Keep It Moving

I checked this book out of the library.

In it esteemed dancer choreographer Tharp refers to how in her fifties she started to work out at the gym.

Not before she turned fifty mind you. She wrote that she could dead lift 225 pounds after starting to go to the gym.

What each of us earns through our own effort no one can take away from us.

In 2011 when I was 46 years old I decided that I must start lifting weights.

Before then I hadn’t lifted one 5-pound dumbbell.

In January 2014 three years later I could dead lift 205 pounds with the trap bar.

I’m 5’0″ tall and weighed only 115 pounds then.

Of everything I’ve ever done in my life I’m the proudest of having been able to dead lift 205 pounds.

This is not to spook readers. Not all of us will be able to do this or likely would want to do this.

The moral of this story is that it’s not ever too late in life to try to achieve a goal.

My intent when I started lifting weights was to to become able to power through a hard time.

I doubt when most people are facing a trial their first response is to tell themselves: “I’m going to lift weights.”

Only this points to the fact that the enormity or severity of a challenge doesn’t determine our fate.

It’s how we respond to the obstacle that makes the difference.

Unlike other disability rights Advocates who frown on using the words “suffers from” to talk about a person’s condition I’m acutely aware that life is not a bed of roses for anyone–whether we live with a disability or are what’s called “able-bodied.”

No–I don’t like tossing around the word “able-bodied”: to describe people.

It’s because everyone struggles. Like the REM song title of the 1990s: “Everybody Hurts.”

The question is are you going to wallow in self-pity or be jealous of others who seem to have it better than you.

Are you going to give up the fight because the odds are against you?

Are you going to turn fifty and think your glory days are behind you? That becoming frail and infirm is the natural and only trajectory of aging?

I hope in my humble words I can empower readers to risk doing new things. For the joy of doing them as well as being a method to cope with a hard time.


Happy Birthdays

My mother and I met a woman who told us she was 88 years old and went to the gym every week.

88! And she goes to a gym!

The woman had creamy skin on her face (where were the wrinkles) and yellow not gray hair (could it be natural).

This phenom was dressed in a colorful outfit (no dastardly gray cashmere sweater).

That’s how I want to be when I’m old. I’ve come to accept that I will always dress like a teenager whatever my chronological age.

Why not aspire to be a red-hot octogenarian mamma?

Chances are not a lot of us lovely ladies will be doing a bench press at 80.

Yet I say we can continue to do some form of exercise.

The secret is to not regret that our glory days have passed.

Today is the greatest day (cue the Smashing Pumpkins song with that title).

So I’ll end here with this: today is yesterday’s tomorrow.

We should fill it to the brim with light love and laughter.

Because tomorrow might not come.

Having something to look forward to will give us joy at sixty and beyond.

Today is here. Let’s celebrate the day.

The Third Chapter

Reading The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50 schooled me in the truth that making incremental changes is the way to go.

Getting infirm and living with declining health is NOT the inevitable outcome of old age. Illness in later years often comes down to inactivity, loneliness, and being sedentary. Plus lifestyle factors that cause disease like inadequate sleep and fast food forays.

Of course for some of us getting ill is “the luck of the draw” and not influenced by unhealthy habits. As I near the cusp of turning 58 I’m aware this holiday season of the loved ones that are gone from the table.

The missing plates. The truth that at the end of their lives every family member of mine was in a coma or had cancer or heart disease.

With a personal history like this you can see why I’m not taking chances. Forgive me for focusing on the holidays if you do not celebrate one at this time of year.

Since a lot of us gather together at a table with friends and family I want to talk about this here.

Living for today is not a cliché—it’s the only way to live when your life is getting shorter. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future saps your mental energy. It wastes precious time you could be using to Bake a cake. Sing in a choir. Ride a skateboard.

The end of the year is not the time to start something new. This is what I’ve realized. I’ve also learned the life lesson that trying to force things to happen quickly is a mistake. Rushing, cutting corners, or taking shortcuts will result in a shoddy outcome.

Instead making incremental changes is the way to go. Slowing down and pacing yourself. Having patience. Remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

The Third Chapter technically lasts 25 years. That’s too long to fill up your thoughts with negative perceptions about what you can and cannot do with your time left.

We don’t need another Sun City! We need more Authors of our Third Chapters to defy the expectation that we will age and fade into the sunset willingly with no hope for an active, vibrant life.

In coming blog entries I want to talk about what it’s like to be a Generation X girl living in the Third Chapter. Plus in the coming week I should be able to post new Upper and Lower Body routines.

Sharing the Wealth

In Women’s Health magazine Tanya Fields was interviewed. She is the founder of the Black Feminist Project and Black Joy Farm in the Bronx, NY.

Families living in the South Bronx neighborhood can get fresh fruits and vegetables delivered in CSA like boxes on a sliding-scale fee.

Interviewed in Women’s Health Fields was quoted:

“It’s a little ridiculous for people to see activism as a job as opposed to a responsibility to create a better world.”

Reading the work of Protest Poet Mahogany L. Browne has ignited the fire in me to speak out at every opportunity.

I tell you readers today: Dare. Risk acting to change your corner of the world for the better

In New York City when you order groceries online with FreshDirect you can add a donation to the NY Common Pantry [also in the Bronx].

NY Common Pantry sends you a charitable contribution tax-deduction letter via email in January. The money you donate can add up to $500 or more quickly.

The more deprived you feel that’s when I recommend donating to charity. And tipping service staff a little extra.

The holiday time is here. Try going on FreshDirect website to order food for yourself and donate food via NY Common Pantry.

Go on the Black Feminist Project website to donate money buy their tee shirt or read more about this nonprofit.

We’re all counting coins because of the increased cost of food due to inflation. Yet this is precisely when I feel like those of us with a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator should do more to help Americans who are food insecure.

Be grateful. That’s what I would tell everyone reading this blog. Be grateful.

Share the wealth.

It’s the quickest easiest way to feel like a millionaire even when you’re not.

And feeling like a million bucks can help you achieve your goals. Thus inspiring others to dare to dream.

This is what I would tell any ambitious folk reading this blog:

Stay hungry as the saying goes. And feed the hungry.

Atomic Habits

Reading over the latest blog entries here I see that I wrote that I would talk about Atomic Habits like James Clear wrote about in his book with the title Atomic Habits.

I’m of the mind that adopting atomic habits will save my sanity and my physical health too.

Some atomics habits I’ve adopted:

Throwing out the recycling in the green and blue bins in the compactor closet every evening.

Instead of letting items pile up in the white plastic tub on my kitchen floor. Throwing out the garbage every evening too.

Buying only two cartons of eggs at a time and doing so once a week.

Alas I’ve had a third carton go to waste because the Use By: date had expired.

Simple–buy once a week only what I need for one week at a time.

Tidy up my apartment every day.

Instead of allowing piles of papers to overflow my desk dining table and coffee table.

My September horoscope indicated I would be successful with decluttering projects this month. 🙂

I recommend you read the book Atomic Habits. A clear easy-to-follow breakdown of action steps to take to engage in positive habits and break negative patterns of behavior.

In the coming blog entries I will post my Summer Upper and Lower Body routines. Then my Early Fall Upper and Lower Body routines.

Dolce Far Niente

In Italian culture the ethic of dolce far niente translates into the sweetness of doing nothing.

It’s possible that I wrote about this before in here or in another blog.

This is not to be confused with doing things that numb you as an escape from the stress of everyday life.

Rather taking time to do nothing can preserve our health.

In the early days of 2020 when the city shut down I would take naps in the afternoon.

That was then. This is now:

As the pandemic goes into its 3rd year–yes 3rd year–I find myself engaging in dolce far niente all over again.

In a different way:

I listen to music on the radio or on For hours on end listening to music is like popping a happy pill.

In this time when anxiety and depression has endured for a lot of us alongside the COVID outbreak:

I make the case for slowing down, stopping to smell the American Beauties, and doing nothing.

Be grateful. As hard as life can be living through the pandemic find things to be grateful for.

In the coming two blog entries I will post my 2022 Early Winter Upper and Lower Body Routines.


I find it hard to engage in the stereotypical acts of self-care that are anything but true caregiving for yourself:

Light a candle. Take a bath. Have a glass of wine.

Numbing yourself isn’t freeing yourself of the daily hardship of life.

Lifting weights and eating mostly healthful food has been the only form of self-care I could adhere to long-term.

I’m getting older and act as my mother’s caregiver. Thus getting pulled away from posting blog entries every single week on the same day.

Thinking of this I realized that not every reader is aware that I used to post blog entries every Friday.

Does it really matter if I don’t post the blog entries on the same day every week?

I was told to Google “care for the caregiver” to find a support group for caregivers like me.

In early December I will be able to post a new set of Upper and Lower Body Workout Routines.

I’m grateful to see loyal followers joining and reading this humble blog.

What I’m going to do in the coming blog entries is to focus again on the topic of Living through the Pandemic – 21 months later.

My stance is that instead of parroting the often-white-influencer feel-good tropes of “self-care” that I don’t relate to:

My aim is to talk about “care-giving” to ourselves and others.

With the specific revelation of the life lesson I learned the hard way. After living for so long with a lack of energy.

I learned the secret to feeling lighter and freer.

As the pandemic drags on and continues to course through our lives:

I seek to give others hope for healing.

Peach Tarte Tatin

The Peach Tarte Tatin shown in the photo I created from a recipe in The Peach Truck Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes for All Things Peach.

I checked the book out of the library and will buy a copy in the future.

Alas this recipe calls for 3/4 cup sugar–yes Sugar! So I use this recipe every so often not every week. The sugar is divided among 6 peaches though.

The other recipe I created from this cookbook is the Peach Pizza–yes pizza!

A white pie with ricotta mozzarella chopped shallots minced garlic and red pepper flakes. The peach slices top off everything.

You can use store-bought pizza dough like I did which is perfectly fine.

The pizza is tasty. So is the Peach Tarte Tatin.

The recipes are fairly intricate and owing to copyright I won’t repeat them here.

I recommend buying The Peach Truck Cookbook which I’m going to do shortly.

100 delicious recipes for all things Peach. What’s not to like?

My 10-Year Plan

Years ago when I was the Health Guide at a mental health website I wrote about my 10-year theory:

That you should give yourself the gift of 10 years to achieve your version of recovery.

Wanting or expecting to achieve dramatic results via drastic measures is dangerous to our mental and physical health.

If you don’t like yourself as you are now how will you be able to like yourself in the future?

Being happy isn’t predicated on achieving a goal. One goal I’ve have for a long time hasn’t materialized yet. Only I accept where I am in my life.

It took me 10 years of lifting weights to get the body I have now.

A person cannot give up exercising after only 2 months. You need to give yourself 4 years of consistently working out to see long-term gains.

“Drop 2 Dress Sizes by Tuesday” should not be the goal. Lifelong health and wellbeing should be the goal.

For the first 4 or 5 years I lifted weights 3x per week for 50 minutes in each session.

Then I had a setback where I had to act as my mother’s caregiver.

My trainer at the time a woman started creating shorter routines I could do in my apartment.

After she left a guy trainer who is exceptional like she was took over.

For going on 4 years I’ve been lifting weights in my living room mostly 2x per week for 30 to 40 minutes in each session.

I’m 56. I’m fitter than I was when I first started training at 46.

The point is that loading up exercise on the front end will improve your odds of being able to consistently work out for the long-term.

Continuing to act as my mother’s caregiver (she is 83 and in ill health) I often can only exercise 1x per week right now.

My first trainer at the gym left to open his own boutique fitness center. He had told me that as long as I continued to exercise I would maintain my fitness level.

Life happens. Stuff happens. Setbacks are to be expected. It’s not a question of if you’re going to have a setback but when.

Setbacks will occur often. That’s the nature of living life: being thrown curveballs.

In the early 2000s I had written: “When life throws you a curveball hit it out of the park.”

I would say that giving yourself the gift of 10 years of engaging in an exercise routine is mandatory.

The goal like said is not to become thin or skinny.

According to a research study people who work out feel better about their bodies even if they don’t lose weight.

My secret was not giving up the fight. Continuing to exercise even when I’m able to work out only 1x per week.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about the research-verified fitness strategies in the book Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath.

This common-sense guide guide touts that small changes can make a big difference.

The keyword in that sentence? Small. Making changes doesn’t have to be difficult or arduous.

On Being Different

An outlier, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m different.

I describe how I “operate” as being unusual.

No–I don’t identify as “Queer.” I prefer to use the word different or unusual.

Too I choose not to conform. Instead of using “she/her” as my preferred pronouns I use my given names as my preferred nouns as in “Chris/ Christina.”

It’s because I’m different that I don’t expect other people to be live act think and dress the way I do.

I’m able to have compassion for others.

Often I wonder: “Can we at least try not to judge others as often as most of us do?”

I have grappled with the fact that living a totally judgment-free life might not be possible.

In terms of the myth of needing to be thin:

We should love ourselves first in order that we can love others too.

If you hate your body and by extension yourself because you’re not thin that doesn’t bode well for accepting another person as they are.

Most people wouldn’t exercise the way I do. I workout like a madwoman in training for the prizefight of her life. The sessions are so intense that I need to take a recovery day afterwards to rest.

Each of us has personality traits we can use to help us succeed in life. To discount these traits as a factor in our ability to overcome adversity is what upsets me.

It hit me as I’m writing this that someone should write a book titled “The Personality Trait Fitness Guide.”

Using your unique competencies is the best way to triumph.

Each of us has skills, abilities, and strengths we can use to overcome internal and external roadblocks.

In coming blog entries I’m going to talk about my own fitness trajectory in the last 10 years of lifting weights.

I’m going to review the Top 3 Health and Fitness books I’ve read in the last 5 years.

I’ll also bust the myth of always needing to buy organic food.

Everyone’s doing the best we can with what we were given.

No one should feel guilty or ashamed because they don’t live up to some impossible societal ideal of how much you should weigh or what your body should look like.

I tell you: Be a Rebel. Dare to be different.

Walk down the street like you own the pavement.

Regardless of the size on your clothing tag.