Week 21

It has been twenty-one weeks since I began my fitness journey. In those weeks, there has been a lot to celebrate. Every week there has been some notable improvement to my health and fitness. That is pretty amazing.

Unfortunately, I am in a place where the improvements are becoming harder to come by and less notable. That is not terribly surprising. Regardless of what you do, how you do it, or how well you do it, there are challenges along the way.

So… My thoughts on week 21

#1. Humidity – Our temperature has finally begun to rise, we have had frequent short spells of rain and our humidity has risen accordingly. That may be great for something, but not so good for my lungs. Activity indoors or out is a struggle. I have kept up with my Zumba every day (except Sunday, which is my ‘rest and recover day) – but the struggle is real!

#2. Walking – I cannot believe that Molly and I have been walking daily for two weeks. It seems SO MUCH LONGER. I was so excited about walking our new pup. It was such a long wait until she was fully vaccinated and cleared to go. Now we are walking and it gets worse every day! Molly is getting somewhat better at dealing with the traffic, but…. The warmer weather has brought out the people in our neighborhood. These people seem to be worse than ever for tossing their litter on roads and sidewalks. Molly is distracted by each and every piece. Walking the walks is one ongoing chorus of “Molly come on!” And “Molly drop it!”. Walking in the park is somewhat less distracting but the mosquitoes are brutal and Molly stops regularly to roll in the grass or….

… strike a pose. 💞

#3. Cold showers – I think that I have had three cold shower experiences. When I decided to add these to my fitness routine, the main draw for me was the possibility that cold showers could help me to develop some brown fat on my body. Brown fat is the fat that insulates one body and burns calories to keep a body warm. Living in Saskatchewan and facing the prospect of walking Molly this winter, brown fat sounds like a pretty good idea, well worth the effort it takes to produce it. So, how have the cold showers been going? The first one started as a regular hot shower until I felt ready to go for it . I turned off the hot water and the blast of ice cold water was more than I was prepared for. I got out as fast as I got in. I approached my second cold shower a bit more cautiously. I got into a hot shower and gradually turned back the hot water a notch at a time, until I was hit by the blast of ice cold water. Then, once again, I beat a hasty retreat. Last night, I tried another route. I got into a cool to lukewarm shower. Every few minutes I went a little cooler. When it was cold – but not ice cold – I settled in for a two or three minute chilly dousing. I don’t know that it was enough to start producing brown fat cells but there were a couple of things that I did notice. After exiting my chilly shower, my skin felt smooth and there was none of the typical hot shower, or hot bath, dry itch. Also, my hair was smooth and soft. I have spent a lot on hair products in recent years, some with better results than others, but my hair always seemed dried and fried. Last night, not so much. Obviously, it is too soon to tell if I am sold on cold showers, but I am definitely not ready to throw in the towel.

#4. Sleep – For some reason I am struggling to get any decent sleep – even now that Molly has become a solid sleeper. I sleep for an hour, then I am awake for two, trying to figure out why my sleep is so filled with disturbing dreams. It’s not even nightmares as such. I dream that I am back at work and freaking out because I can’t remember when I last paid the company’s payroll taxes, or some other such nonsense. It is annoying, exhausting, and frustrating.

That is it for this week. I sure that things will turn around and that I will find I have made a big leap in progress one of these days. In the meantime – it is about the journey, not the destination. 😉

Take care and have a great day!💞

Cooling off after a walk in the park.

26 thoughts on “Week 21

  1. I’m thoroughly impressed with your whole cold shower routine Anne. I will state for the record, I will never willingly take a cold shower! Yikes…

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  2. Wow, I hope you can figure out what is causing your broken sleep, Anne, sleep is so essential for us all. I once dated a woman who loved turning the shower to cold before hopping out, I hopped out first! I’ve never heard of brown cells, I hope it works for you. Do you have AC in your home? That will help you beat the humidity, right? It’s so dry down here that you may benefit from it if you ever visit. The current humidity is a whopping ten percent!

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  3. I recall reading that rinsing your hair in cold water after a shampoos closed the shaft and made it smooth, whereas warm or hot water opens the hair shaft. I tried it and it did seem to make it smoother and glossier. I wonder if the cold shower finish is similar in terms of closing pores after they are opened up? Molly is still so adorably photogenic! Does she like being in the water?

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  4. I read that last night about the hair – and pretty much the same as the skin. When the hair shafts and skin cells are open, the hair and skin dries out. I have struggled with super dry skin for years so I guess I’ll see if it helps longer term.
    Thank you! Molly likes her pool. I don’t know if she liked being in our big pool. I think she would have been scared if Dan hadn’t been holding her. She would probably like being at a lake where she could walk in and out.

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  5. We have had two dogs that loved going to the lake…on a long lead of course! You did not ask, but I will share with you that my skin is very dry. Two items work well for me, the Alpha Hydroxy face cream (I use it on my body at night) made by Walgreen’s, and Neutrogena’s new Hydro Boost body gel cream contain hyaluronic acid (used in the morning). I also use Laniege face care items that contain hyaluronic acid. They have worked miracles on both my dry skin and minimizing crepey skin and wrinkles! The Alpah Hydoxy helps with my sun brown spots. [I own no stock nor have any other relationship with either of these products. I just found they work for me.]

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  6. I am sorry about your skin issues. Mine burns and itches. In the winter my hands get so bad my fingertips crack and bleed. I have used the Neutrogena Hydra Gel face gel (day and night) for years. I just started using Dove body cream and I like it. I think it has been really helping my hands. I like pretty much any Dove product. The soaps, bubble bath, and shampoos work in our (very hard) water. I haven’t heard of Laniege and we don’t have Walgreens here.
    We took our dogs Casey and Kat to a mineral springs lake one summer. They loved floating around in it. (On long leads of course – with Dan holding the leads.) It was great for Casey’s arthritis.

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  7. My husband enjoys cold showers, even when it is raining😃 . Just thinking about it makes me shiver. All the best and thank you for sharing. At the end of the day, good health is what makes us what we are.

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  8. I don’t think I could do cold showers. I do turn cold water on my head after shampooing and rinsing my hair. I have oily scalp and the cold water helps to keep my hair from getting oily so soon after shampooing. I am sorry to hear about all the distractions for Molly on your walks. Hoping to hear very soon that you are sleeping the night through and waking feeling rested and energetic Anne. Bravo for you hanging in and not giving up on all you are doing. ❤

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  9. “I dream that I am back at work and freaking out because I can’t remember when I last paid the company’s payroll taxes, or some other such nonsense. It is annoying, exhausting, and frustrating.”
    Why does this happen to us? I am a psychotherapist and I don’t really know. Maybe your brain may be trying to sort out what made you the most anxious in the past, in comparison to how anxious your puppy is making you now. (Believe me, I know how anxious having a puppy can make you, especially if you are comitted to raising it right.) Maybe your brain is trying to tell you, you have faced far worse with payroll.

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  10. Yes – it is about the journey, with which you have persevered. It has been my experience that whenever I have sought physical improvement goals there has always come a plateau which will eventually be overcome.

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  11. Thank you, Cindy. That makes sense! As much as I loved all of the work I did, it was all stressful as I was always multitasking and it was all on deadlines. I never missed remitting payroll taxes on time so maybe that is a good sign for Molly as well! Thank you for your insight.

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  12. Frankly, I haven’t slept well since retiring! And, I think those work dreams come with the territory. I remember having them and still do on occasion. I will say, when I was sick, I slept at night! But I don’t want to be sick again. I think summer has its own issues but not that I am giving up on it!

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  13. I am sorry! Not sleeping well sucks and dreaming about a job that you are not even getting paid to dream about anymore sucks. Summer does have issues – like mosquitoes! – but I still love it. Even if I am indoors it is so nice having the door open!

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  14. Molly is such a sweetheart! I love the picture of her in her pool. And a good companion for your fitness program. It sounds like you have a good routine, and I’m sure you’re feeling proud of yourself, as you should! I hope the sleep disruption is managed. That’s a hard one! 😦

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  15. Thank you, Debra! Molly is a pretty good companion but does occasionally add a bit of challenge and humor to my fitness workouts. (I should start a Zumba class that adds a large puppy dragging a full-size blanket between one’s legs 😯). I hope my sleep improves as well. 😉

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