Sunday, November 30, 2008

Exploring Open Space...

We’re still cleaning up, moving each piece of furniture back to its home again and picking up kids’ toys found under said furniture, from Thanksgiving 2008 that “keeps on giving.” Luckily, the food’s gone—either frozen or mostly, sent home with guests!

Hubs and I went on a fabu hike yesterday in one of our county’s “open space” districts. We are incredibly fortunate to have over 13,000 acres of land to hike in that will be preserved forever. There are over 1000 trails and fire roads that we can choose from—dogs are allowed, which is very cool, because Sam really needs to exercise as badly as we do! Another benefit to hiking this land has to do with the topography here. I can think of only one fire road that’s actually flat. The rest of the paths and trails move either up (often steeply) or down (great quad negatives!). While strenuous on certain routes, a good sweat is easily procured, and any hike over a couple of hours long is likely to incur good caloric deficits. Finally, the views are outstanding and the people and dogs we meet on the trail (far and few between) are warm and friendly.

We’re about to explore another area again today, as it is so unseasonably beautiful out. Methinks I can smell pine needles and autumn as I write!

Food consumption has been staggeringly low. I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s amazing how planning and food journaling contributes to healthier days. I sleep better too. Last night I konked out around 8 p.m. and didn’t waken until 6 a.m. What a little restraint on the “Kcals in” and a push in the “Kcals out” can do! Yahoo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Hike, Weigh In Day and Impatience...

Friends have sometimes asked what we’re doing for, say... Labor Day weekend, or New Year’s Eve, or where we’re going over holidays A, B or C. The answer is always the same old boring response: nowhere. Often, I feel that we must be incredibly boring. I know that I can be incredibly impatient. Then again, hubs and I don’t get stuck in those horrible traffic jams on Sunday or Monday holiday afternoons. Likewise, I’ve never gone shopping on “Black Friday.” I probably should, as it might save me a ton of bucks, but I can’t bear to face even the thought of those crowds. What a wimp!

Instead, while my poor hubs trudged off to work this morning, I loaded dog in car and drove north to the trailhead of one of my (and dog’s, as well) fave hikes. It’s a beautiful day here in NoCal, but as we rounded the last corner of Indian Valley Road to park, there were dozens of cars, rather than the usual two or three... sigh. Once on the path, though, the trail was clear and the vistas spectacular. The leaves crunched under my feet with each step as I picked up the pace (dog always beats me to “gifts” horses have left—“LEAVE IT” I bark at her, to no avail). I decided to take one of the “roads less traveled” and turned off the main fire road onto the Waterfall trail. Right now, it’s lovely to reach a trickling cascade in our drought-ridden countryside. Dog waded around the pool above the fall and barked at the squirrels while dancing lightly on her paws around a large oak tree, ears eagerly alert. We continued on.

I feel so lucky to live in a place where we can comfortably plan to be active outdoors without (well... usually) facing 15 degree temps when we step out our front doors. Some of you have been writing about running 5 or 10Ks – even half and full marathons in sub-frigid weather. My hats off to you all, big-time! Huge congrats! I’ll bet that your bodies burn gi-normous amounts of calories just standing and breathing in that arctic air!

Samdog and I continued up the path to the top and enjoyed the views for a few minutes, finally turning around and heading back down to the car. A good couple of hours of fun and peace and beauty after yesterday’s crazy, but wonderful gathering. We encountered several families and dogs and runners on the return trip, stopping to meet and greet each with our own and distinct “formalities.” Samantha barked at a couple of equestrians who trotted past. I built up a sweat hiking up the hill and was getting a bit chilled, so we picked up the pace.

A couple of phone calls awaited me on the cell. My mother had called me from NY. I was able to get back to her for a good chat about her Thanksgiving with my sibs and their kids. And son, Anthony called to invite me to see a movie called, “Four Christmases,” with the girls. Cool! With the help of Fandango, we should be able to avoid too much of a line. See how impatient I can be? It’s the same with weight loss. If I’ve been close to perfect or exactly on target with the food and exercise, and I don’t lose at least eight pounds, I go ballistic. Definitely something to work on... I'm starting with snacks right now. Packing a few pistachios and some celery with some lemon water for the movie. And, as it's weigh-in day, thought I'd share the fact that despite the crud and lack of intense exercise, managed to lose 1.3 pounds. Yay!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Love reading all the Thanksgiving posts! Late yesterday afternoon, I picked up the youngest (7-year old) grandkid, along with her new friend from France, who is only here for three months. Once home, I gave them a container of street chalk. They went to town on our patio, which is concrete with brick, and in bold colors drew turkeys, hearts, and houses with smoke curling up the chimneys. They even outlined each other in white chalk (weird, eh?). Then they made one last huge heart and wrote, “Things you are greatful (sic) for.” The list was long, but four words that stand out are, “Love,” Exercise,” “Shelter,” and “Feries” (sic). Out of the mouths of babes.

I’ve enjoyed reading some of your blogs that discuss the use of gratitude lists in your daily lives—something I’m woefully and often neglectful of. I know it would clean up the edges of my life that are not in synch with my desires, so to speak (write). It may be a cliché, but each and every autumn, I’m apt to eat more (bad) food for some reason, and this tendency (me) doesn’t seem to (want to) quit until late February or March. Could it be the shorter days, longer nights? The grand triumvirate of holidays along with the food that says it’s absolutely and unequivocally vital to celebrate these events with food? With lots and lots of carby kcals—more than I could have dared to guess, according to blogland? Yikes! I guess... yes.

So, I’ve finally unharnessed myself from the house for more than carpools and tame dog walks. I got in some remedial exercise this morning and have set aside time for some lifting a little later. Ditto tomorrow morning early, early. Feel so much better that I believe I can pull off a houseful of 14 folks tomorrow. Funny thing: when I cook a good meal for others (our menu is nice and healthy!), I end up eating relatively little. My focus is on the many small details that seem to wipe out the desire to consume, despite the fact that I’m cooking a lot of food for a lot of people. It’s almost a meditative process. I’m not a great cook, but I find that I really concentrate on the kitchen skills if a bunch of people show up!

It’s rare that I fix anything too yummy—food that appeals to my inner addict, however. This year, we’re sharing dinner with several Thanksgiving “orphans.” I’m incredibly grateful for so many things, but friends and family top the list. I’m thankful also, for finding this blogging community. So very quickly have I received so much warmth and support from you gals/guys and I thank you so much. I could pen my gratitude list here, but it wouldn’t come close to the thoughts written in a chalked heart on our patio. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sometimes I just feel so spoiled - a feeling that looks a bit like guilt. Last night, I was watching the news and saw a story about San Francisco’s food banks. Like this country’s own banking industry, stock in S.F.’s food banks (and probably other cities’ as well) has tanked out. No matter what, guys, I've always gotten my greedy little paws on food - somehow! I’m trying to persuade some of my grandkids’ parents to leave some food – any food – in the hands of our very over-capable guys and gals at any Fire Department around here, but it’s an uphill battle and really, only a drop in the barrel.

Strange. Even though my hubs and I have suffered through financial difficulties at different times in our working lives, I have, of course, always been able to score food. I never shared any of it, natch! Hah! Are you kidding? No one knew I was stealing - stealing from the budget to hoard my stash of candy, cookies and other baked goods around the house, not to mention all the fast food I managed to get my hands/mouth around.

Money’s definitely tight these days. It’s likely to be a tough Thanksgiving for hundreds of thousands, and an even more difficult time near Christmas. Many of the small businesses in our community place large barrels inside their entrances, into which customers can drop one, or, a dozen non-perishable food goods. Just ONE helps, or so I understand. (There are lots of people who live in our community.)

I tend to drop a couple of things into barrels located at two of my favorite hangouts. One is at the market, of course, and the other? I drop packages of holiday cookies into the barrel at my gym. At least these won’t be ingested by me. I leave both places a bit mollified, and not just for my own food and exercise needs. I'm still aware of that spoiled "me" feeling, however, but it makes me aware of my gratitude for the things my family and I are blessed with.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Inner Food Addict is Sick too...

While I haven’t specifically written about the guilt I’ve felt over being sick and the concurrent “comfort food” eating, it’s been there big-time. I've been at war with my inner food addict and it's been a hell of a week. It’s time to haul my butt up (“take it slow,” my doc says) and out of the house and start moving and shaking again. I’ve had a food breakdown directly related to... well... basically being stuck in the house with a kitchen full of food that, of course, I was plenty able to ingest. I chose to eat (wrong foods) over the fact(s) that I let my clients down before an important holiday for them (and me). I felt as if I put extra pressure on my husband and my own kids by not being able to pick their kids up from school (which I try to do at least once a week). I harvested guilt over “abandoning” Samantha this week, with sub-par doggie adventure walks. I could have written a new tome using my anxious madcap notions.

Each day, I felt worse and worse, with both mind and body wreaking havoc on my psyche. Out of control? You bet. Each day that I spent planting new and fantastic “guilt” seeds, so my body grew in direct proportion to the inner (and) harebrained fictions. There is a path worn through the bedroom carpet and cold pavers to the fridge and back. Ouch. The number on the scale on Friday didn’t even affect me. I am numb again - bad sign. As I’m really, finally feeling better this morning, I’ve devised a plan.

Numbah one: A-hunting I will go—to the Farmer’s Market, on a search for Thanksgiving fruits and veggies. We have eight healthy-minded folks coming on Thursday and I’ve planned a menu rich in flavor, but low on the fats.

Numbah two: Cooking homemade turkey broth this afternoon. Easy, as it simmers for over four hours. Picked up several pounds of raw turkey “offal” yesterday at Whole Paycheck. And I didn’t even get into it last night.

Numbah three: Cooking two batches of cornbread (this is the most dangerous part) to be left out to get stale. Just those words conjure up some feelings. Maybe I won’t do that; instead, I could buy some old cornbread on Wednesday. My granddaughters will be here spending the night. Yeah... I’ll purchase it then and challenge them to ways of getting that cornbread in a state of staleness!

Numbah four: Last, but not least, did not get doggie bathed and groomed yesterday, so, getting her done is huge on the “today” list, maybe while the stock’s simmering.

Feel better already. I also just wrote out my own food plan for the day. Now, time to get to the Farmer’s Market. I need to be a part of the world again. Usually, I make better choices, but without my usual lifelines, I’m still prone to fall into my food addictive patterns soooo easily. Bummer. Really! It's just so easy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weighing in on a Few Things...

The girl is getting better (but bigger, as you will see). Antibiotic is beginning to fight the big, bad bronchitis. Not certain how or where I picked that up, but I don’t think I’ve had it since I was a little kid. Good riddance!

You may have noticed that I’ve been playing with the book’s subtitle, tweaking it a little each day. “Struggling” (with the subtitle) would be a better word. Although I have managed a total weight loss of 100½ pounds twice in the last 11 years, I haven’t come close to keeping it off for more than three months. It would be dishonest to imply that I maintain, on a day-to-day basis, a 100½ pound loss.

I have finally settled on a more accurate number. It’s a weird concept, but a more accurate one in my case. I’ve taken an average of pounds (within five pounds above or below my goal weight) kept off over the past 11 years and settled on that number. Turns out to be 86.5, which I (natch) rounded up. Hence the odd number. But no fraction of a pound has ever been too small for me to note in my journal, whether I am losing or maintaining. Each piece of a pound is critical, and whether I reached a 10, 22, 48, 63, 89-pound loss, it all felt (and still feels) amazing! The scale is such great feedback. It's black and white. I'd like to think it lies, but it doesn't, (and today, it's a little tough to take, damn!)

Since I haven’t been able to work out this week, I've taken short walks around the block with Sam. When I find that I'm exhausted after these, I’ve become somewhat bummed out, but probably more bored mentally, while physically, just about too tired to sit up in a chair, as in front of computer. Have indulged in comfort foods, thick soups and breads, ugh. And I weighed myself today, because it's that time.

I'm about to hit the shower and after, take Sam to our great McInnins Park to throw out her Kong. I'm taking today off for the last time this week to rest. Later, I want to bathe the doggie—a long neglected task. And finally, I need to organize my shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner that I planned a couple of weeks ago. THEN, joy of daily joys, I get to grab some tea and read your blogs!

Weight? 159.4# Arghhhh! Yet I knew it would be a “bad” week. Comfort foods and no exercise? Both together? Disaster. So, a place to begin. Again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old Scratchy Throat...

Wanted to pull out my hair, er... guitar out yesterday, as I was going just batty with the cabin fever, but whenever I do the guitar thing, gotta sing and that was definitely not on the menu. So... even though I did get that dog walk around the block, thanks to a very thoughtful friend (also with a dog), who knew I wanted a bit of exercise, I haven’t gotten in a good workout for several days and the body screams. Last night, I must admit, I had almost a pint of organic burnt apricot ice cream, damn! (It was very good... unfortunately...) There are so many non-fat alternatives, but this just felt so damned good going down, soothing the war-torn throat. When am I gonna be able to work those cals. off? Not gonna punish myself today.

I’m ready to leave this place for half the a.m. and half the p.m. today. Even though I’m still opting out of work so my clients don’t get this nasty stuff, I’ve decided to wear a mask over my face—no, a scarf—and run down to Macy’s this morning, which has a huge sale until 1 p.m. Then home to recuperate and finally, as it’s Wednesday, pick up Cam at her school in West Marin. A day that’s a bit more active, but a test to see how soon the exhaustion factor kicks in. Yesterday, tired just walking around the block. I really should take a look at that and comprehend that I spent three-quarters of my life struggling to make it around the block and then collapsed for the remainder of the day as a norm. To know that when I feel better, I can do so much more is such a great gift. I look forward to my first good workout again—maybe a day or two? Small steps to bigger things. I have a great deal more patience than I used to (did I actually write that!) and know that my health will be in the pink shortly. If I don’t lose weight this week, I don’t think I’ll be as reactive as I was last week, because there is a reason: a cause and effect. I can live with that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Crud...

I still have this ugly bug, so I’m homebound again today. I guess I should be grateful rather than disgruntled. The change from how I feel about cabin fever today as opposed to several years ago is incalculable, indeed. I used to pray for any excuse to make couch potato-ing acceptable! Now, after lying down for about half an hour, I get up and walk around the house, staring mournfully out the windows at the incredibly beautiful fall days we’re having here. I’m going to try and tackle a small walk around the neighborhood with Samantha (whose exercise is on hold as well)—I think I can do that later this morning. Slow thoughts, slow moves. Hate this! The food's changed a bit too. Soups and teas. Haven't counted any calories, carbs or proteins, but I'm not thinking about food--isn't that a hoot!

But as a wise friend asked me last evening: “haven’t you ever craved for a couple of hours to read that book or _________ (fill in the blank)? And she’s right, of course. It’s just that I tend to want to do it when I want to... do it. You know?

Right now, this old girl wants to feel well enough to work with clients and exercise her own body (she thought selfishly). Okay, it’s back to the couch—or bed. I’ll wander between them and at some point, I’ll try to take a stroll around the block—I have that to look ahead to, but need to lie down with my tea now. And get better. Ohhhhmmmmm...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Autumn Clean-Up!

Fall cleaning today arghhh! And yet I’m actually enjoying it, in a meditative way. I’m also finding things that I’ve been searching for since... oh, months ago (doh!). Cleaning out my office and clothes— polishing, scrubbing and vacuuming all have their magnificent benefits. Besides, a sparkling, unpolluted house works wonders on my soul as well. (And maybe good for a few burned kcals.) I tend to forget about food as well when I get into a project like this. Forget about FOOD? Perhaps I should go into the housekeeping business...

Why did I decide to do this on such a magnificent day—one that is so beautiful that I should really be enjoying in its entire fall splendor, hiking or biking? Well, last week, I was picking up my granddaughter from school out in west Marin, and I met another parent, here from France for just three months. My daughter-in-law had told me that Cameron (my grandchild) had a new best friend who spoke very little English, named Yonàh. Now just a day before, I’d been thinking of my childhood Thanksgivings back in Connecticut, when my parents would always invite someone to our table who was leagues away from home. Usually, they would find our guest(s) through the U.N. Our experience was enriched in many ways by our visitor’s company. Here, outside Cameron’s school, was an opportunity just waiting, so we immediately invited our new acquaintances to Thanksgiving (that will take a few blogs) at our house. This is the catalyst that has precipitated the need for our mad housecleaning, of course.

As I mentioned, there are immense bennies from a thorough scrub, and even though I’m not nearly done, I feel a huge weight lifted (maybe another quarter pound?) from my shoulders and a feeling of giddiness for getting rid of so much clutter (where does it ever come from?). Going to get back to it now, but thought I’d write in my nice clean new office! Happy fall days to you all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weigh Day

One week later I step on the scale. Down 1½ pounds. I’m slightly devastated since I’ve really been mindful of my food intake and my choices every single day. I've been exercising vigorously—six days of cardio this week and four weight training sessions.

“Never mind,” I tell my negative self, “keep going and the pounds will go too.” So I went for a good walk early this morning (dog tracking training with friends) until my throat got more sore than it had been and I felt warm. It was not from the unseasonably hot weather we’re having in California, but I could feel achiness in my body. So, I’m home now, trying to write this and get it posted. I promised myself to check in every Friday with weigh-in results, no matter what, so... here I am. A short little blog, but an important one.

Headed for the couch (oh no!) to rest and also to finish Refuse to Regain, but have a good weekend, friends, and will catch up later. Again, love reading all your blogs; they are truly inspiring.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Going Blonde Going Rogue

Dear Blog,

I don’t really remember the exact date that I asked my hair stylist to make me blond, but it was about five-six years ago. She told me my hair was too dark (dark gray, that is) to create “blonde.” Of course I argued her point, because well... I really wanted to be a blonde. I’d never experimented with hair color, other than to rinse out with lemon juice while sun tanning as a 13-year-old. I just wanted to “have more fun.”

So, after a couple of hours of dyeing, bleaching and whatever-she-did, I had a head of blond locks that I’ve kept up ever since. Rogue? Not sure, but there are several definitions:

As a noun:
1. Somebody dishonest: an unscrupulous or dishonest person, especially somebody who is also likeable
2. Somebody mischievous: a mischievously playful person, especially a naughty child (that sounds closer...)
3. Dangerous solitary animal: a vicious or uncontrolled animal that lives apart from the rest of its herd or group (Hmmm...)

Dishonest? If no one recognized me, then I guess I’d have to concede points, except for the part about “likeable.” (tee hee)

Definition #2 sounds much more promising in my case, as a definition of “rogue.” I’m all of these things and perhaps more. I love to “play,” although I’m not sure that it’s in a mischievous context, but I know that I was often a “naughty” child.

Not certain about the third possibility, since I love my fellow humans, but what if I were a “dangerous solitary animal?” Eating off-plan is a hazardous activity for this blogger when alone. Does that qualify? The consumption of red-light foods in uncontrolled amounts, particularly in the evening hours has vicious consequences.

I think I need to take a more in-depth look at this. For now, I’m still a blondie, but what does it have to do with eating patterns? More to follow!

Your True Food Junkie Gone Rogue,

Maintenance and the Art of Procrastination

This blogger has the art of procrastination down to a science. I changed the template, layout and colors of this blog and then read many new posts by all you inspiring writers out there. It’s really been helping me to stay “on” my plan this week, especially since I’ve been struggling with 15 stubborn pounds. I know that 15 pounds may not sound like a lot, and if this were 1997, it would sound ridiculous to me. But after menopause and eleven years of maintenance (Halloween was actually my 11th anniversary of keeping at least 77½ pounds off), the “glow” of losing that weight and looking (and feeling) so much better weakens in intensity just a wee bit. That is NOT to say that I ever want to return to where I was then. It’s just that the passion I felt for LIVING during those first couple of years after the weight loss diminishes a bit. Learning how to deal with the temptations and my own lifelong issues around food, month-in and month-out, year-in and year-out, is really what maintenance is all about for me.

As the years have accumulated, my ability to understand how to cope with living a different kind of life than I’ve ever managed before has improved. But... I’m human and am drawn to food like a barracuda to shine... still! It’s really quite incredible that almost nightly, I have to work with myself on the starchy carbs and sweets that still come calling. Often, I just leave the house and work out or, for the time being, working on a project with another personal trainer. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted enough to pass out. I hate fighting with myself! Wish I had more time, but gotta get going! I love to read your blogs and am enjoying the act of writing as well. It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous day and I’m about to get out into it (but I won't be going skydiving anytime soon)!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Possible, Party or Not!

I’m going to a baby shower today. There will be lots of food. I know this because I’m paying for half of it and, and, yet... I feel totally prepared to just say, “no,” when presented with a food that is not on my plan. I’ve been doing well and haven’t dared to stray from my food plan yet, and I stress the word, plan, because without one, I might as well be lost at sea. It just feels so good to set limits and live (satisfied, amazingly!) within the borders that I create daily. Yay! After a week, I’ll reveal my progress in numbers, but for now, I’m just charged up that I’ve got things going again for now. And I actually look forward to this little party, although since it takes place 1½ hours away from here, it will really take up the majority of the day, which is not that cool, because I’ve got other things I really need to be doing. But hey! This is a social gathering for my newest granddaughter, who is due to meet the world on January 23, 2009!

I’ll be back in plenty of time to get in a bit of exercise, meal planning for the next few days, and finish this excerpt by telling y’all if I got through this festivity clean.

Well... got through the food biz fine, but didn’t get home until almost 7 p.m.—yikes! Best exercise I got was carrying heavy baby gifts (carriages, etc.) from party to car, party to car as fast as I could. I had fun—really! I had a great time.

Bkfst: 2 Eggs, 3 Canadian Bacon, 2 C. Coffee w/ ½ cup 1% Milk
Snack: 1 Cup cut-up fruit
Lunch: Chicken Breast (plus a few more skinless nibbles off Grandchild’s plate), Salad with lite dressing on side
Snack: String cheese
Dinner: Pork Chop, Brussels Sprouts
Snack: Fudgsicle

Total: 1580 Kcals.

Whew – did it, party and all! Miche proves to herself, once again, that it IS possible.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Stunning Info!

Anyone who’s visited the 3FatChicks website knows that it is an veritable font of information on an encyclopedic scale within its forum. The dieter, the maintainer, the exerciser, the-you-name-it-who –wants-to-change-one’s-body can find help or illumination on topics that range from food (and recipes) to fitness. Although I haven’t been a “regular” for over a year, I’m haunted, on a daily basis, by a “Sticky” that Meg posted quite a while ago. Perhaps the research has been proven null and void at this point, but I wanted to offer the link to this post. It concerns a rather startling piece of a research puzzle regarding maintainers that we should all check out. If you’ve all seen it already, I apologize for repeating info that you know. Here ‘tis: I know I’m still stunned. Love to know what y’all think.

I’ve gotten through the day without a major hitch... yet, but the night curtain falls and I must be on guard against the monster carb attack. I’m pretty well armed, with determination, pictures, stats and plans, but intentions can go awry. My resolve is strong right now, especially after rereading “Meg’s” post as well as the responses. Pretty powerful stuff. I’m going to get through this evening successfully. BIG hike with Samantha tomorrow a.m.

Trip to Chicago sounds like a blast and I wish I were with you—maybe next year? Have fun everyone!
From a True Food Junkie,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hard to Admit but... in All Honesty...

Okay, it’s time to face facts. Besides the need to become more computer literate, I need to drop 15 pounds. I’ve been trying, but seriously folks, without the planning that comes with serious commitment, pounds do not melt off the body by themselves. Lifelong experience tells me that about 80% of fat loss is “Diet,” and 20% is exercise, I’ve been about 15% “on” and I’m very disappointed in myself.

My reality goal weight is 150 pounds. I weigh (gasp!) 159#. Not happy. When I think about my current weight, I tend to pat myself on the back for keeping off 77½ pounds for eleven years. But that’s not the point. I don’t feel good or look the way I want to look—the more I think and write about it, the angrier I am becoming. History, however, has proven that if I can get mad enough about something I’m unable to do with regard to my bod, I dig deep and find a way to crawl out of my anger—and pretty fast, too! But I must be honest; I’ve been complacent lately. Writing about this helps and I know there are 100s of you out there who can relate with a backslide. But it’s hard to admit that after so long, I still snacked on yucky cookies the other night—how could I have done that? Regardless... I need to do something now. I’m tired of trying different workouts, climbing hills and beating myself up mentally and physically.

So... I’ve just put together a journal of sorts, with my weight, goals and body fat% all right in there. Twice, in the last ten years, I participated in a Challenge put out by a supplement company (EAS), started by Bill Phillips some dozen years ago. Phillips is now pretty well-known for his annual Body-for-Life challenges and book. I respond well to challenge and am just about ready to sign up for another. I’m a bit late for this year, but plan to start anyway! Has anyone out there ever tried these challenges? Just wondering... I’ll be logging my stats here, just as my book comes out, scared half to death, but trying to be brave at the same time. Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Just got in a workout that was extra fun because a friend and I were experimenting with an extra heavy-duty Spri Superband (color: purple) that I just bought. One of my perpetual goals is to perform one—just one—unassisted pull-up. I thought that this little “helper” could be the conduit to my dream! We flung the one end of the loop over the high bar of a squat cage and pulled it through the “hole” left in the middle into a knot known as a “cow hitch.” While my friend, Rob, pulled down the heavy elasticized loop far enough for me to step into (from a stool), I grabbed the high bar and voila! Pulled up and down (with rather bad form), performing pull-ups of a sort. The “action” doesn’t feel like a typical assisted pull-up machine; the elastic has a somewhat different effect. I found I got into better form when I stuck my knees into the loop instead of my feet, but the exercise became more difficult.

(This is what a more flexible version looks like. Oops - can't seem to copy the image... sorry!) The purple superband is about 2 inches wide and much more rigid. Fun and games at the gym. Just got back from a dog outing—these are usually good for a chuckle, as Samantha always puts on her doggy-face expectant look that simply cracks me up before I throw the kong out to her. I’m so happy today anyway that just about everything makes me smile!

Speaking of smiles, I’m picking up my youngest granddaughter at school later; she also has a knack for making me giggle. At 7½, she tends to regale me with all sorts of jokes, “knock-knock” and otherwise. If she’s heard a good one from her older sister, she often forgets a significant piece of the puzzle, but the new gag is even funnier! Lucky me to have such neat grandchildren. (Let’s see if that heart will stay there... It didn't!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What is the DEAL?

What is the deal? I’m up at 5 a.m. and don’t have clients until nine o’clock. I should be dressing and on my way to the gym, or at least get on that spin bike we have (lucky us!), but that “other” part of myself is wanting her coffee and newspaper way too much more than exercise. I know that this mindset’s a habit that can (and needs) to be broken for the time being, at least, but I’m resistant.

I’ve read some of the blogs I follow in the last half hour instead of the paper and am refreshed—inspired! Be back later to finish this! THANK YOU ALL SO, SO MUCH! I’m off to take a run with the dog up a ridge nearby.

Later today after voting: I feel so lucky to find blogcompany in internetspace. I would never have pulled myself out of the gutter to move around in the humid outdoors without the bloggers out there who unabashedly write of the courageous things they are doing to lose weight and/or maintain a body that is functional and basically, happy.

I eventually went to work this morning, which takes place at Gold’s gym in northern California. After training a couple of people, I trained myself, because, after all, that’s what I need to do on a daily basis! Awwkkkk! Sometimes I resist resisting, however. I don’t really work out everyday, because I’m human, and also, because I’m prone to all the same commentary I hear from my clients: “I didn’t have the time,” or, “I took a long walk around ______ Lake the day before yesterday and didn’t think I needed to do any cardio today, “or any-you-name-it-excuse. I know them all. Just as I know all the diets that have ever been in existence. Only one works: the one where you treat the act of weight loss like a checking (or debit) account. Calories in, calories out. I don’t know any other way for my body, but if you’ve found a better (or easier way) please, please let me know! I know I’ll struggle tonight, just like any night, putting up barriers against evening-carb-syndrome or the “that can’t go to waste” disorder.

After my gym workout, I drove home (should get a bike, eh?) and took the dog for another outing. I may have gotten in my cardio on the hill this morning, but Samantha needs more. Many kong-tossings later at the park, we return to the abode, where I sit in front of the computer and create lists of changes to the proofs of my book (will this book every happen?). Finally, I finish and email it all off into cyberspace. Time to finish this blog and post.

Have planned a good, but simple chicken dinner with election TV as a side dish. Bon soir!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween: The Effects Linger...

Halloween has come and gone, but the effects linger! Although I was able to resist all candies and other sugary goodies, I was not able to put up my defenses against three versions of our hosts’ special chili dishes: buffalo, beef and turkey. I scarfed down a gigantic bowl of the scrumptious turkey chili with a side of garlic toast—too good! What a party—over 100 kids showed up for the food and fun that our generous hosts were offering. On the deck, an open pit provided fire to toast marshmallows for S’mores. Great fun for the costumed kids (and adults)! Invited doggies lingered at the edge of the action, hoping to snag some of the tasty treats. (We watched for any ingestion of toxic chocolate...) I guess I did a good job insofar as I was able to resist the temptations of candies and desserts, but the main course sure filled me up.

This morning, I had an appointment to call my editor to finish up the book proof. Getting very close to publishing this baby that’s been in the hopper for so long! We had a very productive editing session (my editor is incredible—catches the tiniest errors!). “That’s why they pay me the big bucks,” he chortles.

Then I delivered on a promise I made to myself last night. I showered (why?) and changed into gym clothes to get that cardio in. I drove to Gold’s and fifty minutes later, drenched, my trainer friend, Kristin, who has wanted to learn boxing moves, grabbed some gloves and target mitts from the office, and we get in a good punching workout. Trust me—if you’ve never tried boxing, go for it! A great cardio effect plus a good full body workout. You’ll be sweating profusely before you know it.

Home for the big veggie salad with chicken. This hits the spot—for the time being... Let’s see how the day progresses—a good Sunday with an extra hour to enjoy it. By the way, that's a picture of our dog, Samantha, as "Jeannie." She wasn't too thrilled about donning the duds, so we had a little striptease show about five minutes later.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How Long Has It Been? Catch-up!

No excuses here, but I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks. Tempus fugit. I’ve been eating the fejoa that have dropped from the tree outside. It’s a fruit that looks similar to a kiwi, but doesn’t have the fuzz and is a brighter green. It tastes like a combination of apple and pineapple. I cut the fruit in half and scoop the inside out with a large spoon—yum!

I just returned from a trip to Colorado Springs, where I attended a conference organized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. I am certified by the N.S.C.A. and need to “re-up” my cert. by the end of December. I’ve been short two educational units, so I decided to grace the grand ballroom of the Antlers Hotel with my presence. Little did I realize how scientific the keynote addresses would be! While the main goal of the conference was to present the most current research on strength and power training, I should have read the small print that included the words: “ ...scientific international...” Most of the information went flying over my head. The material was intended for doctors, high level university professors and exercise physiologists with Phds.

So I went for a walk on the second afternoon and explored downtown Colorado Springs. It was a gorgeous fall day, 70 degrees, with a lovely, warm breeze. I stopped by a couple of realtors to check out the prices—more bang for the buck here than in the bay area! Then I headed for the Fine Arts Center and had a look around. There was a good show by Walt Kuhn (Place and Time – An Imaginary History of the West) and a terrific showing of the permanent collection that I enjoyed immensely. I walked back towards town and perused stores that were selling typically western items—jewelry, boots, sweaters with bear and elk patterns woven in, and general kitsch. Then I headed for “home.” I had a massage appointment. Woohoo!

An excellent rub-down from a guy named Ruby, who is from India. His business card sports an amazing variety of offerings:

Yoga, Religion, Healing in India/Nepal/Bhutan/Tibet
Motorcycle Rides & Treks in the Himalayas
Volunteering at Christian/English Schools, Organic Farms
Safari’s (sic) in South Africa, Kenya & Tanzania
Rail & Bicycling in Europe & England
Must see bargains: Russia, Romania, Bulgaria

Ruby, you’re famous! And you are a good masseuse, a talent that you don’t mention on your biz card! Tomorrow: the great Halloween party last night, and my attempts at resisting the s'mores.