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Summer Challenge for the Spark Solution day 4

Friday, June 28, 2013

Day for didn't go as well for me. I didn't plan well, so was spending too much time figuring out what to eat and how to prepare it...and waiting until I was hungry to do any of it. BAD choice! In addition, I watched TV, which never leads to good things, but this time in particular because I was watching the latest episodes of "Master Chef" - while I was hungry. My planning takes a little extra time because my calorie range is lower than that of the challenge meal plan due to my age and post-menopausal status. So I just have to change the portions...guess that's really not a valid excuse for not planning ahead though. Nope, can't find a single valid excuse, I just didn't do it. I *was* really tired, maybe that's why? Anyway, without going into all the sordid details, by the time the day had ended I consumed about 500 calories above my 1200 - 1300 range. I've done much worse, and survived, so likely I'll survive this as well.

I have "officially" decided that I am not going to attempt any more exercise moves that put stress on my ankle until it is completely healed. At this rate it will NEVER get healed, so I guess it's back to relying on seated chair workouts for the majority of my cardio. They do work well, as long as the chair holds out, but I get impatient with not being able to get back into the routine I had developed prior to spraining my ankle. It just doesn't feel right to be sitting down for this stuff. I *am* able to walk much better and much more, as long as I stick to level surfaces and straight forward steps...so things are coming along. I just can't do most of the standing cardio, or even many of the mat / floor exercises without putting strain on that ankle. There are a lot of things I CAN do, though, so I still count my blessings; perhaps even more than before as I get this tiny taste of what it must be like to have to do things with a permanent disability.

On to Day 5 - it's already HERE! I finally slept (with the help of a pill) and am ready to face the challenge, so here I go...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THOMS1 6/28/2013 5:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CATLADY52 6/28/2013 4:08PM

    emoticon Good luck!!

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*RENEAT* 6/28/2013 2:06PM

    Good luck on your journey!

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Spark Solution Summer Challenge Day 3

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I feel as though I'm just stepping into the Twilight Zone because I could swear I saw a Day 3 thread on that Challenge page earlier this evening, but now it's gone. I've been pretty out of sorts today, but I didn't think I was THAT bad!
I guess I'll just put my info here then, and maybe when get up in the morning it will have moved over to that page all by itself.

Q: Today we asked you to eat away from the computer and TV. Did you do it? What did you do instead? Did you eat slower or faster? Did you feel full before you ate your entire meal?

A: I don't have a kitchen table, so I just ate from a TV tray in the living room, but played music rather than TV. I don't really watch much TV anyway, and don't eat at the computer, so this wasn't a change for me.

Q: While our Spark Swaps meals are healthier takes on the Standard American Diet, they might include some ingredients that are new to you. Which meals have been something you're trying for the first time? Have any of them included unfamiliar ingredients?

A: I love experimenting and trying new foods, so I haven't run into anything unfamiliar in the book...yet :)

Q: Our workout plans alternate cardio and strength. Which is easier for you? What are you doing to get yourself motivated to workout?

A: I used to always love cardio best, the more intense the better (not that I could ever even handle very intense workouts). But now what I really love is the fusion workout that includes cardio, strength, and even stretching in one workout. I love those so much that I don't need any extra help being motivated to do them. Sadly, I can't do them until my ankle is better - but it's getting better every day! But now I have the challenge workouts anyway. The strength workout plan from the book is different for me, and I like that too. I'm having trouble with it right now, but it will get better. I'm actually excited to try it again tomorrow!

I also keep my pedometer clipped on myself as a reminder and incentive to take more steps. Before I go sit down I always check the numbers on the pedometer, and usually try to get to the next...(mile, minute, 10th step, etc.)


Honestly, my entire body hurts today, I mean everywhere. I'm tired to the point of near exhaustion, my thinking is unclear, and I'm irritable as...well, as can be. I drank 70 or so oz of water, so it's not dehydration; I should probably just wait and see if everything is better in the morning. Maybe that thread on the Spark Solution Summer Challenge will be back, I'll feel good, and the world will be right.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 6/28/2013 9:08AM

    Hope you're feeling better.

After 2 nights of very poor sleep I was exhausted yesterday. Did a lot because I had to, but thankfully slept well last night & ready to tackle my long todo list today!

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AALLEY2 6/27/2013 9:20AM

    My hubby & I went on a 2 hour bike ride 3 times this week! My knees were killing me yesterday before we were done. I soaked in Epsom salts for 30 min. I feel great today! I wouldn't have been able to bike ride at all 4 yrs ago. We eat at the kitchen counter at every meal. Very seldom eat in front of the tv, but we did in the past. The tv is usually on when my husband is home, but if he's not I turn it off. emoticon

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Granny's Top 10 Chair Workouts!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The sprained ankle is coming along as well as expected, which is not as quickly as I'd like, of course. I can view this as an opportunity, a lesson from whichever source I'm listening to, that I need to focus on patience and acceptance first, before I get all caught up in making changes. I mean, I *can* view it as an opportunity, and I should. Instead, I chose to view it as a challenge for a while, hence probably slowing down my recovery time a bit.
Once I renewed my decision to stick to the mat or chair for the brunt of my workouts, I got to thinking that there are likely others in the same or similar boat, and looking for alternative workouts while healing from an injury, or due to physical limitations for any reason. For that reason, I'm sharing my top 10 chair workout youtube playlist:

Starting, of course, with Spark People's Coach Nicole seated workouts, the rest vary in time and intensity, so you can choose the one that works for you. Another thing I sometimes do is select two or three of the shorter videos and create a playlist with just those videos, then select "play all" on youtube for a more or less uninterrupted workout stream. FYI, the Jessica Smith Chair Cardio is the most intense cardio in this playlist, in my opinion: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xC9k

I love the energy and humor ("quiet" so the boss doesn't hear) in this "Seated Aerobic Chair Workout"! www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPL59

Some of the videos have some standing moves as well, so you have to decide whether you can do them or not. (I decided I could, but I was wrong!) Another video that I really like is FitnessBlender's "Workout at Work - Low Impact Total Body Chair Workout Routine". youtu.be/2AuLqYh4irI I didn't include it in my Chair Workouts playlist because about 1/3 of this workout is done holding the chair for balance, rather than sitting. Even when I choose not to do any of the standing work, I sometimes do this workout anyway and just rest during the standing segments, or fast forward through them.

I also sometimes select some of the easier videos and try to do them from my fitness ball, for a little more of a challenge and (sometimes) a lot more fun! I highly recommend using the utmost of care if you decide to do this, especially if your body, like mine, is shaped like a Weeble. In my case, Weebles DO fall down! In that case, I just move right into my mat exercises :D


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYDG 10/26/2013 11:47PM

    WOW I just did her 47 minute work out .. that was some chair workout, you have great taste in your preferences .. With these things get done and exercise is a check off on my list.. I really enjoyed them and even more when I finished and knew I had done something great for my health and great for my success in lowering my Cholesterol. :) emoticon

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SYL160 7/17/2013 5:36PM

    Thank you!!! I just sprained my ankle last weekend and I saved your great ideas immediately!

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CRAFTYLADY79 6/30/2013 8:34PM

    Thank you so much for this! I've been looking for cardio that is easy on the legs!

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CATLADY52 6/24/2013 3:34PM


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LOOSEIT57 6/23/2013 9:52PM


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SUSANBEAMON 6/23/2013 2:36PM

  keep challenging yourself. it's good for you.

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June 20, AKA 9 days since the ankle sprain

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It seems like it's been much longer, although there is no doubt that it's getting better. I just get frustrated and really want to get back to my high energy workouts. I KNOW it's possible to get a cardio workout without relying on standing, jogging, walking, jumping (ok, I don't really jump much), but I'm having a heck of a time finding out how. I have searched SP, YouTube, and the Internet in general, looking for ideas. I found a lot of them, but most of them won't work for me, for one reason or another. Oh, well...this is only temporary, and it IS just a sprained ankle. I know how minor that is, in the grand scheme of things, I'm just impatient.

While I wait to get back to the Jessica Smith and FitnessBlender workouts that I love so much, I am discovering new workouts as well as new methods of sneaking additional exercise. I have replaced the squats and lunges that hurt my ankle with hamstring curls and a lot of reaching and bending. I am also being more diligent about staying within my calorie range - at the low end. I should have been there all along, but now I need it more than ever.

I am back to sitting on my resistance ball when I sit, most of the time, anyway. I find that my sit bone gets sore if I sit for too long on it, but that's probably a good indication that I've been sitting too long! In the meantime, while I AM sitting, I am working in little exercise sets between tasks - high knee lifts is challenging, or "jogging" on the ball, crunches, push-ups, etc. Since I can't workout as HARD as I'd like, I'm just going to try to keep exercising as much as possible. Again, I should have been doing that all along, but...

Anyway, it's healing nicely, and as long as I don't do something stupid before it has a chance to finish healing, I should be back to my favorite activities in no time!


Pros and Cons of Chair Workouts

Monday, June 17, 2013

Although I have been alternating between feeling sorry for myself and "going to the mat" (finally forced to get down on the floor to exercise) I still needed to find a way to get some cardio in, so I chose SP's Seated Cardio Workout to begin with. I mean, it's SP, right? I can't really say that I felt a good cardio burn with it, but I could have modified it or repeated it, so it's on me that I didn't feel the cardio. What I DID feel was my glutes and lower back, especially, screaming at me. Not the kind of pain that tells you that you need to stop immediately, but the kind that tells you that you probably should have tried doing seated cardio a long time ago, since it is obviously working an area that has been neglected. Oh, so that was both the pro and the con...the con was not such a great cardio effect, the pro was I learned a new way to work a different area of my body (who knew there were so MANY?).

I could move on to the FitnessBlender "Workout at Work - Low Impact Total Body Chair Workout Routine", but I think I'll wait until I haven't already attempted another seated cardio workout; I've seen this one and it looks pretty intense for me! Instead of trying to do more cardio this morning I think I'll just move right into some yoga.

Yoga is something I've been trying to incorporate into my regime for years, but never really tried hard enough to really DO it much. I took a yoga class in the '70s, but that was the last time I was really serious about it. As I have struggled to find my fitness zone (or whatever), I realized it would be very beneficial to add yoga to the mix and bought a few yoga videotapes and DVDs and even a "starter kit" (mat, blocks, and bag). I did try, and never doubted for a minute that I really needed to do it, but I just couldn't get enthusiastic about it. Yoga is very slow and controlled....nice....peaceful...relaxing.
..all the while its doing its stretching and flexing thing. In other words, yoga is exactly what I'm not...which is why it is exactly what I need. But it frustrates me, all that slow control when I'm looking for a fast hot burn (and yes, I know about hot yoga, but it's still yoga and the room is hot - not something I'm EVER interested in). Sadly, it's become abundantly clear that the frantic method that defines me is the thing that is likely responsible for most of my injuries (drat!).

So it has FINALLY sunk in that I need to slow down and be more mindful about the way I move. My balance is and always has been very poor (I hear yoga's good for that), which was my primary reason for the interest in yoga in the first place. But I was always afraid I was "wasting" time that could be spent on a rapid paced calorie crunching cardio workout while I was attempting yoga poses. However, I have been experiencing the ADHD-friendly world of fusion as of late, and it was in that land of cardio/toning/yoga/Pilates workouts that I came to understand that those slow, controlled movements can give you one helluva workout! Maybe I'm just discovering this because I'm finding so many of my workout videos on YouTube, so I'm getting a better mix; or maybe it just feels like a wicked workout now because I'm so much more out of shape than I ever was before, but I am finally ready to make peace with the idea of yoga, at least...still not quite ready to add Pilates to the mix.

I have all kinds of excuses for not doing yoga, Pilates, or ANY floor exercises at all. My cats always have to be directly under or on top of me if I'm on the floor - but I can put them in another room if I don't want to deal with them. They have chewed my mat up so much that it's tearing apart - but I'm not even going to talk about that, it so dumb. They also chewed and otherwise destroyed the blocks - I ordered replacements. I don't think I ever did have a yoga strap - but I have belts and towels. I guess all those excuses don't even work for ME any more, so I'll just have to decide whether I want to try to do my cat stretches with the cats or without them, and just get busy.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

The ankle is still quite swollen and painful, but I guess that's just how it goes with a sprained ankle. Lucky for me that I learned all about ankle PT when I broke the other one a few years ago! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

50SGRANNY 6/20/2013 2:18PM

    LOL @ "maybe grow some grass for the cats" JLITT62! I actually enjoy getting on the mat with the cats, but then have to move them along if I want to get serious for any length of time.

Somehow I was sure you loved yoga. I have amassed about a dozen Yoga videos over the years, including power yoga, "basic yoga", "yoga for fat burn", and more. While I have to admit I always felt better for practicing them, I think that at some point I decided to just use them for stretching after "real" workouts, totally losing sight of all the advantages of practicing yoga for itself. I have practiced a couple videos I found on YouTube, as well as some from SP. For now, the biggest challenge is finding one that doesn't put any undue stress on my ankle. I know enough yoga poses that I have been just trying to go through some of them myself, but I really like working with the videos so that I stay focused better.

Anyway, thanks for the comment, I appreciate the tips!

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JLITT62 6/19/2013 7:45AM

    I LOVE yoga. Maybe you need to check out power yoga - there are a lot of different kinds of yoga! Or invest in some 10 min yoga DVDs - I like to do 10 min first thing when I get up.

It will help with balance & flexibility, too.

Good luck!

And maybe grow some grass forthe cats.

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DUSTYPRAIRIE 6/17/2013 1:00PM

    It's encouraging to see you keep trying. Thanks for passing on your positive spirit.

emoticon together!

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