Category Archives: taking care of yourself

Decision: Miracle or Euthanasia?

iStock by Getty Images

As Lynn Moody – my wonderful massage therapist – and I walked up to her spa location, I asked her if there were any upper age limit on who could get a massage. She laughed when I told her that I felt at least 180 years old this morning and that everything I had hurt. I asked her to either perform a miracle or euthanize me –

My husband and I have had a labor-intensive week or so, with my  spreading 16 large bags of cedar blend mulch on the ground under the raised bed planter boxes in my square foot garden after several sessions of weeding; our hauling bricks, laying bricks and then shoveling potting soil into the finished planter, our doing yard work, etc.

Adding insult to injury, one of our cats tried to jump in my lap while I was sitting at the computer yesterday, missed, and grabbed my hand with her claws on the way down. When I FINALLY was able to detach her claws, her back claws stuck into my leg. Both my hand and my leg are slightly swollen. For some mysterious reason, my right ear lobe has also been swollen – though I can’t blame THAT on the cat, AND I had a crick in my neck.  I was actually moaning a bit trying to get onto the massage table…

Happily, Lynn not only found the really sore spots I knew about, but also the ones I hadn’t realized hurt! At the end of my hour-long massage, I sighed in relief. She had, indeed, performed a miracle.

I’ve been drinking lots of water since I came home, trying to increase the chances of my relief lasting as long as possible. If I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, I will be a happy camper tomorrow.

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Dentist

Daily Mail

 

We just got back from a dental appointment for my husband. He was flossing a week or so ago and a cap came off one of his teeth.  We went in and the dentist found that the part of the tooth the cap was on came out with the cap, so he would have to have an implant.

We had the remainder of the tooth pulled and the prep for the implant done today. We go back in 5 months, when the area is fully healed, for the post and the tooth replacement.  My husband is doing fine. I gave him Tylenol for the discomfort he is having, and he is on antibiotics and two other meds for the procedure. He is resting now, under strict orders NOT to forget and chew any ice!

We are SO glad we have such a great dentist – Wes Moore, DDS in Fort Smith.

 

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Getting the Lard Off Progress To Date

The short answer – I’m down 43 pounds and 47.7 inches. 

Longer answer –

We decided to stop Nutrisystem, figuring that we have learned the lessons they have provided, and now it’s up to us to use them. We had gotten to the point where we were pretty much doing our own thing anyway, and are basically eating poultry or fish, lots of raw veggies and salads, fruit, and nuts.

I’m gathering some nice recipes for the chicken and fish. I’m working at this slowly because particularly at this time of the year, we’re doing a lot outside and I’m too pooped at the end of the day to start a new recipe. We eat a lot of what we call, “Main Meal Salads,” (basically chef salads) for dinner.

One surprising thing was that I’m having to work out a new dosage of thyroid replacement medicine since I’ve lost the weight. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was radiated, so I have none. My life now depends on replacing what my body can’t supply anymore.) Finding the right dosage is a bit like growing nerves – slow, gradual, and painful. Having too much or too little thyroid hormone results in basically the same symptoms – and all of them are extremely annoying. So you try a dosage for 6 weeks, get another blood test, change the dosage, try again. The symptoms remain until your brain is happy with the dosage. No shortcuts. We THINK we have the correct dosage now – at least most of the symptoms have decreased at this level.

My exercise efforts are hit and miss despite my best intentions. I’m working in my raised bed, square foot garden, plus weed whacking in the yard, weeding flower beds, etc. By the time I do several sessions of that in a day, I’m too lazy to try to exercise. I have finally learned the big lesson that being active is NOT the same as doing established exercises. The movement is good, but you’re not working the same muscles in the same way as you do when you exercise.

So, I’m feeling guilty a lot, but my priority right now is working outside when I can. When I get things to the stage where I’m basically maintaining my plants, I’ll do better on the exercise – PROMISE. (Okay, I know you’ve heard THAT before…. :0) )

I’m hopeful that when I report again at the end of May, I will have reached 50 lbs off and whatever inches I can manage. Here’s to a better job of getting the lard off!

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Ahhh!

Massageaholic.com

There is no way to tell you how much I look forward to my monthly massage. Lynn Moody is my massage therapist. She is SO good. She listens. She can feel with her magic hands where you have knots, sore spots, stiffness and take them away. I can trust her to FEEL when what she is doing is too much. She knows what to do to ease whatever you walked in with.

I’m not sure if I particularly needed her today or if she just was able to reach me particularly well, but I feel really great right now.

I used to feel that massage was a total luxury. Now I consider it a taking-care-of-myself thing.

If you haven’t tried masage therapy and live in the Greenwood/Fort Smith/Hackett area, call Lynn Moody and make an appointment. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Her number is 479-629-7601.

If you live outside this area, FIND someone and start feeling better soon.

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Garden Progress 4-21-2019

I now have enough of OUR fresh grown broccoli to make some soup!

 

And this is the lettuce I harvested. I could have brought in lots more. We eat salad each night, but I’m not sure we can keep up with all we’re growing this time.

 

This photo shows many of our lettuce plants, plus you can see the onions in the rear of the picture.

 

This is the second row of planters. You can see the broccoli plants and some of the radish sprouts.

 

I planted several squares of radishes. I eat some raw every day at lunch, along with carrots, cherry tomatoes, and celery.

I have all appendages crossed that this is one of several sprouts of ‘something’ I HOPE is SPINACH!  Time will tell.

 

Close up of one of the lettuce plants. This is ONE plant taking up a whole square. It’s HUGE.

 

This isn’t a garden plant, but I’m so pleased with it this year. It’s a perennial ‘something, and it has had only weak blooms each spring until now. I just love it!

More work tomorrow, but it’s that time of year! :0)

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First Harvest of Spring 2019

My broccoli is a bit scraggly-looking, but it should be tender and flavorful. I’m going to use it to make soup.

 

Unless something bad happens, it looks like we’ll have the best lettuce ever. This was harvested today – the outer leaves from just three of our plants. This filled two gallon fridge bags. We’ll sure enjoy some of this for our main meal salad dinner tonight!

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Trying to Get Back Up on the Horse

Kveller.com

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m up 5 pounds lately, so have lost 38 pounds and 43 inches  from my lardiest.  I want to lose 32 pounds more and whatever inches go with that. I’ll try for 2 lbs. per week.

My husband and I have made several decisions as to how we want to eat now. We are STILL trying to eat all the remaining Nutrisystem food we have on hand, even though we stopped deliveries a couple of months or so ago.  We were thinking of changing to A La Carte and then decided we have learned all we’re going to from the program and it’s time we did our own thing.

We’ve learned a lot about portion sizes (we were each eating for about 6). We are eating a lot more veggies, mainly poultry or fish as entrees, lots of salad, fruit and nuts. We are eating as little sugar as possible and have also mostly given up salt, except for a little bit in recipes. I’m drinking a lot more water and my husband likes Arizona Zero Peach Iced Tea for cold drinks. I still have my coffee (black) and my husband enjoys Sugar Free Alpine Spiced Apple Cider mix for a hot drink. (He is a Type II diabetic, but is doing super-well with his blood sugar now.) We have mostly given up rice, pasta, and potatoes. My husband is gravitating toward eating lunch and dinner with some snacks in-between. He is almost to his weight goal.

I’m continuing to TRY to exercise daily, but I am the best excuse-maker who ever lived.  Today, though, I finally got back on my elliptical trainer in our garage and did 35 minutes. I had to go more slowly, since my right hip was ‘catching’ a bit until I finally loosened up, but I feel fine now, and I put a gold star on my calendar for the day. :0)

My goal is to exercise daily, but I tend to beg off if I’m working in the yard much of the day. I’m going to TRY to do the exercise in the morning, rather than waiting until the day is in full swing.

Wish me luck?

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Getting the Lard Off Results – as of March 2019

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I have a whole list of excuses, but – bottom line – I didn’t make much progress this month – except on finding some good, healthy recipes that we can eat on a regular basis.

To date – since my lardiest – I’ve lost 43 pounds and 44.2 inches. 

My goal is to lose another 30 pounds or so to get to the place where I can quit trying to get taller and my BMI chart is singing ‘hallelujah,’ – or at least, ‘you’ve come a long way, baby.’ Whatever inches that go with that will be much appreciated. I would love to get to the point where I don’t have to worry about ‘getting into’ clothes. I don’t really care what size it is. I would just like to be able to walk into a regular department or other clothes store and be confident that I can find my size and that the garment has a reasonable chance of fitting.

The biggest goal, though, is health. I’m newly determined – since the death of my brother this month – to do everything I can to improve my health as much as possible. That means a healthy weight and lots and lots of moving.

I’ve used lots of excuses re getting off my duff, too. I’m TRYING to do something different each day to keep getting my body’s attention. I’m already more active than usual, getting my veggie garden started and general working in the yard stuff.  But I use THAT as an excuse to forego my scheduled exercise. (I know, it’s pathetic, but there it is.)

I’m going to try to get started with getting on the elliptical trainer in the garage today. I’ll just worry about today for now.

Hopefully, when I report to you again at the end of April, I can say I’ve made some real progress.

All appendages crossed!

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Shingles

Health Central

My husband had Shingles in about 2004. He was in intense pain for about 8 weeks, with it still hurting to cough, sneeze, or laughs for weeks after that. Here is information about Shingles –

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/symptoms-causes/syc-20353054

When the first vaccine came out, we jumped at the chance to protect ourselves. I don’t ever want my husband to suffer like that again, and I sure didn’t want to get it. We were vaccinated – being told that would protect us for life.

Then – they amended that to say you were lucky if you were protected for 5 years. This meant our protection was gone in 2009! We jumped on the information when a new 2-dose vaccine was announced. The problem is that there is quite a shortage of the vaccines. You have to call around and list your name several places to get the first vaccination, and then HOPE you can get the second within the six month time period for it to be effective.

We lucked out, getting out first vaccination in January. We were due for our second one mid March, but had to wait a week or two (which was still amazing) to get the second one.

The first one the whole back of my arm swelled up, nice and pink and sore and hot, with a hard knot in the middle, if I were brave enough to touch it. I felt as if I had been run over by a bus for three days afterwards.

We both got the second dose yesterday morning. This time The spot on my arm is much smaller, about the size of a 50 cent piece, with the hard knot in the center. It isn’t hot this time, only pink and sore. I feel again like I’ve been run over by a bus. I slept Wednesday afternoon and then all night Wednesday night. We got up today and I was feeling faint. I had quite a bout of feeling nauseous and sick, faint, etc. and then managed to get that under control and went to sleep in my chair again.

I got up long enough to make us a sandwich for lunch and held that down fine. We did the few errands that were have-to’s and then I felt well enough to watch a movie I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

We’re going out to pick up Chinese for dinner. I’ll hit the hay early again and hope I’m feeling more like myself tomorrow. At least this time I know about how long I’ll feel terrible.

I really think it’s worth it for the protection it gives – hopefully another five years without worry we’ll get Shingles.  It is truly an awful disease where caregivers are helpless to do any good and it seems to last forever. A few days of feeling yucky is a small price to pay.

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Pinterest

We got some Vermiculite for the Mel’s Mix in the garden this morning. I took things inside, and then came out to help my husband with the two large bags that were going out to the garden. My hoodie zipper was messed up, so I was looking down, trying to fix it.

Amber (our 94-pound two-year-old ‘puppy’ hit me at top speed, having run from the shop to where I was, half way between our house and shop. Usually, I turn to the side, move, or brace for impact. This time I was completely vulnerable.

I was knocked backwards onto the gravel and grass-covered ground. I fell flat whapping the back of my head hard and having the wind knocked out of me. My hands got stuck by some small gravel, particularly on one hand, but also on the back of the other. I’ll probably have some great-looking bruises soon. The back of my other hand hit the ground so hard the strap of my watch broke. As I got up, I retrieved my watch and Amber’s collar, which somehow had come off.

I’ve taken some Tylenol now and am having a cup of coffee as I type this. My hands are stinging, but I’ve washed them and put on some antibiotic ointment. My backside is sore on the right side, the side of my left calf, and my right shoulder. (Makes you wonder what in the world I did as I fell!)

Falls are no fun any time, but can be worse as you get older. I lucked out this time, mainly injuring my dignity, and reminding me AGAIN that no matter what is happening with my hoodie (or anything else), I need to pay more attention to my surroundings!

I’m going to rest awhile, and then I’ll go out and empty the bag of Vermiculite into the lidded trash can where it will live.

The rest of this day HAS to be better!

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Happy Pat on the Head

I’m a sucker for all kinds of ‘feel-able’ pats on the head: gold stars on my desk calendar when I’ve done whatever exercise is scheduled for the day; and these cute little bears that NutriSystem sends out for each 10 pounds one loses.

As you can see from the picture above, I’ve gotten my 4th bear – the one for 40 lbs off. (Actually, right now I’m at 43 pounds off  :0) )  There is also 44.2 inches less of me than there used to be.

I have a good start now. I will try to get another 30 pounds off, and whatever number of inches that goes with that any my exercises.

The really big thing is that I FEEL BETTER.  I’m 72 as of yesterday, and I can honestly say I feel better than I did a year ago. On March 9th of 2020, I hope to be able to say the same thing, whether or not I’ve reached my weight loss goal.

Smaller, but again – a VISIBLE thing  – is that I’m able to fit in favorite clothes I’ve kept in closets for years, hoping that ‘one day’ I would be able to wear them again. There are still several things in the ‘hope’ area of my guest room closet. :0)  I’m between sizes on jeans right now, for example. The size I’m wearing is a bit baggy, but I’m still too lardy for the next size down. I’m also able to order some smaller sizes online, too.

I’m sleeping better with the loss of the lard and my efforts to move more. I get up from the computer after I post something here, do some chore inside or outside before posting again, for example. I’m also trying to do my exercises like a good old girl daily. I’m more successful some weeks than others. I’m doing something different each day – yoga and abdominal exercises one day, a dance video another, the Wii Fit Plus ‘games’ for balance and reaction time (I’m still awful and the program is still insulting me), the walking with Annoying Leslie one day, and the elliptical trainer in the garage one day. Now that spring is near (thank GOODNESS!) I’m working in the yard when the weather permits.

Though I’m getting old-in-the-tooth, I can usually gather enough energy to continue going through the house, concentrating on purging, then cleaning and reorganizing one area at a time. Today it’s the supplies shelves in our office after we go grocery shopping.

Motivation is high though results are slow. I think the older you get the harder it is to get any lard off or make appreciable difference in fitness or stamina, but I’m game as long as I’m breathing!

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Not ONLY…

Tips4Home.com

I guess it’s this cold weather we’re having. That’s my excuse and I’ll stick with it!

Yesterday it was like I had a tapeworm!  I not only wanted comfort food (read heavy calorie, high fat, hot, delicious), but a LOT of it! I simply used every trip anywhere near the kitchen to stuff my face. UGH. I gained a pound a half yesterday!

 

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Hopefully, I can do better today….

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The Long and Short of It

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

The short answer is 43 pounds lost and 44.2 inches lost to date, since my ‘heaviest and lardiest.’

The longer answer is we’re trying to take care of ourselves, now that my husband and I are getting ‘long-in-the-tooth’ and would like to maintain or increase our quality of life for as long as we can, enjoying our lives to the fullest.

Since we both have health issues, my husband gave up added sugar and I gave up added salt. We are limiting our red beef, concentrating more on chicken and fish, veggies, fruit, and nuts. We’re both trying to drink more water. I’m trying to exercise. My husband said, “Now that I turned 75, I don’t HAVE to worry about exercising.” – as if he ever has. I am exercising more than I ever have, with the exception of when I was teaching swimming every summer and working in a restaurant part-time to help pay my way through college.  I continue to encourage him to exercise.

I’m concentrating on stretching, balance, core strength, and reaction time. Basically just trying to consciously move more. I’m doing a combination of yoga, abdominal exercises, walking, elliptical trainer, dance, and Wii Fit Plus each week. Sometimes I’m successful and get it all in, sometimes not. I’m trying to pat myself on the head (and give myself a gold star on my desk calendar) when I do well and not beat myself up when I don’t.

The same on eating. My husband is almost where he needs to be on weight. I still have a lot to lose to get to my goal of being in the healthy range on BMI and insurance charts. We’ve been on Nutrisystem, but are on hiatus now, trying to eat our way through the remaining food while not having more sent. In May we’ll probably change to A LA CARTE. We are doing our own thing a lot of the day and are needing the packaged stuff less and less. I’m substituting healthy recipes we really like for the entrees.

We’re giving ourselves permission to eat out when the mood strikes – a quality of life issue for us. Last night we ate dinner at The Dari, one of the new restaurants in Greenwood, Arkansas. Last night we got a seafood platter and two plates. This gave each of us plenty of food without overeating. We enjoyed our splurge/treat without breaking our diet. I made it a point to ask at the front counter who was responsible for the seafood. Several of the cooks raised their hands. I gave them a two-thumbs up, a big grin, and told them they were WONDERFUL.

I have to get a blood test on the 18th of March to see if I’ve improved in a couple of areas. Fingers crossed.

 

 

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Progress in Planting

Raised-Bed Square Foot Planters in the Garden:

Yesterday I weeded one of the six raised bed square foot garden planters. It’s 4 feet x 4 feet.

Today we bought two bunches of Sweet Red Onions and I got them planted. Since they’ll stay where they are until they are ready for harvest (August or after) I planted them without stringing strings across to make ‘squares’ for planting. I just tried to give them room enough to expand to be good-sized, small sweet onions. I spread some fertilizer in the planter and then watered them.

I think they’ll make it through any freezes we have between now and spring, but, just in case, I can spread a king-sized sheet over the planter for protection.

I’ll try to weed one planter each good day, so hopefully they’ll all be ready to receive plants soon.

 

_____________________

Greenhouse:

 

Two of the covered seed starters had water beading on the inside – a good thing.

 

This one was dry, even with the cover. I sprayed the plants with water again and used a different cover. Hopefully, it will hold the moisture in.

I’m not sure how long it takes for the seeds to sprout. I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas!

I’m planning to cut back our rose bushes today, plus give the wisteria some phosphorus fertilizer.

 

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Chomping at the Bit!

It’s too cold outside yet, and I don’t have a heater in the greenhouse, so I can’t start any seeds yet, but NEXT month I’m hoping I can get a head start on the spring planting season.

I’m going through my seeds, thinking I’ll start with lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower this time.

 

I would really love to have some healthy plants grown in my own greenhouse to transplant into our raised bed, square foot garden this spring, instead of having to buy plants locally. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about greenhouses. The problem is that most of the information is written by people who live in pretty cold parts of the U.S.

My experience so far is that unless I have a heater (and we would have to keep it running 24/7 with a 350 foot extension cord running from the house out to the greenhouse) it’s too cold to start anything there yet. We tend to go from winter to way too hot in rapid succession, and then I have trouble – even with the extension cord, an exhaust fan, and the opposite people door open, to keep it COOL enough! So I’m scouring the net trying to find information that will help me deal with the extremes we have in Arkansas.

 

I’m hoping to start some plants the 1st of March. I’ll post pics of my efforts.

 

This is a picture of my spring garden last year in the raised bed planters my husband and I made. There are SIX 4’x4′ planters held up by angle iron ‘tables’ about my chest height. They allow me to weed, plant, and harvest without having to get up and down a million times or get down on hands and knees.

 

This picture gives you another view of the planters. We also used some netting at the end of July and through August when the sun tries to boil plants right in the ground. You can see the hoses and the sprinklers we use to water the plants automatically. They are attached to an outdoor faucet on a timer.

The planters are filled with Mel’s Mix (combination of peat moss, vermiculite and as many different composts as you can find.) We mix the ingredients together in a portable cement mixer and then bring the mix into the planters to top off. Then we stretch string across in two directions to make the ‘squares’ for planting.

I’m starting to plan where the plants will go.  It’s best if you rotate crops in this set up, just as you would if you were planting in the ground. We follow the Square Foot Garden book by Mel Bartholomew, where he suggests how many plants to plant in each square. He suggests one plant per square for things like broccoli, 4 per square for lettuce, 9 for other plants, and 16 for radishes.  We space them wider than he suggests, having healthier plants that way. (He tends his garden every day, sometimes even more. Since we’re not that conscientious, wider works better for us.)  He also suggests that you place like plants away from each other – such as one broccoli, then lettuce, then radishes, then cauliflower in a row to avoid transmission of bugs or any other problems from one plant to another.

I made a grid and I fill them in with what I’m planting where. I use the old one to figure out a new plan for the next ‘crop,’ trying not to plant the broccoli in the same squares as I did the last time.

We have converted two brick planters on the other side of the house to be tomato planters.

I’m at the stage of being excited and doing lots of research and planning.

If you have a greenhouse or do square foot gardening and have tips or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them!

Can you tell I’m ready for spring? :0)

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Did It!

I crab about ‘walking with annoying Leslie,’ but I freely admit she knows what she’s doing. The last time I did this – after quite a hiatus – I only managed to do one mile with her and her group. Today I did TWO miles. I pooped out before the regular exercises she does in a section AFTER the 2nd mile, but I feel good that I lasted this long.

This is supposed to be low impact on your joints, but I guess it all depends on the shape your joints are in. My hips are a challenge, and I’m doing all I can to loosen up the muscles and move the joints carefully to strengthen everything as much as possible. The elliptical trainer is low impact and works my hips, too, but in a different way – if that makes any sense.

About halfway through the first mile, my hips start talking to me. By the end of the second mile the talk became more serious, but not to the point that I had to quit.

We had a cold front move through this morning, taking the temperature down to 20 degrees F right now, and going down to 18 or lower during the day and night. Rain/sleet/ice is also forecast, so I’m really happy I can exercise while staying at home.

Another gold star for my calendar!

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Broccoli Soup Experiment

 

I’m making soup today – for the first time – ever. I know, since I’m older than dirt, this is probably a surprising statement. My mom made a few dishes that were absolutely spectacular, such as spaghetti sauce, chili, and some casseroles; but mainly, she cooked from many boxes and cans. We always ate Campbell’s soup.

I told you we were impressed when we read The Longevity Code by Dr. Kris Verburgh recently, and that there were a few really basic recipes in the book. One was “Basic Broccoli Soup”  and that’s what I have cooking now. When my timer goes off in about 15 minutes, I’m supposed to use an immersion blender (I actually HAVE one!) to puree the broccoli.

I expect my husband will be UNDERwhemed, since he only eats steamed broccoli because he knows he should and because I fix it and put it on his plate. I really don’t expect him to do more than taste it, but one can hope. I’m mainly fixing it for ME because I love broccoli, and like the idea of being able to microwave home-cooked soup and eat it for a meal or a snack any time I would like.

If this recipe is good – or can be tweaked – I’ll post it here.

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Exercise?!

QuotesHumor.com

I missed my exercise yesterday, but I just finished what I was SUPPOSED to do yesterday – yoga and abdominal exercises – so I got my gold star on my desk calendar.  :0)  I’ll have to keep going through Saturday this week to get everything in:

  • Monday – elliptical trainer
  • Tuesday – yoga and abdominal exercises
  • Wednesday – walking video
  • Thursday – Wii Fit Plus ‘games’
  • Friday – dance video

I told you yesterday about a book that impressed my husband and me – The Longevity Code.  He included several recipes, and we got the ingredients we could yesterday. I ordered almond meal today and hope to have it by Friday. As I try these recipes, I’ll post ones we’ll make again to see if you would like to try them, too.

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful day.

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The Longevity Code

 

I’ve just finished reading and taking notes on The Longevity Code by Kris Verburgh, MD.

My husband and I found it very interesting because it discusses why we age, and what – if anything – we can do to slow the process.

He suggests supplements to add if you’re not taking them already, plus discusses what foods to avoid to be as healthy as you can for as long as you can. He is NOT selling HIS supplements or special foods from HIS source – a thing that would have turned us off.

Some of his suggestions we were doing already. He gives a few recipes to get you started on eating in a healthy fashion that you can add to things you are already doing.

He doesn’t claim you’ll stop or reverse aging, or any nonsense like that. He IS suggesting ways you can improve your health.

We found the book impressive and interesting. We got the supplements we weren’t already taking and went shopping for some basic supplies today. We plan to start implementing many of his suggestions right away.

We figure – What can we lose?

 

 

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The Long View on Our Diet and Exercise Efforts

gif-finder.com – Use Your Blinker

Over a year ago I was at my heaviest. My joints hurt. I didn’t exercise, and didn’t even want to THINK about it. I was depressed. My clothes kept becoming too small. I couldn’t shop at regular stores for clothes anymore. My digestion was poor. I was on a lot of medications. I dreaded going for doctor appointments, and especially having to get on the scales.

My husband and I tried low carb, and we did some good, and then we started Nutrisystem in April of last year. It was May before we could get our act together on eating, and even longer for me to start trying to move more.

I measured and weighed this morning. We’re still trying to lose what we gained during the holidays and our son’s visit, but we’re getting there. I looked at where I was at my heaviest for inspiration and motivation today.

Since my heaviest, I’ve lost 39.2 pounds and 47.7 inches. I’m trying to exercise daily and consciously get up and move more during the day. I love being at my computer, but between sessions I get up and DO something – like my exercise for the day, or another session on the great purge of my house I started last year. I’m now on Phase II and am working in the pantry today.

I want to lose another 30 pounds so I’ll be in the ‘healthy’ range on BMI and insurance charts. I’ve improved my numbers on blood tests a lot since I’ve gotten serious about trying to get healthier, and so has my husband, who has Type 2 Diabetes. (His blood sugar was 84 this morning!) We have gotten better numbers on our cholesterol, lipids, etc., and our doctor is nodding happily. (We hope she’ll do so again at our 6 month check-up on Monday)

I want to have GOOD numbers on blood pressure, blood tests, etc. And I would LIKE to improve my strength, balance, stability, flexibility and more so I can do what I’d like to do for as long as humanly possible. It would be great if I could lessen joint pain, too.

So – even though we’re not back to where we were before the holidays yet, the long-term difference is good.  We both weigh significantly less than we did at one point. We’re healthier than we were over a year ago, and we’re taking better care of ourselves.

My husband is reading something on his Kindle that is catching his attention about health – something that used to be quite unusual for him. He said that people whose waistlines were 80% of their height lived, on average, 20 years less than folks who had more moderate waistlines. He also read that salmon is good for us, and asked if I would fix some.

It’s now on tonight’s menu!

 

 

 

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Learn

Ayn Rand – SayingImages.com

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Three Gold Stars, So Far…

I really don’t like to exercise. Most of the things I really like to do involve sitting – reading, artwork, working at the computer, etc. So, in order to motivate myself to move more, I employ a lot of outside help.

  • First, I’m trying to do something different each day, trying to put the emphasis on different muscles, different goals, attempting to make my body sit up and take notice. (Since I’m not an athletic person, my body is really NOTICING!)

 

On Monday, I did 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer. Since it’s out in our garage and it’s COLD here in Arkansas, I moved faster than usual and was happy with my workout.

 

 

Yesterday I focused on yoga stretching and abdominal exercises. Since it’s been awhile since I exercised (I used all kinds of excuses – the holidays, our son home visiting for three weeks, then reaction to our first Shingles shot – to procrastinate – and believe me, I can get quite creative when it comes to excuses – I was a bit stiff and sore. I was still able to touch my toes, but the abdominal exercises were quite a challenge. I made it through my workout, but the hiatus showed me that I need to get – and stay – serious about this effort.

 

 

 

This morning I tackled what I call my ‘Annoying Leslie” walking video. I have to admit this lady knows what she’s doing, looks great, and provides a really good workout for me. I only made ONE mile, instead of TWO this morning, so my work is cut out for me here, too. I want to be able to walk TWO miles and then do the exercises at the end of the video in time.

Tomorrow I plan to do balance and reaction time activities on the Wii Fit Plus DVD. I have to grit my teeth because whoever wrote this video has a bit of a cruel streak. Even when I do better than I did the previous time, it says, “This isn’t your strong suit, is it?” or something to this effect, and “Do you fall down a lot?”  Nevertheless, I know I NEED the balance exercises AND the reaction time stuff, so once a week won’t kill me. (I do wish I could punch the person in the face, though.)

Finally, on Fridays I’ll try to keep up with this gorgeous, graceful lady as she grooves to fun music. This is really a workout, and I have trouble keeping up with her, but she is really laid back. She stresses that you don’t have to do exactly what she’s doing. You can do your own thing – just keep moving. This is a fun, though strenuous for me video. It’s a good way to end my exercise week.

Weekends will be for any make ups needed.

  • My second motivator, along with the change in activities daily, is that I give myself an actual gold star – the type we used to get a hundred years ago on papers on good school work. I got a package of 1,000 on the Internet for next to nothing and I add them to my desk calendar when I complete my exercise for the day. It’s amazing how childish I am, actually making myself get up and go exercise in order not to spoil my record for the week :0)
  • The third motivator is that I’m beginning to FEEL a difference. When I walk, my body feels a bit looser. The pain in my joints is less. I FEEL happy that I’m trying to improve my health.
  • The fourth motivator is that my husband, who truly treats exercise as if it’s a four-letter-word, is being a bit of a cheerleader. The only room large enough in our house to really spread out or move around on the floor is our living room. It’s where our DVD player is, too. So he sees a lot of my exercise efforts. He’s actually congratulating me on a job well done, or encourages me when I’m disappointed, saying I’ll do better next time.
  • The final motivator is that the measuring tape is showing some improvement and I’m able to get into clothes I haven’t worn in years, or – when I buy new things, I’m able to buy smaller sizes for the first time in umpteen years.

So – I have 3 stars this week so far – and am going for number 4 tomorrow!

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Turning Over Several New Leaves

5 Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins – The Leaf Recipes – Nutrisystem

LEAF ONE:  My husband and I decided that we would stop the regular Nutrisystem program for a while. Due to our doing our own thing and our son coming home for a three-week visit, we had an over-abundance of NS meals we needed to eat. The Nutrisystem people were kind enough to honor our request for a hiatus in shipments until the first of March. We since have made another big decision: we’re going to stop the regular programs we were on in favor of ordering A LA CARTE for each of us. This way we can get what we want and not have things we’re not crazy about, but have paid for to eat. I also priced what we plan to order in March, and we’ll save significant money. Win/win.

LEAF TWO:  I’ve decided to try more of the flex meals and snacks, cooking more than I have been – (other than comfort food things, such as beef stew.) Some snacks I’ve been eating are bothering me and I want to have healthy snacks on hand. I already eat a lot of raw veggies at lunch, so I’ve been scrambling a bit. Today I fixed “5-Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins” from the Flex Snack Group of Recipes on The Leaf, a part of the Nutrisystem website. The muffins are cooling on the counter as we speak. I’m hoping they’ll be yummy.

My husband was asking that I fix chicken tonight, so we bought some boneless, skinless chicken breasts while we were out. Tonight I’m going to try another new recipe, “Baked Chicken Tenders.” 

“Baked Chicken Tenders” – The Leaf – Nurtrisystem

LEAF THREE:  You’ve probably heard me say this before, but I’m saying it AGAIN – I’m going to try to get into my new routine of daily exercise.

This morning I did 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage. I’m trying to do something different each day to make my body sit up and take notice. Tomorrow I’ll do half an hour or so of yoga and abdominal exercises. Wednesday I’ll do a walking video. Thursday I’ll do Wii Fit Plus, particularly for the balance and reaction time games. Friday I’ll do my new dance/exercise video. Exercise on the weekends will be optional – or will be make up days for anything I missed.

I’ve been stuck at 30 pounds and 30 inches off for quite a while, mostly due to my own failings. I would like to continue on from here, making some good progress again.

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Massage, Fish, and Tax Prep, Oh My!

Groupon

My day started super-nicely with a massage by my massage therapist, Lynn Moody. She’s absolutely the best. She tackles an old lady with lots of aches and creaky bones and I emerge smiling and relaxed. I just wish I could afford to have massages more often!

My Aquarium Club

My poor fish are swimming around in cloudy water, so on my list, as soon as I finish this post, is to go vacuum out their tank, change the decor, and get them back into a clean, fresh tank.

Get It Back Campaign

Most of the rest of the day will be spent continuing our tax preparation. I’m making good progress. Today is medical stuff and extraneous things, and then I’ll be on the finish line, adding my information to the booklet our CPA provides. I’m hoping I’ll be finished with everything, waiting on our info from Schwab, by the end of the week.

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Pity Party

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I suggested yesterday that you might consider getting the 2-shot vaccine for the Shingles virus. My husband and I got the 1st shot yesterday.

I’m STILL strongly suggesting you think about it, but I have to also warn you about possible side effects of the shot.

Yesterday afternoon my husband and I had sore arms where the shot had been administered. Not as bad as an ear ache or a tooth ache, but an unrelenting ache that made us a bit on edge.

We slept fine last night. When we got up this morning, we agreed our arms were still sore, but maybe not as bad as yesterday. You have trouble finding the spot where my husband got his shot. My arm has about a 1.5 inch raised, pink, very warm place easily seen from across the room. We both feel pretty bummed out and both of us took a nap this morning in our recliners.

I have slight flu-like symptoms. I’m achy all over, have a head ache, and generally feel as if I had been run over by a truck. I’m fondly thinking of another nap this afternoon.

We don’t feel SICK, just no energy.

So, while you’re thinking about getting this important vaccine, also note that your arm might be sore and you might feel a total lack of energy the next day or two, so you might consider getting it on a Friday afternoon so you’ll feel fine by Monday. We think it’s a small price to pay when you consider how AWFUL Shingles is.

We’ll get our 2nd shot mid March.

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Shingles Protection

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If you have had Shingles – or have tried to help someone who has it, you’re already cringing.

Shingles varies for everyone. Some people have a light case, and others a much more serious outbreak. My husband had a BAD case in around 2005 and we both cringe even THINKING of what he went through. In his case, it covered his whole left side and continuing around to his belly. His pain was excruciating and nothing seemed to help. He was in pain about 6 weeks and then STILL hurt when he laughed, sneezed or coughed for months afterward.

We jumped on it when the first vaccine was announced. It was hyped as a one-shot thing that would protect us for life. We both got the injection. THEN, when a new vaccine, Shingrix came out, we discovered that our ‘protection’ was really only for 5 years, and that we had been unprotected since 2009!

We tried to get on a list to receive the new vaccine, Shingrix, 50 mcg injection. (It’s a 2-shot deal with 2 to 6 months between shot #1 and shot #2.) We got the okay from our primary doctor and called Walgreen’s, only to be told there is a shortage of vaccine. They would put us on their list, but it would be awhile before we could get it. (They can only get 10 shots/month and the line is long.) AND, as makes sense, they’re trying to get shot #2 for the good folks who have already gotten shot #1 and need shot #2 before the six month time limit is up. We called the other pharmacies in Greenwood and Fort Smith and got the same information.

THEN, a new pharmacy opened its doors in Greenwood. We had been with them formerly, but they shut down and we had to go elsewhere. We were delighted to hear they were back! I called and she told me she COULD get the vaccine! We went and filled out the paperwork. When she called it into our healthcare provider, Humana, she reported to us that the cost for each shot would be $140 – and we needed FOUR shots! We put the whole idea on hold, hoping that the beginning of the year might bring better news as to costs.

I called Humana yesterday, finding to my delight that our cost would be $47 per shot – a much more reasonable cost. I called the pharmacy. She still had our paperwork and resubmitted it, calling us back later to confirm the cost.

We got our shot #1 today, and we’re on the calendar to receive shot #2 mid-March.

I don’t know what the difference is between sources, or why other pharmacies have so much trouble getting the vaccines. I’m just glad that our new pharmacist had no trouble and could get us started on being fully protected. The protection is for 5 years;  so – if we’re still alive and kicking by then – we’ll go in and get protected again.

I write this to urge YOU – if you are 50 or older – to seriously consider getting this protection. I can tell you that you DON’T want anything to do with getting Shingles. You don’t need the pain, and you can get it over and over again. Please research what the situation and costs are for you wherever you are and make the decision to protect yourself, if possible.

It’ll be interesting to see when and if Walgreen’s will ever call us back that they finally have the first shot for us…

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Happy Sunday

Fashion Design Images

 

I’m feeling happy today – on top of things – empowered. My plans are starting to come together.

  • I told you that I got an iPhone 8 this week. Every day I’m figuring out new things. I’m finding it amazingly intuitive. I love the noise it makes when I get a text or a phone call. I like that I can actually FEEL a small vibration when the tone sounds with someone replying. I had a nice text chat with our son this morning, reaching out to him because he’s in Florida now, visiting friends and a client and will leave the country soon to go back to Thailand, PLUS he has an iPhone 8 and encouraged me to ask him questions on getting it set up. After talking to him, I have a starting list of apps I want to install, and he was able to answer my questions. I think I’m going to love this phone!
  • Before going to the grocery store with my husband this morning, I cleaned out the fridges in the kitchen and the pantry, cut up fresh veggies for our lunches this week, and put out the resulting trash. We shopped, put the food away, cut up the fresh celery we bought, and started a roast beef in the crock pot.
  • I’ve figured out my exercises for the coming week. (When it’s on my calendar, I tend to do it particularly if I put a gold star on the day.) So I’m planning to do dancing to a music exercise video Monday; yoga and abdominal exercises Tuesday; walking and exercise video Wednesday, Wii Fit Plus balance, reflexes, etc. Thursday; and elliptical trainer Friday. (I’ll ad lib on Sat and Sun.)
  • My kitchen drawers are now cleaned out and organized. I’ll list the donations we’ll make on a spreadsheet so we’ll be ready when we have several bags full of things we hope others can use.
  • I decided to go back to recording my food and water intake and activity on NuMi, the online tracker for Nutrisystem starting this morning. I’m basically into the routine now, but we’ve splurged with the holidays and our son being home for a visit, so I want to be sure I’m not fooling myself about eating during the day.

This afternoon I’ll vacuum the 1st floor carpet and then the 1st floor tiles. That’s going to be it for work today.

Finally, I’m giving myself permission to go up and PLAY in my art room this afternoon. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but my juices will start to flow when I start looking at the nice supplies I have. :0)

I hope that you are feeling happy and productive today, too.

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Round Figures

Ali Express

 

“Doctors tell us there are over seven million people who are overweight. These, of course, are only round figures.” ~ Unknown

__________________

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my husband and I are on NutriSystem to lose the lard and to help control my husband’s Type II Diabetes.

He has given up sugar and I’ve given up salt – now concentrating on choosing what we eat much more carefully.

Our son is visiting from Thailand for the first time in over three years – and to say we’re over the moon is a vast understatement. He is very good about either fixing his own food, eating beef stew I made and put in the fridge, or eating with us. We couldn’t ask for a more accommodating person. We are free to eat our Nutrisystem as usual, having our flex meals and doing fine through the holidays. He has encouraged and applauded our efforts to get and stay as healthy as we can.

What has happened, though, is that we’re using the fact he’s here – and it’s a holiday – to splurge. We’re going out to eat more, I fixed a turkey and all the fixings for our Christmas dinner yesterday, we’re eating stew and toasted bread to go along with it, plus….. you get the picture.

I’ve continued to exercise most days – but not when my husband is watching TV in the living room or asleep in the living room in his chair. The living room is really the only room in the house large enough for me to do my thing, other than when I’m on the elliptical trainer in the garage. It’s the only place we have where I can play my videos – yoga, walking, and a new one I just got where exercise is achieved through dancing your head off – something that really appeals to me. I haven’t tried it yet because – yeah – the living room is occupied.

We could beat ourselves up over regaining a few pounds and not exercising every day as we should, or we can relax, totally enjoy the holiday, the food, the entertaining, the going out to eat, the meals with our son and then get back on the horse when the holidays are over.

We decided that the Nutrisystem basics of portion control, eating something about every three hours, control of our calories, eating NS foods that are low in salt, sugar, fat and calories, plus moving more is a lifestyle change – not something we’re ‘trying on for size’ and abandoning either when the newness wears off or we actually reach our weight goals. This is the way we want to eat and live the rest of our lives. We’re learning to do our flex meals like sensible people – except over the holidays – and we’ve adopted some really good, healthy eating changes.

We admit we’re flawed humans who succumb to excess given ample opportunity. We’re enjoying every minute and we’ve agreed to hit the ground running when the holidays are over. We’ve delayed getting to our goals, but not abandoned the end game.

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Hahahahaahahah!

Fastweb

Our son got the Wii Fit Plus to work again. (It quit quite awhile back, but I was too dumb to get it to work and my husband had no interest.) We figured out which part of the TV settings to use, put fresh batteries in the board and the remotes and confirmed it worked.

This morning I finally decided ‘today is the day’ and tried it.

Its software remembered me and produced my gray-haired avatar (or I think they call it a Mii). They said it had been some almost 5,000 days since I had been on it. They did welcome me back, and they did notice I’m some 40 lbs lighter that the last time I tried to use it.  They said I needed to lose another 28 lbs to be in the right weight range for my height. (I’ve been trying to get taller so I don’t need to lose as much, but that isn’t working).

I did the body test and it said I was ‘unbalanced’ ( big shock)

I then went through all the balance games. It decided I was pathetic. It didn’t actually insult me this time, but my avatar hung her head in defeat after I tried each activity. I left it on, and will go back later and do all the balance activities again.

What I’m trying to do, since I am NOT an exercise person, is vary what I’m doing each day to try to get my body’s attention. I’ve already been doing yoga and abdominal exercises one day, 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer the next. Now I’ll do the Wii Fit Plus another day, (varying which type of things I’m working on) and a walking video the next. I’ll see how that works. I want a regimen I can stick with, don’t dread, and actually helps me.

The balance games show that I really need to do them on a regular basis. Since old ladies like me are prone to getting brittle and frail, losing strength over time, and losing their balance and falling, I’m trying to do all I can to avoid that for as long as possible.

So – now that I’ve actually gotten on the Wii again and survived, I’ll do it again in a few minutes!

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/13/2018

BBC

I MAY be making some progress again, after hitting a plateau and going back and forth above and below the 30-pounds-off mark. I’ve also lost about 30 inches, though that hasn’t changed in a bit.

I’m going to add the Wii Fit Plus to my regimen starting tomorrow. Yesterday I did yoga and abdominal exercises. Today I did 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer. The Wii tomorrow and the “Annoying Leslie Walking Video” will round out my routine for the next several days and I’ll see how I feel about things after that.  I’m determined to use my good tools, even though the person on the Wii insults my efforts, and Leslie Sansone is really annoying, telling me how GOOD what she’s doing feels and being truly annoyingly perky.

I AM feeling looser. More flexible. A bit stronger. I want to feel secure in my footing and I would like to feel more energy.

I’ll try this for a week and will report the results next Thursday. Wish me luck?

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My Massage Therapist is Psychic, Too!

Clark’s Inn and Restaurant

 

I had a glorious massage this morning and my whole body is smiling.

My therapist’s name is Lynn Moody. If you’re in the Greenwood, AR area (including Fort Smith and surrounding towns) you will thank yourself a million times if you call Lynn and schedule a massage. Her location for massages is 320 South Coker, Greenwood AR 72936. Her phone number is 479-629-7601. Her email address is lynnmoody42@yahoo.com

I feel very close to Lynn. We exchange news about our families, what’s happening in our worlds, etc. each time I have a massage. I trust her as a friend – something rare and precious to find these days.

Today I told her that my husband and I were planning to take our son to a local restaurant, The Dari, for lunch to celebrate his birthday. When we exchanged Christmas gifts after my massage, I found a gift card for The Dari!!!!

Not ONLY does she give massages to die for, she’s psychic!

How LUCKY I am to have found her.

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