What a summer it was!

There have been more changes in my life since I last posted than I can count. It was the busiest 3 months I’ve ever experienced. And now that the dust is settling, I will fill in the details, but have to begin by saying how much I truly miss my trainer, my training sessions, and that constant encouragement. “You’re good” was the best thing I heard all week sometimes.

My husband lost 35 pounds during our “crash” weight loss challenge to prep him for surgery, and he came through it with flying colors….and falling britches! I bought him sexy new Levi’s and he looks awesome in them! I lost 15 pounds, which wavers back and forth, depending on the day. It dropped me a pants/dress size, though, and I can see a difference. I’m still working on those “Michelle Obama Arms” I set out to achieve when I began training. Having a hard time getting rid of the post-menopausal “wings”, no matter how hard I work my triceps. Still trying and will be until I expire.

One of the greatest things about Colt is that he didn’t just train me while I was there in Eugene, he developed a set of routines I could do with hand weights and resistance bands. And a set for when I can get a TRX strap, available online. I’ve been at my daughter’s in Utah for almost two weeks now, and I’ve been “running,” but I haven’t pulled out my workout notebook yet. TODAY is the day. I’ll probably cry when I see Colt’s handwriting in it. Anyone in Eugene or surrounding area, if you’re at least 40 years old and want to have a personal trainer who will work with you at your level and help you achieve your best level of fitness, go see him at 40+ Personal Training at the Oakway Golf Course on Cal Young Road. Your needs and goals will be thoroughly evaluated, and your first week of training is FREE. It’s one of the best decisions I ever made.

What’s kept me from getting that notebook out yet? Well, as I said, we moved. I’ve been busy on the phone and computer with my Eugene realtor and our home is supposed to close there next Friday. We arrived here after driving 4 hours the first night, getting into Bend at 12:30 or so, and driving for 18 hours the next day. With two little children, two pets, and the two of us….not exactly Spring chickens! Countless hours were spent online finding homes to look at, and then a few trips to Ogden, 1 1/2 hours away, to drive through, look at neighborhoods, outsides of properties, to eliminate down to the ones we really wanted our realtor to show us. A couple more trips to see them and “be sure.” Lots of paperwork. Trying to help as much as we can with little kids so my daughter can do some necessary work. Two medical appointments yesterday. And there you have it. Oh….and I’ve been writing a novel all summer that a major publishing house has shown interest in, so exercising is not the only thing I’m getting back to today. And trick-or-treating with the kids. Just wearing my normal clothes and going as their “awesome grandma.” Anyone who doesn’t like that can lump it.

The air’s a little thinner here and it’s taking some adjustment, but we’re forced to go up and down stairs many times a day here and all the other running around….no moss is growing. That’s it for today. I really miss my trainer!!!

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Colt was right

Well, my trainer, Colt Raymond at 40+Personal Training, was right. I’m getting results…pretty fast, too, I must say….from eating properly AND exercising. He’s been suggesting….maybe too nicely… that I should change the way I eat to get maximum results from my training and exercise. Honestly, changing what I eat didn’t sound really attractive. I like good food. And some that’s not so good…for me, at least. I don’t know anyone who’s overweight that doesn’t like food. Often the wrong kind of food, and too much food, in general. I’ve lost 10 pounds in four weeks. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s ten pounds I wasn’t losing with exercise alone. Now, I need to kick up the pace on the exercise I’m doing. I’m confident that by the time I’ve lost a total of 20 pounds, which I hope will be by August 1, it will be showing more, especially in the way my clothes (don’t) fit. 

So, for those of you who are hoping to get slimmer, let me recommend daily exercise. I think it’s important to partake of both cardio exercise, like walking, running, swimming, and anything else that makes you breathe hard, raises your heart rate, and makes you sweat. The other part of the formula is building lean muscles. That’s the only place you burn fat, so it’s important to get in  exercise that builds muscles. Wt. training or other exercise that works major muscle groups with resistance/load is what’s needed. If you work on a farm or ranch and spend all day lifting and tossing bales of hay or straw, you may not need to lift weights. But, there are fewer and fewer of us that are in jobs that are so active, thus gyms and other forms of intentional exercise activity are required for both physical health and mental health. There aren’t many things…like NONE I can think of….that dissolves stress like vigorous exercise. Our grandmothers scrubbed the kitchen floor on their hands and knees when they were angry or upset or scrubbed the dirty clothes on a hand washboard. That still works, but there are other more “fun” (maybe not more productive, but for some more fun) ways of getting vigorous exercise, from lawn mowing and other yard work to swimming, sports like tennis, and even 18 holes of golf….if you walk the course and carry your clubs. 

Well, I’m working at finding ways to increase my own activity level and I’ll let you know how I’m feeling and how my weight loss program is going. 

Getting more serious

I now officially have a reason bigger than myself (no pun intended) to slim down. I’m trying to help my husband drop as much weight as possible prior to his upcoming surgery, to put himself in the best possible condition for that surgery….and then to continue to keep losing weight sensibly until we’ve both met our goals. And then MAINTAIN it. Because we needed something we know is sensible, healthy, and will help us to relearn how to eat responsibly and appropriately, and because we needed something that would help him get some fast results…a kick start, so to speak…we chose to use Nutrisystem. I’d been opposed to that for years, because I felt like it wasn’t sustainable and wouldn’t help us learn to eat differently. But, not only has their program changed enough, requiring much more than just their prepared foods, it involves exercise and other sound, scientifically based practices to help participants lose weight. 

Because I get hypoglycemia (managed the same way as diabetes, without the insulin), I chose the diabetic program for women. My husband is using the basic plan for men. I don’t “hope” this “works”. It isn’t a program that works…it’s me…and him. It is a tool that will help us reach our health goals. The best part of it is that we are getting accustomed to much smaller portions, MINDFUL eating, and eating a lot more fruits and vegetables than we had before. I’ll put in a “before” picture soon…then watch the progress.

Getting into it again

It has taken WEEKS to get back into really enjoying working out again. I was so quickly physically deconditioned by being out of training for that 3 weeks, that it was hard doing training workouts again. Physically hard. For some dumb reason, I’m still huffing and puffing easier, but I’m at least to a point where I look forward to training and enjoy it while I’m there. Which, is a lesson to all that, even if you’re heart’s not there, you have to keep at it until it is…and it will eventually get better. I really appreciate Colt’s understanding of that. (http://40pluspt.wordpress.com/

I’ve started trying to follow a more disciplined meal plan, as well. And “helping’ my husband to do the same. We both need to drop pounds and body fat. I’m using a diabetic 1800 cal. plan because I have hypoglycemia and it helps me not to develop low blood sugar. I’ve been eating more salads lately. And, of course, the portion control is all part of an 1800 cal. plan. Servings are pretty much 1/2 cup for the most part. Some exceptions. We’ve been drinking non-fat milk for years, so that’s easy. We love salads. It’s kind of challenging getting in as much “bread/starch” as is called for, same with the number of servings of fruit and veggies, though we love them. The tougher part is limiting fats to the number of servings called for and the size of servings…and the types of fat. Meats aren’t always lean, either. Who uses a teaspoon of mayonnaise for anything you’d use mayo in? Well, my mantra has always been this: If you want to keep getting the results you’re getting….just keep doing what you’re doing. Can’t expect an 1800 cal. meal plan to look like what I’ve been doing to get where I am. 

Getting back home

I’ve been back home 3 weeks now. Seems like a year. I can’t believe how long it has taken me to get back in the real swing of things, however. I’ve been in a “down” mode, most of the time, since I got back. Not unhappy, just no motivation. Can’t seem to get anything done. I’m very thankful I have committed to training twice a week. If it weren’t for that commitment to Colt…and working out with Annie, his wife, I wouldn’t be getting any exercise or doing anything like it. That’s pathetic, but it’s the truth. I found when I got back he had stopped boot camp for now. I’m sure he’ll get that going again at some point. Probably well for me. I was panicked about returning to that, because I knew that I’d lost a lot of conditioning in that 3 weeks. I’m VERY glad I went, for many reasons, but my fitness level suffered. 

Now, on a very positive note, I’ve had a couple of periods lately where I’ve had lots of energy and accomplished a lot, both in terms of achievements and physical activity. I’ve got a good 1/4 acre or a little more of lawn to mow, and it’s been sunny/rainy off and on, so on one of the good days recently, with the grass still very “green” (moist) I mowed the whole yard….quite a task. I’m trying to make myself develop a daily walking program. It’s not that I don’t love to walk…I do. Something’s holding me back from being motivated. I know what the problem is, but this isn’t the place to talk about it. Anyway….I’m listening to a book I’ve listened to before about how our brains work on habit, not choices or thinking, after a short while of making that initial “hard” work of thinking and choosing to do something. Hoping that will help me to work through this lack of motivation (that’s how my depression manifests…not sad, just unmotivated) and get my life back a little better.

Onward and upward. A friend recently told me there’s a Zumba program on the BYU station somewhere between 4am and 6am. Needless to say, I’m not doing Zumba at 4. I’m going to record it, though, and try it out in my living room. Move the couch back and GO FOR IT!!!! I’ve never done Zumba, but I’ve heard it’s fun. I’ll report on that as soon as I can find the program,record it…and start dancing. The closer I get to 60…just a few days now…the more I feel like dancing! I remember calling my Dad on his 60th and asking him how his day was. He said he got up at 6. I asked him why…I think it was a Saturday. His answer…”Just to prove to myself I could.” That works for me 🙂 He lived to be almost 93…didn’t even retire until he was 87….was still teaching part time at 89. He set the bar pretty high. 

Today’s a great day. Time to go fix breakfast.

Feel like I’m sliding

I just re-read my last post, and I’m in my third and last week with my daughter. I’m so glad I could come. I’ve never been able to visit this long with her. But the toll it has taken on my exercise routine and healthier eating can’t be described as anything less than ginormous. I’m really worried what it will be like getting back to workouts, and ESPECIALLY getting back to boot camps. I may need to ease back into that, depending on how I do with just regular training. Sleep deprivation has been pretty significant during this time. The stress of chaos with several small children. I never mentioned that my daughter’s sister-in-law and husband, as well as 3 year old son who also appears to have some serious signs of possible Asberger’s syndrome, live with them right now. The crying and verbal pandemonium is pretty hard on me, and stress leads to bad eating for me. At the same time, I know she needs much more help for the long term, and I wish I could do more. The altitude here is quite a bit higher than Eugene, too. I feel short of breath fairly often without doing a whole lot to get that way. I know that will disappear, but altitude has never bothered me before. I haven’t even been able to weigh myself this whole time. I don’t think I’ve gained or lost really, but it does worry me just a little. I’m a lot more worried about the deconditioning and having to rebuild what I may have lost there.

Missing my routine

I’ve been away from home for the last five days, and missing my routine more than I can say. I am visiting my daughter to help her. She has two autistic children, 6 1/2 yrs. and 5 months. She also has mental health problems, but has been unable until a few days ago to take her medication because of the concern for the effect it could have on a developing or nursing baby. Well, enough about that, but trying to eat right and get in some exercise, besides packing around a 17 lb. baby, has been challenging. My own stress level is very high, and regardless of the probable rainy weather, after I get the 6 yr old into bed, I’m going for a nice long brisk walk. I can’t imagine the stress my daughter is going through, essentially being attached to a very needy baby who wants to nurse ALL the time and a daughter who can get very wound up and have a melt down at any time. It forces her to be pretty home-bound. When I cook the meals have been pretty healthy, but I have to admit that when we go into town for appointments, which happened several times this week, that it’s so far into town that it becomes necessary to eat something before we head back home…and that’s where the problem lies. I hope I don’t lose everything I’ve gained in strength and fitness in the next three weeks.