I am finally not in any pain

pain

I have been going to Jacobo Physical Therapy 3 days a week for a few weeks and I can’t believe it but, I am not in any pain.  I can’t say that this is a permanent thing, because I do occasionally feel pain, but it’s not a constant nagging in my spine like it normally is 24 hours a day.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, but recently in the last month I found out from x-rays that I also have scoliosis.  I was wondering why I was in constant agony, now I know why.  My doctor sent me to physical therapy and I go there three days a week.  They give me certain exercises I can do for 30 minutes, then someone comes in and gives me a soft tissue massage.

Dr. Jacobo told me that my insurance will only cover so many visits per year, so once I’m done with physical therapy, I’m on my own.  She said they will see me three days next week, but after that I can come once a week.  I am not sure if my insurance will pay for once a week, but I hope they do.

weider total body works 5000She told me that they can give me a printout of all of my exercises in case I forget what they are so that I can do them at home.  I have a Weider Total Body Works 5000 which I can use to help me.  Some of the exercises I do use weights, so that’s where my home gym will come in.  Not all of the exercises will require using the gym, so I will have to remember them and try to make it a daily ritual to keep my back pain down to an absolute minimum, if that is possible.

I’m wondering if I should set up my video camera so I can do all of the exercises so if I ever forget how to do them, I can always refer to the tape, or well, DVD since it’s a DVD Camcorder.  I think that would be a good idea because I know I will forget if I don’t make it a habit.

I bought that Weider Total Body Works 5000 in 2005 from Wal-mart’s website for $99.  Now they are $149 at Wal-Mart and $159 at Target.  It’s $400 and $1000 on Amazon, which is amazing that they would sell it for that much money since you can buy it much cheaper at Wally World and Target.

My gym is outside in our patio which makes it a miserable experience because it’s way too hot out there to use it, but there isn’t any room for it inside the house.  I’m pretty sure I can deal with using it out there for half an hour per day if it will help me with my pain levels.  Although I can’t say that I will get my massages, but I guess I will just have to deal without those lol.

The good thing about these exercises is that they taught me how to stretch my legs while laying down when I start and when I finish, so I can use that knowledge for when I ride my bike.  It’s always a good idea to stretch before and after a bike ride.

I really hope my pain levels aren’t as high as they used to be without going to physical therapy 3 days a week.  If you have ever suffered from back pain, then you know what that constant nagging pain feels like, so you understand.  Most people who don’t have any back pain never understand.  In fact, some people feel that because they don’t have that same or any pain that they don’t think we are in any pain at all.  It’s a “if I’m not in pain, then you aren’t in any pain either” type of thing I guess.

Pain meds don’t always help me.  I’ve taken Ibuprofen, Vicodin, muscle relaxers, Tylenol, Advil etc.  Nothing works.  Although when I broke my arm I was constantly medicating myself with Vicodin which took ALL my pain away.  I think that was the best vacation from pain I’ve been on in a long time.  When my arm healed and I stopped taking the Vicodin, the back pain returned.  I have taken more Vicodin since then, but it doesn’t do any good.

I think I spoke too soon because I’m getting shooting pain in the middle of my spine.  YIKES!  Well, let’s hope that it doesn’t get worse.  I think I will take something for it now.  I bought some generic “Pain Relief PM” from Dollar General for $1 to help with the pain and to help me sleep.  I really hope that doing those exercises at home will help because I don’t think I can take being in as much pain as I was before going to Jacobo Physical Therapy.  That really is no way to live.

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Cycling again… FINALLY!

noom cycling 2013-07-20_09-51-23

Today was the first time in a very long time that I have been able to ride a bicycle for exercise.  Of course I used the Noom app on my Android cell phone.

This is the map, but the statistics are wrong.  The app froze at a few points and I was not given credit for 3.5 miles.  I mapped it out on Google Maps and the roundtrip ride was 11.8 miles, but I was able to add what I missed manually so I got credit for it.

The reason it froze is not the apps fault, I believe it’s that the music was causing it to freeze.  I wasn’t using the built-in music player, so I think that with the Noom app running and other apps running caused my phone to freeze up.  I also kept getting phone calls from home and I got a notification from Facebook and from eBay and from my emails, so I feel that everything was causing my phone to become slow.  So I don’t blame anyone but my phone itself for that happening.  Whatever the app doesn’t record, I can add in manually so I’m not worried.

It’s been a very long time since I was able to ride my bike.  In January I was 264lbs and I was worried about riding my bike because it says in the manual for the bike that it has a weight limit of 250lbs and at that heavy weight, I was afraid I would break something, so I just didn’t ride it.  I waited until I was 245 to ride it again and every time I tried to ride it, the back tire would go flat.  I lost more weight and bought a Bell No Mor Flats tire from Wal-Mart (it was the only place I could buy it) which was a huge mistake because installing it ruined not just the rim which was practically brand spanking new, but it also ruined the tire.  I tried using a tube and I don’t know if it was the scratches in the rim or the wires sticking out of the tire that popped it, but the tube wouldn’t stay inflated.  I was saving money for a new bike because I couldn’t see myself spending $30 – $35 for a new rim and $20 – $25 for a new tire.  My bike was originally only worth $60.

Fortunately we found a thrift store nearby that had a used rim and a used tire and they sold it to me for… wait for it… give me a drum roll please…  $5.  That’s it.  I saved $50 or $60 and saved myself from having to buy a new bike.  Check it out.

bike 1 july 20 2013 bike 2 july 20 2013

I wore my Black Nashbar Bib Shorts with my black Noom shirt and I put my wallet, my phone and my keys in my Noom backpack and set off with only my Noom water bottle to quench my thirst.  I actually didn’t think I would be riding more than I did, so I didn’t bring my Camelbak.  Next time I go out, I will load my Camelbak in my Noom backpack and put my keys, wallet and phone in the front pocket.  Although, I may put my keys in with the camelbak so they don’t scratch up my phone.

When I came home from my walk I was pleased to see that my Nintendo 64 had sold on eBay for $28 plus $21 shipping, so I took a walk to the post office to pick up a Priority box (if it fits it ships), so naturally I did a walking workout, so my total calories burned today was 736 with that extra 3.5 miles added that the Noom app missed on my bike ride.  I normally get a 1400 calorie allowance for my meals, but with the amount of calories that I burned today, I can eat 1770 calories.  Not that I will eat that many, but I know that if I feel hungry for an extra snack, I won’t feel guilty about it.

Today was also weigh-in day and naturally I didn’t lose any weight this week, which is disappointing, but now that I’m exercising again, perhaps this will kick my weight loss back in gear.  I hope so.

noom cycling bike store 2013-07-20_11-34-43 Oh and one more thing.  The spot that I stopped and rested at on the bike trail just so happened to be near a bicycle shop.  That’s the place where I bought my beach cruiser handlebars many years ago.  The store is called Finish Line.  You can’t see their sign or logo in the map, but that’s what they are called.  There is a seat right there on the bike trail which is where I took a break and that’s where I turned around to come back home.  There is a bridge right there too, so if I ever need to, I can cross the bridge and park my bicycle somewhere and go in and buy whatever it is that I need.  Not that I will need to mind you, because I usually buy all of my cycling supplies from Nashbar or Amazon.  I probably won’t need to go in there, but it’s nice to know they are there in case I do need to.

You have no idea how happy I am to be able to ride my bike again.  I really want to finish losing the rest of this weight, of which there is really only 23lbs.  I feel that if I could lose 70lbs with diet alone, I can certainly lose 23 more pounds easily with diet and exercise.  I’m so psyched!

AVON by Tabitha Vavrick

avon

Do you remember when the AVON lady came to your home with a giant case filled with AVON products?  “DING DONG, AVON CALLING!” was the slogan back then.  Well, although the AVON lady no longer comes door-to-door, you can still enjoy her products via their website.

If you don’t already have an AVON representative, please consider my cousin Tabitha Vavrick.  You might think that AVON must be really expensive, and why should you buy from a website when you can go to your local grocery or drug store, Target or Wal-Mart, well, these are good products and they are cheaper than you might expect.

The huge 24 fl oz bottles of bubble bath in the back are typically $8, but they are almost always on sale, or they have a buy 2 for $10 deal.  That’s the deal I got with this order.  The 3rd one you see is from a previous order, the 2nd one that came with that is currently on the side of the bathtub.

Those 5 fl oz bottles of shower gel that you see are typically about $6.  I know, shocking considering how small they are right?  But get this, I almost always get them on sale for $1.89.  You have to admit that that is a really good price.

Those little 1.7 fl oz bottles of deodorant are typically $1.25 each, but I almost always get them on sale for only .99.  I mean you can’t beat that price.

I haven’t taken a bath since I was 9 years old when I was told that I was too old to take a bath.  I can’t tell you how much I have missed just sitting in the bathtub soaking in the hot water and relaxing my really tense back muscles.  My back pain is from my spinal disease, but sometimes the muscles attribute to some of the pain, and the hot water really helps.

One bottle of bubble bath might last me more than a month and the body wash, believe it or not lasts a few weeks.  You really don’t need that much.  Just squeeze a little bit into your shower sponge and start washing and you will see that it has enough soap to clean your entire body.

The reason I like to buy those deodorants is not just the price, but also because I am so sick of using a “manly” stick.  It’s dry and it rubs and pulls my hair and it just doesn’t feel good.  These roll-on deodorants are wet, but they dry really fast.  They don’t just make them for women, they make them for men too.  In fact, they have a whole section just for men, so I tell you men, don’t be afraid to buy some AVON for yourselves.  Don’t you deserve it too?

Just to note, the total price of all of the products you see in the image, with the exception of one of the bottles of bubble bath, was $21.31 with shipping being $3 and tax $1.82 for a grand total of $26.13.  They almost always have a free shipping coupon code when you buy $30 worth, so if you spend a little more than I did you could get all this and more shipped to your house for free via UPS.

So remember Tabitha Vavrick the next time you are ready to buy some makeup, skin care, bath & body, perfumes and hair care.  They make great gifts too.

Slim-Fast’s Best Tasting Shakes Ever!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Slim-Fast for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

The New Slim Fast 3*2*1 on the go bottles - Rich Chocolate Royale

We all remember Slim-Fast when it became popular in 1987.  They started with the powder that you mix with skim milk, then they added the ready to drink cans.  Now they have the new on-the-go shake plastic bottles.  I bought an 8-pack today and had one for lunch and I can tell you that they taste amazing.

I have done the Slim-Fast plan many times and I lose weight every time.  I think the most that I have lost was 40lbs while on the Slim-Fast plan and I think that it’s time that I started losing weight again.  I plan on doing the new Slim-Fast 3-2-1 plan.  I will eat 3 snacks a day which is either veggies or the Slim-Fast snack bars, replace 2 meals with the Slim-Fast on-the-go shakes or meal bars and eating 1 sensible 500-calorie dinner with half of the plate being veggies, a quarter being protein and a quarter being grains.  It also helps to drink a full glass of water before eating dinner.

I love the snacks bars because they look and taste like candy bars.  The snack bars are good because they are a delicious calorie controlled snack that will curb your sweet cravings until dinner time.  My favorite snack bar is the chocolate nougat gone nuts.  The meal bars and shakes give you the perfect amount of calories with tons of vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

The new on-the-go shake bottles are perfect for people who don’t have time to mix their shakes.  They are easy to slip into your purse, backpack or gym bag and you can drink them any time you need to.  The shakes give you 4 hours of hunger control, which is what I need because my stomach is always hungry.

You can buy Slim-Fast on-the-go shakes, powder cans, snacks and meals at Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway and Kroger in the pharmacy department and online at Amazon.com.  Become a fan of the Slim-Fast Facebook fan page and enter in the Vow to Wow contest, enter the video contest and get some coupons for $1.50 off your next purchase.

I have heard people tell me that now is not the time to try to lose weight because of the holidays.  This is the perfect time to lose weight.  If you don’t start now then when?  Don’t make excuses and don’t let anyone pressure you into waiting until you have tried Aunt Betty’s homemade fruit cake.  Tell her no thank you, I am eating a Slim-Fast snack bar instead.  There, I have saved you from having to eat fruit cake.  You can thank me later.

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All 3 Stockings Finished

I am beyond happy right now at this very moment because I finally finished the last stocking today. Well, I finished it yesterday but today was the daunting task of sewing all the pieces together to form actual stockings.

The Noah stocking was all felt that you cut out and sew sequins to and then stuff them as you sew them to the stocking. It was quick and easy and since he won’t be a baby for that long it’s more like his baby stocking. He won’t want this to be his stocking in his teens, trust me lol. I have more stockings that I can make that will be more grown up for him in his later years.

The Jordan and Andrew stockings are both by the same company and they are the same style of stocking, just different pattern obviously. The kits were so old that the yarn was constantly falling apart throughout the process. I had to take my sweet time with them to make sure I chose pieces of yarn that would work and not pull apart as soon as I yanked on it when embroidering them on.

Before this, I had no experience in embroidery. When I was 18 years old I bought some embroidery stuff and tried to learn but it was just too boring for me so I gave up before I could even learn. Now look at me.

Well, all I have to say is I hope these kids appreciate the work I put into making these stockings for them. They are probably too young to even tell the difference if I spent months on them or if I bought them at Wal-Mart lol. That’s ok, the adults know the difference and that’s all that matters. When the kids get older they will probably ask about them and then they will appreciate them a bit more.

My Freaky Spirit Board Story

For some odd reason, last year I was addicted to the idea of making a spirit board. So I learned how to do wood burning after a friend bought me a wood burner. I bought all this irregular wood (it’s cheaper) along with some other wood burning accessories.

I printed out the pattern that I wanted to make it with and traced it all out on the wood then I burned it on. I cut a planchette from a cheap piece of wood that I bought from Wal-Mart and found that it was too big for my board so I cut it down to half its size.

When everything was cut and everything was burned I was ready to put lacquer on it all. The odd thing is, the planchette was missing. I searched all over my bedroom, all over the tool shed, all over the back yard. I could not find it anywhere.

At first I thought maybe I should just make a new one but then I started thinking that perhaps it’s gone for a reason. If I made a new one who knows what might happen. Is it gone because someone took it? And when I say someone I don’t mean a living person, I mean a spirit who doesn’t want me to use the Spirit Board.

So, I never made another planchette and the board sits in the same spot untouched collecting dust.

I would still like to use it some day and I guess I’m waiting for the planchette to return to me, giving me permission to use it. Does that sound silly? I mean, I could just make another one or I could use a shot glass if I really wanted to use it.

People are always saying that you are opening a portal by using one of these and I don’t know if that is true or not. People are always saying these are evil but I think that all depends on who is using it and how they are using it. I don’t believe in good or evil, I just believe there are ghosts out there and I want to communicate with them.

The reason I haven’t used it yet is just in case there is a possibility that someone may be right and I was wrong. I don’t want to end up bringing some bad juju in my house ya know?

It’s been over a year now and Halloween is coming which is when you would use one of these but I’m still not sure I should even though I want to.

Hobby Lobby

If you live in the US you might have been to a Hobby Lobby some time in your life.  I have been there once or twice with my aunts when I visited them in Texas at Christmas time in 2006.  My aunt Louise brought me there before Christmas to buy herself some jewelry supplies then on Christmas morning my Aunt Joyce gave me a Hobby Lobby gift card which I had to spend before I came back to California because we don’t have the wonderful warehouse.

If you have never been to one, I can only describe it as a cross between Wal*mart and Michael’s.  They probably aren’t as big as a Wal*mart store but they are bigger than Michael’s and they carry more merchandise than Michael’s.

The reason this came to mind today is because last night I was watching these tutorial videos from ehow.com on how to make hemp necklaces.  The woman doing the tutorials showed all the 4 different sizes of hemp and said to get them from Hobby Lobby.  Well, Michael’s only had 2 sizes but she had all the sizes which means Hobby Lobby must carry everything when Michael’s only carries half.

I looked at the map on the Hobby Lobby website to see how many states away we are from Hobby Lobby and I was shocked to see that California and Oregon are the only 2 states on the west coast who does not have a Hobby Lobby.  That sucks big time.  I think that they need to bless California with their presence starting with Bakersfield lol.  If not, at least sell merchandise on your website!