Thursday, July 31, 2014

this was a walk not a run....need to change the settings on the app. I wore my new low hikers and they were pretty comfortable for new shoes if a little stiff but they kept my feet dry which was the purpose in getting them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A View of My World

A few shots taken with my phone of the fields where I walk, around the perimeter, and my best buddy, Django, who greeted me after I'd finished my first mile. :)

Saw my GI doc yesterday and not only was my weight down five pounds since I saw Dr. Mistry ten days ago but my bp was perfect! Blood pressure 120/80....YAY!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I get all sorts of "healthy" newsletters in my email box each day. Today, one of the announced that they could tell you how to make healthy chips and fries. Well, I love both so I jumped on that email. And then......I saw the recipe..... Parsnips!!! I hate parsnips and I mean really hate parsnips. There are one or two veggies that I'm not crazy about, like asparagus, but I can still eat them on occasion with enough camouflage but those Duck D. people don't own enough camo to disguise that nasty vegetable. Sorry to all of the parsnip lovers out there....I know there have to be one or two of you with odd taste buds..... but I think they taste like soap. I'd never tried them until lifestyle maven Martha Stewart recommended them saying that, "Roasted with other root vegetables, they are the perfect Autumn side dish." I generally love roasted root veggies but those darn parsnips ruined the entire dish. Never, never, never going to give them a second try....even if they are fried to a crisp and covered in sea salt!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yes, the ravages of time but I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't some truth in that last statement on this photo. Did I become who I thought I was all along? Do I look now the way I imagined myself years ago? I think I did and I do.
I also think it's time for a new vision of myself. Maybe this mental imaging thing can work in reverse. I know I will never be twenty again and I'll never have the tight, toned body that I had then....but didn't appreciate or even see. But I can begin to see myself as a fit, capable and successful woman and maybe, just maybe, I'll grow into that image as well. 

Speaking of Muffins.....

That won't work but this will.................
That won't work but this will............ Okay, weight still not coming down. In fact I'm up 4/10s of a pound from last week....although Monday is my new weigh-in day so I'll wait until then to see if I've lost any pounds. The good news is, I noticed a change in my body this morning. Something I've been worried about is that my skin might sag once I lose my puffy stomach. This morning, I noticed two things: my tummy is significantly flatter and that little pooch at the bottom that was bothering me...the muffin top.....was flattening out! I went straight to the mirror to confirm and yes, indeed, the little Buddha belly is disappearing! So, I measured again....last measuring was on Monday and I'd lost over six inches overall then........and joy of joy's I've lost an additional 2.5 inches in the tummy and waist. :))  since Monday. Happy days and a happy dance to burn a few more calories! Oh, an additional thing I've been doing is holding my tummy in whenever I think about it. I heard a trainer on TV say that this was more effective than sit ups so I'm all for that. Just tighten up those abs when you are walking, standing in line, cooking, any daily task....even sitting in front of the computer. It will help tone your middle and improve your posture!

Cut the Fat

For once, I'm not talking about my diet. No, this time I refer to revolving debt. There is a reason they call it that because it is constantly growing even if you haven't made a charge in years. I hate credit cards. Remember that old Tennessee Ernie Ford song, 16 tons? "St Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store." That's kind of how I feel. Once they get their claws into you, you can't get away from them. If I ever get mine paid off, I vow to never use them again...... she says now. I got deeply in debt to two of them buying supplies for a new business venture which didn't pay off. Next time, I'll listen to my own instincts instead of every friend's advice and opinion. I would never have charged any of it if I hadn't thought, oh, I'll make enough in the next year to pay all of this off....didn't happen and now, five years later, thanks to interests rates raised to astronomical heights, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever pay it off. :( Oh, well. Live and learn or lesson learned too late. If any of you find yourself in the same situation, I can serve as a warning anyway. Go to the bank, get a loan, cut up the cards!
I have to keep reminding myself that changing my diet is an ongoing process. It's been more than a little discouraging when I stay under the recommended daily calorie and fat intake and still don't lose an ounce but I know that the best effect is feeling healthier and more energetic. Yesterday, I actually went over the calories suggested. That happened because I went to the grocery store hungry and I went in the afternoon. If I'd gone as planned in the morning, I could have picked up something both filling and healthy for lunch. Instead, I grabbed what I could for lunch and then grabbed a bag of baked green peas to ease my hunger after shopping. It didn't help that Thursday afternoon seems to be the shopping time for every rude person in East Tennessee because I eat more when I'm upset, angry or frustrated. I need to work on that or else take my frustration out on the rude instead of my body, lol. Anyway, I went over my suggested caloric intake by about 120 calories thanks to wolfing down the entire bag of crunchy peas on the way home. I know it could have been worse and there is absolutely nothing I can do about that now but promise to do better, I'm off to have my bakery muffin for breakfast. ;-) Seriously, it's cranberry-orange, my fave, and one muffin a month is not gonna kill me. 
My trekking poles arrived yesterday from Sierra Trading Post and I had my first walk with them last night. I know I had to look so strange and awkward trying to get some sort of rhythm while using them. At my age though, I'm learning to forgo the embarrassment and just let people wonder what on earth I'm doing. Using the poles is supposed to burn 40% more calories and I can believe it. They totally wore me out. The only problem, I was only able to do half of what I usually do! Guess I'm going to have to work myself back up to where I was. Oh well, just think of all the pounds I'll be burning off as I adjust to walking with these and then start burning up the trail again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Put on Your Dancin' Shoes....

Today's DHC challenge was to do a ballet move which wasn't a difficult one at all but thinking about it brought back a memory. In the present, my friends are wanting me to take Zuma classes with them. They assure me that they are no better dancers than I am but I really doubt that. When I was in college....back in the stone age, physical education classes were required. I don't know about other places but I think that requirement has been lifted in Tenn. I don't think that is a good idea. Despite my total lack of coordination and grace, I did enjoy and get so much out of every PE class I took. BUT the ballet class presented some obstacles, I did not expect. I've always wanted to dance like a prima ballerina. So, when the opportunity arose to take ballet, I jumped at it. I'm not built or have I ever been built to be a dancer even in my skinny young days. And I was in the class with someone who'd taken dance their entire life  and someone who had been in the American Ballet company. I felt like a frog amongst princesses. There were others in the class who did not fit in but they stayed in the background and remained silent. I once had a therapist tell me that I've always been an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. The problem with playing at being something you are not, you tend to over act. So, the background and silent were never states you would find me in. I was never secretary of a club, I was president. I was never the last to volunteer, I was the first. Getting less than an A in any class was not an option and I always had an opinion. I was the classic over achiever and I like to think I've changed but probably not as much as I'd like. The thing is, all of that pep and enthusiasm came out of my own insecurity. I had terrible stage fright and surprisingly, since I seemed to crave it, hated being the center of attention. But my longing for acceptance had me not on the back row at my ballet class like the rest of the people with two left feet but right there front and center. So, the school decided to redo the floors in the room the class was originally held in so they told us we could use the gym. The only problem with this was that at lunchtime, when the class took place, the gym turned into a gathering place. Both students and faculty would be there for pick up basketball games. They were concentrating on their game so I wasn't worried about them. The ones who did bother me were all the ones who brought their lunch into the bleachers so they could watch the games or just socialize with friends.The class starts and there I am right up front and sticking out like a sore thumb. The instructor demonstrates what she wants us to do and my mind froze, I started to panic, I seemed to suddenly have a stroke or amnesia because she made no sense to me what so ever and I couldn't remember the first move. So, we began. At first, I was able to keep up with what the others were doing and then it all just fell apart like an intricate stack of cards tumbling to the ground in slow motion. And in the midst of my clumsy flailing and embarrassment, I hear a loud and familiar laugh coming from the stands. Obviously everyone wasn't watching the basketball games. Later that afternoon, I ran into the owner of that bullhorn laugh in a hallway on my way to class. He runs to catch up with me and with a very serious expression he said that he just wanted to compliment me on my dancing ability. I tell him to please just hush and go on. I'm still stinging from my humiliation enough without him adding to it. Then he says something that made me stop in my tracks and literally laugh out loud even if it was at myself. He said, "No, I'm being honest here. You amazed me because you were obviously the only one in the class who knew what they were doing because EVERYONE else was going the wrong way." The embarrassment faded long ago but that still makes me chuckle every time I think about it. That experience though makes me a bit apprehensive about taking another dance class especially since that wasn't my first humiliation with public dance....but I won't even go into that because it does still sting a bit. But, I'm old enough now to say, "It's now or never!" about a lot of things and dance is one of them. So, next week, I plan to put on my dancing shoes....or at least my repurposed running shoes....and join my friends at Zuma. If I lose my place, I'll just let loose and do my own thing. That's the wisdom of age. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tonight's walk:

 I've got a blister on my toe....and I keep hearing the Dire Straits song ;).....maybe get a blister on your little finger, maybe get a blister on your thumb ....... For me it's the toe next to the littlest toe so I don't know how I'll fare tomorrow morning. The grass stayed wet all day today. I didn't make the three miles I intended because I had errands to run this afternoon and I was late getting started. Then Steve came home and I cut the walk short just shy of three miles by a smidgen. Actually, I was ready to quit. Between my sore feet and my back starting to twinge, I was really feeling that last quarter mile. You can look at the graph and see how I slowed down. But you can also see the times I was doing a 12 minute mile or better. Each day I'm improving and that's motivation to keep going. Now, I'm going to bed. Night all. Sweet dreams.

Me post workout this morning. I'm looking flushed and sweaty and covered with hay from dovetailing chores and workout but I do look happy. And I'm sans makeup, too! That is like a minor miracle in confidence. You know how many people have seen me without makeup between 15 and 58? Exactly two, my husband and my mom..... and now all of you! That's a major step forward in confidence....or an example of getting over oneself post 55, hahaha.

Since I walk and run cross country, I really need this tip. I have two pairs of shoes and both are soaked after walking in the wet grass following the rains of the past few days. So this is what I should have done as soon as I got in yesterday morning and maybe I wouldn't be putting on soggy shoes for this morning's walk. 
There's my problem...I've been doing it wrong!
Oh, one more note on the images below....those 15 and 16 minutes per mile pace put me in the top 25%!!!! Yay, me! :)

My three walks from yesterday, July 21,2014. Note that there was only a short break between the two later in the day. I was releasing the horses back into the pasture and took Sadie back to the house so that I didn't use up all of the gas in my truck keeping her under ac while I walked, lol. I had intended to walk in between hauling water to the horses. The 35 gallon tank takes about ten minutes to fill so I thought that would be a nice break between two mile sets. But Steve called to say he was coming home early so I cut it off after the first two miles and then decided that I could fit in at least one more mile before he got home. I timed it perfectly....okay, it was serendipity but it worked out well....because I was finished and gathering tomatoes out of the garden for dinner when he pulled into the drive. 

Progress Recorded!

Yipee te yiyo!!! The scale has not been my friend since I started changing my diet and adding exercise to my day. I felt as if my clothes were getting loser but that darn scale kept showing me gaining weight instead of losing no matter how little I ate or how intensely and long I worked out. So last week I took my measurements. I wasn't smiling when I finished. After the first measurement revealed that my thigh was the size my waist use to be....sigh, those were the days..... I considered forgetting about it but all my friends were telling me that this was the true measure, no pun intended, of my progress. So, with many winces and grimaces, I recorded each number. That was six days ago. The scale today actually showed me up a pound from this time last week but down two pounds from the weigh-ins in between. And then I decided to measure again and....................wait for's worth the wait........................okay, I'll tell you already! I've lost six inches in the last six days!!! Yay!!!! And the best part is, the loss is evenly distributed. So, I'm doing a happy dance and I'm encouraged to keep going despite the lack of success I'm having with that darn scale. :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

and this......

I'm thick skulled sometimes because it took me a long time, too long, to realize this. I kept thinking something was wrong with me but no, don't blame yourself because, trust an old woman on this one, it is them not you. Turning the other cheek is great for the first slap but don't allow them to get in a second blow, just turn and walk away.... some people don't deserve a second chance and deciding who those are and ridding your life of them, well, that's what the wisdom of aging is all about.

I'm also learning to let the resentment and anger go. My husband told me a few days ago, the question isn't why they treated you the way they did because it's obvious that was all about them. The question is, why you put up with it for so long and why you never fought back or why you kept trying to please them and why you didn't just walk away years ago? When I look at it that way....and once I get past the anger at myself...... I feel a wonderful release because I can let the anger go. I don't know if it's really forgiving because I'm not releasing them from blame but I am releasing myself from the clutches of resentment.
I recently realized how much drama someone close to me was bringing to my life. I put up with it for so long because I thought it was the "right thing to do," turning the other cheek and smiling dutifully as I was slapped again and again. But I'm getting older and not only far less tolerant but much more aware of my own needs and happiness. They finally laid that last straw that broke this camel's back. I borrowed the phrase, not my circus-not my monkeys and I walked away. Not easy to do with someone who was an important part of my life for my entire life but since I pulled back from them, my life is peaceful and calm without the constant drama making and criticism of others and I'm far more confident without the constant criticism of me. I realized that turning the other cheek just means, don't fight back. I think valuing yourself enough to turn and walk away is a viable and fruitful option.

I'm also learning to let the resentment and anger go. My husband told me a few days ago, the question isn't why they treated you the way they did because it's obvious that was all about them. The question is, why you put up with it for so long and why you never fought back or why you kept trying to please them and why you didn't just walk away years ago? When I look at it that way....and once I get past the anger at myself...... I feel a wonderful release because I can let the anger go. I don't know if it's really forgiving because I'm not releasing them from blame but I am releasing myself from the clutches of resentment.

Logging my walks...

generated through the app and website, The app syncs with both my fitbit and my app. Last night's walk:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I met Jim Croce two weeks before his untimely death. I was a teenage girl at a school club convention at the hotel where Jim was staying while playing in our town. I was waiting on my friends in the lobby when he walked through the doors and said, hi. He was very nice, very polite and I had no idea who he was. My friends later told me and I still wasn't certain until the next week when I saw this movie on TV. I loved the song, Time in a Bottle. The next day, I asked my best bud at school if he knew what the song was. He said, he did and told me it was by Croce. I immediately bought the album and eventually had all of his albums. I don't know where they disappeared to over the years. Such a tragic loss. I often wonder what great songs he would have written if he hadn't died so young and so tragically. 

Finding Balance

I always thought that I ate I diet that was balanced with an occasional treat. Since I started keeping track of my food consumption using the app,  I've discovered all sorts of imbalance. It isn't just the proportion of carbs versus protein versus fat that seems to be a constant juggling act because I actually do fairly well keeping all of those at least close to where they are supposed to be. No, the problem is the sugar and sodium intake. I never realized how much sugar was contained in fruit naturally or that foods I'd considered healthy, especially processed ones like deli chicken or turkey, are full of sodium. I've certainly been made more aware and I read labels more cautiously. I try to stay away from as much processed food as I can but as my husband told me, I'm eating foods constantly, like cereal, yogurt, protein bars, salad dressings, and that deli meat, that are far more processed than I'm realizing. So, diets like life are a learning process..... like learning that the frozen yogurt I splurged on today might be low calorie and low fat but it has 38 grams of sugar per serving and my daily limit is 45. When you add in the blueberries I had for breakfast, I top my daily limit by 12 grams and I haven't had dinner yet. The Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Chipotle Seasoned Chicken had over a thousand units of sodium! I don't usually go over on my sodium limits since I rarely add salt to my food but today, I've topped another limit by 3 units.....and as I said, no dinner. Oh well, the frozen yogurt is now gone and I will just half my serving of the chicken for tomorrow's lunch and put it on top of a salad instead of bread.

Now, for the rest of my life.........balance has been eluding me for a long time, perhaps for my entire life. But I do have plans and getting fit and slim are the first steps in regaining my balance in life, my control. This morning, I started thinking about a bucket list. Perhaps it was the health scare last week which, thanks to google, had me thinking I was past the need or time for a bucket list. All is well, thank goodness, my doctor reassured me. But the sudden fear of the inevitable got me thinking about my life or lack thereof. I'm working at getting my life back; I've said that before. The plan is to regain energy, endurance and strength through fitness and diet and then apply all of those good things toward bringing the other wayward parts of my life back into order.....and balance. I want to revamp my art work and my business, get my house repaired and remodeled, get my finances and debt under control and last but certainly not least, start riding and working with my horses again...before we both get too old to cut the mustard.
This morning, I was watching Sunday Morning and their minute with nature was from Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Steve and I went there years ago when we were both in our twenties. It was great but I think we were really too young to enjoy and appreciate it as much as I would now. I started thinking about my friend Fran who wrote her bucket list in her forties and had fulfilled every one of them by the time she was fifty-two. She simply composed another list and she's well on her way to having it completely marked off. I've been a lot of great places over the years, met some great people, ate fantastic food and heard incredible music. The last eight years though, it's as if I stopped living. There have been moments, like the birth of our first and only foal, our Danny Boy, four years ago that were firsts and wonderfully joyful and exciting but my activity level pretty much ground to a stop. That is what my new resolve and activity is all about, I'm trying to get my life back. And finding that balance, fixing what's wrong and starting to enjoy the many blessings I have will be reward enough.....but...........I thought this morning that I need to hold a bigger carrot out in front of me. I mentally made a list of a few things I've always wanted to do but didn't for whatever reason be it fear or just lack of funds. So, these carrots.....or chunks of chocolate might be more appealing....maybe pecan pie, yum!...... these long term dreams might be the motivation I need to keep me pushing through when the going gets hard which inevitably, like death and taxes, it will. So, what is my list? Well, I'll give the ones I thought of today but I may be adding to this later.
1. Return to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
And photograph the wild ponies.
2. Learn to ski. Seems that everyone in my
family has at least tried. I've dreamed of
this since I was a young girl...and
praying I don't break my neck.

3. Learn to swim. I've tried in the past with little success...
except for my backstroke. I have an excellent backstroke.
4. Then return to Cozumel or some other gorgeous
island in the Caribbean and both snorkel and scuba dive.
5) Lastly, probably the most common bucket
list item, travel. I'd love to see Ireland either
with a walking tour or on horseback or even bikes.
There are so many other places I'd love to go:
Paris, the Galapagos Islands, a riding tour in
South America, a photo safari in Africa, and
here in the good old USA, I want to go
West and see the Grand Canyon and revisit
places we've been before either for pleasure
or business and really, really see and enjoy them
again. And of course, I want to return to Cozumel,
the island we fell in love with on Steve's 50th
birthday. I'd hoped we could return on his 60th
this year but finances wouldn't allow. So, that
is even more reason to get in shape both physically and
artistically which will hopefully lead to financially. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A friend,  on the Daily Health Challenge site, suggested that I forgo running for the time being and instead get myself a set of trekking poles. She use to run a personal training business and she told me that using the poles while walking would burn 40% more calories. I'm all for that and I found the poles at an amazing price on Sierra Trading Post. They were almost giving them away because they usually sell for over a hundred dollars a pair. For starting off, these look great and since I do all of my walking and running cross country and over fairly rough terrain, trekking poles should add some stability and balance as well as a terrific upper body work out!

Spend a few moments thinking about what motivates you to reach one of your goals.
I've been working at losing weight and getting fit but the motivation isn't just the obvious health benefits. I use to be an in charge kind of person. I was always on top of every aspect of my life: health and fitness, career, home/house and family/friends. Somewhere around fifteen years ago, that all changed. Over those years, all aspects of my life have become a bit overwhelming. Where I'd been use to a life where all parts ran like clockwork, gradually it seemed as if one part got out of time and then another and then another until they all fell down like dominos. I use to be so active and now I'm mainly sedentary. I stopped trying, I stopped putting in the effort and in many ways it just seems that I've stopped period. That's hard for me to admit especially being the type A, workaholic that I use to be. So, the basis of my motivation is getting my life back or at least a life back since I'm quickly realizing that everything takes a lot more effort and a lot more time than it did twenty-four years ago when I was really in my prime. But the reason for the exercise and transformed diet being the starting point is that I know I will not only have a great sense of accomplishment and motivation with each goal I meet but I will also be gaining strength, endurance and energy that will help me to not only set goals in the other sections of my life but also achieve those goals. Also, I learned a great truth in the past year. Someone I trusted and loved betrayed me and hurt me deeply. It took some time but eventually, I was able to see that this person's behavior wasn't something new but part of a lifetime of emotional abuse. I spent way too much time thinking about, concerned about why she'd hurt me and why she felt the way she did about me until the day when my husband said, "It doesn't really matter why she treated you the way she did. What matters, what the question is is, why did you let her do it for so long? Why did you accept the abuse?" I realized with that question that I had allowed it to happen because I was continually seeking her love and acceptance so I kept turning the other cheek over and over again. I knew in that moment that if I learned to truly love myself, I wouldn't need to seek love and acceptance from others. I also realized that I'd spent my entire life up to that point trying to please everyone and trying my best to keep them happy somehow thinking their happiness was more important than my own. I decided then that I had to start putting myself first and looking after myself because no one else was going to. That's the day I started exercising again. It has been a gradual start because getting my body back in shape is somewhat secondary to convincing my mind that I'm 58 not 28. I keep pushing too hard and then paying for that punishment for days afterwards. But I do keep going and every time I fall, I get back up and go again. My goal is to be back to my "fighting weight" by the end of this year. I don't know if I can make that but each day that I get back out there and make myself walk whether I feel like it or not is a victory and each day, it gets a little easier. Eventually, I will add other exercise and hopefully some running but for now, I'm going to be proud of myself just for making the effort each day. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Doing well on my diet but the last two days have been a bust. I lost my fitbit yesterday and so recorded no steps. I didn't record my diet either because I didn't want anyone knowing what I'd eaten, lol. No, I drove a friend to a doctors appointment and afterwards, I always take her out to eat. It's a treat for both of us. We ate at a place that makes good, homestyle food and I had some wonderful mashed potatoes, Southern style green beans and meatloaf..... none of which is on my diet. Then I had a scoop of frozen yogurt which also isn't on my diet. When I weighed this morning, I didn't expect any changes because of my indulgence but I certainly did not expect the one I got....a gain of two pounds!!! When I was twenty years younger, I could calculate to the ounce how much I would lose if I exercised X amount and cut back on calories and fat X amount. A pound of weight was lost or gained on a deficit or addition of 3500 calories (a number I know I didn't come close to once in the last two days much less twice!) Did someone change the rules and not tell me?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This was my view yesterday and I did have fun. I worried about Steve who was behind me riding on the trailer and catching and stacking the hay bales as they came out of the baler. Setting up like that saves a lot of steps but it is still a lot of work.

We were very lucky with the weather. Usually, when you are putting up hay in July, it is a hot and miserable job but the past five days, the weather has truly been a blessing with low humidity and a constant breeze. The Martins would swoop around in front of the tractor as I drove. They were enjoying the harvest as well, evidently a banquet for them. I'm really learning to appreciate my blessings and it has made a huge difference in my life. "To see the universe in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour." That's my new motto.

And speaking of blessings and accomplishments, I hit my 50 mile mark yesterday with my fitbit. Reached that goal in just two weeks which kind of astounds me. That may not be a great feat for many but for me it is amazing especially when you consider how sedentary I've been for so many years. Yesterday, I got a really late start and I hadn't planned on walking in the heat. I walked anyway, pushing myself at first and then I began to enjoy it despite the heat and my reluctance. Then I walked again last night and I even ran part of the mile I've been doing. I will admit that it was a very short distance, only a fraction of that mile, but it felt great. I'm hoping to start adding a little bit more running on every day until I'm running the entire mile. Then I might run a mile and walk a mile and gradually build up to running three miles twice a day. I've decided that I'm not competing with anyone else; neither have I got anything to prove to anyone but myself. That won't make any step of my progress any less a victory.

I'm using a new app called Map My Fitness and I'm loving it. It seems to be the most accurate mapping app that I've tried so far and it actually vocalizes encouragement as you walk....from your smart phone. I'm loving it.......heck, lately, I'm just loving life!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I was thinking today about aging. A friend posted on Facebook about how much cheaper things were when we were young. I commented how we had so much less but we felt so much richer. Others commented on simpler times but so much more fun. And then it dawned on me......when our parents talked about their childhoods, we thought it was ancient history. They'd say, it was cheaper to live, life was simpler, we had less but we enjoyed more. It's happened, we've turned into our parents and not only do we sound just like them but compared to us now, at our age now, they would have been youngsters when they were talking about those same things, in their thirties at most. Time is such a relative thing. Movies and books we considered from the "olden days" now are equivalent to looking back at the same entertainment in the eighties and nineties.

That started me thinking about life and getting older. I wasn't upset when I hit thirty or forty. Actually, I wasn't upset when I hit fifty. Why was that? Because my "mid-life crisis" happened five years prior to that. Of course....side note here.... when I mentioned my mid-life crisis at forty-five, my friend Pamie said, "What? Mid-life? You mean you expect to live to ninety?" To which I replied, "YES! YES, I do!" What I didn't expect was the sudden realization that I was no longer "the kid." Maybe it hit me so hard because I was the youngest in the family. I use to say that my big brother would think of me as his baby sister even if we lived to be ninety and a hundred respectively. But I wasn't just "the kid" in my family. When I did the arts show circuit in the eighties and nineties, I was called "the kid" by all of my friends. Who knows if I was the youngest or I just had a baby face. People use to tell me that I looked much younger than my actual age....emphasis there on "use to." But one day in a Boston convention center in the midst of a snow storm which kind of put a damper on sales....well, it put a damper on some people's sales, mine it shut entirely down.......... I was sitting in my booth and listening to the girl who was set up across from me. She was twenty-nine, newly married, extremely enthusiastic about the show and life in general and this was her first show and she was excited and thrilled to be there. It was then that I realized I was looking at the new "kid" on the block and looking at myself fifteen years before when I'd done my first national show. I felt emotions that I didn't even know I had inside me but they weren't emotions I was unfamiliar with because I'd watched my friends, who were a few years older than me, go through the same thing in the years before that moment. I sat there and I felt a rush of jealousy and resentment for this lovely young woman just because I knew she was in for the ride of her life and I was at the end of that particular journey. Those feeling only lasted a second and I was ashamed of feeling them but at the same time, I wondered if those "older" people I'd met at my first show had felt the same way about me. Change is always painful whether for good or bad. It's also scary because we don't know what to expect in the next segment of our trip on this earth. Life is always precarious but the older we get, the more aware we become of how unpredictable it can be, how your entire life can be changed in a split second. I forgot to mention that it was my birthday, my forty-fifth. That night I stood in the darkness of the hotel room while Steve snored behind me totally oblivious to the metamorphosis taking place. I looked out the window as the snow fell silently on the empty streets and I cried. I grieved my youth and allowed myself the indulgence of feeling sorry for myself for a few moments. That was thirteen years ago and my life did change after that. I've gone through so many changes, so many unexpected twists and turns to the plot line of my life. It's taken me all these years to realize that despite its inevitability, age is not necessarily a bad thing; it doesn't have to mean the end of living your life. I'm let go off the bad things and some bad people and finally enjoy my life. I may never be "the kid" again but I think in many ways, I'm much better now than I was then. I've said before that I was always fascinated by those verses in the Bible about putting away childish things and looking through a glass that is dark and clouded but yet, face to face. I never understood those verses when I was young but then, I wasn't meant to because the verses were talking about getting to know myself and it's taken me fifty-eight years to finally do that.
Okay, the metabolism...or lack there of....of the "older" woman.....what's with that?.................... sheesh, I am feeling better after 21 days on this eat better and exercise regime so that is great. My clothes are getting looser and I can feel my body changing in little ways which are all positive.....BUT.....yes, that is one BIG BUT (not butt so no comments, please ;) )............. I've only lost eight pounds. I know that any loss is super, I just can't wrap my brain around the effort I've put forth versus the small loss. I told Steve that, when I was 32 and decided to lose weight and get in shape and only had between twenty and thirty pounds to lose to accomplish that task, the weight fell off in not only a speedy but predictable manner. I could calculate calories in with calories burned and tell you to the ounce how much I was going to lose in any given week. Not so now. The weight goes down then the weight goes up and then, even though the gain was quick, the loss back to "see" level is slow and torturous. I know, I shouldn't weight every day but I'm afraid if I don't, I won't see any progress at all! 

Friday, July 4, 2014


Yay, ME!
So far, I've been on my diet/fitness/healthier living quest for 21 days. I've lost a little over 8 pounds which is a little disappointing to me but in terms of long term, maintained weight loss, I've always heard that slower loss is better. I've also heard that slow loss means a loss of actual fat not muscle or water. So, I'm not going to be too hard on myself and in fact, I think I'm proud of myself. I've stuck to the plan pretty darn well. I've walked despite the heat and humidity and I've hit my 10,000 step goal several times. It's odd because I really pushed myself to get that first 10,000 step day...which translates to about 4.5 miles.....and I didn't do me or my body any favors. The next day, I was useless. I was still pretty much useless for the next three days but each day got a little better. But the fourth day, I was easily making that 10,000 steps. I've had a few off days since but I've always come close and the last few days, I've hit my goal without much effort. As soon as it begins to feel easy, I will set another goal so that I'm always moving forward, always progressing and always have something to strive for that will make me feel proud and successful when I accomplish it. I'm hoping that, with the added exercise, the weight will start dropping off easier, too. I've continually stayed under my calorie goals but last Friday, I leaped up three pounds! It's taken me the entire week but this morning, I was down three and a half pounds....yay, me! The My Fitness Pal app that I'm using sure is handy but it is showing me with zero weight loss because I actually signed on with them two years ago when I weighed less than I do now. I have three more pounds to fall below that original weight and then I can really start to celebrate each pound lost. 
Please help Seiger if you can. He is a service dog in need of medical care. His owner managed to pay all of his bills for 2014 but he needs additional therapy and medication. She is trying to raise money not only to help with those expenses but to train a replacement for Seiger just in case he can't stay on the job. Sieger also has a Facebook page because he's such a great dog!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Below,  an article written by author, Joan Wickersham.

7 Things Women learn the hard way: 

1.You have a good girl and a bad girl inside you, and the good girl is usually the one who gets you into trouble.

The good girl waits to be called on. She takes no for an answer. She doesn't want to disturb anyone. She carries maturity and good citizenship to the point of paralysis. She holds herself in check, tells herself, "Don't you dare." The bad girl dares. The bad girl shocks me, and I have a lot to thank her for. She said, "I love you," and she said it first. She said, "I quit this job." She said, "I've been working on this book for eight years and it stinks and I'm throwing out the manuscript and starting over." When I look back at the things I regret—the jobs I wanted and didn't go after, the editors with whom I never got in touch, the misunderstandings I didn't try to clear up, the interesting people I never talked to—I can see how often the good girl was in charge: cautious and correct, and wrong. 

2. Sooner or later one of those "How can she stand it?" things is going to happen to you, and you'll stand it.

My father's suicide. Without warning, on a February morning when he was 61. 

3. Having one "How can she stand it?" thing happen does not protect you from more things happening.

A year after my father died, my mother was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. Along with the fear and grief and rage, I felt a sense of cosmic unfairness, as if the universe had lost track of the quota and given our family more than its share of pain. The hard truth is: There is no quota. You can get hit once, twice, or ten times, clustered together or spaced far apart. It's one thing to know intellectually that anything can happen; it's another to actually feel the chaotic vulnerability of life, which for me didn't come with the first terrible occurrence, but rather with the second. 

4. Sometimes the only answer is "Who knows?"

My mother's surgeon said this, when I asked him about her prognosis. I wanted to hug him, even while I believed that deep down he knew that she was going to die. But she went through surgery and chemo and she didn't die, though the next few years were terrifying. Learning to live with uncertainty is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and I'm continually having to re-learn it. But there is also something deeply lovely about uncertainty: the possibility of optimism. If the story of the future truly isn't written yet, who's to say it won't end well? 

5. Your mother is tough, but not immortal.

My mother died 16 years later at the age of 82, from causes unrelated to cancer. 

6. If you can't take it or leave it, you might have to leave it.

For me it was flour and sugar. I gave them up more than a decade ago. Sometimes I miss them. But not enough to take back all the bad stuff—the bewilderment and shame of trying, and failing, to be moderate; the 80 extra pounds—that went along with them. 

7. Love doesn't always color inside the lines.

It is possible to be attracted to a man who is not your husband, even when you are happily married. Ugh. I don't even want to include this one. But I guess that's what makes it a hard truth. I have one married friend who admits, frankly and cheerfully, that she sometimes develops crushes. The rest of us don't admit it. We hide it and feel embarrassed and disloyal and guilty. You don't have to do anything about these feelings, but maybe it helps to know that other people have had them too. The bad girl knows it's okay to write about this honestly. The good girl knows not to act on it. And in this case, they are both right. 
Joan Wickersham is the author of The News from Spain (now out in paperback) and The Suicide Index