Trying New Things
My lower back has been giving me fits, making my sleep subpar, and my workouts pretty lackluster, too. I picked up my 40lb dumbbells, the intention being to do some goblet squats, and my back tweaked and I blasphemed. A lot. Sorry, God.
Part of healing the damage that a sedentary lifestyle and copious amounts of food have done to me is fixing acute causes of my sickness. This, like most things, requires going back to the most underlying causes, which in this case are my diet and exercise (or lack thereof). Diet I have reasonably fixed, but exercise, well…
I know what I have to do to work out, to lose weight, and to build muscle, but if my BACK won’t cooperate, I had to go back to basics. I’ve been doing yoga and Pilates this past week, with an emphasis on slow, stretching movements. My stomach muscles were on fire most days, but my back has been limber to a reasonably new degree this week (that is, week 9), so I’ve continued the process.
Basically, if you can’t work out due to pain, weakness, or something else that can be remedied, then start at the most basic level that works for you and beat the hell out of it. For me, when I was 450+ pounds, I could only walk. I walked a few blocks at a time before I’d get winded or my feet would hurt too much, and slowly I would increase my distance. Changing nothing about my diet and with the only exercise I got being my early morning walks, I dropped 20 pounds the first month of my weight loss, back in 2011. If it works, do it until you can do more.
With diet, it’s a little bit of a different challenge. For some people, restricting their calories, changing their eating habits, or simply omitting disastrous foods like McDonald’s can be incredibly easy. For others, they can work out for hours a day but just cannot improve their diet. If you have a horrific set of eating habits like I did, then change 1 thing. A friend of mine lost 15 pounds in a month doing literally nothing but cutting down his soda intake from 5 cans a day to 1 or 2. That’s it, and then he went on to cut out more bad foods and lost a bunch of weight, but he started with soda.
Never underestimate the power of pulling back, viewing your situation with the most basic vision, and then rebuilding up from there. That’s what week 8 was about for me, and it’s helped shaped my take on the rest of this challenge and beyond.
Good stuff: I lost 2 pounds, relieved some back pain, and I my Tuesday Pilates routine found me stronger and much more able to maintain the exercises for longer. I feel like this is the first time I’ve had noticeable improvement on exercise duration in about 5 years. I will be starting my exercise at the gym next week, so for now, I am content to continue to do my stretching routines at home.
Bad stuff: Binge-ate on Saturday and Sunday, but nothing like I’m used to. Otherwise I was keto, and kept my calories lower, which is good. Hit my step goals again, and I can honestly tell the difference now. I feel better in general on days I walk more.
Stuff to do for week 9: Keep exercising, even if it’s just core work and stretching. I get a lot of positive feeling and focus from Pilates and yoga, and even though I know the big weight loss and strength will come from a gym-focused lifting routine, I am content to build the habit of exercise.
Calories for week 8: To be perfectly honest, I didn’t track hardly at all this week. I suck. I was still under target, though. Target calories: 11,550. I was probably around there, maybe sub 1000 calories.
Exercise for week 8: 30+ minutes of Pilates MWF, 20 minutes of yoga T/TH.
Steps for week 8: 53,000/7 = 7,571 Target steps: 45,500, so we did ok this week. I want to hit 10,000 a day, but it’s going to take some more cardio, I believe.
This week went by quickly and I didn’t get this up until Wednesday the 14th, which is unfortunate, but this current week is going pretty well, so we will see what my weight is at the end of it. I don’t want to start tracking my weight and measurement fluctuations until I have a handle on consistent eating and exercise.