Waddling, or Walking?

Weight Loss after menopause

  • Lifting weights – building muscle can lead to more weight loss, because more muscle increases the basal metabolic rate, so that your body will burn more calories for all of the things it does. If you are sitting watching the TV, you can sit there and lift some hand weights. They are cheap to buy, and can definitely help. And if you don’t want to spend the money on it, there’s those cans in the pantry, lifting the cans, tightening the curves!
  • Walking – move to lose, add walking to everyday life, walk rather than drive, perhaps commit to a particular number of steps walked every day, going for a walk rather than sitting down for a cuppa.
  • Choosing better foods – snacks are so easy, aren’t they? And ladies who lunch (too often), can be ladies who gain more weight than they want or need. Being aware of what is good and what is bad, should be second nature to a woman sho is a mother, shouldn’t it? Not necessarily. As a mum, we may have strongly encouraged our children to eat fruit, which is a good thing for everyone, but the sugars in fruit can go toward keeping on the kilos you want off. Make vegetables a go to snack, not fruit so much, carrot sticks, broccoli, and green beans? A lovely low calorie snack is such vegetables, used to dip into unflavoured yoghurt, or spice the yoghurt up by mixing a little sweet chilli sauce through it. Yum!
  • Lifestyle changes – when we’re younger, racing around being mothers, and keeping the house tidy when there are children there, means we’re working – house work is definitely work, and sometimes it can be exhausting! Often women have people in to do cleaning they no longer wish to do, which is fair enough, if you can afford to do that! But that housework may have been helping you to keep the weight down a bit.
    It’s the ‘Use it or Lose it’ line turned over, to ‘Use it and Lose It’. The first refers to abilities you wish to hold onto, such as skills you have, or mobility, while the second refers to those unwanted kilos. 
  • It’s actually a thing, that after menopause, the weight starts heading toward the belly, rather than thighs and bottom, which, while a good thing, in some ways, is bad in actual health outcomes.
    Who wants a fat bum? But looking into it, who wants a fat belly? No-one, that’s who. Our body might be holding onto the weight there, but our brains have to take charge here, and help us to do better, so our bodies can work better. 
  • For some, retirement leads to far less stress, for others, more, or little change. But most of us, once we are no longer heading off to work 9-5, 5 days a week, have more time available to explore new ways to spend our time. If we can, we should look to new ways that are calming, and easy, so we can wave goodbye to stress that may have been a regular thing when working.
    If retirement and stress are there though, it’s time to look at those simple projects, knitting, crochet, can help with mindfulness, as can gardening. And of course being out in the garden can lead to a little digging, perhaps, or trimming and pruning various bushes and trees.
  • And if you’re putting off your walking because of the rain, there’s always the fun of walking through the house, and the front and back veranda. If you walk briskly, up and down, around and around for a while, every now and then during the day, every day, the step walked all add up, and the benefits accrue!
    And of course, in finer weather, walking up and down the streets near you can give you interesting ideas for your garden, and you may meet others there who turn put to be interesting people. Lose weight, gain a friend, perhaps! 
  • And if you don’t have a dog, did you know that Greyhounds can be lovely household pets? In South Australia, and other states, the is a program where racing greyhounds, on retirement from the track, are fostered in people’s homes, and taught how to manage household life, rather than the kennel life they’ve always known. These greyhounds need walking, and the people who take on a foster greyhound get great training and assistance, in their task of teaching their foster dog. Once the greyhound has learnt what it needs to know, a new forever home will be found for it, and the foster parent can get another one.
    It’s a way to have a dog in the house, without having it being so much of a burden. You can take on a dog, then once it leaves, off you go to holidays, without the worries of finding somewhere to board a dog.
  • And of course if greyhounds creep into your heart, maybe you’ll get one of your own, and there will always be a beautiful long legged creature there, needing a walk, so you won’t be able to be lazy, your greyhound will look at you with those big eyes, and you’ll both be up, and off on that walk! Both of you will be trim and terrific!

Steps Toward My Best Life?

In the interest of maintaining my current (good) level of mobility, and in fact making it even better, I’ve been working at increasing my level of physical exercise. And because I’m on a disability support pension, and not a millionaire, I choose the cheapest method of increasing my mobility, by walking. That’s it, I put on my walking shoes and I walk, briskly, and as many days as I can manage.

I don’t have a fit bit or any other fancy gadget, to tell me how far, or how fast I’ve walked, I just count the steps and that’s it. Last week I think it was, or perhaps the week before that, I started on doing a certain number of steps inside our house, then the same number outside in the back yard, then the same number in the front yard.

It was 300 in each spot, I think. then, as that got easier, I did some more, and then more, and more. Today has been my best day, I decided to do some roadwork rather than keeping it at my place, and I did 500 steps in one direction, turned around and came back home, so 500 steps in the opposite direction. That made 1,000 steps, but there was more to come.

I decided to finish up the session by doing more steps on the back veranda, and then around our swimming pool. So I went up and down the veranda, down a cement path, and then back to the veranda, and off around the pool, and back. Step by step, 200, 300, 400, and then 500 steps!

And these steps aren’t casually strolling along, these are brisk, pump up the heart rate steps, and I can feel proud of myself for doing them! I have an appointment to see my neurologist next month, after having another MRI in a fortnight. I’m certainly feeling well, and able to take part in ‘normal’ life. Of course at the moment, in our current Covid-19 scaled back world, nothing is really normal. But getting outside and walking, that’s normal, no Covid issues out there, the virus would have to be really moving to catch up with me with my brisk walk!

So do I have an end point, or goal in mind? Am I going to take this further, into some kind of competition? No, toning my body, keeping healthy, and staying that way, that the best goal I can think of, for anyone. Weight loss comes into it, a bit, I’d certainly like to weigh about five kilograms fewer than I do at the moment, but keeping active with the walking, and maintaining my healthy diet, that’s enough.

This is today’s lunch, I’m not finished eating it, and suddenly realised a photo would be a good idea. So, in the bowl is my usual lunch of nuts and seeds, with currents too. with the addition of celery and carrot, both of which I’m trying to remember to include, because vegetables are powerhouses of good nutrition! I usually have more fruit, than just some currants, but not today. More vegetables is better than more fruit, and I am not deficient in fruit on most days anyway.

So exercise, and a healthy diet, what else is there for a ‘best life’? I definitely feel having a purpose in life helps toward a ‘best life’, and I feel my life of working for my community in a couple of volunteer roles, covers this one. I also have a project I’m currently working on, that excites me, and is going well. I’m a writer, and this project is related to words, and is right up my sleeve in terms of my abilities.

I’m editing an anthology of poetry and prose, written in response to Covid-19. The anthology will have the title of “Plague Invasion – Creative Writing Responses to Covid-19”, and at the moment the anthology has nearly 100 pages. I’ve received pieces from writing group friends, other friends who are poets and writers, and people from overseas I didn’t even know, until they contacted me, and got involved. I’m so thrilled with the responses I getting!

So I can definitely give a big tick, to the purpose in life aspect of a ‘best life’. And I am a good person, trying to be a better one, in terms of helping others. I’m working at being a good and Stoic person, aiming for the highest level of what a person should aim at. I’m getting better at not ‘blaming’ anyone for anything, and understanding people do bad things because of ignorance and lack of understanding the proper ways for humankind. This is a tricky part of being a Stoic, and while I do better than other people do at this, that’s not the point. I’m not other people, I’m me.

My best desire for those others is they may see what I do, and model my best behaviours. But if that doesn’t happen, I’ll not mock them, I’ll pity them instead. Well,. that’s my aim, anyway. I’ve found this is not simple, I’m certainly not as wise as I wish to be. Social Media sure gets in the way of that one! I know that, and think on it, but it’s one of the things that leads me astray, into the silly and less wise ways I wish to attain.

So seeing where I’m going wrong, I can take steps to get better in regard to my Social Media ‘misdoings’, and others, and think further on ways to go beyond those foibles, and consider things in the wisest ways possible … I suspect more reading on the ways of my Stoicism hero Marcus Aurelius, will help with this.

So my next step in achieving my best life may be a retail step, buying myself a copy of my hero’s book, Meditations, which is filled with his thoughts on life. One such thought is this one:

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

With this book in my hands, and the words once read, in my mind, I hope to move ever upward! I love the Stoic way in life, and hope to always hold as well as possible the Marcus’s ‘Meditations’. That is my philosophy, and I feel it’s a good one. It certainly helps me to accept the things that happen, whether brought on by ill health or misdeeds of others, or my own less than good decisions … I am ‘only’ human, but wish to be the best human possible.

More Walking News

Today I’m happy to report that the extra walking has been happening again. I did five hundred steps outside earlier today, and a couple of hundred of extra steps inside. I’m actually going out today, Woo hoo! for my writing group meeting, so I’ll think about where I’ll park, and how I can add more steps than usual with that.

This is part of my front yard, with the road I walk along out there, past the trees.

I’m thinking about visiting the library in Gawler which is up the street from where our writing group meets. And I’ll take a look and see it there’s anything happening in the space where my favourite cafe in Gawler is. It’s the Niina Marni Cafe, and it’s right close to the library. I think libraries should always have a library nearby!

So with the extra walking I’ve been doing, I definitely feel that it’s getting easier to walk more. And walking more, so I can walk more sounds like a terrific idea. I’m very glad my body is doing the right things for me. Bladder and bowel are behaving themselves too, which is great, there’s not much worse than those ‘accidents’. Having the NDIS, which can give funding to assist with such matters is all very well, but I’d rather not need it.

Speaking of the NDIS, while I have funding, I have to admit I’ve found the whole process of using the money allocated to be clunky and not at all user friendly. It may partly be because I’m still slightly ‘in denial’ I suspect. I’m feeling good, my life is a good one, am I really disabled? This is how my mind goes. And then I get stressed, or overheated, or I am clumsy and fall over, and I remember, oh yeah, I guess I am disabled.

But beside all of that, I’m still very happy at the things I can do. That thought though brings on feelings of guilt thought, survivor guilt. Why should I have such a good life, when other, equally good people, have such a hard time, with their MS? Multiple Sclerosis is like that. Something a bit different for every person, all depending on where the lesions are in their brain or spinal cord, and what level of scarring they have, and what their levels of re-myelination are.

Of course, lifestyle habits, and medication play parts in this jigsaw puzzle that living with MS brings. Stress, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, and other factors all play their parts. I have a largely stress-free life, have nutritionally sound diet, don’t smoke or consume much alcohol.

Moderation in life is a key, I feel. A bit of what you like, but not too much, whether it be food or drinks, or exercise, life pleasures, whatever, moderate bits of all leads to a calmer, easier life. Your body wants that, and warns you when you do too much. Listen to your body, your medical people, and your best self, and you will do better than ignoring it all and overdoing things.

Keeping Active, With Multiple Sclerosis

It’s important, when you have MS, to keep as active as you can, so that you maintain what you already have, and perhaps even get better and getting around and doing things. One thing I definitely remember from the first time I saw my neurologist (or possibly the second time) was that I should walk, as much as I could.

That was ten years ago, and I am definitely more able at walking than I was when he first saw me, when I had my first relapse, and was quite disabled from it. I’m on medication for MS now, Gilenya, and this medication seems to be helping me. I’m eating a mostly nutritionally sound diet, and I try to keep moving, but winter doesn’t make it easy. It’s much nice to snuggle up with a blanket, on the sofa!

Every now and then, though, I go on an exercise rampage and maybe switch on the family Wii Fit machine, and do the exercises every day for two weeks or a month, or more. My most recent exercise of choice is simply to walk, briskly at home. I’m in lock down at the moment as are many of us with MS, so Covid-19 doesn’t ‘get us’. So sitting on the sofa has been my common way to spend my time. Even though I’m being careful not to over eat, I can still feel the weight building up.

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The image below is out the front of my place, part of where I walked this afternoon.

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And so to this, a piece I put up on my Facebook page today. I feel that if I put the word out ‘in public’ then I’m more likely to keep at it, for a longer time than if I don’t mention it at all. And sometimes, it seems I inspire others to do a bit more exercise too. I love it if others find me inspirational, and the more I inspire others, the more I inspire myself as well.

“To make up for yesterday’s day of near inaction, today I have done at least one thousand extra steps, some inside, some on the back veranda or down to the back dog, and some down the driveway, along the road, and then back to the front door.
Some of the back yard steps involved doing steps on this strange creaky steps machine I inherited from my Dad, when the things in his shed were sold off.
We left the odd little machine in our shed, for years and years, and then I recently brought it to the back veranda. Every now and then I do steps on it, and I’m assuming it may be good for me. Well, I hope so anyway. If not, well it’s something to do, while listening to the birds out there. It certainly seems to have some cardio-muscular benefit, judging by my raised pulse rate when I stop.
 
I feel satisfied with my exercise efforts today, and hope I can keep it up, exercising at least five days a week. But I’ve said the same thing, quite a few times. Ah well, trying is better than not trying, and doing something every now and then is better than never doing a thing …”
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As you can see, I’m doing something, even though it’s cccccccccold! At the moment, it’s only my fingers that are working, as I sit here typing this up, and I’m nearly finished this blog post, so it’s probably no more exercise really now, for the day, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.
If you have your own ideas on exercise and keeping active, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a message in the comments section, please!

Recipe for My Good Life

I have known of my Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for ten years, being diagnosed in February 2010. That diagnosis did not frighten me, it actually soothed my fears. Many other people will say something similar to my response, on being diagnosed with an illness. The human mind is often capable of thinking of things far worse than the reality of a situation. So I had MS, instead of the brain tumour, or stroke that I had feared.

The neurologist, which quickly was shortened to neuro, prescribed a medication to assist with the symptoms I was experiencing, and so began my life, of living with MS. It was a very much scaled back kind of life, but not completely, I found a different life, one connected with a new cohort, the world of disability, and I began this blog, as a needed entertainment when getting about had become much more difficult.

So blogging took off, with this one, and the book I wrote, a memoir of my new life, that gave this blog its name became an important part of my writing life. It’s  good book, that looks at many of the changes there are when a diagnosis of MS comes along. It’s my personal story, as it seemed to me, and it’s real, with some very things not usually spoken of in polite society …

My medication has changed since then, from the original Avonex injections once a week, to the current Gilenya tablet take once a day. The injections lasted for two years, and while I was managing with them OK, it was a huge relief to change, and pop a pill, instead of jabbing myself in the thigh … These tablets are working even better for me too, and sometimes it’s almost like I don’t even have MS.

But there are other reasons why I doing so well too, I think. I have a good, nutritionally sound diet, I don’t over do the alcohol, I don’t smoke. And do my best to live a stress free life, whilst also staying involved in doing the things I love to do, and to have a purpose in my life, doing good things for others. I am the Editor of the monthly newsletter for the closest town, Mallala, and this role takes in my love of writing, and editing, and my enjoyment from helping out my town.

So my diet includes red wine A small glass every few days, dark chocolate  (most nights, just a little) some grains, nuts, some fruit, more vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables, all in moderation, with some exercise, also in moderation. My prescription for a healthy life! Lately, I’ve been in locked down mode, because of Covid-19, so my exercise is often just walking more than usual, up and down inside the house for 300 steps, then 300 steps on the back veranda and around the back yard, the same on the front veranda.

I’m hoping I might actually switch on the Wii Fit machine some time soon, but I just don’t feel like doing that. I know I’ve definitely put on some weight though, so I’m definitely aware that I need to do more than I’d been doing at the start of this Covid-19 time …

So that’s it. I’m not saying that’s what I always do, but it’s what I aim at doing. Having a purpose in life is important too, beyond simply existing. That can be many different things, as long as they take you further and higher than simply being.

New Normal

The new normal, what will it be? It’s the year 2020. The year I thought would be the year of Vision, for me personally, and with my writing, and for my writing group, perhaps, not sure on that one. A group is a group, made up of individuals, lead by one person, and although I am the leader of the group, it is our group, not just mine.

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Event for Adelaide Plains Poets Festival of Words 

So this year started off well then it went crazy bad, and dangerous even. I’m OK, but that’s because I’m being good, and staying at home. Trying to get to the crux of the matter – how safe will I be if I go somewhere and encounter Covid-19? Some places say I’ll be worse off that others, other say my medication will offer some assistance in keeping me better off.

It’s still all up in the air, and no actual answer coming so I’ll continue staying at home, reaching out online when I can, hoping I stay Covid-19 free, and well … But, but, but … I am President of a group that meets every week, in a hotel. Well that isn’t happening … The group is meeting online, and that’s been good, but I’m sure I’m not the only group member missing catching up for real.

I’m a writer, being in lock down is an occasion to get more writing done. And the amount of time I’ve had, at home, just me and my lap top, and Missy our dog, often, then I should or could at least be half way through writing my first Cosy Murder Mystery book. I had it all planned at the end of last year, and it was going well. Then, the plague arrived, ruining my plans.

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But the need to write is still there, and while I’m able to do it, I will write. Whether it’s poetry, books, articles for the Town’s Newsletter that I edit (Mallala Crossroad Chronicle), fiction, or blogging, I have to write. (to be honest, I have to include flaffing about on Social Media). Social Media is still writing, right? Yeah, sure …

This all feels like a strange new world, but I’d say for many people, like me, have entered a strange new world when they were first diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). It’s new disease,and there are new words to become accustomed to. Lesions, Sclerosis, and so on, you hear them and you learn what they mean, and you live what it brings to you, as best as you can. 

And if you don’t have MS, or the diagnosis was so long ago, you can barely remember it, this current Covid-19 Lock Down life might feel similar to what those of us diagnosed with MS first felt, locked down unable to go out, unable to do many things that you used to be able to do. The new ways become your new normal, and life continues on, but different. 

With MS, there may be improvements, the relapse that lead to your initial diagnosis may go into remission, but the MS is still there, and you know it, in the back of your mind. Or like me, you may go through a couple of medication changes, and life gets better, so that your new normal has some feelings of your previous life. But the MS is still there.

So this Covid-19 is a little bit like that, but right now, none of us now when life might achieve its settled down state, and we don’t know what our ‘new normal’ might be like. But for me, as a writer, it’s a challenge, to get a hold of what is happening to us all, so I have a new challenge, one I can do from the safety of my lap top, using the skills I already had, that of writing and blogging, and encouraging other people to write, using my writer blog

I have decided to put together and publish an anthology about the Covid-19 things happening right around the world, using the words of writers who are living this new world. I came iup with a phrase ‘Plague Invasion’ and things took off from there. My life is changed, and I’m happy with that, my new obsession/challenge is to get this book done, and ready for the public to hear about, find, and read.

I am reaching out to writers and poets, and between us, we will make a fine book, looking at this current Covid-19 situation, as it is for all of them. From the humour of running out of toilet paper, to the seriousness of the deaths, it will all be in this book – “Plague Invasion – Creative Writing Responses to Covid-19”.

It is a far from normal time, but at the moment, working on this book, that is my new normal …

Ten (or so) Years On

When I was first diagnosed with MS, hanging out and bringing in, then putting away the washing, would just about wipe me out for the day.

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Part of today’s washing, the rest is now hanging in the wardrobe already.

These days, around ten years later, I am able to do this, and much, much more, more easily, and not needing to take a ‘Power Nap’ afterwards. Keeping going helps me to keep going, but of course, being on the best medication has a lot to do with it too.

I’ve been on my current medication, Gilenya, for about eight years, after being on Avonex, for a couple of years from when I was diagnosed. I was very happy to halt getting my medication via a needle, once a week, in either left or right thigh muscle, and take a capsule instead. And the fact that it works even better for me than Avonex did, is a huge benefit, of course.

Being able to do normal things around the house, playing my part in the day to day running of the household is a wonderful thing. And being able to connect with friends and family, in normal ways, driving to their place or out to cafes, excellent stuff!

 Of course, at the moment, in the current Covid 19 locked in times, there’s no heading off to cafes with family or friends, and there is far more time spent inside, at home, and finding other ways to keep busy.

I stayed outside, after getting washing off the line, and used my mobile phone to video some ants, going about their day. Watching them getting out and about, busily rushing here and there, and having to lean over to get in close to see them, and get a good video, is something that would have been impossible ten years ago, for sure.

Back then, I had to use a walking stick to get around, and I certainly didn’t feel able to get to the back part of the yard, where the ant nests are. I feel, now. that my world was closed down, and now it is totally opened up to me, as I try things out, think about creative opportunities, and keep on doing as much as I can.

Disability may be a part of my life, but my abilities take up a much larger part, and I love it!

 

 

This Changed World …

Yes times have changed, in huge ways, as we all try to understand the enormity of this Covid 19 virus, and the implications of it to our lives. Finding out the truth of what is going on, is a little all over the place, with different bodies saying different things. If you have one source of information that you trust, it is a good idea to rely on that one, and perhaps turn away from the less truthful sources.

The worst thing to do, for us all, but especially those of us with MS, would be to stress about things that are going on. If you let yourself get stressed, your body goes into overdrive ‘fight of flight mode’ and your MS will hit you big time. Stay calm, meditate if you can, look to the beautiful things Nature has there for you, flowers, trees, the lovely sky with peaceful clouds floating up there.

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Life is still life. We must eat, move, exercise or at least keep moving any way we can. And it’s important to give yourself permission to chill out, if possible, find ways to be silly, or be creative. Perhaps take the time to do some journalling, looking at your life, what you’ve done in the past that you are proud of, or what you’re doing now, and then move to writing about what you want, or plan to do in the future.

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As soon as I can do these things myself, I plan on getting stuck into writing a series of Cosy Murder Mysteries. I have characters, and a small town that they live in. I have possible titles for the series of planned books, and I’ve written some of two of the books. It’s something I’m keen to do, but my brain is in a bit of a mish-mash at Sky News on all day and night, when it would be more ‘settling’ if I simply wrote about my little imaginary town, and the fun and games (and murder) going on there …

Anyway, whether your creative outlet is crafts, or painting, gardening, writing or something else, now might be the time to get on and do it, if you’re unable to work, or stuck at home to remain safe, and adhere to the government’s guidelines. This virus will end, and even though the financial aspects of life seem to have hit a big downturn, we can still do our thing, in our own homes.

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Be certain that flowers and the clouds in the sky will go on being glorious!

Missing Exercises Is OK

All right, so I haven’t been doing all of my exercises every day, it’s true. But today I certainly did them all again, and it feels good, for sure. But on the days I may have missed doing one or so of these exercises, I was at least doing something.

Not everything I do is based on being physically active, not by a long way. Up until I was recovering from breaking my ankle, the idea of doing physio at home, as well as doing thirty minutes of Wii Fit exercises, every day, was definitly not happening.

But that ankle break, that was a thing, an important thing, and I really want to be able to keep mobile for all of te years I have left here. I hope that is a good many more years, I’m kind of hoping to live until I’m well into my nineties, and I’m currently 56 years old. I have lots of things I still want to get done.

So being fit is obviously high on my list of things to do, fit and healthy are definitley the ways to go, if I want to live another forty years! And at the moment I reckon, yeah, that’s what I want to do. Exercise for my body, and exercise for my brain, these are both what help me to keep on going well in life.

I’m active in my community, I keep connected with my family, to some extent at least, and I’m trying to read more books. I’m a bit slack at the book reading thing, but at least I’m working on it, as in I currently have library books I borrowed recently, and I will read them all, or at least look at them and decide whether or not to read them …

As a writer of books, I really should read more of them, I suspect. I think my brain is distracted too easily, to put the time into a book, when social media is so there, always there, and so easy to flit around, from Facebook, to Twitter, to other blogs, and to my own blogs … But books are how I learned to read, and they’re the things I love to bring into this world for others to read, so I’ll read more, for sure!

But back to the exercises thing. Yes, it was five days, apparently since I’d been on the Wii Fit exercise machine, but I did it, thirty minutes of it, as well as doing the physio exercises the physiotherapist gave to me, and the one of my own I’d decided to do. It feels good to get them all done. Sure I get tired when I do them, but I know the more I do them, the easier it will get.

Then I’ll do more difficult exercises, harder workouts, getting stronger, and more flexible (I hope) all the time. I don’t have to end up with a taut and trim body, but I want the body I need to easily and effectively do all of the things I want to do. This exercise program, and more walking, will all help me get to that point, and stay there.

So missing exercises is OK, but doing them is better, the more I do, the easier it gets, and eventually it will be an ingrained habit, and the day will feel wrong if I doing exercise. Some days, I almost feel like I’m at that point, but n, I’m not, not yet.

If you have an exercise program that you stick to, or try to, I’d love to hear about what it is, and what tips you have for sticking to your exercise program! Leave a comment, and we can all exercise more!

Exercising My Way to Wellness!

OK, so exercise is not going to cure me of Multiple Sclerosis, I acknowledge the truth of that. But keeping active, as well as taking the medication that seems to be working well for me, they can both help me to live a near ‘normal’ life.

I’ve recently broken my ankle, and getting over that has  been an interesting time. I was told by the surgeon who operated on my ankle, to do some simple physio exercises, to work on improving the ROM (range of movement) of my broken ankle. These exercises seem to have worked, and the ROM is OK – certainly not as good as the other ankle, but not too bad.

I wrote some poetry about my broken ankle, as a way to maintain some kind of sanity, as I spent so many hours, resting, and then rehabilitating! The poetry has now been published in a little chap book, I called “Angles on Ankles”, clever, hey? 😉

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Then once I was up on my feet again, putting full weight on my right foot again, I saw a physio, and he gave me some more exercises, standing up and doing active things, not just twiddling my foot … So today, I’m proud to say I’ve been doing these physio exercises, plus some more that I gave to myself to do, and I’ve kept that up for over a fortnight.

My intention is to continue with these exercises, for as long as I can, maybe doing these or at least some kind of exercise, every day, for the rest of my life! I’m trying to make it a habit, and the only way to make habits, is to consistently keeping on doing things.

I’m feeling good, remembering to rest when I need to, but trying not to just laze around, flicking from one Social Media platform to another! The exercise works my body, and it keeps my brain ticking over too, I feel. Ideas are jumping into my head, and I’m working on two novel projects at the moment.

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I have the first draft of one novel that needs work, and I have a whole series of Cozy Murder Mysteries to write too, I can do this, my toning up body and my interested mind want this to work, so it will work! I’m feeling good, and even though I’m sad about the terrible fires happening around Australia at the moment, I’m glad I have positive things happening, personally.

Being sad is a natural thing, wanting to help is natural too, and I know I will be helping out financially as soon as I can. Giving to people in so much need, and those who’ve lost their homes are, that is the good thing to do, so that’s what I’ll do. Doing good for myself, for others, and for the planet are my tactics to work on total Wellness!

Since becoming a Stoic, or trying to, anyway, this idea of doing good for all, myself included, is feeling more and more important to me. Doing more with less, thinking of others, helping when I can, these are all tools in my Stoic toolbox. Life is good, as long as we work on making it good.

If you do good, well done, I’d love to here about it, why not leave a message here? I’d love to read it!