Coming back from pain

On Sunday, I injured my lower back doing squats.  Monday, I seemed fine by afternoon, but I woke up Tuesday morning in real pain, and worse, instability.  I couldn’t control my own movement with the easy, fine touch that we all take for granted.  Even being careful, I would hit a place where the pain would shock me and make me recoil into another place of pain.  Then I would recoil from that, and the overcorrections would cause their own pain. 

I spent much of Tuesday in bed with a heating pad.  

Yesterday, I woke with less pain, but the same instability.  I felt my back and belly were weak, that the girder of muscles that kept me upright had taken a vacation and gone off to someplace it didn’t hurt.  I used the heating pad now in a seating position and set to work finding exercises to bring them back.  

I found this.

The middle exercise looked impossible to me yesterday.  I couldn’t do even the mild yoga from Prevention that I was supposed to do for the day.  I managed Warrior II on the right (injured) side, and then was supposed to place my right elbow on my right knee and stretch my left arm over.  I almost went to the floor.  

The prospect of sitting flat on the floor with straight legs and my hands behind my head, by itself, even without the lean forward, was enough to make me want to cry.  

But late last night, I tried it.  

It was amazing.  The backs of my legs screamed, as the therapist said they would, but the pain in my back was gone, everything was open, and I felt in control of my body for the first time in a few days.  

I even felt good enough to do about 15 slow crunches.  

That’s the priority when this is over.  I’m going to get my core stabilized and strong, so this doesn’t happen again.  I don’t care if I ever wear a swimsuit again–who wants to see my tiger stripes, anyway–I just don’t want to feel out of control like this again.  Enjoy Hawaii, belly, because when you get back, we are going to WORK!

Can you imagine how much worse this would have been if I had been 15 pounds heavier, with heart palpitations and wheezing?  

I hit the road for 25 minutes today.  It hurt and I’m sitting with a heating pad on my lower back right now, but it needed done.  

Slow, but persistent progress

I’ll try to post a picture tomorrow–I don’t want another decapitated tummy shot, and there’s no one here to shoot me until Jeff gets home tonight.  And he’s coming back from a trip to North Dakota, so the picture can wait.  

The scale hasn’t changed this week, except for a one pound dip yesterday.  You can count it, if you want, but it didn’t happen today.  Today, I am nursing a sore lower back.  Yesterday, I was doing squats, and I felt something pop when my thighs got perpendicular to the floor.  When I raised up, everything felt unstable, and I decided it was time to quit doing squats for the day.  

Today, I have trouble twisting and bending.  I’m taking ibuprofen and more or less resting.  Work was awful this morning, but I sat with Bren at Yoke’s in their hard chairs near the deli area, had a nice, unsweetened coffee, and felt much better.  I’m thinking the dehydrating effects of the coffee helped take some of the swelling down, and the hard chair forced good posture, so it all clicked back into place.  I did my usual walk today, but I paid attention to how I moved, breathed deeply and just stayed within my limits.  

My body loves to derail exercise by getting hurt.  “No, I don’t want to do this anymore.  I feel sick.  Or hurt. Yes, hurt, that’s it.  Let’s stop.”  

No.  We’ll rest for a bit, but we’re not going to stop.  I like the fact that I can wear more clothes in my closet and my tummy is less bulgy, and hello!  Or should I say, goodbye! to the back boobs? I noticed this morning that they are on their way out of here.  

I’m not going to count weeks anymore.  That would imply an end.  I’m not ending.  I’m not giving up.  I’m not going back.  Any backslides now are going to be considered indulgences, and I can have them, rarely.  I’ve had two “popsicles” this week, and they were actually those 100% fruit pops made by Breyer’s or Dreyer’s.  I can never keep those two companies straight in my head. 

I can deal with this.  I can live like this, eating veggies, meat and fruit, going out on walks, and working out.  Even if I never lose another pound–but I’m hoping I will–I will have done several good things: 

1) Quit smoking.

2) Quit aspartame. 

3) Eliminated processed foods (except as a rare “treat”).  

4) Lost several pounds of fat. 

5) Created better eating habits. 

6) Started what will become an exercise habit. 

I’m good with that.  

We’ll try the picture tomorrow.  You’ll see what Garnier Olia has done to me.  

Weight update

I’m skipping the photo tonight, simply because there doesn’t seem to be much visual change at the moment.  

The good news is that after eight weeks on Primal, I’ve lost 13 pounds.  

The latest change on the clothes front is that it looks like I’m going to have to replace about half of my underwear, because half of it doesn’t fit anymore.  That’s something not too many people mention when they lose weight.  Surprise!  Your underwear can’t stay up!  

The size 14 pants really need to go.  I need to commit to 12s and move on.  But it’s like the gigantic WSU jersey I bought one Halloween to wear at the Q; I just can’t let go.  I still sleep in that jersey, though I’m swimming in it.  

This is the first week I’ve been able to wear a pair of size 10s all day.  I disguised the muffin top.  They weren’t painful, just ugly.  Progress!  The 8s don’t do up yet.  Not surprising.  

I found an exercise program on Prevention.com that I think I can live with. We’ll see how six weeks of that works out.  Plus, Jeff and I both won a month’s membership at the athletic club across the street from our house.  We’ll get to work out there and enjoy the hot tub and sauna for a little while.   

I still don’t miss bread or potatoes.  I kind of miss beans.  I know I’ll miss the fresh peas out of the garden.  I can’t wait for garden goodies.  The only thing I have been insanely craving is cake.  I may have to get a small slice of red velvet cake and be done with it.  Satisfy the craving without guilt, and then go back to what I was doing.  I did that the other day with a Diet Coke.  Yes, I had an evil, aspartame-filled Diet Coke and did not die.  

It was not a happy experience.  Let’s just say that carbonation is uncomfortable–very uncomfortable–if you’re no longer adapted to it.  

I’m still very much on board with this Primal thing.  It’s not a miracle cure, but it certainly is better than what I had been doing.  

Tummy shot 5: Maybe you can’t see it, but I can!

Tummy shot 5:  Maybe you can't see it, but I can!

These are size 14s, and they are clearly too big for me now. It’s gotten to the point that I will have to go get myself some size 12 work pants, because I have none. The sad thing is, I’ll probably have to replace them, too. But I’m not willing to just jump to my 10s, which are still muffin-toppy.

My weight can fluctuate as much as four pounds in a single day, so I’ve been conservative on the pounds lost that I report here. I’m going to commit to a solid 11 pounds lost since I started Primal, though I’ve seen the scale dip in the last few days as low as 15.

The most important thing about this is that I’ve been able to stick with it. Usually, within a couple of weeks of starting a new exercise plan, or changing my diet, I get sick and have to go back to what I was doing. I’ve been off grains, sugar and legumes for seven weeks. I still eat fruit, but that’s the only sugar I get. I’ve had no processed flour (white or whole wheat, both of which are no-nos in Primal), no processed sugar and no beans, peas, etc. for more than a month.

I remember when I was on Atkins, and then quit, a piece of bread was like Nirvana in my mouth. I could hear the choirs singing and I couldn’t stop drooling. I recently tried a bit of potato–which is not forbidden in Primal, since it doesn’t have phytates or gluten, but not recommended when you are restricting your carbs to actively lose weight–and it was dry and tasteless in my mouth. It wasn’t a baked potato, either. It was a pot roast potato, crisp on the outside and cooked in meat juices. I just ended up spitting it out.

Since I have quit smoking, my sense of smell is stronger, too. I did not realize this, but sugar has a smell. Just plain sugar. I can smell and recognize it from 10 feet away–and I don’t like it.

I am having a love affair with broccoli. Steamed broccoli is almost the addiction chocolate was (and I still indulge in a few squares of 85% cacao once a week or so). I cannot wait until my garden is producing food. There are a lot of things I want to try.

I just wish there were things I could drink other than water and herbal teas. Don’t get me wrong. I love my water, but I miss the varieties of flavors of drinks I had before Primal. I just don’t want all the poisons associated with them. I’m thinking about buying some organic juices and then diluting them, so I can have some flavor but not all the carbs.

Still need to exercise more. I have been lifting, but the weather is nasty, and I have to drive to get to the Nordictrack up at the fire station. (Jeff volunteers with them, so we get to use the firefighters’ exercise equipment.)

And speaking of Jeff, he’s amused when I model for him the outfit of the day, where, depending on what randomly comes out of the closet for a test run, I either show him how far I’ve come or how far I have yet to go.

*sigh* It’s such a long way, but I’m getting there.

It’s Not Atkins

There are several things you “give up” when you do Primal, but the one thing that causes the most trouble is grains.  The American diet is entirely built around it.  You only think meat is the centerpiece of your meal.  It may be your starting point, but look at your plate when you eat next.  What is the one thing you are never without?  

Even salads are generally served with bread, crackers, or croutons. 

And potatoes, really, are only a substitution for a grain.  They serve the same purpose in a meal. 

My meals always look to others like there’s something missing.  I’ll have a heaping pile of vegetables, a generous (forget deck of card-size) serving of some kind of meat, maybe a bit of cheese, and some kind of non-floury sauce drizzled over the top.  Jeff still cannot comprehend that a person can lose weight eating as I do.  I don’t think he’ll really believe it until I drop quite a bit more.  

“Trust you to find a diet you can pour bleu cheese dressing all over.” 

But the thing that’s hardest is just finding things to eat in public.  I am not supposed to be eating out of convenience stores because all that’s available is processed food, but when I’m caught without, and I’m hungry, I’ll make the best of a bad situation.  I’ll get some cheese or some lunch meat or even, if I’m really desperate, a hot dog, and brave the nitrites rather than the carbs.  

Because what else is there to eat in a convenience store that doesn’t have flour or sugar in it?  

And when I take my bunless hot dog in the little tray to the counter, I get the look.  You know, the sideways look with the smirk.  And they ask, “Doing Atkins, huh?”  

No, I am not doing Atkins, where I can eat nitrite-filled garbage, but no bun, as long as I keep within 20 grams of carbs or less, and things like cheese, carrots, and tomatoes are verboten.  

And I just look down at my hot dog that I am not supposed to be eating, but am, because I was in too much of a hurry in the morning before driving 45 miles to work to fix myself a proper salad, and I know I’m going to pay for it later and say…..

“Yeah.”  

Mirror/bathroom shot–the ultimate in class!

Mirror/bathroom shot--the ultimate in class!

Oh well. So….my hair looks a little flat here at the end of the day, but I am still in love with it. Such a great shape. It can be smooth or fluffy, it can be back or flirtatiously in my eyes, and it can be serious or totally not. I am very happy with this. It’s the shortest it’s been in a long time.

I have not lost any pounds in this, my sixth week of Primal. However, I have lost an entire inch off my midsection. The ratio is the same with the hips and waist, but I’ve lost 3.25 inches on my waist and 3.0 on the hips (which I measure around the fullest part of my belly. I should probably measure at the level of my butt, though, right? Not sure).

It’s the walking. I put in almost 3 hours on the road, and about an hour of lifting this week. I have to take it easy on the lifting, because both my shoulders are sore from work. I don’t want to injure myself further.

Foodwise, I’m beginning to see that I need to cut down on my fruit intake a bit if I want to see weight loss results. I might be pushing myself above the 100 g carb limit by indulging in fruit. It seems the smoothie I had yesterday might have been a problem.

I really should retire all my 14 size pants. I’m just resistant to the idea. It’s like a safety blanket I need to release and just don’t feel ready to. Part of it is that I don’t really have any size 12 work pants in good shape, and I don’t want to spend money on a few pairs when I may be retiring them as well in a couple months.

I found a pair of size 9 work pants in the closet yesterday. It has been SO LONG since I could wear 9s. I know I bought them when I was comfortably wearing 10s, because technically, they’re supposed to be the same thing, but with smaller hips. I have never worn these pants.

Do you think I’ll make it? Or am I just fooling myself?

Goals this week: cut down on fruit, increase veggies. Walk about 4 hours (in Primal, you do no more than 5, so you don’t get into the Chronic Cardio zone). Get my shoulders healed up so I can lift better. Spend some serious time writing. Either 2 pounds gone, or another half inch, depending on what my body wants to do.

Doable? I hope so. At least the hair is fabulous.

Tummy Shot 4: Getting Braver

Tummy Shot 4: Getting Braver

Five weeks of Primal Living!

The weight loss slowed down this week. I only lost one pound, which brings me to 10 total. I think there are two reasons for that. First, in this part of my cycle, I tend to retain water. In about a week, I’ll drop again, quickly. Secondly, I have not had enough exercise. I’m hoping now that I’m working fewer hours, I can get out on the road and burn a little.

The pants I have on here are 13s, a junior size, which is like a misses’ 14, but with smaller hips. The 12s are still a little muffin-toppy, but we’re getting there.

Jeff’s new thing he makes for me is cabbage and sausage. The cabbage cooks down in the pan and becomes almost sweet. I’m just about sick of steamed veggies, so it’s a nice change.

My craving this week is soda, either diet or sugared. I have not given in to it yet.

Jeff and I cannot wait for the gardening to start. We really want to eat our own freshly grown veggies. And we have our share of a steer from Wood’s Meats coming. Can’t wait for that, either.

Tummy shot 3

Tummy shot 3

Four weeks into Primal:

I’m down nine pounds since starting the program, and down thirteen from my highest weight. I’ve lost 2.25 inches off my waist and 2.5 off my hips (belly). The pants I’m wearing here are 14s. They’re actually pretty sloppy, but they’re comfortable. I’m hoping to retire all the 14s soon.

I haven’t been able to exercise much because I’m working too many hours. I am doing some of the intermittent fasting, though. I have about 11 pounds to go before I will weigh what I did when I was working for the Q.

Right now, it’s day by day, ounce by ounce. I try not to be impatient with it, because slow is good.

One good thing. I’m not noticing my tummy as much when I sit down. Oh, it’s still there, but it’s much less Jabba-the-Hutt-ish.

Weight Update

Weight Update

Three weeks into Primal!

Down 7 pounds–I’m going to guess I have 43 to go. Maybe.

In dire need of a haircut. I’m going to have to start looking at pictures. Any suggestions, guys? It doesn’t have to be long, but I need it at least shoulder length, and it has to work with persistently curly/wavy hair.

Size 14s are almost ready to be jettisoned; I’d give it about four more pounds. Now wearing size 12s comfortably. Size 10s don’t hurt as much, but very muffin-toppy. I have size 12 jeans on in this picture. I know things are happening because my tummy fat is now lumpy, not taut and round.

I didn’t get measurements this morning.

Still feeling great, but I’m not getting enough exercise. I’m working too much right now and it’s hard to fit it in. I did get a good, long walk in yesterday.

Cravings are minimal–the only thing I really miss is ice cream. I’m motivated to keep doing this because I want to wear the nice clothes in my closet, not just the fat clothes!

List Time!

My scale and I are making friends again.  I’m kind of excited to show you on Monday what’s going on with me.  You may not be able to see it, but I can, and I’m going to point it out to you. 

(You don’t have to look if you don’t want to.  There are plenty of other blogs to read in the world.  PLENTY.) 

But as friendly as my sweet little digital scale and I are getting, we really can’t do much more than squeal (me) and cheerlead (it) together.  And there’s all kinds of things I want to as those numbers get smaller and the measuring tape gets tighter.  

List time! 

1) A completely new haircut.  Something crazy.  Not too short, because longer hair can be useful in certain situations.  Shall we say.  I’ve been told short and shaggy, but I’m not ready to go there yet.  I don’t know where to go yet! 

2) Garage saling.  Who wants to go garage saling with me?  Vintage stuff.  Explorations.  Doesn’t always mean clothes….  Jeff likes to go garage saling–actually, he is easily sidetracked by a sale.  But I can’t flutter a sundress against my body and say, “What about this one?” with Jeff.  That’s just mean to do to a guy. 

3) Sewing.  I could really use a sewing buddy.  I have this beautiful new sewing machine and I want to make stuff.  Don’t you want to make stuff?  A Vogue pattern is on its way to me now and I need to go fabric and thread shopping.  I have the skills.  I just need the time and the motivation. 

4) And I think it’s either time I found a writing group–or started one.  A face to face one, which means hanging out with locals.  I need a severe kick in the ass to get myself back to work writing.  It’s part of why I’m blogging again.  Wanting to write is not, is never enough.  You just have to do it.  

I’m feeling so good with my life right now.  i want it to be even better.