Winter Finally Arrived

It’s taken a few extra weeks, but winter made an appearance yesterday and today.  We had snow flurries all day yesterday, which amounted to about half an inch at home.  Today was bitterly cold.  Didn’t take me long to hit my slovenly winter stride.  I had a challenging work day yesterday and got home to the woodstove cranking, and asked Mr. if it was OK to sit in front of the TV and binge watch something.  Which is what we did and it seemed very theraputic.  Tonite I had my session with my trainer and she kicked my butt with kettlebells.  You can burn up to 1200 calories per hour with kettlebells.  I lasted about 20 minutes before I yelled Uncle and we started on other exercises.

I did ski for an hour over the New Year Holiday.  There is a dearth of snow in Northern New England, and not much opportunity to make snow with the warm temperatures recently.  But there were a couple trails open at our mountain and Mr. and I ventured out early and got 4 runs in before it got crazy busy and we were concerned about colliding with someone on our first day out.  There will be many more days this winter to ski.  But I will say that my legs felt very strong for the first day out.  I can thank my trainer for that.  We do a lot of quad work and while I’m still Phat, she says my legs are very strong.  And they feel strong and tight.  Not so much my core.  Sigh.  Someday.

I hope you all have a great start to 2016.  I am working on some health improvements and I will talk about them in a future post when I have more information  – the RA is fine, but I need to assess some of the meds and the side effects.  For now, I’m busy planning a busy upcoming weekend with my family celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday.  Hard to believe she has reached that milestone.  But also feel fortunate to have two parents that are healthy, mobile and with it.  I know that can change quickly so we appreciate it while we can.

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St. Patty’s Day

It’s St. Patty’s day and it’s a low key day here.  No big celebrations as we just returned Friday night from a 2 week vacation to Switzerland.  What a fabulous time we had – it’s a beautiful country and I love visiting.  This is the view from the balcony of our hotel in Wengen which is in the Jungfrau Region.

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Beautiful isn’t it?  We extended our stay for 2 days after our group left to visit with a old high school friend of mine who has lived in Switzerland for about 30 years.  She went as an au pair years ago, stayed when she met her husband and has raised her family there.  We have kept in touch and visited either there or in the States when we could.

What I took home from my visit was the total quality of life in Switzerland.  They emphasize family time and meal time far more than we do.  They exercise – it’s part of their daily life – walking, biking and hiking.  While we were skiing, there were many that were hiking the walking trails aside the ski slopes.  They have these wonderful meals – fresh produce, meats and pastas, with beer and wine as well.  And dessert!  Perfectly portioned and with the exercise that they include in their day – they are almost all fit.

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Drive thru’s don’t exist.  Coffee in paper cups is rare, although with the proliferation of Starbucks, that is starting to change.  However, the Swiss relish their coffee and they take the time to sit and have a cup and relax with friends or coworkers.  They take 60-90 minutes for lunch and leave their office.  This gives them a renewed work ethic when they come back for the afternoon.  And don’t get me wrong – they appear to work very hard. There is no slacking off here.

It all just stacks up to a charmed life.  Even our friends that we visited with said that they are blessed and have a terrific lifestyle.  I sure would love to try to emulate their way of life and Mr. Phat and I both want to try to implement one of two of their habits into our lives.  I want to include more daily exercise, more fresh fruits and vegetables and perfectly proportioned meals.

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See you on the slopes!!

Kicking my Butt!!

This is what I'm going for

I found this photo on my old desktop.  This is from Summer of 2006, shortly after I started working with a personal trainer.  She was working me hard and it showed.  Prior to this I was a bit more doughy and I would never have worn that shirt.  I wouldn’t put it on now, either.  I worked with my trainer from Spring 2006, until February 2007 when I had a bad ski accident.  Late summer I started back with the trainer until the fall when the gym we went to closed.  I promised that I would continue my workouts, but life got in the way.  The ski accident really knocked me for a loop – broke my left shoulder and ankle and felt the pain for 6 months.  In turn, my Rheumatoid Arthritis went into full flare, and I started on prednisone.  Falling in love with a foodie was terrific but it was the third side of a bad triangle.  Let’s not talk about a stressful job and the ex trying to get more money from divorce court.  I can really blame nobody but me.  I’m the one that overate, overdrank and underexercised.

Until now!!  My new trainer Cathy, at Better Bodies Functional Fitness has been kicking my ASS!! There is no other word for it.  I saw her Friday and will still feeling the twinges in my quads today when I went back for another whoopin’.  And that’s exactly what I got!!  She had me doing circuits – kettlebells, rubber bands, running laps around cones in the parking lot, and working with ropes. Oh, and did I mention the Bosu?  OUCH!!  Cathy has made me understand that some of the pain, I think I have is in my mind.  She’s made me understand that I can do more than I think I can – I haven’t run in about 7 years when I played some tennis.  And it really didn’t hurt.  It felt weird, but it didn’t hurt.

She says that fitness is about movement – it’s not all about muscles – there is so much more to it.  So she’s going to work on movement, and my core and help me have better balance.  Something I could definitely use.

I’m looking forward to the next whooping – perhaps next year.  But in the meantime, I wish Cathy good luck with her hip surgery this week and a quick recovery so that she can come back and whip my butt on a weekly basis and see this through so I look like the photo above.  Right – 6 years younger!!!

Winter Weekends

This is what you’ll find me doing most winter weekends.  This photo is from a ski trip to France last year. Most weekends I’m not quite up so high on the slopes in New England.

I promised to report on my weight.  I wasn’t totally done in by my overindulgent weekend because I did lose half a pound.  I can’t complain about that – I had dinner out Monday and Tuesday as well.  I did make it to the gym twice this week and walked on the other days.

The frustrating part is that Mr. Phat went to the doctor on Thursday and was proud to report that he’s lost 7 pounds.  He cut out most of his soda and some of his late night sweets and loses 7 pounds. Grrrrrrrrr.

Life just doesn’t always seem fair, does it?

New Years Eve Eve

Naturally the end of the year brings with it some assessment of the past year and some hope for the upcoming year.  This is one of the first years in a long time where I didn’t feel  happy to have the year end.  The past decade had many years where I couldn’t wait to end the year and start anew.  2011 was pretty OK in my book.  I think it was a time of acceptance regarding work and business.  And a bit more success than the past few years and 2012 will be even better.  My personal life is solid and in a great place.  Better than it’s probably been in my entire adult life. Maybe turning 50 isn’t a bad thing?  Health was also better than previous years.  I seem to have a good routine with my medications for RA and have a good awareness when I’m out of balance.  Weight?  Well, it’s probably the only area that I can whine about.    But 2011 was good because I decided to tackle it head on and got a head start on what 2012 will be like.  After this weekend, it’s back to tracking everything I eat, the gym twice a week, cardio at home 1 – 2 times per week and skiing 2 times a week.  I’m going to be a bit stricter on myself than I’ve been since starting this blog with some faster results.  J at 52 weeks, 52 pounds https://52weeks52pounds.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/prepping-for-the-new-year-resolutions-big-bang-kaizen/ posted a great read on applying the Kaizen business process to weight loss.  Basically the concept focuses on continued improvement. He mentions that while most of his weight loss occurred in the past 6 months, his success was in part due to the groundwork he laid in the previous 18 months.   I like the concept of kaizen and it’s 5 primary elements:

  • Teamwork
  • Personal discipline
  • Improved morale
  • Quality circles
  • Suggestions for improvement
I think of all of my readers as part of my team.  I’m responsible for personal discipline; when everyone comments that helps morale and thru wordpress.com and other places, I’ve developed a quality circle of blogging friends.   Lastly, suggestions are always welcome and encouraged.
So, c’mon 2012.  Welcome.  The Year of the Dragon in China.  My research says that the Dragon is a creature of myth and legend.  In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represents an emperor and  power. Today, it  is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness.   May the celestial Dragon bring great good luck to everyone.
May 2012 be one of success and happiness for all of us.

Keeping it Real

OK, I think I stole this expression from one of my other phat bloggers, but isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?   I’m going to try to just keep it real for the next 2 weeks and not stress too much with the eating and not be a glutton either.

It was a very social week.  I  exercised Monday and did the gym on Tuesday.  Wednesday night was Women’s Wine Dinner – 4 mini courses with 4 half-ish glasses of wine.  Thursday night was Mr. Phat’s birthday and that always involves an event and fine dining somewhere.  His daughter is always part of the event.  Oh wait, maybe it’s their event and they allow me to join them. It’s been a long standing event for the two of them to make a big deal of his birthday.  We ate at Al Forno restaurant (www.alforno.com) in Providence – a very successful place that’s got a little funk to it.  The owners are well known restauranteurs having perfected wood grille cooking before most others were doing it in this country.  Our meal was delicious, especially the Castagnaccio – Italian Chestnut Cake.  OK, the three of us split the piece of cake.

Last night Mr. Phat and I shared a whole pizza at the local pizza pub.  I was starving.  So my last three nights have not been Weight Watchers friendly.  I’m not going to stress about it right now. I want to try to keep it real, maintain and start again with gusto on my dieting after New Year’s Day.  My goal is to fit into my lime green Spyder ski jacket for our trip to Switzerland in March.  I’m thinking 15 pounds ought to do it.  20 if I want it to fit at the end of 10 days in Switzerland;)

Speaking of skiing, we did get over the the mountain this morning for 4 runs.  There are only 2 runs open at this point and so once ski school starts at 9:30am, you take your life in your hands.  We got out there at 8:30 and came in by 9:45, feeling muscles we’ve not felt since April!!!  Hopefully we can do the same thing tomorrow morning and then drive south and be in front of the TV for Patriots vs. Broncos.

Keeping it real during the holiday season!!

Leigh

Hump Day!!!

No, I didn’t take the photo.  I stole it from Facebook where my boyfriend had posted it on my wall.  It’s lovely.  Serene.  2 chairs holding out for the last few warm sunshiny days. Lately, life has been anything but serene and that has gotten in the way of blogging.  And probably some of my exercise.  But I am proud of how I have managed to keep my food and alcohol binges in check.  We went away this past weekend to Vermont and I didn’t eat much on Friday, had an apple for breakfast on Saturday while watching Man V Food Nation and so when we went out for lunch, I did have a reuben sandwich.  I was craving one.  I skipped the french fries and cheated with a couple of my man’s fries.  I also had 2 pieces of pizza for dinner.  But for a weekend away with little food options, I was satisfied.  Before we left on Friday, I weighed in and had lost .4 of a pound.  I can’t complain with that after a long weekend in Chicago and then a few days of only a little activity.  The point is that the scale is slowly moving down. My clothes are feeling better, and I’ve got a few items that I can wear now that I couldn’t earlier this summer.  I don’t seem to want to snack any longer.  I used to be ravenous when I got home from work, but that seems to have subsided – I have some water and a piece of fruit if I am hungry.  During the day, I am eating much less, which helps me so much.  As a matter of example, I didn’t go to the office today as we had a family luncheon thingy to go to.  My brother in law owns a restaurant.  I had a wrap sandwich with a cucumber side.  And I was full when we finished. Like the “I’m tired and need a nap” full.  Prior to dieting, I would have still been hungry.

For the next 4 weeks, I have to ramp up the exercise and gym time to continue my prep for ski season and take a few more pounds off before we head into the holiday season where I will hope to maintain for the 5 week period.  Twice a week on the machine at the gym is a must, and at least 1 zumba class per week.  With the days getting shorter, I feel compelled to take the dog for a long walk after work as the time to do that will end at the end of this month.  It’s good for the both of us.

Here’s Abbie – it’s her birthday tomorrow.  She will be 7, or 49 in dog years – almost as old as her mother!!! She loves to walk and we’ve become great walking buddies starting four years ago when I had a bad ski accident and then started rehabbing myself with short walks.  Since then we’ve moved up to long walks and she actually does some hiking with my Dad.

Keep on trucking all!!!