Why My Camera Is Not Good For My Health

I probably won’t need to explain the title of this post once you see the photos from yesterday taken during what was supposed to be a brisk walk for my health. With friends my age having knee surgeries and long recoveries, I’ve been forced to pay attention to my own aches and pains instead of trying to medicate (acetaminophen) them away and denial is no longer a practical solution either.

Since I can no longer disregard my aging, overused, knees, and hips, walking has taken the place of running these days. Speed seems to be my biggest issue as I can’t seem to move fast enough to affect my cardiovascular system.

I’ve not really slowed down that much in shifting from running to walking as I was never the fastest runner in any race, but walking makes it easier to see my surroundings which makes me want to pause for a photo more often than is good for me. A brisk walk becomes a stroll and before you know it, all I have is a photo essay of my walk and a need for larger trousers.

I thought someone should get something out of it my ” exercise program ” so I’m sharing a few photos of my distractions from yesterday.

A walk though these woods in any season has the feel of a cathedral and I am always in awe of the changing light.

A few steps farther along the same path on the way to the buttercup field. Notice how the path forks just up ahead.

No need to explain these lovelies.

The photo above is the area that John and I refer to fondly as the buttercup field. I know it looks pretty ordinary now, but it will be a stunning field of gold by May.

This is just a peek over a hedge at the trees below waiting to shake off the last bits of their winter look.

I never seem to capture how lovely these stone steps really look. I work with angle and exposure over and over, but I am never satisfied and wish I could walk you to this place to show you what I mean.

I make my way back to the village green where the daffodils are in full bloom and cross down to the churchyard to see what kind of color I can find there.

Yellow flowers fill the churchyard for now, but soon they’ll be competing for a bit of grassy space with the many-colored primroses that come every spring. If you look above the church door in the top left of the photo, you can see a sundial near the arch.

This sundial may seem old with a date of 1780, but there are other dates around the churchyard and inside the church that are actually much older.

I’ve taken this shot before as some of you may remember from older posts. It requires getting into a prone position to get the right angle and after all my exertion from my big ” workout ” I was tempted to have a little snooze in the sun. I did consider that finding me lying prone in the churchyard surrounded by flowers might be a bit disconcerting for someone passing by.

My friend Patrice is the latest in my Atlanta circle requiring knee surgery and if you’d think a good thought for her recovery, I’m sure she’d be grateful. Ironically she was demonstrating the proper way to run to a patient of hers when her knee went. Patrice and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon together in Washington D.C. in 2007. Given our aging joints, I have a strong feeling that may be the last big run for both of us.

I Want To Wear My Shirts Tucked In Again

Loch Lomond, Scotland - Summer 2004

Okay, so I know that tucked in shirts are not exactly what folks are wearing these days, but I would really like to be able to flaunt my unfashionable side in public. Why, you may ask … because it would mean I had reclaimed my waistline. As we’ve moved into a new year most of us are working on something. Along with half a dozen other clear goals, I want to work on my fitness level and drop that new middle before my hips and bustline merge completely together.

I think I have made peace somewhere with the woman who said mean things to herself only a few months ago and frankly I’m not sure how or when it happened. While I weigh more now than I have in years, I am much more gentle with myself in terms of name calling and I think I can let go of what I should look like and get on with what I do look like.

There is a level of acceptance that makes it possible to see the larger picture which really IS about health and fitness. Maybe turning fifty had something to do with this shift … I’m not sure. What I do know is that my chief concern now in losing weight and getting rid of my middle ground has more to do with the health benefits such as decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease than it does casting a thinner shadow.

Plus, I secretly want to be able to be strong enough to do pull ups from a dead hang like I was doing in the photo below.

Or strong enough to climb stairs from the underside like I did in late 2005 when I needed to paint a wall and didn’t have a ladder tall enough to reach. My friend Patrice took this with her cell phone while I was  hanging and painting about 20 feet from the floor below. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the smartest way to do it, but I got the wall painted and had a little workout that day.

The photo below is one of the most recent. John took this on Christmas day with his camera and I can tell you now the bulge stretching the fabric around the sleeve is sadly not muscle.

The picture of us together in the snow was taken by my daughter Miranda and might give you a better idea of what I’m talking about regarding my midsection. I know you can’t actually see my waistline here, but I am definitely not looking fit.

When I was 29, I lost 42 pounds. I called it my post pregnancy weight, but by then Miranda was almost three. I used several resources to make that happen and followed a healthy diet and exercise plan. It took me about five months and it stayed off because I made the changes to keep it off. Twenty years later it’s time to revamp the program and while I don’t have so much to lose this time, I am looking for a little support and a program to follow.

I found SparkPeople online and after giving it a review, I think it might help me address both the fitness and weight loss aspects along with developing some new habits with my nutrition choices. While they have loads of great online support pages, you may be interested in browsing though the SparkPeople blogs of real people working on their own goals. I forgot to mention that it’s FREE!

I doubt I will take time to blog about the process on the SparkPeople site … I’ve got too many other things on my plate (no pun intended) but I have a catchy name over there if I do decide to share. I call myself  NONFATEXPAT.

If you have any experience with SparkPeople, I would be interested to hear your stories.