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, August 30, 2011

Weigh In: Saying Goodbye to Catalina Island

I know it's late. I'm really trying to keep on top of everything and this blog is no exception. Little efforts are what really matter. So here I am. Late but here. Let's do this!

Current Weight: 207.0 lbs (I had to use a different scale so this is the most accurate I could get.)

Work Out Achievement(s): I should really change the title of this section to "Reflections" shouldn't I? LOL It really ends up being more about reflections than achievements. Last week was my last work day in Catalina Island. From there I spent the rest of the week kicking back and chilling on the island before finally going home. I got home Sunday night and I DID weigh myself yesterday with the house scale.

One of the last real work outs I did on the island was a final hike up Hermit Gulch trail. I've mentioned this hike before. 1.7 miles uphill until reaching the ridge. I started the hike in the early evening after the heat of the day went down. Once up the ridge I decided to go up a pseudo trail and planted my self in a position to watch the sunset. It was a clear day with just enough clouds to make an effect. I could see San Clemente island more clearly than I'd ever seen.

View from where I was laying down to watch the "show". LOL

Absolutely beautiful. I was surrounded by white sage also so the wonderful smell and the fantastic view was the treat I gave myself to say goodbye to the island. At that time of day no one was up there (not that there's a lot of traffic anyway) and the peacefulness was pure bliss.

However, once the show was nearing it's wonderful finale I realized I was wearing my prescription sunglasses, a sleeveless shirt, and no head lamp. Although the biggest land predator is a small fox I didn't feel comfortable being found in the middle of a pseudo trail at night so I literally ran, skid, and jumped my way back down the hill to make it out of the trail before dusk ended. LOL.

It was a great little adventure. I never tire of these little ventures and I hope I continue to have more as time passes. I would never have done anything like this before my weight loss journey. I wouldn't have even fathomed the idea of hiking up a 2 mile hill in the first place, believing I simply couldn't do it so why even think about it. Oh how things have changed.

I'm home now and I have to worry again about my binge eating the second I come home. I've already started and in order to stop myself today I left the house and went to the closest book store. I spent some time reading up on how to reading body language (two of my favorite hobbies is learning about body language and analyzing peoples handwriting. LOL) and staying away from the coffee shops baked goods section.

Before I left I bought a new, shiny lime green (<---my favorite color) journal. I decided that I'm going to write my thoughts down every time I start noticing myself head for the fridge when I'm not hungry. Understanding what my feelings are is the first step to understanding why and when I use food to fix my emotions. Right? A part from that for the last few mornings I've been going to the local high school with my mom and walking the school track before she has to go to work. It's pretty mellow but it's a great start to the day and I know that the pace we go, although slow for me, is challenging to my mom and I've been wanting to spend some active time with my mom. It's been a great time to talk and catch up. I'm rarely home so this is some nice quality time. Baby steps right? I need to start making/re-making good habits. I can do this!!

Goal(s): I'm still trying to keep up drinking sufficient water a day and being active at least 30 minutes a day. From there I'm adding writing in my new journal once a day (at least) and getting my affairs together before starting my new job/adventure.

Wish me luck. This can be done!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Breaking the "Hermit" mold.

Work is over. Yesterday we cleaned out and cleared out the house. I took everyone to the ferry and was left alone in Catalina for a few days. I decided to stay in Catalina for a few days just to be on my own and have some "me" time.

After I dropped off everyone I still had work to do. I went back and mopped the house, washed the car and laundered some sheets. Little errands we still needed to do but ran out of time together, so I decided to do it myself since I was going to be here.

Then I finished. Stared at the empty spotless house. I didn't know what to do with myself. So I moved all my stuff to the empty room and, after a second, did a second purge of the fridge.. getting rid of temptations.

That didn't take up nearly enough time.

So I sat down and went to netflix. After looking through the selection I found the first season of Ugly Betty

I've always been a fan of America Ferrera, and hell let's face it, I'm a complete sucker for an ugly duckling turned professional woman story, especially if she's latina, curvy, has glasses and bad hair. I mean, what else can I say! LOL

Thing is before I knew it it was dark outside, I was in episode 5 (each episode is about 45 minutes long eeek!), and I had unconsciously been eating my way through a loaf of sourdough bread. This reads old fat Elina all over it!

To make myself feel better, I switched the last episode to a beginners pilates video and attempted the moves. It didn't feel very much like a work out and more like advance stretching but meh at least I did something right?

This morning I woke up, made breakfast and before I knew it I was watching Ugly Betty again until maybe 11 a.m. I suddenly opened my eyes and CRACK! I had it.

I got up, and literally yelled at myself;

"What are you doing?! You're alone in a gorgeous house in the middle of CATALINA ISLAND and what are you doing? Stuffing yourself with toast and watching Ugling F***ing Betty! Get off your ass nina!"

So I did. I went to the cupboard, threw away the rest of the sourdough bread. Grabbed the keys to the Nissan X-terra I had to return to the office anyway and on the spot decided I was going to rent a bike in town.

I dropped off the car and the wonderful people at the office told me who to talk to at the Bike Shop so I could get a discount. Now the house is one mile from town so I was ready to walk down (it's downhill to get to town) but just as I started to walk one of the ladies from the office offered me a ride. I took it.

I got dropped off and went straight to the bike shop. I asked for an "islander discount" and got it. Hehehe. I also decided to try an electric bike and boy am I glad I did!

This island is full of hills. It reminds me of a compact San Francisco. I haven't ridden a bike in years so I was worried. I started riding it normal. But then came the first uphill climb and I didn't make it. I had to push it up the hill. That's when I experimented with the electric button. It's pretty much like having a motor! How awesome! So I decided to turn it on each time a new hill came up and used it to support my pedaling.

I made it up some awesome hills and saw some great views of town, not to mention I had a ton of fun riding down the hills and trying not to trip on a rock or something and send myself flying. LOL

After an hour of fun I returned the bike and decided to head back to the house to grab the golf cart and then get groceries. I admit my legs were a little tired and I was dreading walking up the hill, so I got the brilliant idea to take the trolley up!

Now as a guide to the city the whole summer, I had advised countless tourists to take the trolley up the hill if they didn't (or couldn't) walk up but had never taken the trolley myself. Since I saved money on my "islander discount" I decided to use my change on a trolley ride.

I giggled the whole way up calling myself a tourist in the town I've grown to think of as my "summer home". LOL

After I got back I felt so much better that I decided to take it up a notch and do something productive. So I decided to make a few due phone calls. Went to town got my groceries, looked up a couple of recipes and had a sensible lunch.

After that I felt it was "ok" to sit down and watch a little more Ugly Betty (yes I never learn) while I filled out paperwork and etc.

Right around dinner time I felt guilty again. So as I pre-heated the oven I decided that I was going to go jogging while I waited for my sweet potato to bake. I haven't been jogging in weeks I realized so I promised myself I would.

And I did. It was slow. It was hard. I actually got a pain on my side and tight calves like I did in high school when I didn't know what the hell I was doing. But I did it. I jogged down and up that hill. I finished it, just in time to check on the oven.

Now it's time for dinner. Baked salmon with sweet potato fries and possibly steamed spinach. And you know what guys? That felt so much better than sitting on my ass all day feeling sorry for myself and eating toast while watching another Ugly duckling reach for swan-ness.

I broke the old hermit mold that was trying to grow back around me. I now have to keep it up.

Keep it up.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weigh In: Fun Food Filled Week

Last week ended up being one of the most eventful and fun weeks I've had all summer, heck all year. My birthday week is what I call it. There was much celebration and tons and tons of food. So I was not surprised, and shamelessly I was not very regretful when I saw the scale this morning and saw the scary number.

Current Weight: 206.4 lbs (+3.6 lbs since last week)

Work Out Achievement(s): Looking at that number you would think I spent all last week sitting in a couch eating pizza and watching movies. But oh contraire! It was very action packed! It's just that the consumption overpowered the burning of calories and for that I have no excuses.

We left off last week. Me coming back from Mexico trying to figure my junk out. I jogged that day.

On Tuesday we spent the whole day cleaning out our house on the western side of the island. Never to see the place again (or so I thought). The second we get back we spend the whole night working on our final presentation that we have to present to the board of the Conservancy the following morning. Let's just say a work out was nowhere to be seen and stress eating ensued.

Wednesday was my birthday! I couldn't really think it was my birthday until the presentation was over. Thankfully it went off without a hitch and celebration ensued. So. Much. FOOD! My roommates made homemade pizza dough and we made home made pizzas.

The girls kicked me out at some point telling me they needed to decorate the house before the party so I went for a an hour and a half walk/hike. When I came back the place was covered in streamers, the guests were here and the vegetables for the pizzas were being chopped. A part from that there were cookies, meatballs, a fruit tart as my birthday cake and I can't remember what else.

Over all an epic night.

On Thursday we had another celebration. Our boss is part of a band and he rented space at a local bar, had a potluck, started jamming and called it our goodbye party. Pretty emotional and a ton of fun. A local bought us a cake

and I tried my hardest to stay away from the food tables (yes, tables. As in plural.) Earlier that day I did the "Garden to Sky" hike (1 mile up hill. Took about 45 minutes to do) to try and make myself feel better over Wednesdays craziness. But I don't know how much it helped after Thursdays goodbye party.

On Friday I took a break and got down to work on the final paper and cleaning the house up after the mess we had during the week. I don't remember doing any work outs either. Our roommate created the most amazing dinner for us. Egg plant Parmesan over a garlic red sauce, with spaghetti and butter baked green beans. So delicious!

To top it off we went to "town" and had a very fancy dessert with a dessert wine. I finally found a wine I liked! We all shared our desserts and had a fantastic, chill night.

On Saturday my friends from the mainland came! Yay! I was so excited to meet them from the ferry and they came on the first ferry of the day too so we had a full day ahead of us. I ended up eating a HUGE breakfast burrito that lasted me most of the day and I took my pals hiking on the west end of the island (so much for never seeing the place again, like I thought on Monday). We went up the ridge and I made them do this crazy 4 mile loop. Let's just say it was good there's a breeze on that side of the island because we were beat. We spent some time at the beach to relax.

That night was a very special dinner, because this was the night we decided to cook the venison we had in the freezer! One of my roommates has a boyfriend from Alaska who came down to visit and left us with a package of Black Tail deer meat. Not only that but one of our friends from the island is a bow hunter and he recently got a resident Mule Deer and donated some of the meat to us!
I'd never had venison (that I could remember) so I was very excited to try it. Not only that but one of the girls made Cauliflower mashed potatoes (I've always wanted to try that!)Topped with a salad and dinner was ready!

From Left to Right: Salad, Cauliflower mashed "potatoes" black tail deer, mule deer.

The meat was amazing and tender. The mashed cauliflower was out of this world and the salad was refreshing. Over all an amazing night.

Sunday was the last day for one of our roommates so we all had a huge breakfast at the Pancake Cottage. Talk about huge sweet breakfast! I had buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and whip cream.

I personally dropped off my roommate to the ferry. I must have gotten emotional after saying goodbye because before I knew it I had a cup of strawberry ice cream in my hand and a bag of chocolate covered nuts in the other. I threw away half the ice cream and by the end of the night I threw away the bag of chocolate, not before consuming half the bag though. Talk about obvious emotional eating. The only exercise I did that night was walking around and that's not much of anything at all.

Then came yesterday, Monday . (I actually started this post yesterday but got completely consumed by work). Spent the whole day working on the final paper up until past 10pm. Ended up mindlessly eating whatever I could find. The only exercise I got was waking up early and climbing the 137 steps to the Wrigley Memorial in the morning (my favorite building in the entire island) and doing some stretches.

Then came today, Tuesday. The final full day all of us (me and my co-workers) will be in the island together. We're currently packing and planning everything. I decided to stay on the island for the rest of the week and reflect on life. LOL.

I'm trying to keep my emotions in check and stay away from the fridge. These girls cook and bake so amazingly I have a hard time avoiding the smells of banana nut muffins, cookies and cooked veggies. I need some sort of work out today too. But the day isn't over. I'll find something to do.

So amazing. Such an amazing group of people, and such an amazing time on Catalina.

Goal(s): Birthday week is over. No more celebrations and turning a blind eye to the amount or type of food I've been consuming. Work is also over so I don't have the excuse that I'm "too busy" to work out. I'm going to spend the rest of my time in Catalina to work on me and work on getting myself back on track. Although I don't regret a thing I did last week, the scale shows the results of my "break" and I can't allow that to continue. Time to get back to it and keep going. Vacation is over. Time to get back to work. Time to get back to working on my health.

Time to transition again. Wish me luck!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Weigh In: My last jog on the West End

Hello Everyone,

I know I've been a bit distant lately. First I was going through some sort of melancholy phase and then I went on my trip to Mexico. I flew in to LAX 2 nights ago and now here I am!

Although I didn't post it my weight before my trip was 199.6 lbs. Now that I came back -- and after indulging in some delicious Mexican dishes -- I weighed myself this morning to see the damage. Here it is.

Current Weight: 202.8 lbs (Predictable.)

Work Out Achievement(s): I was actually pleasantly surprised I didn't gain more weight than this and although I haven't been eating the healthiest food in the last couple of days I KNOW I can get rid of these few pounds in a couple of weeks.

Honestly, the hardest thing is forcing myself to go back to blogging. This break really opened my eyes on how easy it is to lose a streak, and how hard it can be to try and re-start the habit.

But, like other times, simply logging on to blogger and reading some amazing entries gave me that final push to get off my ass... and in to my running shoes!

Tonight is my last night on the western side of the island. Tomorrow will be my last day. I realized that unless I woke up really early tomorrow morning I would miss my chance to get one more jog in this gorgeous area of the island. Since I hadn't been jogging in almost two weeks there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity.

I decided to take my camera this time.

Stretching before the run.

The start of the jog

Passing by the section that burned earlier this year. :(

After turning to start the long stretch to the end of the road.

I can see the end of the stretch. Do you see the benches past the palm trees?

Reached the end of the strip and take a second to take this pic of the "Pregnant Indian Princess" Do you see it?

Turning around. You can now see all I've jogged and what I have to re-jog to finish the 2 mile stretch. I love this bench. "Never trust a skinny chef."

This road is called Ballast Point. This is the actual 'ballast point'. The story being that old ships would drop their ballasts here and therefore created this stretch of sand.

Cute older couple, 12 o'clock!

Final stretch. Take a left, up the hill and you're done!

All done! Sweat is beautiful right? LOL

Can I just say taking pictures while jogging is HARD! But that's what I got. Catalina is a beautiful place isn't it? Gotta love it.

Goals: I'm going to take it one day at a time right now. I think most of my slump had to do with the fact I didn't make it to my goal weight by my birthday like I had hoped/promised myself. So for now I'm just going to take it one thing at a time and just try to go back to healthy habits. Drink enough water. Exercise 30 minutes a day or more. Eat veggies and fruit. Stay away from processed food. Etc.

Wish me luck and I'm happy to be back!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quick Update: I'm back from Mexico!

Just spent a week in Mexico and let's just say I took complete advantage at the awesome food found there. Most Americans think that Mexican food is full of grease and cheese. Real Mexican food has very little (or very proportioned sizes) of both.

Don't believe Taco Bell for a second people! Real (and very late) updates to come!

I am not dead! I'm still here!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Apologies: I've Been AWOL

Hello Everyone,

Ok so I was supposed to post about my epic adventures last week. As well as a Weigh In and post my August weight. But I haven't.

All I could say is that I had (and am having) a bit of an emotional, off the wagon, mini break down these last couple of days and, in all honesty, I'm too ashamed to post my weight after what I did (a binge or two) or why I did it (mainly because I'm not really sure myself.)

This is really putting in to perspective how much I still have to learn about my emotional response to food, my subconscious sabotaging, and figuring out what exactly is wrong.

In all honesty I don't really know. I overall feel fine but a little bit empty. My creativity is a bit dry and I don't feel as lively or passionate as I used to be. This isn't to say I'm sad or depressed. I've been very happy for the most part.

But something is missing. And my old stand by of not dealing with it by shoving food down my throat is coming out.

I really need to reflect and work on me right now. I'll try to make up for going AWOL by posting pictures of my epic adventures last week but I think I'll give myself a break and NOT post my August weigh in. For now.

I will figure this out. Thanks for sticking with me. You have no idea how your comments and support have led me this far.