Friday, July 31, 2009

Brief Travelog Pause

Weight is going down...I'm now just 3 pounds over what I was when I left on vacation and that's not bad! DB is maintaining at the same weight as when we left and we are still working on The Macro. This week we kinda played the plan by ear and instinct -- carb depleted (mostly) for four days, today we had some toast for breakfast and I'm planning to have a baseline-ish day. Will stick close to it for the weekend and go back on one or the other weekly plans on Monday. Both DB and I would love to lose another 10 pounds (I wouldn't mind 15).

I'm feeling good again...this plan rocks...I SO do not have cravings...feel satisfied physically 99% of the time. That just doesn't happen when I'm eating a lot of "bad" carbs.

Tomorrow I'm taking my mom to see some assisted-living places. She's starting to think that she's ready to stop driving (she'll be 80 in November) and would like to have somewhere where her meals are prepared each day. We'll see what these places are rush as she is very capable of taking care of herself still...but it's kind of exciting to her to think of moving (she's been where she is -- senior apartment -- for 10 years).

We're also going out tomorrow night for some friends' birthdays (another couple who has b-days close to each other like we do...theirs are next week) -- sushi and dancing. Sunday is The Festival Of The Chariots at Venice Beach and I love that (my Hare Krishna brothers and sisters not to mention great exhibits, yoga and shopping for cheap stuff from India). Then we have to start cleaning up our stuff for Burning Man (which is about a month away).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Best Honeymoon I Never Had Part III

[Those are the hummingbird babies who lived outside our villa last week.]

[I'm still losing the lbs. from the vacation...slower now, but I'm ok with it. Most of the jiggle is gone. Not that all jiggle is bad, but SOME definitely is!]

So Wednesday (July 22) was Dash's birthday! DB got an e-mail on his Blackberry early that morning and so we knew when we woke up...yay! He's such an adorable cutie (we saw him last Sunday)...looks like DB's side of the family and a lot like PD1 did when she was a baby. :-)

After all that wake-up excitement, we got up, had a good (on program) breakfast of DB's speciality: low-fat hamburger scrambled with egg substitute and parmesan cheese with toast. YUMMY. With that in our tummies we were ready to check out some more snorkel-beaches!

Our first beach of the day was Hawksnest (recommended by the lady on Day 1). This one is very close to Cruz Bay and I hadn't heard a lot about it. Well, wow! The bay was very calm and there was fantastic coral here with a lot of fishies. The most we had seen so far!! I saw some squid that were really cute along with the usual tropical species. I was headed in at one point, then decided to follow DB over another reef (thought he saw something and I didn't want to miss it!). I ended up getting stuck over the reef with not enough water to feel comfortable and the reef was full of sea urchins (ouch). I couldn't see a way out for quite a bit (well, it felt like that...probably not more than a few minutes) and I was sure I was going to be banged by the surf against the coral or sea urchins. I tried not to panic and swam carefully...finally found a way out (and didn't get hurt), but that taught me a lesson about following DB blindly! ;-)

I was so relieved to be OUT so I sat down on our beach chairs to wait for DB...he came out as I had...and had a similar scare. Not too fun. But we sat and had a drink then I went back in to do another loop around the first reef we snorkeled there...niiiiiiice.

It was after lunchtime at this point so we headed in to Cruz Bay for a snack and to hit a couple of stores for supplies. We ate at JJ's Texas Coast which is right off the ferry dock. Nothing too exciting food-wise (and I kept calling the place Texas Toast), but the Blackbeard Ale was yummy. ;-)

After picking up our supplies we headed toward Fish Bay (where Laura stayed) because it was on the other side of town and we wanted to see something new. It was very nice on that side too...similarly unpopulated as Coral Bay but not as far away from Cruz Bay.

On our way back to town, we picked up a hitchhiker (lots of totally fine people do this on the island and we met some nice people this way). She was there for the whole summer and recommended we try snorkeling at Cinnamon Bay. So we headed there after dropping her off. Cinnamon ended up being our favorite place...we snorkeled there three times! :-) It has a bar and restaurant, bathrooms (even though DB taught me about, well, using the ocean for some new things this trip!) and even a campground, but it is so huge and varied that it still feels like paradise. And did I mention the snorkeling?

We saw a lot of snorkelers off the beach toward a little island so we headed that direction. Really great coral and underwater foliage and LOTS of fishies. We went a ways around the island and I was getting tired (this was late in the day) and the water was getting choppy so I headed in (without DB). Once I was in, I kept looking for DB and didn't see him. I stood there for so long that a nice man said, "did you lose someone?". I told him yes, but that my boyfriend was pretty intrepid so I wasn't TOO worried. DB was, of course, ok, but I WAS worried. ;-)

After Cinnamon, we headed to Island Blues for our evening LCs. Afterwards we decided to stay in for dinner...grilled salmon steaks, salad and broccoli with parmesan cheese. YuMMM.

Thursday was The Fifth Anniversary. Whooo hoooo! The day before, while in Cruz Bay, we had stopped at a booth called Island Connection and asked them about getting a full-day snorkel sail. They recommended the booth's owner's son who has a Hobie Cat (which I didn't know at the time is QUITE a bit smaller than the large sailboat, Breath, we had thought we were going to take on Monday). We jumped at the chance to book and arranged to meet him at 10 am the next day in Cruz Bay...

So...we got up on The Anniversary, got ready and went to Big Belly Deli (yes, that's the name) in Coral Bay to pick up some breakfast and some sandwiches to take on the boat (along with some water and beer). Not surprisingly, I trace the beginning of The Great Weight-gain to this visit to BBD... ;-)

After eating our breakfast, getting our provisions and buying new billed caps (we didn't think our resort-y broadbrims would stay on on the sailboat!), we went to get in our car. We were right on schedule. The car was dead. Very dead. DB and I went separate ways to find help. Coral Bay is SO nice that we BOTH found someone to help so were able to let one of them go. Frenchie got us a jump while his friend Mike kept us company. I kept calm knowing that we were the only ones going on the boat so they wouldn't leave without us (and we could call them on their cell phone when we were in range too). Car started, we said goodbye to the nice people and were on our way...

DB took the never-until-then-tried Center Line Road to try to save time (I had been avoiding it because it looked longer and more wind-y). It worked! We made it to Cruz Bay in record time...nearly ON time. After saying hi to our captain (19-year-old Lonnie...who is an awesome kid...has lived on a boat in STJ since he was 3), we dropped off the car at Mr. Sutton's so they could work on it while we were gone for the day (good timing to happen this day, actually) and headed to pack up the Hobie Cat.

Do you all know what a Hobie Cat is? It's a SMALL pontoon sailboat with canvas between the pontoons and canvas "benches" off the side! I'm REALLY happy that I learned to swim when I was a tiny tot and am generally not afraid of water because this could have been scary to someone else. I LOVED IT.

We packed our things into the "dry bags" and pushed off from the beach right in Cruz Bay (an advantage of the Hobie is that you can just pull it up on a docking required). What fun!!! DB and I sat on opposite sides and sometimes the same side...we had to move around to help the boat "tack". It wasn't graceful, but it was exhilarating to feel the ocean splashing up over you as you sailed!!! SO much more fun than I imagine a big boat would have been. :-)

Lonnie first took us to Henley Cay...a teeny island and we were the only people there. The "beach" was rocky, but once we got in...WOW. BY FAR the most fish of the whole week. It was beautifully clear and sunny that day (despite my best efforts I got a sunburn on my back) and you could see a long way underwater...sooo soo many fish...a whole WORLD of fish. We saw an octopus and a barracuda here. It was great.

After a while, we cast off for our next destination: Whistling Cay. Another rocky beach (DB was happy to have his Crocs and I was happy to have my Keen water shoes) and the snorkeling was in a channel between the Cay and the "mainland" of St. John. The coral here was phenomenal, best of the trip. DB saw a huge squid here, but I had bailed by that time and was sitting on the boat with a beer and sandwich. ;-)

Whistling Cay used to be the customs point for St. John so there's a ruin of the small customs house there. We had fun exploring that and took some silly photos.

After that Cay, we took a quick run over to the east side of Cinnamon Bay...Lonnie told us that around the point was some really cool stuff and, as we knew from the day before, we really loved that beach and bay. Again, great snorkeling -- highlight here was a couple of sea turtles (sorry, no photos of any of the underwater camera!) :-)

Our sail back to Cruz Bay was slow and relaxing because the wind had died down (on the way "out" it was fast and choppy and WET -- so fun!!)...Lonnie told us stories from his recent 2-year travels to Europe and the Galapagos and Belize...all on the ocean! We lounged on the canvas benches and trailed our feet in the ocean...

We got back to Cruz Bay about 4:30 after this unforgettable trip...just in time to pick up the fixed car and get back to Island Blues for our daily LCs! There was a new bartender this night and she made them quite a bit stronger...we got pretty tipsy on two (which we had successfully had before). Oh was our anniversary!

After we drove carefully home, it was time to shower and get ready for our dinner reservations (which we had made at Sweet Plantains...several people had said it was the best place on the Coral Bay side). DB told me that he had a gift to give me...I had told him long ago that I wasn't getting him anything this year (although I did get him a card) since the trip was our gift to each other but, hey, bring on the present!! :-) OMG...he got me the most beautiful ring -- a gold claddagh with diamonds and emeralds (which he said reminded him of my eyes)!!!! I love the claddagh -- the hands mean friendship, the crown means loyalty and the heart means love -- I used to wear a silver one a few years ago on my "wedding finger" to celebrate my wild Irish lover but lost it working in the yard at our house one day. DB remembered. To quote him, he "put a ring on it". This meant SO much to me. I love it and wear it every day. :-)

Then we were off to our dinner and, well, WOW again. It was SO SO SO delicious. BY FAR the best on the island. The decor was also so pretty and they gave us a special window table. It was just totally totally fantastic. It turns out they change their menu every few nights so...we went back the next (our last) night too!!!

As DB said "five years is a good start...I'm ready for the next five"...I couldn't agree more.

It was really a special day. For me and my special love.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Best Honeymoon I Never Had: Part II

[First things first: 6 lbs. of the horrible 12 were gone today after just one day back on carb deplete. Yay! I still feel jiggly though...]

Woke up with the sun on curtains in the bedroom to obscure the amazing view (although they did give us screens to block out some of the sun so we could sleep in). We had originally been scheduled to take a day-long sail on Breath (a large sailboat out of Coral Bay) on Monday morning. We were supposed to call them on Sunday when we got in (which we did), but never heard back. We set our alarm for early Monday just in case but since we hadn't heard back, we rolled over and went back to sleep until probably at least...10! :-) Ahhhh, vacation...

Got up and made a good (on program) breakfast -- feta frittata, toast and coffee. Yummy. The house was so beautiful we were in no hurry to leave for our day's activities, but we headed out late morning to explore the first of many snorkel areas on the island -- the closest one to our house: Salt Pond Bay.

I had heard mixed things about this as a snorkel spot -- some said it was amazing (including the caretaker of our house), some said it was murky and not good. Well, we drove to the parking area (we could have walked, it was probably less than 1/2 mile), parked, grabbed all our beach stuff (chairs and towels came with the house along with sarongs and snorkel gear -- we have our own snorkel gear though) and hiked down about 1/4 mile to the beach. Our first beach in St. John!!!! Wow, it was really beautiful!!!!

We set up our place on the beach (very few people there) and headed into the water. It was kind of choppy and murky and there wasn't too much to see although we did see a stingray (yikes, while they are beautiful, I am so scared of them...of course, that was the first thing we saw!!!!). After not too much time (1/2 hour maybe) we decided there was nothing much to see there so decided to try another place. Packed up our stuff, hiked back up the hill and were packing our car when a lady came by to ask how the snorkeling was there. It was her last day and she had been everywhere else on the island. We told her we were disappointed in Salt Pond, but she gave us a great recommendation for Hawksnest where we went later in the week.

On the way from Salt Pond to the North Shore beaches, we stopped for lunch at what was to become our absolute favorite go-to bar on the island, Island Blues. It's rustic and totally open to the air with a great view of Coral's right ON Coral Bay actually. We had the BEST lime in da coconuts there (spent the next day surveying the other places on the island and this was far!). I had a spicy chicken wrap and cole slaw...not too bad on the diet and it was delish!

Then we were ready to snorkel more! Off to Maho Bay!! This beach is RIGHT on the North Shore Road. You park your Jeep and walk less than 10 feet to where you park your stuff in the sand. It's a beautiful, calm bay. We headed in. Swam around for quite a while and didn't see much: another stingray and a barracuda were about it. Disappointing. Oh well...there are plenty of beaches on St. John to the next!!

Next (and last for this day) was Trunk Bay. This is the one that is SO beautiful and the photo on my camera. It was about 4 pm at this point and they "close" at 4:30 (that means the lifeguards go home, pretty much). This is the only beach where they charged for entry but they ended up letting us in free because it was so late in the day. Niiiiice. :-)

Trunk has a little island just off the shore and an underwater trail to follow for snorkeling so we were hopeful that we would see more there...and we did!! We learned from this that snorkeling around land mass (island, shore, etc.) is much better for seeing a lot of fish than striking out into the center of a big bay (which we had done at the other two places). Compared with the others, we saw a TON here...lots of all kinds of colorful fish...and, as I recall, my first parrot fish (the really colorful ones). It was really really fun, but I was getting tired and had to go in from the snorkel before DB was ready...the water was getting choppy and that bugs me, particularly at the end of the day. So I went in and DB snorkeled more. It was just a beautiful end to our first snorkel day.

After this we headed home and decided to grill some steaks and make some asparagus for dinner rather than going out (yes, this is still on our this point, we were still being really good). The food was yummy and we just hung around the house having our now-traditional coconut and pineapple rum on the rocks, listening to music and waiting for news from PD1...they started inducing her labor that night! :-)

Another early night to bed that night...SO nice to be on vacation with no real plans!

Tuesday we woke up the same as the day before...with the sun, then back to sleep. We slept very late that day because it was cloudy and we were lazy. ;-) Left the house close to noon (without having had any food...I was getting cranky!) and headed to Skinny Legs (a famous burger joint in Coral Bay) for brunch. Got there about noon and I ordered their speciality which is a bleu cheese burger with grilled onions and mushrooms and a side salad. Didn't eat the bun (yay me). We had a crazy waitress (she was super-efficient and had no interest at all in being nice...I kinda think she thought she was being gimmicky and funny, but she was just kinda rude). We had a couple of lime in da coconuts (LCs in future), then I went to do some shopping while DB went to the internet connection place to do some work (there's a whole little enclave down at Skinny', shops, etc.). I found some fun souvenirs and even checked my own e-mail while there.

As DB was finished, we went back into one of the shops to look at something and it started to pour down rain. We decided to stay in this (air-conditioned) shop called the Jolly Dog and chat with the lady working there. She was super-nice and we ended up talking about how DB and I met and convincing her to sign-up on too! ;-) (I know she did this because we ran into her at Island Blues the next day and she told fact, we ran into her a lot the rest of the week...small island!) I bought some lovely Larimar (Caribbean precious stone that is blue like the ocean) for me there...

After the deluge, it was still cloudy and rainy so somehow we just ended up (no decision really made) going to a few bars on our way home and sampling the LCs...testing to see who had the best (Island Blues won hands-down)...and stopped at another shop for some cute T-shirts for me and DB and some souvenirs for the grandkids (pirate souvenirs are very big with them...the pirate bandaids were all gone within a short time after opening, for example!).

This was the day we thought baby Dash was being born (and was also College Friend's birthday) so we were celebrating...a lot! ;-) Got home fairly early, kept drinking that old coconut rum, and then decided to go out to dinner (too lazy to cook).

We ended up at a great authentic (with goats roaming around in the eating area...and it smelled like it!) restaurant close to our house called Miss Lucy's. It was outside right on the bay and the food was really yummy (the best we had had so far)...I had shrimp stuffed with crab with squash and sweet potato stuffing (which I didn't really eat...don't like it, why eat the carbs?). DB had paella. We had more drinks (I had some starting to go off plan).

We were home before 8 and DB was passed out soon after that! I stayed up until about 10 reading and looking at maps...dreaming of the next snorkel day!

And, no, Dash did not arrive on that day...we got an e-mail early the next morning that he was born after 1 am on the 22nd. LONG labor for PD1...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Best Honeymoon I Never Had: Part I

Finally got Blogger to upload photos this morning (Tuesday, July 28) so, if you read this earlier, photos now added below!! :-)

We left our house about 6:30 am on Saturday morning (7/18) and our flight to ATL left at 7:50. We were on a huge and beautiful 777 which helped somewhat with my fear of flying (which seems to be getting worse as time goes by, not better...need to deal with this before our next flying vacation in November). Business class had these individual "pods" that were pretty private and looked kind of enough to use our frequent-flyer miles to upgrade rather than getting a free trip another time? Not! ;-)

Got to Atlanta around 3 pm local time (noon our/west coast time) and had a 2-hour layover to explore and get some food. I was very good: had broccoli with my meal (staple of my "program") and no rice or bread (I managed to be pretty good on program with the exception of the daily coconut rum and "lime in a coconut" fests...but not good enough according to the scale when we got home...more on that later!)

Our flight to St. Thomas left around 5:30 pm and we got in after 9 pm in a raging thunder and lightening storm. Not so fun for scaredy-cat flyer me, but it wasn't too bad until the last few minutes of bumpiness and skidding on the runway when we landed! Luckily I was chatting with our seat mate who was a local St. Thomas-er...she was super helpful with tips about the islands and didn't seem too worried about the storm. Once we landed, there was no way to get to the terminal in St. Thomas except across the tarmac so, needless to say, we were soaked by the time we got inside...but all was forgiven when the nice greeters handed us our first coconut and pineapple Cruzan rum tastes (apparently a Virgin Islands tradition!). We bought some more rum drinks from the conveniently-located bar in the open-air (but thankfully roofed) baggage claim area while we waited for our luggage. Niiiice.

We had to stay in a hotel in St. Thomas that night because it was too much to consider navigating the ferry, car rental and 45-minute drive to our villa on St. John at that hour of night so I had planned a stay at a hotel that was well-reviewed on TripAdvisor. Got a shared-taxi to our hotel (MaFolie) up the mountain overlooking the bay of Charlotte Amalie. We got to our hotel about 10 pm and the restaurant and bar there was closed...and nowhere close by to eat. We were, at this point, still being very good on our program and we were hungry! The nice staff at the hotel offered to drive us down the hill to a place where they were going for drinks that still was open for dinner. Niiiiice. :-) (On the way to dinner, one of them told us how he remembers to stay on the left side of the road while driving: "shoulder to shoulder". This worked like a charm for us. It helped too that, on St. John, the speed limit is 20 MPH!)

We had dinner at this bar down in town (and more rum on the rocks...that coconut rum is SO good...). We both had salads...good for us! And got souvenir plastic cups before taking a cab back up to our hotel (for which I am sure we were overcharged -- no meters on the Islands -- but that's ok). After enjoying our balcony overlooking the lights of the bay, we passed out for the night...happy in the warm island breeze.

When we woke up on Sunday...WOW. What a view!! We were definitely THERE. :-)

We went down to the hotel's restaurant for the included continental breakfast. NOTHING offered had protein except the cream cheese for the (very not delicious) bagels. Oh well. I had a bagel with cream cheese and some water. DB had coffee, cereal and toast. The hotel itself wasn't fancy, but was fine for a one-night stay. We had planned to look around St. Thomas, but really had no idea where or what to see and nothing in the guidebooks we picked up tickled our fancy so we asked the hotel to get us a cab to the ferry at Red Hook (45-minute cab ride for a 20-minute ferry ride -- we could also have taken a 15-minute cab to a 40-minute ferry, but everyone on STJ seems to prefer the former).

Our cab driver to the ferry was a delightful woman originally from the British Virgin Islands (I love the Caribbean accent!) and we had a fun ride to the ferry in her Ford Explorer. :-) Just made the 11 am ferry over to St. John...ahhh, we were on our way!

Water over to STJ was choppy, but beautiful azure blue. The ferry was air above and below. We got into Cruz Bay (the "big" town on STJ) and it was sooo cute! Colorful buildings just off the wharf...and more welcoming Cruzan rum! YUMMY.

We walked a couple of blocks to our car rental place (Conrad Sutton Car Rental) and here was our first real adventure in "island time" (or, as I came to call it, "welcome to the islands...[insert bad news here]". I had read in on-line forums that Mr. Sutton's operation was a less-than-major-rental company (but I knew someone who had rented from him and said it was good). It was a tiny one-room "office" and a smallish parking lot full of Jeeps (gotta have 4WD on STJ because of windy, switch-backy, sometimes steep roads). Unfortunately, the only person there (washing cars) said the person in the office had "just" left and "would be right back". I will spare you the cranky details, but it took at least half an hour for someone to come back, and then another half hour to fill out paperwork and have Mr. Sutton peruse every little thing on our driver's licenses...and comment on it all. Seriously. Welcome to the islands... ;-)

After this ordeal, we needed sustenance. Put our luggage in our car, left it at the Sutton parking lot (not a lot of parking in Cruz Bay) and headed out for some food and DRINKS. We stopped in a cute open air restaurant right on the beach, ordered salads (yes, still being good) and our first "lime in a coconut" drinks (these were to become an obsession later...). YUMMY.

Feeling much better, we picked up our car and headed to the market for groceries. I had heard things were cheaper in Cruz Bay so we stocked up. Spent less than we could have. Bought a lot of healthy things to keep us close to program...and some of that yummy Cruzan coconut and pineapple rums ($9.99 a liter...can't beat that!). I tell myself that pure distilled beverages like this have no carbs...and all the nutrition information I find bears this out. I actually don't think we got in trouble on the lbs. until we started the search for the best lime in da coconuts...they are not too sweet, but have coconut milk in them...calories and carbs.

We arranged with the caretaker to meet us at the house to turn over keys and everything so we set off for the other (Coral Bay) side of the island. We took the North Shore Road that goes by many of the famous beaches...they were breathtaking. (An aside: a couple of years ago when I got a new phone, I picked the prettiest photo of the choices as my wallpaper. It was a photo of a beautiful beach and islands. When I was planning this trip, I saw a photo of Trunk Bay and said "hey, I think that's my phone photo". It was. So I had been looking at this photo for years without knowing it was St. John. It was meant to be...!)
I think we got to the house/villa about 4 pm on Sunday. My first reaction was: the photos do not do it justice!!! The ceilings were higher, the new paint job was prettier, the landscaping was lusher, it was more private and larger than I thought...I could go on and on. It was unbelievably gorgeous. It had a washer/dryer, dish washer, EVERYTHING to make it homey and convenient. Even the dishes and kitchen tools were beautiful. On the huge deck was a large dipping pool overlooking the incredible view. There were no less than 4 eating areas in and around the house. The main portion of the house was a great room (living, dining, kitchen -- much like our house at home), a large bedroom with king bed and a bathroom. There was another bedroom with two twin beds and a bathroom that was separated from the main house by a breezeway. We didn't use this room, but it made the house perfect for a family vacation too.

One pretty bad thing was that the caretaker told us that the tv wasn't working (no problem) and neither was the internet (big problem -- DB needs constant access to manage his business -- and I had told them that repeatedly when booking). We ended up having no access at the house all week and that really sucked for DB. He managed, but this was our most disappointing thing.

There was a nest with two hummingbird babies outside the front door...we had fun watching them get bigger all week...and they disappeared sometime during the night on our last night.

The back patio smelled divine...jungle, organic, green. I kept saying I wished I could bottle the scent to take it home. :-)

After the caretaker left, it started to really rain again. I turned away for a minute and when I looked out on the huge balcony/patio, there was DB, naked, luxuriating in the rain. That's my nature man! ;-) Just goes to show how private we were...we could walk around naked outside and no one could see. :-) So we both jumped in the dipping pool and looked at our view while enjoying some coconut rum on the rocks.
We went to dinner at a place called Shipwreck Landing on that first night. It was one of the closest to our villa (about a two-mile drive) and I had heard the food was good. Well, not really. The food was fine (we had yet more salads), but unimaginative and way overpriced (even for St. John). We went back one other time for a drink, but this was, in my opinion, the worst meal we had on the island.

After dinner, it was time for bed...time to get on Eastern (and island) time...and we were looking forward to our first full day on St. John on Monday....snorkeling was calling us... :-)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Got home very late last night from our amazing vacation. Will post all details later, but the scale was scary this morning. Back on program tomorrow morning. Going to see new grandson this afternoon (he was born on Wednesday)...can't wait!

Photos asap...although none will do it justice. :-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Drum roll please...

This morning's weigh-in shows me down just a hair over 20 pounds since starting this program a few days shy of 6 weeks ago! Wow, just wow. That is pretty spectacular progress, particularly considering how not-hard it has felt. I now weigh 5 pounds less than when we left on our bathing-suit vacation last year and a little over 2 pounds less than my lowest of all last year (where I was for one brief week).

This weight will be brief too...for now. I feel a comfy cushion for next week's vacation. Although, of course, I hope to still hang on to SOME moderation. And I will get right back on the wagon when we're home. I am thisclose to weighing what I did before quitting smoking 6 years ago... I would love to be there again. 10 pounds should just about do it. :-)

This week has been a huge loss week...biggest so far except for the first week. I'm not sure why, but I'll take it!

The best description I can give of how I feel is that I feel like this program is bringing my body to the weight it is meant to be. When I stop losing on this plan, that is probably where I should stay. No matter what the scale says or what that darned BMI says! ;-)

Our Anniversary Week started off with a bang last night going to see Jet. I have no idea why they are not huge superstars -- they have great musicianship, great songs, great hooks. DB and I sang "our" song to each other last night with them at the top of our was fantastic. :-)

We leave very early tomorrow morning and I can't wait to BE there...our island getaway!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New low and funny DB story

This morning the scale showed me at a new low since starting this plan a little over 5 weeks ago: 17 -plus pounds gone. Among the new things I've learned/remembered on this plan is how powerful weighing every day can be -- if you are down, you are empowered to keep going and if you are up, you are empowered to keep going! ;-)

DB is funny about weighing and I have to share:

He doesn't weigh at the same time every day, with the same clothes or in any consistent manner AT ALL. He got on the scale last night (hello? any girl could tell you not to do that!) and saw that he was "up" a number of pounds. I told him to come to bed, go to sleep and this morning he'd be 5 pounds down. The first time he got on the scale this morning (no clothes, no food, after bathroom), he was down 4 pounds. Aha! I was almost right! But that was not good enough for him. You see he has this habit of weighing multiple times...whether he is happy with the first results or not. And he doesn't just hop off the scale and get back on...oh no he doesn't! He picks up the scale and wanders around the house trying different places to see if he gets different readings! LOL

Of course, he does get different readings sometimes. And he might do this up to 4 or more times! ;-) This morning the second result was worse. I told him that I always take the first reading for better or worse...I don't want to take the chance of a worse reading in exchange for the possibility of a better one. Anyway, just sharing that some men are weird with the scale too...

I am sure that I will gain on vacation next week...and I am (at least moderately) prepared for that. I plan to still watch the composition of my meals each day and to forgo the buns on burgers and things like that that do not add anything to the meal, but add to the waistline. I also hope I can remember to watch serving sizes (I am much more aware of those). But I am sure I'll be having some famous Caribbean cocktails and other just wouldn't be vacation if I didn't. And when we get back, I already have my plan ready to jump back into to keep the weight going down.

As to exercise, I am still on my outdoor/non-gym kick. Boogie-boarded (not very good waves) on Monday night, then long walk (probably 4-ish miles) with DB on the beach last night. Tonight I'll hope for better boogie waves and, if not, will walk or yoga at home with and help DB work on his studio construction. After tonight I won't be exercising until we get to St. John (where we will hike or snorkel, hopefully, most days): tomorrow night we go to see Jet (who sings one of "our" songs) and Friday is early-to-bed for early flight on Saturday.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Of COURSE my office schedules me for Word training the week before vacation...grrrrr!! This means that I lose an entire day of "real" work. I love learning more about Word, but not this week!!!! ;-)

Doing well on the program. Down a total of 16 lbs. as of this morning's weigh-in (beginning of week 6) and I have been imperfect a lot the past couple of weeks. But I have been perfect enough, I guess. I will be perfect this week until we leave for vacation early Saturday morning.

I've had a hard time making myself go to the gym on my regular days because it is so beautiful and summery so I've still been enjoying outside exercise: biking, boogie-boarding, walking the dog and on the beach, gardening. I guess I'm doing enough exercise this way. Wish I could do it all year (too dark at night during the week in the winter).

Tonight? More boogie-boarding!! Walking against the waves is amazing leg and butt exercise, core exercise needed to hold me up and arm exercise pushing myself up from board after a ride. I love it!! :-)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fridays aren't so heavy many ways

Since I'm now weighing every day, the Friday weigh-in has lost some of its, ahem, weight. I still look at how much I've lost in the past week (this week only 0.2 pounds, but staying THE SAME for this week when I was not perfect is not bad) and also look at weeks starting on Monday (the day our program rolls over to the next week).

This week I am looking at how I managed to not gain through eating out and some unscheduled cocktails, not to mention last weekend's "cheating". While I do plan to keep going down the scale, I feel pretty happy about just maintaining...15 pounds in less than 5 weeks is pretty darn good!

I am now at a weight where I feel comfortable and happy -- this is close to the top end of where I can say that. I think it would be nice to go down another 10-15 pounds just to give myself the up-leeway for holidays, etc. and I am going to stay very close to this program (with break for vacation in a week) indefinitely and see where it takes me. DB wants to lose 15 more pounds. I may have to keep this up to keep up with him! ;-)

BUT, going "off" a few days, I do see that I have to be more vigilant if I do "cheat" sometimes. I may maintain that way, but I will not lose. I watched DB have cocktails and a chile relleno (yes, that's relleno -- filled -- with potatoes and cheese!) on Wednesday night and have a cocktail, eat cheesecake and chips last night and still get on the scale this morning and weigh the same (20 lbs. down). I had cocktails on Wednesday night (allowed on plan) and one martini last night (not allowed)...otherwise totally on plan or even less and I went up over the past two days. I bemoan (yet again) how unfair this is!! But, it's how it goes... ;-)

The good thing is that I feel confident that, if I go right back on the strict plan, weight will get back on the down slide. This is a very good and powerful feeling. :-)

Wearing pants today that were tight when I bought them in December and today are loose enough that they are not that cute (DB's pants, on the other hand, are literally falling off him!). But it feels great to be back in smaller clothes...and feel like I look good in them. Having been a lot more overweight so much of my life, it's still hard for me to remember that even 5 pounds can make a difference in how clothes fit and look...and 15 can be huge. I keep thinking back to The Big Loss where it was at least 20 pounds between sizes...

This weekend I have a lot of errands to run pre-vacation (we leave next Saturday) and, other than that, blissfully unscheduled. I am tired from the last couple of weeks of fun so just lying in bed sounds pretty darn good. :-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So busy...holding steady

Weight is steady today (well, down 2 10ths of a pound, but that doesn't even count!). SO busy at work (I think I'm starting my pre-vacation freak-out a week early) so no time for even a break at lunch to write or think about my diet...

My stomach/digestion is all better. It must have been the caffeine. :-)

Tonight is our bi-monthly theatre date. We're going to see Oleanna and the Microwaves are joining us. Our usual restaurant for dinner will be challenging on our plan, but I'm pretty sure I can do it because it's a carb-up day.

Time to get back to work...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Post-"bad" weekend recovery

The lbs. from the "bad" weekend are gone. I am really feeling like this program is something that might just work in one way or another for me for quite a while. Lbs fading away. Clothes feeling good. Time will tell... :-)

Otherwise, today, for me, is all about goodbye to Michael...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Holiday weekend = Not perfectly on plan

While I was much better at dealing with food than usual in Nearby Town, there was drinking and there was pizza. Luckily the majority of this was on Saturday night which is the carb-up night on the plan. But the scale this morning showed me up three pounds from last Thursday morning. I am really not unhappy about this and expect that this will be substantially gone by tomorrow now that I'm back on the "wagon" and carbing down.

Photos from the weekend festivities show both DB and me looking a lot slimmer than the last family reunion. People noticed. That was nice.

As usual, we had a great time with the family. In addition to hanging out at the family house, we played golf (well, DB and College Friend played with the sons-in-law), shopped, swam at extended family pool, watched fireworks and generally had a great time. Saturday, Bon-Bon (youngest granddaughter) was totally in love with her Helen -- she wanted me (not her mommy or daddy) to hold her all day. This meant sore arms yesterday (small price to pay...toned baby-holding arms!), but lots of fun shopping, in the pool, etc. on Saturday. She fell asleep in my arms that night. Cry Baby (now to be renamed "Dude" since he doesn't cry when he sees me anymore) actually let me hold his hand and walked with me. I love being a pretend grandma. :-)

I have been having some real tummy and digestive problems since Friday. I am not sure whether it's (a) going off plan somewhat, (b) caffeinated coffee (which I normally only do a couple of times a week), (c) half and half in coffee, (d) weird new contacts, or (e) something else (feeling nervous about flying for vacation in 10 days, for example). I have pretty much eliminated (d) by wearing glasses and still feeling nauseous. I'm leaning toward (b). Will not drink caffeine tomorrow and see if that helps (and, of course, I'm back on program today).

College Friend left this morning. We had such a great visit...this is our 30th year of friendship (like with someone else we know) and that is really a treasure. I am so happy that he could spend this time with us. :-)

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Today I weigh exactly what I did pre-Tulum trip last year. This means that I have reached my goal for pre-Virgin Islands less than 4 weeks! I am over 15 lbs. down. If I can maintain this (and even, gasp!, maybe go lower) I will be one happy girl. :-)

The weight fluctuations on this program are, as Vickie mentioned in one of her last comments, weird. Almost 3 pounds between yesterday and today, for example. I am happy that I am keeping track of weight every day even though it goes up some days (yesterday). The one trend I see is that I definitely LOSE the day after a "carb-up" night (last night). The theory in the book is that you are letting your body know that there will be carbs and, therefore, it can let go of fat. Who knows, but it seems to work.

I have had a few drinks this week (yesterday was allowed, Tuesday night not...and I gained after Tuesday, but not after last night...hmmm). That is the only cheat I have done. And I've stayed very low on carbs otherwise to try to make up for this social drinking while my friend is here.

We are all headed to Santa Barbara (Nearby Town) tomorrow for a couple of days for a DB family reunion -- one of his nephews is back from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan so this seems a good time to celebrate that he is home safe. We will be staying in a hotel again due to the 40 people/3 bathrooms problem when the whole family shows up. ;-) I don't mind this because the hotel has a nice pool and jacuzzi and it very close to the house.

I've been enjoying California non-gym exercise this week. Sunday I boogie-boarded with my friend for probably 2 hours. Tuesday, he and I spent over an hour at sunset boogie-boarding in the ocean in our wetsuits. It is wonderful to be able to do this and it is really great exercise. Invigorating! Tonight we will bike a few miles down the beach for a free concert/picnic. Over the weekend, DB and I are planning a hike in the canyons around the family house (which, you may remember, were all burned out in the recent fires). Planning ahead for exercise and food is important.

For those of you who are tempted to try the "Macro" plan that Vickie, DB and I are on, please be aware that results may vary. Among other things, our start weights are all very different and I'm sure that matters. And we each do the Macro our own way...that's really the beauty of it. Having said that, I really really am happy with it so far...I am not craving the bad carbs...feel hungry enjoying the results.

Hope you all have a very happy 4th!