10 post-surgery realizations

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, displaying her a...
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As I write this I am 10 days post-surgery. I have all sorts of holes in my body that I did not opt to have put there (technically) and wish that at least one of them had a ring or a bar in it. My nose, soon enough, will have something. Can’t wait to be one-hundred-percent healed!

Realizations about the last ten days include:

1. I have watched more movies than should be legally allowed. Unless you’ve had surgery of course.
2. I missed four full days of work but don’t feel guilty about it.
3. I also have had to leave work early twice this week during healing and don’t feel guilty about that anymore either.
4. Guilt gets me no where.
5. On Wednesday and Thursday I’ve had some “breakthrough” pain that was bad enough to make me gasp and at one point I was in tears. My doc wants me to take my pain meds like I was told. He thinks this could be the problem.
6. I am not Wonder Woman.
7. I am not Super Woman either.
8. I wish I were one or the other. That’d be fun.
9. Asking for help is hard, but worth it. Without it I would probably have torn stitches, still be miserable, and my friends would hate me for not admitting I needed help.
10. I am ready to feel normal again. I am tired of not feeling well, tired of being tired, tired of not being able to exercise and tired of not being me!

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YPFW :: Garland pose

While the Garland Pose (Malasana) looks a bit silly, it is a wonderful chance for your legs to rest during yoga sessions. It helps make your ankles supple, stretches your back, your lower legs and your neck muscles. When you think about it, the Garland Pose is actually just a simple squatting position that a lot of people worldwide use daily just to work!

To do the Garland Pose:
Squat with feet as close together as possible. (Keep heels on the floor; otherwise, support them on a folded mat.) Separate thighs slightly wider than torso. Exhaling, lean torso forward and fit it snugly between thighs.

Press elbows against inner knees, bringing palms together in Salutation Seal (Anjali Mudra), and resist knees into elbows. This will help lengthen front torso.

To go further, press inner thighs against sides of torso. Reach arms forward, then swing out to sides and notch shins into armpits. Press finger tips to floor, or reach around outside of ankles and clasp back heels.

Hold position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, inhale, straighten knees, and stand into Uttanasana.

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YPFW :: Tree pose

The Tree Pose is also known as Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna), vrksa meaning tree.

The Tree Pose helps strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles and back. It can also increase the flexibility of hips and groin area. With consistent practice, both your balance and your concentration can be improved. This pose is recommended for women with sciatica and flat feet.

To do the Tree Pose, begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Shift weight slightly onto left foot, keeping inner foot firm to floor, bend right knee. Reach down with right hand and clasp right ankle.

Draw right foot up and place sole against inner left thigh; if possible, press right heel into inner left groin, toes pointing toward floor. Center of pelvis should be directly over left foot. Rest hands on top rim of pelvis. Make sure pelvis is in neutral position, with the top rim parallel to floor.

Lengthen tailbone toward floor. Firmly press right foot sole against inner thigh and resist with outer left leg. Press hands together in Anjali Mudra (AHN-jah-lee MOO-dra). Gaze softly at a fixed point in front on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with an exhalation and repeat for same length of time with legs reversed.

This is one of my favorite yoga poses ever. It really works my brain because I have to keep myself balanced both physically and mentally!

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Three women I’d like you to meet

Racing Women
Image by Smabs Sputzer via Flickr

I’m active online in a few different health communities, therefore I get to meet a handful of amazing female Health Activists. Today I wanted to introduce you to a few of them that have recently made a strong impact on my life as a women’s Health Activist!

First I’d like to introduce you to Shannan. I met Shannan through the Fit Group at WEGO Health on Ning. Shannan is not only a fantastic motivator when it comes to working out, she keeps an incredibly active blog with her sister-in-law at Living a Whole Life. She has been a great new friend in my life, encouraging me to keep moving even after surgery, and to seek more information on living that whole life she writes about. Shannan did a Spotlight Interview with WEGO Health that every woman should read to learn more about holistic health. You can also follow Shannan on Twitter!

Second, meet Rachel Gurevich a writer for the About.com fertility page and a freelance author for her own website. I found her through WEGO Health, as well, as she did a engaging Spotlight Interview before one of our community advisory boards about fertility. With her favorite vacation spot being a cottage tucked away in Israel, who wouldn’t want to know more about this woman? The thing that really pulled me into Rachel’s Spotlight Interview was the fact that she is continually writing information in a “girlfriend-to-girlfriend voice” so that everyone understands what she’s talking about. I wish that more health experts were willing to take the time to do just this. Thank you, Rachel! Feel like making a new friend? Follow Rachel on Twitter!

The third women I recommend you all check out is Andrea Albright, self proclaimed “author, yoga instructor, meditation guide, healthy weight loss coach and former “chubby girl'”. Like the previous two women, I found Andrea through her Spotlight Interview. I connected with Andrea when she mentioned her favorite food being raspberries (best fruit ever!) and then was drawn in by her “count chemicals, not calories” idea of dieting. I wouldn’t do justice in explaining it, so I’ll send you to her website to read more about how to healthfully lose the weight that refuses to budge! You can also follow Andrea on Twitter if you’re interested in seeing her advice in less than 140 characters! (I know I am!)

After meeting these women, are you curious as to whether you’re a Health Activist or not? WEGO Health offers a fun and quick quiz that will tell you just what kind of Health Activist you are. Head over here to take the Health Activist Survey and see what other amazing people you can meet!

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Gross places for your stuff

I read a really interesting article on Prevention.com today about some bad places we put everyday things. The Worst Places for Your Health – I thought I’d share some of them with you. Mostly you’ll have to go to the article to read why, but I’ve thrown in some of my own comments on some of them!

The worst place for your toothbrush :: on the bathroom sink – (Years ago I had to tell my roommate about the toilet spray thing. She was confused as to why I kept my toothbrush in the medicine cabinet, but after I told her about the possible SIX FOOT SPRAY from your toilet, she promptly moved her toothbrush to the cabinet, too!)

The worst place for your sneakers and flip-flops :: in the bedroom closet

The worst place to try to fall asleep :: under piles of blankets – (I can’t fall asleep unless I’m super warm. I have a heated mattress pad and if my feet are cold when I’m trying to sleep, it’ll be hours before I actually get to sleep!)

The worst place to cool leftovers :: in the refrigerator

The worst place for a workout reminder :: stuck on your post-it laden fridge

The worst place to sit on an airplane :: the rear

The worst place to pick up a prescription :: the pharmacy drive-thru – (I was particularly surprised by this one. I’ve never noticed that my pharmacist was distracted as he gave me my prescription through the drive through, but I normally drop them off inside, pick them up through the drive-through and check them in the car before I leave! I ask questions when I drop them off rather than when I pick them up. Maybe that makes a difference?)

The worst place to set your handbag :: the kitchen counter – (This will lead to another post tomorrow about how to prevent this!)

The worst stall to pick in a public restroom :: the one in the middle – (I’ve always heard the one closest to the door is the least germy.)

The worst place to stand during your first few fitness classes :: front and center

The worst place for a nighttime reading light :: overhead

The worst place to keep medicine :: the medicine cabinet – (So we should all start calling our medicine cabinets the toothbrush cabinets I guess.)

The worst place to set fruit before washing it :: the kitchen sink

The worst place to use earbuds or headphones :: on an airplane, train, or subway

The worst place for your coffee :: the refrigerator or freezer

The worst place for your TV :: wherever you dine

Free fitness socks from lucy!

One of my favorite stores for fitness clothes is lucy. “We all know that when you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you go the extra mile. So at lucy, our passion is to design fashion forward performance apparel that inspires athletic women like you.”

Not only does the fitness gear at lucy fit fantastically, support well, and cover a wide range of activities, it looks good on you, too! lucy designers don’t only work to create gear that serves a logical purpose, they design clothes with feminine details, colors and styles which make you love putting on your workout gear.

Right now, lucy is offering a free two-pack of performance socks with this printable coupon. All you have to do is carry it into the store, pick out your socks and wander to the register. I dare you not to find something else that you adore while you’re there, though.

Good luck keeping your hands off the lucy everyday pant – I have one pair that I will wear until they literally fall off my behind. My favorite pair of running shorts is the lucy front runner short. I have never had to pick my wedgie as I run in these, and I’ve been whistled at on more than one occasion. (And it has to be because of the shorts!) My next lucy purchase is going to be one of their long-sleeved zip up tops. The shirring on the ideal resort jacket draws me in each time I see it, and I think I’ve tried it on at least a half-dozen times while in the store.

One thing that lucy is well known for, that many women don’t realize, is their fantastic selection of sports bras. The Enell sports bra that lucy offers has been rated one of the best sports bras for women with large breasts by Sports Illustrated Women. With sizes ranging from 32C to 50DDD, the Enell bra is “the ultimate sports bra for well endowed women – you won’t move an inch.” Runner’s World “guarantee[s] that your breasts won’t bounce in this bra. It fits so snugly that many women assume they need a larger size. The extra-wide straps and back cover more area and offer more support.”

To find a lucy store near you, check their location finder and remember to bring your free sock coupon!!

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Keeping your purse clean

Just yesterday I talked about the fact that women put their purses in some pretty gross spots. Don’t say you’re not guilty! How many times have you set your purse on the kitchen counter? The floor of a restaurant? The toilet paper holder in a bathroom stall? The public restroom floor even?

There is a solution to keeping the bottoms of your purse cleaner, though. They’re generally referred to as purse hooks, purse keepers or purse hangers. While I don’t own any myself, I really want one now that I’ve found a whole bunch of them online! (If you want me to review your purse hanger, please let me know and we’ll get something going!)





Purse Jewelery,
CW Design,
Purse Hooks,
Hot Hang Ups,
Silver Hooks,
The Purse Hook,
Zook Hooks and
Etsy ArtSizzles – purse hooks

After seeing all these cool ones, now I really want one! LOL



Personal Update

University of South Carolina
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For those of you who have been reading for a while, you know that I was accepted to the University of South Carolina for their master’s program in public health education. I accepted their offer and went to visit. I fell in love with the city, the people and the program. I was set to move until about three weeks ago when I started doing some intense calculations.

I have a good job that I love. In fact, I’m getting a raise at the end of the month and a promotion in the beginning of May (at my anniversary!). I really enjoy working with the bank, the people AT the bank, and do well at my job on top of it all. I hit my year goal in six months. I’m pretty proud of that! So, since the economy is such a piece of work right now, I’ve decided NOT to give up my fantastic job, a steady job, a job which I’m great at, for graduate school.

I’m working on a mental list of places I’ll apply for the next year (or maybe the year after that, who knows) and my search for a perfect volunteer place has started. I don’t quite know what the future holds for me, but for now it holds steady in a town I love, surrounded by people I love, doing things I love.

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YPFW :: Fierce Pose

Utkatasana Fierce Pose (also known as the Power or the Chair Pose) :: (OOT-kah-TAHS-anna)
utkata = powerful, fierce

Benefits: strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine, stretches shoulders and chest, stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart and reduces flat feet by lifting through the arches

How to:
Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Inhale and raise arms perpendicular to floor. Either keep arms parallel, palms facing inward, or join palms.

Exhale and bend knees, trying to take thighs as nearly parallel to floor as possible, grounding through heels. Knees will project out over feet, and torso will lean slightly forward over thighs until front torso forms approximately a right angle with tops of thighs. Keep inner thighs parallel to each other and press heads of the thigh bones down toward heels.

Firm shoulder blades against back. Take tailbone down toward floor and in toward pubis to keep lower back long.

Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come out of pose straighten knees with an inhalation, lifting strongly through arms. Exhale and release arms to sides into Mountain Pose again.

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YPFW :: The Plank Pose

Plank pose ::

The plank pose is the bane of many athletes existences. It’s hard for your abs – it works your whole body, but is so good for you.

The Plank Pose

Start in Downward Facing Dog. Inhale and draw torso forward until arms are perpendicular to floor and shoulders directly over wrists, torso parallel to floor.

Press outer arms inward and firm bases of index fingers into floor. Firm shoulder blades against back, then spread away from spine. Also spread collarbones away from sternum. Press front thighs up toward ceiling, but resist tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward heels.

Lift base of skull away from back of neck and look straight down at floor, keeping throat and eyes soft.

Plank Pose is one of the positions in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. You can also perform this pose by itself and stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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