The blog of the adventures (or mis-adventures) of an active mountain woman.

Exercise makes you fat.

August 17, 2009 issue of Time Magazine

August 17, 2009 issue of Time Magazine

So I’m paraphrasing a little. What the August 17, 2009 issue of Time actually said is “The Myth about Exercise – Of course it’s good for you, but it won’t make you lose weight. Why it’s what you eat that really counts.” What the article goes on to say- and I’m not even pretending to be unbiased with my summary of this- is that if you exercise, you’ll get hungry. Hungrier than if you didn’t exercise at all. And the author (John Cloud) touts a fair amount of research arguing that you’re more likely to choose pizza than a salad after exercising. This is because you’ve weakened the self-control muscle by forcing yourself to exercise. If he’s right and “…self-control is like muscle…”, Jackson Hole has some big ones. (read entire article here)

Jackson is an extremely active community where “exercise” happens outside the great majority of the time. Surrounded by like-minded people, we think nothing of an 8 hour hike with significant elevation gain and loss. That’s called Saturday. And when we get home, we eat. But the difference is we’ve discover the great dieting secret that has managed to elude the majority of the American public for decades: If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll get fat. If you eat less calories that you burn, you’ll lose weight. Want to stay the same? A novel idea… just eat as many calories as you burn.

You don’t have to memorize caloric charts for your favorite foods to do this; just use your noggin. Blueberry muffins the size of your head with cinnamon and nuts on top have a lot more calories than an apple (250 more, to be exact). Both are a reasonable mid-morning snack. If all else fails, choose whole foods. Even if they’re calorie-rich like avocados, you’re body is getting plenty of healthy yummy nutrients and will thank you for it later.

If you’re in Jackson, take a look around the town square. Those big beer guts? Those are tourists from Michigan. The guy with the 6-pack behind the counter at the t-shirt shop? Yeah, he lives here.

Quote of the day: “In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless.” -Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and prominent exercise researcher.

Skiing thoughts… in August

The fortunate thing about living in an outdoor town is that if you’re lucky, work can coincide with your outdoor passions. This very thing happened to me last week. To relate the two, a little background:

I was designing a postcard for a sort of travel agent company. They asked for a identifiable, classic Jackson Hole ski shot on the back. I found an image with two 20-something women drinking beer on a deck overlooking the ski area and thought “now THAT’s a ski vacation”. The agency I was working for also loved it, but said I needed to provide further options as the company had something different in mind. My rationale for using the beer image was the following:

“Skiing, especially at Jackson, is a challenge. By their very nature, challenges are uncomfortable. But skiing is about more than strapping on two sticks and sliding down the hill. It’s about reliving the challenges of the day with a great excuse to drink beer at 3pm with people you just shared an amazing experience with. The beer image invokes the nostalgia of relaxing and the entire experience of ski vacation; not just the mountain. It’s also a part of the ski experience that non-skiing family members can participate in (Jackson is often criticized for not having many non-skiing activities).”

The client bought the image.

If you’re looking for my graphic design business site, click here.

Website of the Day: www.apres.org, “A Singles Club for Active Adults”

Ski Lake and the Perfect Man

Wendell sitting in front of the namesake, Ski Lake

Wendell sitting in front of the namesake, Ski Lake

Today’s adventure was a short day hike to Ski Lake. At 4.6 miles and 850 feet of elevation gain/loss, it’s not too strenuous (for more information, click here) but the payoff is fantastic.

Another plus for Ski Lake is that it’s only about 4 miles from my house and dog friendly, which links directly to the “perfect man” portion of this title. He eats whenever I want to. He goes wherever I want to. He’s an amazing listener and ever since the radio collar, never runs off. Naturally, this isn’t The Boyfriend. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t wear a radio collar. He’s my dog.

There are many documented cases of pets helping their owners with everything from depression to longevity but the main reason I choose dog-friendly hikes (which, alas, do not include the nearby national parks) is because it makes me happy to see him happy. When I change my clothes in the middle of the day, he runs in the room to sniff the fabric. He know that certain socks and shorts mean certain adventure. Even if my motivation was less than stellar, his unadulterated enthusiasm motivates me to get outside a little faster and enjoy it a little more. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Bar of the Day: WEIL by Nature’s Path (yes, it’s associated with Andrew Weil M.D. Who says celebrity endorsements don’t work?). The Chia Razz flavor is delicious as long as you don’t mind a few seeds. And the ingredients are stellar: organic dates, organic raisins, organic cashews, organic apples, organic raspberries, chia seeds, organic flavor, organic lemon juice concentrate.

Wendell’s Bar of the Day: POWER BONES by Zuke’s. Beef formula with protein and carbohydrates. Plus they have a cute how-they-came-to-be story on the back every dog lover can appreciate.

Fishing Report: I hooked two but the first one was my dog.

Welcome to the inagural post of the blog “Mountain Kidd”, the blog of the adventures (or mis-adventures) of an active mountain woman.

Let me assure all of you non-fishing readers out there that I am no expert and there will be none of that “what the heck is she talking about” in regards to fishing. An active participant in almost every mountain sport, I had decided that one of the last sports to round out my skill set was to learn how to fly fish. Luckily, The Boyfriend is some sort of expert. So, for my birthday in June, I received what I am told is a fairly nice rod and reel. And then the adventures began.

I fished as a kid in Michigan. It was a pretty straight-forward affair. Get a pole (the $19.99 special will do),put a fat worm or minnow on a hook, drop it in the lake and wait for the florescent yellow bobber to start flailing or disappear altogether. Fly fishing also has a hook and a pole. This is where the similarities end.

I think my friend Jason put it best when he said, “fly fishing is a lot like hunting”. So it would seem. Fly fishing starts with a fairly complex cast using the arm but NOT the wrist. You must next cast an artificial fly (usually made of animal hair or feathers and attached to the hook) in a manner impersonating a fly, which involves the fly gently setting down on the water but NOT smacking the water. You don’t want to startle the fish. And the fly? There are MILLIONS, maybe billions of types of flies out there. Once one deduces which feather and hair contraption looks like the bug on the bank, you must discover where the fish are dining at that particular moment and hope the menu involves the fly you’ve tied on. Assuming you’ve managed to do all of this successfully (and one should not assume this about me), there is “the fight” once you get the fish on the hook. Something about keeping the head up and tiring him out until you can bring him to shore. If it’s a big fish, you may need to let out A LOT of line during the fight. More to come on this once I actually catch a big fish.

Back to Sunday. The Boyfriend and I decide to go fishing. Due to the cold weather and colder water, he warned me that the fishing was either going to be very good or very bad. And it was very bad. After hooking my dog while I attempted to fling the line behind me (known as a backcast), morale was already down. Another half-hour before hooking a fish (but not landing it) was fairly mediocre compared to my last fishing attempts. An hour later without even a glance from my scaley friends, I channeled my inner child and starting braiding grasses while The Boyfriend set up something horribly complicated looking called Streaming. While I was patting myself on the back for practicing vital survival skills like braiding grasses, he managed to catch half-a-dozen fish. Good for him. I think I’ll wait for a “this isĀ  a GREAT day for fishing” before I go again.

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