fitness, health, weight loss

Nooming…

No, this is not a paid Noom promotion. I have a handful of dedicated followers but that does not create #paidpromotion.

A girl can dream!

I began Noom about two weeks ago due to a high salt content in my diet creating havoc on my blood pressure and causing additional weight gain. I have struggled with this since July 1991 directly after my sons birth. We all have this story in a variety of shapes and sizes and the clothes to boot. So, I won’t bore you with the countless attempts with my arch nemesis Weight Watchers. Now, it does work for many and it worked once for me and I still have the sacred ten pound token saved and in written into my will. My son will cherish, I am sure. But more often than not, I cheated the system, time and time again. It was easy as they have become more holistic centered rather that weight centered. I needed a boot camp mentality instead of an it’s ok, try again tomorrow. Just me.

Enter Noom. It is pricey. Very, and still not boot camp. But worth every penny. It keeps me accountable in a way like no other. While the Noom coach is not saying “get off you ass” or “close that refrigerator door.” I hear those phrases as they are subtlety weaved into our daily text exchange. The program is designed to teach, applaud, and turn you around if floundering on a dime. It is based around the psychology of eating through a series of daily lessons and charting foods based on colors and overall calorie content. Green=Good, Yellow=So, so, Red=Watch it! This stop sign method works for me as it is easy. The focus lies in the color groups but you have a calorie bar at the top. My limit is 1400 calories. I have only gone over by sixty on one day and it was with a green food. I felt fine with that decision. All while inputting my meals in the dashboard app, as well. This measures my sodium. I must stay under 1500 MG a day. Side note, a simple salad at Pei Wei is a challenge but it can be done. Sodium lives everywhere and this is a challenge. But my goals have been met with one or two days slightly over. Truly on good foods, that I learned to take out of my arsenal. Good bye chicken thighs and roast turkey breast. Who knew? Hello Mrs. Dash and low sodium Ezekiel bread. It is sprouted, must be frozen, pricey, but worth it. It gives me bread without the extra preservatives. Overall, very pleased but it is work and if you are not ready to work. Don’t do it. I was ready.

Two weeks later down 5 pounds and 8 ounces. Everything counts. Will I continue? You betcha. Is it still hard? Eh, getting into the good habits for this thing called health, so much easier. Is it better than Weight Watchers? For me, yes. No one has the right answers but if you want success you will find what works!

Please note I would do paid ads, thank you very much, because we all need another fifty something with grey hair to save the day on the great mascara debate. Sure we do. But seriously, just message me!

anxiety, caregiver, life

This Thing Called Life…

My days recently go from thinking of island life to going back to work. Now, I teach, so I have a few weeks of torture left. My mom has entered hospice. While that no longer brings me to a new level of panic, it does bring to light on what she can no longer accomplish that she once did with ease. Enter panic and the reality that our time is finite. This mixed with my recent back recovery and a few extra non-needed pounds. I am a mess who wants nothing more than to not be someone’s burden when there is more life to lead.

So while I have undergone weight gain and loss in my life. My consistent yo-yo has never been for any other reason than vanity and on the flip side, my love of food. Today is different I am now taking the time to read labels, give up salt, sugar, and the bad carbs. I am a new leafy eater with a side of protein. Right now I am cooking chicken and turkey to freeze for later in the coming weeks. I think they call this food prepping. I call this a forced chance to write. My goal is twenty pounds but I would be great with fifteen, as it might be enough to release the extra burden of stressors, I now feel truly caring for a parent who cannot take care of themselves.

The weight is heavy and mixed with everyday life almost too much as everything is out of my control. So I am going to learn to cook, meal prep, eat well for the first time in my life. I can control that. My exercise will be daily walking at 5:30 am to set me up for a successful school year, and I can control (not enjoy) those early hours. I will mix in meditation and restorative yoga as I heal and focus on our relationship as mother/daughter and probably write and focus on my grandson. It helps. Alot.

I am sure my next few or more blogs will be about my Miss Brenda. Of course liberties will be taken as that’s what I do. Take a story and try to see the lighter side of this thing called life. Follow along.

chronic pain, fitness, goals, sugar-free

Sugar-free and Me

I have tried alot of methods to lose weight and some have worked. Actually, worked well. Of course, mixed with an active lifestyle. One that failed not once but twice was keto. Not me. But with my recent health setback and literally from active to a coach potato by necessity, I need some change. I needed some research both to keep me busy and my own convincing to take the plunge, well the second plunge. I did this once with success and just went off. No reason. It was easy and felt great. So here we go…sugar-free is me…is now born.

My reasoning is completely to decrease inflammation. Which is still present. The absence of sugar is key as the white stuff spikes inflammation. Bye. Now, I could bore you with data. But not my style. Just enjoy my meandering stories and real life messages. Saying ciao is hard. I had pizza last night and quietly chewed our breakup story. I am ready. My life in the absence of pain will win and be my constant reminder along with societies vast array of sugar free choices if a sauce or an ice cream is truly needed. As for bread hello, ezkiel…and I love it. In moderation. I am good but it will be tough. I began today and promptly ordered supplements for sauces and chips. Sauces from Primal and G Hughes, carrots, cottage cheese instead of flavored yogurt, and Rx bars instead of premier protein etc, etc, etc. Just a bit of shopping adds combined with some everyday needs will make this tasty life without misery. #goals

On any road taken no one is perfect and I will not be. Nope. I will travel, learn, explore, investigate, concoct recipies until I get this right.

And I will…

back pain, chronic pain, family, life, retirement

306 Days

Let’s first explain the title. I am taking this rather random number based on my physiotherapist’s ramblings on how long it takes to heal a back that is herniated. Tah-dah a title is born. Of course, the number might be wrong as I was medicated at this first meeting. Or is it? This back disaster is my current state combined with vertigo. I got super lucky. Weeks later, I can chuckle a bit and feel a bit of pride to be the star of an EMT horror story of difficult patients. Let me explain, while riding in the ambulance after having my husband stuff me with a protein bar, because he thinks water plus protein cures all ills, I vomited everywhere. Everywhere. Several times. On a happy note the hubs scrubbing forced his hand to promise me new flooring. Of course, a request since year two in the house, but heck eight years later is great. Back to the story. So, this sweet EMT, who sported a training badge, kept rattling on with stupid stories, that were keeping me from killing all of them in pursuit of pain meds. Anyhow, he held my vomit bag the entire way to the hospital. At our goodbyes. I thanked the kid and grabbed the captain and asked him to sign his papers and pass him for the day. Or did I ask for meds? I don’t know? Probably both. The captain promised he would happily sign him off as he peeled my hand out of his and yelled, “Take her away.”

Currently, I am on week five or day 271 of my current holding position of rest, PT, and more rest. I am off all meds that caused me to forget what I read, watched, re-read, and re-watched during my time of bedridden status. With the pain away but in a wet- cement state, I wait. I wait to start my life again. I am on pause. I long for the simplicity of my life that I led. I teach. I miss my kids. I spin. I miss my Echelon/Peloton app life. I am stuck in the house because I can’t drive due to the back and the vertigo. I miss people. But with all the things I miss there is so much more I have learned in the silence of my waiting. Serious thoughts have come my way while crying in pain. Religion. The importance of family. Work and my need for my social and intellectual growth plus monetary needs. Along with the harsh truth that I am easily replaced, especially at fifty-nine. There were also thoughts that can be filed under the not so serious. Cue the meds folks. Days of reality TV nonsense, movie upon movie, and many attempts at new binge shows. Note. Not a Bridgerton fan. Probably the only human who could not get through episode 1. All I could think of was the pain the actresses endured with their corsets. While the mundane entertained my mind, it was the big thoughts, that truly got me through the day. Not my twelve orders of athletic wear to make dressing easier or the endless scrolling and the constant attempt to find anything to take my mind of the situation at hand. Nope. The big stuff. Religion, family, and work. Repeat. It made the struggle of each day and each small success sweet.

Religion became my anchor. I prayed, read scripture, and talked alot to the man upstairs. I felt his presence, cried, and kept praying. For the first time I felt his guiding hand. Truly, in the darkness of our room I was not alone. Ever. This gave me hope and a feeling that my herniated disc came at a time that had no reason, but had every reason. I renewed my faith and my belief that I am never alone if I just give my life over to him. I have. Completely.

Family. Oh my. So many days I have taken my family for granted and allowed the little stuff to aggravate me, but once you need them to walk you to the bathroom, there is a new respect. The little annoyances in life are gone. Who cares about the toothpaste or how the dishwasher gets loaded or not. Or my control issues with my son. My crew rallied to just get me through the day. They became my daily cheerleaders, my rock during bad moments, and my everything. Family replaced my long list of wants and it still needs some soul searching as to why my control issues and wants superceded my families love. But I will continue on this path much after my pause button has been removed.

Work. It has been five weeks since I have seen my kids. I can’t imagine their current state. I just can’t. But since this was an extended leave I was caught off from school until I return. I have turned over all things I control with fervor to a state of “you do you” and I will pick up the pieces upon my return. While, I do not think I am replaceable. I am. Perhaps, my replacement does not give the quality I gave daily, but another has taken my place. This hurts. But before I officially retire, the discussion did happen the day after my hospital grand entrance. A bit soon. But needed. There before me stood a man that gave me the world almost thirty-four years ago, and he was doing it again. He put aside all worries of money. All. I cried as I listened to our future together which requires my health not my teachers salary. There were no tears about the end date. Just hopes and dreams of a healthy life both in Neebish, Mexico and our time here in the valley. I thought even the the discussion of leaving the workforce would hurt. Nope. Just gave me a world of options. I want to leave healthy. Not stuck in bed. So while I will return very shortly, I won’t kill myself. I won’t. Just be the best teacher and let the other BS fall to the wayside. How did I get into this situation in the first place by killing myself. No more.

Today, the vertigo is disappearing. The back needs one more appointment and possibly shots along with a full drying of my wet-cement. But I am coming back to my status of Go, go, go but never forgetting this time of pause and what I am graced with in my life.

back pain, chronic pain, family, granparent life, grey hair, life

The Pursuit of Normality

Travel souvenirs are now adorned with stim stuff. From L-R Walgreens battery powered unit, Easy@Home rechargeable unit, and WI Touch Pro

Over the past ten days I have searched, researched, and guinea pigged my way back to a state of non-movement. By far this is the worst day I have ever felt in the history of my hip/back situation. No reasons. Probably, the large pops my body gave off after yesterday’s chiro session. No blame. The journey is long and the session was rough. But, as I lie around, I have good news to report. Yes. Good.

My favorite new TENS device is the Wi Touch Pro. The device itself is bulky, but it comes in green or orange, so at least I felt springy. I Just added batteries, downloaded the app on my phone, and chose my setting. Note: app can be wonky. Breathe. Yesterday, I did three sessions, for thirty minutes, in the morning and evening and was functional. Since this is a ten or more week rehab. I was not perfect. But I could walk, stop at a store, and buy Easter stuff for my grandnugget. I even made a simple dinner later on that evening for the hubs. He was shocked. It was edible. Double shock. Basically, I was enjoying simple pleasures that I no longer take for granted. No More! This feeling of progress was amazing. Then, late yesterday Dr. Chiro came back into my life. Ugh. Back to ice and heat today with a side of Real Housewives, one too many times. Due to my experience go buy Wi Touch Pro (non-solicitated) on Amazon for $89.00. It will be my morning and evening sessions, after my spasms stop. You can find it on www.amazon.com. It is worth every penny. Again, it is not a cure. It is just a helpful tool as you heal.

Easy@Home was my rechargeable unit. It gave me the non-pairing hassle and a simple on/off and plus/minus system for pressure. However, I found myself adjusting it often to hit all the areas of pain. But at home the odd positions, beeping often and glowing green until you beep off is worth it! My first attempt with device life was with the Easy@Home and have used it with success since my initial injury in December. This week, while visiting my nugget, and trying to survive my first attempt at normality. It was my go to product. My buddy enjoyed turning grandma on and off and my beeping. My robotic life humored him and allowed me to do priceless adventures. Since driving causes me to curse throughout the length of my trip, windows closed. Obviously. I decided to give Easy@Home a try while I drove home from Prescott. It was fabulous. In the world of buying a miracle, these units do mask the pain as you heal, and this lower cost unit at $36.00 produces bang for the buck. Go get it! www.amazon.com

My next unit, for school next week. Yes. I am a teacher. Pray. I have asked for forgiveness and have requested to wear lululemon dupes for the next few weeks. My go-to is Baleaf or Crz Yoga, all found on Amazon. Duh! So, if you see a teacher looking extra sporty. You found me. I have no choice as the units do not work under clothes that constrain. They hit the on/off button and poof, pain comes back, and you are left with your hand in crazy positions. Which looks odd in public, frankly anywhere. But as I teach. NO BUENO. Between the buttons, and consistently beeping. My students would go bananas. So, the AUVON system will be for my weekday school adventures. It is a wired product that has a remote, that does need Bluetooth, and controls with twenty-four different sessions. I am trying hard to be there for my kids next week, but I know staying in school last week damaged me further. Just my stubborn ways. Note to self. Back injury equates going home. This unit was $39.00 and I found it on Amazon. Duh! Please note that all of these units are reviewed just by me. That’s it. Me. I am not paid. Just another rehabbing patient trying to find inner peace.

back pain, family, granparent life, life

My Back Series #3

A variety of dribble…

I would like this back/hip pain to end. Truly, not my thing chatting about pain. Currently resting on heat, and planning my Pain is Gone Party. I will invite all of you. Don’t have a date, sorry. A party sounds fabulous and a way to celebrate the chains that bind leaving. Recently, I have stimmed myself into oblivion and now awaiting an acupressure mat, (review to follow) that looks like torture. Since, I am in this space, what is the harm? A big takeaway from this daily hell is that I have noticed how people treat daily pain. They give advice. Stupid advice. All I want is a hug and a cleaning lady on repeat. Not advice. But I listen, as running away is literally not an option. My son, true chronic pain sufferer, has dealt with my stupid advice from me for years. I have apologized. Funny, he gives no advice. Just hugs. Apology accepted. I hope. So, while I plan my party, as it will happen. I envision all my torture objects thrown into a bon fire and a celebratory poof to see them off. Too much? Probably. My second thought is a new MCM bag and a shopping spree. 🛍 That will do.

back pain, chronic pain, echelon, family, fitness, granparent life, grey hair, keto, life

Sorry KWL

Truth be told. I can be a b****. While my life revolves around my family. I can be a bit much. Call it demanding. Not b*****. Better. Years ago my son was diagnosed with a back disease. Fast track to today and he has a million dollar back and hypothetically is the bionic man. It is genetic. But I have fought mine off, until this week. Pain brought me to my knees. To make it through the week before spring break with my 6th grade mayhem of love, I just kept saying, “What would Kyle do?” Then I cried, thinking of all the times, I have been critical of anything in his life. Not truly realizing that slap pain into life that does not abate takes over until you can just do so much and sometimes the fluffy life stuff does not matter. Truth. I skipped two showers. Could not do it. Did. Not. Care. I smelled of powdered shampoo, sweet oils, and the fragrance that was the closest to my grab on my make-up table.

I am sorry KWL.

So, I have faltered. Worst ever. But that is that. Now, I finally recover forever. I tend to overdo, over diet, and fail. Enough. Life is finite and being on a roller coaster is loopy and unproductive.

Onward.

Few steps back. Yes. But forward. Forever. The toughest part is where I am currently. Heating. Cooling. Resting. Walking at a snails pace for 10 minutes. The beginning. It’s where my FOMO sets in. Frankly, without social media there was no FOMO. It would be good to toss it aside right now, but not gonna try. Too much between food changes, back self-care, and trips to the chiro. So, my mindset is now changed to without healing there is nothing. And nothing is not acceptable.

No FOMO.

So, instead of running around and enjoying. I am canceling plans and scheduling me time. Healthy care, healthy eating, manicure and pedicure, hair and chiro, chiro, chiro, stretch, stretch, stretch, walk, walk, walk. While I heal (6-12 weeks total) I will putter around the house aka clean slowly and mindfully, organize my spring school clothes, aka as fashion, and put me first this time which will allow me to put what’s important to me back to its proper first place status now and forever and get over this crazy coaster I have been strapped into for the last twenty years. It’s time.

Ailment in a nutshell.

My back. But not. It is a pelvic rotation that is over 35 mm from normal. 8mm is severe. How have I survived twenty years. Who knows. Obviously, this inner movement tugs on the back. Greatly. Causing extreme pain especially when sitting and ooh, driving is a killer. But in my three chiro appointments I have seen relief. Since PT has been apart of my life for this. I know the drill of bridges and pelvic tilts. Yup. Three times a day. Everyday in accute stages. This classified. Other non-medicated methods are THC oil and Formula 303 (starting tomorrow) a natural muscle relaxant. Naproxyn, is on order for pain. Again, no addiction, thank you. If any of this becomes magic. I will blog and share. Heck. Gonna blog and share anyway to keep me going on this journey. Which kicked off today saying goodbye to my Echelon and Peloton friends for a minute. This was sadness. Five rides away from 200, 50 more miles away from my race goal. Poof. But today I got out, walked to a short Peloton program. While sharing with you about this pain that haunts, but could be worse I hope to gain insight and lend a positive spin on pain as the reality is mindset is part of the process. Millions are in pain daily. Maybe I will crack the code or just make you laugh along you own journey. One that only you can shoulder and usually in silence. Why? As I am finding out unless you can make pain happy or positive, no one wants to know. It must be catchy.

The contagious factor.

It’s not. But unless you experience relentless pain. You have no response other than to buck up, take an Advil, stretch, lose weight. Etc. Idiots. I was one.

I am sorry KWL.

echelon, fitness, goals, granparent life, Peloton

Progress Not Perfection

About a year ago I went on a hike. A short hike. Barely an incline. I almost died. I had to sit about five times, I cursed like a sailor, and requested that my car be brought up the hill (as my friend called it). To me it was akin to Mount Everest. My embarrassing moments were just that embarrassing. Staring at the finish line aka parking lot while just feet away seemed like miles.

Fast tracking to the end of this terror I made it to the car and cried all the way home. Not out of pain but the reality of how I let myself become a blob with no ability to walk a few miles upward.

Once upon a time I was in shape. The wedding. Check. After the wedding. Check. Pregnancy. Check. After pregnancy. Check. My son’s first eighteen years due to the country club life and the machines I had at my disposal. Check. Then real life hit. A few life issues mixed in with mid-life. Everytime I started the walk down the block, the online barre or pilates classes. I stopped. Made excuses and felt pure guilt at not being able to cross the line of consistency.

Covid-19 brought many of us to our fitness, social, emotional, or financial needs. For me I knew if I did not do something I would look like a parades floating balloon. Perhaps it was the social media perfection pictures that flashed at me during the daily boredom and scrolling hours or all the blogs of fifty somethings that look thirty. Whatever it was. It clicked. Onward to my echelon/peloton life.

The first seventy-three rides were of the twenty minute variety mixed with HITT, Tabata, pop and the low key variety. Today, I made a move. I went to thirty minutes. I did it. I survived and I will continue until I can go to forty-five minutes with the weekly goal of an hour. My goal is lofty but it will be achieved.

So, my shape is improving for me and my family, especially my grand-nugget who will never see his grandmother poop out at a park. Any park. Even one with great big mouse ears. Does my shape represent thirty at fifty-seven, no. But I am getting closer and feeling great about it!

echelon, fitness, goals, Peloton

Resistance 50…

I don’t ride fancy and I cannot do a resistance of 50. Nope. I am stuck in the 20’s. Don’t judge.

My desire to color coordinate my workout gear ended long ago. Just forcing the workout is my focus. Now for those moments in which my black matches perfectly, I feel like a rockstar. But shoes, I am all about the shoes. My shoes will always look cute unless my troubled foot acts up…then I look like a teacher, which I am. You know the sensible shoe type. #justaddcardigan. But with each ride I care a bit more about my former self and my matchy matchy outfits. There is hope. Today I looked rather sleek in my Amazon duped lulumon black leggings and matching stuff. It is a step that I owe to my newbie status and desire to truly show up.

While I am set and ready to go…there are groceries, baseboards, grading…you get it. Anything but the bike. I find myself staring, just staring at my new friend noting that an invitation is not forthcoming. So I either get on or on day two ruin my goal. That is not acceptable. I don’t know which is the hardest part of the activity, finding the ride you want or just getting on the bike. Since I am new to all of this I plopped myself into the six week beginner program and will supplement with three other rides per week from instructors I am finding a connection. These Perfect Peloton specimens are made of equal parts showman, psychologist, and athlete…or the other way around. They are amazing and a blast to suffer with. I love when they say 50 resistance or higher. Oh that one gets me. But a girl can dream.

After my daily ride, I complete the daily core challenge and I am rotating my body through ten minutes a day of weights. Only to find a variety of body parts crying as they preferred hibernation. This has been quite a wakeup call and while I will keep the weights in my repertoire a clean and jerk is not in my future. Just steady improvement, better fashion, and a resistance of 50 is all a girl can want. Oh, and weights above three pounds. Shhh.

Note: Today, I did my beginner ride with Emma Lovewell and her ab series. My arms were with Cody who I absolutely adore as his personality is everything. Afterwards, I lied on the floor for as long as possible due to inability to move, not laziness. Drank a gallon of water and applauded my efforts. I find the applause necessary. Truly. As for resistance my high was 22 and my low was 15 but my cadence was on point with each of the crazy requests.

Tomorrow is another day, another outfit, another mindset and hopefully even for a millisecond I can get to a resistance of 25 and look towards 50 without the amount of laughter it currently brings with each ride. It will happen. More importantly, I got on the damn bike and with each passing day this will become the habit I so desire.

echelon, fitness, goals, life, Peloton

Life in the Saddle

I have chosen to be an annoying beginning Peloton blogger giving you my every thought and sweat droplet. No. There are enough of those out in the universe in their super cute matching outfits and sparkly persona. They give me hope and an outward reason to get in that saddle. However, my challenge is to my myself, 100 rides before my 58th (April 19th) and my views are coming from a sense of reality along with my Amazon Lulumon dupes always black for that slimming look, ha. No. Black because they go with everything I am madly pulling out of my drawers as I make the mad dash down the hall from the work room to the fitness haven.

No personal pics of my rolls. I am vain and try to live in a vision of ten years ago. The truth would not set me free. Anyway aren’t you tired of those and doubt the reality of the before and after magical wand. No. Ok, just me. My looks are roundish and a cross between Ava Gardner, Molly Ringwald and Captain Kangaroo. Back to the roundish. Not completely. I have great shoulders and wrists and enough grey hair to be one of those instgrammers showing their magical tresses and pretending it does not age us. It does. But I love my grey and my freckles.

So, follow my dribble as I will keep it real. The pain, the dread, the peloton high, the laughter. All of it during these days of challenge because my sport days (former figure skater) are long behind me and my cycle reason is weight loss, health, and just to enjoy the ride.

Note: I am on ride fifteen with five other peloton classes. It is a start and tomorrow is another day.

Happy Riding! Yogadivamama1234