Friday, May 31, 2013

Last day o' the month

Last day of May. does that happen!?

I'm glad to say we're almost back on a normal sleep schedule.  It takes us 2 weeks to fully acclimate into Hawaii time so it makes sense it would take about 2 weeks to acclimate out.  I still have problems hitting a fatigue wall between 10-11am so sometimes I'll just shut my eyes for a few minutes and that seems to help.  I know I can't go to sleep but sometimes it's just nice to rest your eyes.  Man I can't believe we've been back for 2 weeks...that sucks.  I want to be here...

I feel like we've rocked it this week on the workouts.  Last week was getting back into it every single day, getting back into eating like we have some kind of willpower and trying not to fall asleep at the table.  This week we were able to bump up our workouts a bit and the muscles are popped back to pre-vacation status.  I've already burned my required 3500 so today's workout will be icing on the cake.

Mmm...cake.  Huh?

I've been the grill mistress since last weekend.  I've grilled naan pizza, fish, veggies and the stuff we had over Memorial Day weekend.  I remember it starting out that way last year then we got side tracked so I'm hoping to keep it up throughout the season.  I do wish we had a bigger area for a bigger grill because when we move to another house I want a HUGE grill spread back there.  I want dudes to bow to me kind of grilling insanity.

We're in for a stormy weekend so I don't know we'll be making any plans to do anything, at least not outdoors.

How has your week turned out?  Any plans for the weekend?

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What we did right on vacation

That about covers it for our adventures on Kauai this year.

I do have to say that this trip was full of highs and lows.  I will address some of the lows at a later date but today I'm going to give us props for the things we did right.

"Formal" exercise six times.
This is unheard of for us.  We've taken our resistance bands on our trips more times than we can count and only last year did they finally see the light of day...once.  We always have a couple workouts on the tablet but never seem to make them a priority.  This time we did the Upper Body workout our first full day, Stand Up Paddle and Kayaking our 2nd full day (I burned 3200+ calories that morning!), a resistance band workout, a 5K, the lower body workout, kayaking again and pool calisthenics when we had a private pool.  We don't count extra activity we get just by walking around but many days we got 3-5 miles in but never counted it.

Fruit and chia smoothies
We found a place that didn't charge your first born per pound for chia seeds and went to farmers markets to get the ingredients for smoothies that helped us de-bloat the year before.  I wish I could say it did the same this year but it didn't but I'm at least glad we got in some form of fruit each day.

Green tea
We fell in love with the Yamamotoyama Hojicha Roasted Green Tea (affiliate link) we found at Long's.  It's like a strong green tea with a deep black tea color.  This is a habit I have at home is starting the day off with green tea and  I was glad we kept up the habit there.  I loved it so much I found it on Amazon and got 12 boxes of it.  (Comes out to like $.13 per bag which isn't bad.)

We stuck with ordering water at 95% of all of our meals.  Some of it was to save money, but we are already in that habit and even though a few servers audibly sighed because they weren't going to make more tip money by jacking up our bill total, I didn't care.  I wanted to try to get in as much water as I could while we were there because we haven't always been good at that.

What are you doing right lately?

(This post contains an affiliate link so I'll get a whole 3 cents if you should choose to buy through it.  I'll try to spend it wisely!)  ;-)

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Walking the walk

Ever since our honeymoon, no matter what island we were on, we always heard about the charity walks they have this time of year.  I've always thought it would be fun to do that but heck, walking a mile or two much less the three some of them do always put my legs into knots.  It's odd how you can casually walk 6 miles in the city in Chicago like it's nothing but suddenly you slap a label on it and put a finish line at the end for half the time and it seems like an impossible or at least a harder task.  It might've been something we were in shape to do maybe one time before until now.

It had been a week since our water adventures and I was finally back to walking without pain from my injury and my achilles flare up was calm.  There was a sign up for the walk the weekend before but they said you could sign up that morning too if you did it by 6:30am.  I told the Mr I wanted to walk it just to see how it would sound out loud.  He was like "okay" but in a way that made it sound like he wasn't sure we'd actually do it.  I didn't know we would either.  It was the day before the walk and I asked if we were doing it and he said we could if I wanted to.  Neither one of us sounded overly jazzed about it but it just felt like something we should do given what we'd already overcome this trip.  When we got up the next morning, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  I must've slept in the same position or something because I could barely walk, I had a headache and just generally felt like crap.  The Mr asked how I was doing and I told him I felt like shit and he said we didn't have to do the walk if I felt that bad and I said yes we did and started getting ready.

We slathered on the sunscreen, I taped up the toes that always tend to rub in my shoes and we were on our way.  We went to register and if you bought a t-shirt it was your donation so we paid the $35 a piece and she said the shirts went up to XL and we both asked for one.  We headed back to the car so we could see if they fit after our week of bloat and they did.  Not well but they covered all of the pertinent bits and that's all we cared about.  I think we felt more triumphant just being able to wear "normal" shirts like everyone else.  We hung around as the local radio DJ did his thing, they brought out a kapuna to do a blessing for the event and then they brought out a local comedian.  As the comedian came out to rile up the crowd, we noticed there were 6 women in red right behind him.  All of a sudden some music starts playing and they're like "we're going to Zumba!"  The Mr and I look at each other because we're up front by the stage and it would look real stereotypical for the two fat people to turn tail and run.  The color drained from the Mr's face and I said "let's do it."  The moves were pretty tame compared to what we're used to so we felt fine and it got my heart rate up into the zone.  They did some fighter kicks which I didn't think about how my feet have problems sometimes when I do them at home on a padded surface much less on asphalt.  I didn't feel the pain of it immediately but it was waiting for me.  It was kind of weird because there was no official start it was just like "go to the start line" and everyone was walking.  We were in the first third of the pack the entire time.  My heart rate was up from the mini Zumba session and then straight into paced walking which I'm not really used to.  I'm a lollygagger.  Between the pace, pavement and that little bit of jumping on the pavement before the race, I was in serious pain about 1/2 mile in.  It was searing.  I even took preemptive ibuprofen because I knew the leg muscles would flair up but if that was help, I'd hate to have seen me without it.  I kept telling myself to push through it, it was only 3 miles.  The pain was bad and before, I would've tapped out for sure.  But I knew if I was ever going to do a 5K, I wanted it to be there and here we were, crossing yet another thing we've always wanted to do in our second home off the list.  What was more special to me is that I was doing it with my honey.  I never in my life had a goal to do a 5K.  I'm not a runner or even an organized race walker but he ran a virtual 5K and he has always felt a satisfaction from that.  I wanted to have the same thing but with him because it's not something I would do by myself.  It's weird it's like alone it wasn't a goal but together, it was because of what Kauai means to us.  Here are some pics from our route:

And we're off!

Even at 7:30am it's hot enough to have to wipe the sweat from your brow!

The industrial section never looked so beautiful.

Mountain range behind the pili grass.

I could look at the mountains all day!

How many race routes have a hula halau dancing for you as you need that final push?

Some locals came out to show their support.

Many of the charities we were helping came out to say mahalo.

Rounding to the finish line.

There wasn't much fanfare when we were done.  We just kind of hung around for a few minutes then got in the car and went about our day.  The next day is when it all crashed for me.  If I thought stand up paddle put me in pain, this was twice that pain.  I don't remember being able to walk very well the following day and we didn't have a hot tub at this place like we did at the other one.  So this pretty much put an end to my desire to do another 5K.  It'd have to be a long time and completely re-built muscles before I'd even consider it.  But I was glad that something I'd wanted to do for so long was finally checked off of my list!

Have you walked/run a 5K?  For what organization?

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial weekend grub

I hope you're all enjoying your Memorial Day weekend and spending time with family, friends or enjoying some alone time if you need it.  After we take a moment to remember what the day is truly about, our thoughts usually go to the grill or picnic grub.  

Here's a little peek at what the Mr and I have been having this weekend...

Turkey brat with caramelized onions and jalapeno mustard, spicy BBQ chips (1 serving) and dip (1 serving) and an ear of grilled corn with 1 tbsp herbed butter.

I love how naughty this burger looks but it wasn't!  Yes, you can have a bacon cheeseburger that isn't 1000 calories!  This one was just under 400 calories using 85/15 beef, 1/2 slice thin marbled cheese, 1 slice of center cut bacon, caramelized onions (using cooking spray not oil this time), lots of lettuce and 1/2 serving of mustard and ketchup.  Chips and dip and an ear of corn with 1 tbsp garlic basil butter.

Chicken veggie kabobs with 1 1/2 tbsp honey pineapple teriyaki we shipped back from Hawaii and a tater kabob with 1 tbsp ketchup for dipping.  So good!

A lemon pomegranate slushie for 50 calories!

Yay for cookout food that doesn't make you feel like you're missing anything!

What are you guys grilling/eating this holiday weekend?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Exercising on vacation?!

I've got a few more adventures to share but I thought I'd give you guys a break for the week and do a little recap.

This vacation was the first time we actually exercised on vacation!  Like formal workouts...actually broke the resistance bands out of the carry on and followed the workouts I posted for you guys last week.

We didn't do them every day or anything and we coupled it with things like the stand up paddle, kayaking and such but I was really proud of us for doing that.  I'd love to say it helped us keep weight at bay but um, no.  We seem to learn something from every trip where our health/routine is concerned so we're already making a routine for the next trip to help us keep up our rock hard, walnut cracking muscles.  ;-)

I'll be back next week with more tales from the road if you guys aren't too tired of them.

Do you exercise on vacation?  Anything planned for the holiday weekend?

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Our next water adventure on Kauai

Okay, so maybe stand up paddle wasn't my thing right now but I found something that was.  This was our 10th trip to Kauai and every trip prior to that I remember glancing to my right on the way to Hanalei Bay on the north shore wistfully looking at kayakers paddling the river.  It was always my dream to be one of those people and I said the first time I went kayaking, that's where I wanted it to be.

After we came back from stand up paddle, I'd had a surprise up my sleeve for the Mr.  As we were driving back to the surf school to change into our dry clothes, I said "you want to go kayaking?"  He sat there for a second and said "uh...yeah, okay!"  We pulled into the place two doors down, Kayak Kauai.  I told him to go in and ask about weight limits because I'd seen several companies on the island that will not rent to people over like 230-250 lbs...which we weren't.  He checked, they said 300 lbs so we were good to go.  (For reference, even if you're over 300 lbs, you can usually just use a tandem kayak as a single which has a higher weight limit.  They do it all the time)  We reapplied our sunscreen...well, one of us did all over, one did not.  We went inside, signed some piece of paper, grabbed our life vest and paddles, after having done stand up paddle a mere 30 minutes earlier, my thumb was getting a pretty good blister working so they gave me a band aid and we went to the launch dock.  They had 2 sloped ramps going into the water.  The guy gave us a quick lesson which really didn't consist of more than "see the spines on the back of the paddle?  You don't see your own spine, you shouldn't see the paddle's."  I think there were notes about strokes but you don't really need to know much more than that especially since we were going up river toward the wilderness preserve.

I'll be honest, when I got my push into the water, I was surprised I wasn't sinking it.  If you've been overweight your whole life, it will take you quite a long time (if ever) to not have that knee jerk reaction.  I yelled "I'm floating!" back to the Mr.  He couldn't hear me...he was trying to back out of the weeds.  When we got out of the little canal and out into the river, we turned right and before I knew it, I heard *splash!*  The Mr had joined Camp Tippayak.  Man overboard.  I quickly scooped up the camera in it's floaty case, sunscreen and his paddle.  I asked if he was okay and he said yes and was now going to have to hoist himself back into the kayak from a place in the river where you couldn't touch.  Hmm, that sounds familiar.  I'll be honest, I was glad it happened because now he could see what it was like to have to use your upper body weight to get back up on a board/vessel.  He gave me props for having to do that and got situated.

The canal where you paddle out to the river.

We started paddling up river.  I took in the palm trees, towering deep green mountain ranges with low hanging clouds kissing the tops and bright orange African tulip trees with their huge blossoms.

The road to Hanalei runs on the right.  When the grass was shorter I used to longingly look at those kayakers, now I am one.

I could feel all of that upper body strength training paying off.  Since we were going up river, we were also going against the current so it wasn't always a casual cruise on the water.  There were times I had to dig in a little to move the kayak in a current or when the wind would spontaneously kick up (there were no trades that day) and it felt good to feel those muscles working.  Our goal was to get to the Hanalei Bridge and beyond and it felt like it took forever to get there and when we finally saw it, it was like a ray of light.  

The Hanalei Bridge...*angels singing*

This rickety old bridge that they were doing maintenance on that morning, symbolized so many things for me.  I couldn't count how many times we'd driven over it and I'd look down and see kayakers on the river and think "I wish that was me" or "I hope I get to do that someday."  Now here I was, one of those kayakers I'd wished I was so many times being looked at by people waiting to cross the bridge.  Maybe one of them was now thinking the same thing about me.  Maybe one day they'll kayak because they looked down and saw that bigger couple they saw did it, so why shouldn't they?  At least I hope so.  I remember paddling toward it and watching the Mr lay down in his kayak while he paddled under it as the workers pounded the wood slats above him.  I was only a few strokes behind and as I went under it, the pounding of the workers seemed to disappear as I watched the sunlight filter through the wooden boards.

I could not get the smile off of my face and the Mr even commented to that effect and how he loved seeing me like that.  My hands were wet and it was taking its toll on my hands.  There was no way to dry them and the paddle and not start drifting so I had to keep with it.  This ripped up about 8 points on my hands and gave me a hellacious blister on one finger that felt like it needed its own zip code.  I didn't care.  I loved kayaking, at least on that little Scrambler XT I was on and we made our way back to the second half of the journey and the terrain changed a bit.  There wasn't much current and the air turned stagnant and a little stinky.  We paddled a little further and decided there wasn't much to see and the Mr reminded me that as far out as we paddle, we have to paddle it back.  We decided to turn around and head back.  We had the small current on our side this time and the sun took a break behind some clouds for us.

Paddling back under the cloud canopy.

Sadly that didn't help the Mr's legs, which he forgot to reapply his sunscreen to before we started.  Three weeks later and he's still pink.  It hurt to look at.  I guess since I got a bad one last year on the back of my neck in Nakalele on Maui, it was his turn.  Sigh.

We enjoyed the paddle back and went to Chicken in a Barrel for lunch after I burned 3270 calories that morning alone between stand up paddle and kayaking.  I think we basically slammed our faces in the meat sampler and screamed "protein!"

I surprised him again the last day we were there.  We usually shop a little or watch the day suck away from the lanai of our condo on the last day but I wasn't sending this trip off that way.  After a big breakfast, I asked what he wanted to do and he said we could walk on the beach.  I said "we could do that or we could go kayaking in Hanalei."  He jumped up and we got our stuff together (including the paddling gloves we bought at a surf shop in Poipu) and off we went.

This time was a little different.  They gave us a different kayak that felt much less stable the second I got pushed off into the water.  It felt much more "tippy" to me and didn't want to track straight.  Of course this day, we had 20 mph tradewinds working against us along with the current heading out to the bay.  We were going to attempt to paddle the bay.  I think in my head that sounded much more romantic a notion than the reality.  I knew it was a shorter paddle out but once you hit a certain point in the river, the ocean's current takes over and sucks you out.  I almost drown in a set in California as a teenager and that panic set in when I felt the choppy waves kicking in and the force of the current turning me.

Getting sucked out to sea while the Mr was snapping a pic.  If I'd had the more stable kayak like last time I might've ventured out but not in that thing!

I told the Mr to go on out to the bay because I know he wanted to.  He asked if I was sure and I said "see ya!" and started paddlin' my ass back to a less choppy part of the river.  I didn't have that fresh upper body strength I had on day 2 the first time I did it but I had to dig in and get turned around and paddled backwards so I could stay in place.  The Mr rode a few waves into the bay and then had to dig in hard to get back into the river.  As we started heading back, a kayak group that were all bumping into each other in tandems were set to get in our way.  We were trying to take pics and this one couple maybe in their late 50's, early 60's purposely got in the picture.  The Mr was not pleased.  I saw them but I was more ticked at how unwieldy this particular kayak was.  It wasn't tracking straight no matter what I did, so I'd have to stroke like 8 hard, deep times on the right side then like twice on the left before the winds and current would try to turn me.  It was like poking my inner sleeping bear because I got pissed off and just dug in with everything in me and blew past those photo bombers.  The Mr was like "aww man!" because he knew he'd have to dig in too and both of our hands were hurting.  He noticed the tandem couple was trying to speed up like "we're not going to have these fat people blow past us!"  (Trust me, they were giving us stink eye, you people with weight issues KNOW the look of judgment vs. your own head)

Arrow depicts how far ahead the tandem couple was when I decided to dig in and rocket past them.  Note the current going against us.

Even when we took a wrong turn, I quickly came out of the canal and ahead of them as they were trying to catch up and blow past us.  Sorry jerks...suck my water!  When I came into the ramp, the dock guy was giving instruction to a couple renting from them.  He directed me to the far ramp and told me to angle on in.  If you miss the turn, you'll crash right into a tree, so you have incentive to get it right.  I came in fast, dragged the paddle in the water, did a hard turn and banked in.  He said "woah!  You've obviously done this a time or two!  You're a pro!  I haven't seen many people come in that well!"  Why thank you!  I thought I might be more sore since we hadn't maintained our 6 days a week routine with exercise but I was glad I wasn't.  A little tightness in the shoulder blades and the hips but nothing bad.

We were very close to almost buying some when we got home but for many reasons it's not a good time.  We've decided we'll rent a few times this summer and see if it's something worth investing in when tax return time comes around.  Trust me, the investment is BIG when you're buying for two just over $2000 for sit on tops along with the hybrid board the Mr wants.  Given we live in an area where there's not sunshine all year round, we need to way investment cost on rate of return on that one for sure.  But it's funny that the Mr loves stand up paddle so much while I feel the same about kayaking.  It's much like our winter preferences of snow shoeing for me and cross country skiing for him.  But just because we don't like the same things doesn't mean we can't be out there enjoying the same terrain by different modes of transportation!

Have you ever been kayaking?  Where's your favorite place to go?

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Stand up paddle in Kauai: Part 2

So where was I?  That's right, I was trying to do stand up paddle.

After falling on two numb feet and then having to hoist my body weight up onto the paddle board using nothing but my brute strength, I tried to tell myself the worst was over.  I fell...big deal but more importantly, I did something I never thought I'd do in having to use that strength and I suppose it was good to know that in a pinch, if I had to depend on it, I could.  I was back to knee paddling again.  I tried to keep the weight off of my ankles this time and it took more core balance.  I did well but I was ready to just be up on the damn thing already.  We got to a shallow part and I mean so shallow the board fin could hit if you were in the wrong place.  I felt a little better about trying there but also knew I could do serious damage if I fell wrong.  The instructor directed me out to a place slightly deeper but where I could still touch.  I was getting ready to try and he said "I just saw you tense up!  You're not ready!"  I loosened my shoulders, took some deep breaths and tried to get out of my head.  When he saw I was more relaxed, he told me to do three long, deep strokes on each side and then stand up and if I felt wobbly, go back down to my knees.  I did three strokes and went to the other side and he told me two more on each side and then stand and when I did, the paddle went into the water with the curve side down...completely stopping me dead in the water.  He told me to try it anyway and to look up to get my balance.  I knew the whole "look at the horizon" thing from the Mr's tape but I swear to God no matter how many times I told myself in my head to look up, it would not do it!  It was like I was physically incapable of looking up no matter how much I wanted to.  My knees were so wobbly and shaky I was like a freshly born Bambi trying to stand.  I felt all of that balance board training fly right out the window.  In reality, it didn't help me with that at all.  Maybe muscle wise but yeah, I don't feel like it was nearly close enough to feeling the same that I would recommend it to people as a way to train.  I kept telling myself under my breath, "you can do this, you can do this!"  As I continued to rock with no way to regain my balance or gracefully go back down to my knees, I tanked over the side in a deliberate tuck and roll fall.  (My own creation)

It was much easier to get back on the board and I laid on my stomach for a second as he encouraged me to try again and I told him to hang on for a second.  I told him the Mr fell four times and I wanted to beat him.  He thought that was pretty funny as the Mr asked what we said.  I didn't repeat myself until later.  The instructor said he makes people try twice then he will spot them.  So he paddled over to me and got in a T formation at the top of my board to keep me stable and now I had to paddle us both.

Copyright Success Along the Weigh

Great.  That nagging voice in my head said "you will fall forward, crush him, drown him underwater and they'll have to peel him off the front of you."  I said "I'm going to kill you if I fall forward!"  He assured me I wouldn't fall on him...glad he had confidence, I didn't.   I stood up, slow and shaky and was finally able to get my damn head to look forward.  Score!  My knees were unstable again with the slight bend in them, which I thought you needed for balance.  I could feel myself losing it again.  I heard the Mr say to try to lock my legs because it helped him.  I did and it did stabilize me which was surprising since we both thought you needed your knees kind of soft for control.  But there I was...stand up paddling!

Copyright Success Along the Weigh

My paddling still kind of sucked but I was moving, there was proof and that's about all I cared about at that point!  We all talked and I apologized to both of them for not looking at them because if I did I was going down.

Copyright Success Along the Weigh

I remembered the Mr talking about the horrific arch pain he had when he did his the first time and because I already had foot issues, mine kicked in with record speed.  I kept trying to relax my feet and keep the weight in my heels but that arch pain was not fun.  As we approached our turnaround point, we had about 400 yards to go when the pain shot from my arches up into my shins and toward my knees.  This is what my chiro would call "pain I shouldn't push through."  I let the Mr know I was having a problem with it and let him know it was more than the arch pain he was feeling.  I kept having visions of me having to be towed back by motorboat (they do that) or having to wuss out and paddle on my butt or something.  It wasn't how I wanted to go out but this injury was not happy with me.  That's when I let the instructor know I had a foot injury.  The information didn't seem to compute with him one way or the other.  I suppose in his mind he was saying something along the lines of "you should've told me up front."  This was also when my shoulder blades really started getting to me, not so much from SUP but from the upper body workout I did the day before.  I mentioned that too and I told him about our weight loss.

That seemed to open up a whole other side of him because he told us how he was also a personal chef and how he loves to cook healthy.  We talked about chia seeds, how we each prepare brussels sprouts and all kinds of health related stuff which thankfully seemed to make the ride back much easier to handle.  My feet finally just went numb from the pain so yeah, the dismount was going to be interesting.  As we approached Hanalei Bay and the small sand bar on the side, he told me to just paddle up and "park" it on the beach.  I did and we high fived as the Mr caught up to us.  We posed for a few pics and then he had to be on his way for his next class.  I think I made him late with how slow I was.  Sorry, C!

Copyright Success Along the Weigh
Paddling back toward the beach, see Bali Hai (mountain from South Pacific) in the middle of the pic?

Copyright Success Along the Weigh
I'm parkin' my ride and the Mr is paddling in.

Our boards safe to shore.

I wanted to check it off the list, I did and that's about that.  I would love to say I picked up a new sport that I'm going to love doing but I honestly think it would be quite a few years before my feet would ever allow me the opportunity.  Moreover, I think for me personally I will have to be much thinner to do that again.  It has nothing to do with my abilities because I know I can do it but I just know that with my muscles in my legs possibly being an issue with me for a long time, the less weight I have on them the better.  I'm not trying to dissuade anyone bigger from doing it.  Just go in knowing at first the board moves more and every little motion affects your balance until you're used to it.  I think most companies will rent 12' boards and to people up to 300 lbs.  Oh yeah, request the 12 footer too.  Unlike the Mr on his first time, I didn't get that more stable 12' board, I got the 11' 6" which doesn't sound like much on paper but trust me, it is on water!

The next day, our anniversary, I was basically crippled.  The pain and soreness were in my ankles, of course, but went up my shins into my abs, hips and thighs.  The one place I didn't feel pain?  My arches.  Weirdos.  I cried a lot the next morning, the Mr massaged my legs as best he could, I did my PT stretches and I existed on pain relievers so I could at least walk.  I might've walked like Frankenstein but it was a mode of transportation.  So there you have it.

I felt like I was seriously being tested and it was kind of like the universe laughing in my face like "HA!  You thought you knew exactly what you were getting into...bwaaahahaha!"  I don't like that feeling of not knowing what to expect but I guess I proved my perseverance and that when faced with public humiliation or finding a way to lift myself on a board out of the water, that seemingly impossible task became possible somehow.  I'm not saying I'll never do it again I just know personally, I want to be a lot thinner before I do and I want to give the feet all the time they need to fully heal first.  Don't worry, I found my groove with something else.

Have you been stand up paddling?  Where?  If not, where would you like to?

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My attempt at stand up paddle in Kauai

The Mr did stand up paddle on the Hanalei River on Kauai back in 2010.  I remember how nervous he was when he did it.  He said before we left he was going to do it and as our trip went on, I never heard much about it.  It was a few days before we left that I said "so are you going to do that or not?"  Feeling I'd thrown down the gauntlet, he called and made his appointment.  He loved it, instantly declared himself a paddler with one session under his belt and has been chomping at the bit to get back to it wherever he could.  I knew when I finally did it, I wanted it to be on the Hanalei as well because, well, it's Kauai.  Where better?  When he did it, I was a Jacqueline of all trades.  I ran the big DSLR camera, the crappy point and shoot AND the video camera all at the same time.  I wanted him to have a ton of pics/angles, etc.  I knew I sadly wasn't going to get the same thing with no one staying behind to document it so I was going to get crappy hard shell fogged plastic pictures of my attempt at stand up paddle.  So fair warning, most of the pics except maybe the first two are gonna suck.  I won't lie, I'm still a little torqued off over that but unless we hired someone to do all of that, I suppose I'm lucky to have anything at all.  At least that's what I keep telling myself.  *Grumble*  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to the Mr for hopping right up on the board, never falling and filming me too while trying to keep up. I'm just being mopey and can't help but shake my head as stuff like that is my norm.

When I decided I hadn't psyched myself out, I ended up never once being nervous at all.  It wasn't because I was all calm, cool and collected but it was more like "I just want this over with so I don't have to think about it anymore."  I also knew that based off of prior trips, the second half of the trip is full of sodium bloat, extra weight and decreased muscle stamina due to not working out every day.  So I scheduled it for our second full day on the island for the first appointment of the day so I'd be at top form.  (We even did the Upper Body Vacation Workout the day before, which was kind of a mistake because I was sore SUP day!)  When we got there, we signed in, met my instructor which was a local guy who was of course, a cutie.  Thanks for the pressure, God.

They loaded the boards into his truck and we followed him down to Hanalei Bay.  I studied the Mr's video from his lesson many times over the past few years, I knew that I would start out in shallow water and the instructor would hold my board while I got my footing.  Well...that's how the Mr's went...that's not how MINE went.  Kick back and pick up a mai tai people.

My instructor was great.  Very nice, personable, knew what he was talking about and got down to business with his lesson.   Your knees at the center of the board, put your knuckles down (with paddle in hand) on the board to push up, pressure in the heels and not in the balls of your feet or you'll go off balance.  Long, deep strokes (I swear I almost busted out laughing 3x as he was talking about doing long, deep strokes...I'm a 7 year old boy), focus on the paddling and not the balance and be completely relaxed because tensing up is going to throw you off.  He reminded me the board is designed to float, I'll be fine and asked if I'm ready to go.  I nervously laughed because even though I didn't have butterflies (I think my compression shorts squashed them all) it's the getting ON the board I have had no way to simulate all of this time.  It was totally out of my control and doing it in front of, you know, a pack of kayakers and other beachgoers watching me wasn't high on my to do list.  I got on pretty gracefully on my knees and he told me to rock back and forth on it to see how stable it was.  Uh yeah, I suppose that's stable...for a board floating on water!  He said he wanted me to paddle out a little bit because it's easier to stand up when you have some momentum.  Pardon?  You want me to paddle real fast then stand up at the same time?  I don't remember signing on for that.  I specifically remembered the Mr having the little scrawny haole ("how-lee" aka white) boy hold his board for him while he got his balance in the shallow part and THEN paddled out.  I would like that guy, please.  He said to sit on my feet and get comfortable first and he'd tell me when to stand.

Oh, should that have been the time I told him I was recovering from a foot injury in which the tendons on the front of my ankles I was now paddling on were all screwed up?  Nope.  I didn't want to be treated any differently than anyone else and I didn't anticipate being on them long.  Just under a quarter of a mile later, my feet were asleep because I couldn't get the long, deep strokes he wanted. (*giggle*)  I was holding myself up from holding myself up.  Finally we got to a point where I could no longer see the bottom of the notoriously shallow bottom of the river.  This is where he wanted me to stand for the first time.  I tried to lift off of my ankles every now and then but the fronts of my ankles were flat against the board like one long after workout quad stretch and my first time standing resulted in me attempting to stand on two numb feet.  You can guess how that ended.

As I kind of dug the refreshing dip as a relief from the hot sun, I then realized I couldn't touch the bottom of the river.  Oh fer real??  I see some shoreline behind my instructor and I tell him we'll need to swim over and I need to get back on the board and he's like "no, you can get back on the board from here."  I looked at him like "whatchu talkin' about Willis!?" and he flashed that smile like "hey, no biggie sistah!" and I said "have you SEEN my size?"  That is the conversation happening below...

He told me to grab the hole in the middle of the board (where you carry it) and then lift my chest up onto the board.  Oh really Mr 145 pound man??  Let me get right on that.  I told him I couldn't and he told me I could so I tried.  While I've got much better upper body strength than ever before it was a lot harder not having a bottom to touch to help propel me up.  It took me a few pushes but I got at least halfway on the board, checked my HRM (I was at 148) and then I told my instructor "I just remembered my husband is taping my big ass from behind, THAT has to be attractive," which is exactly what I'm saying here...

I'll be honest, if I ever thought that was a possibility, I never would've done it.  It was something that never crossed my mind that I would have to hoist my big okole up on a paddle board after having fallen off in the deeper part of the river.  I guess I'm glad to some degree I didn't think of that scenario.  I finally laid flat out on the board to give my ankles a break and regain my composure.  I was spread out like a beached manatee.  I had to go back to paddling on my knees.  This felt really awesome given I did exercises on my knees on the hard floor so even though it was a little padded, I was feeling kind of like it was never going to happen.  The concept of standing up on the board while it was moving just seemed like a completely impossible task for me and you'll find out was.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Back to reality

Oh my Lord, coming back from Hawaii is so hard.  I'm not just talking about crying on the plane as the little Asian lady smiles and waves aloha from the jetway or leaving behind the sweet pups we took on field trips from the Humane Society but my Lord, the JET LAG!  Basically you're having to adjust back an entire day's worth of hours.  It usually takes us about a week before we're within 2 hours of our previous routine or at least enough that the Mr can make it to work without falling asleep at his desk.

We come back and the phone goes on Do Not Disturb (where it doesn't ring but they can leave voice mails) because without fail people have called with some kind of non-issue or idle chat that has interrupted the one alloted nap time we've scheduled to combat the extreme fatigue we get a few hours after waking up.  So yeah, we're still in a fog and have a few more days of that before we get any sense of normalcy back.  We're technically still on vacation until Wednesday so I'm trying to enjoy that.

Yesterday was our first workout and man it sucks how quickly you lose those rock hard muscles even if you got in some workouts on vacation.  We've got the house stocked up with fruits, veggies and lean meats.  I'm a little bummed I have to go back to full time chef but it's time to get back to it.  We ate like we were just introduced to Western food and had 2 weeks to consume it and to say it made us feel like big piles of dung is an understatement.

So we're back...I'll have updates on some of the cool things we did that made this trip the kind I've dreamed of for so long.  The list is long so you'll have to bear with me for doing the longest vacation recap in history over the next week or so but lots of life changers.  Thanks so much for everyone who followed me on Instagram and commented or liked my pics.  Here are a few in case you missed them...

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Until You Fail Hybrid Workout - Lower Body

Happy Friday everyone!  This is a continuation of yesterday's Total Trainer/ Free Weight/ Body weight workout that we do.  It's called "Until You Fail" because there are no set amount of reps per exercise.  You do each move until your muscles reach failure or your form begins to suffer and you immediately stop and move on.  This is the last workout in my series this week.  I hope you've liked them as much as I liked creating them! Let's get to it, shall we?


Narrow Squats - Keeping your legs together and pushing the booty back so the knees don't go over the toes, squat.  Repeat.

TT Leg Press- (I use setting 10*)- Do leg press with attention to not put knees over toes.

Pulsing Lunges (Gilad)- A butt numbing move from Gilad's old workouts.  In a lunge position, do small "pulsing" lunges in a quick manner paying attention to form.  When that leg/rump cheek starts burning, switch legs.

TT Rope Abduction- (I use setting 6*)- Facing the number plates, hold on to the pulley handles and put your feet inside of the rope pulley so the rope is resting on the outer side of your feet.  Keeping a firm grip on the handles, push your feet outward making a V, then bring legs back in.  Repeat.

Deadlifts- Using free weights, bend to about 45 degrees.  Lower the weights until your back is straight at almost 90 degrees.  Use your hamstrings, glutes to raise yourself up, not the lower back.

Sumo Squats- Squat using a wide stance at just slightly more than shoulder width.

TT Rope Push Downs-  Using the same basic stance as the abduction exercise, put your feet on top of the rope instead of letting it rest on the side of your feet.  Push the rope down toward the floor so you're working the hamstrings and glutes.

Standing Glute Kickbacks- Keeping your legs straight, kick one leg back behind you until you feel it in the glute and return to start position, repeat and switch legs.  You can use a chair or wall for balance if you need to.

TT Cross Legged Leg Press- (I use setting 10*)- Do a leg press but cross one leg over the other knee.  (Like you would just sitting down).  Focus on hamstrings and glutes and don't let knees go over toes.

Leg Lifts- Lay on the floor on your side.  Lift leg from closed position toward the ceiling so if someone was looking at you, you'd look like an L...for leg lifts...sounds like an episode of Sesame Street.  Repeat then switch legs.

Lateral Lunges w/weights- (I use 20 lbs*)- Standing with the weight in your left hand, lunge to the right side so the weight in your left hand almost touches your right ankle.  Keep your back straight and chest up.  Repeat and switch legs.

TT Calf Raises- (I use setting 10*)- Start in leg press position but just rise up onto your toes and lower.  Repeat but do not push past the point of discomfort, these can hurt like a mutha the next day if you do.  I won't tell you how I know that.

Step Ups (stairs/bench/step)- Using an aerobic step with 4 risers, a weight bench or 2 steps at your home, step up onto the object, step back down, switch legs and repeat.

Leg Curls using weight-  (I use 15 lb weight*)- Put a free weight on the floor where your feet will hit.  Lay on the floor and hold the weight by using your feet to grab it, then raise your feet toward your glutes and lower.  Repeat.  Don't use a weight that is too high for you, the position is awkward.

Inner Thigh Raises-  Lay on your right side.  Bend your left leg somewhat behind you and lay your right leg with your inner thigh pointing toward the ceiling and toes pointing to the right.  Raise your right leg toward the ceiling with your inner heel slightly higher than than your toes.  Repeat and switch legs.

TT Side Leg Press Split Squats (chair/bench) - Using a chair or weight bench behind you, get into the lunge position and put your left foot on the chair (top of the foot resting on the object).  Lower yourself into a lunge on the right leg.  Repeat then switch legs when you're tired.

TT Leg Curls using pulleys-  (I use setting 6*.  Requires a leg curl rope pulley for the machine)- Hook up the leg straps to your ankles, lay face down with your legs at about 90 degrees.  Press your legs straight, focusing on the quads.  Repeat.

Fast Feet -  Last move!  Run in place quickly to shake off some of the soreness you might already have.


Consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program.  User assumes all risks!

*= this is what I use and I'm telling you as a frame of reference.  NOT suggesting you use those settings/weights.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Until You Fail Hybrid Workout - Upper Body

This is a kick ass hybrid workout I made in March that utilizes our Total Trainer (or Total Gym for those of you who have one of those), free weights and even a resistance band.  It's one of our favorite new workouts.   There are no set number of reps or time limits, you do each exercise until your muscles reach failure or your form starts to suck, then you immediately shake it out and go on to the next exercise.  Because you're smart people, I likely don't have to tell you this but in case someone's having an off day, don't exercise until you're in pain or injure yourself; be smart please.  ;-)

I'm sure I don't need to explain this but just in case the FW indicates a free weight exercise and TT indicates a Total Trainer (or Total Gym) exercise unless otherwise noted.  I LOVE this workout and I hope those of you with the availability of this equipment whether at home or the gym do as well!  The weights listed are the weights *I* use, NOT what I suggest you use!  It's more a frame of reference.  

FW Military Press-  20 lbs. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and slight bend in the knees.  Push weights above head until almost fully extended then lower down to shoulder height and repeat until failure.

TT Tricep Row- Level 6-  Sitting with your feet on the incline and booty on the bottom, row your arms to your side and slightly behind you, hold for 2 seconds and repeat until failure.

FW Lateral Raise- 15 lbs.  With a slight bend at the elbows, raise the weights to shoulder level and slowly lower to the hips.  Repeat until failure.

TT Chest Fly- Level 6-  Sitting with your back to the numbers scale (or pointing down), do chest flys and repeat until failure.  (Do not over-extend your arms behind you!)

FW Rows-  25 lbs.  Bending at the hips to just above 90 degrees, slight bend in the knees, row the weights from an outstretched position from the floor, close to the armpits so the shoulder blades almost touch.  Slowly release back toward the floor and repeat until failure.

FW Tricep Extensions- One 25 lb weight.  Gripping the weight with both hands, place behind your head with elbows bent at 90 degrees.  Raise above your head being careful not to hit your head with the weight.  Repeat until failure.

TT Side Cable Pulls- Level 6-  Sitting with your legs pointing to the left and crossed ankles, grab both handles and pull across your chest so you're pulling yourself up and down.  Repeat until failure then switch to the other side.

FW Front Raise- 15 lbs.  With weights by your hips on either side, raise the left up to shoulder height in front of you then switch arms and repeat with the right.  Do both until failure.

TT Push Offs (Decline)- Level 6-  Lying on your stomach on the decline with your face close to the floor, use the arm bar where the footboard would usually go and push off using the position that's most comfortable.  Repeat until failure.

FW Hammer Curls- 20 lbs.  Holding each weight like a hammer, curl up and down repeating until failure.

TT Bicep Curls-Level 6-  Your choice as to whether you want to do incline or decline position.  Repeat until failure.

FW Upright Rows-  25 lbs.  With both weights in front of your legs, row up to shoulder height with elbows pointed out and hold for 2 seconds before releasing back down.  Repeat until failure.

FW Shoulder Rolls-  25 lbs.  Roll shoulders forward and back until failure.

Lawnmowers (Resistance Bands)-  2nd highest resistance band- Putting your foot on the resistance band about 1/4 of the way down from the handle you use, stand up straight and pull back like a row or like you're starting a push mower being careful not to rotate your back.  Repeat until failure and switch arms.

TT Pull Ups- Level 6-  Lying on your stomach facing the number scale on an incline, use the arm bar to do pull ups.  Repeat until failure.

FW Shrugs-  25 lbs.  With the weights at your side, shrug your shoulders up toward your ears.  Focus on using your shoulder muscles, NOT your neck!  You don't want to look like a pro-wrestler!  Repeat until failure.

TT Hanging Pulls- Level 6-  Lying your back with your feet tucked on the board under your booty (on a decline), grab the handles and allow yourself to hang until your knees almost touch the footboard.  Pulse upward concentrating on working the triceps until failure.

Tricep Dips (on stairs or bench)-  With the bottom of your palms against a stair or weight bench, get in a crab or bridge position.  Push up and lower down concentrating on your triceps until failure.

Pattycakes-  With a partner, do pattycakes in a fast rhythm varying height and speed to shake out the arms which should be like jelly and get one last kick of cardio.  If you don't have a partner, do it in the air, against a weight bag, etc.


Consult a doctor before starting this or any fitness program.  User assumes all risks!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hotel / Vacation Ab Workout

This is a good, easy workout for your hotel since you pretty much just need your body weight for 99% of it. Welcome to my quick but effective ab workout!

Crunches-  Lying on the floor with your hands supporting your neck, crunch up toward your knees until your shoulder blades are off the floor, hold, release slowly.

Reverse Crunches-  Lying on your back with the lower back supported, raise feet in the air and push your feet up toward the ceiling using your abs lifting your booty off the floor.

Elbow to Knee Crunches-  When doing crunches bring your right elbow toward your left knee, go down, then come up with the left elbow toward right knee.

Sit Ups-  With bent knees, sit up, hold, release back down.

Sit Ups with Rotation-  When you get 3/4 to the top of the sit up finish with a rotation to the right, release then repeat on opposite side.

Oblique Crunches-  Lying your side on the ground with legs at 45 degrees, put your hand against the back of your head (like you're supporting your head during a regular crunch).  Crunch your obliques by trying to reach your elbow to your hip.  Repeat and switch legs.

Oblique Crunches with Legs-  Same as above but as you're crunching up, lift your hips/legs off the floor so you're almost making a V from the side.

Raises-  Like a reverse crunch but bend at the knees and bring them into the chest by rocking back.

Planks-  Facing the ground, rest on your forearms and toes sucking in your stomach to strengthen the core.  Hold the position until you almost face plant...but don't.

Side Planks-  Lay on your side, using the forearm on the floor, press up and hold the position.  If you're feeling strong, extend the arm holding your body weight at an angle.

Superman-  Lying flat on your stomach, put your arms in front of you like Superman and arch your back so your arms and legs lift up from the ground.  Hold the position, release and repeat.

Backpack Wood Chops- Grab a heavier backpack, tote or even a gallon of water/juice and do standing wood chops.  With object extended in front and slightly above eye level, chop downward toward one hip, raise it back up then chop down toward the other hip.

Consult a doctor before starting this or any fitness program.  User assumes all risks!

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lower Body - Body Weight Workout

This is a great lower body workout that requires no equipment so you can do them anywhere.  The PT Exercises are obviously for me but if you happen to have PT that you're skipping ( know there are a few of you out there that are guilty!  ;-) ) then consider that your reminder!  

Squats-  Do regular and/or sumo squats.  Booty back and no knees over the toes.

Front Knee Raises- Do knee raises with arms raised over the head at a fast pace.

Side Lunges-  Lunge to the right making sure to keep the knee pointing forward then raise back up and switch legs.

Kickbacks (ankle to butt)-  Alternate legs kicking the ankle/heel to the butt.  Get arms involved to raise cardio effect.

Skaters-  "Hop" from side to side getting low and mimicking a speed skater. 

Fast Feet-  Run in place fast, get arms involved to increase cardio.

Cross Over Knee Raises-  Regular knee raises but bring right knee to left elbow and vice versa.

Kickbacks (Glutes)- Keeping your leg straight, lift your leg behind you until you feel it in the glutes.  Do equal number on each leg.

Wall Squats-  Squat low against a wall and hold the pose for 60 seconds.

Calf Raises-  Raise up on toes, hold for 3 seconds, lower, repeat.

PT Exercises (for me)

Consult a doctor before starting this or any fitness program.  User assumes all risks!

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Upper Body - Body Weight Workout

Now that we're firmly settled into the new house for the week and no pool is available to us, we'd better be doing this one this week!  If we don't, then we suck.  I really want to do at least 4-6 "real" workouts this trip on days we're less active.

There are 3 rounds.  The first round is 90 seconds for each move, 60 seconds for the next round and 30 seconds for the final round.

Speedbags-  "Roll" both hands around each other like you're a boxer working the speedbag.

Jab/Cross- Classic boxing move of jabbing forward with one hand and doing a cross punch with the other hand across your body.  Switch off halfway through.

Hook/Upper Cut- Hook punch with one hand and upper cut with the other, switch halfway through.

Push Ups- I hope that's self explanatory!

Tricep Dips-  Place the bottom of your palms against the edge of a chair or bed,  straighten your legs in front of you then dip your rear down toward the floor and push up to the original position.  Repeat.

Walking Push Ups- Get in push up position.  Bring your right forearm down, followed by your left forearm so you're in a low plank position then push up with your left, then your right so you're back in the original push up position.  Repeat.

Side Plank- Lie on your side with your right hand or elbow on the ground.  Lift yourself up to form a plank with your right arm straight and your left arm on your side.  Hold for half the time then switch to the other side.

Decline Push Up- Get in the push up position and put your feet on a bed or chair and do push ups.

One Arm "Tote" Rows-  Grab your tote from the plane or backpack and do standing one armed rows.

Incline Push Up Mountain Climbers- Against a chair, get in push up position.  Do a push up and bring your knee in toward your chest as you lower into the push up.  Switch legs when you come up then lift the other knee toward your chest as you go back down.

Consult a doctor before starting this or any fitness program.  User assumes all risks!

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Poll Week! Poll 5: Workouts

Poll week has come to an end.  I hope you've enjoyed it and enjoyed seeing others answers!  Let's jump into the last one, shall we?

When I tell people I workout at home, I get the feeling I'm in a minority.  Some people have gone as far to say "oh God, that would drive me nuts, I do real exercise."  Oh, I'm sorry.  Apparently I magically lost 220+ pounds doing fake exercise?  *smack*

I'm not a runner, don't want to and honestly, with the foot, probably couldn't now even if I wanted to which is fine with me.  I don't do cross fit and I don't really have any desire to do that either.  Well I think I'd need to be much lighter than I am not to do it without killing myself and again, the foot would not appreciate the pounding some of those exercises require.  I don't like competition in the workout arena.  I know some people get off on that but I'm not one of 'em.  Everyone and their mother are going to Zumba classes.  I have not a single inkling to jump on that bandwagon.  Just let me be to do my faves in the comfort of my home!

I think it's great we all have different ways to get fit and workout and I don't consider my way any better than anyone else's way, it's just what we prefer and what works for us.

What is your preferred way to get your exercise on?

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