Monday, October 26, 2009
I have to admit, I haven't been feeling the Spark much, since I last updated. I got sick during the last week of September, and then again weekend before last. I've also had my period TWICE this month, which makes absolutely no sense to me, because my birth control dosage is supposed to make me have periods only 4 times a year. So, I've been struggling and feeling like crap.
I've also had some pretty big issues weighing on me in my personal life, so I've been spending a lot of time in coffee shops, working, reading, and feeling a bit melancholy. And that has meant indulging on tempting pastries and warm beverages a bit more than I probably should.
I'm not gaining a ton of weight, or anything, but I seem to be gaining and losing the same few pounds over and over, so that's frustrating. Still, I'm happy to be hanging out in the 160 range, because it's a lot better than I was doing this time last year! :)
On the decidedly-Up side, physical Therapy has been going pretty well. I'm still wearing a knee supporter at wushu from time to time, but things seem to be getting better, and I'm working more of my beloved activities back into my life. I can even occasionally go running again!
Anyhoo, this week, since I am dressing up as one of the X-Men for Halloween, I'm trying out the "peaking" diet from Making The Cut, mostly just to see what happens. I know that I'm not *quite* at my goal, but I'm close enough that I figure, eh, it's worth trying. Looking more like a ripped superhero is appropriate for the costume, after all!
Yesterday was my first day, and I find that I do like the simplicity of it--with how complicated life has been lately, it's nice to have *something* that's simple--and I haven't been feeling overly hungry. I think the worst part of it is breakfast! I've really grown to love my eggs-and-oatmeal breakfast, and the egg whites with spinach is just bland, bland, bland. I may try zucchini instead of spinach tomorrow, to see if that helps, but even if it doesn't, it's only one week, right?
Friday, September 18, 2009
I finally, FINALLY had my knee appointment yesterday, and the news was, fortunately, not terrible. They took x-rays of my knee, asked a bunch of questions, and checked for swelling and tightness. The x-rays looked normal, so that was good, but they sent me in for physical therapy for the next few weeks. Hopefully my knee will respond to PT... otherwise, I'll have to go back in for an MRI to look for deeper problems.
Anyhoo, I had my PT appointment this morning, and it went really well. She asked me some questions, moved my legs and feet around, had me do some back and side bends, and ding! She had the problem all figured out. I swear, physical therapists are magicians.
Basically, the issue is that my feet pronate, and some of my hip muscles aren't as strong as they should be, so my knees are getting pushed inward and it's causing much hurting. The part of my knee that hurts is where a lot of leg muscles attach, and my quads also aren't firing entirely right, so I need more support to keep my knees from turning inward into the knock-kneed-type posture.
So, for the next while here, I'll be going in twice a week, and we'll be working on my hips and quads, and also trying to fix my foot/leg/hip alignment. She also gave me some localized anti-inflammatory treatment on my knee to help it feel less cranky, and that seems to have helped some.
I'm still a little disheartened, because I know it's going to be a potentially long process, and my knee is still keeping me from doing everything I want to be doing, training-wise. But, at least things are starting to move the right direction.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to talk about Making The Cut!
I completed Day 30 on August 25th, and it felt like SUCH an achievement. I remember looking through the book when I first read through it, and my eyes literally bugged out at some of the exercises. I was thinking to myself: how the hell am I going to do THAT? And yet, on Day 30, I did all of the moves, and I'd gotten through all the exercises that seemed so scary... it boggles my mind how strong a person can get in just a few short weeks.
The cool thing, though, is that, in spite of all the recent stress at home and at work, and in spite of the knee problems I'd had during the last week or two of the program, I FINISHED the workouts. I had to modify a couple exercises towards the end, to accommodate my knee, but I did NOT bitch out and quit! I did the whole thing!
As for results? Well, I probably should've taken measurements before I started it, but I didn't think of it until I was a good ways into the program already. I did take measurements last weekend, though, and my waist was down to 29", and my hips were down to 39 1/4", which is smaller than they've EVER been! AND I seem to be losing even more weight, little by little, even after going back to a less demanding training schedule.
I think I could've done better on the program, since my eating was rather hit-or-miss during the second half, with everything that was going on and all the high emotions and stress I was dealing with. But I felt like such an awesome beast after finishing the Day 30 workout, that I don't even care.
So, worth doing? DEFINITELY, if for no other reason than because it really showed me that I'm capable of some pretty crazy physical feats! I may do the program again in the future, but that'd be after I see my new orthopedist next week, and my knee problems settle out some more. Right now, it's all about keeping my eating on-target, and doing activities that aren't quite so unfriendly for my knee. :)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I had a really bad moment over this past weekend. I'd taken Friday off from work to get several errands done, and my mood felt strangely erratic all day... I'd go from feeling mellow, to feeling like crying, and back again. At one point, I was trying to find the DMV near my house, but Google Maps gave me bum directions, and I got SO ANGRY about it that it scared me! I get easily annoyed by things, sometimes, but I'm never quick to get *angry*.
I went to wushu, felt my knee aching again, and basically turned into an emotional wreck. After I got home, I was sitting on the computer, and I broke down and polished off the rest of Boy's stupid animal cookies that he left sitting up here on the desk. It's been a long time since I had a really bad, emotional eating moment like that, so I was REALLY not happy about it.
I had to admit it to myself then: This whole knee pain thing is stressing me out a lot more than I thought it was.
See, I've had a lot going on this past week or two, work-wise, and normally, I can handle it. Sure, I'll work my butt off during the day, but when the stress starts to build too much, I just go to the gym, or go running, or go to wushu. I work it all out, and I feel worlds better afterwards.
That strategy isn't working right NOW, though, because when I go to work out, my knee starts acting up, and I start to worry about it. Training is actually adding significantly MORE stress onto me, because I'm having these problems, and yet, I don't want to stop training altogether.
I realized later that the prospect of not being able to train scares the living crap out of me. I was already turning to food for comfort, because I can't rely on training for that release, right now. If the knee problems persist, I'm afraid that I'll keep turning to food. That's the only reliable outlet I have. I can't afford to get massages all the time, or go shopping, or do much of anything that actually helps me release the tension.
I also had to admit to myself that I'm really, really scared of getting fat again. I feel like I'm so close to finally NOT being overweight, for the first time EVER in my stupid life. I feel like I'm finally in the right headspace where I can actually get where I've wanted to go all these years.
But, on Friday night, I just wanted to cry and scream, because everything I've worked my ass off for could be taken away from me by my knee, right when the end was finally coming into sight. I didn't even want to leave my bedroom, because there was food out in the world. And alcohol.
I AM feeling much better now, though. I'll be replacing my running regimen with biking, for a while, which will train my quads and hopefully help with at least some of the knee problems. I also hope to get in and see an orthopedist soon, too, to find out what's really going on with my knee. I've also suspected for a while that my stride is not exactly perfect, so maybe I can even solve the knee and the stride at the same time. Anything I can do to prevent (further) injury is icing on the cake!
It's easy to get emotional, but even when things go bad, you have to pick yourself up and start over again. I've been eating well these past couple of days, and I even got through Day 29 of MTC yesterday, and felt pretty good afterwards. I guess that's why it's so important to identify your fears, acknowledge them, and accept them: so you can move past it and start thinking about solutions.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I'm on Day 24 of Making The Cut, and it's been pretty tough going, off and on. Stress has kicked my butt, so I haven't exactly been on-point with the food plan 100% of the time, but I'm in range most days. Thing is, I find my muscles just getting completely worn out, some days, and it's frustrating! Usually taking a week off from running will fix that, but I don't dig having to do things that way.
The scary thing is, MTC switched up the schedule this past week, so that instead of Sat/Sun and Wed off, it was Sat and Tue/Wed off. I have wushu on Saturdays and Tuesdays, which I won't skip for anything, so today's my first complete day off in an entire week, and my left knee has been hurting for the past 3 days.
I've had these knee issues off and on for several years, and most of the time, they aren't too bad. Maybe I'll feel my quad tendons hurting occasionally when I hold a stance for a long time, but that's the end of it. Sometimes, though, I'll get these continual aches, and it's pretty scary for me when that happens. Wushu is notorious for knee issues and injuries.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I already do one high-impact sport, and now I've been adding more high-impact activity on top of that, so DUH, of course my knees hurt. Thing is, I've also been training my quad strength, *and* losing weight, and the doctors told me those are the two things that will get RID of my particular knee problems!
So, maybe I haven't done quite enough of either to yield good results yet. Maybe it's because Making The Cut has had me training my hamstrings, too, and I'm maintaining a hamstring/quad imbalance even though my quads are getting stronger. (I have strong hams) Or, maybe I'm developing a different type of knee problem, aside from my quad tendinitis/tendinopathy.
I really, REALLY hope it's not that last option.
And, of course, I'm thinking about where to go next, after MTC. I started looking into P90X and am thinking about that, but if my knee aches persist, I'm not sure if that's the greatest idea... I'll have to see how flexible that program is, and whether or not there's enough impact to cause me problems.
Anyhoo, I bought some joint juice last night, so hopefully that'll help. I also started supplementing with White Willow Bark and Guarana, and I've had some pretty excellent workouts since starting that! I have 6 more days of MTC to do, and then I think it's time to take a break from Jillian circuits for a bit. As effective as her workouts are, she does like her high-impact movements, and those aren't exactly the most knee-friendly. :)
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