Saturday, June 28, 2014

First Time Back at Zumba Since Knee Injury

It's been months, like semester long timespans between me and my last zumba class. Last December, I hurt my knee in a zumba class. I was at a gym that I wasn't familiar with and my shoes were just a tad too tacky for the floor, and so I didn't have the slide that is so important to a zumba class. With so many lateral shifts, shaking hips, and moving around the dance floor, there is this crucial balance needed where you have to have lots of slide on your shoe, but not too much that you can't grip the floor when you need stability.
Well, I tweaked my knee just enough that it kept me from going to classes. I thought that rest and taking some time off of it would heal it.

It never felt quite right. I could go to a Body Pump class, without it being aggravated, so I stuck with those. Then it started hurting when I went down flights of stairs. I had to get it looked at.

Thankfully, no tears or major damage. Some inflammation and what was actually happening to make my knee hurt going down the stairs and putting pressure on it is that my kneecap is off it's track. It's basically being pulled to one side because of my outer thigh muscles are stronger than the inner thigh muscle. No surgery but physical therapy is needed. Good news.
Also, the face that my doc made when I said I twisted it in zumba class did not escape me. Lots of zumba induced knee injuries come through his office, apparently.

So I went through some PT. Some very fucking expensive PT bc my insurance does not cover me outside of my zipcode. woo.
It was pretty intense and I wish I was able to do more, but I was already getting transferred out of that city for work. It's been feeling ok as long as I've been working it out with my trainer, and when there was a stretch of 4 or 5 days in between sessions, I noticed that it started to kind of hurt again. I knew I needed to work it out somehow.

Well, there was a zumba class this morning that I could go to with plenty of time for me to make it to work. I was planning to take it really low impact and just get it moving a bit. Thankfully, the class today wasn't one of those really frenetic, high impact, jumping around classes like you hear nightmare stories about. It was a good balance of mid to high tempo and not too many reps of the same thing to make it boring. Perfect to go back to. My knee stung for the first few minutes but then it seemed to warm up and I didn't have any problems with it. I refrained from anything twisty, and didn't jump on it. But I got my heart rate up and made it through the class in a good zone.
I have to remember to spend some time on the elliptical before I go to my next zumba class to warm up the knee. That's how we started each PT session. I should also keep doing my inner thigh strengthening exercises at home before I forget what they are.

To be honest, I didn't miss Zumba as much as I thought I would. Since body pump and weights and HiiT, I have found out that I really just don't like moving around that quickly that much, and by much, I mean I just don't like having to move quickly, period. Maybe it's because I am so overweight that I still feel like I'm wearing a fat suit and I'm lacking in agility.

How to turn this into a goal or something useful? Through lifting, I can build enough muscle to move my body, and I can go back to zumba classes and enjoy myself. I mean, LeBron is massive, and he is still quick. So that's the goal.

All in all it was a major success to be able to go back to class. Shoulder day resulted in my being able to get through the all arms songs in zumba without burning. Effective working out is Effective.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Healthy English Muffins?

I’m lovin’ it– The Healthy Egg McMuffin | Healthy Indulgences
This, like all other healthy versions of delicious foods that are off limits to anyone who is trying to eat healthy, sounds like it will be a seamless transition and it's JUST LIKE THE BAD VERSION OF THIS. never is.

I give kudos to all those paleo/clean/glutenfree/seedfree food bloggers out there who mix up 5+ different kinds of nut flours and dozens of eggs at a time to try to come up with something that is close to resembling bread. I've trolled the pinterest boards and the one thing these recipes do have going for them is that they are quick to make. I mean, it's not really bread, so there's no rise time or anything like that. Out of the thousands of dollars I've spent on almond flour (the shit is expensive!) there's 2 "breads" that have worked out.

English Muffins are so much my favorite thing in the bread world. They are so good with anything and everything. So I was pretty excited when I came across this "english muffin" recipe. However, it does use coconut flour, which in my experience was terrible. But if this one works out, I could be super super happy to have an english muffinesque thing that I can eat. And coconut flour is much less expensive than almond flour.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Guess This is What "Eating to Live" Means

I am always thinking about food these days since I am am trying to shift from eating what I crave and for taste and enjoyment to eating bc it's just fuel. I'm on the clean eating path and the meal prep path.

Perhaps my biggest accomplishment is that I've stopped eating out when I work. I've always had this one big food pet peeve and it's cold lunches. (well, cold food in general) I just don't like food that could be warm but is cold. I also do not care for salads. So I always opted for getting a hot meal for lunch. I also have odd food anxieties: what if I don't want to eat what I brought? (happens often) what if I like what I brought but I didn't pack enough and I'm hungry for the rest of the day? (I am not a snacker)

But this project, I committed to bringing my lunch. And breakfast, too for that matter. I did allot one SBUX coffee and the new Protein and Greens drink by Naked. BUT THAT WAS IT. This was killing me because here I am, in North Carolina, surrounded by BBQ and I simply cannot indulge in that every day.

That was mid April. I've kept it up until now. And it was easier to do than I expected. I think this also had to do with my goals to eat as much vegetables as I can possibly stomach.  Dinner was a bit of a different story, I probably averaged 80/20 cooking to eating out, and that's because I found my favorite family style pho joint that I went to at least once a week.

I am currently using this Coach Calorie 4 week meal plan as a guide for how to eat the same thing every day. I really like it because it doesn't list very many salads.

I'm basically just cycling through proteins and eating kale and spinach and a sweet potato. The veggies are the healthy part, the potato is to make my stomach feel full, and the protein is my 4-6 oz of enjoyment.

I admit, I do feel properly filled, not full, after these meals. As in, I'm not hungry for hours after eating like this, so by the "don't eat for enjoyment" books, that meal did it's job.

But lately, I've been missing that feeling of enjoying what I'm eating and that pleasure of feeling satiated. None of these meals ever came close to that feeling of, "yes. that hit the spot." much less that, "oh my god, that meal was amazing, I need a minute to enjoy this afterglow" that something like tureen of foie gras or a proper fried catfish po-boy will elicit.

Does this mean I'm a food addict? I mean, it's my only vice left. I've given up everything else that makes a person feel good. I guess I'm going through withdrawals. I feel like I'm the Trainspotting of changing eating habits.

Personal Trainer Week 2 - Fatigue

So this was my first session that really sucked. I was completely winded before my warmup. (FTR, starting stair climber/master on 8 is no fucking joke.) and like winded as in biggest loser contestant's first workout gulping for air. And we do HiiT for the first half so it wasn't like it was going to get any easier. I even had to stop when I was doing squats with only 10lbs dumbbells. I thought I was going to drop them on my head.
My trainer was pretty surprised, too. He knows that should have been one of my more easier things to get through. ugh.
I wonder if it's because A. It's been almost a week since my last session and B. yesterday was my first day of 7am classroom teaching. I haven't stood for 8 hours in months, and when I got home, I was really super exhausted and worn. out. Getting up at 4am didn't help, I'm sure.
So I think I'm going to have to suck it up and try to make some trainer sessions in the morning during the days I work so that I don't have so many days of not working out in between. I hope I don't die.
Upside - my trainer makes me feel like I'm pretty tough, and I can lift much more weight than I thought I could.

I really hate cardio.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pizza Mistress

I had pizza for dinner and it was amazing.  Even though it was only a Trader Joe's wheat flour one.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Personal Trainer Sesh 2: Now I know what Leg Day REALLY means

Se of my personal training sessions. It is so much different than going to my classes. It's in no way disguised as fun, but it's already feeling super effective. 

Not to discount all my time with the zumba and body pump classes, I got some good results from them, but I think the biggest thing that it helped me to do is to embrace fitness. I was able to find something that I liked to do. And now, I have a direction to go and have some clearer goals to strive for.

Today was leg day. Squats with real bars and weighs. I was wary of my lower back, but it actually felt like it was getting stronger. 
I still hate lunges, though.   

Friday, June 13, 2014

Desperate Thighs Call for Desperate Measures

Desperate times, and desperate thighs calls for desperate measures. I have hired a personal trainer. This is how desperado I am - I have allocated my whole clothes shopping budget to this.
I know. I know. I should be able to do this on my own right? I mean, I've spent the last 2 years getting into fitness.

But, it's to the point where I feel like I'm wearing a chubby suit. And I also injured my knee a bit and had to do some physical therapy for an additional month, so I didn't want to get back to classes and re-injure it.

And I have more concrete goals.
I want to work with weights, but I want to undo the bulky that I got when I was doing Body Pump. Seriously, I went up a bra band size, meaning my back got wider,  and went from a sm/xsm in shirts to a medium to accommodate my bigger arms and shoulders. Not exactly fetching feminine curves. :\
I want to get stronger, leaner, and improve my form.
I also need to know HOW to eat and to stop thinking about food as food.

So I had my first session, and my trainer seems like a good fit, he listened to everything I said, and can help me with my meal planning as well.
And will not make me do cardio.
NO CARDIO. Let's do this!

We did a half hour of HiiT training, which was very new to me and I think I can be ok with it. It's in no way disguised as fun, so it was a shift for me. But my heart rate stayed up and I was definitely feeling it but not feeling too winded.
Then we went to the weights room and we did back and biceps. I held my own for the most part, he only had to lessen the weights once and it was still way more than I would do in BP.
I can't say the time went by quickly, but it didn't drag and this will be a lesson in focus, so it will be good for me.
And I noticed the next day I was sore. I'm not usually sore the next day after a workout, so I think I'm on the right track.

For fun, I'm going to a body pump class tomorrow and maybe hit the elliptical. I'm still wary of zumba, bc I don't know if my knee is up to 100% yet, and also I feel too big to move that fast. ugh.