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Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Covid

I wrote about a colleague who has COVID. He has been sick for three weeks. He is in his early 60’s, had a mild heart attack at the beginning of the year, lost a lot of weight and now COVID. I had a deep chill when I heard he was sick.

News about him is sparse. My employer is very strict about HIPAA, but I began gleaning some updates. At first it seemed he was getting a mild case. Fatigue, a little fever, but he thought he had it whipped. Not so fast. He got that second wave and ended up hospitalized with pneumonia. He has been in the hospital for several days.

Somehow his wife and teenage son have escaped it. I think his wife had a mild case. She had been sick right at the time he got sick. Regardless, he is not well, however, his denial is huge. He is telling a colleague he will be back to the office next week. He is still in the hospital. Plus none of us are in a hurry for him to return in case he spreads it around.

During all this, my company did flu shots this week. Thank goodness. I not only did the flu, but got my first shingles. That shingles vaccine is nasty. It hurts during the injection, my arm was sore after, I got a mild headache, and I am flat out exhausted today. Plus I have to keep my paranoia in check because the shingles vaccine side effects are similar to COVID. What was I thinking?!

I am sending positive thoughts for my colleague. I hope he recovers soon and doesn’t get sicker. Fingers crossed….

Boring is Good

This week I have felt bored. Life is ho hum. Then Taz gave me a wake up call. We had a long chat and she was filling me in on news from friends and my Ex’s family. Wow – talk about drama.

This friend’s mom had two heart attacks. The friend is trying to finish school and her fiancé was transferred to an out of state job. Another friend’s grandparent passed leaving behind an autistic son with metastatic lung cancer. The friend’s mom is now nursing her brother while he battles pneumonia and lung cancer. The same friend is dealing with a boyfriend who has accepted a job promotion and transfer.

Then my Ex had some serious drama with his fiancée’s daughters. Long story, I won’t go into it, but I felt bad for the guy. Really bad.

It was just drama, drama, drama. Wow. I have never been so grateful to be ordinary and dull. Thank you, Karma. You won’t hear a peep of complaint from me. Not a single peep. I am ever so grateful for all I have. Now let me drag my ordinary self to bed in my cozy, simple apartment.

Reset Once Again

For some reason weight loss has been a conundrum for me this go round. When I separated from my husband, I melted off 40 pounds effortlessly. I guess it is that revenge body situation. I have been trying to remember what I did and what I need to do know.

I have been reading Chasing Cupcakes by Elizabeth Benton. It is a good book and says what needs to be said. I am not quite ready to hear her lessons. Plus last week I listened to her podcast Primal Potential and she broke my heart. She lost her 12-day-old baby in April. Enough said. She is soldiering on and applying her grief to her coaching. It tore me apart to listen to one episode of her podcast where she talked about it. Particularly because I thought of Taz.

I decided that for August I am going to focus on three habits. Very simple: 30 minutes of daily exercise, 15 minutes organizing my damn photos (I only need to do this 20x in the month), bedtime at 10:00 with 7 hours of sleep. I have a habit tracker on my frig and off we go.

However, as I sat on my patio this morning enjoying the tropical storm breeze of Isasias, I knew that this isn’t enough for the weight loss. I need more tweaks. I have been doing my daily 30 minutes of Barre Blend from Beachbody on Demand (BOD). It is awesome and I feel my flexibility and balance increasing tremendously. I sweat, it’s hard and challenging, but it’s not enough. Sorry, Elise, but I think I need more pure cardio.

I was losing about 1-1/2 – 2 pounds on another BOD program, 21 Day Fix. Instead of switching back (because I do like the benefits of Barre Blend), I am going to add in another 1/2 hour 5x a week of cardio. Back to None2Run. Ugh. Maybe not the whole program, but at least get into some steady running intervals. The cardio really helps. Step 1 – increase my exercise to an hour a day/5x a week and 30 minutes on my off days. I won’t bore you with the schedule, but my off days will be midweek and those days will only be the Barre Blend.

Next, I need to focus on the food intake. Actually, I need to take my focus away from food. I have enjoyed meal prepping, having various meal options throughout the week and all that stuff. Too much focus on food. I need to downplay it. I am not a fan of intermittent fasting. Done it, meh. I guess my plan is a form of IF, but it harkens back to my previous weight loss success.

I will continue with 3 meals a day, but dinner will be extra light. Some Greek yogurt, a sandwich – very light. Lunch will be plant-based. Breakfast will be the main meal and it will still be reasonable. I need to recognize my hunger cues and stopping cues better. One weight loss coach recommends eating half of your meal, stopping for 20 minutes and then deciding if you eat more. I agree. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to realize if it is full.

I am convinced my scale is broken, but I know it is not. It hasn’t moved in two weeks and I am so frustrated with it, but really the frustration is with me. I am being impatient. Impatient with my body both through exercise and weight loss. I am not helping my body. I am not giving it the time it needs to change. I am not providing nutrition at the levels that maximize weight loss. I am not recognizing it’s strength in certain areas or appreciating where it is gaining balance and flexibility. I love my body and need to be kinder to it. I need to appreciate all it has done (birthed and nursed 2 healthy, beautiful babies, been strong and healthy, etc.), what it is doing now (exercising, staying healthy) and what it can do (get stronger, leaner). My body can do a lot, but I just need to allow her to have the time and the right fuel to do so. Patience. Dammit, it is always a lack of patience with me. Deep breath, reset and let’s try again.

Time to change the middle part, albeit patiently…

Test Results are In

The news have been full of woes about COVID testing, but I have to say my experience wasn’t that bad. I got a text 2 business days and 4 actual days from my test date.

I waited until I got a second text days later because I didn’t recognize the company texting me. I googled them and said, “Crap, this could be my test results”. They do need to do better on that part of things. Anyway, my test came back (drumroll…) negative. Hallelujah!

However, my work colleague (who is also a dear friend) came back positive. She’s the one who is also a kidney donor. She felt crappy one weekend, has had an upset stomach, only ran a fever for 2-3 days. She is lucky it appears.

COVID is a very strange virus. Her hubby got it at work – both his boss and a coworker tested positive. The coworker was briefly hospitalized. The hubby, by the time he tested, came out negative. He had mild symptoms, mostly digestive.

With Florida spiraling out of control, we are seeing/hearing more cases at work. People have fled back to work from home, thankfully. This leaves fewer people in the office. I am now mask on all day, eat lunch outside, use only one bathroom and really minimize my movement around the building. That is all I can control.

I got my hair cut today (mask on, temp check, etc). My stylist is very careful and sanitizes the area, mask, gloves. But people around her and me for that matter aren’t. Young man comes in for his haircut and only puts a mask on when told to do so and then wears it under his nose. Maskhole. A barber waltzes in and doesn’t have his mask on. He dumps his bag on his chair and heads back up front. I don’t know if they checked his temp. He too is a maskhole wearing his mask under his nose. WTF. I held my tongue because the owner was right there and had told the young customer to mask up. The barber had no excuse.

My young stylist tells me her very young roommate who just moved down to SFLA got COVID. This caused my stylist to flee her own apartment for two weeks. Apparently the roommate was quite sick. She was and is running around on Tinder dates, partying in Ft Lauderdale. What is wrong with people? Sigh.

Once again, this is not something I can control, so I will let it go. I will keep my focus on the things I can control. Thus here I sit at home, safe with a really cute haircut.

2020 Simply Sucks

Taz called today to check in. She had sent me a tub of banana pudding from the world-famous Magnolia Bakery and I had sent her a series of really funny pictures ending with one of me with my cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk because my mouth was full of that amazing pudding.

After we chuckled about that, discussed my health and lack of test results, she segued way to what she really needed to talk to me about.

“Mom, did you ever have a miscarriage or problems conceiving?” My heart sank. No, I had been blessed. Taz was not. She miscarried at about 4 weeks and had to have a d&c.

We talked about it. She is hesitant to tell a lot of people. She is not telling her dad. I told her that this is her story to tell and I won’t share it with anyone. I mentioned her aunts by marriage had struggled. I mostly listened. That’s what she wanted. No platitudes because they never work with her and I find them to be a trifle condescending.

This had happened about 2-3 weeks ago. She had felt a bit broken at the time and didn’t feel up to talking to me about it. She talked about having genetic testing afterwards and she’s fine on that front. Her doctor reminded her that a third of pregnancies end like this. She said twice that it had not reached the stage of having a heartbeat.

That hurt. When your strong daughter repeats something like that, you know that it is the mantra she is using to try to put it behind her. Her husband was crushed. My heart aches for them.

“2020 absolutely fucking sucks,” I spit out. “The only damn good news has been your fellowship.” Now, I know there are a lot more good things in my life, but at that moment I felt the searing pain of all that she has endured this year. The stress of fighting for her prestigious fellowship, working a COVID ICU when she had no training for it, the stress of the pandemic in general, struggling to keep her and her hubby safe from the virus. She has been through so much.

I knew that they wanted to try for a baby this year. I had not asked if it was put on hold due to the pandemic. That is none of my business. Now this news answered my unspoken question. They had hope. They have the love, courage and strength to bring life into this crazy world.

Tonight I am so sad. So sad that these two amazing people are going through yet another difficult time. It is always so hard to watch your kids suffer and only be able to wring my hands on the sidelines. I say a prayer for Taz and her hubby. May their hearts heal.

Health Check

I just finished my first Beachbody on Demand workout program. I did 21 days in a row on the 21 Day Real Fix. I wrote about starting it. The great news is I actually finished. That alone is a big win.

My weight is down and that program has directly contributed to a weekly 2 pound loss for 3 weeks. It has put me in the middle of the pack on the work weight loss challenge. This is a big win for me because I was bringing up the rear in the previous two challenges. All in all, amazing results for a soon-to-be 56 year old woman. I have another 34 to go.

I didn’t change up my diet too much. I try to stick to mostly plants. Salads, roasted veggies and the like. I do eat carbs like rice, non-white bread, couscous, overnight oats. Last week’s lunch was a tossed salad with a scoop of homemade chicken salad (little mayo) with some homemade balsamic dressing. I defrosted some homemade chicken & wild rice soup which I had for dinner. I was craving a pumpernickel bagel but instead I got pumpernickel bread and made the most amazing sandwich with avocado, cream cheese, homemade pickled onions and nova. I know it sounds chock full of calories, but it wasn’t too bad.

Yum!

What has been an interesting change is my thought process around food these days. Food bores me a bit which is absolutely wonderful. I don’t want to make much these days, which is fine since I am headed out on vacation. I really am not interested in sweets because if I want them I have to make them (that’s part of my no-processed food rule). I have been feeling lazy, so making something is an effort. I did make some coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. They were lovely, and since it was a small recipe I rationed them out one at a time over the week. Desserts are tasting too sweet, so a little goes a long way.

I am thrilled that I am not turning towards food to find comfort these days. To me this demonstrates that my mental health has been improving and I am keeping myself occupied in healthy ways.

Another improvement is that I now can identify if I am bored, thirsty or hungry and I know the difference of all three. I keep myself on a pretty steady schedule of eating about the same times each day which helps.

The Beachbody on Demand kicked my butt and provided a structured 30 minute exercise routine. My next series will hopefully be a little easier because at the end of 21 Day Fix Real Time, my attempts were in no way matching the instructor’s. I didn’t care except for the fact I have to be careful not to push too hard on something and hurt myself.

I am in a good place these days. My stress level is manageable, my finances are good with no debt and I am saving every month. I am eating healthy foods made from scratch with little to no takeout. This keeps me both healthy and saves money. I exercise regularly, and strive for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Vacay is right around the corner. I want to spend time outdoors. Usually I like to take a river float or easy rafting trip, but it will not be in the cards this summer. It would probably be outside my social distancing comfort zone, so I will be content with other things.

I made some pulled pork and black beans to take along for a couple of easy meals on vacation. My son and his friends are all South Florida guys who love Cuban pork and black beans, so we will probably demolish that quickly. One of the guys is a great cook because his dad is a chef. I have a great idea on how he can earn his keep….

Let’s see how I do on vacation. Can I keep my exercise level up? Will I continue to not overeat and make smart choices? I think so, however, time will tell.

Victory Garden

I was inspired by Cindi’s posts about homesteading and a Victory garden.  I have a small balcony, and it gets great morning sunlight for 5-6 hours a day.  I have been researching what I could grow both in my apartment and on my little balcony.  Florida summers are brutal for vegetables, but there are some things I can do.

I want to start slow and easy.  If we weren’t in a pandemic, I would be checking some Dollar Stores and Goodwill looking for cheap containers.  Gardening is never at the top of my list, so I don’t want to spend a lot of money until I figure out if I am willing to stick with it.

I would like to grow:  tomatoes (of course), both zucchini and yellow squash, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, spinach.  I would love to eventually add cantaloupes, pineapple and strawberries.  I think I will start easy with lettuce and tomatoes for the summer.  Florida is a winter vegetable area, so if I am successful and motivated, I will add some more in August.  I am thinking about some vertical options to maximize my space.

Seeds might be a challenge.  Burpee is out of everything I want.  I might have to venture to Lowes or Home Depot.  My admin was telling me I can get tomatoes with fruit for $10.  Ugh, going to the store?  Really?  Stay tuned and I will let you know how I proceed.

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Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

Changes Every Day

Things continue to change around here as everyone is trying to adapt to our new alternate reality.

One development this week is that my trash valet service is suspended.  I live in an apartment complex that charges a small fee for a third-party service  to pick up garbage from your doorstep five nights a week.

I am not surprised this stopped.  It is not safe for those guys to be hauling off everyone’s trash.  People around here are slobs though, so I anticipate a mess.  Now my neighbors will have to dump their own trash.  They can’t even dump their recycling correctly, so this is going to be awful.  The property management is already WFH, so I doubt how much they will be keeping an eye on things.  Anyway, now I have to schlep my own trash.  No big deal, but timing will be key.  I need to figure out when trash is picked up so I can go immediately afterwards.

Walmart is keeping me healthy by not giving me any chocolate.  My Walmart pickup this week was chock full of healthy veggies and nary a chocolate.  It was also full of coffee, so no matter what I will be caffeinated to the max.

I managed to pick up the rest of my stuff at Publix. I have not been inside a grocery store for about 4-5 weeks.  What a shocker.  Empty shelves, everyone wearing a mask and gloves (except me).  People social distancing.  Cashiers insisting people step back.  Wow.  It was surreal.  I got all the staples I was missing, so now I am good for about 30-40 days at least.  If I plan it, I could probably go up to 2 months with only minor sacrifices.

I think about Taz all the time.  I am so worried for her.  She has a paper bag to carry her used N95 mask home from work.  That tells you a lot.  Please pray for her and all the healthcare workers.  I don’t pray much, but these days God is hearing a lot more from me because prayer equals hope and we all need some hope these days.

General observations:  Harvey Weinstein has COVID, as I am sure you all know.  I immediately thought of him when I heard it was at Rikers.  Now he is in a prison in upstate New York.  He is in poor health already and his money can’t help him now.  Rand Paul, what a selfish douche.  He is a frigging doctor, so he knew the risks.  He is so arrogant that he swam, went to the gym, used the dining area, had meetings all while waiting for his test results. What a selfish, self-centered jerk.

I am a bit worried about my son.  He is a bit of a hermit by nature, so loneliness might hit him unexpectedly.  I need to keep checking on him.  One roommate has returned home, but he still has another.  He has been hit with quite a few major changes with school going online, his fellowship evaporating, his internship fading.  He will be OK, but I know right now it probably feels pretty scary.  I sent him some fruit – LOL.  My answer to everything is to send a gift because there really isn’t anything else I can do.

I have a call this week with my company’s prepaid legal services so I can get my Will and Living Will/Health Directive started.  I am overdue about getting that done.  Nothing like a pandemic to get your affairs in order.

The neighbors below me, a lovely young couple, had a knockdown, blow-out fight tonight.  I thought I might have to call the cops.  Furniture was being moved around, yelling, doors slamming.  Wow.  Stress is getting to everyone.  It is calm now, but wow.  I think we will all see a lot more of that.

Time for bed.  I need to continue thinking about my schedule and habits.  Time to get back to some more structure.  This new normal is going to be awful as South Florida approaches our surge.  April and May are suppose to be a shit show for sunny SFLA.  I am planning on being home and inside for the most part.  I don’t need to be any part of any drama.

In the meantime, enjoy “Let It Be” by the Beatles.  The link goes not only to the song, but a great write up about it.  Here is a quick excerpt:

On the face of it, “Let It Be” is just a shatteringly gorgeous song, an extended contented sigh about getting through a shitty life period and finding the acceptance that certain things are out of your hands. McCartney’s vocal is plaintive and simple, and his central melody is an all-timer. McCartney knew, of course, that most of the people hearing the song wouldn’t know it was about his mother. They’d hear the name “Mother Mary” as a religious reference, and McCartney steered into that.

Best wishes for your continued health and safety, Dear Readers.  My prayers for you and yours.

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Happily Mundane

I wrote this last weekend, but forgot to post it so it’s a little out of chronological order. Whatever….it’s my blog 🙂

I was very quiet this weekend.  The apartment is sparkling clean, my laundry is put away along with the groceries.  I read a little, watched a little TV, ran my 30 minute 5K training run on Saturday, took a walk on Sunday, got my final haircut and color done, did my Census questionnaire and a few other mundane tasks.  I didn’t meal prep.  I just didn’t feel like it. I didn’t listen to the news or radio.  I kept things very quiet — almost eerily quiet, but I enjoyed it.

I will have to make some bread because I can’t buy any for the life of me.  I refuse to go inside a store and Walmart doesn’t have my Ezkiel bread that I prefer.  It is always out when I order it.  Sigh.  I have some tortillas, Texas Toast and a few frozen biscuits, so it’s not like I will go into “bad carb” withdrawal.  I am just having a minor jonesing for some PB&J.

I want to keep on my 5K training because I am on Week 9 or 10, so I want to finish the dang thing to prove I can do this.  My plan is to run a 5K on the day of or the weekend around when the 5K was originally scheduled to celebrate this accomplishment.

I fret a little about running out of certain staples of food, but that is the overbuyer in me.  I simply need to relax.  I will not starve.  Groceries are available.  I guess it is something I feel I have some control over, so my overbuying tendency is popping out all over.  I have been spending more $$ than usual including a very large tip to my hairstylist since the salon will be closing soon due to the non-essential business closures.  I bought nice citrus for the family to brighten their day.  I need to step away from the online shopping carts – LOL.

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Spring is Here!  Photo by Freddy Marschall on Unsplash

 

Off Course

This week was a slog in some ways. I jumped off the rails of all my great, healthy habits. I didn’t work out much, I didn’t meal prep much because I had meals out several times for work, I have not felt 100%.

I know it’s normal to hit some bumps, but my detour isn’t so much my mindset, but more physical. I’m pooped all the time. I have been light-headed for over a week. It makes exercise really difficult. It also wears on you mentally and it has been bringing me down a little.

As you know, I am not one to allow that kind of BS. I googled some things and I think I have the answer. Hypothyroidism. Very mild, but the symptoms are increasing. My thyroid tests from my physical had come back slightly high, but the doc wasn’t concerned and said we would re-test in 3 months. I sent her an email requesting an Endocronologist referral. Let’s get this shit figured out. All my symptoms are consistent with hypothyroidism. Ugh – an old lady problem- LOL. I silently winced when my fave work friend said her mom had it.

Anyway, I need to be kind to myself. I woke up this morning full of things I want/need to do: taxes, cleaning, grocery shopping, meal prep, exercise. Instead I am soaking in some delicious sun rays and reminding myself to prioritize. One of the top priorities- coffee. A really good cup of coffee.

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