Friday, January 11, 2013

Time, where does it go?

It's January 11th already, wow. I sure wish I knew how it is that time can go so quickly at some points and so blasted slow in others.  Like for instance, how quickly time flies when I'm enjoying a delicious ice cream sundae.  Zip, it's over.  But then how slowly time can go by when I'm trying to hold a plank position for 60 seconds.  In no time flat the ice cream is gone, but when I'm down on the floor,  up on my toes and elbows, trying to keep my torso from sagging and staring at my kitchen timer willing the seconds to fly by, they crawl along in s....u....p....e...r...s........l.......o.........w.....m.....o.......t......i...o...n. 

Snow fall just after Christmas

I never made New Year's Resolutions in the past.  Mostly because I knew I wouldn't keep them and then I'd feel guilty.   Since I don't need any more guilt in my life (such a waste of time) I decided resolutions were not gonna be part of my life.

Until 2012, that is.

Some of you may remember when I fell down a flight of basement stairs on my ample derriere back in December of 2011 and bruised more than my behinder?   And then I discovered I weighed a whole lot more than I realized...another area where time and possibly, just possibly, a few too many ice cream sundaes got the better of me.

Ok, so there's a lot of pictures of the Quarry, but all the shades of blue amaze me.

More than a bit depressed, and wandering aimlessly around in a video rental store on New Year's Day 2012, I found myself in the 'Health and Fitness' DVD section and there she was, Leslie Sansone smiling from the cover of a beginner's walking video.  And it was free; just bring the DVD back in five day's time.  Well, that was the start of the regular exercise.  My tailbone was too sore to sit and the only thing that felt sort of good was walking, so walking it was.  I lost forty pounds in about eight or nine months.  And then hit a plateau.
Frosted urns

Flash forward to January 2013.  Yes, I'm still walking.  And a whole bunch of other stuff.  The time just keeps flying.  Below is a 'part' of my collection of DVDs.  Our son Dave was home the other day and stopped next to the stack of fitness gurus piled up on top of the TV cabinet.  "What the.......are these all exercise DVD's??" he asked.   "Do you think you have enough now?"

Ok, so I admit I'm a little OCD.

Since the plateau, I did some reading on what to try next.  Weight training is beneficial for health and for strengthening bones as I age.  So, I've tossed in weight training three times a week, Monday/Wednesday/Friday with the 'New Rules of Lifting for Women' book trying to hoist some heavy metal around and increase the weights lifted as I go along.

There's my jungle gym in Dave's old bedroom
 I'm in Stage 2 of a six stage program which should take six months, more or less, depending on how things go.  I'm taking it slow and repeated the first stage twice since we all know that grace ain't my strong suit.  I did a stupid thing at the beginning of the weight training; I held my breath and lost my form whenever the lifting got tough as I tired.  Now I know better.  The massive exertion headache was enough of a deterrent to remind me to BREATHE.  Now I sound like a steam engine puffing away, keeping the air moving. 

Then I found a DVD by Debra Mazda, 'Let's Get Moving 2' and three times a week I use her incredible routine for a warm-up before going upstairs and lifting the iron.  The lever gym from Craigslist is being put to good use, too, I'm glad we bought it along with all the free weights.  I'm constantly adding to my free weight collection.  We found another 50 pounds of assorted weight plates at Goodwill for a very low price. 

Gotta keep a log. 
I am not sure if I'm doing all the exercises correctly and the names scare me more than the actual move.  And there's an international flavor in there too:  Romanian Deadlifts, Bulgarian Split Squats, anyone?   How about a Dumbbell Prone Cuban Snatch?  Some of the exercises sounded tasty to my calorie-lowered ears.......Swiss Ball Crunch.  Yum.  (Not tasty.  Not at all.)

So many exercises, so little time.   Holley from 'Roses and Other Gardening Joys' blog suggested I try Callanetics, (thank you, Holley!) and I'm definitely seeing results.  Subtle, but they're there.  Callanetics is definitely different than anything I've ever done before.  The exercises don't look tough, but they are.  Great for posture and for toning, amazingly effective.

Callanetics was popular in the 1980's but is making a comeback. 

Two days a week are spent at exercise class at our church.  I sure do enjoy the time spent there.  I still substitute for our class leader when she is on vacation or feeling under the weather, so on those rare occasions, I have two hours back to back as a leader.   (I never thought I'd see the day that would EVER happen, lol, thank goodness people are kind and put up with me.)

Building my strength is taking almost as long as building Aaargh.  Sheesh.
So, what have I got to show for all this work?  I wish I could say I'm getting skinnier.  Such is not the case.  In fact, the scale is going the opposite way by a few pounds.  Yep, that's right.  Up.  I don't like it, but what's a mid-fifty something woman supposed to do?  I've been doing research into calorie calculators and have recently adjusted intakes of protein and carbs and fats and blah, blah, blah.  I increased my caloric intake back in September and didn't gain any weight which is a good thing, but I have gained weight since starting seriously lifting weights.  I guess it's normal, water retention and so on and so forth.  I'll just have to play this game with the calories and see where it leads next.

Never took a picture of myself before, so vain! But there's the latest view of the poundage still sticking around.  I've got a long way to go!
Since gardening isn't an option this time of year, I've returned to the next best thing for outdoor exercise: cross-country skiing.  This year we'd been blessed with snow and I've been taking advantage of the wonderful exercise an hour a day at least three days a week.  There's no better way to enjoy a Wisconsin winter.  The cold, crisp air lifts my soul.  There are so many different shades of blue in the winter shadows. This old farm is my playground, around the acreage and through the Back Eight.  Sometimes little Pudding dog comes along, walking carefully in the narrow track of one ski.

But last night the temperatures started coming up and we had rain.  My snow is melting.  I'm one of the weird ones who wants to see snow on the ground in the winter.  Nothing better for our plants than an insulating blanket, because it will turn cold again.  After all, this is only the start of January.

There's a big contrast between July and January in Wisconsin.

I vow to post more often before the seasons turn.
 I wish I had more time to blog and visit blogs.  I miss it more than I can say, but with doing all the exercise and the usual cooking/cleaning/life stuff and trying to get to bed at a fairly decent hour (which I'm still struggling with which is probably another key to why I can't get where I want to be, since rest is also very important) something has to give.  I should be ordering seeds by now and haven't given it a thought.  And Leslie always says she'd rather have a messy house and a fit body, and I can tell ya, this house is definitely messy.  Oh, my!

We have plowed back into the stained glass though, and I'm getting panicky about the fact winter is flying by and we didn't get as much done as we wanted.  So, do I clean, or do cardio? Lift weights or hoist a dust cloth?  Ski or scrub?  I know, the correct answer is All of the Above and hurry up about it.

I am laying out the background glass for a Pony Wisteria lamp shade we started a year ago.  A year!  Joel pointed out something last night I hadn't even his hand is resting on the sheet of glass over the pattern pieces I had just finished laying out:

He asked me if I noticed the 'skeleton' pattern I'd just made and by golly, he was right. 

Ok, well this is the most disjointed post EVER. 

Even Teddy Dog knows better than to bite off more than he can chew.

I need to take a lesson from my dogs!



Alison said...

Kudos to you on the exercise! I needed this today, I've been doing the baby version of Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds (a one-mile walk) for a couple of weeks now. It still isn't something I look forward to, nor has it become a daily habit.

Great picture of you in the mirror, you're looking good. I wish I had your height.

Chad B said...

I bet your recent weight gains are a result of your increased muscle tone instead of fat. Afterall, muscle weighs considerably more than fat does!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear Karen ~ I 'love' all of the blues in your winter scenes, the purples too.

I need to see if I can find that Callanetics cd on Amazon. I think it would be good for me.

Being post menopause, I know and have read that our bodies store fat because of our loss of hormones.

But, as your last commenter said your muscle weight is heavier than fat, and I think she is right.

So DO NOT STRESS! You've done a fantastic job!!!

Love and hugs to you and Carl,

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Karen, you are doing a great job with the exersize routine. I am feeling just like you, can't spend enough time answering bloggers or even posting. This new puppy is giving me the run of my life! Hopefully I have time to garden!!!


Sandy said...

I'm so happy to see your getting
back to the stained glass work. I
love checking in and seeing how far
your getting.. such beautiful work.
And, I'm so proud of you for all the
body stuff your doing. Keep up the
good work!
Happy 2013

El Gaucho said...

Karen. Keep up the good work. You may not know it (or you shake it off with an "awww shucks"), but you're an inspiration to lots of folks, myself included.

And adding cross country skiing to the mix? Very impressive, that's a heck of a workout. Alycia and I have our cross country skis, but last year never had enough snow cover to go out, so we're itching to get an opportunity this year.

Junebug said...

Oh my Miss Energyzer Bunny! Great job on all that exercise! I sure think about it but haven't got off my tosh to do anything this winter. Maybe I need to start with your walking video.

I agree with where does the time go but then again retirement date is so far off! LOL.

Love hearing from you so I will be here whenever you post and smiling because you paint such a picture with words. hugs today!!!

Julie Hargreaves said...

Beautiful winter photos

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Your garden is absolutely gorgeous covered with snow!! Wow. I don't like the cold that goes along with it, but I sure love looking at your pictures :-) Amazing job on the weight loss and fitness! You will certainly get your share of lifting weights when y'all get back to the Castle. You'll be able to toss boulders around like no body's business by the time spring rolls around! We are busy people. It is hard to fit in all the fun things we want to do and the not-so-fun things we have to do. Sometimes I set a timer for 15 minutes to do the not-so-fun things so I stay focused and try not to get sidetracked. Have you tried Take care. Good to hear from you again!! Stay warm :-) said...

You look great and the strength you're giving to your body will be well worth the effort!

I enjoyed seeing some of your glasswork as well.

Keep up the good work! As long as we're around, it's never finished! The fun part is consistently confronting life. You do a beautiful job of it!


Anonymous said...

Hello lovely lady you look amazing. You also put me to shame I am still walk walk walking and bounding around on my wii but weight lifting that’s just too much for me…..Go girl ! I will email you later this week lots to catch up on.

Rosemary said...

You look great..IMO .. I also do weights 3 times a week but need to do more walking.....
Even in the middle of a snowybwinter the garden looks.. fantastic.!
I have posted my resolutions for 2013 hopefully fulfil them....

africanaussie said...

congratulations! wow you have quite a fitness schedule. I tried cross country skiing once and loved it - it always seems so quiet out on the snow.

Karen said...

Hi Alison,thank you. I'll be thinking of you as I walk, walk, walk; makes it more fun!

Chad, thank you. I hope you're right. I figure having more muscles can't hurt, especially as I get older.

Thank you, Lorraine. Hormones are often the culprit, and my far from perfect palate at times. I'll finish out the six month program and reevaluate after I'm done. Should be interesting to see the results. Thank you for cheering me on!

Eileen, I know--where does the time go? Having a new puppy can be exhausting. I remember those days. Good to hear from you!

Hello Sandy, Happy 2013 to you, too. We worked on the lamp quite a bit this weekend, I'll try to write a post about it soon. Thank you!

El Gaucho, Aw Shucks. Thank you for the encouragement, too. Gosh, I never thought of myself as an inspiration, lol. We lost most of our snow this weekend when the temps hit the 40's and what is left is really hard and slick in spots. Now we're down in the single digits at night and in the low 20's for daytime temps, so skiing will be a challenge. My trail is still there, so I may just go out anyway though it will be more like ice skating than skiing. Hope you and Alycia receive some snow soon, too. Skiing makes winter so much more enjoyable.

JuneBug, LOL! The Energizer Bunny....ha...grab a Leslie Sansone DVD and I'll be grinning thinking of you marching in your living room, too! The way time flies and drags all at the same time is really amazing, isn't it? Hugs to you, too!

Karen said...

Julie, thank you, I enjoy your photography very much, too.

Hello Toni, I'll have to check out Flylady. Any tips I can get on organization and housework inspiration are greatly appreciated. I try to pick one 'icky' job a day to deal with, like one drawer that needs cleaning out or a closet. You're right, taking things in bits and pieces is much less stressful than tearing the whole house apart, even though I have a small hut. Thank you for the encouragement on the exercise. I'll be ready for good ol' Aaargh by spring, I hope.

Hi Lana, thank you. You're always inspiring me, dear lady!

Dear SueB, You are such an inspiration to me! Congratulations on still walk walk walking on and also the Wii...I'd love to try that, too. Weight lifting scares me a little at times--oh, what if I slip??? though I keep on doing it. (as long as I don't end up in traction, it will be OK (I hope, lol!) I look forward to hearing all about what's been going on in your life.

Rosemary, thank you very much! And now when I'm lifting weights I'll smile when I think of you doing the same.

africanaussie, thank you! I was just visiting your blog and admiring all the gorgeous flowers blooming; thank you for a breath of fresh summery air and exotic blooms.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

Good for you as far as your conviction to lose weight. I need some of your will power...
LOVE the pics of your grounds with the snow!!

Breatakingly beautiful!!


Indie said...

I also have so much trouble figuring out priorities and trying to balance it all! But health is always a good priority, as I'm figuring out more and more after a holiday season in which we got to visit the ER, an urgent care place, as well as a regular doctor, all for different members of the family!

Way to go on losing so much weight, that is awesome! And your garden looks so pretty covered in snow!