Appointment with Dr. No

Oh the travails of aging.

The week of Valentines Day I got sick. Not flu or anything but sick enough to be home a few days. Well that little nastiness continued to linger and by the time I attempted that headstand I felt worse afterward and my nose was doing some unusual things. Being one of those nuts who Googles symptoms I was convinced that I had some awful/horrible/dreadful illness and promptly sent a couple of panicky emails to my PCP. By the next day was in front of her.

Turns out that the nose was no biggie just rhinitis and since I was there I asked her what types of exercise are safe for me to do considering this degenerative disc stuff. Dr. Diva turned into Doctor NO when she said NO to:

Squats
Jan1

LungesJan3
Anything that requires me to be airborne (running, jumping jacks, which is most things in any HIIT workout)Jan2

and headstands, at which point I entered my final plea:

Me: well can I do squats and lunges with no weight, I’m going to do them unless you tell me no.
Her: I thought already told you that.

Truth be told, I already knew the answer to my question, but as a stubborn old person I’m not changing unless it is required and now it is required.

Until next time see you on the floor do some old school doggie kicks or something like that.

Photos by MsThorns – thanks to Jan B. for being my fitness model ūüôā

The Commitment – 30 Days of Yoga

There had to be a way for me to build some consistency in my fitness life but I had to be gentle.  Whenever I’ve been healthy I’ve always gone full tilt for about three weeks at a time before some illness or injury occurred.  Though yoga is more than a fitness thing for me it seemed like building a better yoga practice was a good place to start. So I made a commitment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I saw that Yoga With Adriene was holding a 30 Days of Yoga series at the beginning of the year, Ms Overzealous signed up¬†and unfortunately did not complete the 30¬†days of her program, but a funny thing happened. I actually did practice every single day in January and am still doing so as of this writing.¬†This is no knock against the program¬†as it had a lot of variety¬†but speaks more to my listlessness. I practice¬†with the exception of a few days of ‚Äúfreestyle‚ÄĚ and one class at Kaiser, all yoga practice has been with Youtube¬†and primarily with:

Fightmaster Yoga

Yoga by Candace

Yoga with Adriene

SaraBethYoga

A working playlist of videos I’ve done is available here.

I know some of you could care less about Yoga and I’m good with that. What I hope you do care about is Consistency. Are you consistent with your fitness program, your diet, check-ups, rest etc.? Consistency, I’m learning, doesn’t require sweat till you drop, lift till you can’t move dedication, what it does require is effort and a commitment to yourself, to take care of yourself. Can you make that commitment to consistently take care of YOU? Have you already? Let me know how you’re doing so in the comments.

Until next time, commit to consistency.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photos: MsThorns

Blame it on the… (you know how it goes)

I’m not much of a drinker even though I’ve posted many pictures of 

DSCN7441 (1280x960)

and20150101_153032

but believe me the most I’ll have is one glass or one bottle and I’m shut down. Ye olde broad cannot get down like she used to and I’m thankful for that because alcohol ain’t nothin but trouble. It still troubles me somewhat, for instance if I have a beer tonight, the early morning workout gets pushed to late afternoon or evening because I CANNOT get out of at the bed and I am usually dehydrated or moreso than I usually am.  Knowing my experience, I wanted to know a bit more about the science of alcohol, the body and exercise. I found some things that I already knew and one thing was a bit surprising.  Here’s what I found out.

Alcohol’s effects on your body and your fitness are dependent upon what type of drinking you’re doing:

  • Moderate: one drink per day for women, up to two for men
  • Binge: when blood alcohol levels reach .08 g/DL¬†which is about four drinks for women and five drinks for men in a space of two hours (GEEZ) another standard is 5 or more drinks one one¬†occasion in the last 30 days
  • Heavy: five or more drinks on five or more days of the last 30 days

ldbooze Photo: Lamont Doss

The most deleterious effects of alcohol on the body occur amongst binge and heavy drinkers such as:

  • Brain: alcohol can affect mood, behavior, clarity of thinkingetc
  • Heart: stroke, high blood¬†pressure etc
  • Liver: cirrhosis etc
  • Pancreas: production of toxins
  • Cancer: several types
  • Immune system: weakened

What happens in terms of fitness?

  • Muscle – lessened¬†blood flow leading to weakness and deterioration
  • Hormone – lessens testerone, increases estrogen,¬†leading to increased fat deposits and fluid retention and…
  • dehydration, fatigue, weight gain (empty calories and drunk munchies), decreased nutrient absorption

Not a pretty picture.

Here’s the bottom line, moderate drinking is alright and shouldn’t preclude you from reaching your fitness goals.  Going beyond moderate can enter you into the danger zone.

One more thing that I found interesting about alcohol consumption that I found interesting was a study at Northwestern that indicates that people drink more on days that they are more active and less when they are less active. One hypothesis is that that extra bit of drinking may serve as a¬†‚Äėreward‚Äô and¬†I know that‚Äôs the case for me. ¬†After a¬†week of green¬†food, green drinks and protein, I think I DESERVE a cold brew or glass of wine.

What about you? Do you imbibe from time to time? How does it affect your performance in the gym, on the road or wherever you do your thing? Let me know in the comments and have a great weekend (in moderation of course).

<

Photos: MsThorns except where noted. Inclusion of photos are for illustrative purposes only.

Powered By Soul Spotlight – Sonya Strider

This profile was actually completed at the end of last year, however as scheduling or lack thereof would have it, it’s being published now. ¬†We’re three weeks into the new year and I’m guessing that some of our eat better, exercise more, lose weight resolutions/intentions/goals may have fallen by the wayside. ¬†Here’s hoping that this young lady will help you get back on the wagon.

2011-07-23 001 024

I met Sonya, or should I say Sonya pranced (yeah you should see her walk) into my life 5 years or so ago at a sorority party. She’s an all eyes and all ears on her type of woman, not that she demands it, folks her just drawn to HER. ¬†I was one of the moths drawn to her flame and she has been my GURRRLLLL ever since. She is a brainiac scientist, fashionista and the best friend an old broad could have, introducing my partner in crime and Soror Foxy Brown, er Ms. Sonya Strider in her own words.

You are?

Sonya Strider, originally from Norfolk, Virginia, living in Atlanta, GA. I’m 46 and am a Health Scientist at CDC

Tell us about your fitness routine?

I walk/run 4-6 miles at least 4 days a week. I also do soul line dancing 4-6 hours each week and bootcamp 5 times a week.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?

I try to put out more than I take in ūüôā I have at least one green smoothie per day and at least one salad.

image001

How long have you been engaged in your fitness and nutrition plans?

Almost two years.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?

Since beginning racing I’ve gone from a 20 minute mile to my current 13.5 minute mile and have completed 29 5K races and one 10k since November 2013.¬† I kicked off 2015 with a 4-miler followed by a 12k.¬† Since losing weight, I have been able to discontinue blood pressure medication and reduce the amount of insulin that I take daily.

What keeps you motivated to continue your healthy lifestyle?

The hopes of living a long healthy life, without diabetic complications. Of course being able to wear clothes that don’t end in “W” is a huge motivator too..:-)

Your motto or personal philosophy?

Each new day is another chance to get it right.

IMG_1455

Whew, did you get all that? If that doesn’t motivate you Powered by Soul will keep trying. In the meantime, many thanks to Sonya for sharing her story and being an inspiration to hopefully get you (and me) back on the stick.

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the Spotlight drop a line in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.

Photos: Sonya Strider, MsThorns

Welcome Letter

Dear New Member/Returning Member,

I was pleased as punch to see you this weekend.¬† Almost two weeks in and you are still dedicated to getting fit.¬† That’s great and I hope you continue to keep up the good work and if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them per your request.¬† One thing that I wish to ask you, and please don’t be offended as I am curious. Why is that you get on the gym floor with your earbuds/headphones and SING, RAP AND TALK ON THE PHONE at the top of your lungs?

I see you over there working those abs, good job but I HEARD you before I entered.  Though you think you may sound like Luther, it comes across like scratching a chalkboard with fingernails. Though you think your flow is somewhat akin to that of Nas, you sound more like flock of geese wailing.  This time and only this time will I offer you this unsolicited word of truth:

wpid-20150110_0815450-2.jpg

Ain’t nobody in this gym here for your loud a** non-singing, non-rhyming, telling everybody’s business on your phone conversation self.¬† We are here to workout.¬† You are too right?¬† Of course you are, so focus on your set, and not your song. Your body and the entire gym will thank you for that.

Signed,

An aspiring FIT Person and Fellow Member of the local gym

P.S. dancing however, is allowed

Photo: MsThorns

Big Red Sausage

Sunday January 4, 2015 a day I won’t soon forget.  This was the day that the Lord had made, I SHOULD have rejoiced and been glad in it but ummmm, well this is what happened.

I got up hit the mat for yoga practice with this, ate, showered and prepped for church.  This Sunday was dreary and rainy so my attire needed to be appropriate for that and be comfortable as I’d be shooting some photos of service.  I selected a variation of my go-to uniform, long sleeve tee, pencil skirt, boots and tights. Standing in the closet I take the skirt off the hanger and step into it, pull it up and WHAM, my butt got in the way of the zipper, I did a spin maneuver to zip it most of the way, when BAM I hit the final obstacle my gut.  I sucked it in, spun that skirt around and asked can I move without the skirt RIDING HIGH and will wearing it be a distraction, remember I am moving during church? To answer I did some fancy pageant walking, checked my hind parts in the mirror and added a long sweater over the tee and a scarf, deemed myself presentable and headed out the door.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once moving the skirt was fine, sitting wasn’t a problem either, truly the Lord was WITH ME as he KNEW my skirt struggle and how it almost derailed me.  I enjoyed service, got my shots, talked to my buddies after church and flew home to remove the red sausage casing from my body and exhaled.

2011-09-19 19.57.05

Ye olde broad’s new body was borne of changing hormones with a dose of grief but the main culprit was food, specifically obscene amounts of snacks chased with red wine and Guinness. Do I like this new body? Nah, but with age comes wisdom, instead of performing the self beat down, I just copped to it and am continuing with modifications that I’d already begun to make. I also know that I am not alone.

 20140420_165614

Some of you fine folks out there may have indulged a bit during the holidays, maybe you’ve been sidelined by an injury or illness, been crazy busy or have never felt a need or want to exercise or be mindful of your diet until now. It’s okay, as long as you’re upright and above ground you can make a change.

What’s your red sausage? Are you ready to let it go? Let me know in the comments.20130421_151607

Until next time see you on the road wear I’ll be wearing a red skirt, looking like a HUMAN instead of a sausage.

Photos: MsThorns

2014 – The Transition

My health and fitness year was all about the transitions taking place in my body.  You may recall:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Cut big toe
  • Titled pelvis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Asthma attack (recent)

and the grandmama of them all¬†peri-menopause. LAWDAMERCY! Yet I’ve been able to recover, adapt and get moving again with the help of some great people, all of which I’m thankful and include:

Dr. Kenyatta Dean¬†– my PCP who ignores every protestation that I have against her recommendations (ORDERS) and doesn’t allow me to use my age to be an excuse for non-compliance.

Dr. Brian D. Neerings¬†– who diagnosed my first foot situation of the year, prescribed proper rehab, no high heels (not ready for that yet) and Superfeet insoles.¬† I haven’t had anymore plantar fascia nor achilles problems since using Superfeet, I highly recommend them.

The staff of Kaiser Permanente Gwinnett Comprehensive Medical Center Urgent Care Рwho 1)recommended an herbal supplement to ease the hot flashes (bless GOD); 2)humored me and my big toe and my paranoia; 3)took the first X-rays of my back to narrow down the pain/muscle spasm problem; 4)got me breathing again a few weeks ago during this insane asthma situation.

Mary Maloof at Atlanta Physiotherapy Associates – 20140912_154452This little bitty woman from NJ put me through the paces, I mean she had me SWEATING and would always reel me back in when I was attempting to do stuff that I wasn’t ready for as yet (jacknifes, squats and such). Thanks to her treatment and the prescribed at-home program I was able to avoid anymore dreadful painkiller side effects.

 IMG_9120

Jim Hamilton, Jan Stittleburg and Michele Jackson my Tai Chi and Yoga instructors РThere were spaces of time during the year in which all I could do was attend their classes and or practice at home.  They really helped in keeping my mind right.

The Powered by Soul Spotlight Participants for 2014, Charles L. Mason, Jeffrey Woods, Michael Wilson Jr., Deandra Bryant, Edwin Boatswain, Kori Smith, Damon E. Johnson, Рyour stories continue to inspire me.

YOU – yes all of you who read, share and comment. Y’all make it worthwhile for ye olde broad to keep writing ūüôā

 
Wishing peace and love for you and yours in 2015. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

IMG_0668

Photo(s): MsThorns