Monday, August 29, 2016

Day One of, "Let's have fun and make exercise a habit."

Day One of 30 days of "Let's have fun and make exercise a habit." I'm not setting any restrictions on myself but I'm doing what I feel like. Just got back from my first work out and I am tuckered. lol. I found an app that is suppose to take you from the sofa to a 5k in a month. Day one....which I suppose is the easiest.....wasn't easy for me. It started with 5 minutes of walking to warm up. I think maybe I pushed myself too hard on this because I knew when I started the first 1 minute of running, I didn't want to be going up the hill! So, I pushed myself to walk what usually takes me 10 minutes in 5. I don't think that was the warm up they had in mind. haha So, I'm already breathing hard and my pulse rate is high when I start jogging across the top of the hill. By the time I'd done a minute, I was breathing so hard that it took me the minute and a half of walking and then the next minute that was intended for running and the next minute and a half of walking (by this time, at a snail's pace) to get my heart rate down and my breathing normal. Still not so certain I'm not going to die but I did repeat this in reverse at that point and I ran the next minute but walked the rest of the way back to the house. All together, I think I put in 18 minutes but I'm not sure of mileage or steps because I forgot to wear my OuMax again. Tomorrow, I will try the DAY 1 workout again and I will keep trying it until I can do the run one minute - walk a minute and half sequence...without passing out. Now I'm going to take my dog out for his evening walk of about a mile. I may remember the OuMax for this one, lol. And, if I'm not totally exhausted by then, I may try to fit in a short kettle bell workout before bedtime. I'll let you know about that tomorrow.

A Mind Reset


I haven't been posting like I should for this challenge. There has been a lot going on in my life lately but that is no excuse. The truth is, I've had a very difficult time staying motivated. I was reading an article this morning which discussed weight loss and exercise with several women who had all lost a substantial amount of weight (I've posted the article below.) That article reminded me that every journey in life, no matter if it is exercise or something else, starts with that first step. I have been making those steps but I've been upset that I've just been getting by with the bare minimum for a while. I could blame my busy schedule, I could blame the heat, I could blame how I've been feeling so physically bad and down lately or how my emotions have been on a roller coaster for the last two weeks.....I could but the truth is, I have to want to do it and if I'm not doing it, it's not because of any of the things above. So, I am walking but it's like I resent every step. I have to step back and take a good hard look at myself and find out why this is. If I'm being honest, it is my age. Before you start saying, that's just another excuse, let me explain. I never have thought of myself as old that is not until the last month. From physical ailments and complaints to loss and grief to just not having the energy I once had, my age has been pointed out to me. I finally realize that I am sixty years old. I find it discouraging that I'm not making the progress I use to. So, it may be my age but it is really a mental problem rather than a physical one. Because you can get in shape at this age, it may take longer but it can be done. I've just got to start thinking young again...BUT, yes, that is a big but, lol.....I have to also be kind to myself and take it slower...and also accept that I'm slower and my progress is going to be slower. I read about other people's success and I realize that they too couldn't do much when they started-no matter their age but they kept moving and kept doing a little more each day. That progress might just be measured a minute at a time or a few more steps but it is progress and it does add up! So, let's do a reset on this challenge and on my attitude. True, I've been walking for several days now but I have not been enjoying it at all. I need to make walking and exercise enjoyable again. I feel like I've been punishing myself for a while. I've not allowed myself to enjoy life or take joy from things like my horses and riding that use to bring me joy. I've punished myself because of the parts of my life that are lacking but my entire life suffered because of that. And did any more get done from me thinking, "I can't do anything fun until the stuff is done that I don't want to do." ??? The answer is NO. I've just become an unhappy, unhealthy slug. I've been hiding and losing myself in food and things that require concentration and thought but little if any physical activity. So, let me take a step back once again. I know I've had a lot of false starts in the past but I've learned something from each of them. In a way, they were all pieces of the puzzle and I feel like, that puzzle is finally falling into place. So, let's start this challenge again. There will be no measurement to hit because as I've said in the past, I'm establishing a habit here. Each day for the next 30 or let's just say until Sept. 30, I will fit exercise into my day and I will record on here exactly what I do. It won't matter if it's three miles of walking or just 10 minutes dancing around the house, just as long as I'm moving each day. If I remove the restrictions, I think exercise will become fun again, it will become a pleasurable activity and I will make progress. The difference here is that progress will not be forced but will occur naturally. If you're asking yourself how I know that I can make not only progress in the next 32 days but quite a bit of progress, I think this because progress is not going to be my goal, enjoying exercise again is my goal, making it a habit is my goal, a habit I look forward to each day, a habit that I begin to incorporate into my entire life.

Click Here to read the article about just what 8 different women did to lose weight. This article is unique because these are women of different ages and sizes and they all took their own uniquely personal path to fitness, weight loss and health.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A New Day - A New Challenge

For over a week, I have felt like I was getting sick, achy, tired, weepy, hot flashes and chills, tummy problems and headaches. This was after I stopped using the Prednisone. I saw my therapist yesterday and she told me to just be kind and patient with myself and my body. She told me that any drug strong enough to make me feel like I was twenty and Super Woman must have an effect upon my body and I did, after all, not sleep for the solid week I was on it. So, I guess a let down is to be expected but I felt like I was 20 when I was taking it and 90 after I stopped, lol. I am feeling better now, each day is a little better and I started a new Challenge yesterday. I've decided to take my therapist's advice, patient and kind. This first challenge is about establishing an exercise habit after all and that is done with consistency not pushing myself to my extreme trying to improve. The habit is the improvement for now. So, I'm going back to what has worked in the past, putting the emphasis on distance not speed.
This challenge will be 30 Days - 30 Miles. I started last night and logged my first 1.31 miles. Hopefully, by the end of the 30 days, I will not only have established that habit but I will be walking more than a mile a day but that is not the goal, consistency is the goal.
I'm not going to break any land speed records, lol, andI'm not even going to think about changing my diet or keeping a food diary at the moment. That might be my next 30 day challenge. Right now, I'm going to concentrate on being the tortoise not the hare.....you do remember which one won the race, don't you?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Endings and Beginnings


I'm sorry for the long silence. It's been nearly a week since my last post when I was eager and ready to get back to the 30 day challenge. Since that last dose of prednisone, I've been feeling lousy. I don't know if it's the let down from all of that energy the prednisone produced or if I have a sinus infection but I've just felt off. I'm light headed and achy and just feeling run down and tired. So, I haven't re-started my challenge yet. I do plan to get back to it soon and each day, I've felt a bit better.
I have to change my motivation from size to health. I know, I know....I said that health and energy were my motivators and size and appearance were last on my list. I don't think it was intentional, i think I really believed that but I lied. I've felt depressed and discouraged all weekend. It didn't help that I lost another good friend, someone who was truly like a brother to me and best friend. This makes three friends lost in the last three weeks. Three people near my age who had a significant influence on my life. That makes four good friends this year and my sister in January. In the past three years, I've lost my two best girl friends, women who were more like sisters and so important to me, the man who was like a father to me and really, sadly, more of a father and advisor than my own father ever was and so many other friends all close to my age. When people tell me, this is to be expected as we age, IT DOES NOT HELP!
I started this page as a motivator for me and others to stay healthy and active as we age so we can enjoy our lives but when I'm faced with the realities of aging and the truth that I am no longer young, it is so, so hard to accept. Accepting that I may not be able to achieve the level of fitness that I dream of reaching and that, up until this past weekend, I truly expected to achieve, that is disheartening.
My husband had oral surgery last Friday and he is impossible to keep down. He told me that he would be just as rested driving around as he would lying in the bed all weekend. I doubted him but evidently he was right because he seems to be healing quickly from extensive surgery. So, we drove around and we went to the mountains where we planned a hiking trip for my birthday coming up in November. That should have made me happy and given me motivation but it is summertime and all the young kids were in the mountains swimming and kayaking. I looked at those young hard bodies and realized that, just like me at that age, they didn't have to work at looking that way. I thought of that quote that youth is wasted on the young. I wondered how I'd gotten so old without realizing it (this after catching site of myself in a full length mirror in a public bathroom...with that "wonderful" lighting that shows every flaw, ugh!). And, ashamed as I am to admit it, I resented those kids their youth.
So, this page is suppose to be motivational and what I've written is anything but...BUT I think we all feel this way from time to time. I need to consider that I haven't felt well this weekend, I'm just coming off nearly two weeks of illness and being sedentary and I need to give myself a big ol' kick in my big ol' behind and get back out there. It's time to stop feeling sorry for myself and maybe I'll actually start feeling better. I still think fitness is important and I still intend to restart this challenge...from day 1. I will promise not to expect as much from myself at first. The first week, I plan to just get out there every day and that's a promise. I might not be doing 30 minutes at first and I might not be pushing my pace past what I can comfortably do. I think the important thing is just to start. I also hope to start keeping a food diary again. Which means that I'll start feeling ashamed of all of the ice cream sandwiches and breakfast muffins and start planning healthier snacks and meals. That will be a good thing. I don't like how I look now. I don't like how I feel. But I am never going to look better or feel better if I don't take action to change my habits. I talk to Lee again today. He told me two weeks ago that I needed to up my game to challenge myself and stay motivated. I agree but I think there are other gentler ways to measure my progress than my speed, time or distance or even the pounds on the scale (which went up significantly with the prednisone fueled hunger). I think I will measure my progress by how I'm feeling, how often I make an effort to get in more movement through out the day, getting out there at least once a day and moving, adding things like weights and intrevals and fun things like dancing by myself for 10 minutes or playing with the horses or taking the dog for a brisk walk. If this is mainly about my health, I need to consider balance in my life because that is as important to my health as diet and exercise....and, if my life is balanced, I'll have more time and more energy for aerobic activities.
So, I hope I'm ending all of this woe is me post on a very positive note. My life isn't over. I do have tremendous potential to improve my fitness, my health, my appearance, my life and lifestyle. And I'm not going to give up because of a set back. Tomorrow morning, I promise I will be back out there and I will let you know how I do. I may not make 30 minutes on the first day but I pledge that I'll do a little bit more on the second day and the third and every day down the road I will be a little better in some way than I was the day before...even if it is just an improvement in attitude.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Took my last dose of Prednisone this morning. (a quick note here because I haven't explained my long break fully on this blog. I was feeling energized by the prednisone I was taking for a bad case of poison ivy and I wasn't aware of my limitations. I pushed myself too hard my first day back and I ran and I darned near killed myself....really, my heart rate was at a gallop and would not slow down even with me resting. So, I decided to put the exercise on hold until my last dose...this morning. :) )I'm hoping to start the 30 minutes for 30 days challenge again tomorrow morning. I may have to do Friday's walk in the evening because my husband is having some extensive oral surgery and I will be his driver and caretaker for a few days.
I think I'm going to miss that energy the Prednisone gave me but toward the end of the week, that energy lessened a lot because I haven't really slept well since starting the medication. The most sleep I've managed each night is an hour or two. At first that didn't matter because I was so hyper that cleaning house at 2am seemed normal. lol These past few days, I haven't been as energetic but I'm hoping that once the meds are out of my system, both my sleep cycle and energy level will return to normal.
I picked up a magazine at the grocery store checkout today. I don't usually do that since it is much more economical to buy the digital version but this magazine, The Good Life, which seems to be the creation of Dr. Oz had articles that really spoke to me. This issue seems to be dedicated to a lot of subjects that are very important to me right now. The first article I noticed was about walking for fitness, health and weight loss. It actually lays out a plan for making walking/exercise a habit in your life and keeping it challenging, too. That is exactly what I'm trying to do. One thing I noticed is that it doesn't push you to do the 30 minutes every day, especially the first week. It said, if 15 or 20 minutes was all you could fit in or all you felt like doing, do that. You just need to be doing something and getting out there and doing what you can. It did say to try and do your 30 minutes the next day or on alternate days. Also, it spoke about keeping yourself challenged by adding more time when you felt like it or starting interval walking around your third week. That is something I'm really interested in because it is suppose to not only torch the calories but also help your heart be healthier. I would love to eventually use running and fast paced walking for the intervals but for now, I think I would be wise to listen to the article and just walk at different paces. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm at the starting gate again. I have a bad tendency to expect too much from myself too fast. And, even though this is just a two week difference at most and not the twenty year gap I was trying to breach before, it still is starting over. So, I'm taking it easy...one step at a time. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

I finally made it to the doctor's office yesterday for this horrible poison ivy. It's on the right side of my body from the soles of my foot to my shoulders and had begun to spread to my left side. I have gotten little done (accept my drawings that I can do while sitting in our one air conditioned room in my underwear, lol) since Monday when this started. Clothing hurts so much and I literally was only putting on pants to go feed the horses in the morning (and I missed a few of those.) They told me they didn't do shots, which everyone else had told me worked like magic, so they gave me a prednisone prescription instead. I've never taken this before but I have to say, I'm liking the side effects (tons and tons of energy) fare more than the antihistamine's (sluggish, dopey, sleepy and irritable...I'm blaming that last one on the medicine.) Last night, I actually took my first 30 minute walk in four days! And I ran part of it...up a hill that usually has me huffing and puffing when I walk it! Funny part is, I took my dog with me and I ran him up that hill but, when we looped back, he ran me down the hill because he heard a deer (dragon, lol) snort in the woods. Big ol' brave dog...hahahaha.

I've had several drug induced drawings come out of the last four days. I've been calling them my acid trip drawings, lol. This last one, in the photo, was influenced by both the antihistamine and the prednisone....it's been a wild and whacky ride. lol

Now, I'm headed out for my morning walk for the first time in a week...yay, me! Going to use this extra energy while I have it. 

Happy Saturday all!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Joy in the morning

Day 13 of my 30 minutes for 30 days challenge. This morning is going to be difficult. I'd rather just go back to bed and sleep and forget. I found out yesterday afternoon that a lifelong friend, someone I'd grown up with and loved, passed away on Saturday night right after his 60th birthday celebration. I'm heartbroken and so heartsick. Since the first of this year, I've lost my sister and two close friends to cancer and now this unexpected loss. It seems as if this is happening more and more. Over the last three to four years, I've lost some of the best friends I've ever had, people who shaped my life and probably helped shape me and who I am. It has been overwhelming, disheartening and honestly just depressing. Sometimes the sadness the heartache seems to be more than I can bear. After a night of tears and sorrow, I felt like my friend Buddy spoke to me. I felt like he told me that he didn't want me mourning his passing but celebrating his life and celebrating his homecoming. I recalled the last time Buddy and I messaged with each other here on FB. It was Friday and he was encouraging me with this fitness challenge. He told me he believed in me and he told me to keep going. I love you my friend, I celebrate your life and your friendship and the wonderful, talented person you were. And I will keep going in this quest to improve my health and life and I will remember your words and your friendship as I do.
I'll head out now and I'll do my 30 minutes and instead of dreading the heat and humidity, the tired and sore muscles and the just plain laziness brought on by lack of sleep, I'm going to try and relish each step and feel the gratitude of the blessings of this day and this place and this life.
This is all I'm going to post about today's walk but rest assured, I'm putting in my 30 minutes and no matter my speed, that is progress.

Psalms 30:5 
Weeping may spend the night,
but there is joy in the morning.