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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Expert advice and medical attention

Yesterday I finally met with my trainer at her new place. I want to start seeing her in 2 weeks when my session block at 24 hr fitness is completed, plus I had some additional items I wanted to discuss with her – my overall exercise regiment and a solid stretching routine. We chatted for almost an hour, got caught up, talked about my goals, and she will do some research before we get together to go over a plan of attack for my fitness goals and specific routines to work on at her training space.

I’ve mentioned that in the past several weeks I’ve been having some issues with a very sore muscle in my hip (periformis?), which hurts every time I do a long run, and which lasts for several days, making it challenging to just walk, let alone exercise or do additional running. It’s driving me crazy! Multiple days of rest is not getting rid of the issue. I’m trying to do more stretching before and after, but I know I could use more time and experience of what stretches to do. I also started trying to use the foam roller and see if that helps, but it hasn’t fixed it yet. I’ve been at wit’s end how to get past this problem!!

I also called a massage therapist I had seen 2 years ago after a car accident. She was amazing and really helped me improve my mobility and flexibility after I had a lot of soft-tissue damage (I was a wreck). She specializes in myofascial work. Since I’ve been frustrated with a lack of recovery or improvement, I gave her a call yesterday. I don’t often seek medical attention, but this time I thought it was warranted. I’m glad I did! We talked, and she not only knows what the muscle is, but what she can do to loosen up some problem areas I’ve been having (all of which have been happening with my push to run more). She said she can also give me some exercises specifically for it. Great! Now I’m just waiting to find out if my insurance covers it before I make some appointments – she’s very expensive, but very very good.

So yesterday I set into motion a lot of things to help me step up and get to the next level of fitness training. In order to exercise more than 60 minutes 5-6 times per day (my goal is 90 minutes per day), I need to make sure I am properly stretching and in good physical shape. Hopefully I’ll get fixed up and ready to meet my goals. Being too sore to work out is going to get me where I need to go.

Dietmaven out.

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in Injury

 

My iron clad will & gym commitment

Last night was a test of my newfound commitment to workout at least 6 days per week. I was too sore on Friday to go to the gym, and Saturday I didn’t have an opportunity, due to being on a road trip from 7 am until10:30 pm. So Sunday, no excuses. But I didn’t feel like it. So what? I said I was going to go, and that there was no reason not to, so I went. My iron clad will made me. And I’m glad I did.

I have to remember how wonderful it is to be at the gym on the weekends, let alone a holiday weekend when everyone else is out of town. I practically had the gym to myself! I made myself get there in time for Iron Chef to be on at 7 pm. I even had my pick of treadmills – there 3 that are my absolute favorites as they are immediately in front of the fan, the only one in the whole cardio room! Have I mentioned that I sweat a lot? I mean, *a lot*! I have to wipe thick rivulets of sweat off my brow when I work out, and that usually starts in the first 20 minutes. As my normal time is at least 60 minutes, that’s a lot of drippage! There’s nothing worse than having salt drip into your eyes. Or to get hot and thirsty, lick your lips and get a mouthful of salt. Ick. So those spots in front of the oscillating fan are so lovely! I hate it on Mondays and Tuesdays when I’m forced to pick the first open machine and it’s miles away from the fan and its lovely cool breeze.

Anyway, back to last night! I was still stiff and sore. I didn’t want to go, but I made myself. I have decided that feeling like not doing a work out is no excuse for not going. I figured since I was so sore that I’d just do hill walking. I didn’t think I’d want to run, so I just did a fast paced walk at an incline, and started ramping it up every minute. It wasn’t so bad as I thought it’d be. And then the first commercial break came on. Dilemna! Every other time I’ve watched iron chef I have made myself run during the breaks. So it was force of habit that made me switch from hills to a flat run. I started at 4.5, super slow and easy, just to get into the rhythm of it. And ya know what, after 30 seconds of ow ow ow I’m so stiff and my muscles are not ready for this, it was fine! I ended up doing the dietmaven interval special! Here’s what I do. Rather than normal intervals, 1-2 minutes on FAST, then 1-2 minutes at a slow recovery pace, I ramp up until I can’t handle it anymore. I start out slow, say 4.5 or so, and after every time interval (this can vary from a minute or 30 seconds or if I’m trying to do it quickly, every 15 seconds) you bump up the speed by .1. In a commercial break, you don’t have long, so I went from 4.5 to 5.5 in less than 3 minutes. If you feel strong and want to push it, keep going. I often get to about 6.0-6.5 and then get super tired, and go to 3.0 or 3.5 to rest for a bit, before trying it again. My absolute best was making it to 7.0 and that was pure will (I was trying to compete with the thin athletic girl running at 7.0 next to me :).

Anyway, the running was way easier than I thought it’d be. I was sore, but moving sure helped work on blood flow through tired muscles. I went back to hill walks during the show, all the better to watch (unfortunately, battle okra will not live on as one of my favorite things to try and reproduce!). I ran every commercial break, even continuing on for a few extra minutes on my internval special since a really fantastic song came on (oh yeah, I switch from tv listening to tunes during breaks – that extra motivation really helps! I mean, how energized do you think you’ll feel watching a commercial for a car, I mean really!!). By the end of the hour, I felt bad I wasn’t going to be running, and that I had spent most of the hour walking.

Then I remembered I was going to amp up my workouts. I didn’t have to just do an hour. I could and should do more! So I restarted the machines (stupid 1 hour time limits!) and started running. I did my interval special and then did regular intervals. 1 minute on, 1 minute off. Every minute on would be at a slightly increased speed from the last one. I was up to 6.4 speeds (relatively fast for me), and then a muscle started bothering me. Just one, but the kind that I’ve learned means soreness and down time, so I cut my workout short at that point. I followed up with some foam rolling, something I am going to try and do more of, and went home.

I’m glad I worked out. I didn’t think I had it in me, but my body is made of sterner stuff than my will sometimes. Oh yeah, and my weight is at 208. No change from last time. Which goes to show you why I am choosing to both go more often (at least 6 days of hard exercise per week) and amp up the intensity (more than 60 minutes every time I go, and absolutely more than 600 calories burned per session).

Stats: 1:22 hr cardio
Miles: 5.5
Calories burned: 820

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Goals, Gym

 

Saturday road trip & good choices

Since my last post, about my last workout on Thursday, I have not been able to exercise. Friday I was so sore I could barely walk (which means I should be doing more lunges more regularly so they don’t continue to do this to me!). Plus I ended up spending all my free time after work with 3 hours (!!!!) at the thrift store trying on clothes. Way more than I thought I’d spend. I was ok not working out, I could barely move!

Saturday was a long day. We got upat 6, left the house at 7, and I was too tired to really spend any thought or energy on food preparation for the day. Instead, I started out like I always used to do – I got up, and left the house without eating or drinking anything, just perfect for becoming hungry and blowing any good eating decisions out of the water. We stopped to get coffee, and I got a grande mocha (-1 pump of chocolate), no whip, from Starbucks. My coffee drinking is still an area I need to work on. I also thought about what food to eat. I got a slice of pumpkin bread. I should have gone with the egg white sandwhich wrap, probably the best option for nutrition vs. calories, but didn’t. I was second guessing my choices the whole time. I knew the wrap would be the better choice, but I was scared off by the egg white part of it. I have never gotten egg whites intead of regular whole eggs, I don’t even know if I’d like them or not! So rather than take a chance, I got something higher-calorie without a lot of nutrition, because I knew if was “safe” to eat. Then on the road I got super hungry. When we got to Wenachee I was ready to blow it. Somehow we ended up at Subway instead of a diner, and I got a healthy black forest ham sub, no chips, no soda, just water. I ate half, and left half of it for later. Very good!

It was a fun day, though still difficult to move, I was easily the most stiff possible so far. I ended up consuming the other half of the subway footlong, along with a fresh picked nectarine (love the fruit stands in Wenatchee, the fruit growing breadbasket of Washington state). After several hours of shooting in the hot sun and desolate farm country, we headed back very late. We were both very very thirsty! And as always, I bemoaned the fact that there is no sparkling water to be had at convenience stores. Why not?! Anyway, I wanted carbonation in a bad way and found a solution! I got a 32-oz drink, TONS of ice, and mixed half unsweetened ice tea with 7-up. Just enough carbonation to feed my need, and much less sugar than normal. I unfortunately devoured half a bag of Smart Food popcorn, that will always be my downfall, junk food on a road trip.

For dinner I again made good choices. I went for lots of vegetables, and a small piece of steak over cream-based pasta sauces. I even left a good portion for leftovers, eating enough to be satisfied, without becoming sick from overeating (another positive change on this journey). And the salad was very good, though because their balsalmic dressing had so much sugar in it, I almost didn’t even eat any of it (the dressing that is, I love me some salad, as long as it isn’t icky iceberg)!

Overall, not the best eating I’ve ever done, but it has improved significantly from times past. I’m choosing better options when a menu is presented to me, and even choosing to avoid places and items that are very high in nutrtionally-poor calories.

Today I’m continuing my obsessive readings of an awesome blog, The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser, starting at the end, of a man over 500 lbs that has lost weight through 1500 per day calorie consumption and daily exercise.He has such an amazingly positive attitude and I’m finding his story very inspiring! As I recently mentioned, my eating is not the best (ie, it’s too much eating!), and my exercise is good, but not top notch. I’m working on improving the food quality, and planning my exercise for the day. I’m still really sore, but I can move. I may do a loop walk from my house, 4.5 miles, 1.75 hours and lots of hills. Even if I don’t, I will go to the gym tonight and do an hour of cardio, possibly more, if I’m up to it. I also just made a decision in the past 2 days that I WILL exercise at the gym and on my own 6 days a week, without fail. I need to start walking more when I’m home and be active every evening. I have mentally committed to working out longer, and more consistently. I can’t just do it for a week and take 4 days off then try again. I have to amp up my exercise, regularly, or I won’t achieve any improvements, nor lose weight. I am also going to start making better choices with my evening and weekend eating choices, which is where I have been falling short.

I’m committed to this journey, I am on the journey, and I’m recommitting to achieving it by stepping up everything. No more maintenance mode. On to weight loss! I can do better than 17 pounds in 8 months. Watch me!

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Food issues, Food planning, Goals, Inspirations

 

Help! Too sore to workout?

I did mega-lunges last night!!! I did so many sets of them, and so many repetitions that I can barely bend, or go up stairs. If I sit for a bit, then I am super stiff when I get up and have to hobble for a little while before the blood flow loosens up my muscles.

Now, I’m not complaining about the soreness. I’ve actually got a reason I’m bringing this up (and it’s not to whine!). This happens to me a lot. I push when I work out. When I do a trainer session, I push until I can’t do something anymore. Usually that results in super sore muscles. So here’s my conundrum.  If I did weights/resistance yesterday, and I’m supposed to take a day off before doing weights again (and I worked all the muscle groups, so I can’t switch to a different group of muscles), and I’m too sore to move easily, what should I do for exercise?!?!?

Seriously! I don’t know if it would be smart to run or not. I don’t want to just take the night off. I already did that Monday and I already have Saturday planned – photo safari to do some landscape photography in eastern Washington, from 6 am until 10 pm at least. No time for the gym tomorrow. So what do you recommend I do? What do *you* do when you are so sore you have trouble moving – do you take the day off? Just go for a long walk? Push it and do cardio that’s difficult to do at all?

I think right now, I may just go to the gym, and do a fast walk on the treadmill and watch the food network. I think Alton Brown is on at 7 for an hour. Hopefully it’s not a cupcake cookoff or something stupid! Either way, not a huge caloric burn, but at least it’s not sitting at home, cruisin’ the internet.

Suggestions?

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2011 in Excuses, Gym

 

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Rambling overview of the last few days & starting the conversation about my food habits

It’s been a few days since my last post, so I’m going to go over a few items, all briefly:

I went for a bike ride on Sunday! There’s this fabulous bike/walking trail in Seattle called the Burke-Gilman trail. It extends a fairly long distance, from Ballard up to Bothell. I used to ride it all the time. Unfortunately, there’s a big chunk of it that’s under construction. So my hiking partner, who is suffering from a nasty case of planter fasciitis and who can’t hike or walk much, went biking with both me and J. We went up north to past the construction, and cycled from Bothel up and around to Marymore Park, which is about a 15 mile trip there, or 30 miles round trip. It totally didn’t feel like it! However, my bike was misbehaving and extra difficult to ride – the front break pads were rubbing against the tire, making it very difficult to cycle. I don’t know what to do, I am planning another ride on Monday, and I am out all Saturday and I bet no one is open on Sunday to help me with the problem, and usually you have to leave your bike someplace to get it fixed. Oh well, I will just have to avoid using the front brakes and then lean down to pull it off the tire when I do forget and use it.

The ride was awesome, nice trail, though very busy! Pretty, and a good time! Unfortunately it was super hot in Seattle. It actually was like 85 degrees!! It was way hotter than I typically can stand. I brought lunch, a bunch of fruit cut up in a plastic tub and a baguette sandwich with deli meat, a slice of havarti, and a handful of lettuce (no mayo!). I did break down and have a large root beer with it (darn my craving for carbonation!) while we walked around the dog show that was happening at the park.

I have been doing ok going to the gym. I didn’t go Monday – I was stuck at work super late and just too tired to go when I got home at 7:30. But Tuesday I made myself go to step class, even if I was 3 minutes late, at least I went. Though it got really hard when I had a muscle issue with my calf – either a pulled muscle or a charlyhorse that never went away! I had to use my water bottle to roll it out during a short 1 minute break, it was hurting so bad! But I stuck with the class ok. Weds I went, mistaking that might for my training session. When I realized it wasn’t Weds after all, it was the next day, I was uber depressed. Man, I went to the gym and I didn’t have to?!?! But I was there, so I made myself do cardio. 58 minutes, 675 calories, 4.6 miles. I did a lot of intervals, and got up to some pretty high speeds, which wore me out and made me need long recovery periods. I felt good, but may have overdone it. There’s some wierdly sore areas on where my right leg connects to my butt/trunk area. Not sure how to describe it. Still hurts today, and I am walking funny because of it. Then tonight had my second trainining session…

Tonight’s training session was better. She’s different from my last trainer. I’m getting used to the three sets of everything. It is causing significant muscle fatique, and I don’t think that is a bad thing! We did so many lunge sets tonight that my legs are total jelly!!! I feel like the exercises are a bit more classic exercise, so I don’t feel like there’s anything new there, just that it’s a routine that I wouldn’t necessarily have done on my own. I’m going to write it down in a little notebook to refer to in the future when I need a routine. Tons and tons of lunges with shoulder presses, chest presses, bent over rows with a bar, deadlift style, some cable machine exercises that worked my obliques (ab choppers going up and ab choppers going down, pulling and pushing), and then a set of assisted pull-ups that worked my biceps.

Oh yes, there’s some psychological/mental things I wanted to discuss, too. I’m realizing that my attitude to food is way too comfortable. I’m allowing myself to splurge a little too often, and way too frequently. I don’t watch it when I’m around less healthy food. I allow myself to accept glasses of wine that J hands me at night, and I will eat the food that he makes since I don’t feel like making myself something different – a lot of it involves pan frying in olive oil, starches, and less vegetable matter. When I go out, I don’t worry about navigating the menu in the most healthful way. I don’t do fried chicken and cheesecake by any means, but I don’t do great either!!! So basically I’m super sloppy with my food. And I really need to step it up when it comes to my eating. I’m going to talk more about this again, but it’s a problem area, and I really need to give my eating a swift kick in the pants!

On the exercise front, I’m going, I’m putting in the work, and I work hard when I go. But I let last week’s momentum fade when I took a few too many days off (at first to recover from my hip muscle problem, then it stretched into being comfortable not going to the gym). Luckily, it was only 4 days, and not longer!!! Either way, this week, I’m super sluggish, overly tired (I haven’t been getting to sleep earlier enough either), which has resulted in my gym performance less than average. I mean, hey, I work out 600 calories/1 hour every time, but as I mentioned above, my food is not great. If I don’t step up the exercise, I ain’t gonna lose a thing!!! That’s been my problem for the longest time and it HAS GOT TO CHANGE.

I think I am going to email my “old” trainer, the one that is opening up her new place, and ask her to help me craft and figure out an exercise regiment. Not just a 50 minute workout routine for once a week, but to really look at what I should be doing, cardio/weights/classes/independant exercising, to meet my weight loss goals. That feels like a good thing to do. I’ve been exercising now since January. Holy crap it’s now September and I need to step it up and really focus! It’s been 8 months and I haven’t even lost 20 pounds. That’s pathetic and I can do better!

So, I have to get my butt in gear. I have to ask for help in my exercise regiment. I have to step up my workout intensity and time that I put out. I need to be consistent for 5 days at the gym and 1 day of my own non-gym exercising. I have to really buckle down when it comes to my food, most importantly dinners and portion sizes. And I bet I should try and drink more water. I never do, and I think that might help.

Well, it’s time for my rambling post to come to an end. I hope the next time I report in I will do so with improved vigor and intensity!

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Food issues, Goals, Weekly recap