Valentine’s Day Lore & Trivia

by Christine on February 14th, 2011

filed under General Information

Lady Godiva

As you scarf down your chocolates this Valentine’s Day, remember where the name Godiva comes from. Lady Godiva (1040-1080) was a noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry, England, in order to convince her husband to recant the high taxes he imposed on his tenants.  After repeatedly asking her husband for leniency, he finally agreed to remit the tolls if she would “strip naked and ride through the streets of town.”  She did so, and the people of the village loved her so much that they shut their windows and refused to look at her as she passed….or at least, everyone in town did except for famous Peeping Tom, who was struck blind as she passed.

Godiva Chocolates selected the namesake because of her “legendary exploit that made her name synonymous with grace, nobility, and flair.” Now, if you eat that delicious Godiva Chocolate, will you look as good as Lady G riding naked?

Valentine’s Day Lore: Birds

Did you know that St. Valentine’s Day is also known as the day that birds start mating? This lore is started by Geoffrey Chaucer’s poen “The Parlement of Foules” (one of my favorite poems).  This poem is the first real reference that St. Valentine’s Day was a special day for lovers. In the poem, birds compete for each other’s love, and the conversation of the types of love are true even today. The baser, lower birds engage in carnal acts of love, while the noble and refined eagles (higher on the bird-food-chain) believe in courtly love (which is noble, chivalrous, spiritual love).  If you really want to get your English geek on, give this poem a try. After all, nobody gets really raunchy and dirty like Chaucer (except, perhaps, for Boccaccio!)

Valentine’s Day Stats

180 million

The number of V-day cards exchanged. It’s only the 2nd most popular greeting card holiday—Xmas is number one.

$14.4 billion

The total value of shipments in 2007 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products. The first box of chocolates was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868. And we like more than just chocolate–80 billion candy hearts were made in 2009.

$403 million

Value of cut flowers in 2008. Men account for 73% of Valentine’s Day flower sales.


There are 120 single men in their 20’s for every 100 single women of the same ages

“Wearing your heart on your sleeve”

It’s more than just a phrase. In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names to see who their Valentine would be. They would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for one week so that everyone would know their supposed true feelings.


Refuse to Regain

by Christine on February 14th, 2011

filed under General Information

If there are any of you who are in maintenance mode (or getting close to it) I encourage you to check out the blog “Refuse to Regain.”

More later!


How many calories do you burn skiing?

by Christine on February 12th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

2,400 calories apparently.

5 hours of skiing, 125 pound woman.

Sweet!  Today we went to Gore mountain in the Adirondacks. We have a friend that is on ski patrol there, and he got us free lift tickets! Plus, Hubby is a phenomenal skiier, and an amazing teacher.  This was only the second–yes, count it SECOND–time skiing, ever! And at the end of the day I went down the blue hill, twice. Wahoo!

Food intake February 11, 2011

8 a.m.: Coffee with cream and sugar (168)
10 a.m.: Crackers and peanut butter (150)
1 p.m.: French Onion Soup (100) and a side salad (50)
6 p.m.: Soup (75)
9 p.m.: Coffee (168)
Total calories: 711

Food intake February 12, 2011 (so far)

6 a.m.: Coffee with cream and sugar (168), half a egg & cheese wrap (90)
11a.m.: Clam chowder soup (200), diet coke
5 p.m.: Coffee (168) and half a donut (110)

Total calories: 736 — but I still have to eat dinner! I’m starving!

Here’s a picture of me skiing last year (my first and only other time I’ve skied). Apparently I was wearing a Size XL pant…I had to buy Size Small this year! Amazing what one year makes! I’m about 60 pounds thinner than this time last year!


Blog Links, Chin-ups, and Food Journaling

by Christine on February 11th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

Good morning Revolutionists!

First, I want to shout out to some bloggers that are new to me! Do you already know these wonderful people?

Chubby McGhee
She weighs where I started off on my weight loss journey…let’s see how far she can go! I know she’s got the determination and motivation to achieve her goals!

Leah’s New Ending
A wife and mother of three kids…she understands the ups and downs of weight loss, but she has her eyes on the long-term prize!

The Heavy Man’s Diary
I love that he still posts his food intake every day. How many of us are too cowardly to live up to the public posting of food every day?

Chin-ups: Can you do one?

Hubby started his P90X training yesterday. I hope he can stick with it, but I know that it will be a real challenge just because we are so busy socially. I did not participate in the at-home workout and instead went to bed. When I woke up, there was a new chinup device attached to the doorway of our spare bedroom. Hmm! I grabbed a chair and using a little one-footed help, did 10 assisted chinups.

I’ve always, always wanted to be able to do chinups. To me, it seems like such a perfect expression of upper-arm strength! And I’ve decided I’m going to embark on a little self-challenge myself: I’m going to be able to do at least five chinups. We’ll leave that chinup bar in the doorway, and I’ll just jump up and do a few chinups in the morning and evening. I can even do it wearing my work-clothes—skirt and heels and everything!  That would be really neat to be able to do a few unassisted chinups someday.

Foodwise, things have been okay. I’ve managed to get through my week of work-lunches without too much trouble. I have yet another work luncheon today, and I think we’re going to an Italian restaurant. I’ll look for soup, salad, or some kind of fish dish. No pasta for me!

Food Journaling

Can I stress once again the importance of food journaling?  I know most of you that start off weight-loss blogging post your food intake, but within a few weeks almost everyone stops doing this. Maybe you stop because you feel it’s boring on the blog. Maybe you stop because you have one day when you slip up and are ashamed of your intake. Maybe you just forget.  But can I stress once again how important it is to track every morsel of food you consume, each and every day? Food journaling helps keep you on track, makes you acutely aware of how many calories are in what you eat, holds you accountable for your food, and also helps draw you a big picture of how your daily actions affect your long-term goals.  If you are trying to lose weight and have stopped journaling your food every day, I beg you to re-consider.

As for me, I have been lax in journaling my food since I reached my goal weight. So far this has been okay for me—I haven’t really gained any weight, so that’s good—but I want to “spot-check” my intake every now and then. I’m hardly the poster child for healthy eating, especially with my lack of vegetables, but it’s an honest portrayal. Here we go:

Intake February 10, 2011

8 a.m.: 1 medium Dunkin Donuts coffee with cream and sugar (168)
(no mid-morning snack or breakfast! That’s very bad of me!)
1 p.m.: Work luncheon at restaurant. French onion soup (broth & cheese; no bread) (150ish) and a side salad with a little cucumber wasabi dressing (70), 1 beer (140)
5 p.m. A little leftover salmon (40) and cheese tortellini (40)
7 p.m. French onion soup (broth & cheese, no bread) (150ish) and 1 beer (140)
10 p.m. I small sugar-free chocolate (40)

Total calories: 938

That’s pretty much right where I want to be in “weight maintenance” mode.

Intake February 9, 2011

8 a.m.: 1 medium Dunkin Donuts coffee with cream and sugar (168)
10 a.m.: Cheerios (55) and skim milk (90)
Noon: Work luncheon at restaurant. Diet coke. Clam chowders soup (no potatoes) (280)
3 p.m.: Some M&Ms, about 1 handful worth (120)
5 p.m.: Cheese & Crackers (150) and 1 beer (140)
7 p.m.: Dinner at restaurant. Grilled salmon, about 3 oz  (130) and tortellini (60) and 1 glass red wine (127)
9 p.m.: 1 beer (140)

Total Calories: 1310

A little higher than I would like. The alcohol adds up. I didn’t even know that I was high on this day until I just journaled this!!


I’m SO ready for spring!

by Christine on February 8th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

It’s snowing again, big wet heavy snowflakes.  I’ve always loved winter, but with a new body, I have a whole new relationship with the cold. I remember that for years I didn’t even own a winter coat, and I certainly didn’t understand why people complained about the cold. Now, I get it! It’s not that the cold is so horrible, it’s the fact that the chill takes forever to get out of your bones.  If you get cold and then warm up, you might still be chilled for hours. Annoying.

That being said, I’m looking forward to amping up my winter activities in the next few weeks! Wednesday I am going to snow shoeing with a friend. Saturday I am going downhill skiing. Next weekend I am going to Lake Placid with girlfriends to go snowshoeing/X-country skiing around Mirror Lake. I can’t wait! I suppose I should make a new snowman in the front yard, too — heavens knows we have enough snow on the ground!

Tonight we are having Movie Night at our house again. Tonight it’s “Kid’s Night” and we are showing “How to Train Your Dragon.”  I’m not sure what I should pick up to eat. I’m having a conundrum! I’m sick to death of ordering pizza because I don’t eat pizza, and none of the places around here will sell salads.  I could order wings, but I don’t eat those either.  Part of the problem is that I don’t know for sure how many people are coming over (at least 6 and maybe 12?), AND my husband is the pickiest eater on the planet. It’s very frustrating! I could order a sub platter from Subway, but hubby doesn’t eat that.  I could order a salad from Paneras or Chilis but that might night feed everyone coming over. In a lot of ways Pizzas are a lot more practical, but I’m sick of ordering pizza because I don’t eat it, so I consequently end up eating junk for dinner. Oh, what to do what to do….

Weight is still up a pound.  I notice I can eat a little more than I should be able to, and I’m wondering if it might be time to think about a teeny tiny little fill in my band…

Before and after pictures!

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