May 17, 2013

"Gentle" Running

I've been continuing to exercise by doing 40-min power walking sessions most everyday of the week, only taking one (or sometimes two) days a week off to rest my body.

I've also been adding in jogging.  I'm starting off very carefully with jogging, only jogging about two or three times for about 45 seconds during each walking session. 

When running, my back feels straight up & down, like it should, and my feet hit the ground UNDER my body, instead of out in front of my body, which is how running always felt to me.  My hips are stronger, my core is stronger, and thus running actually feels "natural" now.  Running has NEVER felt "natural" and "fun" to my body before!  I've always had so many muscle imbalances in my hips, core, and back, that it was always a struggle to put one foot in front of the other.  But not anymore :)

I'm terrified of going out too strong or running too much and getting injured.  That is the story of my life.  I'd run strong for a few months and gain mileage and feel pretty good, but then some muscle would suddenly decide it had had enough and would get pulled or strained, and I'd be laid up, practically unable to walk, for a week or two, and by the time I was healthy enough to run again, I'd lost all the ground I had gained and would be back at square one.  I remember once when I was slowly adding sprints into my runs and I pulled my groin muscle and was almost unable to stand by my own power, much less walk, much less run.  Even with ice, Ibuprophen, and rest, it lasted about 2 or 3 weeks.

So I'm going to take this running thing very slow! And I'm still doing mostly power walking and will continue to power walk, and maybe make my jogging repeats last a little longer each time, while focusing on my footfalls, my posture, and trying to envision a "gentle" running stance.  Running has never felt "gentle" to me, but it does now, which just goes to show how out-of-alignment and messed up my body has always been!

May 10, 2013

First Run Since December!

So I've been power walking for 40 minutes a day, most every day, since the first of the year. And I've lost 10 pounds, which is my first real weight loss in over 4 years, so yeah, I'm kinda THRILLED about it! I mean it; I'm ecstatic!

Today during my power walk session, I decided to jog a little to see how I feel, for the first time in months. And guess what? My legs felt stronger than they've EVER felt, and my hips felt like they were in a comfortable neutral position, which has never been true. My hips (and thus my back and legs) have felt like they were off-kilter and tilted outward instead of in a nice neutral position.

But not anymore! I ran probably 1/4 of a mile and felt SO great! It actually felt EASY! I'm pretty sure running has ever felt "easy" for me, but it did today! My body felt like it was strong enough to handle running and like I could continue running for a good long while if I wanted.

What an amazing feeling! And who would've thought that I could repair & strengthen my body by power walking? But I've been feeling like I've been gaining massive amounts of muscle in my glutes, hamstrings, and calves, not to mention that my lower-back pain has completely disappeared since I stopped running and began power walking.

So I'm going to incorporate jogging back into my workout regimen sparsely at first, and then continue with it as I get stronger! So stay tuned!

Oh I almost forgot! I'm doing to do some bragging here: I can hold a Plank for 2 minutes and 15 seconds now! My eventual goal is to be able to hold the Plank pose for 5 minutes; and I'm almost halfway there!

Photo caption: the picture below is my walking/running buddy, Levi! Look at those huge ears! :)

May 3, 2013

Can It Really Be True???

Hello faithful readers,

Guess what???? I've lost 10 pounds since I began power walking for 40 minutes most every day in January! You heard that right, folks!

Ten. Glorious. Pounds. Lost. By me.

I'm beyond thrilled. I'm ecstatic! You know how fitness experts always say that once you begin working out hardcore, don't be surprised when your weight number on the scale stays the same, or even increases? They say not to freak out if the number on the scale doesn't decrease right away, because you're building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat. So I suppose it makes sense if the number on the scale doesn't decrease right away. But it had been between 4 and 5 months for me.

I've been power walking most days of the week for 40 mins each time since at least January, possibly earlier, and I'm JUST NOW seeing legitimate weight loss.

I had been noticing for awhile that the muscles in my legs seemed to be getting stronger and more defined, and that's because I was building muscle by all that power walking. And strong muscles are a GREAT thing, but what can I say? Perhaps I'm a bit vain, but what I'm most thrilled about is that number on the bathroom scale going down.

I'm losing REAL fat, for the first time in almost 5 years!!!!

My goal weight: 155 pounds
My current weight: 198.5
Starting weight: 208
Pounds Lost: 9.5

I've been aiming to eat around 1,750 calories a day, limiting my sugar and increasing fruits & veggies, and power walking 40 mins at an intense pace.

I've been losing around 1.5 pounds per week, and I hope it continues! Praise The Lord for FINALLY experiencing healthy weight loss!