Welcome To Chasing “Skinny”!

Welcome to your source for all things fitness related and then some. Here, you’ll find our version of “skinny” and it’s not intimidating or out of reach. Join the chase to hear about our current workouts, weight loss tips, healthy recipes, and more!

To Run Or Not to Run…

I was scrolling along, minding my business (well not really since I was on Facebook and everyone’s business is on there) when I saw a link to the “2014 Santa Clara Half Marathon & Faithful 5K.”050813-Levis-Header

I clicked some more and read:

The Inaugural Santa Clara ‘Red & Gold’ Half Marathon & Faithful 5K is scheduled for December 14, 2014 in Santa Clara. Join thousands of runners and faithful Niner fans to celebrate one of the greatest football teams in history! Our gridiron themed finish zone will provide a unique game day experience as you complete the race with friends, family, and fans cheering for you!

Registration Includes: A red & gold football jersey inspired tech shirt, a golden football helmet medal designed for champions + an official finishers certificate, chip timing and results, recovery refreshments, free photos, and an amazing running experience.

Say what?! Number one, I’m a die-hard 49ers fan so I already know that I will be involved with this race in some capacity. However, I just can’t decide which option I will be picking. And number two, Levi’s Stadium is like literally in my backyard; it took about 5 minutes to get there when I checked out my 49ers new digs with my family last weekend. Now, here’s my question…

Should I run a 5k again or go for the half marathon?! I wish that there was something in between like an 8 or 10 mile run, but nope. I have two options and I’ve got to pick one. I’ve been debating this for weekssss. Can I survive a half marathon? Will I pass out or just start crying midway? I don’t even like running, but I have the urge to challenge myself and try something that I never imagined I could do.

Since I’ve been doing some research, I also explored more capabilities of my Nike Running app and discovered that there is a training program on there!:

Beginner (that's me!) program

Beginner (that’s me!) program

2014-06-17 17.18.09

Nervous…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have some more time to completely make up my mind since training will begin on September 22; in the meantime, I’m supposed to try running 5 miles a week, which hasn’t been too tough. Also, my sister has committed to doing the 5k portion and my bf says he’ll totally run the half with me so at least I’ll have a partner. I’m leaning toward YES today :-)

Thoughts? Comments? Have any of you guys run a half marathon? Please share! 

-Udeme

The Seemingly Never-ending Hike: Mission Peak

“Are you in the Bay? I want to go to Mission Peak this week!”

That was the innocent message from my cousin that started it all. I responded to her by asking where and what Mission Peak was. She explained that it was “a pretty popular hiking spot…Google it and let me know what you think.”

I Googled. And I was nervous when I saw the difficulty rating had a full 5 stars. Since I’m not a hiker and the last time I recall camping was in 6th grade science camp, I messaged my cousin asking for more info. She assured me that I would be alright and then we headed there bright and early on a Saturday morning.

Incline started right after we parked.

Incline started right after we parked.

 

2014-06-28 09.06.28

And continued.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It wasn’t so bad at first, but then the incline progressed and progressed. It was just bad. As we continued to climb, we would ask passerby who were returning if we were close. They would give us knowing smiles and say “not quite” or “you have a ways to go.” Soon, we stopped asking and kept going. The worst part of the hike was thinking you were almost there and getting fooled time after time! But at least we had each other to talk to and some scenery to observe.

Cows

Cows. We saw turkey too

 

And once again, the incline clearly had no chill and was incredibly disrespectful.

And once again, the incline clearly had no chill and was incredibly disrespectful.

Then, we FINALLY made it. VICTORY.

"Victory, I can smell it in the air..."

“Victory, I can smell it in the air…”

 

2014-06-28 10.30.46

The views were pretty awesome.

So how do I feel about the famous Mission Peak? As my cousin put it:

“It was all UPHILL. People never Instagram the trail. #FooledByInstagram.”

I will say though that if you live in the San Francisco bay area and you want to challenge yourself, Mission Peak will not disappoint! I don’t care what your fitness level is, she will get you to sweat. I felt very accomplished afterwards and I’m glad to say that I conquered Mission Peak. I don’t think I’ll be returning, at least not any time soon.

Have you been on any hikes lately? Or have you run into any workouts that have been super challenging? Share in the comments! :-)

-Udeme

Healthified (Flourless) Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Attention all peanut butter lovers of the world who happen to also love chocolate, I have a recipe for you. Oh and did I mention that it’s #cheatclean worthy?  By now you all know that I LOVE me some peanut butter! Case in point, exhibit A and B. This is a throwback recipe that I got from @Tameikag on Instagram. It’s quick and easy and they taste wonderful. Without further ado:

                                                                                      What You Need:

Ingredients

Ingredients

1 Cup of peanut putter (I used an unsalted + organic brand from Trader Joes)

1/3 Cup of honey

1 whole egg

1/2 Teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 Teaspoon of sea salt

1/2 Cup of chocolate chips

What To Do

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, ball up pieces of this dough and spread them out evenly on a baking sheet, and cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven. Then, let them rest for 10 minutes and devour (some). (This made about two dozen cookies)

All done, cooling down

All done, cooling down

 

2014-06-21 19.56.01-1

Get in my belly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy :-)

- Udeme

This (& Last) Week’s Workouts: #FitFreakProject & Back to Bikram

Hello and Happy Summer!

I hope everyone is enjoying this glorious season so far and realizing that although time is flying per usual, there is still half a year left to reach your personal goals.  As of late, I have been doing the Fit Freak Project put together by Sean Serrantos. The verdict? I love it so far! It’s a 12 week program so my goal is to just get through and complete the whole thing.

I frequent this area in the gym the most now. Who would have thought in a million years... ?!

I frequent this area in the gym the most now. Who would have thought?

2014-06-18 07.29.22

Ready to go!

 

 

Next, I ventured back into yoga land! I purchased a great Groupon deal earlier this year for 20 classes of Bikram yoga in a studio in San Jose. It was due to expire on June 13th so I made sure to get my butt in that class super early before work (5:30-7AM) so that I could reap the benefits of the deal I snagged. My plan is to take a class every Saturday until October (I have to take the 20 classes by then) and it’s perfect for Saturdays after all my M-F weight lifting and cardio workouts.

 

Love this place

Love this place

Now, here was last week’s routine and a preview into what I’ll be doing this week!

6/16 – 6/21

Monday – Fit Freak Project Week 2  Legs;  1.25 mile run on the treadmill post weights

Tuesday – Fit Freak Project Week 2 – Back & Cardio (1.22 mile run)

Wednesday- Fit Freak Project Week 2 – Chest & Abs

Thursday- Biceps/Triceps & Cardio (1.30 mile run)

Friday – Delts & Abs; .65 mile run (I was over it, clearly)

Saturday- BIKRAM :-)

Sunday – REST

(Cardio typically encompasses 2 or 3 days of the program but sometimes I threw in more like a HIIT routine)

Tomorrow kicks off Week 3 of the program and it focuses on the same muscle groups but the exercises will vary. I felt incredibly sore the first week, but my body seems to be adjusting. Also, practicing Bikram yoga once a week has been great to stretch out all my limbs and focus even more on my core. I feel great, especially since I’m back on my healthy food grind.

What does your current workout routine look like? Share in the comments :-) 

Workout Playlist of The Week

Hello World! Here’s an extremely overdue playlist for your workout  listening pleasure.

 

This is perfect for a brief HIIT routine:

 

1. Trophies – Drake (WARM UP) 

 

2. Fancy – Iggy Azalea & Charli XCX

 

3. I Can’t Stop – Flux Pavilion

 

4. Pompeii – Bastille

 

5. Say Hello – Jay Z

 

6. Man of the Year – ScHoolboy Q (COOL DOWN)

Reunion & A Liebster Award to Boot!

To our great surprise, Kyra and I were nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Emem Okoh of A Toast to Life & its Beautiful StrugglesOur one year blogiversary came and went (already!) and around that time, Kyra and I were FINALLY reunited after TWO YEARS for Kyra’s bachelorette weekend extravaganza:

Reunited and it felt so good. (Kyra, left; Udeme, right)

Reunited and it felt so good. (Kyra, left; Udeme, right)

Also, those who blog together, indulge together:

We split a yummy serving of lobster mac n' cheese from Founding Farmers.  DELISH

We split a yummy serving of lobster mac n’ cheese from Founding Farmers. DELISH

 

Now, back to the topic at hand! The Liebster Award exists to recognize bloggers and connect them to even more bloggers :-)

liebsteraward

The Facts:
– It has German origins – the word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant…
– It’s an award for new and upcoming bloggers with 200 blog followers or less.
– It helps promote new blogs, and increases the readership of upcoming blogs.
– It’s a great way to get to know fellow bloggers, and can lead to networking opportunities.

The Rules:
- You must link the person’s blog who nominated you for the award.
– Answer the 11 questions given by the person who nominated you.
– Pick an additional 11 people to nominate with UNDER 200 blog followers.
– You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.
– You must inform the nominees that have been nominated.

Our Answers

1. What made you start blogging and when did you finally give in?

Kyra:  I stalked HLB’s (healthy living blogs) beginning our first year of law school as way to get ideas for workouts and healthy recipes.  The first blog I discovered was actually Peanut Butter Fingers, and I still read her blog today!  I finally gave in because I needed a creative outlet to deal with the stress of law school and thought starting my own blog would be a good way to do that.

Udeme: I started blogging because I knew it would be a great outlet to share what I’ve learned over the years about fitness in a non-intimidating manner. Many people inquired about how I lost weight, so I figured it would just be easy to talk about it here. Also, I really needed new ideas to switch things up with my routine and to connect with others who have been on similar journeys so it was just the right time to start this project.

2. How long have you been blogging for?

Kyra:  I started my first blog, Legally Healthy, in October of 2011, so about 3 years now!

Udeme: I’ve been blogging since 2009 while we were in law school: 1LBlues. I was on a hiatus from late 2012 to May 2013 when Kyra and I started Chasing “Skinny”.  So, a total of about four years.

3. Do you sometimes wish you had started blogging earlier? Why?

Kyra:  Sometimes! There are some old school HLB’s that sort of started/popularized this genre of blogging so it would’ve been nice to be on the forefront of that.  But honestly, I didn’t think that much about “healthy living” prior to starting my first blog.

Udeme: I do sometimes, mostly just for purposes of having a sort of time capsule that I can reflect upon. Timing is everything though and I don’t think I would have felt as confident blogging about healthy living because it’s been in the most recent years that I feel I truly have a handle on it.

4. What keeps you going?

Kyra:  I like the idea of Udeme and I being a voice for intelligent, fit, black girls out there to address issues that may be specific to us.  Also, to show that black girls care about health and fitness, too!

Udeme: Yesss, what she said. It’s nice to be able to give a different perspective! And also to show others that we share the same struggles. Aaaand, it keeps me in check when I’ve been slacking.

5. What is the longest you’ve gone without blogging? How did you feel?

Kyra:  Oh, I am a terribly sporadic blogger so I can’t even tell you…months for sure.  I feel guilty for not blogging but I also don’t want to force content.  I don’t think Udeme nor I are even close to running out of things to say on this topic, so there will be plenty to talk about for awhile!

Udeme: Probably about a month or so on here. I felt annoyed with myself because I had a ton of topics in my head (there are SEVERAL drafts that need to be published) but I kept pushing them off. I’ve really been trying to stick to a not so strict blog schedule.

6. Is your blog accomplishing what you started it out to accomplish?

Kyra:  Yes! I don’t really have any huge lofty goals for the blog, but I think we’re doing a good job connecting with our readers.

Udeme: Thankfully, yes it is! It’s actually exceeding my expectations. As Kyra said, it’s cool that we’ve struck a chord with readers. I’ve had a mini goal of getting 100 followers within a year’s time and we are almost there :-) Our last blog had about 11 followers so this is pretty dope.

7. If yes, how do you know? If no, what are your plans to get back on track?

Kyra:  See above!

Udeme: See above. I just hope we can keep up with the momentum.

8. What challenges do you face as a blogger? (whether Seasoned or upcoming)

Kyra:  TIME. Blogging is much more time-consuming than it appears.  Working full-time and trying to stay consistent with exercise and maintain outside relationships often means that blogging gets pushed to the back-burner.  But it’s something that I truly enjoy so I have to build in time to do it.

Udeme: Yes, making time is TOUGH. It’s been super hectic lately and trying to find what feels like non-existent balance is the biggest challenge. And also editing these posts is tough to make sure they aren’t super long, but that the content is still meaningful.

9. How do you feel about collaborating with other bloggers? Any such plans?

Kyra:  Obviously, I (we!) love the idea as Udeme and I are co-bloggers.  I don’t have any plans in the work to collaborate with others but am definitely open to it.

Udeme: I love co-blogging because it relieves the pressure of having to come up with content all on my own and also because I get new ideas from Kyra. We’ve had a guest post on here and we are open to collaborating with others for sure!

10. One reason you’d like to elope would be?

Kyra:  What a timely question.  Answer: because wedding planning is terrible and stressful :)

Udeme: To save money and stress! I can only imagine how stressful wedding planning can be.

11. What are the things you like and dislike about my blog?

Kyra & Udeme: Your blog is fly. Honestly, we don’t see cons. Your styled outfits are AMAZING, case in point The Floral Skirt and I like your personal posts.  The only thing I dislike about your blog is the fact that I come across outfits that I really want to own, but cannot purchase at this point in time LOL.

Our Questions: 

1. How long have you been blogging and why?
2. Where is the last place you traveled to?
3. What are the goals you have in mind for your blog whether big or small?
4. Do you feel inspired to blog daily or is it a more sporadic process?
5. What is the favorite post you’ve ever written be it on your current blog or elsewhere?
6. What have been the best ways to promote your blog?
7. Has the original theme of your blog (ex: fitness, beauty etc.) remained the same or have you expanded or narrowed its content?
8. Have you revamped the layout of your blog lately and why?
9. What album/artist is currently on heavy rotation for you at the moment?
10. What’s the biggest challenge you face in regards to blogging?
11. What’s your favorite season and why?

Our Nominees Are…:
1.  Nadia Aboulhosn

2. Afrocurlitan.com

3.  Janicellamoca.com

4.  Itybitydiddy

5. The Corporate Sister

6. LivKaty 2014

7. Sista-matic Theology

8.  Vonnie

9.  Sherelle Lattany

10. House of Niyemania

11.  BeYOUtiful Fitness

You’ve been nominated! Don’t break the cycle. Let’s discover new blogs :-)

Thank you again A Toast to Life & its Beautiful Struggles  for this nomination!

- Kyra & Udeme

It Was All Good Just A Week Ago…

Sigh. Here we go again. I haven’t been quite on point with my routine which is slowing down my progress. It’s time to get serious about my life though because I just don’t feel like my best self when I’m not eating right and working out. And also, let’s just face the fact that summer is around the corner. Oh vanity.

yep, a week ago. Killin it!

yep, a week ago. Killin it!

Which includes Kyra & Alex’s wedding! I haven’t been following my own advice with the whole re-upping at the grocery store. Every time I get off work and say that I’ll stop by there, I just never do. It’s definitely a weekend activity so I need to ensure that I stock up enough for each week. Honestly, I thank God that I lost weight the proper way because if I had done one of those silly fad diets, it would have crept back up on me.

So, where do I go from here after accepting my slip ups but not beating myself up too much? I’m looking forward! I caught wind of this program called The Fit Freak Project and I am deciding to participate because it just seems like the perfect fit since it’s a blend of weight training and HIIT workouts. This program will still give me the ability to switch things up. I’ll keep you updated on my progress! It’ll be hard to stay on track because I’ll be traveling quite a bit in the coming weeks but I am determined to stay on the fitness train.

Toot Toot.

Have you been on track lately? What is keeping you motivated?

-Udeme

 

 

Sweat It Out Part Deux – Hair Update!

Recently, I took down my go to protective style – Senegalese twists:

Twisted up!

Twisted up!

This style is awesome for my workouts because it’s no fuss! I just pull my hair back and get to work. Before I took down my twists, I was hoping for length retention and strong, healthy hair. Especially since with twists, I combat dryness. Although I made sure to be consistent with my wash routine and spritz my hair daily with a hybrid of coconut oil, water and my favorite conditioners, my hair is still bound to be stripped of some moisture.

On my first wash day after my taking out my twists, I deep conditioned my hair with Giovanni deep conditioner and Herbal Essence’s Hello Hydration (links below). I still haven’t replaced my hooded dryer so I just got a taut shower cap (not one of my loose flimsy ones) and wore it for about 4 hours since I had a lazy Saturday. It worked wonders! My hair was nice and soft. A day later though, I noticed that there were still relaxed ends that were haunting me by making my hair harder to detangle and by giving my hair the appearance of looking dry. Soooooooo

This past weekend…I couldn’t help but give myself a trim AGAIN (I can’t stand the straight ends/I have a little obsession). I went section by section, trimmed straight, annoying ends and detangled with coconut oil and water. I felt a difference instantly. I co-washed my hair with As I Am Coconut co-wash and used just a little of Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie post wash. My hair looked neater, healthier and my curls were very bouncy:

Late December or Jan vs. April 2014; More curl definition, some growth and less relaxed ends!

Late December or Jan vs. April 2014; More curl definition, some growth and less relaxed ends!

Styled, rockin my TWA

Styled, rockin my TWA

Curls Poppin

Curls Poppin

(Current) Favorite Products:

As I Am Coconut Co Wash (still); Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deep Moisture Conditioner; Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (Kyra introduced this to me); Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream (still)

Lastly, I get tired of hair styles rather quickly. Therefore, I’ll be perusing YouTube to see what I can try out next. And as for my workouts, I typically do some type of a two-strand twist on one side of my hair and pull the rest back into a bun since it stretches that far now.

Any hair updates? Any new products that have made it into your hair arsenal?

-Udeme

 

*Note, we are not Amazon affiliates; links are for reference only

Why I Quit Running + I’m Getting Married in 3 Months (wait, what?)

So.  I’m in a bit of denial.  Apparently, my wedding date is right around the corner (July 12).  Who knew?!?!?! I certainly didn’t.  And my eating and drinking habits don’t either.  But, I’ll get to that in a minute.

First things first: running, my primary form is exercise, is no longer a part of my exercise routine.  Let’s back up a bit.  Way back in 2011 I went snowboarding with my then-boyfriend (now fiance) in Colorado like we do every winter.  Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was doing in snowboard boots and ended up with 2 broken feet.  I know, shocking.  The real shocker is that I had 2 broken feet and didn’t find out they were broken for about 8 months after the fact.  You didn’t know it was possible to walk around with 2 broken feet for months, did you???  Well, it is.  All i knew is that it hurt my feet to run when I got on the treadmills at the gym, so I stopped for a long time and only did the elliptical and body pump.  Eventually, my feet “healed” and I was able to run again, and I did so from 2012 up until a few months ago.  I don’t know how or why, but my feet are bothering me again and it’s painful for me to run any more than about a quarter of a mile.  So, for now I’m hanging up my brand new, absolutely amazing, hot pink Asics and trying to figure out just how I’m going to get in shape for my wedding (THAT’S IN 3 MONTHS IN CASE YOU FORGOT OR DIDN’T READ THE TITLE OF THIS POST) without being able to do my go-to cardio.

goodbye, my loves

Okay, on to how I plan on looking my absolute best on my wedding day! I don’t know. Help me?

don't worry, this is not my actual wedding dress.

don’t worry, this is not my actual wedding dress.

Let’s take a look at what I’ve been doing pretty consistently:

1. Drinking water like a boss (unless it’s the weekend and then I completely forget water exists).

2. Attending hot vinyasa yoga classes about once a week.  I don’t know how much of a calorie burner this is but I know I always feel like I just got my ass kicked when class is over.

3. Making it to the gym for boot camp class about once a week.

4. Making it to the gym to do elliptical and/or circuits/weights 1-2x a week.

Now, let me list what I know I need to be doing that I’m not and I need to find some motivation to do:

1. Get better at planning out my meals/meal prepping on the weekend or whenever I have time.  This will prevent me from eating Chipotle every week.

me, everyday

2. Figure out how to get more effective cardio in.  I know reading O magazine on the elliptical is not going to get me to my goals.  For me, this means probably trying to get in at least one swim a week and hanging out with that dreaded machine, the StairMaster.  Oh, and maybe Udeme can teach me how to use the rower.

3. Lift weights/get swoll like Tookie.  Focusing in particular on my arms, since my dresses are strapless.  Luckily, my arms tone up pretty quickly if I’m consistent (especially if I swim and go to yoga regularly).  I’m going to make it my goal to lift heavier weight with less reps.  For me, this means using 20 lbs dumbells and doing 6-8 reps  of exercises like bicep curls instead of using 10-12 lbs s and doing 12-15 reps.

4. Stop drinking like a lush.  This is a toughie.  In my office, we have “beer fridays.” I love beer, particularly craft beer.  In fact, I’m kind of having a love affair with Stouts right now.  Beer is not good for the gut.  I need to try to cut back to 1-2 drinks/week and then I’m thinking of going cold turkey for a month prior to the wedding.  I know this alone will help me shed a couple pounds. Downside: I may be sloppy drunk at my own wedding. Oh well!

Questions

-What do you do to get in shape for a big event? How do you stay motivated along the way?

-What’s your favorite form of non-running cardio?

 

Until next time!

-Kyra

Stay Ready: The Importance of Meal Prep!

Failing to plan is…

you know the rest. You’ve probably heard it a million times, but meal prep is so beneficial to a fully functioning healthy lifestyle and there is simply no way around it. I’m not saying that you can’t be spontaneous with your meals and find healthy options on the go. However, if you do have a specific goal in mind (whether it is fat loss, or drinking more water for glowing skin & healthy hair, or dropping some pounds, or building up muscle etc.) you have to make a plan to get there.

Case in point, moi. I’ve had fitness goals in mind, but I wasn’t planning enough and it just made things more difficult. Remember my previous post about cheat meals/days/week(end)s? Well, the main reason for all of my cheating was due to poor preparation. I neglected going to the grocery store and loading up on healthy goodies. I got lazy with cooking in bulk on the weekends. The list goes on and on. One thing that I know for sure is that meal prep makes things so much easier!

 

Uppin my veggies

My lunch meal prep for last week !

Here Are My Top Meal Prep Tips:

1. Go to the grocery store once a week or whenever necessary in order to re-stock what you are running out of.

2. Before going to the grocery store, have a plan for what you want to eat for the week. Take each meal into account (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) so that when you get to the store, you aren’t walking around aimlessly. You can get in and get out! Personally, I don’t like grocery shopping at all so this is essential for me.

2. Cook up a storm one day during the weekend (or whenever you have down time in your schedule) when you are well rested and not famished. From my experience, it’s pretty exhausting and tortuous when cooking on an empty stomach…and you might end up consuming lots of the food that you meant to save for the week!

3. Invest in some great Tupperware, zip lock bags, and a handy lunch bag that can carry your healthy eats on the go. I typically just pack my lunch and snacks for the day. I usually make a quick breakfast in the AM and if I plan correctly, dinner is either waiting in the fridge to be warmed up or it’s something I can cook quickly.

4. Don’t forget to carry water with you! Everywhere. Get some kind of water bottle that’s portable.

 

Upping my veggies! :-)

Upping my veggies! :-)

 

Also, if you’re curious about what is on my grocery list these days, I’ll have a post about that soon . Happy Prepping! :-)

-Udeme

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