Tuesday, March 23, 2010
With my doctor appointments in the afternoon, I had to wait to go to the pool until this evening and I think it is harder to go that late. I read an article today that suggested doing exercise earlier in the day, but my arthritis has me far too stiff for that. Our pool has an open swom time from 7-9 during the week, but that just isn't practical for a mother who has a job. In any case, I got my exercise in and am glad that I went. I took about ten minutes in the sauna, just to warm up--I have only done that once before. It did help warm me up, but I think other people use it in the nude. I am not comfortable enough with public undress yet--if ever, lol. I knocked my swim bag off of my walker and onto my leg in the front of my calf area and it left a significant knot and a big bruise, the size of a nice peice of fruit. I have ice on it to bring the swelling down and take the soreness out and that isn't helping the chill I'm feeling.
I have made several new spark friends the past couple of days and that has been fun. Some have been on my teams and some have found me. I love being able to talk to others and lend a hand or an idea to help them out. I will miss having as much time to come to SP when I return to work half days next week because I will miss all of the good friends that I have here. I feel sad for some of my SP friends who are having a tough time right now and if you are one of them reading this, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so blessed with a group of friends from all around SP who look after me and encourage me and keep me going. I love giving the feelings that are sent to me to others as well. This site is so positive and friendly that I wish everyone could have these feelings of success, motivation, support, and welcome that are so abundant.
My doctor visit was quite positive. I am going to stay at half days for another month and then have a reevaluation with him. He encouraged me to keep up with the activities that I have been doing. He also made some suggestions for my diet--more protein is the big one. I am going to do my best to do that, my limited walking and getting around limits the time I spend in the kitchen and I don't like to ask everyone else to do things for me, but I am just going to have to change that attitude. I've been worried about my hair--the post-op, post anesthesia damage should be past, but my hair continues to fall out and it isn't looking good. I think I need to get a really short cut to help it heal some and improving my diet should help as well.
It's been a good day--beautiful outside with more of the same predicted. I have another doctor appointment tomorrow, and a list of things to accomplish. I am getting so much out of spring break that it will be hard to get back on schedule next week. Like I told the gentleman who brought me a wheelchair at the hospital today (where my doctor's office is located), "Thank you, but I can do this." I can and I will.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
It has been quite a day, simply pleasant and quiet. I love Sundays and being able to start my day at church with my family. The early church members who designed a service of worship surely understood what people need in their lives. I love the combination of music, scripture, listening, thinking and of course, prayer that work together to heal me and prepare me for a week of being the best person I can be. We have so many talented musicians in our church--and I am proud that that includes 4 of my children. (I don't know how I ended up with so many musically gifted children-they sing and play instruments and win awards for their performances. My daughter sang a solo last week that was top-notch for an adult, she is 14.) We start our service with our "Praise band" who begin with 3 wonderful tunes, generally current music designed to set the stage for worship. We have a few traditional hymns and responses as well. We also have a variety of intrumental performances because our music department in our church is full of professional musicians and music educators who have access to such a wonderful variety of talented performers. Our pastor is a gifted speaker and thinker--and my friend, so his messages are generally a treat. I'll be a member for 38 years on April 1, so this church has been a part of my world for a very long time and I have many friends to enjoy as well. Our church is very much a mission church and although I haven't been involved in a lot of the work recently, I did donate my summer mornings last year to leading a reading program for the inner city children who also came to the church for our "Summer feeding program." The kids got to come for breakfast, have a morning that included reading lessons, reading fun, two art lessons and two music lessons a week. Older children were involved in social activities and citizenship programs. It was great fun to use my talents doing something valuable.
I also spent a good deal of my day just playing with my family and enjoying everything around. I was going to get someone to take my photo, but I cannot remember where my camera is...I promise to get an updated photo taken and posted soon. I only have one more packet of vegetable seeds to get planted in anticipation of our garden. When I finish with them, I am going to start some flower seeds for the yard as well. I think this is therapeutic for me because I am needing it to be warm and spring and summer and well, not winter anymore.
I have been reading and playing with the bunny and the guinea pigs, and those things are so relaxing to me. I decided yesterday to take today off from the pool. I tend to forget that we need time to heal and rest, and my back has been such a stinker that I thought time away from my routine might be a good plan. Quite honestly, I have tried everything now--heat on a body sized pad with and without vibrating massage, ice, rest, massage, various types of stretching and strengthening, weight loss, walking and physical therapy--and it is still being a stinker. My doctor appointment for my back is Friday and he can add his two cents worth to all of this. I see my surgeon tomorrow and big decisons lurk with me no closer to knowing exactly what I should do than I was a month ago. I have two other doctor visits this week, so along with my time at the pool, I will be quite busy. (A friend at church warned me that the park kids will be back on Wednesday, so I will be choosing a different time of the day for exercise then, lol.)
There is an important note with our blog now that reminds us not to plagarize articles. They don't want anything copied in its entirety, so I am going to look over some things I have shared in the past and make some changes. I have always been careful to give credit to who credit is due, but I am guessing that there is some legality involved as well. SP has been good to me and this is something easy for me to do in return. On the same note, I have an article I got in an email that seemed like a timely reminder with Easter upon us. It is called "The Rainbow Diet" and isn't a diet at all, but a reminder of a way to choose healthy fruits and vegetables from each color group. It helps me to think about these things, because I can be such a creature of habit--ruts lead to plateaus and those are nothing but trouble to anyone who is working hard to become healthy.
This is from "My Daily Moment" and can be found in its entirety at:
The Rainbow Diet: Lose Weight
Ok, so it's not officially a diet, but there are plenty of reasons to follow the rainbow, especially when picking out fruits and vegetables. The secret to ensuring that your body gets the necessary nutrients lies in following an eating regimen that's rich in color. There's a wealth of health benefits associated with these bright hues. Foods that are blue or purple (eggplant, blueberries) lower the risk of cancers and improve memory and urinary tract health. Green fruits and vegetables (kiwi, spinach) promote good vision and strong bones and teeth while also preventing some cancers. Red foods (tomatoes, cherries) improve heart health and memory and lower the risk of cancers. Yellow or orange fruits and vegetables boost the immune system, improve heart health and promote good vision. Make it a habit and get some color.
I was happy to think about this because when we went grocery shopping Thursday, I bought both strawberries and blueberries and they didn't cost me an arm and a leg like they have been. I love berries and watermelon and am so happy to start seeing these things again. Fruit hasn't been too tasty lately and I have had to find creative ways to help my family to enjoy them. There aren't too many things in the blue-purple part of the rainbow of fruit.
Enjoy the rainbow and avoid the eating ruts!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I don't know if you can imagine my surprise to have received an email from the Spark Team a short while ago that told me that others in the SP community had suggested that I was motivating to them and that they have included me as one of their "Motivators." Wow, I am so surprised. I love SP and I spend time here helping myself when I can. I tell new team members and my new Spark Friends that anytime I can help someone else with anything, it really helps me. I am never sure if this makes sense--it's kind of like a parent telling a child that "This hurts me more than it hurts you" before they punish them. It is so true and so illogical. I know that I am an honest person and that I cannot give advice that I don't practice. If I tell somebody something, I do the thing I am talking about. If I tell you that I am going to go work out or that I am going to try something new, I will do it because I don't want to fib. My biggest problem lately was following through with making an appointment with my doctor about my naughty back. I am so afraid of what I will hear or what might be the outcome that I had a lot of trouble making the call--but aI finally did it because I promised the world in a blog that I was going to do it. (That appointment is Friday and if you aren't expecting me to fret between now and then about it, you have my permission to either expect that or to avoid my comments, lol)
Anyway, what I am not saying well is that I didn't expect anyone to find me and my rambling motivating because it is so self-serving. I am trying to become a more healthy person for me and my family and my students. I am finding success by helping others while being the best I can be. These are more "I statements" than I usually make and I never considered that within all of this, I was possibly motivating someone else. My honest guess is that those of you who are finding me to be helpful to you are really working hard on makin ggood choices and that things I am saying or sharing are helping you as you find your own way.
Thank you so much for giving me credit for being helpful in some way. It means the world to me, because I have been on a journey to do my best in improving my life. I am honored that anyone at all felt I have been good for them. I am also humbled by this, because I am so unsure of what I have really done to deserve this sort of recognition. You are all my friends and have been here for me through thick and thin. I have been a winner since I found SP and have been more blessed with each passing day. It is hard to believe that I can get any more than I already have by looking for ways to help myself.
Friday, March 19, 2010
I am trying hard to avoid the idea that spring isn't here, but aI have been cold since I left the pool tonight. I cannot quite seem to warm up and we just turned on the portable heater. Grr...please, no more cold, frigid, snowy weather. It has a been a beautiful week, so something is due to happen--but it doesn't have to be wintery.
I am going to share another article with you that came in an email from eDiets. I have a few problems with this one because it seems a bit gimmicky rather than focused on what is good for someone to do for their body. I think I may leave it unsaid and get your take on it. (I also think some of the ideas are good ones that we are all either doing or are working at and this reading teacher loves the reading suggestion. This all deserves some conversation.) I love sharing ideas and thoughts with all of you, mostly because I know we are comin g from kind of the same place--changing our habits so our lifestyle is healthy for us and those around us.
Speed Up Your Fat Loss!
By Raphael Calzadilla, BA, CPT, ACE, RTS1 eDiets Chief Fitness Pro
Monday, July, 23, 2007
Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.
-- Benjamin Disraeli
Have you been trying to lose body fat, but find it comes off at a snail's pace? Tired of losing a pound a month as you exercise and diet your brains out? If you're working out with efficiency and maintaining a slight caloric deficit, you can actually lose up to 1.5 pounds per week. That's a lot of fat loss in the course of one year.
However, even if you haven't been consistent, I have some metabolism-boosting tips that should help ignite some good, steady fat loss.
1. Increase your meal frequency: Eat more often, but don't increase your total calories. For example, if you eat three times per day, break those three meals into five to six smaller meals and eat every three hours. Food can actually help burn body fat when it's used strategically.Eating a large meal such as a big bowl of pasta, raises your blood-sugar levels and the body increases its level of insulin. Breaking your meals into smaller feedings helps to control blood sugar and puts you in a better position to lose fat.
2. Break up your workout. Research has proven that two short bouts of exercise per day will actually stimulate the metabolism more than one longer bout. Go for a brisk 15-minute walk first thing in the morning before work and then another one at lunch time. Do this five days per week and you'll see progress at the end of 30 days.
3. Eat breakfast: The human body's main goal is survival. If it senses any type of emergency, it will do everything in its power to keep you alive. If you sleep through the night and then deprive the body of food in the morning, the body senses a potential famine and then holds onto stored body fat to keep you alive. Calories from food represent heat. Use the heat to rev your metabolism.
4. Cycle calories: For three days, consume your minimum calorie requirement based on your height, weight and goals. Then, on day number four, increase your calories by an additional 400 (nutritious foods only). For example, if you're losing fat by consuming 1,200 calories per day, simply raise your calories to 1,600 on day number four. This technique can actually get the metabolism racing and stimulate additional fat loss. The additional calories should come from good sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
5. Drinks lots of water: Muscles and other tissues are made up of approximately 80-percent water. If you limit your water intake, the body will retain water and make you feel bloated whcih can be absolutely awful. It doesn't take much for this to happen -- the body only needs to be dehydrated by approximately 2 percent for this to take place. Drink .55 multiplied by your body weight in ounces of water per day. Staying hydrated will release some excess water trapped in the body and most likely reduce your weight by a few pounds.
6. Exercise in the morning: If you can fit it into your schedule, exercise in the morning. People who exercise consistently in the morning find that exercise at this time regulates their appetite all day long. They don't get as hungry and they start the day with a boost to the metabolism.
7. Perform cardio interval training: Cardio interval training is simply short bursts of high-intensity exercise combined with more moderate intensity within the same workout. Studies have shown that people who perform interval training twice a week (in addition to two other days of lower intensity cardio) lose twice as much weight as those who do just a moderate cardio workout. You can easily incorporate interval training into your workout by inserting a 45-second burst into your stationary bike workout every four to five minutes. You can also add a 45-second super brisk walk to your treadmill workout in the same timeframe. Your body will be working harder and will be forced to burn more calories. In addition, you won't need more than 25 total minutes for your workout. Try to get two additional days during the week of lower intensity cardio as well.
8. Boost your metabolism by reading instead of watching TV: Researchers at Memphis State University monitored 32 girls as they watched a half-hour television program. They found the metabolic rates dropped as much as 16-percent below resting metabolic rate. In other words, they burned fewer calories watching TV than they did just by reading!WOO HOO!!
9. Drink green tea: Green tea is a popular tea from Japan that has numerous health benefits, including weight loss. It's not 100 percent certain how green tea helps one to lose fat, but it appears to increase the amount of calories the body burns -- not necessarily because of the small amounts of caffeine it contains, but due to a compound abbreviated as EGCG. When purchasing green tea make sure the label states that the green tea used is standardized for caffeine and EGCG.
10. Practice hydrotherapy: This could have been placed in the "drink lots of water" section but deserves its own section due to its efficiency. First thing in the morning, drink 32 ounces of very cold water on an empty stomach. Don't eat breakfast for at least 30 minutes. The cold water will force your body to raise its core temperature, thereby stimulating your metabolism and excreting any excess water. You may find that you lose two pounds the first month you try this. If you want to take it a step further, do the same thing at lunch. Just make sure to wait the 30 minutes prior to eating. Remember though, if you're consuming excess calories each day, this tip won't work.
A drug-free competitive bodybuilder and winner of the prestigious WNBF (World Natural Bodybuilding Federation) Pro Card, Raphael Calzadilla is a veteran of the health-and-fitness industry. He specializes in a holistic approach to body transformation, nutrition programs and personal training. He earned his B.A. in communications from Southern Connecticut State University and is certified as a personal trainer with ACE and APEX. In addition, he successfully completed the RTS1 program based on biomechanics.
The author has quite a pedigree...but all of the water drinking(hydrotherapy) really puzzles me. I know that I couldn't do that since my surgery, but I fail to see how it would really change your fat loss--rather than fill you up with enough colder water to prevent you from being able to have a nutritious meal. I hope there is validity in the readoing vs. watching TV idea--that helps me considerably. I wonder where playing games, solving puzzles or using the computer falls at in this group of fairly sedentary activities...Something to think about...
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I was pretty surprised to wake up with my laptop still on and opened to a SP team email. I didn't feel that tired last evening when I snuggled down to visit my teams. It was a pretty good day in many ways. I love the midweek Lenter studies at our church--I usually get to meditate and pray while my kids are practicing with the choir, last night, I also visited with several people as well.
Earlier in the day, I went to the pool. On top of the issues I had the last time, the park program had a bus load of children in the pool. I hate to sound like a grumpy old lady, but it made my workout a lot less fun. Several were children from my school and they were as active and loud as you'd expect a pool full of children to be. My real problem is that they are playing and unaware of who is around them or where other people are. Several times, they came crashing in to me and if I were a bit more fragile or if I hadn't been firmly planted in the place I chose to exercise, I could have gotten hurt. Again, this is a minor thing and I am not going to let anything keep me out of the pool and from doing my workout. We cannot afford for me to have a membership at the other place and we are fortunate to be able to go to this fitness center. I looked around a bit yesterday and they have quite a "machine" room and it wasn't being used greatly, probably because it was mid-afternoon and children aren't allowed in there. I will need a lot of guidance if I ever take on that room and equipment.
We also went shopping--I needed to get a button for my son's jeans and he wanted a haircut. I get a bit of walking in htat way--it sure helps that my walker has a place to sit down because I am both slow and still developing my land legs. I walked into church last evening as well. My pastor mentioned that he knew what he was seeing was probably good for me, but it wasn't as tidy as pressing the button and quickly zipping around in my chair. Now that I am revisiting yesterday, I think I know why I was so tired last night. I am doing my best to be as active as possible and to get better each day. If my back weren't being difficult, the rest of my body is responding quite well.
I have my last physical therapy session today. I am pretty sure the focus will be on my exercises at home and what I need to do next. Next week, I am on my own except for four doctor appointments and the big decisions I need for work. We are going to be meeting with our new friend from the Army as well--I talked to him for a long time yesterday and he is both positive and honest about the Army. That will give us what we need to have important conversations about my son joining (or not joining or delaying) the Army.
I hope that the weather holds as it has been, what a joy!! Have a wonderful day, one and all!!
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