Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cabin Fever: Getting through the Cold and Dark to Become Light


I’ve found myself a little down these days. I think it’s a case of Cabin Fever.

I thrive on sunshine and interaction but the weather around here has been somewhat brutal – from the foot of snow that dumped down in our region to the frigid temperatures.

Now you know I’m an adventure girl. I grew up in Vermont and Canada so I’m not afraid of snow. Even though I’ve hiked Kilimanjaro in temperatures so cold that my water bottle froze solid,  there is one thing that I don’t like to do in the winter: Bundle up to work out.

But the worst thing about the winter weather for me is isolation. I work from home most days so I don’t need to go outside other than dropping my girls off at daycare and school. The truth is, it gets lonely here.

All that plus a major let down on a project I’ve been working on, meant I found myself munching a lot more often. Whether I’m feeding abandonment issues of my past as a latchkey kid, emptiness from being lonely or boredom of the walls of my home – I just found this month very, very hard to stay on track.

In all honesty, I was glad to have BistroMD here to keep me somewhat on the straight and narrow. But admittedly, I was off the rails many days – nibbling on this and that (especially sugary stuff that didn’t come in my weekly stash of food).

For example, instead of my snack of fruit and low-fat cheese, I’d reach for something carb-y. And then, since my stomach is like a bottomless pit when it comes to that stuff, I’d reach for it again and again.

I’d hate to think what my weight would be like if I didn’t have that reminder with every BistroMD meal to stay on target. If I was on my own this month, I have a feeling there would have been a lot of comfort foods simmering in my kitchen and instead of my weight staying the same – it would be up.

So this month, I didn’t lose anything. But more importantly, I didn’t gain anything. Since I’m doing this publicly with monthly blogs, it offered me an opportunity to reflect instead of struggling in the dark, cold days of winter and ultimately padding on more pounds.   It gave me a chance to figure out what was going wrong -- and fix it.

So, I vow to get back into it – to drop all those added foods that crept in and to follow BistroMD exactly as prescribed.
Also, I vow to cure my Cabin Fever. Earlier this month, I joined along with my online friend Megan Castran’s Mile-A-Day challenge. It takes me about 20 minutes to walk a mile on my treadmill. Of course, many days I go beyond it.  But on those days when I am struggling to get it all done, it is a relatively achievable goal – whether it is accomplished at 10 a.m. on a Sunday or 10 p.m. on a weeknight.  It is a fabulous reminder to keep moving forward – one mile at a time.

I leave you with a song -- "Carry On" by Fun that I just fell in love with. It is my theme for the month ahead:
 

BistroMD is providing my meals for six months. I am blogging about the experience. If you would like to join me in the journey, check out www.bistromd.com

Friday, January 11, 2013

Missing: 11 Pounds (Please Don't Return Them)

Emily and Me


I’ve been on BistroMD for about a month now and I’m happy to report that I’ve dropped 11 pounds!

That’s not too shabby when you consider that the first month was over the holidays. Our company party was at Sofrito, an amazing NYC Puerto Rican eatery that isn’t into counting calories. (Let’s just say it was the best sangria I’ve ever had and the portions were double what they should have been. My husband ate my leftovers when I returned on program the next day). Then there was Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day... an exhausting amount of meals and things on the to-do lists.  There was a lot of extra food around and eggnog in my coffee from time to time. But after each holiday meal, I just got right back on program with the next meal.

Also, I didn’t have clearance to exercise until the last week of December. And really, with my oldest daughter on school vacation and another daughter too young to drop off at the gym daycare, it just didn’t happen.

Ultimately, the BistroMD program has been a lifesaver in my sleep-deprived, one-handed world as a new mom and then last week when I started work again. Getting the girls ready and out the door is a skill set unto itself. I may be qualified to be an air traffic controller now.

With all this stuff to do, BistroMD has helped me take care of myself.  Healthy meals have been selected, made, delivered to me each week. All I have to do is stock them in my freezer and when it is time to eat, pop it in the microwave.  Seriously, it couldn’t be simpler.

I’ve promised myself that I would try everything (practicing what I preach to my almost-5-year-old daughter). There have been some that I haven’t liked so I went on MyBistroMD and adjusted my selections so I won’t have to see them again. Then, there have been others that have been surprisingly good. As I write, I am enjoying the Jungle Chicken Crepes with Rosemary Red Potatoes.

Jungle Chicken with Rosemary Red Potatoes
 

I feel like I’m set up for success as we enter the New Year. I just started going back to the gym more regularly. I’m even planning on hitting a Spinning class for the first time since I got pregnant (please excuse me if I can’t walk for the week after.  ;-)

Most importantly, I’m going to start hiking again this weekend. The weather looks great – almost 60 degrees. My hiking boots have been lonely these last several months when I avoided the activity that I love most (because I worried about my balance while pregnant on the trail). I hope to head out with the Union County Hiking Club for a ramble in the woods. It will be a slow and short hike but the first steps toward bigger goals such as Machu Picchu!

BistroMD is supplying my meals until June and I’m writing about the experience. Join me on the trail to health.
If you’d like to try BistroMD, use code NEWLIFE and they'll give you $50 off the first week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Life

I have some great news. We have a new addition to our family. Emily Rose, was born in mid-November. We are both happy, healthy and can’t believe a month has already come and gone.

Since this blog is about my weight journey, I thought I’d share that when Emily was born (and the week after), I lost what I gained during the pregnancy (about 20 pounds). However, the reason I was so careful this time around is that I was still holding on to 70 pounds that I gained with my first pregnancy and in between.

Since this is my second time around as the mother of a newborn, I knew I had to prepare myself to forge forward on a healthy path. I knew how difficult it was to get a healthy meal on the table, especially while trying to get things done around the house with one hand (with the other hand holding a newborn) and sleep deprivation. Under any kind of stress, the first thing to drop from my to-do list is typically healthy eating in favor of convenience.

Also, I noticed during my pregnancy was the tiniest amount of additional weight made a huge difference in my joints. I had trouble getting up from the floor while playing with my first daughter. I developed severe pain in my knees, which had to be resolved with physical therapy. It was a reminder that it was time for me to get serious about heading down the scale again.

I enlisted the support of BistroMD during these first few months since I already had a terrific experience with this company. They were kind enough to supply my food while training in Telluride, Colorado for my third and final trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. I dropped about six pounds that week alone!

Each week BistroMD will deliver me five days of per perfectly portioned, frozen healthy meals and snacks and I will write about my experience along the way. You can follow my journey here each month on my blog here on www.fatwomanonthemountain.com . This is my way of taking care of me. I like to think of it as if I hired a personal chef to take care of me. The first box included an amazing array of food from Bombay inspired chicken to spinach crepes.
Since I’m nursing, I am adding in two additional snacks of protein and fruit and adding a side salad to my lunches and dinners. Just to be on the safe side, I’m drinking three cups of Mother’s Milk tea each day to make sure my milk supply doesn’t dip.

When I was a guest on Oprah’s Lifeclass, Iyanla (Oprah’s friend and the special guest on the show) spoke about how responsibility really means you are able to respond. I have been dogged by weight issues for decades and I need to take responsibility for my health and wellness, especially with this new life in my life and the life that I want to lead. My big goal, in addition to being the best mom I can be, is to be healthy enough to take on Machu Picchu (by foot, of course, since I rarely do things the easy way) in the coming year.

I hope to be an active role model for my daughters, and to continue on my adventures. But it is my “Response-ability” to do so.

If you’d like to try BistroMD, use code NEWLIFE and they'll give you $50 off the first week.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to Class


Since I've returned from Mount Kilimanjaro my workouts have been, well, lackluster. There is a bit of a let down after accomplishing a goal so grand, something that you've been training for and dreaming of for more than a year.

I love having a grand adventure to visualize while I exercise. Otherwise, I find myself bored and unmotivated. I just spin my wheels on the bike or go through the motions on the elliptical trainer for a quick 28-minute workout.

I'm still deciding what my next Big Fat Adventure will be. Other items on my life list include a rim-to-rim Grand Canyon hike, a trek up Machu Picchu or another one of the world's Seven Summits (Aconcagua, perhaps). Since I've just barely unpacked after this last trip (and then again after Irene), I decided to give myself a little while to decide what my 2012 challenge will be.

In the meantime, I decided to shake things up by heading back to class -- exercise class that is. I love the positive peer pressure of an exercise class. You have to keep up, and people expect you to return.

I grabbed the group exercise schedule at the Summit YMCA to find some fun, challenging activities here at home. I started circling Zumba, Spinning Out Loud (where singing is encouraged) and others that can keep me motivated and working hard.

Since it is nice to have a familiar face in class, I started with my personal trainer Heather Worthy's class -- Cardio, Cuts & Core. She kept us sweating for an hour with a mix of kickboxing, strength training and more. What an incredible workout (I'm still sore).

So with the back-to-school season upon us, think about shaking up your exercise routine. Is there something you've always wanted to try? Get out there and try something new!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Made it to the top!


Just a quick note that I have made it to the top of Kilimanjaro and back down.

A lot of the porters and guides doubted that I could make it to the top. This challenge was as much a mental one as it was a physical one. I had to calm feelings of doubt along the way. I used mantras such as "Strong, Steady, smooth" and "I believe in me" with each step to squash negative feelings and continue on this journey.

I am so grateful for your support along this long, hard journey. Hope your summer has been full of awesome adventures.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wish I Was Fat Like You....

Today a woman in the Kibera Slum, in Nairobi, Kenya asked me, how can I be fat like you....



Kibera is one of the largest slums in the world, home to as many as 1 million people. It is some of the most vast poverty I have ever seen. A visit like that has made me appreciate everything I have including my fat.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Altitude and Attitude Training in Telluride


I am spending the week in Telluride, Colorado to get a taste of thin air before heading off to conquer Africa's highest peak -- Mount Kilimanjaro.

I am here with Stacey Pratt, who is also hiking Kilimanjaro for Global Alliance for Africa, and Sydney Clover, who is helping me document my journey. My 3-year-old daughter also joined us and is attending day camp while I'm hiking way up high but it is a wonderful way for us to spend quality time before I take off for two weeks to Africa.

Our home away from home is an amazing condo at Mountain Lodge in Mountain Village. We sleep at about 10,000 feet. Just being here is altitude and attitude training. There is 73 percent as much oxygen here compared to home. (At the top of Kilimanjaro there will be half as much as home!)We often wake up with a smidge of a headache and a dry mouth. The key is to stay hydrated. I've been downing at least four liters of water each day to stay ahead of altitude sickness.

Each day we hike -- often trying to reach 12,000 feet. That will give us a head start before taking on Kilimanjaro's 19,343 feet. Our ulitmate goal while in town is to conquer Ajax Peak.

I am also using this week as a wellness retreat. BistoMD was kind enough to provide our healthy meals (ranging from 1,100 to 1,400 calories a day)so we could stay on track and could focus on our training. They are so easy to prepare, just a few minutes in the microwave and diner is served. So far, my favorites have been the Shrimp Burrito Bowl and the Chicken Breast Stuffed with Broccoli & Cheddar.

There is a little relaxation built in here... Yesterday we headed to Moab to visit Arches National Park (only 1.5 miles of hiking because of the 108 degree heat). I am heading to a Monsoon Yoga Class on Wednesday at Telluride Yoga Center and will hit Mountain Lodge's tub as often as possible to keep my legs feeling happy for the big challenge ahead. (We will summit Kilimanjaro two weeks from today!)