Day 325-Met-I'm No Angel, I Fight Temptation Too

When I went Paleo two or three years ago, (has it really been that long?) I was totally gung-ho, everyone was proud of the willpower I had and I was proud of myself for sticking to it. Fast forward to today and I have to admit, I’m struggling just a bit.

Is it because it’s summertime and I just can’t stay away from the chips, salsa, and margaritas? Maybe. If that was all, I wouldn’t be worried as much, yet I have noticed that other sneaks have become more frequent and they aren’t just alcohol. Sometimes, my body just wants a carb and instead of making a healthy choice, I grab the easy thing like a bowl of cereal instead of fixing myself an egg, or God forbid, dipping into that left behind bag of Chex mix!

I know how to snack healthy, I have just gotten lazy. I need some motivation like I had when I started this whole journey. Back then it was my first cruise that motivated me, plus the desire to get the sugar and other toxins out of my body. I quit smoking and started vaping, now I’m not even vaping nicotine anymore. I have added CBD oil to my routine and I’m sleeping better. Maybe it is also increasing my appetite? Hmm.

Well, I simply have to fight back. I need to dig deep and remember the reason I started getting healthy in the first place. Yes, I am going on another cruise in September, yet I am not worried about that. I’m worried that I have let the Devil back in and he is reeking havoc on my body. (The Devil being sugar!) For instance, I snuck a brownie bite the other night when I was finally alone. Now, why did I do that?? I’m not fooling anyone and I’m only hurting myself. Why am I not motivated to exercise and take care of myself?

Sugar is as strong as heroin to kick once you introduce it back into your system. It causes a plethora of problems, one being candida. I don’t want that again!! It took me forever to get that out of my system, it had become systemic and that is a nightmare I don’t want to go through again. Yeast infections, constant pain in my joints, skin problems…no! Ok, that is my motivation, I will get back on track, start trying to find a way to get more exercise in and go back to no sugar in my diet.

It is really tough, that means no chips, cereal, bread (I don’t eat bread anymore EVER) ok, that’s a lie, sometimes here lately, I have even had a bite of my hubby’s bread. Yikes! How has this happened?? It starts with being honest with myself, and how can I teach others how to live a healthy lifestyle if I have fallen off the wagon myself? I have a pool, I have been doing some legwork but not every day. Since my knee has been hurting, I stopped walking, but since I started taking some new supplements, I noticed that the pain has lessened significantly and the inflammation has gone down. Maybe I could start walking again! I can also do some exercises on this big round ball I’m sitting on, ha!

I need to get strict with the “diet” again, nothing from a bag or a box, eating only whole foods like meat, eggs, salads, fruit, and nuts. Like I said, I know what to do, I just need to “do it”!  I weighed myself and I haven’t gained that much, it isn’t about that though. It’s about the flab, it’s about the danger of candida and other issues developing again. I want to be proud of myself again. I want to help others do the same and live healthy lives. Ok, self. This has been a great talk, now get out there and make a difference.

 

Day 225-MET-(my essay tuesday)-I Got an Ab Lounger

Yesterday I was looking around in my email and came across an ad in my local neighborhood app for a free ab lounger. After reading the reviews on this worthless piece of exercise equipment, I now know why they were giving it away. Still, I want to give it a try, I thought…it was free after all.

The magical Ab Lounger

So I see the ad and I notice the time is ten minutes to five and think, I have just enough time to drive down the street, pick it up and get back before my hubby gets home. Well, that’s not how it went. By the way, the hubs HATES me bringing other people’s crap home, so you can see my dilemma. Anyway, I was determined to have it, so after contacting the “sellers” I plugged in the address to my GPS and found that I would make it there and back in no time flat. I didn’t even close the garage door, that’s how convinced I was that it would be a quick transaction. So, I get to the guy’s house, as promised, the ab lounger is on his front porch. The thing is bigger than I thought and what’s more, it cannot be folded down any smaller. Did I mention I drive a Dodge Challenger?

After fumbling around on the porch for a minute trying to figure out how to fold this thing smaller, during which time some rusty water oozed out of one of the metal legs on the thing, the fellow comes out to greet me, and he and his wife attempt to help me wrestle this contraption into my car. Actually, he took one look at my car and said, “Uh, this is not gonna fit in that” to which I replied, “Are you sure we can’t fit it in the trunk?” all the while panicking inside at the thought that time is running out and the hubs would soon be home. “Well, lets take a look,” the guy says and I open the trunk.

Ten minutes later, a very reluctant husband and I went back for the piece of crap, this time with the truck. The lady kindly had put it in the back yard and came out to assist us, while holding her dog in the back yard to prevent it from bolting down the street. The hubs kindly loaded it and we placed it on my patio until I find a better place for it. (like someone else’s house) I tried it out immediately and was pleased at how easy it was to use. Unfortunately, the motion hurt my right knee, but I figured I can reposition it and concentrate on the abs like I’m supposed to. I have no idea how many I’m to do to feel anything, so I start out small and do about 25 crunches and call it a day. Now, don’t think I am one of those people who believes the gimmick that all I have to do is a few crunches in this thing and my body will magically transform into a beach ready body overnight. I also eat right (most of the time) and do other exercises like walking and swimming (when I feel like it) and truly believe the lie I tell myself that I will make time to use the new contraption.

Now I’m trying to decide if I can wrestle it into the house and where would I put it if I did, because I am not giving in that easy, just because I read some bad reviews on it. Besides, I have to show the hubs that I didn’t bring this other person’s junk into my home for nothing, I vowed that I would use it and become svelte for summer. Did I also neglect to mention that I am four foot nine and weigh 102 jiggly pounds and I just turned 56? Oh well, if nothing else, I’ll have an extra chair with which to catch some rays by the pool in, and maybe I’ll get a crunch or two in at the same time. 😉

Day 212-Medical Minute-Tech Neck

img_0799How many of us are guilty-AT THIS VERY MOMENT-of staring down at some kind of device to read our latest posts, emails, tweets, chats or otherwise work on them? Well, we are killing our necks, spines and backs doing so. What can be done about this you might ask? Toss the phone out the window? Not likely, however, we can try to take a few steps to;

  1. Improve our posture-try to bring your device or reading material closer to your face by either raising the device itself (like on some pillows) or setting it on a table in it’s stand.
  2. Do various exercises throughout the day to balance your muscles-examples can include: Shoulder blade pinches, pec stretches, and chin tucks, along with some neck rotations.

Slouching forward and craning your neck to stare at your smartphone or pad can put as much as 50lbs of pressure on your spine and stretches the upper back muscles, causing the condition now known as “tech neck”. Personally, I can attest to this from spending hours at a time tensed over my computer, even sitting at a desk. Occasionally I feel this weird, tingly sensation between my shoulder blades which causes me concern. Does this ever happen to you?

Part of the problem is that my desk isn’t really a desk, and I’m trying to work at a left angle so I can sit comfortably which is all wrong, wrong, wrong! My laptop sits too low on the desk, so I tried to remedy this by bringing it up some-stacking it on a lap pad and notebook. I also sit at the edge of my chair, all the while crossing my legs. Ugh! No wonder I hurt! Add to that, I spend hours at night on the couch, watching tv and playing or working on my iPad…even though I prop it on pillows, my neck still gets drawn down-not a good posture at all.

Daily exercises like neck rotations can help alleviate some of the stiffness and muscle strengthening exercises are necessary to prevent further damage. I don’t know about you, but my spine is already compromised from past accidents and bad posture, I have pinned nerves in my neck as it is, so I really need to implement some extra stretches and new moves to work it out.

How to do a shoulder blade pinch: While sitting or standing straight, pinch your shoulder blades together and back, holding for a few seconds and then relaxing. Repeat and do ten repetitions several times a day.

How to do a pec stretch: While standing in a doorway, rest your forearms against the frame at shoulder height, bring one foot forward and lean into the door while drawing your shoulder blades together. Hold for half a minute and repeat again. Do this exercise several times a day.

How to do a chin tuck: Sitting up tall in a chair, keep your chin parallel to the floor and draw your head and chin back without tilting it in any direction, like you’re making a double chin. Perform ten reps every hour.

Neck rotations: Several times a day, stop and look gently to the left and then to the right, ten times on each side. Try to do this every hour throughout the day.

I catch myself doing these several times a day when I get up and walk around, another thing you want to do to prevent tech neck and general stiffness from sitting too long at your desk. It just seems natural to want to pinch my shoulder blades together after sitting hunched over in my chair for an hour or so. What can you add to the conversation? Do you practice yoga or other daily stretches? All of us writers must be guilty of these sins to one degree or another, am I right? Let’s agree to fix the problem and promise to try and improve our posture, and prevent the damage caused by putting undo pressure on our necks and spine. According to personal trainers and physicians, this condition can be reversed by doing these and other exercises at least twice a day.

If you google tech neck on the internet, you can find a plethora of great stretches to start a daily routine, like the ones I found at Elle Magazine– The Baby Cobra simply involves lying on the floor or mat with your hands at shoulder level and your legs stretched out behind you. Keep your chin tucked and slowly raise your hands while squeezing your glutes and shoulder blades together. Ok, I tried it and once I got the dogs out of my face, it actually feels good! There were more, and I plan on trying several of them to develop a sort of mini-routine to start my morning before I just jump on the computer. Promise!