Life Lately

This is long, but I won’t apologize. You have been warned! In my defense, there’s a lot of words in my head that need to get out since I haven’t been blogging regularly.

Habits are mostly good to have. I’m a creature of habit. I’ve written about it in the past, so I won’t dwell on the subject. Blogging is a good habit for me to have, but I’m finding that it’s also a habit that is, unfortunately, easily broken. Life has been busy since the holidays with no sign of letting up. That’s okay, though! Keeping busy is usually good for me because it keeps me from getting back into bad habits, like snacking, staying up too late or sleeping too much when it’s not night time. Those things usually trigger depression, which I have still been battling lately, as well.

So thoughts have been forming in my mind, but I just haven’t taken the time to get them out of my head. They’re mostly random thoughts and not very lengthy, so they end up in my personal Facebook, but I should probably be sharing them in my Blog Facebook, as well. Oddly enough, there’s several thoughts that I will post in this blog instead of on Facebook, even though this blog is public. I guess I feel that my blog is more of a selected audience, and the people who take the time to read it should be “treated” with something a little more…I don’t know…special?

What’s been going on with me? You know, New Year’s Resolutions and all, those things that I say that I don’t make but subconsciously I do? I guess as long as I don’t write them down, I don’t feel the guilt of failure if I don’t succeed. I have been trying to get back into working out. I started slacking in October, so I’m jumping back on now. I have no doubt that the lack of exercise and reverting back to bad eating habits is what has slowed my weight loss. I maintained pretty much the whole month of December and half of January. I’m not complaining, but maintaining is not where I want to be. I did that for many years already!

Shortly after the New Year, I decided to go for a Couch to 5K plan (C25K) and found an app on my phone to help me. I’ve tried jogging in the past and didn’t get very far with it. This time I’m trying it on a treadmill so that I HAVE to jog or fall flat on my face since the belt is moving that much faster. I started on Monday, January 7th and felt incredibly accomplished after finishing the first day! I was feeling so accomplished that I decided to do a little strength training afterward. I did a few sets on a few machines and was on the last one before it was going to be time to head to the showers. IT was the Compound Row – one of my favorite machines! I can row like nobody’s business, doing 2-3 sets of 50. I was halfway through a second rep when I felt my back seize up and OMG THE PAIN!

I had a disc in my lower back rupture in 2005 that caused tremendous pain for about 6 months, as well as nerve damage to my sciatic nerve. I had back surgery that year, which cured the worst of the pain, but I have about 2-4 flare ups a year. This was one of those flare ups. By Wednesday, the pain was excruciating, so I went to the doctor, and she referred me to the spine clinic. I don’t know why I never looked into it sooner since I have had had major surgery on my back, but meh…that’s here nor there now.

The pain had mostly subsided by the following Monday, so I went for Day 2 of the C25K, and had an appointment with the spine clinic that morning. X rays showed that I had no major damage but have some “arthritic changes” in my lower back, and the flare ups are common for people who have had back surgery like I have, usually due to scar tissue. The doctor wasn’t concerned that the disc had ruptured again but suggested that I try physical therapy to build a stronger core in the hopes of lessening the frequency, duration and level of the flare ups that I am bound to experience.

Yesterday was Day 3 of the C25K, which technically wraps up the first of 8 weeks, even though my first week was split up into 2. I’m getting up at 4:30am MWF to get to the gym to do this. I am SO not a morning person! Yesterday was also my physical therapy consult. I’ll be doing that 2 days a week for at least a month. I’m also going to water aerobics on Thursdays after work, and also planning to meet a group of post-op weight loss surgery people twice a month on Saturdays.

Hopefully all this means I’ll be too busy to snack, be depressed and sleep too much! That’s my life lately 🙂

“Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.” – Thaddeus Golas

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31 Days of Journaling Prompts: Exercise

Day 15: Exercise

Fifteen days into this challenge, and now I wonder why I chose this word. I’m wondering this now because I have slacked in the amount of exercising I’ve done in the past couple of weeks and don’t feel confident enough to write about it now. However, maybe it’s good that it’s today’s topic so that it’s a reminder that I need to get back to my workouts. God’s work is pretty awesome like that sometimes.

It probably comes as no surprise that I am not a fan of exercising, but then again I don’t know too terribly many people who actually enjoy it. Most of the time that I am exercising, I am thinking of other things that I could be doing with that time or would rather be doing. I also often look at the clock to see just how much more torture I have until I am done. Because of this, I often try to distract myself doing other things while exercising, such as playing games on my iPad or checking out Facebook. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to master reading while exercising.

The fact is, I know that if I don’t exercise, I won’t lose much (if any) weight, and that it’s required not only for my health to get better but for my body to tone as I lose weight. Since having my surgery in July, this past week has been the first week that I didn’t lose any weight (though luckily I didn’t gain, either!). It was incredibly frustrating, but I knew why I maintained instead of losing.

Generally, my exercising consists of water aerobics once or twice a week, walking during lunch, riding the stationary bicycle at home and weight machines at the gym. I try to mix it up so that I don’t get bored, and I’m also working all of my muscles at some point in time.

Water aerobics is a lot of fun, especially when a few friends are in the class. If you’ve never tried water aerobics, give it a try! I love it! It’s a great way to work a variety of muscles harder without feeling the strain on your joints. It’s especially great because the water adds buoyancy and you’re almost weightless. In the class that I take, we use dumbbell-style weights and noodles to help strengthen our core.

Walking is my old standby and one of the easiest forms of exercise for anyone. It takes very little equipment (just good shoes) and you can do it just about anywhere. A couple of years ago, I was very dedicated to walking every day, sometimes walking more than 6 miles a day. I slowly started finding excuses not to walk as much until I was walking very little every day. I’ve been trying to make an effort to get out and walk for 30 minutes during my lunch at work lately because otherwise I end up working through lunch without stopping. It’s a great mental break for me in addition to the obvious physical benefits. This is also the time where I listen to some upbeat music or a podcast to pass the time. When we went on vacation last month, I loved walking on the beach! It certainly made walking much more enjoyable, but I also find beauty walking at home when the leaves are changing.

I have a stationary bicycle at home that my uncle gave me. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s handy for days where I didn’t get much exercise in that day. I’ve got it set up in my living room, so I will watch television, a movie or play games on my iPad to distract myself. This is the exercise that I wish I could read while exercising, but I haven’t been able to stay concentrated on the reading while moving.

Finally, the weight lifting machines at the gym are something I was working in a couple of times a week until about a month ago. I can see and feel a huge difference when I work out with them and hope to get back into going at least once a week soon.

What do you do to get your exercise in? Do you make excuses to skip exercising or do you enjoy working out? 

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13
“Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” – Lee Haney

Read more about the 31 Days of Journaling Prompts
Today’s recommended 31 Day Bloggers: 31 Days of Health & Exercise @ A Mommy’s Life with a Touch of Yellow