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!

Monday, May 30, 2011

50 lbs Lost Mark!!!

Woo! I'm back from work and ready to celebrate my 50 lbs Lost Mark! I'm so happy I FINALLY reached this milestone!

This day is a long time coming but I'm ready and I won't let anything get in my way from keeping these pounds off and continuing my weight loss journey.

Let's start by looking at a before and after. Starting with me at the beginning of my Journey in December 2009 @ 251 lbs and today, May 2011 50 lbs lost later:

I'm actually wearing the same jacket here. Except that the after picture shows everything it and I have been through. LOL. And yes I do still wear it constantly!

I sadly don't have before pictures of my profile, since I didn't start doing it until I was 230 lbs but here are the new ones!

Please forgive my wind-swept hat hair. I'd just come back from jogging and put on my dirty work jeans so.. yeah ruffin' it!

My measurements:

Starting Weight: 251
Current Weight: 201
I've currently lost = 50 lbs

Starting Chest: 52 inches
Current Chest: 45 in
-----------------------loss= 7 in
Starting Waist: 46 in
Current Waist: 40 in
----------------------loss= 6 in
Starting Hips: 53 in
Current Hips: 47 in
----------------------loss= 6 in
Starting Thigh: 27 in
Current Thigh: 25 in
---------------------loss= 2 in
Starting Calf: 17 in
Current Calf: 16 in
--------------------loss= 1 in

Not bad. Not bad.

Now for the 10 things that have improved since I started my weight loss journey:

1. I was able to find a nice jacket at the thrift store and it fit me

2. I can now fit most XL shirts and pants which means I'm close to leaving the "PLUS" or "WOMENS" aisle at a clothing store.

3. I can hike 9 miles (uphill!) in a little over 3 hours

4. I can jog 1 mile in 12 minutes!

5. I have fallen in love with baking fish (tilapia and salmon) when before I couldn't stand looking at it (fish).

6. I can bend down and not only touch my toes but place my entire palms on the floor.

7. I haven't had any major medical problems in months.

8. I can say no to fast food.

9. I not only believe that I can one day be athletic but I'm on my way to getting there.

10. I feel GOOD inside most of the time. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

I can do this!! You can too!

Thank you for being with me this far. Let's keep going!


Weigh In!

Happy Memorial Day to those who celebrate it, and for those who don't Happy Monday!

I received good news this morning! Here it is:

Current Weight: 201.0 lbs (Yes!! FINALLY! Exactly 50 lbs lost!)

Work Out Achievement(s): Yes, after dancing around this number it is finally, OFFICIALLY here! I have finally reached the 50 lbs lost mark. For a while there I didn't think it would come. But it did! (Now I have to make sure I keep losing and not let it creep up again. LOL)

I will be making a separate 50 lbs lost post after this weigh in and link it back to this post.

As for actual work out achievements. There have been many. Last week in general was a long, yet productive week.

First is the jogging update. Last week I started doing 4 miles instead of 2. I missed a day or two of jogging and then returned with 2 miles.

Yesterday (before my hike) I did:

2 miles in 26 minutes (back to my original Top goal)

I was happy to see that I was back to 26 minutes but I also went to town yesterday (after the hike) and splurged on brand new running shoes:

Aren't they shiny?

The running store attendant made me take off my shoes and socks and asked me to walk around the store to figure out my gait and recommend a shoe. When I tried them on they felt like heaven. They hugged my feet and supported my arch. I loved them instantly and didn't cringe when I handed over my card to pay for them. LOL

So this morning I got to try them for the first time. And you know what? I think they really made a difference. Here are my numbers:

1 mile in 12 minutes
2 miles in 24 minutes!

I beat my record by 2 minutes!! I was ecstatic! And not overly tired either! I can't wait to take them out again and see if I could get any faster. :)

Also I finished tracking my calories for the week. I wanted to start tracking calories for about a week straight in order to see how much I was actually consuming and there is a trend:

5/24: 2,079
5/25: 1,984
5/26: 2,181
5/27: 2,041
5/28: 3,428 (this was Saturdays shameful over-eating day. Sigh*)
5/29: 1,795

After putting in my new weight and re-arranging my weight goals (as in I want to reach my goal weight by my birthday in August) and then sparkpeople.com advising me to be more realistic (aka it won't be healthy for me to lose so much a week if I try to make it by mid August) I gave myself a new Goal date for September 1, 2011. After that it calculated how many calories I should consume in order to lose that much:

"Consume between 1220 & 1570 calories per day"

YIKES! I had a hard time consuming under 2,000 calories a day so this is going to be a challenge. However I REALLY want to reach my goal weight or get close to it by my birthday so this week I'm going to try and keep my calories within this range. It might take me a week to get adjusted to it so I won't be surprised if I end up eating more than 1570 calories a day. But that's the goal.

Goal(s): So that brings us to goals. As I just mentioned I am going to attempt to keep my calories within the 1220-1570 calories a day. I know this is kind of crazy but I have to try.

A part from that I'm going to keep my jogging routine and try to get more hikes in. This place is so rich in scenery and trails I want to take advantage of as much as I can while I'm still here. Soon enough I'll have to change my routine again once I move to Catalina Island.

Stay tuned for my picture post to celebrate my 50 lbs lost Mark! And thank you for being with me on this journey. This is a big milestone!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Victory in the face of Tragedy

I woke this morning feeling heavy, tired, and a little raw.

Yesterday was meant to be a good day and overall it was. However the change of weather from sunny to crazy blizzard and strong winds, my shame at having to tally my calorie intake after over eating yesterday, as well as my guilt for not working out that day was nothing to the news I received last night; which makes me tear up as I write this-- which in turn is making people in the coffee shop uncomfortable--but who cares.

Last night I found out that our beloved family dog, Lucky had passed away.

beautiful Lucky our purebred Dalmation. She probably deserved a better life than she got but she never complained. I love you.

The initial shock and monotone feeling of the news soon fell away to tears and a snotty nose followed by the feeling of regret for never being home enough to spend quality time with her.

It brought me to thinking about regrets and somehow self-punishment. (Although I knew I couldn't have done anything to help her in her old age, I somehow felt responsible.) I thought about how I'm not working to my full potential and how I continue to sabotage myself with the food I choose (like yesterday.)

So this morning, being my day off I decided to find a long, moderate yet challenging hike. I needed to prove to myself that I could do a harder hike, not regret not finishing it, stop limiting myself, make up for my bad food choices yesterday and I needed time to be alone to mourn.

Due to the terrible weather (snow showers and over 60mph winds in late May!!) I changed my mind in going up to June Lake again and decided to stay in lower elevation.

That led me to find the Lower Rock Creek trail.

My jog this morning was nothing to this hike. Meant to be a bike trail but open to foot traffic this trail is 4.6 miles long--one way, starting at 6,500 ft and dropping around 1,400 ft in elevation.

This is not my image since I didn't take my camera but this is the start of the trail following the Rock creek gorge all the way to the town of Paradise

I decided to layer up (knowing that the snow filled clouds would soon come), left my camera in the car, put on my headphones and turned on my mp3 to the O' Brother where art Thou soundtrack.

After a few minutes of walking downhill it dawned on me that I was going to have to hike back UP this way AFTER walking downhill for 4.6 miles.

I considered turning back at some point but some angry, teary, and determined voice told me to continue. It lectured me about how I always do only what was easy and wasn't *I* the one who said I needed to challenge myself, and didn't challenges mean it's not supposed to be easy.

So after an and hour and a half of hiking downhill I met the end of the trail and turned around. At this point the wind picked up and it started snow showering. Thankfully I brought my rain coat and put it on. The snow shower forced me to pick up my pace and after a certain amount of time I switched my music to the more upbeat Hairspray soundtrack (the one with John Travolta dressed as a woman).

Either because I was more pre-occupied with the weather, or maybe because I had to look down a lot of the time to make sure I didn't trip over a rock but I didn't feel the 1,400 ft elevation climb as much as I dreaded thought I would.

Ironically (or maybe just coincidentally) enough right at the end of the soundtrack, the time where my energy was finally dying and I had taken off and re-put on my coat about three times, the song "Come so Far" came on and I couldn't help but start laughing.


The lyrics for the chorus are:

"I know we've come so far,
but we've got so far to go.."

When this came on I couldn't help but say out loud "No sh*t my friend. No sh*t." LOL. The craziest part was that as the song was ending I glanced up and saw in front of me, the entrance to the trail.

I had made it!

I couldn't believe it. I had no idea I was so close to the end and I hadn't slowed down that much either. I was completely amazed.

In the end I completed a 9 mile hike (starting downhill and looping back uphill) in 3 hours and 20 minutes!

I don't think I'd ever been so fast!

I know this doesn't make sense but I did it in Lucky's honor. I didn't want to wallow in misery with a pastry and instead wanted to do something else that would release my feelings and benefit me.

"I'll live a better life for both of us. And I'm sorry I couldn't have you here with me Lucky."

That was my victory. My victory over Tragedy.

Thank you,


Friday, May 27, 2011

Trying Something New

This morning I decided I wanted to try something new instead of jogging. A few days earlier I found out there was a Geological site/Creek Hatchery literally across the road from where I'm staying. So this morning I decided I was going to hike the creek and see if I could get a good work out in.

It was a gorgeous place (although I don't fish).
Hot Creek Hatchery

This is the view after I'd hiked through it and ended up on top of a hill. Beautiful isn't it?

I actually spent too much time stopping to take pictures on the way out but I did actually pick up the pace and even sprinted a few stretches of this on the way back.

Having a little too much fine to get a good sweat going

I even managed to take a little video of the russling cheat grass on the side of the canyon. (It was a windy day).

At some point I did have to climb some rocks and in order to get back to my car I had to hike up this steep hill. So in the end it was a nice morning hike if nothing else. My breath picked up and I also got a chance to explore my own backyard I guess you could say.

All in all a good day.

Here are the calorie intake numbers:

Mon: unknown
Tue: 2,079 calories
Wed: 1,984 calories
Thu: 2,181 calories
Fri: 2,041 calories

Are we seeing a trend here maybe? LOL

That's all for now. Have a great holiday weekend (whether or not you celebrate Memorial Day)!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quick Update

I just wanted to write in numbers. So here we go.

I had a busy morning so I only did one out and back jog this morning with good numbers (but every little bit counts right?):

2 miles in 26 minutes

As for calories I decided to wait until the following day to write down my calorie in take (since it could always change after I post it here) so so far I have:

Mon: unknown
Tue: 2,079 calories
Wed: 1,984 calories
Thur: 1,630 calories & counting

That's all for now. I'm still hungry for something sweet so chances are Thursdays calorie intake is going to change.

Till we meet again!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting Down and Dirty!

Another title for this post might have been "2 Steps Back, One Step forward" but as I started writing it I realized it all had to do with getting down and dirty so here it is!

First off I wanted to put in my jogging hours for today. I didn't manage to jog yesterday due to a long day of work (which was a work out itself) so, although I was dragging my feet this morning I decided to get out the tennis shoes and go for my jog before I got too lazy (and also because I heard from my co-worker that there was a 50% chance of rain and 60mph winds coming up this afternoon and I didn't want to get stuck in that if I decided to jog later. LOL)

I again decided I was going to run double so I started at an even pace and here are the numbers:

1 miles in 14 minutes
2 miles in 27 minutes
4 miles in 55 minutes

And apparently 4 miles of cardio equals around 470 calories burned, though I am bummed that sparkpeople thinks a 14mph jog as a "walk". Hell

I managed to take 1 minute off my total from Monday. That's good enough progress for me, especially since I wasn't "feeling it" this morning.

Now I wanted to take a minute to talk about my sneakers. Poor things are cheap shoes from Target and never really meant to be running shoes. However they hold my feet sturdy and haven't given me trouble. BUT I'm sad to report that they're dying.

I'm completely wearing them thin:

If you look at these guys closely you'll see that the rubber at the heel is completely worn through, they're cracked at the ball of the foot and just plain worn down. :(

I'm thinking that if I'm going to become serious about this whole jogging business it's about time I invested in some real running shoes.

Are there any suggestions?

And speaking of wearing things down and thin I finally had a chance to show off my snow pants after I promised I would so here they are in their worn and beat up splendor:

Yes, this is what white snow pants and melting snow habitat will do to you

Yes I knew what I was getting in to when I bought white snow pants. But you know what? This just shows I'm being active. Pretty and clean field gear has no place in an active lifestyle. So I cheer for my worn clothes! I am proud of them!


Apart from that I noticed I STILL wasn't jotting down my calorie intake so I also went to Sparkpeople.com to do that. (Can I say the upgrade they made to the site has been looking awesome so far.) and I got a rough estimate of yesterdays food in take:

According to Spark People I should consume around 1,760-2,110 calories/day

Monday: UNKNOWN (honestly couldn't remember everything I ate that day)
Tuesday: ~ 2,079 calories
Wednesday: 1,851 calories and counting (not done with the day so who knows)

I'm noticing that my "snacks" actually end up having more calories than my meals. Odd but I guess I'm what you'd call a "grazer".

That's all for tonight. Have a fantastic and windless (it's incredibly windy now)Belly-button-of-the-week day!

And please let me know if you have any suggestions on what running shoes I should get and/or where I should look.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Weigh In: My big decision Revealed!

It's Monday! And that means it's time for my Weigh In

Current Weight: 203.6 lbs (+0.6 lbs from last week)

Work Out Achievement(s): I woke up feeling a bit bloated this morning so I waited until that subsided (and a trip to the ladies room) before weighing in. In all honesty, besides my inner revelation this weekend my week had been pretty stressful.

You see I've been mentioning here and there about a life changing decision I've been going back and forth over for the last week or so. The reason for so much stress was that no matter what I chose I was going to be letting someone down. There was no win-win in the scenario. Someone was bound to lose and I hated to see that happen but I had to make a decision.

And I did. My decision (and this might be anti-climatic but it's a big deal for me) was to leave my current summer position here in Mammoth, "leave the beautiful mountains Elina?? No! Why?" to work as a Summer Naturalist in Catalina Island.

Thank you google images

This is a view of the little town of Avalon within Catalina Island. Super cute right?

The reason why it was killing me to do this was because I know that the people I work with now really need the help (and I in turn need them to teach me what they know so that I can finally have a better idea on what I want to study in grad school) but this new position will help me gain skills for the CAREER I'm planning on pursuing. Two things that don't necessarily correlate and I had to make a choice.

Because I have a more clear idea of my career choices than my education choices I decided to go with the one I felt more confident about.

The reason I didn't feel comfortable revealing this was because I had to find a way to break it to my current employers first, find a solution that will pad the blow of me leaving, and do it all without bursting in to tears in front of them. (I am NOT kidding here. It was heart-wrenching.)

The point of all this, as you might or might not guess, is that my eating habits were far from strict last week.

I finally made my decision on Wednesday. I delivered the news that same day to my crew.

On Thursday I went out to dinner and completely gulped up a Giant Duck burrito (I know, a Duck burrito, weird right? But very tasty, and very HUGE!) a margarita, and a ton of chips and salsa.
Let's just say my stomach was so expanded and full that night I couldn't sleep and kept moaning in discomfort,
"Ugh! Sooo fulll!"
hours after the meal.

On Friday I had chocolate chocolate and more chocolate. And finally had a chance to really explain myself to my boss (barely restraining myself from falling on my knees, bursting in to tears and begging for forgiveness by reminding myself that I *needed* to make this choice and that I shouldn't have to grovel for making a decision that will --hopefully-- lead me to a better life). And because everything was finally out on the table my mood and stress lifted and lead me to:

Saturday, my day of Inner Peace. I would not have been able to have such a revelation if it hadn't been for my de-stressing conversation the night before. But I suppose my body still needed re-assuring because my food choices were not the healthiest, although my actions were. I would call it a balanced day.

Yesterday, (Sunday) I indulged in more chocolate and peanut butter.

Oh creamy Natural JIF.Probably the best tasting peanut butter I've ever had.

But this morning I saw my weight. I was bummed I hadn't lost anything and I knew that my actions weren't the greatest so this morning

(and yes this entire commentary lead to this one little thing. If you know me personally you shouldn't be surprised at my ability to go off on tangents for minutes and minutes before getting to the point, so for those of you who don't know me.. now you do. LOL)

I decided to finally "get serious" and doubled my running distance. I told myself enough was enough and that I really needed to stop limiting myself so this morning I jogged 4 miles instead of two. So here are the numbers:

1 mile in 14 minutes
2 miles in 28 minutes
4 miles in 56 minutes.

I kept it at my steady pace to not over tire myself and was happy to see my timing was consistent. Of course this is probably the slowest 4 miles in history but I'm just happy I kept it under an hour. Yay me!

Goal(s): So now that I have a new plan and a much sooner deadline I'm making plans to check out the pool and make a stricter work out schedule. Again I haven't been tracking my food and I have no excuses left so I will make a point to blog my final calorie intake nightly for this entire week and hope that I will finally lose the last few pounds and get myself in gear for August.

Thank you for sticking with me so far. Turns out this year, "The Year of Risk Taking" is turning out to be more interesting (and stressful) than I anticipated.

Have you ever had to make a "fork in the road" decision that (might have) changed your life? How do you think it turned out? Let me know. I'm really interested.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Finding Inner Peace at the End of the World

So I suppose if you're reading this you survived the "End of the World"/Apocalypse/Zombie take over. If so, congratulations I guess we're Left Behind together.

To commemorate our survival I thought I'd share the fabulous day I had, while in search of inner peace. Since it was the "end of the world" AND my day off I thought it was a good time to attempt it (inner peace that is). Don't you think?

I drove up from Mammoth Lakes toward the June Lake loop while on my way to Lee Vining.

By recommendation I stopped at the Silver Lake Resort General Store/Cafe for breakfast

The Silver Lake Resort General Store/Cafe (aka the diner.) At this point I realized my camera was dying so I tried to take the best pictures I could while the camera still had some life

I'd been craving some comfort food and got just that:

Two chocolate chip pancakes with whip cream on top.
Sausage links
scrambled eggs
and a slice of cantaloupe
followed with a tall glass of water.

I finished most of the pancakes, all of the sausage and the slice of melon but left most of the eggs (I don't know why I continue to order scrambled eggs from diners when I know it's just going to be a tasteless mess *shrugs*) and believe me it was good.

In order to "walk off" my breakfast (since this was also my infamous 'second breakfast' aka I usually eat something small earlier in the morning then later have a larger meal) I asked the nice server to recommend a hike nearby and she guided me to one that was clear of snow.

This is Silver Lake. Believe me any hike around here is bound to be gorgeous. I mean just look at my view from the diner!

I drove further up June Lake Loop and found the dirt road that would take me to my trail head. When I got there I was pretty excited and I didn't fail to notice the immediate incline. LOL

The Parker Lake Trail Head. You could also scroll up to the first map and track my progress from Silver Lake to the Parker Lake trail.

Higher and higher I hiked. And when I thought I'd reached the top I went higher still. I couldn't get exasperated or in a bad mood because with every rocky incline all I could think was "Oh those pancakes are going away, they are." and "Hell yeah check me out. Jogging in the morning and hiking in the afternoon. I'm the cardio Queen!"

Once the trail leveled out I had more time for self reflection and I couldn't help but marvel at how beautiful the place looked, how wonderful it smelled, how nice the sounds of singing birds and running water were and how satisfying the feel of walking under rocks felt.

A badly angled photo with a dying camera that nonetheless captured the great mood I was in

After a while of following the trail and the flowing creek I finally spotted in the distance an opening in the woods and a body of water. When I finally cleared the woods I was suddenly met by a cool rush of wind and one of the most awe inspiring and soul satisfying views I had ever seen

This photo doesn't capture a tenth of the view I was facing. I know you can't hear my tone as I express this but just know that every time I close my eyes and remember this, my mind is gushing, GUSHING with emotion over what I was witnessing.

I must have stared open mouthed at this for a full minute if not more. At some point, after a fleeting glimpse of self-consciousness, I climbed a fallen log on the shore of the lake, closed my eyes, raised my arms like Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta and Inhaled in where I was and what I was doing.

"God is in the Rain." Probably one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. Sigh*

After that I walked a little bit back and leaned against a tree. I leaned my head back and out of nowhere recited this to myself:

"At this moment in time you are happy. Look at where you are. Look at how you got here and how far you've come. Right now you are living a MAGNIFICENT life. And YES you ARE worth it. YES you deserve to be here, and YES it's ok to drink it in. Right now you feel beautiful. Right now you ARE beautiful. You will never be as beautiful as you are now. Your body is great. You are great and that's all there is to it. Right now I love you. Right now YOU love YOU....*inhale* I love you."

And you know what you guys? I meant every. single. word. There was no room for negative thoughts in that moment. I didn't allow them in. All that was there was inner peace.

After taking a few more breaths and taking time to realize that my feelings were genuine I took one last look at the beautiful lake. Bent down, drank a sip of water and walked back to the trail.

A huge smile followed me the whole way. I was walking tall, I enjoyed looking at my shadow and couldn't think of a single criticism. I chit-chatted quickly and happily with the people passing me on the trail.

I got back to my car, drove to the Mono Lake visitor center. Drank in the view of that huge lake. Had a nice phone conversation with one of the only people I can attest to having "my kind of humor" as I like to describe it. Drove to a park. Read while lying on the grass under a tree. Drove back to the "Whoa Nelli Deli" I so love for their awesome food (never mind they're inside a Mobil gas station Mart) and had a great late lunch

Ceasar salad wrap with a chipotle flavored tortilla. Yumm!

After lunch I checked out another end of Mono Lake, texting back and forth with my awesome cousin. I returned to Lee Vining for some ice cream. Called and talked briefly with my parents. Headed back down to Mammoth. Found the local hot spring pool. Dipped my fingers in to the delicious hot water while talking to the half-naked couple that were there. Met up with my co-worker (wearing my Harry Potter scarf. LOL) and had a couple of drinks (and stole a couple of her hot wings.)

Then, at the end of the day, I stretched, tired yet happy. Re-called that we survived the apocalypse and called it a night.

I hope your apocalypse night was as amazing as mine. Happy end of the weekend!

Weigh In tomorrow!


p.s. Jogging times for yesterday:
2 miles in 28 minutes

and this morning:
2 miles in 27 minutes


Friday, May 20, 2011

Doing It Just Cause..

This morning I went jogging. (My face is still cooling down actually and my water bottle is right next to me.)

I didn't get a chance to jog yesterday due to a full and heavy schedule. So today I decided to make up for it.

From the moment I opened my eyes I decided I wasn't going to attempt anything. I was just going to jog.

I didn't want to attempt any records.
I didn't want to try flooring it when it came to the inclines in my road.
I didn't want to time myself (although I did) to give myself a boost.

I also wasn't struggling to get it done like Wednesday.
I wasn't dreading every moment or
day dreaming the time away.

I promised to jog in a steady pace the whole way. Not because I was tired or didn't want to stress myself. I did it because I simply wanted to get my heart pumping this morning.

I wanted the cool mountain air to wake me up. I wanted to enjoy the music on my mp3 without having to wonder or worry that the next song coming up would be too slow to keep me going.

I wanted to have my breath steady. I wanted to be steady.

And I was. And it felt great.

Here are the numbers:

0.5 miles in 7 minutes
1 mile in 14 minutes
2 miles in 28 minutes.

I didn't do it for the time. I did it... just because I wanted to.

Happy Friday.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I always feel better when I Get Off My Ass

I woke up late this morning. I couldn't sleep well due to the stress I was having over making a major decision, again. When I finally got up it was to the sounds of the house moving aka the people that usually don't get up until I'm back from jogging were up before I was. Not a good sign.

My first thoughts (besides "Sh*t I overslept!") were, "I don't feel like going jogging this morning. I don't want to. I don't want to. I don't want to."

As I got up and started breakfast (it's just cereal) I brought my laptop and started reading a blog entry by Lisa @ 110 Pounds and Counting. Looking at the progress this lady has made and reading her entries reminded me of my goals to reach my goal weight by August.

"You're not going to get there by sitting on your ass eating Cheerios and *wishing* it off Elina."

So I slammed the laptop shut. Got up. And said out loud, "That's enough."

I changed and got ready to jog and not only that but my co-worker (who is also trying to lose weight) decided to join me.

I pushed myself too hard in the beginning and I ended up slowing down at the end so my timing was lousy

2 miles in 30 minutes

but I was so proud of my co-worker. For her first time jogging she ended up doing 2 miles in 35 minutes! Awesome-ness.

Not only that but after that I finally made a decision (on the stressful thing that was keeping me up all night) and started working toward getting things done and ready. Being pro-active ALWAYS makes me feel better.

Knowing I'm doing something and moving forward rather than sitting around "wondering what to do" and biting my nails is ALWAYS the way to go.

I just forget sometimes. Or I'm hesitant. Or I'm scared. LOL

Yay for getting off my ass!

Now wish me luck. I'll reveal what decision I'm talking about once I get things underway. I'm not ready to reveal it just yet.

Have a great Wednesday!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hell Yeah! *Fist Pump*

Just wanted to drop by and say:

2 miles in 26 minutes.

Hell Yeah!

Other than that I'm cold and ready to head to the field. Till we meet again!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Weigh In/ Food Post!

Happy Monday! Well so far it is and here's why:

Current Weight: 203.0 lbs (-2 lbs from last week)

Work Out Achievement(s): You know I wonder why I still call it "Work Out Achievements" when I usually end up talking about more than just work outs but I like the sound of it, so I guess it stays.

So last week was a little more sporadic due in part to the weather (I think we got snowed on more than once.) and my cough getting worse then better. It's almost done now.

However I continued my jogging (on and off) and now have a new record that I matched again this morning

2 miles in 27 minutes (including 1 mile in 12 minutes).

Another exciting thing is that I FOUND A POOL! A beautiful (from what I could tell through the closed gate) lap pool and I'm going to attempt to go sometime this week--weather permitting-- and jump back in.

I admit I'm incredibly relieved at the loss this week because my diet turned out completely irregular. My cough got worse early in the week and left me with little appetite, but then on Wednesday (the bellybutton of the week!) I didn't take lunch with me to the field, seeing as I hadn't been hungry the few days before, and it turned out that my appetite came back full force that day. We stopped at a mini mart that day and I bought banana bread and a brownie. I downed both of them. The following day my co-worker made cake and I was eating cake non-stop (hence the reason I posted my 'Guilty Pleasures' post earlier). And this weekend we visited this awesome local bakery and had this awesome Lox and bagel sandwich:

I'm totally forgetting the name of those little green things in the sandwich but they made that bagel. LOL
I also bought a cookie and my co-workers shared our purchases (think a large apricot, walnut and oat cookie, a vegan chocolate cookie and a lemon sugar cookie..yummm)

I also ended up buying a loaf of roasted garlic sourdough bread and have been eating toast all weekend.

But do not despair! I have been eating healthy for the most part. Twice this week I experimented baking salmon with different spices:
So salmon with lemon juice,
seasoned with garlic salt,
McCormicks 'Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning'
dried onion chips,
and topped with:
chopped grean onion,
and sprinkled with feta cheese.
Bake and tada! Delicious fish!

and one other dish I make every day if not more than once a day is my infamous fruit salad:

I make this ALL THE TIME. Usually whatever fruit is available but usually has:
cantaloupe (or other melon but this is rare)
topped with:
either cottage cheese or plain yogurt,
sometimes granola,
sometimes almonds,
but ALWAYS honey.
Mmmmm honey. I'm addicted to Honey!

If I ever run out fruit I don't know what I would do.

For dinner I have the tendency of buying frozen vegetables and saute-ing them and/or steaming them with some sort of stock or seasoning. I'm pretty unoriginal about this stuff and the only that that changes (besides the assortment of frozen veggies I buy) is what combination of seasonings I use to add flavor to my steamed veggie mess. LOL

Goal(s): So I promised I would start tracking but I admit I only did it once last week. I need to re-try again this week. It's a habit I've seemed to abandon and I really need to get back to in order to finally leave the 200's for good! I'm sooo close! (But I've said that before haven't I? LOL)

Wish me luck and have a great week!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A new Jogging Record!

Ok, yes I admit I was pretty shameless in my last post but I have made up for it!

I have a new jogging record this morning! It may not be much but it's a record and I feel great!

Day ?*: 2 miles in 27 minutes

Woop Woop!

I cut two minutes from my run this morning in large part to

The Scissor Sisters!

Mainly their Night Work album but I had a few albums on shuffle. I love this band and I love the energy of it.

Sneak Peek to what I was actually listening to this morning:

Have a great weekend everyone!


*I lost track of what jogging day I'm on because I've been jogging on and off this week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Caught! Guilty Pleasures~

Hehehe, Know what this is?

It is a slice of dark chocolate cake
with a side tablespoon of peanut butter
and sliced banana on top.

(Yes, once again I am a HUGE peanut butter, banana, and chocolate combo fan)

Now I know I shouldn't be eating this

it is cake after all. For lunch even, but

I can't help it. And you know what, it's good

I take my time and savor it. Then look down and see there's more

So what do you think I do? He, he..

You guessed it

Happy Lunch to Me! AND Happy Friday the 13th to you!


Monday, May 9, 2011

Weigh In

Good Monday!

It's actually snowing outside right now. Beautiful as it is we were snowed out of our field site so we had to "high-tail" it out of there (<-- I've never actually written that expression down. I hope that's how it's done). That and my cough isn't getting any better (I wonder what it is. It's not a cold.)

But all of that can't put down my good mood because I weighed in this morning and got good news!

Current Weight: 205.0 lbs (-6.4 lbs from last week. That's what I'm talking about!)

Work Out Achievement(s): So I've been updating this blog daily with my new jogging routine. I skipped jogging Sunday saying I was going to give myself a break but ended up getting a nice work out anyway since we moved to a new field site and got some cardio hiking around with snow-shoes.

Check out this gear eh?

I have a good handle on these shoes which makes me happy, being my first time using snow shoes and all.

I actually ended up with slightly sore legs last night because of these. LOL.

This morning I re-started my jogging routine but I ended up having trouble keeping my mouth and/or nose clear since I instantly got all coughy and phlegmy. I felt like an old guy; snorting and spitting every few feet.(eww I know) Despite that my timing wasn't bad.

Here it is:
Day 1: 2 miles in 50 minutes
Day 2: 2 miles in 32 minutes
Day 3: 2 miles in 30 minutes
Day 4: 2 miles in 29 minutes
Day 5: 2 miles in 29 minutes
Day 6: 2 miles in 30 minutes

I'm going to have to either watch myself when I go jogging or I might have to take a break and see if my throat gets any better. :(
I need to look up what's going on.

Goal(s): So I want to continue my jogging routine but with my throat and the fact it's snowing right now I might have to take a break. I also haven't continued pilates since last Monday so I need to get on that. Pilates is a good breathing exercise so it might help.

I'm also going to start re-tracking my food and will log my calorie intake in this blog all week. So look forward to a bunch of numbers and lists (and hopefully pics) of food. Yumm.

Have a great, warm, and dry week everyone and I will try to do the same.

I call this expression: "Agh snow in my eye!" LOL


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

It's Sunday!

Quick Update:
No jogging today. I need a rest and to figure out what time would be best to do my pilates video. I saw my co-worker working out to her kick boxing video and I realized I hadn't even popped out the pilates vid since the first day I was here.

I've also developed this occasional rough cough. I don't feel sick and my throat doesn't hurt. But occasionally I start coughing (a deep smokers cough) and last night I was losing my voice. That's not cool.

So Weigh In tomorrow. I hope I was able to lose a little although 30 minutes of cardio (though awesome progress) isn't enough to really move the scale I just realized.

Now to the point:

To all the mothers out there

Whether you be mother

or mother nature.

and whether you have big kids, little kids, (kids who climb on rocks), grandkids, furry pet kids, or might-as-well-be-your kids

today is your day. Happy Mothers Day!

Without you what would we do?


Saturday, May 7, 2011

I feel like a celebrity when I jog.

So I went jogging again this morning. My poor face feels tight from the sunburn I'm getting (I'm suspecting my sunblock gave me a rash so I'm going without until I can go into town and buy a new one.)

Here are the numbers again.

Day 1: 2 miles in 50 minutes
Day 2: 2 miles in 32 minutes
Day 3: 2 miles in 30 minutes
Day 4: 2 miles in 29 minutes
Day 5: 2 miles in 29 minutes

Yes my time today was the same as yesterday so it looks like I've reached my current (stable) time. Now I have a starting time to work from. I'm hoping that in a few weeks I'll be able to make the 2 miles in around 20 minutes. Being able to do a mile in 10 minutes seems pretty awesome to me.

One thing I noticed this morning is how strangers most of the time seem to be pretty happy to see me jogging in the morning (or anytime I guess).

When I started jogging back in the desert many of the locals in my route (which pretty much equaled the entire town, since it was so small) would have big smiles on their faces when I jogged by.

I'd properly wave and keep going.

One time an old man on his jeep and his friend actually slowed down (which is dangerous since we're in a highway) and waved energetically and kept giving me a thumbs up sign while looking me up and down as I trotted past.

This made me smile.

I've had the owner of the little desert village stop me a couple of times and tell me that seeing me out there motivated her to start exercising again (though I never saw her out and about).

I've had people 'woop' and holer at me. I've had horses stare at me. I've had countless people smile and wave as they drove past. I've had people later in the day ask me if I was the one out "running this morning" and continue to tell me that they're thinking about starting to jog in the mornings too.

I thought it was just the small town atmosphere.

But now I'm in the mountains. In a field station full (or it will be soon) with field biologists, hikers, fishermen and etc all in the best shape of their lives. And already twice I've gotten big smiles, waves and a woman ask me how many laps I do (and when I answered, "Oh just one big one until I get used to it) and tell me it looked like I was already used to it.

I honestly feel like a celebrity when I'm out hitting the pavement. I remember how in the beginning of my journey not too long ago I was soo scared of entering the gym with (what I believed to be) fit and toned people. How I would be judged as an outcast for being this fat girl attempting to walk the treadmill.

When I found out that no one cared and how I would actually get a random grin from a person passing by I couldn't believe it.

Even now I find it fascinating. People are actually happy to see a big person attempt to get healthier.

And even if they don't and are secretly judging me, I say f-that because I don't care about them and would rather happily remember the smiles and waves.

It's amazing how something as simple as a smile, and a thumbs up from a stranger does to a persons self-esteem. It makes me want to continue. It gives me assurance that I'm not just wasting my time with this. That I can do this!

and I can.

You can too.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Quick Jogging Update

Good Morning! It's Friday and I wanted to update my jogging routine. But before I do that I finally figured out how long the stretch I jog is. It is EXACTLY 1 mile long. Out and back that equals 2 miles total.

So jogging times:

Day 1: 2 miles in 50 minutes
Day 2: 2 miles in 32 minutes
Day 3: 2 miles in 30 minutes
Day 4: 2 miles in 29 minutes

I'm learning to start steady and push myself to go a little faster at certain moments (like when the road goes downhill) and then finally in the last little stretch before the "finish line" (LOL) I push myself to a sprint.

Hopefully as the days go by those faster jogging times and that sprint can be extended until I'm running (not jogging) the whole thing.

Wish me luck and have a great weekend!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Welcome to SNARL! (A Happy post w/ pictures!)

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I know Mexico doesn't really celebrate it too much but who doesn't need an excuse for chips, salsa and a beer? Right?

So it's my fifth day here in "the mountains" and so far it's been pretty smooth. The view is beautiful.

Our current field site. Do you like my office? LOL

The days have been amazing and the work has been slow starting which has allowed me to accumulate and learn the workings of it all.

The field station I'm currently staying in is called SNARL, which stands for Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory. It's a cute place and I like that it's rural enough so that we don't have to lock our doors but close enough to the nearest town so that I don't have to stress over driving 30 minutes just for toilet paper. LOL

My co-workers and I are staying in this cute little house

where the kitchen is too small but the best part about it (so far) is.... WIFI!

I know for the last six months I've been complaining like a little kid about my connection problems and I apologize but honestly it feels SO GOOOD to be able to open my computer in the morning, check my email, look at pictures, and leave a comment on facebook all before my tea is done warming up in the microwave. Awww to be spoiled with technology~

But I don't stay on the computer for long because after breakfast, as I've mentioned, I go jogging

This is the road I take each morning.

It's gorgeous and the weather has been amazing but I admit I've been lazy in my skin care regime because I am now sunburned from jogging in the morning, facing the morning sun, without sunblock.

A burnt but happy face.

Oh yes, ironic I know. I don't get burned in the desert but in the middle of snow filled mountains.

But you gotta love it right?

Aaaand my jog-timing has also gotten better.

Day 1: 50 minutes out and back
Day 2: 32 minutes out and back
Day 3: 30 minutes out and back.

Yes! I will get this jogging thing down! I still have to figure out the distance but I'm completely excited over my progress.

Have a great holiday everyone!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jogging at 7500 ft=SUCCESS!

Happy Wednesday!

So now that I'm up in the mountains I was experiencing what I now know is called "altitude sickness" due to the loss of oxygen.

Head-achey, drowsy, and of course short of breath.

I felt much better the second day (yesterday) and finally got off my ass and attempted to jog the stretch of road from the field station to the highway.

By the middle of it my breath started to catch and I slowed down considerably (but I made it!).

Today I woke up and felt pretty good (no headache and much more awake than before) so I went jogging.

I was out and back before I noticed what was going on!

YES! I beat altitude sickness! *knock on wood*

yesterdays time: 50 minutes out and back
Todays time: 32 minutes out and back

woop woop!

Now I have to figure out what the distance is. Time to bring out the old "drive the stretch and use the mileage to figure it out" scheme. LOL

I just came back. My face is still cooling down. I just had to write it down.

Have a great Wednesday. Pictures coming soon!


Monday, May 2, 2011

May Weigh In/I'm ready

It's Monday and it's May. Therefore my "No Weigh Ins for April" is over. It's time to update my monthly weigh in and it's time to get serious.

Like I mentioned in my last post I had leaped off the wagon for the week. I didn't do anything, not even take my vitamins.

That laziness is over now. I feel a little sluggish and out of shape but I'm ready to keep going now and go ALL THE WAY.

I was realizing that maybe this plateau I've been in since the beginning of the year was, at least in part, me sabotaging myself in my fear of going under the 200 lbs mark.

I think that's enough scurrying around. I'm going to make these next few months count and work as hard as I can to finally lose the weight.

Saying that let's start the Weigh In!

Current Weight: 211.4 lbs (It's actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I guess half of that was just bloating.. meh)

Work Out Achievement(s): Now again, I didn't do anything last week but I was at least able to measure my arm strength carrying my nine month old nephew around all week. Jumping him on the bed. Doing the airplane. Grabbing him from other peoples arms and running away from other people screaming "Steal the baby!" while he bursts out laughing... etc

He weighs about 25 lbs and that was the easiest weight I could carry. I ended getting in the habit of making my arm a sling, with my bicep as his swing seat and carrying him around that way so I suppose that means something. LOL

Goal(s): Ok here we go. I'm planning on starting my jogging routine with the small stretch of pavement from the field station to the edge of the road. It's actually a nice stretch so it should be a good start.

I'm worried about the elevation messing with my breathing but I think I'll be ok.

I also brought my pilates video with me. We're still waiting for the last girl to show up today and chances are she's going to be sharing a room with me so I'm going to have to figure out how, when and where I'm going to be able to work on pilates since I don't want this girl to hate me for doing stretches and listening to "bubbly voice" when she's trying to read or sleep or something.(Plus I'm a little self conscious about it.)

We'll see.

I need to make sure I start taking my pills again. Keep me up and moving. By the sound of it this first month is going to be hell because of the melting snow and the cold so I'm hoping I won't be too tired or get hurt. We'll see. We'll see.

That's all for now kids. Have a great morning!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vacation is OVER!

Hello Everyone,

It's been a long, relaxing, and filled with food-I-shouldn't-eat and little to no exercise, week.

Yes I did it again.

I finished my work in the desert and went home. And I did NOTHING. I didn't exercise. I didn't watch my food intake. I didn't post any blogs. I didn't get ANY work done. I did nothing.

I could feel my middle expanding. Yes expect a significant weight gain tomorrow morning for the May weigh in. I could already tell I've gained weight.

I don't have any more explanations or excuses left. I knowingly overate and didn't exercise last week.

But guess what: Vacation is OVER!

I just arrived to the place I'll be calling home for the next few months. Picture a cute house with big fat couches in the living room and out the door is a mountain range half filled with snow, pine trees, and out in the distance.. deer.

BIG change from the desert right? You bet.

I'm going to be re-starting my jogging routine but one thing I didn't anticipate is the elevation change.

I already got a migrane and felt dehydrated from being so high up. (Remember I just came from Death Valley.. as in 100 feet below sea level) I hope that I won't get sick or anything from trying to jog at this elevation. There are plenty of trails around this field station I hope are nice enough to jog through, but we'll see.

So long story short. I'm back. Wider in the middle but ready to keep going on my journey. Stay tuned. I'm not done yet!