Monday, January 16, 2012
Okay, it sounds really weird, but I've always been kinda touchie with myself. I'm definitely not big on touchie-feelie with others. I don't cringe or flinch away, but I'm not the person who walks into the office she used to work in and gives all her past coworkers big hugs. Even with my daughter, I had to adjust to give her the amount of contact she needed. It was definitely more than I did.
Anyway, touching myself (no, not like THAT *GLARES*) - as I gained weight, I found the way it felt oddly fascinating. The extra roll over my hips, trying to pull and mush my drooping belly to imagine what it would look like without, and poking gently as the padding over ribs and thighs. Muscles are equally fascinating when they can be distinctly felt - and I can feel my calves when I flex or even my biceps in spite of the bat wings.
That whole "pinch an inch" thing? I kinda got a kick out of seeing how much I could pinch in all sorts of areas on my body. Sure, it's more than I want in some spots, but that was the expected consequence of the changes from eating the way I was.
I guess I should just say that the look and feel of the human body intrigues me.
As I have done crunches almost every day I have ST scheduled (3x a wk, every wk), I've started to notice changes. Lying on my back, I can still feel the extra padding in my upper torso, BUT underneath it and becoming more obvious to the touch have been the basic abdominal muscles.
Today, for whatever reason, it just seemed way more firm, if that's the right word. There's still a layer of fat over it, but I can feel my ribs and if I move in over my abdomen where the ribs end, it's not soft underneath anymore. My gut will still let me poke my finger and say "Hoo hoo" like the Pillsbury Doughboy, but without any sort of tensing up, the area above the waist won't. I can feel the resistance there.
It's not something I could show in a picture, I don't think, but it underscores my mentality here of health and fitness - even with the fat over it, I can feel the fitness building.
(( Oh, and while I have my monthly check-in tonight to take a picture, I only realized a week ago that those pictures are just a tiny bit deceptive. Swimsuits in these womanly sizes? They come with inside "shaping". It's not concealing the weight, but it is smoothing the curves I think. Not that I'm going to change what I wear for the picture - better the direct comparison and it still will show the gradual changes over time. ))
Monday, January 16, 2012
Something I always find ridiculously amusing - when I get to the end of a day and I have all my nutrition needs met, except calories. Today I was well over my 80g protein goal, had my sodium very nicely in range for the first day since I started tracking it, great on carbs (yummy spinach and squash!), fine on fat. But I was almost 200 calories under.
I keep little desserts around, but usually I have to plan ahead to fit them in - and I won't eat them unless they fit. Ice cream is one of those. I've learned to really enjoy that 1/2 cup serving when I can fit it in.
Tonight's dessert is one that warms me, in more ways than one. It's a small microwaveable apple crisp. Many many years ago, I remember home-made desserts that my mother would make. Gingerbread with that painfully slow-pouring molasses, pumpkin pies and the sugared excess crust, and apple crisp. I do love me that apple crisp.
I've tried to eat apples whole and just can't get past something, some dislike of having to bite into it. It's unrelated to the skin as I can peel them and still not want to bit. (Which is really really odd, because I won't think twice about biting into a cucumber or a tomato.)
But cooked up in a pie, or even better as an apple crisp, and they are soooo delicious.
These little cups are a single serving, which makes them even better. Scrum-diddly-umptious.
It still feels odd to say I ~HAD~ to eat it in order to meet my calories, but hey, I can live with that. That's a lifestyle I can certainly settle into.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Well, I think the quick R.I.C.E. treatment of my calf made a lot of difference. I'd actually elevated it at work a bit, iced it at home, wrapped it in an ACE bandage overnight and stayed in bed last night and until mid-afternoon today. I don't even feel a twinge.
No, I'm not foolish enough to assume it's automatically "all better". I kept it wrapped with the bandage while working out at the gym, am icing it again tonight, and am back in bed with both legs elevated reasonably. But a couple short (10-15 minutes each) workouts on a recumbent bike felt fine and I don't feel any strain in the calf when stretching. Whew.
Ice on the foot helped immensely last night as did elevation. I'm not quite sure how to wrap a bandage for that, so compression is questionable. Rest was same as above - in bed through mid-afternoon.
It seemed fine on the recumbent bike for the first two workouts, but the third was after walking around and doing the strength training on weight machines and by that point I could feel the tension. Not pain, not heat, just a feeling like it was tight all through the arch area. I could feel it while on the bike again, though not worsening, just tight from the walking around.
The hard thing for me is to minimize the walking. I feel so weird taking a bus one block to the gym rather than walk that block. And even with it a bit stiff, I didn't even think and walked to a nearby store to get cottage cheese tonight after realizing I was out. (More walking than planned even, because the closest store only had 4%, the next closest store was closed early, and the next store is a little under a half mile total walk from my house.)
I've iced and elevated it again and am back to resting it, but this is going to really be hard. I'm already trying to evaluate some of my goals and see how I can adapt them. (Using the word I learned from one of TIMOTHYNOHE's blogs -- fungible. My goals are fungible, so I can swap them for something of similar or equal value.)
Some of the stuff I've been reading makes me really unsure what it is. Several of the descriptions of plantar fasciitis don't really fit. For example, one comment is that most of the pain is felt near the heel while I feel most of the strain in the arch area or just behind the ball of the foot. There's one mention of difficulty stretching the toes back toward the shin, which I can do just fine. There's also mention of it being worst first thing in the morning, where mine seems fine in the morning and to ache more through the day the more I'm on it.
Ultimately, unless I find it necessary to budget in a doctor visit, it doesn't matter WHAT it is - it just matters that I take the best care of it that I can.
I can and have stopped the walking for cardio now. (And with that thought, I do realize I may have made it worse this past month with the efforts to push to a 15 minute mile. I felt fine aerobically, but didn't consider the muscle, bone, structure impacts of increasing my speed.) I'll be using the bikes at the gym for all my cardio, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I can do more in 30 minutes on the bike than walking - and have it tracking my heart rate directly.
I will have to stop the extra walking if I miss one bus and take another - instead I'll just have to be half an hour late rather than 15 minutes. I'm not going to be able to avoid walking around the grocery store, walking to and from bus stops, and the like, so I'll have to just keep it as easy as possible and be prepared to ice it after.
Oh, and thank you to REALLY_ROBIN for the information on the calf stretches. Even without the foot issue, I've always found trying to stretch my calf properly awkward - but the toe on the wall one makes a lot of sense, and the step one worked very nicely today.
Friday, January 13, 2012
I have an extremely high pain t.olerance level. To give a general idea of just how high, I'll take you back briefly to being in labor at the end of my first pregnancy. I was two weeks late. The doctor had stated that if I didn't have her over the weekend, he would induce. Guess my body took him seriously at that Friday appt. because about mid-day Saturday, I noticed contractions.
I called the hospital and talked to a nurse. She basically pooh-poohed them as false labor since this was my first. I said okay and thanks and hung up.
My mother came over a couple hours later for a visit. I mentioned the contractions and she timed them. Less than 5 minutes apart and consistent. Now, I'd been doing things like cleaning my room which was upstairs, coming downstairs to the living room to watch TV, wandering the condo (I rented the room from a sweet older woman.) I wasn't noticing them as anything worse than short bursts like menstrual cramps.
So off to the hospital we go with my mother saying something about how they better not try to tell her these weren't real. (Real tiger she could be.) We get to the check-in desk for the maternity ward and sit down with a nurse to get signed in. I'm smiling, talking, cracking jokes, and every few minutes stopping to say "Oh, there's another one."
Even the nurse at this point doesn't seem really convinced - I'm way to relaxed and jovial. Then she straps on a monitor that not only tracks the time between, but also the intensity. I swear her eyes bugged on the next contraction. Hehe. I'm sitting there chuckling as she goes from all routine to "ACK! Get her in a room stat!"
She was born less than two hours later. Hours in which it did get more intense, yes, but never such that I needed or asked for any sort of pain relief. I chewed a lot of ice. That I remember quite well. The other thing I remember? The rooms weren't closed off or sound-proof and there was a lot of crying and screaming from the pain. O_O
I had two more babies, both smaller, both fast and without me ever feeling like I was in excruciating pain.
Yes, I do happen to be blessed with a baby-bearing body. (You can see the hips for it even with the weight.) But it's also that crazy high pain tolerance.
So, what do I need to stop doing?
I need to stop minimizing the discomforts I ~DO~ feel.
I don't even remember now when I first mentioned my foot wasn't feeling right, my arch and sole were a little sore so I was easing up on the walking, being careful. But it was probably around the holidays because I know it seemed to have eased up by January such that I walked a LOT last week.
Cue this week and it's hurting a little again, feeling tight, disliking certain positions. I've been reading and there's a good chance this is the Plantar Fasciitis I read about in other's blogs. And suddenly I clue in on something. By the time ~I~ am feeling it, it's not just something I can hopefully ease up on and not get ... I probably have it inflamed already and I've just been exacerbating it. Ugh!
Then I go and hurt my calf this morning. Thankfully nowhere near as bad as I have done in the past. I had a low end Grade 2 Calf Sprain, literally heard a pop-like sound as I came down off a curb onto the ball of my foot. That time, within half an hour I could barely put weight on that leg and actually tried to hop along on the other leg which was excruciating. (On a scale of 8 compared to delivering a baby being a 5 ...)
But I know the motion that did it, I know the way the muscle feels ... it's pretty much in the same spot and feels much how my calf sprain felt when it was closer to healed. I can still walk, so it's definitely much better than the other time.
I ~NEED~ to properly R.I.C.E. myself.
I don't have medical insurance, so the very last thing I ~NEED~ is to ignore the symptoms until I have no choice but to run up bills, potentially into the high hundreds.
So I sit now in bed with an elastic ACE bandage on one, waiting on the ice pack for the other, both elevated. I am reading up on both heavily to "self-medicate" -- not pills, just what stretches to do, what activities to avoid, that sort of thing. And I know I need to minimize my walking to only what is unavoidable this weekend.
I suppose I should almost be grateful for hurting my calf because it made me stop trying to work past my foot.
I really really need to stop doing this to myself. (Thankfully, me getting sick or injured is so few and far between, it hasn't done more harm to me.)
Thursday, January 12, 2012
So, the one muscle group that has been complaining the loudest since Monday's personal trainer session is my glutes. I think it came from the combination of the bike work and the squats.
It was bad, though. Not injured bad, but beyond what I consider good muscle sore to be. As in, rolling over at night would hurt when that part was against the firm mattress. As in, every time I sat more than 30 minutes at work, standing and walking was a bit of a hobble. As in even after walking 20 minutes, I can feel the dull ache.
Yesterday afternoon, completely by accident, I did discover a way to stretch the particular muscles that hurt the most. I was sitting and waiting on the light rail and lifted my ankle of one leg up onto my knee and OH MY. So I gently used that to stretch it a bit. Turns out one of the glute stretches is very similar.
Today, they're still a little stiff, but mostly bearable and improving.
Of course, today I'm also feeling other muscle groups I worked well yesterday. Nowhere in the same level of sore as the glutes have been. More in the level of "oh, yeah, I definitely worked THAT muscle last night" way. It's nice.
I also had someone show me how to use the elliptical and tried it for a couple minutes. That will have to wait until I've got my knees happier with me. While they don't hurt as they do in lunges or full squats, I definitely feel them and have a lot of attention on them rather than my workout.
Oh, I also did briefly talk to the Personal Trainer when he went past me at one point last night. He asked about my appt. for next Monday (the follow-up) and I expressed that I was actually considering canceling it for now and explained how I'd felt that first session really didn't give me any sort of plan to work from. He had a client coming, so couldn't talk long, but we'll see if that helps this coming Monday be more useful for what I want. If not, no loss - these sessions were free.
It was a little amusing because he seemed more concerned that it meant I was planning to not show up at all. I reassured him I would definitely be AT the gym on Monday - it was only the session I wasn't convinced would be what I wanted. I realized that being a January joiner does make me one of the statistic, never mind the fact I've been consistently working out for four months. Hehe.
== A little edit to add - we did do stretches after the session, but the one we did for glutes may not have been as effective as it could be. Now I know a few others and will certainly use them. ^_^;; I wanted to purr doing the calf stretches, though. Having someone else push makes that stretch so much nicer. ==
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