Visiting Michigan

A little over a week Aaron and I found out that we would need to take a last-minute trip to Michigan to be with his family. So we purchased our last minute-priced plane tickets (ay caramba), broke the news to our bosses, and headed clear across the country, returning late Thursday night.

Despite the circumstances that brought us there, I was very glad to meet Aaron’s mom’s side of the family (I’ve only met a few of them before), and had a pleasant time hearing stories and connecting with people who welcomed me into the family with open arms. Plus, they were just as crazy as my family, so I fit right in!

The town we stayed in was SMALL.  By the looks of it, neighbors compete over who has the flashiest tractor.  Every other house has a corn field attached (not even exaggerating).  Barns were everywhere. They have a Big Boy Diner. They also have one of the most adorable downtowns I’ve ever seen and some fantastic turn of the century farm houses and Victorians complete with American flag banners hung across the front porch.  This is Norman Rockwell country.

People are tall and blonde and speak with a strong Midwestern accent (I stood out just a little bit). Most know about as much about New Mexico as I know about Michigan (Traverse City? Ummm….ok?). 

Unlike Albuquerque, Michigan is a “damp” cold place which is like being cold already and then having cold water sprayed on you.  If it sounds miserable, it is. I didn’t see the sun the whole time we were there.  Even though Albuquerque has its cold days, we never go more than a day without sunshine, and Michigan just felt so much colder. I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t see any snow.  I had pictured a Midwest winter in my mind and it involved muffs, snow, and horse-drawn sleighs. Not so much. Just cold. And rain.

In general, it doesn’t seem like people spend a lot of time outside in winter, and I don’t blame them.  We were outside only to get from one building to another.   We brought our running gear with hopes that we would get up every morning and jog, but that didn’t even come close to happening.  We did sit and play a lot of card games though. So maybe that is a little bit of cardio?  Kudos to anyone who lives in the Midwest and actually works out.  It was much harder to be motivated then we thought.

We stayed at Great Aunt Esther’s house where nobody leaves with an empty stomach. This ended up becoming a little bit of a problem.

Albuquerque is a very health conscious city.  Most people exercise to some degree and eat pretty well.   People tend to be on the thinner side here, so there is a lot of motivation to stay fit.  Running is trendy.  It isn’t like I’m going against the grain in running or wanting to do a triathlon. And when I say I’m eating clean, I get supportive looks.

People in Michigan eat more than I’m used to.  A lot more.  And a lot differently.

I wasn’t about to tell Great Aunt Ester that the biscuits and gravy (and pancakes and egg and potato casserole) she spent all morning preparing didn’t quite fit into my diet plan or ask if she could she please fix me some oatmeal. Plus, it wasn’t like any of this stuff tasted bad.  Biscuits and gravy is actually really really good.  Really good.  Just maybe not after the large dinner the night before and the large lunch we had after. I probably could have gotten away without eating everything and not offended anyone, but when in the Midwest, eat as the Midwesterners do, right? At least I know I did.

Our diet while we were there was carb based…almost no protein or veggies in any of our meals. And the servings were huge.  Ginger Ale is really big. Water not as much. I may have also eaten an entire bag of Doritos myself  (the bowl was next to the wine bottles…guess where I stood all night…it was a matter of convenience). 

Aaron and I stepped off the plane on Thursday feeling bloated and ill.  When your body isn’t used to eating like that, your stomach is in for a rude awakening.  Epic Diet Fail.

I woke up Friday morning back in my own bed (always a nice feeling), and I was completely motivated to get moving.  A lot of times eating lots of grilled chicken and fish is kind of a bummer for me. I mean, it isn’t biscuits and gravy or anything.  But after really having no choice but to eat lots of “comfort” food for a few days, I’m looking forward to fresh green veggies.  I want this bloated, upset stomach feeling to go away and I want that fat that I can feel creeping in around my midsection to evaporate ASAP. (After weighing myself I only gained 1 pound…but it feels like 10).

(I really like airplane sunset pictures…I don’t know why).

I went overzealous on the lunges yesterday and I can’t walk.  But it kind of feels awesome! (positive thinking…it actually hurts really bad).

Our trip to Michigan introduced me to a whole new side of Aaron and it really inspired me to LOVE eating my asparagus (no, really) and I’m back in my running groove.  Next 5-K is in 2 weeks! In so many ways it was a blessing in disguise, and I’m glad we got the opportunity to go.

SIDENOTE: Based on my facebook feed, it appears that a girl I went to high school with WON the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland this morning (dressed as Tinkerbell!).  Way to represent!

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