Thursday, June 24, 2010

Joel: Take a Load Off

Yes I'm alive. No I haven't lost much weight.

I've come to realize that exercise by itself will not impact weight loss. It helps me to think more about changing my eating habits, and it definitely makes me feel tons better. But it doesn't shed the tons by itself.

Here's an example of why not:
This morning I went out and walked/ran for about 30 minutes. RunKeeper Pro (my new favorite iPhone App) told me that I only burned 232 calories. Do you realize how little food is contained in 232 calories? I think I have more than 232 calories in the crumbs in my truck!!!

So unfortunately, it looks like the ice cream and cookies are really gonna have to go. :(

On a less demotivational note, I now know that it will be pretty simple to make it happen. It's just a matter of working up the courage to do it. But if I could find the strength to get off my couch and do something, I bet I can find it in myself to stop eating fried crap and lovely desserts.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Carol: Week 8--Pondering Life on Solo Walks

[Article first published as Week 8: Pondering Life on Solo Walks on Technorati.]
I walk because I want to, not because I have to.
Still, training for the 3-day for the Cure can not only be time consuming (I logged 19.5 miles), but troublesome as well.
My solo training walks leave plenty of time for introspection, and at this point in my life, I’m not sure that is a good thing with a bit more than half my life over.
That song (10,000 Stones) by Adrianna bounces around in my brain…
“My days are filled mistakes
Some that I didn’t make
I carry them around…
See what I mean?
With my trusty four-legged companion Jack, we walk and walk, and I talk and talk in the bubble above my head and ponder all kinds of things.
From mundane things like why I never went to Paris, why I can't sing or more importantly why  Oprah won't read my book.
I ponder other things as well like…
  • Why we can put a man on the moon, but can’t cap an oil well that has been spewing oil into the gulf since April 20.
  • Why cases like the disappearance of Natalie Holloway can't be solved and justice served.
  • Why people like Dallas Police Chief  David Brown can devote their lives to public service and fighting crime and then have their only son be named the killer of another police officer in a tragic Father's Day shooting. 
 See what I mean?
Sometimes on these walks I wish  Jack could talk. Maybe he knows some of the answers. Sometimes I think  if I walk far enough, maybe some day I’ll find the answers especially to some more personal questions ricocheting around my brain.
I may just have to walk down the path of forever for that. 
In the meantime, I silently sing the chorus…
“Ten thousand stones hanging deep in my heart
No, I don’t know how they don’t tear me apart…”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Carol: Week 7--Ain't Life A Beach

(Article first published as Week 7: Training on the Beach, Incidents and Oil Spills on Technorati and as "Ain't Life A Beach" on

After school got out, I headed for the beach. Thankfully, we go to South Padre Island. We gave extra thanks because the Texas Gulf Coast (at least for now) remains unscathed by the BP oil spill wreaking havoc along the coastline from Louisiana to Florida.

So while the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Alabama have closed public beaches because of the gooey, slimy mess, those of us fortunate to vacation along the Texas coast still can enjoy sun, surf and sand as well as some tasty shrimp.

My week at the beach, however, in no way stopped my training for the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure 60 mile walk

In fact, I stepped it up a bit and  walked about 30 miles while at the beach. My family made sure I stayed on track offering to walk with me. Sometimes we walked along the beach. Sometimes we walked along Gulf Boulevard. All of it was walked in the hot Texas sun. Walking on the sand provided some extra workout benefits. We even walked a bit across the border venturing into Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, to do a little shopping. 

Although we've been there numerous times before, we did check with the tourist Welcome Center at South Padre Island before we decided to go because of all the drug violence reported in border towns. The very nice Welcome Center people told us that although there had been some "incidents," we would be fine as long as we as we remained aware of our surroundings. They never did define "incidents." 

While walking across the bridge and while shopping in Mexico, we couldn't help but notice that we were one of the few Americans shopping there. Now I know why. 

The very next day another shopping mecca destination for tourist, Matamoras, was in the news for a running gun battle that began at a police station and left seven police officers dead before it ended when the Mexican military finally took control of the situation. 

I wonder if those nice Welcome Center people would have referred to that as an "incident."

And all that makes as much sense as referring to the BP oil spill as an "incident."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Carol: Week 6--Training with Jack

(Writer's note: The following article was first published as "Week 6: One Goal Down, But Many More Miles to Go" on technorati.)
Week six looks very promising indeed; promising because school (woo-hoo!) is out for the summer.

A double woo-hoo because, in only six weeks, I reached the mandatory fund-raising goal of $2,300 necessary to participate in the Susan G. Komen 60 mile 3-day Walk for the Cure.
Whew, what a relief! I must admit that I was a tad worried that I would be unable to raise the required donations and would be left on the outside looking in after training all summer long in the hot sweltering Texas sun. I mean what sane person wants to walk about in 100 degree heat if they don't really have to?

But now that I have that little money thing under control, I can begin some serious training for the November walk. To do that, I have enlisted my trusty compadre Jack and his nifty little doggy backpack, a gift from my dog expert/writer sister Maggie Bonham

After reading about such unusual pet gifts as a pet high chair or pet chatter bowl,  a pet backpack really doesn't seem all that usual. In fact, you can find a wide assortment of backpacks for Fido at such normal, standard venues as REI or surf other sites  for the more serious dog hikers. 


Dog experts recommend that your dog doesn't carry more than 20 percent of his weight. For Jack (pictured above), who weighs 90-plus pounds that would mean about 18 pounds of stuff, but we're just going to stick with some water, maybe a snack and his collapsible water bowl. Of course, we'll follow all the advice for keeping Jack safe in the summer sun.

He's used to walking at least three miles a day.  Tomorrow, we're going to try five. Unfortunately, when I finally walk the 3-day for the Cure, Jack will have to remain at home not because I don't think he can raise the money to walk, but because pets are not allowed.

[For those keeping track: Jack and I actually walked 6 miles today. This past week I logged  10.5 miles &  attended two yoga classes.]