Too Much? Not Enough? Beats Me.

I got up this morning for day two of my new “done strain my toe” exercise routine and, to be honest, I’m not sure what to make if it. I mean, it’s good. But, well, let me try and explain.

My response to my sets is mixed. Set one is always like “is this enough work? Should I do mire?” Set two leaves me tired, though, and set three makes me feel like I should be reconsidering the life choices that brought. me to this place Especially after the lateral raises.

Interestingly, some of the exercises are easier than others. The shoulder presses and alternating bicep curls feel fairly easy. But others (lateral raises and lying flies, for instance) are murder. Which, I suppose, is to be expected.

Enough complaining. I feel pretty good after all of this. And I’m looking forward to keeping it up.

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Starting Over. Again.

All right, I exaggerate. It’s not really that fire, or anything. But really, I’ve been in a bit of a tailspin ever since I took my final certification test back in November. And passing it, once I found out I passed, didn’t help a whole lot. I made a bunch of excuses, and overate a lot and gained weight, and told myself I’d start “tomorrow”. Which, as we all know, never comes.

Well, I’m declaring today to be tomorrow.

Oh, my. Look at that. How dramatic. But, well, I’m serious. Really.

See, I broke my toe last Sunday – a fact that was, I believe, the subject of my last entry. And I’ve been sore and grouchy and feeling sorry for myself since then. Oh, and still overeating. But, for various reasons, I’m starting to feel better about things (although my toe is still sore). So I’ve finally sat down and worked out a “I’m crippled up and can’t walk” exercise program, and I tried to keep it simple. After all, simple works best when you’re just starting out.

And let’s be honest here. I’m pretty much “just starting out” again.

The rules for the exercise program were simple. No stress on my toes, and it had to use things I had around the house. But fortunately – as my toe can attest – I have some little gut dumbbells around the house. So, what I came up with was this:

  • Crunches
  • Leg lifts
  • Side leg lifts
  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Alternated biceps curl
  • Shoulder press
  • Triceps kickback
  • Kneeling one arm row
  • Lateral raise
  • Lying fly
  • Upright row

I’ll be down my 3 sets of 10 reps each, four times per week (two days, then a break, then two more days). The weights in question will be the 10 pound dumbbells that fractured my toe. Eventually I’ll go to heavier weights, but 10 pounds is 10 pounds more than I’ve been doing, so it’s a good start.

This should be good, actually. It’ll get me doing something new, and it really feels like a brand new start. I’m looking forward to this!

Trying To Deal With Boredom

I woke up to 33 degree temperatures today – Fahrenheit, not Celsius. At this point, I think I have to accept that the time of going for walks outside had passed. I mean, sure. I can bundle upend I don’t mind feeling a little cold. But I see no reason to subject myself to discomfort while subjecting myself to discomfort. So, despite a lack of enthusiasm, I am turning to the complex workout room and the following machines:

A treadmill.

A skiing machine:

And a reclining bike:

Not pictured here is the plain old exercise bike that would have been behind me in that last picture.

I’ve remarked before that treadmills are boring. So, in order to mix things up, I’m gonna by to rotate through those machines. Today I did 1 kilometer on the skiing machine (about 10 minutes) and 3.34 km on the bike (15 my mutes). Sadly, my FitBit doesn’t register the steps from the bike, so it thinks I’ve traveled 0.77 miles so far today.

Annoying, that.

Anyway, my current thinking is that each day I’ll do something like 15 to 20 minutes on one machine and then 15 to 20 minutes on the next. I’ll also need to keep stepping up the resistance level on that bike, until I feel like I’m getting a workout. Also, any day that involves the bike, I’ll need to plan to do more walking so that my FitBit shows I’ve hit goal.

Fun. Right?

That Went Well

So far, so good. I blew through my walking goal yesterday (6.95 miles, and I was so tempted to go knock out that extra 264 feet), thanks to the Zombies Run 5K app and having to go grocery shopping. And life in general, really. I also got in all of my exercises, so I feel…

Sore. I’ll be honest, I was a little sore when I got up this morning. It was the good kind of sore, though, if that makes any sense. Not like way back when I started all of this, where my thighs as calves felt like they’d been carved out of oak. No, this was the kind of sore that tells you that you worked hard the previous day, and that vanished as you move around. By the time I made it to the treadmill for Workout 1 on the app, the soreness was gone.

Workout 1. It went well, I think. It was 10 minutes of walking (I set the treadmill for 3.0 mph), then 10 sets of walking a minute and then running 15 seconds (for the run I went up to 4 mph), and then a 10 minute “freestyle run” (which, to be honest, was 10 more minutes of walking). I covered 1.67 miles in total, or 5.12 miles if you believe the app.

Wait. 5.12 miles?

Yeah. About that. See, I’m letting my phone count my steps for the app. And I misread the thing that asked how long my pace was, when I set it up. I thought it wanted my height, so I put in 6′ 5″. Which, to put it mildly, skewed the results. I mean, that has me at a 7 minute mile. If I could run a 7 minute mile, I don’t think I’d need to be using an app that was training me to run a 5K.

Still, it’s a little thing. The workout was good, and I was properly out of breath and soaked with sweat when I was done. Workout 2 happens tomorrow, and then I’ll be settling into the app’s recommended every-other-day schedule by hitting the workouts on Monday, Wednesday, an Friday.

Now to take the app’ final bit f advice, and hit the shower.

Recipes Be Hard, Yo

In the interests of improving the overall health of my family, I'm changing up the way we eat. Here's the basic idea: food gets sorted into different groups based on how they relate to each other (for instance, tomatoes and potatoes are in the same group). Once we eat a given category, we have to go two days before eating it again. The idea is to force me to expand my repertoire and let us eat different foods.

It is also incredibly hard.

Honestly, I never realized how much I relied on the same few basic things for most of my recipes. Not until I started doing this, and found myself saying things like "nope, can't do that one either". It gets tricky when you're looking for recipes and you can't use anything related to – say – corn, peas, or tomatoes. And those are go-tos for you.

Basically, I'm nowhere near starting this. The goal is to get going by Saturday, so we'll see. And I need to make some cards, so I can visually track this stuff better. I think it'll be worth it, though. And the increased variety of foods will be nice.

Once I figure out what I'm cooking, that is.

Ow. My Thighs!

I was going to write this yesterday, but was distracted by the whole not feeling well thing. So, here goes.

Saturday, I got back to work with the same personal trainer I've used in the past. And, after I described my frustrations with having fallen off the exercise wagon and regaining 25 pounds, she decided that the best thing to do was ease me back into exercise by killing me.

All right, all right, that last part was sheer hyperbole. But I haven't done any squats or push-ups or anything in months, and they are hard when you haven't kept up. So now I have aches I muscles that haven't been accustomed to aching for a while. And the fun part? I figure that, around the time the aches go away, she'll change things up and make me work harder.

Yeah. What I'm saying is that I needed this.

I Know Kung-fu!


All right, so I don't. Not at all. But I did try out a Tai Chi DVD as my exercise program yesterday (instead of the workout cards), and it turned out to be pretty good exercise. The slow movements make your muscles work more than you'd think.

It'll clearly take some work to be any good at it, though. About halfway through, I found myself with the wrong foot forward, trying to figure out exactly how it had happened. I thought I'd been following the instructions in the video, but there I was. Still, it was fun and relaxing and a pretty solid workout, so I'll be trying it again.

Jet Li, however, I am not.