Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obese No More

Yes, it’s true. I’m not obese anymore. Now I’m just overweight. I never ever EVER want to be obese again!!! Like anyone does? Anyways, after getting back to my program, eating within calorie range and being active pretty much every day, I broke out of that measly loss pattern of the past two weeks. I lost 3 pounds this past week!! Not only that, it brought me down to 29.9 BMI which, in case you don’t know, is the cut off between obese and overweight.

Funny, I went to the doctor today so she could take a look at my toe that has been hurting. Remember the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival pic of my feet? Well, I’ve kept my toe taped pretty much nonstop since then, and it still really really hurts when I go on the tread, when I walk very far with slippers, and well, pretty much all the time. While the x-rays didn’t show any break, they did show a pretty noticeable, at least to me, jammed up joint. Barely any space in between the two bones. So, I have to make an appointment with the podiatrist. Why do we always have to see specialists these days? Why couldn’t she have just taken that toe in her well-manicured hands (I notice that kind of stuff ‘cause mine usually aren’t. And I actually told her not to look at my very un-manicured toenails. I really need to get a boyfriend so I feel like doing that more often) and pulled it back out like it’s supposed to be?

Anyways, beside the toe issue I asked for a referral to a gastrowhatever so they can stick a tube down my throat and make me stop coughing somehow. That’s gonna take another couple of months apparently. Specialists. Anyway, what was funny was that I was all happy about my weight loss and said something about not being obese anymore, and she said, “Weeellll…your BMI is 29.9 and it should be 20 whatever” (I guess I should mention that she’s a thin Asian doctor) I told her I was very happy to be just overweight and not obese, and she conceded that point. It’s funny that I wasn’t bummed by her response. In the past I probably would have been embarrassed, mad, resentful. This time I was happy to be happy about it. I know what I’ve been doing to get here...and where I’m going. That’s enough.

The other thing is, my doctor likes me. She noticed I’d cut my hair. She said she was glad I’d decided to do the endoscopy. I think she gets a kick out of me still bodyboarding. She saw me through an emotionally rough time a few years back. And, when I told her I was planning on hiking on the Makiki Loop Trail tomorrow, she very kindly told me I should watch out for the pig hunters. I won’t go into all that, but suffice it to say that there are some people who love to play commando in the hills, hunting pigs with their packs of pit bulls, and that some of them think everybody should get out of their way when they’re doing it. She suggested I carry a BIG umbrella that I could open to fend them (the pit bulls) off. Not sure if that would work, but it sure gave me a humorous picture to consider.

I’m going to do it anyway, since I have a meeting I have to go to right next to where the trail starts. If you don’t hear from me by next week, call the police. Although my doctor says the police won’t do anything about the pig hunters.

Oh! My other big news is that today on the tread I jogged for 90 seconds/walked for 120 for thirty minutes. I’ll have to look if that fits into the 5K running plan I’m pretending to be on. I know it’s progress and that’s what counts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Up Down and Sideways

Well, I physically pushed myself this weekend. Did one thing I know I wouldn’t have attempted even a month or two ago. I went to Kauai to visit my friends John and Sue again, for my birthday. That isn’t the thing. The thing I did was hike the first two miles of the Kalalau trail, from the trailhead at Ke’e beach to Hanakapi’ai Beach. Now 2 miles each way doesn’t sound like much, and I’m sure it’s not much for those people, including my daughter, who hike the total 11 miles to Kalalau valley (it’s between that last little point and the big point in the distance) and back. But this isn’t your average little 2 mile walk in the park. Oh no, this baby starts at sea level and rises 1060 feet total, with a couple of ascents and descents, and with terrain ranging from dry to slurpy muddy, from rocky to root-covered. I definitely felt my lack of stair-climbing experience at the gym, because some of the trail demanded climbing rocks – lots of them. Nice for my ..umm…back of body area. Oh! And no matter what the trail is like underfoot, and what little challenges it throws at you, it meanders right along the edge of the cliffs for much of the time. This means you get some awesome views of the ocean and beaches down below, as well as up the coastline to Kalalau. It also means that you better not get dizzy or distracted too much…unless you can fly or don’t mind tumbling hundreds of feet down into, hopefully, the ocean.

Along the way you pass a few streams and waterfalls, and at the top of the first ascent you come to a really windy spot. Hold onto your hats is my best advice. And don’t start congratulating yourself yet, because there is way more, mostly up and down more, to come before you reach Hanakapia’i Beach. John had mentioned that once we got to the beach we could opt to hike another two miles up to the waterfall, but we didn’t have to decide until we got to the beach. Sue, bless her heart, announced about a mile in that she wasn’t doing that. Thank you, Sue! I was already formulating my most cheerful suggestion that they go ahead and enjoy some “alone” time while I hung out on the beach. I didn’t care how long it took them, I knew that I was going to be gathering my strength for the return hike.

Anyway, we reached the beach after about 1-1 ½ hours and I felt great! I think I only had to stop to let my heart rate come down once on the way in. Major progress!!!! I was feeling really happy and proud of myself and grateful that I was getting in such better shape and able to enjoy these kinds of activities again. Sue, being so considerate and all, had packed some fruit, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for us. Yummy. Oh! She also saved my ass by lending me a pair of socks. I, being the non-shoe girl that I am, had worn my fave hiking/festival/all around comfy shoes, but hadn’t worn socks. I’m pretty sure I would have been singing a different tune, something on the line of “Oh my owie blisters” had it not been for those socks.

So, after a bit of time hanging out on the rocks in the shade at the beach, watching the other hikers, including this one family whose kids kept passing us on the way in, then waiting for their parents to catch up, then moving on, we decided to head back. I remember saying after the first up hill on the way back, “Wow, that was easy.” I was feeling positively giddy with my new found fitness. But not so quick, oh new shoe-wearing, hiking girl. For some reason the way back was MUCH harder. I had to take at least five mini-breaks to settle my heart. Of course all the old tapes started right up, being embarrassed that I couldn’t keep hiking without a break, wondering if John and Sue were thinking what a drag I was for slowing them down. But, they being who they are, kept letting me know that the hike was a bit strenuous even for them (not sure if that’s true or just them being nice) and telling me that I was doing great. It helped that there were a few other people who were having to take breaks and/or taking it really slow, too. I’ve since read that the way back IS a lot harder in general.

Anyways, we made it back, and even though my calves have been sore ever since, I’m proud I made it. And do really look forward to at least making it to the waterfall one day. Not sure about all the way to Kalalau though.

So Sunday while Sue was at church John and I took another bike ride. Not as long as the one to Kipu Falls last time, but long enough. Here’s me looking like a bicyclist in front of John and Sue’s house with Sue’s porch railing garden behind me. We went back roads for about an hour and I had to get off and walk once, then John wanted us to go to Menehune fish pond lookout, but when I saw the hill going down, I begged for mercy and we turned back. It’s really nice to be back on a bike again, and it’s good to have John pushing me harder than I’d go on my own. After Sue came home we ate yummy salads, with leftovers from The Blossoming Lotus from the night before. I forgot to take pics! It was totally vegan and Yummy!

Then we all tried a new sport, stand up paddleboarding. It’s basically a big surfboard that you paddle with a long paddle while standing up. Balance and no quick moves is the key. That and taking short, instead of deep, strokes when you’re standing up. If there was a “Most Time in the Water Instead of on the Board” award I think I would have won it. I fell off sideways – each side, backwards, and forwards – many times. It must have provided some good entertainment for folks on the beach. I finally got the hang of it though, as did John and Sue. Of course John got it immediately, and he was cruising along back and forth between Sue and I, giving us pointers. Show Off. Anyway, fun stuff.

After that we went to Duke’s again for salad bar. I had that in my mind because of last time. Sue pointed out that since it was my birthday we could get a free piece of Hula Pie. Now, Sue had been pushing the desserts the night before, but John and I were too virtuous (and full) to take the bait. But, we didn’t want to disappoint her two nights in a row, well, at least I didn’t, so we let the waiter bring it. It was really huge, and I didn’t want her to get a stomach ache, so I helped her, just a little. John helped her more, I’m sure. Despite that benevolent gesture, the next day on my REAL birthday, I weighed 175.2 pounds. Not the straight 175 that was my goal, but close enough that I’ll take it. I can’t blame it on Sue’s pushing that Hula Pie, though I’d like to. I think I can more credit the hike and her lending me her socks.

Last night my daughter took me out to a fave Italian place and we each had Caesar salad and shared a delicious fish and capers entree. Another yummy meal. Not to mention the delish lychee martini. Now I have to stop going out to eat for a while and get back to my plan. I want the 2 pounds per week weight loss again. Don’t think I’ll have that this week. But, I have enjoyed the good food and company the past few weeks. Life is such a trade off sometimes. So for the next 6-7 weeks, till I go visit my sons and see Carlos I’m going to pretty much stick to my plan.

Oh my gosh! I forgot to mention what I did last Friday!!! Went to see Barack and Michelle Obama when they flew in for a week’s vacation. It was wonderful seeing them, so full of optimism and love. I sure hope he wins the presidency and makes some changes. Reminds me of the Kennedys and how hopeful people were at that time. Okay, that’s the end of this missive. Hope everyone is happy, healthy, and enjoying life. Aloha

Wednesday Weigh-in Update: 176.6. Even though I was down to 175.2 on Monday, I'm back to 176.6 today. No loss, no gain for the week. As I said, back to my program.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Pants are Falling Down!

Yep, those big girl pants are gonna have to be put away, cause they are just way too big now. I’m fitting into a few of my old faves now, and even those are getting a little loose. But, here’s the dilemma: I don’t have many in between sized clothes. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

So, my second trip to Oregon was great! Spent the weekend experiencing the Columbia River Gorge with my good friend Judie. Jude worked for Columbia Hills State Park for five years, so was a wealth of information about the area. Plus she absolutely loves that area of the world, so it was fun to experience it with her. On Friday we went berry-picking with her friend Kate at “The Hatch”, which is a famous wind-surfing spot. We filled up containers and containers of those juicy morsels. Don’t tell anyone, but I brought some home to share with family and friends. We also took a drive up the gorge a ways. And ate at Taco del Mar.

That was the start of my making questionable food choices. I asked for a nutrition chart, but they looked at me like I was crazy and finally told me, “It’s online.” So, I ordered 2 fish soft shell tacos, hold the cheese. But not “hold the sauce” because I’ve never met a sauce I didn’t like. I just looked it up, and that was 540 cals, 22 g of fat with cheese, so maybe ..hmmm….475 cals and 15 g of fat without? WAY too much. Then we ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Again, no nutrition chart. I tried to order what I thought would be the healthiest choice, but my sweet and sour chicken turned out to be deep fried. Which of course I ate. The chop suey and rice probably weren’t too bad. I didn’t eat my fortune cookie though. I won’t go through everything I ate for the rest of the weekend, but let’s just say it ended with buying a 240 calorie bag of “reduced fat” chips from the vending machine at the hotel Sunday night. Oh! And eating not only the grilled chicken sandwich at Wendy’s (this time I did “hold the sauce”) at the airport, but most of the first class breakfast on the flight home. I mean, I couldn’t really turn my nose up at that, could I?

I did do a couple of good things food-wise though. I had a smoothie to start each day because Judie had stocked her fridge with frozen strawberries, bananas and yogurt. Thanks Jude! I also got to visit Trader Joe’s for the first time ever, and bought some low cal/low fat snacks, and we bought salads for dinner.

We did quite a bit of walking while I was there, including a cool petroglyph/pictograph tour on Saturday morning. Here’s “She Who Watches”. Judie said an elder told her that this particular one was created to witness the decimation of the people of that area. Sad. I learned that there were giant glacial floods that created the stunning cliffs and buttes of the gorge, and that much later on, in the 1950s, a couple of dams were made which flooded the river basin, effectively covering much of the Native American living and burial sites. This area was visited by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and 1806, and it was a massive trading site, with various tribes gathering each year. The “locals” fished 10000 pounds of salmon from the river per week during the season. Sounds like they were a pretty well to do bunch. They had wooden homes and storehouses, and an interesting way of cutting planks from trees without killing the trees. Nice.

We also visited the Maryhill Museum, which was built by Sam Hill, originally as his home. I got a great pic of Mount Hood from the lanai while we were eating lunch. During both trips to Oregon people kept telling me about the beauty of Mount Hood and Mount Adams, but they kept hiding behind clouds to the point I was beginning to wonder if people were making it up, until she finally revealed her beauty to me that day. Old Sam Hill had quite the collection of Rodin sculptures and drawings. Very Nice. There was also an incredible collection of Native American basketry, beadworks, and other tools, toys, and stuff. I didn’t see the collection of doll costumes. Maybe next time. Then we went to a replica of Stone Henge that Sam Hill also created. Jude said during the summer equinox this place really draws the freaks out. We also drove through someone’s ranch where there are all kinds of animals like zebra, camels, giraffes, emus, and more.

So, I got to experience all kinds of cool things with Jude, and best of all, spend time with her. It had been way too long. We’re talking about maybe camping on the coast next summer for a weekend. You can be sure I’m gonna plan that during berry season again. Oh! She had an exercise bike so I did 20 minutes on that one morning, plus did some yard work for her one afternoon. The net result of my bad eating and pretty active weekend? A half pound weight loss. Not what I’d like, but I learned something from it, and at least it wasn’t a gain. Off to the gym now. I've got less than a week and 1.6 pounds to lose to reach my next goal.