Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a long, strange trip it's been...

I'm sitting next to my suitcases, in preparation to fly back home to Kazakhstan tomorrow. As I think back over the last three months, I see that the activity of life in general has a way of muscling in on my concentrated efforts at achieving optimum health. Well, not so concentrated over the last month. This road wellness takes a lot of effort to stay on track consistently. I've never been one to remain consistent and focused on anything for very long, so I'm breaking an old habit of giving up and re-wiring my brain to stay on course.

Hauling 50 lb. suitcases has done me in this week! My knees are in pain, my shoulder is aching, so much for physical therapy and cortizone shots. I feel old and feeble. I need one of those strapping young men, like a personal porter, to carry my bags for me. Yes, that's it, a strapping young man to do my bidding...oh, the thoughts I'm thinking!

Ok, so I went to my women's retreat. If you're at a crossroads in your significant relationship and are wanting the relationship, and yourself, to grow up and expand, you need to go to the women's retreat put on by the Marriage and Family Health Center of Loveland, Co. This retreat is not for the faint of heart! Be prepared to do some serious emotional work. It's like concentrated therapy, very fast moving and profound. I learned a lot about myself, looked squarely in the face of my life and how I do things, and came out with a new sense of purpose for myself. It was a very enriching experience, plus, I met and befriended a lot of amazing women and have come away from the retreat with a whole new support network. Additionally, if you ever wanted a safe forum to discuss and learn more about sex, this is the one!

By Wednesday morning, I'll be back home and starting a fresh routine of exercise. I've got some planning to do while I'm on the plane. My injuries are going to be limiting my fitness opportunities. I need to stay with walking, but increase it to three hour-long walks a day at an RPE (Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale) between 12-14 (somewhat hard). Once my knee starts feeling better, I'll switch in different activities for the walking, like my Shimmy and Core Rhythms DVDs, and my rowing machine. If I'm really serious about losing weight, I have to be really committed to a higher level of cardio exercise.

For weight training, I've got some modifications to do for my arms (no more than 5 lbs.) and continue with my physical therapy exercises to strengthen my rotator cuff. I've also got to continue with strengthening my quadraceps. The pain I'm experiencing will go away with Aleve over the next few days, and I won't be prone to as many strains with more weight loss, but strengthening those muscles is of utmost importance to avoid further injures to my knees.

My food choices are more limited in Kazakhstan, especially with cooler weather setting in. I'll have to get my spinach started in my Aerogarden, and see if I can find frozen vegetables that will meet my needs. Winter squash will be showing up soon, which is an excellent source of dietary fiber, as are beets and cabbage, which are ubiquitous in Russian cuisine. I also have to stock up on meats for the winter. When it get's icy outside, that's not the time I need to be slipping around at the market parking lot with my bum knee.

I'm still weighing in at 314 lbs. My weight went up (by 10 lbs.!) over the last month, due to a lot of eating out and my exercise tapering off while traveling. But once I cut that off, it dropped back down again. I look forward to breaking 300 lbs. soon, I hope before Christmas. I'm not feeling anxious about that number any more. And once I break it, I will have lost nearly 50 lbs. and 30% of my goal will have been achieved!

Ok, I'll chat with you in a couple of weeks, after I've gotten past the jet lag and gotten the house in order, and more importantly, back into my routine.