Tag Archives: quality of life
I’m feeling good that I am “back in the saddle again” on my efforts to get the lard off and get stronger. I fell off, using everything excuse from the pandemic, to my husband going to the store with me, and back again, but the fact was I had stopped exercising and I had gained some of my lost weight back again.
We signed up for the South Beach Diet Plan, deciding we would try that for two months to get back on track. It was the closest to our keto eating plan and would remind us how we are supposed to be eating, hopefully giving us a boost. The second month’s order should arrive any day now. It’s a good thing. We are down to meat sticks and some shakes, so I am DIYing a lot now.
To date – since my lardiest – I have lost 36.6 pounds and 40.45 inches. I’m working my way back down to where I was before, and I feel really happy about that.
My exercise regimen – motivated by gold stars on my desk calendar – is helping me feel stronger, a bit more energetic, and definitely looser and more flexible.
I’m trying to do my elliptical in the mornings, since my trainer is in the garage. I won’t get it done in the morning today, but I can do it when I get back from errands. I started a couple of weeks ago, at 10 minutes. I’m doing 20 each day now.
I am doing about half an hour of yoga stretches plus abdominal exercises each afternoon. I have no clue why I tend to ‘hunch up’ during the day, but I’m almost looking forward to my yoga sessions now, where the first thing is to lie flat on my back, trying to get my back muscles to relax. Thankfully, this is accomplished more quickly now and I am seeing progress in my ability to push a bit farther into the positions, breathing into them. I feel relaxed when I finish, and pleased with my efforts.
By the end of this next month on South Beach, my husband will have probably met his weight goal. I would like to lose another 30 pounds. I am seeing progress on both the scales and the tape measure, plus I feel more in control.
Tomorrow I will finish three weeks of doing a 30-minute-or-so session daily. I think it was last year when I discovered SixtyandMe.com That led to me finding and ordering the “Gentle Yoga” DVD with Cat Kabira teaching basic stretching techniques for ‘mature’ women – even though who had never tried yoga before. I wasn’t interested in trying to fold myself into a paper airplane or tie myself up into a pretzel shape, but I WAS stiff, sore, and feeling pretty brittle. I worked through it, and then decided to simply do the poses that seemed to help me the most rather than having to find time to play the DVD. Cat stressed that it was the PROGRESS that mattered – not whether you actually aced the pose to PERFECTION. I did well for awhile, and then just quietly stopped doing it. My reasons are stupidity and lack of sufficient motivation.
Three weeks ago, when we had decided to do the South Beach Diet plan in order to ‘reboot’ our efforts to commit to the keto eating plan, relearn ‘portions,’ smarter choices, etc., I also decided that I would get back into my yoga.
After three weeks, I am starting to feel some progress! I am 73 and RELAXING is a difficult thing to do. Just lying down flat on your back on the mat doesn’t sound like much. It IS – when several areas in your back are clenching. After a minute or so of CONSCIOUS focus on relaxing and breathing, the discomfort and clenching goes away. I am also seeing progress in several of the stretching positions. One came just yesterday. I’m lying on my back with my arms on the floor above my head. I pull up my right leg, bend the knee, lay my leg to my right side. I can DO that on my left. On my RIGHT, that was really uncomfortable. I’ve been doing it anyway daily for 3 weeks, breathing into it and not pushing myself, just breathing into the discomfort and trying to relax. Yesterday I was able to let the leg down almost completely onto the floor without pain! HOORAY!!!!!! I feel better when I finish my stretches, so that’s a wonderful thing, too. Even my husband is trying to encourage me, asking me if I’m going to ‘yoge’ today.
I’m giving myself a gold star for every practice. Likewise on my elliptical trainer session in the garage. I’m going for stars 11 and 12 for the week today.
Music is a quality of life thing. I have seen the faces of people I love when one of their favorite songs plays. They are transported back to a time of wonderful memories. They smile. Their eyes get dreamy. And the feelings simply spill out. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’ve seen people in nursing homes ‘come alive’ when their favorite music is played. The years fall off. Their eyes are animated. Some will actually get up and dance. Those who cannot still ‘bop’ in their chairs.
Music is a miracle.
I create ‘mini-concerts’ via YouTube when I have the time, giving myself a needed rest and relaxation. I choose one musician I love and play a medley of greatest hits, or combine several. By the time I am finished, I feel renewed, ready to tackle whatever awaits.
We are rich when we can ‘teleport’ to when we were teenagers. or escape via the lyrics of a beautiful song, or bop along with favorite tunes that DEMAND you get up and shake whatever you have. (I’m glad no one can see me do this, too!)
How lucky we are to have so many talented people who give us joy!
Our son lives and works in Thailand. He has recently rented a house out in the country there, wanting privacy to be able to play his music without bothering anyone or always having to have earphones on.
He sent me a pic of his new music room –
He has two guitars – they are still in the living room, he says. He also plays the drums and a bit of keyboard. (You can see it there if you look carefully.) His big thing now is recording every day sounds and incorporating them in various fashions, repetitions, etc., to music he composes. He can build the music to his heart’s content, adding track after track to enrich the sound. He says I probably won’t be a fan of his new stuff. :0)
Being old and traditional, I love to hear him play one or more of the instruments, playing something he composed, or singing a cover of a song he likes. I’m happy that he now is starting to feel free to experiment and play in his music room, creating something he likes. He is thinking about starting a YouTube channel.
I can’t wait.
Lunch Bunch began over 17 years ago. We meet every Friday to share lunch, laughs, and news. The core group is Linda, Kay, and me. We have other wonderful people join us from time to time as they can, but the core is the basis.
This is Linda.
“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.” – Swedish Proverb
This is Kay.
“When you cherish the value of the gift of FRIENDSHIP, it can never be lost, for what you always carry in your hearts is yours to keep forever and your friends’ too!”
This is Bud, Linda’s Husband – an honorary Lunch Bunch member.
“A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway.” – Fr. Jerome Cummings
And this is my husband, another honorary Lunch Bunch member. (He refused to cooperate with my taking his picture.)
“Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.” – Anonymous
We are now eating at a picnic table in the parking lot of the restaurant, rather than inside, due to the pandemic. Our wonderful waitress/friends, Susan and Mikey come outside to take our orders and bring our food, chatting for a minute, even though they are really busy. We are very grateful to be able to once again share what is happening in our lives.
“The best things in life are never rationed. Friendship, loyalty, love, do not require coupons.”
Our day started with our semi-annual dental cleaning. Not really the way I would CHOOSE to spend the morning of my actual birthday, but it’s important and was right down the road from Red Lobster, where we enjoyed my birthday lunch together today. The good news is – no oral cancer (my mom died of this) and no cavities or problems. The surprising news – the bill I thought was fully paid for my husband’s implant in November and crown in February was NOT paid in full – only the first part. So today was much more expensive than we thought it would be. It’s paid now, so that is behind us.
Driving out of the parking lot proved to be quite hair-raising. My husband almost pulled out in front of a car that was almost right upon us. We both managed to avoid the problem, but it really got our attention. WHEW!
Lunch at Red Lobster was glorious. We both enjoyed the special biscuits they’re famous for. I had lobster tail and broccoli. My husband had fish and chips. He had an apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. I had chocolate ‘wave’ cake.
“When I grow up I want to be an old woman.” — Michelle Shocked
“Wisdom is the reward for surviving our own stupidity.” — Brian Rathbone
I brought home a biscuit plus most of the cake to enjoy later. I DO enjoy a birthday marathon…
“It is lovely to meet an old person whose face is deeply lined, a face that has been deeply inhabited, to look in the eyes and find light there.” — John O-Donohue
We had left the house at 10:00. We didn’t get home until almost 3:00. We were both pooped, so I texted our good friends that we weren’t going to go bowling tonight. I sat down with a cup of coffee in my chair in the living room. The next thing I knew, it was 5:00.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”~ Sophia Loren
We will eat some dinner in a few minutes, but I have had a truly wonderful celebration of another year added to my tally.
“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” — Criss Jami
Today was spring-like, but grim and gray. When I walked around in the yard though, after we got home from errands, I couldn’t help but grab my camera and try to capture the richness of our yard right now.
There is still the hole in the middle of the yard where we had to dig up a large part of it to find the leaking water pipe. I told you we managed to roll the rock over the edge of the world, but the hole remains. It now has some dark potting soil, but it’s still an eyesore and will be until we are confident the mower won’t sink down into the hole, and the grass once again covers the area. Even with that, the daffodils take my breath away.
Each year I did up some of the bulbs and plant them in another spot. I’ve done this for several years now, so clumps of daffodils are blooming all over the front yard and we now have a couple of clumps in the back. (The one above is “Debbye” in full bloom now.)
Big happy daffodils in several different shades of yellow and styles, all living together. Long stalks heavy greenery, bringing up my spirits.
These are beside the well house. We have dug them up twice, thinking we got them all, and yet they continue to bloom year after year.
I truly can’t imagine my life without reading.
I feel very lucky because once I finally got my Master’s Degree, I lost my enjoyment of reading. I had to read so many things that I found dry, useless, and a total waste of time that I would do almost anything before I sat down to read something. And when I did – even if it was the newspaper or the crossword puzzle, I tensed up, reading as if I would have to spit it back out, word for word, for a test. It was actually about a year before I finally read for the simple pleasure it should be.
Right now I am re-reading several Nora Roberts books. I’m fascinated by her creativity and ability to write in different styles. There are the romances, which I love, where I can dive in and get lost, enjoying the wonderful characters, situation, and dialogue, knowing that somehow things will work out. There are the series, where there are 3 or 4 books that together tell a larger story. She has unique stand-alone books. I’m reading one called Shelter In Place, which is the story of a mass shooting and the lives affected by it. Her In Death series, writing under the pen name of J.D. Robb, is a stunning series of 50 books now in which Eve Dallas is a police detective, dealing with the horror and grittiness of New York in the future, yet providing a cast of characters I would truly love to actually know. All of these are simply reading for pleasure.
I have a nice collection now of keto recipe books, allowing me to cook some delicious meals while I try to lose my lard. In combination with these, Suzanne Ryan’s keto website, and the Cronometer website where I list what I’ve eaten and my exercise, I have access to motivation, recipes, and record-keeping which – unless I eat stuff I shouldn’t, will help me be as healthy as possible.
Art books are a constant delight. I love to grab one, being awestruck by the talent shown, along with details of how I might improve my skills. I combine this with wonderful videos on YouTube and find my spirits soaring.
When I finish re-reading my collection of Nora Roberts books, I’ll change and start re-reading my collection of Robert B. Parker books….
This was taken at the same time I took the photos of my daffodils blooming, even though it wasn’t the middle of February.
I took this photo this morning. It’s 29 degrees out there and look at this!
I was out walking Molly when I saw this, and I have to tell you, my heart simply filled with joy and hope. Cheesy, maybe, but absolutely true.
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” – Robin Williams
On the way to Lunch Bunch this morning, we saw a group of SIX deer standing beside the road. Happily, they didn’t move as we drove past. I wish I could have gotten a pic of them, but someone was behind us on the road, so we couldn’t stop. This picture I found on the net gives you an idea of what we were fortunate enough to see.
I just got home from having a massage. Ahhhhhhhhhh!
It has been two months since I had one. I had to call and reschedule the original appointment because of my food poisoning episode. THEN the rescheduled massage was canceled due to the roads being dangerous to drive because of Mother Nature. The subsequent appointment was canceled due to my wonderful massage therapist getting the flu. So TODAY – when I looked out the window and saw our yard covered in WHITE – I groaned.
I dressed and came downstairs quickly to look on the computer to see if Greenwood Schools were canceled. If the buses won’t run, WE’RE not going to drive. I couldn’t find any notices, so when I took Sweet Molly out this morning, I looked around and saw that it was the PERFECT snow – the yard looked pretty, but the porch and sidewalks were free of ice. HOORAY!
The driveway had some snow, but the snow tires on the truck weren’t really needed. The streets were clear.
My wonderful massage therapist laughed as I groaned as she found all the places that needed her so desperately. She is really good. I felt limp as a noodle by the time she finished. I tried just saying, “Good Night,” hoping she would just leave me. No luck there.
I’m home now and will eat lunch soon. I have to say that having a massage is one of the best ways to start a day!
This is an image of how I look and feel right now – I have melted into a puddle. Here’s why –
We just got home from running errands. We opened the mail at the dining area table as we usually do. My husband opened one of the packages. He had ordered another tee shirt. Usually the tees are gun-related or cartoon characters. (He has toned down buying the political ones that might get us attacked, and also the slightly pornographic ones…. )
Anyway, I expected another gun-related tee. He turned it around –
I hugged him, then hugged him again, thanking him for the nice surprise. He said, “It’s the truth.” That got him ANOTHER hug.
I then went to start gathering trash for the week. I came back into the dining area. He had changed into the tee.
I said, “You changed your shirt.”
And he replied,
“You changed my life.”
NOW you understand why my husband is a keeper (even though he drives me NUTS at times) and why my self portrait for the day is a melted puddle.
I honestly can’t imagine myself not reading.
I guess I’m biased, because I trained as a teacher, taught for 8 years in public elementary schools in Tulsa, and then ran my own reading clinic for 3 years, but personally – I would be lost without reading in my life.
I finished re-reading the 48 books in the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) and have just received “Vendetta in Death” the 49th book just out in paperback. I’m really looking forward to diving into Eve Dallas’ world again.
On a tip from my good friend, Cathy Campbell, I ordered and just received
I love my life.
Not EVERYTHING about it, but close.
I’m retired, so I can pretty much design my day – except when the water pressure booster dies, like yesterday.
I have given myself permission NOT to be productive. I used to make a to-do list and not allow myself to do other things until I had at least shown a bunch of progress on it. I FINALLY realized that my to-do list just grows. Most of the things I accomplish on it don’t STAY done, so they get added onto the bottom in a never-ending depressing length. I don’t get any POINTS or anything for getting these off the list, so I have changed my ways.
I now do the things that will result in bad things if I don’t on time. Those take priority for the day. I try to do the MOST important things first – the ones where I will be thrown into the slammer if I ignore them today.
I then intersperse FUN stuff – like playing in my flowers in the spring, or harvesting my veggies at the proper time, or playing in my art room. THEN I go back and do another ‘important-to-others’ thing from the list.
I’m MUCH happier since I started doing this.