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Live Simply Live Well
Health and Getting Fit

Health and Getting Fit

I have been working on getting fitter for what seems like forever. I blew out my knee a few years ago, and it took forever to get it fixed and then get it feeling good enough to workout–I gained so much weight!  Being a little older, it is more difficult to lose weight. (Okay, part of it is because Mark brings me chocolate…a lot.)

I signed up for my first 5k a few weeks ago, and even though my friend Dee and I walked– we finished just a touch over an hour…not bad for two old ladies doing their first one! We are also doing another 5k on June 7th…and we get rewarded with pierogies at the end of this one! I guarantee we’ll shave some time off that hour to make sure there are some left for us.  Our goal is to come in less than the 1 hour 3 minutes of the first one. We’ll have both our daughters kicking us in the butt this time…should be fun.  And in September, a 5K Mud Run, with obstacles!

Chances are, I will not run either of these coming up. I never really liked to run, even when I was really young and skinny, I always preferred riding my bike and I still do. With a surgically repaired knee, I don’t want to risk it. But, walking is excellent exercise, too… gets your heart pumping and oxygen into your lungs.

So to get ready for these things, I am setting up some goals for myself and posting them here to keep me accountable.

  1. Yoga everyday
  2. Weights every other day
  3. Walk/run 2 miles every other day
  4. Ten glasses of water a day.
  5. Eight hours of sleep every night

That’s it! I have three weeks to kick it into gear and be ready for this next one.

Are You a Blog Snob?

Are You a Blog Snob?

First, let me say that I belong to some wonderful blogging communities around the web, and feel that I have found an awesome “tribe” of writers. However, a few times I have run across bloggers who feel that their brand of blogging is the only right one (sounds kind of like religion, but that’s for a completely different blog post!) I, for one, love the variety of blog posts and topics that are written by my blogging friends. I only wish that everyone felt the same way.

Yes, this post will be a bit of a rant!

I have been blogging since 2005…I started a blog to help writers find their way online, Write and Get Paid. There are actually two iterations of that blog live right now– and my project for this weekend is to meld them into one, get rid of outdated posts and update those that will stay. I have several others that are in various stages and admittedly need some love. I started this one in late 2013, and my business website and blog, date to January 4, 2006.  I dare say I have been blogging a lot longer than most people.

Still, apparently, I have not written enough “real blog posts” to suit some other bloggers. This is what I was told by one when I attempted to reach out and join a blog carnival last summer. I did ask what they constituted as a real blog post and received no response whatsoever. It really stuck in my craw, but I was new to this particular tribe so I bit my tongue, slapped my fingers and went about my business.

Writing, social media, SEO, and website building is my full-time income and business. It is NOT simply a hobby for me! Now, I do write blog posts about other things that interest me, and this SIMPLE blog came about because I did not want to post about recipes and DIY projects on my business websites. However, the posts that I write on those sites can also help bloggers to gain more traffic and build their brand and influence–they are worthy of being read!

I love reading what my online friends write— even when the topics are those I would normally not be interested in. Elaine Ambrose and her fart story cracked me up to end. I love reading Cathy Chester’s posts about MS and the challenges she faces, even though it’s something that has not touched my life personally. I like reading my blogger friend’s stories about their parenting challenges, and first-time empty-nesting, even though that time of my life is over. I love seeing photos of crafts and DIY projects that I will never make, and recipes that I probably will not ever cook! In general, I am thrilled that there is such a variety of blog posts to read, and that bloggers take the time to write them.

My point is that the blogosphere is huge, and there are people interested in millions of different topics. What makes you think that only what YOU want to write and read about is worthy of being written or read by others?

Don’t be a blog snob– embrace your blogger friends, farts and all! You never know where it might lead.

a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field.

Coming Back from Physical Pain

Coming Back from Physical Pain

Anyone who has ever had a serious injury or accident knows extreme pain, and how hard it is to live with it. My journey with pain was several years ago, and I feel so blessed to have come out of that black hole of constant and chronic pain and depression to where I am today.

Living with neverending pain totally changes you. It is also incredibly humbling to be the person who must say that you cannot do something, or that you need dropped off at the door.  I hate to admit it, but chronic pain made me mean and bitter, ready to snap off anybody’s head for the slightest perceived infraction. Fortunately, it also made me more empathetic when my husband Mark was dealing with bulging discs in his back– I was well aware how bad the pain could be, especially when there was no end in sight.

In 2009, I tore the meniscus in my knee. What should have been a simple and quick operation to repair it turned into a nightmare, as our insurance provider and the doctor that they referred me to did the “try not to pay for anything expensive” dance — and I suffered through it. It took six doctor’s visits and me screaming at the doctor that it wasn’t just arthritis, to get an MRI done on a Thursday…and I was in surgery Monday morning! Unfortunately, those jagged pieces in my knee were chewing up my ligaments and surrounding tissue for that entire six months. My daughter said that the photo the doctor showed her of the inside of my leg looked “like hamburger meat.”  The doctor told me NOT to exercise it for a while, and did not order physical therapy. (I should have realized then how screwed up my leg was.) I was depressed and immobile, even after the surgery was done because of the extreme damage done to my leg, and I gained so much weight–which made me more depressed and immobile– vicious circle for sure.

I  realized today when I was walking Max just how far I’ve come. It is now much easier to walk on trails and uneven terrain, hills and steps. During the worst times, I was crying in pain after walking five minutes on flat surfaces at the grocery store, and I limped like an old lady. I hated it! Though I probably will never be 100 percent, I am so happy to walk normally and be able to move again. I will be walking a 5K with a friend this weekend, and we are running one in August– a far cry from where I was two or three years ago.

Still, it was an incredible journey because it helped me to learn both sides and be empathetic with others. I know that before this happened, I never realized just how bad something could hurt, or how a disability could affect a person. I am more understanding, better at being patient with my Mom when she cannot keep up, quicker to slow down and lend a hand to elderly people that I run into at the store, and clearly nicer with my words as well.

I know that so many people have had much worse pain than mine, and cannot imagine the fear that comes with a diagnosis of a severe illness. Because of this long saga, I know what not being able to trust your own body feels like, and through that pain I have learned to be more compassionate to others.

Have you ever had to deal with chronic and constant pain? Do you feel it changed you permanently?

Five Minute Friday and Ultra Blog Challenge

Five Minute Friday and Ultra Blog Challenge

This week I am trying to get back into the blogging writing habit regularly– turning over a NEW leaf, so to speak. I have been slacking on my blogging writing for the last few months, and for no good reason at all, so joining a few communities is helpful.  I have several books in various stages of completion, and I think this type of challenge could be just the NEW nudge I need to get things done! NEW books!

First, I am doing the Ultra Blog Challenge, a challenge to write a blog post every day of the month. Today is Day 2, and even though it is 11:30 east of the Mississippi River, here I am at the computer to be sure that I get my post in for the day.  They say it takes seven days to create a NEW habit, so that is definitely what I am going for.

I just learned about Five Minute Friday today while doing a Pinterest group follow in my awesome Women of Midlife Facebook group— and thought it would be perfect to add as well. I understand there is also a great blogging community around FMF, too…so it will be great to meet lots of NEW friends, too.

That’s all I’ve got for now– but actually, it is pretty awesome that there are so many great groups online for support and friendship, and NEW ways to connect with just about anyone in the world.

New friends. New habits. New nudges. New connections. New commitments. New writing. New books! Not bad for a NEW month!