Monday, April 26, 2010

Tuning in and turning off

     Just got home from my weekly weight management meeting.  Tonight along with some heavy duty working out, the dietitians grilled some delicious food for us.  The funny thing about food is, it ALWAYS tastes better when someone else prepares it!  Even a peanut butter sandwich is so much better when someone else has made it for me!  What does that mean?? 
   Tonight, they grilled Tilapia with fresh herbs, parsnips and carrots seasoned with lemon zest, some Mrs. Dash, olive oil and after grilling topped with cilantro!  It was delish!!And the crowning touch was grilled fruit!  I never imagined mixing Mango with blueberries and grilling them!!  But, it was quite a taste sensation for me,  I though, love Mangos!  Blueberries, not so much... I am learning though to like them as well. 
   The workout was a killer and it was all done with items one has around the house, no need for a gym membership!  And I have to say, I was sweating with the best of them in that 25 minute workout!  I feel so good though, cuz I can keep up with the fittest people in our class!  I know my voyages to the club are paying off in spades!!!  I am still trying to work out at least 5 days a week, often I find my week days are too busy to fit in a visit to the club, so then my weekends have to take up the slack.  I had originally intended to work out all 7 days per week, but realistically even getting in 5 is sometimes a struggle.  My hardest days are when my son also has a lesson planned for that day.  For instance, Tues are really impossible since he has guitar lessons @ 4 pm, and I don't like to make more than one trip into town per day,  this means, I have his guitar with me at work, and then need to get him to guitar by 4  and since the lseeon is only 1/2 hour, there isn't time for me to get to the club and even get my cardio done before it is time to pick him up from guitar.  Sadly, this gym doesn't allow children under 16 to have a membership so  Matt can't even work out there while I am exercising...Next year when my contract is up, I am switching to the other gym in town that DOES allow children to exercise...  Until then, Tuesdays will continue to be a struggle I guess.
     Love my personal trainer though, what a great guy!  Totally motivating!  I have not found working out to be fun yet, but he has promised me I will.  Until then, it is a necessary evil...
    On a great note, my fitness level increasing has made a difference in my horsemanship ( I think),  and last week during my lesson, I got to work on posting!!  I was always told I suck at posting, so I never really did it much, learned to ride a sitting trot ( probably not well, but I did it...)  I was quite pleased to hear my instructor say, I could be posint with no stirrups in no time!!  I know, killer but I love hearing that I can do things I never thought my obese shape could possibly do!  This is a comforting thought!
       On another note, my bees arrive next weekend!!! Yay!!  I have added one more hive, and am keeping that in another location, first to spread the pollination around, second, because one of my neighbors has expressed an interest in keeping bees so hands on is the only good way to learn about beekeeping!  Last year, I had around 8 gallons of honey from my 2 hives, this year, the bees have a head start since they don't have to build the comb, they can instantly start gathering nectar and pollen to make honey with!!  How exciting!!  Oh yeah, I am definitely NOT allergic to bees, contrary to another blog statement...  I have had my Dr prescribe an epi pen though, just in case.   My mentors are very helpful and always willing to answer my questions.  We have been busy building bee boxes, and painting them!  This time my third hive is going to be white,  so I have a pink hive, a green hive and a white hive!  Next year I hope to  add a couple more hives again!  Keeping the bees alive is the challenge here in Minnesota, most of the beekeepers I have visited with lost at least half of their hives most of us lost all our bees, no wonder there is a definite shortage of pollinators in the world!  We have to figure out a way to keep these bees alive through a Minnesota winter!  My mentors are working on breeding a hardy queen that can withstand the rigors of a harsh winter here in MN.  I hope they are able to develop such a queen!  Anyway,  I am just tuning in to working out and turning off the junk food channel in my brain!  Celebrating and wanting to share my victories, and my joy!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yeah Baby!

   Finally my health filled changes are starting to pay off!!!  I had my bloodwork drawn yesterday, and today I called for the results.  I am back within normal limits on my blood glucose levels!!!!!  I have been quite worried since my last blood draw (Jan 2009), showed me to be prediabetic, that scared me into starting this blog, since this is a place for me to formulate my plans, vent and rant a little, entertain ( some...), and just generally journal about my every NORMAL life.
   I am quite satisfied with my progress so far, as these are changes for life, this is an ongoing process,  it didn't take me overnight to get to the size I am now, I am aware that it won't happen overnight for me to lose this weight and be back to more normal sizes.  At my age, the difficulty has significantly increased for me to lose weight, sadly  I am really struggling with that at this time.  I AM down 10 lbs since I first started working out at the club,not an incredible number, but one I can live with, the best part of the whole fitness thing is my increased flexibility and increased core strength!   I am so excited about that!  I can do crunches into next week if I had to now!!  Thank heavens I don't, cuz I really hate crunches!  I can also now jog for at least a mile, but I have always liked slow jogging, I used to run quite often, but that was like 22 years ago. I have enjoyed going to the club more and more.  At first, it was quite intimidating for me, but I realized the people going there had no interest in pointing fingers and laughing at the far person trying to work out.  They are all there for the same reason I am, to increase or keep the current physical fitness level they are at or want to be at.
         The personal trainer who is working with me has showed me so many exercises that include my stability ball, that I should never ever get bored working on that thing!  I am so happy and grateful to this guy for encouraging me and showing me that I can do anything for 3 minutes!!!  Thank you Scott!!! He is also a certified athletic trainer, so he understands my limitations regarding the life changing injuries I sustained falling from Sahib last summer.  He has been careful to make a routine that doesn't tax the prosthesis in my right elbow, and he has showed me great exercises for the partially torn rotator cuff on my left side! in addition to those first noticed injuries,  last fall, my right knee swelled and got incredibly painful,  and in a few days ( as any orthopedic person will tell you), the quad strength in that leg was all but gone.  I couldn't even climb the steps into the house with that leg, bending it past 45 degree was next to impossible, so I really struggled getting in and out of the bath tub.  But I LOVE baths!  So, with the help of my son, I was able to get in and out of the tub.  the MRI showed a meniscal tear, and moderate degeneration of my medial and lateral cartilage.  I knew I was in serious trouble...  Had a cortizone injection done, and that took down the swelling but, didn't help the pain much, and certainly didn't make the weakness any better.  Joining the gym has taken away all the pain in my knee!!!  I was bracing myself for some more surgery this summer ( when I wouldn't have to do chores), thankfully, this is not going to be necessary!!!  Yay for me!!!!  My arms are both much stronger, and although I still have some tendonitis in my right arm ( probably always will, but it is tolerable), I can do things now!  I dismounted from my lesson horse to the ground last Saturday!!!!  I didn't know if I had the strength to support my body with that arm to a ground dismount, hurray I can!!   I am celebrating my return to fitness!!!  YES!!!  Abd as an added bonus, I get to watch some really beautifully muscular bodies around me work out!! I admit having a weakness for a chiseled muscular body,  anyone with sculpted muscles gets my admiration!!

     At the same time I am celebrating my fight back to health, my son and I are mourning the loss of Tommy our much loved and highly mischeivous cat.   Last Thursday was my son's birthday, so we decided to have a hookie day away from school and work.   We headed off to Como Zoo and the Science Museum with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.   Toured the zoo, and the Conservatory ( we got a taste of the tropics there!!!), and then headed over to the SM.  The Dead Sea Scrolls were quite interesting to me, but about a 20 minute jaunt for the preteen.  Of course, this meant that we left the SM at 4:30 PM, which also means we ended up in the worst part of prime time rush hour, on the most congested part of the Twin Cities!  I am no city driver, that is for sure, so this created a mountain of stress for me, but I thought I handled it well, with no profanity spilling from my lips.  My son takes great delight in correcting me here.  I apparently DID swear some, just not as much as usual when I am stressed.
    Anway, we got home and let the critters out for an outside trek around the yard.  Taz and Tommy, the 2 cats included.  They didn't want to come in  when we all came in from doing chores so I figured they would come in before bed.  At bedtime, I called and called for them and neither one came, they have done this before, so I figured they were out hunting, and would be back waiting at the door as usual in the morning.
   The next morning rolls around and Taz is waiting at the door, but no sign of Tommy,  I called and called for him but, he didn't come.  I didn't really think anything of it until I started out on the highway heading for work.  There was Tommy's body,  he had been hit by a car and killed.  All I could do was get him off the highway, onto the shoulder, I had no time to bury him and I certainly didn't want my son to see his beloved cat.  Arriving at work, I tearfully explained what had happened to Tommy, and asked if I might be able to leave early to go home and bury him.  Work was more than willing to accomodate my request, they know how much we care about the pets in our lives.    Then, I thought of some friends of mine, I would not usually consider asking for a favor like the one I was about to call and ask for, but this seemed like the time one could consider asking for this kind of help.  I called my friend Harmony, and asked if she would be willing to go over and bury Tommy for me.  Immediately, she told me she could certainly do that for me, because that is what friends do.  I asked that my son not see the body, and since I was unable to reach him via telephone ( I thought he was still sleeping, turns out, he too, was outside calling and calling for Tommy) that she break the news of Tommy's death to him.  I felt getting his body into the earth the soonest was the best measure in these circumstances, and I am so grateful to my friends for doing this for me!  Thank you friend!!

    So, this blog contains a goodbye...  Goodbye Tommy, our much loved silly cat!!  I  miss  having you sleep in front of the computer screen so I can't read what I type. I miss listening for your Siamese yowl when you have determined there is something you need ( like being let out of a closed room). I know we will miss having our tree tipped several times next Christmas time.  Tommy, we will miss you playing in the bathtub in the middle of the night.  We miss watching your antics as you play with Taz or stage a mock attack on Bailey the doxie.  Taz misses you and looks for you daily and nightly.  I miss you sleeping by my head at night, I wake up and reach for your silky fur listening for you thundering purr and then realize, you aren't there... Grief is so hard, it hurts so much... if I had it to do over, I would have kept you safely inside, and never allowed you to experience the delight of the outdoors.  I know you are in a much better place now, but that doesn't make the hurt of missing you any less.  Someday, we will see you again, pretty Tommy but until then know that we will always love you in our hearts and will miss you always.