Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shay Shay's Mane--Part II

Here are the pictures from my very long, but exciting day at the salon.
The first picture is just after Hikmah's apprentice Dominique aka Dirty Girl took out the small braids that held the weave tracks together. Dirty Girl really got down and dirty and did a great job! This could have been painful, but she handled my head with such care!

The next picture is a self portrait in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru. By this time, the permanent color was in my hair and setting in. I was not prepared food wise for the long day and only had almonds and dried apricots and mango. I was STARVING! As you can see I had no shame! I left the salon sporting a plastic cap and cape and got a tasty Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich with extra pickles! I HAVE to have EXTRA PICKLES! It really hit the spot. I was ready for the rest of the process.
The next picture is my colored, wet hair. This gives me a preview of the curl pattern of my locks. I'm liking it! We may explore this more down the road.
Then here is my mane all blown out. WOW! I have NEVER EVER EVER had this MUCH HAIR! It's ALL Mine and completely chemical free. I am liking my hair like I like my diet--as clean and as little processed as possible!
And the FINAL RESULT-- for now! I am very pleased with my hair. Hikmah did a bang up job! We decided to press it straight today so that Hikmah could properly trim my ends, which really weren't that bad considering that it's been quite some time since my ends had been trimmed. We'll try more styles in a couple weeks that may be able to better adapt to my active lifestyle.
I look forward to exploring more options with my hair. We'll see how I can manage it, especially as it gets more humid. I am going to put in real effort to keep my own locks flow. Besides, I can ALWAYS go back to a low maintenance weave if I desire. :-)

Shay Shay's Mane-A History and Hair Anticipation, Part I

Most people who really know me, know that I am very up front about my hair. I am very honest about how in the past I have used the maintenance of my hair as an excuse NOT to work out. My hair used to be chemically relaxed (permed straight). For someone like me who hates to maintain my mane (and really not all that great at it), sweating out my relaxed hair (especially fresh do) was not going to happen!

And moving to Georgia, with this extra humidity, made managing my hair just awful! In Summer 2006, at the urging of my good friend Gina, I decided to get braids. They were nicely done, but I just didn't feel like me (although this may have also been due to the extra weight I was carrying).

I took out the braids and because of how much my natural hair had grown, my stylist at the time and I decided to stop chemically relaxing my hair. I was going to let my natural mane grow and go back to old fashioned hot straightening combs. Nice concept if you are NOT trying to get back in shape!

In June 2007, I discovered clean eating and hair weaves. It is not like I didn't know about hair weaves, but I had never considered them an option for me. I got my weave and the rest is history!

I've been wearing a full head weave and loving it! See me and my full weave in the picture above this past December. It has been awesome not having to worry about my mane while working out and playing tennis. Many times, I've been on the tennis courts until really late and had to rush home to get ready for an evening formal event. Ordinarily this would stress the best of women, but with my full weave getting all done up and looking fabulous in a short time was a snap!

It's been almost four years without chemically processing my hair and almost three years of consistent weave wearing, except a brief two week stint when I took it out for Gina's wedding. I have a beautiful healthy head of hair--with no chemicals--underneath this full weave.

In about two hours, I am going to my awesome stylist Hikmah Hassoun ( and we're going to take out this weave! This time there will be no hair waiting for me when I arrive. I have only a slight idea of what Hikmah will do, but I trust her. As I type, my emotions are mixed. I am excited and nervous at the same time.

This is a HUGE step for me. Stay tuned . . .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Thanks for the Accountability!

This morning, after some cardio and a tough upper body workout, I came home and packed my bag for an evening workout. I left work all motivated to get in some good cardio and BRAKE: no gym bag in the car!

I called my buddy Reesey Cup (her last name is Reese; she doesn't eat much candy) to share my disappointment that I couldn't make it to the gym. She and I often meet each other at the gym and hold each other accountable. Like a true fitness accountability buddy, she immediately said, "Ah, why can't you go to Target?" Right. I get it. If I want to work out, there are really no excuses!

I actually had a pair of my tennis shoes and socks in my tennis bag, so all I really needed were a pair of shorts and top. Instead of Target, I went to the sports store next door to the gym. Low and behold: A big ol' clearance rack. I not only got a good deal, I got shorts and a top that I will wear again with no problem!

I got in some quality cardio, and I sit hear thankful that I have Reesey Cup to hold me accountability.

Time to retire for the evening. A morning workout awaits!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mission Accomplished: USTA City Champions!

We Did It! The McGhee Super Slammers are City Champions!!!! Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day in the ATL and an AWESOME day for TENNIS!

My wonderful team: the McGhee Super Slammers (3.0 Business Women) left it all on the courts with a 4-1 victory over our division mates. The matches were tough, but we were tougher!


Excited can't even describe what I am feeling. This team has come full circle: losing in the Semi-Finals in Winter 2008-09 and losing in the Finals in Summer 2009. But Winter 2009-10 was OUR SEASON! We endured harsh winter conditions, make-up matches galore, and traveling long distances for play-off matches. We knew we could do it and we did!

I LOVE YOU McGhee Super Slammers! I am honored to be a part of you! I look forward to hitting the courts with you at the STATE in 14 Weeks!

Let's Prepare our Minds and Bodies and Get Ready to Have Some Fun!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So Pumped!

In just two days, my team will hit the courts to WIN the USTA 3.0 Business Women City Finals! I am so PUMPED! I am also pumping iron and getting in some major cardio this week. I am feeling so great being back on track.

I have so much to keep me on track too: First, winning the City. Second, winning the Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge. Third, once we win the City, going to the State Championship, vacations . . . Heck, let's face it. Major events aren't the only things that I have to keep me on track. It's the everyday things too: having energy to conquer each day, healthy and active living through my elder years, and I can't forget: jeans, tailored pants, sexy dresses, and high heels (the legs have to be tight!).

So, while preparing for events is great. Events come and go, but everyday living is here to stay!

Shay Shay must live life to the fullest--healthy, joyful, and active!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Challenge Week 4 Ends

As I finish up my power breakfast of egg whites and salsa in a Flatout wrap and baked cinnamon apples, I am feeling great! I got to bed early and rose early to get in a good hour of cardio this morning. It may be tough to get up, but it is so worth it (remember this Shay Shay!)!

This morning marks the end of week 4 of the McGhee Ladies Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge and week 6 of my personal Stop the Insanity mission. I may not be precisely on track, but I am close--10 lbs lost! With a few tweaks to my training and diet, I know I will meet my goal by May 1st.

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency! Preparation, Preparation, Preparation! Focus, Focus, Focus! These things will get me to my goal and then I can move on to maintaining.

I can see the Fitter and Finer Shay Shay!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Monday, February 15, 2010

We're Going to the City Finals!

Congratulations to the McGhee 3.0 Ladies Super Slammers for working hard through a crazy weather season to make it to the USTA Atlanta City Finals Championship!

Although I am excited, I am not partying hard yet--we have some unfinished business to handle! Last year we lost in the Finals. So, we have a score to settle! We are going in PREPARED, FOCUSED, and with the TEAM SPIRIT that has gotten us to this point.

I LOVE this team! I know we can do it this time!


Shay Shay

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm Really Cooking Now!

A few posts ago I discussed that I am trying to cook more and cook more new things. I've learned to that be successful on this journey, you HAVE to cook and you HAVE to change what you cook every now and then.
A clever, but wise young man commented to this blog that I need to show some pictures of the things I am cooking. So, I have decided to share a few pictures: Lemon Pepper Chicken, BBQ Chicken, and Three Bean Crockpot Chili.
Off to find more recipes!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow Outside, No Junk Food Inside!

Yesterday the snow fell, and fell, and fell! I totally underestimated the forecast. As a native of rural Virginia who had many real snow days as a child, I laughed at all the folks in ATL rushing to the grocery store and closing schools. But, we actually got about 4-6 inches--that's the equivalent of a foot of snow in a city that is not use to much snow fall.

Work released us early and I ventured home to get settled for a work conference call I had. I still didn't think the snow would keep falling, but it did. The picture is the view from my porch this morning. It's is quite lovely, but I am already ready for it to melt so that I can get on the tennis courts--we're in the Semi-finals for goodness sake!

Times like these are not only dangerous for travel, but also dangerous for your waist line! Thankfully, I am committed to this fat loss journey so the most waistline offensive things in my house are oranges, apples, and Stacey's pita chips (which can be really dangerous without will power)!

I am also thankful I got in a really tough cycling session yesterday morning. Tennis is cancelled today (boooo!), so I'll be working it out inside the house with either Wii Fit or Mr. Billy Blanks. Being stuck in the house will not excuse me from doing what I need to do to reach my goals!

I am Snow Bunny Shay Shay Fit!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Few of My Favorite (Food) Things

As I have been trying to eat cleaner, I am reminded of some of the foods and dishes that I have grown to love on this journey and of new foods that I am glad I have discovered. So, to all those folks who think I eat twigs and bark look at what I really do eat and enjoy:

--baked sweet potatoes
--tamari flavored tofu and veggies with multigrain biscuit (Thumbs Up Diner--my favorite breakfast spot)
--greek yogurt (plain) with cinnamon and blueberries
--warm old fashioned oatmeal in the morning with mashed bananas (and flaxseed and bee pollen-but these are twigs and bark like I guess)
--hearty homemade bean soups and stews
--homemade trailmix with apricots, raisins, raw nuts and seeds
--Flatout Wraps (thanks for the introduction Anna Mae!)
--Hummus and Stacey's pita chips (but not too many chips!)
--spinach--for breakfast (egg white scramble), lunch, or dinner
--grilled cheese (I only use 3 or 4 cubes of cheese) and tomato on Ezekiel bread
--green tea (it's so cold, so this does the body good on so many levels!)
--Bison burgers--but only at the right spot--Ted's Montana Grill is a good spot
--Indian vegetarian dishes--especially garbanzo beans with whole wheat roti or naan

These are just a few things. I'm a foodie. I can't deny. So, I just have to continue to figure out ways to satisfy my love of a good meal with my desire to look great!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week 3 Ends: Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

I know I've blogged about this before, but I want to declare--especially during the Fitter and Finer Challenge--that I am a TORTOISE! I have to stay focused and remember that slow and steady wins the race.

I find myself often looking at the calendar and counting down the weeks to the end of the Challenge and figuring out where I'll be in relation to my goal weight at specific times on the calendar. I know this sounds obsessive. But I think I need a little obsession these days to keep me focused!

I can't get discouraged because I only lost a pound or two in a week. That's great progress and the healthy way to promote long-term healthy weight maintenance.

I am a the Tortoise. I am focusing on STEADY and not slow.

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kettlebells, NOT My Momma's Treadmill!

There was a time when I was all over kettlebells. I was going to a kettlebell gym and loving it! It's an awesome, lower impact, but high burn workout that gives me cardio and strength training all in about 45 minutes--SWEET!

Well, the kettlebell gym was not close to my house and I let the logistics of getting there get in the way. But, all wasn't lost. My Sweetie gave me some of his kettlebells (he introduced kettlebells and eating clean to me--So Awesome and Supportive!) and convinced me to buy a few of my own.

I have used them some, but for much longer than I would like to admit, they were sitting in corner. I would pass them. They would look at me longingly. House guests would inquire about them. But still they didn't make it into my routine.

Until this morning. Today is tennis day (Go McGhee 3.0 USTA Ladies--2nd round of play-offs!). I wanted to do something to wake up my body, but I didn't feel like leaving the house and driving to the gym. I considered ol' faithful Billy Blanks, but I have worked out with him twice this week.

And, I walked passed my kettlebells. I decided today was the day to incorporate them back into my routine. I decided that they would not become my treadmill--in a corner of a room that I don't use much. Besides, I can't hang clothes on kettlebells (or put document boxes on them as my dear mother did (sorry to call you out, Mom). So, I may as well use them, right?

I only did about 4 exercises x 3. Yet, I still worked up a sweat and had to focus on my breathing.

I am going to find some kettlebell aids so that I can have the tools to effectively use them at home until I can figure out how to get fit the kettlebell gym back into my world.

Kettlebells--not my momma's treadmill.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Oh How the Legs Burn!

Recall how much I LOVE Leg Day! Well, today there was A LOT OF LEG DAY TO LOVE! My trainer Anna Mae decided to work over time today. It was tough, but really cool because she did some things with me that I hadn't done with other trainers before. Burn, Burn, Burn did the legs today!

Then she piled on abs! I struggled a little bit, but I got through the workout and AM SO GLAD THAT I DID! No matter how hard it gets during the workout, I always feel so AWESOME when it is done. So ACCOMPLISHED! I even did an extra 30 minutes of cardio afterwards.

I have to keep telling myself that the workout may be tough in the gym, but Shay Shay will have a mean looking body when this is all done!


I am Shay Shay Fit!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Insanity has Ceased! Now Recharged!

It's been one month since I decided to Stop the Insanity, and I am proud to say that it has ceased! I have been exercising all sorts of discipline, working out consistently, and cooking. I feel great and am seeing results. I just need to Keep the Momentum Going.

To help, I just purchased two new Tosca Reno books: The Eat-Clean Cookbook and The Eat Clean Diet-Recharged!

Recharged. How about that?! Recharged is exactly how I am feeling! I realized that I had made getting back on track much harder than it has to be. Planning and Thinking is really what it takes to be successful on this journey. My trainer Anna Mae is a wonderful real life example for me. She has shown me that I can truly live a eat clean and healthy lifestyle and enjoy life all at the same time.

I'm vowing to be on the journey to stay!

I am Shay Shay Fit-RECHARGED!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

End of Week 2: Keep the Momentum Going!

Week 2 of the McGhee Ladies Fitter and Finer Challenge ends today. But, for me it has been 4 weeks since I got myself back in gear to FINALLY reach my body goals by this summer. How am I doing?

The Strategy:
  • Consistently maintaining eat clean principles
  • Consistently maintaining cardio and strength training regime
  • Consistently maintaining food journal

The Results:

  • Lost 9.4 lbs since January 5th
  • Lost 4.2 lbs since start of the Challenge
  • Noticeable changes in body shape (i.e. toning muscles)

What I'll do going forward: KEEP THE MOMENTUM and CONSISTENCY GOING!!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kicking It Ol' School

One of my tennis teammates is over 40 and has a super lean, but muscular body--especially awesome legs. Ironically, she has been given the name Red Hot Link (like the sausage, but her body is definitely no sausage). Anyhoo, the other day she mentioned how she is a long time Tae Bo fan and although it has been on the market FOREVER she still works out to this trusty ol' faithful workout.

So, this morning I dusted off my old Tae Bo VHS tapes (yep, VHS. I still have them and still have a VCR) and got to kicking with Mr. Billy Blanks!

It was great! It was as tough as I remembered. I know it works (Red Hot Link is evidence of that), so I will re-incorporate Ol' School Tae Bo into my workouts and look forward to the results!

Happy Monday! I am Shay Shay Fit!