Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Time to Work Out? No Way!

Here's a workout you can do in your office, hotel room, park, gym - just about anywhere!


Join me at:

Watch the video, then print out the exercises (with pictures to remind you how to do each one) to take with you.

The Pros & Cons of Camping

Pros: I walked almost 10 miles last Saturday, and burned almost as many calories just pitching a tent in the dark as I do in 30 minutes on the treadmill! On average, I burned almost 1000 calories a day more than I do on a workday with a visit to the gym.


Cons: Despite drinking plenty of water and staying well-hydrated, deep-fried, heavily salted food and an assortment of cookies, cakes, and candies left me at 218 lbs., a record high. How do you log smoked, homemade deer sausage? How do you track the calories in a Dutch oven dessert cooked by six thirteen year olds?

The good news? It was a wake-up call. I could make excuses and claim a too-heavy workload, but the fact is, I need to get to 24 Hour Fitness at least three times a week, just to stay in the habit. Even if it's just to spend 20-30 minutes on the treadmill. That's 300-400 calories burned, right there. So K. and I have made the effort this week, going after work if lunch was too shortened by meetings.

And the weight gain was largely water; already, I'm down to 213. But that's not acceptable! The goal is 150-160, and I will be there by next summer! Care to join me?

New plan:

  • Eat nothing that cannot be accurately measured and tracked. Opt out of the general camp cooking - bring the camp stove and learn how to cook healthy, tasty meals at the camp site.
  • Drink plenty of water and don't skip the multivitamins!
  • Exercise daily and step up the general activity level. The bodybugg™ graph, above, shows clearly that standing, walking, moving - not necessarily "working out" - are hugely beneficial. You can see that "calories per minute" never exceeded 8, and yet, the total burned is 1000 more than on any ordinary, sedentary day that includes a moderate workout at the gym.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

On Weldon Pond

I took Friday afternoon off, intending to leave for camp as soon as William got out of school. But between last minute errands (for some reason, we needed tangerines, bananas, cheddar pretzel twists, and ice), filling the gas tank (at $1.79 a gallon!!), and making a quick run back home and over to Walgreens in search of sunglasses (the kind that will fit over prescription glasses), we didn't pull out until around 4:30 PM - just in time for rush hour traffic, and an hour too late to pitch our tents before nightfall.

Still, we arrived late enough to be greeted by a crackling campfire and plenty of plenty of people to help set up the tents, and early enough to welcome the rest of the troop and the visiting Webelos. Turn-out was great - I think the final tally was 85+ in attendance.

It was nearly midnight before everyone gathered around the fire for a rundown on the rules: Always, always, always have a buddy (so you don't run into coyotes, wildcats, wild pigs, snakes, or other wildlife alone, in the dark, on your way to the bathroom, among other things); remember that this is private land where hunting is permitted, and it is hunting season (the neighbors had been told, in advance, about the Boy Scouts and had been asked not to shoot any - but there's a good reason to always wear your Class As and stick orange reflective tape on your back!); don't plug up the one toilet on the property (someone FORGOT to mention "don't lock the door on your way out" and SOMEONE absconded with the key); etc. The Emergency Preparedness Team presented their communication and evacuation plans: three blasts of the air horn and everyone was to gather at the campfire, then proceed down the dry creek to the pond.

Emergency Preparedness Post-Evac Debriefing

Emergency Preparedness Team Post-Evacuation Debriefing

Activities included tug-of-war, "Iditarod races," a zip line, Dutch oven dessert competition, knot-tying, fishing, orienteering, geocaching, a pancake toss (and "how to make pancakes"), fire building competition, and chariot lashing contest.

Fire building competition

Fire-Building Competition: First to Burn Through Both Strings Wins

"Iditarod Races"

Waiting for a Turn on the Zip Line

Scouts, Webelos, and Siblings Awaiting Their Turn on the Zip Line

Safety (Harness) First!

A Wild Ride

We found deer skulls bleached in the sun, and went "treasure hunting" (Geocaching) for candy. And we ate. OMG, we ate well. The smoker was going all night, and Saturday dinner consisted of tender brisket, chicken, and deer sausage served with corn and beans, followed by the Dutch oven dessert competition. I cooked my first Dutch oven dessert (not officially "competing," but someone put mine in the running when I had my back turned). I managed to make a chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, "Turtle Soup." It was supposed to be cake, but would've made a fantastic topping for ice cream. The boys did better. There was a 7-Up Cake, a Peach Cobbler, a Reese's Cake (that was as hard as mine was runny, but tasted wonderful), another chocolate cherry cake, caramel apple was all delicious. They were all declared winners, handed a bag of candy, and told to go share their winnings with the Webelos.

Saturday night, the temperatures dropped to below freezing. Sunday morning found us shivering and shaking ice off our rain flies. It's not so bad if you have a sleeping bag, thermal blanket, chemical "Heat" body and hand warmers, long-johns, thermal shirts, and wool socks and gloves. I came prepared. William, though, refused to don anything but his Class A uniform - same thing he wore all weekend - and a 40-degree sleeping bag. NOT that I didn't toss three extra fleeces and a ski jacket in his tent before I went to bed... I was relieved to see him up and about on Sunday morning!

After breakfast, we were treated to a wonderful Sunday morning "Scouts Own Service" led by Jeremy M, who talked about the importance of not making excuses and led us all in singing "Amazing Grace." We packed up trunks and trailers and headed back to the city to clean up and rest up for Monday morning's return to school and work.