The Next Step

Well I figured out the next plan for me, for now. After finishing the Ripped in 30 series, which I mentioned in my last post, I came down with a nasty throat virus. It was really weird, only my throat was sore, no other cold symptoms, so I continued doing my workouts anyway. It persisted a really long time though – a little over two weeks. And yeah, there were a couple of days in a row where I was too run down to exercise. That doesn’t sound like much, but my body really feels crappy when I don’t exercise, so it feels like a really long time. I saw the doctor twice in that time, got a strep test (negative), and switched to only eating soft, mushy foods to let my thryeahim into fitnessoat heal.

I also found that I had one more Jillian DVD in my stash, No More Trouble Zones. So I did that last week on Thursday. I didn’t think there were any new moves she could bring that would make me sore but I was wrong. My abs, glutes, and inner and outer thighs were good and sore the next day and on into Saturday. Great workout! I love that kind of soreness because I’m kind of a weirdo.

I think, however, my arms and shoulders are plenty big at this point, to really be ripped I need to lose fat, so I’ve decided to focus more on cardio for longer periods (Bob Harper, you’re up!), and not use weights when I’m doing bicep and tricep moves on No More Trouble Zones. There’s enough to keep my heart rate up there, so dropping weights doesn’t really diminish the workout any for me.

Forgive me, Fitness Dog here makes me giggle!

Ripped in 30(ish)

Today I finished the Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30” DVD. I did it at least 5 days a week for a month (with a few days out for camping, but I made up the days when I got back).

Am I ripped? Yeah. I have muscles in places I’ve never had them before. I can see shoulders, arms, legs, and abs muscles I’ve either never seen before, or it’s been so long I’ve forgotten seeing them. Of course, I’d been working out since February on this sort of program, so it’s not like I started from couch potato.

Of course, you have to really look to see them (and know to look) because my fat percentage hasn’t dropped, and my excess skin issue is still present due to having weighed and then losing 200 pounds. That’s a lot of skin and my arms and legs will NEVER be musclebound enough to fill up the skin there. Regardless, I feel stronger and more confident in my body. That is success in my book.

I’m…not sure what to do next. Anybody have another DVD series recommendation? My current routine where I get up and do them first thing in the morning is really working for me – I feel better and more energetic each day I do them, which is a motivator and has helped me not skip, almost ever. If I’m physically capable of doing my workout, I do it because I know I’ll feel even better.

So what workout do you swear by? Where should I look next? I’m mostly looking for something I can do at home before work, so not too long either! I can do 30-40 minutes, but 60 or above is not feasible. Hit me!

Exercising for Pain Relief

Hi, I’m just here to repost articles this week, apparently. A friend of mine posted this on FB, and you should definitely read it:

Running as Pain Relief

The basic premise is that any exercise, not just running, that you do vigorously, will result in reduced perception of pain.

Anecdotally speaking (which is all I can do) I have definitely found this to be true for me. I exercise, hard, 5-6 days a week lately because it keeps the pain in my shoulder, back, and neck at bay. That’s worthwhile, for me, just for the pain reduction alone. I spend 30 minutes working out super hard, and I have less pain. But the catch seems to be that you have to work hard. Moderate exercise won’t do it. This is also in line with my experience. Now, obviously, if you are dealing with chronic pain due to an exercise-limiting condition or injury, this advice is no good. But if there’s nothing preventing you…why not give it a shot?

So, do you get the same effect from exercise? Do you exercise regularly partly because of it?

Hungry Days

Man I hate Hungry Day. You know what I’m talking about? You feel hungry all day long no matter what you eat, or how much? Yeah, I get those. I bet you get those. Everyone does. My darling husband just sent me this article on what causes those, in case you’re curious.

What causes those really hungry days?

So, now we know. Hormones, stress, what you’re eating, and menstrual cycles. I like knowing, even if sometimes it seems I can’t do anything about it!

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Back from Holiday, and Body Image Thoughts

I went medieval camping last week for the July 4th holiday. I didn’t, obviously, do my workouts while I was camping, but I did a lot of walking and I think that’s pretty good exercise too. I’ve been back at my DVDs since Monday.

I still think the kettlebell workouts aren’t quite as intense as the regular ones, but I did one this morning for a change of pace. In general, feline assistance is even moreso not required during the swinging of kettlebells (or in my case, a handweight). I have to be careful because they always come sniffing around trying to help and see what I’m doing when I’m working out. It’s cute but with kettlebells it can be dangerous. Nobody’s gotten hurt, but only due to my constant vigilance.

I’ve really bulked up my shoulders and arms over the last 6 months that I’ve been working out regularly with the DVDs. To the point where some of my jackets and sleeves are a bit snug, but at least now I know it’s all muscle. Unfortunately, due to my particular weight loss path my arms are never going to look “ripped” because there’s too much skin there. They will always look a bit ripply, like cellulite, no matter how much I build those muscles. I’m trying to get to a place where I take pride in the path and don’t wince when I see pictures of my enormous flabby-looking arms which I know are, underneath the excess skin, quite muscular. I may also try to come to the same feeling on my legs, but those are a lot easier to hide. *sigh*

I’m pleased with my muscular development, but I know that if I want to really slim down I’m going to have to starve myself. So I won’t be doing that. I’m strong and solid and a little soft around the edges. That’s pretty good in my book.