It’s the second week of Food Blogger vs. Fat. In my first week, I dropped three pounds. Here’s a look at my second week in search of healthier living.

The Challenges

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort
My home away from home last week – the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort

If you read last week’s blog, you know that this week was a travel week for me. I was attending a digital marketing conference in Tucson, Arizona. That meant two cross-country flights, seemingly unlimited amounts of food and a lot of sitting.

I flew out on Sunday and missed my calorie target by nearly 300 thanks to a poor selection of food at the airports in Philadelphia and Phoenix. In Philly, I picked up an Auntie Anne’s pretzel as my in-flight snack. In Phoenix, my lunch was two slices of cheese pizza (not my choice, they were sold in twos).

Sonoran omelette - JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort
The Sonoran omelette with refried beans and tortillas was probably not the healthiest breakfast choice, but it was delicious.

While I managed to stay under my calorie count for the remainder of the trip, I did splurge with ice cream twice and did not have the healthiest breakfast options.

The Successes

Knowing that I’d be spending most of my days sitting, I drug myself out of bed early each morning (5:30 local time) to start my day with a morning hike.

The trails in the Tucson Mountain Park are a world away from Berks County.

The conference’s resort – the JW Marriott Starr Pass – is located on the edge of the Tucson Mountain Park and features a two-mile loop trail, as well as a connection to the larger trail network.

Monday morning, I took to the loop trail for the first time, taking my time on a trip through the mountains before the Arizona sun became unbearable.

Can you spot the deer?

On my trip, I came across two herds of deer scaling the nearby hillside before climbing myself. The trail ascends 300 feet to the top before winding its way back down the other side. The elevation change is constant – and, at times, steep – making the descent back to the resort feel so much better.

Tuesday was the most exciting of my three hikes as I followed the Bowen’s Trail into the heart of the park.

Bowen’s Trail is named for Sherry Bowen, a newspaperman who moved to the area with his wife and built a stone house in the mountains. The home still stands, abandoned, in the heart of the park. It was almost exactly 1.5 miles from the resort, and a great goal for my hike.

A Panoramic View of The Bowen Homestead in Tucson Mountain Park
The Bowen Homestead was the destination for my Tuesday morning hike.

The hike was flatter – only a 150-foot elevation change – but a little longer and no less challenging. The reward at the end was the homestead, an oasis that is completely out of place in the wilderness.

The roof is gone, but the foundation and walls still stand. In one corner of the home, you can still see the fireplace. A few vandals have left their mark in graffiti on the floor, but the house is largely untouched.

It was definitely worth the hike.

The view from the top.

Wednesday morning I took one more morning trip along the loop trail – one more climb to the top before returning home the next day.

The Results

So, how did I do during my week away?

186.4 lbs.
Loss Since Last Week: 0.0 lbs.
Loss Since Start: -3.0 lbs.

It was a break-even week for me. Part of me was hopeful after all of the hiking, but with so much time sitting – in the conference, on airplanes and in terminals – it wasn’t enough to make up for it.

But coming off a first week where I lost three pounds, I knew week two would be hard no matter what. I still feel good about where I am at.

The Week Ahead

It’s a beautiful week in the neighborhood.

I brought a little bit of warm weather home with me as temperatures are expected to rise to more than 80 on Tuesday. That means there is no excuse for me to get outside and exercise.

And with the office closed on Friday, I will have a whole day for a walk, hike or bike ride.

The biggest obstacle this week comes Tuesday when I join my marketing team colleagues at the Philadelphia Phillies in a club box. The box includes dinner – in the form of an unlimited buffet. If my will power can hold out, it’s the only roadblock to a great week.

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