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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Xuberance - Energy, Excitement and Cheerfulness!

Last week I had a personal setback in my quest to well being. I knew this journey was not going to be without a few bumps but what I wondered about from the beginning is could I handle those bumps or would I just give up? My natural assumption that I am too old to change to a completely new health regime would have some serious proof...right? And no one would fault me, I could go back to occasional walking, intermittent weight lifting and maybe some chair aerobics. I could make jokes about putting on my bra and pulling a muscle in my shoulder, or reaching for the remote, hearing a snap, and then not being able to walk. 

But for the first time quitting is not an option...... I am going to see this through. 

The minute I panicked about such high blood pressure everyone at Biometrix went into overdrive. They took my blood pressure before clearing me to work out, they ordered new blood work and then made an appointment for Dr. Docasar, who is our resident doctor (think of that). I wish I hadn’t panicked but my recent history gives me pause on most things health related. Long story short, my blood work came back the next day and Dr. Docasar was able to read everything. In the three months since I have been attending Biometrix my numbers are  completely normal! Including the inflammation number that was most troublesome to me. 

I am so relieved about my improving health (my weight number is improving, but is the hardest number to budge) and it is all because of the instruction and care I have received at Biometrix. Which leads me to the next chapter, I have great news! Biometrix is rebranding themselves and will now be known as.....wait for it.....Xuberance...and that it is just how I feel about this amazing wellness center. The definition is “the quality of being full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness; ebullience.” 

Nothing describes what I want for myself better. Full of energy, excitement and cheerfulness.

They are not affiliated with any other club. They are now free to explore every possibility in the wellness field. They will continue to offer the best personal trainers in the Valley. People who know their clients so well because progress is measured with each workout, and when each work out is over the next workout is being designed. Every aspect of your well being is monitored. Diet and Exercise are the obvious parts, but then there is massage therapy once a week to work through issues I thought was just part of getting older. I had a terrible pain in my hip that Jeff the massage therapist worked out. It was like magic. I already mentioned Dr. Docasar who does all the medical appointments and reads all the blood work. She is also is a hormone savant and recently diagnosed a friend of mine with exactly the right bioidentical hormones and literally saved her a substantial amount of money not to mention a better diagnosis. 

I have a long way to go yet with relearning how to eat, but I meet with the dietician each week for new ideas and a constructive pep talk. 

I will continue....I will not give up....and I will live a life with far more LIFE in it!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

And The Journey Continues -

No journey ever went off without a hitch and my adventure is no different. It is annoying but I'm just going to learn from it and move on. I had a long standing appointment with my primary care doctor last week, she wanted to go over some blood work I had done before I started going to Biometrix. It was a really hard week, I had a full weekend as we did our annual "Fall into the Holidays" and then an Octoberfest for some incredible clients. But the part that was the hardest was my little dog Sadie passed away. Dogs just have our hearts and it was sudden and quite awful. But I did my best to be Scarlett O'Hara and pulled it all together then soldiered on.

The doctor visit started badly as I saw the PA who didn't know me or my history. (There is nothing wrong with PA's I just wished she had read my chart before she came in the room) She asked very few questions, noted my blood pressure was high and it went downhill from there. She read from some paperwork listing the medications and vitamins I needed without taking a breath or asking me if I understood. So I got up,  told her I would think about it, and left.

I was depressed for the rest of the day...I want to get better, all better. But this PA made me feel old, infirmed and hopeless. I know I am improving, I feel better (well, except for the doctor visit) my clothes fit better, but I want to be all the way better.

Which brings me to last Friday morning When I took my blood pressure at home. It. Was. So.  High. Why? My cardiologist has cleared me to exercise but still reminds me "it could happen again" which does not engender any confidence. Before I started going to Biometrix I always wondered if I would leave the treadmill alive because the thought "it could happen again". When I arrived at Biometrix I told Anthony (the trainer) my blood pressure was pretty high that morning so he asked me to have my blood pressure checked again just to be on the safe side. What gym does that? I went to Brianna who took my blood pressure, she does all the blood work, EKG's, and other tests that have to be performed. She is medically trained and knows exactly what she is doing. After taking my blood pressure she cleared me but it was still high so she insisted I come back and have it taken again after I worked out.

My blood pressure didn't go down.....

So Brianna went back to her computer and scheduled more blood work along with a meeting with my Biometrix doctor who now knows me. It is confusing to have so many different opinions from so many doctors. A Primary doctor...a cardiologist and a heart surgeon...they all terrify me and non are on the same page. My page.....The cardiologist was upset because my surgeon ordered an angiogram, my cardiologist doesn't spend more than 3 minutes with me but during that 3 minutes was able to tell me not to listen to my surgeon about extra testing. He didn't check my blood pressure or look at my blood work. Some doctors just want to keep you alive, they are not interested in whether or not you are really living. I am relieved to have one doctor who sees me all the time and is available to me monthly if I need it.

I am thrilled that my wellness center (and that is what it's not just a gym) has trained people to help me get better and not just revive me with a requisite defibrillator in case I pass out. They are there to prevent problems. I want someone to help me before something happens. Biometrix is a one stop shop, they will do the testing, the evaluating, and the healing. I am having more blood work done Tuesday and then the next Tuesday (not a season later) I can meet with the doctor who knows me, knows how hard I work out and knows what to do to actually help me.

A friend of mine told me that taking care of our health is job one. No one is going to do it for you, no one is going to work out for you, or take important tests, no one is going to stop you from overeating....this is a solo event. Don't think this blog is just for older people...good health starts early. If you aren't taking care of yourself now you will have to fix it when it is so much harder. Like me...I'm older and heavier and the whole thing is harder.

Learn from me and take care of yourself now.....if you don't feel well today find a way to get better.

Don't settle for less, you don't have to.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Donna and the Rotten,Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very Bad Day....

One thing I have learned from the experiences of my life is...people have a lot in common. We may differ in our interests, politics and religions but we all have the basic things in common. For instance, we all have days we don't want to do anything and it is especially unfortunate when that day coincides with a full schedule of things we really have to do. 

I am having just such a day which is why I am writing this. It's my effort to pull my can out of what appears to be a very "stuck" place.  

First what do surgeons do when they just want to look at puppy videos and eat fries, but they have to do open heart surgery? What do airline pilots do when they just don't "Feel like it today?" How about your dentist? For those of you who love coffee how important is your barista at Starbucks? And I can tell you first hand what happens when your dry cleaner has a bad will get a wrinkled suit back and never see your white shirt again. 

How in the world do we turn around just such an awful day, especially when we still have to "Storm the Bastille"  (a reference to the french revolution I enjoy using because who doesn't enjoy the drama of a good revolution?) 

So I decided to tackle the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I hate the feeling that comes with hiding from life. I know better than anyone that there are no guarantees so we need to live each day to the best of our ability and it can be done. We do not have to give in to an average day of sloth. ( I am putting a codicil here that excludes major emergencies. I don't want you to whip out this blog to follow if you are being chased by a bear. Common sense screams for some obvious exceptions)  

1.) If you are facing tasks you just don't want to do, revisit the 5 second rule. I can tell you it does work. 

2.) A part of the 5 second rule is something you cannot avoid and that is you must trick your brain. Accept the fact your brain wants to protect you, so if you put out there "I do not want to do it" (It being whatever you fill in the gap for) your brain will find a million reasons you shouldn't do "it").  Make the decision first for whatever "it" is and then schedule a reward. I know this sounds hokey but it works. 

3.) Do it with Friends! Can I just tell you how important my trainers and friends have been with my fitness journey? You have to have friends...people who stand next to you and assure you it can be done. For me I assumed I was too old, too out of shape and it was too late. I think a lot of people my age and even younger assume the ship has sailed and focus on how to do aerobics from a chair.  I have literally shocked myself at what I can do in the gym. I am lifting more weight, I am doing the exercises faster and I am starting to actually enjoy it. The trainers at my gym will not let me feel as though I cannot do it. They believe in me and that is a great thing since I often do not. I know I used to be able to do the things they ask me to do, and I find myself trying to bargain my way out of those dang kettlebells, but they assure me I can do it. I know the constant squats have made my legs stronger, lifting weights has made my posture better, I'm not as tired as I was and nothing makes a person feel better than leaving the gym after a hard workout knowing you did it. Every person at Biometrix feels the same way but that common feeling motivates us to help each other. When you are having a bad day tell people! Let them share their works. I don't know my gym friends past the hour I am there but when they are working as hard as I am and tell me I can do it, or I am looking better, or just a pat on the helps!! And nothing has helped me as much as my trainer Anthony did last week when he got in my face and assured me I was not too old when my brain was telling me I was and I was not too out of shape and that I could indeed do it! Find people who support you and want you to succeed. Everyone has a day they just want to slide down to the ground next to the wagon and let the wolves eat them so find a friend and let them know you are having a rotten day and you need some encouragement. It will help!! And be there for them when they need it.

4.) Here is one I love....competition! That is one thing I will always respond today I am join my buddies at the Biometrix gym on a "30 Day Meal Challenge". I am meeting with the Dietician later today (yes I tried to cancel that meeting but after writing this blog I decided to just do it) and I am going to compete with myself on the hardest part of fitness for me.....the food. Competing with people is fun, it brings energy and that is what I need to help me. 

Bad days are going to happen but we are in charge and we don't have to let things happen to us when we can make things happen for us. Writing this has helped give me a plan, and I am sure you have things in your life you can utilize by just looking around. Come and work out with me! I assure you it is the fountain of youth. It is hard but getting up from the couch used to be hard also. Take the 30 day challenge with me...nothing is harder for me than limiting my eating...but I am going to do it! And I will keep all of you up on great recipes I find and tricks I use to fool my brain.....