Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gotta Get a Grip

Yesterday I weighed myself and I was not happy with what I saw. I haven't been nearly as active this year as in the last couple of years and it has taken its toll. I have gained about 8 pounds this year and I was no skinny mini to start with. Really, I ought to lose 30 pounds and all of my fat is around the middle, making me look kinda like the Michelin Man.

I was in a yoga class on Sunday and I couldn't support myself on my arm when attempting side plank. Now, I think part of that was because I've been working on my arms more than usual this week and they are feeling it but it occurred to me that it would be a lot easier if I didn't have 30 extra pounds to try to hold up. I also find it hard to do the twisty poses. I don't know if it's limited flexibility or if I just don't have room for my fat when I try to twist myself! Cycling in aero position will be a little trickier now, too, because all the fat bunches up so I can't breathe when I'm down in that position. I feel weaker than ever, despite my increase in strength training and yoga and I don't feel like my physical appearance is congruent with who I want to be and what I want to accomplish.

I have to get a grip. Other people can do it, even people with a lot further to go than me! I am trying to figure out why it's so hard for me to commit to eating right for weight loss. I am stressed to the max right now because I am sick to death of school and still it goes on and on with endless picky revisions to my dissertation. I feel constant anxiety about it. I need to finish and get on with my life. Meanwhile, I am teaching at the university and doing research work with a professor, which gives me money but takes time away from what I really need to do - get this PhD and get a job! Sometimes, I just want to eat something easy and crappy so I don't have to stress about food, too. But, really, life will always be stressful one way or another and I have to learn to support myself with good nutrition even when times are tough and especially when times are tough. I have to learn not to rely on food for comfort.

So, today is Day 2 of yet another attempt to do this right. I don't have much faith in myself but I have to do this. It will help my poor arthritic hips; it will improve my sport performance because I'll be moving less weight around; it will make yoga easier; I will look better. Can I do this this time? I better!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coming Back

I've been on a good routine for the last 3 weeks, easing myself back into training and including some workouts that are as much rehab as they are exercise. I am feeling pretty good!

I found myself a personal trainer. She is totally wonderful. She understands my current limitations but also knows how badly I want to get back into things. It's been really fun. I go to her place once a week to work out and it feels great. (I am still seeing my physiotherapist and doing the exercise she assigns as well.)

I also went to hot yoga for the first time a couple weeks ago and I've gone 3 times now. I was afraid to try it because I'm not a heat lover at all but it turned out to be fine. I haven't had any issues with the heat (even though it was 42 degrees in the studio today!). I think, because of the heat, I stretch more than in regular yoga so I really feel it for a couple of days afterward but I can already see small gains in my range of motion. It's encouraging. Today's class was sublime. I found it so therapeutic on so many levels.

I've also been swimming and biking, once a week each. Swimming is fine. I've lost some fitness and speed in the few months I've been out of things with my hip "issues" but I've been keeping the swims at about 1000m and I'll be building up from there. Biking has consisted mostly of commutes to the university campus, which is just under 15 km return. Not a huge distance, for sure, but a good way to start over. Our fall weather has been stellar and it's been awesome to be riding outside this far into the season!

I am going to stick with this routine for the next couple of weeks. Then on Dec 1, the Edmonton Triathlon Club begins its spin season so I'll be upping the biking a bit and spinning on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I enjoy spinning and I think I'll do OK with it now that I have the arthritis pain much more under control.

It is going to take some time for me to get back to where I was and then go beyond that. I'll have to pace myself and give myself time to get my range of motion back and strengthen my hip muscles so the joints will be protected. But I am feeling very hopeful now and really enjoying what I'm doing.

I'm thinking about next year's race season. I want to do only races I haven't done before so I can broaden my experience and check out some new events. At this point, I'm thinking I'll be sticking to sprint distance races but if my training still feels good as I increase the volume over the winter months, I might consider an olympic distance race. I don't know if I can say that I'm back yet, but I am certainly getting somewhere now and it is fantastic!