Monday, August 24, 2009

Quickly ...

A bit of a family emergency over the weekend; I'll be out of town for
several days. No blogging and no walking in my immediate future, but a
tremendous opportunity to be of service.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Quote Day

Dang! I forgot it was Friday! Without any commentary from me, here's something to think about (and something I've been trying to do since July 7).

You will never change your life
until you change something you do daily.

~ Mike Murdock

Feeling my age

It's difficult for me to actually believe I'm 58. I don't look my age, I don't act my age, I don't (usually) feel my age. After yesterday, though, I'm thinking perhaps I need to realize that most 58-year-old overweight women aren't as active as I am for a reason.

I'm not quitting, no, no, no, but I was so sick and so tired after yesterday's eight miles that I literally had to lie down on the cool (clean) tile floor of the bathroom for about 10 minutes before I felt even remotely normal. My body temperature was very low, but I felt like I was burning up internally. Very scary.

Don't tell my husband. He'll make me stop. Heh.

And you should have seen me trying to get off the floor and back into a standing position. Getting old sucks.

But I guess it beats the alternative.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Done – and I didn't get wet

But that's only because I waited until the early-afternoon thunderstorm exited the vicinity.

You know what that means, don't you? I began my walk at about 2:30 p.m. – certainly approaching the hottest time of the day. Setting out for an eight-mile walk in moderate heat and high humidity probably wasn't the smartest thing I've done lately, but I survived. And surviving will probably only fuel my compulsivity (is that a word?) to do it again, if I have to.

At one point, about a mile from my driveway, I felt like I had tunnel vision. I've had that experience before, during the Army 10-miler in 2007. I guess, though, knowing I survived then gave me the confidence to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I made it home just fine.

Doing an out-and-back route is deceiving. I've been doing seven miles with no problem, and all I had to do was tack an extra half-mile on to the "out" part of the walk. Whether it was physical or psychological, though, I knew when I reached the end of the seventh mile on the "back" part and that last mile was torturous.

The question is, will I do eight miles again today? You betcha. I had no idea I was quite as compulsive as I am. The old me would have said, "No way," especially after seeing a 1.5-pound gain this morning. But the new me feels better, has more energy (except during the eighth mile) and gets more done when I take a walk every day.

I will, however, take it this morning, instead of this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Three down, one to go

Well, we've been to three town hall meetings on health insurance reform so far. The next (and last) one on our agenda is September 1. We weren't quite so outnumbered yesterday, probably three or four to one, but the opposition seemed to fall right in line with Monday's crowd: rude, uninformed, rigid, unwilling to let the facts get in their way.

(The first meeting we went to was invitation-only; I almost don't want to put it in the category of "town hall.")

As Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher took the stage, the crowd begin yelling and booing – loudly. It is astonishing to me that people can be so rude. The man hadn't even opened his mouth, but merely walked across a stage to catcalls and insults.

Obviously I'll never be running for office. (Never say never, never say never.)

Clearly this issue is as divisive as any war, but it seems to me that it doesn't need to be. I'm disappointed that lies are being told and listened to as fact, and when the facts are presented they're dismissed out of hand.

Just as clearly, I don't have a solution. I think it's important, though, for both sides to be heard, and that's why I keep attending these events.

Having "things to do" certainly interferes with my day-to-day routine. Today is jam-packed with stuff we could have done Monday and Tuesday. It will all get done, eventually, including an eight-mile walk. There's a good chance of rain today, but I won't melt. Or, if I do, you'll know it by the lack of a post tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We're becoming professional town hall attendees

Yesterday's event was, in a word, contentious. Lots of yelling and booing (our Congressman is a Democrat), lots of minds already made up, lots of misinformation. Sigh. Supporters of health insurance reform were outnumbered by about a 10-to-1 margin, which accounted for my slightly elevated blood pressure when I went to the doctor later that day. (He was at the town hall meeting, too, although I didn't see him there. Interesting to be talking politics when your legs are in stirrups and you're wearing a paper gown.)

Those who oppose health insurance reform had their questions neatly printed out and they read them very well. Even the woman who insisted that President Obama was born in Kenya.

Need I say more?

We're going to another one today, this time in Virginia. I'm going to have to walk eight miles a day the rest of the week to make up for yesterday and today. Shouldn't be too hard to do.

P.S. I forgot to schedule my annual appointment last year, so it's been two years since I've seen this physician. He applauded me for my five-mile-a-day plan and said I'd be able to lose 30 pounds in no time. HAH! I promised him I would work on my attitude.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A quickie ...

My husband and I have a full day ahead, beginning with yet another town hall meeting on health care reform. (I prefer calling it health insurance reform, but really both the way we deliver and the way we pay for health care needs an overhaul.)

Then after the meeting I have a doctor's appointment. The irony is inescapable.

Still knitting the periwinkle blue sweater. I have only the left front from the armsceye up to the neckline and the body of the piece will be done, done, done. I love no-deadline knitting. And I love knitting a sweater where you don't have to seam the front pieces to the back. It's a big lump in your lap for a while, but eliminating those side seams is worth wrestling with a big piece of wooly knitted fabric. (Thank goodness for AC!)

The little sunsuit and t-shirt I made for my granddaughter's doll was a big hit. At least the doll doesn't have to live in her pajamas 24/7 any more!

And I'm still pretty much on pace with my five-mile-a-day walks. I only did 33.25 miles last week, but I was a little bit ahead of the pace from the previous week and I'm enjoying the seven-mile route, so will probably keep that up on the days I walk this week.

Today won't be one of them, as we need to leave in 40 minutes. And I'm still in my pajamas! Have a good Monday and if you're in the path of a storm, stay safe!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Quote Day

Great things are not done by impulse,
but by a series of small things brought together.

~ Vincent Van Gogh

In spite of the fact that my husband considers me the most impulsive person he knows (and I consider him the most careful planner, so hey! We're a perfect match!), I know that impulsive fitness just doesn't cut it.

In other words – and please, please correct me if I'm wrong – deciding to run a Sunday marathon the previous Saturday probably isn't going to get you across the finish line.

No, I'm not running a marathon Sunday. I might do one next spring. Maybe.

The first thing I need to do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other on these little walks I've been taking every day (or nearly so). As I said yesterday, the mental and emotional benefits are amazing (otherwise I'd be suicidal because I haven't lost any weight). Even the other physical benefits are pretty cool.

What others? Well, I'm turning into the Energizer Bunny – I just keep going and going and going. My physical stamina allows me to keep at it – whatever "it" is – until well past dinner, when I used to plop down on the couch as soon as the dishwasher was loaded.

Here's what I did yesterday (and yes, I want a gold star):
  • Made cookies
  • Made zucchini bread
  • Walked seven miles (in 1:56:08)
  • Mowed three acres
  • Did four loads of laundry
  • Worked a little bit in the garden (twice)
  • Made pizza dough and sauce (for tonight's dinner)
  • Fixed dinner
  • Emptied, loaded and emptied the dishwasher
  • Mopped the floors
  • Changed the bed linens
Actually yesterday I did anything that needed to be done as soon as I noticed it. That's a real reversal from my usual MO of waiting until I can't stand looking at whatever-it-is any more.

I'm going to a seminar today, and if I'm going to keep my walking average up I have to start walking right now. Even if it is foggy as a seacoast and I'll feel like I'm walking underwater. Hope y'all have a great Friday and a great weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Am I on?

Well, well, well … Blogger is cooperating today.

I have tried almost every day this week to connect, with (obviously) no success. I feel like I have to typefast! before the connection is disrupted.

Still maintaining my weight – it goes up or down two pounds, depending on who knows what – and still maintaining my five-mile-a-day walking regimen. This week is tricky. My husband and I were invited to a town hall meeting on healthcare in Charleston, WV, Tuesday morning and I have to go to a seminar Friday. In order to make up for two days off, I've extended my route to seven miles. Each of the three times I've done it this week I've been able to cut a few minutes off my time, and yesterday I made it in slightly less than two hours.

I have to say that I'm enjoying walking for its own sake, regardless of the lack of weight loss. I still look forward to hitting the road and I feel really good about myself for keeping it up. Results aren't always a number on the scale, but you couldn't have told me that last year. Or even last spring.

The garden is spectacular Рspectacularly filled with weeds, that is. But there's some food in there, too. Last night we had collard greens (saut̩ed with onions, turnips and a tiny piece of country ham and then steamed until tender), stewed tomatoes (not mine) with okra (yes, mine!) and the most amazing goat-cheese ravioli with creamy walnut sauce. (None of the ingredients were from the garden but it's definitely worth the trouble to make it and I thought you should know about it.)

We're going to have lots of tomatoes, or else we'll have lots of green ones, I'm not sure. And I'm hoping my late-planted corn will yield an ear or two before the first frost. The stalks still aren't very tall, but when I compare mine to the Amish late planting, mine are about the same height.

My first cucumber is ready to pick and there are several little babies and, of course, there's still enough crookneck and zucchini to feed a village. Oh, and the edamame are big plants now, with little purple flowers that promise to turn into pods. Soon, I hope!

My knee is much better – Aleve is a beautiful thing – and the sweater I started a couple weeks ago gets a few rows longer every day.

So that's what's up with me. I think it's time to go walk.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Quote Day

The game of life is the game of boomerangs.
Our thoughts, deeds and words
return to us sooner or later,
with astounding accuracy.


~ Florence Shinn


Remember when I told you I was going to be walking because I was so fat I thought running might be too stressful on my knees? You don't? Well, I did, and it appears I was right.

Grrr.

My left knee was very ouchy all day yesterday and, while I can walk, it's very painful to do so. I iced it last night and I know it will get better – I've done this before – but in the meantime I really, really, really need to learn to take my own advice.

Yesterday's walk was half walk, half run. Some of the running was uphill, but most of it was downhill and that's the best way to injure a knee. But it felt so good to be flying down those hills. (Flying is, of course, a relative term, as the Garmin indicated I was only flying at about 6 mph.)

When I got home I cleaned the house and then worked in the yard and garden. I was busy from 9 to 4, almost non-stop. What will I do when there's no more garden to work play in?

Will I let my knee injury stop me from walking five miles today? I don't think so. Never let it be said I'm OCD or anything, but I'm not going to let this break my streak. I'll wear a patella strap and hope for the best.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

150

Well, it's been a month of five-milers, and the total as of yesterday is slightly more than 150 miles. (To be even more impressive, that's more than 241 kilometers!) I have to say that I look forward to my daily walk, that five miles doesn't seem like a very big deal at all and that I'm going to keep at it.

Despite the utter lack of weight loss, I feel good about keeping up with the plan, come hell or high water. (My heart goes out to Louisville this week.) As you other weight-loss bloggers know only too well, not losing weight is an excellent way to get off track. But I can't quite convince myself that not walking is better than walking.

In other words, what would I look like if I'd stayed on the couch for the past month?

I can't honestly remember the last time I spent an extended period of time (as an adult) not exercising. I guess it was when my children (now 36 and 39) were young. We didn't think daily, intentional exercise was necessary back in the olden days. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time when I became pregnant for my second child and – gasp! – there was no suggestion from anyone that you should engage in any physical activity (and thus earn extra Points which you should then eat. Mmmm, Points!)

By the time I was in my mid-30s, I was working hard at something (Jazzercise, anyone?) almost every day. And by the time I was 45 I was running and going to a fancy-schmancy gym daily. Maybe a five-mile walk isn't enough to trick my body into releasing weight, but at 58 I'm beyond coming up with more games. Good, wholesome, healthful food in reasonable portions and five miles a day. That ought to be enough. If it isn't … well, I guess I'm just one of those fit AND fat folks the insurance companies love to hate.

And charge higher premiums for covering.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I really should take more pictures

Actually, I really should transfer more pictures from my camera to my computer. Then you'd be able to see what we've been able to harvest and eat lately.

Last night's dinner was a vegetable feast. The curried squash soup wasn't quite curried enough, but that's easy enough to fix. We also ate the last of Monday's cole slaw, a couple of fried zukes and some corn-and-green bean succotash. (The beans were ours; I bought the homegrown corn from a farmer's market.)

Meat? Who needs it?

(Actually, I have no intention of going completely meatless, but we had plenty of food for dinner without it.)

Denise, my husband wouldn't know a weed from a watermelon if they were growing side-by-side. He promises to learn and help next year, but we'll see how that goes. He has a way of promising to do things in the future that somehow never get done. He's very valuable in other ways – I couldn't be retired without him – and since today is our third wedding anniversary, I really ought not to say anything negative about him at all.

We agree that we've really made a wonderful life for ourselves, and that we look forward to each new day, month and year with anticipation and hope.

It might be different if I were still a Republican. Heh.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I wanna go back on vacation

I'm being silly, of course. I'm retired; I don't have "vacations" any more, unless you count the ones from Sunday to Saturday every week of the year.

But being on vacation at home is quite different from being on vacation at my dad's in Florida. And even though it was hot, hot, hot and humid, humid, humid – it was, after all, the last week of July in FLORIDA – I didn't feel like I had to be doing something chorelike all the time.

Since I've been home I've done all the things that make staying home and being retired not a vacation: laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, mowing, weed-eating, paying bills … y'all know what I'm talking about.

The best thing about being on vacation was spending a lot of one-on-one time with my dad. We went to the pharmacy at Patrick AFB twice – a lot of car time – and we went to three doctor's appointments – a lot of waiting-room time. We also went out for breakfast (his favorite restaurant meal) almost every day I was there and in the evenings we watched documentaries about Presidents Truman and Roosevelt. I felt like an old person, and I was very comfortable. Heh.

I managed to keep up, and even exceeded, my walking-five-miles-a-day plan. On Sunday afternoon I blithely thought I could make it four times around the perimeter of Dad's neighborhood. I could only do it twice, because, um, did I mention it was hot? The remaining walks began earlier and earlier each morning. Thank goodness for streetlights, as I was out well before sunrise the rest of the week.

Five trips around the 'hood ended up being 6.8 miles. The total for the week was more than 37 miles, which made up for both Sunday's short walk and this past Saturday, when I was flying home and didn't walk at all. Yay, me!

And I only gained 1.5 pounds. Sigh.

The best thing about being home is, of course, the garden. And seeing my husband again! Hi, honey! I picked one zucchini that was more than a foot long. The weeds have completely taken over the squash section, so I'll have to work on that today. I picked enough zucchini Sunday to make and can six and a half pints of relish yesterday. We had stuffed zucchini boats (with our first ripe tomato chopped up in the filling) for dinner Sunday and fried okra last night. I also picked a couple of huge yellow squash (which will be soup for dinner tonight), along with onions and green beans.

As I may have mentioned before, I shoulda been a farmer.