The Next Step

The last time I posted on the blog I was pretty stressed out, thankfully I have employed some healthier strategies for dealing with my stress and am doing much better, though there are still good days and bad days of course. During the time since my last post I have spent a lot of time working on myself and my relationships. I have also been re-evaluating what is important to me and what direction that I want my life to take in the coming year (and beyond). December is going to be a very important month for me and will be the start of my new transition.

One of the biggest things that will be happening in December is the launch of my new blog! My website is complete and ready to go! I will officially start blogging there on December 1st. If you would like to continue to follow along with me on this new journey, please visit my new blog Tales of a Fit Kitty Mama. Until then, I wish you all well!

Retreat and Regroup

Every once in a while, I need to retreat into myself and withdraw from the world for a little while. Lately I have really been feeling this need. Last night I withdrew, but didn’t completely close myself off from the people around me. Today I have closed myself away for a while to just sit with myself and figure out what my next step is. Of course, I will have to venture out at some point because I do have to go to work a little later, but for now I am embracing solitude.

While my need to retreat can sometimes indicate a bout of depression coming on, it doesn’t always mean this. Sometimes its just a hint that there is something out of balance in my life or something that just isn’t working quite right. I know that this, combined with the sudden change in the weather, is what is driving me right now.

For the last several weeks my life has felt like its running out of control with work and other obligations. I have cut back on several of these obligations, but am having a difficult time shifting gears back to what I need to be focusing on. Other changes in my life (mentioned in yesterday’s blog), have me re-assessing how I spend my time as well. Like figuring out what to do on Friday and Saturday nights now. Like looking for ways to meet new people that will fit with my very limited budget and time constraints.

I know that I won’t have a lot of time to really withdraw this week, I have way too much that has to get done before I leave on my trip. But I also know that I need to spend some time in solitude to really figure out what’s going on in my head and where I need to go next. The only certainties regarding my next step are my devotion to fitness, studying for my certification, and building my blog. Everything other than those things are possibilities for change.

In truth, I am not unhappy, though I am a little discontented with things the way they are now. This tells me that I definitely need to make a change. And I need to consider what I need to fulfill myself, not necessarily what others think I should do, when I am making changes.

Hopefully I will have some answers soon. Perhaps my trip will help me realize what I need to do next, since it will take me out of my regular day-to-day world. If not, at least it will provide me with some much-needed rest and relaxation time!

So close…

A theme in my life right now seems to be “so close…”

1. My vacation is less than 2 weeks away

2. I weighed in at 165.4 lbs, less than .5 lbs away from a total of 50lbs lost

3. The size 10 pants I mistakenly bought a month or so ago now zip, but are just a little too snug for public wearing.

4. I am due for another promotion (and raise) November 1st

5. My new website/blog are almost ready. (I have enlisted the help of my computer guru to help workout the remaining glitches).

As you can see, I have some very big milestones/ events on the horizon, all of which should come to fruition over the next couple of weeks!! To say this is an exciting time for me might be an understatement… it’s truly a life-changing time for me!

Updates from my Busy Life…

Ok there’s been a lot happening in my life lately and I haven’t had a ton of computer time, but I wanted to post an update of what I’m doing right now and some exciting stuff in the works!

1. Injury Update. My leg is feeling 100% better right now. After tweaking it a few times last weekend, I was afraid that I would still be feeling pain throughout the week, but I am feeling really good right now. I’ve done some short walks (.5 miles) and some stairs and have felt no issues at all. Monday I will resume walking to work, then Thursday I will begin walking home from work as well again. I am still holding off on running until I get back from San Diego, but think that I should be good to go with the rest of my workouts.

2. Weight Loss Update. After virtually no exercise over the last 2 weeks (compared to what I usually do), I have finally broken my plateau and dropped 1.4 lbs. To be fair, I have been really focused on my eating to make up for the lack of workouts, but I think the combination of needed rest and better eating is what combined to push me off the plateau and get me moving in a downward direction (scale-wise) again.

3. Personal Training Update: My study materials have arrived, so I have immersed myself into a new study schedule. ACE recommends giving yourself 3-6 months to prepare for the exam. I had already decided on a 6 month goal, so I am focusing on that right now. This is definitely taking up a lot of my time, so I have had to cut back on some other things (like computer time) to make room for studying in my schedule. But I am enjoying the whole studying aspect again… what can I say, I’m a student at heart!

4. Self-Hosted Blog Update: I have registered with a web-host and registered by domain name. I am still in the process of building my website (and considering I have no idea what I’m doing, this might take a while), but once I have it up and running, I will be starting to blog from there. Don’t worry, I’ll post here and let you know when that happens and give you all of the info for the new site (and new and improved blog!).

5. Work Update: My hours have gone up at work due to vacations right now, so I have less time for the rest of the stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love having more hours, but sometimes when its slow, I start thinking about everything that’s not getting accomplished at home. My primary focus is on my fitness, blog & studies, but I am still putting in the necessary hours at work. Plus it looks like I might be getting promoted again in November!

6. Trip Update: When I started planning my trip home it seemed so far away, now there’s just a month left! I’m starting to get really excited (not that I wasn’t before) and starting to plan out what I am packing to take with me. I am also trying to slowly pick up a couple of new clothing items since most of what I own is getting too big. I just picked up a pair of size 12 jeans (I love that I can shop in regular stores now!), and might pick up another pair of pants or a new workout outfit before I go as well.

7. Social Activities Update: In addition to working, studying, getting ready for my trip, etc; I have also been doing some fun social stuff too! On Saturday, I went to a German themed barbecue for one of my roommate’s friend’s birthdays. Then today we went to Emerald Downs to catch the closing day of the racing season. I had never been to a horse race before, so it was a lot of fun! I think there was also a movie night at the $3 cinema in there somewhere as well. AND tomorrow is my 1 year “roomieversary” celebrating a full year living with my roommate. We have nothing planned, but it’s just something fun to note.

As you can see a lot has been going on! As a matter of fact, I started writing this post on Saturday afternoon and am just now finishing it on Sunday night! That should tell you how crazy my time has been lately!

 I would love to hear from you… How have you been keeping busy lately?

Adapting

So its been pretty difficult over the past week or so to not stress my injury. Even getting on and off the bus can cause pain. I’ve managed to send pain shooting through my calf on three separate occasions stepping on or off the bus since Friday. I honestly figured that I would be feeling better by now and that I would be ready to start walking again this week and that the extra week would just be insurance. Right now I wonder if I’ll be ready to walk again next week! I am trying to have patience and to give myself the time I need to heal, but I have to admit that I am getting a little stir crazy!

Obviously my original plan of 10 weeks of focused fitness before I go home for a visit had to be scrapped (or at least highly modified). I know that I am not going to hit my next goal before I see everyone from home, so I can changed my focus and am working on maintaining. With my activity level severely reduced, I am paying very close attention to my food intake and working on getting as much movement as I can (with modifications of course) in throughout the day. I stepped on the scale today and found that I am at the low-end of the range I have been bouncing between while plateaued, so that means things are working right now.

I am putting together a new plan, because really when do I not have a plan, that will take me through the end of the year. I want to gradually build my fitness back up to my normal level over the next 5 weeks (when I should hopefully be ok to start running), and then build up again from there. I think that I can make some great progress between now and the end of the year (15 weeks if you can believe that!), so that I can really take things to the next level in 2013~ with both my fitness and my blog!

So this week I’m:
1. Putting together a plan
2. Focusing on food~ eating cleaner
3. Allowing myself to heal
4. Finishing Coach Yourself to Success by Talane Meidaner
5. Researching web-hosts in preparation of making the jump to a self-hosted blog
6. Catching up on all of my blog reading and emails (I get so behind sometimes)

Let me know:
What are you doing this week?

Set-Backs and Moving Forward

So I’m pretty frustrated. I mentioned that I exacerbated my injury (torn plantaris muscle) by pushing too hard, too fast on Friday. So now it looks like there will be no walking for me for 2 weeks, and no running for at least 6 weeks. This means that I need to completely re-think my entire fitness program for the time being. I can still work on upper body and core strength, but I need to take it easy on my leg, so my lower body strength will be limited. My cross-training tends to be DVDs (kickboxing, aerobics, dance, etc. ), Zumba, or dancing; so all of those are out right now as well. Someone mentioned that the recumbent bike at the gym might be pretty low impact on my leg, so I might try that, but I really don’t want to set myself back any further than I am now. This pretty much leaves the pool… swimming, water jogging or water aerobics.

I’ve been checking out the pool options in my area. There’s a community pool about a half mile from me. Its $55/ month for a swim pass and there are designated times when the pool is open for adult swim or lap swimming. The pool is closed for refurbishment right now until the 17th. The other option is the pool at my gym, which is included in my membership. The biggest drawback here is that its only a 2-lane pool so it can get kind of crowded at times. The other big issue is that my swimsuit is way too big for me now, so I definitely need a new one (and its the completely wrong season!). I’m going to see if there might be some clearance ones still available this week, because I think my best bet to stay on track is to get in the pool until I can walk/ run/ dance again.

Through all of this, my biggest fear is that I will fall back into my old habits, gain back the weight I’ve lost and be right back where I started. I am nervous that if I take too much time off exercising that I’ll never get back to it. I know that I have mentioned this before, but its the biggest obstacle in my mind right now. I am trying to remain positive and focused on what I can do rather than dwelling on what I can’t do, but there are days that I just want to push myself and ignore the pain, but I know that is not the solution and will only make things worse in the long run.

So now I am working on a new plan and putting together some new goals. I have also picked out some rewards to help me through this down time and keep me focused. As I finalize the new plan, I’ll post it for everyone here. Plus I’ll be starting to prepare for my personal trainer certification as soon as my materials arrive (should be next week!), so I’m hoping that will help to keep me on track as well.

In the meantime I am using the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) method and riding the bus. I’m on my feet all day at work, but am trying to be mindful of my injury and not put too much pressure on the injured muscle, or flex my foot in a way that pulls on it. Stairs are a little tricky right now, but thankfully there aren’t very many of  them that I have to deal with and if I lead with my right (uninjured) leg, then I can avoid pain… I just have to remember that when I hit stairs (I don’t always). A few people have recommended foam rolling to me as well, so I am going to give that a try to see if it will help as well.

Do you have any suggestions for fun workouts that won’t stress my injury?

Weekly Recap 9/8/12

This week the plan was to keep my workouts nice and easy to allow for me to heal from my injury. I started off still resting, then eased into my daily walks. Unfortunately I pushed a little too hard and ended up with a flare up of pain towards the end of my walk yesterday. My calf is still tender today and when I walk quickly I still feel pain. I will be moderating my workouts again next week and have to acknowledge that I will have to wait at least another week before I can really get my running program started.

In the past, I would have taken this injury as a sign that I shouldn’t be running and that I should just accept the status quo and live with it. Now however, I see it as a test of my determination. Do I really want to reach my goals or am I going to cave at the first sign of adversity? And I know that I really want to reach my goals. It may take a little longer to get where I want to be, but I will still get there… with or without this injury!

So here is my training for this week:

Sunday: Rest
Monday: Rest/ 15 minute stretch
Tuesday: 2.25 mile walk
Wednesday: 2.25 mile walk
Thursday: 5 mile walk
Friday: 4.5 mile walk
Saturday: Rest

 

Injury Update and Food Issues

First to update on my injury… I am feeling a lot better! I have been walking to work every day this week and have experienced minor twinges in calf, but nothing major, mostly when I’m walking uphill. In general, there is just a feeling of tightness in the affected calf. Today was the first time I walked both to work and home again and I am feeling fine tonight. I am a little nervous about resuming my running (re-starting? I only got the first day in before my injury took me out) next week, but I think that I should be fine. I plan to take it easy the first day or two to make sure, but overall think I am truly on the mend.

That was the good news! Unfortunately the same cannot be said for my eating habits lately. I know the primary reason I have been stuck on a plateau for so long is my eating. I have mentioned this before here on my blog. I have attempted to make loose menu plans and buy healthier food, but the truth of the matter is that I am eating too many processed foods and too much food in general in some cases. I really need to take control of the food that I am eating (and purchasing) if I am going to break through this plateau and keep losing weight. This week I really don’t have money to shop for groceries, so I will be finishing off the various processed foods that are living in my pantry. I will be working to make my meals as healthy as possible, but know that this week will not be the greatest (which is really what the last several weeks  months have been like anyway). During this time I will be putting together a detailed menu plan for all of my meals and snacks for the following week. I will be utilizing my food tracker (on Sparkpeople) to make sure that I am both staying within an appropriate calorie range and meeting my daily requirements for macronutrients when putting together these menus. I will then buy ONLY what is needed to prepare these meals and do all of the prep work immediately to ensure that I am eating what is on the plan. I am doing well with the fitness aspect of things, but I really need to get it together when it comes to food if I am going to meet my goals!!

How do you meet your food-related goals?

Training Topic~ Injuries

So a topic that has definitely been on my mind for the last week is injuries. After injuring my calf muscle and not being able to work out for several days, I have found that I am frustrated and a bit grumpy. I knew that I was used to working out almost every day and that I enjoyed it, but I didn’t realize just how much my mood relied on my daily walks.

I know that injuries need to be treated and rested in order to heal. Thankfully my injury was pretty minor (at least it appears so) and several days rest and massage seem to have done the trick. But it was really tempting to continue to exercise and push myself towards my goals. I wanted to keep walking, keep running and keep doing my strength and dvds. I thought about it, considered it, but knew that ultimately I would be doing myself a disservice and jeopardizing my goals (not to mention my health) by continuing to push through. Now that I am feeling better, I really want to just dive right back in, but I know that could mean re-injuring myself, or delay healing if I’m not completely healed yet. It’s really hard to make myself step back and ease myself back into my routine this week.

On the other hand, there is also a part of me that is afraid to jump back into my routine because I DON’T want to reinjure myself or aggravate my leg any further. I am afraid that I will push too hard and make things worse. I really don’t want to get completely derailed from my goals and the longer I’m injured, the higher the probability that I could backslide. I know that I need to keep moving forward and push through the fear, but the fear is there just the same.

How do you handle injuries?

{9/2/12} This Week I’m…

In addition to recovering from an injury, this week I’m…

Watching:
Netflix: The Office

DVD: Continuing with the Harry Potter movies

Reading:
Fiction: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Nonfiction: The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

Magazine: Runner’s World

Blog: Fitting it All In

Listening to:
Taylor Swift~ Last Kiss

Surfing:
Pinterest

Project:
Last Week:
Bookshelves

This Week:
Dresser