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Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

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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