Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Uncomfortable truths

It's almost the end of the year. I have to confess that I have not accomplished what I wanted this year. I have gained a whole lot of muscle strength (100 push ups, 200 situps, a whole lot o' walking), but I haven't lost the weight. I lost a little, but not much.

I know I should be glad for the gifts that I've got (stronger, fitter), but even so there's a bit of disappointment mixed in with the gratitude. Yes, I'm healthier and in many ways much better, but I'm being honest here. I wanted a bit more.
But hey! I got a beautiful shawl for Christmas...

Exercise du jour: I was going to bicycle to work, but since it's all snow and ice 'round my place, methinks I'll stick to walking. Maybe I'll build a snowman. That will use up some calories!
I Yoga'd, I Walked. Okay, if you want to be persnickety, I did not Snowman, but two out of three counts for something. Especially walking on slushy/ice/snowy sidwalks while dodging traffic across intersections.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Week 6 of the C25k, day 2

The last run before the 5k.
Pray for nice weather on New Year's!
Woman gets on treadmill, turns invisible. Film at 11.

Update du 8 pm: Okay, maybe I was unclear. When I said "pray for nice weather," I meant weather that it would be nice to run in, not several inches of Winter Wonderland snow!
Let's try this again. Can we pray for nice running weather, i.e the snow and ice to go away before Thursday i.e. two days from now?

Exercise du jour: Week 6, day 2, C25k
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Done! Indoors, thanks to the fact that it's really slippery and slidery outside right now. And whoever said exercise helped with cramps must have been a man. Otherwise, not a bad session.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Goals shmoals

Tanji's goal: to accidentally lose shred the reindog coat.

My problem is that I tend to follow this approach to goals:

1. Define the goal.
2. Set a date when I want to have achieved that goal.
3. Go off and do something else, la la la.
4. Realize, with surprise, that it's the deadline date already and I haven't done a damn thing to prepare.

Sometimes I'll vary this theme, e.g. get started toward the goal, then get distracted by a BST and go off on a tangent.

This time, it's different. (Maybe I've learned something. Don't count on it.) By the end of the week, I'm going to run in a 5k. I'm not completely fit enough to run the whole way, but damn it, I'm going for it. It's a great way to start the year, and it's a way to get me prepared for reaching the ultimate goal. God willing, I will run another 5k later on in the year, and run the whole way. Smiling even.

I'm planning ahead for what I want to accomplish next year, exercise-wise, and breaking down the goals into mini-steps so that I'll have more of a chance to accomplish them.

Note: For a much better explanation of this goal-setting problem, see Cranky Fitness.

Exercise du jour: Walking, yoga

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The only comfort...

Tanji really loves tolerates her reindog coat.

Quote du jour: …it's not so much what happens between Christmas and New Year's, as what happens between New Year's and Christmas.
- Weight by the SeaShore blog

Right now, that's my only comfort. I really did try to be good. I brought salads and roasted veggies and baked apples for dessert, but all those were swept aside in the relentless tide of sweet things to eat, wine to drink, movies to watch while lounging with friends who brought cookies and pastries.

Okay, I'm done with the whine. The focus right now is on getting back on track.

Exercise du jour: Week 6 of the C25k, day 1.
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Done! Not great, but better than nothing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Santa brought me... Day 3 of the C25k

Tanji? Why are your eyes glowing green? What was in that stocking?

Merry Christmas!

Week 5 Day 3 of the C25k.
The day that separates the wheat from the chaff, the weak from the strong, the ... well anyway, that is what Santa brought me. Hope you are all enjoying yourself!

Exercise du jour: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog for 20 minutes with no walking.
Done! 20 minutes, then after a minute of walking, another couple of minutes jogging. (Hey, I was on a dinner roll. Besides, got to do something to offset all those Christmas cookies.) Plus, a hour of yoga.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Naughty or nice? Oh, the dilemma

Santa? Is that you?

Quote du jour: Either we are in the universe to inhabit the lovely eternity of our souls and grow real, or else we might as well dedicate our days to shopping and kill time watching talk shows. - John O'Donohue

Exercise du jour: None. I was going to run today, but instead decided to devote my time to festivities. Tomorrow I'll be good. Promise.

Weird. I tell myself it's okay NOT to exercise, and for some reason I feel cheated. Quite contrary. Half hour's worth of yoga.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How a deer hunter decorates for Christmas

epic fail pictures
How a deer hunter decorates for Christmas

Quote du jour: Please don't ask me to do that which I've just said I'm not going to do, because you're burning up time. The meter is running through the sand on you, and I am now filibustering. - George H.W. Bush

No, don't ask me to explain that quote. For some reason, it fascinates me. It's like some kind of zen koan.

Exercise du jour: Well, I was going to go with dancing and yoga, but since I bailed on the C25k run yesterday, I'm going to do that instead. It's kind of like making a little kid eat her vegetables. Even If She Has to Sit At The Table All Night, they're still going to be there waiting for her.

Oh crap. I'm turning into my parents.

Done! And it was good. Got into a rhythm and felt like I could keep on going even after the podcast said 'walk.' (Mind you, that doesn't mean the next run, the 20 minute run, will feel the same. Past performance is no indication of future runs.) Even so, good run. Plus, half hour yoga.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Week 5, Day 2 of the C25k

funny pictures of dogs with captions
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Quote du jour: Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. --William Faulkner

Exercise du jour: C25k Week 5 day 2

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)

Semi-fail. Still wobbly from the food poisoning, so did yoga instead of running. On the other hand, Weight Watchers told me that I lost 3-1/2 pounds this week, so I can't call this a total fail.
Except that Weight Watchers e-Tools just told me that now I have one less point to spend. Damn. I'm feeling hungry for the first time in three days -- this is
not the moment to tell me that!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Guilt: it's not just for mothers anymore

hugh jackman
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This blog is pretty effective at its main job: using guilt and accountability to get me out of the chair and exercising. I wonder if I can extend this useful tool into other areas. Would it help if I publicly announced that I need to clean my kitchen? Or would you all immediately feel shamed at reading the blog of a bum who doesn't even clean up properly for heavens sake what is this world coming to?

Let's see what happens, shall we?
Anti-bum campaign attack plan du jour: To get that kitchen floor so clean that the dog can't eat her dinner off it. (Okay, she never actually has eaten dinner off the kitchen floor, but she keeps sniffing it in a hopeful manner.)

Exercise du jour: Walk 2 hours, yoga 30 minutes. Does cleaning a floor count as exercise? Hell, why not. Let's throw that into the mix too.
Both an exercise and a cleaning fail. Decided to get food poisoning instead. You want to know what's really sick? No, besides me. I'm seeing the illness as a plus, since I lost 1-1/2 pounds because of it. I'm hoping to keep the weight loss until weigh-in tomorrow. Yes, I do realize my values are a bit twisted here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Xenia vs. Dr. House

For some reason, this picture reminded me of Xenia.
Hugh Laurie, Robert Sean Leonard

Quote du jour: I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards. -- Alberto Salazar

Exercise du jour: Week 5 Day 1 C25k.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
* Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
* Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Done! Plus an hour's worth of raking the lawn, another hour of yoga, and a good few minutes running around trying to find the ideal last-minute Christmas gifts.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Status check: 1 month on Weight Watchers

Self portrait? Why certainly!
Of course it is!
Would I lie?
To you?
Oh, come now...

Okay, so I've been doing Weight Watchers for a month now. Lost just under 5 pounds, which is much lower than should be the case -- usually when you start writing down everything you eat, you lose a lot of weight early on. If I were typical, I would've lost closer to 2 pounds a week this month. But then again, the people who do best on Weight Watchers always have the blurb "results not typical" next to their pictures.

[If you're keeping track, which I seriously doubt, I have also lost 2 inches off my waist, and 1 off my hips. My pants fit a lot better, and I feel better. But the scale reflecteth this not.]

What I have not been doing is restricting my caloric intake at all. I've merely been recording it. I wanted to get an idea of how I eat normally before I tried to change anything. One thing about the WW e-tools, it is fairly easy to look back and see the patterns in your regular eating habits.

What I'm doing wrong:

- Eating too much in the evening
Cure: eat something hefty at about 4 pm, so I'm not starving by the time I get home. Go British and have a tea time meal. Jolly good idea.

- Not planning ahead for things like parties
Solution: at the start of the week, review the social calendar. Also prepare food for the week, like baked salmon or something filling & tasty of that ilk.

What I'm doing right:

- Bringing food from home. I love my little Mr. Bento Japanese food-in-a-nifty-thermos lunch jar. The thing is so darned cute! The lower two compartments keep the food warm, and the upper two are good for vegetables and fruit. I originally balked at the price, but it paid for itself very quickly. I love it so much, it doesn't occur to me to go out for lunch. (If I go out during lunchtime, it's to walk, not to eat.)

- Planning the day's meal ahead of time. Packing Mr. Bento is a way of looking ahead for that particular day, which helps me keep on the straight and narrow. I don't always put the best protein into the containers -- there was That Episode with the Pizza, and a Fried Chicken Incident, but let's not talk about that here, this is the section for what I did right. At least I brought them from home. With vegetables and fruit.

- Exercising. That, I give myself credit for. The inner slug has not been ruling the roost. That one time when I skipped exercising for two days in a row? I found myself getting very nervous, almost antsy, at the thought. The slug is down, but not out. I don't want to give him any reason to try to make a comeback.

1-1/4 hours of yoga

*Yeah, I didn't think you'd buy that story. Photo is actually courtesy of flickr:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jogging to stand still

Quote du jour:
You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.- Steve Prefontaine

A sign that I'm getting old. No matter how much I exercise, it seems like all I'm doing, at best, is to maintain where I already am. I don't know if this is just a passing mood or a message from my subconscious telling me that I need to change something. All I know to do is to write it down, and come back to this in a couple weeks, see if I really have been improving albeit at a snail's pace.

Exercise du jour:Day 3 Week 4 of the C25K

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

* Jog 3 minutes
* Walk 90 seconds
* Jog 5 minutes
* Walk 2-1/2 minutes
* Jog 3 minutes
* Walk 90 seconds
* Jog 5 minutes

Done! I am so grateful that German Shepherds are a loyal breed. Tanji will never tell how I trudged my way through this session. Words like "pathetic" and "loser" will not be uttered. At least, not by the dog.
Also, 60 minutes walking.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hallelujah! It's panic time

Okay, I know I've been observing a ban on cheesy Christmas music, but every rule deserves to be broken once.

And yesterday, I did something that actually caused a bit of a panic attack.
I signed up for a 5k run.

Way back when, 'bout 50 weeks ago, I made it a goal that I would run (not walk) a 5k. Smiling, even. Well, I'm going for it. Of course, I'm not quite through the whole couch-to-5k schedule, but in two weeks, I'm scheduled to run for 25 minutes. I figure I can do that during the First Run 2010 run. That way I can maybe salve my conscience about not getting in all the bicycling I wanted to do this year.

The run/walk starts January 1st at Midnight, Portland time, which might seem like it doesn't meet my goal of running this year. However, my new rule is that all goals set for the year are based on Maui time. That means I will still meet my goal to run (okay mostly run) a 5k within the year.

All of the above seems perfectly logical to me (albeit in a slightly twisted fashion, which is par for the course in Merry-land). I did it proper: signed up online before I could change my mind, then told two co-workers so that I couldn't back out. Then spent the rest of the day quivering and angsting.

Why on earth did I go into a panic attack after I signed up for this race? I have no idea. It makes no sense, not even twisted sense. So what if for some reason I don't run every single step of this 5k? Will the world come to an end? Will I get fed up and stop exercising completely? Neither of these two things seems very likely to me, at least not to my conscious mind. My subconscious clearly has a different idea about these things.

Well, if the world comes to an end at New Year's, you have my permission to blame me. I'll understand. Or at least my subconscious will.


Exercise du jour: Yoga. Lots and lots of nice, calming yoga. With lots of deep breathing.
Fail. Third headache in a week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'll never make it to the tabloids

Quotes du jour:
If we insist that public life be reserved for those whose personal history is pristine, we are not going to get paragons of virtue running our affairs. We will get the very rich, who contract out the messy things in life; the very dull, who have nothing to hide and nothing to show; and the very devious, expert at covering their tracks and ambitious enough to risk their discovery.
- Charles Krauthammer

Nora: "I read you were shot five times in the tabloids."
Nick: "It's not true. He never came anywhere near my tabloids."
- The Thin Man

Seems like everyone you read about in news is famous because a) they're really good at something and b) they've made a mess of the rest of their life. Me, I've just made a mess of my house, and I don't have any outstanding abilities re: sports, modeling, or looking blond in front of a camera.


On the other hand, I've still got a shot at catching a wild haggis.

Exercise du jour: I wish I could think up some exciting new workout that will make me famous, but days like this I'm doing good if I can work even a dull workout session in with the regular working/cleaning/sleeping routines.
Yoga, walking, 20 minutes arm exercises with Rania.
Done. Sorta. Did the C25k that I missed yesterday, and half an hour of yoga. Oh, I am doomed. Horrible run, huffing and puffing and glowing redder than a chestnut roasting on an open fire. Doomed, I tell you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catching the dream & similar Tuesday delusions

Quote du jour:
The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle. - Anais Nin

Interesting thing -- although I feel good afterward, I don't enjoy running. Usually. That last session, though, for while I got into a rhythm where I actually felt good; it felt comfortable to move at that pace with that stride.

Then, of course, I had to navigate around an obstacle and lost the cadence. But for a couple minutes at least, I kinda enjoyed myself.

Two more weeks until the end of the year. Any chance of my suddenly losing several pounds in the next fifteen days? Well, anything's possible. Just not especially probable.

Exercise du jour: Week 4 of the C25K

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

* Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
* Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
* Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Semi-success (or semi-fail) 1/2 hour yoga, an hour and 45 minutes of walking, but the headache is winning out over jogging tonight. Tomorrow. I promise.

Flickr photo:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Elephants were not a good idea

Huh. Irritating.

So this weekend I was good, and I mean damn good. Ate just under the specified number of points, exercised, slept well. Oh, and gained a pound.

Wait a minute. What was that last bit? That's not supposed to happen!

Update to the Grinch diet: I think Charlotte was right; the incredibly demanding hunger pangs must have been something to do with the hormone cycle. 'Cause right now I have no interest in food at all.

Exercise du jour: Yoga, walking, yeah yeah I'm stuck in a rut here. So I'm going to throw in 20 minutes of arm exercises from Rania's Personal Trainer DVD.
Oi vey. Make that ten minute's worth of arms and another 10 minutes of waist/hip bellydance moves. I'd forgotten how tough her arm exercises were. Damn.
Plus, 40 minutes walking, 60 minutes yoga.

Hey, it's good to try something different. Just ask this guy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Do I need inspiration before I get perspiration?

So... if I buy the left shoe, I get the matching right shoe for free? Gosh!

Yes, I'm procrastinating by focusing on silly ads rather than concentrating on becoming a thinner, fitter Merry who's going to take over the world.

I'm getting there.

Or I will get there, eventually.

Cold grey day, no incentive to exercise. But so what? I don't need to want to exercise, I just need to get it done.

Quote du jour:
For the novice runner, I'd say to give yourself at least 2 months of
consistently running several times a week at a conversational pace
before deciding whether you want to stick with it. Consistency is the
most important aspect of training at this point.
Frank Shorter

Exercise du jour: Week 4 of the C25K

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

* Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
* Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
* Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Done! I've said it before, but some things bear repeating:
1. I did NOT want to work out today.
2. I worked out anyway.
3. I feel pretty darn good right now. Life looks better after a workout.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ew Moon?

Went to see New Moon the other night. The title appears on the screen one letter at a time. For a moment, the title read "Ew Moon." I'm afraid that was a subliminal message.

At one point I saw my friend, an admitted Twi-hard, checking her watch. As soon as the first credit appeared on the screen, a woman* in the row behind me said "That was terrible." A woman in the row in front of me said, "I should've waited a few months and picked this up out of the $1 bin."

I didn't think it was all bad, though it's never a good sign when a movie has unintentionally funny scenes (Bella and Edward running through the woods). It also had some nice if gratuitous abs. But I wouldn't recommend paying to see it in a theater.

Then again, I now hate watching movies in a theater. I want to get up, move around, stretch a bit, do something, rather than sit still for two hours.

Besides, I tend to make fun of any phenomenon that has tons of rabid fans because I have a death wish an instinctive dislike of anything that tends to attract hordes of screaming fans.
Well, except the Beatles.

Then again, again, a better review would be: New Moon: the LolCats review.

*Most of the audience was made up of women in the 20s and 30s. Very few teenagers.

Exercise du jour: Couch to 5k Week 3 Day 3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

* Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
* Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Done. Sorta. Okay, actually it would be more accurate to say 'half done' because I only did half the scheduled jogging. But on the other hand, I just spent two whole solid friggin' hours (and 14 minutes) on the phone with my mother trying to figure out why her all-in-one printer-scanner-WonderMachine wasn't working. And I think I deserve some kind of damn medal for that, so I'm putting the star up and don't you look at me like that, you'd've done the same. So there.

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Moon montage courtesy Ctd2005

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Half inclined to go back to bed and forget it

Need to bear in mind that it's natural to feel less inclined to work out when it's bloody cold outside. (And inside, unless I wear 20 sweaters or crank the heater up to $$$ levels.)

Even so, it's sad/scary how easily I went without exercise for two days straight. Just didn't wanna. Too cold. Too dark outside. Blah, blah, yada, blah. Too much of that and I'll just get back into the habit of hibernating under a nice warm blankie until March.

Also, I'm wondering about those dang contractors. Yesterday they came by and dug up the street in front of my house for the third time. They keep digging it up and paving it over and then digging it up again. Maybe that's why this time they just left it open and put a metal sheet over it instead. I'm not sure they know quite what they're doing. (Or it's all part of a plot to freeze my pipes, dang it.)

I'm recording all this (well not the water pipe woes, that's just me venting, I mean about the exercise blahs) because I want to track the bad aspects of exercising as well as the good. Off to do some yoga before going to work. Watch this space for a gold star that indicates I've been good.

(There, that should guilt me into working out.)

Finally! Got in a half hour's worth of yoga. Now a bit late for work, but that needed to get done. Plus, an hour's worth of brisk walking just to be a show-off, Marste at lunch and a half hour's worth of yoga to close the day.

Bear cut in half by the painless process of refraction courtesy of

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Statistics? That's some kind of math thing, right?

Math? No, sorry, I was an English major...

A lot of blogs that I go to include the blogger's vital statistics, e.g. their weight, height, how much they've lost (or gained, in some admirably honest cases). I thought about doing that, but quickly realized it would depress me. Progress is going to be slow, some weeks there won't be any. I don't think I want to be looking at reminders all week that I didn't lose as much as I wanted. It would bring me down.

If you want to know more about me, well, that's easy. This is the Internet, right? No two-way video setup yet. So I feel no shame in telling you that I'm tall and slim, with lithe nubile blond tresses that cascade over my lightly tanned and elegantly clad long and shapely body. Oh yeah, and I've got legs that go on forever, sapphire-blue eyes, and naturally dark and lush eyelashes.

(Thank you God that there is no two-way video monitor system set up yet. I mean, it's possible that someone out there bought all that description and is now totally smitten.)

Update du water pipe: Just had a contractor knock on my door suggesting I leave a water faucet dripping because "there've been some problems with pipes freezing." No, really? It's 9 degrees outside and I've got a piece of plywood covering an exposed water pipe.

Exercise du jour: 60 minutes walking, 60 minutes yoga.
Semi-fail. Or, semi-success, depending on your point of view. Did the c25k run from yesterday and 30 minutes yoga. Trust me, you haven't seen puzzled until you've seen a German Shepherd trying to figure out why her human is attempting pigeon pose.

The Photo: Went looking for a Flickr photo of a typical blond model, but became fascinated by a series of geisha photography from the early 1900s. I'm not sure if they're artistic or autistic; first I liked this photo, then I thought it was strange, then I couldn't decide one way or another.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

One good thing about WW e-tools

Even if you're having a terrible week re food/exercise, at the end of the week all the nasty numbers on the e-tools counter are wiped out and you start afresh. With no guilt.

We'll see what the numbers on the scale say tonight. Am I making progress? Are all my activity points making up for the T-day feast? According to the numbers on the WW e-tools, yes.... We'll see what the scale thinks.

I know I'm being petty, but it really annoys me that my scale always shows me weighing a pound or so less than the official WW scale. I realize I get officially weighed at the end of the day, so there's more weight from the water I drank all day, and I also realize it would probably cause a stampede if I stripped off all my clothes before stepping on the official scale, but even so... it's annoying.

I'm not alone in this -- in the meeting last week, another women mentioned that she used to not drink any water on weigh-in day. We're all suffering from The Biggest Loser issues. Bah! Me, I'm gonna drink, and I don't mean martinis.

Exercise du jour: Couch to 5k Week 3 Day 2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

* Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
* Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

fail. That's two fails in a row. This is not good.

Monday, December 07, 2009

He's no Hugh Jackman, but even so...

It's not something I ever thought I'd say, but I feel the need for a martini...

Exercise du jour: Two hours walking, one hour yoga. I know, it's not as exciting as racing George to the bar, but it's still exercise.

Update du 9:23 pm: oh, this is looking like a FAIL. It was too damn cold to walk anywhere, and I haven't even done any yoga.

And I don't have a good excuse.

Okay, cramps, cold, oversleeping and overworking, but none of those qualify as good excuses. I'd love to make up something dramatic, but I don't think anyone's going to go for Abducted by Aliens, or Got Hit on the Head, Got Amnesia, and Forgot to Exercise. And I can't think of any better excuses. It's time for some Rationalizations: I've been damn good about exercising. Today just wasn't a good day. Movin' on.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Holidays? Already?

epic fail pictures
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Um... yeah. I'm going to get started on those Christmas Cards real soon... any day week now...

At least I've got a few weeks to prepare for the Christmas feast.

I mean, there was no way I could avoid Thanksgiving. My friend was so excited about cooking the T-Day fixin's herself for the first time. She's been out of work and depressed about it, also she's been watching waaaaaay too many cooking shows. So there was cranberry relish with orange zest and grand marnier a la Martha, stuffing with something-fattening-done-to-it as recommended by Rachel Ray... you get the idea.

The salad was some sugary concoction of fruit and cool whip. The green bean casserole had been invaded by cheese and caramelized onions. The rolls had been rolled by hand.

Three kinds of dessert.

Four kinds of wine.

Two people eating.

One of whom would have felt slighted if food was skipped.

There was only one thing to do: I decided not to worry about it. I
came, I ate, I wrote down guesstimates.

I figure this week's lesson is on not getting discouraged when life throws a extremely rich chocolate pie in your direction. (Along with an apple upside-down cake, and a pumpkin pie drowned in whipped cream.)

Exercise du jour: Couch to 5k Week 3 Day 1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:

* Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
* Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Done! Indoors, 'cause it's bloody freezing outside, but done. The pace didn't seem as fast, but hard to tell. (Manuel is useless for judging my speed.) Plus, half hour of yoga.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Perils of Pizza

Just ran across an old post, never published, from August:

A six pound weight gain overnight? Wait a minute. If I'd weighed those slices of pizza, all three four of them together would not have equaled one pound. And I did exercise yesterday, really I did. (20 minutes jog/walk, 10 minutes raking.) How the hell does that translate into six pounds?

It's interesting because yesterday, in addition to two hours of exercise, I ate a couple slices of pizza. And this morning I woke up to find that I had gained four pounds.

Note to self: Pizza is evil. Avoid at all costs.

Exercise du jour: yoga, walking. If passing a pizza parlor, walking very, very fast.
Done! No, not the walking by the pizza parlor part. I decided to avoid temptation. But I did an hour's worth of yoga and another hour's worth of raking the roof. (Some people rake the lawn, me I just gotta be different. I blame the neighbor's tree.)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Running through the C25K, week 2

afghan voters
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It's no Hugh Jackman, but the photo made me snicker.

Exercise du jour: Couch to 5k Week 2 Day 3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
Done! Plus, 60 minutes brisk walking, 30 minutes non-brisk yoga

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yoga time = complaint time?

Why yes! This is a picture of me doing yoga! Absolutely! Honest!
Would I lie?
Okay, yes, I would. But it sounded good...

(Photo actually courtesy of Lululemon Athletica*)

It's funny, except that it's also a bit sad. I start to do a session of yoga and only then notice that my calves are sore, my quadriceps hurt, my ankle's a bit stiff. I walk around on these legs all day and never notice any of that. Until yoga time.

Is my body saving up all its complaints for yoga time? Or is that the only time of the day when I actually listen to my body?

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes yoga, 60 minutes walking

*Flickr link:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Water way to go

This is a vent.

This is only a vent.

If this had been a real blog post, you would have been notified. Please remain calm.

This is only a vent.

Okay, so here’s the thing. For the past couple months, the city has been digging up my street so I’ll be forced to walk to work they can put in a new water pipe. A couple weeks ago, they dug a hole in my lawn, bless their hearts, and exposed three or four feet of my water pipe. According to a contractor, some plumber is going to come by, temporarily turn off the water, then turn it back on again and go away.

Note the big black tarp, next to the open hole.
The tarp is covering up a pile of dug-up lawn rather than the exposed water pipe.

Meanwhile, autumn has been progressing to the point where it’s getting down to freezing at night. This weekend, it’s supposed to get down into the 20s, and only get above freezing during the day. So I call the water department to ask what I can do to keep the pipe from freezing.

Me: [Having repeated the above to an official of the Water Department] So, I was wondering what I can do to insulate the pipe so it doesn’t break.

Official: Well, I’m not responsible if the water pipe breaks.

Me: I wasn’t blaming you; I was trying to find what I could do to insulate the pipe.

Off: The contractors insulated the pipe.

Me: Well, no, actually they didn’t.

Off: I drove down that street the other day, and they’d covered the holes on the two houses next to the construction.

Me: My house is one of those two, and it’s not been covered. What can I do to stop the pipe from freezing?

Off: If you go near the hole it could be a liability issue. You know, we’re not responsible for the construction. The contractors had subcontracted to subcontractors. And the last time I went down that street, I saw that the four or five houses near the construction had the holes covered up.

[If he’d repeated that another time, it probably would have been the ten or twenty houses nearest the construction.]

Me: So, what can I do to make sure my pipe doesn’t break?

Off: You should talk to the contractor. It's not our responsibility. But you know, if the pipe breaks, we’ll fix it. Call the non-emergency number. Do you know what that is?

Me: Yes, it's the number that I just called to talk to you.

Bless all beady-eyed sue-phobic bureaucrats and their blame-shifty behavior. Stop something from becoming a problem? Not a chance. And if the pipe does break, they’ll probably ‘apologize for the inconvenience.’

Actually, it does have a funny side. This guy was so busy telling me that it wasn't his fault/responsibility/problem, it's a safe inference that he was very well accustomed to people yelling over the phone at him. I might well be the only person in the history of the Hillsboro Water Department to have called up asking for advice rather than yelling about a problem. What a distinction!

Exercise du jour: Couch to 5k Week 2 Day 2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Plus, a trip to Home Depot to ask their advice about insulating a water pipe without getting down into the hole.

Update du 9:15 am -- I saw little elves guys in orange hard hats come by my lawn this morning. Went out to look, and what to my wondering eyes did appear? A piece of plastic covering one of the water pipes. Wow. Asking (no, not yelling) for advice seems to have done something. Hope it helps. It's 27 degrees out right now.

Update du 9:56 am -- Now a guy in a bulldozer came by with a big heavy piece of something that he threw down over the hole. He kinda glared at me. Should I feel bad for worrying about the water pipe? Honest, guys, if I were trying to be a bitch about this, I would've been a lot crankier. (Yes, I can get crankier.)

Update du 8:08 pm: Okay, it may look like I haven't done my jog/walk for the day, but that's only because you're extremely perceptive. I really don't want to work out tonight.
It's late...
I just got home...
I'm tired...
All true but not good enough to excuse me. Would be nice if somehow I could find a surrogate to run for me.
Yes, I am writing this all down and posting it up here so you can all see how whiny I am I will feel compelled to get up and go out there and Do The Exercise already.
Done! Not a great workout, I was too tired, but a done run is better than none when you weigh a ton, honey bun. (Okay, I know. I'm sorry. I really am very tired.)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Grinch diet

Okay, body, what is up?

Hunger is when your stomach grabs you by the throat and say “Feed me now, damn it!”

Yesterday, I spent the whole day suffering from hunger. And I ate. Oh, how I ate.

8:30 am: chicken and crackers. (No, not especially nutritious, but I’m not usually hungry that early in the morning. Didn’t want to take time to prepare something good and filling.)

11:00 am: Weight Watchers lunch (6 points)

11:10 am: Hungry

11:30 am: 1 apple

11:40 am: Hungry again

12:00 2 cups bell peppers

12:20 Hungry, and the stomach’s getting kinda pissed off at me

12:25 pm: Another Weight Watchers lunch (3 points)

12:30: 1 cup raw carrots

1:00 pm: Started drinking cup after cup of warm tea, trying to create a feeling of fullness

1:30 pm: Hungry. More tea.

2:00 pm: Hungry. Still more tea. Running to the bathroom every friggin’ 20 minutes, but not full.

2:30 pm: Instant oatmeal. Surely that will shut the stomach up.

3:00 pm: Nope. Hungry

3:30 pm: Screw the warm tea. Started drinking liters of straight water. Something, anything to stop feeling so damn hungry!

4:00 pm: Starting to slosh around when I move. Still hungry.

4:45 pm: Stomach cries piteously for sustenance.

5:20 pm: Starting to wonder if computer keyboards are edible. Wouldn’t they count as fiber? Isn’t that filling?

6:15 pm: Had to restrain myself from driving extra-fast home to get to the refrigerator. Suppose I should give myself a pat on the back for not stopping at a fast food place on the way.

6:23 pm: 4 oz. chicken, more crackers. One whole entire chocolate eclair.

7:15 pm: Still somewhat hungry, but the desperate frantic hunger has eased off finally.

8:45 pm: The hunger came back. This is absurd.

9:45 pm: And it's not going away. I'm still hungry.

No, I don't usually detail every single morsel that passes my lips in a day. I’m documenting this here because I want to try and figure out what’s going on with my body. Did my metabolism suddenly kick start itself into action?

I don’t know if it’s a thyroid-related issue or what, but normally if I try to fast, ignoring the initial morning hunger pangs, the stomach shuts up and I can get by quite easily on less than 1,000 calories a day. (However, “get by” means I sit around the house and not do any exercise more strenuous than turning a page or flipping a channel. When I severely restrict the calories, I have no energy, no impulse to do anything other than veg.)

There was no way ignoring this would make it go away. The only time I've felt this hungry is when I’ve been exercising a lot. I mean vigorous exercise, that leaves me red faced, sweaty, and tired. That's not what I’ve been putting my body through lately. No, walking with the occasional jog thrown in is not vigorous exercise. Really. So it puzzles me.

Exercise du jour: 30 minutes yoga (morning only), two hours 80 minutes walking.

3rd Weight Watchers meeting tonight. We'll see how badly I'll have to pay for the extra serving of that superbly delicious stuffing. And the apple/chocolate/pumpkin pie episodes. This could be grim.

Could that be why I've been so damn hungry? Was it because I ate so much on Friday? Did my stomach suddenly expand, like the Grinch's heart, to several sizes larger? I do not recall starving over the weekend, but apart the T-day feast I did not go overboard on the eating.

Post-meeting update: Lost 1-1/2 pounds, which considering how much I ate on Friday is amazing. But I didn't argue with the WW woman. Just grabbed my booklet and ran. Happily.