Sunday, January 14, 2018

Once Again

Here's to another round of committing to a better diet. I have good intentions, but I get rushed and lazy and that turns into poor nutrition, more salt than is good for me, and some extra pounds that have somehow settled in. Thanks to my heart attack history, I really need to be more careful and not let things get out of hand.

In a burst of enthusiasm, I read through a classic diet book, DASH Diet for Dummies (DASH = Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), cleared out some "bad" foods from the pantry, made a grocery run for healthier food choices, did some cooking, and am now ready for the week with a steely look in my eyes. I even made a food, exercise, stress relief, and sleep schedule to post on the refrigerator and track what I eat and do. I've never done that before, so perhaps I'm really serious this time.

It's not rocket science, of course: lots of fruits and vegetables, beans and dairy for protein, limited bread, and very limited snacks and sweets. Plus 30 minutes of activity a day minimum, reading and relaxation, and 7 or more hours of sleep per night. Same old, same old. The difference will be in tracking the amounts and facing up to the sneaky extras that have become habits, like that fancy flavored creamer in my coffee every morning and the occasional 2 a.m. deadline push.

Meanwhile, I've been going to the gym semi-regularly and working with a personal trainer. Having an appointment is very good for my accountability and the trainer is a delightful Canadian who keeps me well-motivated. Some very cool life-sized photos of Muhammad Ali don't hurt, either, with quotes like what he used to tell himself during training: "Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." 

The training sessions are rather expensive, but worth it. I can definitely tell I'm getting stronger, and because I have some kayaking and hiking trips planned for later this year, I need to make sure I'm in shape.

After the first training session, I was so sore for several days that I could barely move. Now it's become something of a challenge whether I will be sore or not. For the past few weeks I've worked hard but haven't been sore. So this last time we really put the hammer down, almost exclusively on weights for my arms. It felt good to push myself.

Two days later, it hurt to raise my arms to brush my hair, and to take the milk carton out of the refrigerator, and to lift my purse to put the strap over my shoulder. I sent Max a text accusing him of turning me into a Tyrannosaurus rex: strong legs and puny, weak little arms!

Fortunately I think the soreness will resolve in another day or so--just in time for my next workout.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Okay By Me


I went to lunch by myself the other day.

When I reviewed my check, I noticed the server had identified me as "Lady Solo."

Okay, so not quite Jedi material, but good enough. Especially considering the way I've always felt about Harrison Ford.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018 - My Sign-Up

Climb Pike's Peak and keep going!

That's my goal for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge, hosted with enthusiasm by voracious reader Bev at My Reader's Block. I'd love to clear off some TBR books and get extra credit for the reading I'm already committed to doing, and this challenge satisfies both of those wishes. Check out the rules here if you're interested in joining this one, which is elegant in its simplicity and may also prove strenuous!

Because the rules allow an upgrade to a higher mountain, but no downgrade to a smaller mountain, I've committed to the minimum of 12 books. If I conquer the 12, I'll set my sights on a higher mountain. My other challenge reading has already committed me to more than 30 books, so it should be a cinch. We shall see!

My Pike's Peak list (to be updated as I read):

1. The Body Artist - Don DeLillo (review coming soon)

Dread & Read Challenge 2018 - My Sign-Up

Ha! This one's easy. These are last year's books--with a whole 'nother year's worth of angst attached to them.

And that's all I have to say about that.

If you're in a similar dread-filled place, sign up here for some extra incentive to get those books read this year!

My list:

For a book-related treat: Vernon God Little - D.C.B. Pierre (Booker Prize)
For a practical treat: Schindler's Ark - Thomas Keneally (Booker Prize)
For an indulgent treat: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest - Ken Kesey (Radcliff's Top 100 Novels)

Birth Year Reading Challenge 2018 - My Sign-Up

I'm good to go at least one more round in my actual birth year (1959), thanks to my total failure to read the books I identified way back in 2012. In this case, doing poorly pays off!

There's still plenty of time to join this challenge here, if you're inclined to read books from the year you were born or to honor someone dear to you by reading from their birth year. Quite a few new participants have signed up and of course, there are the prizes . . . .

It's going to be a fun year!

My list:

1. Henderson the Rain King - Saul Bellow. This will be my maiden attempt at reading Bellow, so that's a nice bonus.

2. 100 Love Sonnets - Pablo Neruda. In contrast, I already think Neruda is a wonderful poet, making this an easy choice. 

3. With Eyes at the Back of Our Heads - Denise Levertov. Ditto for Levertov. I know people who like her work a lot, but I've only seen snippets and look forward to becoming better acquainted with her poems.