A Weekend in San Diego

Hey look, a travel post!

Prior to the COVID pandemic, Bill and I loved to travel and made sure that we did so as often as possible. Now that we’re both fully vaccinated, we decided that we were ready to try flying again.

My parents had booked a camping trip in San Diego, staying at a campground that we used to frequent as a family when I was growing up, so we decided to plan a trip to California to spend a few days with them. I hadn’t seen my parents since pre-pandemic, and we had all promised each other that once we were all vaccinated that we would find a way to get together.

Even vaccinated and masked, I admit I wasn’t wild about our first experience with flying. I didn’t realize that TSA will make people lower their masks when going through security, so I was a little surprised and not super thrilled to have to do that, but I didn’t really have a choice so I went with it. The airport terminal at SeaTac Airport was under construction and half closed, so there were a lot of people and it was really crowded. We did our best to find a secluded corner away from everyone else so that we could eat a quick snack and sip some water.

We pretty much exclusively fly Alaska Airlines, and they’ve been really good about health protocols. On the plane itself, we got seats in Premium Class and Alaska is still blocking off middle seats in that section. Bill and I had the row to ourselves which made me feel a lot more comfortable than I ordinarily would have, and I just watched Grey’s Anatomy on my iPad and read a book and didn’t look at anyone else around me.

I still don’t love the idea of a larger hotel, so we opted to book a condo on Airbnb instead. The condo we booked was one street over from Mission Beach, and I liked being able to smell the salt air and hear the waves when we opened the windows. The place itself was really cute and nice. We had two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a nice bathroom. It was only fifteen minutes away from Campland on the Bay, where my parents were staying, so it was an easy drive to go visit them each day.

At my parents’ campsite, we were able to sit around a campfire in the evenings, and they had a great view of Mission Bay. At night, we were able to watch a fireworks display from across the bay at Sea World. A few things have been updated, but for the most part Campland is exactly the same as I remember it from when I was little. They’ve updated a couple of areas to be nice dog parks, which is really cool for campers like my parents who bring pets along.

On Friday, my parents took us to their favorite spot on Coronado Island, the Coronado Dog Beach. It runs along Ocean Blvd all the way up to the border with the US Naval Station, and offers great views of Point Loma and the Hotel del Coronado. And, we got to see a lot of really cool and adorable dogs! That trip was definitely one of the highlights of our weekend.

On Saturday my sister and brother-in-law drove down from their house in Beaumont to spend the afternoon with us. The weather was decidedly chilly and windy, so we retreated into my parents’ camping trailer and spent the afternoon blissfully playing cards and laughing ourselves silly. My sister brought Cards Against Humanity and insisted we play it. I was not sure at all how that would be received by my conservative parents, who are in their seventies, but they were very good sports and really got into the game.

Even though we had a condo with a full kitchen, somehow we never actually got around to stocking said kitchen with any food. Instead, when I got up in the mornings I would make a pot of coffee and sip it while I watched glimpses of the waves and surfers from our living room window, and when we got hungry Bill and I would walk down Mission Blvd to Sara’s Mexican Food, a little walk-up stand that sold tacos, burritos, and other Mexican fare. We instantly developed an addiction to their Chorizo breakfast burritos, which were big enough that we could split them and still have a hearty breakfast and that made for great sightseeing fuel.

Our trip home yesterday wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I expected it to be, but I was definitely more anxious because we weren’t able to get seats in Premium Class and I knew that meant we’d be sharing our row with a third occupant. Because Bill is so tall, I always end up having to sit in the middle, and I don’t love being squashed in between him and a random stranger under normal circumstances but I expected to dislike it even more now that I’ve been social distancing from strangers for the last year. I had to repeatedly give myself a pep talk and remind myself that I’m vaccinated against COVID, that I was going to be double-masked (for crowded places I wear a disposable mask under my cloth one for some added protection), and that people fly every day and that they haven’t seen any trends or spikes in COVID cases in people that have flown recently. When we got into the terminal at San Diego International, it was super crowded and I didn’t like it at all, but then we remembered another wing that we’d walked toward when we’d headed to baggage claim when we’d first arrived the previous Thursday. We walked over there, and sure enough it was totally deserted (AND I found a little store that sold healthy snacks and had almond milk so that I could mix up my Shakeology shake, which made me very happy). We were able to sit all by ourselves, with no one anywhere around, and we waited until we absolutely had to leave before we gathered up our things and walked back to the gate where our flight was departing from. Our seatmate turned out to be a teenager who put his head down on the tray table and napped for the majority of the flight, so being in close quarters wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Overall, flying was a little uncomfortable but I was very grateful for the chance to visit with my family again, and our weekend in San Diego was a pleasant one!

9-Week Control Freak: Day 1

Today is the day that everyone in my Beachbody group has been eagerly awaiting: the new 9-Week Control Freak program is now available in the On Demand library!

9-Week Control freak is the latest program from trainer Autumn Calabrese. When I first joined Beachbody On Demand, Autumn’s 21-Day Fix was the program that I followed and I really liked it, so I’ve been excited to try the latest workouts she created. 9WCF is a 9-week at-home workout program, with each workout lasting around half an hour. I love getting my workout over in 30 minutes, and Autumn is great at kicking my ass quickly!

There are two versions of the program so that anyone who works out at home can follow it. The first one includes equipment like door- or wall-mounted resistance bands, a core ball, and a step, but the second one is a dumbbell-only option called Off the Wall. Bill and I are following the second one, because we work out in our living room and we just don’t have room for all of the other equipment that the first version requires (especially the control tracks with the resistance bands – that is, unless Beachbody can figure out how to come out with a set that attaches to the back of my sectional couch). The only thing that some people may not like about Off the Wall is that not every single workout is unique; it offers five workouts for each of the three phases that can be cycled through to complete the nine weeks.

Of course, Beachbody is a business, and they want to sell their products, so there are lots of supplements and nutrition containers and all kinds of other stuff that they encourage using while doing the program. I’m a calorie counter for life and I don’t have any desire to change that, so I’m opting to stick with my LoseIt app for tracking my food. I do drink Shakeology every day because I like it, but I absolutely don’t believe that doing so is vital to success with this or any workout program.

Bill and I did the first workout this morning, and I really enjoyed it. The main workout consisted of completing a circuit of five different moves, twelve reps each, as many times as we could in twelve minutes. After that was the Tabata Cardio portion. Neither of us knew what the heck Tabata was, but we now have learned that it’s a form of high-intensity interval training that forces you to work at a very high intensity for short periods of time. For the first workout we did eight rounds of mountain climbers, working for ten seconds and then resting for twenty seconds before going into the next round. I liked that because I typically do not enjoy cardio and really have to push myself mentally. Knowing that I only had to do it for ten seconds at a time helped me to work harder and faster during that time.

I’m excited to be doing this new program and am eager to see what benefits I get from switching it up!

Figuring Out My WFH Style

Now that I’m officially working from home full-time (at most, I might start going into the office one day a week at the end of the year), I’m trying to address something that’s been on my mind for awhile – my wardrobe!

Working in my company’s corporate headquarters, I would wear dress pants and pretty tops or dresses to work each day. I rarely wore jeans and only own a few pairs of them, all of which I bought secondhand.

Before the pandemic, outfits like this were my normal office attire.

For the last year, I’ve pretty much lived in Victoria’s Secret leggings and oversize sweaters or t-shirts that I got on clearance from Target. When the weather got warm last summer, I bought three sundresses from Old Navy to wear for work clothes. I kept my purchases minimal, because I had no idea what my long-term working situation would be like and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on more casual clothes if I was going to return to an office environment.

Now, though, with my situation looking more permanent I feel like it’s time to figure out what my new, more casual style is going to be. I don’t really want this tee and leggings look to be all I ever wear, but I’m still trying to figure out what I do want.

What I want to know is, whatever happened to fashion blogs? Ten years ago, the Internet was crawling with twenty-somethings eagerly sharing their outfits with the world. Now it seems that no one has written an outfit post since at least 2019, and all those old blogs might as well have a stray tumbleweed bouncing along their once-frequently-updated homepages. Maybe they’re stuck in the same leggings-and-oversized-shirt funk that I am?

To try and get inspired, I packed away my sweaters and winter clothes and brought out my summer things from storage. While some of my dresses are definitely in the “formal” category, I do have some that I think I can dress down with a jean jacket, a sweater, or some sneakers. I don’t love wearing shorts, so hopefully being able to wear some of my dresses styled more casually will get me through this summer as I transition to a WFH style.

But if anyone knows of an active fashion blogger these days, send me the link!

My Goals for May

I’m still on a high from my success in April, and I’m hoping it’ll stay that way so that I can have a great May! This month will be a lot different than any month in over a year, because my fully-vaccinated self is getting on a plane and flying to California to visit family. Adding travel back into my plans is a VERY welcome change, but it’ll also be an opportunity for me to see how I handle my newfound healthy lifestyle once I’m not home all day.

With that in mind, I tried to formulate goals for May that would help me be successful but still allow me to have some flexibility – I don’t want to slide back into old habits, but I don’t want to be super rigid either!

Stay under my allotted calories 70% of the time. I noted in my April goal recap that I stayed under my calorie count 63% of the days in April, so I want to increase that percentage for May. It works out to 22 days, which still gives me 9 days to go over. While I’m not making it an official part of my goal, I’m also going to play around with calorie cycling, lowering my allotted calories slightly so that on the days I’m sticking to that number that my intake of food will be a little bit reduced. I think this will help offset the days I go over.

Average 9,500 steps per day. This is slightly under my average steps for April, so it isn’t requiring me to increase my activity but to maintain my current level. May can bring some really nice weather to the Seattle area, but it can also bring some soggy rainy days that make a long walk unappealing.

Complete the Fit Happens May Beachbody Challenge. The coaches in my Beachbody group have been busily cooking up a fresh batch of challenges for May. The first part of the May challenge is to share a photo of one healthy meal per day. I love this because it will help me stay on-track with nutrition, and I decided that none of my Shakeology shakes will count for this so I have to share a breakfast or a dinner. The other challenge is a plank challenge! I’m really excited about this one because by the end of the month, the challenge has us holding a plank for three minutes, much longer than I’ve ever done before! Here’s a copy of the plank challenge in case anyone wants to join in on the fun:

Write a blog post once a week. I want to challenge myself to use my creative side more and start writing again, and more than just lists of my goals! I do have more going on in my life than just trying to lose weight and be healthier, and I’d like to share more of myself in May.