Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Difference a Year Makes...

This past week I have been doing a lot of reflecting.  A year ago I was in the midst of a miserable summer.  I hurt my back in early June and serious spasms.  You know that commercial with the older lady- the "help I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial?  THAT is exactly what happened.  I walked outside after some mini spasms throughout the day and my back/legs just gave out and I literally fell to the ground on my hands and knees.  I couldn't stand up- it was the worst experience.  I was finally able to get my phone out of my purse and called my friend Cindy to come help (she was nearby).  I went all summer with pain- I couldn't do normal activities.  I made it through church but couldn't stay for ABF because of the sitting; a 6 hour trip took me 8 hours; I relied a LOT on others.  I finally took it upon myself (after not having a good chiro experience) to go to an orthopedic doctor.  After physical therapy and no change he ordered an MRI.  Final diagnosis came in October- I had degenerative disks (I found that out in August), arthritis in my lower back (also found in August), bursitis in my hips (august) and finally in October I found out the source of all the pain was an enlarged (aka bulging) disc in my lower back.  The doctor wanted me to do a few things and keep away from a few things.  I stayed away from running for a few months and zumba for 6 before I decided to give it another shot.

This summer- I have had an amazing summer!  I have been able to hike, go on multiple extended car trips, exercise for more than 15-20 minutes at a time and zumba again.  And, as I mentioned earlier this month I discovered spin.  Cycling is one of the things that the doctor wanted me to try but I sort of put it off.  I finally decided to give spin a shot and found out that I LOVE it!

So, what have I learned?
1. Listen to your body.  Last summer I couldn't do anything- this summer I can.  However, I know when my body has hit the wall.  I have learned what works for me and what doesn't and how much effort I can give.  I have learned that when I have a bit of a spasm to back off and let it calm down instead of pushing through it.  I have learned that when it hurts- that's when you have pushed the body too far.

2. Encouragement is KEY!  Without the encouragement of others I know that I would have given up or eased up on my training.  But with others pushing me and supporting me I know that I have a support system in place that will keep me going when I want to quit.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Setbacks or hurdling obstacles?

This past week has been one of "setbacks"- in a way.  I traveled out of town for an education conference and as I was really getting involved in the workouts I was dreading the traveling part.  The actual conference was GREAT but the extent of my workouts were walking between buildings and classes and the movement in classes (dancing/theater).  I did do one night of arm exercises in the hotel room but it really wasn't enough. 

So- the lessons I have learned this week:
1. Go prepared- My lunches were at the mercy of what was prepared- next time, I'll know to take a cooler with ice to keep things cold.  There was no bottled water offered and I only had one bottle filled with ice that I tried to drink to keep refilled but by lunchtime or a little after there was not much left in it.  I need to plan as if I will not have the tools I need to succeed.

2. Go knowing that sometimes plans just don't work out- I had a hotel that had an exercise room but when I checked it out- there was no way I was going to be able to use it- the hours were not conducive to our schedule. And, while I did the arm exercises once, my original plan was to do them every night- that obviously didn't happen.  I was in information overload and?my body was just exhausted.

3. Go and understand that returning to "normalcy" will take a little bit of adjustment but each day is a brand new day- it's a clean slate and sometimes there will be obstacles to hurdle- the best thing to do is just keep plugging away and it will all work out in the end.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Focus on How Far...

Now this could go two ways- but rather than me saying it I'll just post the picture that I have in front of me while I am running on the treadmill.  Actually, a little secret- I found some of my favorite motivational pins from pinterest and printed them out and now I have them taped up over top of my sliding glass door (which is what I stare at while I am running).  I'll share others of them as time goes by but the one I am sharing today is the one I just kept coming back to it over and over again. 

In the past once I stop showing progress I have given up because I look ahead and it's like I am looking down a huge, long and winding road that appears to have no end- but this is one time where it's okay to look back- to see where I started and all the starts and stops along the way that has brought me to where I am now. 

So- DON'T STOP!!!  Even when you aren't seeing what you want to see!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I have, within the last month, discovered a new addiction (a good one)...spinning.  The first time I took a class a friend on FB asked me what it was- when I linked up some info she commented that it was not what she thought it would be.

I just wanted to share a few thoughts on this phenomenon (that's been around for a while).  I have been wanting to take a spin class for a while (after an orthopedic dr informed me to keep it as low impact as possible) but after watching things on tv and reading on the internet I was quite intimidated and being self-conscious of my body did not help the matter at all.  Other than Zumba! and one (yes, only one) body pump class at one gym (that I am no longer a member of) I have not taken a single group class- especially in a gym.  However, as this post showed I came to realize that it didn't matter anymore- that I needed to just bite the bullet and go.  So, I contacted my friend Rae Ann (who teaches spin and zumba at Provision Health and Wellness Center and arranged to go to a spin class with her.

This is point number 1 I want to make- if you are unsure of going to a class then arrange to go with a friend- not only do you have someone to keep you accountable to actually show up but you have someone to encourage you once you are there!  Rae Ann was my encouragement (and believe me that first class was HARD)!

After that first class I still wasn't sure that spinning was going to be something I enjoyed- my rear hurt!  The seat was not comfortable and my legs hurt for two days after BUT I know that one class is not enough to make a judgement on the class so I tried out another one, and pretty soon, another one.  Since I started this journey of spinning on June 11 I have done spinning approximately 10 times (more if I had not been out of town) and in those 10 times there have been several things that have happened: I SWEAT!, I have found myself pushing myself to do more than I thought would be possible, I have found that I look forward to going to spin class (which means I am looking forward to exercise) and not just the mental side but physically I am starting to see changes as well- my legs have been one place where I have carried my weight- through spinning I have started seeing some definition in my calves as well as some muscles developing in my quads.  Seeing the changes keeps me coming back for more and am now ready to kick my exercise up a notch by adding the strength training into my cardio.

So, after all that what is point 2?  Find something that you enjoy, that you can do, and do it well.  Doing it well means doing it to the best of your ability, listening to your body and adapting as needed!

Oh, and here's my challenge to myself- I write down my mileage at the end of a class and push myself to try to beat it the next class- won't always do it but anything that gives me the challenge/push to go harder it's worth it!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Scheduling and sacrifices

I am one who allows my schedule to tend to dictate where and what I do- which is good in a way but NOT when it comes to my workouts and eating.  I did really well with my workouts from January to March of this year and then- boom- from spring break on I just let it go.  However, this coming school year I know that that will have to change.  I had a doctor appointment in early June and my doctor was pleased with my bloodwork- however, I had to go on a low dose of blood pressure medicine after several high readings.  She gave me some thoughts about using this summer to get my health back in order- taking the time to eat healthy and get myself back into exercising and then she laid down the "law"- I HAVE to continue it once school starts- doctor's orders.  So, when I saw this pin over on Pinterest (you can follow me here if you wish) it really resonated with me and I know that this is what I have to do.  I know that I will have to make time sacrifices as well as other sacrifices.  However, it is what it is and what I have to do.  So, while I am getting this blog back up and running for the summer I will need to continue during the school year (this is where I need your help in my accountability!)

I will be penning in those workouts.  I would LOVE to hear how you make sure you get your workouts in!

On a second note- I really am trying to make some healthier recipes that I am finding over on pinterest.  I LOVE buffalo chicken and the kick that it gives but I have struggled finding an unbreaded buffalo chicken recipe that has enough of a kick that I really like it.  I have found it (although I might add a bit more buffalo sauce the next time).  I used Plain Chicken's Grilled Buffalo Chicken recipe .  I did use the thinly sliced chicken breasts from Perdue AND I also actually made them on my George Foreman because I don't have a grill.  But, it was delicious and approximately 190 calories per chicken breast. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Healthy Eating, Healthy Living...

Am continuing just trucking along in this journey.  I have updated my trackers to the right to show my goals and my work at achieving them.  I have decided to do a 100 mile challenge in the month of July- this will be done both through running/walking and spinning.  Yesterday's 90 minute spin class gave me 1/4 of the miles alone! 

In other "news" I made this Taco Bake for dinner tonight.  I modified the original recipe a bit- I changed the ground beef to ground turkey, I used low sodium taco seasoning (although I now have all the ingredients to make my own in the future), and I used low carb tortillas.  It was actually not bad- some changes for next time- a different pan- I used my springform pan because that's what I had but it was not quite the right size for the tortillas, maybe more meat (when I went to Kroger yesterday all they had left were the 48 oz. packages- I divvied it up into 3 equal chunks but it didn't seem to be enough, I was running low at the end of the recipe), and instead of salsa con queso- I may just use plain nacho type cheese or even some melted velveeta. 

I cut this into 8 servings (and had 2), added a little side of corn and broccoli for a decent meal. 
With my changes it ended up being app. 283 calories per serving, 10 g carbs, 18 g fat, and 21 g protein.

Took today off exercise wise- dealing with a headache- it even hurt to try to read.  Enjoy- if you try the recipe I would love to know what you think of it!