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Help! Need a little motivation to keep going

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Old 04-09-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default Help! Need a little motivation to keep going

I haven't been able to run since developing runner's knee this past December. Since then I've adapted my workout routine by using the elliptical/stationary bike, increased my weight training to 3x/wk, & trying to eat a little better.

Nevertheless, I'm up 4 lbs & my favorite size 6 blk jeans is a little too snug. I knew I'd gain a little weight because the elliptical doesn't give me the endorphin rush as running does & it's difficult for me to get motivated to workout as often or for as long - so I'm not getting as much cardio as I used to.

The knee pain is decreasing but it's still there so I'm going to give it at least a few more months. It's just difficult for me to keep going on some days (especially when I'm PMS-ing like today). The past month I found myself skipping a workout here & there & having one too many pastries at work - something I never used to do.

I know nobody can really tell I've gained back a few lbs but I can and it doesn't feel good & I'm afraid of gaining more. There's been a lot of stress at work too & that's not helping.

This is my 1 1/2 year maintenance month & the first time I've gained more than 2 lbs that I haven't been able to take off. Any words of wisdom/motivation is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear you not able to run anymore. Is this a permanent thing?

I find that having really good music helps with the elliptical (nothing helps with the bike IMHO ) I also have downloaded some C25K podcasts and use those to do intervals on the elliptical. He does all the timing for you, and plays some techno music to boot. (Google Robert Ullrey, or C25K podcasts and you'll find them) Not the same as running outdoors I agree, but better than watching the clock.... And are you working out hard with your weights? Do you have a program or something like New Rules of Lifting to follow?

And while exercise helps, more than 80% of weight loss is the food you eat.

You are smart to turn this around NOW, and you can! Don't throw away all your hard work because you've hit a bump in the road.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:35 PM   #3
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I have dealt with this, almost exactly. It's HARD to have an injury and not be able to push yourself, and it can sabotage you and get you into "why bother?" mode...which, as you're learning, can be disasterous for maintenance.

In running, it's particularly easy to give yourself goals to strive for, which is important for me in maintenance...something like running an extra mile can really give you a boost in terms of pushing yourself. So when I'm unable to run (tricky knees here, too!), I work on giving myself other goals to strive for. Weightlifting goals, goals about lengths of workouts or intensities...working in other cardio opportunities that work with my physical limitations but allow me to make progress (like swimming), etc. Maybe you can set a goal to lift more in your weight training, or up your cardio time by 10 minutes, or work up to a higher pace on the elliptical. Maybe you can take up a new activity, like bicycling, that gives you a new, knee-friendly challenge, or try something like yoga or pilates with a video at home. Whatever you can do to inspire yourself to keep progressing is good.

I also went back to a strategy I employed during weight loss..the sticker chart! I set clear goals for myself and give myself a sticker for each day I complete that goal (for example, I used "eat 1400-1600 calories" as a daily goal, and set goals for the number of workouts to complete in a week...2 strength training, 5 cardio sessions of 60 min or more, etc). I gave myself stickers on a calendar chart every day I met one of those goals. As the stickers added up, I got rewards that would help me keep going...a new yoga mat, new gym clothes, fancy spices to make my cooking tastier and exciting, etc. It really pushed me to meet the goals I set, even when I was feeling sorry for myself...I wanted my darned stickers that day, so I was going to EARN them. It helped a LOT.

You are very smart to turn this around, and you can do it!
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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Thank you for all your help...or as we say in Hawaii - Mahalo!

WaterRat: my sports medicine doctor says I should be able to recover 100% but to be patient because it may take a while. I've made up my own weight lifting program & I try to vary it by changing up my equipment & moves. However, I think I'm just bored & need something new so I'll check out the New Rules of Weightlifting. Also, I depended too much on working out as opposed to eating better so I really need to work at my nutrition choices so I'm back on fitday.

mandalinn: it is difficult mentally to nurse an injury especially since this is my 1st experience...it's made me feel very vulnerable. You're so right I need to set new goals. My husband dusted off our stationary bike & it still works! So i've set mini goals to work out on the elliptical then the bike for a change of pace & to increase my cardio. I do use the calendar sticker trick too - I've found I need visual motivation so I have 2 calendars - one at home & one at work. Maybe I'll hang my blk size 6 jeans somewhere prominent to remind myself (which is what I did before).
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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Hi workingmom,

I'm had short-term injuries in the past to deal with, though not long term. Once I developed some kind of runner's knee (didn't have health insurance at the time so there was no doc's visit or official diagnosis), so I didn't run at all for about a month. I also wasn't a member of the gym at the time, and didn't have access to much equipment at home, which meant I didn't do much exercise for the time. About two years later I had to have foot surgery to remove a foreign body from my foot. Due to personal commitments I couldn't get surgery immediately, so I waited a month, then had to heal for several weeks before I could do much impact exercise. Both times I was terrified I would regain weight, but didn't. I really buckled down and stuck to my healthy eating habits and didn't overeat. With the foot surgery I was allowed to do weightlifting and "20 minutes of elliptical if it's not hurting your foot" (doctor's orders), so I did exactly that. I couldn't run, which I was doing quite a bit at the time, as that really hurt my foot. I didn't know if I could do it, but somehow I impressed upon my body that those would be really bad times to take up old overeating and junk-food eating habits (if only I know where I put that willpower now, when I'm able to work out freely yet am struggling with my weight ).

As mentioned by Amanda and Pat, I think your diet will be the most important. If you're not burning quite as many calories, eat a little bit less (duh, don't mean to sound patronizing). Do you belong to a gym? Maybe you could try new forms of cardio or classes offered by the gym, or if not, what's around you. The elliptical, biking, and swimming all come to mind as knee-friendly cardio activities. Since you said you can do weightlifting maybe you could find or come up with circuit training type routines, where you're moving from exercise to exercise quickly so that your heart rate stays up. Maybe do some yoga? Hop over to the exercise forum, open a magazine, search the web for some new fitness ideas (of course run them by your doc before trying them).

I know it can be difficult to be forced to change your exercise routine, but I'm sure you can adapt to this curveball and keep yourself in shape. You can do it!
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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I'm in the middle of a short-term injury right now and I worry about gaining weight. I can't do anything just yet, can barely walk. You really have to make sure you keep the eating under control and not give in to the pity eating.

Can you ride a bike outside? Sometimes it just gets boring to be on machines inside all the time, and boredom is the kiss of death for an exercise program.

You also can turn your lifting routine into more of a cardio routine by taking less time between sets, doing super and giant sets, and lifting heavier.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:00 PM   #7
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Howdy,
This is something all who don't want to regain the weight will need to face at one time or another because life happens to all. My plan would be to stick to my calorie count like glue and exercise as I am able.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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Meghan & Lori - mahalo for the wake up call. I really need to stop feeling sorry for myself because my injury could be worse. I should remind myself of one of my former coworkers who used to be a regular runner but developed a meniscus tear in one of her knees (she can't run again until she gets surgery). She used to pride herself on "I run so I can eat" mentality & she said she fell into a depression after being told by her doctor she can't run. I just saw her recently & unfortunately she gained about 15 lbs.

My husband stated I was probably wearing my body down because I depended a lot on intense cardio - running, jumping rope, kickboxing to keep my weight down. In addition, I pushed myself to complete a 10k last November & I didn't allow myself enough time to train. Although I practiced yoga at least once a week, it was the intense ashtanga yoga & I tended to focus more on the 1 leg balance poses rather than appreciating the real benefits of yoga - flexibility. To me working out was the easy way out but my body paid for it.

As a result, I got set in the mindset as long as I worked out at a high intensity I could get away with splurging on the weekends - which did work for a long time until now. I just started fitday yesterday & the amount of calories I consumed were way more than I thought so & I need to use this as a opportunity to really improve my eating habits & stick to a lower calorie count.

I'll be 40 next year & I need to accept the limitations of my body as I get older. When my knee is finally healed I'm not going to go back to the same type of workout schedule that led to my knee injury.

Karen - yes you're right life happens & I just need to adapt or else I can easily become like my coworker.

I just found out yesterday my 93-yr old grandfather's organs are shutting down. It's the same feeling I had when I was told my father was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago. That same month I hired a personal trainer to show me how to lift weights & help me lose the the last 20+ lbs (I lost only 10 lbs by running again).

Although losing the weight was important, I realized I also needed to focus on being strong both physically & mentally for my young daugher (she was only 3 yrs old at that time). Five months later my dad passed away...I worked out both the day before & the day after to help keep it all together. Before this I would've just slept in later & ate chocolate all day. I need to summon this same willpower to get through this other rough patch in my life with my grandfather.

Thank you all for the advice
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