Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saturday Delight

As a reward for exercising all week, I treat myself to an extra half hour at the gym on Saturday's.  I dream about this half hour all week long.  Many days I push myself "just a little bit extra" anticipating my Saturday treat.  So, are you curious to how I spend my extra half hour at the fitness center???

It is delighting in this: 

No phone, no computer, no TV, no noise...just me and my thoughts...for 10 minutes.  (Yes, I know that when you have lymphedema, hot tubs are a no-no, but so far, I have been able to indulge without any compromise to my arm.  Yipee!!)

After my weary muscles are nice and relaxed, I treat myself to this:

Now until 6 weeks ago, I had never been in a Sauna.  I did some research and there is some preliminary data stating that the heat from a sauna and/or hot tub can help with muscle/bone pain.  Since chemotherapy I had been experiencing horrible joint stiffness/bone pain.  I am excited to share that since I have become more routine with my physical activity and indulging in hot tub and sauna...the pain has significantly decreased.

Typically while in the sauna, I just rest my eyes and relax quietly.  Last week, though, God had a surprise party waiting for me at my weekly retreat.  My surprise was meeting Margie.  This delightful and inspirational woman is one of those people that you meet once, but remember forever.  Margie has been taking swimming lessons for the last year as she was very frightened of the deep water.  She excitedly shared with me that with every lesson she has developed more confidence. I also learned (now this is the so cool part) that every year since she was 40, Margie has set a new goal.  One year it might be to learn how to play piano. The next year to take an adventurous trip. Another time it might be to try Zumba or Pilate's, learn more about computers, or take a foreign language class.  One year her goal was to volunteer for a year with a certain community organization. 

Isn't this one of the best things you have heard?  One thing....that's it....after she has met the one goal/achievement...than she makes new one thing. 

So.....my one thing this year:  to increase my physical stamina! 

Question:  Do you treat yourself to something special every week?  If so, care to share? 
 Or what could be the one thing you want to accomplish in 2012?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Walking With Wellness Wednesday

Well, you know what they say about the road of good intentions??  When I started the "Walking with Wellness Wednesday," I thought...how hard can it be to have a regular weekly post?  The challenge for me, Wednesday's keep coming faster and faster. 

I am going to be honest...I ran out of time this weekend to do the research I needed so I could write an educated post on nutrition.  So, instead, how about I share an update on my physical activity and weight loss?

Since there hasn't been much weight loss, I'll discuss my exercise endeavors first.  You know how we all have different learning styles?  Well, did you know we can have different exercise styles, too?  For many years I would lay out the perfect exercise routing, only to quit the plan 2 days into it.  Guess what?  I was making the wrong type of plan for me.  I like people...so it only makes sense that going to the gym with someone would be a big motivator for me--and it has proven to be my ticket to sticking to my plan! 

During the work week, I have started "circuit training" with a few coworkers at a gym only a few blocks from our office.  The first few days of training I felt like a "geek" especially because of my deconditioning.  (They are both very athletic.)  Howvere, they were also encouraging.  We try and work out 3 to 4 days a week over our lunch hour.  (Good thing there are showers at the gym!) 

If you remember, I blogged awhile back about how my daughter convinced me to that we needed a membership to Avera Fitness.  Well, my hubby wasn't too excited about us taking on another gym membership, especially since we have tried gym memberships in the past--only to not use them.  After a few weeks of seeing our excitement, my hubby decided to check out Avera.  Guess what?  He loves it!  And now we are going to the gym together as a couple!  At the gym, he does his routine and I do  mine separately...but just going to the gym together is very motivating to me!

This past week I started training for the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer 5K.  Yes, yes, I know...I have tried training for this race the past two years and didn't succeed.  I am not sure this year will be different, but I am going to try.  I am doing the Couch to 5K program.  If you are interested you can find more information here: Couch to 5K

Okay...so now for the weight loss update.  It is slow...turtles walk faster! 
When I first started getting serious about trying to lose a few pounds, I would stand on the scale once or twice daily.  I would get so discouraged and frustrated when the number didn't move. BUT THEN...I found a really cool program called My Fitness Pal.  I have tried other online tracking programs, often finding them difficult to navigate.  My Fitness Pal is very user friendly. Since tracking my nutrition and physical activity, I am no longer obsessed with the scale.  I know that I am making nutritious, healthy eating choices and being physical activity.  I haven't stood on the scale since Sunday.  Tomorrow is weigh in day, I will keep you posted!

Well, for not having much to say--this is a really long blog.  If your still reading this post--many blessings to you!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Walking With Wellness Wednesday

March is National Nutrition Month
We will be spending the month of March discussing healthy food choices, portion control, recipes, etc.

Good Bye Food Pyramid
Hello MyPlate

In June 2011, the USDA released the new MyPlate Icon to help Americans make healthier choices.  For those of you who haven't seen the MyPlate:

If you haven't heard of MyPlate, check out their awesome website: Choose MyPlate  Below is listed some tips from their site to get you started on your healthy eating journey.

Balancing Calories

Enjoy your food, but eat less.
Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to IncreaseMake half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Make at least half your grains whole grains.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cancer Support and TIt-Bits

Just sharing:  If you have had cancer, please check out a great post written by my friend Marie at Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer.

Also, for anyone who has had a mastectomy without reconstruction, please check out my other blog at Hope Lives Now! for some information on Tit-Bits.

Friday, March 2, 2012

5 Minute Fridays

I just love Fridays and I love it when my schedule permits me to participate in 5 Minute Fridays.  What a treat after a long week to  stop, drop, and write.

For fun, for love of the sound of words, for play, for delight, for joy and celebration at the art of communication.

For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just write without worrying if it’s just right or not.

Here are the rules:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Most importantly: leave a comment for the person who linked up before you – encouraging them in their writing!

OK, are you ready?
Today's prompt is: Ache

Ready? GO!

What do you think of when you hear the word ache?

I have always thought of the word "ache" as a negative word.
Typically I would associate the word with pain.
When I think of pain, I think of hurt.
When I think of hurt, I think of tears.
When I think of tears, I think of sadness.
When I think of sadness, I think of being alone.
When I think of being alone, I wish someone would hold my hand.
When I think about someone holding my hand, I think of someone caring.
When I think of someone caring, I think of grace.
When I think of grace, I think of love.
When I think of love…

I am reminded that there is a God in heaven who loves to hold us, especially when we ache.

So, really, ache isn’t a negative word after all?

5 minutes…done….good night!