Keep smilin’…keep shinin’…the value of positivity

I find myself to be a pretty positive person, for the most part.  Not a she’s so cheerful, I want to hit her in the face with a shovel positive person.  But I am positive.  I wasn’t always.  I used to be a cross between Oscar the Grouch and Beetlejuice.  Now I find myself steering away from people like that.  There is nothing worse than starting your day off as happy as Mary Poppins and five minutes later, having your day ruined by someone that’s pissed off for some worthless reason.  I’m usually amazed at the little things that people let get to them.  And for what?  So that you can go and crap on everyone else’s day?  I once had a former co-worker who flew off the handle because someone dared to paperclip a pack of envelopes together as opposed to putting a rubberband around the envelopes.  I looked at them in disbelief and said “anyone know where I can find a tranquilizer to inject into your backside because you’re killing me.” 


After I was in the hospital last year, I really started channeling my inner hippie.  (I really need to name my inner hippie because I refer to it so much.)  My inner hippie reminds me that life is too short.  It also reminds me that at anytime I can leave this world and, is being a hyper-defensive ass the mark that I really want to leave on this world?  Nope. 

When I die, I want my friends to remember me the way Robin Williams’ friends remembered him:  “He lit up the room, made you laugh until you peed and he was more than just funny.  He was kind, gentle and loving.”  Can you imagine having better things said about you?  Me neither. 

I am always on the lookout for motivational quotes, Bible verses, etc.  I have them hung all around my desk at work, I jot them down in my planner, I saturate myself with them because whenever I want to sling negativity at someone that has just honked me off, I need something to yank me back and remind me that it’s not worth it.  I recently came across this quote by Robert Frost and I love it:  In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on

Last week, I weighed in after a week of buckling down and eating right and exercising.  I lost 7 pounds…in one week.  I felt amazing.  Today, I did my weekly weigh in and I gained 5 back.  I didn’t get mad.  I didn’t admit defeat.  I just thought “well that’s okay, I’ll have to look at what went wrong this past week.”  I have to pick myself up and march on, eyes focused on the prize.  I will not look at it negatively, I won’t let it define this journey.  I knew from the beginning, getting my health in order, is going to be a process of success mixed with failure.  And you know what else?  In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on

I’d love it if you posted your favorite quotes that get you through a rough time! 

I am still THE Dancing Queen

My last post discussed how I had finally found an exercise activity that I liked.  Dancing.  I’d like to announce that after one week, I am still dancing away.  Let me tell you why this is big news.  Finding a workout that I can stick with is a painful task.  It consists of the following process:

  1. Day 1:  I find a workout that I like.  After one workout, I am convinced this is THE workout that I can stick with forever.  Past forever workouts have consisted of: yoga, Tae-Bo, tennis, boxing, the Body of Steel collection, and Zumba.  I could go on and on…
  2. After the second workout a.k.a. Day 2, I think yes this is going well, I will continue with this workout.
  3. Day 3:  I don’t want to burn myself out, I mean, I have done this workout twice already!
  4. Day 4:  I don’t know, maybe this isn’t the workout for me, I mean, the instructor is kind of annoying.  And I sweat a lot.  Really, should I really be sweating this much?  This might be a dangerous workout.
  5. Day 5:  I tried.  I really did.  I did the workout twice and if I’m just not wetting my pants in anticipation of doing it again, then it’s probably not the one for me.

And there you have it.  So by participating in dancing workouts 4 times in one week, I think I’m really onto something.  I’m doing all of these dancing workouts in the privacy of my own home, via You Tube.  There are a ton of these dancing videos.  Not every video is tailored to what I need.  What I need is a video that is for stiff-jointed, non-limbered, chubby, so you think you can dance but can’t, videos.  I search for videos that run at least 40 minutes in length because I spend probably at least 5-10 minutes of each video looking at the instructor, saying “how did she do that?” and “I just don’t think my abs were meant to be that bendy.” 

I dance for a good 40 minutes and then I follow it up with a 15-20 minute cardio or weightlifting video.  After a week, I feel amazing.  My back doesn’t hurt, I have more energy and my attitude is better.  Perfect example:  The hubs likes to leave his shoes right inside the back door.  This is a bad idea as I am a natural klutz and I’m not afraid to trip over shoes and take a tumble down the steps onto our patio.  I have told the hubs repeatedly not to do this.  This week I was at my breaking point and faced with two options:  throw the shoes out into the back yard, giving the dogs something new to find in the backyard and thus, hike their leg on the shoes OR bring the hubs to the backdoor and show him why this will not work any longer.  I chose the one not involving dog urine.  The hubs has moved his shoes and I’m thrilled.  I chalk this decision making skill up to dancing.  So thank you dance instructors with extra bendy abs, thank you You Tube for your treasure trove of what is possibly the world’s largest collection of illegally downloaded exercise videos, and thank you Julianne Hough for showing me that I can never dance as well as you, look like you, and be you, resulting in, never having to worry about being associated with someone as annoying as Ryan Seacrest. 

What I love most about doing dance as a workout is that I actually don’t feel like I’m working out.  I’m not watching the clock concerned that I may not survive the workout or have to fake an asthma attack or wonder at what point I’ll need to take another “water” break.  I’m having so much fun dancing that it feels great!  Cool down were my two favorite words in a workout and now I tend to get a little sad when I hear them. I can’t believe I just typed that but it’s true!  So later today, when I transform myself into the Dancing Queen that I’ve become and break into Momma G’s Booty Poppin’ Hip Hop workout, I will be having a blast burning calories while mumbling “Um, I don’t think my booty was made to pop but whatevs.” 

What is one workout that you love to do?

Let’s Dance!

This week it hit me.  Low back pain.  And it hit me hard.  Tuesday evening I decided to tackle some landscaping.  I dug up some dirt, plopped some plants in and threw down some mulch.  Sounds easy enough.  An hour later, I could barely walk. 

Now I’m no stranger to back pain.  About 10 years ago, it was discovered that I had four herniated discs and they were pushing on some nerves.  So I had surgery.  This did nothing.  After awhile, the nerves just kind of went dull.  Every now and then they wake up and remind me they are still there.  Even with having back issues, being overweight and out of shape, I rarely have back pain.  Unless I get super mad, then those back muscles tense up and eureka, I have pain in a Zeus just hit me in the ass with a thunderbolt kinda way.  However, this week has been horrible, nearly intolerable.  I’m not afraid of pain, I don’t sit around and say “ugh, my back hurts too much to do that.”  I decided I was going to work that back pain right out of there. 

I decided to do some lifting but could tell that I was just tensing up and making it worse.  Then I thought I’d do some stretching but felt my muscles tensing up again.  By Thursday, I was walking so crooked, and hunched, I looked ridiculous.  I kept doing some stretches that didn’t involve laying on the floor because my back just won’t have that nonsense and I had an epiphany, due to that sedentary lifestyle I led for so long, I have absolutely no flexibility in my back muscles.  They are so full of tightness, tension and what I believe to be toxic build up in my muscles that those muscles just won’t tolerate any out of the ordinary movement.

I really started hitting the water.  I also looked up some recipes with all veggie ingredients because my muscles are screaming for more nourishment.  Lastly, I turned to my buddy You Tube and looked up some videos for back pain – when it hit me – why not try dancing?  Dancing will loosen up muscles while making them all toasty and warm!

I found a great video Dancing for Beginners for Dummies.  Trying this video showed me just how rigid my body is.  As I tried to mimic the fluidity of the instructor’s movements, I wound up looking like Howdy Doody trying to do the twist. 

Now, I like to dance, in fact I love to dance – in a non-public, all curtains closed, without any witnesses kind of way.  I dance around the house all the time but when I see things shaking on the shelves around the house, it’s a little discouraging but I still do it.  So I danced to that video.  For 40 solid minutes, sweat pouring down my face, hair drenched, dogs looking at me like what the hell is she doing now and me thinking I just stole the Soul Train dance floor.  It flew by!  And I loved it!  I had so much energy afterwards too.  I even forgot about my back pain.  Yup, my seizure like movements had warmed up the muscles enough to release some of that stiffness and I felt great. 

So I’m going to embrace this new Dance Fever that I have.  Tonight, I did the mambo.  And failed miserably.  Tomorrow I’m going to try one of Julianne Hough’s online workouts and look absolutely ridiculous doing it.  However, nothing will ever look as bad as my venture into yoga did…but that’s for another post.

Howdy is signing off for now – and taking her tired Doody to bed.  That’s all for now kids!