Ch-ch-ch-changes! (to the diet AND the blog! wowsers!)

OK, don’t freak out, man, but I’m making a couple of tweaks here! Nothing serious, just a couple of necessary repairs.

 

First, re: the blog — I’m not gonna do the “Friday Five” thing anymore, or at least not regularly. It’s just getting too hard to come up with five semi-related things. I mean, seriously, I was actually contemplating “Five Reasons Not to Open Your Window on an Airplane”!

nightmare.jpg

And really, where do you go after the obligatory “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” joke? So, no more “Friday Fives” unless I actually have five important (and diet- or exercise-related) things to pass along to y’all.

Second, the diet itself! Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while may remember that before I started my current round of weight loss via calorie counting, I lost a respectable 20 pounds on the No S Diet.

no s diet

I liked the plan because it was super-simple — no need to write anything down, no need to give up foods I loved (just defer them to “S” days). I managed to lose 20 pounds over the course of a year, which may not sound like a lot, but that weight STAYED OFF, yo!

The main problem I had with it, though, as I related wayyyy back in August of 2017 (“Part 2 of How I Got Here“), was my inability to defer the pleasure that is the Trader Joe’s Mini “Hold The Cone”!

95434-hold-the-cone-vanilla

Yes, as with so many of us dieters, chocolate was my downfall. Although it turned out to be for the best.

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I decided to try good old-fashioned calorie counting, so I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, as long as I did the required accounting. And that was great! I lost over 60 pounds with that method, and coupled with the 20 I lost on the No S, that’s … let’s see … carry the one …

math2

… over 80 pounds down, which is nothing to sneeze at! Still, the last few months, I’ve been over-snacking, and not tracking my calories, because honestly, it does get a little tedious after a while, doesn’t it? Writing down all those numbers? I mean, you know…

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OK, not that! But anyway, I’ve decided I need to do something different for a while, so I’m switching back to the No S Diet, but with ONE modification: I’m making it the “ONE S Diet!” I’m going to allow myself one and ONLY one “S” (snack/sweet) per day. Can you guess what that one “S” is going to be?

cones

Yep, one “Hold the Cone” every evening! At least for a while. I like to think of them as my “No S Diet” training wheels — I’ll use ’em till I don’t need ’em anymore. Or till Trader Joe’s stops selling them, and if you shop at Trader Joe’s, you know they have a distressing tendency to suddenly stop selling stuff you like.

trader joe

FWIW I’ve been doing this since Tuesday, and it’s not bad at all. And it’s really nice not to have to remember, and then remember to write down, how many reduced fat string cheeses I had. Or shred precisely 28 grams of cheddar cheese for the salad, and write it down. Etc., etc.

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So there ya go — no “Friday Five” and a new/old diet! How will these ch-ch-ch-changes affect the Monday weigh-in (which ISN’T changing)? Well, we’ll just have to find out — on Monday! See ya then!

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Friday laziness: My Very First Reblog!

Following Penny Wilson‘s advice from a couple of weeks ago, I’m reblogging this post from Drew Robinson’s “Trail To Peak.” I really love all the photos — looks like a fun hike. So ENJOY — and I’ll see you Monday for the weigh-in and an ORIGINAL post!

Hiking Bane Ridge Trail in Chino Hills State Park

https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1gG9IugyqoEfTzXBxE9xrAS9AKESFadr8

Chino Hills State Park is a 14,173 acre park located on the borders of Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. Visitors to Chino Hills State Park can explore 60 miles of trails and fire roads that pass through woodlands, sage scrub, grasslands, and wildflowers. One of the most popular hikes within Chino Hills State Park…

via Hiking Bane Ridge Trail In Chino Hills State Park — Trail to Peak

Friday Five: The superbloom is…it’s everywhere, man!

Happy Friday, everybody! So, have you come across any of the stories in the Otherwise Perpetually Depressing News Cycle (OPDNC) about Southern California’s “Superbloom” — the explosion of wildflowers (mostly the delicate orange poppy) following all the torrential rains of the past few months? Well, strangely enough for the Lamestream Media, it’s actually true!

superbloom

But you don’t have to go to Lake Elsinore and trample all over the place taking selfies to see them — trust me, that is SO not cool, man!

poppy apocalypse.jpg

Instead, look at these cool photos I took myself, in my rambles around Chatsworth, Simi Valley, Acton, and even humble ol’ Reseda, showing the beautiful Eschscholzia californica in all its golden glory!

  1. Above Chatsworth:
    Poppies Chatsworth Forbidden Road 1
  2. Soledad Canyon Road, near Acton:
    Superbloom Acton MAIN
  3. Another Acton shot (and yessss, the rocks at the top of that hill are REALLY that pink!!):
    Superbloom Acton 4 MAIN
  4. In Sherman Oaks:

    St Mary Bird of Paradise

    (and OK, so it’s not a poppy, per se (actually, it’s a Bird of Paradise)! However, Mother Nature would like to remind you she DOES have other purty flowers, too, so don’t play favorites!)

  5. Finally, my very own humble little garden, in Reseda:

    reseda

    (and to be perfectly honest, this is last year’s photo – they still haven’t bloomed this year, maybe because after the rains subsided I did a whole lot of weeding, and may have accidentally “weeded” the poppies, which would be pretty ironic considering this would have been THEIR YEAR, huh? Still, they’d be here if they could!)

There ya go! Enjoy, and bask in the knowledge that you managed to enjoy the Superbloom without destroying them!

trampling

 

Friday Five: The Groaning!

Yeah, it’s me with yet another blog full of random complaints about why I can’t seem to get past Plateau Point, and five ideas about why that might be happening.

plateau point

Here we go: five reasons I can’t lose weight!

  1. Sugar — OK, I don’t buy into the idea that sugar is the devil, responsible for all the evils of the modern diet.
    sugar and carbs debil.jpg
    Mainly because people who promote that idea seem to be kinda…what’s the word I’m looking for…?
    cray.jpg
    Yeah, well, not in a verifiable, scientifically provable way, but just kinda off balance, somewhere. Still, there’s no denying that foods with lots of sugar tend to be (a) more calorific than others, and (b) really, really yummy!
    elf four
    So that’s one.
  2. Cream in my Coffee — Sure, I buy the sugar-free, low-calorie French vanilla version of Coffee Mate, at only 15 calories per serving. Then I dump about 5 or 6 servings in my morning cofveve, because why not? It’s only 15 calories per serving!
    math2
    …carry the one…oh…OK. Hmm, maybe I’d be better off just getting the half & half!
    cofveve
  3. Fried Chicken — and not just ANY fried chicken, baby — you KNOW what I like!

    Before Lent started, I was getting over my KFC/Popeye’s/[fill in your favorite fast food cooked bird restaurant] by keeping some relatively non-evil Trader Joe’s boneless chicken breasts in the freezer, and cooking one of them with BBQ sauce, Parmesan cheese, etc. Way less calories than the fast food stuff and still relatively yummy.
    However, we’re in Lent now, and in a fit of misguided devoutness, I asked Mr. 50by60 not to buy any more meat or dairy products from Trader Joe’s till after Lent. Which sounds fine and dandy, except twice last week, while out on a long, healthy walk, I “rewarded” myself with some KFC.
    bad kitty.jpg

  4. Peanut Butter — When I was a kid, I *hated* peanut butter. I still hate it when it’s combined with something else, like chocolate.
    hate peanut.jpg
    But a really good, thick peanut butter & jelly sandwich? MMM!!
    pbj.jpg
    And it’s totally Lenten, too! So it should be good for you, right? Well, yeah, unless you have, er, more than one, and then start diggin’ into the PB jar as well. Yum, more calories!
    pb.png
  5. Non-Peanut Butter — Just regular butter, y’know, melted and on popcorn. ‘Cause popcorn’s good for you! It’s got fiber &etc. It’s just that, y’know, that fake butter spray isn’t quite as good as the real, calorific thing.
    popcorn.jpg

So there ya go, five reasons why I may be stuck at the 179/180 plateau for a little longer! Of course, as they say, being able to describe your problem is the first step towards solving it, so maybe now I’ll just fix myself a nice, low-calorie Thomas 100-Calorie English Muffin for breakfast.

muffins.jpg

(With, y’know, maybe a dab or two of melted butter.)

See you Monday, to find out how that affects my weight!

Lazy Friday Five: Recent Hike Photos

Good morning, everyone (yawn)! Don’t know about you, but I’m savoring every second of the last remaining, and rapidly waning, days containing that beautiful extra hour we got last fall, before it’s yanked from our clutching arms!

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So as you can imagine, I’m not too keen on spending too much of that precious, precious time searching for hilarious memes, failing to find them, and having to go to Meme Generator to make them myself.

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So today I thought I’d just share with you five photos I took on some recent hikes, in and around Southern California. ‘Kay? Let’s go!

  1. First one’s at Griffith Park. This is called “Rattlesnake Trail,” but I didn’t see any rattlesnakes, just a buncha squirrels (and people with dogs!). Note the beautiful sunny blue sky! That was nice. Maybe we’ll have another one of those, someday!

Griffith Park 1.jpg
2. Here’s a nice trail out at St. Andrew’s Abbey in Valyermo, CA — and yes, that’s snow (or at least the remnants of it) alongside the trail! This is near Big Bear and Arrowhead, so they do get snow down here occasionally.Valyermo 1.jpg

3. A little “hidden creek” right in my own neighborhood! I notice it after rainy days when I’m walking to the grocery store. Looks pretty, but I bet it wreaks havoc on the house it’s attached to!Neighborhood hidden creek 1.jpg

4. The infamous “detour to Hell” on the Sage Ranch Loop Trail in Chatsworth, CA. Actually took TWICE as long as the rest of the trail, even though it was (theoretically) shorter! Not to mention the mud! 03052019 Sage DETOUR SIGN.jpg

5. To recuperate from Sage Ranch, I took a nice leisurely stroll through Reseda Park yesterday, where there was a puddle for every duck!Ducks 1.jpg

That’s all, folks! See you Monday for the incredibly sleep Weigh-in!

Five exercises that sound like they’re … er … something else!!

Happy Friday, everybody! Are you ready for something a little … different today?

wink

Have you ever noticed that some exercises, which may be perfectly nice and normal and good for you, have names which are kinda, um, risqué? Or just plain gross? For example:

  1. Burpees
    burp barney
    Actually, “burpees” are this full-body exercise where you get down on the ground in a “plank” position, then jump back up again.
    burpee chart.jpg
    It looks horrible to me, probably because it is! Still, it’s said to burn a lot of calories, so I may try it someday. Really, really slowly, though.
    standing up
  2. Squats
    squat cip.jpg
    Of course, the squat is a legitimate and very healthy exercise. But please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks about … er … something else, when I hear the word.
    cat squat
  3. Thrusters
    thrusters clip.jpg
    It’s basically just doing a squat and thrusting your dumbbells into the air. So why does it sound like a potential lawsuit?
    thrusting.jpg
  4. The Snatch
    snatch.jpg
    Probably getting into NSFW territory, so ’nuff said!!
  5. The Clean and Jerk – 
    clean jerk.jpg
    (Honestly, these things kinda write themselves, sometimes!)

That’s it, your grossly disgusting Friday Five! Have a great weekend, everybody — see you Monday for the weigh-in!

 

Oops, I did it again!

…forgot to write my usual “Friday Five” blog post, that is!

Sorry about that! Oh well, you know what I was doing instead? I was getting my glasses adjusted — AND exercising, at (almost) the same time!

See, my glasses get out of kilter very easily, always tilting just a little too much to the right. So every once in a while, I have to get them adjusted.

glasses 1.jpg

Usually, after the adjustment, I go out somewhere for a long walk. However, today it was threatening to rain again, and in case you hadn’t heard, we’ve had a LOT of rain here in sunny Southern California over the past week.

catsrain

So I decided to do my exercising indoors (like I wrote about in a previous post). And today, my indoor walk was at a big box hardware store called Lowe’s!

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It was great! I went in the front entrance and walked as far to one side as I could get (in this case, the lumber department). Then I just walked up and down each loonnnggg aisle, up and down, enjoying the relatively empty store (it was only about 9:30 a.m.) and the bouncy music being piped in overhead — for some reason I’m really enjoying the music they play in stores these days!

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Before starting, I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes, and when it went off, I cheered (silently! there were security people around, after all!) — my 30-minute daily walk was done AND I still had a couple of aisles left! Which I went ahead and walked. After that, I left, buying a bottle of diet soda on my way out (so as not to be a COMPLETE mooch!) and went on to enjoy the rest of my day.

Oh, and my glasses? Feelin’ good! I think I can get through another few weeks before my next adjustment slash exercise excuse!

Anyway, sorry for the non-Friday Five-type post, but you know me, I like to shake things up every once in a while! See you Monday for the weigh-in (after which I’m takin’ a road trip, yay!)!

weekend

Friday Five: Just a bunch of photos

Happy Friday, everyone! Yeah, I know, not so happy for a lot of people. Well, when I’m sad, something in my brain clicks over and I start doing (or at least, wanting to do) new and/or creative things. Or maybe just go for a walk.

walk

All of which I’ve been doing, over the past couple of weeks. And it’s starting to show up in my daily weigh-ins, so Monday should bring me closer to those ever-elusive ’70s, y’all!

Anyway, without further adieux (as our French-Canadian neighbors might say, if they were grammatically challenged, which they’re definitely NOT — je vous aime, le Canada!!), here are five pictures I took recently:

  1. 1 - Art Journal

    On the first of the month, I decided to start ‘art journaling’ again. I’ve done it before, most recently 2015-2016. I ran out of ideas, and steam. However, after we lost Princess, I decided to go back to it, and just keep it simple and cheerful — so far, so good!

  2. 2 - First ever bike tire

    I’ve also taken up — ta-da! — bicycle repair! Well, at least the basics. I’m practicing on a super-old bike that was rusting away in our back yard. Yesterday I decided it was time to learn to change the tires — and I did! Here’s my very first ever replaced bike tire!

  3. 4 - Finished Bike.jpg

    Habemus bike, with both tires properly installed, mounted & pumped up, and a decent-looking seat as well! Looks really good with all those rays of sun pouring over it, huh? Still needs a lot of work, but it’s definitely looking better than it’s looked for, oh, the past decade!

  4. 5 - Fire.jpg

    Speaking of sad things, this is the view of one of the Southern California wildfires currently disrupting people’s lives. This is the Woolsey Fire, and if you follow that link, there’s some suggestions of how to help those affected.

  5. 1 - Grumpy Pumpkins.jpg

    Saw these in front of a neighbor’s house on my walk this morning. Aren’t these the saddest pumpkins you’ve ever seen? Don’t you just wish you could pick them up, pat them on the head and say, “There, there, it’s gonna be OK”? No? Me neither. Ick.

That’s it, a visual treat for your Friday Five. Hope your weekend goes well, and see you Monday for the weigh-in!

monday

Friday Five: A little late and a little short!

Hmm, I keep calling these posts the “Friday Five,” even though, from time to time, I can’t come up with five things. Wonder why?

charlie.jpeg

Yeah, but as Homer Simpson once said, “Hope springs internal,” so I’ll keep giving it the ol’ college try!

homer.jpg

Anyway, without actually getting into the numbers game, I did a lot of walking and BIKING this week! I’m particularly proud of the latter because I’ve been letting my poor ol’ cruiser languish in the garage for months, not even taking it out to wipe off the spiders.

But last week I decided it was time, so I’ve been puttering around the Valley (or at least my part of it) and getting slightly better at dodging traffic, not to mention running errands — groceries, post office, etc.

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So it’s been a productive week all around, and I’m looking forward to more bike/walk adventures in the near future (though preferably not at the same time)!

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That’s it — I guess the Friday Five will just be five memes, loosely connected by the fact that they’re on my page! Oh well, I’ll be back Monday with a weigh-in — a good one this time, I hope! Have a great weekend (and try to get outdoors, if you can)!

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Friday Five: Now we’re cookin’ with gas (and Spam)!

Happy Friday, everyone, and BOY, have I got a busy day ahead of me! I’m doing a LOT of cooking for two big events this weekend. First, tomorrow (Saturday), Mr. 50by60’s side of the family will be getting together to celebrate a bunch of birthdays.

I should explain that Mr. 50by60 is one of SEVEN brothers!

seven.jpg

So naturally, his mom feels it’s over her pay grade to remember all their birthdays. She likes to just get ’em all over with at once, and I can’t say I blame her! Anyway, MY mom gave me her patented recipe for “Spam loaf,” so that’ll be my contribution to the mix, sort of from one mother-in-law to another.

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Second, we’ve got ANOTHER big church potluck on Sunday! And those of you who know me and/or who’ve read this blog before know that means only one thing:

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So here ya go, for this week’s Friday Five: four recipes I’m gonna make today, plus one variation you might want to try – enjoy!

  1. Mom’s Spam Loaf!
    spam.png
  2. Aunt Chrissy’s Key Lime Pie! It’s the best, trust me!!
    mmm key.jpg
  3. And you might want to try this little variation on #2: Orange Pie. I made it a couple of years ago and it turned out pretty good. Basically, it’s EXACTLY the same recipe as my Key Lime Pie, except you MUST add sugar, like maybe half a cup per pie. Also, taste the mixture before you bake it, ’cause fresh unsweetened oranges are almost as tart as lemons, in case you hadn’t noticed.
    orange
  4. Key Lime Pie (low calorie)
    I’ve actually seen a few different versions of this, but the main difference seems to be that different sites recommend specific brands for the pie crust, the yogurt, or the gelatin. However, the BASIC recipe is the same. This Weight Watchers version from geniuskitchen.com is as simple as it gets:

  5. Aunt Chrissy’s Parmesan Crisps — mmm good!
    parmesan.jpgmmm

And there you go, five more or less great recipes you can try — and save!

try n save.jpg

Let me know if you make any of these yourself, and send me a picture — I’ll put it in a future post!

Thanks, everyone! Hope YOUR weekend has some family, food, and/or fun! See you Monday for the post-potluck weigh-in!

potluck leftovers.jpg