Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Treading Lightly

I'm watching myself very carefully. When you're in that formation stage of a new (or re-established) habit something that disrupts the momentum can throw you right off track. This back ache issue is the type of thing that could derail my whole routine and send me back to the couch for who knows how long. But I am watching myself and don't plan to let that happen!

On Tuesday I got to the gym with just enough time to get my workout done only to find I forgot my gym bag. Grrr. Fortunately Miguel stepped up and changed his plans so I could workout. THANK YOU HONEY! This is my second time to the gym since the back pain forced a couple days off. I did the bike for 25 minutes on Level 3. The first random route was actually too easy so I forced it to choose another one. That was a bit harder but still on the easier side - I decided the universe was trying to tell me something and I went with it. With my new rpm scheme I still got a good cardio workout.

After the bike I did legs and shoulders for strength training. I skipped the plank (but did my other ab stuff) in case that would be too much for my back. After the weights I did 5 minutes on the stair climber. I think I'll make this little boost of calorie burning part of my routine whenever I have the time (this is how my gym routine got up to two hours pre-kids). I left feeling good, only a few little reminders that my back is fragile.

Today was my day home with the kids. I really wanted to get out so we went to the BADM this morning. I carried Myra in the Ergo carrier for a good part of the morning (sometimes with Marek riding piggy back at the same time!) and about the time my back starting aching we wrapped it up. Poor things were wiped out after all the fun and I returned home for my "time off" during their afternoon nap. I was on the fence about going to the gym but as the evening wore on it seemed like a better and better idea. I checked in with Miguel and he was fine with me going (I have to leave before the kids go to bed, man how I wish my gym were open a half-hour later!).

This was the big test because back and biceps were due up on strength training. But first, I did c25k Week 3/Day 5. Only one more day of Week 3 before I move on to Week 4. I just took a peek at Week 4 and all I can say is, I hope I can do it. I felt pretty good today on the run so that's promising. After that I took a deep breath and headed to the back extension thingy. It went well. Only on the last couple of the third set did my back say "enough!". I also did lat pulldowns and seated rows without much pain. I decided to go ahead and see how a plank would feel. I told myself I would do only 30 seconds but darnit, I'm stubborn and held it for 40 seconds. I hope I don't regret that in the morning. My back hurt a bit during the last 10 seconds and a bit more during the last 3-4 seconds. Needless to say I didn't do two sets. After strength training I hit the stair climber for 5 minutes. I really enjoy that.

So sitting here on the couch and I'm having definite back achiness. We'll see how I feel in the morning. The most important thing to me at this point is that I'm still exercising. Maybe the most important thing should be my back and insuring that I don't create more pain by pushing through but I can't handle the thought of being sidelined so I'm forging ahead. The pain isn't really pain so much as it is achy and stiff. There's one aspect of it that's more stabbing pain but that's actually easier to deal with.

Alright, I feel like all I'm writing about is my friggin' back. Back this, back that. But nothing much else going on these days, let's hope I can stop writing about it soon! Wish me luck that I can get out of bed in the morning!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rest, It Does a Body Good.

I made it to the gym yesterday. I could tell I had gotten some rest, in general my body felt ready and able to tackle my workout. My back felt pretty good too, I only noticed a couple very slight twinges of pain during the entire workout. I did c25k Week 3/Day 4 and it was a challenge but not painful. Afterward I did chest and triceps. Instead of doing the chest press and dumbbell flys on the ball like I usually do I did them lying on a bench. Hopefully that helped my back. I definitely noticed some soreness in my arms from the swim, which was a good thing. I like that workout sore feeling. I skipped the plank to spare my back the workout and did some other ab work. I was reading about the benefits of stair climbing the other day so I threw in 5 minutes of the stairclimber before a nice bit of stretching. I left the gym feeling positive.

My back felt pretty good the rest of the day but I woke up this morning with it feeling tight and hurting a bit again. I don't know if I should exercise today or not?? I know inactivity is not good for back problems so I probably should do something, just maybe not my full routine. I hate that. I struggle with an all-or-nothing brain. We'll see, I'm waiting to see how my back feels as the day goes on and will decide. Swimming would probably be good, just not sure how I'd get to the pool with my crazy schedule.

So I finally found my Tanita body fat scale. I weighed and analyzed myself yesterday afternoon. According to that scale I am 195 pounds and 42.5% body fat. I am very near what I was on 12/27/07 when I also weighed 195 and was 41.5% body fat. Anyway, a few notes on my current stats:

Weight: 195
% body fat: 42.5
Pounds of body fat: 83
Lean body mass: 112

If I can maintain 112 pounds of lean body mass while I lose 45 pounds of body fat I'd be in darn good shape! I would weigh 150 pounds with 25% body fat. Nice. Too bad it's not as easy to lose body fat as it is to gain it. I'm going to have a lot of fun on the journey to losing this weight, I just know it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chin Up, It's Only Been a Few Weeks

That about says it all. Thanks for the encouraging comments folks, they really do help. Yesterday (Sunday) my back was still feeling out of sorts when I had the brilliant idea to go swimming! I figured it'd be a good way to get some exercise that would be easy on my back. I arrived at the pool in the late afternoon. It's been a long time since I swam more than a lap or two so I went nice and slow because I wasn't sure what my swimming endurance would be like - I hardly felt like I was "exercising" at all. I swam 26 lengths (13 laps), about 1/3 of a mile, and then took a rest. Laying in the sun with a magazine was quite a treat. After resting awhile I was ready for more, I got back in the pool and swam 25 laps, a little less than 2/3 of a mile. Then I swam a "hard" lap, going all out just to see how it felt. It felt hard.

Back to my towel and magazine. I don't know how long the first swim was but the second was about 45 minutes. While I was swimming my back was fine but my shoulders hurt. I've had shoulder issues for years, even went to physical therapy in 2008 (my blog sure is a nice history of these things). I wonder if I still have the stretches and exercises they gave me? Anyway, my shoulders hurt some but not enough to make swimming too uncomfortable, at least at a slow pace. Anyway, I lounged around for a while longer and then went home.

My mood was still on the crappy side, even after all that. I stopped at the store to pick up some veggies to grill with dinner and also bought a pack of peanut M&Ms. They actually helped my mood I think. I know I'm not pre-menstrual, maybe I'm pre-menopausal? All I know is chocolate seemed to help. And I don't feel guilty about it. The comments I've been getting have been chock full of really good advice. Skipping the guilt is one of 'em. If I'm going to feel guilty about a food choice then what's the point? I need to choose, eat it and don't feel guilty or skip it. And I'm thinking about getting off the scale for a while. If I can find my darned body fat scale I might use that instead for a month or so and see how it goes.

On to today, Monday, and my back is feeling almost completely better. It still twinges when I do certain things, like bend over to pick something up from the floor, or get up after sitting for a while. I am planning to go to the gym though. I want to do a c25k run and will decide about strength training depending on how I feel. I'll try to do some abs/core work and definitely get some stretching in. I wonder if something I'm doing at the gym is causing my back problems? I think I'll lay off the ball maneuvers and just do my lifting either standing or in a chair - at least for a little while. The plank will also go on hold until the back pain is gone altogether. I really just want it gone.

Well, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day. I'll let you know how the gym goes. Oh, I want to share an awesome pic from our amusement park trip on Saturday. This is little mister and a giant walrus!