Engaging Fitness Protocols Now

Some time ago I spent a lot of time in the gym. I met with a trainer on a regular basis. My goal wasn’t to loose weight, it was to tone what what I had. It was fun, I enjoyed it. (Contrary to the many tears that were shed.) And I was beginning to see results.

Then I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. My momentum at the gym came to a screeching halt. My physical health (and consequently mental health) took a nose dive as I learned to deal with the pain.

And even though I tried to return to the gym several times over the last year or two I haven’t been able to keep it up. Mentally I just wasn’t ready. Even when Matt decided at the beginning of this year to truly get into shape again I couldn’t do it. (He is even seeing the same trainer I had back then-which is cool!)

I did however start to take steps in the right direction. I decided to cut back on the medications I am taking as much as possible. It’s not a big surprise to learn that certain medications cause you to gain weight. The pill is one of them. I’d started taking it when, after a long discussion, Matt and I decided that we weren’t going to have children any time soon. (This is after having tried for several years to get pregnant.) In the last year and a half I’ve gained at least 10 pounds.

At this point you can see that there are two options. One of us would have to get “snipped.” After a brief discussion with my GP, then a lengthy one with Matt (who was totally willing by the way) I decided to be the one to do it. After another consultation – this time with my OB to go over options – I chose a procedure* and moved forward.

Some time in April, after a follow-up to verify everything worked, I will no longer have to take the pill. Which in turn will allow me to see just how much the pill affected the ability of the Cymbalta I am taking for depression to work properly. (As I said my mental health has not been very good.) I can then make a proper decision on either changing the dosage or switching to something completely different.

So while I’ve been taking tiny baby steps to enable myself to mental be ready to do the physical activity to get healthy again (and feel good about myself) Matt has been in the gym at least 5 days out of the week, making sweeping changes in the way he eats (actually they aren’t as sweeping as you would think – it just feels like it to me after the year I’ve had).  He started this just after the holidays and is now beginning to see physical results. The mental results were apparent the moment he started. It’s like we flip-flopped where we were two years ago.

Yesterday he took me out to lunch in the city of Allen. There is a little area that is multi-use with lots of shops, eateries and apartments. Very metropolitan. We had lunch at the Londoner Pub. (I had a salmon, spinach, caper, and onion omlette and Matt had a chicken avocado sandwich) Then we walked around the area looking at the various shops. I made him stop and go into a Luke’s Locker, a place I recalled being told to look at when needing new workout shoes and such. Even though I didn’t need anything I wanted to take a look.

Wandering about the store I found the Nike+ shoes. You know the ones that have that sensor in them that syncs to your ipod/iphone and keeps track of your workouts/runs? I knew my phone had the Nike+ app on it but because I didn’t have the sensor I never bothered to mess with it. Now, there was no way I was going to buy the shoes, but you didn’t need them in order to use the sensor. (Naturally this is not recommended by the manufacturer.) As I stared at the sensors – which were taunting me, I swear – I saw one of the little pouches that were designed so you could use the sensor with any type of shoe. And that was it. I picked up the sensor and the pouch and purchased them.

I spent a good chunk of last night bumbling about the nike+ site checking things out. They have programs that you can use for free. Things like Walking to Running in 5 weeks. It’s supposed to build up your endurance in order to be able to run at a consistent pace for 25 minutes. I thought it would be cool to try so I signed up for it.

For Day 1 the program called for me to walk for 15 minutes. So this morning I set up the Nike+ app with a time goal of 20 minutes. (That’s the lowest time it will allow) After attaching the sensor to my shoe and and making sure the phone synced with the sensor, I was off.

At the five minute mark a voice cut into the music I was keeping pace with letting me know that 5 minutes had elapsed. At the half way mark it let me know again. I chose to turn around at this point and head back towards the house. When the 20 minutes were up the voice congratulated me on reaching my timed goal. It was rather surreal to tell you the truth.

Eager to see what the sensor recorded and how I did, I quickly uploaded the data. I had walked .82 miles/1.33 km in 22 min 50 sec. It also recorded my pace at 27’34″/miles (17’08″/km) as well as my calorie burn of 84.

While I find it amusing that the walk only burned 84 calories according to their calculations I am actually pretty pleased with the results of the walk. It’s not much, but it’s a start.  And this time I feel like it’s a good start. I feel like I am on the right track to better mental health and physical health.

I’m not sure how often I will update here with my progress, but I have set it up to post updates to twitter for those that might want to follow along or perhaps become part of my cheering section.

*I chose the Essure procedure for the curious


    1. Cheryl

      Thanks Cassie. I keep having to remind myself that I need to take it slow when it comes to the physical exercise. When I was in the gym on a regular basis I had no problems with being on the elliptical for 45 minutes (this was just before I crashed w/the fibro). I wasn’t pushing myself for speed or anything like that yesterday with the twenty minute walk, but I still feel it today. Those stairs I mentioned…yeah, ouch.

      Today will likely be another walking day and not the run 1 minute, walk 4 minutes x 4 that the program calls for.

  1. Lisa

    You got this girl! I built up the same way when I started years ago and find that walking / running / spinning are all great workouts. (Never able to get the same benefits from the elliptical I can get with the running / spinning.)

    1. Cheryl

      Lisa! It took me a moment to realize it was you commenting. I love the elliptical because of the low impact on the joints, but I can’t always make it to a gym. I can however walk just about anywhere.

      I’m having some issues with shinsplints right now with simply walking and I am not certain what the issue actually is – My shoes? The way I walk? I haven’t done anything above 2K yet.

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