Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I got one of these impossible inflatable torture devices about ten years ago, when I was gathering fitness equipment in an attempt to find a habit to replace smoking, which I had just given up. Kinda ironic, isn't it, since I just gave up smoking on the 17th of THIS month too! But we can come back to that, for now, I'd like to stick with the core disk. Or stick it.
I got my core disk at approximately the same time as I got an entire set of resistance bands, my stability ball, and a Thigh Master. With the possible exception of the thigh master, I would say that these were all very useful purchases. However, I've never really used the core disk much at all. It's just SO difficult for me! I can barely manage to stand on the thing, let alone move - AT ALL! I have to have something to hold onto for balance if I'm standing and trying to shift my weight in the least (which is what I had in mind), so I always feel like a failure when I try to do anything with "da disk"...so it has been sitting in a corner for nearly 10 years, barely used.
But...I am now ten years older than I was when I got the core disk, and I haven't gotten in much better shape over the years either. My balance remains poor to non-existent, and I am eagerly seeking ways to improve my core. Just this morning I realized that I have, in my possession, the very thing I need to really work my core. If only I could stand on it without feeling as though I'm falling off...of the floor!
There are other core exercises for which this can be used as well, many of the same things one would use a BOSU or stability ball for. I will definitely start implementing the core disk for some of those, but the real challenge is being able to balance in a vertical position while moving....I'm talking about merely shifting my weight from one foot to the other...it's one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I can REALLY feel my legs and butt tightening up when I'm on that thing. It's so amazing that I can't believe I've allowed the thing to just sit in a corner gathering dust for all these years. Imagine what great shape I could have been in by now, if only I'd used it! (Yeah - like everything else...shoulda, coulda, woulda.....didn't!)
P.S.: I know this is not where I left off when I stated that I'd be back to post "later", but my mind has drifted on to other things now, lol. I sincerely appreciate the comments that were left for me then, though, and will do my best to respond to them personally.
P.P.S.: 10 days smoke free! (Again)
UPDATE ON CORE DISK: 5/27 2:10pm
I am DEFINITELY going to incorporate this into my workouts! This thing is truly amazing - I could feel it working my muscles immediately. It works even better than a resistance ball for reducing or eliminating back pain when doing crunches, and even just sitting on the thing works the core! Yay to new (old) equipment!
Monday, May 25, 2009
And I mean NOW!!
Really, I was planning on a lengthy blog post, but I need to get outside and git 'er' done!
I'll be back later with my post (maybe), in which I'll confess to my true feelings of jealous frustration whenever I read about someone's weight loss progress and overall success here...among other things...but right now I've got a derailed train to take care of!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I have been meaning to get a post up here for quite some time now, but have been all caught up in my efforts to stop smoking - again. Fifth time's a charm, right? (J/K) We'll come back to that.
I was *planning* on posting nothing but encouraging words, positive thoughts, yadda yadda yadda. Thoughts about how wonderful it is that I have regained control of my life, and how empowering it is to know that I am capable of making so many changes. How good it is to know that I am improving my health in obvious ways - my knees have gotten much better, and my stamina is improving. Hikes that seemed tremendously intense a few weeks ago are little more than a walk in the park, literally, today. Although I am still not a jogger, and honestly have no plans of becoming one, I CAN jog for a minute or so to add to the intervals in my walks. So now I've got all the steep inclines AND a little jogging to keep things happening on my walks.
My balance is better, my blood pressure is at its optimum, I am becoming more flexible, and am ready to stop using the "I can't do those" card as an excuse to avoid exercises that are difficult for me. I CAN do them, just might have to do a modified version of some of them for awhile, until I strengthen the muscles involved enough to do them without modifying them.
I CAN do squats and lunges, just not quite as deeply as I'd like, and I have decided to really put some serious effort into learning pilates. I need serious work on my abs and core, and it seems pilates might be the answer.
That's some of what I was planning on posting about, among other things. But today I feel differently. Today I don't feel all that positive energy. Today I DO care what the scale does, because I had just ONE little, short term, weight loss goal. Just ONE. The date I set for that goal to be completed is June 1, just a week and a half away. As of Tuesday, I was less than a pound away from that goal, so I dared to become excited about the fact that I might actually meet a weight loss goal! WOW! That would be HUGE for me! I have been having such a hard time trying to lose weight that...well....it was just getting really exciting to think about possibly making a goal. That was on Tuesday. Today (Thursday) I am 3 pounds over that goal, or 2.5 pounds heavier than I was on Tuesday. Sigh
OK, back to the smoking thing then, since the weight loss goal turned into such a joke. I "officially" stopped smoking on Sunday. This was not really planned, circumstances just dictated that it was time to quit. Basically, I ran out of smokes and money simultaneously, so there really WAS no other option, lol. But it was time anyway. I mean, seriously, if I am going to make all these other changes to enable myself to become healthier, more in control, more powerful...how can I rationalize remaining a slave to a nicotine addiction? So it really did have to go. But I really did NOT need to see a weight gain on my scale while I'm already cranky from nicotine withdrawal!! And no, I did NOT "pig out" by reaching for food instead of a smoke. What I DID do was more exercise...lots of it. When I was going crazy because Chazz was in the kitchen cooking bacon, and smoking (!!!!!) so that I had to smell both bacon AND cigarette smoke, I just grabbed a bottle of water and headed out the door to take my frustrations out on the hiking trails. I walked and jogged and hiked with more intensity than ever...until I was back in control. Ended up a mile from home with blisters on my feet and a flare-up of my sciatica, but it was worth it. But the question of this weight gain still begs to be answered. THAT is just not fair!
Oh, I know, there are a couple million possible reasons for that weight gain...but it was really important to me that I make this ONE goal, ONE time :( I've got a week and a half, but my present rate of weight loss has been more like a pound a month, and I've only got a little over a week. DAMMITALLANYWAY!!!! I shoulda never quit smoking!!!
Or maybe I just need to go back to logging my food ;) I had stopped doing that because I felt I was spending too much time nitpicking my way along, and not enough time doing other things. But since I have put pounds ON, inexplicably, mind you, I guess I need to go back to logging everything. Maybe I'll be able to get this back on track in a week's time after all.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thanks to SparkPeople, I have become active on Facebook. I've actually had a profile on there for quite some time, since my initial involvement through another fitness website, but I hadn't made that known to anyone in my "real" life. Until SparkPeople, that is.
Truthfully, I just wanted to get the SparkPoints for updating my status on Facebook. But then my daughter informed me that she has all my grandkids' pictures posted on her Facebook profile - AND that my whole family is on there as well, so I'd better stop hiding and make my presence known. I did, and ended up spending much of the morning exchanging messages with my daughter, my sister, my nephew, and various other people I'd been "hiding" from. It was a fun morning, and now I've got all the photos that everyone had posted on their profiles. Yea!!
Anyway, I just wanted to make note of the fact that SparkPeople has sparked me again! (Although I did remove the "before" pictures I had posted on my Facebook profile before going "family public" with it ;o)
Friday, May 08, 2009
Weight-training builds strength by causing tiny tears in the muscle, which then quickly repairs itself, ending up bigger and stronger. Fast-track your strength gains by adding static stretching-in which you hold a stretch for 10 to 30 seconds-to your routine. Three studies led by Prevention (magazine) advisor Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, found that adults who stretched either between or immediately after strength-training exercises developed about 20% more strength than those who only lifted weights.
*LIFT AND REACH: Rest at least a minute between sets and use that time to stretch the muscle you've just worked. For instance, if you just did leg extensions, stretch our quadriceps by pulling your right ankle toward your butt while standing on your left leg. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds.
*The preceding information was taken from Prevention Magazine article "Healthy Powerpairs" by Danielle Kosecki
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