Good news and bad news

I went for a diabetic check-up and labs today. I was anxious since it’s been a year since my last check-up and I’ve gained weight and not taken any meds. Since these were fasting labs I was hungry and craving flavored water which did not help things. However I got good news and not so good news.

The good news is I lost weight. Earlier this week I had a 2 day stomach bug that prevented me from keeping anything down and that must have helped. I like to think it was from counting calories and exercising but hey, whatever. I learned I’m back at my fighting weight again. The holiday pounds are gone. I also learned my cholesterol and blood pressure are good too, though I didn’t ask what the numbers were.

The not so good news was my A1C, it’s a 6.8. That’s not good, not dangerous (yet) but a warning. According to my new doctor (one of the constants of the Indian Health Service) anything under a 7 is considered acceptable but it should be below 6 to be considered healthy. To my relief he did not prescribe a med but I have a new blood sugar monitor and strips. Yay. I’ll start using them tomorrow morning. I also go back in 3 months to see how I’m doing. My liver enzymes are high, I’m not sure what this means but a score of 37 is normal and I had a 50 but the doctor said we’ll just watch it, no need for meds there either. He was interested in my bypass and asked me about my surgery; how long it’s been, what type of surgery I had and how much I lost. He warned me I needed to do more than take sublingual B-12, that I probably need a shot and fortunately for me the clinic offers them. My B-12 wasn’t on the lab report.

I registered for the RX 5K next month so I’m committed now. It’s a 5K and 10K race and though it was tempting to go for the 10K I decided to play it safe. I need to start jogging outdoors more now, treadmill training is good but I need to get used to the feel of wind and sun in my face. Because I was sick and because I’ve been tired from getting ready for the move at work I haven’t worked out this week. I feel better now and plan to walk/jog at the lake this weekend. My office is closer to the clinic wellness center too and I hope to start going there after work starting next week. But tonight I am eating cheese bread.

The best news of the day. My nephew turned a year old today. Happy Birthday, Nathaniel
Bat Baby



I am not motivated to train for the upcoming Memorial Marathon. I wanted to do the half again, even said so but the will to do the actual work is weak. I’m complacent and lazy and I know it. Because I can do the 5K, could do a 5K now and unless I stop altogether will do the 5K in April. To do the half is not as easy, it is bloody tough. It’s the equivalent of 4 5Ks, at once. This thought came to me while I was doing the half, about 8 miles in and it was hammering in my head those last 3 miles. A lot was going on physically those last three miles so the mental part took over and it’s how I finished the race.

It’s cold outside, it gets dark too early and I have to be at work at 6am. If I work out in the evening it can’t be after 8pm on a week night because I won’t fall asleep until midnight and I have to be up at 5 and that won’t work. I could have gone to the gym yesterday since it was Sunday but I was a slug, all I wanted to do was sit and read and reading won. Reading usually wins over any other activity and it is the blessing and bane of my existence.

There’s a very narrow window of workout time but I’m not using it as I should. I’m just not motivated, I feel jaded. I know what I am capable of, I know what I can’t do as well but even that isn’t enough to get me off my flat semi-jiggly butt. I can coast along, working out 2-3 times a week and do the 5K. I’ll still get a t-shirt and medal. The 5K is cheaper too. But some very small voice pipes up now and then and says “you could do the half again, if you tried. If you cared enough and made the time for it, you did it last time.” Even though last time I staggered those last few miles and every muscle in my legs screamed in pain that day. I told myself then that the next time I’d take more time to train, to work up to the distance and speed slowly, gradually, so I wouldn’t be this sore again. I had started training by this time last year and finished just barely. If I was realistic about doing the half again I’d be pushing myself now and I am sitting here with a sleeping dog and a big cup of Crystal Light. Not bad but no way I could finishing the race at this rate. The race is in 75 days. Seriously.

There’s also my advancing age, something I tend to forget. I’ve been fortunate to not have any injuries beyond a sore right knee that only acts up when I take the stairs before my body has fully awakened. There are runners out there as old as me and even older but wait awhile and you will hear about their injuries and limitations too. I notice that the more I train, either at the lake or on the treadmill I begin to lose some flexibility. Don’t want to do that either, I want to be as strong and healthy as possible as long as possible. I don’t want to have to choose between walking/jogging and yoga and I don’t think I have to do so. Ironically I do have some strength in my legs and bones built up from all those years carting around extra weight. While being overweight is not healthy the one advantage is it does require your body to be strong enough to carry those extra pounds. it’s like a non-stop weight bearing exercise. It also causes other parts to deteriorate as well, joints especially. Why my knee hurts sometimes; it remembers having to lift and bear the force of that extra weight for years and it lets me know it.

I have a fear of gaining it all back too. I did gain over the holidays and I’m working to get those pounds off and keep them off. I think about the horror stories, people who lost weight after a bypass or sleeve and then gained it all back. Some even weighed more than they did before the operation. My jeans are not as loose as they should be but at least I’m not gaining. I’m losing very slowly, part of the advanced age, but I’m determined not to be another horror story. At least in this realm.

But as for goals, I’m a little low on motivation. I’ve been watching the Olympics and admit it was a shot of motivation. It got me to the gym for awhile. I know I could never do the things I see these athletes do on TV but just watching people push themselves to be stronger, faster and better, to be determined and concentrate on a goal is good. Then I look at my sad self in my pajamas and say “nah” and go get a handful of pretzels during the commercials. I am looking forward to hockey, men’s hockey, starting on Thursday and will feel less awkward watching that while eating pretzels since it’s something I do already.

what the heck happened

Something I say nearly every day. But this time it’s about my yoga studio, the changes they are making. I’m not sure I’m happy about it, not sure I like the direction this is taking but I am willing to hang in awhile and see where this is going. This is what I’ve learned so far.

There is new management, something I’ve been aware of since the first of the year, they didn’t come out and announce it but I overheard it one day when I came to class. The first sign there was going to be change was when my old teacher, the one who introduced me to yoga, nurtured and encouraged that interest, moved to another studio. I went to a class held at her new studio, a fund-raiser for the local food bank, and learned she left because the new owner told her she would be taking a pay cut. This teacher has been teaching for about 10 years, she’s a wonderful and patient teacher. She’s knowledgeable, gentle, non-judgmental and most of all, she loves what she does. It comes through in her work, her classes are like ego-boosting sessions. I started going to classes before I had my gastric bypass, I wanted to get stronger and healthier to prepare for the surgery. At first I was reluctant to try this new thing (new to me, yoga is far from being “a new thing”) because I was clumsy, overweight and middle-aged. She welcomed me and was enthusiastic about teaching beginners, some of us who were brand new to this and had no idea what the heck we were doing. I never felt out of place in her classes, even though I was probably the biggest or oldest person there, or if not I felt like I was. She accepted everyone and if a student couldn’t do a pose, no problem, she would offer a variation or alternative pose. If something was too hard, if it hurt then stop and find a place where you feel comfortable. She would walk through the class to see if we were in alignment and even adjust us if needed. It made the difference between pain or injury and feeling a good stretch. She asked if people had previous injuries, especially back and neck issues and adjusted according to those when needed. She rocks and I wish there were more teachers like her. She said she left because of the pay cut but I think there was more, that she saw what was coming and it didn’t agree with her method or philosophy.

The other teachers are different. Not bad, I like them, they are young, full of energy, enthusiastic and offer help if needed. But as one said in class she is a guide. Not necessarily a teacher but someone who guides you through your practice. This is not a bad thing, if you are experienced and most of the classes now are geared to level 2 and higher, people with some degree of experience and knowledge. People who don’t necessarily need help.

Which is one of the other things that bothers me. I’m not overweight or as clumsy as before,  I can keep up and with some exceptions do most of the poses in class. Few people can match my chair pose. Yet I know if I went into one of these classes as I was when I started I’d leave and never come back. I’d be too intimidated and feel too self-conscious, too out of place and give up on the idea of practicing yoga. Because it’s geared toward the young and fit, those people who have “yoga bodies.” Lean and tight, flexible and frankly what I want to look like. I know I won’t,I can’t, I’ll never be one of those women who wears her yoga bra as a top, because I’m too modest and some of those parts need to be contained. There are a few people who don’t fit that profile; there’s a few of us who are older, lumpier, less flexible and less muscular. But we are the exception and we aren’t the image they want to project to attract the types of students they are targeting. In a way it makes me more determined to stay in there, just to throw the place off balance.

When I started going there the studio had a laid-back free spirited feel that I really liked. It’s in a old house with creaky stairs, scrolled grilles over the floor vents, noisy plumbing and real wood floors. I took the beginners class, most of the other people were similar to me, unfamiliar with yoga and a few had health issues like bad backs or injuries they hoped yoga would help with. There was a happy vibe in the place, I felt accepted even though I had no idea what I was doing most of the time. My teacher even encouraged us to take other classes and suggested which ones might work for us, besides her own. So I started taking a level 2 class and I hate to admit it I abandoned the beginners classes as I got accustomed to the harder classes.My teacher was glad for me, she didn’t make me feel guilty or bad for leaving, she was even a little proud of me.

The downstairs studio was an art gallery for awhile then went back to being a studio, which is where it is now. The walls were painted, which looks better. But they’ve also gussied it up, there are candles and powdered supplements for sale now. It’s been gentrified. And they announced on facebook they are changing the name and moving the studio later this month.

I don’t know about this. I love that great creaky old house. The new location is further away from me. The new name, I don’t know what’s up with that or why. It’s going to be called This Land. I’m guessing Woody Guthrie and have no idea what he has to do with yoga. The prices are staying the same, for now. The classes and teachers, I don’t know if they are changing or if there will be new or different teachers. I plan to go to a couple of classes, just to get an idea of what this means. I don’t want to give up on this and if it turns out not to work for me I’ll probably start taking classes at my old teacher’s studio. I may go there anyway. I also plan to cruise by this new location, to see where it is and what it looks like. I know change is a part of life and we gotta roll with the punches, I’m trying to do my part.