Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! The BEST Day of Giving!

Merry Christmas! Today, first and foremost I honor the birth of Christ. For my life, He is THE greatest gift of all.

On this most special Day 25 I gave myself quality time with my family. Any time I get to spend with my family is a blessing, but a few weeks ago I was not sure if I would make it to Virginia. So today is truly a gift. Not even this nagging cold and sinus issue can dampen my mood!

I have learned a bit about myself and my goals for health and fitness over these last 25 days. With the holiday season coming to a close, I am looking forward to getting back on a more disciplined routine and seeing what my body can do!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

25 Days of Giving: Days 19-24

Happy Christmas Eve! Time has surely flown, but I have known this all year! So what has Shay Shay been giving myself this last week!

Day 19: Kale! The gift that just keeps on giving! I could say so much more about this lovely leafy green, but I will just say that I am so glad I tried it after years of "not liking it". I have to thank my god friend and sister in iron and one time trainer Anna Mae for introducing me to kale. Today I scrambled in my whites for breakfast and had kale chips for two of my snacks. Kale gives me a great way to get in more veggies.

Day 20: Boomerang. Just like my sorority pledge sister known as Boomerang, I had to become one with my eating today! I enjoyed a belated birthday and Christmas gift exchange lunch with three of my dearest friends. I will admit that I really indulged, especially in lots of the table side guacamole. Instead of doing what I have done many times in the past with much regret like a boomerang I returned to what I know: I added a cardio session before my pre-Cavalia dinner and ate a healthy meal out of salmon, veggies and butternut squash. An overall good food day!

Day 21: Research and planning. I plan to take my health and fitness level to even greater heights in 2012. Today with my January 2012 Oxygen and Clean Eating Magazine Comfort Food Special Edition in tow, I started putting together my plan for taking my physique to the next level. the process itself is motivating, and I am excited about what I know I will work to achieve in 2012! Stay tuned.

Day 22: Dusting off something new: I have had the Biggest Loser Wii game for a really long time, but have never used it. Well during this holiday season I decided to mix up the workout a little--especially because I don't have access to the gym. I did one of the challenges for the "advanced athletes" as that is Shay Shay, right? What a workout! I totally underestimated it! I will not let that game get dusty again!

Day 23: Active wellness: I guess all of my ripping and running caught up to me! I got a bad sore throat and cold. I have been known to suffer through but I can't afford to be down and out--especially during the holidays. So I got out my old fashioned remedys coupled with a little over the counter and pumped the fluids.Amazing how a little active personal TLC works! Feeling so much better!

Day 24: Happy Christmas Eve! A day full of gifts!: Today I gave myself some active rest--did not leave the house--along with some good clean meals throughout the day, with a little weightlifting and Zumba without compromising my wellness progress. I also treated myself to just a sliver of my Grandma's zucchini bread--enough to know how delicious it is without compromising all of my good clean eats today. Excellent I must say myself!

One more day . . .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Days 13-18: Commitment

I can't believe that we are one week away from Christmas Day! I am so excited about spending some quality time with my family! We're a small crew, but we are tight and always have such a great time!

The last week has been another busy week of traveling on top of preparation for the holidays. Busy times like these can really get in the way. While I may miss a workout or two during this busy time, I refuse to get off my clean eating plan. These 25 Days of Giving to My Health and Fitness is helping me stay on track and not gain the usual holiday fat.

Day 13: (Re)Commitment. This journey is nothing without commitment. On Day 13 I heard a couple of ladies discuss their journey. One lady tried to be very encouraging and offer tips for success only to be met with excuses--I mean--reason after reason for why none of what I thought were sensible and practical tips would work. Then I watched the Biggest Loser where they previewed the next season--No Excuses! The gym conversation and the next season of BL got me to thinking about my own commitment level and how I at times can find excuses not to do what I know I should do for my health. Today I (Re)COMMIT fully to this journey. Mentally and Physically. I am going to Keep the Promises I Made to Myself and Honor my Commitment by following through.

Day 14. Preparation. Day 14 started at 4 Am to prepare to get on a plane for a business meeting. Traveling is always a challenge for my eating plan, but this time I PREPARED! I made Pumpkin Oatmeal Protein Pancakes the night before and heated them in the toaster oven and wrapped it up tightly before I headed to the airport. Once I got to the gate, I had a nice healthy meal to start my day. This was much better than the very luke warm--almost cold--oatmeal I had the week before. The water at Starbucks just wasn't hot enough to make the oatmeal I had made the night before warm enough to enjoy (because I always enjoy my morning oatmeal).

Oh, and I can't forget how having my Quest Protein Bars with me got me through the 11 hour day. Just because I'm stuck in a conference room, doesn't mean my metabolism must suffer!

Day 15. Sensible Social Outing. Today was my good friend Reesey Cups pre-birthday outing at our favorite Thursday night wing spot. We have made Thursdays at this spot also known as Thirsty Thursdays, a frequent experience. And an experience it is. We always enjoy the DJ and get our dance on in addition to just enjoying each other. This outing can, however, be contrary to my fat loss plan. $0.35 wings and $5.00 drinks = Recipe for Diet Disaster. Well not today! I focused on the socializing and not the food deals ordering a grilled chicken salad and putting two wings on my plate and giving the other 8 to my buddies to share. I just wanted a taste and honestly I enjoyed the salad better than the wings! SCORE for next time!

Day 16. Roller Skating. Today my Sweet Sport Fitness Challenge pals and I hit the skating rink. It was really good to get with the girls, but guess what: I CAN'T SKATE! The last time I even tried to skate, I was in the 7th grade and had a certain fella on my mind more than getting in the rink! I was really apprehensive, especially because my 35 year old body will not heal as fast as my 12 year old body would have! Besides, I have some serious tennis to play! Who needs an injury! Nevertheless, I got out there! I was SLOW, but I was skating! I'm actually looking forward to trying it again. My Sweetie use to skate all the time as a kid. So, maybe he'll help me learn! Skating is supposed to be quite the calorie burner!

Day 17. A Treat! Today Sweetie and I went to my FAVORITE restaurant in ATL-- The Pecan! their crabcakes--THE BEST! Not only was the meal a treat, dining out with my Sweetie is always a treat!

Day 18. Rest. This has been one busy week! After church today--we had our Christmas Around the World. I coordinated the November Birth Month's Christmas in Ireland display. It was great! The November members came through with some great display and food items. I hope to post pictures later. After a long day at church, cooking was not going to happen. I gave myself a break from the chicken and went out for a nice meal out--I made healthier choices of course! After dinner, I came home and I have been chilling since. I needed this break from all the ripping and running. It feels great to just sit on the couch and blog. (smile). It's going to be even greater getting to bed at a decent time for the first time in several days!

Just 7 days of giving to myself left. I wonder what's in store for me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

What Gives Shay Shay! Days 6-12 of Giving!

Days 6-12 have been pretty sweet! I'm really digging this 25 Days of Giving series!

Day 6--25 minutes of speed intervals on the Step Mill. I really want to shape up these glutes of mine. Other than climbing real stairs, the Step Mill is a great machine to help shape up the rear! I have often either been intimidated by the Step Mill or have declared that it is just "too boring." But, I knew I had to get past this if I want to get the shape I want. With my U2 and Sting tunes in my ear, I climb the Step Mill, and I conquered it. I felt great afterwards and will enhance my use of the Step Mill in my workout plan.

Day 7--Will Power--Travel days are always difficult, but on Day 7 I gave myself the GIFT of WILL POWER! My business trip ended with a very late flight back home, so that meant dinner in the airport---gasp! Airport dining is always tricky because vendors try to make sure they have quick options. This typically means lots of fast food options and unhealthy sandwiches. This makes things very tough. Thankfully I had a little time to spare, so I was able to really study the menu at the restaurant of choice. While the french fries and fried seafood were really tempting, I opted for the broiled crabcakes and two servings of plain steamed green beans. The meal was actually very good, even out of a plastic carry-out container, and I felt really great about the Will Power I exerted to avoid all the more convenient and tasty, but bad for my body options.

Day 8--Extra Veggies--Veggies are essential to Building Muscle and Losing Fat. I have been looking at various eating plans of fitness professionals, and I am finding that my veggie intake is not optimal. Today I had veggies with four meals, instead of my usual two meals (this is out of the 5-6 meals I eat in a day). I need to plan my meals better so that I can get at least 5 servings of veggies a day. This will probably mean scrambling my egg whites with spinach in the mornings instead of put the whites in my oatmeal. This, I know I can do. Then, I'll have to make sure I cook enough veggies and protein to incorporate into my mid-morning and mid-afternoon meals. Morning, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon, dinner = 5 servings of meals. Hmmm, not as hard as I tried to make it!

Day 9--Holiday Cheer--This year I did not put up as many decorations as I have in previous years. To most people, I probably still am way above average. I know they are right. Today, I was delighted to share my festive home with my USTA Mixed Doubles Team for our end of the season celebration. I love my Mixed Team. They are an awesome bunch on and off the court. I really wanted them to feel warm and welcomed in my home. So, I dressed up the buffet table in holiday accessories (I really should have taken a picture, it was pretty) and added some additional holiday touches--just for them. As guests arrived, I had on some of my favorite holiday tunes, and the mood was set. It was a great evening of fellowship and full of CHEER indeed!

Day 10--Dance--If you know me really well, you know I LOVE TO DANCE! This evening I attend my sorority local chapter Holiday Party. There was a 65 year old gentleman there who shared my love to dance, and dance he could! He had more energy than men half his age. I had so much for this gentleman and was inspired by his love for dancing and clearly his zest for life! While many stood on the side just looking, we were on the floor whether there were others on the floor or not. It was a really fun evening. It helps that dancing is also a pretty good calorie burner--especially with this feisty 65 year old gentleman!

Day 11--Tennis!!--From reading this blog, you know tennis is a regular part of my life. So, why was today a gift? Today my tennis center--McGhee Tennis Center--held its Toys for Tots Round Robin. It was a chance to do something great to some deserving kids, but also a chance for our tennis community to get on the courts in a fun and non-competitive match atmosphere. Four hours of tennis playing and fellowshipping with my tennis pals. It was awesome!

Day 12--HIIT!--I will admit that when I rose this morning, I was not really all that motivated to get in a workout. After a few minutes of hemming and hawing, I decided I need to get motivated and push myself! Nothing pushes you like High Intensity Interval Training! I love my Turbo Fire HIIT workout dvds, and today did not disappoint. I got in 20 minutes of straight HIITs. Twenty minutes may not sound like a lot, but 20 minutes of HIITs is like 50 minutes on any cardio machine. Trust me! I'm glad I got it in!

Looking forward to the second half of my 25 days of giving.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 5 of Giving! WAHOO PRIDE!

WAHOOWA!!!! UVA is going to the Chick-Fil-La Bowl!!!!

Oh Day 5 is quite sweet!

Today I gave myself some PRIDE!

I'm PROUD of my Virginia Cavaliers for having an awesome season and landing a stellar bowl the Chick Fa La Bowl right in my adopted home ATL!!

I gave myself a BOWL TICKET because there is NO WAY I'm going to miss this experience!

The last time UVA was this ATL Bowl was 1998, when it was still called the Peach Bowl. I was there then. I had a blast but this time I have some additional PRIDE!

In 1998, I was wearing size 14 jeans to the Peach Bowl. This year, I'll be wearing my size 6s with much PRIDE!

I really am proud of the work I have put in to get to this point in my health and fitness.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can accomplish.

I'm also looking forward to following and supporting my Cavs and seeing what big things are ahead for the team!

Go Shay Shay!

Go 'Hoos!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Days 2-4 of Giving

Oh how I love this season! For me it is a time of reflection, sharing and fellowship, and of course giving. In addition to some of the charitable projects, I am excited about giving myself better health and fitness!

Day 2-- I gave myself some HEALTHY SNACKS from Trader Joe's. I LOVE Trader Joe's and discovered Roasted Plantain Chips and Savory Mini Edamame Crackers. Oh how yummy! I get the crunch that I sometimes crave without the guilt punch!

Day 3--I have myself a BIG FIGHT! I have been struggling on the tennis court lately and lost a tough semi-final match with my Mixed Doubles team on Day 2. Day 3 I had my first USTA 3.5 Women's match of the Winter Season and I was playing LINE 1!!! I actually knew one of the opponents, so I knew this would be a tough one! This was the first time my partner and I played together and we came out like gangbusters (she too having lost a tough match with our Mixed Doubles team the night before).

The first set we won 6-1. So, the second set should have been a breeze right? NEVER! We let down our intensity and low and behold we lost the second set 2-6! What the . . . .! Partner and I re-grouped or so we thought. We found ourselves down 1-4. Oh no! It will NOT go down like this!

Partner and I had a brief chat and determined that all we were missing was aggressiveness! So we picked it up and FIGHT WE DID! We got up 5-4, but I lost my serve and then we found ourselves at 5-6! So, we had to KEEP FIGHTING! We fought our way to the tie break 6-6 and then BAM! We won the tie break 7-1 and the MATCH!

This was the match I needed to get myself back in tennis mental shape! I love a good FIGHT! This is the gift that keeps on giving on the courts!

Day 4: After work travel, two days of tough tennis, and just being plain ol' busy, I was tired. I had plans for Sunday after church, but they got postponed. I was walking around the house looking for something to do and decided--hmmm, why not REST! The gift of Rest of just what I needed. REST another gift that keeps on giving!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 Days of Giving!

Wow, I can't believe that it's December already! 2011 is/has flown by big time!

With my birthday being just before Thanksgiving, the time between my birthday and New Year's always seems to go by faster than the rest of the year!

And of course this is also the time of year when when many of us on the journey toward better health and fitness--including me--let our guards down.

Well not this holiday season Shay Shay!

I have been seeing lots of celebrity personalities having 12 or 25 days of Christmas giveaways. I have decided to jump on the bandwagon (and NOT FALL OFF the wagon) with 25 days of Health and Fitness for Shay Shay!

Starting today until Christmas Day I am going to give myself something extra that will promote my goal of achieving optimal health and fitness.

Day 1: Today I gave myself a new wardrobe. Well not really. I didn't go shopping, but I did do some reorganizing of my closet and dresser drawers. So how does this promote better health and fitness?

For me, when things are organized my mind is clearer. My stress level is lowered. And my morning routine is more efficient. Without good mental health and better time management, my physical health will not improve.

This was not a major reorganization (that will be for another day when I have real time!). But it was just enough to give me a "feel good" feeling. When I look at my slightly reorganized closet and drawers, I really do get a feeling like I have a new wardrobe. Clothes just look better when they are better organized.

This little re-org project was not planned. I mean, after a day of work, who wants to organize closets and drawers. But, I am glad I took the time to do it. I have much more work to do, but for now I feel good about my quick little reorganization project.

I am actually looking forward to tackling the major reorganization one weekend soon!