January 2019


What do I want for my heath and fitness goals? Well, first of all, I want to have all my toes when I die. In order to do that, I need to keep my diet under control, especially my carb intake. Even if my next A1C is normal, I’ve been warned that my body is not able to process as many carbs as I would love to consume, so I’m stuck with a choice between full blown diabetes and unlimited chocolate.

I’ve been doing CrossFit for over six years now. I really thought I would be better at this by now. I’m not. Actually, I’m much better than when I started, I’m just not as better as I want to be. I would like to be Kylie or Liz or Wendy but I’m old enough to be their mother and so that is probably not ever going to happen. I guess I should pick something else. But what? I have no idea what is a reasonable fitness goal for me.

My stated goals for the year are to get rid of the stutter jump in my double unders and to get the courage to kick up to the wall. For the first, I have to practice and so that’s entirely up to me. For the second, I can hold my weight upside down at least for a short time. Kicking up to the wall is terrifying for me and I can’t even tell you why. But I’m brave enough. I think.

My unstated goal, or not written on the goal board, is to get to 50% of the double unders the aforementioned whiz kids accumulate. If I can get to half the number as that written on the board, I will be happy with myself. It will always take me forever, especially since I have to have that extra single under in there between each double under. If I can get rid of that, I should be able to get a few more in a row before my heart rate is too high.

But … all those Olympic lifts are dreams. There is always more weight regardless of what I do and there is always way more weight on all the other bars in the gym. And yet … there was a time when I could only dream of what I can do today. I could go back and look to see when the first time I got 35# overhead was, but I’m not that curious. I know it took me a long time to get there. I also don’t really know how long it took me to break parallel on my squat, but it was quite a bit of time.

Today’s WOD was a repeat of 15.5 or 27-21-15-9 of calorie row and thrusters. My Open weight for thrusters is 35# so that is what I did. I hate thrusters. My heart rate spikes and I have to rest. Even with that light weight. I actually had a time for 15.5 from 2015. It was 24.23. Today, I wanted to cut the reps. I actually wanted to cut the class. I really hate thrusters. But there I was and I knew I could do this piece of crap because I’d done it before. So I did 72 calorie row and 72 thrusters. I finished in 22.42.

So, after four years, I cut about 90 seconds off my time. That’s rather pitiful. While trying to make myself feel a bit better about it, I remembered that we had kilo bars or I was doing 33# before instead of the 35# today and so I actually put an extra 144# over my head. That didn’t really help me. I used to think I would just improve and work hard and improve some more. But I just work hard and don’t die which is really helpful. But it’s not an improvement.

So what should I expect? I’m now 66 instead of 62. Lots of people my age are already dead, which as I’ve pointed out, I’m not. So I should be grateful if not amazed that I’m still moving at all. And I know that as we age, we get slower and weaker but I’m not sure when this descent into feebleness actually starts and if I’m just going to fizzle out at some point. I don’t know if I should hope to maintain my lift weights or hope that they decrease by just small margins.

I have no idea what I’m doing. This isn’t new. I can learn the vocabulary. I can learn the movement. What I can’t learn is what is the correct thing for me to actually aspire to. This is true in and out of the gym.

I’ve been steadily losing weight since October. I can’t keep this up. I have gone back to counting everything not for the carbs, but for the calories. I’m not eating enough even though I’m never hungry. I’m not roller coastering my blood sugar and starving as a result. So I don’t eat enough and this affecting my gym performance.

I really don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. And I really don’t know how to find out exactly what that should be. I’m this old and still just winging it. I really thought that eventually, I would know something. Not yet.

171202-z-ju667-0474

Advertisements

How much water do we need to drink every day? If someone tells you a number, run. There is no number because the real answer is, “It depends”. It depends on several different things, none of them are how much coffee you drink.

It depends on the weather outside. You need more to drink when it is hot and humid than you do when it is cold and dry. The more you perspire (and from here on out I’m calling it sweat), the more you need to drink.

It depends on what you are doing or have recently done. If you are sitting on the patio reading a good book you need less water than if you are at the gym working like a maniac. Again, the more you sweat, the more you need to drink.

It depends on what you eat or have eaten. If you have a bowl of deliciously covered in melted butter and salt popcorn you need to drink more than if you a bowl of deliciously chilled watermelon.

Your body strives for homeostasis. It’s what drives most of your autonomic nervous system. You need to maintain your body’s pH and you never even think about it. You need to maintain your oxygen level and you only think about when you get short of breath. You need to do many things to keep yourself alive and your body only lets you know about when there is danger ahead.

If you don’t breathe, you will die in a matter of minutes. If you don’t eat, you will die in a matter of months. If you don’t drink, you will die in just a matter of days. It is the second most important thing your body needs. Air, then water, then food, and at a far distant remove are all the other things.

So, you body lets you know when you need air and you breathe. Gasping for breath is a terrifying thing and we try to avoid it, but some of those workouts are just that difficult. When your body is getting low on water, you get thirsty.

Food is trickier. We now live in a time of unnatural abundance. Food was never this plentiful and most of one’s life was making sure there was enough of it to get through the winters or lean times. That’s why we store fat, just in case we run out of food later. We don’t just get rid of the extra calories we don’t need right now like we do with water. And now that food is abundant, we eat often when we aren’t hungry.

Having noticed this early in the last century, some diet people advocated that you drink more calorie free water in order to fill your stomach and your time. This should stop you from eating out of boredom. And so the eight-eight rule was born out of dieting, not anything medical.

I am a Baby Boomer. Back when I was in school, there were no water bottles in every child’s hand. We got to line up and get a drink at the drinking fountain before or after morning recess, at lunch, and on very hot days – again in the afternoon. Otherwise we just turned into sand dunes. Wait, we didn’t. We all lived to become this massive economic wave still irritating all those after us.

That’s because you don’t die of thirst in a matter of minutes and being thirsty will eventually get you to a water source, at least in this country where we have plumbing and water fountains spread around like dandelions in spring. You don’t have any bad consequences from not drinking all damn day long even when you aren’t thirsty.

In fact, one of the problems with this nonsense is when you drink too much after dinner. Then you are up half the night getting rid of all that excess water you didn’t need in the first place when what you really do need is a good night’s sleep. Americans are woefully under-rested. There are very important physiological and psychological things that take place while you are sleeping. And when you are up making trip after trip to the bathroom, they don’t get done. By the way, your kidneys know you need to sleep and slow down their filtration during the night so you can sleep. All this extra drinking is thwarting your body’s real health system.

I was nurse for over twenty years. Never once in all that time did we ever force any patient to drink a certain amount of water. We did, on occasion, have to limit the amount of water patients got. If you have certain medical conditions, your body will not get rid of the excess fluid and it builds up in your lungs and you can drown.

I have no idea if all this drinking to excess and for no good reason is going to cause any medical issues down the road. All of the United States is being used as a test to see if overworking kidneys for no reason whatsoever will lead to kidney failure later in life.

People in countries without good plumbing are not drinking half their body weight in water and an extra cup of water for every cup of coffee and throwing some in for good measure just in case. They don’t die of dehydration although they might die from lack of cleanliness which would be exacerbated by using water to drink when not thirsty instead of cleaning up bacteria laden messes.

Every time I see someone telling me how much water I have to drink, I know they know nothing about health, science, or medicine. They are spreading an old wives’ tale based on a dieting tip that may or may not have any basis even in dieting.

If you are thirsty, get a drink. If you aren’t, enjoy your life. And get a good night’s sleep because that is really important.

glass-3700480_640

It’s been months now and I’m still alive and still dealing with a diagnosis I was sure would never come my way. I’m fit and normal weight. And I’m still pre-diabetic. I think. It’s been over four months since my A1C was checked. I do have an appointment scheduled in a few weeks. I will see if what I’ve been doing is working.

Although I wasn’t overweight when I started this nonsense, I’m even less so now, having lost twelve pounds in the interim. Not that I’ve been trying, it’s just that without all the carbs in my life, I’ve shed some weight. I’ve been a little leery of this but my weights in the gym seem to be staying stable. In fact, if I had to guess, I would say my performance with Olympic lifts continues to improve. I know that my CrossFit Open old fart scaled weight of 35# thrusters seems to feel less crushing. I can get more reps in before I have to rest.

I’ve tried a lot of new foods. Some of them have been successful, some have not. I’ve tried desserts made with fake sugars and they all have a horrible aftertaste. I would rather not eat them at all than spend ridiculous amounts of money and effort to have something that tastes nasty.

I tried some zero carb “noodles” I found online. I couldn’t eat more than the original taste sample because they were so horrid. Even though I spent a lot of money on them, I had to throw them away. I tried Birds’ Eye vegetable pasta and it was unimpressive. It is not anything I would buy again, but I could eat it for one meal. It was as many carbs as a half serving of regular pasta with none of the taste.

I’ve always been fond of fruit and even that is a problem. So I have been measuring out portions. In fact, I’ve been measuring out portions of everything. Sometimes I believe the carbs are worth it and when they aren’t, I don’t eat the stuff.

For the first three month, was trying to keep my carbs around 100 – 125. I usually managed to stay in the 90s and never did get as high as 125. Then I finally went to a class for my condition and the dietician there said 45 – 50 carbs per meal and 15 carbs for each of two to three snacks. That is so much higher than I was doing that I stopped counting every damn carb. Well, I never did add the 4 carbs per day of milk I put in my coffee, but still.

I try to keep each meal in the 30-40 carb range so if I’m careless with my reckoning, it won’t matter because I have some leeway. I know my breakfasts are either 1 carb (days I don’t work out) or 17 carbs (on the days I do). My snacks are usually something healthy and may be slightly over the 15  count, but not ever more than 20 and I only have one or two per day, not three. I stopped trying to record every morsel of food.

My mother watched her fat intake to the point of making everyone around her a little crazy. She wouldn’t eat this and that and seriously limited her fat intake. She died of a heart attack anyway.

I’m looking forward to finding out if what I’ve been doing is enough or even too much. I’m pretty sure that no matter what my A1C number is, I can’t go back to just willy nilly eating anything and everything. It would just make it rise again for the next time.

I have given myself permission to eat one decadent piece of chocolate per day and figure it into my carb count. I have tried new and different recipes, some of them quite successful. I have cut back on breads, potatoes, and pasta without noticing too much of a problem. Pasta is the hardest of all these.

My biggest worry now is that I continue to lose weight although not as rapidly as when I started. Still, I worked really hard to build up this amount of muscle and my BMI is now 21.8. With my muscle mass, that’s an inflated number. Weightlifters really aren’t who those tables are made for and our numbers are skewed because we have higher than normal mass due to more muscle tissue.

I’ve tried to find out if there is any difference for diabetics regarding where the carbs are coming from. It seems we really don’t know that much about nutrition. Which is a shame, considering the state of our national nutritional mess. What I did see over and over again is that the more processed something is, the less healthy it is for you. Which makes all the “fake” food substitute things a little suspect.

Hopefully, I will find out that what I’ve been doing is working well. I can manage this without much problem. I’ve even figured out how to dine out. So, I guess I’m just going to get to keep all my toes. At least, I hope so.

abundance-agriculture-bananas-264537

After spending so much time on the planet, I think I’ve learned a few things. One of the things I’ve learned is that there are a whole bunch of people out there who have said some seriously amazing things. They are wise. They are witty. They are important. They are entertaining.

Because I love to see beautiful pictures with these words plastered on them, I decided I could find beautiful pictures to go with some amazing words. At first, I used only my own pictures so the month of January was done before I noticed how much trouble I was going to have keeping this up for the entire year. I’m not a professional photographer.

Pictures from me do come from local areas as well as places I’ve visited. There are some equally wonderful and yet unused pictures of my own that may get sprinkled in later in the year.

I went to the internet and learned how to find free to use and modify pictures. I started using them for February. There are some amazing pictures out there, some with attribution required (and thus given) and some simply free to use.

So, my project for the year is this: I have twelve topics. One for each month – wasn’t that clever? I will find a quote related to that topic and then find a picture related to the quote. I will use my powers of creativity to combine these two to make a beautiful picture with words.

Then, just for a nod to my preferred outlet for creativity, I will write a short paragraph about the item and post it each day. The idea is to get them posted daily at 9 AM.

I would love to be able to automatically share them to Facebook, but apparently WordPress and Facebook had a falling out. I’m assuming someone was demanding money and didn’t get it. So, while it is perfectly simple to schedule the blog post to appear each day at 9 AM, I have to remember to get over to WordPress and link it to Facebook. Most days I’m still at the gym at 9 AM, so this will happen later in the day.

Here’s a Thought is the name of my project, new blog, motivational or inspirational outlet. I hope the wisdom of the ages will come through during the course of the year. I know that my ability to work with all the various programs needed to make each picture has gotten easier or better with time. So we should see continuous improvement with this going forward, although I’m rather pleased with even the earliest items. I impress easily, I guess.

I hope you give it a try. Click to go to Here’s a Thought.

Flashes Current Pear Idea Energy Light Light Bulb