Category Archives: taking care of yourself

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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20

 

We received the non-frozen portion of our latest Nutrisystem order this morning. We got everything put away, but something was missing! I finally connected with the CHAT portion of the website and waited to talk to a counselor. RebeccaL looked up my account and confirmed with URL that it said the bear had been shipped separately and that it had been delivered! The URL said it had been delivered to our mailbox.

We had errands in Fort Smith, and stopped at the mailbox at the bottom of the driveway on the way. And there it was! A sweet, lusciously purple small bear who said, “20” on his lapel, indicating that my second milestone has officially been achieved and recognized.

I feel a bit embarrassed that I was SO disappointed when my bear wasn’t included in my new box of food, but it’s true. I LIKE getting pats on the head when I’m finally losing the lard (albeit slowly).  With what I still want to lose, I’ll hopefully have a whole ROW of these sweet little bears by the time I reach my goal!

On to the next bear!!!

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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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Good Afternoon!

I’m late getting to my blog today because I enjoyed a glorious massage!

If you live in the Greenwood/Fort Smith/Hackett and more area in Arkansas you should contact Lynn Moody at lynnmoody42@yahoo.com and schedule an appointment. Time with Lynn will be the very best present you can give yourself.

Dribs and Drabs and Details Updates:

  • The pulled pork recipe last night was a success and it couldn’t be simpler.

I bought a pork loin the day before yesterday. Yesterday morning I browned it on all sides and then put it in my slow cooker. I didn’t go by a recipe, but added tomato soup plus a can of water, a chicken ‘booster’ packet, a bit of seasoned salt and pepper, onion bits, and garlic. I set it to low for 10 hours. When we were ready to have dinner, I turned off the slow cooker and put the pork loin on a platter. My husband and I grabbed a handful of forks and had great fun pulling it to shreds. We then got out our scales and divided it into 4 oz portions in freezable and microwaveable portions, putting a tablespoon of the remaining liquid from the slow cooker in each.

My husband deemed it ‘very good!’ I was relieved because this can take the place of the pulled pork item that Nutrisystem discontinued recently and probably won’t have again. This was my husband’s favorite item, so this is a big deal for us. It was also quick and easy to prep for cooking. This meant a lot to me because I’ve never tried pulled pork before.

He did ask that we find another BBQ sauce because it would add more flavor, so I found one today, with the help of a good friend, that has 5 grams of sugar per serving. A serving is 2 tablespoons, and we’ll only use ONE, so this is good going forward. We’ll probably have the pulled pork as a staple of his/our new eating plan going forward.  He can eat some whenever he wants for dinner or lunch, since he is near his weight goal now. I’ll probably use it as a flex dinner because we’re eating it on a hamburger bun.

  •  I’m almost ready to start adding some fur or feathers to the drawings I traced recently using my new 4 LED Tracing Board (light box). I did find another drawing I want to try (a fawn) , so will try to get that one added today.
  • I managed to do some yard work last night WITHOUT getting stung by red wasps or ants! I did find that the red wasps had built a nest INSIDE the mouth of the metal peacock critter we built who sits in the planter. My husband squirted the wasps and we ran for the house just before we finished our yard work. Hopefully, with relocating the peacock, the wasps will decide to live elsewhere.
  • I’ll do a final tweak on my closet clean out and reorganization project today and call it finished until I move things in the fall.
  • My husband’s blood test numbers were SO much better that I sent them to a friend who has been trying to get term life insurance for him. (He was turned down 2 years ago, and the policy premium we have now will skyrocket on his birthday.) She submitted the numbers to the underwriters who were super impressed with the improvement and agreed to consider him for a policy! We’ll apply next week. Fingers crossed.

That catches you up on the exciting lives of the Arkansas Lewises. I hope things are going well with you, too.

 

 

 

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, Lewis Art, Nutrisystem Flex Meals We Like, Organizing/DeCluttering, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Quarterly Progress Report

My husband and I went for our quarterly checkup by our primary doctor this afternoon. We got blood tests last week and were hopeful that we would see some changes for the better.

I’ve told you my husband is a Type II Diabetic. His A1C last quarter was 7.6. (This was down a bunch from his original count of 16+, but still wasn’t normal.)  Today it was 6.2 (the goal for diabetics is <7). HOOORAAAAAAY!  We had essentially given up ever getting a normal reading again, and were just concentrating on eating right and getting the numbers as low as we could. We practically danced around the room!

The big difference in my numbers was in Lipid Profile (Fats in the blood, I think)

  • Cholesterol was down 107 points
  • LDL down 57 points
  • Non-HDL down 70 points
  • Triglycerides down 61 points

She said that since my husband and I are essentially eating the same foods, my exercise was the cause of my improved numbers!

She was so pleased she said I could wait to come back for SIX months. I’ve been going quarterly for YEARS, so this was super good news. If my husband keeps his good numbers in November, HE can go to every six months, too!

Tonight we’re going bowling with our good friends and having our FLEX snack for the week, a scoop of  ice cream from Braum’s. We celebrated by having a FLEX lunch, as well, enjoying a couple of pieces of fried fish from our local grocery deli. We haven’t had that for almost five months now, so it was a joyous celebration, even though we’re supposed to spread the flex meals out – one per day.

We knew we had lost weight.  We knew we had lost inches (though my husband won’t measure, he’s losing his tummy)

It was wonderful to have the doctor confirm with objective numbers that we’re improving our health. She said, as we were leaving, “I wish all my patients took an active interest in their health and worked as hard as you two have.”

A wonderful pat on the head! :0)

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Something Tangible!

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I’ve lost almost 20 pounds now (not officially yet) and almost 18 inches down so far with the help of Nutrisystem and exercise.

I’m a ‘pear-shaped,’ ‘no-spring chicken’ (a kind description) and have been way too sedentary in the past several years. I have a long way to go in my efforts to lose the lard in order to be as healthy as I can be, but today I enjoyed another TANGIBLE sign of progress.

I like my clothes loose. This has always been my choice, even when I wasn’t trying to cover my lard. For the past several years, my sizes of jeans have increased as my “pear-shape” increased. I would have to unbutton or unzip my jeans in the evenings to be comfortable watching TV or a movie. My husband did, too.  I also wear pretty large, loose tops. This has always been comfortable to me, and the same clothes I’ve had in my closet are the ones I’m wearing now, so no changes there. In fact, some of the ones I have  are STILL too tight.

Today I put on a clean pair of jeans and noticed that they were definitely baggy. I rooted through my stack of  jeans and finally found a size smaller. I grit my teeth, thinking this was an exercise in futility, but not only could I pull them up, I could fasten them – EASILY!  I’m sitting here typing and am completely comfortable. No wanting to give myself ‘breathing room’ by unfastening them!

So, today I’ll gather up the size I had been wearing (please don’t ask WHAT size) and will take them into the guest room closet. I’m not confident enough yet to actually put them in the donation bag for the Disabled Vets yet, but if I continue to get positive signs, they’ll go there soon!

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Long-Term Goals

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I’m about to hit another milestone in trying to get the lard off – almost 20 pounds gone. I’ve lost almost 19 inches overall.

A good friend asked me what the next goal was – and I immediately responded, “40 pounds off.”

But that’s not really what my long-term goals are.

One quote I love says, “Old age is always 15 years older than you are.”  

I don’t want to live forever, but I would really like to feel good enough to do most anything I would like to do until I croak. Since they haven’t come up with pills that do it for you, it’s up to ME to try to

  • get my excess lard off
  • exercise to strengthen my muscles and bones
  • do whatever else I can to become/stay as healthy as I can

I don’t really know how much weight I want to lose. I would like to be in the normal range according to BMI charts. If I keep on keepin’ on, eventually I’ll get there. I’ll see how I feel when I get there and then make more decisions. I have high blood pressure that is now finally reading normal WITH medication. I would love it if I can one day stop these. I would like my blood test numbers to be all in the ‘normal’ range one day. (I never really appreciated what a delicious word “normal” is before. We’ll see the fruits of my efforts so far at our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor Monday.)

 

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After better health, it would be really nice not to have to avoid clothing stores that don’t carry clothes large enough for me, having to head for the ‘fat lady section’ in the limited stores that do. It’s not really a vanity thing. It’s emotional. I would like to be able to choose something I like off the rack and know it should FIT, but only to be concerned if I like the way I look in it. When I have to avoid stores altogether, or have to only be concerned about it being ‘large enough,’ it chips away at my feelings of self worth. I will enjoy feeling much better about myself.

SO –

  1. Good health
  2. Feeling normal about finding clothes without taking a hit emotionally.

Anything else is gravy.

First short-term goal is getting the 20 off officially so that I can get another ‘bear’ from Nutrisystem – hopefully in our next order!

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Feeling Encouraged

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I had a bit of trouble reading Tia’s writing, but she’s saying what I’m feeling – “I feel comfortable & empowered & strong. It’s encouraged me to work out – a pretty incredible feat. And it’s helping me lose weight & feel better.” – Tia.

It’s a day early for my progress report, but I’m feeling like I’m finally making a difference with the help of Nutrisystem and exercise. My husband and I went for blood tests this morning and our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor is next Monday. I’m hoping that those tests will also show we’re serious about trying to get healthier.

I’m down almost 19 pounds this morning. And down almost 18 inches. 

I don’t think I’ll ever be a ‘workout person,’ but I AM trying to do the abdominal exercises for pear-shaped people (0-6 Pack Abs DVD) every other day, yoga stretching every day, and either the elliptical trainer or the ‘annoying Leslie’ walking DVD the days I’m not doing the ab exercises. When I get comfortable with these, I’ll see what else I want to add to the mix.

taolife.com

 

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A Little Here, A Little There…

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Progress Report to Date: – I’ve lost 18 pounds and 17.3 inches.

I still seem to be off my weight loss plateau, so I’m happy about that.

I mailed Nutrisystem Customer Service yesterday, asking what can be done about them discontinuing my husband’s favorite lunch (and dinner) item – BBQ Pulled Pork. I also mailed a letter to management in Pennsylvania, hoping that if customer service can’t or won’t do anything, maybe someone at management cares and can. Things are calm for the moment, but we may need to make drastic changes after the next order. We’ll see.

I did the 12 Phase 1 exercises on the 0-6 Pack Abs DVD this morning. Today I must have been doing better about breathing and position because I definitely felt my stomach muscles trembling! It seems to me that that means I’m getting the attention of some of my core muscles. I did several reps of each of the 12 exercises slowly and carefully, watching them and listening and then trying to replicate. I plan to do this same level daily for the next couple of weeks before trying the Phase 1 Workout session. I want to concentrate on doing each position as correctly as possible.

I also did my yoga stretches for another half hour of exercise, so I’m happy with my efforts. Tomorrow I’ll do both of these and try to add something else.

It looks like it MIGHT actually rain this afternoon! Because it’s now overcast, I’m going to head out and see how much progress I can make on weeding the flower planters.

My mantra is ‘KEEP MOVING!’

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Abdominal Exercises

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I tried the new abdominal exercises DVD called, “0-6 Pack Abs” yesterday. It’s good for everyone, but especially for pear-shaped old broads like me who really need to build the LATERAL core muscles. There are 12 positions that are put together to make up 4 exercise routines in Phase I. Once I master these, I can move to the next group, hopefully getting stronger as I go. They emphasize that once I get to the 4th group, I should continue the the 4th workout at least once a week in order to keep my core strong.  I have the DVD so that I can listen to and see what I’m supposed to be doing, plus a book with pictures for reference.

What I wish is that I could afford to go to California where the doctor who created the DVD is, so I could make sure I’m doing the positions correctly. Not being able to do that, I’m going to go slowly, reviewing the 12 positions, listening and watching carefully, trying to do what they’re telling me. The way I’m breathing and holding holding stomach muscles while I move is key.

I’m hopeful that I can make this work for me. I’ve done sit ups and crunches in the past. The result is that I achieve only a backache and aching neck and still have a belly. These exercises in combination with my yoga stretching, in combination with other stuff during the week should help me get stronger.

Other things I’m planning to add in some combination to the every day abdominal exercises and yoga are

  • my elliptical trainer or
  • “Annoying Leslie” walking DVD or
  • and another DVD, called, “5 Minutes to Look Younger – Anti-Aging Follow-Along Workout” that promises to make me look and move like Julia Roberts (just kidding).  and
  • I have a pedometer in my pocket that encourages me to walk more
  • I’m using an over-the-door shoulder pulley system that is supposed to help with my neck and back pain
  • I’m doing an exercise with a 3-lb weight for the same

Otherwise, I’m doing short sessions of yard work in the yard or in my garden, trying to go through my house to get rid of more things (that necessitates a lot of bending, hauling, cleaning, reorganizing), and just downright cleaning (mopping, vacuuming, etc.

Along with my Nutrisystem plan to make sure I’m eating healthy, I’m hopeful that in time I can shed the pain and embrace doing more, relishing it, rather than ever taking it for granted again.

taolife.com

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Get the Lard Moving Day

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My 0-6Pack Abs video came yesterday afternoon – FINALLY – so today is the day I’ll get started with it.

These are several levels of exercises to strengthen your core muscles. They are designed by a doctor of physical therapy especially for people who are trying to flatten their bellies, get rid of back pain, and more. Especially for old, overweight, sedentary, pear-shaped women like me! It seems like I’ve been waiting forever for the DVD and book to arrive, so I’m excited about getting started.

Since we don’t have anywhere we HAVE to go or things we HAVE to do today, I’m devoting the day to sessions working in the yard, followed by some rest and water, then exercise of one type or another, then rest and water – and REPEAT.

I came in a while ago from half an hour or so in the yard. I finally got our rose bushes pruned and some really healthy weeds pulled out of our flower beds. I’m almost back to regular temperature now, and am drinking a bottle of water.

I’ll do my yoga stretches for about half an hour, and then I’ll drink more water while I watch the first part of the 0-6 Pack Abs DVD and read about Phase 1 workouts and exercises.

I’ll do another session in the yard, and then come back and actually try to DO the Phase 1 exercises with the DVD.

I’ll keep going, hoping to have a good, healthy day – keeping the lard moving.

 

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Playing in My Art Room

My good friend Marsha suggested that, instead of trying to give myself PERMISSION to play in my art room, I SCHEDULE it at least twice a week as a part of a program to be better to myself. I’ve taken that suggestion and have found my spirits lifting and getting excited about trying to learn something new.

I have a book called Keys to Painting Fur & Feathers, edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf. It gives you hints about how to capture the essence of animals and birds, zeroing in on their most distinctive features in order to try to draw better pictures of them. It also addresses trying to paint realistic fur and feathers.

 

I decided to take a couple of my previous drawings and reproduce them, trying to concentrate on the feathers techniques.  Then I found others I’d like to try, as well. I’m trying to get a bunch of these drawings into a sketch book and then play with them, using all kinds of different media and see what I get.

I have to tell you the time flies as I ‘work’ in my art room. I turn on an mp3 player, listen to some of my favorite music in the comfort of my CLEAN, air-conditioned and ceiling-fanned room, a cup of coffee or a bottle of water beside me at the table.

I’m excited about learning a completely new skill, and I’m very thankful to have this book for examples, suggestions, and inspiration.

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Getting the Lard Off – A Bit Afraid to Hope

The Little Engine That Could said something like, “I THINK I can, I THINK I can,” enabling him to get to the top of the mountain. I’m feeling cautiously confident that MAYBE I’ve broken through the plateau from Hell I’ve been on for a couple of months now.

The chat counselor was helpful, looking at my NuMi log. She said, (I’m paraphrasing and putting a bit of my own spin on what she actually said) –

  • It didn’t look like I was eating enough (I had skipped the Powerfuel serving at breakfasts, for example)
  • My snacks didn’t have enough calories many times, giving my body the message that it “needed to store fat for the winter”
  • It might be a good idea to switch lunches and dinners – giving me ‘heavier meals with slightly more calories earlier in the day

I did these, and they helped a bit, but didn’t actually impress the scales or the tape measure much.

The message I’ve gotten is that I need to shake things up some, since doing the same thing each day expecting different results is stupid.

I’m changing WHAT I’m eating for snacks, thinking that the variety will cause my body to take notice, rather than acting like a slug. I’m doing my yoga each day, but I’m also changing some of what I’m doing for exercise, thinking that will also get my body’s attention for the better.

I started these changes 3 days ago and I’ve lost weight the past two days. It’s early to think I’ve found the answer, but at least it seems to be PART of the answer for me. I’ve been old and sedentary for a long time. I’m still old (and hopefully getting older!) but I CAN do something about shaking things up and moving more effectively.

“I THINK I Can….”

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Encouraged

I lost a pound yesterday. I don’t know what happened, exactly, but I’m smiling today, happy that I seem to have broken through the weight loss plateau on which I teetered.

I’ve lost 17 pounds and 17.3 inches – definitely a good start.

My husband is doing well, too. He’s on the diabetic plan for men.  I don’t really see any difference in our plans, since Nutrisystem cuts out salt, fat, and sugar, still making things that taste good. Our choices each month seem to be much the same – all healthy.

My husband is to the point that he’s taking his blood pressure medicine every other day. We take our blood pressure daily, so we’re monitoring that – plus his blood sugar numbers – carefully. Since we’ve been trying to cut his sugar (before, but also continuing now with NS) he’s gone from having double vision for a scary time, shooting pains in his feet, having to have TUMS with him at all times, headaches, and high blood pressure and cholesterol, to good vision, no pain in his feet anymore, no TUMS in about 8 months now, lower blood sugar numbers and much lower blood pressure.  We’re hoping his A1C test will be normal, or very close to it this time.

We have our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor in August, so we’re hoping that our tests will show good improvement in all areas. I’m hoping that our doc will confirm that we’re on the road to better health now. A pat on the head would be nice! :0)

 

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Holding My Own, But Not Blazing Trails This Week

This picture makes me laugh. I love the creativity of the person who thinks like this AND the expertise of the person who did the photoshopping to create it.

I had a stagnant week, ‘getting-the-lard-off-wise.’

Progress to date is 16 pounds off and 17.3 inches off.

I’m frustrated that I can’t report any improvement this week, but I’m pleased that I ate three of the four FLEX meals we’re supposed to eat and didn’t gain anything. I enjoyed a FLEX SNACK of a scoop of chocolate ice cream from Braum’s after bowling with friends; a FLEX LUNCH of the salad bar with “Breakfast Bunch”; and a FLEX DINNER of chicken fried rice from our favorite Chinese place. (I got a ‘small’ portion, but I ate the WHOLE thing.)

I can report that I AM doing yoga every day, but the bulk of my ‘exercise’ has been sessions of working in the yard. With our heat index above 100 (our actual temperature will be 102 today!) just walking around in the heat is work for me, much less the weed whacking and spraying of stuff toting 2 gallons of liquid – several half hour sessions per day.

I have become a camel, glugging down water to a fabulous degree, over and above the 64 oz I’m SUPPOSED to be drinking.

So – I didn’t lose, but I didn’t gain – holding my own. I’ll ‘keep my head down’ and ‘keep on keepin’ on,’ and will hopefully be able to report some progress NEXT week.

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Feeling Encouraged

I went for my monthly massage with Lynn Moody this morning. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to it. I was stiff and sore in my lower back and Lynn made it feel much better, as usual.  I’m so lucky to have found her.

I’m feeling encouraged because Lynn said she could tell I’ve lost weight! I’ve lost 15-1/2 pounds so far, and two people have noticed: Lynn today and our wonderful hair stylist, Michael, yesterday. They might just be being nice, since they know my husband and I are trying to get the lard off, but they didn’t have to say ANYTHING.

Officially, I’ve lost 15.5 lbs and 17.3 inches.

I wish I could tell you that I feel so much more energetic, but I don’t. Maybe in another 15 lbs or so. I’m still old. I still have to push myself to get onto my elliptical trainer, do my yoga stretches, over-the-door shoulder pulley exercises, and weight exercise for my shoulders. I’ve added one new exercise called, “The Oyster” which is supposed to be a really good, effective exercise for people who are essentially pear-shaped, like me. It is supposed to strengthen whatever the muscles are that go horizontally around your core, rather than the ones that run vertically, as most abdominal exercises do.

The Oyster

You’re on your back. You pull up your legs so they’re bent. You come up with arms straight in front of you. You push your lower back into the floor as you do this. You come up so your hands are even with your legs and hold it for a count of 5. You do as many repetitions as you can.

I’m still waiting for the 0-6 Pack Abs DVD I bought. I’m standing on one foot and the other to get started with these because the exercises are especially for people like me, who need to strengthen the horizontal core muscles in the right way for my body type so that I don’t injure myself or make things worse, making my belly stick out MORE. These exercises are also supposed to lessen the pain in my back as I strengthen the core muscles, which makes sense.

I know, it’s hard to listen to me being impatient when I hate to exercise, but I’ll stay with it if I feel it’s beginning to help me.

I’m hoping that each time I get my hair cut or go for another massage, there will be noticeably less and less of me!

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I’m Flexing

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The Nutrisystem program encourages you to learn how to cook and eat in a reasonable fashion (unlike what we’ve been doing) by having us eat or cook one breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack on our own each week, preferably each on a different day during the week. They call these “FLEX” meals.

I really like this idea. We were on Nutrisystem before years ago before they added the flex meal idea (or frozen food choices) to their plan. We lost weight and then gradually put it back on because I went back to poor cooking habits from the past. This time they’re encouraging us to plan our flex meals for the week and work this idea into our new lifestyle.

So far, I’m having two problems:

  1. I’ve prepared a couple of flex dinners from their Leaf Recipes section. We each ate a serving of it and I froze the rest in individual portions so we can pull them out, nuke ’em, and eat.  This is complicated by the fact that I’m eating “dinner” for ‘lunch’ at the counselor’s suggestion, trying to work my way out of a plateau on my weight loss. “I” pull out a flex dinner for lunch one day a week, but my husband either doesn’t think about it or the idea doesn’t appeal to him for HIS dinner.  We can only eat ONE of these flex dinners per week, so the ‘reruns’ are lasting weeks and weeks!
  2. When I cook completely on my own,  or we get something out, we gain weight back. Example, Sunday evening I cooked two 4 oz steaks. With them we had little bitty potatoes with a little bit of butter and no salt, plus cut up fresh tomatoes. I thought it was a good dinner and my husband thought it was ‘wonderful,’ but we were both up on the scales Monday morning. Last night we went bowling with friends and had a scoop of real ice cream afterwards as our “flex snack” for the week. We were both up AGAIN this morning. Friday we’re due to eat our flex breakfast (or lunch) at a restaurant with the “Breakfast Bunch.” This gain isn’t only for one day, either. It seems to take the whole week to get back to where we were.

My first reaction is to quit eating the flex meals because they’re messing us up. But then the more grown up part of me realizes that this is the whole point of the program. We’re supposed to be learning what a ‘portion’ is, how to choose foods more wisely when we’re out, and incorporating the ‘new’ healthier eating style into our lives as a regular thing.

I’ll probably get online and talk to a counselor about this, since I’m determined to learn the lesson and make it a larger and larger part of the way we live. Right now I’m frustrated, but hopefully a nice person at NS can guide me on a better path.

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Nutrisystem Orders

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Our orders to Nutrisystem finalize at 6 pm this evening.

I love the fact that we can go online to our account and see what our choices are for the coming order and change them at any time. They also send me emails reminding me of the cutoff date so I have all chances possible to make my decisions.

My husband and I are still trying lots of new items, although our choices for the NEXT order are narrowing to the things we like the most.

On evening snacks, I like the ice cream bars the best, looking forward to mine all day long. :0)  I love both the fudge bar and the orange cream bar. My husband’s choices for snacks are much more varied than mine. He’s into their cookies, particularly the white chocolate chunk ones, but is ordering about 4 or 5 different ones he really likes.

I’ve changed from lots of egg type breakfasts to cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, and cold cereals. My husband likes their Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal the best.

Lunches and dinners vary, although this time we’re opting for more NON-frozen entrees than frozen.

I’m trying to zero in on our flex meals more and more.

  • “Flex Breakfast” is our brunch meal with Breakfast Bunch each Friday.
  • “Flex Snack” is ice cream after bowling on Mondays with our good friends.
  • “Flex Lunches” and “Flex Dinners” are more fluid. Tonight, for example, for “Flex Dinner” I’m grilling us little bitty steaks and we’re having little bitty baked potatoes.  “Flex Lunch” kind of got lost in the shuffle this week. It’s harder because we have very limited choices for eating out in Greenwood that go with our new diet, and we don’t want to completely blow it. We usually concentrate on lots of veggies and a small amount of dip with our NS Lunch anyway. I’ll work on it.

 

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Getting the Lard Off Report – 07-05-2018

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This is the end of Week 10 on Nutrisystem. I’ve lost 15 pounds and 15.8 inches. 

I’m a bit frustrated at my fumbling around on measuring myself. I’m following their suggestions, measuring in the bathroom where I can look in the mirror and make sure the measuring tape is level, etc., but I’m still coming up with different numbers from time to time. I guess the ‘flexibility’ in measuring can be factored in, assuming I screw up the same amount each week. As long as the general trend is downward, I’m happy.

Of course my husband, who just eats the food I bring him, not worrying about drinking water, exercising or anything else, has lost more weight than I have. I’m delighted for him, though, because he is a Type II diabetic. His blood sugar number this morning was 101. (normal is 100 or under.) His lowest reading to date was 96. I’m hoping that the A1C he has at the end of the month shows really good improvement. He told me last night that ‘it’s amazing that I’m losing weight and I’m never hungry.’ He is also really pleased that he gets to enjoy an orange or an apple each day – something he thought he would never be able to do again. His reaction so far is, “I don’t see why we can’t stay on Nutrisystem essentially forever.”

It’s a really good thing he feels this way because I have a lot of lard to lose and, though I’ve made progress, the weight is coming off slowly. I’m more pleased with the change in measurements, though there’s a long way to go there, as well. It’s so much easier when we’re both eating essentially the same thing. I’m not having to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I dash in, get a snack or we each grab a meal. I cut up raw veggies for lunch and a salad for dinner. Not a lot of time to think about food – always a good thing.

I will have ‘re-runs’ (a term I love that my friend Marsha uses) at lunch, and my husband will have one tonight for part of his dinner. The flex meals are still a work in progress, but we’re getting a bit more comfortable with it now.

I’ll feel a bit better when I’ve made enough progress that people begin to notice there isn’t as much of me as there used to be. :0)

 

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Addition to my Exercise Plan

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I found an interesting guy online recently who seems to specialize in helping ‘the less fit in our population’ (read old, obese, sedentary, non-exercisers) get healthier and feel better.  He says we can do his program with no equipment and at no charge.  (skepticism here, but we’ll see.)

As you know, I’ve been using the elliptical trainer two or three times a week, and have been doing yoga stretches more often, but not daily. I’ve also been doing a weight exercise and an over-the-door-shoulder pulley exercise to try to address pain in the muscles that go from my neck to my shoulders, across the upper part of my back. The list of my problems might be impressive if I listed them, but I perked up when this enthusiastic man said he might be able to help me if I get the right mindset and cooperate with him, doing the work conscientiously.

He started sending me a lot of emails, plus his associates sent some – kind of putting me off. But I decided that I would look at one of them a day, no matter how many he sent, and give this an honest effort.

I looked at the first email yesterday. The focus of this one was to get down on paper WHY I wanted to do this. Not stuff like, lose weight, get fitter, etc – but WHY. What was the reason BEHIND all the obvious stuff? I finally got down to the fact that I want to be able to walk with our son when he visits from Thailand, not pooping out because my hips are screaming. I want to be able to keep up with him to enjoy every minute of our time together. (Our son is very generous, having provided a secure chat program where we can type at each other in real time, send messages, pictures, etc., PLUS a program like Skype, but tons better, that allows us to SEE each other and talk.) None of these, however, can make up for the fact that my ‘hugs bucket’ is empty, so I’m really happy when he says he’s trying to plan a trip home to visit a bit.

I want to be able to go to the local park with him, walk the new walking trail around the city, go with him to the mall, wherever he wants to go, whatever he would like to do. He walks a lot in Thailand, to and from town to get supplies (1.6K each direction). He doesn’t even notice he’s walking. I would only last about 100 feet and then my hips would be screaming and I have to sit down and ‘realign’ or something. They stop hurting soon after I sit down, and then I can continue for another session before having to stop again. I want to be able to walk without pain.

The online fitness guy says he can help me, showing people older than I (can you imagine?) and lardier than I (imagine that!) doing exercises that are helping them feel better and look better over time.

I’ll read his second email and listen to his next video today. I want to add this program to what I’m doing now. Maybe this will work!

(If I continue with this, I’ll give you his name and URL. I want to check this out before I give any more details.)

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 6-27-2018

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The BAD news is that I’m still old and still don’t look a THING like Julia Roberts.

The GOOD news is that with the help of the Nutrisystem counselor, I seem to have broken through the plateau from Hell I was on and am losing weight again!

 

To date, I’ve lost 16.3 inches.

Poundage off is now 14.4.

Other GOOD things –

  • I’m getting used to drinking 64 oz of water daily, no longer feeling that my eyes are floating. (My husband – who is not even trying to drink any certain amount – is getting used to having to pause the movie several times, though, as the drinking catches up with me in the evenings.)
  • I’m getting more confident about being able to adapt our life style to the Nutrisystem program, particularly as it relates to the flex meals and our social life. We like to bowl with friends on Monday evenings, for example. We use the trip to Braum’s afterwards as our FLEX SNACK for the week. We eat with friends every Friday for what we call “Lunch Bunch.” We were counting that as FLEX LUNCH, but are finding it easier to work it into the program by having it as our FLEX BREAKFAST for the week. I’m starting to prepare some of the “Leaf” Nutrisystem FLEX DINNER recipes, having fixed two so far. One of the recipes was an “OKAY,” but the latest one, the “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” was a winner. Today, since I made it to 1100 subscribers – actually 1101 now) to my blog – HOOORAAAAAAAY!” – we’re going to Red Lobster for Lobster Tail as our FLEX LUNCH for the week in celebration!
  • I’m starting to look forward to some of my exercising. I’ll never become like Jillian Michaels, who seems to live for exercise, or like annoying Leslie Sansone, who keeps talking about how much FUN her walking program is and how GOOD it feels, but I AM enjoying the half hour I spend daily doing my yoga stretches and then using my cervical pillow to completely relax for several minutes. I’m trying to do my elliptical trainer for 30 minutes every other day. I’m using all the vacuuming and mopping of floors as my exercise a couple of days a week or more, since I seem to have to devote my life to it to even THINK of trying to keep up with all the dog and cat hair right now.
  • I’m starting to believe that if I keep on keepin’ on, I’ll eventually lose the lard, be healthier, and feel better as there is less of me.

My next goal is to earn my 20 lb Nutrisystem bear!  One day at a time….

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“1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables”

“1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” Flex Dinner

Yesterday I made this recipe. I didn’t finish it in time for lunch, as I meant to. (I’ve been on a plateau and the Nutrisystem counselor suggested that I swap dinners and lunch for one week and get back to her, among other things.)

I ate one serving of this for my lunch, along with some raw veggies and a little bit of salad dressing. I was very pleased. The dish could have cooked longer, getting the brown rice a bit more done, but I used a large skillet and had it on a large burner on the stove. Next time I’ll use a smaller skillet and put it on a smaller burner so that it doesn’t tend to cook all the liquid out before it’s done.

The taste was very pleasant. Many times recipes use more herbs and spices than we like, so I was a bit leery, but this tasted good. My husband will try it tonight – already warned that the rice was a bit ‘chewy’ and the changes I’ll make next time. He’s very forgiving, pleased with me for trying new recipes. I know – he’s definitely a keeper!

I have found when posting recipes in my blog that a lot of the people responsible for the good food would rather I post a URL to their blog and NOT post the entire recipe. With this in mind, the source for this nice recipe is

Nutrisystem, The Leaf, Flex Meals & Snacks, Lunches and Dinners

Easy Weeknight Meal: 1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables

On Nutrisystem, Count As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 2 Extras

Makes 4 servings

282 calories per serving

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Celebrating My Husband’s Health

I told you recently that my husband and I just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary. We ‘renewed our option’ as we usually do at this time, but I told him that I wanted him to live healthy and happy so we could one day celebrate our 70th.

He has Type II Diabetes. We’ve been trying to get his blood sugar down for awhile now with varying degrees of success. He’s been doing better since we started Nutrisystem toward the end of April. We started monitoring his blood sugar twice a week after starting a new medication a couple of years ago. His blood sugar was in the 500’s when we discovered he had diabetes. When we started monitoring with the new meds, it was still at around 350+. (normal is below 100).

This morning it was 96!!!!!!!!!!!

He also complained of some dizziness about two weeks ago. We’ve been monitoring our blood pressure, so we noticed that his was low. We decided to have him stop the blood pressure medicine, taking his blood pressure daily and watching for any more dizziness. His blood pressure is now normal without medication and has been for a week or so now!!!!!!! No more dizziness, either!

I am SO happy for him. He is a HUGE sugar lover. (He even calls ME ‘Sugar.’)  He was kind of in a funk having to give up so many foods and drinks he loved. We were able to find some substitutes so he has a hot drink he likes and a cold drink he likes. (He will only drink water to take pills, and occasionally when he’s been out working in the yard.) The Nutrisystem choices so far have been at least “edible” and some are ‘really good,’ he says.

He only has about 12 more pounds to lose to get to a healthy weight, but the blood pressure and blood sugar differences are life-altering-for-the-better. He used to have pain in his feet, but that is all but gone now. He still has a bit of trouble wearing certain styles of shoes. (We found good sandals for the summer and good boots for the winter. He’s still having trouble finding tennis shoes that are comfortable for his toes, but he’s functional.) He had double vision for awhile, but that’s gone, thank goodness. Restless leg is still bothersome, but not often anymore.

Food and drink changes are never easy. He knows more than anybody (he thinks) and so pooh-poohs what experts say. He is having to admit that he is much better now, feeling better, sleeping better. We are both delighted to see the blood sugar and blood pressure numbers.

I hope our new primary doc will see that we’re serious about trying to take care of ourselves when we see her the first week in August. :0)

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New Recipe (Flex Dinner)

The rain has stopped, so we’re about to go grocery shopping. I’m getting the ingredients for a new Leaf Nutrisystem Flex Meal Dinner called, “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables.”

I’ll make this when we get home. We eat ‘lunch’ at 2:30, so I’ll have plenty of time. “Why in the world would you fix a dinner in time for lunch?” you ask, having read the title of this post.

I’m trying to break through a plateau in my Nutrisystem adventure.  One of the suggestions the Nutrisystem Chat counselor made was that I should try swapping ‘dinners’ and ‘lunches’ for one week and then get back to her. I’ve been doing this, plus the other things she suggested, such as being sure my ‘Powerfuel’ and ‘Smartcarb’ snacks were 80 calories, cutting down on the salad dressing (extras), and eating everything I was supposed to eat for the day, rather than skipping anything.

The result is that it seems to be working!  I’ve lost 1.4 pounds this week, so I’m encouraged.

So, I’ll prepare our ‘flex dinner’ for the week and I will eat it for lunch, while my husband will have a serving for dinner, and I’ll freeze the remaining two servings.

Wish me luck?

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Whine and Cheese

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Today marks the end of Week 8 on Nutrisystem.  I did pretty well for an old, fat broad the first month, but I’ve stalled in the second, as far as any real difference in weight or measurements.  To date, I’ve lost 12.5 pounds and 16 inches.  I’m pleased to have any results at all, but I’m frustrated that my progress seems to have stalled. I’m fighting with the same 3 lbs.

One great thing about Nutrisystem is its online CHAT. Today I talked to Allison J.  I explained my sad problem to her. She wanted to know what I ate yesterday, meal by meal. When she analyzed it, she said

  • she noticed I was skipping my Power Fuel (PF) at breakfast. I admitted that I was skipping it, sometimes making up for it later in the day.  I didn’t realize that WHEN you eat stuff – and in what combination – is very important for your results. (Today for breakfast I ate a Nutrisystem (NS) Blueberry Muffin, and then 2 tablespoons of Cashews).
  • we decided that I was probably eating too much salad dressing during the day, since I eat it with my lunch veggies and also with my salad at dinner. I’ll cut WAY back on the ‘dip’ with the veggies at lunch and try to watch it better at dinner.
  • she suggested that I swap ‘lunch’ and dinner’ entrees for a week and then get back with her next Thursday. I’m guessing that the dinners are higher calorie and that it might be best if I ate those during the day, rather than in the evening when I’m less active.
  • she asked if each of my snacks (PFs and SmartCarbs (SCs) were at least 80 calories. I looked at my log on NuMi and found that my PFs were okay, but my SC was only 65 calories. She suggested that I eat 1-1/2 oranges, instead of just one, to bring the calories up. (Weird, isn’t it? – The idea of bringing the calories up.) I’m supposed to be eating 1200 calories each day, but I routinely came up with up to 200 short.

Thanks to Allison J., I now have several changes to try to see if this breaks through my plateau from Hell.  Hopefully, by the time I report next week, the changes in eating will have wrought some changes in ME!

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Pat on the Head

First 10 Pounds Off

My husband and I were on Nutrisystem once before, years ago. We were successful in getting a lot of our lard off, but we stopped because Nutrisystem kept discontinuing the foods my husband liked until he got fed up and wouldn’t continue. Since then, they have revamped their programs, so we’re trying again, fingers crossed that they continue providing the foods my husband likes.

One of the things they haven’t changed is a nice reward for progress. When our non-frozen items were delivered today, a cute little bear was in my box. It’s a fun, happy way to show you’re trying and you’re starting to get some results. I had saved the bears I got from the last time, so I gave one of them to my husband. He is underwhelmed, but I wanted to pat HIM on the head for his efforts, too. So here are our matching ‘First 10 Pounds Off’ Bears.

Tangible things are important when you’re changing lifestyles. For us, the biggest change is in learning what constitutes a ‘serving.’  I, of course, glanced at labels on the items I buy at the store, and I’ve noticed that many of the labels tell you the nutrition count for 1 serving, but the bottle or package actually contains at least two, if not more servings. I think almost NO ONE actually eats or drinks 1 serving of most things. This was a huge eye-opener for us. The fact that a serving of rice is 1/2 cup, for example, and one of our favorite meals was chicken chunks and soup over a large bowl of rice, meant that we were each eating enough to feed an army.

Making these changes is difficult. It’s much easier to continue on, mentally excusing your behavior, rather than stopping and really looking at what you need to be doing in order to get healthier, feel better, and hopefully increase your quality of life for as long as you’re here.

The scales are tangible, but ‘she giveth and taketh away’, making you happy one day and disappointed the next. My husband and I refuse to stop weighing every day, though, as it is one reality check that we need to keep on keepin’ on with our efforts.

The measuring tape is tangible, but as I’ve whined before, even with going into the bathroom and looking in the mirror while I measure, I’m not always accurate. I’m telling myself that even if my numbers aren’t completely accurate, it’s the DIFFERENCE I’m looking for. Any numbers showing less are welcome.

Looser clothes are tangible. Women’s sizes have always been a joke, though. You can be a lot of different sizes depending on the store where you’re shopping. Again, I’m looking at the actual clothes I have. I’m able to buy some smaller jeans and shorts now, shopping in the same stores, and usually going from the same brand. That’s tangible progress.

The cute poundage bears are a cute, tangible reminder that we’re on our way to being healthier. The more bears we collect, the better we should feel. At least, that’s the plan…

 

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Folding Myself into A Paper Airplane – Take 16

Fabulous Traveling

 

I’ve been getting on my yoga mat every day – concentrating on slow stretches to loosen up my old, stiff, sore body. I spend a good half hour using the positions taught by Cat Kabira on my 2 “Gentle Yoga” DVDs I bought from SixtyandMe.com.  I’m doing my own thing, listening to my body creak and moan and then finally ‘give’ into each position as I breathe into it, feeling much looser after my practice.

My massage therapist, Lynn Moody, has been working with me to solve a mysterious problem of pain running from my neck to my shoulders, first on one side mainly, and then moving to the other, and sometimes all the way across.  She suggested

  • ice for 15 minutes followed by heat for 15 minutes when I’m having lots of discomfort
  • an exercise with a 3 lb weight that stretches out the muscles between my neck and shoulders
  • an over-the-door shoulder pulley exercise thingie

The latest suggestion came at my last massage when she quietly lifted my neck and snugged a pillow in. Instantly, I was in Heaven. My pain was gone! She said to just relax into it while she continued her magic on my other parts. When we finished, I asked her “What WAS that, and where can I get one?”

It’s called a Cervical Traction Chiropractic Wedge Pillow – Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief 

I’ve used it during my yoga stretching for 2 days now. This is bringing me real relief. It won’t help with being old. It won’t make me look like Julia Roberts. I’m already addicted to it, though, looking forward to being able to lie down on my mat and totally let go, relaxing into the pillow and letting it do its work. I don’t know yet if it will take away my pain completely or not, but right now I’m happy to settle for it easing my pain for much of the day.

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Wonderful Way to Celebrate my Anniversary!

I told you earlier that today is our 49th wedding anniversary. I’m having quite a luxurious day of celebration!

This morning I went for my monthly massage to my miracle worker, Lynn Moody. Sometimes she just makes me stop hurting. Sometimes she finds a sore spot and I tease her that I get relief when she stops. She is truly gifted as a massage therapist and my life is much better for it.

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I’ve been having pain in the muscles that run from my neck to my shoulders. Last month the right side was worse. Lynn suggested that I use ice and then heat on the muscles, 15 minutes each, plus do an exercise with a weight to stretch out those muscles, and also get an over-the-door pulley system to strengthen my muscles.

I’ve been doing all of these things, and they’ve helped, but this month the left side was worse.

Today Lynn put a wedge under my neck and I was in instant Heaven. My pain was gone! (That didn’t mean she didn’t pummel and force oxygen into all my sore spots, but this was SO GOOD I asked her what it was and where I could get one.

It’s called a Lumia Wellness Cervical Traction Chiropractic Wedge Pillow – Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief

She showed it to me on Amazon, and it was a better price there than other places. I ordered it as soon as I got home. I can’t wait to get it and add it to my Yoga Stretches and Relaxation Routine I’m trying to do every day.

My other luxurious activity for the day is a hair cut by another miracle worker, Michael Remillard. We were lucky to find him, and he makes both my husband and I look like someone cared and has a plan, rather than like we have normally looked.  He listens to what we think we want. If he thinks it’s a good idea, he makes it happen as much as humanly possible. If he doesn’t think it’s a good idea, he tactfully tells us why and suggests something we like as a substitute. We trust him implicitly.

How lucky I am to have two such wonderful people in my life!

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