Lower Back Pain – The Fix

Over this past year, I’ve struggled with lower back pain.  I noticed when I get out of the car or stand up from sitting position, that I have to give my lower back time to adjust before standing straight up.   Then I begin walking in a way to stabilize/isolate the lumbar region which is similar to a “duck walk” waddling back and forth for a few steps.  What is happening to me and why???

Lower back pain.  I’m sure it’s in part, one of the outcomes from our move back in August.  About a year ago, I remember moving a heavy computer desk.  It was part of the de-cluttering phase to get our home ready to sell.  The desk was closer to the door initially which made the room look smaller.  Therefore, I took out the table on the other side of the desk and moved it back closer to corner of the room which made room look larger.

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As I lifted up on the desk, something happened in my back.  I felt the sharp pain and then tingling. Never had that before.  For the days, weeks and months following, my back was a major issue.

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To get through the move with all the lifting and bending, I purchased a back brace.

It helped some but was terribly annoying because each time I straightened up, had to readjust my pants and such.

It’s now become such an issue that I am forced to take action.  I looked online and found that it’s probably a bulging disc or discs.  I’m seeing my doc this week and will talk to him about it but also going to correct some things myself.

 

Use lumbar supportive cushion in desk chair, sofa and car seat.  

I’m sitting in my desk chair now with a pillow behind my lower back and feet planted square of the ground.  This is helping immensely.  When I get up out of the chair, I turn it to the side, brace the arms of the chair and life up to standing position.  There’s no pain.

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Do exercises that force the lower back to arch in correct position.

I found this graphic below which is a great outline of the exercises that help reduce lower back pain.

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Work on posture with stomach tucked especially while walking/running.

Also, I notice my back hurts while lying in bed.  Check out the helpful images below of how to position pillows to help with such.

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This is my plan.  I let myself get so out of shape over last 2 or 3 years, that things like this are popping up now.

Hoping to get back to better health soon and with it, a stronger back for better support.

 

Feed Your Spirit

Feed Your Spirit

There’s something about the peace of the morning and the cool air that is nourishing.  The added benefit of a foggy morning gives way to some of the most beautiful sights, like the sun coming up over the trees.  I saw this on my way back from my 3 miles today.IMG_2271

I am still struggling to get back to a regular schedule but today I really felt stronger and went the full 3 miles.  I probably could have gone further but 3 miles was my goal today.  The inside of my left knee had a ping in it but those kind of things are expected.  Saturday, will be my first long run/walk.

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The road ahead is always an unknown but just like the guy in the TV ad says,  “A body in motion, stays in motion.”  To train for a long distance race, it takes discipline, consistency, commitment, perseverance, strength, courage, heart and soul.  It causes you to draw upon your inner strength and push yourself a little further than you’ve gone before.  Never increasing miles though beyond 10% a week to prevent injury.

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The training also forces you to enjoy the outdoors.

My plan for today…

  • Attend Mass
  • Cook for the week.
  • Fix salads/Eggs (empty jars are ready to fill)

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  • Homemade Veggie/Pepperoni Pizza with corn crust
  • Chicken and beef Tacos
  • Hamburgers and Potatoes/Corn on Cobb
  • Refill bird feeders and corn holders outside
  • Some laundry
  • Prep for the week ahead
  • Drink plenty of water – maybe some wine too 🙂

 

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Enjoy your Sunday!

The Weekend Cook

I like to cook up most of our meals on the weekend.  We moved into a new home in August, so I am still getting use to the kitchen.  I’ve felt a little out of sync.  This is how things look in my frig when I’m on it.  Also, studies show that the best way to stay on a diet is if you plan ahead.

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Tip of the day

Apparently grape juice prevents stomach flu.  Drinking a few sips a day between January and March is suppose to do it.  I’ll let you know if it works for us.  Half of the city I live in is sick with colds and flu currently.  The YMCA canceled a health expo because of such. 😦

Food Portioning

Smaller portions of food are easier for my husband Jim, to handle since he is disabled and has trouble holding onto large casserole dishes.  I found he was bypassing my cooked meals in the casseroles for a protein bar or anything handy because of such.

Portioning is also ideal for lunches on the go and dieting in general.

Some of the things I do with the “lunch tray”  container is pan seared chicken breasts with asparagus and sweet potato wedges.  I also sauteed spinach in olive oil with garlic and onion and added that in the last section.

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The sweet potatoes are so easy.  Just put on a greased cookie sheet and spray with oil.  Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

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If you are doing the “Six Meals a Day” plan, low fat cottage cheese with 4 Melba Toast crackers is a good mid morning or afternoon snack.  Yogurt with fruit is too.    So much easier in the morning rush to grab an individual container of such instead of the larger container and then have to portion it out for the day.

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This is a great and quick way to prepare chicken breasts for lunch.  Sear them with a tiny bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings.  I prepared my salads last night so they are ready along with the boiled eggs.  A standard for daily lunch.

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What is better than spinach to top it off.  I fixed mine quickly with onions, garlic and olive oil.

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Station Break…My Favorite Things

I always crave tacos with Old El Paso “Medium” taco sauce.  They have to have heated crunchy shell, taco flavored ground chuck (Old El Paso taco seasoning).  A few spinach leaves and shredded cheddar.  This isn’t a diet food item, just love them.  Don’t deprive yourself of things you crave.  This is mine.  Had some on Saturday.

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Hope you have a great work week!  See you online!

Salads to Go

One of the best gadgets for creating fresh crisp salads , is the Salad Spinner.  After soaking and rinsing the lettuce, just put the torn leaves into the Spinner basket and with a few hard presses, centrifugal force pulls the water away from the leaves.  I fill it just half way with lettuce and do this twice for each half basket full.

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In the past I would combine the salad for the week in a big bowl minus the dressing.

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Now I have a better way…

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It’s salad in a jar.  Very easy to create.  After cleaning and chopping all of the veggies, fruit, etc., just assemble.  Dressing goes in first then all of the wet produce (tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, berries).  Follow that with lettuce, and other leafy greens.  Make sure it’s stuffed not allowing for air, then seal Mason jar with lid.

I like to have boiled eggs handy to throw into a lunch along with the salad jar and some yogurt.  It’s fast and helps me get my 3 cups of raw veggies in each day.

The jars keep for a good week – sometimes up to 10 days.  These salad jars have Romaine and Butter lettuce with cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, olives and a Ranch dressing.

Try it and then circle back and tell me your favorite salad combo.

Have a great day and make it count!

Pain…Hello Old Friend

How soon you forget all of the pings and pain that you pushed through early on in training.  After only a half mile, the muscles in my lower legs ached.  Almost a welcomed feeling.  Your first thought is to stop, but then you remember.  In the past it took to get to mile 3 sometimes before that pain went away.

That was my cue to push through it.

Today with the wind chill well below 0 Fahrenheit, I gathered up my gumption and headed to the Y.  Not being a member and not wanting to spend precious time filling out forms, I bargained with the clerk to let me do the treadmill today and I’ll come back with forms filled out tomorrow.

He agreed.

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Because I am starting from 3+ years of doing nothing, I walked 2 miles at a pace of 3.4 miles per hour.  Could have gone another mile but not going to push it for today.

It felt pretty good and I just kept telling myself, “Be patient it will all come back in time.”

I don’t plan to spend all of my time at the Y, but on days like this, I’ll now have some where to go that is close to home.

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I love winter.

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Will be back out there soon enough.  For now, the treadmill is my friend.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Frozen Face Frost

I watched a man running today in my neighborhood.

Wishing that was me, I made my way out to the great outdoors 2 hours later.

Bogged down with several layers and a scarf in front of my mouth, I headed out.  After 1 mile, I headed back into the warmth of my home.

Who am I kidding…I’m 56 and out of shape.  Breathing those cold temps in can negatively affect my heart.  Heading to the gym tomorrow.

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Tonight’s full moon…

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As I cook our New Years Eve dinner.  This year for the first time ever, we chose to stay home.  It’s all good.  I think it’s a good sign for the road ahead.

Happy New Year and thanks for following my blog.  #PeaceOut!

How to Rock 2018

How to Rock 2018

I just came back from a three year exercise/diet  hiatus.  I won’t bore you with the details as to why, but I’m older and heavier which makes it harder to get back into an exercise routine.  I started running because I wanted to run a half marathon before I turned 50.  Since then I’ve finished six half’s and one full marathon.  My last race was in the fall of 2013.

So this is going to be my comeback.

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I’ve signed on to Noom to help with a diet to lose the weight and get an exercise plan.  Also pulling up some good recipes and plans from past.

Maybe a little too ambitious but I’m signing up for the Shape Half Marathon in New York’s Central Park on April 14.    #WomenRunTheWorld #BigMotivation

So here’s my plan:

Stay Hydrated…

  • 64 ounces of water each day.

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Diet:

  • 1200 calorie diet – low sugar, salt and fat from all food groups.
  • Enlisted help of Noom.
  • Follow 6 small meals each day.
  • Cook everything on  weekend and prepare lunches for the week.

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Exercise:

  • Start off with 3 mile walks and some core strengthening exercises.
  • Build up to light jogs.
  • Increase strength training and intensity over time.
  • Warm up and cool down.
  • Stretching

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Psychology:

  • Create a video in my  mind of what it will be like to be fit again.
  • Get great music on tap to listen to during such.

There’s more to the plan but this is just to get me started.