Saturday, October 05, 2013

Blood Spatter

I finished up my Halloween decorating early in the week.  Here is my shower curtain:

I thought it was appropriate for the season.  :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Memory Lane

The last time I was in the grocery store, as I was passing the bread section, I realized that I have had a craving for rye bread.  Now, it just wasn't/isn't ANY rye bread--it is a certain rye bread that I remember from childhood and it was made by a local bakery that went out of business many, many years ago.  I did buy some bread that I thought would pass for what I really wanted, but it just wasn't the same.  And so the search will continue...

This search for rye bread lead me to take a walk down memory lane.  When I was growing up, we had several local bakeries that made some of the most marvelous stuff.  (Where ARE the local bakeries, by the way?  They seem to have gone away, never to return.)  Along with great bread, I remember bakery to die for.  I will never forget the cream-filled bismarks--UNBELIEVABLE!  They looked something like this:

They were a wonderful fried pastry, filled with the greatest white cream in the world.  (This filling was like what Twinkies had before they were slightly 'healthified' years ago--only better!)  And then they were dusted with powdered sugar.  HEAVEN!  And I would always check out each bismark in the package and try to pick the one with the most filling, because that was the best part.

*A story:  One day my crochety old aunt and uncle went to visit The Mother during the day.  As was the custom back home--and still is, to a certain extent--coffee was made and bakery was put out to go along with it.  The Aunt examined each one of the bismarks that were put on the plate so she could be assured of getting the one with the most filling.  She dove into the pastry with a whole lot of gusto, waiting for that wonderful, creamy sweetness that she was anticipating.  She took a bite, then another, and then another.  She ate the entire thing and found not one drop of cream in it!  She DID find the humor in the situation and even commented how it served her right for trying to be greedy.  :)*

One thing I remember about one of the bakeries was the van that came around the neighborhood.  This ended when I was very young, but it is something I will never forget.  The bakery itself was based 20 miles away from where we lived and the products were able to be purchased at the local grocery stores.  But there were still enough people who didn't drive or couldn't get to 'town' often enough, so the bakery sent the van out every day.  It was very similar to milk delivery--one day a week you could be assured that the van would come by the house and you could buy what you wanted.  I was probably four years old the day we were at my great-grandmother's house and we went out to the van to pick the bakery for the week.  I was in awe when the driver opened the back doors of the van and I saw the racks of trays just filled with every kind of pastry imaginable.  While I would LOVE to have a bakery van come by the house on a regular basis, I'm also grateful this is no longer happening--I have enough trouble with my weight, as it is.  :D  But it certainly would be a dream come true.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

No Filters

The Mother is a master at getting people to tell her things.  Actually, she probably would have made a great prosecutor or therapist.  I am always amazed at the amount of information she can get out of someone in a short amount of time.  This is just normal when it comes to her.  But, this story goes beyond anything she has done before.

In the past 6+ months, The Mother has had two TIAs--mini-strokes.  As far as anyone can tell, she has had no long-lasting effects from these, but I'm not so sure.  I think her 'filters' have been affected.  Whenever she has 'interrogated' someone before, she has been much more subtle.  Anyway, here goes:

One evening, a few months back--after the first TIA and before the second--The Parents were visiting at some friends' house.  Along with The Parents, another gentleman was visiting.  This man graduated with The Father and has stayed in the area all these many years.  This man is semi-famous back home--he is a musician and professor at a local college.  All these years, it was assumed--by everyone--that he was gay.  Everyone just took it for granted--he never married and was more than a little effeminate.  And The Mother was put in a social situation with him.

As the evening progressed, the conversation took a turn.  And it was The Mother who steered things along.

The Mother, turning to The Gentleman, asked,  "M, can I ask you a question?"
The Gentleman said, "Of course, E, ask anything you want."
The Mother, unbelievably asked, "Are you gay?" 

Yes, she actually asked him that question!  To say that people's jaws dropped, is putting it mildly.  (All except for The Father, as he is quite deaf and won't wear his hearing aids, so he heard NOTHING.)  The Gentleman was very gracious and actually thanked The Mother for asking the question.  He then went on to say that he is aware that people think he is gay, but he really isn't.  The discussion went on for a bit and he asked The Mother if she had anything else she wanted to know.  The Mother's response?  "Did you have a face lift?"

I think this was intended for me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Together Forever

This month I'm celebrating something that few people do:  My closest friend and I have been friends for 50 years.  And we have known each other for several years longer--we actually 'met' on the first day of kindergarten!  Unbelievable.  Now here is our story:

My parents bought the house next door to my friend's parents house.  They actually bought the house FROM J's parents--it was the old family farmhouse that had been moved to that location.  J and I were kind of forced together, as the houses were on the edge of town and most kids lived closer to the main street than us.

J and I were very close until the middle school years--that was when we were put into different classrooms.  We never had a falling out, we still walked to the bus stop together, etc, we just didn't have the same homework and projects to do.  Both of us "moved on" to classmates as our closer friends.  It happens with most people.

In high school, J and I did become even more distant.  She became a 'wild child', more of a party girl.  While I wanted to be wild, too, I couldn't:  The Mother would have killed me--literally!  Again, we were still friends, but not exactly FRIENDS, if you know what I mean.  Then in 10th grade, my saving grace came to be--I got a boyfriend who stayed with me through the rest of my high school years.  J went to the parties and The Boyfriend and I had our own private ones--we drank, but did no drugs.  At least *I* did no drugs...

Right after graduation, The Boyfriend and I broke up, so J and I were both single at the same time.  We got together and partied the summer away.  (I was no longer as afraid of The Mother...)  K and I managed to get together--while he was home on leave--and J and I did things together when he was away.  Both her and I started college in the fall and quit shortly after midterms.  We weren't quite ready for more school.  The rest of the year was spent sitting at The Mother's kitchen table drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and teaching ourselves to crochet.  Eventually we both got jobs.

The following year, K and I got married and J was the maid of honor.  At some point, we introduced J to S, K's best friend from the Navy.  The two of them married and I was her matron of honor.  And the four of us began our life journeys.

After the Navy, K and I moved to where we are still living--a town 100 miles away from where we grew up.  J and S moved to Wisconsin to the town where he grew up.  We had two kids, J and S had three--and the busy years began.  We talked on the phone to keep in touch and saw each other at least once a year whenever we would visit 'back home.'  Our friendship survived and began to strengthen during those years.

Then the 'teen years' came to be--along with the requisite 'troubles.'  Crying to each other, trying to find solutions to our problems, finally turned J and me from best friends to sister friends.  I don't know if I ever would have gotten through those times without J to cry to.  She saved me more than once.

Of course, the empty nest years finally came to us.  This has given us the time--and money--to be able to get together more often.  K and I do a monthly road trip to where J and S live--we do our shopping and then the four of us go out to eat and have a nice visit.  We also go to plays and concerts together and are in the planning stages of going to some tourist attractions nearby.  One of these days we will go on vacation together--we just have to decide WHERE.  :)  (K and I want to do Las Vegas, they want us to go on a cruise.  We'll figure it out.)

Last weekend we got to visit with J and S.  We went to a nice restaurant to celebrate our anniversary and exchanged gifts.  I gave J a silver charm with the number '50' engraved on the front and 'Sister Friends' engraved on the back.  She gave me my initials--cut out of discarded books.  Here's a picture:

Cool, right?

So, fifty years as friends.  And there is no sign that things will change any time soon.  I have had a vision of the future:  J and I are sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch of a retirement home.  We each have a glass of wine in one hand, a cigarette in the other.  (We have promised ourselves that we will start smoking again at the age of 85.  ;))  We will live out the rest of our lives in each others company, friends to the end.  I can see it happening.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To Writing A Blog Post...

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that it has been almost six months since I last wrote a post here.  I have no explanation for my lack of interest in writing, but it just happened.  I'm back--for now--and hope to write on a regular basis again.  We'll see what happens.  ;)

Now to catch everybody up with my life.  Nothing too exciting, but here are the highlights:

--I still am seeing my personal trainer at the gym.  It has been a year and I'm not tired of it yet.  However, I have gotten away from losing weight--which I'm not happy about--but I'm not gaining, either.  This is completely my own fault--I'm just not eating the way I should, but I'm not eating the way I used to, either.  I KNOW that I will start losing again, I just don't know when.

--We got a bit of news a couple of weeks ago and it has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives.  K works at a power plant which supplies the power for the local iron mines, their biggest customer.  The mining company has decided that they will no longer buy power from the place K works, so the future of the power plant is uncertain.  No one knows if the plant will close down or be able to muddle through.  A couple of years ago it looked as if the place was going to shut down because of environmental regulations and the cost of bringing the place up to code, but another power company decided to step in and pay for the upgrade so that they could use the plant for power--crisis averted and the place would stay open.  This was when it still would have been profitable for the plant to run and provide power to the mines.  Now we have no idea--and it seems as if NO ONE has an idea--what is going to happen.  Luckily, K has decided he will retire in about two years, so he should be able to have a job until then.  At least we hope so...

We have had a few special events in our lives during these past months.  And here we go:

--One of K's nephew's daughters got married a couple of months ago.  We made a point of attending--something we haven't always done.  (Sometimes it is just easier to stay home...)  Anyway, it was a nice time and we got to see family that we don't see nearly often enough.  The only thing that I have a hard thing accepting--yes, I now my age is showing--is the fact that the girl and her now-husband had their child about two years before the wedding.  I always thought the wedding came BEFORE the children, but that isn't the way it is these days, is it?

--And when it comes to seeing family...
One of my cousins planned a family reunion/get together for the end of June and we actually went to it!  It would have been just as likely for me NOT to show up, as this was The Father's family, but this reunion was a bit special:  almost 2 dozen relatives from Finland were there!  And here is the story behind THAT:

Every year, a gathering of Finnish-Americans is held someplace in the US and this year it was held 'back home.'  (We have had Finn Fest here where we live two times--not sure when the next one will be here.)  A group of my Finland relatives decided to come over and attend the celebration this year and we had a family gathering so that we all could meet each other.  It was quite interesting but I really didn't get to interact with them as much as I would have liked.  The people who were of my generation didn't speak English very fluently and I speak no Finnish whatsoever, so communication was difficult.  (The generation that is younger than us was VERY fluent in English, however.)  It was good to finally put faces to names and I was happy to meet one of my Facebook friends.  I hope to be able to spend time with them in the future.

--And the weekend after the family reunion, K and I found ourselves in the Twin Cities so that we could go to a Tom Petty concert.  We had The Youngest and her husband with us and we all had a great time!  While Tom Petty really looks like ten miles of bad road--he is showing every one of his years, for sure--his voice is still great and he and the band put on one heck of a show.  This has been a bit of a slow year for us attending concerts, plays, etc, so it was good to get to see a show.  I'm hoping more performers that we like will swing in this direction, soon!  ;)

And on to news of my kids:

--While I'm sure I've mentioned this before, I will say it again:  my oldest has a lot on her plate and she continues to pile more on.  A recap:  she has seven children and home schools them.  She has a part time job as the assistant to the township clerk.  Her five youngest girls are in gymnastics and The Oldest helps the teacher in lieu of paying for the girls' lessons.  (I LOVE the fact that she can barter her time/talents in exchange for something that she/her kids need/want!)  The gymnastics work is equivalent to ANOTHER part time job.  She also does everything she can to save money, so she makes things that most of us just buy at the store--for example, laundry detergent!  This takes up even more of her time.  But this wasn't enough for her.  A couple of weeks ago, they welcomed a Japanese foreign exchange student into their home!  The girl will be with them for another couple of weeks, so they will be able to get back to 'normal' just before school starts for the new year.  I am in awe of my daughter--there is NO WAY I would take on everything she does.

--And the most exciting news:  The Youngest and her husband will be moving--SOON.  Our son-in-law just started a new job a couple of months ago.  He now is a repair tech for a company specializing in sterilization equipment, etc, for hospitals and other medical facilities.  He was hired to cover the territory from the east end of St Paul, Minnesota to the Wisconsin border.  The company was aware that they wanted to move closer to the UP at some point, so when the territory in Eau Claire, Wisconsin became available, it was offered to him.  This would have brought them about an hour closer to us than they are at the moment.  THEN, before he even got a chance to start with the Eau Claire territory, he was offered the Rhinelander, Wisconsin territory!  This means that they will be able to move so close to us that they will be only an hour away from us!  (This is the best case scenario, but very possible.)  I think the big move will be happening sometime in October, so we will be busy helping whenever K has time off.  I'm so excited for them--as well as for myself.  :)

So, this pretty much catches everyone up with my life--nothing too exciting, for sure, but it is my life and I am pretty happy with it.  Now all I have to do is try and keep up with posting what's happening, so I won't have to write another one of these any time soon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SO True

I think this may be one of the best descriptions of love/marriage I have ever seen.  Funny, but true!  :D

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Let Me Tell You What You Should Do

I am very proud to say that I raised two very conscientious daughters.  However, this allows them to be taken advantage of in far too many ways...

The Oldest has seven kids.  She is very active in many things and they attend quite a few pot lucks.  Having seven kids causes her to worry that people won't/don't want her family to attend these events because they are afraid there won't be enough food for everyone.  (As far as I know, this is all in her head.)  And so she compensates.  One day she listed the food she had already made for the pot luck they were having at their church:  a casserole, two salads, deviled eggs, and two different desserts.  She had three more things that she was going to make and wanted to know if that would be enough!  I got a bit angry with her and made it clear that she didn't have to provide food for the ENTIRE CHURCH.  I honestly felt as if what she had already made was far more than she needed to do and the rest was just a bit of overkill.

The workplace is where The Youngest gets taken advantage of.  Within the last two weeks she gave me two great examples.  One evening--the clinic closes at 7:30 PM--she called me after 8:30+ as she was driving home.  She got left at work when everyone else went home because she couldn't stand the thought of leaving the towels unwashed, wet, and not put away until the following day.  She was the only one to think about the laundry and the need for it to get done.  And so she stayed and finished up what needed doing.  A few days later they had quite a terrible snowstorm and the clinic was so dead that the owner/vet went home after noon--and most of the rest of the employees had never even gotten to work to begin with.  The Youngest was left to man the phones and take care of anything that came up, as she was the only one who knew how to do everyone else's job and could be trusted to do what needed to be done.  And so she stayed until quitting time.

While I am happy to have daughters that are reliable, I also wish they would stand up for themselves at different times.  And there is the dilemma:  WHEN do you voice a complaint and when do you stay silent?  I am able to rein The Oldest in a bit--she is starting to realize that she has the tendency to go overboard at times.  However, I wouldn't want her to go too far in the opposite direction and have people run screaming whenever they see her family showing up.  ;)  The Youngest has to be careful because her job could possibly be in jeopardy if she says the wrong thing.  She has co-workers that she has to deal with on a daily basis, so it is harder for her to voice frustration.

If my girls ask for advice--and, at times, when they don't--I try to do my best and steer them in the right direction.  This time I really don't have an idea what to say to them and I will have to trust that they know how to handle their own lives.  And this is often the hardest part of being a mother...

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

One More Off Of The List

As we age, our 'first time' experiences become less and less.  Yesterday I had a 'first' that I would have been happy never to experience.  I got stopped by a cop for the first time...

We have gotten quite a bit of snow over the last few weeks, so our snow banks are substantial.  This, of course, makes it a little difficult to pull out of parking lots onto the road, as it is hard to see if other vehicles are approaching.  I was leaving the gym yesterday and pulled out in front of another vehicle, so I sped up so that the other driver wouldn't have to slow down.  This was all well and good, as I wasn't going over the speed limit, but I WAS too close to the intersection to be going the speed I was.  As I approached the intersection, the light turned yellow.  I didn't know whether to slam on my brakes--NOT an option, as far as I was concerned--or just continue on through the intersection.  Despite the fact that I wouldn't get through before the light turned red, I couldn't see braking and possibly be rear-ended by the vehicle behind me.  And all would have been fine except for the fact that a cop was stopped at the intersection, waiting to make a left turn.  As I passed her, she pointed at the light and I knew what was coming.

Never having been through this before, I really wasn't too sure what to do.  The street I was on is quite busy and with all of the snow, there isn't a shoulder to pull onto.  I thought of going into the parking lot of a business, but just went as far to the right as possible.  The cop pulled up behind me--with lights flashing--and came over to the window.  Just before she asked, I realized that I needed to give my proof of insurance and registration.  --DAMN!!!   $$%*)((&^^$#@@%^%^&!!!!!--  I instantly realized that my new proof of insurance was sitting on the counter in my kitchen--I had neglected to put it in the Envoy!  NOW I'm in trouble!!  I explained what was going on and the cop took my documentation to her car.  And I sat and waited to find out how much this fiasco would cost me.

I must have been pretty convincing with my story--I guess the truth IS pretty convincing--because I got off with a warning.  She believed that I DO have insurance, as my old proof was only a couple of days expired. I am very lucky that she was a university campus cop and not a state trooper or city cop--I think she was a bit more willing to give me a break.  This very much was a lesson learned and it will be a long time--if ever--before I willingly go through a yellow light again.

Monday, February 11, 2013

And Then The Cops Were Called...

One of the things that I hope(d) would happen with my getting a personal trainer is an end to some of my joint pain.  Carrying too much weight and not exercising enough is a recipe for aching joints--and I have had some aches and pains for many years.  I have a knee that has bothered me since high school and as I've gotten older, the rest of my joints have joined in to cause me discomfort.  And add to that my carpal tunnel and I am a bit of a mess.  But this is something that my trainer says can change.

We have been working on my knee(s) for some time now and there might be some improvement.  But, I have had problems for 40+ years, so it isn't going to get better in a short amount of time.  Also,  I haven't been consistent enough in what I need to be doing at home, so things aren't getting better fast enough.  Change is in my hands and I have to do what needs doing.

Last week I woke up to a carpal tunnel flair.  My thumb was causing me considerable pain and I told this to my trainer.  He has told me that there is no reason to even consider surgery--which I wouldn't until things got terribly bad--and that we can take care of the problem in the gym.  (And by what I do at home.  ;))  The gym is a proponent of something called trigger point therapy.  Here is a short description of this.  And if you want a bit more, you can go here for the Wikipedia article.  As far as I can understand, this is basically deep tissue/muscle massage to the nth degree.

Anyway, last Wednesday G started to go to work on my arm/wrist/thumb.  I could feel the easing of the tight muscle/s when he was working them.  (Of course, this is not 'permanent' and has to be done over and over until the muscle learns to work properly.)  One thing that I have learned at the gym is 'what you do on one side, you do on the other.'  After working on my right side, he went to work on the left arm.  And we found a couple of very tight, nasty muscles in that arm.  And he went to work.  And it hurt.  A lot.

Imagine, if you will, having a pea sized, hard-as-a-rock spot in one of your muscles.  (Okay, it could be bigger, it could be smaller.)  With trigger point therapy, this 'mass' is massaged out and pressure--a LOT of pressure--is put on it to help ease the tightness.  And it does work.  This is what went on with my arms last Wednesday.  And this is what my arms looked like later that night:

It's hard to believe, but my arms looked MUCH worse the next day.  As of today, the only bruising that is left is on my upper arms and that is fading fast.  I actually will be going to the gym in short sleeves on Wednesday.  :)

On Thursday, K had his session with our trainer.  K told G that, looking at my arms, ONE of them will be going to jail.  :D

Oh, my left arm is feeling much better.  My carpal tunnel is still bothering, but it is doing better, also.  And I am continuing to do what is needed at home.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I Love Getting Gifts

Last weekend we did another one of our road trips--something we hadn't done since the beginning of December.  While we try to do an over-nighter every month (during K's monthly week off,) circumstances don't always allow.  Last month the week off was during the New Year's holiday, so the road trip didn't happen.  And after the expenses of Christmas, it probably was better to NOT spend money on a hotel OR shopping that wasn't quite necessary.

We were able to get together with our good friends who live a half hour out of the city where we stay.  Saturday happened to be my friend's birthday, so we were able to celebrate with them.  And we always have such a good time catching up with what everyone has been doing.  It does seem as if 'old' friends are the best friends, sometime.  We have much history together and haven't allowed the years to erode the friendship.  (For those who have forgotten--or never knew--she has been my friend since fourth grade when my family moved in next door to hers.  He was K's best friend in the Navy.  We introduced them and they got married.  LOTS of history.  ;))

I have always been jealous of my friend's artistic abilities.  She is quite creative and paints wonderfully.  HE is very good at woodcraft and the two of them have combined their talents and make wood jigsaw puzzles.  She does the design and painting and he cuts the wood.  The results are quite spectacular and we were the recipients of one of their creations last week.

As I said, this puzzle is wood and is in its own frame.  There are 50+ pieces to it and every piece is a different color.  Each piece is completely painted, front and back.  And the puzzle can be put together both ways--so I can turn the puzzle over and make it that way, as well as from the 'right side'.  I haven't removed this from the frame yet and am not sure I will--I'm afraid if I take this apart I won't be able to put it back together  or that it will take days (weeks?) to complete it.  I'm sure if I decide to take it apart, I will put a mark on each piece so that I can distinguish the 'right side' from the 'back side'--that will make it a bit easier to put together.  :)

I'm not too sure what I will be doing with this puzzle.  Of course, I want to keep it on display, but I'm not sure how.  We don't have a coffee table--and this would be the PERFECT spot--so right now I have it on our chess table.  If I keep the puzzle flat, I would like to get a piece of plexiglass cut for the top so that no damage can be done to it.  However, I might just prop it up and put it to the back of one of my book cases and use it as a background for some of my other 'treasures.'  For now however, I just want it where I can look at it and be amazed at the wonderful craftsmanship.

And here are a couple of closeup pics to see how nicely this is was done:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Clothing Issues

When losing weight, there are obstacles to overcome.  One obstacle that isn't necessarily thought of right away is clothing and the need for new, smaller stuff as the weight comes off.  And add a gym membership to the mix and you need an entire new wardrobe!  I was anticipating one of the problems and not the second.

Through my years of gaining weight, I didn't always get rid of the clothes I no longer fit in.  This, of course, made one heck of a mess in the basement where I stored garbage bags of clothes.  It was always my intention to lose weight and wear the small(er) stuff again.  One day I realized something:  When I lost the weight, I wouldn't want to wear the old, out-dated clothing and would want to reward myself with new stuff. So, I got rid of bags of clothes.  Thankfully, I hadn't gotten around to throwing out the last few sizes that I put in the basement and am very happy to have things I can wear without spending a lot of money on new.  While I happen to be between sizes right now, I have found enough old clothes that I can make-do until I need to buy some more.

When I started at the gym, no one said anything about a dress code.  Obviously, you need to wear appropriate gym clothes--pants/capris/shorts, athletic shoes, and t-shirts--but beyond that, everyone is able to wear what they are comfortable with.  Starting out, I wore my over-sized t-shirts and wide-legged yoga capris.  I most definitely didn't make a fashion statement with my clothes, but I was comfortable.  It didn't take me long to realize that I needed to upgrade my gym wardrobe to a certain extent and so I bought myself form-fitting capris.  I still wore/wear t-shirts, but they are a smaller size than before.  I found out that my trainer would prefer me to wear clothes that are more fitted than roomy--this makes it easier for him to see the muscles I'm working.  But, as long as he doesn't mind the larger shirts, I'll be happy doing what I'm doing.  It will take me a long, long time--if ever--before I wear gym tank tops or anything else that is tighter on top.  I am too used to worrying about being comfortable in my clothes and I won't be going backwards any time soon.

I knew I needed to get some sports bras when I joined the gym.  Can anyone tell me HOW and WHERE to buy one that is comfortable-ish AND will keep 'the girls' where they belong without jiggling too much?*  I started out okay.  NOT great, just okay.  And then I lost enough weight that what I had became too big.  But I haven't lost enough to go down to a size that is manufactured.  (As I said, I'm between sizes right now.)  So, I find myself wearing a slightly too small sports bra while training.  The bras I have aren't uncomfortable once I have them on, but they do cause one problem that I'm not thrilled with:  I have a uni-boob.  No matter how much I stuff, move, jiggle, readjust my chesticle area, the girls always migrate into one single boob within minutes.  It is NOT a good look.  And if anything is a good incentive to continue losing weight, this is it!

For the time being, I only need to get myself a couple of more pairs of pants/capris (and I'm not counting the needed bras) and I will be set for quite some time.  I am having no trouble with t-shirts, as I have started to make over some of my big ones and now I can wear them!  Giving a second life to stuff I already own is great--and it is saving me a whole lot of money.  I really am looking forward to the summer when I will have to buy a LOT of clothes.  (Hopefully.)  It will be fun to shop again when I can be assured of finding clothes that I actually can fit into.

*I'm sure I could find a bra easily if I wanted to spend $60+, but I'm anticipating going down quite a few more sizes and can't justify the cost for the short amount of time I would wear them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gym People, Part 2

The class I take at the gym is called 'Silver Sneakers.'  The 'Silver Sneakers' program is nationwide and has different levels to it.  I believe this program is primarily for 'seniors,' but at my gym there are people of many ages who attend.  And the level of the intensity is really NOT geared for very old and unfit people.  But, there ARE some who aren't as active who show up and they make it through at their own pace.  The people are varied and some are just wackadoodles...

There is a woman who is well into her 80s who attends the class regularly.  She comes with her daughter and is a regular sweetheart.  I believe she is 'all there,' but she IS old and doesn't keep up with the same intensity as some of us who are much younger than she is.  But, she tries and enjoys herself--what more can you ask at that age?

One man who is a regular in class is in his 50s or early 60s, I think.  I'm pretty sure he dyes his hair, but it isn't that big of a deal as he is a blond.  This guy is one who EVERY woman in the world knows.  You can look at him and just KNOW that he wore gold chains and an unbuttoned shirt during the late 70s.  He wears a sweatband around his forehead, just like the hair bands did in the 80s.  He marches to the beat of his own drummer--when the rest of us are marching in place to a 4/4 beat, he is doing double time.  Even though I know his name, he will ALWAYS be 'gold chain guy' to me.

Most women know enough to not worry too much about what they look like when going to the gym to work out.  However, we have a woman who isn't like 'most' of us.  She comes to class with form fitting pants and cap-sleeved t-shirts, all in black.  She also is in full make-up--including curled and mascaraed eyelashes!  She wears an armful of bangle bracelets and large gold hoop earrings.  I'm not sure how she manages to do any of the exercises when she is so concerned about her appearance.

At the end of class and as part of the cool down phase, we usually do a few yoga poses--which I am VERY bad at.  (I have no coordination or balance necessary to do them correctly.)  There is, however, one woman who I'm sure has been doing yoga since her hippy days back in the 60s.  She is better at the poses than our leader, so I KNOW she does--and has done--yoga on a regular basis, probably for decades.  And she has a bit of a superior air about her because of this.  I want to stick my tongue out at her sometimes.

There is another woman who is a bit overweight--not terribly--and a bit out of shape--again, not terribly.  However, every few minutes I want to ask if she is going to make it for the entire class time.  Halfway through every song she looks like she is about to do a massive face plant right on the gym floor.  And I'm not sure just what is going on with her.  No one seems to be concerned, so I guess she must be okay.

And then there is this group of women who I call the 'social butterflies.'  Whether they were friends before joining the gym or they became friends at the gym, doesn't really matter.  These days they are at class just so they can get together and chat with each other.  Thankfully, they usually gather in the last row(s) and aren't in everyone's way, but we can still hear them laughing, singing, and talking all through class.  It is a bit distracting.  But as a mother, I am quite able to ignore when it is necessary.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been quite a few more people coming to class.  I guess it is all of those 'New Year resolutionists' showing up.  I'm thinking--hoping(?)--that things will slow down in the next month or so.  I happen to like smaller classes.  ;)  But either way, I will still continue on--after all, I have way too many more pounds to get rid of...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Gym People, Part 1

As with anyplace where people congregate for one reason or other, the gym where I go has quite a crew of 'folks.'  This is the first of a two-part look at the people I share the gym with.

I guess the first person I want to discuss is the owner.  He is about the age of my oldest daughter.  He is nice to me--as he should be--but we definitely aren't buddy-buddy.  His father is my personal trainer.  Anyway, M, the owner, intimates the bejeebers out of me because he is so intense.  He is in fantastic shape--as he should be--and I feel as if he thinks every person in the entire world should be in the same shape as him.  I am SO happy that I didn't pick M as my trainer--I don't know if we would have gotten along that well.  MY trainer seems to understand my limitations--well, my 'right now' limitations--and doesn't push me beyond what he thinks I can handle.  M, on the other hand, might not do the same.  I was thinking of going to the once-a-week yoga/tai chi/pilates class that the gym has, but M runs it himself and I don't think I'm quite at the point where I can make it through one of his classes--even if it is supposed to be 'low impact' and 'relaxing.'  I'll have to see what I feel like in a couple of months...

When my trainer was gone during the Christmas holidays, another trainer filled in for him.  I absolutely ADORE T and wouldn't mind it at all if he was my trainer.  The guy is funny and talks non-stop.  We got along very well and I would never hesitate to have him 'put me through my paces' if the opportunity arose.  Down the road, if I ever need to change up things by getting a new trainer, I will definitely ask T to take me on as a client.

My trainer is a year older than me.  He was raised 'up north' just as I was.  He had his own rock band and still plays guitar.  Both he and I are convinced that the best music came from the 60s and early 70s.  Before becoming a personal trainer, G was a registered nurse and supervisor in a cardiac care unit.  He also served in the Coast Guard and retired after 20(?) years.  We get along wonderfully and have a lot to talk about besides what is going on in the gym.  I know I wouldn't have kept up with what I'm doing if our personalities wouldn't have meshed as well as they have.

I mentioned in an earlier post that the goalie for the university's hockey team trains at my gym.  I am absolutely amazed at what this kid can do!  I have been known to stop my training session just so I can watch this guy work out!  I have seen him jump--from a dead standstill--SIDEWAYS over a hurdle that is 2-3 feet high.  And he does this not once, not twice, but numerous times without stopping.  His strength and flexibility are astonishing.

One young guy trains at the same time I do and I just found out he is a skier.  I was watching him the other day and he is very close to the goalie in strength and flexibility.  I watched him jump--from a dead standstill--over platforms that were 18 and 24 inches high and then he jumped straight up onto platforms that were 30 and 36 inches high.  And this was accomplished with no running start whatsoever.  The leg muscles on these guys are incredible.  I only hope I will be one-tenth as strong when I get in my best shape.

My gym specializes in personal training.  The main areas that they help people with are weight control and pain management.  They also seem to do quite a bit of rehab work.  I have seen a little old lady--must be in her 80s--working with one of the trainers and it seems as if she must have had a stroke and is working her way back to health.  There is a young guy--late 30s, maybe early 40s--who I think is either a war veteran or accident victim.  He is in the gym every day and it seems as if the main focus for him is trying to walk 'normally.'  He has other problems, too--it seems as if there is some brain damage--but physically he is doing quite well.

One guy that astonishes me is the one with a severe physical handicap.  He was born with almost no legs, just feet attached to his lower body. His attitude is great and he gets around wonderfully--he drives a modified Prius--and he works with a trainer a couple of times a week.  From watching him in his training sessions, I would pity anyone who tried to intimidate him in any way.  With his upper body strength, he doesn't need to worry about anyone taking him out!

There are a couple of people that I have seen who HAVE to be runners.  You can pretty much pick runners out of a crowd mostly because of their physical features, but also because of their attitudes.  (And I apologize to those runners who are NOT like this, but I know too many who ARE this way.)  Almost all of the runners that I know--these two included--have the same air of superiority.  It is as if they feel they are better than anyone who doesn't run.  And it really pisses me off.  I don't understand the attitude and really don't appreciate it.  But, these two don't really get in my way and I don't have to interact with them, so it is okay.

Of course, there are many more people in this gym who I could talk about.  There are the ones who I'm sure have had bariatric surgery--you can almost tell by the amount of skin that hangs off of them--and there are the ones who have been going to gyms their entire lives.  Some of the people seem to want to be left alone to their own devices and others are there to be social.  It is a grand sociological study every time I walk through the doors.  And in the next post I will talk about the ones who go to the same class that I do--and this is where we find the REAL wackadoos!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

And We Have Lists...

At the end of every year, you can't pick up a magazine/newspaper or watch TV or listen to the radio without being bombarded with end-of-the-year lists.  There are 'best books of the year' and 'best songs of the year.' We also get the 'worst of' lists,' too.  This leads us right into the 'awards' season and MORE 'best' lists--unless, of course, you are a 'Razzies' fan and then you can read all about the 'worsts.' We are fascinated with lists and it seems to get more so every year.  I really wonder if it all has to do with our politically correct stance on competition between kids--the 'you get an award just for participating' turn we seem to see these days.  Maybe it's human nature, but we really do want to know who is 'best' and who is 'worst'--so we have lists.

For the most part, lists are nothing more than starting points for fights.  Everyone has an opinion on who performed the best in a movie or who put out the best song.  The best author is no less subjective than the best song writer.  And this makes for a lot of heated discussions--especially on the interwebs.  To fight about these things is a complete act of futility--no one will change anyone else's mind no matter HOW much they 'scream,' 'yell,' and 'holler.'

About the only time a list isn't completely subjective is when it comes down to money.  You CAN list the best SELLING books/albums/songs.  The top-grossing movie is easy to figure out.  These are not subjective and really can't be disputed--but some will STILL argue for the sake of arguing.  There are people like that.  I know some of them.

While I don't always--or ever ;)--agree with any of these lists, I won't get sucked into an argument over them.  It is best to keep opinions to oneself, usually.  However--and you KNEW I was going to say that, right?--there are two things I will ALWAYS defend.

Music lovers--make that ROCK lovers--have debated who the best guitarist of all time is.  The lists usually have two names at the top:  Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.  I'm from the era, so I remember Hendrix and remember how good he was.  However, my number one is Clapton--always was, always will be.  Hendrix could possibly have surpassed Clapton if he had lived, but because of his shortened career, I believe Clapton can be crowned 'Best Guitarist of All Time.'  And after all this time, I don't see where he has lost much, if anything at all.

The other debate I will have is 'Best Defenseman to Have Played in the NHL.'  The two guys who flip-flop between #1 and #2 are usually Bobby Orr and Nick Lidstrom.  Being a Red Wing fan, I probably should be in the Lidstrom camp, but I'm not.  I was a Bruins' fan back in the day and I will always defend my naming Orr as 'The Best,' because I remember him well.  He redefined the position and changed things for all of the guys who played defense for the years after him.  It was a challenge to watch him play--both a joy and hard at the same time.  His career ended far too early and we, as fans, are much poorer for it.

So, what list always get YOU going?  Do you find yourself agreeing or disagreeing more with lists?  Or do you ignore them more than pay attention?  Let's talk!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Should Know Better...

Every year, like clockwork, I breathe a sigh of relief on the day I go for my annual physical, because IT IS DONE.  And every year, as I walk out of the doctor's office, a little voice laughs in my ear and says, "SUCKER!"  Today was no different than any other.

My first appointment of the day was at the dentist office.  Thankfully, and because of my OCD when it comes to my teeth, it only took the hygienist 30 minutes to do the cleaning AND I don't have to go back for another 6 or so months.  A welcome outcome for someone as dental-phobic as I am.  I really didn't expect any other news from my dentist and continue to hope that my 'not needing any further dental work' streak stays alive for a long, long time to come.

After getting home from the dentist's and a quick shower, I was off to the confrontation with my PCP.  I had very little hope that the appointment would go well, but, as it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised.  I don't ever think I will consider this doctor a friend, or someone that I like very well, but today she was actually okay.  And we really didn't have too much to disagree about.

I was surprised that the doctor spent somewhere around an hour with me today.  I wasn't overly thrilled to find out that she will not be doing any pap smears (and maybe pelvic exams) on me any longer.  She follows the guidelines that some association/group puts out and because I had a complete hysterectomy and have never had any abnormal pap smears, I (supposedly) don't need gynecological screenings any longer.  While I don't enjoy pelvic exams, having one and finding that there is no problem always made me feel a bit more secure about my health.  I guess this is part of getting older.

The doctor and I did go round and round about my staying on estrogen.  She is adamant about me not needing HRT for any reason whatsoever and rather poo-pooed any of my concerns over going off.  She insists that the risks outweigh any (imagined) benefit I might be getting from the drugs.  Of course, I really couldn't come back at her with any facts, as I hadn't done research recently, so I just looked like a petulant child who wanted to eat a cookie instead of green beans.  She very, very reluctantly agreed to write my prescription--but she HAD to be a bit snarky about 'if you come in with a stroke/heart attack/blood clot, etc, don't blame me because I told you the risks.'  The same kind of treatment I got when I went in for my shingles vaccine.  Obviously, the woman was sick the day that compassion and bedside manners were taught in medical school.  After this, we moved on and had a pleasant time for the rest of the appointment.

First of all, she took me off of the statin I was on.  YAY!  Basically, I have been on it to help counter the possibility of any problems with the build up in my carotid artery.  She said this drug could possibly be a part of my memory problem and as such, she thinks I'd be better off not taking it.  She really isn't convinced that this medication would actually benefit me in any practical way and with my cholesterol NEVER being a problem, she thinks it is perfectly safe for me to discontinue it.

With my recent weight loss, my blood pressure has been on the low side of normal, so she halved my daily dosage.  She feels as if I will be able to go off of BP meds if I continue to do as well as I have been.  Also, I may be going off of my Prilosec sooner, rather than later--another bonus of losing weight.

All of my blood work came back as 'excellent' except for my thyroid levels.  My numbers are quite low, indicating a hyperthyroidism--and I am being treated for hyPOthyroidism.  This would indicate that I am being over medicated, but the doctor wants to wait and do some follow up blood tests before we tweak my meds--something I am thankful for.  (I'd rather wait and be sure than mess things up even more if it isn't necessary.)  She also had another blood draw done to check my B12 levels, as a low B12 count could also be part of my memory and brain fog problems.  Just another thing to wait for.

Even though my exam showed no other problems, this appointment just lead to MORE appointments.  Of course, I need to have my mammograms done and she is having an ultrasound done on my carotid artery to make sure there has been no negative change.  But the biggest thing to come out of today is the testing that I will be going for because of my memory/brain fog issues.  I am being sent to a neuropsychiatrist to undergo a battery of tests to make sure I am not in the early stages of dementia.  This is to be a baseline with which we can compare future tests should there be a worsening problem.  I was going to say no at first, but figured I may as well get it over with while we still have insurance that will cover the cost.  The biggest problem with this entire ordeal is that it WILL be an ordeal.  We only have one neuropsychiatrist here in town, so it will take a considerable amount of time before I can get an appointment.  The testing itself takes several hours and I'm not sure how many days.  After the testing, it takes some time for the results to be interpreted.  All in all, I wonder if I will know anything until next year.  ;)

The biggest thing I took from my appointment today is that I guess I CAN work this doctor after all.  She looked at me quite a bit differently because of all the work I have done to get fit.  She was encouraging and very congratulatory.  It made me feel good.

I will need to have my thyroid levels checked again in six weeks and then have a follow up visit with the PA in four months.  I would assume I will be seen four months after that and then we are back to next year and my next physical.  And the world keeps turning...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I HAD Good Intentions...

I was all set to post on a regular basis this year and here we are, 13 days in, and I already went almost a week without posting.  Oh well, I THOUGHT about it, at least.  ;)  Anyway, here is what I have been up to:

I only made it to the gym three times this past week.  Last Monday I got up to go to class and realized that my yearly physical was scheduled for tomorrow and I needed to go in for some blood-letting.  As this is one of my LEAST favorite things to do in my life, I figured I should just bite the bullet and get it over with.  So, I went to the medical center instead of the gym.  Thank goodness--otherwise, I probably would have put off the lab work until Friday, when I would have been forced to go.  The tech who drew my blood did EXCELLENT work--as do all of the ones who work in that office--and I didn't feel a thing.  She did leave me with quite a nice bruise, but that is more ME than HER.

I made my regular appointments with my trainer and we did my evaluation, so not much in the way of regular training.  And Wednesday I just couldn't get out of bed because of tiredness!  But I was back there on Thursday and Friday, feeling refreshed and rebooted!  YAY!


As I said, I have my yearly physical tomorrow.  While I don't like going to doctor appointments, I am liking it even less now that I have this woman as my primary care physician.  We STILL haven't clicked and I don't think we ever will.  It doesn't help that I only see her once a year--you can't bond when you have no interaction.  Tomorrow will be interesting, to say the least...

This doctor had a problem with me right from the start, because I use Enbrel.  She had a patient die while on the med and doesn't want ANYONE using it--she feels as if it is the direct cause of the patient's death, which I question.  So, my insisting on staying on the drug does not sit well with her.  Tomorrow I will let her know that I want to stay on my hormone replacement therapy and THAT probably will not go well.  She wants me off of estrogen and the sooner the better.  If I wouldn't have resisted, I would have been off of it the first time I saw her.  As it is, she has been decreasing my dosage for the last few years and--I think--has every intention of taking me off this year.  I'm not going to let that happen, if at all possible.  Since lowering my dosage, I have lost so much of myself that I can't even imagine what I would be like without any estrogen replacement.  My memory and cognitive abilities are for crap these days.  I find myself 'searching' for words that I can't remember--and not always 'finding' what I'm looking for.  There are most definitely subtle changes to my personality--I find that my reading addiction is not what it used to be.  And everything is so subtle and came on so gradually, that I'm sure no one else notices but me.  I won't even get into the PHYSICAL changes I have noticed, as so many of them could be considered 'vanity' issues, and I'm NOT a vain person.  So, tomorrow there may be a battle.


The gym has announced 'big changes' starting this week.  I don't think things will change with my trainer, but the class I take might have a complete make over--and I'm not too happy about that.  I don't mind new music and new routines, but it almost sounds as if the class will be a bit more advanced than it is now and that doesn't make me very happy.  This class is the closest thing to a 'beginner's class' that they offer and I STILL can't do it easily.  There still is 'too much of me' and I'm still not flexible enough to do everything, so if they advance the class too much, I may be left in the dust.  And THAT won't be a good thing.  I won't find out what the changes are until Wednesday, so...


I also have an appointment at the dentist office tomorrow.  WHAT was I thinking?  But, by the time I realized I had made two appointments on the same day, it really was too late to do anything about it.  My PCP books yearly physicals a year in advance and the dentist office schedules cleanings every 6-8 months--closer to 8--so to change an appointment would have made me have to wait months more.  And this is why  I will be running around like crazy in order to get to both appointments.  YUCK!  


We have lost almost all of our snow.  There are large areas of bare ground in our yard and this is just not the way things work out here.  But, the last week or so has been crazy warm--we have had highs in the 40s, so the snow has gone bye-bye.  Today the temp has 'plummeted' to the lower 20s, so we are back to seasonal temps.  This is supposed to last for the next ten days and actually be even colder with temps in the teens.  We should get some snow, but it doesn't look as if it will be too much.  But anything is possible with The Lake, so weather forecasting is little more than guessing here.


I finally jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon last week.  I'm finding it to be a very good substitute for most of the lotions/oils/moisturizers I use/have used and it costs WAY less than almost everything I have ever tried.  (And believe me when I say 'I've tried them all!')  I will give this a while to see if it is something I will stay with or if it is one of my 'tried it and will move on' things, but as it is right now, I will probably keep it in my arsenal as one of, if not THE weapon of choice for my dry skin.  The only problem with the coconut oil that I can see is that my cat LOVES it--as in, she licks my skin after I use it!  ICK!  I am able to get her to stop rather quickly, but I wish she wouldn't even START!


And for something that most, if not all, readers of this blog are totally uninterested in:  The hockey season is beginning on the 19th!  The Wings are in training camp and I will finally get to watch them on the ice on Tuesday when their scrimmage will be aired on TV!  Right now I have a permanent smile planted on my face--and that will stay there until the Wings start tanking.  THEN I will get surly--and THAT isn't necessarily a good thing.  ;)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

I Would Have Lost That Bet

Way back in the late spring, when it seemed all but inevitable that the NHL was going to lock out the players this season, I knew the entire season would be lost.  In the early morning hours today, a tentative agreement was decided on after a marathon 16-hour negotiating session between the league and the players.  We will now have a half-season's worth of hockey.  And this is why I will never make it in the stock market:  I ALWAYS make the wrong choice.

For the past months, I have been trying to convince myself that my life was fine without hockey, that I could make it through a winter without my beloved Red Wings.  As soon as the news came down, I was as giddy as a schoolgirl going on a date with the star quarterback.  All of my bravado of "They won't have ME to kick around anymore." and "I am DONE with this Mickey Mouse league." and "I can live without hockey." went right out the window.  Despite the abuse the NHL piles on the fans--and they DID abuse the fans with this bullshit--I am willing to go back for more.  And I can't wait.  The season should start on or about the 15th and they should play 48-50 games before the playoffs--'only' 32-34 games fewer than a normal season.

So, NHL/NHLPA, whip me, beat me, call me dirty names--I WILL come crawling back.  A little wiser and a little less caring, but I WILL come back.  I almost hate myself for being so easy.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Catching Up With Sleep

Since joining the gym, I have had to re-join those who are required to get out of bed at set times.  It has been YEARS--at least since The Youngest left home--since I have needed to worry about my sleep habits* and it is very hard for me to get back on track.  So, I find that the weekend is my time to 'catch up on my sleep.'  And that is what I did today.  Yuck.

I got to the gym four times this past week:  two times with The Trainer and two class sessions.  My training on Thursday didn't introduce me to anything new, but The Trainer brought back some 'oldies but goodies.'  I got to hit the heavy bad again--I REALLY need to get my own gloves--and enjoyed it just as much as the time before.  But, I had to do several things that I'm not particularly fond of--especially this:

I've done this several times before, but Thursday was the first day I was able to flip the tire BY MYSELF!  And I did it 6 times!  Even with my T-rex arms!  This isn't my favorite thing to do, but it makes me feel good when I see progress.

The slide board got another go at me, but in a different way.  And THIS one I REALLY dislike.  This is called mountain climbing:

It is going to take me a long, long time to get to the point where I can do this comfortably--if it ever happens.  My arms aren't nearly strong enough to hold up my entire body for an extended amount of time and I'll have to lose a lot more weight before I come close to being able to do this well.

I also got to pull the heavy rope again--yay.  It isn't very difficult and it's getting easier all of the time, but it most certainly works the arm muscles!  My arms are beginning to regain the strength I have lost over the years, but, again, I have quite a way to go.

I am scheduled to see The Trainer twice again next week and will probably only get to class twice--I have to have lab work done in anticipation of my physical on the 14th, so I will likely miss one day of class.  (I can't see going to the gym after fasting overnight--just isn't going to happen.)

*Of course, I DO need to get up for appointments, etc, but that is the exception, not the rule, in my life.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Cure For What Ails Ya!

Many people will say that regular exercise will keep depression at bay.  I can't 'aye' or 'nay' to that, but I DO know that I miss the gym whenever I don't get there for a few days.  (Such as over the holidays.)  I find that three days a week is the MINIMUM I need to go for a workout in order to feel pretty good about myself--and if I manage to get there for a full five days, I have an enormous sense of accomplishment.  Now that things are settling down, I am able to get back to my Tuesdays and Thursdays with my trainer and try to make it to a group class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Depending on how worn out my body is, I will get to the gym all five days.  However, with my horrible sleeping habits--and they don't seem to be changing any time soon--and how OLD my body is, I don't always make it for a full five days.  As I get in better shape and get stronger, I will probably even do double sessions on some days.  But not yet...

The other day The Trainer had me do something that has convinced me that it is the cure for any problem a person might have.  It works out every bit of hostility, depression, anger, and frustration--and I found it incredibly FUN.  I'm talking about working with a heavy bag.

Okay, so I wasn't doing it quite like the boxer in the video.  First of all, the bag was stationary--and I didn't 'dance' around it while hitting.  I did a 3-1 combination--three jabs with one hand and then a power punch with the other.  After working both sides, I then had to do a speed drill, just jabbing as fast as I could with both hands.  After doing this for several minutes, there was no way I could have any amount of frustration or anger left in me.  I actually smiled through the rest of my workout and can't wait until The Trainer puts me back on the heavy bag.  The only downside:  I had to use the gym's boxing gloves that have been used by more people than I want to think of.  The only thing that comes close to their smell is hockey gloves--and hockey gloves stink so badly that players give 'face washes' to other players as an insult.  If I knew I was going to need them every week, I would buy my own gloves and avoid the smell!  One of these days I may even buy my own bag for the house.  I do think if everyone worked with a heavy bag every day, most of the world's ills could vanish.  ;)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


I am the world's most uncoordinated person.  I don't dance because I probably look worse than Elaine does in this video:

So, one of the things that we work on in the gym is my coordination.  And to get better at that, I need to get my 'core' stronger--and The Trainer has some interesting things at his disposal for me to try.  We usually have to go very slowly, because I come close to face-planting on a regular basis.  The first day he had me try this, was one of them:

Yep, I was put on a skating slideboard and told to 'go for it!'  To say it took me some time to get the hang of this thing is putting it mildly.  The only way I can describe this is for someone to pour pure olive oil all over a linoleum floor and try to walk from one end of the floor to the other while wearing wool socks.  NOT an easy task.  The first time I was on the slideboard, The Trainer had to hold the back of my shirt to make sure I was able to stand upright.  On Monday, not only did I perform well, I was given an extra task to do--when I hit the side board, I had to tap the top of an orange cone with my opposite hand before sliding to the other board and doing the same there.  Not only is this quite a workout, but I actually found myself having fun while doing it!  Six months ago I would have said you were crazy if you told me I would be doing this--and I would have said you were certifiable if you told me I would be having FUN!  I'm amazed at how quickly things are changing for me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Changing My Life

I wasn't going to write this post for a long time, but decided that too much is going on to let it go to waste.  So, I am announcing the big change I/we made in my life this last year.  Now I will tell a (too) long story.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that I have a weight problem--and have had trouble with weight for most of my life.  I have never said out loud just how much weight I have gained since we got married and probably won't until I've lost it all.  I definitely have work to do in order for that to happen.  And that is my big news:  I have joined a gym.  And I have a personal trainer.  Here is how all of this happened.

Eight or so months ago, K was bothered with his left shoulder.  He wasn't sure how he injured it and the doctor said he might have a rotator cuff tear.  Of course, that would mean surgery--which is NOT a walk in the park.  But first, the doctor wanted him to go and see the physical therapists and have more tests done to see how bad his problem was.  As it turned out, he DIDN'T have a problem with the rotator cuff and physical therapy helped him quite a lot.  The trouble is, when they cut him loose from therapy, he didn't continue with his exercises like he should have and the pain started to come back.  That is when he decided to join the gym and get a trainer to help him.  Of course, losing weight and getting in shape was part of the reason to pay the money for this process.

When K came home from his evaluation session with the trainer, I made my decision to join the gym, too--and work with his trainer.  During my evaluation, the trainer asked me what my goals are and I said, "To begin with, I want to lose 50 pounds and stop making 'old people noises' when I get up from a chair."  Yes, that is just a start for me, but a good one, nonetheless.  And so things began...

That first day in the gym showed me just how out-of-shape I really was.  Looking back, I am surprised that my trainer didn't just give up on me right then and there.  To say I couldn't do much is putting it mildly.  I don't think I was able to do a side plank for more than 15 seconds and I could barely raise my arm and leg while in the quadruped position.  I 'sucked wind' for several weeks until I started to get more comfortable moving my body--and while losing some of my weight.  And lose I have done.  Right now I'm at 30 pounds lost--it would be more, but the holidays got in the way.  ;)

Having a trainer is both a blessing and a curse.  The Trainer keeps me on task and knows just how far he can push me so that I get a decent workout.  I do much more than I would do on my own.  However, there are days I want to punch his face because I don't want to do what he tells me to.  I never knew I could do the things with my body that I do and still be able to walk under my own power.  And I never knew I could be so proud of myself AND feel so physically and mentally good about my body!  UNBELIEVABLE!

I'm finding it quite cool that I go to the same gym as the goalie from our local college hockey team.  (You KNOW that would be a boost for me.  :D)  My trainer is the gym owner's father and he is the same age as K and I are--plus, he was born and raised 'up north' like we were.  We have gotten to be good friends, as well as trainer/client.  The people at the gym are fantastic and make you feel so welcome--a greater group you couldn't find.  I'm very happy I made this very hard decision and can't wait to see my progress through this next year.

***I don't think I will be making this blog all about my 'transformation,' but this is a big part of my life and I will be writing about it.  Mostly, you will hear more about my mishaps and the strange and wonderful things I'm doing.  Going to a gym is quite interesting.***