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Health and Fitness

Health insurance for 50 Years and Over (before Medicare Kicks In)

Health and Fitness, Plan for Tomorrow
Health insurance for 50 Years and Over
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For a long time, I never thought about health insurance. We simply had a health plan through my husband’s job. But now that my husband has shifted his focus from a full-time job to several consulting and board positions, we don’t have a group health plan like we’ve enjoyed in the past. 

On top of that, and maybe many of you are in the same boat, my husband is a bit older than me and already reaping the benefits of Medicare. But being young and fierce, I still need normal health insurance.  Now that I’m on my own during open enrollment, I’ve realized that the health insurance marketplace is 1) expensive, 2) confusing, and 3) sends me into an emotional tailspin that only crafting or a Great British Baking Show binge can cure. 

Even though I am pretty healthy, keeping up with my Weight Watchers goals, and exercising regularly (hello, triathlon!), I still need health insurance. Like I mentioned in a recent retirement planning post, numbers aren’t really my thing. And that includes health insurance, and all its tricks and numbers and costs and acronyms and weird jargon that I may or may not be pronouncing correctly.  continue reading

Weight Loss After Fifty: What To Do When the Pounds Come Back (and Bring Friends)

Health and Fitness
gaining weight back

Thanks to the Weight Watchers Freestyle Program, I reached my goal weight in March of this year.

Yay, me!

As of a couple of weeks ago, Weight Watchers is now called “WW” which, apparently, stands for Wellness that Works.  Uhh…okay. Honestly, I don’t see why they needed to change the name.  But as long as they keep the eating program at the center of it, I’m on board. Because Freestyle really does work, just ask my doctor.

Come to think of it, forget my doctor. Ask me.  I lost over twenty pounds and kept it off from mid-March to mid-October. Seven months!

Yay, me!

Then came my son’s wedding. continue reading

Crossing the Finish Line: What I Learned From My First Sprint Triathlon

Health and Fitness, Marie's Triathlon Journey
first sprint triathlon
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Fair warning: this is going to be a long post. I think it’s the longest I’ve ever written. But I’ve got so much to tell you. And at the end of it, there’s something I want to ask you. So, hang in here with me. We’ve got lots to talk about.

First off, I did it! I completed my first sprint triathlon.

No, not in the time I had hoped for. But as a couple of you wisely pointed out, I beat everybody who stayed at home on the couch.

The sprint triathlon didn’t kick off until Saturday but I picked up my race packet on Friday. When I pulled my bib number from the envelope, adrenalin, anxiety, and excitement flush through my veins.  continue reading

Three Steps to Start Embracing Healthy Aging (and Why It’s Never Too Late)

Health and Fitness
healthy aging
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Well, I’ve calmed down a little bit since my last post, the one outlining my anxieties surrounding my upcoming triathlon.

Thanks so much for the words of encouragement that several of you posted in response. It does help to know I’ve got so many people rooting for me.

One message that really got me thinking came from Dayle. She said, “You should be so proud of yourself for attempting such a new challenge. You have already won!

There’s a lot of truth in that.

I mean, yes, I want to do well on Saturday.  I’ve always been a competitive person. Not so much with other people as with myself. I’m someone who likes, and even needs, to set goals and work toward them. continue reading

Beginner Triathlete Guide: Triathlon Training Over Fifty

Health and Fitness, Marie's Triathlon Journey
triathlon training
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Over a year ago, I started dreaming about competing in my very first triathlon.  A month from today, if all goes well, that dream will become a reality.

It has, quite literally, been a long road.

In the last eleven months, I have run, and biked, and swum hundreds of miles, some of them faster than I ever imagined would be possible.  I’ve still got some training to do but, when the day comes, I’ll be ready.

I’ve worked hard and learned a lot.  One of the things I’ve learned is that age and inexperience need not hinder athleticism. As long as you’re good health and willing to put in the effort, I’m convinced that just about anybody can complete a triathlon.

Here are some triathlon training tips for your first, over-fifty triathlon.  continue reading

Can You Hear Me Now? Coping With Sudden Hearing Loss

Health and Fitness
sudden hearing loss

I can tell you the exact day, and pretty close to the exact time, when it happened.

On July 11th, 2016, at about 11am, my youngest son and I were on I-5, driving from Portland, Oregon to Salem, Oregon.  All of a sudden, in the time it takes to snap your fingers, I lost all hearing my left ear.

The change was instantaneous, highly noticeable, and accompanied by a sensation that my ear was full of fluid.

It wasn’t.

I was suffering from Sudden Sensorial Hearing Loss. continue reading

Menopause Matters: Or Why You Might Need A Different Doctor

Health and Fitness
menopause
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From the time a girl turns thirteen, and in many cases long before, she is supplied with mountains of information regarding her reproductive health.

In school, she is told about menses, sexuality, and child-bearing, both how to achieve it and how to avoid it. During doctor visits, she is quizzed in greater detail about her personal experiences with all of these subjects. If she has questions or problems, she is supplied with pamphlets and practical advice to address them.

However, when it comes to dealing with life in her post-reproductive years, women often have to go it alone. continue reading

Bicycle Buyer’s Guide: What To Know When Buying a New Bike

Health and Fitness, Marie's Triathlon Journey
bike buyers guide, what to know when buying a new bike
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As I pointed out in my recent post about my ongoing garage makeover, we own several bicycles. Four, to be exact.

Even so, when it comes to training for and competing in my upcoming first triathlon, none of the four are up to the challenge. (Truthfully, there are days when I’m not sure I’m up the challenge either. Time will tell!)  Two of the four are youth bikes, one is way to big for me, and the fourth is my bike, a twenty-two year old women’s cruiser.

There’s really nothing wrong with it that a good tune up wouldn’t fix. But with only seven pretty clunky gears and a weight of fifty pounds plus, my cruiser wasn’t making the grade. I mean that almost literally.  Asking the old girl to climb hills was like asking my spaniel to do algebra – just way beyond her pay grade. I definitely needed a new bike. continue reading

How to Walk Off Weight After 50

Health and Fitness
walk off weight
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You’re female? And over fifty?

Then you don’t need me to tell you that losing weight and keeping it off is tougher now than it was when you were twenty, thirty, or forty.  In fact, every decade after age twenty, your body burns 150 fewer calories than it did the decade before.

I know. Oh bunny, believe me. I know.

But before you get so depressed you fling yourself headfirst into a box of Krispy Kremes, look at it this way. There are so many reasons that it’s great to be a woman over fifty; it’s only fair that there be a few downsides, right? continue reading

A Beginner’s Guide: The Best Way to Run a Mile After Age 50

Health and Fitness
the best way to run a mile after fifty
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There was something inside me that just clicked when I hit my fifties. All of a sudden, I had an urge to try new things, to prove to myself that I could do something I’d never done before, to take risks. No, I wasn’t tempted to buy a flashy red sports car or go on an Eat-Pray-Love adventure, and no, I’m not going to call it a mid-crisis, because that’s simply not what it’s been for me. Turning fifty inspired me to do more and be more. It’s not a crisis, it’s a turning point, it’s a halftime pep talk, it’s a good thing. 

Just what I needed, in fact.  continue reading