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Train Travel is FUN, but...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

My husband and I recently enjoyed a trip from Sacramento, California to Chicago, Illinois on Amtrak's California Zephyr. The trip started mid-day on a Saturday, and arrived in Chicago early Monday evening. Oh my gosh, it was really fun. The scenery was amazing as we travelled through snow in the Sierra Nevadas, through tunnel after tunnel high above the trees in the Rocky Mountains, and across the plains of the midwest. We saw big cities, small towns, deer, antelope, and a few critters we honestly couldn't identify. I would take this trip again in a minute. The only problem is, it's not really a good way for someone who is trying to lose weight to travel. There were few opportunities for exercise. There were only a very few stops where we were allowed to get off the train for a few minutes. Most people got off to smoke, but we walked up and down the platform, afraid to get too far away and risk being left behind! I did a few pushups and modified some other exercises, but the bumpy ride and tight quarters best lend themselves to sedentary activities--looking out the window, reading, and eating. Yes! Eating was a big deal on the train. First of all, the food was really good. Heavy, but good, and dessert was always included. I enjoyed every bite. Also, with so little else going on, meals were a major event. Meals in the dining car were also your best opportunity to meet other passengers and have some great conversations. On the train, food took on its old persona as more than just a way to fuel the body. All I can do now is get back on track (no pun intended) and step up my activity level. We really had a good time on our trip. I found it nearly impossible to follow good eating habits while on the California Zephyr, but it was a special time and I'm not going to beat myself up for totally immersing myself in the experience, just try to get back on a different kind of track for the next several weeks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LASHARINK 6/13/2010 5:20AM

    Glad you had a wonderful time. My train trip was cancelled this year when we had the bad snow storm. I'm looking forward to trying again next year. Although it will be a shorter distance, I will keep in mind what you said about the food and also to take an exercise band with me. Nice pictures and thank you for sharing.

Are you back on track yet??

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SHEENADEE 6/2/2010 8:39PM

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the trip! No reason to beat yourself up about falling off the wagon / train. It was only a couple days and I am fully confident that you will be right back to your improved habits right away.

Welcome back!

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DSCROW 6/2/2010 8:13PM

    Sometimes you have to run up the surrender flag and do the best you can. You can get it back on track. emoticon

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LYDIASPURPLE 6/2/2010 8:11PM

    Hi there! I just took Amtrak from New Orleans to Cali on the Sunset Limirted & have traveled most of the country over the last 2 years via train...

There's all kinds of sbeaky ways to get in some exercise. but I know what you mean about movement. But I still would not give the travel up by a long shot. Please have big fun. I am back on the Sunset Limited by June 9th for the trip back home...

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I'm going to have fun anyway...

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Well, my vacation is a week away, and even though I'm no where near the goal weight I set for myself, I'm determined to not let that get in the way of having a good time. I am disappointed in myself, yet I know I tried hard and didn't miss my goal because of eating a lot of the wrong foods or being lazy. Of course, like many people I could have done better, and I'm not finished trying. I'm hoping this will be a pretty active vacation and I'll do my best not to get carried away while eating out every day. Who knows, maybe a restful vacation will be just the thing I need to feel refreshed, re-energized, and ready to face the challenge of losing weight head on again. One thing is for sure, I will never give up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEENADEE 5/9/2010 1:52AM

    I hope you have a fabulous vacation. You may not have reached your goal; but you are still keeping at this and that is wonderful. Sometimes these things go slower than we plan or that we may hope; but just keep moving forward & all is good.

Take care & enjoy!

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CARRAND 5/8/2010 8:15PM

    Good for you. enjoy your vacation and come back rested and re-energized.


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LHLADY517 5/8/2010 7:26PM

    Great attitude. And you're so right...never give up.

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A New Kind of Daylight Savings Time (Please)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I really hate daylight savings time. I guess I don't like change much, period. But if we have to mess with our clocks, why can't someone figure out how to give us about 6 more hours in a day? That kind of change I could really enjoy. While at work today, where I spend over a third of my allotted 24 hours of time each day, I made a list of all the things that have to take turns during my limited amount of free time each week. Of course exercise was on the list, even though in reality it often falls to the bottom of the list (and yes, I am ashamed of this). Other activities on my list was working on genealogy, scrapbooking, SparkPeople-ing, reading, cleaning, cooking, shopping, practicing the piano, spending time with family, taking care of pets, working in the garden, and well, you get the idea and you have a list of your own. I remember reading a Spark daily blog about how we all have the same 24 hours to spend as we wish, and it is up to us to make exercising a priority. It is hard for me. I have spent too many hours in front of a computer today, getting no exercise, first at work and then at home as I spend time on SparkPeople and Ancestry.com. I am overweight because I have not been good at striking a balance between the sedentary leisure activities I enjoy, and working out. I have not been good at finding a pastime that burns calories and that I really enjoy, and can easily access (I'm thinking of swimming). But that's no excuse. It's probably not likely that our governor, who is a big proponent of DST, is going to figure out a way to give me more hours in a day, although I think that if he could figure out a way to make this happen it would likely guarantee him another term in office! It is up to me to better manage my time, and to spend more of it in motion instead of here on the couch. Having said this, I think I'll go walk my dog now. See you tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALIDREAMER76 4/8/2010 10:03PM

    Jennifer - I think of exercise like a prescription that I have to take. Otherwise I breakout in fat - ;o)
It is hard, but remember you are a priority. I was sitting at my desk at school working on an evaluation report and got up,cause I was feeling stiff. I remembered I'm setting a goal to do 10 real push ups. Never did so I'm starting high. I walked over to the heater and did 10 elevated push ups, moved around a little and then went back to work with a little more energy.
Try getting a stability ball to use as your computer chair - at least it will help tone your core!
Hoping you find the time... emoticon

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THINAGAIN66 4/8/2010 9:52PM

    I agree totally. I hate daylight savings time too. I also seem to put exercising at the bottom of my to do list. Maybe when it starts getting light earlier and warms up (it was really cold today) I will feel better and have the energy to enjoy exercising. I think I'm going to have to mow the grass this weekend so at least I will get some exercise whether I want to or not. emoticon

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It's time to think about the garden!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's been a long, cold, winter, and the sunshine and warmer temperatures we are starting to experience here in north-central Indiana are a welcome change to me. The signs of spring are starting to pop up all over my yard in the form of crocus, the bright greens shoots of the daffodils, and singing birds. I even saw a moth fluttering about today! It's time to think about the garden. Actually, I think about the garden starting with the arrival of the first seed catalog each winter. This year I had my seeds ordered and standing by since January. The weekend before last I sowed my first seeds, and now some tiny tomato seedlings are already under the lights. This weekend, weather permitting, I'll sow some lettuce and radish seeds. Each seed sprinkled represents hope and faith to me. There is a miracle waiting to happen in every tiny seed. The garden has become even more special to me as I have become more aware of the need to eat more vegetables, and food that is less processed and closer to nature. Growing my own vegetables also means having food that is grown with no or minimal chemicals. Best of all, growing my own vegetables means having food that is as fresh as possible and tastes great. Having a garden also means getting a workout that doesn't feel like a workout. No wonder I welcome spring so much! It's been a long, cold, winter and I'm ready to get to work in the garden.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLAZINGPHOENIX 3/17/2010 10:44PM

    It's a great way to get outside in the fresh air - & grow some healthy snacks!

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STANDARD_TOAST 3/17/2010 5:20AM

  I'm excited about growing things this year, will be my first attempt! Hope it all goes well for you!


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Sometimes, it's difficult to blog

Friday, February 19, 2010

These days, nothing much has been going right in the weight loss department of my life, and I feel I have nothing to blog about. I'm in that state where when I see others feeling this way, I tell them "never give up" and "keep trying -- you'll see results soon!" I've been giving myself this pep talk, but I admit it, I'm getting discouraged. I have gained 6 pounds since Christmas, and they aren't budging. Add this to the 10 pounds I wasn't able to lose last year and I'm feeling pretty discouraged. Keep in mind I am only 5'1, so 16 extra pounds on me really does feel and look bad. Truthfully, I haven't given up. I've started back at the beginning, trying to remember the basics, and making an honest effort to eat fewer processed food and focus on healthy choices. Some days go better than others, but I do eat pretty healthily.

Exercise is where I have the most trouble. Like so many others, I have a fairly sedentary job, but that doesn't mean I'm not exhausted by the end of the day. Some days it is all I can do to put dinner on the table. Thank goodness my dog Toby makes sure I get two pretty good walks per day. I also walk at lunch on many days, and try to climb the 8 flights of steps to my office at least once per day. Often my break consists of going down the steps to the basement and back up to my office. I hate to think of where I'd be if I wasn't doing at least this.

So, it's hard to blog when you are feeling discouraged and feel like you have nothing to say to help motivate others. I do remain optimistic that if I keep trying I'll find the magic formula that works for me. The fact that overall I am in good health is proof that I'm doing a lot of things right, even if I don't look good in a swimsuit. And I have to admit, once again this year, I haven't given up hope that maybe by June or July I might look good in a swimsuit, or at least not terrible. Weight loss is a struggle, a journey, a challenge, but let's never, ever, EVER, give up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALJMASON 2/20/2010 7:32AM

  I can relate to the height issue. I'm 5'2" and you're right, just a few pounds shows up immediately. There may be lots of changes going on inside your body that you can't see and you are in good health. That's very important and something to be very proud of. Keep up the good work.

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1002LOOSE 2/19/2010 8:04PM

    Life is a journey with ups and downs. If we didn't have downs then we wouldn't appreciate how special the ups are. Enjoy your life, and focus on simple things. You are the same person who had successes before, you have simply moved on to a different point in your life and your body is not the same. Keep motivated and I wish you all the success that you desire.

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LSVENSSON 2/19/2010 1:11PM

    Amen! So much of what you've said in this blog resonates with me: being on the shorter side is tough because a few lbs can make a huge difference on our smaller frames (I'm 5'2", so I know what you mean there!), and that even folks with sedentary jobs (I sit at a desk all day too) get EXHAUSTED at the end of the day.

I haven't been blogging a whole lot either, lately-- mostly because it's easy to blog when you're losing to share the exciting news, and there hasn't been that much exciting news. Even when progress is slow, though, I'm sure you're proud of yourself for sticking to it and not giving up. In retrospect, when you look back at it, you've made huge lifestyle changes that many other folks haven't, so that kind of discipline in itself is a huge accomplishment. Keep on keepin' on, as they say...and when the weight does come off, it will make a huge difference! (That's the nice flip side to being short too...when you lose, even small amounts, it's a lot more noticeable on us than it is on taller folks!)

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ZNEKITA 2/19/2010 1:10PM

    I can so relate to your blog. Sometimes I just sit in front of my laptop and it's like I have writer's block. Nothing seems to come into my mind. I agree with your last sentence and I have faith that it will all be worth it.

Hang in there!


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