Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I find nothing more frustrating that going out to lunch, spending time contemplating the correct menu option, only to find out after the fact that you chose poorly!  Grr.  Today for lunch I ordered a Chicken Rollup with a side Greek Salad.  I thought the salad was the decadent part of the meal being that it contained olives and Feta cheese.  I was SO wrong.

My little tiny Chicken Rollup packed a whopping 22 grams of fat and 54 grams of carbs.  That pretty much blows it out of the water for being a healthy choice.  I can't say exactly why I'm surprised.  On average anything wrapped in a tortilla and grilled is bad news.  *sigh*

Live and Learn, right?  I just despise learning by failing.

Workout 120328: Up Early

Today's workout:

Hip Warmup Stretch
30 min Elliptical (interval setting)
5 min Treadmill cooldown (1.8 mph 1.0 incline)
Hip Abductors (10 reps 3 sets each leg)
Bridges (15 reps with 5 sec hold)

This morning my oldest child woke up at 4am screaming "I do want chocolate milk!" at the top of her lungs.  I haven't a clue what it was about, but it went on for over a half an hour.  By the time the screaming died down, I was up.  So I headed to the gym early.  Even arriving at 5:10am there were still 10 cars in the lot in front of me.  I love that the gym isn't empty when I get there.  I feel a little less crazy for getting up so early.

Needless to say, my workout was done in record time.  My shower and prep time was leisurely.  I even got to work on time with no traffic.  I begin to see why people continue to get up in the dark hours of the morning, even after their children sleep through the night.  It was a leisurely morning and I love not being rushed.  What a wonderful start to today!

Just don't tell my 3 year old that.

PT: Day 15

Monday's Exercises:

6 min Elliptical warmup - level 4
Cage stretch
Prone Press Ups Right Side - 10 reps 2 sets
Swiss ball bridges - 20 reps with 5 sec hold
Leg Lifts with Arms Raised - 10 reps
Side Lunges on Bosu - 20 reps
With my left knee still acting up on this exercise, the therapist modified it today to put the foot I was lunging onto (putting my weight onto) on the Bosu.  The pain went away.  This definitely is a weakness issue, but I think I'm starting to understand it.
Kneeling Leg/Arm Extension - 20 reps each side
Modified Side Planks - 10 reps with pause 2 sets
Modified Planks - 3 reps with 30 sec hold

I'm getting there.  Every day a little further.  There isn't much to report.  My spirits are still up and I'm happy to be making progress.  I have more work to do on my non-PT days.  The Prone Press Ups were added to my at home rotation and I've not been good about getting them done yet.  The theory behind the coccyx pain now is that my sacrum on the right is locked up and not moving properly (I didn't even know that was a part that could move).  The Press Ups are needed to open it up and get the movement back.  I can feel tightness there when I stretch, but honestly I'm still trying to figure this one out.  In the meantime I need to be better about doing my prescribed exercises!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Workout 120326: Tight on Time

Today's workout:

Hip Warmup Stretch
25 min Treadmill (3.0 mph hill setting)

These days I have two alarm clocks set.  One is a standard alarm clock which I have set to play some random radio station at 4:50am.  The second is my cell phone.  It is set to yell at me at 5:15am if I am not yet out of the house.  I take the yelling as congratulations if I am already in the car when it goes off.  That was not how I took it this morning.  This morning I woke up to my cell phone.  *sigh*

But I got up and got to the gym and got in a slightly abbreviated workout!  This afternoon is physical therapy and I feel pretty good going into this week.  I'm hoping to see continued improvement.  If nothing else, my attitude is good.  Maybe that translated to physical health...  Let's hope.

Friday, March 23, 2012

PT: Day 14

Thursday's PT Regimen:

6 min Elliptical Warmup - level 3
Prone Press Ups Right Side - 10 reps 2 sets
Leg Lifts with Arms Raised - 10 reps
Modified Side Planks - 10 reps with pauce (can't hold for 5 sec yet) 2 sets
Swiss ball bridges - 20 reps with 5 sec hold
Kneeling Leg/Arm Extension - 20 reps each side
Modified Planks - 3 reps with 30 sec hold
Side Lunges - 20 reps
Cage Stretch

The Side Lunges that gave me trouble in my 2 week break also gave me trouble in PT on Thursday.  It kind of sucked.  The therapist sat in front of me while I did the lunges and held my knee cap in place.  At first I thought I could make the pain stop by correcting my form, but that didn't seem to be enough though it helped.  We're going to keep on working on those.

Besides that I did 5 more Swiss Ball Bridges than I've ever done before.  I was very pleased about that.  Also I was able to do the full length of Sidesteps without switching sides.  No muscle spasms!  That is a pretty awesome feeling.  I'm taking this to mean I'm a little closer every week.  :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Workout 120321: More good

Today's workout:

Hip Warmup Stretch
30 min Treadmill (3.0 mph hill setting)
Hip Abductors (10 reps 3 sets each leg)
Bridges (15 reps with 5 sec hold)

Did you see what I did there?  Did you?  I increased the number of set of Hip Abductors that I do AND I added more reps to my Bridges.  I'm getting stronger!!!

I was so down last week.  So very very down.  Sometimes it really doesn't feel like I'm ever going to get better and work through all this.  This being the emotional, physical baggage of being where I am right now.  I only got 2 workouts in and the second left me feeling deflated.  I worried and fretted and, honestly, gave in to a big old case of self-pity.

And then this week came.  It's Wednesday and I've been following my plan.  Eating Reasonably.  Making it to the gym on time.  Getting my work done at work.  Waking up on time (thanks to a second alarm I added to my morning kick start program).  I'm happy.  And proud of the progress I'm making.

I love this feeling.

PT: Day 13

Monday's PT Regimine:

6 min Elliptical Warmup - level 3
Prone Press Ups Right Side - 10 reps 2 sets
New Exercise - Laying on my stomach with my left leg hanging off the table, I press up into a cobra pose.  Lower back down and repeats.  This is to get flexibility back in my right hip hopefully alleviating some of the coccyx pain.  My right sacrum is not as flexible as my left (I may have that statement completely confused as I don't really know what it means).
Leg Lifts with Arms Raised - 10 reps
New Exercise #2 - Laying on my back hold my arms up with a bar in my hands.  Left both legs and attempt to get them under the stick without moving my arms/shoulders.  Lower legs and repeat.  Wow.  This was seriously hard and I am seriously not flexible in this way.  I was able to do the lifts, but there was no way I could get my feet any where near the bar in my hands.
Modified Side Planks - 10 reps 2 sets
Swiss ball bridges - 15 reps with 5 sec hold
Kneeling Leg/Arm Extension - 20 reps each side
Modified Planks - 3 reps with 30 sec hold
Side Lunges - 10 reps
Cage Stretch

I didn't write about Day 12.  It was on March 1st.  It was a very hard, very upsetting, very frustrating day.  I'm letting it go.

Since I was out of PT for 2 weeks, I was re-evaluated upon my return.  The results?  My hips are improving as are my gluts.  Each leg can now resist pressure applied when I perform a Side Lying Hip abduction and some presses down on the lifted leg. I can also resist some pressure when lying on my stomach and lifting my leg up using my gluts.  That is super awesome news!!!!  And I haven't been having a bunch of knee pain so I'm thinking the original problem might be understood.

On the flip side, the coccyx pain grew worse as the two weeks wore one.  For that my physical therapist did and evaluation of sorts on my hip/back alignment.  From what I could tell they were measuring symmetry and watching how I moved each part.  The movements I performed seemed intent on moving every portion of my lower backs and hips separately.  I don't think I could repeat those movements without help.  The result most notably is the two added exercises above.

But there was an even more hopeful conversation.  Based on the progress the therapist is seeing, it may not be necessary for me to continue beyond the next month.  We talked about continuing as we're going now and re-evaluating again in 2 weeks.  I also have to try to stop sitting on my feet when I'm sitting at my desk.  I'm going to try really hard, but sitting with my feet folded up under me is so much more comfortable!  However, if breaking that habit means the pain will cease...  Really?  Is there any more thought needed on that one?

Monday, March 19, 2012

That thing I'm not talking about

I mentioned that I joined Weight Watchers and then I haven't talked about it.  At least I haven't given it the attention that I give a lot of other things.  It's so much easier to talk about working out and physical therapy and where I'm going from here.  There's emotion there, but is a mostly positive and all about me getting better one step at a time.

Why don't I feel that way about Weight Watchers?

At my first real weigh in, last week, I frowned as I read the number on the scale.  It was a loss.  A not insignificant loss.  So why was I frowning?  Why did I continue to scowl as I headed to the shower and got myself ready for the day?

There have been so many disappointments over the past 2 decades.  To lose weight only means that I'll gain it back at a later date.  Life will get busy and I'll be less vigilant and the weight will reappear.  That's what happens every time.  If I don't lose the weight in the first place, then I don't have to experience the crushing defeat when it comes home.

It's hard to be hopeful.  To think that this time will be different.  This time I'm working out.  The working out became a routine before the dietary changes were tackled.  The combination is what makes it all work.  Diet and Exercise.  Exercise and Diet.  I'm doing this the right way.

And I'm terrified.  I'm scared it won't work.  I'm afraid something else will crop up and get in the way again.  To put in all these hours and all this work only to end up back where I am right now.  Crushing.  Of all the goods and bads in my life so far, the worst seems to hit when I think I've failed.  To look at myself and wonder where the deficiency in me came from that this program that works for millions didn't work for me.

These fears I have to work through.  Even if I never lose another pound, I have to love myself, who I am and what I can do.  I have to learn to do that.  If I'm going to succeed in anything, I have to find ways to support myself and overcome the things that side track me.  Like me.

But there is one more fear that is almost paralyzing.  I have trouble even thinking about it.  What happens when I succeed?

Workout 120319: Started Right

Today's Workout:

30 min Arc Trainer (level 3 - interval setting)
Hip Abductors (2 sets 10 reps each leg)
Bridges (10 reps with 5 sec hold)
Hip & Glut Stretches

My workout today felt great!  I'm not sure it is is because my attitude or because I woke up on time leading to a leisurely workout.  Maybe it was the time I spent outside this weekend.  Whatever it was?  I love it and I felt good before during and after my workout today.  WOOHOO!!!

This afternoon is my first PT session after 2 weeks without.  I'm definitely not looking forward to it, but I'm glad that I'm not running away because it is too hard.  I still have such a long way to go before I'll be happy with where I am physically.  One more step on that road!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Workout 120314: Question Answered

Today's workout:

Hip Warmup Stretch
20 min Elliptical (level 2 - Hill Interval)
Side Lunges - 10 reps each side
Hip Abduction - 10 reps 2 set each leg
Modified Side Planks - 3 reps each side with 5 sec hold
Modified Planks - 3 reps with 20 sec hold

The question posed yesterday about not returning to physical therapy... It was answered today.  I will be going back next week.  This morning's side lunges were greeted by pain in my left knee.  I was able to modify enough to make the pain go away, but something is still not right there.  Then I went to do the Modified Side Planks and my elbow wouldn't support my weight without pain; enough so that I called it quits after 3 of them.

How did I get like this?

All I keep thinking is sedentary job, sedentary hobbies, sedentary life.  I have struggled with my weight for years...  decades now... but I wasn't in pain.  I went hiking with friends.  My jobs involved being on my feet for hours in service positions or contorting myself in to inconvenient spaces in computer rooms.  My weight wasn't getting in my way.  That's why I never fixed it.

Even today it really isn't getting in my way technically.  It's a symptom of the lifestyle I have, just like the pain in my knees.  But for the first time, I am beginning to see it as an aggravating factor.  Maybe I am not getting better as quickly because I have so much extra to whip into shape.  Maybe the added impact just makes everything that much harder.

So I'm working on it.  I'm proud of the progress I'm making.  I'm also proud of the time I've kept at it.  But I still have so far to go.  It's hard to see that I'll ever reach my goals.  Going back to PT?  One more step towards making this right.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Workout 120313: PT Reconsidered

Today Workout:

Hip Warmup Stretch
30 min Arc Trainer (level 3 weight loss setting)
Hip Abductors (10 reps 2 sets each leg)
Bridges (10 reps with 5 sec hold)

Today felt very good.  I tried out a new Pandora station based off LMFAO's Sexy and I Know It.  Lots of fun.  I especially liked when, at the 23 mark in my workout as my energy started to wane, they played Baby Got Back.  There is really no better song for getting me to push a little harder all the while having a big goofy grin on my face.  *GRIN*

As I was working out, I debated going back to physical therapy.  I'm happy with my workouts.  I'm not hurting all the time.  My coccyx does still get sore, but everything I've read points to that being a chronic thing that will take months of who knows what to correct, if it can even be corrected.  But the reason I signed up for PT was to take care of my knee pain and I haven't been having any knee pain under this workout regimen.  The debate is still raging on, but I am going to cancel tomorrow's appointment and see how I am doing for the rest of the week.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Workout 120308: Schedule Constraints

Today's Workout:

20 min Arc Trainer
5 min Recumbent Bike
5 min stretch

The alarm went off at 4:55 am this morning.  I heard it within 5 minutes.  The buzzer is really a random radio station.  Loud enough to permeate my consciousness; quiet enough for my kids not to hear.  All would have been well with the morning had my hand not immediately found the snooze button.  After 2 snoozes I realized that I was late and drug myself out of bed to get on with the day.

This wouldn't be such as issue if it weren't for another of my little resolutions.  Much like managing money, there is a set amount of time in each day.  I tend to lag behind on a task now telling myself that I can make it up later.  Hit the snooze button.  Workout just 5 more minutes.  Dally in the car checking my email.  Pack lunches tomorrow morning.  Skip swapping the laundry just tonight.

But I can't make it up later.  Later gets later and later until I'm not getting to the gym at all and my husband has run out of underwear.  I have to stick to my schedule.  More importantly I must stop borrowing time.  That is my not-so-little resolution.  Stop owing myself.

So I got up late today and headed to the gym late.  But once there, I exercised my heart out until 6:15am which is my scheduled time to begin stretching.  At 6:20am, I was in the shower.  By 7am, I arrived at work.  On time!

Maybe I missed out on a bit more exercise.  But maybe, just maybe.  I'm a little more present in the day today.  Knowing that I'm caught up.  Thinking about the task at hand instead of adjusting to make up for the delay.

And that signals the end of lunch.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Workout 120307: Two in a Row

Today's Workout:

Warmup Hip Stretch
30 min Treadmill Walk
Hip Abductors - 2 sets 10 reps each leg
Bridges - 10 reps with 5 sec hold
Side Lunges - 10 reps each leg
Modified Planks - 3 reps held for 25 sec
Modified Side Plans - 2 sets 5 reps with 5 sec hold

I worked from home today which enabled me to make up for oversleeping by not commuting the rest of the way to work.  Woohoo!  I was thrilled to get my exercise in.  And I feel pretty good about it.  The walking was a nice change of pace from the elliptical and arc trainer.  Strangely, walking at a higher inclination was a lot more comfortable than walking at no incline.

Today was also my first weigh in for weight watchers.  I'm not going to be sharing my weigh-in each week here.  I'm still trying to focus on my monthly progress, even though WW requires you to weigh in weekly.  One thing I have learned in the 2 days I've been following the program...  I snack a lot.  More than I realized.  I remember learning this about myself the last time I was in the program.  You'd think I'd remember that, but it came as a surprise.  That will be the first behavior change I tackle, I guess.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Direction

I joined Weight Watchers.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this yet.  I've gone and signed up for a 3 month membership.  About 7 years ago, I had moderate success with their program.  I lost about 30 pounds before giving up.  I simply couldn't adjust to the reduced daily points when I went reached 220 pounds.  I started an exercise program to attempt to earn more points towards food.  That resulted in the injury I'm in PT to deal with now.  Please don't misunderstand me.  WW is by no means responsible for me getting hurt.  I just found it unmaintainable once I got to a certain point.  I grew frustrated and I quit.

So why have I gone back?

The program worked.  I lost weight reliably every week.  Until I didn't.  The tracking software really is the best out there.  I haven't found a site with a more comprehensive included list of food or better interface.  There's even an app for my phone.  Plus it is a common approach used by thousands of women (and a couple men) to lose and maintain weight.  All those people make up a pretty solid support system.

And how is it going to be different this time?

My plan is to use WW to understand what I'm eating and what I should be eating.  While no diet is perfect for everyone, they offer a good guide for what to eat and how much of it to eat.  I remember learning about portion sizes the first time through the program and how much that changed what I was eating.  Also the low point values of vegetables and fruits made them so much more appealing.

Starting this journey, I didn't want it to be about the food.  But to not deal with the food is disingenuous.  I have a problem with food.  That problem could be rooted in a lot of different places, but you don't get to be 100 pounds over weight with out having a problem with food.  Working out is a great way to burn off extra calories and improve your overall health, but, without monitoring what goes in, I'm not going to achieve my goals.

And I really want to achieve my goal.

Workout 120306: Getting By

Today's workout:

17 min Arc Trainer workout (on whatever level pushing the Quick Start button puts you at)
5 min Stretching

I am so very proud of myself for getting up and into the gym.  Having said last week that I didn't break my habit...  This week I can say that I did.  And I must now get myself going again.  While I didn't get in my preferred 45 min workout today.  I went to the gym!  I made it!  I did it!

One day at a time, right?

This week is a little strange.  I had to schedule a bunch more PT appointments, but I didn't schedule them in time.  For this reason, I have a gap.  No PT again until March 14th.  In the meantime, I get this week and the beginning of next to see how I do on my own.  It's a good opportunity.  Let's hope I get a little more time in the gym than I did today and I can pick up my workouts without pain.  That would be wonderful progress!

Also, this being my first workout of March, I weighed myself.  239 pounds.  I feel a little grr over that, but not so much that I'm discouraged.  More of a grr that I have slacked off and no lost weight is a result.  March will be better as I'm going to get my routine back.  I'm also still working out my goals (and the rewards for meeting them) for the coming months.  Lots of thinking leading to lots of doing.  :)