About Me

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2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Birthday Month!!

It's my birthday month, yay!! I'm excited about celebrating my birthday this year, because each birthday from now is a big win against cancer. It's precious to me to be alive. Here's to more birthdays for all us!! This year I'm celebrating (off and on) all month, and I'm starting this weekend with a road trip to Atlanta with my Mom.

Over five years ago I read an article in some newspaper about this aquarium that was going to be opening in Atlanta- the largest aquarium in the world. The Georgia Aquarium. I want to go to this aquarium as much as a child wants to go to Disney World. Seriously!! I tried and failed for 5 years to make that dream come alive. Then about a week ago a new door opened and my amazingly wonderful Mom offered to open that door a little wider so we could go the Aquarium. I'm beyond excited!! There's a whale shark there, a real life whale shark! When else would I get the chance to see a whale shark?!? Maybe my old dream of becoming a marine biologist will reawaken? Probably note, but one day I'll tell you about the time I went to marine biology school in the Florida Keys.

We are spending Saturday at the aquarium and will probably also do a little shopping. And eating, too! If you have any Atlanta suggestions, please send me an email or post a comment!

Sunday morning we are going to one of Mom and mine's favorite stores- Trader Joe's. We're bringing 2 big coolers for our frozen treasures and a special packing materials for the fabulous and very well priced wines that we're planning to stock up on. Do you have any Trader Joe's favorites? Share them, please!!

I'll be checking out a few business meetings in Atlanta on Monday, then driving to Indiana for more meetings and a visit with my cousin and his family, and flying home from the exciting city of Dayton on Wednesday. I've packed my warmest clothes and I'm bracing myself for the cold in Indiana.

I'll be doing a lot of walking and standing over the long weekend which means I'll be rationing my 'feet energy' wisely. (Oh how I wish this foot neuropathy would go away already!!) Unfortunately, this means cutting down my workouts during my travels. I've got a walking workout on my iPod along with 2 Cathe kick-boxing downloads to use as I find time and 'foot energy' though.  And I will keep a hand-written food journal and not 'eat like an idiot', as my dear friend and mentor, Curt, often says.

I'm hoping the hotel's business office will allow me to blog about my aquarium experience!

On with the celebrating....Georgia Aquarium, here I come!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Officially Trained

My first personal training experience was fantastic!! Thank you so much, Jessica!!

I felt a little out of place when I first got there, but everyone at the gym was very nice and went out of their way to chat with me. The gym, Wellworx, is HUGE! And they have indoor tennis courts! I think I drooled a little when I saw them, but thankfully no one seemed to notice. I miss tennis SO much! Wah!! I met Jessica's husband, James, first (he's a trainer too) and he showed me around and started my warm up walk. The floor felt so nice and squishy to walk on, definitely a nice benefit of a gym! Jessica brought me over to the recumbent bikes and we warmed up a little more while we talked about my goals and experiences.

She showed me how to make squats more comfortable for my chemo-ed and achy knees. In fact, she showed me 3 varieties of squats. Hey, Jessica, I just realized that I did 6 sets of squats tonight!! She's sneaky, and smart! She guided me through Arnold presses, push-ups using a wall, a total body move that doesn't need equipment, and showed me some excellent stretches. She also helped me with my form in chest flys! I've struggled with shoulder pain during the exercise for years, and she was able to show me the adjustments I needed to make the move more comfortable and more effective. Whoohooo!!

Then she actually took the time to sit down with me and talk about nutrition. She even had copies of recipes for me, how cool is that?! We discussed lowering my carb intake a bit, and eating most of my carbs before dinner-time. That was an AH-HA moment for me. I'm pretty much been doing the opposite- eating lighter earlier in the day than the evening due to my sleep schedule. That's something that's fairly easy to correct. She had lots of great info along with a folder to keep all the papers in, too!

What a wonderful first personal training experience! I learned a lot, found fresh motivation and inspiration too. Thanks, Jessica. You rock! Best wishes on your half-marathon for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital this Saturday!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

From Spa to the Gym

This evening one of my prayers will be answered- by a personal trainer! I love how God connects the dots in my life, it's so amazing and beautiful. I met Jessica, my trainer, at Healing Planet's spa night for women fighting cancer in mid-November.

This spa night is fabulous! It's in the artsy part of Memphis, known as Midtown, and it's actually inside of Painted Planet, a beautiful art gallery. The gallery owner, Donna, is a Survivor herself and knows how to host an awesome spa night. The once a month spa night starts with a delicious soup, wine and other yummies. I mingle (yes, me- mingling with strangers!!) and admire the art surrounding me while I eat and try not to spill all over myself. Then women with various care-giving talents donate their time and expertise to pamper women fighting cancer. The past 2 months I've gotten divine massages, energy work, facial, hand massage, and a Yoga session from Jessica.

Jessica is a Survivor, too. She's amazing in many ways, and I liked her right away. We became friends on Facebook. I like to post my Cathe workouts on Facebook, as many other Cathletes do. It's a cool way to stay motivated and get support each day. Jessica noticed all my workout postings and we talked... and here I am getting ready to get personally trained tonight!

I'm excited because to get help with my form in a few exercises after all these years of home exercising  Also, now as a Survivor my body needs special treatment and I know Jessica will understand and help me work with it and around it because she's been there herself. I'm hoping Jessica can help me devise a fat burning workout rotation/schedule that's just the right amount of challenge.

I've only been to a gym a few times in my life. I liked it just fine, but the money ran out and since I have a large collection of Cathe DVDs and home exercise equipment it just made more sense to keep working out at home. I'm a little nervous about being in a gym. I'm still afraid someone will make fun of me, or tell me I shouldn't be there. Those fears are pretty small, though. I'm so thankful for this opportunity and excited about finding new and wiser ways to workout this body! I've prayed for the opportunity to work with a trainer. And today I will!! Very cool!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yes, Grapefruit!!

My fresh approach to weight loss by way of healthy eating and exercise without over-focusing is really working for me. I'm still keeping a food journal, I'm still exercising regularly, I'm still eating my fruits & veggies. What's changed is my perspective and attitude. My long term goal of preventing a third occurrence of cancer is fueling my shorter term goal of losing weight. Eating healthfully, mindfully and focusing on anti-cancer foods  along with exercise will eventually get me to my goal weight. Somehow it's clicked in my mind and I'm able to make it my lifestyle with more ease and a lot less stress. That's helping with my emotional eating issues, too. It's all connected- inside and out.

I got excited about grapefruit recently which is weird because I used to hate grapefruit. That was looooong before cancer entered my life and loooong before I made a commitment to improve my health. I fell in love with eating grapefruit three years ago when I lived in Naples, Florida. I found the yummiest grapefruit (and other fruits and veggies of all kinds!) at the Farmer's Market on Marco Island. I would buy a 5 pound bag fresh from the orchard, bring it home and section it all up so I could easily and quickly add it as part of my breakfast.

One of the medicines my oncologist prescribed to help manage one of my chemo side effects (my oh-so-fun foot numbness) isn't supposed to be taken with grapefruit. I was bummed, because I thought that meant I couldn't eat grapefruit at all. However, when I re-read the all that tiny print that comes with every script I was delighted to find out that I can eat grapefruit in the mornings!! Yes!! I can eat grapefruit again!! I just can't eat grapefruit around the time I take this medicine, and since I take it right before bed it's all good. Yippie!!! Grapefruit just belongs to breakfast in the winter for me. My world makes sense again.

So, I got some grapefruit. I had it for breakfast this morning along with 2 scrambled eggs, 1 piece of whole wheat toast topped with Earth Balance 'butter' and half a cup of Organic Serena blend Starbuck's coffee. I don't drink coffee often because, honestly, I don't usually like it. But I love this organic coffee!! It's smooth and rich and just yummy- plus it's organic. I love it when there's organic food in the house!

Who ever thought I'd be excited about grapefruit?!? What healthy food to you love now, but once hated? What new fruit or veggie have you tried lately?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Embarrassed by Embarrassment

I've been avoiding my blog for the past few days. My fellow blogger and e-friend, Jasmine said it best in her blog Eat Move Write a couple weeks ago. Check it out here. She got quite a few comments from other bloggers  with mouthy blogs. I'm so glad I'm not alone, thank you Jasmine!!

The day after my last post I weighed myself. I was down almost 5 pounds. Yay!, right? Yes, of course, but I realized right away that I had over reacted to the 'false gain' and then wrote all about it. On top of THAT, I also recalled an earlier post that shared my reasons for wanting to lose weight and why I wouldn't put too much focus the scale. I was embarrassed about my embarrassment, and then my blog kept talking smack.

I spent the long Thanksgiving weekend decorating the house, Black Friday shopping and enjoying the company of one of my sister's and her 2 kids. It was our first weekend without my other sister and her 3 Peeps. It was so strange without them! I miss them very much. The TX Peeps are enjoying their new home complete with a cove to ride their bikes, a nice cement area in the backyard for toddler roller skating, and big grassy area in the backyard to run around in.

Through the weekend, I didn't focus on or obsess about what I ate, even though I ate mostly healthfully. My family celebrated Thanksgiving 2 weeks early this year so I didn't have to deal with those deliciously rich foods. I was active in real-life ways even though I only did 2 formal workouts. I was enjoying being home to decorate with my Mom, to shop with my sister, to look at our beautiful Christmas tree while holding my youngest Peep (he's almost 6 months old now!), and to color with my youngest chickie Peep. Cancer didn't have to be part of my thoughts or holidays this year. I'm in remission, and it's starting to really sink in now. Remission!! Whoohooooo!!! I enjoyed relishing in my remission and counting the hundreds of little blessings and joys in my life for the holiday weekend. I'm thankful for life, love, and being home every day.