If I'm Tracking, I'm Losing

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Oh my, what a tough fall it has been! I'm looking at my last blog, in August, when I started to stray from my most successful streak ever. I started that great streak with three goals: Exercise 10 minutes a day, track what I eat, and eat sitting down. I upped it to tracking and keeping it under 1500 cal a day, more exercise, and about 12 other habits. It felt great!

Then, as my husband's paralysis from ALS crept through his last good hand, I lost my sense of self. I have been struggling every since. On any given day, I've gotten enough exercise, but I let sugar and alcohol creep into my daily life till it seemed I was eating a piece of cake and two glasses of wine every day! Crazy!

How we lose our self in stressful times--that's another blog entry.

At last, we are regaining what I call our "state of grace," which means we have adjusted to this new level of loss.

As I've struggled to maintain some healthy lifestyle decisions, I did one great thing: I joined the nearby Ambler YMCA--a beautiful new facility, only a year old, with an indoor track two lap pools, a sauna, and a large hot tub. I took a water aerobics class and really liked it. There are loads of options at any given hour.

One tough issue we have had is securing stable home care to allow me to get out and do errands or exercise. At this point, leaving the house with husband alone for an hour is all I can do, and that's only enough for a walk around the block.

After nearly 5 months of unstable care, we have two caregivers, 4 times a week for 4 hours in the morning. It seems like so little when I take it, but it gives me time to get out. I started looking for healthy ways to use this time.

I was blessed to be invited to a caregiver's workshop in October. There I had two nights sleep, and the chance to regroup. I realized that I have to find ways to getaway on more overnights-- but also to create spa-like retreats in my weekly life.

The Y was the answer: If I'm too tired, I can just go sit in the sauna and hot tub. At first, I was so excited, I worked out instead. Yesterday, I was sore and tired, so I walked the indoor track for 40 minutes, then hopped in the sauna, hot tub,summoned energy to swim 20 minutes, and followed up with another sauna, hot tub round. It worked!

Now I have a new challenge: All the heavy lifting I do in transfers and other care has made what was considered some arthritis now full-fledged arthritis. The prescription: Eat well and Exercise!

How many ways will the universe seek to teach me healthy liviing? Oh well. My lessons are hard ones, but I really have no intention of failing, even if I have to keep repeating the same lesson!

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