Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Identity crisis



Yesterday I was looking for some new moves to put into my chair workouts to give me some extra variety.  I know based off of the soreness both the Mr and I are feeling in our quads, shins and front of the ankles that the physical therapy exercises the chiro is having me do are working to strengthen my legs.  It's definitely a "growing pains" week.  Lots of soreness, some aches, a spasm here and there and pushing myself to the limit of how long I can be on my feet.  We went grocery shopping this weekend which is already a step in the right direction given I had to send the Mr on his own the previous time.  I had to split up the usual trip of 3 stores to doing the one big box store Saturday night and after 60 minutes, my feet were done.  The next day were the other 2 stores and it was 60 minutes again and I was done with walking but later I was walking around cleaning for about 45 minutes before I had to rest.  It's very hard to go from walking 8 hours on a weekend day like it's nothing to celebrating being able to go from barely being able to stand 20-25 minutes in the kitchen to make my lunch to walking for an hour before my body gives out.

My ego took a bit of a hit when I found some really great moves for seated workouts...at grandparents.com.  I'm not knocking that site at ALL but for a gal in her 30's feeling like "little Moe with the gimpy leg", it wasn't the biggest boost I could've asked for.  I decided to look at workout videos because I know I'll need to have some variety because Walk Away the Pounds won't always cut it when I'm finally allowed to introduce low impact back into my workouts.  I found this one workout that looks really great for low impact and then my eyes began to well up and thought "really?? This is my new reality?  Is this all I'll ever be able to do again?"  Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the forward progress despite it hurting but I am seeing the positives.  But when people expect more from my workouts and more importantly, so do I, I feel like I'm having an identity crisis.  It feels like "who am I if I'm not the fat chick busting my ass and burning unGodly amounts of calories and having people look at those burns in awe??"  I know you guys support me no matter what and I appreciate it.  But I was at that level where when I told people like doctors or sporting goods store employees or well anyone when the subject of exercise was brought up that I did stuff like Turbo Fire, Power 90, etc, you got this automatic respect.  Most people would be like "damn, hats off to you, I could never do those!"  I felt even more prideful because of the fact that I'm still so big and I could see it changing people's opinions of me just knowing I did those things.  I don't know that I'll never be able to do those things again but I do know if I do, they are a long way off and I know I will be scared to do them to the intensity I was used to no matter how much I ease back into it.  I don't want this injury to make me gun shy but I also think of the only good thing the podiatrist said to me which I resented at the time..."workout smarter, not harder."  I wanted to punch her teeth into the back of her throat.  Who the hell are you to tell me that?  You don't know me.  You don't know my rotation and intensity and be able to say if I pushed it based on the fact that I did one time and paid for it.  But as a few days passed and we really questioned if some of the moves were just plain insane (particularly the ones the Mr did because I never pushed myself to full intensity but he always felt he had to in order to get a decent workout now.)  We wondered if the whole 'extreme' workouts that are so prevalent today from P90X to crossfit WOD's and everything in between aren't setting us up for some unrealistic standard we can't possibly keep up.  We're not getting any younger and the Mr said we need to do workouts that we can do for the rest of our lives and while doing Insanity or Supreme 90 Tabata Inferno at 70 would impress some people, it wouldn't do us much good if our bones were splintering on impact.

I've got a lot of figuring out to do in this recovery period as to not only what I can do as I get better but more importantly what I want to do going forward.  In the process, my new routine probably won't resemble my old one at all and I'm beginning to wonder if that's such a bad thing.  I saw page after page in our workout calendar of 900, 1000 and 1200 calorie burns and what do I have to show for it last year?  A 20 pound loss.  For as much as I busted my ass last year, I should've had a lot more than that off.

On a completely different note, Happy Birthday Elvis.

Have you ever been forced to completely revamp your routine for a time only to find it was the answer to a long slump?

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31 comments:

  1. It does seem like we're in a bit of a redefining moment in our journey but that will hopefully lead to something better and perhaps more appropriate for our long term goals. I honestly think that some plyo exercise is still quite possible for us eventually again but I doubt we could or should get too out of control with it. I was doing it every day and in hindsight it was probably not smart at all to do that every day, it needs to be more of an occasional thing maybe. I have faith that we will come out of this stronger and smarter in the long run!

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    1. I think so too. I think this has forced us to redefine what we should do to continue on. I know I never would've upped our strength but I'm sure it has a good effect on things. I think doing smarter plyo is in your future but I'm thinking I'll stick with my low impact stuff. Right now I just want to be able to walk for more than an hour for exercise!

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  2. I think the idea of doing exercises that you can maintain for life is a good one. That's what you're doing for food right? So why not exercise? I think a lot of people go balls to the wall with exercise and don't stop to consider if they'll be able to be doing the same thing 10 years from now, or 30. This has really forced you re-evaluate, but I do think the lessons learned here will benefit you guys long term. Still, the frustration of not being able to be on your feet isn't going anywhere and I get that too.

    We bought a used recumbent exercise bike last week. I thought I'd hate it and have to really force myself to use it, but it turns out that I actually kind of like it. Might be something for you to look into? It won't get you the kind of burn you're used to, but it would be something different and you'd only have a little pressure on your feet.

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    1. Absolutely. I think it was more we were never able to do it before, we wanted to get to a place where we excelled at that type of exercise for as long as we could and then cut back when we got to goal. I think our bodies had other plans. I did buy a floor bike which isn't the same but I don't know we've got room for a recumbent down there unless I can find one that folds up or multitasks. I did see a hybrid elliptical/bike that has me intrigued.

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  3. Oh yea, the severed tendon in my ankle, had me doing the same thing two years ago. But you know, everything changes in life. So yes take a good long look at what you want to acomplish and realize that this is "for life". You have done great so far.

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    1. I feel for you. Just the stretches trying to elongate my Achilles tendon make it ache, I can't imagine a sever. Oh yes, analyzing is definitely at the forefront of our minds right now.

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  4. Girlie, you got this. I have no doubt you will figure out and nail the next thing. We'll be weiting to watch you do that.

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  5. It really sucks when something forces you to change up. You get to feel resentful and hopeless and all sorts of other negative things. I am happy that you and the Mr are being able to find the positive in this because maybe your "exercise blinders' kept you from seeing something your body was trying to tell you all along.

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    1. Yes, that about covers how I feel about it. We're trying to find the positive because at this point I don't think we have a choice! HA! The body is talking and I'm being forced to listen.

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  6. I know you will find the new future for you, which may include some of the past eventually, but maybe not all of it. I am not nearly as far along in my journey as you, but we both know there are lots of re-defining moments along the way. I wish I had been as strong as you and confronted mine head on. But I am now, knowing that I have to accept every small change because they are still changes toward the good. Losing nearly 100 pounds and not "seeing" the changes was a huge mistake. Now that I have regained most, I can certainly see and feel the changes. Lesson learned. And I think I needed to learn it badly!! So onward. And you and the Mr. are always great about analyzing and adjusting and moving onward and downward. Hang in there. This too will pass and you will come out stronger in all ways!!

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    1. Yes, it will surely be a new me/us going forward. I need to come to terms with the fact that I'm not 20 anymore and the time to do that kind of nonsense was about 10 years ago. Doesn't mean I can't still kick butt at whatever I choose to do from here on out. ;) I'm sorry you had to learn a hard lesson BUT the lesson is learned and you'll take the knowledge forward with you to be better than ever!

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  7. Change SUCKS. Even changes that ultimately lead to good results SUCK.

    You're working through it the way you always do. By being honest and open. Admitting when you took a mis-step and not being too stubborn/proud to take advice from professionals.

    Yeah, having to do a workout from grandparents.com is a real kick to the nads. You'll go fetal and gasp for breath but slowly you'll relax and uncurl and be able to stand back up and get on with life.

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    1. Indeed! Yep, I took a misstep is a BIG way and am paying the price for it but I am sure I will be better off for it. I've told the Mr it had to happen to me because if it had happened to him I would've told him to modify while I kept on going at break neck speed. Now maybe I can find a safe cruising altitude getting me toward goal.

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  8. Change is good, but it's a whole lot easier when we're prepared for it. Keeping a positive attitude (or trying to) will certainly help!

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  9. I'm learning so much from you and am continually inspired by all your successes as well as challenges. You're keeping it real, and that's what people on a weight loss/better health journey need to read about. It's not all peaches and roses, sometimes it's pits and thorns and it's really awesome that you are sharing ALL of it with your readers because it does serve a purpose to keep me (and others, I'm sure) motivated even when facing hurdles. So thank you, Anele....and also thank you to your Mr. His comments always make me smile and I'm so happy that you have him for support. I know it means a lot. ~Krista

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    1. Thanks so much Krista! I figure there's no sense in sugar coating any of this. There are times it's just gonna stink! The more people expect that wrenches will be thrown but you can still focus on what you can do and not what you can't, the better prepared in case it does happen! The Mr's comments make me smile too. :)

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  10. I threw out my back last week and was laying down for 95% of th day. I could barely walk, sit, nothing! Even now I feel a bit off and it's frustrating! I just want to workout! I might try today, maybe a modified version.. We will see!

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    1. So sorry to hear your back is still giving you fits but DON'T push it. You could end up making yourself worse and recovery time longer. I know it's frustrating but hang in there so you don't have to recover twice. ;)

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  11. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and you don't always see the benefits of certain circumstances right away. I know this is tough for you, and I wish there was something I could say or do that could instantly make you feel better. Stay strong, and I guarantee you'll come out tougher in the end.

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    1. I do too. I know this is the beginning of something awesome for us even if it wasn't the most pleasant way to be forced into it.

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  12. I think it's very wise to pursue a balance of the tougher, more demanding work-outs with those you should be able to keep doing as you get older. As a latecomer to this whole exercise thing, all I could ever do is low impact stuff due to extremely arthritic joints. Thus I can't burn nearly as many calories walking my slow 5K as you can with an intense 60 minutes of P90X or something which just means I have to eat less. That sucks but I'm okay with it.

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    1. I think our workouts will get tougher as we continue but just in different ways than they were. I don't care if I have to do 2 hours of cardio a day, I love to eat! LOL

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  13. I completely admire all that you've accomplished, but I have thought your workouts were INSANE for a long time! I'm sure you'll find your way through this, and find the right balance for you. My best hopes for the complete healing of your foot, Anele. Hang in there!

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    1. I'm sure I won't have a problem getting back to 800 calorie burns but 1000+ might not be in my future. Pssht, if you think mine were insane you should see my cousin who burns between 900 on a "bad" day to 1700!!! Of course he's 10 years younger than I am too. Thanks for the support!

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  14. Another great blog as always! You know, a couple of years ago when I began exercising, I was feeling so good (funny how you can think you are a size 4 when you're actually still a size 28, but feel so dang good!) I remember I tried doing some of the powerhouse videos and feeling proud that I could do them...to a point. I never perfected them, but I did well enough. But then it would mess with my head because if I had a "regular" day of exercise, I felt like I was copping out and being lazy. How sad is that?! It took me a while to realize that it was just the flipside of food addiction. I became obsessed with wanting to do the hardest, the best, the most intense...all to impress other people. When I got real honest with myself, I realized I wasn't doing any of those exercises to prove that I could to myself; what I really wanted to do was tell other people about it and get praise for it, particularly my family (attention seeking/people pleasing extraordinaire). I wasn't actually happy doing these things (and being in some serious pain because I was nowhere near ready for that kind of activity). The slap in the head for me came when I realized that every day exercises such as walking or doing simple dumbbell weights felt like a failure to me. I'd lost myself along the way and started taking for granted all the things I could do...and were the ones that would sustain me for the rest of my life. And interestingly, I found myself being rather conceited and looking down on others who just did the "basics". I'm not at all proud of that, but I had to get real honest about it. It was soon after that that I went back to the tried and true things that I actually enjoyed and I pretty much stopped talking about my routine with people (I think they were grateful for that! LOL) because I had to make it about me and me alone. And for me, that meant looking at myself in the mirror and saying "good job" when I'd get done with ANY exercise. And a bonus to that is that the focus was once again on me and I was giving myself praise instead of beating myself up (as I'd always done with food), and I became a much more content person because I wasn't out to prove myself to anyone anymore. Especially in my family, I'd NEVER receive the praise and acclaim I was looking for, and I was subconsciously setting myself up to be hurt and disappointed (thus returning to old, bad habits). I have much more confidence in myself since I've truly made this journey about how I feel about myself and my goals for my future. It finally stopped mattering if others in my family agreed with that or not. It was no longer about them. I was free.

    So to answer the original question (big bunny trail I went off on there LOL!), I have changed things up and I found those changes to benefit me mentally as well as physically.

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    1. Girl, there is so much awesome in that, I don't know where to start. I can relate to so much of it. I really did want to prove to myself I could do those exercises though and there's a part of me that says "save the all out, mach 5 with your hair on fire" ones for when I'm at goal weight and need to tone up. It was like I felt like those were the pinnacle of showing how far I'd come and now this feels like a huge step back. But in the end if this is what helps get the rest of the weight off then it's a big ol' step in the right direction! Glad to know the changes you made helped you!

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  15. I think working out smarter, not harder is a good idea, even if you did want to punch the podiatrist in the face for saying that. :) Forget about what people think about you and all that--that doesn't matter in the end! I'm sure you'll get back to more intense workouts eventually, but I think this experience will give you the knowledge you need to know where you need to stop and how far you can go, you know? And hey, if you want to do some row offs, my rower will be here soon and you can complete against me--I'm pretty sure you will kick my ass.

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  16. I know I'm like a week late in seeing and replying to this but I really can relate to what you are saying. I may not have been doing some of the really intense workouts you and the Mr. were doing but I can still understand how you are feeling. When I had to start back to exercising doing chair exercises I found some really good chair exercises. However, my ego did take a bit of a hit when some of them were geared towards senior citizens. I agree with you that as we get older (I'm a little older than you I think), we need to work out smarter and not necessarily harder.

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  17. Hi,
    Found your post to be exactly what I needed! I am mourning not being able to workout at the intensity I was at and tried to push it. The tendonitis in my knees has rebeled, and I am wondering the title of the chair workout DVD you found.

    I am going to work on losing inches now and toning, and need the variety of options I had when I was burning big calories:)

    Thanks,
    Beth

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