Friday, September 23, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #38

Happy Friday all!  I hope the week went quick for you!

Well, after checking in with the chiro yesterday, I got the no go on Plan J since I was so sore this week.  I would've gotten the all clear if my week was like the week before.  Balls.  So no squats, he was vague on lunges but I'm not down for those and said to just work walking back in and don't over train my core because I could set myself back.  So yeah, no massage this week, compression during activity, ice after workouts and self massage on the legs.  I will roll the upper thighs because it does help me feel better so pffft.

But enough of my small setbacks and let's get to...

13 Tips for Women Over 40 to Manage Their Weight  (Still have to work on a few and when did this apply to me!?)

How Should I Treat My Sore, Tight Hip Flexors?  (Right up my alley right now)

How One Personal Trainer Is Proving Photos Can Be Deceiving  (It truly is all about the angles)

Do You Know the Difference Between Being Selfish and Practicing Self-Care?  (It's true...put the mask over your own face before securing the masks of others.)

The Best Way to Roast Every Fall Vegetable  (Time to roast da roots y'all!)

8 Things You're Probably Cleaning Wrong in the Kitchen  (Well excuuuuse me!)

10 Things That Don’t Make Sense To Super Sensitive People  (1000x yes!)

Sorry, Your Fitness Tracker Is Probably Useless  (Interesting findings)

In Case Any of You Still Don't Think It's a Big Deal  (Watch this...seriously)

10 Haunted American Cities To Visit This Fall  (Scarrrry!)

17 of the Prettiest Covered Bridges in America to Visit This Fall  (Wow, like a good handful are in VT.  I'll have to research these more!)

22 holiday movies Hallmark is prepping for Christmas  (Tis the (almost) season.  HA!)

In case your baking gene has been activated  (I'm about to make another batch today for company tomorrow!)

Celebrities Read REALLY Mean Tweets On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’  (OMG, these make me cringe but still good to see some can laugh at themselves and you can see the ones that can't...Kiefer.)

Angela Lansbury Surprises Audience, Sings "Beauty and the Beast" at Screening  (I totally bawled watching this...she's still got it!)

We've got some friends coming over tomorrow for lunch so that should be fun.  When I sat down to think about it, I realize we haven't seen them since Christmas!  We used to see them monthly like 10 years ago.  We'll have to make it a little more frequent than like once or twice a year.  I don't like losing touch with people where face to face contact is concerned so it'll be nice to actually SEE each other instead of a few surface social media messages.  Reconnect people...face to face!

What are you into this weekend?

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Fight Song

via Pinterest

Yesterday was an exhausting day.  I was doing a lot of work for holiday videos the past two days and my days have been go, go, go.  When workout time rolled around both days, I felt a bit broken.  Tuesday I felt broken from Monday's strength and core work and then the rushing around for work.  My lower back and sides were just shot so WATP was really hard and I had to modify a few things.

Then yesterday I was sore from WATP and the running around, then you chuck more running around on that and working out was the last thing I wanted to do and the one thing I knew I needed to do not from a body but a mind stand point.  I was mentally exhausted and needed the boost that only exercise can give me when my body isn't cooperating.

Last night we did a circuit workout.  It was pretty much upper body as usual with a few moves for abs and core in there.  When we do a circuit, we play this cardio playlist that I know is 45 minutes long so it's familiar.  About 2/3 of the way through is the time I tend to clock watch the most and I don't really want to give up but I'm just always kind of over it.  The Mr will have just gotten his second wind from his fight song...Viva La Vida.  It's always nice to see him get the boost he needs from that and depending on my mental state, I know mine is coming up soon.  It's a song called Helena Beat from Foster the People.

Here are the lyrics:

Sometimes life it takes you by the hair
Pulls you down
Before you know it, it's gone and you're dead again
I've been in places and I won't pretend
Yeah I'd make it out just to fall on my head

Wake up strange and take the walk downstairs
Hit the pawn up on the corner and pay for my rent
You know that I could not believe my own truth
Just show them what I choose, got nothing to lose

Yeah yeah and it's O.K.
I tie my hands up to a chair so I don't fall that way
Yeah yeah and I'm alright
I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight

You know those days when you want to just choose
To not get out of bed, you're lost in your head again
You play the game but you kind of cut
'Cause you're coming down hard and your joints are all stuck

I've tried to say that it's not the only way
I never knew if I could face myself to change
You were pacing, I was insecure
Slip and fall, I'm dodging calls, hug the prison I've been living in

Yeah yeah and it's O.K.
I tie my hands up to a chair so I don't fall that way
Yeah yeah and I'm alright
I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight

Yeah yeah and it's O.K.
I tie my hands up to a chair so I don't fall that way
Yeah yeah and I'm alright
I took a sip of something poison
Took a sip of something poison, poison

If you want to see the video so you can hear the song, click here.

That song has gotten me through so many different mindsets since it came out, sometimes it'll pump me up like it did last night or it'll leave me in such a puddle of tears I have to turn away from the Mr so he doesn't see.  There have been times I've called myself every name in the book, almost fallen for fads or jump starts or felt like I would never heal so get used to your life as a gimp.  All of those the "sip of something poison" meaning my poison thinking.  Those are the times I cry uncontrollably and I'm doing everything in me to tie my hands up to a chair so I don't fall that way.  I try to talk some sense into myself and "hold on tight."  The lyrics just pierce so deep sometimes.

Then there are times like last night as I was determined to strengthen my body and just get well and it fuels me in a way that I can't even convey.  As that chorus kicked in, I got down and did my modified push ups and knocked them the eff out like I meant it.  Then I did some cat cows and busted out another set just to show my shoulders who was boss.

I might be paying for it today but I need to get strong and flexible.  I might go through another week of soreness as I transition into a stronger version of myself but I'll massage the legs, stretch and do whatever I need to.  I'll talk to my chiro today about my theory on strengthening those areas that have had to take a break the past 4-6 weeks so I can get a final okay on that plan.  Finally, as long as I have my fight song that will either keep my brain from falling for poison thinking or to motivate me to keep pushing, it's okay.  I'm okay.

What is your fight song?

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Don't fear the butternut squash

Wait, wait...where are you going!?  I know you've seen those phallic shaped b@stards in the store and after you were tempted to make lewd gestures (oh wait, that was just you were) you thought "too much trouble!"  Trust me, I thought the same thing!  But then I learned a time and potentially finger saving trick to taming this beast!

You know those corn cob holders?  Poke it a few times on each side and microwave it for 5-6 minutes.  When you take it out, it's soft enough to easily cut in half.  (Trying to cut those things in half without it is like asking to hack off a finger.

Scoop out the seeds and flip it over and just peel the skin off.  It's thin and soft at this point so it's able to easily be removed.

Cut the squash lengthwise into strips.

Then cut it the opposite direction to make like sized cubes.

Put them in a roasting pan with about a tbsp of olive oil and pie spice to taste and give 'em a toss.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Enjoy a delicious taste of Fall with half the effort.  Because it's already half cooked, you can prep it a day or two ahead and finish it off when you're ready for it.


Do you like butternut squash?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On to plan J

Last week, I felt pretty dang good where my legs were concerned.  It was the first time I was able to lower my pain number at the chiro and I know he was happy about that.  So happy in fact that he said we could switch from ultrasound back to laser.  He said he thought we got as far as we could with the ultrasound and now it was time to reshape the tissue with the laser.  I told him we were road tripping and would be walking for many hours and he had no concerns with that.  I told him I wanted to start gradually adding cardio back in because we were close to a vacation soon and I needed to be prepared for that.  Again, no concerns and agreed with that plan as he said I'm always good about listening to my body.  He said to have the massage therapist work my lower back and we were finding it was playing more of a part lately in symptoms.

Two hours later, I was getting a massage from the LMT and told her his instructions.  She did do a really good job on my lower back and getting into my hips.  She also got the front of my legs which I didn't even know hurt but damn did that hurt when she dug in.  She finished up with a release of my psoas (pronounced so-as) muscles that are basically deep in the hip and trust me when I tell you, you KNOW when it's being touched.

When I got up, I felt about the same as usual but as the day progressed, I got more sore.  I knew this was to be expected because he said any time he adjusts my hips that I'll be sore following.  That night we did Walk Away the Pounds because again, I was adding cardio back into the mix.  It was nothing crazy and if I started to feel like it was too much, I went back to walking or modified because I didn't want to push it.  The next day it was pretty bad.  I was really sore but the Mr said he was sore from WATP too.  I did strength that night so my legs could get a rest since I was going to be walking the next day.  Well, walking those fairgrounds always makes me sore anyway but I was a wreck before I even got there and that area of the psoas was just aching.  I did a little research online and saw that this area is very delicate and even trained people can do serious damage if there is something going on internally like a fybroid, flared appendix, etc and some people have even reported a ruptured colon.  Uh, no thanks.  I trust my LMT but I want no part of that and given how crappy I felt afterward, I wouldn't want that even if there wasn't risk with it.

I wanted to see if there was a less invasive way to do that if it's critical to balancing out the hips and I did find some decent techniques but I found other info that was helpful.  I saw how things like a pelvic tilt could come into play and the chiro has mentioned a few times I had rotation of the pelvis that should even out as he continues with the next few sessions.  What this one particular trainer was saying made something click for me.  As he was talking about an anterior pelvic tilt (which I don't know if that's what I have but I'm going to ask), he was talking about what muscles are pulling and tightening to contribute to that condition...all of the ones that are tight on me.

Because I've been forced to not do squats or any ankle/knee repetitive weight bearing exercises to heal my legs, it also means there's been no consistent maintenance of my stabilization muscles.  Then me taking the two week cardio break which I absolutely needed to give that final push in healing the deep tissue in my legs. I think contributed to this new issue.  Sunday was probably the worst because I needed the Mr to massage my legs for me to even get up and around.  It's one of those layered contributing factor deals and I'm feeling slightly better with each passing day but I'm coming up with a new plan because circumstances have changed.  I'm steadily moving down the alphabet.

Plan A- Continue with regular cardio but laser.
Plan B- Regular cardio but modify and laser.
Plan C- Cut back on regular cardio to mild cardio and laser.
Plan D- No more lunges/squats and laser.  Not working.
Plan E- Start ultrasound in lieu of laser on low frequency.
Plan F- Double ultrasound since I could tolerate it well.  Bad week.
Plan G- Jack it to 5 sir.
Plan H- Took myself off of cardio, 5 on ultrasound.
Plan I-  No more cardio, strength only. Legs healed enough to switch back to laser.  Massage seemed to make things worse as well as walking trip.
Plan J- Working on getting out tightness, self massage and beginning to strengthen stabilization muscles and will consult if that line of thinking is correct.

So yeah, I'm on plan J at this point.  Now that the leg tissue is almost healed, even though I still have the occasional yanks near my heels and can't do a full lunge, I need to shift my focus to the stabilizing muscles.  I've started doing some squats...nothing deep or exaggerated but I need to strengthen my quads.  Last night, I did clamshell leg raises which help stabilize the lower back along with abs and backbows which engage all of my problem muscles.  I know planks are the ultimate exercise to help but I need to be careful because it requires fully extended legs and I'm not sure my left leg is there yet.  I'll need to test it when things aren't so tight.

I am going to talk to the chiro about my theory and ask if because I feel so crappy after deep tissue massages are they actually helping or setting me back.  I think they are helpful to many and I LOVE my LMT but I just feel so bad for so long that I at least want another opinion.  I think a regular massage would be beneficial after a vacation just to unbunge but my muscles might be wusses on the digging front.  :-|  Right now, I'm just grateful the ultrasound seems to have worked to break up my "steel like" legs when I came in two months ago and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to heal myself the rest of the way.

Have you ever had to change your recovery plan mid-stream?

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Antiquing, they brought our crack back and well wishes

Happy Monday all!

We had quite an exhausting Saturday.  We determined that the weather looked acceptable for us to go to an antique show out of town.  Thankfully the rain stayed away and it was just windy.  But we did enjoy some ideas on how to deck the Fall halls as well as the Christmas ones...

When I woke up that morning, I was already feeling sore from the crap the LMT did on my massage and I knew walking for 3-4 hours on asphalt and uneven fields was going to wreak havoc on my legs and boy howdy, did it.  My hips were totally screwed because she dug into my psoas muscles to attempt to release them in addition to lower back and glutes and I just felt totally off kilter.  Every step was bad and my hips pointed and laughed at the ibuprofen as it attempted to relieve any pain.  I think I'm going to have to lay off those digging massages, I just feel WAY too crappy afterward.

On the way back, we knew we'd better just hit Trader Joe's and Target and get it over with so we only had one grocery to hit Sunday.  Well, in Target, I stopped in my tracks when we saw these.

Bless me Father, I'm about to sin!  We thought they said they were never making them again and they are our all time favorite Oreos ever so yeah...totally grabbed two packages because if there is equal disgust for them this year, they may yank 'em for good.

Sunday I woke up pretty much realizing I was screwed.  SUPER tight legs but on the upside the hips felt better.  Yay?  I got in a hot shower and then tried to massage as best I could.  Wasn't good enough and the Mr had to squeeze the Charmin for me for a little bit so I could get up without going into a charlie horse whilst making brunch.

Spinach omelette, a little sweet potatoes with pumpkin pie spice, nitrate free bacon and multigrain bread with Kerrygold butter.  This was our first time trying Kerrygold and it's pretty darn good.  A TJ's cashier has a British hubby who told her that butter was far superior and she said he was right.  But she said only for toast or whatever because you can't taste the difference in baked goods.  Good because mama ain't payin' twice the price for half the product!

On a side note, I'd like to send best wishes and a speedy recovery to one of my fitness idols, Ilaria Montagnani.

Photo Credit : Michael Brian Photography from Powerstrike Facebook Page
Ilaria revealed on her FB page that she has breast cancer and is going in today to have surgery and take time off for recovery.  I don't think cancer realizes who it chose because um...she teaches sword classes and is a martial artist so yeah, she's an actual fighter.  Some of you may remember, I was lucky enough to interview Ilaria and you can read that here.  We certainly wish her a speedy recovery and are hoping that she is among the many stories of people who were able to beat this horrible disease.  If you'd like to stop by Powerstrike's page and send your well wishes, click the link under her picture.

What did you guys get into this weekend?

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Friday, September 16, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week #37

Woo hoo, it's the weekend!  Shake whatcher mama gave ya!!

I got nothing witty to say so let's just jump right into...

Here's the Reason I Don't Tell People That I Lost 70 Pounds  (I totally get what she's talking about)

10 Things to Tell Yourself When You Don't Want to Work Out  (I always say "if after 10 minutes you REALLY don't want to do anymore, you don't have to"...I always finish)

What Happened When I Stopped Working Out For 6 Weeks  (Interesting)

Possible air pollution link to Alzheimer's  (Great...)

I Work Out Because I’m Scared of Ending Up Like My Mother  (This had me in tears...I can empathize for other reasons)

How to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs Without Picking Them to Death  (I just run mine under water as I peel them and they come out pretty good)

How Acting Like an Old Person Actually Makes You Happier  ("Get off my damn lawn!"  Oh wait, they probably didn't mean acting like that)

5 Plus-Size Models Just Walked in Christian Siriano’s Fashion Show  (Gorgeous!  Thank you Christian!!)

The 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Whenever You’re Feeling Jealous  (Good way to keep yourself in check)

There’s no better way to savor the spooky season than by experiencing Historic Hudson Valley’s Halloween events in Sleepy Hollow Country  (If you are within a 10 hour drive of here...DO IT!  We love it there so much, I'd move there in a heartbeat and I definitely want to spend my afterlife in that cemetery.  Most beautiful place ever!)

60 Spooky and Creative Halloween Craft Projects  (#1 is my favorite!  So cool!)

This Video of a Dog Groomer Dancing With a Pooch is a Must-See for Animal Lovers  (We all dance like this with animals when Love Shack comes on, don't we?)

We're supposed to go to an antique show out of town tomorrow but it's looking like rain.  We'll still likely go but will have to watch things closely.  Sigh.  The Mr wants pizza with his football that we record when we get back that night.

What are you into this weekend?

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Am I getting it back?

Yesterday, the Mr was going through the mail as he usually does.  It's almost always junk mail but he'll yell out the names of the catalogs we got and I'll give the yay or nay as to whether or not I want them.

"Woman Within?"

"NO!"  (You buy one thing from them as a gift and you get catalogs every other day...ANNOYING!)

"Pottery Barn?"

"Give it!"

I knew that meant more Fall goodness was coming my way and I was right...

They had all of the fun ghouly things you could use to creep out the trick or treaters (if you get them) with a hint of Fall goodness so the second Halloween is over you can take down the bones and be good to go.

Then it happened.  I flipped the page and saw this...

Yes, I know people are groaning but it gave me butterflies.  Good ones.  Not the ones I've had over the past few years when I think about the holidays and then remember what that means where Christmas Day is concerned and all of the stuff that has come with it over the past three years.

Instead, I immediately thought of how I have 85% of my blog posts for that month ready to roll and how I have the new channel (new recipe today at 5pm!) to share my favorite recipes with you guys without worrying about having to do all of that here.  Most importantly, we'll have a Christmas day that will be filled with peace.  (Knocking on EVERY available piece of wood around me.)  For the first time in a while, I felt like maybe, just maybe, I am getting my Christmas spirit back.

That somehow the broken pieces of shattered traditions and memories can be glued back together as we look forward to this Christmas of focusing on the true meaning of the day and reclaiming it from the grips of dementia.  I truly feel in my heart my grandma would want that for me knowing how much I loved the holiday and how so much of that is because of what she created on that day.  Maybe it's something someone tells themselves to justify their decision but I feel no guilt over it...not in the slightest.  Seeing this hint of Christmas on the pages of a magazine got me excited again and that was all I ever wanted to regain and that was because I gave myself permission to reclaim something lost in an ever changing landscape of my family.

There may be hope for me yet!  To paraphrase Pink, I may not be broken but bent and can learn to love (Christmas) again.

Have you ever had to make a decision where you had to choose peace for your soul over what was expected of you?

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