Walking On Sunshine – Yeeeee-Ouch!

What I walked through this morning.  Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/ freedigitalphotos.net.

What I walked through this morning. Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn/ freedigitalphotos.net.

I took a power walk this morning, or I should say I tried.

My first mistake was that I left the house at 9:30 a.m. It was already over 100 degrees. Now, if I was in Virginia, I would just pick a path with lots of tree coverage. However I’m in Arizona. Trees are slim pickings. I’m visiting a desert. Walking after 9:00 a.m. is nuts.

My second mistake – no hat. Since I started power walking at the end of February, I’ve never considered a hat an essential part of my gear. Well today it felt like my hair was going to combust.

My third mistake was the fast pace. My thinking was to get this over with as fast as possible. Heh! I just ended up going through my water a lot faster than normal. OK, I admit that I poured some water on my lava hot head. Consider it fire prevention.

Nearly out of water, I ended up turning around, feeling defeated. Total distance – 9/10 of a mile. Very sad.

Thankfully I put on some sunscreen before I left the house. Yes, I was hot as hell during the walk but my skin did not lobster.

Tomorrow I’m going to try again, but I think I need to be out the door at 6:00 a.m. The sun isn’t as strong that time of day. But tonight, I’m going to get a hat.

Getting My Daily Water (or, how I stopped worrying & learned to love the SodaStream)

sodastreamOur SodaStream arrived last week. I love it.

I’ve been spending about $11.45 a week on carbonated water. The SodaStream should more than pay for itself within two months. Awesome.

“But why spend the money in the first place?” you ask.

I use to be a major soda drinker. Not diet soda. Regular. Coke was my choice drink. By the time I stopped drinking colas, I was probably drinking 5 12-ounce cans a day. Yikes!

I’ve tried cutting back before, replacing Coke with water. But while I love my tap water, I had a hard time drinking enough water in a day. I even tried to make my water more exciting – adding lemon, lime or orange slices. I still couldn’t drink more than 4 8-ounce glasses a day.

It wasn’t the caffeine that I craved. It was the carbonation. I loved the mouth feel of the bubbles. The sound of the fizz hitting the ice in my glass was music to my ears. I loved the sensation when the bubbles went down my throat.

Thankfully I discovered black cheery carbonated water. I love cherry flavored anything. It had no sugar and no carbs. When I got home, I gave it a try. Yes, as I opened the bottle it did explode and soak my shirt, but it was sooo tasty. From that moment I was sold. I was able to quickly eliminate soda from my daily routine. For what little caffeine cravings I have, my home made ice tea can accommodate me.

For nearly a year, my daily water intake is split between tap water, carbonated water and ice tea. It’s roughly a 45/45/10 split. As great as it’s been, it has taken a toll on the wallet.

A couple of our friends had a SodaStream and swore by it. I have to say I was skeptical. I’ve seen the ads and have tasted sodas from earlier versions or knock offs. They were horrible. But or friends who we trust swore by it and issued their own Pepsi Challenge. I had to admit that the small sip I had was very good. I was surprised it came from their machine. So we bit the bullet and decided to get one. We’ve only had it a few days, but it is one of the best purchases we’ve made. Doing the math, I’m now saving $50/month. My husband gets his diet Dr. Pepper taste for under $0.20 a glass.

I’m keeping to my 45/45/10 split and saving money to boot! What more could you ask for?

Weekly Weigh In – April 13

april 13 weigh inAnother good week. I’m down 1.6 lbs. That puts me at a total loss of 68 lbs. If I keep it up, I should be close to losing 25% of my body weight near the beginning of June. Very happy!

I do think I need to improve on my water intake. That started slipping towards the end of the week. Don’t know why, as I always have water with me. I had to play catch up last night. I ended up staying up a bit later than I wanted just to finish that last glass of H2O. I’m half way through my quota today, so I think I’m back on track.

When I told my hubby about my weight loss, he was surprised that it was “only” 1.6 lbs. I think the look on my face made him realize his faux pas. He quickly corrected himself to say, “that’s awesome.”

I wasn’t upset with him. It’s not uncommon for me to go to my weigh in feeling confident after a week of staying on program and working out, thinking I lost a tonnage but ended up “only” losing .2 lbs.

The truth is average weekly weight loss is up to 2 lbs. When I first started my most recent adventure in weight loss, I was losing 4, 5 and even 8 lbs. in a week. Why? Water. I needed to lose all the excess water in my body before I could burn the fat. Now I’m burning fat, the weight comes off at a slower pace (which is also much more healthy to boot!).

The most important thing is that the weight is coming off.

Short Strides, Not Long Strides

April 7 walkI’ve been getting closer to the 15-minute mile during my walks. I’m walking slightly more than 2.5 miles/day. Today I decided to try going 4 miles. My plan was to focus on distance, not speed.

Heh. Well so much for planning. The pace for my first mile turned out to be my best – 15:08. I was walking fast and taking long strides. For the first two miles I was pushing it but my body was not responding. My stomach was cramping, my heart rate was a bit too high and my legs were going wobbly. Oh and I ran out of water.

Luckily I had reached a little strip mall. I popped into the Chipotle for a cup of high quality H2O and sat on a bench outside for a few minutes. I felt so much better after downing the water. Clearly I was feeling dehydrated.

Something had to change before my trek back home began. Then I recalled a conversation I had earlier with my friend Miss E. She is encouraging to transition over to running. She recommended I focus on short strides, not long strides. Short strides are more efficient and prevent injuries.

So I picked up a bottle of water at the Exxon station and started my uphill trip back home, taking short strides along the way.

What a difference. I felt re-energized by the water and the shorter strides actually made the last 2 miles seem easy.

Lesson learned.

I’ve Lost That Loving Feeling…

…for a nice cold coke. Today I was standing in line at the checkout counter at Wegmans (the most awesome grocery store in the world!) and for the first time in a long time I noticed their display of Coca-Cola.

It just hit me – I haven’t had any soda since June. Wow.

I’ve completely replaced soda with good old fashioned tap water or with my home made herbal ice tea. And I did it without a second thought. Sure I did have a bit of a headache the first few days. But I figured, why drink something that is going to cause pain if I stop drinking it.

Before, I wouldn’t have given a second thought to picking up a 12 ounce can for the drive home. But now that display is like the rest of the crap at the check out counter – stuff I ignore.

Herbal Ice Tea Recipe
1. 8C of hot water
2. 10 herbal tea bags of different flavors (peach, blueberry, mango, cherry, mixed berry, pomegranate, etc.- I just added what was in my pantry. You can use different flavors – what floats your boat. I just like the fruit taste)
3. Juice from 1-2 lemons

Place a variety of tea bags into a pot. Add the hot water. Let the tea steep in the hot water for at least 10 minutes (it can steep longer if you like).

In the mean time, add the lemon juice to the carafe/pitcher your tea will go into. Remove tea bags from the pot and add the tea to your carafe/pitcher.

Refrigerate. Serve over ice. Taste the awesomeness.