Week 33 – Setbacks

It is thirty-three weeks since I started working on getting fit and healthy. Things have gone rather well, better than I had ever thought was possible – and with few set backs.

Back in May, I skipped a couple of days of workouts when we went to son Dan’s for the long weekend and my blood pressure rocketed. Once we returned home, it started to drop and has been getting better and more stable all the time. My husband had a bit of a cold/flu/virus thing this summer and I skipped right through that with nary a sneeze. ๐Ÿค—

However, this past Saturday I woke up feeling a bit rough and it only got worse throughout the day. By evening, I had no inclination to do my evening weights and after crawling into bed early, suffered through a miserable night. By Sunday morning, I was feeling somewhat better. I puttered around the house all day and for the first time since the beginning of July, I missed walking Molly. She seemed fairly understanding – at least until I tried to lie down on her spot on the sofa. Having a 70/80 pound dog walk back and forth over you and finally flop down on top of you, is not nearly as restful as it sounds. ๐Ÿ˜ง. I survived the rest of the day napless, got a good night’s sleep, and got up feeling even better this morning.

Molly was feeling something… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I got up, fed Molly, made myself a nutritious breakfast, did a sinkload of dishes that should have been done last night, took Molly for a walk, tried to meditate for an hour while Molly tried to sit on my lap, chew on my hands, lick my ears, and half sit on my lap while half standing on the floor while wagging her tail in my face. (That was difficult to ignore.). I persevered and then chased her out into the yard so I could complete a thirty-three minute You Tube Zumba class.

My final challenge of the day will be completing my weight lifts (3 Pound dumbbells) and moving up to 9 sets, 10 reps, of four different lifts. ๐Ÿ’ช

One of the most challenging aspects of working the last few years before I retired, was dealing with health issues. I was never ‘healthy’ and, more often that not, I was dealing with the effects of chronic health issues and catching every bug that came near me. Calling in sick was seldom an option, so I would generally suck it up. But, I really looked forward to the day that I was retired and would have the luxury of pulling a blanket over my head and just wallowing in misery when I got sick.

Now I am retired and in so much better shape since I started working out in February, that I… A I almost never get sick, B – When I do get sick, I recover so quickly and easily that I do not have time to wallow, C – Have learned that wallowing does not really speed up the healing process, and D – Have a dog that does not approve of wallowing. So that retirement dream has run its course! And honestly, I am so much happier feeling healthy and fit that I really don’t mind missing out on the wallowing in illness thing.

That is it for today. Another week of making health and fitness a priority and another week of looking forward to a retirement filled with happy, healthy, adventures with my husband and our Molly dog! ๐Ÿค—

Happy Thanksgiving to any Canadian readers. Take care and have a great day – to all! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Autumn Gold At The Dog Park

Week 32 – I’m On My Way!

It has been thirty two weeks since I started making an active, healthy lifestyle a major priority in my life.   While I have enjoyed countless benefits from the improvements I have made to my lifestyle, there are limitations.

Physically, most of my limitations involve my respiratory system. I have asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis. These are all chronic conditions which have caused permanent lung damage. They are also conditions that are aggravated by dust, woodsmoke, frigid temperatures, and humidity. All of which happen in Saskatchewan on a regular basis.

Yesterday, I woke up to a city wrapped in thick fog. On days like that, it is hard to get up, get active, and basically get excited about doing much of anything. On days like that, I have two options. I can go the easy route, wrap myself in a fuzzy blanket, plant myself on the couch and wait for the congestion to get worse, the bronchitis or pneumonia to set in, and ultimately the trip to the health clinic or ER for x-rays, antibiotics, and oral steroids. Or, I can push myself to get dressed, get active, and work on improving (or at least maintaining) my lung function – and my waistline. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Fortunately, I have built up a few foolproof means to help me make the right choice. I have my fiercely motivated Volley workout partners who inspire me every day – and keep me accountable, I have a library of dance music to get me moving, I have a library of Zumba workouts to push me through, and of course I have my Molly dog to get me out into the fresh air (once the sun burns off the fog).

Here are a few of my currently favourite inspirations…

Molly at the dog park

That’s it for today and another week of working my way to a fit and healthy lifestyle. ๐Ÿ‘

Take care and have a great rest of your day. ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Change of Season

Despite our pool weather temperatures this week, it is obvious that our seasons are changing from summer to fall.

With my natural instinct to hibernate come mid-September, the pitch darkness when I let Molly out at 5:30 A.M. is less than optimal. My efforts to rearrange my schedule to optimize the sunlight that we do have is also proving to be a challenge. And… With everything falling,drying, decaying and generally turning to dust, my lung and sinus issues have been causing me grief. Autumn is not my favourite time of year!

Fortunately, even autumn has it’s redeeming features. Just as I am getting a bit tired of salads and barbecued suppers, we find ourselves in the season of comfort foods. Since we had a steak leftover from Sunday supper (Dan and I decided to share one) and a container of homemade beef broth in the freezer, I whipped up a pot of beef barley soup for supper on Tuesday. So good! I used the regular onions, garden carrots, parsnips, celery and cabbage and even tossed in a few (peeled) fresh San Marzano tomatoes and a couple of fresh hot peppers. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

And made a tray of homemade cheese biscuits to go with it!

With any number of soups and stews and casseroles reminiscent of my mother’s kitchen to choose from, I can work up a little enthusiasm for autumn and even for our up and coming Saskatchewan winter. Not a lot, but enough to keep me going on my health and fitness journey. ๐Ÿ™‚

I finished my Zumba workout so it’s time to head out with Molly. This could be another dog park day. We have been there three times and Molly does enjoy it. Yesterday we played fetch for a while, but I got tired of going to retrieve the ball so that didn’t last long. ๐Ÿ™„

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

31 Weeks From Feeble to Fit!

It is hard to believe that I have been working out and getting in shape for THIRTY-ONE weeks.

It is even harder to believe how far I have come in only thirty-one weeks.ย ย ย  In Mid-February I was exhausted, cold, sore, sickly, flabby, and feeble.ย ย ย  My mind was sluggish and I just felt blah.ย 

With spring coming up in two or three months, I decided I had to do something to regain some strength and improve my health.ย ย ย  I started gradually,ย  and have worked up to an hour ofย  dancing/Zumba every day (except Sunday), daily walks,ย  and working out with dumbbells each evening (except Sunday).ย ย ย  I drink six ounces of beet juice a day and take cold showers on a regular basis.ย  I have also joined an online Volley group for support and motivation.ย  Nothing I do is much of a time commitment and the only cost has beenย  in maintaining my Daily Walk companion Molly.

High maintenance Molly. ๐Ÿ’ž

The difference in my health and fitness has been amazing!ย  I feel good – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I look better than I have for years.ย  I keep active all dayย  and embrace new challenges!

This morning, Thirty-Oneย  Weeks from spending my days in my rocking chair in front of our electric fireplace, I strapped a harness on Molly (our now +/- 70 pound Pyrenees), set off for a walk, met up with a stranger in one of our neighbourhood parks and WE DID IT!ย ย ย  Molly and I went to our first offleash dog park.

If anybody had told me seven months ago that I would be heading into an offleash park to hang with a group of strangers and a pack of BIG dogs, there is no way I would have believed it.ย ย  But there, I was, hanging with the other dog owners, while watching our pups race around an open field, having the time of their lives.ย  Occasionally, they would come back to check on their human, before racing off again tails flying and grinning eat to ear.ย  It was just one of those moments that make it all so worth while!

It was just one moment of many, when I am so glad that I decided to make this health and fitness change. Every day, I have reason to appreciate the choice I made, reason to appreciate ALL of the people who have supported and encouraged me, and reason to marvel at all of those random moments that have brought me to this place – be it a random meeting, a chance advertisement on Kijiji for a perfect walking partner, or coming across the right article at the right time. That first step has led to so many more – and in only thirty-one weeks.

That is it for today. It’s time to go finish prepping the porch so I can get it painted this week. Just one more thing that I couldn’t have imagined doing back in February. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 31 – Fitness Update

It has been thirty-one weeks since I started working on improving my health and getting fit. It is not so much a goal anymore, as a new lifestyle that I have embarked on.

When I started on this mission, I was sixty-six years old, exhausted, miserable, weak, cold, and overweight. I was struggling to breathe. My blood pressure was high and my pulse was faster than it should have been. Now, at sixty-seven years old, other than still having a few pounds to lose and some muscle toning to work on, I am doing pretty darn good. I am looking better, my numbers are better, and most important – I am feeling way BETTER.

There are only a couple of things to note this week – is that I have days when I really struggle! Mentally, physically, and/or emotionally, there are days when I am not up to the challenge. But… I have come SO far in seven months! There is NO turning back. I know there are amazing benefits to be had by pushing through and going forward and I know there will be negative consequences for slacking off – so forward it is. Even on the hard days. I have never regretted pushing through.

First – I have days when I really struggle! Mentally, physically, and/or emotionally, there are days when I am not up to the challenge. But… I have come SO far in seven months! There is NO turning back. I know there are amazing benefits to be had by pushing through and going forward and I know there will be negative consequences for slacking off – so forward it is. Even on the hard days.

Second – I have overcome most, if not all, of the excuses that kept me from doing this sooner. My biggest excuses were I did not feel well – that ended when I realized I was never going to feel better if I did not get pro-active and start working on getting ‘better’. I did not have enough room to work out – that ended when I started dancing and following Zumba lessons on You Tube. Activities that didn’t take much room! Finally, I overcame my Exercise doesn’t work excuse and developed an attitude of ‘find the exercise that does work for me AND do it… AND keep doing it!’

So thirty-one weeks down, and the rest of my life to go, and I am still on track! Yay me – especially the me that started this mission in mid February. The first step is the hardest, but the weak, sickly, flabby, cold, exhausted me took that step. Now, I am stepping out every morning with my Molly dog, doing my dance workout when we get home, and lifting (light) weights every evening. (Except on my rest day Sunday, when I just walk Molly) How cool is that? ๐Ÿ˜Š

On the path to health and wellbeing. ๐Ÿ’ž

That’s it for today! Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 30 Fitness Update

It has been thirty weeks since I decided that I needed to get more active and serious about my health. I would never have believed that this fitness journey of mine would become such a priority in my life.

It is sad that those of us over a certain age, whatever age that is to us personally, often buy into the idea that fitness is for the young and that our health issues are irreversible and due to a natural aging process.

Some of my personal health issues are chronic and irreversible – a genetic collagen issue I was born with, asthma, COPD, and Bronchiectasis. But, the problems relative to these conditions have been mitigated immensely since I have been working out. And, there are countless other issues which I was led to believe we’re due to aging, that are no longer the issue that they were seven months ago. My heartrate and blood pressure are good, I have less fat and more muscle, my circulation is much better, my balance is better, my flexibility has improved, my mind is clearer, and my mood and attitude are far more positive. That is not to say that I will or want to live forever. But I have a better chance of dying with my boots on than languishing in a nursing home bed for decades so that’s good!

There are two things that I found super positive this week. First… I added one more set of lifts to my dumbbell exercises and I crushed it! I felt the muscles work, in the right way, but I pushed through every night without feeling that I was having to push past a safe and reasonable level. Second.. I started eating a serving of baked oatmeal every morning before walking Molly, and while my version wasn’t great, I ate it and it did wonders for my digestive health, bloating and the like. So yay! I did get a new recipes for Baked Apple Oatmeal from a WordPress friend and I have a Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal recipe to try, so for sure I will keep this as part of my routine.

That is about all I have for this week! Life is good. Time to get outside and put some of this improved health and fitness to work cleaning up the yard and picking some tomatoes and peppers.

I was actually able to take one photo while I was out walking Molly yesterday. I don’t know what happened to this tree (it looked like beavers got it?) but the leaves were a beautiful cream color.

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 29 – Fitness Update

I am comfortably into the second half of my first year as a dedicated health conscious, working out, active senior. ๐ŸŽ‰

Right now I am focusing on walking, dancing, and weights – with a once a week You Tube Zumba class and Sunday as a dedicated day of rest (except for walking).

I have been seeing encouraging results from all of my efforts, but I have to say, I am particularly impressed by the walking lately. Not because of my accomplishments, but because Molly is doing SO well. I also have to say that the most surprising thing about walking Molly has been the neighbourhood support. It is unreal. She has a regular fan club going and we meet new members every day. ๐Ÿ˜‚

I am just BEAUTIFUL – and so well behaved. People can’t keep their hands off me. ๐Ÿค—

My dancing was a struggle today. I didn’t notice Molly run outside with Dan’s favorite pillow but I did see her run back in with just the pillow case.

Yesterday’s score.

Fearing the worst, I paused my dancing to run outside and ask Dan if he had seen his pillow run by. He called Molly, who turned around and followed me back into the house. I un-paused my music and resumed dancing until Molly started chasing me around the house nipping at my butt. Dan came to get her off me, she panicked and ran between my legs. For the record, Molly is now taller than my legs are long. She managed to get through without toppling both of us, and Dan hustled her out the door. Unfortunately, they left three wasps behind in their wake. So, I am dancing around the house, swinging a fly swat at the wasps. I missed them several times but did manage to get them mighty worked up in the process. Final toll – 2 dead wasps and 1 still lurking around here. ๐Ÿ‘€

I finished my dance set and went out to water the garden. There are onions to pick for supper, lots of tomatoes and peppers to pick, and I picked a carrot and a strawberry for Dan while I was out there.

The only thing I have left to do to complete my fitness schedule for today is my weights after supper. And I am adding an extra set tonight. ๐Ÿ’ช

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž

Week 28

It has been 28 weeks since I started living my ‘better’ life. I am pretty sure I haven’t peaked yet so I am still working up to my ‘best life’.ย  โ˜บ๏ธ

There isn’t a lot to report this week but I did drop a pound YAY and having added a dumbbell workout in the evening, I think I am ready to move up a size this week.ย  Three pound weights it is!ย  My next biggest size are five pounds so that might take a bit.

Since I started getting more active and eating better, I have been feeling progressively better.ย  I am also trimming down and looking healthier.ย  All of this is good, and it is nice that others are noticing, BUT…ย  The most frequent ‘compliment’ I get – and have received often in my life is “You look too young – to be, to have, to do…whatever” or “You don’t look that old”.ย 

Seriously!ย  Why areย  people so surprised if anyone is healthy or in relatively good shape AT MY AGE.ย ย  At any age?ย  Why is age a factor to be judged by?

How am I supposed to look?

I even did an internet search for “women who are 67 years old”, just to see what a typical 67 year old woman was supposed to look like.ย  There were dozens of photos of womenย  and the only thing they had in common was that none of them looked ‘typical‘.ย 

What’s more, each photo had a headlineย  and none of those were what many people would consider typical for a sixty seven year old woman – one had just given birth (having conceived naturally), one had just been sentenced for a DUI hit and run, one had a black belt in martial arts and hadย  taken down an intruder with her bare hands, and one had been found after wandering away from her home.ย ย ย  If the photos and headlines had been separated and I had to guess which woman did what, I never would have guessed any of them.

There are so many memes and posts around about seniors – and so many of them normalize negative aspects of aging.ย ย  This is one Iย  received recently…

I get this is supposed to be funny,ย  but why? Why do we portray ourselves like this at any age?
ย 

And this gem…

Apparently 75 is our expiration date ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

I don’t know anyone who isย  seventy five.ย ย  I doย  have a sister who is seventy eight.ย ย  She is not sitting around worrying about whether she ever “embraced the sun on the beach” (Nor did she ever sit around thinking about whether her thighs jiggled ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ –ย  althoughย  I doubt that her thighs ever jiggled).ย  At seventy eight, she is still running circles around me, living her life, taking care of her home, taking care of the people she loves,ย  and no doubt anyone else who needs her.ย  She is driving herself and her loved ones anywhere they need to be on any given day.ย ย  And she is as perfect now as she ever was.ย ย 

What’s more – I know any number of people even older than my sister who are happy, healthy, strong, capable, intelligent and perfect who are living life to the fullest. I have met many of them here on WordPress. Age defines nothing.

I have no desire to look or be younger. I have no desire to live indefinitely. I just want to live the best life that I can, regardless of my age. That is why I make health and fitness a priority – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Quality of life matters – at any age. I realized that 28 weeks ago and I am committed to that 28 weeks in.

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿค—

Week 27 ๐Ÿ’ช

Twenty seven weeks in and I am still working it, getting fit and staying healthy. Things were getting a bit ‘routine’ for a bit, but with some encouragement, support, and solid advice from my Volly workout friends I am back on track. I have gone from my Zumba routines back to my freestyle dancing after my morning walk and I am doing some meditating and a bit of work with light weights and it is going good. Between that and the beet juice, sauerkraut, and cold showers, I am feeling pretty good these days.

Molly and I had a pretty good walk this morning. (Molly was good but I did accidentally swallow a bug) We are averaging about 2.5 k (1.5 miles) which isn’t where I would like to be, but it is what Molly can handle right now. In a few weeks, our temps will be cooler, the mosquitoes will hopefully be gone, and Molly will be a little more mature. And 2.5k is a LOT further than I would be going if I had never taken that first step on this journey back in February. I think about that quite a bit lately. I am so grateful to my old flabby, tired, sickly self that made the effort to get up and get moving. ๐Ÿ’—

I have a few photos that I took, to share today…

I loved the sky when Molly and I set out this morning. It was so steel grey and silver! My photo doesn’t do it justice.
I picked a bowl of little salad tomatoes when we got home. They taste so amazing!
There are some Hungarian hot peppers ready to pick.
We still have a few petunias that have survived Molly and Dan cleaned the pond (again) this weekend. ๐Ÿ’ž
My special red petunias are not as dark as they were in the spring but they still look nice with those little white flowers.
Official annual tree shot. It is getting harder to get a somewhat full shot of it. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ
Obligatory dog shot. ๐Ÿ™„
Jalapenos

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

Here & There

I just got a notice that it has been three years today since I joined WordPress. I didn’t have a plan when I joined. If anything, I thought it would keep my brain from turning to mush if I started writing on a regular basis after I retired, but it has become so much more than that for me.

I have met and ‘connected’ with so many people that I would never have met otherwise – often people that I would never have expected to find any common ground with. Yet I do! I have had my eyes opened to so many different interests, opinions, and just general knowledge. I find it fascinating that in some ways our lives are so similar, regardless of where we live in the world. Yet, in other ways, we do things so differently, that it is equally fascinating for the opposite reason.

I also find it amazing how my life has CHANGED in the past three years. I don’t think anyone was seriously planning a pandemic or could have imagined how that would play out, but here we are three years later and life has changed.

Anyway, I am so glad that I happened upon blogging and WordPress. I have enjoyed my time here and have no intention of leaving anytime soon. Thank you to all who read my blog, regularly or occasionally and thank you to all who provide me with blogs to follow. I appreciate you sharing your lives and interests and photos. ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ˜Š

On to Genie news… The girls made it to Toronto yesterday. Genie and Chelsea switched off driving so they only made one overnight stop. They stayed at a hotel in Sault St. Marie on Tuesday night, where they met up with others from the exhibition group who were travelling from Saskatoon to the CNE in Toronto. Genie sent me photos from the last couple of days that I will share in the coming days. Today, I will just post a couple that cracked me up.

Dan and I occasionally watch a show on TV about border crossings. One situation that I could never quite grasp was how people could ‘accidentally’ cross borders (at major controlled crossings). They are pretty obvious with all the lights, signs, border guards and the like.

Apparently it can happen to anyone… ๐Ÿ˜‚

In their defense, I did check things out on Google Maps and I can see how that could happen in Sault St. Marie. Still funny tho ๐Ÿคฃ

And back here… So, it has been six months since I started my mission to get fit. I have come a long ways and most of it has been really good and I have had a lot of positive results from this experience. This last little bit, things have been less inspired. It happens. With a little help from my friends, I am in a better headspace today. After I walked Molly this morning, I came home and instead of doing one of my regular You Tube Zumba workouts, I went back to the days of putting in my earbuds and dancing to my own dance mix. I just freestyle danced my butt off for an hour and it felt great!

This is one of the new (old) songs in my mix. It was shared with me this morning. I just had to share it with anyone out there who needs a good reason to get up and dance today. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

“It’s my life, it’s now or never. I ain’t gonna live forever. I just wana live while I’m alive! ๐ŸŽถ Bon Jovi

That is it for today. Take care and have a great day! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒž