Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My home gym part 2

Ok, this is part 2 of the previous blog I posted. 

Pic 1) This is my pull up bar.  I'll admit I am not very good at pull ups, but I still try.  I can do under-hand much better than over-hand.  I also sometimes use this for ab work.  If you simply hang from it & draw your lower body into your chest it will REALLY work your abs.  Make sure you lift & lower fully each time or else you're cheating.

Pic 2) This is my TV, DVD player, & VHS player where I play my workouts.  There's also an assortment of small props: my running shoes, my cross trainer shoes, ankle weights, stretching straps, yoga blocks, mats, a pillow.  There's also a set of 2 lb dumb bells.  I almost never use these, but if I do it's for cardio workouts, not strength training.  The bottom shelf here is where I store all my workout DVDs (& there's a few VHS as well).  There's a mirror on each side of this, which is where I watch my form.  Form is sooo important.  I honestly don't know how I managed all the years I worked out in my bedroom without good mirrors.

Pic 3) This is my pilates fitness circle.  I've had this for many years, but never found a challenging workout that incorporates it until very recently.  I am now happy to report that I am using it on a regular basis.  It seems I have graduated from basic matwork pilates.  I now do pilates either with the fitness circle, the BOSU, or the stability ball.  I am still hoping one day to get a reformer & be able to do my pilates that way. 

My home gym part 1

A lot of people ask me what sort of equipment I have in my garage gym.  I don't have a lot.  I don't have a lot of space & don't want to have more than I actually need.  And I don't want to spend a lot of money on it, either. 

It is not a garage that has been converted into a gym either.  It is still a fully functional garage for my hubby.  You can see his tools & quads in the background, along with lots of other stuff.  Our house has very little storage space, so the majority of what we own that isn't in constant use gets stored in the garage.  We do our best to keep our garage neat & organized & clean, but it is still a garage.

I was not able to control the order the photos went into this blog, so I will just narrate each pic as it comes. 

Pic 1) Here you can see my stability ball & my step.  It's a 2 piece step.  In this pic I am displaying that it you can have a short or medium height step.  I don't do step aerobics, as it was mostly designed for.  But there are a lot of exercises that say to use a chair.  If it involves the seat of the chair I sub my step.  I mostly use my stability ball for pilates these days.  I don't use it much because it's always deflating.  And then when I want to use it I first have to air it up & get it to the right size/firmness.  It's such a pain that I rarely want to do it & I just skip using it altogether.  My very first stability ball I owned was a super cheap one, it wasn't even a well known brand.  And it NEVER leaked air.  A year or two later I came home to find it had popped & was fully deflated.  I assume just from age & being used so much.  Since that time I have bought several different brands (well known brands) & they all leak.  It's very irritating.  If anyone knows of a brand that DOESN'T leak, PLEASE let me know.  I used to enjoy using it so much, & now it just irritates me.

Pic 2) It won't let me type directly above this pic.  So I'll add the narration for that pic here.  Here you can see my barre, my BOSU, & dumb bells.  I do a lot of workouts that need a barre, instead of spending a fortune buying one my hubby made me this one.  The height is adjustable, just like the expensive ones you can buy.  I also use the barre in workouts that call for a chair, specifically when they call for holding onto the back of the chair rather than the seat of the chair.  I LOVE my BOSU.  When they first came out I knew I wanted one, but I kept waiting for the price to drop.  A couple of years later & the price had not dropped at all, I finally gave in & bought it.  And I am glad I did, since I use it so much & love it so much.  I do standing exercises on it, I do pilates on it, I do upper body work on it, I do ab work on it & you can flip it over with the dome side facing down & do more exercises like that as well.  I do some of those in pilates.  Just for those who don't know, BOSU stands for "both sides up", because both side are fully functional & offer tremendous challenge.  I also LOVE the fact that the BOSU never leaks air like the stability ball does.  As for dumb bells, I have 3, 5, 8, 10, 15, & 20 lb sets.  There is also a 25 lb set in this pic, but that is my step-sons.  I only used the 3 lbers after I had chest surgery years back.  I absolutely couldn't lift the 5 lbers, so I got the 3s & was able to work my way up from there.  But I never use them anymore.  I am currently not using my 20 lbers, but am using the 5, 8, 10, & 15s.  I hope to return to the 20s again soon.

Pic 3) This is a pic of my treadmill.  It's a space saver design, so this is the pic of it folded up closed, saving space.  Someone gave me this for free last summer.  I do enjoy using it, but I am glad I didn't buy one, I don't use it enough to have spent hundreds of dollars on it.  Cardio is just so boring to me. 

Pic 4) Again, it won't allow me to type directly above pic 4, so I will put that narration right here.  This is a pic of my step in the slanted position.  I like this position for doing lunges. 

Pic 5)  It also won't allow me to type directly above pic 5, so here goes.  This is a pic of my recently acquired decline bench.  I really love it & it's really helping me get my ab strength back.  Soon I will be adding on weights while I use it. 

Pic 6) Once again it's forcing me to type up here.  This is my spinner bike.  I don't use it a whole lot, but occasionally I use it for a few months before I'm burned out on it & need to move on to something else.  These bikes are several hundred dollars new.  I got this one on ebay several years ago for around $75.  A great deal & it was totally worth it.  I also use the bike in some of my post workout stretching, especially the handle bars.  The bike is so heavy & sturdy that I can hang my weight from it & it won't tip. 

Pic 7) This is my treadmill in the open position. 

Pic 8) This is my step in the high position.  This is the position I use it in most of the time.

There were a couple more pics, but they are gone for some reason.  Maybe there's a limit to how many pics you can post in a blog now??  I'll have to make this a 2 part blog I guess.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Do you "need" a gym to be fit??

I've been preoccupied with fitness lately, can you tell?  Hehe, just feeling very pumped up lately.  Doing new workouts & a whole new rotation of workouts does that for me.  That's what keeps me going over the long haul as it were.

My stepson started working out a couple of years ago.  He's observed me over the years & knows that I workout very regularly.  He has seen firsthand that I know how to achieve what I want with my body/fitness.  Of course his goals are very different than mine--he wants to be "buff", he is more about the looks & a man's fitness routine will always differ from a woman's in my opinion.  Our bodies are just made differently.  We do talk about working out & what we do etc, from time to time, but we both know that we have different goals.

A week or two ago my stepson got a one week free pass to a gym from a friend of his.  He normally goes to the community gym here where we live & he also uses some of my equipment in the garage & he has a few things of his own.  He was soooo excited about going to this gym.  He couldn't believe how huge it is & how many machines they have, etc.  I did enjoy asking him what they had & hearing about it.  But it got me thinking about myself & the fact that to this day I have never set foot inside of a gym.

My stepson says that as soon as he gets a job (which will be very soon) he wants to get a gym membership.  Now most of the time when people tell me that I actually caution them against it.  And that's simply because most people never go.  The money keeps getting sucked out of their bank accont every month yet they never go to the gym.  They are simply wasting their money.  But my stepson is one person I won't caution like that, which is rare.  I know that he loves working out, he makes it a priority & he will definitely go & get his money's worth.

Back when I first started working out, nearly 21 years ago, I thought about joining a gym.  But I know myself VERY well.  And I knew that if I had to get dressed & drive there that I wouldn't do it.  I loved getting up, brushing my teeth, working out, showering, & then getting on with my day.  No wasted time out of my day to dress for it & driving time.  Back in the early days I didn't wear fitness shoes (I don't advise that, although some people argue that it's better that way) & I honestly just worked out in my pjs!!  As time went on & I got more serious & more knowledgable I acquired fitness shoes & clothes.  And once I got married I went from working out in my bedroom to the garage gym that my hubby set up for me, which I love (the only thing better would be to have the gym inside the house so I'm not exposed to the extreme cold & heat that I am in the garage sometimes).  Having my gym in the garage has also enabled to be able to add on a few things that were too big to squeeze into my bedroom.

And as the years passed I occasionally stopped & considered the possibility of joining a gym.  Usually this would happen when I would hear others talking about the subject.  But it's a considerable amount of money & again, I know myself very well.  I really enjoy working out with DVDs in my own home.  And like the saying goes: if it aint broke then don't fix it, right?  Plus, I would rather spend money on a piece of equipment & put it in my garage & be able to use it whenever I want than to pay for a gym membership & have to go there & sometimes wait on that particular piece of equipment.

And by now, after working out for nearly 21 years & being as fit as I am, I am actually proud to say that I have never set foot in a gym.  I am proof that you don't NEED a gym to be fit.  At this point I don't WANT to go to a gym, just so I can continue to say that.  And I also like to encourage others who can't afford a gym membership & think they can never be fit because of that. 

I remember a co-worker of mine many years back was telling me that she had once had a membership to a gym & she also paid for a personal trainer.  She was telling me that her trainer actually told her to skip the machines & he just had her doing regular old fashioned push up, lunges, free weights, etc.  And she said that she was amazed because she got the best results & was the most fit she had ever been in her life from that personal trainer.  She eventually dropped the gym membership, planning to continue what she had learned from the personal trainer on her own at home, but that she had quit working out altogether eventually.  It's just funny to me that so many people truly believe that you can't get fit without a gym. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fitness & aging rambling

I recently posted a blog post on physical appearance & aging.  Another aging issue that's very important to me, probably moreso than the physical, is maintaining my fitness & strength as I age.

I must admit that getting pregnant & having a baby really threw a curve ball into my fitness.  I knew it was going to affect my fitness, but I never imagined it would affect it to the extint that it did.

I continued working out through most of my pregnancy, I stopped somewhere in the 3rd trimester because I was having complications & was placed on modified bed rest. 

I resumed working out 3 weeks after I had my son.  I had hoped to resume 1 week after, but since I had a c-section it wasn't doable for me.  At 2 weeks I probably could've, but I chose to wait one more week just to make sure I was really ready.  Of course these were workouts designed for post partum that gradually got you back into your usual routine, not a full blown workout of the same level I was doing prior to pregnancy.  At 8 weeks I was back into a full on workout, but I still took it easy until I was 12 weeks out. 

At 12 weeks out I went full blown with the workouts.  And everyone kept telling me how great I looked.  But I couldn't get my ab strength back.  I've said it many times before: I don't workout for the looks, but for the health & strength benefit of it.  I workout for the health aspect, to be strong & fit & healthy & independant. 

I started working out at age 19.  And I did some pretty hard core workouts.  In my late 20s I knew my workouts would need to change over time to accomodate my aging body, if I wanted to maintain my fitness level.  I've had a joint pain issue since my mid-teens.  I personally believe it was caused by an MMR booster that I received around that same time.  The joint issue becomes more of an issue as I age & I have to stop doing so much high impact work as time goes on.  Somewhere in my late 20s or early 30s I got into pilates.  When I first started I hated it.  But for some reason I kept revisiting it every once in a while.  And one day I realized that I wasn't doing it right.  It's one of those exercises that's easy to cheat on & not do properly.  Once I realized this & realized how hard it was to do it properly, I was sold on pilates.  I took on the challenge of mastering it.  And master it I did.  I LOVED pilates & was a total pro at it.  But I couldn't let go of my usual strength training & weight lifting.  If I did pilates exclusively I found that I would lose muscle mass & physical strength.  But I LOVED the way I felt when my core was in tip top shape from pilates.  Especially for me, since I have a lower back issue, a mid back issue, & a major neck issue as well as scoliosis.  Having my core in tip top shape really supports my whole body in whatever it's doing & it takes a lot of pressure off of my spine.

At some point, in my early 30s I think, I tried the Lotte Berk & Bar Method type workouts (I don't know what the official name of this type of workout is).  And while I really do enjoy it & I sure do feel the results, just like with pilates, if I do it exclusively I lose muscle mass & strength.  So I didn't do these very often.  Although they are definitely in that category of workouts that are easy to cheat on & do wrong.  If you do them right they are extremely tough. 

After my c-section I found that if I did traditional ab work, which contained a lot of oblique work, my abs would start sticking out a lot.  I kept trying to do pilates & found that I couldn't do it, I had zero ab strength & couldn't contract my ab muscles properly to even attempt pilates exercises.  The best workout I found for this time was Lotte Berk's Hip Hugger Abs.  The only drawback is that it's short, so I never felt like I got a full & complete workout from it due to that.

Because I had a c-section I've tried to really take my time in getting my ab/core strength back since having a baby.  I didn't want to injure myself, & since I had surgery & my muscles were actually cut I felt it was a big risk for injury.  But now my son has turned 3 & I still find myself with abs & a core that is not anywhere near where I would like it to be.  Anytime I've asked people who I thought would know, they would just brush me off & tell me I looked great.  But, like I said before, I don't care about how it looks, I want my STRENGTH back. 

A few weeks ago I was looking around on youtube, amazon, google, etc.  Looking for ideas on how to get my core & abs back in shape after a c-section.  Now that my son is 3 I feel there's no more reason to wait & take things slow.  By now everything should be healed up fully.  In fact, I'm sure it was quite some time ago, but I was being extra cautious.  I ran across  a decline bench for abwork.  I found one for cheap on amazon & was able to earn enough points on swagbucks to get it for free.  I've been using it daily & after just a couple of days of using it I could already feel a difference in the strength of my abs.

Now I am very picky about fitness equipment.  I won't just buy anything.  I don't have a lot of space in my garage gym & I don't want it cluttered up with stuff I don't use.  Everything I have I do use.  I have always been very careful before making a purchase.  And it's been a long time since I've added any new equipment, but I am happy to say that this is a great addition.  When choosing equipment I also look at the long term aspect of it.  So much equipment out there is easily maxed out & it's then no longer useful to you.  With the decline bench I can add on weights to keep making it a challenge as time goes on & my abs get stronger.  That's a major plus in my book.

I was also getting bored/burned out on my current workout rotation.  I have a good amount of DVDs to choose from, but I was really itching for something new & different.  So I got a few new workout DVD s from amazon.  It's been a really long time since I've bought anything new, so I felt it was time to do so.

I got myself a pilates fitness circle workout (I already had the fitness circle, just never had a really challenging workout that incorporated it; this one is really great).  I got a pilates BOSU workout (I already have one, but this one is very different, so I love the addition of new exercises in that format).  And I got a few workouts from Leah Sarago.  These fall in the same category as the Lotte Berk & Bar Method workouts, I'm not sure what that type of workout is called.  I especially love the ab workout by Leah Sarago--it's 45 minutes of ab work!!  And none of it is traditional sit ups, crunches, etc.  It's really fun & I REALLY feel my core getting stronger when I do it.  And I'm still doing a Cindy Crawford workout at least once a week to maintain my muscle mass & overall body strength. 

Occasionally I do a yoga workout, but haven't for a while now.  For me I usually do it if I'm especially sore or if I need to see a chiropractor.  I can usually avoid seeing a chiro just by doing yoga, hehe.  I have to admit I also love hearing/feeling my bones snap back into proper alignment as I do the postions/stretches. 

I absolutely love how fit & tight my core is feeling now.  And I love how it lessens my back & neck pains.  For the first time since pregnancy I am finally feeling back to my old self, physically I mean.  And it's a glorious feeling.  The Lord has always guided me & directed me in what workouts & equipment to buy.  And He's never steered me wrong.  I always pray about what to purchase & it always turns out perfect. 

I am also a fan of Suzanne Bowen.  She leads the Hip Hugger Abs DVD workout in the Lotte Berk series.  And she now has her own studio, doing that type of workout that I don't know what it's called.  And she is going to start filming a DVD in August.  I am sure I'll have to get that DVD as well when it does finally come out.

One piece of equipment I am still hoping to get someday (I've been hoping for many years now) is a pilates reformer.  And of course workout DVDs to go along with it (Stott Pilates has some that I really want).  But this is not a cheap piece of equipment, so I'll be dreaming for a long time I suppose.

Guess I'm done rambling for now..........

I'm editing this blog here to post this video from youtube.  This is a good explanation of the type of workout that reference a few times in this blog post--stating that I don't know what it's called or how to explain it really.  I will say that it is definitely addicting.  After a workout of this my muscles just feel sooooo good.  And I want them to feel that way again & again & again.  :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

37 month updates on Lil J

So Lil J is now 37 months, well on his way into the 3's.  He now weighs 34.4 lbs, he is 38" tall, & still has a head circumference of 21.5".

I'm still dealing with him acting out in public (especially in front of other kids) more than when he was younger.  But at home his behavior has been settling down.  I've been putting him on less "time outs" lately I've noticed.

We're still struggling at night time.  Every night he goes to sleep in his own room, but almost every night he wakes up & comes to our bed & sleeps with us.  I have noticed that he's been having some bad dreams so that may have something to do with it, although I tend to believe that it's more because he shared a room with us for so long.  I have also found that he is afraid of the dark, so we have a nightlight in his room, but it's not keeping him out of our bed.  I am sympathetic to these things because as a kid I was very afraid of the dark & I remember having lots of nightmares.  I can remember knowing that being afraid of the dark was an illogical or irrational fear, but that didn't help me overcome it one bit.  We aren't sure how to proceed, but for now we are letting him sleep in our bed.  It doesn't bother me at all, but hubby has a hard time SLEEPING with Lil J in our bed.  Although hubby has a hard time sleeping ALL THE TIME.  That's a never ending saga here at Casa Buendia. 

I'm still doing the no grain, no dairy diet--as best I can.  He still eats cookies at church every Sunday.  I really don't understand why they feel the need to feed them, they're only there for a little over an hour, it's not like they're going to starve!  And it's so frustrating as a parent of a child with major food issues going on.  Yet at the same time I am grateful that they have changed the foods they serve to things that he can eat.  But I don't feel comfortable disrupting everything & telling them no grains now either.  I don't want to be the difficult parent.  So for actual allergies I will put my foot down, but not for something like this.  I am just continuing to do the best I can & praying that his system will evnetually be healed & recovered. 

I've been reading a book about the current "4-A epidemic".  The tremendous rise in Autism, ADHD, allergies, & asthma over the past few decades.  The doctor who wrote this book believes the same as I always have.  That it's simply due to toxins.  And the whole factor determining if your kid is diagnosed or not depends on how toxic their little body is.  And, just like I have always believed, vaccines are a big source of toxins, but not the ONLY source.  We are being bombarded from every direction with more toxins that imaginable.  Even from things you would never, ever suspect.  It's very scary.  And based on what I'm reading in this book I do believe that if I had vaccinated Lil J that he could very easily have been one of the many 4A kids.  His little body is overly toxic, just as mine is.  It stands to reason that he picked up a lot of it (if not all of it) from me while in the womb.  I don't want to ignore the symptoms that I see & let him have bigger issues down the road (much like myself), so I am trying hard to reverse what I can & set him up the way he should be as soon as I can.  But it sure is a long process & it's not easy by any means.

2 days ago we took him to Sea World.  I had told hubby I wanted to take him somewhere for his birthday, Disneyland, or something like that.  And hubby called up one of his many business contacts & got 6 free tickets to Sea World, so Sea World it was.  I was a little concerned that Lil J was too young for Sea World.  We've taken him to lots of little zoos & even the great big San Diego Zoo in the past & he wasn't too thrilled about any of it, although the San Diego Zoo went over better than all the others before it, but I think that had more to do with his age & maturity level than the actual place.  So I was concerned about him having to sit & watch shows & look at animals.  I thought he might be too young to really enjoy that, but it turned out perfectly.  He was sooooo well behaved & he REALLY enjoyed himself.  The first show we went to was the killer whales & he knew exactly what they were & was soooo excited & yelling at the whales.  It was truly awesome.  He loved all of it, even when he started to get a little tired.  I had thought he might take a nap in his stroller, that was one of the reasons we had brought it, but he never did.  He was very well behaved & patient while me & hubby ate, which was really nice.  And then he finally fell asleep on the long drive home. 

For souvenirs I got a whale mug that I loved (anyone that knows me knows that I love & collect whales).  They had really nice whale statues/figurines, but they were VERY pricey, so I skipped those.  But I really liked this particular mug.  Hubby went for his usual-a refrigerator magnet.  And we got Lil a t-shirt & we asked him to pick out something & he picked a truck that says Sea World on it & has a whale logo on it.  He has sooo many vehicles, including trucks, already, but if that's what he really likes then I'm ok with it & he does definitely play with ALL of them, including the new Sea World one.  They had this little hang over the door basketball set that I had really wanted to get for him & I don't know why I didn't--now I'm kicking myself because I didn't.  I think he would REALLY enjoy it. 

He's also wanting to play baseball badly lately.  He keeps getting sticks & holding it like a bat.  And then he gets a ball or rock or pinecone & throws it up & tries to hit it with the stick.  I'm not even sure where/how he learned to do this.  I'm hoping to get him a tball set soon, I think he'll have a blast with that.  I've seen them online for less than $20.

I think that's all the updates I have for now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Genetics versus Environment

This is a topic that has always interested me.  And no matter how much I learn about it, I don't think I (or anyone for that matter) will ever really know fully, completely all there is to know about it.

I can remember when, many many years ago, I really believed that environment had everything to do with who a person becomes & is.  I believed that a person was basically born a blank slate & his/her environment is what shaped & formed that person into who & what they become.  The family members, the parents & their style of parenting, etc, etc. 

I am the youngest member of my family.  So I was never around kids as I grew up, much less babies.  Once I became a nurse that changed.  I took care of kids & babies & newborns in the hospitals.  As I worked with the newborns I was absolutely amazed to realize that they are each unique.  They are each born with their own personality already in place.  Their basic personality is already there, created by God.  It is not dependant upon their family & the parenting style used in their home.

By nature I analyze everything.  Since marrying, I have spent a good amount of time analyzing my own family.  It is fascinating to me to see traits in my stepkids that, although they are not present in my husband, are present in one of my husband's siblings!! 

My son was born 3 years ago.  It has been fascinating watching his personality unfold since birth. 

My husband & I are neat freaks & a tad OCD about it.  And for both of us the same cannot be said of all the members of our own families--although I'm sure that would be true of any trait you stopped to examine. 

Since very early on we have noticed that our 3 year is displaying neat freak tendencies.  And he is very particular about how & where he places his toys.  Initially we had discussed this & were assuming that it's obviously genetic, since this is not something we are teaching to a baby or toddler.

BUT like I said before, I analyze everything.  And of course as I analyzed this I realized that even though we aren't teaching him that, a child is extremely observant.  They are like a little sponge, just sitting around observing & learning, passively, what the people nearby are doing.

So I do think that it's possible that some of Lil J's neatness & OCDisms could have learned by observing his parents.  However, I have seen him do some things all on his own.  Things that clearly prove that he is a neat freak & a tad OCD, but things that neither me or my husband do.  (And there are no other neat freaks in our home for him to be observing)

So the topic of genetics versus environment continues to fascinate me.  And it most likely always will.  We will never really know how much of Lil J's neatness is genetic & how much of it he learned from his parents.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thoughts on Aging

It's no secret that I'm turning 40 this year.  I remember I had a hard time when I turned 30.  I didn't want to turn 30.  I didn't want to get old.  But once the birthday happened & was gone & over with I was able to let go of feeling that way & just move forward.  And that's what life is, just time marching forward & no one being able to stop it or slow it down. 

I can remember as a teenager being concerned with how I might look when I got older.  I was hopeful that I wouldn't age badly, so to speak.  And while I am far less concerned with those sort of things these days, I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it at all.

When I was younger I was very knowledgable in regards to plastic surgery.  And I can remember thinking that I was not opposed to doing a simple face lift when I got old.  I've never cared about wrinkles, but when stuff starts getting saggy it does bother me.  A simple face lift, where you simply remove the excess baggy, saggy skin, seems like a good compromise to me. 

But the world of plastic surgery has changed drastically since I was young.  I don't think there are doctors out there that are even willing to do a simple old fashioned face lift.  There are all these injectable options now, most notably botox.  There are so many now that I can't even keep track anymore.

And for some reason most people like the injectable stuff.  Me, personally, I'm ok with cutting off excess baggy skin, but I am NOT ok with injecting stuff into myself.  Stuff that may have serious side effects & long term consequences.  But I know LOTS of people that will say "I'm ok with injectables, but not with being cut on". 

And nowadays there are celebrities who are starting the injectables while still in their TWENTIES!!  What are they gonna look like at 40???  I have come to realize that once you start doing plastic surgery on your face you'd better be prepared to keep it up or else you're gonna look REALLY bad. 

As I'm sure I've said many times before, I started working out at age 19.  My first workout video was by Cindy Crawford.  I LOVED the workout & ended up buying her next 2 workouts when they came out as well.  And I STILL use her workout DVDs in my current rotations.  At the same time she was the big name in modeling & was all over magazine covers.  She is 6 years older than me & I have tried to keep an eye on her over the years to see what she is doing fitness-wise & how she is looking, etc.  I really liked her philosophy of just eating right, working out, & taking good care of herself.  I like how she did all her modeling stuff in her 20s & then got married & had kids in her 30s (once she was too old to model anyways).  And she has certainly set up other avenues of income along the way, not just relying on modeling.  I admire her business smarts, as it were, as well as her fitness smarts. 

But then a year or two ago I heard she admitted to doing botox.  I thought it was funny that she admitted to botox, but not to collagen.  There must be some difference there that I am not aware of.  I was sad to hear that she would do that.  Then I stopped & looked at some current photos of her (she's not in the news as often these days, so I really don't see her very often) & I can clearly see that she's had a tummy tuck & now has breast implants (probably from doing a breast lift--when you lift you lose part of your breast tissue, so most women choose to put an implant to either keep their original size or some choose to go to a larger size at that time).  Although I must say that after having 2 kids (especially having them later in life, your body just doesn't bounce back the same as someone in their 20s) I can't blame her for doing those surgeries.  But the face stuff made me sad.  What happened to her original philosophy of just plain old hard work at taking care of yourself? 

And again, I stop to consider that she is only 6 years older than me, she is my brother's age.  And then I found this video of her (link is below, skip the beginning of her posing for pics, just look at her talking) & I honestly feel sorry for her.  Her face is soooo different now & just plain looks bad to me.  There's something really wrong with her mouth & the lower part of her face, although I suppose the upper part of her face is maybe paralyzed with botox.  Maybe that's what seems so off to me.  I would say she looks much, much older than my brother here (just comparing because they are the same age).

And so, while I feel sad for Cindy (& lots of other celebrities), I can say that this really reinforces my feelings of not wanting to inject stuff into my face.  It also takes me a step further to being able to say that I don't even want a face lift if my face ends up saggy.  Because after looking at a lot of celebrities & how bad they end up looking I would have to say that the saggy look would actually look better than the bad, worn out, too much plastic surgery look. 

I am always reminded by a saying of my mother's while I was a kid.  She would often say (mostly to my older sister) "all you can do is the best you can with what you have to work with".  And it's sooo true.  When I was younger I wasted a lot of time wishing I could look different or look prettier, etc.  And how pointless was that?  None of that wishing accomplished anything except reinforcing low self esteem.  All I can do is try to be the very best me that I can be, & do the best I can with what I have to work with.  And so that is my personal philosophy for aging.  I plan to continue with what I've been doing all along.  To continue working out, eating right, taking good care of myself.  And yes, aging is inevitable.  It will happen.  But while it's happening I can know that I have taken the best care of myself as I knew how along the way.  And I will be waiting for my perfect heavenly body, oh what a glorious day that will be, to be free of all the aches & pains & other health issues my current body is so afflicted with.

When I was younger, people always said that I looked very young for my age.  Occasionally people will still tell me I look young for my age, but I don't see it. When I look in the mirror I think I look my age.  But thankfully I don't think I look bad, or older than I actually am.   And in the grand scheme of life it doesn't really matter anyways.  I'm done rambling for now...........