Saturday, June 16, 2012
First off, let me just say THANK YOU to my SparkFriends who have sent kind words my way and liked my feed the few times I've updated in recent weeks. It has really been encouraging for me during a difficult time, and been a great reminder that I have a supportive resource here for me all the time.
I have been struggling the past few weeks. Not being able to exercise really sent my mood into an immediate downward spiral. When I am irritable and depressed, I eat and eat unhealthy things. I have been slowly getting back on track and back to the gym with the go-ahead from the orthopedist to take it easy. I had an x-ray and an MRI, both of which he said looked normal. It was a very frustrating process, and I felt like he still has not given me a proper diagnosis-just a lot of "it could be this." The doctor gave me a steroid shot which has not made the discomfort go away completely, but I'm trying to be patient. I met with a trainer at my gym who has some experience in sports injuries, and she thinks I likely injured my illiotibial band. Based on the reading I've done since she gave me the information, that fits with what I've been experiencing. She gave me some exercises to do to help. I should have just gone to her first and saved myself the huge bill that I know will be coming from the Dr. and the MRI place because the trainer was free and helpful.
The next step is for me to review and update my goals and focus on getting back to the basics of counting calories, exercising some on most days of the week, and visiting SparkPeople daily. Those things work if I work them!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I'm feeling very lethargic today and have had trouble with my get-up-and-go this week. I took a day off from exercise Monday and am doing the same today. Before Monday, I had exercised about 46 days in a row. I felt guilty ending my streak, but I was feeling burned out, and my knee has been causing me some discomfort. I think I hurt it trying to run on the treadmill a number of months ago. It has been bothering me off and on, and I've tried icing and wrapping it, but it gets aggrevated again if I am exercising too hard. I've been trying to avoid activities that cause discomfort, but the problem still hasn't gone completely away. It hasn't been so severe that I would even classify it as painful, but I'm worried about doing something that pushes it to that point. I'm going to the doctor to have it checked out tomorrow. Hopefully, she can put me on the right path to be able to work out as much as I want without any knee issues.
Friday, May 18, 2012
I had a conversation with someone the other day who is not a friend but someone whose input I respect enough to hear out even when I don't agree with it. This person was telling me that I am expecting too much perfection from myself and not giving myself room for grace. Well, yeah, Encyclopedia Brown, I solved that case a while ago. I know that about myself. The person went on to question why I spend so much time at the gym. The most time I spend at the gym is 1.5-2 hours, and that's on days when I do cardio AND strength training. That breaks down to about 45-60 minutes cardio, 30 minutes weights, and 15 minutes stretching. I only do weights 2 times per week, and I don't go to the gym every single day. In any case, that really annoyed me, and I got the impression she was implying I am developing an unhealthy obsession with exercise. The overall thought I had was "She just doesn't get it." That thought was confirmed when she went on to advocate exercising 3 times per week. That would be awesome if I was at maintenance, but I got at least 120 pounds to lose, sister. PLUS, wonder of wonders, I am actually enjoying being more active, having more energy, and feeling better about myself. Let me tell you, self-esteem is the new chocolate (sorry, oatmeal). I didn't go into all of that, but just the part about my gym routine and the fact that I want to be active EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of my life. That's the person I want to be, and the best way to be that person is to pretend that I already am. That girl has her *#@& together. She also doesn't beat herself up if she misses a gym workout or goes way over calories (like I did today, btw). Nope, she does what I'm about to do which is make a cup of tea and relax. Huh, guess that means I'm making progress.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I picked up Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred yesterday and gave Level 1 a try today. I tried the video several years ago and remember being so sore I could hardly walk the next day. I think I'm in better shape than I was then, so I decided to give it another go. I know many people have gotten amazing results by eating well and using 30 Day Shred, but I also know there are many people who have injured their backs and knees by using it, too. Here's my initial impression:
~My heartrate stayed elevated throughout the circuits.
~The circuits alternate cardio, strength, and ab work.
~It kept my interest and went by quickly.
~The set is pretty simple and without distracting music.
~The two fitness models seem healthy and unintimidating.
~The workout is quick (the video claims 20 minutes, but it's 25 minutes).
~It's easy to modify the moves to work around my fitness level and knee issues.
~It only cost $9.04 at Target.
~The video does not have an instructional section that shows the proper way to do the moves to avoid injury. Jillian mentions a few things during the workout, but it's not sufficient for anyone who is not familiar with proper positioning of knees and back during the moves.
~Jillian makes reference to the mythic spot reduction at one point, which perpetuates incorrect information for those who are hoping to specifically reduce their belly pouch and have abs like the ladies in the video.
~Moves like jumping jacks, butt kicks, and jump ropes are high impact and can cause some serious knee problems if your body is not ready for such stress, especially if you don't know ways to modify them. During the first round of jumping jacks, Jillian makes a point of saying she is not going to show anyone how to do a modified version of the jumping jack because she has 400 pound people doing jumping jacks with no problems. That's just idiocy. Folks on The Biggest Loser also regularly end up with knee injuries that keep them from exercising, throw up on treadmills, and have visits to the hospital because their bodies are not ready for the level of exercise they are immediately pushed into on the show. No, thanks.
~The video is marketed to be done 30 days in a row. As far as I can tell, each level includes the use of dumbbells for strength training. The same muscle groups should not be trained on consecutive days. I didn't use dumbbells today, because I did a kick butt strength training routine at the gym a few days ago, and my arms are still feeling it thanks to my buddy, DOMS.
~The stretching at the end was too short for my liking. Of course, it's easy enough to continue stretching on my own once the video is over.
Be smart, know your body, modify when you need to, and you'll be fine including this video in your workout rotation. This is a video I will do again, but I will continue to modify the high impact moves, and I won't use dumbbells if I have recently lifted weights at the gym. I don't recommend 30 Day Shred for anyone who is a complete beginner to exercise or for anyone with serious knee issues. I don't recommend doing it 30 days in a row either. Again, be smart, and know your body.
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