SHIRAZSOLLY's SparkPeople Blog SHIRAZSOLLY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I ordered a new toy! Whoopee! Now I just have to wait for it. And wait. And wait. I am like a 4 year old kid. <BR> <BR> I stayed up until 1am 2 nights ago looking at treadmills because my old cheap one is a piece of junk and I can't do anything on it but walk - and even that hurts my ankles because the bounce is so bad. It's not safe in my immediate neighborhood to run. I live on one of those curvy mountain roads with steep drops to the river. No guard rails, no side walks, no shoulders. Periodically part of the... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 00:09:43 EST Even my dogs gained weight. Now that is pathetic. Solly, the standard, was 65 and now he is 79 pounds. He was always a little tall for a poodle, but I need to face facts... I stopped walking and running, and so did he. The Boston died (unrelated to my departure from Spark so I don't have to feel guilty, only sad) and we got a rat terrier with just as big an appetite. He is still a pup, but I can see the potential for unbelievable weight gain. <BR> <BR> Time to get us all back outside for a good run! <BR> Wed, 11 Mar 2015 02:48:26 EST I'm back I'm back again. I don't have any grand ideas of checking in daily, counting every calorie and joining ten groups for motivation and fun, since I know I can't possibly afford the time to do that. However, I need the idea in the back of my head that I am accountable to someone besides myself. <BR> <BR> I have very gradually slid back into looking like I've stuffed a pillow under my shirt. Back, knee and ankle pain have become major issues again, and they had abated somewhat when I was thi... Sat, 21 Feb 2015 14:35:57 EST Love, Honor and Obey (?!?) BLC has weekend challenges. This weekend includes a requirement to exercise in a silly manner. <BR> <BR> Here's my silliness. <BR> <BR> I had TWO dreams last night in which my standard poodle, Solly, took his usual minute or two to finish inspecting whatever was fascinating him before he came when called. The poor dog came to a bad end and I woke up panicking both times. <BR> <BR> Solly should come when he's called. So this morning, I sliced a banana and put the slices on two pla... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 01:11:16 EST Scaring the Pesky Salespeople Today my husband and I went to a new Sports Authority that opened in our rather underpopulated county. We were surprised it was even built since we already have another sports store. A tall young brunette swooped on us before we got 3 feet in the door and introduced herself by name, telling us not to hesitate even ONE SECOND before coming to her for advice or questions. "She's on commission," I muttered to my husband. He nodded. <BR> <BR> We walked around the corner, looking at the cloth... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 21:05:41 EST Within my control I spent 4 days heading out of town, being out of town and coming back to town with my mother in order to visit her terminally ill sister. I did a lot of thinking on this trip. <BR> <BR> My mother recently confided to me that she did not marry well if she wanted to predict the health of her future offspring. 52 years after she made that choice, it's a little late to be sorry... and well, heck... neither my brother nor I would be here if she'd married someone else, would we? But she was war... Fri, 25 Oct 2013 02:03:43 EST BLC23 Goals - No More Fat Magic Tricks! When I joined BLC22 I had grand ideas of losing 2 pounds a week, which just didn't happen. I did also plan to even out my arm strength, which did. For those who don't know me, I have disc damage, which causes nerve compression. I modify a lot of the strength training assignments, but I always do something. The result is - two arms that look almost matched, even if I still can't make a left arm bicep. And I can almost lift the same amount of weight for the same amount of reps. In gen... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 12:45:33 EST Visit to Ortho / Peroneal tendonitis I've been eating up running books like they are candy. Why? I suppose because I was born broken and became broken-er and never really liked exercising before. Then I found running. I am still broken. But I am motivated to overcome the issues I can and ignore or tolerate those I can't because running is what I like to do. Despite the fact that I suck at it. I am slow, loping along at a pace my lungs can handle, a 10 minute mile most days, sometimes less. <BR> <BR> I haven't signed up f... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 22:44:24 EST 97.2% certain we are switching gyms! Yes!!! (-ish) <BR> <BR> The new gym is MUCH smaller and more crowded, especially during classes. Unlike our current gym, it does not have a pool, but we've never used that, anyway. I've always intended to, but I've always felt like I was in a hurry to get the most workout for my minimal time, so I never did. But we have no worries about seeing clients there and we feel we will get some peace. It is also closer to home, which will be a bigger issue for me when I switch colleges next term... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 11:51:56 EST End of BLC22 tomorrow I weigh in officially tomorrow, but I sneaked a peak at my scale and also measured myself already. <BR> <BR> I began at 158.8. I am now exactly 154.8. Four pounds is not very awe-inspiring weight loss for 12 weeks! However, I have lost 4.75" during that same time period, 1.25" of it from my saddlebags, where I had previously lost over 4". I look pretty straight and waist-less in clothes. However, naked, I am clearly developing a shape and the top 4 of a 6-pack. <BR> <BR> When I loo... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 13:35:20 EST How a blind man sees my weight loss I have a legally blind client whose macular degeneration has completely clouded one eye and left him only a slit in the other. His dog goes more nuts when she hears my car come in the driveway than when anyone else's car arrives, so he knows who I am before I even get in the house. If I meet him at the VA hospital, he recognizes my shape from a distance. It's been a long time since I've met him at the VA. This time, he did not recognize me until I spoke. Then he was flabbergasted. <BR> ... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 00:48:34 EST Week 8 BLC Assignment - Valentine's Day in July This week is a Valentine's Day to oneself challenge and I have not done well at it. I don't even do Valentine's Day well for other people. Although I am very good at loving spontaneously, I am terrible at loving well on command. (I am also bad about birthdays and anniversaries. Two years ago I begged my mother and husband to let me spoil them with adventures rather than presents and it has been a wonderful change for all three of us.) <BR> <BR> This week we are supposed to look in the ... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:25:23 EST Lighthouse and Lake 5k Yesterday I came home from a camping trip that included a technical trail run. It was difficult but very exciting and I'd like to do it again, but without the asthma. <BR> <BR> Here's a good idea of how I performed: right in the middle of the pack, making so much noise honking and gasping that people were actually turning their heads to look at me: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm in the gray outfit in the middle, with the po... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:23:43 EST BLC 6 week reflection This week we have an assignment to reflect on the first half our BLC round. <BR> <BR> First about the BLC itself: <BR> I have to say that I am very pleased with the BLC itself, even though it is time consuming. I have done nearly 100% of every exercise and posting requested so I have devoted a lot of time to the project. I've lost a little sleep, study and reading time over it. However, I also feel a real camaraderie with other active participants. I also have discovered more flexibility... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:01:44 EST Polar Heart Rate Monitor and Foot Pod My husband got me a Polar 3 piece set. He had a Garmin and a long time ago I tried on the chest strap and hated it because it was so plasticky. When I started wondering if my heart rate was as good as the monitors I used after exercising made it look like it was, he looked at reviews on line. He sold his Garmin, which he didn't use any more and got the Polar. I find it absolutely fascinating and illuminating. <BR> <BR> Yes, my heart rate is ridiculously high. I was diagnosed with tachyc... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 13:43:51 EST Overcoming mental barriers My Spark friend Owl 20 posted a blog called "A Body on the Couch Wants to Stay There" and her pride at overcoming lack of motivation reminded of how I felt during my 5k Your Way program. <BR> <BR> About half of my runs were reasonably good, predictable. I felt like I was strong enough to manage training for a much longer distance. The other half of my runs sucked. If I didn't have asthma within the first two or three minutes, it was a miracle. I snorted and wheezed and gasped and blew ... Tue, 2 Jul 2013 00:13:52 EST Indecisive or Savvy? Within my BLC group, there is a little discussion about being able to make decisions, with some people maybe being envious of people who can make decisions quickly and seemingly easily. <BR> <BR> I am not so sure that quick decision making is always a good thing. I've been called indecisive. But I prefer to think of it as weighing my options. I like to be sure there is no chance whatsoever that emotion or pressure from outside could be influencing me. Whether it is making a close friend,... Sun, 30 Jun 2013 01:36:45 EST Volunteering to be Weighed in Public I am taking a CNA class. It's regressive schooling for an anatomy tutor and home health and hospice aide, but I found out it will shave 6 months off my internship time when I am in my nursing home administration program. <BR> <BR> The teachers, both retired nurses, demonstrate skills including how to take temperature and blood pressure three different ways and how to make a really tight bed even while someone is lying in it. They use each other as patients. But when it came time to show... Fri, 28 Jun 2013 03:25:40 EST Emotions in Motion 5k, at Alton Baker Park in Eugene Today was awesome - and not awesome. It was definitely emotional. I spent the night at Mom's, close to the race. <BR> <BR> Because I've been sick and really wanted a good night sleep, I made the mistake of buying some cold and cough medicine I'd never tried before yesterday and I took my first dose ever last night. It will be my last one. I am allergic to Nyquil and I am apparently allergic to this, too. I had hives and my pulse and blood pressure were very high. I could not sleep all... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 00:29:58 EST I'm friends with the President, I'm friends with the Pope... . <BR> ..we'll all make a fortune selling Daddy's dope! <BR> <em>339</em> <em>335</em> <em>339</em> <em>335</em> <BR> <BR> Please remind me not to sing this aloud when I'm on the course on Sunday. I dug out my Nano, which I had shoved in a desk drawer. It was given to me as a gift and I had not used it. I was annoyed by my hubby and kids with those dang earplugs shoved in their ears all the time, and besides, I have one busted ear drum that makes loud music annoying, an... Fri, 21 Jun 2013 15:09:21 EST Vision Collage for BLC <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Shirazsolly's vision collage shows my goals: <BR> 1: enjoy exercise and running! <BR> 2: goal weight 140 <BR> 3: find Bigfoot <BR> <BR> The last one is a joke, but when I moved in, I did hear from the locals that Bigfoot had been spotted not far from my property several times in the last several years. I think it was a bear on his hind legs. But I could be wrong! <BR> <BR> By the way, I took pains to fi... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 17:03:09 EST Presidential Challenge for BLC The first day assignment for BLC didn't make me very happy. <BR> <BR> My hubby and I are both sick. For two weeks I thought I was having a bad time with perimenopause. Really exhausted, late period, stomach upset, grumpy, having extra bad allergies, hot flashes that were straight from Hades, couldn't sleep. But then my husband got the same exact symptoms. (Of course, his period's always late!) Unlike me, he went to the doctor and the doc put him on antibiotics. I just kept slogging awa... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 12:22:16 EST My 5ks are turning to dust Nope... I didn't say I'm leaving them in the dust. Two of the races I'd wanted to do this summer look like they're all junk and I'm trying not to be disgruntled. And the third organizers haven't answered their emails and the website isn't very informative. That's what I get, I guess, for picking them for convenience rather than for the event organizer. <BR> <BR> The June 23rd race, Emotions in Motion in Eugene, Oregon, might still turn out to be an ok beginner's nonprofit race, but there... Tue, 4 Jun 2013 01:04:04 EST 3 Marathon Movies and today's run. In the last week or so David and I have watched three movies about marathons. He's been a good sport about it, really. I was never so good about watching movies about his girevoy sport! Two were serious and one was just for fun. <BR> <BR> Running the Sahara is about three top marathoners who were already good friends, who decided to run literally across the Sahara desert, from Senegal to the Red Sea. <BR> <BR> It took me 7 days to drive 3400 miles the last time I crossed the United ... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 21:56:08 EST Training - 5/28 Kettlebells and Running and 5/29 Running Yesterday I did a short set of intervals with a light kettlebell and walking on the treadmill. I also did some other things, like skipping, skater squats, wall pushups, bicycle crunches and reverse crunches, but it's the kettlebells I want to talk about, because Spark featured an article about 'bells with links that about gave me a tummy ache. <BR> <BR> I love Spark, but I worry about slides and a short paragraph describing complicated moves. Kettlebells are NOT dumbells. They are intent... Thu, 30 May 2013 01:41:24 EST Today's less pleasant run put in perspective with Korean soldier's runs Today was not such a great day for me. Last night my allergies were so bad I had to sleep on the wedge, which isn't very comfortable, but it's better than not breathing. Hot flashes woke me up several times, too. So I knew when I got on the treadmill this morning that I might not perform very well. I was armed with tissues, an inhalant and my wet rag. I had all the windows open. <BR> <BR> Yesterday morning I made a plan for today and I thought it was quite brilliant, but yesterday I ... Mon, 27 May 2013 18:38:35 EST Today's run - much better! I slept reasonably well last night, ate breakfast and showered this morning before my run. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but my aim is to be cool. <BR> <BR> I went to the gym with wet hair to use the treadmill. (I tend to breathe better there than in my gym at home, which still smells a little after the water damage repair we had done this winter.) I did a 5 min warm up, 10 min cool down, 40 min run/walk. I hit an overheat zone at minute 19 of the 40 minute run/walk, but was p... Sat, 25 May 2013 13:42:58 EST Started incorporating some plyometrics I decided to introduce a few plyometric moves into my routine. My knees have iffy cartilage so I can't do a lot of "ballistic" moves, like a P90X video. However, I've felt very little muscle fatigue from any of my activity - just a general, pleasant burn on a couple occasions. So I feel like it's time to add some dimension to my program. <BR> <BR> I am still very sleepy, and I've had bad allergies and asthma the past couple of days. The overheating/hot flashes haven't gone away, but I ... Fri, 24 May 2013 02:02:50 EST Perimenopause, Nausea and Running I assume I am not fighting any bug or major illness other than perimenopause. I am the right age - almost 48 - and have just passed a gargantuan pre-nursing/med school physical, including a 9-vial complete blood test. My kidneys are showing some signs of "use", but they're pretty good considering my particular gene pool. My Mom's were already well below 40% function by my age; at least one of her sisters was at 50%. So I am happy at 60%. I just need to pee too frequently for convenience... Tue, 21 May 2013 13:34:49 EST Running in Oakland... and upcoming 5k at Umpqua Lighthouse This morning's run was on the treadmill to save time (hey... I'm already doing 12 minute miles!) but I am itching to take Solly back out to Oakland. The last time we went, he handled all the commotion fairly well, so he may be "toughening up" a little in his personality. He's been a big wussy about cars passing him and dogs barking. He expects me to protect him. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> This is neither me, nor my dog, nor my neig... Mon, 20 May 2013 11:25:57 EST Middle-aged women and epiphanies about running My husband is still somewhat in shock, I think. He just came home from his conference and found out that I signed up for a second 5k race. He is a lifelong athlete but has never seen me do much exercise that wasn't USEFUL, like digging and weeding by hand. Me, running just to run? He can't wrap his mind around it, I think. <BR> <BR> I told him that I read in a New York Times article that older women actually ran faster times than younger women, which is the opposite of what happens with ... Sat, 18 May 2013 01:25:44 EST Measurements (of a Juice Apple) I'm an apple, I suppose, but with lumps. What we call a juice apple since we can't sell it for eating fresh. Or a mesomorph with lumps. Big shoulders, narrow hips, all my weight in my waist/belly. Naturally have blocky thighs, which are resistant to change, but I am definitely not a pear. My body is bigger front to back from waist down than side to side. <BR> <BR> I have been measuring my "hips" at my saddlebags. My actual thighs started at 25" and are still 24-25" depending on how har... Fri, 17 May 2013 12:41:21 EST A quickie - nerve damage I just said I was going to get ready for work, so I'll make this quick. <BR> <BR> I got my husband to agree before he left town to take pictures when he returned for the BLC if I get selected for a team. One of them will be a picture of me trying to flex my left arm! It's not horrific... don't picture a tiny little shriveled thing. But I hadn't even realized until I signed up for the BLC that I couldn't flex it anymore. I did realize it was soft and weak in comparison to my right arm. ... Thu, 16 May 2013 13:15:40 EST New shoes for an under-pronator - and nope, can't compare myself to Pre I got the day off to wait for ac repairmen again. They were here, done and gone in a flash, which left me free to go buy shoes! Yaaay for me! I live out in the sticks, so my careful research on Runners' World and other websites didn't do me a bit of good. I went to several stores and ended up settling on the following two: <BR> <BR> Size 10 (yikes, my feet have grown!) Nike Flex. They have breathing holes, which I may have previously rejected as making them fragile, but Western Oregon g... Wed, 15 May 2013 18:46:44 EST Overoptimistic or just inspired? First Race on one of Pre's trails! I just started jogging on the treadmill more than 1 minute at a time last week and I just registered for my first 5k tonight. My right ankle has hurt since that 9.5 minute treadmill run, when I happened to be wearing shoes I bought at a thrift store. It doesn't matter that I might not be being prudent. I, who am normally a worry-wort, am not feeling the least bit prudent. I want to do this. So I am buying shoes this week. <BR> <BR> The 5k I picked is on a course I've walked a couple t... Wed, 15 May 2013 01:55:35 EST The Fonzie Church These Days are Ours... ours.. ours.... <BR> Happy Days! <BR> <BR> I can't help myself. I just have to interrupt my own math homework to slick back my hair, strike poses and sing "These Days are Ours... ours, ours.... Happy Days!" <BR> <BR> Lawd help me when I run a nursing home. <BR> <BR> Yesterday morning was Mothers' Day so it was our idea to lavish attention on the wife of a patient. She has Alzheimer's. I massaged her feet while she watched a TV game show in which very large peo... Mon, 13 May 2013 11:57:19 EST Pick up the pieces and move on I got the dreaded letter last night. The piece of mail I've been waiting for all year, the one that says my last hope into nursing school was dashed. I kind of knew it already. I've been having manual labor dreams for weeks. I've been driving forklifts, loading trucks, repairing hinges, fixing broken fuel pumps. I've done farm labor and I've been an auto mechanic. I've done blue collar work most of my life. My head was telling me I should plan on going back to that because at almost 48... Fri, 10 May 2013 10:44:57 EST Playing any part in the operetta This morning before I left for the gym I stood in front of the mirror, flexing my biceps. I've always had biceps, and big shoulders. I've been accused of looking manly over a dozen times since I gained weight and I don't like it. When I was younger and thinner, people used much nicer descriptions - they said I looked like a gymnast, or a gazelle. So this morning, I was looking in the mirror, flexing my biceps, and I sang a few lines of Porgy's from Porgy and Bess. Yes... the baritone. I... Thu, 9 May 2013 13:44:27 EST When you meet a woman for the first time, what do you look at? Let me guess: the fat pads behind her knees? <BR> Oh, maybe it's her saddlebags? <BR> No? <BR> What do you mean, you look at her eyes? And her mouth? You watch her talking, her laughing, her hands as she gestures? <BR> You're not trying to figure out if you can pinch two inches on her triceps? <BR> It would never occur to you? <BR> Because you're really interested in what she has to say, and besides, no one over the age of eight really cares about stuff like that, anyway? <BR> Thank... Wed, 8 May 2013 11:23:33 EST Optimism about garden Today I joined a raw foods team. That's sort of jumping the gun for me. I usually try to live off my garden as much as possible over the summer. Neither the weather nor my schedule have been very cooperative, so I haven't finished planting it. But last night Solly and I surveyed the mature fruit trees. We won't have everything this year, but we will have a HECK of a lot of plums and pears. We'll have a smattering of crabapples. The apple tree looks pathetic. The immature fruit trees ... Tue, 7 May 2013 13:51:54 EST A Boston Terrier's vs. a Standard Poodle's dining philosophy A conversation with another Sparker got me thinking about how much I would like to resemble one of my dogs more than the other. I'm not trying to be disrespectful towards one dog, but on the subject of diets and activity level, one is NOT a good role model. <BR> <BR> One of the dogs literally would eat until he exploded. We dread having to leave the dogs in a kennel because we have to impress thoroughly upon kennel employees - verbally and in writing - that the dogs MUST be fed separate... Sun, 5 May 2013 00:54:59 EST Gourmand on a Diet... with pictures I love to cook. And I am a great cook. When my kids were at home, I used to let them open up a picture atlas and pick out a country. Then we'd have fun creating a whole weekend's worth of meals, politics and stories around that country. (When they were little, anyway. When they were older they no longer wanted to devise political posters and hold mock elections and pretend they were rulers of that country.) One weekend we might do Greece, another Mongolia, then Armenia, then Saigon, th... Thu, 2 May 2013 11:06:08 EST Liquid Minerals, stress test and my first jog since sixth grade I got some ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops. They come in a blue bottle. I usually get them from VitaCost because they are not cheap. However, when I get charlie horses AND crazy cravings, I am in a hurry to make them go away so I'll get them from a health food store and pay a lot more for them. (I used to buy them regularly. I'd stopped and wished I hadn't!) In addition to having charlie horses, I've also been having weird spasms from elbows to fingers and from hip to knee. <BR> <B... Wed, 1 May 2013 14:25:14 EST Met 2 people AFTER Shvitzin' at the gym. OMG. I admit I started bitchin' about the shvitzin' to my husband. Then, on reflection, I realized, it wasn't so bad. <BR> <BR> We live pretty far out of town, in a skinny little valley between two mountains. So when we go to town for anything, we do all our errands all at once. In this instance, we went to the grocery store after going to the gym. I did not shower afterwards. I washed my hands and face, but that was it. A shlump dressed in shmattes. <BR> <BR> The first person we met w... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 12:06:35 EST I was so thin once it helped me spy on people... I was reading a friend's blog about sleeping in a tent on top of the roof of a Corolla (eh? is that possible?) and I just remembered that there was a time when I was indeed thin enough to do ridiculous things. At my lowest, I was 109 pounds (and looked horrible, I hasten to add, but I didn't know it at the time). <BR> <BR> I went through a period when I wanted to be a spy. I was actually surrounded by people who I could have spied upon, but I was too naive to know who they were. I actua... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:10:52 EST Solly and I learn Zumba Other than doing "the bump" at the 6th grade dance with my friend Michele, and participating in the obligitory chair and circle "dances" at my wedding 2 years ago, have never danced in public. I won't even wiggle my hips if my husband is watching because I feel THAT uncoordinated and stupid. <BR> <BR> I'm almost 48. This is kind of silly, don't you think? I've thought so for awhile. I've been on a gradual Larisa makeover for about 10 years now. I even took group voice lessons a year a... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 19:30:55 EST Jokes About Dieting “No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.” — George Bernard Shaw <BR> <BR> (Shaw was exaggerating. But our brains are 75% saturated fat. And trans fat does not work as an acceptable substitute.) <BR> <BR> I went on a diet, swore off drinking and heavy eating, and in 14 days I had lost exactly two weeks. <BR> - Joe E. Lewis <BR> <BR> from The Dawn K... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:20:44 EST Curious measurement change... but I'll take it! I have been avoiding measuring myself. I've lost only 7 lbs. and my reflection looks the same in the bathroom mirror. Two or three pairs of my pants fit the same, but I am also able to wear several pair I could not a couple months ago without embarrassment. <BR> <BR> I'm one of those people who considers many, many shades of gray rather than just black and white. It will be a good trait for me to have as a healthcare provider, because I won't just guess what's wrong, scribble prescription... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 11:24:47 EST Cracked takes on Miracle Weight Loss Against miracle products because they're all bunk:<BR>ducts/ <BR> <BR> Well, except maybe for these products: <BR><BR>iet-fads-people-who-will-try-anything-<BR>except-exercise.html <BR> <BR> And don't forget the tapeworms... <BR> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 02:22:45 EST Arses and Old Lace: Exercise for Elderly Elite Before I decided I wanted to be a nurse, I studied pysical therapy for the elderly. Maybe it was a good thing that I didn't decide to pursue it. I have a twisted sense of humor. Another Sparker and I were bantering about how BORING her aerobics class name was. "Sit and Be Fit". Really? It sounds like a command for dogs. Sit. Stay. I wouldn't do it. So I renamed it for her. Here are some more I came up with: <BR> <BR> Rhyme and Punishment - aerobics to hip hop “music” <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:52:26 EST