Saturday, November 21, 2009

11.21.09: Slowly, Slowly

Weight loss is kind of like hiking up a mountain. It is hard, slow-going but if you keep moving forward eventually you'll get there.

In fact, when I am hiking up Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, to benefit AIDS orphans, the slower, the better.

It is a wedding march pace to the 19,343 foot peak and if you start to break stride, the guides will tell you, "Pole, Pole." Swahili for "Slowly, Slowly." That is because the air is so thin that you have hike slow, to let your body adjust to the altitude.

I have been swallowing a lot of self doubt this week, wishing I had lost more weight this year to prepare for my Kilimanjaro trip. (If only I had cut out those cookies!)

But then I realized, I just have to keep moving forward, and stay focused on the bigger picture. I had a great training hike up Mount Tammany at the Delaware Water Gap with my family. I really do feel stronger with each step.

Slowly, slowly and eventually I will get there.

Please help me support AIDS orphans. My goal is to raise $10K for Global Alliance for Africa's AIDS orphans programs by World AIDS Day:
(We are about 1/3 there -- checks and pledges don't show up on the website)
Thank you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

11.18.09: Labor Of Love

When I hiked up Kilimanjaro in 2007, a fellow climber had said to me that climbing the mountain is like childbirth. You don't remember how painful it is until you are actually doing the hike a second, or third time.

Two climbers, who had reached the summit during their first climb, didn't make it up the second or the third time.

Then there is the altitude. You could be in terrific shape but succumb to altitude sickness, even it didn't cause a whiff of trouble the first time around.

Unlike my other Save the World Diet challenges, there will be no sweep bus, no sag wagon to pick me up if I can't make it to the top. It is just me and my feet.

So I am pushing hard -- in this labor of love -- training as much as possible to make it up the mountain a second time for kids who need help.

Please help me raise $10K for AIDS orphans by World AIDS Day (Dec. 1)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11.10.09: Kenyan Tea Time

Each morning I drink a cup of Kenyan tea.

I fell in love with this tea two years ago on Mount Kilimanjaro. It was the way we started our day, sipping it while still snug in our sleeping bags. It was a way to wake up for the work ahead.

I drink the tea each morning, thinking about the trek to come -- which is now less than two months away. The tea helps me put my mind back on the mountain.

When facing a task so awesome, it is important to have gentle, positive mental reminders that make you think of success. What little things can you add to your routine to help you on the road to achieving great things?

Speaking of great things. Please help me raise $10K for AIDS orphans in Africa by World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) Every donation makes great change:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

11.08.09: How Hiking As a Family Makes You Stronger

I have done some of my training hikes with my family -- such as the awesome Halloween hike at Jockey Hollow and today's two-hour trek at Pyramid Mountain.

I love taking my daughter outdoors -- she loves finding leaves and naming all that she sees: tree, leaves, rock, plane (OK, so this is hiking in New Jersey). Today she got to see a real live bear, and fortunately he was a kind bruin and let us live to tell about it.

Sometimes our daughter likes to walk, jumping off little rocks and logs on the trail, crunching her feet down in the leaves. Most of the time, we carry her in a hiking backpack. Hiking with a child on your back makes the going a bit slower -- but there is some added weight resistance in there. You have to work harder for every step. Fortunately, I get to share the load with my husband.

Whenever I gave him the backpack, I would marvel at how much faster I could move, and how much more comfortable I was without 30 extra pounds on my back. Oh yeah, that is exactly the point. The more I exercise, the more weight I will lose, and the better I will feel.

Only eight more weeks until it is time to trek up Kilimanjaro, here is how you can help:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

11.03.09: Exercise Your Right To Vote

In a few minutes I am heading out on a hill walk to do a little Kilimanjaro training, and will end it with one of the best exercises of all: voting.

Election Day is always a busy (and late) day for a newspaper reporter like me but it is important for me to both get my exercise, and to cast my own vote.

So get out there, get moving and having your say in your community. Vote!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

11.01.09: Tune In For Inspiration

While I was at the gym this morning, I looked up from my treadmill panel to find live coverage of the ING New York Marathon. It was two hours into the race and a pack of women were well on their way to the finish line.

I found myself punching up the speed on my own treadmill, working a little harder. If they can do 26.2 miles, the least I can do is sweat in their honor.

I admit I workout harder after watching the Biggest Loser. My grandest athletic aspirations are set when the Olympics are on. Who can come away from an episode of Ruby and not want to follow her path of good health?

Tune in to inspiration where ever you can find it.