Friday, October 30, 2020

What gear do you REALLY need to get out and walk or run??

 I have been really working to try to be more active in the past weeks.  As I have done so I was reunited with my enjoyment of running and I had the opportunity to pull out old familiar gear and to buy some other new gear! It was a fun time!   It really highlighted the fact that we don’t need fancy new things and the best of everything to get out and exercise.  I will be sharing   with you what I started with and how I have evolved! When I first

The Gear I used when I started to Run

When I first decided to start running way back in 2013 (give or take), I did not start with much equipment or gear.  I literally laced my feet into whatever tennis shoes I had in the house and I went outside.  I carried my cell phone in my hand for the first few runs and I used the headphones that came with my cell phone to convey the music to my ears.  I had nothing fancy and that is all I needed.  There was no excuses about why I couldn't run because I didn't have what I needed.  I literally went out wearing my normal clothes and using everyday items that I had around the house!  There is no need for fancy gear!

After just a few runs, I did decide to purchase an arm band to hold my cell phonewhile I ran.  It seemed like a great decision.  I didn't pay a whole lot of money for my purchase (I believe I may have purchased it at 5 Below)  and it was the perfect piece of gear and the only extra thing I purchased for quite some time!

The Upgrades to My running Gear Begins

I didn't really set out to upgrade my running gear.  It happened quite naturally and painfully.  Yes, pain came a calling in the guise of Plantar's Fasciitis.  It was no fun and it really put a damper on running.  I went to the doctor and received my diagnosis.  I was determined to get it under control naturally.  So I started to read.    One of the first things that I read was that wearing shoes with poor support and broken and old support is a big contributing factor to plantar's fasciitis.  Uhhh ohhh!   I had been running with whatever tennis shoe I grabbed first and let me tell you, they were old!    

I learned a very valuable lesson that day.   The ONLY thing to worry about in terms of gear is your shoes!  Buy a good pair and replace them frequently!!!!!!   I began to wear the Asics Cumulous running shoe.  I would be honored if you tried them and said that they were the most fabulous shoe.  But I am going to advise you to instead try on different shoes and find the one that works best for your feet!  And then replace them frequently!!!!  Learn from my errors!

My two favorite  Purchases for Running and Walking

When I talk about gear for running and walking my two absolute favorite purchases are my Aftershokz headphones and my Run Buddy.  If you have been reading this website for a while, you will probably know what is coming because I have talked about these two things on quite a few occasions.   

The Aftershokz bone conducting headphones are the most amazing thing!   When I started to run I used the ear buds that came standard with my phone.  They worked but the buds never stay in my ears properly.  When I run or walk I am always fiddling around and replacing one or the other of the ear buds.  I started to think about replacing then with something different and in the fall of 2014 I found what I was looking for.  I found the bone conducting wireless headphones from Aftershokz.  This things are fabulous!  I can hear all that is going on around me, so I am not in my own bubble unaware of my surroundings.  The sound is great.  The quality of sound is wonderful and they are NOT IN MY EARS, which means that they don't fall out and I don't have to constantly fiddle with them when I run!!!

The last thing is my Run Buddy.  I absolutely love this!!   100% recommend it to anyone!   I bought this to replace my armband that I talked about earlier in this post.  The arm band cell phone holder worked for me.  But I was never totally happy with it.  I am overweight and my arms are larger.  The armband seemed to cut into my arm, uncomfortably so.   If I wanted to change something on my phone....check my stats.....turn off the music....or take a picture (the most important thing...right?).  I had to practically stop running to get the band off my arm and to remove the cell phone.  Hooking everything back up was just as cumbersome!  So when I stumbled upon the Run Buddy and read a bit about it, I KNEW that I had to have it!  It is absolutely amazing!  Seriously, I love this thing so much that when I thought I lost it, I went out and bought a new one! (So yes, I have two now!)    It is basically a pouch that has a flap that goes inside your pants.  The pouch has magnets and the flap has magnets and it holds tight.  I have NEVER had a problem (except that one day when I was wearing pants that were too big and the weight of the run buddy and my phone pulled my pants down mid I do not jest...that really happened).    This thing is incredible!  

Running And Walking Gear

This post goes to show.  I started to run with next to nothing.  Sure, I upgraded a few items that I love.  But they were convenience items.  We can walk.  We can run.  We can get out and exercise without all those fancy trappings.  We just need to get out and do it!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Yog-vember : I challenge YOU

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

My Experience with Yoga

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

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

The Yog-Vember Challenge

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

The challenge is simple!  

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 26, 2020

Healthy Choices

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

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

Healthy Eating

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

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

Scales are Stupid

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

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

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

Moving forward to lose weight

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

Friday, October 23, 2020

Covid 19 pounds

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

Original plans for the quarantine

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

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

Covid...19 Pounds

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

How embarrassing!

Ending the Pandemic Pounds

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

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Historical Hiking

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

Return to the scene of the Hiking Crime

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

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


A Wee bit of History

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

Black Rock Hotel (c 1920)

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

The actual hike on Thurston Griggs and the Appalachian Trail

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 19, 2020

Recouping my Weight after Vacation

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

Setting myself up for Weight Loss Success

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

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

My first time jogging/running

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

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

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

A new Start to Lose Weight

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

First weigh in after getting back on track

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

Friday, October 16, 2020

Return from Normal

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

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

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

Post Vacation Chaos

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

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

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

It was just a week!

Changes and Plans

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

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

Changes to

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, October 12, 2020

Post Vacation Weigh in! YIKES!

 Vacation is over....even though my mind is clearly on vacation!  (Thus the late time for posting this entry!)  We had a great time.  Stay tuned for a post with some amazing pictures and a recap of our time!!!!   But here is the question that is probably lurking in your mind.  How did she do with her weight loss efforts over vacation?   

Ok, maybe you weren't wondering how I managed my food and eating over vacation.  Maybe you don't care what I weigh.  But guess what?  I'm gonna tell you anyway!  (Yup, I get a bit feisty after vacation apparently!).

Eating on Vacation

I tracked nothing!  Not a single bite of food was tracked!  Nope.  Didn't do it!  I didn't even attempt!  Ok, honestly, I had no plans to track.  I wanted to sit back and just live and enjoy!   So there was not tracking.  There WAS a serving of some sort of dessert each night!  (ohhh can I say amazing peanut butter pie??!))   

  I would usually eat leftovers for breakfast and by mid morning we were out the door and in nature.  So we would throw trail mix and granola bars in our backpacks which we would nibble on while we were out and about.  Then for dinner we ordered from restaurants (and dessert too).  So I basically ate 2 full meals and one snack.  

We walked.  Boy did we ever walk!  One of the hikes included a staircase that contained 821 steps (that is the equivalent of about a 42 floor skyrise!), we climbed up and down mountains.  We also did the 200 steps to the one overlook (chump change after the 821 steps!).  We moved each day!  Even the 'light day' where I was in freakish misery from the aches and pains in my legs from those steps we were out hiking...just easier trails.  By the way, the stairway to hell climb?  That was actually my  favorite hike!  We actually talked about doing it again at the end of the week!

I was just hoping and praying that my hiking and movement would negate those desserts!

Fear about Stepping on the scales after vacation

I was so nervous to step on the scales after vacation!  I knew that I was probably a bit dehydrated.  I also knew that I was still having some muscle soreness (muscles retain water while they heal!)  And I know that I did enjoy each bite of those desserts!  But I had to face the music.  So the first morning after our return I stepped on the scales!

I gained!  OK, I expected it!  But honestly, I am soooooo tickled that it was ONLY 3 pounds!   That very well could be water retention!   Even better, I am determined to turn this ship around!  It's a new day....a new week....a new chance to live healthy!

And just a preview of our is a picture!

Friday, October 09, 2020

Planning and Plotting

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about where I am in this journey.  I have spent quite a bit of time pondering how I have been stuck.  I have been thinking a LOT about how I have been not losing weight and how I even gained 13-15 pounds since the Coronavirus reared it's ugly head in my life (late March).

A few things that I do know.  

1. I track my food...but I have allowed more snacks to creep into my food budget.  Those snacks account for the extra calories that throw me over my self set budget.   

2,  My sleep has been messed up for months and has gotten really bad in the last few months.  I sleep for maybe 4 hours and then I am awake...wide awake!   I am constantly in a state of tiredness.

3.  Exercise has been spotty at best.

So how am I going to fix this?  What is my plan?  How am I going to proceed?

Lets tackle the food issue.  I have a caloric budget.  I have been at this journey for many years.  I know that I SHOULD lose weight at 1500 -1700 calories.  But I also know that my body doesn't seem to agree with the theories and numbers.  I lose weight at 1200-1300 calories.  Yet, I continue to add snacks to my daily food intake....because it 'only puts me at 1500 calories...that's still in losing range!".   That has to stop.  My budget is 1300....that has to be a set in stone budget!   I will allow a cheat day/meal.  I think that is a healthy (mentally and physically) aspect of this journey.   But I am going to be extras.  When the budget is is my mouth!

Sleep.  I have been so messed up with my sleep lately.  It has been totally tiresome.  We think we may have solved that problem.  Jason has been plying me with Hemp/CBD pills...and unless it's a coincidence, I have been sleeping much better!  SO I am crossing my fingers and hoping and praying that the pills do the trick long term!

Exercise.  I have not been exercising.  I have that exercise bike and I have used it on my lunch breaks.  I was determined that September I was going to use it 3 days a week....if not more.  Yet the training that I was asked to lead really took my time and I ended up working through breaks and lunches.  I think I got 3 rides in.  That is coming to an end.  My health is very important and I need to act as such.  So the bike is a great option for me!   Furthermore, I have been itching to get out and run again.  My plantars fasciitis is still kicking but I am so tired of waiting for that to magically get better. I"m going to attempt to run.  I will ice my foot and stretch and roll it and do all the good things for it.  But I"m going to try it!!!!!

That is my plan.  Just focus.   I am not promising myself perfection.  If I promise myself perfection, then when life gets in the way and I have a less than perfect day, I will feel like a failure.  SO I am promising myself that I will try my hardest!  That's all I can do!   

I am not giving up.  Part of my plan is that I will be going to the doctor later in the year.  I want to go with the stats of a few weeks of really good behavior.....1200 calorie days and the results and the 1400 calorie days and the results and talk to her about the stats.  So if this little 'good behavior' works awesome...and if it doesn't, it will arm with me the necessary information to share with my doctor to get the help that I desperately need!!!

I've got this!

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Food addict

 It took me a long time to admit that I really was a food addict.  I didn't want to admit something like that.  I didn't want to admit that I have a problem and struggle to control myself.  How embarrassing!  But I eventually did admit it!  

I had a few moments where I was confused and concerned about the fact that my mind didn't seem to be hardwired like other people when it came to food.  But nothing clicked until the Hoss Cake Incident.  The Hoss cake incident is where I ate a tiny piece of cake and I heard the angels sing.  I was able to really realize that I got a bit of a euphoric high when I ate something that my mind deemed delicious.   I felt that high and I kept chasing after that high, trying to retain and recapture that feeling.   Food is my high and my source of euphoria!   

I have often talked about how a food addiction is hard to overcome.  I can't just stay away from my temptation.  I have to face my addiction each time I sit down for a meal.  Three meals a day I face my addiction.  Each time I put food into my mouth I wait for the angels to sing.  I wait for that high.  I don't know when it's going to hit or what food will cause that feeling.  But when that feeling comes, I want it.  It is so blissful and euphoric that I can't help myself.  I just want to continue shoveling the food into my mouth to keep that feeling.   

I can't just avoid the temptations.  I can hear those angels sing for any number of food. It might be a cheeseburger this week.  The angels might not sing for a few weeks and then I will eat a piece of cake and it will be absolutely beautiful and euphoric.  The next high might come from something as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  It is difficult!

I have three tips that I TRY to use as much as possible in an effort to avoid and conquer against this demon of an addiction.

1.  I try to avoid foods that I think will cause me to feel that euphoria.  I don't eat Reece's Cups all that often because I know there is a higher chance of losing control.  I try to eliminate as much temptation as I possibly can!

2.  Straight up Willpower.  I try to force myself to think about the fact that I know that losing control is the response of my addict addled brain.  I know in my brain that eating more and more and more of an item is NOT going to make me hear the angels sing forever or even retain that euphoric feeling.   I try to employ every ounce of willpower that I have.  DO NOT EAT THAT FOOD MARYFRAN!  It's a brain game!

3.  Celebrate the successes.  When you do start to gain control over the food addiction, a sense of pride in your accomplishments will overtake you.  Allow that feeling of pride and success wash over you.  Allow your mind to revel in the success.   And build upon that success.  Start realizing that you CAN do it and that you have done it (even if just once) and that you WILL do it again!  Build on the successes that you have!!!

Food addiction is hard one to work with.  But it IS possible to navigate and beat!  It just takes perseverance and persistence in your efforts!  I will be fighting this for the rest of my life.  But I am determined that I WILL succeed!!!!!

To watch my video on this subject.... 

Monday, October 05, 2020

Regrouping and getting Excited

This week has been absolutely crazy busy!  I feel like I haven't had time to breathe.  I have so many things on my to do list!  I have been super productive though, so that is great!  As for weight loss....I'm regrouping and getting excited!

Crazy Busy Week

I spent two days with my family.  One day was with my mom and the other day was with my whole family and specifically with me taking pictures of my niece and nephews.  My niece and nephews are awesome and so much fun to be the photoshoot was quite least for me!

We also spent quite a bit of time running errands.  We had to get a battery for the old car and hit up a bunch of stores.  We also managed to get in a walk on the canal!  The weather was fabulous and I had fun playing with my camera a bit on that walk also!

Tracking food at the wrong Time
I had some meals where my calories were super high.  On two separate occasions I ordered food at a restaurant (and/or takeout) and didn't calculate my calories BEFORE I ordered or BEFORE I ate!  The first time was when my mom, my brother and I grabbed lunch together on Friday.  I ordered a cheeseburger and it came with french fries.  I also nibbled off the nacho appetizer that we ordered.   I tracked it...for sure.  I tracked it.  However, I didn't track it until after I ate!   Ooops....1700 calories down the hatch...and since I didn't track my food until AFTER I ate it, I had no way to adjust the amount to make it more calorically nice.  But moving on.

On Saturday after our walk on the canal Jason and I decided to order from Uno's.   I remembered that their pizzas were good and when it came up in a conversation we decided to do it.   I remembered correctly, it was good.  I seriously should have learned my lesson from Friday.  But oh no....I scarfed down my pizza and then decided to track it.  Holy cow...that pizza was 1800 calories!   YIKES!   

Lessons learned....I am not going to beat myself up over it.  I can only move on and vow to do better next time!


I have been spending a lot of time thinking and planning about my future in this weight loss journey.  I am actually getting excited about my plans.  I am excited about really delving into this journey and seeing results.  I KNOW I can do it.  I know that I am worth the time.  I know that it will take a lot of work and willpower.  But I am ready!   Bring it on!!!

Friday, October 02, 2020

Monthly Recap for September

 How is September over?   It blows my mind!  Time is just flying by at warp speed!  On a personal level, we had a great month! We went to the ocean for a quick trip, we got some great hiking in and we enjoyed every moment together.

On a weight loss a month!

I started the month strong.  I was going to really nail this month.  I was going to explore the realm of being spot on and perfect.  But the month turned out to be anything but perfect.  I kept my eating under control....but I gained!  Yes....seriously!  My average calorie count for the month was.......  That is TOTALLY in line for weight loss!  BUT no...I didn't lose and most of the month I showed up!   It caused me to want to give up!  I didn't give up.  I settled back and tried to figure out what was happening.  I don't have the answers yet...but I am formulating my plans for the upcoming weeks.   I will let you know in a week or so what my plan is!!!!

In the meantime...lets look at my monthly goals and see how well I did!

1. Track every bite of my food  I managed this one.  EASY!  I tracked everything I ate.  I tracked every bite, lick and taste.  I did an awesome job with this!!   I even tracked at the beach!  No problem with this!

2.  Save money  I actually did really good with this.  The savings account did not take any hits and I have put a chunk of change aside! 

3.  Weigh less at the end of the month  This is where things went off track.  I did not lose!  Most of the month I was up quite matter what I did!  It was disappointing, but I am pushing forward and trying to formulate a new plan of attack!

4.  Be active at least 4 times a week  We walked after work every evening.....that saved me from a colossal failure on this one and gave me a win.  My grand plans to ride the exercise bike during my lunch and life got in the way.  Yes, that's an excuse and I aim to fix it!

5.  Stay within caloric/food budget at least 6 days a week  FAILURE!   My calorie count was up near the 1600 mark quite a bit of the time. I have done my experiments.  I don't lose at that point.  I need less calories if I want to lose.  So calories were not in line with where I need to be!

6.  Have an average of over 5K steps per day for the month.   I managed this one!   The long days of walking at the beach really helped, as did the after work walks!   But I can mark up a win on this one!

So what are my goals for next month?   Yes, I'm aiming for the same.  WIth the exception of vacation week.  For my caloric food budget, on that week only I will be adding in my exercise calories and using my NET calories for my food budget.  We should be doing quite a bit of hiking.....and long hikes makes me ravenous.  I will need to be fueling my body.  I plan on eating as healthy as the extent that we are taking carrots, broccoli, grapes, dips and nuts to snack on to give us healthy options!  OTher than that week, it will be business as usual.

The only other change?  I have decided that I have a nice cushion in my savings account.  I would like it to be higher, but I also have a car payment.  When I am talking interest, which is the best one to work on?  Building the savings or paying off the car?   I am paying more money in interest for the car loan than I gain in my savings account.  So it makes more sense to throw those extra 'savings' dollars toward the car loan.    I will still call it savings....because basically if I pay down the car well above the normal payment it is saving me money!   I have a set amount in my mind for my savings account.  I will make sure that the savings account does not dip below that account and if it does, I will immediately focus on getting back to that point.  Otherwise, I am moving into operation 'pay off the car NOW"!  Which is a wise financial decision!

1. Track every bite of my food

2.  Save money (pay off the car)

3.  Weigh less at the end of the month

4.  Be active at least 4 times a week

5.  Stay within caloric/food budget at least 6 days a week

6.  Have an average of over 5K steps per day for the month.