Friday, May 07, 2010
Well, I've finally done it; I've signed up to do a 5K as a walker on Saturday. I was hoping by now I'd be closer to running a 5K, but realistically I'm not there yet. I can't go more than two to three minutes max before I have to walk for a couple of minutes, so I don't want to sign up as a runner and be slower than the fastest walkers!
The good thing about signing up to walk the 5K? Hubby is going to do it with me! I've warned him that I may not go at his pace; he tends to walk slower than me a lot of the time, and I really want to push myself to at least finish in under an hour. He's aware and says he's fine with that; we'll see when Saturday rolls around. Who knows, I may not be able to go as fast as I'd like, or he may keep up with me fine. He has been surprising himself lately with what he's been willing and able to do; he never thought he'd enter a race, and here he did it without any pressure from me.
I have been eyeing this race for some time now; it's one to benefit breast cancer research, which is important to me since my mother had it and several friends have battled or are currently battling it. It's a little ways from home (about an hour), but it's worth it. I'd love to do the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk someday, but the fund-raising commitment is a little high for my comfort level. This one is a registration fee that raises money for a team that is doing the 3 Day, so at least it's participating indirectly.
Today at lunch, my RL friend Angie (MOM2MXKE) invited me to join her on her run/walk that she has been doing; she is in much better condition than I am for running, but she was willing to go at my pace. We did 4 miles in 1 hour, 4 minutes, so that's a pace of 16 minutes a mile, the best I have ever done. Then after going to get my race packet after work, hubby and I went to the gym to do some strength training and I did another 1.25 miles on the treadmill. I'm feeling it now, but it's not too bad; we will see how well I can roll out of bed in the morning, LOL!
I'm excited about doing the 5K on Saturday. It will be my first race of any kind, and I figure it will at least be another step (literally!) in the right direction towards running one later this year. I'll let you know how it goes, though it might not be Saturday night since we're going to a baseball game that night--assuming we can both still move afterward!
Thursday, May 06, 2010
We finally managed to get back to the gym today for the first time since getting back from vacation, and boy, did it feel good! Don't get me wrong, I loved vacation, and we were very active, walking up to 6 or 7 miles a day. That's great exercise, but it's not the same as running or working out at the gym. I didn't sweat a lot on vacation, and I do sweat at the gym, LOL!
Not only did we go to the gym, we went for a walk later in the evening with the dog. She loves to go with me because I nearly always do at least some running, and she likes to do that with me. Hubby has steadfastly resisted running, preferring to walk and let me run ahead whenever I want, then I turn around and go back to meet him partway. That is, he has resisted until tonight; I did some running with the dog, and she was so excited, she kept pulling when he had her and was just walking. He finally relented and did some short bouts of running with her several times. We all had our tongues hanging out a bit when we got home, but it felt SO good to do more than just our usual walk, and I was proud of hubby.
I don't know that hubby will ever really want to run, but you never know. I didn't think I'd ever want to run, and now I do. We're looking into doing a 5K walk on Saturday; I know I'm not ready to try running a 5K, but a walk? Should be no problem, and hubby might do that with me. At any rate, it feels good to be getting back into the groove of working out and working on my running again. I will run a 5K this year, even if I'm the slowest one in the crowd! I'm doing this for me, not to compete with anyone else. I will do it; I will not give up!
My favorite verse in the Bible is Philippians 1:6: For I am confident of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. That reminds me that God is not going to give up--He's going to finish what He started in me, and it encourages me to not give up what I have started either. I WILL keep working on a healthy lifestyle and on running, and I will make it.
Life gets hard sometimes; we get discouraged and run into obstacles that make it difficult to keep pressing on. Victory is often waiting for us around the next bend, however, if we can just get past that obstacle that seems too big to conquer. We have to lift up our eyes and fix them on our goals to keep going, and sometimes we need to stop and ask for help. It's really okay to admit that we don't have all the answers or the strength to get past an obstacle alone. Having a strong support system is essential to success, I believe. God created us for community; when we try to go it alone, it's much harder to keep going for the long haul. Getting and staying connected with others who are fighting the same battles makes such a difference. We can pick one another up when one of us is having a hard day, and we can cheer for one another when someone has success. Your problems are ones that I have or may someday go through, so I may be able to offer hope or learn from your experiences. Your success gives me hope that I can succeed as well.
It feels good to be part of a community of people who care and support one another, and it feels good to be back in the swing of things again. Thanks for your encouragement, support, and belief in me; we will do this and succeed together!
Monday, May 03, 2010
I guess vacation is officially over now (big sigh). We got home last night around 11 p.m. after a rather interesting day . . .
We met our friends for a leisurely breakfast in one of the main dining rooms, then went back to our cabin one last time to gather the things that were left there. Most of our stuff had been packed up the night before and put out to be taken off the ship by the crew, so we had just a couple of backpacks and a tote bag full of things we had bought on the trip. We met up with our friends in one of the lounges to await our turn to disembark. Since none of us wanted vacation to be over any sooner than necessary, we had opted for one of the later times for leaving, so we had a relaxing time sitting and chatting before heading off the ship for the last time. We joked with one another about pretending to 'lose' our card key so we wouldn't be able to get off; when our friend asked the person checking us out if that would be the case (no cabin key, no leaving the ship!) , he just stared at him as if he were crazy. Oh well, worth a try!
We had to fill out a Canadian customs form since we were leaving the ship in Canada, hand that in, show passport, and answer questions, then it was on to pick up luggage and finding a cab. No problem on either front there; luggage was all together and easy to find, and there was a line of taxis waiting to pick up everyone (they must love working weekends during cruise ship season, there are tons of people looking for a cab!). The driver took us to the train station and managed to pull the handle off on one side of our biggest piece of luggage. It wasn't too heavy, he just yanked it the wrong way; gotta get that fixed, I love this luggage and don't want to get rid of it.
At the Via Rail/Amtrak train station, we arranged to leave the bulk of our luggage there (for a fee, of course) while we went off to explore Vancouver. We bought day passes for the Sky Train that runs throughout the city and outlying areas and took it downtown, where we got off and wandered around, looking in various shops and then finally starting the hunt for lunch. Pizza was on everyone's mind, that's one thing we didn't have on the ship, so we started asking where to find good pizza. Someone said there was a pizza place a couple of blocks away on a particular street, so we headed off to find it. Okay, it was not two blocks, it was three, up a hill (huff, puff), and once we found the street, we had no idea which way to turn, so we randomly decided to go right. Ah, an Italian restaurant--but no pizza, and the guy refused to tell us anything about where we might find pizza. We came out of his restaurant and turned right, and voila! Pizza next door (but it didn't look good), then pizza in several shops in a row. Woo hoo, pizza by the slice--perfect! One slice was plenty big enough to satisfy me.
We were starting to get tired by then, so we headed back to find the Sky Train to ride around and see the city from a more comfortable position (seated). We hopped on and rode around, then realized it was going quite a long ways out from where we needed to be; fortunately we were on a loop, so we didn't have to go back the way we'd come. We changed to the line that would take us back to the train station and happily found a coffee stand with good coffee and seats where we could relax until time to board the train. After a time, we got our luggage back since we would have to go through U.S. customs with all of it, and as people started lining up, we joined the crowd and waited.
As we approached the desk to check in, our friends started looking for their tickets that they'd had earlier. No go--couldn't find them in a jacket, bag, or anywhere. We stepped out of the way so others could go while we helped them look--nope, nowhere to be found. That caused no small amount of stress for everyone; finally they decided to just buy another pair of tickets so they could get home. With that done, we checked in and got our seat assignments, then went through customs, checked the bags that we didn't want to keep with us, and boarded the train.
The train ride itself was delightful. We traveled down the coast much of the way, right along the water. We had big, comfy seats to ride in; a dining car with decent food and even a movie (Sherlock Holmes) if you had a headset or chose to purchase one. I didn't bother digging out my headset or buying one since we were still talking with our friends a lot of the way, but I saw enough periodically to satisfy me.
When we actually crossed the border into the U.S., customs agents boarded the train and gathered the customs declaration forms that we had already shown a couple of times before, asking the usual questions. A lady in the seat next to the four of us got a little flustered at the questions on what she had purchased and how much she had spent and all that, but she was able to satisfy the agent finally.
Our friends had left their big car with his mother and step dad so that his step dad could pick us all up at the train station. When they called their house to make sure that was still going to be okay, there was no answer at the house, so they called one of their cell phones. Surprise! Both Mom and Step-dad were coming to the train station. Oops, there went our ride--no way could 6 of us fit, so we gracefully said we'd get a cab (hoping and praying we had enough cash to do that).
We got in to the train station in downtown Seattle around 10 p.m. and collected our bags, then went to join the line of people waiting for cabs. Unlike Vancouver, there was no line of cabs waiting for fares, however. There were two games in town yesterday, baseball and soccer, so the cabs had been busy. They slowly found their way back to pick up people at the train station, though, and eventually we moved to the front of the line.
Just then, a guy in a nice town car pulled up and waved to us to come get in, he'd take us where we needed to go for the same fare as a taxi. Hubby didn't really realize the guy was not a registered taxi driver and agreed quickly--we were tired and wanted to get home. I was more than a little uncomfortable; it doesn't bode well when the guy has to move stuff around in his trunk to make room for the baggage, and then when we got in, I noticed he had a GPS unit but no meter or taxi license. It took hubby a little longer to notice all that and become uncomfortable too, but by then we were on our way and at the driver's mercy. To say that I was not thrilled is a mild understatement; I sat in the back seat thinking of all the horror stories and praying like mad that we wouldn't be robbed or worse and dumped somewhere. The guy did really take us home (obviously!), but along the way he got text messages from his son and answered them while driving, then several phone calls that he answered and chatted briefly with the handset to his ear. That got me praying that we would not end up in an accident!
When he got to our house and figured the fare, it was more than we expected or had. Now what? He offered to take us to a store to get more cash, but i suggested that hubby take our car to get cash and the guy follow him there since that would put him in a good place for going back to Seattle. No way did I want one or both of us to ride any more with him, so hubby did that, and everything turned out to be fine, although i am quite sure we were overcharged. It was late enough, however, that it really didn't matter--we made it home safely and were able to sleep in our own bed last night.
This morning was the moment of truth: did I gain, maintain, or lose weight over the course of the last two weeks of spotty food logging and literally TONS of food available at every turn? I had a wonderful time on vacation and didn't feel like I was dieting or deprived, but I tried to eat reasonably and healthy; without the instant feedback of the food tracker and other tools on SparkPeople, I really was not sure how I was doing along the way. Well, since last weighing on my home scale (drum roll, please) . . .
I LOST THREE AND A HALF POUNDS!!!
YES!!! To say I am happy with those results is a mild understatement. Shoot, I'd be happy with that kind of loss during any two week period, but while on vacation--it's better than I could have hoped for, really. I ate well and didn't feel like I was dieting at all; this whole healthy lifestyle that I have been trying so hard to develop is apparently beginning to stick. I am in no way ready to give up using the food tracker and tools on SparkPeople, but I believe I'm really going to be able to lose all the weight that I need to and keep it off permanently now. I have a whole different mindset these days, and I want to keep on developing a healthy lifestyle that's filled with physical activity and good, healthy food in reasonable quantities.
Thank you, my wonderful Spark Friends, for your encouragement and support. You inspire me more than you may ever realize, and your belief in me helps me believe in myself. If I can do this, anyone can--it IS possible to change from the inside out. We can do this together!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Vacation is almost over (boo!), so I thought it was high time that I tried to get another post done while everything is still fresh in my mind.
We have had a wonderful time cruising up the coast of California, Oregon, and Washington to Canada. The stops in San Francisco, Astoria (Oregon), and Victoria (B.C.) have been delighful. Cruising is addictive; if you've been on a cruise once, you are likely hooked for life. Being able to unpack everything once while visiting a variety of places is great. The question is, are you cruising for the places you'll visit or for the incredible food that is available all the time?
I was a little concerned that I would not be able to resist the food on board. There is an unlimited supply of food, and so much of it is not just good, it is AMAZING--and it's mostly included in the price. You want an appetizer? How many of each? Dessert? Why have just one--have two or three, they're small, and they're all so good. Calories, what calories? There's no way to be sure the calorie count of much of anything except maybe the fresh fruits and vegetables.
So how have I done? I mean, this is VACATION, this is once a year, we paid enough for it that there should be no limits . . . noooo! If I were on a diet, maybe that would be the case. I'm not dieting any more, though; I'm changing my lifestyle from being unhealthy and overindulgent to reasonable and healthy.
Without being able to get on a scale, of course, I can't say whether I have gained, maintained, or lost weight on the trip. I have, however, felt good about my choices overall. I have enjoyed some incredible meals, including desserts (black forest gateau--oh my!), but where possible I chose lighter fare, things like seafood and chicken, salads without heavy dressings, with occasional small tastes of richer foods. I have cruised before, and it was easy to get in the habit of having lots of everything, with dessert at lunch AND dinner every day, but that hasn't been the case this trip. I haven't felt deprived at all, either; if I really wanted something, I've had it, but I've tried to balance things out. If lunch was fairly big, dinner was lighter.
I have used the fitness center a few times, but I've found that on days when we visited ports, I didn't need anything extra--we took the stairs and walked everywhere. In San Francisco, I had over 13,000 steps; in Astoria, it was over 14,000. Even in Victoria today, it was almost 10,000 steps, and with all that we still plan to do this evening on board, I'll cross that number easily.
Now of course I don't mean to say that I have always made the absolute best choices possible. There was the cookie that was calling my name one day and I listened; the pasta in cream sauce that looked too good to pass up; the mini chocolate croissant that is available at breakfast EVERY MORNING. I don't have any regrets, though, or a sense of guilt over the choices I made along the way, and that is a big deal. That's progress for me, being able to enjoy food without either feeling guilty for eating something or deprived and angry because poor me, I can't have what I really want.
That is ultimately what I am working towards, making peace with myself and with food and exercise. I want to find that place of balance within where I don't feel like I am at war with the things I want to eat and the things I feel like I should eat. I crave fresh fruits and vegetables much more now; I don't have to have something sweet at every meal, although I'm sure I could go back to that without too much trouble. I love to walk these days, so I'll take the stairs nine times out of ten and have no problem keeping up with anyone else who is walking--actually, I can leave my hubby in the dust if I'm not careful because once I get started, I GO, LOL! On days where we have been at sea all day, we have made it a point to do walking laps around the ship (two and two-thirds laps equals one mile, and we do at least three laps).
The one thing I haven't done too much of that I was hoping to on this trip is run. I tried it on the treadmill in the fitness center aboard the ship, but the wave motion made it difficult, and I found myself very self conscious because of how crowded it was. It's been cool enough and again, I'm self conscious enough, that I have not gone to the jogging track to run, either. So far I haven't been able to run much more than two minutes at a time, so I don't know whether I'm just wimping out and not pushing myself hard enough or that's really all I can do at this point. I'm not going to worry about it right now, though; if I have to start from the beginning with C25K or with a more conservative plan when we get home, I will, and I will progress at whatever rate I can. I'm not going to give up; I may never be a fast runner or particularly good at running, but I'm going to run.
So I'm pretty happy with how things have gone on vacation. We have enjoyed our time on board and ashore, and it has been a lot of fun having friends on the cruise with us. We have enjoyed some great entertainment and activities on board (Second City, Oh What A Night Tribute, and a murder mystery dinner, to name a few), seen a lot of sights in port, and done a TON of walking both on board and ashore. I could easily spend another week on board if it weren't for needing to go back to work to make money to pay the bills, LOL! The one real problem I have with being on a cruise is having to limit my Internet time--I MISS being able to keep up with what's happening with everyone, so for that I will be glad to get home in a couple of days.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
We are on the transition day of vacation, going from staying in Anaheim for a few days to boarding a cruise ship in a few hours for a week long cruise up the West Coast. We have had a wonderful visit here seeing sights, visiting old haunts, and spending a day with family; now it's time to finish up packing things for the cruise and enjoy that part of vacation.
I was disappointed to discover that we wouldn't have the Internet access I had expected here. We've had some, but it's been sporadic so I haven't been able to do much on SparkPeople other than spin the wheel (gotta keep getting points!) and read a few blogs from my Spark Friends. You all really help me keep my focus when faced with SO much temptation! I have managed to get in some good exercise and stay active throughout the trip so far, and eating has been pretty good. I was only over on calories somewhat on one day if I'm anywhere close to estimating things right, but I still think I ended up with a calorie deficit because I had a nice walk/run and kept moving throughout the day. And if I can believe the doctor-style scale in the exercise room here, I am almost to the 30 pound loss mark, which was a real shocker! I'm hoping they have one of those on the ship; it provides a little sanity check to make sure I'm not underestimating portions and calories too badly.
This really is a test of how well I'm making these changes a 'lifestyle' instead of a 'diet.' Ten days of no measuring cups or spoons, no cooking on my own (other than breakfast) or having foods with the nutrition info available and plenty of opportunities to go back to the old way of eating and being a slug in terms of activity will be enough to show me whether I am really making changes for life. So far I think I'm doing well; I crave fresh fruits and vegetables still (where can I get a good, crisp salad, please?) and I take the stairs every opportunity I can. I'm not depriving myself entirely; I had dinner at Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, but I ate half and brought half back for another night, and when told pie was included with my lunch yesterday (half sandwich and salad), I ate the whole piece because it was SO good. But I would not want to have that every day, and I had spent time on the treadmill in the morning as well as walking throughout the day.
Okay, coffee is ready and bagels are toasting, so it's time to log off and shut the computer down. Thank you all for your support; you are so much a part of the changes I have been able to make and the success I've had so far!
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