Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Improvement Through Movement {Weekly Summary}

For the next few weeks, I will keep track of many, but not all, of the stats I used to record. My current definition of "workout" is any physical activity that gets me up and moving more than in a normal c-section recovery day. So something like a half hour of light housework that involves more lifting and bending than usual would count, as would short outings and errands that have me on my feet longer than usual. Once the pain is gone and I'm cleared for all exercise beyond walking, I will get much stricter about what counts as a workout. And at that time, I will also tweak these stats to reflect the types of exercise I'll be focusing on then.

Weight: 219
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: -1 from post-baby "starting weight" of 220
Pregnancy Weight Lost: 25 lbs.
Pregnancy Weight Still to Lose: 5 lbs.
Next goal weight: 214 (pre-pregnancy weight)
BMI: 31.9 (obese)
Jeans Size: N/A -- haven't attempted jeans yet, still wearing just stretchy, soft clothes
Total "Workouts": 5
Highest Daily Step Count: unknown, but I hope to start using my pedometer soon to help gauge my progress
C-Section Recovery Report: In general, this recovery is going better than all of my previous ones. I don't know if there is actually less pain, or if I've finally gotten tough enough to tolerate the usual amount with minimal medication. I'm taking my ibuprofen around the clock, but have not even used a third of my oxycodone pills because I don't need them as frequently as I did in my past recoveries. I can lift my almost-2-year-old son, and carry him a short distance, but not too far and not too many times in one day. I can go up and down stairs without too much pain, but slowly and not while carrying anything heavy. I can bend to reach things on the floor, but not too many times before it starts to hurt. Getting up out of chairs and out of bed is hardly painful at all, which is a big difference from my other recoveries!
Last Week's Goal(s): N/A, didn't set any concrete goals.
Next Event Goal: Hoping to enter the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K again this year, even if I have to walk a lot of it.
This Week's Goals: (1) Go for at least one walk outside. (2) Start going up and down the stairs at least once each day. (3) Get a new battery for my pedometer so I can start keeping track of my daily steps.

I'm okay with how things are going so far. One of my OB's used the phrase "improvement through movement" when describing how I should approach my recovery, and I think I'm living up to that. I'm trying to get up and around as much as possible without overdoing it. Unfortunately, at this stage of the recovery, there is nothing more exciting to report than that. Hopefully each week I'll be getting more active and thus will have more interesting topics for this blog. I also might try to find time to bring back some of the post themes I was using last year, if possible. I'm not making any promises though. It might take me a while to manage more than one post per week. :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More Than Ever

Let's just overlook the fact that I've been MIA for months and clearly didn't keep up with even my "back to basics" walking plan for the remainder of my pregnancy. How about we forget that ever happened and just pick up in the here and now?!

My 5th child (and 1st girl!) was born on April 9th and I'm currently recovering from the c-section. I'll share some photos of my precious daughter soon, but for right now I just want to get this blog rebooted and share my new resolve to return to running.

I had planned on continuing the "back to basics" approach, with the emphasis on walking, for as long as necessary until I was really ready to get back into running. I thought it might be good for me to focus on my overall health and fitness for a while instead of getting tunnel vision with regards to running. For the most part, I still feel this way, but last week I couldn't avoid thinking about running and what it means to me.

Like any other runner (and any other American, really), I was deeply upset by the bombings at the Boston Marathon. And then in the immediate aftermath, I saw the resolve of the running community, as marathoners quickly pledged to run Boston next year without fear. Their spirits would not be crushed; the terrorists would not beat them.

I happily joined fellow runners all over the country in wearing a race shirt the day after the attack, to show my support for everyone involved in the Marathon. This small symbolic gesture made me feel like part of the running community again, even though I haven't run in many months and haven't raced in a couple of years. I miss feeling that way. And I remember so vividly now how much I loved becoming a runner and how I felt connected to so many of my friends who also run as if we're all members of some very special (but also very inclusive) club.

Runners are incredible people, especially the really dedicated ones. Marathoners amaze and impress me. All the speedy runners who can finish a 10K faster than I can finish a 5K inspire me to push myself. I love running, and I love other people who also love running. I want to be connected to the community again, and I can only do that by getting back into running regularly as soon as I can.

So this is where things stand right now -- I don't want to rush into running or obsess over it to the extent that I end up psyching myself out of being successful, but I do want to stay focused on my running goals enough that I'm always working towards them and not just meandering through other, slower, easier ways to gradually lose weight and get in shape. I am determined to run again, now more than ever.

Of course, I'm still a month away from being cleared by my doctor to run again, and my abdomen still has a lot of healing to do. I don't have much of a choice but to start with my "back to the basics" approach, so to that end I will try to start walking regularly this week. I'd also like to jump right back into blogging regularly about my progress, assuming I can find the time and energy.

Logistics: I'm going to resume weighing myself on Fridays and writing weekly summary posts on Mondays. My "training plan" for the moment is just to walk as much as possible. I will set more specific goals as I go. I'm not restricting my diet just yet, so my weight loss expectations are low. Right now the focus is on easing my body back into exercise, and easing my mind back into the habit of regular exercise.

Pre-pregnancy weight: 214 lbs.
Highest pregnancy weight: approx. 244 lbs.
Total gain: approx. 30 lbs.
Current weight: 220 lbs. (a.k.a. my post-pregnancy "starting" weight)
Pregnancy weight lost: 24 lbs.
Pregnancy weight left to lose: 6 lbs. (therefore, next goal weight is 214 lbs.)
Ultimate goal weight: 170 lbs AT MOST (might try for even less once I get that low)

Welcome back to my seemingly endless journey to fitness. One of these days, I'll actually reach my destination!