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Showing posts from January, 2013

January 31 - Yourself

And this is a little disturbing

Considering how much weight-loss advice is out there, and has been out there, the fact that "researchers" are "debunking" several weight-loss "myths" is no big surprise. Nothing new. Weight-loss advice is tossed about like a Frisbee in spring. We try it, it works or it doesn't, we try something else. Eventually we find (or, sometimes, we don't) a manageable plan that fits with our lifestyle and helps us achieve our goals.

I'm still looking. Heh.

I don't watch the news, but my husband mentioned that NBC has been airing some little weight-loss tidbits this week. So I went looking for some snippets and here's one I found, from the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine.

The problem with articles like this is that they tell you what doesn't work, without suggesting what does. This one is different. Dr. David Allison of the University of Alabama at Birmingham led the study and concluded:
So what does work? Drugs do, to an extent, says …

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!

So there were five – count 'em – FIVE ! weather warnings on my phone when I woke up this morning. Bob Dylan famously sang, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." And he was right: All you had to do was listen.

The sound of the wind is what woke me up. I perhaps have a little post-traumatic stress disorder after going through a derecho last summer. I didn't even know it was called a derecho when I wrote that post. And we're not having another one now, just strong winds from the west, with gusts up to 55 mph. But listening to it is … unsettling.

The weather throughout the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states has been and continues to be dangerous. Tornadoes wreaked havoc in Georgia yesterday – are my Georgia friends okay?

In addition to the Wind Advisory, we are under three four Flood Warnings (another one just popped up) and a Winter Weather Advisory. The lovely Greenbrier River, the one I walked and jogged along yesterday afternoon, i…

January 30 - Down

See that second word up there?

My husband was walking on our road and didn't need the car – being a one-car family takes a little strategizing sometimes – so I drove it to a two-mile stretch of flat road along a river for my walk yesterday afternoon. And then something CRA-ZEE got into me and I decided to run.
Well, jog. I don't know what tips the scale between jogging and running, but I know I wasn't going as fast as I would have if, say, a bear were chasing me.
After about five minutes of walking, I began alternating 30-second jogs with 90-seconds of fast walking. Then I lengthened the jogs and reduced the walks to 60 seconds each. Then I got tired of checking how many seconds I'd done on my phone, and just winged it.
At the turnaround, I decided to run jog until I needed to rest, at which time I would walk as fast as I could until I felt I could run again. I was able to keep the faster pace up for about five minutes at one point.
My customary four-mile time lately as been about 90 minutes. I…

January 29 - Grow

In the interest of driveability ...

I managed to avoid another deer strike yesterday on my way to town. I thought it best not to wreck our remaining mode of transportation. There were three of them this time and they were CRAZY! First they darted onto the road, then back onto the grassy slope from whence they came, then they did some weird deer dance before they retreated.

I watched the dance from the rear-view mirror, having safely made it past them.

The state of West Virginia increased the hunting limit last deer season, but they could certainly raise the antlerless limit again, if the number of deer still roaming the landscape is any indication.

(And you thought I was one of those "ban all the guns" types. Not at all … BUT! You don't need a war machine to kill a deer. Do you? DO YOU?)

You are more likely to hit a deer with a vehicle in West Virginia – your chances are 1 in 40 – than in any other of these United States. Best place to avoid them? Hawaii. Deer migrate from October through December, increa…

January 28 - Through

Be careful what you wish for

Today's post has absolutely nothing to do with fitness or weight loss or counting calories. Well, at least starting out it doesn't, who knows where I'm going to end up?

I'm electing to begin receiving my Social Security benefits in May, when I will turn 62 and before the GOP does anything to destroy them. Heh. I mentioned to my husband on Saturday that we might want to think about replacing my car at some point, since we'll have a little extra income.

You guys are SO SMART. You know exactly where this is going, don't you? He decided to take my car – the one in the garage with the all-wheel drive and no snow on the windshield – to church yesterday morning, since there were snowy and ice patches on the roads. Less than five miles from home, he hit a deer. Head-on.

He's fine, not a scratch, THANK YOU GOD. The airbags didn't even deploy. The deer is quite dead, however, and so, we think, is the car. We'll find out today if it can be repaired, but it has…

January 27 - Sun

In the still of the morning

The wolf moon has just slipped behind the mountain to the west. The sun is slowly creeping up behind the mountain to the east. The sky looks soft, dewy, impressionistic, all the colors blurred and blended. Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the days.

The heat pump is humming and the coffeemaker is gurgling. It's a lovely, quiet beginning to the day. I'm grateful for electricity on cold mornings like this.

A warming trend is on the way, however. Today's expected high temperature will be double that of yesterday's, in the low 40s. Finally, an opportunity to walk outdoors again. I've missed it a lot, which indicates that I am enjoying moving more, despite the disappointment of Friday's scale result. Tomorrow and Tuesday will also be warm – unseasonably so for southern West Virginia – and I plan to take advantage of them outside, either along the creek or on my mountain.

The elliptical is a fine machine and provides an efficient workout. But I'd much rather have bl…

January 26 - Together

There's got to be a morning after (how's THAT for drama?)

Wow. Thanks for talking me down from the ledge, y'all. I was madly, truly, deeply discouraged yesterday, I don't think that was any big secret. I spent the day alternately moping and cursing (but not overeating!). I didn't leave the house (and if you're a regular around here, you know I have to leave the house to work out), but I'm okay with an extra rest day this week.
Not that I deserved it or anything.

And I had no trouble eating all my calories yesterday. In fact, I had 13 to spare! My name is Debbi, and I'm an emotional eater.

Okay, enough of that. Well, maybe not. Here's what I learned:
WEIGHT LOSS MATTERS Despite my lofty words about hitting the daily calorie target and meeting my exercise goals, it appears I've been holding my breath since Christmas, waiting for this first weigh-in, hoping for success. And, yes, it's true that two pounds is better than no pounds, but man was I ever devastated.

In the whole scheme of things, though, it's …

January 25 - Landscape

Looking for the positive spin

Two pounds.

In the past four weeks I've created a 15,685 calorie deficit, by eating 7786 fewer calories than my target goal and accumulating 7899 exercise calories. If you divide 15,685 by 3500 (the number of calories you need to burn to lose a pound), I should have lost 4.48 pounds. My scale only weighs whole numbers; I would have been happy with four.

I got two.

My calculations are probably wrong, since I was in art class when I should have been in math. LoseIt! tells me I should have lost a pound a week eating 1598 calories a day, with no deficit. So maybe with my additional effort I should have lost eight pounds? All I know is …

I got two.

Two's better than zero, right? I could still reach my weight-loss goal before New Year's Eve. Barely. And the greater goal was the one where I stuck to the plan and exercised regularly, right? I did that. But I gotta tell you, at the end of the day, even though I felt good about following through and DWISIWD*, I've been waiting for…

Another January 24 - Stripes

January 24 - Stripes

Lightening the load

First, I guess I'm a little more OCD than I thought I was if I could use the word "fail" and "100 calories over the target" in the same post. That's not a fail (thank you, Jen), and it was made even more clear to me when I looked at each week's stats and saw that I was well under the target goal for each of the previous weeks. Let's just say I REALLY confused my metabolism by having two consecutive rest days AND a couple extra calories. (I'm referring to calorie cycling here.)

I haven't mentioned the ongoing declutterification project lately. The inspiration for today's post goes to Pinterest, where I found and pinned the image you see on the left. A little bit of thinking about what I've done so far assures me that there is much more to do. But I'm making progress.

I have emptied and organized six of the seven dresser drawers. The untouched seventh drawer contains non-clothing items – mostly costume jewelry – and I don't fee…

January 23 - Electric

First fail came on 28th day

I've been doing really well with my health-and-fitness plans. In case you're new here (welcome!), I weighed myself on Christmas Day, saw a shocking number, decided that was IT and pretended December 26 was January 1.

I'm using the LoseIt! app on my phone and computer to track all my food and exercise. In setting up my goals, the program suggests I need to eat approximately 1600 calories daily to lose a pound a week.

I'm using Daily Mile to keep track of my mileage, beginning January 1 (not December 26).

I'm weighing myself on the 25th of every month.

The larger goal is to stay within the calorie limits and follow my exercise plan (six days of cardio, two days of yoga, two days of weight training each week). The incidental and hoped-for goal is to lose 50 pounds by December of this year.

Mondays are "free" days – a day I can indulge a little with food, rest from workouts and am not required to keep track of either (although I do).

Yesterday – just three da…

January 22 - Corner

We. The People.

I loved how he said it, repeated it, emphasized it.

WE – pause – the people.

Working together, we can make the American dream come true. Playing party politics won't – can't – accomplish that. The 112th Congress accomplished less than any previous Congress in our history. This outgoing body passed fewer laws than any in our history. Which is probably a good thing, since the legislation introduced by its members restricted freedoms for women, minorities, voters.

Those crying for freedom to carry guns sure don't care that they also want to restrict any and/or all of the remaining ones. I'm just sayin'.

Ah, but yesterday was a good day, a hopeful day. A day to put all that aside and feel buoyed up by pomp and circumstance and music and speeches and toasts and little girls and prayers and an amazing First Lady. And an equally amazing President.

I'm sappy and sentimental about my President. Especially on Inauguration Day. Four more years.

Bring it on.

January 21 - What You Do

Abraham, Martin, John … and Barack!

A President's second inauguration seems less exciting, none more than today's. The thrill of seeing America's first African-American President take the oath was immense, amazing, historic. And while all inaugurations are historic, the one four years ago was truly one for the ages.
Today is a little more low-key. We had a big party last year. My dad had a pacemaker put in on Inauguration Day in 2009. And now he's gone more than two years. He would have loved this election cycle and this inauguration. He loved politics, all his life. And he loved the Obamas, especially Michelle.
This year we've invited just one other couple to watch the festivities (and share lunch!) with us. Because you know I'm not having any kind of celebration, large or small, without food. Quiche and fruit salad, with banana-nut bread and these chocolate-crinkle cookies.
Enjoy your day. Own it. Seize it.

January 20 - Something You Saw

What do you get when the snow melts?

Well, if the temperatures are low enough and/or the snowmelt is in the shade, you get ice, of course. Black ice. The kind you don't notice, especially on a blacktopped surface.

You know where this is going, don't you?

My husband and I set off for a walk yesterday and didn't even make it to the end of the driveway before I slipped and fell. I'm not badly hurt, just sore and stiff. And I continued the walk, cutting what I'd hoped would be a three-miler into two. I found a good, long, sturdy tree branch to use as a walking stick, and that helped quite a bit.

Sucks to get old, people.

My arthritic right hip bothers me quite a bit anyway, so of course I fell on my right side. Hip, hand, elbow and shoulder all hit hard. And OF COURSE one of our neighbors happened to be driving by as my husband was helping me up. Nothing worse than having witnesses when you fall on your ass.

We'd planned to go see Lincoln yesterday afternoon, and I felt good enough to not change those…

January 19 - Delicious

All you need …

January 18 - Shadow

Feedback. And feeding.

Thank you all, ever so much, for your comments yesterday. I began writing a response this morning and I just couldn't do it. I appreciate all of you taking the time to share your feelings. I think the liability insurance idea is a very good one, and law-abiding gun owners shouldn't flinch at acquiring it.

Wouldn't it be awesome if we implemented a single-payer health care system here in the U.S. and morphed all the health insurance products into firearm insurance products? Wow, there's a pipe dream if I ever had one.

I'm just so disheartened about this topic, and the crazy way Republicans and the NRA are defending their precious Second Amendment rights. If you want an automatic weapon or a high-capacity clip, then join the fucking army. Isn't that what a well-regulated militia is? It certainly isn't the guy that sets his target up across the road I walk on, and then fires away.

But enough about that.

The lemon squares were … not quite awesome. Cooking Light

January 17 - Ready, Part 2

January 17 - Ready

The gun thing. Again.

I haven't seen the NRA's ad regarding the President's daughters' Secret Service protection. I won't see it. I think the NRA stinks to high heaven, and I'm not the only one. The commentary about the NRA's ad is enough for me, and I don't think I'm burying my head in the sand about it by not listening to or watching it. Maybe I am, but I don't think so.

The following sentences sum it up for me, and I felt this way prior to the launch of their commercial:
"The NRA doesn’t give a shit about your kids. They don’t care about keeping Americans safe and despite what they say, they don’t really care about protecting the rights of gun owners. They care about protecting gun manufacturers. End of fucking file."That paragraph came from Isobel at What a Witch. Isobel is radical and outspoken. She rants more than writes, and sometimes I can't make it through an entire post. She's wordy. She's also intelligent and thought-provoking. I'm …

January 16 - Two things

Weather and TBL and lemons, oh my

Wow. Southern West Virginia is now under a flood watch and a winter storm watch. I couldn't stand the idea of an indoor workout yesterday and opted to walk three miles in the rain. To be fair, it was j-u-s-t b-a-r-e-l-y sprinkling when I started out, but it was a full-on rain after the first mile or so.

No biggie. All I got was wetter, the longer I walked. Popped my jacket in the clothes dryer at the end, and got on with the rest of my day.

The dentist appointment was okay. My "appliance" needs a tune-up, already, and I will therefore have to go without it for a week, beginning next week. I promised I would be at church this Sunday. I'm not able to hide my mouth behind my hand at church, especially when the guest minister that day will be the chaplain who also officiated at the blessing ceremony my husband and I had after our Vegas wedding.

My husband says I look fitter, three weeks into this food-and-activity makeover. He's absolutely positive I've lost some…

January 15 - Ordinary moment

The antepenultimate day

When I get home from a trip I'm all revved up and peppy the day after, glad to be home, excited about getting back to normal, doing laundry and fixing dinner and – well, you get what I mean, don't you?

It's the day after the day after I get home when I crash and burn.

That would be today.

Yoga is on the agenda this morning and I hope to walk this afternoon, after the rain-rain-rain has moved out. I remember my dad asking, during a long stretch of back-to-back-to-back rain, "Think the rain will hurt the rhubarb?" I forgot to look at the rhubarb yesterday when I was out checking on the daffodils. I did notice some bright green cilantro in the herb garden, though, perhaps I should make chili for dinner.

Two other things on today's schedule: a dentist's appointment this morning. The denture adventure continues, heavy sigh. I believe a relining is in my future. I hate the damned thing, it's so uncomfortable. So there's that to not look forward to.

And …

January 14 - Something yellow


Look closely at those little green shoots poking up from that patch of dirt. This photo was taken at a rest stop in east Tennessee, near Bristol, late yesterday afternoon as I made my way back home from Nashville.

Those are daffodils. January 13, 2013. Mine are popping up, as well. See?

But you know what? I went back in my photo files and found a similar shot taken on January 20 of last year. And they bloomed when they were supposed to. Well, maybe a little earlier than expected, but the early growth spurt didn't results in a lack of flowers.
I'm not sure what to think of this. Winter isn't even a month old and I'm seeing robins and daffodils, two sure-fire signs of spring, at least in my mind.
It was 70° in Nashville Friday and Saturday. A cold front has now moved through – if I were still there, I'd be appropriately dressed. As it was, I was too warm in my long-sleeved shirts. I didn't even take my jacket out of the car. And it was a good thing I packed two …

January 13 - Circle

January 12 - Surprise

January 11 - Water

January 10 - One o'clock

Six years and 2,643 posts later

That's how long I've been blogging. It started here. I added a photo blog beginning in January 2008, but then decided to just post the photos here. It's much easier on me to only be managing one blog.

It's fun to go back and look at all those pictures, though.

My favorite post of all time, the one that comes to mind when I ask myself, "Self, what's your favorite post of all time?," is this one.

Is anyone reading this blog who started out reading Shrinking Knitter from the get-go? My first commenter  – January 30, 2006 – suggested I was being too hard on myself and encouraged me not to give up.

I guess you could say I took her advice. FINALLY.

The second comment came on the first post in February, from my friend Nancy, who I met online in 2005, and who died four years ago. She was my first internet girlfriend, and we were great friends. We had knitting, dieting and sobriety in common. You don't often find that soul-sister combination. Wow, do I ever mi…

January 9 - Paper

The two hardest things

Lest you think I'm perfect, with two weeks of walking and eating well and working out under my belt, I'm here this morning to talk about two of the other goals from my year-end list. One has been met (so far), while one remains woefully unmet.

Drinking water has not been one of my healthy new lifestyle successes. My husband pointed out (rightly or wrongly) that simply drinking lots of water isn't going to create weight loss. I pointed out that, ahem, WEIGHT LOSS IS NOT THE GOAL. Hydrating one's system has a multitude of benefits, including improving skin texture, reducing fluid retention and supporting digestive health.

When I'm thirsty, I drink water. But I'm not often thirsty, and I don't know what's up with that. My regular fluid consumption is water, but it's been heated and passed through some delicious freshly ground hazelnut coffee beans. I average two to three large mugs of coffee every morning. (On Treat Day Mondays I add sugar-free, chemic…

Well, thanks!

I'm a little late with my holiday thank-you cards this year, but I finally just buckled down and did them this afternoon.

Just to be different, I printed them four-up on post-card stock and wrote on the back, then stuck them in envelopes to mail. Instead of a folded card, it's simply a post card. That seems to be a trend with photo Christmas cards these days, so I'm stealing the idea both for simplicity and economy.

(You could, of course, set the image up to print on foldable card stock. Final size is 4.25" wide by 5.5" deep, and fits in an invitation-sized envelope.)

Clicking this link will take you to the download vault, where you can snag a Photoshop version of the card for yourself. You're welcome!

January 8 - Beginning with 'T'

Changes in attitude

I guess it's my attitude that's making this year's health-and-fitness project (perhaps that should be Health and Fitness Project, to add some, um, weight to it?) less stressful than in years past. I'm trying to be matter-of-fact about the whole thing. Daily workout activities are on my laptop's calendar and pop up every morning to nag remind me. I'm keeping meals fairly simple, and am learning to use LoseIt! more effectively than I did last time.

Take yesterday, for example.

I had a 10 a.m. appointment to have new tires put on my car. I needed to get a check cashed at the bank. My husband also was in town with his truck. I had a 2 p.m. walking date.The pork roast for dinner was thawing, but I would have to cook following the afternoon walk.
Keeping all that in mind, here's how it went down.

I dropped off the car, where I learned their compressor was broken (again!), but they would make arrangements to replace the tires at another local garage. No extra charge…

January 7 - Street

And on the seventh day …

she crashed.

I don't know what happened yesterday around here. It was a grey and chilly day, but that hasn't stopped me before. I simply could not put one foot in front of the other to do any kind of walk or elliptical workout. I was fatigued beyond belief. I managed to throw together a pot of vegetable beef soup before I took a nap, and right after we ate it (well a couple hours later) I went to sleep. In the past 24 hours I've been asleep for 15 of them.

Good thing I'm flexible. Today's my rest day, but I'll get out and walk anyway and count yesterday as the day off. (I'm feeling quite normal, as if I've had a good night's sleep. WHICH I HAVE!)

Calories were well below normal all last week. See? (Pay no attention to Tuesday! I forgot to eat lunch and it was New Year's Day and I thought I'd be eating enough football-watching snacks to make up for it. But I didn't.)

Flexibility will definitely pay off this week, as I will be traveling be…