Tag Archives: exercise

Thoughts on a Thursday 9-10-2019

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

My husband and son were out checking the irrigation system at about 7 pm last night (all is well) and saw 5 hummingbirds at one time! That’s the most we’ve seen at once this whole summer.  A sight like that makes everything right.

I told you yesterday that I was really trying to get serious about eating Keto and losing more of my lard. Thanks to my friend, Robin, I’ve signed up at a new website called CarbManager.com  I signed up for their Basic service, but they have a premium service, as well that I may consider in the future. My big thing on not switching was that I couldn’t find a carb tracker that would accept recipes from other places and let you log them in for the day without having to list each ingredient separately. This one did fine with Suzanne Ryan’s “Sausage, Egg and Cheese Bake” from her book Simply Keto easily. They have a good section that walks you through their website, explaining how to do things. The website on my computer links up with the app on my phone now, so that’s really handy, as well. Yesterday I ate 18 grams of carbs. They did NOT give me a message saying I wasn’t eating enough, so I was happy about that, too!

I found a wonderful artist who makes baskets that will make you drool. I’ll be sharing them with you in a bit.

Today I’ll make time for my yoga practice this afternoon (Day # 17) and I plan to play in my art room!

I hope that YOUR Thursday is full of cute squirrel photos, hummingbirds, and fun.

 

 

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, DIET!, exercise, playing in my art room, quality of life, Thoughts on a ________

Relaaaaxing Jaw, Relaaaaaaxing Face…

RantNOW

I just gave myself a gold star for today. I just finished yoga practice # 3 for the week (#9 since I started my renewed practice after sloughing off for several months.) Things ARE getting a bit easier. My husband and son are both being quite supportive of my efforts which makes it nicer. My BODY, though, is the one I’m really listening to. I’m feeling it start to GIVE after I breathe into the various stretches. It still is uncomfortable when I first get into each stretch but then eases off more and more quickly.  I’m feeling looser and relaxed when my practice is over. I’m sleeping better. :0)

Pinterest

“Yoga is 99% Practice & 1% theory.” ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

 

DoYouYoga

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” ~ B.K.S. Lyengar

starcasm.net via Pinterest

“In truth, Yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time.” ~ Ganga White

 

Bamboo Garden Yoga

“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.” ~ Unknown

Whenever I practice, although I’m doing my own thing right now, I remember Cat Kabira from my “Gentle Yoga” DVD saying, “Relaaaaaaaaxing Jaw……. Relaaaaaaaxing Face…..”

AHHHHHH!

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Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-10-2019

 

 

I’ve told you that my priority has shifted from ONLY trying to grind through my endless to-do list to making SURE I have some fun each day and getting exercise.  This is the latest therapy to come from my art room.  I wish you could see the sparkly nature of it. The leaves are done with clear glitter glue, but on the blue tee the paint turns a really nice, sparkly green.

I will earn my second gold star for the week, doing a nice long session of ‘old lady’ yoga stretching this afternoon. Since I sloughed off for so long, I have essentially started over, (starting again last week) but I AM beginning to feel a bit looser. I’m particularly feeling it in my mid-section (!) when I walk.  My husband sits in his recliner reading as I practice my stretches. We both laugh at my ‘Rice Krispies body’ – with all the audible snap, crackling and popping as I change positions.

I am MUCH happier since I decided that life is too short to only do fun things ONLY when the list has been accomplished.  Now I’m accomplishing a reasonable number of things, but also feeling better health-wise and happier in my heart.

I have told you that our son is here, having traveled to be with us from Thailand where he lives and works. He is helping us find our new normal since my husband’s stroke in July.  Even with the health scare, it’s a joyful time when he is here. I love our talks, his wonderful sense of humor, and his gold-medal-winning hugs that fill my heart to overflowing.

Mother Nature is still teasing us with HINTS of the coming fall, allowing us to enjoy having the doors open in the mornings to catch a wonderful breeze and then joyfully frying us like eggs in the afternoon with heat indices of around 100 degrees F.  My raised bed, square foot garden is breathing its last, even with our irrigation system. It’s just too hot for them. It’s too hot to start fall plants, as well, (it’s at least a gazillion degrees in our greenhouse) so we wait for relief. My husband wants me to try to grow strawberries next spring, so I’ll start reading everything I can find on that.

I  hope that YOUR Tuesday brings you something that makes you smile.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under exercise, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

So Do It

Kurt Vonnegut via Cathy Ruggiero

In the last post I was telling you about a change in perspective about how we feel about Mondays.  I have also changed my perspective on day-to-day priorities.

I always have a to-do list that is frequently longer than my arm. There are lots of things I feel that I should do in any given day. Some are ‘have-to’s,’ but most of them are just ‘should’s.’

For years I have tried to get as many of the things on the list done as I could and THEN given myself permission to go up and play in my art room, or do exercise. Most of the time, the art room, exercise, and/or playing in my garden or flowers got lost in the shuffle.

Since my husband had a stoke in July (he’s better and better every day), things got to the point where I felt guilty if I didn’t rush in the bathroom. Yes, it was that bad. Our son came home, gave us perspective, space, compassion, understanding, strength, wisdom, and lots and lots of hugs. This has been priceless.

Since he isn’t in a hurry to go back home, I have had a chance to rethink what I need to do now that the initial scare is over so that I can handle whatever comes next. My big change in priorities is to get REAL about what really needs to be done from the list. I ask myself, what is the worst that will happen if I don’t do this today? If I can handle the answer, it’s priority number is lessened. I have decided that I need to do everything in my power to be strong enough for both of us – particularly when our son needs to leave. So now time in my art room, time for a session of yoga, time to play in my garden or my flowers are things near the top of the list.

This morning I went up to my art room and finished painting my latest tee shirt. (I’ll post a pic when it’s dry.)  I have just finished my first yoga session of the week, giving myself a gold star on my desk calendar. :0)

I still have plenty of time to tackle the ‘have-to’s’ for the day, but I’m feeling more at peace because of the time in the art room, and healthier and looser because of the yoga session. If I’m as strong as I can be, I can handle whatever else comes our way better.

taolife.com

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, exercise, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself

Yoging

Amazon

On Tuesday of this week I renewed my yoga practice after sloughing off for a number of months. Excuses abound, but I KNEW it had been doing me a lot of good. I felt the progress, the loosening of my muscles, the relaxation. Tuesday I finally decided that I needed to take better care of myself and that started with practicing yoga daily. My husband’s question every day now is, “Are you going to yoge?”

Since I’m a bit age-challenged (I’m 72) and basically enjoy mostly sedentary pastimes, I really have to MAKE myself exercise even though I’ve proven that I actually feel better having done it.  As a former student, then teacher – I learned the motivation of the Gold Star. It STILL works for me. I can be really tired from working in the yard and I look at my desk calendar, seeing 5 stars for the week – lacking the 6th – and I go practice my yoga to be able to add the star. Stupid – Silly – but I figure whatever works….

SO – Since I ‘yoged’ Tuesday through Sunday this first week of renewed practice, it’s a 6 STAR WEEK!  :0)

 

DoYouYoga

“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.” ~ unknown

I’m basically starting over, having sloughed for such a long time, but I am already seeing a bit of progress. I can again touch my toes. I do have to bend over and really breathe into it, but

g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y lower with each long breath so that eventually my fingertips touch the mat.  It takes me almost a full minute of lying on my back for muscles to stop clenching, but I am relaxing a bit more quickly each day. I am still a wonderful model for the old Rice Krispies advertisements – snap, crackling, and popping my way into each new pose, but I AM able to get into them. The worst is sitting with my legs spread out to either side and then trying to bend forward. My “Gentle Yoga” instructor, Cat Kabira, bends forward and lays her forehead on the mat. Yeah. Right. I bend forward and the insides of each leg start screaming immediately. I am taking Cat at her word, that stretching as far as you can into the pose and breathing into it will bring rewards, whether you can touch your forehead on the mat or not….

 

India TV

“Inhale the future, exhale the past.” – unknown

The big thing I’m noticing is that the stretching in all directions and forcing myself to relax – eventually – makes me feel better. It used to be that I would stretch and some muscle or other would cramp. That is not happening now! This is a benefit of the practice before, but I’ll take it. I still hurt when I stretch, but NO cramping! Hooray!

 

YouTube

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~ unknown

I’ll have to admit that I’m interrupted in my practice more by my own laughing than anything else. My husband never fails to remark at all the popping sounds my poor old body makes. I simply look at him, then can’t hold it in any longer and start to laugh. I tell him that he can make fun when HE is there beside me trying to do it, too. That usually results in his going back to reading on the tablet. :0)

 

Pinterest

“The pose begins when you want to leave it.” ~ unknown

As we age, balance becomes a problem. We tend to start shuffling our feet a bit or walking more tentatively, rather than striding as we used to. I have found that the yoga practice results in my feeling more steady, feeling my muscles work as I walk or stand.

 

Facebook

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” ~ unknown

I may always be creaky, but I’m really going to try to keep this going. I need to be as strong, flexible, and reasonably balanced as I can going forward. These ‘old lady stretches’ are really helpful – assuming that I actually continue to get down on the floor and DO them.

 

Pinterest

“Just breathe.” ~ unknown

NEXT week will be a 7 gold star week!

 

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Filed under aging, Attitude, Challenges, exercise, taking care of yourself

Thoughts on a Sunday

Jayanand Govindaraj via Robert J. Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Hello!

I’m getting a late start on blog posts today because our Internet keeps going on the fritz.

My main thoughts today were to play ‘fruit-basket-upset’ with my priorities for the day.

We got groceries this morning, and I put a roast in the crock pot for tonight.

THEN, when the Internet wasn’t cooperating, I went up to my art room – a thing that got lost in the shuffle yesterday – and started painting another tee!

NEXT, I’ll get my yoga practice in for the day, and

THEN I’ll tackle the weed whacking and clean up after my husband mows later.

Anything ELSE that gets accomplished will be gravy.

 

I hope that YOU are having a great Sunday, too.

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Filed under exercise, Gardening, Housekeeping - Maintenance, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane

Pixabay

I can’t tell you how long it has been since I did a session of yoga. I will be generous to myself and say a couple of months, but it’s probably longer. I have given other things priority over yoga practice, even though I KNOW I need it. I have lots of excuses, but I finally decided that today was the day.

I have just finished a session, and I have to tell you that I feel better than I did.

I do “Gentle Yoga” – sometimes using a set of DVDs by this name put out by sixtyandme.com with instructor Cat Kabira.  This is a group of yoga stretches and poses for people who are NOT yoga people – people who are a bit age-challenged like I am (I’m 72) who have likely have health or injury issues, or, who, like me, are generally stiff, sore, and too sedentary for their own good. I call it “Yoga for Old Broads” and I love it. The instructor is very forgiving, non-judgmental, NOT super-perky so you have the urge to squeeze her neck. She stresses to just do what you can do. If you stretch in the way she is telling you, even though you can’t fold yourself into a pretzel, you are doing good for yourself. The stretching in that direction, holding the pose and BREATHING into it will finally result in your body GIVING a bit, stretching out, relaxing.

Today I just did some of the poses on my own. I wanted to take my time, do what occurred to me to do, holding the poses as long as I could. BOY! My body was telling me that I had been neglecting it!  Everything was difficult today. I really worked slowly, easing into things, breathing a lot, trying to relax. I could really tell that I need to do this every day as I was doing before other things took precedence around here. Everything I have is stiff and sore. Even lying on my back hurt for a minute or so!  I snapped, crackled, and popped as I stretched each part of me out, one area at a time.  I spent half an hour today and feel better now for it.

I will try to make time for this every day now. I have AGAIN learned that my health and ability to move and relax is super important – maybe now more than ever.

If you haven’t tried “Gentle Yoga” I highly recommend it.

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The Ant Murderer Strikes Again

In our short walk around our yard last night, we found many fire ant mounds again. ARRRGH!

Since I am pretty allergic to them, we take them seriously around here. Suddenly, a bunch of hills have popped up.  I mixed up a 2-gallon container of EIGHT bug spray,

Home Depot

that kills the bugs without hurting our pets or veggies, and started out. Suddenly my husband was there, too, wanting to tote the container while I did the spraying! We went all around the yard, out to the greenhouse, then out to the shop, hosing down fire ant hills all over.

We won the round today, so will declare victory, if only for a short time. We also got the benefit of some good walking, too!

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“It’s Really All About the Ice Cream, Anyway”

iStockPhoto

We go bowling every Monday (mostly) with long-time good friends.

I’ve heard the adage, “Practice makes perfect.” Whoever said that has not seen us bowl. We can’t even say we have ‘averages.’ Each Monday is an entirely new “bowl game” ( :0) ) with each of us being ‘on,’ ‘off,’ or somewhere in the middle. I’ve missed getting 100. I’ve bowled a 211. Sometimes I look like I know what I’m doing, picking up spares. Sometimes I would do better standing in the lane on either side of ours and throwing the ball like a baseball. (Assuming I COULD…)  There is no rhyme, reason, or consistency in this pretty nice group of people.

We always go to Braum’s Ice Cream after we bowl. The ice cream may be for celebration of a good job that night, or commiseration that we embarrassed ourselves once again. We are all trying to lose the lard, so the ice cream is a really special treat. I look forward to my ‘one-scoop-of-chocolate-in-a-cup’ all day Mondays and plan the rest of my eating around that, since that one scoop is 16 carbs and I try to stay at 20 or under daily.

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, got to the crux of it in an email Tuesday.  “It’s really all about the ice cream, anyway.” 

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Whew!

Steemit

I have just finished about an hour and a half of weed whacking in the yard this morning. I have probably one more session of weed whacking and then the leaf blower to clean off the sidewalks and garage pad before I’m finished.

My husband mowed the lawn yesterday, so the grass looks good. All the edges around everything were ragged, though, so I decided to get outside early this morning and see if I could clean things up.

With the heat index, it’s ONLY 95 right now. Since the index is supposed to get to 105 this afternoon, I decided it was best to get out there while it was COOL. :0)

The new-to-us riding mower we got recently from a wonderful friend and neighbor does a really good job. When the civilized part of our yard is freshly mowed, weed whacked and blown, we actually look pretty good!

With all the yard work this morning and bowling with good friends tonight, I’m not even going to feel guilty about not ‘exercising’ today. I’ve learned that the work I do uses different muscles than the ones used for more traditional ‘exercises,’ but when I’ve worked and played this much in a day, I’ll call it good enough.

 

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Getting the Lard Off Progress To Date

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

Longer answer –

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

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

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

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

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

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

taolife.com

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Getting the Lard Off Results – as of March 2019

pinterest.com

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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Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, taking care of yourself

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

TilgateNatureCentre.WordPress.com

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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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, The Longevity Code - Dr. Kris Verburgh

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…

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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.

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

I’m “Walkin’ to New Orleans…..

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 16

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

Today was yoga. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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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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