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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

I starting taking more regular walks again with Jasper. We both need it. I am pathetically deconditioned.

Today, I decided I would march around the path at the dog park, as I used to a year ago. I was going to barrel along, working up a sweat and raising my heart-rate. It didn’t go as I expected. Do you ever have dreams where you are trying to run and you just can’t get your legs moving? I used to get those a lot, although ironically not since the Big Nap. Trying to stride along quickly was like that. My legs just wouldn’t go fast. It was weird and annoying. I couldn’t work up a sweat. I did get a back ache, though.

I ran into another doodle mommy. Her guy, Oscar, is about a year younger than Jasper and they had a lovely time running wide circles around us. As we walked, kinda slowly, several other people all caught up with us and there were suddenly a great pile of dogs all chasing each other around.

Caught up in the mix were two young boxers. Oscar who, like Jasper, clearly doesn’t know his own size, was chasing one the boxer pups and bowled her over. She yipped like she was being murdered, but then popped up and was right back at him. This happened a couple of times. Now, when Jasper does this, I try to call him off, but if I really only worry about it if the other dog appears to be distressed, and a dog that throws itself back into the fray is clearly just a drama queen.

Suddenly, a large man turned to my walking partner and said quite aggressively, “You need to leash your dog now.” She asked why and he said that obviously her dog was hurting his dog and so she needed to leash him. She pointed out that his dog kept going back to hers and so it seemed unlikely that she was being injured. He announced that he did not see it that way and she had to leash him. She announced that she wouldn’t, and he was welcome to leash his if he were concerned.

We walked a bit ahead (still not fast enough to break a sweat, sadly) to get Oscar away from the boxers and were continuing our talk when we heard the man say behind us, “Wow, you really are a cunt.” Isn’t that sweet?

We wheeled on him and both told him that he had gone beyond the pale of even an uncivil discussion. He said he could use any words he wanted and we said not if he wanted to be taken seriously by anyone. And so on. At one point, it occurred to me that we were in the woods, an old, fat woman and a young skinny one, in a heated argument with a large young man. Maybe not so smart. But, really, who the fuck did he think he was?

Fortunately, who he was was someone who found himself actually cowed by two women who did not let him get away with using that language, and when my friend once again suggested that if he had a problem he could leash his dogs, he said something like, “Well, maybe I just will!” as though he’d won the argument, and went off to get his dogs.

We might stand up for ourselves, but we aren’t stupid, and when we reached the parking lot, we just hung out for a while until he had gotten in his car and driven completely away, before getting in ours.

I’d forgotten how much action there is at the dog park!

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As I have mentioned, I walk at least an hour most days, missing at most one day a week. I don’t stroll, I march along. I’ve been doing this for months. Yay me.

I’ve lost no weight (I’m not even mentioning the FMS). I figured that since I ramped up the output, even if my input included chocolate and coke, I should still lose something, right? Right, but it didn’t happen.

I managed to cut down on the junk (didn’t get rid of it completely, but a significant reduction). After two weeks of being good, I am at my all-time high.

I’m pissed off. It is illogical and unfair. I feel like I’m fighting with my body, although I am sure this is probably a bad state of mind. I’m not giving in, though. The next step, Weight Watchers. I’m joining on Wednesday morning.

My doctor suggests I actually attend the meetings, which I have always skipped, thanks to my low boredom threshold. She thinks it’ll provide support and accountability. We’ll see.

At the very least, I’ll be accountable to y’all.

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Speaking of matters of the colon (Alan, thank you so much for your illuminating contribution to the topic!), I should mention that I appear to have found a sure-fire solution to constipation.

Here we go into the realm of too much information, so brace yourselves – as I’ve whined about before, I have Fibromyalgia (FMS) and take heavy duty drugs for the pain (I’m still slowly weaning, but am still on them). Those drugs can cause constipation as a side effect. And I have IBS, making it worse. Basically, my guts have been on strike for a long time. I tried fiber and more fiber and lots of water. When my doctor told me to walk, I walked half an hour a day, to no effect.

But a couple of months ago, I started really walking, beetling around the dog park with Jasper for an hour to an hour and a half virtually every day. Nothing stops me – rain, snow, my own screaming muscles. And I realized a couple of weeks ago, about a month after I began really walking seriously that, well, the situation had resolved itself.

So, for those of you who suffer from the same concerns, skip the expensive, yucky drinks and go for a walk – a long, fast walk. Then do it tomorrow. Then the next day. Don’t stop and you’ll be amazed.

Maybe I should make up some harmless powder and sell it in a big jar with instructions to take every day with lots of water, then stipulate that it won’t work unless the person taking it walks briskly for an hour a day. Do that and it’ll kick right in and cure your constipation problems! I could be rich, rich!

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I swam. I yogaed. I walked the dog at a furious pace for at least an hour. Every day was something. Friday, I crashed. It rained, so I even got out of walking the dog.

Shauna asked if it would be better. Yeah, it’ll get better. Only it’ll take 6 months or so of having it feel worse. The entire time I was doing yoga, I had a running commentary in my brain (that I tried to squash it, since it seemed very un-yoga-like) that went like this: fuckthishurts, fuckthishurts, fuckthishurts.

The nice yoga lady, who knows I have Fibromyalgia Syndrome, told me to take it at my own pace and if it hurts, my body is telling me I’ve gone to far. Unfortunately, when you have FMS, your body frequently tells you that getting up in the morning is going too far, or braiding your hair, or walking up the stairs. You can’t listen to it. It lies. I didn’t tell her that. I just smiled and assured her I would listen to my lying body.

When you have FMS, you have to view exercise like physiotherapy. After J tore his calf muscle in the spring, his physiotherapist would massage the scar tissue, digging her way into it to break it up and telling him that the way he knew she was doing it right was by how much it hurt. That’s how it is. Exercise hurts. All of it. It hurts to do it and it hurts worse after you are done. People tell me about how invigorated they feel after they finish a workout. I just feel a sense of accomplishment from ignoring the pain for long enough to get the job done.

That sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s an accurate description. (If you can’t whine on your own blog, where can you whine?) As shitty as I’ve been feeling for a long time, I feel shittier now. The only saving grace is that I knew what I was getting into, and I know it can work.

When I was 21, unemployed and living with mommy and daddy, I began to exercise. I biked, which I loved for the speed and freedom, making it easier to ignore the pain (this time, I’m too far gone to get on a bike, but it’s almost winter anyway, so who cares). I biked for longer and longer, until I was gone for an hour or two every day. I also used their rowing machine in front of the TV, and did weight training with some small hand weights of my father’s.

What it added up to, at it’s peak, was about 2 hours of exercise a day. And, at some point, I realized that the pain wasn’t much there, and I slept through the night and I had energy. I’d kicked the FMS into remission. But it took being an unemployed bum at my parents’ house to give me the time and freedom to do it.

I went back to school for my Masters in Journalism and even though I did try to get to the gym, the school schedule was grueling and I was reveling in the revival of my social life. The exercise fell away and the beast returned. Now I’m 20 years older, fatter and in worse shape, so I think it’ll take longer to get there this time, but every study ever done on FMS had demonstrated that the only thing that reliably leads to improvement is exercise, and I have the personal precedent to back that up.

But, fuck, this hurts.

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Ow ow ow ow ow. Ow.

I exercised. Ow.

I’ve been walking, convincing myself that is exercise. It is, right? But it clearly isn’t cutting it, so now that all three kids are in school full time and I don’t have a full time job, it is time to ratchet up the exercise. Significantly.

My fibromyalgia is bad. Very bad. Washing and cutting up potatoes to boil causes extreme neck pain, for instance. This makes dinner difficult. Every little injury hurts for days, and I am only getting worse. I take 2 pills in the morning and 4 in the evening, and that isn’t counting the pain pills (which I am still slowing weaning off successfully, so at least that is going in the right direction). I feel like I keep propping myself up chemically while the foundation crumbles.

So, time to rebuild the foundation. I swam laps for half an hour this afternoon. I paused every 50 meters (2 pool lengths) to rest, could only do breast stroke and my shoulders and neck still complained (front crawl is completely unbearable) and pulled a calf muscle. All my muscles are screaming, which has tipped me off to how much walking wasn’t really exercise.

I’m going back Friday, then Monday, then Wednesday again. And I signed up for yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays, and will not quit this time, no matter what. And once my body stops screaming at me for all that, I will add weight training. This will not be pretty. The squeamish among you may want to avert your eyes.

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You know what I don’t get – how people manage to throw up photos so fast onto their blogs. Getting them the right size so that they don’t eat all my space takes time, and slows me down. I have two photos ready to go, except their pictures aren’t. Off to work on that.

Oh, and I also don’t get the point of having tags and categories. What’s the difference?

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