Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I just thought it'd be nice to post some pictures of the Duck Pond where I have been running. I really enjoy running in this beautiful spot and thought it's too pretty not to share.
I've been running here and at the local high school's track but I much prefer doing my laps around the Duck Pond. The track still has its uses though as it gets ambient light from the surrounding buildings so if I get home kind of late in the evening, I can still go there to run. But I find running by the pond is just so much more enjoyable then the track. So I try to make it home while there's still daylight out. Fortunately, this is getting to be less of an issue as the days are getting longer. I can't wait until it's summer.
The Duck Pond is getting more and more beautiful. It took a huge hit during Hurricane Irene last summer. It completely flooded out. You can still see downed trees everywhere and where the water had risen to. But the trees that survived are all in bloom now and the place just exudes SPRING.
I'm guessing the county is responsible for it so it's really well maintained. On a beautiful day, it seems like everyone is there. FYI, they are cell phone cameras so not exactly the least blurry of photos that I am capable of taking. Still, I hope you enjoy!
This is what greets me when I enter the Duck Pond. Of course I'm motivated to run now after seeing this!
I'm a sucker for cherry trees. They're so gorgeous!
I learned what this tree is called last week at the New York Botanical Garden. They are called Chinese or Eastern redbud: Cercis chinensis from the Fabaceae family.
For more pictures from the New York Botanical Garden, check this link out:
I'm not 100% certain what this tree is but my guess is it's the magnolia hybrid Magnolia ◊ soulangeana. I love flowers but I'm still learning all their names. That's part of the reason why my husband and I became members of NYBG.
It would make sense that there are a lot of willow trees here. Yes, there's a pond but the trail is also close to the river (hence the flooding).
The Duck Pond is home to many birds, hence it's name. The ducks and Canadian geese hang out year round. This time of year, the robins are all hanging out too. However, lately an egret has decided to hang out there too. It definitely stands out from the other birds. I've also seen blue jays and cardinals. It certainly makes the runs more interesting when I'm here versus the track.
And there's even a waterfall!
When I'm here, I feel like I'm miles away from everything else yet the Duck Pond is directly next to the train tracks and the highway. Despite all that, it does still feel like an oasis from the chaotic suburban life, especially since I live in a place that's more urban suburbia.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
This blog is an update on the craziness that was this past week and a reflection on the future.
As I had posted earlier, I had gone out to eat Thursday and Saturday night, Sunday was a 60th birthday celebration dinner, and again yesterday because my husband wanted to eat out. I donít know why since weíve spent the last few days eating out so much but whatever. Yesterday and Saturday I think I managed to stay just under or barely over my caloric range based on my best guesstimation. But I knew I blew it Sunday since there just werenít any healthy options and Iím not going to say no to red velvet cake as I red velvet.
And it wasnít just all the eating I was bad about it. There was drinking tooÖ Not that I overdid it with the alcohol, just one glass of wine Sunday and one beer each Saturday and yesterday. I hardly ever drink anymore since itís all empty calories but itís one of those things I have REALLY, REALLY missed.
Now here is the amazing thing. Somehow between eating out and drinking, I have managed to lose the normal amount of weight Iíve been averaging per week. I have no idea how this is happening. Is it because I was still getting in 60 min of cardio every day? Is it because I'm still running ? Is my body giving me some leeway because Iím still exercising?
This is the part I struggle with most. How do I live my life and eat (and drink) in a way that makes me happy, without causing the scale to go up again? I LOVE food. I love all sorts of food from all over the world . I believe that food is one of lifeís great pleasures. And I live near /work in New York City and there are amazing food options to tempt me all the time. One of my goals in life is to eat at every restaurant in New York City. I know I will fail at this goal but itís so much fun. I donít ever want to give up being able to enjoy dining out.
As this weekend has shown, we have a rather crazy social schedule and itís about to get even crazier. I call summer my ďsocial seasonĒ as summer is the time of year when we tend to get together with family and friends the most (a lot of family and friends have birthdays between May and August). Of course, get-togethers involve food and alcohol. Iím so close to my goal weight and I see so many challenges ahead.
Iím going to find a balance somehow. I donít know how but Iím going to do it.
P.S. Tonight was the first night we have used our grill since last summer. I am looking forward to a summer of grilled veggies. At least I'll eat healthy when we grill!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Today turned out to be beautiful weather. It was sunny and warm - a perfect day to spend at the New York Botanical Gardens. We don't live very far from the Gardens and my husband and I go there so much, we eventually became members. In fact, this is where my husband proposed. So yes, we LOVE the Gardens very much.
The Orchid Show is one of our favorite exhibitions. If you ever happen to be in NYC during March/April, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit. For those of you who can't, I've shared a few photos below but the photos just don't do justice the exquisite beauty of the orchids. Once I have more time, I'll share a link to the entire album so you can see all the gorgeous orchids that were on display. Sorry for only posting a teaser now.
But NYBG is a beautiful place to visit even without the Orchid Show. The Gardens are especially gorgeous during this time of year. Although the tulips were waning (as they bloomed early this year), the daffodils were still hanging on. The lilacs had started to bloom and smelled so fragrant. And of course, the cherry trees. They are so stunning!
After the Orchid Show, we made it a point to see the cherry trees but that required walking up a hill to the opposite end of the Gardens and then back again to where we parked. I love it when exercise doesn't feel like exercise and is fun! Who notices that you're walking briskly for 45 min total when you're surrounded in such a luscious garden with great scenery? That makes it 2 weekends in a row where I "tricked" my husband into exercising with me.
I have a new goal now: to go running in the Gardens once the weather is consistently better. It's just such a beautiful place. I know my runs will be that much more fun when I'm running by peonies, roses, and azaleas.
rainbow or Vanda orchid
Cymbidium orchid called "Mighty Sunset"
a variety of "corsage" orchids
Do you recognize this bridge? This bridge appeared in the opening credits of Sesame Street in the 70s and 80s. Funny thing is, I always thought this bridge was from Central Park!
My husband and I in front of the cherry trees
For more pictures, check out my Google Photos page:
Friday, April 13, 2012
Dinner last night at Kang Suh was . My 2 friends had never had Korean BBQ before and they really liked it. Not only did they like the food but they also said it was a fun eating experience, getting to cook your meat yourself at the table.
We got the kalbi, bulgogi, and chicken and it came with an assortment of kim chi. It wound up being not that much meat for 3 people but we also split a bi bim bop and a kimchi pancake between the 3 of us. I know I overate (over-full but not stuffed uncomfortably) and I didn't even bother trying to track that here on SP. But man, the food was so good.
We left the restaurant shortly after 8 pm and I thought, "there's no way I can catch the 8:30 pm train now, I'll have to wait for the 9 pm." So my friends and I walked a bit more leisurely towards Grand Central Terminal than we normally would have. They walked with me since they were going to catch the subway at GCT. After a few blocks, I realized that I had 10 min and if we ran, I'd be able to catch the train.
So we did. We jogged the last 6 blocks to GCT . It wasn't even all that difficult, even on a full stomach! That was something I could not have done 3 months ago when I restarted my fitness regime. 3 months ago, I couldn't have ran that distance continuously and if I had been able to do it, I'd be completely out of breath with a stitch in my side. I made the train with 5 min to spare!
Eating out is fun but restaurant prepared foods are usually so high in sodium so I always retain water the day after. This morning, I got on the scale to see what the damage was. I was totally expecting to see a gain due to bloating but to my surprise the scale hadn't moved! I was the same weight this morning as I was yesterday!
That makes me so incredibly happy
I feel a little less wary of this weekend and its eating adventures now but I'm still going to try hard to make reasonable food decisions when we dine out this weekend. Yesterday when I was feeling sorry for myself, I told myself, "Jen, get off your butt and go out for a walk. That's the least you can do to try to combat tonight's meal." So I did. I could only fit in a 30 min walk but I did something versus doing nothing.
Thank you to everyone who helped to encourage me. I feel A LOT better today. Still a little apprehensive but going to try my hardest to eat smart when out this weekend. I'm really looking forward to the Orchid Show tomorrow!
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