Monday, September 30, 2013

Neigh . . . not negative

If things were different now, I would own a horse again. You really need a small farm or a good job to afford to board your horse at someone else's farm. I don't have either at this time.

I used to own a lot of horses. I had a stallion, three mares, a few yearlings, and foals. I have had horses in my life from about age 13 till age 50. I miss them a lot. I've trained a lot of horses. I never showed them in competitions much and spent more time brushing them and working with them on the ground, rather than riding. I always felt sorry for the horses when I was riding them because I was so fat.

I wish I could have a horse now. I wouldn't  want to train one anymore.  I would just like to have one to entice me outside to go visit him or her. I'd feed it an apple. I'd brush it. I'd comb the tangles out of the mane and tail. Once in a while I'd saddle it up and go for a ride. I wonder how it would be to ride a horse when I am at the weight I am at now? I bet the horse would like it, or at least not dislike it so much.

Here is a tidbit that you may not know about me. The name Walker Lady came from the horses I used to raise. I loved the breed of horse called a Tennessee Walking Horse. They don't trot like other breeds do. They do what is called a running walk, which is very smooth and not bouncy at all.

It is autumn here and the cooler weather makes me think of all the horses I used to ride all those years ago. I live in the 'burbs now, and sadly, they won't allow me to keep a horse in the backyard, even though we do have a large yard. But a girl can dream.

Hope you are all doing well! I've been walking every day for 30 minutes, so I am on track for the 30/30 challenge. Are you? If not, walk-on dear readers, walk-on!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

30/30 Challenge and FitBit Flurry

I've not been a happy camper. I upped my exercise a little bit and am tracking my food again and guess what? The scale went up. BAH! Yes, it could be I am building some muscle, but somehow I don't think it is. It could be stress. I tend to pooh-pooh the stress levels I live with, as normal living that everyone does. Maybe I have more stress than I think I do? Whatever the reason, I am not thrilled that the scale is not going back into the 180's, like I think it should be. I am not over exercising. Sometimes you can over exercise and under eat. That isn't the case with me.

One constant throughout the past six months or more, has been my yoga class, twice a week. I have slacked off on walking. Biking stopped when the hot weather hit. I did finally get back in the gym and am still going there. The workouts have been mediocre at best. My heart is not in it. I wish I had money for a trainer, but I don't. The trainer I used to work with is affordable but is not available. I am trying to suck it up and do something that resembles a workout in the gym, but so far it has been hit and miss.

What am I going to try to do next? Well, I bought a FitBit and have been using it for almost two weeks now. I am liking this gadget a lot! I can see where it isn't for everyone, but for me, it is almost perfect. I like it best for tracking steps, activity, sleep patterns, and their badges help motivate. You get new badges for accomplishing things. Two that I recently got were this one for flights of stairs walked:
I was actually walking in a very hilly area. I was surprised that hills count as flights of stairs. (duh) I like that I can walk stairs without actually walking stairs. Hills are easier on knees than actual stair steps.

The other recent badge was this one for having walked over 10,000 steps:

Fitbit has motivated me several times. I seem to have a competitive nature inside me. When I noticed I was only a few hundred steps from 10,000, I made it a point to walk extra steps to achieve that! 

I really love the sleep tracking feature. I found out I slept more than I thought I did. I sleep about the same when using medication vs no medication. That really surprised me. I thought when I was on my medication, I slept better. I found out that wasn't true. 

Next week I go in for my annual checkup. I plan to ask doc about my meds. I originally took them to help 'turn off my brain' so I could fall asleep and not be anxious about things in life. I do not like taking a chemical aide to control anxiety or depression or sleep. That includes smoking and alcohol too. This is the part of changing my lifestyle that has become the hardest. The mental issues. Yes, I just said I am mental. I think most of us are. I'd like to say all of us, but I don't believe in absolutes. 

So what am I doing to change things around this time? I am starting a 30/30 challenge! Starting today I pledge to walk 30 minutes a day for 30 days in a row. I already got my first 30 done this morning! I am including the support group where I co-teach weight loss and healthier living classes. I was pleasantly surprised at the positive response from the group members! This will keep me more motivated as well as hopefully motivating my fellow support group at the same time!

This afternoon I plan to go to the gym before getting my son at school. I have been going in the mornings, but I would rather walk in the mornings. I don't know how this will go, but I am going to give it a try. I also need to make a chart to put up at the center so the group and I can track how well we are doing with this 30/30 challenge. 

That's it for today. I hope you have a great weekend! Join in the fun and pledge to do a 30/30 challenge with me! After all, it is one way you can "Walk-On"!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Low down at the gym, and super easy cake recipe!

I am still going to the gym twice a week. I feel I am not fully back on track yet, but I am not giving up. I was able to talk to the manager of the gym and told him of all my experiences. Even after telling him I was almost 59 years old, he did not rush me or make me feel like I was being a pain in the puddin'. (as my friend Robert would say) I have found other people are not as respectful towards their elders. This guy was. Good for him!

He listened to me and cleared up a lot of misunderstandings. That was the good thing. The bad thing is that most of my experiences were actually pretty close to how this gym is run. While I am not thrilled about it, I will deal with it and not use this as an excuse to give up. He did say they are adding classes and he thanked me for valuable feedback. He thought those that were doing the assessments were doing a better job than they were. He liked some of my suggestions and said he would like to see those implemented.

The one thing I think they should have is an intro to their machines. Just show folks how to adjust the weights and seats. Most machines are similar, so just showing that on a few of them would help beginners get off to a good start.

I don't expect a full workout when joining, but I still was disappointed in not being shown how their machines worked. Anyway, I feel placated and will continue on. Better news is that my old trainer finally got back in touch with me and he is a member of the same gym! His wife has been ill and that is why he hadn't been in touch. I am hopeful that I will be able to work out with him again soon. I would feel better with a little more guidance.

In other news, I am a member of I like their web site for tracking foods or exercises or weight. I have been a member for a little over two years. It is free, so the price is right. I got an email from them saying I had earned an award because I had walked 700 miles! It was true though, over the past two years I really had walked that many miles!!! Yeah me!

I am still not back where I'd like to be. I have been struggling. I have not given in, but there have been ups and downs. What am I doing about it, you ask? Ok, maybe you didn't ask, but I am going to tell you anyway. First off, I made myself go to the gym and workout. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't professional. It wasn't perfect. It was exercising on purpose though!

Today I also went back to the zero fat Fage. Not because I am concerned about fat, but more-so because I eat at least two containers per day and by going to the zero fat one, I save 100 calories per day. Every little bit helps. I preach it. I teach it. I need to also believe it.

Speaking of food, I found this fantastic recipe for cake today:  
  1. Buy one cake from a bakery or grocery store. Make sure it is one you really like.
  2. Scrape off all the frosting and set that aside for later.
  3. Cut the cake in large cubes and place in food processor or blender with a pulse feature.
  4. Pulse the cake several times until it is all crumbly.
  5. Pour cake crumbs out on a cake plate.
  6. With your hands, form crumbs into the shape of a cake.
  7. Get the frosting you set aside and re-frost the cake. You can microwave it for a few seconds to make it easier to use.
  8. Serve to family and tell them you made it with your own two hands!

Doesn't that sound great? You don't even have to warm up the kitchen with a hot oven!

Lastly today, I have a more serious topic. I broke down and bought myself a fitbit. It is a gaget for tracking activity, including sleep, and a whole lot more stuff.
I will report on what I think of it once I have started using it. They normally cost about $100 but I am a savvy shopper and ended up paying $10 for mine. How's that for a bargain!!!

Till next time, Walk-On and be happy. Life is too short to not live happy.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Gym Games - Take Two

Yesterday I did a mile and a quarter walk and a yoga class. Yeah me!

Today I went back to the gym. Since I last posted here, I tried contacting their customer service person by phone and email. So far, no response. I also was looking at my credit card charges (I habitually keep close tabs on my finances) and saw they had charged me 11¢ on my card. I had paid them 11¢ in cash. No big deal, but it is irritating.

I also talked to a gal in the yoga class yesterday who said she was assured she would be shown all the equipment when signing up for this gym. When in the gym today I watched and it sure looked like all these new people were being shown machines to use. Remember, I had specifically asked about being shown some of the machines when I joined. I also asked the person at the front desk where the locker rooms were. She didn't ask me if I had ever had a tour of the facilities or if I wanted a tour, but she did point me in the right direction.

Maybe I am getting crabby in my old(er) age. Maybe I expect too much. Maybe I AM right in wanting to question this gym's practices and procedures! I am out there, in the community. I could be a wonderful resource for new customers for this gym. Maybe they really don't care, as long as they get the upfront fees? I hope I am wrong about that.

Ok, enough complaining. I figured out how to use several machines for an overall workout and finished up with 25 minutes on the spin bike. I wanted to add the bike so I can rebuild up my muscles for fall biking excursions with the family.

The weather is going to warm back up for a while again. This might slow down the urge to get back into walking. However, I now have the gym as a backup. It is close to home. It is easy to stop off at, after dropping my son at school. I hope to get the negative vibes taken care of so that I keep going to this gym. I think once I take my concerns and critiques to the management, I will feel I've done my best. I shall keep you posted!

Have a GREAT weekend and maybe, Walk-On!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Gym Games

I did it. I signed up and did my first visit to the gym. Thank goodness it is cheap because if I had to pay full price for what I experienced, I would have been very unhappy! I've been through this before though. I don't know why I thought maybe this would be different.

Here's how it went this time:
I went in and said "I'd like to join and take advantage of their current special."
I was asked which level membership I wanted and I said the $10 one.
"Why don't you want the $20 membership? You don't want free tanning?"
(what? am I a pasty ghostly looking think I need a tan?)
I say "No thank you."
I am shown the computer and told to type in my information, and I do.
I actually READ the agreements and am asked three times if I needed help at that point. They couldn't believe I was really reading the fine print!
I give them eleven cents (ten cents plus a damn penny tax), and make an appointment for the next morning to come in for my assessment and workout.

Next Day:
I come in and am weighed and have to fill out health forms. I am again urged to consider the $20 membership. I said no thanks again.
Now we get to the workout. I am not expecting much and I got even less than that.
The "workout" consisted on me riding a spin bike for 5-10 minutes to get my heart rate up. This trainer type person uses the exercise theory of maximum heart rate workouts. He wanted me to get my heart rate up around 130. I kept pushing up the resistance and couldn't get my heart rate to go over 92. The trainer must have been running out of time and said it didn't matter. He wanted to get on with the rest of the workout.
The rest of the workout consisted of some squats using an exercise ball, some arm lifts using free weights, and some push ups. Huh? No one shows you how to use the machines? Nope. I asked what was I supposed to do if I didn't understand how a machine worked? I was told they all have instructions printed on signs by each machine...oh, but you CAN have a trainer for $50 per one hour session. Or for a better 'deal' you can buy a package of sessions for as low as $45 per session. Sorry, I can't afford that.

I expect a gym to try to up-sell. I also expected a full tour of the facility. I don't know where the locker room is yet. I asked about the plugs on the exercise machines. Were they for earphones so you could hear the TV's? The answer was, "I don't think those are hooked up yet." What??? I was also given no information about additional classes. Part of the $20 membership includes free classes. If they want to up-sell, shouldn't they tout all these terrific classes they have?

I was disappointed about the lack of affordable trainers as well as the lack of direction from the gym staff. I must say, this isn't typical. I've joined other gyms over the years and this was the first one that didn't even show you how to use the machines!

So I will be on my own. I plan to give it a good try. I am going to figure out a routine that works for me and fine tune it as I go along. If, after eight weeks, I feel it isn't working for me, I plan to go another route. I WILL get strength training exercise worked into my exercise regimes though, one way or another. I am stubborn that way.

Tomorrow...gorgeous weather forecast and Ziva says we WILL go for a walk!

Till next time,
Walk-On dear readers!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

New Month, New Day, New Beginnings

From now till Sept. 10th you can sign up for 10 Fitness for ten cents. (Regular price is $59 for the $10/mo. plan or $19 for the $20/mo. plan) This also covers the first month. Now the Premium plan for $20/mo. requires a 12 month contract, but the Regular $10/mo. plan has no contract and you can cancel at will.

I think I am going to give it a try. I decided to go with the $10/mo. plan vs the $20/mo plan because I don't think I need to spend money on a computer generated food plan or workout plan that isn't geared towards crazy old(er) women. :D

If I save $10 a month, I could afford a trainer for a few sessions too. Just thought I'd let you know in case you wanted to try it too. I will bring it up at the Wednesday meeting as well. I want to do a Tuesday/Thursday and either Saturday or Sunday session with the strength training. (3 days a week)

I will be covering goal setting in the support group and setting myself up as an example. I think this will put the push to get back on track, in my brain! I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and the weather is due to change within a week, to the cooler side. I plan to walk on again...I hope you will too!


After the frenzy

Abby is still around and about.  I know she's been pretty quiet though.  She kinda over celebrated the new year's arrival. A souther...