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”!

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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”!

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

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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.

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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!

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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

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!

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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

 

Friday Five: The Groaning!

Yeah, it’s me with yet another blog full of random complaints about why I can’t seem to get past Plateau Point, and five ideas about why that might be happening.

plateau point

Here we go: five reasons I can’t lose weight!

  1. Sugar — OK, I don’t buy into the idea that sugar is the devil, responsible for all the evils of the modern diet.
    sugar and carbs debil.jpg
    Mainly because people who promote that idea seem to be kinda…what’s the word I’m looking for…?
    cray.jpg
    Yeah, well, not in a verifiable, scientifically provable way, but just kinda off balance, somewhere. Still, there’s no denying that foods with lots of sugar tend to be (a) more calorific than others, and (b) really, really yummy!
    elf four
    So that’s one.
  2. Cream in my Coffee — Sure, I buy the sugar-free, low-calorie French vanilla version of Coffee Mate, at only 15 calories per serving. Then I dump about 5 or 6 servings in my morning cofveve, because why not? It’s only 15 calories per serving!
    math2
    …carry the one…oh…OK. Hmm, maybe I’d be better off just getting the half & half!
    cofveve
  3. Fried Chicken — and not just ANY fried chicken, baby — you KNOW what I like!

    Before Lent started, I was getting over my KFC/Popeye’s/[fill in your favorite fast food cooked bird restaurant] by keeping some relatively non-evil Trader Joe’s boneless chicken breasts in the freezer, and cooking one of them with BBQ sauce, Parmesan cheese, etc. Way less calories than the fast food stuff and still relatively yummy.
    However, we’re in Lent now, and in a fit of misguided devoutness, I asked Mr. 50by60 not to buy any more meat or dairy products from Trader Joe’s till after Lent. Which sounds fine and dandy, except twice last week, while out on a long, healthy walk, I “rewarded” myself with some KFC.
    bad kitty.jpg

  4. Peanut Butter — When I was a kid, I *hated* peanut butter. I still hate it when it’s combined with something else, like chocolate.
    hate peanut.jpg
    But a really good, thick peanut butter & jelly sandwich? MMM!!
    pbj.jpg
    And it’s totally Lenten, too! So it should be good for you, right? Well, yeah, unless you have, er, more than one, and then start diggin’ into the PB jar as well. Yum, more calories!
    pb.png
  5. Non-Peanut Butter — Just regular butter, y’know, melted and on popcorn. ‘Cause popcorn’s good for you! It’s got fiber &etc. It’s just that, y’know, that fake butter spray isn’t quite as good as the real, calorific thing.
    popcorn.jpg

So there ya go, five reasons why I may be stuck at the 179/180 plateau for a little longer! Of course, as they say, being able to describe your problem is the first step towards solving it, so maybe now I’ll just fix myself a nice, low-calorie Thomas 100-Calorie English Muffin for breakfast.

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(With, y’know, maybe a dab or two of melted butter.)

See you Monday, to find out how that affects my weight!

Friday Five: Five blogging questions for expert bloggers!

Hey everyone, here I am on yet another Friday when I should have a nice, well-written, meme-intense Friday Five for ya, and yet I’m yawning and scratching and just generally not ready for this AT ALL!

So to any of my readers who are also bloggers, how do YOU do it? What do you do when you’ve made a commitment to blog on certain days, and you get to those days and just don’t feel like blogging?

  1. Do you just get up and write whatever comes into your mind, like a stream of consciousness thing?
    stream.jpg
  2. Do you just post a bunch of pictures, with minimal or no comments?
    postcards.jpg
  3. Do you just say, “Sorry folks, no blog today, see ya next time”?
    that's all.jpg
  4. Do you prepare “emergency blog posts” ahead of time and keep them in reserve for just such occasions?
    emergency blog meme
  5. Or do you just not post anything at all, and hope nobody will notice?
    blank.jpg

I’m genuinely interested in your answers, suggestions and/or tips! Go on, share your wisdom!

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Thanks, and I’ll see you Monday, when I should be over my temporary writer’s block!

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Lazy Friday Five: Recent Hike Photos

Good morning, everyone (yawn)! Don’t know about you, but I’m savoring every second of the last remaining, and rapidly waning, days containing that beautiful extra hour we got last fall, before it’s yanked from our clutching arms!

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So as you can imagine, I’m not too keen on spending too much of that precious, precious time searching for hilarious memes, failing to find them, and having to go to Meme Generator to make them myself.

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So today I thought I’d just share with you five photos I took on some recent hikes, in and around Southern California. ‘Kay? Let’s go!

  1. First one’s at Griffith Park. This is called “Rattlesnake Trail,” but I didn’t see any rattlesnakes, just a buncha squirrels (and people with dogs!). Note the beautiful sunny blue sky! That was nice. Maybe we’ll have another one of those, someday!

Griffith Park 1.jpg
2. Here’s a nice trail out at St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, CA — and yes, that’s snow (or at least the remnants of it) alongside the trail! This is near Big Bear and Arrowhead, so they do get snow down here occasionally.Valyermo 1.jpg

3. A little “hidden creek” right in my own neighborhood! I notice it after rainy days when I’m walking to the grocery store. Looks pretty, but I bet it wreaks havoc on the house it’s attached to!Neighborhood hidden creek 1.jpg

4. The infamous “detour to Hell” on the Sage Ranch Loop Trail in Chatsworth, CA. Actually took TWICE as long as the rest of the trail, even though it was (theoretically) shorter! Not to mention the mud! 03052019 Sage DETOUR SIGN.jpg

5. To recuperate from Sage Ranch, I took a nice leisurely stroll through Reseda Park yesterday, where there was a puddle for every duck!Ducks 1.jpg

That’s all, folks! See you Monday for the incredibly sleep Weigh-in!

Five exercises that sound like they’re … er … something else!!

Happy Friday, everybody! Are you ready for something a little … different today?

wink

Have you ever noticed that some exercises, which may be perfectly nice and normal and good for you, have names which are kinda, um, risqué? Or just plain gross? For example:

  1. Burpees
    burp barney
    Actually, “burpees” are this full-body exercise where you get down on the ground in a “plank” position, then jump back up again.
    burpee chart.jpg
    It looks horrible to me, probably because it is! Still, it’s said to burn a lot of calories, so I may try it someday. Really, really slowly, though.
    standing up
  2. Squats
    squat cip.jpg
    Of course, the squat is a legitimate and very healthy exercise. But please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks about … er … something else, when I hear the word.
    cat squat
  3. Thrusters
    thrusters clip.jpg
    It’s basically just doing a squat and thrusting your dumbbells into the air. So why does it sound like a potential lawsuit?
    thrusting.jpg
  4. The Snatch
    snatch.jpg
    Probably getting into NSFW territory, so ’nuff said!!
  5. The Clean and Jerk – 
    clean jerk.jpg
    (Honestly, these things kinda write themselves, sometimes!)

That’s it, your grossly disgusting Friday Five! Have a great weekend, everybody — see you Monday for the weigh-in!

 

Oops, I did it again!

…forgot to write my usual “Friday Five” blog post, that is!

Sorry about that! Oh well, you know what I was doing instead? I was getting my glasses adjusted — AND exercising, at (almost) the same time!

See, my glasses get out of kilter very easily, always tilting just a little too much to the right. So every once in a while, I have to get them adjusted.

glasses 1.jpg

Usually, after the adjustment, I go out somewhere for a long walk. However, today it was threatening to rain again, and in case you hadn’t heard, we’ve had a LOT of rain here in sunny Southern California over the past week.

catsrain

So I decided to do my exercising indoors (like I wrote about in a previous post). And today, my indoor walk was at a big box hardware store called Lowe’s!

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It was great! I went in the front entrance and walked as far to one side as I could get (in this case, the lumber department). Then I just walked up and down each loonnnggg aisle, up and down, enjoying the relatively empty store (it was only about 9:30 a.m.) and the bouncy music being piped in overhead — for some reason I’m really enjoying the music they play in stores these days!

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Before starting, I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes, and when it went off, I cheered (silently! there were security people around, after all!) — my 30-minute daily walk was done AND I still had a couple of aisles left! Which I went ahead and walked. After that, I left, buying a bottle of diet soda on my way out (so as not to be a COMPLETE mooch!) and went on to enjoy the rest of my day.

Oh, and my glasses? Feelin’ good! I think I can get through another few weeks before my next adjustment slash exercise excuse!

Anyway, sorry for the non-Friday Five-type post, but you know me, I like to shake things up every once in a while! See you Monday for the weigh-in (after which I’m takin’ a road trip, yay!)!

weekend

Friday Five: Things you (normally) don’t see from the treadmill!

Happy Friday, everyone, and of course:

betty white

During the past week, we’ve had quite the little deluge here in normally sunny Southern California, so I’ve been forced to ditch the outdoors and spend some quality time in my least unfavorite gym, Anytime Fitness in Chatsworth.

As gyms go, it’s one of the best, but weather permitting, I’d really rather be walking (or running! yes, I’m running now, believe it or not!) OUTDOORS!

Because you know, there are things you see outside that you just don’t usually see from your gym treadmill. For example:

  1. These horses, saying “Howdy!” along a bike path in Chatsworth.
    friday five 1 horses
  2. These bees, living in a manhole alongside a Chatsworth sidewalk.
    friday five 3 bees in a manhole
  3. The wash next to this bike path, sunny one day…
    friday five 2 brown wash sunny
  4. and getting ready to flood the next.
    friday five brown wash rainy
  5. And finally, these papier mache dolls, just hanging out on a street corner in Reseda, which are not AT ALL creepy and will NOT appear in your dreams tonight.
    friday five weird dolls (2)

Of course, it’s entirely possible you might have seen similar strange and interesting things from your treadmill. If you have, let me know and I’ll post your story/photo next week!

retro treadmill
From “Whole Lotta Shakin: The Weird History of Gym Equipment”

Meanwhile, have a wonderful (and hopefully OUTDOORS!) weekend! See you Monday for the weigh-in! (and sweet dreams! heh heh heh…)

Friday Five: How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Scales

One of my loyal 50by60 readers (and not coincidentally, one of my favorite cousins!) confided last week that she’s developed a fear of getting back on the scales after the holidays.

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Well, Margaret, I’m here to help you — and anyone else who’s nervous about facing The Shocking Truth! (aka your post-holiday weight) — with five ways to make sure your scales give you the numbers you KNOW you deserve!

  1. Before getting on the scales, make SURE you cross yourself, say three Hail Mary’s and apologize to Our Lord for sullying His birthday season with your atrocious overeating!
    prayer
  2. Repeat after me: “it’s water weight! it’s just water weight!” and subtract 10 pounds from whatever the stupid numbers say!
    water
  3. Be sure to stand on the correct part of the scales! Even a millimeter off center can create a margin of error of up to 20 pounds!
    liar
  4. VERY important: did you remove ALL your clothes? And the weight’s still too high? Well, keep stripping down — anything other than what God graced you with at birth has gotta go!
    scales.jpg
  5. And if none of those ideas works for you, here’s a thought —
    dwight
    Yeah, I know — really wacky and rad! But what the heck, it’s worth a shot, right? I mean, seriously, if all else fails, why not try counting your calories every day for a week, and THEN looking at the scales? You just might be surprised!

As I’m hoping *I* will be, come Monday’s weigh-in! Will I finally get back into the (1)70’s? We’ll find out — together!

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Meanwhile, have a great weekend!