Friday, August 23, 2013


Yes, I know, it isn't like me to start on a new vacation when I haven't posted the pictures from the last one yet.  In my defense, I've gone through the photos, selected the good ones, and uploaded them to picasa.  What I haven't yet done is put them in the appropriate posts (and, for convenience, one big post as well).  I thought perhaps I'd do that before posting about this trip, but there's only so much you can do on a 7-inch tablet screen.  So, the pics will wait yet again, as I give you a short rundown of this weekend.

This weekend lands me in Arizona, at one of them snooty healthy living resorts.  (Can't really call it a "fat farm," -- they don't limit what you eat, although it's all quite healthy; none of the program attendance is mandatory; and they also do a variety of mind/body stuff that's supposed to put your spirit right with the universe.)  You basically give them a big pile of money to stay there -- and that lets you attend a bunch of classes, use the facilities, and eat all your meals -- and then that ALSO gives you an allowance to spend on specialists and spa services.  (I'm using mine on a nutritionist tomorrow morning, who will then go off and create a week's worth of menus especially for me.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with, given that the list of vegetables I don't eat is, like, two pages long.)

I've been here before -- about 20 pounds heavier.  And it really is because of this place that those 20 pounds are no longer on me.  On the plus side, that was, like 6 years ago, and the 20 pounds are still gone.  On the minus side, it was initially closer to 30 pounds.  So, I'm hoping that a little refresher around here will get me back to healthy eating, exercising, and living (which, in my case, means sleeping).

Longtime readers may recall that, on my first visit, I took my big fat ass to a class entitled "Fit Strip," in which we were each assigned a chair, directed to imagine the appropriate object of our affection in said chair, and were then taught something halfway between a fitness routine and a lap dance, to be performed with (and upon) the chair.  I'm not sure how much of my ass I sweated off in that class, but I surely laughed it down in size.  Not at my classmates, I might add -- at myself (the imaginary dude in my chair kept rolling his eyes) and at the only man in the room -- the DJ -- who was studiously staring down at his music equipment and trying desperately not to make eye contact with any of us.

I am happy to report that there are no Fit Strip classes this weekend.  Chairs everywhere rejoice.

My flight got in around 11.  The dude from the resort picked me up at the airport, and cheerfully reported that it was "only" 100 degrees outside.  That's Tucson for you.  I asked him how hot it has to get before he stops saying "only."  Somewhere in the hundred-and-teens.  I believe it was at this point that he offered me a bottle of water.  

There's a certain sense in putting your fitness resorty place in the middle of the desert.  They give everyone a water bottle and encourage vast amounts of fluid consumption.  Which we're all only too happy to do because, well, ... because it's so fucking hot, obviously.  The result, though, is that you both (1) eat less, because you already feel full from all that water; and (2) pee out all the toxins.  (Sorry, that's the more touchy-feely side of this endeavor coming out.)  Bottom line, though, you sorta start getting results when you're here, simply because you drink all that water, because you're in the damn desert.

After getting oriented (which involved me taking a small walk around a small fraction of the resort-- had planned on walking more but, hello, 100 degrees), I went to the gym and worked out some.  I haven't worked out in some time, but I'm still a pretty good judge of what's a safe amount of cardio for me to do at any given time.  Not so much the stuff on the machines.  I did myself 3 sets of reps on 4 different machines (intentionally setting the weights really low), all the while thinking that this was either a really good, solid basis to work on for the rest of the weekend or way too much, and I'll be unable to move tomorrow.  Was beginning to think it was the latter, but then I took an hour-long stretch class, which made everything feel better.  (Of course, now, 3 hours later, I'm again thinking I'll be back in Unable To Move land.)

After dinner (tasty), there was a free lecture on Eating for Energy, which was really, really useful.  It sort of confirmed that what I thought I've been doing wrong, I have indeed been doing wrong.  Also suggested a few other things I should look into doing right.

Particularly funny was that, this morning, at the airport, I'd stopped at the Starbucks and got myself a muffin.  They had a "reduced fat" muffin which had, like, 430 calories, and a nice big, fatty fat muffin for, like, 480 calories.  Now, OK, I shouldn't have been looking at muffins anyway.  But set that aside for a second.  I thought that a 50 calorie savings on a 450(ish) calorie muffin didn't seem worth the low-fatitude.  Again, the 450 calorie muffin is probably not the best example, but what I did learn tonight is that I basically had the right attitude here.  What the nutritionist said is that (1) the "reduced fat" stuff is more processed, and therefore, not as good for you as the more natural stuff (as the nutrition is processed out in exchange for chemicals) and (2) fat makes you feel full.  So you can eat a ton of processed reduced-fat stuff and not feel satiated, but a smaller about of real stuff will make you feel full and will be better in the long run.  Obviously, portion control is a big part of this, but I'm certainly seeing the appeal of, say, an occasional indulgence in a small scoop of real ice cream, over my nightly 100-calorie low-fat Skinny Cow "frozen treat."

There was more (I took notes!) but I'm feeling sleepy and, since I have to meet the nutritionist pretty early tomorrow, I want to go with that feeling.

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