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XC skiing and discounts on hydration tablets & citrus packets

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last weekend I went for the first XC ski of the year. Everyone else was a lot faster than me, but I made it. I need practice!

(I'm in a light blue jacket crouching down in the front.)

In case anyone is interested, my favorite hydration tablets are on sale at the moment. You can get 20% off with the promo code "stockingstuffer". I don't like the ones with stevia, but the others are good, and seem to help my endurance and power in spinning class.
(I found out about them from ZIRCADIA who uses them on her runs)

TrueLemon citrus packets are also having a promotion. I prefer the orange flavored ones, followed by the lime ones. They're nice to carry with me for flavoring water, sprinkling on salads, apples, etc.
"holidaylemon" (for free shipping and a free 32 count box of True Lemon)
"holidaylime" (for free shipping and a free 32 count box of True Lime)
"holidayorange" (for free shipping and a free 32 count box of True Orange)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 12/15/2010 1:55PM

    You are such an adventure-woman, Ang!! It's breathtaking. Thanks for the promotion links.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/15/2010 12:37PM

    I'm the one in the light blue jacket crouching down in the front.

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JESPAH 12/15/2010 12:35PM

    Where are ya in the pic???

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Tiny Fruit

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's that TOM (sorry, BB) and I've been jonesing for sweet things.

So today I went to the store and picked up some fruit. It didn't occur to me until later when a friend pointed it out, that I now have a bowl on my desk filled with TINY FRUIT:

Seckel Pears

(yep, the little one on the right)


(the little ones third from the left)

(everyone knows that tangerines are little oranges, so no need to show a picture here)

I thought it was pretty funny.

The good thing about these snacks is that they're all under 100 calories each. Which is fine, as long as I restrict myself to a REASONABLE NUMBER of them. Workin' on it, OK? LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOKWORM27S 12/16/2010 3:53PM


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JESPAH 12/10/2010 6:14AM


Baby fruit
that is the cutest little
baby fruit


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WOLFKITTY 12/9/2010 11:24AM

    "Leet-al bowl of teenie fruuuuit!!"

Why does that kind of refrain keep sing-songy it's way through my head?!
Maybe I didn't get enough sleep. HEheheee.

Now I want one.

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LILPAT3 12/9/2010 11:21AM


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SPARKYWATSON 12/8/2010 8:15PM

    Pictures, yea pictures!

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MABELPIE 12/8/2010 7:35PM

    so cute! except i want to play house with them rather than eat them :)

Comment edited on: 12/8/2010 8:23:54 PM

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GRACEFULIFE 12/8/2010 6:55PM

    Good plan. I have a refrigerator drawer loaded down with vegetables. My weight has crept up a bit, but I've mostly put a clamp on it. I had a plan to drop some this month but I'm not keeping up on workouts or intake tracking, so what do I expect? Heh.

No problem. Persistence, as your status often says. Keep it reasonably front of mind and in control and it will come out OK.

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MKLUCILLE 12/8/2010 6:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Fruit Oh so good & oh so good for you!

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BLOOM49 12/8/2010 4:45PM

    Love seckel pears! Good choices.

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I can't wait for Solstice.

Monday, December 06, 2010

I have never looked forward to solstice so much as I do this year. It's probably because I've spent so much time outside having fun in my boat.

Seriously, though. I have a drysuit.

I have gloves, and pogies, and fleece base layers, and a warm helmet liner, etc. The cold isn't fabulous but it isn't the end of the world, either.

Sometimes it's even kind of neat.

I can paddle in the cold.

Yes, those are icicles hanging from my helmet.

What I cannot do is paddle in the dark.

So, yeah. I just can't wait for solstice!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JRZG8R 12/15/2010 11:00PM

    WOW You Rock. Love the new drysuit how is it? Give us a report on Kayaking page.

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JESPAH 12/8/2010 8:14AM

    Icicles on the helmet, alive, alive oh! :)

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KAKIPOPUP 12/7/2010 10:28AM

    I love the returning light - of course, the saying "when the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen" is also true. But light conquers all!

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KAYOTIC 12/7/2010 9:54AM

    icicles on the helmet! You go! Waiting for the solstice here too....bring on the light!

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    Wow, very inspiring! I hope you get more light soon!

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WOLFKITTY 12/7/2010 1:40AM

    That's amazing, Ang! Oh my gosh!


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    I ccaaahhh caaahhhh cahhhhh couldn't even immmmmmmagine. Jeezus, I'm fah fah fah fah fah freezin' just looking at you.

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ELYMWX 12/6/2010 1:33PM

    I so wanted to go out on the water yesterday morning. I am, however, sadly lacking in cold water kayaking gear...

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EILEENV3 12/6/2010 12:40PM

    Way to go! I am impressed. ( emoticon -- CAUSE YOU'VE DONE IT!)

My way of dealing with Winter & Cold was to move. When I lived up in cold country no matter what I did, my face could not handle being out when it was less than 10 degress.

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ANNE7X7 12/6/2010 11:02AM

    Wow! Very cool that you continue throughout the Winter! You are HARDCORE!!!

I totally agree!! I hate not seeing any sunlight!! It's really hard on me this year, probably because I am not hibernating with lots of junk food on the couch for the first time in my life! It's hard to go running outside when it's cold AND dark.

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DDOORN 12/6/2010 10:58AM

    Oh WOW! You just aren't going to let these long, dark months slow you down in the LEAST!

Kudos to YOU!


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Help UMass & Polartec get disabled people into outdoor activities!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vote for UMass among the four finalists, here:

My request here is very much in the spirit of the SPARKPeople site, in that your vote will enable people to go out and participate in active outdoor adventures that they would otherwise not be able to do.

All you have to do is go to the link above, watch the inspiring UMass video of how they would use special equipment to get disabled people outdoors doing the kinds of things we all love, and click the "vote" button.

This is happening on Facebook from November 9th to November 30th. You can vote once per day, anyone can vote and you do not need to be a UMass student or an outing club member.


This whole kayaking season has been a wonderful adventure in expanding my boundaries, trying new things, going to beautiful wild places, and meeting really amazing people.

One group I've enjoyed paddling with this summer and fall is the University of Massachusetts Outing Club. They're great people and solid boaters. I always learn something new when I paddle with them and have a good time, too!

These guys are finalists in a contest sponsored by Polartec to donate $10,000 toward a university outing club.

If they win, they will use the money to start an adaptive recreation program in their club. This will allow people with disabilities to participate in sports, by providing expensive accessible equipment such as mountain wheelchairs, sit-skis, kick-sleds, adaptive climbing equipment, river portaging gurneys and more. They do not currently have enough funds to purchase such equipment, which is why they are participating in this contest, and why I'm mentioning it here.

I have complete confidence in the folks behind this project (I've paddled with some of them) and I have to say that if I needed special equipment to get myself to a river, I would definitely want these guys to win! (And then I'd have to move to Massachusetts. LOL)

Please vote and spread the word (click the "like" button on this blog post if you think others might want to know about it).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JRZG8R 11/14/2010 1:20PM

    Very cool. I have cast my vote for them.

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Mind over Matter

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My personal trainer asked me to read this article from Oprahís magazine about Vision Boards (what Spark People calls Vision Collages)

What struck me about the article is that the author is talking about using her mind to cause changes in the material world. And mind over matter is exactly what is going on here. I use my mind to control my size (which is most definitely a form of matter, LOL). Itís what all of us are doing.

In my case I went through four magazines and I found exactly one image that caught me, of some fruit next to a shampoo being advertized. I donít think printed images do it for me. But graphs, charts, numbers, they do. For the record, I do have an electronic vision collage I created for this site about a year ago and update periodically: tinyurl.com/vision-collage

Visualizing a line on a graph going down is one of the most powerful internal motivators Iíve ever found. Lots of people (not just my personal trainer) have lately been telling me that I focus too much on the numbers, that I need to use other types of measures to assess my progress. I can see their point, but my experience tells me that I should stick with what I know in order to get where I want to go. Once I get there I need to try something different for STAYING there, but to get there Ė that I know how to do, and I think Iím probably better off doing it the most effective way I know how.

I have been struggling a lot since Labor Day. There is a depression that lurks around every bend lately, and whenever I hit a setback it starts up again with threatening to eat me from the inside.

I think part of the problem is that Iíve been gradually losing the support network and activity that I enjoyed most of the season. My best boating buddy got a job and moved to Illinois, so Iíve had to work at finding people to paddle with, and to get used to traveling and kayaking with them. Temperatures are dropping and this necessitates more gear, to stay warm and safe. The fact is, for most people the season is ending and theyíre looking forward to their favorite winter sport(s), which generally involve snow.

I have an arthritic knee from an injury when I was 17 and downhill skiing has always been a bit problematic for me. I do like Nordic skiing and bought a pair of skis last year from a friend. There was so little snow I only used them twice, I think.

What most of my whitewater friends do in the winter is downhill skiing, and while I enjoyed it briefly while younger, Iím pretty sure my knee canít handle it now. Some people have said that I might be able to do snowboarding, and Iím willing to give it a shot, if it provides the rush I get from kayaking. Iím going to miss that rush, the speed, the feeling of freedom and moving with the water, the challenge of hitting my lines not just with skill but panache.

The depression that threatens is worse than I recall in recent years. Iíve been having a hard time mustering enthusiasm for anything except kayaking, and itís starting to affect most aspects of my life in a negative way. Last fall I was at the tail end of losing the weight and buoyed up by the novelty and thrill of getting to a size where I actually started not only accepting, but actually *liking* what I saw in the mirror. The year before that I had just started really losing the weight. The 15 winters before that I soothed myself with food. Lots and lots of salty, greasy carbs. Because thatís comfort food for me.

Itís a good thing I have my annual checkup with my shrink today, because I think I might need something stronger than a daily 20mg of fluoxetine. Controlling depression is one of the key factors identified by the NWCR in managing weight. At the moment Iím about 20 lbs up from goal (which I hit in February and March), and Iím not happy about it.

Night eating is what has been happening, and I think depression has been contributing to this. I just want to crawl into a hole and hide until spring comes and kayaking season starts up again. When Iím home alone at night I tend to fall back into old patterns such as watching TV (on Hulu these days) and that triggers me to eat Ė out of boredom and loneliness.

I have an urge to indulge myself with food Ė to eat for other reasons than just fuel or hunger. Iíve had to purge the house of: popcorn, dried fruit, grapes, cheese, meat, pasta, nuts, sugar, honey, and any snacks or desserts. I never did buy any candy for Halloween Ė I know better from past experience. I may have to remove the rice and whole grains but so far the cooking time has deterred me from binging on them too.

Crawling into a hole and hiding until spring just isnít an option for me. Well, it IS an option, but I know where that leads. It leads to super morbid obesity. Iíve been here before, and I donít like the results.

Over the past several months Iíve tried lots of ways of motivating myself and keeping myself on track. I got a tattoo on my forearm to remind me of why I want to stay in shape.

I joined Weight Watcherís for the weekly face-to-face pep talk. I went back to my previous regime of spinning class twice a week alternating with body pump.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that Iím almost the same weight I was last year at this time. Competition does motivate me, so I started a contest with myself of last year to see if I can get back down to goal weight before she does. I have the records of exactly what I ate and how I exercised back then, so if I do the same things I should get similar results.

Iíve got more muscle and less body fat than she did, so I should have an advantage.

So Iím going to visualize those blue dots dropping down at least as fast as the red ones from last year and use that image to keep myself on track with controlling the depression, logging my food and controlling the amounts, avoiding Hulu at night, and exercising even when I might not feel like it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 11/10/2010 3:03PM

    Come visit me in Southern California! Okay, so that probably won't solve your problems, but it sure would be fun...

I hope that your self-competition helps kick you in the rear. And hopefully I'll be having my own successes and came come by and further motivate you. I continue to marvel at how our weight numbers have been tracking so closely together all year!

Are there any X-Country ski clubs in your area you could join?

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NEWNECK 11/6/2010 1:51PM

    Definitely give snowboarding a try. I did a snowboarding weekend a couple of years ago with some friends. We were all absolute beginners but had a great time.

Have you considered telemark skiing as an alternative to alpine? It allows you to use the same runs as alpine, so you have the social component (which can be a problem with Nordic skiing). But telemark is arguably easier on the knees than alpine skiing. It's also fluid and beautiful and a fabulous workout.


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DDOORN 11/6/2010 12:02AM

    There is something SO tricky about the change of seasons for us Northerners...! I'm struggling similarly...having gotten SO PSYCHED and HIGH on cycling all during the spring-summer-fall yet now having to stow it away for a few months...?

You mean I have to STOP this stuff that's been making me feel so FINE?!?!

Shifting gears is not an easy proposition when one has been flying so high! And I think it is a bit natural to feel a bit of whiplash in the form of depression when one pulls the plug from something like your kayaking, my cycling.

And then there seems to ALWAYS be some past demon or another nipping at one's heels. It can be hard work to snuff them out.

But it sounds like you've got a lead on some strategy changes that offer promise!

Love the Oprah link! I have yet STILL not done a vision board / collage of any kind. Hoping this might help to inspire me, along with your flikr collage...liked that a LOT!


Thx for stopping by my blog! There is no way I would have rented any bike without a helmet...that's just joining the ranks of all the other future Darwin Award Winners...lol! It really made me aware of the kind of bonding that occurs between a cyclist and one's bike!

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CARRIE1948 11/5/2010 7:47AM

    First, if numbers work for you, use them. I like charts as well, so I understand.

As to cross country skiing, we're supposed to be in for a bad winter - 100 or more inches of snow, which could make it a great season. I am up for anything, even if it's only snow shoeing on my part.

Night eating is a problem. Have you considered that it's boredom? I know what it's like to miss the endorphins. But, eating doesn't resolve their lack. And, of course, you know that.

Good luck with the meds.

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EILEENV3 11/5/2010 6:03AM

    Reading your blog reminds me of my life experiences with Depression; only I did not seek medical help. I regret that. I'm so glad you are seeing a medical person.

Is there any chance that some(definitely not all) of the cause may be the seasonal depression caused by less sun on your skin. I think the acronym is SAD. If it is, there is a light therapy that can help.

It sound like you are very self aware. That is a strength. It gives me much hope for you.

Have you thought about trying Meetup.com to find new companions for physical activities. Besides Nordic skiing when there is snow, there is snow shoeing. In addition, you could find hiking buddies through the site for snowless weather. Biking is another group you could find at Meetup.com If you're interested, go to the main site & plug in either interests or zip code. If you do zip code, change the range from 25 miles to 50 miles.

Good luck with everything!

Comment edited on: 11/5/2010 6:04:37 AM

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GEE-KNEE 11/5/2010 1:14AM

    Life isn't always easy. I am at almost the same weight I was last year at this time. I had a heck of a year. I was like 15 pounds lighter in May. Don't beat yourself up. You will get back down. I will too. We didn't gain back 50 or 100 or 150... a mere 15-20 pounds will be off in no time. Take care of yourself. I am glad you are seeing a doctor. Anxiety is my demon... it's related to depression, but slightly different.


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TELERIE 11/4/2010 7:28PM

    Thanks for reminding me that I'm really motivated by graphs and numbers too. I've sort of stood still this year, weighing more or less the same as I did at the beginning of the year., It's good to maintain, but I am looking to drop a few more kilos before I will tell myself I'm "done". From what you write I will expect the work to just continue, perhaps with a different focus.
I hope you get to play in the snow, perhaps you can find a couple of cross-country enthusiasts in a club somewhere near you to join?
There might be something in the season change bringing on a bout of depression. I feel it too here in the cold north, but once snow gets here, things brighten up for me.

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    Here comes the drive-by psychoanalysis. So, I don't have depression, so I don't think I can completely relate, but I think I used to have seasonal depression. Late October, early November (sometimes earlier), I would start getting bitchy. Warm weather was gone, no more summer sports, long nights, cold days, scraping windshields, shoveling drive ways, driving on ice covered roads ... oh I get chills just thinking about it now.

Seems like maybe a move south could do you some good? I know that's a LOT easier said than done, but my seasonal depression (if that's what it was) vanished the day I quit shoveling snow. While it gets cold down here, it ain't like it is up there. We can still do summer like things outside half the time. Since you seem like a summer time gal ... well, just thought I'd throw that out there based on my personal experience.

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BUZYBEEDEBRA 11/4/2010 5:53PM

    thank you - this spoke to me in ways I cannot begin to describe.

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NIMNIX 11/4/2010 5:03PM

    If you're gonna go all off-season with it, train with exercises built for kayaking, whatever drills you can do indoors, any exercises that will strengthen and hone your body for what you want. There are probably resources out there for circuits and workouts designed for your needs. They exist for every other sport I know of. It helps to have specific training goals in mind.

As for using numbers, some people go overboard with it or get too attached to the actual number. If numbers work for you, why not use them? Use other measurements too for a full picture, but there's nothing like that downward line to mark progress. emoticon

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WALKWITME 11/4/2010 2:00PM


Come here give me a hug !

I can relate to some of which you are going through, especially the Depression.

I too have my own demons on my back.

we are going to work it out.

Enjoyed your Blog

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PAMROPER 11/4/2010 1:38PM

    Sounds like you're working it out. Hang in there - and that competition with yourself is a great idea. Have you thought about volunteering with something that you have an interest in? It will get you out and around people and the happiness you'll get from helping someone else will be a real boost.

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ALIE719 11/4/2010 11:36AM

    I love that you're competing against yourself. Awesome idea.

I'm about to be a year out from a really bad kayaking accident, one that took place after we moved from Yorkshire to Wales. Our Yorkshire canoe club was out for a trip, so we went out with them. Because of that injury, I was out for the rest of the season, and we haven't made any kayaking friends in our area, so I feel your pain. I wound up gaining 30 pounds over the course of this year, and am creeping back down to where I was (15 down, 15 to go, then another 15 to goal...).

Funnily enough, we're just hitting the start of kayaking season here, but everything is III/IV, and my confidence is still a bit too low and my skills a bit too rusty to trust myself with just the boyfriend out on something North Wales has to provide(everything is really freaking technical, but really fun).

I do get a huge rush from snowboarding, so it is something to try. Or you could do what the UK paddles do in the (very dry) summer and go to where the water is. Kayaking trips are a great way to get closer with a new group and oh so freaking much fun!

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ISLANDGIRL2013 11/4/2010 11:06AM

    So many times we think 'once we lose the excess weight that all our problems will be solved and we'll be in our happy place 24/7'. It, unfortunately, doesn't work that way.

Thank you for posting such a powerful and personal message.

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