Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Bikini? What? (plus camping, tequila, running, cup therapy, barrel racing...)

As usual, a lot's gone down since my last normal post on Tuesday evening. Wednesday was a day home with the kids. It was hectic and harried but even with that I managed to get my healthy meals and snacks in. It helps when I have homemade red beans in the fridge. I pop those in the microwave, slice up some avocado, add in a pile of pico de gallo and voila, healthy and wholesome lunch.

Wednesday evening was the board appreciation dinner for my mother's club. It was my final official event as a co-director and I had a great time celebrating. I definitely indulged on the food and drink front, having skirt steak, baked potato with fixings, a couple glasses of wine and a chocolate lava cake dessert. Yum! Here I am with Alison and Michelle, who are going on to serve their second year of co-directorship.

Alison, Me and Michelle.
I'll miss the socializing as well as the feel-good that comes from helping out, but I'm glad to have this time commitment off my plate. Especially as I'll be gearing up for Santa Cruz training and I'm making some career/growth changes - so I need all the time I can get. I'll be telling about the career stuff soon because it's related to this whole weight loss thing.

On Thursday my mom had surgery so I had the day off. She did great, thank goodness. After visiting with her in recovery and before a late afternoon appointment I barely had time for exercise. So I stealthily changed into my running gear at red lights and did a quick 22 minute run before my meeting (which was the type of meeting where running clothes are perfectly fine). Then I was off to the gym for a fast-paced weight training session - back/biceps/PT exercises - before picking up the kids. My pullups are coming along, I was able to do 2 sets of 4 without having to bribe the devil inside me. Friday had to be an early morning workout because I was leaving for camping right after work. When the alarm went off at 5:30am I had to really talk myself into getting up. The thing that always works is to mentally walk through my day, trying to find another time to exercise, and when I get to the end and it wasn't possible, I imagine how I'll feel having skipped out on my chance to exercise in the morning. Imagining my future disappointment gets me out of bed almost every time.

It was weigh-in day so I hopped on the scale. Woah - 139.6 pounds!  I'm back to my happy weight, under 140. That's a nice way to start the weekend. I arrived at the gym and the 6am spin class had just started. I noticed an empty bike so I decided to join in for 25 minutes instead of riding alone in the gym. The music was pumping and it was a fun time! Join late, leave early...that's how I roll. In the gym I did chest/triceps before heading to a 7:30am physical therapy appointment at Sport and Spine.

My PT - Kate Reiber, DPT - suggested we try myofascial decompression using cup therapy on my back.  Cup therapy is "a novel form of manual therapy that combines eastern technology with western medicine based principals, orthopedics, and sports medicine." I have pictures, but they are not for the faint of heart so I'm linking to the ones that might make you nauseous. Consider yourself warned. Here's one picture, and here's another.

It was a bit uncomfortable for the first few moments after she did the suction but it quickly passed. She had me do some stretches while I had the cups on and the thought made me nervous but turned out to be barely uncomfortable. An easier image is how my skin looked a few minutes after she took them off.

Post cup-therapy.
Kate did a good job of explaining how it works, though all I can recall is that having the muscles sucked up into the cup does something to release somethingorother and make things better.  Yeah, well, I'm no DPT. The evening before I'd gone shopping for some camping stuff and somehow or another I came home with a bikini. No time like bikini-time to have big red circle spots on your back!

Wait, did I just say bikini? Yes I did. Don't ask me what universe I'm living in buying a bikini but what can I say? I'm getting more comfortable in my own skin, more comfortable with my imperfect body. I'm not saying I'm confidently rocking the two piece but the fact that I planned to put it on in public, with a bunch of people around (as opposed to only one or two friends), is like an alternate universe to me. So of course I took a picture when I got home from the store.

A bikini, what?
Please keep in mind this picture doesn't really show the wrinkly extra-skin phenomenon on my belly.  I'd have to take a close-up of my mid-section with a better camera but in person it's pretty obvious, especially when I hold my abs in. If I relax and pooch my stomach out it's a little less obvious, which is what I tried to do at the river. It's not easy, I'm so used to holding in my abs all the time.

After a full day of work on Friday I hit the road for camping. We went with my buddy Michelle and her husband and two kids. Miguel and them caravanned up earlier so they'd have more time to set up camp. There was a reservation snafu and we ended up camping at the Cloverdale KOA instead of Guerneville, but we were still plenty close to the Russian River so that was fine. I arrived just in time for some campfire action. Michelle and I enjoyed some mixed drinks with her favorite adult beverage, tequila, as well as making s'mores, eating chips and cookies and otherwise letting loose a bit. We finally hit the sack a bit after midnight.

Unfortunately Myra woke up cranky with an unexplained fever.  But we always pack kiddie med for just this scenario.  We dosed her up and after breakfast headed to the beach.  She played for a bit and then slept in the shade the rest of the day.

My angel girl.
Turned out we happened to show up on the day of the Healdsburg Water Carnival. How fun!

Did somebody say "races"??
The river and beach were super-crowded, which of course made me more aware of my bikini debut. Oh well, at least they're all strangers, right? In any case, we had a great time.  Myra seemed to be happy sleeping off her fever while the rest of us played in the water and lounged around in the sun.  There were no gasps or pointing when I donned my bikini and after Michelle and I polished off a bit more tequila I felt almost completely comfortable. Though I did have to ask Michelle about 10 times if I looked decent. She was very reassuring. I felt most comfortable lying down but even walked around a bit while telling my self-critical inner voice to STFU.  Picture time!

Great, right?  But here's a picture that shows more of my flaws.

Ah, gravity. Not a bikini body's friend.
Yes I just posted a picture of myself in a bikini on the internet for all the world to see and possibly judge. But you know what? I'm ok. I'm not thrilled, but I'm ok. I'm happy enough with myself overall to handle it just fine. And besides, all my body will do is age and get more and more wrinkly so I might as well get to loving it now. I'm not saying I'm over my tummy tuck fantasy, that's still alive and well, I'm only saying I want to love my body as-is, today. I've come so far in this area.  So far.  Hell, I'm wearing and posting pictures of myself in a bikini, I'd say I've practically aced the self body-love test.

So I'm checking out some of the festival booths when a woman asks me, "Do you want to be in a barrel race?".  Excuse me, did you say race?  I'm in!  No seriously, I was a bit hesitant but after a few questions (most importantly, do I have to try and climb back on the barrel if I fall off - no) I signed up.  And after some encouragement I managed to get Michelle to sign up too! Later the guys were so impressed they joined in on the fun! This day was turning into a banner, "Things I would never have done before losing weight" day.

Michelle and I were up first in the ladies round.  Pictures, you need pictures. [note: no way in hell I was getting on that barrel in a bikini in front of a crowd - I slipped my t-shirt back on for that].  Here I am getting ready to start.  Michelle is on the barrel to my right but she's blocked by the volunteers so you can't see her.

Wine barrel racing.
And here I am about 5 seconds later!

Yep, that's me in the water already.

As you can see, I fell off pretty soon after we started.  That darn barrel was just so wobbly! But Michelle was a rock star, turns out she's a previos barrel-racing state champion! Kidding, but guess what? She won the round! Here she is after her big finish.

Winner winner!
 And then it was the guys' turn.

Miguel and Erik on the barrel
That's Erik in the white hat and Miguel is on the barrel to his left. Unfortunately Miguel lasted about as long as I did - I guess our kids don't have good barrel racing genes - but Erik came in 2nd place! Their kids have a promising barrel racing future!! Oh my gosh, all kidding aside, what fun! I remind myself that I make the choice to have this life every time I turn down that unplanned snack or skip dessert. It's not deprivation, it's a choice to have something that's more important to me than extra calories.

Back to the campsite for dinner, chili dogs and salad. And the evening was another s'mores, chips, tequila party. Michelle is just as serious as I am about her diet and fitness and we were both having fun letting go of all that for a couple days. She knows as well as I do how important it is to indulge now and again.

Bottom's up!
As an aside, she also wore a bikini at the river and she looks amazing! I was in good bikini company that's for sure. Hot mama!!

Around midnight we all climbed into our tents, and up bright and early with the sun. Myra's fever hung on but we kept her on the Tylenol and Ibuprofen cycle and she seemed to be having a good time. Erik cooked up bacon, eggs and pancakes for breakfast. I had my normal cereal plus his cooking. What a meal! And then it was time to run. I'd planned a 3-miler and Michelle was up for it too.

The only road in sight was basically a series of hills. Oh well, I can run up hills, right?  After some walking and the dynamic warmup we started our run. We ran up and over the first hill and then started running down...and down...and down.  Oh crap, we have to run back up all this!  So after almost a mile running downhill I suggested we turn around, otherwise we might not make it back up.  Check out the elevation profile!
Full Garmin stats here.

Michelle kicked some major running butt, she was rocking it up that hill.  This was only the second time she'd run without pushing a stroller. I didn't even attempt to keep up with her, though she was nice enough to wait for me a couple times so I didn't slip too far behind. We wrapped it up just as the sun was breaking through the morning cloud cover.

Post run smiles!
Back at the campsite and we took the kids on a walk so the guys could pack up. At the camp playground we ran them through a little workout - squats, jumping jacks and whatever else we could dream up. That was fun. After we were done Marek yelled to his buddy P, "Now let's go play!". Wait, so squats and jumping jacks didn't feel like playtime? Oh well, they'd seemed happily up for the exercise drills so we must be doing something right.
Back at home and I put together a healthy sandwich for myself. I was putting away the food when I came across a bag of Doritos with a few handfuls of chips left.  I had some and then reminded myself that the camping trip was over and put the rest down the garbage disposal. The leftover marshmallows met the same fate.  Miguel had bought a HUMONGOUS bag of Kettle chips at Costco and I even had a few of those before I reminded myself that I actually don't like them that much. They are the Sea Salt flavor and I find them kind of boring (Salt & Pepper flavor is more my speed). So I wrapped up the bag and put it in the garage so he can take them to work.

So I'm sure my weight will take a serious jump after this weekend but hopefully I can get it back down to something closer to last week's weight if I stay focused for the next five days. I don't think I have any social plans and I need to write out my Olympic tri training plan so those two things should keep my eyes on the goal.

Oh, before I close, I finally ordered a RoadID bracelet.  It arrived on Friday so I wore it on the trip. Karen had one on the backpacking trek and after our almost-getting-lost experience I decided it was time. I plan to wear it whenever I'm out running or training by myself. It's a tiny bit snug (size small) but Karen said hers is too and she barely notices she has it on, that it's better than to have it moving around like a bracelet. I got used to it really fast and also barely noticed it. Now if running actually ever does kill me, instead of just feeling like it's going to kill me, at least they'll have a head start on IDing my body.

That's all I got.  Sorry for the super-sized post, it's been a busy few days.


  1. You look fantastic in that bikini! I have not been brave enough yet, but I am working on it. Looks like you had a great time and wow, a barrel race! Super fun! Love all the pics!

  2. Awesome graph! What program do you get that with? Thanks!


If you don't want to login, use the Name/URL option (just type in your name...or any name for that matter). If you use the "Anonymous" option your comment won't get posted. - Michelle