Archive for the ‘health’ Category

HagHealth: The D-word

Posted: September 1, 2011 in health

Yesterday, I went back to the gym after a loooong hiatus. (Plenty of excuses why, none of them very good…) The Man over here at Ye Olde Salt Mines decided we fat and lazy salt miners needed to get out of our ergonomic office chairs, and he offered free noon-time exercise classes, so I felt like I had to sign up.


Yesterday’s class was Zumba, which, as most people know, is a form of Latin dancing emphasizing fast footwork. Five minutes in, and I’m sweating like a horse and stumbling about like a chimp. (And I probably smell like both.) I give the instructor  high marks on enthusiasm and skill, but she flunks out on any actual INSTRUCTION, particularly considering how intricate some of the dance steps are. I bounce around for about 25 minutes before my sweat level and rumbling stomach (gotta remember to eat something before that class) takes me out.

Today’s class is basic aerobics, a little more familiar and easier to keep up with (“ARE WE HAVING FUN? FEEL THAT BURN! GOOD JOB!”) and I make it through the entire session, sort of. But I am still shockingly out of shape.

Yeesh. I used to run 10Ks and do step aerobics and lift weights, but I left it all behind after suffering an injury that has long since healed. And I clearly remember all the perks of being fit: more stamina, better weight control, fun friendships with exercise buddies, being part of the fitness crowd, and, in particular, what I call The Cosmic Hum (or runner’s high or whatever) that would sometimes wash over me after a good workout. I’d like to regain some of that.

But I have another, even more compelling reason to crawl out of my rut.

I was at a doctor’s appointment last spring, I forget what for. My doc is a rather thorough sort, and he ordered a little blood work before I saw him. He walked in, sat down, and immediately started muttering something about my blood sugar levels and started reaching for his prescription pad…

NO, I said. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.  We’re not going there. I’M not going there. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll lose weight. I’ll go back to the gym. I’ll change my diet. Just do not prescribe me any, um, gulp, DIABETIC medication. I DESPISE that word. I don’t want it anywhere on my medical record. With my medical history, I’ll have enough trouble qualifying for any other coverage without the D-word stigma.

I left his office in a funk, and over the next two months I lost 20 pounds, which put my blood sugar in a more acceptable range. But I’ve stalled out, and I need to get my motivation and enthusiasm back. Hence, the gym.

This was not supposed to happen. Unlike my friends with type II, adult-onset diabetes, I have no history of the disease in my family. None of my siblings have it. I can only blame my sedentary self and my two-Cokes-a-day habit.

The Baby Boomers are going to swell the numbers of type II diabetics out there. No big surprise. I just WILL NOT be one of them.

So help keep me honest. And motivated. How do you manage your weight/workouts/ health?

Update: Moments after I posted this I stumbled across this photo from Ari at Advanced Style. She’s on her way home from yoga. Kill. Me. Now.

HagHealth: Shingles

Posted: August 25, 2011 in health

I went and got a shingles vaccine today, apparently bucking an unfortunate trend of 60+ people ignoring or avoiding getting the shot. (The recommended age has been lowered to 50, so I didn’t have to show an ID or anything. I must LOOK 50+…) If you’ve never encountered anyone with shingles, which is somehow related to the chicken pox virus, here’s a restrained example and link from the NYTimes:

Trust me, there are far worse examples out there. The nasty thing about this little disorder it that, as painful and unsightly as it is when you have the lesions, the pain frequently continues — sometimes indefinitely — even after the rash is gone. I’ve had several friends and family members come down with it, and they were MISERABLE.

Good news: It’s preventable. And, with a little luck and a decent health care provider, it won’t cost you anything. I even got a princess band aid!

Go get one. That’s an order.

HotHags: Diana Nyad

Posted: August 8, 2011 in health, hothags

Diana Nyad braves sharks to inspire seniors with marathon swim! Wow! At age 61!