Sunday, September 11, 2011

The pain of exercising??

So I have a confession to make...I love exercise. No really, I do. I love doing it, I love how it  makes me feel. I'll pretty much try anything and give 110%. But recently I fell into the trap of punishing myself with exercise. Not in an exercise bulimia sort of way, but in a "no pain, no gain" sort of way. Now I know that you need to push yourself outside of your current fitness level to see gains. But I was pushing way outside of the envelope. Partly due to exercising with videos by Jillian Michaels and in the spirit of P90x and similar programs. I have seen so many people end up with injuries from these, yet I had told myself if I wasn't killing myself with some crazy exercise, I wasn't doing myself any good.

So then it happened. About 3 weeks ago I had an 80 minute workout on the agenda to make up for a missed workout earlier in the week. So I went for a run, a hard run. I really enjoyed it. Then I decided I would try out my new Bob Harper kettlebell workout. By the time all was said and done I had exercised hard for over 90 minutes and had a hurting hip. When I looked back over my exercise log I hadn't taken a rest day in several weeks. But no bother, I figured I was tough and would exercise through it. I was sure it wasn't that bad. Until it got worse and worse. So after Tuesday's miserable walk (hello, a 20 minute walk killed me), I decided I needed time away from exercising. I gave myself a week off...I lasted 3 days. Last night I just had to do something, so I did pilates. Tonight I did yoga. Both felt good. Tonight as I was reflecting I thought back to a little less than 3 years ago...

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both knees (I was 30 at the time). The pain was so bad I couldn't sit down or stand up without significant pain. I could not walk (slowly) more than 5 minutes without pain. So I figured I had to do what I could. That's when I started doing pilates again as well as doing some gentle therapeutic yoga. I was about 25 pounds heavier than I am now, and just doing those two things, I started losing weight. I slowly added in walking, stopping as soon as my knee pain started. I started by walking 2.5 mph for 5 minutes and over a few months(!) built up to 20 minutes. But you know what, my knee pain decreased and my weight was coming off. Then once I was better I started doing crazy working out and do you know what I realized tonight...that's when my weight loss slowed.

I think what I do is allow myself to eat more when I'm exercising hard. So for the next week I'm only doing pilates and yoga...and focusing on my eating. Then I'll slowly add back in walking, jogging, biking, and strength training in healthy amounts. I'm seriously considering getting rid of the exercise DVD's that cause me to harm myself:) I really do want to be able to exercise for the long haul.

And to remind can't outwork a bad diet.

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