Sunday, October 31, 2010
I took my monthly measurements today. I only lost a few pounds all month and have been cycling the same few pounds for a while now. But the good news? I'm down 9 inches! People have been saying I look better, but I thought they were just being encouraging. Maybe it's true? Dare I hope?
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
One needn't be insane to travel 30+ hours for a weekend just to turn around and travel 30+ hours back, but is sure helps! I signed up for the inaugural Hershey Half in gorgeous PA when the knee seemed to be doing better. I hoped to see FLORIDAFAN and DANI1855, and FOODGIRL even thought she might come. (You know that combining racing with seeing Sparkfriends has become a bit of a passion of mine - hee hee!) Sadly, the knee is becoming a much longer-term project than originally expected and seems unable to fully heal. As people got busy and plans changed, it looked like Hershey was going to fall by the wayside.
Then Dani said she was definitely going to run the race - her first. We don't get to see each other all that often, and I wanted to be there to cheer her on. I arrived in Philly late Friday and started the two-hour drive to Hershey. I passed the exit leading to my mother's house and almost surprised her but knew I was too tired to be companionable.
Those of you who read my last blog know the news that awaited me in Hershey. My grandmother had died. Instead of going to Hershey Park for the day while waiting for Dani to arrive, I called my parents. I thought they might be caught up in making arrangements, but they were really sweet and drove out to Hershey so we could be together. We ate lunch in a diner, served by a cheeky waiter and then decided to go to Chocolate World.
We took the tour and then made out own custom chocolate bars. It was quite the experience. We selected the innards and toppings and even designed the packaging!
Dad mugs for the camera
The parental units show off their creations
Next, we wandered over to the café, where we selected toppings for our ice cream. The portions were enormous!!! It's honestly no wonder Americans are fat - sheesh! While we waited for our confectionery masterpieces to arrive, we were invited to paint the paper tablecloth. Apparently a treat for children, the waitress recognized that we were children at heart.
My little Picasso
M&D living their second childhood
Dani and her entourage arrived. DH and the kiddies stayed in another hotel, while Dani stayed with me so we could catch up on girl talk. The more we talked about the race, the more excited I got. You all know what a raging bling ho' I am, and we speculated that the medal would be a chunky silver hershey kiss. Cool, right?
The forecast was for gray skies and rain, but Sunday dawned blue and bright, and the clear, crisp, autumn weather was a delight after months of 90+ weather in Beirut. A fun fact about the Hershey race: instead of planting the walkers in the back and letting us make do, this race allowed walkers to begin in the front with a head start. Dani was feeling strong and felt she would be able to run, but the head start got me to thinking. So I decided to start with the walkers and see how things went.
The course was fast, flat, and gorgeous. We walked through the park, under the enormous rollercoasters, and the little zoo. Part of the course was on the main street, and I saw a minister standing in front of his church, his arms clasped behind his back.
"Pray for me, Father", I called.
"I will", he answered solemnly.
Aren't the streetlamps darling?
Dani passed me in mile 7, looking fantastic. She jetted off, finishing in a mere 2:14. I felt great until mile 12, when my knee decided it had enough and pooped out. I was so close to the finish line, I couldn't bring myself to bow out and soldiered on.
Dani and her family were waiting for me at the finish line, which I finally crossed at 4:09.
Afterwards, Dani and I luxuriated at the Hershey Hotel Spa.
hee hee - with our bling
sipping hot cocoa before our cocoa massages
We headed home after that, and I enjoyed a quick visit with the 'rents before starting the long trip back. Lufthansa refused to change my ticket, so staying for the funeral wasn't an option, but I'd like to think that Nana knew I was near.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
My Nana with her dog Willie
1914 - 2010
I left Beirut Thursday evening to begin the 30+ hour trip to Hershey, PA -- "the sweetest place on earth". Right before I left, I called my mother to catch up. She told me Nana was really slipping. I have mixed feelings because I know she's ready to die and wants to be with my grandfather, but she has always been my biggest cheerleader, and I know I will miss the constancy of having her in my life.
I arrived in Philly, exhausted, having no slept in over 40 hours, rented a car and began the 2 hour drive to Hershey in rush hour traffic. I drove by the exit that would take me to my mother's house and almost went to see her, but I was too tired to be companionable and didn't want to impose on her just for respite before I dashed off again.
I got lost in charming rural Pennsylvania and imagined all the good food in the homey diners I passed, and, eventually, I arrived at my hotel. I had an email awaiting me. Nana died while I was enroute. I was planning to see her next month and suspected it would be our lst time together. Now I'm glad I saw her in June.
She was ahead of her time in many ways. She wore bikinis before they were fashionable and always advocated for women's equal participation in society. She hoped I'd run for president so she could vote for me. I still remember telling my grandparents that I'd been accepted at university. I invited them out to dinner, and when I told them, Nana's eyes filled with tears, and she looked up at Granddad and said, "Stuffy (her pet name for him), can you believe it? Our granddaughter is going to Oxford!" I'll never forget how good it made me feel to make her so proud of me.
So ... anyway, I am now in Hershey. My BFF is running her first ever 1/2 marathon tomorrow. Her DH and kids are coming to cheer her on. They're staying in one hotel, and Dani and I are staying in another. LOL Girl power! After the race, we're going to the Hershey Spa and getting cocoa massages. I wonder how much weight I'll gain from licking myself.
And I fly out on Monday to get back to Beirut by Tuesday night. It's crazy but it's life.
Nana and GD - I take comfort in believing that they are together again.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I'm in my last day of Dr. Hyman's one-week detox plan. I won't lie - it was tough in the beginning, and it's not especially easy now, but the scale is loving it! I'm down 6 lbs. with one day left. This is my lowest weight since April, 2009. Yay!
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
After the high of my June trip, July wasn't such a great month for me. Between work stress, family drama, Spark drama, friend problems, and health problems, I lost focus. When I realised that my three year Sparkiversary is just a couple of days away, I was ashamed of how little I have to show for it
This month, I'm returning to basics. To return to a positive focus, I'm making a series of small changes to build my confidence and self-esteem and get myself back on track. Girls Night In has been rocking it, and I'm counting on them to make this month a fantastic springboard to a brilliantly successful fourth year. I'm excited about my new teams like Charleys, Living Low Carb and Macrobiotic that will help me develop a healthy eating plan and looking forward to addressing money issues with my friends at Debt Haven and Debt Free Living. The 2010 team reminds me that this is a series of baby steps, and my amazing running family at Disney Distance and friends on WDW Marathon 2011 and Injured Runners are my inspiration and sounding boards as I train for the toughest physical challenge I've ever attempted. I love thinking of exercise in new ways with my Zumba team, and Head to Toe Beauty reminds me that health is more than weight and fitness. My True Blood teams feed my *sick* obsession with vampires, and, last but not least, Hogwarts will always be my heart and the main reason I Spark. You witches are brilliant!!
I have many wonderful friends who are not currently on any of the same teams as I am, but they are still a special part of my life and very important to me. I hope I can inspire others, but know that you all are the reason I don't just pack it in, sit on the sofa, and give up. Thank you!!
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