Walking or Crossfit? A Southern belle ponders the choices!

Well, as promised, I’m gonna start morphin’ the ol’ blog format a little bit this week, just to shake things up a little bit. (When you work from home, you take your fun where you can.)

Anyway, I thought instead of trying to cobble together a list of five random things connected only by the snapping synapses of my KFC-greased brain, I’d just post five(ish) photos I took this week from various places that I walked.

I’m doing the walking just about every day now, and I have to tell you, if you’re looking for an exercise that’s easy to do AND makes you feel great, this is the one. It works on so many levels. Granted, as some fitness gurus will tell you, it doesn’t burn as many calories as, say, pushing heavy truck tires around a la Crossfit.


On the other hand, the idea of pushing truck tires around makes me perspire, in a genteel Southern belle sort of way. “Frankly, my dear, if there’s a truck tire that needs to be pushed somewhere, I’ve got AAA on speed dial, thank you very much.”


So that’s just not something I’m gonna do anytime soon, no matter HOW many calories it burns. But — the idea of putting on my waist pack/water bottle and just heading out the door, to see the sights here in the achingly beautiful San Fernando Valley (and points beyond), makes me strangely happy. It took a while to get to this point, but now, my day doesn’t feel complete if I haven’t walked SOMEWHERE for at least half an hour.

And if all you’re doing is pushing truck tires around a Crossfit track, you’ll never get to see nice horsies like this one:


or read scathing political commentary on local bridges:


or see the L.A. River in both its concrete

reseda view 1

and natural forms.

Yeah, walking beats Crossfit by several miles. If you disagree, feel free to sound off in the comments. But be aware — I’m in a feisty mood. Maybe that’s because it was stormy today — and STILL no measurable rainfall!


Yeah, the drought goes on. But at least it was a nice, cool day to walk!

So — whaddya think? Walking or Crossfit? Or maybe something completely different? Let me know!


(unused Pingback of the Day: Silhouette!)

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In, Humble-bragging edition!


Let’s be candid, shall we? I don’t always take my own advice. (Yeah, I know, shocking, right?)

For example, I’m always pushing the excellent weigh-in strategy recommended by Jay over at aworkoutroutine.com, about weighing yourself every day, then using the *average* for the week for your weekly weigh-in.

And it’s a great idea! It makes total sense. And I actually do keep a running total in an Excel document, so I’m not completing ignoring that very sensible advice.

However, for some reason, when I do these Monday weigh-ins here on the blog, I feel like I should share the actual weight from this morning, rather than the average from the previous week. The culprit, as you may have guessed from the post title, is my deplorable need to humble-brag.

Humble-bragging, in case you’re not a hep cat, up with the pop culture and the things kids say these days, is defined by that erudite source of wordology, the Urban Dictionary, as:

Subtly letting others know about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or “woe is me” gloss.

Uggggh just ate about fifteen piece of chocolate gotta learn to control myself when flying first class or they’ll cancel my modelling contract LOL :p #humblebrag

In my case, the humble-bragging usually consists of: “Wow, I had a donut at church, and then we had a potluck and I had to eat some of the Key Lime pie I baked, because it was so yummy! Sure hope my weight goes down anyway! Here goes!” thus virtue-signalling to you, the loyal reader, that:

  1. I went to church yesterday. I’m so good!
  2. I baked a Key Lime pie. I’m so good!
  3. I’m being totally honest about my weight, whether it’s up or down. I’m so good!

See what I mean? And not only that, I’m such a humble-braggart that I’m letting you in on the secret of what I’m doing!


Well, all this is wasting your valuable time (I’m concerned about your time! I’m so good!), so without further ado, let’s cut to the chase and get to what you came here for: the increasingly famous Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In! Ready? Here we go!!


Do the Little Kicks!

Not too shabby! See what a little humility can do for you, kids? It can LITERALLY make you lose weight! Well, okay, figuratively, then. At least, it can affect your figure. What I mean to say is–


Oh, sorry about that, Mittens! Yeah, I’m done. Have a great week, everyone!


Friday Five: Things that won’t change when my weight does


Happy Friday, everyone! Don’t be shocked: this may be the last Friday Five, because frankly, I’m ready to make some changes. But there are a few things that WON’T change, just because I’m losing weight. To wit:

  1. My atrocious fashion sense. I’ve always been a little old lady in tennis shoes, even when I was a kid. I even wore tennis shoes to my wedding, white ones with frilly laces. (And now I can’t find the photo to prove it! No worries, I’ll post it later.*) Anyway, the point is, I’ve always refused to wear uncomfortable shoes just because they look good, and I see no point in changing now. So there. Hmph.
    (*It’s later! Thanks to my hubby for emailing me this:


    Photo taken by Nataly Lemus, Wedding Photographer extraordinaire!

    I forget what brand the shoes were but I remember my cousin Laura, my friend June, and I did a last-minute rush trip to Jo-Ann’s Crafts for some lace to make the shoelaces. Ah, fun times.)

  2. My bookworm-itude. Don’t get me wrong: I’m LOVIN’ the daily walks! In fact, during this past week, I’ve walked between two and three miles almost every day. Score! So regular, daily walking is definitely a part of my future. However, given a choice, I’d still rather curl up in a comfy cozy corner with a really good book. Right now I’m a third of the way through Dan Simmon’s “The Abominable,” which I actually purchased in large print hardback, for some reason. I think it was at a library book sale. Not only is it a good read, but I can get my strength training in while I’m reading.
  3. My religiosity. Okay, I know I keep saying this isn’t a religious blog. But I’m a religious person, so sue me. It’s my blog, and my religion. And losing a bunch of weight just makes it easier for me to do things like kneeling and prostrations. We’re Eastern Catholics, similar to Eastern Orthodox, so we don’t kneel every week, but when we do, man, we go all the way down!
  4. My inappropriate love for fried chicken. Yeah, I’ve tried the supposedly healthier grilled, but it’s just not the same as that yummy, delectable, KFC Original Recipe. Mmm mmm. Popeye’s Mild is almost as good. And don’t even get me started on Church’s — my guilty pleasure! Now that I’m doing the calorie counting, I don’t indulge in any of them very often, but once in a while, yeah. I admit it. Greasy chicken skin, my love for you will never die!
    'That'll be 10 bucks please.'
  5. My continuing difficulty in coming up with things for the Friday Five. It’s getting harder every week. I persevere, for you (you’re welcome), and it did help, when I first started blogging, to have this basic format: weigh-ins on Monday, five things on Friday. But now I’m giving serious thought to working without a net (OR Frankie).

(And kudos to you if you get my weird sense of humor. That probably won’t change anytime soon, either.)

Don’t blink! I’ll be back Monday with the regularly scheduled Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In … and then, who knows? Maybe I’ll even post on Tuesday!
slow blink

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in: Post-Hike edition!

Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday!


Yes, it’s time once again for me to entertain you with the Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, wherein all those years of judiciously studying the classic poetic works of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Walt Whitman, and Edgar A. Guest finally pay off! Ready? Here we go!


Lookin’ good (and if you’ve never seen that “Kids in the Hall” sketch, “My Pen,” well, here you go, and you can thank me later)!

As for the “hike” part of the title, yesterday my husband and I did a nice walk slash hike in the foothills of Chatsworth, California — not very long, but enough to remind me that (a) I do really like hiking and (b) it might be time to shop for some sturdier shoes, ’cause I was slippin’ and slidin’ on the rocks along the path at one point. But still, it was fun! Here are a couple of photos:


Looking down at Chatsworth Park South, where there used to be a pond, way back in the 20th century, long long ago, etc.

me park.jpg

C’est moi!! In all my hiking glory! Note the comfy but slightly slippery Merrell Mary Janes on my tooties.

So it was a fun day. And every time I do one of these “big walks,” I say that the NEXT day I’m going to “rest” (i.e., not walk), but this morning I’m planning to walk up to the library, not a big walk but still not resting either.

You know what? Once you get started on doing an exercise you really enjoy, you’ll find yourself WANTING to do it, and looking for excuses! So don’t worry so much about which exercise burns more calories than others. The one you enjoy is the one that’s going to burn off the most calories, ’cause you’re gonna do it more often!


Friday Five: How to Stick To It!

Are you one of those people who made a New Year’s resolution to diet and/or exercise? And are you already having trouble sticking to that resolution? Hey — welcome to the human race! We’re glad to have you around.

And if you haven’t completely given up, here are five ideas to help you stick to that resolution (at least through Valentine’s Day):

  1. Take it slow. It’s tempting to adopt an unrealistic pace (“I’m gonna lose 25 pounds this month or else!”). Your goal should be to build good eating and exercise habits that you can sustain for the rest of your life. Well, at least till you hit 90. Then you have my permission to sit down.
  2. Weigh yourself every day. I used to weigh myself once a week, and it was really depressing sometimes, because I couldn’t figure out why I suddenly seemed to have gained 5 pounds when I wasn’t doing anything different. Then I read aworkoutroutine.com‘s truly genius post, “How Often Should You Weigh Yourself & When Is the Best Time?” He suggests weighing yourself several days in a row and then use your math skilz to figure out the *average* of those weights. I ‘ve found it really does help you keep those wild fluctuations in perspective.
  3. Have a backup plan. I’m doing calorie counting, but every so often, I switch to the “No S Diet” plan (3 meals a day, no snacks, sweets or seconds) if I don’t feel like writing stuff down. As long as I keep each of my meals around 500 calories, I’m golden. What’s nice about that is that it’s compatible with my primary plan. Whatever diet you’re on, find a backup plan that has a similar philosophy and fits well with your primary plan. (It’s probably not a good idea for your backup plan to be Atkins if your primary plan is to be vegan!)
  4. Drink more water. Now, I’m not gonna insult your intelligence by telling you that old urban myth about how everyone should drink eight glasses of water per day. However, I have found it helps to drink a nice big glass of H2O when I’m feeling the urge to, oh, I dunno, scarf down an entire pan of brownies, or eat a whole box of Trader Joe’s Mini “Hold The Cones” or something like that. Not that that would ever happen. But, you know, it’s worth a shot.
  5. Don’t beat yourself up. This is probably the most important one. Because — listen to me carefully now — at some point, you WILL screw this up. You WILL do something you shouldn’t. You WILL go way too many days without exercising. You WILL do whatever you’ve resolved not to do, or you WON’T do what you resolved TO do. You know: “I ate 20 brownies today! That’s it – I failed! Diet’s over!” or “I just couldn’t stand the thought of exercising yesterday. It’s over — I’ll never get into shape!” Hey, hey, hey — calm down! It just means you’re human. And brownies are yummy. And exercise isn’t always fun or easy. But it doesn’t mean you’re done trying. No, it doesn’t! Because tomorrow morning, you’re gonna pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

Remember (at the risk of sounding glurgy), every day is the start of a New Year! (Okay, that was really glurgy, wasn’t it? I hate glurge. Sorry! It’s true, but still … ick, glurge!)


Anyway — have a great weekend! See you Monday!

(unused pingback Word of the Day: Evoke)

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-In, Monday morning hangover edition!

Well, good morning, all! I trust you had a scintillating weekend. As you may recall, last Monday I was a bit forlorn, having gained a couple of pounds during the celebration of Christmas.


And last night was yet ANOTHER Christmas party (belated, unless of course you’re Eastern Orthodox, which we ALMOST are, but not quite, being Byzantine Catholic and thus classified as Orthodox wannabes by the True Orthodox, but of course, that’s getting into religion, and I wasn’t going to do that with this blog, so nvm).


Anyway, the party was for anyone who works at our church, and since my husband and I are cantors (fancy name for “singers”), we qualify, so we went. It was a nice dinner, at a restaurant called Tam O’Shanter in Los Feliz.


It’s actually a pretty cool restaurant, which has been around since 1922. It’s sort of a Scottish steakhouse, but thankfully, no haggis.


And yeah, I guess that’s me because even though I didn’t have haggis (bleah!), I did have an Irish-ish drink, Kahlua with Bailey’s Irish Cream. Between that and the delicious prime rib steak, I was a little worried about this morning’s weigh-in. However, my husband and I had planned ahead for this, having a very light lunch to conserve our calories, so I’m happy to reveal my Weekly Weigh-in is:




Yay, it’s a Festivus miracle! (Somewhat belated, but I’ll take it!)


Now I guess I can finish that leftover prime rib for breakfast. (No more Kahlua, though.) Have a happy Monday, everyone!


Friday Five: Just a buncha stuff

  1. I dunno why, but all of a sudden I’ve become allergic to my own self-imposed blog structure. Specifically, the “Friday Five.” I’m having trouble thinking of five things that have some sort of connection, however tenuous, and it’s getting to the point where I’m debating whether to just skip it altogether.
  2. However, as with all potential crimes (real or imaginary), it helps to retrace your steps. Why did I decide to do the “Friday Five” in the first place?
    Well, IIRC, I was inspired by the great Amy Welborn’s “7 Quick Takes” which she’s been doing every Friday for many years.’
  3. “Hmm … okay. So it really is a crime, after all, because plagiarism, mkay?”
  4. But I … er … five, not seven! And imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and etcetera, ad infinitum! So not plagiarism! Just, um, inspiration!
  5. So anyway, what to do for next week’s Friday Five? Well, I’ll think of something. It might help if I started writing it sometime before 7:00 AM Friday morning.

And that’s just what I’m gonna do! Welcome to my 2018 New Year’s Resolution, folks! Yes, from now till the end of the year, I solemnly vow to write all (or at least part*) of my “Friday Five” blog posts at least 24 hours before publication! That’s plausible (and also includes one o’ them valuable *loopholes!).


So let’s give it a shot! Meanwhile, looks like that little weight fluctuation is taking care of itself, but I’ll tell you all about that on Monday. Happy weekend, everyone!