Finally break down and buy clothes in a larger size.
A few weeks ago, I was really quite anxious about discontinuing the physical therapy for my back. I'd made such good progress with the twice-weekly appointments, and I was afraid of losing my momentum. And the only way to retain the benefits was going to be keeping up with the exercises and stretching on my own -- a daunting proposition.
As I am easily distractable and prone to procrastination, I have never been good at exercising in my home, preferring gym memberships to provide the impetus (if I'm paying for something, I'm damn well going to use it!). Somehow over the last few years, though, we've managed to put together a very creditable little exercise area in our basement -- recumbent bike, 593-in-one weight machine, stability balls, a couple of hand weights, and a cheap DVD player -- and I knew that armed with a couple of rubber therabands, I could easily replicate all of my physical therapy moves at home.
The trouble is, my full, formal physical therapy cycle took me 90+ minutes to complete, and the prospect of trying to carve out that kind of time at home on a regular basis made me panic. I finally came up with an idea, though: I'd chop my full routine into three portions of roughly 30 minutes each, and do them on subsequent nights. The fourth night, I'd take a break.
With my therapists' blessings, I bid them farewell and I embarked on this plan a couple of weeks ago. Here is what is working for me:
- Day 1 is for stability and strength work.
- Day 2 is for cardio (which I always shirked at PT, because it's SO FROCKING BORING).
- Day 3 is for intensive stretching.
- Day 4 is for homemade blueberry sorbet and reruns of FLIPPING OUT on Bravo.
- The way I've structured this, Day 3 feels like a freebie. Don't get me wrong, the stretching is critical for my continued pain-reduced state, but it's not like working. Plus, it feels great.
- If something comes up (like drinks with my lovely friend Maureen after work) and I miss a night
due to drunkenness, I can call that day Day 4 and just hop back into the cycle the next day without feeling like I've completely fouled up the schedule.
- Our weekday evenings are pretty highly structured: the kids bathe between 7:45 and 8:15, Michael reads to them at 8:30, and they read to themselves between 9 and tuck-in (around 9:45 for the summer). Which pretty much gives me between 8:30 and 9:45 to fit in my roughly 30 minutes of exercise.
- The DVD player is key, as are discs of SPORTS NIGHT (the Aaron Sorkin TV series, not actual sports) and LA FEMME NIKITA (the TV series, not the movie).
My back continues to improve bit by bit, and my waistline is reasserting itself. (Hi, obliques! I've missed you!) I seem to have dropped a few pounds, probably because I'm doing more cardio each week than I was with PT. Interestingly, I'm having fewer pains and pangs in my kidneys and liver, as well. And I just plain old feel better, in general.
How to Start: buy new, bigger clothes, and then trick yourself into starting small.
How to Keep Going: be sure to have DVDs of old TV series on hand. And take the time to realize how much better you feel when you Just Do It.