Friday, June 27, 2014

Fitness Friday - Behind Door #3

I've mentioned before that the gym where Ryan and I work out, Anytime Fitness, is right next door to Chen's Buffet. Yep, right next door. To a Chinese buffet. Seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me. Well, it did, anyway, until I changed my way of thinking. 

You see, on the other side of Chen's is U.S. Renal Care, a dialysis clinic. Every time I go to the gym, I see the Chinese buffet and the dialysis clinic. Now, my workout happens before sun-up or it just might not happen, so I seldom see Chen's during their open hours. But that clinic is another story. It opens pretty early in the morning. 

I barely noticed U.S. Renal Care when I first started Boot Camp. Mainly because I'm barely awake when I get there. Over the past few months, however, I've noticed it more and more. There are people going into the dialysis clinic for treatments starting around 5:30am. Every day. To have their blood filtered by a machine, because their kidneys just won't do it anymore. Some have friends or relatives who drive them there. Others ride the Go Bus, a rural public transportation system. 

Now, I don't know the people I see going into there and I don't know their stories. But I know mine. And I know that I don't ever want any chapter or page or paragraph or sentence of my crazy life story to include "that time when I was hooked up to the kidney machine." From what I understand, that whole dialysis process is just no fun, and I'm just not down with that. 

There are many reasons why someone would have kidney failure. Just check Web MD - they have lists and lists of symptoms and causes. Some of those reasons are things that can't be prevented, simply because things just happen. Other reasons, heart problems, high blood pressure and obesity, among others, can be prevented just by paying attention to one's health. This is where my way of thinking has changed. I believe, with proper nutrition and adequate exercise, the kidney machine and I will not become acquaintances.  And I believe that I'm going to work really hard to stay out of that clinic. 

These days, I get plenty of exercise. I haven't smoked the cigarettes in eight years. I have reduced my Dr Pepper intake to about one per month. I drink beer, wine and spirits, but not too much. Although it is a constant battle, I'm trying improve my nutrition. I don't go to Chen's anymore. I keep my stress levels pretty low. These are lifestyle changes that I have decided to make to improve my quality of life for now and for my future. 

So, I'll keep what's behind Door Number Three. And I'll leave the buffet and the clinic for the next contestant. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Fitness Friday - What I've learned about myself...

This week marks one year that I've been going to my Boot Camp class at the gym. My friend, Shelly, talked me into doing it. My friend, Tracy, teaches it. I'll be honest, I was reluctant to go to the class for a few reasons. 1. Because it starts at 5:30am. In the morning. Before sunrise. 2. Because I had no idea what to do at something called "Boot Camp." 3. I have no athletic ability whatsoever. But, I went, and I've been going to the gym an average of three days a week ever since. Yeah, so, there have been some weeks when I only went one day, but there have been plenty of weeks where I've been four or five. Anyway, here are some things I've learned about myself in the past year. Some of these things are very positive, some are not so much. I'm working on those. 

1. I CAN get out of bed in time to be at the gym at 5:30am.
2. It takes ten minutes to get from our house to the gym. 
3. I am fully aware of #2, so some days I can get completely dressed, brush my teeth, ponytail my hair and get some water in ten minutes. This gives me eighteen more minutes of sleep (nine minutes at a time, of course). 
4. When I started working out, I could do one plank-style push-up. I'm not kidding. I could do one. 
5. I can now do at least fifteen plank-style push-up in a row. If I drop to my knees, I can do a whole bunch more. 
6. I like working out with friends a LOT more than working out alone. 
7. I still haven't lost enough weight to even mention, but I look better in my clothes.
8. I can overhead press 15 pound dumbbells for ten reps, three times. (I started with 8 pound weights.)
9. I cannot lift a horse.
10. When I work out in the morning, I am less likely to eat unhealthy foods throughout the day. 
11. I am better at working out in the morning than after work.
12. I can run one mile without stopping.
13. I am very interested in eating less sugar and fewer processed foods.
14. But, I really love dipped ice cream cones from Dairy Queen.
15. I can hold a plank for 1 minute and 15 seconds.
16. I can make homemade ranch dressing that is unbelievably better than Hidden Valley.
17. I still get discouraged that I haven't lost weight.
18. Even so, I have a hard time staying motivated to eat fewer calories every day.
19. But, I keep trying.  
20. I love the blue of the sky when the sun is just rising.
21. I cannot be trusted with a restaurant menu. 
22. I am encouraged and inspired by the people in the photo on this page.
23. If I do not eat breakfast before I leave the house, I either skip breakfast altogether or eat something terribly unhealthy.
24. I can run and walk for 3.1 miles, but I really like to refer to it as 5 THOUSAND meters! 
25. I'm in better shape than I thought I was, because after three hours of horseback riding, I was not incredibly sore all over. 
26. Self-tanning lotion makes my feet darker way before it makes my legs darker.
27. I can do twenty situps in one minute. 
28. One year ago, I could not do one. 
29. I don't miss Dr Pepper as much as I thought I would. (I've only had ten in the past sixteen months.) 
30. I am really glad Shelly talked me into going to Boot Camp a year ago. 

Much love and many blessings to you!

What have you learned about yourself this year?