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tracking health progress 2

It's been a while since my last health-tracking post, so without further ado, an update. If you missed my previous post, I got started on this in late March, after my last shoulder-injury appointment when the doc told me that I could do anything that didn't actively hurt; "sore" is okay. But that if I didn't start feeling better by July, he was going to recommend surgery. No thanks. So I decided to move on from rubber-band physical-therapy stuff to full-on workouts like I'd done years ago.

While upping my physical activity, I also decided to reduce the lard that'd collected around my midsection. I figured I had about 15 pounds to lose, as I'd gained about that much since the accident. clevermanka was just starting a new eating plan, what with her interminable food issues, and discovered paleo eating. Since she's the cook in the house, I got to experience the benefits of eating like that, too. Now, I didn't start full-on paleo; I simply cut out refined sugar (I used to love my sweets...). With only a bit more exercise and no sugar, I lost 10 pounds by May. Good results tend to encourage greater efforts, so I started cutting out more processed foods and started exercising more - by mid-June (my last health-track post), I'd lost 15 pounds, gained muscle, strengthened my injured shoulder a LOT, and improved my overall health a bunch. I also discovered that I had more than just 15 pounds to lose....

The CSSF summer program put a pause on progress, of course, what with pretty much every waking hour spent with the Workshoppers, then Conference attendees, then Institute students, but I stuck (mostly) to good eating habits and stayed physically active if not working out. But after July (and the SF Institute) ended, I jumped back into it, almost completely cutting out grains while upping the workout routine. Yesterday morning, I was 21 pounds lighter than when I started all this in April. I'm able to wear pants only my undergrad-me could have fit into before, and the new clothes I bought last winter are just huge. Who knew I had so much weight to lose? I hear that guys underestimate how much fat they're carrying, and gee whiz is it true, folks.

However, I hit a snag a couple of weeks ago, and maybe you have a suggestion. The tendon on my left forearm, where the muscle joins the inside of the elbow, no longer approves of exercises that require a grip and pull, like curls or pull-ups. Still bothered me last night when I tried to resume my workout schedule, even after letting the arm mostly rest. Tendonitis? Something else? I should probably get it looked at by a professional. Dammit.

Anyhow, here's some photo documentation (taken August 24 - should update this, as I'm down another 4 pounds!). A little embarrassing to show these, but a good motivator to watch improvement:

Front shot (replicating stance from previous post to compare):


Back shot:


I like that my shoulders now look even from behind!

Workout details - for tracking purposes, here's my workout circuit (until the arm started bothering me...):

ExerciseReps/SetsTechnique
Sit-ups30/2-5, time-limitedexercise ball under back, add set between other exercises
TRX free pushups12/2start with grips at knee-level, slowly dip through full range of motion, slowly push back up to full extension - challenging!
TRX rows15/2start back on floor, squeeze shoulderblades together while pulling grips to chest
Single-leg squats12/2stand near wall to balance
Dead-hang pull-ups15-20/2 (then add 2-5 kipping pull-ups)start hanging full-extension from bar, pull until chin is over bar, lower slowly; at end, use momentum for added kipping pull-ups
Dumbbell push-ups15-20/2grip dumbbells, lower slowly until nose touches floor, push up fast
Dumbbell curls + shrugs10-15/234 pounds, alternate curl and shrug, both arms simultaneous
Triceps extensions, dips, stair-running, etc.however many I'm in the mood forvarious

And I'm bicycling to work most days now that it's cooled off and I don't show up to the office all sweaty. Other suggestions of what to add to my circuit?

Breakfast each day is usually a spinach salad with a variety of nuts and sunflower seeds, whatever meat I find in the fridge, feta cheese, veggies if I can find 'em, and either clevermanka-made dressing or olive oil with balsamic vinegar. Sometimes (like today) I fry up the ingredients in a pan and toss the hot mix on top of more greens, as spinach pretty much disappears with heat. "Lunch" is whatever CR makes for dinner (our sleep schedules are very different), and dinner is usually another salad or just handfuls of veggies and nuts, often with melted mozzarella and spices on top.

Finally, I leave you with this: If I can manage decent eating-and-fitness progress even with a frakked-up shoulder and a sweet tooth, you can do it, too! Thanks so much to clevermanka for the encouragement and eating support - you make this seem easy! I'd love to hear what's been working for you if you've been working on your health, too.

Best,
Chris

Tags:

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
saffronhare
Oct. 5th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
Which shoulder did you injure? I ask because I sometimes have the feeling you describe in your elbow, when I'm cheating the rotation in my right shoulder (which is the bad one).
mckitterick
Oct. 5th, 2010 08:12 pm (UTC)
I hurt my left shoulder (tore the AC joint in an accident last year). I know it's messing up my neck and causing muscle tension here and there, so perhaps I'm compensating in a weird way....
(no title) - saffronhare - Oct. 5th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
clevermanka
Oct. 5th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Aw, you're welcome.

<3

I'm so proud of you for putting your own meals together and no longer relying on the sandwich route. I'm proud of you for keeping up with your squats, too. That's some dedication.

Also: While I won't say it's easy, it's certainly not hard! One just has to have adequate desire for change.
mckitterick
Oct. 5th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
Once I got into the habit of good eating, it _did_ get easy - easy-er, anyway. I got sick of lugging around that extra fat.
bammba_m
Oct. 5th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
Woo! Woo-hoo!! Hooray for the half-nekkid pictures! Thanks for sharing!

(oh and congrats on the progress and that stuff.)
mckitterick
Oct. 5th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
;-)

Thanks!
nottygypsy
Oct. 5th, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)
Your shoulders look a hella lot better than "even". I'm just saying.
mckitterick
Oct. 5th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
;-) Thank you!
nanowrimokathy
Oct. 5th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC)
How do I find someone to cook for me?
First... CONGRATS!

Second... where do I find someone to cook for me?

Kathy
mckitterick
Oct. 5th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
Re: How do I find someone to cook for me?
1) Thanks!

2) I bet you could find some single person out there who loves to cook but has no one to cook for. Me, I've had CR cooking for me since I first moved here, because I don't cook and her ex-boyfriend didn't appreciate her cooking the way I did (and do). Just supply the food, and I bet you know someone who'd love to have an appreciative audience.
paulwoodlin
Oct. 5th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
Congrats on losing the weight and improving the tone, but what is the difference between paleo eating and just eating actual food (avoiding processed food)?

I do sit-ups last. My previous physical trainer told me that the ab muscles are supportive muscles; you are using them for a lot of exercises even if you don't realize it. By doing sit-ups first, you are wearing out the muscles that keep you stable while doing other exercises.
mckitterick
Oct. 5th, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
Paleo is not eating grains, refined products, sugar, etc... I'm not completely paleo, in that I still eat dairy; I eat more along the lines of Mark's Daily Apple, as I linked above.

And I insert sit-ups between almost every set of other exercises! Abs are special in that they don't get over-worked unless you _really_ kill 'em, and I want to have good abs!
(no title) - siro_gravity - Oct. 6th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Oct. 6th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
pms_inc
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Not a (traditional) love handle in sight! Bravo! Great individual and team efforts in action.
mckitterick
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
Hooray! CR is a great fitness and diet coach.
mabiana
Oct. 6th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
Not that I have any medical knowledge ;-) - but because I have just recovered from one and it sounds like your pain is in the same place: have you ruled out that it's a slight golfer's elbow? (=can you flip up your hand in a decent angle towards the outside of your arm, when your arm is stretched out? If yes, stretching exercises that improve that help very much!)

Sorry for yet another edit :-) , but if it is, don't massage the area - it'll make the inflammation much worse (I speak from experience...).

Edited at 2010-10-06 11:16 am (UTC)
clevermanka
Oct. 6th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
Ooo. This is good info. If no massage is recommended, does icing help (along with the stretching)?
(no title) - mabiana - Oct. 6th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - clevermanka - Oct. 6th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Stretching exercise - mabiana - Oct. 6th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Stretching exercise - mckitterick - Oct. 7th, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mabiana - Oct. 6th, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
siro_gravity
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
You did so much better than I did!! I started summer with a bang for losing weight and getting back in shape, then it sort of disintegrated when I hit the road.

Congratulations! You look great!

PS. Spinach and meat salad for breakfast sounds awful!
mckitterick
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I know how that goes: Over the summer craziness, my exercise routine dropped to pretty much bicycling and occasional sit-ups or pull-ups, and I ate some stuff when out with the Workshoppers that I wouldn't have otherwise. But the more you do it, the more it becomes habit, and the easier it gets.

Thanks!

PS: Perhaps you don't appreciate my mad culinary skillz ;-)
silverfae
Oct. 6th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Good going! Yay for no surgery, too.

I can see the imbalance in your back, but the shoulders look great!

And you have one more year to file a claim on that accident, just sayin', (says she the one who speaks from the sad experience of having one accident I didn't file on ruin the outcome of a later one that I did. No one expects to have the same thing happen to them again, but eerily, it was six years to the day later that I got hit from behind again.)
mckitterick
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I know about the two-year thing, and will get this settled once I get my final report from the doc. Which will be this fall some time....

Would be nice to get back some of that moola.
professormass
Oct. 6th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
If I may say what everyone else is thinking:

I'd hit it.
mckitterick
Oct. 7th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)
Ha!
(no title) - justaqt - Dec. 9th, 2010 08:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no title) - mckitterick - Dec. 9th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
smirkingone
Oct. 13th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
Inner arm pain
Hey dude,

I get the same pain in the area of my inner elbow (elbow pit?), and I found (for me) that it was caused from reversing too hard when doing curls in the extended position. Try to slow it down and smooth it out, or lighten the load and do more reps.

--Shawn
mckitterick
Oct. 13th, 2010 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Inner arm pain
Hey, Shawn! Yeah, I've been reading and it seems that slow and steady wins the fitness race ;-)

How are you doing?
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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