Monthly Archives: February 2013


It’s been a few days since the nine hour hike and I am still recovering. My quad muscles are still sore when I touch them, but they are nowhere near as bad as it was two days ago. To top all of that off, I have this gnarly sunburn on the right side of my face. One person even thought I was in a motorcycle accident. I don’t think it looks that bad…

To celebrate the end of Insanity, I purchased another 20 lb weight. Having two is very neat for me as I no longer have to alternate between arms when exercising. Now I can work out and still spend time with Leo.

Leo and I had some visitors this past weekend. Ben brought his dog, Sigmund over for a play date. I was very nervous about this as our last pay date with Dude (Stephen’s large pup) was terrifying for Leo. Thankfully, Sigmund is Leo’s size and after a small bit of apprehension, the play fest was on! Seeing them play reinforced the idea that Leo may need a permanent play buddy. Perhaps Claire will be joining the family soon.

I took Leo for an hour long walk this afternoon to get us both some exercise and to spend some time together. He absolutely loved it and he sure does bring in the compliments!

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Today was the eight nine hour hike on the Superstition Ridgeline.

After getting up at four, Stephen and I hit up IHOP for some breakfast. I behaved and got something on the fresh fit menu. It was good, but I found myself hungry for more.

Then came the hour drive across the valley to drop of my car at the end zone of the hike. The mountain looked so small at the beginning..



After getting in Stephen’s car, we drove about 30 minutes to the other side of the mountain ridge. We were all smiles beforehand…


Pardon my crazy stalker face…

The hike started out well enough…and then we got to the base of the mountain. It got steep REAL quick! On top of that there was snow and ice from a recent storm. It was very slippery and a wrong move could send you down the mountain….or at least on your ass. I did my best Spider-Man impression and crawled up the steep slope while everyone else was in two legs. #dontjudgeme

At one point we came to a rock wall. There was no way in hell I was going up that. Not when I look behind me and see such a long way down and with ice on my feet. After a few failed attempts and watching others go up, I finally made it to the top of the wall. Note that this isn’t even close to the peak of the mountain. It was just a rock wall to get up near the Ridgeline.

The following photos look lovely, but they do not show the massive amounts of snow that we had to deal with. At some places it was over 4 inches. This was a particular problem because we were supposed to be looking for these small piles of rocks to indicate that we were on the right path. With all that snow, we never knew if we were good.

The scenes were beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. Once we got to the Ridgeline, it was mostly smooth sailing.


joe1 joe2 joe3

We finally came to the part where it was time to come down….and down…and down. Apparently, we were over 5000 feet high. It was so scary being that high and walking next to a cliff that could easily kill you. After descending for hours, we finally hit the bottom. Our legs are battered and pricked by the local cacti. But no, the trail is not don’t yet. We spend another 30 minutes walking around and trying to orient ourselves to find the car. I was exhausted and almost about to shut down when we found the car.

9 hours… Over 11 miles of hiking up and down mountains… Exhausted… Sleep now.

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Back to Sanity

Hey all, insanity is over! Woo! Today was the last workout and I’m glad that it is done. So now, for pictures and ending weight.

As of ten minutes ago, I was 197 pounds. You’ll have to pardon my hair as it tends to get frazzled during workouts. I need a makeover!

I’m not quite satisfied with my results. I’m smaller yes, but part of me still feels like more of a deflated balloon. Before on the left. After on the right.





Hard for me to see a positive difference. I am faster now. I am lighter now. I am stronger now. But do I look better? I dunno.

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One Day Left

One more day. One more day. One more day!

There’s only one more day left of Insanity and I could not be happier. The past few days have been a but rough with dinner, but I’m slowly improving in my selections when out with friends. I’m learning that it is actually ok to treat yourself to a meal out, but that you compensate in your other meals. I big lunch may necessitate a light dinner.

To treat myself for concluding Insanity, Stephen is taking me on an 8 hour long hike. I’m super excited for it, but kind of scared because I heard that we could get lost! Oh noes! If you don’t hear from me after Saturday, please know that I’ve become one with the mountain people. This is how you should reward yourself…take an adventure!

So, the line dancer came over last night. I cooked some whole wheat pasta with chicken sausage. Of course we had salad and bread, too. I’m learning that you can be okay with a piece of bread instead of eating 4 to 5 pieces. Still have lessons to learn in portion control, but I’m working on it.

After dinner, he taught me some basics to line dancing. As anticipated, I have two left feet. Eventually, I got the moves, but it just seems awkward. Practice makes perfect? After running the routine for a bit, we caught the New Normal. I’m glad to see this show back to having new episodes. Very special show for me. It’s almost exactly what I want for my own life.

I took the gent out back to swing in the hammock for a bit. Even in Arizona, it gets cold at night! I couldn’t stop shivering! He did his best to keep me warm, but we eventually had to go back inside to warm up by my fake fire.

I’m excited for my future.

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All’s Well That Ends Well

Yesterday started out a bit rough. The night before, I had Nelson over for our Sunday tradition of The Walking Dead and dinner. While we were out, my little joy of a monster, Leo, decided to munch on Nelson’s Mac power cord.

Thankfully, Nelson and I were able to find a refurbished one for only 60 bucks. The joys of owning a puppy! Having that over my head caused the day to be a bit stressful. Thankfully, my finances are in a good place and I could swing it!

This past weekend, at the bar, Tim briefly talked to a guy and I wasn’t paying attention at all. Turns out, this guy and I had been talking for quite a while online. We caught up online later that night and finally realized that we had indeed seen each other. Even called me cute!

We decided to do dinner in between the two of us and suggested this place called Islands. I love this place. Heavy on surf and beach culture. Reminded me of home. Sadly, he got there before me. Usually, I’m freakishly early for everything. He beat me at my own game!

The conversation flowed well enough. I loved his enthusiasm for his hobbies and life aspirations. It was infectious to see him become so excited while talking about his life. We stayed at the restaurant for about three hours. Just felt nice and not forced. He paid for dinner and I totally wasn’t expecting that. Felt a bit special.

Outside. We spent a few minutes looking at the stars and we saw Jupiter out by the moon. We recognized it due to handy sky map apps. Nerds. Walked him to his car and gave him a good long hug and a quick smooch. Hope he didn’t mind!

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What a nice weekend!

Sorry for the delay in writing everyone! I’ve been a bit busy with all of these activities.

I’m two days into the last week of Insanity. Having the end in sight certainly helps give me some motivation to complete the program. At the end of the day on Thursday, I will be done with this program. I’m definitely seeing results in my arms, but I still have a bit more chub to lose on my mid section before I can see muscles down there. With the end in sight, my next venture is always on my mind.

Instead of the gym, I’m going to purchase some home gym equipment so that I can work out at home with weights. I can do this while watching my shows and not fall behind in exercise. It’ll seem like I have my life back!

So, about this past weekend. My parents sent me some chocolate for the holiday. I did have about 1/3 of the box before making the decision that the costs outweighed the benefits. No more chocolates. Friday, after work, Tim and I went to see a movie and had dinner. Fair warning, this was not a good weekend for food. I had bruschetta, some guacamole, and half of a cookie/ice cream dessert. We watched Identity Thief and it was decent, but unlike I had expected. The movie just got a bit serious for its own good.

The next day was the gay rodeo. This year returned the rodeo to Laveen and I was excited for it to be close to my house. I grabbed Tim and Stephen and we all went after brunch. I behaved at brunch by having a grilled chicken pesto sandwich with a salad and muffin. The rodeo was awesome for me. There were so many neat people there! While I’m not a fan of some of the events, I still managed to have a great time. I even got called cute by a few people…score.




After the rodeo, my group headed for dinner. This was not pretty, but the chicken strips were super delicious. This is where I had a heart to heart with myself. When I am happy in life, I tend to forget what I’m putting into my body. It becomes a “why not” mentality that I’m sure we are all familiar with, my journey is not done and while I will occasionally enjoy myself, every bad choice just moves me further from my goals.

After dinner, the group headed to the local bar that is closely associated with the Rodeo. I had no idea that the bar would eventually become as packed as it did. It was great when we first arrived. The group watched the line dancers and I even got to meet a few of them! One guy offered to dance, but I didn’t know how (to all…any style), so I shied away even though he was really cute! I should have had some courage to ask him if he would show me how.

Met up with a buddy at the bar (saw him at the rodeo, too). Our little group of four talked and played around for hours. Even though the place was packed, I didn’t let my anxiety get the better of me. I was there with friends and loved every minute of it. My buddy even let me try on his cowboy hat! Good look for me?


This morning was the weight loss challenge groups first weigh in. I was nervous due to my eating frenzy this past weekend, but my number surprised me and I was still down about 3 pounds from the first time. Not celebrating too hard, but a victory is a victory!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Leo!

I’ve never been much of a person to be a Debbie Downer on this day because I didn’t (still don’t) have a Valentine to spoil. Even though it is a commercialized holiday, I think it is one of my favorites. This world needs more love. While I don’t have that someone special yet, I have the love of my friends and family. I’ll surely survive off of that for years!

The diet continues and I’ve been behaving. Bought some cuties last night and the one I had tasted funny. I had another this morning and it tasted ok. Not too worried about it. It is still yummy fruit!

Weighed myself yesterday and I’m down another 0.5 lbs. I’ve decided my stopping point for loss will be when I reach 180. It’s so close and I can’t believe how far I’ve come!

Now if I can just avoid the chocolate rush of this day…..

Good luck to everyone out there in staying safe, happy, and heathy!


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Another day of Insanity completed. Today was the first day that I am able to “retire” a tape from month 2. Goodbye Max Recovery. You will not be missed, but I will always remember you extended hip flexor workout.

Today saw a return of an old staple to my first diet..100 cal bags of popcorn. Just as delicious as I remember. Still within my calorie budget as well.

I’ve had some recurring thoughts about this blog and its future. Once I reach my goal of 180 (already in “One-derland” as the Biggest Loser phrased it), what happens then? I’m going to remain active and adjust myself into healthy eating habits, but I’m not sure if that’s something worth writing about.

I’m not quitting, but just considering changing direction. Who knows?

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Gotta Get Thru This

Never thought I would say this, but I miss running a bit. Not the distance, but just the activity. Looks like I’m going for a run this weekend!

I will not speak of the crimes against nature committed against my diet yesterday for dinner. Just know that it was bad…very bad. Felt sick during my Insanity workout and had to learn that lesson the hard way. Yummy, but not worth it. Good times with friends doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t watch what I eat.

Today’s workout was invigorating. I came home and wanted to knock it out. And I did! Part of me wanted to just hit the stop button, but nope! I’m almost through this and I’m not going to stop now.

Found another guy with a good amount of weight loss and the direction is now clear. My future will be in weight training to tighten my skin and fill it out with muscle. Gym membership, please be kind!

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I’m feeling accomplished today!

Had plans with Stephen to go paddle boating and hiking. The high only got to be about 60 and was still a bit cold for paddle boating. We decided to do brunch and a hike (Squaw Peak) instead.

The brunch spot was actually very nice. I had a skillet which totaled about 700 calories. Not the best, but not bad at all. Stephen had the same, but also ordered this gargantuan cinnamon roll. I resisted despite his attempts to bump me back over 200.

He drove to the hiking spot and we were lucky enough to get a spot in the way, way back of the area. It reminded me of a trip that he and I took to a lake the year prior with the mountains surrounding us. Sadly, there was no water. Unlike the other hikes that I’ve seen in AZ, this one is mostly steps. It made it a bit easier for me to climb and I am quite happy to report that I did not face plant. Came close a few times, but I recovered quickly.  Took some pics along the way.


Stephen figuring out which way is up.


Start of the trail


About half way up. It looks smaller that it was.


Near the summit


Stephen and I at the summit.


View from the top


Traded camera man jobs with another group.

I want to compare this one to a previous picture from our first hike.


A hike in the previous year

I can certainly see a change! 🙂 At the bottom of this post is a panorama photo from my phone. I wish it would appear larger, but maybe you can click on it?

As Stephen and I parted ways, we got some Jamba Juice. Not bad at all. It was my first real time at that place and I certainly want to go again.

On top of the hike, I still got my Insanity complete for the day.  Not a bad day at all.


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