Why do I want to post this photo? It is not very flattering. I just finished a 5 minute plunge in 56 degree water and I am feeling amazing! I am wearing my plungette cap, which apparently can make my ears stick out. I am hunched over because I’m a bit chilly. My arms have sagging skin on them in spite of bumping my weights up to 15 pounds for my OutdoorFit exercises. I have skin bulging out of the top of my bathing suit and I am thicker around the middle than I would like to be. I am 68 and pretty much go by how I am feeling rather than how I am looking. It is better that way! I am also growing my highlights out. It feels like my hair no longer goes with my face. Can you relate? I don’t feel bad about all of the above, and I am not giving up. I feel a sense of Freedom. I want to have great energy and strength. I want to feel fabulous!
I woke up this morning, the day after Thanksgiving, with a sugar hangover. I didn’t sleep well and I felt very achy. I decided to start a Free 30 day Feel Fabulous Program. I will be sharing daily Fabulous tips on Instagram, Facebook and my You Tube Channel. Why not do December differently this year so you won’t need to start a detox in January!
I hope you will join me. It is always more Fun with Friends!
It has been an emotional time. My Dad passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 5, 2022. He was buried last Friday, November 11, 2022. Dad had a traditional viewing and a lovely funeral. My brother Paul gave an amazing heartfelt and funny eulogy. There was not a dry eye in the house. When Paul finished, everyone stood up and applauded. He received an impressive standing ovation in a Catholic Church. We had a funeral procession through town with a Mountainside and Westfield Police escort. We left the church, drove through town, went through red lights, and stopped traffic. The procession paraded past the house we all grew up in, and drove through Mindowaskin Park on the way to the Cemetery. It was a spectacular send off. I am sure my Dad loved it!
Saturday, my nieces put together a run to celebrate my Dad. It was so healing. I wasn’t sure if I could do it. It was only 2.25 miles, but I haven’t run that far in years. We ran from my brother’s house, which is the house I grew up in, over to my Mom’s. We high fived Mom and then ran back. My niece was my running partner. She had a baby 6 weeks ago, but she’s in the Army and very tough. We ran at a very slow, a ten minute pace. We were in the back, and lost the pack, but it felt great! I was so happy that I could run that far in my Xero Minimal sneakers without stopping. Afterwards, I stayed for a cup of coffee and a scone. It is interesting how you want sugar at times of emotional stress. It is very soothing in the moment. It is too bad that pecan pie is not good for you. I went home and plunged in the Atlantic Ocean with my friends, the Plungettes, in the afternoon. It was a great day! I will stick to exercise and movement to soothe my soul and stay away from the sugar.
I come from a big family. We will all grieve in our own ways. We will take care of Mom. Her house is very quiet now. I will continue to take care of myself and look for signs of Dad’s Love. I have seen them already. Thomas sees Grandpa in the sky. I know he will be a powerful comforting angel for all of us.
Don’t worry, Dad we will give you a few weeks of Resting in Peace.
I am running with Mom and Dad at the Maple Leaf Half Marathon in Manchester, Vermont.
Sunday, I walked the CROP walk with Rosanne, the minister’s wife. She said, “Mary, I think you are being way too hard on yourself. Enjoy your glass of wine with dinner.” It felt like divine intervention. I am happy to say I am back to one glass of wine with dinner. Thank you, Rosanne!
I am a little embarrassed. Last week, I posted that I stopped drinking. I reached out to many friends and trusted family members for support. After stopping for 9 days, I am back to my glass of wine. My one glass did not turn into a bottle. It was turning into a glass and a half. The 9 days off was a good thing to do. I took really good care of myself. I meditated, did Wim Hoff breathing and jumped into the ocean a few times with Rosanne.
Saturday night, I went to my husband’s high school reunion and didn’t have a glass of wine. They were handing out champagne as we were waiting to sign in and get our name tags. I said no thank you. I had a nice time at the reunion. I set the intention to have fun, with no drinking and enjoy a nice dinner without overindulging. It was fine.
Have you heard of gray area drinking? My friend Jessica sent me this video which I found very helpful and maybe you will too.
Jolene Park, the Functional Nutritionist in the video, talks about gray area drinking. It is the area of drinking where there is no rock bottom. You use alcohol to manage your stress and anxiety. You feel bad about how much and how often you drink. She also talks about how naturally boosting your neurotransmitters, Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine, can help you if you want to stop drinking.
Here is my plan, and I have had a great week! I am focusing on boosting my Gaba, Serotonin, and Dopamine levels. Gaba has a calming effect. Serotonin increases happiness, and Dopamine is associated with pleasure. I plunged in the Atlantic Ocean with Rosanne 3 times this week. It absolutely makes you feel better to be outside in the sunshine at the beach and jump into the 62 degree water for 5 minutes! It feels like a new day. Every night, I enjoy one glass of wine in a beautiful crystal glass and I feel all is well.
Go out and Boost your Neurotransmitters! OutdoorFit will boost your Gaba, Serotonin and Dopamine!
I was not sure if I was ready to go public with this because it is so new. I decided to go ahead and post in the hope that it will help someone else. I stopped drinking my daily glass of wine or two. It was slowly creeping up to two glasses. I can find studies that say one or two glasses are good for you, or that a lot of centenarians have a glass daily. I could easily continue with my daily glass for the rest of my life, but I know it is not the right answer for me. Wine is starting to feel toxic in my body. Alcohol is also a sleep disruptor. Last night, I slept a solid 8 1/2 hours. A good night’s sleep is the best! I want to be the Best Version of Myself. and a good night’s sleep is important.
This is just the beginning. I am on my 6th day without alcohol. I can feel the anxiety building in my body and wanting to sabotage myself. 5:30 pm, is the beginning of the witching hour for me. I start feeling aggravated because I need to make dinner that is the prime trigger for the urge to have a glass of wine. I am really good at sabotaging myself. I stress eat when I am not drinking and then I tell myself this is not working, and go back to drinking wine again. Yesterday, when the urge hit, I decided to jump rope for 8 minutes and take a cold tap water bath. I felt much better. I poured myself a fancy glass full of kombucha and I got through it. I made dinner without overeating.
I have a great support system. I have a few friends and family members who I can text or call. Thank you to my friend Ivone. I can invite myself over to her house in the late afternoon. We sit on her beautiful porch, and have a cup of Calm tea. I am embracing tea in my life. Listening to the Rich Roll podcast with Dr. Jud Brewer. Breaking Bad Habits while making dinner, has been so helpful. Dr. Jud and Rich Roll, who is a recovering alcoholic, say it is not about willpower. I need to sit in the discomfort and figure out how to do this with ease and grace.
Thanks for reading. I hope this was helpful to you.
I started OutdoorFit 16 years ago in the back parking lot of a local gym. I wasn’t a trainer at the time, but I knew how to work out. I was in my early 50’s, and I was winning some of the gym’s fitness challenges. The owner asked me if I would like to work there. I didn’t want to be a personal trainer that focused on one on one workouts. I have always loved running and being outside, so I decided to start an outdoor class with a few brave women from the gym. The ladies were up for doing something new and different. They all loved that we were outside all year long. It is now 16 years later. A few of the originals are still training with me with me today at 70 and 80 something!
I have made some changes as we have gotten older. Recently, I have introduced mobility exercises to the program. I am taking classes with Petra Fisher, a movement coach. It has been so helpful. I am noticing a difference in my body already. This morning at OutdoorFit, we did wrist flexion, extensions, and circles. It feels like a dopey thing to do, but it was amazing. I didn’t have discomfort in my wrists like I normally do when we did our pushups. AND, I could hold my hands in the proper position without pain.
My intention is to be the best version of myself. I want to feel strong and energetic throughout my day. I can’t do that if I am in pain. I am constantly searching for new ways to bring more mobility to my body which is so key to feeling fit and fabulous. I am honored to be still teaching the OutdoorFit ladies to do the same.
Last week, my friend and former OutdoorFit partner, Christa Lippert asked me if I wanted to go kayaking or get together for lunch. We managed to do both on our adventure! It seems like it would be a lot of fun and I felt I was in shape enough to do it. I kayaked once about 25 years ago. I really don’t know much about it. I live by 2 rivers and an ocean. It is about time to take advantage of that.
I met Christa at Victory Park in Rumson to launch the kayaks. Christa had everything! She was unfolding two kayaks, that she learned about on Shark Tank, when I got there. I thought there is no way I am getting into that thing. But of course I did, because I trust Christa. She always has a good system in place for everything! So, I tried to help her strap the kayak together along with snapping the paddles together. Christa is always prepared. She had a waterproof bag to put my lunch and towel in. She had a waterproof case for my phone and a whistle to wear around my neck in case I was in trouble. Apparently, I was going to get wet. We threw the lifejacket in the back of the kayak just in case.
I pushed the kayak into the water and got in. Christa is an excellent teacher and a great trainer. She googled how to kayak and was teaching me! She said, it is all about your legs and core. I would push the foot bar with my right foot and then push the paddle with my left arm. I tried my best to stay focused. We went under the Oceanic Bridge and kayaked over to an island where we had lunch. It took us 45 minutes to paddle to the island and 15 minutes to get back to Victory Park. Once we got back to the park I was a little stiff from my adventure and felt like I had a second workout for the day. Getting out of the kayak was a bit of a challenge. I got out and back into the kayak okay when we were at the island. This time I ended up to my waist in the Navesink River. I need to google how to get out of a kayak with Grace.
I am going to stay strong, healthy and fit so I can plan more exciting adventures! Are you in shape for the adventures in your life? You can be strong, healthy and fit at any age. I can help you. Click here to learn about OutdoorFit!
I was at a Memorial Service in August. Afterwards, I sat outside eating wraps and cake with Andrea, a fellow church lady. We started talking about having your kids go off to college the first time and the stress and anxiety that it can cause. She said she had been working on some breathing techniques to help calm herself. I asked her if she had heard of Wim Hoff the “Ice Man”. She said yes and that it was working for her. I said we need to start jumping into the ocean. Wim Hoff is a big believer in cold water plunges. We waited until after Labor Day when the beach crowds had left, and started plunging for 5 minutes. This was a huge deal for me! I have lived 5 miles from the Atlantic Ocean for the past 40 years. I never really cared too much. I have never gone in the ocean without a lifeguard sitting on the chair watching over me. The whole plunging routine was making me so nervous. I would start getting anxious waiting for a possible text from Andrea, asking me if I want to plunge, and get worse from there. It felt like the old days when I was a competitive runner. I would get so nervous before a race. I hate feeling nervous, It is very uncomfortable, but I know if I don’t push myself I will never try anything new. I am getting better at it.
Plunging in the ocean has been life changing for me in so many ways. I am doing something new which I am usually very resistant to. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and my routine. It is so worth it. I have become good friends with Andrea. We are outside, doing something with a touch of craziness to it. I pick Andrea up in my Honda CR-V along with our friend Rosanne. My car is the beach car because I belong to a car wash club. Rosanne, another church lady heard what we were doing and she wanted in. Rosanne loves the cold water. She loves cold showers and plunging in her pond in upstate NY. We head off to the beach where there is always a free parking spot. It is beginning to feel like our beach. We have a turn around time of an hour and there is no food or drink involved. It is simple. It is the best!
Benefits of Cold Water Plunges:
Aids fat loss.
Boosts immune function.
Decreases stress, increases glutathione.
Helps your sleep.
If you have been following me you know I have not been dealing well with my stress this past year or so. I was taking supplements to help me manage. Since I started plunging, I have been able to stop the stress relieving supplements. I feel so much better. I am grounded, I sleep better and I have lost 5 pounds. I am taking better care of myself. I want to be strong, lean and able to handle the ocean in the winter months. I started eating liver and I have upped my weights at OutdoorFit. The liver is a bit of an adjustment. I am sharing it with Sophie the Golden Retriever. She is enjoying it!
Rosanne and I are in our 60’s and Andrea is a youngster at 50 something. It makes plunging even more special. It is never too late to try something new.
I love having a pretty yard but I don’t want to work so hard at it any more. Last year, I planted vegetables in my back corner garden next to my limelight hydrangeas and blue kazoo spirea. I did harvest a few cucumbers, and I had butternut squash that grew out of my homegrown compost. It was all kind of a mess. It was a lot of work without much reward. This year I’m simplifying the yard. I am slowing down and not being so impulsive, I am committed to making the back garden a more permanent garden. I had our struggling concolor fir taken down. It was our live Christmas tree years ago and grew to be a very tall tree. It never looked good. I finally had it taken down. Now, I have more sun in the corner. I moved 7 At Last roses from the front yard to the back. They are beautiful apricot colored roses. They were in the front yard and the deer just loved them for early morning snacking. I was tired of spraying them with Deer off.
By moving the roses to the back it has simplified my foundation planting as well. I put down a nice layer of mulch and it looks good.
I am so grateful that I am able to do my own work. I stay strong, healthy and fit. My OutdoorFit workouts keep me that way. Interested in learning more about OutdoorFit? Click here. You can get in shape in a short amount of time and maintain your fitness level working out only a few days a week. You will be able to do what you want to do. Do you love gardening, or chasing your grandkids around? Maybe it is keeping with a 5 month old golden retriever puppy. It is important to embrace being Fit and Fabulous…Aging Optional and OutdoorFit!
I love a good decluttering challenge. I have done a few of them, and I always feel better when my house is clean and tidy. It brings me great joy to open the door of the tool shed, and to have it in order. When I am stressed or agitated, cleaning out a drawer or decluttering the office brings me peace. I might not feel better when I am actually doing the project, but I am always grateful when I am done.
When Sophie the golden retriever came to live with us, I decided it would be best to pick up the area rugs. I feel so much better with them gone. She is not chewing on them, I don’t have to worry about her urinating on them, and I don’t need to vacuum them. I can just sweep the floor at the end of the day. There is something very therapeutic about a good broom in your broom closet.
Having the house in order makes me feel better, and messy surroundings make me feel agitated. However, there is a part of me that knows spending my days cleaning is not enough. I have been feeling flat. I need to be creative, but I have been avoiding writing my blog posts or promoting OutdoorFit.
So, here I am sitting at my desk writing. I need to find the right balance between taking care of my family, the house, Sophie the dog and my creative endeavors. Progress!
How are you doing? I hope you are finding happiness in your day. What projects are you working on? Have you started gardening yet? Are you spring cleaning? Are you writing a best selling novel? I would love to hear from you.
Sophie at 3 months is a challenge. We are involved in a love hate relationship. She doesn’t listen to me very well unless she wants to. We go for multiple walks a day. I try my best to keep her head up and away from the ground, but most of my time is spent pulling rocks or sticks out of her mouth. She gets annoyed and starts pulling aggressively on her leash. If my husband is with us, he will say “off”, and she drops the leash. If it it just Sophie and me, she will growl at me and she tries to bite me. I will tell her no but she keeps at me. The other day, a man was walking past us on the street and I asked him if he had a deep voice. Could he please tell Sophie “off”? He wasn’t open to disciplining a cute puppy.
The Monks of New Sketes, the authors of The Art of Raising a Puppy, advise the owner not to yell or get angry at their puppy. I am really trying. Who is in charge here, Me or Sophie? My red Patagonia OutdoorFit jacket is now Sophie’s walking jacket. She loves nipping at my sleeves. I keep them taped up so the down feathers don’t fall out. Patience is a virtue.
I know Sophie will be an amazing dog and companion. I am committed to her training. She does bring joy and happiness wherever she goes. We have met many people walking in the neighborhood who probably would not have stopped to say hello. Sometimes I stop them because Sophie knows everyone loves her and she needs to say hello.