Saturday, July 27, 2013
I've been trying to amp up my activity level these last few months to look and feel better, have more energy, weigh less, keep up with my 5 grandkids, the reasons go on and on....
I own a hybrid bike, and it has always been the plan to actually RIDE it, rather than just use it as garage decor. For one reason or another, I keep getting sidetracked. A few weeks ago, a very dear friend and former coworker of mine from my past life as a music teacher emailed me. She mentioned that she would once again be riding in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Cycle for Life fundraiser in mid September on the Cuyahoga National Park tow path. AND that another friend and coworker was riding WITH her.... It turns out that she has 2 grandkids with cystic fibrosis. This disease is rare enough to be considered an "orphan" disease. In other words, not enough folks suffer from it to qualify for government or public funding for research. Funding is done privately and is difficult to come by. This is a devastating disease that used to kill children in their teens. Strides are being made through research to extend the average lifespan into the 30's now. Still.... how would you like to know that you would almost certainly outlive your children , and you, as an individual, could do NOTHING to change that?
I have been blessed with 5 gorgeous, healthy grandkids. My heart is aching for my friend and her family with this prognosis hanging over them. What can I do to help?
This, I think, was my sign to get that bike out, dust it off, and add cycling to my fitness routine. I have signed up to ride in the Cycle For Life fundraiser on September 21 with my 2 friends and help raise money for research. The ride for us will not be long by cycling standards: we will do the 13 mile ride. I probably won't raise tons of money, but added to everyone else's efforts, maybe it will make a difference. I won't "win" the race, but I will be there to show my friend I care, we'll catch up on old times, have some laughs and get some exercise in.
My training for this started today: I completed a 16 mile bike ride through a parks program.... IN THE RAIN! AND.... I didn't stop on the hills even once! I can DO this!
Saturday, July 06, 2013
Sometimes, I become very frustrated by what my friend, the scale, tells me. I've upped my activity level by quite a bit, I've cleaned up my diet and paid more attention to portion size. I've eliminated all soda pop from my home and cut out all snacking after 8 PM, and STILL my "friend" disappoints me with little number change......
And then ~ getting ready to meet my daughter for some shopping, I realize the laundry isn't quite dry! The capris I planned to wear are in that load! OH, NO!!! What will I wear?!? Digging deep in my closet, I find a pair that I haven't been able to wear for quite some time. Shaking my head in despair, I grab them, say a little prayer, and figure I might as well give them a try...... and they FIT! They are 2 sizes smaller than what I was wearing in April! And with that encouragement, I am now motivated to keep on keepin' on, knowing that sometimes my friend, the scale, does not always tell the whole story!
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Although I've belonged to SparkPeople for a few years, I've never tried the blogging feature. So... stepping out of my "comfort zone" here a bit. Today is my birthday, and I figured there's no better time to take a new step toward emotional fitness, right?
For me, emotional eating is probably one of my biggest challenges. I KNOW what steps to take as far as activity levels and portion control and clean foods vs processed foods, but sometimes when the stress levels, anxiety levels, and depression kick in, all this knowledge fades into the background, and the bad habits creep back in.
In March, I finally got up the nerve to act on one of my lifelong passions: HORSES! I have loved horses for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a small town with no possibility of having my own horse. Every Sunday after church, I begged my dad to take me to the county fairgrounds so I could walk through the horse barn to just see the horses. If I was very lucky, I might get to pet a velvety nose or two. I attended all the horse shows there and imagined myself on one of those magnificent creatures, trying to pick out the winners in each class.
We joined a little private campground when I was about 12. I met my best friend there and had marvelous times camping, swimming, and fishing. But MY favorite activity was the trail rides. She and I would save our allowances until we had enough money, then off to the barn we would go!
Fast forward to the present: my oldest granddaughter is taking riding lessons at a stable very close to my condo. I often take her for lessons and hang out in the barn as she tacks and grooms her horse before and after her time in the arena. She has inherited my equine love. Being around these beautiful creatures brought back all of the wonderful feelings I had as a kid growing up. After fantasizing, worrying, and making lists of the pros and cons for well over a year, I finally approached my GD's teacher about the possibility of an old, overweight woman taking lessons. AND SHE SAID YES!!!!
So, folks, I am now "living my dream", as the saying goes. I will never compete, I have no desire to jump, and my progress is very slow and often ugly, but I'm getting better, I'm getting confidence, I'm building my core strength, I'm LOSING WEIGHT! Because I've found that if I can work for a PASSION in my life, I will work harder, I will work longer, I will incorporate other activities that help me improve! My Tai Chi, my yoga, my strength training, my kayaking, my hiking, my snowshoeing,my short video workouts through my SparkPeople site, my healthy eating, my trying new recipes, have all combined now to help me be a better, stronger, lighter, more balanced rider. This carries through in all aspects of my life, too. I'm a better granny to my 5 grandkids because I'm healthier. I have more energy and can keep up with them. I look better in my swimsuit, so I was able to enjoy a great day at the pool yesterday with my daughter and her 3 little ones without feeling embarrassed.
Find what moves you, what you dream about, and work toward making it happen. Don't let ANYONE tell you that it's not possible (most of all, those little voices inside your head)! GO for it, and you will thank yourself for having the courage to change your life for the better! The hardest part is taking that first step!
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