Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Weigh in

Today, 9 stone, 8 3/4 lbs. Why is there so often three-quarters of a pound? I'm now in the 12th month of the diet, having visited the doctor on 29th October last year and been told that the pain and lack of movement in my right leg was caused by an arthritic hip. At that time, I was perilously close to 11 stone. I'd call it 11 stone, except it wasn't quite and I still clutch at that straw.

But that isn't what I meant to write about tonight. The other morning, lying in bed, I rubbed my aching right thigh. It was aching because I'd been going up and down stairs and ladders painting my flat-to-let in London. On Sunday, once I was home, I got on my bike, just to go a few hundred yards and it really hurt. My left leg had to do all the work and my right one just went round and round on the pedal - I quickly abandoned my plan to cycle 2 miles to my lunch engagement and went in the car instead.

So, when I felt the hardness of my thigh, I wasn't sure whether it was muscular tension or simply muscle. But the ache is better now and so I tried again this morning. Ooh, muscles! I don't know much about muscles except the ones everyone knows, but it's the ones at the sides and the front. Rock hard, darlings. As I prodded my way down, I could feel when there started to be some 'give' under the skin.

Today, I cycled in to town for the first time in a week (horrible weather yesterday) and it was very windy. I felt the benefit of having used some different muscles last week though - well, I think that's what I was feeling the benefit of, and I felt quite strong. Coming home was a beast though - a strong wind almost in my face and at one time I had to stand up on the pedals to make any headway at all, and that was on a flat road! My son in law said to El that this morning he had felt he was cycling with the brake on.

Anyway, at least I know that the bike is having some effect on my muscles. It's also good for my lungs. I would like to think of another sort of exercise that I actually would like to do, to work some other muscles. Getting out with the pruning saw is good for my arms, but I wonder what else I could do? I don't want to go to a gym, I really don't like swimming and I have to be careful with my legs, so can't walk long distances regularly and I can't run at all, literally. Three steps and I'm lurching.

The obvious thing is rowing, because it exercises the whole body, particularly the trunk and the arms, but the small downside is that I don't have a boat and our boathouse (yes, we have one) is in need of renovation. When we left our dinghy overturned on the bank, it got stolen, unsurprisingly. And it's the wrong time of year to get started, plus I don't have time. This is a project for another year. So, for now, what else? I can't think of anything at the moment, can you?


badgerdaddy said...

I can think of something... Get yourself a Swiss ball, aka a gym ball. If you get one and it comes with a programme to follow, you're sorted. They can be used with light weights for a great workout too, or withough and you get the most perfect core strength exercises. Best of all, you can do it in the home, it looks hilarious and the balls usually cost less than a tenner. For core strength, there is honestly nothing better. And it sounds like everything else you're doing is sorting cardio, upper body etc.
Also, you could look into some basic floor exercises which use body weight and gravity for resistance.

All good stuff. And well done with all this, by the way.

Been away. Back now. More soon.

Z said...

Dilly has one, which she bought when she was pregnant, but I don't understand what you're supposed to do with it.

Ok, let's Google.

Chris Comfort will show me.

I'm afraid it was so boring that I couldn't even watch it for 4 minutes. Thank you, dear Badge, and I know you are right, but can you really see me do that? I am 55 years old and I have my dignity and my low boredom threshold to consider; also I am deeply practical and I need what I do to have some use. I'll give it some thought, and maybe try to watch the video again, but the exercises made him look a bit of a tit and I am a bit reluctant, also the thought makes my back ache.

Z said...

I thought I'd been a bit negative there, so I looked again, for a woman this time, and found the lovely Kim Strothers. It still looks a bit more like purposeful exercise than I'm quite comfortable with, but rather more possible. I'll borrow Dilly's and see if it might be something I would do more than twice. Cheers, peach.

badgerdaddy said...

It is basically ridiculous, but it's incredibly cheap and amazingly effective. You would get benefits from just using the ball for 15 minutes a day.

And as for hurting the back... Quite the opposite. A strong core means no back pain ever! Well, no muscular back pain, at least.

It's worth a try, especially as there's one in the family, as you point out...

Z said...

15 minutes a day? Fuck me, darling (no not you, sorry, just a figure of speech) if I do this at all then ten minutes twice a week will be a miracle and only done at all because I like you and don't want to reject a sensible suggestion out of hand.

Not that I've given it a go yet.