Carlene Beat Obesity

Carlene's Weight Loss Journal

Thu Oct 6, 2005, 12:22 PM

I guess I've been amiss with my journal lately. Not that I've broken raw, or am not doing well, I've been busy, and the truth is I don't have the need to write every day as all the exercise and raw food is just a part of my life. Not every day is wonderful. Yesterday was horrible, but not because of my food or exercise. Life does get in the way sometimes when you want to live a utopian existence. Oh well.

So today is the 6th and my four month anniversary of starting the 30-day challenge. Since June 6th, I have lost 71.5 pounds, but in May I attempted raw and lost 14 pounds, so in my mind, I have lost 85.5 pounds in four and a half months. That is pretty amazing!!!

It's been pretty easy for me although I kill myself every day with exercise. But I'm on a mission and have big goals. Since the first month, I haven't really experienced much in the way of detox. A few pimples here and there, some tired days, but that's about it. I drink a lot of water and sweat a lot.

My skin is holding on. There are a few spots where the skin hangs in wrinkles (upper inner thighs), but my stomach skin is shrinking well and that hanging sack under my chin that has replaced my multiple ones is shrinking as well. I think when I'm done that will have tightened up completely. My face skin has tightened. I had been afraid about that since my face was about double what it is now, but the wrinkles are less than before I started. The one disappointing area of my body is my upper arms, they haven't shrunk much at all. But I still have a ways to go before I'm done, so I don't worry about it too much.

I'd love to say I have tons of energy and feel so much better than before, but I use up all that new found energy by 10:30 every morning by pushing myself farther and farther with my exercise, so I can't say I'm euphoric all the time. But the fact that I can keep pushing and pushing and lifting more at the gym tells me that when I get to my goal and exercise turns to an everyday activity I should be feeling 20 instead of 48 (or 49 that I will be when I'm done).

The only problem I am experiencing with everything I am doing is hair loss. This is my fault. I know I don't get enough protein every day. Now I'm not going into that whole protein debate, but I need some and I have never managed to work greens into my diet. I do add raw hemp seed to smoothies, but I have been inconsistent in drinking them. I'm working on that and trying to force myself to have one every day. I bought some of that MSM everyone talks about, but I decided to wait and see if having some protein every day will take care of the hair loss problem. So, it is my problem, and not one of raw, just my way of doing raw.

Last weekend my daughter and son-in-law started raw. They did well for three days then last night had Chinese for dinner. They planned on getting back to raw today. I'm not pushing them, it is their decision. But now that I weigh the same as my daughter she is pretty motivated.

Next week I'm going on a four-day road trip with my daughter. She has promised to go hiking with me. Hopefully, the hotels we are staying at will have gyms. It's for her work actually. Up in the White Mountains of AZ, someplace I don't get often. We'll be in Flagstaff, Payson, Prescott, and Springerville. All beautiful outdoor places with lots of wildlife. I'll never push her on raw, but I sure will push to be outside. I can't wait.

So that's about it. Things are good. Raw is amazing. Oh, I know what I wanted to say. I'm already starting to think about how I am going to change my diet when I reach my goal and want to stop the weight loss. How cool is that? The plan isn't based on "what can I eat," the thinking has been, "what should I add to slow down the weight loss and maintain the great health." The end is in sight. I'm hoping for 125 for Christmas. That will be 134 pounds in 7 months. I actually want to get down to 110 and then decide if I want to lose more. I've never been that thin before. My strategy is to go below my optimal weight and get my body fat percentage way down so I get rid of the last of the floppy fat like my upper arms. Then I want to gain back to a healthy weight with healthy fat. I can't believe I'm thinking about how to gain weight. Amazing.

Okay, I'm done. I've put down my inch loss below: This is all since June 6th.

Chest: 7"

Buddha Belly: 11.25"

Hips: 8.75"

Left Upper Arm: 2.5" - nothing this month

Right Upper Arm: 2"

Left Thigh: 6"

Right Thigh: 6"

Fri Oct 7, 2005, 6:02 PM

So be careful how quickly you speak.

Yesterday was bad. I never recovered from my hike. I was light headed all day. Today I didn't go to the gym, and though I feel better, don't feel great. I posted in the exercise forum and got some good advice. I think I'm too negligent with my sodium and potassium levels. Today I ate some celery for the sodium, yesterday I had a banana. I should have had one today, but I have such a hard time getting them down. I think I am going to go to and start monitoring what I eat to see what I'm lacking. If I don't feel better in the morning, I'll skip another day of exercise. Todd thinks it's just detox. If that's the case I should be fine in another day or so.

Sat Oct 8, 2005, 7:56 PM

I'm feeling better today. I actually ran a little further than I have been and had enough energy for the day to get a lot of work done. Tomorrow I'm doing my hike again. After checking with, I can see that I was playing with failure by not having any sodium (5 mg/day on average) in my diet. I'm sure I've just been using up whatever stores I had. It will take me a few days I think to build it all back up. Luckily tomorrow heat is not going to be a problem. It isn't supposed to go over 85 degrees here, so I should be good for the hike.

I think that is something I should have been using all along. It really shows you where your nutrients are coming from. I won't use it forever, but for now, when I'm trying to fine tune my diet for optimal energy while still losing weight, I think it will be very useful.

Okay, off to bed with me.

Sun Oct 9, 2005, 4:47 AM

So maybe Todd was right and this is just detox. Today I am nauseous. I woke up all gung-ho to go hiking. Drank a glass of water before taking off to walk the dogs and by the time I got back I felt ill. Yucky actually. So the hike is off and I'll give myself another day to recoup. I'm leaving tomorrow for my trip with my daughter so I will be better by then. Think I'll go eat something to see if I can settle my, orange, definitely not a banana.

Sun Oct 9, 2005, 7:15 PM

Same day as the last post, just the evening instead of morning. I'm leaving tomorrow for the week and won't have access to a computer. I just wanted to say that I had a good day. It was beautiful here, windy, cool -- the first all summer. So I called my kids up and convinced them we should work on their yard (they just bought a house this summer and besides grass haven't planted anything). That got them motivated and we spent the day shopping for trees. We picked up a Fen-Tex Ash and some kind of pear tree. My son-in-law and I went home and dug the ditches (something I have always enjoyed) and planted them. It was a nice intro to fall.

The real reason I'm writing today is sad. Lately, I have been starting to obsess over how I will react when I am done losing all the weight. Now that alone is cool that I'm seeing the end of the fat and knowing I'll make it, but I have been wondering if once the big goal is attained will I still be able to stay raw. I haven't wanted to say this in my journal because I don't want to discourage anyone trying to lose a lot of weight, but here I am 87 pounds lighter than in May, just May. That's a lot of weight, but to be honest I don't see it. I never saw myself as obese unless I saw a photo or noticed myself reflected in a window (then I would just look away). Because I never felt fat or inhibited because of my weight the huge drop in weight isn't noticeable to me. I know my clothes are smaller, I know I must be more pleasant to the eye, but I'm still me. Which by the way is not the problem. I just always saw myself as the woman I am today, heavy but doable. So there's nothing new for me. I think this will change as I get smaller, because in my mind's eye I was about as I am today, so as I drop the next 47 pounds I think my conception of myself will also change which is good. Okay, so this brings me to what I wanted to say:

I don't know that I have learned anything or changed my eating habits. Yeah, I understand the benefits of raw. I know if I stay raw, I will stay thin and healthy. But when I am thin and healthy will my motivation, my will power be as strong?

Today I exercise more than what is average. Losing weight has become a part-time job for me. I work hard at it. I don't think I will want to continue this level of obsession the rest of my life, so how do I transition?

I still have 3 months to think about it, but tonight I had a valuable lesson. I occasionally have flax crackers, but they are the only dehydrated foods I eat and very rarely. Well, my kids started raw last weekend (they've had two big cheat days) and bought banana chips from our local produce store. I have never tried one, so I did. It left the aftertaste of potato chips.

I became obsessed. They were all I could think about. On the way home, I stopped at the store and bought some. They weren't just dehydrated bananas, they had coconut oil. Half their calories were from fat. So I bought a quarter pound of them, and well, they are gone. Over 500 calories where 250 were from fat. So I have learned nothing. Well, except I won't be buying them again.

This is my fear. Maybe it will be that fear that keeps me raw. I know it's too soon to worry, but I want to be prepared. I want to have a plan. I think what I need to do is get more involved in raw. Maybe take one of Alissa's classes or start offering support to others. I definitely need to change careers, sitting at a computer all day is not conducive to being healthy. I'm considering taking a certificate course at the local community college for fitness training. Maybe if I turn my life into a career (which of course will pay considerably less than programming), but maybe it will let me keep this healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. I don't know. These are just thoughts and ramblings by a woman touched by the miracle of raw and scared it may one day wear off.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

Sat Oct 15, 2005, 7:28 PM

Back from my trip. My daughter told me the minute we got in the car to leave that she was not going hiking with me. Luckily, I was able to find 4 mile walks every day but Friday. I also go to use the gym twice at one hotel.

I did get to take the rented SUV off-roading which was fun for me, nauseating for my daughter and got to go to Jerome which I had a real thing for in the '80s.

But the best thing about the trip was I had to borrow more of my daughter's clothes because my capris and t-shirts wouldn't be warm enough. So I borrowed her jeans which were a little too big for me and a couple of tight long-sleeved t-shirts. Okay, I had tried a pair of her jean capris on before and that was cool, but to wear real jeans. Heavy levis with pockets, zippers, and waists without elastics was just too cool. It is the first time I felt like I had made it. I felt so good I didn't want to take them off. The feeling of the waist, loose, hanging on my hips. A tight shirt on not bulging at the waist. I was telling my daughter how I felt about it and my eyes teared, it was so awesome. She gave me the jeans and shirts to borrow until they are too big. One of the new pictures I added shows me in this outfit, but after they were stretched out a little.

I also added a couple of older pictures of me with my mom. I figured a picture alone doesn't really give you perspective so I had three with her, one from yesterday, and figured I'd have another at Christmas when I am almost done losing the weight. The pictures though showed me just how gray my hair has become so when my daughter and I got home, we dyed it. Then she decided we should play "What Not To Wear" and she used her 28-year-old makeup on me. Note to you all: a 48-year-old woman cannot wear a 28-year-old woman's makeup. It showed every line in my face, but it was fun. I added that picture too, just for fun. I am more of a jean and tee-shirt kind of gal and don't even own any makeup or a blow dryer. The pictures really show how bad that dangling chin of mine is, but I'm still feeling it will go with the weight.

Sorry, I posted those photos when I was doing the journal on Alissa Cohen's forum but have lost them.

Anyway, I'm feeling stoked again. And I'm feeling pretty good about making smart decisions when I'm done. My friend who started raw with me back in June has gained 30 pounds back in 3 months. It's too easy to be unhealthy on a SAD diet. I really need to find a way to make sure I incorporate raw into my life for life.

Today on MSNBC's pictures of the week there was a guy on a motorcycle with living geese hanging off the back as he took them to market. It so bothered me, reminding me again of how being vegan is the only humane thing to be. I'm going to look hard at how to center my life around spreading the importance of raw.

Sun Oct 16, 2005, 11:28 AM

Today was overcast and cool. Perfect for hiking. It's been a while since I did my climb up that never-ending mountain. After becoming dehydrated I took off a few days and then with my trip... so today I woke up feeling it was such a huge chore, but I did it anyhow. I had to stop twice, but it was easier. When I got back I still had tons of energy, but then I've been sitting here for a couple of hours reading people's journals.

I really need to do more of that, it's just so time-consuming. But, I really feel inspired by the journals I read. It's so easy to think you are out there, the only one struggling, feeling joy, but there are many of us experiencing this amazing lifestyle, some struggling, some flying through. I think I am going to make a point to try and read at least two journals a week as part of my motivation to stay with raw.

Well, I'm getting hungry and there is no food in the house so I'm off to the market. I'm really going to push those greens this week as well as celery and bananas.

Mon Oct 17, 2005, 7:09 AM

Last night, determined to start eating more veggies, I made myself a salad. Red cabbage, green beans, spinach, broccoli stems (can't eat those heads raw), celery, sprouts and cucumber. I only was able to eat about a quarter of it which wasn't much. It just makes me nauseous. I bought some raw tahini to make a salad dressing, but opted instead just to squeeze some orange juice over the salad which I guess just isn't enough for me. I'm going to try again tonight.

This morning when I got back from walking the dogs I had a cup of water thinking I would head right out for the gym. It wasn't hot outside but when I came in I started sweating, had to go to the bathroom, then got really nauseas and threw up all the water I drank. I went to the gym, but had not an ounce of push in me and gave up after an hour and came home.

I'm feeling better now, but gee. It seems my level of exercise is decreasing every day instead of getting better. I'll be back out on that mountain tomorrow morning, and hopefully, be able to run again on Wednesday. I do know that the fast weight loss I'm experiencing is a combination of both raw and exercise and that 125 goal for Christmas is still somewhat within my grasp if I keep up what I've been doing. So, I don't want to slow down at all between now and then.

I ate a couple of oranges about half an hour ago and am starting to feel them in my belly. Maybe I'm just sick today or having some form of detox. We'll have to see how the day goes.

Tue Oct 18, 2005, 10:28 AM

Wow, I would be here all day if I responded to all the well wishers who have made comments in my journal since posting the new pictures. So if any of you are reading this, I just have to say thanks. To know my story is inspiring others is very inspiring to me. I think just knowing that if I reach my goal weight in 7 or 8 months that other women and men like me will see that what was once impossible is possible on raw.

So back to the journaling. I ate a whole big bowl of salad yesterday. But I did discover a few things. Having the scent of garlic in the house made me think of food, food, food. Even though I put it on the salad and it is what helped me get all that spinach down, it wasn't satisfying. Because the salad was so filling I didn't eat as much fruit yesterday and woke up this morning feeling deprived. Feeling how unfair all of this is, how hard I have to work at losing this weight, how I can't even think about eating some of the fun food like other people do on raw because I am so worried about over indulging. So what if I've lost all the weight, so what? Most people are just naturally thin, this is all just unfair!

The forecast for this morning was thunder showers. The thought of canceling my mountain hike was pretty strong, but then I remembered my goals. 125 by Christmas. Inspiring other obese men and women to try raw before drugs and surgery. So I hit the trail.

Just as I started the steep incline this group of two men and one woman came up behind me. The man in the lead was somewhere in his sixties the other two my age or up. They were booking it. I stepped aside and let them pass. Making a comment that ended in the response from the leader that maybe they would pull me along.

It was as if there were two of me. The smiling, laughing Carlene and then the one inside my head that was throwing a temper tantrum. I could see myself throwing things, jumping up and down and screaming. I've been hiking that damn mountain for a month now and can't even imagine walking up it as fast as they were. It was 2.5 miles up, and I just knew that they would pass me coming back before I even made it to the half way point. I hated the mountain, I hated my efforts. It was all a joke. I was never going to get better, wasn't good enough to join the hikers club I'm going to tonight, would never be good enough.

As I fumed I passed the point where I had to sit down and rest last time, then I made it to the top of the second pass, then I was in the first wash. Without stopping. I decided to sit and rest but didn't really need to. Then I started up the last tough climb. I was almost to the top when they returned. I made another comment about how they had put me to shame, then the woman said. "You've made great time." They were running. I had made great time. I had made it past any stops I had to use before. They had reached the end and turned around without stopping. I was only half a mile behind them.

By the time I got down the mountain, I was in a great mood. The clouds had set in, the wind cool and refreshing. I was in love with raw again, in love with my accomplishments, and my new goals.

Today SweetGoddess started a thread on self-love. I guess that is what I was going through today. If I had stayed home, not pushed myself out that door, or turned around on that mountain without reaching my goal I would still be thinking of being deprived and how unfair life is. Instead of getting outside, fighting with myself, and striving for new goals reminds me of how much I really do love myself and how proud I am of me.

I am going to the hiking group tonight and I am going to join. I'm also going to remember that we all have different roads to travel and if mine had to be one of obesity, so be it. I am greatly loved by my family, children, friends, and myself. That's more than many people have. Plus, I have raw and as SweetGoddess said. That is the greatest expression of self-love.

Wed Oct 19, 2005, 1:18 PM

Three days in a row at the same weight. That always bums me out. So instead of going to the gym today, I decided I would run/walk from home and maybe I could get further.

Last night at the hiking club meeting I found out that my killer hike is considered a hard C. Well D is the easiest hike. That was a little disappointing. I found out that I really need to be doing this 6.5-mile killer climb as a regular workout to be ready for hiking. I already hurt.

So I thought I'd head down walking to the national monument where my regular trailhead is. It's 4 miles from my front door. No hard hills just gentle ups and downs. I was going to run, actually did a little and thought naw, next time. Instead, I chose to walk at a fast pace one which I thought I would need to do to keep up with the hikers from the club. So off I went. Figured I'd get to the 2-mile marker (there actually is one) turn around and come home for 4 miles. Well, I got there and decided to go one more mile. Then I was only a mile away from the trailhead so what the heck. When I got there I felt great. I had kept a good pace, but my feet were getting sore from all the pavement, so I thought. What if I take a trail across the desert to a road half a mile up from my house, but only a mile away. I'd have less pavement. Well, I didn't have a map so I asked some guy and he told me to take one trail all the way. Now that I look at the map, I see my mistakes, but I got lost, ran out of water, and thought the hike would never end.

The sad thing about it is I only walked about 9 miles and my feet and legs were killing me. It took me 3.5 hours so I wasn't walking the 2.75 miles per hour on relatively flat ground that one hiking guide wants on his climbing hikes. Aughhhhh. When will I be ready to keep up? Hopefully by Saturday since I'm planning on finding a hike to go do with them.

Are you tired of all this hiking and moaning? Sorry. I just want to be perfect now!!!!

Thu Oct 20, 2005, 10:12 AM

I made it up the mountain. I made it up the mountain. I made it up the mountain and I didn't have to stop!!!! Then I drove to the gym and worked out my upper body.

I should start from the beginning though. This morning when I woke up I had this email from Deb here at the forum. We had been going back and forth talking about the struggle of obesity and how raw although a miracle is not always easy. I had again stated how I fight for what comes naturally for most and how unfair it all seems at times. She sent me this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt said those words, at a speech in Paris on April 23, 1910

I was really touched by this and responded that if my road in life was to be obese then so be it. Her return email talked about how important struggle is, but how more importantly it is for champions to arise from the struggle and inspire others to do the same.

I've been thinking about this very theme lately, and how much I want to shout to the obese of the world that there is a cure, a magic pill and that it is with raw living food. That is how I made it up the mountain today. Thinking about what I can do bring raw to the obese. I would think and ponder, look up and see that I had made it way past where I thought I should be. My mind wouldn't focus on the mountain, only on raw, Deb's words, my own struggle and accomplishments and how to relay them to the world.

There is one thing I know in my life right now. No doubts. I beat obesity. And I did it with raw.

Fri Oct 21, 2005, 3:22 PM

Today I did that 9-mile walk again. The last two miles still kill me, but I made it home. I think tomorrow I'm going to do my mountain hike instead of going out with the hikers club and then next Sunday do that 12-mile hike I attempted earlier this summer. That is a real hard hike. If I make that then I'll feel better about doing some of the B level hikes. The C's for this weekend seemed easier than what I am doing.

Oh, I know what I wanted to add. This morning while I was walking (and this was after I was in a better mood, not the reason for it) some guy checked me out. I mean his head was sticking out of the car. Now, normally that is a little creepy. But firsts are always fun, especially since it's been so long.

I had bad dreams last night and woke up in a pitiful mood. Yesterday when I was hiking my right ovary hurt, so I thought my mood might be hormonal. Actually, besides the nasty dream, last night I had been feeling overwhelmed by a project I want to start. Wondering if I had it in me to succeed and dreading failure. By the end of my walk this morning I was all full of ideas and visions of success. I'm telling you exercise is as much a miracle for me as raw. Without it, I would probably have spent the day pissing and moaning about everything. Not raw of course, cuz you know, I do love being raw.

Wed Oct 26, 2005, 4:05 AM

Goals, goals, goals. They do drive me, but they are also killing me. Sunday I went out for my first hike with the hiking club I joined. It was supposed to be an easy B hike up in Mt. Lemon. It would be cool, it was only 10 miles, and the elevation gain was only 2000 feet, just 500 more than I climb on my mountain. A little push for me, but nothing great. Or so I thought. When I got to the carpool area and the other hikers started showing up I knew I was in trouble. They were all big-time hikers. One guy had done 400 mountain peaks in 4 years, another woman, Elana who will fit into this story later, goes to Colorado to climb 14,000 ft. peaks. But they all seemed nice, so I decided I would still go. Oh yeah, the guide is a fitness instructor and what I didn't take into consideration we were going to be at 8000 feet. I normal hike between 2 and 4,000.

We drove up the mountain, it was beautiful. We don't have many leave turning trees here, but there Aspens and Maples so there was a good showing of yellows and reds. When we got to the trailhead it was decided that we wouldn't do a car shuttle and instead add an extra 2 miles to the hike by coming back to the beginning. As soon as we hit the trail I knew I was going to die on the hike. They were fast. Even on scenic pathways, their pace was quick. I kept up, felt good that I could, even balanced myself across a log. Then we hit the incline, the moderate incline. I was right behind the guide and could tell she was slowing down in response to my huffing and puffing. I eventually had to fall back and let others pass as we neared our first rest stop at the top of a saddle (beats me what that is yet). There she asked how I was doing, I said that I was fine, but would be the last one up the steep part. Her boyfriend offered to hike with me at a slower pace which was very nice of him. The steep part was steep. Well, half of it was, by the time I made it to the second half I was wiped. The guide had come back to hike with us and we sang some hiking songs to keep my lungs open. I made it up the mountain about 20 minutes after the rest of them. It took a lot of stops for a minute or two for me to do it, but I did do it, and all the other hikers were very gracious about me holding them up. That was it, the rest was down, or so they said. And it was a fast down, but I kept up and was feeling pretty good about myself for doing it, then that last two miles came. I had forgotten that when we had come that first two miles had been mostly down. Again the boyfriend stayed with me, and so didn't another man who wanted to talk politics. We were only about three minutes behind the rest when we made it back to the car. It was tough, it was long, but I felt exhilarated when I got done. This was a B level hike, and even though it was an easy B, it was a B and I had made it.

In the car on the way back, I was with Elana. One of the guys, the peaker, told me to consider myself a slow B when I called other guides to see how I would do on their hikes. Elana told me that I should go with Dwight Riggs on some hikes this month. He did C level cross country and that it would be a good introduction to her favorite kind of hiking.

I listened to Elana, and yesterday showed up for what Dwight had called in the bulletin a rambalatory that was partly trail. It was a C+ hike, 6.5 miles with 1400 ft. elevation and it was close to home. To me the word rambalatory was a watered down bushwhack. The other hikers on Sunday had told me about bushwhacks and I knew they were something I would not be ready for for quite a while. I spoke with Dwight. Told him how I had been the last one up the mountain on Sunday and that I had never done off trail hiking. He said I should be fine.

I should have had a clue that things were about to go horribly wrong when my buddy Elana showed up. As soon as we got to the trailhead this easy rambalatory seemed to fade into the dust. The partly trail turned out to be five paces as we crossed it. Dwight in wanting to keep Elana and another man who was an A level hiker who just hadn't been out in a while and was using this as his first time back happy decided that instead of just boulder scrambling up the canyon that we should climb and I mean it was hand over fist (not rock climbing steep, but not stand up and walk steep either) grab one rock and pull yourself up. Luckily there was another woman, Maria, this time who was not at this level either and Dwight was a great guide waiting for us. Once we all got to the top and Elana was already at another hilltop waiting for us, Dwight decided maybe he had gone too far for what he had promised and decided we should head for a jeep trail. Down this time which wasn't too bad, but it was starting to get really hot outside. We hit the jeep trail which was for high clearance 4 wheeling only and were on it for only minutes before we were back in cactus country. Up and down, more hand over fist, then more up and up, with the sun getting higher. The guide wasn't sure exactly where we should go, so it was over this hill, down into that canyon, up again over these boulders, then finally down very slippery slopes with nothing to hold onto. By this time I was getting dehydrated and breathing hard. I was last again. My buddy Maria although not at this level of a hike does hike 40 to 50 miles a day and does the mountain I will be doing tomorrow for the first time two to three times a week. Finally, we made it to a dirt road. There was indecision about which way to go. I don't know if they chose the right path, but at this point, I could barely breathe and was walking very slow so I just followed. We ended at a locked gate that was over five feet tall. There was a heavy chain on it about 4 feet up. The plan was to step on the chain, then step on a bar farther up then step across the gate by pulling yourself over and jump down. Right! I was pretty upfront with my doubts but with my last gush of energy did it. Well and the help of an electric box that was about two feet from it and the hand of the guide when I got to the top.

I never thought I would make it back to cars. I couldn't even stand and talk to everyone, I just had to get in the car and die. Elana tried to comfort me by saying this was no C+ hike, but a very B bushwhack. Everyone agreed including the guide who seemed very worried I would never hike with the group again. Actually, I'll probably go on his cross country hike next week. It took the drive back to our cars for me to catch my breath, and then yesterday I was worthless. I could barely read my emails or even watch a movie. Today I am resting. I thought I might do another easy hike today, but I think I have plenty of time to hike now, I don't need to kill myself.

There were some very cool things though about yesterdays bushwhack and I'd like to say if it hadn't been so hot even though it was hard and I have bloody scratches all over me, and splinters, I would have enjoyed it. I actually really like Elana and imagine as time goes by will become good hiking friends. She is a motivated woman and I like that. So here are some of the cool things. One, one of my major reasons to lose all this weight and get healthy is so I could go hiking. So, major goal reached. It's hard, but I'm doing it. Then yesterday as we were hiking there was this one patch where a cactus was only about 8" off a rock face. We had to scoot by it. I saw it, the distance, and didn't even hesitate. There was no doubt me and my backpack could fit through. Fitting through things when you are obese, at least for me, becomes a panic moment. I was always worried about getting my girth between things. There are caves by my house that I won't go to because I was afraid I wouldn't fit. And now, here I am five months later and it didn't even cross my mind. When I got back to the car I noticed I had a bunch of cactus spines in my elbow. I used to try and hide my elbows because there was this layer of fat hanging over them. I saw the spines, noticed for the first time this fat was gone and all that was there was a normal looking elbow and turned to Elana and asked her to pull them out. There was no shame of someone seeing my elbow. Now for those of you who have never been fat or those of you who have been but have never been ashamed of it, I envy you. For me letting someone touch my fat was taboo. But yesterday, those fears were gone.

Unlike on Sunday when I didn't want to fess up to the fact that I had only been in shape for months, yesterday I told everyone about my weight loss and how raw had changed my life. I think Maria may actually try it. Elana, it turns out is vegetarian. I also realized yesterday, that I am a raw foodist. I believe in raw and all those doubts I had a few weeks back about whether or not I'd continue raw when I am done with weight loss are gone. Raw has allowed me to do what I love to do. I'm out hiking with hard core hikers and they don't think I should quit. My brain is switching from obese to thin in how I perceive myself. I didn't really think that would happen. I've become my own living example of the benefits of raw. I have had no side effects, my energy levels are pretty high even if I still use them up every morning with exercise. When people ask about protein I tell them what I eat and how great I feel. It's explanation enough. When they ask about satisfaction and hunger I tell them the truth, I am satisfied and even though at times I crave things like pizza I only have to look at my self and what I have accomplished to know that pizza isn't worth jeopardizing it. Raw has saved my life, not just from death, but from boredom and loss of hope of ever enjoying it.

Fri Oct 28, 2005, 10:19 AM

Two days in a row now I've done that Blackett's Ridge. Damn, it is hard. There are people who do it in an hour, it takes me two. And that's just to get up. It's steep, it's rocky, and it's barren. The only shade is when you go early and the sun is blocked by one of the ridges you're climbing.

I'm still drinking a heap of water. I see people going up it with one sports bottle of water. I am inhaling 2 liters. I probably don't need that much water, but as I huff and puff my way up, my mouth dries and I think I need water. I guess as I get better that will take care of itself.

I still am not doing my electrolytes right. I just don't like bananas and when I'm tired they are not something I think about when I think of eating. I have a much easier time with the celery. Though to my credit, I just ate one.

One thing I have to say about all this hiking is that other hikers are just nice people. Everyone is so friendly, when you stop to let people pass you on their way up, they offer words of encouragement. When they are on their way back down and you are still on your way up, they offer even more. I guess when you love something, as you would have to love hiking to put yourself through Blackett's Ridge, then you want other people to enjoy it too.

That's like us with raw, I think, and why everyone is so supportive of each other in choosing this lifestyle.

Sat Oct 29, 2005, 5:05 PM

Okay, just had to say, I went out with the hiking club today. 8 miles, 1400 feet, and I did great. I was not the last one up the mountain. I was not the only one huffing at the top, but more importantly, I was not the one huffing the most.

Yippie! Yippie! Yippie! Of course, I did get a hundred questions about raw, which I just love now.

Mon Oct 31, 2005, 12:52 PM

I haven't lost any weight this week. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a big huge loss of 2 pounds so I can say I lost 100 pounds in exactly 5.5 months. It's a big wish though. I've been hiking too much I think. Always pushing. Yesterday I took the day off from exercise and fell into a depression. It was still here this morning. I forced myself to go hiking. About 2/3's of the way up, I stopped, took off my pack, and decided to eat my banana and head down. It was too hard, I was too tired, and I hated the damn mountain. Then an old lady walked by. I picked up my pack and followed. The top just seems so far away. It is the longest 1.7 miles of up in the world, I am sure of it. When we got to the top (her before me) we chatted for a while. We were talking about rattlesnakes and I was telling her the story of the Mohave Green I had seen in the mountains by my house. She was getting the chills and said if she had been rattled at by one she didn't know if she would be able to go back. I had taken off my boots and was taking a longer rest than she wanted, so she went down ahead of me. About five minutes later I followed. I was heading along the only level area where there are bushes and grass. Feeling a little better, but dreading the long down. I was halfway through when hissssss, rattle. A green Mohave was at the edge of my path ready to strike. I jumped back a couple of feet which unfortunately was the wrong way because I still needed to get by. I tried throwing rocks on the path, calling it names and daring it to leave and pounding my stick on the path. Nothing. It stayed all curled up ready to attack. There was some brush to my right. I could see where I could go around, but then I wondered, where are his brothers? There were places I would have to walk that I wouldn't be able to see what was beneath my feet. I checked back on the snake. He hadn't moved. So I started banging my stick on all the brush and slowly maneuvered myself around him. Just as I was coming back to the path I caught sight of his dark golden rattler slipping into the grass.

Adrenalin rushes are always good for mood elevation. I met a couple of girls coming towards me a few minutes later and warned them, they decided to turn around so I followed them down for a bit until they told a group of men and I got stopped to explain the difference between Mohave’s and Diamondbacks. The Mohave is a very aggressive rattlesnake and our most poisonous. They can be sunning themselves and without coiling strike you. I met a woman last week who was bit by one a few years ago. Her face was paralyzed for 36 hours, her leg was coal black for months and still bothers her. It took her over 6 weeks to recover. She was lucky, some tourist died this summer from one.

Anyway, so I was feeling better, but by the time I got down the mountain and was walking the road back to the car the depression snuck in again. It's that weepy kind of pity me kind of depression. By the time I got home, I was just about in tears so I grabbed the dogs and walked down to the wash and sat on my meditation rock, meditating, tearing. The dogs had come back from their play, I was about done meditating and I looked down at my path. There laying across it was a small Kingsnake. It was beautiful. The dogs don't notice the snakes if they don't move. Somehow seeing that second snake broke my depression. It felt almost like a gift. I feel great now. Life is pretty odd. I wouldn't say I am a fan of snakes, I would never have one and I hope not to come across them when I hike, but today for some reason I needed them. They are kind of like raw, so much a part of nature and the earth. I guess what I was needing was a hug and nature decided to give me one.

On a positive note about the depression. It never occurred to me to eat my way through it. Being raw never entered into the equation. Not wanting to exercise did, not wanting to work did, but eating outside of raw wasn't even a vague thought. Now that is a lifestyle change!

Note: Later I learned I know nothing about snakes. The snake I saw was a Blacktail rattler.

© 2005-2019 Carlene Jones