Wednesday, February 09, 2011
That is a quote from Paula, our MEZZOANGEL...thanks, Paula, it fitted perfectly for the blog I have been working up to writing!
I realized today that I've totally neglected my overall fitness tracking (under Other Goals, where I list fitness minutes & what I did during those minutes) and that it went off track after one day when I maxed out on Bollywood and also walked quite a bit outdoors, but didn't get a very high step count or mileage because Bollywood doesn't make you move your feet a lot.
However, this was irrational, since you move your other body parts to the MAX with Bollywood & I had done a VERY energetic session, the entire DVD, 50 minutes.
This happened at the end of January - a month in which I wanted so much to be back in France, to indulge myself, to avoid "work" as much as possible, etc. etc. etc. I was dreading the scheduling and planning that I must do for Lent and Holy Week and Easter. I was procrastinating.
I was drinking wine!
I was not really getting because I was pushing myself to exercise. In fact, I was pushing myself to get back to more strength training since I have neglected that of late.
Pushing and dreading - two bad syndromes for me.
Plus indulging, as a reaction to the other two syndromes.
OK, not really complaining here, I have a very fortunate life...I may not make lots of money & I may work strange unpredictable hours but I do fundamentally enjoy what I do and consider it useful. I dread its planning and paperwork, but I have some control over how I work that into my day. I count my blessings most days and feel very grateful.
And I'm glad I even have time to exercise during the day! This is a great blessing.
I'm also grateful that I've managed to reach my goal at least once - although I have not seen that 135 again since I reached it the first time. Not the most important thing in the world, I'm happy with how my clothes fit - but I would like to maintain in the 133-137 range and get down to 130 by May if I can.
Which brings me to my new Initiative - I nearly said "Intention" but that is a Catholic word for "prayer request" & it's nice to keep things non-sectarian here. But I like the word intention because it is not a Project, a Plan, a Resolution, or any of those intimidating things that make me add to the internal pressure that I am well-known to put on myself about "getting things done." However, Paula gave me the perfect way to say it - I'm just hoping for some "grace in the struggle" and hoping to be open to that.
The Initiative - yeah, I'm getting there!
I like the new spark page because it puts your daily calorie burn & fitness minutes right there where you can see them. I think it has definitely helped me be more consistent in my exercise.
BUT I must face the fact that one reason my weight's now oscillating between 136 and 140 (depending on when you catch me, and I don't write this down because it's a crashing bore) is because I have not confronted my own tendency to snack, especially at night, and I have been compensating for this by maxing out on exercise, especially indoor cardio.
Had to recognize this when my calf muscles began hurting from doing so much Leslie marching and intervals.
I realized just how much I had been doing when I finally recorded my steps for the last 2 1/2 weeks. (HATE record-keeping, but it's the only way to see the big picture)
I've upped ST and cardio miles in February but I'm paying a price in tiredness and in some beginning muscle strain. I know I need to balance this out with stretching and I'm working on that.
BUT the fundamental thing that MUST change is the snacking habit. Working at home, it is easy to just something all day long. It especially eases the dullness of paperwork. BUT...no excuses...continuing to snack keeps me in the mindset of using food to deal with boredom, which is my major eating trap.
I also want to cut down on wine. Empty calories. Delicious though they may be.
Evening is the worst time. Getting home from a tough rehearsal, it's so easy to say, "I NEED a treat, I deserve a treat..." and I still do think of special things to eat as treats and I think I always will, even though I know that that is a no-no.
But my intention/initiative is to have 3 delicious satisfying meals a day, with one afternoon snack and one bedtime snack. These meals will include something treat-ish for "dessert" whether it be a special piece of fruit or even a cookie, if calorie counts are ok. I think I have finally reached the point where I WANT to break the snack addiction.
So I'm INTENDING to do it!
The last two days I have done it, even coming down with a cold - which always tempts me to "stuff the cold" a la my mom.
It feels right and doable. And less about the weight than about discarding an unhealthy habit that I really don't need.
I'll need all the grace I can get!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Things about me
(It is fun to learn different things about our friends!! Stolen from MAMADWARF...Thanks, Jan! My answers aren't as fun as yours though!
The names I go by:
Dr. Sara - my kids at church call me this
Miss Picky - my friend Diane calls me this, she knows me too well!
Three places I've lived in the past:
Three sports I have played:
Ballroom dancing IS a sport!
(what on earth is knee boarding, Jan?)
Three things I love to watch:
Three places I have visited:
France (Love it!)
The Grand Canyon & Four Corners (Loved it!)
Guatemala (Loved it!)
Three (living) people that I love:
My friend Diane
My friend and neighbor Mickey
Lots of people all over, sometimes that I only know a little bit or for a short time, but I still love them
Three people that I love who are no longer on this earth:
Three things I love to eat:
Cookies! (I will never be over it!)
and to be quite fair I should mention Bread!
Three things I am looking forward to:
Retiring with enough to live on
Losing the schedules...see no. 1
Having more time to spend with friends & cousins here and around the world...see no. 1
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I am in serious need of advice, from all you serious people who get out there and walk/run in all weather, even weather COLDER than this...I realize that this could be considered mild for some of you...
I don't know what to wear!
I am not often clothing-challenged. The task of traveling light to Paris in the winter didn't faze me, I tested my layers numerous times, and was SO pleased when I was actually more or less comfy all the time, even when the weather was like this...
True, no snow, but the wind in Paris can be brutal and the temperature can drop very fast.
Today several inches of snow have fallen and we are looking forward to more weather between zero and 17-18 F. I tried out walking on Friday, with flannel-lined jeans, regular boots & socks, balaclava, and 2 layers of gloves (silk liner & regular leather with thinsulate). It was windier, true, but my hands and feet and legs and ears all got very cold, uncomfortably cold, even though I was walking at a good pace.
So today, I had on balaclava, puffy jacket with puffy hood, cotton layer, fleece layer, two layers of pants, waffle-soled winter hiking boots with 2 layers of socks, silk gloves plus padded puffy gloves.
I looked like a short Michelin man. but imagine this all the way down...
OK, I'll ditch the fleece under the puffy coat, and maybe the balaclava (try scarf instead?). maybe the puffy gloves too...funny that if your body is really warm, your hands seem to benefit from the spillover...
But it started me wondering, what do you guys who run wear when it is this cold? How about walking which doesn't build up as much body heat from just the activity?
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Well, I lied. Or rather, exaggerated! (sounds so much better) I didn't lose weight in Paris, but I didn't gain weight either, which translates to me as losing weight, considering that it was Paris and I really ate exactly what I wanted.
55WALKER is bugging me for a blog so here goes. (I have to warn you, Anne, there is meat in some of these photos...hope that is OK!)
It will actually be multiple blogs, this is the food chapter, just because I LOVE to torture people!
But relax, because some of the best food I ate didn't have its photo taken. I was in too big a hurry to eat it!
Here is my sparkfriend CLAUDECF at Le Petit Pontoise, my first night in Paris.
Rats, I just discovered I am going to have to crop all of these so Spark will accept them. Pooh.
We had a lovely meal with vin rouge - leg of hare (lievre) for me and duck with orange sauce (magret canard) for Claude. But I forgot to photograph it!
The following day, we went to Chez Clement near Place St. Michel and I had sardines for an entree and a lovely saucisse for the main course. Will try to put these in...may have to do a weird crop...
Here is the sausage...
This is a lovely restaurant, all in red velvet and gilt frames and mirrors and chandeliers, but not terribly expensive. It's also a nice location, right across the Seine from Notre Dame!
On New Year's Eve, our celebration was quiet but delicious! Claude roasted some quail from her freezer and added celeriac with figs - utterly delicious, don't believe her when she says she can't cook! We had some red Cote de Bourg with that and then proceeded to watch BBC mysteries on French TV, since French TV is truly horrible on New Year's Eve! I had taken the metro to Claude's earlier and gotten a taste of the merrymaking - it was very crowded out there and even the night before, there were relics of merrymaking deposited on the streets. I'll leave you to figure out what I mean...
There was a festive accordion player on the #10 metro who played Jingle Bells on the accordion - his small son went around collecting contributions in a tambourine. I thought this was in honor of New Year's Eve, but I heard him playing a few days later as well so I think he's a regular!
On New Year's Day, I walked back to my hotel from Claude's place in the 15th arrondissement - my hotel is in the 5th, a good little walk, but doable. Not many restos were open, but one of my favorites was, and lo, it was not terribly crowded! Au Vieux Colombier in St. Germain is a GREAT place to go for lunch or dinner, and quite reasonable too.
I had tartare saumon with frites and salad.
Yes, it's ground raw salmon with onions, herbs, etc. mixed in. If you love sushi or sashimi, you will love it! The frites did up the calorie count, however...but so worth it! Yum! Great way to start the new year!
The next day I had lunch with my friend Fabien. He knows a good creperie on Ile St. Louis, Au Lys d'Argent, so we went there and had cider and of course, buckwheat crepes. I must confess I have forgotten what mine contained - I was more focused on talking to Fabien half in French, half in English, than I was on the food! But I did take a photo of my lovely endive salad, and you can see Fabien's entree crepes at the top...
This is a tiny resto, very crowded on Sunday, and the service was slow, so just be warned, better to go at a less busy time unless you are feeling quite relaxed...
Here is a photo of Fabien looking very French! I met him when he came to work at Penn State a few years ago and joined our choir - then I stayed with his mom when I made my first trip to France in 2008. It was wonderful to see him again!
The next day, I explored rue Mouffetard, which is a very fun street with great people-watching and wonderful shops and restos. It was SO cold that day and I just had to have that famous French specialty, onion soup. I'm sorry I didn't take a photo of my Greek waiter who was tall and such a flirt! But here is my onion soup...
and here is my boeuf bourguignon...
This was the heaviest meal I had in Paris. But the cold weather seduced me and so did the flirty waiter... That evening I had a lighter meal at a great place called Gaudeamus, on rue Montagne St. Genevieve - salad and pork ratatouille. Well, maybe not that light. But lighter! My photos of this meal did NOT turn out well so you are spared.
Street markets are wonderful in Paris.
I will share two photos - one of Alsacian dried fruits and candies on New Year's Day - this was near St. Germain des Pres.
The next is the regular street market at Place Maubert, near my hotel.
The fruits and veggies are so incredibly fresh and delicious and you can find almost anything.
Ok, now I nearly didn't include this one. But if you want the best fresh-made potato chips you've ever eaten, you must go here - Hippopotamus, across the Seine from Notre Dame, and down the street a bit. This is their cheapest lunch. I ate about half of those frites. (I never eat fries in the States but these are irresistible...)
After THAT meal, keeping balance and moderation in mind, I opted for salade nicoise at a little place called Reglait, on rue Jean de Beauvais. THE BEST salade nicoise I have ever had! Again, the dejeuner special...
That afternoon, Claude and I met up at Cafe Malongo - she took a few days rest from outdoor walking to take care of her knee - and she indulged in that delicious orange cake you see before you, as well as some cappuccino.
She didn't save me even one bite!
And I seem to remember that she was unrepentant!
But I don't hold it against her...
Since later on that evening, she took me to her favorite sashimi place and we had the most melt-in-your-mouth salmon sashimi that I have ever experienced. We didn't take photos, we were too hungry, we took it back to eat at her place...miam miam miam!
The next afternoon, we walked around St. Germain and happened to come upon a shellfish cart which looked like this...
I really hated to crop that one...and this one, of the cheerful man selling the shellfish, who posed for his photo...
And now I fear we have come to my last memorable meal. But it was wonderful! Breizh Cafe is a Breton creperie in the Marais. I tried crepes with andouille and fromage for an amuse-bouche and they were delicious! (do you know what andouille is? It tastes a bit like scrapple, if you know scrapple)
My main course was crepes filled with artichokes, cheese, ham, and a lovely egg sunny-side up right in the middle of the crepe. Absolutely wonderful.
And with this, I had some lovely pear cider. In Brittany, the cider comes in as many varieties as beer, and this was special.
Now how on earth, you may ask, did I manage to eat all this without gaining weight?
Well, here is my step record for the trip, recorded by my trusty Omron pedometer...
Thurs. Dec. 30 - reset time - 11686 steps (3841, incl. 22' on Claude's elliptical)
Fri. Dec. 31 - 20626 steps (6223 aerobic)
2011: Woo hoo!
Sat. Jan. 1 - 11971 steps (4494 aerobic)
Sun. Jan. 2 - 17628 steps (5240 aerobic)
Mon. Jan. 3 - 13510 steps, zero aerobic
Tues. Jan. 4 - 19194 steps (4986 aerobic)
Wed. Jan. 5 - 14760 steps (1123 aerobic)
Thurs. Jan. 6 - 16225 steps (2085 aerobic)
Fri. Jan. 7 - 5844 steps (flew home)
On Sat. Jan. 8 I weighed 139, which was up a bit, but on Sun. Jan. 9 I weighed 137, the same as when I left. So as you can see, exercise, even if it's "only walking," can make an incredible difference. Plus, when you are paying for every bit of your food in euros, it does make you think twice when going for a small snack! I did buy some things at the market to eat in my room - kiwis, almonds, pears, cheese and bread. Yes, some lovely 2007 Vieux Comte cheese, Cello! Cheese comes in years, just like wine...
So that's it! My wonderful vacation of eating what I wanted! I did do some other things. I WILL blog about them. Gotta think where to go with this, I have SO many photos. I may put some on my page before I blog again.
Bonne annee (happy new year) and walk/rock/shred/bollywood/zumba/spark on, everybody!
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