Arthur Itis, where have you gone?

Afternoon Chums,

 

I may have mentioned before that I have I had arthritis.  Five knee surgeries, pain and bony nastiness in my fingers, and it was spreading to my shoulders and elbows.  I was on constant pain relief and sometimes strong anti inflammatories as well.

Well, a strange thing has happened since I took up all this healthy living malarkey. Arthur has gone.  Not completely gone, but minimal pain in the fingers, and the rest of the old joints are young again. No more Arthur Itis.

So how did this happen? Can’t say for sure if it was one thing, or a combination, but here are the things I believe have done it, and how you can too.

Of course, I’m no expert, so I cannot guarantee that this will work for you too, but shit – its worth a go!!

  1. Stop eating crap.

If its in a packet – don’t buy it or eat it.  This basic advice saves scouring the shelves for “healthy” alternatives and reading ingredient lists in supermarket aisles.  A little bit of research will show you that the crap thats in this food is not a good option.  Most of it is man made, mass produced and stuff like flavourings are a long long way down the food chain from the original article. Don’t waste your time or money.

If its packaged, forget it.

2.  Stop eating sugar.

I know, another negative, but processed refined sugar is really the same as item 1.  Its in a packet so forget it. Sugar does so much harm to your body its not even funny, and has been proven to increase the bodies inflammatory processes. You can find out the truth about sugar here: https://iquitsugar.com/

3.  Eat not the wheat.

For me – this is the hardest thing to do. I love bread, pasta tortillas etc etc, and the alternatives have been hard to find, but so well worth it.

I can honestly say, in my experience, this is the one immediate thing that I can see and feel a difference with.  If I have a bowl of spaghetti, or tacos or something with wheat, I will suffer the very next day.  Not only bloating and gut problems, but my joints will be crying at me to stop.

There are heaps of proper research articles on this, and its all about the protein in wheat and how it effects your gut.  This particular article is simple to read, and says it all:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2015/05/lose-the-wheat-and-grains-lose-the-inflammation/

4.  Eat real food.

So if you cant eat it out of a packet – make it yourself.  Fresh food is the best – but you already knew that, didn’t you…….

Its not that hard, not that boring, and really quite fun once you get into the way of it.  I do a reasonably sized cook up once a week, and always make more than I need, so I have leftovers. I keep the cut off parts of veggies when I prepare them, and boil the shit out of them with either the carcass from a roast chicken, or soup bones, or just some herbs to make stock to flavour later meals.  This gets frozen, so its just as easy as a stock cube, and gives heaps more flavour. Minimal effort, maximum gain.

5. Exercise.

Another no brainer, but its essential.  Really really essential.  Theres nothing as bad as immobile joints, left sitting in a chair for years on end and then trying to get the buggers going again. I know, I’ve stopped and started exercise so many times, but not this time – this time is for life.  Even if all you can muster is a wee wander around the yard, or up and down the driveway, lace up those shoes and do it.  Push it a little more each time, and trust me, you will feel the difference.  You will feel better, and by God, you will look better, and who doesn’t want that!!

If you need any further encouragement, I can highly recommend this website, and associated books. No they don’t pay me, you realise its just the two of us here, right?  No one reads this shit but me lol!!

The younger next year for wimmin is really funny, and tells it like it is. You can grow old slowly and nastily, or you can be younger next year.  Thats about it.  Check it out here: http://youngernextyear.com/

Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of my tips and tricks for getting the most out of your food – how to cook up a storm and not use packets, and more about healing your gut. My new research topic.

Cheers for now,

BN xx

 

Spinning around

Evening chums,

well, another day of stepping outside the comfort zone and advancing in the old fitness shizzle. My coach has a spinning class every Tuesday at the ungodly hour of 530am, and today I did it.  I actually set the alrm, got up, and went to the gym

Now, If you have never done an RPM class, I can highly recommend it.  It was just brilliant.  Its all loud music and turning up the resistance of the bike, but basically its you v. bike.  The coach will never know if you cranked it up as much as she did, but you can pace it to not die half way through.

The last time I did one of these classes, me missy bum was numb for a week, but, with the benefit of added padding in the cycling pants, I am pleased to report I still have full feeling in me bits.

Seriously, if your looking for a gym class that you can do at your own pace (its dark in there, so no one can see you cry….) give it a go.

And, I didn’t fall off. Handy that, given recent form on two wheels 🙂

Very happy I did it, and very happy that the journey continues, despite sore and grazed knees.

Talk soon,

Take care,

BN xx

Stacked but still here.

Well chums, it had to happen. 

I stacked the bike. Shameful on many levels- none the least because I was doing zero kilometers per hour and it was right outside my front door. And luckily it was early in the morning, and hopefully the neighbours didn’t see it. 

Warning- graphic nasty knee photo coming…..


Fucked on many levels.

Those of you who don’t vomit at the sight of a glorious leg may note that this particular knee has previous scars. $10,000 worth of scars. (Thanks private health care). I had a MACI- which is where they take cells, grow them in a laboratory and implant them back. They don’t do it in Australia any more- but it was great for me. So- I landed very heavily on said knee this morning. It’s sore, but hopefully no lasting damage. 

What a stupid old trout I am.

Just to clarify- my new trainers got stuck in the cage of the pedals- (I haven’t yet got to cleats and proper pedals for fear of falling). And wtf- So after this- cleats it is…. hehehehehe. Why the fuck not. May as well fall over for good reason. 

I also put out my hand to ease the fall- and now my shoulder and entire left side is fecking sore too. Bollocks.

  • And in case your concerned (as inspector gadget was) the bike is fine. Not a scratch. 

It was a brilliant ride too- bit windy- but lovely. 

In response to said stupid fall- I have confirmed that I will cycle 20km in a corporate team tri in a couple of weeks.

Fuck you pedals. You’re not the boss of me.

I’m away to have pain meds and beds

Take care

BN xx

Tri, Tri Tri again

Evening all,

This was to be a triathlon training update, but……I can say “evening all” now because I have gone viral.  Well, viral for me, one visitor.  Thank you, whoever you are for visiting, and making my entire year thus far.  ONE VISIT. Fucking YAY!! Hope you are staying tuned, because its just me and thee…..

Anyhoo, back at Dirty Dusty triathlon training HQ (any other new folk may need to rewind and realise that despite the witty repartee, there is a serious (Feck) triathlon training shizzle happening behind all this humour and all round lovely blogness.

Today was this

Every time I do this, I fail miserably. Well, only at the freestyle head turning and not drowning thang. I can do the breasting stroke beautifully, but slowly, and have real trouble breathing with the crawling malarky. SO I came home all pissed off and unsure of whether I will even continue etc etc.

But do you know what chums?  This time I wont give up.  I reckon its going to be a bit like this

Loads of people and weedy, dirty, nasty water, where no one will notice me breast stroking slowly along.

I’m doing this for me.  Not a medal, not to win. For me.  Just to finish and the accomplishment of something huge. So I’m not getting disheartened, just carrying on with the training.

And the feckers had best be getting out of my way when I get on the bike. Seriously, I will run over them. It shall be my best leg, and I will go like the clappers of shite to make up time 🙂

In other news, I have been cooking up a storm of healthy foods today, and will continue tomorrow.  Will take some self indulgent photos to show you all (well, just the one of you). Its back to work on Monday, so need to be prepared.

So, all in all, another great day, except for the swimmings, but nothing that can’t be fixed.  Off to beds now, one more day of holidays, and hopefully a big ride on the bike.

Talk soon,

Take care,BN xx

Mutton dressed as mutton – Fashion for the over 50’s.

Good afternoon chums,

This journey of weight loss and fitness has made me very aware of many things, and at the minute another one of my all consuming passions is fashion. Particularly for us old ducks. What the well dressed Nang is wearing these days.

Now I’m not one for comfy shoes and twin sets and pearls, but much prefer edgy, up to date fashion which will not make us oldies look like mutton dressed as lamb, but rather mutton dressed as mutton.

Think punk meets killer heels meets cover the gut layers.

To this end, and having looked at many many blogs aimed at over 50’s, I shall not burden you with photos of me wearing pretty frocks and loafers.  Instead, I will share some ideas and photos of inspiring women wearing inspirational clothes.  Please join me on Pinterest here: https://au.pinterest.com/bignangsblog/over-50-style/

Talk soon,

BN xx

 

 

Heal thyself

Afternoon chums,

back in the training zone today, with a bit of a shuffle round the streets this morning.  Was quite happy with my fitness, and although it was as hot as hell, it was great to be out “running” again.  Shite pace, and could have been overtaken at any time by old folk on wheeled walkers, but I was out and doing it, which is something.  Only 94 days till Dirt and Dust, so every little shuffle counts.

The remainder of my day has been spent trying to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon, after a sugar and alcohol fuelled Christmas.

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I am obsessed with quitting sugar, and eating real food, and today have been blown away by my new book Simplicious by Sarah Wilson.http://sarahwilson.com

Its just the best thing I think I have ever read.  Its not only about eating real, healthy food, but about not wasting anything, and using all the leftovers, so you get into a vibe of making your own stocks and bits and pieces for awesome nutritious meals. Honestly, it is such a good read, and I’m only at page 54 🙂

Do yourself a favour and buy it here:  https://store.iquitsugar.com/

It really has inspired me to eat more sustainably as well as healthily, so I will chuck in some foodie posts for your delectation as I get good at it.

Its also made me very interested in the concept of healing through food.  It really seems to be medicinal. I can only speak from my own experience, but being off sugar has made the arthritis symptoms heaps better, and I really noticed a difference when I did have some chocolate and treats at Christmas. It was back to pass the walking frame, rather than train for a tri.

Anyway, I’m researching frantically into why this shit works, and will pass on my musings soon.

Meantime, take care

BN xx

Happy New Year

Good afternoon chums,

A few thoughts as I’m lying here in a large sugar fuelled heap, this first day of the new year.  I’m not a fan of the all or nothing new years resolution, which, had I been arsed to make one, would have gone as quickly as my resolve not to have a can of soft drink to assuage my hangover.

I’ve drunk way too much alcohol this Christmas, ate way too many puddins and had an absolute bloody ball doing it.


This photo is my all. The smiles, the laughs- the tongs!!!!!

No regrets about over indulgence, no regrets about spoiling these beauties and no regrets about how 2016 was spent.

This year is mine.  It is the year I will tick off a number of goals, and complete my first, and hopefully first of several, triathlons. Its the year when I will kick sugar to the kerb, and be the best version of me that I can muster.

Happy New Year to you all.  I hope all your wishes come true, that you have no regrets – ever- and your bucket lists shorten each day.

Take care,

BN xx

Hair

As an aside to all the training, and woe is me aneurysm bullshit, I have been thinking about hair.

With all this training, hair needs to be easy.  No time for a “do” when you’ve just done a full on session, and need to be somewhere else. So I am contemplating a radical chopping. To this end, I have started a pinterest board here:

https://au.pinterest.com/bignangsblog/short-hair-for-active-lifestyles/

It’s also nice to see how many older trendy wimmin have lovely hair, that doesn’t look “done” but is edgy and cool.

Its either grow the bugger long and tie it back, and all the pundits say we old folk look better with short hair, so something short and sweet might just be the go.

I’ve also been toying with going grey gracefully, or outrageously, rather than dying it and worrying about regrowth.  Its been a while since I’ve been au natural, but I reckon its nearly white by now!!  Maybe will have a go at some nice pretend grey, and grow myself into it.

All this exercise, and feeling good really makes you think about the good things in life again, like fashion and hair and thinking about really taking care of yourself.

Happy happy days.

Talk soon

BNxx

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Mortality and the middle aged woman.

So, chums, a quick quiz. What do Lucille Ball, George C Scott, John Ritter, Albert Einstein, many many more famous folk, and my grandfather have in common?

They all died from Aortic Aneurysm rupture. Not a pleasant way to go but quick, sudden and almost always without warning or prior detection. It’s where the walls of the main artery leaving the heart is enlarged to the point of bursting, and when it blows, theres not much that can be done, unless a crack team of cardiothoracic surgeons are standing by.

More here:

http://atelier-drachenhaus.de/aortic-aneurysm-location
So you can imagine my delight when after having high blood pressure, the doctor suggested an echocardiogram. Thats an up close and personal kind of procedure at the best of times, but when the operator says your aorta looks on the big side, whilst practically straddling you, I’m sure the poor soul felt my horror first hand.
I remembered straight away my grandmother telling me how my grandad had died suddenly from an aneurism, and he was only in his fifties. He never got to see my mum get married, or meet any of his grand kids. The horror I felt was real. Same age as me, and now I have the same thing……
Thus began a nightmare four weeks. Every burp or slight indigestion pain was of course the aneurism resecting, and my last few minutes on this mortal coil. Every muscle pain or cramp was the grim reaper calling me up. And Dr Google refused to take my calls. his search engines were jammed with me looking up all possible cures, causes and consequences, none of which were terribly favourable.
So I decided to get a decent GP and talk through it. He was very nice but non committal and referred me to a cardiologist. The very thought – I don’t need/want a cardiologist – I have bucket lists to conquer, not buckets to kick. So I waited for an appointment in the Godforsaken desert location I live in, and none came. So I called his rooms and went privately.
Dr Bejasus (or something like that) was just lovely. Listened intently to my ramblings about death from wind pain, and my impending mortality fears, looked me straight in the eye and said “you’re not going to die”.
THANK FUCK.
Dr Bejasus, I love you dearly. He went on to tell me that my measly 4.1 cm enlargement was nothing to worry about, we just need to keep the blood pressure down and all shall be well. His golden rule for panic and scalpel wielding is 5.5 cm. Obviously we have no idea how quick, if at all, mine will/is growing, but by all accounts I have a while longer to torture my nearest and dearest.
There were a few more high points to the consultation:
1. He didn’t laugh when I told him I was training for a triathlon. In fact he said competitive and even olympic athletes have been known to have low level aortic enlargement.
2. He practically begged me to continue training!!
3. He reckons that since I’ve lost 7 kilos and train 5 – 6 days per week, it has saved me from having two new medications being prescribed- I wont need beta blockers or cholesterol meds
4. He is dropping my blood pressure tablets back to a more suitable dose for those athletic types like me!!!!

So there it is. A brush with my mortality, many tears, and ultimately more resolve to continue this journey.

Sorry for not updating sooner, but I wouldn’t have been my normal witty self, and refuse to use this log to moan and whine!!

So, I have signed up for another 9 weeks with my trainers.  I hope they will take me back once I tell them about these developments, but even if not, I am still aiming for the Dirt and Dust in early April.

Stay tuned, this is going to get even more exciting, not there are higher stakes – I have to exercise or its more medication for me. And I’m more determined to share and spread the word that anything is possible, and age is just a number.

Take Care

BN xx

Swings and roundabouts

Its been a bit up and down for the past week, swings and roundabouts sort of sums it up.

swings

Wish my arse would fit into them swings, but….moving along……

So the fitness is now at week six.  The hill climbs are still fucking me over and I haven’t yet got to the top of one without near dying.

But, on Sunday, I had a brilliant day.  My trainers offered a free lesson on the bike, which was just brilliant.  Now the last time I was on a bike on the road was 1984. And I wasn’t a fan then.

Started off shite, but it was really like riding a bike, and soon I stopped wobbling and got on rather well. Except for the turning corners, which were’t great.

Then after some drills and several people falling off- we went out for a ride along the road.  Nearly shit my copious pants when a huge truck overtook us, and I didn’t even hear it coming.

I was flying along with the others, and having a lovely time, but got  a flat tyre that couldn’t be fixed so had to be rescued by car. But all in all, considering the 30 plus year gap in my cycling career, it was rather good.

Next day, the old missy bum was numb, and sitting was very tentative, but all in all I was chuffed with my return to the peleton. (or whatever its called)

So off I trotted to the swimming session next day, all full of my new triathlon career, and how I am going to ace the Dirt n Dust in April.

Roundabout moment. Swimming was shite.  Apparently everyone in Australia can swim like fuck, all glydie and freestyle and shit. Effortlessly skiting up and down, with hardly a splash.  And here’s me, struggling with the nanna breaststroke, head slightly in the water, inhaling most of the pool, and refusing to give in. So we raced in teams.  poor bastards that had me…. we were last.  It was awful.  Tragic even. So I came home completely deflated and rethinking the tri.

Todays session has lightened my spirits a bit. Weights, which I love, but the swimming is still in my head, and needs some serious work.  swim

How fucking hard can it be to do this. Even when your scared of water……….

Im not letting it beat me.  Onwards and upwards.

Talk soon,

BN x