Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Things that don’t suck about Sacramento

Tree of Life, maybe?
La Belette Rouge did a series of lists relating to things that were “good” about living in LA.  So, I’m stealing borrowing from her and will attempt to highlight the good parts of living in Sacramento (this may be short-lived, but I will try to remain positive).

When The Fella initially said we were moving to Sacramento, I thought…WHY?  Why the heck couldn’t we go to Denver as I so hoped and prayed?  Well, cuz…so you can either do a long distance thang or move with me. He didn’t say that last part, I totally imagined it. Neither of us wanted a long distance relationship.  But really, when you tell people that you are moving to California, everyone oohs and ahhs over how great it is to live in sunny California. Well that’s because everyone thinks that there are only 3 cities here – San Diego, LA and San Francisco. And at times, Napa and Palm Springs are tossed in there…but those are the major 3 cities.  Honestly, I don’t think most people even realize Sacramento is the State Capitol.  Even after visiting, I could see why it’s forgotten…but again – remember – positivity.

So when you tell people you aren’t moving to 1 of the 3 biggies, that it’s actually Sacramento – the reaction is more along the lines of: Where?  Is that near LA? 

And I had to go into my short list of why it’s so great to move to Sacramento: (1) Low cost of living if you choose to live in California. (2) Proximity to San Francisco, Reno, Tahoe, Yellowstone, Mt. Shasta, Napa (notice, no mention of the great proximity of anything IN Sacramento). (3) The weather – no humidity (that’s a plus but I have to use TONS of lotion now that summer is actually here). (4) Outdoor activities such as rafting, biking, hiking.  This really isn’t a short list, it’s the only list.

And as I said in my previous post, I don’t really want to spend my Sundays driving hours away from town to have a good time.  Well, that’s what we did Saturday (at least it wasn’t Sunday).

I talked The Fella into heading to the Amador Flower Farm in the Shenandoah Valley (which also has a slew of vineyards in you’re interested in wine tastings) to see the daylilies in bloom. I know – a total girl trip, but hey – he was game to go!  So with map in hand and a tank full of gas (never go on a road trip, no matter how short, without a full tank of gas) we set off on an hour or so drive Northeast.

Even with buckets of rain this region has had this year, the country side wasn’t green, as I expected. But the drive was beautiful. We did take a wrong turn that sent us a little further east than we were supposed to go and I turned in a little old lady driving super slow up the side of a mountain. I guess I really need to get used to driving in the mountains if I plan to explore.  We did finally make it to the flower farm and had a great lunch under 150-year old oak trees surrounded by fabulous color. All the while, I was watching out for rattlesnakes as the many signs suggested! 

 So, while the list of things that do suck about this area is long, I can add this to the list of things that don’t: Amador Flower Farm.

*All photos taken by The Fella

Monday, June 27, 2011

We made the paper...

We trekked to a galaxy far far away aka Woodland, CA Friday night to the Gibson House to do one of my fav things - watch a freebie movie outside. Star Wars was the feature film. LOVE Star Wars. You can tell by my Wookie-like hairy arms. Wow - never thought about having those waxed but photos generally make you think of things you ordinarily wouldn't. I even had a Chewie Lego key-charm (that's a funny story I may tell you at another time).
Even Princess Leia made an appearance

Friday, June 24, 2011

Weight loss, the quick and the easy…

Let’s face it - that’s what most of want - To take a magic pill at night and wake up being a size 4 the next day.

In the short span of 2 hours, I have received 1 FB message promising that I would lose 15 lbs in just 2 weeks by drinking some all-natural shake and a Living Social e-mail promising a 4-week weight loss program using a prescribed medication, supplements, nutrition plan and exercise regimen for the low cost of $90 (I didn’t inquire on the cost of the shake diet and I highly doubt the 4-week program is supervised by a real physician).

Yes, I am an exercise DVD junkie (just recently bought Zumba from QVC). I’ve purchased the Nike+ for my shoe, a heart rate monitor, 2 kettlebells, and slew of other fitness accessories. I do this as a form of motivation (and it also aides my desire to shop).

But I know that by just having these items will not make my thin overnight. I also know that doing a shake diet and taking diet pills will not provide long-term HEALTHY weight loss.

 And isn’t that the point of all this?  Maintaining the weight loss long term and being healthy?

I can’t say I haven’t considered options like Quick Weight Loss, Jenny Craig, FitFoods. I can’t say that these programs aren’t beneficial to some. They do work – for some.

Call me hardheaded and stubborn, but I want to do this the old fashioned way. Maybe I will be stuck at 170 (yes, that damn 7lbs weight gain is sticking around) for a bit longer that I truly like. But I am working on eating right and working out (I restarted my gym membership) and as long as I don’t see 203 again, I can be happy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Attempting to like this city

It's been a little over 3 months since I moved to Sacramento. I was able to secure employment, thankfully, within 30 days of moving here. Our apartment is fully furnished now (sofa was delivered 3 weeks early - yea no more flat bottoms from sitting on the futon). I still have some additional downsizing to do, get over my soap hoarding and I need to get the art hung on the walls.

But a girl can decorate only so much before going stir crazy indoors.

This isn't my first rodeo with moving to new cities/new adventures. However, Sacramento is proving to be a difficult transition because honestly there isn't much to do.

Yes, it's the gateway to San Francisco and the wine country.  Yes, it's very close to Lake Tahoe and Reno. But I don't want to spend my Sundays driving 2 hours for entertainment. I want something right in my backyard that won't cost a fortune, that I can enjoy in a few hours, that wont involve long bike rides or hikes each Sunday.

So I thought why not check out the various museums/art galleries in town. Let's face it - I won't trek Downtown/Midtown late afternoon on the 2nd Saturday of each month for the gallery open houses - I'm old and tired and usually by 6pm, I'm ready to have dinner, a glass of wine, sit back and relax with a good movie. Not tromp around Midtown/Downtown hunting for parking and getting lost looking for gallery.

So I decided to pick a museum each Sunday to explore, beginning with the Contemporary Art Museum (plus, I am looking for a piece to hang over the sofa). Hmmm, museum is used loosely in the title.  Wait, it's actually called the Center for Contemporary Arts. Essentially, it's a tiny-ish 2 room studio and the current exhibition consists of approximately 10 pieces - completely lacking depth.

I refused to let this location be the defining factor of what Sacramento has to offer. I did decide to take in the neighborhood and walk a few blocks. The architecture on many of the homes and apartment buildings on the tree-lined streets of Midtown Sac are beautiful - ranging from early 1900s to art deco. 

So this coming Sunday I plan to venture to the State Capital Museum and promise to bring along my camera.

There's bound to more to this town that 3 malls, strip centers and chain restaurants.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's only 3.1 miles

That's what I kept saying to folks who asked me what my upcoming plans were. "I'm running a 5k. It's only 3 miles".  Not far, right? Depends...

So Sunday was my first ever race: The Women's Fitness Festival. No I wasn't challenged or pranked into it. I balked at my friends who suggested that I sign-up for one as a goal...a reason to continue C25K. I'm not a runner, I said.  I'm still not.  Runners run because they love it.  I ran because...

Well, frankly because there were too many women in my way.

The original plan with my partner was to walk the 3 miles. We then decided to switch it up to a 2min walk/1min run.  I still waffled back to just walking since I was still nursing a strained calf and it was predicted to be raining.  It wasn't, but the road was wet.

We lined up around 8:06am. Women of all shapes, colors, and ages; some with strollers, some with with their young daughters. It was a sight to see.

As the gun shot off, we stood still - the wave to walkers was thick.  I have a long stride as it is so I became frustrated getting stuck.  Moving to the sidewalk put me in the path of runners who didn't make the 10min average cut off for the runner's wave. Finally, I couldn't take the slow pace any longer and bid adieu to my walking partner - vowing to meet her at the finish line (plus, I drove to the race so I couldn't leave without her).  Next thing I know, I'm jogging.  I did slow to a walk 4 times.

Crossing the finish line, I noted the race clock was 48:58. I was happy.  I came home to check the chip time. That was 38.0.5! Sweet. My average pace was 12.5min.  Even on the treadmill, my pace was around 13.5min/mile.  Sadly, I was beaten by an 11 year old!! Her time was 38.0.4.
All in all, Sunday was fun.  The race, sponsored by Fleet Feet-Sacramento, benefited a local women's shelter. There were over 4,000 registrants, tons of information from Kaiser Hospital along with blood pressure screening, body composition, PT, massage, breast health and information on how to escape domestic violence. Blue Diamond gave out free almonds, Whole Foods provided post-race breakfast and coconut water and Raw Bars (yum). Lara bar gave out samples, as well.

So Kim asked me if I've been bitten by the race bug.  Not too sure, but I'm thinking of running the 4th of July Fun Run and NOCCs Run to Break the Silence (benefiting ovarian cancer).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Torching Calories

I was really feeling bummed this past week since the scale has constantly gone in the wrong direction for weeks since moving to Sacramento. I contemplated Jenny Craig, but I hate prepackaged foods. I thought of WWs, but that puts me back to obsessing over food intake. I even ponder Hydroxycut or Quickslim, but I know not to waste my money on gimmicks. I'd rather buy cute workout clothes and new sneakers. 

I've put my gym membership on hold thinking that I would workout at home with TurboFire, Zumba, my kettlebell, biking and runs. This is the workout gameplan. And until the strained calf, it's been working. 

My issue is my diet. It's always been my diet. 

I eat well during the week, packing my breakfast, lunch and snacks. But the weekends - that's a different story. My house is packed full of healthy full meal options and sprinkled with temptations (now that I live with my BF) like chips and soda. 

So I read the SP article of getting back on track. I have pledged on a friend's FB page to do a 5-week clean eating with no cheat meal. And I've pledged another friend that I will do her 30/30/30/300 challenge but with my mods: 40 squats, 40 crunches, 3 planks, 100 jumping jacks (did these today). 

I am focusing on eating more fruits and veggies and less carbs (not low carb, but smaller portion at dinner). My BF is a great support and doesn't make me feel guilty if my meal is a little different from his. He cooks extra veggies on his day to cook even if he's not planning to eat them. 

I'm glad to report that I'm down 4.6 lbs just this week! I may actually start using the weight tracker on SP.

So I'm not giving up. I am taking it day by day but making an effort to make better choices. When I want something sweet, I'll grab some fruit. When I crave something crunchy, I plan to grab some nuts. 

This is a daily battle but just like I plan to keep doing TurboFire 55 until I can do the entire video straight through without stopping, I can get my eating back under control. 

BTW - when I logged my calories today, SP gave me a warning that I needed to adjust my calorie burn. Eating too little and burning too many calories is unhealthy. I don't track my food, but I know I'm not eating too little (this is why the scale is going in the wrong direction). I do love when my HRM reads 845 calories after a TF workout - FEEL THE BURN!!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Giving Up

And that's just how I feel some days. Like just giving up and eating whatever and lots of whatever and not working out at all. The scale just pisses me off lately - going in the wrong direction.

I can't blame the scale for being the honest "friend" (term used lightly). I would blame myself for eating bags of chips and drinking soda while watching Top Gear all Memorial Weekend. I should blame myself for the boredom and not getting out to explore this new city.

But I'm over the blame game altogether. I can't go back and edit out the weekend. I can just push forward. I've been trying to watch what I eat but when I get bored I want junk (chips) and lately, I've been all kinds of bored. I surely don't feel like working out and I think putting my gym membership on hold wasn't the brightest idea. Hey, I bought TurboFire, Shred it with weights, and I'm waiting for Zumba to come in the mail (yeah, I'm a video junkie). And while having these items wont make the pounds melt off all by themselves, I have been motivated to put Chalene in the DVD player. I've even had 2 free training sessions last week.

So what's the deal?  Bottom Line - BORED!

Being bored on the weekends for me completely sabotages everything I've done well during the week. How do you combat this?  A good question that I am still trying to work out. Gas is high so tooling around this tiny town hunting out Home Goods and TJ Maxx isn't really smart - plus that puts me in the realm of spending money which I don't need to do. The weather here isn't so great so just when I think I could go for a bike ride, it starts to hail or is freezing cold. Um, hello.  Memo to Mother Nature - it's June. Please send warm, summery weather to Sacramento.

Yes, I'm bitching and moaning...forgive me. Just feeling in a funk and trying to work it out.

On the bright side - my 1st 5K is Sunday. To add to my pity party, it's scheduled to be cold and rainy.  Oh yeah...dontcha just love this California weather?