Wednesday, December 20, 2006

......Merry Christmas to ME......

A scenic shot taken - from the end of our street - over Thanksgiving.

This will annoy my husband to no end (I know this for certain, as I *just* got off the phone with him where he told me in no uncertain terms that it annoyed him to no end) but this afternoon I bought myself a new jacket (in plum). Let's all sing together now "Merry Christmas to youuuuu, Merry Christmas to youuuuuu, Merrrryyyy Chrissssssssttttmaaaaassss Dear Suuuuuuuusan.........Meeeeeeery Chriiiiiiiiiistmasssss toooooooo youuuuuuuuuuuu..........."

After I had the Munch I did major, major breastfeeding time that took my pregnancy poundage right off - with absolutely no effort on my part - with not a little amount of chocolate, brie, pasta, and other yummy carbs being shoveled into my mouth - with no harmful effects. However since the little guy is almost completely weaned, my metabolism is finally returning to it's normal sluggish-at-best state, and while my weight briefly creeped up a few pounds this semester, it's now back to where it was pre-pregnancy. Which is approximately 10-15 pounds above where I'd like it to be. Which is where the lovely Health Magazine article on amping up your basic metabolism comes into play. While I had swam through my pregnancy & afterwards, my enthusiasm for it is seriously waning these days - something about the walk to the pool, the changing, the dampness of it all, the cold, the showering, the changing back into my work clothes - it's just something I have no interest in. But now walking - I never get tired of walking. In a bad mood? Go for a walk and amazingly enough I come back feeling better. Anxious? Depressed? Sad? A walk will clear my head like literally nothing else. Angry or frustrated? Walking just mellows me out better than a glass (or two!) of wine.

So when the Heath article tells me to amp up my resting metabolism (and in a nutshell, amp up your resting metabolism & you simply burn a ton more calories by sitting & existing than you otherwise do) by walking four times a week (twice for 30 minutes, twice for 45 minutes) and lifting some weights twice a week to pack on some calorie-burning muscle I realized that this is something I can totally do. So my walking shoes are already at work, and I know where I can go around campus to walk for just the right amount of time. However that first day that I happily went outside for a walk I came back knowing that some things would most certainly have to change so that the whole walking experience could be the lovely, lovely thing that I know for certain it can be for me.

(oh how FRUSTRATING - bear with me - this is the 2nd time I'm writing up this list, as Blogger lost it the first time around!)

Here is my list (so far) of what I need to have from here on out:

1.) A new jacket. As you already know, this has been recently purchased. In plum. It doesn't get brutally cold here, not really. Not like it does in Vermont or in Wyoming or anything. But still because of our bizarre humidity it gets wet & cold in such a way that a decent warm, padded, closely fitted jacket that keeps the coldly-freezingly wet wind off of your more tender tissues a serious necessity. And even better, the jacket unzips to be three jackets - a single outer layer, a single inner layer, and a single+outer together for the Ultimate Experience. Well worth the cashola, I'd say - staying warm while still being un-bulky enough to fit behind the wheel of a Jeep Wrangler & still easily haul the Munch in & out of his carseat? Yep yep yep - worth the price!

2. A decent wear-to-work-sportsbra. For the love of Pete, why are bras so HORRIBLE so often? The stupid strap-holding bits slide down to where they're roughly 3 feet long and before you know it you're losing - seriously losing - to gravity. A look that - correct me here if I'm wrong - we typically try our best to AVOID. Add that to a brisk 30 or 45 minute walk & add in chafing, scratching back hooks, dripping sweat as there is NO wicking ability in a basic bra - and you've got a very annoyed walker. Find a typical sports bra and you've suddenly got one huge monobreast that spans the entire width of your chest and makes you look like you've been drawn through the eyeball of a cyclops who can't focus on two things at once. I wanted & needed something that I could wear to work and keep me separate & lifted & comfy yet could also handle a sweaty walk in the middle of the day. Leave it to the folks at Title Nine to know exactly what it was that I needed. I ordered one yesterday in black - if I like it a second one will most certainly be purchased in white in a few months.

3. Sunglasses. Man but it's bright out there! I go out & squint which means eyestrain which means headaches & problems. And as someone who is already legally blind without her glasses/contacts lenses (but I have 20/15 vision with my contacts in!) more eyestrain is simply not allowed. Preferably with truly decent UV protection & maybe even polarized to kill the glare.

4. Chapstick. Needing it & not having it is seriously, seriously annoying. A tube that will never, ever leave my new & nifty jacket.

5. Gloves. My hands do lots of swinging when I walk - which means that they get very very cold. I'm not a hands-in-pockets kind of girl or walker, I guess. Plus I need gloves for my drive into work - I had a lovely lined leather pair last year but the dog ate them. Bad dog! Bad dog! Which is why when I saw these for the eye-bulging price of $49 I was seriously reluctant to order them - after all, that's an expensive dog toy in my book! (Plus - honestly - who could choose - brown or black?) I'm guessing that I'm instead going to go with these in (again) plum to match my jacket when they're back in stock.

6. A hat. I was browsing through the hats online at LL Bean & Title Nine & Athleta when suddenly I smacked myself on the head and thought "ohmygod are you KIDDING ME? You're thinking of BUYING a hat when what you obviously need to do - you stupid braindead woman - is make one for yourself????" Now the question is not what hat to buy but rather what hat to make. As I've had my eye on this one and this and this other one for quite some time now. Huh - although I just saw this in the new Knitty issue..... (A note to folks - in order to find the above links I had to search through Knitty's revamped archive/pattern pages about a million times - now instead of one master archive page divided by category - socks, hats, cardigans, etc. - you have to click on then search through each issue one at a time. A very, very bad reorganization decision on their part!!!)

So that is what I have been doing, thinking about, and working on all day today. And not working on the book intro like I'm supposed to have been doing. Ah well - tomorrow is yet another day!

And just so that this blog isn't completely picture-less I just put in a pic up at the very top - we live near a large cemetery in town and at the back of the cemetery there is a large & lovely pond. That was the view across the pond back in November.

The picture above is of *the* most incredible banana bread that I've had in a long long time. Clotilde's flamed-banana bread made with Emily's pecans that she sent me in my care package. YUM YUM YUM. Must make more very very soon! The only thing I'd do different is to coarsely chop the pecans after I was done praline-ing them, as - as you can see - they were a bit big in the end product.


Emily said...

Woah. That was such an exciting read! It actually made me feel bad about my own personal slackness in walking (dude, it's been cold out there) the past few weeks (well, months really). Maybe what I need is a new jacket...mwahahaha!

That Banana Bread looks divine - I'm printing the recipe even thought the flambe part makes me a little nervous!

jessie said...

I like the Calorimetry for myself because, being a woman with big and curly hair, the Shedir would (a) not fit on my head without looking like a condom and (b) would leave me with odd hair for the rest of the day. But I like the Shedir the best for other people. :-)

Good for you to get walking, and of course you have realistic equipment needs, but also accessories can sometimes motivate you, too. I have upped my workouts lately (from a pounds-packing summer with hardly any) and although I can't say whether the extra weight-lifting is helping, I know the kickboxing class is finding muscles I didn't know I had.

Here's to a healthy new year. :-)