(you asked for it ;-)
Basically, I got a wake-up call from my Big Why. Here's how it went down.
About two weeks ago I woke up with lower back pain. I have no idea what I did, but my back was moderately stiff and sore as though I had tweaked it a bit. Being that this is not my first go around with this kind of pain, I enacted back rehab protocols, which mostly involves a lot of gentle stretching and careful toe-touches. I was working, and things were feeling better. Then, this Saturday past I was going to take a bicycle ride with my family, and while I was incautiously loading my son's bike in the back of our vehicle, I wrenched my back something awful. I went ahead with the ride, because sitting on a bike didn't seem to hurt much, but that evening it got more and more tight. Sunday morning I could hardly walk. I went back to stretching and gently working it, but by Sunday night it was still pretty gnarly. So Monday I got in to see my wife's chiropractor. I wasn't too hopeful, but he explained that he thought I had actually wrenched the joint between my right pelvis and tailbone (I didn't even know there was a joint there. There is.) and that it was mostly just going to have to heal up, but an adjustment would help everything calm down a little so the healing could progress. After the adjustment walking around was less horrible, so I think that it was helpful. Today it's a bit better, but still not happy and I think it's going to take a few weeks of stretching and bending and being very careful to get right again.
I say all that to say this. I firmly believe that my back is tweaked out because I haven't done any proper strength exercises in a very long time, and the muscles in my posterior chain are not strong enough to put up with the kind of stupid antics that I get up to. I used to have chronic low-grade back pain, all through my 30s. When I started barbell training a year and a half ago, within 6 weeks the back pain was gone. Now I've stopped lifting for a good six months or more, and my shoulders ache and now the low-back pain is back. In my mind, this is a strong correlation.
This ties directly into my big why, which has always been that I don't want to deteriorate as I continue to age. I firmly believe that most of the old-age ailments that the masses believe are inevitable can be held off indefinitely through wise eating and exercise. Lately I've been using college classes as an excuse to eat poorly and not exercise, and now I'm hurt and I'm getting fatter.
This will not do.
So, I'm getting back on the ball. I have to start gently while my back/pelvis recovers, but I'm going back into strength training. Kettlebells were working well for me, and I can fit the workouts into my schedule, studenting and all. Once classes are out, I'm getting back under the barbell. Effective immediately I'm practicing intuitive eating to the utmost degree that I can. This still makes it a gentle program by most standards, and it's possible to be very strict and extremely flexible, which is what I love about it. Yesterday I had a great day with food, and today is shaping up to be great too.
Challenge-wise, every day is pass/fail on these two fronts. I'm tracking myself with HabitBull. I'll post as much as I can about workouts and food, but I might not hit every day because work is actually busy for me these days. But I'm going to get it done. I absolutely, utterly refuse to sit back and watch my body fall apart.
So that's it! Happy Challenge everyone!