Steps

I’ve been mostly a downer lately on my blog.  Talking about RA Flares, cortisone shots, medications, including pain meds, and sinuses.  It was a tough winter for me, but all in all, I managed.  I can afford my health insurance and my medications.  I can afford to see the doctor.  I can afford a personal trainer to help me feel better.  And I am feeling better.  I’ve been hitting close to 10K daily steps more frequently.  Then there’s this which Fitbit sent me earlier this year:

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I took 2,709,353 steps in 2015!!!  That’s 1148 miles!!  Which is 22 miles per week on average!!  The step challenges I participated in last year really helped propel me.

Then this week I got this from Fitbit:

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Since getting my fitbit 12/25/13, I’ve gone 2500 miles!!! Even I think that’s commendable for a full time, chronically challenged person.  And I have this one to thank for taking alot of those steps with me:

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I’m going to keep moving no matter what!!!

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Thanks

Not to be redundant, but I need to give some thanks today, Friday as I finish out the week with my first Fitbit Workweek Hustle Challenge with Bridgette from Bridgette’s Digits and not only did she rock her steps this week, but she made me step up on mine as well.  No pun intended.

Screenshot_2015-11-27-14-53-48This is where I am today at 3pm – the day after T-giving, with a total over 60K for the past 7 days and it’s because of her motivation, and the challenge.  I’ve already been out and walked the dog for 2 and a half miles, run a couple errands and still have 9 hours left in the day.  Bridgette and I have been neck and neck this week in our friendly competition and we confessed that it was both fun and motivating.

So Thanks Bridgette.  You’ve come a long way this year.  Last year I know you couldn’t imagine yourself taking 5,000 steps a day, never mind 10K or even 20K.  I know that you have shaped up big time this year and I’m very proud of you.  I’m happy that I had you to kick my butt around this week – not sure I would have done half this week without you breathing down my neck.

If you want to increase your steps – an activity tracker is a great way to challenge you to move more!  Which I needed today after a day of eating.  This was our contribution to the Thanksgiving spread:

antipasti

Mr. Phat’s Antipasti

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Everyone.  Hope you had the chance to Opt Outdoors today like I did and that you’ll participate in Small Business Saturday tomorrow.  What great concepts!

Walk Across America

As part of a work wellness program, Blue Cross/Blue Shield had a challenge called Walk Across America.  It was a 9 week event and the idea was to get 10,000 steps each day for a total of 630,000 over the entire Challenge.  Participants formed teams and we had weekly updates.  My results are below:

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Not only did I hit the goal, but I exceeded it.  And walking that much for 9 weeks, after doing a 4 week challenge in the spring has made my legs tight and strong.

Here are some of the ways I got my steps recently:

bSailing along Narragansett Bay.  I know it seems that I wouldn’t get that many steps sailing, but getting to and from the boat and to and from a restaurant and loading and unloading gave me alot of steps.

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We had a beautiful day.  The couple that own the boat are old friends and she has RA.  She’s one of my only really close friends with RA and we are on the same meds and I think probably have about the same level of disease activity – which is that we lead busy, active lives and try not to let the RA keep us down.

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One last Trip to Fenway Park for the last home game of the season.  This involves a lot of walking through the city.  The Red Sox have not had a very good season.  Better luck next year.

With all this walking, I should have lost some weight.  I definitely slimmed up a bit, but all this activity can’t be done without some eating.  And we’ve had some good eating, including a trip Friday night to Frank Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT.  20150925_182318 That was the summer sensation pizza.  Fresh Tomatoes, Fresh Garlic and Basil and Mozzarella.  They’ve been making pizza since 1925 and it’s the very best I’ve eaten.  I wish I could say that was all I had……but it wasn’t!

My favorite way to get steps through the entire summer was like this:

abbieOn the bikepath next door with Abbie the Jack Russell.  Those walks should be able to continue until the snow flies!!  Gotta keep my legs in shape for Ski Season?!?

DSC02405It’s coming quickly!!!

What Have I Been Doing?

This Phat54chick has been very busy.  Which is why you haven’t seen any posts from her until this morning.  Today is one of the first days with NOTHING on the agenda in a long time.  And by NOTHING I mean babysitting the grandkids later this afternoon while their parents celebrate their 6th anniversary.

After our visit to Cape Cod earlier this summer, Mr. Phat and I decided to install an outdoor shower.  We thought it would be an easy, inexpensive house upgrade.  It was neither, but worth every penny and sweat equity.  20150907_113222

20150907_113239We had help from a plumber friend who did the plumbing work.  We had help from a carpenter friend with the fencing, but Mr. and I hauled 3 yards of stone – that was bull work over a couple of weekends.  I spent most of a morning staining the fence.  All in all, it’s been a great home improvement and it was fabulous last night to take a shower under the stars.

Image  20150919_095027I needed a shower last night because I’ve been up to my eyeballs in tomatoes.  We got 2 large bushels that I peeled and put in jars and today which I have to put in a water bath for 45 minutes.  Will take all day into tomorrow as I can only do 6 at a time, but I always feel accomplished when done and the freshness of the tomatoes in February is something that can’t be duplicated.   Mr. makes Sunday Gravy on a regular basis for family dinner and these tomatoes are the keystone.

Several weeks ago we celebrated our granddaughter’s first birthday IMG_1111We call her the button, because we say she’s cute as a button.   That weekend we also went to a concert fundraiser at Sergio Franchi’s Estate in Stonington CT.  It’s something we might not have done, but were given tickets.  What an afternoon at the estate listening to his music and viewing his classic car collection.  20150829_152324 20150829_152411

Mr. and I  also had our annual anniversary trip to Fenway Park to celebrate our first date 9 years ago.  I tweeted out a picture of us with #myfenway and Fenway Park obliged by putting us on the jumbotron which made us laugh for the rest of the night.

Image1  We also ventured nearby to the TPC Boston one day with friends and we got to watch the golf pros.  Beautiful day weather wise and my girlfriend and I got to watch our boy crushes.  db Image2

OK, that’s not my girlfriend, that’s Mr.  We had a great day and lot of walking.  Which is what this blog is about  – me, health, RA and staying active.  I’ve had a good number of days with results like this.  Screenshot_2015-09-09-20-29-35I’m still involved with a work challenge for 8 weeks which is 10,000 steps per day.  I’ve managed to keep up and average over 10K steps per day.  That is over in a week, but I will keep up that pace until the snow flies.

I’m going to leave you with some of my favorite end of summer New England images.  I love September because we finally get the chance to be locals and partake of the bounty that is New England – be it seafood or the landscape.

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Looking forward to Fall!!!

Summer 2015

I just said to Mr. Phat that all things considered, it’s been a great summer.  We are truly blessed living in New England because we have Ocean, Lakes, Mountains and forests and we’ve partaken of all of them this summer.

20150711_105117This picture was from earlier this summer in Franconia, New Hampshire – we walked around Echo Lake and those are the Peabody Slopes at Cannon Mountain.  This is our home away from home.

20150724_13232620150724_173923Then we spent some time during July at Cape Cod.  We had the awesome experience of 4 wheeling on Nauset Beach with our friends and we even stayed and cooked out for dinner.  It was such a fabulous experience.  The water was cold but clean and refreshing.

20150728_142842While we were at the Cape we also spent an afternoon at The Belmont in W. Harwich with my brother and Sister inlaw so we got another Cape Cod Beach perspective.  And another fabulous day.

20150802_105229This is a picture I took 2 weeks ago at East Beach in Charlestown RI.  The very best beach in the world, in my opinion.  90 parking spots and 3.5 miles of beach.  Views to Block Island and Long Island Sound.  This is our “home” beach, and when we go, it’s either 7am or 3pm otherwise you can’t get a parking spot.

20150809_173615Last weekend we had the chance to visit friends in Lake Winnepesaukee, New Hampshire.  They have a house on an island in Meredith and we have an annual night with them at the lake.  It was a gorgeous day and we always have a sunset boat cruise with 4 couples – we’ve been doing this for 20 years.

The Sunset that night was gorgeous.

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As it was last night on Narragansett Bay in RI.

20150814_192755We are truly fortunate to have all these natural resources and beautiful places in nature within our grasp.  I’ve been fortunate to be feeling very good this summer.  I have hit 10,000 steps walking almost every single day. Perhaps that has something to do with it as well.  I’ve been involved in 2 walking challenges at work and I’m holding my own.  Blessed indeed.

Walk the Rhode Ahead

141,933 steps.  That’s what I’ve taken so far in my Walk the Rhode Ahead challenge from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  It’s a six week challenge to take 420,000 steps, averaging 10,000 steps each day and 70,000 per week.  I’m on pace, but I get all of today to take steps and gain some steps to put in “the bank.”  Working in the yard has helped, but no matter what, I have to walk for 2 – 3 miles each day to guarantee I hit 10,000.

Speaking of working in the yard, I splurged on a little rolling cart that I can sit on while I pull weeds.  It holds my tools and has a strap to pull it along.  Disregard the cup holders because that’s when I sit on it, there’s no room for drinks.  This is the best tool I’ve purchased for yard work in a long time.  The first time I used it, I was able to comfortably pull weeds for almost three hours!!  This is not an easy feat with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Since being diagnosed years ago with RA, I’ve always maintained that movement is the best medicine.  Sometimes it takes a while to get the legs moving, but once they do, I always feel better!!