Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Before and After

A year ago, we left Waukee IA
with everything we owned
packed in the back of our truck...


And now we are packing up our truck once again and leaving Rockaway Beach, OR...It seems we really didn't need everything ... and we donated or sold things along our way...

And of course we also purchased new things...like a 24' camper.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Who's Minutes?

When my son was four, I told him. “Five more minutes.”

“Who’s minutes?” He asked.

As I stood at the kitchen sink, with warm suds dripping from my fingertips, I explained. “Everyone’s minutes are the same. They all have 60 seconds…”

“No,” he muttered. “They are not the same.”

“Time is the same. Everyone has twenty-four hours in a day--”

His head shook his little tow head. “No. They’re not. When you say, ‘five minutes before bed.’ Those are my minutes and they’re fast. And when you say, ‘I’ll be there in five minutes.’ Those are your slow minutes. Who’s minutes mine or yours’s?”

When I look back, I am beginning to think he was right. The only way I could have possible managed to raise two children, work full-time, maintain a house, attend numerous activities and write was I had slow minutes. 

Now I’m 56 and retired,  people say, "what do you do all day?"

"I walk the dog, do up a few dishes, sometimes write."

They look at me like my son did at four.

I shake my head. They don't understand. Now, I have fast minutes and before I get anything done, the day's over. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Climate and Gravitational Pull

I silently chanted, ears over hips, hips over heels, shoulders down and back as I walked the beach with the sun shinning and the temperatures nearing 50. 

As the sand crunched beneath my hiking boots, my body elongated and I stood taller with each step. 

Which could only mean my poor posture is a result of a colder climate (MN & WI) wind (IA) and lack of sun.

When the temperatures dip below 40 degrees (with or without a wind chill factors) my shoulders hike high enough to keep my earlobes warm.

After 50 plus years of living in Minnesota and trying to acclimate my body to cold/frigid temperatures, my body caved in, literally.  My shoulders, back and neck are rounded. 

This was survival and my body's way to protect my heart from freezing.

I know there are Minnesotans who drive with their convertible tops down year round, wear shorts and sun bath when temperatures rise above freezing. 

But, I was never one of them. I didn’t discard my jacket or turn off my heated front seats until August. 

This is my first winter out of the midwest and I smile and wave at fellow beach walkers who walk past barefoot and wearing shorts. 

There’s hope.

Someday, I too may thaw out, my butt will be warm and I will stand tall without having to chant, ears over hips, hips over heels, shoulders down and back.

Monday, February 15, 2016

As Forgiving As…

As forgiving as a woman in love - is the attitude I have adopted for losing 20 pounds and writing a NYT Best Seller.

A woman in love only sees what she wants to see, which means, I had a very successful week. 

One night instead of microwave popcorn, I made a large bowl of air popped popcorn and used a packet of TrueLime for seasoning. Am I awesome, or what.

Besides demonstrating self control, I showed I am capable of change. I also did two sets of arm exercises with an 8 pound bar. 

Bring out the balloons and the party horns, things are getting better every day. I already forgot about the free samples of candy at Costco,  the two glasses of IPA at the bar, and the Pinot Noir.

Never mind the naysayers. I know this time will be different. I will be in the 20 percent of people who manage to lose weight and keep it off.

And this week I will also add bladder control exercises because when I get to the nursing home, I don’t want to wear absorbent undergarments. 

The following exercises were provided to me from my daughter the Occupational Therapist.

1) Sitting in a chair squeeze pillow/ball between your knees and hold for 5 seconds, repeat 10 times.

2) Still seated in a chair wrap thera-band around legs and spread knees apart. Hold 5 seconds, repeat 10 times.

3) Stand up and complete 10 mini squats

4) Suck in your stomach - hold 5 seconds, complete 10 times.

5) Squeeze your bottom/butt muscles and suck in your stomach - hold 5 seconds, complete 10 times.

6) hold in your muscles like you REALLY have to go to the bathroom & you try holding it in -  hold 5 secs, complete 10 times.

Monday, February 08, 2016

I lost my diet muse..

My fitbit app recorded 109,000 steps, my fitness pal app congratulated me for recording my food intake,  my vision board greeted me every time I opened my refrigerator door, I used positive affirmations, worked on posture with a posture zone app and I gained 4/10 of a pound.  

I am now up 1.4 lbs since January 1, 2016. 

Which would be great, if my goal was to gain weight. 

In the past, PTTF, (prior to turning fifty) dieting and exercise were easy.  All I had to do was eat less and exercise and I'd lose weight. 

PTTF, I had a Diet Muse.  She presided over my spoon and fork stopping my forward progress, 'you're full. You don't crave or want any more to eat  or drink.' 
How I feel looking at the scale.

She'd whisper in my ear in the wee hours of the morning,  'get up so you have time to exercise before work.'

Why, oh why, did my Diet Muse desert me now? 

Maybe this week I will look for an app to find my missing Diet Muse along with an
app to rid myself of the BIM (Bad Influence Muse) who's words are dipped in sugar coating. 'It's only microwave popcorn. Everyone watches TV. One quick look on Facebook won't hurt. It's a light beer. You walked 10,000 steps you don't need to lift weights.’

So, this week I will look less towards external motivation and more towards finding my inner voice of reason.  

Monday, February 01, 2016

5 Nice Things…

When my children were young and fighting I would step in and required them to say 5 nice things about their sibling. 

I decided to apply this same principle to myself. When I start to criticize myself for consuming too many calories, giving in to late night craving, not getting enough exercise or failing to write daily instead of telling myself I lack willpower, motivation, I’m lazy, not driven, etc.,

I am going to force myself to say 5 nice things about myself.

Balance. I’ve been standing on one foot while I brushing my teeth.   this increases balance and engages my core muscles. (The therapists in skilled nursing facilities give balance tests to residents to determine their level of independence - and I plan to ace the test.)

Re-boot, when walking, I’ve been self correcting my posture. When I start to lead with my forehead, I pull my head back and pull my shoulders away from my ear lobs, I tighten my butt and tummy so no longer look like a chubby toddler or a man with a beer belly.

Walk, I average 10,000 steps a day. 

I write, I am re-writing my novel and I have Feb. 14th for my deadline to complete edits.

I am not static. I am meeting new people and learning new skills a painting class at Tillamook Community 
Untitled 1 

A few months ago my adult daughter told me - she hated the ‘5 nice things’ punishment. “You cannot image how difficult is to come up with nice things to say when you’re mad.”

Yes, I can. I am not mad at myself, only mildly disappointed and I find this activity difficult.

I can alway take a page from their book.

"Nice, smart, kind, good at sports (walking), helpful."

Monday, January 25, 2016

No Reason Why

"There is no reason why...You can't be safe," my mom would say to my children as they climbed on tables and the back of the sofa.

So, this year I am saying to myself. There is no reason why.. I can't be fit and healthy.

Of course, I can come up with a lot of excuses for giving into late night cravings:

Hormones - this worked when I was younger, too many hormones and now that I'm older, not enough hormones.

Cravings - I have no willpower.

Metabolism - My metabolism has slowed down. I  don't eat half as much as I use to and I am gaining weight.

Emotional Support - I am bored, tired, anxious, happy, sad, etc.

The good thing is I am in the majority. In 2011-2012  the Center for Disease and Control stated the percentage of overweight adults, including obesity is 69%.

So, the first week of having my vision board has not cured my cravings, increased my willpower or sped up my metabolism.

But, what has changed is I am working on posture, balance and breathing.

I am going to build a good foundation for my fit and healthy body.

My vision for the future does not include me as a rounded old woman who can not hold her head up,  a woman with increased hip, knee and neck pain, or a person at increased risk for falling.

This week I will continue to correct my posture when I walk and incorporate some floor/wall exercises to correct my poor posture.

And of course I will continue to walk because with a Jack Russell and a beach there is no reason why I can't walk 10,000 steps a day.

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Vision....for health

My motivation isn't to look like the past - 

It's to change the future... Twenty years from now, I don't want is to be squirming in bed with my thumb continuously pressing the call light, wondering if staff will come before I pee the sheets.
I am not a patient person.

I won't wait for help.

The nursing home staff will catch me ambulating unattended. They'll put alarms on my bed and on my chair and every time I try and get up the bells and whistles will go off...

This is not a good vision. I prefer to imagine myself wearing a blue plaid housedress with pockets stuffed with tissues, flask and ciggerettes and joining others on field trips to casinos, shopping malls, light houses, plays and ...

So, I am not going to think of my journey as a diet or a fitness program. I am going to think of this as prevention, creating good practices and correcting some less desirable habits

My plan for the future does not include a long term care policies...but I did make my daughter promise, if I go to a skilled nursing facility to tell them I can have a two glasses of wine daily and I smoke. (Which I currently haven't done for over twenty years, but I might want to take it up when I'm sitting around in my plaid house dress.)

Monday's blog will be about My Vision....for Health 

I know there is a lot of talk about evidence based practices...

So, how will I know if the vision board makes a difference.

For 2 years I have been using a FitBit app and an app to count calories and I have gained 5 pounds, so instead of 10 pounds to lose I have 15 pounds.  

And you don't have to be a mathematician to figure out gaining 5 pounds a year x 20 years is 100 pounds.

I also have some pain and stiffness. I can not sit cross legged on the floor and I can not get up off the floor without using my hand.

So at the end of 2016, if I weigh less than the weight I wrote on the back on my vision board and if I can sit comfortably cross legged and can get up off the floor with out assistance of my hand, I am going to conclude the vision board was effective.

If not, I will have to begin research on how to disable alarms.  

My Health Vision Board is a work in progress and I am currently displaying my my art work on the refrigerator.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

A Year of Vision and Luck

2016 A Year of Vision and Luck 

Besides a Rainbow in my backyard the universe has been giving me signs.

Let me back track… When I worked for CenterPointe Energy in Leak Detection (2002-2007) 

I had a Vision Board.
We also had a Vision Board in Robbinsdale, La Crosse and Waukee, IA.

Now when we packed the truck to head west - the Vision Board didn’t make the cut.

So, then the Universe sent me a message on creating another board by way of an invitation from a woman in Rockaway Beach who has invited people to come and make a Vision Board or to color.

While looking for photos of my Vision Boards I ran across a couple of old emails.

Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2007 5:40 PM

I wrote my wish was….
living life with no fear and no regrets...

Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 8:45 AM
Subject: Decided to create a 5 year plan..

My Five Year Plan….

At 55, I’m going to sell my house, quit my job and rent a place on one of the Hawaiian Islands for a year and try to make a living from writing. After one year I’ll decide if I like life on the Island – I’ll purchase a place to live. If not I’ll try Texas for a year, if not Florida…If I can’t make a living writing – I’ll do office work or ? – whatever…

The best thing about vision and goals - sometimes it’s not exact…but it can be pretty close.
I am not in Hawaii, but I do have an ocean a block away, I am writing and 56.

So, we have Vision and now for Luck. I won a free class “What Career Do You Want?” taught by Indie Publishing Specialist Maggie Lynch.

I will be posting a picture of my "New Vision Board"

Monday, January 04, 2016

What if...

What if.. Do you ever wonder where you'd be if you made different choices.

For 27 years, I worked for CenterPointe Energy and one day my boss said, "You're not happy here. You should quit."

And I did.

Four years later my daughter said, "you're not happy working in an office, you should be come an occupational therapy assistant."

So, I quit my job at the City of Golden Valley, sold my house, moved in with Rich in La Crosse, WI.  and became a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.

I worked with children with Autism in La Crosse, until I received an email with an job offer in Waukee, IA.  I worked for over a year in a skilled nursing facility until Rich said, "I'm not happy in Iowa. We should move to the coast and you should write."

So, we did.

2016 is all about writing.

I have been writing my whole life. I love writing, it makes me very happy. I have previously dabbled with writing and have had success with getting published, but writing is no longer easy and I struggle to get the words on the page.

I am not sure if it is because I do not have a routine.

Do I need to establish a schedule?
Do I need to join a writer's group?
Do I need to find a critic partner?

But I never wonder, "What if..."

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