Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

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...):

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.

Tags: health

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