Getting back in shape

It’s been a while since I’ve done my normal exercise routine. I’ve had a few injuries that have kept me from working out the way I used to, and the last few weeks have included much time away – perhaps not a bad thing, considering the latest injury. But I’m ready to go back now ... here’s hoping I can shed the pounds I’ve been gaining lately!

First, let’s dispense with the injuries. The major one was numbness and tingling, and sometimes outright pain, in my right hand. It built up over time, and finally I asked for a referral to physical therapy. Thanks to Jeff Robinson at C.O.R.E. PT, I think that one is mostly licked. Jeff also helped me recover from some strain in my left shoulder caused by who-knows-what. A lot of this is just aches and pains that come from using my muscles wrong. It gets bad when I ignore it for too long – and that’s what happened to my right hand. Just before we left on vacation Jeff and I agreed that we’ve worked on that about as much as we can. So, between that fix and the total rest I’ve given my left shoulder over the last three weeks, I’m ready to go back to lifting weights the way I used to.

Jeff also convinced me to have an xray and see what was wrong with my left foot, which I damaged walking across a ball field with Chewey the Friday before we left for vacation. He said he thought I might have a fracture in the fifth metatarsal, and indeed, that’s what it was. I’ve been wearing a “short boot” whenever I have to walk any distance, and with the orthopod’s permission we did some walking and hiking on vacation – permitted as long as I wore good hiking boots. I only overdid it twice but actually have not felt pain in that foot for quite some time. I’m ready for him to say it’s OK to exercise again ... more than ready.

Meanwhile, Robert and I did a lot of stuff on vacation, though not the hikes we would have done otherwise. Yellowstone’s major sites have great boardwalks from which to view the geothermal phenomena (and they are phenomenal; I can’t wait to get my pictures posted!). Wildlife viewing was done for the most part from the car. I hobbled around the Getty Museum in L.A., and we’ve been using a handicapped tag so that I haven’t had to waste too many steps on parking lots. I’m looking forward to seeing the orthopod on Tuesday and getting permission to do weight-bearing exercise again.

I haven’t been very good about eating, though. And the diet my rheumatologist had me on to increase my bone density coincides with a six-month period over which I gained eight pounds. Admittedly, one or two of those were added during vacation – I just can’t stick to my calorie count on vacation! But most of it, I’m sure, is because of the two-yogurts-a-day instruction. The rheum-doc agrees that gaining weight at that rate isn’t good, so I’m back down to one yogurt a day and trying to get additional calcium in other foods. We’ll see how it goes in another few months.

I’m sure the month off weight-bearing exercise (except for boardwalks and a few mild hikes) hasn’t helped any. After I returned from Asheville I started going to the gym again, riding a recumbent bike so I wouldn’t aggravate any remaining injury to my foot. I burn more calories on the elliptical machine and in my very advanced aerobics/weight-lifting classes, though. I want to get back to normal.

So, here we go again – starting over again with a new weight-loss goal that has to be in sync with my bone density, high cholesterol, and kidney stone history. Managing my health can be complicated – but I’m determined to master it all!