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Showing posts from March, 2010

Missed it again

I decided to try to hit or break 75 minutes for five miles yesterday. (If you're a new reader and you think I'm a wimp, believe me, it's hard to do on the hilly route I take.) Missed it by 41 seconds. Grrr.

My problem is that I start out too slowly. The first mile takes a good 18 or 19 minutes, because it's all uphill. I need to learn to run up; so far, that's been more than I can manage. By the time I get to the last mile, I need to run it in 12 minutes or less to make my goal and, so far, that hasn't happened either. Close, but no cigar.

I need to clean my floors this morning and then go to town for a meet-and-greet with the Governor of West Virginia. My husband serves on a committee with the director of the Chamber of Commerce, who would like a good turnout this morning so I agreed to be a space-filler-upper.

What that means is that my activity du jour will be cleaning the floor.

Back to running/jogging/walking for a minute. Here's a dilemma I'm havi…

Rainy days and Tuesdays …

Thanks for noticing and commenting on my new look. If I can't transform my body, at least I can transform the blog.

The new templates are in Blogger in Draft. I've been wishin' and hopin' for a three-column template for a long time, so when the announcement was made I hopped right over to check them out.

Interestingly, I rarely look at my blog page. I'm glad this new one is easy to read, and I love the way the title looks; I wouldn't have thought of white letters with a shadow on a tannish background. My brain says it wouldn't work, but it obviously does.

Took a long walk between rain showers yesterday, but since I didn't change into a sports bra I didn't run any of it. (Sorry, I know there are some guys who read the blog, and you have NO IDEA how lucky you are that you don't have to change all your clothes if you want to run.) Still, I made the five miles in 88:30. When I walk five in less than 90 minutes, I count it as good.

Back to Blogger in…

Rainy days and Mondays

Channeling Karen Carpenter here ... maybe I'll get anorexia! (Bad joke, I'm sorry.)

I took a picture this morning of the most cheerful thing in my house. Because it is so not cheerful outside. (See title.)

I love daffodils. We had friends over last week to watch basketball, and in addition to the homegrown popcorn they brought for a snack, they brought a bouquet of old-fashioned double-bloomed daffs. I'm always too tired of gardening to plant bulbs in the fall, and then I'm jealous in the spring because everyone else has daffodils blooming but me.

I've written about these friends before; they are my inspiration and encyclopedia when it comes to gardening. They call their farm Meadow Mist. (The blog is here.) And if it weren't for them, we'd have had very little dinner last night. Their Meadow Mist eggs provided a delicious omelet which was topped with Meadow Mist cheddar. And our biscuits were topped with Meadow Mist plum jelly. Yum!

If by any chance you do…

Friday Quote Day

A man who wants something will find a way;  a man who doesn't will find an excuse. ~ Stephen Dolley Jr.
Uh, Stephen, there are women who feel that way, as well. Harumph.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

(Bonus points if you know who said that. Probably too easy for this crowd!)

I want to lose weight. That's the "something." And I've been trying all kinds of ways, since childhood. Liquid diets, Ayds candies (they could never get away with calling them 'Ayds' nowadays!), Weight Watchers, a packaged food program that has since gone by the wayside, gyms (several!), going sugar-free (for five years) and running, among other methods and plans and schemes.

What I've learned for me (meaning it might not apply to you) is that – regarding food – each method works for a while. And then it doesn't work any more or, more accurately, I don't work it any more. None of those methods is sustainable over the long haul.

That's why I'm …

Despite the news ...

I walked/jogged my five miles yesterday and did it in 84 minutes. Not as fast as last week, obviously, but I think I was running on righteous anger then. Can't remember why, of course! I'm so glad anger dissipates as quickly as it does, at least around here.

Washington, D.C., however, is a different story. Yes, Democrats were angry when President Bush sent troops to Iran. I was in Washington with my husband during the Bush years and witnessed peaceable protests on the National Mall, with music and signs and chants. No spitting. No swearing. No references to Hitler.

Are we headed for another civil war? Is the division between the two political parties (or three if you count the Tea Party) such that we can find no common ground?

My opinion is that the opposition would never agree to anything President Obama thinks is good for the country, just because he's President Obama. If he suggested that it's wrong to kill kittens, Republicans would probably come up with a good rea…

Hopeless? Possibly.

If you watched the news last night, you probably saw a story on how difficult it is for middle-aged women to lose weight. I was at my volunteer gig at Alderson FPC, so didn't see the broadcast, but here's the AP story.

While they are very careful not to say it's impossible, they point out just how much daily activity – one hour, every day – is necessary just to maintain a normal weight. In order to lose, the unspoken suggestion is to increase that activity even more and, of course, reduce calories.

The average age of the 34,000-plus women in the study was 54. They self-reported their activity level and weight; diet was not part of the study.

So. Anyone who's been watching my struggle, or struggling along with me, knows I fit right into the profile. Do the results of this study provide any comfort? Not. At. All.

In a way, I feel like a 16-year-old with a brand-new driver's license – no matter how fast I drive or what the weather conditions are or who calls on my cel…

I'm back

Not sure who took over the blog yesterday, she sure was on a tear, wasn't she? Doesn't she realize this blog is about knitting and running and fitness and (more recently) locavoring? Heh.

So, back to the usual subjects.

Finished the back and started the front of the cotton top I pointed to a while back. Still. Don't. Like. Knitting. With. Cotton. I have enough of this yarn to knit a dress (I bought it with the intention of knitting a dress), and at this point I can't imagine knitting that much fabric with this fiber.)

Well, walking, anyway. I had to get my car serviced yesterday morning so I took the Garmin with me and walked while it was in the shop. 4.42 miles in 1:15:30 ... not bad for unfamiliar terrain and more traffic than I'm accustomed to here in the Middle of Nowhere.

Have completely ignored Jillian and the 30-Day Shred lately. I predicted this would happen and it has! It's the old self-fulfilling prophecy. If I'm outside walk…

Health care passes?

They're all calling it health care reform, all those pundits and politicians who breathlessly gush about how much good it's going to do for the American people. If you're a regular reader, you may remember that my version of reform is more accurately called health insurance reform, and would essentially take the for-profit insurance industry out of the loop.

Because, really, why should anyone profit from human suffering? Insurance companies provide wealth insurance, not health insurance. As soon as you get sick or hurt, they drop you or raise your premiums (well, they do that annually – or semi-annually – anyway), or decrease your coverage, or raise your premiums and decrease your coverage, or … well, I think you now know how I feel about health insurers.

The legislation which passed last night has some good things in it, but it is inexorably tied to the for-profit health-insurance industry. While it may help some Americans, it will absolutely – guaranteed – help insurance…

Surprise! A Saturday post!

I'm only here to brag about my walk yesterday. Remember last week when I said my next time goal was going to be 85 minutes? Well I nailed it and then some.

First, I want to show you the elevation of my usual route:

Now here's the best part:

75 minutes and 23 seconds! I tried so hard to get the last half mile done in six minutes, but I thought perhaps continuing to breathe would be better than falling over. Twenty-three seconds doesn't sound like very much time at all, but it's an eternity when you're not used to running any more.

That is all … enjoy your weekend!

Friday Quote Day

Spring is a true reconstructionist. ~ Henry Timrod
And if it's true, what Henry said, then we should all be in the reconstructing mood, right?

Well, I am, and I can only speak for myself. 'Cause it's spring!

The garden shed, doorless though it is, has been swept clean and now shelters boxes of newspapers to put between the rows of my garden. Newspapers will rot right back into the soil and will (I hope) reduce the number of weeds I have to deal with later in the gardening season, when the fatigue sets in.

(I'm so jealous of all the little daffodils pushing their way up in my neighbors' yards. Gardening fatigue hits me hard just about the time you're supposed to plant bulbs in the fall. Thus, no daffs in my gardens.)

I've not tried the newspaper trick before, but I've read about it and it seems to make sense. If it doesn't work? Well, lesson learned.

And isn't that how it works in knitting and fitness (and lots of other life lessons, but since thi…

I haven't bitched about the weather lately …

because there's nothing to bitch about!

So perhaps I should express my gratitude to Mother Nature for the booooooooootiful (that's how my younger granddaughter pronounces 'beautiful') week we've had here in the Middle of Nowhere.

Yesterday was especially nice – not too warm, not too cold, plenty of sun with some late-afternoon high clouds. My husband and I did our five-mile walk around noon and when we got back home I cleaned out a shed and started working on cleaning out the garage.

That will be a multi-day task.

We have two sheds on our property. I'd intended to convert the smaller one into the lawnmower shelter and add shelves to the larger one and make it a garden shed. But the smaller one already has shelves and would need to have a ramp added. I can save time and money by making all the gardening supplies fit into the smaller shed. The smaller shed needs a door. At one time it had a Dutch door (why? I have no idea), and the top half was gone. The lower ha…

Done, done, done!

If you're in the middle of knitting a big project, or if you're making a project in a yarn you don't especially enjoy knitting (why would you do that? Oh, it's cotton and the project is a sleeveless spring top), then I highly recommend taking a break to make a wool hat.

I finished this one in just a couple of days, and I'm so pleased with it. It's blocking on a dinner plate and since it's St. Patrick's Day, I'm calling it a tam. But when I send it to my granddaughter, it will again be a beret, because she's taking French and said her French teacher would "flip" if she knew I could make berets.

The nice thing about hats is they don't have to be laundered often; I think even a middle-schooler can manage its upkeep. If not, I can make another one!

Speaking of St. Patrick's Day (kiss me, I'm Irish – or at least part-Irish), I had intended to corn my own grass-fed beef this year, but didn't research the method in time to get …

Let's knit

Since we're not doing too well in the weight-loss department around here (3 of Friday's 3.5 are gone, but you wouldn't believe how hard I've worked to lose them!), let's talk knitting.

I'm working on two projects right now, which is a bit unusual for this normally one-at-a-time kinda gal. I'm making a cotton top for myself, and I already think I'm not going to finish it. I'm nearly ready to decrease for the armholes on the back piece, but it's measuring too big even for my big bad self. It is cotton, though, and I've worked with the yarn before so I know I will be able to shrink and/or stretch it to the proper dimension.

The bigger question is: Would I ever wear it? (The downloadable pattern is free, but you'll need to register on the Bernat website.) A few more shredding sessions with Jillian wouldn't hurt my upper arms. Or I could always add sleeves.

The other project is a very cool beret pattern I stumbled upon, and I'm making…

Friday Quote Day

Never let the fear of striking out
get in your way. ~ George Herman "Babe" Ruth

I guess this is what keeps me going. I can't figure out any other philosophy that would keep me doing something, week after week after month after month after year after year, that results in so little success.

I've been weighing myself daily since the first of March, and I'm, um, striking out. I've started walking outside almost daily (five miles on hills); I'm still shredding myself with Jillian; I'm eating sensibly and healthfully, and I'm weighing, measuring and recording what I eat.

And this morning the scale read 3.5 pounds more than it did yesterday.

This is the part of weighing daily that drives me crazy. I understand the result is an average of the entire week, but seeing that horrible number this morning about did me in.

But you know, a good baseball player makes a ton o' cashmoneybucks by being good about 30 percent of the time. No one in the MLB even has a .50…


Okay, yesterday I didn't journal. And you know what? I ate like a crazy woman. Good thing I don't have a lot of crap in my house, but I didn't need to eat three slices of provolone for a "snack," or six pretzel rods, or a huge serving of a healthful, fiber-filled, homemade bean soup – full of fiber, low in fat, but pretty high in calories. A normal serving would have been enough.

So there you have it. I've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that journaling helps keep you on track.

The other hiccup around here is that I haven't done the 30-Day Shred in two days. I dreamed about doing it last night though (when I slept, I had a rough time staying asleep for some reason). Today's the day to get back on that horse, especially since it's raining and we might not get to walk outside.

As for food, I do better when I Just. Don't. Snack. I didn't grow up eating snacks during the day. We had three meals and sometimes, sometimes, we would have a littl…


The Washington Post reported yesterday that:

A new Gallup poll shows that people living in the 10 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest obesity rates tend not to eat as healthfully or exercise as much as those in the least-obese communitites.

That's news? Who thinks this stuff up? (Note that the WP also misspelled "communities" – I copy/pasted the blurb directly from an e-mail. I coulda been a proofreader!)

I'm continuing to eat healthfully and exercise, thankyouverymuch, and anyway, my city wasn't on the list. Probably because it isn't a "metropolitan" area. And until the Middle of Nowhere can be considered metropolitan, I'm never going to be on that list!

Now that spring has sprung, my husband and I are able to walk outside together. I really slowed us down yesterday after I dropped the piano bench on my left foot. OUCH! I was vacuuming and had the bench tilted at just the right angle for X-treme slippage. My foot is quite swollen, but there…

They're here!

I heard them before I saw them. A new gracenote had been added to the
morning birdsong. I looked carefully at the maple in the front yard
and sure enough, there it was ... a robin!Spring has sprung, people, the grass is riz! If I'd had more energy
last fall, I'd be seeing daffodils straining up through the snow-
covered mud.And speaking of snow, it's beating a fast retreat. It is both
evaporating and melting, and I'm just thankful I don't live in a
floodplain. I have friends whose business is right next to the river,
though, and if we get any kind of rain later this week … oh, I don't
want to think about it.…Daily weigh-ins make me crazy. And depressed. And did I mention crazy?
Journaling hasn't been that big a deal and since my journaling program
also encourages exercise, I've been very good about getting the 30-Day
Shred done. The weather turned from winter to spring literally
overnight on Friday, and I got a couple nice long walks in over …

Friday Quote Day

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas Edison
In spite of the setbacks I've experienced the past month, giving up doesn't cross my mind.

As I wrote earlier this week, what would I do, who would I be, if I weren't trying to lose weight?

Last month I only stepped on the scale a couple of times, and the last time I did (a couple of days before my first-of-the-month official weigh-in) was a gut-check reality slap in the face. I learned in a most decisive way that I need to keep an eye on my weight a leetle more frequently.

If my goal were to enjoy carefree meals, I'd certainly stick with the once-a-month date with the scale. But my goal is to be more comfortable when I move my body. A daily weigh-in which provides information, not judgment, seems to work for me.

And that's what it's all about, right? What works for me might not be the best solution for you. We all have to find our own way.…

Finished sweater ... no pix today

Well, I was going to post a photo of the finished gansey, but I'm so frustrated with the slowness of the internet that I'm giving up. This is the second time I've tried, letting it "rest" for a couple hours hasn't helped a thing.

I'm trying to load a couple of web pages which won't load. I'm trying to send an e-mail which won't send. I'm trying to clear old e-mails off the server, which shouldn't be my job but my ISP can't figure out why they won't automatically clear.

Grrr. Grrr. Grrr.

Thank you, Denise, for saying that two days of journaling is an accomplishment. I could so very easily have blown it off yesterday, as I was gone most of the day and I'm lazy about filling everything in at the end of the day. But your comment spurred me to action!

Now to hit the "publish" button and see if anything happens.

What a surprise!

It's snowing! Again!

Or at least it snowed last night, because the formerly cleared-off driveway is once again … get ready … WHITE!

Clearly, I'm not amused.

Still tracking food. Two days of journaling in a row, wow. I'm awesome.

Did I mention that I finished the little gansey I was working on? I'll try to get a picture to show you, it's very cute. Either the sleeves are too long or the body is too short, it looks out of proportion to me, but either way it's fixable. I'm hoping the sleeves are too long. Since they were knit from shoulder to cuff, it's easier to just unravel from the cuff and reknit it than it would be to cut off the lower edge of the sweater and knit down to add length. I've done both.

Not sure what's in store for today. As usual, the internets are s-l-o-w and the Weather Channel website is graphic-heavy and slow to load, even on a good day. Whatever it is, I'll handle it. Probably by staying indoors.


One day down, 30 to go

Or 300, maybe. Who knows how long I'm going to keep this streak going? Heh.

So I journaled yesterday, every bite, even the ones I shouldn't have eaten. I ended up eating a little more than I would have liked, but certainly not enough to do any damage to someone with a normal metabolism.

Of course we all know that's not me. Ahem.

I use a piece of standalone software called CalorieKing to track my food, and it provides a handy pie chart (mmm, pie) showing a breakdown of fats, carbs and proteins. I ate four times as much carbohydrate as protein and, unfortunately, most of it was of the starchy bread type, rather than the good-for-you vegetable type. It's useful to see your intake charted like that; visual aids are always helpful when planning menus.

I meant to mention that the Aetna check came on Friday. To say I was surprised that it arrived within their timeframe is a complete understatement. February 26 was the last day of their delivery window. It's going straight…

So, how's that workin' for ya?

Um, not so much.

If you'll recall, I decided last December that 2010 would be The Year. The plan was to lose a measly five pounds a month for 10 months to get to a good weight for me. January was so-so – I lost 2.5 pounds, but wasn't discouraged and extended the deadline.

Well, it looks like 2011 might be The Year. Because February sucked, people. SUCKED! M@rla won't be calling me a bitch this month.

Jen's most recent post about body image hit a nerve with me. When it comes down to it, no matter how I feel, it's the number (and you all know the number I'm talkin' about) that provides the feedback, either positive or negative.

Today's the first of the month, my weigh-in day. I decided at the beginning of February to just do my workouts and eat reasonable portions of healthful foods and not get on the scale every day (or, honestly, two or three times a day). And so we're back to the title of this post.

I don't even want to tell you how much I gaine…