December 18, 2012

Secret Holiday Weight Loss Trick

So yeah, while this is actually a handy weight loss tip if you can take advantage of it, the post could be more accurately be titled: Warning, Fitness Blogger With Shitty Camera Phone Ahead.


Anyway, what's the Secret Trick?


Walking after dinner to view Christmas lights! And other weird blurry night time things.



Do those of you who live in unwalkable or inhospitable or unlighted neighborhoods feel a bit grouchy to hear this unhelpful advice? Sorry!

But for those of you who can bundle up and get your asses out the door after dinner, wandering your  neighborhood, or even driving to another more festive neighborhood but then getting out of the car and walking around is a great way to enjoy the season while burning more, rather than fewer calories.



I am a big fan of walking at night, and am lucky enough to have always lived places where this is possible. While I don't see as many drag queens in San Diego as I do in Provincetown, even when it's not holiday season there are always interesting things to see.



I just wish I had better photography skills, or you could check out this surreal topiary collection that I may never find again. (Because I do tend to wander quite a ways on my adventures and have no sense of direction and have had to use the gps more than once to find my way home).



You can go for a leisurely stroll or take some tunes and get your heart rate up; at night you can often dance around like an asshole and be unobserved except for the occasional dog-walker... and most of them are staring intently at their pooches with "pee already, for cryin' out loud" expressions and don't even notice any overly enthusiastic leaps, spins, or fist pumps.

I am not Christian, but this doesn't seem to dampen my enthusiasm for bright lights in the big city.


And it's fun to appreciate the colors without having to haul out a bunch of damn extension cords and tangled lights and perch precariously on a ladder trying to see how far one can extend before falling off and breaking a limb. Though I guess that whole exercise counts as "functional fitness?"


Anyone else like to go for evening rambles? Is wintertime strolling a possibility, or are cursing those of us lucky enough to have that option?


33 comments:

  1. I go for walkies in the daytime in winter if the temperature is warmer than -20C or so and the wind is at least light. Summers here are great for evening walks. Winter, not so much though it can be done.

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    1. OMG you Canadians are such a hearty bunch! So Leah, you're good for walking once it "warms up" to -20? :)

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    2. Without the wind though. Even -20 is a little much with a 40-50 Km\hr wind. But then again I am a wimp.
      Tina

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  2. You don't have to be a good photographer. I have taken pictures that were almost black with poor light and used them in trade show displays. All you need is good photoshop skills. I take all my pictures at the highest resolution and then figure out what I have afterward. I'll grant you blurry or only catching the back legs of that cute deer may require advanced skills and maybe some sleight of hand.
    I usually lose weight over the holidays. It is the one time I know exactly what to expect. I know exactly where the land mines will be and I can avoid them or throw some other hapless victim in its path!

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    1. Ah photoshop, my nemesis! I've tried the cheapo version and can not even figure out what a freakin' layer is; it's an amazingly unfriendly user interface for people like me who are clueless about graphic design. I'd rather post blurry shapes! But I admire those of you can make it work.

      And kudos on holiday weight loss success! I always get done in by Evil Treats.

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  3. I keep meaning to do just this - some of my neighbors are as excited as yours are, and I want to get a shot of their houses. It always makes me so happy in December to drive by and look at it.

    We have a little "Candy Cane Lane" sort of thing in our neighborhood where a few blocks get together and GO CRAZY with lights and displays, and we've made it our tradition to walk from home, about a mile away, to go see them. The traffic near these blocks can get crazy, so it's just easier to walk to it, and then it justifies the piece of pie we get afterwards when we walk to Coco's before heading back home.

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    1. Ooh, I love those Candy Cane Lane neighborhoods, and what a great tradition to walk there. Figure pie is part of the holidays, and you earn it by walking it off first.

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  4. You & your phone take pretty good night shots. The topiary garden is something else. You will have to try to find it is the daytime and see how extensive it is.

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    1. Thanks Reb, and if I ever figure out where the heck I was when I came across the topiary madness, I'll have to try to check it out in the sunshine.

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  5. Terrific pics!!! Walk at night? Yes, indeed!! Some of my best walks happen after the sun go down :)............ Every season brings a different variety of evening pleasures (warm, blurry-star nights in summer; leaves whirling about in autumn, etc...). But, for those of us with voyeuristic proclivities (i.e. - nosy neighbors) - winter is THE BEST because the leaves are mostly off those deciduous trees and you get a much better view of the neighbor's living room!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwOWX6b8HHw

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    1. OK, anon, so I knew that was gonna be "walking after midnight" before I even clicked. Patsy Cline, gotta love her!

      And yeah, it is actually kinda cool to see all the homes lit up inside from a nosey neighbor perspective. And how old and boring am I that I'm more interested in their decor than in what folks are doing or what they may be wearing (or not?)

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  6. I don't know, Crabby. We usually go for an evening walk during the holidays, but that's just to make room for that second slice of pie. I have my suspicions that just lying there moaning about how full we are might calculate out as the better move.

    But I sure do like Christmas lights. The world can always do with more sparkle.

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    1. Ah, but my problem if I stay home is that I STILL might have that second slice o' pie. Less time near the kitchen is less temptation!

      You know ya wanna see that sparkle Trabb's boy... :)

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  7. When I lived in Europe, taking a walk after dinner was a nightly event!

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    1. Eurpoeans are so much more sensible that way Dr. J!

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  8. I've never been a huge fan of these "lose weight quickly" type articles. The problem with most of the methods is that, most people end up putting the weight straight back on.
    If you want to lose weight permanently, then visit: http://www.healthandfitnessdiets.com. Thanks to the great diet plans and workout routines, I'm currently in the best shape of my life and look great. Furthermore, the weight is staying off!

    However, remember there are no shortcuts or magical secrets to a great body - it's simply a result of hard-work and not giving up!

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    1. Ah yes, Olivia, that's exactly what I'm arguing: that a few evening walks around the neighborhood at Christmas time is the magical secret to ensure instant and permanent weight loss!

      But apparently I'm mistaken. Dang it.

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  9. We have some nice neighborhoods around here, well decorated, including our own. Now to convince the Sweetie or the kids to come along, and agree to leave the vehicle behind.

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    1. Great idea, Messymimi! Or if you meet with too much resistance, have Sweetie babysit the kids while you go a 'ramblin. Then come back with tales of how awesome it was and too bad they missed it.

      OK, perhaps parenting is not my strong suit!

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  10. THere was a house when I was growing up that did it up for Christmas, lights all over the house and a whole scene in their backyard, you could walk through, the wife gave hot cocoa or coffee and cookies out, it was awesome and I made my mother bring me every single year. A few years ago someone slipped on some ice and of course sue happy douche canoe sued them, so now you can drive by, but you can't walk around the entire back yard scene. I always curse that little sue happy christmas miser for ruining it for the rest of us.

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  11. If you say your camera phone is shitty, I'll take your word for that but the photographer did a fine job in spite of it. The topiary images are not easy for anyone to snap at night (at least without a tripod).. they're just not lit up enough but I think the photos of the lights look great.

    I will second what Leah said. I'll walk during the day if wind chills are higher than minus 20 (which is -4F). And I love walking at night but just won't do it alone, these days, so when Frank is here, I make sure we get out most nights. Night photography can be a lot of fun.

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  12. I miss walking after supper the way I used to in Raleigh. First I moved to a house on a death-wish road where I had to get in the car to go to somewhere to walk, and then I moved to the middle of the woods, where I wasn't willing to risk breaking an ankle in the dark, though I walked a lot in the daytime, and now that I'm back in sidewalk land, bedtime is so early (in half an hour at the moment, as I swallow the last of my supper) that there's never time to get everything done before I need to be asleep.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  13. I have a crappy cell phone camera too! :) Actually, I just take bad pics in general....

    LOVE your pics! My hubby gets home late at times so I prefer not to walk alone even where I live so not too often BUT it is nice to stroll & enjoy. We should all do that more often! I did do it much more when I was a kid & I still love looking at the lights!

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  14. What often makes photos worth it are the stories they're documenting - and your words and photos together are great!

    And I think walking at night can be magical - you never know what you might find, like a mysterious topiary garden...

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  15. We try to. Given winters here, some years it's doable and some it's so dang cold it's just not possible. Most times tho, with the right gear, a winter adventure is a great thing :)

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  17. Watching lights in San Diego at night is my passion but as the Christmas days are nearer, I will love to see San Diego dressed up with Christmas Dresses and light.

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  18. reason number 3743874 I LOVE ME SOME TEXAS.
    Perfect weather to take those long winter LookAtLights strolls :)

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  19. I would love to see Christmas lights like the ones on your pictures. Sadly noone really cares about that around here :(

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  20. Such beautiful topiary in your hood, loving it. Sadly my family does a similar thing - but via car on christmas eve. My boyfriends family gets together every boxing day to go on a family run. As babies appear in prams and grandparents get older, we have graduated to a family walk so everyone can be involved. :)

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  21. Thanks Chelsea and everyone else for stopping by! Have been spending more time walking than blogging in preparation for the predictable Holiday overeating that always happens despite my best intentions.

    Enjoy whatever light and joy you can find and have a great Christmas!

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  22. I love holidays, I love it so much that I end up eating all holiday foods. Lol! Anyways, I did notice that during holidays I gained some weight. Started to panic and stuff but then again, I decided to stop panicking then eat all the food the I want(since its the holidays) but still keep on doing my routine exercise especially the walks, good thing? I went back to the original weight I had after the holidays.! yey!

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