Dot to Trot

My world is expanding as my butt is shrinking!

Archive for the category “Home”

First My Ankle, Now My Voice

quiet post itI wake up this fine, sunny morning with no voice. The sore throat hit Thursday night. Now it’s laryngitis. Great. Of course I was going to shoot a cooking video today. Who says my timing isn’t great?

For those who’ve never experienced the joys of laryngitis, it means my vocal chords are swollen and irritated. Potentially it can last 7-10 days.

The treatment is pretty simple.

  • No talking, shouting, singing, whispering. Not one dang peep.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Breath in humid air – not hard in August.

Well if I can’t make a cooking video, I can at least test out some recipe ideas.

10K vs. 15K Steps? Does It Matter?

Saucony Hurricane ISO

Caution — Shoes are much, much more neon yellow than they appear! More steps a day just wear these puppies out sooner.

Here’s an interesting morning read about mail carriers in Glasgow, Scotland and heart health. Those who deliver the mail are far more heart healthy than their counter parts working a desk job. Why?  Glaswegian mail carriers deliver the mail by foot!  While The New York Times article is focused on whether we should target 15,000 steps a day vs. the current 10,000 step recommendation, I think they are missing another piece: strength.

If the Scots deliver the mail on foot, that means they are also doing a lot of weight training too. A mail bag loaded with bills, letters, flyers and Amazon boxes adds up in pounds/kilograms.

Yes walking is good for you. However, if most Americans can’t even get 10,000 steps in a day, what’s the point of upping the number of 15,000. Also the mail carriers in Scotland deliver by foot. That means they walk for nearly 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and get paid to do so. In the US, somewhere around 100 million employees are sitting at a desk.

Does your manager encourage you to get in a chunk of your 10,000 steps while you’re on the clock?

I’m curious if the study actually looked at their diet. If you had to walk every day for your paycheck wouldn’t you eat better too?  Again walking is healthy, but you can’t out walk a bad diet.

 

 

Want To Get Healthy? Then Give Up Dieting!

I’ve been in need of some motivation lately. Thankfully I found Nerd Fitness’ YouTube Channel. Although I’m a frequent visitor to their site, I wasn’t aware of the videos. This one is great for anyone thinking of “going on a diet.”

 

Time To See An Endocrinologist

bloodtest

Making an appointment with the needle! Actually an endocrinologist to find out which hormones are going wacky since my surgery. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and watiporn.

I’m waving the white flag. I keep reading so many conflicting things about my metabolism, weight gain/loss, and my menopause symptoms that it’s time to call in the big guns.

About 3 months ago my radiation oncologist suggested I meet with an endocrinologist to help with my raging hormones. Well I’m taking this advice to heart as I’ve come to the conclusion that most LCHF/Keto research is pretty much skimpy when it comes to menopausal women.   We’re just not as sexy as athletes.

Anyway, an endocrinologist focuses on hormone health and can recommend natural remedies – dietary, exercise, supplements, and acupuncture – to rebalance your hormone levels.

Whack-A-Mole Symptoms
I make one change to my diet to end the hot flashes, only to have insomnia rear it’s ugly head. Adjust for insomnia, here come the night sweats. It just goes on.

I’m trying to tackle this without knowing what it is I need to tackle. Do I have a thyroid problem? I’ve gained weight since surgery so are my fat cells producing too much of the bad estrogen? Is my cortisol level too high or too low? What about progesterone or testosterone? My resistance to insulin must be even more weakened now, right?

I just don’t know. It’s time to find out.

 

Changing The Workout Routine

sleeping peekabu

Peekabu demonstrating how I physically felt after being back with a personal trainer after just two sessions.

This weekend I was sore from head to toe — shoulders, arms, chest, back, hips, gluts (oh, man!) legs — and it felt awesome! At my husband’s urging, I’m working with a personal trainer again. I wasn’t happy with my last trainer. Her aversion to both sticking to our scheduled appointments and using free weights soured me on personal trainers. I loved my first two trainers, but her attitude left an indelible impression with me.

Plus the hubby and I carved out a little area in our basement for workouts. Why should we spend the money on a trainer?

The hubby made some strong arguments for going back to the gym.

  1. Despite my 3 muscle workouts a week, the husband noticed no difference in my, strength, attitude or stamina. He didn’t see how I could meet my fitness goals for the year.
  2. While diet has more to do with my menopause symptoms, what I was doing in the home gym (yoga and weight training) wasn’t having an impact.
  3. Soreness…or lack of it. In his view, I wasn’t pushing myself as hard as I could.
  4. Most importantly, I was happier when I was going to the gym than I have been working out at home with all the distractions.

He’s right, of course. I’m not pushing myself. I certainly feel good after I workout, but the overall boost in energy just isn’t there. While I agreed with his arguments, No. 4 really hit me.

When I’m at home I find there is so much to do and so little time. So everything becomes a choice. Go for a walk in the cold or clean the kitchen? Do yoga or get a jump on laundry?  Get 20 minutes with the dumbbells or try to fix the dishwasher?

Yet those 18 months I when I belonged to a gym, I never chose chores over working out. Back then working out was a habit, like brushing my teeth. It was never an “either/or” decision.

Finding The Right Fit
After I agreed to go back to a trainer, I thought the challenge was going to find the right person. The Gold’s Gym near our home wasn’t the one I quit more than a year ago. I was leery of going back to Gold’s. But my husband assured me we’d ask a lot of questions to  find the right trainer.

Turns out, not all Gold’s are equal. Some are franchises (my not so great experience) and corporate (my new gym). The corporate Gold’s are all about free weights. Yes they have weight machines, yoga, spin and HIIT classes, but free weights are their focus.

My new trainer had no problem starting me with barbells.  During our first session he evaluated what I could do: planks, push ups, crunches, dead lifts, presses, squats, rows.  Immediately he spotted that my hips and lower back are problem areas (something my physical therapist told me to work on).

Actually my whole core is weak. I haven’t really focused on them post-surgery. Right now I’m about 75% healed, so I’ve been nervous about pushing myself. The problem is I’m not pushing myself at all. So my schedule is upper body on Tuesday, lower body on Thursdays, and rebuilding my core for 20 minutes on both days.

Setting 3 Month Goals
Afterwards we talked goals. I’ve signed up for 3 months (two 1-hour sessions a week). We discussed target goals by the end of that time.

  • 60-second plank
  • Standard push ups (no knees!)
  • Strengthen my core (includes back and hips) which is pathetically weak after surgery
  • 10-15 pound increase in bench press
  • Recapturing some of the definition and tone I lost post surgery

All are very doable if I’m willing to put in the work…and I am.

For the first time in more than a year I’m really excited about working out. Yes, I was sore over the last week. But I’m asking my body to do things I haven’t done in a while.

Recent Gains Have Me Doubting Myself

lane-bryant

Nearly 2 years and 100+ pounds ago I “broke” up with Lane Bryant. Clearly they miss me. The feeling is not mutual.

I’m fast approaching my two-year anniversary from saying goodbye to Lane Bryant.  I vowed never to shop there again. To do so meant failure. However, my recent weight gain has me doubting myself and resolve.

It was time to replace an old pair of jeans. And for a fleeting moment, I thought about picking them up at my old stomping ground.

Thankfully something woke up inside of me and yelled “Hell no!”

Despite those damn menopause pounds I’ve added back on, I’m not going back to Lane Bryant. Ever.

I don’t know if that was the kick in the pants I needed, but it worked. I’m making a bunch of changes right now (post coming later on those changes). But I’m excited and finally feel energized. Something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Oh, and I picked up my new jeans at Old Navy.

Feeling The Burn…Literally!

burn

I felt the burn the other night thanks to a very hot pan and no oven mitt. Thankfully I knew what I needed to do to treat the burn and had what I needed at my (crispy) fingertips.

Blogging has been light thanks to a little mishap in the kitchen. For some strange reason I pick up the lid of my VERY hot Dutch oven without oven mitts. Ouch!

It took about half a second for the pain to hit and my brain kicking in to tell me to drop the lid. I immediately turned on the faucet and let the cool water sooth my blazing hot fingers.  My husband leaped into action by pulling out our first aid kit.

After plunging my had in cool water for 30 minutes, the pain subsided long enough for me to move to a damp, cool towel. An hour later I could bear my husband applying the Neosporin ointment and wraping up my swollen finger tips. Read more…

Kissing Insomnia Goodbye!

glasses

Modeling my new blue-light blocking glasses. For just $10 I’m finally getting my 8 hours of sleep a night and bringing my hunger level back under control.

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I made a little purchase. I ordered blue light-blocking glasses and it’s transformed my sleep. When I put them on in the evening, not only am I sleepy within an hour, I’m out like a light within minutes of my head hitting my pillow. Since I started using the glasses I average 8 hours of shut-eye a night. Hot damn!

I’ve noticed a difference in my hunger level too. Pre-glasses, I was lucky to get 5 hours of sleep and I always felt ravenous the next day. Once I started using the glasses, my sleep improved and my hunger levels were normal. Sweet!

My Nightly Routine
At 9:00 pm sharp I slip on the glasses. It doesn’t matter if I’m using my iPad for reading, cleaning my kitchen or brushing my teeth…those glasses are on at 9:00 p.m. They don’t come off until all lights are off and I slip into bed.

Bedtime is 10:00 p.m. I don’t mean getting ready for bed (washing my face, brushing my teeth, getting on my PJs). At 10:00 p.m. the lights are off and I’m in bed.

I still take 5g of melatonin nearly every night. But I’ve noticed that I fall asleep quicker and longer when using the glasses.

It’s the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time.

Want To Change Behavior? Try A 30-Day Challenge

Screenshot 2014-09-02 11.11.07

30-Day Challenges are a great way to create new habits, change how you do things and build confidence. And they are available online for free. Just make sure you pick one that’s realistic.

I love this article from Business Insider on the importance of 30-Day Challenges in changing behavior. I’ve become a big believer in these challenges. I’ve used them to:

  • Drink more water
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Build strength
  • Run a 5k
  • Improve my sleep habits

I always try to pick something that:

  1. Isn’t part of my wheelhouse;
  2. Provides opportunity for self-improvement;
  3. Realistic and measurable.

It’s important to pick a challenge where you not only want to make a change, but decided that you must change. Big difference.

Making a meaningful, lasting change means committing to it. Read more…

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Some Mudlove!

I just got a little note in my inbox about a Valentine’s Day special on the CW tonight about one of my obsessions  (it’s at the top of my bucket list!!!) — The Tough Mudder. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than curled up on the couch with my husband learning about the folks doing the world’s ultimate muddy obstacle race.

Mudlove is in the air tonight!

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