Friday, May 18, 2012
The better question is this: What size do I wear?
Today I have on my one pair of jeans that I bought at Macy's a few pounds ago. They're the stretchy, forgiving type, and they're size 14. 14?! WTH? Earlier this week I was wearing a pair of size 8 Alfani pants, also bought at Macy's. Another day I wore a size 8 skirt from Orvis with a size M top from Eddie Bauer bought 20 years ago to go with size 12 pants. Yesterday, I went back to Orvis to return a vest I realized didn't match my style and tried on another skirt and blouse. I went home with a size 6 in each.
So...6 to 14...what size do I wear? I realize the clothing industry has supersized clothing over the last couple of decades, but can't the industry agree on some standard for size? It used to be easy...order the XL out of the catalog of slightly baggy styles that covered a multitude of sins, especially my hips. Now, I can't possibly order from a catalog because even the measurements guide isn't all that accurate.
This isn't a rant blog, but rather one questioning the clothing industry. On the positive side, I absolutely love being able to go into a store and try on things and THEN have to ask the salesperson to bring me a smaller size. That's as good a reward as the new clothes themselves!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Finally getting to my rant about front-loading, so-called "high-efficiency" washers. We bought one last fall when the 22-year old top-loading washer finally gave up the ghost. The first thing we noticed was that all those great pictures of the washer on the handy pedestal drawer did not clue anyone in to the fact that the top of the washer would be at about nose level if placed on the pedestal. Our small laundry room will not accommodate a folding table, so we declined the pedestal so we could continue to fold laundry on the washer top. Second, who the heck decided these contraptions were efficient? Yeah, maybe they use less water, but they require special HE detergents, so we are trying to use up the last of our regular detergent. But *efficient*?! Laundry that normally washed in 30 minutes for a regular load and 25 minutes for delicates now takes 58 and 45 minutes, respectively...almost twice as long (and even longer if someone uses too much soap and the washer has to add time to reduce suds). So the "efficient" washer is NOT efficient with my time. And I can't imagine how running the motor for twice as long makes for efficient use of electricity.
Okay, end of rant. Just needed to get that off my chest.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Wendy Bumgardner, who hosts the website walking.about.com, posted a question to Facebook this morning asking about walking mom memories. Instantly, I thought of walking to Dairy Queen with my mother and brother on hot summer evenings in Kansas. We usually got a small cone or some sort of slushy drink, and on one of the walks, I found a whole nickel and felt so rich! As a kid we pretty much walked everywhere since Mom's medical issues prevented her from driving. School was about 3/4 mile away and included a busy intersection. The grocery store was a mile in one direction, DQ a like distance in the other. Even the closest bus stop was several blocks away for trips beyond walking distance. But we walked, and I credit my mom with giving me "walking legs."
As an adult, I got away from walking, turning into a running snob. Then, predictably, the knees gave out, and I went back to walking. Fortunately, a colleague introduced me to volksmarches or "people's walks," a sport service members brought back from Germany (www.ava.org is the place for info). The story is that volksmarching was created in response to increasing numbers of competitive events that could have only one winner. In volksmarching, the standard distance is 10K (about 6 miles), though shorter distances are available, and every finisher is a winner; I have boxes of patches, suncatchers, and other trinkets to prove it.
Over time, DH and I were drawn to longer walks in more exotic locations, and we discovered the International Marching League Walking Association, an umbrella organization for walking festivals around the world (www.imlwalking.org). DH calls it "volksmarching on steroids," since the minimum requirement for a stamp in the IMLWA passport is 2 days of walking 20K (a little over 12 miles) each day. In fact, our honeymoon was spent at the festivals in Wonju, Korea, and Hagashimatsuyama, Japan.
Most IMLWA events, though, offer longer distances up to 50K. The most strenuous walk we did was in Nijmegen, Netherlands: 4 days, 50K/day earned us the Queen's Medal. No need to prove anything to anybody after that, though we did return twice for shorter distances. Other places we've walked in this series include England, Ireland, Austria, Germany (many times), Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, U.S., Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. In a couple of weeks we leave for Luxembourg's event to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the founding of the IMLWA. Looking forward to seeing this country neither of us has been to before.
When we return, it will be time to start preparing for the DC IMLWA event in October, the US FreedomWalk Festival (www.usfreedomwalk.org). DH liked the concept so much he founded this walk, the only one of the series still operating in North America, as the walks in Vancouver, WA, and Victoria, BC, have closed down. Seems on this continent, it's hard to attract walkers and volunteers for health-oriented, non-charity events. Too bad, but we'll keep walking for our health anyway.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
I went to a retirement luncheon yesterday and ended up sitting next to a colleague I've worked several projects with over the years...not closely, but we did work together. Even though I had acknowledged him when he sat down late at the luncheon, about half way through he turned to me and said, "Excuse me, I don't think we've met." At first I was annoyed and pointed out our past. Then, seeing his embarrassment, and realizing we hadn't worked together in the last year, I continued with, "But I was much heavier then." Left feeling much better!
Monday, May 07, 2012
Lately you may have noticed some of the ads on SparkPeople are from places you wouldn't expect a health-oriented site to want as sponsors. Places like Cheesecake Factory and Dunkin Donuts. I was actually a little angry when I started seeing Cheesecake Factory ads, because all I could see in my mind were their huge entrees and mountainous cheesecake portions. Then I picked up this month's issue of Cooking Light and read an article on how restaurants are changing...including Cheesecake Factory of all places! I was prompted to do some web surfing to find out if it was true, and came to http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/chefsC
ornerLanding/chefscornerLanding. Excitement! Now I don't have to dread when friends want to go to CF, where they will indulge, while I'm stuck with a plate of steamed veggies or "a nice salad with dressing on the side." I can plan for success ahead of time.
And CF isn't the only place offering healthier options. Dunkin Donuts has unveiled its DDSmart program. Now, when I'm traveling, instead of getting a fatty breakfast sandwich on the run, if there's a DD, I can get one of their egg white wake-up wraps (with either turkey sausage or veggies) for 150 calories and way less cholesterol than I normally get from the usual 2 boiled eggs I eat most mornings.
So happy more restaurants are jumping on the healthy bandwagon so I don't have to break out in a cold sweat anytime someone suggests we go out to eat.
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