To The Gym Today

So, I went to the gym today for the first time since 2015 I think. I didn’t do much; some chest exercise, shoulder, and back. Then I did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine.

too_muchIt was weird watching all of the younger guys in the gym. Many of them were using too much weight as indicated by their horrible form. I remembered myself at their ages working out the same way. Eventually, I hurt my back, shoulders, and irritated what doctors call degenerative disc disease.

Today, I was careful about only using enough weight to stimulate my muscles. I only used the machines; no free weights. I did not want to come out of there with any un-natural pains. I only wanted to do what my doctor wanted me to do. Get a little exercise.

Woman Doctor cartoonMy new doctor is a little intense. She scares me a little even. Every time I see her, I get the impression that I am just a little closer to my own demise. She is very driven to make me healthier. I guess I should be grateful, but, like I said, she scares me a little bit.

So, I don’t know if going to the gym is a thing for me yet. I am almost always in some sort of pain. Making it an everyday thing, or a 3 day a week thing would be difficult for me. I want to. I just don’t know if I can. I may be able to do some walking, but even that can be difficult at times. Then again, some walking or other exercises may be what I need.

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First Day Back at the Gym!

On Wednesday I went to the gym for the first time in nearly two years. Two summers ago my shoulders began to hurt. So much so, I ended up doing 6 weeks of physical therapy.  I had never injured my shoulders before that, ever. I had not put together a possible reason for the pain until I was in the gym Wednesday.

I had an MRI about a month ago and, the results showed that I have a ruptured or bulging disc in my neck, which is pressing against a major nerve to my left shoulder, arm, and hand.

Two summers ago during some of my workouts I experienced weakness in my left arm and hand. It was sudden and happened multiple times. I had no idea what was causing it. Like an idiot I kept working out like that, probably over compensating for the weakness, injuring my shoulders.

I did’t feel any weakness today. I was only using very light weight. But, I could feel the pressure in the area where the doctor told me the bulge had happened. Only then did I realize that this is probably what caused the weakness I felt two years ago. I will probably end up having surgery some time this summer. I don’t want to, but, what ever was going on two summers ago may happen again if I do not.

Other than that realization Wednesday I had a pretty good workout. I did some chest work, shoulder work, and upper back. Then I did a forty minute cardio workout on the elliptical machine.

I have to say that I was surprised by the amount of energy I had for cardio. Usually there is that sick feeling I get when I first begin, and once I push past that I can go on to finish the workout. Today however, even though I was expecting that sick feeling, it never happened. I had full energy from the start. No nausea. No hard time getting started. Just GO!

The only thing different is the diet. Not burning glucose (sugar) in the beginning; Burning fat! The Ketogenic diet is crazy. I am absolutely amazed. Its almost too good to be true, but it is!


Workout:

Strength Trainging
4 sets dumbbell chest press
4 sets lat pulldowns
4 sets military press

Cardio/Elliptical
40 minutes
2.59 miles
413 calories burned

Dealing With My Pain Issues

I went to the gym today. I did things I probably should not have been doing. I did bench press and military press, and a few other things. I couldn’t resist. I don’t want all this work I’ve done since summer to go to waste. I have worked hard and I don’t want to quit. After doing a light workout with the weights I did my usual 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine.

I am in physical therapy for my shoulder pain. The pain had steadily increased since the summer. Finally it got to the point I had to see a doctor about it. Of course they start with x-rays, physical therapy, and if that doesn’t work, maybe shot of something that will relieve the pain. Finally, if none of that works, perhaps an MRI, then surgery to repair whatever is causing the pain.

While in the navy I don’t remember ever having a shoulder pain. It was always my back. And I don’t remember ever hurting my shoulders. They just started to hurt one day, before I ever went to the gym, and continued to get worse.

My hope is that they can be strengthened through PT, and no surgery will be required. I was really on a roll getting in shape. I would like to see it through to completion.

Pain & The Weather

I had a very painful weekend. I don’t know if it was the weather or something else external, but, I was in so much pain that thought I had damaged the fusion in my lower back. However, this morning when I woke up I felt a lot better. I still had a little bit of pain, but not the near crippling pain like over the weekend.

I have been having headaches. I don’t know what is causing them. Could be sinus pain. Today my knees hurt also. I have not had any knee pain since I began nearly 5 months ago. Maybe the weather is affecting them as well. I hope that’s all it is. Still, I was able to complete my leg workout.

I also found a good way to workout my calves. It was an accidental discovery. While on the elliptical machine I always have trouble getting my feet comfortable. So during my time on the machine I’m constantly shifting my weight around trying to get comfortable.

So at some point I found myself raising my heels off the surface of the pedals. Within several second I could feel my calves contracting very vigorously. This was during the last 7 minutes or so of my elliptical workout. So decided to pedal for 2 minutes with my heels raised, and resting with my heels down for one minute, then repeating. I only got to do it about twice. I don’t even get the amount of muscle contraction I was getting on the elliptical machine,  doing 8 sets of toe raises with weights.

Needless to say I will be doing this from now on, and  more often during my 45 minute elliptical ride to nowhere.

Rough Day

In the gym tonight I was doing leg presses. I was working with 400 pounds, 10 sets of 15 reps. I didn’t think I could do it but I did. My butt really started to hurt during this exercise. Then I finished the workout with toe raises, leg curls, back extensions, and ab crunches. However, when I got to my 45 minute elliptical workout I didn’t think I was going to finish. The last five minutes I thought I might throw up. There really was no energy left.

Since I’ve been home and had dinner, I feel very drained. I can already tell my legs are going to be extremely sore tomorrow. I will probably be drinking a lot of water before going to bed. I don’t think I should have had that glass of wine.

I don’t know if I actually worked that hard, or, I’m still kinda sick. At any rate, I really wore myself out. Tomorrow will either be chest or arms. Probably chest. I don’t want my arms to be too sore for chest exercises.

That’s about it.

Trying To Stay Healthy

I was back to the gym today after missing three days last week. It was rough, but I actually got some good work done in my short chest workout. I just couldn’t seem to muster the energy last week. I had some minor cold symptoms which kept me inactive pretty much throughout the weekend. Fortunately it wasn’t the flu or anything. I haven’t had any problems continuing my 45 minute cardio workout everyday. I seem to be in pretty good shape, despite various pains in my body.

Trying to stay healthy can be a little difficult. It’s more than going to the gym, eating right, and doing your cardio. Germs are everywhere, so I’m alway washing my hands.  Especially in the gym where there are so many people, and since I got a new cat.

I haven’t had a pet in probably 20+ years. I found her at an Arby’s parking lot. She was about 4 weeks old. I don’t know if someone dumped her there, or she was born somewhere nearby. I didn’t hear any other kittens. I heard Ricki Kitty crying underneath one of the decorative shrubs around the building. She was alone. Anyway, I don’t know if I have any cat allergies. I don’t think I do. And I know that Ricki Kitty isn’t sick. She has been thoroughly checked out.

Other than that I’m not around that many little kids who are usually exposed to all sorts of germs in school.  In the gym there are sanitary wipes to wipe the equipment before and after use if you like; And most everyone uses them.

I have been very vigilant because it almost never fails that when I start working out something happens to stop the activity in its tracks. Sometimes I hurt my self, or, one of my many painful areas flair up. Or, maybe I’ll get sick for a couple of weeks with a cold or something and afterward it just becomes very hard to get yourself started again.

As I said before my immediate goal is to complete a year of work in the gym. Not that I am going to stop after that, but in a year’s time I should make some great progress. I look forward to showing those before and after photos, and of witnessing my own success. After a year I will, of course, continue to stay in shape. This is a life style change for me.

I am now in week 17 and I have lost 17 pounds. In general I am feeling better but my doctor tells me that my insulin levels are high. I’m not sure what to do about that. I do not want diabetes. My cholesterol levels have come down to nearly normal and my blood pressure is normal. So far I am healthy overall for the most part. I intend to make it better and keep it that way.

16 Weeks

15 weeksWell I am in the 16th week of weight training. I work on a specific body part per day, 5 days a week in the gym, lifting weights. I also do 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine  on each of those days.

I am still quite fat. I have lost about 11 pounds. Weight keeps fluctuating. I suspect it is because I don’t always eat right. I still consume too much sodium and fats.  I am working as hard as I can to change this. Sometimes I simply can’t afford to get the right stuff. And sometimes, I JUST DON’T EAT RIGHT!

I am slimmer around the waist but, it will be some time before the hanging belly disappears.

Well, I am off to the gym. It is BACK day. Yippy!

Finally Back to the Gym

I finally made it back to the gym today after more than a week off, and not feeling well. It’s Tuesday so it was back day. All the exercises went fine, though my body clearly did not want to be there. I didn’t lift to heavy but, I did do enough sets and reps to thoroughly stimulate the muscles in the my back.

Back extensions were the worst because it involves the butt muscles. Ever since my back surgery in 2010 I have had some issues with my right butt cheek. There always seems to be a little pain in there somewhere. Today was no different. In fact, as I sit here now I am twitching on the couch trying to get comfortable enough to ease the pain I feel.

And finally, the elliptical machine was my enemy today. I easily lasted the 45 minutes I’d programed. However, getting started was sooooo hard. I was unstable and I couldn’t get a good rhythm going. I kept speeding up and slowing down, and I was just uncomfortable. After about 30 minutes everything seemed to sync. I was so glad I had only 15 minutes left. When I finished, it was very hard to walk. Everything was so stiff. I was glad to be done though.

Oh, and the best part was when I weighed in at the beginning! I thought for sure I had regained all 10 of the pounds that I had fought so hard to lose. God knows I wasn’t exactly watch what I was eating last week. Pretty sure I blew my diet out the window. However, not only did I not gain weight, I lost another pound. Woo Hoo!!!!

Well, that’s about all I got today.

A Family Affair – Working Out

Yesterday’s workout was the first time I felt multiple muscles working together. It was arm day. We worked biceps, triceps, forearms, and lower back and abs. At one point  while doing tricep push downs (a machine exercise, kind of like dips), I could feel my shoulder, chest, and triceps flexing together. It felt good. Usually I don’t feel anything except maybe some numbness, and then soreness later. As I sit here typing, I am very sore, which tells me I had and effective workout.

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 9.13.37 AMNow my son, Gabe, has been lifting with Kat and I this week. According to him everything we did hurt. He doesn’t like it. But if he sticks with it I believe he will begin to enjoy it, especially if he does it long enough to see some of the results he desires.

He and his sister were at each other like cats and dogs yesterday. Gabe was irritated that we were doing so many exercises. She was irritated that he was irritated. They got really pissy at one another. It was exhausting. If they didn’t love one another so much I’d be worried.

Finally we got to the elliptical machines and Gabe was satisfied. That’s all he would have done if I had let him. But I’ve been trying to convince him that he would get the results he wants if he adds some weight lifting to his workout. I hope he stays with it.