Almost Spa Week

Well, I had declared to myself and a few friends that this was going to be a spa week. But then I found out it was National Clean Up the Clutter Week. So that is going to be the focus of this week. I am planning to still give exercise a priority this week, but at least part of it will be “functional exercise.” The relaxing, luxurious part of spa week is going to have to wait. Its a lot more fun to relax when your house has been de-cluttered, anyway. I think I’ll blame this change of heart on Shelley and her Amazing Organized Closet!

Actually, I think I changed my mind when I spent a good part of Saturday cleaning all my deck furniture and hauling it BY MYSELF back up onto the deck. Can you hear the self-pity in that sentence? Anyway, it took a lot longer and a lot more energy than I had expected. And then seeing the results of something clean and de-cluttered has spurred me on to work on a couple of other areas in my house this week.

Here’s the deck, with its new green stain on it–MLG did a masterful job of repairing and sanding and staining it. I do love the color. And I just can’t describe how fun it is to walk across the deck knowing that it is safe and secure.

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Ever since I wrote my “Realtime in the Swimming Pool”┬ápost, I have been making steady progress on my goal to swim 2.4 miles. I regularly swim 100 lengths, with 40-60 length swims in between. 2.4 miles is 153 lengths. My plan is to swim this next weekend. I will decide what day to do it on depending on how I am feeling, and how busy the pool is. But you can be sure that it will be followed up with a cupcake to celebrate!!

So this week I plan to alternate days on the bike and weights, with swimming. I’ll walk a little. But Noah’s not into the walking too much (thank goodness,) and I do not enjoy walking in August. It is almost unbearably dusty around here in August.

My weight loss is so slow that its …well, I can’t think of a descriptor. Its just slow. I fluctuate between being impatient, thinking its not worth mentioning because its “re-loss,” and being unbearably proud and happy that I have been able to accomplish this. I have lost 22 pounds since last November. Just about 2 1/2 pounds a month.

My knees do feel better. I am sure the weight loss is the most significant factor. I also have kept up with my physical therapy exercises. If I slack off on them, I definitely notice it. In addition, I am taking vitamin B-12. I don’t know if it helps or if its just superstition. But I’m not gonna stop taking it. I still have pain with pretty much every step I take, but its very bearable. I had a couple of really bad days in June. So bad that I consulted my friend who has extensive personal experience with arthritis, and is also studying nutrition. Lynn reminded me that weather changes and pressure changes are one of the main culprits in arthritis flare-ups. And it just so happened that we had had a very weird weather change the days before that happened. Thanks, Lynn!

After that, I started keeping an arthritis calendar. I write down the exercise I do, the calories I consume, and if I have eaten anything different or unusual, like wheat or sugar, or just over-eating. And I write down when I have increased pain. Ever since I started it, though, I have been feeling fit as a fiddle, pretty much every day! There was only one day I was a little more stiff than usual, and that was another day we had a change from unusually cool weather to super hot weather.

Well, this got a little long-winded. Here’s some garden shots to end this on a high note.

My marigold “bouquets”:

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A new pot with that lime green plant (they really do well for me, so I like them) and a pink zinnia. I’m hoping it will grow and fill out the pot. We’re working on a “layered pink look” in the garden…

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And a fuchsia. Because I am silly and I grew up in the Bay Area where fuchsias grew like weeds. They like cool weather. But I can dream, can’t I?

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19 thoughts on “Almost Spa Week

  1. Ever since I gave up wheat based products last month going gluten free to the best of my ability my joints have been pain free. It is not as hard to be gluten free as I thought it would be. If your suffering from joint pain why not give it a try? The change was fairly fast too within a couple of days the joint pain was gone.

    • Hi Susan, welcome to my blog. I have gone gluten free a few times, and I do minimize my use of wheat, but not for my joints. Neither has had any effect on my joint pain. I did start my arthritis calendar to see if there was any correlation between increase wheat/sugar consumption on the rare day and increased joint pain. I have not seen any correlation.

      I have advanced osteoarthritis, diagnosed by x-ray and an ortho doctor, and there are osteophyte formations on my knee, which is what causes the most pain. I can’t see how the elimination of any type of food would be able to eliminate the snags that those things cause.

      But I’m glad it worked for you, and it does seem to work for some people.

  2. Everything looks wonderful Debby! What a huge transformation over the months you’ve had MLG working for you. I LOVE Fushchia! I buy two every year and hang them on my front porch. This year, we had such a hot July, it literally killed them. Never had that happen before.

  3. That deck is absolutely gorgeous…I’d be useless cause I’d be out there all the time with a book. Kind of like I’m now useless because I’m on my new sun porch all the time! I started wondering about your knees when you spoke about moving the furniture then you immediately wrote about it. Glad to get an update – I think about you often cause I know they cause you a lot of pain.

  4. I have to laugh, because at the moment, I can’t seem to stop organizing things, and I KNOW it stems from my closet! I bet spa week will feel even more luxurious when you look around and see an organized house…

    Your deck looks so nice! I can’t believe you hauled that furniture up by yourself – it’s heavy!!! But imagine sitting out there with a nice cup of coffee, looking over your pretty yard…totally worth the effort. Oh and fuchsias? Another thing I miss from the Bay Area – yes, they WERE everywhere, and I took them for granted. I am living vicariously through your garden, I just want you to know. :)

    When our youngest had a terrible arm break (both bones in the wrist, multiple surgeries with plates and screws), I got an inkling of how much the weather pressure/change can affect your bones; and I’m sure it’s even more of a frustration to get worse pain when you can’t control it. I didn’t know that B-12 helps with arthritis; I’ve been doing fish or krill oil for a few years now and I do think that helps my joints.

    • Ohhh! That’s terrible about your son’s arm, but interesting that the weather would affect a younger person too, and a break instead of just worn out joints.

      B12 is one of those things my brother swears by. I couldn’t tell you the scientific rationale behind it …

  5. Hi
    Just happen to come across your blog. My father battle arthritis for many years before he passed away. He found that the following things help put his into a remission of sorts until he was hit from behind by a truck and never could get it back. Don’t know if this will help or not but, he only baked or broiled his meat. No processed meats. At the time we didn’t eat processed food so that would have probably been a no-no. No pop or soda. Very little sugar products. Decaf coffee or tea. Low sodium intake.

    • Thanks Roxie. I don’t eat much processed food, and my meat is pretty plain too. Minimal sugar. But I do drink caffeinated coffee. I don’t think I can give that one up yet!

  6. ::Deck envy!::

    I get on organizing/decluttering or paint-project tangents too. One success leads to another which leads to another–kind of like losing weight, now that I think about it. :)

  7. I have deck and garden envy too!! It all just looks so lovely!!

    I am so super impressed with your swimming. And you are doing an excellent job on the weight loss!! Sorry about your knees, but everything else is going great, no? :)

  8. Your flowers are absolutely gorgeous! We have a wrap-around porch and we recently did some cleaning and re-organizing ourselves. It’s amazing what a difference it makes. You’re looks fabulous by the way.

  9. I’m interested to hear more about your calendar for tracking wheat/sugar consumption with regards to aches and pains. I went off the wheat a few weeks ago, to see if it would help with my lower back pain. I think I do feel better. I’m watching sugar intake, too. Have really cut back. I’m FINALLY losing weight again, after seven long months of being stymied. Feels good. Your deck looks great. Congrats!

    • My calendar is pretty simple. I just jot down at the end of the day all my exercise, especially making a note if I’ve done anything unusual in degree or amount of exercise. I write down my total calories, and if I’ve veered off my regular diet, I will make a note of what or how much I ate. I write down how I am feeling, although, like I said, I have been feeling so well generally, that I have not written as much in that area. And I write down any weather changes or unusual weather. And again, since I started it, there has not been a lot of weather changes.

      I minimized wheat a long time ago, more for digestive reasons than anything. Plus, if you think about it, a lot of time wheat is just a companion for sugar, and I definitely minimize that in my diet. Of interest, I have probably increased my wheat intake in the past month with no INCREASE in my joint pain. Just bought some whole grain bread, pasta once or twice, whole wheat pizza, etc.

      Congrats on your huge weight loss. It is a real accomplishment to change the habits of a lifetime!

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