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!

 

 

Welcome to Bizarro Monday!

Well, happy Monday everyone — and a nice rainy one it is too, here in normally sunny Southern California! Not that we’re complaining, you understand!

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What’s a bit ironic is that Mr. 50by60 is on a business trip in Seattle, where those of us who rely on sitcoms and movies for our information about the Pacific Northwest just assume it’s raining constantly. And yet — this one time he’s there — it’s sunny! That’s right — it’s sunny in Seattle and raining in Los Angeles!!

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Yeah, well, all that fits in quite nicely with today’s weigh-in. Remember how last week I was SURE this was gonna be the week I finally broke through to the ’70s? (the 170s, for those of you just joining us).

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And I was sooo close, guys ‘n gals! For three days this past week I was actually weighing in at 179.2! Then … then came the weekend …

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Well, it is what it is! So let’s just get right to it, shall we? Hang on a sec …

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Oh all right!! Today’s weigh-in ISSSSS….

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Rats! Oh well, guess the ’70s will just have to wait another week! No problem — I’m just gonna dedicate myself to MORE exercise, MORE diligent countin’ of the calories, MORE attention to the whole rigorous process of weight loss! MORE binge-watching of “Corner Gas” on Amazon Prime!

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Yeah … I’ll definitely do at least ONE of those things! We’ll find out the results next week! Meanwhile, stay dry, L.A.! And as for you, Seattle, I’ll just say “badbye” and leave you to your bizarro winter weather!

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Friday Five: New Secret Weapon…Revealed!

OK, as promised, here ’tis – my secret weapon for combatting the creeping return of Teh Fat:

What? (listens to off-camera whispers) Um yeah, it’s a bike. That’s right. YES, that’s what I meant by “secret weapon”! What did you think I meant?

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Heh, well, no, as much as I enjoy “The Red Green Show” (hey, it’s my second-favorite Canadian show!), and although I do plan to mention a practical use for duct tape later in this very post, I actually meant THIS:

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My totally AWESOME new folding bike, hereinafter to be known in this blog as “Little Blue”! And as soon as I get “Little Blue” all tweaked & ready, it’s going to be a permanent addition to the trunk of my decrepit ol’ 2005 Toyota Corolla (aka “Decrepit Blue!”).

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That way, when I’m out driving, enjoying the scenery and ignoring the omnipresent “Check Engine” light on the dashboard (and btw, here’s where the duct tape comes in handy!)
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and I notice a park with a really tempting bike path,

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I don’t just drive by, thinking, “Nice, but I forgot to bring ‘Big Blue’ [the Electra Townie] on my hard-to-use bike rack, so I guess I’ll just have to keep driving, and maybe eat some Doritos to console myself!” NOPE! Now I’ve got a bike! So I can stop, take it out, unfold it, et voila! I’m ridin’ – and exercisin’!

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And in case you can’t tell from the photos, I’ve already taken this lovely little bike out on one of the bike paths in the Sepulveda Basin. I kinda had to, because when I unboxed it and looked at it, sitting next to “Big Blue” (my venerable and super-comfy Electra Townie Cruiser),

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I wasn’t sure it had been such a good idea after all. For one thing, Little Blue has a slightly higher “stepover” than Big Blue, which means, being both short AND clumsy, I knew that at some point I’d trip over it and get some nice blue bruises on my shin(s).

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But also, I knew that if I didn’t give it a fair chance – take it out for a real ride it in a safe place, and not just in the narrow confines of our back yard – I’d never ride it at all, and it would just sit back there, rusting away, taunting me. (It’s happened before!)

So I folded it up, lugged it out to the car, drove to the Basin, pulled it out of the trunk, and rode it — and it was WONDERFUL!! y’all! Really awesome! I was impressed by how sturdy and well-built it felt, the minute I hit the bike path. Initially, I planned to ride it for about 15 minutes – but I stayed out there for more than half an hour, just cruising along, enjoying the scenery, dodging the Canadian geese and the oblivious pedestrians.

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I don’t have a horn or a bell yet, and was tempted to do my Tim Conway, Jr. imitation,

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but I decided that might not be the greatest idea. The pedestrians might not have minded, but geese are notoriously violent when provoked.

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And in case you’re wondering – yes, I did, as predicted, trip and fall over the bike at one point. And of course, it happened at the moment I decided to stop under a shady tree, in full view of an L.A. Commuter Express bus that had, for some reason, decided to stop in the park. Since I learned a long time ago how to fall with a minimum amount of injury (hint: don’t lose *all* your butt fat – it’s there for a reason), I’m sure they appreciated the show.

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Nevertheless, like a true cowgirl, I got up, brushed myself off, and got right back on the horse – er, the bike! And I rode it back to my car, got off (WAY more carefully this time!), re-folded & packed it up, and went home, to a well-deserved afternoon of rest & “Victoria” binge-watching!

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All in all, I’m very pleased with my new Secret Weapon, and plan to incorporate it into my exercise regimen at least twice a week to start, though probably not on consecutive days, as it did kinda wear me out – but in a good way!

Oh, and for those of you thinking, “This is all well and good, but where’s the ‘Friday Five’ part?” let me see what I can do? How about this:

Part 1: Cute names for all my transportation options:

  1. Little Blue – the Euromini Zizzo Via folding bike.
  2. Big Blue – the Electra Townie cruiser bike.
  3. Decrepit Blue – my 2005 Toyota Corolla with the fading paint and the Check Engine Light.

Part 2: Two things I need to get for Little Blue:

  1. A bell or a horn.
  2. A basket and/or a rack.

There, feel better now? I sure hope so! Enjoy your weekend…oh, and if you’ve got a rusty bike in your backyard, why not take it out for a ride, and tell me about your experiences in the comments?

Friday Five: hey, I’m famous!

  1. I was debating whether to do a blog post this morning at all. Then I thought I’d do one entitled “No blog post today” with some funny memes to that effect. So I did a search on Google images, titled “no blog post today” memes. Guess what? almost ALL the search results were from MY blog posts of the past!
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    Probably just lazy.

    Still, check it out and see for yourself: “no blog post today” memes on Google!

  2. I did actually do something exercise-related this week, though — got back on the bike! And here’s the pic to prove it:

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    My venerable Electra Townie Cruiser, taking a break while I take a pic!

  3. More often than not, though, I stayed home and did (ugh) housework-type stuff. NOT vacuuming* or floor-scrubbing (sorry, Mr. 50by60!), but less traumatic stuff like laundry and sweeping. Doing the laundry can be good exercise if you have access to an outdoor clothesline – lots of leaning over, picking things up, then reaching up to hang them. Sweeping the floor obviously has some exercise potential as well.

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    It’s good practice, in case one of your fellow employees shows up with the pinkeye.

  4. *Because:

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    I’m with the cats…and nature!

  5. Free TJ’s plug (although I’m certainly open to bribes, they ain’t payin’ me!) — if you need a good lower-calorie substitute for that nice crunchy bag of Doritos or Lay’s, why not try these?
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    They’re freeze-dried Fuji apple slices, yummy and crunchy. A nice compromise when you’re cravin’ the crunchy stuff. (And I’ll be lookin’ for that TJ’s gift card in the mail, Corporate! Remember, I can always delete this plug!)

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Bonus blog points if you remember this funny guy!

Alright, that’s all I got! Have a great weekend, everyone! See ya Monday!

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Pre-Vacay Weigh!

Good morning, everyone, and happy Monday! Here’s my weigh-in —

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Up just a tad from last week. Oh well, really, that’s OK! I’ve decided that for the next few weeks, I’m gonna temporarily shift my focus from losing to maintaining.

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See, Mr. 50by60 and I going on yet another Vacay Train Trip starting this week, so I’m going to allow Amtrak to tempt me with all their delicious onboard menus, as well as enjoy the luxuries of the Hotel Continental Breakfast Bar. I’ll try to keep things in check but I’m not gonna try too hard — I mean, come on, it’s VAKAY!

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Anyway, my main goal right now is to maintain that 50-pound loss till my official 60th birthday, which happens to be right around Labor Day (my mother told me that’s why they named it that). After that, I’ll continue with Phase Three of the Big Giant 100-Pound Weight Loss. And I just KNOW I can do it!

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(In case you’re new to the blog, Phase One was 2016-2017, when I lost 20 pounds; Phase Two was when I started this blog & then lost 50 pounds; Phase Three is from now till Christmas (with the option of a 12-day Orthodox Christmas extension) when I plan to lose the final 30 pounds. 20 plus 50 plus 30 equals 100. There ya go, a little math for ya, and no Barbie meme to spoil things.

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Harumph! Anyway, this is the LAST WEIGH-IN for two weeks, since they don’t provide bathroom scales on Amtrak or our hotel, and we’re not packin’ ’em, either. I’ll try to post from the road (er, the rails) at some point, but meanwhile, hope YOU have a nice vacay planned! If not, at least try to take a long lunch, sit outside with some iced tea or something, and enjoy the last dregs of summer!

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Weekly Weigh-in, Pre- or Post-Patriotic Holiday Edition (depending on your location)!

Hey, happy Monday! Looks like a great week for all us patriots (and those who enjoy short work weeks, heh heh!). Starting yesterday, we had:

And of course, later this week it’s our turn, down here in the Lower 48:

So whichever part of the Northern American continent* you’re reading this from, enjoy your special day!

Anyway, let’s get down to business, shall we? Here’s the Weekly Weigh-In:

191.4
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Whew! Well, I’m still stuck in the ’90s, but at least it’s heading back in the right direction! See you Friday, when I’ll tell you about all the yummy stuff I got to eat on the Fourth of July!

(*Lo siento, Mexico, pero su Dia de la Independencia es el 16 de Septiembre!)

viva

 

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!

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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!)

 

Weekly Weigh-In, plus Diet Wisdom from Martin Luther!

First things first:

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Weight loss heaven!scales

Wow – I’m in my teens again!!! Can I start texting and making snide remarks about everything? Oh wait, I already do that.
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Anyway, this past Saturday, I was driving aimlessly around the Valley (San Fernando, in case you’ve heard of another), listening to AM radio (on Saturdays, it’s mostly food shows and tax advice), and getting hungrier and hungrier.

I stopped at the Quickie Mart to get some cash out of the ATM, and gazed longingly at the crappy-yet-fascinating hot food: hamburgers, pizza, hot wings and mmmm hot dogs!
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Suddenly … I was jonesin’ for a chili dog! I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my fondness for the many-times-aforementioned Canadian sitcom “Corner Gas,” in which chili dogs often serve as major plot points, or at least props.
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My “Diet Brain” took note of my longing, and immediately started yelling at me:

“You can’t eat a chili dog! Do you know how many calories are in those? You’ll wreck your diet and gain back every single pound you’ve lost! Don’t be a schmuck!”

Then my stomach retaliated by sending long, groaning complaints up and down the alimentary canal, taunting Diet Brain with unquenchable longings.

Then – a miracle happened! Diet Brain and Stomach Brain were both interrupted by the voice of the great Protestant reformer, Martin Luther!
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I know, right??

Now, I should just break in here and point out a couple of things:

1) I’m a Catholic, so Martin Luther isn’t usually a huge source of inspiration for me.

2) This isn’t a religious blog, and it’s not suddenly going to morph into one.

However, at that moment, I DISTINCTLY heard good ol’ Martin’s voice in my head, loud and clear, saying what he’s often purported to have said at least once: “If you’re gonna sin – sin boldly!”

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And I thought, “Martin, ol’ boy, you’re right! If I’m gonna go wild on the calories, I’m not gonna settle for a grungy convenience store chili dog! I’m gonna get the best one I can possibly find, and really ENJOY it!”

So, long story short, I wound up buying a chili dog at a place called The Munch Box, in Chatsworth, California – an actual historical landmark!
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And I ordered me a chili dog. And that was the BEST dang chili dog I’ve ever had in my entire life! (At least, the best one I can remember. I’m almost 60, so my memory isn’t what it used to be.)

So here’s how I’d rephrase Martin’s purported* theological wisdom. If you’re going to defy your “Diet Brain,” don’t be a wimp about it. If you really want something, and you can’t stop thinking about it, then by golly gumdrops, don’t just settle for one of Apu’s rejects!
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No sir (or ma’am)! Get the BEST possible version of it you can!

So just for today – listen to Martin Luther! Don’t just sneakily grab a few extra calories here, a few extra grams of fat there. If a chili dog is the panacea you need, then a chili dog is what you should have!

Thanks, Martin!

Friday Five: It’s already October??

Hi, everyone! Time once again for my “Friday Five” – here we go!

1. If you haven’t already encountered it, do whatever you can to get access to any episodes you can find of the great Canadian sitcom “Corner Gas,” created by a comic genius named Brett Butt (yes, it’s his real name!). Specifically, look for an episode called “Blog River,” in which Brett’s best pal Hank starts a blog – and can’t get anyone to read it! I don’t know about you, but there are times when I TOTALLY identify with Hank! Ah, yes, blogging is a lonely life …

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And by the way, you can still read Hank’s Blog, “Hank Talkin’,” here at WordPress!

2. Walking is great exercise. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s good for your joints, it’s mildly calorie-burning, and you can save gas by walking to the store instead of driving there. So why can’t I make myself go out and walk every day? Huh? Huh? You tell me.

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3. It’s October 6. That means it’s LESS THAN THREE MONTHS TILL CHRISTMAS AAAAHHH!! And I haven’t even started to THINK about Christmas shopping. (Well, that’s not completely true. I’ve thought about OTHER people shopping for ME! nyuk nyuk!)

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4. After weeks of complaining, my husband bought some new bathroom scales! They’re actually pretty nice. What I like about them is that the numbers are HUGE, they light up, and they STAY there on the screen long enough for me to step off, lean over, and read them, squinting. (I don’t always have my glasses on, first thing in the morning.) But I must admit, I feel a little sorry for the ol’ WW scales, leaning there against the wall, forlorn, forgotten … they did the best they could, poor things …

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5. Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? If not, you should seriously consider moving. They have these delicious, juicy Mahi Mahi burgers that are super-easy to prepare, yummy as all get-out, and only 110 calories each! Now, I personally hate the actual experience of SHOPPING there – not to mention parking! For some reason, they always seem to have the WORST parking lots.

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However, my husband loves it, so I make sure he always has a nice long list. If you’ve got someone in your life you can con — er, I mean, convince! — to shop there for you, make sure those Mahi Mahi burgers are on your list!

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That’s all, folks! Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday for the Weekly Weigh-in!