By: Donna Tagliaferri  
This blog is an excerpt originally posted on My Life from the Bleachers.

This morning I showed up promptly at 7:50 am for my 8:00 am stress test the cardiologist insists I need, along with an ultrasound tomorrow.

Yuck…

However,this time I was taking my act to the bike, confident and caffeine free! I didn’t drink any Diet Coke or take an Excedrin. I was ready….

Ready, Set….Stop.

I took my medication, which includes a pill I cannot pronounce to slow my heart rate. I was not supposed to and when they asked if I read the papers they gave me, I had to say, “Papers? Nope.” I heard no caffeine and filed everything else away. I mean no caffeine for 24 hours…what would you hear after that?

Regroup and reschedule….sigh, so dumb not to read the instructions, but whatever.

Off to the gym, but on the way, I took time to think about my last 8 months and the journey it has been. Whenever I spend time in the cardiologist’s office, I go into a mental tailspin. There are people from every walk of life sitting in the waiting room with me. Some very, very ill, some on walkers, some on oxygen, some so overweight they can hardly move, some so thin they look like they will break in two…and some that look perfectly normal just like me that have scars only they know about. We are all equal there, none of our equality the same…but equal.

I drove to the gym without the radio…just alone with my thoughts on the journey and I went into the gym happy because every person there cares about me. They are all invested in my success. They know how hard my road has been because they have my medical records! They see me 3 times a week trying so hard to lift that kettlebell, bang those heavy ropes, and sprint on the elliptical. There have been times I really didn’t want to go, times that one last circuit was just too much. I have done so many squats, so many sit-ups, planks, and leg lifts. But getting up from a chair is easier and not being able to make me feel so old.

I can lift things, I can lift really heavy things. I am doing things I thought I would never do again.

I do admit I have called my trainers “Caligula.” I am the biggest complainer….And I often, I feel like Sisyphus. But I am better than I was 8 months ago.

There are tons of success stories at the gym. My friend Brian is sticking his finger in the eye of age and has recorded 18% body fat. 18%! When he left the gym the other day, he went straight to hockey. He can do that because he works out. There is my friend Crystal who is on her feet 10 hours a day, she works out so she can work. When I first started working out, my core was nonexistent because of my surgery….today my posture is so much better, my endurance is better, and I know I’m not as worried about getting older. My blood pressure goes from 144/83 before I work out to 119/77 after I work out. (For me lower blood pressure is key -high blood pressure will cause big problems with my aorta.) A combination of lifting weights and cardio is the key….and your life will be so much better!

Then there is Gene Carrejo, the owner of the gym…He is a happy, effervescent man in his 60s who is there every day. He doesn’t ask anything of us that he doesn’t do himself so he works out right alongside us, sweating and hoping to make it through the circuit. Our trainers, Caligula (Sarah, Anthony, and Joshua) treat him and his lovely wife Lisa, just like us.😓 I asked him today to share his fitness journey (which you can read here).

This process has been such a blessing to me; hard, hard work but a blessing. With so many people invested in my success, I know I will eventually get to all my fitness goals. I have achieved a great many so far, but as they say, “Life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey!” So wherever you are on your journey, please keep moving and don’t stop. For me getting older is a blessing that was almost taken away so I don’t mind the aging process at all. I also know for a fact that working out is a price I am willing to pay so I can have a few more birthdays. I can validate every excuse you may have because I have used each one, but working out is better, lifting weights is better……it’s a better way to live.

Now get out there and move!!!

By: Donna Tagliaferri  
This blog is an excerpt originally posted on My Life from the Bleachers.

What a ghastly couple of weeks I have had health wise…a truly nasty sinus infection that I made worse by not going to the doctor until almost a week into it. And then guess what? After I got better, I was faced with the daunting task of what seemed like climbing mountains to start over with exercise. I hear from people all the time, “why does it take months to get into some kind of better shape only to have it dissolve in a matter of weeks?” But there I was with no excuses left doing the last thing I wanted to do which was getting up at 6:00 am, tying on the sneaks, and trundling back into the gym…

Can I hear an amen?

In my journey, I have discovered we are all made up of energy, and maybe you want to argue that point as you struggle from the desk to the couch to the toilet and back and feel anything but energized, but it is true ….we are made up of energy, and all we need to do is release it.

Physics is on my side; Newton’s first law of motion is often stated as: An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. (The definition for unbalanced force is pretty long so I included a link for all my information seeking readers. )

What I gained from this is if you move your arse, you will keep moving unless you bump into another immovable object…a couch, bed, any place for me to just sit down, or even lay down. You get the picture. My watch seems to be in on this since every once in a while I get a notice to stand up. Holy cats, this is what we are reduced to, our watches telling us to stand up. (Oh, by the way, my watch also tells me to breathe…) I get it, if I am sitting at the computer for any length of time I do forget, but seriously how lame is that?

So if we are made of energy…we need to release it, how do we do that.

Easy…..just move, and move as fast as you can. A friend told me the thought of getting up and moving was more than she could handle. Think about that because it is a red flag for sure. If you haven’t been moving then get up and go, don’t even think about it, just move, for 20 minutes….move. The other day a woman told me her doctor said if she walked just 20 minutes a day she would diminish her chances for dementia by 40%. Incredibly important don’t you think? By the way, there are other things you can do to help that number be even higher.

Just move…

Another way to release energy to heal and support your body is through massage therapy. I am not speaking of a regular run-of-the-mill massage, I am talking about massage therapy from someone who has been carefully trained and knows what muscle is connected to what muscle and can truly get to the bottom of things. I went in with a pain on my entire side that radiated all the way up and down. My massage therapist, Jeff (who is brilliant) was able to find the starting point and literally fixed it. I am grateful that he has amazing tools to “fix me”. These tools include my complete medical history, my DEXA scan which unlocks lots of answers with my muscle tissues.

He is aware of my workouts, so he knows what large muscles I have been working, and he can combat all sorts of problems I might have from my work. We have a great relationship based on complete communication so he knows I sit at the computer sometimes whole days, and also he knows I sometimes stand for 16 hours straight. A therapeutic massage provides more energy through increased blood flow which releases the energy I need! After a massage, I have more clarity of thought, my aches and pains from life are worked through faster, and I bounce back much quicker. The last 2 weeks with the unfortunate infection I had have been super hard, but a massage gave me much needed energy, and I know it was easier to get back to exercise. In the past, this illness would have thrown me off for weeks as I found excuse after excuse for staying away from exercise. But Jeff, muscle memory, and trainers Anthony and Sarah got me back fast!

Reality is this, you have to move, you have to pick up heavy things, you have to do squats, and you have to forget the diet and eat healthily. Consider an incredible massage that will release the energy you need to have better health. There are so many tools we have available to us, they aren’t luxuries they are how we stay healthy, so please find them, use them, and remember to never give up.

By: Donna Tagliaferri  
This blog is an excerpt originally posted on My Life from the Bleachers.

I am posting these pictures of things I couldn’t do 6 months ago because I am focusing on progress and not on images I have in my head of where I should be today with my fitness journey.

I have only lost 10 pounds, so if you are looking for a quick fix this won’t work for you. But my path is authentic. I have consistently exercised during this time and for that, I am stronger, my numbers (except for weight) are right where they should be: cholesterol, heart rate, blood pressure, blood work, and EKG. The endless squats have made walking and moving around in general, easier. My knee–the one with the torn meniscus 5 years ago–is not nearly as sore; I rarely think about it. And lifting things? Which in my business is every day and a lot, is a piece of cake. I wish I could tell you my memory is better, but the power of a kettlebell only goes so far.

My metabolism, always a glacier, since my surgery is slower because of the medication I take. And being constantly surrounded by food (and really good food) makes eating a challenge.

I did the calculations in my head and reasoned that I would be 93 before I reached “bikini ready”; a 93-year-old woman in a bikini is only appropriate for the Enquirer….so you can understand my discouragement.

I thought about quitting. I mean if my purpose is to look good (and who doesn’t want to look good?) then what is the point?

What is the point indeed…

Donna lifting dumbbellsI feel better and at the end of the day, that is the point. Two years ago I was at death’s door, surviving was the goal of each day, not a waistline. I didn’t even think about my core because I could barely walk to the end of the street. I am not exaggerating: walking was a chore and I always felt like I moving through the mud with each step being a challenge. If truth be told I did not think I would ever improve.

This picture is of me and 20lb dumbbells…I started with 5lbs…..that is true progress.

I am competing with myself, and that’s all I have to worry about. But I still remained so discouraged last week that I began looking for ways to quit. I wanted to, I really, really did but I knew I would regret it. I  would be back to aching legs and knees, fatigue and even more weight gain. I would miss the flat out head-clearing-exhaustion exercise provides for me. But mostly I would know I gave up.

Being honest I have not lost the weight I wanted to but giving up is not something I am willing to do right now. My friends are not letting me give up…Gene, Lisa, Sarah, Anthony, and Josh just stared at me when I told them all I had considered giving up. They won’t stop so why should I? And don’t we want to take this as far as it will go?

For the record, I have not been hurt one time during this journey and I usually have experienced some kind of injury in the past that caused time off.  Because of not being hurt or too sore I have been able to progress. I have enjoyed the therapeutic massages that actually work out the old kinks and knots and let me feel so much better, and I am relieved that someone takes my heart rate at least 4 times during the workout. After my surgery I felt like it could happen again…there wasn’t any warning before, why would there be now? Exercise seemed too risky…

I am going to keep going, I truly am blessed to have such a fine group behind me…they don’t think quit, they think next workout, next meal, get better…come back.

For more information about Xuberance call 702-750-9420. Better yet come to an open house next Thursday the 7th from 5:30-7:30 to check everything out! 4280 S. Hualapai Way Suite 104, Las Vegas, Nevada 89147

 

 

By: Donna Tagliaferri  
This blog is an excerpt originally posted on My Life from the Bleachers.

It’s a new year, and although I am not big on resolutions (usually broken by January 16th accompanied by a feeling of failure), I am a big fan of starting over, a new day, a new way of thinking, forgetting the past…

You can do anything we set our mind to…but you must believe you can do it. Until now I have not believed I can lose weight. I have been negligent in my health for so long that it is taking me a bit of time to dig out of this hole. But after proving to myself I can exercise, lift heavy weights and bring down all my numbers, I now realize I can also lose weight. I do believe I can do it.

I can do this…watch me.

I am amazed at the changes so many of my friends have made at Xuberance: they are thinner, stronger, and much healthier. A dear friend that we do a Christmas party for every year told me how intrigued she is with what I am doing. Although she is very thin, she admitted she isn’t very strong and wants to be stronger. I hope she comes down to Xuberance (702-750-9420) to meet the amazing people there–people who want to help, guide, encourage, and teach everyone who comes in.

I know how hard it is to get started, so let someone else do the hard work of figuring out what is best for you. It is an experience that is worth every effort to get there.

Happy New Year, my wish for you is you achieve everything you want. Believe it!!!

By: Donna Tagliaferri  
This blog was originally posted on My Life from the Bleachers.

The other day I was bringing some things into a building through a really heavy door, I mean really heavy. I saw a huge rock just a few feet away from the door, and it looked as though it had been used as a solution for my very problem previously. I went over and picked up the rock and propped open the door; it was heavy, but I handled it. Done.

Then this woman walked up to me and said, “I saw what you did.” Boy, did my mind go to a million different places…what did she see me do? I didn’t offer a confession and let her finish…”I saw you pick up that rock and move it. You really are strong; I never could have done that.”

All of a sudden I realized what she was saying. The kettlebell, the squats, the heavy rope (and the heavier rope), that darn heavy ball were all making a difference. I am stronger and moved that rock, all by myself. I didn’t think about it; I picked it up and moved it. I could not have done that 6 months ago, and now I am out there in the world moving big heavy rocks!

I am amazing!!

There are a lot of aspects to getting in shape, but one of the most rewarding has to be getting stronger.

I can do 60 squats in one round of the circuit…and I can add the kettlebell to it. I hold a 20-pound kettlebell and do squats…or as my trainer says sumo deadlift high pull. That’s right…I am doing a sumo deadlift high pull (take that #ageisjustanumber) without even blinking.

I have not hurt myself; my bad knee is better; my mind is clearer; I am not as depressed in the morning; I am not sore…

I am stronger.

All my numbers are where they should be.

The psychological lift from exercise is I look at hard things in my life and think, well it’s not a Sumo deadlift high pull I have to do 60 times. I can do that.

There was a time that walking from my bedroom to the kitchen was a job of epic proportions; now I hope on the rower and head for the shore…

Hold a plank, lift those weights, do some pushups, hit the heavy ropes…..and by the way, no one cares that you are in your 60s.

Want to stave off joint issues? Get stronger.

Want to have less depression? Get stronger.

Want to walk faster? Sleep better? Have better balance? Get stronger.

Walking is great but add some weights…not just every once in a while…do it regularly. Get stronger…

Want to stay out of the nursing home?

Do squats…the number one reason people have to go to a nursing home is that they cannot get off the toilet. Squats will keep you out of the nursing home.

Get stronger!!

By: Donna Tagliaferri 
This blog was originally posted on My Life from the Bleachers.

I gathered my kitchen cabinet, my brain trust…the folks I love the most, the people who know me with make-up and without, my people…and I explained to them I have some fitness momentum, but I am staring Thanksgiving right in the gobble-gobble. Heck I’m staring the holidays right in the Ho-Ho-Ho.

What’s a girl to do?

With my fitness/eating momentum humming along I am understandably…SCARED TO DEATH!!

The previous “after Thanksgiving system” has simply been eat yourself into a coma, get up the next morning and curse if someone has used all the gravy – (because in the hierarchy of leftovers gravy is practically golden because who will make that again?) and then start over…this system is the regular deal until January 1…..I have been incredibly loyal to this system, I don’t even know another system.

That’s why I approached my people and asked them to help me come up with an alternate plan. Here are some of the things we came up with…

  • Thanksgiving week….Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are full-on exercise days.
  • Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are careful eating days. What I mean by that is a good breakfast (today was 2 slices of bacon and 2 eggs – it got me through to dinner, happily. And that includes no samples at Costco), then a good dinner. No snacking, no sweets.
  • And then to Thanksgiving…we aren’t going to have dinner? Of course we are, but that is where I am going clever. Instead of lounging around and having our usual bagels after the Turkey Bowl (football game in the morning), I am going to get in some serious walking. Then I am going to enjoy my dinner. I am going to enjoy my pie…But we have added some fun vegetables previously uneaten by the Tag clan before, and I intend to make them a bigger part of the feast.
  • Friday, I want to gather up the troops and go to a local state park called Red Rock Canyon and hike around…I’m shaking everything up. And then back to my warm, cozy house where we can put up the Christmas tree while watching football. And yes, I am going to have leftovers. But I am not going to stand in front of the fridge and just randomly eat things, like turning the whipped cream can upside down in my mouth…I will have a plan to enjoy everything. Intentional living.
  • After having enjoyed the holidays for 2 days on Saturday I am back! Lots of water, exercise and going outside more.

December will be intentional each day. I will have a treat on the weekend but not through the week. Since we are caterers and around rich food all the time, I have been unconsciously eating, I get so tired during the month that I think eating will give me energy when in fact it takes energy away.

I will go over my plan each morning…I will repeat it to myself…that is how we make things real and keep them in front of us by saying it all out loud.

Sleep, water, exercise and planning. Nothing crazy, just a plan…a realistic plan.

I am also going to remind myself I can do this. I am going to say it, not just think it.

Another reason I am so intent on staying the course is a very important anniversary is tomorrow….two years ago I almost died from an aortic dissection. Very few people survive that little number and I realize I have been given another chance so I am intent, finally, on taking care of my health and my life. It took me a long time to process the entire event, but I am starting to understand a whole lot.

Xuberance has helped me so much, my friend Patrice who guided me to this amazing place told me that Xuberance showed her things she never knew about herself. I know what she means now. When you really push yourself, when you finally get to that place where real change can occur, you realize how far you can go. I let preconceived ideas of aging cloud my potential. I thought since I was older that older people don’t push themselves that hard. But if I can survive almost dying then I can swing that dang kettlebell, those ghastly heavy ropes and anything else I am challenged with. I intend to age…the alternative is a bit bleak, but I am not going to let conventionality tell me what aging will be like. Happy anniversary to me!!!

I am happy to share the incredible news of Xuberance, a new wellness center in Las Vegas Nevada. A full-service center dedicated to helping you reach your highest health potential. With a doctor on staff, regular blood work, fitness testing, weekly therapeutic massage, a dietician on staff,  and expert fitness trainers, you cannot go wrong on becoming your best and healthiest you.

By: Donna Tagliaferri 
This blog was originally posted on My Life from the Bleachers.

Last week I had a personal setback in my quest to well-being. I knew this journey was not going to be without a few bumps but what I wondered about from the beginning is could I handle those bumps or would I just give up? My natural assumption that I am too old to change to a completely new health regime would have some serious proof…right? And no one would fault me, I could go back to occasional walking, intermittent weight lifting and maybe some chair aerobics. I could make jokes about putting on my bra and pulling a muscle in my shoulder, or reaching for the remote, hearing a snap, and then not being able to walk.

But for the first time, quitting is not an option…I am going to see this through.

The minute I panicked about such high blood pressure everyone at Biometrix went into overdrive. They took my blood pressure before clearing me to work out, they ordered new blood work and then made an appointment for Dr. Docasar, who is our resident doctor (think of that). I wish I hadn’t panicked but my recent history gives me pause on most things health related. Long story short, my blood work came back the next day and Dr. Docasar was able to read everything. In the three months since I have been attending Biometrix my numbers are  completely normal! Including the inflammation number that was most troublesome to me.

I am so relieved about my improving health (my weight number is improving, but is the hardest number to budge) and it is all because of the instruction and care I have received at Biometrix. Which leads me to the next chapter, I have great news! Biometrix is rebranding themselves and will now be known as…..wait for it…..Xuberance…and that it is just how I feel about this amazing wellness center. The definition is “the quality of being full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness; ebullience.”

Nothing describes what I want for myself better. Full of energy, excitement, and cheerfulness.

They are not affiliated with any other club. They are now free to explore every possibility in the wellness field. They will continue to offer the best personal trainers in the Valley. People who know their clients so well because progress is measured with each workout, and when each work out is over the next workout is being designed. Every aspect of your well-being is monitored. Diet and exercise are the obvious parts, but then there is massage therapy once a week to work through issues I thought was just part of getting older. I had a terrible pain in my hip that Jeff the massage therapist worked out. It was like magic. I already mentioned Dr. Docasar who does all the medical appointments and reads all the blood work. She is also is a hormone savant and recently diagnosed a friend of mine with exactly the right bioidentical hormones and literally saved her a substantial amount of money not to mention a better diagnosis.

I have a long way to go yet with relearning how to eat, but I meet with the dietitian each week for new ideas and a constructive pep talk.

I will continue…I will not give up…and I will live a life with far more LIFE in it!