Summertime blues weigh-in!

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our old friend, SUMMERTIME!

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Listen, even though the calendar says it’s a couple of weeks away, it was 108 degrees in the beautiful San Fernando Valley yesterday, and as far as I’m concerned, that means either (1) it’s summer or (b) climate change is HAPPENING, people!

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And of course, being good Republicans, we can’t support that! Summer it is, yes!

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Hey … sorry for getting all political on you! Sometimes I just have to get all that rebelliousness out of my system. If only I could get the FAT out of my system that easily, huh? Well, let’s check the ol’ scales and see what’s goin’ on:

183.8
70s scales
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Nice, a pound down! That’s a relief. Let me tell you the two things I did differently during the past week:

  1. counted my calories, and
  2. did 3, count ’em 3, strength-training workouts at the gym.

Yes, that’s right — I went back to the gym! In spite of all my “I hate the gym” protests in days of yore, this is EXACTLY the kind of weather that drives me back into the air-conditioned halls of Spandex and grunting.

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Just not that easy to exercise outdoors when the temperatures zoom above 90, for me. Plus … well, there’s this:

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Yeah, yesterday I did my workout and rewarded myself by easing my 183.8-pound bod into that cool blue water … and it felt GOOODDD!

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Oh and by the way, I’m working on a new workout system, which I’m NOT going to describe here, yet! First I want to see if it actually works. But sometime in the next couple of months I’ll tell you about it, if it’s any good. If not, we’ll all just quietly tiptoe away from it.

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Anyway, that’s it for today! Hope your Monday, and your week, are fan-dam-tastic! See ya next week!

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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 ̷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!!)!

When Nature Calls!

So there I was, Wednesday morning, debating which of my two gyms to go to for my workout. 24 Hour Fitness in Simi, with the awesome pool?

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Or the equally awesome Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, with the super-fun video treadmills?

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I was at a crossroads (literally! Roscoe and Valley Circle, for you fellow Valley-ites). I had to decide NOW: right turn for Chatsworth, or straight ahead for Simi?

Then, my friends, I had a profound realization:

gotta

Yeah, I really did. And there was LITERALLY no time to get to EITHER gym!

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“Literally” literally, man! But then — aha! — I remembered that there was some sort of historical nature park with clean, easy to access restrooms, LITERALLY right around the corner!

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So I drove there; ran (well, walked really fast!) from the parking lot to the restroom; um, answered nature’s call …

and then … noticed this:

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and this:

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and realized that, while the gyms were nice and all, I’d kind of lost track of the whole reason I’d joined them in the first place: to lose weight and get in better shape, so I could go places like this:

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And so, Wednesday morning, instead of the comfort of the gym, I opted instead for the “cheap showiness of nature” … and enjoyed every minute of it!

The gyms will still be there when I want them. But it’s nice to know this will be, too!

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(and in case you’re wondering, that park is called the Orcutt Ranch Horticultural Center. Go visit — it’s a lovely place for an amble!)

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!)

 

 

 

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, Road Trip edition, plus another (unpaid*) plug for Anytime Fitness!

Happy Monday, everyone! Hey, guess what? I’m getting ready to hit the road this morning for a technically unexplainable journey into the outer stratosphere!

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Well … okay, Arizona. Still, a road trip is a road trip, right, Dorothy? Anyway, before that, how’s about we hit the scales?

Ready? Here we go!

195.4
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Yippee-skip – not too shabby!

Anyway, as mentioned above, I’m about to hit the road (figuratively, please God!). Sadly, I won’t be able to visit one of the AZ locations of my new gym (Anytime Fitness in Chatsworth – hi guys!) while there, as my membership hasn’t hit the magic 30-day number yet. So I won’t be able to enjoy my treadmill walks/runs through the Grand Canyon, on the Pacific Coast Trail, through the wilds of Australia, or …

Wait, didn’t I tell you about that yet?

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Oh, sorry! OK, well, ‘member a couple of weeks ago, when I humble-bragged about how I’d joined a new gym (Anytime Fitness, hereinafter referred to as “Anytime” because I’m too lazy to write out the whole thing every single time) while still belonging to my old gym (24 Hour Fitness, hereinafter referred to as “24HrF” because again, lazy)?

Well, funny story! I joined Anytime because 24HrF no longer has any gyms in Arizona, and Anytime does. But (here’s the funny part) I can’t go there on this trip because I have to be a member for at least 30 days. And I ain’t.

Mind you, I’m NOT complaining! I already knew all this going in. I’m just sayin’, ya know … gosh golly gee willikers … I’ve come to really enjoy my twice/thrice visits to Anytime, so I’m really gonna miss it during the week ahead!

Besides the aforementioned videos on the machines (which, as I mentioned before, allow me to watch my beloved “Corner Gas”), they also have ANOTHER great feature for misanthropes and loners like myself: a studio where, if there aren’t any live classes going on, you can punch some buttons, shut the door, and have your very own private video workout!!!

Now I’ve done workout videos at home before, as I’m sure you have. My all-time fave, OF COURSE, is that beautiful soul, Richard Simmons (who, for those of you under 30, was basically the Huell Howser/Bob Ross of fitness)!

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Now, true, AF doesn’t have any Richard Simmons videos (whyyy noottt??). However, it DOES have something I don’t have in my living room: lots and lots of SPACE!!

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Yeah, that’s right, no more pushing the coffee table and the cats out of the way to move my bod! And there’s mats, weights, and stationary bikes inside – everything you need for whichever video you choose. I did a 15-minute cardio warm-up last Friday morning, then did 30 minutes on the treadmill — and this time NOT to a Corner Gas episode, but to a gorgeous walk on parts of the Pacific Coast Trail!

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By Bureau of Land Management – #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover, May 15, BLM Part of Annual Pacific Crest Trail Kick-Off, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42087466

It was great! Not only did it feel good physically, it was just a heckuva lotta fun!

Now as I’ve said before, I’m STILL not ready to give up my venerable 24HrF membership … primarily because, once again:

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Yeah, once the temps start bumpin’ up over 100 every day, I’ll probably be rekindling that 24HrF love!

Even so, I still plan to go to Anytime at least twice a week. And at some point during the summer … perhaps as a reward WHEN (not if!) my weight goes below, let’s say 175 … I WILL be rewarding myself with a historic chili cheese dog at the historic Munch Box!

 

Meanwhile, I’m outta here! Enjoy your week, and I’ll see ya Friday!!

*(I’d settle for a lanyard!)

(Bonus unused Daily WordPress Prompt: flaunt!)

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On becoming a Gym Rat

Wow. Well, I never thought this would happen, but as of this past Wednesday, I’ve actually got TWO gym memberships, simultaneously!

In addition to my on-again, off-again recurring 24 Hour Fitness membership (it’s all about the POOL, people!!), I’ve just signed up with Anytime Fitness for a year.

And THAT one, my friends, is all about …

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Yes, Anytime Fitness has beautiful new equipment. And yes, it’s in a super-convenient location: just down the street from the Ralph’s, the train depot, and of course, the chili cheese dog place.

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But what sold it for me was: THE TREADMILLS HAVE LITTLE VIDEO SCREENS ON THEM CONNECTED TO YOUTUBE!!

And YouTube is currently the only place I can watch my all-time favorite sitcom, “Canada’s Seinfeld” … er, “Corner Gas“!

So now, I can walk or cycle while enjoying the exploits of Brent, Lacey, Hank, Emma, Oscar, Davis, Karen, Wanda and, of course, Mayor Fitzy!

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Of course, they have no idea that was the main selling point. And unless they read my blog, they never will! Bwah hah hahhhh!!

Anyway, as I said, I’m not ready to give up on good ol’ 24 Hour Fitness just yet, because:

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Worst case scenario, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the view.

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(And that’s authentic!)

 

Friday Five: Five Reasons to Quit Your Gym Membership (well … maybe!)

Happy Friday, everyone! As promised, here’s my unvarnished list of five reasons why I keep wondering if I should just quit my gym membership.

  1. Expense. Granted, I belong to one of the cheapie big-box gyms (24 Hour Fitness), so my monthly payment isn’t that much – only around $35 a month. Still, I’m on kind of a fixed income these days, what with my job being “outsourced” a few years ago. My primary source of extra spending money right now is freelance transcription, which doesn’t pay that much, but at least it keeps me home, where I’m less likely to overspend. Still, every penny counts!
  2. Clothes. Confession: I wear a skirt almost all the time, except when I’m on a bike or in the pool. The skirts I tend to favor are long, comfy, soft, and most importantly, have nice, roomy POCKETS. I guess you’d call them “cargo skirts,” although they weren’t called that when I originally started buying them or their equivalents, back in the previous century. This all goes back to when I was working full-time in downtown L.A., and had to putter around the office, carrying card keys and actual keys and change for the snack machine, which I visited a LOT, which is partly why I’m dieting today. Now I pretty much live in my comfy skirts, and having to change out of them into quote-unquote “workout clothes” is just a big fat pain in the butt.
  3. Parking. Every! single! location! of my fitness club has a big, crowded parking lot which you have to deal with before you can even get NEAR the actual exercise equipment. Now that I’ve lost a bit of weight and am a bit more mobile, I’m following the classic “passive exercise” advice about parking farther away and walking the extra distance. But ya know, sometimes I just find myself thinking, “Why not just park in the WAY less crowded parking lot at that beautiful, tree-lined PARK a couple of miles down the road, the one with the attractive dirt trails, and just WALK – in my nice, comfy skirt?” And more and more often, I find myself doing just that.

    So*, more and more, I find myself not wanting to even get into the car to make the drive to the gym. The closest location to me is at least a 20-minute drive, and has the absolute WORST parking of all their locations. It’s tempting to just stay home, which brings me to:
  4. Agoraphobia. It’s mild, but I do have kind of an aversion to large crowds. And gyms tend to have lots of people in them. Not so much right now, but give it a few weeks – all those New Year’s resolutions tend to fill up those prime treadmill spots for at least a couple of months.
  5. Non-Gym Exercise. As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot more walking, at least every other day, for my regular exercise. In addition, last week I dragged my abandoned, but still quite functional, Electra Townie Cruiser bike out of the garage, where it’s been waiting patiently for the past few years, gathering cobwebs and desiccated spider corpses; took it up to our local bike shop; and had it all fixed up, spandy new and purty as a picture! After my husband helped me adjust the leopard print saddle – very picturesque and exquisitely uncomfortable – I’ve had three short but increasingly delightful rides around our neighborhood, and am really looking forward to the next one. Plus, I’ve got a whole bunch of free weights (well, they weren’t really free, but they were cheap, nyuk nyuk!) scattered around the back yard, to take care of those underarm wings we fat middle-aged ladies seem to sprout.

So – there you go. My five best arguments for quitting my gym membership.

Still, there are some good reasons for keeping it active, and next Friday, I’ll give you those.

Meanwhile, what do YOU think? Do you belong to a gym? Do you use it, or just keep it in reserve in case you can’t think of anything else to do, or there’s nothing new on Netflix? Let me know!

(*by the way, if you’re also a freelance transcriber, you’re probably shouting at me, “Hey! Never start a sentence with ‘and,’ ‘but,’ or ‘so’! That’s … that’s just so wrong!!” And you’re right. But I did it anyway. So there.)