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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So, How Did I Loose Those 20 Pounds?

I've been seeing a chiropractor for recurring shoulder and neck pain, which was exacerbated by the move. Books are heavy, and I know better, but still I get in a hurry and use bigger boxes than I should. One of the keys to my recovery is going to be walking.

I love to walk. Always have. When I came out to the Residential Program, I had gotten lazy aoubt it. The excuse was that my feet hurt. Badly. Long days of moving medical supplies at full tilt on a concrete floor had abused my poor feet, and I stopped walking for fun. That's when I started to gain weight. I spent many evenings after work with my feet proped up on pillows.

One of the best things about quitting the job I'd had for 25 years was being able to take better care of myself. In the Residential Program, we walked. Up hills, mostly, and with backpacks. I took to carryng about 25 pounds of stuff - water, lunch, field guides, and extra clothing - every where I went while in class. At first, I could barely make it up the hills...I was out of breath and my legs shook. As I got stronger, it got easier. My feet didn't hurt anymore, and I could handle the hills. I was never the fastest "kid" in the class, but I stopped being the last one to get to the top of the hill...or back to the vans.

Our first field trip to the Oregon Dunes had me convinced I'd never make it...the sand dunes were brutal. I had to have help getting to the top. The entire class was cheering me on as I crawled up the final 20 feet or so. Then Andrew reached down and pulled me up to the top. I knew then that I would make it through the year. It wasn't the last time I needed help, but it was the last time I thought about quiting the program.

As we hiked the mountains of western Washington, my feet got tougher, my legs stronger, and I lost about 20 pounds. By December, I was in pretty good shape. If I fell too far behind, it was becasue I'd stopped to look at something cool.

Since graduation, I've gotten lazy again. My Monroe neighborhood was getting kind of scarey to walk in. Without a dog to walk, I just didn't get out much. I started to gain back the pounds I'd lost.

Now, under doctor's orders, and in a new neighborhood, I'm walking again. I haven't put the pack on yet, but by summer I plan to be ready for some serious hiking.

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My Favorite Fiction Authors and Books

  • Suzanne Arruda- the Jade del Cameron mysteries: "The Mark of the Lion" "Stalking Ivory", "The Serpent's Daughter", "The Leopard's Prey" and "The Golden Cheetah"
  • Ken Goddard - "Balefire" and others
  • Stephen White - the Dr. Alan Gregory books are all great. "Kill Me" is my favorite.
  • Harlan Coben - anything he writes is great
  • Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody mysteries

My Favorite Nonfiction Authors and Books

  • "Coyote's Guide to Connecting With Nature" by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown- 2nd edition coming soon!
  • Gavin De Becker - "The Gift of Fear"
  • "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales- the best survival book I've ever read! Not a how-to, its more of a who does,and why.
  • Candice Millard - "The River of Doubt -Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey"
  • Anything that starts with "Peterson's Field Guide To..."
  • Tom Brown, Jr. - "The Tracker" and others
  • Mark Elbroch - "Mammal Tracks and Sign" and "Animal Skulls"