Sunday, March 31, 2013

Departing Day

Sad day. I left Hilton Head Health today. The good news? I lost 8 pounds in the week I was there!! Oh what I wouldn't give to be able to stay there for a whole month and just totally submerge myself into the program!! That would be so amazing. We had a late breakfast, at 9am and it was so cute and Easter-y!

Since I had to leave early they packed me up a yummy little boxed lunch to take with me to the airport.

My friend picked me up from the airport in Nashville and I was starving. We went to our favorite Sunday night spot for dinner- Suzy Wong's. I ordered the Indian Chicken, but with brown rice and soy sauce on the side. I did have wine, though. It was scrumptious. I told him alll about camp and all the things I learned. My fear is that I will lose this momentum and I will revert back to old habits. I am terrified of that. I can only hope that I will remember how I felt all week and that will motivate me to keep treading on.

Nutrition for Health

A couple days ago one of our lectures here was called "Nutrition for Health." It was a two part series and it was really pretty good. I'm going to be completely honest with you- before I started this health retreat, I was very skeptical about what all I was going to actually learn. I know that I might look like someone who doesn't know a thing about health and how to be healthy, but the truth is that I know a LOT about it. I just don't apply it! And I don't think I'm the only person who feels this way. I know how to exercise, I know how to cook and eat healthy, and definitely know how to make smart choices. In fact, I think I could probably teach a damn class about health! So, this being said, I was so happy to have my ego crushed by the incredible speakers here. I have learned more in the past 4 days than I have since I started this journey.

Here's the thing: knowledge is available at our fingertips 24/7, but that knowledge is limited to how we tailor the search for that information. Having someone teach you from a non-biased point and without having the slightest idea of what you are already thinking the answer should be is both refreshing and surprising. That being said, let me jump into what I learned from this nutrition lecture.

 Firstly: so how does the "Hilton Head Health" food plan work? You stick to 1200 calories a day. I know this might sound like a bird's daily intake, I was very skeptical about this when I started, but hear me out :). You have 3 meals a day, right? Breakfast is from 7:30-9, 300 calories. A snack is at 10:30, 100 calories. Lunch is from 12-1:30, 300 calories. Afternoon snack at 3, 100 calories. Dinner is from 6-7, 300 calories. Then, one last 100 calorie snack at 8pm. Sounds pretty simple, huh? Honestly, I feel like I am always eating. They are keeping us pretty busy, but it seems like every 30 minutes we are trotting over to the mess hall for grub! The snacks are always the same selection: cottage cheese, fruit, raw veggies, yogurt, rice cakes, etc... That is actually getting kind of old, but I'm surviving. The meals are so well rounded and filling that you cannot tell you're only eating 300 calories. I've gotten tons of 300 calorie meal recipes here and I will be cooking them at home and sharing them with you when I get back.

What's surprising to me is that I am eating 1200 calories strictly all everyday and I am completely satisfied, no hunger headaches, no grumpiness... At home I will be at a point in the day where I know I have already consumed at least 1200 calories and I will get intense headaches and irritability will overcome me. Of course my first instinct is to blame it on hunger. If I can make it here, exercising 8 hours a day, I know I can survive at the office sitting on my ass for 9 hours straight on only 1200 calories.

Food items you do not see here: salt, sugar, soda, desserts of any kind, peanut butter (which I am missing so much more than I ever thought I could!!), anything fried. What you see a lot of: whole wheat products, lean protein, veggies, fruit, low and nonfat dairy, water.

The food pyramid they center their meals around is really good. The bottom tier is 5 servings/day of fruits and veggies. Next is 4-8 servings a day of whole grains, legumes, and starchy veggies. Next you have 2-3 servings of low fat dairy, 6-8 ounces of lean protein and fish. They highly suggest 2 servings of fish per week. The next tier is 2-5 servings of mono saturated fats and oils a day, such as olive oil. The top tier is 1/4-2 ounces of nuts and seeds a day.

To break this down a little bit more... They are big fans of the fruit and veggie rainbow. Eat a wide variety of different color veggies and fruits to get the variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber and put chemicals you need to stay healthy and fit. And when you think color, it's the color of the part you're eating. So a pear is considered white. For example: blue and purple help you maintain urinary tract health, memory function, healthy aging. Green: vision health, strong bones and teeth. White (pears, cauliflower): Heart health, cholesterol. Yellow/orange: heart health, vision health, healthy immune system. Red: heart health, memory function, urinary tract health. So I thought that was kind of cool.

Another thing that was kind of like a slap in the face was the difference between "whole wheat" and "whole grain." when you think about it, it totally makes sense, but if you're in the store looking for a bread or pasta if you see whole grain you might not think twice about it! Well, it can be whole grain, but not wheat! Something to add to your shopping list so you know to be on the lookout for marketing tricks like that. I also learned to really pay attention to nutrition facts. I always look at them, but I have not been looking at them in the right way. So, you know it says "serving size" on there, but what you need to take into account is your "portion size." They're two totally different things. Think about what you will actually eat when you get it home. For example, I'm drinking a Mich Ultra right now and I just got punked! I saw that the calories are 95' so I just started drinking it without a second thought! I just looked again and in the fine print it says "per 12 ounces." there are 16 ounces in this bottle... That's the kind of thing that you have to be aware of. Everything that goes into your body is relevant.

Next we talked about trans fats. I am so glad we talked about this because I have never really understood them. Trans fats clog your arteries because they increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower the good cholesterol (HDL). This is the opposite of saturated fats, which only increase LDL. Trans fats are pro-inflammatory, which is synonymous to giving your heart a big old bitch slap. They are mainly found in processed, packaged, fried, and convenience foods.

 The main catchphrase the speaker used was "unwise, better, best." This is all about looking at your food options and making the best decision. The fried chicken fingers and fries is obviously unwise. The grilled chicken Caesar salad is better, but the grilled fish and steamed veggies is best. Trust me, I know it's hard. So hard. For those of you struggling, the only advice I can really give you is to just tell yourself you want to do this. Without that internal motivation, nothing you do will ever make a lasting difference. Losing weight and keeping it off is the most ultimate sacrifice you can do for yourself. It is also the best. Do you want it or not?

There is so much trivial shit out there that we forget about the fundamentals of health. The speaker had hilarious stories about past guests. One guy came to camp wondering why they didn't have artichoke tea. Apparently there had been recent studies about the benefits of artichoke tea and it was current 15 minute craze.

You really have to challenge your habits and routines to make this work. Don't underestimate the power of habits. They are very powerful. Find a routine that works for you. One thing he said that really hit was that the things we do consistently are the things that determine the state of our health. For so long I thought that my occasional binges were the things that had gotten me to this point. Well, they obviously had a part, but the main thing was this the obliviousness to what all I'm actually consuming day in and day out. I know for a fact there have been weeks where I've consumed 3,000 calories each day. Did the one 2,000 calorie pizza binge have the biggest effect during those 3 weeks? No. It was the 21 days of 3,000 calories a day with no exercise.

A concept we discussed what "compressed morbidity." I had never heard of this. Basically, the whole idea is that the healthy live longer and die quicker, but the unhealthy die sooner but are sicker longer. I definitely want to live long and die fast. That was a startling concept.

It is also startling to realize how quickly the obesity epidemic has come on. It has doubled in the last 20 years. Something in the mid 80's really changed our environment. I was born in 1984, so this was the exact time of this change. We have to recognize the impact the environment has on our behavior. Nature's role is to find the easy way. Look at naturally flowing water for example: it flows down, not up! We have to go around this natural behavior to achieve the results we want. And with all the technology out there we have to work extra hard to be motivated to make up for lost energy. Look at fast food drive throughs! You can eat an entire day's worth of calories with literally NO energy expended. You drive to the window, talk for 3 seconds, flick your card out the window, and eat in the same seat without moving. Speaking of restaurants, did you know that they serve 4 times as much now as they did 50 years ago? Another "bobism" as we called them, since our speaker's name is Bob, was that at some point you have to become your own scientist. The impact food has on your health depends on the quantity and frequency it enters your body. Having broccoli every six months cannot help you at all, but eating it 3 times a week will. The myth is that you need this huge variety of foods, but the truth is that you need to consistently eat the same group of healthy foods, so you can occasionally treat yourself.

I also loved that this resort focused on the Mediterranean diet. Well, really it was more the Volumetrics diet, which is the Mediterranean diet without the oils. I will post more on these lectures until I've covered everything we went over. I hope you are learning from these entries. I was completely blown away with all the information we were given on this retreat. It totally met my expectations plus more.

Last Day of Fitness Vacation

Last day! So sad! I have really enjoyed this retreat. I am very pleased with everything I've learned. I would definitely recommend Hilton Head Health to anyone who thinks they might enjoy a "fitness vacation." The food is really good and the lectures were phenomenal.

Day 6 started with an early breakfast at 6:30 (yogurt and fruit) followed by a 5K! I ran the entire time without stopping. I've run that distance before, but never in an actual 5K. I am so proud of myself for being able to endure runs now. I have never considered myself as a person able to run without stopping. Even when I was a college cheerleader I had trouble running. Ok, so the picture of me in the red was March 2011 on the day I moved to Nashville. It was my first official 5K and I walked 80% of that race. I tried to run, but I just couldn't do it. Here is me in the green after I finished this one- I look the same, but I am in much better shape (how does that work!?). Remember the girl I was telling you about who lost 85 pounds on this program? She finished 2nd in her age group! That was so inspirational.

My trainer here on the island, Jeff, literally won the race! He is a model of health and does ironmans. He also coaches Crossfit! So you know we hit it off! I am so thankful for my friend Stacey, who got me to sign up for IronTribe when it opened in Nashville. It has literally changed my life. There is absolutely NO way in hell I would've been able to keep up with all the activities this week. I got to enjoy everything on the schedule PLUS the extra activities (tennis, kayaking, etc...) Everytime I told one of the trainers here that I do Crossfit I got a big high 5! There were these little baby kettlebells in one of the studios that I got a kick out of- i snapped a picture and sent it to my coach back home. He said I could juggle them! Lol.

One more thing about Crossfit... I have noticed that it has helped me face the realization that I CAN go strong until the end in everything I do. I don't know if that makes sense or not. I don't like how the instructors here don't count our reps during the workouts, I have grown used to knowing how much I have left.

After the 5K we headed back to the resort for our metabo meal (banana).

At 11 we attended a seminar on "hot topics in nutrition." The speaker addressed all the popular topics out there like 'gluten-free,' organic vs. non-organic and etc... The most interesting thing I learned in there was about gluten free and I realized out dumb it really is. The only people who should adhere to gluten free are those with Celiacs diaease. Gluten is the protein in wheat, barley, and rye. That gluten is what holds the breads, pastas, etc... together. So when you take gluten out of those pastas, or whatever, something else has to be ADDED to the processing of them! This tends to add fat and other bad shit to the food, that actually ends up making the food WORSE for your health. Mind blown. We talked about how companies jump on every diet bandwagon because we are so damn gullible. Quinoa and yogurt even say 'gluten free' when they never even had it to begin with! Brownie mixes say gluten free on them and we assume that means healthier without even glancing at the nutrition facts. God we are really dumb sometimes, aren't we?

Lunch was at noon and it was really good. We started off with a veggie puree soup and the meal was a shrimp and black bean tostada.
One of the best meals here.

At one we loaded up in the van and headed to Pinckney Island... For a 9 mile hike! This was awesome, but EXHAUSTING. By mile 6 my feet were burning like crazy. I've never hiked that far ever. And it was gorgeous! I absolutely loved the salt marshes. We did see a big ol alligator in one of the ponds and that was a liiiiittle scary. We had our afternoon metabo meal on the hike, which was a trail mix.

The hike pretty much wiped us out, so I took my time getting ready for dinner. We busted out of the resort so we could go to a nice restaurant. We went to The Old Fort Pub, which was right on the river and it was fabulous. The sun was setting and it was breathtaking. I got a Caesar salad with the dressing on the side so I could "dip and spear." The entree was rainbow trout, with sherry dill sauce on the side. Omg, it was fabulous. I really miss having access to fresh ocean fish. We got a cherry creme brulee dessert and I had two bites. I was perfectly satisfied after dinner and not full. I did have two glasses of wine, though... Oh well. After dinner I passed out around 9:30pm. Here are some pics at the restaurant.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day 5- 6 pounds down

Six pounds down since Sunday! Wow. I know this is a lot in just 6 days, but that's what happens when you are exercising non-stop and only eating 1200 calories a day! I wish I could stay here for 3 months... one girl did and she lost 85 pounds! That would be so nice. The amazing thing is that I'm not as hungry as I thought I would be at the end of day. I am, but I know there's nothing I can do about it, so I focus my attention on something else (i.e. blogging :). Day 5 (Friday) was the toughest for me. By 5pm I was so hungry that I started to get a headache for the first time since I've been here. I was so grumpy!! I should have eaten an apple about 30 minutes before dinner because by 6pm I was at that unhealthy ravished state. It was not pleasant. Everyone was on my nerves so bad.

The day started with a late breakfast, about 8:30am. I had a buckwheat crepe with ricotta and berry filling. One baked egg on the side, a whole wheat piece of bread, and some fat free cream cheese. I got the bread and cream cheese because I had a feeling the crepe would be gross. And I was right. I liked the buckwheat, but the filling was no good. Ricotta is better in salty foods in my opinion.

At 9am we went to "beach boot camp." This was awesome! My favorite workout so far (besides the kayaking of course). It was 90 minutes of a lot of running and calisthenics. It was a great workout. The instructor had a lot of energy and was a great leader.

10:30: MetaboMeal (an orange)

11am: A lecture on the "Restaurant Game." This was a really good class. Like I've said before, I am very pleased with all of the fresh ideas I'm getting from this experience. At first when I thought about going to a lecture on eating healthy at restaurants, my thoughts were, ok, I'm going to hear a bunch of common sense stuff that everybody knows to do anyway: don't eat the bread, get the dressings and sauces on the side, skip dessert, etc... Duh. But, the speaker had a lot of really great information and it put a lot of things in perspective. First, he had us pick an entree off of McDonald's menu that we would normally order. So you might be thinking what I was: yeah, yeah, we all know it's crap and you can eat an entire day's worth of calories with literally no effort and in about 6 bites. But what really stunned me was the sodium! I mean, obviously you know it's going to have a lot, but it had more than the recommended daily value just in the meal! Then he handed us an Olive Garden menu and had us choose a meal we would order if we were there. It was truly appalling just to have the calories put in front of you. I thought back to how many times I've gone out recently and was just totally oblivious to how many calories I was consuming. It's mind blowing. Especially when you really step back and realize how many times a week you eat out. The average person eats out 6 times a week. This counts running to McDonald's for breakfast, grabbing a sub for lunch, and so on. Think about how many times you've just ordered a sandwich without paying any attention at all to how many calories are in it. That's the problem. We eat so much without having a CLUE as to what we're REALLY eating. The way to win the game is to just be conscious every meal and make smart decisions. If you're really serious about losing weight that is. If you are serious, you have to pay attention to how many calories you're consuming and how many you're burning off. It's that simple. Eating something with a low caloric density before dinner is something I'm going to start doing when I'm going to a restaurant. This way I don't get blown away by the smells and the atmosphere. I have to learn to really listen to my body's signals. Eat to be satisfied, NEVER stuffed. Of course, order dressings and sauces on the side. If you do this at every meal, you can EASILY save a couple hundred calories a DAY. A light beer is going to be around 150 calories, a glass of wine about 100. You HAVE to count this in. Anything that goes in is relevant. Some terms to avoid when ordering are: creamy, breaded, marinated, hollandaise, gravy, buttered... These pack on a very heavy caloric punch. Of course it tastes better with all that cream and butter, but being thin will taste even better :).

Lunch at Noon was wonderful. I have actually been craving red sauce, so a veggie pita pizza was perfect!

After lunch we rode our bikes down to the beach and chilled in the sand for about 30 minutes. It deinitely was not warm, but the sun was out and it wasn't too windy- it felt marvelous!

At 2 we went to another lecture, this time it was called "Staying on Track." I really learned a lot here, as well. This will have to be a separate entry as well. I promise I will get to all of these I'm putting off! I will just have to do it when I really have time to sit down and write.

At 3 we had a metabo meal, and I don't remember what I ate. Maybe a banana? Not sure.

Then at 3:30 we went to our 3rd lecture of the day called "Putting it all Together." This was for folks leaving camp this weekend and how you can apply everything you've learned this week to your daily routine. They showed us our indivudual RMRs and our recommended caloric intake values for weight loss and weight management. My caloric weight loss amount is 1600. I've been eating 1200 and I've been losing, so I'm a little skeptical to add 400 calories! Hey, maybe I'll drink 4 glasses of wine at the end of the day to meet it! Kidding...

Next: 4:30, "Absolutely Abs." This was a very low impact 25 minute ab class. By this time I was so exhausted and really was not giving that class 100%. I was so ready for bed I almost skipped it to take a nap! After this class my mom and I biked back to the villa to clean up and finally get the sand out of our hoo-hahs from 9am beach bootcamp! I was sooooo hungry and ready for dinner. This was the first time that I was starving by dinner time. Typically it's been lunch time where I feel the hungriest. I was grumpy as hell. After dinner I painted my nails and passed out at 8:30 pm! Well, I did have to get up at 5:30am for my 5k Saturday afterall... :) So, dinner Friday night was the "gourmet dinner" night. By gourmet they just meant it was a 4-course meal, that was all served to us. It was really good.
-Appetizer was "Avgolemono Soup" and it was the tits. Greek vegetable (grape leaves), rice, lemon and egg drop. (60 calories)
-Caesar Salad with a baked wheat crostini to break up instead of croutons. The dressing was a little watery, but it was good. I LOVE Caesar salads. I'd been craving one like crazy. (75 calories)
-Main entree was Herbed Ricotta and Chicken Stuffed Baked Manicotti. Tomato-basil sauce, mozzarella cheese, and broccolini. I loved this. The red sauce was so fresh. (400 calories)
-Dessert was awesome. Tiramisu. (160 calories)
Of course we didn't have wine, but we had Pellegrino with lime wedges, which was ALMOST as good (not even close...).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Relaxing Stresses me Out, Apparently

Day 4 of Fitness Vacation

Whoa. I only have two full days left. Unbelievable how quickly this is going by.

Anyways, today is Thursday and I have lost 3 pounds since Sunday. This is awesome because I felt like I had gained! Our menu here has way more carbs than what I've been eating back home. You know I don't believe in really low carb diets, but I do try to watch them.

Anyways, the day started around 6:30 with a coffee crisis (see previous post). Then around 7:30 we biked over to the mess hall for breakfast. We had waffles today! Half of a wheat waffle with berry pesto instead of syrup. I added fruit and cottage cheese to meet my 300 calorie allowance.

8:30am was "dynamic treading." This was a cool class- we hopped on and off the treadmill to do sculpting exercises. The treadmills we used moved based on the pressure of our steps. At first it felt really wierd, but once I got used to it I liked it. After that we did outdoor sculpting at 9:30. The sun was actually showing its face and the class was awesome. It was just my mom and me, so that was fun.

Then at 10:30 we had a metabo meal, which was a banana for me.

At 11 i went to a lecture called " Mastering Motivation." This was pretty cool- she talked about the differences between external and internal motivation. External is the little stuff like fitting into a wedding dress, etc... Internal are more concrete. My internal motivators are: I want to be comfortable, confident, happy, I want to look and feel good, I want to inspire others, I want to be desirable, and I want to live long but die fast. These internal motivators are what really drive you to be your best. So how DO you stay motivated? This is my constant number one problem. I'm great while I'm up, but once I get down, I stay down and it takes an external motivator (like being a bridesmaid) to resurface my internal motivation. Since motivation is so fickle, you have to stay ahead of it. While you're up there look ahead to strategize how you can stay there. You have to get to the point where your behavior is aligned with your internal motivation. Weight follows behavior. Instead of focusing on stopping all your old behaviors, create new and fresh ones. People typically don't change until they're in great pain. Change before you feel the pain. Prevent it. When you binge, ask yourself why you did it. Learn what triggers you to repeat the same unhealthy mistskes. Think about what you're already a master at. Expand on your strengths. For me, it is planning. I'm a fantastic planner. I'll get better at it. I need to plan so efficiently it will be impossible to stray. Fix a period for goals instead of trying to change forever. Think that you CAN do anything for ONE day. "I would like to get through this day without overeating and I would like to put in a little exercise." What tickled me is that she talked about the "monkey chatter" that goes on in her head at restaurants. Remember the blog I wrote about the war in my head over ordering a grilled chicken salad? She addressed this exact issue, terming it "order envy." You've been there- you're out with friends, you make up your mind on the healthy option, then your twig bitch friend orders the fried heaven delight. It sounds so good, your willpower and your good choices take off running full speed straight out the back door. Then you're left there feeling like a failure and ridden with guilt as you enjoy your bad decision. How do you avoid this? Have a plan and stick to it. Look at the menu ahead of time and make your mind up without even opening the menu. Order first, then close your ears while everyone else orders if you have to. So what if they think you're insane. They would think you're even crazier if they knew what all was going on in your head after making the bad choice! Finally we ended with a personal vision statement. This is something to remind you everyday what was on your mind when you were up there, at your motivation high. I suggest you make one, too.

After that lecture we scooted over to lunch. We had bread! Glorious, crunchy bread. Turkey panini with veggie soup.

1:30 was meditation. At my health assesment the first day, one of the things my counselor suggested I do was to meditate. This came from me explaining how bored I am at night after work. I get off so late at night that my options to occupy my time are limited. This is when I binge. I've never meditated before, never really had any interest it. Seems a little strange to me. Those of you who know me well, you know I like noise. Come over to my house and it is far from quiet. I'll either have the windows open, listening to the sounds of the city, or the radio is on, or i'll pop a movie in. Silence is deafening to me. For example: it's 11pm right now and I have music playing and a fan going while I type this. I can't stand silence! This is why my counselor urged me to try meditation. So, i did. We got these cool mood dots to wear during the session. We put it on our arm and the point was for it to be all the way blue after the session. We meditated in the silent dark for 30 minutes and I hated every second. I was trying so hard to do it correctly! I couldn't focus. Everything I haven't thought about this week came rushing into my thoughts. The more I tried to push stuff out, the more stuff came in. After the session my dot was black! Clearly, I have found a big weakness. Relaxing stresses me out. I'm really trying to give this program my all, and I am going to believe in what they believe in. Meditation is a big component of a healthy lifestyle according to them. I'm really going to work on letting myself enjoy silence. Next I went to a 2pm lecture on Portion Control. Funny- as i was rushing to get there on time, frantically searching for a pen and paper, my mood dot turned blue, which is the top color, meaning stress-free.

At 3 we had a metabo meal (apple).

3:30: Aqua zumba, which was a little more slow paced than I would have liked, but it was till fun. br/>
4:30: Pool yoga. Ok, let's talk about this. Yoga. In the pool. Sounds cool, huh? It was about the dumbest situation I've ever been a part of. Warrior 3 in the pool! Where you can't keep your feet planted! Because you're in a pool... No thank you. We did do some cool stretches with the noodle, though that felt pretty good.

Dinner at 6. Seasame grilled chicken. This was delish.

After dinner my mom, Meredith, and I curled up at our villa and watched a movie. Then we ate our final metabo meal of the day, which was a rice cake and half a banana.

Oh, for those of you considering shipping me a coffee maker, we got one that's brand new! The front desk  delivered it to our villa today :) It's fresh out of the box! There's no possible way we can have issues with coffee in the morning! Well, here's hoping anyways!!

The Coffee Crisis Continues

Ok, so I know it may sound like I'm obsessing over coffee a little bit (or a lot), but this has turned hysterical. So, I told you in last night's blog how we went to Fresh Market and loaded up on fresh ground coffee... I slept so soundly knowing that I was going to wake up to my favorite form of caffeine.

(Blog break: my mom just ran in here to tell me she snuck two rice cakes in her bag so we can have them for our afternoon snack with a banana. They take them up after the 10:30 snack. Haha! Funny considering I'm writing about out coffee smuggling. We're such rebels!)

Ok, back to the coffee situation. About 6:30 am my mom came in my room and said: "Houston, we have a problem." I thought surely it couldn't be about coffee, I know we remembered filters! I know we have running water! Don't we!!?? Well, the coffee pot is broken!!! All it does is leak all over the place!!

Someone is going to die.

Frenzy set in. Then: whew! We found another pot.

Fail. It doesn't drip! Good God.

We can do this. Somehow we WILL get A cup of coffee out of these two shitty coffeemakers. A little rigging the second one up and we finally managed to make a couple cups.

We broke down this morning and told the front desk to get us a coffee pot. The shame was inevitable, but the other campers will be thankful, I promise :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 3- Fitness Vacation

Well, day 3 is in the books! Today was my favorite so far. I started a little late because we were kayaking, and I didn't want to be too tired. Breakfast was at 8:30 and it was really good. Half of a wheat english muffin, poached egg and tomato and avocado relish. I was still hungry afterwards, so I grabbed a couple teaspoons of sugar free yogurt and strawberries.

9am was a quick tabata abs session. I liked this class because the tabata style reminded me of crossfit :).

9:30am: Fitball strength. This was a pretty fun class, it kind of worked it all. 10:30am was a metabo meal. I had an orange and some broccoli.

Funny side note: there was an alligator chillin' on the golf course today:

At 11am I went to an awesome lecture on emotional eating. I will write a separate blog about this one, too. The speaker was amazing.

Ok, lunch was pretty sweet. At noon we walked over to the dining hall to find a buffett! Since there are so many buffetts in the "real world," they want to teach us how to make the best choices. The trick is to go ahead and walk around the entire buffett first and decide what you want, that way you're not just piling on crap. So, here's how it worked: you had 300 calories to eat and everything was labeled. I fixed my plate and it was only 185 calories, so I went back and got seconds :)

1pm was KAYAKING! YAY! Omg, it was so fun. I haven't been kayaking in forever. So, I was freaking out about whether or not I was too big for the damn thing. I mean, I knew I wouldn't be, but I was still scared. Once I got in it and pushed off it was such a relief. I'm so tired of these fat fears consuming my time. Kayaking was a blast. The best part? There were dolphins! They were swimming so close to us it was surreal. Totally wasn't expecting to see dolphins. My mom is terrified of water above her head and she's never kayaked before. I was really proud of her for giving it a shot. And she had fun! When we got back to the spa it was time for a metabo meal. This time I had a handful of grapes.

The next class was "butts and guts" at 4:30. We were so exhausted that it was hard to do the movements! I'm definitely going to be sore tomorrow! After that class we ran back to the villa to get cleaned up for dinner. Dinner was salmon with asian bbq sauce with brown rice and snow peas. It was delicious.

After dinner we shuttled over to Harbour Town to watch the sunset. I was so jealous of all the folks out there drinking beer, eating fried seafood... But I quickly got over it. Thank goodness we had already eaten or I might have run away from fat camp right then and escaped to the bar! The sunset was absolutely beautiful.

We got back to camp around 8 and my mom and I broke down and had to get some coffee for the condo. It's so funny to me that of all the things I could be missing and craving, it's coffee. Not chocolate or fried food: coffee. We might have gone a little cray cray considering we only have 4 days left, but it's going to be awesome having that magic elixir when I wake up! We went to Fresh Market and ground FOUR different kinds of coffee! Haha. And you see that Tervis? I plan on filling it all the way to the rim and drinking every last drop!

Fitness Vacation Day 2!

Ok, so today was a little tougher than the first day. There is no coffee in our villa- scratch that. There IS coffee and a pot, but no filters and no creamer. They probably did that on purpose to be mean, horrible people lol. My mom tried to make coffee with a paper towel- disaster, of course. It's crazy to me that of all things for me to feel deprived of, coffee is the main thing! There is coffee in the dining hall from 6:45am- until the end of breakfast and it is a hot commodity I tell ya! I have really learned to appreciate the taste of hot tea. I've never really been a big fan of it, but with a little bit of lemon, it has quickly become something I think I will enjoy more of when I get back home.

Anyway, so we woke up about 6am, got ready, and biked the mile and a half to the health spa. We were supposed to be there at 7am to go for a sunrise beach walk but it is FREEZING here in the mornings. We skipped the sunrise beach walk and enjoyed 30 minutes of hot coffee-guzzling bliss.

                                              Oh, and then we took some selfies :)

Breakfast was at 7:30am. It sounded delicious, but it was not. Banana Bread french toast with blueberry topping and a mixed berry smoothie. I added cottage cheese to meet my 300 calorie allowance.

     Then I added more cottage cheese and fruit because the french toast tasted like shit.

After breakfast I went to "retro dance" at 8:30. I was actually feeling a little queasy because I'm still on antibiotics from when I had strep throat last week, and I almost didn't go. But, I went, and I decided that if I threw up in front of everyone I really didn't care. Some of the fools here get on my nerves so damn bad. My mom and I have picked out the "regulars." There is this group of people who come here every year, even a few times a year and they know EVERYTHING. They are constantly bossing everybody around as if we are a bunch of high school freshman trying to find our way to language arts. During the classes or lectures, they are always interrupting the instructors and it's just funny. Anyways, back to the retro dance class. At first I was rolling my eyes because the teacher was ancient and we were dancing to songs like Barry Manilow "Copacabana." It was basically a big snorechestra. Then out of nowhere the cupid shuffle came on and I got so excited I almost peed my pants. All these old women (OLD) started laughing and yelling about how they've never done the Cupid Shiffle sober! HAHAHA! OMG, that livened me up so much. After that we started doing the twist and other fun songs. Well played, instructor lady.
9:30 was "treading." Don't let the treadmill fool you. This was the hardest workout we've done yet. The treadmills are these fancy woodway machines that really feel like you're walking on the ground. It was 45 minutes of intervals and inclines, walking/jogging, led by an instructor. It was a fantastic workout. I was sweating like crazy.

Then at 10:30 we had a metabo meal. This is 100 calories and I chose yogurt and half of an apple.

At 11am we went to a lecture on nutrition and health. I will have to come back to this part in full detail later because I really want to share with you all I learned.

  Lunch was at noon and it was awesome. It was just a bean burrito, but the flavor was really good.

After lunch my mom and I hopped over to the tennis resort and had an hour lesson. The coach, Shelley, was really good. My mom and I have played tennis our whole lives, so it was nice that it was just the two of us that signed up for the lesson. We actually got to play a lot. It's been a long time since I've had a tennis lesson, so it was great being reminded of some of the fundamentals. It was a pretty good workout, too. It reminded me of summers growing up on the tennis courts, constantly running around doing drills, picking up balls, then doing it all over again. This retreat is motivating me to get back to my old self so much. I used to do several activities a day and I was so happy.
After tennis we had part two of that nutrition and health lecture. Again, I will come back and post details about the information learned there. The speaker was amazing.
At 3pm we had another metabo meal. I opted for almonds and celery. The almonds tasted like tiny sponges. It was so gross, dude. OMG. They were soggy and chewy! Yuck!

At 3:30 I opted out of taking another fitness class and biked to the beach so I could bike ON the beach. That's right... ON the beach. It was about a 3 mile ride to the beach walk and it was a beautiful trail. I am in love with all the spanish moss and palm trees that are EVERYWHERE. This island is way prettier than I imagined. So, biking ON the beach is the bomb. The sand here is so hard, it's like biking on cement. So cool! It gives you a little resistance, so it's a great workout.




I biked for about and hour and a half and then got ready for dinner.  I was starving by the time dinner rolled around. The spongy almonds had long since left my stomach. Salad with artichoke heards, hearts of palm and fat-free french dressing, followed by chicken cordon bleu. The chicken was stuffed with turkey and spinach and breaded with Panko. It was baked of course. On the side we had broccoli and sweet potato. It was really pretty delightful.

  For my 8pm metabo meal I had two cans of low sodium V8 and celery. Guess what I was wishing it was!! :)


The best part of the day?? My best friend sent me mail!!! I squealed like a little girl when I got this at the front desk. Lee and I grew up together and we spent many summers at camp as kids. This was so sweet and it just made my day!!
Day 3 is kayaking- I am stoked! I hope I don't tip over!!