Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rear Ended Again...

We attempted to go to a swap meet today - this ended up being a bust. Not much there by the time we arrived. We found an antique shop to peruse and Daniel ogled some long guns, but nothing worth buying.

On the way home, we were sitting at a stop light (on Independence) when all of a sudden the car shuddered and I looked at Daniel thinking he had stalled the car while at a dead stop. He looked at me and said "I can't believe it - we just got rear ended!" Seriously?!?!?

We turned around to see a man in his conversion van giving us an apologetic look. Daniel got out to check the damage. The guys got out and said something like, "Sorry, I was taking my shoe off and my van just rolled forward."

This is the second time in three days that Daniel has been rear ended while sitting at a stop light. Both times by people not paying attention. Thankfully our steel bike rack took the hit instead of our bumper (both times).

When driving, if you have the need to 1) reach down into your floorboard to pick up a dropped item or 2) take off your shoes or 3) anything else that requires you to not pay attention while sitting stopped at a stop light, PLEASE take the time to put your vehicle in PARK.

One Pound

Last night was our eat out night. Normally when we go to a restaurant we will split a dish and we rarely get appetizers. Desserts for us are only on special occasions (generally we will just go out for dessert and split with no other food purchase).

That being said, we had seen a commercial advertising a special at Chili's that was called 3 for $20. Twenty bucks seemed like too good of a bargain to pass up, so we headed to Chili's.

For $20 you can choose one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert. We went with the Skillet Queso, both of us chose Quessadillas (which we didn't finish) and then we split the Chocolate Chip Molten Cake. We both drank water.

The food tasted great. Afterwards, we walked out with a doggie bag, feeling full (probably too full). We went to watch a movie and then home where I looked up all of the calorie info for our massive $20 meal.

Counting the fact that we did not finish the quessadillas, my total calorie count for the day came to 3,308 (for reference I generally eat close to 1,500 cals per day and prior to dinner I had only had about 750 calories).

I informed Daniel of the amount of calories I had eaten and he said "Did you know that 3,500 calories is equal to one pound of body fat?"

Yikes! This morning I weighed and I did in fact weigh one pound more...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

15 Books

Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. (I don't tag people, but feel free to play).

In no particular order...

1. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
2. Three Cups of Tea (Greg Mortenson)
3. A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson)
4. The Places in Between (Rory Stewart)
5. Juicing the Orange (Pat Fallon)
6. Blink (Malcolm Gladwel)
7. The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)
8. TLOTR trilogy (J.R.R. Tolkien)
9. The Princess Bride (William Goldman)
10. Night (Elie Wiesel)
For the record, I read this when I was a teenager, way before it was a part of the Oprah Book Club.
11. Freakonomics (Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt)
12. Anne of Green Gables (LM Montgomery)
13. Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Shelverstein)
14. The World is Flat (Thomas L. Friedman)
15. Sense & Sensibility (Jane Austen)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Random Thoughts...

So I am continuing with another six weeks of the Workout 180 Challenge. Daniel is going to give it a go for this six weeks as well. We are participating in two different segments of the challenge - I am continuing with the afternoon, weight-loss segment and he will be doing the morning, lean muscle segment.

The purpose of this post is my observation on the meal plan(s) that the trainer sent to me. Last week I received the female meal plan that is created to provide approximately 1500 calories a day. Yesterday Anna sent me the male plan since Daniel was considering joining the workout.

The biggest difference (besides 2000 calories instead of 1500) is that the men get the option to drink coffee EVERY morning and a beer with EVERY dinner. Neither of us particularly like beer, but somehow this doesn't seem fair... where are the empty calories for the women?

As a side note, I am mostly following the women's meal plan and I have no intention of giving up my morning coffee.

Another random thought... now that I have a dog, I totally understand where the yoga term "downward facing dog" came from. I wish I could do the downward dog with the same agility, flexibility and strength as Sophie. She makes it look so easy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Six Week Challenge: Results

So did 6 weeks of working out using the Workout 180 benefit me? Well Friday we measured and weighed in to see what physical results we had achieved...

According to the official weigh-in scale, I only lost 0.6 pounds. Since we weighed in the afternoon, with clothes on, I am taking this weigh-in with a grain of salt. According to my home scale, my morning weigh-in had me at 5 pounds lower than when we started this challenge.

As for the measuring, I have lost inches from the following places:
Abdomen: -1"
Arm: -1.25"
Buttocks/Hips: 0"
Calf: 0"
Forearm: -0.75"
Hips/Thighs: -0.5"
Mid-Thigh: -0.25"
Waist: -1.5"

Another way that I can tell that my body has changed is the way my pants fit. I don't think I am ready to go down a size, but my jeans are definitely roomier. I have also been able to tighten my belt a notch.

In terms of energy and how I feel, I really feel amazing. My energy is high. I don't hit that afternoon wall. And I feel strong during our actual workouts.

I am excited to continue the program for another 6 weeks. I am hoping for even better results at the end of the 12 weeks.

The Workout 180 is a great product. It is versatile and I have enjoyed using it. Personally I will probably never be good at being motivated to workout by myself, regardless of the products available to me. However having a great program to attend (at work no less and for free), I will gladly be the first to step up and say it is a great product. The trainer has been great and the group has been fun. I will miss it when we are finished.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Six Week Challenge: Day 36 & 37

Tuesday Workout(s):
Due to a last minute project, I missed the workout. Unfortunately I didn't get home until almost 9PM which meant a no go for Daniel and I to see a movie. Daniel wanted to know if this was Phase 2 of a diet for him (Phase 1 being the time I forgot to buy his cereal and didn't buy lunch meat for him for the week. Phase 2 being, not getting home at reasonable hours and him starving while he waited for me... he did eventually find a snack while he waited).

Meals For Tuesday:
Breakfast: Non-Fat Vanilla Yogurt with Granola and Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate
Snack: Missed my morning snack due to last-minute projects needing to get out the door by noon.
Lunch: Two slices of Turkey, one slice of Cheese, two slices of Tomato on two slices of Whole Wheat Toast and a Peach on the side
2:30 Snack: Ate part of my morning snack, a Blueberry Oatmeal Muffin
3:30 Snack: Grapes
4:30 Snack: Two low-fat Graham Crackers with 2 tbsp Peanut Butter
Dinner: Since I didn't leave work until 8:30, Daniel and I agreed that pizza and a movie from Blockbuster would be a good end to a long day. Beef Thin Crust Pizza and 10 oz of Sprite
Total Water: 96 oz
Total Calories According to Calorie Count: 2052

Wednesday Workout(s):

5:30: Tonight's 60-minute workout was a repeat of Week 2 - probably my least favorite week because of the pyramids. I can tell a huge difference, but just because I am in better shape did not make me like pyramids any more.

Meals For Wednesday:
Breakfast: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie and Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate
Snack: Oatmeal-Blueberry Muffin and Grapes
Lunch: Healthy Request Chicken Gumbo with 7 Multigrain Crackers
Snack: Two tbsp of Peanut Butter on two Low-Fat Honey Grahams and an Orange
Dinner: Salmon and Veggies
Total Water: 96 oz
Total Calories According to Calorie Count: 1508

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Six Week Challenge: Day 38

5:30 PM: 60-minute workout was the last of our six-week challenge. We did circuits. It is amazing how strong I feel. My energy is high. It is truly amazing. Tomorrow we weigh in and remeasure to see where we are at. We are actually continuing with an additional six weeks, but we will only meet 4 days a week. I will post off and on and share results at the end of the 12 weeks.

Breakfast: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie and Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate
Snack: Oatmeal-Blueberry Muffin
Lunch: Tuna on two slices of Whole Wheat Bread, String Cheese and and Grapes
Snack: Two tbsp of Peanut Butter on two Low-Fat Honey Grahams and Blueberries
Post Workout Snack: Chocolate Milk
Dinner: Lean Meatballs with on two slices of Whole Wheat Toast
Total Water: 96 oz
Total Calories According to Calorie Count: 1661

Monday, July 06, 2009

Six Week Challenge: Day 34 & 35

Sunday Workout(s):
Day of Rest. I dutifully took a nap on the couch and tried to avoid the steamy humidity outside. I did go grocery shopping... does that count as "working out?"

Meals For Sunday:
Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Whites with Bell Pepper and Tomatoes on two slices of Whole Wheat Toast and Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate
Lunch: Three slices of Turkey Bacon, one slice of Turkey, one slice of Cheese, one slice of Tomato, one tsp of Miracle Whip on two slices of Whole Wheat Toast
Dinner: Rice, Chicken and Fajita Veggies from Chipotle
Total Water: 16 oz... I am soooo terrible about getting enough water on weekends.
Total Calories According to Calorie Count: 1596

Monday Workout(s):

5:30: Today marks the start of our last week of the program. We are actually going to continue for another six weeks, but I will not be posting as religiously... just occasional updates. Every day this week, we will we one work out from each of the previous five weeks. So tonight was a repeat of Week 1. It was amazing how big of a difference I felt doing tonight's workout. Even though it was hot, I was really able to push hard through the whole work out. I feel great and I really enjoyed it. Working out like this has been a great way to relieve work-related stress from the day.

Meals For Monday:
Breakfast: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie and Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate
Snack: Oatmeal-Blueberry Muffin
Lunch: Two slices of Turkey, one slice of Cheese and one slice of Tomato on two slices of Whole Wheat Toast with a Peach on the side
Snack: Two tbsp of Peanut Butter on two Low-Fat Honey Grahams, Blueberries
Dinner: Pork Chop marinated in Mustard and Maple Syrup and a Salad of Lettuce and Bell Pepper
Snack: Low-Fat, Sugar-Free Ice Cream Sandwich
Total Water: 104 oz
Total Calories According to Calorie Count: 1511

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Return to Backpacking

To celebrate the long weekend, Daniel and I decided it was time for us to embark on an overnight backpacking trip, with Sophie in tow.

It has been about two years since we have managed to carve out time for such a trip. Over the past two years (since Daniel's chainsaw incident) we have actually tried to go on several different occasions, but something always prevented a trip.


After some last minute planning, we were able to get up to Carver's Gap for an overnight trip. We were not without our setbacks though...

On the front end everything seemed to go smoothly. We set up our tent in the living room, hoping that Sophie would not be afraid of such a thing. We have discovered that whatever we do or wherever we go, Soph is on board with trying. So she gladly hopped in the tent with us.


After packing all of our gear and checking our lists twice, we set out for an area north of Asheville. The route we took was longer than planned as we needed to stop and get a map, but eventually we made it to our trailhead.

Set Back #1:

For some reason our GPS took us a back way to Carver's Gap. As we drove down a winding country road, Daniel noticed a sign that said "Road Closed at Railroad Tracks." We were within 15 miles of our turn, so we prayed that the road closure would happen AFTER our turn.
We were literally counting down the miles (via the GPS) to said turn and anxiously waiting to the road closure. Sure enough, two more "Road Closed Signs" later the road closed 0.2 miles BEFORE our turn.

We briefly discussed how to proceed. Being so close to our turn and being on a country road through the mountains meant that to turn around probably meant a 1+ hour EXTRA drive. So we agreed to go forward past the road block in hopes that we could somehow get around it.

As we crossed the "closed" bridge, we noticed workers who were indeed working. Daniel rolled down the window to ask if there was a detour or if we could proceed. The worker looked at us and said "I won't tell anybody that I saw you." So we proceeded through the closed road.

Set Back #2:

We finally made it to Carver's Gap. It was 7:00 PM (later than we had intended) and 50 degrees with a strong wind. We discussed if we had warm enough clothes for the hike as we weren't expecting it to be so cold in July. We decided we would be fine, especially since we had our 0 degree sleeping bags.
As we pulled our backpacks out of the trunk, Daniel realized that he didn't have the lid to his pack. Uh-oh. We tried to remember what was in his lid: his hat, a headlamp and powerbars and maybe some other small items. We decided that we could make due with one headlamp and threw in some extra snacks into my pack. This also meant that my lid got the extra small items like the GPS and cell phone. I had a bandanna that I told Daniel he could use in lieu of his hat... this meant he got to sport a blue bandanna with white flowers instead of his beloved camouflaged hat.

We headed up Round Bald with a strong wind. I was thankful for a jacket. Sophie loved the open ridges that she could roam on. We hiked for about 2 hours, over Jane's Bald and on to Grassy Ridge where we decided to camp for the night.


Camping on a bald means you are exposed to the wind, but we managed to find a rhododendron bush to back our tent up to. Thankfully we still had light at 9 PM. We set up camp and then did a late night "dinner." We actually ate in Asheville but I was thankful to have hot beef stew after our cold two-hour climb over hills.

Sophie did great in the tent. She even slept all night with no barking. Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind stopped and it warmed up a bit. Soph woke up around 6:30 but let us sleep in til 7:30 at which point hikers with dogs came by and she went kind of crazy. We figured this was our "get up and break down camp" call.
We hit the trail by 9 and hiked down through the woods to the Stan Murray Shelter. Sophie did really well on the trail, unless with came across other hikers with dogs. I think this will just take time for her to adjust to.
After another half mile on the trail, we decided to head back because 1) hiking in the woods is not near as fun as hiking on the open balds (plus it is easier to control Sophie where we have more room to get off the trail) and 2) Daniel's feet were starting to bother him.

So we hiked out. Our mileage for our first return to backpacking trip was a little under 8 miles. The walk back across the ridges was beautiful. It was a good introduction for Sophie. hopefully we will have more trips to come.


I will admit that coming home a little early and getting to eat a yummy eat out meal and sleep in my own bed is nice.

Six Week Challenge: Day 32


2 miles of backpacking, carrying a 40 lb pack over two balds, elevation gain 500 ft


Breakfast: Frosted Mini-Wheats with 1% Milk and Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla Coffeemate
Lunch: #1 from Chick-fil-a with a Dr. Pepper
Dinner: Joey Junior with water from Moes SouthWest Grill
Late Dinner: Mountain House Freeze Dried Beef Stew
Calories: 1,844

Six Week Challenge: Day 33


6 miles of backpacking, carrying a 40 lb pack down through the woods, back up again and back over the previous two balds, elevation gain 1000 ft


Breakfast: Power Bar
Snack: Trail Mix
Lunch: Tuna and Multigrain Crackers and half a serving of Trail Mix
Dinner: One half serving of Monterey Ranch Chicken Fajitas, half a bowl of Chips & Salsa and Dr. Pepper from On the Border
Calories: 1,690

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Six Week Challenge: Day 31

5:45 PM: 60-minute workout was a new rotation of circuits. It might be my favorite workout so far. We rotated through three six-minute stations twice. I started at the resistance station, followed by "get-ups" at the core station, and finally whole body resistance (squats, lunges, etc). I definitely feel better with each passing day and my energy is increasing by leaps and bounds.

Meals For Today:

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Chex with 1% mik and Iced Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate
Snack: Banana and a Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffin
Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad with Sunflower Seeds and 1 tbsp of Ranch, no cheese and no croutons, 1 string cheese on the side
Snack: Orange and two slices of Whole-Wheat Bread with Peanut Butter
Dinner: Tilapia fried in EEOO and a side of steamed Green Beans
Total Water: 108 oz
Total Calories According to Calorie Count: 1660

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Six Week Challenge: Day 30

5:45 PM: 45-minute workout was a repeat of Monday. I was late due to a last-minute project so I missed the warm up. I must have been really tired from coming into work at 7 AM, because I was really low on energy tonight. It was also incredibly hot in the studio. Pacino did more dancing which is always worth a good laugh. I hope tomorrow's workout is better.

Meals For Today:

Breakfast: Berry Smoothie and Iced Coffee with Fat-Free Vanilla CoffeeMate
Snack: Banana and a Blueberry-Oatmeal Muffin
Lunch: Daniel went to a music festival in the mountains today with a friend, so I ran home to let Sophie out during lunch and made myself Scrambled Egg Whites on two Slices of Whole Wheat Bread with one Slice of Turkey Bacon and two Slices of Tomato and a side of Sugar Snap Peas
Snack: A Fuji Apple with 2 tbsps of Peanut Butter and a tsp of cinammon
Dinner: Salad with Grilled Chicken, Sunflower Seeds and 1 tbsp of Ranch (no cheese, no croutons)
Snack: Fat-Free, Sugar-Free Ice Cream Sandwich
Total Water: 108 oz
Total Calories According to Calorie Count: 1534

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...