Friday, January 28, 2011

Upper Body Time

I keep singing "It's upper body time, it's upper body time" to the tune of the Howdy Doody theme song. I know, I'm really dating myself. Since I can't do much cardio due to the tear in my meniscus (at least til after I get the cortisone shot next Tuesday) I've been focusing on doing upper body strength work.

I'm doing dumbell lifts to strengthen my forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders and upper back. I love weight work. I do 3 sets of decreasing reps 15-12-10 using 5-10 lb weights. It's a pretty good workout. I follow it with some good old fashioned stretches from Bob Anderson's book Stretching for about 15 minutes. My muscles are nice and warm and tingly after that. I've used his movements for many years and they never fail me.

I do the weight workouts on alternating days and the stretching everyday. Love it!

More later...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


There's been a lot written in the press lately about the lack of sleep and obesity. There appears to be a correlation between the amount of time one spends sleeping and the amount of weight one carries. I find these articles disturbing because I've had a hard time sleeping more than 5 hours a night since my heart attack and my weight loss has stalled since then. For reasons other than my concern over my weight my primary care doc scheduled me for a sleep study. I put it off for several months but finally had it done on January 10, 2011. I was absolutely certain that I wouldn't be able to sleep hooked up to all those wires (head, chest, and legs). The room looked like one that could be found in any high class hotel. The bed was comfortable and quite cushy. Only the bathroom looked like any other hospital bathroom - clean, but sterile. It took nearly an hour to hook me up to the monitors. They even use glue to get the leads to stick in your hair (they use acetone to remove them). Strangely I had the best night's sleep I'd had in months. I decided that a lot of my problems had to do with sleep hygiene (that's what they called it). In other words, I had some poor sleep habits. Since then I turn out all the lights. I don't go to sleep with the TV on. I got new pillows. I make my bed every morning so that my sheets don't get covered in cat hair (it makes me itch). I also have cut way back on my caffeine intake. I don't drink caffeine after 9AM. It's all made a difference. I'm sleeping much better. I still get up between 4AM - 5AM but I go to sleep earlier. The lab report came back this week. I only snore lightly and occasionally which I was happy about. There are no signs of sleep apnea (which is what they were trying to rule out). They did notice periods of arousal associated with leg movements so there's a possibility of Periodic Limb Movement Disorder which is kind of like Restless Legs Syndrome. I can live with that. It's a funny thing about the caffeine and the sleep hygiene stuff. I would have sworn that none of that stuff mattered but it turns out that making changes has paid off. I now get closer to 7 hours a night and the weight is coming off again, slowly but that's ok.

How's your sleep?

Friday, January 21, 2011


Lest I begin to sound like Pollyanna I want to let you know that I faced a challenge yesterday. I am a type 2 diabetic and last night after walking for 20 min on the treadmill I had a low blood sugar event (for those of you to whom this will mean something it was 79). Not so low as to be dangerous but low enough that I was having symptoms. I get sweaty and shaky and I want SUGAR. Of course, I wasn’t prepared to treat the low right away. That’s a mistake a seasoned diabetic should never make. I waited until I got home and by then I was stumbling through the snow and ravenous. Let’s just say I didn’t make good choices. I ate way more than I needed. It was all healthy food but the quantity was much more than my body required. I was uncomfortably full and disappointed that I handled it badly. Today I brought extra snacks with me and I have my glucose tablets to take to the gym. If I have a low I will treat it immediately instead of waiting. Lesson learned – again.
More later...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Self-talk. I didn’t think I did it but last night while riding my recumbent exercise bike I realized that I do. I found myself thinking things like:

I love riding my bike.

The energy I get from doing this is incredible.

I’ll sleep so well tonight,

I’m so glad I’m doing this.

Someone, a very long time ago, tried to get me to do affirmations and I couldn’t. I didn’t feel right saying positive things to myself. My self-opinion was too low at the time. I guess that’s changed because now I find that I am giving myself affirmations spontaneously at all hours of the day. I consider that to be a good thing. When those thoughts pop into my head I’m going to try and remember them so that I can write them down in my fitness logbook. That way when I need an extra dose of motivation I can read them and give myself a boost.

Do you engage in self-talk?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One small step..

I've been working on building up my endurance since I broke my ankle at the end of July 2010. Yesterday, I walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill at 2.5 miles per hour for a total of 1.22 miles. That's the longest I've walked at one time since the surgery. It felt good to walk for that long. I'm very lucky to have a Fitness Center next door to my office. It makes coming up with excuses not to go a little difficult which is a good thing. I can't wait until the weather clears up and I can walk outside. My first goal is to make the loop around Washburn University's campus again. That's about a 2.5 mile walk and I was doing it daily before the accident. I can feel that reaching my goal is getting closer.

Today we're forecasted to get 10 inches of blowing snow. We already have several inches on the ground which is very pretty but not good for outdoor exercise.

More later...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Either change my habits or...

I love being around folks who are working on their lives. I seem to be drawn to them and the process they go through on the road to self- improvement. How does one effect change? Just do it? Plan? Strategize? I’m working on an idea based on a quote that got me to thinking about my own life. I found it in a magazine article on heart disease. A woman stated that she needed to “either change my habits or die”. I understand how she feels. I’ve come a long way these past two years but there’s still a lot of stuff that needs work. I’d love to wave a magic wand and be in the place I’d like to be in a few years. One example is getting off sugar – but I know it only works if I do one small thing at a time. So for now I’m cutting out the caffeine. I’m down to no caffeine before 5AM or after 10AM. I tell you that some days 10AM feels awfully early but I’m hanging in there. In a few weeks caffeine will be history in my life. I never thought it bothered me but I am sleeping so much better these days and I find that I’m calmer in general. It may be all in my head but that’s ok. I like the feeling and I plan to continue to feel this way.
More later...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mr and Mrs Logan Boese

May I introduce to you my daughter and her husband. They got married on October 30, 2010 in Atchison, KS. It was a Hallween themed wedding and everyone was supposed to come in costume. I came as the mother of the bride.