USA vacation update #5: a Philadelphia Story.

I spent this last weekend in Philadelphia, which is a very short drive from where I grew up and where my parents now live. It’s my 2nd favorite city in all of America, and the place that I most consider “home”. I spent many summers of college and following college coxing and coaching on Boathouse Row, I spent many days (maybe 50!) there at crew regattas as a coxswain and coach, and I have so many wonderful memories of spending nights out and days around town with friends. Fairmount, where Boathouse Row is located, is my favorite area of the city, and I was very sad that I didn’t have an opportunity to walk down Fairmount Avenue. I accidentally ingested shellfish (which I’m allergic to!) on Friday night, and I spent the following 12hrs vomiting. Oops. I had to cut my Saturday activities significantly. Anyway, I was able to take a tour of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, walk around Center City, walk to the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta near Boathouse Row, walk around the Art Museum, and go out to several bars and restaurants. I even had an outstanding lunch at Reading Terminal Market, and I saw several old, dear friends. I am satisfied with my trip! My parents and I stayed at the location of my wedding reception, too. It was a wonderful weekend!

I’ve been contemplating weight loss a lot while home, too. I do not have a perfect diet, but I’m frustrated because my outward appearance does not reflect my inner fitness, or what I’m comfortable carrying around. I am fit enough to go for a 10+ mile walk for fun a few days every week (which I do from time to time), I go for almost daily long walks and runs (4-7 miles), and I have a ton of energy. But, I’m carrying around an extra 30lbs. Ugh! So, obviously what I’m doing isn’t working, right? I need to try something else. I’m going to try one more thing before I change my diet — I’m adding in nightly body circuits. So far I’ve been doing 100 crunch-like moves, 4 1-minute planks, and I’m going to add in squats and push-ups tonight. The push-ups are with my feet up on an exercise ball, so it works my core a lot. I was in my fittest when I lived in San Diego, and I usually walked 30-45 minutes and completed about 15 minutes of body circuits 5 days per week, and did a longer walk on Saturday or Sunday. I was also very active, in that I rode a bike to the grocery store on the weekends or walked to pick-up lunch most days that I worked. I have the walking and daytime activity down pat in Japan, but I don’t have the body circuits. There is a great argument that Amber Rogers (of Go Kaleo) makes that lifting (even body weight lifts to start!) are the key to reshaping your body. Well, I’m buying in. Right now. I haven’t made that final buy-in, and I’m doing it! I’ll also add some heavy lifts into my routine when I get back to Japan. I am very hesitant to change my diet for one simple reason: I have a lot of food allergies, and to limit myself in some way is a big deal for me. I recently had to limit my intake of milk products, which was a HUGE blow for me, and I’m also allergic to shellfish and some fruits. FRUITS! Ugh. Anyway, I’m going to post these pictures and then get to work on my body circuits for the night!

I hope everyone is having a great Monday! I just did a whole week’s worth of school work in one day. For the record: never again! LOL.

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