Orchestra & Working Weekend

by Christine on August 15th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Good morning Revolutionists! I hope you all had a good weekend. What did you all do over the weekend? Hopefully something fun!

My weekend was filled with work, work, work. I worked my butt off on household chores! The bad part is that I didn’t get as much fun-time in as I would have liked, but the good news is that I got a lot of things done that sorely needed to get done.

Friday I did a ton of yard work: majorly trimming the shrubberies and weeding, primarily. I hauled six huge tarp-fulls of debris away from my work areas. It was a LOT of work! It involved a lot of over-my-head pruning (hello triceps muscles!) and bending over, up-and-down work. It took about 4 hours and whew, I was exhausted!  Afterwards I met a friend for dinner.

Saturday was another big work day. I mowed the lawn with the push-mower (half an acre), which took me 4 fill-ups of gas, maybe 2 hours worth of work?  I trimmed the grass under our little adolescent trees. I did about 6 loads of laundry and ran some much-needed errands.  That evening I went to SPAC, which is an outdoor amphitheater, to see the last night of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra play their Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture and other Tchaikovsky hits. I think the picture of me from that night is hilarious! Compare this with a mere 3 years ago, when I went to another outdoor orchestral event:

tanglewood john williams spac orchestra

What a difference 100 pounds make! (And oh my, look at those bags under my eyes!)

I actually have a friend that plays in the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, but he wasn’t playing that night: he was in D.C. with my husband playing in a card tournament!  Still, it was fun to go to the concert even without Friend there.

Sunday was more work.  We have an indoor hot-tub room that we use during the winter. In the summer I move all the plants onto our screened-in porch and we shut the hot tub down. In the fall we move all the plants back into the room and open the hot tub back up.  Well, it was “Fall Cleaning” time, and I spent about 4 hours scrubbing the floor down there. Oh, I tossed four buckets of BLACK water! Where does the dirt come from?? That was hard work, scrubbing the floor with a stiff-bristled brush.  After 2 hours, I took a short walk around the block to stretch my legs. I also did another 2 loads of laundry. Afterwards, even though I was dead tired, I went to the gym for an hour. It was weight-training for my legs, plus jogging on the treadmill. Man, was I tired! But I didn’t stop there. I put a movie on (5th Element was on Syfy) and hand-sewed a satin Christmas bag for our advent calendar ornaments. It turned out cute–I’ll have to remember to take a picture at some point.

According to HealthStatus.com, an individual my size burns 172 calories/hour doing housework. I”m sure that varies greatly depending on what kind of housework! It also says you burn 250 calories/hour mowing with a push mower. If that’s true, then I burned well over  1000 calories with my housework this weekend.

That’s a lot of housework-related-exercise that I did this weekend! The good news is that I can confidently say that I’m rocking out my 2-week XN Challenge!! I’ve successfully completed 10 out of my 11 days of exercise; I only have three more days to go!

Weight is still the same: 131.2 today. My size 2 pants don’t seem to fit, and my Size 6s are baggy on me. Must mean that I’m in the 4-range. Why don’t they make clothing sizes in half sizes? I bet a 4.5 would be just perfect!

Have a great week everyone!


XN Challenge update

by Christine on August 8th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

Four days, and so far it’s been mostly a success.

Day 1: Walked with the hubby, so that was a success.

Day 2: Golfed for work.

Day 3: Fail. No excuse.

Day 4: Went to the gym with hubby. Success.

Well, that’s three out of four days of successes, which is good I guess.

It was pretty much a topsy-turvey weekend for me. Not all good; not all bad. I’m working on moving past shitty days  and embracing Joyful living, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. It’s hard, hard, hard. Weekends like this make me wish that I belonged to some kind of religious community (preferably Buddhist, I think). Not one that preaches that some kind of diety in the sky will swoop down and make everything alright, but one that teaches how to find inner peace and joy within your own mind.  Such a way of living would probably help with the weight loss conundrum as well.

The plan this week is to continue moving forwards with the XN Exercise Challenge and try to re-instill some healthy workout habits into my lifestyle. That’s going to involve re-prioritizing other events in my life to fit exercise in, but I think it will be healthy and good. I’m looking forward to it.

Here’s something that happened last night that might help other banders or weight-loss-seekers who find themselves in a similar situation. Hubby and I were out walking last night with our neighbor friends, and they invited us over for pizza at their house. We wanted to socialize, but I didn’t want the pizza (can’t do it with the band, and it’s not healthy for weight loss anyway). We agreed, but I just brought over my own food (a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup) that I heated up at their house. Was it awkward? Kind of, but nobody was offended and I didn’t end up going to bed feeling guilty that I ate crappy food for dinner.

Things I am grateful and joyful about today:

My wonderful husband. A healthy family. A job with a paycheck. My car maybe getting fixed, and cash in my wallet to pay for the repairs.


XN CHALLENGE: 2-Week Exercise Plan

by Christine on August 4th, 2011

filed under Exercise

I have been sitting here feeling somewhat sorry for myself. Do you ever read through some of your fellow bloggers’ posts, see how amazing they are doing going to the gym, all the calories they are burning and the weight they are losing?

And you look at yourself and you notice that you don’t go to the gym. And aren’t losing the weight. But you really really want to.

Well, yeah, that’s kind of been me for the last week or two.  I’m being fucking lazy, you guys. So it’s time to cement some workout time. That means PUTTING IT ON THE OFFICIAL SCHEDULE.  Cuz that’s the way I rumble. If it’s on the schedule, I do it. If it’s not on the schedule, I won’t remember or will give 10001 excuses why I won’t work out. Bullhonkey!

So I’m setting out a 2-week exercise plan for me. The goal is not to lose weight really; my goal right now is to get into the beginning of a routine.  So don’t mock the lack of actual cardio. it’s not my goal. Movement is the goal. Every day. Period.

Thursday the 4th
Going to SPAC to the orchestra. Plan to get there early and get a few miles in around the golf course before going into the concert venue.

Friday the 5th
Golfing for work. Easy to plan this one!

Saturday the 6th
Gym in the morning, while hubby is off playing cards.

Sunday the 7th
Gym in the morning.
Hopefully something more active and fun in the afternoon, like canoeing or roller blading.

Monday the 8th
Rollerblading or walking at lunchtime. On the schedule.

Tuesday the 9th
I wan to try a walk-in yoga class after work this day. Hopefully I like the teacher. I’ve been missing yoga for a while now.  I’m soooo sad my old center went out of business.

Wednesday the 10th
Out with a friend after work.  Bicycle or go to the gym together. I’m lucky that a lot of my friends are agreeable to doing fun physical activities, not just eating or drinking!

Thursday the 11th (ONE WEEK DOWN)
Tricky day. Another orchestra event. Or pub trivia. This might actually require waking up early to go to the gym. I’m also putting rollerblading down at lunchtime on the official schedule.

Friday the 12th
Oh no. Another day up in the air. I don’t know what’s on tap after work, so I better schedule gym time in the morning.

Saturday the 13th
Either gym in the morning, or a fun activity during the day, such as golfing or hiking. Hopefully hiking!

Sunday the 14th
Same thing as Saturday. I’ll do the gym in the morning if I have to, but hopefully we can go hiking or biking or something.

Monday the 15th
Gym after work. Scheduled. On the calendar.

Tuesday the 16th
Gym after work. Scheduled. On calendar.

Wednesday the 17th (LAST DAY OF 2-WEEK CHALLENGE)
Out with a friend again. Hopefully go biking or golfing!

So there you have it! Two full weeks, actually planned out ahead of time, scheduled on the calendar, and made a priority in my life. The goal is to move and to create a better habit of exercising regularly. I’ll check in to verify that I’m adhering to the goal!


Strawberry Picking, Saratoga Walking, & Weight Gaining

by Christine on June 27th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists! It’s been a busy weekend here with me, as usual. Here’s a little sampling of the goings-on this morning:

Strawberry Picking

Yesterday a friend and I meant to go hiking in the Berkshires, but it was a little rainy on the way there, so we stopped at a farm and went strawberry picking instead!  Unfortuntely the weather totally cleared up and we SHOULD have gone hiking, but ah well, you can’t predict these things!

The rest of the weekend was just as fun. Friday I wandered off on my own. I went to Paneras for a salad for dinner, then went to the mall and bought a cute skirt on sale.  On Saturday we went to the gym (I had a great arm-weight workout!) and in the evening we went to a friend’s house for a housewarming party. I had  a hot dog (no bun) while I was there and a beer or two. Yesterday was strawberry picking + dinner at home (salad with grilled chicken).

Saratoga Walking Tour

This is a little belated, but last weekend we went on a walking tour of Saratoga Springs, as a free event with the Saratoga History Museum.  What a great event, and what a great day! The guides were funny and informative. The group were very friendly. And we even got into the usually-locked Gideon Putnam burial ground, which was cool for me since I’m kind of a local-history-phile.  Since then I’ve reached out the history museum to see if there is any way I can help to volunteer with the organization, and I’ve got a meeting with them on Thursday.

Weight Gaining!

Oh dear. After 6 months of maintaining my weight loss, the pounds and EXPLODING back on! Not creeping…exploding! We’re talking 10 pounds in the matter of two weeks people. What’s the culprit? The big one is the fact that I’m on a new birth control system, and boy it’s like my hormones were zapped with electro-shock therapy!!  I’m distressed utterly about the very sudden weight gain. When I have my surgery next week I am going to ask for a big fill to see if I can counteract the weight by using the band, but I’m not sure. If the weight gain is due to hormones, then no amount of portion-controlling myself is going to counteract the effects. Oh dear.  I’m a little flustered and at a loss for what to do about this. I’m watching what I’m eating, I’m hitting the gym (like I did on Saturday), and I’m trying to make smart choices…not that that seems to matter at the moment.

But in better news….

My new optometrist told me this morning that my eyes look amazing one year after my laser eye surgery! Woohoo! Although it was somewhat of a traumatic surgery, the outcome has been fantastic!  (read about that here if you are considering laser eye surgery.)

Then my surgeon’s office called to say that my port re-attachment surgery next week was approved by insurance! Hooray! So we’re all good to go! I told my doc’s new assistant that I want to have a fill on the day of the surgery, so I only have one week to go until then. I hope my weight gain can take a break until then!

Just for my own records (I like to periodically keep myself in check) here is my food journal from the weekend. I was consistently losing weight when my calories were approx. 800 per day; I think 1000 calories was a good “maintenance” level. Keeping that in mind…


8 a.m.: Coffee (168)
Cheerios (80)
Skim milk (23)
10 a.m.: 1/4 of a tuna sandwich (150)
12:30 Select Harvest Soup (160)
7 p.m: Paneras You Pick Two with tomato soup and classic cafe salad (387), diet coke
Total Calories: 968


9 a.m. Coffee (90)
10:30 a.m. Cheerios (80) and skim milk (23)
11:30 a.m.: Select Harvest Soup (150)
4 pm: Coffee (168) and a donut (168)
7 pm: 2 hot dogs, plain, no bun (140?), 1 beer (100)
Total Calories: 1011


9 a.m.: Cheerios (80) and skim milk (23)
11 am: small bag of Doritos (150)
1:30 pm: 6 inch subway sandwich, only 1 bun, ham and turkey, veggies, vinegar, cheese (250)
3 pm: Wine tasting (100), strawberries (15)
5 pm: 1 Beer (150)
7 pm: Grilled chicken homemade (100), side salad homemade (30), water
9 pm: Skim milk (120)
Total calories: 1018

As you can see, my choices have been less than stellar and could use vast improvement. Furthermore, my calories need to be cut down by 10-20% as well (which would inevitably happen if I wasn’t drinking so many calories.)  That being said, I’m not eating so much that 10 pounds should have magically appeared overnight….sigh


Athlete motivation and inspiration!

by Christine on June 24th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

This week my husband told me about this woman, Babe Zaharias, who is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time.  Not just the greatest “woman athlete” (why does that always seem like less of an accomplishment than “male athlete?“) but the greatest athlete of all time….including men AND women.

And I was shocked that I had never even heard of this woman! So who is she and why was she so freaking amazing?

  • Babe Zaharias (1911-1956) was an immigrant from Norway.
  • Her nickname “Babe” references Babe Ruth (not from her looks). She was better than most men at baseball and could hit a ball further than most. She had a batting average of over .400.
  • She is widely known for her Olympic records in track and field.   This is amazing: in the 1932 AAU championship Zaharias competed in a track-and-field event as a one-woman team and single-handedly won the team championship with 30 points (the 2nd place team, which had 22 athletes, had only 22 points). That is AMAZING, people! She competed on the 1930s track and field team and won two gold and one silver medals. Women at that time were only allowed to enter three Olympic events at the time, but she broke four world records.
  • Babe is best known for her abilities as a golfer, a sport she didn’t even take up until her 20s. She won 17 straight amateur victories in 1947 (even Tiger Woods can’t claim that). She turned pro in 1948 and won 33 tournaments, including 10 majors and 3 US Opens.
  • She was an amazing basketball player and even won the National Women’s Amateur Athletic Union All-American forward for three years. She often scored 30 or more points per game.
  • In addition to all of the above, she was an expert diver, roller-skater, bowler, tennis player, boxer, volleyball player, swimming, and billiards player.
  • She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1953, and even after undergoing cancer surgery she made a comeback in 1954 and won the US Woman’s Open (golf) championship, just one month after surgery.
  • She was an award-winning seamstress and made a lot of the clothes she competed in.
  • She was a singer and harmonica player and had several records in circulation.

While she was celebrated as an amazing athlete during her day, there were many that refused to recognize her impact on the sports world.

“It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed at home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring,” said sportswriter Joe Williams.

I really think Babe Zaharias should be a household name, not just a name that is recognized among real sports afficionados.  That’s some pretty amazing stuff.  Just remember what this woman could do the next time you complain about doing a couple of situps or jogging at the gym!

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