Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Getting the sleep that your body needs every night is crucial to functioning properly. When I first started on Spark People, I decided to track my sleep everyday in order to look for patterns. I was in a period of my life when I was having difficulty falling asleep on a regular basis. I made getting 7+ hours daily a goal. Something amazing happened! Suddenly I started to sleep better. Why the act of making it a goal made me sleep better, I'll never know. Perhaps setting the goal is only part of it. I also started working out on a more regular basis. I've always been an active person but for the last ten years, my workouts were sporadic at best. Once I got into a schedule of eating better and working out, I was tired enough to go to sleep at night. Sleeping enough improved my mood, made me eat less and allowed my body to regenerate its cells better. My overall health improved! Now if I don't get adequate sleep I am able to see that it makes a huge difference!
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Spark People has this really great feature called the mileage tracker. Since I just completed walking with our local team this morning, I decided to play around with it. All you have to do is enter the zip code or city name where you are doing your activity and a map of the area comes onto the screen. You can then track the course that you've covered and it tells what the distance you've traveled. This feature is way too cool!! I titled my Lake Morton under the City of Lakeland in Florida. If any of my local team mates would like to see how I've tracked our route it is saved. Check this feature out! It's great!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Waiting for something can be very stressful. Being in a "state" of not knowing and waiting for answers to questions can make you feel overwhelmed with stress. Think of how often we wait for information to trickle down to us. It happens all the time. Often we just sit impassively and wait while others go about their business and get to us when they can. Waiting can be terrible!
Did you ever notice how relieved you feel when you get lab results back from the doctor? Why is that the case? I find waiting stressful because I project all kinds of possible scenarios taking place. I don't just do it with lab results, I do it in any situation where I don't have enough information to decide what to do. What if the results are bad? What if I don't get the job? What if my boss doesn't think I've done a good job? What if I can't lose the weight? What if other people make fun of me? What if I look stupid in front of others? I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.
Today, I was working on a long term situation/project (I've been working/stressing over it for about ten months now) and I found myself waiting once again for information (from a professional in the field). I felt myself starting to project a variety of scenarios that could take place. Suddenly I was once again playing the "what if" game, only this time I decided to take the bull by the horns. All it took was several emails and/or phone calls and I had enough information to put my mind at ease.(For now at least) I can't begin to describe how much better I felt once I had the information that I needed. I shared the information with hubby (who has been my partner in this project ) hoping that he too would share my relief. Well, he didn't. He acknowledged that our information was a start but is still wary of the amount of information we got. He is a person who requires even more information than I do!
The question of information got me to thinking. Why should I put myself on someone else's time schedule when it creates stress and frustration for me? Where is it written that I have to sit by passively and stress over a lack of information? I wonder why I do this? I know that there are situations where it takes time to get results or information, such as lab results. However, I've run into situations where the lab results were actually available the next day and nobody called me for two weeks. For years I've waited when I really didn't need to wait. Not just about lab results, but I've waited for all kinds of things.
Today, that stopped. Today, I decided that I was going to start asking questions. We are all entitled to ask questions. We don't have to be passive; to sit and wait until someone "gets to us" in their pile of work. I made the decision to become proactive instead of reactive. When I asked my questions today, I was very respectful and calm. I let them know how the waiting was making me feel. I said I was frustrated, edgy and anxious from waiting. Much to my surprise, I got an answer to every question! I also got the reassurance that I needed and I felt better. How often do other people do the same thing? I have come the the conclusion that sometimes knowledge and information can give you power and relieve stress. I am taking back the power that my passiveness has given to others. I am going to be proactive about my life! I am going to ask questions!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Today I walked 7,034 steps. Hooray! I took two walks for a total of sixty minutes (thirty minutes each) and I was busy running errands for much of my morning. I was pleased that I did this well with little or no pain. The water at the pool is still too cold for my two knee replacements, so I've been experimenting with alternative exercises. Today, I broke up the activity time so I didn't do all of it at once. I have injured myself in the past trying to do one long block of exercise. Last spring, I had a stress fracture in my right heel and some damage to my lower spine by exercising for large blocks of time.
The degeneration in my spine is progressive. I am trying to strengthen all of the supporting muscles, tendons and ligaments. I spent the earlier part of this year in physical therapy trying to do this. My physical therapist now has me on a long term home exercise plan which includes water exercise and some easy walking. I can go for walks, but I'm aware that long walks may aggravate my knees and lower back. I've been very diligent about my new exercise program. I pay close attention to water conditions - temperature and weather - and land conditions - the type of surface and length of time I spend walking. Although it has been hard to reign myself in, I've been fairly successful. I have to rest on the bed after doing activities. This recovery time is key to controlling my pain and preventing injury. (See? I'm learning!)
When you've been active your whole life, this new approach is easier said than done. Sometimes I forget and try to do the things I used to do. Later, I pay the price with pain that takes hours to bring back under control. By reprogramming myself and the way I approach exercise, I hope to keep the pain spikes at bay and still be able to strengthen my muscles. I look at this as a challenge. How can I stay fit and control my weight in a new way. I'm up to the challenge!!
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