Whether dieting or “Jesus-ing,” stick with the basics!

Welp, yet another small but HISTORICALLY significant gain this week — but some theological AND diet wisdom to go along with it! First, the annoying news:

190.4
don't step on scales
apple core

Yep, that’s right, as of today’s weigh-in, I’m no longer 50 pounds down!! Thus, I’ll either have to rename the blog (“50 by 61?” “50 by 62?”) OR get back to basics and recalibrate that diet!

cat mouse remember diet'

And in a weird weigh way, it kinda ties in with some theological stuff I’ve been dealing with. See, as you longtime regular readers (all 3 of you!) know, I’m a Byzantine Catholic.

babushka

However, every so often, like most sensible people, I have my doubts about the whole “religulous” thing. That’s because, also like a lot of otherwise sensible people, I have a tendency to let my religion get tied up with my politics, and wind up worshipping something more like the all-too-human leaders of my party of choice (whichever it is at the time) than any transcendent deity that may or may not exist!

And no matter which version of Jesus you favor, Democrat, Republican, or “other,” you have to know, deep down inside, that if there even is any such Person at all, He’s probably not tied to any one particular political party or ideology that we humanoids have managed to cobble together for ourselves!

30 rock we count those

Anyway, the nice thing about going through a bout of atheism on a regular basis is that it’s kinda like cleaning out that junk drawer in the kitchen.

junk drawer.jpgYou know how it is — you throw everything out, clean the drawer, leave it empty for a while, till one fine day you need to store a new kitchen thingy (“Hey, why not in that nice, clean, empty drawer?”) and then another thingy, and another,  till before you know it, everything’s back to normal! Except now, at least you’ve got NEW junk in there, instead of all the old junk, and for a while, anyway, maybe you’ll actually remember what’s in there, and occasionally even find something useful there!

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(And trust me, I’m getting to the dieting stuff! Be patient!)

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ANYHOO, so from time to time I throw out all the theological crap I’ve been storing in my internal junk drawer, aka “brain,” and then a few weeks/months/years later, I find myself with a brand new religious idea that makes sense! So I store it in my nice, clean, empty brain, then add another,  and another, till pretty soon everything’s back to normal, till the next spring cleaning time rolls around.

But the mistake a lot of theologically inclined people make when they’re losing their faith is to try and “Jesus” harder, a term I first came across in Rolltodisbelieve, a “nonreligious” Patheos blog by the very amusing and perceptive Captain Cassidy, aka Cassidy McGillicuddy. (And before my religulous friends get uptight, yes I’m still religious, but you know what? When you’re lost in the forest, sometimes it’s helpful to consult someone who’s outside it, and thus has a better view of the overall map!)

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Anyway, in a recent post, Captain Cassidy writes about how Christians rarely think about how they will cope if they find themselves starting to lose their faith:

If the doubters don’t want to do a bunch of busywork or they don’t respond in something other than the expected manner, then Christians fall back on accusing the doubters of Jesus-ing incorrectly. …
If doubters fail to resolve the doubt in question, then obviously the doubters allowed the scripts to fail.

Again, I don’t necessarily agree with all of the Captain’s *conclusions* in that post, but I sure do love the fact that she really pinpoints the problem(s) in ways that my fellow religulous friends are sometimes afraid to! And that brings me — AT LONG LAST!! — to the connection with the diet!

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When a longtime dieter who’s lost a whole bunch of weight starts regaining — “Why is this happening? I’m doing all the same stuff I was doing before! I’m eating all the same stuff!” — and they go online, what happens? Do they get sympathy (“Oh yeah, I’ve been there! Don’t worry, just take some deep breaths, get on with your life, take it one day at a time, it’ll all work out!“)? Well, maybe sometimes, but more often, they get stuff like:

“You’re dieting wrong! You should be [fill in fad diet of the month here] instead! What are your macros? Check your macros! Keto! Vegan! Calories don’t count!”

So here’s the connection! (OPINION ALERT!) Just like there’s all sorts of religions out there — all sorts of ways to find God and/or be spiritual or whatever — the ultimate goal of the best of them seems to boil down to having, and expressing, compassion and empathy for everyone.

jesus tattoos stupid questions

Now, some religions do that better than others, but you have to admit that’s at least the ideal, right? Well, the ultimate goal of every DIET is, of course, to lose weight! And some of them do that better than others — but they all do it by producing the same result: the all-important CALORIE DEFICIT!

calories points

As another blogger I admire, Jay at aworkoutroutine, points out, the best diet is the one that achieves that:

Whatever diet plan best suits your personal goals, needs and preferences and is therefore going to allow you to put the required fundamental principles of weight loss into action in the most Preferable, Enjoyable, Convenient and Sustainable (PECS!) way possible… THAT is the diet that’s best for you.

And that ties in with my personal opinion about “which is the best religion?”

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OPINION ALERT: The best religion is the one that makes you less likely to deliberately run over someone on your way to/from work — and the best diet is the one that results in a calorie deficit!!

Yes! It took a while but we finally got there!

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So there you go, your deep, heavy theological and dieting wisdom for the day! And yeah, I know this was a super-long post, but then again, I’m super-late posting it, so deal with it! See you next week!

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Super Scary Hallowe’en Weigh-In Edition!

Well, good morning, boys and girls! As you know, it’s almost time for the scariest day of the year — All Hallows Eve!! And Aunt 50by60 has some really scary stuff for you today!

count on it

First, of course, there’s the obligatory Weekly Weigh-in. Well, now THAT can’t be too scary! I mean, yeah, I haven’t exercised as much this last week, but I’ve been keeping an eye on my calories, kinda-sorta more-or-less! So let’s just step on the scales…

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…and see what…EEEK!!

190.0??
mr bill

Yikes! 190 is my (self-designated) Official Cutoff Point O’ Doom! So that’s really scary because it means I DO have to get off my butt this week and do some (eek) exercise!

paranormal weight room

And that’s gonna be REALLY tough because, as hinted at in last week’s post, we’ve just welcomed a new addition to the 50by60 household — meet PUMPKIN!

pumpkin princess

As you can see, Pumpkin, a black cat with gorgeous orange eyes (which you can’t see because, like all cats, she’s usually asleep) is getting into the Hallowe’en spirit by making herself comfortable on the shelf directly above the Memorial Shelf, where we keep the mementos of our beloved previous cat, +Princess+, who perished just a year ago yesterday.

Princess 3

And just to make it sadder, +Princess+ died on Mr. 50by60’s birthday last year.

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THIS year, he had to go to the dentist and get a filling and a crown. Hmm — maybe next year we should plan something a tad more cheerful!

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Anyway, we miss +Miss Princess+, so we’re thrilled to welcome Miss Pumpkin to take her place in our home (although of course, never in our hearts!). Our other cat, Buddy, is still debating about how HE feels about it!

new kitten

However, I’ve found a little extra food in his bowl makes him calm down about the whole situation. That works for humans too — which is probably why my weight is going UP rather than DOWN! You may have noticed we’ve had a couple of wildfires out here in So Cal (and No Cal) over the past few, um, weeks? (I’ve lost track.)

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Pretty much every morning over the past couple of weeks, we’ve awakened to yet another round of smoke, ashes, high winds, and red fonts on the Drudge Report. This morning’s outbreak is just past Simi Valley, near the Reagan Library — AND not too far from my favorite 24 Hour Fitness Location!

24hrpool

YES, the one with the pool!!

So best wishes to all the beleaguered firefighters who are definitely being stretched thin! Which makes my efforts to get thin seem kinda unimportant, in the grand scheme of things, right? Still, I haven’t given up hope! At some point (if Pumpkin lets me)…

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…I’ll stand up, grab my water bottle (and my face mask), and take a nice long walk through the beautiful Southern California autumn!

happy fall so cal

Well, that’s it!

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Enjoy your week!

Memento mori, so pass the Doritos!

office space memento

First of all, excuse me if this post makes it sound like I’m depressed or something. Far from it – I’m actually enjoying our beautiful, mild fall weather here in sunny Southern California!

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But every once in a while, I do wax philosophic! And during the last couple of weeks, Mr. 50by60 and I have attended not one, but TWO, funerals, for a couple of wonderful people from our church. And whenever I have to go to a funeral, it kinda makes me ponder this whole “diet” thing (for a while, anyway!).

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I mean, why exactly am I trying to lose all this weight for, again? I mean, yeah, to be able to do more outdoorsy stuff, because I like doing outdoorsy stuff (except when it’s too hot, or too cold, or too wet, or too dry). And yeah, to be healthier so I can live longer (because all those Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime shows ain’t gonna binge-watch themselves!).

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But am I doing it because I really want to do it? Or because I think I should do it? Man, that’s a tough one! I mean, it ultimately speaks to the reality of our mortality here on Planet Earth, right? We all have a limited amount of time here on the Biosphere, so how do we want to use that time?

productive use of time

Back in the olden days, the Latin-rite Catholics had a saying: “Memento Mori.” Loosely translated, it means, “Remember, you’re gonna die!” Whatever you might think about the Catholic Church these days (and believe me, I get it!), it was actually a good reminder: get your priorities in order. Figure out what’s really important, in the light of, well, eternity!

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So I guess all this is my long-winded way of revealing that, YES I had a bit of a gain this past week:

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little kicks

and YES, I still want to lose a bit more weight, because I want to stick around for quite a while!

chocolates life

But NO, I’m not letting it worry me! Life is short no matter what you do, and YES, it’s important to stay as healthy as you can, as long as you can, but sooner or later … sooner or later, Jake, we all go to Chinatown. (Or, in my case, Yogurtland!)

yogurtland

(Well, that was nicely morbid, huh? Don’t worry, next week’s post should be a bit more upbeat AND I’ll reveal all the fun facts about the newest member of our household, Pumpkin!)

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Stray Cat Blues!

Oh yeah! Hmm, I seem to be singin’ the blues a lot lately on this blog, don’t I? The Summertime Blues, the Not Enough Quarters for the Washing Machine Blues, and of course, everyone’s favorite, that seemingly never-ending waltz around “Plateau Point!” This week is a little less tragic – I’m down to:

189.0

A miniscule little drop, to be sure, but still, any loss of elevation is welcome (unless you’re on Viagra, I guess?).

Anyway, the “stray cat” of my title song is a cute little black kitten who’s trying to stake out territory in the space between our house and the neighbors, as well as in MY HEART waahhh!!

The thing is, although (of course!) he’s super cute, neither Mr. 50by60 nor our current alpha cat, the Budster, is really ready for a cute new interloper just yet. After all, it’s been less than a year since our beloved Princess went to Kitty Heaven,

taking our hearts with her! And none of us is really quite sure we’re ready to reclaim our hearts from way up there and start from scratch (literally – I mean, it’s a cat!) with a new furry friend. But like all good salespeople, Li’l Blackie hasn’t given up yet!

And to be honest, he’s already wormed his way into — if not my heart, at least into that vast Catholic guilt complex inside my head.

I’ve been buying extra cat food and leaving it out between the houses for him, as well as lying awake at night, worrying that he’ll be too cold out there. “It’s 50 degrees!!! Won’t he freeze to death?”

So we’ll see what happens. If nothing else, all this stress should result in a nice, juicy weight loss next week! By which time, by the by, and getting back to the “Washing Machine Blues,” we may just have a brand new washing machine, y’all!!!

Stay tuned — I’ll update you next week on the cats, the major appliances, and of course, the continuing saga of The Weight!!

Hikin’ up ol’ Treadmill Hill!

Well, good morning, nieces and nephews out in Internetland! Yup, Aunt 50by60’s back with another snooze-inducing weigh-in!

189.4
al gore

As you can see, things haven’t changed around here too much in the last few [checks calendar] months, weight-wise anyway. But take heart! Thanks to the inspiration of a dedicated Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker named Jeff, who Aunt 50by60 encountered near the metropolis of Acton, California last week, she’s decided to take a proactive step towards making these weigh-ins a little more exciting.

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Yes sir!! Anyway, that’s right — I’VE JOINED YET ANOTHER GYM!

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Oh, OK, I know it’s not THAT exciting! But as long-time readers of this blog know all too well, I’ve been a member of the venerable 24 Hour Fitness of Simi Valley for years and years, mainly because of The Pool.

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Last year I temporarily added the lovely, but alas, too distant Anytime Fitness to my workout regimen.

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And it helped for a while, but as usual with ANY gym, I got bored and started making excuses to just, you know, WALK, like OUTSIDE, man!

walking treadmill

Which is great! Except what with rainy days, super-hot days, climate change, uh…meteors, and all that, outdoors isn’t always the best place for delicate, sensitive flowers like moi to hang out!

grumpy cat

Plus another added factor is that, in case you haven’t noticed, gas prices have been climbing just a tad lately.

gas prices california

So I’ve got (yet another) an incentive not to drive long distances just to use a gym. Which is why, after decades of living within, literally, two BLOCKS from a perfectly serviceable YMCA, I’ve decided to actually join it!

gasp

I’ve hesitated in the past because the membership seems a bit pricey compared to the other gyms. However, when I added in the steadily rising price of gas and time required to get to The Other Gym(s), it wasn’t that bad by comparison. Plus, I have to admit I was impressed when I actually went inside and found that, unlike my beloved 24 Hour Fitness, this particular Y has treadmills that actually seem to have been manufactured in THIS century!

retro treadmill

Plus they have lots of classes during the daytime which seem to be aimed primarily at doddering old fogeys (“Shoelace Tying 101,” “Stretch To Reach The Remote,” etc.) so I should fit right in!

drunk old lady

I’ve already done one workout there on the treadmill where, inspired by Jeff and all the intrepid PCT/Appalachian Trail hikers, I turned the incline up to an awe-inspiring, never-before-achieved (by me anyway) height of (ready?) 2.5!!! Wowsers!

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So things are looking up! And hopefully next week, things like my weight will be looking DOWN! If that makes any sense at all, which it rarely does, but come on … what did you expect from a blog written by someone who flunked Logic 101 in college?

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That’s all you get this week, folks! See you next week, when we’ll find out if my trip up Treadmill Hill had any real-world impact!

trump see you next week maybe

 

 

I got the “not enough quarters for the washing machine” blues!

Well, hey there, and a hearty good morning to all my nieces and nephews out there in Blogland! Yes, it’s Auntie 50by60, here to entertain you with another edition of “Why Can’t I Get Off Plateau Point??”

plateau point

That’s right, today’s weight is (drum roll please):

189.2
scales
woo hoo

Yep, EXACTLY the same as last week, give or take a millimeter or so.

silly little millimeter

And that’s fine! I’m not really complaining. Just that earlier in the week, it swooped down to a dazzling 185.4, which I was hoping was a harbinger of the future! Unfortunately, like 99.999% of all predictions and prophecies (so far!), that turned out to be incorrect!

predictions tough

No duh, Yogi Berra! Well, anyway, getting back to the TITLE of this here blog post, our beloved washing machine of 23+ years picked this week to pass on to its eternal reward, taking the ease of tossing our dirty duds into it at any time of day or night, for free, with it. At first, Mr. 50by60 thought he might be able to repair it.

i man washing.jpg

But it was too far gone, so we’ve decided to replace it instead. However, due to busy schedules and a general lack of resolve, we’re putting it off till next weekend, or maybe the week after that. Sometime before Thanksgiving, that’s for sure!

drew appliances

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying what used to be a major social event in my single days: going to the laundromat!

trump laundromat.jpg

And I have to say, it’s actually kinda fun! Our neighborhood laundromat (located in the semi-strip mall where the Jo-Ann’s used to be, thus and hence having oodles of parking) is sparkling clean, not too crowded at the times I was there, and most importantly, has a restroom that’s actually been cleaned within living memory!

employee hands

So far I’ve hauled our big bags of stinky laundry down there twice, and enjoyed all that retro laundry stuff immensely. You know, estimating how long the wash cycle will be so you can figure out how many snacks you’ll have time to consume out of the overpriced vending machine … Oops!!

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Forgot for a moment I’m a respected, prestigious diet blogger!! No, what I meant to say (ahem!) was, estimating how long the wash cycle will be so you can figure out how much time you’ll have for a nice, healthy walk or jog!

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And then, of course, since our dryer is still working, I haul all the wet stuff back home so I can save the few precious, precious quarters that are still left. Although I have to confess, last time I cheated and used the dryer. Yeah, I know, 75 cents down the drain, but it gave me an extra half hour to scarf down some Doritos eat some healthy salad!

parks and rec salad.jpeg

So as you can see, I’ve definitely had some ups and downs this week, and not just the weight! However, on a brighter note, the temps have been dropping a lot, due to this thing called climate change autumn, so you know what that means — it’s outdoor exercise time!

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Yeah!! So hopefully next week I’ll have (a) climbed down from Plateau Point, (b) taken steps towards getting that fancy schmancy new washing machine, and (c) most importantly, found some Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer at the grocery store!

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Seriously, they just fly off the shelves! So wish me luck — and have a GREAT week, y’all! Remember, Hallowe’en is on the way!!

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Eau deer … another gain!

Yeah, the weight’s not really looking too good this week:

189.2
scalessmash
oh poo

Drat! Well, to be honest, I haven’t really been following through on the advice I keep giving all of YOU nice folks! In fact, I’ve been doing the opposite – NOT counting my calories, NOT exercising as much as I need to, etc. I mean, I still think all of that is great advice — y’know, if I actually did it!

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Yeah, well, that’s easy for you to say, Mr. President! (Also, not to get political or anything, but stay off the phone, for a while, Donald, it just gets you in hot water!)

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Anyway, now that summer’s finally over, and the weather gurus PROMISE that cooler weather is on the way, maybe I will actually do what I’m always telling other people to do: take more walks!

walk

Yeah! And walking did me a lot of good last winter. I enjoyed the physical part, as well as the mental and emotional “high” of being out in beautiful Mother Nature, as opposed to the gym.

walking treadmill

So bear with me! Your intrepid weight loss blogger is down*, but NOT out, yet! I’m still going to go out there and enjoy life — and now that the weather’s cooler, maybe stay away from Yogurtland!

 

So till next week, remember — do as I say, not as I do!

try not yoda

(Or whatever!!)

(*OK, technically I’m “up,” but you know what I mean!)

 

True Confessions of a Weight Loss Blogger!

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Yikes! Sorry to be late checking in! I was on vacation last week in beautiful, sunny Arizona (because of course, where else would anyone go for vacation in early September?) and what with visiting all the relatives and noshing on the fabulous La Quinta continental breakfast every morning…

breakfast

I just never got around to blogging! So here ya go, after two weeks, my weight is:

187.2
scales
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Which looks good, right? I mean, it’s actually LESS than when I left on vacation, right? Welllll … I have to confess there’s another reason I didn’t blog my weight last week.

i confess bad

The truth is … my weight was over 190 pounds!!

shocked

Yeah, it’s true. It was actually (sigh) 190.8! And it’s the first time it’s gone over 190 in a long, long time. And to be honest … I was kinda embarrassed about it. I mean, after all, I’m a rich, successful, marginally competent weight loss blogger!

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I know, I know! So I should have just posted it and let the chips fall where they may. (Mmm … chips … )

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So anyway, yeah, what with the train trip in August and the Arizona road trip last week, I kinda let my diet train get derailed.

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But I’m back on track now! I’ve been counting my calories (sort of) and exercising a lot (sort of) and I fully expect that NEXT week, I will have lost at LEAST one full pound (sort of)! And if I don’t, I PROMISE I’ll blog about it anyway, because misery loves company, right? I mean, not that I want you to be miserable, but hey, I’m sure as one of my many loyal readers, you’ll jump right off that cliff with me. Right? (ahem) I said, right?

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Well, um, that’s encouraging, I guess! Anyway, like I said, I’ll be back next week with another weigh-in, and NO excuses!

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See ya next Wednesday!

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Sigh…okay, back to the grind, then!

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Yeah, the bad news is:

189.0
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Yikes! Well, that’s what happens when you (a) don’t count your calories and (b) spend a whole lotta time with your feet up on your comfy recliner binge-watching “30 Rock” during the “dog days” of summer!

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The good news is, it’s a wake-up call to get back to the basics:

1. Count my calories,

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2. Eat right,

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and of course,

3. Exercise!

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No excuses! And I’m gonna get started…right AFTER my planned vacation, which starts, er, today! and hey, it’s in Phoenix, Arizona, so maybe the pounds will MELT off!

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So I’ll try to spend the next week eating sensibly, yada yada yada, and we’ll see what happens.

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(my NEXT binge watch??)

Have a great week!

On vacay! See you in September!

Hey everyone, I’m taking a little blogging break so I can enjoy the last few waning days of summer! Will be back and weighing* in on ALL sorts of topics sometime in September.

Hope you’re enjoying some well-deserved summer relaxation — if not, please accept my heartfelt sympathies! Maybe you can at least do a mini-staycay of some sort!

See you in September, everyone!