What’s Up With Us
This month has been all about preparing for our upcoming trip to Italy to celebrate our daughter’s wedding. Considering that she has done all the planning herself, we didn’t have much to do except lose a few pounds and assemble a wardrobe for the five-day event. The second task translated to lots of shopping, both online and in actual department stores, and lots of returns. Weather for early September in Italy is hard to predict and I have changed my mind a few times as to what clothes to take.
Unlike Deb from Deb’s World, I am not going to pack everything in a carry-on bag and will be nervously awaiting the delivery of my very large case containing about fifteen outfits and lots of shoes. After all, I will only be Mother-of-the-Bride once!
We will arrive in Florence, spend one night and one day there, then we are off to the Tuscan countryside for the elopement festivities and the remainder of our one-week stay in Italy. I can’t wait to share all the details in my September recap. Until then, you can watch for a few updates on my Instagram feed here.
Health and Fitness
I mentioned in this post that Malcolm and I were cutting calories in anticipation of our special event. After two weeks of ‘no indulgences,’ we dug deeper and went into full-on calorie deficit mode. The sacrifice paid off and we both achieved our weight loss goals. He lost a total of fourteen pounds while I lost eight. We did it by adhering to a very lean 1,000 calories per day for me and 1,200 calories per day for him consisting of fish, chicken, beef, eggs, fruits, veggies, and protein supplements. Yes, there were cheats and splurges along the way and we couldn’t have done it without building those into the plan. I would not recommend this diet to anyone looking for long-term habit changes. It will not accomplish that, but it did yield a weight reduction fairly quickly for both of us. It was clearly all about motivation!
Exercising at our regular pace was curtailed significantly due to the calorie deficit diet, but I did manage a few walks and some light gym workouts. My weekly tennis dates were a struggle in the heat so I shortened those to less than two hours in duration. Malcolm shortened his daily walks but made sure to move every day.
Add one more vegetable, another serving of fruit, an egg, or a scoop of cottage cheese to this group and you will have an idea of what 1000 calories looks like. Water, coffee, tea, and too many diet sodas (yes, I am an addict) kept me hydrated.
Friends and Family
In spite of our diet, we had a very satisfying month catching up with friends and family. On one of our ‘splurge days,’ we invited a couple for dinner. It was the first time we have cooked for anyone other than family in the new place so we kept it simple. Two people in the kitchen is still a challenge. We had Malcolm’s mom over for a ‘diet-friendly’ meal and game night and we orchestrated a meet-up by the pool for wine and conversation with some new friends.
Even though I still go back to the old neighborhood once a week to play Mahjong, I have set up a ‘teaching session’ once per week at the new place. It is a satisfying use of my time, and in the end, I benefit the most by having a new group of friends to play with.
This past month I took myself on a solo date to the movies twice. I hadn’t been inside a theater since long before Covid, and it felt a little strange, but I wore a mask and hoped that no one would sit close. Everyone else seemed to feel the same way and kept a safe distance. ‘Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris‘ and Mack and Rita were my $5 Tuesday movie choices. The first was a very enjoyable ‘feel good’ movie which happened to showcase some beautiful 1950’s Dior clothes, while the second was simply terrible. I think the plot was well-intended, but it was over the top with absurdities.
Malcolm and I binge-watched ‘Only Murders in the Building’ (on Hulu) over a three-day period, and caught up to its production release for the second season. Check it out if you haven’t already found it.
I also learned a little about the geography of Australia by watching ‘Instant Hotel’ on Netflix. The premise of the show is that five contestants compete against each other to successfully convert their properties to attract a rental market. If you like reality programs that showcase beautiful locations and unique homes this is one to watch.
I haven’t been in much of a book-reading mood lately, but I did borrow one from Jo’s Book Shelf this month that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Woman in the Library, by Sulari Gentill, is a solid mystery/romance that casts suspicion on every main character in the book and leaves you wondering, ‘is someone sleeping with a murderer?’ The story within the story is a bonus that intrigues but doesn’t distract from the main story.
The summer heat seems to have curtailed my focus to only short bursts, which is perfect for blog reading. Below are a few stand-out reads from August, including Deb’s packing advice. I’m sure you will appreciate them all as much as I did.
Also, if you look on my right sidebar, you will notice a few blogs that are new to me within the last few months. Most are photography related, and if you love beautiful photos and photo challenges, these might be of interest. Thank you guys for keeping me informed and entertained.
The Hungry Travelers – an excellent series of travel posts – California and Mexico
Retirement Transitions – Pat talks about retirement myths
The River Blogger – discusses our favorite subject – decluttering!
The Spectacled Bean – Ally analyses her readers’ blogs
Hugh’s Views and News – 79 Ways to Kill Your Blog (how many are you guilty of?)
Deb’s World – Deb shares her packing tips for a 30-day trip with just a carryon bag
This local park has become a fast favorite since moving to the apartment. It is about ten minutes from home and has a beautiful river view from almost any park bench. We visit in the late afternoon when the trees provide shade and the wind picks up, making it a peaceful place to just be still.
That’s my wrap-up for August, and now I am off to pour another cup of coffee and join you at Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share . I hope you have had a wonderful August. See you in September with the Wedding Edition!