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!!!


“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 😀

Dukan – Days 261 & 262 – Epiphany

Well, it’s been a couple of days since I wrote a post. Mostly because it’s very difficult to write posts on my iPhone… which I have to do at my flat. C–hina has a problem with ba—-logs and 😀 -book 🙂 And blocked my V — P — eN on my home IP. So the only place I can use it is at Werk 🙂  Talk about paranoid… hehe. So on my days off I only have access through my iPhone. Anyhoo…..

Saturday was a half day at work and a PV Day 🙂
Sunday was a day off from work and a PV Day 🙂

Over the course of those two days I GAINED 1.1 pounds/0.50 kgs
Total Weight Loss: 90.7 lbs/41.21 kgs

Not worried. I ate everything right, so it wasn’t that. And I’ve gotten plenty of exercise, so it isn’t that… I think it’s just a fluctuation. I do have to say that these last 10 pounds are going to be the hardest to lose… oh wait… i’m getting the fat sucked out this week… YAY! 😀  Liposuction is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, I have to do a marketing event for the hospital in Wenzhou in the morning… gotta “pay” for that free plastic surgery.

So, after Thursday morning’s weigh in, I won’t weigh myself for 10 days. I don’t want to freak out. I know that with the natural inflammatory response of surgery, I will gain, that is the bottom line. Kitty (who will be with me throughout my surgery and recovery, bless her heart) has already said I want the fat that they take out of me WEIGHED… LOL. Kitty will also be taking pictures through the entire surgery and after AND she’ll write the post for Friday and possible Saturday… with pics. She’s such a good doobie!

The bad news 😦  Sadly, May 15th will be Kitty’s last day with me. As per Chinese tradition, she is “old” at the ripe age of 25 for not being married. Her mother is making her go back to her village and hook up with this guy she met over Chinese New Year. She promises me she won’t marry him if she doesn’t fall in love with him… and I believe her. She’s a smart girl and has learned a lot from her American momma (me)… LOL  I am going to miss her like crazy. Vivi (not to be confused with Vivien aka ViviMokaLaka) is my new personal assistant. Nice girl, lots of experience, rolls her eyes at my sarcasm, because she gets it… she’ll fall in love with me… they all do 🙂

Saturday… INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE MIDWIFE. Since I was being a right shit about the fact that the Director of Nursing canceled our activities, I boycotted morning handover and rounds, did some PowerPoint work and left at noon to go hang out at the Vineyard with ViviMokaLaka and watch Aussie Football. I am a Geelong Cats fan, by association. And I really enjoy watching the game. I’ve stopped yelling things like “offsides” and “that was holding”… because those silly rules DO NOT APPLY!

Me on International Midwives Day:


I spent so much time at the Vineyard on Saturday that I ended up having lunch and dinner. Reuben, the chef, is from Boston and he reminds me of my son Nick. He also makes me whatever I want to stick to the Dukan Diet, which is awesome. I had an amazing grass-fed steak on a bed of gorgeous greens for lunch and then for dinner he made me a hamburger with sauteed mushrooms and onions and a wee bit of low-fat mozzarella… YUM!

**Added after post was completed, but before I published it… Ironically, while previewing my post, Reuben and his wife came in to my office! So we took a pic:

Notice the Chinese soda in his hand… he didn’t bring me anything 😦

Sharing lunch with the Vineyard cat:

She lives in the restaurant… I think it’s pretty cool… other people, not so much.

It’s all about the presentation… look how gorgeous this burger plate is!

Simple burger… plated perfectly 😉

Made it home around 830 and went out for a 35 minute run… in bed, sound asleep by 1030!

Sunday was my day off. I woke up bright and early at 535 a.m… WHAT THE HECK??? Tried to tell myself that this was a day off… we could sleep in  until like 630, but nope, I was up. I hit the ground running. Made a cup of coffee and went nuts in the house cleaning. I finished up organizing Lucy’s boxes, which she is shipping back to Dubai, put my refrigerator magnets and pictures back on my fridge, LOL. Packed up two big suitcases full of stuff I don’t need here in China, to take back to the States in June when I’m home on vacation, cleaned out my closet… AGAIN… I barely have any clothes left, NOT COMPLAINING, did every piece of laundry in my house, including the sheets on both beds and remade with fresh “summer” linen (anyone want to come hang out? There’s clean sheets on the bed!!), packed up for my trip to Wenzhou this week (most underwear and PJ’s since I’m going to be down… and hey, PJ’s on the train ride back are appropriate in this country… lol). I also packed up my wok and the stupid hot plate I used for the first 4 months I was here, until I realized the gas stove worked… lol. I will use these to cook for myself in the hospital in Wenzhou… yes, I’m sticking to my damn diet! I swept, mopped and wiped everything down… and that was all BEFORE 9 A.M.! I slipped down and bought a few tea eggs from the tea egg lady and went back upstairs to check emails and FB. Phew! What a morning. In the afternoon my groceries were delivered from Shanghai and I separated out the meats, cut them into chunks for stir frying, and packaged up some for taking to Wenzhou. And at 430 Kira and Dan came over for a visit with the kids and Velina and Robin popped in with their baby, too. Kira and Dan are headed back to the States in a few days and I’m trying to get my fill of them before they go! Soren totally wrecked my immaculate house, lol, but he’s so stinkin’ adorable, I don’t care… here he is after drinking down his 2nd yogurt of the evening…

So cute I could eat him!

Soren… Momma Sandi’s gonna send you the Ayi bill for this week, buddy 🙂

After they left, I checked emails once again before bed… I had 2 emails from people who follow my blog (I AM SO AMAZINGLY HUMBLED THAT YOU ALL FOLLOW THIS BLOG). One of them was asking advise and the other one thanking me privately for a “put on your big girl panties and stop making excuses” comment I put on one of their blog posts. And this, is what I went to bed thinking about… excuses. And a long-time friend talked about starting her hcg injections AGAIN and I told her to start eating and stop using injections. And then this morning, a fellow blogger MJ, from emjayandthem, wrote this quote on a post from a couple of days ago: “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always had.” And then one of my favorite momma’s I delivered a million moons ago had this to say on Facebook:

Edited…. Sue sent me this link to the article that this quote comes from:
“Fat looks on the surface as though it is about a failure of restraint. It isn’t actually any more an issue of restraint than it is for many thin or medium-sized people. Most eating problems don’t show. Fat, which may or may not mean an eating problem, does. That doesn’t make it immoral or contemptible. It doesn’t mean the fat individual has faulty judgment or inferior leadership skills. It certainly doesn’t sanction discrimination. What it does demonstrate is that cruelty and stupidity arises when we are pressed to make our bodies into uniform shapes. This creates widespread body anxiety, and makes us search for a scapegoat to feel secure. We know from other forms of discrimination what a fruitless and lousy deal that is.”
And my reply was this:
“I have to disagree with this, Sue. Having lost more than 90 pounds over the past 8 months from learning restraint, I have to say that fat is just that… FAT. It comes from improper eating and from improper movement. When I started my journey to get rid of the fat I walked just 20 minutes a day. I hear people use the excuse all the time, that they don’t have time… my answer… shut off the computer for 20 minutes and take a walk. That was MY answer. My friend John is a life coach, we had a serious talking in August, before I started my quest to lose the fat and the one thing that I took away from his teachings is that we just use excuse after excuse for the way we look… how unhealthy we are. Fat is Fat… Fat is not healthy. A certain amount of fat is healthy, but not obesity. We get fat from poor choices. And once we stop making excuses and recognize obesity for what it is, instead of coddling each other to make us feel better, our nation will get healthier. Love you and hope you’re feeling better soon ♥”
And collectively that should be an epiphany to all us… FAT IS NOT HEALTHY. OBESITY IS NOT HEALTHY… STOP MAKING FRIGGIN’ EXCUSES AND DO JUST TWO SIMPLE THINGS… EAT BETTER AND MOVE! It really is quite simple! The first person who really, really pointed this out to me was John Geraghty, in August, during my life coaching session with him. And at the time it made sense… but now… 90+ pounds later… IT MAKES SENSE! REAL SENSE!
The bottom line is you have to realize that being fat and obese is not healthy and stop making excuses… NOPE, it’s not your thyroid, NOPE, it’s not your diabetes, NOPE it’s not PCOS or any other malady you have… it’s your life style. It’s the crap you eat and the fact that you aren’t MOVING. And if you simply… SIMPLY change those two things, it will make all the difference in your world. Stop saying you DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME to cook… I cook every single meal in UNDER 15 MINUTES… stop making excuses you DON’T HAVE TIME TO EXERCISE… get off your butt and walk out the door and get in 20 minutes… that’s ALL you need. 20 minutes… Turn off your computer and go do it… that is after you’ve finished reading my post… LOL.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Mel at wwangel… she inspires me to get off my ass and run… Thank you, Mel for pushing me harder than you probably know you do 🙂 I am proud to know someone who is running the NYC marathon this year… You Go my Kiwi Friend!


Dukan – Day 258

Wednesday was a PV day 🙂

Daily Weight Loss: 0 – stay the same day
Total Weight Loss: 91.8 lbs/41.71 kgs

I’m going to keep this short… my momma always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”… LOL

Breakfast: 2 tea eggs
Lunch: 1 tin of tuna and 1 tea egg
Dinner: Shrimp with mushrooms and garlic stems with cumin and curry powder
Snack: pot of FF yogurt with bran and Splenda

1 mile walk to work
1.5 mile walk from 35mm coffee house to home
3.66 mile/5.97 km run in the evening…

May 2nd run… B210K Week 1 Day 2

And as easy as that, my blog is done for the day. Here’s hoping the week ends on a high note!



Dukan – Day 257 & Liebster Award

Tuesday was a PP Day 🙂

Daily Weight Loss: 0.4 lb/0.2 kg
Total Weight Loss: 91.8 lbs/41.71 kgs
**yesterday’s daily weight loss should have been 0.7 lbs, not 1 lb… I must have put transposed the numbers, so if anyone is following that, there has been an adjustment 🙂

Tuesday was May Day… May 1st and it is apparently a public holiday here, so I had the day off… paid. That was nice!

I woke up at 545 a.m. on my day off… UGH! Although I had been sleeping for nearly 8 hours I really, really wanted to see if I could stay asleep… yeah, no. So up I got, jumped in the shower, made a french press carafe of Peet’s Coffee… yum, and laced up my hiking boots with the intention of hiking up the mountain again. Then, while on the bus I decided I wanted to hike around West Lake. The lake is beautiful, it was early morning, shouldn’t be too much foot or bike traffic yet. So I got off the bus and according to my trusty GPS on my iPhone, waited for bus 81. And waited and waited. I finally figured out there was no such thing as Bus 81 😦

So I started walking towards West Lake. I got to a sweet little park and had a couple of tea eggs. I thought I’d need the energy for the 9 mile walk around the lake… while I sat there I got a text from Kira and decided I needed some Soren love, and headed her way, instead!

On the way, I stopped at Pacific Coffee and picked up an iced latte w/skim milk. And took this picture of myself…

Gotta work on that pooch!

I had a fantastic day hanging out with them… ALL DAY! Sat on the couch, cuddled with Soren, pet the cat, chatted with Kira, helped her pack up Soren’s bedroom and watched about 14 episodes (I’m not kidding) of Steven Seagal: Lawman. I actually enjoyed it! Dan brought us iced lattes in the afternoon and then we had Arabic food for dinner…. yum! An all around fun day!

I then walked the 3.41 miles home. That’s 5.48 kms 🙂 Nice walk. Here’s the results…

Nice walk home. The weather has been pretty decent the past few days, temp wise. After I got home I finished reading The Last Lecture and followed up on some emails… chatted with my daughter, Tiffany and off to bed at 10 p.m. I hope everyone is having a good week so far!


LOL… I forgot about the Liebster Award… 😀 My blogging friend Anna nominated me for this award and had this to say about it:


1-Flamidwyfe’s Blog  Sandi blogs about her adventures and spectacular success on the Dukan Diet while living in China and being a midwyfe.  She is an awesome example of putting your dreams out there and living FULLY!!  Also, I wouldn’t even be a blogger if it weren’t for Sandi xo

Five facts:

1. Each of my kids thinks that I favor the others over them… and at various times through their life cycles I have favored them. They are all VERY unique individuals. Right now my favorite is my “baby”, Tiffany LeAnn. She is an amazing human being on many levels and I am most proud to be her mom.

2. I consider myself Evangelical AND and from the Christian Left… some think that’s an oxymoron 🙂 I also love the teachings of Buddha!

3. I’ve been divorced for nearly 19 years… he’s a friend on Facebook. He’s the 2nd husband, who wasn’t a jerk and is still alive, thank God!… LOL. It’s important for people who divorce to put their kids FIRST… I think we mostly did that (there will always be a screw up or three along that path!)

4. I miss living in the Middle East more than I ever could have imagined! Everything about it.

5. I’ve done quite well with removing toxic people from my life and keep them out. It makes for a much cleaner living 🙂

5 blogs I nominate:

1. … her running all over the world inspires me to lace up my shoes!

2. Mel at My first runner’s blog… she ROCKS and is so encouraging to me… thanks Mel!!!

3. Abbi at Lil Monkey’s Mama… today’s post was especially thought provoking!

4. … a woman who has taken control of her diet after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Not only has she gained control over her blood sugar, but has lost weight to boot! She’s amazing and I’m in awe of her transformation!

5. And … his weight loss and his running of his first 5K are spurring me on to keep training for MY 5K… Well done!

If you have been nominated, here is what you do to keep it rolling:

Each Nominee Should:

  1. Choose five, up and coming blogs to give the Liebster award to.  Blogs must have less than 200 followers.
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. List the bloggers you gave the award to with links to their sites.  Leave a comment on their blogs to let them know they’ve received the award.
  5. Share five random facts about yourself!

Dukan – Day 255 – Mountain Hike

Sunday was a PV Day 🙂

Daily Weight Loss: 0.7 lb/0.30 kg
Total Weight Loss: 90.7 lb/41.21 kg

Well thank you to the scales… I was pretty happy to step on them this morning and see a loss!

I was up at the crack of dawn Sunday morning, had an omelet with onions and green peppers for breakfast and slid on the Chaco hiking sandals and headed out the door. It has warmed up here and I wanted to get my hike in before it was too hot. It had rained the night before…

The path leading up to the base of the mountain.

So I wanted to be very careful. I also took my time. I am still having some shortness of breath while climbing, which is frustrating me to no end, given I can run 40+ minutes without stopping… WTH??? Anyway, I kept reminding myself to slow down and took a slow and steady pace up the mountain.

Some of the stones have writings on them.

I like walking on the rough path because I think it helps with balance. You really have to concentrate (or at least *I* do) to stay balanced. A lot of the walkers go on the dirt paths on each side.

After walking/climbing for 1.6 miles, I turned around and headed back. I came upon this group and offered to take a pic of their group… they refused and asked me to become part of their pic 🙂

The guy in the blue shirt helped me out about 25 minutes later 🙂

I’m working on trying to get toner… I actually really don’t like my arms in this shot! I want to thank my friends, Teri and Terri for pointing out that I was wearing SANDALS and not my HIKING BOOTS… Anyhoo, I continued on my hike back… it’s really wonderful walking on the ridge of a mountain. Here’s the route…

It's a nice route up and down the ridge and back.

And as I was walking down the steps to the base, and actually… at THAT MOMENT, thinking about how well my Chaco sandals worked on the slippery, rainy stones, I fell on my ass! HARD! Having had multiple surgeries on my knees, I’m a PRO at falling. I seriously am 😀  A fact I am proud of. Falling on your ass, instead of putting the weight into your wrists, prevents fractures… EXCEPT MY ASS DOESN’T HAVE ANY PADDING ON IT ANYMORE! Or at least it’s greatly reduced! OW! And this is what your butt looks like with a big, deep, ouchy bruise on it…

LOL... you only live once... ViviMokaLaka is the best buddy you can have for documenting your life on film and YES, I have tats... more than a few and my mom has seen all of them.... Oh... and my ass is much smaller than it was 9 months ago... I never would have posted a bruise on THAT ass!

So, going back to the man in the blue shirt sitting next to me in the group shot. He ran up the steps, quick as lightening, to help me get up. I thought that was very sweet. And then he yelled at me, in Mandarin for hiking with sandals on… I showed him the bottom of the sandal in a plea for understanding, but he wasn’t having any of it! He then gave me HIS walking stick and told me (in Mandarin) to follow him the rest of the way down and to walk sideways so I wouldn’t fall again. What a sweetie 🙂 I made it down the rest of the way without any trouble… LOL

Here’s how the hike went:

Nice hike! I know that 909 feet isn't a huge climb up, but it's pretty impressive to me 🙂

So, that was my hike. I then met a couple of friends at 35mm Coffee shop for an iced latte, then went home and showered. I then walked to the hospital to give baby Lyla a bath and some lovin’. Just as I was leaving, Reuben from The Vineyard, was bringing a special request dinner into the room… He’s the guy that made me the special dinner on Saturday night to keep me PP for the day… he’s an awesome chef… reminds me of my son, Nick.

Reuben with Olivia

After seeing that yummy food, I went home and had a pan grilled chicken breast with onion, anoki mushrooms, regular mushrooms and garlic stems. Yummy!

Since I had done the hike, I didn’t run… instead read a little more than half of “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. Awesome book, lots of wisdom.

So that’s it… nice, fully Sunday. Great way to end the week. I’m really enjoying my Sunday hikes!


Dukan – Days 249 & 251

Monday was a PP day 🙂
Wednesday was a starvation day 😦  Poor planning!

Monday stats: +0.4 lb/+0.2 kg – Total: 89.8 lbs/40.81 kgs
Tuesday’s weight didn’t get recorded because I got roused out of bed for a birth.
Wednesday stats: -0.9 lb/0.44 kg – Total: 90.7 lbs/41.21 kgs

I’m so exhausted from the 16 hour birth marathon I ran yesterday that I can’t for the life of me remember what I ate on Monday… oh… let me go look at my journal… lol

Breakfast: 2 tea eggs
Lunch: 1 tea egg, tin of tuna with dijon mustard
Dinner:  Chicken breast with onions and garlic stems
Snack: pot of FF yogurt with splenda and bran

Monday Exercise: 3 games of wii Bowling (high score of 212!!) and a 1 mile walk to work, from work and then around the block for a total of 3 miles.

Tuesday Exercise: 3 mile run

Wednesday food:
Breakfast: none
Lunch: 2 tea eggs
Snack: 2 tea eggs
Dinner: yeah… i’m sure you know where this is going… the last tea egg
I was at a birth all day… I didn’t plan well. There were no protein sources. At 1130 the Ayi (maid) that cleans my house and my office lovingly went to the tea egg shop and brought me 5 eggs… YOU ROCK AYI!!!!!! But that was all I ate, all day… which is very, very, very bad!
Snack… after I dragged my butt home after midnight: a baby bell round. I estimate I had less than 500 calories yesterday and I suspect it will show with a weight INCREASE tomorrow, as crazy as that sounds. On this diet you HAVE TO EAT!

Wednesday Exercise: I labored a lady all day… that is like running a marathon! 🙂 LOL, I did hip squeezes, back rubs and other things to help her… my pecs are feeling the workout from the hip squeezes! I walked home (although it was more like a run on the timing) after midnight… 1 mile.

Nice birth, baby girl… happy mom and dad, and that’s what counts.

Birth… it does a midwife good 🙂


Dukan – Day 248 – I DID IT :)

Sunday was PV (Protein/Veggie) Day 😀

Daily Weight Loss: 0.9 lb/0.44 kg
Total Weight Loss: 90.2 lbs/41.01 kgs

So in 8 months and 3 days I’ve reached Dr. Dukan’s True Weight for me.
I also COMPLETED COUCH 2 5 K last night. So I reached TWO goals in less than 12 hours! 😀 😀 😀 😀

Breakfast: Bacon and egg omelet with bran
Lunch: Green salad with grilled chicken breast
Dinner: Ground beef, onions and mushrooms cooked Vietnamese lemongrass sauce. YUM!

2.15 mile mountain hike in the morning
3.11 mile run in the evening

I wanted to upload a couple pics, but the internet here in China is NOT cooperating 😦 I’ll see if I can upload them directly from my iPhone…

Bigger and better update coming soon with lots of before and after pics from the past year… should be fun!


Quote of the day:  I’m determined to not die with millions in the bank, but memories in my heart! ~ Sandi Blankenship, in response to MJ 🙂

Pic I couldn’t upload earlier…

Dr. Dukan's True Weight met 🙂 I'm going 4.5 kgs less (10 pounds), as my own goal, but reaching this... AWESOME!

Travel – Spring Hiking in TongLu, China

So on Thursday my work sponsored a trip to TongLu. We did 3 really amazing and fun activities during the 11 hour trip. Cave hiking, a bamboo raft ride down the river and mountain hiking. There were about 50 of us on the trip and I really had a great time.

We started out at around 740 a.m. from the hospital and headed towards TongLu. First stop the Caves near TongLu.

Where we went... Hangzhou is in the upper right corner.

ViviMokaLaka and I on the bus!

The tour guide and the head of our Marketing department encouraged people to sing. I tried to ignore him, but alas, felt bad because no one else would volunteer. So I got up and sang “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker… lol, thank God for the music on my iPhone!

Next up, my Ayi (Chinese for housekeeper), she works at our hospital and cleans my house once a week, she’s AWESOME! She sang after me, then lots of people sang!

Ayi singing her heart out!

Then we arrived at the caves and got in line with the rest of the tourists… I think I’m starting to blend in 🙂

I need to stop doing that to my forehead!

One of the murals painted on the ceiling just past the entrance to the cave.

The map of the cave we explored.

We hiked in the cave for over 2 hours… it was pretty rugged terrain at some points and wet and slippery. I was the only one in the group with hiking shoes on… some of the women had HIGH HEELS! Maybe they didn’t get the memo we were HIKING… 😀

Me and Vivien... Chinese daughter.

The lighting was pretty amazing.

Magic Herbs... really? 😀

Ayi and her husband.... these two are awesome. I love how Mr. Ayi wore a suit. He did some pretty impressive GQ poses in the caves!

Dressed for cave exploring 🙂


In front of the Wishing Well Pond...

So, the Wishing Well Pond. In the middle of the pond was a vessel that was maybe 12 inches x 8 inches… it was about 20 feet from the edge. In the pond itself was tons of coins and there were some in the vessel, as well. I pull out a 1 RMB coin to toss in the well and hand one to Vivien… I made my wish and did an underhand softball toss and CLING, smack dab in the middle of the vessel!!!!!!! Woot! I made a very specific wish and that was that… off for more cave exploring 😀

Wishing Well vessel

Vivi and I

On the way out of the caves you go through the booths selling all the wares you could imagine… I found something that I actually wanted, Vivien read the ingredients, all Dukan friendly so I bought two jars of this hotter than Hades chili sauce… hoo boy is it good!

Hot Chili stuff.. Mmmmm

As you can see, I was dipping my eggs in it… while opening the jar, Vivien snapped this lovely picture of me…

Tea Egg alert!

We then headed through town and saw some interesting things like…

I'm used to this by now... sometimes I wonder if it's OK that I am.

Then we arrived at the restaurant where we had lunch. Now, I have to say here that I LOVE eating in China… even though I’m on Dukan. It is such a social event. Everyone taking their chopsticks and getting food from the lazy susan… it’s awesome. I know that some people might think that’s gross, but it’s so social. It was similar in Abu Dhabi, where you would basically get the food with either your fingers or the fork you were eating with. There is something so familial about it… I love it 🙂

I was too busy making sure I got the proteins that I only got one picture 🙂

We then loaded back up in the bus and headed to the river. We took bamboo rafts down the river for about a 45 minute ride. I was happy that I could see the bottom at all times. I have big issues with wood bridges, bamboo rafts and grates… all of which I had to use today! LOL

Our transportation down the river.

So glad I had on my water-proof Chaco hiking boots... I love my boots, btw!

Our bamboo raft pilot

The view from the raft

Those two guys work in our Administration department... they were chasing us down the river bank trying to shoot us with water cannons.... they missed, our pilot kept us safe... the other 3 rafts, got soaked! LOL

Then after a 40 minute ride on the bus, we ended up at the Daqishan National Forest Park. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

The sign says it all!

Bamboo Forest... you could hear the wind whistling through the trees!

Um, Mom... notice what I'm doing??? Walking on a grate, attached to the side of a mountain in China... this caused my already tachycardic heart rate to increase even more!!!

Map of the hike!

This is the Dean in charge of the inpatient VIP center. One of my biggest supporters to improve the healthcare here at our hospital.

Heart failure... walking over wooden bridges with a big drop below...

The scenery was just gorgeous!

This was walking over the waterfall in the last photo.

We made it to the top... Heavenly Lake

There were 2 ways down... hike back down or take the FLYING SQUIRREL... LOL. Seriously, that was the name. Guess which one I took?

And I made Vivien go with me! Please note the double seat belts... oh, and I was responsible for the entire braking system... we went fast!!!

The man who's arm you can see, stopped us and made me put away my camera... he told Vivien I'd lose it if I didn't... it was a pretty wild ride, thanks mister 🙂

And moments… literally MOMENTS after I stepped off The Flying Squirrel… my phone rang. It was a Blocked Call, but I knew it was the call I was waiting for… and it was! My heart was pounding, I wanted this call so bad… SO BAD I WISHED FOR IT THIS MORNING… just 3 hours earlier… when I threw the coin in the fountain… and here was the call… And my wish came true. It made my day… it made an already amazing day even more amazing. I know, you guys are all wondering what my wish was… I’ll share that in due time, in the future… I promise 🙂 Just know that it was an awesome wish!

And then we were back at the hospital, around 6 p.m…. very long, but very fun day! On my walk home I stalked walked up behind this lady and kid and snapped this shot…

Cutest little mohawk in Hangzhou!

And that, my friends, was the end of an awesome day! I didn’t do my run, as planned, given that I hiked both a cave and a mountain for just under 8 kms…

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!


Dukan – Day 242 – Back on Track

Tuesday was a Pure Protein Day… #2 out of 3 🙂

Daily Weight Loss: 1.1 lb/0.50 kg (that’s actually from 2 days)
Total Weight Loss: 86.3 lb/39.21 kg
Still 100 grams over my lowest weight which was last Tuesday.
I have 3.74 lbs/1.7 kgs to be at Dr. Dukan’s True Weight… but I’m going to drop 10 pounds below that, so I actually have 13.74 lbs/6.2 kgs to go… so doable 🙂

Breakfast: 2 Tea Eggs
Lunch: 2 Tea Eggs and a tin of tuna in water
Snack: 2 ounces of low fat cheddar
Dinner: Stir fried Chicken breast with onions and garlic cloves, seasoned with curry powder… yum!

0730 – 1.5 km walk to work
1200 – 1.5 km walk to home for lunch
1315 – 1.5 km walk back to work
1715 – 1.5 km walk back home
2015 – 5 km run around neighborhood in 43:27… my best time… I haven’t been able to get this number under the 44 minute mark! While doing this I completed C35K Week 8 Day 1.. just 2 days to go!

Finished a FABULOUS book called HeartSick by Chelsea Cain… recommended by my friend, Betsy… thanks Betsy!!!! I’ve already started on her 2nd book SweetHeart.

Sound asleep by 1015 p.m…. the weather has been very nice in Hangzhou!


Quote of the Day: “Learn to listen, instead of desperately wanting to be heard” ~ Ma Jaya

From RunKeeper iPhone app:

I had to keep reminding myself to pace...

My gated condo community has a loop road that just happens to be exactly 1 mile/1.5 km... how convenient 🙂

Dukan – Day 233 – Easter

Sunday was a PP day 🙂

Daily weight loss: 0.2 lb/0.2 kg
Total weight loss: 85.8 lb/39.01 kg

Back to my normal weight loss 🙂 Still plugging along. I had the morning off for church and had a great time. A few things to note… people think that China is an atheistic country, when in fact, most people here are religious. The largest percentage being Buddhist. It is estimated that there are over 50 million Christians in China. And I have to say the church was rockin’ Easter Sunday morning. And yes, it’s a REAL church with a big ole cross on the top of it… just across the street from the Buddhist temple 🙂

The music was gospel with a bit of reggae and blues... totally awesome!!!

The really awesome thing about attending church outside of my home country is the diversity of the fellow church goers… you don’t see that so much in churches in the U.S…. it was the same in Al Ain… people from all over the world in church with you… it makes it so much more fun!

The kids group... rockin' the house at Easter services.

I then walked 2 miles to the bus stop for Bus 900 to take the 1 hour and 18 minute ride to work. Wasn’t too bad… I love people watching.

I then had another marketing event to live through smile through 🙂 Steve, Romina and I got up and sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”… the crowd loved it and the kids sang it in Mandarin… pretty cool.

I then went home and got another run in… I’m really trying HARD not to overdo it, but I love it so much! I can’t explain it better than that… took my time, worked on pacing, since I am now running for longer periods without stopping… I think I’m doing pretty well…

Breakfast: One baby bell low fat cheese roundy thingy, 2 tea eggs
Lunch: 1 tea egg, tin of tuna
Afternoon snack: 1 tea egg
Dinner: Stir fry pork loin with onions and garlic cloves… yum

1 mile walk to and from work
2 mile walk to the bus stop
2.98 mile/4.79 kms Run

I hope everyone had a nice Easter Sunday or Passover weekend!


Parting shot… PJ’s AND high heels in the tea egg line this morning!

PJ's and High heels at 651 a.m.