Mad Men

The Mad Men Diet

I’ve been a big fan of Mad Men since it started. I have no idea why–the first season was as slow as molasses and the reality was just too bizarre for me since I’m a 1980’s baby. But for some reason I love it and keep watching. Maybe because it’s a glimpse into 50’s and 60’s when it was the norm for women to be barefoot and pregnant, men getting drunk in the office and everyone smokes cigarettes everywhere they go. It’s fascinating.

In this season, Betty Draper (ex-wife of Don played by Jon Hamm) has gained quite a bit of weight. The actress is wearing a fat suit, which in the first episode of this season tricked me! It was so good I thought she had really gained weight. Β  Betty’s storyline this season is about her struggles with weight gain, dieting, emotional eating and depression.

Betty - Before
Betty - After

In one episode she sat in front of a TV in a MuuMuu eating an entire bag of Bugles with the shades drawn. Clearly it was depression. She was refusing to go out socially and was embarrassed by how much weight she’d gained.

In a recent episode, Betty joined Weight Watchers. It was 1966, and in articles I’ve read about it, it was a very different version of the program. It was fascinating to watch.

There were several scenes in the episode that I wanted to talk about. The first one showed Betty weighing and measuring her food. Breakfast was one piece of dry toast, half a grapefruit and what looked like cubes of cheese. There was barely anything on her plate. At the end of the episode, they are eating Thanksgiving dinner and Betty’s plate is meager at best. She has one Brussels sprout, one scoop of stuffing, one spoonful of cranberries and one small piece of turkey. It was painful to watch her starving herself.

The next disturbing scene was a Weight Watchers meeting. The whole process made me cringe. The weekly meeting was in a room with a big scale in the front of the group. Everyone took turns weighing in in front of the group and their weight was announced. Talk about horrifying! Public shaming as a motivation for weight loss? Good god!

Words cannot express just how much anxiety I HAD simply watching the process.

The final scene I wanted to discuss was one that really struck a cord with me. Betty went to her ex-husband’s high-rise apartment in Manhattan to pick up their kids and came face to face with the new wife. She was pretty and perky and young and Betty obviously felt self-conscious and embarrassed about how she looked. The second she got home she went straight to the fridge and sprayed whipped cream right into her mouth.

She quickly realized what she was doing and with a mouthful of whipped cream, ran to the sink and spit it out. She’d turned to food in her emotional distress. I could totally relate to that as I had turned to food for so long in my life. Depression, anger, sadness, every emotion made me go straight to the freezer for a carton of ice cream that would soon be gone.

Even as far as I’ve come since the old me, every once in awhile I have a trigger that fills me with those emotions and habits I used to have. A really bad day can Β lead me to the soothing effects of chocolate, which I immediately regret. Those old habits may not be there all the time, but they haven’t completely vanished. I’ll be honest, watching Betty in turmoil and turning to food did evoke an emotion in me. I know it’s just a TV show, but I could still relate, and I haven’t been too excited about the number on my scale lately, either.

The progression of this storyline will be interesting to watch. I truly hope the story turns out well, and not leading to the topic eating disorders like it’s hinting at.

QUESTION: Did you see the episode of Mad Men? What were your thoughts?

Vernonia-Banks Biking Adventure

Last night I was utterly exhausted. I realized that in the last 7 days, I’d swam 3 times, ran 2 times, biked 2 times, walked 5 times. It all caught up to me! I went to bed pretty early Friday night and I slept in until 8am. We weren’t sure what we were going to do Saturday (today) since the weather was iffy. I decided we should just go for the bike ride and pack our rain gear just in case. Michael made breakfast burritos: scrambled egg, chopped turkey sausage, black beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream. Tasty!

Breakfast Burrito

I packed the backpack with protein bars and GU just in case:


This is where we headed to Vernonia. I read about it on Running Stories Blog.Β  It looked like the perfect place for a bike ride! We drove out to Banks (about 40 minutes West from Portland) and found the parking lot.


A few drops were falling but that was the extent of the rain! We really lucked out today.

Ready To Bike

We wore our long sleeved shirts and tights over our shorts. The temperature was right in the middle of slightly cold, but slightly hot (once we got moving).


We set out on the trail here:


We rode through some countryside and there was slight incline that was almost too slight to notice…It didn’t feel like I was riding uphill but my legs were burning! Michael mentioned casually that he could tell we were going uphill. I immediately felt better! I thought I was just slow and lethargic! It turned out the path was pretty much uphill the whole way.

We quickly entered the forested part of the trail. The temperature dropped a bit more but I didn’t mind it because I was still going UPHILL!


The trail wasn’t very crowded. We saw a few families on bikes, a few runners, a few serious bikers, and two women on horseback.

We stopped a few times so I could take some photos and to take the rain jacket off. We were probably only 30 minutes from the Oregon Coast. The weather was definitely beach weather. It was a gorgeous trail, too. There were trees on both sides of the trail.

And here you can see the official State Flower of Oregon: MOSS! πŸ™‚

A few times another path veered off but they were gravel paths for horseback riders. All the trails were clearly marked, too. We were finally getting into our “groove” when the path turned into gravel! I was not expecting the trail to be unfinished. I found out after the fact, of course, that 3 miles of the trail are unfinished. BUMMER. Gravel + road bikes = flat tire. We turned around at just over 1 hour and headed back. At Mile 10 (just after Stub Stewart State Park) it turns to gravel until Mile 7 (Mile 1 starts at Vernonia, we started at Manning which was at Mile 16.)

The ride back made it completely evident that we had been riding uphill the whole way. It took us half the time and we were going so fast I was freezing! I stopped to put my jacket and gloves back on. There was a really cool bridge too.

Curving Bridge

It was long and I could hear water underneath us, but I couldn’t see it. We made it back to the parking lot and kept going on the trail for another 4 miles or so and then turned back. In total we did about 20 miles in 2 hours.

I burned 700 calories during the bike ride. For lunch we found ourselves at the McMenamin’s in Hillsboro called Imbrie Hall. I had never been to that one before and it was very cute!

There was a nice garden out back and we stumbled onto a wedding in the process!

I was FAMISHED! I ordered the BBQ Pork Sandwich with coleslaw and a side salad.

It really hit the spot. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was until the food was right in front me. Michael got the mini pizza.

Lunch was delicious. I’m now home, doing laundry and almost done with Season 2 of Mad Men. Hope everyone is having a great weekend! πŸ™‚

QUESTION: Is there a “secret” spot in your town that is a great place to bike/hike/run/walk? Share!