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? 😊

On the path to health and wellbeing. πŸ’ž

That’s it for today! Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

TGIF πŸ˜‚

Yay it is Friday. Not that it matters what day of the week it is for me because I am one of those fortunate souls who is retired! And loving it. πŸ€—

I can celebrate that this has been a pretty good week for me. I don’t know if it is the walking I have been doing, or going back to dancing, or the weather but I have been feeling really well these past few days – exceptionally well. I will always have COPD and asthma, and bronchiectasis, and genetic collagen issues but being more active for these past few months and eating healthier is obviously paying off in lung function, muscle toning, and general wellbeing.

This has been a good week for (and with) Molly, too. She has been walking very nicely. Today, we even cut through a corner of Regent Park and met up with another young dog and she was very well behaved. Mostly she has been pretty good at home as well. πŸ‘

Molly πŸ’ž

I haven’t spoken to Genie for a couple of days, but I assume she is gearing up for a few busy days working Guest Services at the CNE this weekend. She has been doing such work since she turned fifteen. She worked as a front-end supervisor at one of our biggest and busiest big box grocery stores for three years (including the worst of the pandemic). Then she moved to a pool company where she worked front counter sales and did customer water samples. Both jobs, she did pretty much full time while also taking full time classes. It is funny that no matter where she works, how busy it is, or how difficult customers can be ( especially during a pandemic 🀨), what excites Genie are the customers who are exceptionally kind and considerate and caring. Every time I talk to her this summer, she has a story about someone who made her day. It is so nice to hear about such people, especially when she is on her own, across the country from everyone she knows. ☺️

Genie also seems to find her way to any place where she can wander around making animal friends. These are just a few that she met this week.

Not a snake lover but I love this guy’s attitude. πŸ˜‚
Cocky bastard! 🀣🀣🀣
Sheep shot for Molly
Bit of a poser πŸ™„
He’s so cute! πŸ’ž

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

Week 27 πŸ’ͺ

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. πŸ’—

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. πŸ’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. 😯
Obligatory dog shot. πŸ™„
Jalapenos

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

Week Twenty Six!

It has been 26 weeks since I started my fitness plan.    It was exactly six months yesterday.    I am halfway to a full year of working to get and stay as fit and as healthy as possible.  With all of the benefits I have discovered and all of the encouragement that I have received, I have no intention whatsoever of slacking off. I have no doubt that I will be celebrating a full year of fitness  six months from now. 😊

This morning, Molly and I started our day with  a 3 km walk.  We began going on daily walks on July 1st – two and a half months ago.

Molly’s 1st Official Walk

Molly was a big, rambunctious puppy,  so I was concerned about what would happen if I failed to control her.   I decided THAT would never happen.  In my infinite wisdom, I decided to take the easy way out.   As we set out on our first official walk, Molly was securely strapped into her harness and I had a death grip on her leash.

Needless to say, that did not go well for either of us.   Molly did everything in her power to make our walks a daily battle.   I tried a clicker, I tried treats to reward (and occasionally bribe) her.  I finally resorted to a special training harness.  All had limited success.  Finally a few days ago, I was watching a video of a dog trainer working with people who had dogs with particular issues.  One woman came out with a little dog that was always straining at her leash and trying to attack other dogs.  The dog trainer looked at the woman and told her to stop engaging her dog in a game of Tug of War.   The woman  looked so much like me.   She had the leash wrapped around her arm six times  AND had a death grip on it to boot.  I was embarrassed for her – and for me!  The next day I loosened my grip on Molly’s leash and she was WAY better.  This morning, I extended her leash about three feet (it has different metal rings that I can clip on to).   That made ALL the difference.     Molly and I walked along at a comfortable pace without a single incident.

As we were trucking along, it occurred to me how often we try to take the ‘easy’ way when dealing with challenging situations.  I don’t know if everyone does, but I am sure it is pretty common for people in my age group (baby boomers).   We watched our parents work SO hard that it just didn’t seem right.  We decided we would have easier ‘better’  lives ( and that our children and grandchildren should be equally blessed).   Except life does not  work that way.  We are challenged in order to grow stronger and healthier –  mentally, emotionally, and physically.   Taking the easy way out just doesn’t cut it.  (Nor does trying to pave the path for our children and grandchildren,  but that is a whole other chapter in my book on questionable infinite wisdom. πŸ™„)

The easy way, is particularly counterproductive when it comes to getting or keeping fit and healthy, especially as we age.   Collagen which is vitally important to every part of our bodies begins to decline in our thirties. (Unless we are born with a genetic collagen disorder – then it begins before we are born 😧) By the time we hit our sixties – and looking to retire and ‘take it easy’, it is a serious issue for many of us. At our age, even those who are healthy and strong can lose collagen in a matter of weeks if we do not keep active and maintain a healthy diet.

I found this article online and it explains in a better way than I could, what collagen is, what it does, and ways we can maintain and improve our levels of it even as we age. It does not mention how important physical activity is to maintaining and increasing our levels of collagen, but that is definitely an important part of the equation!

https://vibrancemedspa.com/what-happens-to-collagen-as-we-age/#:~:text=Your%20body%20begins%20to%20lose,habits%2C%20and%20poor%20diet%20choices.&text=While%20it’s%20possible%20to%20accelerate,possible%20to%20slow%20it%20down.

The great news is, we absolutely can maintain and improve our levels of collagen as we age, but there is no easy way to do this. We have to do the work and maintain a proper diet. The ‘work’ does not have to be unpleasant – walk, run, dance, swim, lift, hop, skip, and or jump. Find and do what works best for you. And the diet does not have to be bland or unpalatable. It has to be nutritious, although there are specific foods that are better at supporting collagen levels.

I walk less than one hour every morning, I do one thirty to forty five minute You Tube Zumba class when I get home. Other than that I do my housework and cooking, spend time in our garden, brush Molly and clean up after her. That is pretty much it. And I have never felt better and stronger. It is amazing. I am so glad that I am not still trying to take the easy way out, sitting around and hoping I feel better tomorrow so I am up to doing something. I know I would never have felt better going that route.

That is it for today. It is beautiful out and I am ready to get out there to enjoy this weather while it lasts. Take care and have a great day! πŸ’žπŸŒž

Ps.. the new header image on the website version of my blog is a modified version of a picture Prim sent me last night. πŸ’ž

Would You Buy This?

Since I started working on my health and fitness in February,Β  I have searched You Tube for fitness videos, Amazon for workout clothes, and Googled low calorie healthy meals, nutritional facts,Β  and the like.Β  Naturally, I have been bombarded with advertisements for related products – most often diet pills.

This one has became a regular!

I do not take diet pills.Β  In fact, I don’t take ANY pills that I can avoid,Β  and most of the one’s that I cannot avoid disagree with me one way or another.Β Β 

My ‘stash’ and the Claritin doesn’t agree with me. πŸ™„ I have been taking prescription Siv-Rabeprazole (for excess stomachs acid) and I am occasionally prescribed Prednisone and/or antibiotics for my lungs. None of the prescription drugs agree with me. 😒

I find the claims made by this company (Keto Max Science) to beΒ  particularly questionable.Β  How does anyone lose 79 pounds in three weeks and not have loose skin hanging off their body?Β  Do these pills automatically suck up excess skin?Β  Do these pills build muscle? Do these pills make one feel better – physically, mentally, and emotionally?Β  Do these pills lower one’s blood pressure or strengthen one’s heart?Β Do these pills lower cholesterol or blood sugar?Β Β  Do these pills improve one’s lung function?Β  Do these, or any diet pills actually make, or help, anyone lose weight?

It would seem unrealistic to think there is a pill out there that provides any of the benefits of physical activity and a reasonable, nutritious diet. The market is flooded with diet pills so they must sell. But do they work?

Just wondering. Take care and have a great rest of your day!

Week 20

It has been 20 weeks since I got out of my rocking chair and started getting fit for spring. It has been such a great journey, I have had no inclination to quit once spring sprang or at any other time in my foreseeable future.

As always, I noted a few improvements this week.

#1 – For the first time since I started working out, I noticed that when I am working out, I was really not struggling to breathe or to catch my breath – even on warm and humid days. That is amazing! With asthma, COPD, and bronchiectasis, I used to struggle to breathe all of the time.

#2 – My hands look younger. My blood vessels are not as noticeable. I don’t know if that is because my skin is healthier or because my collagen levels (that affect blood vessels) is better. Either way, that is cool.

#3 – My stamina has improved considerably. On Saturday, I spent the entire first half of the day working to clean up our entire yard in anticipation of a visit from my sister, her husband, and their two German Shepherds – Heidi and King.

This was after they arrived. 🀣🀣🀣. I can hear Dan out back recleaning the back patio as we speak.
Heidi appreciated the nice cool sand.
King – The first pure black German Shepherd that I have ever seen and he is GORGEOUS!
Molly and King went hard.
And rested frequently!

Dan and I had a good visit while watching our dogs carry on. Dan barbecued us a delicious steak and shrimp supper Saturday night. On Sunday, I whipped up some pancakes and bacon, Dan and Jerry went golfing, and Lorraine and I got in a good visit while keeping an eye on the canines. It was a great visit and the weather was perfect – warm, windless, and absolutely bugless!

The dogs all got along great – especially King and Molly who are both still puppies (big puppies). Heidi has quite a few good years on her and struggles with arthritis, so she was more content laying back and watching the young ‘uns.

That’s it for this week’s report. I am still working out, planning to get in some good walks with Molly, and anxious to see how far I can take this fitness program that I am on.

Take care and have a great day!πŸ’ž

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.Β 

  • Notable tidbits from the past week:
  • Feeling good physically. Every week is just that bit better. 😊
  • Feeling fine mentally!Β  On top of my game. πŸ™‚
  • Emotionally, it has been a bit of a struggle.Β  Nothing that I can’t chalk up to a full moon and a deeply embedded habit of stressing out. πŸ™„
  • After seventeen weeks in I have FINALLY lost a solid TEN pounds.Β Β  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. πŸ˜‹
  • 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. πŸ™„

Photos of Molly:

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

Instant Gratification

We often think of ‘Instant Gratification‘ as being a bad thing, but it does not have to be. If we get our ‘Instant Gratification’ from following Sean Patrick Flanery’s advice, it can be a powerful motivator!

“Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For.” – Sean Patrick Flanery

There are countless things that we can do every day to invest in a better life for our future selves – and we can enjoying doing them NOW.

Yesterday, I went shopping for a few more bedding plants and came home to plant flowers and herbs around our yard. I know that in a few weeks I will be so glad that I made the effort. That thought made me happy as I shopped, dug out pots, worked up the soil, and planted my feeble little seedlings. Instant Gratification.

Molly seems to be enjoying the flowers already. πŸ’ž

What else have I done this week that made me feel good, knowing it was an investment in the future? There were too many things to mention but… I did my work out every day and drank my beet juice. I worked with Molly – training her to grow up one day to be a well behaved dog. I walked right past the potato chips and cake displays at the supermarket – that always makes me feel good. I made garlic toast for supper last night to serve with our Chicken Caesar Salad. I wanted cheese toast, but Dan wanted garlic toast, so I made garlic toast because it feels good making him happy now – as an investment in OUR future. I resisted the temptation to make some impulse purchases because it felt better to add a bit of money in our savings account.

Noticing what I do today, to invest in a better future, has become a habit lately and one that I really enjoy. It helps me to feel good and to make better decisions as I go about my day. It provides me with ‘Instant Gratification’. πŸ€—

Molly and I, anticipating all those fresh tomatoes to come. πŸ₯°

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

‘Scrapsing Out’

I have been rather MIA on WordPress for the last few weeks. This bothers me, because I do enjoy posting and reading everyone else’s news and views of the day. It is hard to explain, but I have gotten so caught up in my spring fitness plan, that I have rather lost (or found) myself in it. πŸ™„

When I met Dan, I had a little Terrier named Scraps. She had this wierd habit of becoming totally mesmerized at random moments. She would be walking across the room and suddenly go off into her own little world. We referred to these episodes as ‘Scrapsing Out’.

Mark and Scraps

Anyway… For the past few weeks I have been ‘Scrapsing Out’. It started innocently enough when I realized my fitness level was not going to cut it when spring (and spring yard cleanup) arrived. I started dancersizing for half an hour a day. The results were almost impressive. I am looking and feeling much better. I even have muscle tone in my arms!

I noticed that I was feeling mentally sharper and emotionally grounded – so I started engaging in more mental exercise and meditating on a regular basis.

When our snow and ice melted (currently it has temporarily returned), I started walking everyday. I also got focussed on spending more time preparing healthier meals.

Every day, I am feeling better, am more energetic, and am more active. But, I have kind of lost that time that I used to spend blogging. Since, that was quality time for me I am definitely trying to get back to fitting it into my new lifestyle. It may take a while but I am working on it.

But… I am also really enjoying feeling more fit everyday! And I am totally impressed that I have kicked up my dancersizing routines. This is one of the You Tube ones I use now. Obviously, I do not look like these girls but I am doing a pretty amazing job of keeping up with them. 😊

https://youtu.be/4h62OzPwrms

That is it for today. I will post again soon and I will absolutely get around to catching up on all of your news asap.

Take care and have a great day! πŸ’ž

October 19th- Covid Care

My news story for today is a sad one for Saskatchewan. Some Covid patients requiring ICU care are now being transferred to Ontario, to take the pressure off of the Saskatchewan medical system. After all that could have been done, everything that should have been done, we have come to this.

You can see Premier Scott Moe’s official announcement on You Tube.

Thoughts and prayers going out to all who are currently being affected by Covid in Saskatchewan and elsewhere around the globe.

Thank you to Ontario for providing your assistance to Saskatchewan! πŸ’ž

Take care, stay safe and have a great day. πŸ’ž