Sunday, August 29, 2010
Here I am Sunday morning, trying something new: I'm going to attempt (my first!) to create a pictorial of our day at the beach yesterday. (With apologies to 330POUNDWOMAN who inspired me with this creation.)
My friend likes to go to the beach later in the afternoon, so the sun won't be at its hottest. Me being the good buddy goes along with this demand. We agree to meet at her house at 3:00 PM. I first go to the library to take care of a business application which is urgently needed for a job I applied for earlier. My brand new computer officially died a few weeks ago, and I need the public library's printer to complete my task. Don't ask. So off I go to be the first at the computers. Wouldn't you know it, they were having printing issues, too. Murphy and I are very close. Finally, they gave me a laptop and after much effort, I was able to get going. I won't bore you (assuming anyone is reading this) with all the other pre-beach activities, but by the time I got to my friend's house it was 4:30 PM. Business before pleasure. So off we went to Lido Beach. We get there, and the entrance is blocked! We turned the car around and tried it again. We were determined! With cars in the lot, there had to be more than the "Exit" sign we saw. Second go-round, success! We park and shuffle our way onto the beach. The beach was emptying with beach goers heading home for dinner and other evening pursuits. We had a lot of the beach to ourselves. Well, not totally. But being so late in the afternoon, we didn't have to pay. That ended argument Number One who was going to pay the entrance fee.
We settle in, and my friend said we should start with the water as the lifeguards were going to pack it in soon, and she had read there were riptides and wanted to ensure our safety. Good enough for me. The water was COLD! But we frolicked a bit, and it was grand.
The books I brought were going to have to wait. Friend was up for our hike on the beach. So off we go again! She is used to trekking regularly, as her job had her walking four miles daily. [IF she weren't my best friend, as the expression goes, I would hate her.] We walk and take in the beach scenery:
I just loved this solitary gull, minding its own business.
We walked some more. Friend likes to walk all the way up to the building with these Russian-looking onion turrets. Still not sure what those are, but they are far!
We walk on. I take more photos to remember this sweet day:
Friend called these birds "plovers". To me they look like sandpipers. Are they the same? I don't know. I'm not an ornithologist, but I am amazed at how docile-looking these birds are, unencumbered by human presence. Probably not a good thing.
We walked on. I take more photos:
Even late, this was turning out to be a sensational day. MUCH needed. I snap some more:
We get to the half-way mark. It was only 1-1/2 miles, but walking on the beach in thongs, is not a mean feat.
We make it to the Russian-looking buildings! My first! Friend celebrates my accomplishment. I wonder how the heck we're going to get back. I wanted to mark this with photos of us. Friend being the artist, wanted it done correctly. My art hey days are well behind me, but I love her, so we do it her way.
First attempt, not good. But that's because we tried it ourselves. OK, *I* tried it.
Strangers walking by offered to help us out. Who says New Yorkers cannot be nice?
[Sorry, I have to edit this one]
Now guess which one is me? Thirty pounds gone is really not obvious when you have so much to lose. But it is a start.
We head back. It was not easy. We get back and the pedometer reads 3.3 miles and 70 minutes.
By the time the day is done, I see the reading as 4.64 miles. Not sure how that happened, but I'll take it. I almost got my 10,000 steps in! I will not quibble about 9,820. But it is hard to believe that the pedometer only gives the event 258 calories. Again, I'll take it. But for all that effort that's like a couple of cookies. The pedometer reads we walked 1-1/2 hours. I'm still okay with that.
We stopped by a crepe place and had two filled crepes apiece that we shared. And a lot of water!
The day ended really well. Time really has to be taken off to recharge personal relationships, too. Even the stubborn ones. We all lead hectic, busy lives, but without the people in it that enhance days like this one, what else is it all for?
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Over the years, this poem has resonated with me, and several people have sent it on to me, to give me courage, to lift my spirits, and to help me "exceed my grasp" as I like to say.
Perhaps it will do the same for you. For the sake of political correctness, I always edit out the last line. It truly does not change the flavor of what Mr. Kipling is striving to say. And now without further ado, take it away, Mr. Kipling:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
In the past several months, I have been on a quest looking for a new job. It is interesting to me to see how that event so closely mimicked my battle to lose weight. Both are a struggle. Both bring into question "worthiness." And both require a lot of self-examination to get to a better place. "What do I really, truly want?" ["You mean at your age you still don't know?" Those inner voices can be a real, you-know-what.] Yes, even at my age, I'm still evolving.
During this time, I have read a lot of blogs posted here on SparkPeople. The depth of raw emotions in these writings really startled me. The reasons for the weight gain of so many are as varied as the people who populate this site. And it truly gave me pause. I find a lot of the writing here very humbling: Not just about the quest to lose weight, but about the strong desire to conquer inner demons once and for all. And that, to me, seems to be the most pervasive theme of all.
Setting out "life plans" for oneself, no matter what one seeks, requires similar structure as taking on the battle to lose weight: Both involve careful planning, hard work, drive, and visualizing a direction where one wants to go and an ultimate goal to mark its success. Both involve a series of smaller steps (and the all-important rewards!), that over time will allow ourselves to move forward to a better place, whether it is personal weight loss, well being, or success measured on some corporate ladder. To get to any of these places, one has to have a clear picture in one's own mind of the ultimate goal in order for us to get to where we want to be. From there proceed backwards developing a plan, modifying it when it doesn't work, accepting that not as a failure, but as just a bump along the road. Probably most important of all is to forgive ourselves for being human, when all does not go precisely as planned. We need to recognize, perhaps above all, that plans are not "etched in stone", whether for weight loss goals or personal development, but that as humans, our plans have to be fluid. These ultimate goals are really not that different. Sounds simple, no? Where I believe we get derailed, or perhaps I should only speak for myself, but I do see this as an underlying thread here, we are way too hard on ourselves. The key is that we are moving in the right direction, even when we plateau, even when we give in to human weakness. We really need to be much more forgiving of ourselves. Really. After all, we still are here on this amazing site, no?
For myself, I need to start writing down a new set of personal plans for my own development in the same way that I am attempting to do for my weight loss trek. And then I have to work those goals backwards and see how to get to that desired new place.
Ultimately, if I am truly successful, all these roads should ultimately converge and put me in a better place: body, mind and spirit. Personal success, professional success and weight loss success. All to be conquered once and for all.
Sounds pretty good to me.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I have been giving quite a bit of thought to this lately, as I lose more and more weight than ever before. I know this has been discussed elsewhere, but I was hoping to put together a more extensive search of my own. I remember years ago, at a Weight Watchers meeting when the leader brought in a pound of fat for visualization. It was something to see. And who can forget when Oprah years ago, after she first successfully (momentarily) lost 67 pounds, pulled that weight equivalent onstage in a little red wagon? That was a sight to behold. So let's consider, starting small, and especially for those who don't think a pound is all that much to lose (a side effect, I'm afraid of unreality shows like "The Biggest Loser"):
Things that weigh one pound:
1. A package of butter (with four sticks)
2. A football
3. A package of bacon
4. A box of brown sugar
5. Three medium-sized bananas
6. A guinea pig (not everything listed is edible)
7. A salami
8. A shoe
Things that weigh two pounds:
1. A pineapple
2. A rack of baby back ribs (hopefully, this list doesn't lead people to
3. A Malayan Flying Fox (I like this one)
Things that weight three pounds:
1. World's smallest cat, Mr. Peebles (I like this one, too, even if not good
enough to eat)
2. A human brain
3. A two-slice toaster (that'll get you thinking)
4. A steam iron (not to be outdone by the two-slice toaster, I imagine)
5. A box of wine
6. A can of Crisco shortening
Things that weigh five pounds:
1. Mr. Coffee 12-cup Coffee Maker
2. A bag of sugar (we knew this)
3. A two-liter bottle of soda (now this should give you pause - it did me)
Things that weigh ten pounds:
1. A large bag of potatoes
2. A six-foot aluminum step ladder (now that's a lot to swallow!)
3. An adult Maltese dog
Things that weigh fifteen pounds (and here it gets really interesting):
1. A 19-inch flat screen TV (now tell me that didn't give you pause? Imagine
carrying that around all day.)
2. A bowling ball
3. 2,000 paint balls
4. Medium bag of dog food
Things that weigh twenty pounds:
1. A car tire (whoa! Now I know what they mean by carrying an extra tire around
2. A karaoke machine (oo la la! That is really something!)
Things that weigh twenty-five pounds:
1. An average two-year old toddler
Beyond 25 pounds it starts to get really interesting:
30 pounds is equal to the amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds is equal to a cinder block (imagine building a house, and then thinking of what you weigh in cinder blocks - it's daunting)
36 pounds is equal to a mid-size microwave
40 pounds equals a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds equals an elephant's heart
50 pounds equals a small bale of hay
55 pounds equals a 5,000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds equals an elephant's penis
66 pounds equals the fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds equals an Irish Setter
77 pounds equals a gold brick
90 pounds equals a newborn calf
100 pounds equals a two-month old horse (so that's what they mean by "I could eat a horse!" Never again!)
111 pounds equals the red meat an average American eats in one year
118 pounds equals the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica
120 pounds equals the amount of trash you throw away in a month on
130 pounds equals a newborn baby giraffe
138 pounds equals the amount of potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds equals the amount of refined sugar an average American eats in a year
150 pounds equals the complete Oxford English Dictionary
Now after reading this, tell me this doesn't give you some pause. For one, the weight you have been carrying around for so long and for another, how much your weight loss equals in terms of common objects.
Something to think about.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Taking a chance that this is allowed.
I just thought it would help get us in the mood, to take a moment to pause, and to reflect what it means to be free, and for what our service men and women are putting their lives on the line.
May they all come home soon. That's my Fourth of July wish for our beloved nation.
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