Not-so-Great Pond Mountain Wildlands Hike

spotYesterday, Lonnie and I, and the pooches of course, attempted a hike to one of our favorite secluded spots in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands/Trust whateveritscalled, or as I now call it, the Tick Sanctuary. It’s a PERFECT spot where we can make a little fire, hang our hammocks for a nap, take a dip in the lake, and not see one single other human. There is even a picnic table! To get there you have to walk around a mile on a dirt road, then you take a left down a slightly groomed grassy trail.  We have been going to this spot for at least 4 years, maybe 5. Yesterday, when we turned onto the grassy trail portion of the trek, we were immediately inundated with ticks. We both ran back to the dirt road and had to strip off our socks, shoes, and pants to make sure we got them all off us. We quickly checked over the dogs and they seemed fine, we assumed their collars the vet recommended were doing their job. We turned back and decided on a Plan B adventure. Next time, we will kayak there like we did last year!

When we got home, we realized the dogs were not fine. They were very ticked up. We have spent last night and today thinking we got them all, and then finding another. We are all skeeved out and itchy and never wanting to go outdoors again. Fortunately, the collars actually DO do their job, and none of the ticks have been attached enough to feed.

IMG_3995
Throwback to Luna’s first visit to “the spot” in 2014. No ticks.

But WHY!? Why all of a sudden does it seem like ticks are taking over the world?? As I mentioned, we have been going there for years and have NEVER seen even ONE tick.

While driving to the grocery store, I theorized to Lonnie that I think it’s related to climate change. Maine’s shrimp industry is failing because of warmer water temps, wouldn’t it make sense that warmer temperatures would make ticks happy, happy, happy? Not completely sold on that theory, Lonnie theorized that ticks are becoming genetically heartier and more resistant to all climates. (Don’t you wish you could come grocery shopping with us zany kids!!?? LOL)

Well of course I had to do some research when we got home, mostly to prove my theory was right and his was wrong. #keepinitreal

Apparently the 2 largest factors in the tick increase are the mild winter, and acorns. Yup, acorns. Little did we all know…. in 2010 there was a bumper crop of acorns, resulting in an increase in the mice who eat them. And ticks love them some mice, so they increased too. Fast forward to 2107, shitty acorn crop, less mice, ticks still gotta eat.

So basically, I was right. Ok… not entirely right, but since my rightness occurs so rarely with him. I’m taking it.

Oh yeah… here are a couple of my sources because I am a grad student and that’s what we do 😉

http://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/the-year-of-the-tick/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/04/06/2017-may-very-bad-year-lyme-disease/100120496/

Let’s DO THIS!!!

This week’s “selfie” that actually DOES illustrate something!    

Plan:  Hop out of bed at 9am and go for a nice brisk hour-long walk with Luna

Reality: Wake up at 9…ish.  Lay in bed until 10 frigging around with my tablet and waffling back-and-forth about whether or not to walk.

“If I go at 930, I still have time to walk and get back to get ready for work at noon.”
“I could just start tomorrow.”
 
“Even if I go at 10, I still have time.”
 
“If I went at 10:30, I could still get in a half-hour walk.  Maybe I should start there anyway since I am so out-of-shape?”

Sean no likey the selfies 😉

Then I thought about the last line of yesterday’s blog.  “50 pounds to go!”  I don’t want next Sunday’s blog to still say, “50 pounds to go!”  So I JUMPED out of bed before I could change my mind again. THIS is why I blog.

I was GREATLY rewarded for not being a lazy fat-ass.  Sean is on school vacation, and shockingly agreed to join me, so we got in some great mother-son time!  I feel AWESOME!

I set my s-health app for 45 minutes of activity a day.  Not quite ready to pull the trigger on that full hour yet.  Somehow it feels like I am getting away with something naughty, and for some reason, I need that.  I’m just weird that way. 😉  

New trip…. New goal.

We have an exciting new trip on the very distant horizon.  We are all super excited about it!!  And then…..

WA
WA
WAAAAA

I start researching our little mini-trip adventures and one of the ones that I am most excited about has a weight limit.  And I am 50 pounds over.  That is a lot of weight to lose.  FORTUNATELY, I have eleven months to do it.  UNFORTUNATELY, based on past experience, I lack confidence that I can do this.

I took the weekend to wallow in self-pity.  Then we went for a walk in the city forest, and I realized just how out-of-shape I am, and so then I wallowed in self-pity some more.  Not quite done with the wallowing, but tomorrow I plan to SPRING out of bed and get a good walk in before work.  Putting couch25k on the back-burner for now and am just going to walk walk walk walk walk walk……..

50 pounds to go……

Fake Sugar and vacation countdown!

Well… this week’s ‘iced coffee selfie that illustrates nothing’ actually does illustrate something.  Don’t wear this shirt and a sports bra that smashes the boobies.  I look like a blob.

Last week I had been thinking that by this week I would not have that iced coffee in my hand and would be off artificial sweeteners.  I am not.  Not even a little.  I am trying to be more mindful about it and make a least a few choices here and there that don’t involve that garbage.  I didn’t have any diet soda at all yesterday,  and I drank a cup of tea with no real or fake sugar in it at all, and actually enjoyed it!

We leave on Friday for our vacation and I feel awesome that I have been able to stick to this the whole time!!  I do wish I had exercised more and was in better running shape, but, oh well… it is what it is.

The big test now is coming HOME from vacation and staying attached to this new lifestyle.  I am actually not worried about the vacation itself.  The food in Mexico is all real. actual food, and we don’t eat crap down there anyway.  We DO, however, drink lots of sugary margaritas, and I have NO plans to skimp on those!  😉  I never gain weight on vacation though, we are SO active- walking-swimming-snorkeling-biking-hiking-ziplining-parasailing……. that it all evens out.  The tricky parts are the travel days.  I think my Cinnabon experience will help me stay on track as eating shitty food while traveling does NOT work for me, or anyone around me 😉

Day 30!

Luna looks on in the kitchen as the crazy lady takes a yoga selfie

I can’t believe that I am on day 30 and still going strong!  I guess since it’s been a month now, I should do a little run-down of changes that I have or have not noticed.

Things that have not changed….

  • I am still fat.  (I shouldn’t say things like that, I know…. positive self talk… blah blah blah….)
  • I still have a LOT of bags of clothes that are waiting for me to be smaller so that I can wear them.
  • I cannot run 3 miles without walking at all.
  • I still do not go to the gym or exercise as much as I would like to
  • I still love Justin Bieber
  • And One Direction.

Things that HAVE changed….

  • I have LESS fat on my body.
  • The button on my jeans is not standing on the ledge threatening to of jump from the pressure it’s under.
  • I can wear some of the clothes that I had not been wearing because they didn’t fit properply.
  • I can run/walk in 1 minute intervals easily for 15 minutes (and surely more than that, but that is all I have done so far)
  • I feel confident in the weight room at the gym, even when Lonnie is not there with me
  • I LOOK FORWARD to Sunday yoga
  • I don’t crave McDonald’s anymore. Or cheez its.  Or sour patch kids.
  • We have saved probably around $200-400 dollars this month because there is no more nightlt convenience store snack run.  When I think of the shitty food and wasted money…. I almost didn’t even want to type that one out because it’s embarrassing.
  • Much less alcohol is being consumed.  We used to have a tradition of finding new wines to pair with our dinner on Wednesdays, and on weekends would have a couple drinks in the evening.  BUT, even if I have one glass of alcohol, I feel like a zombie in the morning and have to drag my ass out of bed, and I don’t need excuses to not get up and going!!  ESPECIALLY on Sunday mornings because I want to feel good for yoga!
  • My skin is better, breakouts and blemishes are basically non-existent!
  • I never have “stomach issues” anymore or wake up feeling gross
  • There have also been some weird changes that may or may not be related….
    • I get up earlier every day
    • I make my bed every day
    • I have started to enjoy folding and putting away laundry and it doesn’t just live in baskets anymore

WOW that is a big list of reasons to never stop living this way, and right now I honestly don’t even want to stop!  I feel awesome, happy, energized, and confident!!  GO ME!!

Day 9- Doin’ fine

Not a lot to say today!  Still doing well.  Lonnie and Sean managed to hit the gym yesterday, but I was on-call, so I didn’t go.  I should have.  I could have easily walked on the treadmill or lifted weights and left if I got called in… actually since the gym is in Bangor, I am closer to wherever I get called to… lesson learned!

On another note I need to figure out how to fix the giant-ass banner of this blog.

Since this blog is just sitting here unused…. DAY ONE

…and I was trying to think of a way to journal through this new endeavor, why not use it!?

I’d like a little less belly and little less face please 🙂

Today I am starting yet another diet.   Screw all you “don’t diet, change your lifestyle people.”  That is totally just something you say when you don’t want to admit you are on a diet.  Also… dieting IS changing your lifestyle.  Currently my lifestyle is eating McDonald’s and chips and chex mix and well… whatever the hell I feel like eating when I am hungry, bored, tired, stressed, annoyed, upset, or see a commercial for something yummy.  My lifestyle is also mostly sitting and sleeping with brief, occasional spurts of exercise.

SO… “changing my lifestyle” means from today until I leave for Mexico on February 5th, I am going to live a different “lifestyle.”   I am going to use air-quotes a lot.  I am going to eat only meats and veggies, and some cheese.  I am not going to give up my full-of-artificial-sweetener daily morning iced coffee.  BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO!  I am going to hit the gym often and hard.  I am going to focus on weight lifting AND getting back up to running.  It may be unrealistic to think I will be able to live up to my daydream of getting up early to go for a jog through Cozumel before the cruise ships have debarked and everyone is still sleeping, but I can CERTAINLY go for a jog/walk…. and maybe even mostly a jog!

Tricky areas and plan of attack:

My job.

I work 12-14 hour shifts on Monday and Tuesday every week.  Then I work 8pm to 8am Thursday nights.  I use my job as an excuse to eat McDonald’s because I fucking LOVE their plain cheeseburgers and fries.  So good.  Judge away… I don’t care.  I realize that for most people McD’s is something they eat because they need to grab something and go.  I actually LOOK FORWARD to Mondays and Tuesdays because I know I get to have McDonald’s if I get called out.

Night shifts are an issue as well.  Sometimes I just get to sleep and they don’t disrupt life at all.  Sometimes I am out all night and I never know what to eat or not eat.  Part of me feels like I shouldn’t eat anything because I normally wouldn’t if I was sleeping, but the other part of me gets HAAAAANGRY!!  And also when I get home and go to sleep, I have trouble sleeping long enough if I am hungry.

PLAN OF ATTACK:

  • BREAKFAST- I will eat SOMETHING before I head out the door in the morning
  • If I can go to McDonalds, I can ALSO go to the grocery store and grab things that aren’t McDonald’s.  I can’t even think of a McDonald’s that isn’t within a mile of a grocery store.
  • I will try to pack stuff.  This one is kind of a pipe dream.  I suck at this and because of the way my job is, it’s hard to even know what to pack.  Sometimes I am on the road all day.  Sometimes I am in hospitals.  Sometimes I am home.  Usually it’s a mix of all of them.  

And…. as I type this…. I get paged….