Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Me post workout this morning. I'm looking flushed and sweaty and covered with hay from dovetailing chores and workout but I do look happy. And I'm sans makeup, too! That is like a minor miracle in confidence. You know how many people have seen me without makeup between 15 and 58? Exactly two, my husband and my mom..... and now all of you! That's a major step forward in confidence....or an example of getting over oneself post 55, hahaha.

Since I walk and run cross country, I really need this tip. I have two pairs of shoes and both are soaked after walking in the wet grass following the rains of the past few days. So this is what I should have done as soon as I got in yesterday morning and maybe I wouldn't be putting on soggy shoes for this morning's walk. 
There's my problem...I've been doing it wrong!
Oh, one more note on the images below....those 15 and 16 minutes per mile pace put me in the top 25%!!!! Yay, me! :)

My three walks from yesterday, July 21,2014. Note that there was only a short break between the two later in the day. I was releasing the horses back into the pasture and took Sadie back to the house so that I didn't use up all of the gas in my truck keeping her under ac while I walked, lol. I had intended to walk in between hauling water to the horses. The 35 gallon tank takes about ten minutes to fill so I thought that would be a nice break between two mile sets. But Steve called to say he was coming home early so I cut it off after the first two miles and then decided that I could fit in at least one more mile before he got home. I timed it perfectly....okay, it was serendipity but it worked out well....because I was finished and gathering tomatoes out of the garden for dinner when he pulled into the drive. 

Progress Recorded!

Yipee te yiyo!!! The scale has not been my friend since I started changing my diet and adding exercise to my day. I felt as if my clothes were getting loser but that darn scale kept showing me gaining weight instead of losing no matter how little I ate or how intensely and long I worked out. So last week I took my measurements. I wasn't smiling when I finished. After the first measurement revealed that my thigh was the size my waist use to be....sigh, those were the days..... I considered forgetting about it but all my friends were telling me that this was the true measure, no pun intended, of my progress. So, with many winces and grimaces, I recorded each number. That was six days ago. The scale today actually showed me up a pound from this time last week but down two pounds from the weigh-ins in between. And then I decided to measure again and....................wait for it..................it's worth the wait........................okay, I'll tell you already! I've lost six inches in the last six days!!! Yay!!!! And the best part is, the loss is evenly distributed. So, I'm doing a happy dance and I'm encouraged to keep going despite the lack of success I'm having with that darn scale. :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

and this......

I'm thick skulled sometimes because it took me a long time, too long, to realize this. I kept thinking something was wrong with me but no, don't blame yourself because, trust an old woman on this one, it is them not you. Turning the other cheek is great for the first slap but don't allow them to get in a second blow, just turn and walk away.... some people don't deserve a second chance and deciding who those are and ridding your life of them, well, that's what the wisdom of aging is all about.

I'm also learning to let the resentment and anger go. My husband told me a few days ago, the question isn't why they treated you the way they did because it's obvious that was all about them. The question is, why you put up with it for so long and why you never fought back or why you kept trying to please them and why you didn't just walk away years ago? When I look at it that way....and once I get past the anger at myself...... I feel a wonderful release because I can let the anger go. I don't know if it's really forgiving because I'm not releasing them from blame but I am releasing myself from the clutches of resentment.
I recently realized how much drama someone close to me was bringing to my life. I put up with it for so long because I thought it was the "right thing to do," turning the other cheek and smiling dutifully as I was slapped again and again. But I'm getting older and not only far less tolerant but much more aware of my own needs and happiness. They finally laid that last straw that broke this camel's back. I borrowed the phrase, not my circus-not my monkeys and I walked away. Not easy to do with someone who was an important part of my life for my entire life but since I pulled back from them, my life is peaceful and calm without the constant drama making and criticism of others and I'm far more confident without the constant criticism of me. I realized that turning the other cheek just means, don't fight back. I think valuing yourself enough to turn and walk away is a viable and fruitful option.

I'm also learning to let the resentment and anger go. My husband told me a few days ago, the question isn't why they treated you the way they did because it's obvious that was all about them. The question is, why you put up with it for so long and why you never fought back or why you kept trying to please them and why you didn't just walk away years ago? When I look at it that way....and once I get past the anger at myself...... I feel a wonderful release because I can let the anger go. I don't know if it's really forgiving because I'm not releasing them from blame but I am releasing myself from the clutches of resentment.

Logging my walks...

generated through the app and website, http://www.mapmyfitness.com/. The app syncs with both my fitbit and my myfitnesspal.com app. Last night's walk:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I met Jim Croce two weeks before his untimely death. I was a teenage girl at a school club convention at the hotel where Jim was staying while playing in our town. I was waiting on my friends in the lobby when he walked through the doors and said, hi. He was very nice, very polite and I had no idea who he was. My friends later told me and I still wasn't certain until the next week when I saw this movie on TV. I loved the song, Time in a Bottle. The next day, I asked my best bud at school if he knew what the song was. He said, he did and told me it was by Croce. I immediately bought the album and eventually had all of his albums. I don't know where they disappeared to over the years. Such a tragic loss. I often wonder what great songs he would have written if he hadn't died so young and so tragically. 

Finding Balance

I always thought that I ate I diet that was balanced with an occasional treat. Since I started keeping track of my food consumption using the myfitnesspal.com app,  I've discovered all sorts of imbalance. It isn't just the proportion of carbs versus protein versus fat that seems to be a constant juggling act because I actually do fairly well keeping all of those at least close to where they are supposed to be. No, the problem is the sugar and sodium intake. I never realized how much sugar was contained in fruit naturally or that foods I'd considered healthy, especially processed ones like deli chicken or turkey, are full of sodium. I've certainly been made more aware and I read labels more cautiously. I try to stay away from as much processed food as I can but as my husband told me, I'm eating foods constantly, like cereal, yogurt, protein bars, salad dressings, and that deli meat, that are far more processed than I'm realizing. So, diets like life are a learning process..... like learning that the frozen yogurt I splurged on today might be low calorie and low fat but it has 38 grams of sugar per serving and my daily limit is 45. When you add in the blueberries I had for breakfast, I top my daily limit by 12 grams and I haven't had dinner yet. The Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Chipotle Seasoned Chicken had over a thousand units of sodium! I don't usually go over on my sodium limits since I rarely add salt to my food but today, I've topped another limit by 3 units.....and as I said, no dinner. Oh well, the frozen yogurt is now gone and I will just half my serving of the chicken for tomorrow's lunch and put it on top of a salad instead of bread.

Now, for the rest of my life.........balance has been eluding me for a long time, perhaps for my entire life. But I do have plans and getting fit and slim are the first steps in regaining my balance in life, my control. This morning, I started thinking about a bucket list. Perhaps it was the health scare last week which, thanks to google, had me thinking I was past the need or time for a bucket list. All is well, thank goodness, my doctor reassured me. But the sudden fear of the inevitable got me thinking about my life or lack thereof. I'm working at getting my life back; I've said that before. The plan is to regain energy, endurance and strength through fitness and diet and then apply all of those good things toward bringing the other wayward parts of my life back into order.....and balance. I want to revamp my art work and my business, get my house repaired and remodeled, get my finances and debt under control and last but certainly not least, start riding and working with my horses again...before we both get too old to cut the mustard.
This morning, I was watching Sunday Morning and their minute with nature was from Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Steve and I went there years ago when we were both in our twenties. It was great but I think we were really too young to enjoy and appreciate it as much as I would now. I started thinking about my friend Fran who wrote her bucket list in her forties and had fulfilled every one of them by the time she was fifty-two. She simply composed another list and she's well on her way to having it completely marked off. I've been a lot of great places over the years, met some great people, ate fantastic food and heard incredible music. The last eight years though, it's as if I stopped living. There have been moments, like the birth of our first and only foal, our Danny Boy, four years ago that were firsts and wonderfully joyful and exciting but my activity level pretty much ground to a stop. That is what my new resolve and activity is all about, I'm trying to get my life back. And finding that balance, fixing what's wrong and starting to enjoy the many blessings I have will be reward enough.....but...........I thought this morning that I need to hold a bigger carrot out in front of me. I mentally made a list of a few things I've always wanted to do but didn't for whatever reason be it fear or just lack of funds. So, these carrots.....or chunks of chocolate might be more appealing....maybe pecan pie, yum!...... these long term dreams might be the motivation I need to keep me pushing through when the going gets hard which inevitably, like death and taxes, it will. So, what is my list? Well, I'll give the ones I thought of today but I may be adding to this later.
1. Return to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
And photograph the wild ponies.
2. Learn to ski. Seems that everyone in my
family has at least tried. I've dreamed of
this since I was a young girl...and
praying I don't break my neck.

3. Learn to swim. I've tried in the past with little success...
except for my backstroke. I have an excellent backstroke.
4. Then return to Cozumel or some other gorgeous
island in the Caribbean and both snorkel and scuba dive.
5) Lastly, probably the most common bucket
list item, travel. I'd love to see Ireland either
with a walking tour or on horseback or even bikes.
There are so many other places I'd love to go:
Paris, the Galapagos Islands, a riding tour in
South America, a photo safari in Africa, and
here in the good old USA, I want to go
West and see the Grand Canyon and revisit
places we've been before either for pleasure
or business and really, really see and enjoy them
again. And of course, I want to return to Cozumel,
the island we fell in love with on Steve's 50th
birthday. I'd hoped we could return on his 60th
this year but finances wouldn't allow. So, that
is even more reason to get in shape both physically and
artistically which will hopefully lead to financially. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A friend,  on the Daily Health Challenge site, suggested that I forgo running for the time being and instead get myself a set of trekking poles. She use to run a personal training business and she told me that using the poles while walking would burn 40% more calories. I'm all for that and I found the poles at an amazing price on Sierra Trading Post. They were almost giving them away because they usually sell for over a hundred dollars a pair. For starting off, these look great and since I do all of my walking and running cross country and over fairly rough terrain, trekking poles should add some stability and balance as well as a terrific upper body work out!

Spend a few moments thinking about what motivates you to reach one of your goals.
I've been working at losing weight and getting fit but the motivation isn't just the obvious health benefits. I use to be an in charge kind of person. I was always on top of every aspect of my life: health and fitness, career, home/house and family/friends. Somewhere around fifteen years ago, that all changed. Over those years, all aspects of my life have become a bit overwhelming. Where I'd been use to a life where all parts ran like clockwork, gradually it seemed as if one part got out of time and then another and then another until they all fell down like dominos. I use to be so active and now I'm mainly sedentary. I stopped trying, I stopped putting in the effort and in many ways it just seems that I've stopped period. That's hard for me to admit especially being the type A, workaholic that I use to be. So, the basis of my motivation is getting my life back or at least a life back since I'm quickly realizing that everything takes a lot more effort and a lot more time than it did twenty-four years ago when I was really in my prime. But the reason for the exercise and transformed diet being the starting point is that I know I will not only have a great sense of accomplishment and motivation with each goal I meet but I will also be gaining strength, endurance and energy that will help me to not only set goals in the other sections of my life but also achieve those goals. Also, I learned a great truth in the past year. Someone I trusted and loved betrayed me and hurt me deeply. It took some time but eventually, I was able to see that this person's behavior wasn't something new but part of a lifetime of emotional abuse. I spent way too much time thinking about, concerned about why she'd hurt me and why she felt the way she did about me until the day when my husband said, "It doesn't really matter why she treated you the way she did. What matters, what the question is is, why did you let her do it for so long? Why did you accept the abuse?" I realized with that question that I had allowed it to happen because I was continually seeking her love and acceptance so I kept turning the other cheek over and over again. I knew in that moment that if I learned to truly love myself, I wouldn't need to seek love and acceptance from others. I also realized that I'd spent my entire life up to that point trying to please everyone and trying my best to keep them happy somehow thinking their happiness was more important than my own. I decided then that I had to start putting myself first and looking after myself because no one else was going to. That's the day I started exercising again. It has been a gradual start because getting my body back in shape is somewhat secondary to convincing my mind that I'm 58 not 28. I keep pushing too hard and then paying for that punishment for days afterwards. But I do keep going and every time I fall, I get back up and go again. My goal is to be back to my "fighting weight" by the end of this year. I don't know if I can make that but each day that I get back out there and make myself walk whether I feel like it or not is a victory and each day, it gets a little easier. Eventually, I will add other exercise and hopefully some running but for now, I'm going to be proud of myself just for making the effort each day. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Doing well on my diet but the last two days have been a bust. I lost my fitbit yesterday and so recorded no steps. I didn't record my diet either because I didn't want anyone knowing what I'd eaten, lol. No, I drove a friend to a doctors appointment and afterwards, I always take her out to eat. It's a treat for both of us. We ate at a place that makes good, homestyle food and I had some wonderful mashed potatoes, Southern style green beans and meatloaf..... none of which is on my diet. Then I had a scoop of frozen yogurt which also isn't on my diet. When I weighed this morning, I didn't expect any changes because of my indulgence but I certainly did not expect the one I got....a gain of two pounds!!! When I was twenty years younger, I could calculate to the ounce how much I would lose if I exercised X amount and cut back on calories and fat X amount. A pound of weight was lost or gained on a deficit or addition of 3500 calories (a number I know I didn't come close to once in the last two days much less twice!) Did someone change the rules and not tell me?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This was my view yesterday and I did have fun. I worried about Steve who was behind me riding on the trailer and catching and stacking the hay bales as they came out of the baler. Setting up like that saves a lot of steps but it is still a lot of work.

We were very lucky with the weather. Usually, when you are putting up hay in July, it is a hot and miserable job but the past five days, the weather has truly been a blessing with low humidity and a constant breeze. The Martins would swoop around in front of the tractor as I drove. They were enjoying the harvest as well, evidently a banquet for them. I'm really learning to appreciate my blessings and it has made a huge difference in my life. "To see the universe in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour." That's my new motto.

And speaking of blessings and accomplishments, I hit my 50 mile mark yesterday with my fitbit. Reached that goal in just two weeks which kind of astounds me. That may not be a great feat for many but for me it is amazing especially when you consider how sedentary I've been for so many years. Yesterday, I got a really late start and I hadn't planned on walking in the heat. I walked anyway, pushing myself at first and then I began to enjoy it despite the heat and my reluctance. Then I walked again last night and I even ran part of the mile I've been doing. I will admit that it was a very short distance, only a fraction of that mile, but it felt great. I'm hoping to start adding a little bit more running on every day until I'm running the entire mile. Then I might run a mile and walk a mile and gradually build up to running three miles twice a day. I've decided that I'm not competing with anyone else; neither have I got anything to prove to anyone but myself. That won't make any step of my progress any less a victory.

I'm using a new app called Map My Fitness and I'm loving it. It seems to be the most accurate mapping app that I've tried so far and it actually vocalizes encouragement as you walk....from your smart phone. I'm loving it.......heck, lately, I'm just loving life!!!