The stress of the move contributed largely to emotionally-fueled eating, a bit of over indulgence in medicinal wine, and very poor sleep patterns, which, all combined, have taken a heavy toll on my hips and my overall health.
One of the major side effects of the weight (and stress) has been the advancement of early arthritis, especially in my spine and feet. My extra lumbar vertebra (I have six instead of the usual 5) is inflamed and causing a great deal of pain. I've seen a half dozen doctors and been prescribed massive amounts of anti-inflammatory meds and been advised to go to physical therapy for strengthening my lower back. But obviously, the best solution would be to lose weight.
I know all about good nutrition. I could teach a class on it. Healthy foods have always been staples in my diet... I love fresh vegetables and fruit (baby spinach, avocado, tomato, apples, bananas). I eat lean protein of mostly poultry, fish, and nuts, with rare indulgences in red meat. I try to curb the carbs and eat almost no white bread or pasta, but I confess German Brötchen are too tempting (even though I stick with whole grain varieties). I very rarely consume processed/canned foods and watch my sodium levels.
My biggest weaknesses are WINE, CHEESE, and CHOCOLATE. Given my otherwise healthy diet, I find it grossly unfair that I can't freely enjoy these treats, when I have skinny friends who never think twice about what they eat. So. Unfair.
Nonetheless, a couple months ago I committed to limiting even these and would say I generally have the "diet" part of healthy living under control. So the deficient part of the equation is exercise. It's hard to get motivated to exercise when you're in pain and seriously lacking sleep. But this is what I must do. My body is conditioned for and requires it. I grew up as a dancer, training for many hours a day through my youth. Just a few years ago I was running regularly. I used to be extremely fit, strong, and flexible. Sadly, that is no longer the case.
runtastic) to help me track my walking pace and distance. Then, in mid-March, I decided I needed to do more than just track my exercise, I needed specific goals. I ran some numbers, employed a little math and logic, and determined that it was entirely realistic to walk 1000 kilometers in a year. This is only 20 km per week, for 50 weeks - it even allows the standard American 2 weeks of vacation :) More precisely, I only need to walk about 5 km 4 times per week, or 4 km 5 times per week. You get it - not terribly much.
Still, I managed to get behind pretty early on. March rained non-stop. April I was traveling for 2 weeks. So come May, a reality check meant I needed to "haul butt" or give up.
I. Do. NOT. Give. Up.
In the last two weeks I logged over 80 km to get myself back on track for my goal. And here I am. Week 15. As of this morning, over 300 km trekked at a steadily increasing pace, so that I now frequently jog more of my route than walk it. I'm on track now for getting to 1000 km!
Still, the scale has not budged since I began this regimen :( I remain well over a healthy weight. Not sure what to do next. I should add weight training, but find that very VERY hard to do on my own. I know I am getting stronger and generally feeling better. The joint pain is kept mostly in check with anti-inflammatory meds and movement. But I sure would like to fit comfortably into my summer frocks and feel confident in a swimsuit. Joining a gym would be fabulous, but out of budget. So, hard as it is, I think I need to set some goals for sit ups, squats, and hand weights. Last ditch efforts will be further limiting my dearly loved wine and cheese.
Anyone want to set some goals with me and join me in my personal fitness challenge?
At least, wish me luck :)
And enjoy some pics of the beautiful Ruhr region that I get to explore as I walk 1000 kilometers this year.
|I start my route on beautiful wooded trails|
|Passing babbling brooks and peaceful ponds|
|And continue along the lovely Ruhr River|