Last year I went in for my annual (ok…ok…once every 5-6 years) physical. I really don’t like going to see doctors and I do not like clinic waiting rooms at all. What a germ fest! The reason that I went was to get my cholesterol checked. My father always used to say that every time he went to see a doctor he came back sick. I now believe that. A simple blood test for cholesterol and suddenly I am being called back for more blood tests. It really is my partner’s fault. He’s the one that told me I should likely go since the last time was forever ago. The “more blood tests” revealed that I am what is called “pre-diabetic”. I don’t like labels, but this particular diagnosis explained a few things to me that I was noticing but was not thinking meant anything. For example, I would get weak and faint and sweaty if it was too long between meals. If I tried to eat just vegetarian, my blood would crash because I don’t assimilate vegetable proteins as efficiently as I do meat proteins. And then there was the kidney stone event of October 2014! Yikes! Never want one of those ever again.
So this label comes back to me. I am sitting there thinking “Ok, so now what?” The doctor starts talking about medications that will help with this and I (knowing my usual response to pretty much any medication being that I have a life-threatening allergic reaction because I am that 1 in 10,000 person who will) have this look on my face like “So you are intending to kill me?” He sees this look and stops in his tracks. Then he says, “Of course you are likely the type of individual who would rather manage this through exercise and diet?” and I replied with, “Of course I am…so what do I need to do?” Long story short…I need to eat EVERYTHING. I mean…vegetables, starches, meats etc but in the correct proportions. Yay!!! I can do that! And I have to have a daily walk of no less than 20 minutes where I work up a sweat for cardio. Ok. I can do that.
This was all ok up until the moment that snow and ice were on the ground. Then the walks became challenging. I have this thing where I have slipped and fallen on ice and hurt myself really badly a number of times, so I have a really REALLY healthy respect for ice on the ground. So how do I walk? Well, there is a “stepping” program that is available at a Field House in town. But I find that paying a monthly fee to walk is just ridiculous. So I hit the mall at 7 am religiously for weeks. The next challenge was that I was there when all the seniors were there. They can’t help it. They wobble and weave all over the place in an open walkway. I was beginning to experience road rage. Here I am trying to work it off and go at a good clip and they are weaving and wobbling in front of me with no idea that anyone is even there. As I say, it is not their fault. At their age the issue of balance comes into play…as does the issue of hearing even when someone says “I’m on your left” as that someone is trying to pass them…so they step to their left to get out of that someone’s way. Sheesh.
Next step…purchase an elliptical machine and walk in the privacy of my own basement. Quite the little investment it was. But it has literally saved many people’s lives already! And it is the BMW of elliptical machines! Behind it you can also see the Inversion Table that is also part of my routine for a healthy back. Now I just hop on the elliptical, Q up Netflix, turn on the fans, set the incline for 12 or higher, and BOOT IT. Within 20-30 minutes I am soaking wet with sweat. Gross, I know…but that is the GOAL! I have had to buy new pants because the old ones are too big now. Yay! Clothes shopping! Then 2 days ago I found myself buying tank tops that were large instead of extra large! Yay! Now all my winter clothes are going to have to either fit or be replaced. This keeping fit thing can turn out a little expensive! But spread it out a ways and it all budgets in. I just hope that my clients and friends don’t get offended if they see me often in the same outfits. It takes a while to build up a wardrobe. And you can’t do it all at once…because your weight is in flux!
Something that I have noticed is that push-ups are quite difficult. I used to cruise through those. But then I was in my 20’s. I have to build those muscles back up so that I can do more than, say, 3 before I collapse. What I am going for here is healthy. I want to be supple and strong. I don’t want a 6 pack of abs. I don’t even consider those healthy. I want to be supple, flexible and strong so that I can add years on to the end of my life, as opposed to take them off because of some dumb injury I had while lifting weights or something. My cross staff workouts are helping and my Qi Gong classes are as well. Sometimes I throw in some yoga for good measure. I think that whatever the routine is, it needs to be switched up for your body and so that you don’t get bored out of your mind. If I had to only do the elliptical machine every day…I would lose my mind. There is only so much Netflix I can watch. But throw that in with some other stuff and I feel like I have the variety I need. I am a Butterfly Clan person. This means that I like things to be varied and constantly flowing like the blowing wind. If something feels stagnant then it is something that I will walk away from. So this routine works. I am feeling healthier and clearer in my mind as well. I will let you know how I progress!