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Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It's that creepy time of year again. I made this video five years ago, but it still works. The magic of YouTube. Heh.

The last stats, for now

I didn't make it onto the elliptical after all today. My heel is still quite tender, but after one day of rest there was such a marked improvement that I thought it best to take advantage of the upcoming travel weekend and just give it several consecutive days of rest. (My doctor husband agreed.) Instead of cardio, I did both an upper- and a lower-body strength-training session. Still no core work, though.

Kitten, your thoughts about nutrition are really making me think that the last two days of extremely reduced calories had a lot to do with my falling into bed at 8 o'clock last night. I ate much better today. Total calories were around 1500, lower than the Fat2Fit recommendation, but much higher than Wednesday (1063) and Thursday (1243). I got a lot done today and feel energized enough to watch Game 7 of the World Series.

I got all four 16-ounce cups of water in, and resisted snacking – including the homemade caramel corn I'm taking to my daughter-in-law and granddaughter…

Kinda early for this, IMNSHO!

Friday Quote Day

The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed. Richard B. Sheridan
Well, it's a nice theory, anyway.

Actually the surest way not to fail is to set reasonable, achievable goals. Oh, and lower your expectations. Heh.

I'm doing a little better emotionally this morning. I took a nap yesterday afternoon and I went to bed at 8 p.m., not reading even one screen's worth on the Nook before I went to sleep. I think toddling off to bed right after Jeopardy might officially make me an "old" person.

Let's talk about something else today, something not related to my inability to exercise. (Okay, one thing: My heel pain this morning, after just one day of rest, was reduced significantly, surprisingly so. I thought this heel healing would take weeks, as it did the last time I had plantar fasciitis. Perhaps not.)

Do you ever click on any of the blog links in the sidebar on the lower left side of this page? Did you even know that list was there? I know it's hard to …

Stats, Week 4, Day 4

After I posted this morning I got really discouraged. My actions today certainly didn't meet the level of my intentions. Kitten, your comment gave me a lot to think about, and I really appreciate your in-depth analysis of the nutritional needs of someone who is going through an injury rehab. I especially appreciate yours and Denise's encouragement about doing some kind of core work.

So. Here's how the day started out, all golden and glowy and amazing:

And it was all downhill from there.

I drank only two 16-oz. cups of water.
I did not get on the elliptical.
Today was lower-body strength training, and of course I didn't do any of it.
I ate three meals, supplemented with a Tootsie Pop around 4:30. After I got up from a nap.
I journaled everything I ate. Including the Tootsie Pop.

All in all, I felt (and still feel) very discouraged. I hope this is one of those quickly passing moods, instead of the kind that settle in for, oh, as long as it takes plantar fasciitis to heal…

Bummed. Seriously bummed.

Although I shouldn't be, it's not going to be a great day for outdoor walking anyway. But I really love it and I'm going to miss it and I'm not looking forward to climbing on the elliptical.

Thanks for your supportive comments and good thoughts. Here's a question.

I didn't intentionally skip breakfast to compensate for the reduced activity, it just worked out that way. But since my activity is going to be reduced for a month or so (I hope no longer than that!), should I cut back more on meals?

Russ and Jeff would say no, of course, and I understand their theory. Unfortunately their theory hasn't worked very well for me. I started increasing my caloric intake a year ago, trying to eat at a level which would maintain my ideal weight, and all I did was gain a few more pounds. I'm still not sure their plan works for older lifetime dieters who have, for all intents and purposes, killed their metabolisms.

Denise mentioned doing some core work, and that's s…

Stats, and a change in plans

Water: Almost finished, one more 16-oz. cup to go
Weights: Done
Walk: 1.5 miles in 30 minutes
Meals: Two (lunch and dinner), both journaled

So, not great today, but I don't think I've halted any perceived progress (my husband swears I look thinner, but he's delusional). Unless exercise is more important than eating less. Then, maybe.

And now for the change in plans. The walking will have to be put on hold for a while, as I work on what is, so far, a mild case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot that isn't going away. Daily four-mile walks, especially when you're overweight, don't help PF. I've noticed the pain for about two weeks now, and had hoped for some kind of magic to make it all better.

I've had it before and it will eventually go away, but it takes a while. It also takes rest, ice and stretching. I've been doing stretches before I get out of bed in the morning, which is the only way I can get out of bed in the morning. But I kept thinking …


At dinner last Friday, my granddaughter's friend looked at a little box of treats and I thought I heard her say, "I don't eat anything with a barcode." What she really said was, "All I see is a barcode." But it got all of us thinking. Is there anyone around now who eschews food with a barcode?

I think of our Amish neighbors as self-sustaining, but really? They buy lots of things at retail outlets, and they also have their own retail outlet. While they don't use a scanner to check you out, the products they stock to resell either come packaged with barcodes printed on the label, or they use ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast) from barcoded packages to make their donuts and bread and pies.

I used to be friends with a homesteading couple who purchased very little food, but they still couldn't raise sugar or coffee, olives (for oil) or enough lemons to drink lemonade all summer. They bought bread flour and salad dressing mix, Country Time Lemonade in a bi…


Water: Done
Strength-training: Done
Three meals, no snacks: Done
Journaling: Done
Walking: 4.05 miles in 75 minutes. So, done.

All in all, a very good day.

The ABCs of Food

I totally stole this from D, who stole it from Karen. But really, we're all nice people and we don't steal, we share, right? Anyway … here goes:

A is for Apple. What's your favorite variety?

B is for Bread. Regardless of nutrition, calories or whole grains, what is your favorite type to have a nice big piece of?

C is for Cereal. What is your favorite?
Homemade granola.

D is for donuts. You might not currently be eating them, but what kind of you fancy?
Anything cream-filled.

E is for Eggs. How would you like yours prepared?
Either an omelette or deviled.

F is for Fat-Free. What's your favorite fat-free product?
I pay no attention to whether an item is fat-free or not. Been there, done that.

G is for Groceries. Where do you purchase yours?
Kroger, Sam's Club, the Amish market down the road.

H is for Hot Beverages. What is your favorite hot drink?
Coffee. Black. Hazelnut flavored.

I is for Ice Cream. Pick a favorite flavor and add a fun topping.
Vanilla (…

Stats, Week 4, Day 1

Four miles in 79 minutes. 4.05, actually. Beautiful day for a walk!Three meals, no one snack. I don't know what came over me, but about 3:30 I was wandering around the kitchen, opening the pantry and refrigerator looking for something. I ended up eating a plain whole-wheat soft flour tortilla. The no-snack rule didn't even enter my mind. Grrr.Upper-body strength training. Ouch! 15 reps of five moves, plus the wall push-ups. Thought it best to stick with 15 instead of increasing again this week. I think my next increase will be to go to two sets of 10.Four 16-ounce cups of water.Journaled everything at FatSecret. Including the tortilla. I had a great salad for lunch today. I mixed a head of torn romaine with some onions, bread-and-butter pickles, a tomato and 2 oz. of farmer's cheese, and dressed it with olive oil and rosemary/garlic vinegar. The sweetness of the pickles made it a most delicious salad!

Oh, and I completely forgot it was Food Day until I saw lots of tweets a…

Happy Food Day!

We'll be eating chili made with grass-fed beef, cooked dried beans (black and red) and homegrown canned tomatoes. And cornbread. And butter made from real cow's milk, with homegrown garlic blended in it. No need for dessert!

What's for dinner at your house on this National Food Day?

(Yes, I see the irony of celebrating Food Day after my earlier post. But it's real food. And I'm nearly finioshed with the third of my four miles; I've been planning dinner while I'm walking. It's all good!)

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

Home again, for the moment

Well, last week's travel took its toll. I did well on drive day and for the first three days I was gone. I didn't completely fall off the wagon, but the only goal I was able to maintain all week long was the no-snacking one. I didn't even have time to blog, which reinforced the accountability aspect of this experiment. It wasn't that I went crazy and ate stupid stuff. But I definitely slacked off on the days I didn't blog, in all areas but snacking.

The walks got shorter as the week went by. My grandson and I took four-mile walks Monday through Thursday. We went 2.75 miles Friday, promising each other we'd make up the difference later in the day but it never happened. And Saturday we only did 2.25 miles, but I was leaving that day and needed to get on the road.

He joined me in the no-snacks-between-meals zone, and we agreed that on the days he had Tae Kwon Do he could have a piece of fruit or a yogurt before his class, which lasts 90 minutes. He really needs a …

Friday Quote Day

It's not about how fast you go. It's not about how far you go. It's a process. ~ Amby Burfoot
Ain't that the truth?

What a very busy week it's been here. The weather has been crappy to lovely and everything in between, and I've been able to keep up with the walks every day. Ditto the strength training (no one is more surprised than I am about that!) and making this a snack-free zone.

I'm having trouble journaling my food and, surprisingly, drinking as much water. I'm here (at my daughter's) on a mission and am busy, busy, busy. I should be jotting the meals down on paper and entering them online when I have time to get online (which isn't often), but I just haven't been doing it. I drink water when I think about it, but it appears to be easier to drink more water when one sits on one's butt in front of a monitor than when one is, um, busy.

Oh, well. As the young folk say, 'it is what it is.'

I still feel good about the process almos…

Still on plan ... (stats)

Much more difficult to control what and when I get things done, but I've managed to stick pretty close to my goals, even doing plié squats with my granddaughter (who is a dancer) until I lost count. She made me do them in both second and fifth position. Fifth position might actually be more beneficial for the hip pain I've been having. At the same time, it's awkward and I need to balance myself by holding onto a counter or wall.

Getting old sucks!

Drank water all day yesterday.
Did lower-body squats, lunges and also did wall push-ups (15 each).
Journaled my food, no snacks.
Walked four miles with my grandson in the early morning, it took us 77 minutes. Not bad!

We're off to walk again, hope y'all have a great day!

Stats. And THANKS!

Well, today was not perfect, but it came awfully darned close.

First, though, thanks for the many comments. Y'all are awesome! I'm pretty sure six pounds in one (or even two) weeks is a fluke, but it looked great this morning and I'm very motivated to continue working on these new habits.

So here's how it went down on travel day.

I ended up walking for about an hour total, 25 minutes at one rest stop, 20 at another and 15 much later in the day, after I arrived. At my normal 3 mph pace, that's only three miles. But I'll give myself credit for making the effort, because normally I would totally blow off walking on a day when I have to drive for seven hours.

I increased the upper-body reps to 15 this week. Same moves – tricep kickbacks, front raises, front laterals, curls. I lost count doing the wall push-ups, but I'm sure I did more than 15.

I drank a ton of water today. Way more than I thought I would. Way more than I do at home, actually.


Well. Well, well, well. Should this morning's scale number be divided between two weeks, or did all of it happen this past week? It's an easy number to divide, and I've been consistent for two weeks, so it should probably be split, doncha think?

That means I lost three pounds for each of the last two weeks. SIX pounds total. Excuse me, I mean
SIX!!!!!! I'm going to do everything I can to stay on track while I'm gone this week. There's little more I can promise. I'm really motivated to keep it up. The dumbbells are packed (and my luggage weighs a ton!), I'm taking a thermos of water in the car and I know where are the rest stops are between here and Nashville. I think I'll walk a bit at each of them, then walk again when I arrive at my destination. Hope to get a total of 80 minutes done by the end of the day. SIX!!!!!!

Stats, Week 2, Day 7

Yay! This is the last day you have to suffer through every bite that passed my lips. Good thing, too, because I'm going to be out of town beginning tomorrow and will have less time to log it twice. Logging it once at FatSecret is enough!

Today was a rough one. Our little town has a railroad festival two weekends in October every year. This was the first weekend of the event, and I volunteered my time at the Democratic women's booth selling bumper stickers. My husband's childhood friend grew up to be a jazz drummer and he came home to entertain at the festival. (He also was inducted into West Virginia's Music Hall of Fame this weekend, one of those hometown boys makes good things that makes the whole town proud.)

I walked from 7:20 to 8:30, and if you're one of my Facebook friends you got to see the sunrise with me. It really was lovely. By 10 a.m. we were downtown and the rest of the day was not my own. You'd think with festival food that I'd be reporting a…

Stats, plus a strength-training "duh"

The boring stuff first.

Walked five miles in 98 minutes
Drank a gallon of water and then some more
Upper-body strength training, plus 12 wall push-ups
No snacks. Today's food consisted of:

The usual yogurt/fruit/granola combo for breakfast.
Leftover lasagna, salad and pumpkin pie for lunch. (I didn't know which bite to eat last. Do any of you save the best flavor for last? Especially when there won't be any more of it until you make it again?)
Chicken sausage, white bean and kale soup, with one slice of whole-wheat bread for dinner. (This soup is one of our favorites, let me know if you'd like the recipe.)

And the "duh" is that I've been using the same dumbbells for upper-body work for 13 days and only today did I notice they were EIGHT-pound weights, not five-pounders, as I've been reporting.

Maybe I'm a badass after all. Heh.

Stats, Week 2, Day 5

Here we go ...

Walked 4 miles in 80 minutes, no jogging at all. Fought the wind the whole way, no matter which direction I was going.
Lower-body strength-training, plus 12 wall push-ups
64+ ounces of water
No snacks. I have a bowl of candy corn on an end table, so I had some with my lunch. Here's what I ate today:

9:00 a.m.
1/2 cup yogurt
1 medium banana
1/4 cup granola

1:30 p.m.
3.5 oz. boneless roast chicken
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup edamame
1 oz. candy corn

6:30 p.m.
1 4-inch square lasagna with meat and zucchini
Mixed green salad with onions, orange, walnuts, olive oil/red wine vinegar dressing
1 small slice garlic bread
1/8 of a pumpkin pie

We had company for dinner. I don't usually eat so much at the evening meal. But … today's total was still less than 1700 calories. I'm averaging about 1250 calories per day this week, thanks to a light day Tuesday.

Friday Quote Day

Your life does not get better by chance,
it gets better by change.
~ Jim Rohn

Gonna change my way of thinking Make myself a different set of rules Gonna change my way of thinking Make myself a different set of rules Gonna put my good foot forward And stop being influenced by fools ~ Bob Dylan
(This ended up being kind of long. Apologies in advance.)

A Friday Quote twofer this week! Because the first quote is the essence of what I want to say, but how could I miss the perfect opportunity to throw in a Dylan lyric while I'm at it? Heh.

Years ago, I blamed my bad luck on everything that was wrong in my life: a husband who was, shall we say, nipping at the heels of insanity; my girth, of course; my children's distance from me, both physically and emotionally; my lack of money, lack of opportunity, lack of hope.

The common denominator in all the unfortunate circumstances of my sad little life was … me. Until I could accept the fact that I was the one who made those choices, pushed people aw…

Stats, Week 2, Day 4

I rocked the walk today.

4 miles in 61 minutes. Want proof?

Also …
Water: 64 ounces (and then some)
Strength-training: 12 each of the upper-body stuff, plus 12 wall push-ups
Snacks? Nada. Nil. Zip. Zilch.

Here's what I ate today.

8:00 a.m.
2 oz granola

2 Tblsp Peach Preserves
4 oz yogurt

1 large apple
2 oz. colby jack cheese
4 dill pickle spears (pickles count as a vegetable, right?)
10 saltines

5:30 p.m.
5 oz chicken breast
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup edamame
1/2 large potato
2 Tblsp. salsa

Moving right along

Thanks for your comment, Mindy, it was just what I needed to read to stay on track yesterday. I was beginning to hit the slippery slope of habit-making, so getting an attagirl – and knowing that what I'm doing is inspiring you – kept me on the beam.

I wrote a fairly long, somewhat coherent post on August 1, that was sort of a manifesto for doing what I need to do to lose some of this weight. I then proceeded to blow August and September off like a bad date.

My apologies to the late summer months.

My five missions (the link takes you to the post where I declared the original four, I've since added journaling), which I committed to last week, are working well. Okay, maybe not well, since I haven't technically lost any weight, but I'm noticing changes in my attitude, if not my waistline. (And, weirdly, my wedding ring is so loose it keeps twisting around so the blingy part is on the palm side of my hand. Progress? Who knows?)

I make time for a walk every day. It's impo…

Stats, Week 2, Day 3

Forward lunges, chair squats, plié squats, wall push-ups - 12 of each
64+ ounces of water
4 miles in 76 minutes.

Three meals (total 1223 calories): 
8 a.m. 1/2 cup yogurt, plain, full-fat1 Tblsp. apple jelly1/4 cup granola12:30 p.m.
4 ounces cooked spaghetti squash2 ounces smoked Gouda1 Asian pear5:30 p.m. 
1 pork chop with basil sauce1/2 cup mashed potatoes1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (cauli, broc, carrots)1 peanut butter brownieI can't believe I'm married to someone who is 68 today. He loves the peanut butter-and-chocolate combination, and I'm not going to refuse it today. Ask me again tomorrow. Yesterday's calories were waaaaay low, and today's – even with the brownie – come in at right around 1200.

Today will be a bit of a challenge

But nothing like yesterday. It's raining today, so I might have to use the elliptical instead of walking outdoors. Everything else is manageable, just as it was yesterday. Amazing how things work when you have both priorities and accountability. Thanks to both of you for being my conscience!

Ta da! Here's the bridal gown. The photo, of course, doesn't do it justice. You can barely see the layers of tulle overskirt. But I had to get it to the post office by 2 p.m. in order for it to begin its trip south yesterday, and I wanted to walk to the post office. Thus, the crappy photo.

Can you believe I wanted to walk?

I started sewing at about 6:15 a.m. and took this photo at 1:23 p.m. I then carefully wrapped it stuffed it in a Priority box, changed shoes, grabbed the Garmin and started walking. Fast. The post office is eight-tenths of a mile from our house. I made it with plenty of time to spare.

The veil was supposed to be a couple layers of gathered tulle glued to a purchased,…


Wasn't sure I could pull this off today. Upper body weight-training, 12 reps with 5-lb. dumbbells: bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, front raises, lateral raises, side bends, plus 12 wall push-ups64 ounces water5.5 miles in 107 minutesI've journaled all my food. Didn't eat nearly enough today, but I was busy ... and will be busy tonight, as well.Two meals, one snack                9:30 a.m.: Yogurt, apple jelly, granola
               3:30 p.m.: Apple, 1 Tblsp peanut butter                5:00 p.m.: Curried lentil and black-bean soup, oyster crackers 
That is all ...


I'm walking to the post office with a miniature bridal gown and veil boxed and ready to mail. Has to be there by 2. Just under the wire. Had to skip lunch, though. I think an apple and peanut butter will be sufficient once I get back home.

I can't believe I pulled this off. Heh.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

The plans they are a changin'

No, not the four five daily missions (water, weights, walk, no snacks, food journal). I thought I had at least another week to make and ship my younger granddaughter's Halloween costume. She's going to be a bride. The pieces are all cut out and ready to go, but I haven't started sewing yet.

The phone rang last night. It was my son, the father of the bride. Their neighborhood Halloween parade is this Saturday. That's more than two weeks before Trick or Treat! The local crafty mamas already knew that, of course, but Grandma in the Middle of Nowhere didn't have a clue.

So. As soon as I hit 'publish' on this post, I'm headed to the sewing machine.

I will take breaks for breakfast and lunch and walk the package to the post office when I'm done. I might be hoisting dumbbells after dinner today. And I hope I don't have Alzheimer's, because the food journaling will also be an end-of-the-day activity. Fortunately it doesn't take any extra time or…

Stats, Week 2, Day 1

Forward lunges, chair squats, plié squats, wall push-ups - 12 of each
          I'm bumping these up by two this week, and will also be bumping up 
          the upper body reps.
64+ ounces of water
4 miles in 71 minutes.

Three meals (total 1223 calories): 
8 a.m. 1/2 cup yogurt, plain, full-fat1 Tblsp. apple jelly1/4 cup granola12:30 p.m.
2 oz. whole wheat bread1 Tblsp. almond butter1 Tblsp. apple jelly2 dill pickle spears1 apple5:30 p.m. 
1 cup spaghetti1 cup marinara sauce with meat1 cup green beans1/2 cup light vanilla ice creamI'm going to list everything I eat this week, so this Stats report is going to get really boring. For you and for me, because I'm logging everything over at FatSecret, as well. But I'm only going to bore us to tears for one week. If you see anything that looks cra-zee, please jump right in and say so!

As I look at this list of food, the ice cream, apple, almonds (for the almond butter and granola), raisins+oats (for the granola) and pasta were purchas…

How's that working for you?

I don't watch Dr. Phil (is he even on television any more?), but I used to catch the program occasionally, and it didn't take long to figure out that his five most important words were these:

How's that working for you?
This week I have: Downed more than 7 gallons of water. A gallon a day is my minimum and I've been managing it really well. I find room-temperature water goes down more easily than cold, so I keep the pitcher on the counter or just drink tap water. I start early in the morning and, in fact, have a tall glass (16 oz.) before I have my first cup of coffee. Drinking so much water so early in the day was, um, problematic earlier in the week, because I also like to walk early in the day. You figure it out. Heh. But my system has adapted already. So. Water? Check. Eaten 19 healthful, home-cooked meals – 5 breakfasts, 2 brunches, 5 lunches, 7 dinners – and one snack. There were a couple days where breakfast turned into brunch, and on one of those days I really nee…


One week down. I'll do a more thorough wrap-up in the morning. Upper body weight-training with 5-lb. dumbbells, plus 10 tricep dips and 10 wall push-ups64 ounces waterThree meals, no snacksFour miles in 73 minutes I had such a fun walk this morning. My granddaughter was messaging me on Facebook while I was walking, and the time seemed to fly by!


Forward lunges, chair squats, plié squats, wall push-ups - 10 of each64+ ounces of waterThree meals, no snacks5 miles in 93 minutes.
The first 2.5 miles I walked carrying an empty shopping bag. I bought two dozen eggs at the Amish market, so was carrying about three extra pounds as I headed back home. A little more than a mile from home I stopped to chat with a neighbor who was cleaning up his garden. I added another sevenpounds of tomatoes to my bag, making that last mile just a teensy bit harder!

Football and knitting (almost done with the first half of Jujuba) the rest of the day. And no snacks!
I know it's not officially election season, but apparently Shape magazine doesn't. They want you to vote for your favorite weight-loss blogger, and one of my faves has been nominated. Click here to vote. Thanks! And congratulations on your nomination, Shauna!


10 of each, with 5-lb dumbbells:
Bicep curlsFront raisesSide bendsOverheads 5 tricep kickbacks, 5 tricep dips
10 wall push-ups

5 miles in 95 minutes.

Three meals, no snacks (breakfast at 8 works much better than brunch at 11)

64+ ounces water

PLUS: I loaded and unloaded a 17 cu. ft. trailer with horse manure. Twice. The south end of the garden should be in pretty good shape next spring.

Denise, thanks for your comment earlier today. I read it out loud to my husband when we were walking. You made my day! And Kitten, you're the best. Thanks for all the attagirls you've given me all week. Don't feel obligated to keep it up, but do know that I appreciate it!

Friday Quote Day

The impossible can always be broken down into possibilities. ~ Author Unknown
What a week. I'm busy all day long, every day, and it seems like something needs attention every time I turn around. I don't even have a written-out to-do list, I just know that when one thing gets done, something else is right behind it.

I didn't used to feel like this. There was a time when I would plop down on the couch with a book or a magazine and read – guilt-free – all afternoon. I'm not sure when things changed, or why. I still read, but now it's only a couple pages right before I go to sleep. I have three months' worth of magazines to go through and quite a collection of books on the Nook, all waiting for their fifteen minutes at the end of the day.

My plan to drink more water, cut out snacks, start a strength-training program and take a daily four-mile walk has worked out well so far, and the accountability part of it – the daily Stats post – has been very helpful. I'm sur…


Forward lunges, chair squats, plié squats (my fav), wall push-ups - 10 of each
64+ ounces of water
Two meals - late breakfast, early dinner (not a good idea, I do much better with three meals)
4 miles in 84 minutes. Waaaaaay slow today.

I wrestled with the garden tiller today, which is a workout in itself, and planted two kinds of garlic, one to braid and a hardneck variety (German Extra Hardy) which does very well in my neck of the woods, but you have to store it in bags. After that I trimmed some bushes and then I went for my walk. It was about 2 p.m. and pretty warm when I left, and I was so tired from all the gardening. I just decided to plod along and get it done and not think about how hot and tired and grumpy I was.

This accountability thing is working. I don't mind reporting that I was really slow, but I didn't want to report that I wimped out completely.

The crazy ones

Sooooo many good things to share about Steve Jobs. I guess I'll put up what I find as I find it, because I don't want to forget it.


I moved from Wilmington, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio, in the late '70s or very early '80s, and never went back to Wilmington to live after that. I moved around central Ohio several times, divorcing the husband I moved there with, marrying someone else and then, eventually, divorcing him. At the time that marriage ended I was working for a newly formed subsidiary of the Columbus Dispatch called ThisWeek Newspapers. I was an advertising designer and we were launching a new product, a series of suburban tabloids. Delaware ThisWeek was the first.

We could profitably create these newspapers because of desktop publishing and Apple Macintosh computers. Prior to these machines coming on the market, type was set on a huge, clunky machine that spit words out on long, narrow pieces of special paper that could be waxed and pasted down onto a flat. If you needed a form of any kind, you drew the lines with a pen and ink. Ads were framed by hand-drawn boxes.

Desktop publishing changed the way we…

Pick one

A bonus post, in the form of an illustrated story …

A while back, at the entrance to a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman.

The caption read: "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.

They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?

They would have no sex life and could not bear children.


10 of each, with 5-lb dumbbells:
Bicep curlsFront raisesSide bendsOverheads 10 tricep dips (killer, and I'm not telling you how much the dumbbell weighs, heh)
10 wall push-ups

4 miles in 71 minutes. Did the 4th mile in 16:59 ... all walking. Very warm today.

Two meals, one snack (brunch at 11 - breakfast kinda got away from me today, snack at 3, dinner at 6)

64+ ounces water

It's the silly season

I live in West Virginia, a state which is regularly stereotyped as home to rednecks, shanties, moonshine and coalfields. Even the West Virginia University mascot – the Mountaineer – fits the image: dressed in head-to-toe leather, sporting a coonskin cap and toting a rifle. Or a shotgun. I don't know the difference.

The image is certainly accurate, otherwise it wouldn't be so popular. (What's your first thought when you hear about West Virginia?) And never are they more accurate than now, during the hunting silly season.

Squirrel season began last month. Bow season for deer started a few days ago. Hunting is such a popular activity in West Virginia that schools are closed, many of them for the entire first week of the season, but some for just a couple of days. This is so bus drivers can go hunting, of course. <snort>

As both of you know, I walk on my road almost every day. (A shout-out to the Kitten for being my best cheerleader!) As you probably don't know, it …


3 meals, no snacks
64+ ounces of water (already! at 2 p.m.!)
Forward lunges, plié squats, chair pose squat, wall push-ups (10 of each)
4 miles in 71 minutes. Boo-yah!

I'm using parts of two workouts from Women'sHealth for lower-body moves. They're not difficult (and, perhaps, not very effective), but while I'm easing my way into a regular routine, it's a good place to start. I'm not even doing every suggested move, obviously.

Baby steps.

A killer day

I live in the Middle of Nowhere, so when I shop, I have to drive a ways to get to a store. And when I really shop, I drive farther and take care of several errands at once. This saves gas, time, and wear and tear on the car.

It does not, however, save wear and tear on me.

Yesterday was one of those big shopping days. I walked four miles early in the morning, played with the dumbbells, drank a lot of water (bad idea when you're traveling, but hey, I managed), got organized and left the house around 11:30 a.m. Which was an hour later than I'd hoped to leave. With all the chores on my list yesterday I didn't think I'd make it home until dark.

Here's what the day looked like:

Lowe's for a roll of fencing for the blackberriesLocal mall to see if my black Clark clogs could be repaired. The couldn't. Had to buy new black Clark clogs. Grrr.K-Mart to check the price on sheer curtains, which I would buy if they were less expensive per yard than tulle.JoAnn's for f…


4 miles in 73 minutes
64 oz. water
Biceps, triceps, overhead lifts, front lifts, side bends, pushups – 10 of each. Curls and lifts were 5 lbs.
Three meals, no snacks

In my mind, I see a photograph of me with my daughter, my granddaughter and an imaginary great-grandchild. I'm lucky to have a four-generation photo of my dad, myself, my son and his daughter, but to repeat that with me at the top, I'm going to need to keep up with those four to-dos at the top of this post.

I hope you don't mind if I use this space to record this. At various times I've used FatSecret, SparkPeople, Weight Watchers Online and Calorie King to keep track of intentional activity. In order to do something different and to be accountable to someone other than myself (that would be both of you), I'm going to try this for the next four weeks.

But I'll always call the post "Stats," so if you're not interested you can skip it.

True confessions ...

Wow, my true-confessions post last Friday sure elicited a lot of comments. (We bloggers love comments, so thank you, thank you, thank you!)

I love that I'm not alone. I know I'm not alone, I've been reading blogs long enough to know that lots of us have food issues. But it's nice to hear what trips you up, too, and it's wonderful to not feel judged.

Of the four actions I listed – continue the almost-daily walking, drink more water, stop snacking, lift weights – you can probably guess the one I haven't started doing yet. Not only am I too lazy to lift a dumbbell, I'm too lazy to go outside to the garage and up the stairs to fetch the dumbbells and put them in the house, where they'll be in sight and available.

This weight-training mental block is bigger than my pants size. The last time I lost a significant amount of lard, dumbbells and barbells and push-ups helped me break through a plateau. It was dramatic, and very noticeable.

If I know it makes a pos…