Sunday, February 5, 2012
I know I've been MIA for 3 weeks, but before heading to Argentina I promised myself that I would just take a break from everything and enjoy my trip. I'm glad I made that decision - I had an amazing time. Argentina was FABULOUS! I enjoyed every single moment.
So for today, a few highlights of my trip and then back to the health/fitness focus of this blog.
Stop 1: Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires was HOT. I know that may seem like a strange comment coming from me since I live in a desert country, but I don't spend that much time outside -- and Buenos Aires definitely involved a lot of time walking outdoors. Although the hotel I stayed at had a gym facility, there was no need to use it because each day involved a minimum of active 2-3 hours of walking. It actually felt quite good to have walking/that much movement worked into a daily routine in contrast to the sedentary lifestyle of Kuwait.
A trip to Iguazu Falls (north of Argentina) and a day trip to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay were also squeezed into this first week.
Iguazu Falls was spectacular! There were three trails (about 1.5-2.5 km each) that we completed. Each offered a different vantage point of the falls. I've always loved Niagara Falls in the States/Canada, but this really did take it to the next level. Pictures just don't do it justice.
Stop 2: Mendoza
The week-long stay in Mendoza involved a day-long hike to the top of Mt. Arenales (in the Andes mountain range). When we were told we'd go hiking - we just expected a small (easy) trail ... we had NOT expected a nearly vertical rocky climb! It was very challenging - the most challenging thing I've ever done for sure! We started at about 2,600 meters altitude and went up to about 3,800 meters. It's not a great distance - but add the rocky terrain and the steep incline and it's a whole other story. It was totally exhilarating! I now understand why mountain climbers and hikers get such a rush!
Another stop was to Aconcagua - the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas. This time there was a 2.5 km trail at the base of the mountain -- much easier than the previous hike! Again, the scenery was absolutely spectacular.
Stop 3: El Calafate
El Calafate was our final major stop of the trip -- once again, it's hard to describe how stunning (and different) the scenery was. Imagine the rolling deserted plains in a Western movie -- that's exactly how it was (at least where we were staying).
The most exciting part of this stop was going trekking on the Perito Moreno glacier -- phenomenal experience! The glacier itself was absolutely breathtaking ... again, pictures just don't do it justice.
The final activity in El Calafate was horseback riding! It had been many years since I had been on a horse - it was SO much fun!! This activity, however, left me incredibly sore (perhaps not such a good idea so soon after surgery) but still totally worth it!!
Now it's back to reality ...
Given the amount of walking and other outdoor activities over the past three weeks it would have been great to have seen a loss on the scale, but unfortunately I came back exactly the same weight as I had left. Of course I'm thankful that I didn't gain any weight - especially since I definitely indulged while on this trip - but now I have to refocus on losing, losing, losing.
Strangely enough I feel like my legs and arms are quite toned, but all the weight has shifted to my 'abs' (can I really call them abs?). I think this is just because of the type of food I was suddenly eating -- meat (yes, I did have steak), bread, and sweets -- all stuff that loves the waistline. Those three things are not a normal part of my diet here so I'm hoping that immediately cutting them out, and of course getting back to a normal gym routine, will help me at least shift (if not lose) the weight from my abdomen.
I got back to Kuwait on Friday and went in to work today (Sunday -- we work Sunday through Thursday here) -- definitely not enough time to recover from all that traveling. Nonetheless, I did go to the gym this morning - just a simple 30 min cardio workout on the treadmill. I just wanted to get straight into my routine. This semester I'm teaching a later class (starts at 10 a.m.) so I'll be heading to the gym for an early morning workout before going to class ...
I noticed that Zumba has finally been added to our gym class list!! I am BEYOND EXCITED!!
Today I fixed my menu for the week, went grocery shopping, and organized my schedule. I'm good to go -- let's hope for some good progress over the next few months!!
I'll be catching up on your blogs soon. Hope you've all been well :)