over50feeling40: On The 12 days of Vacation…My Body Said to Me
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

May 30, 2012

On The 12 days of Vacation…My Body Said to Me

It’s time to get healthy!  Before I joined Gigi at the incredible spa, I received some news from blood work.  It was depressing as usual…my triglycerides continue to be elevated as is my total cholesterol to HDL Ratio!  So tell me, how are your triglycerdies?  All the nurse had to say was the word STROKE and she got my attention. 

Here I am last year after I lost thirty pounds on the HCG Diet. I was also walking on a regular basis. So sad to report that most of that weight has returned....yes, after I said, it would not!  This is the power I have allowed stress to have this year!  I gave it permission to ravage my health!
This past school year has been ADJUSTMENT TIME.  Adjusting to the empty nest…adjusting to my husband’s new work challenges and possible career changes…adjusting to teaching plus freelance writing plus blogging… adjusting to my mother running off with my cousin after she officially disowned my brother and me (a great story…definite sitcom material…for another day!)…adjusting to new budgeting challenges….UGH….many adjustments.  I like to think that I handle stress really well, but even I get dragged into the mire when there are too many changes at once.  I have always allowed stress to affect my eating habits and exercise….simply put, it affects exercise in the sense that I DON’T…exercise that is.  I confess; I am exhausted…drained…in much need of an overhaul.

So here I am with 12 days and I desire to change my lifestyle, big time.  I really think the best advice I received on the low cost pampering post, was from Rose, who said,  “ … When I get a break from work without any place to go I step up my workouts. Twelve days is long enough to see results from an extra 30 minutes a day of walking plus a 15-20 minute toning DVD. It's also long enough to get your diet tamed. Without the stress of work you can step back and review what you're taking in and get your pantry organized so summer school will have a healthier cuisine. It's so easy to slip into bad snacking habits when we're busy and stressed.”

Thanks Rose….You have given me my first goal to reach during the 12 days….I want to change my exercise habits so that in 12 days the healthy schedule is a part of me and I will not quit…no matter what comes along.  That’s a big statement coming from me…feel free, ladies, to hold me accountable.

Here are today’s changes:
1.        This week, I began to post at night so that my mornings are free.  I do not know how posting became a morning event, but it is now an evening event. Why?  Because everything I read says that activity needs to happen first thing in the morning in order to increase metabolism.  When I grab coffee, a laptop and a chair, I am not doing myself any favors!
2.       Today, right after I got up, I drank some very cold water.  Then I stretched and headed out to my neighborhood for a 30-40 minute brisk walk. 
3.       When I returned, I went straight to my patio for coffee with the birds (there was more water before that!)  Making sure the water is cold or over ice also increases metabolism.
4.       A little later into the morning, I joined Jane Fonda for a FIT and STRONG Workout with weights and stretching.  When I return to work, I hope to continue the morning walk and then invite Jane over in the afternoon for her workout!  I appreciate this workout, because she is candid about getting older and falling.  She has had hip and knee surgery and helps with tips about how to avoid some of these pitfalls…mostly big falls!
5. I kept moving as much as possible.  I walked down to get the mail and I parked far from the grocery store so that I walked more!  I worked arms some more while watching the news.
6.       Mentally, I will not allow my past exercise failures to shut me down.  This time I desire to persevere… to finally complete my reinvention and to kiss some of those trglycerides good bye!  But I have said that before…so it will take more fortitude this time, and I must take things one day at a time.

For those who may not know, we are currently a lower income household with no  money for trainers or a workout facility.  For now, I am on my own!  I hope the next 12 days will be an encouragement to those of you with the same struggles.  I promise to be forthright with the challenges.
Tomorrow, I will share with you what I am changing about the menu….and, yes, no more Fashionista Cupcakes!! Have a fabulous Thursday to everyone!!  Be sure to stop by the other blogs from Katie’s Thursday Blog Hop!! You will find the links tomorrow!  

Thursday Favorite Things

There is still time to enter the eshakti giveaway...winner announced on Friday!!  Just click here and enter within this post...great fitting, fashionable styles at eshakti and you can pick whatever you like!!  Like this fabulous scarf!


  1. Hi - first post from me! I'd like to join you on your mission. I'm in a similar situation with not much money coming in at the moment, but I think that I will get the Jane Fonda DVD from local library. You are completely right about the morning computer session though. I feel that if I sit down at the computer in the morning I'm not inspired to do much activity after that - I find that the day just slips away. Evening computer sounds much better! cheers Wendy

  2. Pam, I am a 59 year old woman that has recently lost 35 pounds and I am still loosing. Last fall I found out I had diabetes and the thought of needles was enough to motivate me to do something about my weight. My hubby is a physician/health nut vegetarian so that is my diet now too. We eat fruits, veggies...you can have unlimited quantities of these and loose weight...beans and limited whole grains. I am never hungry and I don't miss sweets so much anymore. I try to fill up on foods that are nutritional powerhouses.The diabetes is gone, Thank the Lord! My hubby and I walk 45 minutes every morning. I have gone from 193 to 158. It is so much easier to loose weight without children in the house and a hubby who is very supportive. Prayer when I am feeling tempted by a food also really helps!
    As my hubby says just take it one meal at the time. You are on your way to a healthier lifestyle. I wish you the best! Sarah

  3. I completely understand your health situation, my cholesterol is a teeny bit better than the last check but the Dr still wants me on meds (that I refuse to take) and I am pre-diabetic. Why don't I actually do something about it? why don't I care and 'do it myself' like I do everything else??? After reading Anonymous' comment I see there is an end in sight, but my hubby likes meat and potatoes and I like sweets. He won't walk or exercise with me....but I need to step up and take the responsibility for my health!!! I, too, take computer time in the morning,....a great way to waste the best part of the day. :-(
    Thanks for sharing the info about your dysfunctional family....it makes me feel better about mine. Good luck!!!!

  4. The thing that makes tge biggest difference for me is cutting out all refined sugar. Studies have shown that is waht is making Americans fat and unhealthy. Sweeten things with stevia and get fresh berries that are in season. Walking is my favorite exercise. My husband and I walk everyday!

  5. Hurrah for you!

    Much as I love to surf the Internet, it can be a time hog. Better to dedicate those first hours of the day to something that's good for your health.

  6. Pam, wow, apparently we have a lot in common. New empty nest, blood pressure and cholestrol issues, aging mother issues - ugh, I wish we were closer, we would be best friends. (smile) Today was my last day of work (for the summer) and I am starting my day tomorrow with a long walk and a bike ride in the afternoon. I am going to eat better. A friend recently lost 25 lbs. with Zumba - I am going to give it a try. I am also back to water aerobics next Monday. Good luck to you friend - we CAN do this!!!!!

  7. A little break from work is a great time to re-charge and renew our commitment to our own well-being. It's hard to remember sometimes, but taking care of ourselves during stressful times helps us to stay strong to cope with what gets thrown in our path. I've also been working on eating better and dropping a few pounds and I'm over here cheering you on!

  8. I admire your determination! Health is number one and I applaud your changes.

  9. I am so gald to see you getting back into fitness1 I swaer, I just started walking this evening, after gaining 30 lbs. in a year and a half. I don't feel like I'm in my 'real' body! Here's to being fitness buddies!

  10. I am sending you so many positive vibes that it will curl your hair! Seriously, your determination is inspiring and I feel in your words your ability to do what you set out to do. With what you've been through you're a pretty tough cookie!

  11. That sounds like a great exercise plan that should be doable once your break is over. It does sound like you had quite a stressful school year with both good and bad events. I hope you find the rest of this year much more peaceful.

  12. Wishing you well with your life style change ~ You did it before now you can do it again and really change ~ one step at a time ~ thanks, ^_^

  13. Pam, The good thing is you have lost the weight before and you can do it again. :) Starting out is the hard part. Make a list of rewards for yourself and be sure to indulge in a non-food reward when you hit a goal. I have purchased small little things before like a new lipstick, nail polish, scarf, notecards, kitchen gadget in a funky color, etc and wrapped them all really pretty and put them away. Then when I want a reward I close my eyes and pick one. It makes me smile. Go PAM, you are on your way to better health. You look awesome in grays!! C

  14. Two years ago, I was given similar news. At the time I was teaching in the Chicago Public Schools, so I can certainly understand the strain and stress you are under. This new train-to-the-test mentality that is gripping our country had me beside myself and stressed to the maximum. Our Union is organizing for a radical response, but my time came to leave. However, the radical response I greeted my health news was followed during my remaining year of teaching and I have continued to follow the diet and exercise routines since leaving.

    I went on a low-fat, low cholesterol, low sodium diet. We have "Seattle Sutton" up here and it is fresh, portion-controlled food and since I am small I went to the 1200 calorie a day portions. Very good food, too! You would be surprised at how well a body can adjust to lower portions of this type of food, particularly if one is given the "stroke" prognosis and "diabetes" prognosis. Unfortunately, my body reacts negatively to any statins. I tried them all. So, I really do not view this as a diet, but a life-saving measure. That is when everything really shifted for me. Health is wealth.

    Once I adjusted to the diet, then came the exercise.

    The exercise really helped the stress. I started with walk/runs. Did you know you need to pick out running shoes almost a size larger to accommodate the bending at the toes? I learned. I walked to one lamppost and then SLOWLY jogged to the next lamppost and alternated that way for 2 miles. I worked it up to 10 miles. Very gradually, I increased the lengths of the running intervals.

    Three days a week, I lifted weights. Not overdoing it but gradually building up.

    I lost 65 pounds. That was not my intention, but a natural outcome. I went from a size 14 to a size 2 or 4. My cholesterol is down to 149 (from over 300) and my doctors are all thrilled. I have a future and the perk is I look good in my clothes.

  15. This post spoke to me. Your blog is one I always read. I thought you didn't have any problems. You always look so happy and put together. I too, have some health issues. I am also an empty nester. I am starting on a healthier lifestyle. I have also had some family issues in the last year. My sister died. Her son, as POA emptied my BIL's bank account, and much more. We were not even invited to a funeral. Keep us posted on how you are doing.

  16. From all the posts, it sounds like we all have similar challenges. I, too, have lab values that are a challenge and other health issues. And I hate to exercise. I bit the bullet this winter and joined the gym at our senior center--very affordable ($65.00 per year.) I spent the winter months walking the treadmill and lifting light weights. I lost a little weight-8lbs. and plan to continue slowly. It took me 20 years to gain this weight and I firmly believe that slow, steady loss is more sustainable. I do take meds and they help. Now I am working on my diet. Note that I said, "my diet" not "a diet" because I do not believe that diets really work. Smaller portions, healthier choices, no snacking. If God didn't make it, I won't eat it.And besides, French women don't snack, why should I. I'm with you, Pam. Bon chance.

  17. Pam, I had not noticed your weight gain...I think you look wonderful. But health, that's certainly a motivator! One thing I really try to do is watch the carbs, specifically the white refined ones. What a difference that makes! Hang in there! Much love to you my sweet friend! ~Serene

  18. love your blog. I can relate in so many ways. Didn't expect all this at this stage of life. :)

  19. Pam, you go girl! I so enjoy your postings, all your pictures are gorgeous! The colors amazing!

    A while back I searched the internet for sound nutrition and meal planning information. The best site, by far, was savingdinner.com. Tasty and good for you, who knew?

  20. Good for you - look after yourself, you obviously need a break after all your stressful issues of the last year.

    I know everyone's putting in their tips, so here's mine - Google 'MyFitnessPal'. It's a website where you track your exercise and log all your food. It's free and has no gimmicks - you can work it however you want (fast loss, slow loss, no exercise, bodybuilding, no carbs, fast food... up to you). I lost around 17 pounds (I've put a couple back on in the last few months, but I've kept most of it off). I did moderate exercise and counted calories eating smaller portions and healthier choices (but still keeping some treats in there!).

    Anyway,good luck and keep us posted. :)

  21. Pam, we, too, have much in common. I found that as worked to strip away layers of bad habits, I was able to finally look at my childhood and accept that many of my most destructive thoughts about myself were formed then. I was very fearful that I had suffered more abuse than I remembered. And I was very afraid to dig deeper. But in your comments about your mother, I am paused to wonder if you have come across anything about daughters of narcissistic (sp) mothers? This was a huge break through for me as I rediscovered the coping mechanisms I adopted way before I was able to make informed choices. It's been so nice to "drop that weight" and move forward, even if it took me 50 years to get here! I wonder if, you too, took on way too much responsibility as a child. I found I had been strong and unbreakable on the outside for so long that I was nearly dead inside and didn't even know it.

  22. I know you'll meet whatever goals you set. I know it feels overwhelming to go through all that change. But you're a proof that you can get back into feeling healthy again. I really look up to you. You are very inspirational.


  23. Good luck Pam! I'm rooting for you!

  24. Awesome, I think I need Jane's DVD maybe it will be the help I need to get rid of 20 ugly pounds that just won't leave! Hugs and smooches and happy wishes. Thank you for linking to the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop :-)

  25. P.S> I like the maxi dresses at eshakti


Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!