Summer Challenge Update and week 2 Goals

While I have been getting my workouts in, I haven't really been doing much in changing what I eat.  I have been eating less....most days just breakfast and dinner...... because I haven't been really hungry but other than that not much on the nutrition front. 

I managed to get in a vegetable with at least one meal this past week even though I was shooting for a veggie with  every meal.   As far as the mini challenge goes, I revisited a veggie that I do not like...Brussel Sprouts.... I usually just boil them and add a little salt and I found that I still DON'T like them.  Maybe I need a different way to cook them since boiling is rather basic.

Water isn't really an issue for me because it is my drink of choice most days so I did meet that goal as far as the challenge goes.  I also managed to get in my 4 days of working out  so I met that goal as well.  I did not weigh myself at the beginning of the challenge so I don't know whether or not I met the weight loss goal but although I'm attempting to become a reformed "scale whore"  I guess one more weigh in won't hurt. 

 This week, I will continue with the water, try to get in a  veggie with at least 2 meals  ( baby steps, baby steps) and I will incorporate strength training into my workouts since I seem to have my cardio down with Zumba.

I don't know what it is with me because as much as I love weight training, I just cannot seem to pick up a weight.  I recently received Jillian Michaels Body Revolution and the plan was to begin yesterday but for some reason I just could not make myself do it.  I have Insanity, P90X, Cathe Friedrich STS and all types of training programs..structured programs, in which all I would need to do is pick up the weights and follow along.  I've even printed out the routine for the Cathe workouts and done them at the gym  on a few occasions but for whatever reason, I just can't get myself  motivated to start back up so my goal will be to do at least 2 days of strength training this week.  Wish me luck!

Getting it right,

Summer Challenge Week 1

First Day of the Ready For Summer Challenge was yesterday and wouldn't you know it, It's "Shark Week" 'round these parts.(IE that time of the month)  Needless to say,  I'm bloated and crampy and eating everything  in sight.....( well not really everything) but things that I shouldn't have eaten like Birthday Cake, Pad Thai, and a Philly cheesesteak.

Hmmph!!!  I'm off to a raring start and to top that off I didn't do shyt yesterday as far as exercise is concerned.   Oh well, today is another day and I did do much better today, at least on the exercise front.

 I did manage to get in some Spring cleaning, and quite a few hours of cleaning I might add ,and finished it off with a Latin dance class at the gym.  I went  in expecting it to be like Zumba but it was much more difficult. It focused on Latin dances with some added kicks, punches and squats thrown in.  We did a bit of salsa, African dance, Merengue, Salsa and the instructor..( the same who  taught the cardio kick box class from hell) was full of energy and very motivating.  I think I'm going to add her class in to my rotation on Tuesday evenings.  Now on to the important  challenge related stuff....;)

1.This week I will shoot for a pound and a half weight loss goal.( although with "Shark Week" in full effect, I don't see how its possible)

2. Let's see goal..I have to get back to you on this one
3. Nutrition wise, let's see...I will incorporate a vegetable with every meal.  It seems simple enough for some but it is so  hard for me considering the only vegetable I usually eat is spinach in my morning omelet.

4. I will stick with my exercise at least 4 times this week.  I missed Monday but It's still very ;ossible for me to meet this goal.

I hope everyone who is is participating in the challenge is doing well.

Getting it right,

Friend Makin' Monday: Current Favorites

 Current Favorites

1. Song -Too many to count but what comes to mind is "Lady In MY Life" by Michael Jackson

2. Drink –Iced Tea and Mojitos( alcoholic beverage of choice)

3. Physical feature of the opposite sex (or the sex that you find attractive) – a man with a sexy back with just the right amount of muscles...will do it for me every time...add in a nice chest and some abs and I'm done!

4. TV Show(s) –Currently, I'm loving "Revenge", "Nikita", and "Once Upon a Time" in that order.  True Must See TV!! I also Love True Blood but haven't watched since season 2.

5. Actor/Actress – No favorite at the moment.but Blair Underwood is sexy as hell!  lol

6. Book –I really loved 'The Shack".... I tend to love nearly every book I read though so If I were totally honest, this list would be entirely too long.  Just finished "The Hunger Games and loved it as well. Currently reading Catching Fire( the second in the trilogy) and I probably will feel the same about it too.

7. Form of communication –I'm such an "emailer" or "texter". I'd much rather "talk" over the computer than face to face...sometimes that holds true...even if I like you!

8. Exercise – I have currently fallen in love with Zumba.  This is really something that I can stick too forever.  It's a great workout and so much fun!

9. Food –Lasagna, whole crabs and Philly cheese steaks are my favs.  Oh  the things I would do for a good cheese steak and some crabs right about now!

10. Quote – "What one compromises to gain, One must also compromise to keep" My pastor said it a few years back and I always assumed that he was the originator of the quote.  It's something that has always stuck with me throughout the years and it is so very true!

Your turn!   Head on over to Kenlie's and don't forget to link your blog!

Getting it right,

Ready For Summer Challenge

So I have joined a challenge.  It's not really the first challenge that I have participated in but this will be the first one that I am determined to complete.   Summer has always been my motivation in terms of losing weight. I mean who doesn't want to look good in their summer clothes?  I've never been one to NOT wear  shorts, tank tops, swim suits and other comfortable summer clothing just because I am over weight.  It amazes me how some would rather be hot and miserable because  of the way they believe they look in certain  things.  That is so not me.   My comfort comes first!!!

Anyway this is a 69 day challenge I believe ( March 26-Jun 3) and this is what I hope to accomplish during that time:

  1. Weight loss- I usually tend to jump in head first with my weight loss expectations but this time I will be reasonable with my goals.  Since a reasonable  rate of loss ( according to experts is 1 to 2 pounds per week, I think I will set a 15 lb weight loss goal or this challenge.
  3. NSV (Non-Scale Victory)- My non-scale victory would be to lose a pant size or 2.
  5. Exercise- During this challenge I will work out at least 4 times per week.
  7. Nutrition-This will be the hard part for me. I have just skimmed through the book Eat To Live and have decided to include some of the principles in my nutritional goals. I will eat at least 16 oz of raw, cooked green and non green vegetables at least 3 times per week ..and drink at least 64 oz. of water a day.

Anyway, that's it for now...Wish me Luck!

Getting it right,


Things are finally getting back to normal after my 3 week hiatus. These past few weeks I have been involved in a work project that threw me totally off track.

The early morning to late evening hours left me without a plan or the ability to fit in workouts so although my mind told me that I could do a little something when I returned home, my body said take your azz to bed which is what I ended up doing every single evening lol.

Saturday was my first day back to working out and I rejoined my 8:30 AM Zumba class. I thought my absence would make a huge difference but I was okay, still able to keep up and not overly winded or anything like that. Feeling good about being able to work out again, I decided to take a cardio kick boxing class Monday evening.

I wasn't sure what cardio kickboxing was but I assumed that it would be similar to Billy Blank's Tae-Bo or Chalene Johnson's Turbo Jam...I had no clue what I had gotten myself in to.

The instructor walked in and asked how many of us were new, myself and several others raised our hands and she went on to say that she tends to tailor her classes to all levels so no matter if you are a beginner or advanced, you would be able to fare well in her class.

During the warm-up she had us doing a bajillion squats from regular to 10-count and then she had us doing push-ups as well, also regular and 10 count! Have you ever tried to do a push-up, raising -up to a count of 10 and then lowering yourself to a count of 10? Murder! True to her word, she did modify some moves such as jumping jacks, and jumps and things but this class, in my opinion was in no way geared to a beginner such as myself(even with modifications) because that was just the warm-up.

The real workout consisted of various punches and kicks, which I was expecting, but also a good deal of jumping as well. When she added in an excessive amount of one hand push-ups, burpees, and something called the Chinese fire walk, all I could do was watch and count in unison because there was no way in hell I was even attempting to do that. While torturing us mercilessly, she proceeded to walk around the room watching and correcting forms, yelling in some instances and taunting us with how we know, now that the weather is warm, that we want to fit into our shorts and tank tops which will not look good with extra arm and leg jiggle. lol

Love her as an instructor and she had a very nice fit body, but I told the girl next to me( who didn't appear able to do much in the class either) that I had no plans to come back having resolved in my mind that this is something that I would need to work my way up to. She told me to just stick with it and keep coming back and while I haven't totally made up my mind to do that, depending on how I feel, I may try it one more time. Needless to say, I am still feeling that workout TODAY!

Now I just need to work on my eating.

Getting it right,

Friend Making Mondays: Bookworms (Revisited)

FMM: Bookworms (Revisited)

1.How often do you read for pleasure?  I read fairly often. I love reading....It's a love that has stuck with me ever since I was little.

2.Are you currently reading a book? No, I'm not currently reading anything at the moment.

3.Do you subscribe to any magazines and/or newspapers? The only magazine that I subscribe to is Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping...but I do purchase quite a few fitness mags which I try to read regularly. I also read our local "free" newpaper but I get the majority of my news from the early A.M.television broadcast or online.

4.Do you prefer reading traditional books or using an e-reader? I don't really have a preference either way.  I do tend to read magazines mostly on my touchpad.  I have a few books on their as well but since I get my books from the library and haven't looked into their e-book check-out system yet, I mostly read traditional books. 

5.How often do you go to the bookstore? Not so much anymore since they closed Borders...we have a little neighborhood bookstore but I haven't visted there in a while. The majority of the books I read, I get from the library unless they are absolutely awesome reads ( ie The Shack) I can't see a reason to purchase them since I rarely, if ever, go back and re-read a book.

6.Do you read at the gym?  I do read only when I'm on the Precor machine or the elliptical. It helps the time go by much more quickly and it also allows me to catch up on my reading. I have also  listened to audio books from time to time.

7.Have you ever been a member of a book club? Only online although I would love to join a local book club.

8.Do you wear glasses when you read? No..don't need glasses.

9.Has anyone read the Hunger Games? No I haven't read it although my kids had to read it for school and loved  it. It  is on my "to read" list although I think I will see the movie before I actully get a chance to read it.

10.What is your favorite thing about reading? I love the storylines mostly.Reading also allows you to escape the real world, you can travel, and basically become one with the characters if the book is well written.

Getting it right,

What's on your workout Playlist?

There's nothing like the right music to get you through a workout. In my case, that means anything with a thumping, booming bassline.   It's no secret that I don't really like cardio( in the traditional sense) and when I'm on the treadmill or elliptical or whatever machine I'm using, I often find myself counting down the minutes until I'm done.  I need a distraction to keep my mind off of the time and I find that my workout playlist usually does the trick!

When I'm slacking on the treadmill and "Boom Boom Pow" comes on I  find myself picking up the pace and moving with a bit more intensity and let's not even talk about a Michael Jackson song.( The amount of Michael Jackson music on my playlist is I didn't even bother listing it)

My playlist  helps to keep me happy and energetic during my workout as evidenced by my ear to ear grin when one of my favorite songs come on!( people are probably thiking what's up with her? lol).  It's easy to become so engrossed in the beat, the lyrics, the music that I completely lose track of time and suddenly, that dreaded workout wasn't so bad after all.

I've been using this playlist for a while. I have my staple songs and add to it from time to time but since I'm always on the look out for good, motivational workout music..I'm always curious to see what others are using to power through their routines so what's on your playlist?

Getting it right,

FMM: Travel

Friend Makin' Monday: Travel

  1. Where did your most recent trip take you?  My  last trip was actually to Pennsylvania but that was for a funeral, my last trip for fun was to California.
  2. Is there a place that you’d like to visit that you haven’t yet?  If so, where?  I'd love to go to Greece, Italy and Israel( it would be awesome to walk where Jesus walked). Hopefully, I'll make it there some day!
  3. Do you travel lightly, or do you cram as much into your luggage as possible? I am such an over packer and normally use an extremely large suitcase( and when I say large, I mean LARGE...I can probably fit into it if I try) I have also been forced to pay the excess luggage fee quite a few times due to my over-packing. Last year, I bought a luggage scale to help keep me under the  luggage weight limit and still ended up having to pay the $75 over the limit fee on my way back from California.
  4. Do your eating and exercise habits change when you travel? If so, how?  Definitely, since no one likes to cook when on the road, I find myself eating out the majority of the time.  Also, I may work out once or twice but find that exercise usually falls by the wayside  rather quickly for me.
  5. Tell us about a place you’ve been that you’d like to go back to.  I'd like to go back to every place that I visit and I think that I have done that. Although I have been to Cali, quite a few times, This past year I went to Forest lawn Cemetery and it was an absolutely beautiful and serene place, I would love to visit there again!
  6. Do you prefer to travel at a certain time of year?  Any opportunity to get away is a good time for me..I love to travel... but my ideal would be to travel to a tropical place during the winter. Our winters can be brutal and I'm so over the cold!
  7. If you had to choose, would you go to the beach or the mountains?  I'd choose the beach in a heart beat. Relaxing in the warm heat, fruity girly drinks, sand and clear blue/green waters...Ahhh that is the life!
  8. Have you ever needed a passport to travel?  Not yet..The few times I've been out of the country, one did not need a passport then.( Canada, Bahamas, etc) I did get one for myself and my children before the rate increased and hopefully soon, I'll be getting my first stamp from a European country!
  9. Do you collect anything in your travels?  I used to collect the little glass bells you find in gift shops but I stopped years ago. 
  10. Where do you plan to go next?  I'll probably be in Pennsylvania(I tend to commute back and forth so I don't really consider that traveling) but my next real trip will  be to Vegas!

Your turn!   Head on over to Kenlie's and don't forget to link your blog!

Getting it right,

Review: Silicon Steamer From Curves

Last year when I was deciding whether or not to renew my gym membership, a friend who attends Curves suggested I try it out. My mother and myself received a free month long membership which we used three times a week. I really enjoyed my time there and I also enjoyed the camaraderie with the women there but $40 per month was a bit steep for the variety of exercise they provide and we were not able to attend every day  even if we wanted to.  I decided not to join because I am getting more bang for my buck at my current gym.

Anyway, if you are at all familiar with Curves, you know that from time to time they sell Curves products on site. One particular day that I was there, they were offering a silicon steamer.  I immediately became intrigued because I have been wanting some form of silicon bake wear for a while now.  I asked about the steamer and everyone proceeded to tell me how great it was. I could cook scrambled eggs, chicken, fish and it would always turn out delicious!  Really?  You mean I can cook all of these things in the microwave and it wouldn't be dried out? They assured me that I could. The only thing that I could not do was cook things that needed to be in water like rice or pasta. One lady told me her rice horror story in which she tried to steam rice and destroyed her anyway, I pay my $20 dollars and off I go with my steamer.  

Frozen salmon, cleaned and seasoned
I couldn't wait to try it out. I'm big on convenience so I almost always have individually wrapped salmon and chicken breasts on hand.  I decide to cook salmon so I take the salmon out of the freezer and pop it right into the steamer. That's right, no need to thaw it out first!  Just clean it and season it  while it is frozen and pop it into the steamer.  This was a major plus for me.

See the juicy goodness?
The steamer comes with suggested cooking times for certain foods and If I'm not mistaken I believe for seafood it is 3 or 4 minutes.  I cooked mine  in the microwave for about 4 minutes and then It was ready to go. juicy, flavorful, and extremely moist!

I've also cooked various vegetables as well as chicken breast ( also from frozen) and I've found that with the chicken, it is a good idea to cook it for a few minutes on each side.  I didn't do this the first time and found that one side was semi raw after the 4 minutes were up.  Now that I'm cooking both sides, I've had no problems at all.  I've also tried an omelet because I just could not believe that one could cook eggs in the microwave and have them taste okay.   I sprayed the steamer with some olive oil cooking spray, put my egg whites, spinach, onions, and cheese in the steamer and microwaved for a few minutes.  It turned out well.

The steamer is dishwasher safe....not sure whether it is oven safe but normally,  silicone cookware usually is safe to use in a conventional oven.  This has been a lifesaver for me and has quickly become my favorite piece of cookware.

Dishwasher safe
Can cook  from frozen
easy to store
quick and easy to use

Not really recommended for use with water, IE cooking rice, pasta, etc ( although some have managed to use it in this manner with no damage to the steamer)



Getting it right,

FMM: Before Photos

Friend Making Monday: Before Photos

  1. Are you on a weight-loss journey?  Have you lost weight in the past? Are you trying to lose it now?  Yes…I am currently on a weight loss journey. Other than the 20 lbs. that I lost over the summer( and since managed to gain back) I haven't really lost weight before. Yes, I am trying to lose weight now.
  2. Do you like being in pictures, or do you shy away from the camera? For some odd reason I absolutely love being in pictures although I do not like the way I look in them now that I've gained weight.  My problem is not being in a photo but actually having people see said photo...especially people who have not seen me since I've gained weight.
  3. Does looking at old photos of yourself motivate you? Truthfully, I haven't looked at an old photo of myself in quite some time.  Since I was always comfortable with my weight in the past, I guess it would be rather motivating.
  4. Weight-loss bloggers, do you post progress pictures on your blog?   I have yet to see any progress so this isn't really applicable.  Once I see some SIGNIFICANT progress, I may consider posting a comparison photo but that would mean that I'd need to take a "before" photo first.
  5. Will you share a before photo with us (even if you don’t have an after yet?)  the only "before" photos that I have is before I gained weight.  I'd have to take a before(weight loss) photo first and then think loooong and hard on whether or not I'd post it.  I think I'm going to get on that soon.

Your turn!   Head on over to Kenlie's and don't forget to link your blog!

Getting it right,

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston 1963-2012

With the death of Whitney Houston yesterday, I am reminded  how quickly we are losing the "real" musicians.  With each death, I am constantly reminded that the era of "great" music is quickly fading away. I'm still amazed that the music that I grew up listening too is  now considered "oldies" or "old school" but with the choice of music we have out there today, I'll gladly take my Oldies.  Of course, there are a handful of artists today that actually have talent reminiscent of some "old school" talent but they are few and far between.  RIP Whitney...You will  missed!

Getting it right,

Body Pump class was bananas and boy am I feeling it today!

I decided to go to Zumba yesterday and I'm glad that I did because it was awesome. The instructor was actually a substitute for the regular instructor who went to Brazil for the entire month of January. Upon the regular instructor's return, she( the sub) was able to switch gyms with another instructor who didn't want to drive that far so she now has her own class on Tuesdays. The funny thing is that I attended the regular instructors class regularly before she went on vacation but when I tried her class after she returned from her trip, I found that I actually prefer the sub so I think I'll stick with Tuesdays from now on.

Anyway, I was pouring down with sweat during and after class. So much so that had I tried to, I'm sure that I could've wrung water out of my shirt. Its funny because sweat is dripping off of me and there are a lot of people in the class who do not even break a sweat at all. I don't know if it is because they are more in shape than I am or they just aren't working out as hard but sometimes it bothers me. Guess I'm just a sweater when it comes to working out.

The Zumba instructor also teaches a "BodyPump" class immediately after Zumba. I figured why not try it out since I can't seem to manage to pick up a weight at home. I want to preface this by saying that I have taken body sculpt classes at other gyms and ended up leaving the class( in favor of my Cathe workout tapes) because I didn't find it challenging enough for me. That was NOT the case with this class.

I grabbed a pair of 5 lb dumbbells and a pair of 7.5 lb dumbbells. She asked if this was anyone's first time and myself and 2 other people said yes, she suggested we start off with 2.5 lbs weights to which I laughed inwardly because I'm used to weight lifting, besides 5lbs are the lightest weight that I have at home so I'm pretty used to them. Needless to say she had us doing a bajillion squats, lunges( with and without dumbbell presses) curls, rows, dead lifts etc. I not only ended up getting the 2.5 lb dumbbells but I also ended up doing a lot of the workout with no weight at all. When I say this workout was rep heavy, I mean it was rep HEAVY.

After she made our legs scream for mercy from all of the squats and lunges(I think we did 50 or more on each leg for each exercise, back to back with no breaks...OMG!!!) she then had us do various leg lifts and donkey kicks( I think that is the name of the exercise) to work the glutes all the while taunting us about how summer is almost here ..we only have 3 more months until May lol. Truth is that I most likely would have walked out had she not said that about summer, but since I want to have lost a good amount of weight by then, I stuck it out. After that came abs and all I can say is UUUGH! Then we finished off with pushups... 75 reps. Of course I didn't or couldn't do all the required reps but I did do what I could. I left there thinking "That's it for me, I must have been crazy taking this class" then I vowed to never set foot in BodyPump again but I thought about it some more and I think that I may stick with it.. Even though I am definitely feeling it today(sore and stiff) I can only improve right?

Getting it right,

FMM: Habits

1.  Are you proactive, or do you procrastinate?  I'm much more a procrastinator than not. I usually wait until the last minute to do things, even Christmas shopping(which I posted about). Now it seems that it is beginning to manifest itself in my workouts as I have planned to add weights into my routine and find myself constantly saying "I'll do it later." Later turns into tomorrow which eventually turns into next week. Pitiful isn't it?  I know, I'm going to work on it starting tomorrow.  Lol just kidding... today is the day of change!

2.  Do you eat breakfast everyday? If so, what’s a typical meal like? I would love to say yes...I know with trying to lose weight I should say YES, but unfortunately this isn't the case. Sometimes, time gets away from me and I get caught up in other things  or roped into doing things and breakfast takes a back seat.  One day last week, I didn't eat anything until 2:00 PM and I know that is not a good thing.  When I am able to get a breakfast in, it is usually a boiled egg and turkey breast or an omelet (1 whole egg, 2 egg whites, Portabella mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, onions, serving of cheese and sometimes turkey breast) with blackberries on the side when I have them on hand...YUM!

3.  How much time do you spend watching TV on an average day? I watch TV wayyyy too many hours to count.  As a kid, I rarely watched TV. Back then, my entire family either listened to music or read books the majority of the time...I guess now I'm making up for lost time although, my love for reading has stuck with me through the years.

4.  Do you talk on the phone, or do you prefer e-mail and/or text messages?I'm much more an emailer/texter depending on the person. Certain family members or friends I would much rather speak with on the phone.  Business, I'd  rather conduct in an email.

5.  Do you exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening? I am such a morning person that  If I didn't workout in the mornings, I wouldn't work out!  There was a period last summer when I did do a few workouts in the evenings and it wasn't as bad as I thought but for some reason, I just couldn't keep it up.

6.  Do you take time for yourself regularly?   "Me" time is hard to come by around these parts, so much so that I even get barged in on when I'm in the bathroom.  As a result, I have become a master "tuner outer".

7.  How often do you make your bed?  I know its bad but never.   Before she passed away last year, my grandmother spent about 5 or 6 months with me and even at the age of 93, she made the bed every morning.  Her good habits rubbed off on me and while she was here, I  made my bed quite often( notice I didn't say every day).  Since she's passed, I've been telling myself that I need to make the bed because I do feel better getting into a made up bed...but I just never get around to doing it.  I think that I'll incorporate bed-making into my plan.

8.  Do you plan meals? If so, how far in advance?  No, I don't plan out my meals.  There are times that I get a craving for a certain food and I'll plan to make that dish for dinner or something but that is the extent of my planning. I know some folks who batch cook meals and have them packed up in perfect portion sizes for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week. I would so love to be that person because I know that the fact that I don't plan my meals, has hindered me in my weight loss journey.

9.  Do you wake up at the same time everyday? Yes, 5:15 every morning and without an alarm clock..I just never needed them. (even on the weekends)

10.  How often do you brush your teeth?  At a minimum, twice a day...upon waking up and before going to bed.  There are times in between when I feel the need to brush and on those days, I do. I'm a flosser as well! ;)

Your turn!   Head on over to Kenlie's and don't forget to link your blog!

Getting it right,

"I Did It!" Meet Tracie Boyle

As you all may or may not know, I am a very visual person. I need to see things happening. I need to see the scale moving downward, I need to see a difference in the way that I look to know that I'm losing weight. Because of this need to see things, I am drawn to weight loss success stories. I read them in magazines, online, YouTube, anywhere I can find them. I get extremely motivated when I see the success of others. It lets me know that if they can do it... so can I!

It's great to see celebs like Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson, Kirstie Alley and others having success with their weight loss endeavors but we tend to write it off as not being realistic for us. They have money and therefore they can afford a personal chef to make sure they are eating correctly.   They can pay for a personal trainer to train them for as long as they need the training. Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking away from the fact that they, too, have to put in the work in order to have success but money makes it a bit easier...I mean really, who wouldn't want a personal chef to create nutritionally sound meals for us on a daily basis?  Heck, if all I had to do was sit down and eat  healthy meals and snacks prepared for me by someone else, I'd have this weight off in no time and I bet you would too.

It just means a little bit more when we see everyday people like ourselves embarking on this journey and rocking it. I figured that there are more people out there like myself that get motivated and inspired after a good success story so I thought why not highlight people who have rocked their weight loss in an "I did it" Series.

I happened upon Tracie by accident really and was thrilled when she agreed to be interviewed. Tracie is an amazing inspiration and not only that, she has offered to help me try to get my eating in order which I believe to be the crux of my inability to lose weight. So without further the arrow to read Tracie's story.

Tracie Boyle
Height: 5’7”
Starting Weight: 210 lbs
Current Weight: 138 lbs

That Dayum DeeDee: Why did you decide to get fit? What was your “Aha” moment?
Tracie before:  May 17,2008
Tracie:  In May 2008, I went to an event in New York City and wound up meeting a guy who told me about the book, “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman. At the time, I wasn’t happy with who I was or how I looked, so I decided to read it and see what it was all about. After all, I had been overweight most of my teenage and adult life and had tried tons of different diets but none of them seemed to work for me, so it couldn’t hurt to read it, right? It turned out to be best decision that I’ve ever made; that book gave me the kick in the ass that I needed to start doing my own research on weight loss, nutrition which helped me figure out exactly what I needed to start getting healthier. Initially, I went into this whole thing with the idea that I just wanted to be healthier – never in a million years did I expect that it would open up a whole new chapter in my life.

That Dayum DeeDee:  How did you lose the weight?
Tracie:  The big thing for me was learning portion control and how to read labels. I don’t think we realize how many calories we actually take in sometimes; a container that looks like it’s a single serving could actually be 2 ½ servings! It’s very deceiving.

That Dayum DeeDee:   What was the most difficult part of your fitness journey?
Tracie: I hit a plateau at around 160lbs and I just figured that that was it for me and that that was going to be my “happy weight” (the weight that the body finally settles at). I made a few changes to the way I was eating and about a month later, started losing weight again.

Also, exercise. I lost most of my weight by just changing the way I ate and doing things like parking farther away or taking the stairs instead of the elevator – but I’ve never been good at setting a consistent workout routine. That’s my goal for this year.

That Dayum DeeDee:  How long did it take for you to lose the weight?
Tracie After:  May 17, 2010
Tracie:  I lost a little over 70lbs in a year and I’m still maintaining the weight loss (almost 3 years later!)

That Dayum DeeDee:  What was the most important change that you made which you believe has had the greatest impact on your success?
Tracie:  Cutting back on portion sizes and learning how to eat was the most important change that I made but cutting out meat and dairy also helped out a lot. I know that it’s not for everyone, but even just cutting back (and increasing your green veggie intake) can make a world of difference.

That Dayum DeeDee:  Did/do you have a support system?
Tracie:  My family and friends were/are very supportive. While they might not have all followed in my footsteps, I do think that I’ve been a good influence on them. At gatherings, we have many more healthy options now than we ever did in the past. ☺

That Dayum DeeDee:  How did/do you stay motivated?
Tracie:  I think about the person I used to be; how unhappy I was and how much my weight had held me back from doing the things that I wanted to do. I love who I am now and I never want to be in that place again.

That Dayum DeeDee: How has becoming fit and healthy changed your life? 
Tracie:  It’s changed everything. Every aspect of my life has changed, for the better, because of my weight loss. I’m healthier, happier, connect with people better and feel like I can do anything that I set my mind to now.

That Dayum DeeDee:   Most important get fit/stay fit tips that helped you in your journey. 
Tracie:  Invest in a digital food scale and a pocket calorie counter (book or app). I don’t obsess about calories, but until you can eyeball the proper portion size, they’re a great tool to have around. Even now, I still use the scale to weigh out those tricky things - like a serving of peanut butter.

That Dayum DeeDee:  What could you not wait to do once you lost (started losing) weight?
Tracie:   When I began to lose weight, I had to go shopping for clothes that fit me. I soon realized that it wasn’t as daunting as it once was and that clothes shopping could be fun! Now I love to go shopping for clothes – and if you looked in my closet, you’d see I probably enjoy it a little too much!

Another big thing for me was trying new things and taking chances. I had been so worried about what others thought of me – or how I would look if I didn’t do something perfectly - that I rarely took chances. Now I try to say “yes” to as many opportunities as possible and don’t really care as much about what other people think. I learned that those experiences can be pretty rewarding and I rather take a chance and try something rather than let it pass me by.

That Dayum DeeDee:  Any advice for those of us still on the journey?
Tracie:  Do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up if you slip up every once in a while. Just acknowledge where you slipped up and then get back on your path. You may have to make some sacrifices, but it will be worth it in the end. But most importantly - don’t give up!

You can catch up with Tracie on twitter: @traciebee or her blog: Tracie Cooks

If you are interested in having your story featured in our "I did it" series..please contact me


Getting it right,

I've formulated a plan and that, my what you call a start!

I think it's about time that I formulate a visible plan instead of wingin' it. I think that I do my best when I have a plan, as simple as it may sound. Over the summer, when I managed to lose 20 lbs. I was doing cardio and a weight training video. I didn't change my diet any but because it was summer, I'm sure that I ate a bit healthier and drank a lot more water.

Now I'm basically doing cardio. On the rare occasion that I do weights, I find myself meandering around the gym haphazardly trying out machines with no set reps, weight, or body part in mind. I figured it was about time to put something together to give me some sense of order so without further adieu......

The Plan
keep In mind that I am "baby steppin'" ( as Scale Junkie says)

►             Nutrition

First, I need to get in the habit of tracking my food intake. Since I am taking baby steps this go-round, I will try to track my meals for at least 2 days per week. I'll start off tracking what I normally eat for 2 days just to get an idea of how many calories I'm actually eating and from there, I'll try to keep the calories at 1549 or below. No, I didn't just pull that number out of my azz, I'm sure that I remember that as my allotted daily caloric intake from one of the programs that I was using.

I am also going to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. Currently, I tend to stick with broccoli, spinach and sometimes Kale for my vegetables and aside from an occasional pear, blackberries have been my "fruit" of choice. I tend to go through phases with my fruit, for a while it was grapefruit, then oranges now blackberries. Of course seasonal changes facilitate some of my fruit swings but it's mostly my finickiness. Once I have this mastered, I will re-evaluate and update.

►             Water Intake

As far as my water intake goes, I drink "non-water" items so rarely that I really don't feel the need to cut them out. I may have tea, Powerade, Gatorade, or Vitamin Water but I don't drink them nearly enough for them to be a hindrance to my weight loss endeavors. I do need to "up" my water intake though so I will make sure that I am drinking a minimum of 64 OZ. of water a day and possibly more. I find that I don't drink nearly enough of anything during the winter. I just don't find myself as thirsty...anyway, I plan to drink so much water that I may have to take up residency in the bathroom or at the very least, invest in some Depends.

►            Cardio

I think that it is safe to say that I hate cardio. I'll do it because it needs to be done but I won't like it..with the exception of Zumba.

I have had the DVDs forever before I used them for the first time and I actually found myself smiling throughout the entire workout. Now, that I'm attending actual classes, I love it even more. I'm just a fan of Dancing in general. Hip Hop Abs, Rockin Body...I love it all.

My gym offers Zumba classes Mon, Tues, Wed, and Saturday so I have plenty of chances to attend. I think I will shoot for 3 days a week with the Zumba and on the 'off' cardio days, I will do some form of light activity like stretching( which I also don't do as often as I should) or maybe even yoga. I am so not flexible so I don't know how successful I'll be with Yoga but if the yoga in P90X is any indicator, I'm going to need lots of work.

  • Mon,Wed, Sat -Zumba
  • Tues- stretching
  • Thursday-Yoga/pilates vids

►            Strength Training

I absolutely love strength training which is why I'm having a hard time understanding why I haven't picked up a weight in lawd knows when. I have told myself, too many times to count, that I need to get back to weight lifting. I have just about every Beachbody workout there is, Cathe Friedrich, Billy Blanks, Jillian name it, all just sitting around collecting dust! There is absolutely no reason for me not to get back to lifting other than sheer laziness. When I go to the gym, if I'm not doing Zumba, I'm on the treadmill or elliptical or Precor machine or something, which makes no sense considering the fact that I HATE cardio.

My lack of a plan is what is holding me back. I need to know what I am doing. When I tried BFL(Body FOR LIFE) Every Tuesday and Thursday were weight days. Upper body one day, lower the other day. 4 sets of 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps. I enjoyed that plan so I think I'll stick with the twice a week strength training. I'll probably go with Cathe STS or Skogg Kettlebells this time.

►            Progress

I guess, I should take my weight and I'll have something to gauge my progress by. I may even take a "before" photo and update it monthly although the chances of it making it on the blog are slim to none.

When I lost 20 lbs, I had a pair of jeans that I used to track my progress and that worked pretty well. I managed to get into them comfortably but now, I probably can't get a thigh in them. lol As for the scale, we have a love/hate relationship. When it shows a's all love but when it doesn't's on and poppin'! I can't cut the scale out as much as I want to because Diet Power (the food tracking program that I will be using) requires a daily weigh-in. Anyway, that is the plan. feel free to add any suggestions.

FMM: Make-Up Favorites

1.  Do you wear makeup everyday? I only wear make-up when I'm going out or on vacation.

2.  Does your routine change if you’re going out with friends/on a date/to a party? If so, how?  Not really, I only wear mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick/gloss when I do wear make-up.   The only change that I may make is going  from  my staple of clear mascara to black.  Lol  exciting huh?

3.  Are you loyal to one brand, or do you use different brands for different things? Nope, No loyalty here.  I use whatever is available and lately that has translated into whatever is the cheapest.  I would love to say I'm a "Mac girl" and post YouTube videos of my "Mac hauls" but truth is.  I'm just not that savvy when it comes to make-up.

4. Do you wear primer/concealer? If so, what’s your favorite kind? No.. I've never used either. I'm not even sure what primer is...  lol

5.  What’s your favorite brand of foundation?  I don't use foundation...I tried it once but thought it made me look fake.  I don't think I used the  right color to match my skin tone.

6.  Do you use blush and/or bronzer?  I don't use bronzer but I used to wear blush religiously  as a teen, Now I can't remember the last time I wore blush.

7.  Do you wear eye shadow/eye liner? If so, what’s your favorite kind?  I wear eyeliner only when I'm going out.  Not picky  about the brand at all.  Don't wear eyeshadow but I would love to get into wearing it.  I recently bought a cheap palette from Elf just to experiment. My first look, a "Smokey Eye" looked a hot mess.  Needless to say I haven't tried it since.  It may have been that I'm just not used to seeing myself with eyeshadow.  I need help on how to start from all of you make-up gurus out there!

8.  What’s your favorite kind of mascara? Maybelline clear and then Elf doesn't last long but I love the fact that it has a brow brush on one end and a lash brush on the other and at only $1.00, it can't be beat!

9.  Lipstick? Lip gloss? Both? Favorite? I used to be a pink lipstick girl. Now I've gravitated to more neutral colors.  I love a gold colored lipstick especially in the summer.   I also love glosses, again, not picky about the type although I do love LANCĂ”ME Juicy Tubes.

10.  Do you wear nail polish regularly?   I used to wear polish regularly until I made the mistake of getting fake nails.  Up until then, I had long beautiful nails. Listening to my aunt who said the fake nails would protect my real nail and prevent breaking I decided to get a set.  Needless to say, my nails are ruined. They will not grow past a certain length and they are weak and brittle and it has been 10+ years ago that I got my first and last set. (my nails used to grow so long that I would save them when they broke)..Anyway now, when I do wear polish, it is usually a clear or neutral color that won't be noticed when it chips after a  day or two.  Lol  I don't bother with  colored polish (due to chipping)unless it's a special occasion although I have been fascinated with OPI's Shattered line.

11.  How do you remove your makeup at the end of the day?  I stick with  whatever it is I'm using to cleanse my face at the moment be it Noxema( my old stand-by that I've been using since I was a teen) or  an oil cleanser  to  good old soap and water.

12.  Do you feel prettier when you’re wearing makeup? Of course,  but aside from my usual "routine" I'm not sure about the best way to apply certain things...too much trouble  lol

13. Do you have any beauty tips that you could pass along?  Not really, other than the fact that I do think that everyone should have their brows threaded at least once!  I find that  having my brows threaded makes everything in my world seem right!   Also, when it comes to nail polish..either wear it or don't wear it but No chipped polish please!

Your turn!   Head on over to Kenlie's and don't forget to link your blog!

Getting it right and tight,

Sushi....Its What's For Lunch

Never been a fan of Sushi(after having only tried the grocery store variety)and after having restaurant quality, I think its safe to say that I'm still not a fan but I did manage to pick at the insides of at least, some of my meal. 

This is as Adventurous as I was willing to get

Getting it right,

Calories in Vs. Calories out....

This  posts stems from an email conversation that I had with "T"  Anyway, I mentioned that I needed help with my eating and when she asked me what I was having trouble with...portion size, control..etc.   I told her my theory on nutrion as it relates to weight loss.

Now I know that eating is 90-95% of the weight loss journey. However, as I have mentioned too many times to count, I am not a fan of cutting any particular food group out of my diet.  (I "wants" what I want lol ;)  All of the low carb, no carb, low-fat, high protein diets are not for me (although I probably would fare the best on a high protein diet because I am not about to cut meat out way, no how, NOT EVA).  I mentioned that from everything that I've read concerning weight loss,  it all boils down to two things....Calories In Vs. Calories out.  If that is the case, then I should be able to eat whatever it is that I want to eat as  long as I'm burning more calories than I'm taking in.  Sounds good right?

"T"  mentioned that she too, thought this way for years and then gave me a swift dose of reality when I told her that I usually ( 95 % of the time) eat a somewhat "healthy" breakfast and lunch, but I usually eat whatever for dinner.  I don't do 100% of the cooking and if we're having fried chicken and mac and cheese, I'm having fried chicken and mac and cheese.  Now keep in mind I do not go overboard, meaning I'm not loading up my plate with heaping helpings of food  or 3 or 4 pieces or meat, nor am I running back for seconds, thirds, and fourths but I am eating what is cooked.

This is where my reality check came in. "T" mentioned that and I quote
"By exercising, making good choices for breakfast and lunch but then eating fast food, fried food, etc you could be cancelling out all your hard work. And if you cook with a lot of oil, that could be adding 100's of calories that you may not even realize. The amount of calories you burn during your work out could just be making up for the food you ate for dinner therefore not burning any excess calories which would cause you to lose weight."
Don't you just love the voice of reason? *sarcastic smirk*  Deep down I already knew this but my mind would not let me accept it as truth!  you mean to tell me I can burn 700 calories in my Zumba class in addition to the calories I burned while walking 15-30 minutes on the treadmill, have an egg white omelette, blackberries, WeightWatcher or LeanCuisine meal and just because I had a burger and fries for calorie burn could be null and void? 

Truth is, it's extremely hard to know exactly how many calories we are consuming without tracking every bite, morsel, crumb, and drop that hits our lips.  Personally I find it to be extrememly tedious and time consuming.  I have some of the best food tracking devices there are from Diet Power (which is awesome) to  Fit Day to just about every app there is and I still cannot manage to track my food for longer than a day or two.  I have a digital food scale as well as numerous measuring cups and spoons and the like but unless you are able  to run to the food scale and weigh every little thing before you eat it, then how feasible is it...really?

I guess that is where planning comes into play. I hear about people batch cooking meals, measuring them out  in perfectly sized portions and storing them and that is great in theory but I am so not a planner.  I know what some of you are probably thinking and it couldn't be further from the truth!  I do want this but there has got to be an easier way!

Getting it right,