Friday, July 17, 2009
Thanks for the concern and support, everyone! I'm doing much better today. One good thing about having the bursitis for 7 years is that when it flares up like that I know exactly what to do for it. So it's back more or less where it was before I messed it up yesterday. Both it and the pulled muscle are a little tender--I can feel it, especially if I'm walking, but it's not bad and for some reason it didn't bother me at all when I went to the fitness center. Believe me, I was careful, but it didn't hurt at all--the elliptical is a lot easier on my bad hip than even walking, even though it's more intense as far as cardio goes. So I was able to do my full normal routine, both strengthening and cardio, which was definitely a good thing! And the time I took off didn't apparently set me back any, which is a relief. I picked up pretty much right where I started.
Wed. on the "Healthy Lifestyle Scale" I scored "Veering off track"--I did pretty bad. Way too many calories and not nearly enough fruits and vegetables, and no exercise. Yesterday, my calories still went over my limit, but less so, and I ate more vegetables and got in more exercise, so my score went up to "On your way" (and on the cusp of "Healthy"!) So definitely moving in the right direction. I'm hoping that today I'll score Healthy--I won't know until the end of the day but at least I'm off to a decent start.
At the moment, Sparks wants me to pay attention to not only what I'm eating but why--that whole eating mindfully thing again. Sigh. I will be really glad when this particularly stage is done, because it's a pain to record my reasons for everything I eat, especially since it's so often the same thing: I eat because it's time for the meal or because I'm hungry. Ideally, I should only eat when I'm BOTH hungry and it's time for a meal, but I learned a long time ago that my body isn't so good about warning me that it needs food. If I don't make myself eat, especially the first meal of the day, half of the time I just don't eat, period, and that's not health. And I don't do it because I'm anorexic or something, but because I'm just not hungry. And I have to eat before I work out or I really don't feel good--light headed and ill.
Lately, though, once I eat that first meal of the day, I find that I do get hungry--really, really itchy, irritable, FEEDMENOW hungry about every 4 hours. I've tried distracting myself, or filling myself up with water, but no--nothing but food helps. I have no idea why--I'm getting plenty of calories. I know I'm still too heavy on carbohydrates and not getting enough protein, but I've been working on that (every time I manage to bump up the protein I either get 1) too much fat, 2) too much carbohydrates and/or 3) too many calories over all.) But I'm doing better than I had before hand--and I'm getting more vegetables and and protein and other healthy foods in, but still.
So, sparks, that's why I'm eating. Either because I know it's better to eat (usually my first meal of the day) or because I'm hungry (every meal/snack after that).
According to sparks, if I eat within the calorie limit, I should be fine and not get hungry. I read a number of blogs where members typically eat 1200 calories or so a day and I'm getting more like 1400-1600, and yet I'm *still* hungry. If I eat a snack, I'm no longer hungry but I usually go over my calorie limits. I can't help but wonder if there's something wrong with me or something, that my appetite is out of whack or something. Or maybe it's just a result of working out every day? Or it something to do with eating more vegetables or something? If I could figure out a better way to work in protein without throwing my other numbers (especially fat) out of proportion, maybe that would help. I don't know.
I've been working hard to both lose weight and get into better shape, and I'm making progress. And I really don't want to sabotage my weight loss efforts by eating too much!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
First, good news. I heard from my doctor and my tests came back good for all of the vitamins and minerals, so I don't need to worry about them. I just need to keep doing what I've been doing.
Which is good timing to get good news, because this week just hasn't been a good one for diet/working out! Instead of finding my stride I keep tripping this week. Sigh.
First, I pull my groin muscle--grrr. So I took yesterday off entire as a result and even though I was active today I took it on the easy side because it's still sore enough that I didn't want to re-hurt it.
Second, yesterday I screwed up my proportions for lunch (dumb miscalculation) and ended up eating twice as much as I thought I was--which put me at over 1000 calories for one meal! To add insult to injury, we went out to eat with friends for dinner, and I went WAY over my calories as a result. Almost twice as many as I needed. Oops.
Third, I go out today to exercise, and am just getting into my stride when my bad hip starts to hurt. I realize that I had forgotten to take the NSAID I'm supposed to take before I do anything that will aggravate my hip. As I'm debating about whether to tough it out or stop and walk all the way back to my apartment for my medicine, I do something--not sure exactly what, and it REALLY hurt. I might even have swore, though I'm not sure (I try not to swear in public, especially when like today there are kids around). So I limp back to my apartment and get both Tylenol and my NSAID. Dumb dumb dumb dumb. And I really don't want to hurt myself right before going on a vacation where I know I'm going to be doing an awful lot of walking!
Fortunately, I don't think I really hurt my hip, beyond aggravating the bursitis that's always there; it's sore but I went swimming (exercise that doesn't put strain on my hip) and I was fine in the water, though it still hurt when I got back out. But I'll take more medicine soon and I've iced it and I think it should recover okay.
Unfortunately, we're out of food in the apartment and neither my husband or I are up to going grocery shopping (he hurt his calf last night fencing; we really are a pair this week!) So we've decided to order pizza, which is food and they deliver, even if it's not very healthy.
I will have to take it easy tomorrow, though, which is frustrating because I was just feeling like I was getting into stride and now keep doing stupid things that set me back.
At least I got out and was active. I don't know if I actually burned all 988 calories today that sparks thinks I did because while I was active and did get my heart rate and breathing up at least part of the time, I wasn't going at full intensity. But I did *something.*
Tomorrow hopefully I'll get this inflammation back under control as I want to get back to the fitness center.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I found this neat resource on Sparks:
It lets you put in information like your over all calories, how many fruits/vegetables you've eaten, how long you've exercised, etc., and it tells you how close to being on track you are. It can be pretty encouraging--for example, both yesterday and today I went over my calorie goals (sigh) but I was otherwise doing okay and I scored "healthy" anyway.
Still need to work at eating what I'm supposed to without going over my calorie limits--and without getting hungry. I shouldn't be getting hungry all the time--as it is, I'm eating more than I used to! Grrrr.
I played tennis again today and it was a load of fun. I think the reason that my dad doesn't think it's as good aerobic exercise is that its not as sustained--you get spurts of intense activity rather than a steady exertion like you would get biking or running. I don't know what my heart rate gets to, but I know I was exhausted by the time we finished and I definitely was breathing hard and worked up a sweat though it wasn't that hot out. I wish (hope?) it's a good cardio work out because it's a heck of a lot more fun than the elliptical.
Unfortunately, I pulled a groin muscle returning a hard serve; stupid stupid injury. It's not a terrible muscle pull, and I've treated it, but I'll definitely have to take it easy tomorrow. I'm supposed to play tennis again on Thursday; hopefully I'll be up to it by then. My cardio tomorrow though is shot, as is my leg strengthening exercises; I'm hoping I can/should go ahead and do the core and upper body strengthening exercises anyway. I guess I can give it a try and if it hurts, stop.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
By now, I suppose it shouldn't surprise anyone that I read-- a lot. And whenever I want to do something, I tend to do a lot of research about it (my husband has been teasing me because we plan to get some fish, though we probably won't until at least August if not September, but I've already started researching the different types available to know what would be best for us). I first came to sparks because I was had been working out for about 2 months and seeing no progress at all and was getting frustrated by conflicting advice. Since coming to Sparks, I've been slowly making my way through the extensive selection of articles and blog posts, learning and trying to apply what I learn to what I'm doing.
Well, today I encountered www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=10_
and it made a lot of sense to me--especially the make goals that are positive (focusing on what you want rather than what you are denying yourself), viable means of reaching said goals, and focusing on getting it right 80-90% of the time rather than berating myself every time I wasn't quite perfect (which I know I can be really good at doing and so have to make a conscious effort not to). This also ties in well with the long and short term goals RAIN454 and I had talked about, creating rewards to go with each goal.
So here's my attempt:
My primary goal is to be healthier; I want to be:
*Able to live an active lifestyle
*Better nourished by eating a healthier diet
*Lower my blood pressure and generally have a better cardiovascular health
*Energized and healthy
*Better able to focus on what matters to me.
To do this, I intend to:
*Strength training on a regular basis, ideally 30-60 minutes three days a week, with adequate rest periods between for muscles to recover.
*Do aerobic exercise ideally a minimum of 20 minutes (my current goal is to work that up to 30) of fairly intense, but low impact, activity a minimum of 5 days a week.
*Stretch every day, especially the therapy stretches to help with my bad hip and to manage/reduce the carpal tunnel and tendinitis issues. (I realize that reduce is a negative word, but really getting rid of the pain in my hands and my hip are both positive things in my mind!)
*Eat more vegetables and fruit--even better if I can get my husband, who is allergic to a great many foods, to eat more as well!
*Not only eat within my recommended calories, but to get the right balance of nutrients. (Ideally, I should get 50% of my calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 20% from fat, I've read; I am still working on this as right now I'm averaging more like 50-60% from carbohydrates, 20-30 percent from fat, and less than 20% from protein.) Also, aim to get a good balance of other essential nutrients, such as Vit. A, Vit. C, Vit. D, Calcium, iron, etc.
*Introduce more healthy foods into my diet, both old ones that I know I love as well as discovering new ones.
*Drink plenty of water, at least 8 glasses a day but more if I'm working out or it's unusually hot.
*Take all medications as prescribed/needed.
*Listen to my body, whether it is telling me that I'm borderline asthma attack or my hip is objecting to what I'm doing, so that I can stop and take preemptive measures before it becomes a full blown problem.
*Get enough sleep, which means at least 8 hours, and to be as consistent as possible about when I go to bed/wake up. Also, avoid (I know, another negative!) caffeine in the evenings, I'm prone to insomnia and this aggravates it. Instead, choose juice, naturally decaffeinated teas, or better yet water in the evening.
*Set aside some time every day to unwind (say, 30 minutes?), for example by meditating, talking a hot bath, reading a book, or whatever. This is time to recharge my batteries and release stress.
*Slim down and become more fit; ideally returning to a healthy body weight/BMI.
*Keep a daily health journal. While sparks had suggested it for emotional eating, I've been using it more to log how I feel while working out etc. and to track headaches, allergies, etc.
*Focus on being positive--not just about goals but also about progress and even life in general. Remember to reward myself when I stay on track, regardless of definite signs of progress such as lost weight, being able to lift heavier weights, etc.
*Be generally proactive about problems; try to anticipate them and deal with them strategically before they become problems. And if I am unsuccessful, note it as a lesson learned and move on. Be flexible, open to advice, and keep an open mind.
These aren't all my goals--I didn't include anything for school or for around the house or anything like that, but these are the goals that relate to sparks.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Today I saw my doctor for a routine check up on my bad hip. It's still hurts, but that's not really that big of a surprise. I didn't expect, after struggling with it for almost 7 years, for it to be cured over night. But it at least is better and my doctor approved of the things I've been doing to get more active and more fit as well as stretching the hip out and rebuilding lost muscle.
While I was there, I also asked to have my blood checked for vitamin deficiency. I've been concerned since tracking things on sparks, because I'm consistently below the recommended level on most nutrients most of the time, but I've been told that the only way to really know if you are deficient is to have you blood tested. This way at least I will know if I need to be concerned. He was a bit surprised until we talked about my husband's food allergies; even though I do eat things he's allergic to, it's hard because his diet is so limited. Anyway, hopefully that will go well so that I can stop worrying.
Good news! According to their records, I have lost 10 lbs between my last visit in February (just before I started working out more etc.) and today. It's a bit misleading, because both times I was fully dressed and I bet my winter boots alone weigh 2 or 3 lbs more than my sandals. So I want to get a weight at home before getting *too* excited. But still. It made me feel good!
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