On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weigh In

(This will be quick since I'm in a public computer and have to go back to work in 15 minutes!)

Current Weight: 230 lbs (I was really pleased and surprised at this number since I haven't been a good girl this weekend diet-wise)

Work Out Achievement(s): I've continued swimming. I went home last weekend and took a break from swimming I guess you could say I technically broke my "streak" but I really needed the break, enjoyed myself in the few hours I was able to get off and I happily re-started my streak where I left off the second I got back to the desert.

Last night was 36 laps. Tonight will be 37. My goal will be to get to 50 laps and see what I do from there.

I also want to invest in a buoy that goes between your legs to make it more of a work out

I've tried these before and they really make a big difference. Maybe I'll order one online and get it in the mail because I honestly don't know where I'm going to find one out here. LOL

Goals: I've been reading different books on food and "food remedies" and what foods are healthy and etc... I'm trying to come up with some sort of food list specifically designed for my own needs. I'm tired of reading generic ideas of what's "good for you" when each person is so different.

Let's see where that takes me.

I'll write more when I get a chance till then "just keep swimming" LOL


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


After I last blogged "revealing" my new work out strategy of swimming every night and adding a lap each night to challenge myself, I got to thinking about the changes I've been feeling since I started.

How satisfied I've been feeling marking an X on the wall calendar after another night of swimming was done.

How I've noticed how much easier it's becoming to continue swimming lap after lap without strain.

How my muscles stopped hurting after the first couple of days.

How water no longer sticks to my ear because I've somehow managed to move my head more gracefully when I come up for air.

How therapeutic it's becoming to swim not only because the water is warm, the pool is quiet at night but also

Because I have to control my breathing in a way that won't make me short of breath and allows me to keep going.

How last night (32 laps) were the easiest laps I've ever done... almost pleasantly going "la~ la~ la~ lap 28, la~ la~ la~ lap 29"

and then of course having a masochistic part of me thinking I have to do something different now because things are getting too easy again.

But then I slap that voice down and tell myself that it's OK to feel happy that I'm enjoying my work out. That's it's ok to notice that I'm not struggling to do an athletic ability.

I listen to THAT voice.

Just thinking about that pleasant and calm swim last night makes me super calm as I type this.

Who knew meditation could come through a lazy crawl lap? LOL.

I think I'll start looking up different strokes or atleast work on making my strokes a bit better and not get bad habits. lol.

Till next time


Monday, October 18, 2010

Weigh In: a Fish in the Desert

Current Weight: 231 lbs (so that means that I was able to lose 2 lbs since last week. This also means I'm back to my 20 lbs lost mark. Not bad)

Work Out Achievement(s): So here it is. The Big Reveal to what I started doing about ten days ago. I've started swimming again!

Although I'm living in the middle of the desert this tiny little town has a pretty nice sized pool to do laps in. Not only that but the water is brough from a Warm spring close by so the pool is naturally warm AND because it's cleaned regularly it is Un-Clorinated.

Pretty sweet deal.

Back a few months when I first started this journey and I was thinking about swimming I bought this awesome swimsuit that made me want to swim even more. I've even had some good memories at the gym
with it.

When I looked up the little town I was going to live in I found out their pride and joy was their local pool and so I brought the swim suit without really knowing whether or not this pool would be big enough for me to actually swim.

It turned out to be perfect.

This pic was taken from an online website but this is exactly the pool I go to every night.

Not as big as a regular lap pool but enough to do some decent laps.

Now, what's so special about swimming again? Two things:
1) I decided to do a "streak" (<-- program SparkPeople does where you try to keep up with a work out routine or whatever as many days in a row as possible) of going swimming every night without skipping. and
2) I decided that every night I would add 1 lap to my total.
This means that the first night I did 20 laps. Each night afterwards I would add a lap. So the next night was 21 laps, then 22.. etc, etc.

Last night was my big treshold; last night was my 30th Lap!

Challenging myself like this and edging myself on at every point (literally: every stop at the edge of the pool I kept telling myself "one more, just one more") has been VERY rewarding.

Since I'm adding one lap at a time it's making me pace myself and WANT to keep going. I want to reach my 35th lap. My 50th. Hell I want to get to 100 laps!

This method of going about working out is not only making me want to work out, but work out daily and work out harder.

It's a great, great feeling.

Goal(s): Because swimming isn't enough and I also need to continue gaining stamina in hiking up and down my field sites (my sites are getting further and further away from the road which means more and more walking for me) I need to start hiking more.

One of my temp co-workers last night joked that I should go out to the marshes with my big wader boots

something like this

early in the morning and run laps around the sinky mud and thick saltgrass. I laughed and said "yeah right" but it did get me thinking that I DO need to start doing something to get me in better shape for this terrain. Walking with those boots around here is no picnic.

But yes, other than that I need to keep my swimming streak. LOL, it kind of brings new meaning to the phrase

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming" lol

have a great week everyone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quick Post: I'm tired.

So tomorrow will be my Weigh In.
It'll also be the day I "reveal" my new work out routine (though I don't think it's that hard to guess or incredibly amazing.. just something different)
I'm not sure how I did this week but I hope the scale will show a result for the better.

I really need a boost right about now.

This work week hasn't been my regular "work for 12hrs, go home, eat, sleep. Repeat". I actually have way too many hours to kill for my liking.

However this week has also been kind of tiring. Physically as well as slightly psychologically.

Because of a change in schedule I have to work two weeks back-to-back with no breaks. At first I didn't think it would be a big deal since the days are so simple.. but right now I kind of regret that decision.

I'm tired. Today's work to get things ready for tonight was hard. My body is feeling itt. I'm cringing that I have to do more this evening.

I need a break.

It's times like these when I decide to "skip the gym" or "eat a brownie" to make me feel better and "relax." But there isn't much time for that. And I can't afford to do either.

So I will continue to work today. I will work out after work no matter how tired I am. I will keep myself away from junk food.

Weigh In tomorrow.

Wish me luck.


Monday, October 11, 2010

My Hike to Black Rock

So as I just mentioned in today's Weigh In I wanted to post pics of today's short hike to "Black Rock".

"Black Rock" is this volcanic hill literally on the other side of the street from my 'trailer park' (god I hate how that sounds.. trailer park.. let's call it an RV Park.. it is technically an RV park also. I get new neighbors every night!)

The Village Naturalist made a trail using Caution Yellow Tape that takes you up there.

Apparently Native Americans in the area used that hill to do "sleeping circles". I wish I could give a full history lesson on them, but I don't know much more than that at the moment.

I cross the street and I see B.R. in the nearby distance. I can't find the trail at first so I start making my own. However once I start walking toward the Rock I quickly find the trail and move on

I could definitely see myself following caution tape of all things as a marker.. I mean who WOULDN'T follow Caution tape. It just screams "Follow me I'll show you something cool.. and forbidden" lol

So I easily follow the trail and sure enough I get to the edge of B.R.

It's an easy climb since the rocks work like stairs and since it's a nice incline it doesn't really feel like I'm going up to steeply.

Once I reach the top I get a great view of the surrounding area:

And I can also see my trailer from the top:

It was definitely a nice little trail to go on. It was simple and easy. My grandma could do it. LOL.

I'll have to look for new trails.

'Til then!


Weigh In

Current Weight: 233 lbs (there. I did it. I wrote it down. Can't say I'm surprised.. can't even say I'm disappointed.. though I did cringe when I updated my Monthly weigh in on the side panel ----->)

Work Out Achievement(s): In my last post I mentioned I had started a new work out routine. I'm still not ready to reveal that yet so let's move on. Since I started work I haven't done much exercise outside of walking through boggy mud and sinky water.. apparently this isn't enough exercise (although it leaves me breathing heavy and exhausted) to lose the pounds.. although I have noticed that my legs are still pretty well defined.. hmmm..

Anyway so since I realized I'm going to have to work harder than that I finally dug through my things and found the Pilates video I bought right before I moved out to the desert.. I uncovered the plastic and popped it in the computers CD-rom drive.

O.M.G... Pilates is Hard!! I didn't really know the difference between Pilates and Yoga.. I have a yoga dvd somewhere and that one felt too easy. Too slow paced for my crazy brain.. so I believed that Pilates would be the same.

Boy was I wrong. It's not like the moves themselves were hard.. I just couldn't get my body to position itself where the nice lady in the video wanted me to. I couldn't lift my legs up in the air like her. I couldn't stretch myself out like her and I could definitely not roll like her.

Looks easy right?
Snort.. yeah might as well ask me to do this:

Go Madonna Go!

After ten minutes of trying it out I had to fall back on the rug (I was using the living room rug as my mat and taking advantage that I was alone in the trailer to attempt this) and just catch my breath while Ms. Thing in the video finished the set.

Have I decided to quit. HA HA HA HA. Elina never quits! I simply started stretching and practicing the moves on my bed.. where I'm more cushioned... in order to get myself "limbered up" for Round 2!

Bwahahahaha! (<--- evidence she's going crazy or feeling the Halloween vibe)

Anyway, I'm hoping that this video and my new routine, plus going on a short hike every day will help me get enough cardio in to help me shed the pounds.

Goal(s): Well like I just said I'm hoping my new planned routine will work out.

I've made a schedule. Let's see if I can keep it. Here it is:

5:30 a.m. Wake Up, Get ready, Eat Breakfast
6:25 a.m. Go to Work
8:30-9a.m. Come back from morning session, Input data in comp
10:00 a.m. Finish data, go out for a hike or similar or both
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Study
3:00 p.m. Free time= "do something creative"
4:30 p.m. Prepare for afternoon session
5:30 p.m. Go to Work
7:00 p.m. Come back from evening session, prepare for next days morning session
7:30 p.m. Eat dinner
8-9:30p.m. Stretch, Attemp Pilates, Misc.
9:30-10p.m. Go to Sleep

This is my agenda for everyday. Of course not everyday will be exactly like this but this is pretty mucht the routine I'm trying to get down. Some things are mandatory so I'm hoping that the rest of the stuff I have will just fall in to place.

And anyway I'm quickly learning that you have to have some sort of routine to keep you busy around here or you'll go mad. This is mine. lol

So that's it for now. I'm going to immediately follow up this post with a post of my first small hike.. to Black Rock


Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Running away from Cheese"

So tomorrow is my Weigh In day.

I haven't weighed in in at least two weeks.

I can honestly say I'm worried.. Scratch that.. I'm scared.

I'm scared because I can see myself in the mirror and I KNOW I'm not where I want to be.. I KNOW I'm not going to see the number I keep hoping for (which 221 lbs btw... that was my 30 pound mark that I barely tasted before the pounds came rolling back last month).

But you know as I keep thinking about it I'm also getting pretty sick and tired of feeling scared.

Living in fear is something I've perfected in my adolescence and it's pissing me off that a part of me is still living there.

Why should I be scared? Why should I let that horrible feeling take me over and make me hide?

So I gained weight... No one ever said this process was going to be easy.. Actually earlier this year it felt TOO easy.

I shouldn't have said anything. Now I have to struggle with learning from my mistakes. Starting over, and moving forward.

I went to town yesterday and stocked up on groceries.. I was craving cheese.
When I finally made it to the cheese section of the store I felt trapped and cornered.

Everything looked delicious! Everything looked amazing! Everything looked so easily accessible.
I had to look at cheese spreads, blocks of cheese, grated cheese, cheese slices and crumbled cheese.

I was so overwhelmed knowing that in almost any way processed and stored I could buy the cheese and easily open the fridge, stick my hand in, grab cheese and eat it before I could realize I was binge eating and run away from the fridge.

I felt so doomed I almost literally ran away from the aisle.

Can you believe that? Elina being so scared of CHEESE for goodness sake that she almost ran away from it screaming?

Yes. I am not kidding here. I was almost sweating and biting my bottom lip at my own paranoia.

But alas I saw a solution in the corner of my eye. .. A small container of Feta crumbled cheese.


This cheese is amazing. Comes sealed in a tupperware style container that will make me think twice before I open it and best of all I DON'T like the way Feta tastes when I eat it by itself.

Why is this perfect you ask? Because for me Feta cheese is either made to be added to a dish or not eaten at all.. It's kind of like baking cocoa. You love it in your cake but wouldn't want to grab a spoonful and eat it (not very tasty without sugar). Or cinammon. You love the smell and taste of it when you add it to your favorite pastry or drink but wouldn't really consider grabbing a cinammon stick and munching on it for a snack (at least I wouldn't.. they're not that good alone lol).

So problem solved! I get to buy my cheese and eat it too WITHOUT having to worry about going nuts over it or choosing to binge eat it when I'm bored in the trailer.

Sweet Deal!

I buy my cheese and a few other healthy choices (like greens, tilapia, and chocolate almond milk)) and head back to the trailer.

I've also started a new workout routine. I don't want to talk about it yet because it's still in the works and I don't want to jinx it by mentioning it more now... But soon!

Over all, although I'm a little nervous at checking the scale tomorrow morning I am also happily returning to a healthy routine that will, hopefully, help me continue on my journey.

Until tomorrow I leave you with this awesome picture I took outside my 'trailer park' with the new work camera I was issued. (Yes I'm not supposed to use this awesome camera for anything other than work but I made the excuse that I needed to learn how to use it to take some awesome pictures!)

Let us step away from fear, open the door and check out what life has to offer! In this case a beautiful "Dancing Lady" butterfly in a field of yellow flowers.

wish me luck everyone and don't forget to suggest Healthy Recipes!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A plea for help!

So I've been in this little town (they call it a village) for almost two weeks. I'm trying to get used to the area

I have never lived in a tiny town before and I'm starting to find the cuteness of it.

I can't complain over the sunset view:

This is a pic of dusk outside my study site a couple of nights ago. Pretty cool right?

I've checked most of what this lil place has to offer... which mainly means I've checked out quite a few eateries already.. which includes eating Pork chops at a neighbors bbq, inviting my co-worker for "date shakes" (these amazing shakes made out of vanilla ice cream and real date puree.. I never even knew I liked dates before this.. lol),
as well as sampling different dates right off the palm tree since there is a Date Farm out here..
lol, going to "town" and trying out their Japanese restaurant--and stuffing myself with sushi. Checking out the towns cafe' and trying out their nutella and banana crepe (yes the desert has crepes.. and nutella. yumm!) and eating tons of dark chocolate

And that was all just this week!

I finally managed to buy a scale this week also. I'm scared to climb on but I will definitely do it when this Mondays Weigh In comes rolling around.

What I need right now are recipes. I need to go out and find a book store or something with healthy recipes I can cook in my trailer.

I need to keep myself busy out here and I think learning to cook.. and learning to cook healthy is a great way of taking up my time. I keep going back to Julie and Julia when I think of starting this project. I don't think I'd want to be as strict as Julie but I DO think it would be a cool idea to cook myself through a cook book while I'm out here. Don't you think?

I love food. I can never deny that. I want to gain skills that will allow me to eat the food I want. I want to learn to want the food that's good for me. Learning how to cook the right foods should help. Right?

---So now I'm going to ask YOU, the one reading this, yes you.. Do you have any suggestions on either recipes or better yet recipe books I should try to start this new project? Please leave a comment ( I LOVE comments!) on any suggestions you might have.

Don't have any suggestions but can think of someone who might? Why not ask them? Report back here. LOL

I am honestly asking for help here. I'm tired of trying to go at this alone and having too much pride to ask for help.

So I'm asking YOU. Can you help me help myself to feeling better, getting healthier and overall become a "Well" person?

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Ok so yesterday I wen to town to buy a ton of cleaning supplies and food for the week. Now that I was in civilization and had cell service and after my last post (which reading back on it I felt shame in my outburst over my co-worker. It wasn't their fault I was feeling moody and cranky and I apologize now though I doubt they'll ever read this post) I decided to shamelessly call my mom.

I mean c'mon, whether or not you want to admit it you too would want to contact mom (or equal person of importance in your life) to get some comfort.. and it beats comfort food too~ lol

I pretty much told her everything I had already posted and more and in the end I told her that I was now becoming obsessed in cleaning out the trailer to make me re-gain control over myself and stop being frustrated.

And then she said something that gave me a revelation. She laughed and said "Yeah, cleaning is a great de-stresser."

Simple sentence but I suddenly realized that all these odd feelings were stress!

Now this may be obvious to you but I have never been good at recognizing stress when I had it. College buddies would always marvel at my ability to stay cool during deadlines and a midterm or final crisis. The thing I kept trying to explain to them and to myself was simply that I didn't feel what all the crazyness was about. I felt fine.

This was always wrong though. I don't know when I'm stressed. Because I don't know I don't show it. I actually have to have a super vivid and scary nightmare about my teeth falling, rotting, melting, piercing and bleeding (and then wake up in a cold sweat feeling my mouth for loose teeth) to realize that I was stressed out.

So long story short my moms small comment suddenly put things in perspective. I have been feeling stressed out this week and that was affecting everything I was doing.

"No wonder." was my internal reply to all this.

Now.. what does this have to do with weight loss? A LOT. My energy levels were off. I was tired all the time. I actually have been so obsessed in cleaning the trailer that I have forgotten to eat (which is the opposite of over eating but still not good for my metabolism) and more than once since Wednesday I've had to stop myself and told myself to sit down and eat something... that wasn't just a spoonful of peanut butter!

At the same time I have to remind myself that this journey is a WELLNESS journey and that keeping myself sane and happy is just as important as dropping the pounds.

Quite a revelation isn't it?

That's why I love my mommmy~~ (I'm not ashamed of saying this. I would sing it at an assembly if I could sing. Don't be jealous that my mom is awesome.)

So I ended my conversation with her a few minutes afterwards since I was still feeling a little out of it and dizzy for being in a place with so many people at one spot.

(That's another thing that sometimes happens. I'm alone so long and isolated for periods of time that I become disoriented in a populated place, in this case the Super WalMart this small town has to offer for my shopping needs.)

I went back to the trailer after stealing wifi and posting some pics yesterday, realized I forgot to buy a scale in all my crazyness (damn!) and started cleaning.

I didn't stop until 9:30pm.. I had started my day at 7a.m.

Today after spending another 4 hours cleaning I decided to take a break.

I took a shower and read for a lil while. I bought myself a copy of 'Eat, Pray, Love'

and so far I'm loving it. It's definitely a story I need to read right now. It's made me so calm and forced me to step outside the trailer (which was a great decision since the weather is so nice right now).. too bad it's also making me crave Italian food like crazy..."mmm pasta... No! Bad Elina! Bad Elina!"

I honestly need to check up on the whole stress thing though. I still can't believe that I'm 24 years old and still can't recognize stress when it comes knocking on my window.. lol

I feel much better though. That's the point of this post.

Let's keep the optimism flowing!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Elina's New Adventure: Pictures!

As promised here are a few pictures I managed to take this week of the area I'm now living and working in.

Let's see:

Here's a pic of my coworkers after we finish walking the plot. We're surrounded by salt bush and bulrush.. two plants which grow in abundance near natural hot springs.. which is where we were.

Did I mention I'm surrounded by hot springs? lol

One of the days we went out to trap in the morning we caught an old man bathing in the natural hot spring. I felt guilty ruining his early morning past time and at the same time self conscious since I'm still not comfortable to have my butt-naked body out in public like that. LOL.

Another pic of the beautiful scenery. The sun was starting to set and it made the whole area glow gold. It was so beautiful I had to take a pic.

Speaking of stopping dead and grabbing your camera. I made my co-workers stop for this one:

As sunset progressed it lit up and colored the neighboring hills. It was too awesome too miss.

I have tons more scenery pics of that day and the following morning. But I'll save them for another time for when I take and add pics of the trailer I'm going to be fixing up..

Until then!


Friday, October 1, 2010

"I hope my gut hangs out today": Frustrations of a Fat Girl

So I've finally started my new job in the desert. I think I already commented on how hard it's been for me to move around in tall rush and swampy, muddy waters using rubber wader boots, and how that's making my legs sore but hopefully giving me a good work out.. but let's back track and start from the beginning shall we?

So I started work last Sunday. I met the lady I have been emailing with since May and I found her to be much younger and cooler than I expected, although she tends to apologize for things too much.

When I was first shown the area I was going to be working in I cringed and again started worrying that I wasn't physically fit for a field job (old insecurities die slowly) but I gritted my teeth and told myself I've done worse things I thought I couldn't do and I would triumph over this also.

It didn't help though that that first day I had unintentionally worn "tummy tucker" undies and no belt and therefore my pants were falling down all day during that first set up.

I kept inwardly yelling at myself for my bad taste in under-clothes while at the same time trying to keep a positive twist in my mood since getting stuck in boggy mud every 5 minutes didn't help either.

The next day I specifically wore underwear that didn't "tuck" anything and hoped (although I couldn't believe I would ever hope for it) that "my gut hags out today" to prevent my pants from falling since my belt loops were holding up those damn rubber boots I didn't know how to wear. Eventually I was able to adjust those damn boots and my self-consciousness and mood lightened up tremendously...

but not for long..

You see in the beginning I was also happy to hear that a co-worker I met earlier this year was coming out to help me work this first week, since my permanent partner won't be available until late October and I'm going to be working with different people every week until that guy makes it here. I didn't know much about the project and I was nervous, so knowing I was going to meet up with someone I already knew made me happy...

However! What I forgot to remember was that this individual is a crazy work-a-holic with crazy energy and goes to extremes (in my opinion) in their physical labor ethics... What all that jargon means is that this person was too much for me.

I don't want to rant too much about them but let's just say that they runs 100 mile marathons for fun, is a vegetarian and thinks hiking up a canyon in the middle of the day, during a heat wave, in the desert, for 2 hours is a "quick look at the habitat you'll be working in for the next few months"... and *I* being a 100 hour marathon reader, loves meat and cheese at any meal, hikes slowly and cautiously and gets Very cranky being outdoors during triple digit numbers is NOT in the same mind set or league as this person.. It's safe to say that we silently but efficiently butted heads.

As the days went on I felt a little bit judged and attacked as someone who wasn't serious and "can't cut it" since I wasn't as fast as they were, I wasn't enthusiastic about "researching the habitat" as they and I wasn't out doing yoga exercises outside or running at 4 a.m. like them. I might have been imagining half of it but I didn't appreciate this silent judging and it got to the point of irking me when they would say little comments that probably didn't mean anything.

This brings back a lot of insecurities not only of my weight, my shape, my job, even my femininity. I don't think they were trying to hurt me but I was already nervous and this wasn't helping my self esteem.

I'm happy to report however that this didn't make me go in to a binge stage. I did sleep a bit.. but I also ended up going crazy over repairing the trailer I'll be living in for the next few months.

The place was dirty, dusty, cobwebby and out of date. At least the stove and hot water worked.. I decided that fixing the trailer slowly but surely would be my project to keep my mind off things, my sanity in check and my life in order.

I'm also planning on buying my own scale tomorrow. This is a big deal since I've never owned my own scale before.

Pictures of work and my trailer project soon!

rant end.