(Wo)man vs. Mountain

After a month of being away from my weekly ass kicking hike I decided to head back to Shaw Butte with the same girlfriend I work out with regularly.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. 

Although temps were over 100 degrees, the humidity has definitely been very high over the past few weeks.  The desert's weather has definitely changed here.  Gone are the days of with-out-fail dust and thunder storms in the afternoon. 

Anyways, I knew last night would be tough but thinking that I had to start somewhere after being away, I plugged on ahead.  Although it's tough, it is such a beautiful hike.  We could see the monsoon storm clouds coming down from the north; a shield of gray dropping from the sky over a nearby neighborhood.  Someone was getting pelted.

At first I was thinking, this isn't so hard.  Must be because I'm no longer carrying around 20 extra pounds.  However, when we reached an area with a steep incline near the top, the sun unleashed its full fury on us.  My stomach was starting to turn.  I stopped for awhile to rest and hoped that the nausea would pass.  After a few deep breaths it did.  We continued up.  Then my girlfriend starts telling me about after a marathon she completed how sick she got.  She started to describe it in detail which was really more than I needed to hear.  I'm thinking, why is she telling me this knowing how nauseous I just was???  Apparently thats all it took for me to hurl off the side of the mountain.  Luckily there were no other hikers near us at the time. 

I stood for awhile contemplating returning to the bottom or continuing on to the top.  Actually after that I felt much better.  She confessed a few minutes later that she decided to tell me about her own hurling experience because she knew that I'd feel better after I hurled myself.  Well, thanks. . .I think.

We made it to the top and sat for awhile.  It felt like the temperature dropped about 10 degrees which was a welcome relief.  The breeze blew cool, too, which is a nice change from the 'hair dryer on high' breeze we usually experience.  The sunset was spectacular.  It sunk into the western horizon casting a red glow on the roofs of the buildings below much in the same way the sunlight sparkles off the ocean at sunset.

There is so much natural beauty to experience there that it makes the hike worth it despite the heat and how yucky I felt on the climb.  No matter how long I have lived here or how long I will continue to live here I will always be in awe of the desert. 

Tomorrow night we'll return for another butt kicking hike.  The sky is like a kaleidescope this time of the year.  Depending on the setting sun and the monsoon clouds one never knows what feast Mother Nature has in store for the eyes.  

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Shaw Butte at Sunset

I took this last night on another hike up Shaw Butte.  It's actually getting easier each time I do it.  The picture should be titled 'The View From Shaw Butte At Sunset.'  The shadow against these mountains is Shaw Butte.

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Taking A New Approach

Last night I decided that this would be my last week at Weight Watchers.  After 5 weeks, I finally lost .8 lbs and gained my 10 lbs ribbon.  Finally!  Its been somewhat of a frustrating journey to put in all this effort and see very little results.  My husband has told me that it is more than just a number on a scale.  While I agree with him there, I don't feel really any different.  I can't look at myself and think, wow, I'm really getting somewhere.  However, in two weeks I'll have my cholesterol checked.  It'll be interesting to see.

After speaking with my Mom over the weekend, she told me that she also had hit a stand still with Weight Watchers.  She tried the South Beach Diet and said she had more success.  So…I'm going to give this a try.  Our local library has a couple of copies of the book so I'm heading over there this evening to check one out.  From what I've heard, the first two weeks you don't eat any carbs.  Yeah, I say this while sitting here eating whole grain pretzels.  That will take a little getting used to but I'm willing to give it a try.  I'll start that up next Monday.  I will miss the variety of Weight Watchers but figure I might be able to go back to it once I get over this hump.  We'll see.


Here is the latest weapon in my weight loss arsenal.  I got this food scale at Target over the weekend.  One thing I noticed is that I haven't been eating as much as I should be.  I've overcompensated on Weight Watchers points when I could've eaten a bit more.  I'm wondering if this has slowed my metabolism to the point where I'm no longer dropping weight like I was. 

The same friend I hike with asked me to join her and Matt at Shaw Butte again this past Sunday evening.  I agreed to go and then questioned our sanity where temps where still hovering around 110 here at the time we met.  I grabbed my camel-bak backpack filled with water and a large bottled water for the car ride home.  I figured at this point that I should be well acclimated to the heat where this is my ninth summer here in Phoenix.  This time around I did pretty well.  I'm still sucking in air like a drowing person while heading up but I could move a bit quicker.  At one point we were headed up the butte where the sun was still beating down on us.  It was probably around the second highest incline.  I think I may have had too much water at that point because I thought I was going to hurl.  It passed though luckily and I was able to make it to the top and back.  It is quite possibly the toughest hike I've ever done.  Due to the water intake throughout that hike, I found myself in the bathroom pretty much every hour of the night.  Needless to say I was tired yesterday morning but felt great from all the endorphins.  Last night I went to bed at 8:30pm.

In addition to trying some harder workout routines, I've decided to walk Abby before work.  You should've seen her this morning when I grabbed her leash.  You would've thought she won the doggy lottery.  She was so excited!  So this will probably be an every morning thing for us going forward.


Here is Abby post-walk laying on the new throw rug I also picked up over the weekend.  Monsoon had decided to join her.  This is an extremely rare moment that the both of them are actually laying next to each other and aren't poised in attack mode.  Glad there was a camera nearby.  I texted this picture to my husband with the title reading "Seeing is believing…"

Maybe its the heat.  😉

Where Abby sheds so much I'm sure that throw rug will be the same color as her soon.  Guess I'll have to figure out how many calories I'll burn vacuuming up all that dog hair.






















 And finally, here are Ruben and me at the Diamondbacks game Friday night.  I was actually surprised to see all the healthy choices you could get there on the menu.  Turkey meatball subs, turkey burgers, turkey hotdogs, fresh fruit with yogurt dip.  It all sounded great however, I still chose to use my points on a ballpark frank.  Some things can't be substituted.

Have a great & healthy week! 

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