My Weight Loss Progress

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Yoga: Child's Pose

My son and I were talking about yoga one day. He mentioned child's pose.
There are some of variations; one looks like this.

Photo Credit: Fit.Web.Md

Relax Into Child’s Pose

"Whenever you want to feel calm and relaxed, try slipping into child's pose. Kneel with your toes flat on the floor and sit back on your heels. Move your knees about hip distance apart. Lay your upper body forward with your arms stretching out. Rest your forehead on the floor and breathe deeply."

He thought it was kind of a funny name for the pose, until one day he was tending children
and he noticed that when they stop to rest, they often end up like this.
Photo Credit: Dolanh, Flickr

While searching for pictures of children in natural "child's pose" I discovered that 
children naturally move their bodies in ways that we must work at as adults. 
Here is a child in "easy seated position" and one with his knees spread wide, feet touching.
Photo credit: Wikipedia

I think this little girl has mountain pose down pat.
Photo Credit:

These two children are in a deep squat. Children just naturally play in this position. 
They don't even have to think about it.
Photo Credit: Mama OT

I could post dozens of these; they were so easy to find. I like this one because he has so much focus on what he is looking at that balance does not even become an issue to him. He just does it. 
Finding a focus point is important in keeping balance in yoga.
Picture credit: Wikipedia

What a joyful pose!
I don't remember what it's called, but I may just forever have to call it seagull pose, or flying pose.

Photo credit:

This little girl is doing actual yoga poses in a studio. Isn't she adorable?
Photo Credit: Teeny Yogini by Jaybird

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Some days

Some days you've just got to get up and get to it, no matter how you feel. I'm not sick, I was just very tired and did not want to go exercise. Regardless, I did it.  I don't know if I feel better, but I did it. I got through it and went on with my day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Take me out to the ball game...

in my pajamas.

There's a silly game where you start a song, and finish the line with a silly phrase, like "in my pajamas."

I'm on the top of the world, looking
down on my pajamas.

Available from Kohl's 2016

It's my party and I'll cry
if I want to, in my pajamas.
Available at Pajamagram 2016

Keep on, keeping on...
come back strong in my pajamas.

These children's pajamas are available
The Children's Place.

I am strong, strong,
I am invincible in my pajamas.

Image credit: Pinterest. Originally from Dino Direct,
but I don't see them there now.  Warning: you will
get an eyeful if you go to their site.

I'm gettin' married in the
morning in my pajamas.

Photo Credit:

Jesus once was a little child,
a little child like me in my pajamas. 

Image credit: Wikipedia

Rockin' 'round the
Christmas tree in my pajamas.

Available from Pajamagram 2016

You do have to be a bit careful; I can't type some that come to mind.  But it can be fun! Just dismiss the ones that sound dirty and move on.

Gettin' a workout in my pajamas.
Okay, maybe that's not a song.
Picture credit: Pinterest, originally from, but that link
is broken. There is a debshops with plus-size clothing in plus-size
models that I need to visit again, in my pajamas!

The whole point of this post is that I exercise in my pajamas!  I wear very modest pajamas, and they are soft and comfy. I can get up in the morning, throw on a bra underneath the pajama top, and shoes if I'm walking.  Get my workout in, work up a sweat, and throw those jammies in the laundry!  I figure why wash extra clothes if you don't need to? 

Hot child in the city, running wild
and looking pretty in my pajamas.

Unfortunately no longer available but
there are others from ali express

I guess when I go out on my bike I'd better put real clothing on; for one thing I don't want loose pajama bottoms getting caught in the chain.  And if I fall off, it will be embarrassing enough, but even more so if I'm out there in my pajamas.

Hmmm....maybe I can start wearing my workout clothes for pajamas!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Runner

When I started college there was a beautiful, slim young women in my dorm who was on the track team.  What I remember about her--I think her name was Denise--was that she didn't overeat.  One of the other girls asked her one day why she didn't eat more, with all the exercise she got.

Denise replied that she was not hungry enough to eat more. She said that when she is exercising, her appetite stays in control. When she is taking a break from running, her appetite increases.

That little snippet of overheard conversation has stuck with me all these years. It seems to me that it's easy to justify eating more because I'm exercising now, but what Denise was saying was that a fit and healthy body will regulate itself, but if you let one part go, the others get out of control as well.

I'm obviously not there yet; I still have to think about how much I eat and sometimes I still overdo it, but it is definitely getting easier.

The good news is that after plateauing for a couple of weeks, I lost 0.6 pounds this week. Every little bit counts!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Do I REALLY need to wear a helmet when I ride a bike?

Helmets can't save you from every accident. Nothing can. But they can save you from a lot of accidents, maybe even most of them. If I had been wearing one on Dec. 2, 1988, I might not be taking anti-seizure pills every day, twice a day, for the rest of my life. If I had been hit by a truck, I might be dead. But I wasn't hit by a truck. I fell off my bike.
--Lloyd Alter at

When I go into public schools to speak to children on behalf of ThinkFirst, I bring a Jell-O mold in the shape of the brain to impress them about the fragility of the brain. The brain is like Jell-O. You only get one. We have not learned how to regenerate the injured brain. Protect the one you’ve got! 
----Dr. Charles Tator, a brain surgeon and founder of Thinkfirst, at

Friday, March 25, 2016

Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.

---Mark Twain, American author and humorist, at

Buying a Bicycle Helmet

I went to Walmart and got myself a pretty new helmet. I would have settled for an ugly helmet if it fit comfortably.  After trying on several, this one is the one I liked best. It's lightweight and fits me comfortable. It's also available at this link Bike Helmet from Amazon.

I am not promoting this particular helmet for anyone else. the important thing is to find one that sits snugly on your head, is lightweight enough to forget it's there, meets safety standards, and did I mention feels comfortable? 


My problem with helmets has always been that they are too big or too small, no matter how I adjust those straps.  They either pinch my neck or slide around on my head. However, when I shopped this time, I found that many of the helmets now have a back strap with a little wheel. All you have to do to adjust it around the head is turn the little wheel until it feels just right, snug enough not to slide around, and loose enough not to pinch.  

Here is an example of the wheel from the Dazed Dad blog. You just turn it a little to tighten or loosen it.

With the front-to-back bit comfortable, it's easy to adjust the ear straps to fit. Notice on this little boy how they go around the ear, adjoining below it. Again, the trick is to be loose enough not to pinch or feel choky, but tight enough to keep the helmet from sliding all over you head. It should go with the head if you move or fall, not be lagging behind where it can't protect you.


After finding two or three with a good fit, I tested for weight and visibility. I don't like the helmet to hang so low I feel as if I have to peer out of it.  From there, it was simply which one felt lightest on my head. It may not be the actual lightest one, but it felt light to me--comfortable and not putting extra strain on my neck and shoulders.


If football players wanted to protect their brains from injury they’d wear astronaut helmets. After all, astronauts have massive IQ’s, so wearing their protective headgear seems like a smart choice.
― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE

After I bought the helmet, I had an internal debate with myself. Should I have gone to a bike shop and made sure I got a really good one?  Would it be worth the extra money?  Maybe Walmart is not the best place to buy a helmet.

I found the results of the following study to be reassuring:

BHSI submitted samples of six helmet models to a leading U.S. test lab: three in the $150+ range and three under $20. The impact test results were virtually identical. There were very few differences in performance among the helmets. Our conclusion: when you pay more for a helmet you may get an easier fit, more vents and snazzier graphics. But the basic impact protection of the cheap helmets tested equaled the expensive ones.The results are a testimony to the effectiveness of our legally-required CPSC helmet standard. Although our sample was small, the testing indicates that the consumer can shop for a bicycle helmet in the US market without undue concern about the impact performance of the various models on sale, whatever the price level. The most important advice is to find a helmet that fits you well so that it will be positioned correctly when you hit.


If looks are really important to you, rest assured that I found comfortable helmets in a pretty teal and a purple & pink stylized design as well.  It's all a matter of taste, and I happen to like this one best for fit and comfort, and I happen to think it looks just fine.  If you're really into getting one that is unusual or extra cute, check out Chic helmets.  Be aware that these helmets do not all meet U.S. Safety Standards, but the helmet cover is kind of a fun idea. On the bigger American-style helmets it might just look funny to cover it.

One last thought: 

She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.
Susan B. Anthony

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My SMART Goal Charts

I worked up my exercise goals and number of days and end dates.

My plan is to accomplish  80 sessions of exercise in 100 days or less, completing the charts by June 29. This allows for the actual 80 sessions, 14 Sundays off, and a leeway of six days.  I don't plan to miss days or get sick, but if it happens, I don't want to derail myself.  Then it turns into an all-or-nothing plan.

I'm showing you my charts now, because by the time I get the 80 days done I will have them all covered with stickers.  I numbered the yoga days up to 30, because those are the days I will repeat the "30 Days of Yoga."  The other days have their own special activities, still working out with Adriene until almost the end.

"The Firm" and "Yoga for Healing" are from DVD's I have; all the rest are the weekly ones sent out by Adriene.

The days are numbered to include a day out on a bike every 5th day or so. I might have to rearrange if it rains.  Note the progression from beginner (5th) to barely there (10th) on up to accomplished (40th). I don't expect to be accomplished after only 8 rides, really, but I like the way it shows progress.  By the time I completed the 30 days of Yoga and went back to Day 1, I was amazed at how much I could do.  I posted about what my yoga looked like, Animals doing yoga, but now I don't look like that at all.  It is great to "repeat" the session because I can see so much progress. I am doing it so differently that it's almost like doing something completely new. 

I'm not so proud as to think anyone really wants my charts, but just in case, I have them saved in .pdf and would be happy to send them your way if you want them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Setting my next SMART goals

Keeping in mind SMART goals, I've been working on my next goal for exercise. I really liked the 30 days challenges, which I completed in about 77 days. (2x30 days each) + (13 Sundays off) + (abt. 4 days missed)= abt. 77.

I don't want to do exactly the same challenges again, so I am thinking about mixing it up a bit. This time I will do a little longer challenge, adding in a few things.  Adriene sends out a weekly link to a new yoga routine, so I will incorporate some of those in with repeating the 30 days of yoga.  I really liked the one she sent out the week of Valentine's day.

I will still walk; as I mentioned I have added in 2-miles, and having achieved the previous goal, I will reward myself with a new video. I am also going to substitute bicycle riding once in a while. I need to get a helmet before I can do that.

  • Specific - I will do charts like I did before, with the prescribed workout for each day.
  • Measurable - with the charts I know exactly how much I have done and how far to go. The long-term hope for general health is kind of vague, but the days I have exercised are perfectly measurable. 
  • Achievable - I'm only adding in a little to what I have successfully achieved before.
  • Relevant - Exercising in an achievable, safe way will help me reach long-term general health.
  • Time-sensitive - they are done as part of a daily routine. There is no pressure to do more faster; in fact that could be detrimental. There is also the goal to achieve them by the end of a specific time period.   I'm still working on that to make the decision of exactly how many days to put into each goal. I am going to a son's wedding in September; that's a ways out but might be a good time to aim at finishing up this segment. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Gluten-Free Brownies

I was at a fundraiser for our youth group to be able to go to camp, and lo and behold, someone had donated gluten-free, dairy-free brownies.  I know the girl that made them, and I'm pretty sure that's a gluten-free kitchen, so I bid on them.  If they taste half as good as they look, I'll definitely have to freeze some to keep from eating them all at once.  Besides getting yummy brownies, having them at the auction helps promote awareness of them.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

30 Days of Walking with Leslie

And, in almost a repeat of yesterday...I've finished 30 days of walking with Leslie also.  I am happy and setting new goals. I might add in some bicycling on nice weather days, though I will have to get up earlier in the day if I'm going to do that, once summer kicks in.

Friday, March 18, 2016

30 Days!

I completed all 30 yoga sessions!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Going the Second Mile

I did my first two-mile walk video today. Not the first ever, but the first time for this time around.  I was surprised to find that though it was quite vigorous, it was pretty easy to complete it. A little over a mile in, I was feeling great!  At the end, I did not think her two minutes of stretching was enough, so I happily did a ten-minute yoga segment.

Go me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bicycle and Balance

When I first got my bicycle home a few days ago, I rode it the little child's way, perched on the seat with my feet hanging down, ready to hit the ground at any moment. I wasn't even close to peddling. I just straddled it and sort of walked it around the driveway with my feet a couple of times.

Finally I got the courage to put one foot up on a pedal and sort of coast in circles, but that high pedal made me feel extremely off-balance. However, after a few circles that way, I got very brave and put my foot up on the high pedal and pushed off--and coasted!  Eventually I managed to balance and ride with both feet on the pedals. I didn't go very far, but it was very good progress for one night.

It seems to me the pedaling was too easy, so I asked my husband for pointers on how to switch gears, and figured out which hand motions to make, so I can practice that as I ride.

I went online and started looking for beginner's bicycle clubs or classes, and instead I came across this video:

I think it's fascinating how the motions of bicycling can help with something as complicated as Parkinson's disease.  I think if I keep trying, it will definitely help improve my balance.  Now I just need a bike for my husband, so we can ride together.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

First regain

I had my first weight regain since Christmas.  I was quite dismayed when I stepped on the scale and realized I had gained.  I wasn't sure how much, but it took me back up into the next pound!

This was a wakeup call; I need to be more mindful of hunger and of the tendency to eat just to eat, or to eat to procrastinate, or any of the many other reasons I may eat when my body is not really hungry.

Today I looked at last week's record and I realized that my terrible weight regain equaled two-tenths of a pound--or about 3.2 ounces!  This is awesome. A great big wakeup call for a little tiny gain.

My commitment is to maintain awareness, and to act on that awareness.

Friday, March 11, 2016

It's just like riding a bike...

You have learned it, and you can pick it up again quickly. Unless you've never ridden one.  Or it's simply been a long time.

About ten years ago, I bought a beautiful blue bike. I rode it a bit, but I fell at least once, and the roads around me were scary. Then we moved to a town where there wasn't really a good place for me to ride, and I parked it in the garage for two years.  

I ended up selling that bike, but I was happy that it went to a young girl who had been working hard and saved her money. Her dad was with her, checking out the bike and watching out for his daughter as she tried it out on the street. It was very sweet to watch their loving interaction as he loaded the bike onto the back of his truck for her.

I learned to ride a bike out in the country on a sandy road. There were no cars, just the bike and a long lovely downhill lane where we could pick up speed and just fly right past the house and down a fast hill before it leveled out and got out to the main road.  

How well I remember the feeling of the wind flying through my hair, the wheels humming under me as I pushed the pedals to go faster and faster. Now, of course, I wear a helmet when I bike, and the bike is much more complicated than the simple one-speed that I learned on. There is traffic, cars and pedestrians and other bikes to watch out for. Instead of a sandy road, there are manhole covers and stop signs and all sorts of other obstacles to get around.

I'll post more about bikes tomorrow, but for now, here's a fun video I discovered about learning--and relearning--how to ride a bike.  It's from Six Seconds, a website about emotional intelligence.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thoughts on Being Hungry

Panda from Deviant Art --
which apparently is not all deviant.

I like getting hungry.  I don't like to sit around and be hungry, but I like getting there. I like the feeling that my body has used up and processed all the food I have eaten.  I like the kind of growly rumbliness of a hungry tummy.

Until recently, it had been a long time since I'd felt that.  My body didn't even know how to regulate hunger and send off proper signals.  Once I started eating less at a time, and not eating until I felt hungry, my body started giving out those signals again.

Sometimes I still just get a headache or feel light-headed, but more and more often it's my tummy sending the signals, just as it did when I was a child, before it got all messed up with a lifetime of bad habits.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Non-Sleepy thoughts

I was very tired by 11:15 or so last night, so I went to bed. By 12:15 it was obvious I was not going to fall asleep. I got up and stayed up until 3:15--after which I slept soundly for about six hours, then lightly for another hour.

This brings me to a question. I know it is supposed to be healthier to go to bed early, but my body simply does not cooperate.  Should I start getting up earlier in the morning no matter how late I go to bed, in the hopes of falling asleep earlier?  Or should I simply accept it, and try to make better use of the time I'm awake, by sewing, doing family history, or other things?

My husband is so used to my being up late that noise and lights don't really bother him or keep him awake, so that is not an issue.

Do any of my readers have a similar experience and suggestions of what works?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Thoughts on "50 is the New Fifty"

Suzanne Braun Levine has written this book, an interesting take on life after 50. Though it comes from a "women's lib" background, and I do not, I find many of the concepts in it to be thought-provoking, starting with the subtitle.

10 Life Lessons for Women in Second Adulthood

Second Adulthood. 
I like that term much better than "empty nest."  Not all women had any birds in the nest at all, not even a papa bird.  For all of us, life brings changes as we begin to age, to slow down, to experience more health problems and simply be unable to lift and push as we used to.

I like the idea that we can change directions. As a young adult, I set out to go to school until I was 21, go on an 18-month church mission, and only then consider marriage.  The real me, however, liked men. Mm-hmm!  Luckily they liked me too.  So, the first few weeks of the first semester in college, I met and dated several of the species. Then, wham, one night a young man kissed me gently, and called me princess, and as the old song says, 

"I climbed up the door and opened the stairs
I said my pajamas and put on my prayers
I turned off the bed and crawled into the light
And all because you kissed me (kiss) good-night."

This was not my first kiss, it was just the most magical kiss of all. I quickly changed plans, dropped out of school and got married. Some people thought I was crazy, but young adulthood is like that. We change majors, change locations, change long-term plans, and it's generally acceptable.  I gave birth to four wonderful sons and dedicated my life to raising them. And gradually they all grew up and moved out, and I began my first forays in to Second Adulthood.

Second Adulthood is a similar time to young adulthood. It's a time of exploring this new time of life, of trying on roles, accepting some and discarding others, or having them taken away by circumstance, whether a cross-country move or health issues, death of a loved one, or a job loss.  Our roles will change, and change yet again. Perhaps we even have a third adulthood. 

Maybe this is the equivalent of a male mid-life crisis. As a man's body (including his brain!) begins to change and age, he may begin to reevaluate his family, his values, his hobbies, and his career.  My husband discovered his love for teaching in his late forties, after a job loss thrust him into part-time work, and he has restructured much of his life around it--including our cross-country move. 

For me, that move was a catapult for exploration, as we moved far away from the children and grandchildren who were central in my life. I have cried many tears over the last few years, but I have also reached out to try some new things and explore my own life and interests.  I've gotten my master's degree, and now I am debating the next course of action.

I like the way Levine defines it as a process, and that change does not always have to be dramatic or big.  I feel like I can give myself permission to explore this time instead of feeling guilty for not trying harder to get a job right away.  My husband thinks I'm bored, but I'm not. I'm processing. I'm arranging our condo in new ways. I am knitting, and doing crosswords puzzles, and doing family history--and occasionally looking at a job lead.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Was it Prescient to Post the Slow Times Meme?

Just last week I posted a meme about getting through slow times. Today I'm having one.  A bad headache, one headache pill 7 hours before bedtime, and going to bed only a little late was followed by two different long, involved dreams. The upshot of it all is that today I am extremely fatigued, the headache is lingering again, my throat hurts, and I feel like a runaway truck full of pollen has come my way.

The up side is that the yoga video today was only 13 minutes long, with some "play" time at the end, so I used the time to work out some of the kinks, including some stretches that are probably not part of any formal routine. My body is quite relaxed from that. I think I'll survive to work out another day.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Entering Round 3

I've worked my way all the way through all of my 1-mile walk videos twice. The first time I worked straight through the twelve different walks. The second time through, I added in the weighted balls, stretchy bands, and ab belt to increase my strength. I have most of them pictured here, but I am missing a couple of them.

Round 3 will entail adding in a few 2-mile walks, and adding a 10-minute yoga at the end.  I remember a leader at the gym saying that you need to stretch for at least ten minutes after any cardio workout for maximum fat-burning.  It helped before, and I won the gym contest then, so it can't hurt now.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Water, Water, Everywhere Recommended.

Pixabay--no attribute required but here's the link.

I should drink more water. I know I should.  The question is, how much?  I can tell when I am getting dehydrated because I get headaches and get tired. Of course, that happens when I am hungry, too, so it can be tricky to tell.

You may be thinking that if I get thirsty I obviously need water. The trouble is, I am on a medication that has a side affect of mouth dryness, so how do I identify thirst? I would be drinking gallons every day if I went by that.

There is controversy over how much water to drink.  That old adage of 8 glasses a day has been proven untrue.  There are so many variations in body type and climate that it's impossible to make one universal rule.  

Photo Credit
I remember once, when I was attending a college orientation in Utah with my son, on a particularly hot, dry day, in an already dry climate.  I met a woman from Florida, and she said she was drinking so much water that she was beginning to suspect that she had diabetes. However, it had only started within the last few days. I was drinking more than usual that day, and I reassured her that she was probably drinking more because her body was giving up more to the heat and dryness of the air.  I suspect that when she got back to Florida, it settled back to normal.
When I lived in Utah, my skin was always dry no matter how much I drank. I had canyons running down my legs, even with lotion.  Then I moved to a more humid state, and I rarely had dry skin. Now that I have moved again, to a place with a dryer winter, I'm noticing dry skin again.

If you want to ruin your day, Google "dry skin" and click on images.  There is some really gross stuff on there!

Back to the question--how much water should I drink?  I don't know. I do know to watch my body for signs of dehydration. Extra dry lips is a good sign for me. If my urine is strong-smelling in the morning, I need to drink more water. I don't know if that's medical evidence, but it works for me.  If I start feeling a headache coming on, or just a run-down fatigue, I pause to think about how much water and food I've had in the last few hours.

I keep water in the car, because when I'm out and about, running errands, going from outdoors to indoors and back again, encountering various micro-climates, I get dehydrated quickly.  I drink so much water when I travel by car that I have probably stopped at most of rest stops along major U.S. Highways, from Maine, to Florida, to Texas, and California, and dozens of points in between. 

Rest stop in California. Photo by John Martinez Pavliga,  found on flickr.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Slow Days

Slow days, they are bound to happen, but I don't have to dwell in them, do I? 

Yesterday I slipped into old eating habits. I ate even if I wasn't hungry, deliberately, knowing I wasn't hungry.  I had three different kinds of chocolate.  I did exercise but I was so tired I didn't feel like I was doing a very good job of it.

What can I do?  Not a thing. Put it behind me, put on my big girl boots, and try harder today to be aware of body needs vs. wants.  I don't have to wait for winds to pick up; I can pick myself up. It is taking some determination.

On a positive side, I went to bed just a little after midnight.  My body, not being used to that, tossed and turned for an hour or so, but eventually I dozed off, only to wake up early. That gave me a good start to the day, though a bit of a fuzzy one.  I would have been all done with my routine by noon, except that I needed to stop for the monthly budget session with my husband. Financial health is important, too.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

You will begin to heal

Yoga Day 23--What I got from today's yoga, along with the exercise, is a theme of forgiveness. There are things I have to forgive others for, but I also need to quit being so hard on myself for having gotten into this condition in the first place.  I need to forgive myself, let go of the shame I feel when I see my thighs in the mirror, and just keep moving forward.

A friend of mine has been through major rounds of chemotherapy, and her bones are now too weak to carry her frame. She broke a rib by bending the wrong way. She's got to lose a lot of weight. She says she is embarrassed for letting herself get to this point, especially after losing weight with the chemo. What she does not realize is how the rest of us stand in awe of her.

Her body has literally had a fight for its life, and she has come through with strength, grace, and courage.  She posted constantly in Facebook about faith, and kept doing crafts for her family and others as long as she was able.  She keeps pushing herself to do loving things for others. She sent out wonderful valentine packages for all her grandchildren, among the other things she does.

Because of her weakness, my friend can't even begin to exercise yet; she has started a strict diet plan that there is no way I would want to follow, and set up appointments for physical therapy. Hats off to her, and to all of us who are in the struggle.

I find myself thinking--she did all this, while I did what?  Crossword puzzles?  Read books? Watched TV?  So you see I need to make more progress in my forgiveness journey.  Just recognizing it is a good start, isn't it?