Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kicking it Up a Notch!

With less than 4 weeks left in the Fitter and Finer Challenge and warm weather and swimsuit season right behind, it's time for Shay Shay to KICK IT UP A NOTCH!

Progress has been okay since Stopping the Insanity (~17 lbs since 1/5/2010). My Challenge Progress is not too shabby, but still slightly behind my pace (~12 lbs since 1/19/2010). I have to focus a little bit more with my clean eating and REALLY get my cardio and strength training on!

I know I can and WILL reach my goal this year.

P.S. I won my first match at the B1 level. I am going to build on this and work hard to get more and more competitive at this more advanced level.

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Friday, March 26, 2010

That's My Song!

I have always said that I would be open (as open as appropriate) and honest on this blog. So, I will admit that at one time I just didn't get the hype about the music group Black Eyed Peas. Then came Boom Boom Pow. This high tempo song really got me. It became my theme song for our USTA Championship run during the Summer (when we made it to the finals) and Winter (when WE WON!).

Something about this song just does it for Shay Shay. Proof: I had an Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA) match Wednesday. For reasons that are too complex to explain in this post, we're playing at a much higher level this season. It's tough. We're actually playing pretty well, but we have been falling short with the wins (this is humbling for Shay Shay). Anyhoo, my partner and I were struggling a bit, and I was up for the serve. All of a sudden my teammate D, who is my music box when I need motivation, says: Boom Boom Pow! I toss the ball and BOOM BOOM POW! ACE! A true Ace--not a "the opponent was not ready for the serve ace." It was a "just how my coach and I practiced, ball had the right speed, and hit the perfect corner spot of the service box" ACE! It was so SWEET! I need to find this serve again. LOL!

This morning I was struggling a little bit in cycling class. I really woke up thinking, "maybe I should get back in bed." I think I am coming down with a slight case of the "going at it too hard and not resting enough" crud (throat a tad sore, energy level a little down). Because I knew my teammate Nneezy was going to class (because I woke her up. LOL!), I got the motivation to go to class. I was working hard, but like I said struggling a bit. Then, all of a sudden a Boom Boom Pow remix came through the speakers. Nneezy was on the bike next to me. She gave me a look like-that's your song. All of a sudden my fist started pumping and my legs started MOVING! I was able to finish off the class with a Pow!

Thank you Black Eyed Peas for giving me some theme music. I now get it. And that Showdown song is off the chain too. It will be my new theme song as I work through this ALTA season, get ready for the USTA State Championships, and get ready for a swimsuit summer!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Month Left in the Fitter and Finer Challenge!

We have exactly ONE MONTH left in the McGhee Ladies Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge. I am so proud of the lifestyle changes I am seeing in this group. Folks are getting up earlier to hit the gym; paying attention and seeking resources about what they eat, and we're supporting each other although this is technically a competition.

I am especially proud of me (of course!). I now feel like I am not just working toward the challenge but really making long term changes to my lifestyle. This time just feels different than other times when I "got back on track."

This time, I'm just doing it. It doesn't feel forced. I'm consistently eating clean, but if I want a little something I am figuring out how to indulge without going overboard or back tracking. Having a consistent trainer like Anna Mae is also priceless, but she can't make me do what I need to do when I'm out of her sight. I have to be my own force: I'm STOPPING THE INSANITY and I'm NOT looking back!

If this sounds like Shay Shay's personal pep rally, it is! I'm dynamite, I know it, and ready to explode. I'm dynamite and know it, I'm tick-tick-tick-tick-BOOM! DYNAMITE! Tick-tick-tick BOOM! DYNAMITE! Oops, I got caught up in high school cheerleading memories.

Seriously, I have to do what I need to do to Keep the Momentum even if I have to cheer myself on (although I am so thankful to all those who are noticing my progress and letting me know).

I am Shay Shay Fit.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Leg Day Surprise!

This morning Anna Mae threw me for a loop and incorporated some new, tougher leg exercises. I whined a little while in the gym, but as I type I feel awesome and accomplished because I survived!

I know I can get to my goals, and I am thankful to have Anna Mae to guide me there.

Oh, and I took my time in the grocery store last night and got the proper beets for my salad--store brand, canned (just rinse to get rid of much of the salt added), with NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! That fancy jar I got the other day sucked me in and was worth nothing! I look forward to eating my clean beets on my shrimp and spinach salad with feta, mandarin oranges, and walnuts--YUM!

Happy Tuesday!

I am Shay Shay Fit

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's All About the Labels!

My schedule has been a little wacky over the last few weeks, so I have not had a chance (or more accurately haven't taken the chance) to really take my time in the grocery store. I've been dashing in and out picking up things here and there so that I can eat as clean and consistently as possible.

I had really been looking forward to adding some beets to my meal plan--tasty and major nutrient benefits. A few days ago, between stops, I hit the grocery store. While talking on the phone (like driving, the phone is not good while grocery shopping), I picked up a jar of beets.

Tonight I got a major disappointment with those beets. For a meal tomorrow, I defrosted some cooked shrimp to put on a spinach salad with mandarin oranges, chopped walnuts/sunflower seeds, and feta. YUM! The beets were going to be the perfect addition. I threw a few on top and put the meal in the refrigerator. A few moments later, I remembered that I hadn't put the jar of beets in the refrigerator. When I went back to the kitchen to do so, I decided to look at the ingredients. BAM--there it was High Fructose Corn Syrup! Yikes!

Normally, I am so careful in the grocery store and pay close attention to labels when I cannot get fresh food, which is the best way to ensure the food item is clean. I learned a lesson from a loaf of wheat bread when I first started eating clean (almost three years ago) and went grocery shopping. But this time, I was so busy running in the store, trying to hurry up, and talking on the phone, I picked up the beets and checked out without checking to see what ingredients were added.

While I am not big on labels for fashion (although I am brand loyal to a particular shoe brand--my feet are "special"), when eating clean I MUST pay attention to labels! The fewer ingredients the better and NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!

Lesson learned-AGAIN!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Beautiful Day!

The flowered trees are blooming. The temperature is nice. The sun blessed us with its warm and bright presence. Ah, Spring is FINALLY here!
Today was a GORGEOUS day and I took FULL advantage of it. I started the morning off with some of the McGhee Fitter and Finer Challengers (and son) at the Publix 5 K Run. It was a beautiful morning, and I didn't do too shabby with my race time. We had a really good time.
The Publix 5 K kicked off tomorrow's ING Georgia Half and Full Marathon race. I ran the Half Marathon last year. I am happy to have checked that box (training was tough and not conducisve to a strength traingin regime, which I NEED) and am thrilled to just run short races here and there because these races are just one small part of my overall fitness plan. Save the Date: May 1st, Tri-Cities 10K/5K Run/Walk; College Park/East Point/Hapeville
After a great post-race breakfast at my favorite spot Thumbs Up (I had the tamari marinated tofu and veggies-yum! The peach perserve was OFF THE CHAIN!), I took a cat nap, did a little house work, and then HIT THE TENNIS COURTS with some of my teammates/fellow Fitter and Finer Challengers. We had a great time and took full advantage of the great weather (tomorrow's match is looking a little sketchy due to 90% chance of showers. arrgghh).
After tennis, I enjoyed a nice dinner with some girlfriends at my other favorite spot: Bhojanic (I'm still staying away from the tasty, but high calorie Mango Lassie I use always to enjoy)! We always have a great time cutting up--lots of laughter ALWAYS!
Just an AWESOME day!
I'm tired, but I am so glad that I enjoyed today to the Fullest with Fitness, Friends, and Fun!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Only a few words today . . .


One more thing: Despite an inclination to "stress eat" yesterday, I only had dried mango with low sugar to curb the urge. It did the trick. This is my life and I am totally cool with it!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Got Up and Glad I Did

I'm not sure if it's the Daylight Saving Time change, the back to back tennis with workouts included, or just being plain ol' tired, but I wasn't all that excited to hear the alarm this morning. I guess I'm never excited to hear the crack of dawn wake-up call, but this morning I was actually beat--almost zombie like.

Nevertheless, I got up and out. I got in my 15 minutes of cardio before Anna Mae arrived for upper body training. And within 10 minutes I was feeling good. Within 30 minutes I was feeling great! Plu, I got in 15 more minutes of cardio after a hard strength training session.

I have now had my Nectar whey protein shake (LOVE IT!), banana and dry Ezekiel toast and am ready to take on the day!

It's amazing what a good workout will do for you. When I woke up this morning, I wasn't so sure that I was going to make it. LOL!

Have a great day! I am Shay Shay Fit!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Figuring Out this Journey

Recall my Friday post where I reminded myself not to get content and lose momentum toward my fitness goals.

I am happy to say, that this weekend I showed myself that I am serious about reaching my goals. I did not eat any junk, and I worked out Saturday and Sunday, including getting in some additional strength training for the week.

I have figured out that while dining out with my Sweetie, family, and friends may be special moments, they are not always special occasions. To be successful on this journey, I cannot make exceptions for "cheat/treats" just because I am being social. I love spending time with my Sweetie and my wonderful family and friends and want to spend time with them every chance I get. But I'll be 200 lbs if I indulged in fat and sugar laden meals every time we fellowship! It's the moments that I look forward to now, not just the meals.

Shay Shay is a work in progress, but I'm making progress! For this I am excited and motivated!

Happy Monday and Have an Awesome Week!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Update: The Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge

We have 6 weeks left in the McGhee Ladies Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge. Although it is technically a competition, I really issued the challenge so that the participants could have a support system while trying to get Fitter and Finer. And it's working!

While some participants have told me that progress is slowing going (this is why this is a journey and shouldn't end when the challenge ends), others are being much more aware of what they are eating, going to the gym consistently, and thus are losing weight and inches. We even had a team party last week and many teammates brought healthier eats like roasted chicken (an alternative to the lemon pepper wings we often enjoy--they were still on the table, just good to have options), hummus and whole wheat pita chips (I've gotten everyone hooked on Stacy's), organic tortilla chips and salsa, whole wheat pasta, and squash and zucchini tossed in olive oil (which was YUMMY and pefect for the egg white scramble I had the next day!). We didn't even make margaritas! LOL!

For Shay Shay, it has been awesome to have some accountability from challengers who are supposed to meet me at the gym. If I know I am supposed to meet them, I'm not going to be the one who doesn't show.

One of the finest moments I had in the challenge was to hear some participants say that their work will not end on April 24th when the challenge ends. THIS IS IT! This is what I am aiming for with this challenge. I wanted it to be a jump start for me and others, without slamming on the breaks and parking our efforts on April 24th.

Let's Go Ladies! Let's Get Fit and Fine for Life!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Keep the Momentum Going!

Keep the Momentum Going! This fat loss motto of mine has been sprinkled throughout this blog over the last year. As I look forward to the weekend, I just want to remind myself to KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING!

I have recovered from my travels and have been really diligent with eating clean, keeping my food diary, and exercising. I am wearing pants and jeans that I couldn't wear when I started Stop the Insanity in January. Oone pair of pants even looks silly because they are so loose now (but I'm not ready to shop yet, so I'll just have to manage). The scale is even cooperating these days.

All this sounds wonderful! But, Shannon has been known to get in a groove toward living a true eat-clean and fitness LIFESTYLE and BAM--I get content and let it slip.

Shay Shay has to continue to TAKE OVER! I have to keep pressing toward the mark of living a clean, lean, and fit life. I'm WINNING this FAT LOSS battle, but the WAR IS NOT OVER!

Keep Pressing Toward the Mark for the Prize of Living Lean and Fit, Shay Shay!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Whole New Shay Shay Style

The hair journey, which really is a big part of my fat loss, continues.
The beautiful press and curl I posted over a week ago (Saturday, February 27th) turned into a nice, slick ponytail look. After intense working out, tennis, and rain, the nice slick ponytail was not looking as nice to me. On top of that, Hikmah, my stylist, wasn't available this week.
Not wanting to get desperate and resort to the flatiron, I decided to take the next step with my hair and go to the natural hair care experts at UrbanBella in Buckhead. Here it is: A two-strand twist out do.
When I first looked at myself in the mirror, I was taken a back a little. I have NEVER worn my hair in such a style. So, I didn't really recognize myself at first. LOL! Then I put on some earrings and got out the camera!
I am very pleased with it, and I am committed to learning more about styling my own hair. UrbanBella gave me all the tools (well, I paid for them)--complete with a page of instructions. Unlike the electronics, I will pay very close attention to these instructions! I am told that I can work out and hold this style with maintenance for about a week.
I am digging that I have some flexibility with this mane of mine. I can do the two strand twist, fingerstyle, puff ponytail, bun and who knows what else I'll learn how to do. Special thanks to my sorority sister Patrice for all your coaching as I prepared to go to UrbanBella and to my other sorority sister Trevious for giving the thumbs up to a still somewhat nervous Shay Shay once I got back to home.
I had other pictures to post: me under the hydration station, the stylist twisting my hair, me under the super duper space looking dryer. But, I'm still not all that good with formatting on this blog. It was taking too long, and I must get ready for my morning training session with Anna Mae!
Stay tuned . . .

I am Shay Shay Fit and Natural!

But, it's just stairs!

This morning I rose quite early and hit the gym. I am on a mission (about 15 lbs away from my goal), so these days it is not so hard for me to get to bed a good time and get up and out.

Today is cardio day. I decided to hit the StairMaster this morning--the machine that stimulates walking up stairs EXCEPT THEY ARE MOVING!!!

I'm on of those folks who need to mix it up on the machines so that I don't get bored/too comfortable. So, I decided to do 15 minutes on the StairMaster before moving on to the elliptical trainer.

One may say, "15 minutes, that's nothing!" HUSH YO' MOUTH! These were some intense 15 minutes! I've done the StairMaster before but I took the level up a couple notches and I could tell! It was NOT EASY.

But, it's just stairs, right! WRONG! By the time I finished, I was already a sweaty hot mess (yeah, not so easy on the hair either, but I digress). When I got on the elliptical my heart rate was already in cardio mode (typically it takes me 30 minutues to transition from fat burn to cardio mode on the elliptical--hmmm, are these machines even accurate? Okay, that's a question and post for another day).

I have often overlooked the StairMaster, but I am going to incorporate it more into my cardio routine.

I'm ready to conquer the day!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Week-Weave Free!

It's been exactly one week since I decided to go weave free! So far, it hasn't been all that bad. Now, I did resort to a pony tail this week, but I still think I'm cute (smile)!

I have not let my hair excuse working out either. For this, I am proud!

Other than a quick use of the blow dryer after today's workout, I have not used any heat on my hair. I want my mane to continue to remain healthy and continue to grow, so I really don't want to use too much heat. This week I will go to Hikmah and try a curly style and see how it goes.

I am on a mission and hair just can't get in the way!

I am Shay Shay Fit!

Friday, March 5, 2010

There's No Place Like Home!

After five days of traveling, it was so good to wake up in my own bed, get up for and push it in cycling class (So Glad You Called, Nnekes!), and now enjoy some egg whites on Flatout and green tea on my couch before I head into the office!

On this fat loss journey, home is sweet! I can plan my meals and workouts so much better. No matter how discipline I am while traveling, my body just knows there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

Well, let me run and get tackle this hair. Today may be a ponytail day--I clearly hadn't tested my natural, pressed mane all week because today will take a little more maintenance time to walk out the door looking decent.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Challenge, Challenge, Challenge

Fitness Challenge: It's been 6 weeks since the McGhee Ladies Getting Fitter and Finer Challenge started, and I am doing well. I KNOW I will reach my Challenge Goal. I'm going to continue to work hard and visualize. Already, I have worn some pants and jeans that I couldn't wear when the Challenge started. Now, I'm not content with this result! I want more hardcore results! So, I have to challenge myself and put in the hardcore effort!

Hair Challenge: I was traveling, so I have only worked out two days since my hair transformation. So far, the hair is still quite manageable and looks good. It has thicken up some, but I like the additional thickness. I'm not going to add any substantial heat to my hair. We'll see how things look in a week. I'm sure my new handy Aveda Control Paste (it has organic flaxseed--right up my clean alley!) and The Edge (and perhaps some rubber bands and pins) will help me get through. They will have to because NOT WORKING OUT is NOT AN OPTION!

Other Challenges: I won't be specific, but there are some exciting things going on with me at work. They are not challenges in the negative sense--more like tremendous opportunities. I am up for the challenges, and I'm really excited about my latest professional developments. This is more reason for me to make sure I am keeping fit, energetic, and fresh!

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