Sunday, February 19, 2012
Since injuring the foot, I've adjusted my calorie range 3 times. First, I moved it down a little. Then I gained 3 pounds rather quickly, so I moved the range down a chunk. I lost back the 3 pounds, plus some; so I nudged the range up.
Upon reflection, what ought to happen is that as the foot slowly, every so slowly gets better I should be burning more calories. This mostly won't be in the form of exercise identified to the SP tracker, but in the form of walking more because it hurts less. That will probably create a need to adjust my calorie range repeatedly over the course of the year.
If and when I can get back to running 4 days a week, it should go back up to where it came from. If training for a half marathon (which sounds like fantasy land right now) ends up getting me to run more than I was running, I might even have a higher calorie range than where I was.
This is not what I envisioned when I achieved my initial goal weight. I envisioned figuring out how many calories I needed to eat to maintain, then settling down to eat that many. I envisioned eventually getting a feel for how much food that is and being able to stop tracking.
That's not going to happen. Real life is that how many calories I burn will change over time as I change what I do. Even without a foot injury, it was inevitable that there would be times I'd run more or run less, by enough to affect how much I need to eat to maintain weight.
So I come back to the very first thing I learned from SparkPeople: Track. Everything. I. Eat. I need to do this, because if I don't know what I'm eating I can't tell how to make changes when the weight moves somewhere it shouldn't.
Yeah, I understand that the theory is to learn natural hunger signals, eat when you're hungry, and let your body tell you when to stop. My body isn't very good at that, or I'm not very good at listening. I am less hungry now on less food than I was when I was running; but the reduction in hunger lagged the need to reduce what I eat. So my personal answer is, I need to track everything and control calories, carbs, fat, and protein. So far, I haven't felt the need to track anything else, such as sodium or fiber; but if the day comes when I need to do that, at least it will fit into the system I use.
This may be a major reason why maintenance is so hard. It's not like parking a car in the garage; it's more like trying to keep a boat in one spot in the middle of a lake with variable currents and winds. It can be done, but it requires me to pay attention and make adjustments in response to changing circumstances.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I'm divorced, and there is no romantic relationship in my life. Valentine's Day is not a particularly meaningful holiday to me. So when the email came in saying the VITA site where I volunteer was short of tax preparers for this evening, I registered to put in an extra shift. It wasn't terribly busy; I did two returns and three quality reviews, plus answered a few questions from first year tax preparers. The site would have functioned without me there, but perhaps the work went through more quickly with one more worker.
On the fitness front, the bad foot continues to dominate my life. Today I forgot to take my ibuprofen at 10 AM. I ended up taking it at 4 PM. I suppose it's good news that the foot didn't remind me earlier and more strongly that I should be taking it. I'm also walking a bit more quickly, or rather less slowly. This is probably progress, but it's slow.
The pedometer right now reads 7677 steps. I should finish the day under 8K. I hope that's few enough not to aggravate the foot and slow the healing. I expect tomorrow to be similar in terms of amount walked, even trying to be light on steps. So much for under 5K steps per day. It's really hard not to walk.
Exercise looks a lot like yesterday - partial TGUs without the lunge up/down, kettlebell snatches and windmills, pushups on the ball, and deadbugs. I did some extra KB swings and snatches while waiting for my oats to simmer.
The other miscellaneous note from today is breakfast. About a week ago, I bought some McCann's Irish Oatmeal under the mistaken assumption that this was steel cut oats. Well, it is and it isn't. It claims to be quick cooking steel cut oats, and it looks like steel cut oats cut into smaller pieces. The package instructions are similar to the steel cut oats instructions, only it claims it takes less time. Well, kind of.
Real steel cut oats I'd microwave on high 2 minutes, on 30% power for 15 mintues, stir, and 30% power for another 8 minutes. Two batches of this quick-cooking steel cut oats stuff, and it looks like microwave on high 2 minutes, 30% power 12 minutes, stir, and 30% power another 3 minutes. So it is ready 8 minutes faster than steel cut oats, but not really fast enough to be truly convenient. It tastes not quite like steel cut oats, and the texture is between steel cut oats and rolled oats.
I think I like real steel cut oats better. Between that, and the fact that this stuff actually costs more than steel cut oats, I don't think I'll be buying more of it. But it's good enough that I will use it up by putting it into the breakfast rotation.
Monday, February 13, 2012
I just got an email from Daily Mile, reminding me to update my workouts. My last workout was 12 days ago, according to the email.
The sad thing is, that's right. The last time I ran was 12 days ago.
Today I did some pushups on the ball, and some kettlebell snatches and windmills, and some partial TGUs without the lunge to standing position. I experimented with the dead bug and clamshell that EMMANYC recommended; I can do the dead bug, but I don't think I figured out the clamshell. Or maybe I'm just not flexible enough for that one.
But I really miss running. Not running, and not being able to walk at a normal pace, is much more annoying than eating less to make up for less exercise.
Oh, well. It is what it is, and I need to keep doing what I need to do to be able to run again.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Sunday is traditionally a day of rest. It's normal for me to have to make a deliberate effort to get 10K steps in on a Sunday. So it's no surprise that Sunday is a day when it's pretty easy to meet a goal of getting less than 5K steps. As I write this, the pedometer says 3988 steps. I'll break 4K, but I won't come close to 5K.
Exercise that doesn't hurt the bad foot remains a bit of a puzzle. I did my pushups on the swiss ball. I re-evaluted Turkish get-ups, and came to the reluctant conclusion that they're out. But I can still do the kettlebell snatches, with hand to hand swings for a warmup; the feet are stationary during those moves.
This afternoon it occured to me that I can do windmills, I just can't get the KB to the top with a getup. So I did a clean and press to lift the 45 lb. KB, surprising myself that I was actually able to do the press on the left side. Did 10 windmills, then without thinking about it let the KB down in a snatch maneuver, switched hands, and did a right hand snatch as a mount for the 10 windmills on the right side. Maybe I'll lose the ability to do TGUs with 45 lbs, but but at least my obliques will stay in shape while the foot heals.
Later on it occurred to me that it's only the push off the back foot for the lunge rise to standing (and the reverse descending move) that bother the foot. I can do partial TGUs, through the press, crunch, situp, kick the leg through, and rise to a knee. So I did 5 of those on each side this evening. Maybe if I do these every day, I'll actually still be able to do 45 lb. full TGUs when the foot is better.
I haven't figured out cardio with a bad foot yet. Bicycling would be a good thing to try, but not in the snow. Not to worry for today; I cleared snow from the driveway twice. But that doesn't answer the question of what can be done regularly.
Staying on track with the reduced food required mindfulness today. I was hungry part of the day, but preventing boredom eating was a bigger issue for me. If I'm honest with myself, I'm really not as hungry now as when I was running; but it took several days for me to see this.
I'll call today a success. The foot is not hurting, though it still shows signs that it will if I do anything to annoy it; that's good enough for today. Tomorrow it's back to work, and I'll have to see what I do to minimize foot aggravation during a workday.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Last July, I wrote a blog entry about SP's stupid motivational tricks: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
I concluded that because the tricks work, they aren't so stupid after all.
This week I learned that sometimes the tricks really are stupid, precisely *because* they work.
The specific trick that showed this to me (with some help from the SP community) was the Spark Streak. Specifically, it was the streak of 10K steps per day. I'd had a streak of over 200 days of 10K steps until I broke it for my current foot injury. After 4 days of under 10K steps, and seeing the doctor to determine what to do about the foot, I started another 10K step streak. I got to 3 days of that streak yesterday. I was pleased that I was able to get my walking back up to 30 continual minutes, though still unsatisfied with my pace.
After my 30 minute walk, I saw a comment from EMMANYC on my blog from Thursday. She offered the advice that I shouldn't be walking so much, and supported that advice with some examples from her own history. That comment made me think about a couple of things differently.
First, my doctor had told me to walk slowly enough that it didn't hurt. That's a fuzzy instruction, as I'm never sure how strong a sensation needs to be before I consider it to be "hurting." So I'd kind of spaced it off. But if I think about it, walking a mile in 19 minutes (Wednesday) or a 18:36 (Thursday) really did produce a strong enough sensation in the foot that I probably shouldn't have done that.
Second, it made me reflect on how I felt when, and after, walking with the hurt foot. There is the knot in my right calf that needs to be stretched out. There's the way I get small aches in my knees from the messed up gait I walk with. It feels like the bad foot is changing my gait enough to potentially screw up other parts of my legs. Maybe the foot is bad in the first place from an altered gait caused by a strained calf that I had in January.
Viewed from that light, walking this much, this soon, is really dumb. And I was doing it because of that 10K streak. That's a really STUPID motivational trick.
These ruminations were reinforced when my foot indisputably hurt last night. I soaked up 9 hours of sleep (a sign that my body needs to heal), and the foot still hurt this morning. It hurt so bad that I didn't do my TGUs; a test with no weight showed that the foot would not let me do a TGU with the (imaginary) weight on the left side. That was scary. I resolved to get less than 5K steps today, and to really baby that bad foot.
So I did what I needed to do this morning, met daughter at McD for breakfast, and by noon I only had 2K steps. Afternoon was volunteer tax prep work; last week I got 6K steps on Saturday, and trying to hold the steps down ought to make 5K plausible.
At the VITA site, I noticed my pedometer was missing. So I don't know how many steps I took today, total. But my foot feels much better now than it did this morning. I made an effort to remember to take my ibuprofen every 4 hours, and I sat down and elevated the bad foot when it was slow at the site.
I did shovel light snow twice today; both times I used the technique that doesn't register many steps on the pedometer. I reasoned that if the pedometer wasn't registering steps, this wouldn't be very hard on the foot. That turned out to be the case. Assuming the snow is still light overnight, I'll use the same technique tomorrow morning. I could wish for no snow at all, but I've really had it easy this winter with snow. At least there was no mound of snow to toss the new stuff over this morning. There will be a small mound to toss the next batch over tomorrow morning.
I'm leaving the goal of 10K steps per day active, so that streaks will be tracked. But for now, my real goal will be 5K or fewer steps per day until such time as I can walk with a normal gait first thing in the morning with bare feet. That may take a week, or it may take longer. I just have to live with that, and eat little enough that I don't add a pile of fat before I can get back to serious exercise.
Meanwhile, I'll keep looking for what I can do in the way of exercise that doesn't bother that foot. So far, I've found pushups on the swiss ball, and kettlebell flow drills. Both of those are more natural as strength training than cardio. I should try swimming and the elliptical machine; but those require getting into the gym, which is significant time overhead right when my time is pretty crunched for a variety of reasons.
Oh, well. I'll muddle through this. Eventually, I will run again; but if it isn't soon enough to run that half marathon I've signed up for, I'll have to pick up my packet and accept the fact that I bought an expensive technical shirt.
Oh, yeah. A huge to EMMANYC for telling me something that I didn't want to hear, but did *need* to hear.
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