Ch-ch-ch-changes! (to the diet AND the blog! wowsers!)

OK, don’t freak out, man, but I’m making a couple of tweaks here! Nothing serious, just a couple of necessary repairs.

 

First, re: the blog — I’m not gonna do the “Friday Five” thing anymore, or at least not regularly. It’s just getting too hard to come up with five semi-related things. I mean, seriously, I was actually contemplating “Five Reasons Not to Open Your Window on an Airplane”!

nightmare.jpg

And really, where do you go after the obligatory “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” joke? So, no more “Friday Fives” unless I actually have five important (and diet- or exercise-related) things to pass along to y’all.

Second, the diet itself! Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while may remember that before I started my current round of weight loss via calorie counting, I lost a respectable 20 pounds on the No S Diet.

no s diet

I liked the plan because it was super-simple — no need to write anything down, no need to give up foods I loved (just defer them to “S” days). I managed to lose 20 pounds over the course of a year, which may not sound like a lot, but that weight STAYED OFF, yo!

The main problem I had with it, though, as I related wayyyy back in August of 2017 (“Part 2 of How I Got Here“), was my inability to defer the pleasure that is the Trader Joe’s Mini “Hold The Cone”!

95434-hold-the-cone-vanilla

Yes, as with so many of us dieters, chocolate was my downfall. Although it turned out to be for the best.

good thing.jpg

I decided to try good old-fashioned calorie counting, so I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, as long as I did the required accounting. And that was great! I lost over 60 pounds with that method, and coupled with the 20 I lost on the No S, that’s … let’s see … carry the one …

math2

… over 80 pounds down, which is nothing to sneeze at! Still, the last few months, I’ve been over-snacking, and not tracking my calories, because honestly, it does get a little tedious after a while, doesn’t it? Writing down all those numbers? I mean, you know…

barbie doll.jpg

OK, not that! But anyway, I’ve decided I need to do something different for a while, so I’m switching back to the No S Diet, but with ONE modification: I’m making it the “ONE S Diet!” I’m going to allow myself one and ONLY one “S” (snack/sweet) per day. Can you guess what that one “S” is going to be?

cones

Yep, one “Hold the Cone” every evening! At least for a while. I like to think of them as my “No S Diet” training wheels — I’ll use ’em till I don’t need ’em anymore. Or till Trader Joe’s stops selling them, and if you shop at Trader Joe’s, you know they have a distressing tendency to suddenly stop selling stuff you like.

trader joe

FWIW I’ve been doing this since Tuesday, and it’s not bad at all. And it’s really nice not to have to remember, and then remember to write down, how many reduced fat string cheeses I had. Or shred precisely 28 grams of cheddar cheese for the salad, and write it down. Etc., etc.

don knotts etc.jpg

So there ya go — no “Friday Five” and a new/old diet! How will these ch-ch-ch-changes affect the Monday weigh-in (which ISN’T changing)? Well, we’ll just have to find out — on Monday! See ya then!

trump weekend.jpg

 

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In: Post-Bright Week Edition!

Well, howdy everyone, and welcome back! So glad to see y’all again! So didja have a nice Pascha and/or Passover? Me personally, I did Pascha, but finished it off with some leftover Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine, so as to be, y’know, ecumenical.

manischewitz.jpg

(And of course, shout-out to our Eastern Orthodox friends who are just now STARTING their Bright Week! (And btw, we know all that “Old Calendar” stuff is just a clever ruse to take advantage of all our post-Easter & Christmas sales. Whatevs!)

greek orthodox easter palm sunday.jpg

So anyway, after a nice Bright Week full of yummy treats like REAL CREAM and REAL SUGAR for my coffee, kielbasa up the wazoo (and no, I don’t have a photo!), and cheese cheese cheese, here’s the official weigh-in with a DOUBLE rhyme (to make up for lost time*)!

179.8
scales

Wow, only 0.8 up since two weeks ago — that’s not too shabby! I’m fine with that. In fact, maybe I’ll just grab myself some more cheese…

nun slap.jpg

Oh all RIGHT, Sistah! Just have some nice, 110-calorie Chobani yogurt, then, ‘k? Geez! Anyway, nice to be back! Hope y’all have a happy Monday!

happy monday dwight

(*see what I did there?)

Holy Week Without A Weigh-In, Batman!!

Good morning, everyone! Although technically, it’s “good evening,” since I’m actually writing this on Sunday evening, and just *scheduling* it for tomorrow morning. So whenever I say “today,” I mean “Monday,” which is really “tomorrow” for me “today.” So good morning (evening)!

time travel verbs

Anyway, just wanted to let you know there’s no weigh-in today tomorrow! Monday! because it’s the start of Holy Week. As I may or may not have mentioned, both Mr. 50by60 and I are cantors at our Byzantine Catholic church

babushka

and this is a busy busy busy week for us, starting this morning with a long service called “Bridegroom Matins,” after which there are MORE services every day, till we get to the weekend and the services are so long that they spill over into the next century, or so it seems.

bridegroom matins

Anyway, bottom line is, no weigh-in today (Monday!), and no posts besides this till after next week (aka “Bright Week”). Hope you have a blessed Pascha/Easter; or Passover, which also starts this Friday; or, if you’re not religious, a “nice week”!

alligator crocodile

Friday laziness: My Very First Reblog!

Following Penny Wilson‘s advice from a couple of weeks ago, I’m reblogging this post from Drew Robinson’s “Trail To Peak.” I really love all the photos — looks like a fun hike. So ENJOY — and I’ll see you Monday for the weigh-in and an ORIGINAL post!

Hiking Bane Ridge Trail in Chino Hills State Park

https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1gG9IugyqoEfTzXBxE9xrAS9AKESFadr8

Chino Hills State Park is a 14,173 acre park located on the borders of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Visitors to Chino Hills State Park can explore 60 miles of trails and fire roads that pass through woodlands, sage scrub, grasslands, and wildflowers. One of the most popular hikes within Chino Hills State Park…

via Hiking Bane Ridge Trail In Chino Hills State Park — Trail to Peak

Monday Weigh-In: The Gardening!

Good morning, everyone! Let’s get the weigh-in over with, shall we?

179.0
70s scales
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Whew, that’s a relief — a bit of a loss! My body still seems reluctant to settle for *either* the ’80s or the ’70s — teetering back and forth over the border for quite a while now!

teeter

Maybe I can keep it down with my newfound exercise regime — gardening! Yeah, I’ve learned how to operate our gas lawn mower, which with its balky pull-cord starter should provide a GREAT upper-body workout!

me mowing

Not to mention all the cardio from going back and forth, all over both the front AND back yards!

twirling

Also, I’ve been pulling a LOTTA weeds — and let me tell you folks with lush, green lawns a little secret: pulling weeds is ADDICTIVE so you definitely don’t want to get rid of them! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting a really good grip on that thick clump of burlock and pulling it JUST RIGHT till you feel that long, slender taproot loosening from the soil beneath … mmm!

sensual

Sorry, what was I thinkin’? Anyway, it’s fun AND it’s exercise! So go find some weeds to pull in YOUR neighborhood today! Your neighbors will be thrilled!

weeds cat

Have a great week, everyone!

A Walk In Simi Valley

Hey, everyone, happy Friday! Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was tearing my hair out (figuratively speaking!) over my inability to come up with interesting (to me, anyway) new blog posts?

blogging is hard

And P.S. – thanks to blogger Penny Wilson (Penny Wilson Writes) for her great suggestions (even though I haven’t used ’em yet)!

Well, today, as I was strolling along the beautiful Arroyo Simi Greenway Bike Path (http://www.rsrpd.org/simi_valley/trails/arroyo_simi_bike_path.php) in equally beautiful Simi Valley, California, I had a great idea!

idea

I decided to start doing regular posts about the different places I enjoy walking and/or hiking, along with photos I take along the way!

huell2

Anyway, I don’t know how long I can keep that up since as of now there’s really only a small number of places I visit regularly to walk. But hey, it’s a plan, and I love me a good plan, don’t you?

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So first of all, what is the Arroyo Simi Bike Path?

Sign photo

Well, according to the entry at Alltrails.com (https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/simi-bike-trail) it’s an “11.3 mile out and back trail located near Simi Valley, California. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for road biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.”

dog skateboard.jpg

(or skateboard!)

Translation: most of the way, the mostly well-paved path runs on both sides of the Arroyo Simi, a flood channel which is actually full of water right now due to the recent rains. So you can see lots of interesting wildlife, like these giant geese who like to poop all over everything.

photo 3

Seriously, watch your step if you get off the paved path!

goose poop

And you may well want to get off the paved path, especially if you’re out with kids or dogs, because there are some nice little “pocket parks” along the way.

cul de sac

So if you can deal with the ubiquitous poop, it’s a really pleasant walk and lots of interesting things to see along the way. Like this kinda sad-looking kid’s playhouse:

playhouse2

I have no idea what the story is there, but I like to imagine that the kid who used to play in it grew up, got a terrific job, moved to the big city, and left the old playhouse behind, just in case things don’t work out.

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There’s a lot of mushrooms around

mushrooms

And lots of gorgeous flowers, too!

flowers 1

Although I didn’t have my (more or less) trusty pedometer with me on today’s walk, I estimate the walk from one pedestrian bridge to the next, and back again, is about 2 miles, maybe 2 and a quarter. All in all, a nice place for your daily walk or jog or…oh yeah, I guess you could ride your bike on it too. I mean, it IS a bike path!

bike 1

So there ya go, everything you ever wanted to know about the Arroyo Simi Greenway Bike Path – at least, it’s all I’m gonna tell you today! But if you want more details, here are a couple of good links to check out:

Hope you enjoyed today’s walk! See you on Monday for the weigh-in!

weekend

Monday Weigh-In: Post 5-K Dream Mile Color Run Edition!

Yeah, yeah, the weight is up a little (again):

179.6
scalessmash
pick-up sticks

BUT I had a great time at my very first 5K this past Saturday!

Me at finish

This was the Dream Mile Color Run 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by Vibha, a “color run,” which means everyone got these little baggies full of colored powder (cornstarch with food coloring, I believe) which they threw on themselves, other people, dogs, the grass, the sidewalk …

race yellow

The Yellow Brick Road at Lake Balboa? Nah, just some leftovers from the Dream Mile Color Run!

It was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed my first (and hopefully not last) 5K run, although frankly it was more of a walk than a run for me. Especially when I got to Mile 1 and started meeting runners who’d turned around and were already headed back! At that point, I kinda figured I didn’t have to push myself too hard!

walking just keep

As it is, my finish time was a very respectable 55 minutes (55:07:5 according to the results at ItzAboutTime, the chip ID co that timed everybody) and most important, I DID NOT FINISH LAST, y’all! Nope, yours truly was finisher #163 out of 194! (And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those lovely 31 people behind me who graciously stopped to get a drink of water or use the Porta Potty, so I could feel like a winnah!)

porta potty race.jpg

So all in all, a great time was had by all, and probably the reason I wound up gaining weight is I rewarded myself a little too freely, especially the next morning at church when Mr. 50by60 and I were in charge of the coffee social at church and brought in wayyyy too many cupcakes and brownie bites…

homer brownie

But even if I didn’t lose any weight, I think it’s kinda cool that I’m even able to stagger through a full 5K, at any speed, don’t you? Maybe I’ll do another one someday! How about you? Have you ever done a 1K, 5K, 10K, or any other kinda K? Let me know in the comments!

And have a great Monday! (Oh by the way, remember it’s April 1st, so watch yer back!)

april fool.jpg

Friday Five: The superbloom is…it’s everywhere, man!

Happy Friday, everybody! So, have you come across any of the stories in the Otherwise Perpetually Depressing News Cycle (OPDNC) about Southern California’s “Superbloom” — the explosion of wildflowers (mostly the delicate orange poppy) following all the torrential rains of the past few months? Well, strangely enough for the Lamestream Media, it’s actually true!

superbloom

But you don’t have to go to Lake Elsinore and trample all over the place taking selfies to see them — trust me, that is SO not cool, man!

poppy apocalypse.jpg

Instead, look at these cool photos I took myself, in my rambles around Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Acton, and even humble ol’ Reseda, showing the beautiful Eschscholzia californica in all its golden glory!

  1. Above Chatsworth:
    Poppies Chatsworth Forbidden Road 1
  2. Soledad Canyon Road, near Acton:
    Superbloom Acton MAIN
  3. Another Acton shot (and yessss, the rocks at the top of that hill are REALLY that pink!!):
    Superbloom Acton 4 MAIN
  4. In Sherman Oaks:

    St Mary Bird of Paradise

    (and OK, so it’s not a poppy, per se (actually, it’s a Bird of Paradise)! However, Mother Nature would like to remind you she DOES have other purty flowers, too, so don’t play favorites!)

  5. Finally, my very own humble little garden, in Reseda:

    reseda

    (and to be perfectly honest, this is last year’s photo – they still haven’t bloomed this year, maybe because after the rains subsided I did a whole lot of weeding, and may have accidentally “weeded” the poppies, which would be pretty ironic considering this would have been THEIR YEAR, huh? Still, they’d be here if they could!)

There ya go! Enjoy, and bask in the knowledge that you managed to enjoy the Superbloom without destroying them!

trampling

 

Monday: Weighin’ In With The Boys!

Good morning, everyone! Today’s weigh-in will be short & sweet (like me, tee hee!) ’cause I have an early appointment at everyone’s favorite car repair/parts store!

pep boys.jpg

What happened was that Thursday morning I was driving merrily down the street, headed for the gym, tra-la-la, not a care in the world, when suddenly, outta nowhere,

wham.jpg

some guy in a parked car opens his driver’s side door, and took out my side mirror! So I’m getting it replaced today. Fortunately, it turns out replacing mirrors is cheaper than I thought, plus it gives me a good excuse to spend some quality time in the most scintillating city on God’s green earth!

gary

So anyway, here’s the weigh-in:

178.6
scalessmash

70s kicks

Minnesota Kicks, 1976

Oh sigh!! Yeah, it’s kinda “up” again. But y’know what? If people keep smashing bits & pieces of “Decrepit Blue,” I may just have to do more walking and biking, which should help! Win-win, right?

win win.jpg

Anyway, see ya later — I’m headed for that luxurious waiting room! Have a great day!

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