Saturday, October 29, 2011

Keeping My Eyes on the Prize!

Whew, today I got in 11 miles. I should have gotten them in last Saturday, but . . . [insert pitiful excuse here].

I am very proud that I got it in, and I am looking forward to the Race & Relax/Savannah Rock n Roll next Saturday! 13.1, here I come!

While I'm feeling great about my running progress, I know I am not doing all I can do to push past my limits as I move toward my 21 % body fat goal. I could give all sorts of reasons why I am given less than stellar effort. But, this is useless and doesn't help push me forward.

So, in a nutshell here is what I need to do: Keep My Eyes on the Prize!

If I stay focus and remind myself what I want to achieve to I can push past my limits and indeed ACHIEVE!

Come on Shay Shay! Get it together!

P.S.--Yes, I KNOW that I have done great. Yes, I know that I look and feel great. But, I know I can and will be GREATER!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


YES! I said it: I DESERVE TO BE HEALTHY AND STRONG! With the start of the week (Sunday was Taste of Atlanta--I won't say more), I got back into my routine, and I feel great!

It is amazing what just a few days of clean eating and good workouts can do for Shay Shay!

This morning I shared with the Sweet Spot Fitness Challenge crew 3 Reasons why I deserve a healthy and strong body. This exercise was not as easy as I thought, but I am glad I took time to think about it. I will remind myself of these reasons (especially when I have to rise before dawn to train) as I continue my journey to lose fat and win:

1. I am blessed with strong ability to push myself past my limits;

2. I work hard everyday, so I may as well feel and look good while doing it; and

3. I try to do what I can, no matter how small the gesture, to be a positive and better force in the world, but I cannot do this without being better to myself!

I am Shay Shay, and I DESERVE to be FIT!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adventures in Travel: Confession Time

A week ago Thursday, I traveled to Virginia for work, which included the bonus of seeing my family and some friends. I just got back Thursday evening--two days ago. Man, that's a long time to be away from your own home and routine.

I packed plenty of workout clothes and got in some good workouts actually.

I also did well with packing up my flaxseed, bee pollen and wheat germ so that I can have hearty oatmeal every morning and packed up some almonds. I bought lemons and apple cider vinegar for my morning drink/cleanse routine. I also bought some eggs, whites, sweet potatoes, hummus, bananas and a cucumber so that I could have some clean snacks. Mom had apples from an orchid in the mountains of Virginia too.

So food wise, if I made good choices in restaurants I was all set. Well, I did GREAT until (HERE COMES THE CONFESSION) I left my parents home and headed to Richmond! There I discovered two great restaurants that were not there when I lived there: Mama J's and Conch Republic.

Conch Republic was on the river (a beautiful scene from the patio where we dined). It had good fish and veggie choices, but they also plantains (yum! hadn't had these in a while!) and Swamp Fingers (alligator meat fried up nicely--YUM! NEVER had these and they were awesome!). I indulged in both dishes. One day of indulgence would have been fine. BUT, then I was introduced to Mama J's!

Everything is made from scratch and just oh so good! My cousin and sorority sister-friend and I basically had a buffet on our table. I opted for the better choice crab cakes, and only sampled the yams and mac n cheese while eating plenty of collards and cabbage--both cooked in a healthy way but oh so good. If I had stopped there--Shay Shay would have patted myself on the back. BUT NOOOOO!!

There they were--the wall of homemade cakes! Oh, I wish I had taken a picture. We split the Buttercream cake with Buttercream icing. We shared the cake--which is good--but it was a huge slice and not on my plan! Then on top of that, my cousin ordered the peach cobbler for us to share. I'm so glad I passed on the conference lunch desserts--they clearly were massed produced!

On top of the food, Mama J's was just a really nice social experience. The venue is just adorable and the people of Richmond, especially my peeps (including my sorority pledge sister who is a manager in the evenings) just topped off the atmosphere. It was like a mini-Thanksgiving! I enjoyed myself, but I know that this type of eating CANNOT happen for a long time if I want to achieve my goal of getting Stripped!

I'm back home and ready to get back at it. I'll be cooking my meals for the week and planning my workouts. I did a little damage with my progress with all the food indulgence, but nothing that can't be undone (I've already undone some of the damage) once I'm back on routine and up the ante--which was the plan anyway.

I'm going to get back to it next week and will report back with the results my effort to undo and move ahead toward my goals.

Stay tuned . . .

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Getting Stripped and Finding My Sweet Spot!

I say this all the time, but I can't believe it's mid-October already! Just 11 days ago I shared that I'm ready to get Stripped! The Stripped plan by my Tosca Reno is an excellent program and has really gotten me to really focus on my clean eating without compromise. The main thing is that it is forcing me to cook! Check out these clean dishes! I really have been enjoying them!

Okra sautéed dash coconut oil

Roasted Butternut Squash Curry and Balsamic Chicken Breasts

My Leek Adventure. I've never cooked leeks. I didn't really know what they were!

But now, I have made Leek Soup!

My schedule has still been a little hectic with trying to incorporate 3 tennis leagues, half-marathon training, and then my regular strength and cardio training. I'm seeing progress with physique changes, down to 22.7% Body Fat, and losing inches, but I am not satisfied with my gym effort when I'm not training with G. I MUST STEP IT UP!

There's nothing like a support network and challenge to give the extra push toward your goals. On Monday, a group of my women's tennis teammates started The Sweet Spot Fitness Challenge: Tennis Sisters Finding Our Health and Fitness Sweet Spots.

In tennis, the "sweet spot" of the racket is the ideal place to hit the ball, thus producing a nice solid shot. This is the mission of the 90 day challenge. Each participant set their own fitness goals, and not everyone has a goal to lose weight necessarily. The main objective is to develop a healthy lifestyle so that we can improve our well-being and our tennis games! Goal setting and journaling (with food diary) are essential parts of this challenge.

I am excited about working on finding my Fitness Sweet Spot. I want the ideal balance of diet, exercise, and rest. I know the proper balance will help me reach my goals! Here are my goals for the challenge:

  • 20% Body Fat

  • Increase muscle mass

I will reach my goals by:

  • Eating 100% clean, 6 1/2 days/week

  • Strength training 3 days/week

  • Performing intense cardio (non-tennis) 5 days/week

  • Sleeping 6 1/2-7 hours sleep 5 nights/week

I know with discipline and consistency, I will reach my goals and will get Stripped--Sweet!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ready to Get Stripped!

In March, weighing in at 168 lbs, I decided to take back control of my health and fitness and push toward my goal of finally getting to approximately 143 lbs (the weight a physician told me was ideal for me when I started a weight loss journey in 1999 while in law school; I got to about 150 back then, but of course gained all the weight back, plus some).

I was super motivated in March because in a year since the Fitter and Finer Challenge of 2010, I had gained about 15 lbs. Ridiculous! I fine tuned my clean eating habits and cranked up my strength and cardio training routine. I was disciplined and consistent. AND IT WORKED!

I am now maintaining around 143 (even with summer vacations when I would typically gain 7lbs!). I'm in a legit size 6---I THOUGHT THIS WAS IMPOSSIBLE!! I didn't wear a 6 in middle school, and frankly it was not the goal! I was very pleased with a fit size 8, but my body had other thoughts. Now, I am the leanest I have EVERY been.

All this sounds fantastic, right? Right! I am proud of Shay Shay. But, I know I have not reached my FAT LOSS potential. This is what this blog is about--LOSING FAT! So while my weight is in a pretty good place, I am still not pleased with my body fat percentage--now about 23% (in 2007 I think I was closer to 40%! YIKES--being really honest with you here!). Even with all the progress I've made, I still won't wear a bikini. Friends say, "of course you can," but I have pretty high bikini standards!

Anyhoo, I still have a goal of getting to 18-21% body fat. However, the last couple of months I have been physically and mentally in maintenance, not fat loss mode.

So now it is time--TIME TO GET STRIPPED!

I picked up another Tosca Reno book--The Eat-Clean Diet Stripped. While I am a HUGE Tosca Reno fan--her books, magazines, and websites have been my primary resources on this Fat Loss journey--I was not completely convinced that I need another resource, especially a Eat-Clean Diet book (I have this eating clean thing down!) to kick me in gear.

Well, I was wrong. I picked up Stripped and was delighted to find fresh fat loss tips, meal plans, and recipes to help me shed the fat I want. And once again, the recipes look DELICIOUS! No deprivation--just tasty, clean meals with lots of variety (something I've been missing because I've been a little lazy in the kitchen!).

Tomorrow I start the 28-day Stripped plan. I've been in planning mode the last few days. Planning and organization is key to success on this journey.

So, here's goes my pre-Stripped weekend:

Yesterday I started my day by running 7 miles on the Chattahooche River in preparation for the Savannah Rock 'n Roll/Race & Relax Half Marathon in November. Thanks Reesey Cup for introducing me to this wonder trail!

Then I detoured to the Atlanta Greek Festival--yummy, non-diet busting foods there--roasted chicken breast, green beans and tomato, small spanakopita triangle--no bread, no rice. Thank goodness the pastry line was too long for me to even think about trying. smiles. I did share some of those yummy Greek fried potatoes with my festival mate Reesey Cup. As My Sweetie knows, I love potatoes! So, I had to try a few (although I thought they were roasted when I ordered them. Hey, I tried!

Hooray for some will power because I really could have eaten them all, but sharing was the smart thing to do, and I felt good about indulging, but in a sensible way. I love food, and I no longer want to make such poor decisions that I am overcome with guilt later. What's the fun in that!

Then I made the trek with Reesey Cup and Queen Bee to Your Dekalb International Farmers Market. I absolutely love this place! I picked up Buffalo, tilapia, leeks (a first for me), asparagus, apples, pears, lemons, bananas, all sorts of spices, greek yogurt, almond butter, wheat germ, oats, red potatoes (yes--potatoes are on the Stripped plan!). Forgot to get quinoa though--arrggh! All these yummy things were added to the apple cider vinegar, eggs, egg whites, tomatoes, green peppers, and low-fat cottage cheese I had picked up earlier in preparation for my Stripped meals.

Once I got home, I cleaned and organized my refrigerator and pantry. An organized refrigerator and pantry is also essential to meal planning. It also saves money so that I don't buy duplicates or things I don't need.

Today, I have tennis and then back home to finish up meal and workout planning.

I am excited to see what the next 28 days of Stripped will bring!

Stay tuned!