Friday, September 25, 2020

Hiking Pants

 We are starting to get excited about our upcoming vacation!   We had pondered for so long about where to go...beach or mountains!   We finally cemented the decision to go to the mountains after a quick weekend trip to the beach.   While we had fun, wearing masks on the boardwalk...OUTSIDE was just to something I want to do for a week long vacation!  So we decided that the mountains sounded like a great plan!!!!  

We decided to head back to New River Gorge.  We had been there in late June for a short trip and we had LOVED it!  YOu can see highlights of that trip here  and here.   At that time, we already had the beach trip booked but we made the comment, 'we could come back here for a week and have plenty to see and do'.  Little did we know that about 3-4 months later we would be going back!  It will be a trip of hiking and lots of outdoor activities....and the temperatures will be in the 60's and maybe low 70's!  

I started to plan for a trip to the beach and I immediately panicked!!!  Holy smokes!  I don't have enough pants and clothes for a trip like that!  I only have 1-2 pairs of jeans.  My exercise pants are old and well worn.  What in the world was I going to wear on vacation?    I went onto amazon and picked out 3 pairs of hiking pants.  I wasn't sure of size.  I wasn't sure of anything.  But I decided to give it a try!  (Some of our local stores aren't letting us try on clothes either so that wouldn't have helped!)

Amazon has a sizing thing that you can enter your height and weight and it will recommend the size.  I was contemplating trusting their sizing guides and buying the recommended size.  But then I remembered that I have purchased hiking pants before and they seem to run small.  I was a solid 16 at that point and I couldn't fit into the 16's.  So I was leary about doing the 'recommended' size.  I bought my pants in a bigger size.  And then I sat back to wait for my packages to arrive.  

The first pants were the Toomet hiking Convertible Zip off pants.  (Amazon Affiliate Link).  They actually fit!!!  I was so excited.  The legs seemed a bit loose around the ankles, but that won't be a problem! 

I was so super excited to actually have a pair of pants that fit and fit well!  They are dry fit, so if we do get rained on or go through a stream crossing they will dry fast.  The legs zip off in case we have a bit warmer weather than expected!   YAY!!!  But was I going to get lucky with the next two pairs?  I waited for those packages to arrive!  I am a size 18 and purchased the size 38!  They cost me about $25.  WIN!

The second package arrived!  Would I get lucky a second time with a pair of pants that actually fit???   This package contained a pair of pants from Columbia.   They are the Columbia Women's Saturday Trail Water & Stain Repellant Stretch Pant.  (Amazon Affiliate Link)

These fit even better than the first pair!!!  They were comfortable and allowed me to move.  I bought these in a size 20 and they cost me about $30.  They are also dry fit fabric so they will dry in a jiffy.   These do not zip off.  Instead they have the buttons and straps to roll up the pants and turn them into a capri. (Which you can see just a little at the bottom of the picture!)   I was so happy!  Two pairs of pants!  I was on a roll......but, there was one more pair to check out!

The third pair arrived.   I opened the package and I was in love with these right out of the box.  They were the same brand name as the first pair...Toomet and the same size.  BUT these were a different model. These were the Toomett Hiking Pants Women Convertible Outdoor Lightweight Quick Drying Travel Trail Durable Stretch Pants (Amazon Affiliate Link). I was worried about these because that first pair was the same company and while they fit, it wasn't the 'perfect' fit! But I tried them on!

These fit perfectly!  These fit amazingly well!  They allowed me to move, but they weren't baggy.  The bottoms of the legs were not baggy an saggy.  These were awesome!  I paid a bit more for these.  I paid almost $40 for this pair.  The legs also zip off allowing a little more 'cool' on a hot day.  They are also dry fit and they have all these pockets that zip up!  I am in love with these pants!!!  

All three pants fit!!  How awesome is that!   I am so stoked and excited to use my pants during hiking expeditions while we are on our vacation and even when we got home and hike during the fall and winter!  I am ready!!!!    


For a video of the pants and better view of the pants at all angles....please watch my YouTube video. 




Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Hanging in there

 I haven't given up on my weight loss journey.  Even though my last post was tinged with a feeling of helplessness.  Giving up is honestly not an option for me. It sounds tempting but then I start to think about how I want my life to be. I think about what life I want to live.  And when I thought of those things, it made me realize how badly I want this.  It made me tighten the reigns and not go crazy with my eating.

We had a busy weekend.  We had a handful of errands and some visits that we had/wanted to make. We didn't even have enough time for a full hike.  We did make it down to the canal and we walked for about an hour.  But that was all.   Don't worry...we got a lot of steps in while doing our errands!!!  

Visiting with Mom

My eating....on Friday and Saturday was a bit higher.  My calories were between 1400-1600 each of those days.  But by Sunday I had pulled it around and my calories were quite a bit lower and down in the range that I typically like to be in (1200-1300 calories).    

My weight managed to hold steady over the weekend without going up.  So that made me happy!   

I'm NOT giving up.  Giving up is the ONLY way to fail!   Failure is NOT an option!  

And since this post is short, I will leave you with a picture of the infamous Mertz!




Monday, September 21, 2020

I want to give up on Weight Loss

 I am struggling with weight loss!  Boy am I struggling!   I came back and weighed in last week and I was all strong and mighty!  I had managed a mini vacation with a maintain.  I was invincible!  I was superhuman!  I was on top of the world....because seriously...a maintain at the beach is amazing!   I had great plans for the week!  I was going to nail the week!

I was going to .....that's the phrase you need to hear.  I was going to. 

All of my plans fell away.   I was super tired.  I had the monthly ick.  It was just a week and a half long.   My eating was actually in line!  I swear!  It was!  I tracked every bite!  My calories were sitting at around 1400 to 1600 calories.  That should be a loss!   


But it wasn't a loss.  It wasn't even a maintain!  Honestly...at one point I was 6 pounds up!   I actually ended up with a 3 pound gain. And let me tell you, I am so discouraged!  I feel totally helpless.  I feel like giving up because this journey is darn hard!

I'm not giving up....but I honestly don't know what to do at the moment.  Vacation is coming up and it is so difficult to not just say 'I'm giving up until after vacation."  But I know that I can do a fair amount of damage in those weeks and then vacation on top of that would and could be disastrous!!!!!   So right now until I figure this out.....I'm just hanging tight!

Friday, September 18, 2020

The monster sized dollhouse

So last weekend I went to pick up my dollhouse and both Jason and I were in for a surprise!   It was huge!  Ii talked a bit about it on my post from Monday    But had some requests to share the dollhouse!  Plus...well it’s my hobby so I like to share!  So here it is!!!

The dollhouse has 7 original rooms and an addition that adds two more rooms on the side.   There is one huge room in the attic and one smaller room under the eaves in the attic.   The second floor has two rooms and a bathroom.  The bottom floor has one large room and one smaller room.  The addition is off to the right in the picture below and adds two additional rooms.

 My current thinking?   The big room downstairs will be a living room.   The smaller room to the right of the steps will be the kitchen and the dining room will be in the downstairs of the addition.   The second floor in the addition will be a library.  The middle room on the second floor will remain a bathroom...and the two other rooms will be bedrooms.   The attic...right now I am leaning toward a craft from for the lady of the house combined with a playroom for the child of the house.   In the room under the eaves...a workshop for the man of the house.   

Other options:
I have toyed with making this a 1920’s era house..and making the addition an doctors office.  

I have toyed with making the addition a music room and library. 

The possibilities are endless ...right now I’m stumped though!!!!   Any ideas...please pass them along!!





I have repaired the shingles...and I have recreated some of the porch rails.  I will paint them and the house and then reinstall them.  (It’s easier to paint before I install!).   

I am thinking of keeping the house gray...but all the trim will be red (or green...Jason likes green).  So the door and window boxes will no longer be yellow...and the shutters will no longer be black...it will be one trim color!

Ideas and thoughts on paint scheme??

So how big is this really???  My McKinley dollhouse was previously my biggest house....you can see that dollhouse dwarfed by this new one in the picture below!!




I am looking forward to the work that I’ll be doing on this house!!! But the size...it is overwhelming our apartment.  I think we need to move!!!!  

So there you have my new purchase!!!!!!!!  Let me know your thoughts!  I would love to hear how this speaks to you!!!



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Crustless Strawberry Pie

 I absolutely adore strawberries!  I love them!  I don't know if I have ever gotten to the point of saying I've had enough!  They are delicious! It doesn't matter what format they come in either.  Strawberry shortcake?  Sign me up!   Strawberries with a little sugar?   I'm in!   Warm strawberries straight from the strawberry patch? OH my mouth is watering now!     But a few years ago I stumbled upon a recipe for a Crustless Strawberry Pie.  And I was intrigued!

The crust on a strawberry pie is what holds a lot of the calories!   So crustless sounds fabulous!  Do you know how many calories I can save.  And seriously, what strawberry lover hasn't scooped the delightful strawberries out of the pie and left the crust???? I made this recipe a few times and loved it.  But then promptly forgot about it.  I forgot about it for YEARS!  Until this summer when I stumbled upon this easy recipe!  I started making it a few weeks ago.  EVERY WEEK I make a  new one!   It is soooo delicious!  It's a perfect little touch of sweetness in the evenings after dinner.  It is full of fresh strawberries...and that is a win in my book for taste AND health!

Ohhh...and did I mention that this recipe is easy???   SUPER SIMPLE!!!!  Ok, your hooked now...so let me share the recipe!!!

Main Ingredients

1 large box of cook and serve vanilla pudding

1 large box of strawberry jello

1 pound strawberries

3 cups water

1 tbs Whipped topping

Recipe Steps

  1. 1. Slice strawberries and layer them on the bottom of a 9x13 pan 
  2. 2. Cook pudding as directed on package using water in place of the milk. 
  3. 3. When pudding is boiling, add contents of the jello packet and mix thoroughly. 
  4. 4. Pour the jello/pudding mixture over the strawberries. 
  5. 5. Refrigerate until the jello/pudding mixture has set . 
  6. 6. Serve with a dollop of whipped topping (optional)
Serves 8 Calories 117 Total Fat 0.2 g Total Carbs 28.1 g Dietary Fiber 2.4 Sugar 16.1 Cholesterol 0 Sodium 98.3 mg Protein 0.6 g

I'm telling you.  Crustless Strawberry Pie is the bomb!  It's easy to make. This is delicious.  Even better, the serving size  is a decent portion.  I  don't know about you...but I don't call a dessert 'healthy' just because it's only a half bite.  I want to actually have a nice serving of something that this dessert checks that box but still not break the bank in calories!!!!  This dessert does it all!!!!!!    If you try it, let me know what you think!

For a printable recipe, you can click this here.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Rough weekend

The weekend came and I was riding high on my maintain over vacation!   Nothing was going to get me down or derail me!

Weekend activities
We woke up on Saturday and relaxed before heading out to pick up a dollhouse that I had purchased through the Amazon Marketplace.  We planned on taking the old car because it would give us more space to carry a bulky dollhouse home.  We got into the car and the battery was dead!   We had an appointment to get the dollhouse so we hopped into the new car and drove the 30 minutes.  The dollhouse was HUGE!  So huge that it wasn’t fitting into the new car.    We drove home and got Jason’s work truck and drove back to pick up the house.   Have I said how huge it is?   It is so big that I feel absolutely guilty about buying it!  It totally fills up our dining room!!   Jason laughed last night and said ‘that dollhouse is just about as big as our apartment’.  In between bouts of guilt and worry about what to do with such a huge dollhouse,  I am having fun dreaming about what I am going to do with it.)

Once the dollhouse was safely filling up our dining room we headed out for a hike.   We knew it was going to be a short one because the dollhouse took up a few hours of our day.   We decided to go to Catoctin National Park.   We wanted to hike the historic Whiskey Trail.   

We thought that trail was longer....a half mile hike is not what we had in mind!   So we did go back to explore the still.


But after we explored. We headed off toward Cunningham Falls.   I was hiking slow.  My head was pounding.  I was just whipped!  It was a struggle for me!  We didn’t hike for long before we caved and called it quits.  My body was just telling me that I was done!

All evening long I remained overly tired.   The tiredness continued into Sunday.  I woke up and was showered by 7AM and I was asleep on the couch by 7:30.  I slept until about 10 or 10:30.   We took an easy day.  We ran a few errands and headed down to REI for Jason to check out some new hiking boots.  I was tired and sluggish all day!

Food
I did amazing on Friday With my eating.   On Saturday I ate a heavier lunch because I was thinking that we would have a longer hike.   The shorter hike didn’t burn as many calories.  My calorie count for Saturday was 1622...not bad but higher than I aim for.   Sunday was worse.  After sleeping all morning I was hungry and feeling so sluggish that I thought a decent lunch may help but I was so tired that the thought of making something  was abhorrent!   I pulled out two leftover pieces of pizza.  For dinner we grabbed subway subs.   I ended my day at 1680 calories.   So higher than I like but still not crazy high.

Weight
I weigh daily....it works for me. (Do whatever works for you.). I was disgusted to see my weight up by 3 pounds today.  Really?  1600 calories each day and I am up 3 pounds?   What is wrong with my body?

I will say that the monthly ick arrived...and my water intake probably was not as solid.  But still...three pounds???

I’m not giving up.   I’m still trucking on...I’m working on drinking my water today and keeping my calories down near 1200-1300 for the day!   I’ve got this!!!   This three pound back and forth is done!!!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Weigh in after a vacation

Well, it is time to explore the possible fallout from our little mini vacation.  What Am I talking about?   What in the world happened with my eating and on the scales during and after our little mini vacation to the beach!


It’s only a month of being healthy

I had made a decision that in September I would be adopting a mantra of ‘its only’.   Basically I can hold steady and stay on track because ‘it’s only a month’.  When I made that decision and challenge for September I was unaware that we would be going on a mini vacation.   It should have been smooth sailing!   But life isn’t about smooth sailing.  Life is about curveballs.  Life is about adapting.  I am not going to say that I restricted 100% and stayed true to being absolutely perfect on my mini vacation.   I honestly can’t say that!   However I am going to be totally honest and say that for the most part I feel like I made some really good choices!  I never went overboard.  I never went crazy.   I kept telling myself ‘it’s only a trip to the beach....next trip I can go crazy’.   But did it work?

Eating on vacation

Let me say that I tracked my eating each and every step of the way!   Every bite of food was tracked!!!   I did enjoy some Thrashers Fries (boardwalk style French Fries).  These were not eaten as an extra high calorie snack, they were part of my dinner and I did not eat all of them...we shared the order!

I also did indulge at the chocolate store!  Even then, I chose three small half inch squares of chocolate to enjoy after dinner.  Nothing more!  And tracked!!  I kept a tight reign on my choices and desires!

So I did have some indulgences.  My goal is to keep my calories between 1200 ad 1300 calories. So how did I do???


You can see that Saturday, Sunday and Monday my intake of calories was much higher than normal!  Sunday was quite high (for me) at 2200 calories.  I saw that number and cringed!   

  Now it is time to add in my movement.  Because we were on the move a LOT.   Especially on Sunday, that really high caloric intake day.  On Sunday we started walking at 9:45 and we did not sit down until we hit our hotel at 6:45 with our takeout dinner.   (We ate lunch on the go!). We also spent time frolicking in the ocean...fighting waves and whatnot!  So let’s look at my net calories to see where I was with adding in some of my movement (I didn’t even count all the hours...I underestimated the hours of movement)


Oh yeah...I pretty much ate higher calories on Sunday but I apparently should have burnt most of them!

It all wasn’t happy though.  I lost control one time!  Yes, I had a snack fiasco!

The Snack Fiasco

We were driving home.   Traffic as we headed toward the bay bridge was horrible (as it always is after a holiday weekend) and we got stopped dead behind an accident.  When we got moving again we knew we needed to stop for gas, bathrooms and lunch as it was already 2pm!  Everyone else was in the same boat apparently.   I waited for 10-15 minutes in line for the bathroom.  It was then time to grab something to eat.  I honestly tried!  I really did!  I marched myself over to the area for made to order sandwiches!  But that line was just as long as the line for the bathroom   No thank you....I wanted to get moving and on the way home again!   I tried to look at the ready made foods!  But it was picked over and nothing was left!   I defaulted to an individual sized bag of cheese ritz crackers.    While we waited in line to pay (another long line) I saw the chips!   I was hungry...I was discombobulated due to my original plans for food not panning out.   I grabbed a bag of chips also!   And that is the snack fiasco.  Because I did not nibble daintily a few pieces from each bag.  I scarfed down both packages and practically licked the inside of the bag clean!

Weigh in after a vacation

The day we left for vacation I was sitting at 242.6 pounds.   The day after we got back I was at 245.8!  I had gained 3.4 pounds in three days!  I had gained even with all that walking and movement!!!   I was so mad and upset but I didn’t let it get to me!!!

I turned it around.  I didn’t let vacation make me forget my ‘it’s only a month’ mantra.  I turned it around immediately and made sure I was doing what was good and right for a healthy life!    And today...Friday I stepped on the scales.  I weighed in at 242.6.     I somehow managed a straight up maintain!


Moving forward with my weight loss

Our mini vacation is behind me.   I have the rest of September to rock out my it’s only a month mantra!   It really works!  It even got me through a vacation.  My mantra kept my vacation food indulgences at a minimum and that mantra brought me right back to my healthy eating when we got home.    I may have only maintained my weight this week, but it is a HUGE victory!   Vacations usually elicit a weight gain!  But not this time!!!  I was victorious!