Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What the what? Flu shot making me sick?

Okay, this sucks. I got a flu shot yesterday like the responsible aging citizen that I am. Guess what? I got sick as a mad dog last night with fever, chills, interrupted sleep, and general ickiness. I've never had this happen before and I'm not happy about it.

Short post today. Get your damned flu shot. Here's hoping for no side effects for you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Derned upper arms!

Upper arms are a pisser as you a) age and/or b) lose weight.

Losing weight leaves that lovely flab o'skin that 'waves bye bye' when you wave bye bye.

You know, this thing! If you don't have that, good for you. I know that in every exercise class I go to, we do some kind of move to firm that bitch up. Does it work? I don't know, but that leads us to part b of our arms are a pisser equation.

The front of that darned arm.

That one. The muscly piece. The Popeye muscle. That there is another bitch. As you age, things tend to hurt a little as you exercise them. Cough, cough. I say a little to reinforce my personal belief that it's not a big deal. In my case, I over-exercised that bad boy, the bicep, and it took a couple weeks or so for it to not hurt at night. General movement during the day kept it under control, but as soon as I would hit the bed, boom. That thing hurt like nobody's business. I was beginning to wonder if I was having a stroke! A couple of days ago, I noticed it didn't hurt so much anymore. Weeks! How did bouncing back turn to taking that long? Where did resilience go? And what can I do to get it back.

One of my exercise mates said she had to give up another instructor's class due to using water resistance "weights" too much. What hurt? The bicep. It took her a few weeks to get over it.

Oh boy. That doesn't bode well for getting that resilience to return, does it?

My theory is this: Our arms are meant to work and work hard. Otherwise, why would they be hanging from our shoulders like they do? In order to keep them in good shape so they can do their jobs, exercise needs to be consistent and if there's a push, it needs to be gradual, building up to a higher level of movement. So for me, I'll continue lifting light weights, using the "weights" in the pool lightly, and stretching every chance I get.

This is what I do - arm and shoulder stretches - but don't you do it unless it's safe for you.

That bye-bye thing, I think we just might be stuck with it. I think of it as another badge of honor, war wound of my weight loss. It's my fourth day on the combination paleo/Weight Watchers plan, and things are going fairly smoothly. I'm being creative with my cooking and going to my water exercise classes. I'll start up with progress pictures again on the next weigh-in. Argh.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gray haired weight watcher

Have you been to Walmart lately? I have. It sure seems like a lot of people using those electric carts are unable to use a regular one because of their weight. I could be wrong. I'm surely wrong in some cases. But it makes me wonder as a formerly overly obese person. If you don't move, you don't lose weight. You can use a buggy as a walker if you need to.

On the other hand, when I was super obese and had bad knees, I couldn't walk through the airport after a while. For the first year after I had my left knee replaced, I used a cane. But I did get the wheelchair people to help me out. So who am I to say?

Here I am almost 60 and I move better than I have in the last 30 years. Bad knees, weight, and general out-of-shapeness were all working against me. It was a tough time to be me.

As I've aged, though, I worry less about what people think of me. Maybe that's the way the Walmart people and wheelchair people who are simply overweight feel. With less family responsibility and work being an almost piece of cake, I can focus a little bit more on me. I still have family, but the kids are pretty independent and my husband asks very little of me. We both give to one another because it's a natural way to be with someone you've been married to for 38 years as of yesterday. I don't zig when he zags as much as I used to; now we sort of are in step with one another, but I digress.

I always said that when I turned 50, I didn't give a fuck anymore, but I don't think that's 100% true. My 50s have been a time of major change, from fat to almost fit, from not walking well to walking wherever and whenever I want, and just general okayness about life in general. I've made the decision to grow old with good humor and avoid negativity at every turn.

So, there's a little ramble for you. I'm on the right path with Weight Watchers/Primal eating. The foods are pretty much the same as with paleo, but now I count. I'm determined to take off the last of the weight I want to lose and keep it there. I want my funky clothes!

Last thing. I saw an older woman at Fresh Market the other day. She had a caretaker with her. She was using a walker and appeared to have a tough time with mobility. But you know what? She had nice clothing, sensible shoes, a fun hairdo, and seemed to be okay in her own skin. We can all only hope to be in that situation when our time comes. I could read pride all over her. I want to be her when I'm her age.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weight loss decision, take 37+

After I had my left knee replaced, I joined Weight Watchers (again!) on July 25, 2011. After losing about 30ish pounds, I had my right knee replaced. Overall, I lost 65+ pounds and felt really good. Around November 2012, I stopped losing and honestly, I probably stopped trying so hard. Who knows what pathology got in the way, but it did. Fast forward to April 2013, when my doctor suggested I try a Whole30. I did. Full steam ahead for the month of May. Following that, I was strict paleo, and got to about 85 pounds down. Somewhere between then and now, I've put 20 back on and had a come-to-jesus talk with myself last week and decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. Yesterday was my first meeting. It ends a half hour before exercise class starts, so that's going to work out well schedule wise. This is the first time in my life I said STOP! Hammer time. Yay me.

Part of what has changed is that I'm older. I don't have as much to prove. Not that I really did before, but it's a turn of a phrase that seems to work for the situation. There may be some evidence that having a little extra body weight is better for seniors. I'll never be a size 0, so I'm probably okay in that regard.

I am gonna be a fashionable old lady. With the things I'm sewing, my wardrobe is becoming funky, slowly but surely. (Hey, don't call me Shirley!) It's been a dream of mine to wear what I want in the style I want, and I'm achieving it. That's one reason for the need to put the brakes on with food again. Clothes or food? Food or clothes? I can wear groovy clothes with a decent weight and my diabetes under control. There's no vice versa there.

I think another change is that I'm a happy person. Today is our 38th anniversary. I know that weight and money don't make happy. People and self do. I have no false expectations anymore.

So, there you go. It's me and Weight Watchers with a paleo focus to keep the diabetes straight and get that 20 pounds off. It needs to go and I'm willing to put myself into the getting rid of it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Growing old together, those aches and pains that bind

After my shopping at Whole Foods yesterday, I took the cart to the area where they are kept and was preparing to put it away. In front of me stood a gentleman. In front of him, there was a partially bent over woman appearing to be several years older than me struggling slowly to turn a cart around. She had taken it from the line of carts and was shuffling one inch at a time to make a 180. I gave her big props in my mind for being out there and doing things for herself. 

As I stood with my empty cart, I addressed the gentleman in front of me, "Would you like to have this cart?" He turned to me, swept his arm toward the older woman with the cart and said, "No thank you. I'm waiting for my wife." 

There's not much to that story, but it made me warm and fuzzy inside. He did not say it sarcastically. He did not make a click sound to show annoyance. He did not act rushed or otherwise put out by the waiting. He lovingly referred to his wife as his wife, and smiled. We can all only hope for this type of relationship along with the changes our bodies may make over time.

While I was shopping, I was driven to buy healthy foods to feed my paleo soul. I was annoyed from time to time by rushing shoppers or those other customers who seemed to be bothered by my presence in "their" store. I delighted in grandparents with little ones in their carts. What I wasn't doing was thinking about how others might be struggling just to make it into the store. 

The passage of time, even when we dare to stay fit and eat well, does a number on our bodies. Somewhere around age 60, things change. Muscles and joints don't want to do their thing as efficiently as they once did. In my case, my original knees are long gone. I have highly efficient fake knees that have given me new life. I notice a twinge here and there that wasn't a part of my life at a younger age. Unexplained muscle aches are the norm. But I try not to let them stop me. My husband is the same. Once in a while, his back throws up its middle finger and tells him to hold up. Or maybe his knee will read him the riot act. But we both move a lot and plan on moving a lot more. We help each other out and offer assistance where we can, but we also respect the other's ability to do pretty much anything we want to do, relying on the other to ask for help if they need it.

Which brings me back to yesterday's Whole Foods experience. The husband was respecting his wife's ability to fetch and turn that cart around. He patiently, without reservation, allowed her to do it at her pace. Who cares if it takes a little longer now? They were there together and the love was evident.

I didn't shop with this couple. I did leave the parking lot thinking about them. What more can you ask of a relationship? They were together and yet, they were their own people. 

I did take my good paleo foods home and am fixing a pot of chili today with some of what I bought. It was my husband's choice. 

Grow Old With Me - No attribution for this photo is available. If it's yours, let me know and I'll credit you immediately. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Welcome to my world - Daughter time and a day off

I promised some Zen aging stuff, and here it is:

I told my sister today that Zen boils down to one word - be.  So it would make sense that now would be my favorite time. And it is. It's what I have and it's where I am.

And here where I was today:

My daughter and I had an early day date for girl time. We went out to breakfast at Mimi's Cafe (no paleo today!) and had more conversation than I ever had with my own mother. She mentioned that she had found a gray hair (she's 30) and I pointed to my silvery hair and reminded her of what was to come. I recently learned that as my body matures, it doesn't seem to like swimming laps for long periods of time, and so I will not be doing that any longer. We talked about that and she was genuinely sad for me. It was a touching moment. I realized that she understood how important swimming was to me. What I failed to tell her is that I'll continue to swim a little, just not for a half mile at a time. We discussed her school experiences as she continues through grad school. We took our time and we dallied after we ate, just talking. I learned that my daughter is as good a listener as a person can be. I'm very proud of her.

We headed for Whole Foods, mostly to shop for her. I picked up some pancetta and fruit, and she grabbed most of what is in the cart. She said, "Mom, look at the pumpkin." So I did. I knew she was getting ready to take a picture. I made her show it to me before she put it on Facebook! Since I have lost weight, I'm not so shy in front of a camera any longer. 

So enjoy the number of your age. Enjoy the year, the month, the day, the hour, the minute, and the now. 

Go and spend some time with a family member or a friend and just talk. 

And then go to Whole Foods and buy stuff! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Changing tact

I have an interesting year ahead of me - the last of my 50s. I'm on a speeding train heading toward 6-0. Hang with me while I learn to write and say the word "sixty."

I went from not being able to wear pants in elementary school to wearing jeans, Pea coats, and high top blue suede tennis shoes in high school. They gave 18-year-olds the vote and came to our high school to register us. They stopped the draft when my schoolmates turned 18. We weren't allowed to trust anyone over 30 and Vietnam was coming to a close. Bras had long since been burned and women were torn between career or the 50s and 60s wife and mother image, but we were prepared to do it all. Much has changed historically, but principles and philosophies of many of my friends have remained the same. We didn't all "sell out," as it was called, bowing to "the man." We believed in peace and began the Earth Day movement (from Arbor Day to Earth Day, if I remember correctly).

And now, we, I are moving into our supposed golden years and how the hell is that supposed to feel, to change us, to accentuate or disintegrate our lives?

Oh yeah, it's time to change tact here. There will still be me and my paleo, but more importantly, it's time to admit that 6-0 is headed my way and other than body rebellion, I don't think I have or will change all that much.

Join me. This should be fun.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

21 days, that's all it takes? The when.

Studies say it takes 21 days to break or change a habit. Smoking, overeating, biting nails, all that good stuff. You can change it in 21 days. I sorta say bullshit.

I am a dyed in the wool food addict. I'd love to say that is not true. I'd love to say there's an easy way to not be a food addict. There are surely 1000 whys and probably 1000 possible solutions to which a professional can point.

I have most recently battled this addiction via better eating. It's a great way to live, but the shit shines through once in a while and falls occur. Deep, dark falls into the depth of the binge (for a better word) that are more and more difficult to recover from as they occur.

Whole30 followed by paleo/primal/organic eating treats my body in the best ways possible. I don't experience seasonal allergies, my blood sugar is under control, I sleep well and seem motivated to exercise.

In the past, there was Weight Watchers, during which I lost a considerable amount of weight, but was still too high carb for my particular health issues.

I've addressed eating with extremely low calories, high exercise levels, and multiple other methods.

And with the exception of the paleo/primal/organic eating, I've always bounced back into addictive behavior, eating when I didn't need or really want to, making poor choices, bingeing.

My addiction appears to be related to the time of day when the sun goes down. Fucked up, but that's the common thread for sure.

I have more to say, but that's enough for right now. I know the time when I'm most likely to splurge to the nth degree. The what and the why and the how and the fucked up hiding of food are to come.

Later. It's night now. Dinner is behind me. My 2 hour post meal blood sugar was low, so the evening snack is also done.

Here's how I know I'm an addict and have mini withdrawals - my cheeks tighten. So stupid.

For tonight, I will be stronger than the desire to eat food, especially food that has no redeeming value other than to play the role of heroin being shot into my arm. The pleasure is short lived and the discomfort can last for days.

It's all good, though. I'm looking at the bright side of tending to withdrawal.