Today as I completed my 185th Peloton ride I was amazed at how far I've come. I'm not a super athlete. I wasn't even athletic or in shape when I bought the bike. I'm still not. I'm fifty pounds from my ideal weight, mine, not even the one on the chart for my height and age. According to that one I'm about 80 pounds overweight. My point is, you don't have to be super athletic to have a Peloton and to get active.
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
I read a wonderful quote today on someone's Instagram page. "Caring for yourself is not self-indulgence, it's self-preservation." - Audre Lorde
My temporary #9 tattoo that I'm testing. Wrist or arm, where I had the picc line inserted?
This quote is so significant for a number of reasons!
First let's start with the fact that it's a quote by Audre Lorde, a feminist icon. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know who she was. My 19 year old daughter who is a sophomore pre-med student and wants to be an OBGYN, and who is also taking feminist classes in college, had to tell me she is a feminist icon.
Second. I recently joined a book club, which in itself was self-indulgent and amazing. I love that it has me reading on a regular basis again and that it has me reading outside of my comfort zone. I prefer fiction, but this has me reading non-fiction and graphic novels. I don't think I would have ever read a graphic novel, if it weren't for this book club. I'm so happy I found it. Reading again, regularly, is a big part of caring for myself. Feeding my brain is one of the things that is the most important in my life.
Third. I found this quote on the page of another Peloton member. I LOVE that the main admin of our page, Working Moms of Peloton, asks us periodically to share our Instagram pages and to support one another. I've followed numerous fellow members and I have 30+ new followers today because of her last post. I feel like these type of followers are the MOST legit because they are people who I have a lot in common with. I love that! So when I saw this quote on one of the mom's pages I thought it was just perfect.
Fourth. The words of my 5th grade teacher, Ms. Lula Rivers, will forever play in my head. I was passing out pencils for a test and I forgot to give myself a pencil first. She shook her head and told me, "You should have given yourself a pencil first. Self-preservation." I was 11 years old and I will never forget that lesson. We have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.
Working out and taking care of yourself IS NOT self-indulgent. It is definitely self-preservation. Life is not a dress rehearsal, it's the real thing. We only get one shot at it and we have to do it right. Or if you got started wrong, like I did, you have to re-commit and get it right. Our health is a big part of this because that's what decides if you will have a long life or a short life.
I had blood work done for my annual physical this past week and I was so happy with the results. All my hard work this past year was worth it! I brought down my A1c (my hemoglobin) level almost TWO whole points. That's epic! I also brought down my cholesterol and my doctor said that my liver and kidneys looked great.
This made me feel so much closer to my goals. I still have a lot of weight and sizes to go, but knowing that I'm doing all the right things to make sure that the inside is doing good makes it so much more valuable than what I look like on the outside.
Take care of yourself, do the things that matter to you first. Make sure you have a plan and that you're working that plan. My plan is to know what I'm doing every evening, instead of just playing it by ear. I have days for writing and reading and I have days for doing the Peloton and studying Italian. A schedule keeps me on track and so much happier. I hope that you can find a schedule that works for you.
Saturday, September 05, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
|I made this meme modeled after one I saw about running.|
The first reason or excuse that I had was that I pulled my rotator cuff in January. Of course I could have done rides that didn't involve weights at all, but I used that as an excuse. I kept saying that I was waiting for it to get better and the more I waited and didn't do anything the more time went by. Little did I know that in a few months I was going to have a real reason why I wouldn't be able to ride. It kind of reminds me of when you call in sick to work and then after you do you really get sick and you end up having to miss more days. That's how it was with me and not riding. Halfway through the year I started complaining about my toe hurting and we all know what happened there, if you've read my blog or follow me on social media.
After everything that I went through, both personally, in my head, and in my body, yesterday I completed 150 rides on my bike. It took me a year and five months to complete 50 more rides. Instead of concentrating on what I didn't do I am working very hard to think of what I have done. Because that is one of the ways that I self-sabotage every single time.
I've been doing a lot of self examination about my weaknesses this past month. I've talked about my allergy to shellfish before and how I wish I could see carbs the same way. I finally had Miranda make me a picture of a cupcake with a shrimp on top to drive the point home. I asked her to also make a cocktail glass with a shrimp on the side instead of a lemon wedge.
|Image by Miranda Ruiz|
As I face my demons I also face all the ways that I self-sabotage. I know them all. I know how I do it and I still do it. When I read the blog about self-sabotage that I linked to in the third paragraph it makes me sad that I've been writing about my weight, exercise and my health for so long. Not just the 15 years I've been writing this blog. Prior to this blog, marriage and children I used to journal. The topic took up so many pages of those journals from the age of 14 to 27.
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Today I'm also 13 weeks post surgery! Then four weeks ago the doctor had to do a little minor cut on the inside of my toe nail and this time I gave myself more time to heal, as much I wanted to go walking or to get on the Peloton. People told me I pushed myself too hard, too soon, last time, so I have tried to be patient.
|My Big Toe and Scar|
I have been working on practicing gratitude since I've been working at home.
Questions I try to ask myself, or you can see them as writing prompts.
What was the my happiest moment today?
What do I want to do next?
What's my heart's true desire right now?
What do I really really really want?
Refine my mantra...
When death comes I want to quote the poet Mary Oliver in her poem, "When Death Comes."
“When it’s over, I want to say all my life/ I was a bride married to amazement/I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
Saturday, May 09, 2020
It's wonderful having Miranda home. She's already done something huge for me. She created the logo for my personal project Little Libraries in Laundromats. I have it up on the website and Facebook page.
At nine weeks since surgery I went in for check-ups with my infectious disease doctor and my podiatrist and I had an ingrown toenail on the right side of my toenail, yes, the same toe that had surgery. Lovely. It's always some bullshit with me. Seriously. Hopefully this is IT.
I haven't blogged about my Little Libraries in Laundromats project on here. It is a project that is near and dear to my heart right now. It all started when I decided to start a Little Free Library outside my house, on the sidewalk at the corner.
|My Little Free Library|
I thought that since I have already started a relationship with Little Free Library organization with my own library that I should just continue with that organization. I contacted them and I asked them if I could set up Little Free Library Charters in laundromats around the city and they were game. They said that as long as each one had a charter sign it was good.
I started out with four libraries in Near Northside, but one got stolen, as in completely. Someone stole the whole thing, books, box, the whole kit and caboodle. Then toegate happened, followed by pandemic, so I haven't been able to go out and find a new fourth location. My immediate goal is to have five. I want to replace the one I lost, plus one.
I do not intend to cover the entire city. My real goal is to get people to start a little library in a laundromat in their own neighborhood. If I can get the whole city engaged then we can all, as a city, cover our own neighborhood. I don't think that is too lofty a goal.
So I'm waiting for this quarantine to be over so I can set out to find new laundromats and to refill my little libraries. If anyone wants to contribute books or help in any way go to the Little Libraries in Laundromats website and to the "Contact" page. Send me an email letting me know if you have books to donate or if you'd like to help refill the libraries.
Sunday, April 05, 2020
I had my picc line removed from my arm on Tuesday, March 10 and on Wednesday, March 11, I found out that four of our reporters had attended a conference in NOLA with someone who was infected with COVID 19. My boss told me to stay at home until she found out what HR had to say about it, because she felt like I was high risk, especially just having the picc line removed. Later that day we were told by HR to stay home for 14 days, so until March 24. After that, all the other companies around Houston started to ask their employees to work from home if possible, until further notice. The whole city is on a "stay at home" order now. On a good note, none of the four reporters got sick.
|Seth and I about to go into Family Dollar.|
Miranda came home for Spring Break from NY on March 7th and was scheduled to go back on the 14th, only to be told that all her classes would be online. We pushed her flight out one week, until the 21st, instead of the 14th, and she went back to LIU, to resume classes and working online. Once there, I knew she couldn't keep still. She's making masks with leftover material she had. She is staying pretty isolated in her room and only leaves to pick up food To Go from the dining hall.
|Miranda at LIU making masks for those who need them.|
Everything that is happening is so surreal. A friend posted a venn diagram on Facebook of all these dystopian society books and movies that are similar to the present situation. It was so funny because I saw The Handmaid's Tale on the diagram and I've been saying that all along. That this just reminds me of the book and the things that led to the government being overthrown.
I posted on Facebook as to why I think I've been able to cope mentally with this COVID 19 situation and that I haven't let it get me down. I know it's because I dealt with my toe issues for four months, and even now, I'm not out of the woods. I have a follow up appointment tomorrow because it started looking swollen on Thursday and even more on Friday.
In the middle of those four months that I dealt with my toe bone infection and the surgery I also had a serious allergic reaction to the antibiotic I was on and I could have died from Anaphylaxis, if I hadn't gone to the hospital when I did.
I'm not saying that my situation is in any way compared to the poor people who have become infected with COVID 19. I feel for these people, the first responders, like my step-daughter who is a paramedic, the nurses and doctors in the hospitals.
What I'm saying is that after the many weeks that I dealt with my toe, these three weeks do not feel like a lot. I am okay staying at home safe. On a funny note I saw an article about how Generation X can handle this pandemic better than any other generation. There is so much truth to this article. We got this!
I think that having this time in our homes to reflect is giving us the opportunity to focus on what is really important. I know that I personally am using this time to express gratitude for the good things I have in my life. I'm thinking of all the things we took for granted pre-pandemic. I think of the trips I said I was going to take and I haven't taken. When all this is said and done I'd love to travel to Northern California, via Los Angeles to stop in and meet my newest great nephew.
I want to use this time to focus on art and writing because those are some of my passions. I want to visit famous museums and galleries who are offering virtual tours. I want to work on an outline for a novel that has been brewing in my bones. Take advantage of this time at home if you can.
Monday, March 23, 2020
|Arbonne Products I Use for My Detox|
One of the main reasons I chose to do this detox was because I heard that the antibiotics I was taking were really strong and could be bad for the kidneys and liver. They would pull my blood every week and a couple of weeks in, the infectious disease doctor commented that my kidneys were actually doing better than before I started the antibiotics. I told him about the detox diet but in the back of my mind I knew it probably had a lot to do with not drinking alcohol too.
I started drinking Arbonne shakes almost 13 years ago when I got the lap band. The doctor who performed my surgery recommended the brand and I really liked the taste. I've had these shakes off and on over the years.
Side note. When people ask me about the lap band I try to explain that it's a helping hand, but not a complete solution. I still have to do my part and I have to work out and eat right. It keeps me from weighing close to 250 pounds again. Yes, it helped me lose a lot of weight initially, but I've had to keep working on it. I've tried running but I'm not very good at sticking to it. It wasn't until I discovered the Peloton that my life changed. And then toegate happened. And just to be clear, I know that anything else can happen to me. There are illnesses that can't be avoided, like autoimmune diseases. I'm talking about diseases I CAN control and avoid, like Diabetes 2.
I feel like I've been talking about dieting and exercising my whole adult life and half of my teen life too and honestly I'm tired of it. The truth is it's now or never. I am fifty years old and I have pretty much run out of time. This last health crisis was scary and I am so grateful that I didn't lose my toe, but I could have. I feel like it was a wake-up call and a reminder of how fragile our body can be, especially if you aren't healthy. I can only imagine what could have happened if I had't been exercising and trying to take care of myself.
Of course my health and life are the most important, but I also think about how health equals freedom. I think of older ladies I've seen backpacking in Europe and how I thought to myself, "I want to do that one day." If I want to go on adventures in this last third of my life and when I retire I am going to have to be healthy.
I took a week "off" and I ate and drank through it. I felt like I deserved it after being "good" for nine weeks. But then it hit me. I had an Aha moment. The truth of the matter is, I deserve to take care of myself and I deserve a healthy life. How is treating myself to unhealthy food and drinks a treat? How is that a reward? How is eating well a chore or a price?
I thought of something I heard Zig Ziglar say in a motivational speech called "How to Get What You Want." He says, "You do not pay the price for good health. You thoroughly enjoy the price. You pay the price for failure."
I deserve to eat well. I'm not doing anything complicated. All I'm doing is making healthier choices, counting carbs, and making sure I balance my meals and snacks with proteins, vegetables and grains. Am I perfect? No. Do I slip up and eat bad stuff every so often? Yes. But I only want to feed by body with good foods more than I don't.
I honestly can't wait for my toe to be healed completely so I can get back on my Peloton. I can't wait to go running again. Now that I haven't been able to do those things for a long time I appreciate them more. This is my lifestyle now and I deserve to reap the rewards. I want to "enjoy the price of good health."
Friday, March 13, 2020
I think my mother won the coat in the early 1970s, when I was a baby, when she was selling Tupperware. I may have only seen her try it on once, when she was in an unusually good mood. I would see her pull the coat out sometimes over the years and I always asked her why she didn't wear it. She always replied the same way. She told me that she put the coat away when she won it and that she would wear it when she had the kind of house she had always wanted.
She never wore the coat.
The other night I was watching "This is Us" and older Rebecca, the mother, says something that reminded me of that cream coat. (Spoiler Alert if you haven't seen the March 10 episode or if you plan to watch This is Us in general one day.)
“My life has been full of next times: things I always assumed I would get to eventually,” Rebecca said. “But now I realize that I am running out of time to do them. ... I want to spend however many good years I have left with my family. I want to try new things like walking on red carpets. I want to make up for all of my next times.”
This really stuck a chord with me.
I also posted something on Facebook about waiting until the picc line was removed, and I was better, to celebrate. A friend of mine from high school commented that every day that we are alive is a gift or celebration, something to that effect. I don't remember the exact words but I know what she meant. She received a double lung transplant around eight years ago so she has a completely different outlook on life than many of us. She is so right.
I keep getting reminders everywhere. I was cleaning my desk at home and I came across a fortune from a cookie that I had saved. It says, "If you don't have time to live your life now, when do you?"
So true! When do I? Am I going to wait to wear the cream colored house coat my whole life? Am I going to get to a point in my life when I realize that I'm out of time to do the things I wanted to do because I have cancer, Alzheimer's, early dementia, MS, or some other life altering illness? I hope not.
I may be 50, but it isn't too late. If anything, that's what this recent toe bone infection taught me. It was a damn wake-up call. It sounded the alarm of my life and my health.
I skipped my birthday on February 11 because I was bitter and angry, but I can't do that again. I know that's easier to say now that the picc line is out and the stitches have been removed from my toe. I am at that point that I wanted to be and I knew all along that I would get here.
So yes, I ordered the vintage robe and I'm going to put it on and I'm going to wear it around my Grey Gardens messy house in honor of my mother. I'm not going to wait to have the perfect house, apartment or life. I'm going to wear it now.
I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to celebrate my 50th birthday all damn year! All year is going to be a celebration of my 50th year of life. Every day from now on I'm going to celebrate still being alive. I'm going to celebrate the big things and the small ones too.
Then I'm going to make a new list of all the things I want to accomplish and all the places I want to travel to, instead of saying "next time."
Sunday, March 08, 2020
|My arm with my allergic reaction to vancomycin.|
The recurring theme in all of this has been that so many people went on their gut feeling. Nobody insisted that I go see the doctor. It was just suggested. I went on my gut feeling that something wasn't right. The podiatrist went on his gut feeling that the toe didn't look right after five weeks and he decided to do an MRI. The infectious disease doctor went on a gut feeling that he should do a second MRI after I was in the hospital for a week fighting off the allergic reaction.
If you can see a bone infection on an x-ray it's basically too late. It took an MRI to see the infection in my toe. Everything was caught early because of these gut feelings and instead of losing the whole toe, I only lost the tip of the bone. Horrible I know, but not as bad as it could have been. It definitely could have been worse.
I can now see the light at the end of this long tunnel and the light looks bright. I have so much hope for the future and how I'm going to change my lifestyle. More on that later.