Friday, September 02, 2011
So, in order to give my joints a break and keep them happy, I decided to mix things up a bit by subbing out my run for a bike ride. It was really nice. There are some really good cycling paths around where I live, that I normally run on, but it was nice to use them as a cyclist for once!
I did about 20 miles in all, and I could certainly see myself trying to work in a ride at least once a week. I know my body, and if I keep running back to back, I will wind up injured, which is the last thing I want. My five fingers are still serving me well. No sign of shin splints, though my calves and the sides of my legs were really tired and sore after two days in a row of five miles. Thus the precautionary bike ride.
Anyway, trying to keep it smart, but keep moving! If the weather keeps being good, we're going hiking tomorrow. I will actually bring the camera on that, so maybe we'll get some good pictures to post!
Tuesday, August 09, 2011
These are my current running shoes, and they're really changing the way I think about footwear. I always get leg pain when I run, which sucks because I love running. It's my favorite way to exercise and de-stress, and not being able to do it makes me depressed and irritable. So far, I'm not having any shin or knee pain, and the initial muscle pain I got when I started using these has passed.
The whole barefoot running premise is an interesting one. The theory goes that we constantly walk in shoes that support our feet too much, and our support muscles atrophy. Barefoot running makes you use your control muscles, and also improves your form. When I'm wearing big, supportive sneakers, I tend to heel-strike. Because of this, I don't actually use the arch of my foot as the natural shock absorber that it is. Instead, the impact travels straight up my leg, injuring my knees and shins. As soon as I put on the barefoot shoes(oxymoron alert!), I immediately transitioned to a mid-foot strike. I also find that I immediately notice if I strike slightly oddly, so I am correcting before the problem leads to pain.
Anyway, I'm loving my freaky toe shoes. If you do pick up a pair of five fingers(or an imitation, no judgement) don't push yourself too far, too fast. I was convinced that I could do a shorter, but still long run for my first go with them, a few weeks back. Such a bad plan! I was basically crippled for a week. My calves hated me, with a burning, fiery passion, and let me know that loud and clear. So, two miles was too far. Of course, after limping around in them for a week, I went out and did a 5k, which resulted in some muscle pain, but not as much. Now I'm running 4 miles pretty happily. So do take it slow, and walk in them a lot.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
...is a site I've been using lately. It is more of a game than a fitness site, where doing activities makes you level up and opens new quests. The quests aren't too intense, at least at my level. Some of the starting ones were to spend 15 minutes outside, or twenty crunches. As you do each type of quest, harder ones open up, like when I went for a two mile run, I completed the 'run a mile' quest and opened the 5k one. Doing a 5k opened 10k.
I like the little challenges, as it encourages you to try different things, to earn points so you can level up. A lot of the quests nudge you towards using free weights, which I think is good, especially for women. Free weights work your stabilizing muscles in a way that machines don't, and that's a good thing.
Anyway, I'm enjoying it. I'm currently in a group challenge, to earn the most points in a week, so we shall see how it goes. Some of the people in my group are really hard core gym rats, so I know I won't come out on top, but it'll be fun to see how I can do.
I have some invites, so if you feel like having a go, let me know!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
So, When you're not trying to have a baby, PCOS shouldn't be that bad, right? Eat healthy, exercise, you'll be fine, right? Yeah, not so much.
I guess for a woman with PCOS, I don't do so bad. My highest ever weight has been 175, which was heavy for my height (5'3.75), but not 'obese'. As of this morning, I'm 156.6, after coffee and muesli. I've always know what I should and shouldn't eat, and I'm generally pretty good about it. I'm a pretty active person.
What makes me annoyed? I've been taking metformin and spironolactone for about three weeks now. Three weeks ago, I weighed 162. I've lost five pounds and change in three weeks, without changing one freaking thing about my diet. If anything, I'm exercising less and eating slightly more than normal. The real kick in the pants is that about four pounds has been the last week and a half, now that I've worked myself up to a high enough dose to start seeing a difference.
I've always known that women who do exactly what I do and don't have PCOS are skinnier than me. I've always known that any exercise buddy is going to lose more weight than I do with less effort. I've *known* that, but seeing it on the scale actually makes me livid.
This probably isn't a rational response, but I'm angry. I was angry when I got on the scale this morning, and I'm angry now. I feel betrayed by my body. I feel so angry for having made so many different attempts to lose weight over the years that have failed, not because my effort wasn't sincere and diligent, but because my body was sabotaging me.
I've always had a bad relationship with my mom when it comes to my weight. It's something we've fought over for more than a decade. We've also fought over my PCOS diagnosis, since she doesn't think it's a 'real' disease. She also doesn't agree with taking lots of medication, at least not 'western' medication, so, no, I haven't told her I'm taking metformin, though I did tell her about the spiro, which didn't set her off. She's apparently going to send me some Chinese tea for diabetics. I won't actually take it if she does, because many 'natural' medicines contain the same things that go into our nice pills, just from different sources. I'll ask my endo if he thinks it's okay.
So basically, I feel anger on all sides. Why didn't I go to the doctor when I was a young teenager, suddenly gaining weight and with very irregular periods? Of course, things have come a long way since then, so there might have been nothing to do, but this is still frustrating as hell. I've hated my body for years. HATED it. That's not a great attitude to have, but when you're bombarded on all sides with the image of what you should look like and you don't fit that image, well, you feel shame, and that leads to hatred.
The worst was I knew I was doing everything right. I counted calories, sometimes obsessively. I exercised to the point of idiocy. I went through years of my life not remembering what it felt like to be 'full'. I felt like everyone around me was judging my failure. I felt like I just wasn't trying hard enough, wasn't doing something right. You keep hearing 'calories in minus calories out. Create a deficit, you'll lose weight!'. Well, for PCOS women, sometimes, that isn't enough. Every time someone would say to me, 'well, if you're not losing weight you must be lying about what you're consuming, or your exercise'(not on spark, for the most part), I would laugh with tears in my eyes.
Maybe part of my mother's attitude has crept in without my being aware. I feel like taking medicine, the visible outcome of which is losing weight, even if mentally I know it does more than that, is a cop out. I feel like I should have had the discipline to just lose weight, like a normal person. I still feel like a failure, somehow. Like, even if I lose the weight with the medicine, it 'doesn't count'. I've taken the 'easy route', even if it still isn't 'easy'. Maybe it's because I've lost over two pounds this week, despite taco night and having a cheeseburger, both of which involved beef(lean beef mince, but still. It was actually the first time I've had beef mince in something like three years). Both those days I wound up eating about 1700 calories, which is about 400 more than I usually average.
Maybe I would weigh a lot more than I do if I hadn't always been someone who ate right and exercised. I don't really know, but I probably would. I just feel so... I don't even know anymore. The word that keeps rising to the surface is 'betrayed'. I feel heartbroken and betrayed. I have dedicated so much energy so working against something that I couldn't actually control, and it feels like wasted energy.
I've always tried to feel pride in what I do accomplish. I like going for a run. I like feeling sore after a workout. I enjoy feeling strong. Those feelings only buoy you along for so long if you still feel awful every time you look in the mirror.
I feel like I need to completely rebuild my sense of self. I've gone through years of hating part of me. My stomach, my thighs, my butt... Hate, hate, hate. I need to change that attitude, but for the moment, I'm left feeling... empty. I don't know what to feel or how to react. I'm just going to have to try to find my way again.
Does that mean I'm going to change my life completely, park my ass on the couch and start stuffing my face? No. I've always enjoyed healthy foods and exercise. I think I am going to have to make a switch from flogging myself at the gym to just doing the fun activities I enjoy. Sure the gym is a part of that, but not at the expense of the other things like hiking, kayaking and running outside. I need to do these things because they make me happy, not because I will lose weight. I need to give my body some time to sort itself out. I want to see who I can be when I don't let my weight completely define me.
So that's the new goal. Enjoy being me. Would I like to lose weight? Sure. But I need that to be a side effect of living the lifestyle I enjoy, rather than the focus of every action I take. So, hopefully the metformin will help. Only time will tell.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
So, I've been pretty good about exercising and eating, using my bike to get around, that kind of thing. Though my long ride left yesterday left me with one shin splint, and no idea why... Anyway, after seeing my endocrinologist yesterday, I'm back on metformin, so I figure I should actively track what I'm doing. I've been bouncing between 165 and 160, hopefully the met and more rigorous food tracking will see that number heading down. I see him again in three months, so we'll see what happens.
Of course, metformin can take a while to actually start working, but I will just keep on keeping on and not let myself get discouraged by my complete and utter lack of progress. Right. Really, I will. At least the weather has been nice and running and biking outdoors is an option again. So we shall see. And not expect instantaneous results.
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