Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Renewed Focus on Fitness

As of the first Monday of February 2009, my goal is not only healthy, low-carb menus but a renewed focus on exercise. The last few months of my life didn't allow for any kind of regular exercise. It really didn't, because there were various, legitimate setbacks. That's the way I look at them - just setbacks.

Focusing on EFGT (Eat Fat, Get Thin) had good results - to a degree. That is, I lost 14.6 lbs. total - three times in just a little two weeks. The scale simply wouldn't go lower. In fact, it bounced. Every Saturday, I hit the same number. On Sunday, the scale number bounces right up. No change in the woe, no cheating. And it takes days to get that 3 lb. overnight bounce off. I don't blame EFGT for that problem. No, something else is going on, and it's been going on for well over a year!

Since the end of November 2007, the 'stall-gain' has been my "Never-Ending Story." Well, it's time for that story to end! Not only am I tired of it, I'm sure those who read this blog are tired of hearing about it. Either way, that doesn't seem fair - and you know, it really isn't.

Obviously, the low-carb lifestyle offers all kinds of great health benefits. Slower weight loss, as one approaches goal, is expected. However, no weight or no inches lost or, even worse, stall-gains for welll over a year is plain insulting and downright demoralizing! Some time ago, I concluded this finickety body must have reached a point where it needs increased exercise, even as I alternate it.

Though I reached that conclusion awhile back, I did not want to act on it. That is because I tried the alternate route before (alternating exercises from toning to cardio, etc.) - and it didn't work for me. I hurt myself when switching to toning/cardio exercises, even though I followed instructions at a local workout place. The 'hurt' was not due to incorrectly performing the exercises. Nope - it seems fibromyalgia was the real cause.

Even though I previously worked out faithfully for 5 months, building myself up for the next phase of exercise, it seems I can't handle machines, even set at the lowest weights. Fibro muscles can manage them for awhile but not for long (in my case, within one short week of M-W-F workouts, I was experiencing severe breast tissue pain. Doc says the tissues were inflamed from the toning exercises. It took a month to recover!).

Seeking an alternative, I discovered Callenetics. They don't hurt me. Yep, I feel the muscles stretching, but the next day there is only very mild soreness. That, I can handle. Callenetics are challenging, providing a total body workout that stretches muscles first. There are no pulsing movements but graceful and steady 'holds' of position. Once I finish a set, I find myself totally relaxed and ready for sleep.

That said, I'm not an afecionado of workout DVD's. Maybe it has to do with doing exercises in the house. I prefer to go out and 'do something.' Still, preferences about where to exercise don't matter if I can't get any exercise accomplished!

So one thing at a time. First, I'm going to start anew with my favorite exercise, and alternate it with something different. My ultimate goal is to exercise each day. For now, it might be every other day, to let my muscles rest and repair between workouts. I'm not going to worry too much about time, but my goal is at least 1/2 hour of daily, focused exercise - steady walking, Callentics, or water exercises. I'm also seriously looking into Zumba, because that's my idea of plain, old-fashioned fun!

I admit I don't like the idea of lots of exercise, and I'll say why:

First, I'm a regular Jane, who must take something from her day to get that exercise done. (Believe me, if I could live in a sunny, low-humidity state and swim and exercise in the pool all day, while my personal chef made our family's healthy, low-carb meals, and my nanny watched the kids, and a tutor taught them at home, that would be my equivalent of earthly paradise.)

Second, I do ponder the future and wonder if I will have to not only exercise daily but will eventually have to increase it. That's a scary thought. How will I get the time to do it?

Housework, unfortunately, isn't enough exercise. Walking up the steps a few times a day doesn't quite get it, nor does standing at the sink washing or drying dishes, and that sort of thing. On the other hand, low-carbing and my self-designed Water Workouts now allow me to stand at that sink without pain. Ditto with the steps (even though I still creak at the knees!). And I can walk now, standing straight up - without a cane. No cane, very little pain. I couldn't do that before low-carbing and thrice-weekly Water Workouts. The point is that I refuse to lose all the good I've "gained."

So...alternate the exercise it is! I know, too, that exercise has to get one to the point of a windedness. (Not gasping for air, but just enough so that one can only speak a few words as one exercises. Then you know you're pushing yourself to the right limit.)

Anyway, regular exercise (along with low-carbing) is the goal for this month. I figure 14.6 lbs. in a few weeks is very good, but seeing that scale jump right up 2 more lbs. on February 1st got me plain mad. Mad as in very determined.

As the old saying goes: When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

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