Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

tracking health progress

Last July's motorcycle accident and resultant AC joint dislocation not only put the kabosh on my goal to look like Robert Downey Jr. from Iron Man (which I'd set just two weeks prior to the accident), but also put the kibosh on exercise in particular and even moving vigorously in specific. Let's face it, I got soft and weak and gained at least 15 pounds. When moving one's arm more than a little fires bolts of pain through one's body, one resists doing things that move one's arm. I don't blame the injury for all of the going-soft-ness, of course; much of what went wrong was about the psychological fallout of feeling broken and the comfort eating and stuff that followed.

Last fall, I started doing physical therapy, and when that phase of therapy ended, continued doing my (simple resistance) exercises at home. Earlier this spring, I cut out the comfort eating, and that stopped the weight-gain. Then, with my doctor's go-ahead, I resumed some of my previous workout schedule, slowly upping the weight I lifted and number of sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and so forth. A couple of months ago, I got really sore doing this, but with further doctor's encouragement and his prescription of using tons of ibuprofen, I worked through the pain and got to a point where the shoulder just kinds of feels sore during exercise. It's like they say: Strengthen the muscles that surround an injured joint enough, and they'll support it.

Seems to be working! Maybe it's just the change from winter weather, maybe just time away from the original injury, but I've not only gotten up to the number of reps I was doing before but finally surpassed them this week. Last summer, I could do 7 full-length pull-ups in a row and 15 nose-to-the-floor (using dumbbells to add a few inches of stroke) push-ups; today I managed 12 pull-ups and 18 push-ups, despite the injury. Over the past month, I've also lost about 10 pounds through eating better and exercising regularly. Woohoo! That pretty effectively eliminates my broken feeling. Not that I don't feel a little sore, but I'm not letting that crush my spirit anymore. And if the doctor says I shouldn't worry about a little pain, I won't!

So, without further ado, a baseline photo a la adammaker. I wanted to do this before, but just wasn't brave enough to post a pic with my injury-gut still showing. I've never posted such a pic before, so I'm feeling shy; this plus to protect your eyes, I'm putting it behind the cut:

I took this photo today (using a handy tripod on a box on a foot-stool...), June 23, to serve as a tool for tracking my physical progress. And to shame myself into getting into better shape *g* By next time I post a photo, my goal is to gain actual abdominal definition (let's be specific: a 6-pack!) and be a few pounds lighter, plus to continue to improve my muscle tone - and hopefully get my left (injured) side more balanced in strength with my right side. I expect doing this will serve two purposes: 1) Encouraging me to meet my physical-improvement goals, because now they're public; and 2) Shaming me into getting into better shape so I can post a photo I'm less shy to show y'all.

Okay, then! I'm back to reading stories for the CSSF Science Fiction Writers Workshop.

Tags: health, the self

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