Another nice Chatsworth walk!

Yesterday’s walk was on the Not really a “hike,” per se. To me, a hike involves hills, gullies, backpacks, and of course, mud galore. 

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No, yesterday was definitely a gentle, peaceful walk! And it’s someplace I’ve been before — in fact, I blogged about it this past January: Brown’s Creek Bike Path in Chatsworth, California!

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It runs (at least, the segment I did) from Devonshire (on Canoga, just across the street from the Ralphs and next door to the nursery) up to almost the 118 Freeway. And that’s the walk I did yesterday!

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You can probably go further than this, but I decided to turn around, which made it a nice 2-mile loop. And actually, I  walked on the bridle trail, which is parallel to the bike path and on the other side of the wash. I like it because it’s soft, not paved, and there’s always the possibility of seeing a horsie. Didn’t see any this time, but ya know, as they used to say, “Where there’s Hope, there’s Crosby!”

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After the walk, I ambled over to the Ralphs and got some lunch – a couple of pieces of baked chicken and a scoop of mac & cheese from the deli, plus a little container of vanilla yogurt. It was a little sad, though, looking across the parking lot at the Anytime Fitness.

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See, I allowed my membership to lapse after my prepaid one year ended. As much as I liked it, I’ve kinda moved on – doing way more outdoor exercise and coming up with all sorts of excuses to avoid the gym. So, fare-thee-well, Anytime Fitness Chatsworth – you were nice while you lasted, but I gotta get outdoors!

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That’s it for today — have a great weekend! I’m heading to Arizona next week…

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Arizona: all beach, no ocean

but I’ll still check in Monday for a quickie weigh-in!

Friday Five: 5 Ways to Walk Indoors

Happy Friday, everyone! (**UPDATE: Day 5 walk DONE! see photos at end!)

Hey, remember the other day when some of you (no names!) were all upset because you couldn’t go outside and walk for more than a few minutes without your fingers and toes falling off? ‘Cause you’re all, y’know, snowflakes?

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Well, for those of you who are still knee-deep in snow, ice, or whatever it is that happens outside my warm, comfy Southern California bubble, here are some ideas to keep you walking!

1. Treadmill – by far the most popular. If you belong to a gym, and the roads are clear, you could always just hop into your Humvee, crank up the heater, and drive there. [Note to self: insert plug for Anytime Fitness Chatsworth here!]  Unfortunately, for a lot of people, the roads AREN’T clear. Not a problem if you’re rich, right? ‘Cause you’ve already got one at home. But not everyone’s rich.

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And good treadmills are expensive. However, if you keep your eyes and ears open,

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you might be able to get one cheap, or free! Just look for a neighbor, friend and/or relative who lost a lot of weight in the not-too-distant past, but has recently started to pile on the pounds again. Chances are they’ve got some kind of exercise equipment in the basement, doubling as a clothes hanger.

Now that they’ve lost their will to stay in shape, they’re probably sick of looking at it. A few discreet questions, a little faux sympathy, and heck, they’ll probably pay YOU to haul it away! Score!

2. DVDs/Videos – Yeah, a home treadmill is nice, but if you don’t have one, and you can’t get out of the house today, well, it’s kind of a moot point, isn’t it? Not to worry! Most of us (by which I mean, those of us who are around/over 60, which I assume is my target audience, given the blog title) still have a DVD player around, or even (gasp) a VHS player!

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So check your bookshelves and your videocassette drawers to see if you have any of those awesome Leslie Sansone walking workouts!

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They … [voice whispers offstage] Huh? Oh really? OK, well, I guess you could also get them online, via YouTube or Amazon or one of them newfangled digital thingamabobs. If you want to be all modern and everything.

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Anyway, whatever format you can find them in, her workouts are actually a lot of fun, and you can get the same workout as a brisk walk outdoors. It’s worth a shot!

3. The Laura Ingalls Wilder “Long Winter” method — You all remember Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family, right? Well, here I’m talking about the real one, not the blow-dried ’70s TV version.

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The REAL Ingalls family had the bad luck to be living in De Smet, South Dakota during what’s now called the Great Blizzard of 1888. You can read all about it in her book, “The Long Winter,” available at all fine bookstores and non-“woke” libraries.

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Anyway, while Laura, Mary, and Carrie were stuck indoors, Pa and Ma made sure they got plenty of exercise – Pa by playing his fiddle and marching them around the cabin, and Ma by making them sweep the floors, clean the stove, and oh, just generally doing everything she was too tired to do herself. What a great time they had!

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So if you have any kids around the house, make them do some exercise while you sit and watch. You’ll all feel great afterwards!

4. Mall walking — Again, this is only for people that aren’t completely snowed in and have a reliable vehicle of some sort.

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You can walk around for hours and hours, eating and drinking, stuffing your face, maxing out all your credit cards … it’s great! And it counts as exercise, too! (Although that stuff you got at the food court might cancel out some of the calories you’re working off.) Still, it’s worth a try, and who knows, maybe you can get some groovy new tunes to add to your mix tape while you’re there, too!

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5. Get a dog. Dogs don’t understand “It’s raining outside, you’ll have to wait.” If you don’t take them outside for even a *short* walk, you’ll regret it. Maybe not now, but later, especially when Fido gets desperate and poops in your laundry hamper.

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Trust me, bundle up and walk the dog. If you don’t have one, you can TRY walking the cat. It’s a long shot, though.

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Maybe you could just walk your IMAGINARY pet.

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Oh, all right, all right – if it’s THAT bad, stay inside, build a fire in the fireplace, toast some marshmallows, make some hot chocolate, and relax! I hereby absolve you from having to walk, at least till the icicles on your eyebrows start melting.

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Stay warm, everyone – see you Monday!

**DAY 5 Walk done! Since the weather’s dried out (marginally!) I was originally gonna drive to some faraway, exotic place (like, I dunno, Pacoima or Simi Valley) and do a walk in a completely different locale, but at the last minute decided to do yet another Reseda walk. Just put on my walkin’ shoes (Skechers!) and headed out. And once I got out there, it was nice. It’s ALWAYS nice, once you get started. So just GO!

 

 

A few good reasons NOT to go to the gym today (even if you love your gym)!

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Uh, yeah, time to get to work, huh? OK (yawn, stretch) hang on! Sorry, I should be more awake than this — I did go to the gym yesterday, after all (hi, Kaily, Charles, and Nathan at Anytime Fitness Chatsworth, here’s your shout-out, as promised!).

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And I’m glad I went — it’s been a while, and I was beginning to worry I wasn’t getting enough use out of my pretty purple key fob.

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Actually, EVERYTHING there is purple … the signs on the doors:

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… the workout equipment …

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… and of course, the weight lifters’ faces.

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So it’s a good gym, and I have no complaints about it. However, I haven’t been using it much lately, nor any other gym, for one very good reason: THE WEATHER! Yes, as I mentioned last time, it’s finally FALL/AUTUMN (depending on your personal vocabulary preferences) with the cooler temperatures to go with it! Which means my PRIMARY reason for keeping my gym membership(s) active — the hot weather —

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is no longer viable! (Ooh, there’s another good vocabulary word for you! Who said this blog isn’t educational?)

So anyway, with temps going down, along with my weight (yay!), my energy levels are rising slightly, just enough to make me want to exercise, all right — but NOT indoors, or on a machine! That’s right — instead of walking on a treadmill, I walk OUTSIDE!

 

And instead of riding a stationary bike, I ride a REAL BIKE!

 

You can do all sorts of other “gym” exercises outside too, like carrying heavy stuff around:

Or just go for a long walk amongst the crunchy fall (autumn!) leaves!

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Whatever you decide to do, just remember: exercise is simply moving your body (preferably off the couch) in some way — whether it’s in a gym or outdoors, in the cheap showiness of nature, it’s all good! So find a way to move around today — indoors or outdoors — and enjoy this beautiful fall/autumn weather!

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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!

Rare Saturday post: take a hike!

Hey, everyone, sorry I forgot about the “Friday Five” yesterday! Actually, I didn’t forget so much as … well … actually, I did forget, sorry! But to make up for it, here’s some photos from a hike I took this morning with a group of people from Anytime Fitness in Chatsworth, CA — enjoy!

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Out in the wilderness…hard to believe there’s a major urban sprawl just a couple of miles away!

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I’m a bit of a slow walker, so as usual I’m at the back of the pack. No worries — they didn’t get TOO far ahead!

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See, I’m catching up (pant pant!!)!

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Here we all are at the end of the trail. We’re smiling ’cause it’s OVER!! (Photo by Naomi Ruth Torres. )

This was all at a nice area called the Victory Trailhead Loop, part of the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (depending on who you ask and which parking lot you’re in, I guess!). Apparently there are some caves on the property somewhere (the Caves of Munit), but since going there would have required more uphills than downhills, the majority vote was to save the caves for another time.
 

So all in all, it was a great morning for a hike, and a good time was had by all, even the dog.

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That’s all for now — see you Monday for yet another Rhymin’ Weekly 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:

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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!)

 

 

 

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!

 

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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