My 2015 Spiritual and
Physical Journey Continues
Yesterday, I wrote about a new tool in my weight loss tool box in my product review post on SweetLeaf Stevia. I shared how I have lost 25 pounds since the beginning of the year and how SweetLeaf Stevia helped me achieve my weight loss. I also have other weight loss tools that I have been using: exercise, a low carb diet, as well as prayer and Bible study.
Exercise has been difficult for me. I had a goal to exercise at least 30 to 45 minutes daily. In January, that was almost impossible because of illness and then lack of motivation from pain. I have shared with you before about my struggles with arthritis and fibromyalgia. My pain is widespread and involves every major joint and muscle area in my body. Some days the pain is intense, especially when cold and wet.
I have also shared with you my verse for the year.
Philippians 4:13 (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Christ has a plan for all of us. He doesn’t want anyone want anyone to suffer from disease or illness. My weight exacerbates my suffering. It is not His will that I am overweight and sick. He wants me at my healthiest so that I can more fully serve Him. My healthiest may not be the same as for others. I know that. Unless Christ chooses to heal my arthritis and fibromyalgia, I am always going to have pain and mobility issues.
I don’t have to let these issues stop me from pursuing Christ’s will for my life, however! I have to exercise my faith and know that Christ will strengthen me and help me succeed at becoming the healtiest I can be even with my diseases.
At the end of February, my church offered a Biggest Loser Contest. The mission : help the congregation become healthier so that we can reach our community for Christ. This was my wake up call. I excitedly joined because we pooled our $10 entry fees into a $500 prize package for the winner. The contest runs through the end of April.
My husband also offered me an incentive. If I lose weight, down to 165 pounds, he is going to buy my a new wardrobe. I only weighed 168 when we first married. I was 232 at the weigh in at my church Sunday; so that means I have 67 more pounds to go. My keys to success are exercise, low carb diet, prayer and Bible study.
I began receiving disability in December. My Humana Medicare pays for a monthly gym membership through their Silver Sneakers program. I love it. I use my local hospital’s wellness center which has joint-friendly exercise machines: recumbent bikes and recumbent steppers. I have a favorite recumbent bike that I use. I started at level 2 for 30 minutes a day, but have worked up to level 6 now. These machines are great. I can sit and exercise my arms and legs without stress on my joints such as my knees. According to an article in WebMD:
“These bikes bikes extend the angle of the joint so that the knee and hip aren’t flexing so much with each rotation, so that it might cause less strain and pain”
My wellness center also has specialized exercise equipment that allow me to lift weights safely. Each machine in the circuit target exact muscle areas. I use them two to three times a week. It takes me about 30 minutes to complete the circuit.
My exercise routine during the week now is as follows: I use the weight lifting machines for 30 minutes and ride my recumbent bike for 20 minutes, two to three times a week. On the days that I don’t use the weight machines, I ride my recumbent bike for 30 to 40 minutes with the goal of increasing my resistance levels each week.
On my first week, I could ride the bikes for only 20 minutes at a resistance level of no more than 3. Now, 12 weeks later, I can ride for 30 to 40 minutes starting at level 3 and steadily increasing to level 6 where I ride for about 20 minutes and then cool down by decreasing the resistance every five minutes to level 3. I also made simlar progress on the weight lifting machine circuit, steadily increasing the resistance weights over the past few weeks.
I am proud of myself and my progress. Today, I rode the recumbent bike and managed to lose 310 calories in 40 minutes. My heart rate averaged 150 for about 15 minutes and then 138 for about another 10 to 15. My face was red and sweat pored down, but I kept at it.
The only downside to the exercise is my recovery time is greater than others may experience because of my illness. Today, I went home and crashed for two hours from exhaustion. I may have overdone it a bit, but tomorrow, I am going back even if it is just to complete the weight machine circuit of exercise!
After exercising, I rest for the rest of the day. I have too. I am so tired and shaky for up to two to three hours afterwards. I am not going to let fatigue and muscle soreness deter me though. I must rest throughout the day afterward, pacing myself so I don’t have any joint or ligiment injuries.
I have a lot of support. The staff at the wellness center are cheering for me. My husband is so supportive and understanding. He and my daughter help me catch up with housework in the evenings.
How are you doing with your One Little Word challenge? My OLW this year is exercise. What is yours? I hope you will share in the comments.
Also does anyone have ideas on how I can maintain my exercise rate and increase my endurance so I am not so exhausted? It may just be something I am going to have to live with because of my diseases? I hope after I lose this weight, I will be able to do more and not just exercise and crash the rest of the day.
My next post on my progress will feature how I am dieting and my strategies to descrease my calorie intake; so, check back for more ideas!
I want to thank all those who are responding so postively and sending me encouragment on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook. I really am appreciative!
I am joining up with these hops today: Two Shoes Tuesday, where the prompt words for the week are offer and out and Holly Mueller’s Spiritual Journey Thursday, where the promt is my OLW exercise. I am participating in Day 26 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge, started by Two Writing Teachers.
Also linking up with these great blog hops: Turn it Up Tuesday, Tell It to me Tuesdays, RaRa Linkup, Testimony Tuesdays, Coffee for Your Heart, Coffee and Conversation, Work in Progress Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party, and Thought-Provoking Thursdays.