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Bookish Badger

Bookish Badger Reboots

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Hello Fellow Rebels!

 

I'm returning after a long and unintended hiatus. You ever get to a point where you just don't feel like participating in the forums, even tho you know it helps you stay on track? Coming up with new challenges (that are really the same old challenges), posting regularly, the pressure of finding new and relevant cat gifs... I just didn't want to do it anymore so I stopped, telling myself that I'd just keep going on my own. 

 

I don't think I need to tell you how that worked out.

 

A few weeks ago, I started lurking again. Not posting anything, just wandering around the forums and seeing what some old friends were up to. And even though I'm still feeling resistance to starting a new challenge, I decided to jump in anyway.

 

A little background: I'm now 51, in the throes of menopause (with all the hormonal absurdities that go with that), and about 100 pounds overweight. I'm starting to get issues with arthritis in my knees and ankles, and I'd really like to get a few more decades out of them. My parents are both 80ish and mostly healthy - except my mom has HORRIBLE issues with osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and I can't remember the name of it now but it means degenerative arthritis of the pelvic joints. Those are footsteps in which I do not want to follow.

 

Recently, the knee issues got bad enough to send me to my doctor, who sent me to physical therapy. X-rays showed that while I have some minor bone spurring, the gaps in the joint are normal so I still have plenty of cartilage. Neither my doctor or the physical therapist found anything to suggest tendon or ligament damage - but they both found extreme laxity in my knees and particularly in the right one. None of us could pinpoint any specific cause - it just seems that a lifetime of bad habits have finally caught up with me.

 

If you lie on your back, prop a foot on a slightly elevated surface and relax, and then someone measures the angle of your knee, a normal knee will be 0 degrees - a straight leg. I tested at -8 degrees on my left and -10 on my right. The PT also found weaknesses in my hips and stiffness in my ankles, which with the knee laxity added up to my kneecap floating around in unhelpful ways and not tracking properly - which led to swelling and pain.

 

I was given exercises to address the strength imbalances and retrain my body to what a "straight" leg actually is. A neutral knee actually feels slightly bent to me, like I'm about to begin a squat. The PT pointed out that when I stand, I lock out my knees like a sleeping horse (the horse comparison is mine, not the PT's) and my ligaments are holding me up, not my muscles, and they're doing it with a negative bend. To make matters worse, I tend to shift my weight to one side or the other, so one knee is taking the brunt of it. I've been trying to be mindful about keeping my knees "soft" (which is actually straight) and my weight distributed when I'm standing. This led me to realize that I have rubbish posture, rubbish core strength, and rubbish balance.

 

So yeah, I've got some work to do.

 

If you're still here after that giant wall of text, thank you! Without further ado, let's ado further with my challenge goals.

 

The Goal: Lose 10 pounds by June 23

This is the first time I've set an outcome goal for a challenge, and this is an aggressive one, but I think doable. Especially since I'm skipping zero week and starting now. To accomplish this I will:

 

Eat according to Keto guidelines.

I've followed Keto in the past and I know that it takes weight off of me faster than any other eating plan. It has the advantage of being anti-inflammatory and diuretic, which will help with my knee swelling/pain. Meat, above-ground veggies, and high-fat dressings, cheese, and butter are my friends. 

 

Do knee/core exercises each morning, 7 days a week.

Since finishing my PT sessions, I've not been consistent with these exercises, and guess what? The knee is starting to nag again. 

 

Walk as much as my knee will let me.

My PT actually recommended that I NOT walk so much & recommended riding a stationary bike instead. I'm all for it, and will do so as soon as my schedule changes and I can get to the gym before work. Until then, short walks 2-3 times a day during the work week and moving around on the weekends (yard work, chores, etc.) will keep my circulation going.

 

Read a book for at least 15 minutes per day, every day.

No, this one won't help me lose weight, but it can't all be about the knee, right? Reading is my truest pleasure and I haven't made enough time for it lately. I need to get back in the habit. 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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22 hours ago, Whisper said:

Welcome back!

 

Sounds like you have a good plan; let us know how well you're holding to it.

 

Thank you! Wish granted.... :)

 

Update: Last night's dinner wasn't very keto - my husband had picked up stuffed peppers from Costco, which were really tasty, but the stuffing had rice in it. Not a huge amount of rice but some. So I just had one and a small salad to minimize the damage. And now I'm thinking of a recipe for "unstuffed" peppers - ground Italian sausage browned with just enough tomato sauce to give it some cohesion, and served over sautéed sliced peppers and onions. Maybe topped with mozzarella and parm and run under the broiler? I think it'd be faster than stuffing the peppers and baking them for an hour+, and certainly less fussy. This warrants research.

 

Predictably, I'm HUNGRY since my metabolism is trying to avoid switching to fat burning. And some of the appetite is normal resistance to restricting foods. I had to stop by the grocery store on the way home and it was bad. 

 

Voice in my head: "Oooh, look! Double-stuff Oreos are on sale! We must get them NOW!!" (Never mind that I can't remember the last time I ate an Oreo.) So I'm treating the voice in my head like a cranky three-year-old who needs a nap:

"Not right now."

"What about chocolate milk?"

"Not right now." 

"Buuuut I want piiiizzzzzaaaaa." 

"Not right now."

"Pleeeease?"

"Not right now."

 

And I've stocked up on fat-bomb-like stuff; salami, some full-fat cheeses, unseasoned pork rinds and guacamole to dip them in, mixed nuts. If I'm hungry between meals, I eat something that's mostly fat and don't worry about the calories. I know that if I keep the carb count low, I'll transition by the weekend and my hunger will drop to nothing (then I'll just have to deal with habit and appetite.)

 

I did my knee exercises yesterday and this morning, and got in two short walks yesterday and one today. My knee complained about walking down the stairs but doesn't seem to mind walking up them, so I've been walking up and taking the elevator down. 

 

And now I'm off to read for a bit before I need to start dinner. 

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Just popping in to say your idea for stuffed peppers sounds delicious! I guess to save time you could chop the peppers in half and have it more like a shallow boat covered in stuffing. Also, knees are the worst, but it sounds like you've got a good plan to show yours who's boss!

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12 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

So I'm treating the voice in my head like a cranky three-year-old who needs a nap

Such a good way of dealing with it. I'll try "not right now" next time I'm struggling, myself! 

 

Your goals look great! I'm facing a very similar weight loss deadline (June 22) and attempting to lose around 5kg or as much as possible by then. Let's go for it together! 

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16 hours ago, Bookish Badger said:

Voice in my head: "Oooh, look! Double-stuff Oreos are on sale! We must get them NOW!!" (Never mind that I can't remember the last time I ate an Oreo.) So I'm treating the voice in my head like a cranky three-year-old who needs a nap:

"Not right now."

"What about chocolate milk?"

"Not right now." 

"Buuuut I want piiiizzzzzaaaaa." 

"Not right now."

"Pleeeease?"

"Not right now."

This is the best! I have to treat myself like that sometimes, especially when chocolate is involved.

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If you want to "Beef" out your stuffed peppers a bit (haha) you could add cauliflower "rice" or some spaghetti squash. You could even sautee some spinach with it as well. Not sure if the peppers + tomato sauce + other veggies would put you over net carbs though. 

 

Love the horse analogy... 10 points for that! (I like to think of myself as the resident horse person here)

 

And I have that freaking conversation with myself constantly.  My inner child is a brat.

 

I am interested in the exercises you do for your knees. I am pretty sure I have horrible knee habits :(  My 29 year old knees sometimes squawk at me

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3 hours ago, Rookie said:

I am interested in the exercises you do for your knees. 

 

1. Bridges. I usually do 2-3 sets of 20 reps.

 

2. I'm not sure what they're called so I can't find a gif, but you lay on your back with one knee bent so your foot is flat on the floor. Rest said foot on a small ball, like a baseball or lacrosse ball, and roll your foot forward until your leg is extended straight, then roll it back. The ball will move from under your foot to about mid-calf. The challenge is to keep the ball under your foot/leg in a straight line and the rest of your body still. The PT said that this is to retrain my body to recognize what straight and not hyper-flexed feels like. Do a couple sets of 10, or as many as you want in one long set.

 

3. Another one I don't know if there's a name for it, but a doc suggested it back when I was in college: sit on a chair and secure one foot under something fairly heavy, like a piece of furniture or the toe kick under a kitchen cabinet.  (I use the crossbar under our coffee table.) Your foot is close to the floor and leg is extended straight. Flex your quadricep so that your leg is rigid and your kneecap is pulled up. Now from the hip, try to lift your foot, pressing against the immovable object. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Do 3 sets of 3 on each side. This one is to bring the kneecap back into proper position and tighten the muscles/ligaments around it so it doesn't float around so much. 

 

IMO, that is the exercise that's really effective. If I'd been doing it consistently for the past couple of decades, I probably wouldn't have such problems now. 

 

 

3. Hip exercises to address my hip weakness - side leg lifts, side leg extensions with a resistance band secured in a door, and "crab-walks" - again, not sure what they're really called, but you knot a resistance band in a loop that lets you stand with feet about hip distance apart. The band should be snug but not stretched. Next, sidestep by stepping one foot out as far as you comfortably can and then step the other foot in to the snug-but-not-stretched position. Sidestep in one direction for a bit, then back to work the other side. I crab walk up and down my hallway a few times. 

 

Horse talk: I haven't been involved with horses since high school, when I was involved in 4-H and FFA, and had a lovely Quarter Horse/Morgan gelding. But I still tend to use horse terms - I recently found myself telling my boss how dealing with a particularly stubborn and obstinate client was like riding a barn-sour horse. B) 

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I'm going to have to try these! You are very good at describing them... So it should be no problem. I'm not expecting my knees to last at all at this rate.

 

Haha I love that! I often find people trouble can be solved with some good ol'horsemanship. I ride a BelgianxQH! She of a beauty. 

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The mind boggles at a Belgian/Quarter Horse cross. How many hands is she? Which side does she take after - is she the biggest QH ever, or the smallest Belgian? Also, was the cross intentional, or did someone's stud go wandering? Badgering minds want to know!

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54 minutes ago, Bookish Badger said:

The mind boggles at a Belgian/Quarter Horse cross. How many hands is she? Which side does she take after - is she the biggest QH ever, or the smallest Belgian? Also, was the cross intentional, or did someone's stud go wandering? Badgering minds want to know!

She is 15.3 or 16 hands. (I used to be told she was 16.1hh by her owner... but my coach said no way... lol  She takes after the Belgian side but... huge QH butt lol. I just learnt recently that she was a PMU (pregnant mare urine) baby... so mom was Belgian, dad was QH.  She is quite athletic (not me riding her in the jumping picture lol I don't have the lady balls for that). Theres a handful of this cross going around. I have partboarded her for 5 years in June. And come September I get to lease her when her owner goes to university.  

 

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20180423_185254.thumb.jpg.0a1bb8da1d414beb049978388912b93c.jpg

 

And my sister owns a Clydesdale Hanoverian cross lollll He is a big boy. 16.3hh 

 

20180823_190156.thumb.jpg.f7346084bc2d0f231c804ea9ab08b03d.jpg

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56 minutes ago, Bookish Badger said:

@Rookie Thank you for the horse pics! they're beauties!

 

Any time :) We have a herd of 46 at the barn. <3 They are all beautiful

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On 5/21/2019 at 6:46 PM, Bookish Badger said:

Voice in my head: "Oooh, look! Double-stuff Oreos are on sale! We must get them NOW!!" (Never mind that I can't remember the last time I ate an Oreo.) So I'm treating the voice in my head like a cranky three-year-old who needs a nap:

"Not right now."

"What about chocolate milk?"

"Not right now." 

"Buuuut I want piiiizzzzzaaaaa." 

"Not right now."

"Pleeeease?"

"Not right now."

First off - WELCOME BACK. Its great to see you.

 

This is a great idea. It is so much easier to tell that little voice "okay, one day" and have them believe it. Hopefully Things went well the rest of the week.

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Quick work-break update:

 

My weight yesterday was 232.8 pounds (down from a starting weight of 236). As of this morning, I'd rebounded slightly less than a pound to 234.6. This is normal for me - rather than gradual, consistent loss, I'll suddenly drop 3-4 pounds overnight, then bounce back a pound to pound & a half (depends on how big the sudden drop was). Then that'll be my new normal for the next several days.

 

I've been doing well on keto and as predicted, my hunger has dropped off. I get hungry less often and less food fills me up. Now I just have to tackle my bored-snacky habits!

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So my weight has been bouncing all over the place. Since the last Tuesday (when I last posted) my weight hovered around 231lbs, then down to 229.4 on Saturday, back up to 231.8 on Monday, and 232 on Tuesday.

 

This morning, I'm at 227.4. Let's see how long I stay there. :)

 

I think I'm still mostly losing water weight, which is why I'm fluctuating so much. Which is fine, lugging around liters of extra water for no reason isn't good - I'm not a camel about to cross the Sahara, after all. And the ketosis will do its thing as long as I give it time.

 

Good news on the work front: I'm now working from home 3 days a week, and after a few more weeks will work in office only one day a week. This gives me back at least 2 hours per day on non-commute days, and I can go to the gym before work on work-from-home days. On Monday, I went for a walk as soon as I was clocked out (my "commute") to reset from work mode to at-home mode. Yesterday, I mowed the lawn before the next round of rain starts today. And on Friday, I'm going to make a quick gym visit before I need to log in.

 

More exercise and less time in traffic, yay!

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11 minutes ago, Bookish Badger said:

Good news on the work front: I'm now working from home 3 days a week, and after a few more weeks will work in office only one day a week. This gives me back at least 2 hours per day on non-commute days, and I can go to the gym before work on work-from-home days. On Monday, I went for a walk as soon as I was clocked out (my "commute") to reset from work mode to at-home mode. Yesterday, I mowed the lawn before the next round of rain starts today. And on Friday, I'm going to make a quick gym visit before I need to log in.

 

Congratulations, that's awesome! I like the idea of a work from home commute. 

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On 6/5/2019 at 7:38 AM, Whisper said:

I like the idea of a work from home commute. 

So do I! I've been dealing with an up to 2-hour commute for over 10 years now, so saving some time and gas is a huge benefit!

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