Saturday, April 30, 2011
This has been a picture perfect day, sun shining, blue skies, green, green grass, flowering trees, and a smell of spring in the air.
Early in the morning, while it was still nippy, I went to the Y and walked on the treadmill for 35 minutes. This is the first time I have used my Kindle while exercising. It worked pretty well, but because of the movement of walking, the view of the page went up and down. Later in the day, I got a wonderful walk in with Stella, out in the meadow watching birds while the poodle zoomed around at top speed just enjoying the freedom to sprint.
My friend, Sue, and I worked on some new songs. She didn't bring her banjo, but we played on guitars and my mandolin and uke. We talked about stress management; we deal with it in the same ways: music, art, walks, and time with family and friends. We are both teachers and have noticed that the profession of teaching has become more and more stressful. Like me, she has developed a hiatal hernia in the last few years. I am still puzzling over the best way to meet the current demands on teachers, be an effective teacher, and not develop stress related disorders. Obviously, I haven't found the answer yet.
On this sunny day, I am feeling very positive about meeting my goals, my progress, and being able to bring my self back into sync with good health.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Dealing with my GERD has been a challenge. I have been having such digestive pain, I hardly want to eat because my food punishes me after eating. For the past week, my food tracker has been yelling at me. Yup. It does that. I haven't been getting enough calories, calcium. protein, fat or carbs. Today, I decided to go on a smoothie fast to give my stomach a chance to rest and maybe do a little healing. Because of my hypoglycemia, I have to consume protein and carbs throughout the day or I can get almost comatose, so I can no longer just do a water or juice fast. Over all, I think it was a good plan, as I have felt much more comfortable today than I have for quite a while. But I swear I could see my food tracker having convulsions when I tracked my meals today.
I joined the Spring into Spring Bootcamp and am really enjoying it.
Coach Nicole's short workout videos have been fun; I especially enjoyed today's video for arm strength using resistance bands. The videos have helped me break the cycle of being bored with the same old exercises. Even though I have done most of the exercises in the past, it is fun to get back to them and have them arranged a little differently. Another benefit to the videos is that they are no-excuses short. Once I m done with them, I am craving more exercise so I add on with exercises of my own. Sometimes the very thought of a long exercise video will make me want to take a nap instead of exercising.
Walks have been varying in terms of pleasant. It seems like many mornings I have to put on boots, a sweater, and a raincoat to go out for my walks, but today was a beautiful, sunny day, although chilly. No matter what the weather, my walks outside are always entertaining between my rambunctious poodle, the nesting birds (today I saw Mama Hawk guarding her nest), and wildflowers.
I'm also getting in lots of music practice time. I just got a new concert ukelele - it's a little bigger than my little blue uke, and much better quality. And it's really cute!
I hauled out my mandolin, so I have my uke, mandolin, and guitar all next to each other and I am practicing the same songs with each of the three instruments. It is definitely brain gymnastics to do that because they all have different chord shapings. I am having so much fun with them, it's hard to put them down.
Stress management? I am still working on that one. The walks, exercise, and music are all part of my stress management program. I am doing deep breathing... but not enough yoga and meditation. If you get a chance, nag me about that so I'll do a better job of kicking back into my old yoga/meditation habits.
I am VERY open to suggestions for other stress management strategies. I am discovering that stress really HAS made me sick, so apparently my stress management program wasn't as effective as I thought it was.
This has been a tough week both health-wise and at work, so I am very happy for the weekend. I plan to get to the gym tomorrow morning, then a trip the farmer's market, and music with friends. I hope you have a lovely and relaxing weekend, too.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Saw my doctor today about the hiatal hernia my chiropractor diagnosed. She was concerned about my swallowing problems and has referred me to a digestive specialist who will do an endoscopy. Don't know when that will be yet.
The GERD pain is inconsistent, it comes and goes. But for some reason, it is at its worse at 3:00am and wakes me up. It is hard to fall back asleep. My doctor gave me some Nexium to take, which is supposed to kick in in a few days. I have been resistant to taking that kind of medication because it is not without its own health risks, but she would like me to take it short term to see if it helps me heal.
She also says this is related to stress. I know I have blogged about what a stressful year I am having. I thought the stress was only making me tired, but apparently it is changing the very contours of my inner body; even with all of the stress management techniques I have been practicing.
In the meantime, I am having a great deal of difficulty eating enough and it really shows up on my food trackers. I have always had an iron stomach. I could eat anything and I love spicy food. Recently, though, I have been adhering to a strict GERD diet, but suffering each time I eat no matter how bland it is.
This is NOT a lifestyle change I am enjoying at all.
The fun change I have made is join the Official Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge. I am enjoying some new routines.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I decided that rain or shine I am taking a minimum of two walks a day; my long one in the morning before work and my shorter one in the late afternoon/evening through the meadow and woods with Stella.
One of the first things I did when we bought our house 15 years ago was put a blue bird trail in the meadow. This time of year, I enjoy checking the blue bird houses, counting the eggs and watching the baby blue birds as they fledge and grow. I posted a picture of one of the nests with 5 eggs in it in my Earth Day blog.
Today, I was actually able to get a photo of Mama Bluebird on her nest. I have promised her I would ignore her and her nest for at least a week now.
I'll have to go back to bothering the spring flowers instead.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Not a lot to report today. I was able to get a walk in before work today, as there was a break in the rain. Since I didn't get my walk at the Nature Preserve in this weekend, I went there for my morning walk. The spring flowers are blooming, but I didn't get deep enough in to see the trillium and Virginia blue bells. Although the day was gray and I had to dodge large puddles so I didn't get too wet before work, the walk was pleasant with the earth giving up the rich musky scent of wet soil and worms. A walk and the sights and aromas of spring were perfect to set my frame of mind for my day with children. Just as I arrived at back to the school driveway, it started to pour. I felt really fortunate to have been able to get my 40 minutes in between downpours.
I am back to tracking foods. Because of my back, I think my activity levels are not in sync with my caloric intake. While my weight isn't way out of control, that darn uncomfortable muffin top is happily residing just over my hips and I need to send it packing.
I am enjoying my new car, but still figuring out how to drive it for maximum efficiency and how to use some of the features. I was able to get 51.8 mpg between town and home today - not too slouchy!
I was finally able to get an appointment with an accupuncturist - yay! My appointment with her is early next week, so I'll let you know how it goes. I am really looking forward to it and hoping that it will compliment the chiropractic work I have been getting and promote healing.
Amazon has quite a selection of soprano ukeleles for close to $20. I ran the idea of purchasing 10 or so by the school manager to add to next year's music program. I already have enough recorders for each student so I can teach music theory with woodwinds, but I can include ukes in the music program for strings. I have about 8 guitars, but the ukes are so much easier to learn, especially for small hands.
The spring beauty photos are some I took in my yard yesterday between rain showers. It just stopped raining here, so now I'm off to get in one last walk and let Stella zoom around the yard. Maybe Mrs. Bluebird will be on her nest.
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