I've been having some back problems recently. They started a little over three weeks ago, on the plane ride back from the "land of my birth". It seems that my back didn't particularly like being crammed into a "coach" airline seat for a few hours. I compounded the problem by working too hard, under too much stress over the succeeding weeks for it to ever get completely well. The threat of back pain also threw off my fitness regimen, which was already in a tailspin from a rush to meet a development deadline at Company O. and under assault from holiday food consumption.
Well, this weekend I finally decided that I had hit bottom. I needed to make some changes in my life to help fix the problem and get back in the road to a better, healthier body. This meant cutting down on portions of meals and returning to a healthy exercise regimen.
Fiancee S. has lead the way in this for a couple months now; she has joined a popular women's gym chain and has been going religously for the last couple months (even while we were at the land of my birth -- her gym has a franchise there, mine doesn't). She is seeing results, too. She's lost 4 lbs already, in addition to losing certain inches (of fat) and gaining others (of muscle). Go Fiancee S.!!!!
So, with new resolve, I went to the gym yesterday and did a light strength training workout. It went moderately well. I did the upper body. Tomorrow I will do the lower body and abs. My goal is not necessarily to do heavy weight, at least not to start. I just want to feel a good, consistent rise in my metabolism and work up a sweat. Of course, I didn't follow this up with enough sleep Sunday night, or enough low-fat food spread out through the day, so I was generally sleepy as hell the whole day.
Today, I resolved to attempt some moderate cardio training. I also had some time to kill when I first got up, so I thought I would help to placate my miserable torso by doing some yoga to slowly stretch and strengthen my muscles so long abused by inactivity. I dusted off my copy of Yoga: The Iyengar Way and attempted to re-acquaint myself with the mysteries of Warrior Pose, Tree Pose, Box Pose, Prayer Pose, and Corpse Pose, among others (I also took about six months worth of yoga classes back in grad school, plus a few here and there since then... for those of you who cry "a book isn't enough!" Don't worry, I have some clue, though starting classes again might be nice.)
All I can say is, ouch! I now understand why my back was complaining. My body is in miserable shape, from a yoga point of view. My muscles clearly resisted the idea of being stretched, be it from stress or lack of use. It also should be said that I am not the most flexible and athletic creature to begin with (as the name Dr. Geek might suggest.)
Still it felt like real progress to get up and do some yoga this morning. I've got to keep it up. One thing I've learned is fitness is not rocket science. It merely requires time, consistency, and persistence. With enough of both, you too can look great.
on 2004-01-20 at 6:57 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond