It’s been 6 weeks since my final surgery and my commitment to a healthier, stronger me. To keep me honest and humble I am documenting my progress publicly.
I am eating substantially healthier and have lost a little over 6 pounds. I had actually lost more than 6 pounds but graduation weekend put a couple right back on. Backpacking is happening in about 2 weeks so that is just extra weight for me to haul around. But I refuse to do any crazy diets for radical weight loss. I am shooting for a pound a week and I am pretty much on track.
- This has been my greatest area of improvement. After each breast surgery I lost a significant amount of strength. So much that I could not open a medicine bottle or pull open a door or close the hatch on my car. I have regained most of my original strength in my chest, which is still tight but much improved.
-My daughter explained that a lot reps with less weight is good for endurance but to build strength I should do less reps with more weight. And so I have been alternating these strategies - some days for strength, some for endurance. I have amazed myself at how much weight I could handle (if I only had to do it 8 times)
- Because of my bad knees, I had been having trouble standing up out my kayak, or from sitting in any low position. I assumed this was just the way it was going to be because I have declining cartilage and increasing arthritis. However, my athletic trainer daughter told me that I could train my muscles to help compensate for the joint deterioration. I have been doing all the exercises she gave me and wow, I can now stand up out of my kayak! It’s not pretty or smooth, but it is up. I can now also get up off the ground without holding onto something.
Because of these last 3 years of surgeries, I have done very little aerobic activity and boy does it show.
- I started a walk/jog program - one lap of walking, one lap of jogging. 20 minutes was my original plan but I still often die around 12 minutes . . . while elderly people race past me with their walkers.
- I tried this new machine at the gym. It is much harder than I imagined. My first time on it I climbed the equivalent of 6 flights and thought my heart was going to explode. I now add 2 flights each time I use it and I’m up to 16 flights, blasting “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” for inspiration. Still, this only takes me about 4 minutes and I need to be able to hike, uphill, with a pack on, for at least 5 to 6 hours.
- I am seriously in poor aerobic shape.
- I have totally sucked at doing any yoga or stretching. I've already lost whatever bendy gains I had made taking a yoga class a few months back and have reverted to a balled up stiff, achy mess.
- I did sign up for another yoga class, went to one, and then have allowed something to interfere every week since. I need to make this a priority.
- I tried putting 30 pounds of weight in my backpack and strapping it on but the foobs still haven’t fallen or softened enough to get them out of the way of the pack straps. Frustrating. I am going to have to find a hack to get around this problem.
Overall, eating better, losing a few pounds and being more active by ignoring my phone and internet has made me feel a kazillion times better. I have much more energy and my mood and attitude seem to have also improved. However, in terms of getting in shape - especially backpacking shape - I have a long, long way to go.
My daughter had me take another internet quiz - what should be my theme song.
I got Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin”
back to the gym . . .