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Woman using a Nordic Trac Exercise Machine

Nordic Trac Cross Country Ski Machine

Last month I had a plan to try to heal my ankle (for those of you not following along, the first week into this challenge last month I turned my ankle on a walk and have been dealing with issues since).  My plan was to go back to the beginning of the 9 week EASA2 (EA Sports Active 2) set on medium and only do that.  No running, no Nordic Trac, No other cardio, no yoga.  That lasted a week.  During that week, I burned 1,040 calories in 2 hours and 15 minutes of exercise.  Not great. Especially since my ankle was still really hurting and problematic.  A lot of it was the jumping.  The 9 week fitness routine has a lot of jumping in it. From skipping, foot fires, stride jumps and other items.  I just can’t physically do them.

So I reluctantly, very reluctantly, decided to stop. Just stop, no more exercise until my foot healed completely.  This was extremely hard to do.  I have been terrified of losing the momentum that I’ve had towards exercising.  I’ve had so many cases where that’s happened.  Something isn’t perfect in exercising and I just stop, to pick it up again months or a year later.  So giving up entirely has been a real possibility.  Of course that is part of why I am documenting it here.. Because I have to document my failures as well as my triumphs (I hope there will be triumphs).

I was off my ankle (no exercise, tennis shoes only (even to work which is very easy on dress  code) for two weeks.  During that time, I saw my weight and my measurements go up. It was discouraging.  I tried a few Pilates DVD’s and they didn’t work for me very well. (Most likely because I wasn’t burning the calories with them that I was doing otherwise. So I just stopped.  Luckily, my eating habits are still really good, so I didn’t go into an “eat everything I see because I’m depressed” funk.  On average I’m eating about 1,300 calories a day. I know it’s not enough, I’m very close to starvation mode with my body at that amount. But if I eat any more without exercising, I’ll gain weight quickly right now. Also, because of the healthy food I eat, that amount does fill me up and keep me going easily. But I’m pretty sure that adding another nutrition dense 300-400 calories a day will actually help me lose weight once my metabolism kicks in.

Last week, my ankle finally healed.  I’m still babying it, but I can finally start exercising. And I realized that EASA2 allows me to set up custom workouts! No jumping! So I set up some for last week and being the overachiever that I am, I made them hard.  Well, when I was setting them up I didn’t realize how hard they were.  The workouts all follow a similar format.

  • 3 warmup exercises
  • 1 10 minute aerobic step set
  • 3 exercises targeting a specific area alternating and repeated for a total of 3 times each
  • short cardio (steps or boxing)
  • 3 exercises targeting a specific area alternating and repeated fora total of 3 times each
  • short cardio (steps or boxing)
  • 3 core exercises
  • 3 cooldown exercises

Each workout was between 40 and 45 minutes.  Each burned about 400 calories.  All were set to the hardest EASA2 had to offer and I couldn’t finish any of them.

I’m not up to hard, and I’m not up to 3 sets of anything yet.  The kicker was the last exercise, which was lower body and consisted of mostly squats.  After doing them, I was sore for 2 days. I missed my workout on Sunday because of how sore I was.  I couldn’t make it up on Monday. My inner thighs screamed.  Not a “I’m injured” pain, but a “you used me, you really used me” pain.  And I realized that I can’t go that hard that quick. This week, I burned 1,975 calories in 4:07 hours.

I keep telling myself that this entire situation is a marathon, not a sprint. I put this weight on over a number of years and I’m not going to lose it overnight.  So I modified the routines.  I’m currently on Step 1 exercises, which is:

  • 3 warmup exercises
  • 10 minute aerobic step set (Hard)
  • 2 exercises targeting a specific area alternating and repeated for a total of 2 times each (Medium)
  • 10 minute aerobic step set (Hard)
  • 2 exercises targeting a specific area alternating and repeated fora total of 2 times each (Medium)
  • 3 core exercises (Medium)
  • 3 cooldown exercises
I’ve also started my modified Couch 2 5 K program on my Nordic Trac.  I did this all last week (and its added to the calorie totals. It’s basically interval training. I’m on a 5 minute warmup with 8 intervals of 30 sec fast/ 90 sec slow.  Its been challenging, but I’m finding it’s getting a little easier as time goes on.  I’m going to increase the intervals to 10 next week and add in a 5 minute cool down.  Once that isn’t killing me I’ll change the intervals to 45 sec fast /90 sec slow.

How did I do?

I’m giving myself a C for the month. Even though I say the right words, the act of stopping was really hard.  But really, it was the smartest and best thing I could have done.  Now I can go forward with a body that works. And I can make it work. I also give myself a C for pushing myself too hard, too fast when setting up the exercises (tho, it’s really hard to overdo it, when the game doesn’t tell you reps or time involved).  I want to get a burn in my muscles, I’d like them to tremble a bit and then recover and be ready for the next workout.

Both my weight and my measurements increased slightly during the time I wasn’t exercising. It’s yet another indication of how much I need to boost my metabolism.  Still my body has responded fairly well to the week of exercising. I’m down slightly in weight from the high of 201.6 and my measurements are coming down slightly from where they were a week ago. Overall, for two months, I’m still doing well. My stomach is down another 1/4″, and my waist is down an inch from January’s post.

I’m hopeful that the next report will show marked improvement since at this moment, all systems are go.

February 2012 Measurements

Measurement Starting Current Difference
Weight 200 lbs  200 lbs 0
Chest 39.00″  39.00 -1.00″
Waist 36.50″  34.00 -2.50″
Stomach 43.00″  37.00 -6.00
Hips 45.00″  44.00 -1.00
Thighs 25.25″  25.75 +0.50
Biceps 15.50″  16.00 +0.50

2 Responses to “Fitness Report – Month 2”

  1. Heidi says:

    Remembering my fitness trainer days, I would give you an A. you have analyzed your personal strengths and weaknesses well. you opted to modify at crucial times, safeguarded an injury and dealt with your over-achiever and discouragement impulses.

    My advice to starters was always to remember, you will most likely gain weight before losing – gain size rather than losing in the beginning. this is normal – I won’t go into theory, though. But you are on target and actually ahead of the game right now.

    Consider to track you change in strength, stamina and agility. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat or water. Slimming the waist/belly is a good sign already.

    Hang in there – you are doing great!

    • Sandra Clark says:

      Thank you for your kind words Heidi. I think a lot of us are hard on ourselves and you are right, I am getting stronger and more able to do things. Those are important things to track as well.