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Commitment to Work....

Monday, October 07, 2013

It's been a while since I wrote a blog. I think it is more than time for me to write another. First thing I want to do is thank all my spark friends for their continued support. Every like, comment and goodie means a ton and helps keep me going. I haven't had time to personally thank everyone but I try to do it by paying it forward to support my friends here and so as my time on spark has been less I have been trying to use it to encourage others and in that I have found a great deal of encouragement myself.

This will be quite a long blog so I won't feel bad if you come back later and read it when you have time.

Ok well this summer was pretty rough for me. over the summer I gained about 15 pounds from where I was before the summer started. I am still 12 pounds up for the year. A lot of people would flip out if they gained that much. But I am choosing not to do that. I know exactly why I gained it. I stopped doing the work. I could blame or make excuses for a lot of things. Work, breakup, travel etc... But it comes down to the fact that I stopped doing the work day in and day out. My decisions and choices weren't great food wise and I chose to hang out and socialize rather to bust tail in the gym. The thing is I don't regret it. In 7 days it will mark 1 year I have been living in Hawaii the majority of the time. I have to say it has been the best thing to happen to me outside of the birth of my kids. I have been so blessed to have this opportunity and I have chosen to max it out. I was actually supposed to be leaving in a few weeks but my project has ran in to delays and it seems like I will be here till the end of January. I have felt so lucky and grateful to have had this opportunity I am not going to let the fact I have put on some weight here diminish how great I feel about this experience. I got a tattoo here (my first ever) so I will always remember how I feel about my year here.

So while my summer was over indulgent I enjoyed it immensely. So I don't regret it. However I know that what I want for myself is to feel good about myself and my body and do the work it takes to invoke those feelings. So in September I said enough was enough and decided to start doing the work again. Start making better eating choices. Start making the choice to be active. Start making the choices to be the person I want to be and I am proud of being. I knew I couldn't start back out at the level I was say a year ago. But I could start doing the work and I did. I ordered myself an activity monitor (fitbit flex) to help me track my work. Since it arrived over 3 weeks ago I have only been under my work goal once. I have walked over 100 miles since getting it and lost about 4 pounds. While the pounds are nice I really like how I feel and how it feels to have done the work. I know the weight will work itself out as long as I continue to do the work.

So I got the fit bit while in Texas for a week. but I started doing the work even before I went back home. The first weekend after I had made up my mind I started to do active things and make better meal choices. One thing I have truly enjoyed and have given me a great sense of accomplishment is hiking. Before the Summer I had done two hikes the first two I had ever done. Diamond head and Koko Head. (check earlier blogs for recaps of these hikes) I enjoyed these a ton and felt on top of the world literally. So I wanted to get back to that. So My first free weekend I did two hikes. Maka'apu light house and Manoa Falls. These were good hikes and got me out of the house and had wondrous views. Neither hike was extremely challenging like Koko Head was. But they helped me get outside and really enjoy the island. Here are some pics from those hikes.

So after those hikes and getting my fitbit I was really excited once again to do the work. Well my good friend and project manager got the idea to do the Haiku Stairs hike. This hike is actually closed and has been since 1987. To do it you have to break several trespassing laws and start well before dawn as to avoid the security guards. Oh did I mention several people have had fatal accidents on this trail as well.

So my friend ask me if I want to do and I of course say I am in. I usually don't do stuff like this. I am not a thrill seeker. I am not a dare devil. but after looking at the pics I made up my mind this was something I had to see with my own eyes. It was also fitting we would do it the day after the 20th Anniversary of when I lost my Dad in a car accident. What better time to do a hike called stairway to heaven.

So we went to sleep about 9 pm local time and i awoke at 1:15 am I got ready and met up with 5 of my friends at 1:45 am. We then met up with other friends and soon to be friends that wanted to do the hike when they caught word. by the time the full group assembled (about 18 of us) it was 2:40 am we carpooled and drove to where one of our friends new we could gain access to the hike. We have on headlamps as it is pitch black out. We had about a mile walk just to get to the head of the closed off trail.

Honestly i could write an extremely long blog about this hike. However I feel like I have written quite a bit already so i will summarize a bit. This is by far the most challenging physical activity i have taken part in. The trail consists of almost 4000 stairs and you ascend to about 2700 feet. Most of our group were in there 20's or early 30's and very fit. I was by far the heaviest of the group and the 4th oldest. Honestly I was breathing hard by the time we reached the bottom of the stairs. I fit wasn't pitch black out and I could only see the stairs and the person in front of me I don't know if I would have attempted it. I am very glad I did though. I don't have any pics from our ascent as it was 3 am when we got started. But I want to share with you all some of the pics. the pics don't do it justice. On the way up we encountered 30-40mph winds and driving rains as we passed though layers or clouds. By the time we reached the top it was about an hour to sunrise. I actually didn't make it to the very top because when I was going up the last section the wind and rain was so strong I didn't feel it was safe. So i made it to about 2600 ft elevation and did about 95% of the stairs.

While some would be disappointed not reaching the top it didn't disappoint me at all. Because I had done something I never thought I would be able to do. i went as far as I could safely and thats ok. the work I put in to get where I was was enough and I was satisfied. i think that is something we often overlook in this journey. Being enough... A lot of us turn to food because we feel like we haven't been enough for people in our lives. Parents, spouses, Boyfriends/Girlfirends, siblings. That we didn't measure up to someone else's ideas of us. All that matters is we measure up to our ideas of us. We have to be enough for us. that is a lesson that I had learned before but that hike really sunk it in. My work and effort is enough. That work and effort has carried me to places I wouldn't have even dreamed of 10 years ago. Who cares whether it measures up in someone else's eyes it is enough for me. I am proud of what I accomplished in the dark of night and even though I was exhausted and spent after wards and i am sore still as I write this.. I know that ANYTHING I put my mind to I can and will do. If a man who once weighed close to 400 pounds can will him self up the side of that mountain then there is nothing else I can't will myself to. I just have to do the work. Enjoy the pictures...

This is the first bunker and this is where I made it too.

Stole the quote above and added it to one of my friends pics from the hike.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon I enjoyed the story and pictures. emoticon
    2627 days ago
  • -RUBIES-
    Wow! You're a brave man! I'm glad you enjoyed your hike.
    2658 days ago
    On so many levels... this has been the best blog I have ever read anywhere! So very proud of you! Thank you for sharing this... you are appreciated.

    2663 days ago
    That's right! I need one of these hikes!
    2669 days ago
    Chris, that looks awesome. Too bad it's closed.
    2675 days ago
    Wow. What an inspiration!
    2680 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10676776
    Enjoyed your blog! Thanks for sharing. Stay focused on your goals! Love the pictures too! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2680 days ago
    Thanks for taking the time to write this catchup blog. Wow, great photos. Enjoy the rest of your time in Hawaii and keep on keepin' on!!

    2683 days ago
  • RUSSELL_40
    Great pictures. Not going to see that from your couch. Think about the fact that 95% of people voluntarily give up these experiences, just to sit around, and overeat, because it is easier. The few who don't gain weight, burn calories in a gym, and not in nature. That was a heck of a stair stepper you went up..lol

    Don't worry about the summer. I gained about 30 lbs last summer. I was down to 211 lbs, and for the first time in a while, I could do things I haven't been able to do. While doing these things with friends, I tended to not avoid certain foods, so that I did not stick out. I went to restaurants, ate off plan during a weekend up north in the woods, and at some picnics. I tried to offset this with plenty of exercise. Today I am down to 202 lbs, even though I got back to 242 over that summer. Weight loss isn't linear.

    Just keep up the exercise, and eat the best food you can, and work at setting a new low before every slip backwards. Over time it adds up. Sometimes you will lose 8 lbs a month, other times 1 lb, and still other you may gain 3 lbs. The goal should be to lose a little more than you gain. Summer is always rough for me, with potato salad, and fried chicken. Wintertime helps me lose what I gained in the summer. Do the best you can, while enjoying Hawaii. You can limit the damage, and erase it when back in Texas. You don't always get to experience Hawaii. Enjoy yourself a bit.

    2689 days ago
    Incredible journey - love the rainbows in the pictures, your tattoo..it's very moving. You are so right about going as far as you can safely go. You have so much to be proud of.

    I've been hoping to get back to Hawaii again..you've inspired me.
    2690 days ago
    This. Is. Amazing.

    Thank you for continuing to inspire us all!

    2693 days ago
    All I can say is WOW!!!! emoticon
    2693 days ago
    Way to go. Way to be safe and be ENOUGH for yourself.
    Loved the blog and best of luck as you continue your journey!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2696 days ago
    What an amazing hike (and overall journey). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and those incredible photos of the Haiku trail. I've been to Diamond Head, but this looks 10 times more challenging and beautiful! Good luck re-dedicating yourself to the work. emoticon
    2698 days ago
    I am proud of you and all that you have accomplished. I really admire you for living your dream. This is an amazing tribute to your dad and your 'new' lifestyle. Keep pushing forward and I have no doubt you will reach whatever goals you set.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2698 days ago
  • AMOS76
    What a wonderful post! I read it twice. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am so jealous!
    2698 days ago
    Way to go!! Those pictures are amazing, and I'm sure the whole experience was fantastic for you. It's nice to have a chance to read one of your long posts again, they are very inspirational. Take care and be well!
    2698 days ago
    Amazing! Don't know if I could do this! STAIRS! Good job! LOVE the pics!
    2698 days ago
    What a great blog Chris! I'm so proud of you for not giving up after gaining a few pounds; we should all know that that happens while on this journey.

    emoticon my dear friend, just emoticon I know emoticon .

    emoticon emoticon
    2701 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8022584
    Amazing that you did it! Amazing pictures. Beautiful terrain too. Bravo to you, keep sparkling!
    2703 days ago

    ...and love the pics!!!
    2703 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    All I can say is AMAZING!
    2703 days ago
    Thank you for all you have shared in this blog, I am blown away (glad you weren't though haha). You are one of my lights at the end of the tunnel, or top of the mountain in this case, and I appreciate it beyond words.
    2703 days ago
    Gorgeous absolutely gorgeous ! I love that it was the stairway to Heaven for your Dad. What a tribute to the both of you. However it looks a bit scary and very intimating to me. I am a chicken butt and am scared of heights.Happy that you made the hike safely. WOW what a great way to clear the heart, mind and soul. So glad that you are enjoying life! That weigh will come off in no time now that you are working it. I truly enjoy your blogs when you do blog. I always appreciate your encouragement and support. You are such an inspiration ! I feel very Blessed that our paths have crossed emoticon Cathe
    2703 days ago
    WOW!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I'm so glad you stayed safe as you need to stay safe for your kids!

    So you will get to celebrate New Years in Hawaii! It could be worse! emoticon


    emoticon blog!!!
    2704 days ago
    Amazing hike! Beautiful pictures! emoticon
    2704 days ago
  • _BABE_
    emoticon I believe if you don't choose to see all the good your life has to offer then you truly miss out. The photos are beautiful and what a great way to get back into it. I know what it feels like to lose a little ground in the weight loss game but it's not the end of the world and when you get back at it you can make that time up in a month. emoticon emoticon
    2704 days ago
    What a truly monumental endeavor! You most certainly are blessed (love your tat). I'm happy for you that you are making the most of living in a beautiful part of the country. I too know first hand the disappointment of regaining weight. I gained 15 lbs after having back surgery in May. But I just joined a SP 8 week challenge and being on a team has once again empowered my enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing, I've missed your blogs! emoticon Denise
    2704 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7658463
    What an incredible, amazing hike. It looks scary high and slippery. Wow.
    2704 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13245384
    Chris this is an amazing blog. The pics are amazing but I'm sure hiking the terrain is even more surreal. One thing I always take out of your stories is that only You can make or not make things happen. It doesn't matter what others think or say. Its about making yourself happy and proud. There are lots of toxic people in this world and sometimes their venom pushes us to remove ourselves from the situation and makes us a better person. Love the tat and I must say your have been blessing in many many ways. Continue to look forward and make yourself happy. =)
    2704 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3692258
    Love the stairs shot and the saying. You are doing great!! Keep sparking!
    2704 days ago
    THose are BEAUTIFUL pictures Chris, thanks so much for sharing them. You have worked hard, and worked through so much to be where you are. I can't tell you how proud I am of you for NOT giving up. 15 pounds would have made a LOT of people give up, but you're too strong for that. You are AWESOME Chris and I'm SOO proud to call you a friend!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2704 days ago
    Wow!! What beautiful pictures. Great job. I don't thin k I could do all those steps. My legs are cringing just thinking about it. You probably lost 10 pounds doing all those stairs!
    2704 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3892454
    I know that you have it in you to accomplish your goals, that is obvious! And I admire you for dealing with the setbacks in a realistic manner! emoticon I'm so glad that you have a little extra time to enjoy your stay in Hawaii! Keep up the great work! emoticon
    2704 days ago
    Wow what an inspiration you are!!! My heart was pounding just looking at the photos, so glad you documented it and your year.

    Just like the steps it's one at a time, you can go fast and look down at the steps or you can stop and check out the scenery and you can go as high as you want. Getting to the goal is great. Wow coming down again you can see all the work you did.

    Just like our journey at SP in photos.
    2704 days ago
    That is quite an accomplishment brother! I'm proud of you Chris for laying it all out in this blog, your ups and downs of the last year. With a renewed spirit and enthusiasm I know that you will continue to push yourself to be the best that you can be!
    2704 days ago
  • COOKIE_AT_51
    emoticon blog, pictures, and mostly your recommitment!!! Your last picture with the quote sums it all up, doesn't it?
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Hugs ~ Cookie
    2704 days ago
    Fantastic pics, Chris. I especially like the one where you're looking down on a rainbow!

    Glad to hear you've rediscovered the spark (hey, if the site specific cliche fits, right?) to start moving again, and to re-engage in the work of living, as it were.

    Glad, too, that you're able to see past the delays in the project, and see it for the blessing it is, in giving you a chance to extend your stay in Hawaii.
    2704 days ago
    Omgoodness! Gorgeous photographs; I didn't take the time to read the entire blog as I have a little more cardio and one more ST to do before I can sit for a bit and enjoy, but I'll be back!
    2705 days ago
    Congratulations! And you are right, you only have to do what's right for you and not compare yourself to others. Everything you be, do, and have is so much more than you had before.

    Take care of yourself because you are so worth it!

    2705 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8522718
    Wow, those pictures are amazing!
    That looks like so much fun, and I could imagine how out of breath I would be hiking those areas also.
    I'm glad that you had such a great summer, and a great time in Hawaii, how awesome!

    Thank you for sharing the pics!

    2705 days ago
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