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Making Progress; Great Weekend

Monday, August 18, 2014

I am making progress, I lost 3.5 pounds in the past 2 weeks. Of course that is after GAINING 7 pounds, but at least I am on the right track again. An even bigger victory is that my hiking pants fit me again! They were tight. I think the core strength training recommended by the physical therapist is helping reduce my belly.

In the past 2 weeks, I have kept up my streak pretty well.
At least 5 fruits and veggies every day-- done. emoticon
No snacking Ė well I lapsed a couple of times, but still success 12 out of 14 days.
Exercise at least 10 minutes every day Ė done. Exercise at least 5 hours total a week Ė done. Strength and stretching 3x per week Ė done. emoticon emoticon

This weekend I camped at Waldo Lake with the Sierra Club. It was a lot of fun. The wildfires were quite close (5 miles) and the Forest Service closed the west section of the trail around the lake on our last day. But we were very lucky because the smoke was not blowing in our direction.

My tent site

Our group campfire area

I led two hikes. On Saturday, 7 of us hiked to Bobby Lake. On one stretch of the hike, participants in the Waldo 100 K trail run (64 miles!) were passing on the trail; they had already run 23 miles (about 37 K) including climbing Fuji Mountain. I canít imagine doing such a long run! In addition to 100 K distance, they climb over 11,000 feet (about 3,350 m) total elevation gain and an equal amount of loss.

Our hike to Bobby Lake was enough for me! We hiked approximately 5.5 miles.The lake was beautiful.

At the trailhead

On the trail


Bobby Lake


On Sunday, 3 of us hiked around Charleton Lake. The hike was only about 3.5 miles, but it was harder because of fallen trees (over 40!) lying across the trail and one section of boulder hopping. The other hike leaders told me it took their group 3 hours; I hiked with two faster younger men, so we completed the loop in 2 hours.


Charleton lake

Canoe on Charleton Lake

All in all, a great weekend, and a fairly successful week.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIALI2013 8/20/2014 2:12PM

    What a fantastic journey, you are doing awesome, and congrats on the loss, so wonderful! Keep it up, lady, you're really doing well!

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THIN133 8/20/2014 8:14AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss !! Wahoo !!! Wow ! What fun & beautiful pictures ! It's awesome you get to enjoy friends & nature & fitness all together ! NEAT !!!

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MARITIMER3 8/19/2014 7:40PM

    Thanks for sharing your hikes, Alison. Beautiful country. Hope the forest fires don't get any closer. Congratulations on the weight loss.
Hugs, Gail

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/19/2014 7:20AM

    Wow, so beautiful... I feel like I have been on vacation when I read your blogs, because the scenery is so incredibly different from where I hike!!! This was enchanting. And congratulations on your weight loss, you are doing great Alison!
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DR1939 8/18/2014 2:50PM

    emoticon for your weight loss.

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July Results: Spectacular Fail, Some NSVs

Friday, August 01, 2014

My July weigh in results were the WORST ever since I started on SP. I gained 7 pounds in one month. And Ė uh oh, my pants are feeling too tight.

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Why the fail? Well, overeating, stress eating, and less exercise. Momís funeral was earlier this month, and I spent a lot of money traveling to see her during her final decline -- but overeating is not the answer to stress and difficult times. Getting fatter only makes me feel worse. So it is time to turn this around and make some changes.

I did have some pluses (non scale victories) over the month of July.

I kept hiking all month, every weekend, even when it was very hot.
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I started physical therapy yesterday. I had a bad fall in March on ice in Glacier National Park. Although I have been able to keep hiking, I have a lot of pain, and I have not been able to do some more strenuous activities (like Zumba, and getting out of the kayak unassisted without falling in the water). I saw the doctor in April (he diagnosed a strained hamstring), and then saw the doctor again last week for the PT referral. When I finally saw the physical therapist, she discovered my pelvic joint and hip joint were locked and restricted. So that explains some of my problems. She was able to get the range of motion improved, and has given me some very simple exercises. Iím VERY optimistic about finally getting back to normal activity levels!

As of yesterday, I have improved financial security, because I received a check from momís life insurance policy. Plus I received a very lovely piece of jewelry from her estate.

I successfully did major organizing projects: garage, garden shed, and back bedroom closet shelves. I hired someone to take a full truckload of excess possessions and yard debris to the dump, and I took financial documents to a secure shredding service. Now on to the office!

I had reduced alcohol intake and reduced eating out. And I successfully cut down on the medication that I was taking to help me sleep (thank you, Charly, for suggesting melatonin as a natural sleep aid!)

My plan to turn things around in August:
Well, my basic program works. I just have to DO IT! No snacks, no sweets, no seconds Ė thatís No S in a nutshell. I will make the following changes:
1. I will add exercises recommended by the physical therapist
2. I will resume strength training and Zumba when cleared by the physical therapist
3. I will weigh in weekly instead of monthly. No more shockers at the end of the month!
4. I will get a FitBit or other activity tracker to improve my Monday-Friday activity level
5. I will consider counseling for depression, if that is the root of my overeating/occasional binge problem
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NO EXCUSES!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 8/5/2014 12:31AM

    Hi Alison.
I am glad that your financial security has increased, and it's also lovely that you have a beautiful piece of jewellery from your mother as a keepsake forever.
Grief affects people in different ways and I agree that a grief counsellor would be the more appropriate person to seek out.
Pain is another factor that makes it difficult to do things normally or as we would like to (I have multiple chronic pain conditions and several back issues), so I can understand how that has impacted on your ability to hike and do other things comfortably. You are amazing and a great inspiration for doing all those hikes in the past month, especially considering the hot weather you had.
With all that, I think you have done very well with your successes during July, and I am sure you will get back on track with your proposed changes. Wishing you well with everything.
Hugs, Nattacia

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THIN133 8/3/2014 10:22AM

    Even with the weight gain..it sounds like you had alot of accomplishments ! Yay! It's hard to keep up with normal activities when you're hurting. Hopefully....you'll be all healed up soon. Good job on still hiking though despite maybe not eating well..that did keep weight gain at bay ..have a nice weekend !

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MARITIMER3 8/2/2014 9:30AM

    I am always impressed with your insight and clear thinking, Alison. I like your plan for moving forward, especially the plan to weigh yourself once a week instead of once a month. When I don't weigh myself every Monday morning, I get off track very easily.

Is there a grief therapy group available in your area, perhaps through one of the churches? I know several people who found them very useful after losing a loved one.

You will lose the 7 lbs. Yes, it's a set back, but only a small one, and you will overcome it as you have overcome others before.

I'm glad you are seeing the physiotherapist, that should help a lot. Glad too, about the financial security. That will make it easier for you to focus on looking after yourself.

Hugs, Gail emoticon

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 8/1/2014 8:06PM

    I had a spectacular July fail as well, only no valid reasons like injuries or deaths. I am starting over for August, with micro goals.

So glad for increased financial stability!!

I love No S. It's terrific.

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DR1939 8/1/2014 6:19PM

    You are doing exactly what you should be doing--making changes now before it gets too serious. I suspect the PT will help with weight loss also. Pain causes us to ease up on the strenuousness of our activities. emoticon

Consider a grief counselor rather than one for depression. Although the symptoms are similar dealing with the two emotions are very different. You have had a long and arduous journey with your mother and you have really been helpful and concerned. However much you know that it was time, you have still lost your mom. You probably have been grieving the gradual loss of the person she was and the source of support she was for you. A grief counselor can help you work through these issues and help you sort the reasonable from the less reasonable responses. They can also help you devise strategies, other than eating, to cope with the feelings of loss. emoticon

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JENNY888 8/1/2014 5:07PM

    You are taking positive steps to reverse the decline. That is what it is all about. Please try to read my blog series that I am doing from a webinar by Dr. Furhman on overcoming food addiction that was a mind changer for me today when I watched it. I am going to do a series of blogs on it and my response to the webinar.

Life handed you a lot of problems in the last month. Yes, you could have done better but that is all the past and not the future. What matters is what you do now and you seem to have some very positive plans for August. Let's do it together!

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SUE5007 8/1/2014 4:52PM

    Sounds like a great plan! emoticon

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ENDUROVET 8/1/2014 3:32PM

    What can I say - misery loves company!!! The title of your blog caught my eye since I, too, have been failing in even more spectacular fashion... I've regained over half of my own hard-fought 20-lb loss.

Let me offer belated sympathy also on your loss of your mother - my elderly parents are also in decline, although I suspect we'll be saying goodbye to my father first (he's a little older & in worse health than my mom).

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Enjoyable weekend (hike, kayak)

Monday, July 28, 2014

My friend Charly visited from California for a long weekend visit; she arrived on Thursday and left on Monday. She likes healthy eating and exercise, so it was easy to stay on track during her visit.


On Saturday we hiked Wychus Preserve. It was a hot and long canyon hike, more difficult than necessary because we got ĺ of the way around the loop, and then Charly wanted to go back the way we came instead of completing the loop. Her shoes were not adequate for the trail conditions (she wore hiking sandals instead of boots). But I enjoyed the hike, and we both got a workout!


The mariposa lilies were blooming


Trail along Wychus Creek


Me on the trail


Charley at the top of the ridge



On Sunday I went kayaking with friends at Lava Lake. Very nice day! I did not take my camera because it is not waterproof. We saw two beautiful bald eagles in tall trees along the lake, and watched one catch a fish and fly back to the nest. An osprey tried to steal the eagleís fish in midair! (the eagle is almost twice the size of the osprey) I did eat too much at my friendís campground at the lake; we did not get lunch until around 4 p.m. when all 6 of our group was off the lake.

Charly took me out to dinner at a very nice Thai restaurant. I had a healthy stir fried chicken and vegetable dish. The restaurant served the main course with a ginger rice that was delightful; I will try grating some ginger root into the pan the next time I make rice.

It was really fun having a visitor. But I am enjoying having my home to myself!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 8/2/2014 2:23AM

    What a gorgeous place! I don't understand though how one would want to go back when 3/4 of the loop is already done? There is something I don't understand! emoticon As for hiking with hiking sandals, I would be way too afraid of snakes to do that (even though we don't have many here, there are some).
Anyway, it sounds like you had a great hike, with lovely flowers too, which is the most important. :) And this ginger rice sounds awesome! Please let me know how it turns out and I might try to do it as well.

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THIN133 7/30/2014 6:17PM

    How fun ! Being with a friend, being outside & getting exercise & fresh air. Sounds like a wonderful time to me !

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OPALMOON 7/29/2014 2:08PM

    Hi Alison,
So glad you had a nice weekend with Charly and had some great exercise and healthy food as well. Also good tat you enjoy having your home to yourself -it all sounds very positive.



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MARITIMER3 7/29/2014 9:43AM

    It's nice when they come; it's also nice when they go home. The ginger rice sounds good.

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YMWONG22 7/29/2014 6:05AM

  emoticon

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DR1939 7/29/2014 2:40AM

    Sounds like fun.

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Funeral, Memorial and Odd Comments

Monday, July 14, 2014

Momís funeral this weekend was a beautiful ceremony, family only, and her ashes were buried in the little memorial rose garden next to dadís ashes. We had a big memorial for her in the main lounge at her retirement center. About 150 people attended. The flowers were beautiful, in her favorite colors.

Memorial flowers, poems, and appetizers

My younger sister did two large collage boards of pictures of mom.


Sister and brothers after admiring photos of mom

My older sister printed about 20 of momís poems about her friends and about daily life in the retirement center, and put them on cardboard stands with decorative borders.

My brother-in-law provided the wine, and the event was catered with several varieties of appetizers (most of the attendees are residents at the retirement center, and all their meals are provided).

My brother and two sisters all spoke movingly and lovingly of mom. (By prior agreement within the family, I volunteered to read at the church service instead). Everyone really enjoyed their fond memories of mom.


Taking a break before the start of the memorial

Sister, niece, nephew

After the memorial (Sisters, brother, nephew)

I did quite a bit of socializing and circulating at the memorial. Mostly it was WONDERFUL to talk with momís friends. However there were a few odd comments. Mom shared with a few close friends information about my brother, with the result that my older (very straight, very conservative) brother got asked eagerly ďAre you the one thatís gay?Ē He and his wife and son laughed about it. And apparently once when my two brothers were standing together, another elderly resident came up and asked (again quite eagerly) ďWhich one of you is the gay son?Ē I canít imagine going up to anyone at a funeral and asking that question! (But our generation would just go onto Facebook and read the personís profile and relationship status afterward!)


Our old neighbors came, and C., who is my age, talked with me quite pleasantly at first. We were great friends when we were in 2nd grade and for a few years after; then she became unpleasant and bullying as a teen, making fun of other people in a fairly cruel fashion. I knew (from mom) that C. sought counseling after being depressed and bitter, so I was hopeful that she was inspired to change. She asked why I liked living in Oregon, I explained it is beautiful, and I enjoy getting out in nature and hiking. She said she could not envision me as a hiker. Maybe Iím overreacting, but I thought that comment was a put-down (the implication to me was: you are too fat to be a hiker. My sister heard the implication the same way). Anyway it was a social event, I didnít apologize or get in a fight, I just told her ďI hike a lotĒ and moved on. Maybe Iím too sensitive, or maybe Iím wrongly judging that comment based on her behavior when she was 13! But it seemed wise to move away because her comment threw me off guard. No point in getting upset over petty comments by negative people!



Overall I really enjoyed the time with momís friends, and with my family. It was a great memorial and funeral. Mom would have loved it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 8/1/2014 8:17AM

    What a beautiful occasion in memory of a beautiful lady! I am glad your siblings and you organized such a special ceremony. Thank you for the pictures and for sharing it with us. I loved the roses in the first picture!
As for the lady who said this to you, it could be that it wasn't very kind... but at the end of the day, you are the one enjoying all those great hikes, and being very fit, and it has nothing to do with the weight! emoticon (But it could also be that she saw you as someone fairly 'classical', so not the sporty type... I have heard that about me! And they are right, I am not the 'sporty type', but like you I love my hikes!!!)

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CTUPTON 7/21/2014 9:13AM

    I relate to so much you described here. One thing, I have been active all my life but I am obese. People have a hare time accepting that I taught science for 40 years, was on the volunteer ambulance for 3 years , almost always belonged t (and went to) a gym or pool or now water aerobics cases. And I had my years of hiking, too. Keep up the active lifestyle! I am now 67. Caregiving for 8 year has put a damper on what I can do now. I hope I can get back to those outdoor days.

I am sorry about your Mom. It sounds like you have a wonderful family and your Mom sounds truly awesome.

I am planning o move us to a retirement community close to my own large family. I hope it turns out as well as your Mom's experience.
chris

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-NORMA- 7/19/2014 8:40AM

    What you wrote about the funeral impresses me. Sounds like a wonderful way to honor your mother; the poems, the flowers, the photo's.

I applaud you for just saying 'I hike a lot' and moving away! WELL DONE!

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MARITIMER3 7/17/2014 1:41PM

    I think you said it all in your last sentence, "Mom would have loved it". It sounds as if you all worked together to make this a special time to remember your mother, and to share some of her stories with her friends.

I'm sorry your former neighbour made you feel uncomfortable with her comment, but you handled it well. I'm sure she would be amazed if she heard about your very active lifestyle.

I hope the wildfires you mentioned in today's update are far from where you live. We saw evidence of many wildfires on our trip, and understand how devastating they can be. I know there are some in BC and the Yukon right now too.

Take care, any interesting trips coming up?

Gail emoticon

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THIN133 7/16/2014 8:48PM

    Beautiful family pictures. So glad you were pleased with the service. Sounds like you handled it all very well. There's always negative people around..they can be so demeaning & rude....remember that's a reflection of who they are...not you !

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OPALMOON 7/16/2014 10:33AM

    Hi Alison,
What a wonderful service and memorial to your dear Mom, with all those photos, poems, flowers and shared memories. Glad your family got together and you were able to mix with some of the residents as well...odd moments notwithstanding - how odd, indeed! Glad you walked away from C....that was the wisest thing as it just shows up her limitations, including social skills.
Lovely photos of you all, too - thanks so much for sharing.
Hugs and blessings to you and your family,
Nattacia

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CAROLFAITHWALKR 7/15/2014 1:54PM

    What a beautiful table and flowers, with the poems. So thoughtful of you all to provide that for the resdients. That was . . . really well done.

The picture collages were impressive, as well.

It is evident your mom was much loved.

Your childhood friend C has not learned to put a filter on her thoughts before she speaks. First she has to learn how filter. Then, she has to learn how to express filtered things tactfully. No wonder she has been depressed and bitter - you probably got a mild dose of what she does to everyone. (She was probably on best behaviour for the service, lucky for you that you got the mild dose.) And at her age, it's unlikely she'll change. It's likely to only get worse with age. These are learned behaviours and learned social skills. As long as she is alive she could learn them, but I wouldn't hold my breath. She gets something out of the shock value of unfiltered speech and judging others. When your world is that small that such things bring you personal meaning / validation, I can see why she'd be bitter and depressed. She is a broken, bankrupt person, inside. I will pray for her. She needs an intervention from Jesus.

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DR1939 7/15/2014 11:22AM

    Lovely service. You did the right thing about walking away from the person with the negative comment.

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1BEACHWALKER 7/15/2014 12:21AM

    That was very nice doing the photo collage and the flowers are gorgeous! Nice pics of you and your family!
Some people don't have social skills! My cousin one time blurted out to a guy - a perfect stranger, are you gay? When she heard he loved going to Key West! I looked at her like..What in the world did you ask that for?! And the guy answered her, Yes, like no big deal! I would never ask that of anyone, let alone at a funeral! Your old acquaintance is just jealous!! When people say things like that to hurt you...just chalk it up, that really they envy you and wished they were like you and out there hiking and more active too!! emoticon

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JEANINNEWCASTLE 7/14/2014 11:51PM

  The flowers look beautiful. I'm glad that overall it was a nice funeral. I'm sorry that some people have no social skills.

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SHOAPIE 7/14/2014 11:51PM

    emoticon

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June Results, Great Wildflower Hike

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Overall June was challenging due to momís final decline and death. I traveled out of state to stay with mom; staying in hotels led to eating and exercise challenges. Financially the travel was expensive and required me to dip into savings. Although I am luckier than many people because my employer gave me extended paid leave to spend time with mom in her final days, the 3 separate trips to an expensive area cost me over $6,000. Ouch. But I am glad that I spent time with her, and that I was with her at the end. But this was an emotional roller coaster, and I am grateful that I had her in my life. I miss her.


So all in all I am happy that my June was not a health disaster. I did not gain or lose weight. I kept up regular exercise, even if it was just 10 minutes at night before bed. I lapsed on my eating and had a couple of binges, but I recovered and moved back into healthier habits.

I return to California tomorrow for momís funeral service and memorial. I am reading a favorite poem that mom wanted to have included in the service, it is Margaritae Sorori by William Ernest Henley. Iíll paste it at the end of this blog for those who like poetry and/or comforting messages about departed loved ones.

I hiked Lookout Mountain on Sunday by myself, it was a hot day and none of my friends were willing to brave the heat. I really enjoyed it. I will be leading this hike in a couple of weeks, and I want to be sure I am in shape for this moderate hike (about 7.5 miles, 1250 elevation gain). The wildflowers were spectacular. Mom would have loved it. She really loved nature.


The trail opens in the woods in the Ochoco Mountains



After a mile or so elevation gain, I hiked through a meadow filled with corn lilies

Flowers (larkspur and lupine)


Butterfly on yarrow



Lupine


Indian paintbrush and other flowers


Flax


This flower is aptly named -- Oregon Sunshine!


Indian Paintbrush and lupine


The flowers are best in the dry rocky slopes on top of Lookout Mountain. They have a very short blooming season.


View on the descent across wildflower meadow


In the woods on the descent, arnica was blooming in the shade.

Poem for mom's memorial:

"Margaritae Sorori"
by William Ernest Henley

A LATE lark twitters from the quiet skies:
And from the west,
Where the sun, his day's work ended,
Lingers as in content,
There falls on the old, gray city
An influence luminous and serene,
A shining peace.

The smoke ascends
In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires
Shine and are changed. In the valley
Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun,
Closing his benediction,
Sinks, and the darkening air
Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night--
Night with her train of stars
And her great gift of sleep.

So be my passing!
My task accomplish'd and the long day done,
My wages taken, and in my heart
Some late lark singing,
Let me be gather'd to the quiet west,
The sundown splendid and serene,
Death.




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLFAITHWALKR 7/15/2014 1:59PM

    "So all in all I am happy that my June was not a health disaster." That is very well said.

Such lovely, beautiful, gorgeous pictures. Thank you so much for sharing them! I am not well versed in poetry but loved that poem.

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1BEACHWALKER 7/15/2014 12:10AM

    You are doing great with all you are going through emotionally with your Mom and all! Good for you not gaining or giving in to too many food temptations!! The hike was beautiful as well as the poem! emoticon

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-NORMA- 7/11/2014 4:06PM

    Beautiful blog. Both the pictures and the poem are beautiful.

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OPALMOON 7/10/2014 7:16PM

    Hi Alison,
Thank you for sharing this very interesting hike, and your fabulous photos. You are doing so well keeping up with your hiking, and keeping on track with your goals.
This is a very moving poem. I am sure your mother would appreciate it, being a favourite of hers. You did everything you could for your dear mother and it is only understandable that you are missing her. I am sure she is very much with you in spirit.
Thinking of you and sending blessings and prayers your way.
Hugs, Nattacia

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CHRISGETTINGFIT 7/10/2014 2:06PM

    Beautiful hike! Hope things go smoothly with the funeral. Take care!

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MARITIMER3 7/9/2014 11:53PM

    What a beautiful way to remember and honour your mother. I hope the service is comforting for you and your family. It's more than 20 years since my mother's death, but I think of her often, and remember some of the things she taught me.
Hugs, Gail

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THIN133 7/9/2014 8:01PM

    Sorry to about the loss of your Mom. It's so good you were able to spend time with her. It's great you can still stay focused & still keeping active. The pictures are beautiful ! How lovely that you can hike with such beautiful scenery ! Take care.

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GINNABOOTS 7/9/2014 5:40PM

    I am so very sorry the loss of your dear mother. So glad that you were able to be with her in her last days.

Beautiful pictures and the hike was definitely therapeutic for you.

Great job keeping with your plan. I lost my mom on July 5th, 2013 and my dad 3 months later and I have gained 15 pounds, so I am not so good with the emotional eating. You are doing an awesome job.

Once again, so very sorry, emoticon

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DR1939 7/9/2014 4:55PM

    emoticon You did every thing just right with your mom. She was lucky to have you. The poem is lovely.

Good news on the no weight gain. The walk was beautiful, I do love wildflowers.

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