Snow Days

I guess this comes under the heading of ‘turn about’s fair play,’ or some such thing.  After weeks of no ‘weather’ we have hit the bigtime.  Three days of on and off snow.  Heavy and wet stuff, evidently.  Enough to make the power go out overnight.  QUELLE HORREUR! You know I like my routines, and one of the chief routines is the well-worn path from my bed straight to the coffeemaker EVERY MORNING.  No exceptions.

One of my very most favorite Larsen cartoons.  Oh how I wish Sophie would get the hang of this!

So this morning I tried to make the best of it.  Made a list of things I could do without electricity.  There were a LOT of things I could do.  I just didn’t wanna do them.  It was kind of dark and dreary, and darn it, I was sleepy without my coffee.  So I made a plan to escape.  Just as I finished dressing, the electricity came on.  You never saw a person make coffee so fast!  Because, as usual, the electricity cut off again about 15 minutes later.  But I felt MUCH BETTER with some coffee in me, and I set off to the gym.

Man, did I have a good workout.  I wasn’t in a hurry to get done, since I didn’t want to go home until the electricity went on.  I made up a circuit, and did these exercises in the little studio:

  • arm curls and overhead lifts, 10#, 10 reps each arm, standing on the bosu ball
  • ball crunches, 15 reps
  • bench push-ups, 10-12 reps
  • pliet squat, 30#, 10 reps
  • front shoulder raise, 5#, 10 reps each arm
  • lunges, 20#, 10 reps each leg

I repeated this circuit three times and then I went out to the big room.  And I did another mini-circuit:

  • pec-dec machine, 35# 10 reps
  • deadlift, 55#, 10 reps
  • vertical press machine, 40#, 40 reps

Only this one I did the deadlifts each time between the other two exercises, so did 5 sets of deadlifts, and 3 sets of each of the other two.  Most of the time I like to challenge myself and lift heavier, but sometimes I choose lower weights and more reps on purpose for a different kind of challenge.

I ended with some leg presses: 100#, 40 reps times two, and 140#, 15 reps time one.  And for those of you who are interested, I WAS sweating by the end of this workout.  I ended back in the little studio for a little stretching.  And, I finally tried something I had been meaning to add back in for a while:  did one plank for 50 seconds.

This morning I ate the last of the Fage greek yogurt, so tomorrow will be the first day of my no dairy experiment. Which, for me  means no yogurt, no milk, and no cottage cheese.  I will probably have a little cheese here and there on salads and such.  As I said, its mostly a challenge to try other foods.

I finished the ‘Rethinking Thin’ book, which was interesting, but a little discouraging (the main premise being that it is very difficult for anyone to maintain a large weight loss.)  So I got out my ‘Thin for Life’ book this morning, which is  VERY encouraging.  She uses a group of 160 people who have lost at least 20 pounds and kept it off for at least 3 years.  Many of them have lost a lot more than that, and kept it off for a lot longer than that.  A lot of her book is personal stories of their successes and struggles, and it is a ‘glass half-full’ kind of book.  I thoroughly recommend it.

One of the funny things in the ‘Rethinking Thin’ book was a guy named Fletcher, who, in 1889, made a name for himself by promoting very thorough chewing as a way to lose weight.  I remember this being talked about in the 70’s as a tool in weight loss.  And what I thought when I read this was, yeah. It’s not the fact of chewing the food into miniscule pieces that makes you lose weight.  If you take more time to chew your food, you will probably not consume as much volume before you start to feel full. That is something I try to be mindful of most of the time. Recently I noticed I was swallowing some food before even chewing it much and I corrected that (before I read this book.)

One sentence in the ‘Thin for Life’ book jumped out at me.  It is quite a sobering thought.  I believe it is true.

After studying successful maintainers, Drs. Colvin and Olson drew the following conclusion:  “Weight loss is not an end in itself; it is the means to an end….It is a mans to more important goals.” In fact , they suggest that weight loss as a goal in itself is a guarantee for failure.

Now, you might start out with weight loss as your only goal, but if that doesn’t change along the way, I don’t see that it is a big enough motivator to do the difficult job of maintaining that loss.  That’s just my cheap opinion, of course.

So, changing the subject rapidly, sometimes when I don’t have much time left in the day I will do just a little tiny bit of creating.  This is enough to encourage me and keep me moving forward.  Yesterday evening I sewed together these little squares (that were left over from another project.)


And then I put together another group of little squares to sew together tonight:

Gotta work tomorrow, so better sign off and get ready to go.  Have a great weekend!



14 thoughts on “Snow Days

  1. Hi Debby,
    What a wonderful post! I don’t even know where to start here–there was such great information and discussion!

    First, I have to say that you certainly have an eye for putting together wonderful patterns and colors. I love both sets!

    Also, thanks for sharing the information bu Drs. Colvin and Olson regarding weight loss being a means to more important goals. This was very thought provoking for me, and as I thought about it, most of the people I know who have been successful losers and maintainers have had other very concerning issues and incentives besides just wanting to lose some weight. I now plan to buy the book, “Thin for Life.” I need to be looking ahead to maintenance and developing some goals for that stage of this process, or I may not get there or stay there when I do.

    BTW: I just have to say that Noah is a beautiful dog, and he looks like he is in his element in the snow. My little Cairn Terrier is not a snow dog. I think she needs boots! Have a great weekend!

    P.S. I tried to post this before, and it didn’t work. I’m having a lot of trouble with Blogger today. I hope this is not a duplicate post.

    • Hi Jane! You can get this book pretty cheap if you buy a used copy. It is an older book, and I have a couple more thoughts on it. If I don’t remember to post by Monday, remind me.

      Boy, your terrier would fit right in with Sophie and Mr. Monk. They act like I am torturing them to make the go to the bathroom outside when it is cold.

      Don’t worry about duplicate posts. I do it all the time!

  2. Hey, love your blog! It’s so nice to see so many people losing weight and sharing their journey in a blog. It’s the perfect tool to keep you motivated. I recently started my own blog called “Brendan’s Weight Loss Adventure.” Check it out at Can’t wait to see more inspiring people. Thanks a lot!

  3. “Nervous little dogs” – perfect description! Glad you got your coffee in. 🙂

    Your snow is beautiful! I am kinda hoping we see some snow while I’m here in Oregon – well, I’m seeing it high in the mountains, but I’d like to see it on the ground! Glad to see Noah out enjoying it.

    That was quite a workout you had at the gym – I am really impressed by all that you did, and great job with the leg press!!!

  4. Someone else mentioned Thin For Life the other day. I had forgotten all about that book and agree it is a really good one. There is a second one (not as good) too.

    I looked on my own blog and found the above posting. It appears I rediscovered it in 2008 and read it backwards (why I have no idea) for the 3rd time.

    Can’t remember if it is in this book or second one, there is a two page illustration between a ‘normal’ american meal and a thoughtful meal. I remember that being a real eye opener for me.

    Hate when power is out, everything I go to do won’t work. Our snow is mostly melted the last two days, we have been covered for weeks and weeks, odd to have it gone.

    Quilt blogk reminded me of water colors.

    Smiled when I saw the note that you sweated.

    • I think the second one is mostly a cookbook.

      And I don’t know why, but lots of times I will look at a magazine backwards, and I find myself doing that with books I’ve already read, like this one. But I started going through this one from the front last night. Might do a weekly review from it.

  5. Oh I do hope that weather isn’t making it’s way towards me…..we are experiencing some of the most amazing February days I can remember and it has does wonders for my whole frame of mind!! Don’t want any more snow! And I am so with you on the path from the bed to the kitchen for the coffee! I’ve been guilty of making coffee the night before and storing it in a thermos if we were expecting any kind of weather that MIGHT make the power go off. LOL!

    Does it ever strike you that some of the older weight loss books seems to have so much more depth than these newer ones?? I thought maybe it was just me thinking like an “old” person, but I so agree with you about Thin For Life. It first came out during one of my maintenance periods and I own it. You reference reminded me to dig it out of the tombs and reread in anticipation of my reaching maintenance soon. Yep, it a good one!

    As I sit here drinking my fresh cup of coffee, I hope you’ll have some too when the west coast wakes up this morning………………..

    • Hey, great idea with the coffee, Sharon. I also could have heated some water on the woodstove and done a ‘pour over,’ as the fancy coffee places like to call it.

      And thank you for the good thoughts. I’m sitting here drinking my first cup!

  6. I will have to look for the Thin book. I know Gina Kollata (sp?) has another book about fitness, which is also a very good read. I found out that women used to strength train before they began to want to look like birds.

    And speaking of ST – nice lifting workout 😀 I got stronger just reading about your workout!

    As far as weight loss as a goal. I really do think this is why people regain. Once you hit goal, it is sort of like flying without a net or diving off a cliff. You just feel a little aimless, and that makes people eat. You must plan for maintenance like you plan for weight loss.

    • Ooh, that’s a real compliment, coming from the queen of the gym. And, BTW, should have given you credit–you’re the one who motivated me to stretch more often at the end of my workouts, and you and Pubsgal motivated me to add the plank back in.

  7. Thanks for the book rec! I’ve heard of ‘Thin for Life’ but haven’t managed to snag a copy yet. I got caught in that unworkable loop of having weight loss as a goal for too many years. When I finally changed to a focus on health and fitness, everything came together nicely. It’s still holding together pretty well, even after two years. 🙂

    I especially love the blue and gold quilt square with just that little pop of red! The combination manages to be calming (thank you, blue!) and warm and energizing at the same time. Love it!

    • Good to have two experts at maintenance (you and Lori) agreeing with the weight loss as a goal theory.

      You can find that book pretty cheap on or amazon.

  8. Oh, the snow. Yes, now you can feel my pain!! I’m happy to report all of our snow has melted and today is going to be a balmy 74 degrees!! That’s pretty unusual for February around here, so the kiddos and I are going to be out all afternoon enjoying it! I hope your snow melts soon, and for the love of all things caffeinated, I hope your power doesn’t go out again!!! 🙂 (and I will always love Gary Larsen!)

    I’ve heard of Thin for Life, but haven’t ever read it. That sentence that you pointed out really resonates with me. I think the first 2 times I lost weight, that was my only goal – to lose weight so that everyone would think I looked good. And not surprisingly, here I am, 40 pounds overweight (again). Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my health (being on the cusp of 40 will do that to ya) and imagining all the havoc I have been wreaking on my body. I’ve been reading a lot about blood sugar and insulin resistance and man, it is sobering to think about how my “normal” diet is affecting me. Hopefully I can make a difference before it’s too late!

    Anyway, on the creative note…I think that’s a good idea about doing something creative at the end of the day. Great idea!! 🙂

  9. Just read your comment on my blog post about consistency. I know what you mean about how work days can turn into “off days.” It think it’s a problem for most of us. There’s something about being at work with the stress, the co-workers, the treats, that could get me off track. But I think that being at maintenance or close, means that there is more leeway in having some “off days.” For me–at my age–slow metabolism–not loving exercise–means I have to stay pretty consistent with what I’m eating if I’m going to lose anything. I think once I reach maintenance, there will be more room for inconsistency.

    I should also say that to me, consistency in my food plan means eating pretty much at the same time and from the same food groups during any given day. It doesn’t mean I have to eat the same food every day. I hope that maintenance will be a bit more forgiving of lapses.

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