Author Archives: theplatinummuse

Will A New Puppy Keep Me More Active You Ask?

Puppy breath. What’s not to love. A fuzzy little round body and little puppy snuggles.

Having taken up trail running as of late, I decided I needed a partner. It turns out, dogs and puppies are hard to find these days. It seems everyone wants a “pandemic dog or pup.” I found her though. She was born on my birthday. A sure sign this pup was the one. A red lab.

Her name is Ruby and she is perfect. My husband and I are empty nesters and we agreed to spoil her rotten. For us that means she can sleep in our bed, be up on the furniture, pretty much go where ever we go. The end game here is that I want to get extra steps in and move on the top of the hour while awake. Being in a desk job, that is harder than you might imagine.

Ruby is just over 3 months old now and yes, we are getting in extra steps and moving, a lot. Potty training a pup keeps you jumping up at least once an hour. There are short walks along the river during the day and time to look up at the stars in the middle of the night while you are standing out in your front yard in your pajamas, shivering.

My husband works from home as I soon will be too. Ruby has settled in to quite a nice schedule. It’s basically going 100 mph from 5 AM to 8 or 9AM and then napping on the futon while my husband works in the den for most of the day with exception of a few trips outside to use the potty outside. Then, it’s basically 100 mph again from 5 PM to 8 PM when she puts herself to bed. There are not many midnight or O’dark thirty potty runs outside anymore.

Ruby can come when she is called (provided you have treats on you) and can do a squirmy sit for a few moments. She can also walk on a leash quite well if you carry peanut butter on the end of a long wooden spoon and hold it in front of her. She is sleeping on my feet at the moment keeping my toes toasty.

Ruby starts obedience classes the middle of May. I’m not sure how she will do as she will still be quite young, but I am sure she will pick up a few pointers as will I. And, socialization, well, thats key, right?

I can’t wait until I can take Ruby running with me some day! Right now its leash work, good nutrition for a strong body, and lots puppy snuggles and love.

Speedbumps, Roadblocks, and Sinkholes That Get In The Way Of Your Weight Loss Journey.

Those weight loss setbacks. It reminds me of the late March snowfall above (photo credit J.A. 3/28/2021.) I guess it’s a normal part of the journey.

I typically don’t write about my own personal weight loss and wellness plan, but, this past week has been unprecedented for me and totally turned my journey upside down. I follow WW and have pretty much changed my lifestyle in accordance with their wellness philosophy. I don’t just do the online plan, but, regularly attend local WW meetings and have met some phenomenal people there. Tuesday when I walked in though, I found out that the Michigan and Canada WW franchises had been sold to WW International and our meeting was shut down. The nearest in person WW meeting was now 2 hours away. I was shocked and totally taken by surprise. Not sure if my WW app and membership were even still functional, I said good-bye to my amazing WW Coaches and meeting friends and headed home, a little teary eyed. I was totally thrown off course by this unexpected twist and found myself doing a little stress eating of all things! Yikes! Then I waited for an email or something on WW Connect or something on the WW site itself, but nothing. I decided though that I wasn’t going to let go of this thing so easily, so, I contacted the WW 24/7 Coaching staff just because I ‘m the type of person that needs a plan going forward. The one thing I know for sure is that I never want to go back to where I came from–100# heavier. The Coach assured me my WW app wasn’t going anywhere, yes–there is still Lifetime WW membership–yes the meeting is closed but I can just use my home scale for now, and yes–I can continue with meetings although they will have to be virtual meetings for now. So, not my ideal, but, I had a plan for moving forward again and to me that’s everything. What I do like about WW is the acknowledgement that this is a life long lifestyle change and that they offer Lifetime Membership as long as you do not go over 2# above your goal weight. I checked out a few other weight loss programs after my meeting closed but did not see this offered anywhere. I know for a fact for me this is a lifelong program. It’s not a make the change and move on kind of thing.

Who saw this coming! A sinkhole (for me anyway) that pulled the rug right out from under me–for a few days anyway. I’m happy to say I am back on track and moving on. I am actively engaged in the digital 360 WW app and only have 4 more runs to go to complete the C25K Program that I am doing as well. I am even eyeing up the virtual Earth Day 5K Run for my first goal after finishing the C25K Program. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it and put up with the detours that pop up along the way.

I hope this helps any Michigan and Canada WW members that were forced to go through this buy out. I didn’t even know there were two separate WW organizations until this past Tuesday! Hang in there and don’t give up just because you are faced with change. I guarantee it won’t be the last change you are forced to go through. Enjoy your journey!

Best Reasons To Take That Lunchtime Walk!

I started taking walks with my husband on my lunchbreak 5 or 6 years ago. It started out because I wanted to get in better physical shape and my husband was there, as always, to support me in my new endeavor. He would drive to the hospital where I work and text me from the parking lot when he got there. I would then throw on my walking shoes and off we would go. There is a rather large paved loop around a cemetery adjacent to the hospital complex where I work. I thought it was morbid at first to be taking our walks there but have come to love it over the years. It has beautiful large pines and flowering trees, deer, squirrels, birds, flowers, and a fountain. Train cars rest on their rails along on side with all of their colorful graffiti. All in all, my loop is 1 1/2 miles long. We meet and greet many of my co-workers along the path.

What started out as a way to build endurance quickly evolved in to other things. It’s some quality time I get to spend with my spouse 5 days a week. Sometimes we talk, sometimes not. Sometimes we irritate each other, sometimes we couldn’t be closer. We catch up on our day, plan dinner, talk about our plans, obstacles, kids and grandkids. It’s our time. No distractions. Our walks have made our marriage stronger and we have grown closer because of the time we spend alone, seperated from the rest of the world.

Some more motivation to get you started:

  • 30 minutes of brisk walking will get you about 1/2 way to your 10,000 step goal for the day.
  • Walking is an excellent weight bearing exercise that will help build and maintain bone strength.
  • Walking will burn calories and increase your metabolism.
  • Walking will reduce your stress level.
  • Walking is excellent for you heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Walking 30 minutes at lunch will increase your cognitive function and help you think clearly and prioritize your tasks for the rest of the day.
  • A lunchtime walk is a great way to “make space” for you partner in the middle of the day and help to keep you close and connected.

If you choose to start walking on your lunch break, I am here to tell you, you will not regret it. My husband and I are in our 60’s and it has has just a huge inpact on the quality of our lives and our marriage too. Good luck!

For more like this visit my weight loss and wellness blog at platinummuse.com

I Think It’s Time To Open Up Our Planners Again!

So, now that we are maybe coming over the hump of the pandemic, are you where you want to be on your weight loss journey? The COVID vaccine is rolling out, things are slowly opening up, and spring is around the corner.

Maybe it’s time for us to pull out our calendars or vision boards and pencil in a few things.

If committed to losing just 1# a week then, by Easter you will have lost 7#. By Memorial Day 15#. And, by July 4th 20#! Let’s keep it real. Tiny steps add up.

If you can cut 500 calories a day from your daily intake you will likely reach this goal. And 20# by the 4th? Just picture 20 1# packages of butter. That’s what will be gone! How cool is that!

Here’s a little quick and easy salsa recipe to help you get started:

28 oz stewed tomatoes–drained

4 oz can green chiles–chopped

1 T minced garlic

3 T chopped onion

12 slices bottled jalapenos–chopped

Put in 1/2 tomatoes in blender. Top with chiles, garlic, onion, jalapenos, then rest of tomatoes. Blend until just folds over.

I love chicken breasts in the slow cooker topped with a cup or two of salsa and left to cook for 8 hours while I’m at work. Just make sure a little of the salsa is under the pieces of chicken too. I also love to make my own chips out of tortilla wraps to dip in this salsa. Just spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, put your cut up tortilla chips on the baking sheet, flip over so both side are lightly coated with cooking spray and sprinkle a little salt or whatever seasoning you want on them. Then pop in the oven for just a few minutes till crisp! They are great dipped in salsa and a great way to cut some calories. You can even sprinkle a little fat free or low fat cheese on them too. Enjoy!

Reflecting On Your Wellness Journey.

It’s a brutally cold day here in Northern Wisconsin. -20 F on our deck thermometer this morning. I think some days were just set up for us to slow down and do a bit of reflection on where we have come from and where we are going on our wellness journeys.

January 23, 2018 is when it all starting clicking for me for whatever reason. I was turning 62. I’m not sure if it was just an accumulation of things, or, that I was uncomfortable enough in my own skin. It could even have been that I had just been forced to dig down deep for strength and withstand some personal turmoil related to events outside of my control. Somehow, the earth seemed to shift. I found myself stronger after my struggles and after having been exposed to some new ways of thinking. New ways of letting go. I finally found myself.

I’m stronger now. Comfortable. Carving out my own path forward. Losing 100# has been life changing and I’m still adjusting with the new version of myself. I am still trying to figure out what size clothing really fits me and I am amazed at what my refurbished body can do.

Still plotting my path forward. I have a few new fitness goals and I’ve made some tweaks to my weight loss goal. It’s like finding that rhythm that you can just settle into and run with forever.

Have a conversation with yourself this week about your wellness journey. Get a visual on what goal you are going to crush next. Then, don’t lose sight of it as you head in to the craziness of the week ahead. Let the rest go. It doesn’t matter. You are what matters.

Mondays are for Restarts!

It’s Monday. And it’s February 1st. So, for any of you who are just a tad obsessive-compulsive like me, it’s a great day to start something new! Or, the same thing, but, again!

January seemed to be a never ending month for me. My COVID shots seemed to take forever to schedule and complete. There didn’t seem to be enough daylight hours. I was cold. And, towards the end of the month I suffered an IT band reinjury that put a stop to my running for a bit.

I did rock my 65th birthday though! I went ice-skating for the first time in about 25 years on Saturday followed by cross skiing on that Sunday. It was a blast. Hence the IT band reinjury mentioned above. But hey, I was the last one in off the ice rink. I’ve been taking Aleve and doing some stretching in the days that followed which I have found helpful.

Now, Monday, February 1st. Recommitted to my health and wellness plan. I have that 100# weight loss under my belt and I will never, ever go back to where I came from. I’m working my program every single day this month. It’s a short month and I can do this. I felt pretty badass from the get go this morning even as I stood by the kitchen sink mixing up my Metamucil in a cold glass of water. Skating and skiing might have been a speed bump in the road for me but I’m ready to start running again (this time I will be stretching too–before and after) and next up will be the sledding hill with the grandkids!

Let your Weekend Warrior shine through this February. I’m here to tell you, you will love it! Let me know what you did!

P.S. I am getting one of these mid-March to be my running buddy.

I know, hey?

Personal Growth And Wellness Inside Political Chaos

It feels like the world has shifted since my last blog post on January 2nd. My intended purpose in writing my blog is to promote and inspire individual weight loss and wellness journeys. But, when I returned home from work on January 6th and had a chance to take a closer look at the photos, video clips, and news reporting of our US Capitol under siege from earlier that day, my heart saddened. I had a trail run planned for that evening but instead found myself in front of the TV screen watching events unfold at the Capitol Building. Was I shocked? No, I was not. But I was shaken to my core by the lawless, violent, mob behavior incited by our own President.

Thursday morning was quiet and business as usual at work. I found myself checking my phone for news updates on my break time walks and still trying to digest yesterday’s events. The world didn’t seem as safe anymore. I toyed around with a few ideas of how I could become more politically involved and support the things I value.

Evening brought me determination and drive to go back out and do my evening run. Sometimes you have to control what you can and grow in the space that you have. Personal growth goals remain important. As I ran I thought about our President Elect and whispered to myself “This one is for you Joe.” It was getting dark I had forgotten my both my headlamp and my ear pods. I was the only person in sight and the wooded trail unfolding in the twlight ahead of me was breathtaking. The only sound I could hear was my running shoes hitting the snowy, soft brown dirt and It gave me a sense of being strong and upright again. I love feeling the strength of my own body. I love the calmness and mental clarity trail running gives me. I have found something that feeds my soul.

I don’t expect this week ahead will be an easy one. My hopes are that we can embrace our different views, respect each other, and have discussions without turning to hate and violence. Keep growing and reaching for your goals. Move forward and never put your own life on hold because of someone else’s chaos.

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity. –Sun Tzu

How I Reached My Weight Loss and Wellness Goals Using Distanced Self Talk. Here’s How You Can Do It Too!

We all talk to ourselves. Some of us beat ourselves up on a daily basis. It is true that our mind believes what we feed into it. Whether it’s by the people we surround ourselves with, what we read, what we watch on TV, what we tell ourselves when we look in the mirror, our mindset is defined and shaped continually by what we feed into it.

I think we are all aware that positive self-talk is crucial to achieving our goals, but, did you know that distanced self-talk, or, talking to oneself in the third person is a tool utilized by some very successful athletes? According to a New York Times article, “The Benefits of Talking to Yourself,” research has found that it can influence behavior and cognition. If you love to read scientific studies, “Distanced Self-Talk Enhances Goal Pursuit to Eat Healthier” can be found at journals.sagepub.com.

Distanced self-talk can be instructional, like talking yourself through a task, or, motivational, like “You can do this” or “Mary can do this” instead of “I can do this.” The little trick to make this effective seems to be doing your self talk in the third person. So, instead of saying “I can do this” you need to say “(your name here) can do this!” It’s the objectivity that it lends to the situation, or the distancing from the situation, that seems to make it effective. Think of it as stepping outside yourself and talking to yourself like you were your own best friend. Distanced self talk is proven to work, I know for a fact that it has worked for me. Distanced self talk works really well if you talk out loud but, of course, you can’t always do this. Go ahead and use it silently in your head. It still works.

Tomorrow morning, put your health and wellness goals (health primes) front and center. Practice distanced self talk tomorrow to stay on course–remember, third person! Step outside of yourself and advise yourself like you would your best friend to get through those difficult moments. You got this! 2021 is going to be your year! Distanced self talk will difinitley help you and it’s a free tool to get you to your goal!

My First Ever Virtual 5K. Or, My First Ever Any Kind Of 5K For That Matter!

Christmas Day 2020. Apart but together is how our family decided to do the day up right. Pandemics make that kind of stuff happen.

I will just share with you that although I have walked 5K, I had never completed a 5K Run Walk until Christmas Day 2020. I had completed Week 1 of my C25K (Couch to 5K) app quite easily which gave me a little confidence heading in to the virtual #wwwp5k with family members and friends. I was not planning on doing it in sorrel boots through a few inches of snow but that is how it went down.

My husband did the wwwp5k Run Walk with me. He is my support. The trails were breathtakingly beautiful. We came across a few other hikers and happy dogs along the way. The rest of our group? Well, there was a toddler meltdown up north. A hospital call-in to the south–circle back to that pandemic thing I mentioned earlier. One out of town friend ran a day later, and, one out of town friend I have not heard from yet. But we were all together on Christmas Day in Spirit and able to message back and forth with updates. It was not perfect but it was perfect.

I don’t think I ever want to quite go back my prepandemic holiday celebration traditions of eating, drinking, too many gifts, spending the day indoors. Of course I want my family near me for hugs and celebrating, but, I want to be out in the snow. It’s how I grew up. It’s where the holiday spirit is real and where you can touch it. Where giggles and laughter easily flow. It’s where you can center your soul again.

Tomorrow? Back to work for this nurse and the start of Week 2 C25K app. Rolling with the changes the pandemic has forced upon me and discovering new things I am passionate about.

The best time to do something significant is between yesterday and tomorrow.

_____Zig Ziglar

Thank you once again for reading the Platinum Muse. Let your dreams take flight in the New Year!

For more like this follow me on Facebook @PlatinumMuse, Twitter @MusePlatinum, or #platinummuse

The Mind, Body, Spirit Connection

According to NOAA, a gustnado is a small, whirlwind which forms as an eddy in thunderstorm outflows. They do not connect with any cloud base rotation and are not tornadoes. Since their origin is associated with cumuliform clouds, gustnadoes will be classified as Thunderstorm Wind events. Like dust devils, some stronger gustnadoes can cause damage.

Have you had a little gustnado or wind event, in human form, spin through your day? A human gustnado can disrupt your good Zen vibes for days sometimes. Although irrelevant to your life, and usually to the rest of the world as well, a human gustnado can literally bend your path forward like rays of light trying to pass through a prism. Gustnadoes come out of nowhere like drive by shootings. Suddenly, you are sent scrambling to regain your balance, direction, and focus.

We all know that health and wellness is about balance and mind, body, spirit connection. Weight loss and weight control will not be acheived without a balanced and well cared for mindset. One piece of advice for weight loss success is to let those little human gustnadoes pass by. You may have to step aside a bit, maybe appreciate them for the entertainment value and curiosity that they are, but, just let them pass by. Then, refocus. Because you know better. Return to your plan, look at your goal again, and get your head back in the game. Do not look back at the gustnado, as tempting as it may be. It is simply not worth the sacrifice you will be choosing to make by doing so.

Pick the people you surround yourself with wisely in 2021. Do you know someone sharing your journey to a weight loss goal? Support each other and carry each other forward. I found a handful of people in my own 100# weight loss journey that always supported me in my moments of frustration and discouragement. They are the pillars and support poles of who I am today Find your circle, refine your goals, dig deep for the why behind your why. 2021 is going to be awesome!

Thank you for reading the Platinum Muse. Happy holidays and may 2021 move you forward on your journey to achieving your health and wellness goals!