Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Got teeth?

I lost another 3.4 lbs. this week! That's good enough for me.

I also went to the dentist - finally! The last time I had insurance was in 1999. I only went to the dentist once since then (2003) until now. Not for lack of trying, of course. I've jumped through every hoop I could find to get to the dentist, but every time I failed. Only now, after getting on Bobby's insurance and finding a wonderful dentist office (David J. Berg, DDS) have I managed to get in.

Yesterday they cleaned my teeth and examined my teeth. I need my wisdoms removed, 6 cavities filled, and a deep cleaning (also called root planing). Luckily my insurance maximum for the year is $1750. I won't spend that much unless I have them put me out during the wisdom removal. I can handle to be awake, right? I think so.

In reality, I'm the lucky one. Bobby's teeth need lots of expensive work that will take over 2 years of insurance to cover. His mouth is more sensitive than mine, so the treatments are more uncomfortable for him. Also, he's always disliked going to the dentist. At least he likes this dentist and the whole office, as do I. I'm really grateful for our insurance and the opportunity to go to the dentist.

Smiles all around!

[Added after Bobby came home from work this evening:]

Bobby just came home. His work sent around an email that they are changing their insurance plan on August 1st. We're both very distressed at this news. And why didn't they tell us earlier? They say that they'll pay the same amount, but our dentist isn't a "preferred provider" for the new company, so I think we'll be paying a lot more than we were planning. We don't want to change dentists... we just managed to start working with this one... and we like him a lot. This sucks!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The American River Bike Trail

We started the morning at the Bridge Street Bridge near Sunrise Blvd. We knew today would be a scorcher, so we took our hike early in the AM. We walked about 3 miles each way and I'm now carrying 16 lbs each trip. I was so warm by the end, I couldn't help dipping in the American River just before we got back to this bridge.

I'm hoping that I'll get some practice hiking on uneven terrain and be up to 20 lbs within a week or so. I don't hardly notice the weight of the pack anymore, but I do notice that I'm hungry the day after a long hike.

If we continue to cover 2 miles of the bike trail each trip (4 miles total), we'll have covered the whole bike trail before we go backpacking. This assumes we continue to hike every other day. Not only does it get me ready for the trip, but we've been mapping out great places to swim and hills to climb during our triathlon training. I'm so excited.

Cross your fingers for big numbers on the scale tomorrow!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Last Sunday I added another 2.4 lbs to my weight-loss total. So, I finally lost more than the previous week: this gives me renewed hope.

Bobby and I also went up to check out our triathlon course. .6 miles looks like quite a distance across the Lake at Lake of the Pines! We'll have to start swim skill training a bit early to be ready by September.

Our camping group met at a park and went over our pack lists. We also practiced setting up the tent, convincing several park-goers that we were all homeless and planning on sleeping there for the night!

Our walking trips to prepare for the trip have all been along the Sacramento Bike Trail. We start each day where we left off the previous trip, so now we're all the way to Haggin Park in Rancho Cordova. I think we'll eventually see all of the Sacramento Bike Trail, but it will take a while. 2 hours per trip or about 7 hours per week only gets you so far when you're packing 16+ lbs with you. At least I know I'll be ready for the July 17th trip!

Happy Trails to you!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bikes, Packs, & Plans

I've been keeping myself quite busy over the last 10 days or so planning the backpacking trip & looking at bicycles, but more on that later.

I failed to update you on the June 7th & 14th weigh-ins: I lost another 3 lbs, then 2.2 lbs and Bobby lost 3.8, then 4.2 lbs. That brings my total loss to 18.4 lbs and Bobby's to 18 lbs. Not bad for 4 weeks, huh?

The only problem with this is that I've lost less each week than the previous week. That scared me a bit, so I've come up with a plan: I'm going to force down my 67 oz of water each day and I'm going to train - for the backpacking trip 1st & when I get back - for a triathlon.

I'll train for the trip by walking 90-120 minutes 3-4 times per week and I'll carry a little more weight with me each trip to prepare me for my pack. As of yesterday, I'm up to 13 lbs at the beginning of the walk - I drink water throughout, so I'm down to about 10 lbs by the end of the walk. I don't have far to go because I reduced my pack weight down to about 20 lbs. Part of reducing my pack included getting down to a super-light 40 liter pack by Go-Lite: woo-hoo!

For the triathlon, I'll be following the Phase II plan in "Triathlon Training in Four Hours a Week" by Eric Harr. (Thanks, Dad for buying this book for me a few Christmases ago!) It will take me 6 weeks to train for the sprint triathlon in Auburn, CA on September 5th. This will be on the Saturday before I turn 31. Now that's a great present to myself - completing a triathlon. As I've said in the past: I'd rather be rich in experience than rich in stuff.

However, my training will come with a nice package of goodies: I'll need a bike or I'll need to modify mine to work. I'll need weekly massages or chiropractic care. I'll need Birkenstock inserts for my running shoes. I'll need to go to the dentist to deal with my chronic tooth pain. I know most people don't see dentist visits as a goody, but I will find much relief there!

As for the bicycle, I cannot find one to work with my short frame for under $800. In reality, I'm looking at a minimum of about $2,000. So I might have to build one myself, which will have to wait until after the triathlon. Perhaps as my reward for reaching my goal weight around 130 lbs.? Or I can get one from Terry Bicycles. They have spot-on design. And they have old models for about 1/2 off!

I only know this because I've devoted nearly every waking hour over the past 4 days to researching bicycle design and selection. I now know all about the angles on a bike, the anatomy and nomenclature, the philosophies. I've read all of the forums and considered all of my options. I used to love to ride my bicycle, so I had to meditate on why I haven't enjoyed it as much as an adult. I've come to the conclusion that I'm in too much physical distress to thoroughly enjoy my rides because no bike fits me well.

That's all for now. Next weigh-in tomorrow morning!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Experience This!

No news on my weight-loss. I'm following the diet, but struggling with drinking all of my water.

Bobby and I've been struggling to deal with something that happened a long time ago, so stress may reduce my loss this week, but we'll see.

In an attempt to deal with my slightly depressive state, I've been working on my Summer 2009 Soundtrack. Songs always take me back to the time and experiences that I had while listening to them. I mean, if I hear a song that I used to listen to in 1995, such as Creep by Radio Head, I remember some intimate moments that took place in Bobby's Ford Ranger on the way to Camp Sacramento, which is where we both worked in the summer of 1995

Songs also can change your mood. For this reason, I frequently try to focus my music collection on upbeat, happy songs. I always throw in a few angst and vocal songs for good measure.

So, as I've gone through my music lists, I remembered 2 things: 1. Lauryn Hill's Miseducation of Lauryn Hill remains one of the best albums of all time. 2. Pink Floyd's album, Dark Side of the Moon, was expertly adapted into a laser light show at the planetarium at DeAnza College in Cupertino.

Today's blog comes with this message: You've got to go see Dark Side of the Moon at the Laser Light Show. It is worth the drive or flight. Even if you don't care for this album, it is perfect for creating the whole experience with the lasers. This experience will always rate as one of the highlights of my life.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Weigh-in #2

It's one thing to stick to a plan when it's new and you're totally focused on it. It's another thing when you've created new habits.

Sure, it's easier to remember not to eat between meals. I still get hungry and have to resist eating outside my plan, BUT I'm no longer in the habit of going into the kitchen to look for food. (That always led to grazing, anyway.) In fact, I don't have to think about the plan much at all anymore. I'm in the habit of finding active things to do instead of eating, etc. But this is a new kind of dangerous territory.

Now I'm bored. I'm not constantly planning strategies and enacting them. I'm just bored. I want to sleep the day away. Admittedly, this is partly due to soreness from walking over 2 hours yesterday, but it's more than that. School's out and I'm chugging along in the right direction, but what should I do with myself? What can I fill my mind with?

I lost another 3.6 lbs last week and that brings my total to 13.2 lbs. - not shabby for 15 days! I'm happier now that I'm more active and lighter. Bobby is complimenting me regularly. I guess I'll just throw myself into clearing out our apartment - our home needs to lose about half of it's weight, too! And I'll plan the backpacking trip. And I'll plan a jogging route. I'll be fine, right?

I want to push to lose 4 lbs this week, so I'll drop below 200. However, I really need to just keep plugging away and not push. Hopefully the housework will keep me busy.

2 confessions: I've not been drinking all of my water & I cannot stand eating ham sandwiches anymore... I guess I'm going back to my old stand-by: turkey. I've also eliminated the mayo.

Wish me luck getting down to 200!