Monday, March 29, 2010

Week 11

Week 11 was good weight-wise. I lost almost 3 pounds, which is awesome. However, my eating wasn’t the best. I think I ate less then I should have, but didn’t keep track so am not sure. I didn’t make it back to WW like I planned. One of my readers suggested that I try a free site called “The Daily Plate" which I’ll take a look at today. Maybe that’ll help with keeping track. I think it’ll be important in the long run for me to compare my weight-loss to the way I ate over that particular week, especially when I’m in the middle of real plateaus.

My hiking was the real story this week. I spent a total of 8.5 hours hiking around Pleasanton Ridge this week. Monday I just wasn’t feeling the hike. I was winded early and often. Thank goodness for my hiking buddy Alicia. I was ready to give up and turn around, right around mile 2. So Alicia says to me, “Well, do you want to try this one last hill here, and then turn around?” I really didn’t want to but said yes anyway because it felt too wimpy to say no. I took a picture (below) at the top of what turned out to be the steepest freaken hill yet. The view was great, and being at the top of that mountain gave me that second wind to continue on and finish the rest of our normal 5 mile hike (2 hours).

On Tuesday I was on my own and only made it to the half-way point (1 hour). I just couldn’t manage to get my butt moving on Wednesday (0 hours). Come to think of it, maybe the reason I was doing so badly during my hikes had to do with the fact that I wasn’t eating much. Hmmmm

Thursday was the biggie. I was out on my own again and feeling better. I was about half a mile from the bottom (4.5 miles total) when I ran into Alicia, out hiking with another of her buddies on their way up. We talked for a few minutes then A asked me if I wanted to join them. Now, I had been coming down for about 2 miles at this point and was feeling okay, so I said, “Why not!” Ughhh! I ended up hiking for about 9 miles (3.5 hours) that day.

Then Friday I had my previously planned hike with Alicia so… (2 hours)
The view that gave me my second wind on Monday

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm Back

I’ve been absent from my blog forever but I haven’t fallen back into my old habits. I was having computer problems for about 2-3 weeks and then when that was taken care of I had to do my taxes and other things. So, the blog got put on the back burner. Then there was so much to write about it became daunting and now I don’t know quite where to start.

I guess I should start by saying that although I did have a week with no loss, (tough to handle so early in this process) I’m definitely still working on my weight-loss. As of today I’m down a total of 18.6 pounds. Another 1.4 pounds (will make 20) and I’ll reward myself with a day of beauty (facial, mani & pedi). Maybe next week…

As for my food intake, well I sort of fell off the Weight Watchers wagon during my computer issues and haven’t been back. That’s not to say that I’ve been pigging out, just not keeping very close track. Truthfully however, not keeping track has probably led to me eating more then I should, so I’m going back to WW.

As for my exercise, I would never have thought it possible before going to Utah (I was never an outdoorsy person) but my current exercise of choice is hiking. As soon as I got home from Utah, a friend of mine introduced me to a great place to hike only 15 minutes from my house (pictures below). The trail is a long one (the brochure says over 7 miles) and goes up to an elevation of around 1,500 feet. I have no idea how high up I’ve been hiking but I know I’m hiking about 5 miles round trip. My monitor says I’m getting my heart rate up, and I’m burning as many calories as I did on the Stop Sign Hike. The first time I did this hike it took me about 2 hours 20 minutes, and now I’m down to around 2 hours. When I feel fitter (and therefore faster) I’ll add more distance so I can keep my exercise to around 2 hours.

There are a lot more things that I want to write about, but now that I’m back will have plenty of time to do so later.

Here’s a picture of me starting to work up a sweat about ¼ of the way up Pleasanton Ridge (my new favorite hike). As you can see, it’s very different from Utah. This time of year everything is green and gorgeous.

One of the fun things about hiking around here is all the cows. Check out these two young cows playing.

Here’s another pretty picture along my hike.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fitness Ridge day 9

I’m getting pretty homesick. I can’t believe I originally planned to stay here for 4 consecutive weeks. I would never have been able to do it. It’s to the point that I’m thinking about coming home on Saturday instead of Sunday. All the exercise is over for the week by noon on Saturday so I could stay for lunch, then pack and leave. I’m going to look into changing my flight tomorrow. If it works out, then I’ll be able to see the Super Bowl at home this Sunday. I missed the last 2 playoff games because I was traveling to Utah all that day.

I also changed my plans for the second 2 weeks. I was supposed to come back March 28th through April 11th, but both mine and Danny’s birthdays are during that first week. So I gave up that week. Now I’ll be back from April 4th through April 11th, then back one more time in October. I’m thinking that one week at a time will be best for me. And, by October I’ll be able to do some of the more advanced hikes.

Today I did the stop sign hike again. I think I’ll do the same one all week. I actually kind of like it. As for the rest of my classes, well my schedule was pretty much the same as last Tuesday, except I took 2 pool classes today because my knee was bothering me again.

The food was good. I had tomato soup today for lunch. I had never had tomato soup before. It was pretty good. And, they gave us enchiladas for dinner. Those were really good. The weird thing was that they served it in a bowl. I couldn’t figure out why they would do that, then it dawned on me, they put it in a bowl to cover up the small portion size. I could have eaten twice what I was served, but with all the water that I drank, I’m feeling full now. There are pictures of tonight’s dinner and dessert below.

Today’s schedule:
7:00AM Breakfast (fruit, yogurt and granola parfait)
8:00AM Hike
11:15AM Yoga stretch
12:45PM Lunch (tomato soup and turkey sandwich)
2:30PM Cardio intervals
3:30PM Pool
4:30PM Pool
5:45PM Dinner (Enchiladas and chocolate sorbet for dessert)

Yummy, but small portion of enchiladas

Yummy chocolate sorbet

This is Jim (in the center) with trainers John and Tiffany. Jim has been coming to Fitness Ridge for years and keeping a really good blog about it all. Reading his blog is what got me interested in coming here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fitness Ridge Day 8

Yesterday all I wanted to do was be a hermit. I stayed in my room and read, watch The Matrix Marathon and iced my left knee. Even at dinner I just picked my food up and took it back to my room. For the life of me I could not figure out why I was being so anti-social. Then it dawned on me, I was really bummed about the fact that many of the friends that I made last week were now gone, Anndriette, Carla, Cassandra, Marilyn, Cynthia, Evelyn and Shelly just to name a few. I miss you guys. Between that, and the slow day allowing time to feel homesick, I was being crabby.

Today was better, no time to mope. Everyone does the timed stop sign hike on Monday and Saturday, and guess what? I beat my time from last Monday by 16 minutes!!! That’s huge! I think my body must have finally acclimated to the altitude here. I thought I was going faster, but not that much faster. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

It’s pretty cold here, in the mornings especially. There is snow all over the surrounding mountains. It looks so pretty so I took a picture and posted it below.

Today’s schedule:
7:00AM Breakfast (fruit, egg and beacon on English muffin)
8:00AM Hike
11:15AM Mountain
12:45PM Lunch (sunchoke soup [picture of sunchoke below] and 2 fish tacos)
2:30PM Circuit training
3:30PM Step-and-pump
4:30PM Pool
5:45PM Dinner (Baked chicken over wassabi mashed potatoes [which are green picture below as proof] and asparagus, pineapple sorbet for dessert)

Sunchoke, looks just like ginger.

This is what I ate for dinner tonight. It was pretty good.
Can you see the snow in the surrounding mountains? No wonder it’s so cold here!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fitness Ridge Day 7

Sunday is our day of rest around here. I’ve spent nearly the entire day in my room, except when I went down for breakfast, and then left for a little while so the maids could clean the room. I don’t feel like doing anything today. For dinner I’ll just go down and get my food to go then come back to my room. I almost wish we didn’t have an entire free day because I’m feeling a little homesick. I miss my hubby and my dogs.

Somebody asked in a comment about people pushing each other, and whether the staff asks us to do this. The answer is that there are great people here. Both guests and staff want you to succeed. People encourage and push you in class and on the hikes, and when you’re successful they cheer and clap for you. We’re all going through the same thing, and are happy to see the success of others.

I’m trying to think of some tips for those readers who are planning to visit Fitness Ridge soon. All I can come up with are things that I read on other people’s blogs. Duct tape has been my savior. Don’t forget to bring scissors to cut it with. Bring VERY comfortable shoes, two pair or more would be best. Most people don’t wear actual hiking boots/shoes on the hikes. Check the weather report, and if you think there might be rain then bring a poncho. Know that if you dislike a meal, there is always another option. If you don’t want what is being served for breakfast you can have cereal or toast. The toast is served with a tablespoon of peanut butter and jelly. The alternative for lunch and dinner is a Boca burger, which has a patty made with soy, veggies and grains. It sounds weird, but tastes pretty good. Try to get to sleep early on Sunday night. Monday will be tough.

Fitness Ridge Day 6

Saturday is a relatively easy day, compared to Monday through Friday that is. Everyone does the timed stop sign hike again. So, we can all see if the week of exercise helped us improve our time. I only beat my Monday time by about 2 minutes. It could have been better, but I’m okay with my time since I was walking with a sore knee. I just wanted to get to the top and didn’t really care about my time. After the hike I did a stretch class, which was good. I feel a little more flexible than I did on Monday.

The vast majority of the people here are women, making up about 90% of all guests. Of the 10% who are men, half of them are here with their wives. I asked one husband if he was having a good time and he said, “Absolutely not!” He said he thought he and his wife were coming to a spa, the kind where you get massages and facials and lay around by the pool all day sipping cocktails. Ha!

On Friday I was too tired to write about my favorite class called Cardio Disco Jams. It was a really fun class where we all did these 70’s style dance routines to great disco music. The instructor, the only male instructor here, made all the men come to the front of the room for the second half of the class. Then, someone came up with the idea for the men to do the last 1 or 2 minutes of class by themselves. They were all great sports, and nobody dashed out of the room (like I would have done if I were one of only 5 people dancing in front of 60 women). Anyway, I’m glad that I didn’t write about this on Friday when it happened because the wife of one of the guys posted a video of the thing on youtube.

The link to the video is below. The guy doing the break-dancing at the very beginning is funny and super nice. His name is Seth Word. He lives in Salinas, and was in second place on season 2 of The Biggest Loser. The tall guy in the middle of the front row is an NFL football player and is here with his wife. His wife is the one that posted the video on youtube. The man in the back row, all in black is the husband that thought he was going to a spa. The two other guys are Eric Chopin and his brother Doug Chopin. Eric, in the front row won season 3 of The Biggest Loser. The man in front is of course the instructor, John. Most of the women are standing at the front of the room, so you can’t see them. And I think near the beginning I walk right in front of the camera. I didn’t know she was video taping this thing.

Cardio Disco Jam Video

Today’s schedule:
7:00AM Breakfast (parfait with fruit yogurt and granola)
8:00AM Hike (stop sign, shaved two minutes of Monday’s time)
11:15AM Stretch class
12:45PM Lunch (Carrot soup which wasn’t bad and two soft tacos made with turkey and which tasted pretty good)
5:45PM Dinner (Teriyaki chicken and rice bowl, not bad even though I’m not a fan of teriyaki)
From 6-8PM was graduation, where everyone gets to talk about what they learned, or loved or gained from their week at Fitness Ridge. I just thanked the boys for being such good sports in that class, because watching it was the most fun I had all week. We all also got our gift for attending all the classes. First-weekers get a t-shirt. After that we had karaoke. I didn’t sing, because I can’t, but some people were really good. I didn’t stay for the whole thing because I wanted to get to bed.