Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Surprise...I did it!

I know I know...I sometimes make bows and don’t keep them on here...but on Monday night I kept one of my vows!

I have been saying that I need to start exercising during the work week...and Monday night I took the first step.

Yes...I went for a run!   Oh my word...it was slow!  My arthritis in my knee has been kicking for a few weeks and I wasn’t sure how it would go.   But I didn’t dwell  on that and just went out.   I only did a mile!  It wasn’t pretty but I did it!    Ohh and while I was slow I was running/jogging every step of the way!   Go me!!



The weather has taken a sharp nose dive since then...it was about 60° when I ran on Monday evening...it is about 20° right now.  But I plan on doing something tonight or tomorrow night...two nights a week!   I want to run...but I will allow myself to default to the stair step thing that I have...20 minutes on that should suffice!

So here we go!   I can do this!!!  Exercise is my friend and will bring me close to my long term goals!!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Loss!!!

I had my official weigh in on Friday!  I can't even write an opening paragraph.  I need to get right to it!!!!!!

I lost weight!   The week before I had gained some weight...and I knew that it was mostly water retention from that icky time of the month......but I still showed a gain.  Even so, when it came time for me to step on the scales I was so nervous! 

WOOOHOOO!  I lost weight!!!!
No more words are necessary! 

Ok, yes there are.  I am SOOO close to reaching that 100 pounds gone mark......again....but I am just as excited...or even more excited this time around!!!!!  Somehow, the first time around 100 pounds gone didn't really register!  I'm not sure how....but it did!

Anyway....lets celebrate!!!!


Wednesday, November 06, 2019

When the going gets tough the tough gets going

 When the going gets tough ...what does MaryFran really do?   What do YOU do??

A few weeks ago we stumbled upon a series of videos on YouTube.  They are created by RaceFace....which is a company that has quite a few products for bicycles....so naturally these videos are about mountain biking.   (Search for Race Face....and it is the creator series).    These videos are so incredibly well done.  The production is top notch and the content is inspiring!

The content would be inspiring for anyone that was watching, even though they are about mountain biking.  Most of these videos have a similar plot/concept.  They are about a place or a person that has faced unimaginable loss and has persevered to overcome the obstacles that their loss has brought them.

There is the story of a mountain biker that through an accident found themselves in a wheelchair...or without a leg....yet they found a way to get back on their bike and ride the trails. Or maybe you want to hear about a gal that had a routine surgery that left her with nerve damage, unable to walk and in constant pain....yet she relearned to walk and the video picks up when she decides to not let her injury/disability stop her...instead she signs up for a 7 day mountain bike race..  Those  stories don't strike you?   What about the very small, isolated town that suffered a landslide and lost 50 town members in about 6 seconds.  The town was so small that everyone suffered the loss of at least a family member or a close friend. In an effort to honor the lost they created world class mountain bike.  All of these stories...they could have shrivelled up and went deep inside themselves due to the loss.  They could have allowed these tragedies to turn them bitter.  They could have given up and/or lost the will to live.  Yet they pushed forward.

Somehow....someway I think I am missing that little piece of personality that those people had.  You see. When the going gets tough......I tuck my tail and flee.  I lack perseverance. 

How many times have I started a weight loss journey.  (or should I say restarted)   I have written about a restart on this website so many times!  Yet look at me?  Am I thin an svelte?  NO.  I don't persevere!  I give up when it gets difficult!

I say I have a book or two floating around in my head that needs to be written.  I have even started them.  Yet are they done?  Do I have a finished product....even though it has been YEARS!  (I just have this one finished product....)

How may things have I tried.  Running?  Yup.  Biking?  Yup?  What in the world is my problem?

I was seeing incredible success on the bike.  This summer I was pushing myself and I didn't give up.  I was working to get up a hill on my mountain bike.  I failed but went right back to the same place the next ride and tried it again.  I tried it again for a few months.  And guess what?  I did it!  I had success
 I headed for my next hill.....and I kept going back until I could climb that and I had success again.  I was ON FIRE!  And then October came and I had a few bad rides.  Ok...almost every ride in October was bad.  Yes, I shed some tears on one of the rides.  (The video honestly cracks me up...because yes, we got my meltdown on video). 
What changed within me to go from September and awesome riding to October and pitiful rides?  I do not know.  But my will to persevere seemed to disappear.   I want it back!  To be successful, you need to have perseverance!  Luckily my perseverance in my eating and keeping that under control is still alive and well.  I am still eating within my calorie range and feeling pretty good about what I'm eating.  I"m not losing weight fast...but I feel in control and I really do like that feeling. But that drive to push myself and to keep going when it gets touch on the bike trails......that is slipping.  I need it back!  Any suggestions would be appreciated!

I need to live up to the mantra...when the tough gets going MaryFran gets going!   I have it somewhere deep inside me.  I think we all do.  we just have to find that missing piece and start using it!

Monday, November 04, 2019

I found my winter challenge!!!

I found my winter challenge!!!  Why yes I did!   We have been talking about how we want to stay active throughout the winter and not let the cold weather keep us from getting outside and moving.  We have talked about substituting hikes for the bike rides when the weather gets to cold or snowy. We have both been happy with this plan and actually have looked forward to hiking again!

Well this past weekend was a bit cooler so we laced up the hiking boots and out we went!  I had never been to Greenbriar...a local park that has a lake and hiking trails.  So off we went.  It started off deceivingly easy with a path/trail around the lake. But then we veered off onto the red trail. 


And oh boy did it get rough!  It was a STEEP incline.  Like stair step steep...but not steps!  Eventually it did level out!  (but it was a bit of a rollercoaster the rest of the way...down a bit,  up a bit....down a lot..up a lot!)  Adding to the joys of the trail were the rocks.  This trail was ROCKY!  Now in all honesty, this MAY not be a problem when there are not leaves covering everything on the ground.  But with the leaves on the ground it was hard to see the rocks and thus it was difficult to place your feet accordingly so that you were not stumbling and constantly off balance.




But even with the difficulties....it felt AMAZING to be out in the woods on a crisp cool day!

So my challenge?  I need to return to that trail and I want to be able to power up the trail without my calves screaming in freakish agony.  I want to be able to practically dance up the trail without my lungs feeling like they are going to burst.  I want to be able to talk and even sing (should I choose) instead of breathing like a steam train.   Sure I've already conquered that hill....but I want to be the boss of that hill!!!!!

So welcome to my challenge!   Lets get hiking!

Friday, November 01, 2019

October is in the books!

Well here we are at the beginning of another month!  It’s crazy how time flies!  I do have to say that the older I get the faster time flies!  It’s nuts!

October was a busy month!   We started our month at the beach!   We were on vacation!   Woohoo!  


 The rest of the month was pretty routine with work...but we still got some bike rides in. 

We got the news that my car was dead and not fixable.
We bought a new car.

And the old car revived itself!


It was crazy! But the real question is...how did I do on my monthly goals?

So here we go!  Here are my monthly goals.  These goals were my October goals and will be my November goals also! (I tweak them when needed but this month they will remain the same!


1.  Track every bite of food!
2.  Put money into my savings. (The tweak for November is to hold steady on savings...I have some expenses I still need to cover in relation to the car issues!)
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week and aim for at least three sessions of formal activity (bike ride, run, hike) a week!  
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week.   
6.  Walk and average of 5000 steps  per day. (total monthly steps divided by the days in the month....bike ride days on the trail are exempt from the 5K step goal...cuz it's hard to get  steps when you are riding)
         My Not so Secret Goal:   Lose 5 pounds!

So how did I did!

1.  I tracked my food every day but two!  Surprisingly the two days were NOT during the vacation week. I tracked religiously during vacation!  They were random days that when I went back to check for this post, that I found were missing information (both weekend days...different weekends)

2. Savings....hmmmmm.   I did put money in savings at the beginning of the month...yes, even with vacation my savings went up at the beginning of the month.....but then I bought a new car and that savings went way down!   So call this one a failure or a victory....some of the savings was earmarked for a car anyway...so it’s not really a failure.  But the end result is that my savings is a couple thousand less, so if you think that’s a failure then so be it. But the fact that I had the savings to use when I needed it and for what I been saving so hard for...that’s a victory!   It’s a wash in my mind!

3.  Weigh less than I did at the beginning of the month...hmmmmm... I recouped my vacation weight gain a week ago...but then had some stress eating and the monthly hormonal water weight gain is upon me...and today I find myself 1.6 pounds up...so in October I officially gained 1.6 pounds!   Grrrrrr

4. Do something active at least three times a week.   The vacation week was super active...hours upon hours of movement each day!   We got home and we rode on the weekends but that was it for the next two week....until the end of the month when I saw my endurance slipping on my bike rides.  So we kicked it into high gear and we rode 4 times that week and I walked every chance I had on my lunch breaks (not when it was rainy though!). 

5.The next was to keep  my eating in check for at least 6 days a week!  So I gained weight on vacation...but my eating was in check.  I was not eating more than mfp (myfitnesspal) was telling me I could eat....when I added all my activity calories.  (even though, I gained four pounds that week!). The rest of the month there were four days I was over the top end of my range.   Two  days I was only over budget by 100 calories ...and two days I was over budget by 400 calories.   

6.  The last real goal was to walk an average of 5000 steps per day for the month.  I struggled with this...for a good portion of the month while at home I was averaging about 4K steps.  What saved me was the week of vacation where I was walking 25k steps a day and the weekends where I was walking 10k steps!   So I nailed this one!

And my not so secret goal to lose 5 pounds...failed! Colossally!

So this month had a lot of ‘failed’ attempts.  But that is ok.  Life happens and we have to accept it and roll with it!   I’m not giving up.  I’m still going strong!!!




Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Don't even miss it!

The last couple weeks I have been doing pretty good.  No, I haven't lived the life of a perfect lose weight eating plan.  I have lived my life.....exactly how I have chosen to go about this weight loss journey at this point.   So yes, there have been some piece of cake.  Some candy.  Some.........

But while I have indulged in some sweet treat or some decidedly unhealthy food on occasion, I have also sat back and made healthy choices during many more situations.  We have had a carrot cake in the refrigerator for the last 5 days.  I indulged in ONE small piece over the weekend.  Jason has been enjoying the rest.  Do I WANT a piece?  Sure, it is delicious and I would love to have another piece.  But I have chosen to say no.  I have chosen to not indulge.  And something crazy has happened. 

I don't even miss not having it!  Sure, I look in the fridge and see the cake and think about how delicious it is.  But I don't sit there and have a mental battle with myself over eating or not eating a piece.  I have had some unknown force of motivation take over and I haven't been tempted.  And the most amazing thing?  When I walk away I don't think longingly about what I gave up.  I move on with my life and it is a none issue! 

So really?  Where in the world did the real MaryFran go???
Me standing beside a piece of art made from all Honda Car Parts

Life is settling down after my week of car highs and lows.  Work is still crazy, Monday they had me finishing up the training class that I have been leading for the last 6 weeks.  And on Tuesday they had me take over the training for the new hires that started a few weeks back.  This new class is in a much smaller room so I won't even be getting the steps that I got in the larger room as I go back and forth between their desks.

I haven't been walking on my lunch breaks and I am seeing a change in my bike riding.  Not a good change either.  (If you watch my youtube videos...the fist video about this will go live on at 4PM ET tonight ...Oct. 30......it's crazy......makes me laugh to watch the footage as I had a meltdown on my bike).  So I am determined to get out on my lunch break and walk.   I would like the two 15 minute breaks to be walking also...but that might be asking too much. 

So I am trying to re-take control and get moving more.  Jason and I are trying to ride our bikes around our neighborhood after work also.  we have plans to pick up a light to make it work after the time changes also.

So things are still moving forward on my quest to be healthy and lose weight.  It's just a REALLY slow process.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Super stressed

Last week was a rough one for me!  It was terribly stressful.  I tried to fight the stress eating.  I tried my hardest to hang on and lose the rest of my vacation pounds that I had gained! But oh it was so hard!

The week was rough...at the beginning of my weight journey week my trusty Honda Civic broke down.  The stress started!   The stress just kept mounting as the news about the car turned uglier and uglier!   By Tuesday I was car shopping.  My back was against the wall.  I had a car that they told me was dead...after spending $500 to try to fix it!   I was in a car rental throwing more money down a black hole.  I was trying to fight the urge to eat everything in sight!  It wasn’t easy and I wasn’t overly successful!  There was carrot cake...a few nights.  

By Thursday I was ready to buy a car...I had no choice.   Thursday morning my weight was looking like a decent loss....but the stress eating that day got me...and it got me bad!   But I bought my new car.   A 2019 Honda Civic.  My fourth car I will/have owned and my fourth Honda Civic.

But I was still stressed because if some more bills and expenses that were coming my way in relation to this car fiasco. but by Friday I was starting to be able to contain the stress eating!  The next big thing would be getting a bike rack so we could carry our bikes to the trail head....until then...no biking except for the roads around us!

I weight in on Friday and while I didn’t lose a LOT...I was able to lose 0.6 pounds...so I can officially say that I recouped my vacation weight gain!  I officially weight exactly what I weighed the day before vacation!   So October was a week of vacation where I gained 4 pounds...and three weeks of losing those four pounds.  Honestly...worth it!  That is life....and I want to live life!

On Friday I also went to the dentist where they numbed two quadrants of my mouth to fix some cavities.

That is me trying to smile!   The only good thing?  My appointment was early and I wasn’t thinking so didn’t eat breakfast before hand...and I was too numb to eat lunch afterward....I was numb until about 3pm...numb as in biting my tongue and not feeling it numb...so lunch was out.   I did manage to eat a Wendy’s frosty at around 2 though....no biting required!

On Saturday we went to pick up the old car.   The old car was drivable....as long as you didn’t stop ...driving was smooth as all get out...but the car was idling so bad that it would die if we stopped and let it idle.  We mapped out a route that would have the least amount of stops and went to pick up the car....I was nervous and fully expected to be calling a tow truck half way home.  But we wanted to get it home so that we could have a friend look at it...so we could clean it out...and so that we could sell it at our own pace.  (Plus I had already made enough huge decisions for the week...I needed a break from big decisions!)

Jason started the car...it sounded horrible.  He Reece’s the engine..  and we set off....he said he drove it in low gear...high rpms for the first mile.  (I was in the new car....lucky me...he is awesome and took the  stress of driving it from me...but for some reason this part of the week was driving me nuts with worry!). And then something crazy happened.  The  engine light went off.   The car started driving smooth.  He started to stop right behind me at stop signs and I couldn’t hear anything amiss!   At one stop sign I saw him throw up his hands in the classic ‘I don’t know’ motion.    Could it be?

Why yes...the car fixed itself.  The supposed wiring issue was gone.   We drove that car all weekend...and even got in a bike ride (since we could cart our bikes to the trailhead!). The car was riding a smooth as all get out!     Did we get bad gas?  I had been really low when it was idling bad the week before ...and we stopped to get gas hoping that would fix it...and within 1/4 a mile the engine light came on.  We didn’t drive it because we didn’t want to damage it further.  But had we just taken it out in the open road and pushed it...would it have pushed that ‘speck of dirt’ out of the way and cleared up the problem?

Now I’m not upset about the fact that the car started to work after I already bought a new car.  We needed a second car.   The car that broke down was a 2004 civic with 267k miles on it.  We needed a new car...badly!  So it just forced us to take the time and do the deed.  (And I had been saving for the down payment so it wasn’t a complete shock!  Lol).   

But that was my previous week.   I’m praying for a nice simple week of sunshine and happiness and huge weight loss this week!!!!


Monday, October 21, 2019

A little more to go

Ahh what a weekend!   It did NOT go as planned...at all!   But amidst some stress and pain we still had a good time!

Let’s start with my weigh in.   I am currently officially sitting at 235.4 pounds (at my official weigh in on Friday).   I have to lose 0.6 pounds to be back at my pre-vacation weight.   I am crossing my fingers and hoping for that to happen this upcoming week!!!   That would be one week of vacation and three weeks to recover.  Not the greatest...but I’m ok with that.  Well worth it!

We did get in a bike ride over the weekend.  It was absolutely horrible...from lunging dogs, failed attempts  to complete things I know I can do and tears....it wasn’t the greatest.  (Stay tuned on YouTube...that video will go live next week..October 30th to be exact.). And as if the ride wasn’t bad enough...on the way home my car broke down!

Sooooo....the car breaking down totally changed the plans for the rest of the weekend.  We obviously couldn’t ride if we couldn’t use the car—-with the bike rack to get to the trail head.  Oh and the rain on Sunday played a part in the plan change also...when the car broke down we said ...well we can hike, until we saw the rain.  But anyway,  the car has been towed...I am crossing my fingers for something simple to fix!   (When we were about two miles from home it started idling really rough...but was still driving fine....and about 1/2 mile from home the engine light came on....oh heavens!).   

 Cool art work...man made form all Honda car parts at the place I took my car (not the Honda dealership but they specialize in Honda!)

So we hit a few stores...and just moseyed around locally a bit.  And of course had to try on Halloween masks.

I tried this one on...

But didn’t start really laughing until I added my glasses.

We went home...cleaned the house and carved pumpkins!

And that was the weekend!

If you want to have a recap of my last week...visit my YouTube channel video (my weight loss blog video) here.  Please subscribe to my channel also...even if you don’t watch...I would appreciate it!)


so that was the weekend.    Today is back to work.  Most of all, I am determined to lose the rest of this vacation weight this week!  I’m ready for this weight to be gone once and for all!!!!




Friday, October 18, 2019

Hanging on by a thread

Friday!!!  Yay!!!

I feel like I am barely hanging on.   Ever since vacation I feel as if I am flying by the seat of my pants and just barely!  It is an odd sensation.  I normally do feel exhausted as my week continues...but right now I just feel as if I’m pushing forward and getting nothing done...just scraping by.   I am getting dinner cooked on the evenings...most days.   There have been more ‘let’s just  order delivery for dinner tonight’  evenings than ever!  The house looks a wreck!   I’m just feeling as if I don’t have time for anything!   I don’t know what the difference is and what changed to make me feel like this ..but it is really starting to annoy me!  What’s worse?  I don’t know how to fix it.  Does anyone have a few spare hours to give me each day?

I have been doing well with my eating.  I have maintained my food intake within my calorie count.   At the top end...but I’m there!   I don’t eat a whole lot of complex carbs (I know that I don’t lose well if I do). I am feeling balanced and in control of this food addiction.   But my weight is just hanging steady though...which is super annoying!  It is bringing on lots of ‘I’m a failure’ feelings.   Do I really have to go online and report another ‘stand still’ or worse a gain report with my weight.  Seriously, it’s driving me crazy!!!  I have tried to tweak my food a bit this week to bump me into the losing category.....I took out one fruit  and switched it to a vegetable for my lunches......and I have ended up ravenous and not satisfied after my lunch...as in scrounging through my wallet looking for change for the vending machine ravenous!   I found the money...but I came to my senses and realized that junk food from the vending machine wasn’t the ticket.  I instead scrounged in my desk drawer and found a granola bar that I kept there for ‘emergencies’.  The next day I took a new bar to replace that one and ended up eating it instead of putting it on my desk drawer.  All week long.   So that’s just odd to me!!!

I have walked on my breaks...as much as I can.  I’m working on training and I don’t have prep time...so I have been spending my lunches printing materials for the next day.  Since I am training I am on my feet all day though!!!  That’s good!!!  We get bike rides in on the weekends but during the week not at all....and I get frustrated because I know I would progress so much faster should I be able to have the time to ride on the trails during the week...but.......

But that’s where I stand....kinda hanging on my a thread.   But I haven’t give up working on my health!   I’m still in the game!





Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Fears about a weight gain

My first official weigh in after vacation happened this past weekend.  I was showing up 2 pounds exactly.   I had hoped for better!  I had wanted a maintain.  Yet I was ok with the gain.    I knew going in that I was going to live my life and not focus on my food.  I still chose healthy options at times....but I also choose some unhealthy options at times.   I was completely satisfied with my food choices. 

So while I am ok with my weight after vacation....I still find myself panicking.   I go back to the first official post vacation weigh in shortly after I reached my goal weight.   It is the vacation where I started my backwards slide!   Yeah, this one.....  I know it’s not the same....but my mind goes there....what if I never recover?  What if I never lose the weight and start regaining?  What if I end up back at 330 pounds?

I am eating right....and we did go out for a ride this past weekend and I have started walking on my lunch break again this week (ok yesterday...but it’s a start)




I know...my fears are silly...but my weight is just not dropping quickly...but it hasn’t this time around.  It seems as if I drop a half pound then maintain for a week or two and then drop another half pound.   It’s still progress but it is slooooow!

So that is where I am at!  Worried...panicked....just plodding along and staying on track for this weight loss journey!

A video of last weeks progress can be found here....



Friday, October 11, 2019

Relief

This week is almost in the books!   Thank heavens!

It had been a rough one.   I came back to work and the vacation and then return to work really emphasized how I have utterly no work/life balance.   I knew it before...but a week of vacation made it a blaring issue!   We are talking and trying to figure out some sort of solution!   We know that’s not healthy!

My sun poisoning is still hanging around.   Here is what my arms looked like about 8-9 days after this issue cropped up!  So they are so much better in this picture.

This picture was taken on Wednesday...so they look a bit better now!

My body just aches!   I was so tired all week long...and my body just ached!  My legs were quivering in pain by the evening!  It was crazy!

By mid week I gave up and started wearing not only jeans to work...but also tennis shoes.  I do sometimes wear jeans but not tennis’s shoes....keeping my outfit on the more dressier side of casual. But I was trying anything to heal...anything to feel better! So tennis shoes it was!

Food wise...I did good...it was steady for me to get right back to ‘normal’.  Being a creature of habit came in handy.  You see...I just followed the ‘normal’ routine and went back to my healthy lunch...my light breakfast...I just packed and did what I had already been doing for months before my vacation!

I was leading training this week at work.   That could have affected me a bit in terms of my lethargy...but who knows.   But by Thursday night I had decided that the kitchen was closed! Usually I am so tired that I close it on Friday’s...this week I couldn’t even make it to Friday...I closed it down on Thursday!  I didn’t even fuss about the delivery fees!   Because yes..I am cheap frugal and try to pick up our food if at all possible to save that money!  (Seriously...8-10 bucks for delivery fee and tip each time adds up!!).  But last night I didn’t care!   I would have paid 20 bucks to have it delivered!  I fully expect and plan to do the same tonight...well tonight is a Friday tradition!  

I am hoping that a weekend will be just what I need to knock the tiredness and hives/rash/sun poisoning out of my system and bring me back to 100%!   This is not just weight loss...this is a fight for living a healthy life!   It’s time to take care of me a bit more before I get back to my daily walks and exercise!!  But I’ll be back!!

Whatever...I have made it to Friday!   

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Real life

So it is the beginning of day three of being back to real life.  And let me tell you....it’s not been easy!  I am back on track with my weight loss efforts though!  That has been relatively easy!

I went back to work on Monday ...I came home from work and was so tired that I felt like a zombie!  I felt like I could barely function! I slept like a log that night and hoped and prayed that the good night sleep would do the trick!

Nope!  Tuesday night I came home just as exhausted. It is crazy!

My legs just ache each night also.  Now in fairness, I am back to working with the new hires and leading the training for them...so I am on my feet all day. So that could be part of the feet thing.

  But still.....yikes I just feel so wiped out and achy!

The sun poisoning is still present.  It seems to be fading a bit though. I’ll be happy to see the end of that for sure!  Meanwhile, I keep coating my arms with lotions and potions!

Food wise, it was pretty easy to get back to normal. Going back to work really did force me to return to ‘normal’.   I simply packed my normal breakfast and lunch and just ate what I packed when the time came!   The only thing that was a bit trickier was the sweet treat after dinner.    I have indulged and had a banana with chocolate syrup each night!  (One night a fresh banana and the second night a frozen banana puréed into ice cream consistency.).    I’m ok with that...because seriously, a banana as my sweet treat!?   That is healthy!!!  

So far my weight is not dropping.  But I know it will....eventually!

So there you have it...the struggles of my life this week!  

Monday, October 07, 2019

It's Over

Boooooo  vacation is over!  I don't want it to be over!

We had a FABULOUS time!   We went to Ocean City, MD for a week and we had a blast!  We enjoyed sunrises, long walks, long bike rides and some wonderful time together!  I'm not ready to go back to work!

That said, My weight is up by about 3 pounds.  I'm not happy with that, but I do think that some of it is external factors that is causing my weight to be raised a bit.  What factors?

* my bodily functions are not exactly normal....vacations do those things you know!
* I had a bit of a situation where I was either severely dehydrated or having an allergic reaction.  My hands swelled up so bad that my rings didn't fit on ANY Fingers....not even on my pinky!  It hurt to move my fingers because the skin was stretched so tightly!  (It was accompanied by a weird rash and burning sensation on my lower leg.....small 2 inch patch on my leg).  The swelling went away by the end of the day...the leg still burns a bit. 
* On the last day at the beach I picked up a case of sun poisoning.....how crazy is that for October?  I know that sun poisoning (I"m not really sunburnt....so it's odd) and sunburn cause inflammation and inflammation can cause weight gain!.

So is the 3 pounds real?   Who knows...next week we will know for sure!

In the meantime.....here is a video of our vacation!

And if you won't want to watch the video...a few pictures.







Sunday, September 29, 2019

Monthly Goals and Weekly Weigh In

So another month has passed and it is time for a recap of my monthly goals and of course my weekly weigh in results.

First of all, lets talk about my weekly weigh in.


For this month I set some goals. (typically my goals are similar each month).  You can read about the recap from last month here.    For September I had the following goals:

September goals:
1.  Track every bite of food!  Done with no issues whatsoever!
2.  Put money into my savings. Easy.....although my savings is taking a hit right now as we are on vacation!  LOL (but part of the savings was designated for vacation funds)
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week and aim for at least three sessions of formal activity (bike ride, run, hike) a week!    NO problem at all.  I think I only missed 2 days of walking on my lunch break ALL MONTH LONG!   Not to mention the hikes, bike rides, yoga....Yeah, I nailed this one!
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week.   
7.   Walk and average of 5000 steps  per day. (total monthly steps divided by the days in the month....bike ride days on the trail are exempt from the 5K step goal...cuz it's hard to get  steps when you are riding)  This was completed with no problem!   Even when I included our bike days.  The bike days we have typically gone out on a short hike, or treked through the fair or around town...so those days were actually pretty high step days also...or at least 5,000 steps.  I also walked on almost all of my lunch breaks....so I totally smashed this goal!
         My Not so Secret Goal Lose 5 pounds!    OK, so I didn't do that.  I was about half of that 5 pound mark.  But that's ok!  I still lost!

I am going to count this month as another successful month.  These 'rather loose goals' that I CAN achieve are designed to push me into a healthy lifestyle.  They are not designed to have me lose mad weight each month.  And they are doing exactly what I want them to do.  They are allowing me to live my life but be in charge of my food and health. They are teaching me balance and moderation.  And for the first time in so many years, I am happy and pleased with where I am in terms of eating and living healthy.  WIN!

So this month is a wrap.....it's time to move on to October!  My goals for October are the same.  Hey, they work for me!   I am not sure how it is going to go...we have vacation time this month and...well...I KNOW that I am going to indulge...but I also know that I'll be really active!  I am ok with the indulgences, they aren't going to be overly crazy, but I know that this is life and if I don't life live I will ultimately give up this healthy lifestyle journey!  So moderation....balance...and sometimes just saying 'it may be a gain' is ok.  I am however hoping that the crazy active vacation will negate the extra calories!  :-)

Friday, September 27, 2019

Excitement!!!!

We are in the homestretch now to vacation! It is Friday morning as I write  this and vacation is only a few short hours of work away!   We have been working a bit each evening to prepare everything for our departure.   We will finish everything tonight after work and have one more night of sleep in our own bed before heading out to the beach for a week of listening to the waves crash, the  sounds of the seagulls squawking  and the smell of salt air!   The weather is forecasted to be wonderful!   Mid 70’s to low 80’s during the day! Perfect for being outside all day long.   The crowds should not be there either which makes us happy!  

So what does this mean for my eating plan?  For one, I   I will still be counting calories the whole time...every bite I eat will be tracked!  But I will not be  eating like a Puritan! My eating plan is to live healthy!  That means that while I do make healthy choices for ‘most’ of the time, that  I also don’t forget to live on occasion!   At the beach that may look like sharing a bucket of boardwalk (thrashers) fries.   It might mean an ice cream cone....but it also means healthy choices for  most dinners or lunches.  Typically in every day life my balance is more 95% healthy and 5% treat. (But still within my calorie budget) ..and it works for me...I’m losing slowly but I’m satisfied and feel in control emotionally!  (And honestly don’t even feel as if I am trying to lose...I’m usually not panicked about eating something or not eating something...I just go with the flow and it is working!). I know that for this upcoming  week my balance may be a bit more 80/20. And I’m ok with that!  

The GOOD thing about vacation?  When we go to the beach we typically park the car and don’t use it again until the day we leave!  (At the most only VERY sparingly). We get around by shoe leather express or bike!   We are also on the go from sunup to sundown.  I know a few years ago when we were there (without our bikes so it was all walking) we walked about 12-15 miles each day.  When we take our bikes we usually are out riding for 3-5 hours each day and then walk the rest of the time.   We discovered the hard way on one trip that we were actually not eating enough because we were burning so many calories. (Every symptom of hunger hit and not being used to those feelings we thought we were both getting sick!). So I am hoping that the heavy activity negates any indulgence!!!! I am hoping for at least a maintain! 

If you are gasping right now at my weight loss plan for vacation...just remember...at the fair the other week, I passed up the funnel cakes and fried cheese and all sorts of other goodness that the food venders were selling.  Know you know why.....I knew that vacation was around the corner and I wanted to save my indulgence for something truly special!  This is planned!

Either way, I’m not going to worry about it...vacation week comes but once a year.  My weight loss journey is not being forgotten. It is being put on the back burner for the week...attended to enough to maintain my weight but ignored enough to allow me to live!   That is the key to success...managing and adjusting to life and picking your indulgences....




Wednesday, September 25, 2019

SOOO tired

What a crazy weekend and beginning of this work week!  What can I say other than busy!

We had our normal fun for the week!  We were able to get out and ride our bikes on the mountain bike trails both days.    Saturdays ride was actually quite fun!  Oh yeah, there were parts that were really hard and difficult, but I actually had fun.  I also felt awesome!  So awesome that when we finished the loop, I tacked on a few more miles....miles that included this killer washed our trail that is full of tree roots, crevices, rocks and uphill climbing.  It was hard but satisfying at the same time.

Sundays ride was a bit less fun.  It should have been more of a recovery ride.  But we only rode 2 miles less than we rode on Saturday and on some of the same trails.  And trails that push me!  My legs were already wiped out before we began so I really had to push myself.  I was proud of what we had done.

The rest of our time over the weekend was spent doing errands, visiting family and trying to get some of the stuff that needs to be done finished!  Yes, I have a list of things that need to be done before vacation that we are working on!

The drama began Sunday night.  Ok, maybe the drama actually began Saturday night when I walked through the kitchen.  I heard some loud whining noise.  We ascertained that it was coming from under the sink.  Jason checked the garbage disposal and dishwasher but they were fine.  Everything was dry as a bone so I knew the sink wasn't leaking.  So we talked about it and just watched it.  We decided that we would call maintenance on Monday to come look...but that 'i hear a weird noise' is not on the list of emergencies that they will respond to on a weekend.  All was fine in our world.  On Sunday night at about 7 or 8 we heard a huge loud crash.  I was sure someone had been carrying furniture up the steps and fallen.  We rushed out to the steps....but nothing.  We walked around but couldn't hear anything from any of our neighbors so we went back inside.  We heard one more loud crash but just looked at each other and shrugged  our shoulders.  On Sunday night we were exhausted and we went to bed early.  By 9:15 we were both sound asleep (ok, maybe not sound asleep sine we had gone to bed at 9...but you get the drift.  At 9:30 someone started banging on our door.  It took us a few minutes to get ourselves awake and to the door.  We looked out the peep hole but we couldn't ascertain who it was...so we rushed around getting on proper clothes and eventually got the door open.  It was a maintenance worker from our apartment complex.  I knew immediately where to direct him as soon as he said his first sentence.  "You have a leak somewhere over near your kitchen"  Yup....that sink noise.  Apparently it was a pretty bad leak....in the pipe that supplies our water...the pipe that is under our cabinets...under our floors but above the apartment below us ceiling.  Oh wait.....they don't have a ceiling anymore.  The leak was bad enough that it brought their ceiling crashing down.   SOOOOOO thus began HOURS of the maintenance man rushing in and out of our apartment while he attempted to fix the issue.  I didn't get to bed until about 1:30/2 in the morning.  My kitchen was still a bit torn up.  The bases of the inside of my kitchen cabinet needs to be replaced so all of the stuff is just sitting on my kitchen floor.  But otherwise we were back to normal.  The problem?    My alarm goes off at 4:30.  Uhhhh yeah......Monday was ROUGH!  Luckily Monday night didn't have too much on the list for us to complete.....the list really kicks in on Wednesday!
The kitchen that caused the issues......and my under sink stuff sitting nicely stacked on the floor

Tuesday was much better.  I had gotten a pretty good night sleep and was ready to rock this week!  And plus.....at that point I only had three more days until vacation (not counting Tuesday!)

So there you have it.  Crazy busy.....drama.....troubles....and dreaming!  I am still eating in a manner that makes me happy, is healthy and is at a level that will have me losing weight!  So I am totally happy!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Weigh in Results for the last week

Here we go, it's time look at the most recent week and see how I did!   I was worried about this week's weigh in for sure.  Typically I have been having one week where I either maintain or even gain followed by a loss.  It is a see saw back and forth.   This past week was the 'gain/maintain' week so I was nervous!  What were the scales going to say?

So lets just get right to it.

I lost.... 0.2 pounds.  It's a loss...and I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth.  I am honestly tickled to have ANY weight gone from my body. 

I am still going full steam ahead.  So far the eating a bit more and eating breakfast is working for me....or at least not hindering, so I"m going to continue with it.


This week is going to be crazy busy as we go through the last few days of work before vacation.  It's going to be a busy week!!!   I just hope it goes fast!!!!

Friday, September 20, 2019

The work week struggled

I have come to the conclusion that my life is full and boring....at least during the work week!  Yup, what can I say about the work week?  Not much.  I wake up, yoga, shower, drive, work, drive, make dinner, watch an hour or so of tv, sleep.....repeat.  That is why our weekends are crazy busy with activity...we are cramming it all into the weekends!  Lol

I do typically hold myself together really well on the work weeks in terms of my eating.  It is easier because I am in a pretty tight and steady routine! So that is good.   But it is difficult because adding in anything else is difficult!  It’s hard to add in something after work because I’m exhausted after an 11 hour day (sometimes longer depending on how the commute goes).  Furthermore,  If something changes it throws the balance of what I do get done off!

The balance was thrown off this week.  I have been given the temporary task of training the new hire class.  That means that I am away from my desk all day.  The emails keep coming...my daily work is still there....the requests for my assistance are still pouring in.  My breaks and lunch historically get gobbled up as I attend to those things. That hurts me because my breaks and lunches are the times that I get outside and walk!  It is my little oasis of activity!  I tried to tell myself when I started this current class that I wouldn’t let that happen.  

But day one rolled around (yesterday...Thursday) and guess who didn’t go out for a walk?   Not one walk?  Yes, that’s right...me!   My only salvation is that I am NOT a trainer that sits on my butt...I move around a LOT...so my step count didn’t suffer yesterday.  I got the same or more steps.  But still, I like my walks!  So,   I am vowing to get out for at least my lunch break today!

The weekend is right around the corner and I am happy!  I am tired and need the rest....or maybe the crazy busy that the weekends usually are!  This weekend will be extra busy as we prepare for vacation because that is right around the corner also!!!

Happy weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Being a Female in a Male Dominated Sport

Mountain biking......this sport has been an interesting one to enter.   From spills and tumbles to pain and glory, this summer has been a crazy ride as I have entered the sport.  I have learned SO much and still have SO much more to learn.  However, I never thought about the aspects of entering a sport that is pretty much male dominated.  SO I am going to do my public service announcement to all you single ladies.....mountain biking...you can find a fit man out on the trails!  :-)

A few weeks back we were out riding and while we were stopped (at the hill that I call my nemesis) a rider came up on us and stopped to talk.  This guy ONLY talked to me and mostly just ignored Jason.  Oh yeah, it was that obvious.  It did NOT matter to this guy that I am wearing a ring......ok, it's a promise ring but there IS a ring on that all important finger!   I am nice (probably too nice sometimes) and talked to him but was happy when we said our goodbyes and we headed in the direction that we were travelling and this lecher headed off in his direction.  One hour later we ran into him AGAIN!  Really?  On all these miles of trails we had to run into you twice?   Once again he talked....to me and ignored Jason. Finally we moved on and all was good.   We talked about the leach and I have told Jason that if we run into him again...or anyone like him to not be surprised if I start talking about how it's so nice to be out with my husband on the trail.   I will be throwing in the phrase my husband constantly.  Because...well husband is a more strong word than 'boyfriend'.    Luckily he was on board with that!

So this past weekend we were out again and the first time we saw this new guy he just said 'hi' and complimented us on our bikes as he passed us.  But the second time he passed, he stopped to talk. This guy was fine and was not trying to poach on Jason's territory and spoke to both of us equally, so I didn't have to pull out the 'husband' phrases constantly.  In fact, this guy just automatically assumed we were married (you could tell from his comments).  But in the course of the conversation and through his final words to Jason, I realized just how rare of a breed that I am.  You see, I am out there with my man....and enjoying it!  (Yeah, I have to admit that I am starting to enjoy the rides...not the pain and the hard parts, but I am starting to enjoy this!)   I am willing to step into a sport that scares me to death sometimes.  I am willing to push myself out of my comfort zone to the point that I am starting to enjoy a sport that Jason loves.   This guys words that he muttered to Jason as we were parting..  "You lucky bastard"    

Right  now I'm feeling a bit 'good' and cocky.    NO, I have no desire to see the leach ever again..but it makes me proud of myself for being out there doing it!   And the second guy’s comment?  Yes, Jason is lucky  (how could he not when he has me ...hahaha).......but even more so, I am lucky to be with a man that has been willing to sit back and take the time to ride with me, a much slower rider.  He has sat beside me while I have meltdowns on the edge of a trail.  He has been the patient one.  I think I am the lucky one!  

As I ride more and more.  As I get to the point that I can kinda hang with the guys I am sure I will have more experiences and discover what it really means to be in a sport that is male dominated.  You see, I am doing something that most women don't even consider....and even more shocking?  I am doing it in my late 40's!  I must be crazy!

So single ladies...this is your public service announcement....get out and ride your bike!!!!


Monday, September 16, 2019

Weigh in Results

Another week in this weight loss journey is in the books.  I continued on much like normal for this past week.  However, I DID change my eating plan just a bit and let me tell you.  I was SCARED that I had messed everything up!!


As I wrote recently  I decided that I needed to change up my eating a bit.  That mainly meant that I would no longer be doing the 16:8 intermittent fasting and that I would be eating something at breakfast.  It also meant that I would be raising my calorie count on the weekends that I am riding heavily (and on the day after an intense ride).   I was confident with my plan.  I was pretty sure it was the right thing to do, but actually carrying out this plan really scared me.  I was super afraid that I would be upsetting the fine line of balance that I have achieved over the last few months.  You see, for the first time in my adult life I feel at peace and balanced in regards to my food intake and choices.  I don't feel guilty when I do indulge in a bit of a sweet treat. I also don't feel deprived when I do NOT indulge.  The indulgences are not everyday and not even every other day (or every third day).  I probably indulge maybe once a week.....and usually the indulgence falls on an intense workout day.   So you see, I didn't want to mess up that balance in my head.  But, of course I was also worried that it would backfire in regards to the numbers on the scales.

This past week’s weigh in should have been a lose week as this  was the lose weight week  on this new gain/maintain one week and lose the next see saw that I seem to be riding.  When  I went to step on the scales I just crossed my fingers that I lost!  I did!
I also went to see my family doctor this past week.  I had to have my annual physical.  But I also needed to talk to her about my weight, simply because I needed her to sign off on an appeal paper for my health insurance (so that I could reap the healthy weight discount on my monthly premiums).    She was happy with my efforts this past year.  She is happy with my plans and where I am at with my eating.  She concurs with my raised calorie intake plan.  She IS however concerned about my blood pressure.  It was elevated a bit. (I do have a touch of white coat syndrome...lol)  But all in all, it was a good visit.

So, This upcoming week is the week that I have been typically maintaining (or gaining).  This week is the TRUE test of my raised calories and breakfast experiment.  I've got my fingers crossed that I have found the magic solution to get this weight dropping CONSISTENTLY!  A weight loss journey is not for the faint at heart.  This weight loss journey is a constant battle to find the right balance, the right plan, the right everything.  I will keep adjusting and keep striving for my goals.  I KNOW that they are worth it!












Friday, September 13, 2019

The value of ourselves


I have always cringed when I hear someone say that they are losing weight in order to find their perfect partner.  They say that ‘if only I was thin I could find true love.”  These people talk about not being able to live a life and have friends because “I just need to be thin”.    Being thin becomes the holy grail!  Losing weight becomes the solution to all of their problems.  But I am here to tell you that the solution is NOT to lose weight.  The solution is to realize that your self-worth comes from within and NOT from our looks.
Self-worth starts with sitting back and realizing that who we are has so very little to do with the way we look.  It doesn’t come from how much we weigh or how we have styled our hair.  It comes from our personality. It comes from the intrinsic goodness of our souls.  It comes from the kindness of our words and the gentleness of our smiles.  (Or the flip side, it comes from the darkness and nastiness that burns within you if you are one of those people that are mean!) Who we are comes from our hearts and it is THAT facet of us in which our self-worth really comes from.   What the world looks at is only the outside layer.  It’s the skin that protects us.  It is just the packaging for who we are. 
I received the birthday gifts in the mail.  They were wrapped in the brown packaging that they were shipped in.  I kept staring at the packages as the date of the birthday drew nearer.  I knew I needed to wrap them.  I had the birthday gift wrap but I just kept delaying it.   Eventually (hours before the gifts were to be presented) I wrapped them in the festive paper.  Whew…I had done it!  But why?    I literally took off the original packaging and replaced it with a ‘prettier’ packaging.  Did it change the gift at all?  Absolutely not!  The gift was the exact same….it didn’t matter if it was a pretty package or a bland package.  It was what was inside the packaging that counted and mattered to the person that received the gifts.     At the end of that day when the gifts were opened, where did that pretty packaging end up?  It was in the garbage, it wasn’t worth ANYTHING!

Aren’t we just like the packaging on that gift? We can be in an overweight body or we can be in a thin body but does it change who we are inside?   Just like that gift it doesn’t change who we are.    We can wrap ourselves up in a pretty package.  We can lose the weight, restyle our hair, work on our tans and otherwise take care of any and all issues that we think we have with our bodies but what difference does it make?   We are the SAME PERSON no matter what we weigh!
This is a difficult concept to accept and to believe.  Our society has placed so much emphasis on our weight and our appearance that many people are focused on it.   Many people have been ridiculed for their weight (hair, acne, etc) and it isn’t easy to get over.  I get that.  But we need to step back and say ‘It’s just the packaging and those people are too shallow to see that the inside is the same!’
I did an experiment a while back.  I flat out asked people to say something about me.  I wanted to hear what people said. It was awkward because I felt like I was fishing for compliments….but I truly wanted to hear and to share what people REALLY think about me.  So here goes….
·          always available and ready to help
·          approachable and easy to talk to
·         Vibrant personality
·         Great training
·          amazing instructor
·         Awesome, biggest supporter, great listener, non-judgmental, persistently keeping goals in mind and strives for those goals
·         Inspirational
·         Always pleasant and treats you like a friend from the first hello
·         Pleasant and genuine
·         The real deal
·         Go get it attitude and meticulous and organized
·         Someone who gives her heart and soul to each task
·         Contains more creativity in her little finger than most people have in their whole body
·         Nice, sweet, helpful, friendly, outgoing
·         Loud
·         Outgoing and loyal
Not ONE person said anything about my physical appearance.  They all talked about my personality.  They talked about my work ethics.  They talked about my knowledge and my natural gifts.  Not ONCE did they say anything about my weight…..yet some of them have known me at my highest and lowest weights.  In fact, after I explained what my experiment was to one friend she remarked. “I don’t see people for their size but for their heart.  I don’t have fat friends….but I do have GREAT friends.”  That sums it up so perfectly.  
I once heard this remark.  It was in regards to someone that had made a bit of a negative remark about how someone was overweight.  The overweight person responded with, “I can lose weight and look great…my issue is totally changeable.  However, you can’t change your personality.  I can change and be thin and gorgeous….but you will still be mean and spiteful.  Honestly,  it’s you that I pity!”   How true was that comeback? 
Still think that the weight is important?  Sure, we all like a certain type of body, hair color or skin tone (just to name a few) when we are looking at potential partners.  But WHY would you be with someone that is so wrapped up in that one physical attribute.  What happens if that attributes changes?  Will they throw you to the curb like yesterday’s garbage if you gain a bit of weight?  What happens if you lose your hair through some horrible disease or accident?  Would they still love you then?  I don’t know!   I would NEVER want to be with a partner who says they love me but in reality only loved me if I was thin.  Love me fat….love me thin….love me with a curly thick head of hair or bald as a new born baby.  Love me in a variety of different ‘packages’ because the packaging that is me can change….but my heart remains the same!
So that said, I do want to say that it IS ok to try to change the outward appearance of ourselves.   It is perfectly ok.  There is nothing wrong with saying, “I am awesome just as I am…but I want to lose weight to make myself even better.”  There is nothing wrong with saying, “I like me but I would like to be thinner for ME”   Or you can be thinking, I love ME and it is quite ok to not love the packaging.  It’s ok to say “I would like to be in a nicer package.”  Just remember that It doesn’t change you are, it’s just the packaging…..it doesn’t change the ‘gift’ that inside!
I have been there.  I have totally tried to lose weight for the wrong reasons.  I lost a WHOLE BUNCH of weight once in an effort to make my ex love me.  He was always looking at this or that type of person and I tried my hardest to be and achieve what I thought he wanted.     I lost the weight.  But guess what?  It didn’t make him love me….because I just changed the packaging on my body and nothing else changed in our relationship.  He wasn’t in love with the internal facets of me….he wasn’t in love with my personality and quirkiness.  It didn’t work….you can change the packaging but that is all it is, just the fluff package.   Consequentially, I regained a good portion of that weight.  I had lost it for the wrong reasons.  I had not learned the valuable lesson of learning to love ME just as I am. 
Find happiness within yourself.  Think of your internal attributes.  Think of your sense of humor, your gentleness toward animals, your kindness toward the elderly, your vivacious personality, the way you try to help others….whatever makes you…..that individual you.  THAT is what is important.  The  packaging/external