Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The bad foot is getting better, slowly. Today it felt good enough in the morning without tape or shoes that I went to work without taping it. That turned out to be premature, but I had the foresight to have athletic tape with me just in case.
During the day, I found myself occasionally walking at an almost normal pace. Sometimes I didn't notice the foot hurting at all. Of course, at other times it was obvious and I had to be slower than normal; but being able to walk normally at all is progress.
There is still no question of trying to run on the bad foot. Three paces of testing are enough to make that obvious.
SparkPeople doesn't have much in the way of specific advice on how to deal with injuries, but I'm finding that some of the lessons from SP are helpful.
First, patience. Weight loss is supposed to be a long, slow process requiring ongoing effort in the face of not always making progress. I really didn't face that during my weight loss phase, but I'm facing it with the injury. I want it to be all better, right now! But that isn't reality. I need to keep doing the stuff that lets it heal, and trust that healing will happen.
One of the things that I need to do to let it heal is avoid aggravating the injury. That means no running, and limited walking. Here's a second lesson from SP, use a pedometer. In weight loss mode, I wanted to get 10K steps every day. In injured foot mode, that's too many. I've been getting 5K to 8K steps most days. Progress is better when I get fewer steps; but fewer than 5K is only going to happen on Sundays. This requires yet more patience.
Another thing I need to do is get enough rest. Here's a third lesson from SP, get enough sleep. That means enforcing a strict bedtime, and trying to get to bed even earlier when I need more sleep. That's a hard thing for a natural evening person to do, but it's easier than arranging to be able to sleep later in the morning. And progress is better when I get 9 hours of sleep than when I get 8.
Yet another SP lesson is, listen to my body. The fact that I *can* sleep for 9 hours tells me my body has healing to do. When I'm healthy and generally well rested, I can't sleep that longer than about 8 hours.
And of course, there's the obvious SP lesson: Control what I eat, and monitor what my weight does. That turns out to be one of the easier things to deal with. Right now my nutrition range is 400 calories per day lower than it was when I was running 4 days a week. That seems to be the right level to maintain, right now; but I know I will need to adjust that as things change. I hope the next change is an upward adjustment because I become more active; I fear the next change will be a downward adjustment because I rested so much I became less ft. But whichever way it shakes out, I'll deal with it.
Meanwhile, I've found that I can work up a light sweat in 15 minutes doing stuff that doesn't bother the foot, while I wait for steel cut oats to simmer in the morning. There's a bunch of small SP lessons in that - patience to cook steel cut oats, desire to be active, adapting to different exercises such as pushups on the ball, and small regular quantities of exercise being better than sitting on my butt feeling sorry for myself.
I will run again. It's not yet clear when, but it's going to happen. For right now, the plan is to do what I can to make the time when I can run happen sooner. Psychologically, this is not unlike losing weight; I need to do the routine things daily, and trust that the results will follow.
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.
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