That lovely Stop Sign

That lovely Stop Sign
This sign is the most loved/hated thing here!

I did it! I am committed! WE are doing it!

I have taken the "before" pictures, I have announced my journey to my community. I have asked for their help in holding me accountable - I am going to lose this weight, gain health and hopefully inspire others along the way to do the same. Together we will become stronger individuals and become a stronger, healthier community!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's been a while....

Hmmm, I guess it's been since April that I last decided to take stock of my life by blogging.  That's really what this whole process is good for, amazing what your brain let's go of when you just sit down to write.  It's more than writing (yes I do realize that it is typing, not actually writing)  it is sort of like gardening the brain, pulling up the weeds, cleaning out the trash and thining the plants and making sure that only the important stuff is growing in there!  I like it, gardening my brain....weeding the brain....hmmmm, I'll have to think about that a little more. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Days 33,34,35,36,37,38,39 Catching you up

So, I did not fall off the face of the Earth - I just ran out of things to say!  On Friday of last week, I did complete the ride I promised I would on Thursday, only I took a wrong turn and instead of a 10 mile bike ride - I took a 20 mile bike ride!  I thought I was going to puke by the time I got back here - it was HARD!!!!

Saturday was nice, after morning workouts I worked a little and laid in the sun a little in the afternoon.  Saturday night was graduation, sad to see friends leave - but we all must go back to the real world!  Sunday I went on a 4hr bike adventure.  I biked about 14 miles, but I stopped in Coyote Gulch and did a little shopping and had a COFFEE!!!  Oh how I miss the occasional coffee (Yes, if you didn't know already - this place is caffeine free!)  Then Sunday night we welcomed the newbies!

Oh, I almost forgot - I weighed in Sunday morning at 230 lbs.  That is exactly 25 lbs less than I checked in at!  We will see what this weeks weigh in says.....

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday all flew by!  It is incredible how fast this last week is going.  Today is Thursday - that dreaded day of Treading and Ball Works!  Packed up a few boxes today and started shipping stuff home.

Have been to the triathlon course a few times, scared as all get out!!  Saturday will be the culmination of my journey here!  I still can't believe I am going to do this....... Gotta run, class starts in 8 minutes!  TTFN

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 32, REALLY missing my kids!!

Today was rough on the emotional side of things.  I am really feeling the pull of home.  My daughter is sick and my son is really missing me - it is tough to be away from them.  I knew it would be rough, but it is getting harder as the days go by.  One more week to go....

On the exercise front, did less today than yesterday.  Biked more, but did not swim.  Took another Pilates class, those are nice and don't hurt my feet!  I have a Pilates machine at home and never use it, mostly because I didn't know how or what to do with it.  I am learning and I really like it; 2 more classes next week and I should be good to go at home on my machine! My abs are really feeling it too!!

Took the "menu planning" class again - learned more.  I know I haven't written much about the education series, but they really are 50% of what you get out of this place.  I will be writing more about them later as I begin to put them into practice.

I am planning to ride the full 10 miles on the road tomorrow.  When I have ridden the full 10 miles previously, it has been in the gym.  The road is a lot different and a little scary at times.  I mapped out a safe route through town, most of it has bike lanes and traffic only reaches a max of 35.  I'll let you know how it goes!  Also plan to swim and practice the transitions again in the afternoon.  Gotta figure out what I am going to wear.  Probably will be buying a new bathing suit tomorrow, current one is not staying up too well.  Of course, I am not complaining about that!

That's about it.   TTFN

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 31, Rebounded today

The mind games are over.  Today was a better day!  Woke up with a smile on my face.  Feet didn't hurt too bad today.  Made the most of what God gave me today!

Did stretch class, then swam the 1/2 mile, then practiced the "transition to the bike", biked 6 miles, took a Pilates class, then took Mountain and then 2 pool classes and after that I swam 1/4 mile!  So, no slacking today!

I am tired now and getting ready for bed.  That's about it for now.  TTFN

Day 30, 5th Tuesday - bummer

Tuesday was a bummer!  Took pain meds, slept and stayed off my feet most of the day.  Did a little bike ride in the morning and that was about it.  Still fighting the mind games.  That was Tuesday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 29, 5th Monday and off to the Dr.

Today I went to see a Dr. in the "Foot and Ankle" group. He was really nice and thorough, but gave me some terrible news. After x-rays and ultrasounds, the feet are worse than I had dreamed. I went in there thinking I was getting cortisone shots in each and that I would feel fine - didn't happen. No shots, he said they were too far gone for that and that the shots had a better chance of causing more damage than helping - not what I wanted to hear! By the way, ultrasound pictures of tears in your tendons and bone spurs are not near as much fun to show around as pictures of babies in your tummy!!!!!

So, I have really had to re-group - AGAIN!! I am so sick of the word "modification" that I get tears in my eyes every time I say it. I had such big plans for the next two weeks, I had a different agenda, I thought things would go my way and well, I have been whining about it all day (and occasionally crying about it too). I am not getting my way and I am not happy.......

Lots of support coming my way, but I am still playing this mental game. In all reality, I joked about coming to rehab, but this is rehab for food addicts! So everything is a mental game when you are an addict of any kind. The mental Olympics are continuing. Along with my food addiction, there is a self-destructive or self-defeating streak as well - now to balance that and how it may be playing into my absolute determination to compete in the triathlon. I feel that I cannot quit - I MUST finish the triathlon. I have quit every other time I was going to do one - I am going to do it, come what may - I may not be able to walk when I get home, but I have to do this! So I bounced that decision around in my head all day - do I want to quit as part of the self-defeating behavior or do I want to compete and tear up my feet as part of the self-destructive behavior???? See what I mean, mental Olympics all day!

On a positive note, there is lots of support and lots of opportunity to keep going and keep pushing, with that ugly word - MODIFICATION!!! The trainers are great and they will get my body through this and I will be ready for the race, I really don't have any doubt - I am just "in a mood" over it all. I will continue with the food part, which is eating what they serve here and remembering that what I put in my mouth is 70-80% of my personal battle.

Well, going to take some meds and go to bed. Tomorrow is another day and I will do my best to get out of it all of the possibilities is holds for me!  TTFN

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 28, Looking forward to the Triathlon

Well, it's Sunday and that means looking forward to what I will get out of the week ahead.  Had the day to myself in Vegas, walked around and left all the money Vegas had given to me.  I managed to pay for my entire weekend out of their money before I gave it back, so no big deal - it was lots of fun.

I did spend my "alone time" mentally preparing for the next 2 weeks.  Got a ride back with another guest - THANKS Jim for the ride!  Jim is the guest that talked me into the triathlon.  On the ride back, he drove me into St. George and showed me the course.  There are some scary hills on the bike course!

That catches up my blog posts (just for you P)!  I need to finish up my other stuff and get in bed.  Morning comes quick!  For those wondering about weight loss - I did not weigh in this weekend.  I did weigh in before I left and on Friday and I had lost another 4 lbs, but that was in the middle of the day and right after lunch and lots of water from classes.  I am not going to weigh in again until I leave.  I know it was more than the 4 lbs, but I was a little bummed.  Hopefully the next 2 weeks will produce the results I am looking for.....but trying not to get too wrapped up in the numbers.  TTFN

Day 27, my 2nd Saturday in Vegas

Well, I am one lucky girl!  Two weekends in a row that I get to be in Vegas and you all know how much I love VEGAS!!  (Maybe not as much as my husband does, but a close 2nd.)  After staying out all night, I was back up at 7 am and ready to go.

We walked and walked and walked!  As much as we danced last night, we walked today.  I was really feeling the knee, but it was still so much fun.  I was supposed to come back to Fitness Ridge Saturday night, but that didn't happen.  I was catching a ride back to the Ridge with another guest and I was about to get in the car when I decided to stay in Vegas.

I was on a pretty big winning streak and just didn't want to leave.  No surprise, I SHOULD HAVE LEFT THEN!!!  So I stayed in Vegas Saturday night by myself and had a lot of fun casino hopping.  Went to bed really late again, but got in a ton of walking and made good food choices and didn't drink any of my calories - you can't ask for more than that!

Day 26, the 4th Friday

Well, it is the end of 4 weeks - can you say burn-out?  I really felt burnt out!  The schedule, the repetition, the rigidity and on and on......  Don't get me wrong, I love it here and I am ever so thankful for this opportunity, but it does get old.  Did a bike ride this morning, then lunch and the mandatory 1:15 class with the counselor and then it was time for a break. 

Headed to Vegas to see off my friend Jerica.  I really didn't want her to leave!  She didn't fly out until late Saturday night, so we had a great celebration Friday night!  There were lots of BL@FR people going to Vegas this weekend.  There were also some alums in town as well.  Met some wonderful people! 

Friday night we went to a night club and DANCED.  We danced and danced and danced!  Burned a ton of calories.  They even played Saturday Night Fever and I got to use my moves from Cardio Disco Jam!!!  For those of you that know me well, you know I can't really dance - but thanks to my new friend Al for showing me some of her moves.  It was all fun and I didn't really care what anyone else thought.  I really did dance like no one was watching!

The bad news is that I hurt my knee again that night!  Oh well, it happens.  My left knee is again swollen and black and blue in spots.  All I did was twist it, but the old injury seemed to pop right back up agian.  Back on the Vitamin I and ice, lol.  Hit the bed about 3 am, you only live once  - right!

That was Friday. 

Day 25, Leg Wrestling Thursday

Well, if you are my "friend" on Facebook, then you have seen the video.  Today during "open gym" we had a little competition - well, it actually turned into a BIG competition!  Once you are past your 1st week, we are supposed to put in one extra hour of exercise per day on top of the classes.  That time is called "open gym."  Most days, I swim or bike.  Today, Soniaa suggested a leg wrestling competition.  I joked on FB that when you have done every exercise class on the planet, you start making up new ways to exercise.  I think we exercised our abs more than anything else - from the laughter!

Because I got my hair colored last night, I skipped pool today to let the color settle a little before I torture my hair with the chemicals of the pool.  I took circuit after my bike ride this morning and then treading right after lunch.  After treading I was supposed to take pool, but instead I did weight lifting on my own.  I am so shocked at how well the weight lifting has come along.  I am actually up to 160 lbs on the thigh machines and doing 15 reps of bicept curls with 15 and 20 lb weights!  Up to 25 crunches at a time on the ab machine and 120 lbs of weight on the ab crunch!!!! 

My last class of the day was Ball Works.  I hate to admit it, but I had traded off ball works every other Thursday so far.  I was really afraid of the class.  Again, it is about endurance and endurance is my issue - my fear and my BIGGEST challenge!   Ball works really focuses on endurance and not so much weights or really even that much cardio.  You are lifting that stinking ball over your head and around your body for 45 mins.  In your mind, you can rationalize that is does not weigh anything; however, it is killer!  Glad I did it, but wow it was tough.

After dinner, I went to the salon to watch my friend, Jerica, get her hair cut.  They have a true talent here in the salon.  MaryAnn is a real artist - much like my sister-in-law, Amber.  Jerica's hair looks awesome!  If you are coming to Fitness Ridge, wait to get your hair cut and colored HERE with MaryAnn!!!!!!!!!  She really doesn't charge enough for her level of talent!  Can't wait to show off my hair when I get home.  No pics now, it will be a surprise!

That about wraps up Thursday, 3/17.

Day 24, my 4th Wednesday

Wednesday was a day of underperformance on my part!  I biked and did pool and ran on the treadmill.  In the "real world" that would have been a whole lot, but here it was terrible! I am struggling with endurance.  When I go all out on one day, the next day I drag all day! 

I got my hair colored tonight - about time.  I no longer have 2 inches of gray hair showing, that's a good thing!  That was all she wrote on 3/16/10. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day 23, Today I ROCKED it!

Started the day with a bike ride (about 5 miles).  Hiking is just not working.  Every time I do Stop Sign, I am laid up for 2 days with my feet/ankles/knees.  Off road is scaring me because I am afraid of getting hurt.  I think the bike riding in the hike time may be the way I go this week.

That took me to lunch.  After lunch, during "open gym" I swam my 20 laps.  Today's time was 17 mins!!!  Then I took pool class.  After pool was Total Toning (mostly weights and squats - fun).  That was followed by Cardio Intervals.  I don't think I have explained those.  You warm up for about 5 mins on Cardio - I did treadmill.  Then every 30 seconds you increase your speed or incline and you do that 8 times.  After the 8th time, you decrease 8 times until you get back to where you were.  Then you sprint at full speed for 2 mins, followed by a 2 min recovery.  Then you sprint for 1 min.  Then you do it all over again.  Then you sprint for 3 mins.  Then you recover - expect I didn't stop there.  I wanted to get my full 3.1 miles in today.  So I did and I finished in 55 mins. 

Then it was dinner time.  After dinner I went on a bike ride with Meg and finished out my other 5 miles. So today, I got my swim in at 17 mins and my run in at 55 mins and my 10 miles worth of biking was too spread out to really measure, but I feel great having done it all again today.  I still can't believe that I can get that kind of workout in on a daily basis - incredible.  This place has truly made a believer out of me!!!!

That about wraps up today and I feel like I made up for yesterday's funk!  Sorry no pics.  Phone was in the room all day!  TTFN

Day 22, 4th Monday

Well, getting back so late last night did not get the week off so well and neither did the time change.  I was slow going today.  Missed breakfast and then went with a friend to the Dr.  Got back in time for lunch and then felt like I needed to chill.  Well, that led to a nap, which led to missing my first class after lunch.  Not good.   Then a text and phone call from work led to missing the next class - not good again. 

The good news - I made it to Step-n-Puke.  Best one yet!!  This was my 4th Step-n-Puke class and it was amazing- the difference was incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I just can't believe how much has changed in 22 days.  After dinner I was exhausted.  Showered and fell asleep. 

That's Monday in a nut shell. 

Day 21, Vegas Rocked

Sunday was spent in Vegas and it was a BLAST!!!  We shopped, we walked, we walked and we walked.....Rode the roller coaster at NYNY for the first time.  One of the girls that went on the trip actually had lost enough weight to fit into a coaster for the first time in years - she was so excited and I was so happy for her!  Made great food choices, split meals, drank water it was all good.  Had a wonderful time and it was great to have a break from here.  Glad to have the opportunity to be here for 6 weeks, but the break was just what I needed.  We got back late, not so good for Monday.  That's about it for Sunday.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 20, Off to Vegas, Baby

So 4 of us girls are headed out to Vegas, we are all super excited!!  I weighed in this morning just to see how the trip effects my weight - I will weigh in on Monday to see the results of my choices.  I am happy to say that I have lost another 5 lbs in the last 6 days!  That lose brings me to 17 lbs in 20 days - not too shabby if I do say so myself!! 

I am posting now, because I won't be back to my computer until tomorrow night ( or maybe Monday night, depending on how late we get back Sunday).  That about wraps it up - off to the gym to work out before we leave.  Not doing stop sign today, my right foot can't handle it - but I will make up for it in the gym!  TTFN

Day 19, the 3rd Friday

Fridays are always a lot of fun around here. Fun classes, everyone is in a Friday kind of mood - makes you smile all day!  Today I took my 1st Cardio Disco Jam class - yes, my 1st.  I have NO rhythm so I have been afraid of it and taken other classes instead.  But today I decided to let my inhibitions go and have fun with it - and it was a BLAST!!!  Came out of there dripping sweat and having laughed and smiled the whole time - I will definitely be doing that again!

No pics again today - sorry.  Did my classes, spent time in the hot tub and got an amazing facial.  Sounds like a hard day, LOL.  TTFN

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 18, Goals, Goals and more Goals

Well, yesterday I tried to kill my feet with Stop Sign, so today I did not hike - BUT that doesn't mean I didn't KICK SOME BUTT!!!!  I challenged myself to do the swim for the triathlon today and I did it!  I swam 1/2 a mile today - I thought I'd never catch my breath, but I did it!  I did that during "open gym" time and then took a pool class after it - really kicked my butt.  But, as always around here - that wasn't all the day had in store.....

I had treading (not a water class - a torture class in the gym) for the last class today and chose a bike.  I somehow pulled strength from somewhere and completed 10 miles on the bike in that class!!  That felt amazing, so I had completed the swim portion and the bike portion, could I get the run done in the same day???  After dinner I decided to try (that is on my own, after all the classes were done).  I managed 2 miles of the 3.1 that I need to do in the triathlon.  But the really big news is that I did my fastest mile ever at 13 mins!

So I still have a lot of ground to cover over the next 3 weeks, but it really feels doable from here!  My swim time needs to be cut in half and my bike time needs to drop by 15 mins and my running has a long road of improvement ahead - but I know I can do it!  I feel so empowered, this is the best journey I could have set out on.  I really do believe I can do anything!  But, right now I need to go to bed!!!!  Sorry, no pictures today, never had my phone with me outside of the room.  TTFN

Day 17, I chose to do Stop Sign....Insanity!

So I wanted to test myself instead of a pretty hike, I chose that beloved sign!  I took 3 more minutes off of my time!  There was no one there to take my picture, so I just took one of the sign and one of my watch.  1hr and 20 min.  My best time yet and NO STOPPING at all this time to catch my breath!  YEAH!

I was so excited and felt so good when I got to the sign that I decided to try to make it out to Overlook and back.  I did it!  Overlook is another 1.25 miles out and 1.25 miles back.  I had never had enough time or energy left after stop sign to make it out there and back to the vans in the 2 hr 15 min time frame-until today!  The view is of the trail up to stop sign.  It was amazing to look down over what I had just climbed!  Made me feel like SuperWoman!!  I can't believe how far I have come in 2-1/2 weeks!  Here are the pictures from Overlook - but trust me, my camera doesn't do the view justice!

In the second picture, you see the little specs of white and black on the road, that is people walking down stop sign!

That means that I put in almost 7 miles today!  But the bad news is I am paying for it now.  I really killed my feet!  I have a massage here in a few to try to work out some of the pain - it is really bad!

Well - Hi folks.  This is yesterday's blog that I forgot to post before I headed off to that LOVELY massage.  Brenda did amazing things for my feet!  Sorry for that late post.... Gotta get started writing tonight's!  TTFN

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 16, Jumped off another ledge!

Well, as if I haven't lost my mind already - today I signed up to compete in my first triathalon!  It will be here in Utah and it will be the day before I leave here!  I was talked into it by the other lunatics here that are doing it (I say that in the most loving way!!LOL).  This should be interesting.  I am most nervous about the swim.  Lots of practice ahead in that area - right now I can only do half of what I need to do for the race.  

I have been saying for the last 2-3 years that I was going to compete in a tri.  I would start to train, usually get injured and then forget about it.  Then the cycle would start over again.  No cycle this time - I am doing it!!  I still can't believe that I have committed to this.....I know what completeing this is going to mean to me mentally.  It is going to mean more than the weight loss, actually more than my other achievements here - it is going to be about setting a pysical fitness goal and actually achieving it.  I didn't set a weight goal or a size goal or anything like that coming here, I was afraid to - but now, I have this race on April 3rd.  Wow, I can't express what this committment means to me!

Today's weather was worse than yesterday - COLD and rainy!!  But, this place does not stop for the weather.  Hikes, pool and all continued.  There have been some issues with the "celebrities" that are here.  Dan Evans and his mom Jackie from Season 5 are here and were attempting to film for show 2 of their reality series called Dan on the Golden Road (I think).  We are all divided into 3 different groups (Red, Blue and Green) each week.  They and their entourage are not in my group, so it hasn't been an issue for me, but it sure has been for some.  There was so much complaining about the TV crew that they had them leave.  Again, wasn't a big deal to me, but seems some were really bothered.  The staff were really responsive and tried very hard to appease everyone.  There is also a writer here, writing a story for a fitness magazine.  This place is really growing......

Today's menu.

That's about it.  Going to bed.  6 AM classes are hard no matter what time zone you are in!  TTFN

Day 15, The 3rd Monday

Well, it was raining and cold.  I couldn't stand the thought of wet shoes and then blisters and then walking funny and then wacking my ankle and knee and hip out all over a walk in the rain - at least that was my excuse.  I opted for the gym and weight lifting!  I have increased my weights in every area, I am very excited about the strength and mucsles I am gaining! 

Last night's performance by Dan Evans was nice.  He sang a song that he wrote about his battle with his weight - very touching and to the point.  It's called "Letter to my Addiction."  I can totally relate.  He and his mom, Jackie, spoke about their experience on the Biggest Loser and about their lives now touring the country promoting Dan's country music career.  They are in the processing of filming a new reality show about him trying to break into the music business and will be filming while here for episode #2.  That should be interesting......

Yesteray I promised pictures of the snow capped mountains as they are fadding fast.  I don't think they are showing up very well, but trust me - in two weeks time, the snow is melting VERY fast.  It will all be long gone by the time I leave.

Had Pool, then lunch, then another pool, stuck around for a 3rd pool and then did Step-n-Puke.  It actually wasn't that bad today as we had a different teacher.  John is on vacation and he is the King of squats and lunges!   Nicole was more into the actual step and it was tolerable. 

Then I had a MASSAGE!  My first one since I got here.  It was muscles were not near as mad at me when I left there!

That's about it for today.  Below are some not so good photos (I didn't bring an actual camera, just my iPhone) of Dan and Jackie Evans from BL Season 5.  The event was in the dining room.  This place is shockingly small and the only gathering place for such things is the dining room.  This makes it really nice and intimate and you really get to know everyone.  With the aquisition of the Biggest Loser name, they are growing daily.  They are adding on and in the future, it won't be the same, but nothing ever is.....  The good news is that more people will be able to get in.  If you called today, it would be Nov/Dec before you got in.  If you do book - please mention my name.  You and I will both get $100 in credit!  That's about all for Monday, TTFN

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 14, and we rest

Since today is Sunday, it is a day of rest.  Worked out well with the weather too - a little cloudy and cold today.  I had a lot of work to catch up on, so all worked out just fine.  I only have a few things left to do and I will be all ready for next week.

I am posting before dinner tonigt because it will be a late one.  More "stars" are on their way in!  Dan and his mom, Jackie from Season 5 are arriving.  Here is the poster they put up - sorry I can't seem to get this program to allow me to rotate it -so you'll just have to rotate your head to see it! (making you stretch - lol)
Dan will be preforming for us tonight from his CD.  It should be fun!  They will be staying here for a week and doing the program along with the rest of us.  More inside secrets from the show to come.....

I had my weigh in and I lost EIGHT more lbs!!!  That's 12 lbs so far!!  I am really excited.  Thanks for all of your comments,  well wishes and again - most of all your prayers!  I can feel all of the energy you are sending my way!

The poll I had up showed that by far most predicted I would lose 30 lbs while here.  I hope so, but I really am striving for 40, myself.  To those that voted 10 lbs - I already gottcha covered!!  Well on my way to the 20 and so on!  I really am excited about the loss - I won't lie - but I am going to continue to focus on the way I feel and what I am able to do.  Striving to take another minute off of stop sign in the morning!

Here is today's menu.

I will have more picutures for you tomorrow of how the snow capped mountains are changing as I am changing my life!  Amazing what can happen in so little time!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 13, No Jinx here!!

Today ROCKED!!!  I am seeing a turning point mentally.  I needed confirmation that things were really progressing and I got it.  I took 11 minutes off of my stop sign time!!  I finished in 1 hour 23 minutes and 15 seconds!!  That means that in two weeks, I have shaved 15 minutes off of my time!  I felt great when I was done.

Then it was off to stretch class - which is ALWAYS great.  I took the time to focus on my accomplishments so far - not only did I have the awesome improvement in my SS time, but my body was responding in great ways in stretch too!  I can bend and pull and reach and stretch in ways I couldn't 2 weeks ago.  I had no pain and I felt energized! 

I am so thankful for all of your well wishes, positive comments, and most of all for your prayers!  I am feeling so much better!  It is amazing the healing power of our bodies.  If I had all of these injuries at home, I would have taken at least two weeks off and maybe or maybe not have started again.  I am learning that with lots of ice and even more modifications, I can keep going!   God really did create our bodies in marvelous ways and they have so much more power to heal themselves than we give them credit for!

I am sure that the fruit and vegetable rich diet here has lots to do with the body healing and the ability to keep going!  I can't say enough good things about the food.  I never dreamed that so few calories could taste so good and be so filling.  I just got the cookbooks and am already working on multi-week menus for home.  There will be so many changes when I get home!  I have learned so much from the dietician.  I thought I knew all I could know about nutrition - ha!  Wow, there is so much to absorb.  With that said, here is today's menu.

I will sign off tonight with these pictures!  Left is stop sign day one and right is today.  Same clothes, but a different fit!!  I am getting excited about what the next 4 weeks will bring!  Good luck to all of you at the Y and hope you are seeing the results you want too!  I weigh in tomorrow morning, we will see what the scale says, but I don't care so much about that anymore.  I know how my clothes are fitting and how I am feeling and that is really where it is at!!  It feels good to be strong!  TTFN

Day 12, 2nd Friday - Fridays still ROCK!!

1st let me say, I am sorry for the late post - I fell asleep last night before I had intended to!  But, the good news is that following a lousy Thursday, Friday was GREAT!!!

Did the weight room instead of the hike on Friday, per the trainers' directions.  Increased all my weights by 10 lbs!  Did 2 hrs of lifting, followed by 1/2 hr of swimming before everyone got back from the hikes.  Then we had pool and well, I was already in there and ready to go!

After lunch we had the mandatory Friday - talk-it-out session with the psychologist!  We sit around in a circle and talk about our high of the week and lows if we need to.  I really dislike talking about feelings - don't I Biff!?!?!?!  Needless to say, that is never the highlight of Friday for me.  But I am making strides with it.....

Then it was on to Total Body Conditioning.  Wow, tough class.  Lots of squats, lunges, and all sorts of torture - but it felt oh so good when it was done!  Then it was straight into Circuit.  It is an interval class where you move from cardio to weights, back and forth in 2 min intervals.  There is a 4 min cardio push at the end and my success of the day was on the much hated elliptical- I did 4 mins, 3 mins at 6 and last min at a 7.  That is HUGE for me, as I have never stayed on for more than 2 mins before and never gone above a 4! 

After that was pool - my fav!!  It was the largest pool class ever and was a little out of control - thanks to Seth.  But it really was fun.  Really did get in a great workout and the abs worked extra hard as we laughed through it while trying not to suck in water.  It felt so good once it was over - only had Stop Sign and Stretch left on Saturday to complete the week.

Came back to my room with all intentions of writing the Friday blog and promptly fell asleep!  That wraps up Friday!

Day 11, 2nd Thursday

Well, mama always said. "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all!"  All I can say about Thursday is I had a bad attitude and I should say nothing!  "There'll be days like that, mama said!"

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 10, I took a bike for a spin!

Well, today did prove to be a better day.  Thank you to all who continue to post encouraging words, especially on days like yesterday.  Never wanted to quit, but frustrated beyond belief!

Had a long talk with Paige, the program director, and formulated a plan to get to full strength.  Worked out in the gym for the 2-1/2 hrs everyone else was hiking.  Did all of the weight machines and just a little cardio.  Building muscle to support the joints to avoid future injury; that's the plan!  Then I took pool class and swam 1/2 hr before and 45 min after it, for a total of 2 hrs of weight and cardio in the pool. 

After lunch I took a bike out and intended to be gone for just a little bit, but I sort of got lost.  That turned out to be a good thing!  The roads are all on a grid and I wasn't really lost, just couldn't get from where I was to where I wanted to be.  Some of the roads are not completed and you have to dog-leg around a bit to get where you want to be.  So anyway, I found my way back and to my shock I had biked for 1-1/2 hrs straight!  I could have never done that last week!  It was 1-1/2 hrs of up and down hills and no stopping!  I was so happy when I realized what I had done!  Good thing I wasn't paying attention to the time or my mind would have probably defeated me - I didn't know I could do that! 

That made me late and I missed my next class.  Then I did a pool class and then I got out of the sun.  I was a little bit of a cooked lobster after all of that but the sun was gorgeous!  Supposed to rain tomorrow.  Then it was off to dinner and then the dreaded trip to Target.  I was dreading it because I was afraid to be tempted by the food!  Isn't that horrible, that I was afraid to go out into the real are so protected here. 

I did fine at Target and I really had made it out to be more in my mind than it really was.  I didn't cheat, came back and drank a glass of water and I was just fine!  My mind and the things it thinks I want are the real battle.  I don't know why I am getting so upset over the injuries and the inability to do every class when my real battle is with the "old way of thinking."  The power of old ways is bigger than any Step-n-Puke class!

Today's menu was GREAT!  I don't like the muesli that we had for breakfast, it's sort of like oatmeal - but not, so I had toast.  With toast, you get 12 almonds for protein.  I really like the toast and the almonds.  But the to-die-for meal of the day was the Greek Pita at lunch.  It was incredible!  Can't wait to make that at home, since everyone in my family loves Greek food and olives, it should be a hit.  For dinner, I don't eat Salmon, so they just replaced the salmon steak with a veggie burger and it was good too.  The plating of the food is beautiful and really adds to the enjoyment of it.

That's about it for today.  TTFN

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 9, Not my day to shine!

Don't have a lot to say,it's been a rough day.  Did stop sign again, didn't get to the top.  Lots of pool today.  Saw the accupuncturist again - have both knees, right ankle and both feet taped up!  I am a walking roll of pink tape!  Gonna go to bed and make tomorrow a better day.  Miss my family bunches!  Good night. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 8, 2nd Monday - it's going fast

Today flew by!  It was another timed Stop Sign hike today and I really wanted to shave another 4 minutes off of my time - but it didn't happen.  I only took off 30 seconds, but I guess I should be really glad I didn't add any.  I even jogged a little bit of it, but I had to stop often to stretch my foot and ankle and there are two big dips that I had to walk down backwards (so I don't stress my knee).  I just have to keep at it.  They always ask if we want our picture taken at the Stop Sign and my answer is always, HECK YEA - I made it up here and I want the picture!

I did two extra classes today and I am so proud of myself for giving it my all.  Instead of resting after lunch, I biked to the park and shoot BB with Seth, from New York.  Then I biked back and it was time for classes to start up again - by Step-N-Puke, I kinda wished I had rested, but oh well.

The only other picture I took today was of the menu board.  Again, the food was awesome!

The wasabi mashed potatoes were to die for!  As I am following the vegetarian diet, I had rice and bean tacos and tofu in place of the chicken tonight - but it was all really good and filling.  Skipped dessert - even though it was only 31 calories, I am trying to follow the principles we are being taught - don't eat it if you are not hungry and don't waste calories on things you don't love (especially when it comes to dessert).  Since I wasn't hungry and don't love sorbets - I skipped it.  Sounds small I know, but for me it was a big step.  The Sunchoke soup was really good - don't know what a sunchoke is?  Google it, to me it looks sort of like a cross between turnips and ginger - but nobody else thought that!

Well, that's about it for tonight - I am sore and tired, but happy with today and looking forward to tomorrow.  TTFN

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 7, A Day of Rest and Reflection

There are so many stories to tell - at several intervals today, I kept thinking of ones I haven't shared.  Then I sit to write and I forget!  The new recruits arrived tonight and one lady is trying to quit smoking which reminded me of one of the amazing success stories.  A lady that is here for 5 weeks, arrived last week smoking a pack a day.  As of Friday, she had not smoked once and said that she had not even missed it!  How amazing - no step down, on gum, no meds, just hard work, sweat and good food and she is feeling amazing!  So happy for her!

Sunday's are to be a day of rest and that is how I used it, but it was really hard.  It was hard to be away from my family, my home, my job, etc.  This was the only day I have been hungry and boy have I been hungry!  My stomach has been growling all day!  Funny how when your body doesn't have something to focus on, it focuses on hunger - or at least mine did today.  After complaining about the workouts all week, I can't wait for it to start tomorrow - the time off is hard, too much time to think about what I have left at home to come here.

So since I am here - here we go with today.  Today was weigh in day and this is NOT the TV show.  No one here, not even the men, had numbers like you see on TV.  In fact, Susie from Season 2, was here last week and she had a lot to say about that.  She reminded us that a week on TV is more like 2 or even 3 and that there is a lot of purposeful dehydration prior to weighing in. 

Today, I had a real-life weigh-in.  I ate breakfast at 7, had my normal 2 cups of hot tea and 2 glasses of water.  I ate my fruit and my muffin and I had my weigh in an hour later.  I also stopped taking my fluid pill last week after the dehydration episodes, so my real weigh in was a little disappointing I must admit.  They say the average for women is 2 lbs the first week.  I had 4 lbs, but I was still expecting more.  According to the multi-weekers before me, week 2 is better.   The trainers say that the body is in shock and just holding on to the weight and that when it realizes you are going to continue this, then it starts to fall off - we will see.

The menu board shows what we ate and I mostly caught up on my TV watching and a little paperwork.  I did my laundry and napped.  That's about it.  We'll see what the new week holds!

My knee is feeling so much better with the rest and here is Monday's schedule:

6:00  Yogalates
7:00  Breakfast
8:00  Hikes
11:15  Pool or Mountain
12:45  Lunch
2:30  Circuit Training
3:30  Step-n-PUKE (can't wait - NOT)
4:30  Pool
5:45 Dinner

With week 2 and beyond, I have some free time after lunch and after dinner, no required lectures!  We just have to do an extra class every day, for me that will be the 6AM class every morning.  TTFN

Day 6, Mind over Body or sometimes Body over Mind

Saturday is Breakfast, Hike, Class, Lunch and then FREE TIME until dinner at 5:30 and graduation for those departing at 6:30.  My free time was spent watching CNN's Tsunami coverage and sleeping - mostly sleeping! 

Saturday is a mandatory Stop Sign hike that is timed and compared to Monday's time.  Monday I had a time of 1:39 and Saturday was 1:35, so four minutes off.  It wasn't what I wanted, but I am content considering I had to fight my knee injury the whole way.  I have to keep reminding myself that it really is about the little things and 4 minutes seems little, but it will add up quickly!

I have to continue to remember that when good little things add up to big, good things - so do bad little things add up to big, bad things.  For me, food is this issue!  Saturday's menu was good, most of the calories are at breakfast since we hike and have only one class to burn it off.  I also have pictures of the Parfait next to a coffee cup and a water carafe, to show relative size.  I have major portion control issues!  I am trying to retrain my mind and this place is a great place to do that!

On the hike, I was all about mind over body.  My body wanted to stop, but not in an "I am really hurting, you must stop" way, but in an "I am really uncomfortable and I don't want to do this" kind of way.  There is a saying here that the trainers use a lot "Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!"  I am starting to really understand the importance of that saying!  I took a few pictures today and a video.  I'm not sure if I can post the video here, but I will put the video on Facebook for sure.  They both show that we are in the tops of the mountains.  It is a challenge to walk and to breathe up there!  Great for all systems, when I get back to Ohio I should definitely have some increased lung capacity!

The picture below is of "sisters" as we refer to them.  They are leaving today and I will miss them.  The remind me of my own sisters whom I miss very much.  The love and understanding you have with a sister is like none other!  One sister lost 100 lbs and has kept it off for 5 years and was here to jump-start her loss of the last 20 lbs.  One had breast cancer and lots of radiation and was here to regain strength.  The third (Lisa) has really bad asthma and was trying to lose weight.  The first two sisters made it to stop sign and then walked back down to get the third and bring her up.  There was lots of crying and hugging and crying, as Lisa shaved 14 minutes off of her time and made it up with a smile on her face with her sisters by her side.  I have to admit I cried with them!  They are awesome and I will miss them.

After the hike, I had stretch class and I really got in touch with my body and was able to hear what it had to say.  Stretch class was over and my body said, no it's not!  So I stayed and stretched for another 1/2 hour until it loosened up and was ready to move on. There was another score for the mental gymnastics there - I wanted to quit when class was done, but the body was ready to do more and really needed to do more.  Some days, your body just takes longer to respond.  After stretch class, I usually feel like Gumby, but it took a while longer to achieve that today - but it did happen when I listened to my body talk (my body talk - now that song will be in my head all day!).  So that was a body over mind win!

Lunch was great and then after my afternoon of napping, the hugging and the sad faces started at dinner as so many new and wonderful friends would be leaving in the morning!  Lots of hugs and lots of pictures, here are a few!

Then after graduation we had karaoke and then off to bed.  It was fun, but I didn't stay long as I was really tired.  Here is a picture of Seth from New York singing Sweet Caroline and everyone waving along.  Seth is every stereotype of New Yorker you ever heard, except he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet!  Some brave souls belted out some tunes; actually, they didn't need to be that brave, because they were awesome! 

That about wraps up Saturday!  TTFN

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 5, TGIF - no matter where you are Friday still rocks!

First off, this is the view from my bedroom window!  What a view to wake up to every morning - God's handiwork is beautiful.  It is an inspiring place to be - even though I am more of a beach person than desert any day.  But I can find the beauty in my surroundings with the best of them - as my mom said, snow capped mountains are pretty anywhere.

This beautiful picture on the left is how I spent many hours today - icing my knee.  After doubling checking what I was told in my stupor of pain last night - I tore the muscles that hold the pattela in place.  Now I have a beautiful pink brace made of Kinesio tape (by the way - awesome stuff).
Today's menu was all great as usual.  I don't eat fish, so I had a Boca Burger instead tonight.  Here's is the best picture I could get of the menu board - my phone doesn't like when the sun beams in that window (but I do).

I left my schedule somewhere today, so I can give you that run down, but I just did gym and pool today.  I opted not to hike do to my knee and I did some major mental work while in the gym this morning.  First of all, I had to have a talk with myself that just because my knee was hurt didn't mean I couldn't work my upper body.  So, after me and myself had a through talking, it was off to the gym and 2 hours later I felt like I had accomplished something!  I worked my upper body on every machine and then one of the trainers came in and showed me some great cardio modifications and I got my heart rate up there for a good work-out too.  Then I did an hour in the pool.  Most of the rest of the day I spent off of my knee, talking to the trainers and working on my calorie budget and looking at way so change my life at home for the better.  So time off for the body, time invested in the mind - but, I still worked out for 3 hours today!

That's about all I have for tonight.  I have some work stuff to get done, so off to that.  Thanks for all of your comments, I love reading them every night before I start typing the blog!  You are all an inspiration to me!  TTFN

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 4, It really does get better!

The day started with an incredible hike call 3rd Ravine.  We started at the bottom of the hill and climbed to the top of the mountain you see in the picture (the one on the right), we made it to the top!  That was the great part, but coming down was not so much fun....I tore my petella (sp?).  Anyway, the pictures are awesome!  Ice and some accupuncture seem to be helping the knee a lot, oh and a lot of vitamin I as they call it around here.

Today's schedule was:

6 AM Total Body Conditioning
7AM  Breakfast
8 AM Hikes
11:15 AM Stretch Class (LOVE IT)
12:30 PM Lunch
1:15 PM Cooking Demo
2:30 PM Pool
3:30 PM Ball Works
4:30 PM Treading
5:30 PM Dinner
6:15 PM Menu Planning

There is no time to stop, next week gets better as we don't have to attend the lectures and that gives a little breathing room.

Here are some more pictures of the terrain we are climbing.  Lots of large muscle work, which is burning off the calories!  Makes for some sore quads, but happy faces when you get to the top.  It really is amazing what our bodies are capable of.

I never had my phone in the dining room today, so I missed pictures of the menu board, but it was all great.  I can't wait to try the chef's recipies at home!   They really are so much volume of food for so little calories.  I did not finish all of my food at any meal today - I still can't believe that.  We really do need so much less food than we think.  We have been marketed to death on adding this and adding that, we just need less of everything!

For all of you in Jackson who have signed up at the Y, I am so happy for you!  I hope you get everything you want out of it and I hope you find all that you are capable of.  There is a lady here on a walker and she is such an inspriation!  She walks at least 6 miles everyday and is gaining so much strength.  There is a couple here that are in their late 60's and early 70's that walked 18 miles today - they are in there 6th week here and came here "off the couch."  She came in as a size 20 and is leaving this weekend a size 12 and he was a 42 and leaving a 36!  We have accepted way to many boundries for ourselves.  We can do anything! 

I have so much more to tell you, but I am too tired - must sleep!  TTFN

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 3, Wednesday is hump day and it almost knocked me out!!

Wednesday is hump day around here for sure. It was an eventful day for me. It started off fine, did the Stop Sign hike again because the one I wanted was full. That turned out to be a good thing as those that went on Barrel Roll suggested it would have further aggravated my foot. The good news is that I did exercise, even though I would have used my foot as an excuse at home! I finished 5 miles today, limped part of it, but I did it! I burned 1,243 calories on the hike and that was more food than I had today. So from my post yesterday, we know I have a resting metabolic rate of over 2,000 and since there is 3,500 calories in a pound – I was already well on my way to losing weight.

Then it was off to the pool. The pool is hard, but I love it because my feet don’t hurt. After pool was lunch and then a lecture on Breaking Emotional Barriers. It was during that lecture that the altitude sickness and the dehydration hit. Dehydration is a funny thing – I am drinking tons of water, but I am just peeing it back out and not absorbing any of it. So it was electrolyte tablets in the water and I am feeling much better.

I had my first ever Acupuncture treatment tonight. She was treating the dehydration and the altitude sickness only since it was so bad and I am going to go back tomorrow to have her work on my foot. I really liked her and she was incredibly knowledgeable!

Not a lot of picture taking today, I have really not felt up to it. But there are a few. I grabbed a picture of the menu board and yes, the beet soup was INCREDIBLE. If you had told me a week ago that I would be scrapping the bottom of the bowl for the last spoonful – I wouldn’t have believed you! It tasted like it had tons of cream and bad stuff in it, but it didn’t and it was awesome! Yes, I am raving about beet soup. It was my favorite thing all day, but the CafĂ© Salad was a close second.

I promise to write more tomorrow, I know this is not that informative, but I think I need to go to bed. Good night all and thanks a million for all of your wonderful comments – keep ‘em coming! TTFN

PS I almost forgot, today is our 14th anniversary!  I love you Jim and I would do it all over again!  You are my very best friend and thank you for making this trip happen.  Love ya, babe!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 2, I survived it!

First I'll give you today's menu - the food is REALLY good and on the phone tonight my dad asked if I was hungry and I have to say NO and tonight at dinner - I really couldn't finish all my food. It is so nutritious and voluminous that it is really filling!

At 6:30 this morning I had my RMR (resting metabolic rate) tested and I was pleased to find that I had a "high" metabolism, but I already thought I did.  What that says is that there is NO reason I should have let myself get in this position!!   But I did and here I am.....  I found that if I "sat in a chair" all day, I would burn 2448 calories and that if I was "active" defined as taking stairs, parking farther away and caring a basket while shopping instead of pushing a cart - that's an extra 732 calories burned!!  So, now we're talking 3,180 calories burned.  Then, you add exercise, just an hour a day and you've got another 400-500 calories and wow, now we're talking 3,680 calories.  So if I am consuming (while here anyway) 1200 calories a day and burning way more than those calories - I should see major results.

I have a lot more to say about what I have learned on that note, but I am too tired to tell you all about it tonight.  The hike I took this morning was amazing!  It was my first "off road" hike.  There were Indian carvings and cliff and drop-offs and gorges and all I can say is it was breath-taking.  Here are a few of the things we saw.

The girl next to me is my AWESOME new friend Kay from Austin, Texas and she is a hoot!  She keeps me in stitches.  I just wish I had my camera at breakfast when she showed us all how Gene Simmons would get the last drop of smoothie out of a glass.  She is a riot.  Everyone here is great and so focused and so positive - I can't say enough good things. 

I had some serious foot pain this afternoon, so instead of killing it on a cardio machine, I took two back-to-back pool classes and this is NOT your grandma's water aerobics!!  I am sore!  But I'm glad I did it because my foot feels so much better.  No quitting around here - just modification and push on. 

Well, I have laundry to finish - you burn through a lot of clothes that are drenched in sweat, so TTFN.