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Thursday, August 30, 2012

living outside the box

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. Why do celebrations always include food?  I should probably stop asking this question and just deal by making better choices when dining out.  I always see it as a chance to  have something different and that equals CALORIES.

My birthday found me at great restaurants with family and friends.  A dessert party with co-workers and a wonderful concert with three of my favorite latin crooners.  It was wonderful but obviously I can't continue down this path. I did manage some exercise i.e., walking, jogging and zumba.  That always helps, right?

I vow to self to be more concscious of my food choices as I head out of town for a 3 day weekend.  I'll be in Reno, NV staying in a timeshare with friends.  I'm so spoiled. 

Living outside my box
In over a week, I'll be doing a 5k. Not just any 5k, but the Foam Fest which is an obstacle course with FOAM... CRazy, right?  I've never done an obstacle course run and I'm very excited. 

This quote alone is enough to have me shaking in my shoes.  It feels great when I step outside my box  So far, 50 feels great.  I hope to keep the momentum in challenging self.  How about you?  What ACTIVITY would really have you outside your box?  Please share.

Thanks all and have a safe Labor Day weekend

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Both can reside side-by-side

Wow. I did not expect to receive the comments I did on my question of the day. I guess I'm not alone in this area.  Now that I do not work alone, I do care what people think of me. Especially since I pretty much speak my mind and I could use a filter. It's hard watching what you say, don't you think?

Anyways, thank you for those who commented. I am not alone and there is comfort in that.

Well. today is the big day. I turn 50.  I had a phone call from my oldest sister that nearly made me cry.  After hanging up, I longed for my mother.  I know. I know... stupid. 50 year old woman wanting her mother.  She's been gone for 28 years and yet, all I want to be is her daughter today. 

After those thoughts, I changed and headed to a zumba class. There is an instructor near my old house and I took her morning class.  Afterwards, I walked to the park. As I was driving home, I was reminded of my many blessings and it has put me in a better place.

I think as we age, we begin to think about our mortality. I am pleased that 50 years finds me CLIMBING A MOUTAIN. RIDING 25 MILES, ZUMBA, JOGGING AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAPPIER THAN I HAVE EVER BEEN.

Life is sweet. Here's to longevity and good health.

Thank you for reading today. I felt the need to be here and ponder my thoughts. Especially the longing for my mother.  It's okay to miss someone and still be happy.  Both can reside side by side.

Here's to being in the best shape I can be.  Cheers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

red, white and Green

Busy day at work. Meetings and number crunching. Took a sushi break with a co-worker and vented about my morning.

Very glad for quitin-time. Instead of zumba class, i decided to cook a healthy meal. Besides, i am still pretty sore.

Dinner was going to be ceviche. While my raw shrimp was marinating in fresh lemon and orange juice, i diced up jalapeƱos, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes. Looks like the Mexican flag don't you think?

After my veggies were diced. I took my marinated shrimp. Drained the juice. Added my veggies to shrimp and tossed. Then i added the juice of a fresh squeezed lemon.

And dinner was served. I added salsa valentina for some heat.

I am hoping to do a little stretching this evening after i watch The Hunger Games.

I got nothing left in me so later, gators

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I lived to tell the story

Whew, what a weekend.  My friend Pablo and I drove to South Lake Tahoe after work on Friday. After a 2 hour drive, we picked up food for Saturday's hike to Mt. Tallac. I checked into my room and man, what luck. I was next to a group of bikers who partied all night long. I probably only got 1-2 hours sleep.

This is my second attempt to reach the summit at Mt. Tallack. You can read about my first ordeal here. 

The hike to the summit and back is 11 miles.  You need about 8 hours to complete the hike. We started at 7:30 and reached Gilmore lake at 11:00. I ate our lunches. I ate 1/2 of my turkey and cheese sandwich. I do not have a camera and I had to rely on my cell phone.  Gilmore Lake is gorgeous. I want to hike here and camp sometime soon.

I'm excited as we leave Gilmore Lake.  We were making excellent time and even though there's a steady climb, the easy part of the hike was behind me.  Now, after crossing Gilmore's lake, the hard part begins.  

Here I am around 12 noon.  Can you tell I had absolutely no sleep?

My friend Pablo was great. He made sure we had walkie talkies in case we got separated.  It started to rain and well, when we reached the summit, it was really coming down.  I decided not to climb all the way up.  Does this mean I wuused out? Absolutely not. It was raining. The rocks are slippery. I was tired and more importantly, I have a pad knee and knew I could very easily slip. Totally not worth it to me. 
The guy in the blue at the top?  That's my friends brother. He is training for Mt. Rainier and he must have had 40 lbs in his pack.  He was carrying rocks!!!  My buddy Pablo rushed up to get him to come down because he was afraid of lightning.

These pictures are not great because its raining and I'm using the cell phone. I compared these to my first climb and I feel great about how I managed the climb and even reaching this point  It was nowhere as difficult as my first climb.

Here, I stopped to refuel and ate a cliff bar.  It's about 2 p.m. and I think we're going to make it down before 6.

How rediculous do I look in this plastic poncho?  My friend had his camera but I didn't let him take a picture. Except I had to capture it with my cell phone.  To prove to self that I was there...

We headed down and Pablo's brother Mike would catch up with us. Pablo and I headed down and we were so wrapped up in the marmets, chipmonks and grouses that we hiked down the wrong trail. At the Mt. Tallac post, we should have went right and instead, we went left.  I estimate we walked about 1.25 miles towards Cathedral Lake.  The trail looked familiar because I hiked down this part my first time to Mt. Tallac. At this point, we had two options.  Hike down to Floating Island Lake and hitch a ride to Desolation Wilderness where we started or climb back up to the summit and get to the Mt. Tallac ridge and take the trail back down to Gilmore Lake. Just looking up at the rocky ridge was deflating. But it was the best option.

We climb back up. Then around and locate our trail.  It starts to rain again.  We are both running low on water.  We figure Mike is already returned to his car. It's going to be dark soon and we have to cross the lake while there's light. It would be difficult to cross the makeshift crossing of downed trees in the dark.

We arrive by 6 p.m.  We drink the very last of our water. Paul's pack has a little frozen water. I am tired but we know we're going to be walking out in the dark if we don't hurry.

The next 3.5 hours are BRUTAL.  Coming down is definitely hard on the knees.  It felt like rocky path after rocky path.  My knees are giving out on me.  But I have to keep going. There is no time to rest.  Just before dark, Pablo pulls out his one head light and gives it to me.  He's afraid I will trip and fall. He's right.  I have the light and it's pitch black. I gotta walk fast to keep up with him so we can share the light.  We see the Desolation Valley sign and breath relief.  We see a couple walking towards us with lights. They ask if we are Pablo and Pauline. We say yes. They tell us Mike is looking for us and a search party will probably be out.

Damn. Dejavu all over again. Pablo and I feel an urgency to get out. The last mile of the hike was the most grueling. I had been without water for about 3-4 hours.  I questioned why I was out there, when I could be home with my grandbabies,  kids and Daniel.

We finally reach our vehicle. We had snapple and coconut water in an ice chest. It's cold and I'm in heaven. I can barely walk but at least I am not thirsty anymore.

We reach the fire station and were greeted with "we were just about to send a team on foot in search of us."

I call home to tell Daniel I'm okay.  And begin to head back out of the trail. We pass beautiful cabins and finally we reach the Y at South Lake Tahoe. We grab a burrito from Taco Bell, but I'm not hungry. My legs are throbbing.  I am tired.  I feel bad for my friend Pablo. He still has to drive home and I try to stay awake on the 2 hour drive home.  I fall asleep.

Pablo and I were on that trail for 14 hours. THAT'S 14 HOURS.

It was completely our fault for not paying attention. Pablo knows that trail like the back of his hand.  We just got caught up on the beautiful that is nature. I learned my lesson.  You must pay attention at all times.

Will I hike a mountain again?  I swore I wouldn't.  But I'll probably forget how terrible I felt and will  probably be back again... Maybe not Mt. Tallac.   I think it's fair to say that mountain does not like me.

I thanked Jesus the entire time we were walking in the dark. We were so thankful for no rain.

Well, that's my story.... I lived to tell it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dear Paula

It's Friday and after work, you'll be driving to South Lake Tahoe and will check into a hotel and acclimate  yourself to the altitude for the next morning, you'll climb Mt. Tallac for the second time.  I know you're nervous.  Last time was an 'ordeal.'  You got separated from your friend.  You spent 11 hours on the mountain and well, you didn't make it to the summit because of time and exhaustion.

Try not to worry. You're in good shape physically. You have a plan so that you won't get separated.  You will be with experienced hikers and try to enjoy yourself. DO NOT THINK ABOUT THE LAST FEW MILES BEFORE REACHING THE SUMMIT.  You can do this.... The key is to get an EARLY start.

Now relax and enjoy your journey. YOU'RE CLIMBING MT. TALLAC FOR THE SECOND TIME!  And the cherry on top is you're doing this 1 week before your 50th birthday.  Who would have thought....


Note: It  helps to have these conversations with self.  It's up to ME to make things happen for myself. Especially when there's a small amount of apprehension and even dread. I dread the amount of energy it will take me to reach the summit. My first time up, I didn't know what it would take and now,  knowing, well... let's just say ignorance is bliss....

Here's to reaching the summit....

Life is sweet. Don't you agree?  So what are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why is it hard to eat less?

It was 107 degrees yesterday in Sacramento. And the air was filled with smoke.  I felt so out of it with a headache that the couch just called out my name.

Woke up feeling a little more energized and breakfast was overnight oats (1/2 rolled oats, 1/2 fage yogurt, 1 tbs. chia seeds, 1 banana and strawberry jam).  It was good.

I'm still striving to get back to my routine of working out during my lunch hour. It helps to park your car outside the gym. I make sure I always have the gym back in the trunk so there is no excuse.

It worked today.

Why is it that even after I've showered and dressed, I'm still a sweaty mess? 

I brought my lunch but working out meant walking all the way back to my morning office.  Since it wouldn't leave me time to get back to job #2, it was the salad bar at the student center. I can't feel bad about this purchase because sometimes, you just have to do what's convenient. It was either buy lunch or be hungry and fall to the temptations of the junk food at job #2.

I love a well stocked salad bar.  I had tuna, lettuce, walnuts, cranberries, garbanzo beans. And wow, what a great combination. Who knew?

Snack was a can of sugar free cling peaches.

I love cling peaches.  I've been in search for Cling Peaches with no luck so this will do.

I have zumba tonight and so I won't be hungry during class, I'm drinking lots of water and a protein shake. I can't concentrate in class when I'm hungry. So hoping the shake will curb that hunger.

I admire those who don't eat after a certain hour. Because I will get home around 7:45 p.m., I often tell myself I won't eat but it's a lie.  I wish I could stay out of the fridge.  I always promise myself, but then there's that freakin hunger. Just sitting there nagging me to eat.  The only time I am not hungry is when I have eaten something completely satisfying like fajitas, tacos or subway. It makes me ponder whether it's really "hunger" or "just disatisfaction" with what I've eaten. I need to explore that more.  Does anyone else experience "hunger" all the time?

Why is it so hard to eat less?  That's the big question, isn't it?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The quest for balance

Hi friends, how is your Sunday? This morning, after having a hearty breakfast of beans, chorizo, salsa and queso fresca, Daniel and I headed out to the bike trail for our 25 mile bike ride.

I find that when I bike or hike, I need to load up on carbs so I took advantage of the long ride and had chorizo and beans. Yum

We headed out early since the temperature was going to reach 105 today.

We rarely stopped for breaks today. Only for water. At around mile 15, my legs started to feel it.  At one point, I thought I had a flat because I just couldn't pedal anymore. So happy I pushed on.  We did our 25 miles and was I glad to come home to an air conditioned house.

Afterwards we cleaned up, and I had a snack and then we headed out for haircuts and a touch up.  Don't you just hate it when the stylist gets scissor happy? She cut off at least an inch and a half.
Afterwards, we went to get hair cuts.

After our haircuts, I made ham, provolone, spinach avocado sandwhich on whole wheat and ate a large broccoli slaw, nuts and cranberry salad.

I'm resting around the house and feel bored. So I started to cut up veggies and prep for the week.

That means grillin time.

I have turkey kelbalsa, eggplant, onions, squash from the garden and a few brussell sprouts for good measure. I love having roasted veggies to add to salads during he week.

The weekend has been low key compared to other weekends. I will be 50 in a few weeks and it feels like i am in a race to do so much so taking it easy today is a challenge.  Balance it not easy, right?  I feel anxious laying around the house.  It's like I hate wasting a weekend. But with the heat and my asthma, it's the best place for me. Besides, resting my legs is a good thing. Especially since I will be climbing Mount Tallac in South Lake Tahoe next weekend.

I want to share my previous climb and how I feel about doing it again but I'll save that for another post.

Well friends, that's all I got.  I'm going lay about on the couch since there's not much more to do in this heat.

Later, gators

How about you my friend? Are you enjoying your quest for balance?

Friday, August 10, 2012

getting it done

It's Friday.... I find that I pack so much into my weekend that by Monday, I need a day off. 

My morning started out with coffee and some zuchinni bread my SIL made. I know... not the greatest breakfast.  I realize weight loss is 75% what you eat and 25% what you do.  I've just accepted this revelation and well, you know what they say, acceptance is the first step, right?

Lunch was a trip to the yogurt bar. Then a handful of nuts and too many red vines. 

It was about 1:30 p.m. and I thought "paula, you need to run. It's Friday.."  It's so freakin hot outside so I gathered my "commitment" and headed to the gym on campus.  It felt great to see my fellow co-workers/gym rats there. I've missed them. I loathe the treadmill. It was hot and the guys were watching basketball and well, I finally know who Lebraun James is...

I brought my phone to listen to music but I couldn't get wifi for some reason so... there I was on the rat wheel with no musica.  I jogged 1.5 miles in 21 minutes. 

Damn, was it hot inside the gym.  I am very self-conscious about my chubby legs, but hey, we're all at the gym for the same reason...

After the 1.5 miles, it was time for a cold shower.

I don't know about you but I am always self-conscious about undressing in front of others at the gym.  I always change behind that curtain.

I dreaded my 1.5 miles today but I kept thinking YOU WILL FEEL SO AWESOME AFTERWARDS. And that my friends was what got me there...

We never regret the gym, do we? 

Have a fabulous weekend friends. It's going to be 107 on Saturday and 105 on  Sunday.  Muncho Caliente.

Later, gators.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

That which is hard, I avoid.

Damn! It has been HOT in Sacramento.  Last night I figured somethings out.  I attend zumba classes with two different instructors. One is challenging with lots of jumping, choreograph and rarely stops between sets  The second zumba class is more dance oriented and is slow.

Last night, instead of going to the hard class, I attended the easy class which was being held outdoors.  It was clearly 95+ degrees at 6:30 pm. I did 40 minutes of the class. I started to cough, sneeze and felt irritated. I scolded self with "you're tried paula. you have asthma. you can't be out  here."  With that, I left to Rite Aide to use some coupons and cash out my UP rewards.  I scored on razors btw.

As I was driving home I thought about my choice to attend THIS outdoor class. Why did I choose an easy class, which is outdoors instead of a challenging class indoors? It came to me: That which is hard, I avoid.  Why would I choose heat vs an indoor class?   My avoidance is that severe, that's why...

While I do give myself mad props for attending the class in the heat, as I could have easily went straight to Rite Aid.  If I'm really honest with self: I'd say I need to challenge myself more.  I am thankful for the self-talk that I do with self.  For coming here and blogging about something as trivial as this post. It helps me look at my actions and then make changes accordingly. I love bloggin....

chow  mein guys.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

So how's the weather in your area? It's been hot in SacTown.  Yesterday, I went to easy zumba at an elementary school. Afterwards, jogged 1 lap around the school.  It was the last thing I wanted to do but was glad I pushed myself.  After coming home, I showered and had dinner i.e., flank steak with zuchinni from the garden.  I don't have a camera so I've not been taking many pictures of my food. Guess the cell phone will have to do for now.

This morning, despite the warm temperatures, oatmeal was on my mind.  Used up the last of my sunflower seed butter.

Things are busy around campus.  But before heading back to my afternoon office, I stopped by our student center which is now operated by Bon Appetite.  All food is fresh and local. The picked up some roasted eggplant and some veggies from the salad bar. All other items, I had in my office.

I drizzled a little balsamic dressing I purchased from Trader Joes.  I absolutely love roasted veggies.

As for activity, I will attend the hard zumba class. I wanted to do some weights but not sure if I will have time.   I have a loose exercise schedule rattling in my head and I definitely need to put it on a calendar. It will feel especially  nice to CHECK OFF items as I complete them.

I'm off to change. Hope your day is AWESOME....  

Friday, August 3, 2012

because I said I was....

Yesterday, it was 101 degrees at 5:30 p.m. I was suppose to jog 1.5 miles with my daughter at a nearby park. She calls to say "mom, it's too hot. I'm going to run on my treadmil."  I don't blame her. I was thinking the same thing except I HATE THE TREADMIL.  I could go to zumba but that would mean I'd have to wait 1 hour an hour and honestly, who wants to waste an hour "waiting" after work.

I decided to walk to that park and see what I could get done. I had my ice cold water in  hand and I set off.  A co-worker cautioned me that I could get sick.  I smiled and kept walking. I got to the park and there were other walkers and runners of all ages.

I walked for 1.5 miles and then I started to jog. It was really hot.  I manged to jog less than a mile.  I kept questioning what I was doing out in the sun and then it hit me. I am here because I said I was going to run.  I made a plan.  I did not want to flake on said plan. Otherwise, it would snowball into the next day, and the next day.  My mantra as I jogged was because I said I was...

In total, I did a combination of walking/jogging of 3.2 miles. 

It felt great to keep my word to myself even despite the heat. Next time, I'll do the treadmill when the  heat the 100s. I know it wasn't the smartest thing but it was the necessary thing. It was important for me to keep my word to myself.  

If I keep this up, I just might find my mojo.

Have a great weekend friends.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

body, mind and more importantly, my soul

So here's the thing.  I've been unmotivated to lose weight. I'll not bore you with the list of reasons becasue if you struggle with weight, you've been where I am and you don't need me to rehash our woes.

I have spent the last two months trying to ignite my fire.  Except, I can't find the damn ignition button but I'm still looking for it.  I hiked Woods Lake quicker than years past.

I've been doing some biking. Not as much as I'd like, but I'm still getting out there.

Been traveling to the beaches instead of staying inside the house during  hot weather. 

My healthy eating has been good 4 out of 7 days. It's not where I'd like it to be but I am confident I will have more good days.

I've been attending easy and hard zumba classes but my attendance has not been consistent.

I've decided I need to IGNITE THAT IGNITION AND PRONTO.  So what did I do?  I signed up for a 5k in September. Not just any 5k. I signed up for the  Foam Fest with obstacle course.

I've not jogged consistently for a loong time.  So I'm excited to have this goal. I'm excited to do this 5k with my daughters. I'm excited that they're excited.

I have a schedule of workouts and I am truly hoping this will ignite my passion and help the scale move down a bit.  Actually, I would love to lose weight but that's not why I am doing this. I am discouraged with weight loss but I want the feeling back that I am doing something wonderful for my body, mind and more importantly my soul.

Yes, I think I see a few embers.  How about you?  What does the months ahead look like for you?  If you're reading this, please share.