Year Two – Week Eleven

It is May and it’s all good!  Our t-shirt and shorts weather has returned, as well as our furry and feathered friends.  Our back door is wide open, and Molly is loving the freedom of coming and going. 

Nuts for nuts.  I’m having a hard time keeping the peanut feeder full.
Molly enjoying a little alfresco snack.

Moving on to my health and fitness report for the week – it is all good. Better than good! I have been doing my Zumba six days a week. Yesterday, I did one that had an exercise routine where both of my arms were behind my neck. I crushed it without even thinking about it. I was so excited. A week ago I did not have the ROM to do that with my left arm (the one I broke mid-January). Yet here I am – doing it!

I have also been doing my weights six nights a week. This week I am alternating nights for upper and lower body, so each has a day to recover between workouts. I am using five pound weights to do seven sets of seven reps of seven exercises. I thought I would struggle advancing to the five pound weights, but here I am – doing it. 💪

In the afternoons, Dan and I have been out working in the yard. Yesterday, we cleaned the patios, the sidewalk, the patio furniture, and Molly’s pool. Dan did all the heavy lifting and scraped all the edges of the patios of winter debris. I power washed EVERYTHING! I had spaghetti arms when I got done but I still did my evening weights – AND it was an upper body workout. 😁

The only other health/fitness thing we have been doing this week is having a full breakfast every morning and a very light supper every evening. That has actually been going really well. We have also been having fresh fruit every day – raspberries, pineapple, and kiwi and Dan bought some blueberries this morning to add to the mix. I’m not a fruit eater but so far so good.

That is about all for my health and fitness update for this week. I am beyond excited by how far I have come in the past fifteen months (despite the setbacks). I can’t wait to see how far I can go. It just amazes me what our bodies can do if we get on the right track and put a little effort into caring for them.

Take care and have a good day! 💞🌞

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Year Two – Week Eight

Before I jump into this week’s ‘Health and Fitness’ update, I wanted to explain why my blog writing – and READING has been so sporadic over the past few months. 

With weeks of being down with the flu before Christmas, and then with a broken arm in January/February, one would think I would have had all kinds of time on my hands.  Which I did… but I also had a big bored dog on my hands who took offence every time I sat down to do anything.   She has been getting better these past couple of weeks. Hopefully, she will only improve going forward. And hopefully, I will have more opportunity to read and write on WordPress.

As for this week’s update…

My health and fitness journey has been a bit rocky these past few weeks.   My fractured arm has healed, but there is still random pain or discomfort when I move or stretch. I understand it will take a while for any tears or tweaks to muscles, tendons, and nerves to heal completely. But… It does get rather frustrating.

That being said, there has been a lot of positive movement – and more than I had anticipated a few weeks ago. 😁

I am back to doing full on, two armed, Zumba most days. I am not as comfortable or capable as I was last fall, but I am excited to be back at it. There are days that I just dance, but even the dance workouts are more intense as time goes on.

I have been getting out and about with Molly as often as possible. I am still going only when Dan or Jen are free to handle Molly’s leash. That is due to treacherous walking conditions, which are quickly improving thanks to our double digit (Celsius) temperatures this week.

At the dog park on Saturday where Molly had a bit of a run with Rocko.

I have also taken on a 21 Day Stretching and Balance Challenge, starting this past Saturday.

Molly makes any horizontal workout a challenge.

Finally, and best of all, I have been doing my strength training six nights a week and I am crushing it! I am going to stick to three pound weights for the next couple of weeks, increasing the reps and sets each week. Then, I will switch back up to five pounders. Yay!!!

That is it for this week’s update. I am anxious and excited about getting back on track and enjoying all the benefits of health and fitness, going forward.

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

Year Two – Week Five

Whoo Hoo!!! It is nine weeks since I fractured my proximal humurus and humurus head. I saw my orthopedic specialist today for an update on my latest x-rays and ultrasound and the news was amazing! I am healed – ALL healed.

I had natural healing, my bones stayed in place and healed perfectly and I am off of ANY restrictions. I can do Zumba, lift weights, wave my arms in the air like I just don’t care! I have to work on my range of motion for a bit but the doctor said I was a very good healer. 😁

I know it may partly be genetics but personally I think that it has helped considerably that I was in good shape before the ‘incident’ and that I have taken care of myself since.

I have been following doctor’s instructions and maintaining the limitations he had me on. I have been drinking my beet juice, taking my vitamins D and B12, and taking calcium and zinc. I have been doing aerobics virtually every day. And I have been meditating and keeping a positive attitude. 🤗🤗🤗

I am so excited. I never asked about a prognosis but at my age (almost 68), I kind of wondered whether I would ever be healed well enough to full on Zumba again or lift weights. I just didn’t know how strong a bone could be once it broke right through like that. Who knew?

Anyway, this is the best news I could hope for. I came home and did a full You Tube Zumba lesson. Our weather is mild today so I will go spend some time outside soaking in the sunshine and enjoying the fresh air.

Tonight, we are going to celebrate with KFC. Dan did buy steak and shrimp to barbecue for me but since I asked for chicken, we will do the steak supper tomorrow night.

Molly will score a few treats herself, even if she was responsible for breaking my arm in the first place. 😂

That is all for today. I am so excited to be back to my full fitness routine. In a few weeks, I can look forward to garden planting and getting some much needed outdoor maintenance and painting done.

Keep safe and have a great day! 🌞💞

Empowerment

NB.. I woke up at three A.M. this morning with my mind swirling and my heart pounding.  I was awake for a couple of hours, thinking  and working through my angst.   I feel better, so I thought I would share for anyone who has ever been there or who is there now.  💞

There is nothing worse than feeling trapped in a situation that causes overwhelming fear, grief, anger, resentment, and anxiety.   I know because many years ago that was my reality. 

Bizarrely, I thought that I was coping.  I thought that despite everything that was wrong with my life, and the way that I was reacting to it, I was relatively functional.  I had to be firing on all, or at least most of, my cylinders.  I was a wife,  a  mother,  a  full-time homemaker, a responsible reliable employee.   I was good!  Except that I wasn’t –  and the stress of doing it all in the confines of a volatile, dysfunctional marriage was too much for too long.

One day I reached my breaking point.  I hit my knees, looked up to the heavens, and said “I can’t do this anymore”.  

The heavens did not open up and make all of  my problems go away.  My life did not instantly change.    But, I did.   (And for that I do give total credit to the heavens above).

It was like a huge weight was lifted off of me.  I was determined, fearless, confident, pro-active,  and happy.  As my state of mind changed, my life changed.  It wasn’t anyone’s idea of easy, but somehow it was easy for me.    I left my husband, created a new and peaceful home for my family, built a career  and  worked countless hours to support us.    I didn’t have time for doubts or fears or grief to set in.   As time went on, my life got better and easier.  I met and married a good man. 💞

My life did not become the proverbial rose garden.  There have been challenges along the way.   Lots of challenges!

But, way back from that day that I hit rock bottom, I began to learn how important the right mindset was to living  a good life. 

Over the years, I have learned…

  • That once I hit ‘rock bottom’ and climbed back up, I never fell that far again.   The climb gets easier, taking  me higher every time – stronger, happier,  and calmer.
  • That coping mechanisms are endless.  By searching them out, I have  discovered self-help  books, social media accounts, podcasts, and You Tube channels that have been invaluable in creating the life I wanted and always knew I deserved.
  • The importance of making my physical, mental, and emotional health and well being my top priority.  
  •   That I cannot control everything and everybody in my life – and they cannot control me.  The more I focus on improving my mental, physical, and emotional well-being,  the less judgemental and stressed I am by outside influences.   
  • That the healthier I get – mentally, physically, and emotionally – the more I am drawn to like minded people and the more they are drawn to me.  😁
  • That all of the power in MY life is within ME.   As my favourite Rumi quote goes  (with a bit of tweaking) …”It’s my road, and mine alone, others may walk it with me, but no one can walk it for me.”

Have yourself a good day.  You deserve it!

Begin Again!

Happy Valentine’s Day

It is Valentine’s Day!  Last night my husband and I celebrated with an awesome supper of steak, lobster, crab, baked potato, asparagus, and mushrooms – all barbecued by my husband Dan (after doing the shopping, cleaning up the yard, and shoveling the snow and ice off of our walks). Today, he went out to run errands and returned with this bouquet of roses.   I am too fortunate to have such a good man in my life. 💞 

Today also marks another special occasion for me. 

One year ago today, I was sitting on my rocking chair, wrapped in a shawl, and feeling miserable.  I was cold, tired, and struggling to breathe through my asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis.  I was seriously overweight.  For days, I had been thinking that I would take it easy for one more day and hope that ‘tomorrow’ I would magically feel well enough to get up and do something to improve my situation.  Finally, one year ago today, I realized that the magic was not going to happen unless I made it happen.   I got off my chair, put in my earbuds, turned on some Buddy Holly, and started to dance.  It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t long until I was wiped out, really struggling to breathe, and my heart was pounding harder than my music.   I had no plan and I had no goals. But… It was a start, the start of my journey to health and fitness.

The next day, I got off my chair and danced again.  It still wasn’t pretty, but I did a bit better and I knew that I was on the right path to regain my health – and my life.

I wasn’t wrong.  This past year has been amazing.  My health has improved, my strength has improved, and my life has improved.  I have discovered and experienced benefits of my fitness journey that I never, ever imagined.

  • Finding my Volley friends Dwight and Jackie, who share this fitness journey with me – every day! Two strangers who have become family to me during these past months.
  • Finding a way to LIVE, and live well, with Asthma, COPD, and Bronchiectasis.
  • Finding peace, and happiness, and hope – despite what happens around me.
  • Finding that I have so much more potential than I ever realized. Finding that I have so much power to create my life, as I wish to live it.
  • Finding how effectively I can use ‘setbacks’ to motivate myself to push forward.
  • Finding that a fitness program is not only for the athletic, or the already strong and healthy, or the young, or those who spend limitless funds on equipment, gym memberships, or designer workout clothes. With free Zumba classes (or Yoga, Pilates, etc.) On You Tube and minimal equipment (dumbbells, resistance bands, yoga balls) one can put together an entertaining and effective workout program – even if one is working with limited workout space.
  • Finding that all one needs to live better is the will and the determination to make it my priority and focus.

 I cannot begin to detail how much, and in how many ways, I have come to appreciate this journey that I am on. I have loved this past year and I am excited and ready to move forward into Year Two. Broken arm and all, I am excited to see where this next year takes me.

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

One Week To Go

One  week until I will be celebrating a solid year since I began my health and fitness journey.  🥳

I am not celebrating the strong finish that I had hoped for.  With a broken arm,  it is difficult to get as physical as I had planned.  But, I am still doing my darndest to dance my way into Year Two and to  finish Year One on as positive a note as possible.

I made a motivational sign for my fridge.  What I lack in creative talent, I make up for in determination.  🤣

I have also been….

  • Getting lots of rest – as in eight to ten hours of sleep per day/night.  (Yes, I have been having an afternoon nap. 🥱)
  • I have been meditating.
  • I have been reading and following my favourite motivational speakers on social media.  Specifically,  those who ‘walk the walk’ and live the life they preach. 
  • I have been eating healthy and have added calcium to my supplement routine of B12, Vitamin D, Lutein, and zinc.  The zinc is another temporary supplement that I have been taking to help heal any lingering effects from my pre-Christmas flu.
  • I have been relaxing  with loved ones.
I still love my dog. 💞
  • And I have been checking in with my Volley (online fitness group) every day.  I couldn’t start my days nearly as well as I do without their enthusiastic morning messages. 😁
  • And of course, I have been doing my best to do all that I can in our kitchen and around our house. It is the least I can do to show my gratitude for everything my husband has done for me in these past few weeks – and the past twenty-four years. 💞

That’s it for this week. One more week until I begin Year two of this fitness journey I am on. I am excited to see where this upcoming year will take me. I can’t believe how far I have come and how beneficial this year has been for me – despite a couple of rather major setbacks.

Take care and have a great day!💞🌞

And love 💓

Still Down!

I may have spoken too soon. Last night my arm started turning a purplish shade of black and blue. And… this morning my pain was reaching new levels.

Dan drove me to the Pasqua Hospital Emergency. Contrary to everything we have heard and read lately, the care was timely and efficient AND if the staff was exhausted and stressed, they were way too professional, caring, and kind to show it.

We were in and out in three and a half hours (which included a trip to radiology for several x-rays). The bottom line is I broke the surgical neck of my humorous. Fortunately, it remained in place, so no operation was required. My arm is supported by a foam sling and I will have to see a surgeon to ensure healing is going as planned.

And… The doctor told me that not only could I, but I should maintain my physical workouts – while avoiding engaging my left arm for the time being, obviously. 🤗

On the way home, Dan swung by A & W to pick us up hamburgers, onion rings, and gravy. 😊

So that was my update for today. Take care and have a great rest of the day! 💞🌞

November 3rd – Rasa Pura

Still on the topic of mental and emotional well being and those that I turn to for inspiration, today my blog is highlighting Rasa Pura.

Rasa is a life coach and yoga teacher who posts guided meditations on You Tube.   She is  very new age, and I have to admit my personal beliefs do not totally mesh with hers, but her voice is SO soothing and her message is always SO positive, that I love listening to her meditations.

The guided meditation that I have been using regularly for the past few weeks is the positive affirmation   “I Am” video above.     My favourite line in the entire video comes at the end of the introduction “Energy flows where attention goes”. 

I know that line embodies the truth because I have seen it – for better or worse – time and time again!  I have seen it in others and I recognize it in myself.   By repeating a negative thought ten times, I can convince myself that I am cold, tired,  sickly, angry, sad,  or miserable.   By repeating, a positive thought, I can convince myself that I am the total opposite.  Either mindset ultimately determines what I do and how I do it.

I have been listening to this particular video every day  for a few weeks now (and have been working with positive affirmations for years).    Is my life perfect?  No, but my mindset is definitely better and improving all the time.   I am generally more peaceful and happy and when I do have to deal with life’s rough moments, I am able to do so and move on – and back to a better place.  

And my life is improving – my health is definitely better and I am more fit than ever, I am better at managing our finances and they are in better shape than ever – despite retiring and taking a significant cut in income, and overall my relationships are healthier.   It is absolutely worth the time and effort that I have invested in learning to watch where I allow my “attention to go”.

And I am grateful to Rasa Pura for posting her guided meditations.  They  help me to keep my attention on the quality of life that I want and on the path to health and wellness – physically, mentally, and emotionally.   Thank you, Rasa.  😊

Take care and have a great day! 💞🌞

Seven Weeks

It has been seven weeks since I started my spring fitness program! The time is flying by and I am seeing some results.

  • Physically –
  • I have lost a whopping TWO pounds, but I continue to tone and tighten up 🙂
  • My balance is way better
  • I feel much better
  • My blood oxygen level is up and my pulse is slower and stronger
  • I started walking this weekend. I am starting with a goal of 5000 steps per day but I plan to increase as I am ready. I have read lately that 7500 steps is optimal.
  • Mentally –
  • I am doing better at the little puzzle games that I play 🙄
  • And… I installed a router extender to our wifi AND set up our security camera this morning! 💃💃💃

Emotionally – This is where I have noticed the biggest difference lately. I honestly thought, that with spring’s arrival and my efforts to improve my health and well-being, that my life would really get better! I was wrong. In the past few days, we have had family DRAMA, we have been BLEEDING financially, and we lost our little dog, Kat. Our life is one old country blues tune. BUT… I am doing ok. Seriously ok. My family are still the loves of my life, our finances will turn (as they always do), and despite the absolute heartbreak of losing Kat – I am okay. I am not trying to contain or control the pain in my heart. I am just letting it go with the flow of tears and staying grateful for the years we had. 💝

On a side note, my little seedlings are starting to take. I add a few more each week and thin out the ones that are getting a bit too crowded. Our weather is improving, but it will be a while before I can start moving my little garden outside, even for a few hours a day.

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

PS… Thank you again for all of the kind and compassionate messages following our loss last week. We were very touched by each an every one. 💞💞💞

December 8th – Self Care

The Christmas Season is a time for kindness, caring, and thinking of others.   It is also a good time to celebrate by showing ourselves a few hours of caring kindness when, or if, possible. Last night, it was possible for me. 💐 (It is always possible for me nowadays.  That was not always the case in years gone by. 😏)

I started out by switching over to my new purse.   Changing purses is a major undertaking – one I avoid for years on end.  I love my new purse.  It is huge, soft, and has multiple pockets. I may never find my keys again. 🙄
Winter in Saskatchewan is cold and DRY – regardless of how much snow we have.  My hands get brutally cracked and dry.  This is the second hand waxer Dan has bought for me.  I LOVE the heat and moisture for my hands. (& of course I love Dan for being so thoughtful 💞)
I cannot wax my hands without giving my nails a little TLC. 😁
One can hardly conclude an evening of self care without indulging in a tasty snack, a glass of Jackson-Triggs Merlot, and an hour of Home and Garden. 🏘️

Today, I was ready to jump back into the holiday spirit and holiday preparations when I got ‘the call‘. Next Tuesday I am off to the hospital for my hernia repair. The unexpected and ultimate in self-care for the holiday season! Fortunately, I have more ‘want’ to do than ‘have’ to do on my holiday list. And – I am totally grateful that Dr. Pooler and staff are getting me in so quickly when Covid has taken such a toll on our health facilities and staff. It will be great to recover and be hernia free. 😁

That is it for today folks. Take care and have a kind and caring day!💞