Monday, September 27, 2010

Too Darn Hot...

This was the reading from my car at 4:17pm today.... 100 degrees... Today marked the hottest day in LA history!  Luckily, I spent the bulk of it indoors in my cool office building.  But when I got home & tried to work out, it felt like a sauna in my house... probably because I RARELY, if EVER, turn on my AC.  I have too much house to waste money cooling all the rooms when I'm only in one of them.  I did manage to do a DVD workout & two miles on the treadmill.  It took every bit of me to finish that two miles!  I was pooped when I finished!

So, I guess I don't have anything to talk about really.... work has been pretty nutso.  I've been spending time with friends... the usual stuff.  I thought I'd share with you a couple of things I have recently acquired... and a couple of things I would like to acquire soon!

First up:  Champion Sports Bra Style #1018!  The bra happens to be discontinued, but I found a couple on ebay.  Believe me when I tell you, this is the best sports bra for the money that I have ever found.  Holds "my girls" in when I'm jumping around and jogging... excellent for someone who is well-endowed.  But for some STRANGE reason, Champion discontinued the style... and I haven't found another one they make that compares.  I should write them a letter.....

Next up, another discontinued item:  Nike Shox Navina Sparkle... I don't think you can get the full image from the pictures, but they are quite bling-a-licious!  And I must have them!!!  Trying to decide between the white and black... they're also on ebay.  A wee bit pricey, but they would last me 2-3 years easily since I swap out shoes so much.

Finally, I've been drinking Shakeology meal replacement shakes.  Yummy yum yum!  I put ice, soy milk, maybe a half a banana in mine & it makes a great shake.  Totally fills me up!

Of course, drinking Shakeololgy means I needed a new blender!  A REAL BLENDER!  No, it's not a VitaMix, but it's also not the $30 blender I had from Target.  This one really works.  It set me back $80, but it's worth every penny...

Well, that's it for now.... gotta jump in the shower and get my mind right for Tuesday.  Hope to talk to you soon... I'm gonna do better with the blogging... (I know I keep saying that!) Did some fun things last weekend & have some fun things coming up... so I'll have lots to talk about!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Summer's Over...

It's been a while since I last posted, so this will be a catch up blog post!  August was a busy, but WONDERFUL month!  I would have to say the highlight was watching my BMFF (best male friend forever), Sean Patikas-Hunter, marry his beautiful wife, Rita, aka Mrs. Patikas-Hunter :-)  

The night before the wedding, Sean calls & tells me to come over... they're celebrating his last night as a single man over at his house.  Rita was already at the hotel.  So, of course, I get there & I'm the only girl there (sometimes I think Sean forgets I'm not a guy... LOL!)  I'm used to it by now, and Sean's guy friends don't even blink when I show up.  We talked & ate & drank... around midnight the guys were going to some bar, but I recommended that Sean stay home & get some rest.  He listened (and I'm sure he appreciated it the next morning!)  The wedding was Friday, August 20th... the day was perfect.  The ceremony was beautiful... I didn't even burst into a complete cry bubble the way I normally do at weddings.  I think I had gotten out of my system earlier that day... the wedding was in the evening on a yacht in Newport Harbor.  I hadn't seen Sean all day, but a few hours before the ceremony I got a text from him which pretty much brought me to tears.  Happy tears.  By wedding time I was all cried out.  I did get a little misty when I first saw Rita, because she was so beautiful.  I remember her telling me about when she found her dress & how she knew it was perfect.  When I saw her standing with her dad... Wow... she was right.  She was a picture perfect bride.  Here are some shots from the wedding & reception:

My best friends at the wedding, aka, "Sean's Lady Crew" LOL!
Stacy, Sharon, Taufiki, LaVetta, JoLai

The happy & handsome groom, Sean

"I do..."

The wedding party

Great friends from all over the country
to celebrate Sean & Rita's big day!

With the bride... I told Sean I'm on Team Rita now! LOL!

My favorite picture: the mother/son & father/daughter dance...
What you don't see is that Rita is looking at Sean the whole time.
That is when I cried again... it was such a moment.

Okay, so remember the weight loss challenge?  I actually lost 10lbs in August!  It was a result of checking my diet & working out (like I always do.)  So I felt good going into my Labor Day weekend vacation to Florida.  I wasn't going to go crazy and eat everything in sight, but I was not going to be the snack police either.  Yes, I ate a lot of chips... they were in the beach house, and I ate them.  But I also went walking with my dad Saturday & Sunday morning... walked on the beach Saturday... and went walking twice on Tuesday in Atlanta.  Some pix from Florida:

During my beach walk...
On my morning walk with Daddy...

This is pretty much what I did... :-)

Posing at sunset...

After my walk... the water was so clear!

My suntan... which almost became a sunburn...
We left Florida on Monday & headed up to Atlanta to celebrate Kimberly's  40th birthday.  She had a t-shirt & flip flops themed BBQ, and it was a blast!  I got to see a lot of friends from college, play with my nephews & eat some DELICIOUS fried fish.  Oh yes, I enjoyed that fried fish!!!
Yes, 40 year olds double dutch!  And do pop ups!

Our last day as 39 year olds together... Miz & Biz
Auntie's baby, Zachary... my little sunshine!

I'm proud of myself for not beating myself up for snacking and eating things that I normally wouldn't eat.  It's all about moderation.  As much as I would have loved to come home, jump on the scale & weigh what I weighed when I left.... that wasn't the case.  The good news is that I didn't gain even half my weight back, and I enjoyed some great food.  Of course, I'm back on my grind now.... I have given myself a 10lb goal for September.  I can do it!


Monday, August 16, 2010


I posed a challenge to my family last week... well, not really a challenge, just a little inspiration to workout. I vowed to lose 5lbs by Labor Day weekend.  Pretty much everyone followed my lead, and we're all planning to announce our SUCCESSES when we meet up for Labor Day.  I'm doing a pretty darn good job so far.  For me, all it takes is a watching my calorie intake & eating the right foods.  I have the workout part down.  It's not a problem for me.  I love to exercise... it's generally my favorite part of the day.  I've already lost 4lbs, so 5 will be no problem.  Between you & me, I really plan to lose 10lbs... so we'll see how it goes.  My motto for my birthday was "Eat, Drink & Be Merry", so I'm making up for it now.

The picture above was taken this past weekend at a wonderful luncheon I was invited to.  It was a celebration of Fifty Fabulous Women... and I must say it was incredible! I met some great women, and it was such a beautiful day, as you can see in the picture.  As you can also see, I wore a strapless dress... let me tell you, JoLai does not do strapless!  One, I am well endowed, and it's just weird to not have bra straps... two, I never liked showing my arms.  When my trainer, Claudine, saw me at the luncheon, she was soooo proud of me.  She's been working my arms & shoulders to death!  I asked for it, and she's giving it to me.  The dress is from The Gap... and I'm pretty sure I've had it for a decade.  LOL.  I was digging through the closet & found it.  Cheers to me!  It'll be too big soon, so someone else can enjoy it next summer... unless I take it to my tailor to have it nipped in... I kinda like it.

With my girlfriends, Nichol & Stacy

The view was amazing!

Oh, before I go, I wore one of the dresses from my last post... it's the one I wore to Jon & Leslie's wedding.  It's definitely gonna be too big soon.  I wore it to a bridal shower last weekend... with my Calvin Klein wedges that I love...

FYI, Leslie's blog is back up & running at:

That's all for now.... next post I'm considering sharing my "before" pictures.  I look at them & thank God that He positioned me to be READY to make this change in my life three years ago!!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Right To Bare Arms...

Before I start... I want to say THANK YOU to my sister, Dr. Kimberly Manning, for writing about me in her fabulous blog... here's the link to the post: Reflection on Tuesday: No Excuses

Okay... here we go!

I've never been a super girly girl... I'm much more at home in jeans and a t-shirt with flip-flops... or sweats and sneakers... My job is very casual, and when I do wear a dress, it's like the talk of the whole floor.  LOL.  Because I don't wear dresses & skirts to work very often, I like to wear them when I go out.  I love to buy dresses, and I love to wear dresses.

Here I am again in my signature pose... haha!

One change that has happened in the last year is that I've become a bit more confident about showing my arms.  There is probably no part of my body that I struggle with more than my arms.  When I was on heavy doses of prednisone for my colitis back in 2001, my body swelled up like a balloon.  And my arms GREW (along with everything else), so I have some stretch marks on the back of my arms that I really don't like.  After a lot of soul searching, I have learned to accept all of my "battle scars" from my struggle with ulcerative colitis.  As I've worked out & lost weight, my arms have gotten smaller.  Now, I don't mind showing them.  I'm still not super happy with them, but I'm not gonna wear a shawl all night to cover them either.

In the coming months, I have a LOT of events to attend.... my BMFF's wedding, luncheons, holiday parties, etc.  And I have a LOT of dresses to wear.  I'm just about confident in a size 10 these days (especially if the dress has some stretch to it!), so a lot of my size 12 dresses are about to be too big.... which means I need to wear them before the end of the year!

I've taken some pictures of some of the dresses I'll be wearing in the coming months... and you'll see that many of them are sleeveless :-)

Love this one... it's definitely a summery dress... may save it to wear to my BFF's wedding in Hawaii next June... but, I will probably find something else before then :-)

This is such a great little black dress I got from Ross. It has side pockets & ties in the back.  The current problem with this dress is that is is SHORT... shows a bit more thigh than I'm comfortable showing (right now), but it might be great for a holiday party if I work extra hard!

You can't really tell from the picture, but this is kind of iridescent.  It fits great right now... will probably be too big in the top soon.  I love it enough to take it to my tailor & get it nipped in on the sides.  Looks short on the picture, but it's a good length for me.  I'm pretty sure it came from Ross or Marshall's.

A recent purchase from Banana Republic.  I'm pretty sure I'm wearing it to my BMFF's wedding in a couple of weeks.  It's silk, and I love it.  Kinda proud of myself for choosing color to wear to this wedding instead of playing it safe in black.

Also snatched this up at BR.  It's kinda thick, and would be great for a holiday work function.  

You guessed it... BR!  Shirt dress with a slip dress underneath.  Thinking of wearing this to a luncheon I'm going to in a couple weeks... It's super cute.  I see my Calvin Klein wedge sandals going with this perfectly...

This dress is pretty old... in fact, I know exactly when I got it, because I wore it to Jon & Leslie's wedding. LOL.  It's just about too big now, but I may be able to get one more wear out of it.  It's brown and white.  By the way, you can check out Leslie's fashion blog at FASHION du jour.  It's a great site with great fashion tips & ideas!

This is a chocolate brown dress... simple... and cap sleeved.  I am not a cap sleeve girl at all.  Nothing is more unflattering to my arms than a cap sleeve... I have a feeling this one will be given away.  By the time I'm okay to wear it... I'll be too small for it.

This is a black dress... it is a semi-heavy satin-like fabric, but it has print as well.  It's really cute from one of my favorite stores, White House/Black Market.  I definitely need to wear this one to a holiday party this year, because it will FOR SURE be too big in a few months.

Finally... I just added this one because it's in my closet.  I am sure I got it at Ross/Marshalls/TJMaxx, and I'm sure it was probably about ten bucks.  It's actually very cute, but right now it is too tight.  I'll step out in this one next year... for someone's 40th birthday party... in some hot gold sandals... :-)

There you have it.... looking at all these sleeveless dresses makes me want to do some more pushups & triceps kickbacks before I hit the hay.... Toodles!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Big Fat F!!!

So, it's time for me to renew my driver's license... I haven't had to go in for the last two renewals, and the DMV makes me come in to give a thumbprint, take a new picture (sweet with my LONG hair!), and take a vision exam.  No biggie.  Been driving with no DMV drama since I was 16.

I go in with an appointment -- a MUST out here in LA County --  I get in, wait maybe 10 minutes, they call my number, and I take my vision test -- with my contact lenses in, naturally.

"Read the last line you can read on the chart."

I knock out the smallest line, no problem.

"Cover your left eye and read the smallest line you can read."

No problemo.  Bam, smallest line again.

"Cover your right eye and read the smallest line you can read."

Uh... well... I can't read any of the chart.

"Can you read the first line?"

Um... nope.

"Okay... so you failed the vision test.  You need to take this form to your eye doctor & get it filled out."

Come again?  Form? Wha?  I've been driving for 23 years, and this is the first I've heard about a form.

"You have to have 20/40 with both eyes... AND 20/40 in one eye alone... AND at least 20/70 in the other eye alone.  I can't test your left eye, so you have to get the form filled out."

Sooo, what happens if I DON'T have 20/70 in my left eye?  Because I can tell you right now, I don't.

"Your doctor will have to explain on the form what the problem is & then we'll make a determination."

You are shitting me.  (yep, I actually said that.)  Is this a new thing? I don't understand... I don't drive with only my left eye.  I drive with BOTH eyes... specifically the right one, which works just fine.  I couldn't make it to the car in the first place with just my left eye.  I got my license at this very DMV when I was 16, and I've been driving with this one eye ever since.  No doctor form. *just begging*

"Let me look in your records... this isn't new.  I don't know how you passed before if your eyes have always been bad.... nope, no form on your record.... that's weird."

Oh well, I guess I'll call Dr. Kelsey & get the form filled out.

I call Dr. Kelsey's office... he won't be in until the afternoon... I go in that same afternoon & get an eye exam.  Dr. K knows me... he knows my vision history... he knows all about my sad left eye.  He still goes through the motions with me every appointment:  "1 or 2... 1 or 2... 1 or 2.... okay, don't worry about it."  LOL.    My mom told me as a child I memorized the eye chart.  I would rattle off the letters & Dr. Kelsey would be impressed... until she busted me: "JoLai can't see that chart! She memorized it!"

Dang, I should have thought to memorize the lines while I was waiting at the DMV, but I had no idea my bad left eye would cause me to fail the test!  *making mental note for next time...*

I've been literally "blind in one eye, can't see out of the other" my whole life.  I see pictures of myself as a little girl with no glasses, and I wonder how I made it through those first 3 or 4 years of life in such a blur!

Come to think of it... I don't know how any of the Draper Girls got around as kids... I don't think any of us could see!  LOL!

Probably the most "telling" picture... squinting that left eye... I still do that today.

Still squinting...

Are you wondering what happened with the form?  Dr. Kelsey is working on it.  He assures me I'll be able to take it to the DMV and drive away with a passing grade.  I have a temporary license that will last two months, and I have to bring the completed form back within that time.... *fingers crossed*


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Checking In...

It's been a while! This is gonna be short & sweet! I'm still at it with my workouts (see calendar), but I've made some changes. I'm no longer doing the Six Pack Mom bootcamp in the mornings. My work schedule is a little too crazy for that. But I did start a new DVD called ChaLean Extreme... I promise I'll tell you all about it soon!

Gotta run! Jazz Festival today! I may post from there ;-)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fitness Inspirations...

Okay... so this post was inspired by my sister, Dr. Kimberly Manning.  I got a call from her this morning, and she had a question about my last post.  In the last post I mentioned that Serena Williams was one of my fitness inspirations.  And I stand by that 100%!  The girl is bad!  Kimberly asked me if I meant to say Venus Williams... because I couldn't possibly be talking about Serena!  LOL!  Yes, I was talking about Serena, and yes, I think her body is great.  Serena is gonna be Serena... she can't help that she may have a mannish body.  As she recently said, she thinks her arms are too big, but they pay her bills. Ha ha!  I love Serena's body because she's curvy and has muscles.  That is what I strive to have one day.  I'm not going to be long and lean like Venus or Jennifer Aniston, because I don't have that type of body.

So this post is dedicated to my celebrity fitness inspirations!  Some folks are inspired to work hard by seeing pictures of overweight/obese people.  I am inspired by healthy people who are physically fit!

Let me make a few points right up front:

1.  I know these people have access to trainers, plastic surgeons, whatever... I get that.
2.  I picked people that actually work out (okay, so I've seen tabloid pix of them working out or leaving the gym)... even if it's with the help of a trainer, they still have to get up and do the work.
3.  Never mind the fake boobs or if you think they've had liposuction... it doesn't change the fact that their bodies inspire me!

Alright, here we go... in no particular order:

I'll start with Serena, since she prompted this whole thing!

I have always loved Demi Moore... she's 47 & just as fabulous as ever!

Kim Kardashian...
This is one hot body.

Gabrielle Union... 37 years old...

Jennifer Lopez... 41 in a couple of weeks... mother of young twins...
And this picture was taken in January.  Killin' it.

Jessica Biel... loving that beach body!

Mel B... can you say "Six Pack"?

Nia Long... always looking fantastic...
and she'll be 40 in October.

And now for my Fab Five Faves...

Regina King.  I really could go on about her...  look at her!
If that's what 39 looks like, sign me up!

Of course, Beyonce... I don't care if she's 10 years my junior...
B's body is just insane. Period.

Speaking of B... here's the Queen Bee...
The One. The Only.
Halle Berry.  Enough said.

She's gonna kill me for this, but my sister, Kimberly, is absolutely one of my fitness inspirations.
That's a 39 year old mother of two right there!

Kimberly & her boys: July 4, 2010

And finally, I can't forget the completely fabulous,
First Lady of the United States of America:
Michelle Obama!

What I love about our FLOTUS is that she is fit, strong, and not afraid to show it to the world.  I love her!  I love that she's championed the childhood obesity epidemic with her Let's Move! campaign.  I love those arms and shoulders... and I love every time she wears something that makes the Good Ol' Boys & Girls cringe!  That just makes me love her more.  Did I mention I love her??? (smile)

She caused quite a stir in this strapless number at the Obama's first state dinner:

Flexing her famous muscles!

And, most of all... I love the example she sets for her daughters & all women... and I love seeing a First Lady that looks like me!  (Her hubby ain't so bad either!)

President & First Lady Obama

So there you have it... some of my celebrity fitness inspirations!  

Do you have any?