Month: June 2013

That Weight Thing

I’m currently in the Amazon Jungle, but wanted to write a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time!

So, you may have noticed I haven’t mentioned or talked about my weight in a loooong time on here. Fortunately, that’s not because I’ve gone off the deep end and gained everything back.

My goal weight with Weight Watchers was 164, but I found that SO HARD to maintain at my height of 5’8 and I was only able to stay there for a few weeks. I met with my primary care doctor to talk to her about my weight, and she said I should try to maintain between 175-180 to be healthy for my height and with my build, so I reset my goal weight to 177 with Weight Watchers. I know that probably sounds like a lot to some people, but I am not looking to be skinny – I just want to be average and healthy, and not obese. I love food way too much to restrict myself in the way that I would have to to get down to my original goal weight or below.

I almost don’t want to put this in writing for fear of jinxing myself, but for the last several months, I haven’t been counting points and have just been eating intuitively. And you know what? I’ve actually been maintaining in the range my doctor suggested I go for. Though I’ve had to keep trying and being mindful of what I’m eating, I’ve found that my body finally isn’t fighting me anymore.

I’ve had my fair share of pizza, french fries, and chicken wings, but have been very aware of portion sizes and not overdoing it when I’m eating those heavier things. I’ve also focused on eating healthy staples most of the time – fruit, veggies, English muffins, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, and smoothies. For the first time in what feels like ever, I’ve actually been able to keep nut butter in my house and not have the jar disappear in a day or two. It’s been sort of eye opening trying and learning to trust myself with food again.

So, for a while now, I’d been thinking I should try to get back to 164 before the surgery to get as ideal of results as possible. But, I’ve been looking through a lot of forums and they say you should go into the surgery at your goal weight – and a lot of times its higher than you think it might be. They say you want to pick a weight you can maintain and go into surgery at that weight because then you will get ideal results for a weight you know you can maintain, and where you won’t have to fight against it.

I’ve decided that because of that, I want to focus on working out and getting strong going into the surgery, but NOT losing any more weight because I know where I am right now is something I can maintain for the long-haul. I feel like my body will be best contoured with ideal results at the place I am at now, and I really don’t want to spend the rest of my life trying to get my weight to an arbitrary number that clearly goes against where it wants to be.

Getting Ready for Peru

Getting ready for my very quickly approaching 17 day trip to Peru has been WAY more stressful than I expected. I’ve never in my life taken a trip like this, so didn’t know exactly what would go into it. The only other places I’ve been on vacation are to the beach, and I basically just showed up with myself, a bathing suit, and a few other things and relaxed away. This time, I booked my ticket from DCA to Lima, Peru because flights were cheap ($650 round trip) without doing TOO much research into exactly where things were in Peru or what went into preparing for the trip. Not necessarily the best way to plan a big trip like this, but it forced me to make it happen.

Before getting ready for the trip, I had to:

  • Schedule an appointment with a travel medicine clinic. Here I got a Hepatitis A vaccine as well as a yellow fever vacine, and a prescription for Cipro (an antibiotic) in case I develop typhoid symptoms (fever, diarrhea, fun).
  • Schedule an appoint with my PCP. She prescribed me malaria medication, altitude sickness medication, and some medicine for my anxiety around traveling on sketchy buses. In retrospect, I could have gone to the travel medicine clinic for all of these things, but I had to see my primary care doctor anyway, so it wasn’t a huge deal.
  • Renew my passport. It expired in January, and I took care of getting a new one in March so I had plenty of time.
  • Book a domestic flight. Flying in and out of Lima was great and cheap, but I realized that most of where we wanted to go was located much closer to Cusco, so we had to book an additional flight from Lima to Cusco, which ended up costing about $350, so airfare is around $1000 total.
  • Plan the itinerary. When looking to book tour groups, they were asking for close to $3,000 for as few as 8 days of travel. This did NOT include flights, and when I was looking at the prices, I knew that wasn’t the way I wanted to go. So, instead, we did a lot of research and booked things ourselves.

What we came up with:

  • June 21: Fly from DCA to Lima and stay overnight at a hostel near the airport
  • June 22: Fly from Lima to Cusco and stay in a hostel in the city
  • June 23 – June 29: Get picked up at our hostel, and take a 7 day, 6 night guided tour of the amazon jungle. I negotiated the price and we were able to get the trip (which includes the tour, all accommodations, and all our food) for $750 USD each.
  • June 29 – July 5: 5 nights in an apartment in downtown Cusco through airbnb.com. We were able to find a nice apartment with a kitchen, wifi, laundry, and everything we could need for $56 USD per night right in the center of the city.
  • July 1 – day trip to Machu Picchu. This cost about $250 USD per person, and includes transport to and from, entrance fees, and the tour itself.
  • July 5: Fly from Cusco back to Lima, stay overnight in a hostel in the city center, spend 2 full days in Lima
  • July 7: Fly from Lima back to DCA (just after midnight, so no need for a second night in a hostel)

It seems like a LOT of traveling when I look at it put down like this, so I am really glad we have those 5 nights at the same place in Cusco. Hopefully we will take a few days just to relax and explore.

Packing

I am bringing a large hiking backpack that I am borrowing from my sis, and plan to bring just that, so wanted to pack really light. We made sure to have laundry in our apartment in Cusco, so will be able to do it on day 8/9 of the trip – just about half way through. June is winter in Peru, and it seems like the temperatures vary a lot – from in the upper 60s during the day, to the low 30s overnight. This means one thing – dress in layers! Since I am trying to pack light, I wanted to make sure not to bring anything more than I needed, so I did a ton of research on what to bring during that time of year. I was able to bring the list down to a reasonable amount which all fits in the backpack. For the jungle tour portion, the company is giving us a duffle bag that we will fill with what we need just for the jungle (mostly hiking stuff and toiletries), and then we will leave the rest of our items at our hostel in Cusco.

backpack1

Here’s the full list:

Documents:

  • Passport
  • Yellow fever vaccine confirmation
  • Itinerary with hotel/hostel names/addresses/phone numbers + flight info
  • Peruvian Currency

Gear:

Clothes:

  • Socks
  • Bathing suit
  • 2 maxi dresses
  • 1 convertible skirt/dress
  • Black jeggings
  • 2 pairs hiking pants
  • 4 long sleeve shirts
  • 4 tanks for layering
  • 4 short sleeve shirts
  • Rain Jacket / Windbreaker
  • 10 pairs underwear
  • 2 Sports bras
  • 2 regular bras
  • Sarong
  • Pashmina
  • Scarf
  • Hiking sandals
  • Flip flops
  • Flats

Medical Kit:

  • Chapstick
  • Pepto
  • Immodium
  • Advil
  • After Bite
  • Bandaids
  • Blister Pads
  • Tissues
  • Benadryl
  • Malaria Meds
  • Altitude Sickness meds

Toiletries:

  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Hair tyes
  • Hair gel
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo (bringing a few hotel sized ones and will throw out as I go)
  • Conditioner (bringing a few hotel sized ones and will throw out as I go)
  • Body Wash (bringing a few hotel sized ones and will throw out as I go)
  • Face wash wipes
  • Wet Naps
  • Makeup

Miscellaneous

Not so bad for 17 days! It actually doesn’t even look like a lot when it’s all laid out.

gear1

Now, just to figure out how to get it all in the backpack…

What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

L+P

Last Saturday, one of my best friends in the world got married and it was so amazing to be a part of her special day. This wedding had been a LONG time coming, seeing as she met her now-husband just days into our freshman year of college, and they’ve been together pretty much ever since. It’s been pretty incredible to watch their relationship grow over the last almost 11 years, from two young kids still trying to figure it out and grow up, to two adults who stayed madly in love and have grown and figured it out together. Lianne has always been one of my closest friends since we met freshman year, but it’s been pretty awesome to grow so close with Parker too. I swear I’m not usually this sentimental, but I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what I want in relationship from watching the two of them. Enough of that!

The festivities started out Friday night with the rehearsal, and the five of us who are BFFs from college with Lianne got up and gave a little speech. I actually started (saying something similar to how I started this post…) and ended it, but it was funny having to keep the stories we shared PG since there was so much family (and grandparents) in the audience. And, as I’m sure you can imagine, stories from almost 11 years from ages 18 to 28 could lend themselves to some pretty inappropriate things, but we did a good job saying just enough.

Saturday morning, I headed over to the hotel to hang out with Lianne and the girls for a little while between hair and makeup, before heading back to my apartment to get ready for the big hoorah. The wedding was on the early side – 2:30 pm – so we got to the church by 2:15ish to make sure we got seats. The day itself started out stormy and rainy, and I was SO worried it wasn’t going to clear up. I kept hearing those famous words of Alanis Morissette (it’s like raaaaaain…) but luckily around 12:30 the rain completely cleared and it turned out to be the most amazing day.

Watching her two nephews walk down the aisle (besides making me miss my own niece and nephews!) was so darling, especially when Sammy, the younger one, hid behind Patrick after Patrick told him to smile.

photo 1 (7)

Before too long, it was Lianne’s big moment and I can’t imagine any eyes were dry when she walked into the church.

photo 2 (9)

She was breathtaking. Seriously.

The Catholic ceremony itself was really nice and powerful. I was pleasantly surprised with how much of a sense of humor their priest had because sometimes they can be a little dry, but he was very sweet and funny! Before too long, they were officially husband and wife and heading out of the church together.

leaving

And then, it was time for the real fun to begin. After a photo shoot of course.

One of the guys (ahem Andrew) tried to take a picture of the 5 girls…

photo 5 (5)

But how many do you see there? Luckily some of them could count…

the girlds

Lindsay, me, Rachel, Jess, and Leah.

And, the guys.

photo 1 (8)

Evan, Andrew (the photog mentioned above), Niket, Matt, and Bryon.

A close up of me and Matt.

photo 4 (6)

And then, we headed back to the hotel for the reception. It seriously turned out to be the most amazing day outside, and the cocktail hour was outdoors in a gorgeous courtyard, which unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of. The cocktail hour was over before we knew it, and then we got to head inside and watch Lianne and Parker’s first dance as husband and wife!

photo 4 (7)

It was so cute to watch them talking and laughing the whole time they danced… I was so curious what their conversations were about.

photo 5 (6)

But, I guess that’s between husband and wife.