I'm sitting down at my computer thinking about what I want out of the month of February. It's a new month and I can set any reasonable goals that I'd like to set. At the top of my list I'd like to have success with two team challenges. First, the February Challenge for our Polk County Group. Exercise aerobically 3 times a week and work out with weights 2 times a week for the whole month. My second challenge is to do the Love Yourself Challenge for my SP Class of August 2008. In that challenge I have a combo of exercise and self care to complete every day. I need to learn to love myself and treat myself with kindness. So, for the month of February I plan to do that. Putting myself at the top of my "to do list" should be a top priority and I will pay closer attention to that during February. I also want to continue with healthy eating, drinking water and logging both of these. I want to measure my success by how I feel and by how healthy I am instead of the scale. That is easier said than done since I'd love to lose 6-8 pounds in February. All that's left for me to do is get the ball rolling on my February plan!
I am now entering day three of my physical therapy exercise program. When my PT said I have some serious work to do in order to loosen my hip flexors and strengthen my stomach and back muscles, he wasn't kidding! After just one day of exercises, I was very sore yesterday when I got up. Consciously trying to keep your stomach muscles pulled in during the day appears to be exercise in itself for me! I'm also working on different form during water aerobics. I could actually feel a big difference when I started working the target muscles instead of using my whole torso! Last night I completed day two and this morning I'm very stiff! I will do my exercises faithfully because I want my core to get stronger to support my spine. I can tell that it is weak right now or I wouldn't be so sore from doing rather simple exercises. I am determined to be successful with this!
Today was day 2 of my new pain management program. My pain today has been tolerable and I did a regular water aerobics workout and some water jogging. Hopefully I will have a restful night and not be too sore tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will have a "core muscles" evaluation with a special physical therapist. We will determine what exercises and activities I can and can't do. It is very important for me to develop my core strength in order to support my spine and slow down the degeneration as much as possible. My goal is to be as active as possible without hurting myself or being in an unmanageable amount of pain. I'm actually excited about this evaluation. I tried to have it done three years ago and this particular practice didn't take my insurance. Now they do take it and I can proceed forward. I need to go fill out tons of paperwork now to get ready for tomorrow. I'm psyched!
I finally had my appointment with my pain management doctor to review my MRI this morning. She told me that my lower back looks really bad and has very severe arthritis. That was the bad news. The good news is that my doctor and I have come up with a pain control treatment plan and several backup plans in case the first plan isn't successful. She actually drew a diagram of my pain pattern and showed me how the treatment would deal with the pain. We listed the goals for my pain control and she answered my many questions. We even have a plan in place for unexpected pain spikes for times when I overdo my activities. This gave me hope. I could have cried in relief.
This made me pause and think about the idea of hope. Hope is the most precious gift you can give another human being. I think that's why I love Spark People so much. Even when I mess up on my eating and exercise plans, I can still be hopeful and can try again the next day. This got me thinking about my interactions with other people and how my actions could give them hope in their lives. Perhaps this is a way that I can share the spark. It could be one way to let your inner light shine.
Today was a very productive day. I went to water aerobics for 75 minutes and then walked for an hour. I also posted the February 2010 Challenge for our local Polk County Group and sent out email reminders for upcoming team events. I made a healthy chicken, mushroom, onion and broccoli dish in the crockpot for dinner tonight. I feel good but I'm finally starting to tire a bit. I was beginning to wonder where all of this energy was coming from and if I would wind down before bedtime! Sleeping should be no problem tonight!