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WETPTARMIGAN's Recent Blog Entries

Back in the Nest

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm back from the South Pacific vacation and to my utter astonishment I have not gained (or lost) an ounce! This was a vacation that included a week on a fancy-schmancy cruise ship, stays in beautiful resorts, fantastic French food & wine, dessert most evenings, minimal exercise (snorkel here, swim there, but little else 'cause it was HOT). What the flippin' heck was going on?? I know people who brag about "only" gaining 4 lbs on a cruise by going vegetarian and teetotal for the duration. I ate and drank and did whatever I wanted! For sure I'm going to revisit that book about why French women don't get fat.

It may help to review how I ate on the trip: Breakfast was a bowl of muesli with yoghurt and extra dried fruit piled on--prunes an dates and raisins. Plus lovely fresh tropical fruit--papayas, pineapple, and watermelon. That held me very well till lunch--a plate of build-it-yourself salad plus a couple of small sandwich pieces, maybe a sample of whatever special goodies were on offer for the day, iced tea and sometimes dessert. Dinner was the equivalent of 4 courses in a French restaurant plus wine and dessert.

Themes to try to replicate: it was easy to eat lots of fruits & vegetables. I'm sure the morning fruit and lunch salad made up 5-a-day. Portion control! Dinner, the richest meal of the day was served in stages of very small exquisitely presented portions. It was nonetheless quite satisfying--I never pushed away from the table thinking, "Gee, I've got plenty of room for a piece of pie." There were a couple of times when we skipped meals. Excursions sometimes messed with lunchtime so that we either skipped lunch or had a substantial snack and skipped dinner.

Resolutions: Get those 5-a-day fruit and veg in before thinking about treats or goodies. Don't eat just because it's mealtime (except breakfast--that way lies madness). Ramp up the exercise and see if I can get rid of some of this body baggage!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN1ALASKA 7/27/2010 4:09PM

    Good for you and sounds like you had a great time!

The last cruise I went on I gained 10 pounds! Huge mistake to go in January.
No great fruits and veggies, even in the sub-tropics, and all of our exercise "field trips" were canceled, (biking, snorkeling, etc.) on account of rain and wind.
Weather was much nicer there in January than here in July, but the locals seemed to feel that the weather was too inclement for outdoor activities!
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JINLYNN 7/20/2010 11:13PM

    Good for you - that is a wonderful achievement. It sounds like you did make some excellent food choices (lots of fruits and veggies) and you may have walked more that you realized. Years back I went on a cruise and lost 3 lbs eating everything and anything. I concluded that I had underestimated just how big those ships are, and I was definitely not into walking at all. So having to walk from one end of the ship where my stateroom was to where all the dinning and entertainment was resulted in a small weight loss.

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KATHYGBENNETT 7/20/2010 7:25PM

    Congratulations, I'm glad you had a good time.

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Ptarmigan goes ptropical

Friday, July 02, 2010

So long for a couple of weeks, Sparkfriends. I am going on vacation to an exotic undisclosed South Seas location. emoticon I am trying to unplug from constant electronic contact, but will be taking notes and pictures to show when we get back. I plan to take care with the food and drink intake, keep on keeping track of my exercise time, and enjoy myself to the hilt! What I do after that TBA. Meanwhile, have fun and keep on sparkin'!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERRANTMAGPIE 7/4/2010 4:47AM

    Oh man that sounds so fun! Enjoy!!!

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CAROLYN1ALASKA 7/2/2010 7:27PM

    What fun!
Hope you have a great time! emoticon emoticon

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Personal Trivia Survey

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Found this survey on FAIR*ISLE's blog and liked it:

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? open.

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? no

3. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? out

4. Have you ever stolen a street sign before? no

5. Do you like to use post-it notes? Yes! Perfect for marking your place on a knitting pattern. I have an embarrassingly large stash of them.

6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? Rarely use them.

7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? Bees. Painful, but you'd be more likely to survive. From what I've seen of bear attacks, you'd be much more likely to be deprived of important body parts or even your life.

8. Do you have freckles? yes

9. Do you always smile for pictures? I try.

10. What is your biggest pet peeve? People who think intuition and hunches trump reason and data.

11. Do you ever count your steps when you walk? no

12. Have you ever peed in the woods? Yes.

13. What about pooped in the woods? Yes.

14. Do you ever dance even if there’s no music playing? Yes, but better still is to put on some good music and move to the groove.

15. Do you chew your pens and pencils? Not any more.

16. How many people have you slept with this week? MYOB

17. What size is your bed? MYOB

18. What is your Song of the week? The music playing in my head is usually from the playlists I use for my classes. Lately it's been a reggae workout.

19. Is it okay for guys to wear pink? yes

20. Do you still watch cartoons? Animations (South Park, Pixar) yes, Tom & Jerry no.

21. What’s your least favorite movie? Anything that's all about the shooting and explosions.

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? At the bottom of my yarn stash. Treasure underneath the treasure and nobody goes there but me.

23. What do you drink with dinner? water

24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in? Ick.

25. What is your favorite food? Indian

26. What movies could you watch over and over and still love? British TV series like Prime Suspect, Jeeves & Wooster, AbFab...

27. Last person you kissed/kissed you? MYOB

28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout? yes. And a leader and a camp counselor.

29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? You've got to be kidding!

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? Last week.

31. Can you change the oil on a car? No

32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket? no

33. Ran out of gas? No

34. Favorite kind of sandwich? A really good veggie with fresh whole wheat bread, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes, hummus, spinach...

35 Best thing to eat for breakfast? bowl of whole mixed grains

36. What is your usual bedtime? 10pm

37. Are you lazy? Is procrastination laziness or is laziness just procrastination?

38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? I only remember the year Mom made clown suits out of old sheets that we then decorated with felt pens.

39. What is your Chinese astrological sign? Rat, I think.

40. How many languages can you speak? Spanish, un peut de Francais, kum kum Farsi

41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions? yup.

42..Which are better legos or lincoln logs? Legos. You can make a wider range of things out of them.

43. Are you stubborn? About some things.

44. Who is better...Leno or Letterman? Never watch either.

45. Ever watch soap operas? Nope.

46. Afraid of heights? yes

47. Sing in the car? Yes. All the good old kid songs with my grandson.

48. Dance in the shower? No

49. Dance in the car? Whaaat??

50. Ever used a gun? Not since I was a kid. Tried it once and it put me off forever.

51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer? A few years ago when my mom insisted.

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy? Yes. And I love them. Bring on the no-calorie cheese!

53. Is Christmas stressful? Only as stressful as you let it be.

54. Ever eat a pierogi? yes. Used to get great ones in San Francisco at a Russian bakery.

55. Favorite type of fruit pie? blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry. I don't think they make a berry I don't like.

56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? Veterinarian

57. Do you believe in ghosts? no

58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? Yes.

59. Take a vitamin daily? yes

60. Wear slippers? no

61. Wear a bath robe? No

62. What do you wear to bed? MYOB

63. First concert? Local groups at a home town outdoor rock concert. Back in the days when R&R was shocking, not big business.

64. Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart? I try to avoid plastic tat when I can and buy locally made and/or biodegradable options. Sometimes there is no option, though.

65. Nike or Adidas? Neither. Avias, because I get an instructor discount.

66.Cheetos Or Fritos? Ick. Ick.

67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? Both, please. And both sunflower and peanut butter, too!

68. Ever hear of the group Tres Bien? no

69. Ever take dance lessons? yes

70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing? My spouse just finished with his profession (retired). What he does is up to him.

71. Can you curl your tongue? Yes

72. Ever won a spelling bee? Yes

73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy? No

74. Own any record albums? Yes

75. Own a record player? Yes

76. Regularly burn incense? Ick.

77. Ever been in love? Yes

78. Who would you like to see in concert? Medieval Baebes

79. What was the last concert you saw? Hard to say. I go to lots of them

80.Hot tea or cold tea? Both

81.Tea or coffee? coffee

82. Sugar or snickerdoodles? I just made some incredible vegan cinnamon chocolate snickerdoodles for my egg/milk allergic grandson. Pix on my blog ptarmiganptracks.blogspot.com/

83.Can you swim well? yes

84.Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? yes

85. Are you patient? yes

86. DJ or band, at a wedding? Depends more on the music than the source.

87. Ever won a contest? Yup.

88. Ever have plastic surgery? no

89. Which are better black or green olives? Black

90. Can you knit or crochet? yes, see above-mentioned blog.

91. Best room for a fireplace? Ours is open on both sides--to the living room and the tv room on the other side.

92. Do you want to get married? Been there, done that, got the gold ring.

93. If married, how long have you been married? 29 years

94. Who was your HS crush? There were a couple. Now I wonder "WHAT was I thinking??"

95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? I have a 3-year-old grandson that does that. Seems to me that kind of behavior is not compatible with the abovementioned 29 years of marriage.

96. Do you have kids? yes

97. Do you want kids? Grandkids are awesome. It's great to watch your kids experiencing parenthood, too.

98. Whats your favorite color? Jewel tones: purple, deep red, aqua, blue

99. Do you miss anyone right now? yes

100. Did you watch, Next Great American Band on FOX? What??? Rarely watch tv; never watch Fox.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN1ALASKA 6/20/2010 10:17PM

    Had to come read your survey. It was fun, wasn't it... although a little long. emoticon
PS. We DO have a lot in common... i like your answers better than some of mine but I didn't think of those answers.
(Like choosing between 2 foods when I dislike both of them.)

Comment edited on: 6/20/2010 10:24:28 PM

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Ice Whacking: The Alaska Breakup Workout

Monday, April 05, 2010

I have really added to my exercise minutes in the past couple of weeks with an activity I do every year at this time. In Alaska, late March through April are a special season known as Breakup. The snow and ice melt, the ground begins to thaw, there are dirty puddles everywhere and everybody's car is filthy from getting splashed. While the rest of North America rejoices in flowers and birdsong, Alaskans are looking out their windows at the increasing daylight (Hurrah!) and the slowly shrinking snowbanks (Sigh....).

An unbearable urge to hasten the coming of spring comes over me and I head out to the driveway, tools in hand, to de-ice it. Spring sunshine is finally strong enough to have some warming power, and the more black tarmac that's exposed the faster the remaining ice melts. My tools are an ice mutt, which looks like the love child of an axe and a shovel: www.acehardware.com/product/index.js
and an ergonomic snow shovel: landscaping.about.com/od/winteryardm

I chop chop chop at the edge of the ice until I get tired and/or there is a nice mess of broken chunks. And then I shovel said chunks onto the snow berms at the edges of the driveway, where they will (eventually) melt and water the trees. Chop and shovel, chop and shovel. It's SO gratifying to see the bare tarmac emerge and to have that much less ice to slip on when walking down the drive. And it's quite a workout. I get nice and tired and sweaty. About an hour of this is usually quite enough.

I try to take good care of myself to prevent injury--the pounding action can be hard on wrists and shoulders, and it's no secret that even when using an ergo shovel, the back can be at risk. I stay hydrated, keep shovel loads small, and stretch afterward, especially the upper body muscles and joints.

Then when I go inside I can look out on my increasingly ice-free territory and rack up some more "other exercises" minutes on SparkPeople. Spring is on its way.

Next Day: Rats! It's SNOWING!!!! Ya really gotta have faith spring will eventually come when it gets like this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIRDBRAIN222 4/21/2010 12:13AM

    Wow, sounds like a good workout! Not something I will have the opportunity to do anytime soon, I live in Florida!!! I still remember shoveling snow from growing up in Michigan. I probably wouldn't have hated it so much if I hadn't had to get up at 5:30am to do it!

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PSALM22 4/7/2010 10:45AM

    Such fun, isn't it? I especially love it when I can get a good swipe under a chunk and lift up a big section. I then pick it up and fling it as far as I can!

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THINAGIN2 4/6/2010 8:41AM

    This just shows us how diverse the USA really is! One doesn't think about the different activities that it takes to survive in different parts of the country. Thank you for making me more aware of the world around me!

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Healthy Living Survey

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I saw this on FAIRE*ISLE's blog and swiped it for me, too:

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
I make a special blend of whole grains--including but not limited to wheat, kamut, barley, oats, wild rice, spelt. I cook up a huge pot (takes about an hour), keep it in the fridge and nuke some every morning. I love the taste with all kinds of different toppings and flavors, and it makes my digestion work perfectly!

2. How much water do you drink a day?
I don't track a number. I drink before, during, and after a workout, with and between meals, and when I'm thirsty. I had electrolyte depletion once when I was forcing a defined quantity of water, and it wasn't fun.

3. What is your least favorite "healthy" food?
Radishes, naked lettuce

4. What is your favorite fruit?
Any kind of berries. Locally grown ones, not the styrofoam lumps from the store. I am addicted to golden kiwis, but is is impossible to find them most of the time.

5. What is your favorite vegetable?
I love discovering the new ones that come in my CSA box. Recently it's been sunchokes, fennel, and collards.

6. How many calories do you burn a week?
Hard to say. I teach 3-5 water aerobics classes a week, plus do a couple of my own workouts, plus walk the dog...

7. How many calories do you eat a day?
1500-2000. I'm not very good at cutting down on the chow.

8. What are your favorite healthy snacks?
Fruit, fresh or dried. Yoghurt.

9. What do you usually eat for lunch?
Lunches are a problem for me, as I often teach classes over the noon hour. By the time I'm done & cleaned up it's 2 pm and have to be careful not to have too much so I'm ready for dinner with a family that likes to have an early dinner.

10. What is usually for dinner?
Mondays it's traditionally eggs & toast. I try to have at least 1, sometimes 2 vegetarian dinners a week. Love the crock pot for soups & stews. I make fresh bread in the bread machine for my grandson that's allergic to dairy.

11. What is your favorite body part to strength train?
I love water aerobics because every move is against the resistance of the water and therefore strength training. I don't have to think much about separate strength training.

12. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
See #11.

13. What is your least favorite exercise?
I hate working on machines. The ones at the health club feel icky and sweaty to me and all the feedback and numbers bugs me. I just want to have fun while I exercise. I prefer free weights to the nautilus-type, as I believe I get more core and balance strength out of holding my own body in position rather than resting it on a machine's cushions.

14. What is your favorite exercise?
Anything in the water--aerobics deep & shallow, swimming, mind-body adapted for water (yoga, pilates, tai chi, ai chi), canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling

15. What is your "bad" food cravings?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. And chocolate.

16. What is your go to workout song?
I could never in a million years have just one. My classes like the wild range of stuff I play--oldies, hard rock, African, Celtic, Latin, classical...... It's the variety that I like. My go-to is any new kind of music I haven't tried before!

17. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
I take a multivitamin plus calcium plus vitamin D. The D seems to really pay off in better mood in the dark winter as well as helping use the calcium. And the calcium + exercise definitely is keeping my old bones strong. I had a bone scan recently that showed hip bones denser than a young woman's!

18. How often do you eat out?
About twice a week. Once at my DH's favorite burger joint (NOT a chain) where I skip all but a taste of the fries and have anything but a hamburger (there are salmon, chicken, and fish options).

19. Do you eat fast food?
Sometimes a sandwich, but very rarely anything from the chain places.

20. How do you stay motivated?
Being fit is my motivation for staying fit. I feel better now in my 60's than I have since my 20's. At this age, however, it is not a gift. I have to work hard constantly to maintain the level I've attained. And my classes and colleagues motivate me to keep up with them and keep innovating and improving.

21. Who is your biggest supporter?
My aqua teaching colleagues.

22. How much weight have you lost?
I am 20 lbs down from my absolute max weight, but much heavier than is good for me in the long term.

23. How did you determine your goal weight?
It's from the BMI charts plus memory and photographic evidence of the right weight when I was younger.

24. Do you have a gym membership?
I work for a health club, so my membership is free--probably more valuable in $$ terms than the wage for teaching.

25. How often do you work out?
Teaching 3 - 5 classes per week plus at least one water and one land workout of my own. I try to have one day per week of rest.

26. How did you find Spark?
From the Dietgirl blog. If you haven't heard of her you should read her blog or book.

27. How much sleep do you get a night?
7 - 8 hours. Sometimes late hours or extra exercise make me feel like crashing early, and if I do, I go with it and go to bed even if it's only 8 or 9 o'clock at night. I feel a big responsibility to be awake and energetic on those mornings when I teach a 6 am class.

28. Are you a morning or night workout person?
Mornings. Then it's out of the way and I don't have to worry about how I'm going to fit it in.

29. Do you have a "cheat" day?
Temptation happens, and not on a schedule. When it does, I try to limit the damage and move on.

30. Do you drink soda?
Nope. Only on extremely rare occasions. I find sparkling water or champagne are much better "fizzies".

31. Do you drink alcohol?
A glass of wine or a beer with dinner on the weekend. I've never understood drinking booze for its own sake. After two it just doesn't taste good to me any more. If only the same thing would happen with chocolate!!!!

32. What is your favorite thing about Spark?
It's so customizeable--you can use as much or as little as you want. And the massive information resources and the great people!

33. What do you not like about your body? What do you love about your body?
I love being fit even though overweight. I love the "stealth" effect of being strong despite my age, size and weight. I love the nurse grabbing my deltoid for a flu shot and saying, "Wow, great muscle!" I love surprising younger people with what I can do. That said, I'd like to have a body that looks as fit as it feels. I would like to be a better role model.

34. Do you have a workout buddy?
I have classes full of them! They really motivate me.

35. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to this Healthy Lifestyle?
I strive for more consistency, seek out opportunities for exercise and healthier eating where before I would have just "let it slide."


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