Friday ̷F̷i̷v̷e̷ Three: Nonscale victories and helpful trainers!

Hmm, just realized it’s been quite a while since I’ve tried to find five random things and connect them in some way. Let’s see if I still have the knack!

blogging is hard

  1. Non-scale victory — Tried on and BOUGHT three new shirts at Ross yesterday, and two “gently used” shirts from Goodwill — and they were all MEDIUMS and LARGES, y’all!!! Not an “X” in the batch! It’s been years (decades?) since I even thought about looking at any non-X labels, but this week I decided to give it a shot. Plus I even had to buy a coupla new over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders! Yeah, my body is definitely changing, even if the scales aren’t!
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  2. Non-scale irritation — So losing weight is great, right? I’m really happy about it. What I’m not happy about is I definitely have the “loose skin” thing going on. Which I didn’t really notice till I started trying on all those clothes (see #1) and got a good look at myself in one of those unforgiving dressing room mirrors. Oh well — at least the clothes cover it up (mostly)!
  3. Helpful Trainer Award of the Week — in the neverending (in my mind, anyway) battle between 24 Hour Fitness and Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, this week’s winner is NATHAN at Anytime Fitness, who showed me some basic kettlebell moves and didn’t try to upsell me on a super-expensive training package just for asking for help (24 Hour Fitness, I’m lookin’ at you). Thanks, Nathan — and as promised, here’s your shout-out!

And guess what? I can’t for the life of me think of two other things, and I have to do a coupla things this morning, so many apologies to those of you who were laying awake dreaming about the Friday Five — that’s the way the cookie crumbles!

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On that note, have a great weekend! See you Monday for the big weigh-in (this could be it, folks!!)!

Friday Five: As promised: all the yummy stuff I got to eat on the Fourth of July!

Happy Friday! As promised in Monday’s post, here are a few of the goodies I scoffed on Wednesday while visiting my fabulous brother and sister-in-law’s annual 4th-of-July party.

  1. BAKED BEANS!! Mr. 50by60 and I don’t have beans a lot. I won’t go into too much detail about why. Still, every once in a while, they’re a treat. To a point.
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  2. HOT DOGS!! My traditional holiday indulgence, grilled to perfection and with LOTS of ketchup on my hot dogs. Yeah, I’m one of those!
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  3. POTATO SALAD!! Not normally one of my favorites, even on holidays, but someone brought in a tub of Reser’s Potato Salad, and I have to admit, it was goooood!!
    potato salad
  4. POTSTICKERS WITH SOY SAUCE!! Mmmmore please!!
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    and of COURSE:
  5. CAKE!! See, the 4th of July is also our niece Kate’s birthday. And this year, she turned 18. So OF COURSE we had birthday cake! Not just any ol’ cake, though — ice cream cake. And not just ONE ice cream cake, but THREE (at least — I lost count after the the third). Happy birthday, Kate!
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And yes, I did have a teensy little weight gain the day after, which I’m still coming down from. Oh well, there’s more to life than your diet, right? Every once in a while you just gotta cut loose and enjoy yourself. Right?

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See you on Monday, when we’ll find out just how much damage that delicious feast did!

Summer Vacation? Diet Break!

Well, it’s summertime, and for those of you who’ve been watching my blog (all 2 of you – hi!), I seem to have entered the dreaded —

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Weight Loss Plateau!

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So while I’m not ready to do anything drastic, like change the diet completely which would be kinda silly, ’cause it’s WORKING, and you know what they say —

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Oh! Well, I guess that’s true, Dwight! But still, what I’m thinking of isn’t so much changing the diet, as just taking a TEMPORARY break from it.

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Now, the idea of taking a “diet break” is nothing new. It’s recommended in an AWFUL lot of diet plans (both sensible and whacko). The idea is, as Lyle MacDonald at Body Recomposition puts it:

…Say that you are someone who is extremely overweight, perhaps you have 50-100 pound of weight to lose (or more).  Going by the standard recommendations of 1-2 pounds per week, that means that you are realistically looking at 25-50 weeks of dieting.

…What if, instead of facing that huge mountain, you knew that you only had to go say, 10-12 weeks of dieting before getting a break for 2 weeks where you could eat relatively ‘normally’ (note: this does NOT mean returning to your old horrible eating habits) before starting the next phase of active weight loss?

Suddenly, that might seem a whole hell of a lot more doable.

Jay at AWorkoutRoutine also recommends the diet breaks in his self-published book, “Superior Fat Loss” (which may seem a bit pricey, to us cheapskates, BUT it’s really a great resource, chock-full of strategies, techniques, and tips — and WAY better than 99.99% of all the other diet books you’ve already wasted way more $$ on, IMHO, so there!) as well as on his blog:

Instead of going months and months in a consistent caloric deficit, use refeeds and/or diet breaks to periodically pause your deficit and go back up to your maintenance level (or a small surplus) to help minimize the amount of water retention that occurs and get rid of whatever water weight you’re already holding

And of course, the entire concept of the “No S Diet” involves taking regular “diet breaks,” if only on certain days:

There are just three rules and one exception:

  • No Snacks
  • No Sweets
  • No Seconds

Except (sometimes) on days that start with “S”

So I’m giving it some thought. Please note, though: as I understand it, taking a diet break does NOT mean just dumping all my nice, new healthy eating habits and eating all the junk food that got me to the point where I had to go on this diet in the first place!

 

No, no, there’d be at least a minimum schoche of planning involved! Basically, what I’d do is add about 500 calories per day to the level I’ve been losing at, to bring me up to maintenance level.

I don’t know if I have the guts to do this for TWO weeks, but I’m gonna try it for at least ONE week (from today through next Friday) and see how I feel by then. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

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Awww, come on, Snowdrop, not in just one week!! I don’t THINK that could happen … but we’ll find out!! So I’ll see you Monday for the post-first-three-days-of-diet-break weigh-in! Have a great weekend!

The “Saturday Some” — a new thing, kinda sorta

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you may have wondered what happened to my regular “Friday Five” post.

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Yeah … well, the long answer is, “It was sunny and bright, so I decided to go out for a long drive to a wonderful place I haven’t visited for quite a while,” and the short answer is, “I got lazy,” so feel free to take your pick.

Anyway, in lieu of the “Friday Five,” let me offer the very first “Saturday Some,” which is basically just a bunch of stuff I’m rambling about, off the top of my head. Plus memes! Lots and lots of memes!

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Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot more walking lately, and really enjoying it, too. Now that the weather’s getting nice and hot, though, I may have to go back to the gym and hop back on the treadmill. Which doesn’t particularly bother me. As I’ve said before, I do enjoy the video treadmills at Anytime Fitness (AF).

However, it does bother me in the sense that, given a choice, I’d MUCH rather do my walking outdoors. There are so many great places to walk in Southern California (yes, people actually DO walk in L.A.!) that I hate to give that up.

But once the temps start climbing up above, oh, 85 or so, it’s either the treadmill or the pool. And I do love me that 24 Hour Fitness pool, too, as you may recall!

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Still, it’ll probably be the AF treadmill more often than the pool, mainly because it’s much closer to home, and also right next door to a Ralphs. Which means I can do a couple of miles on the treadmill, then trundle over to the grocery store and do ANOTHER half-mile (I measured it!) in the store.

(And get cat treats, of course. That’s the main reason humans go to the store, according to certain purrsons.)

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Where was I? Oh, yeah, walking! And walking, although it probably doesn’t burn anywhere near as many calories as, say, kickboxing or weightlifting, if you do it every day … or every other day … or at least on a fairly regular basis, you’ll burn a few calories. Even if you can only walk around the block a couple of times, that’s some quality exercise there, my friend.

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More importantly, you’ll relax and enjoy life a little bit more. There’s just something about seeing the world at two or three miles an hour that makes everything else seem oh, so right. Except maybe your knees, if you have arthritis. Which I do. And I have to admit, my knees do get a bit sore the day after a really long, satisfying walk.

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Still, it’s the price I pay for staying in such fabulous shape! And we’ll find out how that translates into actual weight loss on Monday. Hope you’ll join me then! Meanwhile, have a GRRRREAT rest of your weekend!

(unused WordPress Daily Prompt: all of them! read here if you’re interested in some kinda “inside baseball” stuff!)

 

 

 

Friday Five: Yes, you CAN get in shape without a gym — here’s 5 ideas to try!

While it’s true I’ve been going to the gym a lot more lately, it’s NOT because I think going to the gym is the only — or even the best — place to exercise. Au contraire, Pierre! As a matter of fact, during this past week, I haven’t set foot in a gym, and yet I managed to get some perfectly cromulent exercise under my belt!

See, out here in sunny Southern California, we have this annual weather phenomenon known as “June gloom.” According to the always reliable Wikipedia entry:

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June Gloom is a Southern California term for a weather pattern that results in cloudy, overcast skies with cool temperatures during the late spring and early summer.

It’s usually in June (duh!), but sometimes, like this year, it stretches its icky tentacles back into May. The City Council unanimously voted to rename it “May Grey” (though they continue to dispute the “Grey/Gray” spelling), and it seems to have become a more or less permanent fixture out here these past couple of years.

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However, as depressing as all those icky clouds may be, there’s always a silver lining, and that silver lining is that May Grey (Gray) and June Gloom (Glüm) are GREAT for outdoor exercisers! I’ve actually enjoyed bypassing the gym this past week, and ambled all around the achingly beautiful San Fernando Valley.

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Old Stagecoach Trail, Santa Susana Pass

And there’s lots of other stuff you could do outdoors, too, thus seguing neatly into my Friday Five list:

  1. Walking. (See above!) In case you didn’t already know, walking outdoors is my all-time fave exercise. Mainly because it’s so interesting — you can walk around the same area multiple times and see something different every time. Whereas on the treadmill, I’m pretty much seeing the same thing: a TV screen and a brick wall. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Still, given a choice, I’d prefer this — wouldn’t you?
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  2. Biking. Pull that rusty ol’ Schwinn out of the garage, wipe off the dust and spiderwebs, pump some air into the tires, and roll! More and more cities have dedicated bike paths, so if it’s been a while, you should be able to find someplace to practice without worrying about evil bike-hating drivers.

    bikehating

    Don’t Shoot the (Bike) Messenger,” by Eben Weiss, Outside Magazine, 05/02/2018 

  3. Exercise with a friend, or perhaps just a casual acquaintance. I go to the Sepulveda Basin sometimes to do my walks. It’s a great place — basically a big giant neighborhood park on steroids. But even in the smaller neighborhood parks, there’s groups of people who work out together. Some groups do yoga or Tai Chi, others do more strenuous stuff.
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    The basic idea, I guess, is that if you’re embarrassed to move your body around in public, you’ll be slightly less embarrassed if a few other people are standing next to you doing the same thing. (Hmm, wonder if that’s how churches got started!)
  4. Get your game on. I’m definitely NOT a sports aficionado, but I understand there are people who enjoy throwing or hitting balls, aiming for things like nets or bases or goals or some such nonsense. Maybe you can find some other like-minded people who want to throw or hit things, gather them onto an appropriate field of some sort, and throw/hit some balls together. It may not be MY thing, but it’s definitely exercise, so go for it!
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  5. Swimming. I left this for last, because honestly, who wants to jump into an icky, ice-cold lake or, God forbid, ocean when it’s cloudy and gloomy? Still, there are a lot of nutty people out there who prefer the cheap showiness of nature to that beautiful, clean (or at least clean -LOOKING!) pool at the gym. So, if there’s some form of water near you that’s big enough to swim in, go for it! That’s definitely some good cardio there, if you don’t get eaten by sharks, which, as I understand from my TV viewing, happens quite a bit.
    sharks

So definitely, enjoy the outdoors before the temps zoom up into the stratosphere and we have to go back to the air-conditioned treadmills. Just watch out for the sharks!

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Unused WordPress Daily Post Prompt: Archaic

 

Friday Five: 4 things I’m looking forward to, plus 1 yogurt recipe!

Well, good morning, one and all! You know, summer’s on its way, and although it may be a bit premature, here are a few things I’m really looking forward. Plus, a fun Chobani yogurt tweak! Ready? Here we go!

  1. Swimming pool! I know, I know, I keep yammering about the awesome pool at my 24 Hour Fitness. But c’mon, isn’t it gorgeous? I’m really looking forward to that first 100-degree-plus day I can dip my tootsies in that cool blue water (and blithely ignore all the grunting and tire flipping from the CrossFit area next door). Mmm, pool!
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  2. Train trip! My husband and I like to take train trips. (Well, he IS an engineer!) And this year is no exception. This August, we’re taking the Amtrak Coast Starlight up to Olympia, Washington, where we’ll meet lots of friends we haven’t seen for a while at a special event our church sponsors every year. I always love that moment when the train starts moving slowly, slowly, sloowwwllyyy* out of the station. (*well, it IS Amtrak, after all!)
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  3. Beach Walks! Once the weather starts warming up, I hop in my rusty but trusty ol’ 2005 Toyota and head down to the best beach in Southern California, with the most awesome parking you can imagine, with trails and bike paths and all sorts of places to get that outdoorsy, fun in the sun exercise we all crave so much. Yes, I’m heading to the fabulous Beacha del Incognito! (Heh — you didn’t really think I was gonna TELL you where it is, now did you?? It’s MINE!!)
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  4. Hittin’ the Gym — in Multiple Locations! Yeah, as I’ve yammered on about ad infinitum these past couple of weeks, I joined the fabulous Anytime Fitness Chatsworth. I’m very happy with it so far, especially the treadmills with video screens and the studios where I can work out in complete privacy, most of the time (except when some hapless newbie stumbles in by mistake looking for the restroom). Anyway, in a couple of weeks I’ll have hit my 30-day mark so I can visit some of the other locations! And you’ll get to hear about it! Aren’t you just thrilled?

     

  5. YOGURT TWEAK!! And now, as promised, here’s an idea I came up with totally on my own, which you may want to incorporate into your breakfast routine!

See, earlier this year, I became enamored with Chobani Yogurts, specifically their Vanilla Blended version. I still like the Yoplait Lights at 90 calories, but the Chobani’s only 20 calories more (you do the math, I still haven’t had my coffee), and has a more substantial feel to it.

Well, NOW they have a flavor called Vanilla Chocolate Chunk blended. Which, I mean … uh … chocolate AND vanilla? That’s almost overkill, dude!

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And it’s 170 calories, which isn’t TOO bad. About the same as an egg (70 calories) and a slice of bacon (90 calories), give or take a few. (Again, math / coffee.) But there are two problems with it: 1) it’s really hard to find, at least in my area, and 2) that is a bit higher in calories that I normally want in a yogurt.

Well, never fear – I’ve got your lower-calorie Vanilla Chocolate Chunk yogurt idea right here! Just get a little container of chocolate sprinkles at the grocery store (they’re in the baking aisle, with all the cake decorating stuff), and add a little to your plain or vanilla yogurt. Even if it’s not on the label, I looked it up: one teaspoon is 20 calories.

So, let’s say you start with unflavored yogurt, which is @ 70 or 80 calories. Add the sprinkles (20 calories) and a little vanilla extract, et voila! Your own Vanilla Chocolate Chunk yogurt, at or near 100 calories! Mmm!! You’re welcome!!
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So there ya go — your Friday Five with some yummy summertime ideas. I’ll be back Monday when I’m hoping all that extra vacation weight will be gone gone gone! Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

Finally Friday!

Hey everyone, I’m finally home from my travels! Sorry I didn’t do my regular “Friday Five” post today, but I didn’t have access to my fancy-schmancy computer while in the wilds of Arizona.

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No, I didn’t get lost in the Haunted Forest, but still, it was a long trip! Anyway, I’ll have my regular post on Monday, with my post-vacation weigh-in and everything.

Meanwhile, have a great weekend!