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ankle update and tae bo

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Well, it's been two weeks and Thursday saw my triumphant [ha!] return back to full exercise. I have to say, as frustrating as not being able to work out was [I even had a few self-sabotage days, but quickly reined them in], my ankle definitely benefitted from it. Even a few days into its rest, it was feeling like a whole new ankle. I kept up with walking [I still had to go out to buy groceries, after all], although the rain sidetracked that plan quite a few days, but I never pushed my ankle near its limits [although the 3 mile walk to get a chocolate bar came close]. I was gentle on it, and it paid off. All of the discomfort I'd been feeling, the general /wrongness/ even without any pain, has all gone away.

I decided to ease back into it, choosing a 45 minute tae bo DVD over the high impact 30 Day Shred I had been doing [one day, I will finish all 30 days of that DVD! Perhaps next month]. It had been a long, long time since I did my tae bo DVD, and I'd forgotten what a FUN and low-impact workout it is, while still managing to be pretty high intensity. Supposedly, according to sparkpeople, those 45 minutes burn 663 calories. I doubt it's that high, although I'll see specifics in a few weeks when I get a new HRM [my 10% goal is just around the corner!]. But either way, it's a great workout, and just what my ankle needs at the moment.

Tae bo is the first thing I turned to when I decided to get active and healthy in college. Actually, I used to attend a tae bo class at my college's gym even before I decided to lose weight. I just really enjoyed the exercise and movement. And when I joined Weight Watchers in 2004, this DVD, the same one I popped in on Thursday, was the first thing I bought. I may have been in a teeny dorm room and the DVD may have required a fair bit of moving around, but I made it work. Now, thankfully, I have a lot more room to work with [although I'm always afraid of accidentally kicking a cat in the face, they don't understand to get away while I'm flailing about!], and I know that it'll help me on the path towards getting fit again.

Along with it still being a fun, invigorating workout, my ankle loved it as well. No pain! I honestly can't even tell that my ankle's been hurt for the past ten weeks. I did the workout again last night and will do it again today. It's definitely made a spot in my regular fitness routine, and I can't believe that I'd forgotten how fun it always is.


no more exercise

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's been a hard decision but, as my ankle decides to keep bothering me at random, I've decided to rest it completely for the next two weeks. No 30 Day Shred, no Just Dance, and especially no running. Minimal walking and biking, just around my city to run errands [no 20 mile trips for me]. Even less yoga.

Not that this means I'm going to stop entirely and give up. I'm going to go back to my old strength training routine, kettlebell and dumbbells, and boxing on the Wii for most of my cardio. I've only been getting in what 30 Day Shred does for strength training and while that is a good amount, it still neglects a few key moves that I personally need to work on. Also, my aunt gave me a bunch of resistance bands of varying lengths the other day so I can work with those!

I know my weight loss will probably slow down or even become stagnant with this change. It'll be frustrating, and it'll be /really/ frustrating not being able to get a good cardio burn in every day. But I'm sure that my ankle needs this. It hasn't let me do anything for the past two days, actually, and it already feels a lot better. So hopefully, if I give it complete rest, it'll fully heal. Two days down, twelve more to go.

The really frustrating thing is that it honestly does feel fine 99% of the time. Just, the little knob part is sore to the touch, and I'll get a random burst of pain while walking every once in a while, and it's especially tender after working out. So I know that it's not fully healed, despite all my denials, and it needs more rest. So that's what I'm doing. It better be thankful.


weigh in celebration!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

down another 2.2 pounds this week! 205.8, woohoo! total weight loss: 15.2!

in another five pounds, that'll be 20 pounds lost [wow!]. another six pounds and i'll be back in onederland! and at 22 pounds, that'll be both my 10% [heart rate monitor, baby!] and back down to my weight watchers starting weight [well, 22.2 pounds]. i considered rejoining meetings at that point [since i'll have money due to this dogsitting job i'm currently working] but i think i'm going to hold off on them. i couldn't afford meetings before, true, but i also didn't want to go to them being OVER my starting weight. it's bad enough going and being a lifetime member who's not at goal, but having to lose even more than i initially did? that'd make me feel a thousand times worse. anyway, i could go back soon, but i think i'm going to hold off and save money. if i hit a plateau or get stuck motivationally, i'll head back to meetings but right now, sparkpeople is really working out for me. even if i do miss having real-life weight loss buddies [but online people almost completely make up for it, i just miss having a physical community and possible workout buddies].

anyway, i've still got a ways to go [70.8 pounds, exactly] but i've just got my eyes focused on the next 5-7 pounds right now. that's the way to do it, this way i don't get overwhelmed.

on the fitness news, my ankle and back have been taking turns bothering me all week so i didn't get to do as much intense cardio [30 day shred] as i like to. although i did go for a 20 mile bike ride so i guess that counts as intense, right? especially considering it was 86 degrees out... anyway, i've still been getting exercise in, just more low-key than usual. my staples this week have been bike riding, walking, yoga, and just dance on the wii. my ankle feels fine 99% of the time, just once in a while it doesn't feel right. my back's more of a problem lately, i'm thinking of taking some of my earnings and going to see a chiropractor. if only i can find a chiropractor near me, the one i used to go to is too far away for a bike ride...

anyway, hopefully my back will get sorted one way or another this week and i can return to the intense exercises i love!

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

I had one of those awesome days where everything went perfectly. I got a great night's sleep, unlike the night before where I only got about four hours or so. When I woke up, I evaluated myself in the mirror and could definitely see changes from six weeks ago. My lower belly pooch is disappearing! The rest of my belly is also getting slimmer! I can definitely see my bicep muscles! Such a great way to start off the day. Then I headed downstairs and did my daily body test on WiiFit, and the numbers are still going in the right direction [if it keeps this way, I'll have another big loss come Sunday, but I don't want to jinx myself by revealing the number so far]. I also did well on the balance tests, giving me a WiiFit age of 24. I don't usually care about those tests [the walking test, in particular, doesn't register half my steps so it always ends up with horrible results!] but I'll celebrate this one, at any rate.

Then, to make things even better, MY ANKLE FELT GREAT. It took me a few minutes to realize, since it wasn't bothering me, but I had no soreness at all, even when I flexed my foot [contracting the tendon hurt the most, for some reason, with this injury]. I'm hoping this isn't just a fluke and that means my ankle is finally fully healed. It's been more or less six weeks, so it should be, but you never know with my ankles. Anyway, I'm not feeling so confident that I'm going to go pounding the pavement today [plus it's gloomy and hailing out] but if this keeps up for the rest of the week, hopefully the end of next week will see me out running. Do I even need to say how excited this makes me? Because I think it should be fairly obvious by now.

I've also noticed in the past couple of days that my fitness levels, including both my flexibility and my endurance, have improved a lot. They're still not absolutely stellar, of course, but they're loads better than they were before I started six weeks ago. Then, I couldn't do 30 seconds of jumping jacks without having to stop; now, they're not a struggle for even a few minutes. Climbing up the hill to my house left me breathless this winter, but not anymore. I'm reaching farther in my stretches, both in post-workout cool downs and during yoga. And, if you remember: six weeks ago, I couldn't do even 10 minutes of a moderate intensity workout [I had to pause my Jazzercise tape, how pathetic is that?] but now, I have no problem with an hour of moderate to moderately high intensity workouts.

Six weeks ago, I couldn't walk/slowly jog up the stairs of my house to the second floor without getting winded. Now I run up them without heavy breathing every time I make the trip. A lot of this distinct improvement is because I use a specific tactic: becoming efficient with inefficiency. Instead of doing simple daily tasks as quickly as possible, I make my body more efficient by taking longer and being more active in my tasks. So, I make as many trips as possible up and down those stairs to grab things from my bedroom or library [also, the only bathroom is upstairs and with all the water I drink, I'm running up those stairs at least once an hour!]. I don't work in an office but if you do, take the time to walk to a coworker's desk to talk with them instead of emailing them. Just simple little changes like that can improve your step count for the day, and that eventually adds up.

It definitely took persistence and I've still got a long way to go before I reach my final fitness goals [and then I'll just set new ones!]. I even had to push back my short-term fitness goals because of my ankle but I'm still working towards them, just aiming for the end of May instead of April. Despite that, it's encouraging to see how much I've improved in just a month and a half, sprained ankle and all. I'm excited to see where the next six weeks take me!

[also, whoops, it's been almost a month since i posted a blog over here! that's mostly because i started an offsite blog: fuchsiagetsfit.blogspot.com but i'm going to try to cross-post at least some of the posts from now on!]


looking for the bike path

Monday, March 19, 2012

Today, I was determined to go for a walk/partial jog. It was beautiful outside from the moment I woke up, but first I had some things to take care of. The hardest task every morning is to actually get out of bedů I'm not kidding! With nothing actually forcing me out of bed, or at least to stay out of bed [because the cats will get me up eventually, but I can go right back to bed after they're fed], it's a mental challenge I have to go through every morning. What can I say, when I'm left to my own devices, I'm inherently lazy.

But get out of bed I did, and I had breakfast, did my morning sparkpeople stuff and WiiFit body test [balance was PERFECT! i don't think i've ever gotten that before... a few fractions off, yes, but never perfect]. Then I did a couple loads of laundry, which is a constant nice weather task [I don't have a dryer, so all the "unnecessary" clothes & towels built up over the winter]. I've only got a few more loads to go, and then I'll be all caught up! Anyway, washing clothes totally counts as my arm workout for the day, because I don't have a washing machine and hand wash everything. Also, I tend to do squats during the process as well. See, I'm a multi-tasker! [I don't actually count it in sparkpeople as an exercise. I still have my strength training routine to do later!]

Finally, the laundry was washed and hanging out to dry in the sunshine, I had a nice lunch [roasted mushrooms and a slice of chickpea curry pizza], and got ready for a walk. Which actually took forever! I couldn't find anything, my sunscreen or my good headphones or my ipod case... I could tell that it had been forever since I went outside for some exercise. But I finally found things, or gave up on them, and headed out the door. I had two tasks I wanted to accomplish: find the bike path, and see if walkers/runners were allowed on it as well as cyclists [hey, you never know!]. If I'm going to take up running, I need somewhere safe to run [and, preferably, somewhere without a lot of random people able to see me!]. The sidewalks here are always broken [how I hurt my ankle at least one of the recent times] or, sometimes, nonexistent.

After about 40 minutes, I came upon the only entrance to the bikepath that I know. If I kept going straight, I think it would've eventually circled back to my city, but I decided to go turn onto the path. I'll check out the other direction when I'm on my bike, because it might still drop me off miles away from my house.

I walked for a bit and saw a few people but not many, despite the beautiful weather. The path was well marked and there were signs saying how many miles to certain spots on the route [and two thousand-something miles to Key West. Thanks, because I had half a mind to just walk there!]. I noticed that there was a picnic area just 0.4 miles away, so I figured that I'd walk there before turning around. This was just a brief excursion, after all, and I was wary of stressing my ankle.

I got to the picnic/rest area and surprise, I was right back on the road I had been walking almost the entire way to get here! Due to funding, the bikepath isn't completed and often goes back onto regular roads, which is a letdown [I know I've been spoiled by Chicago and its awesome bike culture, okay?]. Still, I'll make do with what I have. At that point, I didn't want to stress my ankle so I turned around and headed home. This side of the road, the sidewalks were even more non-existent and dangerous.

I got home with no problems, the ankle was fine through the whole thing [although it did protest the very brief attempt I made at jogging... so I stopped that right away], and sparkpeople told me that I burned 450 calories on this walk. I don't believe that, but okay. I'm definitely going to make this a regular part of my exercise, whether biking or walking... once I get back from New York [I leave on Wednesday morning and will be spending pretty much all day tomorrow preparing].


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