Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: March 2011

Week 1: [Subtitle Redacted]

…due to the fact I cannot stop being Judgey Mc Judgerpants about what the scale is saying and I promised I would for a month.  So let’s just call it… week 1.

There are many reasons why the evil number that shall not be named transpired this week.  First, the outside of the locus of my control – I am just coming off TOM, which usually takes a while to actually leave bloat-wise.  Second, under my control but should not be permanently affecting me – I had beer this weekend which also bloats, and (a small portion well within my calorie range) salty Indian food late.  Thirdly, the reasons I could have controlled – like ODing on trail mix because I didn’t eat enough earlier in the day and I was drunk and it was there.

I’ll post a loss because I weighed in less last Thursday, but it almost doesn’t feel right.  I don’t feel like it’s a loss.

However, it’s not all grey days and doldrums.  I had some really good days last week – during the week, I ate about 1440 per day, and I don’t imagine my weekend was *that* horrible.  Maaaaaybe 2500 calories on the outside (and I burned at least 1000 racing that day) on Saturday and 1700 on sunday.  Which would net me just a little over 1600 per day.  I knew the first week would be a little tricky, but I think I’m set up for a pretty good week.  So far this week I’m staying pretty close to 1300 without much hunger, just by eating pretty low cal and nutritious foods.

Also?  Um, I’m freaking rocking the bike lately.  15.1 mph outside AFTER a hard run in the hot sun.  16+ on my hour long rides.  18+ today on the time trial.  This is the thing that I very much want and need to get better at to rock the tris this year, and I am making progress.

The goal?  This weekend, it’s to make it through the weekend without a huge spike.  And really make good on that under 1500 goal I had last week.  I’m starting to remember that feeling, that drive I used to have.  It sounds cheesy, but the point where you realize that the instant gratification of the food is not worth looking at pictures from two years ago and thinking damn, I wish I looked like that again (hello, wayward bachelorette party pics showing up on facebook and being VERY QUICKLY untagged).  Or – that is to say – nothing tastes as good as thin feels.  I’ve spent the last two years focused on non-scale victories.  Dammit, it’s time for some scale victories!

2 years ago above, last weekend below…

One of these things are not like the other.  Let’s get this show on the road, my friends.

Last Week’s Workouts:

Monday: 5.5 mile walk (beautiful weather + exhaustion = mellow but long sunset hike)
Tuesday: cadence intervals on the bike – 60 mins, 16.16 mph overall
Wednesday: fast 5k – 9:07 pace, 600 yd swim (+ showing Zliten the basics of freestyle)
Thursday: off
Friday: 50 mins biking, resistance and speed intervals, 16.1 mph, stretching
Saturday: Du Loop – 29:14 for 3.24 miles ran (9:01 pace), 31:38 for 8 miles biked (15.1 mph), 8:32 for .77 miles ran (11:02 pace)
Sunday: off

This Week’s Plan:

Monday: off (just needed an extra day – body mind and soul agreed!)
Tuesday: 11 mile bike time trial (18.2 mph – or 36:15) and 20 min easy IM swim (750 meters)
Wednesday: outside run (easy, or as easy as I go – somewhere between 3-5 miles depending on time)
Thursday: tri bike workout
Friday: swim workout
Saturday: open water swim at Decker lake, practice transitions, run course at decker, drive bike course
Sunday: off

Starting Weight: 174.2
Last Week: 174.2
This Week: 172.4 (-1.8 week/-1.8 overall)

I totally don’t feel like it really counts until I’m under 170 again, but I’ll take it, because I promised to be the opposite of Judgey McJudgerpants.  Hey, that would have been a great subtitle for the week…

I’ve Tried Being Nice

Sometimes, it’s just time to take away the toys, deal with the crying and tantrums just to get it over with, and get what I want this way.  I’m a big believer in the carrot over the stick, but unfortunately, lately, carrots have turned into carrot cakes.  Time for the stick.

I am approximately 20 lbs from where I want to be.  A year ago, I was about 10 lbs away.  Two years ago, I was there.  If I continue this, I will be back over 200 by the time I’m 35.

That shit scares me.  While I definitely have some wiggle room in between now and when I would consider myself chunky, fat, rotund, obese, stay-puft marshmallow Quix, I am both not liking the trend.  And I’m finding that less often, I want to make out with myself in the mirror.  Sometimes I’m even flat out dissatisfied, and that comes with negative self talk and self feelings.  The pants I almost got rid of 2 years ago because they were too big are now the ones that fit me best.  It bothers the crap outta me that I’ve let myself slip like this.   I should know better.  I should be better.  I lost 110 lbs that I said I never want to lose again, and now I’m facing the fact that 20 of them have found themselves back my way.

Part of the way to figure out how to attack is to analyze the problem.  How did I get here?

a) I never accepted that I was at a healthy weight and set a plan for maintenance.  I tried to struggle through a year of getting below 150 when I’m pretty sure my body was telling me NO, this is as low as we want to go, thanks.  I wanted 125-135, and my body seems to want about 160-170.  I’ll split the difference and say 150 is my stopping point.  Once I can maintain 150 sanely for a year (+/- 5 lbs), I’ll think about going lower.

b) Its been slow.  I gained 5 lbs, it wasn’t an urgency, I got used to being 5 lbs higher, then six months later I gained 5 more.  It’s not as if I went from 150-170 in two months, it took 2 years.

c) I *have* put on some muscle.  It’s not all fat.  But it’s definitely not ALL muscle either, because my pants don’t fit and my shirts have started getting shorter.

d) Again, I’m not life threateningly fat.  I’m not even close to Lane Bryant shopping fat.  It’s not affecting my workouts (though I’m sure if I lost 20 lbs of fat, I could start seeing some major improvements!!!), my life, or anything but the fact that I just don’t goddamn like what I see in the mirror as much anymore.

This has made it very, very hard to see this as an emergency.  I spent two years taking off weight, and frankly, it was exhausting.  I hated the person I had to become at times to do it, and it was really, really, really nice to have a break from that.  It was nice to want to eat mostly healthy things and work out hard because I was racing, not because I wanted to lose weight.

However, I’m done with this.  I’m done looking in the mirror and going UGH.  I’m done only wearing half my closet because the other half makes my pooch stand out too much or just plain doesn’t fit over my ass.  I’m done being frustrated that my loose pants are now my tight pants.

I’m spending some time reviewing how I ate and exercised when I was losing weight fairly rapidly in 2008.  I’ve come to some conclusions:

a) I kinda ate like crap compared to the nutrient dense food I (generally when I don’t fall face first into a plate of fried food) eat now.  However, I definitely ate LESS of it than I do now.  I stuck between 1300-1400 calories most days with 1-2 1700-1800 calorie days over the weekends.  Generally, these involved a normal 1300 calorie day with about 500 calories of booze.

b) This is definitely before I started running a lot, because I had a drink or two most nights.  Which meant I was still probably smoking a quarter pack at least a day.  No wonder things were easier then, I’d get late night munchies and just go outside an puff a cig instead.  Sigh.  The days.  Now I just have to DEAL.

c) I ate 100 calorie breakfasts and almost NO snacks besides a piece of fruit before the gym.

d) I stuck to a lot of the same types of food.  Sandwiches, salads, soups, chinese food, and items in a tortilla (tacos/wraps).

e)I was doing  not much cardio (20-30 mins HIIT or running x 3, 40 mins DDR x 2 per week), but more weights (3xweek).  I was generally hitting full body 1x week, and arms and legs 3x week.  I now know that cardio != leg strength training, but I remember thinking that then…

So basically, if I want to follow my old plan, I need to take up smoking and drinking more, eat less nutritionally dense food, exercise less, eat less little meals throughout the day, and skip the majority of the breakfast I eat now.

Sounds kinda like the opposite of every diet article EVER.  I, dear readers, am an enigma.

So, what exactly to do…

a)  I think I’ll aim for the calories but try to keep the healthy versions of what I’m eating.  This is one place I need the stick.  1300-1400 is uncomfortable for me.  However, above that, as I’ve proven, I just DO NOT LOSE.  It’s somewhere between 1500 – 3000 where I actually start gaining, but it’s like I have this HUGE maintenance range and this teeny tiny “can loose weight but not going into starvation mode” range.  Goal will be to stay under 1500 AVERAGE per week, whether that’s 1450-ish per day, or 1300 with 1-2 higher days.

b) Not going to go back to smoking more, but I’ll keep in mind that I was still steadily losing and often had a glass of wine or 2 or a small sweet treat after dinner.  Maybe trying to be so restrictive with myself is actually NOT working in my favor.  I try to eat treats so rarely it’s like a BIG DEAL when I do, and same with booze – I abstain until the weekend or special events and then OMG GO CRAZEEE.  Still considering this one because it is empty calories, and it may be a while before my tummy is used to 1300 and not angry about it.

c) Breakfast people, I tried so hard with this, but I see NO evidence that eating more in the morning does anything but make me eat more during the day.  I’m going to dial this back from my now normal 200-300 to about 150.  This allows me oatmeal, greek yogurt with a few crunchies in it, picadillo beef breakfast taco, sausage patties with half an english muffin and fat free cream cheese, fiber one bar, or half a big protien bar.  So I have options.  Will give this a try.  As for snacks… this will be harder (I’ve gotten used to having a decent amount of calories mid-day before I workout) but it will either have to be taken from lunch/dinner or just skip it.  HUNGER IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD…

d) I don’t think this matters – I’m really enjoying my discovery of greek and indian food and the like, I just need to make sure I accurately account for what’s going in my piehole.  And I do eat the same sort of foods a lot of the time…

e) I think I’ve given up the “maintain a base of 10 miles” for running, it’s just not realistic for me right now, and my goals are elsewhere.  This spring, I need to maintain a good solid 5k time and perhaps occasionally run up to 10k at a slow clip but no more.  Where I need to put the rest of my focus is:

1.  Biking.  It’s the vast majority of the time spent on my dus/tris and it’s my worst leg.  Becoming a better cyclist and shaving off time here will be my best way to improve my du/tri time (well, that and transitions, but whatevs).  It’s also low impact.

2.  Strength.  Once I’m fully released, I need to go back to working on getting stronger again, which the glimpse to the past fully supports.  Sadly, there’s just nothing on my body that getting stronger won’t benefit tris (legs obv, core obv, back and arms for swimming), so I need to keep to it.  Even if it’s light weights lotsa repeats at first while my back gets to 100% it needs to happen.

3.  Swimming.  Not as much of a priority because it’s generally the shortest part of a tri, but it’s new, I’m pretty good at it, and I enjoy it.  Plus, it’s also low impact and I have the silly goal of an Ironman swim (2.4 miles) in 60 mins in 2011.

4.  Running.  I know I can knock out between 10-11 min miles no matter how dead I am, and it’s more of a mental thing than a physical capacity thing to move that to 9-10 min miles.

5.  Yoga/Stretching.  I used to do the 15-20 min yoga video at home, and I think I need to get on that.  If I could get up and do that and/or strength sometimes in the morning, it might help me mitigate some time after at the gym.

So, the plan for this week is:

-1500 calories per day (minus Saturday, in which I will be camping and subject to other folks food, where the goal is to pick healthy things).  I need a little time to adjust down so my body doesn’t go into complete shock, so we’ll start here.

-No restrictions if it fits in my calorie range, but have to track everything I eat.

Monday: 1.5 hour walk (5.5 miles)
Tuesday: 60 mins bike
Wednesday: 5k run then swim
Thursday: 60 mins bike outside
Friday: off
Saturday: Du Loop (5k run, 8 mile bike, 1.5 mile trail run)
Sunday: off

Next week starts the 3 week countdown before the rookie tri, so the workouts will look a little different, I’ll work a small amount of weights/yoga in there. After the rookie, the only race that I’m really concerned about time/training for is the Gladiator Games 5k, so I’ll be incorporating short (20-30 mins) interval and tempo runs (anyone that has a good 5k plan to get faster, I’d love advice…), but that will leave me a lot of time to also work weights those days, plus biking hard on alternate days.

Coming up:
Rookie Tri (mini sprint tri) – April 17
Hell Run (mud run) – April 30
Muddy Buddy (bike/run obstacle mud thing) – May 14
Gladiator Games (5k run and obstacle course) – May 21
Spread Your Wings (adventure race) – May 28
Shammies and Koozies (25 mile bike ride and float back on toobs) – June 11

So, honestly, I have a busy schedule, but nothing that I’m really looking at super-serious-meeting-face-training-for-a-time besides the 5k, so this is still a decent time to do this.  Just need to make sure that I am in good shape by late summer when long tri and half marathon training starts.  LETS DO THIS!!!

So, the goal is calories down, intensity OR time down on the cardio, counting calories every day, every bite, back to weighing at least a few times a week, and giving it my all for at least 1 month before I get frustrated.  I refuse to get frustrated until on April 23, I have not made any progress (tomorrow is my official weigh in, I missed this morning).  Everything until then is just data to be analyzed.

Wish me luck, everyone!  I’ll have awesome Houston warrior dash pics up soon, but I just had to get this out.  Feel much better now!  Thanks, internet, for your ear, because I’m sure Zliten is sick of hearing about it, heh.

EDIT: Ugh – 174.2 weigh in.  Oh well, no judging, no getting upset, no freaking out.  Just working on making that number go away soon.

Cruise Recap: 7 Day Ticket To Paradise

So, I decided in the interest of security, it was probably better that I don’t explicitly announce that I was away from home for 8 days, but I’m BACK!  While it was definitely not exactly the vacation I was imagining, it was seriously awesome.  Just what I needed.  Here’s the play by play…

*Note – this is a looooooong post.  I usually split these up into 2 or 3.  If it’s too long, uh, come back and read later at your convenience.  Or just scan the purdy pictures and get jealous.  Permission, I give it to you.*

Sunday: Galveston

Woke up, made last minute preparations, and remembered OH FUCK, I forgot to cut Zliten’s hair, which was unreasonably long.  Did a quick job of it and just finished as my parents came to pick us up.  After gathering the rest of our stuff we were on our way just about on time.  The drive was uneventful, we got to the dock around 12:30, and find out the boat had JUST gotten there, and wasn’t boarding until way later.  We found somewhere to park, walked around Galveston, had just about the best pitas and hummus and greek chicken salad ever by the ocean, and on my parents urging, we went back to the dock and stood there.  And stood there.  For 4 more hours, as day went to night and sun went to cold.  By the time I got on the boat I had a sore throat and felt chilled but shook it off once we got there as a dry throat.

By the time we got to dinner it was close to 9pm, but we had a great meal in the dining room of curry.  They had awesome curry every day, but unfortunately, there was always too much awesome stuff and I never got it again.  Seriously, greek and indian in one day?  I was totally in heaven.  After dinner, we headed to a “welcome aboard” show which was fun, but after the long day, we were pretty much just ready to curl up with a book and sleep early.  We felt totally boring but we figured better to have a great day the next day than push ourselves.

Monday: At Sea

We got breakfast delivered to the room at 9am as both a wakeup call and uh, because we could.  Bacon, wheat toast, fruit, and hot tea was a great way to start the day.  After that, we were called to the mandatory boat drill, which was fairly short and sweet – some cruises make you put on your life preserver and stand outside on deck for like 30 mins – this was not that.  We went up in workout clothes, and headed to the gym.  While it sounds lame that I spent my first cruise morning at it on the elliptical, I loved the HELL out of it #1 because I hadn’t been able to work out all week and #2 I was looking at a lovely view of the ocean while doing it.

I made sure to stretch really well, then we headed to the room, showered off the sweaty, and grabbed some lunch at the Windjammer (buffet).  My goal the entire time?  Not to eat like an asshole.  While I didn’t do a great job at it every day, over all I didn’t feel like a balloon at the end.  This particular day, I filled up on a salad, and tasted a few other random things.  After filling up, we checked out the ice rink.  While it was super cool to have an ICE RINK on the cruise ship, it was also super tiny and full of obstacles (read: kids and grammas).  We skated for a bit, my mom watched and took some video, and egged me into doing a little spin.

After a while, we decided it was time to have a little drinky poo (I mean, we had been on board for almost a full day and had no liquor, my chiropractor would have been disappointed).  We headed up to a bar that was touting a “martini seminar” and ended up just watching because it was all froo froo stuff (chocolate martinis, appletinis, etc), and enjoyed our whiskey and wine and soaked in the afternoon sun.  Being that it was formal night, we had to leave and get all gussied up for 5:30 dinner (which felt SO freaking early, since we usually eat around, oh 9pm), and I finally got to wear the awesome dress I got in Arizona.  We finally met our tablemates, who happened to live in San Marcos, and were actually a lot of fun!  I believe we got a bottle of chardonnay and split it between myself, my dad, and Zliten.  Since we were all looking spiffy, we got some pictures taken (and one was actually pretty decent!), and then headed for the broadway revue show.  We got there super late and ended up with horrible seats, but it was aight.  Gotta do at least 1 or 2 of the shows!

Our buzz was fading, so we headed up for a few more drinks.  Just chillin’, enjoying a Zliten and me night, and was about to head to bed after a few but ended up checking out the dance club called “the Vault”.  It was kinda cool and unique (you had to put your hand up to a panel to get in and get out and there were big double doors), and we settled in on the second floor for “just one more drink”.  We continue to have one more drink for a while, and after a while some people joined us and we all started dancing on the light up bridge above the dance floor.  Having had a lot of just one more drink, I was dancin’ crazy.  There was a stop for a midnight snack at the sandwichy place, and then to bed around 4am.

Tuesday: At Sea Again

We had attempted to order room service again for breakfast for 8:30, which failed to make it into our bellies as we just kept sleeping.  I woke up with my back just about as hurty as it was before.   I hadn’t slept well at all, and thank goodness for the herbal muscle relaxers my chiro gave me (valeran root), or I wouldn’t have made it through the day as well.  I was allowed to take them every 3 hours, and I did that.  I read a lot that morning, and forced myself to take a short dip in the freezing pool (ice pack/bath, I called it), and was feeling a little better by lunch – we went to the dining room,  and they had… A SALAD bar with all sorts of awesome fixins.  I had that and some “spicy” noodles.  So, so good.  We got out right at 2, and an ice show was starting.  It was amazing what they could do on that such a TINY rink (seriously, I’d do 3-4 glides and be at the other side).

The rest of the day we played games with the rents and read, at dinner we got bottles of wine to celebrate my parents 34th anniversary (yay for NATURAL muscle relaxers that don’t prohibit booze, though I had one glass and saved the rest for a day I was feeling better).  We played games for a while after dinner (this was like, the penultamite game day, I think we got through a billion rounds of farkle, mexican train, and phase 10), and then hit the late night comedy show, which was not too blue and was actually pretty hilarious.  Also, see above.  Our towel animal for the day was a bat.  That’s a new one!

I straight up ate like an asshole this day.  I skipped breakfast, but had lunch, snacks, dinner, and after dinner snacks at the dinner buffet upstairs.  I’m pretty sure I was just being mopey and feeling sorry for myself.  My belly felt rotund and even my dad asked if I had gained weight, heh.

Wednesday: Roatan, Honduras
My back was a little better, still a little sore and stiff, but I was totally mobile.  I popped a few muscle relaxers (and it was the only time all day, so yay), and we had breakfast (fruit, corned beef hash, half a bagel with bacon and cream cheese) and headed off the ship.  We walked about a mile up through a shopping area, and then my parents were over it, so we got a taxi back to the ship.

However, Zliten and I weren’t over it.  We saw a tour advertised for 20 bucks a person to go see things on the island, so we went for it.  We ended up in a cab with the driver who spoke no english, and a “tour guide” who spoke some to translate.  We ended up running some errands with him first which actually gave us a great view of the island, and then our first real stop was the iguana farm.

It was so, so, so cool to see all those iguana just hanging out.  There were HUNDREDS just chillin in the area, cuddling with each other.  At first we just looked, but we saw other people go to pet them so we gave ’em some love.  Some were tolerant, some were skittish, but some actually, when you were petting one, would come up and be like “hey, me next please” and nuzzle you.  It was AWESOME.

Next stop was the beach.  I knew what a treat we were in for having been to Gulf of Mexico beaches and Carribean beaches, but Zliten has only been to So Cal ones.  Murky dark blue, cold, gritty sand… not to say they’re not beautiful in their own right, but come on… turquoise, clear, warm water.  White sand.  Perfection.  We only had about 30 mins, and I spent the entire time in the water swimming (my back felt super happy about that).

We came back, killed a little time before dinner reading (I had a little snack since we missed lunch of salad and some shepards pie), and the theme for dinner was carribean so we both wore happy bright clothes.  I had a little wine, we ate, and then we went back up to the buffet dinner area (they had the best tables), and I was pretty good, I think I munched on ONE thing, and we played more games.  Later, more reading, (so sue me, I had the entire Hunger Games series and I was ADDICTED by this point) and bed.

Thursday: Belize City, Belize
I think this was the morning I actually woke up finally feeling cold symptoms (not just a sore throat), but it might have been the day before.  Kinda trying to forget about that, heh.  Anyhoo, I woke up a little later than we had hoped, had pretty much the same breakfast upstairs, and then headed in Belize.  We walked around the pier area with my parents for a while, found some souvenirs, and decided we were going to do a ruins tour they were advertising once my parents were over shopping, since our tubing and ruins tour got cancelled (boo!).  Unfortunately we took so long, they said it was too late (double boo), so we decided we were going to first get a local beer, then walk around the city.  After we got out the gates, it changed from “happy fun port city” to “please give me money please please please”.  We ended up talking to some dude and buying him lunch (just cause we were kinda curious what it would be – it was a whole fried fish, beans, rice, and a salad), and then decided it was time to go back to happy fun dock land, as we didn’t see an end in sight.  I know there are beautiful places in Belize, but it was obvious we weren’t meant to see them this time.

We ended up heading to a place called The Wet Lizard, and after visiting with the pretty iguanas basking outside, Zliten got some more beer and I started sampling the local rum.  They had a GENIUS idea of having this little plastic collectable cups in 5 different colors.  So the collector in me had to have them all.  We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking by the seaside.  It did not suck.  We met the owner, who actually moved here from GEORGIA and opened a bar 15 years ago and hasn’t looked back.  I need to friend her on Facebook and she’s going to recommend stuff to do next time we go to Belize.

Needless to say we were a little tipsy still for dinner – finished off my bottle of wine, and then we ran into our elevator friends (a few days before, we saw a couple in the elevator and talked, then saw them again) and they invited us to go to one of the interactive shows (don’t forget the lyrics or something), so we went and watched R do pretty well and get 4th.  We then headed to the Conniseur club bar where Zliten found they had a pretty nice whiskey (Blarton’s Single Barrel) for pretty much well price, so we stuck around there for a while getting to know them – and found out that T, part of their group, was the girl I was hopping about on the bridge dance with many nights before.  Also, R and Zliten decided they liked each other’s shirts better and exchanged them.  Pretty cool souvenir!  Things get fuzzy, but they did karaoke, and then we headed to bed.
woke up randomly at 4am, went down and watch them change over from late nite snax to breakfast and read.

Friday: Cozumel

I woke up randomly at 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep.  I was parched, and tap water sounded icky, so I headed down to the little late night snack area and nursed some hot tea and water and watched them clean the area (I was the only one up) and change over from late night snax to breakfast.  I filled my tea (I seriously drank soooo much herbal tea this trip, besides some sugar free lemonade and kiwi water I found once, it was the only sugar free/caffeine free option) and went back to bed.  Not having it either.  I stayed up until about 6:30 reading.  We had set a 7:30 am wakeup call, but neither of us were up for it, so we snoozed until 9.

We both got up frantically and got clothes on.  I was freaking out because I couldn’t find my seapass (the ship card that lets you buy stuff and get on and off the boat), and I HAD to have food, and we had a 9:45 appt to start our zip line/snorkling adventure.  I got upstairs, literally SHOVED half a bagel and some meat in my face, and then it was time to go.  We were not the last people there (we booked it and made it only about 2 mins late), and we waited in the sun for them to be ready.  We were both a little worse for wear due to the last nights excitement, but we just kept swigging water.

Once we got there, they showed us how to put on the harnesses and helmets and got us climbing shoes, and we were off.  Once I went down the first rapelling tower, my hangover was gone (adrenaline ftw).  There was this awesome course which started with a 60 foot rapell, and consisted of some crazy zip lines, rope bridges, and a rock climb.  I felt very safe the entire time, and the last zip line, the highest one, we ran and jumped out into nothing – and it had the most beautiful view of the beach.  The whole thing was a little too much for two of our crew – Zliten (he did some, which I’m super proud of, but some of the heights were a little much for him), and this older Asian lady, who kept saying “Mama don’t do that”.  Hilarious!

After that, we got our masks and snorkels on and headed to the water.  The current was really strong so it was more of a float course than a free explore, but we did it twice.  I’ll admit, hawaii was better, but this was AWESOME and we even saw a BARRACUDA!!!  Zliten dug this a lot more than he expected, and we will be doing a full snorkeling trip next time  we get the chance.  We grabbed some lunch from the resort we were at (chicken fajitas, heh) and then headed back to the boat.   Zliten napped (he was just overstimulated, I think) and I finished my book and started the next one.

We had the second formal dinner (passed on wine), and then tried to get some more pictures.  There was another comedy show, this one was hilarious!  It was the dude that played Biff from Back to the Future, and he played so well with the audience – he pretty much heckled US before we had a chance to heckle him.  It was probably one of the best ship comedy shows I’ve been to!   We played a few more games with the ‘rents, and then passed the hell out and slept like the dead.  Our elevator friends tried to invite us to go party again and we had to decline.  We felt kind of old and boring about it, but it was the right call.

Saturday: At Sea
Being that we did the responsible thing, we were up around 9 and finally had breakfast in the dining room.  Honestly – meh.  I had chocolate pancakes, which sounds amazing – but it was just pancakes with a small smear of chocolate, not full of chips like I’m used to.  It took an HOUR, they never brought me syrup, and we kinda wanted to leave but we stuck it out.  Honestly though – it felt kinda decadent to be offered donuts and pastries as a bread side to my order.  I declined, but still.

While our stomachs settled, we read by the pool (it was a little too cold and windy to actually get in), and then got in a workout as my back FINALLY felt good enough.  I did a 5k on the elliptical in about 32 mins.  I was kinda bummed that my activity tally for the cruise was 6 miles on the machine, about 3 miles of walking, and just random walking about the boat, but it is what it is, and considering my injury, I’ll take not having been laid out.

We went back to the dining room again for lunch (mostly for the awesome salad fixins), and ended up with RAW yakisoba chicken (mine was a little undercooked, so I picked at the cooked pieces, Zliten’s was almost raw), so we sent his back and had to wait for new ones.  Honestly, the dining room experience during non-dinner hours was kinda meh.  Since I was feeling better, we went to do all the things that I hadn’t been able to – we mini golfed (I lost by 1 point, I never lose, grrrr), we inline skated for about 20 mins while watching the dodgeball tourney (I would have SO done that, but I didn’t have closed toed shoes on), we played some mexican train with the rents and our dinner table companions, we read more, and before dinner we started getting packed to go home (happy and sad about it by then).

The last dinner ended up being our least favorite (every other night was amazing) – they left skin on the mahi mahi tempura and it was super fishy.  We bid our dining companions adieu (they were fun, they were recent retirees that live about an hour south of us, and we exchanged xbox gamer tags with J, who likes playing shooters).  We then went through all the cruise pics, picked a few faves, and had made plans to meet up with our elevator friends at 9:30, and we had an hour, so we read, and met them, and exchanged emails, talked a while, and then they had partied too hard the night before and went to bed.  We were about to as well, but another girl we met that night sat down and started drinking with us, so we said one more.  The one mores happened until the bar we were at closed, and then headed to the disco until about 2:30, and all the bars shut down since it was the last night, so we went to bed.

Sunday: Galveston

Honestly, I’m saying thank goodness for the fog.  We were supposed to have to get out of our rooms by 8am, but since we got delayed coming in, we could stay in until noon.  Hooray for extra sleepies!  I woke up a bit before Zliten so I read, and then we showered and got the rest of the room packed.
fog delayed our getting into port by about 3 hours, so I got extra sleepy!  We grabbed our stuff, snagged a light lunch snack, and then headed to our departure lounge where we, you guessed it, played games.

It took about an hour until we were called to leave the ship, and then about an hour to get through customs, but we were on our way by 2:30.   We stopped for some BBQ on the way home for dinner, got in around 7pm (pretty uneventful drive)…. and my dad figured out then that this luggage was left on the shuttle (I thought the car packed up nicer that on the way there…).  They had it and they could ship it to him for 35 bucks, so alls well that ends well.  We ended the night on the couch, eating veggies, and enjoying being hooooooome.

As I’m sure no one but me you all are wondering… what happened with my weight?  Well, I left weighing about 170.  This week, I weighed 169.8.  I actually think I felt slimmer the first day back than today.  So this tells me that eating a lot and not exercising much?  Does about the same thing as sticking to my super healthy diet and working out like mad.  I also lost the bloated feeling (minus the two days I ate like a jerk), so I’m pretty sure the issue is not wheat, dairy, gluten, or anything like that.  Boggles the mind.

All in all, it was a fantastic week away.  While I could have moped that I was sick and injured, I’m thinking it was my body telling me to slow the fuck down and enjoy vacation.  Which I did.  But I also got to zipline, swim in the ocean and snorkel, inline skate and ice skate on the ocean, dance, drink, eat lovely food, and add 2 new countries to my list!

Very, very happy to be back to my normal routine though.   I love traveling, but I definitely love home.

Question of the day: what is your FAVORITE thing about vacation.  Freedom from work/obligations?  Different and interesting food and drinks?  Seeing new places?

If you wants more photos, you can see here.  More to come of snorkling and the iguana farm once we, uh, actually deliver the for reals film in like 3 months… 🙂

Happy Monday!

So I’m super behind.  I now owe the internets a cruise recap (ffs, haven’t even had time to go through the pictures yet, and I’m only halfway through, thank goodness for notes I wrote or my little goldfish brain would forget what I did!), and now an awesome birthday weekend recap.  The short version is I ate awesome food:

…and drank good wine:

…and got purdy flowers:

…but now it is time to get back to business.  Because yesterday, we got this guy a new bike…

…and when we rode it, I felt like the little yippie dog trying to keep up with the german shepard, my legs and lungs were NOT ready for a 12 mile outside ride.  I can only imagine what running is going to be like.

So it’s time to get back to business this week.  I’m not sick, I’m not injured, and it’s time to rock.  This week, it’s back to normal, non-babypants workouts, if maybe a little lower intensity (I don’t want to kill myself, but I need to get back into things)

Here’s the PLAN:

Monday: swim (need one more day of low intensity, I feel like CRAP after all the birthday indulgence)
Tuesday: run
Wednesday: yoga
Thursday: bike
Friday: off
Saturday: long bike ride, or medium ride and run outside
Sunday: off

This might shift around a bit as I’ll be trying to hit it outside as much as possible, I just want to make sure I get 4 good quality workouts + yoga this week.  Distances, paces, times don’t matter.  I’ll start worrying about that next week.

The next couple months is getting busy.  Potential spring schedule…

March 19th – Warrior Dash
March 26th – Du Loop
EDIT: crap, just signed up for… April 17th – Rookie Triathlon
April 30th – Hell Run
EDIT: crap, also want to do… May 14th – Muddy Buddy
May 21st – Gladiator Games 5k and Obstacle Course
May 28th – Spread your wings adventure race
June 11th – Shammies and Koozies – ride and float

Mostly fun races, but I am looking to beat my time at Warrior Dash, Du Loop, and GGs (though it’s my overall 5k PR – so I will have to work at it).

I also really, really need to keep on this weight thing.  Oddly enough, I feel like I LOST over the cruise, and GAINED this last week, and I felt LESS bloated there.  So it’s definitely not dairy, gluten, wheat, or any of the regular offenders that I’m allergic to, as while I didn’t PIG, I definitely didn’t eat my normal rabbit food.  I did eat lots of stuff that wasn’t light, diet, or low fat, so maybe there is something there… hmmm…

This week, I’m back to tracking, and attempting 1500 calories a day.  I am also waiting to weigh until Wednesday to get some of this birthday bloat away.  I am, frankly, too chicken to do it today.  So there.

Aight, more later, at least one of the recaps this week, and back to life and reality.  Happy Monday!

I Totally Exist

I’ve been here…

…and there, and a little bit of everywhere.

Three quick notes, and I’ll be back with the cruise recap later.

1.  While I’ve given myself the week to get back into things before I hit the scale, I don’t feel like I’ve gained.  My pants fit the same.  I actually felt like I looked decent in my swim suit today – like, almost *better* than I did before vacay.

2.  While I didn’t eat like an angel, I only ate like an asshole for 2 days of the cruise – mostly because I was feeling sorry for myself and I also wasn’t drinking, so it probably evened out calorie-wise.

3.  I managed to throw out my back again and get a minor cold (hence the not drinking and feeling sorry for myself  for a few days – above), but it totally did not ruin my vacay.  I took things a little slower than expected but y’know – that’s just the universe telling me that’s what I needed.  And it felt good.

This week, it’s all about getting back into the swing of things.  The moment I got home, I craved good food like sprouted grain bread and tuna and veggies and fruit and hummus and the like and that’s what I’ve been nomming.  My back is still not 100%, so I’m trying to stick with what I know is ok – 30 mins on the elliptical/30 mins swimming per day, four days this week, maybe with some yoga in there.  And less if my back shows signs of not being ready to do even that.  Food-wise?  Tracking calories, and trying to stay around 1500 avg per day.  Seems sane to me!

Until next time, campers.  Hope you’re having a lovely week!

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