Women's March Los Angeles Weekend Pics

 Early Saturday morning I got on the road to BFF 
and got to see the sun rise over the Conejo Grade.
 Our first selfie of the day at her office building, where we parked. 
Very grateful to not have to rely on public transportation.
 We were in deep.
 My in my pussy hat and BFF looking flossy.
 A tiny activist I literally lifted up to oversee the crowds.
 My entire sentiment of the day.
 The sun setting as I drove home.

There are many more photos on my Flickr. Los Angeles estimated about 70K people for the march but more like 750K showed up. It was a peaceful day of peaceful protest. Police presence, if there was any, was hardly noticeable. Even when we shut streets down, drivers of stalled cars cheered us on. People hung out their windows to cheer us on. The vibe of the huge crowd was positive and polite, especially when we were stalled and chants of "Left on 7th" steered us on to our alternate route. Elderly and babies and ages all between, people of all races, men and women, gays and straights... a true rainbow of a crowd. There was no violence, very little vitriol. It was a day unlike any in my past and likely unlike any I hope to see in my future. I believe in the majority, even if their votes weren't meant for the president we elected. I am grateful my best friend is a strong woman that was essential in my participation of the events of the day. I am proud to have participated in this monumental event and look forward to being more politically active than I have ever been. As I said on Facebook: My reason for marching had less to do with our President and everything to do with my staunch belief that a woman should be able to make her own choices without obstacles in place to slow her down. We may not like or approve of some of her choices, but that, my dears, is freedom.


Haiku Friday

A soggy Friday
That is both me and weather
Rain, rain, go away
With lots more to come
I wonder if they're saving
Any of this rain
There's a drought, you know
But I prefer the sunshine
With minimal wind

Lunchtime walk edit:


Weigh In Wednesday

Weight: 216.8
Up 1.6 since last week. It is officially day one of my period. I hope this is water retention. However, I have been enjoying sweets a bit much lately. My meals are pretty on point though so not all hope is lost. On Saturday, I drank a total of 4 beers and got absolutely sick drunk. I guess this a sign that cutting back is going to have to happen seeing as I've lost my ability to hang.

Lifetime Steps; 1,228,856
63,443 since last week for an average of 9,063 steps a day. Good but not great. I only hit or exceeded my step goal on Saturday and yesterday. Came very close on Wednesday and Sunday, though, only short a few hundred steps. The hike on Saturday was so wonderful and the inclines were definitely felt in my calves and thighs.

Frame of Mind: 
Not great. All this weather is making me feel not so motivated. Rain in the forecast today, Friday, Sunday and Monday. Kind of thwarts my step effort. Plus there's that period thing. And the bummer of this week's weight gain. Slow and steady wins the race though. I'm still down in weight overall and my slacks are quite loose so I know that since May, when I bought them for the new job, my body has gotten smaller. I've been making more time to read actual books and that is making me quite happy.


Weekend Pics

 Saturday was hike day because it was dry and sunny.
 This is Paradise Falls at Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks
 This is a boy who nearly died of exhaustion after the end of four miles.
But he didn't. Because it was never as serious as he made it for many minutes of complaining that his legs were going to fall off.
 This is his sister who got carried most of the way up.
 Date night at Levity Live. Tom Segura killed it.
 A perfect representation of our lazy Sunday.
 Lunch by the Scarlett Belle 
 Farmers Market Flowers
 Cookies baked upon Casey's request. YUM
Much more fun than the healthy food prep I spent most of the afternoon working on.
 Fire the Fish with more flowers from Farmers Market
 Pie in the Face game
Pretty silly.


Haiku Friday

New Year, Better Me
Less than four months til forty
I'm feeling in charge
Doctors appointments
Had a blood draw this morning
The scale's going down
Getting organized
Writing lists and making plans
I am all fired up


Book Review

Last year was not a stellar year for me reading books. In August I completed Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, a tome that took me about three months to conquer. Since then, I've stuck mostly to children's books so I decided to give that author a second chance. BFF had given me many books prior to moving to New York (I believe) and South of the Border, West of the Sun is one of the titles that has graced my shelves, unread, for way too long. You may be asking yourself why I gave Murakami another shot after that first questionable experience and truthfully, I'm not certain. I guess 1Q84 was just so out there, I wanted to see if his other writing was a bit more reigned in.
South focuses on the life, specifically love life, of a man named Hajime. We start out with his friendship with a disabled girl named Shimamoto, meander into his first romance with a girl named Izumi, and end up in his marriage to Yukiko. Hajime never quite got over his relationship with Shimamoto that was cut short thanks to a childhood move, destroyed his relationship with Izumi by cheating on her with her cousin, and later finds himself contently married to Yukiko, the mother of his two daughters. He is an only child who seems most comfortable being alone, without being weighted down by relationships. His day to day existence is successful but meaningless until the day Shimamoto strolls back into his life.
Shimamoto appears to bring a certain excitement to Hajime's life that comes in the form of the unknown, the what if. She is a secretive and mysterious woman that pops into and out of his life without warning and quickly becomes an obsession for Hajime. He's convinced he belongs with her at the risk of losing his family. At the climax of their newfound relationship, she has Hajime wondering if his time with her was even reality. Essentially, I took this book to be about a midlife crisis.
Murakami definitely has a way with words but in both books of his I have read, those words tend to meander. He spends a lot of time painting the picture, complete with soundtrack, but all that description doesn't seem to contribute to the story itself. By the close of the book, I had to wonder to myself why I needed to learn so much about Hajime's world, only to have what was essentially a cliffhanger ending. Hajime's midlife crisis was relatable because I think it's fair to say we all wonder about how our lives could be different. I just would have liked a tidier end to his story other than "There is no going back." I think it's time for me to end my relationship with this author now.


Weigh-In Wednesday

Weight: 215.2
Down 1.8 lbs since last week. Thanks to the flu/cold I had, I've successfully been able to cut way back on beer consumption. I went several days without even 1 beer and managed to keep it to 2 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. Unheard of. My taste buds are fried so I just don't even have a taste for it. It's crazy. Makes me sound like an alcoholic but really I just love the taste of beer so this is just a weird time for me. Late night snacking has not been happening due to early bed times and fried taste buds. Between meal snacking has dropped to practically nonexistent. Reaching my goal of 190 (25 more pounds) seems unrealistic in the four months I have left until my 40th; however, if I can just get down to below 200 I will feel successful.

Lifetime steps: 1,165,413
That's 64,187 since last week for an average of 9,169 steps a day. I hit or exceeded my goal of 10K on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Considering I was knocked on my butt, literally and figuratively, with a nasty flu/cold for several days last week, I'm happy to see this. The rain has yet to inhibit my walking so that also makes me happy. I really want to hit that 10K a day and competing against my fitbit friends (I'm talking to you, BFF!) is a great way to stay motivated. I even got some new sweats and a windbreaker so I have no reason to not walk in this chillier weather.

Frame of Mind: 
I'm tired from this dumb sickness but I'm not quitting or slowing down. I did my meal prep for the week so I was better prepared for breakfast and lunches at work. I'm trying to be very conscious of what I'm making for dinner and how much I am serving myself. I went to the doctor yesterday to make sure that I'm entering 2017 on the right foot and she was quite pleased with my weight loss. I have a blood panel pending to make sure my cholesterol is where it needs to be. I've been reading an actual grown up book that's just for me and would like to keep that going. The weather has been not great but it has not kept me from walking and I'm hoping I can continue with that momentum. Walking makes me feel good and I think it helps to step away from this desk at lunch and away from all this horrible news and just zone out to some tunes and steps. Seeing results is so satisfying. It's been four months but that scale is going down and that makes me feel great!

Yesterday's Stats:
Blood pressure: 99/70
Heart rate: 77 beats per minute
Height: 67"
BMI: 33.9
Weight, clothed, at 1:30 pm: 219
(I feel it worth noting I weigh myself first thing in the morning, before eating, nude, for my Wednesday tracking)