Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle

Wellness Wednesday

Believe it or not, I suffered a real stroke on 8/27/19. I’ve only mentioned it a few times between my FB page and this site but my physical state and mental state make it hard to believe. Not just for you, but me too. Ever since the doctors confirmed that what I thought was just crazy confusion that morning was stroke— not a mile stroke—it’s still hard for me to believe it too. Aside from having the fear that I would wake up any day in an incapacitated state, not being able to care for myself, or even worse—dead, I feel eerily as if the events of that day never happened.

But they did. I take daily medications hat reminds me each day. The implanted heart monitor which downloads my heart rhythm into an app on phone, that gets transmitted monthly to my cardiologist is a constant reminder as well. On yeah, I have a cardiologist, neurologist, and a hematologists. Didn’t have any of those on my medical roster before that day. So, yes, the stroke is a real part of my life whether I want to believe it or not.

The doctors released me after a week to resume my normal activities. But they didn’t even know what those were. So I was scared to do anything that I thought could bring about another stroke. And for me, that could have been anything because I still didn’t know what caused it. The test the ran on me in hospital confirmed that I don’t have a hole in my heart, no clots in my legs or neck. All I knew was that morning I washed my hair, boiled some eggs, and then, out of nowhere, couldn’t figure out why I suddenly was confused about the order in which to put my clothes on. How did I know that wasn’t going to happen again?

A trip to the stroke clinic confirmed the importance of exercise for my recovery and prevention of future strokes. That irritated me because I’ve been exercise. Maybe not as consistently as I should but definitely I’m more active than most, and if I don’t get to the gym, I’m walking. So what gives?

I found myself pretty angry. All the Zumba classes, walks over lunch at work, exercise videos at home, stints of Yoga and Pilates classes was the point of exercising and trying to eat right didn’t prevent me from having a stroke in the first place.

I was ready to throw in the towel. Stop stressing myself trying to fit exercise into my life. But then reality hit me. Maybe my history of exercising are the exact reason that I didn’t experience any physical ramifications from the stroke I had. Maybe that why when I was in the hospital I had free reign to walk the hospital halls without supervision because I wasn’t a fall risk. Maybe that’s why I could go home and didn’t have to attend occupational or physical therapy.

I consider myself blessed that I don’t look or feel like I suffered that stroke. But because I know I did, exercise will continue to be apart of my life!

Naturally Yours,

Posted in Caregiving, Fitness, Goals, Health, Lifestyle

Wellness Wednesday—Little Victories Count or Do They

Meal planning or prepping is all the rave these days. My daughter became a champ during her last year in college. Now she’s home helping me out. This past week she prepped two meals per day for the five day work week and we did our own breakfast meals. I bagged up 5 one serving of grits and scrambled one egg for my breakfast and a 4oz bags of mixed fruit. If you ask me I did great for someone who’s never tried to follow a meal prep plan. I only veered away from my meal twice–for pizza and salad at our family grief support meeting and Friday night dinner with friends. Considering those two events were planned, that’s actually not too bad. However, the graham crackers I ate 3 or 4 days of the week after 5 p.m. (okay, 8 p.m.) and the one piece of birthday cake offered to me at work for a coworkers birthday definitely were bad.

At least according to my daughter and her trainer.

Mr. J.C. Jones, the trainer, says no eating any processed foods, no salt, no dairy, no artificial sweeteners, etc. Blah, blah, blah.

First of all, I get it. Sure, processed foods are terrible for us BUT they’re pretty darn convenient. Isn’t it much easier to throw some pre-cut French fries from a bag in the oven after work as opposed to coming home, peeling the potatoes, and then cutting them up, and then cooking them??? Of course, it is!

Second, if a person has developed all of these bad eating habits over 20+ years, I think it’s a disservice for someone to expect that person to make drastic changes overnight. So the fact that that particular week, I didn’t stop at any fast food restaurants–not even for coffee– I consider that a success. Even with eating the crackers–I could have eaten crackers every single day but I only slipped up 3 times. And that was partially because I didn’t have enough meals (or healthy snacks) prepped for the week. Shoot! I was hungry!

 

Now because my daughter stuck to her meal prep 100% and I did more like 85%, she lost more weight than I did. But I was still proud of myself. You see, as I stated above, this was not her first ride on the meal prep/planning rodeo show. She’s had time to practice doing this. And like I have to always remind her, “You didn’t start out a pro with this stuff.”

It takes time to get things right. Until I get it “right”, which for me is disciplined eating and consistent exercise, I’m going to congratulate myself on the small victories and encourage myself to keep going when I mess up. My girl Josie of YumYucky.com is more my speed. Check out this video.

What’s your method for changing certain habits? Do you celebrate the little victories or beat yourself up when you experience a hiccup? Share in the comments below.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Inspiration, Lifestyle, People

Wellness Wednesday: Marathon Anyone???

Who in the world would want to run a 26 mile race? Quite a few people, judging from all the participants on my FB timeline with #freepmarathon in their posts. This past weekend, my birthday weekend, was the annual Detroit Free Press Marathon event.

detroit marathon

The first time I saw this event with my own eyes was on my birthday about 5 or 6 years ago. My husband had gotten me room at the Holiday Inn to enjoy a quiet night of writing. On check out day is when I saw the crowd of people and learned what was going on.

It wasn’t that day that I considered participating. That day came when I came across women in my personal circle, people at or near my fitness level making the decision to do it and training for the big day. A few of them accomplished their goal this year!

My father participated in a marathon once.  He trained hard for it. As a little girl watching him jump rope in our backyard and complete his Saturday morning with an impressive backward jog down our street, I didn’t know that’s what he was preparing for. Matter of fact, I don’t even know when he actually did it. He wasn’t the kind of dad that shared stuff like that with his kids. What I do remember him telling me years later was that one time was all he needed. Just to say he did it.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to train that hard to do something only one time. Then again, I could never fathom running 26 miles. Interestingly,  I have since learned that the event consists of more than 26 mile race. There are events for everyone at all fitness levels: full marathon, marathon relay (a team of 2-4 complete designated sections of the race), 1/2 marathon, 5K, and a Family Fun Run. There’s even a race for people with disabilities.

Now that’s something I can put on my bucket-list. What about you? Do you want to run a marathon (or some other race event)? What’s your plan to make it happen?

You know…you must have a plan, right?

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle

Wellness Wednesday–Health Walks for Fitness & Fun

This past Saturday was the Detroit Heart Walk sponsored by the American Heart Association. As the chair of a Health Awareness committee through an Employee Resource Group of the company I work for, I created a team for the event. I must say, it was a struggle getting to the event as I partied hard with my sorority sisters the night before ( no drinking involved but lots of dancing), but I was so glad I did. Fond memories of yearly participation in such walks as Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Sister Strut ( breast cancer), March of Dimes (for premature babies) came flooding back. Why did I stop participating, I can’t really say. Between my job and sorority, there’s always a team I can join. Even if there isn’t a team, I can always go solo. I’m sure to  run into someone I know right when I’m ready to play some music through my earbuds.

Health walks are great way to support worthy causes and get in a lot of steps. The heart walk yielded me approximately 5k steps at 3 miles. By the end of the day I hit my daily goal of 12k steps. If I didn’t have to pick my son up from camp on Sunday, I would have gone to the Kidney Foundation walk at the Detroit Zoo. I keep missing walking opportunities there. I must take advantage while I live so close (3 miles away).

These events are a lot of fun too. Sponsors provide bouncy houses for kids, face-painting, and other activities. At this walk I was super excited to get my jump rope on with my team. 

Had I arrived at my intended time, an hour before the walk was to begin, I could have participated in Bowkwa and/or Yoga, too. Activity coordinators do a great job making the event fun-filled for the whole family.

This was my first time leading a team and I did not do as well as I could have 😞. I met my individual goal of $100 and was $15 short of my team goal of $200. Considering I didn’t really solicit donations until the final hour, I won’t beat myself up too bad. But imagine how much I could have raised if I’d been diligent from the start six months ago. I won’t make that mistake again.

I plan to soak up some summer sun with more walks for health causes but I’m saving my next fundraiser endeavor for a cause newly dear to my heart, lung disease. The Lung Association sponsors a walk called Lung Force. It’ll take place in my hometown of Detroit in October 2017. Hmm, that’s actually not that far away from a fundraising perspective. I better get busy, huh?

What health walks do you support and why? I’d love to hear.

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday–Putting the Brakes on Insanity

Doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results is one of the definitions of insanity, right?

So I guess I can’t expect to keep dabbling in such treats as these and think I’m going to see results of the exercises I’ve been engaging in with my Fit at Work project.

I’ll be honest. I added three of these treats to my breakfast of a hard boiled egg and fruit bowl this morning. These other two were intended to be an afternoon snack. Normally, I’d convince myself that, “It’s only two. And they’re mini cinnamon rolls, for heavens sake!”

This time, though, another thought occurred to me. “You’ve been rationalizing like this all of your adult life. But forty-one year old you can’t keep this up and keep this weight from piling on.” With that in mind, I dumped these little delectable delights in the garbage can!

Yay me! Gotta start somewhere, right?

What changes are you making to live a healthier lifestyle? Lose weight?

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle

Happy New Year!

Welcome back the Wellness Wednesday. I’m so excited to be here at the start of this new year 2017. Not only because it’s good to be in the land of the living, as the senior pastor of my church used to say, but because I’ve got a plan to shed these unwanted pounds.

A realistic plan. Not like that frivolous plan too lose weight at the start of the holiday season knowing good and well I was going to be baking….and enjoying those delicious deserts. 

Yes, that’s why you didn’t see an update on that journey. I didn’t want to leave you on a gloomy note for 2016.

But on to better things. The new plan is to implement my strategy of getting fit at work. Even more exciting than that is that the journey will double as material for a 2018 book project. Lord help me!

The jury is still out on whether or bot I’ll be posting  weekly entries about my progress. However, I will give periodic updates about that endeavor while talking about a variety of health and wellness topics. 

I’m not going to rag on 2016 for being an ineffective weight loss year for. Instead, I’m pushing hard not to let 2017 be a repeat!

What are your health and wellness goal for 2017. Share in the comments below. 

Posted in Fitness, Health

Wellness Wednesday–Year End Weight Loss Update #2

Down 2 lbs!

I’m so happy to announce that. Ramping up my exercise game to include 2-3 days of power walking has done the trick. Enlisting the help of my neighbor has made a difference too. This past Saturday I was laying in bed considering my options for the morning:

1. Go walking by myself (my neighbor had a personal training session scheduled that morning–more on that in a minute)

2. Go to my coffee spot to write, walking afterwards

3. Get up and enjoy the quiet of the house while my husband and son remained asleep

Before I reached a decision I received a text from my neighbor:

Are we walking this morning?

I’d like to say that if she hadn’t texted my I might have decided on one of the last two options and ended up missing my walking opportunity as the rest of my day was pretty busy.

Awesome exercise buddy, right? Well… unless she goes rogue. Lol!

Apparently I re-lit the fitness fire of my neighbor friend and she’s just jumping feet first into her own fitness program. Since we started walking together, she’s contacted her personal trainer and started back this week.  Already she bailed on me for one of our walks because she was meeting her trainer the next morning.

But to her credit, she hasn’t completely bailed. She still hits me up for a walk in between her sessions. Plus, she’s invited me to go with her. I doubt I will, though. I’m not one for personal training sessions. Especially those that cost per month because I wouldn’t be going that frequently. Not to mention I already pay a monthly gym membership (albeit $10).

Anyway, I expect we’ll still keep each other going. And if things continue as they have been, we’ll walk together once or twice a week. That works for me. Plus, I’ll always be grateful for her showing me just how fast I can walk around my apartment complex. In the cold too!

Considering myself on target with a good exercise regimen, my next challenge is baking for the next and last holiday of 2016–Christmas. In 10 years, at least, no holiday has been void of one of my homemade deserts (cream cheese pound cake being the favored). But after the pounds my daughter and I packed on during Thanksgiving, I have to decide on a healthy alternative. This should be interesting…

Stay tuned! Looking forward to more lost pounds. Oh yeah!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

P.S. Follow me on Instagram @naturallylajeff