Zumba and YouTube….

So, I said I was going to step my gym game up, and I meant it.

I woke up at 7:20 this morning, and made it a point to go to my  8:30 Zumba class at 24. Was I awake? Hardly. Did I pass the exit for the gym and have to double back because I was on auto-pilot, heading to work? I sure did!

But I got in that class, and WORKED IT! Tammy, my favorite Zumba instructor, was no joke this morning. I thought her PM classes were crazy! Oh, no! She busts out the big guns in the wee hours of the morning….and for that, I am eternally grateful. I don’t believe there is one part of my body that didn’t get shaken today! After an hour of Zumba, I decided to test my endurance and hit the bike. I love doing the random hill mode, because it creates a variety of resistance, and the time flies by. I bump my workout playlist, and get it crackin’!

What’s hilarious to me is that sometimes, you go to the gym, and it’s like guys see you working out really hard, and focusing on what you’re doing….and they take that as an opener. Some fool came and sat down on the bike next to me, tapped me, and said “Looks like you’re just gettin’ it in this morning! Check baby out!”

Look here, random ridiculous man. I’m not a baby, one. And two…don’t you have some working out to do? Can I live, please?!?! And 3…..Hey, thanks! Lol. Part of me wanted to die laughing, but the other part of me was really peeved. I mean, seriously. I did not get on this bike and put it on level 14 to impress you. I did it because I have goals to reach….and meeting men at the gym is NOT on the list. Besides, now, I’ve totally lost where I was in my workout, because I assumed you bothered me for something important. RUDE.

I smiled, said thank you, and kindly put my headphones back on and got back to Waka Flaka. I can’t even believe…..

And then, I go to hit the elliptical for 30 minutes, seeing as I have the morning off, after all….and another random fool gets on the one next to me, and just stares and smiles(although, I must admit, he had killer arms, with killer tattoos to match!). So I climbed off, and headed for my car! I’m self-conscious enough at the gym…I don’t need you making Cheshire Cat faces at me. Bunch of crazies! It was really just the strangest thing! I have no idea why this suddenly became the new trend, but from now on, working out in the mornings is reserved for group classes only. Hmm. Maybe it was the coral top?

Let's face it: I'd wanna talk to me at the gym!

This morning, I am going to update my new organizing calendar on my wall. Gotta look through the January class schedules, and plan my attack. One thing I hate about January is all of the people with gym resolutions. That means I have to fight to get a spot in my Zumba class. No bueno. But, I shall….because that’s gonna be one of the keys to toning up this stomach…especially if I’m gonna keep up the 30 Day Challenges! ( The next installment is next weekend! Whatever chonies shall I wear? Lol). I am tempted to try a spin class, and a kickboxing class too. Going solo is kind of daunting, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Speaking of which, this girls gotta clean her bathroom. I got new lavendar wet cloths for the swiffer, and I am just dying to clean my bathroom floor! That’s how I know I am growing up. And I can’t really say it bothers me!

So many big things coming in January! Photoshoot on the 10th, Monster Truck Rally and Julian Trip, and the list goes on! Not to mention, most of my free time will be spent at the gym! Think skinny, be skinny! Cannot WAIT to see what 2012 has in store!

By the way, the new youtube channel is officially a GO. Now, I just need to start making videos. 🙂

Check me out on YouTube here: SeeSondraSlim on YouTube!

Anyways, let me clean my bathroom and take a shower before it’s too late, and I end up being late for work! Ahh!

Hope everyone has a great day….the weekend is almost here!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Is 2012 Really Almost Here?!?!

Christmas has come and gone.

Thankfully, what the season means hasn’t left me.

I didn’t expect anything this Christmas. I don’t think I even asked for anything. I have been so beyond blessed this year, and I truly felt that there was nothing I wanted for.

I have a new job, a cute condo with my very best friend. I have a new car. I’ve lost 87 lbs in six months. I have a group of friends that I can’t imagine life without. I have a family that cares about me.

Buuuuut, hey….just because I didn’t ask, doesn’t mean I was not more than happy, let alone SHOCKED to receive all of my amazing gifts this year! Alex got me a Kindle Fire. Sean got me Rosetta Stone Italiano. My lovely front desk ladies got me a crockpot, and a fabulous Betseyville bag. Some other co-workers even got me cute Victoria’s Secret gift cards! My cousin got me a whole bag of assorted goodies, and the list goes on.

Wednesday, there was a contest for “Most Festive,” and I felt a competitive urge to win.

I know what you're thinking....

….you see how that went. Lol.

Although Christmas was a bit different this year, I was pleasantly surprised to come home Thursday night and see that Alex decorated the living room!

Our own little Christmas in our own little condo.

Christmas was, other than Jesus’ birthday, a reminder to me that the year is almost over. I can’t be the only one who thinks that is a little terrifying! I mean seriously, I feel like it’s flown by. And while I am very proud to say that I accomplished pretty much EVERY large item on my to-do list for this year, I can’t help but feel a slight nagging feeling that I need to plan my list for next year already. I don’t really do resolutions…because lists are already such a big part of who I am, and what I do….if I just make a list, and keep it some place obvious (like, I don’t know, my blog, which is getting tons of hits!), I am more likely to get those things done. It’s funny to admit, but there really aren’t that many big things for the list….yet. I plan to have the majority of it accomplished by February, in fact. But you know me….it’s just a matter of time before I take on another project or idea. And I cannot WAIT to see what those will be. 🙂

So, here it is:

Sondra’s 2012 To-Do List

1. Book my flight to Italy for Spring 2013

2. Book my flight to DC for my cousin’s graduation in May 2012.

3. Become fluent in Italian(thank you, Sean for making my Rosetta Stone fantasies real!)

4. Make the blog a bit bigger than it is.

5. Start that dang YouTube channel I keep going on about…

6. Keep working on the memoirs/novel

7. Be a better saver. (There’s no reason I shouldn’t have a ROTH IRA by now. I’m 23 years old with a steady income, for crying out loud. Smh.)

8. Work out EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. after work. No matter how much those 12 hr days get to me.

9. Hit goal weight. Just 43 lbs to go!

10. Use the 30 Day Challenges to begin a movement of my own.

This is just a beginning, like I said. But all of these things are very important to me. I have been positively overjoyed and overwhelmed by all of the kind comments, emails, and Facebook comments about being an inspiration. What I think people need to realize is that their support inspired me in the first place. I am honored that my story, my journey, and my failures and successes can help someone take the steps they have thought of so often….but ended up too afraid, or too overwhelmed and defeated to try.

It’s never to late to change your life, or the lives of others. Sometimes, you just have to say “Screw it!” and do what your heart is leading you to do.

And knowing that, I know that this list will eventually be all crossed out, and begging to be added to!

Yesterday, Karen, Elisha and I went to the beach before they headed back to Riverside, and I felt so relaxed. And, as corny as it sounds, as I sat on those rocks just watching the sun set, I was so content within myself. And even though I still have some things in life that stress me out, I can honestly say that I’m not worried. I know everything will happen as it’s supposed to, as long as I stay focused and keep working towards my dreams. It hasn’t failed me yet.

And so, I shall leave you with that.

Gorgeous!

 

This photo pretty much sums up the peace I feel, even in the midst of the ridiculousness that comes my way.

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

The Woes of a Christmas Shopper….

I hate Christmas shopping. There’s too much pressure to get the right gift for each person. There are too many people to shop for, and the more you shop, the more people you realize deserve even just a small token of your appreciation.

Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely love that warm and happy feeling that comes over me when I see the joy in someone’s eyes, signifying that I chose something they will truly enjoy…but really?!? If I have to fight another old lady over a gift at a mass retailer again….I might end up in jail!

I went to Target tonight (shocker, it was NOT the ever-offensive Wal-Mart!), and while perusing the aisles, I came upon an impromptu gift for Alex that I thought might be useful. There were several of this said item, but only one left in the color that I wanted (of course).

Now, mind you….the item is IN MY HAND when a little hispanic lady says to me: “Um, that’s mine. I left it there for just a minute.”

I know I say it a bit exccessively, but…..Oh, honey. No.

See, the item is not yours until you pay for it. You do not truly own it until you have a receipt in your hand. Furthermore, you can’t even imply that it’s yours if it’s in MY hand. It’s on this shelf full of similar items, which implies that it is for sale, and completely available on a “if it’s in my hand, it’s not yours” basis. We here in Sondra’s brain sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you…maybe next time you’ll put it in your shopping cart, and think about it while you shop?

I’m not one to fight unnecessarily, especially not fresh off of work. So, when the aforementioned lady realizes that my reply of “Oh, I’m sorry. It was here on the shelf, so I’ve decided to purchase it (apologetic face with a touch of remorse).” is in all seriousness, and that I will NOT be giving up the frame? She got a little rowdy. A little rowdy, I can handle. I simply handle it but moving along on my merry way, because really, it would just be kind of snarky to say anything else. What’s there to say?! But, when I proceed down the aisle, with the specific intention of moving on and not laughing in her direct line of vision at the expression on her face? Ay dio mio!

This lady went straight CRAZY on me. She started rambling on, and I heard the word puta. Well, no me importa, vieja! Never in my life! Thankfully, I just shot her the “I dare you to do something about it!” face, and all was well. Again, this woman comes out of nowhere, tells me I have her frame in my hands, and I’m supposed to feel sorry for her and hand it over? Not gonna happen, sister!

This experience brought me back to the “Wal-Mart Christmas Shopping Incident of 2009.” The year that one of my babies really wanted a Cheetah Girls dvd.

Unfortunately, I was involved in a miraculous chance meeting with item, and another older hispanic lady, and she snatched the movie out of my hands! See, with her, had she said “You know, I really need that dvd, I placed it in this ridiculously obvious hiding place in the hopes of returning for it momentarily, after deciding I really do want to buy it,” I may have had pity on her, and been the kind Christmas Samaritan, and given in( but probably not, because I had been looking EVERYWHERE for the dang thing, and it was fate that brought us together in the same aisle as the printers).

We go on to argue a bit, she pretends to be confused when I, as nicely as possible, ask her to give me the dvd back. She then pretends she doesn’t speak English, and looks at me like I am crazy.

Little does she know. Because me? I AM crazy. And worse, I freely admit it.

So, what’s a girl to do when her 7 year old niece just wants a Cheetah Girl’s dvd, and an old lady has rudely snatched it from her? Well, she shrugs her shoulders, sighs, and turns to start heading on to the next aisle. Obviously.

And then….she quickly turns around, snatches the dvd, and sprints to the craft section, where she can hide from the mean dvd-snatching senior citizen, and hope the cameras at Wal-Mart didn’t catch the whole thing. Then, she tells the story, and people laugh at her.

But, had you seen the look on Jeda’s face when she received that gift on Christmas Day, you would understand why I had to resort to such ridiculousness. I have no regrets.

And I will NOT be out-shopped. Not when there is that kind of joy on the line.

Anyways, I have gotten pretty much everything I needed to get. I think  people will be happy. The people closest to me pretty much just got one big-ticket item each this year, and a little something extra just for fluff. With all this car business, I have to keep my budget in check, so I didn’t get too, too crazy. But I think I did just enough.

Now if only I could become a millionaire, and buy my own Target that no one else could shop in…..that’d be fantastic!

Hoping everyone made it out alive this shopping season. I’ll post a blog with some substance tomorrow….but I felt like sharing. Without a reality show, this is the only way to showcase the truly bizarre events in my life.

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Sondra’s Italian Chicken Soup (and, Rude Drivers Make Me Craaaazy in the Morning.)

Goood morning, to all of my wonderful readers out there.

May I just say, it is truly AWESOME to sit here and say that I have readers. You don’t have to take interest in anything I say…let alone subscribe to it, or share it with others. The response to this project is truly humbling, and it is because of all the love, support, and encouragement I have received, that I make it a point to stay dedicated to this project.

For starters this lovely Thursday morning, I would just like to address a common problem that we have in America: RUDE drivers. Alex and I stopped at Albertson’s this morning to run in and grab Starbucks. It was early, and I try to be conscientous of other drivers at all times…especially since I just barely got a new vehicle. I treat it like a baby! I was waiting for someone to pull out of a spot, which was next to a spot reserved for people who ordered their groceries online. Some woman in a Lexus SWOOPED IN ON MY SPOT. I was livid! I mean, seriously? You clearly saw me waiting, and whatever you need in the grocery store is certainly not so important that you have to be rude in a practically empty parking lot.

It somewhat (emphasis on somewhat…not completely) shames me to admit that I quickly parked a few spaces down, and made a mad dash from my car so that I could tell her about herself before she got into the store. I get so beyond tired of people being rude. Whether it’s early in the morning in parking lots, late at night on the freeway, or any other place. Don’t even get me started on people at Disneyland with strollers! Rude, rude, RUDE! She refused to look at me while I was speaking to her, and I was convinced we had to beat her to the Starbucks line, because at this rate, she was probably going to cut me in line there too! It just pushed my buttons! Fresh out of my bed, freezing cold, and this is what I get to start my day with? I refuse! And sometimes, you just need to say something. She may have ignored me, but you better believe she heard me! And poor Alex. I know she must get a little embarassed when I act crazy like that…but someone has got to do it!

Moving on, I spent my Tuesday off getting errands ran, and the whole morning, I was obsessed with creating a new soup in my head. I played with an ingredients list in my head while I was at the DMV, and after some stops at Sprouts and Fresh and Easy, I give you:

Sondra’s Italian Chicken Soup:

What You Need to Make It:

1 rotisserie chicken (I got mine at Costco. $4 is cheaper than what I’d pay to buy the chicken breasts and cook them myself!)

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with Italian seasoning

2 boxes chicken broth

2 zucchini, sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 yellow Italian squash, sliced

1/2 bag baby gold potatoes (they cook fast, and a bag at fresh and easy is only $2!)

Baby Carrots

2 cups spinach

1 Yellow onion, diced

Fresh Basil, about 5 leaves, chopped (also very inexpensive at F&E. I got a whole little box for $1.49. I use it for tomato and mozzarella salad or bruschetta too!)

Salt and pepper

What You Need to Do:

I am a one-pot, 1 hour kind of girl when it comes to my soups. The less mess, the better. In a stock pot, I put about 3 tbsp of EVOO, and heat it up. Add diced onion, garlic, and basil. While this was on low, I was tearing up my rotisserie chicken. I used only the white meat because my pot wasn’t very large (and Alex doesn’t really do dark meat). Add chicken once it’s been removed from the bones. Add canned tomatoes and chicken broth, and remaining veggies. Mix all ingredients, to make sure the flavors meld together well. Bring to a boil, and stir. Let soup simmer for about 30 minutes on medium.

Yup…that’s pretty much it. If you’ve spent any kind of time in a kitchen before, you’ve got this in the bag. It’s a hearty dish full of protein, veggies, and WARMTH!

While my soup was simmering, I took the Italian bread loaf I bought at the store, brushed some olive oil on top, sprinkled some garlic salt on it, and put it in the oven about 10 minutes before my soup was ready to serve. The result was a hot, crusty, savory Italian loaf to go with some yummy soup!

If you prefer vegetarian meals, you could easily substitute another veggie for chicken. I’d recommend green beans, or maybe some eggplant to add substance. If you have picky eaters or those weirdos who hate veggies…you can easily tailor the recipe to include the ones they enjoy…it’s very easy to customize….as you can see, it’s really my turkey meatball soup with a few tweaks! 🙂

I sent a picture to Jamar after bragging about it, and he kept sending me an emoticon of a person drooling….I laughed ridiculously hard! And when I made the meatball soup, Sean ate it and later told me how much he liked it. May I just point out that he hates tomatoes? He sure did clean his bowl, though!

The soup was a great way to end a rainy day, and as always, it’s even better the next day! As a matter of fact, two days later, I think I may have some of the leftovers for lunch before I head to work!

I am going to visit Aunt Elsie this weekend, and I have to remember to pick up the crock pots she is giving me. There is even a mini one, so I can make meals that are suitable to my new small tummy! Also, my friend Joel posted piks of some Mac and Cheese muffins he made….and I am determined to make a surgery friendly version! I cannot WAIT to try it…because it would be an adorable appetizer or snack at a get-together or the next company event.

Speaking of which, this Saturday is our company Christmas party, and I am beyond excited! Apparently, they give away ridiculous gifts….starting at a $50 bill….going up to iPads, BluRay players, and Flat Screen tv’s. Everyone wins something. There are prizes for best dance moves, most festive attire…..etc. I am in it to WIN it. I havea sequin dress and glitter shoes. It’s a wrap! I’ll be sure to post piks on Sunday! 🙂

I think that’s all for now. Nothing too terribly exciting…but hey, the week isn’t over yet!

I shall leave you with a couple of Best Buy commercials that made me die laughing the other day. Christmas commericials make my day!

http://ahref=

“Daddy don’t want no cologne.” HAHA!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

Stand Together…and 30 Day Challenge Update #4!!

1-800-94-Jenny.

I’ll never forget the old Jenny Craig jingle from back in the 90’s. Those commercials were everywhere. Unfortunately, I had not only the commercials to remind me constantly…but I had an annoying kid on the same school bus as me, who sang it every single time I walked by him.

Five mornings a week, for my entire 6th grade career, I was taunted by that kid, and that song.

I try, now that I’ve gotten older and learned many life lessons, not to take teasing very personally. I had a conversation with a guy I met just the other day, and I explained that even if I hadn’t battled with being obese for my entire life, people would have found another reason to tease me. People tease you if you’re too fat….or too skinny. If you’re too tall….or too short. If you’re too smart….or not so smart at all.

If I had known that in 6th grade, I might have been able to keep myself from crying every night when I went to bed, or avoiding the lunch lines, because I felt like people were always watching me eat. For years, I couldn’t eat in front of people, because I felt like I was being judged. Nevermind that I never really ate more than anyone else.

Kids are cruel. And you know, as adults, we don’t always do much better.

I watched a recent episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which most people know,  I have a sick obsession with. I swear, I am such a masochist. I know I will bawl my eyes out every single time. Sean calls almost every time I am watching it, and I have to take a deep breath and steady my voice before I can even pick up the phone! Lol.

The Walker Family episode really hit me pretty hard. The mother lost her son was he was 11 years old. Kids at his middle school were making fun of him for carrying around books and reading all the time. They accused him of being gay. She came home one day, and found him hanging from the 3rd floor of their home.

Check out the episode on Hulu here. I strongly suggest you grab a box of Kleenex before you press play!

I cannot imagine the pain that Carl Walker must have been feeling. I almost have to assume that he was numb at that point. My pain, and the horrible things people have said and done to me over the years never made me think to end my life. Part of the reason this episode made me so emotional was because I can honestly relate. I was always the fat girl. Funny enough, if you didn’t know me, you’d take me for some quiet, reserved, scared person. I took every single opportunity to show people that I was more than the fat girl. Talent shows? I was there! Grades? I’m all about the A’s. Intelligence? Quiz me. I was constantly seeking approval, to prove to people that even though I was fat, I was useful.

Then, I got older, and I realized that people could take me or leave me. I learned the only one that needs to be happy with me….is me. As soon as I realized that, I seemed to attract attention and people without trying quite so hard. Ironic.

Sirdeaner Walker lost her son. Now, she has channeled her grief into a project that is geared towards stopping the bullying, and hopefully helping someone else find their worth inside before they give up. Stand Together is the website started for her project by EMHE, and you can click the link, go to the website, get your number (at this point, they have 121,751 people standing together against bullying! They started on a mission for a mere 10,000….but that’s what happens when you’re fighting for a cause!), and upload your photo holding your number. This project blew me away. The exposure that EMHE provided her cause is phenomenal…and I can’t help myself; I need to be a part of this movement! I hope that you will take a moment to join in, and fight against bullying as well. Take the pledge, print your number, and upload it to the site.

It takes 5 minutes, and it makes an impact for a family who lost someone that meant to world to them….and yet, they still find the time, the strength, and the desire to help others. I feel like the least I, or anyone else can do, is give them hope by being one more person to take the pledge.

Stand Together! I'm #121,815!!

I apologize for getting all deep. Now, on to the soft porn (kidding!)! But seriously, my text count seriously increased after the last post with the zebra panties. Dudes I haven’t talked to since 2007 were all over it! Ahem…smack yourselves!

If you’ve read the blog pretty regularly, you’re probably familiar with my 30 Day Challenge. Unlike most 30 Day Challenges, I made a promise to myself and my readers to take photos every 30 Days, and I challenge myself to see a difference. So, let’s recap the last three, and see just what we’re working with before I bust out the newest, shall we?

Month 1:

Big face, Big stomach, Big Arms….Everything BIG! AHHH!

Jeans: Size 20 Tops: Size XL or XXL

Month 2:

Eh. Progress.

Jeans: Size 18 Tops: L, XL

Month 3:

At the risk of being completely inappropriate, may I point out that nifty little space between my legs? 🙂

Jeans: Size 16 Tops: All the XL’s are too large! L, sometimes a medium.

I believe at the last one, I had lost 70 lbs. That was November 8th. Now, I give you….

Month 4:

Month 4 Side

It pains me to admit that this never really gets easier to see. Any butt I had is quickly leaving. Lol.

Oh, and did I mention the other big news? Monday, I finally crossed another item off of “The List.”

I got a car! Meet Dulce:

She rides like a dream, and has a sunroof, auto everything, a luggage rack, tinted windows, huge cargo space in back, 10 disc cd changer, leather interior….and the list goes on. Definitely wasn’t the car I had my mind set on, but as soon as I sat in the front seat, my heart was set on her. And I can’t lie….this car fits my personality more than the Dodge Caliber….and Jeep is part of the Dodge family…so I can rest easy knowing that my car is legit! I got her oil changed yesterday, and the guy was raving about how well-maintained she is (not that it stopped him from trying to sell me a new battery or air filter. Lol.). I named her Dulce, because she reminds me of caramel, which somehow got me to Dulce de Leche….random, and not even correct. But it works, and it matches her color when I think about her. I am a VERY happy girl, with a VERY nice car. I told myself I’d have a new ride before the year was over…and here we are. 🙂

We order her personalized license plates at the DMV (itch, itch, itch! Pray for me!) this Friday, and I have already placed my Amazon.com order for my rhinestone license plate frame. Don’t act surprised.

All in all, it’s been a good week….even if it’s been a long one. I’ve avoided most stores in an effort to keep myself from going crazy, so all is well!

I’d like to leave you all with one of my personal favorite songs, from one of the most ridiculous rappers on the planet. It’s totally appropriate, after all:

“Back then, they didn’t want me….now I’m hot, they all on me!”

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO