Train My Brain to Prefer Healthy Alternatives

Love this article about retraining the brain:
http://now.tufts.edu/articles/train-your-brain-prefer-healthy-foods

I’m going to focus on this for a while for getting my diet motivation in high gear so I’m thinking of resisting foods that taste good but rather preferring food that will strengthen my body.

Food as fuel. What a concept.

(not food as reward or punishment.)

Exercise update: still fighting the piriformis muscle. A 28 hour trip to Nashville really had it swollen and hurting by the time I got home. i checked my bag on the way home. Seems like a good idea right? NO! Don’t do that again. I had to carry my laptop instead of rolling it around on my bag. Would have been better to deal with a lift into the overhead bin and clenching my abs to get it up there (like I did on the way to Nashville) than slinging the laptop and purse over my shoulder, lifting and carrying it for 75 minutes waiting for plane and then from gate to baggage claim.

Never thought of that. But as soon as I checked my bag, I realized my mistake!!

I created a checklist of 42 exercises (I count left and right separately) for waking up the glutes and retraining my muscles. Roller, clams/hydrants, pigeon pose, bridge, lots of stretching. Gonna try it everyday for a week and see how that goes. Today Yoga. Tomorrow a half hour with a trainer.

Sitting on Ice

More ice. Yesterday when I was trying to hide it in my purse, it melted. Getting business cards and flash drives wet. Luckily my phones were in the front and didn’t get damp.

Gotta get over this sciatica! I’m getting so tired of this pain!

More Nagging Butt Pain

Still fighting the piriformis muscle pain with sciatica. 10th day. Grrrr. Last time it took 11 days. Tough to sleep. It comes on bad about 2:30 in the morning and I can’t seem to get it to calm down in the middle of the night at all. I know I’m not the only one with this. Run | Write | Hike has the same troubles. When I opened up this month’s Oprah magazine and saw the article called Migraine in my Butt, I knew it was about the piriformis.

I need to really do my exercises everyday or this will become a syndrome. It’s going to be one more habit that I do every morning like brushing my teeth, do my hair and strengthen and stretch my piriformis.

Here’s my piriformis history:

March 14, 2014:
Was doing inverted pushups, but I really think it was the kettlebell swing that did it. Somehow I’m engaging the wrong muscles first.
I was fine on Saturday, but limping around on Sunday. By Monday I was in full charlie horse/spasms with pain going down the outside of my leg.
Missed class 17, 19, 24, 26, 31 plus all the Saturday and spinning classes.
Got a massage on day 6 with exercises at a sports massage place. I still have the bruise a week later. But only a half hour and it attacked the spot. Love that she gave me exercises. I’m thinking about getting another 1/2 hour massage to help because tomorrow I have a 4 hour car ride for work and I don’t want to be the tin man in pain.

In Oct 14, 2014:
Doing great at the workout and ZZZZZITTTTT. Pain in the back, like a lighting rod.
I wasn’t even in the midst of working out, just setting one of the weights down. UGH. Have iced/heat alternating and it is still just very stiff now. Thinking of a massage, but really don’t want this to be happening!
Missed class on Oct 16, 18, 21,23, 25
Came back for the 28th!
Had an allergic reaction so missed class on 30, 1, 4,
Came back on Nov 6th.
Got a massage on day 2, half hour at a spa place. Not strong enough.

June 21, 2014:
Felt it when was doing opening morning stretch, a little pop and it didn’t even hurt.
But later, after 2 hours in the car going to family reunion, when it was time to get out of the car, I couldn’t move.
Got a 1 hour sports massage on day 6. She spent about 3 minutes with super pressure on this one spot and I felt the muscle untwist and relax. It hurt like hell but worked.

what I don’t have anymore, thanks to adding all my calf rolling and massages is my horrible history with Achilles Tendonitis. It took YEARS of work (2 1/2 or 3) and now constant watching, but I’ve conquered it and I never thought I would. There were 24 physical therapy appointments, but it wasn’t until I went to the Ohio Chiropractic Sports and learned about the roller was I able to keep it at bay. I had the achilles tendonitis problems when I was at my high weight, in fact I think that’s how I got to my high weight. I was holding my own at 194 or 195, but got hurt and it spiked to 212 or more.

Gotta get the piriformis under control!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Another milestone today.  It’s my 3rd birthday since I lost the weight- 58 years today and 154.0 today.

Tonight we’re going to the new Mexican restaurant in town to celebrate.

I already know my plan.

1) Order a nice white wine. No margarita.

2) Sip my wine. But no snacking from the salty chip bowl with the salsa pretending “salsa is a vegetable” and ignoring all the corn fructose syrup/deep fried oil in the chips. Picture it as salty cellulose.

3)Order Chicken fajita. Double veggies. I know that they will be cooked with a lot of oil, they always are.  Divide the rice and beans into half and slide it to the far side of the plate.  Order salsa for the topping. Skip the sour cream and guacamole.  Avocado is okay, but they add so much to it in a guacamole.

So dinner out with white wine & fajita’s with my husband and daughter.  Way to celebrate! Fun. I ordered a new pair of Asics Gel Nimbus new in box off ebay!

PS, I was about to post this and saw this motivational restaurant meal strategy in the drafts. After 2 1/2 years at goal-ish weight, I’m celebrating every motivational strategy as the new beginning!!

After the hamstring massage – My glute needs to fire first

So my muscles are firing in the wrong order.  I’m using my hamstring when I should be using the glute.  Time to start training my butt.

When my hamstring overworks, it gets tight. So tight that it squeezes the nerve.

And a squeezed nerve means pain. Of the ouchy kind of pain! Running down my leg and even tingling hurting the muscle on the right side of my shin on my right leg.

Yesterday I got a great sports massage on my right leg/hip/butt muscles. I say great but it hurt so bad. I didn’t yell out but it really hurt. Well I did say ow, ow, ow. At one point I had to take a break and she worked on the left side alittle.  I told her about my shoulder injury skiing on Jan 14… and she said it’s possible that babying the shoulder caused more work for the hip.

But what she said was that my muscles recruit my hamstring first instead of my piriformis glute. It’s not that it isn’t strong, it’s just I’m recruiting them in the wrong order.

So, before each work out I have to warm up the glutes with the myrtle series. And also roll out the glute (from where the top of the back pocket of the blue jeans hits, up to the waist band) and then the front of the thigh / quad.  This will allow the piriformis to fire before the hamstring. And help the hamstring not to get too tight at the top, squishing the nerve.

I’m better today, but it still hurts. A lot.  But it comes and goes now.

Also. Only ice. Not heat.  And only 20 minutes at a time, not hours.

 

Food Focus: Veggies. Then Meat. The right fats.

I’ve been working on my own 30 day challenge so I hit my birthday 5 pounds lighter.  I’m 4 days away.  At one point I was down 3 pounds, but right now I’m only down 1.  I guess it’s better than being up, right?

New focus: Prioritizing types of food.

1) Veggies:

leaves: spinach, lettuce, kale
stems: broccoli, asparagus, celery.
bulbs: onions, garlic
roots: carrots and beets
tubers: potatoes and yams

where’s the tomatoes? Oh yeah, they are a fruit.

2) Meat:

Chicken – roasted or crock pot, flavored either “italian” or “Thanksgiving”
Grass fed beef – sautedTuna – in water
Tilapia or Salmon – baked in olive oil/lemon

3) Good Fats:

Coconut – fry eggs, and veggies
Olive oil – lower heat cooking.

Pain on the right side

Too much time researching the pain. Sciatica? hamstring? quads? MS? Cancer? Slipped/herniated disc? Feels like a charlie horse that moves around but doesn’t really go away.

Now the pain is further down on the right side of my right shin bone. and inside my hip. and around the outside of my thigh. Muscles are tight deep underneath. I think it’s a nerve because it started high on my glute and worked its way down the thigh. All day yesterday and thru the night I’ve been rotating ice packs as they melt.

I even took an ice pack to a business meeting at Panera and sat on it for the hour and 15 so I could get thru the meeting with out shouting out with pain.

Today I have an appointment with a sports massage doctor at a chiropractor. They helped me 2 1/2 years ago when my Achilles flared up and I’ve kept that at bay with only slight twinges since. I only scheduled a 1/2 hour appointment, and it feels like I should have made it an hour and a half.

Pain level has gone from a 5 or 6 when I woke up to just a mild 2 now that I have ibuprofen and I’m sitting on ice again.

But when I move, reach high, sit too long or whatever a shooting pain down my right side.

Hopefully the doctor can make a good difference. This is the 3rd time in the last 9 months I’ve gone for a massage for this same problem. First time with the hamstring pull on June 21 I swore I was going to get a massage once a month. I think it is worse this time. I’ve got to figure out how to fix this quicker and better and prevent it.

Maybe I should give up swinging the kettle bell. I think that’s what did it this time.

Hurting Hip.

154.0 Hurt my hip with too much of something. Kettlebell? tight quads/hamstrings? My hip feels like it has a charlie horse inside it. Maybe arthritis? It’s a grabbing stabbing kind of pain… followed by aching numbing kind of pain down the outside of my thigh (IT band?)

Not sure what it is exactly, Maybe a tight back that moved down my hip again. Kinda like last summer (or was it the summer before that?) during the family reunion?

Maybe I should dial it back on the work outs. I skipped spinning yesterday and “anything goes” today (kettlebell/TRX/body weight HIIT workout).

Feeling discouraged and old and achy. Plus I have to take my mom to the pain doctor today and I’m hurting. Feels bad. Kinda foreboding.

Mad at myself. Contemplating not doing boot camp this summer.

Working out with a Bad Cold

Trying to get over this cold by sleeping a lot, taking vitamins, eating right and YES, working out.

I really HIIT it today. Usually at a 145 heart rate for about an hour. Dripping with sweat. Only doing about 40% of what Jerry asked, but it’s all I could do. pacing myself. Dripping. I really love the workout class. Even when i really hate it. And feel like I can’t do it.

Decline pushups with spiderman. Weights, jumping up box jumps with a squat with 10 lbs of weight, planks with a kickback,a row, a curl.

It took about 15 minutes walking the track before i did that sigh where I think my heart is down to about 94 or so. Then over to get my sweatshirt and a coffee before driving home.

Another day of endorphins. Focus on maintaining. 151.3

Spring Again! YES!! And Keeping the Focus on Maintaining

The last few weeks, well actually most of this year, I’ve been focusing on readjusting my food.  Something about the really cold cold weather makes me want to just eat.  We’ve had too many days this winter of negative numbers… to the point when zero degrees feels like “spring”!

This week, yesterday, the weather was in the low 50’s and the ice is starting to melt. And I feel like I’ve made it through the desert. Through the low point. Thru the worst of it.

My sleep patterns are messed up (daylight savings time and a bad cold) but I’ve been getting hours and hours and hours of sleep. Naps on the couch before dinner. And staying in PJs most of the weekend. Getting dressed to go work out. Getting dressed for a business meeting.  But mostly just trying to get thru the day. Get thru the winter.

FINALLY I’m feeling more up beat again. Looking for crocuses. Thinking about bike riding. Went out for a fun afternoon with a girlfriend yesterday. Starting to live again.

I think I have been depressed, maybe SAD (seasonal attitude disorder) because winter is such a low time to me.

But now that spring is in the air, I’m feeling hopeful again. Like a tree getting some buds. Like green grass that going to need a mower before the yard is dry enough to mow. Like warm wind on my face.  Made it thru winter.

And I’m back on my weight maintenance.  Thanks to the 28 day detox Jan 12 to Feb 12. And here it is March 15, the IDES of March. and I’m at 151.3.  Good shape. Point Three above a Free WW for Lifetime. And that starving feeling is gone.  I feel like strapping on my shoes and doing my jog run for 3 miles. Getting that glimmer back of bike riding and running outside, and gardening and taking the dogs for a walk and having a glass of wine on a patio laughing with friends. Spring = live again.

sunflowers and black eyed susansI think I’m going to stare at my gardens and figure out where to plant those sunflower and coneflower seeds.  And think about buying a new pair of workout pants with a matching top.