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Friday, June 29, 2012

South Beach Diet?, Dietician, and Swimming

I have been researching different plans that I feel offer a healthy approaches to weight loss.

I love the idea of eating intuitively, but unfortunately for me, I just maintain my weight doing that. Which is good in one respect because someday, maybe, I’ll be able to eat intuitively once I reach my goal.

I’ve been trying to find a chart that tells me how many servings of which food groups I should eat and why. I don’t want anything TOO restrictive, but I know that I do need something to jump start my weight loss and my motivation again, so a little restriction may be necessary.

I started thinking about the South Beach Diet for a few reasons. First, I know that you don’t have to count calories, points, or anything for that matter. Remember when I followed the Simply Filling plan on WW? I liked that freedom. I am thinking maybe the South Beach Diet is similar. And the fact that you have the freedom goes hand in hand with learning habits needed for intuitive eating.

Way, way back, when I was a devastated teenager trying to get a hold of my weight and self confidence, my Mom made an appointment with a doctor for me. This doctor was a little overweight herself and understood where I came from. She never once made me feel like some of these doctors have made me feel today. But she recommended the South Beach Diet. For whatever reason, I never ended up following it, but it stands out in my mind as a plan that a doctor recommended to me.

I have also mentioned, numerous times, how I want to eat more “clean” foods. I am regularly improving and making small changes, but I’m not quite there yet. The South Beach Diet seems to incorporate fresh and healthy foods.

I am a little apprehensive about the first two weeks. Can I give up fruits for two whole weeks? Milk? All starches and carbs? I like to think that I could but I know how difficult that it would be for me. And what do you do if you have to attend an event where you can’t control the food you’re being served? But I know this might also be good practice for exercising my control. If I felt a little more in control, I know that would motivate me.

As you know, I have always practiced “everything in moderation”. The problem is, I haven’t been practicing moderation lately. I have come to the conclusion that I genuinely hit a plateau, A LONG TIME AGO, lost my motivation because of it, and have ended up where I am today. I KNOW that I’m not giving 100% right now. So I am searching for the plan, the knowledge, and the tools so that I can put my 100% into something that’s really going to work for me this time, something that will pull me through the wall that I hit.

I did contact a registered dietician and I am going to meet with her after the 4th sometime. So there’s a step. She says she has worked with people in my situation before who have lost a lot of weight and stalled. Maybe she will have some kind of nutritional plan that I can follow. I just need all of the pieces of the puzzle. Like I said in my post yesterday, I need to know what to eat. How much to eat. This seems so simple, but after finding so many different opinions in my own research, I am lost. I want an expert to help me, IN PERSON.

I still plan on meeting with a personal trainer but I am kind of waiting until our swimming lessons are done at the YMCA so that hubby can continue swimming lessons at the new location while I do my personal training. Did I mention that the new location has a swimming pool?! I have a newfound love for swimming and will definitely take advantage of that with such a cheap membership!! I have successfully learned three strokes in three lessons. We have two more lessons and I hope to learn two more! If there are two more? Probably are… Smile

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Personal Trainer or Dietician?

I am seriously considering hiring a personal trainer. I found a location that it will be affordable and worthwhile for me to get a membership and personal training.

I’m a little nervous about it though have put off setting up an appointment and wanted to get a little feedback from all of you out there.I’m just not sure if I’m going in the right direction by choosing a personal trainer over a dietician or whoever else.

Here are my expectations:

1. To be given a clear plan to follow. How often I should work out, and the basics of nutrition/weight loss.

2. To have questions answered in regard to how much to eat, how many calories to eat, etc.

3. To be motivated to lose the rest of my weight.

4. To find someone who will push me.

5. To find someone who has worked with someone who has lost a significant amount of weight and then stalled, for various reasons. I’d like them to be able to shed some light on what my problem might be—probably mentally.

Mostly, I want someone who can point me in the right direction and answer my questions. I want expert answers. I want to be able to trust the advice I’m given. Mostly, I want it to WORK! and I want it to be realistic. No crazy shakes or things like that for me.

Have you hired a personal trainer before? Did it help? Have you seen a nutritionist or dietician? Did it help?

I’m pretty sure I’ll be moving forward with this in the next few weeks, but I just want some feedback on what to expect!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just Running a Race

Today I finally got myself out of my chair and away from work to go for a run. It had been far too long.
I’ve been dreading an outdoor run for some time now. I know I need to go running, because I’m running a 5k next week, but I just couldn’t find the motivation.
You see, I no longer live in anonymity in my small town any more. As a writer for a small town newspaper, people know my name. They recognize me.
Gone are the days of putting aside my embarrassment of running in public and saying, “so what, I don’t know anyone anyways” and heading out the door for a run.
But I decided to come out of hiding. After all, I do have running goals.
I wore my big, black I’m a celebrity and don’t want to be recognized sunglasses, but they didn’t really help. At least I felt like I was hiding, right? Have an eye for sunglasses?
I received a whole lot of waves and friendly smiles today. I mean a lot. On every block, there was at least one it seemed. But it was ok. I told myself to be proud and give it my all. At least I was out there. And seriously Alissa, NO ONE looked at you like you were a big, giant blob running down the street. It’s all in your head.
So from now on, I’ll just pretend every outdoor run is a race. And all of those friendly, smiling people waving at me are just spectators cheering me on. Yeh, that’s how I’ll think of it from now on.
I may be the only one running the race, but guess what? I won.
I aimed for 1 mile, but looked at my GPS at what I thought was 1/2 mile, and it was only a mile! So I ran 2. 1 mile for me, and 1 mile for my buddy, Jessica. And this is how I felt when I was done. It was 82 degrees outside!!
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Monday, June 25, 2012

“I am lovely just the way that I am…”

Sometimes I get so tired of hating who I am. Of wanting to change. Of wanting to be thinner, prettier, funnier, lovelier…

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I heard this song and had to share it! It’s ok to love who you are, as you are…

I’m finding out it’s ok to love myself NOW, even while I’m still in the process of becoming who I want to be.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Ride on the River

Yesterday, hubby & I, and some friends of mine joined an old co-worker and her husband on their boat. They have a beautiful place right on the river. It was absolutely gorgeous out there!

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It makes me want to buy a boat and a place on the water…if only we could afford it! Maybe someday…

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I didn’t get a ton of pictures, but thought I’d share the few I have. Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, June 22, 2012

GlitzBandz Giveaway Winner

Congrats to AMiller7905 for winning the giveaway!!

Please email your name and address to AJourney2Thin(at)gmail.com.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Visit From Mom

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My Mom has been staying with hubby and I this week. We’ve had lots of fun! We spent time at the pool, talked, relaxed, and even spent today shopping! It’s been great having her here this week! Thanks for coming, Mom!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Homemade Pudding Pops Recipe

Today was a hot one! With a high of 97 degrees, I declared it a “work all day” kind of day just so I could stay inside. Imagine my excitement when I found the popsicle molds, that hubby ordered for me, in the mailbox! Yippee!

So I wanted to share a very simple and low calorie recipe with you all. A little something to cool you off during this hot weather!

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • Skim milk (or whatever you so choose, just adjust the calories accordingly), a box of sugar free, fat free pudding mix, and popsicle molds.

Measure out 2 cups of skim milk in the blender and add the packet of pudding mix:

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Mix it up until smoothly blended:

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Have your popsicle molds at the ready:

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And pour the mix evenly into the pudding cups. I have some leftover, so it would have made about 7 popsicles.

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I love these pudding molds. They are from Ikea. Hubby bought me two different sets. These are pink and yellow and the others are blue and green.

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Pop them in the freezer for at least four hours or so:

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And then take them out of the freezer and enjoy them! After a hard day working in the heat, Hubby approves this message!

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Only 45 calories, 8g carbs, 0g fat and 3g of protein per pudding pop!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

GlitzBandz Review and Giveaway

I am happy to bring GlitzBandz to you!

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GlitzBandz sent me the pretty pink headband that I’m wearing in the above picture. So CUTE!

The secret to why these head bands are so wonderful is the felt like material on the back that truly holds them into place. No more slippage!

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I love that it holds the crazy stray hairs in place, whether I’m working out or just accenting an outfit. And as you can see, I have an incredibly large head (the more to hold my big brains, of course! haha), and it didn’t even slip on my big ol’ head.

I have looked at the head bands at a local sporting goods store, and the only glittery ones they carried were made of actual glitter. I didn’t buy one because I knew the glitter would eventually fall off. The GlitzBand pink glitter headband is made of a quality material and the glitter is part of the material—so I won’t be leaving a trail of fairy dust behind me!

GlitzBandz has a variety of ribbon patterns to chose from:

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Just to show you a few!

They also come in a variety of sizes, even custom. Special orders are accepted with specific ribbon requests. The possibilities are endless with GlitzBandz headbands.

And guess what? GlitzBandz has offered to give one away to one lucky ready!

Here’s how you can win:

  1. Like the GlitzBandz Facebook page and leave a comment on the page that A Journey To Thin sent you. Don’t forget to come back here and leave a comment that you did so.
  2. Sign up for the GlitzBandz email list.
  3. Visit the GlitzBandz website and leave a comment telling me which ribbon is your favorite.
  4. Be a follower of this blog.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sweat Activated Tank Winner

Congratulations to Sheila!

Please email me your name and address and I will forward it along to Fit Approach. If you do not respond by 6/22/2012, you forfeit the winnings and a new winner will be chosen.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It’s Garden Time!

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Nothing like fresh lettuce and spinach out of the garden…!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Aqua Aerobics Class

The town that I live in offers aqua aerobics classes three nights a week for $2 per session. I know, what a deal!! I can’t believe I just found out about it this year.

I was finally free on the night of a class, so I nervously headed to the pool. I wasn’t sure what to except.

A bunch of fit ladies, maybe?

I’d be the only young one there?

No one would show up and it’d just be me and the instructor?

I wouldn’t be able to keep up?

It’d be way too easy?

None of these were correct. I really enjoyed it!

It was a chilly evening, only in the 70’s. But the water felt warm, making the air above feel very cold! Thankfully, most of the workout is done with most of the body in the water, except for the arms.

The instructor is super nice. I have talked to her a few times for my new job, so I was familiar with her before the class. She explained every move in great detail for a couple of us who had never attended a class before.

But honestly? Most of the moves I’ve done a hundred times before—just not in water! I would equate it to doing the 30 Day Shred in the water for 1 hour. But with MUCH less impact.

We started with a quick stretch and then moved into the moves to get our bodies warmed up. The moves were the same. Lunges, squats, jumping jacks, side twists, push ups, you name it. Of course there were way more moves that I can remember or describe, and some that you’d only be able to do in the water.

I was elated when I started to feel it in my arms! My arms! Yes, the ones with bat wings due to an 80 lb. weight loss with minimal arm toning exercises…

Each of us filled up two milk jugs with equal amounts of water and we did weight lifting moves, like bicep curls and head presses. And today, my arms are slightly sore! Next time, I will fill them up with more water for a harder workout.

My body feels great. I felt like I worked out hard but without the sore knees and hips. I think I even got a little sun tan.

But as for my worries about the class, I won’t be worrying next time. I’d go all three days if I wasn’t busy—and I will on weeks when I don’t have plans! I can guarantee that I would see results with my body, especially my arms. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was about the arm workout!

I wasn’t the youngest one there, nor was I alone with the instructor! The seven, or so, ladies attending the class were all different shapes, sizes and had different fitness levels. And while I wasn’t struggling to keep up, it also wasn’t too easy for me. The great thing about it is that you can set your own pace, so you get what you put into it. And I tried to give my all.

Check your local pools to see if they offer aqua aerobics classes. It is a great workout and lots of fun! And probably not very expensive!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cookies

I have a major problem with cookies.

I cannot have them in the house or I will eat them. And not just one of them, I will eat many of them. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I eat all of them, because I never let it go that far.

I typically don’t bake anymore because of this. If I do, I eat them once and send the rest to work with hubby to share with the guys. I also make about a dozen and freeze the rest of the cookie dough. This seems to work out pretty well.

But yesterday, I made cookies to bring to a dinner at a friend’s house and ended up eating cookie dough while baking them, a couple cookies after baking them and then snacking on way too many after that. And when I calculated the calories—they were sky high! So that ruined my calorie count for the week!

I just cannot control myself around cookie dough or cookies. They’re like Nutella, which I no longer allow in the house. It’s like cocaine to me. Addictive!

What made me want to start eating the cookies? The simple answer is that they taste good. And I like chocolate. I’m sure there’s more to it, being someone who struggles with emotional eating. I think I’ve gotten out of touch with understanding my emotions lately. That’s something I need to work on.

It’s so easy to eat cookies (or whatever) and not realize that I’m sabotaging my weight loss by doing so until AFTER the fact. I certainly don’t feel bad about eating the cookies while I’m eating them. The guilt comes afterwards. I guess that’s true for any addiction.

The cookies went off to work with hubby today and I’m sure the guys will enjoy them.

Now I just need to put together a strategy for being mindful so that I can enjoy just one cookie, but not three, four, or a dozen… which is something I had a handle on just a short while ago.

Once a struggle, always a struggle…

What foods do you struggle with? What is your strategy?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fit Approach Sweat Pink Sweat Activated Tanks *GIVEAWAY*

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You all know that I’m a fan of Fit Approach and their Sweat Pink Movement.

The pink laces in my workout shoes reminds me to be strong. They remind me of my fitness goals and they inspire me. It’s hard to explain, but they’re an integral part of my workout gear.

Fit Approach sent me a couple of tanks to try out. They have the basic Sweat Pink tank, which is way cute. The photo below is from their online store:

I’m loving those pink glasses! Smile

But their newest addition to their tank collection is the pink sweat activated tank.

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At first glance, the tank is your ordinary pink tank, but once you start sweating a little, it says “Stay Strong” on the back. Hence, it’s sweat activated. Very cool!

Since it’s on the back, while you’re passing everyone up at your next race event, you can inspire others too. I know if I read these words when someone passed me up that it’d motivate me to keep going! See, you’d be inspiring everyone along the way if you wore one of these. Winking smile

It’s a longer length tank, I like them better that way so they don’t feel like they’re riding up when you’re working out. It comes in Small, Medium, and Large.

They do run a little small, so make sure to order accordingly.

Fit Approach has kindly offered to send one of my readers a free tank and pink laces.

Here’s how you can win:

  1. Visit www.fitapproach.com and tell me about something you learned there.
  2. Like Fit Approach on Facebook.
  3. Follow Fit Approach on Twitter.
  4. Follow Fit Approach’s boards on Pinterest.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry to count! Make sure you leave your email so that I can contact you if you win.

Giveaway will end 6/15/2012 at 12:00 central time. Winner will be chosen via a random number generator.

Good luck!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What I’ve Learned from Not Losing

Maintaining, and not losing, has taught me a few things.

  1. I’ve been living a healthy lifestyle since 2008. No going back. No major slip ups. I’ve maintained about an 80 lb. lost for quite some time now. That means I’ve developed some healthy habits.
  2. The fact that I’m not losing is not going to be rectified by following any certain plan or exercising religiously. I will start losing again when I create the right balance in my MIND. It’s my choice. It’s totally mental. No matter what plan I follow, it’s not going to work if I don’t believe I can do it or if I don’t want it badly enough. Even if it does work, it won’t last or it won’t work for long. A diet plan is not the answer. A purpose is.
  3. Going through a rough patch, no matter HOW long it lasts, teaches you about yourself. The fact that I haven’t given up means something. It means this battle is worth the fight. It means that I am committed to it, but just struggling.
  4. It has taught me that I am MORE than my weight loss story. I’ve been changing myself over these past four years. I’m still trying to figure out who I am. Deep down, I thought I was defined by my weight loss. I’m so much more than that. And thanks to Crys for making me realize that. I’m still trying to come to grips with this one. It seems so simple. But it’s so much more complex than it seems.
  5. That I can’t depend on posting pictures of my food online to keep me on track. I’m not as strict when I don’t post my pictures online. How messed up is that? I have to learn to be accountable to myself. Nobody else matters. Just me. I AM WORTH IT. I have to want to eat correctly FOR ME. I’m still working on this one.
  6. That the hardest battles are probably the ones most worth fighting for. And this battle has been tough. And I’m still fighting.
  7. I can be happy along the journey. I don’t have to wait until I reach my goal. I can learn to love myself and appreciate my body for where it is RIGHT NOW.
  8. That pretty is not defined by your size. It’s who you are inside that defines that. Everyone worth pleasing will find that more beautiful than a pretty face and thin, toned body.
  9. That just because it’s ok to accept yourself the way you are, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to set a goal so that you can become even happier with yourself and who you are.
  10. That giving up is not an option.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Avoiding Blogging: Inside my Head

I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I’d like and it’s because I don’t feel like I am worth reading about anymore. I am struggling. I’m not conquering this weight loss thing, just merely maintaining for the most part.

So here’s what I’m thinking:

What do I have to share? I obviously don’t have the secrets to weight loss.

Everyone will be wondering why I’m even blogging about my weight loss if I can’t seem to lose any weight.

Hypocrite, that’s what you are. Keep saying you’re back on track and going to do really well and all you do is slip up all the time.

Maybe I need to see a psychiatrist and figure out what’s wrong inside my head. Why can’t I control myself like I used to?

I’m not 100% happy with where I am today, but I can fit into cute clothes and shop at most stores now. I can be sort of happy with myself, can’t I?

Am I only loveable if I lose weight? Am I a failure at life if I don’t? Why can’t I just be happy with who I am, NOW?

I’m tired of putting off life for when I lose weight. I want to live now. Except many of the things I want to do, I can’t do because I’m too overweight and not physically fit enough…yet.

I just want to be accepted for me. Fat or Thin.

But mostly I want to be thin and I can’t figure out why it’s so hard for me to control myself and restrict my calories like I’m supposed to.

I have been tracking, and everyday I have gotten in at least 3 servings of fruits/veggies, drank over 64 oz. of water, taken a multi-vitamin, and I exercised for 30 minutes 6 of the 7 days. But counting calories, I think I had about 3 good days. After that, I went over. Healthy habits aren’t good enough if I can’t control my calorie intake.

Why am I even on here telling people about this. They’re just going to click off the page and think… she needs to get it together. Simple as that.

Ugh. Embarrassing.

Why is this so hard? Why wasn’t I born thin? Why isn’t there a magic pill? Why can’t I be like ____________?

So there ya have it. That’s what’s going on in my head right now. I’m not sticking to my calorie goal very well. Last week, I lost .1 for the week. That’s not very much. But this morning I had a big loss, which means I have lost 1.8 lbs. for this competition that started 1 week and 1 day ago. So I guess that’s not terrible. I just know deep down I’m not going to see losses on the scale if I continue as I am right now.

Maybe I should just be proud of what I have done, lost 1.8 lbs., and use that as motivation to do better today.

I can’t be the only one who struggles with this. So I guess I can blog about this part of the journey too. Struggles and successes, all part of the journey. I will try to blog more regularly. It’s probably important to get my thoughts out there. Sometimes I just can’t bare to think of the… “If you would stop eating this, or start eating this, or follow WW…” Truth is, what works for one doesn’t work for another. I’m just trying to figure out how to get inside my own head and figure out what’s going on up there. Kind of strange since it’s my own head I’m trying to get into. Shouldn’t I know myself better than this?

Until next time.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New @Quaker Soft Baked Bars

This post brought to you by Quaker Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.

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The Quaker Soft Baked Bar is the perfect lower calorie alternative to traditional bakery style muffins and sweet breads. Just look at how delicious it looks. I'd pick this breakfast snack in a bakery showcase any day!

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I like that it's only 140 calories and 5g of fiber and 6g of protein. And it's good to know I'm eating a wholesome food. Not only would the bars be good for breakfast, but they’d be handy to pack in my purse for a snack on the go.

They come in two mouth watering flavors: Banana Nut and Cinnamon Pecan. I can just imagine heating one up in the microwave and eating it like fresh baked bread or a cinnamon roll right out of the oven. I have been craving cinnamon rolls for a long time but but I haven’t eaten one because they are so high in calories. Now I can eat something with a similar taste but for much fewer calories!

And I know hubby would love these too! He's always asking me to bake sweet breads and I don't do it very often because of the calories. I would pair one of these bars with a fresh healthy egg and a glass of milk for the perfect breakfast. A healthier alternative to high calorie bakery goods is here!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Taking the Plunge

Literally.

Last night, hubby and I had our first swimming lesson. He’s 30 and I’m 26.

That’s right, we’re taking swimming lessons. At 30 and 26.

I am super proud of hubby for being brave enough to take the lessons. He never learned how to swim, much less never went swimming or to the pool as a kid so he isn’t very comfortable in water.

But after being married to me for 5 1/2 years, and seeing how much I love being in the water, and how fun it can be—he was ready to learn how to swim so that we can do more fun water activities. And so I can worry about him less!

Since he was brave enough to do that, I decided to join him! So we are taking semi-private lessons together. I know how to swim, but I never learned proper technique.

I have wanted to complete a triathlon for some time now and the only thing holding me back was not being comfortable with swimming—at least competitively. So if hubby can learn to swim, I can learn to swim better.

So while hubby is learning how to float, and put his face in the water, and become more comfortable in water, I am learning how to breathe correctly while putting my face in the water while swimming. I am learning how to move my arms and legs correctly.

I also told her I want to learn how to swim better for exercise, so she will teach me different moves that will use the most muscles for the best workout. But for now, I am learning how to do the front crawl.

And get this. Our swim instructor’s name is Ariel. Yep, just like the little mermaid. So if the little mermaid can’t teach us to swim, I don’t know who can!

I purchased a season pass to the pool and will go as often as I can to practice swimming, and for exercise! I will be getting hubby a pass too so that we can practice frequently. I’m also pretty excited to take a water aerobics class next week (hopefully).

Just another step towards my fitness goals!

If you are an adult that needs to learn how to swim, visit your local YMCA. I tried local pools, but they just made us feel like we were weird wanting swimming lessons as adults. The YMCA on the other hand was super friendly and it sounds like they do it all the time! We were one of three adult couples at the pool taking lessons. All of us were at different levels—one couple was very advanced! Each couple had their own instructor and it was totally private. I recommend it so far!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spelunking—LOTS of pictures!

Yesterday, hubby and I met my brother at Maquoketa State Park to explore the caves. I admit, I was a little nervous because I’m not a big fan of caves. Prior to this, I had only been in one cave, and it was a guided tour—nothing like what we saw at Maquoketa! I took TONS of pictures. I’ll share a few here with you!

First off, this was the road that our GPS took us on to get to the park….you can’t rely on GPS! But we had fun in our new Jeep!

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And here we are before:

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Going down in to the Dancehall Cave. It’s hard to capture how massive this is. This was the largest one.

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The other caves were much smaller and I was a lot more uncomfortable in them! But I pushed my limits and did what I WANTED to do. I did not crawl into any small spaces that I was afraid I would get stuck in.

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The guys were a lot more adventurous.

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While I didn’t climb like the above picture, I did climb up inclines like the one below.

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And here is my death grip on hubby at the top of such cliffs. lol

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We did a lot of hiking from cave to cave. It was absolutely gorgeous. We were glad we invested in some good quality hiking boots! We plan on doing more hiking. It was amazing how much we worked our arms and legs, such a great workout.

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There were nasty spiders all over in these caves. They didn’t move, but shine a flashlight on the walls and you’d see them everywhere. I was hoping to see a bat, but didn’t see any.

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And mosquitos hanging down from the cave walls. I’ll admit, it was so gross. lol But totally worth the experience.

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But there were beautiful natural sites along the way:

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Some of the caves were just gorgeous inside. They are pitch black. Absolutely no light. Hence the flashlights. So when taking pictures, you can’t see anything. It was so cool to see what you would see after the flash!

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Some caves were MUCH smaller than others, so that you had to kneel down to get in, or crawl in.

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The caves stay the same temperature all year round. They are slightly chilly. This picture is just freaky looking…you can see your breath in some of them, but doesn’t it look like ghosts? haha

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Like you’re on Mars or the moon or something.

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I’m always intrigued by finding random things. Don’t ask. lol I just always wonder what the story is…some kid lost his toy!

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The balancing rock:

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This dog came to visit us while we were eating lunch. The friendliest dog you’d ever meet!

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This cave was called the Wye Cave and it totally freaked me out. I about had a panic attack while inside and had to get out of there. I was mostly worried because hubby and my brother crawled into a very small enclosure to get to another part of the cave, and they couldn’t hear me and I was so worried! This was the cave where someone got stuck earlier this year. This is how you had to get in…literally climbing down a hole.

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But once you climbed in, you could literally stand up.

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But I just can’t shake the feeling that I had in there! Such fear! And my imagination goes a mile a minute. Thankfully there was a group of experienced spelunkers in there and they asked if I wanted to get out of the cave and helped me back up. Thank you, whoever you were!!

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In this cave, they literally climbed through a 4’ space a little over a foot tall, with water below. Hubby was able to hold himself up and he shimmied through, but my brother got soaked. They were feeling pretty hard core after this one.

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Love those pictures! You can see the excitement written all over their faces.

This was also the cave where a 13 year old boy wanted to take his picture with me (on my camera) and he kissed me!! OMW. What a weird experience. I have the picture, and you can see my brother laughing his head off… I don’t want to post the picture of the kid, but I have to show you my brother and hubby’s faces…

FUNNY

And my brother dancing a little dance on the trails. Smile

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Me trying to be tough…I’m not sure what I actually look like. LOL

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I didn’t even attempt this one…

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MaquoketaCaves 149But I did hug a tree:

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But ultimately, it was a good experience. And beautiful.

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And here we are at the end. I don’t look nearly as dirty as the guys, but I was dirty!

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What a fun day! I can’t wait for more adventures like this one!