Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Time is Here...

I'm blogging from the iPhone again... I'm in my second home, Atlanta, headed to my mom's house from the airport. This will be a challenging time for me, because my mom makes cookies every year for Christmas. It's sooooo hard to resist them. If I can figure out a way to limit myself to about two cookies a day that will be a miracle! LOL!

As far as my workouts go, mom has a treadmill... and a hilly neighborhood. It will be kinda cold out, but I'm prepared. Still down 3 pounds since Thanksgiving... so I'm feeling good.

Lose or maintain... but do not gain!

Happy Holidays!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Mantra...

I'm finally getting back to my old self with my workouts.  Claudine is on vacation, so I'm working out on my own for the next two weeks.  It's good timing, because I'm getting my "mojo" back.  Mostly sticking to the treadmill & doing my core workout.

I just wanted to share my plans for the holiday season... I made a goal to lose 5lbs over the holidays.  I won't use the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday parties as an excuse to lose weight.  I will enjoy myself, but I will also work extra hard to make sure I don't put on pounds during the next month. 

So here's my holiday mantra.... feel free to adopt it for yourself!

but DO NOT GAIN!!!

I'm still feeling GREAT.... so let's get it!  Don't fall back into old habits during the holidays!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Checking In....

Just a quick stop to let you know that I've been sick... so no workouts.  I guess there is a blog in here somewhere... because it's KILLING ME!  I've decided that my body was trying to tell me to take a break, and it knew the only way that would happen was to make me sick enough, weak enough, to not be able to exercise.  So that's what happened about a week ago.  I had already decided to take a couple of days off during my trip to Atlanta & Tuskegee for homecoming... but this chest cold or whatever added a whole extra week to my three little ol' days I had planned.

The good thing is that I realize exercise is a part of my life... like brushing my teeth or combing my hair.  I enjoy it.  I MISS IT! 

I miss the sweat. 
I miss the pain. 
I miss Claudine telling me I can do 8 more (even though I already did 8 more!) 
I miss the treadmill. 
I miss the girls at bootcamp. 
I miss trying to keep up in Zumba class.
I miss my Sunday hike with Daddy.
I miss lacing up my sneakers for a deliberate workout.
I miss how great I feel when I'm finished.

I'm hoping to get back in the game tomorrow.  I walked on the treadmill the other day... just a slow walk to warm up my muscles.  I'm going to take it slow, but I can't wait to get back in action!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Plus For Me...

Long time no blog, but I promise I've been getting my workouts in!  The picture above is the step in my home gym... I keep my sneakers there.  I'm the person with the treadmill at the house who actually uses it. :-)  It's not a clothes rack for me.  Sometimes when I'm on the couch I'll just get up, lace up my sneaks & start walking.  Having the treadmill right there is a plus for me.

Somehow I've decided that walking/jogging is something I can get into lately....  I'm pretty sure the number one motivator is my Nike+ iPod kit.  Thank you to the good folks at Nike & Apple for coming up with this little gizmo.  Basically, there's a chip that goes in my sneakers that sends a signal to my iPhone while I'm walking or jogging.  It is calibrated, and it keeps track of how far I go.  It's not a pedometer.  It's for deliberate walking/jogging/running type exercise.  I just love it to pieces.  You can set it for distance, time, or calories... or you can set it at nothing at all.    I usually choose "none" because I'm on my treadmill at home watching TV.   If I'm at the gym or outside, I can listen to the music on my iPhone... periodically a voice will come in and say, "1 mile" or "15 minutes", depending on what setting I've chosen.  When I'm done, sometimes the voice will say, "Congratulations, you've just recorded a personal best in the mile."  It remembers what I've done.  I sync it with my laptop, and I can keep track of all my "runs".  There are people all over the world using the Nike+ system, and you can find various challenges on the Nike+ website.  The first walker to log 25 miles in November... or the first runner to 50 miles, for example.

A feature I really love is the "Power Song".  You can pick a song that pumps you up or motivates you, and that's your Power Song.  You can press a button & your Power Song will come right on if you're feeling like you need some motivation.   My Power Song is "Victory" by Yolanda Adams.  I don't know why, but that song always gets me going again.  Below is a link to the song:

I'm pretty sure Yolanda Adams could sing the white pages, and it would pump me up... but there is something about her singing, "I've got, got the victory, I've got the sweet, sweet victory in Jesus, yes I do" that inspires me.   Sometimes I'll play my Power Song right when I start, and then I play it again when I'm almost done to get me through the home stretch.  I'm feeling good!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Making Workouts Fun...

Workouts are a lot easier when they're fun!  For me, most workouts are fun, but I'll admit... sometimes it's just WORK.  Lately, I've been doing more fun workouts for my cardio, but my weight training will always feel like work.  I like it that way.   Today, I got a chance to do another fun workout in the form of a five mile hike with my dad.  I picked him up, and we headed to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook... home of "The Beast".  I decided to give my knees a break and just walk up the trail to the top of the Overlook.  We went up and down twice.  It was still challenging, so I felt like I got a good workout.  The weather was nice, and I got to spend time "bonding" with my daddy.   The picture above is the two of us walking the trail.

 Daddy taking in the view at the top

After our hike, we had a nice breakfast and conversation.   It was a perfect Sunday morning!  Now I'm ready to tackle Monday!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I know... long time, no blog!  LOL!  I've still been working it out, as always.  Last week I started doing two-a-day work outs.  Basically, that means I work out two hours a day.  Maybe I'll do an hour of weight training with Claudine, and then I'll do an hour of treadmill intervals on my own.  Or I'll work out with Claudine, and I'll do a Zumba class.  Three out of my six workout days I'll do a double workout.  Today, I just finished working out with Claudine.  We did a Strength Endurance Training (SET) workout, which is some cardio bursts with mostly weights.  When I finish blogging, I will get on the treadmill and walk on an incline while I watch Judge Judy on TiVo...

This weekend I attended my 20 year high school reunion.  I didn't lose the 20lbs I initially planned to lose before the reunion, but I trashed that plan a while ago.  I'm happy with how I looked at the reunion.  My class looked pretty good 20 years after the fact!  Here I am in my green dress & gold shoes (Thanks to my sister, Kimberly, for convincing me to buy the shoes a couple years ago!  They were perfect!)

I know this is a short post, but I have to jump on the treadmill!  Later!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

October 8, 2009
My Daddy's 66th Birthday

Happy birthday to the man of many names... Mr. Draper, William, Tony, Daddy, Pop, Grandpa, PaPa, T-Tone, Big Tub, Pop-Dukes, Buddy, Unc, Big Tone, Scoopy...... :-)

Sometimes it's hard to imagine that you were ever someone else besides "Daddy", but when you got the job, you ran with it... and never stopped! You somehow managed to find the right balance of unconditional love, compassion, strength, respect and fear (yes, fear!) to raise four children who are all grown up and absolutely adore you.

Yes, we can now laugh about all the whoopings, punishments, endless lectures, and, of course, the infamous "Pulling a T-Tone" events, because we know you did everything for our own good. Sure, we probably thought you were kinda crazy at the time, but we know why you did everything you did raising us. Watching you interact with people as we were growing up, watching the decisions you've made, watching you care about the well-being & education of every child, watching you take a stand-- not only for yourself but for friends, coworkers & even strangers, did not go unnoticed. We're better people for it today.

And now... as Grandpa and PaPa, you have taken it to a "whole...nutha... level!" I like to call it "T-Tone 2.0"... It's so much fun to watch you with David, Tyler, Gabrielle, Olivia, Isaiah & Zachary. I see them look at you the way we did 30+ years ago.... like you're Superman... because, to us, you always have been. Every morning when you wake up and walk 5 miles you give them a gift (and us too!) of a Grandpa/PaPa that will, God-willing, be around for a long, long time.

Thank you for being a daddy, a teacher, a disciplinarian, a leader, a strong man, a role model, and dare I say it.... now, a friend.... but ALWAYS a father first.

I love you!
Spunky (on behalf of Bodena, Dinky & Kimbo)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Zumba® — Ditch the workout, Join the party!

Soooo, it's been a while since I posted, but I've still been working hard!  Before I get into this Zumba business, I have to give my Daddy a big shout out for joining me this past Sunday morning at The BEAST!  I was soooo proud of him for climbing that stairway!  He'll be 66 on Thursday, and the brotha does not like climbing stairs!  He did a great job!

Okay, where was I.... on Monday, I decided to try a new workout... I went to a Zumba class at Bally Total Fitness.  The Zumba motto is: Ditch the workout, join the party!  I'm always in search of something new to do, and the treadmill does get boring sometimes.  Zumba is an hour of dancing... like, for real salsa/latin dancing moves.  I must admit, I'm not the most coordinated person in these types of classes, but I had a lot of fun.  My body doesn't want to move like a salsa dancer, so I have to work on that part.  A few things I took home from the class:
1. stand up front near the instructor...
2.  don't stand near folks who are even less coordinated than I am... wow, the girls near me had ZERO rhythm, which is not good if you're trying to keep up in Zumba!
3.  an hour of Zumba is a lot more fun than an hour on my treadmill or the elliptical machine!

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Beast...

Sooo, I didn't do the US Bank Tower challenge on Friday... I didn't think I was ready for 75 flights straight up (even though I did 105 flights on the Evil Escalator on Tuesday -- not the same thing...)

A friend of mine told me about this fairly new walking trail with a staircase.  I looked it up, and the pictures looked insane... concrete steps built into a mountain... no hand rail... crazy, right???  Of course, that meant I needed to go check it out.  I went this morning, and it was indeed insane.  It's not normal stair climbing... the stairs are tall.  Some are over a foot high, and spaced out all different ways.  It felt like climbing bleacher benches... but way worse.  LOL.

There is also a trail that zig-zags up the mountain.  I climbed up the stairs, and I walked down the trail.  The stairs are much to crazy to climb down.  Four times on my first visit to the place, so I was very content.  Thankfully, it was nice and overcast Sunday morning as I started to climb.  The sun came out during my third time up.

This is a view from near the top...  I affectionately named it "The Beast!"

I'm going to go stretch some more... hopefully I'm able to walk tomorrow....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Evil Escalator...

I've been mixing up my workouts a little bit by going to the gym.... yes, I actually have a gym membership, and I do go to the gym from time to time.  (ha ha)  Sometimes the treadmill gets a little boring, so I mix it up with the elliptical machine or the StairMaster... or "The Evil Escalator" as I like to call it.  This thing is just brutal... I mean, seriously???  It's basically walking up the down escalator.... um.... FOREVER!  But it certainly is a great workout.  I like this machine when I want a stair climbing workout, because I never have to climb down stairs.  So that's good for my knees, and I don't take breaks like I do climbing actual stairs... oh, wait... is that a good thing?  Hmmmm....  I dunno.  Anywho... I tackled that beast for 25 minutes today, and then I headed to the spa for a massage.  Yahoo!!!

I worked out every day this week.... and I'm pretty sure I'll work out ever day of the coming week (except Thursday)... I promise I'm taking Thursday off!!!  Thursday is pedicure day!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lose it!

Okay... I've found what I needed to jumpstart my weight loss again!  The Lose It!  iPhone application!  OMG, it is great!  I've only been using it a week, and I'm already dropping pounds.  It's basically a calorie counter.  I told it my current weight & what weight I wanted to be... plus gender, birthdate, and height.  My plan is to lose 1.5 lbs per week, and Lose It!  gave me a daily calorie budget of 1,155 calories per day.  If I exercise, I get to add more on for the day based on what I do.  I've already lost 5lbs, which I know is just the initial big drop when a person first starts eating better.  I'm really excited.  I might just get to 130 sooner than later!  My workouts have been so great, and now I'm super excited to get my eating/drinking under control after a carefree summer!!!  It's ON!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I love holiday Mondays!

Yes, I do love holiday Mondays... Memorial Day... Labor Day.... because I can go to both of Claudine's classes at the gym! She teaches a cardio/weights bootcamp style class at 9am, and she teaches a Strength & Endurance Training (SET) class at 10. Normally, I offer to pick Claudine up & take her to the gym... that way I'm forced to stay for both classes! LOL! I feel great right now, and I won't even go pig out at a BBQ later. I just finished a salad and a couple of pieces of sushi roll for lunch... then a nap... and we'll see what else I can get into today!

A special, special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my big sister, Kimberly (above in the green)... check her out on www.gradydoctor.blogspot.com

I love you, Mizzle!!! Hope you're having a GREAT birthday!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Great day!!!

Yes, it's another post already! LOL! I just have to pat myself on the back today. I was planning to go to the hill at Valley Ridge (which I will post about when I go back...) But I decided to make an appointment for a body wrap after work. I knew after a relaxing evening at the spa, I wouldn't want to get all sweaty and sore from a workout, so I laced up my sneakers at lunch time & climbed the stairs in my building.

Here is what happened.... my building has 12 stories, so it's 11 flights to climb... each flight has 20 steps. In the beginning, I would get winded & take a break around the 3rd flight.... after a while I didn't need to take a break until the 7th flight.... today, I started up those stairs, and I got up to the 12th floor without stopping once. I was fine... amazed, but fine! I'm pretty sure I was in shock as I SLOWLY headed down the stairs. The trip down took longer than the trip up! **My sister, Dr. Kimberly Manning (www.gradydoctor.blogspot.com) told me to take the elevator down or walk down the stairs slowly & deliberately to save my knees...** So I go down, and I head back up... again, up to 12 without stopping.... I'm thinking, "Yay for me!" I head back down.... back up to 12 for a third time and a fourth time without stopping. I head down again for the 5th and final time... I got tired around the 6th floor on the 5th time up, but I really think that was because I knew it was the last time... the fatigue was all in my head.

So I'm patting myself on the back tonight. The fact that I climbed over 1000 stairs today has me completely fired up. In fact, I'm considering doing the YMCA Stair Climb downtown at the US Bank Tower (picture above) on Sept. 25th.... 1500 steps, but this is UP, UP, UP with no break to walk down in between. I'm in no race, but I think I'd like the challenge.

I KNOW I can do it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lazy heat...

Something about hot weather makes me really lazy! I'm keeping up with my workouts, but it is a struggle in this heat. I had a good workout & eating week. I only had one session with Claudine on Wednesday, but I was good about doing my own workout on the other days. Lately it's been 30 minutes of weights followed by 30 minutes of cardio. I finish with some core work for about 10 minutes. I guess something is working, because I weighed myself this morning, and I've lost three pounds! Whoo hoo!!!

Yesterday, I decided to take a drive by the beach.... and I lucked up on a parking spot!!! I decided to take a walk along the strand. It wasn't really a "workout" walk... but it was a nice time to walk, get some sun, people-watch, and just enjoy the day. Afterwards, I got my Pinkberry & headed home. It was a GREAT day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weight ain't nothin' but a number...?

I had an interesting talk with my dad this evening. He was telling me how he's cutting certain things out of his diet, because his waistband was getting a bit tight on his pants. I'm currently going through a weight thing... it's strange... I got to a point where I could fit into certain jeans that I hadn't fit into for years. I'm very happy with the way I look, but I certainly want to lose more weight (remember that 20 pounds???) My problem is the number on the scale... that number has increased, but my size hasn't. I know I'm doing a lot more weight training, and that has to account for some of the weight gain. But I've been so fixated on the "number" on the scale for so long, that it's hard for me to get past the fact that my body is changing for the better. I'm building up my muscles. Maybe the problem is the scale sitting right outside of my kitchen door. Something told me to put it there, and when I walk into the kitchen I'll think about it when I want to eat something bad. I probably just need to move it somewhere else & keep going with my workouts. Sure, I could cut some things out of my diet as well, and I will... but I have to stop worrying about that darn number on that darn scale!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Getting Stronger...

Happy Tuesday! It's been a crazy weekend/week so far, but I've been doing great with my eating and workouts. I've worked out every day since last Thursday.
Saturday: bootcamp
Sunday: treadmill
Monday: solo weight lifting session with Claudine (which was GREAT!)
Today: treadmill (while watching my BravoTV shows)

I had lunch today with some coworkers, and I ordered a yummy salad. After lunch, we went by this new cupcake/bakery called Susie Cakes. Oh my goodness... I didn't get anything, and I didn't even taste anyone's sweets. For me, I can do without sweets... until I eat some. Once I get that sugar rush, I want more! So I passed on the cupcakes and cookies. I'm proud of myself, but I'm sitting here right now thinking about a red velvet cupcake! LOL!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My day off became a day on...

Earlier this summer I was going to Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach (above). It is a brutal hill of sand that is probably 100 feet high... What a GREAT workout! However, due to the rising temperature I had to put my dune trips on hold. Now when the weather is starting to cool down, I was thinking of hitting the dune again. But the city is closing the park for at least a couple of weeks. So many people are going to the dune that it has to be periodically restored. They have to move the sand that has shifted to the bottom of the hill back up to the top. Another problem is that it gets SO crowded, and the residents start to complain. There isn't much parking around the park, and lots of people have to park on the residential streets. It's a mess, but I'm not sure how they'll fix that problem. It's popular, it's free, and it's a killer workout.... and when it's open again, I'll be back at it! The last time I was there, I climbed the dune 8 times. That was my record! It might take a couple of trips to get my legs back, but I'll get back up to the 8 soon enough.

As for my workouts... Thursday is normally my day off from working out. I either get my hair done or get my pedicure. Today, my pedicure appointment was accidentally scheduled for Friday, so I really had no reason not to work out. I did an hour on the treadmill & worked up a great sweat. This has been a pretty good week. I was on the treadmill on Monday, sessions with Claudine on Tuesday and Wednesday, and treadmill again today. I guess my eating has been okay, but I'm really thinking I need to go back to counting points. I need to write it down and be really diligent about it. I don't feel like I'm making any progress in terms of my weight loss. I get stronger everyday, and I get more stamina & endurance... but in the end I also want to drop those 20lbs! I'm going to start off by having a good eating weekend!!! Peace!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rough Monday...

Today wasn't a very good day. I lost a great friend, and the LAST thing I wanted to do was exercise. As if reading my mind, Claudine had some child care conflict, and our workout session was moved to tomorrow. I didn't work out on Sunday, because I went to the jazz festival, but all I wanted to do was veg' out on the couch. Rather than feel bad about it tomorrow, I got up and hit the treadmill. Four miles on a 5.0 incline... not so bad. I feel better, and the workout helped me release some of the frustration built up over the day.

Rest in Peace, Dr. Alvin Tabor. You are loved!!! Your light will continue to shine forever!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


The good news is that I worked out on Friday (treadmill, abs, arms), and I went to bootcamp Saturday morning (and it was hot!) However, I ate fish and chips on Friday night. I'm not going to feel really bad about it, because I've been doing great with my eating this week. Tomorrow is a day out at the jazz festival, so I just need to make sure I make good choices while I'm there!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Day of Rest...

I had three hard workouts on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, so today was a much needed day of rest for my body... specifically my HAMSTRINGS! LOL! Very much on fire today, but I'll be back at it on Friday. No pain, no gain!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts...

One of the things I'm most proud of in the last year is my dedication to working out. I've somehow learned to enjoy working out. If I go two consecutive days without some form of deliberate exercise, I feel bad. Sounds crazy, huh? But I absolutely love it.

One of the main reasons for this change is my introduction to Claudine. I like the way she trains me, and it has helped me "mix up" my workouts. Before I met Claudine I was a "30 minutes on the treadmill" or "an hour on the treadmill" girl. I didn't even think about picking up weights or doing squats & lunges. I'd go into the gym, do some cardio, and leave the gym. Now I know that I have to incorporate strength training into my workouts. I also know that it's better to either 1) go back and forth between weights & cardio, or 2) do the weights first & finish with the cardio. My natural inclination was to start with cardio & lift weights afterwards (maybe!) Most of the time I would go in the gym & jump on an empty cardio machine... an hour later I'd be too pooped to think about walking upstairs to get on a weight machine! I've learned to exercise "smarter".

So that's all for now... by the way, I had a great workout today... 30 minutes of weights & 30 minutes of treadmill intervals!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Getting Started...

Today is Monday, August 03, 2009… July was a GREAT month! I turned 38, and life is good. However, I have let my eating habits get the best of me. So today I’m getting back on track & I’m 100% committed to losing 20lbs before my class reunion in October. In honor of my 20 year high school reunion I plan to lose 20 pounds! These 20lbs are 20 that I’ve lost before… I have to get back down to 135, at least, before the reunion. I weighed myself this morning, and the damn scale said 155.5lbs! WTH? Good grief… Still liking the way I look, but it’s time to step it up to the next level. So I’m starting this online journal, and we’ll see how things progress!