Working It

I have backed off my plans once again.  Considering my stiffness, aches, and lack of stamina or strength, I have decided I need a couple of weeks of my Pain Free therapy before starting anything more strenuous.  All the experts say to start slow on any new exercise routine.  I have taken a realistic look at my capabilities and considering the fact that, without a strain, I can only do 5 minutes on the bike it doesn’t seem likely I’d be able to handle the Pilates much less the Crunchless Abs or Metabolic Aftershock workouts.  So, two weeks of concentrating on the Pain Free routines while adding in the stationary bike and some Yoga as time and energy permit.  

I feel as though I’ve been procrastinating for the past week, but making a realistic plan is the foundation of success.  The Forward Head Posture Fix doesn’t require much in the way of strength and stamina so I’ll see if I can work that in before bed every night.  Lying on my back on the floor has fully demonstrated the necessity of that.  Hopefully, it will be enough to get me ready for the Pennyrile Spring Photography weekend on the 15th.

I have planned a series of “workouts” based on realigning and strengthening the hips, back, and shoulders.  Since the “core” is accepted as being the most important area for strength,  I’ve included the back positions in both routines.  Like regular athletes, I’ll alternate lower and upper body.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday for lower body and Tuesday, Thursday, Friday for upper.  I intended to start yesterday, but circumstances didn’t align.  I’ve set a new alarm for 6:30 am so that I’ll have time to go through the routine before the kids are up.  So far, that hasn’t happened.  

After yesterday’s short calorie count, I woke up hungry this morning so I ate breakfast, then went to lunch with the photography club.  Knowing it will be a heavy calorie day, I found time after lunch today to do a generalized quick run through with concentration on the back and shoulders.  I plan to work the bike this evening as well.  Hopefully, it will help to offset the pizza Davie wants to fix for supper.  Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll be setting that alarm again.

An inch at a time.  Keep starting over as needed.  My mantra used to be “You haven’t failed until you stop trying.”  I’m reinstating that.  Our fall trip will involve hiking around such places as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.  At the moment, I do well to make it through our monthly grocery shopping trips.  I am determined to regain my ability to walk all day as needed.

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Planning the Workouts

Adjusting the Menu: 
 
According to My Plate, for my age, height, and weight, my base recommendation to lose 1 pound a week is 1330 calories. Of course, the more active I am, the more calories I can add. I’ve always found that I lose more by increasing activity than by reducing calories anyway.  In any case, my goal is 1/2 pound a week, so I can go over the recommendation.
 

On Thursday, I had Wheaties with a small banana, a spoonful of sugar, and just enough milk to cover for breakfast. Leftover ham and deviled eggs with tea for lunch. Then ate the last piece of cherry pie to remove temptation for later in the week when I’m really working on the plan.  For dinner, I tried to compensate for the earlier indulgence with a salad, but I was still over my daily goal by about 200 calories.  So, that will have to be my cheat day for this week.  On Friday, I managed to stay 148 calories under the goal.  This is my normal methodology.  My hope is to come out under the goal by the end of the week.

 
I spent the afternoon watching workout videos to choose which ones I can successfully do now and which will need to wait for a gain in strength. I’m thinking I may switch up the crunchless abs for pilates for a week or so. It looks more doable at my present level.
 
I also discovered a David Carradine’s Tai Chi DVD that I don’t remember having. It looks like it’s very old, the girls doing the routine have “big hair” and a couple of the guys have Tom Selleck mustaches. They’re all wearing white “gogo” type boots and Star Trek looking outfits. I’m thinking watching it will be amusing. It starts out with about 30 minutes of Yoga/Pilates type exercises. Some of them look challenging, but they all give me the urge to move, so I may need to revamp my workout schedule to include it.
 
So, I am presently thinking I’ll do the Pilates on Tuesday/Thursday instead of the Critical Bench workouts until I build some strength, then work on the Tai Chi routines on Saturday.  Somewhere, I still have a DVD from Doc’s Tai Chi class too. Once I’ve gotten bored with the Carradine period piece, I’ll dig it out and try to remember the forms he uses.  I will, then, add the other routines back into the schedule as I get stronger.
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Workout Plans

After reviewing the first Aftershock video, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not quite ready for their routine.  I like the concept: Do sets of 4, 4 times.  Go as hard as you can until you can’t, then rest until you can.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I have the strength needed to get through the whole routine no matter how much I rest.  Those will have to wait a few weeks.  I’ll start off with their concept and use other workout routines until I am able to do the harder stuff.  

So, the present plan for the month of April is as follows:


Daily  

The Aftershock warmup – 4 squats, 4 waist twists, 4 pushups.  Do a total of 4 sets, resting as needed.

Forward Head Posture Fix routine – This consists mainly of sitting or standing with correct posture while doing belly breaths, massaging neck muscles, and stretching shoulders in various configurations.  It’s something I feel a real need for though.


Monday-Wednesday-Friday

30 day Yoga Camp Videos with Adrienne – Check them out on You Tube.

Stationary Bike – Go until you can’t, rest until you can…..starting at 5 minutes, aiming for 30 by the end of April


Tuesday 

Pain Free Routine by Pete Egoscue 

Body Transformation Mini Circuit from Critical Bench with Chris Wilson


Thursday

Pain Free Routine 

Crunchless Abs from Critical Bench with Chris Wilson


Saturday

Pain Free Routine

Pilates – I have several DVDs….I’m not sure yet which one I’ll wind up using. They’re all stacked on a shelf in my bedroom.  I plan on dusting them off and looking through them while Damion and Elaina are napping today and making a decision.


I know it doesn’t seem like much, I’m aiming for about 20 minutes a day of structured workouts, but it’s a start.  Along the way, I’ll also be doing a lot of bend, stretch, up and down stairs, and lift in my regular routine of taking care of toddlers and cleaning up after them.  My big problem is that I can’t set a certain time of day to do anything on a regular basis because my toddler schedule changes all the time.  It is a real challenge to find myself with a few free minutes and use it to workout instead of resting.  But resting doesn’t increase my strength and stamina or reduce flab. 

To help build my will power, I am still working on my Made to Crave Devotional book and I’ve ordered a new one called Have A New You by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman.  Both of these are actual paper books that I can highlight and make notes in easily.  

Making a commitment to post my progress here regularly should also help maintain my determination.

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Planning for Health

No kids next Tuesday. My intention is using the opportunity to set up my workout plan. Painfree, Yoga, Aftershock, Posture fix, and my stationary bike. Just not sure yet, exactly in what order or how often for each.  That’s what I’ll be deciding on Tuesday.  Then I will implement the plan.  I really want to get into better shape by this fall. I feel fine most of the time, but I have little stamina and our annual roadtrip always requires walking and sometimes climbing.  I’m more interested in that than in losing weight, although that is a secondary goal.
 
I have been working on the diet thing as well. I was eating from about 9am til nearly midnite. Not constantly, of course, I’d be big as the house if I did that. However, between meals and snacks, I was eating every 3 or 4 hours for a total of 12-15 hours a day. I know some diets recommend that kind of schedule, but what I’ve been reading lately indicates it’s not only not necessary, but also a bad idea.
 
I’m trying to cut my eating back to 8 hours a day. The plan I’m using as my basis, says to wait until you’ve been up for a few hours to eat because that forces your body to burn fat for energy. I never used to eat sooner than that and only weighed 105 lbs. Of course, there were other factors involved in that weight and I really don’t want to go that low again.  The other half of the plan is to stop eating about 2 hours before I go to bed, that’s the hard part for me.  I usually compromise with a healthy snack, like an apple, or a small piece of hard candy.  I’ve been dropping about 1/2 pound a week for the past month or so.  I figure, if I can maintain that from now until the end of September, I should drop about 15 more pounds.  My current weight is 163 so that would put me just below 150, which would bring my BMI into the normal weight range.  
 
The hardest part will be finding time to do the workouts.  I’m too busy in the mornings, too tired in the evenings and usually have kids in the afternoon.  However, most of my exercise routines can be broken into 15 minute segments so, hopefully, I”ll be able to make room for them.  To assist in the will power department, I’m using a devotional book I purchased as a Lenten exercise, Made to Crave Devotional: 60 Days to Craving God, Not Food by Lysa TerKeurst.  100th birthday, here I come.
 
 
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Struggling to Manage Time

So, since my last post, I have added 3 more toddlers to my daily activities.  My granddaughter, Tracy, and her husband have moved here from Richmond, Kentucky.  They both work and I take care of their three little ones, along with the two who live with me, when their schedules coincide.  The days and times vary greatly.  Damion and Elaina love having them here and, after a period of adjustment, they love being here.  I am glad to have the opportunity to build a closer relationship with them, but it does make managing time to write or exercise more of a challenge.  

One which I was already having trouble accomplishing.  So, once more, I am exploring ways to assure I make time to do both.  As when I eliminated gaming from my life, I think the only thing that will work is to design a plan and then go at it “cold turkey.”  I have tried since the first of the year to find a way to do it in steps or start small and gradually increase efforts, but those ways haven’t worked out.

I’ve recently bought several diet and exercise packages.  I’ve made a few small posts.  But, it always falls apart before long.  So, I am looking at the packages and making a workout schedule to begin with.  It cannot depend on time slots because my free time varies too much.  So, I am making a commitment to a certain kind of workout on certain days for, at least, 15 minutes.   The time of day will vary with my other responsibilities, but I will do it sometime even it it winds up being right before I go to bed at night.  The goal is not just to lose weight, but to be stronger and have more stamina.  The diet part will not be as difficult, once I make the key decisions, because I eat pretty healthy anyway.  

As to writing, I am simply making a promise to myself to find moments of quiet, like now, to put words together.  I’m not waiting for inspiration or scheduling a time slot because those things haven’t worked. I am doing religious research because I want to use this blog to explore the Bible and Christianity’s relationship to other religions.  However, there is so much information out there that the research could take a lifetime.  I need to begin the work while I search.  So, I’ll be starting, not as an expert, but as a student searching for answers.  

I’m not sure what timeframes will work, but I am making a promise to myself, to you, and to God that I will begin.  I feel His call to be a small voice crying for common ground in the wilderness of suspicion and conflict that is our current state of affairs.  As a Christian I must answer that call. At the moment, I think that answer will consist of an exploration of the Bible.  When and how it came to be.  A historical background of each book.  A look at what real “experts” say about the meaning of key passages and, sometimes, a personal interpretation of how it relates to my faith.  

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