Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ducks and strawberries

Perception is a strange thing. And no, that's not a lead-in to a bit of Buddhist philosophy, although it could be. I'm talking about the way I looked at my body this morning compared to the way I'd have looked at it maybe 6 years ago, even if it looked exactly the same as it does today. What?

As of today the scale shows just under 10 pounds lost, and I was admiring myself in the mirror without those extra pounds of flab. Then, I had to stop and have a giggle, because there was a time -- six years ago before I moved to Brookings -- when I weighed even 10 lbs less than now, and the weight I am now would have seemed unfathomably fat. Perception. Of course, it does look good, by comparison, but it'll look even better once another 15 or so goes the way of these first 10. At that point, which is still a few pounds above where I like to be, I'll be content. And admiring.

Went to the farmers market today in search of eggs, and discovered the first Oregon strawberries of the year! These babies are the sweetest, juiciest strawberries in the world! Don't laugh -- I was skeptical too, when I first moved here. Then I tasted one and fell in love. Picked ripe off the vine, red all the way through, sweet as if sugar had been sprinkled on them, and brimming with juice. No resemblance at all to the kind you buy in the supermarkets, barely ripe, white centers, tasteless and dull. The carton started out full, but these are all that made it home with me. Not cheap -- but worth every $$.

Then, over to campus to sell that diet book at a bookstore, and since I was early for the next bus  and since I've been getting emails about clearance sales, I stopped in the Duck Store just to look around and scored the perfect t-shirt, on sale for $10. I've been wanting a yellow t-shirt, and one with the Duck on it. This one fills both bills. It's a size large, which seems awfully large, but it was the smallest they had left and anyway, all my other t-shirts are size large and they are fine.

My camera turned this almost pastel -- but it's not. It's bright yellow, as it should be. Between this and the strawberries, it's been a good morning.

Oh, and I also had my first Ritta's Burrito in 6 years and I still think it's the best damned burrito in existence. I have a photo somewhere in the archives of my last one. Here it is...

Six years later it still looks the same and tastes the same. If anything, the one today seemed even fatter and more loaded with stuff.  Absolutely yummy, a drippy challenge to eat but well worth it.  Music playing on the Saturday Market stage was a super jazz piano, which I enjoyed tremendously. My kind of music. And Ritta herself is still taking orders and serving up the goodies at her cart. I love that kind of thing.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Curried sweet potato pancakes - yum!

As promised, I tried the curried sweet potato pancakes from Susan Feniger's cookbook, and as expected, it was right on!

Just the right amount of spices (cumin and fennel seed, coriander, turmeric, cayenne and fresh ginger), although I might have preferred more. The topping is plain yogurt with chopped green onions, and while it was kind of ho hum on its own, it blended perfectly with the pancakes.Update: a day later, the spices in the pancakes had blended and were perfect, and the green onion had permeated the yogurt so the sauce was really tasty on its own. Perfect example of peasant food, good when fresh, even better a day later as leftovers.

I made half the recipe, and it's not all that easy to do something like this exactly by halves, so whatever I might feel about wanting more spice could easily be attributed to that. As always, I found ways that I would do things differently next time, to make them hold together better in cooking, such as chop the onions much finer. They are soft, so a bit hard to hold together, in the pan and out. The sweet potato was still a little crunchy (but cooked through), and I liked that.

Wouldn't tamper with the recipe, however. I ate these two and now have 5 in the freezer for the future, which I won't mind at all.

I need to hie myself down to our wonderful new/used bookstore, trade that diet book in for this cookbook, if I'm lucky enough to find a copy there. Next time I'm downtown, that's on the list of things to do.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunshine and duck swag

With another beautiful day in the offing, I opted to take a bus to campus, walk across the river and poke around a bit, and come back home. I had an hour and a half until the next bus -- and another hour for the following bus if I was having too much fun.

I don't know what these beautiful yellow flowers are -- not tulips, I don't think (unless an unusual and dwarf variety), but they glowed in the sunshine.

Found my way through campus to the Autzen bridge without too much trouble. One wrong turn, but then it's probably been 6 years. Give me a break! This photo is actually looking back toward campus, with Spencer's Butte, near my house, poking its head up in the distance. This  is one of several bike/pedestrian bridges crossing the river as it meanders through town.

Lots of these babies, both in the shade and in the sun, from the bridge over to the stadium. Delphiniums?

I actually saw lots of glorious flowers, including one bush that had the largest individual rhododendron blossoms that I have ever seen. The camera was still in the backpack and I was too lazy to stop and get it out. My loss.

Always impressive! And a sight to gladden a football fan's heart -- as long as you're not rooting for an opposing team!

I've only been inside once -- and even then, only in the concession areas that surround the stadium itself. That was in 2008, I think it was, when I was a volunteer for the track and field olympic trials and had to come over here to sign in, get my gear, etc. I did manage to open a door into the stadium and get a quick peek while I was there.

This is something I've never seen in person before, and may not ever see again: the fabled indoor practice arena for the football team, access normally closely guarded. Today was the annual athletic department swag sale. Tons of great shoes, clothing and such at practically giveaway prices. I knew it was going on, but hadn't thought about going because of long lines to get in, etc. But as I was crossing the bridge I kept seeing people walking from the sale carrying large plastic garbage bags filled with shoe boxes and bundles of clothing.  One kid told me there was no line to get in, so I decided why not?

Clearly, most of the good stuff was gone long before I arrived, along with the crowds, but it was fun to walk around and look at what was left. Plenty of boxes of Nike football cleats and regular athletic shoes, but I don't need cleats and of course, the shoes were in larger men's sizes and no hope of a fit for me. Things were marked from $1 to 20, other than football jerseys which were $50. All of this stuff is actual team equipment that somehow went unused. Nike keeps all the teams well supplied, and I guess there is bound to always be extras. I'd picked up a shirt to buy for $5, but after waiting most of the time through the checkout line I realized it was too small for me, and I didn't want it all that bad anyway, not bad enough to go back and try to find a larger size, then wait in line again.

As it turns out, it was a good thing I left when I did. I had 28 minutes to get back across river and across campus to catch the next bus, and that seemed like it might be long enough so off I went at a hustle. I didn't really want to wait around for another hour, or keep walking for another hour. And I hustled all the way back with 3 minutes to spare. Whew! Then, I realized that I'd made a mistake I'd made before, which was looking at the time the bus leaves the downtown station, rather than the time it gets to the campus station -- so I'd had an additional 7 minutes! Oh, well. I had a good workout.

Fun, free day in the sunshine.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Springtime and street food

It's a beautiful, sunny day here and it makes me want to get out into that sunshine and stay for awhile. Not much sunshine up in these trees, so I went for a 35 minute walk down the hill and around a short loop on the running trail, just to get out there, and because after a lazy day yesterday, the body was itching for some exercise. It wasn't a lot, but I think it'll take the edge off. Weather says it's only 63 out there, heading for 74.  Tomorrow and the next day are headed for 79! Yum. Unfortunately, it's not nearly that warm inside -- full sweats and wool socks! It'll warm up a little later in the day as the sun reaches this side of the house, and the windows.

Spent some time this morning at the local animal shelter, training for a volunteer job in the cattery. Most of it was dry, classroom stuff, but we got to spend a few minutes with the cats and I enjoyed that. Saw two older, really shy cats that would fit into my life just fine, but it's too early to think about that kind of thing. One is headed to a permanent sanctuary next week if not adopted, don't know about the other. I need a cat like that, especially in an apartment or here, in one room. They're happy to sleep all day and all night, aren't likely to claw at the carpet or climb the curtains. But again -- too soon for that! I still have the 'where to  put the litter box' issue. I start my weekly volunteer period at 8am on Thursday, and while it's early to get out and about, I'm looking forward to it. There aren't many cats right now, but kitten season has started so there will be plenty of those little critters soon enough, and it's good that there are so few cats who need homes.

Changing subject (who, me?), I've found a cookbook that I really, really want to buy. I saw a copy on the new books shelf at the library and picked it up, since the chef is legendary on the west coast. This one is all about street food, from her travels all over the world, mostly Asia, and also from her very successful restaurant in Los Angeles called Street, serving this kind of thing.

This happens to be the kind of food I love -- simple, quick, indigenous food that's full of flavor and authentic to the country where it's found. I could (and would like to) happily cook my way through the book from cover to cover. There are lots of exotic ingredients needed and while I can get them here, I don't have much room to store them here. Still, I'll get it little by little. In
the meantime, I've found two that are good diet foods and require relatively little in the way of unusual ingredients: a curried sweet potato pancake, and a shaved Brussels sprout dish with hazelnuts and goat cheese. I can get into both of those. In fact I bought the ingredients for the sweet potatoes on Thursday with full intentions to cook them yesterday, but my tummy was a little unhappy as mealtime approached, so I didn't try it. I will do so soon, however, and will report back. The Brussels sprouts won't be far behind. I don't think I'll be disappointed with either -- at least, I sure hope not.

On still a third subject, track & field season has begun here in Eugene, at historic Hayward Field (home of Steve Prefontaine, birthplace of Nike). Second weekend for meets, second weekend for Oregon athletes to be setting all kinds of records. Fun. One of these days, I should go to campus and watch, just for the heck of it. Fun to watch and hear about, whether I'm there or not.

So that's my Saturday! Later....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Warm sunshine and a cranky camera

The weather-guessers delivered on their promise of warm sunshine for today, and I'm delivering on my promise of some wildflower photos from the trail.

Unfortunately, my camera had other ideas and threw a hissy fit, refusing to let me into the 'close up' mode, and refusing to focus on the flowers for the most part. Oh, for the days of non-digital cameras that I could actually control!

The trail as it goes up leaving my home -- its not all this steep -- some of it's steeper! But lovely.

 Not too many wildflowers in through here -- just a few fading Dutch iris. I noticed quickly enough that my body, while willing, didn't seem quite as willing as it did on the previous two hikes. I guess it's a good thing I was going slow, photographing flowers.

The trail from home goes up in 2 segments. This is the top of the first segment. From here, the trail goes through the woods to the left, emerging over the crest of this hill and joining the main trail in the trees to the right. One can walk up and down the rock road, of course, but having tried that, I prefer the trail through the woods.

The camera was really doing poorly along this section. I passed lots of these lovely wild orchids, but this was about as good as it would do in terms of focus. Sorry!

On the main trail I found tons of flowers, some even in the sunshine! Not all were willing to smile at the camera, but they're lovely, anyway. I took almost 100 photos -- most of which were out of focus. Alas. Is it time for a new camera?

Yeah, I went overboard on the trilliums. No apologies for that - they are gorgeous, have a short season, are one of my favorites, and there were hundreds of them along the upper reaches of the trail.

Back down to street level, walking from the trail head to the trail that leads up here. Pink dogwoods are not just in Georgia!

And of course, Oregon's pride, a rhododendron in full bloom. I really need to get to Hendricks Park while they are in full bloom up there.

The start of the trail back up here. It wanders away to the left for a short level stretch, then goes on up the hill rather steeply.

So that was my walk. My right knee is whining a little, but I think that's less the hiking and more the many times I squatted down to flower level to take a photo, then had to stand up again. It'll go away -- always does.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stuff and nonsense

Tis a lovely Wednesday morning. The rain has moved on and we can expect warm sunshine for the next week. I'm all for that, although I've become enough of an Oregonian that I don't really pay much attention to the rain, anyway. Doesn't mean I don't prefer warm sunshine!

Been a quiet week. Sunday I hiked up the trail again, but this time I went in the reverse direction and I like that a lot better. Partly because I'm already part way up the elevation gain, so why go downhill to the other trailhead and then have to regain all that elevation? Of course, I have to eventually gain it, and at the end of the hike as I come back uphill to home, but that's ok.

Another reason I like that direction better is that the trail from here to the park trail is very steep and roughly maintained, and much easier to walk up than to walk down. Walking down is uncomfortable in many places and it seems very likely that I could fall at any moment. I think a good hiking stick would help, but I don't have one so uphill it is. I also learned on Sunday that weekends are a time to avoid the trail because of the bikes on it. I absolutely hate bikes on a hiking trail. It's totally legal, it's a multi-use trail, but they always make me uncomfortable barreling at me and forcing me to step aside or be run over. Takes away much of the peace and tranquility of hiking in nature. So -- weekdays it is.

Today I'm headed to the local humane society to get an orientation for possible volunteer work, which will probably involve cleaning the cattery once a week. I know that sounds yucky to lots of you, but it doesn't bother me in the least and I love being around all the cats. I did this in Brookings for awhile and it was really rewarding.

I've lost 1.5 lbs this past week, despite going off the diet, having wine and coffee and cheese and my 'normal' diet. The weight has seemed to fall off much faster since ending the diet, and I don't know if that's just coincidence or if there is some real correlation. It isn't likely to be what I'm eating, but I can easily see that it may be due to removing that stress. I feel so much better, mentally, not having to think about all that. Still counting calories, and have resigned myself to do that for a good while longer. Whatever. If it keeps working, I don't mind.

No gym this week, either. My body has been so weak that I decided to give it a week off, let it rest a little. Not sure how much good it's doing -- my arms feel like cooked spaghetti as I write this.

Yep -- more boring stuff. But maybe tomorrow will be better. I plan to hike the trail again, and this time I'm taking my camera because the number and variety of wildflowers blooming out there was just astonishing on Sunday. There was even a patch of wild orchids -- and much more.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Coffee, wine, and weird weather

And the world hasn't come to an end! Yesterday I trashed my diet, then started off the day with coffee, which tasted really good. It's odd how our minds work: I'd been feeling bad emotionally and physically, but as soon as I shrugged off the diet it was like shrugging off a lead jacket. I felt free, emotionally and physically. Energized. Wasn't hard to see how stressful the diet had been on me emotionally (not because of things I had to 'give up', but because it was always in the back of my mind as I juggled keeping to the diet while keeping calories down, figuring out what to eat every day (as well as what not to eat). Too much!

After breakfast, I opted to head to the store and buy some things to make my favorite coconut curried lentils with sweet potatoes. While I was there, I bought a celebratory bottle of wine, to make the day complete. No candy or sugary stuff, however! I had fun making the curry, until I noticed that the color wasn't right and later, the taste wasn't right. Instead of going on instincts, I'd referred back to the recipe that started it all and didn't pay attention to details. In making the stock, it had called for coriander and cumin seed. I didn't have those, so I added small amounts of both in a ground form to the curry, and that changed it completely. It tasted OK -- but it normally tastes much better than 'OK'. Then it gave me a sour stomach until after midnight, so I think I'll toss the rest of it today. Win some, lose some. So I had coffee and wine and stayed within my planned low calorie day, as I will today as well. It's not that difficult.

Warm sunshine is in the works today, so I'm going to head out hiking after lunch. Looking forward to that. Yesterday I was sitting here watching an invitational track meet happening on campus at Hayward Field on TV.  High winds came up, and rain poured down on the runners for awhile, but here there was only a light breeze and sunshine -- and they were maybe 3 miles north of me! Weather is weird, especially this time of year.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Diet, day 13

Today I'm due to delete one more thing from my diet: grains. Which of course means things made from grains, such as breads and pastas. Again, no biggie for me because I tend to avoid grains in general, for the most part. What it really means for me is no more lunches at Saturday Market until this diet is over, because all the wonderful foods there use noodles or bread of some kind (tortillas, pita). I do find that a bit annoying because that's always a real treat for me. Otherwise, business as usual.

And of course, I continue to wonder why I insist upon continuing to follow this diet, as it's having zero results for me as far as weight loss is concerned. That's a much bigger question that I think, comes down to stubbornness. Refusing to give up after sticking with it this long. And there's only one more week to go -- but of course I don't see any value I'm going to get by discontinuing grains (which are a teeny part of my diet to begin with) and next, dairy. I've already switched from cow's milk to coconut/almond milks, so the only thing left to discard on the dairy front is yogurt, which I think I can easily do for a few days. But again -- why?

I can't say I feel better in any respect from following the diet, and indeed I think I feel worse than before this began. I'm certainly more tired, although I'm not sure what the diet might have to do with that. I do know that just before I began it, I felt great -- physically and mentally. I wonder if the lack of carbs in the diet are affecting energy? Something -- and perhaps something unknown that's completely unrelated -- has affected my sleep, certainly, for the past couple of weeks.

All in all, in writing this I think I've just talked myself into saying: enough! This isn't working for me. That said, I think I'm headed upstairs to make myself a cup of coffee, then contemplate what else I can do to return to my normal (albeit lower cal) diet.

So - boring subject, I know. But that's all I've got this morning. Thanks for listening and helping me make this monumental decision. Grins.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A sunny day for hiking

Back to the hiking trails this afternoon. It's a beautiful sunny day and I had energy, plus a large lunch that needed to be walked off.

I went determined to reach the top of this trail, then loop back home, and I made it! All the way, nonstop other than being stopped by an aggressive (unleashed!) dog, and talking to a couple of city trail people briefly. One hour and 15 minutes for probably around 3 miles of walking.

Can't say I'm not a little proud of that! I kept about a 2-mile (2mph) pace going up this trail (1 mile in 30 minutes), but faster than that once I got to the top and found the rest of the trail to be mostly level, or gentle ups and downs. Not at my old hiking pace, by any means, but not bad for an old lady, either. My legs and body were strong and full of energy the entire time, and are still that way. The pounds may not be falling off me, but my fitness level has most certainly increased, so I have no complaints.

Here's the city trail map for the area. I added the red arrows, the 3-pronged star at the H on  'martin street trailhead', and the black lines radiating from the star. Two and a half miles of marked trail, and surely another half mile or more of black trail, which shows the private connecting trails to and from home. The star is home, roughly. 438' elevation gain, all in that first mile. I've hiked worse, certainly, but not recently. And it was painless -- that's the best part. It's just good to know I can still do it, and it's even better to know that I can just step outside my front door and access all of this and much, much more that's not shown on this portion of the map.

I think it'll be awhile before I attempt to cross the street there at Fox Hollow and go to the top of the butte, but at least I know I can get part way with no trouble.

Life is good.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What's the point?

Warning: this is going to be a grouchy post. It's 5:15 am and I can't have any coffee! Hot water and lemon juice just doesn't cut it. I won't miss the caffeine,  but it'll take me a day or so to quieten the screaming coffee habit.

To top it off, today is weights and measures day, and the scale shows that I'm up a pound since yesterday, leaving me only one pound lost in the past week, and zero difference in the tape measure. What's the point of all this 'doing without'? The weight loss has slowed down since I started the diet, even though it's not all that different from what I was eating before, other than all the veggies (and I think I've cut down a little on that, even).

I'm supposed to be taking careful and detailed notes on how I feel each day of this diet, particularly how I feel after dropping each food group. Naturally, I haven't been doing that. I can tell I'm getting grumpier, and I'm certainly sleeping poorly the last week or so, whatever the reason. I'm more tired -- from lack of sleep? I have less energy -- same reason? Not good. Oddly enough, since the tape measure doesn't show any difference, my body actually feels lighter and slimmer -- which must be totally in my head. The fat is going from someplace -- has to be -- and I must surely be adding at least a small amount of muscle weight, from all the gym work. So why no difference?

I remember learning years ago that fat burns off the body in the reverse order that it went on. In other words -- the last fat that landed someplace is the first to go. The fat that's been there longest is the last to go. So -- it's probably burning off in small amounts all over the body, not just in the places I measure.

I've thought of ditching the diet -- really, from a weight-loss standpoint it's slowed me down. But I hate giving up on something like this, and there's only a week and a half to go. Surely I can do this!

So -- grumpy. I think that's the lack of sleep, and the subsequent effects that's having on the overall quality of my life. Growl.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saturday Market and a Walk Through Town

Saturday Market opened today, along with the full Farmer's Market. I haven't seen this since just before I left town in 2009, so I wasn't going to miss it.

Quintessentially Eugene, the market brings together all of the wonderful, funky craziness that makes this city so unique. I love it.

One thing that makes this market stand out from others is that everything here and in the Farmer's Market must be made or grown, caught or foraged by the vendor. From tie-dye to musicians on the stage and scattered all around, it's not to be missed.

Part of the block that had just a few veggie farmers out last week. This is one of the side streets, all sides packed with vendors and locals out to welcome the market back on a beautiful, sunny day.

Samplings -- goats milk cheese and more, from the Willamette Valley; fresh wild mushrooms from the mountain forests, and below, the bounty of the Pacific Ocean (just an hour away). Fresh-caught and canned tuna and salmon. Yum.

Not all of the farmer's market bounty is edible. There were several booths of flowers.

From about the same vantage point as last week's photo, except this time there are so many booths you can't see all the way down the block!

Across the street from the farmers, Saturday Market takes up two entire blocks of crafts and a large food court filled with all manner of wonderful things.

In the past, I've always headed straight to Ritta's Burritos for lunch, but today I took advantage of a chance to get some good Thai food. This pad Thai was delicious. Not exactly diet food, although there was nothing here forbidden by my diet. On the other hand, not a lot of veggies. Oh well.

After lunch, I decided to walk to the campus bus stop, since I had a lot of time to kill before the next bus headed out my way. It was a lovely day for walking, and I always love walking this part of town. This building is where I lived for the last 3 years I lived here before, and where I would be overjoyed to still live if I could afford it. I think it would take my entire social security check just for rent, and somehow I'm partial to food, utilities and gas in my car. I was on the top floor, other side of the building, this end, looking towards the mountains and over the treetops on campus.

While  you can't read it, the base of the heron statue reads 'University District'. This last block before campus holds the usual array of food, beer and clothing retailers that appeal to students.

At the end of the block, the school bookstore.

Just beyond the auto barriers, same street. All is quiet on campus on this sunny Saturday morning.

The quad, seen in this camera, from ground level. When ESPN sets up College Game Day during football season, this is where you'll find them. Although from their platform, the view you're likely to see is the one below.

So - after this joyful walk I only had a few minutes to wait for my bus home. And despite my whinings of a few days ago, I ended up walking just under two hours, including the trip up and down my hill from the bus stop. And somehow, I survived.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Age and exercise

I'm on a real rant this morning. I keep hearing and reading dire warnings about the dangers of sitting and inactivity. And I understand and agree with the premise and reasons. What I have issues with is the physical ability to actually accomplish this.

No more than 8 hours per day sitting, and even that is way too much, according to Dr. Oz yesterday. So here's my question: Assuming we sleep for 8 hours (I wish!), and hit the bad end of the spectrum and sit for 8 hours, that still leaves 8 hours of the day when we are supposed to be on our feet. Doing what? And with what energy? I get that we need to not sit for long stretches at a time -- get up and walk around every hour or so -- but seriously, how many of us past the age of 30 are really able to spend 8 or more hours standing, walking, or some form of activity that doesn't include sitting? (Unless you have a job that keeps you on your feet, in which case your body is used to that.)

I try. I keep trying to extend the amount of exercise and activity I do, but the body just won't let me. By Fridays (today!) I'm generally physically wiped out and that's the case this morning. My arm muscles are gently throbbing and feeling puny and weak. Overall energy is low. I'll still go to the gym and force myself to spend the entire hour there, but if it's anything like last weekend I'll be wiped out the rest of the weekend.

I remember well when I first moved here 10 years ago -- 10 years younger, obviously -- and tried to spend more time exercising. I ended up drained, even then. And before I 'retired' and  moved here I was working half time, going to the gym daily with heavy weight training and movement, riding my bike all over town on errands and long hours and miles over hill and dale on the weekends. Other than the employment, I continued that degree and type of exercise once here. The gym, lots of walking, lots of time exploring the wonderful 18 mile riverside bike path and eventually, highways and byways and big hills and long hours on the bike again. But I couldn't do all that every day and I remember being frustrated. Was my weight already beginning to inch up? I don't remember, but I do remember convincing myself that I needed use all this new time availability to spend more time moving. So I tried to extend activity to every day and it didn't take long at all for the body to say: stop! Even though it was in great shape and even though I was eating well, the body hit a brick wall that seemed impossible to break through.

The same thing is happening now, with 10 more years on the body. It's not lack of will power or interest, it's the lack of muscle energy, overall energy. Maybe if I slept better that wouldn't be an issue, but I haven't slept well for 30 years, so I don't expect too many major changes in that anytime soon. My sleep is better now than it's been for a long time, but that's still not saying much. Are some of us just genetically programmed to do less at this age? I'm not trying to become a teenager again, or compete in the Olympics (or anything else). But surely, the body could handle an hour of good exercise per day. Wouldn't you think?

Yesterday, to keep the weekly exercise hours up, I walked down the hill, around the neighborhood and back up the hill, for about 50 minutes of walking. It felt great, and I felt great, but today -- I'm bushed. I always think 'keep it up and the body will adjust' because that's logical. But it never seems to happen that way for me. Over the last 7 days I've had a big 5 hours of serious exercise. Surely there could be more. But how?

I force myself to stand when I want to sit, and stretch, and walk around the room and do these little things that keep me off my butt as much as I can, but there is a limit. What do we do with the rest of those 8 hours per day that we need to be active?


Thursday, April 2, 2015

No pain, no gain

Time to drop something else. Sugar, this time. Like the first two, this won't be an issue with me as I don't indulge much anyway (aside from occasional cookie binges). Caffeine, a week from now, will be a different story, although it's the coffee I'll miss rather than the caffeine, as I drink a half-caff blend, and only one cup per day.

What I have noticed, however, is how much the mind/body tends to crave whatever it knows it can't have. Not a news flash to any of us, I'm sure, but something I've seen clearly these last three days. Cooking shows -- red meat, high calories. Yum. Yesterday, sugar (ahead of the ban). I indulged in a small pack of peanut M&Ms and later regretted those calories, as it made juggling the required foods within a low calorie count rather difficult. Today needs to be a really low cal day to offset that indulgence, and keep the average where it needs to be.

But -- the scale still shows a downward number every day, so you won't hear me complain about any deprivations or longings. From my high point on Feb 9, I have now lost 6 lbs, most of it within the last few weeks when I've lowered the daily calorie count to an average of around 1200, and upped the exercise. I can see and feel the difference, and that's a really good thing. Keep it going!

I came to the realization a few weeks back that I'm just going to have to basically eat like this (albeit with a few more calories per day) for the rest of my life. Whether it's age, hormones, or activity level doesn't matter. Experience has taught me the hard way that when I lose 10 lbs or so at the Hermitage it all comes back when I return home and return to my old eating habits. So it has to change, permanently. Not to say I can't splurge on occasion.

Today is supposed to be nice and sunny -- the only one of this week and probably next week that would fit that bill -- so I need to go for a walk. Thinking about trying the big hill. I walk parts of that hill already, but I've never tried to walk up it from the bottom. It's a long, steep hill, but I'm sure I can do it, even though it may hurt.