Tag Archives: exercise

Yeah I Bit

Being 599 years old now (50) I have turned into one of those “I used to walk 5 miles one way barefoot in the snow to school” people when relating how “hard” we had it back in the day and how soft the yutes of today are. I love saying stuff like, “back in the day we had to look in a phone book for a number or call and get direction or use an actual paper map to get somewhere. These churn know nothing of the hardships we dusties born in the 1960s had to endure. But, let’s be clear, I love my tech. I love saying “ok Google, give me the best chocolate chip cookie recipe while listening to Spotify on my fancy wireless speakers. When it comes to tech and fitness though, I’m decidedly old school. I think the most important tech you need is a good pair of shoes for whatever your activity is. Tech fabric is good too for old hot flashing broads like myself but the wearables? Nah B I’m good. My Timex Ironman tells me how long and how fast I’m going and any course I’m on has mile markers on it. Yet a funny thing happened in March 2015. I had the bright idea to take my old self to the store and get a wearable. I didn’t do any research either. I know my Soror swore by her wearable and if it was good enough for my diva sister it would be good enough for me. So I copped me a Fitbit.

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Being a semi-doubter I wasn’t about to drop any serious coin, so I got the next to the cheapest model, the One. It was cool, easy to set up and use and the app was clean. I stuck it on my strap and headed out the door, every day, that I remembered and logged 35 to 45k steps a week. Clearly short of the standard 10,000 a day “they ” say we’re supposed to get. It didn’t help me do any more than I was already doing. Then one day I forgot I had it clipped to mon brassiere and threw it in the washing machine. It no longer worked but I was not pressed. I was busy anyway, working all those jobs trying to get my life together. 10,000 steps, let alone a Fitbit, was the last thing on my mind. Then it happened.

I blew up!

Being a petite fleur, 5 lbs shows up quickly and I was up about 25. Then my doctor was on my case about it so, I got another ONE. I wore it every day got the steps in when I could and reached that fanatic tipping point where I would turn my car around and go back home and get the blasted Fitbit if I forgot it. Who does that? Me and a bunch of other weirdos who want to track every doggone thing. I was full-fledge addicted and it was nothing nice.

I started adding friends on Fitbit, participating in Challenges, and watched my dad and that same Soror whoop me every week in step totals. Didn’t care though, I was actually moving more, was actually getting those pounds off and winning a challenge every now and then. All that “success” justified a reward, that reward was an upgrade. Amazon had the Charge2 on sale and I had to have it.

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I was in love. So sleek, so fancy, telling me when to get up off my fanny and move, it was the bomb! Until it wasn’t. I missed my watch. My regular big old Ironman. I TOOK it off and put my One back on and watch my steps turn well, weird. I could walk through Wal-Mart and get a thousand steps with the One and get MAYBE a quarter of that with the Charge2. I could do my hair for an hour with the Charge2 and get a thousand steps sitting down. I called bulls***.

The Charge2 is arm sensitive/driven. Do a lot of arm moving and waving and those steps go up. Walk with little arm movement or if it isn’t loose enough on the arm the steps are woefully under counted. There’s some user forums and documents and such that tell you to measure your steps and calibrate to address those issues. Then I remembered why I didn’t get a wearable for such a long time. I ain’t trying to do ALL THAT.

Now it’s May 2017. I still wear them both but use the Charge2 mostly for cardio and strength training and the One for walking. As of the day of this writing I haven’t worn either for a few days and it’s been GREAT! You see sometimes too much of a good thing is exactly that, too much. Fitbit had me stressing over how much sleep I wasn’t getting (which was also dead wrong), how I can smoke my friends step count and going into full scale panic when I didn’t have it on. Do I think wearables are useful? Absolutely, they can be a motivator and provide instant feedback on what you’re doing. However they can’t be wholly relied upon to starting or maintaining a healthy body/healthy life. In my experience, how my body and mind feel continues to be the best gauge of stamina, strength, flexibility and how rested and mentally well I am. Might be the same for you too.

Tell me about your experience. Do you use a wearable to measure your exercise, steps, heart rate and such? How’s it working out for you? Let me know in the comments or in the usual spots and until next time, see you on the trail where I’ll be rocking my trusty Ironman and maybe a Fitbit hidden somewhere.

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P.S. add me on Fitbit ūüėÉ

Photos: MsThorns

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Wrap It Up

Welcome to 2016, I hope that your year thus far is as happy as it was when the clock struck 12 on January 1. After the indulgences of the holidays and maybe a respite from your fitness program you’re probably rip roaring to go and take off what you¬†might have put on during the the festivities. Perhaps you did stay on track, didn’t pig out and stuck to your fitness program, if so good for you send some of that energy my way. I happen to be in the former group, having enjoyed plenty of food and wine between Thanksgiving and TODAY quite frankly I am now I’m ready to get it together. ¬†However, I know who I am and jumping right into the eat right thing isn’t happening so I’m getting started by getting ye olde body moving again. The thing is, it seems that this body requires quite a bit more assistance than it used to. So, ladies and gentleman, I’d like to introduce you to the Abominable¬†Exercise Woman.

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Rocking the latest in hurting joint fashions Abominable Exercise Woman models elbow sleeves to prevent the recurrence of tennis elbow and to aid with proper alignment in all those pushups and chaturangas, a knee brace for the arthritic knee and wrist wraps to prevent trauma that can cause the recurrence of the scary sounding but mostly harmless, ganglion cyst. ¬†The injuries, the impending big 50 and this perimenopause/hormonal poundage got a sista HURTIN! However, I shall press on. ¬†Two weeks in and I have actually had some improvement in my back, it’s not nearly as stiff and achy in the morning as previously experienced, so I’ll wrap up if that’s going to reduce the aches and pains. Hopefully I can lose some of this fine attire as my fitness level increases.

Now as always I ask, what about you? What wraps, contraptions, potions and concoctions do you use in order to work out? Do you use them all the time or only when you’re hurting? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+. ¬†Until next time see you in the living room, where I’ll be all wrapped up, but moving somehow.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Giving Thanks

Shortly after the last post, my doctor released me into the wild and instead of going HAM as is my usual fashion, I took it slow. A couple of walks with some yoga.  Went back to the gym which was sorely missed to work on regaining my Queen of Treadmill title because its too freaking hot here to walk outside in the evening and I even hit the weights, machines of course and boy I got a lonnnnnnnnngggg way to go to get some strength back, even so I am THANKFUL.

I have explained to some and damn near shouted to others who don’t get it that a person who is use to moving can be in a bad way when they’re not. ¬†Let me tell you I was SALTY as a mug during that time I was down. I was drinking all the haterade and was downright indignant watching folks running and biking and lifting and doing all things physical from the sideline.

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MsThorns

I was a sorry patient and a depressed one. ¬†I knew sideline time wasn’t final, nevertheless it sucked. ¬†During that sucky time, I learned that my ability to move should not be taken for granted. You think I would have learned it before but these time, well, was just different.

I count my blessings now.

I actually DO stop if I see bunnies and butterflies, I actually do listen for the sounds of birds and crickets, I actually do look at every flower and stay on the look out for Smokey and Yogi because it seems every summer there is some bear running around, usually in Sandy Springs but still I watch ūüôā I still work out my problems on the trail and EVERY time I have a little talk with Jesus because a lot of times, actually most times I need him to fix it.

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MsThorns

I’m thankful for this body I live in it and all of its perfect imperfections. ¬†I’m thankful that it can move and that it serves me well in all that need and want to do. It’s the only one I’ve got and you best belief I want it to to keep moving.

What are you thankful for? What lessons have you learned on your journey.  Let me know in the comments and all the usual places.

Until next time, see you somewhere, I’ll be the one moving with a smile on my face.
 

Have ALL the Seats

Summer Summer Summertime means¬† freedom. We’re free from the bad weather and drudgery of trekking through snow and rain and days of gray skies to enjoy sunshine, blues skies and and all things green. Summer time is NEKKID time err at the least, much fewer clothes time and for health and fitness enthusiasts we are freed from the gym. Boot campers, runners, bikers,¬† tail chi and yoga practitioners all head outdoors to do things in fresh air instead of the feet and azz smell of the gym. ¬†I especially looked forward to the summer of 2015 because I would NOT be training for Peachtree which means I could walk as much and as fast or slow as I want (yeah I’m still complying with the no running rule). I could stop and look at butterflies and squirrels and flowers and not worry about my time.¬† Yeah, this summer was going to be awesome, or so I thought.

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Thus far I’ve had to enjoy summer at a distance, you see ye olde broad’s body decided that it didn’t have the energy to do anything back in June because it has gone full tilt hormonal.¬† Things got bad enough that the doctor told me to have seat, i.e. refrain from any strenuous pursuits which resulted in my 195,675th hissyfit of the year. My dears, this is getting old.

She advised, I consented and am hopeful that the trip that necessitated this dreadful outfit will result in my health situation improving and permission to exercise.

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Getting old ain’t easy, getting old as a woman can provide some special challenges, but a good healthcare team, the good Lord, and of course yoga has made it bearable thus far. Hopefully soon I can join you kids outside again.

So what have you been doing this summer? Spending more time outside? Doing new and exciting things? Traveling?  Allow me to live vicariously through you and tell me about your summer in the comments.

Until next time, see you anywhere but the doctor’s office.
Photos: MsThorns
Video: DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince on Vevo

Appointment with Dr. No

Oh the travails of aging.

The week of Valentines Day I got sick. Not flu or anything but sick enough to be home a few days. Well that little nastiness continued to linger and by the time I attempted that headstand I felt worse afterward and my nose was doing some unusual things. Being one of those nuts who Googles symptoms I was convinced that I had some awful/horrible/dreadful illness and promptly sent a couple of panicky emails to my PCP. By the next day was in front of her.

Turns out that the nose was no biggie just rhinitis and since I was there I asked her what types of exercise are safe for me to do considering this degenerative disc stuff. Dr. Diva turned into Doctor NO when she said NO to:

Squats
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LungesJan3
Anything that requires me to be airborne (running, jumping jacks, which is most things in any HIIT workout)Jan2

and headstands, at which point I entered my final plea:

Me: well can I do squats and lunges with no weight, I’m going to do them unless you tell me no.
Her: I thought already told you that.

Truth be told, I already knew the answer to my question, but as a stubborn old person I’m not changing unless it is required and now it is required.

Until next time see you on the floor do some old school doggie kicks or something like that.

Photos by MsThorns – thanks to Jan B. for being my fitness model ūüôā

Powered By Soul Spotlight – Sonya Strider

This profile was actually completed at the end of last year, however as scheduling or lack thereof would have it, it’s being published now. ¬†We’re three weeks into the new year and I’m guessing that some of our eat better, exercise more, lose weight resolutions/intentions/goals may have fallen by the wayside. ¬†Here’s hoping that this young lady will help you get back on the wagon.

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I met Sonya, or should I say Sonya pranced (yeah you should see her walk) into my life 5 years or so ago at a sorority party. She’s an all eyes and all ears on her type of woman, not that she demands it, folks her just drawn to HER. ¬†I was one of the moths drawn to her flame and she has been my GURRRLLLL ever since. She is a brainiac scientist, fashionista and the best friend an old broad could have, introducing my partner in crime and Soror Foxy Brown, er Ms. Sonya Strider in her own words.

You are?

Sonya Strider, originally from Norfolk, Virginia, living in Atlanta, GA. I’m 46 and am a Health Scientist at CDC

Tell us about your fitness routine?

I walk/run 4-6 miles at least 4 days a week. I also do soul line dancing 4-6 hours each week and bootcamp 5 times a week.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?

I try to put out more than I take in ūüôā I have at least one green smoothie per day and at least one salad.

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How long have you been engaged in your fitness and nutrition plans?

Almost two years.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?

Since beginning racing I’ve gone from a 20 minute mile to my current 13.5 minute mile and have completed 29 5K races and one 10k since November 2013.¬† I kicked off 2015 with a 4-miler followed by a 12k.¬† Since losing weight, I have been able to discontinue blood pressure medication and reduce the amount of insulin that I take daily.

What keeps you motivated to continue your healthy lifestyle?

The hopes of living a long healthy life, without diabetic complications. Of course being able to wear clothes that don’t end in “W” is a huge motivator too..:-)

Your motto or personal philosophy?

Each new day is another chance to get it right.

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Whew, did you get all that? If that doesn’t motivate you Powered by Soul will keep trying. In the meantime, many thanks to Sonya for sharing her story and being an inspiration to hopefully get you (and me) back on the stick.

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the Spotlight drop a line in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.

Photos: Sonya Strider, MsThorns

Welcome Letter

Dear New Member/Returning Member,

I was pleased as punch to see you this weekend.¬† Almost two weeks in and you are still dedicated to getting fit.¬† That’s great and I hope you continue to keep up the good work and if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them per your request.¬† One thing that I wish to ask you, and please don’t be offended as I am curious. Why is that you get on the gym floor with your earbuds/headphones and SING, RAP AND TALK ON THE PHONE at the top of your lungs?

I see you over there working those abs, good job but I HEARD you before I entered.  Though you think you may sound like Luther, it comes across like scratching a chalkboard with fingernails. Though you think your flow is somewhat akin to that of Nas, you sound more like flock of geese wailing.  This time and only this time will I offer you this unsolicited word of truth:

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Ain’t nobody in this gym here for your loud a** non-singing, non-rhyming, telling everybody’s business on your phone conversation self.¬† We are here to workout.¬† You are too right?¬† Of course you are, so focus on your set, and not your song. Your body and the entire gym will thank you for that.

Signed,

An aspiring FIT Person and Fellow Member of the local gym

P.S. dancing however, is allowed

Photo: MsThorns