Week 19

It has been nineteen weeks since I started my current, and most successful ever, fitness journey.

I have three things of note on my weekly update!  🤗

#One – My husband came home sick a couple of weeks ago.   I don’t know if it was a chest flu or what,  but he was miserable.   I did feel so bad for him BUT for the first time  since I met Dan twenty-five years ago, I did not catch whatever he had.   Not a single sniffle!   Dan is back on his feet and feeling much better, so I can be happy for him now, as well. 🥰

#Two – I am shedding noticeably less hair this week than I have been for the past couple of years.    I don’t know if it is because my health is better or because I started using Dove hair fall rescue shampoo, but YAY!

#Three – Molly and I have started daily walks! 🌟

I am harnessed up and ready to go! (No idea why she looks so small.  She isn’t.)

On Saturday, we took a short walk around the block.  Molly did not appreciate the traffic, the people, and she was particularly taken aback by the other dog yards.  It did not go well.

Yesterday, I took Molly to the ball diamonds across the street and she did MUCH better.   By the time we returned home, she was walking beside me like a pro.

This morning, I decided we should go back to the ball diamonds to reinforce yesterday’s training. Molly did great until we got half way to the diamonds and a particularly raucous bird startled her.   🙄 She had almost pulled herself together when there was a loud BANG.   It was probably a vehicle but it really sounded like a gunshot.  WELL, that did it for Molly!  She spun around and decided to hightail it home.  The good news is, I stayed on my feet and managed to hold onto her.  

When we got out of the park, Molly calmed right down and decided she was ready to go for a nice walk afterall.  We walked to the end of our street and turned onto Sherwood.  It was about 8 A.M. and Sherwood is pretty busy at the best of times.    Molly didn’t mind the cars, SUVs, and half-tons. Then she saw a semi. She came to a screeching halt and sat trembling as it went by. This was repeated when she saw the bus. When the garbage truck rattled by, I think she upped the drama queen routine by experiencing a short fainting spell. 😞

We turned right on Elphinstone. The traffic was a bit less of an issue as there were vehicles parked along the side of street, between us and the semis, buses, and garbage trucks. Things were uneventful until we turned onto MacKinley. We met up with a few pedestrians and Molly wanted to be a little too friendly. I kept her in check and I was feeling pretty good about how well we were doing. Molly and me, walking down the street like pros!

Then, for probably the LAST time ever, Molly drifted right. I didn’t see her coming into my path and I stepped on her foot. Molly let out a high pitched YIPE and stopped dead in her tracks. I did not. I went head over tea kettle and did a totally imperfect faceplant. Fortunately, for me (not so much for her), I landed on top of Molly.

I scrambled to my feet (I can do that now, because I am in such good shape), Molly stumbled to hers, and we proceeded home – each on our own side of the sidewalk!

That is about it for week nineteen. I am still doing my Zumba workouts, drinking my beet juice, and eating my sauerkraut. I am looking forward to many more walks with Molly and can’t wait until we are ready to tackle some more challenging parks and hiking trails.

Take care and have a great day! 💞

Eighteen Weeks

Anyone close to me in real life or online knows that in mid-February I went on a mission to improve my fitness.  My initial ‘program’ has evolved considerably as have my health and fitness and my ultimate goal.

I think this evolution can best be explained by posting the  TOP 10 benefits I have experienced in these past eighteen weeks. (Not in any particular order)…

#1 – I am stronger – I can easily  lift weights that I have not lifted for years.    I mean full, heavy garbage bags, rocks, BIG solid fry pans – on Saturday I even lifted our big dog  Molly into our pool!  Every part of me is stronger.  I opened a new pickle jar with my bare hands yesterday.   Seriously!  This is real life, everyday strength that makes my life easier.

#2 – My balance and flexibility has improved.  – Again, this is life changing especially when navigating around our garden or Molly and her toys. (Or Molly and our shoes, sofa cushions and anything else that she makes off with).

#3 – My husband has noticed and remarked on the noticeable improvement in my physical shape. That is great because I want to look good for my husband, even after 25 years, and because it isn’t just about how I look. He respects the effort and dedication that I have put into improving my health and fitness. Respect is huge in any relationship.

#4 – I breathe easier. I still have asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis. I always will, but getting fit has improved my lung function despite asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis. I breathe easier and in turn I sleep better!

#5 – My collagen levels have improved. I know this because I have a genetic collagen disorder and because collagen levels drop for everyone as they as age – making things even more noticeable for anyone with pre-existing collagen issues. For me, an improvement in collagen has meant healthier skin. It has meant muscle strength and joint stability. I can crouch/squat down AND get back up. And it is so noticeable in the connective tissue between all of the multiple little boney areas in my body. My hands are virtually pain free, the little bones in my middle ears no longer wobble around causing vertigo, AND when I get up in the morning my feet do not feel like I am walking on bags of marbles.

#6 – My mental health is stronger. My mind is sharper. My memory is better. Overall I am functioning better and it is just easier to perform any mental task.

#7 – My emotional health is better. My life isn’t perfect. Lately there have been some seriously stressful family situations. Sometimes I struggle to meet the challenges. But I do meet them! I laugh, I cry, and I function in a healthy way.

#8 – My clothes fit better. That isn’t the be all, end all of any fitness program but it feels so good to just feel good in ones clothes. For the past ten years it has been hard to get anything to fit right because nothing about me was proportional.

#9 – I am excited about my future health and fitness levels. That is a big one for me because I am turning 67 years old next month. But for me, I know my best fitness years are not behind me. I am in better shape now than I have ever been in my life and I know that I can and will keep getting better. I don’t know how much better and I am not looking for immortality, but I know that unless I get hit by a bus or stricken by some major disease, I will get better. I have found a system that works for me and I know I can adapt as I go to make it better.

#10 – I have inspired others to work on their fitness and well-being. I am not saying that to brag or anything, but people have mentioned it. I had a long talk with my sister-in-law yesterday and we got on this subject. She moved from Costa Rica to Canada last year and has been struggling with the same type of health issues that I have struggled with for years and we are the same age. I started telling her how well I was doing and it turned into such a good conversation. She was so excited about starting her own fitness program when she gets moved into her new house next week and I am so excited for her! Never in my life have I ever inspired or imagined that I could inspire anyone to improve their level of fitness. 🤗🤗🤗

Inspiration from my sister Elaine. 😉

Anyway that is it for today, and for how my life has been going for the last eighteen weeks. Take care and have a great day!

Seventeen Weeks

Here I am, seventeen weeks since I started my fitness mission to get out of my rocking chair and into rocking my retirement lifestyle. 

  • Notable tidbits from the past week:
  • Feeling good physically. Every week is just that bit better. 😊
  • Feeling fine mentally!  On top of my game. 🙂
  • Emotionally, it has been a bit of a struggle.  Nothing that I can’t chalk up to a full moon and a deeply embedded habit of stressing out. 🙄
  • After seventeen weeks in I have FINALLY lost a solid TEN pounds.   That is at least twice as much as I have ever lost on a fitness plan, so will take it as a win.
  • After seventeen weeks of dancersizing and two weeks of beet juice, my blood pressure is back down to normal +/- 120/80.
  • A few days ago, I added a tablespoon of sauerkraut (before supper) to my diet. Hopefully it will help settle digestive issues. If it works, thank you sister Elaine for the suggestion. If not, it is all good – I love sauerkraut.
  • On the Molly side:
  • Two weeks until we can start walking the neighbourhood – And not a minute too soon. Molly is BORED. We went out and bought her some new toys this morning, to mix things up a bit for her. We did not buy her the $20.00 rubber stick. Seriously! Dan did find a stick a few weeks ago, cleaned the bark off of it and filed down the sharp bits. We tried to teach her to fetch it but she just wanted to eat it. 😋
  • GOOD NEWS! Molly FINALLY quit trying to bite and scratch my arms. They may be scarred for life but I am no longer covered in peroxide and bandaids.
  • BAD NEWS! Molly’s sheep herding tendencies have reached a new level. Now she has taken up head butting and butt nipping. Since we lack sheep, my butt is the target. I don’t know what is worse, when she follows me around nipping at my butt or when she charges full tilt across the yard and slams her head into my butt. Neither is pleasant or particularly elegant. 🙄

Photos of Molly:

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! 🌞💞

Sixteen Weeks – The Struggle is Real!

It has been sixteen weeks since my fight to get fit began. So far it has been going well and I have no intention or concerns about allowing myself to drift back to where I was when I started this adventure.

There have been positive results – surprisingly so, since getting in shape was never a winning proposition for me, unless you count ROUND as a shape – which was not what I was going for. This time there has definitely been improvements – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Unfortunately, there are some issues that seem to defy my efforts. While my lung capacity and function has improved, I still get winded going up and down our basement stairs. Since our washer and dryer are in the basement, that mean several trips up and down those stairs on laundry day. It isn’t undoable, but it triggers that voice in my head that mocks me with a snickering “You are old and fat – and you cannot even breathe right!” 😋). That voice is so mean, trying to undermine all of the progress that I have made. 😧

Then there is the weight. Not just the weight, but the stubborn FAT that clings to my upper arms, waist, and thighs. I know from countless past experiences that cutting calories is not the way to go for me. I cut calories, feel like a dishrag, cut all unnecessary activity, and then snarf down a box of Smarties so I have the energy to change my socks. I have improved my diet – eliminating virtually all empty calories but replacing them with foods that provide the nutrients my body needs. But, cutting calories? No way! I am not a heavy eater, I eat healthy foods, I am gradually upping my activity level until the weight and fat eventually drops.

Despite the frustrating struggles, I am happy with the progress I have made so far. I know it has only been sixteen weeks since I started this journey. That is less that four months – and the first month was very tentative. So in three months – My strength, stamina, flexibility, and breathing have all improved. My muscles have toned up, so my clothes wear better and overall I am looking better and feeling better about how I look. Mentally and emotionally, I am noticeably healthier than I was. It is good, I am impressed and ready to journey on.

It is a nice day to sit back and enjoy the sunshine.

Here’s the link to a new You Tube video I tried yesterday. It is a bit longer than the last couple I shared but I enjoyed it and made it through to the end. 😉

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day!

Fifteen Weeks

It has been fifteen weeks plus a couple of days since I decided to GET FIT! Do or die! (That may be a bit overly dramatic, but my quality of life was drifting downward and I wasn’t going down without a fight).

Three and a half months later, now into daily Zumba, spring yard work, and raising Molly (our Pyrenees pup), I am still seeing positive results – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Yay!

One issue that I have struggled with lately has been my blood pressure. It has been running high and last week when we went to spend a few days up north with son Dan and family it was way too high. When we came home, I started reading up on controlling blood pressure and read that beet juice was particularly helpful. I decided it was worth a try. 🤷

Dan bought me the liquid beet juice. After more reading (and seeing the price of the liquid), I decided to try the crystals.

I have been drinking six ounces of beet juice a day for six days. After the first day, I started adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to each glass. (Pure beetroot juice is VERY sweet). In the matter of a few days my blood pressure has dropped to normal, healthy levels. Not only is my blood pressure better but my lungs and sinuses are better than they have been in ages. Because I am breathing so much easier, I am sleeping much better (which is no doubt helping my blood pressure). At this point, I have no idea if any of this is due to the beetroot juice or coincidence but I am going to try using it for a while and see how it goes!

Molly – Fifteen and a half weeks – 36 lbs.

Meanwhile, I was back to the vets with Molly yesterday for her first Parvo booster. She checked out great, was exceptionally well behaved, and won the hearts of every vet, vet tech, and receptionist who fussed over her and her fluffy white fur coat. One more booster in three weeks and a week for it to take and YAY we can start daily public walks.

At home, Molly is less than exceptionally well behaved on a regular basis. This week she is in a battle with a clay flower pot that keeps stealing her collection of small rocks. It is too funny and worth the trouble of collecting the rocks and moving the pot each day to keep the battle going. Usually, Molly dumps the pot and carries the rocks into the porch. Last night, she came zooming through the house carrying the pot. 😂

Other than that, the biggest excitement we have had this week was having a Finch fly into the house yesterday. I tried catching it with a butterfly net. All the while, Molly tried her best to stay between me and our unwelcome guest. Eventually, the Finch got tired of our futile efforts and made its way out the back door.

That’s it for today! Take care and have a great day. 💞

Thirteen Weeks – Positive Results ðŸ‘ðŸ»

It is thirteen weeks since I began my fitness routine! I continue to see improvement and to stay motivated. This week I am impressed with the increased strength and flexibility in my joints that I am noticing. I particularly appreciate the notable difference in my knees and hips. You know those old ladies who crouch down to get something off of a shelf in a store and can’t get up without the assistance of their strong armed husband? Yea, that was me a few weeks ago. Even getting off of my chair at home was problematic. Not any more! 💃

My fitness level is not the only positive result that I am celebrating this week.

This is our front lawn…
And this!

It may not seem that impressive to anyone who has a manicured lawn but this is after the first good rain of the season and for the past number of years, we have been pretty much allowed our lawn to devolve into dried weeds and bare patches. Last year we decided that since I was home to give it some TLC, we would work at bringing it back to a semblance of lawn. We spread a couple of containers of hardy grass seed, applied lawn fertilizer a couple of times, I pulled weeds, and I waterer AND watered AND watered! It is a work in progress but I am loving the results so far.

Also, the training of Molly continues and we continue to appreciate the results. No inhouse accidents for two days! And… she will give a paw, touch her nose to a fist (without trying to eat it), and she knows her bed. She is such a quick learner and so anxious to please. 🥰

I am never going to pee on the porch mat again. 🥳

Here’s a link to another You Tube Zumba class I have been using. I still zig when I am supposed to zag and my leg lifts are a bit awkward. In my defense, it is rather more challenging with a growing pup walking around me and between my legs – especially when she is dragging her toys or blanket. 🙄

Last but not least…. One more result that I was super excited about yesterday.

I threw Molly’s disgustingly dirty toy elephant in the wash and he came out better than new! Totally impressed. 😊

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! 💞

12 Weeks 💃

Yesterday, I completed twelve weeks of my daily fitness workout. YAY! Of course, I started a new six week run because I have no intention of slacking off. It is the first fitness plan that I have ever found that works for ME. It gets me pumped and keeps me motivated all day instead of exhausting me and sending me to the snack cupboard for an unhealthy source of energy (or the sofa for a nap).

This morning I went to see my respiratory specialist. I drove myself – downtown – at rush hour, and parked backwards into a slanted parking spot. Yay me! The good news is there is no new issues with my lungs. The bad (questionable) news is that my blood pressure now seems to range on the (bit) high side. No doctor seems concerned enough to suggest medication but since they keep bringing it up, I have started looking for ways to bring it down naturally. 🙄

In Molly news, we are having a challenging week. I planted flowers around the base of the bird bath yesterday. I surrounded my little seedling with a wooden fence to give them a fighting chance. The plants are still hanging in but Molly ate the fence. She is also in hyper play mode. Between her teeth and her nails, I look like I have been crawling through barbed wire and rocks.

Molly with a new rawhide chew treat I got her today.
It seems to have slowed her down. 😉

Anyway, that’s all I have for today. Take care and have a great what’s left of your day! 💞💛💃