Category Archives: summer

Vacation Over and Time to Be Fifty

It’s been quite a while since my last post.  A birthday vacation, of sorts.

Actually, I’ve been spending some time on blog construction —  not this one, but an additional one with my younger sister Susan.

It’s called Ess & Jae V2.0.  Get it?  Ess (S) and Jae (J)…..?  The V2.0 stands for the second half of life.

We actually started it after a dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Allium in Westboro, where we did a lot of complaining about how much weight we had gained over the summer, eating out, drinking wine, sitting on patios…..you get my drift.

The blog started out as an accountability tool with us posting our weight loss each week.  However, it’s morphed into a lifestyle blog about being 40+ or 50+ and enjoying the best things that life has to offer.

We don’t always work compatibly together, so this should be an interesting ride.   Time will tell….

On another note, we had our annual Sister’s Weekend in Vermont this year.  I chose the location and Burlington was awesome.  Love the town, loved the valley, loved the people and loved the atmosphere.  Of course, there was big food and lotsa wine, but we managed to squeak in a hike (that nearly killed me!).  Pictures are following…..

Now you can see our pores and everything.

That’s me in the middle.  As you can see, I’ve gained some weight this summer.  Enjoyed every minute of it.  But not enjoying the fact that my pants don’t fit.  And I have a roll around my belly.  Geez, I’m looking like Mom.  I sure don’t want to look like Mom.  Love her, but she’s struggled with her weight all her life.  Nope.  Not good.

So, I have started a new program based on what I’ve learned about my eating habits and physiology this year.  It has been a great year for learning things.

I’m eating moderately high protein, high fat (yum!) and low carb.  After two decades of trying to muscle through the hunger of low-fat dieting, this feels different.  I’m also eating reckless amounts of vegetables.  Observations so far:  this keeps me full longer, on fewer calories.  My skin has cleared up.  And (TMI ahead – brace yourself) a lot less bloating and gas.  It’s been several weeks and I’m down 5 pounds since just before Labour Day.

I plan to continue this blog as well because….well…..sometimes a girl’s words just have to be hers alone.  Not shared.  Just a personal truth.  And maybe a little more frankness than in a family situation.

Thanks for coming back.

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Filed under acne, clear skin, dieting, fitness, food, fun, health, menopause, summer, wine

A Backlog of Words

Workouts:  don’t even ask.  Actually, that’s not true.  There have been some token workouts, but all-in-all, it’s been quite pathetic really.

The birthday season will officially end tomorrow with a last dinner with some business associates.  My enjoyment of the festivities has definitely reached a saturation point.

I need life to get back to normal.  Quiet-normal.  Boring-normal.  Most of all, thin-normal.

This summer of socializing has re-introduced a few pounds to my backside.  A new weight loss project is underway, with a focus on healthy eating, moving more, and a little more accountability.  I’ll blog about that within a few days, hopefully.

As for a backlog of words, not only have the frequency of my posts been suffering, my reading time has been severely diminished.

I have literary constipation, if you will.

Here’s the line-up of the books on my nightstand:

1.  Chi Running.  I haven’t even cracked it open yet.

2.  The Life of Pi.

A gift from Older Sis.


3.  The Glass Castle.  Another present from Older Sis.  Canadian author.

4.  Some mags and easy reading…..

and this (note the “easy fall recipes”!)

5. And last, but certainly not least, this was in my mailbox last week.  It’s an end-of-summer ritual….

6.  This neat gift has also not even been opened, although it’s been sitting on the coffee table for 3 weeks.

I’ve been wanting this for ages!

These don’t even include the cheesy cowboy-romance book that Junior Finance Guy (and his wife) included in my little cadeau.  You can bet that I’ll be enjoying that one sometime very soon, especially the steamy parts where the cowboy hero takes off those chaps.  Oh my……..

I may get in a little reading time tonight.  🙂

 

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Filed under books, career, dieting, fitness, friends, health, summer

Zen and Evening Sunshine

Workout:  5km walk

It’s a glorious evening following a bright sunny day.

The park around the corner is filled with 10 year olds, screaming and yelling while playing World Cup Soccer!  I swear they look that talented to me.  These kids are amazing.

I came home from a relatively calm day at work, had a quick healthy dinner and blasted through kitchen clean-up.  Then I grabbed my sneakers, my iPod and my sunglasses for an evening walk.  But I didn’t even turn the music on because I just wanted to hear the beat of my steps, the voices of the neighborhood and the sound of kids having fun.

There’s a nice breeze coming in my front window, blowing my gauzy linen sheers.  And there’s an inquisitive little squirrel peeking in my patio doors from the deck, wondering if there may be treats hidden in my kitchen somewhere.

This is my favorite kind of summer day….balmy during the day with a slight nip in the air at night.  I love August.

Not bad for a Monday, eh?

Oh, and Boss’ Son dropped into the office to say hello again today.  I swear he’s flirting with me.  Once again, it’s good for the ego.  Makes me smile.

Have a zen evening in the sunshine.

 

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Ahhhhhh….it’s Saturday

Workout:  nothing yet today.  Friday:  none.  Thursday:  30 walk at lunchtime.

Ahhhhh….it’s Saturday morning.  That means coffee on the deck.  That means a yummy breakfast (eggs over-easy, toast with butter and fresh berries).  That means peace and quiet.  That means increased mental energy and calm. All the better to plan the day.

Gotta love Saturday mornings.

Let’s see, what happened this week?

I went to see Friends with Benefits with Younger Sis.  Loved it!  It was a completely fun, giggly rom-com and perfect for a girls’ summer night out.  I’m now a big fan of Mila Kunis.  She has crazy-fabulous energy, gorgeous eyes and a Lauren Bacall voice.

Loved her in Black Swan too.

Justin Timberlake, I do love too, but mostly I like his music and the crazier characters he plays in movies (read:  Sean Parker).  Don’t love him as a romantic comedy lead.   However, if you don’t love his version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, then you don’t love music.  It’s absolutely brilliant.

Plans for the day include getting some exercise, bagging up some clothes for donation, and grocery shopping.  For HEALTHY FOOD!  It’s been a bad week for convenience food.  PM S.  What can I say?  It seems to get me every month.

I’m also thinking about what kind of fitness plan I want to put into place for autumn.  Workouts this summer have been a bit hit-and-miss although I try to move every day.

I think I miss the gym.  There!  I said it.  I really wanted to change things up this year – do something different!  I’ve had some kind of gym membership for the last 25 years and I’m one of those people who actually used it (mostly).  I did lots of yoga this year but lost interest after a while.  However, I’m going do more after reading an article on how yoga increased the bone density in the spines and hips of middle aged women.  That’s me.  If I can find the article again, I’ll post it, but I may have read it at work.  I’ve also done lots of walking, a little running and regular stretching.

But it’s not enough.  I need to have a more regimented plan.  Since I’m almost 50, you know.

I have no idea where this gym is, but isn’t this a great weight room?

Oh, and someone flirted with me this week.  The Boss’ step-son.  While fixing my computer.  He’s our IT guy at work.  He’s newly single (actually in the throes of a messy co-hab split).  Nothing to take seriously, but definitely good for this 49 15/16ths girl’s ego.

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Filed under fitness, food, health, summer, yoga

Relaxing Mondays!

Workout:  5 km this morning (before it gets too hot!)

Is there anything better than a summer Monday morning on the deck with a great cup of coffee?  There is a warm breeze, but I’m sitting in the shade and enjoying the fact that I’m not at work!!

Doing a little surfing this morning and here are some interesting articles….

From  Runningintoshape.com, here is an article about a young women who went from 100+ pounds overweight to a beauty queen who won the swimsuit competition.  Originally, I was a little freaked out by the picture (check out the bony chest), but after a little research, I found an article on Bree Boyce that pictured her healthy fit figure.   Very inspiring.

Also on the subject of healthy weight, here is an article at Weighty Matters about how we consumers seem to give up our common sense when we want something unhealthy – like potato chips – and the manufacturer adds a healthy nutrient (and puts it on the label).   Interesting phenomena. The author of this blog, Yoni Freedhoff, is an obesity physician here in Ottawa.

On a completely different subject, and because Royal weddings have completely obsessed me this summer, here’s a fun article on Zara Phillips and Mike Tindell\’s wedding on the weekend.  I loved the tone of this wedding, royal protocol be damned!  How fun is this?


And finally, on the subject of common sense, did anyone really think that Jesse James\’ and Kat Von D\’s relationship was going to work?  The guy has a history of hookers and cheating.  Seriously?  C’mon Kat, every woman deserves better than that.

Amusing diversions on a Monday morning because (did I mention this already?) it’s a long weekend, it’s Monday morning, and I’m not working!

Yay!

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Filed under dieting, fitness, food, health, job, joy, relaxation, summer

I Love Long Weekends!

Workouts:  ummmm…..none!

I’ve been socializing non-stop since Thursday.  Ahhhh, it’s the best part of summer.  A little hard on the a$$, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

Thursday evening was drinks in the back yard with Younger Sis and BIL (and Golden Retriever Barbie) before they left on holidays.  I’m keeping an eye on their house for a week.

Friday night, I went to see Cowboys and Aliens.

If you click on the link above, you get the groovy music and scenes from the movie, which was fun!

Can I just say two words?  Daniel.  Craig.

Two more words.  OH.  MY!

The back view is almost as pretty as those gorgeous blue eyes.

Saturday evening, I invited Best Friend and her husband over for steaks on the BBQ.  This is a bit of a departure for me because for many years I didn’t eat beef.  Not a philosophical issue, or even a health/diet issue.  More of a flu/sick stomach issue after eating beef.  It ruined me for years.  I’ve finally gotten over it, although it will never be my favorite food.

It was a perfect summer evening.  We sat on the deck enjoying the breeze and drinking wine.  It was absolutely lovely.  Ahhhhh…….summertime.

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A Sympathetic Shoulder

Workouts:  Monday – 3 miles at a leisurely pace after dinner.  Tuesday – 45 min. walk before work, 20 min. stroll at lunch and 30 min. walk after dinner.  It’s a gorgeous day – can you tell I need to be outside?

I had a long chat with one of my coworkers, Proposal Girl, today.

This is me at work.

In fact, my coworkers have nicknamed me Lucy.  It could be because I have an office with a door.  I’m the resident therapist.

You know, I also think it’s because listening skills are a dying art.  No one knows how to listen any more.  I’m a good listener.  Sometimes it does not serve me well.

Today, I’m sad for Proposal Girl.  She’s extremely stressed at work – she has to work closely with Obnoxious Sales Guy.  When he bugs me, I just close my door.  Go away, Obnoxious Sales Guy.

But I was happy to listen to Proposal Girl today.  She also has an extremely high-maintenance family and her mother lives with her.  Yikes!  She struggles with her weight and is trying to keep to Weight Watchers (with some success).  And she has a bad marriage behind her with no interesting romantic prospects ahead.

I’m happy to lend my sympathetic shoulder.  Happy to.

It also makes me appreciate my calm and lovely life.  I love my house.  I tolerate my job (but really like my boss).  I have nice friends, some money in the bank and my 15 year old Honda starts every single morning.  I have a great family and if I don’t have a sweetie at the moment, well, that’s just fine (for now).

Blessings, including this lovely day.

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Filed under friends, job, maturity, summer