Monthly Archives: July 2020

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.