But it didn’t feel like 5 miles

Since I got my iPhone in December, I’ve fallen back into shutterbug mode. I’ve discovered Instagram and generally enjoyed exploring Manhattan with my camera. Most of these had been on my way to or from somewhere, or walking home from work through the park on a gorgeous, early spring day. What I hadn’t done was dedicate a day to taking pictures like I used to do while in Spain. That changed yesterday

As any of you who know me know, I have no sense of direction. Up and down? I’m OK with those. Right, left, east, west? Not so much. I usually do OK within the park and after having accidentally re-found Cherry Hill on Friday night when it too late/dark to get a good picture, I had a general course planned for Saturday morning. I just didn’t realize how long it was.I entered the park at E. 86th and headed north along the reservoir. The east side of the reservoir had the sakura in peak whereas they are totally gone on the west side. Odd. From the south end of the reservoir I dropped down toward the Delacorte and new-to-me deck over the Turtle Pond via the great lawn and some amazing cherry, plum and magnolia trees. It’s amazing how many more turles you can see when the brush is cut back. I wanted to go up to the top of Belvedere Castle but the crowds were too big so I headed east around the Turtle Pond to the Poland/King Jagiello statue where I just s at and people watched for a bit. It was a gorgeous, warm-for-March spring day but a little too cool in the shade so I kept walking again after too long.

At the top of the hill to the south of King Jagiello I found another wonderful tree where I probably stopped and took photos for 20 minutes. Photos, yes. These were 20 or so of my best from yesterday but I took 248 in a matter of four plus hours. Yep, Shutterbug Cari is alive and well. From there, cut down through the crowds by the Boathouse and Bethesda Terrace to cherry hill. Surprisingly after the blossoms by King Jagiello and the ones I’d seen earlier in the week near the Pilgrim statue, where I returned on my way out of the park, the blossoms on cherry hill weren’t as magical. I still enjoyed the view of the Lake and the people watching.

By this point, my achilles were starting to hurt (fit flops and hills in the park don’t mix) so I decided to head out and make my way to the gym … but then I found the pilgrim blossoms even closer to peak than earlier in the week and an hour was gone to taking pics. Those trees are where the majority of the pics above are from – and they’re what spurred me to figure out how to edit photos on my computer and upgrade flickr so I could post them. WOW. These are by far the best sakura I’ve ever seen outside of Himeji or Hiroshima. The perfect climax to a great day.

I was floored when I tracked my route in MapMyFitness and realized it was more than five miles. Followed that with seven miles at the gym. A productive day in many ways.

Confession: Scale Wench

I like “wench” better than “wh0re” but when it comes to the scale, both are true for me.

I can weigh myself daily and it doesn’t make me (too) crazy. I’ll even weigh myself multiple times. I just need to know where I am. Non-scale cues don’t work for me especially since I have yet to learn to properly use a measuring tape. Yes, I’m special at times.

Weighed myself this morning knowing it would be up because a) couldn’t bend my fingers and b) overnight cankles. Hi. Crazy salt in Knorr Rice Sides buffalo chicken, anyone? Saw the number, shook my head, started drinking. At day’s end? I’d peed about 12 times and my night weight was 2 lbs less than my morning weight. Good sign but further proof our bodies are nuts.

Proud of myself today. I tracked everything (except 4 m&ms as I couldn’t figure that out) and stayed OP.


Currently reading: Tales from the Scale. I see so much of myself in there, it’s eerie.

Two years in…

Friday is my two-year Weight Watchers anniversary. Am I where I wanted to be? No, but I’m a lot closer to that than I was when I started in March 2009. Best of all, I recently recaptured that epiphany / drive I had when I first started and I’m really hoping to ride that to goal. Yes, I believe that I will hit GOAL in 2012.

I realized recently that between March 24, 2010 and February 4, 2012 I went to the gym at least 200 times. Five weeks after joining Weight Watchers I was impressed with my ability to stick to the gym and while the 15 of 19 days pace hasn’t held up, I’ve remained committed to the gym. GoTheDist has been a huge part of that as has the Back to Basics challenge I’m doing with a few former WeWa buddies. While my eating has been somewhat off track leading to a recent gain, I’m proud that I’ve stuck with the gym.

I’m human. I’m not perfect. There are some things, read
guacamole, where I’m still weak but I’m getting better.

Step 1, mini goal 1: track food for one full week.

I can do this.

So today I went gym shopping

Not shopping for gym clothes or sneakers or anything, for a gym.

I’m coming up on two years at Boom Fitness and while I like it, I don’t love it. So I decided to see what’s out there. Figured it can’t hurt to be a diligent shopper so I hit NYSC & Equinox

Putting it as a pros and cons to help myself decide even though I think I’ve already made my decision.

Current gym:
Boom Fitness:

  • Not very crowded so I can get machines without waiting.
  • Not that expensive (about $60/month)
  • Relatively convenient


  • Not as good a value as it used to be since prices have come down in the market.
  • Doesn’t have a good range of classes (that I don’t take anyway)
  • Not on my way home so I can’t always make myself go.

New York Sports Club – I used to be a member of NYSC before moving (& joining Boom) but not the location that I went to today.

  • Between my apartment & the subway. Would take a conscious effort to avoid going. Not that I’m not capable of said effort.
  • Promotional deal to returning members brings the cost to less than Boom Fitness
  • Has more classes, but see above


  • Due to location it’s very crowded and I saw a lot of people waiting for machines. I don’t have the patience and would likely walk out vs. get my exercise in.
  • Looked kind of dingy. Could be due to volume of use
  • No pool at this location


  • On.My.Block – there’s no way to avoid going here without feeling guilty
  • WOW. An Upper East Side Gym. Clean, nice lighting. Good number of machines. Amazing class schedule. Showers are like a spa and it *has* a spa
  • No hard sell


  • Price. The initiation & monthly costs are high although there are plans that waive the initiation

It’s clear which gym I liked the most, but there’s no way I can swing Equinox much as I’d like to. Going to file it for when my financial circumstances change.

There’s a Gold’s Gym near the office, but none that I know of up here & since I tend to be more of a weekend gym go-er, I don’t see that working out well for me. None of the other ones listed up here are really close enough to be worth it. I really miss Planet Fitness. Can’t beat price.

So I guess BOOM it is.

so a week into 2012

and I’m mostly still on track.

I had a slower start to exercise then I wanted because I started off the year sick. Still, I made myself go to the gym on both Sunday and Monday and even a short workout is better than none at all.

So far, I’m in a good place for #GoTheDist. 21.41 miles out of a goal of 750 for the year and 175 for Q1. I think I can do it even when I switch to more walks over bikes when the weather is nicer. Speaking of nice weather, it was 13F when I left the house on Weds. AM & today when I was walking home from the gym it was 55F. Same city. Wish I’d had more time for an outdoor workout today. Maybe I’ll walk home one day this week if it stays nice.

After a few missed weekends in the fall due to other commitments, I’m back on track for 50 gym visits in this 6 month window. It’s good for fitness, it’s even better my wallet.

Food choices were mostly good too. I’m in my usual winter challenge of a lack of fresh fruit & veg & it being too cold for smoothies, but I’m making better choices.

So let’s see where the rest of 2012 goes.