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 ridiculous...so 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 steamer.....so 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 adieu..click 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,