Category Archives: Health & Fitness

The Key Is Consistency over Time

successblocksIt’s been about two weeks since I last posted, so I thought I’d give an update on my progress in the fitness area.  It’s mixed.  The good thing is that in the last week, which is when I really got serious (I spent the week before dilly dallying around mostly until about midweek), I lost a kilo, which is just over two pounds.  Last Monday, I took measurements and set goals and one goal is to try to  lose a kilo a week. But when you are over 50 and your lifestyle involves food and social events that are not conducive to furthering your fitness goals, it’s tough.  I blew it a lot.  But I did one thing well and that was to workout or be active every single day. And I tracked my progress.

Fitness is always an internal journey as well as a physical one.  We win or lose the battle in our heads long before we see the results on our bodies. It’s about being consistent over time, more than it is about being really good at anything we do.  I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I’m in the worst shape I’ve been in, in recent years.  Walking is tough for me and I’m not fast. I can ride my bike, but the bike I’m riding these days is much heavier as am I, so I’m pushing hard when I have to climb even the slightest of inclines. It’s easy to look at how much fitness I’ve lost over the last two years and become discouraged.  It’s a mental battle before it becomes a physical one.  On October 21st, I just decided to get started.  I set a goal to get out and walk every day for at least two miles. On some days I was just under that goal, on others I was well over it.  By the following week, I logged a couple of days where my walking distance was six or seven miles. Last week I exceeded my weekly walking goal of ten miles after only three days in.  Since the weather was nice, I added bike riding into my activities and I headed back to the gym for some strength training. I took two days of rest after ten straight days of activity.  Now, I won’t keep that up, but I needed to force a daily exercise time into my schedule.  I had to be okay with the fact that it wasn’t at the gym every day but that I was getting out and doing something for one hour a day. I hoped I’d lose weight.  I wasn’t holding my breath about it though, because like I said, I really didn’t modify the eating too much. My big goal was the exercise, and I’ve got that underway.  Now I can continue that progress and add in another small goal. Mental determination translates into physical fitness success. Read the rest of this entry

Motivation, Determination and Mental Momentum

And then there was the evening when I finished off the last of the whiskey, drained the vodka, emptied the tonic and ran out of ice.  The gin had been ingested and digested a week ago. I was determined to stop with the evening cocktail or glass of wine and get up the next morning and complete a full workout. I was going to do it.  I wasn’t in the mode of telling myself “I should do this for me.”  I was in the frame of mind (which is difficult to muster artificially) that “I was going to do this thing.”  That “I could do this thing and I could start whatever I needed to start, change whatever I needed to change and I would not quit until I had achieved it.”  So, after finishing off a very small whiskey on the rocks, I went to bed determined to get up and get started on my new life.

This, after completely gorging on dinner that evening.

This, after saying a thousand times I was going to start only to start and fall off the wagon or skip the exercise or eat the pasta again and again and again.

But this time it was different.  There was no mental waffling or fear of failure.  It was a solid way of thinking.  It was going to happen, and I was going to do it.  Read the rest of this entry

Weight Loss, Motivation, and Suffering

Transitions have alweight-lossways been difficult and often turbulent for me. In my last position, in the last two years before I ended up on what amounts to an extended (maybe permanent?) vacation, I remember it taking me a good month before I felt like I had control of my schedule so that I knew when and where I needed to be at what times and could make arrangements for the kids. Since the children were older, these arrangements largely meant making sure I had food in the refrigerator for them and that they knew what time to expect me home and where to reach me in an emergency. It just always seems to take so long for me to feel like the transition is finally our life. But we made it through that transition and before I knew it I was busier and more stressed than I ever imagined possible. There’s a point to where trying to achieve too much is just…too much. Read the rest of this entry

Illness and the Single Parent

Parenting is tough enough when there are two parents in the home.  It is even more challenging when a parent has to parent solo. There is no longer another person to help out with getting kids to various activities and events.  There isn’t another person to help with the cooking, grocery shopping and household chores.  By the time the afternoon taxi runs are done, dinner is finished and cleaned up, a single parent is often ready to collapse, but then, there is  homework to supervise, or television to monitor, or any number of things that require tending to.  The life of a single parent is often one of sheer fatigue and exhaustion.  And that’s if the parent is in good health.  Should a single parent come down with the flu, life then becomes impossible.

I used to think, when I was married, that moms were never able to get sick.  My husbands, when they got sick, collapsed and could have cared less about what went on around them.  And I, being the dutiful wife, made sure they were unable to sleep undisturbed until whatever it was passed.  Sadly, I have never had these kindnesses reciprocated.  During the few times I did get sick, I was not allowed to sleep, I was constantly interrupted by children’s demands.  I was still expected to cook and clean as if nothing was the matter.  In my second marriage, I contracted walking pneumonia and had just been told by the doctor that I was ill enough to be admitted to the hospital.  She left the choice up to me and I went home.  My sensitive husband, having just heard the doctor’s diagnosis, decided to have all of his relatives (some 23 or more) over at our house for an afternoon. Imagine it.  23  people, most of them loud, obnoxious children, in our 1400 square foot home.  I should have taken up the offer for hospitalization.   This is just one of many reasons why he is now known to me as “The Evil Ex”.

This weekend, I was sick.  Not just runny nose, coughing kind of sick.  I was flat-on-my-back-couldn’t-move sick.  It started out as a sore throat, and the next day every muscle in my body hurt so badly I was nearly paralyzed with pain.  I was a little congested, but not much, and no cough.  No nausea, except for a few hours one evening.  I just could not move, and I had the worst headache ever…for three days.   I haven’t been that sick in a very long time.

Needless to say, everything in my world stopped.

No laundry was done.  No groceries shopped for.  No housecleaning happened.  Nothing.

In my world, if these things don’t get done during the weekend, they don’t get done until the next weekend, and that creates problems for us in getting through the week. Since my dryer is still not working, I had to wait until I had enough energy and strength to haul the wet laundry down the stairs and into the car to go to the laundromat and dry them.  Then, of course, there’s the return trip where I haul the dry laundry up the stairs and put it away. Fixing meals?  Thank goodness I had some of those quick microwave burritos on hand or my kids would have starved.  That combined with the fact that it was a weekend where my kids were all at their other homes made it possible for me to get some rest and sleep it off.  I’m feeling better now.  Still weak.  Dizzy.  But I can move.  I have some energy to do small tasks, if I rest in between.

At times like these, I truly wonder how we single parents make it through.  I am grateful my kids are older and can do most things for themselves.  They understand that I’m not up to par and they pretty much leave me alone. My heart goes out to those single parents dealing with younger children, and fewer resources or support systems than I have.  I wonder how they make it through.

 

%d bloggers like this: