The Daily: March 30th, 2021

The flood waters have receded. Well, mostly. There were a couple of dicy patches with thick squishy mud that almost sucked my sneakers off my feet, but over all the creeks have returned to their beds and the walking trail is once again open.

It was very nice to once again walk in the sunshine. My plan was to try out the treadmills at the gym should the trail not be open but I am glad that I don’t have to actually drive to the gym today and can just walk down to the trail and go on my walk. Tomorrow of course is a gym day. So I’ll be scheduling in the driving. At the moment gym days require walking up a half hour earlier to kind of make my schedule balance. Its working without too much disruption so far and i think I can adjust to the slightly earlier wake up three times a week. It gets me to the gym, avoids the most people and doesn’t throw my schedule off.

The only thing is that I’ve never been a morning person and right now it is early enough in the spring that waking up a half hour earlier means it is still dark when i get up. Not loving that part, but everything else seems to be doing okay.

I had my first dentist appointment in a while and it was an interesting experience. For a while they weren’t scheduling anything, then they had a system and a backlog of patients so I was overdue for a visit. It was a little strange. In the exam room my dentist has removed all framed prints and dental advertisements. There are no brochures for extra services or really anything that could in anyway become contaminated with anything. Anything that remains is coated in disposable plastic and then of course there are the masks and the gloves.

You can see the nails where pictures once were so it sort of looks like they were the victims of art theft. Beyond that everything went well. I went to my appointment sans makeup actually. I picked up a new foundation ( well new to me, I’m not sure how long it has been on the market) that i want to try. It is the No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation with SPF 15. I figured wearing it to the dentist’s on it’s first day out of the box was a bit too cruel of a test for it.

Besides any face products worn at the dentist tend to get destroyed. Sure I would be able to hide the destruction behind a mask when I left the office, but I figure why put everyone through that.

So no makeup today. I will start in on the new foundation tomorrow and wear it every day until next Thursday (April 8th) when I will write up a full review. I figure that will give me enough of a feel for the product. Tonight I will be playing around a bit more with the Ciate London Eye Luster Liquid Shadow. But beyond that, my skin gets a fresh face to the world. Or at lest the world that is encapsulated by the walking trail and the dentist’s office. It’s a small sliver of the world, but it is all that I am visiting today. I might however get in a second walk this afternoon to make up for several days in a row being unable to walk outside. In addition I am making Carrot Cake for Easter and I adore carrot cake. So getting in a little extra walking time before the carrot cake arrives is not a bad thing.

The Daily: November 11th, 2020

Happy Veteran’s day. I hope everyone out there celebrated with their favorite veterans even if it was from the safe distance of a zoom call.

I spent the day inside, working today. I thought it was going to be hard to resist taking a walk so I had not one but three post it notes all with reminders of not walking today. Yesterday the blister caused by my new walking shoes ruptured and was rubbed raw. i wanted to give it time to heal up a little.

Turns out, I didn’t need a single one of the post it notes.

I woke up to find it was raining buckets. The rain has been intermintet all day and any attempt at walking would have resulted in a wash out. I’m pretty sure the park is flooded and will remain so through tomorrow. So it looks like i get two days for my blister to heal up. Probably not a bad thing. It does mean that I am going to have to watch my calories though. It’s not too bad though. I’m back in the habit of recording things and our sneaky little candy supply has dwindled to nothing. At least a far as I can tell. My baby doll may have hidden some away, but as I on’t know where it is, I can’t snack on it.

Which is fine with me.

Other than that I am taking frequent breaks to look at the Singles day sales. I have actually completed the bulk of my shopping. There are a few little stocking stuffers to get but not many. So with everyone else taken care of I can start to look at a few things I want. I actually took out my list and saw there is a very long list of things I want to try. So I will have to be selective. So much to try. I think that is really my problem. I want to try everything. even if it is just a sample size of something. Its actually why I love when companies offer samples with sales. I know Peter Thomas Roth does that. Admittedly currently two of the samples I picked up when I ordered the full size of the Skin to Die for Primer are now on my list of things I want to test out in the full size (Those would be the Hungarian Thermal water Mineral Rich Moisturizer and the Pumpkin Enzymatic Face mask. I adored those samples) And yes I realize that is the point of samples. Enticement.

Oh they are so good. PTR and Kerastase are both very good at pulling me in with samples. I picked up the Genesis Serum Fortifiant Hair serum, fell madly in love and was teased by several samples of really good hair masks from various lines. They have hair care for every concern so there are so many products I want to try. Since I’m going out less and heat styling my hair less I am having a season of the grand hair repair extravaganza. Basically attempting to repair a lifetime of abuse over the period of a lock down. i suppose there are worse things to keep me busy.

So no walking, calories in check and strategizing retail during my free moments when i take a break from work. That about sums up my day. Butternut squash soup for dinner. Warm and delicious. Pretty good for a rainy wednesday. Hope you are staying warm and dry wherever you are. And if you are planning your retail attack, I hope you dominate.


The Daily: October 20th, 2020

At the moment my darlings I am feeling quite proud of myself. While procrastination is something I am very much prone to, this time not procrastinating actually helped me out. On Friday I did my voting early figuring the lines were going to be bad no matter when I went so I might as well get it over with.

And the lines were long.

And it took more time than I wanted to spend in line.

But i did it.

Today, my babydoll took some time off work to go and vote since the early voting is still open (its a two week window here in case you were wondering.)

The lines were long.

In fact longer.

It took him twice as long to vote today as it did for me to vote on Friday.

So even though I skipped my Friday Face mask I am so pleased that I ended up going as early as i could.

Beyond feeling tickled pink with myself for not procrastinating, did manage to get a walk in. Apparently my pleasure at voting early caused the sky to rain on my parade, literally.

well literal rain. Not literal parade. I think even my neighbors might take issue if I marched along with a band leaders baton down the walking trail. Of course as long as i didn’t have the band and the elephants following me, they might not, who knows.

The air felt humid but didn’t look like it was going to rain, so i went on my walk. I reached the furthest point of my walk, turned around to head back and that’s when the skies opened up. Rain ga-loushed (and yes I said Ga-loushed. Take that spell check.) out of the sky in buckets. And it lasted until I was about forty feet from my house. Then it tapered off. When I put my hand on my front door to open it, the rain came to a stop and the sun peeked back out.

I know it’s just the weather, but it’s hard not to take that personally.

Luckily my baby doll finished voting by then and so I was the only one soaked. The whole voting thing sort of stressed him (the line was not terribly well managed and I think he was worried he wouldn’t make it in to vote on time and have to go through the whole thing again) out, so I’m making him consolation deviled eggs.

I know he likes deviled eggs, but I really think he likes when they are put on the old cut glass egg platter. Whenever he has felt stressed, he likes when he gets something fancy to make up for it. And to his credit as soon as I told him I would make the eggs for him, he got the platter out of the back of the cabinet and washed it. It was my grandmothers and we only use it once every couple of years at best. I think he just didn’t want to risk me just putting them on a plate. So dinner tonight is a large spinach salad with a side of deviled eggs, on a fancy cut glass platter. Luckily, most of the eggs will be going towards someone else’s belly.

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The Daily: October 15th, 2020

Today certainly started with the sizzle pop of excitement at my house. Mostly because my graphics card in my computer overheated and fried. which was all sorts of fun. But somehow it managed not to take anything else down with it. So only minor replacements were needed, no work was lost and fearing to leave my computer alone too long lest anything else happen, I got a lot of work done.

I remain hopeful that all issues are complete, I can replace what needs to be replaced quickly and all will be well. It does mean that tomorrow’s schedule is more variable than usual. I think things are steady but if tomorrow’s posts get delayed then you know I’m seeing the techno doc and will catch up later.

But that is a just in case issue. I’m about 90% sure all is steady now.

My break from my desk today netted me a walk and a much better chance to test my Native deodorant. Temps rose near me enough that I ended up very sweaty. Although I’m pretty sure it is more humidity rising than the heat. All of my shirt was wet, not just the underarms. It went directly to the washer. But I did a sniff test first.

There is a strange odor left behind on the shirt. It isn’t a sweat stink and it isn’t the cucumber mint, or any real combination of the two. It is an odd sour smell that I sort of remember from my Speak deodorant test. Although not nearly as bad. The last time I smelled this it was at the beginning of the first Natural deodorant trial and as near as I could figure out it was my body purging toxins. I can only guess that this is the same, but it isn’t nearly as strong as it was last time (which is nice) and I didn’t have the scent on light sweat days, just when I sweat buckets. Maybe I didn’t have as many toxins so they didn’t feel the need to flee my body in such large and immediate quantities.

Either way I put the shirt in the wash, took a shower and now smell delightfully of cucumbers and mint. Mostly mint to be honest, but it is a nice scent. It will be interesting to see how the grand toxin purge progresses. But for now I am pleased with the deodorant. and my on going trials. And I promise I will stop talking about my underarms until I make a final decision about how I feel about the product (in a few weeks), i just wanted to give a bit of an update since, I reported no initial odor. I didn’t want anyone to try it and be surprised.

So what it boils down to is I got my walk in and am monitoring my computer closely. I’ve also shifted a lot to the cloud and transferred reams of information to USB drives. You know just to be prepared.

Tonight is a crisp cool salad which will probably be accompanied by a nice glass of Riesling. I will sip and try not to think of french fried electro bits. And because there is only one glass left and the bottle has been in the fridge for a while. Fingers crossed it isn’t vinegar.

The Daily: October 14th, 2020

Today the sun was shining and over night the scavengers had time to clear out the unfortunate creekbed remains and the midge swarms are once again hiding in the shadows. So I was able to take my walk with out feeling like i was walking through a fishmongers after an extended power outage.

Deep breaths my darlings!

Inhale the actual air from the world outside.

And revel in the fact that the ragweed was smacked by the cold snap last night and making the eyes as happy as the lungs. That’s right, no itchy watery eyes for me today!

I see clearly, I breathe deeply and I crunched my way over the dried mud scales that currently coat the walking trail. While not the best of surfaces, the dried mud is not slick so no skidding down the hill for me today either.

It was quite pleasant, in fact it was so pleasant after I post this, I may go on a second afternoon stroll. more calories burned and more pressure put on the new deodorant i am trying out. If you recall from yesterday’s post, on a whim I picked up a new natural deodorant to try out. It is the Cucumber and Mint from Native.

After my first walk this morning I came in with still non-stinky armpits. However my skirt’s armpits were very very wet. I know it is a deodorant and not an antiperspirant but I was not expecting such damp cloth. I was wearing a black shirt so there were no noticeable pit stains. But the feel of the wet cloth was not my favorite.

I don’t mind sweating on my walk. Half the time everyone I pass is just as sweaty and messy as I am so that doesn’t bother me. The issue might be what happens when I test it out in a shirt sitting at my desk. I may have a lot of black clothing but not everything is dark and some clothes would definitely show stains. I think once I’ve determined that it doesn’t make me stinky when I’m working out, I will see about the non-work out results. There also may be an adjustment period as I just changed deodorants this past week.

But phase one, the not stinky in public phases is going well so far. If it remains so, I will move into Phase 2 testing. but for now I don’t stink. Having said that, I think i am going to take advantage of the very nice day outside and go for a walk. I may regret it when I have to play catch up tomorrow but my meetings are done for the day and quite frankly the sunshine and cooler temps are calling me to play. Resistance is futile.


The Daily: October 8th, 2020

Sleep. Such a beautiful thing. And last night, I managed to find it. So too, apparently did my neighbor. Or if he didn’t then at least his late night driving around the neighborhood was sans radio.

It was bliss.

Actually I was tired enough that I woke up feeling like someone hit me with a brick in the middle of the night. I also woke up in the same position as when I went to sleep, which almost never happens. I think I just conked out.

But I felt a lot better. My walk today did not feel as though my feet were made of lead. Which I consider a bonus for my workouts.

Less appealing was the humidity. The temps may still be low but the humidity went sky high today so I was sweating buckets. I kept telling myself it was good for the skin and that sweating purges toxins. I think I might have tried telling myself I was getting that post exercise glow. That lie didn’t last as I looked in the mirror when I got back to the house. There was no post work out glow. I just looked like a drowned rat.

So I cooled off, took a shower and decided I earned the trip to the drug store to look for replacement e.l.f. foundations. It turned into a bit more of a saga than I anticipated. I struck out at three drug stores and ended up at Target. But I found one of the products I was looking for. I also found out the one I loved has been discontinued. This week I’ll have to see if the new one stacks up against the replacement. They aren’t the same. One was a tinted moisturizer and the other is an acne fighting foundation. The link will take you to it if you want specifics early. I’ll spend some time poking around on the elf site later and see if I missed anything. At the moment elf has free shipping with orders over $15 in case you are looking to shop. I have to say it was really hard not to pick up other products while I was at Target. It is one of my downfalls. I tend to pick up an item when I see it or need it and then when I go onto the site to take advantage of the sales I realize I have already picked up all I wanted. So I’m trying to control the impulse buying and the need for the immediate so that i can just add in my wishlist when I do bulk orders for the holidays. I already know I will be ordering at lest three of the Bite sized palettes this holiday season. Seriously, good eyeshadow for $3, can we say stocking stuffers for thirteen year olds? I think we can.

Its actually amazing. I started adding things up and then I had to call parents to double check my ages because I thought I might have gotten them wrong. There are a surprising number of twelve and thirteen year olds on my list this year. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as everyone starting having kids at the same time. I just didn’t realize that we were entering the land of the teenager.

Fun stuff, and a not to bad day in total. I slept, I walked, I recorded my calories and I am maintaining the stance that I sweated out toxins. I don’t know what those toxins would be but I feel confident I sewated them out. I may not be able to convince myself of the post work out glow thanks to the mirror, but I am sticking with the toxin removal. It makes me feel better about the sweat fest. Now I am off to rehydrate and to finish out the last of my day. Tomorrow morning I am back on the scale and we will see if I managed to take a step forward.

SodaStream USA, inc

The Daily: September 28th, 2020

Sunshine!!!!! Oh how I have missed you. After a misty start to the morning, the sky finally cleared and revealed the sun. As it has been raining since Wednesday, it was fantastic. I went on a very long walk. While the sun is not terribly hot, I will say the humidity is fierce.

I returned to the house from my walk looking like it was actually raining outside. I walked straight into the laundry room, stripped off and put everything into the washer before heading directly to the shower. This was not a job for dry shampoo and showerless wipes. No, as fabulous as they are, this was a job for water and shampoo.

Well once the water warmed up it was a job for shampoo. I started off with cool water. It may not be as hot as it has been, but with the humidity I really felt the sun today. Then once I cooled down enough to allow the water to warm up, I called in the shampoo, conditioner and bodywash triumvirate and emerged later clean and feeling like I actually got some excercise.

While I spent much of the weekend sorting clothes and bringing out my fall and winter wardrobe the only activity I managed was moving around inside the house. The rain more or less kept me house bound and made me feel like a lump. The walk made me feel better about things. While I seriously doubt that I will ever be the person who talks about a ‘runner’s high’ – unless I spot some pot smoking joggers and even then I think I would just be impressed by fast moving potheads – I will say that now I am accustomed to walking almost every day, the days I don’t walk my body misses it. When I take a few days off and then get back to walking I always feel like I am clearing out some mental cobwebs. Its a nice feeling. So I was glad to see the sun today.

Something else I was happy to see, Peter Thomas Roth is having a sale on their To Die For Line. I tested out the To Die For Primer from PTR and absolutely loved it. I only had a sample and I put the full size on my list to look into for Black Friday. With this sale I may be able to scratch it off the list early. The sale is To Die For Collection Sale 50% off with Coupon code: TODIEFOR. The sale starts 9/28 12am ET and ends 10/4 11:59 pm ET. The above link will take you to the sale. I don’t get anything if you use the coupon code, it is just the sale code. If you are interested in my review of the Primer you can click here to read it. It was part of my Make Up bag for both the week of May 22 and the following week as there was enough in the sample tube for two weeks of use. It is an excellent mattifying primer. So I saw the sale notice and had to share. Hope you enjoy.

The Daily: September 17th, 2020

Not a lot of walking done today. In fact no walking done today. I woke up this morning and it was pouring buckets. It has yet to stop, so I’m guessing that even if it does, there will be no walking tomorrow either because the park will be flooded.

As a consequence I am counting up my calories and hoping for the best.

The real issue though is that on days when I can’t actually walk, I start to feel twitchy. I am just used to the walking being a part of my day now that my body really starts to miss it. Today I noticed I was getting fidgety and I couldn’t quite figure out why. They I realized the figets started about the same time that I would normally go on my morning walk.

I suppose there are worse habits to form.

Tomorrow morning may start with an extra video work out in an effort to preemptively burn off some of the twitchiness.

I did get a lot done today though which is nice. It was a very productive day withitems being checked off my to do list with careless abandon. I think that has been one of my favorite things I have learned during my time with out a scale. Using the to do lists to just write down everything I need to do (including logging my calories) and then drawing a line through them has made me feel like have gotten a lot done. It makes me feel far more accomplished than I perhaps have a right to feel. Mostly it has kept me organized enough to work on several projects at once without losing track of any of them which has been nice.

I broke a couple of larger projects into small tasks and then put tasks from each of the projects on my to do lists each day. It has let me feel like I am moving forward on all of them without letting any one of them fall to the wayside, or without letting one of them take over completely. That has actually been my problem in the past. I’ll work on one project trying to get a lot done on it and then other things I need to take care of slide off the radar. Then I switch and try to make up ground on that one, which causes all the others to fall behind. This way i keep everyone moving forward at a steady pace. who knew all it too was a little thought and a to do list to keep me on track?Or that just striking through a completed task would make me feel so good.

And because of the rain and my inability to go on my walks I am flying through my to do lists. So O feel industrious and yet jittery at the same time. A strange feeling, but at least I know why. Its when I get jittery for no reason that I start to worry. So no worries, just the wiggles. And if they occur tomorrow there might be a short yoga session before the Friday face mask.

Weight Loss Regime Survival Tip #48: The Unexpected

Sometimes in life things happen and you just have to make adjustments.  I know this is something we are all familiar with at this point.  Sometimes however the unexpected is a little closer to home. You know, there are times when I think myself really clever.  I’ll do something or write something or figure out a snarl in my plot in an unexpectedly delightful way and I will feel really good about myself.

There are other times when I manage to do something so bone-headedly stupid that I wonder why I don’t have a slew of Darwin Award trophies on my mantle.

This weekend was one of my not so bright moments. 

If you’ve been following along, you most likely know that I garden and that we have had a boat load of spring rain in my area. This weekend, it was sunny. 

In fact, it was just about perfect.

roses from my yard

The sun was shining and the temperature warm but not too hot. The roses were beginning to bloom. In fact. I cut a few for inside. A cool breeze was blowing so that nothing seemed too warm even when drowsing in the sun.  I sprayed myself down with sunscreen and did some work in the garden.  I then moved all of my seedlings outdoors for a chance to spend some time outside. 

Afterwards everything looked so lovely I thought ‘why not read out in the back garden?’ 

It was a nice break from being inside all the time and I was, quite ready for an outdoor break.  I loved my Wonder Woman Marathon, but there is only so much time I can sit on the couch. 

I also decided to change out of my jeans and put on a loose fitting summer dress.  I was quite happy to get to take it out of the closet (mostly because it didn’t fit me last summer and is now a little too loose on me). I was proud of myself for getting to wear it.

As we all know, pride goes before a fall.

This was no exception.

I settled myself with a book and fell into my story. For several hours.

Occasionally I moved around and my skirt shifted with movements, especially when I propped my knees up.  But I thought ‘hey I might actually get some sun on my ghost white legs’.

And boy did I.

Oh yes, my darlings, I sprayed myself with sunscreen when wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but in my haste to enjoy the perfect day, forgot to apply more when I changed and put none at all on my legs or upper arms where the skin was covered previously.

What occurred was a motley patchwork of burns on my inner thighs, knees, calves and feet.  (I kicked off my shoes to prop my feet on an extra chair.) The burns were pretty bad and I have been hobbling around ever since.  My arms are painful, but my legs feel as though the skin shrunk (which I suppose it did) and any movement is somewhat painful and walking is certainly out of the question. Making it from room to room is an effort. There is no way I am making it on the trail this week.

At the moment standing is not my favorite either. In fact the only position repotely comfortable is the one I was sitting in when I got the burn, ie. sitting with my feet propped up.  Monday morning I went to use the restroom and took longer than I expected because I had to work up the courage to stand back up and face the pain as the skin on my legs shifted.

It is getting better. Fear not, I don’t think I did myself any permanent harm. There are no blisters, just really red skin that feels really tight. It is just really painful at the moment.

Worse is that I know I did it to myself.

I did this stupid thing to me because I forgot extra sunscreen and lost track of time while reading.  As I almost always lose track of time while reading, I should have known better. Ghost white legs with no sun protection do not need to spend five hours in the sun.

Cool breeze or not.

So now I am dealing with the unexpected. I am giving my legs a break from walking, my body in general a break from exercising (mostly because I have no choice in the matter) and I am placing sunscreen at strategic points in the house so it is always visible. Although I think I will remember this for quite some time to come.

So unexpectedly I find myself with a week with no exercise.  I am watching my calorie count, but I do not have high hopes for Friday’s weigh in.  I really wish I could blame someone else, but really,  I can’t. this was all me. At best I could raise my fist and glare at the sun, but that really won’t help and it hurts to lift my arm that high at the moment anyway.

I will say, I am very happy to have that four pack of moisturizing face masks at the moment.  I have been lounging with them this week and suspect they will be used up by this coming weekend. 

Well timed Face-tory. 

Although I had about three layers of spf of differing strengths already on my face, so oddly my face is fine while the rest of me isn’t so happy. Still, I will admit, the extra serum in the mask packets is being applied to arms and legs and the extra moisture is quite appreciated.

As each day is a little less painful, I know that this too will pass.  I will probably be mobile by Friday in fact even if I leave off walking again until Monday.  But all my plans for this week have sadly been chucked in the bin.

For the moment I just have to accept that. Next week I will get back to walking and I will add in the Wii Fit to see if it actually adds anything to my at home workout.  This week, I am spending a lot of it with my feet propped up, a hydrating mask on my face and cartoons playing on the television.  At the moment, I’m partial to Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated.  It’s on Netflix if anyone is interested.  Louis Black plays the Mysterious Mr. E. which I find somewhat amusing. Plus, it is really hard to feel too bad about yourself when watching Scooby Doo. Or at least that’s my take on it. Maybe it just makes me feel better.

Regardless, next week, we resume real life, this week, I’m taking a bodily enforced break. If nothing else, let this serve as a reminder, don’t forget the sunscreen, even if it seems only mildly warm outside. We are entering the season of the sun. while SPF is important year round, it is doubly so now. Enjoy the sun responsibly.

Weight Loss Regime Survival Tip #24: Competition

I will admit, I am not the world’s most competitive person. In my family that title is in contention between my brother and my cousin. Growing up I learned that if you were good enough to win against either of them than you would immediately be hit with ‘Best two out of three’ followed of course by ‘Three out of five’ and so on and so forth.

And you always knew it was coming because if you managed to beat either of them then they would get so worked up by the thought of losing that their skill levels would actually decrease with each game they were forced to play to prove their dominance and therefore your continued winning streak was thus almost a guarantee.

I learned very early on that escape meant that after a few games you needed to maneuver yourself into a losing streak. The trick was that you couldn’t look like you were losing on purpose. If they thought you were throwing the game, you would never be allowed to leave. It was a matter of pride and the reason that sometimes monopoly tournaments went on for years.

And I mean that literally. My cousin used to take a polaroid of the monopoly board and write everyone’s currency on the back along with real estate details and how many rounds were won or lost during that bout.

Then his photo and camera mysteriously disappeared one day.

I disavowed all knowledge.

I’m not sure these are the best skills to learn in childhood, but learn them I did and they have served me well. While I did learn to be sneaky, I also learned what games I was actually good at playing. I learned how to deal with irate people who were behaving in an unreasonable manner and I learned how to lose gracefully. I also internalized my self esteem instead of depending on outward validation.

I also learned that overly competitive people can be fun to play with, if you want to indulge your slightly evil side. While most of my ‘no cookies for you, now go to your room and think about what you did young lady’ moments were due to me letting that side of me out to play, I have found that occasionally the gym is good way to indulge myself.

Especially since I’m already not getting the cookies.

I had time to indulge myself in evil this week actually. I was on the treadmill at the gym. Now I know a lot of people start with clearly blocked out times for speeds and such, but I don’t, not really. I go to the treadmill after I have stretched and done my weights for the day so my body is limber. Still I start at a low speed for the first five minutes to warm up. Then I press the button to go up one point. (I start at 3.0 for warm up so one point is 3.1, fyi) Then as I adjust, i hit it another time to go to 3.2. I keep going up until I am walking as fast as I care to and then I stay there as long as I can before reversing the process. Then I do my five minute cool down.

Simple right? And not at all evil.

Wait for it my darlings, the evil cometh.

So I get on the treadmill and I am aware that at 208 lbs I am not the sveltest person in the gym. I am not lifting massive amounts of weight. I am not running a thirty second mile.

But walking, walking I can do.

For a really long time.

Onto the treadmill next to me stepped a woman quite a bit younger and quite a bit lighter than me. She was the kind of thin that doesn’t actually come from working out but rather from not eating. I’d seen her around the gym, usually in a group of others and usually talking rather than doing anything. You know the group I mean, the ones who have the well put together outfits, the expensive water bottles and are actually wearing a full face of makeup. They are amusing to watch. It’s like a strange sort of social club.

And I’m not knocking anyone’s routine, to each his own. It is however, more that they tend to go to the gym because they have been told they need to go to the gym, not because they actually have anything they want to do there. Occasionally they go onto the treadmills for a few minutes.

I’ll admit, its really the makeup that gets me.

I go bare faced to the gym thinking it is better not to have anything between my skin and the world when sweat comes pouring out of me. The woman next to me had no such qualms. We both put in our earbuds and started our machines. She glanced over and saw that I was starting at 3.0. She flashed a smug look and set hers to the same. It was clear she thought she’d have no problem keeping up with me.

My warm up ended and I hit the button. Her eyes flashed to my screen then immediately did the same.


The fun begins.

Okay, I kept the evil giggle inside. And since my muscles were already warmed up, it didn’t take me long to bump up my speed another notch. She followed suit.

And kept following suit all the way until I reached the highest speed I was willing to go. Her look of smug altered to a look of determination I remember well from my childhood.

Because occasionally, I refused to pretend to lose.

Once I reached my maximum speed, I settled in for a long stretch of walking. While my oh so competitive neighbor at first looked relieved by the fact that the speed was not increasing, as I didn’t slow down or stop, her look of determination came back.

She was not going to let me beat her.

But there were many unoccupied machines at this time of day so I wasn’t blocking anyone else from exercising and I can literally walk for hours.

Plus I hadn’t finished my actual work out.

As in most gyms the treadmills face a wall of mirrors and this one offered me a spectacular view of the scene. As I’ve lost a little weight yet wear very stretchy exercise pants, I have not purchased new ones. As long as they don’t fall off my body I am fine with them. My pants are no longer skin tight though and instead of stopping just below my knees they now are almost ankle length.

(Its kind of frustrating actually, I haven’t gone down another size yet, but as I’m losing weight all over my pants are getting longer faster than they are getting looser, all my jeans now have cuffs and anything that started out capri length is now almost full length, ah the world of weight loss fashion. A topic for another time.)

I also have my rather worn in cheap cotton t-shirt on. My hair is tied up messily at the back of my head, I am sweating and have no makeup on. This is me at the gym. I am not an awesome sight to behold.

By contrast my companion has an exercise ensemble complete with matching scrunchie, socks and sneakers, a neat, jauntily swinging ponytail and as stated before a perfectly made up face. It was flawless.

At the beginning anyway.

I don’t think she used waterproof products though. Or if she did, they weren’t sweat proof. I started off walking next to someone who looked model-esque and ended up walking next to a Tammy-Faye Baker impersonator. i could practically hear the ‘pray for Jim,’ sobbed out across the viewing audience.

Mostly though it looked like she was melting.

And I thought I was the wicked witch.

It was strangely fascinating to watch as I walked. Although I will admit when her sweat started affecting her lash glue and her false lashes started to go askew I had a hard time not cracking up.

But containing laughter is a good workout for your abs, right?

I expected her to stop her competition then, but she was having none of it. she pulled off the lashes and dropped them into the empty cup holder on the console and kept going.

I kept walking.

And despite the fact that I was listening to a History of Byzantium podcast (excellent podcast by the way if you are into history) and not music, I may have added a little bounce to my step and hummed slightly under my breath.

Eventually, she decided it wasn’t worth it, stopped her machine and stepped off. She returned a few minutes later to retrieve her lashes. I finished out my work out and then slowly started lowering my speed for my cool down.

I know, I was a little evil. In my defense, I really only slightly tweaked the workout I was planning to do. And I most certainly didn’t have a cookie afterwards.

I will admit that I am also a little bit proud of myself. I pushed myself to a little faster speed for a little longer than I planned and my body was still fine with it. which I suppose means I need to adjust my work out again. It is also something I could not have done six months ago. I think because I compete against myself and tend to set my goals based on working to improve so that today’s me is better than yesterday’s version, I occasionally forget to look outwards.

After taking control of my weight and exercise I may not be sylph slim and ready for a Paris runway (not that that is actually my goal), but I am not hobbling around with achy feet because my tootsies are complaining about carrying around my weight anymore either.

Sometimes I forget that.

So I guess competition is on occasion good for me even though I prefer to avoid it.

Ah, learning through evil.

Probably not an impulse I should have validated (cause I still feel a little guilty about melting treadmill girl), but I suppose we all learned a little something. I learned I’m getting stronger and she learned not to judge a book by its cover. Maybe. I don’t know. She may have just been annoyed and not learned anything. The next time I saw her she was on a treadmill next to one of her friends. They were walking at a low speed a steady stream of conversation flowing between them. She looked none the worse for wear and I clearly didn’t disrupt her routine, so my guilt faded and my amusement remains.

But yeah, still no cookie for me.