Friday Five: My 5 rules for the gym, in no particular order

Well, howdy and happy Friday, everyone! This has been a different week, exercise-wise. Mostly, because the weather was a little cooler (i.e., 80s and 90s instead of 90s and 100s!), I walked every day, and enjoyed it, for the most part (although the last 50 yards are always the hardest!).

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Still, I did make it to the gym yesterday — 24 Hour Fitness this time, rather than Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, because — well, pool! I keep telling them at Anytime Fitness, put in a Slip ‘N Slide, but for some reason, they won’t. Insurance reasons, prob’ly.

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Anyway, while I was floating in the beautiful blue sparkling water, flicking away the bugs and other debris, I came up with my Five Simple Rules for Enjoying the Gym, in no particular order:

  1. People in the sauna tend to sweat, a lot. Every gym I’ve been to with a sauna seems to attract a lot of men with hairy chests and gold chains, going back and forth between the sauna and the hot tub. Back and forth…dripping with sweat and trailing chest hairs wherever they go. Trust me, when you see people in the sauna, skip the hot tub and just take a hot bath when you get home.
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  2. In my experience, the only people who take a close, personal interest in the details of your workout are (a) trainers who want to upsell you an expensive training package, and (b) perverts who want to show you their package. Either way, Nancy Reagan was right: Just say no!
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  3. If you pick up a set of weights from the free weight rack, and you realize as you’re picking them up that you miscalculated and they’re too heavy, but you’re embarrassed to put them back because there are really genuine-looking, grunting weightlifters watching you — well, don’t worry about it. They’re not watching you. They’re watching themselves in the mirror behind you. Just set your weights back on the rack, quietly, and tiptoe away.
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  4. No one cares whether you actually exercise at the gym or not. Once you’ve checked in at the front desk, you’re on your own. You can spend an hour sweating like a maniac or you can catch up on some zzz’s. It’s your call.
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  5. If you think no one’s peed in that beautiful blue sparkling pool, you’re swimming in a fool’s paradise.
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Hopefully these rules will save you some troubles when you hit the gym today. Or you could, y’know, just take a walk.

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That’s it — enjoy your weekend! See ya Monday for the Weigh-In!

Friday Five: How was your short week?

  1. Hey, everyone! Like most of you, Mr. 50by60 and I had a short work week, since Monday was a big holiday here in the Lower 48. (You know, Labor Day — aka my birthday?) Which means Tuesday was your Monday, right? So Tuesday’s Monday, Wednesday’s Tuesday, Thursday’s Wednesday, and ipso facto ergo sum, today’s really Thursday and I’m a day early! What a great week!
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  2. And I actually did get something useful done this week — as mentioned in my previous post, I created a brand new page here at WordPress, Women Who Run With the Stooges! Which, technically, isn’t “new” because I originally created it in 1999. Yes, kids, we actually had computers in the PREVIOUS CENTURY!
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    And this was one of the many websites (or as we called them in the olden days, “websites”) I created back then, but the only one anyone but myself actually read. And it was really getting kind of sad, seeing it dying a slow painful death over at Angelfire (ick!), so now it’s here and safe and (theoretically) better than ever! (If nothing else, it’s forced me to relearn HTML coding, nyuk nyuk!)
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  3. Yesterday I had a fun time: went to the dentist for a cleaning. Not just a regular cleaning, though — a DEEP CLEANING! And they had to give me Novocaine & everything ’cause I’m so sensitive. Somehow, some of the Novocaine actually got in/near my right eye, and my eyelid felt like it was stuck for most of the day. I had to force myself to blink so it wouldn’t water all over the place. It’s better this morning, thank goodness. Don’t you love going to the dentist?
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  4. Earlier in the week (pre-numb-eyeball), I went to Anytime Fitness Chatsworth where I mentioned to Kaily that I’d reached my weight loss goal (50 pounds by age 60, aka the name of this blog!) last week. She congratulated me and did a little video interview with me right on the spot. My plan was to post the video here, then send them the link to this post to put on their Facebook page. However, as of this morning, I still don’t see it anywhere, so I’ll just post this charming spacesaver till I get it.
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  5. Whew…it’s tough to come up with five things, much less five things that have anything whatsoever in common.

    Either way, my hat’s off to Amy Welborn who manages to come up with SEVEN things every Friday, fer cryin’ out loud!

That’s it! Time to carpe the diem and make some toast or something! Have a great day and weekend, everyone — see you Monday!

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The Not Quite Ready For Prime Time Blog Post!

Hey everyone, I’m back from vacay, a couple of pounds heavier but not too upset about it — mainly because most of the weight consists of the multiple servings of chocolate cake, cheesecake, and macaroni & cheese with crumbled bacon I happily consumed while on board the luxurious Amtrak Coast Starlight!

 

And since we won’t be riding that train again for, oh, at least a year, I know those pounds will melt away as quickly as they rose up. But mm-mm, they sure were good goin’ down!

Anyway, I thought about doing a “Friday Five” where I’d list the five reasons I gained weight, but then realized there’s really only one reason: I didn’t track my calories, so I never knew whether or not I was in a consistent calorie deficit. And actually, since I was intentionally taking a “diet break,” and eating lots of cheesecake, etc. (see above), I KNOW I wasn’t in a caloric deficit.

And I didn’t care, ’cause I was on vacay!

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Actually, our cats weren’t too thrilled to see us go, but we mollified them by putting them in a luxury kennel, complete with flat screen TV.

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So there ya go, one pretty lame blog post, but written by someone who had a nice vacation. Hope you had/are having/will have one, too! See ya Monday!

Friday Five: Excuses, excuses, and more excuses!

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A blogger named Kaylee (Chair in the Shade), wrote an amusing post on July 27, 2017, listing her “12 Excuses Why There’s No Blog Post Today.” Go over and read it — then I’m going to shamelessly borrow the following five of her reasons:

  1. My life is boring.  I don’t have anything good to post.
    Actually, my life really isn’t that boring. However, it seems kind of boring and lame when I try to describe it to other people. Perhaps I’m not as good a writer as she is!
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  2. I have nothing to say.
    Well, that’s not quite true — I always have a lot to say, but most of the time I realize later I probably shouldn’t have said it!
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  3. I need to clean my house.
    Hmm…well, that kinda goes without saying. And just saying it isn’t going to clean the house. I am doing laundry today, though.
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  4. I should really read some other blogs for inspiration.
    Now THAT is definitely true! And there’s quite a few excellent bloggers out there too, even in this age of Instagram and Twitter! Kaylee’s just one of them. Check out my Blogroll (off to the right somewhere, depending on which app/program you’re using to read this), and you’ll undoubtedly find someone you like.
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  5. I don’t want to be copying other bloggers.
    Yes, which is why I DEFINITELY won’t be copying any of Kaylee’s other 12 reasons! However, I do want to thank her for inspiring me this morning! And yes, I’m adding her blog to my Blogroll, as soon as I figure out how to work that widget! Thanks, Kaylee!
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Have a great day, everyone — see you Monday for the Last Weigh-In Before The Big Vacation (which I’ll tell you about Monday!)!

 

 

Friday Five: Where’s my parade??

Well, it’s been a fun week! Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and helped me along the way!

However, now that I’ve reached my goal weight (the FIRST goal, that is — I’ll be setting a new one soon!), I realized that, fat or thin, there are a few things that won’t change — even though I kinda hoped they would!

  1. Most people don’t notice — or care — as much about your weight as you do. Sure, there are always a few people around you in your day-to-day life — your spouse, your kids, your fellow employees, etc. — who are aware of your weight challenges. But there’s a whole lot more people who don’t know, or care, that you used to be fat and now you’re slightly less fat. The cashier at the grocery store doesn’t really care that you’re buying more fruits and veggies and fewer giant bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos. All she wants is to go home and soak her feet and binge-watch “Downton Abbey” for the hundredth time. So keep your ego in check.
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  2. Clothes shopping is easier in some ways, tougher in others. I used to dream about getting thin enough to fit into a beautiful dress that would make me look like a princess. Well, guess what? Fat or thin, you can’t find dresses like that unless you’re currently residing in a palace and/or playing the part of someone who lives in a palace. The fashion these days seems to be sleeveless dresses that show off your underarms, and IMHO that’s not a good look for ANYONE. Also, swimsuits still suck, even in “normal” sizes. There are very few women who don’t feel like “Cathy” when trying on swimsuits.
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  3. No one will read your blog. OK, that’s not fair. YOU’RE not “nobody,” and you’re reading my blog! And believe me, I appreciate it! What I mean, though, is if you haven’t become a major star in the blogging firmament by the time you hit your goal weight, you probably won’t afterwards. I’m still gonna keep blogging though, since it seems to be an important factor in keeping me honest about my weight-crackin’ efforts (“Hmm, I’d really like to eat that second donut, but tomorrow’s ‘Rhymin’ Weigh-in Day’ on the blog, so I better not. Pass the celery, please!”).
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  4. Crappy stuff still needs to be done and you’re the one who has to do them. For example, our sweet cat Princess had to go to the vet this week, which meant getting her into her carrier (helpful hint: “mrrOWW!!” means “NO WAY!!” in Cat-ese), then I drove her to the vet, which is about 5 miles and 5,000,000 angry “mrrOWWs” away (no matter how loud you turn up the radio), paying the vet bill, and driving her home again (repeat angry “mrrOWWs”). Cats don’t care if you’re fat or thin. They just want out out out NOW!!!
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  5. Half the people in the world will hate you. I don’t write about politics or religion in this blog (though at some point I should probably mention that my faith in God was a MAJOR part of my motivation to stay on the diet, so thanks and yay, God!). Still, if you’re a normal person trying to live your life in this beautiful country we call America, you probably know that, no matter what your political views are, about half the country despises you and wishes bad things would happen to you. I won’t go into detail, but rest assured, those dirty looks you were getting at Starbucks this morning when you were reading “National Review,” or at Dunkin’ Donuts when you were perusing the op-ed pages of the “New York Times,” had NOTHING to do with your weight. Isn’t that a relief?
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So there you go, five things that won’t really change a whole lot once you’ve reached your goal weight! Does that mean you shouldn’t try? Heck no! There are a lot of things that do change, for the better, and I’ll write about those next Friday. If I remember. Remind me, will you? Thanks, and have a great weekend!!

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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!

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  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.

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    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.
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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