Good grief. I went to bed early last night thinking I’d get up early today and be on top of things and have it totally together and nope, none of that worked. Some time in the middle of the night I heard what sounded like someone pounding on my backdoor. My glass sliding door inside my fenced in backyard. My biggest fear out of every possibility in life is coming face to face with someone or something (I’m terrified of aliens… absolutely terrified and intrigued and can’t resist them even though the scare the hell out of me.) unexpected that is watching me or waiting for me. So there was absolutely zero chance that with as groggy and medicated as I was that I was gonna go look at the back door. These are not unusual medications for me mind you, they’re all medications I’ve been on months or years except lyrica which has only been a few weeks, but so far as I know has been blamed for no hallucinations. Had I been more alert I would’ve gone and looked down from the bathroom window to see what was going on… the last time someone pounded on my backdoor I didn’t think to do that till after my boyfriend suggested it but it was snowy and while whoever wanted in wasn’t there anymore I could see footprints going from gate to door and back. This time there’s no snow so I couldn’t do an after it’s quiet check. So my clever plan of action was to lay in bed not moving or breathing waiting to hear if there was any sound of smashing glass or continued banging and hoping if I laid quite still enough it wouldn’t be aware I was even there and hoping the cats were close by and not by the door. I dunno how long I stayed in this petrified state but enough that when I did wake up at 9 something I felt freaking exhausted. No noticeable anything outside, no broken glass, everything looks like it did before. I think the answer is probably neighbor kids playing pranks that if I do ever catch them at it I will be introducing their skull to my baseball bat -_- But either way everything looked normal. And I sat here at the computer feeling tired and thinking “I’m gonna get a jump on today’s entry, but first I’m going to listen to yesterday’s guided meditation that I didn’t get a chance to listen to the full thing when I posted it and I could use the relaxation.” Big mistake. Anytime I meditate, guided or not, I fall asleep. EVERY time. Coming to you from the girl who before medication and before meditation slept a whopping 3 hours a week on average. So here it is after 3 o’clock and I’m just now awake and have checked in with the boyfriend who has the flu and checked out my swollen knee that looks worse today than it did yesterday when my ankle (that I had surgery on) collapsed and sent me crashing into my hope-chest. Impressive bruising but I think I can survive without a return trip to my podiatrist. So all of that to say, good morning! I’m sorry I’m coming so late again, it’s just been a crazy kind of night/day/something. I now have remarkably congested sinuses that make my face swollen and hard to see over and make me sleepy at the same time but that’s okay, we’re gonna do this, it may just be slow going.
Anyway. Today’s popular New Year’s resolution is one that if you’re keeping track you’ve probably been wondering where the hell this one’s been, but the resolution is…. Lose Weight! I know that, while this is popular enough that it probably applies to most of us, it doesn’t apply to everyone. There are people at a perfect BMI, people that love their bodies exactly as they are, people that have been battling eating disorders and need to gain weight, not lose it, so do NOT feel like this resolution needs to apply to you if it doesn’t. Just like the quit smoking didn’t apply to me because I don’t smoke… I could’ve started smoking to know what it feels like to quit and go through that with all of you, but it would’ve been counterproductive and I don’t expect or want anyone to participate in anything that is going to negatively impact their health. So if you fall in one of the alternative categories that doesn’t need or want to lose weight then your assignment for the day is just to do something especially healthy for you towards maintaining or achieving your ideal weight.
For the rest of us, losing weight is such a prevalent need in our society that I try to throw in SOME kind of fitness everyday in the daily tasks, where you may have noticed I keep suggesting you join a gym. If you have joined that gym, make sure you actually go to it. Gyms make their money off of people that join when they’re feeling motivated and then stop coming and are either under contract or are too embarrassed or too lazy to call and quit their membership. They like when people aren’t coming so they don’t have to worry about having enough space or enough equipment or the wear on their existing equipment or all the things that actually having customers who use your services entails. Don’t be that person just handing them money with no return, get in there and break a sweat on a regular basis.
Losing weight sounds really easy from a mathematical standpoint where the simple formula is: calories consumed < calories burned. That sounds so simple. But it doesn’t take in to consideration things like muscle weighing more than fat or stress creating cortisol that makes your body hold on to any and all energy sources it can, which it will also do if you start working out and dieting and it’s not used to that idea and you don’t take any or enough rest days, it will go into panic mode and keep everything that it can. All of that can be really frustrating when you think you’re doing everything right and your body just refuses to cooperate. Your body thinks it’s protecting you, so if you’re exercising and eating right and not losing weight, you need to convince your body that it’s okay and that you’re not going to hurt it and it can let its defenses down. And that’s why it’s important to start somewhat slow and gradually increase so your body gets used to the idea, and it’s also important to give your body that rest. Not just on rest days, but on workout days too, it needs a little calming time for meditation or yoga or anything that puts you in a relaxed state and alerts your body that you’re not under attack and things will be okay.
I don’t know if I’ve talked about it here before, but I have relatively severe tachycardia. My heart rate thinks it should be hanging out around 145 bpm instead of the normal 60-100 bpm. I’ve done all the EKGs and X-rays and ultrasounds and echocardiograms and the whole deal, and my heart beats in perfect rhythm, just entirely too fast. So the doctor’s have no solution for me other than they think the biggest problem is my anxiety level, and other than that I should be trying to lose weight. It’s a challenge when you’re starting with a heart rate of 145 and you go to do cardio and your heart wants to explode and you have chest pains that didn’t exist before. It’s a challenge, but it’s not an end all. I mostly focus on swimming as it’s a great full body exercise that I’m capable of doing, but I do make myself do other things and keep changing it up daily and do my best to try to eat healthy as well.
When I discussed diets with my Cardiologist she said she didn’t want me to be following any diet because my blood pressure and all of those sorts of things are fine so she doesn’t want to limit me from any food, she just wants me to be mindful of portion control and such. She said the best weight loss program is Weight Watchers, but that because it’s expensive she recommends using MyFitnessPal since it does the same things as Weight Watchers but for free. I’ve put off using it because of my oral surgery things having me on a steady diet of ice cream and soft carbs, but I went ahead and created myself a new account on it just before I started writing. I had an account from years ago, and I like it when I remember to use it, but that account from years ago had the stats of a much smaller person from before my major ankle injury and every time I’ve tried to use it since then it has been really frustrating and discouraging to see my starting weight so much lower than my current weight, even when I’ve done amazing and lost 5 lbs in a week and want to be celebrating that. So I decided starting from scratch was the way to go. I don’t remember off hand how you go about adding friends on that particular app to keep tabs with and motivate each other and have friendly competition and cheer on successes and all of that, but friends are a great resource to have, so if anyone wants to use it with me, you can use it for any goal whether it’s weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain, and you should be able to find me I believe if you search by email address or user name. So, if it asks for an email address I went with our less formal firstname.lastname@example.org, and if it asks for a username then it is of course, dailyreasonstolive. You should see our gold butterfly logo when you’ve found me 🙂 I’m also anemic, have a low B12, and low Vitamin D, so while I’ve started taking supplements there’s also going to need to be a special focus from me on things like dairy, meat, and dark greens. Hold me to it.
So really, that’s your big project for today. Join me on MyFitnessPal, if you’ve got a gym membership use it, and do something extra special for your body today, whether that’s in the field of food, or exercise, or relaxation, just do something that is going to benefit you personally, that your body will thank you for. Take a good first step today. I’ve got lots of plans for things we’re going to be doing and trying throughout upcoming weeks and months, and if you ever find one that works really well for you then I want you to stick with it and ignore me when I talk about the next one to try. Everyone’s body is a little bit different. Everybody’s lifestyle is a little different. Do what works for you. If you need variety and want to try things when I suggest them then by all means go for it, but if it doesn’t work out for you, remember to go back to that one that did.
Beyond that, today’s little list of tasks is:
Trim your hair. If it needs it, go to a barber shop or walk in salon and have them take off anywhere from half an inch to a couple of inches to take care of the split ends. If you want an entirely new style go ahead and make it happen today. If you stay pretty on top of things and aren’t due for a trim just grab a pair of scissors and a fistful of hair and go through and spot the split ends to snip individually. Each one gone is a little healthier and a little less frizzy.
Clean Your Yards: This was intended to be posted MUCH earlier, so it’s okay if you need to shuffle this one over to tomorrow, but we’ve done porches and patios, let’s get out there into the actual yards and take care of whatever needs taking care of, get any trash that’s found it’s way into your yard thrown away properly, if you’ve got any clutter about the yard put it away in the house, shed, garage, or patio, wherever it belongs when it’s put away. Weed. Dead weeds, live weeds, any weeds, pull em up, and try to get the roots so they don’t just come right back. If you’re still losing leaves, or pine needles, or just haven’t taken care of them yet, bust out the rake and get em piled and bagged. If you live in a climate that still has you cutting the grass then get out the mower and get it taken care of. If you live in a climate that still lets you have flowers or gardens of any kind then water and weed and dead head and whatever else you need to do for your particular garden.
If you’ve joined a gym (there it is again) get on some of the weight machines that are going to have you using your lower body. Try to do at least 15 reps on each, and look specifically for the
and leg curls.
Add in 15 minutes of cardio that will work your legs too. The good news is pretty much ANY cardio is gonna work your legs, so you have your choice of stationary bikes, recumbent bikes, ellipticals, rowing machines, treadmills, stair masters, and ski machines. If you’ve got no gym access and no home gym, then again it’s going to be a matter of trying to recreate exercises at home, which is a little trickier when it comes to leg exercises that involve weight machines, so you’re mostly going to be looking to work the same muscles. Do some jump squats. If you’ve got a resistance band, use it, even if you just use it to walk sideways across the room and back. Lay on the floor on your side and do some left lifts, both with your legs straight, and with your legs at 90 degree angles. Do some hamstring raises by standing up and moving back and forth from all of the weight on your toes and ball of your foot with you heel raised and just hold it for half a second and come back down. If you’ve got a BIG resistance band or a sturdy belt, or a yoga strap, lay on your back and loop whichever of those you’ve got around your slightly separated thighs and push your thighs apart is opposite directions as hard as you can against that strap. Rest for a few moments and do it again. And again we’re shooting for 15 reps on everything. You have essentially the same options for your cardio except probably not the rowing machine or skiing, but go for a walk or a jog or a run or climb some stairs or whatever cardio gets your legs involved and aim for a good 15 minutes worth.
I shall see you all on Facebook shortly for the Question of the Day!
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Get On Your Feet
Album: Greatest Hits
Amazon is going stupid crazy with their prices on CDs I already own. $5.99 for Gloria Estefan’s greatest hits. There’s not a single song on this album I don’t love with every fiber of my being. So I’m just saying, if today’s song worked for you in the inspiration department, or even in the enjoyment department, buying the CD is well worth the $6.