Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Week Recap

Just wanted to sit down with a cup of tea and relax a bit between Easter activities, so here I am! I hope you are having a wonderful holiday or non-holiday weekend. We are! My days have been filled with things that bring me joy: dyeing and painting hard boiled eggs together, watching my little girl's face light up when she saw her lavender-gingham-lined Easter basket this morning filled with shiny stickers, a little toy bunny, some bunny ears, a necklace, glitter glue, and a chocolate bunny, taking walks to play at the park in the spring sunshine, baking a fresh strawberry cake, and playing tug games with my happily wagging pup. It is such a blessing to have a home filled with love. Even the dogs feel it and I am so happy to have my children around me. I am very thankful.

Recap of this week: there were some triumphs and some weaknesses. What I am most proud of is that I stuck to my exercise plan even when I was extremely tired and didn't feel like it. I pushed through and *made* myself exercise, with the goal of making it a habit that will not be broken. I walked about 9 miles this week, biked 100 minutes, and did my physical therapy exercises on two days. I did an exhausting hour of fast-moving agility and several more hours of slower training with my pup. I was also more active in general, making sure I was moving a good part of the time. This was, by far, my most active week in a year and a half.

By yesterday my body was hurting pretty badly... mainly my feet, but also shin splints. Plantar fasciitis has returned and makes it very painful to walk. I limp a lot when I first get up. I am taking something for the pain and resting today. Honestly I am not sure I can continue with the walking if this pain doesn't let up. I might cut back to 1/2 - 1 mile a day max and increase the biking to 25 minutes/day this week. It is frustrating to have pain limit what I can do.

Another triumph this week is that I finally have weaned myself off all sweeteners in my coffee! This is a huge deal to me. Just a few weeks ago I thought I could never do it. I have always hated black coffee. But I like to sit down and have a cup in the morning. I enjoy the smell of coffee even more than the flavor. But over the last couple weeks, I slowly cut back the Splenda in my coffee and now I don't need *any*! I  still use a tablespoon of half and half in my coffee, but I am also going to try and cut that back as well until I like it black. One side effect of drinking non-sweet coffee is I crave it less. I don't want 3 or 4 cups a day. I have my one cup in the morning and maybe another later in the day, and that's it. I like the fact that I am training my taste buds away from sweet drinks completely, and eventually I want to be artificial sweetener FREE.

My eating this week wasn't as good as last week. I did eat fewer grains/wheat/gluten this week but had some sugar (which is probably a contributing factor to my pain). I am not terribly pleased with my nutritional choices this past week (not enough veggies but lots of fruit, too many nuts, too many processed foods and not enough protein). I would estimate I ate 1700 calories a day on average.

I would expect to see a loss, even a small one, for the increased activity and fairly reasonable eating but the scale is up 2 pounds from last Sunday. It's one of those moments when you get on the scale and think, "I am in all this pain from pushing myself to exercise. And for what?" But I had to answer myself, "For my health." Because the exercise has to stay and be part of my life whether I am thin or fat, eating perfectly or horribly, losing or gaining. I cannot let the scale dictate whether I stay active or not; I am just staying active. So for the coming week, I will stop winging it with the eyeballing and counting calories in my head. Even though I *think* I am pretty accurate, I may not be. Plus, just the act of keeping a true tally in writing seems to curb my eating a bit.

Time for our Easter egg hunt in the yard! Bye for now!

24 comments:

Lindsey said...

Lyn, I feel that you need to be careful about pushing your body to exercise. Yes, you do need to exercise, but if it causes pain, you might want to eliminate walking for now. I walked a bunch in bad shoes (have you checked your lately) and that is what exacerbated by plantaar fasciitis. Now, I am so careful to wear good footwear at all times, rarely go barefoot (Dansko clogs help a ton). But you should listen to what your body is telling you. Your body is telling you that it hurts to do what you are doing. Shouldn't you respect that? You might have to swim or something that doesn't use foot impact. Then introduce walking a little at a time. Five minutes even. Don't ignore your body's signals.

Elaine said...

Sorry about the weight gain, Lynn, but you're in the process of searching for balance, something you can live with, and I know you'll get there.

A question about the plantar fasciitis: do you have PT / stretches that you do for it? i have had painful feet for a few years and I think it's plantar fasciitis (never bothered to get diagnosed but I have all the symptoms) and when I am really consistent about doing yoga or some plantar fasciitis exercises I found online, the pain doesn't get in my way.

MargieAnne said...

Lyn you did have a good week and you are having fun with your children.

Cutting out sweetener in your coffee is Big. I drink black coffee unsweetened and milky coffee with sugar. I hope you find you like black unsweetened coffee. The smell is heavenly.

Have you considered that the pain from exercise might be causing your muscles to retain water? I think there is something about pain that makes it hard for the body to let go weight initially at least.

I do hope you see reward on th scales soon and also that the pain eases. I think you are wise to tweak your exercise plan until tour feet are happier.

Wishing you a continuing Happy Easter.

Blessings.

LHA said...

I feel your pain.....both in the feet and on the scale. My feet are completely flat and extremely thin (hilarious to have my feet be the only thin thing on my body!) and have hurt ever since childhood. I love to swim, and that form of exercise sure is easier on feet and legs. I don't know if you have access to a pool or even like the water but it can be a really great exercise that is easy on the joints.

The weight gain hurts almost as badly, I know. All of us have had that happen when we feel we are being healthy and careful. Unfortunately, that kind of weigh in always triggers binge eating for me, so I don't weigh more than once a month. I know there is a danger in that too, but I guess for me it is a better plan.

I'm happy that you have had a wonderful Easter and feel good emotionally! Good luck this week. I know you will be successful!!!

Jane said...

Sounds like you had a great week Lyn! Congrats on no sweetener in your coffee and all the activity! I hope you have a great rest of the day with your family!

Lyn said...

Lindsey~

I am always torn between backing off/resting and pushing through. In the past I have always gone the backing off route, and I do heal up but it is so hard to get back into exercise when I always end up hurting. I will try to not push it too hard, though. I wear Crocs and they help my feet feel better.

Elaine~

I used to do the stretches but stopped, since I haven't had plantar fasciitis in a long time. Guess I will start those back up!

re: swimming~

I don't have access to a pool at all year-round, and only limited access in the summer months.

debby said...

Hi Lynn,

I'm sure you don't need a lecture on plantar fasciitis. You have a computer and know how to google LOL. I'll just say that I had it and it is so painful I thought my heels were broken, so I sympathize. Backing off of walking is sometimes recommended. It seems there are different recommendations for different people (I was a nurse and saw a lot of women with it.) For me what worked best was remembering to keep my feet flexed when I slept (I usually kept my feet in 'ballet' position. I had read where splints at night might work "Wear night splints. Night splints gently stretch the plantar fascia ligament and Achilles tendon and keep them from getting tight during the night." So I tried to imitate that (it was when I wouldn't go to the doctor for anything.) My BF also had it and she got special inserts for her shoes and went to physical therapy and did stretching exercises. I hope you get some relief, because it is miserable.

Anonymous said...

From "Anonymous Fat Guy" --
(Since you have so many "Anonymous" comments here, I think I will start referring to myself as "Anonymous Fat Guy.")

Lyn, please don't be offended by anything that I say below, because I'm just thinking about how my own experiences of yo-yo dieting may be similar to yours, and I'm reflecting mostly on what I've learned about myself and my own diet efforts. What I say may not apply at all to you, but here goes:

1. EXERCISE IS NOT THE ANSWER.
It is physically impossible for me to burn enough calories through exercise to make up for all the calories I can eat by binges. If I'm going to lose weight, I have to limit my eating. Period.

2. ALL THE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL RULES ARE WRONG.
Everybody is different. We are different in our metabolism, age, gender, activity level, food sensitivities, gut bacteria, and more. Any diet that is supposed to work for everybody is absurd on the face of it. There is no point in me blindly following any diet, if it doesn't work for me, whether it's low-carb, or low calorie, or 800 calories per day, or packaged meals. It doesn't matter if it's endorsed by my doctor, or the FDA, or Big MegaFood Corp, if it doesn't work for me, then I need to drop it.

3. NUTRITION INFORMATION IS NOT DEPENDABLE.
This is a big deal, because some people put a lot of faith in food labels and their nutrition "facts." Don't do that. Lab tests on commercial foods have shown that actual calorie counts and nutrient content are often very different from the printed labels.

4. THE ONLY THINGS THAT MATTER ARE RESULTS.
If I think that a 1500-calorie diet is what I need, and if I base my diet on finding foods totaling 1500 calories, I may be wrong on both scores. Maybe my sedentary body actually needs only 1000 calories, and maybe the foods I'm eating actually contain 2000 calories. That's a big difference, I need to cut back until I'm losing weight, regardless of what all the charts and printed labels say.

So, I probably need to throw away my collection of hundreds of diet books. (Don't all fat folks have enough diet books to fill a library?) And I need to give up my pre-conceived notions about "healthy" foods. If locally grown organic wheat grass from a hippie commune doesn't work for me, and if Diet Coke with aspartame does work, then I should drink the Diet Coke.

So, instead of following any rules, here is my simple three-word summary:

DO WHAT WORKS.

So, Lyn, here's my only bit of advice that is actually directed at you:

Since what you've been doing hasn't been working recently. STOP.

STOP ALL THE CALORIE COUNTING AND ATTENTION TO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL DIETS! Find something that does work for you.

I've had to give up all my phobias about aspartame and other food additives, and I'm accepting artificial sweeteners and mysterious additives in my diet green tea, my sugar-free popsicles, even Diet Coke, as long as they work for me.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, you need walking shoes that have some support. I can wear Crocs around the house but if I walk a mile in them, my feet will hurt a lot the next day.

Arabella

Lyn said...

Anonymous Fat Guy~

you have some good points, except calorie counting worked for me for a long time. That's how I lost the first 50+ pounds. I haven't done it strictly since going off MF. I am basically trying to tweak as I go to find what does work for me, and if it's not calorie counting, I will keep tweaking. I agree one size doesn't fit all.

Arabella~

I don't walk in my Crocs, I wear them around the house for support. they make my feet feel SO much better, especially when I first get up in the morning and am hurting. I have athletic shoes for long walks and wear them for agility and running errands. I probably do need a new pair though, so thanks for the reminder.

Steelers6 said...

Good job on backing off the sweeteners in coffee.

Happy Easter.

Chrissy

Shelley said...

Nice work getting off the chemicals!

Glad you had a great Easter, and I sure hope your PF stops hurting soon!

Lyn said...

debby~

hey, that reminds me, I had one of those splints to sleep in a couple years ago! It was big and heavy and uncomfortable but it helped. Funny they'd only give me one splint, so I had to switch feet every other night. I will see if it's still around here somewhere.

timothy said...

i agree you need to check your shoes and there's a difference from working through small aches and pains and ignoring warning signs of serious injury from your body. only you can know where you're at with that just pay attention to YOU! congrats on getting off the sweetners for me it's caffein right now i'm way down and only drinking a bit each day to keep from getting that caffeine headache which is excruciating. eventually i'll wean myself, mayhaps in may on my vaca when i dont actually have to do anything.

Jennifer McNeely said...

I had PF for almost a year before I tried acupuncture, was gone in 2 sessions!

Jennifer McNeely said...

Also! Do you have good shoes? Support makes a huge difference, worth the effort to go to the running store and get fitted for the right shoe, even if you are walking.

donner said...

Hey Lyn- eat lots of those hard boiled egg whites this week...great protein and great for your health!

kimberly said...

Be patient Lyn! I have been watching my calories, basically following the South Beach diet model, and added exercise. For the first three weeks of exercise, the scale did not budge and even went up a bit - Arg! But finally, it is moving in the right direction and I finally broke under the 200 pound mark at 199! Thank the Lord!!!

You can do it - just hang in there!
Kimberly

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous Fat guy:

I think I love you. LOL. No. Seriously. :)

"The only things that matter are results." Yep. Brilliant.

--Anonymous Fat Gal

Amy said...

Maybe try replace some of your cardio sessions with some weight training. Did you know it is much more effective at elevating your metabolism and keeps it elevated for much longer than cardio? And, lean muscle mass burns fat just by being on your body. Just a thought.
Sorry for your frustration, it's much harder to lose weight when your body fat % is lower, and don't forget you ARE still lower than where you started!

Colleen said...

Anonymous fat guy makes a good point. Exercise alone is not great for weight loss. It is great for cardiovascular health, stress, a bajillion other things but not weight loss. And if extra weight is causing you pain, exercise will probably cause you more pain, at least at first. Whether the increase in, say, lung capacity offsets that is a call only you can make. In the long run exercise is absolutely good for your health but whether it is good in the short term, and good for you psychologically, is another story.

Also, a new exercise routine can lead to microtears in muscle which leads to water retention aka inflammation aka water weight.

I will also say that at one point, I was working out 6-7 days a week at nothing lower than moderate intensity under the guidance of a trainer, and I did not lose a single pound while eating 1600 calories a day. I lost fat, I put on muscle, I looked better and my clothes were looser within just a few weeks. But if my goal were to get pressure off my joints from extra weight then it would have been a failed experiment. As it worked out, that extra muscle has served me well, but again it's all a trade off.

Christina said...

I came across one of your recipes on pintrest and started poking around your blog. Just a quick note about the plantar fascitis: have you seen a podiatrist of it? They will mostly likely recommend some custom made orthotic insoles, which can be pricey, but they do help heel pain. Or some shoes with really good arch support can do wonders. Keep up the good work! I've started doing low carb and have already seen some results after two weeks. You make me want to keep going!

Anonymous said...

I guess I'll be the one dissenter and say that moving to less of a shoe instead of more might help you. I had crippling knee/hip/back pain until I started working out in Vibram 5 fingers. Gone, all of it. I can actually run again.

Our feet were made to support us. If they weren't, we would have died out long ago in the evolutionary chain because feet have been around far longer than shoes. I'm not discounting your pain, and I get you have knee issues too, but tons of PTs are getting on board with barefoot training in order to build natural strength movements in one's feet/legs. I hope you find something that works for you, but keep in mind that things like "arch support" i an inherent oxymoron- an arch *is* support, that's why it's an arch :)

Julia Stambor said...

You should absolutely have your feet professionally evaluated. Maybe you need orthotic insoles, maybe your running shoes have simply worn out and new shoes would be the solution, or perhaps your shoe size has changed- in which case even the best running shoes in your old size would support you in all the wrong places. As for Vibrams or such- from what I read about them they are no good for people who carry a lot of weight and might even worsen your condition. Until you know what´s up w/ your feet, sticking to workouts on your bike sounds like a good idea- that pain means there´s something wrong, after all, and you shouldn´t try to ignore it.

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