Friday, January 29, 2010

Dig Deep and Never Give Up!

I would venture to say that last night I played the most dramatic match of my very short time playing competitive tennis. My Mixed Doubles team had a make-up match. My partner and I had never played with each other, but we learned quite a bit about each other very quickly (other than that he had kidney stones--which you wouldn't have known by his tough playing). We both like to run down balls (so talking to each other was key--we only managed to run into each other once!); we don't mind being patient with our shots (although I was less patient at times and suffered for it), but we are aggressive at the net, and we both have a lot of fight in us! Here's out things played:

First Set: My partner and I got off to a really slow start. I can only speak for myself: I made way too many errors and couldn't get my lob game on like I wanted. We were down 0-4 and then managed to turn the tides and get to 6-6 (tiebreak)! I say managed, but it was definitely no accident. We stepped it up! My partner informed me that he had a perfect tiebreak record, so we had no choice but to "do the darn thang!" as my Women's Double team would say! And did we-We won the tiebreak 7-4 and took the set!

Second Set: You would think that with the momentum from the first set, we would have just gunned it in the second set. NOPE! We found ourselves down AGAIN, but this time 1-4. Just CRAZY! I had some of the same lob issues from the first set and then our opponents decided to "pick on the girl" so everything came to me. But Shay Shay is NO PUNK ON THE COURT! I thought about Serena being down 0-4 in the Aussie Open and modeled her mindset: "I have nothing to lose." I got to some tough shots and made some really good shots. It also helped to hear my teammates cheer "good shot Shannon!" from the sidelines (I have always wanted to entertain and be on stage. Hobby tennis is as close as I'll get!) My partner and I communicated throughout and my partner got in great shots when he actually could get the ball returned to him and BOOM, BOOM, BOOM--6-6 (tiebreak) AGAIN!

Second Set Tiebreak: Recall that my partner has a PERFECT tiebreak record. So, I felt the pressure (not exerted by him; totally Shay Shay pressure). We were slow out the gate in the tie break, but my partner served up two beautiful serves to get us back on track, and I held tough getting to balls at the baseline that seemed out of reached.

So we get to tiebreak game point and match point; it's 6-5. My partner served up a BEAUTIFUL ACE--MATCH POINT OURS!

But wait, it's not over. The opponents' teammate says from the sideline (after my partner and I hug and celebrate), "Hey it was not his serve. It was his partner's serve [that would be Shay Shay], but it doesn't matter. You didn't catch it, so it's over. "

Well, our opponents were clearly annoyed by our mistake (and it was a MISTAKE) and I detected in their facial expressions that they at least contemplated that we may have cheated. Well, Shay Shay wasn't going down like that! I DON'T HAVE TO CHEAT TO WIN!

So, my partner and I decided to replay the point. We did and I served it up. We got one off my serve--score now 7-6.

Now, it's the other lady's serve. And she somehow gets one of the dead balls on the court. So, now she and her partner are testing out balls. I start doing jumping jacks because Shay Shay refused to let the delay cool me. Then I see a ball and saw it over to our lady opponent.

First serve: in the net.

Second serve: in the net.

We Win! But oh so anti-climatic after my partner's HARDCORE ACE earlier.

Our team took 4 out of 5 points. Yay! Drama Over. On to the next match. Lesson: Dig Deep and Never Give Up! Thanks for the lesson, Partner!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week 1 & Introducing Shay Shay Fit

Today marks the end of week 1 of the McGhee Ladies Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge. We now have 24 participants. COME ON #25!

I did okay the first week, but I did not put in the effort to get to Shay Shay Fit (my profile name for The Challenge) mode! I need to kick it up a notch so that my body will be shocked into some SERIOUS fat loss!

I can tell already this will be a fun, but competitive challenge. Folks are already talking smack--I hear you "UMPH"! I'm ready for you! LOL!


I am Shay Shay Fit!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Never Leave Home Without Them . . .

So, I am back from work travel. I had a good food run and managed exercise while away. But, I have to remember to never leave home without a few things:

1. My Ipod! There is nothing worse than going to a hotel gym, especially if it is small, without having your own tunes to get you through your workout!

2. My jump rope. Not all gyms--especially hotel gyms--are created equally. Many of them are super, but enough of them are small with little equipment. All the business travelers seem to wake up at the same time to hit the gym. This can't be an excuse. A good jump rope and my body are all I need to get a pretty good workout!

3. Snacks. You just can't count on being able to get good clean snacks on the road-when you want them. My hotel didn't even have fruit in its little market! The truck apparently didn't come in!

4. My discipline. It is so easy to fall off the wagon when you are traveling. Excuses are everywhere. Then I come back home. Get on the scale. Get mad with only myself to blame! Why even go through this exercise! If waiters bring my whole wheat toast smothered in butter, send it back! If my fish arrives swimming in sauce, send it back. Who cares if they think I am a pain. Shedding extra pounds gained will be more painful! And, I believe most folks in the kitchen understand that this nation is suffering with obesity. So, I am going to believe they don't get as peeved with us healthy-eating folks as we think!

5. My scale. This is really a wish more than a practical must bring on the road item. I daily weigh for motivation or a kick in the pants (this is not for the faint at heart). I miss my morning weigh-ins while on the road. Is there a portable scale out there????!!!!???!!!!

Oh, and if I ever stay in a small town hotel again, I'll pick the highest floor possible. I was on the first floor and woke each morning to the smell of bacon! Not good! I'm glad I haven't had pork in over 10 years and thus wasn't tempted!

Safe travels to all you business travelers out there!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let the Challenge Begin!

Today is the day that about 20 tennis court fabulous divas embark on a journey with me (along with our Challenge Motivator/Coach Anna Mae) to shed some fat! Today begins the McGhee Ladies Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge. Our goal: lose as much weight that our discipline allows and log in the highest weight loss percentage by April 18th.

I am so excited to take this challenge with this awesome group of women! Pretty much every woman that received Shay Shay's Challenge accepted--without hesitation!

I can't wait to see our results! Watch out ATL tennis community--we're coming to the courts stronger, healthier, and FINER than our current fine!

There is nothing like some good ol' fashion competition to get Shay Shay going. The last friendly challenge I did with a couple good friends back in 2007--I won (although now that I think about it, I never cashed in! LOL! But, the pounds I shed got me jump started to Losing Fat and Winning in Life!)

There are some fierce competitors in this group of women, so I have to step up my fitness and eating clean game.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Can't Go Without My Cooler! Must Grocery Shop!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate errands. And grocery shopping is an errand! So, I try to do it as little as possible.

The problem is--without grocery shopping I cannot stock up on my clean eats (unless someone out there is volunteering to go shopping for me). If I don't have my clean eats, I can't fill my cooler with the 5-6 fat burning meals. If I don't I my cooler, then I have to spend a bunch of mental energy on trying to find something in a restaurant or our employee cafe'. This is no fun either and can get expensive--to my purse and my waist. Yesterday evening, I had to eat out before my tennis match because I didn't have my cooler packed. I paid $10 for a "healthy as [I ]want[ed] to be Greek wrap with chicken. It was good, but it was $10!

So, before work, I went to the grocery store and picked up a few things. I bought enough to supplement the slow cooker stew I made with other fat burning choices.

Today, I am equipped with my cooler. Today will be a good fat loss day!

I am in a good place now.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Could It Be???

French fries without the guilt??? Baked, but crispy?

I am not one of those people how can't live without french fries. However, every now and then Shay Shay can appreciate a good french fry. Unfortunately, good french fries usually come with bad calories and fat.

Well, not any more!!!

evos recently opened in ATL. They have fast food type treats without all the grease, guilt, and highly processed ingredients. Now you still have to be careful if you are trying to watch food intake to lose fat. I carefully scanned the very detailed nutrition guide and decided on a cup of veggie chili (110 calories) and the Airbaked Fries (230 calories for the small). Now, you can't expect the fries to taste exactly like the grease laden, deep fried french fries, which one can't deny are super tasty. But, these Airbaked Fries did the trick to Shay Shay!

So, while I will not be eating there everyday, I will go again. I will go when I am in the mood for fast food type food like chicken tenders, milk shake, or french fries or when colleagues want to go out for lunch.

On the regular, I am going to continue to cook my clean eats. But could I really have a treat day without it being a total cheat! SWEET!!!

By the way, the chicken, chickpeas, and sweet potato dish I prepared in the slow cooker was really tasty! It didn't look like the picture; it turned out more like a stew because I had to cook it much longer than the recipe stated. It reminded me of the tasty Indian dishes I order. I enjoyed it and am inspired to try more new recipes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cooking it Up!

I wouldn't say that I love to cook. I don't mind cooking when I have time. I usually make the time to cook primarily when I entertain, which I DO LOVE! I love when my guests' taste buds are happy because of something I made.

These days I am trying make more time to cook more just for me. I know that cooking my own food is key to living a true Eat Clean lifestyle. With the frequent cooking I do for others, you would think that I have many fancy tools to help prepare meals. Naw. My cooking tools are pretty simple. This was fine when I was not cooking regularly, but I need to step it up if I am going to making cooking a regular habit and try new clean eating recipes.

So, to start I bought an apple slicer and peeler, a new can opener, and my good friend bought me a fancy salad spinner. I also have a slow cooker that a friend gave me a couple years ago that I finally pulled out of the cabinet.

Just with these few new items, I have made some tasty clean eating dishes. My favorite: Apple "Pie". I cut and peeled apples, put them in a pan with butter cooking spray, chopped walnuts, lots of cinnamon, and two individual packs of Splenda. I then covered the apples and let them simmer. When they were nice and tender, I put the apples in a dish, sprinkled old fashioned oats and baked. YUMMY! Apple "Pie" with NO GUILT and good fat burning ingredients! Next time I may going to nix the Splenda (which I only have for guests; cinnamon usually does the trick for me).

As I type, I have Chicken Marrakesh in the slow cooker. The recipe is on page 92 of the February 2010 Oxygen. It has Chicken, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes and various spices. I can't wait to taste it.

Speaking of spices: I have also discovered a Metro Atlanta institution. The Dekalb Farmer's Market. I often wouldn't try clean eating recipes because the spices were sometimes so foreign to me and not easily found in the grocery store. I have no more excuses. The Farmer's Market seems to have every spice know to man AND CHEAP!

My goal is to try one new clean eating recipe a week. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just So I Keep the Momentum . . .

I am happy to say that I have lost 3 lbs during my first week of getting my you know what in gear. Three pounds may not sound like a big deal, but everyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows that 3 lbs is a huge deal!

Although 3 lbs is but a drop in the bucket of my overall goal, I have decided to share my weekly progress so that I don't lose sight of my goal and so I will be shamed if I slip and go backwards!

So, here's to the first 3 lbs!

Keep the Momentum, Shay Shay! Keep working out consistently, eating clean, getting 7 hours of sleep, not eating after 8 PM, positive energy around me, and blogging! Definitely keep blogging!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Jeans Are the Thing . . .

I know so many women who have them. Skinny Jeans. The unforgiving, can't rely on Lycra, slim in the thighs, designer skinny jeans! TV shows talk about them. There are groups and websites about them. I have a pair of my own. And just 8 months ago I was probably no more than 5 lbs away from going out in the ATL in them.

Well, this is today. And today, I am not exactly only 5 lbs away from strutting about the town in those jeans. But, I am not fretting. I am FIGHTING! Shay Shay is fighting back. I am fighting with the sword of clean eating, the shield of clean eating, the breastplate of discipline, and the helmet of focus.

By Spring, I will get into those jeans. I will look great in those jeans. But, my jeans will not just be "skinny" jeans. They will be lean muscle, toned legs and abs to envy jeans. I will do this!

I am Shay Shay!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hibernating but Not Storing Up on the Bad Stuff!

This winter has been the coldest since I moved to ATL! Thursday night the ice came. I don't mess with the ice--more importantly, I don't mess with those who try to drive on the ice! After waking up to news of a 29 car pile up and seeing the icy hill that I would have to test in front of my house, I decided to work from home. And, I didn't leave all day! I worked as much as I could (our office closed early), then I hibernated at home. There was no reason to leave!

Thank goodness I had cleared out all the bad snacks that I had accumulated over the holidays. I stuck to clean, regular eating through out the day. There was no need to overeat or try to figure out how to make a good snack into a bad one (those darn Stacey's Pita Chips are good snacks, but they also taste so good that they can turn into a bad snack because you want to eat the whole bag!). Storing up extra calories was not an option!

My muscles were still sore from the weight training earlier this week, so I decided to take the day as a rest day. So, I had to be even more careful not to overeat while still keeping my metabolism up.

I still haven't figured out if I will venture out today. Tennis was cancelled because of road conditions and ice on the courts. Whatever I do, I am determined to eat sensibly. I will try to get in some exercise. I have plenty of options to burn calories right here at home!

No excuses!

I have goals to reach!

I am COLD, but I am still Shay Shay! The warm weather is coming, and I WILL be ready this time!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

These Legs are Made for Working Out!

Ah, today was leg day! I love leg day! When you have nice, strong, toned legs everyone notices! I have been blessed with pretty nice legs. They are not where I want them to be, but I can still work a nice pair of heels or tennis skirt! LOL!

Of all my body parts, my legs tone up the fastest when I workout. My legs are also 10 times stronger than my upper body. This may be why I love leg day so much. Consistent, efficient leg work equals some pretty darn toned legs for Shay Shay in NO TIME!

And today was a WORK OUT! My legs haven't worked this hard in quite some time! If Anna Mae (my trainer) had been there, my legs would have stopped after the first 10 minutes!

Well its doing some sort of snow/sleet thing, so I am glad I got leg day in this morning!

Now, I can bundle up by the fire with my blanket and a 100 calorie pack of popcorn and enjoy some Shay Shay time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Word Motivators

I'm one of those people who really appreciates the power of words. Anyone who knows me knows that I am very deliberate in my communication--often carefully choosing my words to make sure the message I want to convey is accurately heard.

While in cycling class, the instructor asked "How fine do you want to be?" His words rang so true to me that I started spinning like crazy! I want to be as fine as I know I can be! :-)

On my ride home, I started to ponder: If the cycling instructors words motivated me to give me all, what other words will motivate me and how will I use them to Keep the Momentum Going!!!

Since I'm addicted to the Crackberry, I'm going to put reminders on my calendar with motivating words that will pop up throughout the day to remind me why I am on this journey and what it takes to get there. I will use these words to motivate me to positive action toward accomplishing my fat loss goals.

Here are just a few:

1. Nothing tastes as great as being Fit, Fine, and Healthy feels!
2. Keep the Momentum Going!
3. Eating that sugar now will make this journey HARDER tomorrow!
4. How fine do you want to be, Shay Shay?!?!
5. I Have It in Me to be All I Should Be!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! and Stopping the Insanity!

Well, I think today is the last day I can say Happy New Year without sounding too lame!

Several people have asked me if I had New Year's resolutions. Answer: NO!

What I do have is a body that is not at goal! Not only am I not at goal, I am not even as close as I was just seven (7) months ago! And for seven (7) months I've been "getting back on track" only to get farther and farther away from my goal. I actually hesitated being so honest about this failure, but the proof is in the closet. And in the dressing room. And in the pictures. You get my drift!

So, what is Shay Shay going to do about it!?!?!

I am going to STOP THE INSANITY! I'm going to stop doing the same thing and expecting a different result!

1. Training with a trainer again. I first noticed my goals slipping away when I stopped working with my trainer who obviously had other stuff going on such that he could not commit to the training program we had agreed upon. But, I can't blame him. This is my Life and my Journey. I have to control it!

So, this morning I started having formal training again. It was TOUGH and GREAT all at the same time! I am sore as I type, but it's that nice kind of sore that reminds you that you accomplished something that was good for you today. I'm looking forward to consistent training and will make sure I keep a trainer in my fitness world!

2. Stop all the Food Compromises and Setting Dates to Get Back on Track! Every time I get to a place where I say, "I'm really making great progress; I'm going to get to my goal" I start the food compromises. The series of compromises turn into just plain ol' bad eating and then I say, I am going to get through to Date X and then back on track! ENOUGH! I am not crazy enough to think I will never eat something that is less than clean. I am not crazy enough to even think that I shouldn't indulge from time to time. But, I when I do indulge, I need to savor the moment and MOVE ON to restored clean eating with the very next food opportunity.

And that's it. 1-2; 1-2. I am not going to focus on a bunch of different things. If I just do these two (2) things, I will reach my goal!

Stay tuned . . .