Everyone Sing Along

If there is one thing everyone can agree on it’s that music is essential to exercise. What kind of music is really debatable, but the absolute NEED for music is not. I’ve got a really specific taste in workout music. My overall taste for music is really wide spread, but when it comes to get-your-blood-pumping-sweat-pouring-heart-beating-rock-your-socks-off-music my choice always leans toward hip hop and rap. I’m constantly screwing with the playlist and generally hit shuffle over about 60 songs. I know several people who like the variety of Pandora, but I like to have a little more control over my playlist for workouts than that. (Hey, I’m learning not to be a control freak for most of the rest of my life, let me have my workout playlist, ok?) I mostly have older stuff, but occasionally add in new stuff. And this one time, a couple of years ago this awesome guy I used to chill with let me hack his harddrive, and I came away with copies of about a dozen mix tapes that are now in frequent rotation. (That doesn’t make up for the fact that I never see you any more Car Wash Boy, sniff.) 

Here’s a sampling of my current shuffle:

  • Ashin Kusher -Kid Cudi
  • Move That Body- Nelly, Akon, T-Pain (seriously-this is awesome for hardcore cardio)
  • Work Out – J. Cole
  • Tootsie Roll -69 Boys (talk about a throwback! This was played at every dance I went to between the 6th and 8th grades!)
  • Talk That Talk- Rhianna
  • Good Good Night -Rosco Dash
  • Black and Yellow- Wiz Khalifa
  • Forever -Drake, Kanye, Eminem, Lil Wayne
  • Blow the Whistle -Too $hort
  • Chillen -Wale and Lady Gaga
  • Flex -Party Boys (One of those songs that you have to forgive me for because it just has good memories attached)
  • On to the Next One -JayZ
  • Buy You a Round -Verse Simmons
  • Push It -Salt N Pepa (Does it get any better than these original ladies of hip hop? I mean, really?!?!)
  • Ring the Alarm- Beyonce
  • Pope- Prince
  • Imma Be -Black Eyed Peas
  • Snap Backs and Tattoos -Driicky Graham (I’m going to go ahead and call it what it is-not high quality music, but the beat’s good for cardio)
  • Just Begun- Talib Kweli, Hi-Tek, Jay Electronica
  • Hard- Rihanna, Jezzy
  • Dirt Off Your Shoulder -JayZ
  • We Be Clubbin- Ice Cube
  • Step Into A World -KRS One
  • If I Ruled The World ’09 – Nas, Marcia Ambrosious

So, let’s have it. What gets your heart pumping for a good work out?

Delayed Gratification

Do you know Chocolate Covered Katie? If not, you should. Healthy desserts? Many vegan? I’m in.

Sometime ago, I pinned this recipe for Peach Breakfast Bake. I have a not-so-secret love affair with peaches and more recently with nectarines. Seriously, my addiction to nectarines might be reaching intervention level soon. But they are a superfood! Not when you overdose, Becky. Anyway, I decided there was no way I was going to wait 45 minutes first thing in the morning for this bad boy to bake, so I popped it into the oven last night. Let me tell you that it took every ounce of restraint I had not to gobble it up and “Screw you Breakfast! You can have eggs!” It smelled heavenly and made my whole apartment smell heavenly. But I was a good girl and left it until this morning when I woke up with drool practically hanging to my knees.

As you can see, I put it over plain yogurt, but honestly, I think vanilla would have been better, and ice cream would have been best. I’m not opposed to eating ice cream for breakfast, I just don’t have any. The recipe says it makes 3 servings. 3 servings for who? Elves? Must be for people who don’t like food! I will admit to being a glutton who ate the whole pan. I tried to kid myself by only taking half, but I knew that wasn’t going to do it. My nectarine fetish kicked it the minute my tongue got a hint of that sweet goodness and I had to finish off every single crumb.

Now for my alterations:

-I only used 1 tbsp of brown sugar in the topping and no other sweetener anywhere else. Peaches are sweet.

– I used crushed rice chex since that’s what I had and it’s going stale anyway.

-I used 1 peach and 1 nectarine, again because it’s what I had. Probably could have used 1 more piece of fruit.

-No margarine for me (ick!) I used coconut oil. (margarine and soy “cheese” is where I start crossing hairs with vegans on the “healthiness” of lifestyles)

This recipe is a keeper. And seriously, go check out CCK’s other recipes. And nectarines. Eat more nectarines.

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

Disclaimer: I’m not sure what exactly my reasoning is behind this post. Part of me is really ashamed of what you are about to see. Part of me feels like it is way too much bragging. Part of me feels like it is really cathartic. I’m not sure. But it is all part of my journey and something I’ve been sort of mulling on for a while. So, somewhat against my better judgement, here goes nothing.

I keep seeing this motivational image on Pinterest. I’m mildly ashamed to admit that it’s from Koutney Kardashin’s website (but hey, at least I had to use Google Image to determine that).

Source: Kourtney Kardashian (don’t judge)

I feel like I’ve gone in the reverse order. Yes, I’ve lost weight. Yes, I’ve gotten stronger and gained muscles. But, as I’ve said before, I’ve always seen myself as a big girl.  You have to understand that for most of my life, I was a big girl. 

Age 18 maybe (note the irony of the subject matter of my reading material)

 

Then there’s this. This picture is actually in my kitchen right now. It use to hang in my pantry, but for now it’s just sitting on the inside of a cabinet. I have no idea what I weigh in this picture, but it’s probably over 200 pounds. It’s likely the only picture of me close to that heavy. Do you want to know what I notice about myself? My eyes. My face is so bloated that my eyes even look fat.

Age 20

By the time I was preparing to get married in 2004, I was actually starting to look seriously at my weight. I’ve yo-yoed several times between somewhere close to 200 and closer to 140. It didn’t take long for me to go from a decent sized bride (sorry, no wedding pictures, I hope you can understand) to this 2 years later:

Age 23

 

You can see by later pictures that I did get better, but was still always a “bigger” person.

Age 25

Age 26

Fast forward to the current. People keep telling me how different I look. My clothes don’t fit. But when I look in the mirror, I see the girl standing next to Cinderella: above average but not huge and can look ok in appropriately fitting clothes. Like millions of American woman, I have a highly distorted image of my body.

Then I went to the beach this weekend. I snapped a couple of quick pics with my phone thinking maybe I would stick them on facebook. When I looked at them, I almost didn’t recognize myself. The picture on the right is from 2010 (I think) and the picture on the left is from this past week.

2010 (Age 27)/ 2012 (age 29) Yes, its a different (but similar) swim suit

 

Now, it’s not the most flattering picture of me, but the difference is obvious even to me at this point. I have to accept my size. Now I get it. I’m seeing what everyone else saw weeks ago. For the 2nd time in as many weeks someone has commented on my abs. I have abs? Holy crap! I have abs!  

Very old size 14s on underneath brand new size 4s

Size 14 to a size 4. I’ve held on to those shorts “just in case” for several years. I think I might can finally let them go.

Loosing the Forest for the Trees: Reblog: The Mindful Foodie

Awesome article. Once again, we have lost the forest for the trees. It REALLY is about WHAT you eat and WHERE it comes from when it comes to your health. It’s a matter of simplifying everything we all do to the basics, but that is so hard for so many to grasp. Health does not have to be complicated. Eat. Real. Food.

No Excuses, But Maybe a Little Forgiveness

I am a total list maker. I mean, a queen of list makers. I make lists of things to make lists of. This was my “To Do” list for this weekend:

See anything that stands out? I got a lot done! But what I didn’t get to was the work out. I’m getting ready to go out of town soon, so I had a lot I needed to get done in preparation for that, and I had household chores that needed done too. (And the haircut involved a 45 minute drive each way.) This was one jam packed weekend. I was really feeling guilty about not getting the work out done though. I told my best buddy (and work out accountability partner) that I didn’t make it this weekend. He asked me when the last time I missed a Saturday workout was. I can’t remember. He also asked me what I did instead of working out. I had good excuses, but they were all excuses. My friend then told me what I needed to hear most, it’s ok to miss one sometimes because Life Happens. He reminded me that I said this to him when he started a new job that was running him 60 hours a week for a while. BUT! You have to keep going.

This is not an opportunity to fall off the workout wagon. The old me would have skipped this weekend and then skipped this whole week doing the rest of the stuff on this list (you see I didn’t get any of the cooking done either but managed to shop ok!), then skipped the week I’m on vacation, then who knows when or if I would be back to exercise. I will not allow old habits to creep back in. I have noticed that they do that sometimes on the sly when I don’t realize it. As for this weekend, I will not make excuses for missing my workout, but I will forgive myself and not worry about it because I know I will be back at the gym tomorrow. I even bought a pair of weight lifting gloves on my little shopping trip 😉