Self Care Sunday ~ Osteopenia Treatment

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It’s been two weeks since I received my Osteopenia Diagnosis and found out I have to change the way I live to prevent progression to Osteoporosis. It’s important to note I am not a candidate for any of medications normally prescribed for Osteopenia that help build Bone Density. Therefore, I have to do it the natural way which is a lot more commitment and work for me.

The below meme reflects the simplified treatment plan the doctor gave me. I was advised to take Calcium with Vitamin D3 twice a day and to do weight bearing exercise with resistance bands. She advised me to avoid free weights until my bones are stronger and should not join a gym because of the COVID pandemic.  Therefore, my workout plan/routine should home based. It should be something I can do anywhere to make it easier for me to fit it in.
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I originally thought I would hire a personal trainer to help me develop a plan. However, I spent most of last weekend researching exercises and recommendations for post menopausal women over 50 for Osteopenia. I quickly realized I don’t need a personal trainer and I don’t need a gym. I found everything I need on the internet and especially on Youtube. I especially love Bob and Brad, two Physical Therapists. Their channel is great. I learned from them my exercise plan focus needs to be four pronged: Weight Bearing, Resistance, Posture and Balance. Weight Bearing and Resistance to build strong denser bones as well as build muscle around the bones for stabilization. Posture to prevent the round spine. Posture will also help with headaches. Finally, Balance is essential towards preventing trips and falls. Here’s one of their videos that is honestly good for just about anyone.

I am doing a phased approach. Remember, I am already a distance walker. So I normally walk three to five miles a few times a week and I shoot for 10,000 steps each day. The Weight Bearing, Resistance, Posture and Balance exercises I started last week are below. I am doing one set of each for the first few weeks and then I will add a second set for a few weeks. After I add the second set, I will increase resistance and weight.

  • 25 Squats – can use a chair for support. (Build strong legs and back)
  • Standing on one foot – 30 seconds each foot, can use a chair for support. (Build strong ankles for balance)
  • Side Steps – It’s described in Bob & Brad’s video.  I am doing it for two minutes throughout the day. (It’s very effective in building side legs, foot and ankle bones and muscles)
  • Neck stretch – 10 times, push the chin back in alignment with the neck. (Posture)
  • Doorway Stretch – 5 times for 10 seconds each.  Arms at a doorway and lean it. See the video.  (Posture)
  • Wall Push-Ups –15 to 20 each each day to start. (Upper body strength and Posture)

Since I am teleworking full time, I work these in throughout my day as I work. I found out last week I probably won’t be required to be in the office until sometime in 2021. They even told me I may be able to stay a 100% remote employee and just occasionally travel to DC instead of having a NJ based office. I should be able to maintain this plan going forward. I will say I noticed I was tire this week. I guess from the additional exercise every day plus the increased Calcium and Vitamin D3.
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The Bikram Yoga Challenge

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I started taking Bikram Yoga four weeks ago. Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises done in the same order in a room heated to 105 degrees. The heat is to help detoxification and it helps to loosen the muscles to make them more flexible.

As I am an experienced yogini and I am pretty flexible, Bikram has come fairly easily to me. But, sometimes the body just doesn’t coöperate. Every day is different in Yoga. Some days I am super flexible while others I am tight. It’s all about self acceptance and awareness. If you fall out of a pose, start over. If you can’t reach your toes, aim for your shins. If you can’t balance on the right leg, maybe you will be able to balance on the left leg. And, if you are really struggling, slow down and only do as much as your body will let you do in that moment. Yoga is very forgiving.

Last night was a tough night on the mat for me. I was tired, cold and my muscles were sore before I even walked into the class. But, I went to class anyway because none of my excuses were good enough for me to skip it. For the first time since starting Bikram, I struggled through my whole practice last night. I just couldn’t get into my body. I wasn’t making the mind body connection. About half way through it I realized I was trying too hard and I just relaxed a bit. I stopped competing with myself and started nurturing myself. I slowed down. I didn’t keep the long holds. I didn’t push myself to my edge. I just allowed myself to be exactly where I was. I stayed in the moment. Instead of getting frustrated with myself or my body I just went with the flow and did what I could. Changing my thinking helped me redirect my energies and get more out of the practice. It also built up some endurance in me. I stuck it out and kept trying. That is a life lesson. We all need to nurture ourselves more. We all need to change our thinking once in a while and give ourselves a break. We all need to stick it out and build up endurance. The key to endurance is really in the mind not the body. The mind can push the body past its self-imposed limits.

The nice thing about Bikram is that it is the same 26 Poses each time so you can see and feel your progress. While practice was challenging for me last night, I did notice major improvements in my Balance and Back Bending poses. That made the 90 minutes in 105 degrees and sore muscles today worth it:-)

While Kripalu Yoga is my favorite style of Yoga, all Yoga is good Yoga. But, I must say I do love the sweat of Bikram and I enjoy Warm/Hot Vinyasa(flow yoga)  as well. I always feel like I sweat something out of me when I leave class. It feels cleansing.

Bikram Yoga is teaching me that even at 45 years old it’s not too late to challenge myself and start over.

Namaste!

Life Intentions Declared As Of January 2, 2013

namaste1I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. They seem cliché to me. But, I do believe in setting Intentions for one’s life. I believe in goals. I am a planner by nature. I believe if you set a goal and make a plan, you can do whatever you set your mind to.

After reflecting back on the last few years of my life, I see some opportunities for growth and continued improvement. Below is a rough list of Intentions or goals that I am setting for my life. This list is not all-inclusive. There are a few things that are far too personal and I have chosen to not share them on my blog. This list is long-term and is a multi-year approach to my life. Basically, this list is a rough list of Intentions for my life and I will use it as a jumpstart to get me moving in the right direction 2013.

Physical Health

I will continue to focus on improving my health in all aspects so I can live a full active life. I will continue to make choices that promote health and wellness in my life. This includes continued commitment to fitness with regular exercise five to seven days per week. While I am now an average weight for my height, I would like to lose an extra 5 to 10 pounds. Since I came this far and lost 80lbs I may as well lose another 5 to 10lbs and get back to my college weight:-)

I will remain committed to being alcohol free. I know if I drink alcohol I will become sick again. I won’t let that happen.

I welcome physical health into my life in 2013.

Emotional and Mental Health

I will continue to make strong healthy choices for myself that focus on taking care of my emotional and mental health. I will make sure to look for ways to better manage stress and anxiety. I will continue speak my peace. I will not internalize. I will not bottle everything up inside. I will allow people to help me. I will allow those who love me to take care of me when I need support. I will seek help when I need it. I will say what I need to say.

I welcome emotional and mental health into my life in 2013.

Financial Health

I will focus my energies on managing money better. It’s been difficult to manage money because of the large medical expenses I’ve had in the last two years. Even with decent insurance I’ve racked up some medical bills for multiple hospital visits. But, I am hoping 2013 will be a year of improvement in my health which will also mean an improvement in discretionary dollars to use for travel or savings.

I welcome wealth and abundance into my life in 2013.

Spiritual Health

It is vitally important to me to keep up my spiritual well-being. I am committed to nurturing my connection to source strength which only comes by practicing Yoga, Meditating, praying, practicing Reiki, offering compassion and empathy to others, by protecting my Karma and the Karma of others. I will live my Mantra of Peace,  Love and Happiness. I will remember that change starts with me. I will allow myself to feel unbridled optimism and passion for my life. I will have the courage to do the hard things in life for the right reasons. I will not give up or give in. I will allow the fire in my belly to burn brightly for all to see.

I welcome spirituality in my life in 2013.

Relationship Health
I plan to continue to surround myself with like-minded people and with people who are good influences for me. We don’t have to agree on everything. We don’t have to have all the same habits or make the same lifestyle choices. For example, I don’t drink Alcohol because I can’t. But, I don’t care if others do while we are out. I am out regularly with people who are drinking when I am not and it’s perfectly fine. But, we need to hold the same basic values.

I will continue to keep up and enforce my boundaries in all relationships.

I like to learn from people. Teach me something. Mold me, inspire me, encourage me and shape my world. Be someone I can respect and look up to. Make an impact on my life.

I will show my love and affection openly for those I love. I will make sure those I love know how I feel. I will continue to believe in LOVE.

I will continue to believe in people.

I will release the past so I can open both arms to welcome the here and now of my life.

I will not give up on LOVE.

I welcome LOVE in all forms into my life in 2013.

Now, here are some things I would like to work on or carry out in the future. There is no deadline on any of these. I just would like to do them sometime in the future whether that they happen this year or twenty years from now:-)  

  • I plan to do a Volunteer Vacation on Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the Glacier Mountains of Montana. Afterwards, I want to decompress for a few days with a Yoga Retreat at Big Sky Yoga Retreats in Bozeman, Montana and spend a few days in Glacier National Park. I always wanted to go to Montana and breathe in the fresh cold air and beautiful sky. I may have to do these two things in separate trips.  If possible, I would like to do the Yoga Retreat in the next year or two. Volunteer Vacation can wait until I have more free time.
  • plan to do a Yoga retreat in Bali.  This is my dream vacation. Yoga and relaxation in Bali. Anyone want to go to Bali with me?
  • I plan to continue to spend my birthday each year at Kripalu Center in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. It’s a wonderful way to bring in my new birth year.  Anyone interested in a mini-vacation in mid-march?  Meet me at Kripalu:-)
  • I plan to go Zip Lining in Poconos.
  • I plan to go on a SPA Vacation at the Red Mountain Resort in Utah. This will be totally for R & R only. http://www.redmountainresort.com/
  • I plan to drive across the great USA one day. I am thinking I would take the Northern route to the West Coast and the Southern Route(Route 66) back East. 
  • I plan to go to the Kentucky Derby one day. I will wear a great, big, beautiful HAT that matches nothing! 
  • A lifelong friend of mine lives in Loughmacaory, Northern Ireland. She keeps inviting me to come for visit. I was planning to go last year until I go so sick. I would love to go. Maybe later this year or next year.
  • I plan to start working on a Memoir type of book. I’ve been told I have good story to tell and should write a book. With working full-time and being sick I really haven’t had the energy to devote to this project. But, I am hoping with the continued improvement in my health, I’ll have more energy. Otherwise, it will have to wait until I am 62 and retire from my full-time job.
  • I plan to attend a Writing Workshop. I have an idea for Fiction type of novel. But, again, I have no time to write it. And, I am having problems structuring it. The Writing Workshop would help get me centered and help me come up with plan.
  • I plan to write short stories and submit them for hard and soft copy publications.
  • I plan to enter writing contests, at least one per year, to continuously hone my craft.
  • Now that I’ve lost all the weight, it’s time to tighten things up. I plan to focus on muscle conditioning, toning and building to keep a thin strong body.
  • I plan to continue my Reiki training and obtain the level of Reiki Master.
  • I plan to include Tai Chi and Qi Gong into my life. I enjoy both.
  • I plan to nurture my intuitive “sensitive” abilities. While at times they scare me, I understand now I need to embrace it.
  • Finally, this list would not be complete unless I threw in, I plan on hitting the lottery, quitting work and doing everything I wrote above in the next year.  Yee hah!!!!

 

Well, this is just few things to start with to get me moving in the right direction. I am sure I missed something so I may edit this post and add on to it at times. But, this is a start.

Thanks for reading and joining me in my journey to find Peace, Love & Happiness. 

Namaste (the Divinity in me bows to the Divinity to you)!

January 1, 2013

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This is me with my typical extra large coffee. Although it’s decaf now it’s still coffee. The picture was taken today at the Polar Plunge. It reminded me that on January 1, 2012 I was 50lbs heavier. I’ve lost 80lbs all together which also reminded me of other things that happened in 2012:
-I stopped drinking alcohol.
-I went on Yoga Retreat for the first time at Kripalu.
-I Parasailed for the first time.
-I opened my heart, hung it out on a limb and I am surprisingly ok with that:-)
-I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
-I reversed Liver and Heart Diseases
-I committed to working out, health and fitness.
-I bought a new car.

I can see now 2012 was a year of growth and preparation. Almost as if God was preparing me for something bigger and better. I was letting go of everything that no longer served me including the extra weight.

13 is going to be my lucky number. 2013 is the year all good things will come to me. I welcome love into my heart, health into my body and wealth and abundance into my life.

Happy New Year!!!!
I wish you all Peace, Love and Happiness.