Category Archives: aging
It’s going to be warm today, but the humidity will be low, so no complaints.
I’ve been PLANNING to get out in the yard for a couple of days now, but never got beyond the talking state.
I’m going out now to weed whack.
Wish me luck!!!!
Yesterday I was really sore from working in the yard, so I settled down to do some yoga in the afternoon.
It had been awhile since I practiced. I’ve admitted before that I’m really lazy and use every excuse in the world to avoid exercise, even though I KNOW I need it.
I live with the illusion that I’m still young most days, doing what I need or want to do, paying the price for that later – when my body laughs at me, and then turns the screws by going on strike for a time, adding insult to injury by making me walk around like a really old lady, creaking when I get up or sit down.
Yesterday was the first day in quite awhile that I got down on the mat. I could immediately tell that my body was in ‘snarky mode,’ when I started to creak just getting down to start. Suffice to say that the stretching positions did not come easily and that I have lost ground on flexibility since I last practiced.
I resent the fact that doing yoga and doing my elliptical trainer in the garage seem to use different muscles than I use in everything else I do. I kill myself working in the yard, for example, but THAT exercise doesn’t translate to keeping me flexible or allowing me to walk longer distances without feeling it in my hips.
My practice lasted a lot longer than usual, and my stretches weren’t near as good as I HAD been doing when I was practicing every day. I DID feel better when I finished, though, and I slept better last night.
YESTERDAY I –
- Vacuumed the first floor – office, living room, hallway, dining area, kitchen, pantry, utility room and two half-baths
- went grocery shopping and put stuff away
- fixed lunch
- did 3 loads of laundry
- changed the sheets on our bed
- changed the tires on the truck with my husband – from the snow tires to its regular tires. It took us two hours, but we got it done
- fixed dinner
- cleaned up the kitchen
TODAY I –
am being a SLUG. I have done very little. I did almost nothing in comparison. I got a keto chili in the crock pot this morning and fixed lunch. I fell asleep in my chair. (I had the heat pad under my back in the recliner and the throw over me the perfect ‘sandwich’ of comfort.)
I am just now writing some blog posts. I feel like a slug, but I guess I needed a day of rest. It’s funny. I feel just fine while I’m working. Then it all catches up to me and I’m reminded that I’m no spring chicken anymore.
So – slug fest for me today. Maybe I’ll have more energy tomorrow….
Our day started with our semi-annual dental cleaning. Not really the way I would CHOOSE to spend the morning of my actual birthday, but it’s important and was right down the road from Red Lobster, where we enjoyed my birthday lunch together today. The good news is – no oral cancer (my mom died of this) and no cavities or problems. The surprising news – the bill I thought was fully paid for my husband’s implant in November and crown in February was NOT paid in full – only the first part. So today was much more expensive than we thought it would be. It’s paid now, so that is behind us.
Driving out of the parking lot proved to be quite hair-raising. My husband almost pulled out in front of a car that was almost right upon us. We both managed to avoid the problem, but it really got our attention. WHEW!
Lunch at Red Lobster was glorious. We both enjoyed the special biscuits they’re famous for. I had lobster tail and broccoli. My husband had fish and chips. He had an apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. I had chocolate ‘wave’ cake.
“When I grow up I want to be an old woman.” — Michelle Shocked
“Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.” — Brian Rathbone
I brought home a biscuit plus most of the cake to enjoy later. I DO enjoy a birthday marathon…
“It is lovely to meet an old person whose face is deeply lined, a face that has been deeply inhabited, to look in the eyes and find light there.” — John O-Donohue
We had left the house at 10:00. We didn’t get home until almost 3:00. We were both pooped, so I texted our good friends that we weren’t going to go bowling tonight. I sat down with a cup of coffee in my chair in the living room. The next thing I knew, it was 5:00.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”~ Sophia Loren
We will eat some dinner in a few minutes, but I have had a truly wonderful celebration of another year added to my tally.
“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” — Criss Jami
The short version is I have 5 pounds to re-lose before I’m on track again. An indulgence here, a bite there, and here I am. I would be disgusted, but I did it, knowing exactly what I was doing, and I enjoyed every bite of falling off the wagon.
Now that we’re officially into 2020, I’m starting to pay attention to my eating again and exercising.
The weather is helping in my efforts to do my exercising. The highs are in the low 50’s now so I don’t freeze my parts while doing my 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer in the garage. I take my MP3 player and earphones out, turn on the trainer, start my music, hit ‘User 1’ and ‘Start’ and I’m in the zone for the duration. My husband says I do it ‘too slowly.’ (He doesn’t do it at ALL, so I’m ignoring his opinion.) I’m doing it every day (when I’m being good) and I’m doing it in a way that doesn’t cause my joints to complain or ache, so I’m declaring a win.
In the afternoons, I am trying to do half an hour or so of Gentle Yoga stretches. My husband gave me a mat that he got for camping out a million years ago. It’s much thicker than the normal yoga mat, and I love the extra cushioning. Oddly enough, the only area in our house that is large enough for me to fully stretch in all directions is our living room. I again ignore my husband’s ‘helpful suggestions,’ doing my own routine of slowly stretching everything in all directions, breathing into each position, based on the guidance I received from Cat Kabira in the “Gentle Yoga” DVDs. I can really feel a difference if I do this every day. I feel looser, able to stretch in all directions more and more over time, lessen aches and pains due to other activities. If I’m lucky, I can do my practice without the help of our animals, who tend to want to lie down on top of me.
Since even at 72, I’m a little kid at heart, I reward my efforts with actual gold star stickers I bought on the net, putting one for each exercise on my desk calendar. It’s a bit embarrassing that I do this, but not enough to stop. I will always be motivated by gold stars…
I am doing a combination of intermittent fasting (not eating after 9 in the evening until about 1:00 or 1:30 the next afternoon) and then following my macros in the keto plan. A great website called Cronometer.com is helping me record what I’m eating as it applies to what I’m SUPPOSED to be eating for the day. My biggest problem at this point is that I tend to eat too much protein and not enough fat. I have read that eating too much protein can throw me out of ketosis. I’m working on adding more fat. I’ve tried eating an avocado each day, but I really don’t like them, so I’m trying to find other alternatives. I’ll keep reading on the net and see what else I can eat to make my eating match my macro.
Once I re-lose my 5 holiday pounds, I can hopefully get into new territory on my weight loss efforts. My best thus far is losing 43 pounds and 45 inches. My goal is another 30 lbs or so (until the BMI charts are happy with me) and whatever inches go with that. My goal is to be as healthy as I can for whatever my current age is for as long as possible. My husband and I both have health issues that improve as we follow the keto plan, so I’m hoping that 2020 is a great year for us.
My husband gets kudos – and some hostility from me, I have to admit – because he is maybe 5 lbs from his weight loss goal now. I’M the one who is doing all the choosing, cooking, serving, and cleaning up after our wonderful keto meals, mainly from Suzanne Ryan of Simply Keto. He is still eating rolls and bagels, plus a lot of fruit – both ‘no-no’s’ on keto – plus strawberries, dessert cakes and ice cream at night after dinner. He IS mostly watching his sugar – other than the bear claw he HAD to stop for on the way home from getting groceries with me. He is older than I am and doesn’t exercise at all. He just got stellar results on his latest blood tests for our primary doctor, significantly lower in EVERYTHING, except one thing that stayed the same. He DID tell her he just ate what I fixed him…. Our doctor was patting him on the head. I DO have to admit I’m relieved and happy for him.
I – on the other hand – am still on the plateau from Hell. I’ve really been good, with the exception of when I’m up in the middle of the night, having trouble sleeping, and food CALLS to me from the kitchen. Otherwise, I’ve been good. I’m back on my exercise program. I just finished 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage. I’ll do my yoga when I return from getting my hair cut this afternoon. I’m trying to pay attention to my macros, but too many times ‘stuff happens’ and we end up stopping for a burger, or….
Excuses run rampant and are becoming more and more creative.
I have about 30 pounds to go – stuck at 43 off and 45 inches off. I want to get the rest of the lard off, but it’s hard to keep going when I’m stuck in a rut. That said, it took me awhile to put ON this lard, so it’s only fair it should take me awhile to get it OFF.
I love my life.
Not EVERYTHING about it, but close.
I’m retired, so I can pretty much design my day – except when the water pressure booster dies, like yesterday.
I have given myself permission NOT to be productive. I used to make a to-do list and not allow myself to do other things until I had at least shown a bunch of progress on it. I FINALLY realized that my to-do list just grows. Most of the things I accomplish on it don’t STAY done, so they get added onto the bottom in a never-ending depressing length. I don’t get any POINTS or anything for getting these off the list, so I have changed my ways.
I now do the things that will result in bad things if I don’t on time. Those take priority for the day. I try to do the MOST important things first – the ones where I will be thrown into the slammer if I ignore them today.
I then intersperse FUN stuff – like playing in my flowers in the spring, or harvesting my veggies at the proper time, or playing in my art room. THEN I go back and do another ‘important-to-others’ thing from the list.
I’m MUCH happier since I started doing this.
Good morning! (barely)
I’m getting a really late start again today because our Internet service is super wonky again today. I’m looking at this problem as another of life’s character-building exercises. I get halfway through a post, email, or reading an article, and everything goes dead. The sun is shining. This seems to be a case of being attacked by gremlins.
It occurs to me that when you retire, many things get turned upside-down.
One big example is a change in perspective – how we feel about Mondays.
We have worked most of our lives. Mondays were something that happened with great regularity – like clockwork – and meant an end to most free time and lots of hard work for the coming week. We lived for the weekends, getting to sleep in (until we had kids) and then rushing around to get all the errands done while the stores were open that we couldn’t make time for during the week. We made a point of playing hard, wringing every ounce of fun out of our time off, only to return to yet another Monday. The week would C-R-A-W-L past (even though I liked most of my jobs a lot).
Since we retired, we have the opposite situation. We like to have all the stores open, deliveries being made, mail being delivered, banks open, etc. We stay super busy, not able to figure out how we EVER found time to work full time. Our lives are full of interesting and fun things to do. Many of these things come to a screeching halt when it’s the weekend or a holiday. We start to do something and the bank is closed, or the stores are closed, or….
I’m not REALLY complaining. I’m just trying to explain the change in perspective now that we’re as old as dirt. :0)
On Tuesday of this week I renewed my yoga practice after sloughing off for a number of months. Excuses abound, but I KNEW it had been doing me a lot of good. I felt the progress, the loosening of my muscles, the relaxation. Tuesday I finally decided that I needed to take better care of myself and that started with practicing yoga daily. My husband’s question every day now is, “Are you going to yoge?”
Since I’m a bit age-challenged (I’m 72) and basically enjoy mostly sedentary pastimes, I really have to MAKE myself exercise even though I’ve proven that I actually feel better having done it. As a former student, then teacher – I learned the motivation of the Gold Star. It STILL works for me. I can be really tired from working in the yard and I look at my desk calendar, seeing 5 stars for the week – lacking the 6th – and I go practice my yoga to be able to add the star. Stupid – Silly – but I figure whatever works….
SO – Since I ‘yoged’ Tuesday through Sunday this first week of renewed practice, it’s a 6 STAR WEEK! :0)
“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.” ~ unknown
I’m basically starting over, having sloughed for such a long time, but I am already seeing a bit of progress. I can again touch my toes. I do have to bend over and really breathe into it, but
g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y lower with each long breath so that eventually my fingertips touch the mat. It takes me almost a full minute of lying on my back for muscles to stop clenching, but I am relaxing a bit more quickly each day. I am still a wonderful model for the old Rice Krispies advertisements – snap, crackling, and popping my way into each new pose, but I AM able to get into them. The worst is sitting with my legs spread out to either side and then trying to bend forward. My “Gentle Yoga” instructor, Cat Kabira, bends forward and lays her forehead on the mat. Yeah. Right. I bend forward and the insides of each leg start screaming immediately. I am taking Cat at her word, that stretching as far as you can into the pose and breathing into it will bring rewards, whether you can touch your forehead on the mat or not….
“Inhale the future, exhale the past.” – unknown
The big thing I’m noticing is that the stretching in all directions and forcing myself to relax – eventually – makes me feel better. It used to be that I would stretch and some muscle or other would cramp. That is not happening now! This is a benefit of the practice before, but I’ll take it. I still hurt when I stretch, but NO cramping! Hooray!
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~ unknown
I’ll have to admit that I’m interrupted in my practice more by my own laughing than anything else. My husband never fails to remark at all the popping sounds my poor old body makes. I simply look at him, then can’t hold it in any longer and start to laugh. I tell him that he can make fun when HE is there beside me trying to do it, too. That usually results in his going back to reading on the tablet. :0)
“The pose begins when you want to leave it.” ~ unknown
As we age, balance becomes a problem. We tend to start shuffling our feet a bit or walking more tentatively, rather than striding as we used to. I have found that the yoga practice results in my feeling more steady, feeling my muscles work as I walk or stand.
“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” ~ unknown
I may always be creaky, but I’m really going to try to keep this going. I need to be as strong, flexible, and reasonably balanced as I can going forward. These ‘old lady stretches’ are really helpful – assuming that I actually continue to get down on the floor and DO them.
“Just breathe.” ~ unknown
NEXT week will be a 7 gold star week!
I can’t tell you how long it has been since I did a session of yoga. I will be generous to myself and say a couple of months, but it’s probably longer. I have given other things priority over yoga practice, even though I KNOW I need it. I have lots of excuses, but I finally decided that today was the day.
I have just finished a session, and I have to tell you that I feel better than I did.
I do “Gentle Yoga” – sometimes using a set of DVDs by this name put out by sixtyandme.com with instructor Cat Kabira. This is a group of yoga stretches and poses for people who are NOT yoga people – people who are a bit age-challenged like I am (I’m 72) who have likely have health or injury issues, or, who, like me, are generally stiff, sore, and too sedentary for their own good. I call it “Yoga for Old Broads” and I love it. The instructor is very forgiving, non-judgmental, NOT super-perky so you have the urge to squeeze her neck. She stresses to just do what you can do. If you stretch in the way she is telling you, even though you can’t fold yourself into a pretzel, you are doing good for yourself. The stretching in that direction, holding the pose and BREATHING into it will finally result in your body GIVING a bit, stretching out, relaxing.
Today I just did some of the poses on my own. I wanted to take my time, do what occurred to me to do, holding the poses as long as I could. BOY! My body was telling me that I had been neglecting it! Everything was difficult today. I really worked slowly, easing into things, breathing a lot, trying to relax. I could really tell that I need to do this every day as I was doing before other things took precedence around here. Everything I have is stiff and sore. Even lying on my back hurt for a minute or so! I snapped, crackled, and popped as I stretched each part of me out, one area at a time. I spent half an hour today and feel better now for it.
I will try to make time for this every day now. I have AGAIN learned that my health and ability to move and relax is super important – maybe now more than ever.
If you haven’t tried “Gentle Yoga” I highly recommend it.