Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

I am taking this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  I hope you spend yours with friends and family and that Santa doesn't bring you lumps of coal (unless you need/want coal for heating).


Friday, December 17, 2010

Pump Pump Pump It Up

Have you been hearing too much chatter about Les Mills' Body Pump class and wondering....WTH?  I was. So I finally mustered up enough confidence and found a willing victim to endure the torture with me. Not realizing that my uber peppy, blonde TurboKick instructor is on vacation for the next 2 weeks (she also lives, eats and breathes Body Pump), I entered my Thursday night class only to be surprised by Kim. I swear this chick must smoke mushrooms before coming to the gym. I've never seen anyone this amped about workouts. We commence to speed ball-energy infused kickboxing class in the dark (including glo-sticks). Kim has a thing for glo-sticks. Luckily, she was NOT teaching Body Pump.

I slunk out the door when she hit the floor for abs in order to bring my heart rate back down to beating inside my chest. I swear C2-5K has sucked all my stamina and tossed it underneath the treadmill. I know understand the importance of cross-training versus running/weights and no cardio classes (oh how I missed my cardio classes).

So what's Body Pump?  Honestly, it's the same strength class you've taken before BUT using a barbell and it is supposed to be the same format for each class regardless of the instructor or gym location. It's supposed to choreographed to music and the instructor is supposed to focus on form over the stacked number of reps.

I didn't get a lot of instruction because I was too busy trying to drop weights, add weights, grab mats, etc. I can say that my upper body is SORE and I know DOMs for my lower body will sink in in about another 2 hours. When I got home last night all I wanted was to grab something quick to eat, shower, and go to bed. I was asleep by 9pm. I was excited to finally see the scale go in the right direction this morning (maybe by some stroke of genius I will see the 161s again by NYE). I am looking forward to Liza's return (she's my peppy blonde) and I can see incorporating this class into my routine at least 2 times a week (screw that nightclub cardio class).

However, checking out the Les Mills website, you'll see a wide array of prepacked classes from spinning to step to kickboxing to even a dance cardio and yoga-ish class. It will be interesting to see if these will catch on.

Do you Body Pump?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To be Carrie Bradshaw

and to have her closet would be any girl's dream.

Yes, I know I'm super late...but I FINALLY saw Sex in the City, The Movie (the first one). And yes, I'm one of those who tends to think of Charlotte, Miranda, Carrie and Samantha as my friends too. I've watched the show  for so long now, these fictional characters do tend to feel like friends.  So forgive me if I sit on my sofa and talk back to the screen.

There were a few things that irk me with Miranda.  Her character is so self-centered, self-driven. Women complain about not having a good man, about absentee fathers, or just plain lazy men. Here, she has a man who just wants to love her and be a good father. Miranda totally emasculates Steve and  like a faithful puppy-dog, he accepts this behavior. Stop being so mean Miranda.

Personally, I would never have a man in my life that I could treat in such a manner. For as forward thinking as I am, I still want the man to be a man. Stand up for himself and me. Protect me in a knife or gun fight. Change the flat tire and repair the fence. This isn't an Enjoli commercial, but I will cook bacon every now and again.

But what really had me mulling over the bits and pieces of my life, was the original marriage proposal between Big and Carrie. At this age, why does it matter? If you're committed to each other and are happy with the direction of your relationship, why do you need to get married? Ok, so there is the fear of losing such a great closet...but that's TV - not real life. And you can put both names on property without being married. Should I feel some extra security after marriage? Is there a chance of a bigger closet filled with better shoes following the honeymoon?

I'm not opposed to marriage. Yes, I've even contemplated the dress (it's that strapless, tea length Calvin Klein hanging in my closet), the shoes (a pair of gold satin peep toes), the ring (non-traditional citrine set in white gold), the number of people to invite (as few as possible), even where (the Cathedral in Galveston, TX or the little white chapel in Pearland, TX - I just love the look from the outside). But I don't want to get wrapped up in the event. I'd rather be wrapped up his arms nightly.

So my life is not like Sex in the City (seriously, who walks around Manhattan in 4" heels. I snapped a 2" Bally heel in half walking 2 blocks between MSKCC and a parking garage), but I do have to say that my relationship with The Fella doesn't necessarily need to be held to a contract, but that citrine ring would be a nice touch.

Besos!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It totally pays...

To workout when The Biggest Loser is on.

Well, actually I did an hour before the show started and I have to say that I think the C25K is working. Yesterday, I ran (except for a 5min warm-up and a 5min walking break) for 4 miles!!! I am so proud of myself. The last 1/2 mile took forever, but the commercial showing Elizabeth pushing through her issues keep me prodding along (I would have voted her off a long time ago). Ada makes me smile each time the show comes on.  She runs circles around those guys! Go Ada!

So a pat on my back for 4 miles in 50mins even with the crappy treadmill with an incline-mind of its own (the incline kept lowering).  I don't think I will get in 25 miles this week, but I know I can do another 4 tomorrow (Zumba tonight) and Sunday, totaling 16 miles.

So what's your woo whoo for the day? Who are your cheering for on BL?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've been to Sky Lab

Well, technically not the official Sky Lab but if you read along you'll get it.

Yea for me. I'm officially a runner. Or at least I have my first injury (almost injury. It only hurts when I touch it). This is what happens when you go against the grain of never enjoying running to pushing yourself to entering a challenge with your brother who is working in Afghanistan to run 25 miles/week. I never made to the last part.  So, I "think" I have an inflamed IT band (at least it hurts when I press on it - stop pressing on it) and was advised to rest (no running), take anti-inflams, ice and buy better sneakers.  Gosh - just when I was starting to like this.  Ok, yes I know I need new sneakers.

So since I'm not running and my TKB classes aren't till the end of the week (plus I missed body pump - don't tell Liza, but I'm sure she already knows), I did get in a mini round of bicep challenge Saturday before heading to ArtCrawl Houston as part of my month-long birthday celebration.

So getting back to Sky Lab and the 6-pack in basketball shorts.  No, I can't afford her 4K personal workout session.  I can afford her $10 DVD and I do workout in one of my upstairs bedrooms, so it's kinda like being on the top floor overlooking a beautiful skyline (even if it's only my backyard). I pulled the cellophane of Jackie Warner's Power Circuit Training DVD (I wont tell you that I've had it since the summer) and watched the 15-min lower body and ab sections. I thought "What the heck - seems harmless". She's a proponent for HIT (high intensity training) and what better way to do that for a weight training slacker like me, than circuit training?

Haha!!!

Although she's not perky and cheerleader-ish like Chalene Johnson, Jackie loves to say "if you're not feeling the burn, you aren't working it". I came home last night with all intentions on doing her 40-min total body and let's just say I felt the burn, felt it burn so good I got lightheaded and lost a bit of hearing and that was only the lower body portion. My take on it - if you're not feeling the burn, you don't even have the DVD playing.

Yes, I'm serious about the hearing. And yes, I know enough to slow my ass down and breathe. I waited until my hearing came back and my heart rate was back to normal before moving on to upper body. I survived 23 minutes (lower body and 1/2 upper body) of her 40-min kick your butt workout. I am determined to make it through all 40-mins.

I can't believe I've waited this long to try her workout. It will kick your butt and make you beg for more.  Her Power Burn sections BURN!!! So if you have a hankering for a new workout DVD, pick this one up.  I guess I better find her first DVD in my stack and pull the wrapping off that one too.

Burn baby burn.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank goodness I'm not 16 and preggers...

This is really stuck in my craw and I can't dislodge it.  My father is really perturbed by the fact that I am considering moving to California to be with The Fella because we aren't married. Apparently, this is topic du jour between my parents. 

Someone please give me some insight into this...

I am late 30s/he is early 40s. I don't want children / he already has children and no plans for additional kids - maybe a Labrador. Yes, we've only been dating for approximately 2 years (maybe 3 this coming Easter - can't really remember since it feels as if I've known him forever - ahhhhh). Granted my parents aren't the most open-minded folks in their early 60s, but hey, at least The Fella is the same color scheme as I am.

Say I move to Cali and things go sour. I can't find a job, all my crap is crowding his space, I don't like the fact that he puts the toilet paper on backwards, whatever...and we decide to call it quits. Hello - not married...I can pack my crap and go - no need for quickie island divorce. And Cali is community property. So if I won the lottery right before splitville, I'd have to share my winnings with him. So let's hope I win the lottery while living single in Texas (fingers crossed)!

I'm not saying that we're heading towards singledom anytime soon. He's a wonderful dude. But I'm just saying - I like having my options open.

So what's the big deal if we're married or not heading West?  Would it be a big deal if he was still here and we were shacking up under the current roof? Probably not. What's the worse that could happen shacking up 1800 miles away from my dad? Is he planning to write me out of his will and leave all his hidden millions to the neighborhood cat.  Doubt it. Or does he secretly want to shell out 100K for my wedding?  Hmmm, maybe if I present the proposal for the cost he'd have to pay, he'll look at shacking up as a blessing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's so....

Sweaty!!!

I've got to say I'm proud of myself, workout-wise, because I finally made it to Wk5 of C25K. I've even done the run 1-1/2 times through. My next run, I will shoot for the Day 3 schedule of straight 20mins.

I got home all sweaty and ready to dig in to the 2nd hour (the elimination hour) of Biggest Loser.  I hear Jillian say "I want a 10-min mile".  WTH! I am barely doing a 14-min mile (and I was so happy to finally get my mile time to 14mins) and she has these folks doing 10-min miles. I also noticed the amount of weights lifted. I thought I was doing well even made it to 3 sets of 21s with 8lb dumbbells (that darn bicep challenge). These chicks are lifting much more than that.

So I came down from my 3-mile high and had a glass of wine to cover the pain.

Then, Merry's post really hit home. There will always be someone fitter than me, so stop comparing myself to others, especially those on BL. I will continue to make the strides I am making.  Yes, I probably could run faster and I may challenge myself on the next run. Yes, I probably could lift heavier weights, so I will take the BodyPump class on Saturday. Check out the promo below, I'm in for a world of hurt - hurt so good!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Clap your hands and Stomp your feet...

Cuz, it's my birthday, yo!

Yeah - so happy birthday to me.

It didn't start out so great. I got stuck in the mud trying to pick up a kid who must have missed his bus because he was walking towards the train station, in the mud.

But, 2 strangers came and pushed me out of the mud!

I got to work and my parking spot was open, another plus. I found out I left my purse at home (no license, no wallet, no ID, no office key, no make-up for after work) - bummer.

My fav security guard was manning the door - breezed right in.

My boss was in the office this morning with the door locked. I knocked several times - he never opened.

I walked to the admin office to retrieve spare key and my co-worker brought me brisket.

Cupcakes will be delivered at 1130am today. Drinks at T'afia at 5pm tonight, laughing at art at the MFA-Houston to follow, dinner at Dolce Vita at 730 with some super smart women. If you're in Houston, feel free to join me along the way - you're more than welcome.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's French for Chicken

I am not Julia Child by any stretch of the imagination.  Heck, when I lived in NYC I had to call my mom to ask her how to make dirty rice.  But I've been itching to make something warm and yummy in my crock pot - something easy using items I normally buy.

Viola! Coq au Vin. It's sounds more fru-fru when you say it all French-y.

I used this recipe. I need to tweak this if I plan to make it again.  I used dark meat chicken - not a good thing since you don't drain off the fat - grrr. I also used a Cab-Sav for the wine base. It wasn't as warm as I expected. I was told next time to use a free range French hen (um yeah, I will have it imported), but I will probably use lean chicken breast and as for a warmer wine - I will probably use Egri Merlot.

Have you made Coq au Vin in the crock pot?  Any additional suggestions?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Lou Forrigno's Birthday

Happy Birthday to the Incredible Hulk.  Also, a very happy birthday to The Fella.

When we "met" through Yahoo personals, browsing through his photos, my first thought was wow - he's really cute and looks kinda like The Hulk. Luckily, he doesn't go all green and stomp across the land destroying bad guys.

Happy Birthday.

XOXOXO

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Clothes make the Gal

What do you wear to workout?  Baggy sweats? Old and faded tshirts? Dirty sneakers?

Ever look over at the treadmill next to you or the track ahead and see a woman in full color-coordinated gear and think "wow, she must have a lot of time/money on her hands?"  Ever see those Lululemon or Lucy stores and think "I'd never spend $60 on a sports bra or $40 on a top?".

Yeah, I say the same thing. I do try to match my workout clothes but they do tend to be ill-fitting. I've purchased those "stylish" yoga pants at Wally World only to look at myself in the gym mirror in horror and think "where the hell did that pooch come from" knowing it was only the super thick fold-over flap of the pants!

Well folks, while in Scottsdale Mom and I hit some thrift shops and guess what I picked up?  A brand spanking new pair of Lucy yoga pants at a steep discount. Let's just say I'm tempted to throw out all my workout pants/shorts and only wear these pants day after day. I did wear them all day long on Saturday since my game plan was to workout (I didn't get a chance to since my errands took much longer than anticipated).  These pants make your boo-tay look awesome!  No added belly pooch since the top of the pant sits right below the low waist without the need to keep yanking them up throughout the workout. And best of all - no camel toe!

I did wear them on Monday for Wk 3 / Day 3 of C25K (I am finally making it to Week 4!!!) and TKB.  My only complaint was that by this time, the legs were stretched out and during the kick section of TKB, I kept stepping on the bottom of the pants. I am sure after laundry day, they will fit just fine.

FYI - this post was NOT sponsored by anyone. I was just so hyped about my new-to-me workout pants. I did also purchase a top but that wont be worn until the Spring (it's finally getting cooler). Now, I'm scouring ebay for another pair and hopefully a matching top.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of...

Apparently November is the month of 30-day challenges.  I'm not so great with challenges. I start off strong/gung-ho and end up...well, eh!!

But November is also my birthday month (11/11). Woo Hoo.  I have, in the past, planned events for the entire month and as this may be my last birthday in Houston (can you tell I'm sad?  Not!!!), I am going to shoot for 30 days of fun which will include weekly workouts.

So here's a quickie, tentative schedule:

11/3 - Tosca Reno book signing
11/4 - Jazz event at Miller Outdoor Theatre
11/6 - RenFest
11/12 - HSPVA Jazz Show
11/13 - 9 to 5 Musical
11/21 - show at the Alley

There are a few gallery openings I need to add into the schedule and of course my workouts, but I think it's a good start.

Any other November babies out there?  What are your plans?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Going to the Chapel

But I aint gettin married. Much to the chagrin of my father.

The Fella got promoted (that's what I'm calling it) and will be heading to The Sunshine State soon! Oh yeah...real beaches, SFO airport, and former NBA star Kevin Johnson as Mayor - boy CA loves to put entertainers into politics. I guess that keeps things entertaining?  I know, lame.

He's asked me to accompany him on this new venture (as he calls it). I say, hell yeah - I'm Audi 5000 G! (yes, super duper strong cafe ole this morning). But seriously, it's a good time for us both.  A new start. A real job for him but a pull away from our families (especially right at the holidays). Yes, he's giving up being able to see his children daily. I'm giving up the comfort of my affordable home, a decent job (although I'm not sure how long that would last), a handful of friends. But we're gaining the excitement of new surroundings, better weather, better food, crappier drivers, the potential for me to do something different other than write letters of recommendation, book airline tickets and grab cokes (I probably will be doing the same thing in CA at least for 2 years until I finish this second degree, but the potential is there) and best of all, he and I are doing it together (well sorta - he goes first, does all the apt hunting, getting the utilities connected, buying new furniture - the crap I don't want to do).

So when I mentioned the "opportunity" to my father, his response was that he didn't see a reason for me to go since we're not married. That I'm giving up a good job for uncertainty. Um yeah...ok. This was said obviously before Sunday's article (see above). But let's take a step back.

1. When I was 25 I called myself running away to San Fran to be with the love of my life. Boy was I dumb. That quickly dissolved and I had to call my folks and beg to be let back home. I swore I would never move anywhere behind a man.

2. The VERY next year I moved to NYC because my boss asked me to.  See contradiction above.  I lived there until the day the towers came down (actually 2 days following) since my mom's flight was diverted to Birmingham, AL.

So I'm 2 years shy of 40 and am now faced with the option to move with the man I  love (this time fur-real) or stay in the town I only tolerate.  Houston is fun to a point, but the nomad in me has been itching for new scenery. I don't do long distance relationships. In my opinion, THEY SUCK. If I'm only going to see a person one weekend a month, I may as well join the Army Reserves so at least I'd get paid for that heartache and aggravation.

I think I will take my chances and go west, unmarried and potentially unemployed for a month.

What would you do?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vacation...

All I ever wanted... I love the Go-Go's. Who doesn't?!?! But do you want to know what's so awesome about mini-vacas besides getting a free-ish trip from my boss, scoring some of the best hotel soap, and enjoying awesome weather/views in Scottsdale? Getting in an awesome workout. I am in LOVE with the Hotel Valley Ho's gym, especially at 4am MT. Funny how I could get my rear up at 4am (couldn't sleep thanks to my mom who sleeps with the TV on) and head to the gym all bright-eyed and bushy tail while on a mini break. Ha! Let that happen during my normal daily life...ummm, no thanks. I'll choose sleep. I did, however, do Week 3, Days 1 and 2 of C25K on Friday (before heading out of town) and Saturday morning at 4am!

The other thing I love about mini-breaks is eating great food!!! ZuZu on the hotel has AWESOME breakfast but consider yourself warned.  If you go and order grits - you're getting polenta, not traditional southern grits.  They are yummy just the same.

Globe Lights near gym
I can not rave enough about the Hotel Valley Ho. It's total Mad Men, 50s style. Reminds you of old Palm Springs, Vegas or LA. I was trying to figure out how to fit the globe lights into my suitcase. I settled on the soap instead (heavenly). But besides the soap, the best thing about the hotel is how super nice the staff was. Everyone, especially valet guy, Phil, were just high on life nice. I think it was the mountain air.

So now I am back in Houston where it is still 90 damn degrees in October.  It's OCTOBER. Actually, it's almost November. Where the heck is my Fall?

Oh well...I guess I better go back to looking at my photos of cotton growing along the highway (Yes, Cotton.  Who knew cotton grew outside Georgia?) and continue to sing along with Belinda...Vacation, all I ever wanted.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Drake is NOT a rapper

He's a signer who used to be on Degrassi - The Next Generation. That's not even the Degrassi Jr High or Degrassi High series that I used to watch.

After having a fabulous dinner with Miss Kim (she's so funny), I made it home to watch BET's Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century.  Why?

Why did I subject myself to this waste of good TV time?

Looking at the panel, you'd think "Hey, these are some educated DJs on the cutting edge of music. They even have credible Hip Hop journalist and JD (that's Mr. Hit Maker, Jermaine Dupri). So it should be a good show with an all-star list."  Ha! Liars!!!

First, the overall list comprise of faux rappers, ie Drake, and crap rappers, ie Gucci Mane left off Jay-Z, Nas, Ice Cube, LL Cool J.

Second, the only female rapper was Eve and we haven't heard a single from her since she teamed up with Gwen Stefani.  What about Lil Kim, Missy Elliott, Foxy Brown or even (cringe) Nikki Minaj?

If this is supposed to be a listing of the top 10 rappers from the past 10 years based on flow, lyrics, money made, and cultural impact (with the additional of social media for extra nudging), then there are some HUGE omissions (see above). But what really worked my nerve was the argument that Drake was listed too low on the list. WTH? He's NOT a rapper. 

If I had to vote based on their top 5, it would definitely be reordered to look like this:

5. Lil Wayne
4. Kayne West
3. TI
2. 50-Cent
1. Eminem

I am positive that with the c-rap (pronounced CRAP) that is blasted on the airwaves of late, the next showdown will be between Waka Flaka Flame (what a dumb-ass name), Wiz Khalifa, Justin Bieber and Willow Smith.

I'm voting for Willow.


Do you listen to rap? How would you vote?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are you down with the swirl?

You are joining this post mid-thought so I beg your forgiveness now.

After dinner last night, a song hit the radio (I can't remember the title) and on the lyrics was about good love being hard to find. I made some smart-alec comment to The Fella about it being true which lead to a convo about our meeting/dating/etc. He said something to me that I've been chewing on ever since.  Before we met, he swore off Black women.

What? Really?  Yes.

But he's not the only one to say this to me in the recent past.  A girlfriend of mine said the same - she's done with Black men. Cool, more for me! But...

Yo, yo, yo - what's up with dissing your own folks. Like Rodney King said - can't we all just get along?

I understand when relationships go sour or folks just aint giving you the time of day, you may take a break, regroup or reflect.  But is that cause for you to swear off that entire race of women/men?  I can see that if you aren't being fulfilled in your opposite relationship, regardless of skin tone, that you wake up one day and swear off men (or women) and move towards a same-sex relationship. If that's rewarding - booyah! You hit the love jackpot.

Love knows no boundaries, skin tone, eye color, hair color, shoe size or dress size. So saying you won't date someone based solely on their race because you had a bad experience once, twice, a bajillon times only hampers you from finding the romance of a lifetime.

Funny thing is that The Fella checked out my online profile first. So I guess Black women weren't totally off his radar. Lucky for him, I thought he was Italian as I was going through an international men phase! I'm the EEOC of love affairs!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Consider yourself confused

Yesterday I had the suckiest of sucky workouts - or so I thought:

1. I didn't bring the correct sneakers so my feet were burning during C25K. I quit 15 minutes into the run.

2. The weight area is tiny and big beefy was trying to intimidate everyone near him by dropping the weights. I wasn't scurred. I started my big bad bicep challenge (you really should join me) off with 21s.  But wait, there's no room for me to get on the floor and do situps.  Then the constant thudding of weights hitting the floor was beginning to break through my noise-canceling headphones and I couldn't keep my mind-muscle connection. I quit after the 2nd rotation.

3. I tried to take an ab class. I generally skip these because of my lower back issues. But something in me said: Since you've fueled up on crap and you're half-assing your workout, you may as well try the ab class.   OOOOOOO - wrong move. I think there was a fallout cloud floating around me. I know - gross, TMI!

The good thing that came of this half-assed workout is that I went home and cooked! I made these sweet potato/black enchiladas. There were half-assed too because I used what I had on hand (moz cheese instead of jack, pickled jalapenos, parsley over cilantro - you get the picture). Talk about yum (even better the second day for lunch!!!).

So getting to the point of this post...Tony Horton an those Fan-actics at Beachbody talk about muscle confusion all the time. Heck, that's the entire concept of P90X and ChaLean Extreme.  But what the heck does that mean?  It means not doing the same workout over and over again because your body adjusts to the same repetitive motion. Ya'll know I love me some TurboKick and do it 4 days/week, but I'm rarely sore following those workouts. Tada!!!! Even after my BS workout yesterday, my thighs and biceps are sore. Am I figuring out this concept of muscle confusion?  Probably.  Will I mix up my workouts more often? Definitely.

So even if you're workouts aren't 4 stars and leaving you drenched in sweat, all movement is good movement. As one of my instructors says on a daily basis "even mistakes burn calories".

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back in Black

Trends come and go: skinny jeans, leg warmers, shoulder pads.  Even being ethnic has seen its trendy times: Lisa Bonet was more popular than Tempestt Bledsoe, Al B Sure got more girls than Keith Sweat. We moved to Tyson becoming the best dark chocolate on the scene. The black trend ceased when JLo, Mariah Carey and Salma Hyack rose to stardom or the introduction of Bollywood's popularity. 

Last night, I realized it is, yet again, trendy to be Black! I've been Black all my life, so I never realized when my skin tone was or wasn't popular.

Dinner last night was interesting.  It's always fun to dine with my girlfriend when she comes to town.  I covet her shoes and secretly plot to steal them off her feet. But that's a blog for another day.  Last night, her son declared he is no longer Caucasian and that he wished he was raised in a Black family. Um yeah, right kid. He even attempted to use the N-word referring to his bros.  This put me off guard.  After that exchange all I could think of is that this kid listens to too much Eminem. Here we go again with non-Blacks thinking it's cool as long as you come off as "down" to use the term. Hell-to-the-naw and if he uses it in the wrong presence, he will receive the brutal end of a nasty beat down. I asked his mom to have their good friend who is from a small town in East Texas where they probably just recently removed the segregation signs from public places to have a serious talk about what it really means to be Black.

We ended the night with her son insisting that he was Black. And I left it with "you are an honorary Black person".  Knowing this is just a trend, I am hopeful he will grow out of it and soon.  But this lead to me think what the constant distinction will do to his thinking.  I have a another very good friend that we jokingly said was Black on the inside.

I am used to being the token among my friends.  I was 1 of 2 Black kids (at least I think there was another) in my HS class. I was never in an all-Black situation (excluding my family) until the day my parents dropped me off at Tuskegee Institute. I have been accused of acting white, wanting to be white, sounding white - etc. etc. Although lately, I've been told I have a Texas accent (time to move). Sue me that I don't sound ignorant, country, uneducated. No, I'm not saying all Blacks sound ignorant the moment they open their mouths. I am saying that when I meet people face to face after having telephone conversations, their favorite line is "Oh, I didn't think you were Black".

I guess I will never understand why we have to lay claim to other ethnic backgrounds. I know that I am lucky to be Black, educated and employed - I'm not blind to that. But I don't wake up every day saying I wish I was Anglo or Latin or male.  I may wake up wishing I had curly hair - but that's what weave is for. Being a minority is never easy but I wouldn't trade it for another lifestyle.

Thank goodness for the few of us who are colorblind and see each other for who we are inside and not the tan we wear on the outside.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yoga can get you in to Heaven

Or maybe not...

I'm not an expert on what will or wont get you closer to St. Peter in the afterlife, but personally, I think those who tell their parishioners that they shouldn't practice yoga because it diverges from Christian values are off-base.

There are plenty of totems that have been "normalized" from an Eastern culture - yoga being one of them. Heck modern-day Christianity stems from a multi-god religion. Yes, yoga is a Buddhist practice used to achieve a oneness with the universe and depending on your type of yogi - you may or may not chant.  So what! If you don't like chanting, turn it into Hail Mary's or other prayers.

Honestly, if you ask many Americans why they take yoga, it's for health benefits - it's a good work, it helps center Type A personalities after stressful days through the use of concentrated breathing and stretching movements. I don't think practicing yoga in the US negates your Christian values. If anything, a Christian may use their yoga time to meditate and say private prayers.

The day people stop spreading hate and start learning about the subtle differences among us - we will all be a better person for it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's the Gun Show

Ok, so Joise at Yum Yucky is one crazy, wacky chica...and her blog is super hilarious. Check her out if you haven't already. She has a Big Bad Bicep Challenge that just started and here's the schedule or you can do any combo at 5 days a week.  That's a lot of badass gun work.


Option A – You Have Gym (or gym equipment at home)
  • 21s – EZ curl bar, 7x halfway up, 7x halfway down, 7x all the way. Without pausing, 25 reps of situps on a decline bench. DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK.
  • Seated bicep curls (start with both arms at top – lower one, bring it back up, lower the next one – so one arm is always at the top) – 12 each arm (or more).
  • Without pausing, 25 reps of leg raises (lift both legs, but if you get tired alternate them). DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK.
  • Regular curls with a straight bar – 12 (or more).
  • Abdominals: Without pausing, do 25 reps of pull down crunches (behind the neck or an ab machine). DO THIS SET 3x.
OPTION B – You only have dumbbells
  • Seated bicep curls (as in 2nd stage of option A – alternating arms, starting at top bringing one arm down and then up, so that one arm is always at the top). Without pausing, 25 reps of situps. DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK.
  • Seated isolation curls (one arm with elbow against inner thigh, legs open, bring it up and down 12 times).
  • Without pausing do leg lifts (flat on back, legs in the air, hands under butt – push butt up) – do it 25 times or for 1 minute. BREAK.
  • Hammer curls (end of weights face forward and palms face into body or cross-over curls) – 12 (or more).
  • Planks: Hold the plank position for 60 seconds. DO THIS SET 3x. BREAK. Note: (I’ll be doing 90-second planks).
So are you down?  All the cool kids are doing it! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Are you ready for some Turbo?

Ya'll know I love me some kickboxing, Turbo Kick aka Turbo Jam for the gym to be precise. I also have a fan-crush on Chalene Johnson. That's one small ball of energy and motivation. So when one of my fitness instructors mentioned that there would be a master class on Saturday, I was all down for the cause.  Let's just say a GREAT time was had by me, I know for sure.

I did get in Wk 2, Day 2 of C25K before the start of the class. I have shaved 1 min of my mile time (woo hoo).

While waiting for the room to clear, the guest instructor came up. Wow, she is almost a dead ringer for Chalene. The class was high energy. It was like taking the class with Chalene in person (as close as I will get until my next trip to Long Beach - which isn't planned anytime soon). Andrea Acree kicked my butt. She didn't even do the full round, but I know I was huffing and puffing and had to take 3 water breaks.

My goal is to get certified as a TurboKick instructor, so I was glad to take the class with her. Of course, it's no where near close to the day-long training, but it was a nice taste of what's to come.

Oh, an according to my HRM, I burned 1325 cals doing the run and the class! Booyah!

What was your weekend workout?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

C25K what?

I know - it sounds like a curse word. Believe me, "Run" has never been in my vocab unless I'm being chased by Jason, Freddie and Michael all at once (even then, I probably would just throw shoes). When I started college many many many moons ago, I went on an ROTC scholarship. My plan was to be a biochemist (FAIL).  So in order to maintain the scholarship I had to loose weight (about 20 or so lbs if I remember correctly) and pass the PT test (FAIL, again). I HATED the weekly run. We ran by the psych ward, we ran around campus, we ran and I hated it. I never did enjoy having ppl yell at me either. That totally sucks. I was the one lagging waaaaay behind the safety guards on the runs. And now I know why. I never learned HOW to run. Yes, there is a proper way to run that includes foot placement, arm movements, and breathing. And as with many things, if we don't learn the proper way to do something, we won't do it and if forced to do it, we won't enjoy it.

Needless to say, other events took place among not passing those damn PT tests and I lost my scholarship. I also changed schools and majors too many times to count. No biggie. I did finally finish my degree (that 20-yr plan works wonders) and I became a walker.

So what's the all the hype behind Couch to 5k? Or am I just following the herd?

The hype is like P90X. You keep hearing enough about it and you just have to investigate (I'm still not sinking my money into P90X, though). It gets you moving faster than you were before.  Yeah, Yeah, slow and steady wins the race - I get ya...but going faster each time is exhilarating for me. I've recouped nicely from my ankle issues and finished out week 1 yesterday. I would have finished Saturday, but my Turbo instructor conned me into doing weights with her (let's just say I still have trouble hooking my bra in the morning - noodle arms).

I know - it's only a 60sec interval, but I am looking forward to week 2. Actually, I am looking forward to running an entire 30min interval. This has felt like a natural progression over my walking. I already have a fast pace, naturally and when I'm on the treadmill I keep my pace somewhere in the 4.0-4.2 range. So now, my first week of jogging I set my pace between 4.4 and 4.5 with a 2.0 incline so I'm not walking downhill.   My plan for week 2 is to increase my jog pace between 4.6 and 4.8 with an include of 3.0.

I still possess some sort of mental block when it comes to a food diary. Grrrr! I did find a nice undated calendar that I can use to make my daily menu - now to just pull that thing out the bag and start using it. Therein lies the issue!

Do you keep a food journal?  Do you keep it in paper format or online?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Slap on a smile...

and say YeeHaw!

I think I've gone slightly mad. Maybe mad cow has finally eaten away at what's left of my brain. Or, maybe I just really really enjoy my workouts.

It dawned on me last night as I was hooting and hollering during kickboxing, heck, even "raising the roof" while doing C25K (yeah, I'm back on it), that I really enjoy working out. I was totally aggravated on my drive to the gym (yes, I'm the overly aggressive driver who wants to go 80 mph on the highway, especially when the lane is clear) because all the suburbanites where driving at school zone speeds and it was 7PM!!! Grrr, foot to gas pedal ppl. Cars were made to go fast.

Oh damn-it I lost focus...Ok, so I get to the gym parking lot becoming more frustrated because of the non-handicapped spots in front of the door - there's always 1 person who has to park right up front and she's driving a HUGE truck that she probably had to sit on phone books just to see over the dash! Why was I in such a rush to get to the gym? Dunno. Could have been the Black Eyed Peas pumping loudly through my speaker system (man, I love my car). It's a great song when you need motivation or need to feel pumped on the last bit of a run/walk/workout!




I got in my C25K run! I had to revert back to week 1 since I hurt my ankle last week :( but it was still a fun run. So by 8pm, I was hot, sweaty (oh yeah, that's sexy) and ready for some Turbo!!! I've gym-friended a young-ish RN who I noticed was going through the motions half-assed and half-hearted.  This irked me since watching her kept me off pace. I finally started the nag.  "Come on, Girl...you can do this!" became my mantra. She was probably perturbed by the end of the class, but I didn't care. I was grinning ear to ear when I was done. I had a blast and I'm looking forward to Nightclub Cardio tonight. Time for some booty popping and party pumping!

Do you find yourself enjoying your workout time for no reason at all? Or do you dread your workouts?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Recommitment Shopping List

Okie dokie...here's the shopping list (no deviation from my normal list). Hopefully, this will keep me from rolling through Taco Hell.

Spinach
Fresh fruit (apples, oranges, cantalope, kiwi)
Kale
Celery
2% milk
Bananas
Sweet potatoes
Mushrooms
Sugar peas (fresh)

Oatmeal
Laughing cow cheese
Tomatoes

Already purchased
Frozen fruit
Frozen veggies
Chobani yogurt

Am I missing anything?  Of course I have staples (eggs, peanut butter).

I am planning to make quinoa with mushrooms, kale and sweet potatoes over the weekend. I will substitute  couscous for the quinoa because I already have a mountain of couscous cooked!

Meal plan to be posted tomorrow - baby steps working over here!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sloths have feelings too

Note: This was originally written in July - but still applies today...
~~~~~~~~~
Or maybe I spent too much time watching Ice Age (I love that movie).

So my question for today is...How in the world do your reign in your inner giant panda?  Mine reared it's head yesterday in a really bad way (let's just agree to never speak on my drive thru party for lunch). I'm normally really good about asking for a to-go box for my meals or just eating 1/2 of what's on the plate. But lately, I've been a bottomless pit and have been shoveling food in my gaping hole like quicksand.

Case in point:

I had dinner with a dear friend last night at a posh hotel here in town.  Her and her hubby berated me (in the way good friends do) the last time we were together, because I wasn't really hungry. Mind you, they think we're in Spain and eat dinner at that super chic hour of 8pm. So this time I should have been prepared. Oh heck no! It started with mojitos (just 1 for me, but damn they are yummy), Ahi tuna tacos, mini lamp chops, enough Sea Bass to feed 2, ice wine, coffee, mango sorbet, AND slice of ice (cookies and cream ice cream made into a cake). GOOD LAWD!!!! Surprisingly the appetizers were appetizer size, the rest of the meal was true Texas-style: BIG.

Yes, I know there are tons of articles out there with advice on how to prepare for parties and generally avoiding eating with friends, but with this couple - that aint happening. And that's not really the crutch of the story...
**********
Current situation as of Sept 8...I've been EATING!  I'm not talking Eat Clean eating...I mean EATING just plain crap and there's no excuse for it.  Someone tried to say it was my metabolism. Ha! Yeah, right.  What I mean is as soon as I finish a meal, I'm thinking of what else can I eat (where's the pudding, the cookies, the chips, etc). I've been circling the fast food drive thrus like I'm casing the joint and I'm craving hamburgers.  WTH!

To add insult to injury, I only worked out 2 days last week, haven't done a damn thing this week except vacuum and I haven't returned to C25K.

What do you do when you find yourself in this situation? 

Well, I can tell you this...I got my butt on the scale - SCARY.  I saw a number that I haven't seen in a while = 170! WTH!!!! Where the hell did that come from?  I know some of it's salt (because this morning the scale trended down to 167), but I can't keep blaming salt for this type of behavior.

So my quest is to figure out what my problem is. Boredom? Anxiety? Stress? And to figure that out will be a food journal.  Yes, yes...I've said it before and I suck at it.  But to the food journal I am using a menu. I found the one I was using in June-July. And now that my AC is fixed (I haven't had a working AC for most of July and August - too damn hot to do anything especially cooking) I have no excuse not to cook! My grocery list will be completed today and posted for ya'll to see. I'm not sure about the 'No Sugar' diet - I'm not trying to diet, I'm trying to change my lifestyle.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Looking the part - part deaux

I keep re-reading my last post and I don't think I expressed myself clearly (a reason why I wasn't on the senior debate team in HS - I can make an argument, but have difficulty expressing myself clearly without mulling over my viewpoint).  So here I am again with the issue.

Thinking about looking the part of what you're selling leads me to think about the issue of body image. Am I wrong to say that I wouldn't chose someone who appears to look unfit as my trainer?  Then why would my workout partner chose to workout with me?  Yes motivation is different than training, but she could just as easily pick someone who 'looks' fit as her source of motivation.  We are, however, constantly cheering each other on and making sure we don't pass out during some of the workout classes.

We both talk a lot about body image and acknowledge there are certain areas of our bodies that we would like to change and are working towards changing.  However, we both say we want to avoid being super skinny - that's not our idea of beauty. Lately there has been national discussion on the issue of super skinny vs curvy in fashion mags, including many of us who follow Mad Men's favorite character.  Did ya'll know Christina Hendricks measurements are 39D-30-39? And my idea of super skinny are the resurgent of models who are so thin, you see collar bones, hip bones, knees and are poorly underdeveloped to the point they appear to look like pre-pubescent boys. Even Rachel Zoe can appear to be too skinny. That is simply my opinion on the super skinny issue.

So again thinking of looking the part and body image, I would have to say, again, we are all at different stages of weight loss - some have made it maintenance, some of us are still trying to get past those first 10 lbs.  So if there is someone a little plumper than my ideal, who's to say that person isn't the trainer/motivator for someone else? Maybe I need to get over my idea of looking the part and work towards achieving it!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You gotta look the part...

in order to sell me the package.  At least that's my opinion when it comes to personal consultants: life coaches, AVON Reps, Mary Kay consultants and especially fitness trainers. 

I had this argument with my on/off workout partner. I said I would strive to be a fitness coach if I was in better shape. Her argument is that many ppl look fit but aren't. True enough. But that's not the point. If I am going to sell this, I gotta look like I know what I'm doing and talking about.

I am amazed that the folks at one of the gyms I visit has a good number of out of shape employees ranging from front desk check in to sales floor to the child care.  With a free membership as an employment perk, how could that be? I mused that I am surprised at the number of memberships this gym sells because their employees don't look the part of being fit. No, you don't have to be super thin to be fit and I realize you don't have to workout in order to sell me a gym membership.

But would you buy makeup from woman who never wears makeup or applies it in such a garish way that it screams Halloween each day?  Would you invest your money with an investment banker who is broke?  Would you pay for a life coach whose own life is out of sorts? 

When seeking out a fitness trainer, I want to see someone who appears fit, muscular with little to no jiggle. I want to train with someone who has a body shape similar to my personal goal. Yes, I would love to look like Donna Richardson Joyner! She can sell me a gym membership any day!



Photo from Cafe Mom

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And I ran...

Ran not too far, but at least I ran.  I've completed week 1 of C25K. Today was easy. I even bumped up my run speed on the treadmill from 4.4 to 4.5. Whoa!!! Watch out for the speedster!

I know that the treadmill is no real challenge for running outside, but man oh man, it's  just too damn hot. Kim and Merry - big ups to ya'll for running outdoors. I will be there once the temps start to fall. I also know I'm pushing myself by doing this back to back. But I am trying to find my groove with my workout days.  Yesterday, my heart rate monitor claimed I burned 1400 calories combining my run and kickboxing class.

Yeah, that's bad-ass.

But what makes this C25K appear easy this week is the podcast. I downloaded 3 separate podcasts so that I don't have to listen to the same mix each run. The music is good and I find myself singing along and I found myself getting peeved when the voice from beyond told me it was time to my brisk walk!

I'm not a runner - just playing one 3 days/week at the moment. But I will keep ya'll posted.

Do you run? What do you listen to when you workout?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Do you C25K?

I did last night!  After my TKB workout, I found an empty treadmill. Of course, it took me a few minutes to get my heart rate down to a normal range (those burpees in this TKB round are challenging).

But in straight-up LTD style, I didn't pay attention to the rules (who reads the instruction packet anyway?) I didn't realize the podcast was for 30mins and instead set my treadmill time to 20mins. I did manage to get in 6 runs and was interrupted by my TKB instructor.  That's a great interruption!

So Saturday, I will do Wk1 Day 2 and Sunday will be Wk1 Day 3!!!

Yeah baby!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You did what?

Um, well, ok...I...I...I said I would start the Couch to 5K. Yeah, I think I hit my head and in a fit of amnesia, I posted on FB for all the world (my few friends) to see that I planned to start the C25K.  Oh yeah, and to top it off I challenged my cousin who started her C25K a week ago to a race (luckily, we haven't picked which one - hence, no date set - YET).  OOOOO and to add insult to injury, I e-mailed Kim who's blog I read as soon as she posts to tell her. 

Woozers!

So after boasting that I would start, I found a few podcasts (dance and rap) to add to my iPod (I don't own a smartphone or iPhone and refuse to pay for apps). My game plan was to start yesterday - 20mins on the treadmill because it's like the 4th ring of Dante's Inferno outside and a quick 20 minute upper body workout (I even printed out the moves). I was prepared! I was pumped! I was all gung-ho!

Enter the bubbly Group X instructor with her shiny disco ball and perky attitude. I dislike bubbly, perky, ultra thin aerobic instructors (not really). I secretly want to be one (perky and bubbly - not ultra thin).

Ahhh hell - out the door went my plans for yesterday. I ended up doing 45mins of Nightclub Cardio!  And let me tell you - this low-impact aerobic class aint no joke. We squatted, party-pumped, booty-pop it till we were all dripping in sweat. We did so many chest flies that after the class all I wanted to do was get on the bus and head home!!!

Luckily, today is a new day.  Today is Zumba day (thank goodness no party-pumps in this class).  That means I can get in the 20-min Week1 Day1 of C25K AFTER Zumba. Plus, there should be available treadmills at 8pm tonight.

So wish me luck. Pray that I don't say (in my best Cartman voice) F* this, I'm going home!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tune in Tokyo

Yesterday was an eye-opening day. I arrived at the gym well before the 8pm kickboxing class with the intention of getting in some extra cardio and possibly a round of weights. Low and behold I forgot my iPod. Grrrr....So out the window goes my plan of shimming down the runway a la America's Next Top Model, oh I mean struttin' my stuff on the treadmill while moving and grooving to my super awesome workout playlist. No biggie - I grab a bike and start to pedaling.

It's an odd feeling working out sans the closed-in comfort of headphones. I felt exposed, sort of.  So I took the time to let my eyes wander around the gym.  Have you ever noticed how people lift weights. I do. I'm not a trainer, but have had several over the years. I know there is a wrong way and right way to lift. There's also this thing called mind-muscle connection. It's very Ghandi-like - having to visualize the muscle contracting as you use i. I like that concept because I visualize slimmed thighs and Angela Bassett-esque guns!  So while watching various men/women going about their gym activities, there's a wide range of conscious and unconscious lifters in the world.  The unconscious ones remind me of drones.

So while I sat spinning away, listening to the piped in music over the clink/clack of weights and whirling of treadmills and ellipticals, the drones reminded me that I need to stay on the mind-muscle track. But I still have a tendency to check out the hot muscled bodies as they roam about the gym.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Watch it wiggle

and I can see it jiggle...Not in a good way, mind you.  Then again, anything that jiggles on the body isn't really good - is it?



I was wide awake at 420am this morning thinking: I'm 2 years away from the BIG 4-0 and I don't want to jiggle. I don't mind getting jiggy with it - whatever 'it' is...but I don't all my goods shaking, rattlin and rollin with it. Ya know.  This sleepless thought probably crept in while I was thinking about walking the hills in Seattle and marveling over how my rear would never be saggy if I walked hills all day.

So what's a girl to do about jiggle spots on her body?  Botox? Nip/Tuck? Ummm, yeah - I can think of better things to spend that kind of money on. Shoes, glorious shoes!

Thanks to those potty-break push-ups, I'm beginning to see some change in my arms - woo hoo. Now, my next trouble spot is the hardest spot to workout (in my opinion) - those inner thighs.  What to do, what to do?

Here's what I'm thinking (list of easiest to stay on top of to hardest).

1. Add pile squats to my potty-break push ups.
2. Add lunges to the end of each workout.
3. Do abductor/adductor machines each Sunday weight train day.

#1 starts today! Hopefully in the next 6 weeks, I can crack walnuts with my thighs! Well maybe not that powerful, but close!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Oh the places you will go...

So I am back from my trip to Seattle/Puyallup/Tacoma.  Say that 10 times fast - I double dog dare you.

It's been 10 years since my last trip for the same purpose - the High School reunion - and I still had the same feelings of: 1. I don't want to go. 2. I don't remember any of these people. 3. I don't want to spend $100 on tickets and stay 10 mins with people I don't remember. 4. I'll sign up for the check-in table, it will be fun. 5. I don't want to go.

 
And you know what? I went to the mixer the night prior. I recognized 3 people! Maybe a few other faces in the crowd looked familiar, but I don't mingle well, I don't like crowds, I don't do small talk without the aid of a glass of wine and I HATE small spaces. Suffice it to say that even without alcohol (I was driving since the Fella would have fallen asleep standing up), I had a good enough time chatting with a few old friends. My 1 true friend and I had dinner the night before since she wasn't planning to attend the festivities. And I am truly glad that I did not attend the reunion functions the following night.

The highlight of my trip to Seattle was definitely Mt. Rainier. My mom swears we went way back in 1987 or so, but I have no recollection of the trip. So thank goodness for modern technology because I was able to record the 2010 trip in all it's majestic glory (let's hope the rolls of film I shot came out as well as, actually better, than the digital shots).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Someone please pass the Emergen-C

All I want to do is breef through my nose. Please. Purty, purty please.  And maybe get in 1 last workout before vacation because while Sheila's bathroom break push-ups are good for the upper back, arms and shoulders - I still need to sweat off these carbs I've ingested over the past 4 days.

I am the worse person to be around when I'm sick. I'm cranky and snotty (more so when I'm sick).

And the most terrible thing is that I leave for my HS reunion on Thursday. Flying is going to be a biatch if I can't reign in this head cold TODAY.

Actually, that's not the most terrible thing...Recently, there seems to be a rash of departing grandparents! WTH! Is there some sort of shuffleboard party or Grandparent convention going on in Heaven?  Well, I sure hope my Grandma is having a blast eating Doritos, drinking a beer and having a smoke.  My fondest memory was not my most shinning moment. But she made me smile with her wit and charm. "Baby, we've all had ______ at some point in time". Geez, thanks Grandma. I feel worlds better knowing I'm not the only one who wants to kill her ex-beau for passing on those nasty buggers and thank goodness I had her smarts to get rid of his ass!  I know! It's totally gross. And let's not talk about the time she took me bra shopping...oh the shame, the horror.

I'm trying to think of the good times and not dwell on the sad times, of which I can gratefully say there weren't many. I will not feel guilty about listening to my parents and keeping my plans to attend the reunion vs heading to Detroit for the funeral (I am never good with funerals).

To Erin and Sheila - I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Let's hope there's one huge party going on in their honor!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I've got news, Yo

Forget the other post I have sitting in my drafts about strangling my inner sloth. I think he went on vacation anyway.

I've got some news for ya.  But keep it on lock until it's actually official please. I've gotta tell someone because I'm about to burst with excitement. I did, of course, tell my folks and a few close real-life friends...and now I'm gonna tell you.

So I did a post a while back about My Fella's opportunity to relocate to and a follow-up to that post that had me spitting nails.  So consider this the follow-up to the follow-up.  I am so truly thankful for the dinner I had Sunday night (you can read about that when I finally post Inner-Sloth) because my buddy had an insightful convo with my Fella.

Ok, if you haven't guessed by now - he accepted the position.  The one in Denver!!!! I totally did 4 knee tucks on the track on Tuesday in the heat in super tight pink shorts (who the hell told me to buy those damn shorts anyway). Thank goodness I doubled-up on the sports bras - no black eyes or boob damage - cuz this chickie never jumps - ever!

Anyhoo....I will consider it official when he goes for training. It just goes to show that keeping the faith does pay off in the long run.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We are the champions!

Yesterday, I felt truly victorious and it didn't entail my winning bid on ebay.

After thinking about getting back on the bull, I did manage to seat myself upright. I am *thinking* about my meal plan for the next week. That's a start.  And, I've made a mental note of what's in the fridge and still edible! I've even thought about what to make for dinner tonight = Mango and black bean salad topped with salmon.

On the workout front, I've challenged myself to have 1 80-minute workout this week.  I'm still lacking 5 minutes on that challenge.  My usual workouts consist of a class (Zumba or Turbo) and if the class is only scheduled for 45 minutes, I will arrive at the gym at least 20minutes prior and get on the treadmill. No wonder I've plateaued.

A FB friend posts her workouts and times. I noticed that she works out for 80minutes at a time, usually doing interval training on the elliptical. Hmmm.... I hate the elliptical. Actually, I don't hate inanimate objects, I'm just not coordinated enough to use that machine. So I stick with the treadmill or bike. I found my inner Macho Man Savage (that's the new nickname for the voice(s) in my head) and decided that if this woman (who I don't even know) can last 80 minutes in the gym, so can I. CHALLENGE!!!!

I tried Monday and lasted 60 minutes (15 treadmill/45 Turbo).  I tried again yesterday. 75mins (getting close). 15min walk to the gym carrying a 6-8lb bag (freaking bag was heavy, next week I will carry my backpack), 35 min Turbo, 30 min Strength. I will try again on Saturday for 40 min strength and 60 min Turbo. Next week, I plan to have 2 80-min workout days.

There is conflicting information about the amount of time spent working out, high vs. low intensity, full-body vs. target part strength training, how many days to workout, etc. But it all boils down to putting in your best effort for each workout. Some days it may be 30mins of high intensity and some days may be something different. My thinking is that if I allot 80 mins to a workout at least 1-2 days per week, I can get in cardio AND strength training (which has been a goal for a hot minute).

Do you set a time limit to your workouts?  Do you combine strength and cardio on the same day?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You looka like...

Not a man as Ms. Swan would say....



But apparently I look as if I've lost weight or more people are noticing or I'm finally wearing more size-appropriate clothes. Whatever it is, it's flattering.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank...One of the College employees (I see her every now and again in the cafeteria) stopped me and asked how I lost so much weight. My answer to her is simple, eat right and exercise 5 days a week.  Her incredulous look is the same I get from most people: "you mean, I've got to sweat 5 days a week?"

Um, yeah honey...sorry.

Actually, I'm not sorry. I did mention to her that it's easier to stay committed when you find an workout that you enjoy. It doesn't mean being in the gym 5 days a week unless that's what you like.

Having said that stuff about commitments, I've been slacking. BIG TIME. I've realized that I was all gung-ho over Clean Eating and making meals plans. But then something went all wonky and I fell off the bull, so to speak. I thought I was holding on the horns, but apparently not strong enough to ride it through to submission. (Hook em Horns)...

Ok, ok enough of the Longhorn lingo.  Can someone say A trip East is needed STAT?!

So tell me...how do you stay on the bull? 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thanks for all the fish

Actually, thank you all for your comments on last week's ramble action.

And in the words of a 1990s Feel-good rap song...we're all in the same game!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Let's play the blame game...

Or not.

There's a 3-part series happening over on The Root that has me a bit miffed because it's just full of BS excuses as to why more Black women are overweight vs. the rest of the population and that they can't figure out how to combat it.

It's been about 2 hours since I wrote this first sentence which gave me time to mull it over (and finish reading the series).  I guess what set me off on a tangent is that the author doesn't want to hear that this obesity issue is attributed to "eating too much and moving too little"; that weight gain/loss is directly tied to our emotion states.

Ok, let's say LaShaune's been a size 14 girl ever since I can remember. The lowest weight for me was 135 my freshman year in college (way back in the day) and that was only because I had to meet weight in order to maintain my ROTC scholarship (I never made the 132 weight requirement). LaShaune was an active girl throughout HS and college, playing tennis, faking the run for ROTC, etc. I suffered a traumatic event in college and moved back home with family. I still played tennis after working through my crap in 1991-1992. Woo hoo, got a call to move to NYC in 1997. Moved back to Houston in 2001, finally stepped on a scale - 191 (I think).  Joined a gym, got a trainer, got down to 173 (or somewhere close). More crap happened compounded by back issues and finally surgery in 2005 - moved to 203 (my highest weight). Entered a weight loss study, dropped to 165 at the end of the study (learned diet and exercise and emotional support/control).  Now, I'm working towards getting to 150 (the magic number).

Yes, I've suffered abuse. Yes, I've been depressed (did I mentioned I moved back to Houston from NYC - who the heck moves FROM the best place in the US?). Yes, I've seen a therapist. Yes, I've talked with girlfriends.  Yes, I've been on medication for my depression. Yes, I've done diet pills, weight watchers, joined and dropped gyms. Yes, I'm Black and female.

Let's face it - losing weight is hard as hell! Staying motivated, eating the right things, not overeating when stuff goes to pot or just hanging out friends.  It's not easy...

We ladies, regardless of melanin content, deal with stress, abuse, depression, daily life in various manners. And to say that Black women have it worse than others just continues to compound the issue that we're somehow wired differently from the rest of the human race. I think it's a total crock of crap and that Black women need to wake up and realize that if we don't start taking care of ourselves, that being "thick" really isn't healthy, we will end up 6 feet under. I think we've bought into the Vogue idea of beauty and lost sight of what's really important - not being diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

I'm not here to be a size 8 squeezing into a pair of Calvin's like Oprah did way back when diet pills hit the scene. I'm here to learn how to be healthy and hopefully impose that healthy attitude on others.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Huge...

Reminds me of a Judy Blume novel. Did anyone else watch it?  Where you thinking "This one time at fat band camp?".

When it first started, I was appalled that there was show dedicated to kids going to fat camp. As I continued to get wrapped up in the story line (which isn't the best), I thought...why not have a show about kids going to fat camp. It hit all the scenarios that women phase in and out of (regardless of dating age) and issues with our bodies, eating disorders, acceptance, friendships, etc. I'm just glad that I never went to camp, girl scout, fat, band or otherwise.

I doubt this show will be on my regular rotation but the concept is interesting.

Oh and in case you've been wondering just where the hell I've been. I've been here lurking reading blogs. I haven't had much to say about anything lately. I haven't been spending  money (that's a good thing). I'm still urging The Fella to apply for work and sending him gobs of job postings. I've finally recovered from the toll of boot camp-deep tissue massage induced sickness.  That last bit really set my workouts back a notch (haven't lifted weights since the boot camp and have yet to incorporate spinning into my schedule) and I'm just finally beginning to feel somewhat normal.

By the way, I hope ya'll aren't offended by the use of the word fat. I guess being a chunky kid and now a round woman, I use the term (just not a lot and not in a derogatory manner).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Boot Camp

Is not summer camp for your winter boots.

What the hell was I thinking?  Yeah, I had a training session with Master Pitbull, Ariel and survived so what harm could it be to take her boot camp? 

Hello. Earth to LaShaune.  It's Tuesday and your legs are STILL sore!  Boot camp was Saturday!!!!

But hello...LaShaune to Brain - it was oh so worth it.  5 Intervals, each one done 3 times through.  There's only 1 move that can't be done solo (at home) and that's the medicine ball toss. She even included burpees (and you know how much I am loving those!). The one move I had the most difficult time with was the inverted bicycle move (on your knees or push-up position and bring your knee and opposite elbow in).  It was not comfy since I was dripping wet.  My favorite move was the pseudo-kettlebell swing-squat.

I gotta say, whoever invents a non-slip mat that absorbs sweat by the buckets and isn't big/bulky to haul to the gym will get my money (as long as it's under $20).

I will post the intervals later this week for those interested.

How was your weekend workout(s)?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Calories In vs. Calories Out

RPE vs. METs.  Bodybugg vs. heart rate monitor.

It's all Greek to me.

So the question arose the other day: how many calories do you burn doing Zumba?  Good question seeing how the instructors and infomericals tout that you can burn 800-1000 calories doing Zumba.  Um yeah.  What they neglect to tell you is that you can burn that if you weigh in at least 250 lbs.

But the question still looms.  How do you determine if you're exercising within the limits for caloric burn or does it really?  Yeah, it matters because for every 3,500 weekly deficit that equals 1 lb of weight loss.  And isn't that the point of exercise and healthy eating? Yup.

Enter BodyBugg vs. Heart Rate Monitor.  I don't have either. Why? 1) BodyBugg is a bit spendy.  Even on sale at $175 for the monitor and another $100 for the display. 2) I can't quite comprehend which heart rate monitor is better. The watch vs. the strap. 3) I don't need to add any additional strap-ons during my workout (doubling down on sports bras is enough at the moment). 4) If I'm going to spend money (btw, I haven't spent 1 unnecessary dime this month so far), I'd rather buy new workout clothes over electronics that will get lost in my gym bag. If you've got an extra $250 to drop on the BodyBugg, you can order them online at 24 Hour Fitness.

There's bound to be a cost-effective way to measure this, right?  Well, LaShaune, yes there is. It's call METs. WTH does baseball have to do with calorie deficits?  Not the NY Mets, but Metabolic Equivalent Task (MET) based upon oxygen intake while performing certain activities.  A little googling provided a formula almost as complicated at Calculus 1 during the summer at 8am (who the heck is up for that punishment?  If it's you dear reader, click here: Peer Trainer). If you want the simple, computer generated way to calculate it, click here: drgrily.

Yes, it's good to know how many calories you burn while performing certain activities, especially if you over did it on your meal plan (damn those chalupas, chips/salsa/guac and mojitos) the day before or are planning to throw caution to the wind and treat yourself (did someone say all-you-can-eat Gelato?). But how do you know if you are working out hard enough, just right, or need to get your rear in gear?

Come on over RPE aka Rate of Perceived Exertion, which is kinda like RPMs for the body. Some folks think of it as the "Talk Test". If you can carry on a normal convo, you need to kick it up 3-4 notches because your butt is slacking.  If you can't breathe, slow your ass down before you pass out.  If you can only sing every other word to the song currently playing on your iPod, you're in the zone!  But if you need so see the full Borg list (yeah, it's Trekkie), click here, here, or here.

I use my Zumba day as my fat-burning day (where I can sing most of the song lyrics in very bad Spanish).  Kickboxing is mos-def high-intensity cardio (can only sing 1 liners of most songs).

How do you measure your caloric burn?