Weekly Digest 56 8/23/19 – 8/29/19:

All manner of goodies are present at the happy hour!

It feels like fall.  I cannot possibly tell you how disappointed that makes me. I am quite used to having decent summer weather into September. However, to have weather topping out in the 60’s while we are still in August is a sign that the coming winter might just be a miserable one.  Of course, which winter isn’t miserable in Minnesota?

This week was busy.  We hosted two happy hours on the deck this week- which were such fun! It’s so great to have friends over…I truly enjoy it. As a byproduct, I get to cook some great snacks and dips for people to enjoy.  The down side is I almost invariably see an uptick in the amount of crackers, chips or wheat products I consume on the week.  Usually there is a bit of alcohol involved too.  Both alcohol and wheat products play right into my wheelhouse of things that usually impact my diet in a negative way. 

The weather also created an impact on my exercise this week.  The cold temps and rain encouraged me to choose some options other than bike riding.  So while I don’t really feel like it was a “down” week for exercise, its hard not to feel like that since I wasn’t out on my bike nearly as much as I would have liked.

baked treats
Shortbread and Palmiers

The Blunt Truth:

The end result this week was indeed negative.  I did gain weight, although it was less than a pound.  But still, that’s two negative weeks in a row now.  And I do feel like it is mostly my fault and based mostly on consumption.  Sure, there are lots of other little things like water retention etc that might be considered contributing factors, but let’s not make excuses here.  The bottom line is that my diet wasn’t perfect, and as a result my body also did not keep up its weight loss.  As a result I have stalled out again and remain around 212-213 pounds lost. 

Not The End of The World: 

I don’t know if you have ever felt like this when struggling with a diet, but sometimes I feel like the odds are truly stacked against me. When that scale won’t move in the right direction– and you are trying to balance real life with a diet – sometimes it can make you feel like you are being punished for daring to do a little living or having the temerity to enjoy yourself on occasion. 

Onion dip
Slow Roasted Onion Dip

There is always a lot of talk in diet circles about balancing your diet with things that you truly love.  It’s a prevalent theme to allow yourself the occasional treat in order to stay sane.  But what happen when every time you do that, you have to pay the price on the scale?  Well, it’s likely you are doing it wrong.  Perhaps it is a slow degradation of your diet choices that ultimately lead to allowances of greater amounts of unhealthy foods resulting in a cumulative calorie balance issue or perhaps it is simply that your body is not very forgiving?

Staying Strong:

In my case, I think I am guilty of both of the above conditions, from time to time.  I truly do believe that my body is not very forgiving, and as a result it doesn’t leave me much leeway to stray from my diet without paying a price on the scale.  Recognizing this, and remaining strong enough to make positive and healthy choices on a day to day basis is where the rubber meets the road.  The bottom line is that it is “in the moment’ when we need to demonstrate our strength and resolve.  It’s not easy.  It results in us saying no to things we really want – be it a few crackers with some cheese, chips, or a margarita.   

cranberry salsa
Cranberry Salsa

Defining Success: 

We also need to remember that the scale isn’t the only way we measure success.  The body does vary on a day to day basis, and that’s NORMAL!  That’s a really tough one for me to digest – it doesn’t play well with my love of making everything work out on a spreadsheet.  I tend to see the scale and instantly equate those results with success or failure on the week.  But this is another reason why we measure ourselves instead of just weighing ourselves.  It’s important to recognize that we have multiple ways to define success.  Especially if you are someone without much actual weight to lose, then it’s especially important to define success in ways that make sense for your goals.

Injury Report: 

This week I am dealing with a slight case of insertional Achilles tendinitis in the left heel and a bit of a sore back.  Both of which are impacting the end of my week and will roll over into the next week.  I am trying to be careful with them, and treat them gently so they heal as quick as possible.

salad in a jar
Salad-In-A-Jar Party hosted by Natalie Shafer! It was great fun!


Well, it wasn’t a great week again.  Not because I consistently snacked on peanut butter, crackers or tortilla chips – I actually did very little of that.  But we did host two happy hours, and there was considerable snacks consumed on those two days.  On the days surrounding that, there were a few leftovers consumed, which did include a couple crackers etc.  However, for the most part it wasn’t too bad outside those two days. My alcohol intake was up and I probably consumed about 8 to 10 drinks on the week – which is over double my normal rate. Usually, I am around 3 per week.  So considerable revelry this week led to a bit more.

Salad in a jar 2
My salad was mostly vegetables! I am such a bad salad in a jar maker that I needed to bring home a second jar of just lettuce!

Obviously, the next week needs to be better.  This is a prime example of my days outside of the happy hours being ok (not stellar, but just ok) and the actual consumption on the happy hour days being enough to impact the week. Even though I tried to consume snacks in moderation, it clearly is a case where my body wasn’t going to cut me any slack.  As a result, I know where I stand.  I need to put together a couple of weeks where I eat very cleanly.  That’s my focus going forward. 


On the exercise front, the biking totals were down this week as a result of the weather. I am not ready for that to be happening!  But I did exercise for 6 out of 7 days.  Over 3 days I biked 41 miles.  On the other days I did a 40 min elliptical session, walked 3.3 miles, and did a 45 minute free weight session.  So I had a good, well rounded week of exercise.  I feel pretty good about it and think it’s plenty for the week.  I know that some folks that spend hours in the gym per day would say its not enough for the changes I would love to see. I respect their dedication, but by the same token, if I overdo it I will just end up with a longer paragraph in the Injury Report section.

My Take-Away:

Weather, weather weather …this week is filled with references to weather.  I just can’t get away from it! I’m inundated with weather!  I feel like summer has simply put in a cameo appearance this year and not really let us enjoy its company. I feel shorted, cheated, bamboozeled!  Like summer has pulled a bait and switch: “Heyyyy…yeah I was late this year but you know I will hang around …cmon over here, take a look at a warm September … oh silly me! That’s Fall over there!  Awww sorry about that….hey, gotta fly!!”  And off summer went …escaping out the back door and scampering off to leave us staring at fall, turning leaves, and a bitter portent of winter.  

Summer is like that elusive pretty girl that always says she will show up, but then doesn’t. Later you see pictures of her on facebook somewhere else, shining like a light and warming all those around her. And then there is fall. We’re left with fall. The doorman at the Hotel Winter. Sure there are great things about fall.  Lots of people love fall and it is their favorite season.  I even enjoy fall …but not just yet.

Ok, so what is my takeaway besides waxing about weather?  It’s simple.  Weight is lost in the kitchen, muscle is built in the gym.  I need to watch my diet and put in some clean weeks.  That’s what it comes down to.  Simple.  Not easy …but simple.  Onward friends. We know what to do.   

Not ready for fall
One day, I had to don a sweater and knit gauntlets to ward off the cold during my time spent on the deck. I am so not ready for fall.


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