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Mister McBody, Meet Jillian! November 20, 2010

So we are on vacation. Not where we thought we were going to be on vacation, but a lovely getaway nonetheless. It turned out to be a road trip instead of a plane trip, thanks to $&*#! American Airlines. More on that elsewhere. Anyway, there was some rain in the forecast and Mr. McBody expressed some concern that instead of going to a hotel or resort, we are renting a private house without a fitness center. He definitely likes his fitness center, his machines. Whatever will we do?

Never fear! I tossed a couple pairs of hand weights, a foam roller and medicine ball into the car. This is the joy of car travel – you can take ANYthing with you! (I also brought a big bag of books, all the shoes I own and a ton of other stuff I would not have brought on the plane) Plus about 4 Jillian Michaels DVDs, including the 30 Day Shred, which has kicked my butt and made me happy on numerous occasions.

I went for a 4.75 mile walk in the cool rain yesterday morning. My DirectLife told me that this was pretty good, but only 70% of my daily target. Hmm. Who knew. Running is a much more efficient calorie-burner than walking. (duh) I knew I’d have to do something else.

I started in to bugging him around 2pm. He hemmed and hawed. Finally he set me up with a deal: If I would listen to a 20 minute podcast about WWII and the Great Depression (did you know he is a MASSIVE and I mean MASSIVE history geek?), then he would do the 30 Day Shred with me. OK. DEAL.

I listened to the podcast. It was pretty good, and not the greatest hardship in the world, since in some parallel universe, I happen to be writing a historical novel set during WWII. So it was helpful, kinda.

The moment had come! But we are staying in a super fancy rental home with a space-age entertainment center, a cabinet full of electronic equipment that says DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING OR YOU WILL BE CHARGED $100, and a remote control with 500 buttons on it. We got the DVD into the player and could not for the life of us get it past the menu where you have to choose which workout. We wrestled with the remote for about half an hour, which burned about 20 calories.

Then we came upon the brilliant idea that we could play it on our laptop. Voila!!

He was a trooper. He said he’d go for Level 2. I was like, YEAH Mister! Jillian started it up and from then on there was not much conversation. But he hung in there, I hung in there (with 8 lb weights!) and we had a KILLER workout that left us both sweating rivers. It was excellent.

He was way impressed! On the way to dinner, he said (several times) “I’m really glad we did that! I feel great!” So yay. Maybe tomorrow (today?) we will try the Yoga one. He also expressed amazement that she did not humiliate us during the workout. Haha.

So go Jillian, you’ve got another convert! and maybe I have an at-home exercise buddy.

 

Vacation: Holding the Moon September 1, 2010

Filed under: good things — Susan @ 11:46 pm
Tags: , , , ,

We had a fantastic vacation last week, an extended family reunion (21!) in Yellowstone National Park. Wow what an amazing place. I’d driven through there about 30 years ago for maybe a day or so, but never really took the time to explore it all. Of course, not even in a week could we explore even a fraction of its awesomeness. But we were able to do a significant amount in a week. It was humbling and great to see the bison and elk just roaming about. My kids even saw a grizzly bear (I missed it). There was a lot of hiking, there was absolutely NO internet or cell phone or texting or even room-to-room phones! So if we wanted to make a dinner plan, we had to trek around to 6 other cabins which were spread all over, and do it like I guess they did in the Way Olden Days.

The food situation was less than ideal: either a 7-11 type store, a high school cafeteria-ish place, or a fancy expensive restaurant. Except for the fancy restaurant it was very very low on fresh produce. Ugh. I ate a lot of meat and other stuff that I had not touched in years (bologna! M & Ms!)

Meanwhile, we hiked miles and miles, and saw some beautiful terrain. I was very curious about how it was all going to turn out. I had decided I’d be okay with gained a couple of pounds, which I usually do on vacation, and that I’d settle back down.

But it was the same! (my weight) Imagine my surprise. And it was another little period of exhalation, of really understand that I have this down, pretty much. It’s internalized. I make good choices. I stay active. I relaxed. It’s all good. As a vacation should be. Wheeeewwwwwwww.

Here’s a couple fun shots.

ma, it's a bison!

bull elk

a little close

boiling blue water

rainbow over Lower Falls

 

Heading Into the Wilderness August 21, 2010

Storm over Yellowstone Falls

I’m realllllllllllllllllllly looking forward to our family vacation coming up. I feel like it’s been a really long, hardworking summer and I am READY for some R & R!

I’ve been scoping out the place where we’re going and it looks like the food situation… um, I don’t know. We’re staying in these rustic cabins and it looks as though everyone who stays there eats in a cafeteria kind of place. Hm. All I can do is cross my fingers, hope for the best, Make Good Choices, etc.

I think it will be a plus-minus sort of situation. On one hand, there will be opportunity for a lot of activity. Hiking, biking, rafting etc! In a beautiful spot! On the other hand, it’s a lot of unknowns, especially with the food. I won’t have my scale. ;-) I am pretty sure there is going to be NO INTERNET (!!!!!!!!!!). So that does not bode well for my food blog. I am vowing to take pics of all my eats though, and when I can upload them, I will.

 

Does This Vacation Make Me Look Fat? April 6, 2010

I’m home!! I got home from Costa Rica around 1am and if I don’t write a post now, I think it will be weeks before I have time to sit and do it. Things are crazy (again!) just as they were pre-vacation. Tonight is my solo performance show, and next week I begin a brand new job. Whewwwwww. So much for laying back in the slow tempo of Central America – I’m back in the USA again and back to the insane pace of life.

Being on vacation was wonderful, and relaxing, and rejuvenating. But it was a totally different environment and pace than I was used to. For one, I did not have my scale with me (thank goodness!) which gives me constant feedback. I use it to stay on track here at home, and without it, how would I know what was what? I wasn’t super worried about it, because I knew that even if I came out of the vacation a few pounds up, I could get back to it quickly enough. Still, I was curious.

One one hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost weight because:

  • I was sweating buckets every day. Without even moving.
  • I was getting SOME exercise – walking to the beach, to waterfalls and the like.
  • I was not eating a single thing between meals.
  • The meals were what I would consider very healthy – protein, beans, vegetables, a lot of fresh fruit. Our host was an amazing chef!

BUT I wouldn’t be surprised to gain weight because:

  • I wasn’t doing ANYthing near my regular workouts. At one point I ran about 4 steps and then quickly gave that up. It’s like running in a steam bath. I couldn’t deal.
  • I didn’t swim at all like I’d hoped because the ocean was, although gorgeous, brutally rough.
  • The food was incredibly delicious and I often went back for seconds.

It was really, really hard to gage where I was. I couldn’t really use my clothing as a monitor because all my summerweight clothing, I bought last year before I got to my goal weight. So it was all pretty much hanging loose on me anyway. I couldn’t tell by looking at the mirror. I really had no clue at all. And you know, normally it wouldn’t MATTER so much but I do have this WW job you know, and I didn’t want to come home and have to battle back down to my range. So I would’ve preferred to not gain a whole bunch. I felt healthy. I felt good.

One measure I was able to take was my blood sugars. In the first part of the week they continued to be up because I think I was still dehydrated. I wasn’t able to drink as much as I would’ve liked to, so it took a few days for that to stabilize, but by the end of the week I was in a good place. I have to say it gave me a small bit of comfort to be able to measure SOMEthing objectively.

One thing that I noticed was that I felt more comfortable in my body than I ever have in a hot climate. Before, when I’d gone on a beach vacation, I’d felt awful in a bathing suit, disgusting when I sweated, and extremely unfit. On this vacation, I took a 5 mile trek through the jungle (to get to the waterfall, yay) and it was like… piece of cake. I took one hike to this eco-lodge up a very very steep hill, and it was like… no problem. I felt comfortable clambering around and never got huffy puffy or anything. That felt GOOD. And sweat didn’t bother me like it used to.

I used to be one of those people who was completely sweatophobic. It made me sick. But now it’s just…. water. And it doesn’t bother me. It’s really OK. Maybe because sweat during my workouts is a good thing – a very very good thing. I’ve made friends with sweat! Yahoo!

So when I left on my vacation I was 5 lbs “down” because of my dumb dehydration problem at the marathon. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to maintain THAT because it was mostly water weight anyway. In fact it was ALL water weight. This morning when I weighed myself I was 2 lbs up from that weight, so 3 lbs down from the day before the marathon. OK! I’ll take that! I hope I’ll be able to maintain that because it’s a number I can be very happy at.

So that’s that. Interesting, huh? It’s funny how things change when we don’t have our regular landmarks and ways of checking in. But I felt good about what I was doing overall. I’m eager to get back to my regular workouts. I’m glad it’s not 90 million degrees here. But it was also good to get out of routine and realize there are ways of staying healthy that look and feel different.

 

The Company Party October 24, 2009

Yesterday was WW’s local “Celebrations” party in which staff were given awards for various things, people got to meet and mingle, and there was some delicious food with nice little signs that detailed the ingredients and points-values. How considerate!! There was a nice spinach salad with dressing on the side, and a variety of wrap sandwiches, and some trays of 1-and-2- point cookies that had been custom baked. Wouldn’t it be nice if ALL restaurants and parties did this… gave you all the information you needed to make great choices?

Anyway, it was fun. I’ve actually never worked for a large company before, so it was all new to me. People got awards for working for 5, 10, 15, 20, and (really!!) 25 years! Which was pretty amazing. There were also awards given for Diamond Leaders, who are in the top 20% of leaders nationwide as far as having their members lose weight and sticking with the program until they reach Lifetime. Then they gave out awards for people who had helped members lose 100 lbs or more. Leaders told some very moving stories; one woman lost over 200 lbs this year. Then everyone (including me!) got gift certificates from Lands End, which was pretty nifty! I had no idea that was coming, so it was nice.

After the party I zipped over to the airport, but I didn’t really need to zip, because my flight was delayed over an hour. I’m accompanying my spouse while he’s at a conference.  At the airport, I was sooo tired and sleepy and bored, and I realllllly wanted a Starbucks hot chocolate for some reason, but thanks to Twitter, I got talked down and made it onto the flight without doing anything regretful.

I have set up a new Twitter account (not my Foodie one) that I’m going to use when I start leading meetings. I am toying with the idea of using Twitter to support my members. I can’t even express how much my Twitter friends have helped me stay accountable, and feel supported, over and over again. (case in point last night)

Coincidentally, I received a very long and detailed email from the Powers That Be over at WW this morning, explaining what we can and cannot say or do regarding WW online. I guess that includes this blog. OK, it DOES include this blog.

So, according to rules, I am stating for the record,

“I am a Weight Watchers employee writing about my personal experience on plan. The views expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of Weight Watchers.”

I hope I’m not being desrespectful when I say that this additional statement from the memo made me laugh out loud: if you choose to write a blog posting about how much you enjoy shopping with your daughter, your relationship with Weight Watchers would be irrelevant and you would not need to disclose it to the community.

Ha! But seriously, it was good that they clarified their stance. Which makes it easier for me.

SO. This hotel has a very very nice fitness center. I was all set to roll on down there this morning. I have my sneakers, my socks, my ankle brace, my iPod and armband, and my sports bra. And that’s IT. I forgot my workout clothes!! I knew I was in too much of a hurry yesterday. So I am going to have to take a walk over to the mall (20 minutes each way, yay) and pick up some exercise duds. I really wanted to workout before breakfast, but that unfortunately did not happen since the mall does not open until 10. I had a beautiful healthy breakfast! And now it’s 9:40, time to head out! Have a great weekend, people!

 

Finally Bootless! October 14, 2009

I went back to my podiatrist today. The great news is that I get to put that damn cast boot in the closet! The other great news is that he says no surgery for now. The medium news is that I have to trade the boot for a brace that I must wear to do any exercise. I went out and bought it but it does not look very comfy so I admit I have not worn it yet. I will do so tomorrow morning when I go to see the trainer.

This is the longest I have gone without exercise since January. I worked out hard about twice in these past two weeks. I wanted to work out while I was on vacation last week, but it just did not happen, other than a long walk with my friends. I did have good intentions but with so many people to visit with in such a short time, I just mostly ended up sitting around and talking with dear friends and also my daughter, who flew in to spend her 19th birthday with me/us. It was truly blissful, lovely, wonderful, etc. We had a fabulous celebratory meal at the one and only Moosewood restaurant.

The upshot of it is that I gained a few pounds. I am not panicking, because it isn’t any more than I’ve gained on other “off” weeks I’ve had this year. But it’s bad timing because I am going to my WW leader training in two days. I sure as heck hope they will not weigh us, but they probably will. Aghh..

If anything was “worth it,” this was. But I really notice the big difference that these few pounds makes. I notice how it feels to not exercise in so long. (not good) Today I went to Sports Authority to buy my ankle brace and while I was there, I also bought a new fitness ball, a pair of 8 lb weights, and two new exercise DVDs: something called “Yoga for Inflexible People” (that’s me!!) and an on-sale Biggest Loser exercise DVD. I am very very anxious to get back to it.

Tomorrow morning!

 

Vacation Then and Now August 29, 2009

Filed under: diet,exercise,food,good things,health,Nia — Susan @ 4:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

IMG_9325We’re taking a short little vacation up in beautiful Whistler (site of the 2010 Winter Olympics) in British Columbia, Canada. The mountains here are truly spectacular. Yesterday we took a gorgeous hike; today we walked around a stunning jade-green lake and then I went to the fitness center for a little workout.

It used to be that the word “vacation” was synonymous with: eat as much as possible because you might not ever have this opportunity again;  exercise as little as possible because this is supposed to be a “rest.”

But this vacation has showed me how much my mindset has changed. When we first arrived in Vancouver the other night, I discovered that there was a Nia (!) class taking place about a mile from our hotel.  I was so excited. International Nia! I put on my running shoes after dinner and took off in the direction of the class. I realized I only had about 15 minutes so I knew I’d have to run. It was fun, running through the crowded city streets in search of Nia. When I finally arrived at the building, the receptionist told me the class had JUST ENDED. Whoops. I am pretty bad when it comes to military time! So hubby and I walked back to our hotel (he had come with me to keep me company, not that he had any intention of doing Nia, LOL) and on the way we stopped in at a Lululemon store (nifty workout clothes). We both tried a bunch of things on and I bought a very Nia-esque top. And I thought, wow, THIS is different. Finding a workout in a different location (a different country, even!). RUNNING to get there. Shopping at a store that features exercise gear. All of these things would be fairly unheard of a year ago.

I feel like I haven’t fallen into “vacation bottomless pit mode” just because I’m on vacation. That is a relief and it feels good. Happily, we have a little condo type unit with a kitchen, so we haven’t had to go out for (and pay for) breakfasts and lunches. I was bummed to see that the supermarket here had NO WHOLE WHEAT English Muffins, let alone the double-fiber ones that I like. Likewise, no Fage nonfat yogurt! Needless to say, no super fiber waffles. I’ve been eating eggs for breakfast.

It has shown me that vacation can be fun and celebratory and relaxing and it doesn’t have to mean falling off any wagons. What a revelation!

 

 
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