Monday, January 31, 2011

February in a new start.

Well - Today is the last day of January. I had great hopes for the end of the month when it started. I have not met my goals. I've not done well with my weight loss or controlling my eating. I have however been fairly consistent with my stair climbing over the past week or so. I climbed them again today - faster this time. I thought I was going to keel over but I made it to the top twice. I find it amusing that I can do thousands of 'steps' on my elliptical and not feel very winded, but when it comes to lugging all 250+ pounds of me up actual stairs.... well - winded would be an understatement.

I concluded today that exercise is what will keep me on the right path. My friend Shelly is right. It was easy to pass up the donuts sitting in the break room after I climbed stairs. So, tomorrow is the 1st of February. I'm going to restart a healthier eating plan and I'm going to keep climbing stairs. I'm going to weigh myself in the morning. Ugh. I know I wont like it, but I need to keep myself honest.

Here's to hoping February will be a better month!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stairs and Emotions

Well, today I climbed only 150 steps. Only climbed up to the top one time today. However, I'm still counting it as an accomplishment. Why? Well because I didn't have to stop. Tuesday when I climbed them I had to stop twice before I could get up once. Today I made it up without stopping. I wanted to puke when I got to the top, but I didn't have to stop. So, I am counting that as an improvement.

I'm having some real struggles with emotional eating. Someone very close to me that I love dearly recently was diagnosed with cancer. As I've been going to the doctor appointments and dealing with the potential outcomes I've done some eating. I seem to be very emotion in my decision making. I'm trying to keep one bad choice from blowing the whole day. I'm trying to get back on track immediately instead of weeks later. Tomorrow I'll be sitting in a room waiting for the surgery to be over. I'll be a 'patient's family' instead of the nurse providing the care. I'll be at the hospital where I work. I'm thinking I will go climb stairs while I wait. Perhaps that will help me keep from choosing food.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I found these cool maps online. I think the one of Machu Picchu itself is pretty cool because it shows the various sections within the ruins. I have to wonder if the Incas called the temple 'The Temple of Three Windows' and who was Nusta? Why did her house get a rock roof instead of the prevailing thatch? I'll let you know as I learn more about this amazing place.

This map is the trail is fascinating. I actually found some images that were probably from a satellite and you could see that you have to walk along in between the mountain peaks but you have valleys on either side. It looked really cool and very long.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

330 Steps

I climbed stairs today - 22 flights of stairs, approximately 15 steps per flight. 330 steps. That's only 10% of the number actually in Machu Picchu. I'm sure it will be thousands more by the time I'm done hiking the Inca Trail. I pictured myself on that trail today, motivating myself to keep going up. I had to stop to catch my breath several times and it took me almost half an hour to do it, but I will get faster, stronger and better.

I've decided that one of the benefits of my new job is that I can eat at my desk while I work. That frees up my actual 30 min lunch time for things other than eating. Hence the stairs and I will become intimately acquainted in the future. I even bought a pair of tennis to leave at work to facilitate the habit. I do aim to make it a habit. 28- 30 days of an activity to make a habit right? Something like that? Well, I work 4 days a week, so that will be about 7 weeks before it's habitual, but I'm going to work at it.

Granite stairs inside Machu Picchu.

Stairs on the Inca Trail

I'm surprised at how exciting it was to climb the stairs with a mental image of each step getting me closer to my health, fitness and travel goal. It felt very positive.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I have completely and totally fallen off the path. Donuts, Licorice, Ice cream, Breads, Pasta, all the food items that will NOT help me reach my goal. Nor have I exercised. Not once. I am trying to figure out what the heck is up with my relationship to food. It doesn't make me happier in the long run but at the moment that I'm trying to say no to cheesecake, I can't seem to do it. So I eat it. And it's good. And then I'm berating myself for making that choice and then I feel defeated... so I go find donuts to make myself feel better. I've gained 3 pounds. I haven't measured, but my clothes would indicate my inches have returned as well.

My husband is an amazing, supporting, never critical of my weight kind of guy. He has recently become very frustrated with my lack of follow through on our new eating plan / lifestyle. He's doing really well. He's being consistent both in his eating choices and his weight loss. He doesn't really care that I'm overweight for aesthetics, he just wants me to be health and he wants me to be his partner in this journey as well. I understand. I get it, I really do. I'm floundering.

He left today on a week long business trip. I haven't eaten any sugar today. I've eaten healthy all day. I've drank my water. I'm going to exercise tonight. I'm going to. I'm going to. I need to. I will.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


At my healthiest I was a habitual exerciser. Hmm, Maybe that's over stating it a bit. What I mean is, I exercised on a regular basis. I never enjoyed it, never desired it, never missed it when I skipped. I was the smallest and most fit I'd been since grade school however. I had people tell me I was too skinny. My plan was simple. I didn't eat anything after 5pm. I ate whatever I wanted to all day long. I would even have a candy bar for breakfast if I felt like it, but at 5pm - I stopped eating. At about 630 I went to the gym. Every night I would do cardio and then either swim or lift. I followed that by a hot sauna and shower, then go home and usually went to sleep. I weighed about 122-125 pounds. I was still a size 8. I'm not sure I ever would have fit into a 4-6 since I was 6 years old.

So - I need to exercise. It's a bit of a magic switch for me and there is no doubt that exercise will play a big role with my success on Machu Picchu.

I enjoy Pilates, I'd like to try yoga - hot yoga in particular. I have an elliptical in my house and Kettle bells. There is absolutely no reason to not exercise. Except for myself of course. Today - I'm going to exercise. It might only be 20 mins, but I'm going to do it.

I have a real tendency to plan a big, comprehensive attack plan and then when I can't achieve it because I bit off too much, I quit. So, I'm just going to plan for today and instead of planning to do all the types of exercise available to me I'm just going to do one, probably pilates because it's my favorite. Then tomorrow I'll try to pick something else. Then we'll see for the next day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Inca Trail

Pictures of the Inca Trail. I plan to hike this trail. I am posting some pictures to inspire and keep the goal fresh. The trail is 26 miles of hiking 4-8 hours a day, with elevation rise from 8000-13766 feet. It sure looks beautiful. I can't wait to experience it.

Monday, January 17, 2011


So, this eating plan that my husband and I have been trying to do requires no starches, no dairy and no soy except on the cheat day. Mostly you eat vegetables, legumes and lean proteins.

Protein is the bane of my diet at this point. I'm an un-healthy vegetarian. My protein sources are primarily processed soy or dairy. I'm good with beans and even eat eggs, but I have felt fairly unsatisfied after my meals. When I get some protein in I am satisfied and feel good. I feel so good when I eat the veggies and beans and an egg. I just can't image that as my meal 3 days a week for 6 days every week.

I tried fish the other day. I choked it down. I'll try again. I'm not sure if I can change 40 years of vegetarianism, but I need to get healthy. Removing most of my protein sources leaves me with eggs. I may need to add some whole grains to combine proteins but I feel better without the grains or dairy. I'm open to fish I guess. My husband told me the other day that I would be the perfect woman if I ate fish. He loves fish and wants to share that experience with me. Perhaps I'll strive to be the perfect woman.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Emotional Eating

I have completely fallen off my eating plan. This has been a hard week.

Steven's cousin died. She died because she over ate, was overweight and got type II diabetes. She was non-compliant and uncooperative with her diet. She died from an infection in her foot. That was complicated from poor circulation secondary to her diabetes. So - in essence, she died because she ate too much. She made her choices, food was a comfort to her. She chose food over living. Not just once, but every time she ate something that wasn't healthy for her, she made a choice.

Our friend died this week too. She was young, healthy, beautiful. She exercised, ate healthy, made good choices. She died from Pancreatic Cancer. Doesn't make any sense.

So - I've ate like crap. All sorts of foods that don't help me be a healthier person. I'm still unsure why feeling sad or emotional makes me eat. I need to realize what my triggers are. I need to be able to control it. I don't want to die early because of a piece of cheesecake. I need to be able to deal with emotions in a different way.

I will keep working on that self realization because my husband should never have to sit through a funeral for me that could be prevented.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cheat Day

Well, Today was day 8. My first cheat day. I've been craving foods and putting them on a mental list to indulge in on cheat day for the past 8 days. Today was that day. I even dreamed about food last night.

I started my day with a healthy breakfast and followed it with donuts from the bakery on my way into work. I felt rather sick after that and wasn't hungry again until I went out to dinner much later in the day. I was at one of my favorite restaurants and had the most yummy tomato soup and bread followed by cheesecake with berries. It tasted really good going down, but I now feel sick. I suppose that's part of the reason for cheat day - to remind you that over eating doesn't feel good. That sugar doesn't feel good. I don't feel good at all. I've felt pretty great this past week.

I'm only down 2 lbs this week. I'm holding onto the inches I've lost however and tomorrow morning will be healthy healthy for the next week. I'm wondering how many days it will be before I start my mental "I'm going to eat this on cheat day" lists.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dairy Queen

Well, Today is day 6 of this new year, the new me, the me that is going to experience Machu Picchu. My eating has been healthy. Beans, Veggies, good fats and protein. I have only lost 2.5 lbs which does not seem like a lot for the initial start to new eating. I expected to drop weight much quicker. That said, I am not discouraged because we have been measuring and my total measurements have decreased by just shy of 12". THAT seems like a lot. Very encouraging.

It's a good thing I felt encouraged by this morning finding today. I took my kids through the Dairy Queen drive through this evening after appointments and lessons. I did NOT have a blizzard. I wanted one. I even salivated sitting there in that drive through. But I did not have one. I came home and my wonderful husband made me a very yummy and healthy dinner. I do love him so.

We are planning to eat very healthy 6 of the 7 days of a week. I am adding a blizzard to my wish list for our cheat day.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Information and Statistics

Machu Picchu

-5 square miles in size
-It has over 3000 steps linking it's levels
-8000 ft above sea level
-Has Wet and Dry Seasons - most of it's rainfall happens from October through April.
-It is surrounded on three sides with vertical cliffs ranging from 1480 ft to 1870 ft with a river below.

Machu Picchu means 'Old Peak' in the Quechua language. It was built around 1450 at the height of the Inca Empire. It is invisible from below and completely self-contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed several times the population, and watered by natural springs. It was abandoned as a result of the Spanish conquest in 1572 although it was not found or plundered by the Spanish. This is known because the Intihuatana stone is still intact.

The Spanish would destroy this sacred stone in any site they found because it was believed that the Gods of the location would die if it was not intact. Machu Picchu was rediscovered in 1911 and has become one of the most visited locations in Peru.


- 40 years old - just barely.
- Mother, wife, mom, nurse, daughter, friend
- I would describe myself as stubborn, honest,
affirming, determined, over ambitious,
crazy in love, faithful, generous, insatiable,
self critical, loyal, organized, responsible and tired.

Oh.. and I'm obese. Morbidly so.

I am morbidly obese by about any text book. I have this goal to climb up the Inca Trail and enter Machu Picchu through the sun gate and there is no chance I would succeed if I tried today.

Here's my stats - On Jan. 1st, 2011 - I weighed 252lb. I am 54.5" tall. That equals a BMI of 42.58. I need to be half of myself. My measurements of my various parts equal 252.11" around. I haven't calculated how many inches I need to lose, but it is many.

I have struggled with losing weight, my self image about my weight, my self loathing about my inaction on my weight for years now. I told (hear warned) my husband that pregnancy was terrible for my body and he told be he would love me anyways. He certainly does love me just as I am. I'm thankful for that, but I need a motivation to get fit. I can think about the health reasons and the shopping reasons and the many different reasons that are all good to get in shape. Yet, I do nothing. So - I have decided to combine my need to travel and see places in the world. I decided that Machu Picchu was definitely good incentive to lose weight for. So, I'm giving myself a trip to experience this amazing place as a reward and incentive for my weight loss. I need to lose about 120lb at this point. It will be a total of 150lb lost from my heaviest. I am setting MP as my 100lb incentive. I am also planning to set aside money ($50) for each pound I lose so that I will have the ability to go when the time arrives.

The sun gate itself is neat.

But the view and the first glimpse of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate will be worth it all.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The beginning of the rest.

I recently wrote my annual Christmas letter and focused it this year on the things in my life that I am passionate about. I realized that most of the things that really matter to me are already present. My family, traveling, building houses, photographs, and the Spanish language and cultures. I need to be more passionate about my personal health and weight so I can enjoy all these things to a greater depth.

Today is January 1st, 2011. It is the beginning of a new year, a new decade on the calendar and I am 3 days into my 40th year. Lots of firsts and starts today. For some reason I am ready. I've been saying I was ready to make the changes I have needed to for years now, but obviously I wasn't. Today - I am. Today - I will.

My goal and the purpose of this blog is to document and be real about my journey to a healthier me and my experience of getting to Machu Picchu. MP is this amazing place that I have always wanted to experience. Of all the places in the world, it is my top destination that I want to travel to. I have a really hard time taking time and resources for myself. Losing weight and changing my lifestyle for a more active one is a worthwhile goal however and a trip to hike Machu Picchu is motivating for me. I plan to blog about my weight loss and planning for my trek up this particular mountain. I plan to be honest about my successes and my failures.

I hope you enjoy the journey with me.