Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fitness Tuesday: Strengthening the Right Muscles

So if you follow along on facebook and twitter, then you will know that I went to see an orthopedic surgeon about my knee.  I decided it was high time to get in there and find out if it is serious, or if it just needs the proper care.

As of right now, the results are not yet in.  I am waiting on insurance confirmation to have an MRI.  Yippee, right?

The doc told me that I could just be having issues with my patella, aka, knee cap.  I guess it is quite common to have it slide around when you walk and run, resulting in painful popping.  According to the specialist, the patella bone grinds on the femur bone at the joint.  This is what we are hoping is wrong...significantly reducing my need for future surgery.  I like this option, for my hopefully healing time, and for my pocket book.

So, in the mean time, the doctor gave me a simple exercise that would help.  He mentioned how the quadriceps muscle is just that, four different muscles that connect to the knee cap.  What happens is that one muscle becomes stronger than the others, pulling at the knee cap... because there is nothing holding the knee cap down.

The solution?  To strengthen the other muscles in the quad.  The very simple exercise is as follows:

Leg lifts, every day!  You lie flat on your back, and lift one leg half way (not all of the way, as this is not necessarily a core exercise).  Be sure to leave the other leg flat on the ground.  Do equal amounts of reps with both legs.  The doctor encouraged me to do 100 reps a day if I can.  He also said that if it was too easy, to add weight, and to continue to add weight as needed.  You can do that with ankle weights, homemade or bought.

This is the best picture I could find online.
I don't know if it matters if you other leg is straight or not,
I only know that is what my doctor told me to do. 
Info taken via

Here is the kicker (no pun intended... ok, well maybe a little), he said that I won't notice a huge difference for even 3 or 4 weeks, but that with continued strengthening, I would have less and less pain!

So, are you having knee pain and popping when you walk and run?  Maybe you need to strengthen the other muscles in your quad!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Campbell Curtis

PS  DO NOT take my word as a professional opinion.  I am merely sharing my experience for tailored therapy for me personally.  If you have concerns, please contact your local professional!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adversity Thursday: Starting Over

Show me someone who has gone through the weigh loss program who was perfect, and I'll give you a million bucks!

Starting over.  After all, it is a life change, not just losing weight, and hoping that it won't find us again.  It is about changing our thinking, our way of life, and the way we feel about ourselves.

Honestly, part of my extended absence was due to the shame I felt for falling off of the wagon.  Shoot, its my wagon!  Why I didn't just stop it, dust myself off, and get back on, I do not know.

Here is the point where, in the past, I have felt the urge to give up.  I'm really good at losing 20lbs, but the rest isn't easy!  In fact, it is down right hard to change the way you have been thinking for any number of years.  So how do I put my train back on the track and begin again?  One wheel at a time (I just made that one up). :)

I've started integrating healthier options back into my diet.  That is a great place to start.  I have not been exercising, so my next step is to do so.  Then along with that, my next step is to start drinking my 3 liters of water.  You might be at a different place, but start where you know that you can succeed.  Once you have succeeded in that, then add on another mini challenge and goal.

Starting over is a good chance to apply what you have learned about yourself from the previous go around, to be more successful than before!  For me, I cannot pressure myself to post everyday like I did before.  If I miss, I miss.  I cannot stress out and lose weight... Worst Enemy shows that is impossible for me.

Good luck on your restart, if you are restarting!  If not, I commend you for having more will power than I over the holidays.

Happy losing!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Green Smoothie

I had been wanting to try this for quite some time now.  I just never got around to making it.  I have a friend who showed, a group of women and I, how to make it.  It is super easy, and I have been making it since.  The whole family loves it!  Even Baby K!  I'm going to have to make one just for him, because he always wants to drink mine... and he gets mad when I take it from him.

Green Smoothie

Spinach or Kale
1 cup filtered water
Any fruit really...
Ice if you like it cold.

I listed a lot of ingredients here, but you don't need all of these fruits.  Just a few.  Fill a blender with spinach to the top.  Pour in water, and blend on high.  Once all of the leaves are blended, add the fruits that you want!  So far, I have love strawberries, bananas, and grapes.  I have also put an apple into it, and I thought it turned out great!  The funny thing is, that it looks like it won't be that great.  However it does taste super good!

The particular smoothie pictured above contains, spinach, an unpeeled apple, banana, strawberries, and 1/2 cup orange juice.  I could see putting mango, and pomegranate seeds could be tasty too!

Drinking these foods is a great way to ensure that our bodies get all of the nutrients that it needs.  Our body will absorb more of it than when we eat it.  Start with your green smoothie for breakfast.  My friend suggests drinking a serving for breakfast, and then drinking the rest throughout the day.  Then eat your other meal/s.  Be sure to watch your portions on the later meals.

Be sure to alternate kale and spinach or other greens in order to prevent the building a tolerance for any one.  Yum yum!

Try it out, and let me know how you like it!

Happy losing!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm Back!

Hello my friends!

I suppose many of you have wondered where I have been... well, I have not been on my blog.  I haven't even logged on.  For the longest time, I could not bring myself to do it for some reason.  I have learned something about myself in the last few months that I didn't know completely before.  Here it is.

I do not want to be a career blogger.  I do not like being held to deadlines.  I do not want to feel pressured to keep writing.

That feels better to say.

So, I decided to not give up on my blog.  However, I am not going to kill myself to get a post a day.  I love this blog, and it has been such a great learning experience for me.  It has also been a great motivator for me to eat right and exercise.

I bet you are all wondering if I have kept the 20 pounds off that I lost.  I am chagrined to announce that I did not.  I gain quite a bit of it back... not all of it, but more that I should have.  I haven't weighed in for a while, so I'm not sure where I am at today.  The holidays got the better of me.  There were way too many sweets, and I let myself indulge a lot.

Anyway, I am working to get back on track.  My new love is the green smoothie, and I am working on integrating that into the diet of my whole family!  They all love it.  The swelling in my knee has drastically decreased, and the thing that has kept me off of it, in terms of serious exercise is having it swell back up.  It was painful, and I do not want to re-injure myself... whatever my weight may be, re-injury is not worth it.  Re-injury would set me back even further, than the original injury did.

I am looking forward to getting some equipment here in the next few months.  Like a bike, and a few other things.  Once I get that bike, then I will be full speed ahead, in doing serious cardio and exercise.  At this point, I am afraid to run.  I can walk, and I will... but I get restless just walking.  I want more.  I love to run.

These are my thoughts and feelings as of today!

Here is a list of things that have happened to us in the last few months.
I celebrated my 9th anniversary with my most amazing husband, Jason.
I turned 28.
My oldest daughter turned 8.
She was baptized into our church.
My parents and Jason's parents both visited.

Now, I'm ready to get back to the grind...the life change included.

PS  Happy New Year!

Evelyn Campbell Curtis