Sunday, November 10, 2013

Somber anniversary

This week marks the one year anniversary of my stroke--the thankfully small stroke from which I recovered.  Since then I've worked hard to improve diet.  We are now eating very well, whole grains, lean meats, yummy vegetables, fresh food, reasonable portions--junk food is banned as much as possible.  And exercise!  The hallmark of these efforts has been investing in a personal trainer.

As I mentioned last week, the new trainer has been a disappointment. Her workouts were way too easy and she didn't explain much in the terms of what she was doing or why, or give me important tips. There are other things, but I won't bore you, dear reader. Let's just say she was nothing like my last trainer who taught me a lot. Unfortunately, my last trainer found a better job.

Now, my gym has some phenomenal trainers, mine just isn't one of them.  My husband is on his second and both have been very knowledgeable and helpful, providing him with specific homework for his non-training days and explaining the point of what they were doing--how they were trying to get his arms stronger and things like that.  It's a really nice gym all in all: small and intimate, which I like.

On this one-year anniversary of my stroke I am missing the one goal most dear to my heart.  Getting to the magic "10%" weight loss since my stroke.  Losing 10% of your weight is supposed to have all these heart healthy benefits. A 10% goal over a year's time is modest one and not crazy or faddish. I was 238 at the hospital that fateful day.  When I joined the gym  in March, I was 234 and started losing 3 pounds a month with my first trainer, which was pretty good for me especially with my diet taking time to really get on track. The first trainer had lots of good tips and these took time to incorporate. Plus the gremlin Stress Eating can really mess me up.  But since changing trainers, I've stopped making progress.

As I've mentioned, one of my bosses at work is an Exercise Physiologist.  I like to volunteer as a test subject for the graduate students. I stood on the fancy InBody520 (I ordered it, that's my job) and my weight was 223 and my body fat over 50%.  I was disappointed though not without understanding reality. On October 18, I had hoped to be a bit closer to my modest goal of the magic 214 which would herald the 10% heart healthy loss I've read about. The class also put me through a battery of tests and my fitness level was disappointing. But I learned some important things.  Cheers for higher education!

I will not lose heart!  I went ahead and ordered one of those Tanita Scales from Amazon and a cool Polar heart rate monitor.  They use Polar's in the lab (yes, I order supplies for those too!) and  Tanita scales are reported to be highly regarded.  My boss also recommended I audit the Exercise Physiology course next semester.  I like this idea as I really need to get a handle on what the heart rate is for the "fat burning zone" when I do my cardio. This is why I bought the Polar so I can have an accurate heart rate during workouts and keep myself in that fat burning zone.  I also want to get stronger and I am curious how my heart rate reacts to strength training.

Well, now I am off to see if I can get out of the my modest neighborhood to head north on a short errand. Naperville managed to map out their marathon to block off access to main roads leading north from my neighborhood of modest homes including routes to Edward Hospital!  The ironic part is Edward Hospital is a major sponsor and they strategically placed their booth right at the spot where Washington was blocked so no one could turn north to reach their facility--a public relations tour-de-force! As I love irony, I did nose around and attempt to reach the facility via "the back way." No luck.  I suspect this would not have happened if my neighborhood was filled with the McMansions Naperville is famous for.

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