Sunday, December 11, 2011
My cousin, whom I love dearly, has died.
I don't know what to say. At roughly 9:35pm this evening, another cousin called and left a message on my answering machine while I was asleep. I didn't recognize the name at first and let the message to go machine. I tend to not answer my phone when it gets late unless I know who it is. When I checked the message, I was completely stunned and shocked. My cousin passed away today. I called my aunty immediately. No one has any exact information yet.
I had last emailed my cousin just this past Thursday. We were talking about our various plans for the weekend. Didn't really think anything about it. My aunty said she'd talked to her the other day. I don't know all the details, but it seems that my cousin hadn't been answering her cell phone or picking up any of her messages at her apartment. This is very unusual behavior for my cousin. She's one of those people who's constantly on her cell phone. Her sister and another cousin (who had a key in case of emergency) went over to check. I don't know how they found her. Guess we have to wait for the autopsy. Never thought I'd find myself having to write or say something like that.
I've been worrying about my cousin for some years now. I've always said that one day, I'm going to get a call and find out she died of a massive heart attack or stroke. I sincerely hoped that it would never ever come to this. I thought, maybe something minor might happen to scare her into taking some action. too late. now, it's too late.
Part of me wants to be sooo angry at her for not taking better care of herself. but I'm too shocked. This is what I do know. Apparently, she hadn't been feeling well the last few days. She didn't mention anything to me in her email, but she was having "flu" like symptoms. As I said, my cousin wasn't very good at taking care of herself. For many many years, she refused to see a doctor to even get a simple physical. She was always afraid they'd find something. I told her, that was the point ! You go to the doctor now before something does happen later. It's called preventative medicine. In past, we'd had arguments about her health and that's caused tension between us. I had to learn to keep my mouth shut if I wanted her to talk to me.
You know how we get posts asking how do we get our loved ones to do something about their health ? We've always had to say that there is nothing you can do to make a person want to change even if it's for their own health and well being. They have to want to change and if they don't want to change, there is nothing you can do. You have to sit on your hands. They'll change when they are ready.
A few weeks ago, my cousin had mentioned that she had a couple of appointments with a doctor. She wouldn't tell me or any other cousin any of the details. She could be like that some times. Tell you her entire life story one day and then be totally evasive the next day. So, I know something worried her enough to go to the doctor and at the time, I felt a bit better. At least she's going to a doctor I thought.
Why do I think my cousin probably had a massive heart attack ? She was a good candidate. She had excessive work stress (worrying that she could get layed off didn't help). She was worrying about what to do with the family house she'd inherited. A lot of her stress was self inflicted. She made situations worse than they had to be. She didn't know how to let go. Saying she was a type A personality as well as a control freak is putting it mildly. She internalized it all. She didn't eat right. She didn't exercise. She wasn't sleeping. She was morbidly obese. When she caught cold/flu, she'd be sick for weeks, not days. She was also diabetic on both sides of her family. I suspected she was diabetic, but ignored those warning signs too.
When it came to her health, she buried her head in the sand. She didn't want to know. She put her faith in God. She said God would take care of her. This is where we'd get into arguments. I told her that while God may be watching over her, she HAD to do something for herself. She couldn't keep ignoring her health. She had to take charge and she wouldn't do it. It's not that she didn't worry about it, I think she was too scared to do anything. I think she felt she was too old to change.
And now I am angry... I am sad... I am upset... What makes this worse is that it corresponds with the death of my former boss last year. She too died of a massive heart attack just before Christmas. They were both the same age. My boss was 57 years old. My cousin, may she now rest in peace, was 57 too.
Dear God, my beloved cousin wouldn't take care of herself. Now... please take care of her.
To all my Spark Friends, you are never too old to make a change. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Please don't ignore warning signs.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
So, there I was out for my morning walk when I pass by a dumpster next to an office building. I pass by this dumpster all the time and occasionally, I've looked to see what people have tossed. I'll admit it. I've been known to rescue stuff from the trash. Hey, one man's trash is another man's treasure !
As I was walking past the dumpster, I noticed what seemed to be new ink jet cartridges. So, I decided to take a closer look. Lo and behold, YES !!! Someone had put out some brand new (in unopened boxes) Epson and HP ink jet printer cartridges ! I picked them up and read the box. YES !! The black and color were both correct for my old Epson printer !!!
Needless to say, I grabbed them !! Do you know how much money ink jet printer cartridges cost ? In some cases, MORE than the actual printer !!
I was thrilled !! A new Epson black cartridge costs around $25 and the color goes for $30+. I saved over $50 in printer ink !!
Talk about a productive walk for the morning !
WOO HOO !!!
Friday, May 20, 2011
If you believe a certain Christian preacher, the world as we know it ends tomorrow, Saturday May 21st at 6pm (don't know if that's EST, Central or PST). Of course if you believe the Mayans, it doesn't end til 2012. LOL !
So, to paraphase REM, if it's the end of the world as we know it... what are you going to eat ? Now, keep in mind, that since the world IS ending tomorrow, we need to keep things local. Not that I wouldn't enjoy flying off to Rome for a gelato and glass of wine or two or three.
Nope, it's the end of the world, what are you going to eat that's nearby ?
Well, first off, I'm going to the Cheesecake Factory and EAT a whole slice of cheesecake !! I may have the pineapple upside down cheese cake or maybe the black forest cheesecake. Of course, since the world is ending, I could have both. LOL !!!
I'd also want to have a lobster roll from a favorite fish place i.e. the No Name Restaurant. That's lobster salad on a toasted bun and the bun needs to be buttered and grilled on both sides ! Depending on how much time I had left, I might even have the Fisherman's Platter. That's a massive plate loaded with fried fish (haddock), fried clams, fried scallops, fried shrimp, fried mushrooms, french fries, onion rings AND some cole slaw on the side for veggie. LOL!!
Yeah, I'm OD-ing on fried food !!! Of course, I could take the commuter rail up to Rockport and have the Fisherman's Platter there too.
So, how about all my Spark Buddies ? What are some foods you'd like to enjoy before the world ends in a big ball of fire tomorrow ???
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Because there is more to good health than a number that stares at us from between our toes in the morning.
I've seen so many posts from members who are distraught that the scale isn't moving when they've been so good. They want to know what they are doing wrong. Well, they really aren't doing anything wrong. The weight doesn't magically drop off the minute we decide we need to lose. Weight loss is a slow steady process that takes time. Because our weight is not a static number and fluctuates for many different reasons, a person should find other ways to measure their success. Which is what I did when I decided I wanted to lose weight and become healthier all those years ago.
When I decided I needed to make a change, I didn't use the scale to measure my success. Instead, I used a pair of pants that I wanted to fit. I did this because in past, I knew I was very obsessive about what the scale said. Not so long ago, I used to weigh myself every day basing my day on what the scale said. One pound up, bad day. One pound down, good day. That wasn't healthy and I can't tell you how long I spent yo-yo dieting because I was too concerned about my weight and not my health.
To begin, I weighed myself once for my starting weight and said that I would NOT weigh myself again until I fit those pants. When I tried on the pants, I couldn't even hike them above my hips. that was pretty embarrassing. I knew I would be losing weight if I could put them on.
So, for the first about 4 months, I watched what I ate, I exercised and each week I put on the pants to see how I was doing. Slowly but surely they started inching up my hips. Before long I could button them. I couldn't breathe, but I could button them ! Eventually, I could comfortably wear those pants.
That's when I decided to get on the scale. I'd lost 37 pounds and was thrilled ! I couldn't believe it. So, you don't need the scale to know if you're making a difference or not. I let those pants be my guide to whether or not I was making a change. That was over seven years ago and I did go on to lose more weight.
Today, I refuse to weigh myself because I don't want to be judged by my weight. There really is more to my good health than what the scale says. I am fitter today than I was over 20 years ago, but I'm also heavier. You know what ? That doesn't matter. I may have been thin back then, but I wasn't fit. Today, I am fit. My health and fitness is more important than what the scale says.
This is why I want to tell all the members who feel bad about what the scale says to not worry !! Find other ways to gauge your success as you lose. Remember, the scale can't tell you how many push ups you can do. The scale can't tell you how fast you can run or walk a mile. The scale can't tell you if you have more endurance. The scale can't tell you if you can bench over 100 pounds. the scale can't tell you your blood pressure. All the scale tells you is what your bones, muscles, blood, intestines, flesh, breakfast, lunch, water, waste, etc... all weigh on any given morning. So, don't let the scale determine how your day will be !!!
Yes, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. But know this, weight loss is nothing more than a byproduct of a healthy lifestyle.
Don't be afraid to ditch the scale and weigh yourself less often. As you can see by my own results, you don't need the scale to know if you're making a difference.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Folks, this is a WARNING to all of my Spark buddies who are thinking of hiring a personal trainer.
This morning, I decided to hit the gym early to get in a short workout on the elliptical. While I was there, a personal trainer and her client hopped on the treadmill in front of me. I've got to say this... I was APPALLED by what I saw !! Now, I'm a fully certified personal trainer myself. I'm also a fully certified group exercise instructor. I was trained by very reputable organizations. So, I was shocked by what I saw.
At first, I thought the PT was just having their client do a 5-10 minute warm up on the treadmill. Well, not exactly. Yes, the young woman did a short brisk walk. THEN, the personal trainer gave her a set of 10 pound hand weights AND had her do bicep curls as well as shoulder presses while she was walking on the treadmill !! If that wasn't bad enough, then this personal trainer (a college aged young woman) preceded to INCREASE the incline on the treadmill. I saw her as she pushed the buttons to increase the incline. Then the client put down the weights for a short time. I thought, okay, no more weights while walking on the incline. NOPE... the PT gave the hand weights back to the client who then was told to do more bicep curls and shoulder presses while walking on the incline.
Maybe it's me, but this personal trainer didn't seem to think anything was wrong with that !!!
It got worse. Another thing this trainer did was to keep increasing the speed of the treadmill. They were pushing the buttons, not the client. A personal trainer NEVER touches the buttons to increase speed. The client pushes the buttons to where they feel their maximum limit is. The PT doesn't make that decision. A PT is their to encourage their client to push a bit harder, not do the pushing for them.
Which is why I am warning all my Spark Buddies that IF they see a personal trainer advising a client to do strength training exercises while on a treadmill, STAY AWAY from that trainer !! No well trained (reputable) personal trainer would have their clients using hand weights while on a treadmill. We all know how dangerous it is to use hand weights while walking. It places too much stress on a person's joints. The only safe way to combine cardio and strength is with a good circuit training workout or class.
I was really shocked and quite honestly, I'm going to talk to the head of the trainers to tell them what I saw. What that PT did was not safe and was downright dangerous to the client.
Here's what "gets" me, I know that the trainers are all supposed to be certified via NASM. You have to be to work at this gym. That's who certified me. They are a very reputable organization. I know for a fact they do NOT teach their students to use hand weights on treadmills ! Which makes me wonder where this trainer learned fitness. They can't keep teaching their clients that it's okay to do shoulder presses while walking on an inclined treadmill.
It's trainers like this woman who makes the rest of us look bad. That's why it's important for a person interested in working with a personal trainer to get a referral. Find out as much as you can, watch the trainer and see how they interact with other clients. Because some of them really don't know what they are doing.
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