Category Archives: exercise

Making “Lemonade…”

I’m sad that all our flowers and most everything else died overnight due to the cold snap and sudden hard freeze.

Deciding to try to ‘make lemonade’ from the carnage, I just finished cleaning out the tomato plants in the two brick planters close to the house that we converted into ‘square foot garden’ planters, taking out all the soil and replacing it with Mel’s Mix. (combo of peat moss, vermiculite, and three kinds of compost: mushroom, barnyard, and cotton seed).

As you can see, we had several tomatoes that hadn’t had a chance to ripen.

I’m going to wrap them in newspaper and put them in the pantry, hoping that they might still ripen.  I was successful with this one year, and a dismal failure another year, but I love to try. :0)

The sun is shining brightly, but it’s cold out there, with a good breeze, so I’m doing short sessions outside and then coming in to warm up in-between. I don’t know how much I can get cleaned out today, but hopefully I can get two or three sessions in.

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10-20-30!

Yesterday I received my new month’s worth of Nutrisystem AND my 30-pounds-off-bear-reward!

I’ve already admitted to you that I’m immature and respond really well to childish forms of pats-on-the-head, and it’s really the truth. I give myself a gold star on my desk calendar each day when I do either my yoga and exercises or my elliptical trainer. I look at my sweet lineup of bears and smile, feeling a definite pat on the head for my lardage loss thus far. It also motivates me to go for the next one!

My husband and I decided that we would split the cash-back reward on our credit card. He immediately ordered a pistol he’s been drooling over for a LONG time. I told him that I would spend my share slowly, indulging in some new clothes – one size down from what I’m currently wearing – as further motivation to continue losing the lard.

Since one of the parts of me that won’t change is my FEET, I ordered some really colorful “happy” shoes from China from a place called, “Yes, We Vibe.”

 

 

 

 

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, motivators, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 11/8/2018

Pets World

The short answer is 30.6 pounds down, and 28.3 inches off.

The longer answer is that we are feeling more ‘at home’ with our new eating style. My husband and I are both on Nutrisystem, but they encourage flex meals – meals where you cook, or eat out, or branch out in some way from the Nutrisystem meals – one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack per week.

We are actually doing more flex meals than that -opting for a heartier dinner salad some nights, or similar things. An example, even though we’re only supposed to eat one flex dinner per week, we had a cold snap and the idea of homemade beef stew with some bread sounded really good. We ended up eating this combo for three nights straight, and then my husband was sad we didn’t have more :0)  The best news was that we not only kept our weight, but actually lost some.  So, we’re feeling more in control of our eating, our program, our goals.

We’re both exercising now. My husband spent four years in the Marine Corps, doing 50 sit-ups at the drop of a hat, or at a superior’s whim, with ease. Then, 55 years past. He tried to do a sit up about 6 weeks ago, while I was visiting a much beloved relative in Thibodaux, and was shocked that he couldn’t do ANY. (I was also amazed that he actually told me about his trial and shock, but told him that I was proud of him for trying, and that I knew if he kept at it, he would get stronger.)  He now is doing 5 strongly, and 2 or 3 more with great effort. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that he’s giving it his best shot every day. The doc told him to do cardio, but I’m not pushing it yet.

I have a stupid motivator in my own efforts to exercise daily – gold stars – like we used to get a million years ago for good work in school. My attitude is, “It it works, RUN IT!” I feel a bit silly, but it really works for me. I’m trying to do 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer one day, and about half an hour of yoga stretches and regular exercises the next. Yesterday was really busy, and it was late afternoon before I knew it. I thought, “oh, well, I’ll just do the elliptical tomorrow. One day won’t hurt.”  Then, as I sat there, I thought about not getting my gold star for the day. At 6:00 in the evening, I got up, went out to the garage, and put in my time. :0)

My husband often ‘isn’t hungry.” I NEVER have that problem. I have an appetite that would kill a horse. I get HUNGRY and if I don’t eat something, I get SNIPPY, CRANKY, and “MEAN AS A SNAKE,” according to my husband. The other silly motivator is the Nutrisystem bears you can get for each 10 pounds you lose. (My 30 pound bear is on its way!) I line them up on a shelf beside my computer chair in the office. When I’m tempted to go in and stuff my face at the wrong time, I think about getting the next bear…

Halfway to my goal now on lardage!

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, opportunities, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Sand/Water Blasting and Bulldozing…

Sun Sentinel

Actually, although I DO sandblasting on glassware and tools in the shop, and water blasting on the deck, concrete, and more, I am using the kitchen sink and cleaners for today’s project of scrubbing out all our trash containers, putting in trashcan liners (as I SHOULD have long ago) and putting things back together.

I’m getting several messages from this project –

  • I’m spending much of the day doing something I COULD have avoided if I had put trashcan liners in all the containers when they were clean, umpteen years ago
  • Scrubbing out trash cans is a LOT of work
  • Putting the clean trash cans with fresh liners back gives me good exercise – particularly the ones that belong upstairs
  • We have a LOT of trash cans! Since I’m scrubbing them all, I’m counting – and we have 21 trash cans inside this house!

I have SIX remaining to scrub, line, and put back.

If I still have energy, I’m planning to clean out the double cabinet area under the kitchen sink. (Can you imagine – things tend to fall out of there whenever I try to get something!)  :0(

With these two projects for the day and my 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer, I can feel good about my activity level today.

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Filed under exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Lewis projects

Folding Myself Into a Paper Airplane – Take 17

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I just finished my yoga practice for the day and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty relaxed.

I’m doing my own thing these days, using all kinds of stretching-for-old-folks poses I learned from Kat Cabira. To this, I’ve added some stomach exercises to try to strengthen my abdomen. This will be the last area of me to ‘go,’ but I’m working on it.

Today I added a group of 10 poses new to me that pulled a whole new group of muscles, or in a different way, so I really felt the stretch.  They were –

  • Child’s Pose
  • Supine Figure 4
  • Figure 4 Twist
  • Runner’s Lunge
  • Adductor Opener
  • Wide Legged Forward Fold
  • Cow Face Legs
  • Seated Twist
  • Happy Baby

You get into the position and then hold for 30 seconds, or 30 seconds for each side. The one that made me laugh was one called the Wide Legged Forward Fold. I laughed because there was no way in the world I was going to be able to get into that position, much less hold it for 30 seconds.

This old broad (as I refer kindly to myself) can barely touch my toes. I do that very slowly, breathing into it, until finally my fingertips touch the floor.  For this pose, you start where the flexible lady is here and then put your whole forearms flat on the floor, then hold for 30 seconds. Yeah. Right.

Anyway, I’ve learned that if I bend in the proper direction at all and hold it, breathing into it, the pose does me some good. So I did 9 of the 10 poses pretty well (for me). I touched my toes, holding it for as long as I could, and then called it done for today.

With the yoga stretches I’ve been doing, the abdominal exercises, and then the 10 new poses, I’m getting a really good session of stretching in. Please don’t hold your breath that I’ll be telling you I actually got into the Wide Legged Forward Fold position any time soon…

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I DID It!

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I FINALLY  reached 30 pounds off in my efforts to get the lard off!  I went on chat on the Nutrisystem website, since I hadn’t received any notification or ‘reward’ redemption thingie in my email, and the kind lady said she would make sure my 30# off bear was included in my next order. :0)

To date:  30.6 lbs off. 28.5 inches off.  I think I’m about half way to my goal now, but I’ll see how I feel when I get there. My progress has been slow, but steady, so I’m happy that I can definitely see progress since April.

I still have to talk to myself about exercising, having a LOT of interests that involve sitting – computer stuff, like my blog, reading, working in my art room, etc. When the weather is good, though, I’m outside at least once a day, working in the greenhouse, weeding, or hacking something down, killing ants, and more.

I’m doing better since I decided to do my yoga stretches and exercises one day and my elliptical trainer the next, rather than trying to get both into one day. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you that I bought sheets of gold stars – putting one on the calendar each day I do one or the other. Stupid – but it works for me. I say, “If it works, run it.” :0)

I’m especially happy that I lost weight this week. We splurged a lot this week, eating fried fish dinners at the grocery deli once, and eating breakfast out twice this week due to a botched attempt to get a blood test yesterday and a successful attempt today. Tomorrow is Lunch Bunch, and we’ll get chicken ‘thingies.’

The thing we’re learning is how to modify our eating the rest of the day when we eat out one meal in the real world. We’re still following the eating plan, but modifying our choices so that we stay on track better as far as calories for the day.  I have also found that, since we’re eating out more often, I don’t tend to get into the “YIPPEE!” mentality, where I eat completely bad choices like ‘this-is-the-last-time-I’ll-get-to-splurge,’ eating for 6 and feeling remorse later.  If it’s reasonable, I eat half and bring the other half home to eat some other time. I’m making better choices, such as a veggie omelette today, with no sides.

Slowly, we’re making this eating plan more ours. A life plan, rather than a way of eating for some specified period of time. I’m not feeling as tied to the program, panicking when we get off for any reason. I’m starting to cook more, bit by bit, though we ARE enjoying lots of raw veggies and salads now than ever, and my husband lives for his ‘grapes-and-nuts’ snacks.

 

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Filed under building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

2 Gold Stars for the Day

Yesterday the day got away from me and I didn’t do the elliptical trainer. :0(
Today I made up for it, doing both the elliptical and my yoga stretches and exercises.  :0)  I was HOPING seeing me do the yoga just now would encourage my husband to do his sit ups for the day. As I was finishing, he put the kitchen towel he keeps by his chair over his eyes and stretched out in the recliner for a nap….

Fluffy-pinterest.com

I know the elliptical trainer is good for me, and is low impact, but I refreshed myself on all the benefits of doing this – other than a character-building exercise….

Image result for benefits of elliptical trainer

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Elliptical Machine Benefits
  • Increase Aerobic Capacity. Elliptical machines help increase your aerobic capacity. …
  • Non-Impact Exercise. Elliptical training doesn’t put a lot of impact on joints. …
  • Total Body Workout. The elliptical can work your upper and lower body at the same time. …
  • Lower-Body Exercise. …
  • Calories Burned.
PLUS, I get to zone out, listening to my favorite tunes on my MP3 player while I exercise!
My husband and I have discussed that as we age we feel weaker, that we can’t do many of the things now that we used to take for granted, and that we tire much more quickly. I really hope that if I keep alternating the elliptical trainer with my yoga stretches and exercises, my body will gradually rebuild muscles, strength, balance, and stamina. If I get to the point where I’m doing this alternation easily, I’ll add weight exercises, using my 3 pound weights, particularly for my arms.
Right now I still need the visual of a gold star on my desk calendar each day, so it’ll be awhile…

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 10-25-2018

Ravelry Bob Tape Measure

I have now lost 28 inches on Nutrisystem – 44.5 inches since my lardiest.

 

 

ScalesGalore.com

And 28 pounds on Nutrisystem – 40 pounds since my lardiest.

The very best news is that my husband has been losing weight, too – going from 38 x 30 to 34 x 30 in jeans, and had a blood sugar count of 88 this morning, the lowest ever!!!!!! Woo HOOOO!

Another good thing is that we’re much more CONSCIOUS of the food we’re putting into our mouths now, and trying to move more.

My husband is trying to do sit ups. (He’s frustrated because he’s a former Marine and used to do 50 sit ups just because his superior was feeling out of sorts. Now he’s having real trouble – and is shocked to learn that 55 years or so without exercise affects one’s muscles! :0)  )  I’m really happy for him for trying and I’m cheerleading, telling him he’ll get stronger if he tries every day.

I’m switching off each day  between my elliptical trainer and yoga stretches and exercises, in addition to working in the yard and doing another decluttering of the house, room by room, consciously trying to keep moving.

We’re making progress. I’m about halfway to my weight goal now (I think – subject to re-evaluation if I meet it). It feels good to be doing what we CAN control to take care of ourselves better and improve our quality of life.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Fats and I are “Walkin’ to New Orleans…”

This time I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m gonna need two pair of shoes
When I get through walkin’ these blues
When I get back to New Orleans
I’ve got my suitcase in my hand
Now ain’t that a shame?
I’m leavin’ here today
Yes, I’m goin’ back home to stay
Yes, I’m walkin to New Orleans
You used to be my honey
Till you spent all my money
No use for you to cry
I’ll see you by and by
‘Cause I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’ve got no time for talkin’
I’ve go to keep a-walkin’
New Orleans is my home
That’s the reason why I’m goin’
Yes, I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I’m walkin’ to New Orleans
I love Fats Domino, and this song runs through my head from time to time, particularly when I’m on the elliptical trainer in my garage, even though I’m listening to other tunes via my MP3 player.

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I’m doing 30 minutes on my elliptical every other day now, doing yoga stretches on the alternate days. I like this machine because it’s low impact and doesn’t make my knees, back, or hips hurt – a HUGE help in my efforts to keep moving. I’m now doing a bit over half a mile each session. I don’t push myself to walk faster, though I do have the resistance set to 20, the highest level. I push the User 1 button, get my MP3 player going, and zone out, keeping time to the tunes.

I’m “Walkin’ to New Orleans…..

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 16

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I think that I have finally settled on an exercise routine that I can keep up with – 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer one day, and about 30 minutes of yoga stretches and exercises the next.  I’ve kept up with this for about a week now, and I’m not feeling overwhelmed.  I can easily work in 30 minutes a day of ‘official’ exercise and still get other things accomplished.

Today was yoga. 

I’m doing my own routine now, slow and steadily stretching my parts, holding the poses and breathing into them until I feel my body ‘give’ a bit. It still takes me a minute or so before I can bend over and touch my toes, but I CAN, after months of simply bending over and breathing, trying to relax and not fall over onto my head. :0)

I’m also ALMOST able to put my head onto my feet when in the sitting position with the soles of my feet touching each other. I’m flirting with it, though not there yet.

I’m twisting my torso in all different directions. I still can’t relax while doing this, but I’m holding the positions and breathing into them.

When I started yoga I was unable to lie on my back without breathing and consciously RELAXING, pressing the small of my back into the floor over and over before I could finally relax enough to simply lie there. Then I was also unable to stretch my arms up, laying them on the floor above my head. I spent a lot of time with my arms hanging mid-air, breathing. FINALLY, one day my arms touched the floor. I’m still not comfortable, but I’m gradually able to relax a bit more.

Today Amber came in while I was practicing, wanting to play ball. When she saw I wasn’t going to play, she lay down and ‘oozed’ closer and closer, a bit at a time. Finally, she was beside me, her feet in the air, trying to get me to rub her tummy. When I wouldn’t comply, she started gently biting my fingers as I did my stretches. At this point, I yelled at my husband in the office, asking him to call her.

As always now, I feel better after my stretching. I’m more relaxed, and I move more easily. The fact that it’s still hard to make myself go into the living room, get out my mat and get started is just the fact I’m hard-headed and have spent years avoiding exercise like the plague. I will never become an exercise aficionado, but I DO see the benefit in moving more, trying to increase my flexibility and balance, and alleviating much of the pain and stiffness in my back and hips.

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Pigged Out

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We had a really nice day yesterday, full of good weather, projects for the day being accomplished, enjoying our animals, and – to end it on the perfect note – we grilled steaks on the deck and had them with baked potatoes.

I told you we’re TRYING to learn portions. Oh, well. Last night we pigged out and ate the whole thing.

We KNOW that if this were a Nutrisystem meal, they would have included 1/3 or less of the steak – sliced thinly and with a gravy, 1/3 or less of the potato (and probably cheesed it up a bit). We would have eaten a salad with it.

Instead, we each ate our whole steak and the whole baked potato with butter while enjoying a Jackie Chan movie in the living room.  The package of steak included three steaks, so I’m going to cut THAT up and we’ll have dinner salads in the evenings as our meal until that is gone.

So, now we’re up a pound since the meal and vowing we’ll do better the NEXT time we eat a flex meal…

On a wonderful note, my husband got his new jeans yesterday and they fit perfectly and he looks wonderful. His waist is now a good 4 inches smaller now. I just bagged up three larger sizes of jeans we’ll take – along with the leaf bag of tops that are too large for me now :0)  – to the Veterans Thrift Store tomorrow to donate. He still has some tummy he wants to get rid of, but he’s really close to a good weight now. I’m trying to encourage him to do some sit ups. :0)

I got a really good session of yoga in yesterday, doing a combination of stretches, regular exercises, and really relaxing at the end. Today I’ll concentrate on the elliptical trainer. I’ve decided to try doing these on alternate days, since I can’t seem to do both on one day very often.

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The Big Picture

Rollin’ France-YouTube

I guess we started really trying to lose the lard about a year and a half ago. We were doing low carb. I was cooking a lot, we were losing some weight, but not steadily enough. My husband’s blood sugar was better, but not good enough to qualify for insurance that required a health exam. The policy we had was going to skyrocket in premium on his birthday in November (Happy birthday to you…). He was still having bad symptoms from his diabetes.

I have been overweight for quite a while. I don’t like it. I got better with the low carb diet, but I need to lose a significant amount of weight to be healthy. We were kidding ourselves, SAYING we were on a low carb diet, and then ‘splurging’ on a regular basis, eating our favorite fast foods out once or twice a week. We finally got serious last April and signed up for NutriSystem. My husband is almost at his weight goal now. He just tried on some new, smaller jeans this morning. Better, but still too large. He has now ordered the next size smaller. :0)

Best of all, our doctor is patting us on the head. We’ve been going to quarterly doctor appointments, with blood tests for our various problems, for a long time. Last time we went, my numbers were so significantly better that she put me on 6 month appointments. My husband has one more quarterly appointment next month, and we’re hoping he’ll come back every six months, too! He qualified for a 10-year level term life insurance policy for twice as much insurance as we had. They jacked the premium up because of his age, but no one can control that, so we’re grateful to be covered now.

I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet on my lardage loss, to help me see the big picture, particularly when I don’t see much change for a week or two. The big picture shows –

Weight loss with NS is 28 pounds. Total loss since my highest lardage is 40 pounds.

Inches loss with NS is a bit over 23 inches. Total loss since my highest lardage is 39-1/2 inches.

Results at doc’s office –

  • Weight is down
  • Blood pressure is under good control with medication
  • My cholesterol is in the normal range now
  • Lipid profile is all showing in the normal range now

It feels good to be actively doing things that will increase our overall health.  We’re eating right and learning to eat outside the program without throwing things out of whack. We are not feeling deprived, with fast food items floating in front of our faces, as they used to. We are more active. I’m trying to get on the elliptical trainer at least every other day. I’m doing yoga stretching almost every day. I’m actively trying to ‘move more’ with specific chores I would like to do each day, such as housework and working in the yard. I write a post or two for my blog :0)  and then I get up and either do a chore, or exercise, over and over, throughout the day. I’m encouraging my husband, who is trying to do sit ups, to do more than ‘intend to,’ though I’m certainly no role model.

We ARE making progress – particularly when we look at the big picture. Seeing this is motivation to keep on keepin’ on.

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Still Riding on a High

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My husband and I are just starting to be able to acknowledge and enjoy the fact that there is less of us than there used to be. I’ve lost almost 30 pounds and almost 28 inches now. It’s only about half way to my goal, and to be honest, other than going down a size or two in jeans, I haven’t seen much difference in clothes.

This changed, finally, with my cleaning-out-the-closet project, switching warm weather stuff for cool the past several days. I forced myself to try on everything I had moved to my closet, finding a really full leaf bag full of tops that were too large. Not just really roomy, but falling-off-the-shoulders and exposing-my-whole-front type too large. :0)   I showed you some pics recently of the sweater/jacket I am finally able to wear after several years of moving it back and forth, always way too small, and now it FITS.

I’ve seen a change in my husband, too. Not only can I see a difference looking at him, I’ve noticed that he’s taking more interest in his clothes now. He just ordered some new jeans, asking me to measure him to be surer of the size. (We’re in a mystery area right now. We KNOW we’re smaller, but tend to still order as we did when we were larger. Even though I tried to use the charts provided at an online store, I found the clothes were too large when they arrived.)

Anyway, he’s wearing some new shirts, some brighter colors, and tries to think about which of his flannel shirts he’s wearing over the tee underneath, where it was haphazard, at best, before. I’ve been complimenting him, and it’s delightful to watch him try not to show how pleased he is. Now I’m working on encouraging his efforts to do some exercise…

We’re both trying to change our eating habits. When my husband finally got serious about giving up sugar to try to get a handle on his Type II diabetes, I gave up salt. I didn’t just add salt to almost everything, I even added salt to salty things. We figure that losing the weight and getting healthier is a good trade for our former addictions.

One new addition – we’ve been having a salad nightly, along with our Nutrisystem entree. My husband has been enjoying this, and was even pleased that I’m adding cherry tomatoes to it. When I added a touch of chopped walnuts to the mix (thanks, Mary Lou) he liked THAT, too. I’m adding a few garbanzo beans to my salad, and my husband still nixes that, but he says he looks forward to our salads in the evening.

We’re still working on portion control. This is a really alien concept, since the two of us apparently have routinely been eating for ourselves and several other folks at each meal. Now we’re learning to have ONE portion of something with a side of veggies or salad. I told you yesterday that I was learning to divide my meal from a restaurant in half, bringing half home to eat some other time. It’s a process, but one we’ll build with exercise.

By the way, I FINISHED the closet-clean-out project yesterday, organizing the warm weather stuff in the guest room closet so it’s ready to move easily next time. Hopefully, by the time we’re ready for warm/hot weather stuff NEXT time, I’ll be able to fill another leaf bag!!!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

The Sweater-Jacket

I found this sweater/jacket 5 years ago or so and simply loved it. Sadly, it was too small, but I TOLD myself that I would lose some weight and finally be able to wear it. I’ve moved it back and forth from the guest closet to my closet, trying it on once a year since then, with the same result. Even with my determination to get rid of things all over the house, including clothes that don’t fit, I just COULDN’T part with it.

Deep purple is my color. Whenever I see a group of things, all the same except for color, I’m drawn to the dark purple one. The fact that this sweater-jacket had leather on the front, with cut out flowers, made me drool (though I was careful NOT to on the sweater!)

 

This is the back. It can be worn as a top or added as a jacket.

 

Here’s a close up of the flowers.

 

I haven’t lost poundage or lardage this week. The scales are still flirting with 30 pounds off, but I’m not there yet. My measuring tape is unimpressed, showing the same as last week, even though I’ve been working, cleaning, and exercising. The one thing that stands out is from my switching from summer to winter clothes and trying things on.

I have a full leaf bag now of tops that are too large AND my sweater/jacket finally FITS.  YES!!!!!!

I’m about half way to my goal in weight loss and inches now. It may take the rest of my natural life to get there, but I’m on my way!

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Today’s Exercise Sucks!

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My son gave us a small Dyson ball vacuum when he decided he wanted to live and work in China. Now he’s in Thailand and I still use his vacuum upstairs.

Lately I’ve been having trouble with it. It was REALLY hard to push forward – acting like it was on strike – taking all of my strength to try to vacuum the rugs in our master bath. I brought it down to have my husband – Mr. Fix it – do his magic on it. Like taking your car to the shop, he pushed it around and found no problem, so I took it back up.

Today I started trying to vacuum our bedroom and the master bath. Same problem. I left it where it was and came down and got Mr. Fix It again. This time it showed its true colors. Even my husband couldn’t get it to go forward. PLUS, it wasn’t sucking. The combination made it pretty useless.

He took it apart, frowned at it, and put it back together again. Somehow that made it suck again, although it was still really hard to push forward. It was bad in the master bath, but wasn’t bad at all on the bedroom carpet…

So, I finished vacuuming up there, and now I have sore stomach muscles from trying to push the thing in the bathroom – so I’m officially using my cleaning efforts as my exercise for the day.

We took it apart again, and I brought down the filter and the canister that holds the dirt to wash them out. He found another filter inside the ball and brought it down and we washed that, too. Hopefully, when we put the dry, clean parts back together, it will be happier. Otherwise, I’ll drag my larger one from downstairs up the next time.

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report

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The short report is 27.6 pounds  and 23 inches down.

The longer and more significant answer is that we are S L O W L Y  learning to modify our eating habits as we lose the lard.

We are making a point of going out to eat, rather than it being a special splurge for the week, using the meals as our ‘flex’ meals, learning to rein in our silly and destructive former habits. It’s easy to just ‘go out to eat’ and blow things for the next few days, if not a week. It’s harder, but more productive, to choose carefully from the menu, or – throwing caution to the winds – actually ordering what we want (within reason) AND ordering a doggie bag right then, cutting our meal into halves, and THEN plowing in to enjoy every bite. Not only does it help with the poundage, but also the pocketbook!

We figure our ultimate success depends on NOT feeling deprived. We really like going out to eat. We really like eating things not a normal part of our diets. If we can modify our intake to make up for this, we can make it for the long run.

This doesn’t mean that every day is ‘national-whatever-week’ – the celebration of which causes throwing our diet out the window. But if we NORMALLY eat super-healthy, and then eat half a cheeseburger and some tater tots occasionally, it’s much easier to go back to normal for the next meal, if that makes sense.

So far, it’s working for us. I’m HOPING that the NEXT time I order our Nutrisystem for the month, I can apply for a 30-pounds-off-bear to be included. Each mini-goal makes me feel I’m making progress. My massage therapist saying I looked, “skinny” today, helps, too! :0)  Even though I know she’s just being kind and I have a long way to go to my goal, it’s NICE when people encourage you by NOTICING there is a bit less of you. My husband got a boost this past Monday night when we went bowling with our good friends. They BOTH noticed how much weight he had lost. He was already feeling good, wearing some new smaller-in-the-waist pants and a new, smaller shirt, and the compliments topped things off nicely.

So, we have a good start now. I need to lose a LOT more lard, and my husband needs to start exercising, and together we’ll be healthier every day.

taolife.com

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Efforts to Get the Lard Off

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I’ve told you I spent 5 days in Thibodaux, Louisiana, recently, visiting my husband’s cousin’s wife, Murray, one of the sweetest people on Earth. I had a great time, getting lots of good hugs,meeting a lot of fine people, and eating lots of good food. I threw caution to the winds, eating whatever seemed reasonable at the time, enjoying every bite.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you also know about my continuing effort to get the lard off – a daunting goal when you’re weight, age, and exercise challenged by nature.

I gained almost 4 pounds in the 5 days I was gone, but I got right back on the Nutrisystem horse when I returned. My husband and I even had a flex meal of steak and baked potatoes the other night, but we’re learning to compensate for flex meals better now.

This morning I was pleased to note that, not only had I lost the 4 pounds I had gained, but also hit a new low on the scales! I’m happy to report that as of this morning I’ve lost 26 pounds and 22.55 inches since we started on Nutrisystem this time. (I say, “this time,” because we were on it in the past, several years ago, and quit, due to NS dropping all the meals my husband liked.)

I’m also REALLY happy to tell you that my husband is trying to do some sit ups!  This is a former Marine, used to doing a LOT of exercise to stay in shape while in the Corps. This is also the man who told me, “No way!” when I suggested that HE try to exercise, too. He has been encouraging ME, but steadfastly refuse to do any type of exercise himself.

(He caught a cold from my bringing home germs from my trip, and so has taken a few days off, but is really trying to do these each day. I have learned that, even if you can’t do the exercises or stretches as you would like, ATTEMPTING to do them on a regular basis strengthens and/or lengthens muscles, too, and so the effort is fruitful.

 

 

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3rd (and Last) Session in the Yard Today

For my third session in the yard today, I pruned our rose bushes. I weeded around them, too, and GUESS WHAT! – encountered more swarming ants! I went and got the sprayer and hosed them down well. I only got bitten in one session today, on my left calf, and that’s GREAT with all the hostiles I encountered.

 

I then got the leaf blower and cleaned off the front porch, pad, sidewalk, and then the back sidewalk, and finally the garage pad before declaring and end to the outside work today.

I rested a bit, drank more water, then we had lunch – on the nice, clean porch! :0)

Finally, I just did a session of yoga.

Arlindo Martins

I have a back ache after all the work in the yard. I was able to lessen it a lot with all the stretching. I’ll take some Advil to finish things off and then rest again before dinner.

I got a good amount of exercise done today (for me) and the yard and greenhouse are under better control now.

I’m looking forward to relaxing a bunch and enjoying taped TV or a movie tonight – and definitely a good night’s sleep.

I hope you had a good Sunday, too.

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Icing on the Cake

Life Love and Sugar

I’ve told you that my husband and I decided that we needed to do everything we could to get and stay healthier. We know we can’t control everything – by far – but there are things that we can do that will improve our quality of life and hopefully allow us to spend many more years together.

My husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. We adopted a low carb diet and each of us lost some weight, but we needed more help. We decided to try Nutrisystem in April, since they had a program that was geared for diabetics (although my husband denies he has diabetes. He calls it a ‘sugar problem.’) Whatever you CALL it, it had already resulted in pain in his legs and feet and double vision, among other symptoms.  He was turned down for term life insurance. We had to go for the no exam type for low coverage and high premiums.

We had our quarterly doctor’s appointment in August. My husband’s A1C was almost NORMAL. (Isn’t that a lovely word?)  The doctor says if he keeps improving the way he’s been going, he might be able to stop taking the blood sugar medicine altogether in the future! Besides losing weight – since he has tried to cut out as much sugar as possible – the double vision is gone. The pain in his feet and legs is gone.

My blood test numbers were up to 65 points improved in all areas. I had been high in everything, even on the low carb diet, so this was a huge improvement. The doctor was really pleased and said I didn’t need to come back for 6 MONTHS!  My husband has one more 3 month appt in November, and if he has continued to do well, he’ll move to 6 MONTH appts, too!

The icing on the cake – and peace of mind – is that yesterday we found out he had been ACCEPTED by the insurance company for a 10-year level term life insurance policy!!! WOO HOO!  The policy we had was due to skyrocket in premiums in November on his birthday….

So losing weight, watching what we’re eating, and trying to get used to what a normal portion is, plus trying to move more (and in MY case, do some real exercise) is improving our quality of life and our chances for living to enjoy it for several years to come.

My husband is almost to his weight goal. He’ll decide what he wants to do when he gets there, but I’m hoping he’ll stick to the Nutrisystem while I’m on it, at least. I still have a long way to go on weight loss – between the low carb and now Nutrisystem programs, I’ve now lost a total of 35 lbs or so and 24 inches – I have a good start.

Lifestyle changing is no picnic. You have to fight the fight in your head and really want to get healthier. We think it’s worth it.

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I HOPE We’re Getting Somewhere…

I just finished doing 30 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage.  My MP3 player wasn’t working for some unknown reason (probably part of the gremlins that are living in our house right now) but I managed to find an old CD player. Listening to music makes all the difference on being able to put in a reasonable amount of time working hard, but staying in the same place.

Another annoyance is that after 30 minutes, my pedometer doesn’t show any more steps than it had when I got on the machine. Apparently the low impact motion of the elliptical doesn’t register as ‘steps’ to the device in my pocket. :0(

We’re on a treadmill around here for many reasons lately. I’ve told you that neither of our regular computers is working right now and I’m on an old laptop we got out of the shop.

We’re waiting for an RMA# for my motherboard to be sent in for repair or replacement. Meanwhile, my husband called ASUS tech support about HIS computer this morning. The guy suggested that maybe his power supply was bad. My husband thanked him, hung up, and then muttered about people not knowing anything and that he’d never had a power supply die. He got the power supply out of my regular computer and tried it in his. It turned out that the guy in tech support was right. Now my husband is busily trying to put his computer back together and see if we can get it going. There may be light at the end of at least one of the gremlin tunnels in the Lewis household!  All appendages are crossed for a resurrected computer!

Meanwhile, since I’m of no use putting computers together, when I get rested a bit more, I’ll head into the living room to do my yoga for the day.

I hope YOUR day is a good one.

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Encouragement

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I’m feeling encouraged this morning in my weight loss efforts. I had gotten to this ‘decade’ on the scale recently – put my hands up in jubilation – then apparently ate some lead that day because I gained a pound. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to get that off again. Finally, this morning, I got that off and a bit more. Hooray!

Losing weight is always hard. Losing weight when you are age-challenged, as I am, is even harder. Getting the lard off when you are overweight, old, and are happiest when you are sedentary is the hardest.

My husband and I are making progress, though. And we intend to keep it off once we get to our goals. People are starting to notice that we aren’t carrying as much lard as we used to, and that’s really encouraging. The fact that our doctor noticed because of significant improvement in our latest blood work is even more encouraging. She said that, at the rate we’re going, we both may be able to stop taking some prescriptions!

My husband isn’t exercising at all. I would like it if he would do something he enjoys to get some, but I choose my battles. He’s almost in the normal range on his A1C now, after a high of over 16. I’m so happy for him and proud of his efforts.

I am pushing myself to keep moving more each day. Today I’m starting with the elliptical trainer in the garage, and then I’ll either do yoga, the firming exercises from my walking video, or both.

The biggest thing is that we’re changing our lifestyle. We are on Nutrisystem for the second time after a whole lot of years. Their program has improved, not only in better choices of food, but also encouraging us to prepare our own meals or eat out in the real world for one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack each week. They call these “Flex Meals.” This has given us the most trouble – since we tend to gain weight with these. The whole point of this, though, is to learn how to cook in a healthy fashion, which foods now fit with our lifestyle, and most of all, portion control in our controlled environment at home and then out in the real world.

An example is that I cooked scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning – our flex breakfast for the week.  Before we changed our lifestyle, we would have eaten 7 or 8 scrambled eggs between us, two pieces of toast and jelly each, some bacon, plus orange juice and coffee. This morning we shared 5 eggs (my share 2, my husband 3). He had sugar-free hot apple cider. I drank a bottle of water with breakfast and am now having a cup of coffee.

We won’t get any prizes for fast weight loss, but we are slowly getting healthier. We feel better as we shed the lard. I am having less pain in my joints and am working on strengthening my core and improving my balance.

One day at a time.

taolife.com

 

 

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Getting the Lard Off – Report 9/7/2018

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As of today, September 7, 2018, I’ve lost 23 pounds and 23-1/2 inches. I’m really trying to get to 25 pounds of – as my next interim goal – since the round number sounds so much better than just 23.

The 23-1/2 inches off has resulted in much more comfortable clothes, and – in some cases – giving REALLY too-large clothes to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith.  This is mostly jeans and slacks, since I really like loose tops, and a LOT of the ones in my closet were too tight for my comfort level. Now most of them are feeling roomy, and that’s a good feeling. Most of the time I can simply pick a top I’d like, not having to worry about whether I can get it on at all or feel comfortable in it. :0)

 

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My exercise is going better now, too. If I can get out to the garage early enough, I am doing 20-30 minutes on my elliptical trainer. I’m looking forward to the change of seasons, breaking the back of our still-too-hot-and-muggy weather so I can try to do the elliptical every other day.

I’m doing yoga every day because I’m beginning to feel a difference in my flexibility. I am now finally able to touch my fingertips to the floor when bending over – after breathing into it and giving my body a chance to ‘give.’ In a seated position, leaning forward and the soles of my feet touching each other, I can ALMOST touch my head to my feet. One day it will come. Best of all, when I finish all my stretching, I FEEL BETTER. My muscles aren’t cramping and there is much less pain in my joints.

When I can stand it, I either walk one mile or two, and do some firming exercises with my “Annoying Leslie” DVD. This is Leslie Sansone, who looks really good and know of what she speaks, but is annoyinlyg bubbly, too enthusiastic, doesn’t stop talking for 2 seconds in a row and has a terrible laugh. Working with her is doing me good and I’m grateful I have the video.

I find I stiffen up if I don’t do some exercise each day, so that encourages me to keep on keepin’ on. There is no way in the WORLD I can keep up with my sister-in-law in Charlotte, who routinely walks and dances her way past 10,000 steps a day, but she is kind, as well, encouraging me to move my lard each and every day.

Hopefully, I can report a nice, round number of loss next week!

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The Big Picture

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that my husband and I have been trying to lose weight and get healthier.

We were on a low-carb diet for quite awhile. We both lost weight, but we decided we needed more structure to attain our goals. We were on Nutrisystem years ago, and decided – due to the changes in their program since then – that we would try them again.

My husband is a Type II diabetic. Through our weight loss efforts (and cutting out as much sugar as possible) his A1C has gone from above 16 to 6.2. He is almost to his goal weight, unless he changes his mind for some reason.

I look at my progress 2 ways: The loss from my highest/largest on the low-carb diet and the loss from Nutrisystem so far.

Nutrisystem loss:

  • 22 pounds and 17-1/2 inches so far. (my triglcerides, etc. are significantly better, as well)
  • From my highest/largest:  37 inches and 35 pounds

I have a long way to go, but I’m feeling good that there is a positive improvement.  The fact that Nutrisystem teaches you to make healthy meals on your own while you’re on the plan with access to counselors, recipes, etc., make this a lifestyle change, rather than a diet that we will go ‘off’ at some point.

I’m also doing a bunch of exercise for an old, sedentary broad, trying to build my strength, stamina, muscles, and flexibility.

  • I’m doing a session of stretching via yoga daily.
  • I’m either walking a mile (or maybe 2) with Annoying Leslie Sansone. (Even though I find her perkiness and laugh quite annoying, I have to admit this is really good for me.
  • I am also taking advantage of some toning and firming exercises she offers on the video, so I’m walking one day and doing the exercises the next.
  • When it’s not over 100 degrees in our garage, I’m walking on the elliptical trainer
  • I’m also doing over-the-door shoulder pulley exercises, plus a weight exercise that is supposed to ease the pain in my neck and shoulders.

I figure if I just keep on keepin’ on, and hold my mouth right, I may meet my goals before I croak from old age. I would like to be in good enough shape that I can do whatever I want and not have to limit activities unnecessarily.

I’ve also told you several times in my blogs that I’m trying to continue learning new things in order to keep my poor brain going as well as possible. The trying to keep going on the laptop computer while my regular computer is waiting for a motherboard necessitates so much concentration and learning how to get around problems that my brain is getting a fine workout. We also changed Internet companies and went back to DirecTV this morning, so my husband and I are trying to leap through hoops together to make everything work and cancel all the services we don’t need anymore.

I hope you’re not having quite as much drama in your life as we have, and that you’re getting closer to achieving your goals.

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Motivation

I’m feeling good that I got my exercise for the day accomplished. I received the gold stars (really!) that I ordered in the mail today and caught my calendar up with my activity, adding another one for today.

I feel a bit silly for “working for the gold star” each day – rather than working just for the loftier and more mature goals of better health, less pain, easier movement, better balance, and more – but there it is. I feel GOOD when I add another star to the calendar, and get up off my duff and exercise if I haven’t, so I don’t ruin my new record, now 5 days and 5-1/2 stars…

I’m still having to push myself to get to the 1 mile marker on the Annoying Leslie walking video, but I’m hoping by the end of next week I can at least START Mile 2. I’m doing half an hour of gentle yoga, stretching, twisting, and breathing. My husband even noticed I was touching my toes with my fingers after less stretching time today, plus ALMOST being able to bend forward in a sitting position, soles of my feet together and touching my head to my feet. (I hope this description makes sense. I don’t know any name for it. If it’s just a bunch of words, just picture me tying myself into a pretzel shape.) :0)

My ‘extra’ for the day today was an hour this morning weed whacking and leaf blowing to finish trimming the grass my husband mowed yesterday. I’ll try to do a bunch of bug spraying and weed spraying tomorrow.

Now I’m looking forward to taking my cup of coffee into the living room, stretching out in my recliner with my “Creation in Death” Eve Dallas book. I’m having such a good time re-reading the 45 books in the series by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts before I read # 46 “Dark in Death” that came out recently in paperback. (Number 47 “Leverage in Death” will be out in paperback in December of this year. I’ve pre-ordered it. )

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As You Grow Older…

Yvonne Dowlen via GrowingBolder

 

Today is Day 4 of trying to make SURE I make it to the 1 mile marker on the Annoying Leslie walking video each day and also do a half hour session of yoga, trying to really stretch every part of me and relax.

As I told you last week, I’m also trying to add at least one OTHER activity to this, starting today.

Today’s added activities:

  • I’m going to work in the yard, cutting back and/or pulling out tomato plants, composting what I can and pitching the rest, plus
  • we’ll hopefully go bowling with our good friends tonight.

Being a child at heart, I’ve ordered gold star stickers to add a really surface – but tangible – motivation to do this every day. I haven’t received the ones I ordered yet, so I’m using a highlighter to make the star and adding a bold black line around it each day on my desk calendar. So far I have 3-1/2 stars. (I got an extra half star on the day I did the Annoying Leslie video twice.) :0)

I’m feeling a difference since I’ve been doing the walking video. Even though I wish Leslie Sansone would just look good, lead us, and not talk my arm off,  I AM feeling a bit looser in my hips – a big area of concern for me. When I walk in real life, instead of in my living room, my hips start yelling way before I’m tired otherwise. It’s aggravating. I stop, maybe sit for 20 seconds or so, and then am happy to continue. I’m not sure why my hips yell so much, but I would like to get this to stop.

To this end, I’m listening to my hips, but not trying to coddle them. I’m making the 1 mile marker in the video, but stop there. If I can do it again later in the day, I do. If not, that’s okay. I figure my body will gradually get used to this.

On my way outside to attack dying tomato plants!

I hope you have a fun day.

 

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Who Knew?

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Today I made it to the 1 mile mark on the Annoying Leslie Walking video – hips talking to me loudly – but not screaming.

My husband then watched a movie, so I delayed my yoga until the movie was over.

Who knew how stiff, tight, and sore an old broad could get? I feel okay, but my wonderful massage lady tells me how tight I am, finding multiple knots to get rid of with her magic hands. I get down on the floor and lie on my back. It takes me a minute or so to be able to lie there without my back cramping. Then another minute or so to put my hands over my head and actually get them to lie on the floor and then relax. I’m doing my own thing these days, mostly just concentrating on stretching out and RELAXING, if possible. I keep talking to myself, saying the things my DVD yoga instructor said, “Relaaaaaaaxing jaw. Relaaaaaaaaxing face…..”

Today I bent over and just simply hung my arms down, breathing into it. Eventually, my fingertips touched the floor!  I also have trouble with the position where you’re sitting up, knees bent, soles of feet facing each other, and leaning forward. Today I leaned into it, taking my time, breathing, and I ALMOST touched my head to my feet! A third position that kills me is when I’m on my knees and then ‘sit down’ on my feet. I’ve been bending over and then pushing back, trying to get myself to loosen up, breathing, breathing. I’m feeling my hips finally starting to ‘give’ a bit. I may never be able to actually sit that way, like I did a hundred or so years ago when I was young, but it’s good to stretch in that direction. I had a good session of stretching and then put my stuff away….

Then put the walking DVD in again and did Mile 1 AGAIN. My hips still protested, but I made it through twice today – a definite improvement!!!!

 

 

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Gold Star for the Day

My husband and I agreed that I should get a Gold Star for effort today.

He watched me as I kept up with 1 mile of the “Walking with Annoying Leslie” video this afternoon. I was holding my hips a couple of times, but it’s almost like someone had hit a half-mute button.  As annoying as she is, with her perkiness, non-stop talking and pretty awful laugh, she’s helping me slowly overcome the problems with my hips.

 

He then watched me as I went through a series of Yoga positions. At one point, when I bent over with my arms hanging down, he said, “You may have touched the floor recently, but it doesn’t look like you’ll do it today, as my fingers were at least 4 inches above the floor. I just held the position, trying to breathe and relax into it, and after a couple of minutes, I said, “Look at this!” He had to admit my fingertips were, indeed, just touching the floor.

theawesomedaily.com

These two things, combined with vacuuming the first floor carpet and tiles, plus doing two loads of wash, have qualified me – the old broad of the Lewis household – for a gold star. (I might actually see if I can FIND some. I need all the motivation I can get. There’s a calendar on the wall beside where I’m typing this now, that could be my ‘record’ of the days when my movement effort merits one…

 

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I’m Making Progress

Progress Report:

  • Down 20.6 pounds
  • Down 20.4 inches

I made it through the 1st mile on the Annoying Leslie walking video today. My hips were talking to me, but not as badly as yesterday, and I didn’t have to walk in place a couple of times while the people on the video did the more challenging (kicks and knee lifts). I’m still having to force myself through it, holding my hips at times, but I’m getting there!

I won’t win any prizes for speed of weight loss, either, but I received my purple bear with “20” on it in the mailbox recently, and that’s 20 lbs gone so far, plus a happy, tangible reminder every day that I’m taking better care of myself.

My husband is 5 or 6 pounds from his weight goal now. If I weren’t addicted to him, I would slug him for making weight loss look so easy, while NOT drinking the water he’s supposed to be, NOT exercising, and just waiting for me to bring him his meals and snacks each day, along with making pulled pork for him, since Nutrisystem discontinued the item and teed him off.

We’re both still delighted that our blood test results were SO much better. There is a chance that my husband’s blood sugar number (A1C) will be NORMAL next time, and the doctor says he might be able to completely stop the blood sugar medicine in time. My lipid profile was the thing most improved this time, with each part dropping 60 to 90 points. My husband goes back in 3 months and I go back in 6 months. Here’s hoping our results will be even better!

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“Walking to New Orleans…”

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I started using the walking video the day before yesterday. I made it through about half of the first mile (of two) on the Annoying Leslie video before I had to quit, due to my hips screaming. Yesterday I made it (barely) through the 1st mile. I’m going to continue doing this daily – listening to my hips, but considering this a character-building effort in addition to good exercise.

I’m surprised that with all of the exercise I’ve been doing at different times – yoga stretches, upper body stuff, elliptical trainer, and 0-6 Packs Ab video, NONE of these seemed to work the same muscles as the walking video and the dance as exercise video I just received.

When I get to the point that I can just consider the walking video “good exercise,” rather than my character-building trial for the day, I’ll shake things up, adding one more thing each day.  I wish Leslie would quit telling me how GOOD it feels….

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Reach Up! Reach UP!

I just did 3/4 of the first mile of a two-mile “Silver Walk” DVD with Leslie Sansone. I find her annoying because she talks all the way through the video non-stop and is SO happy and energetic. She keeps telling me how GOOD it all feels, while my hips are screaming.  This DVD is in conjunction with Nutrisystem. I got it several years ago when my husband and I were on Nutrisystem for the first time.  (The picture below isn’t the DVD I have. Mine is two miles for old ladies. ) It gives you an idea, though, of how perky Leslie Sansone is. Add a non-stop loud, enthusiastic voice and laughter to this picture and you begin to understand why I call my DVD ‘Annoying Leslie.’ She DOES get you moving, though, and she has been successful for many years, so I’ll just have to be annoyed.

 

 

Since my hips yelled yesterday when I did the warm up of my new ‘Dance to Walk’ or ‘Walk to Dance’ (or something similar) DVD, and again, today, with the Annoying Leslie walking DVD, it’s getting through to me that I need to do SOMETHING like this every day.  We have an appointment in Fort Smith this afternoon, plus other errands, but when I get home, I’ll try the DVD again and see how I do.

I should slowly loosen up in my hips and then start to build some much-needed muscle. I find it amazing that, with as many ways that I’m trying to move every day, each thing seems to use different muscles….

 

 

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Dancing My Lard Off?

I got this DVD set in the mail this morning and tried out the first DVD.     I have my work cut out for me.

This is advertised as a “Low Impact Walking Workout Pack, including two 5000 step DVD workouts. This should be a good addition to my yoga stretches, elliptical trainer, 0-6 Pack Abs DVD, and the 5-Minute Per Day DVD moves that are supposed to make me look like Julia Roberts. :0)

I’m doing my yoga stretches daily, and then mixing in the other stuff in on various days during the week, trying to do at least two different things per day.

I have to tell you, I did the ‘warm up’ today on the new dance DVD and my hips were screaming. I know – pathetic – but I figure if I try to do JUST the warm up every day, my hips will finally quit screaming. I think I’ll be able to move on to an actual workout sometime soon. The workout got me warmed up and breathing harder, so I think it was a good thing. I’m going to try to put my workout schedule on my calendar today and see how it goes….

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