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Health and Vanity Motivators

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I haven't blogged for a couple days. I'm in the lull between 2 half marathons 15 days apart. Yesterday was a rainy, grey-sky day and I wasn't my usual upbeat, cheerful self.

Health is a tremendous motivator to me and I was really disappointed that my blood pressure was up at the doctor this week. I should just double down and cut the salt even further, but I felt a little discouraged that I'm not doing enough. On the other hand, when I was told at age 59 that I had 90 days to bring down my blood pressure and cholesterol or I'd go on meds, I did it. At the time I said I was going to get to age 65 without going on lifestyle-caused medication. Well, I've got 7 months until I'll be 65 and my cholesterol is good. At home my BP was 128/74 before I went to the doctor, but there it was 160/79. I told her to take it again and it was 136/79. Doctor diagnosed hypertension. So that is some of my discouragement.

Vanity is another motivator. For years it was my major motivator, but I just couldn't lose and keep off the weight. Yet, I don't know if I could have done as well as I have these last couple years if I didn't feel like I look so much better. The pictures from the half marathon were a little shocking to me. I saw wrinkles and hanging skin I didn't see a year ago. I know I'm 64 and I'm not about to have surgery. Aging gracefully -- well, I'm not there yet. I'm still getting faster and fitter, but parts of me are beyond my control. But, then, hasn't it always been that way? Remember puberty? Don't know what I expect, but I need to deal with it, think it through, embrace my life.

So I'm in the lull between 2 half marathons. A week from today is my next one in St Pete - 50 miles away. Gotta get packed. Should be fun, but I won't have a car and will be dependent on others. Okay. Can't wait to see ONEKIDSMOM. I will always be grateful to her for running my first half marathon with me, and this will be the anniversary of that event.

I've spent several years almost in a state of euphoria that I finally, finally, finally achieved a great weight and fitness. Right now I'm coming to terms with the reality of the work it takes to stay here and the health and vanity issues of aging.
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  • FROSTY99
    I do believe it is dr induced high BP. Mine is always high at the dr's but they take it at the gym I go to and it is always great there. Like you, I also check it at home and fine here too so I am not getting too excited.
    The next HM is almost here-have a great time.
    1647 days ago
    Great blog. Funny, When I looked at your pics I thought you were pretty firm looking and not very saggy at all.
    1647 days ago
    Such a candid blog . . . dealing with tough issues for sure.

    Do you think that you had a touch of "white coat induced" high BP? Many people do get a spike at the doctor's, just out of tension on being checked out.

    Like you I'm not about to do Botox even, let alone plastic surgery. Don't want an immobile face: apparently being unable to move the face significantly affects the ability to experience emotion! Plastic surgery creates aging skin pulled tight over an aging facial bone structure, popping eyes . . . all of that. It effects change but not change that replicates genuine youth, in my opinion: and heaven knows I see lots of it among my contemporaries!!

    But I often think to myself that the most youthful aspect of anyone is how we carry ourselves and how we move. That fluidity can't be achieved by anything other than exercise!
    1647 days ago
    There is an instructor at the fitness center who is 65, and from the back you would think she was 22. When she turns around you see the lines and wrinkles from running in the sun for years and years. She's healthy, happy, fit, and vibrant. What could be more important than that?

    She's YOU. Embrace your 65 years and look forward to the next 65!!

    You may have "white coat" syndrome -- bp higher in the doctor's office. He should have you come in another time to take it saying you've got hypertension.
    1647 days ago
  • GABY1948
    FIRST, I can't wait for you to see ONEKIDSMOM too so post LOTS of are my two MOSTEST inspirations!

    Oh, Marsha this so hit home with me...As you know I already am 65...but "forget" it. I hear someone on spark say, "I am 70" or even 58 and that sounds SO old...but here I am on my way to 66. In some ways I love it...retired and all...but in others I hate it. From being so heavy at one time I see SO many lines in my face and I used to smoke too so many around my mouth. But, like surgery for me...I plan to age gracefully for whatever years I have left here.

    You are so beautiful...when you get down just come and look at your ladybug picture here on your page!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1647 days ago
    Enjoy your half-marathon. You are such an inspiration.
    1647 days ago
    The difference between the first and second BP reading was huge. I wonder what the third reading would have been, somehow I can't believe the first one. How do you do the BP readings at home? If you have Safeway supermarkets close to you, they have a blood pressure machine by the pharmacy in my home town and you can get a card from the pharamcist for $10 and take your readings whenever you want and get printouts for a year. If that is available for you, you could show your doctor your regular readings.

    Also vanity vs health. When I am at goal weight, I notice more wrinkles, but I also feel a lot better. One of my friends actually told me her secret of youth is to gain a few pounds. I think health trumps looks and also part of the look is the enthusiasm of feeling great. In a vibrant happy person, some details we notice because we overscrutinize ourselves are not so visible to others.
    1647 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Live2Run4life had some good points. I agree they were too hasty with that diagnosis. Quite frankly, you are in too good of shape to have hypertension, honestly!!! Exercising regularly is the key to keeping the BP normal. You are doing more than your fair share and you are active besides keeping up with the children.
    Keep on being fabulous! You look great to me. All I see is one incredibly fir and trim woman!
    1647 days ago
    Funny how life catches up with you. One day young and toned
    and the next-wrinkles. Hope you can stay off the meds for a long
    time. HUGS!
    1647 days ago
    I've been noticing more wrinkles than I'd like to see on myself, too. I'm trying to drink more water to see if that helps the skin's appearance at all.

    You're beautiful just as you are, Marsha, and you inspire so many of us. Your medical readings wouldn't be as good if you weren't so fit. You're doing very well by your body!
    1647 days ago
    I agree, vanity was my motivator years ago but now as I've gotten older and watched my mother deteriorate from her sedentary lifestyle, I want to age strong. I'm seeing wrinkles and sagging skin but like you say, I'm embracing it. As much as I love it once in a while, I do not want to go back to that couch-potato, remote clicking person I used to be!

    I'm happy for you and ONEKIDSMOM. You guys are so inspirational!

    ns on all of your accomplishments, and those yet to come!!!!

    1647 days ago
    emoticon Wishing you so much fun at your next marathon and much true success!
    1647 days ago
    Health is a great motivator Marsha; if you have that--you have everything. That said, we all want to look good too! Getting older sure beats the alternative. For me, the third and forth year of maintenance were the most challenging. I really wasn't settled into my lifestyle change yet, accolades were fewer--everyone thought I no longer had a weight problem. I will always have a weight problem and have to be aware of my nutrition and exercise. You are an inspiration to many and we thing you're beautiful!
    1647 days ago
    As far as loose skin goes, I know that my age I have the choice between staying the Michelin Man or continuing to become a Shar Pei. I know what my choice is.
    1648 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1648 days ago
    emoticon I feel you.... vanity is a tough one! I've let my mind torture me about my "defects", too.

    emoticon Sometimes it helps to focus on what I DO have (especially when I contrast it with what I could be lacking, like a foot, eyesight or...).

    emoticon Wish you could see the slim, strong, vibrant woman that we see!

    1648 days ago
    I think it's wonderful that you're healthy and fit to the point of running HMs, and seems you are SO motivated. As for the vanity, I think it's a hard pill to swallow -- we finally get our body in shape mechanically, but the visual isn't so pretty! Still, I'd rather have loose skin than tight fat! :) Some of my just-turned-60 friends are beginning to embrace their grayness - I was blessed with good hair genes and haven't more than a few strands of gray, but if I did, I'm not sure I would be ready to embrace it, as long as Lady Clairol is still on the shelves! Hang in there and know that a healthy body is a beautiful body, wrinkles and all!
    1648 days ago
    Boy, can I relate to the way you feel when you hear words about your health from the doctor. When I told him finally about the way I felt, he was very sympathetic and reassuring. He told me that some conditions are beyond your own control. He gave the example of heredity and accidents. That started me thinking and I decided that I would change the things I could control and learn to accept the rest. Sounds easy, right? Not so for a woman like me who tends to be a bit of a control freak. I have to continuously remind myself the I am simply a work in progress. You have come such a long way, Marsha! Making big changes like you have, couldn't have been easy, yet you managed to be successful. I'm confident the you will do the best job humanly possible with any issues age will bring. emoticon emoticon
    1648 days ago
    Coiled spring. Totally "get" being discouraged by medical "pronouncements"... I had a similar reaction when getting my cholesterol tests back... after all I do, I'd hoped for better results... but not!

    Just imagine what it would be if we were NOT working on it!

    We can do this! See you next Sunday. You still have my cell number in your phone?
    1648 days ago
    If the second reading was in normal range, that sounds to me like the nurse wasn't following the guidelines the first time. She should wait at least five minutes after you sit down. You should be seated in a chair with your feet on the floor, not dangling. Your arms should be supported. Muscular tension naturally raises BP; so does walkng around. Your doctor was awfully quick to diagnose hypertension. Do keep records of your readngs at home? Have you showed those to him?

    About the pictures during the run, don't forget that dehydration accentates wrinkles.
    1648 days ago
    1648 days ago
    Many times when you go to the Dr's office your blood pressure is up. Before they take it, take slow deep breaths and think a very pleasant thought....usually that will bring it down
    1648 days ago
    1648 days ago
    1648 days ago
    Don't you think that part of the 'down' feeling is natural? There was the 'high' after completing your run. Then there is some tiredness and a bit of feeling 'off' for a few days afterward. Continue to take good care of yourself as you are learning to do. As you get closer to your next event you will start feeling more 'normal'.

    My husband and I both suffer from 'white coat syndrome' when they take our blood pressure in the doctor's office.

    You are doing great. You know you are. You will feel better. I know you will.

    emoticon emoticon

    Judy emoticon
    1648 days ago
  • AJB121299
    1648 days ago
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