Saturday, August 01, 2009
I've finally gotten partly back on track. I'm on day three of being scrupulous about weighing and recording everything, I've started doing a little strength training again, and I managed to force myself out to run a few times. It's scary how fast you get out of condition; I used to run a 5K all the time and now I can't do 2 miles without at least one stop. Part of it is the weather, of course, but part of it is that I was sliding back toward fat & lazy and I've got a lot of ground to recover. It helps that my mysterious 3-pound gain has just as mysteriously dropped off again. It feels like I'm seeing results, even though logically I know that those "results" are completely unrelated to the past 2 days.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Cherries, 88 cents a pound! Got 2 1/2 pounds plus a big head of red-leaf lettuce, for a little over $3. Yum!
And it didn't hit 100 degrees today!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I'm not totally off track. I'm doing reasonably well with what I'm eating, although I'm going overboard on fruit and neglecting veggies. But I just CANNOT seem to get back into the exercise groove. I'm using the excuse that it's too hot, which is mostly true-- when it's 101 degrees out, day after day, it kind of discourages the biking or running. But I'm not doing my strength training, either, and I do have AC. That's just a matter of laziness.
Sigh. I think the only option is going to be to start getting up early and running in the morning. Even at 7 am it's warm and humid, but I have to do something because I'm 8 pounds over my comfort weight and it's not coming down from diet.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Seven states (8 if you count a 15-min side trip into Indiana looking for a museum I didn't find) and two countries.
Man, I'm tired! I drove more in the last 17 days than in all of 2008.
My route was:
Day 1: Austin TX to Hope, AR. It was 98 degrees at 9:30 pm. Stayed in cheap motel.
Day 2: Hope to just outside of Nashville, with about a 4-hour stop in Memphis. Took a walking tour along the riverfront (in 100+ degrees, and got attacked by a bird. Seriously-- there was bird-claw-to-scalp contact, but no permanent damage.) Got hopelessly lost trying to find a restaurant and/or Graceland (the restaurant is allegedly near Graceland) with just the little tourist map. Memphis doesn't believe in street signs. Had to abandon the search and move on. Stayed in another cheap motel.
Day 3: Nashville to Berea, KY for grad school reunion. Stayed in college dorms. (Reunion organizer's mom has pull at the college.)
Days 4-5: Hung out with friends and toured central KY.
Day 6: Berea to Findley Lake, NY. Met up with my parents and their RV.
Day 7-10: Wedding prep, wedding, post-wedding socializing with relatives who'd come for the wedding, recovering from the relatives.
Day 11: Convoy with the RV down to northern PA where my sister (mother of the bride) lives.
Day 12-15: Sight-seeing in the towns near my sister and trip to Niagara Falls. I walked across the bridge so I could say I'd been to Canada.
Day 16: PA/NY border to Youngstown, OH, with a long stop in Erie, PA-- cycled around Presque Isle State Park. Cheap motel.
Day 17: Across OH and down to Louisville, KY. Torrential rain most of the way-- really scary driving blind through Columbus and Cincinnati, surrounded by semi trucks and semi-drunks (it was 4th of July.) Expensive motel. (There are no cheap motels on the 4th of July.)
Day 18: Louisville to Wildersville, TN. I'd intended to stop at Mammoth Cave NP to camp, but it was pouring down rain so I kept going until I started seeing deer, then hit the next exit. EXTREMELY cheap motel-- muddy campground in wet tent might have been marginally less unpleasant.
Day 19: Across TN and on to Hot Springs, AR. Finally got to camp.
Day 20: Hot Springs to Austin. Hiked around Hot Springs, got lost, ended up leaving about 3 hours later than planned. Made it home around 2 am.
Edit: Just realized that I listed 20 days but i was only gone 19. Oh, well. It's not that important.
Summary: Saw my grad school friends. All but one of them look exactly the same-- one of them said, "Damn, we look great for a bunch of women over 40!" They brought along 6 amazingly bright, well-behaved kids and one brat.
Got niece successfully married off to rocket scientist. We like his family. In fact, we like his family better than ours! Spent most of the following day with my oldest sister & her family, and I remembered how much I dislike her husband. There's something wrong with some of her kids, too-- could be some form of autism, or maybe it's just that Daddy-Know-it-All rarely lets them get a word in and corrects and contradicts them on EVERY. TINY. DETAIL when they do, so they've never learned to talk to people. Did I mention that I don't like my oldest sister's husband?
Went to Niagara Falls, took lots of pictures, and walked across the bridge into Canada just to say I'd been there. It was Canada Day, and I wish we could have stayed for the fireworks, but we were going back to my sister's house and it's a dangerous drive after dark. (She lives right on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, and there's lotsa critters in them there woods. Apparently, hitting a bear is even worse than hitting a deer.)
Only got to camp out once, this past Monday night. I'd planned to camp at Hot Springs NP (AR) on the way out and at Mammoth Cave NP (KY) on the way back, but I started out too late the first day (and it was too hot), and there was torrential rain all across southern Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee on the way back. I did camp at Hot Springs on the way home, and it was very nice. My little tent was surprisingly comfortable and easy to set up, so I might do more camping in the near future.
As for diet and exercise...
I ate healthy all the way north, though I didn't have a chance to exercise much. While I was with my family, I ate junk. In all fairness, it's fairly isolated where my sister lives and they have a hard time getting good produce. But I also ate c**p because it was there. And we went to the buffet at the Senecas' casino in Niagara because she likes to support them (her baby-daddy was Seminole and her husband was mostly Cherokee, and they brought the kids up sort of generically Indian.) I tried to be reasonable, but I still have trouble with buffets; i want to try as many different things as possible, but I feel guilty leaving it on my plate if it turns out not to be as good as it looked. Actually, I guess that falls into the category of eating c**p because it's there.
On the way home, I ate all kinds of unhealthy but yummy stuff. I did eat some fast food, but only stuff we don't have here. I now understand what the big deal is about Tim Horton's, but White Castle I can totally do without. I also pigged out at two places that were listed as "worth a drive from anywhere" on a blog by a pair of food writers who are fairly famous. One was a bakery in Louisville, so I ate nothing but pie that day, and one was a barbeque place in Hot Springs, so yesterday I ate a rib platter. And you know what? They were worth every calorie. I don't feel bad about things like that, because I consider it "food tourism"-- part of the experience of travel. And i figure it's not like I'm going to get a midnight pie craving and up and drive to Louisville. (Although apparently Louisville has a bunch of great bakeries. Who knew?) [We need a shrug smiley.]
I did get in some exercise on the way back-- a 15-mile bike ride Friday in Presque Isle, near Erie, PA, and then about a 2-3 hour hike over the mountain from the campground to the main part of the National Park in Hot Springs. Not sure how long it really was. because i spent a bunch of time looking for the trailhead to get back-- it's on the NP map, but they fail to mention that it's only accessible by going THROUGH one of the hotels that's not in the park.
And I've discovered that I love McDonald's, WalMart, and Cracker Barrel when I'm traveling. McDonald's has cheap soda and coffee (and clean bathrooms.) Cracker Barrel lets you borrow an audiobook and return it at any other Cracker Barrel for $3.50 (and has clean bathrooms.) WalMart is THE place to go to hear how people talk in any given area. I never realized how different an Arkansas accent is from a Texas accent is from a Tennessee or Kentucky accent. (And it has... well... bathrooms.) I think I went to McDonalds' more in the last 3 weeks than in the last 10 years, though I never bought anything but a beverage. Oddly enough, I was never even tempted by the food there. I was kinda curious about Cracker Barrel, but I didn't want to take time for a sit-down meal.
So, now I'm home and it's time to get back on track. I bought fruit today, and tomorrow I'll get out to the garden to see if I have any veggies. I had gone healthy-food shopping for non-perishables right before I left, so I shouldn't have much trouble getting my eating back in line. Exercise is another issue, though. It's 105 here today. That's almost too hot for walking, much less running. I might stay lazy until the heat wave breaks. Or, i might finally get it in gear and try to learn to swim. Don't have money for lessons right now, but I might hit Craig's List and try to barter.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Last Saturday I got what may be the worst sunburn of my life, though luckily it's a small area. I went to the garden for about 3 hours in the afternoon. I was good, though; I totally slathered myself in #45 sunscreen, all over my shoulders and back and face and legs.
I forgot I would be bending over. My shorts were too big, and I missed the gap at the back of the waistband. I have a burned patch the shape of a Stealth bomber across my lower back. It's a color not normally found in nature-- I don't know quite how to describe it. Strawberry jello comes to mind-- the color of the powder before you add water. And it HURTS! Yesterday it peeled (for the first time; I have a feeling it's going to peel over and over). I put aloe on it and ran around the house squealing because it stung so much. When aloe vera stings, you know you're fried. If I had health insurance, I'd be going to a doctor for this.
On the bright side, I've been having a string of good luck in other aspects. One of the older students I tutored this spring runs a salon, but I didn't know the name of the place or where it's located. I was really wishing I'd gotten her contact info anyway, because she's a fun person, and when I had the hair disaster, I was really kicking myself. Well, guess who I ran into in the grocery store where we buy the cheap fruit? So I'm going to try to get in there early next week and get the hair fixed.
I also had my last guinea-pig visit for that flu vaccine study I was in, and it turns out they pay for the reminder phone calls/e-mails they sent out once a week, so I got $150 more than I was expecting for that (and they didn't even take blood on the last visit.) So that's at least two nights I can stay in a cheap motel if I want to on this upcoming trip, instead of camping.
On top of that, a month or so ago I bought a bunch of Cheerios for next to nothing by combining a store special and coupons. I held off on opening the second box, but had a weak moment late one evening and gave in to the midnight cereal gremlins. I hadn't paid much attention to the box; there was a special offer where some boxes had gift/cash cards in them, but I never win those things. The next morning I looked closer, and there in the box was a little silver envelope. $5 gift card! Yay! So on impulse I opened the other box, and sure 'nuf, another $5! How cool is that? So all that cereal was basically free, plus enough left over for a cheap meal on my trip if I get sick of living on grapes and dry cereal. Or enough to cover the last week's increase in gas prices for the fill-up.
(Gas prices are NOT part of my good luck string-- the corner station went from $2.43 to $2.54 on Wednesday. Although, I think I remember hearing that Tennessee has some of the cheapest gas right now, and I'm probably going to get 2 of my 5 fill-ups in TN.)
I leave on my trip a week from today! I'm weirdly nervous, but looking forward to it. Still have a lot to get done before then, but the huge advantage of driving is that if I forget something, I can stop at a Target or WalMart and get it taken care of. And it's such a luxury to be able to pack without having to put all your shampoo and poison ivy medication in little 3-oz bottles!
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