Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Easing Into It {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 220
Weekly Change: -1
Overall Change: Back to "starting weight" of 220
Next goal weight: 214 (pre-pregnancy weight)
BMI: 32.0 (obese) (using this calculator)
Waist Circumference: 40 inches (yikes!)
Disease Risk: Very High (according to this chart)
Jeans Size: N/A (still haven't worn jeans. might try them soon just to see which ones fit)
Total Workouts: 4
Total Walks: 4
Total Other Workouts: 0
Progress on Training Plan(s): So far succeeding with my "Back to Basics" plan
Injury Report: None to report at this time. C-section pain is gone. No new aches and pains from exercise yet, other than a little bit of back soreness that will probably ease as my core strengthens.
Last Week's Goal(s): I went 2 for 3: I walked outside at least once, and I blogged about my new fitness plan. I did not get a new battery for my pedometer.
Next Event Goal: Still planning on the Arlington 9/11 Memorial 5K.
This Week's Goals: (1) Do "Workout B" at least once. (2) Record my walks with MapMyFitness app and compare stats. (3) Get a new battery for my pedometer.

Analysis: I've gotten off to a decent start with my new fitness plan. Getting out for walks nearly every day hasn't been too difficult, even in a week that was full of kids' activities. I'm going about it the way I hoped I would too -- experimenting with different times of day and locations, sometimes going alone and other times bringing the baby in the stroller and/or some of the other kids with me. Flexibility, creativity, and determination are the keys to finding the time to exercise, because my baby's feeding/sleeping schedule is certainly not conducive to getting much done right now. That's enough analysis for this week, I guess. I don't want to overthink things; I just want to keep it simple so I can stay focused on the basics. :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Back to Basics, Part II

As promised when I first came up with the idea back in January, I am going "Back to Basics" again. It didn't work during this pregnancy, but I am confident that it will work now. The focus will be on gradual progress, realistic expectations, and total body fitness.

My plan is to start out trying to exercise twice each day. I'll call them Workout A and Workout B. Workout A is always a walk at least 20 minutes long; the other details (time, place, speed, intensity) don't matter. The goal is just to get that bare minimum of physical activity to start slowly building up strength, cardiovascular endurance, and good habits. Walking 20 minutes a day is so easy -- there rarely will be legitimate excuses not to get it done.

Workout B can be anything that counts as exercise, even another walk. I'd like to start by doing some yoga and low-impact workout DVD's, and then build up to higher intensity ones like Billy Blanks and Jillian Michaels. If scheduling permits, I might get back into swimming this summer as well. There really are no limits to what Workout B is. I just want to work different muscle groups whenever possible, and try to shed some weight before I begin running again.

In the initial phase, I know there will be many days when Workout B doesn't happen. There even will be days when Workout A doesn't happen. Fortunately, I don't have to return to work until August, so I have some time to ease into a consistent routine (if possible, infant feeding schedule permitting). After my last baby, I was so obsessed with getting back into running that I didn't give myself any leeway to struggle, or any other options for getting fit. I won't make that mistake again. I'd rather succeed at getting into shape in a variety of ways for a while, than fail so badly at getting into a running routine that I don't get fit at all.

To keep myself accountable, I will resume weekly updates like the ones I was posting last year, measuring most of the same stats. I'll edit the different categories based on what I find myself doing and what progress I want to measure.

As for running, I'm not sure when I will start again or what training plan I will use. I'm leaving that all up in the air for now, and I'll figure it out when I'm ready. I hope to be ready sooner rather than later, but I know I'll get there even if it takes me some time. Running, swimming, and biking are all still in my plans for the future, and I won't stop until I've completed a triathlon, even if it takes years!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shifting Gears {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 221
Weekly Change: +4 (two weeks' difference)
Overall Change: -1 from post-baby "starting weight" of 220
Pregnancy Weight Lost: 27 lbs., then 4 gained back
Pregnancy Weight Still to Lose: 7 lbs.
Next goal weight: 214 (pre-pregnancy weight)
BMI: 32.2 (obese)
Jeans Size: N/A -- haven't attempted jeans yet, but probably will soon
Total "Workouts": 6
Highest Daily Step Count: unknown, still haven't gotten the battery for my pedometer
C-Section Recovery Report: I still had a fair amount of pain the week before last, as I continued to become increasingly active. This past week has been a different story, as the pain has all but disappeared now that I'm six weeks post partum. This is usually how it works for me -- the magical switch is flipped between 5 and 6 weeks pp, and I almost suddenly feel normal again. Aside from being tired, and some of my underused muscles getting achy here and there, I feel pretty great! Today was my 6-week-pp OB appointment, and I got the "all clear" to resume all normal activities, including exercise other than walking. My doctor did say to take it slow, but that's the speed I run at anyway. :)
Last Week's Goal(s): Failed at all of them AGAIN, in both of the past 2 weeks.
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) Map out (and blog about) my new fitness plan. (3) Get a new battery for my pedometer so I can start keeping track of my daily steps.

This update covers two weeks because I didn't manage to get a post written this week. The truth is I would have had little to write anyway. The previous week was full of stress as we tried to get ready to entertain guests and celebrate our son's First Communion and our daughter's Baptism. To cope with the stress, I started hitting the desserts pretty hard, hence the weight gain. I'm hoping only half of that is real gain and the other half is just bloat or something, but either way I know I need to put the brakes on that type of eating soon so I don't keep gaining! Now that I'm all recovered from my c-section, it's time to get serious about getting back in shape. This is not to say that I'm in a big hurry now, or that I'm going to obsess about it. I just need to set some goals and figure out how I want to go about all this, and then decide on some "rules" for myself. That's my #2 goal for this week, and I hope to get it done within the next couple of days so I can then get started on it before the week's end.

So YAY, it's time to resume the journey I started so long ago! Again. Let's do this!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Some Pain, No Gain {Weekly Summary}

Weight: 217
Weekly Change: -2
Overall Change: -3 from post-baby "starting weight" of 220
Pregnancy Weight Lost: 27 lbs.
Pregnancy Weight Still to Lose: 3 lbs.
Next goal weight: 214 (pre-pregnancy weight)
BMI: 31.6 (obese)
Jeans Size: N/A -- haven't attempted jeans yet, still wearing just stretchy, soft clothes
Total "Workouts": 5
Highest Daily Step Count: unknown, still haven't gotten the battery for my pedometer
C-Section Recovery Report: My recovery continues to go reasonably well. As I get more and more active, obviously I'm going to experience more pain. I'm trying to listen to my body and take the pain as a cue to slow down and get more rest. It seems like heavy lifting causes more pain than being on my feet for extended periods does. I probably should not carry my toddler around as much as I do, but sometimes it can't be helped. I'm finding that I can handle one long or two shorter outings per day, but after that I need to rest. My baby was born four weeks ago and sometimes I get frustrated, thinking I should feel closer to normal by now. Even though I've had less pain than in previous recoveries, the amount that I do have doesn't seem to be going away just yet. This is a really busy month for our family, and I wish I could be back to 100% already, but that is definitely not the case. Fortunately I still have pain meds to help me through the roughest days. The good part of being so busy is that I'm having no trouble doing enough physical activity to help aid the healing. The bad side of that is that I haven't had the time for sustained walking as regular exercise. That's not the end of the world or anything, but the longer it takes me to get into the habit of regular walking, the longer it will take to see any results from it.
Last Week's Goal(s): Failed at all of them so repeating this week.
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.

Hmmm. I guess I really did most of my analysis in the C-Section Recovery Report. I don't think I have much more to add at this time. The next couple of weeks probably won't be much different, unless something unusual happens, like a setback in my recovery. Once the pain is gone and I'm able to do exercise beyond just walking, then the real work begins. I do want to point out that the pregnancy weight has just been dropping right off of me, much faster than I've ever noticed it doing before. This is the key time now where I need to keep the numbers going down and don't allow myself to start gaining again. Postpartum hormones plus sleep deprivation lead to a lot of emotional eating and sweets consumption in my world, so I need to be careful to keep all that under control and don't go overboard. Easier said than done!