Monday, April 29, 2013


Tonight I walked a 5K.

I have some crazy idea in my head that I am going to walk a 5K every day this week and see what happens on the scale.  Sounds like a good, sound, not crazy plan...right?

Chris and I have been watching 'The Following' this year.  Tonight was the season finale.  I decided to walk my 5K while watching it.  You know...lots of action, lots of mind would definitely be on the show and not the walk....either that or the anxiety from watching the show AND doing my work out at the same time would cause me to stroke out.

I started the workout and immediately tried to jump up to my "cruising" pace.  That didn't go so well.  I had to slow it down and give myself a warm up.   Every minute or so I would bump up the pace and after a few minutes I was cruising at 2.8 mph.

Yes, 2.8 mph is my cruising speed.  It's pathetic, I know...but it is what I can handle.  I try not to beat myself up for it because I know that over time my pace is going to improve.  But, still, I get's a bit sad.

After about 25 minutes on the treadmill, just as Joe attacked and killed an innocent man to prove a point to his ex-wife, I was worried I wasn't going to be able to make it.  It's not so much that I was huffing and puffing, but just that my body felt done.

In order to keep myself going I decided to employ a tactic that my sister told me about. I think I mentioned before that she has been reading Chris Powell's book.  In it he makes the suggestion that you give your body a name to make it a separate "being".  Then, you tell your body, using its name, that you are in charge and that it is not.

I know, this sounds deranged and crazy, but I was desperate and willing to try anything.

I named my body Bonnie...and boy did I give her a tongue lashing.  I let her know in no uncertain terms that I, Connie, was in charge and that she, Bonnie, was not...and that she would do exactly what I told her to do.

You guys, it actually helped!  I started to feel like I was getting a second wind and I was able to keep going.  I used this technique several times through the remainder of my walk...and yes, it made me feel crazy...but again, I was pretty much willing to try anything to get me through.

At about 45 minutes I decided to go ahead and lower my pace to 2.6 mph (**sigh** sad).  My goal tonight was not to walk a 5K in the fastest time possible, but simply to walk 3.106 miles...and I felt like, even though I had Bonnie in hand, she might revolt if I didn't slow things down a bit.

I went back to watching 'The Following', at one point shrieking when a suspenseful scene played out...bringing my daughters running to check on me because they thought I had fallen on the treadmill.  WHOOPS!  Before I knew it the show was over.  I checked my distance and I was at 2.76 miles.

DAMN!  I still had a .5 mile to go!!  I knew I was going to make it, but I SO wanted it to be over.

Chris put 'Friends' on and I walked the final .5 mile watching Rachel try to seduce some guy who lived in her apartment building by putting on her high school cheerleading outfit.  Whatever.  It kept me occupied just enough to get me through.

As I rounded the bend to 3.106 miles, Chris was laying on the couch playing on his phone.  I told him that if he had ever loved me, even just a little, he would have a glass of ice water and a towel waiting for me when I finished.  I may or may not have sounded hysterical....all I know is that Chris jumped up and bolted for the stairs to get it for me.  He came back down right as I finished.

3.106 miles.  DONE!

I screamed with joy!

It took me 1 hour and 13 minutes.  1 HOUR AND 13 MINUTES.  **UGH**

I'll admit, it makes me feel bad to know that it takes me about the same amount of time to walk a 5K as some people take to run a 1/2 marathon!  But, I'm trying to force myself not to focus on that.  It is self defeating to do that and ultimately serves no purpose.

What I am trying to focus on is that I did it.  I DID IT.  I took control, whipped Bonnie into shape, and I did it.

I'm already dreading tomorrow!

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Sunday, April 28, 2013


Since I just reached my 50 lbs. lost mark, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on what has changed.  50 lbs. is a lot of weight!  When you have as much weight to lose as I do, though, 50 lbs. lost doesn't quite look the same as it does on someone else.   BUT, there are changes happening, physically, mentally AND spiritually...and they are big and worth talking about!!!

First off, here is my before and after.  I never took a picture of me when I was at 430 lbs.  Something I am SURE I will live to regret.  BUT, I have one of me at 419 lbs. and I suppose that a 40 lbs. comparison will just have to do today!

Now, I prefer a before and after picture to be taken in the same place, same basic pose, etc.  But I don't have that luxury here, so I will have to survive (and yes, I posed for my after using Hollywood red carpet leg behind, hands on waist, fingers turned foward!!!).  I'm not sure if I see a big difference here, but I definitely see SOME difference and it's awesome to know I'm making progress.

So, what are some other things that have changed with 50 lbs. gone:
  • Endurance.  When I am doing something physical, I am certainly not tiring out as fast as I did at 430 lbs.  I'm not saying that I could go out an run a marathon, but I can hike for 3 hours, and I can walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes or longer without wanting to die.  I call that progress, for sure.
  • This sounds weird, but shaving is SO much easier with 50 lbs. gone.  Under my arms I don't have so many bulges to maneuver around and when I bend over to shave my legs I don't feel like the blood circulation has been cut off and I'm going to pass out.  TMI?  Maybe, but it's true!
  • I have a pair of jeans that at 430 lbs. there was NO prayer of wearing and surviving the day.  Now, at 378.8 lbs. I can wear those things AND they are VERY VERY baggy.  
  • I no longer eat until I feel like I am going to burst.  Before I would honestly binge until I would make myself feel sick and lethargic for the rest of the day/night!  There were even times I vomitted because I had eaten too much (it makes me sad to share that, it really does...**sigh**).  The amount of food I  now consume leaves me feeling HAPPILY satisfied...and honestly, the amount of food it takes to make me feel REALLY full is so much less than when I was at 430 lbs. it is shocking!
  • I haven't eaten at a fast food restaurant, except Subway, in 3 months...and man, let me tell you, real food tastes SO good now.  Gone are the cravings to eat at McDonald's, Carl's Jr., Taco fact, just typing that makes my stomach turn a little knowing there was a time in the not too distant past when I could eat fast food meals 3 x's a day, multiple days during the week!
  • My skin loves me!  I'm sure it is due to all the water I am drinking...but, yeah, my skin is REALLY behaving itself, and man do I love that!
  • I can buckle the seat belt in my husband's car without it choking me and leaving me immobilized.  In fact, I can move around quite nicely now!  I even agreed to drive his car the other day and let him take mine!  Something I would have NEVER agreed to at 430 lbs.
  • I got on our trampoline the other day...yes, yes, I'm still over the recommended weight limit, but hell, I thought I'd try anyway.  I got on, stood up, bounced about, played with my girls!  YOU GUYS, I haven't been on a trampoline in so many years!! Now, I wasn't out there doing flips or herkees, but hey, it is progress, right!
  • I now REALLY want to get healthy, and it actually feels possible!  That is probably the biggest difference!  Feeling like this could truly happen...that I COULD reach my goal weight.  Making choices that allow me to get closer and closer to that goal seem FAR easier than they did at 430 lbs.  Honestly, at 430 lbs. I just didn't feel like there was any chance I could ever do it.  I'd failed so often, and it didn't even feel worth it to try.
  • I'm loving life more and more.  Now, don't get me wrong...I wasn't one of those stereotyped obese people laying in a bed waiting for Richard Simmons to pop through the door and extricate me with a whale, I lived life - I cooked (sometimes), cleaned, worked, went out with friends, mowed my lawn, weeded my yard, spent quality time with my family...I was happy in general...but it all felt SO DAMN HARD.  Now, I'm not saying that those things are easy breezy today, but it is much easier to have a good attitude and do what needs to be done...and it feels so much less difficult than it did 50 lbs. ago!
There are some other changes that I could elaborate on, but really, they do fall into the realm of privacy and TMI...all I will say is that my husband and I are really enjoying our slimmer bodies and are smiling a whole lot more these days!!!  Read into that whatever you want!

When I think about all of these changes that have happened in just 3 months, I wonder WHY I ever waited.  I wonder WHY I ever lost and regained!  But most of all, I think...HOLY HELL!  What will I feel like in 3 more months!!!  I can't wait to find out!

50 down, 215 lbs. to go!  So here's to the next 3 months and another 50 lbs.!  

Oh yeah baby, on my way!

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Saturday, April 27, 2013


This week has been a roller coaster!  Work has been incredibly demanding this week and it has really thrown me off my schedule...and let me tell you, I live and die by my schedule.  AND, I think my body does too.  Being off my schedule, eating at weird times, sleeping at weird just doesn't sit well with me...AT ALL.  I had weighed a couple of times this week knowing that everything was out of whack and wanting to see how that was affecting me, and it seemed that this week was going to end up fairly tragic.

So imagine my surprise when after only 2 days of being back on schedule, I saw this when I stepped on the scale:

To say I was thrilled is an understatement.  After my poor showing on the scale last week, and a scale throughout the week that seemed it was not going to cooperate once see a 6.8 lbs. loss was jaw dropping.

I think its fake.

I think its how the scale is messing with my head.  Building me up so it can tear me down!

NO MATTER!  Today, I am happy to take the reading and let it start my weekend off right!  Welcoming myself to a new weight decade is fantastic!  I now have the 60's in my sights!

This coming week I am going to be really focused on getting back to a normal schedule, eating homemade foods, and getting in at least 3 days of exercise.  I want a good loss next week, and with a loss this big today, I am going to have to really work for it.

On another note, I read a GREAT blog post this week from Mary @ A Small Loss.  It was really powerful for me - a reminder that these decisions I make every day really do have long term impact! That I am not willing to give up life and limb, literally, to eat poorly!  There are too many things in this life that are of so much more worth to me!

This weekend we don't have much planned - and I love it.  As always we are going to try to get out on a hike.  The weather here in Utah this weekend is gorgeous!  So, we want to capitalize!  Last night we all pulled together to get our housework done - and it feels great to have 2 whole days with no chores to do!!!

Hope you have a great weekend, loaded with success in whatever journey you are on!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013


Tonight I told my husband I was thinking of eating Paleo.  Without missing a beat he responded,  "I hope you and your new family enjoy that!"

I'm thinking he might not be too excited about the idea!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Last night after work, Chris surprised me with a night away in the big city (well - big for Utah).  He had made a reservation for us at the Radisson downtown, AND at a fancy steak house. I am ashamed to admit that the first thought that went through my mind was "oh no!  my weigh in is tomorrow!  This will not be good!".

Balance.  I need to remember that life long change is about balance.

Honestly, I panicked...and I think Chris saw the panic on my face, and that hurt his feelings.  UGH!!!  I need to keep my priorities straight.  Here my husband just went through all this effort to get child care, get someone to take the girls to their volleyball games, get a hotel, make a reservation for dinner...and I'm thinking about my damn weigh in AND hurting his feelings in the process!


Although losing weight and getting healthy is incredibly important to me, my husband and my family are so much more important to me it isn't even funny.  I realize that being fit and healthy will help me to be a better wife and mother in the long run...but while I'm getting there, I need to make sure that I keep my priorities in check AND stay balanced.

I tried to change my attitude, but that damn weigh in was looming over me.  So, I just decided to take the scale with me and do my best to control my calories at dinner...oh yeah, and work out WITH OUT FAIL at the hotel after dinner.

And that is exactly what I did.

Chris and I had a fantastic evening.  We ate at Fleming's steak house, just a short walk from our hotel...and let me tell you, it was AMAZING.  The prices took my breath away, but we decided to share an entree to lessen both the cost and calories.  We ended up eating the following:

  • Filet Mignon - 11 oz.  (we each got 5.5 oz)
  • Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Skewers w/ Chimichurri dipping sauce (we split the plate and used the dipping sauce very sparingly)
  • Baked Potato (we split it and ordered the toppings on the side so we could control the amount of "stuff" that went onto it.  I ended up topping mine with a little sour cream, chives & bacon.  I skipped the butter and the cheese.)
  • Grilled Asparagus - TO. DIE. FOR.
  • Free Bread - yeah, we ate the damn free bread.  It was good, but certainly not worth the calories.  It was the only think I would do different about our meal.  Just not calories worth spending.
It was such a delicious meal!  We both felt very satisfied, and although it wasn't the meal I would normally want to eat the night before a weigh in, I was very happy that we had made an effort to make good choices!  BTW - the steak we shared was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten in my life.  It was AMAZING.  I do recommend Fleming's, for sure - but if you eat there, prepare for the sticker shock.  It is not cheap!

When we got back to the hotel we changed into work out gear and headed down to the fitness center.  I walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes while watching The Office and laughing my a** off,  and Chris swam and relaxed in the hot tub.  I know that a romantic evening out with the spouse doesn't usually include a workout, but I feel lucky that my husband recognized how important it was for me to make my health and fitness goals part of the night.

This morning, when we got up, I was committed to weighing in.  I got the scale out of the bag, wandered into the bathroom and stepped on.  Here is what I saw:

I'm not going to lie, I was sad.  A loss of only 0.2 lbs.  I kept trying to tell myself "well, at least it's a loss", but that didn't really help.  I was grateful that I didn't lose ground, but it was obvious that I needed to commit to a week of really clean eating.

The reality is this.  Fleming's was not my only eat out this week.  The last 2 weeks I have allowed eating out to creep back into my habits.  Even though I am tracking the calories, let's face it, the sodium and hidden calories in restaurant food makes it VERY difficult to stay on track.  I ate out a total of 4 times this week! Jimmy John's, India Palace, Fleming's & Cafe Rio.  Not good.  After I looked back over my tracking journal I actually felt good that I didn't GAIN weight!!  I have flooded my body with sodium!!  And again, the calories are basically a guesstimate!

Ups and downs...this journey is all about highs and lows.  The key, I think, is to make sure to make it a learning process.  This week I learned:

  • Keep things in balance and remember priorities
  • Limit eat outs to very rare occasions!  Make it worth it! AND skip the free crap they try to give you at the beginning of the meal.
  • You can have a FANTASTIC meal and still make good choices!
  • Working out, without eating right, just can't save the day!  BUT, it can help you not lose ground.
  • I am a blessed husband is amazingly supportive and I am so damn lucky to have him!

I am glad that I got 2 workouts in this week!  I am still struggling with this aspect of my health journey.  Bottom line, I don't like working out.  Oh well, like it or not, its important and I am forcing myself to do it right now.  How long 'til this is a habit???  Seriously, I hope I can hold on that long!

We have very rainy weather today, so I am going to be homesteading with the family.  Have a great weekend and a great week to come!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Time seems to fly between weigh ins!  Before I know it I'm stepping on the scale again.

I have to admit, the scale has been kind to me the last few weigh ins.  I am convinced that it is lulling me into a sense of well being so that it can pull the rug out from under me!!!  Oh well...I will take its kindness when it is giving.

Today I didn't have much time for my "weigh in morning routine".  My daughters both play volleyball and they had games this morning.  So I had to get up, get weighed and get going.  It made me a little unsettled to feel so rushed - I like a relaxed Saturday morning!

Here's what I saw when I stepped on the scale:

That is a 4.6 lbs. loss from last week!!  I'm not going to lie, I was thrilled!  Of course, I thought it was an erroneous reading so I weighed 4 times just to make sure.  Sure enough, it was real!  That brings my total weight loss to 44.2 lbs...AND today I reached my 10% weight loss mark!! I also broke into a new weight "decade" which feels FANTASTIC!

GREAT WEIGH IN!  Started the day off right!

Chris also had a great loss this week!  4 lbs.!  So proud of him for sticking to it, and so grateful that he is right by my side, supporting me on this journey!

After weigh in we headed to the girls' volleyball games.  It is so fun to watch them play.  They are both still learning, and a little tenuous about the ball, but I really hope they learn to love the game AND play it well.  I just ADORE volleyball!

After volleyball we came home and Chris made a FANTASTIC lunch.  He made chicken quesadillas using the canned chicken from Costco.  I have to tell you, I was pretty skeptical, but it was DELICIOUS.  He used some jalapeno in mine to spice it up and served it with some guacamole.  Mouthwatering!

Dinner was just as good!  I have been dying to try and make a baked pasta dish.  Tonight I decided to bite the bullet and do it.  It turned out so good!  Both girls gave it a 20 on a scale of 10!!  Let me tell you, when they both love it, it is a MIRACLE!  I added a little red pepper flake to the sauce and it gave it just the right kick!  It was so good.  I am actually going to post a recipe for it!  COMING SOON!

In addition to enjoying some delicious food this weekend, here are some other things we are planning on:

  • Criminal Minds marathon on A&E
  • Cleaning out closets
  • 'Life of Pi' in our homemade cardio cinema!  I am hoping to walk a 5K while enjoying the movie!  
  • I will be getting the chipped green polish off my toes and giving myself a fresh spring manicure and pedicure!  I almost died when I saw my weigh in photo!
  • We are really hoping to get a hike in if only the weather would cooperate!!  
  • Grocery shopping (UGH!  My least fave weekend activity)
  • Church (MUST recharge my spiritual batteries)

Glad to bid farewell to this week!  There were some rough moments!  But it ended on a high note and I am looking forward to the week to come!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


You know, this week has been a tough one for me...which really frustrates me because the week started out GREAT!  But it took a turn.  The last few days I have felt emotionally insane and that has made it really difficult for me to stay on track.  Although this may be TMI, I have to tell you, when I realized I have been feeling this way due to my monthly visitor (I know, that sounds so stupid - IT'S A PERIOD, JUST SAY IT), I honestly felt relieved to realize that I am not seriously going crazy - just dealing with a rough bout of PMS.  I am not joking when I say I was starting the think I might need to seek some professional help.


Anyway, I have struggled more this week to keep myself from a complete diet melt down.  Technically I have stayed on track.  When I say that, I mean I have tracked my food intake every day AND I have stayed within my calorie range.  Where I have struggled is with eating out.  Even on days when I have taken my lunch with me to work, I have found an excuse to go out to eat.  I am paying for it, boy, let me tell you.  Eating out, as we all know, is usually a meal BRIMMING with sodium.  I guarantee that my eat outs this week have been of this variety.  I usually have some swelling during this time of the month, but I am CRAZY swollen in my ankles and it is so frustrating to know that I have done that to myself!

So why the obsession with eating out?  I couldn't really tell you - except maybe that it has been easier and in some ways comforting.  I truly have been feeling really manic this week and I guess that eating out has been my way of soothing myself.  BAD HABITS DIE HARD!  I guess I'm pleased that I haven't gone on an eating binge - but I know long term success cannot come from eating the way I have this week.  I'm trying not to beat myself up for it - seriously, if you could crawl inside my head for just a second to see how crazy I have been feeling, well, you would tell me not to beat myself up too.  I mean, it has been just overwhelming this week.

Now, on the REALLY positive side, I have been working out this week!!!  Three times so far! OH YEAH BABY!  I mentioned in my last post that Chris and I were going to head over to Gold's Gym to try out their Cardio Cinema...that is a whole story unto itself that I will save for a later date...we ended up REALLY loving the cardio cinema!!! It was such a nice way to get a work out in!  We didn't have the best experience with the gym overall, and so we really weren't anxious to go back.  SO, I turned my basement into my own personal cardio cinema.  It has been FANTASTIC!  This week, while working out, I have watched 'Top Gun' and 'Chasing Mavericks'...both great movies!  I'm trying hard not to overdo it.  30 minutes  and I'm done.  If I overdo it, I will hate it and then before I know it I will be trying to give it all up!  So I'm holding myself to 30 minutes, even if I feel like doing more.

ALSO, I ran 1 minute during each of my workouts!  Look, I know that sounds a bit pitiful to get excited about running for 1 minute, but let me tell you, I have not run in I don't know how long - so running for 1 minute without stopping is a MAJOR accomplishment. I am really proud of myself for doing it!  I am going to keep that up and increase the amount each week!  Before I know it, I will be crossing the finish line of my first marathon (is that wishful thinking??? MAYBE, but I am going to keep on wishing!)

This week has also been filled with a lot of evening activities.  Tuesday was the girls maturation program at my daughter's school.  It was a fairly long, and unfortunately BORING program.  Although we had given my daughter "the talk" long ago, she was still scandalized by some of the pictures they chose to share.  It was funny!   Wednesday was volleyball practice for one daughter, tonight is for the other.  Tonight we are also going to a wedding reception for a darling girl from work, where I hope I don't completely tank on the food front.  Tomorrow night I have an all hands work meeting that will last 4 hours, in the evening...on a Friday night!!  BUMMER!!

Anyway, I think the constant go go go this week has added to my mania, and I am most definitely looking forward to a less action packed week to come!


Just got back from the wedding. My goodness...what a beautiful bride and a fantastic reception!  Congrats Kristen!  I had to share one of your bridal portraits! SERIOUSLY - STUNNING!  So happy for you!

You can find her photographer here.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


This morning was weigh in.  I have to admit, I was anxious.  I had too many eat outs this week and essentially had a day of debauchery.  BUT, I had hit it hard after we got home and I was hopeful I would see a loss on the scale today.

And I did...

The scale mad dogged me a little.  It was jumping between 387 and 390 before it settled on 
390.4.  Damn thing...I swear it likes to play with my emotions.  Of course, breaking into the 380's would have been absolutely fabulous - there may have been screams of joy if it happened!  However, I have to admit, I am pretty happy with a 3.6 lbs. loss this week!

So, my weekend is already shaping up to be quite busy.  It is going to involve:

Volleyball games for both girls
Checking this out at our local Gold's Gym Express - SO EXCITED!
Watching this and this (Seriously, talk about being at two opposite ends of the spectrum!)
Hiking this or this - not sure yet.  I would really like to hike this - but I think it might be too much right now - pretty steep climb.
Making strawberry shortcake - diet friendly of course!

Hope your weekend is filled with family, fun, rest and relaxation!!! 

Friday, April 5, 2013


As I mentioned in my last post, on Easter we decided to go on a family hike.  My in-laws live very close to the Colorado National Monument, and my mother in law is a hiking fool, so we thought it would be fun to get out and see nature.  The weather that day was absolutely gorgeous and honestly, it would have been a crime to stay inside.

At around 2:00 we headed out for the hike.  The temperature that day was high sixties - which we thought would be perfect for the hike.  My husband had taken a hiking class when he was attending Mesa State College and he wanted to do the Thoroughfare Canyon Hike.  He thought it would be a good beginner hike (unlike the hike to the Y last year, which pretty much spoiled our desire to hike for the rest of the spring, summer and fall).  He said it there wasn't a big elevation gain and that for the most part we would be walking in a dry river bed.

Sounded good to me!

The hike starts at the Devil's Kitchen trail head just inside the monument's east entrance.  The entire Thoroughfare Canyon trail is 8.5 miles each way.  We had decided that we would hike to the first designated point on trail, which was called the lower pool.  It was about a two mile round trip hike.

As we started to hike we realized that although the ambient temperature wasn't too bad, the sun was just beating down on us and it was definitely going to be hotter than we originally anticipated.  We were well prepared with water, hats, etc. but, UGH, we were all really hoping for a nice, cool, Spring hike.  DESERT LIFE!!!

As we moved through the trail we stopped and checked out caves, talked about the cryptobiotic soil (which apparently isn't a calamity to step on in Colorado), sang trail songs (Ella and I made up our own trail song, singing about the heat, the hidden mountain lions, our hiking poles - you name it, we sang about it).  We tried to ignore the heat and the fact that the trail was pretty rocky.  In fact in some parts of the trail we were really scrambling over very rocky terrain.  Nonetheless, we all loved it.

When we finally arrived at the lower pool, it was a nice little oasis and we were all ready for a break - or so I thought.  The girls noticed stairs on the path that went up a pretty steep slope to get to the next section of the trail.  They begged and begged to climb it.  I had NO intention of climbing up all those steps.  My mother-in-law, ever the trooper, volunteered to take the girls up.  Away they went while Chris and I enjoyed the shade and cool breeze at the pool.

After about 30 minutes the girls and my MIL hadn't returned.  Chris told me he thought they had hiked to the next waterfall...which was a whopping .8 miles from where we were over very rocky terrain.  I told him I thought they were just hiking to the top of the stairs.  Anyway, after another 10 minutes we decided that we were going to hike up the stairs - the ones I had NO intention of climbing - and see what was going on.  That hike up the stairs turned into another 1/2 mile of hiking before we found them.  I have to admit, I was miffed.

Once we were all back together we started back out of the canyon.  It had cooled off quite a bit, which we were all really grateful for as we were all running low on water.  It took us about an hour to hike back out (again, very rocky terrain).  When we got to the parking lot at the trail head little Ella ran over and kissed the asphalt - yes, she inherited my flair for the dramatic!

All in all we had be gone for 3.5 hours!!!  We all had a great time, and are definitely looking forward to more hikes over the next several months!

One thing I did want to mention - this was my second time out with my hiking poles.  Chris bought them for me last year for Mother's Day.  I am not super skilled at using them yet, but there were a couple of times when we were going up some pretty steep inclines that I could REALLY feel them working for me.  Also, using the poles improves the calorie burn or the hike.  I am really loving them and looking forward to using them more this "hiking season".

If you are have any recommendations for beginner level hikes in Utah, especially in the Salt Lake Area, please let me know!!

Tomorrow is weigh in!!! STAY TUNED!

P.S.  I know that I look fairly hideous in the pics above - I mean, my hair dresser has got to be dying over how crazy my hair looks!  HEY, it's the windblown, hiking look!  I call it desert chic!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. And although I tried my best to stay on track - I was not 100% successful.  BUT, I am not beating myself up for it.  I am focusing on what went well, and getting myself back into my routine.

Routine is really important!  Who'd have thunk??

For Easter weekend we went to Colorado to visit my in-laws and spend the holiday with them.  The trip down is tough on dieting me.  First of all, I am out of my routine.  Honestly, I live and die by my routine right now.  It really keeps me focused and in check.  Secondly, I really like to snack on a road trip - and the minute I get in the car for a long drive, I want Doritos (my snack of choice) - I resisted, but I hated feeling that snacky, cravey feeling.  It makes me feel like I am losing control.  NOW, what I should have done was prepare a bag of healthy snacks that I could eat on the trip.  I need to make time to do this for future trips.  Even though I won't be chowing down on Doritos, having some pretzels would probably still work for me.

ANYWAY, on the way down Chris and I stopped at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Provo, UT - Los Hermanos.  Los Hermanos isn't the best Mexican food around by a long shot, but it has a lot of sentimental meaning for us - it is where we ate for our first Valentine's Day together!  When we get a chance to go there, we don't pass it up!  Los Hermanos serves THE BEST frozen specialty drinks - THE BEST - but we both knew that the drink on its own was enough calories for an entire meal, so we decided to pass.  I won't lie, I cried a little knowing I was passing up the Peachy Rico.  We also made a good entree choice - we ordered a full order of chicken fajitas and split them.  They were good and we both felt satisfied with the food AND our choices.


After we ate we headed back out on the road.  It was a pretty uneventful trip down and overall, I wasn't super cravey - so that was a good thing!  It was the trip back that tanked me...more to come on that.

We got to my in-laws' house around 3:00 pm.  The minute I walked in I started to worry that I was in trouble - MAN, did it smell fantastic! Although my mother-in-law is a career dieter, former Weight Watchers leader, and lifetime WW member - she loves to eat (don't we all).  And my father in law, well, he LOVES to show his affection through his cooking.  And man, can he cook!  And that day, he was cooking up homemade bbq sauce, baby back ribs, and baked potatoes.  HAVE MERCY!  He was so cute, talking about how he had prepared them low calorie - using  rub instead of a marinade - I really appreciated the effort to keep us on track.  But I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep my portions in control.  When I say my FIL can cook, I'm not kidding!!!

When it came time to eat I carefully measured my servings, as did Chris, and we ended up staying right on track!  It was a pretty good start to the weekend.  I thought we had a chance of making it through unscathed.


The next day was Easter Sunday.  We woke up and headed to a Sunrise Service that my mother-in-laws church holds.  After the sunrise service we headed back to the house for a breakfast of french toast and ham.  It was delicious - all carefully weighed and measured and right within our calorie ranges.  YAY!  Once breakfast was over Chris and I headed to our church services.  Once church was over we headed back to the house and we all got ready to head up to Colorado National Monument for a hike.  I admit, I was a little nervous - but Chris assured me the hike he picked, although long, didn't have a big incline.  Our hike to the Y last year has me pretty traumatized about hiking up steep inclines!

Our hike was pretty fantastic - more on that to come later - for the purpose of this post I will tell you that we ended up hiking for around 2.5 hours and burned a BOAT LOAD of calories.  I won't lie, I felt pretty good about how I did on the hike!

Sneak peak of my svelte hiking physique!
When we got back from the hike we were all pretty exhausted, and definitely ready for dinner.  My father-in-law made steak, that was to die for, and I paired it with a garden salad.  Again, all in caloric range - everything on target.

Monday is where it fell apart a bit.

After a great visit, we headed home Monday morning.  I was stupid and didn't eat anything for breakfast - so by the time we were ready to eat I was ravenous.  We stopped at my favorite Mexican restaurant in the Grand Junction area - Fiesta Guadalajara (do you see a theme here - I adore Mexican food!).  I want to be able to tell you that I made a good choice, but I didn't.  I was starved and I used my calorie burn from the day before to justify the Super Nachos I ate.  UGH!  I felt pretty gross after lunch and decided I would take it easy the rest of the day...IF ONLY.

We got back on the road and shortly after crossing into Utah we stopped at a rest stop that looked like it had some interesting hikes.  We hiked around (nothing major) and took in book cliffs and desert landscape.  I took some fantastic pictures of desert wildflowers - I couldn't help but share them here.  It was a really nice break.  After about an hour there we resumed our journey home.

Desert Flowers.  Central Utah.

In Wellington, UT we stopped at the Walker's gas station (our typical 1/2 way point stop).  I SWORE that we wouldn't buy snacks from gas station - but I was feeling really snacky and I folded.  Now, the good news is that I chose Special K chips - the bad news - I ate a bunch of beef jerky.  UGH.  As if that wasn't bad enough, by the time we got home it was 6:00 and we were hungry, so we ate out again!

I was displeased.  And of course, I kept thinking "this is it, the backslide - this is where I get off track".  But that didn't happen.

The Good news,  I made good choices on 2 of the 3 days we were gone.  I exercised - and felt good about it - even to the point of wanting to incorporate a lot of hiking into my routine this spring/summer/fall.  I had a good time with my family - and that is always a positive thing.  I didn't fall off the wagon. Tuesday I was right back on program - counting, tracking and holding myself to the calorie range I need to be in.

Better news - I weighed myself immediately on Tuesday morning to hold myself accountable, and I am actually down, not up! Not down a lot, but still - I don't feel like I undid all my hard work!

Lesson learned - I need to remember that I could easily fall off the wagon with a slip like that.  I am a food addict.  Eating out is a trigger and I have to keep it in check.  One slip up like Monday could have disastrous results for me.  I feel lucky that I didn't get off track, but this can't be about luck.  It needs to be about good choices.

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter.  I would be remiss if I didn't share my favorite talk about the  atonement, and the gift our Savior gave us.  Watch it here or read it here. (Watch it - the emotion with which this talk is given is beyond moving).