Monday, August 18, 2014
I am making progress, I lost 3.5 pounds in the past 2 weeks. Of course that is after GAINING 7 pounds, but at least I am on the right track again. An even bigger victory is that my hiking pants fit me again! They were tight. I think the core strength training recommended by the physical therapist is helping reduce my belly.
In the past 2 weeks, I have kept up my streak pretty well.
At least 5 fruits and veggies every day-- done.
No snacking Ė well I lapsed a couple of times, but still success 12 out of 14 days.
Exercise at least 10 minutes every day Ė done. Exercise at least 5 hours total a week Ė done. Strength and stretching 3x per week Ė done.
This weekend I camped at Waldo Lake with the Sierra Club. It was a lot of fun. The wildfires were quite close (5 miles) and the Forest Service closed the west section of the trail around the lake on our last day. But we were very lucky because the smoke was not blowing in our direction.
My tent site
Our group campfire area
I led two hikes. On Saturday, 7 of us hiked to Bobby Lake. On one stretch of the hike, participants in the Waldo 100 K trail run (64 miles!) were passing on the trail; they had already run 23 miles (about 37 K) including climbing Fuji Mountain. I canít imagine doing such a long run! In addition to 100 K distance, they climb over 11,000 feet (about 3,350 m) total elevation gain and an equal amount of loss.
Our hike to Bobby Lake was enough for me! We hiked approximately 5.5 miles.The lake was beautiful.
At the trailhead
On the trail
On Sunday, 3 of us hiked around Charleton Lake. The hike was only about 3.5 miles, but it was harder because of fallen trees (over 40!) lying across the trail and one section of boulder hopping. The other hike leaders told me it took their group 3 hours; I hiked with two faster younger men, so we completed the loop in 2 hours.
Canoe on Charleton Lake
All in all, a great weekend, and a fairly successful week.
Friday, August 01, 2014
My July weigh in results were the WORST ever since I started on SP. I gained 7 pounds in one month. And Ė uh oh, my pants are feeling too tight.
Why the fail? Well, overeating, stress eating, and less exercise. Momís funeral was earlier this month, and I spent a lot of money traveling to see her during her final decline -- but overeating is not the answer to stress and difficult times. Getting fatter only makes me feel worse. So it is time to turn this around and make some changes.
I did have some pluses (non scale victories) over the month of July.
I kept hiking all month, every weekend, even when it was very hot.
I started physical therapy yesterday. I had a bad fall in March on ice in Glacier National Park. Although I have been able to keep hiking, I have a lot of pain, and I have not been able to do some more strenuous activities (like Zumba, and getting out of the kayak unassisted without falling in the water). I saw the doctor in April (he diagnosed a strained hamstring), and then saw the doctor again last week for the PT referral. When I finally saw the physical therapist, she discovered my pelvic joint and hip joint were locked and restricted. So that explains some of my problems. She was able to get the range of motion improved, and has given me some very simple exercises. Iím VERY optimistic about finally getting back to normal activity levels!
As of yesterday, I have improved financial security, because I received a check from momís life insurance policy. Plus I received a very lovely piece of jewelry from her estate.
I successfully did major organizing projects: garage, garden shed, and back bedroom closet shelves. I hired someone to take a full truckload of excess possessions and yard debris to the dump, and I took financial documents to a secure shredding service. Now on to the office!
I had reduced alcohol intake and reduced eating out. And I successfully cut down on the medication that I was taking to help me sleep (thank you, Charly, for suggesting melatonin as a natural sleep aid!)
My plan to turn things around in August:
Well, my basic program works. I just have to DO IT! No snacks, no sweets, no seconds Ė thatís No S in a nutshell. I will make the following changes:
1. I will add exercises recommended by the physical therapist
2. I will resume strength training and Zumba when cleared by the physical therapist
3. I will weigh in weekly instead of monthly. No more shockers at the end of the month!
4. I will get a FitBit or other activity tracker to improve my Monday-Friday activity level
5. I will consider counseling for depression, if that is the root of my overeating/occasional binge problem
Monday, July 14, 2014
Momís funeral this weekend was a beautiful ceremony, family only, and her ashes were buried in the little memorial rose garden next to dadís ashes. We had a big memorial for her in the main lounge at her retirement center. About 150 people attended. The flowers were beautiful, in her favorite colors.
Memorial flowers, poems, and appetizers
My younger sister did two large collage boards of pictures of mom.
Sister and brothers after admiring photos of mom
My older sister printed about 20 of momís poems about her friends and about daily life in the retirement center, and put them on cardboard stands with decorative borders.
My brother-in-law provided the wine, and the event was catered with several varieties of appetizers (most of the attendees are residents at the retirement center, and all their meals are provided).
My brother and two sisters all spoke movingly and lovingly of mom. (By prior agreement within the family, I volunteered to read at the church service instead). Everyone really enjoyed their fond memories of mom.
Taking a break before the start of the memorial
Sister, niece, nephew
After the memorial (Sisters, brother, nephew)
I did quite a bit of socializing and circulating at the memorial. Mostly it was WONDERFUL to talk with momís friends. However there were a few odd comments. Mom shared with a few close friends information about my brother, with the result that my older (very straight, very conservative) brother got asked eagerly ďAre you the one thatís gay?Ē He and his wife and son laughed about it. And apparently once when my two brothers were standing together, another elderly resident came up and asked (again quite eagerly) ďWhich one of you is the gay son?Ē I canít imagine going up to anyone at a funeral and asking that question! (But our generation would just go onto Facebook and read the personís profile and relationship status afterward!)
Our old neighbors came, and C., who is my age, talked with me quite pleasantly at first. We were great friends when we were in 2nd grade and for a few years after; then she became unpleasant and bullying as a teen, making fun of other people in a fairly cruel fashion. I knew (from mom) that C. sought counseling after being depressed and bitter, so I was hopeful that she was inspired to change. She asked why I liked living in Oregon, I explained it is beautiful, and I enjoy getting out in nature and hiking. She said she could not envision me as a hiker. Maybe Iím overreacting, but I thought that comment was a put-down (the implication to me was: you are too fat to be a hiker. My sister heard the implication the same way). Anyway it was a social event, I didnít apologize or get in a fight, I just told her ďI hike a lotĒ and moved on. Maybe Iím too sensitive, or maybe Iím wrongly judging that comment based on her behavior when she was 13! But it seemed wise to move away because her comment threw me off guard. No point in getting upset over petty comments by negative people!
Overall I really enjoyed the time with momís friends, and with my family. It was a great memorial and funeral. Mom would have loved it!
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
Overall June was challenging due to momís final decline and death. I traveled out of state to stay with mom; staying in hotels led to eating and exercise challenges. Financially the travel was expensive and required me to dip into savings. Although I am luckier than many people because my employer gave me extended paid leave to spend time with mom in her final days, the 3 separate trips to an expensive area cost me over $6,000. Ouch. But I am glad that I spent time with her, and that I was with her at the end. But this was an emotional roller coaster, and I am grateful that I had her in my life. I miss her.
So all in all I am happy that my June was not a health disaster. I did not gain or lose weight. I kept up regular exercise, even if it was just 10 minutes at night before bed. I lapsed on my eating and had a couple of binges, but I recovered and moved back into healthier habits.
I return to California tomorrow for momís funeral service and memorial. I am reading a favorite poem that mom wanted to have included in the service, it is Margaritae Sorori by William Ernest Henley. Iíll paste it at the end of this blog for those who like poetry and/or comforting messages about departed loved ones.
I hiked Lookout Mountain on Sunday by myself, it was a hot day and none of my friends were willing to brave the heat. I really enjoyed it. I will be leading this hike in a couple of weeks, and I want to be sure I am in shape for this moderate hike (about 7.5 miles, 1250 elevation gain). The wildflowers were spectacular. Mom would have loved it. She really loved nature.
The trail opens in the woods in the Ochoco Mountains
After a mile or so elevation gain, I hiked through a meadow filled with corn lilies
Flowers (larkspur and lupine)
Butterfly on yarrow
Indian paintbrush and other flowers
This flower is aptly named -- Oregon Sunshine!
Indian Paintbrush and lupine
The flowers are best in the dry rocky slopes on top of Lookout Mountain. They have a very short blooming season.
View on the descent across wildflower meadow
In the woods on the descent, arnica was blooming in the shade.
Poem for mom's memorial:
by William Ernest Henley
A LATE lark twitters from the quiet skies:
And from the west,
Where the sun, his day's work ended,
Lingers as in content,
There falls on the old, gray city
An influence luminous and serene,
A shining peace.
The smoke ascends
In a rosy-and-golden haze. The spires
Shine and are changed. In the valley
Shadows rise. The lark sings on. The sun,
Closing his benediction,
Sinks, and the darkening air
Thrills with a sense of the triumphing night--
Night with her train of stars
And her great gift of sleep.
So be my passing!
My task accomplish'd and the long day done,
My wages taken, and in my heart
Some late lark singing,
Let me be gather'd to the quiet west,
The sundown splendid and serene,
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