Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Scales are stupid: and other stupid things

This is the politically incorrect post.  I will be calling myself all sorts of  things I’m sure!   And I will be sharing a bit of a victory...even on the stupid scales!   But really, stupidity  is what is the theme!  Scales are stupid!  Pictures and cameras and people are stupid!!!  They are all my nemesis!!!   I have had experiences with all in the last few days and all I can say is...they are stupid!!

Scales are Stupid

I weigh myself every day.  I do it because I want to know the fluctuations.  I have always had this fear that if I only weigh once a week that I’ll be having a high weight day on my official weigh in day...the one day of the week maybe, and I won’t get my true weight.  I want to know if the ‘high weight’ is a one day fluke or a true weight.  I also find myself panicking more if I don’t know how I’m doing.    

Seriously, weighing every day shows how stupid the scales are!  There really is is no rhyme or reason sometimes to what they say!   I have been spot on the last few days...limiting my carbs...good level of calories...etc and the scales go up?  Senseless!

In order to not get so totally bummed out with the fluctuations, I have started to look at my weigh in terms of ‘range’.    I look at my low weigh fans as long as I am within three pounds of that I consider it a maintain!   Monday and Tuesday , even though I was up a bit from my low, I was still well within that range.  So I was maintaining even though the scales were jumping all over the place!    And I am seeing the lower numbers a few times a week.  And the low numbers are slowly dropping lower and lower.  As in today.....today, Wednesday I saw 243.4....a new low (which means my three pound range changed...a maintain is anything from 243.4 to 246.4).   So I know I’m on the right path.  But seriously...scales are stupid!!!

Pictures are stupid

I wrote a few days ago that I joined an 8 week challenge   As part of this challenge I had to take pictures of myself.  Front view, side view and back view.  I did this last night...and uploaded them.  When I saw the pictures I was so disgusted!  How did I let myself get here?  What realm of fantasy have I been living in to think that I didn’t look ‘too fat’?    It was bad.  So bad that I don’t even want to post them here!

My self loathing began as soon as I saw them.   Seriously bad self loathing...wondering why Jason loves me.  Wondering why I even bother.  Wondering what in the world have I been thinking...I am so dumb!   

It has to change!!!!!   I have actually changed my diet recently I am working on it… I just need to not hate myself for letting me get to this point again.

People are stupid

So this weekend we went bike shopping for me. We went into one little bike shop and he asked what kind of bike I wanted to buy.  I told him a mountain bike for trails.   He walked me to the cruisers and told me all about the C&O canal ‘trail’.  When I corrected him and told him that I had a bike for the canal, but needed a mountain bike for real trails he just started to laugh.  Literally laughed in my face.  And repeated my request  incredulously!!!  Really?  Is it that odd for an overweight person to buy a mountain bike?  And furthermore...how absolutely rude are you.  And it was the owner of the shop!!!!   He didn’t carry any bikes that would work for me...he was primarily a repair shop....but even if he did...I wouldn’t be back.  I don’t need more of his shock and awe over my fat body riding a bike!    He he was stupid!!!

OK, I think all of my stupid things are out of me and I have vented enough. I actually am very proud of myself for the way I have been eating the last week or two.  And I’m tickled that my weight dropped again today!!    My body feels pretty good for the most part with what I’m eating. My downfall is still that snacktime right after I get home from work.But I am also working on that. On Monday  I ate two big marshmallows… So I didn’t exactly eradicate the snack but I’m going to say to giant marshmallows are much healthier than a bowl of chips! So a step in the right direction.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Intermittent Fasting: I accidentally fell into this diet method

Who knew that I was actually doing a popular thing???   I have just been trying to set myself up for a healthy sustainable life.   I’ve been just trying to find an eating plan that brings balance to my life and is natural for me.   I was just trying to listen to my body and eat when I want to and not because the clock said it was time to eat.   Who knew that what I was doing was the ‘new diet fad’ called intermittent fasting.

Let me start back at the beginning of my recent turn around.   I’m not talking about my very first post on here.  I’m talking about a few months ago when  I was starting to get serious about losing weight and regaining a healthy life!   I began to reflect upon my journey through weight loss and a subsequent regain.    I decided that in order to succeed for LIFE I had to find a balance.  Not total restriction, but not a free for all.  I decided that I would have to find a plan where I was enjoying what I eat and furthermore when I wanted to eat.  I in essence had to find a plan that worked for me!

A few months ago when I decided to get serious in terms of weight loss and more importantly healthiness, I looked at what I had done before.  I wanted to pattern myself after that model because I had great success!  And I want to repeat that success!   But I also had great failure with the subsequent regain.   And I don’t want to repeat that!  The regain made me decided that I had to do something different.  I had to really work to find a balance between life’s food challenges (normal living) and healthy living.   

I liked some of my beliefs from before.  I would not be starting to eat yogurt just because it was ‘healthy’ for me.  (Yes at one point I was eating yogurt every day for lunch...even though I’m not a fan of yogurt...ok, I kinda hate yogurt!). Food is fuel, but it also needs to be palatable and something I at least like to eat!    The next thing was that I wasn’t going to eat just because the clock said it was time to eat.  When Jason and I first started dating I realized that I was with a man that ate according to when he was hungry.  NOT because it was simply lunchtime.  It started to open my eyes.  And while he has always been more than happy to stop for me to grab a bite even if he isn’t hungry, I started to realize that I was just eating because it was ‘time’ to eat.  That practice was going to end.  First up on the chopping block?  Breakfast!  And I don’t miss it at all!!!  My stomach doesn’t growl and I rarely even feel true hunger pains...even as lunchtime approaches (this past week was a rare exception!)

I have been hesitant to announce my breakfast free lifestyle in a post because it was pounded into my head that ‘we must eat breakfast’.  But other than a rare occasion (usually on a weekend....and in all honesty usually because I’m bored!) I haven’t had breakfast in maybe 4-5 months.   But I’m coming clean today because recently I read about someone else following this model of eating. (Escape from obesity.net).  And I have also heard the buzzwords intermittent fasting a few times.   

I finally found the time to look up intermittent fasting and what do you know?  That’s what I’m doing!   I’m apparently doing the 16:8 method. Fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window.  They say there is incredible benefits.  Weight loss for one (as long as one doesn’t just shovel food into their mouths during the 8 hours...they say you don’t even track your food during those 8 hours...however I still track).  They say that without a constant food source your body will start burning fat.  Sounds good to me!   There are other benefits.  They said energy, lower insulin levels and all sorts of other things.  So I guess I’m an intermittent faster.

Weekend shenanigans

We of course did our normal weekend errands...groceries (We hot up two stores each week...Aldi’s and then usually giant or Walmart).  I had to pick up cat food from the pet store.  And we hit up a farmers market. 

 Once fully stocked we were ready for the fun!  :-)  We headed out for a bike ride.   We have amazing conversations, deep and intense while we are biking...or hiking!  So it was a good ride.  Well....except that my one gear kept slipping (the one I wanted/needed to be in!)  Furthermore, something is rubbing on my bike.  I thought it was the brakes, so I disengaged the breaks and rode breakless for a while...but that didn't take away the problem.  Ironically enough, bike shopping for  me was a conversation that we had already had during the bike ride, so I wasn't too upset about the bike issues...although I do want them fixed!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Evolution: Beginning, middle and end

Another one bites the dust...weeks thatbis.  I just have today at work and then I’m free as a bird...for two days.  A somewhat typical week, I guess.  I’ll let you be the judge!   I did however make some discoveries about the evolution of this blog.

I have been writing posts on here for twelve and half years.   This blog has undergone some changes, ideas and beliefs.  I have recently been going back and reading old posts and it has been interesting.  There have been a few things that I totally forgot.   I apparently forgot the original name for my blog!  I also forgot a 'mantra' that I had for a while also!  Both of them were pretty good too!

Back on February 11, 2007 I wrote a post.   In reality the post was rather insipid.  But it contained  a neat nugget of forgotten information.  The first line of the post was  "Ok...this is crazy...today's post title  is a new start..and that is the name of my blog."    As I read this the other week, I had to do a double take!  Really?   This post wasn't always called belief in myself?  When did this change occur?  How did this happen?  I have no memories of this early name.  Nor do I have any memories of what sparked the name change.  I am however still in the process of reading through and labeling old posts, maybe I will find another nugget of information giving me clues to when and why the change.

Even cloaked in my faulty memory mystery, I can look back and see where this was the perfect name for my blog when I started.  I was embarking upon the journey of a lifetime.  It has led me to experiences I never thought I would have.  It really was a new start for me.
In those early days of losing weight and success, I had a motto, think thin.   I actually called it my motto in blog posts.  I finished every comment on fellow weight loss blogs with the two simple words. I was in a few weight loss challenges and even led a few).  Every email and correspondence ended with the words, Think Thin.  I literally used it as my sign off.  Instead of "sincerely, MaryFran"   or  "love, MaryFran"  I would finish everything with "Think Thin, MaryFran."

Think thin worked for me.  It guided my decisions.   I was always thinking thin, meaning that my decisions were ruled by the thought of beng thin.  It also reminded me to try to pattern my thinking after 'thin people' in terms of eating and food.  And yes, there is a difference in how most thin people look at food versus how a morbidly obese person looks at food.  (Generally Speaking at least.)  The perfect example of this was the cheesecake lunches of my size 0 boss.  I also talked about this different thought process in 2008 when I found an article that talked about the difference between thin and not thin people.

Belief In Myself
Somewhere along the way this site and blog segued into belief in myself.  It was a good change.  It encompasses every aspect of life.  We have to believe in ourselves if we want to have success in weight loss.  We have to believe in ourselves if we want to follow our dreams.  We have to believe in ourselves if we want to achieve true happiness.  
I don't foresee the name of my little piece of the internet world changing anytime soon. I like Belief in Yourself.  It covers it all! 

Week Recap
It was a somewhat typical week.  Work, eat sleep. With the commute that does seem like my work week.  (Even with a much shorter commute, since our move it was cut from 2 hours down to one, my days are still 11 hours long.  Yes I leave the house at 7AM and don’t get home until right around 6.).  So let me give you the week in bullet points.

**I had some experiences with hunger this week.  What typically has worked for my food options, this week just didn’t cut it!  I was hungry to the point of being sick a few times at work. What makes this ironic is the fact that I had already written the main part of the hunger post a while back to use at a future time.  (Yes, when I have a nugget of information that I want to include in this blog I will write it out.  Sometimes it immediately makes its way to a post..if it’s appropos for what’s going on.  And sometimes it just sits in the hopper awaiting the right time.)

**I've been having some pain in my right foot.  This isn’t too extraordinary though.  I deal with a fair amount of pain in my feet...they are a mess and have always been!

** I am in the process of self publishing a collection of stories/tales of my online dating experience.  The collection of stories are totally true. The collection started as emails to friends because they wanted to know how my first date after divorce went  (or second...third). They encouraged me to keep writing the experiences...so I did.  Now it’s time to just put it out there instead of having the writing sit untouched forever.  So I spent a lot of lunch and 15 minute breaks this week on my final edit and final read through.

**What?  No walking on my breaks?  Yeah...that didn’t happen this week. NOT because of the final read through.....but because we had rain...lots of rain!!!  I think they said 10 inches in like 5 days or something crazy like that!

** The magical cookies are gone.  And literally two days after they were gone, my weight popped back up on the scales.  I didn’t panic or anything. I was still within the three pound acceptable fluctuation range all week. (But I was nervous about the official Friday weigh in!). But seriously...maybe they are magic!!!

**I have joined a transformation challenge.  I am as of yet, totally undecided how I want to approach this challenge.  I have waffled back and forth!  Do I want to dive in full force and go for the win (ha I don’t hold out hope of that...but at least really try)...meaning work my goal end off for 8 week.  Total restriction of calories and high amounts of exercise (well as much as I can fit in).  Then at the end of 8 weeks move back into my ‘live life’ approach of finding a balance.   Or do I want to stay the course that I’m on...which is slow and steady.  Ok...very slow!

**Weight..the official numbers  for this week?  Low of 244.6 and high 247.2.     Today I was 247.0.  

So as as I write I realize that the title of this post  Evolution:  Beginning, middle and end is not really correct.  It does cover the beginning.  It also covers the middle.   However, it doesn't cover the end.  This is an ongoing story.  There is no end.  Each week I will be moving forward in some way.    I will be striving for success until the day I die.  I will believe in myself until the day I die.   My hopes and dreams have no end!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

False hunger

Are you really hungry?  Or is it a false hunger?   How can you tell if you are really hungry?   There have been many times in my life when I have been convinced that I am literally starving with hunger.  (I am too ashamed to admit how many....oh wait, I can't quickly count that high!)  In reality, what I usually think is hunger is really not hunger.  There are different things in life that masquerade as hunger.  All of them are manageable, as long as you recognize them for what they are.....NOT HUNGER.

On Monday evening I ate something that didn’t agree with me (or maybe too much of something...although I didn’t overeat).  I was sick for a while in the middle of the night.  Nothing a few trips to the bathroom didn’t take care of.  Way too much information, I know.  But the point is, I probably emptied my system a bit more than normal.   I’m usually not at all hungry at breakfast and thus many times don’t eat at that time...I’m not forcing myself to eat just because the clock says it’s time to eat.  So I didn’t eat breakfast on Tuesday morning.  Around 10 or so my head started to pound.  I drank water and took more Advil.  Nothing worked!   I immediately thought about caffeine, but then I decided to get a sandwich for lunch instead of eating my low cal/light lunch.   I couldn’t wait until 1PM when my lunch break would roll around!  It finally arrived...I got a turkey sandwich and ate it with my packed cherries.  I skipped the chips and did not cave to get a soda.  And guess what?  The headache went away.   I was hungry!!!!

I had experienced true hunger!  However, usually what I think is hunger is actually something else entirely. Here is a short list of possible culprits when we THINK we are hungry.

I've heard it said that close to 50% of people mistake thirst for hunger.  It's actually a common thing and easy to understand how it could happen, the same part of the brain controls hunger and thirst.  This is an easy one to fix.  Literally....drink up!  If you feel hunger, the first thing to ask yourself is "When was the last time you had something to drink?"   I bet you find that it has been a while!

Yup, we eat out of boredom.  When we have nothing to do, we look for something to fill that void. One  of the most recurring things we do in our life that takes up our idle time is to fix, prepare and eat food.  So it's only natural that we turn to food when we are bored.  So if you are feeling hungry, find something to do.  Pick up a book to read or go take a walk!  If you are experiencing true hunger those hunger pangs will not disappear but only intensify.  But I bet you find that you don't think about food at all while you are otherwise occupied

This one is a hard one because we don't have a lot of control over the stress that enters our life.  I can  look at the history of my weight loss and see a direct correlation between weight gains and those really rough spots in my ex-marriage.  Stress hunger.   More recently I experienced the death of my father.  Stress hunger came into play.  I gained about 10 pounds in that first week and a total of 20 pounds in the first month.  That's a LOT of donuts (and other bad stuff) eaten through stress hunger.  I obviously haven't mastered this one yet.  However, I vow to indulge in healthy snacks the next time stress hunger hits!

I leave work every day and drive the two or three blocks to the interstate.  As soon as my car is safely merged into the traffic I have an incredible need.   I have a need for some gum.  Now let me say this, I don't normally chew gum.  But EVERY DAY on this stretch of highway I NEED my gum. It's a habit that I somehow picked up.  Even on weekends when I'm with Jason, if we happen to be on that stretch of highway, my mouth begins to water and I just NEED that piece of gum!

Food is the same way.  Eating a small snack as soon as I get home is a habit.  I tell myself i'm hungry, but it's a habit.  You see, if I get sidetracked and miss my wee little snack, I find that I don't miss it in the slightest and I feel no signs of hunger from the missed snack.

Even though I ate a much larger lunch on Tuesday,  my body still told me that I was ‘hungry’ and needed that snack after work that day.   I didn’t give in, because I knew it was a false hunger!  I worked on my dollhouse during that critical time!

Eliminating habits is something I've talked about before.  It's simply a practice of recognizing it as a bad habit and having the willpower to resist and change.

True Signs of hunger
There are some signs of true hunger.  Some of these include
*gurgling, rumbling or growling in stomach
*dizziness, faintness or light-headedness
*lack of concentration

  I still remember the day that I felt true hunger, probably for the first time in a LONG time (maybe ever).  I was convinced I was getting sick because my stomach was hurting.   How sad is that?  I was  (am) so overfed that when I do feel real hunger I don't even know what it is!  Hunger, it happens.  It's ok to eat when it happens.  But we need to be careful to make sure that we are really hungry and that we are not false hunger.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Listen to Your Body

Our bodies are pretty smart and they can do amazing things.   I have long said that if we listen to our bodies, truly listen; that they will tell us exactly what we are needing.  If we heed the call and supply our body what it needs than we will be so much healthier.  Sometimes it calls for a day of rest....which we did a lot of relaxing over the weekend.  We just need to listen to our bodies when they speak!

What am I talking about?  I'm talking about those cravings, those niggling thoughts that something would be "Soooooo good."  I have always believed that our bodies tell us what they need.  Have you ever craved a salad, or green beans, or even potato chips?  I'm not talking about a simple 'want'...I'm talking about the mouth watering craving that no matter what you  do won't go away.  I think a true craving is our bodies way of telling us that something is missing in our diet.  If your craving a salad, I think your body is telling you that you need some nutrient in that salad. Potato chips?  Maybe your body is telling you that you need the salt!   Out bodies require so many different things to function properly and when it doesn't get what we need, it will definitely tell us.  At least that is my personal opinion.

A few weeks ago Jason and I were in the grocery store and we saw cherries.  Jason commented on how he had been really thinking about cherries and how they sounded so delicious.  We bought some. They didn't go to waste.  I ate them.  Jason got sidetracked and didn't have any.   By the end of the week his foot was bothering him. The dreaded gout had reared its ugly head.   If you read about gout online, you will see that one of the home remedies for gout is cherries.  They say straight up cherries work.  Tart cherries work better....and even juice works.  So we bought some juice concentrate (amazon affiliate link) to have around the house....and we have a fresh supply of cherries.

So was his craving a coincidence?

I don't know if it's a coincidence or not.  But seriously.....if he would have heeded the call of cherries, he would have most likely avoided a flare up.

On to the weekend.  It rained.  Isn't that said?  It poured on Saturday.  YUCK!    We did buy a small grill and we did fire it up under cover on our deck.  (shhhhh....we were careful!) 

We are happy with the grill we purchased. (amazon affiliation link).  We used it and ate buffalo hot dogs and corn on the cob for dinner 

On Sunday it was threatening rain.  We relaxed a bit and did try to get outside a bit so we didn't feel like total slugs!  We

The magical cookies are still working their charm. My weight is still nice and low and slowly dropping.  I have two theories.  I'm not sure if either are correct...but hey, this is my post and I'll share my theories.  Theory number one is that the I was stuck in that 'sweet spot' that my body seems to revert to quite easily if in the area.  I was doing everything right to show a loss (small losses...nothing drastic) but nothing was happening.  Eventually my body caught up with my efforts and the weight dropped.  The second theory harkens back to a book I read a few years back. It was written by Jillian Michael and if I remember correctly, she talked about eating the lower calories every day of the week...except one.  She wrote that your body gets into a rut if you eat the same everyday.   Your body adjusts and in theory just begins utilizing those calories efficiently and you lose less.  She recommended that high day to keep your body guessing.  (and my apologies if I got that totally incorrect.)  Either way I'm happy.    The magical cookies are almost gone and then no cookies for a while....back to the grind of eating healthy and getting this weight GONE!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Magical cookies: weight loss thoughts

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about where I am in my weight loss journey. I’ve been thinking about what my plans are and how often to weigh myself.  Really, I’ve been thinking about everything. I think some of that comes from the fact that I have read the first couple years of this blog and I saw where I was, I saw the struggles I saw the success.  I had incredible success. I lost between 130 and 150 pounds of weight. I felt spectacular. However, I regained weight.  Let’s be honest, I regained a lot of weight. Right now I’m looking at roughly 65 pounds to lose in order to get back to my lowest weight. It could be worse, I could have gone back to where I was at the beginning… Or even worse, I could’ve gone back to the beginning and then added another 30 pounds. So all is not lost (gained).   Even more importantly.... I can go back to all of those old posts and all of my memories and see where the problems started. I can see where the problems occurred and by recognizing the problem, hopefully I can avoid the pitfalls. So what am I planning on doing differently? And are my plans really working?   For the last month or two I have been preaching ‘live’.  I don’t want to live a life of restriction.  I don’t want to live a life of ‘never having an indulgence.’  I want to find that balance where I can be in a healthy place yet not feel so restricted.  So where am I?  

I got really serious about losing in early June. But I continued to struggle until the middle of the month.  And at that point my weight was 254.6.  This week I have seen as low as 246.8 on the scales. (Yesterday) That’s 7.8 pounds.  Now my official weight this morning was...  but that is ok, I know I ate a meal that was higher in sodium last night. 

Daily Weigh In

 I weighed myself every day back when I lost the bulk of my weight.  Early on in my journey, I didn’t weight myself daily.  And in early posts, I wrote about how I was so stressed when I didn’t weigh myself because I was fearful of not knowing how I was doing. Because of that, I started weighing myself every day. Over the next 8 to 10 years, I stayed on track for the most part with weighing daily.   And I noticed something?  Whenever  I was weighing daily, I typically stayed on track with my eating....when I didn’t weigh daily I kinda gave myself a ‘pass’ from good food choices also.  So I knew I want to continue this behavior.   I got to thinking the other day when a friend emailed me and talked about maybe giving up the daily weigh in. I respect this friend’s opinion greatly so I really decided to give this one some thought.  She brought up the fact that I seem to get discouraged when my weight is up a bit.   And this is true.  I readily admit it!  So do I need to weigh daily?  Yes, for me..yes.   I know that not weighing for me gives me that freedom of thought that ‘I can be bad..I have until my weigh in day!’   But the daily fluctuations...that is the issue I need to overcome.

So how can I manage to overcome those daily fluctuations?  I honestly think that I have been going in the right direction in my though processes over the last few weeks.  I’ve been talking more about a ‘range of weight’.  In that post I wrote about accepting my weight as long as it is within three pounds of my lowest observed weight.   If I am ‘living’ the. I know that my weight will fluctuate because some days my eating and exercise will be spot on...but some days one or the other (or both) will be haywire because I’ll be living and accepting life as it comes my way.  So I will be ok with the lazy Saturday where no run, bike ride or hike occur and we instead sit on the couch watching movies all day long. I will also be ok with the ice cream indulgence during the hellishly hot days if the summer. Let me rephrase...I will be ok as long as I am within three pounds of my lowest recently recorded weigh.

This plan is solid.  I’ve read a few blogs where people have been doing something similar.   And most recently I read a blog about maintenance where she posted a graph showing what ‘maintenance’ looks like.   While I’m not in maintenance mode..yet.  The post really hit me...because yes I’m in losing mode and losing mode has two purposes.  One of is obviously to lose.  But the second and possibly even more important goal of this stage, learning to live healthy and practice for weight loss maintenance.  Her post showed that there are fluctuations daily. And she is still slowly working on a few pounds here and there...just shifting that ‘range’ down further a little at a time.

So I think I’m in the right path.  The biggest thing is just retraining my mind to not be upset about the fluctuations. As long as my bottom number keeps inching downward I’m happy!!!   This slow method may take more time, but I will be so much better prepared and equipped to handle maintenance!

Furthermore, when I share my ‘official weight’ I will be sharing my ‘low weight’ for the week and giving the acceptable weight range.  So for example.  If my lowest weight for the past 7 days  was 245.0 pounds I would say that my official weight was 245 with my acceptable weight range up to 248 pounds.

So where I am I weight wise?

I got really serious about losing in early June. But I continued to struggle until the middle of the month.  At that point my weight was 254.6.  Earlier this week my weight popped way high with no reason...but then the next day dropped right back down once again with no reason.  I struggled...(which is what brought about these deep thoughts on where I’m at and what I’m doing).  Today I stepped on the scales...  245.4....I’m in awe...I’m in shock.  I’m ecstatic!   That is 10.2 pounds GONE since mid June!!!   So my weight 245.4. And I will be ok with the scales up to 248.4 to account for those daily fluctuations!!


This is a big one for me.  I know I need to limit my carbs.  I know that I need to limit my sweet treats.   I also know that the snack when I get home from work needs to go away unless it really is a true hunger that is driving me to the kitchen for that snack.   Notice I’m not eliminating anything totally.  I did the elimination thing once before...and I had amazing success!  It works!  It also failed me!  Just look at my current picture and you can see it failed!

(Not exactly current but I don’t have current full body shots...I have lots of chest up pics though...selfies! So this March 2018 picture will have to suffice)

 I found out the hard way that did me, living a life of restriction, for the rest of my life is not sustainable. When I was losing the first time I was frequently asked ‘is this sustainable, can you live like this forever.’  I was gung ho and said ‘yes, of course’.  You see, I was in control.  As long as I didn’t indulge I was fine, strong and capable.   However, the first time I got the taste of cake and desserts (on a vacation and at a wedding) I lost control. Big time loss of control. It had been such a ‘taboo’ thing in my life that when I finally did say ok to the food, I went crazy!  I don’t want anything in my life to be taboo.  (Ok within reason...some things in life should always be taboo...drugs, etc...but I’m talking food here, not those extremes!).  There is a fine line of balance between indulging and gluttony.  There is a fine line of balance between being in control and going off the rails crazy (either dieting or eating like a fool).   There is a fine line of balance between living a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable and one that will eventually crash and burn.   I have already crashed and burned once.  I don’t plan on doing that again.  So that means that I have to find that fine line of balance.

The balance for me?  For a few  weeks I made desserts for Jason, but didn’t touch them (I had maybe one piece of rice crispy treats out of three batches that were made in a two-three week period...yeah he is on a rice crispy treat kick!). Then one week I made cookies...my all time favorite (chocolate peanut butter banana cookies).  And I indulged.  The no/limited dessert weeks, I lost.  The indulge weeks maybe not as much...more like a maintain.  Balance...this goes hand in hand with the weigh in section above....I just need to retrain my mind to accept the indulgent weeks...  

Scales are Stupid

The biggest thing I need to retrain myself to remember is that there are fluctuations in the scale.  Some fluctuations are caused by indulgences.  Some fluctuations are caused by carb intake.  Some fluctuations  are caused by water intake or lack there of.  Some fluctuations are hormonal.  I need to remember that the fluctuations are NORMAL as long as I’m within that range of weight that I have allowed myself.

And just to prove how stupid the scales are? Ironically my weight  was really high this week on Tuesday for no reason....I got home from work and made the heavenly chocolate peanut butter banana cookies and my weight dropped the next day...and the day after to my all time low today, even though I ate cookies each day.  Which does prove that scales are stupid or maybe they are magical cookies.......

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tips for eliminating Soda

When I was at my highest weight, 315 to 330 pounds, I was drinking a lot of soda.  When I say a lot, I really do mean a lot! I could easily go a day...a week and even a month with drinking nothing but soda. I know, not healthy at all! Just as an example, at one point when I was working at a job and I would get a bottle of Pepsi when I arrived, I would get one on my first break, my lunch break, and also my last break. That is four bottles of soda in an eight hour work shift.  That doesn’t even include what I drank at home!!  When I first started losing weight way back before I even wrote my first post on this blog, I gave up regular soda. It was amazing how quickly I dropped weight with that one minor change. That truly was the easiest pounds I’ve ever lost.

When I was in my early 20s, I decided that I needed to buy a new car (new car to me that is). I did not want to have a car loan. Therefore, I decided that I would save for a year or two and pay cash for a car. My method involved working two jobs(Substitute teaching during the day and waitressing every evening and weekend.) And I cut back on expenditures. One of the things that I looked at was how much money I was spending on Soda...a lot!  That quickly came up on the chopping block as an expense saving measure. At that point even though I was overweight, cutting out the soda had nothing to do with weight… It was all money.   Somewhere along the way though, I figured out that soda was just not the healthiest option.  One of my very early posts was a comparison between water and coke.  So I eventually figured out that for my health it was an important switch (and hey...the money savings is still awesome!)

I have toyed around with different aspects of eliminating soda in my life.   Many times it has crept back into my life eventually.   At one point I went from a heavy soda drinking lifestyle down to straight water as my only drink. At one point I went from regular soda to diet soda. I’ve also dropped from diet soda down to water.  Each time  I’ve tried different tricks and methods to make the process smoother and ultimately easier. I figured it was time to share some of those tricks and methods that I have utilized. Like always, take what you want, use whatever ideas and tips work for you, and remember that what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.

  1. Retrain the taste buds slowly.  One of the earliest problems I encountered was the taste.  Water was totally unappetizing to me.  I had no interest in water.  In fact I readily said I hated water!  With water being so un-appetizing, I went out and bought Kool-Aid packets. I bought the kind where you add your own sugar. The first 2 L containers that I made and subsequently drank were made with full sugar added. Sure, I missed the carbonation, but with the flavor and sugar  it wasn’t so bad. Slowly, over the following weeks I started to reduce the amount of sugar in my Kool-Aid. Eventually, I was only drinking water with a  Kool-Aid packet added and no sugar added. At that point it was a very easy jump to go from flavored Kool-Aid with no sugar to just straight up water. It took a while to eliminate sugar in a way that was easy and painless. But it worked really well and never again after that did I say that water was unappetizing.
  2.  Caffeine headaches. If you are drinking a lot of soda, you’re most likely going to suffer some kind of caffeine withdrawal. For me it wasn’t so much the lack of energy that some people drink their caffeine for. My withdrawal has always been headaches. I have battled this one almost every time I slip back into drinking soda and then go back to more water-based in my drinking diet. For me the headache kicks in  about 36 hours after I drink my last caffeinated drink. It lasts for about 2 to 5 days. There are a couple ways you can deal with this headache. The first is to just Suck it up and just deal with the headache for a couple days.  If that doesn’t work, arm yourself with Advil or Tylenol. You can lesson the headaches by Tapering your caffeine consumption so that you get used to the lower levels.  Next, you can definitely Utilize other sources of caffeine… Coffee or tea name two of the most common ones.  In terms of The lack of energy without caffeine, get lots of sleep, eat healthy nutritious foods and know that the lack of energy will pass.
  3.  I touched on this point in the section where I wrote about how to combat caffeine headaches/withdrawal. Drink other substituted drinks. Tea is a very good choice… Unsweetened tea that is (if your doing this to cut sugar).  This one, was never a good option for me because I don’t like tea or coffee.  For me the other choices were just as bad as the soda.
  4. At one point, the caffeine had crept back into my life and I decided that I would be OK with drinking diet soda.  I was only looking at calories and not overall health at that point. Going from regular soda to diet soda was huge for me. Diet soda, to me at least, tasted really nasty. At that point though, I didn’t feel as if I had the willpower to drop Caffeine/soda completely. I had to retrain myself and my taste buds. First of all, I vowed that I would only drink diet. I quickly figured out that making the switch while I was eating was the easiest. When I drank the first couple glasses, I remember actually saying oh my word this is nasty and making crazy faces of pure disgust. But when I drank it with my food I wasn’t as focused on the flavor of the drink as much as I was the flavor of the food. So, slowly my taste buds changed. It didn’t take very long at all, maybe a week but the taste of the diet soda became the common norm for me. This also worked once when I was going from soda down to nothing.
  5. There have been two different times  in my life where I have made the change from soda to not soda (or from regular soda to diet soda) while on vacation. I think this works really well because you’re already out of your norm. You’re not fighting the habits that are set in your life. I decided to drop diet soda once and for all as an every day drink a few years back during a vacation. I went prepared with Advil, and a full case of water in the car. I looked at it as a challenge. I allowed myself lemonade and other such drinks that I may normally eschew due to the sugar content… And it made me feel absolutely decadent and the decadence made me not miss the diet soda at all.
  1. I have very limited success with ‘just cutting back’.  However it is an option out there.  Many times I have set the rule of ‘finish my water first’ and then I can have the soda.   This in theory is great.  But it opens the door for lots of slip ups.  For me, this is exactly what happens!

Where does this leave me right now?   I am mostly soda free.   I may grab one during the weekend.  Occasionally if I’m having a day where I feel as if I’m dragging I will grab a soda.  But for the most part I am straight up water...or at the very least, water with flavoring.

It really all boils down to making the decision to drop the soda habit and either tapering, substituting or going cold turkey.   I have done all of them.   I have gone months and years without any soda.  It really is a personal choice on how each person approaches this.  

  1.  I have very limited success with ‘just cutting back’.  However it is an option out there.  Many times I have set the rule of ‘finish my water first’ and then I can have the soda.   This in theory is great.  But it opens the door for lots of slip ups.  For me, this is exactly what happens!

Really it all boils down to making the decision to drop the soda habit and either tapering, substituting or going cold turkey.   I have done all of them.   I have gone months and years without any soda.  It really is a personal choice on how each person approaches this.  

My current love/hate state I. Regards to soda is pretty healthy....I think.  Typically I drink only water.  On the weekends I usually splurge and drink a diet soda.  On a really rare occasion if I’m just really struggling at work with a day that just feels heavy, slow and tiring; I will go down to the cafeteria and pick up a diet soda.   I’m not addicted.  I’m not reliant.  I’m in a healthy place in regards to it!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Idyllic, I think not!

Well here we are back at Monday!   Why can’t the weekend be longer.  My treat of a three day weekend went by just as fast as a typical two day weekend!   The weekend was a good one on a lot of levels.  I was somewhat active.  I saw family. We relaxed and I even had some revelations about weight loss and how the first time around losing weight was so easy and well...idyllic!

Idyllic Memories
As I have gained weight and faught to restart and maintain this weight loss journey, I have sat back and wished for the picture perfect bubble that surrounded me when I lost weight the first time to reappear.  I look back and it just was easy!  I lost a bit...started my blog...joined weight watchers and then snapped my fingers and the weight was gone in a reasonable period of time.  I have lamented this fact over the years, not because it was so easy then....but because it’s SO HARD now! What changed?  

I figured out what changed and I figured it out quite by accident.  When I started my blog I wrote for me. It was my ‘journal’ and I didn’t label/tag ANYTHING!  As I write my posts now-a-days I remember posts that I wrote that go hand in hand with what I’m writing... but finding them amidst 12.5 years of writing and more than 2000 posts is a daunting task.   So my current mission is to reread and label much of what I wrote for ease in recall.   I started at the beginning.  It was truly just a journal back then...and some days were really ‘dry’.  I have found some awesome nuggets of information though. But more importantly, even though I have only made it through a very small segment thus far...I have seen a TRUE picture of my weight loss journey when I ‘did it the first time’.  Let me tell you, it wasn’t the idyllic experience that my apparently faulty memory had created.

A brief rundown.  In bullet point to make it easy.

**Before I began the blog I had weight somewhere between 315 and 330 pounds.   I gave up soda and dropped mad pounds immediately. I got down to around 250.   At that point I started writing on here.  (At least that’s my memory of that period!)

**the first few months of this blog, I battled my way down to 225 pounds...on my own, but then regained back to 250.

**I joined weight watchers.  My descent down the scales started again.  However my memory that told me that I lost consistently through my weight sojourn at weight watchers?   Faulty!  The first weeks were consistent losses, but in reality it was a crawl, brawl and a battle that lasted for more than two years before I reached my weight watcher goal.  I sat stalled and had to reset and restart myself while on weight watchers.  I had bad weeks amidst the good ones.   

My memory of that ‘idyllic weight loss’ were totally faulty!   Thank heavens I started writing my experiences!  The early posts may be somewhat dry...but they were just what I needed.  The idyllic myth has been busted!  Maybe now I can settle into the slow process of weight loss and stop lamenting that it isn’t as ‘easy’ as the first time around.

I was starting to really get worried.  My trusty Kitchen Aid mixer was starting to give me grief.  I have a tilt top/head and the bowl was not locking into place.  Therefore, if I used the mixer for anything other than an easy stir (meaning no fast and nothing ‘stiff’) the bowl would wobble and fly off the base.  NOT GOOD!   I’ve been struggling with it for a few weeks. But this weekend Jason walked into the kitchen while I was fighting with it.  He looked at it and said ‘It’s eaither the base of the mixer, which looks replaceable or your bowl.’  He lamented the fact that I don’t have another bowl to test it.  I just grinned and dig deep into the cabinet above the fridge and pulled out my second bowl.  What do you know?  The other bowl works perfectly and looks tightly into place!   What a relief!   But boo....I’m back down to one bowl!  Guess I’ll be shopping soon for another bowl.

The weekend
On Friday I did the grocery shopping, had lunch with some of my favorite people (my mom, my sister in law, my niece and my nephews).  And I spent some time editing and reworking a few things on my ‘year of online dating’ chronicles.    I am planning on publishing it.  My working title is ‘Frog or prince: Adventures in online dating”. I figure it is just sitting there completed in my files.  Why not publish!  (I have a few other things out there that I have worked on over the years that I will probably work on getting published in some form in the future after frog/prince.  That will clean up  up my files and I can share some of the stuff that I have worked on over the years.)

On Saturday, we ran to the zoo and walked for a few hours.

And then we went for a bike ride on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. 
It was hot and those two outdoor activities wiped us out...and filled our day!

On Sunday we chose to have a lazy day.  We did run to my mom's to pick up a few of the things that were still there.  The one thing was my headboard and my bed frame.  For numerous reasons, we decided to use my headboard.  I love it for one....but also because my brother made it (he is a professional woodworker) and I love him!   And my bed frame doesn't have a footboard and neither of us like footboards.....and the frame we have been using (Jason's) has a footbaord.   So we went and got mine and brought it to our new place.  I then took the other bed frame/headboard/footboard down and put it in storage and set up the new bed.  (same mattress and box springs). Other than that, we had a nice lazy day of hanging out and binging on movies!

Friday, July 13, 2018

It’s ok until: My new weigh in/scales plan

This hasn’t been a crazy exciting week for me.   It hasn’t been a mind blowing week in terms of weight loss.  However, I have been thinking about some stuff in terms of weighing myself.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about some other things in terms of ideas.  

Weigh in
First of all let’s talk about what the scales said for my official Friday Weigh in.  I wasn’t expecting awesome things.  My weight has been hovering at a higher (like two to three pounds higher).   I didn’t eat crazy this week to warrant it though!  I didn’t go overboard on anything this work week.  But I just wasn’t seeing the scales move.   To add to my low expectations?  On Thursday I actually missed my water intake goal. By a LOT!  I only finished two bottles of water and that was it!  That’s not even 40 oz!   So yeah, not expecting great things.   So I was really shocked to see 246.8 on the scales this morning!   I’ll take it.  

Exercise for the week
I did walk on my breaks at lunch.  Every day.  And I even managed short walks on my 15 minute breaks!

The scales have long had a hold on me.  I weigh every day and just recently I started to drown in the numbers  .  I made some changes that seemed to work a bit...and in honesty even brought some of the excitement in getting my weekly official weight on those official days.   But this week I  read a few blogs this week and two different people (sorry I can’t remember who, it wasn’t until a few days later that the words really sunk in and made an impression upon me) wrote about how they are trying to not obsess about the scales and how they are ok with a range of numbers.  They made me really think!  And what I realized is that it sounded like it lined up with the plan I am working.   I am determined to live my life and not be so worried about every little bite.  My plan? I want to be able to have a piece of cake here and  there and to not worry about the ice cream indulgence on a hot summer day.  So that said, I should expect my weight to fluctuate somewhat.   So I’m going to start trying to think in terms of ‘never more than 3 pounds from my lowest (recent) weight.’   So this week my lowest weigh in recently was 246.6.  So my ‘it’s ok until’ number right now is 249.6.    When I see a lower number on the scales..let’s say 244.2. Then my ‘it’s ok until’ number is 247.2.   Three pounds.   This is NOT a foreign concept to me.  This was my maintenance mode plan that I was going to follow when I reached my weight watchers goal weight.  I just lost control too quickly back then!   So in theory if I’m practicing this action now, I’ll be better prepared to maintain when I reach my goal!!    I know I will still weigh in every day.  It keeps me focused on pushing forward.  But this plan of ‘it’s ok until’ will help keep me from those little bobbles upward that are disheartening....at least that’s the theory.  

Weekend beginnings
I am off work today.  I know my eating will be a bit higher as I’m going to lunch with my mom, sister in law, niece and nephews. And to add to that, Friday night is pizza and wings night here at the Jason/Maryfran mansion!    I’m up and showered early.  I’m planning on getting the groceries done early. And maybe working on a few things on my computer.  I have been editing some writing and I have also been going back and rereading old posts and labeling those old posts so I can find them more easily.  (I didn’t tag old posts back when I wrote them, so when I want to link something it takes me forever to read through a gazilkion posts to find what I want.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mary’s Success Story

I started to comment back and forth with Mary on our respective posts.  Very quickly I realized that she has attained success at weighty loss and at maintaining.  I immediately knew I wanted to highlight her story!  She very graciously agreed to share her story and her success.

What sparked you to begin to lose weight??  
To be honest, I was always a good weight until the last few years before my retirement.  As work became more and more stressful, my co-workers and I turned to food.  I ate enormous fatty breakfasts, huge lunches, a huge dinner.  I rounded out my day with unhealthy snacks morning, noon, and night.  My husband kept telling me that I was getting heavy, but I didn't care.  I suffer from osteoarthritis, and walking was becoming more and more difficult.  I couldn't go a block without losing my breath or leaning on a pole because I was in so much pain.  However, I just couldn't believe, or didn't want to believe that my weight was causing this.  Then one morning I was getting ready for work and I sneezed.  I felt a pain like I had never felt before.  It takes a lot for me to go to an emergency room, but that morning I called in sick and headed to the nearest ER.  It turns out that I had pulled a muscle in my back, but when they took my blood pressure it hurt so bad that I begged them to stop.  That's when the doctor told me my blood pressure was very high--193/135--and that I had to start taking better care of myself, and the first step would be losing weight.

 What was your highest weight?   Current weight?  I was 223 pounds at my highest.  I am now 169 pounds.

 How much weight have your lost in pounds
 I have lost 54 pounds in all.. 

 What was your starting clothing size?  Your current size? 
My starting clothing size was 3X.  I now wear XL.  
What plan did you follow to lose your weight?  (ie weight watchers, slim fast, a plan of your own creation...) When I first started losing I used the Dash Diet to control my blood pressure.   I bought all kinds of spices to flavor my foods and used no salt.  Then, after I retired I started attending Weight Watchers and have been attending ever since. 

Have you reached your weight loss goal?  
  Yes, I have reached the goal that is on record.  I would like to lose a few more pounds, but that doesn't look likely.  

Do you consistently track your food intake (via online or paperform) 
No.  I'm good tracking my food for a week or so, then I stop.  I don't know why.  The Weight Watchers site has made it so easy, and I do very well when I track.

How often do you weigh yourself?  How did you come to that choice for how often?  
I am weighed every Thursday at my meeting.  Since I reached goal, I only have to weigh in once a month.  I am beginning to realize, though, that I need that I need that scale to keep me on track.

What online tools do you use? 
I use the Weight Watcher e-tools.  Although I don't track regularly, I use the site to check out the points on recipe I am making or to help me keep on track when we go out to eat.

 Do your exercise regularly?  If so, what do you do?  I do a lot of walking.  My union also offers its retirees free classes, so twice a week I attend Qigong and Line Dancing.  No formal exercise at a gym even though I have a Silver Sneakers pass and can attend for free.

What products do you use/can't live without/recommend?
  I don't use any weight loss products, but I do use a lot of spices.  I still keep my diet low on salt so I spice up everything I cook.  I especially love hot and spicy foods.  I understand, too, they are good for weight loss.

Do you have any words of advice for someone that is just starting out on this journey of weight loss and health?  
Don't give up.  It can be very frustrating at times.  I hit a plateau that lasted a little over a year.  I was only a few pounds to goal, and I just could not shed them.  Many times I felt like giving up and expressed this to my leader.  Her advices was, "The check is in the mail".  Indeed she was right.  One day I stepped on that scale and it moved.  It really moved!  

Is there anything else you would like to share?  
As I stated, when I first started I couldn't go a block without stopping.  Now I have gone 16 blocks and more without losing my breath or suffering pain.  I still take medication for my blood pressure, but unlike before when it remained high despite medication, it now stays down pretty much in normal range.

Thank you very much for sharing your weight loss success story!   You have shown  and reminded me that weighty loss is doable and takes perseverence!  You look fantastic!!!!!!

If you are interested in more success stories and more inspiration, you can check out Donna’s ongoing success story!

Friday, July 06, 2018

The Burmuda Triangle of Weight loss: give up or truck on?

Happy Monday!  This weekend was a pivotal one for me in my weight loss journey.  I had some decisions to make and some actions to take that could have gone either way.  My actions over this past weekend made an utter difference in the immediate future of my weight loss journey.  Who so many ‘big decisions’?  It’s because I entered the ‘Bermuda Triangle of Weight Loss’ 

Bermuda Triangle of Weight Loss
Yes, I am in the Bermuda triangle of weight loss.   In case you somehow don’t know,  the Bermuda Triangle is a region in the northern Atlantic Ocean where a number of ships and airplanes have been said to have mysteriously disappeared. It’s the ‘dreaded’ place that people like to avoid....but sometimes you have to go through that region..and you either come through that region strong or, well....you mysteriously disappear.    I am in the Bermuda Triangle stage of Weight loss.   What in the world am I talking about?  I am talking about the stage of weight loss where this journey is no longer a new and novel experience.  It has become very real.  There may have been some success at the beginning of the  healthy lifestyle changes but the ho hum aspect of living these healthy changes each and every day has just hit.  For that first period of time we are gung ho and it doesn’t bother us to give up that extra piece of pizza, or slice of cake.  We don’t mind the absence of chips as a snack before bed.  We are strong.   But there will come a time when the strength wavers.  That is when we enter the ‘Bermuda Triangle of weight loss’.  What am I talking about?  I’m talking about that moment when we have to decide if we are going to throw in the towel and mysteriously disappear from the great quest toward weight loss and health or if we are going to steam straight through that rough patch of time  and come out in the other side stronger and still flying strong on this weight loss journey.   

For me the Bermuda Triangle of weight loss has historically  hit about 2-3 weeks into one of my many restarts .  It usually comes about when my strength wavers and I slip back into my old routines and habits. And looking at it honestly, I think sometimes it slips because I see a gain on the scales for my official gain.  I am usually pretty good about seeing daily fluctuations, but I HATE when I see a gain for my official  weekly weigh in....and if I want to face the truth, I almost always see a gain at least one week a month (thanks to female monthly ick!). So many times after a restart, I let that stupid gain send me straight into the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of weight loss.  And just like the real Bermuda Triangle, it is uncertain if I will survive or if I will disappear from this journey.

I had the monthly gain last week for my official weigh in on Friday morning. (And in fairness ice cream through the heat wave may have played a part in that number..but I had stayed within my calorie count goal so I didn’t deserve a gain!) and I entered the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ over the weekend.    On Friday morning I seriously wanted to give up.  A gain  is so disheartening.  Disheartened, I didn’t even  pack my healthy lunch for work on Friday.  I said ‘To heck with it, I’m eating in the cafeteria for lunch...especially since it is supposed to rain and that affects my lunch time walk!’   I didn’t pack my lunch...but luckily on the drive to work I came to my senses and rememberrd how badly I want to have success!   As soon as I parked I pulled up myfitnesspal on my phone (that’s where I track my daily calories) and immediately entered in my food for the day.  We order pizza every Friday night so I knew what we were eating.  I knew  what I usually get at the cafeteria....so it was easy.  I finagled and worked it and if I ignored the chips in the cafeteria...and my after work snack (which I want to eliminate that habit anyway)  I would be ok with a cafeteria lunch and the pizza!  And maybe..just maybe I would be able to have a wee bit of ice cream if I kept everything under control!   I resisted the chips at lunch...it was hard.  The habit is to get a bag of chips ...and they push the meal  deal to add chips to your sandwich.   I stuck with the lower calorie sandwich, even though the chicken salad looked delicious...turkey was my choice.  I did it!   Victory!  Next up was the snack after work.  I didn’t beat it TOTALLY.  I had a half of a Pringle chip.  No...not a half of a serving...or a half of a can.  I ate a half of a chip!!!   VICTORY!!!!  I put my mind to it and kept sailing straight through the Bermuda Triangle of weight loss.   

Next up?  The rest of the weekend....but I smashed that too!   I ate wisely and even went running, hiking and biking!   I came through it feeling stronger, more empowered and ready to continue this journey.  The Bermuda Triangle of weight loss didn’t claim a victim this time!!!

I stepped outside my door on Saturday morning decked out in my running clothes.  The temperature hit me immediately. Blessed coolness!   I have been running in hot humid weather but today the temperature was 63 and super low humidity (yeah, I pulled up the temp before I started my run!). It felt fabulous!   It felt so fabulous that I pushed myself and did an extra mile and explored a new neighborhood!  Go me!

Weekend Shenanigans
As I mentioned earlier, the  weather was delightful this weekend!!!!  High temperature in the low 80’s and low humidity  (as compared to the recent heat of the upper 90’s with high humidity).  As soon as we saw the forecast for the weekend we vowed that  we would try to get out and be as active as possible to enjoy the weather.....so how did we do???  On Saturday we ran our errands and headed out with our bikes. We rode until we could ride no further...then we turned around!

No, we didn’t turn when our legs could go no further...we turned when we came upon a bridge that was out blocking our path. (Top picture is a side view of the bridge that is out, the bottoms picture is from the path where the path drops away!). No to be clear...there was caution tape blocking the drop off.....I was up against that.  And there may or may not have been ‘area closed’ signs on the towpath at earlier points  that I may have ignored!  Even with the earlier turn around than expected, we managed to get a nice ride in...a nice ten miles that we referred to as our ‘warm up’ for Sunday!

We got home and had a picnic dinner (hot dogs...buffalo meat, baked beans and corn on the cob.) food cooked on charcoal...delicious!  Or maybe it is the fact that my body had worked out...and food after working out is always sooo much tastier!

On Sunday I did not run in the morning.  This was a calculated decision. On Saturday we had vowed to do something more significant...and I wanted to save my legs to be fresh for whatever we decided to do.    So we left the house and first up was a trip to REI.  Jason wanted to try on the Five Ten mountain bike shoes   We didn’t find his size,so we will be ordering them online.   From there we headed off to do some reconnaissance on a mountain bike trail.badically we wanted to see if it was doable on my ‘non-mountain’ bike....a comfort bike.  We chose the 4 mile trail to check out.  It was good to get out there and hike(hiking is allowed on this trail). 

The berries were ripe for the picking!!!  And we did stop and indulge in berries along our hike.  These ripe berry hikes are so much fun!!!

It was a good time...even though my one foot was aching like crazy on Sunday evening!  And for the record, the trail is ‘mostly doable’ on current bike.  I will have to walk a few places but overall I think I can handle it.