Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Exercising and Eating Healthy

Actually, that first thing isn't really happening.
Due to this current long flare and other flares before that my physical activity has been limited. Kevin and I try to go for walks in the evening but it's difficult with high temperatures and my sun sensitivity. It's annoying to put on SPF 80 and a big hat just to take the dog to poop. So, I do what I can.

Ever since I started showing symptoms activities slowly began to become off-limits for me. I was injured Junior year of tennis and just never went back. I loved tennis. I haven't played in years due to a combo of sun sensitivity, cold sensitivity, and joint pain. I have a $200 racket(Probably $50 now) and a hopper full of tennis balls in our front closet. I lifted weights in high school with a group of football and basketball players- I loved maxing out and seeing the results. Running calms me but my knees won't take it anymore. It's incredibly frustrating.

For awhile I was trying to get into X Bike classes at my gym (Because my Rhuem told me to never, ever, ever run again). They're basically spinning classes but the handlebars move so it's a bit more of a full body workout. I was doing really great for awhile- I was improving my cardio (I have asthma so that's pretty cool) and my legs didn't give out after stepping off the bike anymore. I was really excited. Then one flare after another happened. Each time I would try going back to notice that I couldn't ride quite as hard or I needed to "swoop" a bit more than usual. I would start making progress, slowly, only to be disappointed with another week or two away from the bike. I'm debating whether or not to go back.

As a result, I haven't been to the gym in ages. For someone as cheap as I am, I feel terrible about the $$ lost in dues. Going while I'm feeling "off" isn't a good idea though. A small amount of creaking in my knees while I'm on the elliptical can very quickly lead to me gimping around the next day.

As I said in a previous post, I do attend PT twice a week. I go for 30 minutes with Don for stretches and such and 1 hour in the pool (usually with Mary, she's great). On good days in the pool I can get a great workout in. On bad days I let the water soothe my body and congratulate myself for even getting in the water- even if it's just to walk around.

Now, I know a lot of people wouldn't mind having an excuse to sit around. My doc told me that most lupus patients don't die from lupus complications. Rather, they die from turning into a fat-ass and developing heart problems. I'm a very active person and I LOVE working out, so I will NOT let this become me. I'm going to be very determined about this.

As a result of all this couch potato-ness I've decided to eat healthier. I used to be able to eat whatever I liked and stay steady at one weight (while looking very trim I may add). Now I'm heavier than I used to be. By no means am I fat or overweight, but I'm not where I used to be. I don't have the time during school or the energy (usually this) to do what it takes to maintain. So, I've subscribed to Cooking Light. This magazine is actually VERY good. I usually find a large handful of recipes in each edition that I want to try. Most are delicious.

Very recently I've started watching calories. I try to keep it at around 1500 a day. I use all whole grains and enjoy lots of protein and good types of fats (olive oil, omega 3's, etc). I still manage to sneak in a drink eat day too and usually something sweet. I haven't felt deprived, yet. For helpful tools aside from Cooking Light I've also been using Eat This, Not That , my mother-in-law (who works for Weight Watchers), and occasionally Hungry Girl. It's all a matter of personal preference, I think. For me the biggest keys are portion control (usually in terms of carbs or steak... or wine...) and eating food that TASTES good. I'm a cook, I won't eat something that tastes weird or has a funny consistency just to get back to a size 4.

Most of all I'm working on being happier with myself. Kevin still finds me attractive and I still get the occasional frat boy at school who checks me out. I just don't worry about the numbers- I haven't weighed myself in quite some time. There's no point in obsessing over that number when I can't really do much about it.

I'm just going to continue being proud of what I can do, like making a healthy dinner tonight and taking a walk on the trail with Kev and Spartacus.

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