Saturday, December 15, 2012
If I eat 10 extra calories a day, I'll put on 1 pound in a year. And next year. And the year after. And in 10 years I'll have put on 10 extra pounds.
If I eat 100 extra calories a day, I'll put on 10 pounds in a year. And next year. And the year after. And in 10 years I'll have put on 100 extra pounds.
What's an extra calorie? A calorie I don't need to maintain the pounds I want to sustain. Which takes about 10 calories a pound a day. About 1400 calories a day. Max,
What's 10 extra calories? Not much. Maybe a couple baby carrots.
What's 100 extra calories? Not much more. A big apple.
The carrots are healthy. The apple is too.
And calories from nutritionally-dense healthy foods are obviously better for me than calories from junk foods, or nutritionally empty foods.
But for weight maintenance, it doesn't matter. Extra calories from healthy foods pile on the pounds just the same as extra calories from candy or chips or Coke.
When I'm on the elliptical cross trainer at the gym, I can see that burning 10 extra calories takes me about 1 minute of really vigorous effort.
Which means I can never exercise enough to compensate for over-eating. Weight loss and weight loss maintenance for me are 80% nutrition tracking. At least.
OK then. It's not the season of healthy foods. I'm not eating too many spears of new young asparagus or fresh raspberries, or blueberries, or even lightly steamed shrimp.
It's the season of crunchy pastry-wrapped appetizers and bacon-wrapped appetizers and fatty dips and stuffing, gravy, butter-mashed potatoes, hot rolls and butter and turkey with crisp skin and cranberry sauce and veggies drenched in more butter and sauces and . . . . It's the season of shortbread and eggnog and Yule logs (dessert variety) and pies and special cookies and special candies and chocolate covered almonds and . . . . It's the season of too many alcoholic drinks on offer which reduce my resistance to all of the preceding!
I'm just reminding myself. Little pep talk here. Those calories do add up and my body is tracking them, whether *I* track them or not.
Grrrrrrr. Determination, resilience, eternal vigilance. All continue to be necessary. Every day.
That's because It's also the season of little black dresses! It's the season of sleek black velvet trousers with sparkly tops! Trying something new with the hair, the makeup! Not the season of muu-muus and huge shapeless Tshirts and elastic-waist track pants and . . . no no no.
And: there's a connection here. Right?
Yeah. So: call 911 vanity assist, please. Vanity assist!! If that'll help, I'm gonna work it . . . yes I am!!
Sunday, December 09, 2012
I've read a couple of interesting insights into dog "ownership" recently.
Here in Canada, several universities have experimented with therapy dogs to assist students get through the stress of exam time. The students are away from home, under lots of pressure to do well in a tight job economy with soaring tuition fees . . . and student suicide rates are alarming. But: there are still lots of cynical comments about how students should just "toughen up"!! And also how exposure to trained therapy dogs will give students a false impression about how soothing and calming dogs actually are: because lots of dogs (especially young puppies) can be yappy and demanding and . . . . .
Then TEENYBIKINI has had a recent blog on just that topic: dogs (puppies in particular) can drive you nutz!
True enough. I've had demanding dogs. Our basset hound, Rufus, who could open the fridge and bite into every bag of milk and scatter carrots (before and after "processing") all the way across the kitchen floor. Our Irish water spaniel, Sabrina, who wore a groove in the back yard and jumped against the patio door vertically, smearing mud from top to bottom. A childhood spaniel, Skippy, who bit the postman . . . and lots more similar tales to be told.
Charlie had lots and lots of puppy socialization and obedience classes. He is extraordinarily intelligent: high IQ. And our other dogs had sufficient IQ plus schooling opportunities. But Charlie wanted to learn.
That's because Charlie really is a wonder dog. High EQ. He was born that way and we really can't take much credit for it. Our golden retriever's registration name is "Heart of Gold", and his formal handle is absolutely appropriate.
So what's Charlie taught me?
1. Be companionable. Golden retrievers are bred to sit quietly in a duck blind beside their hunters waiting to fetch the ducks. Charlie is happy just to be with me. He lets me know with his wise brown eyes and his ready smile. Life doesn't get better for Charlie than being right beside me.
2. Be patient. It could be a long cold day in the duck blind (or sitting under my computer desk: whatever). That's OK with Charlie. I can learn to be more patient. Whatever's happening will pass.
3. Greet every family member at the door whenever they come home. Nope, I don't wag like Charlie does. I don't bring a carefully selected stuffed toy to the door, the choice of toy often uncanny in mirroring the returning person's emotional state. (Sheep? Monkey? Fawn?) But greeting, I can handle that. And I can try to be responsive to the mood of my family members, like Charlie is.
4. Never judge, no matter what. There is no sin I can commit that matters to Charlie. Ever. And I need to be less judgmental too. To let people be.
5. Be joyous and generous with that joy. Charlie is. Being around Charlie's joy multiplies joy. For all of us. Even if the rest of us don't have infinitely soft golden fur!
The worst thing about having a dog like Charlie? It's not forever. Charlie is 8 years old now. You can see his muzzle and eyebrows are getting whiter.
So we have to cherish Charlie every day.
And we have to cherish each other every day.
I can't let Charlie down. I have to try to be as good a person as Charlie is. As good as he believes me to be. And the effort of doing that?
Thursday, December 06, 2012
What a great video with Joy Bauer on how to survive the endless array of seasonal holiday treats, without ballooning up!
My fave tip? Yup, the "rule of one" . . . one of everything, moderate portion size. One appetizer, one drink, one plateful, one dessert. And then she offers some additional help in choosing that "one".
Here's to getting through the next month feeling less stuffed than the turkey!!
Sunday, December 02, 2012
. . . I listened to the rain on the roof all night: semi-solid! But the rain didn't evolve into the white fluffy stuff, so it's not looking skiable today.
OK, then. Plan B? I got in a great workout at the gym yesterday . . . 30 minutes on the elliptical plus upper body free weights.
If it actually stopped raining . . . a hike with Charlie? Pretty muddy!!
Our Christmas plans are very low key this year. We're all sad DS isn't coming home and nobody's telling Charlie! We'll Skype. Things change, feelings don't, and we'll adapt. Have to admit, less planning/organization is likely to happen since DS is our only family member who really *likes* Christmas. DD is vegan, very anti-materialistic etc. So we'll keep it simple. And . . . yup, that does mean less work for me in particular. I can live with that!
Busy work week upcoming, With nothing pressing here, it may be that this is a day to just soak in a hot bath, then hunker down with a good book . . . maybe with a fresh pot of soup simmering. Spicy peanut chicken appeals.
Rainy dark days: cozy, comfortable, love the sound of rain on the roof.
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