Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Day in the Life-Walking in the Rain

How about walking in the rain with the one you love? Well I do walk alone. And I do love myself in a healthy, wholesome manner. I do consider myself good company out there.

I discovered a small lake on my walking route this morning. A lone loon took off as I arrived. During the walk I also spotted a couple of great blue herons in flight.

I went to bed early last night at 2230. I woke up, all slept out by 0350.

The day started with two glasses of water, 1/2 a cup of white grape juice and 3 teaspoons of cottage cheese and two of plain yogurt. That was followed by a ten minute meditation. Then a shower. I was dressed and out the door by 0550 for the start of my two hour and forty-five minute, 17.5 km. walk.

I went through the process of getting ready to go, only to discover it was drizzling rain. So off I walked into the early morning drizzle, content in the knowledge that I am a walking warrior. No mere spring drizzle is going to dampen my passion.

By the time I approached Jebbs Creek, 4 kilometers later, it was pouring. No big deal. I carry a zip lock bag to put my driver's license and phone into. It didn't pour for very long and I found it refreshing. It added to the beauty, to the natural environment.

So yes, I am a walking warrior, but a safe one too.

When there is traffic I walk on the shoulder of the road. It is gravel and it slows me down a bit, but it adds to the intensity of the walk. Once on the road I can assume more of a power walk. That is intense also because of the ability to walk significantly faster. The walking surface dictates the type of intensity.

It was a good walk: 17.5 km, 1,523 calories burned, and 22,134 steps.
I drank only 250 ml/8 oz of water and only had to urinate once.

On my return home I drank 750 ml of water and 250 ml of water mixed with whey protein. For breakfast I made 1 serving of organic oats with half a banana, cinnamon and maple syrup. I also ate three more teaspoons of cottage cheese.
Then I washed my shorts, shirt and socks and off to bed for a sound 2 1/2 hour slumber.

I awoke just after 1400. Got up, washed. I made some quinoa, (pronounced keenwah), and put it and cauliflower, diced chicken breast, garlic and artichokes into home-made chicken stock. So for lunch I had the soup. There is a fair amount of liquid in the soup so I will separate some of it from the solids and drink it in place of water sometimes.

I will be working tonight around midnight.

The car goes in for service Friday morning. A Spanish lesson on the weekend.

A day in the life.

Keep well all.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

It Was A Good Week!

But seriously ... life is always good. Life is a lot of fun too isn't it? Yes there are situations, stuff. Still it is good to get through the days and know that it is okay. And it is okay and better than that. I'm starting to take life a lot less seriously. Oh sure, I procrastinate sometimes. In the end it gets dealt with. It gets resolved. That is what makes life so interesting. Dealing with the issues in our lives the best way we are able to, and seeing, when all is said and done that we either handled it correctly or bounced the ball until we got it right.

The walking passion is starting to deliver results. A 15 pound reduction in weight. Feeling very good physically and mentally. I am enjoying the walks immensely. I get out of town and walk away from the main roads enjoying osprey and great blue herons and horses, cows and goats. Wind in the trees and sky and water.

It does take a time commitment of 2 hours per walk but the health and happiness are worth it. Just over 47 miles/75 km this week.
Tomorrow is a new day, a new week.
Of course half the week is urban walking in Scarborough. Busy, busy, busy!

The exercise is one half of the program and the diet is the other half. That is working very well. I am starting to understand how the exercise and diet are inseparable. The weight loss is only a benefit when the basis is a healthy intake of nutrition. The two go hand in hand. They both need to be present. And they are working together to achieve the weight loss goal.

Life is good.


PS: You an also check out also if you like.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Just Walking

Yet another beautiful day for a walk.

Here are the stats:

Kilometers-24.67. Steps-25,127. Calories burned-1,993 Time 4:14 (4 hours 14 minutes).

Avg spd ranged between 6.1 and 7.3.

For over the first hour and a half the average speed was 7.1 or more. So it was a pretty intense start.

I walked from my place in Perth to the middle of the bridge in beautiful downtown Rideau Ferry, population 400.

I took a bottle of water with me and grabbed some toonies and loonies to buy a bottle of water in Rideau Ferry for the 12.5 km walk home. Unfortunately I forgot to put the change in my pocket. It was not an ideal situation. I need to hydrate every 3 kms.
Nonetheless,  I soldiered on. About 7 kms north from Rideau Ferry I stopped to empty the few pesky bits of gravel in my shoes and to retie them. I stopped off to the side of the road and found a big rock in the shade to sit on. To my surprise, in the shaded grass was a  still sealed bottle of Coors Light. I love Coors Light. I looked at it for a few seconds and the words of Bryan Stevenson's grandma ran through my mind. "Always do the right thing even when the right thing is the hard thing.". God bless that wise woman who was born into slavery.
Anyway I left the beer.

Up the road I went another 3 kms, through Jebbs Creek, (Jebb I am, I am Jebb). I had been nursing this urge to urinate for a few kilometer's. So I decided once past the homes and out by the fields I would relieve myself. I found a suitable spot away from the road with the knowledge that cars on the road would not be able to see me.
I pulled down my zipper and thought I better scan the area one more time before I went any further an lo and behold, there was an OPP cruiser sitting back of the trees on the other side of the highway waiting for speeders. He was watching me. I did up my zipper and trudged onto the road again thinking what an interesting walk this was turning out to be.

I resolutely strode north avoiding looking at the cop as I went. No worries, he never spoke or approached. I found a spot up at Wildlife Road and continued onward to Perth.

I saw a number of osprey's. They are busy with their spring young right now. Just north of Rideau Ferry there is a colony of 5-6 nests with the mom's sitting on eggs or defending newborns.

All in all a wonderful walking adventure.
Once I got home I commenced hydrating generously.

For supper I used steam. Steamed potatoes, brussel sprouts and mushrooms, garlic and of course the steamed salmon. Cooking by steaming is my preferred method.

For desert, one last time at Dairy Queen. From now on it will be no, no, no!

To bed early tonight. Paperwork in the morning. New running shoes on Thursday ... I have earned them!

Good night all ... enjoy our lives!

Thanks for reading,


Friday, May 17, 2013

Walking Jebb

Another walk to Jebbs Creek and back. Today's walk was an intensive average speed of 7.3 kms./hr. for just over an hour. The remaining 20 minutes of the walk was 6.5 kms/hr avg spd. The weather was beautiful so the conditions were perfect.
So far this week I have walked 36.4 kms an burned 2,715 cals.

Good thing I treated myself to a medium Farmers Pizza from my local oven. This is the first time this month that I have eaten out of the home. $20.00 including tip.

Back to walking. I am down to 208 lbs in weight. So far I have lost 12 lbs and I am shedding the weight at a rate of 2lbs a week. I drink a lot of water. I also drink white grape juice and whey protein every second day. I eat a good amount of cottage cheese, plain yogurt and instant couscous. I love couscous along with marinated artichokes, fresh cremini mushrooms and steamed brussel sprouts.
I also eat asparagus once a week and broccoli too. I am still drinking organic milk and eating oatmeal. Real oatmeal, not the flavored instant junk.

Fast food except for pizza once a month at most is gone from my diet as well as bread. I eat a lot of salads and fruit.

The payoff is obvious. In spite of my wacky work non-schedule, my sleeping has improved and of course, exercise is always good for my brain.

Here I am at Jebbs Creek. This was one of the first places I fell in love with when I first arrived here just over three years ago. I have adopted the name as an alter persona and even had it imprinted on my work jacket.
Forgive the big, toothy, head shot. The walk to Jebbs Creek and back is about 11 kms. It is pretty out there. Farmers fields between here and there and then closer to there the little hamlet with it's houses. Ian Millar the Olympic horse jumping gold medal winner has his farm nearby.
My longer walks continue south of here to Elmgrove Rd. That is an 18 km long trek. It takes over 2 1/2 hours there and back. It burns well over a thousand calories.
Here is  shot of you know who at the longer location.
In closing, life is good. Summer is coming. I'm gonna get some new running shoes to walk in. Asics Kayano 19's. Now that I'm doing this kind of mileage the quality shoes are a better buy than the cheap runners.

Enjoy your life. Life is good.

Living Below My Means

After many years of wanting to ignore the facts of my spending habits, I somewhat recently started doing the very thing that motivates me and helps me to not waste my money.

I started keeping a written record of everything I spend money on. I call it a budget book and in it I write down the money coming into my hands and the money going out of my hands.
In any case it is a very good habit to acquire.

Take the subject of drinking coffee. I used to buy 2 to 5 coffees a day. Adjusting for my day quite often being 36 hours long, I believe that an average of 3 coffees in a 24 hour period is close to correct.

As the benchmark I have used a medium coffee from Tim's.

So 3 mediums at $1.60 and I always pay $2.00 for that coffee equals $6.00 per day x 365= $2,190.00.

Well a few months ago I started drinking only home brewed coffee. In the last couple of weeks I have stopped drinking coffee altogether.

This is just one example of how the "budget book" has improved my financial life.

Once I started writing things down I was able to see patterns. I was able to see clearly the costs of those patterns as well.

I used to have a really bad habit of being an impulse shopper. The only store I go to on a regular basis is the grocery store. That is where my impulse buying occurred. I would go to the grocery store for  2 bananas (.57) and a small container of cut up watermelon ($2.99) for a total of  $3.56. Sweet!

Then I would notice that 1 litre of coconut milk is only $4.99! And the cream filled bun is only .99! And that roasted chicken is 50% off at $5.99!
So now I have spent $15.56. That is $11.97 more than what I needed to spend. This behaviour of buying more than what was on my list happened nearly every time I went to the grocery store. It has cost me dearly!

In the last 72 days I have paid $3,700.00 towards my credit card balance. This would not have happened without this major shift in my thinking. Now this major financial change has been intentional. This credit card balance was supposed to be cleared off last year.
But it wasn't paid off because I wanted to move, and then there was the strike at work, and right after I recovered financially from that, the furnace and central air unit in my income property had to be replaced.

So now the concept of delayed gratification is firmly enforced in my habits, in my life.
There will not be any golfing this year, but at the end of the season I may get a very good deal on a golf membership for next year ... because I have earned it.

I will still rent a cottage for a week this August.
The only camping I will do is during my other 2 weeks of summer vacation.
The vacation to Central America that had been planned for March 2014 (March 1st off-season begins), will now be delayed until late 2014 or early 2015.

My new hobby is walking. I am losing weight! And a top quality pair of running shoes will only cost me $225.00. I am still walking in the $200.00 pair I bought 6 years ago for now. Walking is a cheap hobby ... a pair of running shoes is all you need. Forget the fancy shorts. Forget the fancy purchases. Be frugal!

I have reduced my church donation from $20.00 per visit to $5.00.

I have looked at my needs list. The question is "do I need it now"? Why now? Why not later?

I will continue Spanish lessons of $60.00/month.

To sum it all up ... if you'll pardon the pun, writing it all down allows me to see where I don't need to spend money.
It allows me to spend money on the things that will improve and enhance my quality of life.
It will allow me to pursue my passions.

It will allow me to be the minimalist that I have been in the other aspects of my life.

I am still doing laundry with the laundry detergent I made in November of 2011. One year and seven months of clean clothes without spending money on laundry detergent!

The key for me was writing it all down.
Now I understand. It doesn't matter how much or how little I earn. All that matters is what I spend.

Finally, I am living below my means.