Monday, March 30, 2009
This one is, once again, more for me than anything, but you're welcome to enjoy the photos. It's a photo blog of one of the local parks I frequent. I'd planned to do a long walk at the hike & bike trail yesterday, but the Cap 10k was being run. The route didn't actually go exactly where I'd planned to park, but it was near enough that I figured it probably wasn't worth trying. Not to mention my car decided to act up again, and I ended up taking my husband's car instead.
So I headed to the park closest to me. I've been going to this park as long as I've been going to the hike & bike trail, but much more sporadically. Even though it's closer. Even though, or maybe because, it's much less crowded.
This park has a paved (now crumbling in parts) loop in its heart. I think maybe it's about 2 miles completely around the loop -- but we rarely complete it, because there are many side trails.
Unlike the hike and bike trail, the benches are few and far between. There are several places with large rocks by the side of the trail.
I went to this park for years before discovering one day that it has a creek running through it. Although it doesn't look like much in a photo, this particular spot has deep meaning for me. It is one of my favorite benches in the park -- usually no one is there. I used to go there & bring some lunch. This is where I sat the day I wrestled with whether or not it was time for Cleo, the first cat I had to make the decision for (it was).
I thought these were swans, but they're just ducks.
I was hoping to get a photo of the dogs in the bluebonnets, but there weren't any yet. Still, I got one of them in front of a prickly pear. My husband was so excited the day he found one growing wild in our backyard (yes, we're Yankees); it did eventually die.
I got a little arty. Doesn't Lola look ferocious here? She has a pretty severe underbite.
Chester has an underbite, too, but you can't see it in this photo. The woman we board him with calls him Elvis because he has this sort of sneer on his face.
And there you have it. It's a nice little park that not a whole lot of people use. People actually do ride horses in it, although I've only encountered horses once the entire time I've been going there. Even though it's surrounded by apartment complexes and a school now (it wasn't when we moved here), we still see deer occasionally there. You just never know what you might find on any given day; yesterday, it was fishermen everywhere.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
When I first heard the story about her bikini shoot, I must admit, I thought: good, there's hope that someday I'll actually like photos of myself. At first I'd heard that she started at 172, and lost 40 lbs -- and she's only an inch taller than me.
Then I found out the rest of the story: she dropped about another 10 pounds by eating 1200 calories a day for her bikini shoot, and then resumed normal eating.
Which reminded me of my disappointment on learning that Jillian Michaels drops 10 lbs before each season of "The Biggest Loser" so that she'll look better on tv -- then immediately gains it back after the show wraps.
That isn't a healthy lifestyle. I'm sure I would succumb, too, if I ever happened to be in the position of being viewed by millions of people. Well, maybe. I can be pretty darn stubborn.
Still, what kind of a message does this send out? That it's okay to "crash diet", just to look good for an event? It isn't -- it's a very unhealthy lifestyle to strive to look good for a fleeting event, and that sort of weight loss never lasts.
So maybe I'll never look great in a bikini. But I refuse to drive myself crazy to try to fit into some kind of "normal" (or abnormal, as is the case with Hollywood). I will continue to focus on healthy eating and a healthy dose of exercise, thank you very much, and I'll learn to accept the body that emerges. It may not be easy, but it's healthy.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Now, asparagus is a good weight loss "supplement". Full of fiber and potassium and a mild diuretic. But that's not my point.
Asparagus is basically a bulb. You stick the bulb in the ground, and in a few years, you get asparagus. It's really just that simple. Bugs don't even seem attracted to it -- I've had mine quite a while now, and I've never had to worry about something attacking it.
For the last few years, though, I've raised asparagus ferns. That's what happens when you don't harvest your asparagus. Not this year, though, I enjoyed some roasted asparagus from my "garden" (it's the only thing in my garden right now other than weeds; lots & lots of weeds) just yesterday.
You have to keep your eye on it, though. It can go from not ready to be picked to too ripe (and woody) in the space of a day. I have to check it a couple of times a day. Just like I have to track my food, keep on eye on portion sizes, and really pay attention when I eat.
As I said, if you leave it too long, it gets tough & inedible. If I ignore what I'm eating, I gain weight. If I don't keep up with my exercise, I gain weight. You have to be mindful.
Asparagus takes patience. Even though I have quite a few plants, you only get a spear or 2 or 3 every day or so. So it can take an entire week -- sometimes more -- to get enough for a side dish. The green bags I use for veggies do keep it from getting limp until I have enough. Weight loss takes patience, obviously. Lots & lots of patience.
I had one more thought, but I forgot to write it down and now it's gone. You get the picture, though.
I'll leave you with these quotes:
"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained."
– Marie Curie
"You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."
– Mahatma Gandhi
Friday, March 27, 2009
My little line may be going down slowly, but it is going down -- for an entire month now. I am not on track to meet my goal of 135 by the end of June -- already moved back from the end of May), but we'll just leave it as is for the time being and see what happens.
Funny how small things can add up. Adding in the healthy oils, which is part of the WW Healthy Guidelines, did me in. I'm pretty sure that's what stalled my weight loss at the beginning of the year; although who really knows? Maybe it was just time for a plateau. Just adding in those extra teaspoons of oil, though, really seemed to do me in. I already eat a relatively healthy diet, full of healthy oils, ground flaxseed, nuts and seeds. But too much of anything, even something healthy, will make you fat. I should know, I've been fat for years despite eating healthy.
Funny, too, how sometimes the stars just align for us. I called to make an appointment with the vet for one of my dogs yesterday -- it was for a chiropractic adjustment (don't laugh!), and it usually takes a couple of weeks to get an appointment, but she just happened to have a cancelation that day.
We missed the rain on our morning walk, and it cleared up just in time to go to the vet. On the way home from the vet, I had green lights almost the entire way home -- that NEVER happens, especially not during rush hour.
Today seems the opposite. We got rained on pretty good during our morning walk. Then it poured again, and started to thunder, about the time I had to leave for my WI. Lola is afraid of thunder, so I left late. The friend I was supposed to go out to lunch with canceled (an email beforehand would have been nice).
There is always a silver lining, though. I did lose weight, for the fourth week in a row. I was able to find the size jeans I wanted that weren't at the store the last time I stopped there. They don't fit yet, but I know that they will, and I know that this store always has a good price -- I don't know what I'll find in Albany yet, so I was willing to take the plunge even though they don't fit now.
I am glad, too, that my husband was too cheap for the funnel cake. That could have been enough to keep me status quo this week. I definitely would have eaten some if he'd bought it. Would it have been worth it? Dunno. But I'm happy to have lost weight, despite the Greek food and the bagel and lox.
I forgot to mention, too, that when I stopped at the used book store the other day to sell back books (the thing that caused the blowup with my husband), I got a set of exercise DVDs I've been wanting to try for a long time -- Core Rhythms. Another dance workout. Unlike Zumba, Turbo Jam, and Yoga Booty Ballet, I was never able to find opinions on SP about this one.
So far I've just tried the intro. Which goes really slowly, which is good for a dance-challenged person such as myself. My hips never seem to move the right way, and they really go slowly -- I like that. I think I'm definitely goint to like it. The price was certainly right - between what I got for the books I sold and my discount coupon, I paid a whopping 23 cents for it. I've been really, really lucky to find a lot of the exercise DVDs I've wanted at the used book store. I will miss Half Price.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Today DH leaves. This was his last trip home before we move (still approximately a month away).
We were doing pretty good right up until yesterday. He blew up at me because I'd gone to get an oil change, then stopped by at the used book store to sell back some books. It wasn't on his priority list, and he didn't get as much done as he wanted to -- I'd asked him to walk the dogs so that I could get out a little earlier. You must bear in mind that DH almost never walks the dogs in the mornings, and I rarely ask him to.
Also keep in mind that he spent the afternoon on Sunday going shooting with a friend. That was more than just a couple of hours. I knew he really needed it, and I didn't say a word about it. He'd also installed a new screen door with the same friend the day before.
He accused me of not doing enough, which is probably true enough. I don't deal well with being a whipping boy (or girl); I tried to keep my cool, but I was very angry, too. He always manages to make me feel that what I do isn't important. He feels the same way about me. But where he blows up big & then it passes over, I smolder.
However, later in the day he apologized. I know he's under a great deal of stress -- but let's face it, so am I. I've been working really hard on keeping my cool over this visit, and mostly managed it, but it wasn't easy. It seemed like a cruel joke that I'd be getting my period as well, and had the hungries. I feel I managed them fairly well. It's a fine line, knowing when I need to really eat, and when I just need to feel hungry for a while, when it's being hormonally driven. Unfortuantely, I'm due again right around the time we move.
It would have been very easy to use food to medicate. Only with this kind of stress, I actually tend to have the opposite reaction -- instead of getting hungry, I tend to lose my appetite. It's funny; the little things can drive me to eat, but the big things tend to rob me of my appetite.
Wish me luck in a month. I'm going to need it. At the moment, we're thinking of making two trips with the animals. It didn't much help that friends told DH that they have never flown their dogs in-cabin -- but they have no choice; their dogs are too big to fly in-cabin. I don't want to make one trip with them, much less two, but I just cannot bring myself to put any of them in cargo.
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