A New Path (In More Ways Than One)

I have never been what I would consider athletic. I’ve always avoided exercise, simply because it bored me and I couldn’t commit to an exercise regimen even though I knew that I should do something. Add to that the fact that I used to be very tall and very thin, could eat anything I wanted and not gain a pound. Now I was facing a very different body, one that I didn’t recognize or like. Something had to change.

I am convinced that part of my downfall is my love of sweets. Oh boy, do I have a sweet tooth! So last December, I cut out all refined sugar and stopped buying or making pastries, cookies, pies, and cakes. No candy. Nothing but fresh fruit or, in a pinch, canned fruit with no sugar added.

The pounds started coming off. My ‘exercise’ this past winter came in the form of shoveling mountains of snow. But now that spring is here, my husband (who is as averse to exercise as I am) and I have started hiking.


Yes, you read that right – hiking.

I love to walk. I lived in cities for years and nothing made me happier than to take off for the day, traveling for blocks and blocks, observing people, looking at shop windows, all the time walking briskly. That’s the kind of exercise I like.

But now we live in the country on a country road that, ironically, gets as much traffic as a city street without the benefit of sidewalks. What to do?

We live at the foot of a mountain ridge and there are several parks or preserves up on the ridge. One of those preserves was offering a free pass for a month to local residents. We took them up on their offer. And for the past month, we have been hiking high up in the mountains, covering at least 4 to 5 miles on each hike, gazing out at the spectacular views in this part of the Hudson Valley – feeling good. Feeling more fit.

vistafromthemountaintop This has become our new regimen. No refined sugar. No fattening baked goods. Healthy food. Hiking.

It’s been exciting and it’s definitely a new path for us, one that we feel very good about. Wait a minute…have I finally discovered a healthy exercise regimen that I like? Is it as simple as walking?


We barely recognize ourselves! Who are these two hikers?

Just goes to show that it’s always possible to make a positive change.





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  1. says

    I was so glad to hear that exercise has always bored you too Claudia. I hate to exercise but love to work, so I’ve always tried that first. You and I have a sweet tooth problem in common. I have to almost tie myself up to keep from baking, baking, baking—because then I just eat and eat and eat. I wish I had more self control and I work on that very hard. I think the only reason I even try to keep the weight off is because I can’t afford a new wardrobe ;))) My sister just started a new path as well without sugar and she says she feels amazing. Guess maybe I should try it.
    I loved the beautiful photos of your garden blooms. Just so pretty.
    sending hugs…

  2. Donnamae says

    Eliminating sugar and/or gluten seems to be the way to go. You just have to find what works for you, because let’s face it….we are all different! Happy day to you! 😉

  3. says

    Walking and hiking are our preferred ways to exercise, too. It’s something we do together, or alone if need be, and there’s so much beauty in the world to enjoy.

  4. Judy says

    I’m trying to keep the sugar away also. I can do without chocolate and ice cream but now what do I do with all those Bundt cake pans my kids have purchased for me? Going to Utah tomorrow…maybe I should walk there!
    Will be looking forward to reading your blog when I get home.

  5. Tana says

    You’ve given me a boot up the backside! We need to get back to walking. I gave up refined sugar a few months ago. I have lost almost 10 pounds. Desserts were never my favorite, but I did love my Pepsi. So no cookies, cakes, candy and (sob) Pepsi. My favorite foods are pastas, potatoes and breads. I am now circling those problems, but I just can’t bring myself to stop my favorites. First step will be cutting back. I wish I could just stop thinking about food!

  6. says

    Sounds easy but oh so hard. I would like to hike in your neck of the woods though. I’ve got to get with the program. I am a diabetic and I am going to a new doctor on Thursday so maybe I will see some results. Hope so. Good luck to you and yours. Go girl!

  7. says

    A healthy change is always a good change! I gave up refined sugar about 6 weeks ago but I’ve recently fallen off the sugar wagon. I’ve indulged in ice cream a few times lately and also had a couple of blonde brownies when Tim was home this weekend. I know I need to walk more…I have no excuses.

  8. says

    Yep, walking does it for me. I need to be out and about in nature. It is meditative and peaceful. I could never pay a chunk of money to go to a gym. How boring is that? Have a great week. Tammy

  9. says

    Walking it is for me too. I hate running and biking (always down and up again). Yesterday I went swimming for a change. But I got wet in the water …. :-)

  10. Arianna says


    Your new journey mirrors mine! I’ve cut out sugars, for the last 10 months, and have lost 65lbs! And i always hated exercise, still do, but now go for a Saturday morning hike at a different trail each week, since we have so many local to choose from!

    Best of luck with your journey!

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