Sunday, January 26, 2014
I have been MIA for some time from the Blog world, but thought it was time to bring my Spark friends up to date.
It is a strange phenomena what stress can do to a person and there are all kind of stressors in this life. It seems the more stress you are under the more your focus diminishes until you end up with tunnel vision and can hardly see the forest from the tree. My stress has been my health.
A brief review for my new Spark friends. I joined SP last March and was very gung-ho to lose weight and get fit. At the same time I was dealing with some hip pain and had been trying to get a definitive diagnosis for the past 5 years so I could develop a plan of action; either side, the choice is yours! Just the same I was not going to let that pain stand in my way. My doctor sent me to the pain clinic for injections and at first I felt on top of the world. I even trained for and jogged my first 5K at 61 years old in May 2013. That turned out to be the beginning of the end for me as it really did me in as far as my hip pain went.
I can really thank my Pain Clinic doctor for finally helping me sort this all out. The pain injections just weren't working like they did at first. He sent me for x-rays which showed a possible hairline hip fracture and then forwarded me back to one of my orthopedic surgeons. I stopped getting those steroid injections because, after all, if they aren't going to work why bother?! My surgeon took one look at my x=rays and said "Yup, when do you want to do this?". The game plan was on. As time passed and the benefits of the steroids (the ones that I thought weren't helping, but found out they really were) wore off, my tunnel vision set in more and more. I thank the heavens for my DH as the Holiday Season is sooooo busy and he was such a big help at getting up through it. I laugh with my daughter now that 2013 will go down as our worst Holiday Season ever when we remember back about it. By the time December hit I couldn't wait to get my Left Total Hip replacement done. December 23 couldn't get here fast enough for me! I even dropped out of my 5% Fall Challenge Team which was an unbearable decision for me.
Well, I gotta tell you. No one ever told me how much it would hurt afterwards! ! ! My first week post-op was unbearable, but things did get a bit better as the weeks past. This kind of major surgery really turns your life around and upside down. For an active person to go to an extremely sedentary lifestyle where it is work just to put one foot in front of the other and to have to think about every move you make so you don't exceed your "hip precautions" (for 3 months none the less) can be very discouraging and depressing. To go from being active to having your Spark Tracker only record 550 steps for the day! I want you to try sitting down in your favorite chair and then I want you to sit there all day long, day after day. It quickly becomes your not-so-very-favorite chair in a hurry.
Do you think Tunnel Vision and Pity Party go together? I'm beginning to wonder! There was a moment of sunshine in all of this by week 4. I even started to venture out of the house and met some gals I knew to attend a Wine About Winter event in my downtown area. I started to set up some new fitness goals for myself too; increasing my steps from 550 to 750 - whoo hoo! But it was a start. Then the set-back came. I ended up in the hospital last week with Acute Diverticulitis. What the heck! ! !
On top of all of this bodily insult I have been dealing with nausea and a horrible appetite for the past 2 months and even lost 6# this past week. Don't think I am doing such a wonderful job at losing weight. This is not the way to do it! Although I won't turn down any weight loss any way I can get it, I am now off of all narcotic pain meds and playing it day by day to see what my stomach and bowels will tolerate. At least I can say that food once again tastes good to me even if I do get full pretty fast.
So here I am at this w/e. I am feeling reasonably well and I am trying to stay positive. I am eager to see my physical therapist this coming Tuesday so we can increase my ST exercises and I would like to get the o.k. to do a little walking on my TM of Stationary Bike. Our 5% Challenge this week is Tracking. I hate this necessary evil and haven't done it in months. I'm not sure I will even be able to do it now as I am just happy to tolerate any food I put in my mouth without worrying about what it is. That might be hard to understand unless you have gone through weeks of nothing tasting good and no desire to eat what-so-ever. I will contribute the best I can to my team.
My Peripheral Vision is improving as my Tunnel Vision diminishes. I do believe there is light at the end of this tunnel and I look forward to reaching it!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
My Spark Coach assignment the other day was to blog about what I did to change up my exercise routine. So I read some related SP articles on Interval Training vs Circuit Training. Have any of you been confused at all about the difference between these two techniques like I was?
Here is my take on it -
Interval Training is doing one kind of exercise (they used running as an example) and altering the intensity of that exercise such as run as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walk for 3 minutes; or walk on the treadmill at a certain incline for a given period of time and then increase the incline for a period of time.
Circuit Training is alternating you exercise between ST and Cardio. Doing one for 90 seconds and then the other for 90 seconds.
Some time ago as I was trying to develop my fitness schedule I was encouraged by a Spark Friend to do the things I liked to do normally. From a personal friend I had just heard about a mutual gal who she had run into recently and was looking great! She attributed her success to Curves. I think most of us have heard of the Curve program haven't we? Even though I have seen the sites in my town, all mysterious as the windows are completely covered for privacy and a woman's only program, I never felt it was something I would be interested in until I reached this point in healthy lifestyle journey.
So I went to check it out and found that I love it! Curves is a Circuit Training program. I love it because it provides me with a routine that I can schedule and complete in 30 minutes. For some reason that I cannot explain I am not a "do at home" exerciser. I know that there are several 10 - 20 minute SP videos available to me right here on this computer, but I just can't get myself to do them even though I have watched several and even saved them to my "favorites". I probably would be more likely to do a fitness video that I plug into my TV if I wasn't so overwhelmed by the zillions to choose from out there in Amazon World! So going to Curves is really "fitting the bill" for me.
I have a very good friend who is 11 years younger then I am and I have always viewed her as being more "fit" than I am. I think she most likely sees herself that way too. And it is true. She can do more fitness moves and is definitely stronger than I am. She is the one who told me about our mutual friend and Curves. I have told her about my joining Curves and she said she had tried it in the past (end of discussion). Recently she was lamenting in a panic that she is noticing how she is loosing strength (funny how age does that to us; oh, if I had only paid attention years ago!). I tried to talk to her about Curves once more. She finally came out and said she really didn't like Curves because she didn't find it challenging enough, but that her experience had been years ago. I tried to describe how the program is very different now and she listened patiently. The next time I went to my class I was talking to my instructor/owner about my friend and she offered me a "30 day free pass" to give to her. What a deal! Before I could even give the pass to my friend she e-mailed me about this "Boot Camp" Program she heard of here in town in that she wanted to check out. Well, we will see. I watched their web video. It is indeed a boot camp and I can't even tell you the name of some of the fitness moves they showed (something about doing alternating lunges from a racers starting stance) those young things in the video doing. I'm sure my friend views herself as someone who could masters these moves, but I gotta tell you there is no way, as my age, that I will ever be able to do what those young things in that web video demonstrated. So I will go with my friend and check it out to be supportive and then I will try and give her the Pass for Curves to see if she would at least try it.
When you first go to Curves they instruct you on the machines for your first 3 visits. Then you do the circuit for around 12 visits more. Not being new to fitness I didn't like this part very much. Finally I reached the day! There is a "key" for each machine that you receive. This "key" is set to your "level" of fitness. It is first programmed to how slow you do a few reps and then how fast you can do them for each machine. Once your "key" is set you plug it in as you change machines and you are given prompts to stay within your "range of motion" at the specified speed. If you go to slow, you get a warning to speed up. If you go to fast the program will reset your fitness level to a new goal so you will have to work harder at your upcoming sessions. I have a newfound excitement about going to Curves now. This little "key" was indeed the key for me as I work to reach my goals.
Well, as usual in my blogs, I have rambled on. If you are looking for a different way to work some fitness into your life, I hope I have given you an idea here and taken out some of the mystery about Curves.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
As you may have noticed I have a definite issue with documentation for accountability, but I am persistent if nothing else. So a little revision of my accountability blog called "Blah, Blah, Blah, Blog" is called for.
My plan was to track the following for success because I knew they were things that I am good at. It was an exercise in tracking because this is something that I am absolutely terrible at! This is very obvious when I look back at my Blah blog ( I can't remember for the life of me why I named it that! ). The items I was tracking were so easy that success was never an issue and so I thought it would make me feel good to boot!
1. Follow my Exercise Schedule emoticon emoticon
2. Get 7 - 9 hours of Sleep emoticon
3. Drink 6-8 glasses of Water emoticon
4. Spark Wheel daily emoticon
5. Visit Firecrackers daily emoticon
I know I don't have any trouble getting my sleep and I always get at least 6 glasses of water a day. I used those two things just as tools for my documentation/accountability training here.
I have recently removed myself from my Firecrackers team I order to clean up my plate, so to speak, and recenter my focus. I have gone back to visiting my Spark Coach again on a regular basis, but with caution as it encourages community and this is how I end up joining so many teams; none of which I can do proper service to.
My fitness schedule has been a mess because most days I can hardly put one foot in front of the other due to my hip pain. It may sound strange, but now that I have decided to have surgery I can't wait for the date to get here.
That leaves me with spinning the Spark Wheel which isn't much of a challenge as it is part of my Spark Coach tracking.
I am loving our new Spark page and so this gave me an idea. The other day I entered a new personal goal that went something like this: I will not snack at night.
Night time snacking has been a lifetime habit of mine for as long as I can remember (which isn't very long sometimes - LOL!). I chose this goal because sitting in front of the TV and snacking is usually mindless for me. Yes, I know I could measure my portions out and plan on the snack in my daily menu plan. Yes, I know I could choose only healthy snacks. Right now I'm thinking that night time snacking is something that has contributed to my weight gain and something I really don't need to do at all right now. At 10 p.m. every night my DH says "What's for snack tonight?". I want to get out of this rut of thinking that just because it is 10 p.m. and I am sitting in front of the TV that I need to put something in my mouth whether I need it or not. In thinking about this it is reminding me of when I quit smoking. It is a habit and it needs to stop.
So I am going to go back to my "Blah" blog and revise my accountability tracking to just this one thing. In time I hope that I can revise it again. Let's wait and see.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Although I have gotten used to the fact that I will be having a hip replacement in December, I seem to be blocking it from my mind to preserve my nerves. I think this is a survival tactic for me. When ever I feel myself getting anxious over anything I slow my life way down into slow motion. This all means that I'm getting much of anything done in my journey to health. As a matter of fact I managed to "pig out" quite nicely last night on beers and a huge chicken burrito ( as I told myself it has to be better than the beef one ) after spending 8 hours, yes read correctly, on the phone trying to straighten out my e-mail! I think the problem is fixed, but I am certain I have little understanding of how e-mail works in relation to how it shows up on your computer!
But today is a new day and I always try to start my days out Sparkling!
I read a short an article today about changing habits and I thought the concept might be a good one to try. Do any of you get the newsletters from Full Plate? Anyway, this is a small part of what it said -
It is better to use events to cue your behavior than time; otherwise you will always be looking at the clock. Events don’t rely on memory.
The idea is called the "When - Then". So what you do is develop a statement for the habit you want to change. For example I want to eat healthier snacks while watching TV so my statement would be "When I am watching TV at night and tempted to raid the snack cupboard, then I will eat a healthy snack instead .
Well, I better get busy because I have my Knit & Sip group tonight and I have to come up with a menu, go grocery shopping, and sweep the dust under the rug (so to speak).
What will your "When-Then" be?
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