Thirty-One Gifts

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Not All About Weight...

Many people have asked me if I'll be weighing weekly, monthly, or some such pattern.  I officially weigh every three months at the doctor.  It's probably the most reliable.  I also don't fixate on the weight.  As Katie has said a million times, the weight will naturally drop if you're exercising and eating healthy.  Even with the small changes we've made here and there, I do feel better.  Much, actually.  I've been on diets since I was 15, and all I've gotten is fatter.  They make you think about food and exercise constantly, whereas with this "healthier" approach, I actually don't think about it too much.  I love not being obsessed about my body in a body-conscious society.  Not that I don't know about fat, calories, sodium, pounds, etc. - it's just that I'm concentrating more on the way my body feels.  The way that clothes are loose.  I even dropped a shoe size and width!  I don't feel bloated and gross.  I feel lighter and stronger.  I sleep better and more reasonably.  I have a lot more energy and I'm more productive.  I feel cleansed by the water and tea.  My skin is more moist, and it was drying due to poor diet, thirst, and my age.  My movement is easier.  I moved furniture yesterday, and I'm far less sore since I exercise now than I would have been before.  It really isn't about the weight, because the weight is a symptom of fixable problems.  Once those are remedied, the weight falls off.  Katie and I are curious, however, so she'll be bringing a scale soon.  I don't want one in the house!  The doctor will still be the official.  However, feeling strong and mobile again has been the biggest success so far.  :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Pain of Exercise at 43~

At the close of my third week with Katie and full-on exercise like I've not had in years, I can report that my body is feeling both fantastic and painful.  Of course, you must experience pain before pleasure, right?  Hmm...may be another topic later - another blog!  ANYWAY, when Katie showed up the first day of exercise and took me for a walk in a state park, I was not exactly happy about the heat, deep sand on the trail, and general discomfort that a lethargic body moving for the first time in a long while is going to feel.  My hips ached, my lung capacity was low, and my stamina was for crap~  Katie knew how to counteract this:  she studied photography for two years and I love it.  I fancy myself an amateur for sure.  She gave me a 35mm Canon to use with black and white film in it.  She taught me about aperture.  I got to take pictures all through the walk.  This has been a huge motivator, because I always want to learn more from her, so I don't cancel.  Try to wiggle out of some days?  Yes, but not cancel.  Trainers should use non-food like motivators - even the type of exercise.  When Katie realized that I love water aerobics, we added more of that and decreased walks.  The pool is better for me now because of the impact on my body at this weight and it still gives me a sweat, but not the detrimental heat that a Florida June blasts~   This is not to say that my 43 year old fat body loves all this movement.  My muscles ache, my back is stressed, and I get aches in places that I've not felt in years.  What to do?  Quit?  No, because I can feel muscles inside my body: my abs, legs, back, arms.  I feel stronger and more flexible.  I have more ENERGY.  I'm starting to like it.  I know.  It's sick.  My quandary is what to do through the pain.  These are my current solutions:  natural supplements for pain, yoga for pain, my parent's pictures on the walls, The Conspirator's massages, and just to shut up and suck it up.  It's about time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fitness Heroes

There are many motivations to losing weight and getting fit, but the most effective way is by simply looking at the people around you.  Start taking a peek at those that are still alive in old age, those with fewer health problems than most, and those that are generally happier.  Usually, they're fit.  I have fitness heroes at every age level, and in no particular order, here they are and why:
   My niece and nephews, Bella, Jordan, and Ian are the healthiest kids I know.  Of course, my sister works at the Y.M.C.A as the membership director.  However, they love to work out, feel good, and have been consistent in their activities.  Their Mom, Jenn, is my next hero.  She started teaching aerobics after her third child and looks like she's never had even one!  
   Next up are a bevy of Uncles and Aunts on my father's side, all of whom are motivated by the heart disease in the family and their own desire to be healthy.  Man, family reunions were a nightmare.  Walk after breakfast.  Walk after swimming.  Walk after lunch.  You get the idea.  I admired them because I thought it would be impossible for me to be as fit, and I would simply die young, as my father did at 37 from a massive heart attack.  Momma Dar, my stepmother, was once heavy.  She's in her sixties and walks marathons.  MARATHONS.  So, I think I'll listen to her too!  Even my cousins on that side are in shape!  The pressure to be healthy has been the largest reason that I've disconnected from them in some ways.  When I realized that my fat was preventing me from relationships, well, that was a sad day - and one of change.  I can't wait for the next family reunion.  I'd love to walk with them.  
   I have a variety of fit friends, but I'd love to shout about three peeps that have changed me before this turns into a novel:  Kristina and Nanny.  Kristina is my daughter.  She's 21, and she's seen a lot of sickness and death with numerous family members - even her parents.  She started eating heathier and walking, then running, every day.  I'm so proud of her, and she's an inspiration.  Nanny is my grandmother.  She's 83, and she fell and broke her hip in New York in December.  She's back to fit now.  Because she ALWAYS WAS.  That's the trick.  She healed better and faster because she's already in great shape from tennis, walking, and swimming for years.  Right now, I'd have a hard time recovering from such a thing, if they could even get me off the pavement!  
   I want to be like all of these people and more.  The ones I thought I could emulate have already passed or are ill in some way.  Look around.  See who's old and what their lifestyles are.  Some are completely a mess and fine, I'm sure.  That happens.  Some sneak through.  But, I've never been a huge gambler, so I think I'll step away from the buffet and let someone else take my place.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Diet Coke Dilemma

   I love Diet Coke.  I've been "hooked" for over 20 years.  I've gone off it before, but not for very long.  When Katie said that it had to go, I was resistant, as always.  However, she had someone on her side.  Henceforth known as "The Conspirator" (A.K.A my fiance), he was coached by Miss Katie.
Since he loves me AND does the grocery shopping, he simply didn't buy it.  Okay, well, first he bought 2 liters and store brands, which he knows I won't touch ... because I'm a soda snob.
   It's been a love affair.  Cold, just-temp-right, fizzy, and in a coozie, I drank it despite what I know about the dangers of too much and the pleads to quit by my family and friends.  However, I was honest with Katie, told her it's not going to happen, ever.  Just move on.  She wouldn't.  The Conspirator worked on his job and Katie quietly offered tea replacements.  I put sugar in my tea made from scratch with lemon juice concentrate. She told me the minimal real sugar is better than diet coke and store-bought tea.  Tea is a natural diuretic, antioxidant (certain kinds are more so), and can help with the mood swings of menopause.  Some of the teas are calming, but some are natural stimulants, such as those with ginseng.  I like green blueberry ginseng tea in the morning!  Once she said I could have it iced no matter the time of day, I ditched the diet coke.  It also helped that I remembered my grandmother's Arnold Palmer recipe.  Yum!  I'm working on my 30-day gold star.
   I'm telling you, it was hard to detox off the poison of soda, but I feel better.  The rings on my fingers are spinning because of decreased puffiness, due to the amounts of sodium that up to a 12-pack of coke can do in a day.  I don't drink coffee.  I only have a frappe every so often.  Going off of the caffeine was difficult for about five days.  Some natural supplements for headaches and the tea helped immensely.
   This is the thing:  I sleep better and longer, less jittery during the day, don't feel bloated, and I save $120 a month easy in what I bought for home use and out in the world.  Tea is flavored water.  I know, because I make it fresh.  When I sip a soda now, even diet, it tastes like syrup.  Yuck!  I think that water is the next frontier.  I'll trust Katie this time.  Not so sure about The Conspirator though ...

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Beginning...

   I've always wanted to be a writer, but I never thought my first blog would be about my weight.  If writing is purging, then there's something symbolic about this.  I was always an underweight kid.  Yeah.  Believe it.  After puberty hit, I started getting teased because I had a "Mae West" type figure.  The solid 8.  Looking back, I realize it wasn't so bad!  So why did I let all those voices get to me about how big I wasn't?  (Not at 110-125)  Because it's human nature to listen to those we trust.  People tell you, "It doesn't matter what people think," but don't we naturally consult people on many things?  Ha!  Down to what we wear!  SO, let's get rid of all that crap from the past and move on.
   It's a new day:  Both my parents died at young ages: 37 and 62.  I'm 43 now.  Exactly.  SO - let's do this thing!  I met Katie Hanrahan about three years ago, but it feels like I've always known her!  She's an old soul, which meshes with mine, and for some reason - I can't say no to her!  She's too sweet.  I'm convinced it's partly why she became a trainer.  :)   When she moved into Orlando a month ago, we decided to get this weight off me.  MANY people have tried to motivate me, but Katie has an advantage and determination most don't: she'll just show up at my door if I don't answer!  So, we decided to take on this challenge together, and it doesn't hurt one bit that in this next year I'll be wedding dress shopping.  However, I'd just like to have a bit more time than Dad and Mom did...