Saturday, September 10, 2011
I lost my brand new digital camera today while hiking to Willow Lake. I got to the top and reached into my pocket where the camera was stowed and found it disturbingly flat. I never even sat down to enjoy the view, eager to search the trail for my camera.
It was brand new, I had yet to take my first photo with it. It was red and should be a little easier to spot, but no luck. I had crossed 15 fallen trees on the trail and moved another and figured it would be on the ground at one of them. Obviously the trail is not well maintained and doesn't get as much traffic as many nearby as evinced by the narrowness of the trail through some nearly hip high foliage. It must have been drawn up to the top of the pocket at a tree crossing, then held off to some of the tall foliage to fall off where it wouldn't be detected.
A fellow at the lake took my photo so I could commemorate the climb (and if I could just figure out where the photo is saved on my computer I'll attach it)
The day started when the doorbell rang and my very first new computer (not a hand-me-down) arrived. A week ago I discovered a check in the mail for just over $1500, an unexpected refund of money from my escrow account when I refinanced my house in August, so I'd decided to get a few things to make life easier and less frustrating: the new computer (so I can get non dialup internet), a hydration bladder, new trekking poles, a replacement for my lost heart rate monitor watch, an mp3 player (so I can listen to tunes and audio books while working out), a new set of hiking boots (the old ones, though in great condition, are too thin-soled in the ball of the foot and one can feel the stones), and a new swimsuit to replace the one dieing prematurely of chlorine exposure (only $3!), and two new pairs of shorts and pants for working out. Items on the list to acquire: a headlamp for hiking, a new winter coat (the old one doesn't fit, I've lost 79 pounds!), a new pair of workout shoes, a couple pairs of wool socks for hiking, (hopefully) the foundation for the shed I want to build, possibly some funds set aside for my celebratory trip to Disneyland when I get down to 140 pounds, and, alas, another camera.
So I lost a $45 dollar camera, I'm still over $1300 ahead.
What did I get from the experience?
I learned from my new hrm watch that I hike at 75-85% of my maximum heart rate going uphill. My calorie burn while hiking has been problematic. My GoWear Fit fitness monitor tells me I burn more calories a minute walking to the grocery store, though I scarcely notice the effort. Going up a significant chunk of elevation on an uneven trail, huffing and puffing, I KNOW I'm working hard, but the calorie burn is lower. My walk around the neighborhood had my heart rate at 65-70%. Also, my new watch tells me I burned .23 pound of fat on the hike, a totally unexpected feature.
I discovered that the tip of one of my new trekking poles was completely blown out from the descent from last week's hike of Lake Blanche, 2700' elevation in 2.9 miles (I KNEW that was a tough hike, and now I have empiric evidence!)
I have a photo of me at Willow Lake taken by a fellow hiker and kindly emailed (alas, with my dialup internet, I can't upload it).
I found my lip balm mini carabiner which I can attach to my pack strap so it is always at hand. I also concluded I could attach the camera in a similar fashion, I had it in my pocket so I wouldn't have to stop, remove my pack and get the camera (my way worked really well!), so I figured out how to prevent the same problem again.
I saw some lovely scenery and got a good calorie burn.
It is almost the 10 year anniversary of 911. That day, the sale of my condo fell through. I told myself "that's okay, in the grand scheme of things it is insignificant." To me, it seems we could all benefit from reflecting upon our mishaps in the grand scheme of things. Certainly the catastrophic and world changing events of a decade ago far exceed almost all of our personal troubles. Though it may be unpleasant, we will get through our difficulties, perhaps not easily or quickly, but we will come out on the other side eventually. I doubt one person affected directly by 911 would say "my employment and way have life have been destroyed, my friends and loved ones are missing or can't be reached to know they are all right, the world has changed irrevocably, but I still have my digital camera!"
As it happens, a good friend had an appointment at the pentagon about an hour after it was hit. He received a phone call telling him not to come. That friend died a year ago and, while sad, we had nine years to enjoy his presence if his appointment had been earlier.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
There's a new gal who has been at water aerobics for a couple of weeks now, a 50-something who, like me, does exercises in the water before and/or after water aerobics. Monday she was chatting with the water aerobics teacher, then she looked at me. "How much have you lost?"
"79 pounds on a good day," I replied.
After class I told her about my exercise routine and how she could check her calorie burn and calorie intake on SP. She said she'd look it up.
Today I'd already started my swim when she came into the pool and sat on the steps. When I got back down to the shallow end she piped up, "What was that site again? I found a dating site." Okay, she found spark.com. I set her straight on the name.
During class she asked about the time frame of my weight loss (June 11, 2010 to present). Awhile later she announced "I want to lose 79 pounds!". Then she chimed in a few minutes later, "you are my inspiration!" I must admit I just beamed.
She informed me she was going to pick my brain until I was sick of answering questions. (Actually I've toyed with the idea of going back to school and becoming a trainer, partly because I want to go talk to every fat person I run into at the gym and tell them they can do it and partly so I can learn more myself, but I don't know if 20 and 30 year olds would want would want a 40 something giving them advice on fitness. Anyway, my friends find it hard to get me to talk about other things sometimes, so I don't think that the new gal is going to wear me out any time soon).
She told me she was going to start logging her food (I told her how SP can help her find out how many calories things have) and told her about the portion control quiz and the article showing a 300 calorie restaurant meal (or rather part of it) and a home cooked version of the same so she can learn to eyeball what a serving really is. I told her about all the articles and tools too.
Somehow I think we flunked the PRE test, because I was succeeding in communicating. Oh well, I've never felt that water aerobics was the most intense workout for me anyway. After class ended, she jogged my lane while I started in on second part of my swim, then she left.
We'll see how things develop. Somehow I think she'll do just fine. She's already hitting water aerobics and yoga and was thinking of trying the weight class but is trying to overcome some intimidation (maybe I should volunteer to go with her...), prepared to log food and she's asking questions.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
My allergies have been playing up and we are headed into the worst time of the year for me. After missing Boot Camp due to lack of sleep from sneezing, sinus pressure, and so forth I decided I had to go to the Urgent Care Clinic. Back in 1988 I was exposed to long term carbon monoxide poisoning which has trashed my lungs and any post nasal drip usually goes right to bronchitis and I was showing the first signs and wanted to nip that in the bud so it wouldn't interfere with working out.
I've seen Dr. Wood many times over the years at the clinic, but this past winter and spring other doctors have been the ones on duty, so he hasn't seen me since fall, probably. He knows me on sight, the medical problems I'm most likely to be in for and the usual treatment.
Today he walked in the exam room, took a look at me and said "I almost didn't recognize you!" I smiled and told him about my weight loss journey. He pulled up a graph on the computer showing my weight from a year ago to today and it looked like a graph showing the stock market crash! Okay, maybe the stock market crash was a little steeper in dropping in a shorter time, but if I dropped 75 pounds that fast the doctors would probably be running tests to see what was wrong.
13 pounds to 30% lost from my starting weight
15 pounds to Onederland
25 pounds to the triple digit weight loss figures
Lookout world, here I come!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
"I've been watching you, and you've lost weight!" I was getting dressed after my swim (and Boot Camp, rowing, elliptical, and treadmill sessions) and a gal passing though the locker room made to observation. Actually, I've been getting that a lot.
The other day a gal sat down to use the computer next to me and said she knew me from some where after she heard me speak. She asked me about school and work and finally she realized I babysit for people she knows. "I didn't recognize you, you've lost weight!"
At my friend's father's funeral, so many of her family and friends were exclaiming over my newly rediscovered waistline. The night before, on a whim, I tried on a dress I hadn't worn in years after I discovered my old stand-by badly wrinkled and happily wore it instead. Actually, I felt a little guilty that I was enjoying myself so much at a funeral. Somehow I think Papa R. will forgive me.
Since I stumbled into the gym on June 11nth, I've become a regular gym rat. Most days I'm at the gym: Monday and Wednesday- water aerobics, Saturday- Boot Camp, sometimes Zumba on Thursdays. The other days I can usually be found in Cardio Heaven (my name for the partial second story overlooking all the strength training equipment). I like Cardio Heaven, it has an excellent view of my favorite local mountain, and I can also watch other patrons come and go, looking for regulars whom I've come to know. I have a reputation for my 3 hour workouts, so I guess there is plenty of opportunity to be seen.
My weight loss to date is 60 pounds on a good day. I've lost 6 inches off my waist, 5 off the hips, and I've gone from a 44 band size on my bras to 36!
I exult each time I discover something new I can do again. Jumping jacks were really exciting, on my second day back to the gym I went to Boot Camp and I couldn't get my feet off the ground and I did a dumbed down version for months. It was actually easier to do the splits at 275 pounds and age 44, six months into this journey. I can do mountain climbers (just don't look for me do be appearing on a workout video demonstrating the finer points) and a 180 degree twisting jump. When something proves difficult on land, I practice in the pool, where my weight is less of an impediment.
I think my favorite thing I've done is the day I out-rowed the Murray City firefighters who work out at the gym some days. A couple of them were doing sprints. After I finished my second 15 minute set I commented that the one watching his fellow fireman that he needed to spur the other on, because I had out-rowed him. The fellow increased his speed, but I had still out-rowed that too. The next time they were in, the one I spoke to explained they weren't trying to race. I said I knew that, but that I thought it was neat that I could out-do them at all, especially since I was probably 20 years older and obese. He said he'd have his guy race me any time. Actually, I'm thinking of taking him up on it!
So Susan, the gal who began the conversation with a phrase out of a horror movie is my newest gym acquaintance. I invited her to join me if she could for my little 5k next Saturday for the Sparkpeople Virtual 5k Challenge. Several members of SP have expressed an interest, and we're going to have a healthy pot luck. I'm going to invite others from the gym over the next week, I don't know how many will be able to make it, but I figure I'll run more (I signed up for the run/walk) if there are more people there who know me, so there's a method to my madness. And I can hand out Sparkpeople cards out to others attending, and gym business cards good for a week to those not from the gym - a little cross promotion!
I thanked Susan for her kind words. She said sometimes when things are progressing slowly, people need to hear encouraging words, which I heartily acknowledged, and explained I've been on a plateau for a few months.
I like to encourage others too, sometimes it's the muscle beach crew to complete a particularly difficult set while I'm at the drinking fountain, the 50 something blind lady, the lady amputee on the elliptical (now that takes perseverance!), the stroke survivor on the treadmill, and the host of those, like me, who are trying to lose weight. After all, I've been watching too!
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