Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This is such a good article and this is also the advice that, my fitness/wellness coach, Lee has given to me. And remember, if you do have a set back and feel as if you've taken a step back, just step forward again and pretend you're doing the cha-cha. :)
If there is one fact that everyone knows in theory but not in practice, it’s this: You’re not perfect. You’re going to struggle. You’re going to have bad days. You’re going to eat more than you pla...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ernestine Shepherd didn't start working out until she was 56. She didn't start body building until she was 71. Today, she is 77 and just look at her! What an inspiration she is!!

Ernestine Shepherd is in better shape than most people, decades her junior. Up at 3 a.m. every...

My New Motto!

A Few Articles That You Might Want to Check Out:

I've made all of these mistakes at one time or another. Live and learn and then move on with new knowledge. smile emoticon

From food bloggers to television shows to Pinterest boards, there’s an overwhelming amount of nutrition information, everywhere you turn. How’s a normal person supposed to identify the difference b...

Definitely, adding these to the workout!
There’s no doubt that total-body high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help you get the most out of your workouts. Research has actually shown that just six 15-minute sessions of high-intensi...

And of course, you must have something healthy to substitute for what you're giving up. Some of these look down right delicious!!!
For better or for worse, snacking is a common side effect of our on-the-go lifestyles. Since snacks can easily make or break our daily calorie budget, it’s important to choose smart options especia...

....chocolate.....chips........cherry pie.......and of course, the diet Dr Pepper to wash it all down, lol. I try but I think I definitely need to read this article and follow its advice.
Addiction does not always have to involve an addictive substance or drug, as the term can be used to describe an excessive behavior such as compulsive eating. While there are different schools of t...

This is an amazing article! I have been struggling with this for months now. I finally realized something this morning, it's impossible to make exercise a habit if you (or at least I) don't have a schedule. Fitting the exercise in when I have the time just doesn't work. It's too easy to say, "I'm too tired.", "I'm too busy.", "I'll do it later." So, I'm determined to get my life back on track so I can get back on track with exercise.
8 Hard Realities About Making Exercise A Habit By Dina Many of you have been trying to make exercise a habit. Some of you may have already succeeded in that goal. Either way, I’m proud of you for making fitness a part of your life—even if...

Day 23

Sorry to have neglected this journal once again, so much going on in my life lately. Much is very personal and I don't want to get into it....despite the fact that I've shared so much personal stuff in the past. There may come a time I will want to share it but for now, it's between me and the angels. 

My fitness-wellness coach called for our scheduled session last Thursday. I told him there was good news and bad news. The bad first, not any progress on making exercise a regular part of my life but the good news, I've been making great progress getting my life organized again. I told him I was proud of myself and he said he was proud of me, too. It's a process is what he is always telling me and it involves balance in your life. I'm in the process of finding that balance right now. So, that is the main goal he's set for me for the next month. I'm not to even go near the scale or worry if I get the exercise going; my only goal is to get my life more organized. I also will be doing my physical therapy on my shoulder for the next month. We usually have our coaching calls every two weeks but I put the next one off two more weeks just so it would fall the day after I finish my physical therapy and see the orthopeadist again. Not only will two additional weeks give me that much more time to complete my organization task but I'm hoping, I'll literally be able to hit the ground running on the exercise front. smile emoticon

Monday, August 17, 2015

Day 17

It's day seventeen and I've skipped quite a few daily posts. Part of the reason, and it's a good one, is that I've been busy. Some good busy since my last assignment from Lee, my health coach, was to get my life organized before starting a new workout schedule. So, I've made a good start at that. I tackled the kitchen this weekend. I'm still not done but I've made wonderful progress. This was a job I've put off for years. I'll try to add a few photos later. I've made good use of the new chalkboard labels I bought several weeks ago. So much so that I may need to order a few more.

I did all of this, the climbing, the lifting, the scrubbing, with a very sore and painful shoulder.... of course the pain radiates so the left arm, upper left chest and shoulder area are all involved as well. Of course, it's hurt since I injured it but usually it is a dull ache just irritating because it is constant. Last week, I had my MRI. It was the first full one I've experienced and I have to say, I have new found empathy for all of the friends and family who have complained about these things in the past. The only way I survived the close quarters was to close my eyes as they were sliding me in and even then, I felt as if I didn't have enough air. I hyper ventilated for the first few minutes and then the shoulder pain set in and took my mind off everything else. My shoulder had to be in a holster to hold it still and my arm was strapped to my body in a very awkward position. My entire shoulder was pushed backwards and I was terrified it would begin to spasm as it has in the past. It was the longest fifteen minutes of my life but I lived through it. Still, for two days, my arm was in awful pain and kept waking me up at night. So, not only was I working with a sore arm but with little sleep. But I prevailed...yay, me!

So, I'm close to checking one room off of my reorganization and clean list. This was the best assignment ever because I've realized that the chaos that is my home is the main cause for my procrastination with exercise, getting back to my art, redoing and repair so much around the house and generally living my life. I realized also when I was in that MRI and felt as if I couldn't breath that I had felt like that for the last ten or fifteen years. My life isn't over and it is time I dug myself out of this mess and got on with living. So, I'm off now to chip away at that mountain.....within the next two weeks, I plan to knock that sucker down!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Day 07

I have so much planned for today, so much I need to be doing but what have I spent the last nearly three hours on?!....rearranging and sorting through the over 700 recipes I'd pinned to Pinterest and categorizing them. Sigh...At least, I did get some great ideas for what to cook for dinner. I think when my health advisor recommended that I get my life more organized, this isn't what he meant. 

Now, I'm off to do the job I've been putting off all day (and most likely the reason that my recipe pins are now in such wonderful order), it's time to scrub the cat litter box and the litter can. Whoo HOO! What an exciting and glamorous life I lead. HeeHee 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Day 06

This is an amazing article! I have been struggling with this for months now. I finally realized something this morning, it's impossible to make exercise a habit if you (or at least I) don't have a schedule. Fitting the exercise in when I have the time just doesn't work. It's too easy to say, "I'm too tired.", "I'm too busy.", "I'll do it later." So, I'm determined to get my life back on track so I can get back on track with exercise. Click on the title for the source page.


by Dina
from: http://www.fitandhealthyminds.pw/

Many of you have been trying to make exercise a habit. Some of you may have already succeeded in that goal. Either way, I’m proud of you for making fitness a part of your life—even if you’re not always perfect at it. A consistent exercise routine offers so many benefits to your mind and your body, many of which you are probably already beginning to experience.
Now it’s time for some tough love.
We all have our own ideas about exercise: what “counts” as a workout, how much we need to do, and how it benefits us. But some of those ideas are flat our wrong (or simply misguided). If you’re exercising and not seeing the results you had hoped for, it could be that you’re missing out on these eight truths about exercise. Now they may be hard to hear, but trust that I’m sharing them with you for good reasons. Understanding these realities will only make the habit of exercise easier for you—and help you get even better results from your efforts.


Exercise is work. It elevates your heart rate, makes you somewhat breathless, and causes your muscles to burn. It’s tiring—sometimes exhausting. Yes, exercise does get easier with time, but it will never be “easy.” If it were easy, it wouldn’t be exercise. You see, beyond just getting your body moving (which is great but will only get you so far), exercise has to challenge you. You have to work past your comfort zone in order to train your heart, lungs, and muscles to get stronger and fitter. Over time, yes it will become easier to walk at the 3 mph pace you started, but once that becomes easy, it’s time to walk faster, which brings me to another cold, hard truth: You have to work harder as you get fitter. Think of it exercise as a challenge to continuously improve on what you just accomplished.


Let me preface this one by saying that any body movement is good for you. Whether you’re fidgeting at your desk, walking across the office to talk to a co-worker, taking a single flight of stairs instead of the elevator, or playing Wii tennis—all movement is good, especially when you’re just starting out. But here’s the real truth: Not all movement is “exercise.” The two are very, very different. For any activity to count as true exercise, it has to meet certain parameters, like lasting at least 10 continuous minutes (so those stairs you took or that walk from your car to the store doesn’t count as a workout), it has to elevate your heart rate to an aerobic level (that “hard” feeling I mentioned above), and more. If you count all of these “activities” or body movements you do each day as workouts, then you are only shortchanging yourself—and you could be hurting your weight loss efforts.


Working out really matters for your health and longevity, but more research these days is telling us that simply exercising—whether 10, 30, or even 60+ minutes a day—may not be enough to offset the effects of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. Just because you exercise doesn’t mean it’s OK to be a couch potato the other 23 hours of the day. Sitting, driving, working from a computer, sleeping—all of these “inactivities” make up the bulk of many people’s days, and the longer you sit still, the worse the effects can be on your health. I talked a little about “activity” vs. exercise above. This is where those extra non-workout activities DO matter. They may not be true workouts, but they do have benefits. More movement is good—and that is how you achieve the benefits of an active lifestyle.


“Burn up to 800 calories an hour!” How often do you see phrases like that advertised on workout DVDs, group classes, and other fitness products? The truth is, most of these numbers are seriously inflated, and the average person won’t burn a fraction of that claim. This is the case for treadmills, stationary bikes and other cardio machines, too. Those “calorie burn” screens can be off by 30% or more. SparkPeople tries to be a little more conservative with the numbers we use on our Fitness Tracker, but just remember that calculators/trackers are estimates. When it comes to weight loss, you’re better off with a conservative approach to calorie burn. Assume you’re actually burning fewer calories than a tracker or machine says you are. A better way to gauge what you’re really burning is by wearing your own heart rate monitor. While a general fitness tracker would tell me that an hour of Spinning burned some 600+ calories, my HRM (using my gender, weight, and actual heart rate during the workout) showed closer to 400. That’s a big difference that could really affect one’s weight loss.


A walk around the block doesn’t earn you a brownie. That yoga class doesn’t mean it’s OK to indulge inan ice cream sundae this weekend. How often do you “reward” yourself for working out by undoing most of your efforts with one or more dietary splurges? Remember, exercise really doesn’t burn as many calories as people assume it does, so a single workout—even a rigorous one—won’t come close to offsetting just ONE big splurge. Yet I know many people who justify their food choices by saying “I worked out today.” If weight loss is your goal, you have to keep these splurges in check; otherwise, you’ll be fighting a losing battle and never really get ahead in the calorie equation.


This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions I see. Most people believe that simply by exercising more, harder, or with some “magical” combination (think “muscle confusion”), they’ll get rock hard abs, chiseled arms, and toned legs. WRONG. Exercise will not change your body much at all unless you are also cutting calories. To really change your physique, you have to do both: watch your diet, consumer fewer calories than you burn, and exercise with a combination of cardio and strength training. Same goes for dieting. Cutting calories will result in some weight loss, but your body will not necessarily look more cut or toned if exercise isn’t also part of your plan.


A lot of people don’t like to exercise, but they manage to stick with it in order to lose weight. Once they reach that goal, it becomes easier to slack off and then lose the habit entirely. But whether your goal is to lose weight, look better, improve your health, or just plain feel good, you’re only going to reach—and maintain—that result by continuing to exercise after you reach that goal. The benefits of exercise are quickly lost, too. You actually lose your strength and endurance far faster than it took to build up (unfair, right?). You can lose muscle strength in just a couple weeks off from pumping iron, and cardiovascular endurance? It starts diminishing when you rest just 2 days! This is why it’s important to find a routine that you enjoy and can stick with for the long haul.


I love routine as much as the next person, but the gym is not the place for it. For the best results, you have to change up your workouts often. This is good because it can help prevent boredom so you’ll stick with it, but also prevent plateaus in your progress. For creatures of habit, or exercisers who lack creativity, it can be a real challenge. There are tons of ways you can mix up your workouts without becoming a gym rat or earning a personal training certification. The important thing is that you do it. Don’t let your workouts become stale, and don’t let your muscles get too conditioned to doing the same old thing for months on end. That’s why lifelong exercisers are always reaching for new goals and trying new things. Not only is it fun, but it challenges their bodies in new ways so they always stay fit—and have fun doing it.
There you have it. Sometimes the facts are hard to hear, but ultimately, the truth can be liberating—and help you really become your best in the gym and in life.

Late with Day 05 also!

So, yesterday (day 05) I saw Josh the NP at Tennessee Orthopaedic Clinic. He said the problem with my shoulder has gone on too long and it is getting worse. Injections and physical therapy helped but not enough. So, he's scheduled me for an MRI next week. I know that it will certainly help me to get back on track with my life and exercise if my shoulder wasn't (literally) such a pain.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day 04....a day late... and Day 05

Well, I did accomplish a few things yesterday but not what I would have liked. Today is here and I'm already running late. Nothing done this morning and I have a doctor's appointment in less than two hours. Bodie is outside and barking so I guess he's alerting me that the mail has arrived. I hope he doesn't jump on the mail lady. I still have to feed the horses and shower and get ready to head to the doctor and I haven't had lunch yet! Ooooh, so typical of my day. This plan of mine is not off to a great start now five days in! More later.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Eat to Lose Weight and Be Healthier

When you're trying to lose weight, it's important to think of the healthier foods you should be eating—not the foods you are missing out on! Weight-loss expert Nicci Micco explains how to build new and better habits. She shows how thinking ahead—by using prescriptive meal plans, eating with a divided-plate method or building your own scheme—can all help you drop pounds.
When you're trying to lose weight, it's hard not to think about all the foods that you shouldn't be eating. But the key is to come up with a meal plan that you should and can follow. Perhaps you're most successful when you can follow a plan that tells you what to eat so you don't even have to think about it. Detailed menu plans with healthy meals and snacks designed to help you re

Day 03

Well, at least I accomplished something today even if it was the grocery store and feed store. I did pick up ingredients to make a chicken pot pie for tomorrow night and an earthquake cake (first time trying the recipe.) My sister is very sick and I haven't been to see her in a few weeks because of my tummy virus that I didn't want to chance her catching from me. I have an appointment with Orthopaedic clinic tomorrow and I thought I'd run her by some pot pie and earthquake cake on my way. I hope it all turns out well.

Now, I'm off to fill in all of the paper work before my visit to the doc so I don't have to try and do it there. The last two times, I never got through all of it before my visit ended. Then I have to wash up a few dishes, pack Steve's lunch for tomorrow, clean up a mess the cats left me (no details-you can thank me now), and then feed and water the horses. I hope I will feel like a walk with Bodie after all of that; it would do us both good!

Good to Know

Walking really is a winning exercise on every front, and new research shows that by simply walking faster, you can reap extra benefits. We’re not talking just a bigger calorie burn (350 compared with 250 per hour) and improved fitness. Faster walkers have lower rates of death than slower walkers from causes including heart disease and dementia, according to a review of the National Walkers' Health Study. If you reach a pace that’s almost running, you’ll burn more calories than running at that exact speed. A brisk walk also reduces the risk of heart disease more effectively than a run that burns the same number of calories. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Day 02

Two days in a row....my first two in this new quest.......and I still haven't accomplished much. Why? I haven't felt well. The stomach bug still lingers and I just feel exhausted. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better because it already looks like a busy one. I have to be up at dawn so I can pick up food for the horses and run a few other errands while trying to get home before it gets scorching hot so I can feed and water them. Then I have several house chores to do that I've been putting off for nearly a week now.... if not longer. I hope to finally get the elliptical moved to the TV room so I have no excuses not to work out. I've even got cordless ear phones to use while watching TV. Today, I made home made chicken noodle soup and finished off the tempting donuts....I guess that's something, ha. Tomorrow is another day and it might just be the day that I check several things off of my list to restart my life. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Things to come as the days count down....

Herald Angel by Sande Jones-Elkins
An early piece of mine, Herald Angel. It must have been my Southern accent because I once told a lady what this piece was called and she asked me, "Why would you name an angel, Harold?"

I have ideas for several new angels and other wood sculptures. Along with my very favorite, the witches, angels are one of my preferred subjects.

Day 01

Started the day with a doughnut....mmm, actually two and a half. Terribly NOT nutritious but delicious all the same. There will be leftover pizza for lunch but I am fixing chicken for dinner and hope to have some nutritious veggies on the side.

I do feel much better today and now, after spending forty-five minutes writing the previous post, I'm finally off at 10:30 to feed and water the poor horses. I will update later on exactly what I accomplish today. I have big plans!

375 Days

I've been absent a while now. There are lots of excuses: a summer bout of flu, some sort of stomach bug I seem to have caught from one of my new kitties, the needs and care of the new kitties and the young "old" dog, friends and family's serious illness, needs, care......The list goes on. I said that I was ashamed to tell the health and exercise advisor that my insurance company assigned to me (after my blood pressure nearly blew the top off of my head with a reading of 228 over 180...which also made the ER nurse gasp and look as if she were going to faint before attending to the cut hand that brought me to the ER on Christmas day.) how badly I was doing. He is a very nice man named, Lee. He is an exercise physiologist and also incredible kind and understanding of all of my slips and trips on this journey....or should I just say numerous false starts? But honestly, there was a time I would have soldiered on despite all the pitfalls that kept blocking my path. Why do I now just give up? It's a long story and one I'm finally ready to admit to and tell.

I will celebrate my 60th year on earth come November 6. To some, I seem to have accomplished a lot but to me, those achievements, the live I lived so fully, seem things of history. I keep hoping history will repeat itself but I've finally realized that it won't unless I make it happen.

I could start at the very beginning telling the story of my life and how my childhood shaped me but I won't because that isn't really essential to the story. Not even how I started as an artist is important here even though that is often where I start to tell the story of ME. No, this story, the story of falling deeper and deeper into the dark cavern of depression, this story started twenty-five years ago. That was the year I lost my mother and the spiral downward began. I had never experienced such grief, the sorrow, the aching to my very core. I continued with my life. I seemed to thrive with my art, with unexpected opportunities presenting themselves. People thought I was the life of the party, when there was a party. But most of the time, I locked my self away in my dark house and strived to keep going and pushing forward even though all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and hide under the blankets.

As for the opportunities, I've often wished that I was ready for them but it seemed like circumstances swept me along. I did what I had to do but there was no joy in it anymore, not even in my success. I wonder what I would have accomplished if I had been fully involved instead of just putting out a fraction of the effort and creativity I was capable of. I felt like I was being swept along by a flooding stream and, despite the surface reflection of success, I felt totally out of control.

I kept trying, I kept pushing myself as my art seemed like a jet shooting me into the sky but eventually, the lack of fuel caused that rocket of success to flame out and I plummeted back down into an even deeper depression than before. That was fifteen years ago.

I gradually stopped creating. What efforts I did make were nothing new, just repeats of old designs. I kept trying to motivate myself to start living my life again. I'd start projects that never were finished. My husband, who had always been my main help and my driving force,  was distracted by his dying father and by a friend that wanted him to become his partner in a business venture. Quite suddenly, I felt as if I was totally on my own. We'd torn out a good deal of our house, walls, carpet, paneling, flooring. Our house was no longer a home. Our possessions, art, furnishings were all covered up or packed away and that's how it's been for the last ten years. I felt overwhelmed whenever I'd look at the mess and all that need to be done. For ten years I've struggled with that and I've felt as if I was just getting buried deeper and deeper.

The weight is another thing that went along with the depression and the mess that our house is in and that together, all shaped the last ten years of my life. I use to be active. I use to walk and ride my bike daily, work out with weights and work out on an eliptical, hiked and biked on weekends. I was active and energetic. Over the last ten years, I've become inactive, constantly tired and sluggish. I've finally retreated to the bed that I wanted to hide in twenty-five years ago.

So, this downward spiral I've described seems to be unrepairable, I know but lately, I've been feeling that old spark. I've only been chipping away but I am finally getting things cleaned out around the house. I hope to have my studio pulled back together in the next few weeks so I can get back to work. I've been planning and sketching so many wonderful new ideas to try. As for the exercise, I'm working on that, too. After a bout of kitty bourn tummy bug, I'm feeling much better today and ready to get on with my life again. Like I said at the beginning, it's not going to happen unless I make it happen! So, I figured up a reasonable amount of time for me to lose the 75 pounds I want to lose and I came up with 375. So, my goal is to make some change every day of those 375. It doesn't have to be physical. It might be work done on the house or farm, art work completed, time spent with my animals or husband or a good friend but the point is, I WILL START LIVING MY LIFE AGAIN. Twenty-five years is too much of my life spent not living to my potential. I'm not going to say wasted because there were many good things that happened during that time and despite feeling stagnant, I was learning, I was growing. I got my horses and I met my friend and mentor, Huston Jenkins. I traveled and met new friends and I lost good friends. I developed into a decent photographer. But I also wasted a lot of time. It's almost as if I stole the time from myself and just poured it out on the ground to be washed away by life's torrents.

No, more! It's cliche to say it is the first day of the rest of my life but it is the first day of the next 375 and I plan on making the best I can of each and every one!