABULOUS! I aspire to be one of their Success Stories.

For the last few months, I wasn't getting my Oxygen. I had renewed my subscription in plenty time to avoid a gap in delivery. Somehow the magazine did not have my correct address when it renewed my subscription.

I really missed not getting my breath of fresh air of motivation. Now I have it. The August edition and the fatloss Collector's issue arrived just in the nick of time because I am really motivated to meet my goals.

With Oxygen as a resource and source of inspiration, I can really breathe again!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

I CAN Be Sensible in Social Settings!

Well, I did it! I survived the weekend without blowing the progress made during the week!.

I started my Saturday morning with an egg white, feta, and asparagus omelet and toasted Flatout wrap. Then I had a banana and Kashi bar before my 3 hours of tennis practice in the heat (got to get ready for Mixed Doubles State).

After 3 hours of practice, I was HUNGRY--no, more like STARVING! I had lost about 2lbs in water and was drenched in sweat. Sounds horrible, but I could have stayed out there all day if I had packed more water and food--oh, and if I didn't need to get ready for the McGhee Super Slammers Team Pool Party and BBQ.

The Party: First: WE HAD A BLAST!!!! Great Friends, BBQ, Pool, and Music--a perfect Saturday! I am so proud of myself and thankful to my teammates who brought healthy options. There were lots of sugar laden options too, but I managed to drum up enough willpower to avoid the cheesecake, birthday cake (for D), Tin Roof Sundae Ice Cream (a childhood favorite), and pound cake. I even avoided one of my addictive favs: blue corn chips! Oh, and I can't forget the cocktails--none for Shay Shay!

Thanks to Alissa aka The Beast (a cross-fit training queen), I enjoyed oh so tasty lean turkey burgers w/ feta and spinach. I brought some Flatout wraps, so I wrapped the burger with some romaine and tomato and had a great meal!. I grilled some fish, so I had a piece of that and also had a chicken and sundried tomato sausage link, no bun (probably wasn't all that lean, but it was protein, so I indulged without guilt.) Our super hostess Imani aka ibestroking.com made a huge fruit salad and I made up some plain greek yogurt dip with agave nectar and Splenda to cure sweet toothes--it was pefect!

Anna Mae, my trainer, also turned me on to an awesome treat: rice cake topped with fresh ground honey roasted peanut butter and Crainsins. OH IT WAS GOOD! My teammates looked at us like we had three heads; they just couldn't understand how it could be a treat for us! This will definitely be added to my list of treats!

Looking back, I was thinking I ate a little more than I should have, but when I wrote it all down in my food journal I had still only eaten about the equivalent amount of food that I would normally eat on any weekday when I have my regular 5-6 meals. Saturday the meals were just more compacted and at one setting. AND, I got in some pool and dancing time, so I wasn't just sitting around. I'm counting this social event eating a real victory!

Sunday I met a really good and fellow 'Hoo (UVA) friend in town from South Africa (he's working there for about a year). He's vegetarian, so we went to one of my favorite spots R. Thomas Deluxe Grill. I had the grilled veggie on whole wheat sandwich with white cheddar. Very tasty. I haven't been eating bread these days, so this was my "one thing" for the weekend as discussed with the dietitian.

It's time to hit the sack and get ready for tomorrow morning's cardio session. I am proud I got through this weekend without blowing all my week's work.

I'm Shay Shay, and I'm Keeping the Momentum Going!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Let the Weekend Begin!

T.G.I.F! It's officially the weekend!

Determined to Keep the Momentum Going, I am starting the weekend off right!

Here's to successful meeting my first challenge: I declined an invitation to go to a popular wing spot in town tonight (ah, nothing like a good lemon pepper wing!) as the rain spoiled my flex league tennis match.

I was so excited to be on the courts tonight, but I probably needed to rest anyway. I have Mixed Doubles practice tomorrow (next week this time, I'll be at the State Championship) and then my team's celebratory pool party and BBQ-The Next Challenge.

So, I am going to rest and be proud of my small step toward Keeping the Momentum Going on the Weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Keep the Momentum Going on the Weekends!

Keep the Momentum Going is a common theme on this blog. I credit Sweetie for giving me this bit o' inspiration!

Recently, I met with a Registered Dietitian as part of my job's Fit Club program (recall I mentioned the boot camp we have on Mondays and Wednesdays). Anyhoo, David R. Orozco, MS RD LD of t+d wellness (http://www.tdwellness.com/) reviewed my food journal and was generally pleased with what he saw. He reviewed my goal to get to 140 and 18%-21% body fat and thought it was achievable based on where I am IF I DIDN'T BLOW IT ON THE WEEKENDS! His analysis was on the money figuring out that I have been pretty much losing 2lbs or so during the week and then gaining it back on the weekends!

Of course I knew this. David was essentially telling me to Keep the Momentum Going ON THE WEEKENDS! He advised to start slowly with committing to make one weekend day of meals look like my disciplined weekday meals. Not so tough. I can handle this. Hearing David's reinforce what I knew was exactly what I needed to get myself mentally in gear to push toward my goals!

With the weekend approaching and social eating scheduled all weekend, I know that I must PLAN! I have to figure out which weekend day will look like my weekdays (even if I have to bring my own food to the Pool Party BBQ planned), and I will only have ONE treat meal the other weekend day--not a whole day of treating.

Kicking up my cardio on the weekends will also help me maintain the progress I achieved during the week and propel me forward to the next week.

I know I am up to the challenge because I am Shay Shay Fit, and I'm Keeping the Momentum Going!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sulking Over--Time to Handle Business!

It has taken me almost a week to get over my disappointment with my team not winning the USTA Sectional Championship. We finished 2nd in our group. Everyone else, besides those on my team thinks, "Wow, what a great finish. You should be proud." NOT!

We arrived in Birmingham with WINNING on our mind. Unfortunately, our play--particularly the first match of the tournament--did not match up to our goal. We finished up strongly, though, and pushed our way into 2nd in our group on the last day of play.

It was a tough and emotional loss for me as a captain and a player. I reflected quite a bit on the tournament. I learned a lot from both perspectives. I am determined to be a stronger player mentally and skill-wise. I'm sulking no more!


I am taking lessons again. I'll be entering more tournaments. I'll continue to improve my fitness level.


It's also almost time for the USTA Georgia Mixed Doubles State Championships. That's Right! I'm going to another State Championship! How fortunate am I to land on such awesome teams! (HUGE SMILE!).

I heard a wonderful and uplifting message at church this morning--Keep Standing! STAND I WILL!

I have had my delicious egg whites, spinach, feta, and salsa on Flatout.

Now, it's time to get ready to hit the courts for Mixed Doubles practice.!

I am Shay Shay! I am a Preparer! I am a Champion! I am Standing!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bring it on!

It's about 6:15 AM. Tomorrow morning this time, I will be getting ready for Round 1 of the USTA Southern Sectionals in Birmingham, Alabama where the McGhee Super Slammers will represent Georgia at the 3.0 Women's Level! I am SO PUMPED! I am SO READY! Our TEAM is SO PREPARED!

I have grilled my chicken breast, and packed my oatmeal, wraps, protein powder, nuts, minimal salt/low-fat popcorn, and high protein/low sugar protein bars. Upon arrival I will be getting some fresh veggies. I'm traveling with my trainer, so this helps with sticking to my clean eating. We will also have full kitchens--A MUST--at the hotel.

This is NOT vacation! This is a Mission!

It's all about McGhee! Competition will be tough, but my motto is that our team IS TOUGHER!

Smart and Aggressive Tennis--from the first point to match point all the way to the FINALS!

We're Fired Up! Ready to Go!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's Sectionals Week!!!!!!!!

It is USTA Southern Sectionals Championship Week! I am so excited to stomp into Birmingham with the wonderful, dynamic, oh so cool, hard hitting, smart and savvy ladies of the McGhee Super Slammers!

The competition will be tough, but I KNOW our team has what it takes to come out on top! I am praying for safe travels, no injuries, no negative effects from the heat, and for a fun and fabulous time! Then, it's up to us to be focused, aggressive, and smart on the courts!

I am making my grocery list so that I can be sure to have plenty of fuel for hydration and clean eating. Thank goodness for extend-a-stay hotels and full kitchens!

Well, time for me to hit the bed and get ready for training in the morning! Rest is a MUST this week!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fired Up! Ready to Go!

During the last Presidential election, a zealous Obama supporter use to rally voters with the chant--Fired Up! Ready to Go! This fiesty lady got national attention as future President Obama used the chant on the campaign trail.

Since then I have LOVED this chant and have used it for tennis. As I get ready to start the week (after a TOUGH loss and drama yesterday on the courts), I am FIRED UP! READY to GO!

We are less than two weeks away from stomping on Birmingham for USTA Sectionals. I am starting boot camp at work today. I have reprogrammed my brain to get back to STRICT clean eating (STOP all the compromises Shay Shay--I AM NOT AT GOAL YET!) Looking forward to the three-day a week training with Anna Mae. My cooler is packed, and I am ready to start my day!

I am Shay Shay, and I'm Fired Up! Ready to Go!

Friday, July 9, 2010

It's on Like Pop-Popcorn!

Boy was today tough! It was my third straight day of training with Camille. I woke up already a tad tired because I stayed up a little late due to the excitement of the USTA Southern Sectionals Championship Schedule being posted--Birmingham here we come!

Today was shoulders, back, and abs and IT WAS TOUGH! I know part of it is due to being out of training for a few weeks--but DANG! Anna Mae was too happy to see my face in agony! LOL! It was truly on like POPCORN!

Speaking of popcorn (as I've spoken in previous posts): I am now officially done with microwave popcorn. I am all over stovetop popcorn popped in a little olive oil and topped with butter spray (got to love butter spray!) and a sprinkle of sea salt--just a little or even better table blend seasoning with NO SALT! Such a tasty snack. Even my Sweetie loves it!

There's nothing like some popcorn to take the hunger edge off. And it feels like cheating--but it is so not cheating! A true treat!

Well, this will be a busy weekend. One of my beloved sorority sisters is coming to town. I'm hanging out with friends for a birthday celebration, and of course--TENNIS! I play in a charity tournament in the morning to support the Atlanta 3-Day Walk for Susan G. Koman to raise funds to fight breast cancer. Then USTA is Sunday.

No rest for the active, but I'll be sure to get to bed a good hours this week. I can't be drained before Birmingham!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Back at Home, Back on Track, Back to Focusing on my Goals

After a wonderful long vacation with my parents in the Palm Dessert area and San Diego (I'll post pictures later), I am actually glad to be home and back into my routine! I was away for a solid week and on pure vacation mode--translation: not as much intense exercise and clean eating not necessarily the priority!

I paid a small price--a few extra pounds--but I'm not fretting because I am equipped with the tools I need to get back on track--AND even with the recent July 4th holiday, I AM BACK ON TRACK!

I am back to my morning training sessions and getting some evening exercise on top. I am back to disciplined clean eating. I am back to focusing on my goals:

My tennis team is just 2 1/2 weeks from representing Georgia in the USTA Southern Sectionals Championships! Endurance will NOT be my issue! I WILL BE READY! BRING IT!

While the Fitter and Finer Challenge has lost some of its steam as far as participation, I am determined to be minus 10 lbs (from Round 1 winning weight) by the August 28th Finale. Yep, I'm trying to win again and finally get to the weight that will transition me into maintenance!

So, over the next 6 weeks, I will not compromise on my training and clean eating. I have even signed up for a boot camp at my job that meets twice a week after work. We start Monday and this will supplement my training with Anna Mae, which I have increased to 3 days a week.

See, I am determined. I am focused. I am Shay Shay Fit!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's Hot!

Whew, 3 straight days of tennis and it's definitely HOT! With all this hot tennis, I have to make sure I am staying in shape. Unclean food and water deficiency has no place in my world. I cannot afford to let a lack of endurance impact my game. If I lose it will NOT be because an opponent out hustled me! I will leave it all on the court. This is A MUST!

This week was a really busy work week, and I let my clean eating food guard down a bit. This week is a new week. I am refocused and redetermined. I am proud that I am maintaining my weight since the challenge, but I'm overdue for stepping it up a notch.

I have my sights set on a winning 3.5 season (we're 2-1 right now), winning 3.0 Women's Sectionals in Birmingham in July, and winning 7.0 Mixed Doubles States in Augusta in August. Hot will not even begin to express the conditions to come. With my renewed focus, I will be ready!

I am Shay Shay. I am Fit. I am Hot, but I am Ready!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Need to Catch Up!

Whew, it's been over a week since I posted! Not Good! But, this time it doesn't mean that I have detoured off the journey again. I've just been a tad busy and not feeling all that well. I'm good now, so where do I start first? Oh, my much anticipated weekend from my last post:

Friday: After about a two hour rain delay, my Mixed Doubles Team took the courts in the USTA Atlanta City Finals. It was a tough night for our team. My partner and I played well together and got an individual victory, but our team fell just short of taking it all. NO WORRIES!


Saturday: Oh what a wonderful time I had with the Race&Relax crew! My tennis bud and Blog Queen Wifey posted two great recaps--much better than I could do. Here are the links with photos! Can't wait for the next race!

Sunday: The McGhee Super Slammers won our FIRST match at 3.5! And guess what? WE DID IT AGAIN this past Sunday! Let's Keep the Momentum Going, Team!

The week after all the fun: After all of that action, my body decided to do a little number on me and I wasn't feeling well. I slowed down a bit and rested and got myself together in time for the JILL SCOTT and MAXWELL concert this past Saturday. Oh, Sweetie and I had such a great time! Check me out in my gold sequin skirt. Yeah, I thought I was cute! LOL!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Big Weekend of Play Ahead! Rain Stay Away!!

This weekend is a really jammed pack weekend of playtime. It feels really good to have a weekend full of activities that require me to be fit!

I NEED the rain to hold off and LET ME PLAY!

Today: USTA Mixed Doubles City Championship! Team McGhee is the #1 seed and ready to TAKE IT ALL THE WAY TO STATE in Augusta! I am in the line-up and READY TO PLAY and WIN! Let's Go McGhee! Rain, Rain, Stay Away!

Saturday: Race&Relax. The Blogrollers (www.blogrollers.com) have a fun filled morning starting with a 5k in the beautiful Virginia-Highlands area and then Brunch at Einstein's (NOT the BAGEL PLACE!). I can't wait to meet all the race participants and of course to get the goody bag either! I'll will be drinking my Cherry Juice (Go Red!) in the morning with some Ezekiel Bread English Muffins I've been saving until a day when I'm going to really need the carbs! Rain, Rain, Stay Away!

After all the fun with the Race&Relax crew, I have tennis practice (because our normal day was rained out) to get me ready for . . .

Sunday: First match at USTA 3.5! After the success I've had at 3.0, USTA has bumped me up a level. I will definitely have to play smarter and not harder and find the open court at this level. I am ready for the challenge! Rain, Rain, Stay Away!

I am Shay Shay Fit and Ready to Play!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

So What's Up with this Zumba?

For a few months Sweetie's Mom and my BFF Mona Lisa have been telling me about the great and pretty new to the US fitness craze- Zumba (it's been around since 2001)! Then every infomercial channel seems to have Zumba Dance videos in the rotation.

Shay Shay is always looking for ways to diversify my fitness portfolio, so I wanted to check out Zumba. As of yet, Zumba is not readily available in ATL (what's up?!), but thanks to the "what did we do before we had the" Internet, I found a couple instructors.

Today, I tried a class at The Latin American Association. The class was small (a slight let down becasue on TV there are tons of high energy folks in classes) with only three people . The teacher, however, was really good and conducted the class as if she had 20 people.

Zumba is not that different from the Latin Impact class I have taken at my home gym. I'm sure Latin Impact borrowed from it, but Zumba's move were more high energy. I was much more sweaty and felt like I exerted much more in Zumba.

So, I'll try Zumba again. I hope to find a class with a little more convenient location.

Time for me to get ready for bed. I have cycling tomorrow morning and a big weekend ahead (stay tuned).

I am Shay Shay Fit and Tired.

The Great Popcorn Search

Yesterday I mentioned my hungry feeling that I attributed to insufficient water intake. Well it hit again today, and I had plenty water. Now I'm thinking I need to increase my whole grain, non-veggie carbs a little as I'm training harder these days and going pretty light on the whole grain carbs.

Anyhoo, microwave popcorn has become one of my new favorite snacks because it typically satisfies my hunger/late afternoon desire to snack just because that's what late afternoons at your desk are for, right? Also, because you pretty much eat popcorn the way you eat chips, I feel like I'm eating something bad for me when really the brands I buy really don't interfere with my diet.

Moving on: I didn't have any popcorn with me at work, so I went to the grocery store nearby to pick up some. My trainer Anna Mae knows I'm trying to limit my salt intake so she mentioned to me that Smart Balance had a lot less sodium than than "natural" 50% less salt brand I had been using.

When I got to the grocery store, the Smart Balance Smart & Healthy was right there. But, I still decided to scan all the options. BANG! My head started hurting. Those darn nutrition labels on microwave popcorn are insane with all the unclear information.

What's up with "One serving = 3 tablespoons; calories when unpopped, calories when popped, serving is 5.5 cups, but 1 cup has x calories" etc, etc? Ghee whiz! Why can't popcorn companies just say, "X calories per bag; X servings per bag". Really, who the heck eats unpopped popcorn!

After too much time had passed for me to be thinking about popcorn, it occurred to me--I eat clean; I don't count calories, so I don't really care how many calories are in a bag. I care about the list of ingredients and how much sodium is in a bag. It there aren't a lot of ingredients and ingredients heavy on the fat and salt, then I'm good. Popcorn without anything added is a pretty healthy snack. So no real worries if I watch the ingredients.

It also dawned on me that the sodium content is what it is--popped or unpopped.

Whew! Search concluded. Smart Balance Smart & Healthy with 85 mg of sodium (compared to 220+ in most brands) was the way to go. I mean, who doesn't want to be Smart & Healthy? Note, this popcorn doesn't have a lot of taste, but I need it to satisfy my hunger more than my taste buds. I'm not a big salt or butter person anyway--they get in the way of the food--so it's all good for me!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Oh No! My Water (Jug) Broke!

It is well known by my family, friends, and colleagues that I am a firm believer in sufficient water intake (at least 80 oz a day) and am not ashamed to carry a 50+ oz mug or jug around. The most notorious of my mugs is The 7-11 X-treme Gulp. If I had a dime for everyone that has said, "I hope that's water in there."

Yesterday, my new favorite jug--holds 64 oz with a sports cap, cracked. I know this doesn't sound like a huge deal, but my water intake is a serious thing! I typically fill my jug first thing in the morning--before my day gets too busy--and drink away all day (this is on top of the water I drink at the gym and for tennis and my 3 cups of green tea). Well, when my jug cracked, it was just before my day got crazy with back to back meetings. So, I didn't get a chance to fill my
X-treme Gulp.

The lack of sufficient water was evident! I felt hungry all day although I ate my regular meals. It had to be dehydration. I had clearly eaten enough for the day.

Today is a new day and I will be filling my X-treme Gulp as soon as I hit the office and will be picking up a replacement of my favorite jug today!

Have a great Hump Day! Drink up!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Always Room for Improvement

A few weeks from now will mark three weeks since I started the Eat-Clean journey. I have encountered some bumps in the road, took a couple detours that ended at dead ends, but I always manage to find my way back to the right Eat-Clean road.

Overall, I have been successful. I am content with my progress. But, I know I can do better. I know that I can finally shed these last 10+ lbs once and for all. I know I can improve my Eat-Clean diet.

What's next: working harder to minimize my sodium intake even more. I have been hearing quite a bit on health shows about how awful Americans are with salt. I watch family members and friends add salt to everything before even tasting it.

I am actually pretty good about limiting my salt intake. Something has to have virtually no taste at all (like the disappointing she-crab soup I had in Williamsburg recently) before I add salt now. I use to seasoned salt all the time thinking it to be better, but it has quite a bit of sodium too. So, I focus on garlic and onion powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper.

However, I realized yesterday morning that I was overlooking a pretty high sodium intake with one of my favorite Eat-Clean at home breakfasts: egg whites, veggies, salsa on Light Flat Out wrap. What's the culprit? Salsa!

My usual brand of salsa has about 250 mg of sodium. I could certainly eliminate the sodium in salsa altogether by making my own, but I am realistic. I KNOW I don't have time or the desire to make my own when there are really so many options out there.

In the produce section of the grocery store, there is a nice selection of low sodium (75mg/serving) options. It really is true that the outside perimeter of the grocery store is the best place to shop. I bought medium, regular and roasted garlic (YUM!).

I was also looking for some new low sodium seasonings. I have rediscovered an longstanding brand--Mrs. Dash. NO SALT! I got the Table and Chipotle varieties and can wait to season my chicken and fish and throw some on the grill.

I am looking forward to seeing how this modification will improve my physique.

I am Shay Shay Fit-Improved!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Positive Reflection on my Grandfather

Today, our nation honors those brave men and women who have given their lives so that we can continue to live in the land of the free with security. Many in our nation also take time out today to remember those non-veteran loved ones who are no longer with us. As I reflect on the memories of those who have departed, I also want to take time to reflect on one who is very dear to me and very much alive: my grandfather Charles Dennerson Robbins, pictured here with me a week ago Saturday on the Spirit of Norfolk.

My grandfather, an 85 years young, is full of life and energy (he exercise daily and is very careful with his diet). I hope to be half as active at 58 as he is at 85. He is also by far one of the two most brilliant men I know (the other being my Sweetie). Granddad is a real "Renaissance Man", known to quote Shakespeare or Milton at any random time or break out in an operatic sounding melody (not being funny here, he has an awesome voice that didn't make it to me!).

Granddad is also known for writing short positive reflections of the highest literary quality. He gave me the following one recently that I had to post; I want to honor him now while he is still with me:

Positive Reflection by C.D. Robbins

Life is a miracle. Each day, each moment-another miracle.
Time and today still ours to share; 'Seize the moment'.
Be thankful.
Be proud.
Be happy.
You're still part of the miracle.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Round 2: Fitter and Finer Challenge-It's On!

When I started the McGhee Ladies Fitter and Finer Challenge, I had always intended there to be a Round 2--to Keep the Momentum Going; This is a journey without end, right?

After winning The Challenge, I was so fired up for Round 2. We even took before pictures! Then all of the traveling happened and I just didn't take the time to focus and engage the Round 2 participants.

Now, that I am home and haven't lost any weight since the challenge (although I am happy to be maintaining with all the traveling that I had been doing!), I re-grouped the Round 2 participants. To my delight, they were all ready to really get started! They too want to Keep the Momentum Going, and we have some additional participants who were inspired by the first round. I have extended the challenge to August 28th, so we have 3 FULL MONTHS to work it out and eat right!

And, am I trying to win again? You're darn skipping! I have about 10-12 pounds of fat that I want to shed. My competitive nature and my desire to look, feel and be great will get me there! In fact, I want to almost be there in the next month and then just shed the rest of the fat and maintain by the Challenge Finale.

I am ready! Headed to the gym to train now!

Let's Go Fitter and Finer Challengers!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Shay Shay's Adventures in Travel: Going Home

Ah, it's a Friday and I am on my own couch, in my own house. It's been weeks since I have had a Friday evening like this, and I am loving it! I love my Adventures in Travel, but I am so glad to be in my own space right now!

Last week I was in my home state: The Commonwealth of Virginia. I was there for work conference, but was blessed to extend my stay and visit with family. Going home is always a challenge with the eating clean and working out. I was prepared with nuts, trailmix, flaxseed, and Kashi bars for the conference. And thankfully my mom is trying to eat better, so I had egg whites, oatmeal, bananas, and lean meat to get me through the weekend. Here are some pictures from the trip:

The gym in the small Colonial Williamsburg Hotel. Not the best, not the worst. It was enough.

The Jamestown-Surry Ferry System: Leaving Williamsburg

I'm HOME--"Downtown" Surry County (population appox. 7,000) and its ONLY Traffic Light circa 2008! I am truly a small town girl!

Small town girl at the beautiful Norfolk Harbor headed to a family event on the Spirit Dinner Cruise. This is another Rose Couture item. I was so on the fence when I saw this on the rack, but I LOVE this dress! And, I have to say it--LIKING MY LEGS! Must Keep the Momentum Going!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Anticipating More Fun: Race & Relax

I am back from another week of travel; total 5 out of 6 weeks of straight travel-whew! I'll post about my travel adventure later this week, but I am long overdue to brag about my next round of fun: Race & Relax, Saturday, June 5th--right here in ATL! NO SUITCASES (that 50 lb limit-arrgghh!), PLANES or SECURITY LINES--Yeah!!

A while ago I mentioned Race & Relax sponsored by The BlogRollers (http://www.blogrollers.com/), Cherry Marketing Institute (above, checkout the cherry juice sent to me which helps with inflammation among other health benefits. It was quite tasty), Walt Disney World Resorts (got to love Disney!), Pampered by Adrienne (can't wait to get pampered!), and and now The Wine Sisterhood (every now and then, I do enjoy a nice glass of wine).

I am so excited about the race, fellowship, AND my Swag Bag! You can read how excited I am at http://runwifeyrun.blogspot.com/2010/05/race-relax-beauty-shannon-pierce.html.

Can't wait to blog of my experience!

Shay Shay's Adventures in Travel--Pictures Finally

Finally, pictures from my Adventures in Travel!

The Family Circle Cup, Charleston, SC area--A great time in beautiful Charleston area and so much fun with my buddies Queen B and Reesey Cup. Ah, my tennis hero-Serena! And yep, I packed my snacks and carried my scale. I had to Keep the Momentum Going! I desire to be as fit as Serena!

Washington, DC--Hanging out in our Nations Capitol with clean eating convert and Sorority Pledge Sister-Braveheart and hanging with more Sorority Pledge Sisters at Dexterity Fashion Show produced by Sorority Pledge Sister Mortal Kombat in the center. Also pictured: Dessert Storm, Saved by the Belle, Mona Lisa, Pulp Fiction, and Golden Child. Check out my dress from Rose Couture in Riverdale (I blogged about my Post Fitter and Finer Challenge Shopping experience at Rose Couture back in April). Pulp Fiction was an awesome hostess, but she had WAY TOO MANY SNACKS! LOL! A Den of Sin and Temptation I called it. I enjoyed a few things, but I sure was glad the challenge was over!

Southern California--And here I am in beautiful Southern California: in front of John Wayne statute at John Wayne Airport in Orange County; chilling at the beach (boy was that water chilly); and in front of the FABULOUS Renaissance Club Sport Hotel. This hotel was off the chain! It had a full, state of the art gym with over 100 classes offered throughout the week--all free to hotel guests! What a concept?!? This was the PERFECT hotel for Shay Shay! I wish there was one in every city where I traveled! During my stay I took a Turbo Kick class (http://www.turbokick.com/). I've taken kickboxing before, but this was kickboxing x100! It was right up my alley because it combines dance and intense kickboxing. There was no getting bored in this class, and I SWEATED! Apparently you can burn up to 1000 calories in one hour, and I am a believer! I just love California! The state seems to make it so easy to be healthy. I stuck pretty close to eating clean while there although it was vacation. I now know that I don't have to blow my lifestyle just because I am away. Good to know because I'm traveling a lot these days and can't get too far off track!
Although I am quite tired, I sure have had a great time the last few weeks! Looking forward to more adventures!
P.S. I back-posted the pictures from the State Championship. See May 11, 2010.

Exhausted, but Doing My Thing!

Okay, I know I've been talking about being busy and tired for quite some time now. But, I really am pooped. I am looking forward to next week and the following month when I can get a chance to settle down and get back to a more normal routine.

Although I am tired, I am not letting go of my health and fitness momentum. I can't let go because I refuse to keep trying to lose the same 20 lbs over and over again.

So, how am I doing my thing:

After I returned to California Sunday, I hit the gym for some cardio. Was I tired, yes. Am I glad I went? Oh yes!

Then last night, I had a flex league tennis match with my partner Reesey Cup. I had not been on the court or held a racket since WINNING (still super excited) the State Championship with my team. I'm not sure if it was fatigue or just dust from not playing for a week, but Reesey Cup and I found ourselves 1-6 at the end of the first set! Not good--we're State Champs for Heaven's Sake! LOL!

Instead of getting down on ourselves, we made some much needed adjustments (switched sides and slowed down the pace of the match) and pulled out the VICTORY ending the match at 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. I am so proud of us because we kept our heads and played smart tennis even with our opponents' (very skilled/experienced players) teammates in the background (we were on their home courts) doing some hardcore cheering for their teammates. Without eating clean and staying fit, battling it out in three sets may not have been as easy. I am finding that endurance plays a major role in tennis. Not having to focus on gathering energy to keep me in the match helps me to focus on the task at hand--winning the match! Sweet!

Then there was this morning. Back to my theme for the month--Shay Shay is tired! After three sets of intense tennis, I wasn't necessarily all that geared up for an 6 AM workout (plus 20 minute warm-up on top) with Anna Mae. But, I got up and out because I committed to be there. Shay Shay's word is my bond. Now that the workout is over, and I have had my egg whites on Flatout, I am glad I trained this morning.

So, here's to Doing My Thing! I must Keep the Momentum Going!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

P.S. I WILL get he pictures posted this week (if I keep saying it, maybe I'll do it.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back from Beautiful Southern California!

Two days after State, I headed to beautiful Southern California for a family event with Sweetie. We made a mini-vacation out of it and had wonderful time.

What a beautiful area and perfect for those who want to be fit (ah, the teaser; will be blogging about this later). I'm tired now. Work is calling tomorrow, and I need to get my mind right. I PROMISE to post this week the pictures of my California adventure and my earlier journeys.

Night Night.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

We are State Champs!!

We did it! The McGhee Super Slammers won the USTA 3.0 Women's Georgia State Title! We are headed to Birmingham for Sectionals in July! It was such an awesome experience! Four days of twice a day tennis--HEAVEN--tiring, but HEAVEN! I have such an awesome team and am so proud to serve as captain.

I am also proud that I packed plenty of clean eats to make sure that I stayed properly fueled during the tournament. With preparation, this clean eating on the road isn't all that difficult--but preparation really is key!

Here are some shots from State:

Team fueling up for 6 AM warm-ups. Loved the full kitchens in the suites. I had my homemade oatmeal (oats, flaxseed, bee pollen, cinnamon, walnuts, and banana) in my room each morning. It did me good!

Shay Shay and The AKA (I don't hold it against her--I'm a Delta)warming up for our first match.

Just finishing winning the 2nd point of 3 needed to WIN IT ALL!

We WON!! Birmingham here we come!

Earned two more bag tags to add to the collection!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Theme for the Month! BUSY!!

Okay, I am running around like crazy--tired, but having fun! I still have my eyes focused on eating clean and keeping fit! This is USTA State Championship Week! The Crud Monster is trying to show its ugly head! This often happens when I'm on the go--non-stop. But, I am taking it on! I went into the office today, but quite a few folks are sick, so I headed home and rested.

As soon as I settle down a bit, I will get pictures posted from Charleston, my trip to D.C. (see me in the sassy dress from Rose Couture to the left under Title "Still Working") and my "leaner" jeans. And I'll have to tell you about this really cool race I'm doing--Race&Relax sponsored by Disney and Cherry Juice. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

EVERYONE! The Fitter and Finer Challenge Ladies got together yesterday for the Finale and had an awesome time of fellowship. We have already geared up for Round 2!

So, how did Shay Shay do? I WON the POT! I am so proud of myself and know this is just the beginning. I lost 19.4 lbs and 11.4% of my body weight over the course of the Challenge.

Yesterday was a FABULOUS Day! I started the morning with my weigh-in and was quite pleased with the scale! Then I ventured out to the Piedmont Park Green Day 5K. I can't believe I RAN IN THE RAIN! I've come a long way, Baby!

After the race, a couple challengers and fellow runners had a wonderful meal at my favorite breakfast place-Thumbs Up! Yep, I had the heap--fried potatoes, chicken sausage, whole eggs, and cheese! Oh, and don't forget the multi-grain biscuit! It was heaven! I savored it because I won't have it again for probably another year!

The Challenge Finale was at my home. We grilled some tasty lean meats and just had a great time fellowshipping with each other. It was so beautiful to see a group of women together supporting each other toward a Fitter and Finer lifestyle. I was so thrilled to wear my "Leaner" (not skinny because I never want to be skinny) Jeans. I forgot to take a picture, but I'll take one and post them.

I ended my day with a shopping trip to Rose Couture in Riverdale. My trainer Anna Mae introduced me to this FABULOUS boutique. I got some GREAT and UNIQUE and out of my comfort zone pieces! I have some great legs and developing some great shoulders, so I'm going to show them! LOL! I can't wait to rock these beautiful pieces! I'll definitely be posting pictures!

Well, no time to be on the computer for too long. I have a busy day in front of me!

I am Shay Shay and I'm Getting Fitter and Finer and Losing Fat and Winning in Life!

Friday, April 23, 2010

One More Day to the Fitter and Finer Challenge Finale!

Not only am I glad it's FRIDAY, I am excited for the Fitter and Finer Challenge Finale tomorrow. I have worked really hard for over three months to get in better shape and lose more fat--not for the potential cash prize, but for the prize of feeling, looking, and being GREAT!

I feel so empowered as I write this morning. I feel like I am finally getting the hang of the lifestyle. I have lost 19 lbs during the challenge. I am officially the fittest I have ever been in my life! But, as I told some folks last night and this morning, "I know how to lose weight; it's the keeping it off that has been the challenge."

With the Fitter and Finer Challenge concluding and my Fitter and Finer life beginning, I am committed to KEEPING IT OFF this time! And don't get me wrong. I still have about 10 lbs of fat that I would like to lose. So, I will Keep the Momentum Going!

No matter the results of the cash prize tomorrow, I am WINNING! I say "winning" because this is a continuous journey. It will not stop and should not stop. I look forward to continuing the journey and accomplishing more in this wonderful life of mine!

I am Shay Shay, and I am Fitter and Finer!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Theme this Week: Busy, But Keeping the Momentum Going!

My blog posts are evidence that I have a lot going on right now and just can't spare enough time to really post what I want to post (but I will because I have a lot to share!).

I am happy to say that I am Keeping the Momentum Going! With TWO days left in the Challenge, I've lost about 19 lbs and over 24 lbs since I Stopped the Insanity in January. I still have much work to do to get my body fat to a satisfactory level, but I am so motivated!

Oatmeal and Protein Shake are finished, so I must go!

I am Shay Shay Fit and Getting Fitter Everyday!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So Much to Blog and No Time!

Things are quite busy right now. Lots of challenging and interesting things at work; too many evening meeting obligations; I was in beautiful Charleston area this past weekend for the Family Circle Cup; I'm preparing for the USTA 3.0 State Championship, and I'm still eating clean and working out consistently and LOSING FAT and WINNING!

I am working on time management and hope to load some pictures and share my experience in Charleston.

Until then--have a great week. I'm off to be busy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Heck, It's Been a Week-Lots of Catching Up to Do!

My how time flies! It's been a WHOLE WEEK since I blogged. Not good.

What was good was my business trip last Friday-Sunday that took my to beautiful Boca Raton, Florida. I haven't really gotten away to a paradise type location in quite some time. This little trip reminded me that getaways are a great thing! The ocean was gorgeous. The hotel was awesome. The food--EXCELLENT! I even managed to stay away from the desserts and ate pretty well. I did have one emergency breakfast moment when the meeting only had a buffet of french toast, potato hash, sugar-laden yogurt and un-clean boxed cereal. My Nectar whey protein came to the rescue along with a few pieces of fruit and a granola bar I found.

Anyhoo, it was a great networking meeting, and I LOVED LOVED LOVED Beautiful Boca! Why didn't I take pictures!

Then I got back to ATL and a very very busy week! Wednesday got here so fast! I'm working--slowly, but working--on better time management between home and work. One thing that I will not sacrifice is health and fitness, but I have to make sure I stay on top of all things--especially when work is super busy as it is now. I don't have too much of a problem with managing work, but managing home and all the responsibilities that come with home ownership and being a grown up can get overwhelming. Staying fit and energetic helps. I know I can get it all done. I'm rarely tired. I just now need to execute on the organization and prioritizing.

Oh, and I can't forget the Fitter and Finer Challenge! It's time for the COUNT DOWN! Just 10 Days to the Finale! Short term goal: Don't blow it this weekend! I'm doing well and expect huge results on April 24th. So, KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING SHAY SHAY!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Just Need to Check In

I don't have a whole lot to say, but I have to blog today. I have found that gaps in my blogging usually means that I have fallen off with my clean eating and consistent exercise. The proof is in my 2009 blog activity. Starting around Memorial Day 2009, I just lost it. I was eating all sorts of bad stuff and often. I wasn't working out consistently.

From Memorial Day to the end of 2009, I only blogged 6 times! I clearly had lost my way. I have already blogged close to 50 times in just the first 3 months of 2010. Blogging keeps me accountable to myself and the faithful few who check me out from time to time or who follow me. If I'm not blogging, I'm not focused on my journey to Lose Fat and Win. If I'm not blogging, I am too ashamed that I have detoured off the path toward lifelong health and fitness.

So, today. I am just writing to say. I'm Keeping the Momentum Going. I'm feeling great! I'm seeing progress, and I know I will reach my goals!

We have just 2 1/2 weeks toward the end of the Fitter and Finer Challenge. I'm doing well in the challenge, but the challenge for Shay Shay will not end on April 24th. I'll be working toward the next goal and blogging about it all along the way!

I am Shay Shay Fit; I'm a Health and Fitness Blogger!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Resurrection Day!

Before I get into my wonderful day, check out my new do. I really like it. THANK YOU so much Cheryl (Allen Mitchell Salon at Studioplex on Auburn Avenue) for taking me on short notice and doing a wonderful job! You're awesome! And, yes. I'm wearing a Lynard Skynyrd t-shirt. I couldn't resist getting it. I can't deny that Sweet Home Alabama is a great tune. LOL!

What a beautiful Ressurrection/Easter Day we had in ATL! My Sweetie and I joined my buddy Reesey Cup for Sunrise Service. Then we hit the gym (the new hairstyle held up) before we headed to a wonderful brunch at one of my favorite spots--Chequer's Seafood Restaurant. I can't help but chuckle at how my lifestyle really has changed.

I recall Easter Sundays where the gym was the furthest thing from my mind. I would eat WAY too much and clean eating was not even on my radar (can you say: lots of baked mac n cheese, too much homemade cornbread, lots of dressing with turkey wings, hunks of cake and/or pie, and bottles of sugar laden sparking apple cidar--all my favorites-oh my!).

This year, I made sure that I had a quality workout before indulging in any Easter meal. I even was careful at brunch avoiding the oh so tasty sweet, cinnamon raisin biscuits and pecan pie and instead filled up on lots of boiled shrimp with spicy mustard and Cioppino (shellfish in tomato broth)(which I LOVE). I didn't deprive myself though. Don't tell my trainer, Anna Mae, but I did have a spoon of the delicious crab stuffing and half of Belgium waffle with pecan and berries--yum!--easy on the syrup, but followed it up with lots of lemon water and green tea.

I left Chequer's feeling satisfied but not full. I have definitely left there in the past feeling like I was going to pop!. Today's feeling was a much better feeling! Enjoying a good meal and not feeling guilty about it. Sweet, because Shay Shay is still a foodie to the core!

To top off the day, I got to spend some time with my first cousin and his family who were in town for their daughter's volleyball tournament. So glad I was able to see them!

Tomorrow is back to the normal strict clean eating way. But, I thank God for today. It was truly awesome!