Friday, July 30, 2010

Fitness Friday:4

If you're lucky enough to have time to do strength training, here's the advice the Orthopedic specialist gave me the other day:
Set the weight on the machine to a level where there's resistance, but it's not really difficult either. Then you do four sets of repetitions in a 12, 10, 8, 6 pattern resting 30 seconds between each set. By the time you get to the final 6 you should be working pretty hard!

Example: I set the leg extension machine at 65 lbs.
Set of 12 reps
Wait 30 seconds
Set of 10
Wait 30 seconds...etc.
This works great! I get an awesome work out when I circulate through the machines applying this technique.

I worked hard today and right now I have the nice, slightly sore feeling. :)

Remember, muscles increase your metabolism so to lose weight effectively, it's important to try and increase your muscle mass. (If you're a lady, don't worry, unless your hormones are really screwed up, you won't become the Incredible Hulk!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 11: Runner's Knee and Carpal Tunnel

I'm trying to get myself to the best me possible which includes fixing ailments etc. This week I went to visit the Orthopedic specialists and Occupational Therapists to see what could be done to not have knee or wrist pain anymore.

Although I did my seated leg raises, I have still been having a lot of knee pain. Well, the awesome specialist told me I have 'Runner's Knee' and he gave me a Quad strengthening exercise routine. Then once that's done, he also gave me a 'Walk to Run' program. So, after a few weeks of focusing on building my Quads I can resume my goal of running a 5K. :D He told me to go home and measure my leg right above my knees so I can see my progress as my muscle builds!

As for my wrists, I saw the Occupational Therapist today and he gave me some guidelines to follow to help my pain go away. I'm not a fan of surgery until you've done everything else possible! I don't have the typical numbness and tingling that people associate with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), instead I have a constant dull pain that radiates toward my thumb and I have a relatively weak grasp. Anyway, for the next few weeks I'm going to NOT be doing things like pushups and pull-ups or anything that requires constant/repetitive grasping/flexing. I am allowed to use the arm machines at the gym that don't require a grasp so I'm not giving up my arm strengthening goals. Tomorrow I go in and get some custom wrist splints made too! I'm excited and I'm going to follow the directions I've been given faithfully! :)

Overall, I feel as though I look better in my clothes and I have reason to hope that I won't be in constant pain anymore! Hooray!

Finally, since I said I'd post some pictures of my progress this week, here you go. What do you think? Do I look like I've made progress?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fitness Friday:3

Flexibility! I've mentioned it before but with my recent doctors visits my thoughts were reaffirmed. While I work on trying to get my knees back into tip top shape, the importance of increasing my flexibility comes to the forefront. I plan on making flexibility a top priority by warming up and stretching every morning.

Would you like to become more flexible? One of the main things that a lot of people do incorrectly is not holding a stretch long enough. A minimum of 30 seconds is recommended. Here's some other ideas about how to stretch properly.

Also, try and stretch all of your major muscle groups regularly:
Hamstrings (my personal nemesis),
Gastrocnemius a.k.a. Calves,
and Shins.
(When done properly it should take between 10-12 minutes)

I think I need to be more flexible in other areas of my life as well:
Mentally, and

Maybe I should try and become an all around contortionist... hehe

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 10: Thirst/Hunger Confusion.

How do you know you're actually hungry and not thirsty? It's possible that you're receiving the wrong signal. When you're feeling hungry and it hasn't been very long since you last ate, try drinking a large glass of water and waiting 10 minutes to see if you're still hungry. The same advice applies after you've been working out, instead of ravaging the contents of your frig and pigging out, drink a bunch of water and wait an hour.

I've managed to consistently lose a pound of week since Week 3 of this blog, and staying hydrated by drinking water instead of eating right after working out has helped me keep my weight loss going. I'm curious to see when my progress will stop. It's always a pleasant surprise to get on the scale and see that the number has gone down again. :) I've also enjoyed the small but steady changes in my measurements.

I've not been exercising as much as I once was, but I'm still learning to balance my life now that my husband is gone for a year long deployment. I'm not perfect but the trick is I keep going... right?!

Next week I plan on getting some updated swimsuit pictures to post to see if my progress is noticeable.... so.... stay tuned... :D

P.S. Words of support would not be discouraged if you feel so inclined... ;o)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: 5

Craving something really bad for you like doughnuts or ice cream? Well, instead of buying a box of a dozen doughnuts, or a tub of ice cream, make a plan to go out. I don't deny myself yummy things, but I don't leave them sitting in my house in front of my face either. When I want a doughnut I'll go to a doughnut shop and choose 1 decadent creation and then eat it slowly. When I want ice cream I'll visit a superb ice cream parlor and choose a scoop of some amazing flavor and savor it. When I'm done I'll not have eaten more than 500 calories and I won't feel like I've completely ruined any of my progress. If you plan it far enough ahead of time you can even budget the treat into your daily calorie allotment.

Tip: Don't deny yourself something yummy, but instead of buying too much of something and bringing it into your home to stare at you, go out to a specialty shop and purchase a small amount of something amazing! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Sweets- Chocolate Fix

Sometimes I really want chocolate.... wait, who am I kidding, I ALWAYS want chocolate. Anyway, when the craving hits particularly hard and I'm determined to be good, I grab a couple of little chocolate flavored hard candies from See's. They are only 17.5 calories a piece and they last for a few minutes so I get to extend my pleasure... (Mmmmmm).

Seriously, I HEART

See's Candies: Gourmet Hard Candies - LIttle Pops- Chocolate :)

They also have other flavors if you want some variety.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Week 9: What's the Ideal?

People have different ideas of what the ideal body should look like. I think a woman's ideal proportions should be based on her own measurements. I'll explain my guidelines for my goals below:

Measure your Wrist. Wrist x 2= Neck. Neck x 2 = Waist.

Measure you Ankle. Ankle x 2 =Thigh. Thigh x 2 = Hips and Bust (Chest)

So here's my ideal:............ Here's my reality:
Wrist = 6 1/2 " ..................Wrist = 6 1/2"
Neck = 13 1/2 " .................Neck = 13 1/2"
Waist = 27 ".......................Waist = 30 1/2"

Ankle = 9 1/2 ".................Ankle = 9 1/2"
Thigh = 19 ".....................Thighs = 21 1/2 "
Hips = 38 ".......................Hips = 38 "
Bust = 38 ".......................Bust = 42 "

So, to reach my ideal I need to:
-lose 3 1/2 inches off waist
-lose 2 1/2 inches off each thigh
-lose 4 inches off my bust, although my husband may say :)

To go along with this idea I'm updating my goals box on the side bar. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 8 - Finding Motivation

Since my husband left it's been hard to find the motivation to really make myself do all the exercises I know I need to be doing. Some days I'm really good at doing it all and other days I'm good just to go for a walk. My lack of motivation combined with my knee pain is evident by my slowing progress. Oh well, I have to give myself a little more time to grieve his absence and adjust otherwise I'm just lying to myself and prolonging the process.
Anyway, to help give myself extra motivation I'm going to create a daily checklist of exercises and I'm hanging it up on the wall so that it's staring at me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday's Tips: 4

Invest in small baggies. I divide treats into individual portions and put them into baggies. Then if I want a snack I grab one of my prepared baggies and I know I won't be accidentally eating too much.

Baggies + pre-measured portions = good idea! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday: 3

Body Health Thought: Do you take a multi-vitamin? I do. It's important to make sure you get your daily vitamins. Sometimes if you're lacking in a certain vitamin/mineral you'll have cravings for things that aren't the best for you. I have a weakness for chocolate which comes from a low level of magnesium. It's important to try and keep your calcium and magnesium levels balanced. Here's a cool article all about why some dark chocolate can actually be good for you. :)

Brain Health Thought: I have a heck of a time remembering things, but I find that if I purposely set aside a little time each day to memorize a verse of poetry or scripture that my memory works better. Like muscles in the body, different areas of the brain need to be used and exercised to work properly. Give it a try, find a book of poetry or scripture that has passages you enjoy and try and memorize one every day, you may be surprised by the results. :)