Busy first week of the New Year!

Wow, it was a busy first week of the New Year! Started out by spending New Years Day at the Orange Bowl with my niece, Charity…

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My friend Ed had 2 tickets that he could not use and graciously gave them to me… THANK YOU, ED!!! Charity and I had a blast!

Then had a few crazy, and I mean CRAZY days at work and then my mom came to visit. Thank God for her sanity and the balance she brought to me this week. Her advise to simmer down and let go was truly needed!

Sydnie and I have started Couch to 5K at the beginning, so she can work up to some decent runs. She’s doing great on the Paleo diet with me at home and has stopped complaining about me starving her, for the most part 😀

And I took two 4.5 mile walks with a friend who is fun to chat and walk with. Both of us wanting to get in and stay in shape. I’ve made it a goal to do this walk, across the big bridge in Stuart and back, 3 times a week, minimum… I’ve done it twice this week. Here’s the bridge:

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It’s a mile across, each way, with a nice elevation and the views are wonderful.

I’ve also been attending church regularly. Rick Evans is the leader of the church and is married to my dear friend from school, Natalie. He isn’t preachy, they don’t pass a collection plate, he’s an amazing storyteller and I love it. I’ve been taking the grandkids and they enjoy it, as well. Natalie is an accomplished photographer and took pictures a few weeks ago. The church meets at a community center on the beach… The joys of living in south Florida!

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That’s Sydnie, Sofia and Sadie with me.

I had grandkids with me all weekend, off and on… Faelynn, Sydnie and Sadie spent Friday night and Faelynn and Sydnie (who lives with me) on Saturday night… At some point the all curled up in my bed 🙂

So that’s the weekly wrap up… Week One of 2013 is in the books!

How did y’all spend New Years Day??

Day 4 – National Health Blog Post Month

Today’s topic: Disclosure post. How did you decide what to share? What do/don’t you share?

Well, as most of you know, I disclose almost everything 😀

However, when I started this Dukan journey in August 2011, I did not disclose my weight. In fact, I didn’t disclose my beginning weight until after I was almost thru with my weight loss. I did give hints the last few months of my diet, but it was painful to admit I was 255 pounds when I started the diet.

And just as a reminder, this is what 255 pounds look like:

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And this is what 146 looks like:

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I’m thinking that whole clean eating and living thing is worth it!

Ciao!

Day 3 – National Health Blog Post Month

Todays’s blog prompt… “I don’t know about this, but I’d like to.”

The effects of a high protein-low carb diet on running, exercise and training for a triathlon.

There is A LOT of conflicting information out there in regard to eating a Paleo/Primal diet and how it affects your body during and after high impact exercise. Even some of the most hard core Primal supporters like Mark at Mark’s Daily Apple says its nearly impossible.

Mark says:

So, how does an endurance athlete go as “primal as possible”? Here’s my take. When you go for endurance training, you face (among other physical strains) the necessity of increased carb intake and all its negative results (e.g. inflammation, AGEs, impaired immune function, etc.). Myself, I had a half-gallon of ice cream, loaf of bread and cereal habit going to refuel every day for years. At the time, I didn’t see an obvious impact on my performance, but I later realized I was causing long term damage. A better, more Primal approach to a training diet includes meals full of veggies (universal recommendation, yes) as well as the judicious use of fruits and tubers for added “healthier than grains” carb sources. (Of course, your diet should include a hefty supply of protein and natural fats.)

So his suggestion is to add tubers, lots of veggies and fruits to boost the carb intake during events and training. I’m going to work on that this week.

What health info would you like to know more about? Or what health info would you like featured here? Working on doing research everyday to continue improving my life 🙂

Ciao!

My colleagues went to Bali and all I got was this very cool outfit…

On a side note, I am 3 pounds over my “5 pound window”, which is 143-148. I was 151 this morning… ACK 😦

I totally know what caused this, lol! Halloween and Disney. They should both be banned! Going to do 3 PP (pure protein) days to knock it out. I’ve also not been getting in my flaxseed meal (I use that instead of oat bran) on a daily basis, so need to be more mindful of that! I’m back to running and it feels so good and I’m back to near daily yoga, even if its only 10 minutes!

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Day 1 – National Health Blog Post Month

So, this month is National Health Blog Post Month and I’m going to attempt to put out two posts a day for this month 🙂

The first assignment – “Why I write about my health”

I write about my health because I began my amazing journey 15 months ago by starting the Dukan Diet. I decided to post daily to hold myself accountable to myself, my family and friends and it has grown to so much more!

I’m most proud to say that I’ve maintained my weightloss within a 5 pound range for SIX MONTHS!!

Do you write about your health? If so, why?

Ciao!

Here’s a few pics of my amazing week I’m having…

Yoga on the beach, photo by the Amazing Mona

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Halloween Day at work…

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Me and Angie Z…

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Me and BeBe…

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Blogger Awards

Phew… I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster that never stops! Whirlwind vacation and now I’ve been back for a very busy week at work and my out of work life.

This week I’ve been nominated by 3 wonderful bloggers for 3 different blogger awards and of course I’m honored and humbled.

First up is the One Lovely Blog Award… nominated by MJ. I love her blog about life, kids growing up and her celebration as a naturalized American Citizen. Thank you, MJ for thinking of me!!

Rules of  acceptance:
*thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post – done!
*share 7 things about yourself
*nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire
*contact your chosen bloggers to let them know

Seven things about me:

I played clarinet in middle school and high school…

I’m Facebook friends with most of the other people in this photo and share a birthday with one of them… how awesome is it to have life long friends?

2. My favorite vegetable is…

Grilled asparagus, lightly brushed with coconut oil and marinated with crushed garlic for a half hour before grilling… NOM!

3. I love reading crime novels and keeping notes of typos and emailing the author 🙂 I know… crazy stalker behavior, but I can’t help it… especially if I’ve spent the money on a hard cover… here’s the worst offender… yet my favorite author ever!

His character, Alex Cross, is my favorite book character… ever!

4. I’ve visited, according to my passport, 31 countries!

I had to add 20+ pages in it 2 years ago, and now there are only 11 pages with nothing stamped on it.

5. This year alone I have taken off in an airplane and landed 20 times! This is one of my favorite shots from flying…

Flying between the clouds…

6. I often wonder what it’s going to be like to move back to Florida and not be a rock star. Here’s a video of me in the news last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jySUb3O-f3A and this is an awards ceremony… please note the music in the background… it is played frequently… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfP-foh90zU … I feel like royalty 🙂

7. I’m sarcastic… I don’t think this is a big surprise to most people that know me!

Next up, I was nominated by buddy Anna for the Reader Appreciation Award. Anna just celebrated her 49th birthday yesterday and is like a soul sister… we have so much in common! We’re going to do our first triathlon together next year in Wisconsin, along with trigrandmatry and Sandra… who are my triathlon inspiration! Anna’s blog is about her home grown organic garden, her weight loss journey and life in general… check her out!

How it works:

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate as many bloggers as you like, Or 10, you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.

OK… 10 questions!

1. What is your favorite color?  Purple (same as soul sister, Anna!)

2. What is your favorite animal?  Koala

3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?  Um, no brainer, coffee!! (same as Anna!)

4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook

5. What is your favorite pattern?  Squares

6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?  Giving

7. What is your favorite number?  13

8. What is your favorite day of the week?  Every single one my feet hit the floor (same, same)

9. What is your favorite flower?  Pink Carnations

10. What’s your passion?  LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST

And then 3rd up… Constance at becomingshehulk nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Constance is one of my Dukan heroes! She lost more than 110 pounds and has kept it off and is rockin’ her body with working towards competitions!!! She is an inspiration to many, many of us!

The questions to answer for the Kreativ Blogger award are the same as above.. woo hoo! Less work 🙂

Nominations… I’m going to do these in a separate blog because I want to do them right and not renominate people for awards they’ve already received 🙂 So give me a few days to work through it all and I’ll send out messages about that 🙂

Thank you to Anna, MJ and Constance for the nominations AND the support I’ve received from the 3 of you… my heart swells with appreciation!!!

Ciao!

Travel – Not Quite Back in the Groove

Exhausted. Knackered. Achy.

Weight? Who knows, but the pants still fit… scale is missing in my “delayed” luggage. I did stick to my diet while on my vacation and since I’ve been back in China.
Exercise? Worry? Does that count? I can’t run, since my running shoes are also in my “delayed” luggage… along with clothes and underwear! I did walk all over Shanghai yesterday and to and from work on Saturday morning and to work, home for lunch and back to work so far today racked up 3+ miles.

That about explains the 3 ways I’m feeling right now. Even after having an 8 hour sleep
last night. Jet lag sucks… BIG TIME. So, I’m not quite back in my groove, but feel that an update is overdue, for sure!

I left Florida on Thursday morning at 1145 a.m. for a flight to New York’s JFK. As I blogged before, they actually have Wifi on flights in the States now… how cool is that? Nice 1.5 hour layover there then off to Beijing, except the flight is delayed and they are talking about me not making my flight to Hangzhou, blah, blah, blah… I actually said to the lady at the counter, “seriously, please don’t tell me that… I have travel anxiety related to timeliness!!!” I decided I was going to try not to fret over it… what will be, will be. They made up some of the time, but the transfer time was close in Beijing and I had to go through immigration, collect my bags and then recheck my bags and get on the flight. I had 47 minutes!

I sailed through immigration and went to the baggage carousel… one of my bags was the first one on the carousel!!! What luck! LOL… until after 25 minutes, the bags stopped coming and I realized that A. I had 15 minutes to haul my butt to my connecting flight and B. my 2nd bag was missing… PANIC set in. I ran to the missing baggage office and they put my baggage number in and found that my bag was still in New York… tears were shed, I’m a cry baby when I’m tired, and I ran to check my bag for the Hangzhou flight and actually made it on the plane… because it too was delayed.

I get to Hangzhou at midnight, collect my one bag and head to the lost baggage office to file a claim. It is now officially Saturday morning (I’ve missed all of Friday being in the air) and I have to be at work at 8 a.m. Through more tears I realize that the bag I have is NOT the bag with my clothes and my Brooks Addiction running shoes and MOST importantly MY SCALE… can anyone say MELTDOWN!?! She files the claim with the Air China office in New York and says, as she hands me the paper… it’s just “delayed” baggage, not “lost”… with the sweetest little smile. It’s hard to be angry with her 😦

I get a taxi home and fall into bed after loving all over Tits the Cat, who has apparently missed me immensely. He insisted I carry him around like a baby for half an hour! I got into bed at 3 a.m. and woke up at 558 a.m…. ugh! Made coffee, checked email and got ready for work… at work by 730 a.m. On my way to work I picked up tea eggs… I was so happy to see my favorite tea egg lady…

Those are the tea eggs in that ginormous crockpot!

I think the exhaustion hit me around noon. I felt like someone was sitting on my head! But I made it through most of the day. At 3 I decided to leave and called my friend Alice, a midwife from Florida who is visiting her son here in Hangzhou. They just happened to be at my favorite restaurant in town, The Vineyard, and I took a taxi there to meet them. It was so wonderful to see her. I think it’s been 15 years or so since I’ve seen her in person, but she is the one who inspired me to walk the Camino 2 years ago.

In bed Saturday night before 10 and up at 458… UGH! No problem, got up, made a breakfast of steak and onions and showered and dressed and headed out the door to get the train to Shanghai! A fellow blogger, Mona, was in China for a summer assignment and we were going to meet in person! How awesome is that? I love her photography on her blog and even though I was knackered as all get out, it was worth the trip to meet her!

Mona on the Bund… The Pearl in the background.

Walking to the Bund.

We met at her hotel and walked to the subway. We took that down to the Bund, which is the waterfront walk on the Pearl River. It was an overcast day, but we still had a good time! After walking the Bund we google mapped my favorite restaurant in Shanghai the Blue Frog. Unfortunately the address was incorrect and we ended up walking a heck of a lot more than we intended… no worries… the lunch and company was worth it!

On the walk we saw lots of cool things and some random things like the fresh piece of asparagus on the stairs of a walk over and this beautiful cherry in the gutter…

Cherry in the gutter… streets of Shanghai

After the trip back to Mona’s hotel, I taxied up to the subway and then took Line 2 to the Family Mart… the grocery store that I can get my Fat Free yogurt. Bought 8 containers and a few other items and then took the subway back to the Shanghai train station… it was a wonderful day!

Bye-bye Shanghai

Back to my flat… call to Air China “delayed” baggage office… “good news Ms. Blankenship, your bag is on the flight to Beijing! You should have bag tomorrow noon”… well, my assistant has just called and been told it’s still in New York… I’m trying not to panic. I’d like to have my clothes, my shoes and MY SCALE… my Vivien tells me it will come, “this is China, it’ll happen”… I take a deep breath, come back to my office and pray… yes… this is China… things do happen.

As I finish this post I am listening to the soundtrack of Rock of Ages… the music makes me HAPPY 😀 I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this movie. I know that it got crappy reviews, but they were wrong. It’s a funny, happy inducing movie and thinking of Tom Cruise (lovingly referred to as TC) singing and dancing “Pour Some Sugar on Me” gives this 48 year old giggles and smiles… If I was in the States… I’d probably have seen it 3 times already!

And now… Vivien has just walked into my office and said MY BAGS ARE GOING TO BE HERE, IN OUR OFFICE IN 2 HOURS!!!!!!!!!! OK, trying not to hold my breath, trying not to be too optimistic, but they asked her for directions to the hospital. Dear Lord, I pray it’s MY bag… lol.

With that… I’m outta here… if anyone has a secret to getting rid of jet lag quicker, I’d be ever so grateful!!!

Ciao!

“I’m hot sticky sweet, from my head, my head to my feet”… Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard… redone by the yummy TC 😀