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If you’re like me you know certain foods aren’t good for you, but you eat them anyway… Why is that? Why do I eat cheese enchiladas when I know they’re going to plug me up for a week? Why is it sometimes so difficult to do what’s in my own best interest? Here’s another one I struggle with…

Why is it so hard for me to get motivated and take my significantly thinning bones for a walk? 

A recent bone density scan revealed that while my spine is in great shape, my hips have lost 10 percentage points in the last year. In addition to Calcium and a mega dose of Vitamin D, I’m back on Boniva, plus I need to walk, everyday… But I’m not. I don’t like to walk. Hike? Yes. Walk? No. Go figure…

Like me, Annie and Lulu need a daily walk. Just as I’m thinking we could “go together,” I hear my doctor’s parting words… “DON’T FALL.” 

Seriously? Are my bones at the stage where I have to worry about breaking my hip? 

If that’s the case maybe I should rethink taking the dogs for a walk. Annie is a muscular, 60-pound, unstoppable ball of energy who could take down the Hulk by herself.  

Annie, my redhead.

This week I took Annie and Lulu—who’s almost 50 pounds—to the vet. All was well until a cross-eyed Pekinese waltzed through the door. You would have thought Annie and Lulu were Iditarod sled dogs, the way they dragged me and my two-seater wooden chair across the waiting room floor. While the other dog owners thought it was hilarious, I had visions of what “the girls” could do to me during a walk around around the block… Mr. Squirrel scampers past… me face down in the drainage culvert… 911… hip surgery. 

Miss Lulu. She was the runt of the litter, however she can pin her bigger sister to the mat in one try!

IF I LIKED WALKING… and that’s a BIG “if,” I guess I could walk around the neighborhood by myself, but there’s something crazy about paying someone else to walk my dogs when I’m going for a walk anyway. BTW, they’re perfect angels when Nanny Bee takes them for a walk.

A friend suggested I go to the gym everyday and walk on their treadmill. At first blush it’s a reasonable suggestion—I’m there three days a week anyway to workout—but I know myself. On the days I’d go just to use the treadmill, first I’d want to take a shower and then do my hair and makeup. Including the drive there and back, my 30-minute walk would take up the entire morning!

Why is it easy to do things that are bad for you while other, more important things require massive amounts of motivation and self-talk? You’d think “significantly thinning bones” and the real possibility of a broken hip would be motivation enough.

Tell me… Am I the only one who would find it easier to eat cheese enchiladas than to save their hips? Hmm… I just realized that too many cheese enchiladas and your hips will be done for anyway.

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  1. Try a mini trampoline (or “rebounder,” if you want to sound cool). No need to leave the house; you can use it even if you’re still in your pjs. Put on a good TV show and you’ve walked for a half hour without even realizing it

  2. You are not alone in this walking-for-the-bones bit. It is so difficult for me to get motivated to walk. Yeah, yeah, I know all the benefits but still, here I sit. Enchiladas are another story…

    • Hi Donna, I’m discovering I’m not alone in my aversion to walking. I also know I need to get over it. The cheese enchiladas? They’ll always be part of my diet. Thanks for weighing in on this. I’m learning a lot, Brenda

  3. You’re hilarious. I could see you behind a sled wearing a very adorable pompon knit cap in an orange color way that coordinates with Annie’s coat. Walk baby, walk. Listen to a podcast. I highly recommend S Town. The blocks will fly by.

    • Mithra, You’re cute! James and I went sled dogging in Canada with an Iditarod champ. He trains year round, and it was such a blast! “Walk baby, walk!” I’m hearing that loud and clear!! “S Town… ” I went to his site and after reading about it, I’m hooked!!! Will absolutely listen to this… while walking:) Thank you, sweet friend, Brenda

  4. Brenda, I am exactly like you when it comes to this walking business other than I don’t like to hike either. I have osteoporosis and take medication but making me put in the effort to walk is hard. My argument for the gym and treadmill are the same as yours it ties up too much of my day.

    • Victoria, A girlfriend of mine stated things so clearly that I can no longer keep my head buried in the sand about “this walking business.” I may never recover from a broken hip! Never! In some way it will bother me the rest of my life. Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m buying a treadmill, and I’m going to use it. Give it some thought, okay? xoxo, Brenda

  5. I’m unfamiliar with Boniva, but be aware of any side effects. My late husband had metastatic prostrate cancer which traveled through his bones. He was given intramuscular injections of Prolia for strengthening. During his last three weeks in home hospice his face looked very strange and he was unable to open his mouth. The hospice worker said the medication had shattered his jaw.

    At 74, no meds for me – I’m terrified of them. I walk, drink milk and get ten to 30 minutes of sun (sans sunscreen) daily. And, enchiladas give me indigestion, but I eat them anyway!

    • Hi Lynn, I’m sorry to hear about your husband. Dying of cancer is difficult enough without the added problems he incurred. I’m terrified of drugs and vitamins, so I hear you, but chemotherapy for breast cancer damaged my heart and I’m on three heart meds a day. I’m impressed!! You’re one of the smart women who are walking and talking great care of yourself. Count me in… I’m getting a treadmill. Thanks so much for sharing your insights, Brenda

  6. You made me laugh, but how about a treadmill in the home? Is that an option? I would love that, but we just don’t have a space. If I did, I would certainly have a treadmill right here in the house in front of a tv. 🙂

    • Brilliant idea, Clearissa! Great minds think alike, and I’m already looking for a treadmill. I have an extra room and am going to put a treadmill, my yoga mat and my weights in there! Looking into the TV thing… Will probably view on my iPad. Thank you!! Brenda

  7. I love walking, I guess my hips will thank me! I also have two dogs that “make” me go for walks. Overall, they’re pretty good walkers. However, if we encounter another animal, they go bonkers. We need Nanny Bee’s secret for walking dogs! Anyway, enjoyed your post.

    • Brava, Ellen, for walking with your dogs! Lulu is a dream to walk, but Annie… not so much! Nanny Bee is a dog whisperer. She just looks at them and they do what she wants! Thanks so much for reading my blog and letting me know you enjoyed it, Brenda

  8. So funny, but not funny. There are foods I love that give me heartburn without fail, so why do I continue to eat them? As for dogs, I swear ours gave me a chiropractic adjustment one day on a walk where he suddenly saw a squirrel going up a tree near the side of the street. I saw stars! So no, he’s not on any walk I take unless DH is with me and holding the leash.

    I actually do love to walk, but snow and ice are on the way here and that really makes me nervous about – you guessed it – falling. I have Yak Traks but I’m just. not. motivated. My elliptical machine is the best I can do when it’s icy outside.

    • Thanks, Laurel, for understanding my predicament. Squirrels, ice, rain… Yep!! At least you like to walk and you have an elliptical. I’m working on getting a treadmill. Yay!! xoxox, Brenda

  9. I know it sounds like a tough choice – but it really isn’t. We must do both.
    My trainer always had me “warm up” before weights, and since you’re there already, it’s easy to get on the treadmill or elliptical for 15 mins, then do weights.
    Afterward, reward yourself by going to eat enchiladas!!

    • Hi Donna, I warm up as well at the gym, but I need to do more the rest of the week. Obviously what I’m doing isn’t enough. Next time you’re in town, we’ll have cheese enchiladas and a margarita! xoxo, Brenda

  10. Have you asked your doctor to check your calcium, parathyroid hormone and vitsmin D levels in a single blood draw? Hyperparathyroidism affects mainly postmenopausal women. It can be cured with surgery alone.

    • Hi Anonymous, Yes, the blood ghouls have sucked multiple tubes of blood from me and done all of those tests and more. I’m good on the thyroid issues, but thanks so much for suggesting I be tested. Great idea! Brenda

  11. Ugh, you’re not alone! I actually like to walk, and hike, but don’t do either. Occasionally my husband, who LOVES going to the gym and walking, will drag me to the gym or on a walk. I enjoy our time together and seeing the beauty of the sky and Nature, but exercise – enh. If I’m in the mountains, I am motivated. There or shopping, I walk fast. A dog would probably be a good reason for me to walk, but it sounds like you’re right about walking your girls!

    • Hi Beckye!! Now I know how to spell, “enh.” I’m excited about that!!! Thanks! Makes total sense now that I see it spelled out. Like you I’m motivated to walk if I’m somewhere scenic or in NYC. More than once I’ve walked from the upper 90’s downtown to Soho and further south than that, and I walk fast. I miss having someone to walk and hike with. It makes the journey more fun. xoxox, Brenda

  12. I don’t know about cheese enchiladas but me and potato chips have had a love affair all my life. I knew I’d married the right guy when one afternoon, I was crying over another failed fertility attempt and was down to trying to lick my fingers and pick up the remaining shreds of potato at the bottom of the bag. My husband walked in and saw me. He looked at me, and then looked at the bag. All he said was, “Do you want another one?” The walking? It’s one of the things that has sadly gone away with a pesky heart condition. But I go when I can.

    • Margaret, Your husband sounds like a keeper! That’s a great line!! Sorry about the heart condition. I have three, one since I was in my 20’s. The other two were caused by chemotherapy. For the most part they’re controlled by meds, and exercise helps. xoxox, Brenda

  13. You need a walking partner, Brenda. So do I. My husband’s schedule doesn’t accommodate walking with me when I want to go.

    As for the enchiladas, I hear you – I love Cheetos! But here’s the way my mind works: Enchiladas = Calcium = Bone Protection = Health Food

    • Val, You give me so many brilliant things to ponder!! Now that I think about it, you’re right! Enchiladas are definitely a Health Food. Cheetos… Now those are dangerous! James used to inhale Cheetos. Since he’s been gone, I’ve spared my thighs and have stopped buying them. xoxox, Brenda

  14. Perhaps, a different collar will help you with your dogs. All dogs should be trained to walk by their owner, not pulling or taking off. I’m sorry if I sound bossy or rude but Not being able to control your dogs is unacceptable! If they behave for Nanny Bee then they are not the problem, you are. Walking your dogs should be relaxing and enjoyable.

    • Hi Joanna, You’re absolutely right: I’m the problem, not the dogs. Lulu is a dream to walk, and if we’re in a vacuum, so is Annie. They’ve been to school as have I, but my schooling didn’t take. Thanks for confirming what I already knew, Brenda

  15. I do like to walk, but not on a treadmill or a walking track–too boring. So I have an 18.5 lb. poodle that I can (mostly) control and we do 2 or 3 miles every other day. We like to walk along the riverfront and he is mostly off leash. I enjoy being in nature when it’s not 120 degrees out or below zero. Nonetheless, I have to force myself to put on my shoes, and push myself out the door.

    What I am more motivated to do is to go to Zumba classes 3 times a week. My favorite teacher is in her 60’s and knows how to pace the steps to “Fireball” for my age group. It is SO MUCH FUN! and you don’t need a partner. And when the hour is over, you don’t even notice that you have exercised!

    • Hi Sweet Marika! Zumba!!! Yes! I’d love that! I used to go to Jazzercize for years! Must check into Zumba! Hope you’re still going. I’m sure you know exercise is good to help you get your strength back. Love, Brenda

  16. Well, I hear you, but change can be managed and accepted. You could listen to podcasts while walking.Or use the opportunity to snap pics of what you see and share them to Instagram. I started playing Pickleball at 64 and I love it. I think that’s the key, recognized by most health experts, that if you do something you love, you’ll keep doing it. I try not to get too hung up in what I eat, though I avoid fatty and fried foods since they can jeopardize my health. Depriving oneself is a great way to fail.

    • Hi Jean, I am the poster girl for eating right and working out… just not walking. Pickleball… I haven’t heard of that but will look it up in a few seconds. You’re right about doing things you love whether it’s your job or to stay in shape. Pickleball… Now I’m really curious! Thank you!! Brenda

  17. You may have genetically thin bones and you may need hip surgery regardless of what you do. Get an anterior hip replacement- I got mine 5days ago. No big deal. If you get knocked to the ground you may need posterior hip replacement which is a long-drawn out big deal. Plus if you get knocked down other bones can break. Pay someone to walk the dogs and enjoy life.

    • Five days ago!! Lyn! Wow!! “No big deal.” I hope that statement means you’re not in pain and you’re doing really well. “Genetically thin bones… ” That’s something to think about although no one in my family has ever broken anything. Cancer and dementia are our things… Yes, I pay Nanny Bee to walk the dogs. They love her. She sometimes brings another dog, so it’s a fun outing for everyone… I stay home and work, but if I had a treadmill, I could spend that time walking! Brilliant… Just thought of that. Sounds like a plan! Thanks so much, Lyn!! Brenda

  18. I don’t mean to sound preachy Brenda as this is something you may already know, but for calcium to be absorbed properly it needs to be taken with magnesium (2:1 ratio), vitamin K, and vitamin D3 (my husband and I both take 5000 units/day). Many doctors either don’t know–their biochemistry may be a bit rusty–or just fail to tell their patients. Also, while I have not checked on the side effects of the drug you are taking, there is evidence that “bone building drugs” such as Fosomax (a bisphosphonate) can lead to osteonecrosis of the jaw bone. There have been a number of multi-state class-action lawsuits as a result, and many well-read dentists now will not extract teeth from patients who are taking these drugs because their jaw bone may be compromised. Also, there is evidence that in some patients, these drugs can in fact increase the risk of a break in the long bones. The pharmaceutical companies normally state that these are rare side effects, but I sure don’t want to take a chance. Given the high temperatures in Texas for a good part of the year, I try to do enough walking inside the house–a treadmill is better for me than going to the gym.

    • Hi Elisa, Thanks for your thoughtful, well-informed comments. I know about magnesium, etc, andVitamin D3 and take the proper daily amount. You’re right that bone building drugs come with their own set of problems. That’s why I go on a “Boniva vacation” for a year or more. When I recently had my bone density scan and it showed my scores had dropped, my doctor put me back on Boniva. We’ll continue to monitor me in six months and see how it’s doing. I think walking, daily, for 30 minutes will help significantly. Where in Texas are you? I’m in San Antonio. Brenda

  19. I hear you on the dog front. We have 3 dogs and I truly know the proper way to walk them and to hold them…… however these beauties are dogs. I find with my small frame I can handle 2…. not 3 on our streets. Have you tried to walk one at a time? I find walking the 2 littles ( yorkie – mix), by ourselves and we walk a mile in the am, and usually 1/2-3/4 mile in the pm. I then return and walk the Golden ( who thinks she is a horse as she tries to jump everywhere). She is 10 and clearly doesn’t act her age. I like the gentle leader with her as the correction she gets if she pulls is just that—- gentle, as well no tension on her throat. Our trainer helped us with her as she is strong willed. It is hard logistically on the Vet. runs as I cannot take all 3, as I am accountable and I know my limits. I just visit the Vet twice on vaccine days…. etc. or day- care/ kennels. At 63 I don’t want a fall….scary time. Tried Boniva…. but got Flu like symptoms each time I took so no to the Med. Love my Fitbit n Apple Watch as I love my own self competition….. accountability ( just for me)….. love the steps and “active” minutes.

    • Dear C, I haven’t been interested in a Fitbit until now, but I think it will motivate me because once I get started, I’m competitive with myself as well. I’ve tried walking each dog separately, but Annie is strong willed like your Golden. When I take them to the vet, I get one out of the car at a time, because it’s safer that way. The other thing about my dogs is they’re siblings, and siblings excite one another exponentially. Several trainers/dog experts told me I would have to get rid of one. They were shocked I’d adopted two, eight-week-old litter mates. They were a handful, that’s for sure. They’re almost two years old now and have settled down except for Annie… when we walk. I know my limitations and am happy to have Nanny Bee walk them. Good to compare notes, so thanks very much! Brenda

  20. Contemplation is the first step. Last end of winter/pre spring (loving referred to as mud season), my trainer insisted that I walk/jog every morning. What?! Like a wet cat I ventured into the ice/slush/mud as directed. Feeling results the first month kept me going. Now it is one of my best times of day – fresh air, the sunrise, feeling energy in my body, time to reflect. This season’s wardrobe updates included winter outdoor gear so I can keep it up. Snowshoe, anyone? Go ahead and book a dog walker and make the hikes you love happen. I love to hike, too. I began to think of my walk/jogs as preparations for my hikes. So rewarding to feel strong as you venture. You are feeling the need to change. Walk on:)

    • I like the way you think Irene! While walking outdoors during the different seasons would be energizing, I’m going to go with a treadmill. It will definitely make me stronger and better able to do some hikes I’ve been thinking about. Love, love, love my dog walker! She has a magic touch with dogs, and they love her, too. Walk on:) Love that!!! Thanks so much. I enjoyed your comments. Brenda

  21. I love walking but if your bones are thin you should do some strength training. That’s something I need to do more of. And core exercises, working out the buttocks helps with balance. I’ve been trying to be diligent walking down a driveway instead of a curb so there’s less chance of falling because I agree that one fall and it’s all over.

    • Hi Rebecca! I’ve been doing strength training, working on my core and balance with a trainer for 20 years and water aerobics and jazzercise before that. The heavy doses of chemotherapy did a number on my bones. I’m now back on Boniva for a while, have changed Calcium brands and now the biggest missing link is getting motivated to walk 30 minutes a day. After all of everyone’s wonderful input… I’m motivated!! Thanks so much! xoxox, Brenda

  22. You made me laugh Brenda not at you but with you! When we had my 2 beloved Old English sheepdogs I tried everything to walk them together but we were all doggy obedience flunk outs and it was not a pretty picture. It would be hard to walk one with out the other, I get it. I certainly don’t have the answer but as always I wish you well and know you will figure it out in style!

    • Awe Haralee!! I always love your comments!!! My dogs are graduates… it’s me that’s the problem. Annie doesn’t always see me as alpha dog, plus she and Lulu have this competitive, littermate thing that happens, and it’s sometimes hard to keep their attention. Thanks for your faith in me! I have figured it out, and am writing about it in my next blog! xoxox, Brenda

    • Now that’s the best idea yet, Diane! By walking 30 minutes a day, my digestive system would probably keep them from plugging me up, and burn off some of the calories. Cheese… not good for dogs, but they could have beef enchiladas! LOL! Thank you, sweet lady!!! Brenda

  23. My dog Libby takes me for a walk everyday. Of course, she weighs 11 lbs. but its amazing how strong she is. If I had your dogs, I’d be in traction. They look very strong, and willful (as all dogs are). I have to say, though, walking Libby has helped me get in better shape. Even a 15 minute walk a day has made a difference.

    • Laurie, it doesn’t surprise me that an 11-pound dog is strong. Dogs are hunters and use their speed and strength to capture their prey. I also like knowing you’ve seen a difference with 15 minutes a day of walking. That’s encouraging! Thank you! Brenda

  24. I highly recommend a Gentle Leader to control the pups. We had one for our PitBoxer mix (who was small but strong as an Ox) and it worked unbelievably well. We now have two Goldendoodles, 55# and 75#, and we use Gentle Leaders with both of them. You only use it when walking and the pressure that is applied stops them from tugging. The only way to control them….lol

    • Hi Donna, I’ve gotten both dogs a Gentle Leader. It was highly recommended to me by their dog walker. Even so, I’m going to let her walk the dogs, and I’ll walk me! LOL! Good reinforcement from you that they work, however. Thanks, Brenda

  25. I hear you, Brenda! As for walking your pups, I too recommend the Gentle Leader collar. It worked wonders with our incorrigible 45 pound terrier mix. It prevented my arm from being pulled out of the socket. I also agree with the suggestion to walk just one dog at a time. That way you can hold your camera in your other hand. Will look forward to hearing where you land with all this advice!

    • Hi Marita, I’ve bought each dog a Gentle Leader because the woman who walks them says they’re wonderful. In the beginning I used to walk one dog at a time, but now that I’ve found their “Nanny,” I’ll let her walk them. I have solved my walking problem, thanks to all of you!!! Check out my next blog. Brenda

  26. I have an appointment for a BONE DENSITY test next week!I have shrunk an INCH!
    I do NOT like walking either!!!!!!!I dislike the idea I have to DRIVE someplace TO WALK!THAN pay to PARK!
    Could go up and down my little street but than would bump into neighbors and have to STOP and CHAT!
    I get light headed when I walk……….even in the grocery store SO you can IMAGINE it is NOT A FUN THING for me TO DO!
    If you get this figured out PLEASE ADVISE ME!
    Of course I ADORE CHEESE enchiladas !!!

    • Elizabeth, I know that like me, you have some physical issues that are scary and pesky. That’s one of the reasons I’m not crazy about walking in the great outdoors. If I were to have a problem, I’d rather be home than on the streets somewhere. I’ve decided to buy a treadmill and walk here at the house for 30 minutes a day. I must, for the sake of my bones. I won’t set any world records, but as long as I’m well hydrated and have eaten, I should be alright. xoxox, Brenda

  27. I was out of town when I first read this. At my son’s wedding to be exact. Then arrived home and immediately became sick. I’m on the mend but… I am so with you. I did have Osteoporosis but started getting shots of Prolia. I think I’m now up to Osteopenia. I get my next bone scan on Monday. I am seeing a physical therapist to build muscles. You know all the crazy health issues I’ve been through so that keeps me out of the gym. Don’t tell anyone, but I did fall down in my street. I triped I think. But it’s scary.Bottom line. I no sooner start to walk my hills then I get ill or break something and I’m out of it again. Yes, I need to exercise. No I don’t have one answer for you. I need that answer myself. If you lived here I’d be out the door and walking with you and we’d never stop. But since there are miles that are keeping us awy… Let me know what treadmill you decided on. I actually like walking and treadmills. I listen to podcasts . One I’d suggest to someone like you is “How I Built This.” It’s about famous people like the founder of Whole Foods, Founders of Instagram, Dyson etc. How they b uilt their companies. I find it endlessly fascinating. I think it would appeal to you. I also love “Wait Wait don’t tell me.” S town is excellent also.I also need to stop eating the pumpkin pie that is front of me now. Look into Prolia, and let me know about exercise. If you lead I will follow! I’m right there with you kid!

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