Sparkly & Slimming….a Weight Loss Blog

Samantha's journey to slim down, while remaining sparkly!

Fitness Goals for 2014


As I said in my last post I am really trying out an unresolution – BE HAPPIER (because really I’m already a fairly happy person). However, I am setting some pretty specific fitness goals for myself – along with a few other goals. Do you make fitness goals for a new year? I really can’t remember if I did last year – but I know I had different priorities coming into 2013. I really wanted to be a runner – I’ve since decided running stresses me out, causes knee pain and is generally not enjoyable. If something doesn’t feel good – why do it? OK the one exception to that is the dentist – I never like the thoughts of sitting with my mouth opened for an hour while I get my teeth cleaned but I always feel amazing after. 😉

I work in Corporate America and we like to use the acronym “SMART” to describe goals – I figured the same principles apply to fitness goals so I kept those in mind when forming  my to-do list! What is a smart goal?

smart goal setting concept

Keeping that in mind – here are my 5 fitness goals for 2014!

1. Log 300 hours of Zumba (yes I realize this one is LOFTY). This means doing Zumba 6 days a week most weeks. Here’s the thing – if I was going to be a runner I would need 4-5 running days a week. I’m replacing those with Zumba and of course I made myself a cute calendar to track! Now of course I travel for work (and for fun). How am I going to accomplish this? Two ways – Zumba DVDs I bought ages ago and “THE ULTIMATE ZUMBA PLAYLIST” I just made in my iPod. It’s a collection of all my favorite Zumba songs from all 5 teachers I take from!

I love color-coding and I like organization. I know I'll be away next week so I'm already accounting for it and planning. Also, Thursday and Friday classes may switch depending on my work busyness!

I love color-coding and I like organization. I know I’ll be away next week so I’m already accounting for it and planning. Also, Thursday and Friday classes may switch depending on my work busyness!

Dying to see this kill mix of mine? Feast your eyes and ears on this! This is a combo of Stef, Kerri, Danielle and Ogechi songs! I don’t quite know Laura enough to know her music yet. 🙂

Zumba Mix

2. Try one new fitness DVD a month. Originally I said one per week but with my Zumba obsession that just won’t work. Haha. I have a ton DVDs I’ve stockpiled that I need to work through – I’m really looking forward to these two:

DVDs

3. Complete 10 real push-ups by the fall! I can do the kind on bent knees but I want to do legit, straight out push-ups! Since you know I love a funny:

4. Hold a plank for 3 mins by December! I’ve done several plank a month challenges and I always fall apart at the 2 min mark. I want to hold a plank for 3 mins this year. 🙂

5. Jump rope by the summer. I used to LOVE doing this when i was little and I really want to get a jump rope now as an adult. Along the same lines I want to do legit jumping jacks – instead of the ghetto side step side things I do now. LOL. Of course, this cracked me up so I had to share:

jump rope

There you have my fitness goals for 2014! What are yours?

Have you ever considered making a fitness bucketlist? I saw this while searching for funny graphics and loved it!

Definitely a project for a rainy day. 🙂

Advertisements
5 Comments »

The Best of 2013!


I always love reading end of year lists – best songs, movies, moments etc. I decided to put together my very own Sparkly and Slimming – Best of 2013 list. 🙂

best of 2013

Best workout song – Oooh so many to choose from! I have to say Lil Jon “Work” – we do this at Studio Poise in Danielle’s class and at the YMCA with Stef and I just LOVE it.

Best workout – this has to be the Sunday/Monday Zumba classes this week – we did all the favorite songs from the year and a ton of friends were in attendance (including my BFF Jewels taking her first Stef Sweeney class! Woo!). Zumba has to be one of the best things to happen to me this year – I’ve shaken my ass off (and lost 47 pounds from this time last year!!). made new friends and truly found cardio I LOVE doing.

Best trip – In May I took a whirlwind trip with my sales manager to Atlanta/Chicago/Detroit. The trip was excellent from a work relationship/meeting perspective but also from a food/fun perspective (we ate at some great places!). Sadly it was also the last time I got to see my aunt before she passed. However, I’m happy for this memory because as always she reminded me of the important things in life (appreciating sunsets, getting lost and found again and spending time with my Mom!).

Sunset from my aunt's hospital room - there was something very powerful about capturing this moment and sharing it with her.

Sunset from my aunt’s hospital room – there was something very powerful about capturing this moment and sharing it with her.

Best song for aimless driving (a favorite pastime of mine!) – Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey is always the right answer – but given that’s not new I’ll have to vote for “Take Care” Drake and Rihanna – I’m not a huge fan of either artist but this song is just my JAM in the car especially. My favorite line is “You hate being alone and you ain’t the only one – you hate the fact that you bought the dream and they sold you one“. Truth.

Best treat – I found a company called Sugarfina on Instagram and their cute candies looked almost too good to eat – I bought some for Christmas for stockings and mine were gone by the 30th. Haha. Highly recommend the Champagne Bubbles or the Peach Bellinis. Mmmm.

IMAG1458

Best epiphany – Sometimes letting go really does make you stronger than holding on. In personal relationships and with organizations you were once devoted to. Patronizing a place that mocks and belittles their clients isn’t good for soul – and finally accepting that I was better than the behavior I encountered was a powerful moment (see: A Lesson Betrayal).

Screenshot_2013-12-23-20-42-52

Best quote – Ooooh so many to choose from! I think I will go with “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Buddha. Thanks to my friend Stephanie for posting this on Facebook!

Screenshot_2013-11-07-20-41-20

Best accomplishment – I have two—- conquering my fear of actually going to Zumba and then falling in LOVE with classes (and being able to keep up!!) AND fitting in to a tank top from Lululemon that my friend Stasia bought me in January for my birthday. When I first tried it on I couldn’t get it past my shoulders! Woo!

Best new food obsession – ARUGULA! So delicious and so versatile! It goes with every salad, you can wilt it and it tastes amazing without any dressing. Roasted beets (with goat cheese) might a close second.

IMAG0680

Magic in a bowl!

Best new habitCutting out the salt! Who knew salt made SUCH an impact?! I am less bloated, less sore and overall much happier!

Best book read – “The Good Cop”  by Brad Parks (I love a crime novel!) for pleasure and “The In-Between” Jeff Goins for blog research – this was one of the best books I’ve ever read – so good I’m actually rereading it!

Best new TV show – Oh god I can’t choose! “The Americans” is tied with “House of Cards” – you need to see both!

TV shows

Best new accessory – I am shocking myself right now but I am going to say a naked face! I love being comfortable enough with myself to leave the house without makeup. 🙂

IMAG1565

This is me as I write this blog post! No makeup – hair in a messy bun and ya know what? I think I’m pretty!

Of course this wouldn’t be a Best Of post without a few funny ones…..

Best phrase I cannot wait to retire: TOTES. I freaking hate it when people say “Totes” instead of totally! Drives me batty.

Best band I can’t wait to stop hearing: ONE DIRECTION! I hope they fall off the earth in 2014!

Best meme I saw all year: Thanks to my brother for sending this gem along! LOL.

Screenshot_2013-08-04-19-44-26_1

Thank you all for reading – messaging me – commenting and being my support system. I am a lucky girl to know so many fabulous people!!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

5 Comments »

Zumba Obsession!


I fought it for years – I made excuses about why it wasn’t for me…..friends I was wrong. I am IN LOVE with Zumba! It took finding the right teacher and the right location but I am now one of those crazy people who counts down the hours to cardio class!! (I so wish I was joking). 🙂

2013-09-29 22.52.04
First, what is Zumba? It’s a Latin-inspired dance cardio class that draws from salsa, hip-hop, bellydance and uses music from everywhere. If you try only one new fitness adventure, make it Zumba. There are people of all ages, ethnicities, sizes and shapes SHAKING it. You can be a fabulous dancer or you can have two left feet and still get an amazing workout. Plus the music is so much fun the time literally flies. When’s the last time you thought an hour of sweating went by quickly?! Exactly!

Sidenote on the music: if you’ve seen “Rio” every, single song in it reminds me of Zumba. Especially the part where Blu says every song sounds like “Taco, taco, yah, yah, yah” (sooooo funny and so true!).

How did I become so obsessed? I recently gave up my gym membership in exchange for a YMCA membership…at first I thought the idea was crazy (gym = $25, YMCA = $50 a month)….but then I really did the math. YMCA includes unlimited classes (yoga, Pilates, TRX and ZUMBA!) plus a gym plus a pool. If I was to pay for 4 Zumba classes a week it’d be $30-40/week. So I get all that plus a gym with brand new equipment and no meatheads?! Yup, no brainer! The YMCA offers classes 4 times a week: Sunday and Monday classes are with the fabulous Stef Sweeney whom I just adore (more about her in a second)! Tuesdays are with Danielle and she is awesome and uses a disco ball in class! Disco Tuesday Zumba? You know you’re jealous! Wednesdays are with Kerri, the salsa queen and she is equally as fantastic. I’m so fortunate to have THREE fabulous teachers at my disposal! 🙂 2013-09-30 00.04.44

So what makes Stef so fabulous? She is one of my favorite barre teachers (her signature lean & tone is beyond kickass) and hosts one of my favorite blogs (Simply Fit) with advice worth hearing, excellent tips for staying active and motivation. So when my friend Layne conned me into coming to Zumba a while back she used Stef as the bait -smart girl! Not only is Stef one of the most fun and encouraging teachers I’ve ever met but she’s just a great person too. She cares about your progress, she goes out of her way to make sure you feel welcome and she extends that to you whole family. Yup, this past Sunday I convinced Derek to join me for Zumba!! Apparently the planets aligned, it was a full moon or maybe he was just sick of my relentless nagging (what good are sisters if not to nag?!) – either way he joined me. He died a little bit he sweat his butt off and he discovered why I’m so obsessed (it’s exhausting, you can be awful and still burn a ton of calories and no one is judging you!). He also remarked how fantastic Stefanie is. She makes you feel like part of the Zumba family, she’s 100% in it with you (I’ve never seen someone get so excited about Zumba before!) and she *never stops* – she’s like the energizer bunny! I’m psyched he joined me and looking forward to some sibling progress pictures soon! The Simply Fit lifestyle is extending to the family – love it!

2013-09-29 22.53.34

I really believe people are put into your path at the exact right time to change things up – Zumba and Stef came just as my work travel quieted down, my gym membership expired and my desire to amp up my cardio finally kicked in. I’m thankful for that perfect timing and thankful to have such wonderful, motivating people in my court. Thanks Stef!

So I’ve got a new schedule and it’s working quite nicely:  Zumba Sun – Weds,  circuits Thurs-Sat with one rest day sprinkled in for good measure. Hooray! After a monthish I’m already seeing changes in my body and my stamina – I can actually keep up without stopping in class! I’m sleeping better and noticing slimming in my stomach and my thighs. I can’t wait for October measurements/weigh in! If you’re in my area and up for a challenge come to a Zumba class with me, I promise you won’t regret it!

2 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: