AQUAGIRL08   200,139
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AQUAGIRL08's Recent Blog Entries

Non Scale Measures Of Progress

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sometimes I become so fixated on the number on the scale that I forget it is only one measure of my progress. This week, for example, I had a 1.2 pound increase when I weighed in at Weight Watchers. I was disappointed but I knew that I had changed my workout routine so perhaps that had some effect on my weight. I was surprised when I tried on a fairly new top and it was way too big on me. That was a very pleasant surprise too!

That got me to thinking about non scale measures of progress. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, the way your clothes fit is one measure of progress. Some others are lab numbers, energy level and improve immune system. My lab numbers and energy level are much better that they were just two months ago. I decided to measure my arm, chest, waist, hip and thigh and compare the measurements that I did on October 4, 2012. The results were very pleasing to me!

10/04/12 Measurements:

Arm 16 7/8 in.

Chest 47 3/4 in.

Waist 45 1/2 in.

Hip 53 3/4 in.

Thigh 27 3/4 in.

Neck 15 in.

02/16/13 Measurements:

Arm 15 7/8 in. (-1 in.)

Chest 45 in. (-2 3/4 in.)

Waist 39 in. (-6 1/2 in.)

Hip 49 in. (-4 3/4 in.)

Thigh 26 1/2 in. (-1 1/4 in.)

Neck 14 in. (-1 in.)

Total Loss = 17 1/4 inches

Oh my goodness! A total loss of 17 1/4 inches is a lot! No wonder I'm able to fit into much smaller sizes. Plus, with such a big loss around the waist, my overall health must be greatly improved.

This just shows that sometimes a weight gain will show up on the scale and it is easy to let that number define you. When you look at other measures of progress, you get a much better picture. Although I had a 1.2 pound gain this week, my body was busy making changes inside, where I couldn't see them. I am actually making great progress. Now that I can see the progress, I'm motivated to continue to strive to meet my goals and become more healthy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 2/20/2013 8:54AM

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PEGGYANNSCH 2/18/2013 7:27PM

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L*I*T*A* 2/17/2013 11:02AM

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RUTHIEBEAR 2/17/2013 9:22AM

    That is wonderful! I, too, have learned that I need to measure success in non-scale ways also. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 2/17/2013 12:11AM

    You definitely are making progress! It shows in person a lot!! So glad you did your before measurements so you could post that wonderful progress you have made. The loss in your waist is just great! Yes, it would indicate you've made some great health progress.

I struggle to use the scale properly as a tool myself. It is easy to get too focused on it. It is an important measure, but just one measure. It fluctuates and sometimes you go up for no reason, when you know you've done well. Occasionally you expect a gain and don't get it. At least not the day you expected it. Also, you are not in total control of what the scale says in the short run, but eventually the scale will reflect your behavior.

Again, congratulations on your very significant, and I know, hard earned inches lost!!!



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KANATAGIRL 2/16/2013 10:24PM

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CAROL494 2/16/2013 9:56PM

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Feeling Better And Have A New Pain Plan

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I feel much better today after following my pain plan yesterday. I did fairly slow exercise for 2 hours and just barely broke a sweat when I was finished. The exercise did help my headache recovery. I know that I looked like I was exercising hard to others, but I was at level 5 or below the whole time I was riding the bike. When I walked on the treadmill, I kept the speed at 2.6 or below for an average of a 24 minute mile. For me, that is taking it slow. Since I can't feel certain types of pain until it's too late, I have to use external controls such as the clock or exercise equipment speeds to keep me from hurting myself. I also have to make sure that I warm up and cool down sufficiently to avoid injury. I did both today.

I stopped and picked up a prescription and purchased some fruit at the grocery store and then arrived home. My cell phone rang and it was my neurologist's office. My neurologist wants me to take my medication 3 times a day until my shoulder is fixed. I had started getting migraines from the referred pain from my shoulder. We will review my plan in August, once we know how to treat my shoulder. So far today, the new treatment has really helped both my headache and shoulder spasms. Because of that, I would have to say it was a good day.

I'm wishing everyone a happy Valentine's Day! It is a great day to tell your family and friends that you love them!

  
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PEGGYANNSCH 2/21/2013 10:15AM

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DONNABRIGHT 2/16/2013 4:49PM

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L*I*T*A* 2/14/2013 6:28PM

    take care...........
wishing you a happy Valentine's Day
blessings and hugs............lita

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SLENDERELLA61 2/14/2013 6:28PM

    Yes, you looked like you were going vigorously on the bike to me!! But seems like you truly know what you are doing. So glad it was a better day. Smart to use the information on the machines to regulate your activity when you can't use pain cues. So hoping you get total and forever relief soon!

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THOMS1 2/14/2013 6:08PM

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Getting A Handle On Pain Before It Gets A Handle On Me

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Yesterday, I saw my neurologist for migraines and chronic nerve pain. She stressed to me that when I'm starting to get a migraine or nerve pain, I should take my medicine instead of trying to "tough it out" and letting it get out of control. Apparently pain that is out of control is very bad for my overall health and I'm still not paying enough attention to it. I have a large tolerance for pain and when I start to get really uncomfortable with it, that means it will shortly be out of control. Pain that is out of control is bad for your body in so many ways. It is especially hard on the blood pressure and the heart.

It must be karma because today I had my MRI and I was in a moderate amount of pain after it was over. The pain comes from the position that I was in for the MRI and from the fact that I didn't move for an hour while the test was in progress. My shoulder muscles went into spasms so badly that the MRI technician had to re-do one part of the test. He initially thought that it was do to me moving my arm but I told him about the severe spasms after it was over. I was surprised that he didn't have to re-do the very last sequence too because the shoulder blade and back part of the shoulder were positively jumping. I guess it didn't affect the actual part of the shoulder being tested.

I drove from Tampa to the Y on my way home. At the Y, I did 80 minutes on the recumbent cycle. Today I did machine intervals as opposed to the manual intervals that I did yesterday. The intervals that I did today were 2 minutes high and 2 minutes slightly lower in difficulty. It was a good workout and I was sopping wet when I finished. I also felt exceptionally tired, which wasn't a good thing. Now back to my reference to karma. I felt okay all the way up until I got into the shower. Then it hit me! The pain that I experienced earlier in the morning came back along with the start of a headache. Since my doctor and I had covered exactly what I should do when I saw her yesterday, I put my plan into action.

First, I turned down the temperature of the water in my shower. I cut my shower time to as little as possible. I sat down as I dressed and re-packed my gym bag slowly as I breathed slowly and evenly. Then, I walked out to my car and slowly put my things in the back. I carefully drove home.

Next, I headed for the refrigerator and had some yogurt and drank some water with my medicine. I told hubby that I was working on a bad headache. I had a pile of mail, which I placed on the bed and read while I lay down and rested. Hubby came in and lay on the bed next to me to check on my progress. Once the medicine kicked in, I put hot packs on my spasming muscles and lay back down. Ahhhh, the combination of medication and hot packs on my shoulder and neck got the migraine and spasms under control within 3-4 hours. I still had a pounding in my head so a took a couple tylenol and the pain lessened even more. I could still feel the throbbing along the side of my neck but it was under control.

I honestly didn't think that the pain was that bad after the MRI or I would never have gone to the gym to do a vigorous workout. Some types of pain are hard for me to feel until they get out of control (My doctor says that this is very common for people who suffer from chronic pain). I am so glad that I went over my new procedure yesterday with my doctor. Who would have thought that I'd be using what I learned today. My time as the computer needs to be shorter so I will stop typing now and go take the second dose of my medicine and go to bed. Tomorrow, I will be very careful because I'm sure I will have residual pain. I will not do vigorous exercise tomorrow in order to let my body recover. Exercise in itself is good for me to do after a bout with pain but it has to be gentle. So, gentle it will be. I got a handle on pain before it got a handle on me. I feel better already!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 2/14/2013 1:34PM

    Good to see you at the Y today. Sorry I was too busy with the personal trainer to talk much. Was that a gentle cycling workout I saw you doing? Looked kind of vigorous to me at a distance!!

So sorry to hear you've been through so much pain. Hope you get some relief soon. I admire how you do all you can given what you face. Hang in there. Take care, Marsha

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Stationary Bike Riding At Level 7-10

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yesterday and today I chose to use the stationary bike as my form of cardiovascular exercise. The new stationary bikes at the Y are amazing! The Y where I belong has upgraded all of their cardiovascular equipment. The recumbent cycle that I used yesterday and today had it's own television at the top of the cycle. The seat was comfortable (and adjustable) and the the screen tracking the exercise was large and easy to read. (Just the thing for these "over 50" eyes!) The ride was smooth too!

I did a 5 minute warm up (and cool down) in the 2-3 level and was easily able to progress to levels 7-10. Yesterday, I did intervals of 1-2 minutes at level 10 and the rest of the levels were at 7-8. Today, I did levels of 6-7 at a higher speed with intervals of one minute at level 8. Surprisingly enough, I got a better workout today and was able to do 10 minutes more total time. Yesterday, I did just under 10 miles in 65 minutes. Today, I did 12.5 miles in 75 minutes. On both days, I was dripping wet when I finished my workout. I was glad that I brought my water bottle with me!

I felt energized after both of my workouts. They were fairly short and pretty intense compared to my 2-3 hour workouts in the pool. The recumbent cycle had a very smooth ride and didn't seem to bother my shoulder. I left the gym with no more shoulder pain than I had when I arrived. Hooray!

Tomorrow I am scheduled to have the MRI of my left shoulder. I plan to stop at the gym on my way home and hop on the stationary bicycle for an hour or so. Finding a way to exercise has been a lifesaver for me since I use exercise as a stress outlet.

  
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DONNABRIGHT 2/13/2013 11:06AM

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SLENDERELLA61 2/12/2013 9:00PM

    Cyndi, Great job on the stationery bike. emoticon emoticon emoticon


The new equipment is pretty nice. Glad it suits you these days that your shoulder needs rest. Best wishes for a clear MRI and definitive treatment plan. Wishing you health!! Take care, Marsha

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UMBILICAL 2/12/2013 7:34PM

  Good luck on the MRI

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Matching Food Tracking With Successful Weight Loss

Sunday, February 10, 2013

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Today I decided to look back at the successful times along my journey. I matched my food tracker with my periods of successful weight loss and was able to see in writing what works for me. (Exercise has never been a big problem, except that I tend to do too much of it.) I love the fact that Spark People has such great online tools that I can use to help me along the way. Thank you Spark People!

So what information did I gain? When I eat protein with whole grains for breakfast, I do better during the whole day. Notice that I didn't say more calories. Every time I have had a weight loss streak, I have had egg whites, fruit and oatmeal for breakfast. When I eat a leafy green salad with lean protein for lunch along with fruit, a whole grain and skim milk, I am less likely to graze in the kitchen later in the day. If I'm really hungry, I eat a snack. I eat a fruit or veggie along with it and it is more satisfying. When I have lean protein, veggies, fruit and a whole grain for dinner, I stay full longer. Smoothies made with fruit or veggies and skim milk make a great evening snack that is very satisfying. I can use a variety of fat free dairy products and add fat to my plan with heart healthy oil. I feel the best when I drink 72 ounces of water and when I do it consistently, I'm less likely to confuse hunger and thirst.

Wow! That is a lot of information! I'm glad that I took the time to write it all down after looking at my tracker. I think that I'll copy this blog and use it as a tool when I do meal planning. This plan is full of vitamins, fiber and protein. It is low in sodium and low in added sugar.. If I throw in a few spices, I can have lots of variety too! It is a plan that keeps hunger under control but is flexible enough to allow me to live my life.

Thanks Spark People for having this wonderful site that helps me with my journey to health!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 2/12/2013 6:52PM

    Thank you all for such wonderful support! I printed off a copy (in larger print) and have it sitting on the kitchen counter where I can see it. Now before I eat anything else, I look at the blog and can see in black and white what I ate when I was the most successful!

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PEGGYANNSCH 2/12/2013 11:26AM

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SLENDERELLA61 2/10/2013 3:44PM

    Great job analyzing your meals and satisfaction! You are doing great!! Thanks for your wise answer on my blog, too. Keep up the great work. -Marsha

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