Sunday, November 30, 2014
Back on July 24, 2011 I was just restarting to use SparkPeople.com. I had been to the doctor who was wanting to put me on insulin for my diabetes. I asked for two months to start making changes before he did this. He agreed. Since then my medication has gone from Metformin 500mg twice a day and Glipizide 10mg twice day down to just the Metformin. This has been due to my walking. My doctor told me walking was the best exercise you can do. So I started walking - very slowly at first and not very far at a time.
Reading somewhere about making your walks more interesting. So since I'd always wanted to hike on the Appalachian Trail at Carvers Gap on Roan Mountain on the Tennessee/North Carolina state lines, I thought I'd do a virtual hike. So on I used the mileage I had and looked up the miles on google. I learned it was 2185.3 miles long. Okay. I seriously didn't think I'd ever be able to walk that far - ever!
Well, as of Friday I'm done with that first challenge I gave myself. Had I had a better way to track my miles back then, I would have finished long ago. I've been racking up miles pretty good now since my son gave me an early birthday present of a Fitbit Flex in August. I love it! I got a 500 mile notice from Fitbit earlier this month. I was in shock over that because I seriously didn't think I had that many miles.
As of yesterday I had 2192+ miles walked. So what am I going to do now? Well, back on April 1st of this year I started doing a virtual walk of the Pacific Crest Trail. As of the 28th I was at 736.2 miles of the 2,689.5 mile long trail. So I'm on my way again. Many more miles to walk.
I don't plan on stopping my walking. I'm hoping to get some more time on the trails in East Tennessee/West North Carolina again next summer. I just love to walk. My dog loves it too. She's spoiled because she thinks she has to walk three or four times a day. Our walks aren't too long, she's almost 13 and because of her past history of getting hit by a truck, she's had multiple injuries that slowed her down but she's a fighter too and loves to walk.
My hardest challenge is walking in the colder months. Now that I have my fitbit flex, I've been more challenged to get outside even on the cold, snowy days we've had already and walk some.
Make it part of your day, to just get outside - even if it's just 10 minutes - and walk around. Connect a little with nature and your surroundings. Feel the ground under your feet and just move that beautiful body of yours. All it takes is one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. Don't worry if you're out of shape and have problems walking very far. I had that problem too in 2008 when I first joined. I barely could walk from the house to the car - and that wasn't far. I was recovering from complications due to gallbladder surgery. I had internal bleeding, kidney failure and looked like someone had used me for a punching bag. I was also at my highest weight of 278. My feet and legs were swollen and hurt like crazy although the swelling was down from being on bed rest while I was in the hospital. It was a very slow (and I do mean slow!) process to full recovery. Due to other medical problems I do have limits. Five or six miles a day is usually my limit and boy do I feel it in the days ahead, so I have to watch it. My biggest challenge in that time was in 2013 when I hiked to Abrahms Falls in the Smoky Mountains. It's five miles round trip - however for me it really got me. When I got to the falls I had an asthma attack which triggered a panic attack and my blood sugar bottomed out. Many of the other hikers were very concerned. My brother didn't know what to do - thankfully I did and I walked back out. Some of the other hikers had alerted the Park Rangers that I was having difficulty and if they saw my brother's car there after dark, there was a problem. I was determined to walk back though. I fell once but I walked out on my own with no help other than getting myself up off the ground. The Park Ranger was by my brother's car, getting ready to call for a search. He told me I should have never ever attempted that hike. This past summer we stopped by the Abrahms Falls area and the Park Ranger there remembered me. He asked if I was planning on hiking again and I said "not today". I think he was relieved.
Since then I've hiked to waterfalls again this year in the Dupont area of North Carolina. I love to hike! My very first hike was at Carvers Gap in June 2013. I was hooked. Unfortunately I have limitations - like going up steps - that prevent me from doing a lot of things but I still make an attempt at it. Like the strenuous hike I attempted this summer along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Can't remember where it was but the BRP guide said it was a 45 minute walk. Ha! It was a challenge but when I got to a bunch of steps I turned back, my brother went on but he didn't get all the way down to the falls either. I hiked back up to the car and then just walked the easier part of the trail until he came back. He said the hike wasn't represented very well in the guidebook at all and I would have never made it. Some of the waterfalls I did go to, I didn't go to the bottom because of the steps especially those that had 50+ steps!
At any rate, if you're just beginning this journey - and it is a journey - remember it took time to get to the point where you're at in life now so this journey will take a while. It may not be easy but if you keep going - picking yourself back up when you fall - you will succeed.
My journey is a slow process. That's okay because I know once I lose the weight, it's going to stay off this time permanently. It's a change in your lifestyle, your thinking, your activity. It can turn your world upside down. There are adjustments you'll have to make. You'll resist - that's normal. Stay focused on what you want. Don't beat yourself up if you don't make that goal by "x" date. You have to have realistic goals. Sure I'd love to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year but is it realistic - not for me.
The end of the year is rapidly approaching. It's time to think about your goals for 2015 again. I'm hoping to add a few things in 2015. I don't know if they'll be realistic for me to achieve because of certain limitations but I'm looking forward to stretching myself further this coming year after the hustle & bustle of the Christmas holiday season is over with.
You never know what you can accomplish until you try. Set your mind to it, then put one foot in front of the other and head towards that goal. You can do it! I'm amazed that I've lost 74 pounds so far. If I hadn't gotten off track and gained 25 I'd have been pushing that 100 pound mark but I let myself get sidelined. Now I'm within two pounds of where I was before that sideline determined to move forward and get the rest of this weight off.
Remember we're all here for the same basic reasons. There are so many wonder SparkFriends I have that have supported me and encouraged me and cheered me on in my journey. We're here for you! Let's do this!
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Don't you just love it when you think you're doing lousy on your goals and you put on a pair of jeans that were too tight and suddenly they're loose? I was floored this past week by two pair of my jeans. The other day I had my usual pair of jeans on and boy were they loose - I mean seriously at the start of July they were still tight when I put them on. I thought well okay, they do have some spandex in them so maybe they just finally stretched out. Well, today I put on another pair that fit perfectly back then and guess what they're loose too and they don't have spandex in them. So I guess I have lost some of those inches.
The other day I was switching my summer tank tops & all for my cooler/colder weather clothes. I had this sweater that I just loved - bought it a little over a year ago and it was too small. So since I was washing clothes I though well, I'll try it on. I was floored it actually fit. I was amazed.
I had noticed some of the clothes I wear around the house were looser but I figured that was because they were the larger sizes. So I've had a pleasant surprise.
My fitbit and I were having major problems on the charging front. Silly me forgot to check the connection points for charging. They were dirty, no wonder the crazy thing wouldn't charge. Normally that's the first place I'd check but I guess I was a little brain dead and all every time I charged it. So I got a soft toothbrush and brushed them off. Bingo! when I put it back in the charger it lit up to show it was charging. Sometimes the obvious gets overlooked when we're in a hurry or stressed out.
Also, I guess I'll give the fitbit more credit too. I mean since I've started using it and working on 10,000+ steps a day that's when I started noticing a difference in my clothes. It motivates me to move it more (unless it's like yesterday when I was sick, then we had severe thunderstorms for hours) and seeing those "very active" minutes on my app serves to remind me to move it, to step up the pace. All in all, very pleased with my fitbit. Now to get into the fall/winter mode. As long as we don't have icy or real deep snow I should be fine walking. I'm going to look into getting some boots for winter walking. They would serve me better since our street rarely is cleaned off. Being in a really small town doesn't help with clear walking paths in the winter - sadly it's difficult to find a safe place for this klutzy butt to walk her dog.
Now that I feel better I'm hoping to get back on track with my other exercises again. I know I've said it a million times and something always derails me but I'll get back up and dust myself off and say okay here goes (again). That's the thing, if you get de-railed on your journey: Stop, evaluate where you are, dust yourself off and start again. You haven't failed. You're human. Things happen. Life happens.
Case in point, last summer I gained about 20-25 pounds, depending on when I looked at the scale. My lowest weight was 202. I'm almost back there. Last weigh in was 205. Am I excited? Oh heck yeah! I'm finally getting my butt in gear and working to get down below 200 finally. Last time I saw the 190's was back in 1978. That was when I started all sorts of meds for my migraines. The assortment that doctor gave me, drug me down in the ground. Then I really didn't pay attention. No I didn't get regular exercise - some walking but nothing to write home about. That was it. Long gone (6 years) were the PE classes, the bicycle riding, the attempts at running, and walking all over the place. The pounds came on and I really never paid them much attention. Sure there were several attempts at diets but they were short lived. Then I moved, got married, had my son, became a widow, got remarried, got divorced and bam! my gallbladder decided it wanted out and I nearly died from complications. That was at my highest weight of 278. I was given a second chance so in 2008 I joined SparkPeople and lost about 30-35 pounds. Thought it was great and then quit. Come July 2011 and by then I really didn't care about anything, I was depressed yet again. I weighed about 250 pounds and the doctor told me my A1C was a 10 and I was going to go on insulin. Hold the phone! Can you give me until September's appointment to try and get it down? He agreed and yes it started coming down. What changed? I walked - not much at the beginning but I made myself get out of the house and walk my dog. My doctor said walking was the best thing I could do, so I did it. Didn't cost anything but my time because I had shoes I could wear. I'll be the first to admit that even though I walked, it wasn't what people would call fitness walking. I watched what I ate. Nothing major there just didn't eat as much. I still eat what I want but it's the portion size that I really watch. Some days are terrible, some days are amazing. It's all on my moods - you see I'm bi-polar and even though I'm on meds my moods stay on the depressed end of the scale. Lately I've been really depressed - it's that time of the year. October 7th was the 10th anniversary of my first husband's death from a massive heart attack and the 9th was his birthday/the day he was buried. (Not my idea but his Mom's who went behind my back and made all the arrangements) So anyway I get really depressed this time of the year. I'm better today though. The depression is lifting.
So what are my goals? Get back on track. Do more than just plain old walking my dog. I've got a recumbent exercise bike that I need to get back on, then there's my Leslie Sansone videos I love to do, then there's the resistance bands/stretch band routines I seriously need to do. Plus I need to find those crazy dumb bells I had and use them until I can find some new ones that I like. I'm seriously lacking in the strength training department. My excuse is my neck (pinched nerve) plus the fact that I've had my collar bone cracked and separated more than once (yes, I'm a total klutz) and that causes me problems big time. Should it stop me? No...I should work around it.
I need to quit making excuses. What about you? Is there something that you need to be doing that you're not? What's the excuse you're giving yourself? Is it a valid concern? Or is it something you can work around? I know the holidays are on us and this is the hardest part of my year because I love to bake and I bake a lot of things and make lots of candy/cakes/pie to give to family and friends over the holidays. No, I'm not planning on stopping. They tell me that it's the only time they get homemade goodies. So I'll keep spoiling them. Just won't make any extras and munch my way through the goodies. I've learned over the past couple of years not to eat a dozen cookies as I'm baking when they're fresh out of the oven. I allow myself a couple and that's it. Now I don't want to eat myself sick (which I've done) on fresh warm cookies. I put a limit on what I will allow myself and I generally stick to it. I mean when you allow in your calories for it and see what's left for real food, well it kind of puts things in a fresh perspective. Moderation in all things food. Since I rarely have a drink - my splurge is an occasion Pepsi. Hey that's better than my 6-8 cans a day habit I had when my gallbladder decided to leave me. I have one on occasion. That's more than enough. Moderation.
Let's get moving today! What will you do? Me? I've already took my dog for a brisk walk, thinking about another one too since the sun's out. After that I'll be digging for my "tools" to get my body moving in other ways too.
Here's to a happy, healthy fall! Let's rock this! We can do it! You know you want to!
We have to
Thursday, September 25, 2014
Hey y'all! Hello from soggy New Smyrna Beach, Florida. We've had about 8 inches of rain in NSB the past 24 hours. Needless to say there's been a lot of localized flooding in the area. All over the Space Coast and even further south we've had a lot of rain lately.
I've enjoyed walking the beach out front of the condos where we've stayed. The past couple of days, the Atlantic Ocean has been really rough. This photo was Shawn & Rhonda on the beach this afternoon trying to fly kites.
Some of the sunsets have been interesting and some really pretty.
We've gotten drenched several times when the rain has come out of no where and rained hard and fast. Yesterday my shoes were sloshing when I walked from getting caught in the rain at Seminole Rest in Oak Hill, Florida.
At any rate we've had a great time just being together and relaxing. Yes, last week I was in the pool. I can't find the photo right now so I must not have it transferred to my laptop yet.
Lots of walking on the beach. Today we went to a different beach and looked for shells. Shawn, Rhonda & I got a bit wet because it was raining but not hard. We laughed about it but kept on walking. It wasn't the first time this week we got wet so it wasn't a big deal.
We watched two rocket launches at Cape Canaveral from the beach. We're 35 miles from the launch pads and the first launch was marred by all the cloud cover. Last Sunday morning's launch was nice because the sky had cleared out pretty good. While we were waiting we watched the meteor shower, so it was a bonus. It's amazing to hear the rockets 35 miles from the launch pad. My Dad and brothers said when the space shuttles went up they really lit up the beach. I would have loved to seen that.
Only two full days left to enjoy Florida. Saturday my brother and I will head back to my house. A nice long drive of about 800 miles. Always fun. By the time I get home, my body vibrates for days.
Thankfully, I received two emails from the circuit court clerk this week. I have jury duty until December 31, 2014. Next Monday's case was settled out of court so I don't have to go - yay! I was dreading that. Plus the other email said no trials were scheduled for October so that is fantastic too. I can breathe a little easier for a little while anyway.
Hope y'all are enjoying this fall weather. It's always a change going from Florida back to Kentucky - it's like summer here in Florida and late fall sometimes in Kentucky. From almost 90 to low 60s (or lower) in less than 24 hours.
I'll keep y'all posted on things. Once I get home it's back to a more normal diet. I'll definitely miss the walks on the beach though. I'll have to work to get my 10,000+ steps in daily. I've enjoyed some 20,000 step days down here. Today, last time I checked was 17,777 steps so far. My back is feeling the bending down to pick up shells tonight. Think I'll heat my rice sock up and get some warmth on it tonight.
Take care and enjoy the week and weekend.
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