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Woman using a Nordic Trac Exercise Machine

Nordic Trac Cross Country Ski Machine

About a month ago, I wrote a post “Eating Healthy Food isn’t Always Enough“. In it, I declared my intention to keep you, my readers, apprised of how I do.  Part of this is accountability for myself, the other part is also just that part of writing this blog is to walk my talk.  So once a month you will be getting a Fitness Report.

You will recall, that I set a SMART goal of burning 3,500 calories a week in physical exercise.  Did I make it?  Nope.  Not even close.

The first week, I was all over my goal.  I did really well and was proud of myself.  But I was at a friend’s house on Saturday for the weekend and they live out in the country.  We went out for a walk, and somewhere during the three miles that we walked, I twisted my ankle on uneven ground.  Did I say anything?  No.  Did I rest my ankle?  Nope.  I had plans for the day and nothing was going to stop me.  And it didn’t.  But it should have.

I got fixated on that goal of 3,500 calories for the week, so the moment my ankle felt a bit better, I would be back at the exercising like a fiend.  Then I would hobble around for a few days and not be able to do anything.

One of the interesting things for me though was that my desire to do the exercises wasn’t waning.  That hasn’t happened before.  Even when I was hobbling and couldn’t do anything, I wanted to. I would wake up every morning and the first things in my head was “Can I exercise today?”

The third week, I managed to burn 2,620 calories, even while my ankle was really hurting. I taped my ankle for more support this entire week.  I started a modified Couch to 5k (C25K) program, (and by modified, I mean, I scaled even the beginning way down).  C25K is basically a training program designed to get you from being a couch potato to running a 5k (3 miles) in 9 weeks.  I want to work with it because it’s a progression that pushes me, but I know it won’t happen in 9 weeks.  The first week is supposed to be a run/walk of 60 seconds running with 90 seconds of walking (lather, rinse, repeat 7 times).  I brought it down to 30 seconds of running with the 90 seconds of walking.  I also kept walking when it was done for the entire 3 miles.  Rather than push myself, I’ll keep doing the 30/90 until its easy, then go to 45/90.  I’ll do it in small increments that will push me, but not kill me.  So I managed that 3 times on my third week.  But again, I hobbled badly.  So much so that I took the entire 4th week off to rest my ankle.

I know I have to get my ankle back to normal before I can push myself, so regardless of what I want, I need to rest my ankle and stop pushing for a number.  I’ll have to work up to my SMART goal.  I also need a few interim ones until my ankle is fully healed.  So my first interim SMART Goal is to re-start my EA Sports Active 2 game, and just do the four workouts for a week, after that I’ll re-assess based on my ankle.  Maybe I’ll add some cardio in after that, maybe not.  Its going to depend on my ankle.

One good thing about being focused on calories, is that I’m not as focused on weight.  I’m realizing that if my focus is on my weight, I get very discouraged when I don’t lose any.  And I know there will be points where I don’t lose any, like this month.  In fact I actually gained 1.6 pounds.  I would have been so discouraged in previous tries that the weight gain, might cause me to give up exercise (because it’s not doing anything).  This time though, I’m more able to shrug it off and continue to work towards the exercise.  I have noticed that I have lost inches in my measurements.  For some reason, it’s not enough for my clothes to fit better yet, but seeing it on a spreadsheet makes me happy.

January 2012 Measurements

Measurement Starting Current Difference
Weight 200 lbs  201.6 +1.6 lbs
Chest 39.00″  38.00″  -1.00″
Waist 36.50″  35.00″  -1.50″
Stomach 43.00″  37.25″ -5.75″
Hips 45.00″  44.00″ -1.00″
Thighs 25.25″  26.00 +0.75″
Biceps 15.50″  16.00″ -0.50″

As you can see, some of my measurements went up, specifically thighs and biceps.  Since I am doing mostly weight-bearing exercises, I’m hoping that the increase in thighs and biceps is due to muscle rather than just fat.  But even with all the issues surrounding my ankle, I was able to see some major differences, specifically a decrease in both my stomach and my chest.  I’m hoping that this keeps up.

Overall rating for Month 1

Overall I’d give myself a B.  I didn’t listen to my body and pushed myself too hard, probably spending more time with a bum ankle than I would need to. But I learned a valuable lesson. Even if I have a goal that I can achieve, I need to listen to my body too.  My body wasn’t telling me, “I’m too tired.” or “I want to do something else”, like it has done so many times.  This time it truly was telling me something is wrong and I need to stop.  Once I have stopped, I am happy to say that my ankle is healing (still slower than I would like), and  I know I will be jumping right back into the exercising once it’s healed.

Fitness Report Series

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