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Challenging Myself aka It's About Darn Time! Plus pics of me with blue hair

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Until a month or so ago, I had gotten so lazy, so complacent, so into making excuses for not doing anything to bust the plateau that has plagued me for almost a year. I lost so much weight after VSG surgery, but once I hit 80 pounds gone it was just like I hit a wall that was impervious to all of my efforts. My doctor warned me this could and would probably happen because of my age and metabolic and auto-immune disorders, but I chose to ignore him and hoped it wouldn't come to pass that the rewards in terms of pounds lost for my hard work and all my efforts would just stop.

What did I do? Pretty much I quit trying. I don't mean I started binge eating (surgery made that impossible, though I can and did gain weight) or self destructed. I just didn't do nearly as much exercise, nor did I maintain the proper eating patterns that I knew were best suited to my new lifestyle. So a slow but steady gain of about 10 pounds happened the last 6 months of 2015. Not good. Not good at all. Especially not when I still had 50 pounds to go when I hit my lowest weight at the 84 pounds lost mark. Now it was 60 pounds to go! When you are arthritic as I am, you cannot stop moving. It's like my mother always said, "If you rest, you rust". The commercial for an arthritis medicine is also right, "A body in motion stays in motion". I didn't, and now I am weak and my joints are inflamed and painful when I move. Shame on me!

Back to basics for me. Eat what I'm supposed to eat. High protein, lower carbs. Almost all of my carbs from veggies, a bit of them from fruit. Working towards getting more and better sleep. Staying hydrated (a biggie!) and moving my butt more! I also started a facebook group called The Blab Room (stands for Better Lives and Bodies) where we give each other little updates and kudos no matter what methods we are using to try to either lose weight or get a health condition under control. It's totally judgment free and very kind. I issue little challenges and urge people to post what's going on. I'm liking it a lot. There are people on there just looking to get in shape, as well as those dealing with diabetes, or like me with lupus, arthritis, and thyroid issues. We concentrate on MEDS (Movement, Eating, Drinking, and Sleep) as the basics of our healthier lifestyles. It's nice to have a totally safe environment with no ads or someone selling you something to just vent or brag.

I've also issued a challenge for myself. I find I really NEED a specific challenge/goal to shoot for that pushes me past my comfort zone. I'm going to be 56 years-old on May 23. Since I am fighting pain in my knees and shoulders, and haven't been working out nearly enough, I'm shooting to be able to do 56 crunches, 56 squats, 56 push ups, and hold a plank for 56 seconds by my 56th birthday. This may not seem like a big deal, but at my level of strength, inflammation, and range of motion limitations lately, it is HUGE. I'm modifying the crunches, squats, and push ups to not cause further damage. Found some great information from physical therapists, doctors, and trainers as to what is and isn't safe for me.

Today's MOVEMENT phase of my MEDS (Movement, Eating, Drinking, Sleeping) included 30 crunches using my stability ball to keep my legs in a position so as not to hurt my back. That's up from 23 yesterday. Here's a picture of how I do them.

I did 30 door frame squats, designed to not stress bad knees. You stand in a doorway and hold onto the door frame (or door) at about hip height, then sit back as if you were sitting in a chair. Here's a picture of using the door, and one of doing the chair sit method.

I also held the plank for 20 seconds before collapse and I managed 4 extremely bad push ups using only arms and chest - really sucked, but not giving up on hitting 56 of those bad boys by May 23rd!

Now on to my hair. It is now very short. It is also very blue. That's right, I'm a little old blue haired lady. It's fun. I get stared at. People talk. I don't mind. It makes some people smile. Life is to short not to try something you have wondered about, especially something as temporary as hair, which grows out and you can change colors if you hate it. I personally love it. I had to trim those little fine hairs on my forehead since this picture was taken, they were driving me bonkers.

Basically, this blog is to tell you to not give up, not give in, and above all else CHALLENGE YOURSELF and FIND SOME HAPPY...whether by doing charity work, getting a new hobby, or dying your hair blue. As always, I love you all. Here's another little something I wrote a year ago that still holds true today:

As always, I love you all.
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