A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Finding a new summer workout plan

I’m in the market of new summer workout ideas! I’m already losing motivation to workout when the only thing I’ve really got on my docket is walking. Don’t get me wrong – I love a nice walk, but I’m finding it hard to get myself motivated to get up in the morning to work out. I can already feel all of the stamina I’ve lost. Ugh. I’ve got some ideas, but I’m interested in yours. I need something that’s low impact and doesn’t strain my neck too much. Swimming is out per the physical therapist and I just find the elliptical mind-numbing. Time to find some other options.

Here are my ideas to find some mojo this summer:

  • Try at least one workout that isn’t walking each week. This week, my goal is to get to Zumba at the gym. I’ve also got a ton of workout DVDs I can try and other classes at the gym. I’m also looking for opportunities to try things like kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (which I loved in Montana last summer!), as well as hiking when I go to New Hampshire later this summer.
  • Sign up for a karate/similar class. Learning something new would be a great way to get engaged again. Karate or some similar martial art seems like it would be good for stress relief, the challenge of learning something new and a different kind of exercise than usual. A dance class might also be a good idea.

  • Re-enlist with a trainer at the gym. The trainers at my gym are expensive so I’d keep the appointment not to waste money. Plus, they could help me find exercises that feel safe for my neck.
  • Train to walk a half marathon. I could walk a half marathon in Des Moines. It’s a very walker friendly course as the half marathon course is open as long as the marathon course (or at least it has been in the past). Maybe checking boxes to train to walk a half marathon would get me up in the morning . . .

Des Moines HM 2015

Getting more active is essential so I can lose some of this weight I’ve regained, so I get my stamina and cardiovascular health back and to keep my lupus under control a bit. I think my cranky hands might be more than a little bit related to my lack of running for the last couple of months.

Any other ideas for low impact exercises that don’t require a lot of sudden movements or twisting of my neck?





Weight Watchers Tracking in DisneyWorld

Yep, I tracked my Weight Watchers points at Disney World, almost every day. And it was fine. It did not disrupt my enjoyment of my vacation in any way!

Shocking, I know.

I’ll confess, I wasn’t sure how this would go, so I decided I’d take it day by day. Every day I woke up and made the choice: Am I going to track today? Almost every day I decided “yes.” Here’s what I learned:

How do you eat “on plan” with Weight Watchers at Disney?

Set realistic goals: My goal wasn’t to lose weight on vacation by any means, or even not to gain weight. My goal was to track and to stay sane with my eating and I did that. I reminded myself every day that it was okay if I went “in the hole” from a points perspective – tracking had its own value even if that happened.

Fruits and veggies! For every meal, I focused on fruits and veggies. I filled my plate with fruits and veggies first and saved everything else for small doses of “add on” yumminess. This is also my approach at home and it turns out it can work just as well at most Disney dining establishments. It’s gotten a lot easier in the last five years, as Disney has added more fruits and veggies as snack options throughout the park if you look for them. I was able to buy cups of grapes and other fruits in 3 of the 4 parks (didn’t check in EPCOT – had my eye on a Grey Goose slushy there).


Save my indulgences for things that were really worth it. Dole Whip with rum = worth it! I earned my treats with lots of walking at the park. I couldn’t ride roller coasters thanks to my bum neck, so I decided to get up and walk a thousand steps every time Darrell and Oliver were on a ride I was having to skip rather than sit and mope. That meant tons of steps and activity points, which translated to a drink and/or dessert at the end of the evening and still staying in my points.

Walking trailsWalking trails at the Animal Kingdom

Bring in your own snacks: Disney still allows you to bring in your food and I really took advantage of this from a snack perspective. We had no-sugar added applesauce packets, veggie straws, fruit and other healthier choices in our bag each day which helped up stay out of the shops and away from temptation.

Did it help?

Did tracking keep me from gaining weight over vacation? Nope – I came home with a 5 pound gain. However, part of that gain was just water weight and was gone in a day or two (LESSON LEARNED: Ignore that first weigh in post-vacation). The rest of it is now gone by ten days post vacation.

It did help me make better choices overall though. I can’t tell you how many treats I thought I’d love that I took a bite of and didn’t finish because it wasn’t “worth it.” I only have that mentality when I’m on plan. I also enjoyed my Nutella and strawberry waffle with zero guilt because I knew I was tracking it and making good choices overall, so it was a VERY WORTHY indulgence.
All in all, I had ZERO angst about food on this vacation and that was so relaxing! By the time I got to my last two EPCOT days (where I’d decided early in the week not to track because of the booze), I felt confident and happy in my ability to eat a healthy diet overall so I didn’t binge when I was let “off leash” without tracking.

The thing I think it really helped was in cementing my decision that tracking and making good food choices is something that can be integrated into my day no matter where I am or what I’m doing. I can have my favorite treats and fit them into a healthy lifestyle by keeping them balanced with other lighter choices and active days. It takes only seconds to track and even estimating a food has value in helping me “own” that choice and stay on track mentally.

Thanks to tracking on vacation, I came home confident that I can stick with Weight Watchers and re-lose the weight I’ve gained. That in itself was a huge win! Another win? Even the scale was up for a week or so after vacation, I can already tell that my size is shifting again and things are fitting better than they did a month ago. Hauling out my phone to periodically log food while I was also checking for the next Fast Pass was definitely worth it. 🙂

How do you stay on track on vacation? Or do you take a vacation from staying on plan when  you travel?



Weekly Wrap-Up: Back from vacation!

Last week’s workouts? Lots of walking around this place:

Yes, we survived Disney in June. It was muggy, rainy and still wonderful. We had lots of family time where we built great memories and ended the week still liking each other – which can be a miracle! Even better for my work-life balance struggles, I disengaged from my job for 10 whole days and it was glorious!

RainWe didn’t let the rain slow us down. Thank goodness for spare shoes and raincoats!


Oliver told me that he knew there were people inside character suits 😦 . However, he said you totally forgot that when you got to talk to them up close, so it was still fun. That’s exactly how I see it kiddo!

I actually had a workout plan beyond just walking the parks. Thanks to my neck injury, there were a bunch of rides I couldn’t do. Instead of sitting and waiting for Darrell and O to finish the rides, I made a goal of walking 1000 steps every time they were on a ride I had to skip. I got loads of extra steps and saw some parts of the park I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Walking trails

We’ll talk more about park food choices later this week, but there was more good than bad there too!

Now, I’m back to normal routine and really feeling motivated to find some kind of non-running fitness plan I can stick with through the summer.

Goals for this week:

  • Track everything! Vacation eating is over and it’s time to get back to normal healthy eating. Fortunately, it’s summer which means loads of grilling and fresh fruit and veggies!
  • Two mile walks on Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday (aka the days I don’t have 7 am meetings!) before work and a four mile walk on the weekend.
  • Strength training X 2
  • Yoga X 1

I’d also like to work on riding my bike more over the summer and checking out some local hiking options. I’ll keep you posted!

Do you have a vacation coming up this summer? Do you set workout goals for your vacation weeks or take the week off from structure?

Thanks as always to Holly and Tricia (and this week’s guest host Kim who is training for a marathon in this weather!) for hosting our wrap up!