Just checking in. The stats are as follows: 162 pounds, a loss of 74 pounds, 31 weeks.

I’m still watching what I eat and hiking in Runyan Canyon every week.

Last week was particularly challenging. The day before my birthday was Sunday, my usual hiking day and I found myself sitting at the top of the hill reflecting on my 30th birthday, my life, and what I wanted to do in the future in terms of goals. I had my iPod on listening to Eric Roberson (I just love Eric Roberson). In the midst of my internal conversation, guess who the hell just happened to walk past me? Yeah, my ex. Yes, the same one who took issues with my weight and during the entire 2 and a half years we were together and never hiked once, had found her way to Runyan Canyon on a Sunday at the exact same time I was there. Go figure. Out of all of the hiking trails in Los Angeles, she just happened to be on the same one I’ve been doing for the past eight months and one that I have never seen her on before. With an eyebrow raised saying, yeah right.

Whatever and moving on…

This past weekend I took out some new recruits on the trail.

Besides my girl Kristi who I hike with every week, this week my big sis Cassie hit the trail along with Amera, who reached out to me via my website.

We started out about 9 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m. we were off the hill and headed to LaBrea and Santa Monica for Starbucks and Jamba Juice and an hour of sista talk.

But before we headed for refreshments, we took some time when we reached the top to take in the sights before heading back down.

So how did the new recruits do?

Cassie was ready to quit before we hit the entrance gate and I told her that I couldn’t let her do that. When I went up for the first time, I wanted to quit before I hit the entrance gate too, but Marquita wouldn’t let me. Instead, she talked to me about any and everything and before I knew it, I was at the top. The sense of accomplishment I felt on that first hike is what kept me coming back for more and I wanted Cassie to experience the same thing. So kudos to Cassie for not giving up and seeing it through!!! She says she’ll be back next week, I’m going to hold her to it, lol. It’s in writing now girl, lol.

On the way up, Amera and Kristi paired up and took the hike all the way to Mulholland Drive. When Cassie and I reached the top we went to the benches and waited for them. I explained that I need to go down the hard way to get my exercise on since I took my time and walked with Cassie up, in other words I needed to break a sweat, lol. So Amera decided to give it a try with me and Cassie and Kristi went down the way we came up. Amera did really good and says she’ll be back next week too.

There’s no time like now to get out there and get started. No need to wait until the New Year to start your program. Beware, they already have eggnog in the stores. I know because I have a quart in my refrigerator, lol. So you know I will be hiking to work off my eggnog habit, lol. And I am hopeful that when Starbucks brings back their Eggnog Latte that it comes in non-fat too, lol.

So consider this an open invitation for my folks in the L.A. area to come hiking on Sunday’s. Just give me a shout and I’ll give you the details.