Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Anyone remember that song? Gene Autrey? Roy Rogers?
Although traffic and such will not get back to its usual congested mess until next Monday, I am back at it at work!
The big news is that I sent off my retirement letter today. With not a single regret. You may not know, but there is no longer an "official" retirement age in Canada. You can work till you drop, if you wish. Me. I'm working until I'm 65.
I am the lead hand at my agency for developing and sending in a submission for a certification in quality and the healthy workplace to an independent certification organization. What a mouthful. That is just some of what I do, but it now looms large as we are ready to go for mid-February. I was updating some of the evidence that proves we have done this, that, and the other thing today, and it is exacting, painstaking work. Leaves me really tired in the evening.
The way I see it, preparing for retirement while still working full time at a demanding, responsible job is really challenging. But, it is the only rational choice I really have. Can you imagine, I could have gone on almost 100 pounds heavier than I am now until I retired. and not play the guitar, as I was too darn large to hold it properly. I think if I had continued that way I would have hit a brick wall the day after my retirement and gone splat.
Now, with any luck (and hard work and fitbit and Sparkpeople and so on) I will retire probably more fit than I have ever been, with some guitar skills, and volunteer work to segue into as I search for other interesting things to do.
And now I will go to bed, because this double life of working/retirement prep means I am up at 4:30 AM every weekday morning to workout.
Good night! Have a good one!
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
So, DH and I spent a very typical new year's for us, dinner out and a movie.
Dinner for me was one slice of cheese pizza and half a large greek salad, well within my allotted calories for the day. I am feeling very comfortable with my fitbit/Sparkpeople set up for monitoring myself each day, the number of calories I can eat changes with the amount of activity I have done, and, by the way, it is always below my Sparkpeople limits. Which I have always thought were too high. And I am losing, and do not feel ill or weak!
Back to new years!
Through the magic of the internet, we were able to purchase out tickets on line. We wend to see Life of Pi, a very spiritual, symbolic film. Reminded me of Terrence Mallick's Tree of Life in that sense. DH and I enjoy these kind of films, and discuss them in detail!
Now here's a funny piece. The film was in 3D. I had survived Avatar in 3D and thought I would not be negatively affected by getting sick or dizzy. But, much of the movie takes place on a lifeboat in the middle of an ocean. Oh boy, it got to me. But, on the other hand, I had the same reaction to the Perfect Storm, which was not in 3D, but just a lot of up and down and up and down on water....I think you can get it. I also had a similar reaction to The Wrestler, the Mickey Rourke film that was filmed with a non-steady cam.
But, I managed, and the film was worth it. I am clearly not a good candidate for ocean voyages!
Then it was home, and I tried to stay up to midnight, but did not make it past 11 PM.
I've already posted my goals for 2013 on my next most recent blog....
A couple of other thoughts...there was a member blog about why Sparkpeople worked on one of the emails that get sent out. That member gave a lot of credit to the community. Yes, it is that, but is also the lifestyle vs diet philosophy, the start small and build up philosophy, and the forgive yourself and get back on your program philosophy. Works for me. Yay Spark!
Saturday, December 29, 2012
I decided I have to write this blog now. I am back to work on Monday and will be busy, busy, busy...
So, I will talk about 2012 and look forward to 2013....
2012 was a challenge, weight wise. No excuses here, but with foot surgery in the summer and then a month long cold in November, my willpower and sound mental health and good planning went out the window, and I went up to 129 pounds before I yelled to self stop! Now, that is still in my healthy BMI, and really, the fact that I could yell stop! and listen to myself is pretty amazing, I never did that before.
But still, way too much weight for my height and frame. So I did what I have done before, went to a new way of monitoring. This time I am relying on technology, and have used some dollars from my part time university grading and upgraded to an iPhone 5 and a fitbit One. So there is constant monitoring of my activity, as often as I want, and with that goes a constant running report on how many calories I can eat. I have set a very slow weight loss goal and hope to be at 115 by May or June, but I really don't care as long as each day is a healthy and mindful eating day. And so far I am down about 3 pounds.
Activity--I am back to a treadmill 5K walk five days a week, and am darn proud of that. My foot is still sore, but I ignore it...it is soft tissue, the bones are fine, the soft tissue will heal eventually. Plus a shorter treadmill walk on the day I houseclean, and, if the weather permits and no one is sick, DH and I walk to synagogue every Saturday for a total of about 6 miles. Plus light weights 3 days a week, and a short hooping session three days a week. I kept this up even when I was pretty sick, so it is ingrained and will likely stay with me until I am unable to move anymore!
Music--I have my third guitar, and playing every day for at least 15 minutes, and have discovered a number of Hal leonard books that have fingerpicking arrangements for modern music is playable keys and at an intermediate level. I bought three, am now learning Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and feel re-energized with my playing!
And on to 2013!
The biggest story is that I am retiring at the end of August. I have spent more than 30 years working in child welfare in Ontario, have done my bit, and it is time to move on. Plans? The Monday after the Friday I retire, I will be out doing volunteer work at a hospital. Other plans could include part time employment, or consulting work, that kind of thing. And much more music! Lessons, even, if I can find a teacher I can work with.
Wellness? Continue with the fitness regime, slowly increasing speed on the treadmill (I am working on getting all my intervals to 3.6 mph now, that's fast for someone with short legs!) Eat well, using the best technology I can get to monitor. Forgive myself for slips, and get back on tack asap.
Do good deeds, be kind, and hone my sense of the ridiculous and the sarcastic. Aging comes with some physical limitations, but you do have the opportunity to say what you really believe, no more need to be politically correct at work. Feh!
And, of course, I will be here on Sparkpeople every day!
Best wishes to all Sparkers for 2013!
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
By Roy F. Baumeister (psychologist) and John Tierney (writer). The idea of collaborating with a writer is a good one, the book gets across some complex ideas in a clear, easy to read manner. The ideas are research based.
This blog is my work only and does not constitute endorsement of the authors, or publishers, etc., etc., etc. I have received no monetary compensation to write it.
I am going to focus on dieting, in a chapter the authors call "The Perfect Storm of Dieting."
Briefly, willpower, or the ability to self regulate, is a brain function that depends on adequate glucose levels. As we go through the day, we use our willpower for all kinds of things; functioning at work, getting along with spouse, etc. We use it up. So, by the end of the day, we may not have much left. Thus we may binge. How do we restore our willpower? BY EATING!!! YIKES!!!
Or, as the authors put it, in order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.
The writers identify the "What-the-Hell" effect. That's right, When we exceed out calorie level, or eat a forbidden food, then all is blown--for the day, the week, the month.....the binge.
What to do? The authors identify some useful strategies.
When your willpower is high, make a pre-commitment--like joining sparkpeople.
Commit in public.
Measure and record--food, weight, exercise, and so on. Sound familiar? These authors recommend daily weigh ins, research shows that this seems to work better for weight loss.
Use Positive Procrastination. That is why Marathondad's challenge not to eat any junk until Christmas is doable. We can tell ourselves that we can eat our faces off on December 25. We likely won't, but the thought that we can if we want to helps self control in the present. Saying "never" does not work so well.
If we do not want to work out, we can use the "Nothing Alternative." We tell ourselves we have a choice. We can work out, or do nothing for the same amount of time. No TV, computer, reading, talking, sleeping, nothing. The idea is to get rid of competing tasks and get so bored that we will work out.
There is a lot more in the book, about other lack of willpower problems such as addictions.
And, for my fellow fitbitters, the fitbit is mentioned as one of the measurement devices one can use.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
I think I have gotten my picture situation straightened out, so here goes the blog.
The guitar I am writing about is my present-to-self for 2 years of maintenance. All opinions are my own!
For the guitar techies out there, the model name is NCX1200R. Its' specs are standard classic w/cutaway, that is, 2 inch wide neck, connects at the 12th fret, standard depth--and it has on-board electronics. Yamaha calls it a nylon electric. Yamaha has some kind of new process where the wood is pre-aged, and it sounds fabulous!
Here is the guitar:
You can see the cutaway. It has a sitka spruce top, rosewood back and sides, and mahogany neck. The neck has a truss rod, not found in a standard classic and certainly adding to the weight. But, the construction is stronger.
It came with a rather unusual case; the case has a fabric cover but is solid, and form fitting to the guitar.
Here are pictures of the battery opening and the on-board electronics. It also has a built in tuner.
A close-up of the cutaway.
A close-up of the sound hole decoration--quite modern looking!
And finally, i went and got a Peavey acoustic amp to go with it! Oh my goodness, me buying an amp...
Hope you enjoyed!
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