Post-Road Trip, Pre-Lent Weigh-In

Good morning, everyone!

Meatfare Groundhog

Yes, that’s right — as I’ve occasionally mentioned in this blog before, I’m an Eastern Catholic (Byzantine, Ruthenian, Greek Catholic, or whatever). We’re simple folk with different ways, but we’re cool.

easternstress

Anyway, the main thing to know about us as it relates to this blog is that even though we’re Catholic, we follow the same basic traditions as the Eastern Orthodox. And yesterday was what we call “Meatfare,” or “Farewell, Meat!” (You militant vegans out there should appreciate that since it’s the total, polar opposite of “Meet your Meat.”)

meet meat

The idea is that instead of melodramatically going from feast (Mardi Gras) to famine (Ash Wednesday), we kinda slide into the whole fasting thing gently. This week, we give up meat. Next week, after Cheesefare Sunday, we give up … well … everything else, basically!

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That’s right — our Lent officially starts two days BEFORE your Ash Wednesday!

endora

Anyway, you can read more about the whole Meatfare/Cheesefare Sundays thing here, if you’re so inclined. Meanwhile, I suppose I should get on with the whole weigh-in thing.

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Oh … wait … did I mention I was on a road trip last week? So that might have affected my weight? I mean, I did put the words “Post-Road Trip” in the post title and all, so I probably should at least mention it, right?

get on with it

Oh, all right!! Today’s weigh-in is, like people who don’t spout their political opinions to everyone they meet, whether they want to hear them or not (*cough* EVERY DAMN PERSON AT THE OSCARS *cough*), surprisingly neutral!

180.0
vo de o

That’s right — it’s EXACTLY the same as it was Monday, before I hit the road for beautiful, sunny Phoenix, Arizona!

Phoenix rain walk 1

And I did indulge in some non-diet-type foods at the hotel’s fabulous Continental Breakfast Bar.

So I’m actually pretty impressed that I managed to keep the numbers from wildly skyrocketing. I did do some walking (in between the torrential storms) so that probably helped.

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Anyway, that’s it! And I’m going out on a limb AND going on record (hmm, can’t seem to find a meme that combines those two images! how bizarre) to renew my pledge, before God and everybody, to start counting my calories again. To be completely honest, I’d slacked off a bit on actually writing everything down, and keeping a running total in my head. Now that may work for you super math geniuses, but y’know, I’m not one of those.

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So it’s back to pen(cil) and paper for me! Let’s see how that works out. Meanwhile, have a GREAT first week of pre-Lent, everyone! See you Friday for a brand-new Five!

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Five ways to keep from gaining weight on that summer road trip!

Hey everyone — it’s that time of year! Everyone’s loading up the minivans and heading out onto the Great Open Road! But be careful — it’s way too easy to get all cramped up and sore in the car, when you’re strapped in and having nothing to do but watch the scenery. I get it — cows, man!

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Gary Larson, 1973

You really should try to move around when you can. Even if it’s a long way between rest areas, here are some great ways to stay flexible (and even burn a few calories), even on the longest road trip!

  1. Abdominal Contractions (in the car): Draw your belly button in toward your spine as you contract and hold your abdominals tight while you continue breathing. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, release, then repeat another one to two times. (Sparkpeople: Road Rules: 10 Exercises Designed for Long Trips)
  2. Calf and Toe Raises (in the car): Raise your heels as high as possible, putting your weight in the balls of your feet while contracting your calves, then rock back on your heels to stretch the shins. Repeat eight to 12 times to complete one set. Work towards completing three sets total. (Sparkpeople: Road Rules: 10 Exercises)
  3. Rock your oblique stomach muscles. Flex your lower and upper abdominal muscles and then raise your right hip as high as it will go. Hold for 3 seconds and then lower and repeat on the left side. Repeat 10 times on each side or until you feel muscle fatigue. (Wikihow, Exercise While Commuting)
  4. Do isometric exercises. Imagine you need to flex every single muscle in your body. Begin by wiggling your toes and then flex each muscle 1 at a time for 3 seconds, until you reach your arms, neck and top of your head. (Wikihow, Exercise While Commuting)
  5. Raise the roof: Sit tall, with your spine straight and your abdominals engaged. Extend both arms above your head and push your palms into the car ceiling. Hold for three seconds and release, bringing your arms back down to your sides. Repeat for one full minute. (Best Health Mag CA: The Best Workout for Road Trips)
  6. AND A BONUS TIP! Food: Of course, there are tons of convenience stores and fast food places along the road. I’ll do another post on those later, but for now, just remember that even in the wilderness of the junk food aisles, more and more places — even gas stations — have healthier options like string cheese, bananas, and even my beloved Buddig slices! Look around, you can always find *something* good. And when you can’t — well, just count the calories and do the best you can!
    buddig.jpg

And OF COURSE, whenever possible, get out of the car, st-r-e-t-ch, and WALK! You’ll burn some calories AND stay flexible, which is really important because if you’re like me and have arthritis, you’ll get all cramped up and sore in the car. That’s no way to spend a vacation from your problems, friends – that’s a way to invite MORE problems!

problems

Whatever you’re doing on YOUR vacation, enjoy it! See you Monday for one last weigh-in before the freeway!

(unused WordPress Daily Prompt: tide)

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in — Post-Holiday Edition!

Well, good morning, friends and neighbors! Don’t forget your booties, ’cause it’s COLD out there!
cold otu there

Anyway, let’s get to what you’ve been waiting for – the moment when I face the music and weigh in, following a holiday week of unbridled foodly exuberance! Ready? Here goes:

216.8
Wow … um … that’s actually great!!
scales

Not to mention completely unexpected. Especially when you consider that for the past four days, my conversation has consisted primarily of:

“Oh, all right, I’ll have some pie.”
“Sure, I’ll finish off that pumpkin pie.”
“Is that apple pie?”
“Oh, no, the alternator needs to be repaired? Rats. Well, let’s go sit in that diner while we wait. Maybe they’ll have some pie.”

pie

BUT — even though I definitely had more pie than originally planned, and even though I gave myself permission not to write down my calories on those days — guess what? In the back of my mind, I was still keeping a running total.

And even though I went past the daily calorie goal set for me by MyFitnessPal (1460), I didn’t go *much* past it. No giant bags of Doritos or boxes of Cheez-Its for the road trip out/back. (“We’ll get a box! That way we can make it last the whole trip!“)
cheezit

No “make your own waffles” plus two bowls of cereal plus a couple of those delicious chocolate muffins from the La Quinta’s continental breakfast room every morning.
good-hotel-what-bed-bugs-based-on-a-tweet-by-12317860

No, even though it wasn’t intentional, I kinda switched back to the good ol’ reliable “No S Diet” for the past four days. That’s where you only eat 3 meals a day, one plate per meal, and no snacks.
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“Hey, wait a minute!” I can hear you screaming, all the way from the other side of the screen. “Pie’s a snack! You cheated! You cheating cheater!! Unfollow!!!”

Calm down, pal. It’s OK. Want some ice? There, there. You’re quite right. Pie isn’t a snack. However, if you put it on your plate, along with the rest of your meal — guess what? It’s no longer a snack — it’s a vital part of your healthy meal!!
'Pumpkin pie isn't dessert. It's another vegetable.'

Well, technically, I think even the nice folks at the “No S” forums (a great place to get nutritional advice, btw) would argue, convincingly, that pie IS kinda sorta a snack-like food. Still, technically, if I had it on my plate and it filled up the plate … well, that’s the sort of argument that could go on for months, if not years.

Meanwhile, I’ve got my GIANT POST-HOLIDAY WEIGHT LOSS to throw in those pie-haters’ faces! Nyah nyah!! I ate pie and lost weight! How did YOU do, with your celery and your salad greens and your … your KALE??
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Whew! Sorry about that! Lost my temper there, for a moment. Nothing wrong with salad greens and kale! Celery is another matter — everyone knows celery is the Devil’s walking stick (and to get that all-important “pingback” in, two celery stalks could be the Devil’s knitting needles, I guess)  — but hey, if you like it, well, we’ll just agree to disagree.
devil

Anyway … hey, I lost weight over the holidays!! But I’ll tell you a secret — if I’d gained, it wouldn’t have surprised me a bit. Given the fact that we just spent four days in a row experiencing the joys of family togetherness and bliss, I’m amazed that I didn’t gain back every pound I’ve lost since last year.
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But now we’re home, and things can get back to (semi)normal. For a while, anyway. I understand there’s another holiday on the horizon.
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So — how about you? How’d YOU do over the long Thanksgiving weekend? Tell me, tell me —

What did you eat?
What did you do?
Where did you go?
What did you chew?

Inquiring minds want to know!

It’s Bloggerin’ Time! Starring Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in!

thing

Good morning, campers!
Rise and shine!
‘Cause once again
It’s Weekly Weigh-in Time!

Ready? Here we go!

221.8
great

Wow! So even with all my illicit road trip meals of KFC and restaurant mac ‘n cheese, I STILL managed to lose almost two pounds? Sweet!

It’s all about the calories, folks! Just keep countin’ ’em, every day, and let the laws of physics do their magic!

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That’s it for today! Hope you have a great Monday!

(Oh, and happy birthday to my fellow dieter, hubby Steve! I stopped by an antique mall in Phoenix and got him some non-digital scales, for those times when the digitals seem to be going nuts. These are the kind where you can just turn the wheel a little bit to calibrate – and perhaps cheat a little, if you’re having a bad day. He loves it!)

hubby steve

Even though, being powder blue and obviously made for a giggling teenage girl, it may be a little too fluffy for his big manly feet!

 

Friday Five: 4 Food Ideas for your Hotel Fridge, and One to Avoid

Hey, everyone – this’ll be my first Friday Five written entirely on my smartphone, with my travel-weary thumbs, so yay for me! I assume you’ll forgive the occasional, inevitable tpyo.

Anyhoo, if you do any travelling, and you’re counting calories, you might want to stock up on these. Each has less than 100 calories, and are really good for when you don’t feel like putting $5 worth of change in the hotel vending machine for some salty chips that have 400 calories per bag and aren’t good for you anyway.

1. Buddig Deli Slices – prepackaged turkey, beef, ham, or chicken. 9 slices per package, 90 calories per bag. Sure, they’re frowned on by health & wellness gurus, but since I’m not one of those, who cares?

2. String cheese. Lots of different brands to choose from here, some better than others. My personal fave is Frigos Light CheeseHeads. They’re only 50 calories each, and they’re super stringy, which makes them load of fun to nosh on while reading a good book by the pool.

3. Next in line is good ol’ reliable Yoplait Light Yogurt. There are lots of good flavors to choose from, and grocery stores often give great discounts if you buy in bulk. My personal fave flavors are Cherry, Vanilla, and Key Lime, mmm! Nice for breakfast in the room when you don’t feel like trudging down to the flimsy hotel continental breakfast.

4. Diet soda. Oh yeah, it’s bad for you. Pure poison. Dieters beware, am I right? Well, tough turkeys. I know I’m going to want some at some point, and again, why pay extra at the vending machine which doesn’t even work half the time? Buy your own and savor the illicit fizz.

5. Here’s one thing I DON’T recommend you stock up on, or at least don’t buy more than one: frozen dinners, like this:

Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice to keep a few on hand just in case you don’t feel like leaving the room at all? (Because who doesn’t love staying in hotel rooms for days on end, right?) Here’s the problem: where do you PUT ’em? Check out the fridge in my room:

Notice anything missing? Yeah, that’s right: no freezer compartment. And the thing is, I’ve stayed at this particular hotel about a thousand million times over the last 20 years, and you just can’t predict whether a fridge will have a freezer or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. It’s the luck of the draw.

And even when they do, it’s just that tiny little shelfie thing that you can’t fit more than one  frozen dinner into, and don’t even think about trying to shove any ice cream in there too. 

Let’s face it: Hotel fridges kinda suck. So take my advice, and stick to the little refrigerator-type snacks. They’ll keep better, and they’re better for you.

And the whole experience will just make you that much happier to get home, so it’s all good.

How about you? What are some of your favorite – or not-so-favorite – road foods?

(And today’s unused pingback is: Orange!)

Weekly Weigh-In, and I’m Off!

Rise and shine, campers! It’s Monday, and you know what that means!

mondayfirst

That’s right! Grab your coffee, and gaze in awe at my Rhymin’ Monday Weigh-in! Ready? Here ’tis:

223.0
Yippee, honeybee!
Let’s raise a cacophony!*

cacophony2

Gotta love those WordPress prompts!

(*Hey, YOU try finding a rhyme for “223” – there’s not as many as you’d think.)

So what are you up to this week? Me, I’m gettin’ ready to hit the road and visit some family members. I think I’m ready. Hang on.

archer drinking

Just a little more!

Yeah – I’m ready! OK, folks, that’s it for now. Maybe I’ll post a little more often this week, too! Well – we’ll see.

we'll see

Aww, not always!

Have a great week, and remember: rhymes are a GOOD thing! Yes they are!

dubious

Stop looking at me like that!