Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thoughts on weed-whacking

Well, half the yard got mowed yesterday, and more than half the weed-whacking. The mowing doesn't count as activity, since all I'm doing is riding around on a mini-tractor. But the weedeating? Another story altogether.

I have two tools to accomplish the task of chopping down weeds. One is a teeny little lightweight cordless rechargeable Black & Decker model that I love. The cord is pre-wrapped in a little cartridge and all you have to do is drop it in and you're good to go. The downside of this model is that it only works for about 20 minutes and then you need to pop it back on the charger. Also, it wasn't meant for the big stuff – thick bramble-type things that grow spontaneously on the slope at the edge of our road.

The mofo weed-whacker is certainly a professional model, and why Mr. Shrinking Knitter thought we needed it I'll never know. It's a Shindawa with a blade attachment that can actually cut down small trees. I think maybe he's never used it. The blade attachment, that is.

At any rate, I'd asked him to use this tool while I was gone, but he didn't, and when I got home the tall grass in the ditch was unsightly, to say the least. So yesterday I bit the bullet and got it and its manual out of the garage. You have to mix some kind of additive with gasoline or the motor falls apart. It's heavy, too long for comfort for someone my height and the damned cord needs to be manually wound onto its little spool and then inserted just right or you have to take the whole thing apart and start over. Which I did. Several times.

Did I mentiion how heavy this thing is? It's heavy. It has a strap thingy that goes over your shoulder to support it. I remember the salesman showing us just how easy it was to maneuver. He was several inches taller than I. Those inches make a big difference in comfort and ease of use.

Anyway, I fought with the weeds for an hour and a half. There were a lot of them. Some of that time was cord-related, so it wasn't all sweating and lifting and whacking. My back and shoulders are sore this morning and between the mowing and weeding I kicked up a lot of allergens. I woke up at 2 a.m. and had to take a Benadryl to get back to sleep. And then instead of forcing myself to get up when the dogs did at 6:30, I just drifted back off to sleep. It was quite blissful, and also quite unlike me. Early to bed, early to rise – me and Ben Franklin, doncha know.

I'm still trying to get back to my normal routine around here. I feel like I'm trying to accomplish my weight-loss goals using the lightweight rechargeable weedeater, when I probably should haul out the big guns. Instead of the four-mile walk/run I'm used to doing, I need to go back down to that long road and put in some serious miles. I still can't commit to weight training on anything like a regular basis. I know it would help; the weight won't move doing what I've been doing, so obviously I need to do something else.

Hellooooo! The definition of insanity, as I'm sure you know, is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Thanks for your supportive comments about post-trip letdowns and about continuing this quest for fitness and health. I'm still figuring it out, as are many of you. It helps to know we're all whacking the same weeds, but in different parts of the world.


MaryGinder said...

Good job on the weedeating! That is hard work. Should be good for several thousand calories. I have a black and decker corded electric "weedhog" good for my little yard - it is still a lot of work.

Marilyn said...

I am a fairly new reader of your blog and I'm so glad to have found it. I relate to your weight struggles and I am an avid knitter.
I absolutely do not believe that the simplistic "calories in /exercise = weight loss or gain.
I know that having more healthy protein in my daily food intake rather than too many carbohydrates helps me lose more and faster. I know that pasta -even whole grain - and potatoes, even in controlled portions, slow down or stop my weight loss. This is not an excuse, just an observation that applies to me and not necessarily a bunch of other people.
I am also very curious about the effect of anyone's thinking [you know, the cognitive approach] on weight loss. That mind-body connection, you know. I know that a successful weight loss venture will involve a combination of tools, not simply one or two. Do I ever wish I could figure it out!
Thanks so much for your blogging. I really look forward to reading it.

ws said...

I can't relate to the yardwork - but it doesn't sound fun. And, I know the sweat that I work-up just fixing my bicycle so I imagine weed-whacking is quite productive exercise. That has to be why landscapers are always so attractive.

Allegedly, it takes 2-3 weeks to develop a new habit and make it a routine, but I'm not sure if weight training falls into that category. I can't even manage to stretch regularly, hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks I can develop that habit.

PICAdrienne said...

Be careful when you are working with the big weed eater. I speak from experience, running one of those things too long can have some serious repercussions on the nerves in your hands, from all of the vibrations.

Care and feeding of the little two stroke engines can be such a joy! Had to deal with that in the past as well.

Shauna said...

Oh! We're all whacking the same weeds! Debbi that sentence is pure gold :)

You must have burned a kazillion calories doing all that work. Seriously! I was talking to Marla about this the other day, I think just being generally active overall can really make a difference. I know when I'm on the go i do better than when I'm sitting around all day then do a chunk of planned exercise. arrghhh who knows...

happy whacking, mate!