Tuesday, February 12, 2013
OLW : February update
Back in January I posted that my One Little Word for 2013 is: nurture. It's been a month and I am still working with that word. Some of it is getting easier. Some of it is still as truggle. Some, I haven't been able to touch yet.
I've been going to the gym. that's the big one. Not going every day... I wish I was one of those people who could drag myself out of bed at 5am and drive myself to the gym in the bitter cold before work but... I'm not. Maybe someday but I doubt it.
Right now, I go on the weekends. Most weeks I go just once and for me, that is enough. As I have mentioned, I don't go for weight loss or weight anything. I go to feel better emotionally and physically. A few weeks I have gone twice. A couple of weeks I skipped entirely. It's still not the first thing on my priority list, and it cannot be for personal reasons. But maybe that will change once I move (in 2 weeks!!!).
The really fantastic thing is that this past weekend I was able to hold the plank position for 3 sets. When I bought my DDP Yoga program back in August, I found I could not make it entirely through even the easiest workout. Not strong enough, but more, my back would ache and scream. I have since been diagnosed with arthritis and disc disease in both my back and neck, so this is not a matter of just working through the pain. There were some moves I could do but many I could not. The plank position was one of these. In DDP Yoga the position is held for a slow count of 9 and it includes (at the most difficult setting) lowering yourself to the floor and holding yourself up as well.
Since I started going back to the gym in November, after my workout I do some of the yoga positions I learned, and I also try the plank position. I've been able to hold it maybe once. Twice if I didn't do the whole count of 9. I have also tried holding it on my elbows, which involves more stomach muscles and less arm and shoulder strength (that is really hard!).
I've mentioned before (I think) but my gym visits include:
1) A warm up of 2-3 miles on the reclining bike. I start slow, then do some intervals of higher intensity. Lasts about 12-15 minutes and I definitely am sweating when I am done. I listen to certain songs, and when the chorus starts, I increase the intensity level and I also pedal much faster. Then I relax back to normal when the chorus ends.
2) Circuit training area with machines only. I rarely do the step workout parts because: I am not there yet physically, my legs are already spaghetti after the bike, and mostly because climbing stairs makes my back ache in pain. So I move from machine to machine, and I have concentrated on increasing my weight. I want to work on my physical strength which has been paltry. I do at least one set of 12 on each and if there is time, I start another set.
3) Stretching and yoga poses. I do some stretches I learned from dance class and some of the yoga poses. Including, sometimes, the plank position.
And then I am done!
On Sunday I went to the gym and I had not been there in 2 weeks. I was feeling crabbier and crabbier, getting more and more irritated with people and life in general, and feeling physically cruddy. It was time to go. I went and I did it all and I found I was moving easier and faster thru my workout. It's funny but I find sometimes a short break means when I go back I do even better, but if I keep going consecutively I don't see any improvement and the exercise gets harder. I don't know why that is.
All this to say, I was really excited to hold the plank position for a count of 9 three times in a row. And yes, the last one was a bitch. Unfortunately I was so concentrating on my arms and shoulders that I did not hold my ab muscles correctly and I paid for that the rest of that day and the next too. Live and learn.
I was even more excited when, this week, I had to do some things that involved a moderate amount of upper body strength, and I was able to just do them, and I didn't think about it. I wasn't straining, I wasn't sweating, I wasn't swearing under my breath, and my heart rate barely changed. I just did it, without thinking about it.
I love this time - when it's all improvement and getting better, faster, stronger, and feeling every little change as a big deal. It's exciting and motivating. When I hold up my arm and clench my fist I can feel the hard muscles in my arm. When I tighten my abs I can feel the muscles under there.
I am more motivated to work on my core strength now. It is really really hard to go anywhere from nothing. A body at rest will remain at rest, and dammit that is why that first mile on the bike is so hard. But once you get yourself going, it's easier to keep going. So now that I have a start I want to keep going.
I've done other things related to nurturing myself in the last month -- important things. I went in for my two MRIs, including one with contrast (that means a needle! eek!) and received my diagnoses of arthritis and disc disease. I have an appointment with a spine specialist this month to see what can be done.
I also went to my follow up appointment with the Girl Doctor to see if the treatment for my troubles last summer has been successful, and it has. Unfortunately we discovered something else of concern. I went back to the hospital for another test and I have another appointment for next week.
I swear, I need a Frequent Buyer Card for that place. After 5 needles and/or equipment in your hoo-hah, the 6th one should be free! Le sigh.
I also went to the salon, which is not as painful or unpleasant as the hospital or doctors, just expensive and deadly dull. I love my stylist so that is good. But it is 3 hours of sitting there bored out of my mind, interspersed with some painful procedures, all in the name of beauty. I'm glad it's over and I look freshened up.
I've been working on some other things two --
Moving forward on moving.
Being thoughtful and careful with my money
And the last.... the dreaded FOOD ISSUES. That one is still a terrible struggle. I am in the middle of the fight right now.
The One Little Word has really been active in my life so far this year and I am liking that.
One Little Word graphic from here.