Oct 202014


The flowers in Hawaii are so amazing. I loved seeing all the vibrant flowers and taking pictures of them. I really wish we could grow some of them at home! Just going out for walks I could smell the gardenia and jasmine and plumeria. So wonderful. I miss it already.

This post is about some of the fun (some of the not fun) stuff we did in Maui. We really spent most of our time on the beach and I am grateful for that. With all the wedding planning and stress, all I could think about was how much I wanted to be a on a sunny beach.

Ho’omana Spa Maui 

We wanted to get massages next to the ocean. I knew that places like the Four Seasons, Hyatt, etc would have this option but for a really expensive price tag. We knew we wanted to get massages on our trip and the second day we were there we started researching it.

Michael booked us at Ho’omana Spa for a 2 hour couple’s spa retreat. The price was right, the downside? It wasn’t by the beach. In fact, it turned out to be in Upcountry near Makawao. Also, Michael had gotten sunburned the day before at the beach. We considered canceling it (especially because of the sunburn) but didn’t and I am so glad we didn’t cancel. It turned out to be my favorite thing in Maui.

We drove up a winding country road, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. The spa was nestled between residential houses and farms. It was a little odd at first but once we got in there, it was fantastic. It was a house that had been completely converted into a spa.


It felt like we were in the jungle, too. Way different than down near the beach. Everything was lush and green, the flowers and plants were giant. It was also raining. While we waited for our appointment we sat on the back deck overlooking their amazing garden and drank some ginger-infused water.

Then it was time for our 2 hour couples retreat! We were led into our massage room where we were instructed to change into the big, fluffy robes, and then were led out back to the bath house. It was amazing. The little bath house was quaint and enchanting and had a clear plastic roof so we could see and hear the rain.

Inside the bath house there were two giant marble tubs. They gave us these little bath sachet bags with lavender and lemongrass from their garden to infuse the bath. We had more of the lovely infused water.



It was so amazing. Words cannot describe just how magical it was to be there. After our baths we dried off and went back to the massage room. Time for the scrub! We laid on our tables and I got the body polish. They poured warm oil on my body then scrubbed my body with their homemade lemongrass body polish. Then she cleaned off the scrub and rubbed body butter all over.

Because Michael had a sunburn he skipped the body scrub and did their “sun treatment” instead. I think he said they put coconut oil and aloe on his body.

Next up: Lomi Lomi Massage. I’d never heard of it before. The massage therapists started with singing and chanting. Then they started the massage. It was the best massage I’ve ever had in my life. Hands down, the best. It was basically your typical massage but slightly different–the strokes felt very fluid. It’s hard to describe. It was just different.


Definitely the highlight of the trip and if we ever go back to Maui this is our first stop!

Sacred Garden

We stopped here after our massages and had our picnic lunches, then walked around the Sacred Garden. It was really beautiful and I loved seeing all the different flowers. There were amazing statues, too.



It was a really peaceful place and we just wandered around for awhile checking everything out. There were spots for meditation and prayer. Or you could just look at all the pretty flowers.



I’m kind of in love with these statues! I think our garden might need one next year. :)


There was also a giant labyrinth outside. Michael and I spent some time walking the whole labyrinth and it was just a fun, low-key, relaxing thing to do.


It’s worth a visit if you’re in the area and it’s free. There is a gift shop, if you want to buy something.

Kelii’s Kayak Tours

We had a lot of options to pick from but we went with Kelii’s tours because it was highly rated online and the price was right. We registered for a 2.5 hour kayak/snorkeling tour. The day we were supposed to have the tour, the weather was a little iffy. There were dark clouds and some sprinkles. We were informed that it never really rains all THAT MUCH in Maui, so we shouldn’t be worried. I’m glad we didn’t cancel it.


It turned out that we were the only ones that booked a tour that particular day. Perhaps others were scared off by the weather forecast. So we ended up having a private tour and it was awesome! We met our guide at Makena and he gave us a quick kayak lesson and we were off.


We were in a two person sea kayak, which was fantastic and fun. Also, I much prefer the sea kayak to the other one I’ve tried. It was so much easier getting in and out of it and it was just more comfortable. We kayaked around and made our first stop. I don’t remember where we stopped.

We did some snorkeling in the middle of the ocean and saw tons of colorful fish and sea life. The coral was amazing and it was just such a good experience, and it was nice to have a guide with us. We got back in the kayak and we went to another location where we saw TONS of giant sea turtles. Then we went to another location to look at the lava tubes under the water. At this point our guide got out of his kayak and dove deep under the water to bring up some sea life to show us. He actually handed us a sea urchin, a star fish and one other thing I cannot remember what it was! He handed it to each of us to hold and then OH MY GOD I realized it was alive. Like they started moving in my hands! Haha! Duh, right?

He put them back in their spots on the ocean floor and we kayaked back to the shore.


It was such a cool experience. I’d say this was our second favorite thing on the trip.

Iao Valley/Iao Needle

This was a cool little day trip. It was like $5 to get in and the hike is very short (I don’t know that I’d even call it a hike) but it was worth a visit. It was a very different world than the rest of Maui. It looked like Jurassic Park!


It was more of a park than a hike. There was a short climb up some stairs to the view point, a bridge, and then a garden area. There was a lot to see and I enjoyed it.


Wasn’t overly impressed with any of it. We did walk the Front Street shopping area one day and did the touristy stuff. The old Banyan tree is definitely worth a visit! Pictures do not do it justice.

Robyn's Birthday
Robyn's Birthday

I don’t know that I’d want to stay in Lahaina or spend a ton of time there, but it is worth a visit.


We wanted to drive up to the summit to see the volcano. We packed a lunch and planned on hiking so we skipped our run and didn’t go to the beach. Unfortunately, we never got to hike.

The road up the volcano wasn’t what I’d call fun. I tend to get a little car sick on really windy roads and this one was difficult. Lots of switchbacks and blind curves. I also started to feel a little uncomfortable as the elevation climbed. My ears would pop but I was having some ear pain as we climbed.


It was kind of crazy because the weather changed drastically as we drove up. Temperatures dropped rapidly (and it was in the 50’s when we got to the park). We also spent most of the drive in clouds. Mist so think you could see just in front of the car and that was it. It was a little scary. Very limited visibility.


We got to the park, which was at like 7.000 feet. I was feeling a little light-headed but hoped it would pass. We parked and I got out to use the bathroom. I was definitely feeling the effects of the elevation. Dizzy, headache. In the bathroom I started to have some double vision. That was SCARY. I thought, “Oh my god, I’m going to pass out and Michael won’t know where I am.” I went back to the car and Michael said he was feeling the effects, too.


There were some cool looking plants and I was bummed we weren’t going to be able to explore. We sat in the car with the windows down (and clouds floated through one window and out the other–it was so odd to SEE it) and ate our picnic lunch, waiting to see if we got better. Nope. We both agreed there was no way it would be safe to hike.


Sadly, we turned around and drove back down. It was disappointing for sure. I cannot imagine what it’s like at the summit where it’s 13,000 feet if 7,000 feet made me feel super sick! It took us both about 2 hours after we were back at sea level to feel normal again.

Road to Hana

We only did 7 miles of the Road to Hana. Again–windy, scary, narrow roads and car sickness are just not how I want to spend my vacation! We tried to see a waterfall (but couldn’t find it) and the Bamboo Forest trail to hike (and didn’t find it) so that’s when we turned around and went back. I do wish we could have seen some of the waterfalls and hikes that Hana promises but it wasn’t worth it for me.


There was so much to see and do and we definitely didn’t get to cross everything off our list. I guess we’re saving that for our 5 year anniversary trip back! :) Hope you are all enjoying these photos.

Oct 152014

The words Weigh In on a scale representing the need to check you
I knew I wasn’t going to like the number on the scale before I even got home from Maui. I was expecting it. I’d been sick for a week before the wedding (no gym, poor appetite), then the wedding frenzy with lots of restaurant eating and just plain eating things I don’t normally eat (i.e. cake). We went to Maui and I didn’t count my calories at all. I just kind of went with the flow, ate whatever I felt like, didn’t think about it and ignored the consequences.

Honestly I had needed a break. I’d been stressing about some weight gain this year, the wedding stress, the chaos that followed, I just needed a break. So for about 2 weeks I stopped tracking my food.

In Maui we stayed in a condo and we cooked breakfast every day (scrambled eggs and fresh watermelon or pineapple, tea and coffee). Then we’d go to the beach for a few hours. I’d say out of the 9 days we packed lunches like 7 of the days. It wasn’t the healthiest of foods–sandwiches on sandwich thins with some fresh fruit and chips–but it was better than eating out every day. As for dinner, we cooked at the condo I think 4 or 5 of the nights we were there. I’m glad we did because I definitely needed a break from the restaurant eating and expense.

I worked out in Hawaii but not consistently. I was swimming and snorkeling in the ocean every single day of our trip (and we went for a run twice) but I don’t know how much of a workout that actually was. When we got back home I weighed myself and I was up 5 pounds. Yep, I’d gained 5 pounds this month!


I was definitely disappointed seeing such a jump. Especially considering I have not been OVER my goal weight (150 pounds) in like 4 years. Even with my fluctuations I’d always been able to stay under 150. It was a bummer for sure.

My diet on vacation wasn’t great. Didn’t eat the normal amount of fruits and vegetables I usually eat. Definitely ate things I don’t normally eat. And I drank fruity umbrella drinks like this:

In Maui I discovered Mai Tais! I’d never had one before and absolutely loved it. The passionfruit juice was to die for. These fruity drinks are packed with calories and something I rarely ever indulge in. Once I started to lose weight I switched to lower calorie options for drinks (1 or 2 glasses of wine, 1 beer, or a vodka tonic), things that were in the 100-200 calorie range. These mixed cocktails though can be up in the 400 calorie range depending on what you get!

So yeah, I drank a lot of those. I made Bloody Mary’s at the condo to enjoy on the beach. While I wasn’t drinking a ton (and never really got drunk) I did have at least one beverage a day. Those calories definitely added up fast I’m sure!

I’m not beating myself up too badly because I mean come on, it was my wedding! And honeymoon! It was a once in a lifetime trip and I enjoyed every second of it and I do NOT regret any of the experiences we had. But that doesn’t mean I’m okay with the gain. I knew I was starting on a slippery slope and that it would be easy to fall into bad old habits if I didn’t correct it ASAP.

We got home from Hawaii late on a Wednesday night and I weighed myself first thing Thursday morning. <whomp whomp> Then I got dressed and went for a run. It was a short run and nothing special but I wanted to get out there and start getting consistent with my fitness again.


I took Bella with me so she got a little exercise too and was able to explore a new route. It felt so good to just MOVE. Especially after being cramped on a plane for so long the day before. In addition to the run I got back on track logging my calories on my MyFitnessPal app. Every bite, sip, nibble, I logged it. I felt relieved to be doing it again!

I had a healthy lunch–sandwich on a sandwich thin and cucumber slices on the side. For dinner we had baked chicken breast with sauteed Brussels sprouts and onions. I made a salad with romaine and spinach, yellow peppers and some tomatoes from the garden (there are still tomatoes!!).

It felt good to eat healthy again. And vegetables! I missed you!

Michael was out of town all weekend for a friend’s wedding. I stuck home because I had to go to work and I also wanted to stay home with the animals. It was also a good time to de-compress after the wedding and honeymoon and try and unpack some of the stuff we accumulated!

On Friday I went to the pool after work and got an okay swim in and then I suddenly started to feel sick. Not sure what was going on there but I cut my swim about 10 minutes short and went home. I waited a few hours to eat dinner because I just felt sick. When I decided to try and eat I stuck with some veggies and a cooked up one chicken spring roll from Trader Joe’s. Dinner was less than 400 calories total.


The next morning I was feeling better so I went to the gym to try and get back into my weight training. I hadn’t lifted weights in over 3 weeks! I was slightly scared at how sore I would be afterward (and I was but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, so that was good.)


It felt nice to be back into the routine, even though I was feeling slightly bored with it. I need to re-evaluate soon and see what I can mix up to get my mojo back. But at the very least, I am back going through the motions and that will help.

Sunday I went to the gym and used the spin bike for a bit then hit the yoga class. I hadn’t been to yoga in about a month. I can’t believe how much I had missed it. It felt so good to be back at class and get some stretching in. (And I was reminded of my regret that I never got around to doing some yoga in Maui…)

Sunday night I made a crockpot dinner for when Michael got home. It was a super easy dinner and really low in calories. I had a seaoning packet for the chicken and mixed that up, put the chicken breasts, carrots, onions, red potatoes and green beans in the crockpot and let it cook for about 4.5 hours.


Dinner was delicious. I made a green salad with tomatoes from the garden to go with it. It felt good to be back eating “normal” foods and I just felt healthier and better all around.

I am continuing all of this and will weigh in again soon! Stay tuned for progress…