diet, family, Fitness, General, Uncategorized

Weight Loss and Age

At the end of August, we’re going hiking in Estes Park in Colorado.  Our athletic friends who are joining us said we’ll be going on a 7 mile (one way) hike.  Being concerned as one might be for the health and well-being of one’s spouse, I proposed a weight loss competition leading up to our hike.

YES!  We’re staying at the Stanley Hotel – but hopefully not in room 217!

My husband is always always always game for a competition (see image below) so he readily accepted the 6 week challenge.  The greater distance between the number on the scale at the beginning of the 6 weeks and the end of the 6 weeks will determine the winner.  The winner gets $150 shopping spree (which for me is ONE store – maybe TWO things). CAVEAT:  The loser has to accompany you on the shopping trip.

ME:   I run or bike most days – far – like 6+miles running/20+miles biking.  I don’t eat much junk food. Very little soda. Not a big fan of ice cream.  I’m not out of breath going up 2-3 flights of stairs.  I have a sit/stand desk at work and use it.  My breaks at work usually involve walking and reading while on the treadmill.

Thats me! I mean I’ve got room to lose – but not too bad for a grandma.

HIM:  Not a runner.  Does no physical activity other than being pulled behind our boat occasionally.  Loves junk food – especially potato chips.  Never passes on the ice cream.  Enjoys soda – lots of it.  Huffs and puffs after 1 flight.

That’s him.  He looks great! 

Two weeks into our or weight loss challenge, he’s working out pretty regularly via elliptical trainer and being more careful with the junk food.  I’m running more, sometimes twice a day.  Counting calories.  Salads for practically ever meal.

He complains to me “I’ve only lost 10 pounds and I’m working out ALL the time” (insert EYE ROLL here).  I check the scale.  1 pound.  ONE.  I’ve lost 1 pound.  S E R I O U S L Y??

So I decided to poll my Go Grandma Facebook followers.  They had a thing or two to say on the subject:

First, my solidarity comments:

Lori S.:  Story. Of. My. Life. “We’ll lose weight together; I’m with you on this!

  • What was I thinking, getting into a weight-loss competition – with a man?

Martha L.: The men diet by eating one dessert instead of two and lose 7 pounds.

  • Truth, sister!

Nancy J.: You don’t need to worry, you look great!

  • Ahhhh… thank you Nancy.  The scale says otherwise.

Kimberley F.: I can be so regimented and eat amazingly…workout kickboxing 3 times a week and I see no change. My spouse goes to the gym for 2 weeks harder than normal and he drops it like crazy. If I go any harder at the gym the only thing I will drop is dead. Weight loss after 50 sucks.

  • TRUTH!!  Living that right now.

Then the “what you need to do” comments:

Sherry K:  Is it time to hit the weights & find your measuring tape instead of the scale?

  • Yes – it might be.  Weights are my winter go-to.  Minnesota summer – I want to enjoy it outside – on a run.

Val O: I’ve released 49 lbs. Three words,..Daily Mindset Work. The other thing is, if we are burning more calories than were bringing in, our bodies go into starvation mode and wont release the fat. Drinking enough water is also a factor. It’s made all the difference.

  • “Released”, you say?  Release me from this 50+ year-old body. Water though – I do not drink enough water.

Pauling V.: Drink more water. Flush out that liver and release the fat!

  • More with the water!  I don’t have the time to pee all day.


Christopher P.:  You can NOT outrun a BAD DIET. Its NOT about the exercise, its ALL about what you eat

  • I love it when a man chimes in on my posts. And solid use of the UPPER CASE.  He has some great suggestions though.

Then came the weight loss program suggestions:

Allison B.:  The Whole 30 Program

  • It’s apparently awesome.  It will “change my life” – according to the website.

Christopher P.: My 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey

  • Well, thankfully I’m just hoping for 20 pounds, not 100.  So I better not do that one!

Then there’s all of the people who have a supplement that guarantees weight loss or will kick start your metabolism or give you more energy.

I’m over ALL OF IT.  Here’s the fact I’m going with.  I am a 50-year-old woman.  Losing weight like I’m 25 is not going to happen.  And AARP agrees:

5 KEY WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT AFTER 50… As with crow’s-feet and varicose veins, you’re simply more susceptible to gaining weight once you hit the big 5-0. And it’s not your imagination: It also becomes increasingly more challenging to shed those pounds once they’ve settled around your hips.


There you have it.  AND Here are the 5 ways:

  • Pile on the protein
  • Join the resistance (strength training)
  • Get enough shut-eye
  • Try occasional fasting
  • Practice mindful eating

What I LOVE about all of these suggestions is that they are ALL sustainable.  They’re not fads, you can follow these suggestions forever.  No gimmick.  It’s about a lifestyle adjustment.

I will continue … we’ve got 2 weeks to go.  I’ve lost 3 pounds now.  I actually don’t really care too much.  I know I have a healthy heart and I have lost inches for sure.  He’s lost 15 pounds.  He needed to lose a lot more weight than I did and it is important for his heart – and for our clothing budget.  He needs his suits to fit.

Our WEIGH-IN is the same day we have tickets for the Minnesota State Fair.  That should be a very tasty celebration.


family, grandchildren, parenting, Uncategorized

Adopt a Little for a Day

The littles and their momma have been visiting “the other grandma” (maternal) for a few weeks while Dad finishes up work out of state. I’m insanely jealous.

She’s an amazing grandma too. She’s got the “grandma thing” perfected. I’m jealous but I’m happy for the littles and their momma. They get to play with cousins, aunts, uncles (there are a lot of them!) and just get loved on so much. It’s all good.

So to ease my aching, missing heart we adopted a couple of littles and treated them to a fun day. I figured it was good practice. Two, seven year-old boys – how hard could it be?

This is a picture I took just after we parked the truck – so I’d have something… just in case I lost them!! Then I gave them a firm but loving lecture on “staying close”.

We took them to the Chippewa Valley Air Show. It was a perfectly cloudy day. Not ideal for watching airplanes but ideal if your goal is avoid sun burning other people’s children.

We bought $85 worth of food/snacks/and car trip toys. But good news – under 12 gets in FREE to the air show. We spent another $75 on air show food. I mean, who doesn’t want to eat a $10 frozen pizza with a $7 Coke?

The air show was fantastic – full of high flying jets and stunts, as I had hoped. We even got treated to the Blue Angels.

Our little seven year old charges? Not quite so interested in the air show. I mean there were GRASSHOPPERS to be caught and contained.

For the record, it was MY idea to put their grasshoppers in the empty water bottles.  Just saying …

What a great and exhausting day nonetheless. I’m not sure that the littles enjoyed it as much as I did. I was hoping they’d fall asleep in the car for the 90 minute drive home. Nope. Not a wink.

As we neared home, they begged us to let them come play at our house a little longer. I said a half hearted “I wish we could …” as I dialed their parents for immediate pick up on our return.

I guess I’m not quite ready for 7 year old littles. I need to build up some grandma stamina first!

Adventure, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacation

An Adventure in Time – Where Would You Go?

For this week’s post I asked Go Grandma followers where they would take their littles if they could take them anywhere in the world.  The response was wonderfully overwhelming!  THANK YOU!!  I loved hearing about all of the places that hold warm spots in the hearts of so many grandmas.   Here are some of the places they’d like to go:

Paula J. (Canada)New Zealand – The people were so loving and there’s so much to do outside every day. It’s beautiful and green.

Eva W. Mustus Lake, Saskatchewan – it’s where my brother’s family and mine took our kids camping when they were younger

Frances J. – Prince Edward Island and the east coast of Canada

Sarah L., – I would take them to San Antonio, Texas.    We went there every summer with my family.

Norma A., – On a picinic in Mowhawk Park, Brantford Ontario Canada.

Barbara B., – Upper Michigan

Sandra G., – Yellowstone

Lynnette J., – South Dakota Black Hills or Hawaii – loved it there.

Val O., (Minnesota) – Back to my childhood Island home of Whidbey, Washington to play in the minus tide pools and to dig in the mud for clams

Martha L., (Minnesota) – Disney Cruise

Kimberley F., (Canada) – Disneyworld

Mindi (Colorado) – Puerto Vallarta – to just chill!  No one uses their phone there!!

Andrea G., (Minnesota) – On a cruise with the kids and grandkids.

From a trip to Hawaii to a picnic in a park – our Go Grandmas are adventurous but I’m guessing they just really want to show their littles the places they love and that bring back fond memories for them.

I got to do exactly that this weekend!   As you know, I’ve been missing my littles like CRAZY!! since they moved away.  I finally got an opportunity to go visit them and, given the location of their new home, we decided to make it a double adventure and go back to a few places that hold warm places in my heart.

We spent 10 years in the Southwestern Ontario, Canada area when our children were young and have so many fond memories.  I wanted to share some of the memories with my two daughters-in-law who are always up for a Grandma Adventure (bless their hearts)!

My adorable daughters-in-law

IMG_9095Our first stop was a historical one in a little town outside of Rochester, New York.  We visited some religiously significant sites for us and then topped the evening off with an amazing outdoor performance – Hill Cumorah Pageant.   So many memories of taking our young boys to this area.  It was pretty nice to be back!IMG_3770

IMG_2697The next day we traveled to our old home town of London, Ontario but not before stopping at Niagara Falls – the Canadian side, of course!IMG_9132

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In London we stayed with old friends who were always so good to our little family.  It was nice to sit around, play games, and just visit.  It was probably pretty boring for my daughters-in-law but they were good sports about it!  They loved hearing stories about their husbands and seeing the places we lived and schools they went to.

Swinging on the swing that his daddy played on.

Where would you take your littles on a Go Grandma Adventure?


4th of July – A Go Grandma Kind of Day

Having the 4th of July holiday mid-week makes for a very long holiday weekend.  For those of us that share heritage with our good Canadian neighbors to the north, this holiday is double the fun.  It was the sesquicentennial celebration (150 years) which is apparently kind of a big deal.

Whether you were celebrating in Canada or in the USA, the celebrations were similar.  Every grandma I spoke with about their 4th of July (or Canada Day) plans, we’re making plans that involved family.   Either the grandkids were coming or aunts, uncles, children, grandparents —  the plans seemed to revolve around family.IMG_8964

For this grandma, the grandkids were not in town this year.  They were celebrating a few hundred miles a way.   We’ll try to remedy that next year but in the meantime they were making traditions with their own little family.IMG_9023

Bottom line, holidays are about family.  They’re usual the first people you make plans with as a holiday draws near. There’s something about spending time with the loved ones over a holiday that makes it complete.  Friends can come along for the fun but family – that’s where it’s at.

I started the day out with the Red, White and Boom half marathon run with my son and we were met at the finish line by my husband.  I was a Go Grandma on that course for sure!IMG_9009

Then it was off to the annual 4th of July Parade in Afton, Minnesota.  Truth be known, the only reason we went to the parade was because our boat was on the other side of the parade route!

The rest of the day was spent leisurely along the St. Croix River, either on the water, in the water, or by the river with some hot dogs grilled on the beach.   

We finished it off with fireworks in our backyard.  They’re never that great and it always seem like a fun/dangerous activity — that makes me nervous!  IMG_3049

Whether we were running a race, watching a parade, on the boat, playing at the beach, having a picnic –  we were surrounded by families.  I loved watching a grandma play with grandchildren at the beach while presumably their parents went out on the boat.  I saw grandmas at the parade helping their grandchildren catch candy.  I think grandmas especially love the holidays, especially if they get to “grandma” that day.