Today I was determined to do the whole thing, mainly out of curiosity. First of all, I wanted to see what the rest of the trail looked like, and secondly, I wanted to see if I could walk a whole 5.5 miles w/o dying! Well, it didn't happen. If I would have rememberd to take my book with me, I probably could have figured it out. But I forgot my trail book AND my camera. Amy and I passed the 2 mile marker and eventually ended up in a parking lot. I was confused....I thought it was supposed to be a loop, but it was like the trail just ended, and I didn't see any signs pointing me onward. I figured we had walked about 2.5 miles by the time we reached the parking lot, so I told her we'd just turn around and walk back the way we came and at least I would have gotten 5 miles of hiking in.
When I got home I looked at my book, I realized we had walked 2.4 mi before we turned around, so we hiked a total of 4.8 miles today. Not bad! But I'm still determined to go back and find my way around the whole dang trail. I'm not sure still where to go once I hit that weirdo parking lot, but I'll take the book with me the next time and try to figure out what the directions are talking about by the landmarks it gives.
Here's the really cool thing. When Dwayne and I walked this trail the first time, it was last summer, not long after I started my blog and FINAL attempt at weight loss. I started blogging in June, and I think we did this trail in August. We didn't even reach the 2 mile marker I don't believe before we turned around to head back out. There's one really steep hill that you have to climb on the way back out and it seems to stretch out a good ways...a steady incline. I've named it the Hill of Death. I remember the first time I did the trail, only 3 miles worth total probably, I absolutely thought I was going to die.
I had to stop at least 3x, maybe 4, while trying to climb that steep hill. I could hardly breathe. Dwayne had to keep stopping and waiting on me, probably wondering if I was going to fall and roll back down the hill. He kept asking, "Are you okay baby? You're doing great, just hang in there...you can do it baby. Do you need me to help you? Do you need to hang onto my arm?" I hated that shit. I hated the coddling, I hated that it looked like I had to be helped. Of course I didn't accept his help. I just stood there until I could catch my breath, walked a little further, and stopped again. I was overheated, sore as could be, incredibly worn out and tired, and was really starting to wonder if I could make it back to the car. I didn't say that to Dwayne, but I was worried. And embarassed to be in such bad shape.
Today, I'm proud to announce that I walked a total of 4.8 miles.....further than the 3 miles I walked that day. I'm extremely proud to say that I climbed that Hill of Death w/o stopping a single time, and did not even stop when I reached the top. I just kept on moving!! Huffing and puffing, yes. Further behind than my sister, yes. But I was too proud to be embarassed in front of her, who by the way, is 5'7 and maybe 120 lbs soaking wet. I kept thinking back to the first time I walked it (this was the 3rd time), and just being blown away at how much my endurance and strength has improved over these last few months. I had a smile on my face that I just couldn't hide. There was no controlling it. I really NEEDED this today.
This has got to be one of the best NSV's I've had so far. I really haven't been very impressed with myself where the food and the weight loss is concerned. I've lost 41 lbs. so far.....but so what. That's taken me 9 months to do, because I went backwards, gained some back, and now I'm having to re-lose it. I had gotten down to 222.4 lbs at one point, and then climbed back up to 240 lbs. I've still got a ways to go just to get back to where I WAS. My eating this weekend has been kind of bad, too. I still struggle so much with the food and making consistently good choices.
I can say that I've made improvements with the food. That would be a true statement. For instance, I very rarely ever eat fast food anymore, whereas before I started my blog, I was the Queen of Fast Food. You'd have to go back and read at the beginning of my blog to see just how bad it was, but trust me.....beating that part of my addiction was HARD. But I did it. I no longer feel controlled by fast food. I used to drive down the road and could smell each different restaurants food that they were cooking. I smelled Big Mac's, Whoppers, fried chicken, french fries, Wendy's double cheeseburgers, and don't even get me started on Krystal's....it was a horrible addiction. Just horrible. But it's gotten to the point where I now think most of it sounds downright nasty, and can't believe I ever liked it. I've gotten to where I'll be out somewhere, starving, and will drive right past 10 fast food restaurants to go home and make something to eat that I know will taste better and be healthier. That is HUGE for me.
But I still struggle in a lot of ways with the food. I have a lot of days where I don't feel good (thank you PCOS for being my living hell on earth)....where my emotions are tied up in knots from the job situation, no extra money to do ANYTHING, living so far away from Dwayne etc. Most of the time I'm just cooking for me, because Shane (my roommate) has made other plans or something. I get TIRED of cooking for just me, and I still find it hard to cook a small amount for just one person. I grew up in a family of 5 and that's the way I learned to cook...usually enough for everyone to have seconds. Huge amounts of food. Shrinking recipes down for one person is a pain in the a$$.
And I get lazy....that's easy to do when you've been out of a normal job routine for so long...a YEAR now. I don't have any daily responsibilities, nobody to answer to, it's just me and the dog most of the time, so why cook? I tell myself sometimes that I'm going to be like Sean or Jack and purposely put myself in an eating rut where I eat the same thing day in and day out. Hey, it works! You always know the calorie count and there's very little room for error that way. But that only lasts a few days....I get bored with it. I like variety too much. I like food WAY too much. Different tastes, colors, textures. And then I get stuck in the bad thinking pattern that I'm doomed forever. That I'll never get it right no matter how many different things I try.
This post isn't about being in a depression, or losing my focus again. I don't have either one of those problems right now. It's just about trying to press on and do better with the negatives (the eating), and accentuating the positives (the exercise).
So I was thinking today that I need to just keep trying to do the best I can with the food...maybe one of these days I'll get it all right. But what I CAN do is concentrate on the positives for me, which seems to be the exercise department. I've been doing pretty darn good in that area. I've been working out 5-6x a week for months on end now. It's really become a habit. A lot of it has to do with getting out of the house every day and actually having somewhere to go, something to do, and people to see. But who cares what the motivation is, as long as it's working. And it seems to be working great. I realized today just HOW great when I walked all that way without stopping, even up that hill that nearly defeated me the first time I tried it.
It really made me feel fantastic. I know for a fact now that I'm actually, really, truly building endurance and gaining strength. I'm getting better, no matter how many fat rolls I still have hanging off my body. I was telling my sister today about my first time on that trail, and then compared it today's hike and she was really happy for me. I told her that since I have this free time with not having a job, that I should take more advantage of it. I decided that I'm going to do some kind of exercise 2x a day, every day, for the rest of this week. What I'm not sure about is how it will affect my nights at the gym. I'm a little sore after my hike today, so I'm not sure if that would have taken away from a workout if I would have gone to the gym tonight. But I'm going to try some different stuff and see how it goes. I mentioned to Amy that we might go on another hike tomorrow morning. Some days I may just go to the park and walk around the trail there. I'll be doing something to move more. As my trainer says, you can never get too much cardio. My brain might be wanting to do more than my body can actually handle, but I'm not going to know unless I try. So I'm going to get out my hiking book tonight and see where we can go tomorrow. Dwayne bought me this book for my birthday last year in July. He knew that I wanted to lose my weight and do more physicial activities, so it was a very thoughtful gift and I just love it. I need to take more advantage of it and that's exactly what I'm going to do.
I'll leave you with a pic of my book, and a food pic of a crockpot dish I threw together today. I took some boneless pork chops out of the freezer and threw them in the crockpot this morning, along with a large can of diced tomatoes, a jar of mushrooms and a jar of salsa verde. I was going to put in the Rotel, but I figured the salsa would be spicy enough. I was wrong....I should have used the Rotel. I cooked it all day long and had a LOT of liquid in the pot, so I threw in 2.5 c of instant brown rice towards the end. Pretty tasty. :)
Quote For the Day:
"If you don't do what's best for your body, you're the one that comes up on the short end." -Julius Erving