Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Is Nuts

We're supposed to be grateful for gifts on Christmas, but I must be honest and say that I'd like to give the two people who sent over HUGE plates of cookies last week a punch in the nose.

It's been really hard to not lose my sense of perspective completely around here recently, because it is one party after another, and the free treats keep rollin' in. We had one huge lunch last week, and I managed to (just barely) hold myself back from demolishing the dessert. I ate a third.
As God is my witness, I will never gift anybody food for Christmas again. I know people just want to be caring and generous, but really...do they really think most officer workers need this sort of a treat? It. Does. Not. Help. Anyone!

Until recently, thank goodness, it's been warm enough to bike. See the rack below at Union Sq.
While on my bike I had to stop for a shot of Lincoln Center, all done up in Christmas lights.

And one of Columbus Circle, which is gorgeous! The good news is, these lights make me feel like walking around, so even when I don't bike or hit the gym, I've still be strolling as much as the neuroma will allow. Not that it's been enough to offset the crazy Christmas food damage!
Now that Christmas is in the air, weird Santa Claus types pop up everywhere. Behold this one on the subway last weekend.
Before I sign off for the holidays (rushing to visit the rellies later this week, gone for several days), I share with you this video of a steel drummer in the subway. You can't really tell from this grainy video, but he got the most amazing sounds out of his drum. He's playing Christmas songs and they sounded fantastic in person! I got a quick snippet and then stopped, but the video picks back up again. It's long, for those who really really love carols!

video

Happy Hannukah, and Merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'll Take It

Well, that's two pre-Christmas weekends down. One more to go.

Weekends are a bit looser for me, generally speaking, as it's often just running around to do errands and trying to convince myself that we do not need to stop at every corner shop for something to eat. The possibilities for damage are endless.

Made it to yoga Saturday, but whatever minimal calorie burn was achieved (have been gutted recently by two articles stating that yoga doesn't count as a significant workout) was immediately offset by lunch in a Chinese-food diner. It was the choice of my friend's 12-year-0ld daughter, who I was babysitting. She is as long and lanky as a bobcat, and eats whatever she wants.

Later that night, we had Indian with a group of friends. While I was able to keep from overeating at lunch, I had about 15 bites too many of the Indian food. My choice was a good one -- simple grilled chicken. But with the accompanying rice and the naan, drizzled with tamarind sauce...well, I got a little piggy.

Made the gym yesterday for a rowing workout, which was good, but allowed myself to pick up a container of dark chocolate covered almonds while shopping, which was bad. I ate several handfuls last night, and had some again this morning for breakfast (made my heart pound something fierce after I ate them with coffee).

Will I never learn that some items aren't worth touching? The minute they are in your hand, they're in the cart, and then inevitably they're in your mouth. Those almonds fit that description for me, without a doubt.

I'm now virtuously eating a lunch salad of mixed baby kale and arugula, with sliced squash, mushrooms, red peppers and broccoli with tuna packed in olive oil (but not the oil itself) and a smattering of sweet curry sunflower seeds for extra crunch.

No yoga or workout tonight, more's the pity, but I have time to trek up the 18 flights of stairs to the office this afternoon. Gasp.

I sound like a steam engine, I huff and puff so much. And yet, I still managed to startle a couple having an early morning make-out session in the stairwell last week. Ahh, love and fitness -- the movies make attaining both seem so damn easy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Making Some Lists

It's so easy to forget that one good choice can often lead to another...
Small victories and triumphs, strung together, are often more important than one big win....

So far this week, I have:
  • worked out every day.
  • discovered I can walk the 18 flights up to my office anytime I want.
  • eaten to plan 95% of the time.
  • fed myself healthy meals and snacks when hungry.
  • resisted the pull of frustration and negativity the one night I ate off plan.
  • focused on being positive and loving myself, ie coaxing myself into the gym because it will make me feel better and banishing the voice that says, nastily, "You have to go to the gym because you're a big fat lardo."
  • reminded myself that above all else, I want to be strong and fit, no matter what I weigh.
Things I need to be aware of:
  • Just because I've pulled myself back on track, I am not magically going to drop a size.
  • When I start working out and eating right, I feel really good. I somehow expect that to immediately transform into my looking really good too.
  • If I catch a glimpse of my ample posterior in a mirror/window reflection, I should concentrate on how much firmer and muscular it looks than three years ago, NOT on how big it is, overall.
  • I don't have to go to every Christmas party that I'm invited to. It's ok to be choosy.

That's it from Ish-land today. Hope you are all having a good week!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ask Me No Questions...

and I'll tell you no lies. Isn't that how the old saying goes?

In this case, however, I can happily tell the truth!

Fellow blogger Beej asked if I made good on my promise to myself yesterday to hit the gym and give myself a challenging workout on the rower.

I did!

However, it was not quite as challenging as it could have been, but it wasn't me wimping out, I promise.

On the way into work yesterday morning, a lady in a taxi cab (I will call her a lady but really in my head I think of her as an unconscionably oblivious dingbat) decided nobody in the world existed but her, and threw open her cab door without bothering to look out the window first.

You can guess who was passing by on her bicycle -- ME! The lady hit me hard with the door, right as I biked past the stationary cab, smashing my left thigh and knee (of course it would be the knee) and knocking me into the side of the city bus on my right (knocking my right knee hard against that).

I was more furious than hurt, and she was very apologetic, but really...I can't forgive such stupidity on a busy city street. Had that bus been on the move, things would have been very ugly. You would have to call me Squishmael instead of Ishmael!

Anyway, I biked into work, dutifully went to the gym as planned, and gave myself a decent workout. But being mindful of the knees, I didn't go all out. Still, worked up a nice sweat. That rower is effective -- getting the abs, legs and arms engaged all at once is a nice trifecta.

Later that night I went to yoga, and that hurt. It hurt bad. New note to self: don't bike, do 25 minutes on the rower AND go to yoga all in the same day. I could barely hold downward dog and I kept getting charley horse cramps, which make me squeal in pain and that does not go over well in a quiet yoga class.

My legs were so heavy I had a hard time getting up the stairs to my apartment last night. Today my knees are both sore, and I've got bruises on my left side where dingbat, er...the lady, smashed me with the door.

Aside from that , all went as planned. Thanks for asking, Beej!

Oh, guess who was on my train to work this morning? Mercury, the winged messenger of the Roman Gods (Hermes, if you're Greek). I guess this is what all the kids are wearing these days.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Experiments in Living

This is the day I take my lunch hour and go to the gym. I've been telling myself I'm going to do it for two weeks now and have yet to make that thought a reality.

Today's the day. At 1:45, I'll leave for my lunch hour, cross two blocks and go into my gym for a quick rowing session. I'm aiming for anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. But I'm going to have to push myself -- it can't be a leisurely affair.

Finally got a picture of my breakfast of champions. It's not a great shot (bad lighting) but dang...that lox in the morning with tomato is goooooood!

Convinced M to come to beginner yoga with me on Saturday and he actually liked it! To celebrate he made one of his favorite (decadent) dinners that night. That's a plate of catfish, sweet potato, green peas and corn. I had to push it all together to get it into the shot (ignore the messy apartment in the background please). Looking at it the next morning made me realize that I still tend to over do the portions on "special" (ie moments when I feel like I'm cheating) occasions.

The next day we had to take a long walk to try and mitigate the damage.I call this picture, "How many cranes to hang the moon?"

Sunset on the Hudson River is gorgeous. These are the piers that are built up all along the west side, and people stroll, fish, jog, whatever.

This little guy caught my eye on the shoreline. How he got over there I don't know -- there are two lanes of major traffic to cross. But he looked pretty plump and happy.

He was hunting, too! He didn't pay any attention to us, but took off after some poor creature he saw in the rocks.

I'm not sure, but I think this is where Harry Potter stays when he comes to town.

I tried to catch the way the path looks as the sun goes down and the traffic streams along on the left, but my cell doesn't handle low light well enough to do it justice. Believe me, when the sun goes down this path is DARK, and if you don't have a bike light, coming home on it late at night is perilous! I speak from experience on that front.

By the time we got done, my feet were sore, my knee hurt and I was more than ready to call it a night. I really wish there were a way to magically just be 50 lbs lighter -- I don't want to whine, but damn! It takes so much effort just to not *gain* weight that sometimes losing weight seems like an impossible dream!

Bought a new yoga shirt yesterday to encourage myself (and, er, make the process a little easier on the teacher, who happens to be male and has to deal with the rather astounding amount of cleavage that pops out of my baggy t-shirts when I downward dog).

All the meals are planned for the week, salads are made in advance, snacks are planned. Fitness has been incorporated into the planned schedule, and the battle lines have been drawn. Let's see if I can be a good little soldier for five days in a row!