Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fitness Update: Weeks 6 & 7

Clearly I've been a procrastinator with my accountability posts. I'm behind 2 weeks and a lot has happened since then and I don't even know where to begin!

Caffeine Free
On June 29th I decided to kick coffee and caffeine to curb for health reasons. As many of you may or may not know I was diagnosed with TMJD which is the disorder of the Temporomanibular Joint (AKA: the jaw joint) a couple years ago after I slipped and fell in the bathtub and my face caught my fall. Not only did I give myself a pretty bad concussion, it was also the beginnings of a very painful and annoying journey with my left side of my face. About 9 months ago it was so bad that I was on a soft food diet, meaning that I couldn't eat anything harder than a banana. I was eating soup, baby food, and smoothies for 6 months. It was 6 months of HELL and chronic pain. I was jacked up on muscle relaxers, pain killers, antidepressants, and sleep aids. Even in a drug haze, the pain was constant and annoying to say the least. Let's just say that I wasn't a happy camper for 6 months. 

Let's fast forward 9 months to present day. I can finally eat solid foods as long as they're not too chewy or too hard (think steaks, carrots, almonds, etc.), my stress levels are significantly less than they were back when my jaw was 50 shades of jacked up, and I've kicked all my prescriptions to curb. Even after all of these changes to my lifestyle and health, my jaw was still bothering me. It's like it never fully relaxes and it's tense all the time. Imagine clenching your jaw 24/7 without a break. Now you know how my jaw feels. 

I kept waking up with facial soreness around my jaw, temples, and behind my neck. I couldn't figure out what was going on as I am religious about wearing my night guard. I briefly mentioned this in a thread on the Livestrong Community and someone mentioned that they had the same issue but got better by giving up caffeine. So it hit me - caffeine is a stimulant which can affect your nerves. Part of TMJD is nerve damage or sensitive nerves so a stimulant can wreck havoc to the nerves in the TMJ. Needless to say I had an "aha" and "dee de dee" moment all at the same time. I was an avid coffee drinker because I needed the caffeine and because I love the taste of coffee. I figured that it was worth a shot to give up the caffeine in order to help better my jaw.

Low and behold, two days later I had no facial pain and minimal jaw pain! I was sold, however, the side affects were pretty bad. I was EXHAUSTED and grumpy. It was hard to concentrate and do my work. Twelve days later, here I am caffeine free, minimal jaw pain, and I'm still tired. Can't win all the battles I guess.

Weight Loss
The past two weeks have been pretty consistent with losses both in inches and pounds. I've been working out 6 out 7 days and my eating has been fairly consistent at 1700 calories a day. Although 4th of July weekend was a bit of a challenge to say the least. I managed to maintain my "maintenance" calories (2100) and not go over so that was a relief. So without further ado, here's the tally for the month of June:
  • June end weight: 159.4 (-5.6 pounds)
  • Bicep: 12 1/2 inches (-1/2 inch)
  • Forearm: 8 1/2 inches (-1 1/2 inches)
  • Wrist: 6 inches (-1/2 inch)
  • Bust: 39 inches (no loss - but I'm okay with that ;))
  • Under bust: 35 inches (no loss)
  • Waist: 33 inches (-1 inch)
  • Hips: 42 inches (the loss has been up 1/2" and down 1/2" = wash)
  • Thigh: 22 1/2 inches (no loss)
  • Calf: 14 3/4 inches (-1/4 inch)
As I mentioned, the 4th of July wasn't that kind to me and this girl was smart enough to measure & weigh the day after. Can we say water weight?! Here's the stats for last week:
  • Weight: 161.2 (+1.8 pounds)
  • Calf: 14 3/4"
  • Thigh: 22" (-1/2 inch)
  • Hips: 41 1/2" (-1/2 inch)
  • Waist: 33" 
  • Under bust: 35"
  • Bust: 39"
  • Wrist: 6"
  • Forearm: 8 1/5"
  • Bicep: 12" (-1/2 inch)
As you can see by the stats, it's equally important to weigh and measure. I gained 1.8 pounds but I also lost 1/2 inch in various places. The reason for the gain? It could've been a variety of different things...I did a rigorous Kettlebell workout the day before and lifting weights can cause weight gain the next day. I also ate 2,000 calories on the 4th which might have caused me to retain water, hence the water weight gain. Whatever the cause may have been, there was still loss of inches and in my opinion a loss is still a loss. Moral of the story - measure the treasure AND weigh yourself.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to start doing forearm planks as there was a plank challenge on the Livestrong Community. I figured why not challenge myself since I was horrible at planking. I started off small with a 30 second plank and then moved up from there in 5-10 second intervals. As of 07/10/13 I'm at a 2 minute 25 second plank! This is HUGE considering where I started and what my goal is (5 minutes). Every day I add on another 5 seconds to the plank. I'll keep you guys posted on the progress in my weekly check ins.

In addition to the planking successes, I'm proud to say that I did something that I thought was impossible. I woke up at 5:30AM to be at the gym for a 6AM spin class! Whaaaaaat?! That never happens! I can barely wake up to get to work on time, let alone go to the gym to get my sweat on. Spin class was a success and I've found my new favorite cardio class to go to. If you haven't tried it, I would highly recommend it. I will forewarn you, it's not for the faint of heart and make sure to get a bike pad or wear a butt pad because your tush is going to HURT like a mother effer! I could barely sit for 3 days after that darn class!

Well folks, that's a wrap! I'll check back in in a few days for this week's progress. Be strong and if you see a donut, just say no!