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Health and Fitness

The 80/20 Rule: The Applications Are Everywhere

Health and Fitness
80 20 rule pareto principle slow
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Do you ever feel like you’re running as fast as you can just to stay in one place?

I’m pretty sure everyone would answer yes to that question; at least at some point during their
lives. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

You see, when I was training for my first sprint triathlon last year….

Hang on.

A whole bunch of you see the words “training” and “triathlon” and think to yourselves, “this has
nothing to do with me. I’ve never competed for anything in my life.”

But you’re wrong. Everybody finds themselves embroiled in competition at some point – most
frequently with themselves. So, even if you’ve never run unless something was chasing you and
have no plans to do so in the future, there’s something in this post for you. Stick around because
this is important. (You can go look for the Miracle Muffin recipes later. They’re not going
anywhere.)

continue reading

How to Change Up Your Winter Exercise Plan (And Stay Warm!)

Health and Fitness
winter exercise plan
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What’s the weather like where you are?

Here in Central Oregon, we’re in the middle of a cycle of snow, rain, ice, repeat. Yuck.

I imagine it’s about the same where you are. Unless you’re reading this on a beach in Brazil  (I hope so! Send me a postcard if you are!) then you’re probably dealing with something pretty similar when you open your door.

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Cheers to Your Health: Easy Healthy Smoothie Recipes for That Healthy Glow

Health and Fitness
easy healthy smoothie
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Looking for that healthy glow? Especially in the dead of winter when nothing is glowing and nothing feels healthy? I’ve got the answer.

Smoothies!

I know what you’re thinking.

Ok, Marie, don’t tell me that I can just live off of green smoothies and magically drop a ton of weight. 

Don’t even think about asking me to forego a meal and eat pureed vegetables.

Don’t tell me I need to buy a $700 Vitamix for the occasion. 

Do not worry, my Fierce friend! I don’t advocate any of those things. What I do recommend is swapping out unhealthy snacks for a frosty, fresh smoothie that you’ll enjoy. I look forward to mine. I crave them. It’s usually a mid-morning or post-workout treat for me. continue reading

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
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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

Health and Fitness
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