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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

During my adult lifetime, I have been everything from a size 6 to a size 22.  After years of up and down and not liking crowded closets, I have settled on having rubbermaids labeled 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and I used to have 18, but I got rid of it last year.  For ever!!!

While I have not gotten back to my weight lifting and aerobic exercise routine I had before my heart problems came up, I am serious about how I eat.  After open heart surgery, I found out I was one of the 26.9 % of people who develop Type II diabetes.  During 2009, I laid off of sweets, to a large degree, and went even lower on salt than I already was.  I cut out red meat, for the most part.  My doctor told me that it will not kill me to eat a piece of cake for my birthday and I have occasionally done so.  Did I mention that I have three official birthdays a year?

Salad for breakfast

In the beginning vegan diet, there was salad to eat. I was hungry 24/7 and now salad is but one part of my diet

Then, I found out that my heart surgery had failed and I had 70% blockage in a vein at the entry point to my heart. I am no longer a candidate for further open heart surgery, so I decided to go vegan.

First, let me say, in no way has this been an easy battle.  The first two months of a plant based diet seemed to be the magical formula.  I lost two pounds a week, but was continually hungry and never satisfied.  It’s the same plant based, no oil diet that President Clinton went on after his heart problem.  Only thing is, I do not have a chef to make the food taste good and the creator of the diet has the wierdest taste buds on earth.  He puts sweet potatoes or sweet squash in everything, along with about 26 more ingrediants) and frankly only sweet and sour chicken is a sweet/sour mix I like.

I am now eating Vegetarian and hoping to work my way back to Vegan.  With the help of three cholesterol busters (medications) and my no meat diet (and there is the very, very occasional hamburger out) I have reduced my clogging from 70% to 50%. You can do that.

Now, if I can just get my body back on the treadmill and weight bench, I can maybe get some of those rubbermaids emptied out to Good Will.

Bon Appetite!

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I have a new mother boad on my new Dell Inspiron 1545.  This seems to have fixed the external modem problem.  The new hard drive was a bonus (the repairman says it is much better than the old one.)  I have a new CD Rom, as I had to use a paperclip to eject it at times.  Now, my touchpad is wonky. 

While Dell’s service people are very nice, I am so putting off calling about the touchpad.  I wish they would have just replaced the whole laptop at some point.  I always have to go through convincing them that I am not a computer illiterate person and I have already updated the drivers for the touchpad and yes, my touchpad is haunted/possessed/you name it.

It’s very interesting to watch it jump all around the screen by itself, lighting up windows and closing them.  Interesting, but irritating.  Such as, it just jumped up a line and I found out I was typing on the wrong line. 

I am here to try to get some regular postings done.  The ground, hence the phone lines are dry and I can no longer hear my neighbor, on our occasional party line, informing her family that her son is out of jail now.  I wonder if this is the same son who knocked on my door the other day, so drunk he could hardly stand up, to ask if he can use my phone.  When we took the cell out to him, I was not letting him in the house to upchuck or slit our throats, he called someone and promptly starting walking, stumbling back home with my cell phone.

I may have lost the art of blogging.  I have to work real hard to be funny.  Although, my life has enough fodder for the telling that it should come naturally. 

In parting, since I shared a picture of my last “butt ugly shoes,” I thought I should share a photo of my new wonderful shoes.  I have bone and joint/tendon whatever problems and my feet will apparently self destruct if I do not tie them in  good, meaning $100, shoes.  This is according to my doctor.   And, in his defense, they hurt when I don’t. 

It was time for a new pair and he sent me to Shoe Carnival  http://www.shoecarnival.com/.  I am here to tell you, I am in love with these shoes and shoe carnival.  I had hurt my back and after walking less than an hour in these things, my back felt wonderful.  In fact the only time it didn’t hurt was when I walked in them.  They say you lose weight when you wear them.  Every time I sat down, my back hurt, so I think keeping you up and moving is a side benefit.

So, here they are:  My new Avi-motion walking shoes by Avia.  I was able to get a second pair, to trade off, for $125 for both pairs.  What a deal.  There is a more name brand of these shoes, that are supposed to tone your butt up and all but they hurt my feet.  The butt thing is not known yet, but we can hope.  I swear these shoes are fun to walk in.  They have a rocking kind of sole.  The dog is optional.

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This is Irritating little Chihuahua at six weeks, January of 1999.  She is eleven years old this month, and she has her daily exercise routine.

It consists of sleeping, and

going outside and surveying her driveway, from the great sniffing of automobile tires down to the Yucca plant.  I have yet to figure out what is so intriguing about the Yucca, as it does not seem a normal “pee” spot to me, but it is on her daily route. 

It is also on her daily route to debate whether to go on down the driveway to the road.  She will look back, to see if we are watching, go a few trots, stop and look back.  This continues until I rap on the window or yell at her.  Then, she ambles off into the yard as if, “No, I never intended on going down the driveway.  I know my boundry.” 

The rest of the day is taken up with sleeping with nose buried,

and begging for food, and sleeping.  Mostly sleeping. 

Oh, and there is the occasional — jump up and give me a dirty look because she swears I touched her haunches, when she actually has a flea. 

Before I am yelled at, she has a frontline flea application monthly, as well as her heart worm pill.  She has had neurological problems with other flea applications, so Frontline it is.  This was working well for her until the St. Bernard family decided to eat our garbage and deposit their “city of fleas” in our yard.  They DO NOT get flea applications.  Chihuahua  added the garbage cans to her morning run as those St. Bernard’s leave behind all kinds of things, including their fleas. 

The St. Bernard’s eating the lid of the garbage can, to circumvent the ties and boards and anything else we could find to keep them out, finally resulted in putting the garbage cans in my studio (which I rarely use in winter).  The city of fleas resides on the ground yet, as well as the smells do.

Twice a day I comb her with a frozen flea comb, catch the fleas that freeze on it, and put them in the freezer of doom; a disposable container in the freezer.   I know this is wierd, but, yes, I have a container of frozen fleas in my freezer (Try saying that three times fast.).  On top of which, sits her flea comb.  Someday the City of fleas will all die —– I hope.

So, back on topic, the Chihuahua sleeps, eats, poops, and sleeps all day.  For ten minutes, at night, she also plays with her Taco Belle Chihuahua.   Taco Belle Chihuahua has more sewn body parts than you can imagine.  Irritating Chihuahua loves to grab it by the neck and try to knock herself sensless with it.

My fear, the year we had floods, was that our home would be flooded, fall into the pond and the Taco Belle Chihuahua would be history.  I have searched ebay, Good Will and yard sales for a back-up Christmas Taco Belle dog.  Chihuahua has a basket of stuffed toys and will occasionally play with the Turkey Buzzard and rarely with the cat mouse toy.  Taco Belle Chihuahua is her love.

Now, we have found another exercise outlet for Chihuahua: The Wii.

Yes, Gaffer brought a Wii home.  One of the games sounds rather like a bark, so she stands on the couch and barks back at the Wii.  But, bowling drives her nuts.  It took her three hours to figure out they were not throwing food for her.  She loves her Wii.  She does not understand it, but she loves it.

This is Skeeter, trying to communicate with the blue jean leg of the Wii player.  She is either saying, “Okay, where is the treat you have been throwing for three hours?” or “GO TO BED!”

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The doctor will be so happy with me.  He  wanted me to lose 10 pounds and I have lost 20, since January.  Not dramatic, but permanent.  How did I do it, you ask?  Well, whether you are being polite or really want to know, I’ll tell you, because it might help someone.

I have been up and down and up and down most of my life.  The first time, after the birth of my two daughters, there was this carmel chewy diet cube called AIDS.  Now, I realize why they would pull it and rename it (this was before the virus) but I do not find it under any name.  I lost a lot of weight chewing those cubes and as I got lower, I started  doing yoga.

I love yoga.  I have turned to it many times in my life since and, while I am not doing it nightly, as I would like to, I still practice many of the techniques I learned from it.  I can make myself warm up in an otherwise cold environment when I do not have adequate clothing.  Anyway,

I have done little white pills, and no carbs, and a space age diet packet thing in the 70′s.  You lose weight on it all, but it comes back.  So, this time, I just decided to cut my portions in half, or near half to start with.  Lost some weight, cut out red meat except occasionally.  Lost some weight, so cut my portions again.  Lost some weight, so cut out sugary food.  (even though this is what I want to be eating  Cake Wrecks .You see the point here.  You take it one step at a time.

I have a good friend who quit drinking.  He felt he could not preach to his son, who was having a drug problem, when he was drinking.  Well, he felt so much better that he quit smoking.  He felt so much better, that he started walking.  He felt so much better he worked on his diet.   You see the point here?

When it is something you really want, you practice.  You pick up the instrument and you start with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and, when you want to lose weight, you practice for the time when you turn around and go, “I did it.  I’ve lost weight, I’m still losing, my blood sugar is good, my blood pressure is great and my blood counts are excellent.”

So, soon I will be back on the treadmill and I’m working up to the weights again.  I love lifting weights.  My energy is coming back and I’m cleaning up my downstairs studio.  I feel like I am living again.

Just thought you should know.  Good luck to you, too.

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I received a comment on my post Words you do not want to hear « Savanvleck’s Weblog and just felt like this deserved a full answer.

 

My Osteopenia was actually caused by a para-thyroid gland gone wild.  It was robbing my body of calcium.  The tests I went through for this were really interesting.  You have not lived until you have had to carry around a gallon jar of your own urine.  

 

One possible problem with me is that they could only find three of my four para-thyroid glands and so I do not know if I still have one, in hiding and malfunctioning. (That test involved nuclear testing.  I love it when I have to walk alone down a long concrete hallway and be treated by a guy wearing lead clothing.)  When they went in to take the para-thyroid out they also removed half my thyroid (it was hard as a rock – gee, did they do that with the testing?).  All I know is, doctors see me coming and they start checking the want adds for a summer home. 

 

That said, I just started exercising a couple of years ago and did so for nine months and then because I became tired, exhausted beyond belief, I quit.  Without insurance, it took two years to diagnose and finally get emergency surgery on my heart.  Then, without insurance, I was never given heart rehab, which most people get.  So, it has taken me two years post surgery to get back on the treadmill. 

 

I may not be the best example to use as a guide and I would not want to see you stop exercising because I am not Osteopenia free.  I have recently gotten insurance and had a new dexa-scan and am still diagnosed with Osteopenia.  But, I have only been exercising this time since February 2nd, 2009. 

 

I do take Calcium with D twice a day; I do the treadmill three days a week and weights three days a week.  But, I am not up to real vigorous running or weights yet.  I am eating a lot better and have now lost thirteen pounds.  So far, I have not broken a bone, and I know that I feel a lot better.  They say that the exercise will help your bones.  I do not know whether exercise will reverse Osteopenia or not. But, even if it just stops it from getting worse, it is worth it. 

 

This is kind of like the bursitis in my shoulders.  I woke up one morning and my shoulder was frozen.  With exercise, I am nearly back to full range of motion, but I will always have bursitis and always need to exercise it. 

 

So, keep up the good work.  You are going to feel so much better for it.

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Summer is almost here.  Tulips and daffodils are blooming and tomato starts, in the bay window, are two inches tall.

This means that I will soon be reminded that I have, yet again, overestimated my youth and energy.  I am still weight lifting and doing aerobics, and still stuck at 11 pounds lost, but I do hope I have the energy for the garden this year. 

I have a hard time throwing out the weaker plant starts.  I just cannot imagine me ever being able to chop up the Mandrake roots.   Since I do like to have extra plants, and thus extra produce, to take to the Seniors in mom’s apartment building, I planned on planting more this year anyway. 

No one is fond of mowing our 3.8 acre yard. A couple of areas of the yard are wooded, so we just leave those alone.  I think one winter day, when the ticks are hibernating (Do ticks hibernate?) I will put the teens to cleaning the woods.  That is, if they are ever home long enough. 

No longer a Teen, #1 is living in Santa Fe, temporarily and is 22 now.  Teen #2 will be 20 this June, and is always gone to the fire department or nursing schooling, or working.  Teen #3 is now best buddies with his girlfriend’s dad; whose house he goes to for extra tutoring and also to help around their property.  The latest project is a “man cave” in the barn; complete with comfy chairs and a television.

It is always a spur to tell them that they can use the wood they pick up for their fire pit, plus, them being volunteer firemen (and cadet) they realize the fire danger of an overgrown/deadwood woods.

Our drive is 400 feet long and I would love to build a Japanese style walking garden on the strip of land to the east of it. The area between house and pond, to the west, could be deck and terraced gardens; thus, eliminating most of the mowing. We would then be left with the area around my studio to mow. I would love to have that in square foot gardening plots.  Thus again, dreaming of a time when energy and aching bones was never a problem.

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When husband had orthopedic surgery under a local anesthetic, he told the doctor that he did not want to hear the words, “Oh, sh_t.”  He did not hear those words, but several times he heard, muttering and other words; as the doctor discovered he was trying to save a finger that was beyond repair.

 

Words that I do not want to hear, as I am getting a dexiscan the other day, were, “Does your left hip hurt a lot?”

 

Okay, those are loaded words.  There is obviously a reason causing my hip to hurt, or why would she ask?  Yet, here I sit, still not having heard from the doctor as to why my hip would hurt. 

 

I just love modern medicine.  Schedule doctor’s visit, wait. Go to doctor, wait. See doctor, wait.  Order a test, wait.  Get the test and wait. 

 

Now, it is Thursday, two weeks since I wrote the above and I have the report in my hot little hand.  I have Osteopenia.  Since I knew I had Osteopenia like ten years ago, this is nothing new.  But, I guess it’s good to know just why you hurt. 

By the way, Osteopenia is like the middle step between having good strong bones and having Osteoporosis.  It is also why I take lots of Calcium, drink lots of milk (like I need an excuse for that) and lift weights three days a week and do the treadmill three other days of the week.

 

Treadmill day, see you later.

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I grew up in a “women don’t sweat” type of family.  My dad did not watch sports on television and neither did my brother.  The closest we got to physical activity was once, my brother and I, played badminton.  We did not go to the beach.  We would do a ‘walk’ on our vacation. It certainly wasn’t a hike. I was hardly allowed to ride my bike because I might get hit by a car.  Mom was a bit overprotective, but, then again, I never got hit by a car. 

 

I was last picked to play ball and I hated gym, so when I started the Body for Life program, I was thoroughly amazed at how good it felt to lift weights.  Me, can’t hit a ball with a stick, me and I love weight lifting. 

 

I had worked hard for nine months, alternating weight lifting and the treadmill, in 2005, and I lost (drumroll please) not one ounce; muscles weigh more than fat.  I did lose two dress sizes however, and I felt better than I ever felt: weak ankles, gone; floating knee caps, gone; weak arms, gone; aching back, gone.  I could throw around clay with the best of them.  I was strong and I knew I would never be weak again.

 

The main reason I had gotten into this is that I was watching my mother deteriorate and I said, to myself, that I was not going to go down that road.  That road included weakness, illness, resting to walk down a hall and instability, and I was strong.

 

In 2005, there were no commercials on television telling a woman that one reason she is tired could be her heart.  I could have been the poster ‘woman’ for that commercial.  I woke up one morning so exhausted I couldn’t lift weights, or run.  Just overnight, I was exhausted.  I could barely walk, and over the next two years, I got so bad that I could not make it to open the door for irritating Chihuahua to go outside. 

 

“Why didn’t you go to the doctor, you ask.”  I did.  I didn’t have insurance though so the A.N.P. (some type of nursing practitioner) that I got to see checked my thyroid four times over the next two years and told me I was “just under stress.”  Of course, she never even hinted at a treatment for the “just stress” that was slowly killing me. 

 

Then, the doctor’s office called me in and told me not to return for three months because I was “just under stress.”  There’s a lot more to the story, like blood pressure being twenty points different in each arm and a cardiologist who was pretty sure he knew what was wrong but his hands were tied by the corporation he worked for.  So, when they told me not to return to their office, I came home and announced, “They have sent me home to die.”

 

Then, on the internet, I found the wonderful people of St. Francis hospital.  I went into their free cardiac clinic and two hours later was seeing a cardiologist, who scheduled me for a cardiac catherization.  It took a total of seven days before I was having emergency open heart surgery.  I had a spasming artery to my heart (could it have been caused by stress?  Possibly)  I also had 70% blockage, but they said that could have waited.

 

When you don’t have insurance, you do not have rehabilitation.  So, it has taken me two years but, as a birthday present for myself, I finally felt strong enough to start Body for Life again. 

 

I recently read some negative things about this program, but I am here to tell you there is no pressure.  There is no one saying, “you can’t get anywhere, if you don’t use forty pound weights.”  Just the opposite, is the case.  I am starting off with two pound weights and actually I have also had to modify the program for now.  Last time, I did all the reps right from the beginning.  I have to listen to my body, so that I have the energy to do other things.  It is a great program and I love it. 

 

I am literally using two pounds on the upper body and one set of reps.  I went up to three pounds a couple of weeks ago and my rib cage hurt so much that I went back down. I am also eating smaller portions and healthier food.  It all goes hand in hand, folks. 

 

Since February 2, I have lost eleven pounds, and I’m loving that part too.  I’m sweating and I’m loving it all.

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Now that I am back lifting weights, I am back to reading a fitness blog. Happily Ever After ? Cranky Fitness is my favorite and the blogged linked to here is a great blog about choosing your life’s partner.  I am not sure what that has to do with getting in shape — Oh, wait!  I know. 

 

 

 

It has to do with sitting around getting fat because your mate sits around, getting fat and you do not have the willpower to say no to pizza four times a week; and you do not want to do things while he can only sit.  It has to do with eating chocolate because it is illegal to strangle your husband to make him shut up for just ten lousy minutes, please!  It may even have to do with going to the refrigerator at 10:00 pm and eating because, well, just because. 

 

 

Since I was a child, my mother has said that I have to learn my lessons the hard way, by making mistakes, and I have made a lot of mistakes in my life.  Not the least of which was getting married at a young age. 

 

That is not to say that the the early marriage did not benefit me.  I have a wonderful, intelligent human being as a daughter, and another one who is very mixed up, but I would say that I walked away from it being on a good basis with my ex-husband, who was also very young when we married, and also being a better person than I was when we met.

 

 

I have made several more mistakes since then, okay, a lot more than several, but we are talking in relationships here.   Okay, a few of them were mistakes too.

 

 

But Cranky Fitness’ blog was based on a University of Iowa study that had men and women list, in order of importance, the characteristics they feel are important for a life partner. But, when it comes right down to it, it is not so much who they are; pretty, good provider, good housekeeper, etc, as it has to do with who you are when you are with them. 

 

 

If, and we hope this is true, you have been dating them for a while, can you look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am a better person now, than when we met.”  If not, keep looking.

 

 

Oh, and you should also affect them in a positive way so that they are a better person than when you met. 

 

For what that is worth!

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Coming from a totally non-athletic family, the joy of skiing came to me later in life.  It took a while for me to get over my fear of speed and I never really did enjoy the sport for the sheer speed of it, especially after skiing “kegger week” out west. 

 

There’s nothing like a drunk college kid on skis to knock you down on a catwalk. 

 

What I love, and miss about skiing, is the snow and clear air, the woods and the shear joy of sliding around trees and maneuvering down the mountain. I especially like it early in the morning before the slopes are packed with people. I’m not in a hurry when I ski.  I want to enjoy every moment. 

 

I was just beginning to take moguls when I had probably the best laugh in my life. 

 

I fell!  I fell on a steep mogul run and I started sliding down, on my back, head first.  It was like being the ball in a pinball game.  There was no way I could get myself turned around, so I just relaxed and enjoyed the ride. 

I was laughing so hard that people passing overhead, on the ski lift were yelling down, asking if I was okay, and I would just wave at them.  And, then they started laughing too.

 

I could just envision them, all laughing when they got off the ski lift at the top and the operator trying to figure out what was causing the mass hysteria.

 

Now, that is the way to enjoy skiing.

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