TRAVELGRRL's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=TRAVELGRRL TRAVELGRRL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Vacation Day 72/90 - What Else Could Go Wrong? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5745170 So today was our move day to Salt Lake City. <BR> <BR> TC went to move the truck...and it wouldn't start! Apparently he had left the keys in the vehicle and the radio on. Oh well! Called our Roadside Service and they arranged for a guy to come out...problem #1 solved! <BR> <BR> Then we went to a "quarter" car wash to blow the worst of the dirt off the trailer. Pulling out, we hit a pothole, scraped bottom, and broke off a stabilizer. Ack. Problem #2. <BR> <BR> Traffic through Salt ... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:26:57 EST Vacation Day 71/90 - Last Hike in Moab http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5744342 We have enjoyed our time here; we are 10 minutes outside of Arches National Park and about an hour away from Canyonlands National Park. We have hiked both parks pretty extensively and enjoyed them immensely. As we wind our way from one national park/national monument to another, I truly understand why these areas have been set aside for the enjoyment of all. They are beautiful and unique. I am so grateful for these national treasures. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, on an impulse, we turned down a ... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:40:14 EST Vacation Day 65/90 - Random Thoughts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5740005 I am down another pound, so happily I am now below my ticker weight! Yay! <BR> <BR> Watermellen wrote a great blog today about celebrating her 5-year maintenance anniversary, and in it she talks about many of the things she's learned to do to maintain her 90-pound weight loss. <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal.asp?id=WATERMELLEN </link> <BR> <BR> The thing that spoke to me this morning is that we have to understand that our weight WILL fluctuate, that upt... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:46:13 EST Vacation Day 64/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5739501 Thanks for the comments on my hiking blog yesterday! <BR> <BR> Yes, I guess I am "fit" but I see a difference in my body since it's now been 2 months without strength training or any kind of ab work. YES, I could do planks, pushups and situps in the trailer but...I don't. I just don't! <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> Also, I've not been Sparking as much, not been tracking...not been watching what I eat very much...and it's starting to show up, especially now that we've not been doing the long,... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:28:42 EST Vacation Day 63/90, Hiking in Utah http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5738947 Yay, heat wave in Utah! The truck temperature gauge registered 106 degrees when we were driving through Valley of the Gods. YE GODS! <BR> <BR> Hiking has been difficult! It is 80 degrees by 8:30 am, 90 degrees by 11:30 am, and hotter than that in the afternoons. We're about 6000 feet above sea level so that adds to the level of difficulty. <BR> <BR> ANYWAY. We got up at 4:00 this morning to do a 8.6 mile hike in Natural Bridges National Monument. We started on the trail at 6:45 am. ... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 22:19:31 EST Vacation Day 55/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5732354 We enjoyed Great Sand Dunes National Park. We walked on the sand dunes one day, but MAN! Walking UPhill on sand at 8,000 feet is not my idea of fun! We made it 2/3 of the way up to the top and called it quits. The next day we did a GLORIOUS hike up to Mosca Pass. It was 7 miles round trip and passed a babbling brook, through alpine meadows with lots of wildflowers in bloom. Glorious! The altitude gain was 1,400 feet (from 8200 to 9600) but it was gradual and we took our time. Pictures... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 08:34:54 EST Bad Things Come in Threes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5727888 I was going to write a blog about the last two weeks in Rocky Mountain National Park, and upload some pictures, but my heart is heavy. I'm sorry this blog will be a downer. <BR> <BR> My father died on May 11, 2013 from cancer that invaded the nerves in his face. <BR> <BR> My former sister-in-law, married to my brother for 15 years, died of skin cancer on August 13, 2013 at the age of 51. <BR> <BR> Yesterday my mother was positively diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer. She never smoked a c... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 18:40:04 EST Correction about Devils Tower http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5719404 Well, I found out that DT isn't a volcanic extrusion it is an igneous INTRUSION. Ha! Who knew? <BR> <BR> I thought it was going to be kind of lame, just a big rock sticking out of the ground! But I was wrong -- it is beauiful! You can see it 15 miles away! <BR> <BR> We first took the Red Beds trail (3.5 miles) and then were able to take the paved Tower Trail (1.3 miles around the Tower) with a park ranger who was from the Lakota Tribe. He was EXCELLENT and explained so much about his c... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:42:55 EST Vacation Day 35/90: Devils Tower, Wyoming http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5718918 Today we are off to see Devils Tower in Moorcroft, Wyoming. My husband is a big geology fan so passing up a volcanic extrusion just wasn't going to happen! It also is a national monument so I can get my National Parks passport stamped, which is the highlight for me! Love looking through that book, seeing all the national parks, monuments, and historic sites we've been to. <BR> <BR> Of course we'll hike today also! We are hoping to do all 7 miles of trails around the tower. We will NOT b... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:09:36 EST Vacation Day 28/90 - Buffalo Encounters of the Close Kind http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5714411 We went to Mt. Rushmore today. I hate to admit it, but it PALED compared to Crazy Horse. It's just so...small! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1587553561.jpg"> <BR> <BR> But we enjoyed the video and the visitor's center and the president's walk, and then we came back to the campground and decided on a 5.5 mile hike. <BR> <BR> I packed our lunches and we started on the loop. We got about 1/2 mile and saw....places in the grass that were all matted down (bu... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 18:24:46 EST Custer State Park and My First (But Definitely Not Last) Volksmarch http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5713003 As avid a walker as I am, you'd think I'd know about a national -- no, INTERNATIONAL -- walking organization! <BR> <BR> But you'd be wrong! <BR> <BR> Today was such a serendipitous day, I can't believe it. <BR> <BR> We are at Custer State Park in South Dakota. It is an incredible park with 1500 wild buffalo who have the entire run of the park. Seriously. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1330538917.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 19:45:55 EST Vacation, Day 21/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5708779 We are currently in Garretson, South Dakota at Palisades State Park. The quartzite cliffs are beautiful: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l904020921.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Tomorrow it is off to Mitchell, SD for one night to see the famouse Corn Palace and on Wednesday we drive to Custer State Park in Custer, SD to spend 11 nights. They have the largest bison herd in the US and lots of hiking trails. We'll also be doing a lot of siteseeing -- Crazy Horse, Badlands Nat... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 09:55:28 EST 12th Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5698160 Did our 12th half marathon in Midland, Michigan, with my brother and his girlfriend. Had a great time! She ran, my brother walks like a maniac, and we did our walk/jog thing. We finished about a minute behind our best time, but we had TWO potty breaks so we did a great job! 2:59 minutes. Here's the 4 of us: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l114925919.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Then we went to pick up my other two brothers at the airport. When we arrived at my mother's... Mon, 19 May 2014 07:50:34 EST Vacation, Day 4/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5696207 We finally arrived in Michigan yesterday and set up camp midway between the town where my mother lives and the town where TC's family lives. It was 3 days of driving in the rain, but we made it without incident so we are grateful! <BR> <BR> The weeks before leaving on an extended trip are always stressful and difficult. There is SO MUCH to do in shutting down a house for three months and packing for three months on the road. Every time I crossed one thing off my list I thought of two m... Fri, 16 May 2014 08:31:19 EST Tough Day for Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5692743 Yes, today is Mother's Day, but it's a tough day for me. <BR> <BR> My father died one year ago today. This is the photo of the two of us I've had on my computer desktop for most of the past year: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2078828034.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I talked to my mother today. She and my two siblings that still live in state went to Mass this morning, then lunch, and then the cemetery to plant flowers on my dad's grave. My nephew also went. His mothe... Sun, 11 May 2014 17:18:23 EST Travel Prep http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5687358 Hi fellow Sparklers! <em>283</em> <BR> <BR> Things are well in my world but getting busy. <BR> <BR> We are leaving in a week for our 3-month trip. We are taking our smallish travel trailer to Michigan to visit family for 2 weeks, and then off to South Dakota and points west for a hiking and siteseeing vacation. <BR> <BR> My husband is a geography/history major so this is "his" trip. But I am in for the ride! <BR> <BR> I have a zillion things to do in the next week: pack clothes fo... Sun, 4 May 2014 17:29:46 EST Half Marathon - Personal Best! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5681541 Hello fellow Sparklers, <BR> <BR> I haven't been feeling the Spark much lately, which is why I haven't blogged. But now that this half marathon is over I'm feeling like I have a fresh start. <BR> <BR> This was the first half marathon in my hometown. TC and I signed up along with a lot of people from our fitness center, including many of the group fitness instructors and the HIGHLY competitive woman who made me feel so badly about our February half marathon time. I blogged about that for ... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 11:06:44 EST Is It Worth It? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5669677 This was the discussion topic in Weight Watchers last night. <BR> <BR> Before automatically grabbing for something, <em>227</em> <BR> <BR> and ask yourself: IS IT WORTH IT? <BR> <BR> * Is it an occasion? <BR> * How often do you eat this food? Can you get it any time? <BR> * Does it look delicious and amazing? <BR> * Do you have the calories to "spend" on it? <BR> * Can you control how much of it you eat? <BR> <BR> I thought these were excellent points, and honestly, ones we can't he... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:14:45 EST April Plans! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5663835 OMG, WHERE did the first quarter of the year go?? <BR> <BR> I haven't made any forward progress, BUT: I've stabilized at 137-138. I'm still exercising a lot but as usual, my eating has been inconsistent which is why I haven't lost any more. <BR> <BR> Isn't it true that we have to keep things fresh on our journey, that we need to find ways to continually motivate ourselves? So to shake things up I rejoined Weight Watchers tonight! <BR> <BR> Fully-dressed and after drinking all my water... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 21:40:14 EST 2014 Travels http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5635046 Writing a blog for the third and final day of the challenge! <BR> <BR> Nothing weight-related though. I'm doing well with exercise; I've been averaging 18,000 steps per day and keeping up with my classes. I've been sloppy with my nutrition and I've been up and down the same 5 pounds all of February. I hope I can get some traction in March! <BR> <BR> We are planning our trips for the year. <BR> <BR> In March we will take our travel trailer for Tennessee for a week. We are going to do a ... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 08:29:46 EST Hump Day Funnies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5634107 I have to write a blog today for a challenge, so thought I'd share a mid-week chuckle! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/0/l503736524.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/2/l225751001.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l668853829.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1674915733.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1251862953.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:35:06 EST Head Hunger http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5633060 I am reading through "100 days of weight loss" by Linda Sprangle with a group of Sparkfriends. We have a discussion thread on the Emotional Eating Spark team. <BR> <BR> Today's topic is "Head Hunger". <BR> <BR> The author contends that there are times when we crave crunchy or chewy foods when we are feeling angry, frustrated, or resentful. She says when we have the desire to eat these kinds of foods we should ask ourselves, "What do I really want to chew on?" <BR> <BR> I'm not sure that ... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 01:32:55 EST Last Thoughts on the Race Before Moving On http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5629324 Thanks to everyone for their support on my blog Tuesday. I can always count on fellow Sparkers to be in my corner and have my back! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2048091652.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I guess I didn't realize how much that woman affected me with her disdainful "OH" at the fitness center on Tuesday. I really felt crushed! You see, probably unlike her, I've never been athletic. AT ALL. Not until about ten years ago had I even walked a mile for fitness... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 14:21:29 EST More Thoughts on the Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5627455 I forgot to mention a couple of cool things that happened during the race. <BR> <BR> First off, about Mile 9, a woman & man passed us and she turned around and said, "Are y'all married?" I gasped, "YES." <BR> <BR> She said, "I want to be just like y'all. Y'all are awesome!" She and the man (presumably her husband) were a few years either side of 30, and her taking the time to say that? It JUST MADE MY DAY! <BR> <BR> After the race TC said, "People are really friendly around here. ... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:46:56 EST Our 10th Half Marathon! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5626507 It was in Texarkana, Texas & Arkansas. It swung back and forth between the states. Kind of fun! <BR> <BR> Before the race: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l820162493.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Ha! In front of the Arkansas Razorback HOG! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1350051877.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Now why did he take my picture with the hog's rear end? Just sayin'. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:58:44 EST Would You Pay? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5623032 LOVED yesterday's comments on the appropriateness of the Spark article on "Making Your Own Girl Scout Cookies." <BR> <BR> Like all of us, I ignore a lot of what I see on Spark -- I just felt this was particularly egregious-- we are bombarded by unhealthy food EVERYWHERE in our culture, it is the cause of a rapidly-advancing obesity crisis, and ... I'd like to think that Sparkpeople was better than this. <BR> <BR> AND, this was NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT -- this was an article by a Sparkpeople em... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:48:27 EST Homemade Girl Scout Cookies? REALLY, Sparkpeople??? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5622391 <link>www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?po<BR>st=7_homemade_girl_scout_cookie_recipes </link> <BR> <BR> I know it's all about "everything in moderation", and I understand that Spark is a gigantic site and not all articles are going to be viewed as helpful by all people. <BR> <BR> But an article by Stepfanie Romine, a Sparkpeople Editorial Director, on how to make your own Girl Scout cookies seems to be over the top!!!! <BR> <BR> AND, using the already-decadent Girl Scout cookies as a de... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 15:15:32 EST January 2014 Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5611889 Hello SparkFriends! <em>283</em> <BR> <BR> I haven't been blogging often because I'm active with my Beyond the Scale team, the "Pink Pirates." I don't feel I have a lot to say -- I'm just chugging along here in my little corner of the Spark Universe. <BR> <BR> I had a pretty good January. It wasn't perfect, but that helps me battle the "perfectionism" tendencies that tend to paralyze me. <BR> <BR> In January I lost 8.7 pounds, so ALL of the weight I put on during my three-week vacat... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 09:05:48 EST YAY For Fitbit! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5596148 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/4/l945762232.jpg"> <BR> <BR> In addition to the amusing "factoid" about the squid, YAY for Fitbit for letting me know my total mileage in 2013! <BR> <BR> It's the mileage from Casper, Wyoming to BOSTON, Massachusetts. <BR> <BR> It averages out to 5.93 miles for each and every day in 2013. <BR> <BR> WOW! <BR> <BR> That's going to be tough to beat, but I'm on it.... <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>342</em> <em>315</em> <em>295</em... Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:49:00 EST Mid-Month Check In http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5594983 Good afternoon, Sparkfriends! Wow, the month is half over. <BR> <BR> I've been doing well. I am still working to get back to the lowest weight I achieved in December before leaving on our European river cruise. I have two more pounds to go. <BR> <BR> When I got back on January 1 I weighed myself (up 8 pounds) but then on January 2 I GOT BUSY. <BR> <BR> Did I regret gaining eight pounds? Well, "kind of"! Who wants to have to lose eight pounds over again? But no, I don't really regr... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:54:25 EST Our Europe Trip in Pictures! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5583316 Oh my gosh, we had a blast. It was our first time in Europe; we took a river cruise from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland. The draw of the cruise was to visit the Christmas Markets" which are a standard in every village and town in Europe, I swear! <BR> <BR> LOVED the architecture and the canals of Amsterdam! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1660233750.jpg"> <BR> <BR> EVERYONE rides a bike! The road in front of the "bike lot?" THEY ARE BIKE ... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 18:13:34 EST Heading Home http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5576297 We are in the Boston Airport, ready to start the journey home. As much as I love traveling, I always look forward to coming home! <BR> <BR> I'm anxious to get back on a normal eating and exercise schedule. I'm also looking forward to catching up with all of you in the days ahead. Happy New Year, everyone!! <BR> <BR> Tue, 31 Dec 2013 06:21:35 EST Off to Europe! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5563449 TC and I are leaving tomorrow for a European River cruise! <BR> <BR> The draw of the cruise is visiting the Christmas Markets of various towns that are located on the Rhine River, although we will obviously be doing much more sightseeing than that. I'm really excited -- we've been to a lot of places but this is our first visit to Europe. <BR> <BR> We board the boat/ship (only 140 passengers) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and make stops in The Netherlands, Germany, and France before debar... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 09:19:51 EST Ice Storm http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5558902 These are blocking our driveway, which is about 1/10 of a mile long. We are going to try to get out today -- but may have to cut trees to do so! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1642456599.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1981868423.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2129373184.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/2/l323463253.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://pho... Sat, 7 Dec 2013 08:39:42 EST Rethinking Thanksgiving http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5551311 Hello, everyone! <BR> <BR> I am only ONE POUND away from my original goal of 136. This will put me at a healthy BMI for the first time in over a decade!!! I've lost 47 pounds since my high weight in 2011; 25 pounds down since February 2013. Disclosure: This hasn't all been a straight-line downward trend, of course. I've gained and lost, gained and lost! <BR> <BR> But now that I am in the 130s (can't get used to hearing that!!!) I want to stop all this yoyoing. <BR> <BR> This means I h... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 08:31:47 EST Just When You Thought You Were Safe! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5538460 Does anyone else feel like we just got through the gauntlet of Halloween eating? <BR> <BR> I was going through Sunday's ads today before throwing them in the recycle bin -- and I immediately noticed that the same candy that was endlessly advertised for Halloween is NOW out in Christmas wrappings! Yup, Snickers bars, Hershey's kisses, the whole gang was represented! Not hardly a minute's break before the "you deserve this because it's a special occasion" mentality is foisted upon us again. ... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 17:24:58 EST Mystery Solved http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5537449 I know my friend Nancy- posted a blog today. NO email notification!!! I waited a few hours -- NO email notification!!!! <BR> <BR> Checked my Spam folder -- EUREKA! There are ten million Spark notices there, including my recipes of the day, team digests, and blog notifications. <BR> <BR> How this happened I do not know, but at least I know AAALL my Sparkfriends haven't unfriended me!!! <em>334</em> <em>224</em> <em>334</em> <em>224</em> <em>334</em> <em>224</em> <em>... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 15:59:20 EST Anybody Else Having this Problem? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5537195 For 3 days now Spark has NOT been sending me emails when my Sparkfriends write a new blog! <BR> <BR> For 3 days I've received NO emails... <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> Yet you-all ARE blogging, and I'm just not being notified. I checked my blog subscription page, and while some were "dropped", most are still active. <BR> <BR> Is anyone else having this problem, or just me? <BR> <BR> In the meantime, if I don't respond to your blog, it's not because I don't love you, it's because I didn't kno... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 09:46:01 EST sTEAMing Ahead! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5534123 I have nothing really to say except I lost another pound this week. That makes 9.5 pounds since October 1, which is a 6.3% loss! Woo hoo! <BR> <BR> I started at 151.5 and now weigh 142. Woo hoo again! This is EPIC! <BR> <BR> My blog title isn't a case of poor proofreading or a caps lock gone wild, it's a tribute to my Steely Sapphire Soldiers teammates in BLC23! My teammates and captains keep me motivated, encouraged, and focused. Every week we have new goals that challenge us to pre... Wed, 6 Nov 2013 16:57:53 EST October Review/November Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5529052 October was a blazing success. I started at 151.5 and ended at 143. This is due in NO small part to joining BLC23, the Biggest Loser Challenge. I love my team, the Steely Sapphire Soldiers! <BR> <BR> Being on the team, participating in the weekly challenges has kept me focused on the small things that always add up to big things. It has been really working for me. <BR> <BR> Probably the biggest difference the challenge has made to me is helping me combat the "I can indulge this once" ... Fri, 1 Nov 2013 09:20:05 EST Still Chugging Along http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5523733 Do you ever "hit a new low", only to get back on the scale secretly terrified that you've regained 6 pounds and the new low is elusively gone again? <BR> <BR> I KNOW it's just a number, BUT! Anyway, I got on the scale this morning and all is good! WHEW. <em>43</em> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> I'm doing well resisting all the Halloween sweets that have appeared EVERYWHERE. It's overwhelming, isn't it? But I tell myself that there will be plenty of other opportunities to eat these thin... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 08:55:38 EST I did it! Hit the 40 pound mark! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5521580 I have not blogged more regularly because I joined the Biggest Loser 23 Fall Challenge, which is keeping me super busy! <BR> <BR> I've been making really, really good progress. Since October 1, I've lost 7.5 pounds. The friendly competition among teams and the support & camaraderie of my team has really helped me stay on track. And as we all know, CONSISTENCY is the key! It's what's been missing from my efforts for a long time. <BR> <BR> I have a calendar that hangs in my walk-in closet... Wed, 23 Oct 2013 18:33:20 EST My Plan for the Coming Weeks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5520574 I am in the Biggest Loser Challenge, and one of my tasks for today was to write a blog about what I plan to do in Week 5 of the challenge. <BR> <BR> Well, I have to say that what I've been doing in Weeks 1-4 has been working pretty well! <BR> <BR> Tomorrow is the Official Week 4 Weigh in but I'm expecting another loss on top of the 5.5 pounds I've lost in Weeks 1-3. That's really good for me, so what do I plan to do in the coming weeks? <BR> <BR> Keep it up! <BR> <BR> This challenge is... Tue, 22 Oct 2013 18:07:00 EST Day One of the Inca Trail Hike (with lots of pictures) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5509159 After 3-4 days acclimating to the altitude in Cusco, Peru, our group was ready to start hiking! We were each allowed 16 pounds of gear -- clothing, toiletries, pillow, spare shoes, etc. All of our stuff went into duffle bags, was weighed, and packed up for the porters. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1925197705.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Our group of 14 people had 22 porters, each of whom was allowed to carry 55 pounds. Believe it or not, porters have a union which h... Wed, 9 Oct 2013 17:27:05 EST Our First Day: Lima, Peru http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5507186 I promise I won't give you a full account of each day in Peru! But this first day was so special. Tomorrow I'll blog on the hike. <BR> <BR> Because of our weird arrival time, we arrived in Lima the day before everyone else in our group. So before we left the US I found a day tour that we were interested in. If you ever want to research a tour or good restaurant in a city you've never been to, I really suggest checking out <link>www.tripadvisor.com </link> . We've always had good expe... Mon, 7 Oct 2013 16:29:20 EST Girls in Hats http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5503834 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/2/l520349900.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Wanted to share these pictures! My picture was taken before we started on the Inca Trail. I'm trying to hold ON to my hat. Rebecca's picture was taken as she was trying to take OFF her hat! <BR> <BR> My husband has a definite soft spot for women in hats! He begged me to juxtapose these pictures and get prints made. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Becca is 8 months old in this picture; I'm considerably older!! <BR... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 20:52:41 EST September Review and October Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5502099 September: <BR> <BR> September went well. I didn't lose all the weight I wanted before hiking in Peru, but I was certainly fit enough to complete the hike in fine style. On the hardest day, hiking up 4,000 feet in elevation to Dead Woman's Pass, TC and I were #5 and #6 to make it to the top out of our group of 14. <BR> <BR> I ended the month at the same weight, which is a positive measure of my ability to maintain my weight loss. A huge accomplishment for me, always. <BR> <BR> October... Wed, 2 Oct 2013 05:45:50 EST Short Check In! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5501086 We had an awesome time in Peru! What an exciting country. I have to go through the 1,335 pictures my husband (mostly) took, delete about 1/3 of them, and then I'll write a blog and post pictures of the trip. TC had a great comment that all of our fellow hikers agreed with: <BR> <BR> "HIKING THE INCA TRAIL WAS A MILLION DOLLAR EXPERIENCE THAT I WOULDN'T PAY ONE CENT TO REPEAT!" <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> But about my weight: I gained two pounds on the trip. This is really a huge acco... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 07:32:27 EST Lessons Learned About Eating on Vacation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5491677 This is an interesting trip because everyone is quite fit, which isn't surprising since it is a 4-day hiking trip! But it's not like taking a cruise, or a trip where you sit on a bus most of the time. <BR> <BR> I would say that I'm the most overweight woman here. TC may disagree, but probably only because he's kind! <BR> <BR> Our group is interesting: there are 14 of us; there are two married couples, two men whose wives didn't come, a single man, a mother/daughter combo, and the rest a... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 06:12:46 EST Leaving for Peru... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5487064 ...in about an hour! I'm nervous. <BR> <BR> TC and I WERE going to hike on our "mountain" (1800 feet) over the weekend, but that didn't happen. On Friday night I started feeling sick, like a sinus infection was coming on. My lymph nodes were swollen. My throat hurt. <BR> <BR> By Saturday I knew I couldn't take the chance of getting sick, so we sat in the clinic for 3 hours before I could see a doctor. She prescribed some meds, even though it wasn't really bad, and then I waited for an ... Mon, 16 Sep 2013 09:52:24 EST