Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

You just don’t know what will happen next.  It’s not just true when considering what kind of trade or position but it’s a helpful metaphor.

The important thing, I currently think, is to remember that you’re just trying to get a sense of a market (a stock, future, whatever).  There’s no “predicting” there’s just guessing with some degree of probability.  

There’s no need to trade anything, anytime.You’re looking for a “good” trade for the market at that time.  You look at the market, watch it and learn to “feel” what’s going on.  That push and pull between buyers and sellers.

Read Full Post »

Why not?

I find myself having lots of judging thought.  You know. “You’re too old to do that.”  “No one wants to hear what you have to say.” “Your not ‘as good’ as…”  Like that.  But then I have to pause and really question that.  Why not do what I “want?”  Why not just try stuff even though you’re above a certain age.  If I’m not going to have fun, explore, push the envelope now…well, when?  Time no longer spreads infinitely before me.  And, even leaving aside the actual moment of death there’s the whole getting to death.  Sure I picture staying more-or-less the same into a “delightfully cranky” old age.  But who knows what that journey is going to be like?  Why not?  Why not embrace that experience.  Isn’t all that all there is really?

Sometimes I enjoy just playing solitaire and sort of watching video.  Is that bad?  Wrong?  Or, is it better to explore that.  Sometimes I enjoy doing learning activities like learning a software related thing, or an art thing, or actually doing something artsy.  Sometimes I just want to zone out.  But I’m learning myself.  But I’m limited by what I can see right now.

Read Full Post »

Thanks to the prompting of a reader I am finally getting around to posting about my progress with hormone optimization and the other recommendations made by Cenegenics.

In short, things are great.   I am taking supplements and hormones that I believe are making a significant difference.  Based on the dietary recommendations I am closely following a low-glycemic eating plan and have lost 11 pounds in the first 4 weeks!  Also based on the recommendation of the nutritionist/trainer I am exercising 4 times per week…a big change for me.  I do interval training twice a week and high intensity resistance training twice a week with some cardio.  My perceived fitness has improved a lot.  I can tell in my daily life as well during workouts that my cardiovascular capability is improving and I’m definitely stronger.  I just feel more comfortable in my body.

Of course, since I’ve change three significant things (supplements, diet and exercise) it is difficult to ascribe which of these is the thing that’s making feel lots, lots better.  While I can see very direct evidence that the diet and exercise components are making a huge difference it’s harder to discern the effect of the supplements so directly.  Most of what I’m taking are specific vitamins and such along with some hormonal supplementation (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid).

The personal coaching from “my” nutritionist has been phenomenal.  I send her a daily journal of my food intake everyday along with a personal journal of my feelings, thoughts, observations.  She always responds with encouragement and, when necessary, suggestions for modifications to what I’m doing.

Both the doctor and nutritionist are very responsive to my questions.  The doctor has made several adjustments and even prescribed, through my pharmacy, a topical anti-inflammatory gel that has really helped some tendinitis that I have experienced.  They both have assured me that this is just the beginning and that my full result…my “optimum” result…will take 9-12 months so I should just continue to feel better and better.

I certainly feel younger. I feel more alert, my concentration and focus are great.  And I continue to feel better week by week.

The only real drawback to Cenegenics is cost.  It’s (for me) an expensive proposition to pay for the supplements and their monthly fee.  My current feeling is that I will continue through my next blood panel and see what, if any, adjustments they recommend.  At that point I may have to evaluate whether to continue with them or try to find alternatives.

The on

Read Full Post »

After stopping the melatonin I am now feeling fantastic!  The first day after stopping the melatonin I woke up feeling different.  More energized and just really good. Since then (it’s actually only 4 days) I’ve continued to feel great.

I started my interval training on Wednesday.  As Jen recommended I got on the elliptical machine and (finally) have a use for my interval timer.  I set the intervals to 20 seconds/45 seconds.  I did a 5 minute warm-up then a cycle of 20 seconds high intensity (amped up the resistance and my speed)/45 seconds low intensity for three cycles.  Then 2 minutes of low intensity.  Rinse-and-repeat for 30 minutes.  I actually really enjoyed it.  You have to focus to kind of keep track of what you’re doing so it kind of takes your mind of the boredom of being on a machine.  I felt awesome afterwards.  Really energized and good.  I don’t remember every quite feeling that way after a workout…so cool.

I’ve since done one session of high-intensity resistance traning with some cardio and another session of interval training…this time running.  The running was fun too and again the interval thing made it more enjoyable for me.  For the high intensity part I tried to sprint as hard as I could (although Jen wanted me to keep my heart heart in a certain zone…really not a problem since I can’t really sprint that fast…yet).  Again I felt really excellent afterwards and still felt quite good for the rest of the day.  The kids were over with the grandkids and I had plenty of energy to plan and run around.  So much better!

I know that I am often very optimistic and kind of high at the beginning of things.  I really want to make a significant change in my life not just my weight.  I’m finding this whole combination of exercise, diet (which is working great too.  I’ll blog about separatetly) and supplements to already have made me feel lots better.  After I asked the doctor she indicated that it could take 9-12 months to get a “full” result.  I can’t wait to see what that’s going to feel like!

Read Full Post »

I’m now in week two of my Cenegenics directed hormone and supplement plan.  I have to say I’m now feeling pretty good.  I’m over my cold or allergies or whatever they were and, generally speaking, am feeling quite good.  Hard to know if it’s placebo effect or reality.  But does that really matter ultimately?  How you feel is the real measure.

Due the festivities around my mom’s 90th birthday this past weekend I’ve been pretty stressed and between that and the cold haven’t really worked out much.  My husband, daughter and I took a look walk in the canyon with lots of hills.  I felt strong (although a little cardio challenged occassionally) and enjoyed it.

I was planning on starting some interval training (as advised by Jen, my Cenegenics fitness trainer/nutritionist).  However, when I pulled into my driveway I felt so sleepy I thought “I’ll just close my eyes for a sec.”  Next thing I knew I was sound asleep and woke up (with my mouth hanging up…ick) about 15 minutes later.  That was a bit weird for me.  One of the things I hope to get from this program is increased energy but I’m not usually SO sleepy that I actually fall asleep.  Something similar happened the next day.  Late afternoon and I almost dropped off during a (boring) meeting.  Not like me.  I contacted my Cenegenics doctor and Jen.  The doctor advised that I stop taking my nighttime Melatonin (3 mg) and see if that’s what causing the sleepiness.  I’ll try that tonight although I will say I feel like I’ve been sleeping MUCH better but I’m taking so many things it’s hard to know what to attribute for that.

Also, I’ve been reading this really excellent book, The Power of Habits, about habits…how we get them and how to change them.  The book has some really interesting insights into how the brain forms habits and how one might influence that unconscious process to change one’s habits.  I definitely feel that’s what I need.  The book talks about the notion of “cues” that trigger an unconscious response.  For example, I noticed that as soon as I see food on a counter at home I feel an urge to have some.  I’m not hungry and, prior to seeing the thing, didn’t feel like eating.  As a result, I’ve resolved to keep things put away to avoid this “cue.”

I’m also thinking it’s important to take the notion of goals seriously.  In the past, I’ve made “committments” to doing things (exercise, eating better, etc.) but they were easily ignored.  The weren’t “real” commitments…more vague aspirations I suppose.  Realizing this here are my goals for the next two weeks:

  • Interval training – minimum twice/week
  • Strength training – 2/week
  • Journal all food consumption
  • Do some art thing every day (draw, paint, plan a project, sew something, practice quilting)

I don’t want to make too many commitments.  But these should be a good start.  I’ll try to post progress about them to help me keep them in the forefront of my mind and establish these things as routines.

Read Full Post »

I received my first shipment from Cenegenics of the various hormone replacements and supplements two days after my visit there.  It’s a LOT of stuff.  My Cenegenics doctor, Dr. Mayweather, sent me my schedule for taking them and the specific things they were addressing.

It was really nice when I sent her an email with a couple of questions and I got an immediate response.  I’ve gotten so used to the medical care system as it exists that it was a wonderful surprise.

I’m working on my “system” of remembering to take everything at the right time.  I have one pill that I’m supposed to take on an empty stomach without food.  So I put the bottle next to my toothbrush.  I have two creams that I’m to use in the morning so they’re on the bathroom counter with my other lotions and potions.  I have a pill case at my bedside and that’s where I put the things I’m supposed to take at bedtime.  Then there’s two packets plus four other things I’m supposed to take in the morning with food so I grabbed them this morning to have with my breakfast shake.  Another two packets and one pill at lunch or dinner time.  Phew!

I went there last Monday and today is Sunday.  It’s been a kind of stressful time since I was fighting lots of congestion (which I thought was a cold but am now pretty sure was allergies…Zyrtec seems to have done the trick).  My mother turned 90 and I made a celebration weekend for her.  I brought all my (3) kids into town plus my cousin flew down from Seattle.  I split the visits into two days so my mother wouldn’t be too overwhelmed.  Unfortunately, my mother’s mental condition continues to decline and combined with her lifelong emotional and personality issues…well, it’s not pretty.  She was able to pull it together for the “parties” but there was a LOT of upset and confusion before and after.

Even so, I maintained my diet and supplements.  I have lost FIVE POUNDS since Monday.  I don’t think I’ve ever lost that much weight in a week.  Obviously, I don’t expect to keep losing at that rate but it’s nice to see the scale move down for a change.

It’s hard to know if the supplements are “working.”  I definitely feel better and I noticed, last night, that I slept better.  When you change diet and take supplements and do some exercise…hard to know what to attribute the “better” feeling to.  There may be a placebo effect for all I know…that just taking them and believing they make a difference..they make a difference.

So…we’ll see.  The journey begins.

Read Full Post »

I had my Cenege…

I had my Cenegenics day yesterday at their Beverley Hills center.  My appointment was at the ungodly hour of 7AM. When I protested the time…yes, I can be that whiney…the very helpful Brandi said they could try but that traffic starts getting bad pretty early.  I opted to keep the early appointment and drove up to my son’s house Sunday night.  We had a lovely visit and I retired to their guest room with a blow up bed.  Not the most comfortable night’s sleep…I turned in early (since I had to get up so early).  The cats were quite annoyed that I had the temerity to lock them out of the room…and proceeded to periodically rattle the door all night.

 

Headed through the deserted LA streets at 6:30AM and arrived in plenty of time.  I was greeted by the delightful Jen, “my” fitness and nutrition coach.  Jen took me in hand and we started the day.

First Jen showed me a video made by one of the Cenegenics doctors.  It was actually an excellent explanation of how insulin works in the body and the general ideas of metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance.  He clearly laid out how a low glycemic diet can really address the ills of glucose and insulin surges.

Next Jen did the usual blood pressure, pulse thing.  Then a full body scan.  You lay on a machine that has an arm that hangs over the table and moves over you calculating your bone density, muscle mass, body fat and skeletal mass.  Jen is friendly and high energy which really helped keeping me involved and moving forward.

Next came the fitness test.  Height and weight (yikes!).  Then Jen had me jump on a stationary bike, put on a heart monitor and a VO2 mask.  The machine the mask is attached to calculates your bodies ability to use oxygen and perform.  You have to keep peddling in a certain range and the machine increases the resistance every 3 minutes until you give up.  I gave up earlier than I would have hoped.  My legs were SO tired.  What a wimp I am.

Then Jen had me a do a variety of physical things:  push-ups, plank, crunches.  The only thing I did pretty good on were the pushups.  Once that ordeal was over Jen set me up to the Cognitive Testing while she crunched my numbers.  The Cognitive Testing was quite straightforward.  It took about 20 minutes.  I felt like it was pretty easy.  Finally…something easy :-)

Once I finished the test, Jen was finished crunching.  She then spent the next hour or so going over my results.  While it turns out bones are quite light (my skeleton weights 5.5 pounds…there goes my “big bones” excuse) and I have about 90 pounds of muscle the rest of me is, ick, fat.  It was upsetting and disappointing to see how high my body fat percentage is but, at least, I felt like I was trying to address that so skipped any weeping.  She also mentioned that the bone density around my hips showed osteopena (an early indicator of osteoporosis).  Since I already knew about this I wasn’t surprised.

Jen then walked me through the low glycemic diet, figured out how much protein I should have and had lots of advice about meal spacing.  She also recommended adding more cardio-based interval training and explained how that should work.  My current strength training (with the dear hubbie) is fine.  So I’ve committed to adding several days of interval training.  Go me.

Once we made it through that, the doctor came in.  She did a quick physical exam and we talked about my concerns and goals.  She was very warm and approachable.

Then we sat down and went through my blood panel results.  Holy cow.  I am out-of-whack.  The tests showed that my cortisol levels are very high which, apparently, indicates adrenal fatigue.  Since the adrenal glands are responsible for producing all kinds of hormones it’s not good if they’re “tired.”  Other hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) were quite low too.  My glucose and insulin were at the very high end of the normal range…also not good and potentially pre-diabetic.  My cholesterol, surprisingly, was pretty good.  Basically, the blood work showed some pretty significant deficits of various hormones plus DHEA and a few other things including a low T3 thyroid level.  The doctor indicated that my hormone imbalances could account for my weight gain and difficulty in losing weight.  Of course, she recommended the low glycemic diet and interval training (apparently interval training, in particular, is very helpful to reduce fat stores).

She then went through her recommendations for hormone therapy plus other supplements.  Pretty comprehensive list.  Biodentical estrogen (as a cream), progesterone and testosterone (as a cream too).  Multi-vitamin plus a special antioxitive supplement.  DHEA, melatonin (to help my sleep problems) and a few other things.  Cenegenics provides a package that includes most of what the doctor ordered…and then you can add other things that the doctor suggests.  They ship the drugs to you once a month.

It IS pricey.  The package plus the monthly fee is painful.  But I feel that I  piss away plenty of money without any real direction so I signed up!  I should be getting my first shipment tomorrow and we’ll see.

Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a nasty cold while in LA so now I’m snuffling pretty badly and feeling lousy.  I’ll baby myself today and get ready to start tomorrow.  It is a lot of money and I’m still not certain it is “worth” it.  But there’s really only one way to find out.

Read Full Post »

Taking on Aging

I can’t seem to go to any site that has anything to do with health, fitness or aging without seeing an ad for Cenegenics.  Needless to say their strategy worked and I clicked on one of the ads.  Because who can resist seeing that picture of Dr. Life…I mean c’mon…a 72 year-old hot body?  Wow.

And so, my journey begins.

I clicked the ad and, feeling a little trepidation about giving my contact details, signed up to receive more information.  Within a short time I received an email from Dr. Weiss introducing himself and suggesting that we talk by phone.  I was busy and was feeling a little silly for trying yet another way to feel and look better.  The truth is that I feel somewhat obsessed with the whole aging process…and how to mitigate it. Probably my mother’s struggle with aging and, now, Alzheimer’s is a big influence. 

Part of me feels that I shouldn’t care about how I look.  I am a woman in her sixties.  I should be okay with that.  I’m told I look quite good for a woman of such advanced years which I, naturally, have a lot of trouble believing.  On top of that, I’ve gained 10-15 pounds in the last year and am the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.  Not helping.  I was listening to a book and this phrase came up “she was an old woman of 60.”  Shit.  I do not feel like an old woman.  I’m afraid to be an old woman.  I want to accept being an old woman.  No, not just accept, I want to enjoy being an old woman!

Hence, Cenegenics.  I ignored the email.  I figured it would just be a sales pitch of some sort.  Then Dr. Weiss called me.  When I saw the number on my cell I didn’t know who it was but I was expecting a call so I answered.  Dr. Weiss was lovely.  He asked some questions about my health, fitness, etc.  Was quite nice when he tactfully explained that I would be considered “obese.”  (And if that’s not a scary, upsetting word…I don’t know what is.)  Then he explained the focus of the Cenegenics practice.  Basically, the idea is to evaluate your body chemistry (i.e., hormones, blood levels, etc.) and then help you through pharma- and nutri-ceuticals to restore your chemistry to a younger state.  By doing this, he explained, I would not only look better but actually feel better.  Since I read a lot about aging what he was saying made a lot of sense.

He explained that if I signed up for their program it would start with a very complete evaluation.  First, there would be an extensive blood panel.  Then I would go to one of their centers (they have seven) and would have a full day evaluation of fitness, body fat, etc.  Then a 2 or so hour consultation with the doctor who would likely recommend various things to get me back to where I want to be.  Once I got over the sticker shock I signed up.

Within a short time I received a couple of emails from personnel at Cenegenics and, specifically, the Los Angeles center that I would be visiting.  A few days later I was contacted to schedule someone coming to my home (or office) to draw blood for the chemistry panel.  I also received a variety of forms to fill out regarding my health, medical history and  lifestyle.

The technician arrived promptly and drew 7 vials of blood!  Apparently, they’re not kidding when they say they’re going to check everything your blood can tell them!  Then the very nice technician said, “okay…just need a urine sample.”  

“Uh oh,” I thought.  The appointment was fairly early (at least, for me) and, of course, I peed upon waking.  So I had nothin’.  He was very patient as I tried chugging down water and trying to eek out the small sample needed.  Nothing.  I asked if I could bring the sample somewhere?  He said, “I can come back and pick it up.”  Wow.  I had to go to work so I asked if I could leave it by the door (feeling kind of idiotic but when you’re dry you’re dry)?  “Sure,” he said.  Wow…again.

After more drinking and a small mishap spilling some of the “sample” as I was transferring it (per instructions) from the catcher jar into the sample vial I finally had enough to come up to the line indicated.  Phew!  I placed the vial in a plastic bag, set it out at my front door and left for work.

The appointment at the Los Angelese facility (which was scheduled during my original first call with Dr. Weiss) is next Monday.  Since I live in San Diego, I’ll drive up to LA and stay with my son on Sunday.  I am probably overly optimistic about what they’ll be able to do for me but it’ll be nice to hang out with Grant and Amy in any event.

There’s part of me that feels like I’m fighting uphill.  That I should just learn to accept the natural progression.  But what the heck!  I’m not ready to give up quite yet!

I haven’t blogged in a while and lots has happened.  I thought since I’ve started on the Cenegenics path I’d use it as a jumping off point to start blogging again with the ostensible purpose of documenting what I experience.  Along the way I hope to share more of what I’m up to, what’s going on in my life and generally enjoy capturing my thoughts and feelings.

Read Full Post »

Who do you think you are?

I’ve had a long drawn out “epiphany” (if one can call realizations that take years to percolate and come to the surface an epiphany).  The realization:  that I’m not who think I am, I don’t even want to be who I think I am and who am I to being juding me anyway?!

All of this has arisen from making a commitment to my art.  That’s right…I’m not putting quotes around art anymore.  Because I finally (mostly) realize that I am an artist.  Okay, gulp, that felt a little weird.  But I said it and I’m standing by it. Because what does that even mean?  Is there really a set of rules, validations one has to accrue, approvals one must seek to then be anointed as an artist?  No, I don’t think so.

I think being an artist means you want to create stuff.  You may want to create it because it expresses your inner most thoughts and feelings.  You may want to create it because it evokes a thought or feeling.  You may want to create it because you want to make something beautiful.  Or cute.  Or whimsical.  Or weird.  It’s all up to you. To be an artist you have to make stuff.  If it turns out to be what you want to call art…cool.  If it doesn’t then you’ve learned something.  I can guarantee that every failure has a lesson to teach and be learned.  Or not.  You can beat yourself up and tell yourself that you’ll never produce anything you’d be proud of…nothing that you’d feel good about.  Because you’re sure that “everyone” will think it’s ugly, strange, stupid, crude…wrong.  But how would you know?  Can you read their minds?  Have you showed it to everyone?  Isn’t just you saying these things to yourself?  Aren’t you the voice that says that undermining and hurtful thing?  Give up?  Yes…it’s you.

So I’m stopping. Stopping as often as I can.  As often as I notice.  And I think you might want to stop too.

Read Full Post »

No, this isn’t about food.  It’s about Life with the big ‘L.’  I read one of Martin Seligman’s books, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment, several years ago.  He is the “father” of the positive psychology school of thought about people’s moods and ability to be happy.  It’s a great book in a lot of ways but one of the ideas that has really stuck with me over the years was the notion that to fully engage with and enjoy your life you need to savor the moments.  All of them.  And you need to bask in the delights that cross your path everyday.

I regularly forget this advice and find myself sinking into a sluggish morass of self-pity and whining (not that those aren’t  fun, mind you, but not exactly life-affirming).  I stopped doing much real cooking or baking last fall.  I was gaining weight from having so many baked goods around and my husband decided to lose weight so he stopped eating much of anything.  It’s not much fun, for me, to cook and bake if there’s no one to eat it.  I, of course, would eat it but it’s really more about the making it than particularly enjoying the food.  I can be pretty satisfied with cereal for dinner most every night.

Plus I think I must be somewhat subject to SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder) or, at least, I seem to want to hibernate as soon as the days get short and the air turns chilly.  And, okay you caught me, I developed an avid <ahem> interest in online poker.  Wish I’d stayed with art.  Or even cooking.  Poker is a LOT of fun.  A lot.  But, it loses some of the fun when you lose.  Everyday…losing.  Not good for the soul.  So, no more poker.

So, that left a bit of a void.  Getting a new job has helped, naturally.  It keeps me pretty busy.  But it doesn’t satisfy that deep desire to create stuff.  I’ve decided to not care that what I make gets seen, used or appreciated by anyone.  What I like is making stuff.  Don’t really care much what happens to it after I make it.  And that’s helping free me up and stop judging everything I do.  Judging yourself and your results is the bane of making art.  Making art is about expression.  Wow…writing that I realize that’s one of the PROBLEMS.  I feel uncomfortable really expressing myself.  Really putting myself out there in the world.

But no more.  I’m resolved.  I’m staring down the beginning of the last part of my life and it’s time to grow up and confront myself.  To say this is who I am (whoever that turns out to be any particular day) and act in accordance with that!

Here are a couple of links to some young women who have really inspired me this week:

SuziBlu – a mixed media artist with a delightful personality.  She encompasses enormous bravery in putting herself out into the world and sharing her art.  She has some great online classes that are very fun!

Melanie Testa – is a fantastic fiber artist.  Her book, Inspired to Quilt: Creative Experiments in Art Quilt Imagery, is a wonderful insight into a layered approach to fabric art.  She explains things very well and makes it all sound enthralling.  She also has a DVD workshop (based on her book), Print, Collage and Quilt: Create Unique Art Quilts.

I’ve reorganized my “studio” (I probably should stop putting quotes around that and take myself seriously) and the painters (finally) left.  I have lots of supplies and lots of ideas.  I’m working on daily journaling (visual journaling) to get my hand back in and work on my basic skills.  And, yes, I’m basking and savoring…and you should too!!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers