Tag Archives: exercise

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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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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Stumbling Block

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

For the last several weeks I’ve been fighting to lose more weight. I’ve hit a definite stumbling block, playing yo-yo and saying harsh words to my scales.

Since I started seriously trying to lose the lard, I’ve lost 43 pounds and 44.2 inches. I know that everyone hits bumps that cause consternation, but this seemed to be something more.

A blood test recently showed different results than I was expecting – borderline diabetes (!) and my thyroid hormone levels were askew. I also showed higher blood pressure at my appointment, even though I’ve taken medicine that controlled this for years. Surprises, to be sure!

(My thyroid was radiated years ago due to Grave’s Disease, so my thyroid hormone level medicine and dosage is serious business. Once I was diagnosed, it took a full year to find the correct dosage.) My doctor lowered the level on my thyroid medicine and told me to watch what I was eating, monitor blood pressure and blood sugar a couple of times a week for six weeks and get another blood test.

I did this, having the blood test last week. My blood sugar was again normal (whew!) so I don’t have to worry about that, other than watching what I eat (which I’m already doing.) My blood pressure was better without changing meds. My thyroid hormone level was STILL too high, so my doctor has lowered it again and wants me to have another blood test in 6 weeks.

I did a bit of research and found out that weight is the largest determining factor on finding the correct dosage of Levothyroxine – the thyroid hormone. Since I’ve lost some weight, apparently it took my brain awhile longer to figure out it wasn’t happy with my dosage. The article also said that some results of incorrect dosage were weight gain and fatigue, among other things.

SO – not only am I fighting too-much-food-in-mouth disease, but also incorrect dosage of thyroid hormone due to my weight loss. HUH!  I’ve decided to keep on keepin’ on – hoping that my brain decides it is happy with the new dosage while I continue to try to eat right and exercise, and I’ll try to be patient until I start losing again.

 

 

 

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Decisions on Trying to Lose the Lard

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My husband and I have been on Nutrisystem since April of 2018. We have each lost about 30 pounds.

My husband would like to lose another 10 pounds, but basically he is already at a healthy weight. He is a Type II diabetic, so we’ve been trying to really watch the sugar. He has brought his A1C down from a high of over 16 to 5.4 in January. We monitor his blood sugar twice a week.

I have another 30 pounds to lose. I’m doing this very slowly. Apparently being old, short, and female is a triple whammy as far as speed in losing weight. I’m not in this, though, to lose a certain amount of weight in as short a time as possible. I’m trying to get to a healthy weight for my height (though I’ve tried to GROW TALLER so I don’t need to lose as much weight). I want to keep the weight off.

We are narrowing the foods we enjoy via Nutrisystem (NS). I think this is healthy, because part of the program is learning to cook in a healthy fashion for yourself. We are doing this more and more, learning things to avoid, good things we can ‘throw into the pot’ to increase nutrition, and most of all, portion control. Apparently each of us was ‘eating-for-6-or-8’ so it was quite a shock to learn what is considered a ‘serving.’

To this end, we’re on hiatus from the monthly deliveries of NS food. We’re eating our way through the remaining food. We’ll probably switch to the A LA CARTE membership in May, so we can order the few things we really like and be on our own for the rest. We’re eating a lot of raw veggies and salads, cooked veggies, fruit, nuts, poultry and fish.

We are also following advice from the doctor who wrote “The Longevity Code.” Eating little or no red meat, switching to chicken and fish, eating more veggies, no white stuff (rice, pasta, potatoes, wheat flour.) We’re taking some supplements we didn’t know about, as well.

I’m finding more and more healthy recipes we like on the net. The newest thing I’m trying today is “Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili” from Delish.com

We’re combining the best advice from many sources to come up with something we can stick with – and enjoy – for the rest of our lives.

Other than trying to eat in a reasonable, adult fashion, I’m trying to exercise.

Bored Panda

The big thing I’m trying to do is get my poor, old body to NOTICE that I’m doing a good variety of things:

  • elliptical trainer
  • yoga and abdominal exercises
  • walking video
  • Wii Fit Plus (for balance and reaction time)
  • dance video

I’m also carrying an ‘el cheapo’ pedometer in my pocket as a reminder to get up and move more.  I do something here at the computer, then get up and handle another part of the laundry, then something else, and then come back later to a sitting thing, either here or in my art room. Then I get up again and do the same cycle over again all through the day. The result is a much better number of steps than I used to get, though I haven’t even begun to THINK about getting to 10,000 steps and over, as my SIL does…. :0)  (yeah. I’m bragging about YOU, ML.)

Good results so far are a loss of 30 pounds and a bit more than 30 inches. I feel more energetic and my body FEELS looser, more able to get up and down. (it used to be that the biggest part of the exercise was trying to get myself up off the floor before having to call for a crane to come help.) I am more flexible with less pain in my joints. I’m more optimistic about trying new exercises. I’ll never be what I call an exercising NUT – in that I have to use all kinds of incentives to actually DO it, such as a gold star for the day on my desk calendar, but I AM happy about the improvements I’m feeling.

The biggest remaining factor – other than the 30 more pounds I would like to lose, is that for some unknown reason, my last blood test showed higher blood sugar and a too-high dosage on my thyroid med. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was killed by radiation several years ago.) I have no idea why the blood test showed these new results, but I’m trying a new dosage of meds and I’m monitoring MY blood sugar twice a week when I check my husband’s for six weeks.

I have another appt with another blood test in 6 weeks. Hopefully, that test will show a lot of improvement in my blood sugar and a brain happy with my dosage of thyroid hormone. Wish me luck!

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I’m a Slug This Week

I FINALLY did some real exercise, doing 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I at least moved at a faster rate since the machine is in the garage and it’s 41 degrees F outside today. The garage did keep the wind off, but my nose feels frozen. :0)

I MEANT to do my new-normal routine of a different type of exercise each day for 5 days a week, but life got in the way and I’ll take any excuse I can get.

My husband decided that Monday was the perfect day to demolish our 2nd failed brick planter. We spent a couple of hours on each of two days getting the plants out, the potting soil shoveled out onto a tarp, the bricks knocked down with the use of a sledge hammer, and then hauled off using the wheelbarrow. Then we wrapped up the soil as well as we could and put a 2nd tarp on top with bricks holding everything together. It was a lot of work for us, and we were pooped, having gotten a lot of non-standard use of our backs and muscles, plus cardio and aerobic. It doesn’t really take the place of ‘exercise,’ though.

I’ve been a slug this week, resting and recuperating from our labor and then putting off doing anything more until today. So I only have ONE star for the week on my calendar. UGH.

Next week I’ll try to do better. Promise.

 

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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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Good Intentions

Kelly Corsino via Susan Phariss

 

I was GOING to do yoga and abdominal exercises when I got home from getting my hair cut this afternoon.

But FIRST I got us lunch (we usually eat at 2:30 on Nutrisystem, but we didn’t actually eat until about 4:00.

THEN I caught up on email and phone calls.

I got sleepy, so I got a cup of coffee – then found myself almost bashing my brains out on the computer screen.

So I took my coffee into the living room, sat down in my chair.

THEN I was cold, so I got my throw.

Next thing I knew, it was 6:15…..

SO –

I’ll regroup and try it again tomorrow.

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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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Folding Myself Into a Paper Airplane – Take 18

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I feel pretty good right now. I just finished a session of folding myself into a paper airplane – otherwise known as “Yoga for Seniors” type moves. I’m not using the DVDs lately – just doing the moves that feel as if they’re what my poor, stiff body needs to fully stretch out and relax. I spend a bit more than half an hour, and then also do abdominal exercises.

The biggest problem I have is trying to relax at the beginning. I lie down on my back on my mat with my wedge pillow, arms and legs spread out and just try to relax and breathe. Typical of life around here, I had just started to relax a little bit and our lab puppy, Amber, lost her lunch right beside my left hand on the carpet. I yelled a bad word and leaped up as fast as I could, trying to get her outside. She tossed her cookies once more on the way out – this time on the tiles in the dining area. My husband helped me get things cleaned up. We don’t know what Amber found to eat outside, but apparently it didn’t agree with her. (She seems to be fine now, but we’re confining her to her bed in the utility room for awhile.)

I tried again, having to breathe through some pain on whatever muscles run across your back at the shoulder blade level. After a couple of minutes or so, I was more comfortable and then moved my arms up over my head. That showed another area of my back that was tight and sore, so I breathed into that. too. And so my yoga poses went.

Even my husband is remarking on my progress now. I’m able to touch my toes! It takes me a minute or two for my body to ‘give’ enough, but then I can do it! Since I started out with fingertips about a foot off the floor, I feel good about it. I’m also very close to being able to touch my forehead to my feet when I’m sitting with the bottoms of my feet touching each other. I’m making progress in loosening up this old body in several of the poses.

My husband is teed off that I’m able to do more sit-ups than he can. I’m up to 30 now, from none at the beginning. I’ve been trying to do this for about 6 months, I guess, so I’m glad I’m getting stronger. My husband has done it intermittently over the past two months, and has gone from none to 10. I’m pointing out that he’s made a lot of progress and that, if he keeps practicing, he’ll get stronger. I’m also doing leg lifts and whatever the exercise is where you do a sit up pointing your elbow to the opposite knee.  AND I don’t need a crane to get back up off the floor!

We aren’t really impressing anyone with what we can do, but – when we take the time to remember where we started – we pat ourselves on the head a bit and resolve to keep on keepin’ on. (I also put a gold star on my calendar.) :0)

Combine this with bowling tonight with friends, and a cleaning project today  – and we have a good amount of exercise for the day.

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Sand/Water Blasting and Bulldozing…

Sun Sentinel

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

I’m getting several messages from this project –

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

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

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

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

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2 Gold Stars for the Day

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

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

Image result for benefits of elliptical trainer

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

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

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

yourellipticals.com

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

I’m “Walkin’ to New Orleans…..

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 16

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

Today was yoga. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Encouragement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One day at a time.

taolife.com

 

 

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Motivation

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

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

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

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

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

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As You Grow Older…

Yvonne Dowlen via GrowingBolder

 

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

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

Today’s added activities:

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

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

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

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

On my way outside to attack dying tomato plants!

I hope you have a fun day.

 

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Who Knew?

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Gold Star for the Day

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

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

 

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

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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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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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I Did It!

 

I’ve been trying to do two things each day: my yoga stretches and the 0-6 Pack Abs DVD abdominal exercises.

I did the twelve exercises on the DVD first, then rested a bit on my mat before starting my yoga stretches. I use a really good cervical pillow that my massage therapist showed me that allows me to really relax – after concentrating hard.

I went through my routine, slowly stretching, breathing into the positions and trying to get my poor stiff body to let go. I ended it with simply bending over with my arms hanging down. And that’s when it happened. I felt my body letting go, letting go, and I TOUCHED THE FLOOR WITH MY FINGERTIPS!

You may not think this is all that great, but for an old broad who couldn’t lie on her back and put her arms over her head onto the floor at ALL, and then, for a long time, without causing spasms in her back, this is HUGE!

I can’t remember the last time I bent over and touched the floor. I’ve been bending over, trying to relax, trying to breathe into it, with my fingertips about 6 inches or so from the floor for a really, really long time. The yoga DVD instructor, Cat Kabira, said that even if we couldn’t really get into the position, if we tried as much as we could and held it, trying to breathe into it, eventually our bodies would give. I think she’s a wonderful teacher, but I really didn’t believe I would EVER touch the floor.

I’m beyond happy. I’m making progress!

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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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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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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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Good News re Getting the Lard Off!

 

I received the emails today that the frozen part of our first order from Nutrisystem is supposed to be delivered by the end of the day on Wednesday!

Immediately, my husband said, then we should start the program the following Monday.

We were on the way to Fort Smith to take our donation to the Veterans Thrift Store, so I sat there, thinking. On the way back I finally asked him, “Why do you want to wait until Monday to start?” And he answered, “Because it’s more symmetrical than starting in the middle of the week.”

By the time we got home, I said, “I really want to start on Thursday, since we’ll get the rest of the food we ordered on Wednesday and I can get it organized and stored.” (Since it has taken so long to get the two parts of what we ordered, Order #2 is scheduled to be shipped on May 13th. Starting Thursday will give my husband a chance to try several of his choices and we can still make changes until 6 pm on the 12th.)

We agreed to start on Thursday morning (assuming we get the delivery as scheduled.)

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Hooray!

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Exercise

Best 45 Very Funny Minions Quotes

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Progress of a Sort

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I have a good start on the ‘reboot’ of my low carb eating and exercise plan now.  I’ve been good for a week now, even managing to lose a bit of weight when we went out to eat. I lost 3 lb this week. My totals are: a loss of 17 lbs and 10.5 inches. I’m still playing catch-up and re-lose from my ‘stumble-and-splat’ when I was concentrating on my husband’s need for low or no sugar, rather than paying attention to that AND low carbs. Lesson finally learned.  I’ve also learned that just working hard isn’t a good substitute for actual exercise.

I’m finding some low carb recipes that are real winners lately. My husband is requesting that I include them on the menus for the week! I’m trying to post – if not the entire recipe – at least the link to it. (One lady asked me very nicely to only give the link to the recipe on her website, rather than posting the whole thing with credit, so I’ll comply.) You can find some of them under two categories here: “Cooking/Canning/Recipes/Low Carb” and “Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle.”

One thing that is really helping me keep my head on straight on how many carbs and calories I’m eating is the MyFitnessPal.com website.  This has the best database of foods I have found. On other websites, you have to list each ingredient in a recipe in order to get a total carb count. I just don’t have the patience for that. On this website, you type in what you hope to find already listed. If it isn’t there, you can add it, all on one short form and then click to share it with others or not. This is really great. They also have a reasonable exercise database. You can record what you did and the number or reps or time you spent. I’m trying to stay under 40 carbs and 1200 calories per day. I can change what I’m planning to fix for dinner so that I stay on track. I like that a lot.

For exercise, I’m on my elliptical trainer in the garage most days. I also do careful stretching via yoga, concentrating on trying to convince this old body to RELAX. After all the work I’ve been doing cleaning out my house and working in the yard lately, I find this takes longer and longer. I just hold a pose – breathing into it until I feel my muscles ‘give’ and I’m comfortable. This is helping me feel better. Today I had extra help with that because I enjoyed a wonderful massage! My therapist, Lynn, really listens and does all she can to help me. Today we discovered that most of my sore muscles were on my right side – I guess from all the hauling of Mel’s Mix to the garden. I’ll have to concentrate on carrying the basket left-handed and see if that helps. :0)  If you live in the Greenwood area, you can contact Lynn Moody at 479-629-7601 or via email at lynnmoody42@yahoo.com. I’m so lucky to have found her.

I feel good that I’m again on the way to getting the lard off and feeling better.

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Snow People – Take 32

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Good form! It’s important to stay fit during the winter.

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On the Right Track Again – Finally

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My husband and I have had a hard time for the past 6 months or so on our efforts to get the lard off and get healthier by moving more. We simply drifted off the track, endlessly seeing yet another excuse for splurging or ignoring our guidelines. Excuses, lies, and blather followed.

We’ve been trying various things over the past month or so – some successful to a certain extent, but not really being serious on a long-term basis in our heads. Last Monday we came up with a combination that seems to be working for us! There are certain things that are important that we keep – such as my husband’s fruit and cereal in the morning and our orange dream bars at night – but everything else is on the table for discussion.

My husband likes to eat out at lunch. This has been one large problem because we tend to choose the wrong things at the deli, as an example. I have decided to be prepared to fix us a large salad for lunch each day. If my husband decides suddenly that ‘we’ should stop at CV’s and he wants to get lunch at  the deli, he can do that. If he does, I have a go-to meal I can throw together at home, some combination of raw veggies and dip, hard boiled egg, a bit of meat – things like that. For dinner we’re staying low carb. Last night we had a roast from the crock pot and some steamed mixed veggies. My husband is a big boy and can make decisions about whether he REALLY wants to eat half a bag of potato chips while he’s reading in the afternoon… We also chose carefully and stockpiled our pantry freezer with low carb, low sugar frozen dinners, so we’re not derailed if I’m “too tired to cook.” I’m concentrating on drinking more water during the day, as well.

Since last Monday I’ve lost 5 lbs. (18.2 total from my highest weight.)  I’m down 13″ from my starting point so far.

I’m hoping that I’ve finally turned the corner again, taking responsibility for what I put in my own mouth, rather than grabbing excuses out of the air and pointing fingers elsewhere.  I’ve told myself that I won’t be upset if the scales or the tape measure don’t show any improvement from one week to the next. I just want them NOT to INCREASE!

I have not been doing my exercising, again using lame excuses. :0(    We have a 91 pound lab ‘puppy’ who tends to come in and run over me on the floor on my yoga mat, knock me over, or lick me to death. There ARE ways around this problem.  It has been REALLLLLLY cold for Arkansas this month. My elliptical trainer lives in the garage, so I’ve been using the excuse that it was too cold to do that. (The fact that I have walking DVDs in the house has been ignored.) I have also piously excused myself because I have been tackling an area most days to DEEP clean, including taking everything out, going through it all, deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away before cleaning the area and all things in it and reorganizing. This is a good thing to do – and LONG overdue – but NOT a valid excuse for not doing regular exercise.

I’m giving myself a bit of slack, though, because I HAVE been eating much healthier and taking responsibility, so I’m honoring my promise to

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but I need to put this together with an honest effort to at least do some yoga stretching each day. I’ll concentrate on that this week.

Wish me luck?

 

 

 

 

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Trampoline?

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I’m trying, once again, to control my eating and increase my movement. This image above describes my efforts to date. I have just started recording my food intake and exercise on MyFitnessPal.com in an effort to –

  • acknowledge that I need to (I lie to myself a lot)
  • plead with my husband not to show me he loves me with a buttered muffin from the microwave
  • come to terms that my meals are okay, but the combinations are above my 1200 calories and 40 grams of carbs limit
  • focus my efforts to keep my mouth shut and my body active

I had my usual breakfast. We’re planning to stop at the deli to bring lunch home (I will either get fish or chicken ONLY – no ‘meal.’) I was going to have leftover beef stew and some garlic bread for dinner, but NO! That puts me way over my limit, so we’ll have a large salad, instead. I’ve built in my orange dream bar for desert. This combo will bring me in under on calories and at my limit on carbs for the day. I’m also going to do 15 minutes on my elliptical machine and 30 minutes in yoga stretches this afternoon.

I’m doing pretty well until after lunch. Then I go nuts for some reason. I have no clue why, but instead of continuing to be disgusted with myself, I’m changing what I’m doing. If I can do this for a week or so, I can get back on track. We’re not planning to have or go to any holiday parties. My biggest ‘enemies’ are my husband and myself.

I’ll make it a point to fix some things that are on my diet to eat as snacks, in case I think I’m starving to death. :0)

Today is Tuesday. I’ll plan to get back to you about my progress NEXT Tuesday. Hopefully, I can report that I’m being good and making progress.

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Mulching, Matilda….

I just finished spreading two of the four large leaf bags of mulch I made recently. I wore Targa 2  “Racing” Goggles we had on hand while I did it, not wanting a repeat of the eye scratches I got when I made the mulch a little over a week ago.

The next step is cleaning out more brick flower planters. THEN I can probably distribute the rest of the mulch.

Exciting, huh.

Actually, I DO find it exciting that I can make my own mulch, cleaning up many of the leaves in the yard as I do, and not have to pay for bag after small bag of mulch I used to buy at the local hardware store each fall. As I remember, it was about $3.00 or so per bag, and I used about 20 of them one year. So I’m saving money, cleaning up, recycling, and mulching my plants for the winter!

And, between the weeding and cleaning out of my square foot garden, plus distributing the two 39 gallon trash bags of mulch, I’ve gotten a good amount of exercise and fresh air today.

If the weather is cooperative tomorrow, I’ll try to get more planters cleaned out, working my way around the yard.

 

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