Dear Erin,

I really like the link you put on facebook yesterday. Fifteen Powerful Things Happy People Do. Thanks for pointing me to some more good inspiration.

I would like to report that I skipped one of my gym workouts this week in favor of doing 1-3 hours of heavy duty yard work every day. I think my body has gotten the better end of the deal, as has my yard.  Tonight I return to the personal trainer for a good workout, and then out to a vegan dinner out with friends at a very non-vegan friendly restaurant for dinner. I’m bringing my own condiments (salsa and homemade salad dressing) for a plain garden salad and plain baked potato.

On the vegan eating…I would like to report that my body is really happy with my whole foods regimen. I cheated a little bit on Sunday night and has some cheese. I didn’t get sick or anything, but I just didn’t feel good, and it reaffirmed for me that I am feeling a lot healthier eating dairy free – with whole foods. This does not, of course, mean I won’t sneak a little bit of meat and dairy back into my diet on a limited basis later, or that I have stopped craving cheeseburgers. Just that I affirm that my body really appreciates the healthier fuel I have been filling it up with for the last week or so.

Also, I lost some weight – a whole shirt size now. Which is really nice.

Pictured above, me, playing at the playground on Monday (sporting that smaller sized shirt). I was there for an excellent mothers day celebration on Monday with my mom, sister, and nephew, pictured below. What fun!

~S

That Training Session

Dear Erin,

I am so excited for all of your changes in your life, and proud for your leap!
I know it will all end up the way you need it to.

Here is my report on the first (real) day of Personal Training:
Kenya had lots of exercises ready, and we ended up going through a circuit of 15 or 20 of them twice. (Yes, I actually lost count.)
Some of the exercises were really difficult, and some were vaguely familiar and a couple were variations on yoga moves I already knew. I made it through everything, even with a little joking. You know when you watch the Biggest Loser and they have the contestants in a position where their back is against the wall, and their knees are at a 90 degree angle with Jillian STANDING ON TOP OF THEM? Yeah, I did those last night. Just me, with no one standing on top of me. And I almost couldn’t hold the last rep of the second set for a full 5 count. That show is just crazy!
Anyway, when the session was finished she asked me how I was feeling, and asked me to text her if anything we did bothered my back injury. I was feeling fatigued but accomplished when I walked away. However, when I got to the LONG set of stairs to get down to the locker room, I realized I was in trouble! On a dare and a prayer, I made it down the whole set without tumbling, and was more proud of that than the session itself!

This morning I woke up sore, but none the worse for wear. Murph and I even went for our walk to the beach. (Pictured above.)

Today’s Exercise: Mowing the lawn for one hour at lunch. Necessary but not my favorite.

Hope your day, is filled with the joy of knowing you did the right thing for yourself!

~S

 

Back Update

Dear Erin,

Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words. Yours sums it up quite nicely.
Good luck on everything, and I hope that early morning run went well.

I wanted to give you an update on my back…
I personally report: the pain level is pretty low – like 4 advil per day instead of 12 (As prescribed by my doctor people, don’t go getting all crazy on me, I don’t self medicate anything not prescribed.)
The Chiropractor reports: everything looks like it is holding into place – and that I can come back in TWO WEEKS (instead of twice a week).
And the Massage Therapist reports: everything seems to be staying a lot looser from the last two sessions – I will go back for another torture session from hell (AKA deep tissue massage) in a MONTH as long as it stays loose.

About the massage therapist. At first I thought this was going to be a frivolous waste of my un-reimbursable health budget. Plus I really dont care for massages. Instead it has been the VERY BEST thing on my road to recovery from this episode. My muscles tend to want to stay in “guard” mode LONG AFTER the pinched nerves have started healing. The deep tissue torture really addresses a lot of those issues.

What does all of this really mean?
I’m pretty sure it means that Kenya the personal trainer is waiting in the wings to KICK MY ASS at the gym tomorrow.
Good thing I’ve been doing my homework.

~S

First Personal Training Session

Dear Erin,

Actually, it WASN’T my first personal training session. We will start next week. It was a session to set up my “settings” on the fancy Milon Training Circuit that my gym has in addition to their free weights and nautilus machines. It’s 17.5 minutes, and there are several weight training machines, plus four minutes on a stationary bike, and 4 minutes on an elliptical machine.  All of the machines are set up with back support in just the right spot, so its a perfect way for me to get in a little weight training along with my cardio, safely.  The cost of the circuit is included in my gym membership, although I did have to pay a one time fee for the “smartcard” that records how the machines should set your height and weight levels for each item. It also records your workouts so you can track your progress over time (or your trainer can stalk you and see if you’ve been doing it). Overall, I really like the trainer, and we set up a regular appointment for Wednesday evenings, so now I will have to work out before I can go have my regular wednesday night playdate with my friends.  A perfect reward.

Lets take a minute away from the gym and talk about before pictures.  Someone told me that if I am going to start going to the gym all the time, I should really take a couple of before pictures. Sister, I am here to tell you, every picture of me taken in the last 6-8 years is a BEFORE picture. Even the really flattering ones. Even the ones I really like.  Here’s one of me spinning (A good friend took it, and I really do like it):

No, not THAT spinning. If I had done a lot of THAT spinning, I wouldn’t be needing a personal trainer at the gym. I look perfectly presentable, I am out in public, interacting with strangers, demonstrating how to do something I actually really enjoy, and I’m fine with public speaking. But lets get a closeup on that face:

Girl, seriously, I love me, but its a BEFORE picture.

Speaking of spinning, the kind that DOESN’T result in making yarn, riding the stationary bike at the gym today made me resolve to get my actual bicycle out of the garage this week and fill up the tires and ride it around the neighborhood like I did when I was a kid. Because that was FUN!

Wanna know what else I did tonight? After the trainer was done with me, since I was at the gym anyway, I walked another 40 minutes on the treadmill. Pretty fast.

And Murph and I went for a walk before work this morning, so I am pretty exercised out.

I leave you with this – Sarah’s Gym Tip of the Day: Right Said Fred and Aqua should probably NOT be right next to each other on your workout playlist.

~S

Awww…

Dear Erin,

Thanks for saying nice things about my picture. I am lucky to have 3 especially talented photographing friends.  Jody, Garry, and Craig.  Craig took this one on a recent hike. He is my favorite photographer because he seems to be super-mindful about only posting flattering pictures of people (or at least of me). I didn’t actually ask him if I could use this picture. Ooops, I guess i know what I am off to do next.

Along with signing up for the gym for AN ENTIRE YEAR yesterday, I went totally off the deep end, admitted I needed <gasp> help, and also hired a personal trainer for 9 sessions.  We are going to work on adding some strength training to my cardio. I will talk more about her next week when we actually get into some training. Yesterday was just an assessment because my back was all sore and out-of-wack.

Your goals are great.  I already added one of yours to mine. I am already keeping track of weight, but I am off to do my measurements this evening too.  Not especially looking forward to that, so thanks for nothing. I can’t want to see some of the creative artsy stuff that flows into your written journal! (You KNOW you are going to sneak us a peek when its cool enough.)

A big shout out to our Rhode Island friend Jenny, who is blogging (probably way more frankly than I plan to) about her own journey over at: Farewell Curves. Lots of luck, good vibes, and actual support if she wants it coming her way from here.

That’s all from RI today. I’m off to find a REALLY BIG tape measure.

~S

PS The asparagus have already started coming up in my garden!!

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