Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Yog-vember : I challenge YOU

 Welcome to the Yog-vember Yoga challenge for November!   Last year I was reading a blog post (I am so sorry, I can't remember who posted it) and I was challenged to complete a 30 day Yoga Challenge!  I did it....against all odds.  And I was super proud of myself.  But somewhere along the way, I fell off track and I stopped doing the yoga.  Over the last year I have told myself over and over again that I was going to get back on the yoga bandwagon.  But it never happened.  Until now.  I am setting a challenge for the whole world to hear! (Ok,  my small world of whomever reads my website and watches my youtube videos)

My Experience with Yoga

Before we get into the Yogvember Yoga challenge let me tell you why I am doing this.  Last year I was really struggling with a pinched nerve in my arm.  It was bad.  My fingers were going numb.  I had no range of motion in my right (my dominant) arm.  The strength was diminished.  It was just bad.  I went to the doctor and they gave me pain meds and muscle relaxers which dropped the pain and lack of motion down to an annoyance. But it was still there.  Quite unrelated I read about this 30 days of yoga playlist.  Something clicked for me and I decided to do it!!!!  

It took a few weeks for me to realize what had happened because there was no grand revelation.  But the arm pain receded.  I could barely feel any pain!  It was the craziest thing!  I had been in pain for months and I started Yoga and within a few weeks the pain had all but disappeared.  I noticed I was riding better on my bike also!  It was just amazing.   But life (vacation) happened and the routine was broken. I always wanted  to restart it, but it just didn't happen.  (yeah, bad me!)  

The Yog-Vember Challenge

So the time has come for me to get back to this yoga stuff!  And what better way than to challenge myself to a month of Yoga....thus....Yog-vember!  And you know I can't challenge myself without challenging you go join me also! 

The challenge is simple!  

1.  Find a yoga program to follow.  If you can go to a yoga class...awesome.  If you do it with a VHS tape or DVD.....awesome.  If you want to do it online through youtube....awesome.   If you don't have a clue where to find yoga to do, I recommend Yoga With Adriene.  She is good...she is easy to follow and she has a dog laying beside her on newer videos!  

2. Commit to a certain number of days each week that you will be doing yoga....chose at least 3.....come on now, it's less than half the week!  If you want to aim bigger, go for 5.  If you are totally committed, by all means do yoga each day of the month!  The trick is to find what works for YOU and your lifestyle!  Furthermore, I'm not even putting a number of how long your yoga session has to be!  I will be doing mostly 15-20 minute yoga sessions....but I love that Yoga with Adriene has playlists that are separated by time!  You can find a yoga session that meets your needs!

3.  Let me know if you are joining me! (if you want to!)

And that is all there is to the Yog-vember challenge!  A month of consistent yoga!  Lets see what a month of yoga does to our bodies!  Lets see our bodies adapt and adjust and get stronger!!!!  Lets rock out this Yog-vember!

Monday, October 26, 2020

Healthy Choices

I am super proud of this past week.   The scales may not show my efforts and the steps that I took to be healthy.  I however know what I did in the arena of my healthy eating and my healthy fitness pursuits and I couldn’t be happier!  

Exercise through the week
Let’s start with exercise because this may be the place that I am most proud.  I started my work week and I had been planning on running on my lunch breaks and that very first day I wimped out!  Oh yes I did.  All morning I flat out decided and vowed that there would be no run!   And then about 10 minutes before lunch I got my mind straight and I went out!   Day one done!   I used my lunch break all week wisely for exercise (except one day when I had some other stuff to do)  I rode the exercise bike one day but the rest of the time I was outside jogging.   And of course we had that nice hike over the weekend!

Healthy Eating

I am not going to lie or stretch the truth and say that I didn’t have ANY sweet treat.  I did.   The first day of my weigh in week I splurged and had a piece of shoofly pie.   The rest of the week (and the week before) I did not indulge in any sweet treat!    I didn’t succumb to any unhealthy snacking temptation.  One day I was really struggling and I ate a banana!   I ate lots of fruits and veggies.  My lunches were a nice salad.   I was eating healthy nutritious food.

My calories were up between 1600 and 1800 calories each day.   That is exactly where all the calculators and whatnot tell me I need to be in terms of caloric intake. 

Scales are Stupid

I made healthy choices all around this past week.   For a while I thought I was going to have a gain....but at the last minute my weight leveled back out and I had a maintain!    (Whew!)

It is infuriating to be active and make healthy choices and still gain/maintain!!!!

So looking more deeply.   I know that 1600-1800 calories should have me losing weight.  I read the books, I listen to the comments.  I try it, because honestly I WANT to be able to eat those calories!   But I figured out long ago that my body doesn’t work that way.  When I did weight watchers (successfully) I figured out that when I ate my extra flex points/weekly points/exercise earned points that I didn’t lose weight. I remember a night when a friend from the meeting turned to me and said, ‘I find it so sad that you can’t eat those extra points’.   It just doesn’t work for my body!  I have at various times over the years had my thyroid’s working just fine.   It’s just how MY body works...sadly enough!

Moving forward to lose weight

I plan on continuing the lunchtime runs/bike rides.   I also plan on keeping up with the healthy nutritious foods.    The big change?  I will be working to bring my calorie count a whole lot lower!!!!  I know for my body it is important.  I talk about it constantly, but I just have resisted doing it!!!!   I can’t resist any longer!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Covid 19 pounds

 I had such grand plans when Covid began.  Sure I was stressed out about the state of our world, but I had grand plans and I was going to rock out the quarantine!   I was going to lose weight.  I was going to get fit.  I was going to show the world who was boss....and it wasn't Covid!

Original plans for the quarantine

When I was sent from the office to work from home in mid March, I was so excited!  I was going to reclaim time in my life.  I would have time to walk after work!  I would be able to get a good workout in on my lunch.  OH my, I could actually start running, something I have missed so much!  I was going to continue to eat my on the go lunches and make this work!  At that point I had been losing slowly but steadily and I just knew that  the changes were going to be an opportunity to build upon that foundation!  I had this in the bag!!!

I am not even going to go into detail about what happened.  They are excuses!  Some of them valid (like plantars fasciitis) but there were always options to circumnavigate the excuse.  I failed BIG TIME!  I didn't do my lunch time workouts.  I didn't run. (well...I did maybe 5 times total in the first 6 months.)  I allowed snacks and larger than necessary lunches.  I just totally fell apart!

Covid...19 Pounds

To the best of my knowledge, I have not contracted the illness of Covid.  But regardless, I struggled with Covid 19.  The Covid 19 illness chewed me up and spit me out!  What am I talking about?  I am talking about the weight gain!  It started slowly. For the first few weeks I maintained my week and then my weight went up by a pound or two.  I maintained that for a few weeks and then it went up by a pound or two.   Over the last 7 months, I have managed to gain......19 pounds.  Yes, I  really did gain the covid NINETEEN.  

How embarrassing!

Ending the Pandemic Pounds

I do not want this pandemic to go on and on, but I fear that it will.  But regardless of what happens with the pandemic and covid-19, I have to stop the gain.  I have to regain control of my life, my body, my weight.   I do not want this to become worse than it already is.   I have to draw the line in the sand!  Enough is enough!

Starting now.....the calories have GOT to be in the correct level for my body to lose weight.  There are no excuses...I am worth the effort!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Historical Hiking

 It is no secret that I love history.  So when we hike somewhere where there is history involved, I love it!   Such was the case with our hike on Sunday!   We hiked a side trail up to a ridge and the Appalachian Trail.  It was a great hike. 

Return to the scene of the Hiking Crime

We last hiked this trail on January 1 of this year.  That day, almost 11 months ago was a great day for hiking.  It was cold, but not overly so.  The trail was well trafficked but not annoyingly so.  It was the first time we had hiked in quite some time.   I was tired and winded going up, but coming back down my legs were so wobbly.  And yes, that was one of the tumbles (aka falls) that I took while hiking earlier this year.  That was actually the first fall.  I was embarrassed and a bit sore but thankfully not seriously hurt.  

SO it was with some laughter (and maybe fear) that I walked this trail again!  We talked about my previous swan dive each time we crossed that stupid rock crossing/stream too!   Jason cautioned me to go slow and be careful, which I did!  But this time I had my trusty trekking poles (Amazon Affiliate link) and there was no problem!  I zipped right across.  


A Wee bit of History

Every time we hike this trail we are so intrigued by the fact that there once stood an old hotel at the top of this rocky and steep trail.   It just blows our minds!  We have tried numerous times to look for information and come up with very little.   What we can find is absolutely fascinating!  I have written a post about the history (what we know if it) on my second website, Belief in Living. (There is a link to the youtube video I put up about it on that website also if you are interested.)  

Black Rock Hotel (c 1920)

We also discussed and pondered the two men who have trails and a campsite named after them.   I'm telling you....chock full of history!   For me, when I can occupy my mind with fascinating thoughts, like history, I kind of forget that I'm hiking.  And that is when I don't feel pain or tired!   That is a perfect hike in my book!

The actual hike on Thurston Griggs and the Appalachian Trail

The hike up the Thurston Griggs trail was rocky and steep, but that was expected.  Ironically enough, it wasn't my legs that got me.  It was my cardio endurance.  It was my lungs and my breathing!  I duly noted my weak spot and have vowed to work more on building my cardio strength!

Once we got to the top of the Thurston Griggs trail, we roamed around the Pogo Campsite a bit. Jason has vowed that we will be buying that tent that we need and camping SOON. I have a feeling we will be trying out our new tent at the Pogo Campsite.  (The hike up Thurston Griggs is one of our favorites and probably the most frequently hiked trail that we have done since we have been together). 

After roaming the primitive campsite a bit, we headed north on the Appalachian Trail.  Yes, if you are familiar with the area, you are probably wondering why we didn't head south.  After all Black Rock was only a short distance away and the Annapolis Rock overlook just a mile or two further than that.  Both of them offer fabulous views.  But you see, we had driven by the parking lot for the trailhead that was closest to Annapolis Rock and it was overcrowded.  I knew that there were a lot of people on the trail and we like trails that are less travelled.  In essence, we want the woods to ourselves!   So we went the way that we figured would be less populated.  

It was probably less populated, but there were still a lot of people out and about!  Was it due to the nice weather?  Was it due to the never ending pandemic?  Was it some weird uprise in fitness?  I don't know.  I just know that I'll be searching for less populated trails for our next hikes!!!

All in all, it was a good hike.  My legs felt tired and I did have one small ache in my left knee when we were done but I felt strong and feel like I did pretty good.  I am loving my new hiking boots and my hiking pants...both great purchases!  Best of all, Jason and I were together and able to enjoy the splendor of nature!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Recouping my Weight after Vacation

 So vacation ended roughly a week ago. I admitted that I ate more food than necessary, or rather more dessert than necessary.  I also advised that I had  weighed in immediately upon returning home and I saw what the damage was.  I was ready to start this weight loss journey and get back on track!  I took every step and chance that I had to succeed! 

Setting myself up for Weight Loss Success

The very first day we were home I headed to the grocery store.  I stocked up the kitchen with healthy foods!  I got fresh veggies to cook with our dinners.  I got fresh veggies to nibble on.  I bought a variety of fruit.  I made sure I had the foods for success!

I had grand plans to start exercising on my lunch breaks.  I really had the best intentions.  But the first part of the week was so chaotic!  So I didn't get my lunch time exercise happening until Thursday when I went out for a run!

My first time jogging/running

Oh my word.  I knew that going out for a jog was going to be bad!  I haven't run in months.  I have been dealing with plantars fasciitis and well, I've gained weight.  I knew it was going to be slow.  I knew it was going to be REALLY slow.  So much so that I actually prepped my lunch on my first break from work.  I put it all on the plates/bowls and put it in the fridge.  I figured that I could just grab the lunch and eat it at my desk.  I was that prepared to use the whole 30 minutes to complete my predetermined route.  

It was bad!  I'm not going to lie.  It was ugly!  However, I will say that it could have been worse.  I made it halfway before I really had to stop to walk. Halfway is better than none!!!  Right??  I didn't feel all that horrible when I was running.  But once I stopped to walk, the pain came crashing down. My heel? heel hurt a bit when I was first running but that settled down a bit.  What hurt though were my shins.   My shins HURT like the dickens! 

I ran the first half.  Ok it was more  like a slow laborious painful to watch jog.  The second half, I walked a lot and tried to run some sections.  It was rough! But I did it!

A new Start to Lose Weight

This isn't technically a new start.  It is more like a continuation of my journey.  But before we went on vacation I decided that I wanted to give myself something new for this restart. I wanted something physical that I could see and 'love' and get  excited about.  So I ordered a new water bottle  Now in case you don't know,  I love water bottles.   I have typically tried to always carry a 64 ounce water bottle around.  It works because I simply know that I have to drain that each day to get my bare minimum of water.  It works for me.  Years ago, I had a water jug/bottle that I loved. It was insulated so it didn't get condensation.  It held 64 ounces. It had all sorts of water facts on the side and best of all, it had lines to show me where I was in my drinking and how much more I needed to go.  I wasn't just guessing that 'it feels like I've drank half".  The line indicators told me exactly where I was at any given moment of the day.  Sadly, that bottle/jug met an untimely death.  I have never been able to find one to replace it.  I have tried other 64 ouncers.....they are 'eh'.  So when I saw a 32 ounce bottle (Affiliate Link) that has the indicator lines, I decided to go for it.  I figured that this would be a good thing for me.  Refilling it isn't that bad since I am after all working from home.  So I have a new bottle to signify my new (re) start!

First weigh in after getting back on track

So I got myself back on track and I was anxiously awaiting the numbers on the scale to go down.  But on Monday and Tuesday the numbers kept climbing!   I was so disheartened and disappointed!  How???   but I guess it was just the vacation weight settling on me....and maybe the water retention.   I didn't give up (although I was sorely tempted).   And on Thursday I saw the numbers start to drop again!   So by Friday, my official weigh in showed me at 247.0   That is a lost of 1.6 pounds since we got back from vacation.  SO I have lost about half of my vacation gain.  I'll take that!!!!  I'm aiming to recoup it all by the end of next week!!!!!

Friday, October 16, 2020

Return from Normal

 So vacation is over.  We are back home and it is time to return to some semblance of normalcy.  But what is normal?  We both came home and back to 'normal' grudgingly.  We could have spent a lifetime together exploring our world and spending all day together.  But unfortunately, the reality of life came knocking and the vacation mentality had to come to an end.   

We spent quite a bit of time talking on vacation.  In particular, we talked about where we are in life and where we want to be.  We don't feel as if we get near enough time to pursue the things that we have a passion for.  Such as exploring, bike riding, hiking....etc.   I don't know what changes may be in our future, but we are seriously pondering life as we know it and how to change so that we can enjoy life more.  Whatever change comes our way, it will be hand in hand together!

But how was it REALLY to come home from vacation and get back to the grind?

Post Vacation Chaos

Returning home was a bit of a chaotic mess!  We got home and the weekend went fine. We were busy as bees as we unloaded and unpacked everything.  It took some time to run all of our laundry through the washing machines, but that was not chaotic, just part of life.  The chaos started when we tried to turn on the TV on Sunday morning.   It would not work.  Not one bit!  What?   Luckily we were quickly able to ascertain that it was simply a problem with the cable box and NOT the modem and internet also!  Thank heavens, since I am working from home.  Two LONG phone calls, four days and one technician visit later we were fixed  Yes, by Wednesday night we had cable tv restored to our house!  Now I know.  Cable TV is not a priority.  It's not mandatory or anything like that. But we are serious creatures of habit and it was chaotic to be off of our routine.  We just felt totally discombobulated!

In the midst of all of this I was anxiously awaiting packages to arrive from Amazon.  I had waited until Friday to place an order so that they would be delivered on the day we got home or the day afterward.  That day came.....and went.  The next day came....and went.  It wasn't so much chaotic.  But with the grudging return to cable tv....and just was just annoying!

Work...well I won't go there.  They are making changes to my team.  They are moving people and adjusting and shifting a whole lot.  They are not telling us what is happening, we just see people being transferred off if our team at a pretty steady and fast rate.  SO I'm not exactly sure what my future holds within my work.  So that was stressful.   

It was just a week!

Changes and Plans

While I was on vacation, I began to think about our vacations.  I was creating videos of our experiences that I posted on my youtube channel.  I was good with that, but I was also a bit hesitant to flood my channel with those videos,'s a weight loss channel after all.  And here I am showing video after video of my vacation.  I know, I shouldn't feel guilty because it's my channel and I can do whatever I want with it.  But still......   So I came up with the hairbrained idea to start a second YouTube channel....all vacations and exploration!   A lot of work?  Yeah, of course it is.  But it should be fun.  I am excited to get better videos created from our vacation.  I had a website that was partially created previously.  So I decided to resurrect that and post vacation stuff there and to use that name for a YouTube channel.  I am so excited to be creating these videos and really look forward to going back into my files and creating videos of previous places that we have  visited.  If for nothing else....these will be amazing memories for us!  

I have already created a video to commemorate hiking the Kaymoor Miners Trail that I was so proud to conquer.   I am so excited because I have plans to do one that highlights the historical significance of this trail.  I am having a blast preparing and plotting these videos!  

Changes to

What does that mean for this website? Nothing.  Not really.  I have for the last few months been toying with loosening my prearranged Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I sometimes feel as if I am grasping for content with the three days a week.  Sometimes the content just flows and it is all easy, but sometimes......well I'm surprised I haven't totally turned to filling up posts with pictures of my cat. (she is mighty cute though!

Let me know what you think?  I am thinking about at least two times a week,  unless I have more to say and then I will just post whenever the mood strikes!  

So not much happening in my neck of the woods......just random life!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Where did vacation go?   I swear it was just yesterday that I was so excited to leave for vacation!   Yet here I am back at home and already halfway through a work week!   Ahhhhhhh...such is life!    Even with it flying by, we had a great time on our vacation to the wilds of West Virginia!   We hiked a ton and saw some amazing things!!!!!   So here is a brief overview of what we did!

We hiked to quite a few different overlooks.  The overlooks here are pretty spectacular.  They all sit on the edge of a huge steep gorge, many on rock ledge ledges that jug out over the precipice that is the gorge! The views....incredible!

There are remnants of life in a bustling coal mine area everywhere.  We hiked rail trails and saw numerous abandoned mines and went back to Thurmond a complete abandoned town.  

We went to Babcock state park and took in the beauty of the grist mill. (And hiked the trails)

And we went to Hawks Nest State park and ride the aerial tram (and hiked the trails!)

The big success is the kaymoor miners trail.  I had attempted that back in June when we were there and gave up because I was honestly terrified!    I came home and pondered and went out and purchased trekking poles ...and have used them since that terrifying hike. So the very first place we headed on our vacation was that trail....I wanted to see the abandoned mine!!    I went down that trail lickety split!  I won’t say it was easy...but with the trekking poles to add in my descent I was able to navigate it with ease (and with no fear)

We got to the shelf on the side of the mountain and enjoyed exploring the ruins there. But then we headed down .  When I say down I mean down 821 steps!   (That is the equivalent of about a 42 story building!)  

Down at the bottom are more ruins!  Well worth it!   After we explored it was time to go UP those 821 steps and then back up the trail with the steep rock scramble!   It was one heck of a hard hike!  That day I only felt ‘tired’ but after the next day of hiking I couldn’t even touch my legs without feeling pain!  My muscles were toast!   (I kept hiking through the muscle aches...there was too much to see!!!) But you know what?  That was the best hike of the week!  We toyed with hiking it again on our last day there!   And I can assure you that if/when we are back in that area that we will definitely hike that again!!!!

So you can see that we had a fabulous and active time!!!!!!!