Category: Fitness

This week in food and fitness

I’ve cooked too much food over the course of the last two or three months. I blame my Instant Pot. Yes, it’s as wonderful as everyone says it is, but all of the recipes I tried were designed to feed the family. I am but one woman with a husband who refuses to eat the healthy meals I cook because he doesn’t want to take it away from me. My life is weird.

What went wrong

Cooking ahead and freezing seemed like a great idea, but it restricted me to eating the same things over and over. Plus, frozen food looses its appeal after a week or two.

The lentil soup I made was tasty, but it started to look like an unappetizing brown mush. I also discovered that I don’t like whole wheat pasta. It just didn’t work in the Instant Pot mac and cheese recipe I tried. My Instant Pot tortellini dish was good the first night, but it didn’t hold up well after being frozen. I’m ashamed to admit that I threw some food away.

A new approach

This week I’ll try cooking something every couple of evenings. My goal is to have food to take to work, and an option for dinner. I’ll aim to eat the recommended 5 servings of vegetables a day. Adding a serving to breakfast should help with that.

Check out the Nutrition Diva’s tips for getting more veggies in your diet.

Illustration of eggplant with human characteristics.
I’m good for you!

150 minutes a week

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. I’m aiming for at least 30 minutes each day. Strength training for all the major muscle groups is also a must. The government says to do it twice a week. Exercise is not a problem for me if MS fatigue doesn’t get in the way. If I happen to catch a cold, or the flu, exercise becomes difficult. Gentle stretching and some yoga poses are an option for me then.

I have chiropractor appointments three times a week for the next two weeks. I’ll try and make it to Planet Fitness on the evenings I’m not being adjusted. I’ve been having a lot of fun with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Fit. I want to get back to a more regular yoga practice. And there’s that Tai Chi app I downloaded.

Should I make a workout schedule? Maybe. I could be making better use of that Happy Planner of mine.

Figure exercising on mat.


Thinking about the body


I’m at my local Planet Fitness recovering from my 20-minute treadmill walk and a smattering of strength training. I need this recovery period to get my legs working a little better. I’m uncomfortable crossing the road to get to my car.

Treadmills at Planet Fitness


I’m at home on the couch continuing the post.

I’ve been thinking a lot about body image. I’ve gained weight over the last couple of years and I find myself not liking my body. I’m letting myself get worried about the food I eat. I feel guilty when I consume unnecessary sugar.

I don’t want to be that person.

My body has served me well for 47 years. I can say that even though I have MS. I could berate my body for betraying me, but I’ve gotten past those feelings (mostly).

I know from experience that a good way to improve body image is to use your body and appreciate how that makes you feel.

I sleep better at night on days I’ve worked out. My mood improves. I feel proud because I’m taking care of me.

I think if I focus on taking care of myself, the good feelings will follow. That means not worrying about every gram of sugar I ingest and letting my body rest when it needs to.

Funny how things become more clear when you write about them.

“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.

Back to work

Today is the official New Year’s holiday. Tomorrow, I go back to work. I don’t wanna! The work week won’t even be semi-normal. I take my car for an alignment tomorrow and then take my dad to an appointment on Wednesday. I also have to go to Comcast and swap Dad’s malfunctioning router for a new one. The good thing is that I’ve got some fish and vegetables pre-cooked, and I’m well stocked on veggies for a while.

Last month, Riley destroyed my Wii Fit disc, so I ordered another one.

An innocent sleeping Riley.

I also bought Zumba Fitness World Party. I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I’ll write a review after I’ve given it a spin. It’s important that I get two days of strength training into each week. I have everything I need to accomplish this goal, but for some reason, I’m not good at seeing it through. I should make sure to do it on Mondays. That way, I’ll be half-way to accomplishing the goal. I may have to set a weekly schedule. Ideally, I would have my workouts set up for a whole month. The Evernote Moleskine notebook I ordered might help me to get moving on a workout schedule. We’ll soon see.

I forgot to post this picture of a tree ornament at my neurologist’s office. Is that Gandalf the White?

Must be Gandalf!


I’m tired today. I did 10 minutes on the treadmill and then upper body three times. I’m wanting my legs to feel better for my post-workout walk back to the car, but they didn’t so much today. I think this is PMS effecting the MS. 

 I was feeling much anxiety today. I’m so tired of feeling like this.

It occurred to me the other day that maybe all the recent life crap is the Universe’s way of getting me to do something with my life.  Right now it feels like I’m doing nothing.  In the past I’ve made noises about wanting to make a living as a blogger. If I really want to do that I’ll need to take some steps in that direction. I bought an audiobook called ‘How to Start a Profitable Blog’ by David Lim. I’ve listened to a few chapters and gotten some ideas of what my money-making blog could be about. I wonder if I’m up for doing all of the work required for blogging success. My mood has been low lately. My brain tells me I will fail. My brain keeps calling me a failure.

Maybe sleep will help.

Post Workout Thoughts

The weekend was good. I was pretty much anxiety free. Today the anxiety is there but it’s not as severe. I’m sitting downstairs at the YMCA. I decided to sit and write while resting from my workout. I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, some upper body strength training, and then another 20 on the treadmill. I’m listening to ‘Sinnerman’ by Nina Simone on Spotify. 

Every moment feels like frustration because the same record plays constantly in my mind. I’m not accomplishing what I should be accomplishing and it always seems to go back to the clutter in my house. Then it goes back to me feeling lazy because I don’t seem capable of doing anything about the clutter. I’d love to throw everything away and start fresh. My physical clutter mirrors my mental clutter.There’s a book called ‘The Life Chaning Magic of Tidying Up.‘ I’m actually afraid  to read the book. Do I think it will make me confront parts of myself that I don’t want to see? I Need to read the book don’t I? I really do want to change my life!

John Legend’s ‘Stay with You’ is on Spotify now. It’s rather beautiful. 

I think I’ll wrap this up and head to the car. It’s time to get on with things. Maybe I can get rid of some stuff today.

I made this last night with iPhone apps. I would like to incorporate it into a canvas someday. Maybe I will.

What about today?

PT (physical therapy) at 9:00. That’s not so easy because mornings are not my thing. It’ll wake me up and get me motivated. Balance is my number one priority for these sessions. I’m hoping that every exercise I do causes my brain to make new and better connections. 

OT (occupational therapy) at 9:45. Yesterday I folded clothes and practiced walking in the kitchen with a walker while moving a jug of juice from point a to point b. I don’t plan to need the walker at home unless I’m having a flare-up, but learning these skills is important. Learn about flare-ups at this WebMD page.

We meet with Dad’s care team on the psych floor today to discuss what’s next. It’s gonna be okay.

PT and OT again later today. Meals, snacks, nap.

I want to start my position paper for class. I’ll be arguing that public libraries are still necessary and relevant. People have been trying to put libraries out of business for years, but they fill a need in society, and I intend to show it. It’s funny that I have a lot of passion about libraries, but I don’t want to work in one, and I don’t  visit the Monroe County Public Library all that often. I do use their online resources extensively though. What I learned in the Management of Public Libraries class will serve me well for this essay.

Other randomness: I would like to put together a post about MS and different exercise modalities.  I’m thinking about the hoopla hoop to start with.


Hooping Lady

Writing 101: Serially Lost – Dancing Acumen

The assignment is to write about something you’ve lost and then make this part of a three-part series

I was once an okay dancer, but I got into grad school for dance because of my  talent for choreography. I had to take technique classes with the undergraduate students. They were better dancers than I was, but I persisted, and I improved. I became an okay dancer with some technical skills. I would never get into one of the top companies in New York, but I could have gotten into a company. Maybe a company that paid its dancers a small salary. Thing is, I didn’t really want to be in a dance company. I realized after four years of taking seven technique classes a week; I didn’t like dancing that much. I liked dancing, but it wasn’t my passion.

So I resigned myself to being a person who has undergraduate and graduate degrees in something they have no plans to use. Then I moved to Bloomington, IN and got involved in a dance company  that offered no pay except for free dance classes. I got REALLY involved with this group because it allowed me to keep dancing and have a social life. At some point, the work required to be in this company outweighed the rewards.

This story is beginning to take too long to tell so I’ll move on to my hysterectomy in 2009. I had my uterus removed because of a fibroid tumor that started to get too large to be tolerated. After the surgery, I stopped dancing so I could recover. I think that’s when my body stopped being the body I used to know. I won’t go into details because I’m sure a fairly complex set of circumstances contributed to my sense of being unfit for dance. A major contributor to my problem was my weak ankles. I finally went to a foot doctor who recognized that my high arches were causing the problem. He prescribed orthotics  and physical therapy. Now I’m on the upswing, but I have a ways to go. I understand that part of my problem is really tight hip flexors. This makes it seem as if my leg muscles are weak. They aren’t really all that weak, rather they are fighting against too  tight antagonist muscles. I don’t know if antagonist is the word I’m looking for, but I’m going to leave it.

I won’t go into too much detail about how I seem to come down with what feels like a mild flu  every month. I’ve chalked that up to PMS. This faux flu feeling has been causing me to exercise less because I just don’t have the energy. I found however, that when I went to PT during this flu-like time I was forced to push through the tiredness. That means I can work out hard most days of the month. That’s what I need to do. Will that improve my dancing? Will getting in better shape bring my dancing body back? We’ll see.

I just realized that this post can easily be serialized as I track my progress in reclaiming my body.

Next time I’ll write about visualizing myself dancing well. I should also talk about making a plan to get fitter.




A Plan for This Week

I’ve got a plan for this week. I’m trying to make the muscle spasms in my legs stop by increasing my exercise time, and adding a magnesium supplement. If things don’t improve I’ll have to go to the doctor and see if she wants to test me for MS. I’m really scared that I might have MS. If I do, I could handle it, but I want to be able to dance the way I used to.

I’ve been religiously doing physical therapy exercises that I’ve found on the Internet, and it is making a difference. I really do believe that I probably don’t have MS. I don’t want to have to get an MRI of my brain to prove it though.

Here’s this week’s plan (all of these are for every day unless otherwise noted):

1) 30 minutes on the treadmill
2) PT exercises
3) Practice DDBD Gen Con choreography
4) Use the Ab Glider 3 times this week (if the thing gets assembled)
5) Stay hydrated
6) Take magnesium supplement
7) Eat fruits and veggies
8) Manage stress with deep breathing and positive thinking

I feel like I’m broken; I want to be fixed.

The RDA of magnesium for females over 31 is 320 mg/day. Here’s some more info from WebMD.



I recently accomplished some things. These things are not a big deal at all. They are ordinary for the most part, but I got got them done and out of the way. Now I feel like I can conquer the world!

I don’t have a lot of time to write this evening, so I’ll put this in list format.

1)  I finally finished a post in, “Look What I Found!”, my blog dedicated to content curation. I made this post into such a big project that I just couldn’t find time to finish it. I was able to get it done by allowing it to be fairly short, and not so in-depth. Now I can move on to other ideas. 

2)  I picked out and bought two pairs of glasses. I had been putting that off for months.

3)  I ordered a new iPad holder to replace my broken one. I also ordered a new wireless keyboard, as the one I have went bad.

4)  I ordered an Ab Glider. The chiropractor says that using it will fix my back and neck issues. Now I’ve got to find a place to put it.

5) At work today, I finally made some progress on a screencast that I just haven’t had time to touch. I almost finished it, but Captivate went wonky on me.

6) I ordered some Birkenstock sandals. The Walmart sandals that I have do not sufficiently support my arches. I’m excited for them to arrive!

Those are my accomplishments.

Hey, I even wrote this post. I’m feeling pretty good about myself! I think I deserve a glass of Merlot.

Glass of Merlot on tray table
Glass of Merlot

Health and Heredity and Habits

I’m like my father in many ways, and not like him in many ways too. We both like taking photographs, listening to audiobooks, eating chocolate, watching British television, and learning. I look like him, although not as much as I did when I was little. As I got older I began to look more like a combination of my father and my mother. I did not inherit my dad’s affinity for math. If I had, I’m sure I’d be a successful computer programmer today. I’ve found that math problems can bring me to the verge of a panic attack.

Dad turned 77 in April and he has some health problems that I don’t want to inherit. I just turned 42, and I know it’s time to start taking better care of myself so that I won’t run into the kinds of problems he’s having when I’m in my 60s and 70s.

It’s all about healthy habits. I believe that if your healthy habits outnumber your less healthy ones, you can come out ahead. I try and keep up with the latest research on nutrition and fitness. I don’t read scholarly journals, but I do obtain information from credible sources like WebMD, The Nutrition Diva, and The American Council on Exercise (ACE). I’ve started filing away useful health and fitness information on Pinterest pin boards. I’ve got one called Fit ‘n Happy, that features some workout routines, and exercises you can do using elastic bands. I really want to start making better use of my elastic bands since I know strength training is key to aging well.

Fit 'n Happy Pinterest Board
Fit ‘n Happy Pinterest Board

My other health-related pin board, Eat Your Veggies, contains recipes for preparing vegetables. The dream is that one day I will prop my iPad on the kitchen counter and make some of these dishes.  I might have done this once, I need to do it more often.  I’ve also been using Evernote Food to collect healthy recipes. Sometimes I think it’s more about the technology than anything else.

Eat Your Veggies pin board
Eat Your Veggies pin board

I’ll talk more about this in another post. Maybe I’ll report that I’ve developed a new healthy habit.