Tag Archives: acupuncture

Getting Back On Track

Weight Loss Wednesday

Today was my final acupuncture appointment for my back problems. It’s a little bittersweet. On the sweet side, it will be nice to go back to using that extra money every week to pour back into my savings. On the bitter side, I’m going to miss the relaxing environment, the sweetest receptionist on the planet, the mid-morning nap and break away from work and especially the overall relaxed, serene and happy moods I’m always in the day of my appointments. I think I’ll definitely have to make a general appointment from time to time when money allows. However, most importantly, I’m PAIN FREE, feeling great and so completely thankful! That means I can start working my way back up to the workouts I was doing before and it’s been a while since I’ve done more than just walking and stretching.

I was terrified that while waiting for my back to heal two things would happen:

    1. I was worried I would lose motivation and start feeling lazy again and it would once again be a chore to workout.
    2. I was worried I’d lose a chunk of the progress I had made recently.

Wednesday Weigh In

Turns out neither of those things really happened. I still have my motivation, (in fact, I’m still kinda forcing myself to take it easy and not overdo it) and somehow I managed to mostly keep my goals on track. I tried to keep a close eye on what I’ve been eating since I couldn’t workout as much (although the last two weeks I have been failing a bit on that front). As a result, my first Wednesday Weigh In was 0 change. I didn’t lose any weight at all this week which, in itself, it quite the accomplishment. I think I ate a pumpkin muffin once a day (maybe twice one day), I ate pizza, fried food and was just apparently on a SEEfood diet. I saw food, I ate it. In terms of exercise all I did this week was go for some fast/long walks and on the nights it was raining too hard, I rode the stationary bike. So out of all the exercise tracked, I burned a total of 1,436 calories last week! So since my eating habits were not so fabulous, no loss this week is a GREAT THING.

Remember to cut yourself some slack sometimes. Plateaus and gains are part of the process. I know, ideally, all of us trying to lose weight hope to see the scale going down every week and when it doesn’t, it’s so easy to get discouraged and then completely fall off the wagon. You just have to remember that tomorrow is another day. Don’t completely destroy all your progress because of one bad day.

So since I’m back on track now, I’ve decided that my first priority is core strengthening. After I hurt my back, I did some research and learned one of the best ways to keep from re-injuring your back is to keep your abs strong because the abs directly support your lower back. So to kick things off, I’m on Day 4 of a 30 Day Ab Challenge. I had trouble deciding between two different ab challenges, so I think I’ll do one this month and the other next month, maybe? And maybe after the first month, I’ll also try to tackle the 30 Day Squat Challenge again at the same time! Challenges get me EXCITED! Which of these two ab challenges do you think will merit the best results?

30 Day Ab Challenge Ellie 30-Day Ab-Tastic Ab Challenge

Don’t Mess With My Chi!!

It has been about a week since my first acupuncture appointment and I had my second appointment this morning. The first experience was pretty relaxing. Upon my arrival he looked at my tongue and checked the pulse in both of my wrists for a very lengthy amount of time. Since my Mom had visited him before, this wasn’t a surprise to me at all. He also explained “Chi” to me and told me what he learned from my tongue/pulse analysis. Not really entirely sure what it all means about my health overall but at the time I was just desperate to get it over with and hopefully get some pain relief.

Then he felt around on my back and asked me if the certain areas caused me pain. I informed him it was mostly on the left side and into my left hip. He mentioned to me that he thought it had a lot to do with my posture and working a desk job (he also told me I should get up every so often, stretch and walk around, etc.). He put most of the needles in my lower back and upper hip region, and no, it didn’t hurt! A couple times I felt a bit of a pinch but mostly I didn’t feel anything at all. He also put one in each hand and one in each ear (my second appointment he didn’t put any in my ears) and then he put a heat lamp over me and let me sit there for for a while.. 30-40 minutes maybe? It was really relaxing. Afterwards when he took all the needles out (again, I didn’t feel a thing!) he kinda felt around and massaged up and down my spine and around my hip area and I was amazed that the pain that was there at the start, was GONE! I felt amazing!

Proper Computer Desk PostureThat night, however, I had a rough time. My hip started hurting pretty bad and I couldn’t even get comfortable, lay down, sit or anything. Thankfully every day after that.. I felt a little better each day (well except on Friday when sitting in my terrible office chair made my back so stiff). I went out this past weekend to go on a mission to choose a new office chair which has made a HUGE difference in my back getting stiff when I’m at work and I learned a lot about what to look for in a desk chair too and my old chair was absolutely no help whatsoever in that regard.

This morning I woke up feeling better than I have in weeks. No ibuprofen even necessary so far and my second treatment was just as wonderful as the first. I’m so thankful to finally be on the mend!

It’s been a learning experience though. Most of us don’t typically think about our health in terms of “Chi” or “Qi“, which is essentially the energy flowing through your body. My acupuncturist explained that we often develop blockages in our chi. Doing my own research, I’ve found that a number of things can cause your chi to be blocked. Stress, probably being the most common. Anyway, I won’t get into the details (because I certainly don’t know the ins and outs of it all) but it definitely is fascinating and I can definitely tell I feel a little more at peace after having acupuncture. The little things that usually bother me, just don’t seem to be phasing me these days.

Walt WhitmanWhich brings me to the reason for my subject line. We encounter all types of people throughout our lives and I know we can all at least name ONE person in our lives that just exudes negativity. That’s just part of life. You’re going to run into negative people. There are people who are going to try and make less of any success you achieve, anything that makes you happy or corrupt your positive energy with their negative energy. Here’s the thing.. you don’t have to let them! Just brush it off and keep doing what you’re doing because you’re doing SOMETHING right, and they are not. That’s probably why they are trying to bring you down. Psh! Don’t let people criticize you for doing something RIGHT! Don’t let them screw up your chi!

I encountered one such person today. I’m in such a great mood, I’m feeling blessed and thankful, happy and excited and this person just jumps on my case because I didn’t handle a situation in the exact manner he would have. I’m sure his way is effective but so is mine. You do you and I’ll do me, thank you very much!

Taking Things For Granted

I haven’t blogged on a regular basis in a couple years. This is something I’m going to try to change. I’ve been working on getting all the pages up and finished but I wanted to get the ball rolling. Basically I wanted a place where I could come and post about things that I’m excited about and a lot of that will include my health and fitness journey. One of my favorite parts of the entire process of weight loss is being able to inspire others to make the same choice to be more healthy. I know for many years I thought it was impossible. I had accepted that my weight was just the way I was supposed to be. Look at me now! It’s not impossible! It’s not always easy and you have to want it for yourself, for your life and for your future. It’s not a temporary fad diet so you can trim a few pounds by a certain deadline, it’s a lifestyle. My Health page is under construction but I hope to have my entire story and some pictures up there when it’s finished. If my weight loss has brought you here, you’re definitely going to want to check back and read up on that and until then, if you have ANY questions about my weight loss, my workouts, what I eat, Shakeology or anything else, feel free to drop me a line.

MOVING ON! The main reason I wanted to post is because I’ve been going through a bit of a struggle lately. It’s something that has pretty much halted or at least slowed my fitness goals (which means I’ve had to really watch what I’m eating). I thought it might be encouraging or inspiring to some if I shared about it. I know from time to time all of us encounter health issues. Whether you’re fighting off a small cold, the flu, a serious illness or you have physical injuries, not only can it be a source of stress and frustration but for those of us trying to keep up with health goals it can really be detrimental to our motivation. Maybe you might be stubborn like me and feel like you still have to push through the pain and just suck it up. We’re all different and maybe sucking it up and working through it helps in your case, but in my particular case this time around I learned the hard way that sometimes I just need to stop and give my body time to repair itself.

A couple years ago I first started having back issues. I woke up one morning and bent down to put a book on a lower shelf and that’s all it took to throw out my lower back. It’s crazy how easily back problems can arise. I think it lasted about two weeks the first time. It pretty much just went away on it’s own with a little bit of rest and anti-inflammatory medicine but before it started getting better I experienced the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I went to get up from my bed in a hurry and immediately fell to the ground in agony. I could not even get up for about 10 minutes. Ever since then, I have been living with a little bit of fear that it would come back and any time I felt any sort of twinge or discomfort in my lower back I’d immediately start to worry.

Over the last two years my back problem has flared up here and there, but nothing as serious or as painful as the first, thankfully. About a month ago, my back started flaring up again. It was just a little discomfort so I decided I’d still workout through it. It came about during a time where I was really motivated and determined to workout on a daily basis. I was jumping rope like a maniac to burn off extra calories and then some. The impact of jumping rope only made my back hurt worse (duh!) so I stopped in favor of lower impact workouts. It started to improve but every time it would, I’d start to amp up the workouts again and the following day my back work be hurting a little worse. It got to the point where I just had to stop ALL extra activity. So for the last week I’ve been resting. Still trying to stay off the couch/chair as much as possible but even walking too much seems to aggravate it sometimes. If I wasn’t so stubborn, the pain probably would have been gone weeks ago and yet here I am still struggling. Some days are worse than others and it’s gotten to the point now where I’m tired of ALSO being stubborn and not going in to get it checked out. I’ve had a couple people and my mother recommend acupuncture. I really believe in more natural and holistic forms of treatment and have a lot of personal opinions (which I won’t rant about right now) about health care, pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, etc. which have basically had me opting for homeopathic medicine to begin with. So all in all, I’m hopeful that acupuncture will be the right choice for me and hopefully will help get my body back on the mend so I can enjoy my favorite season and also get my fitness goals back on track! My first appointment is tomorrow and I’m kinda nervous about it.

Anyway.. moral of the story: Learn from me. Your goals are important, of course, but not at the expense of your health. Know your limits and remember to REST. Your body needs rest just as much as it needs activity. It’s not just about balance in your diet, it’s about balance in exercise too. I really wish I didn’t take my healthy back for granted and if I had just respected my body’s needs when the first warning sign surfaced, I would probably be back to my healthier (and happier) workout routine by now! Be patient. It’s not a race. You can press ‘PAUSE’ on your fitness goals any time you want. Just remember the plan is to eventually resume, so don’t press ‘STOP’ or keep it paused eternally! Take nothing for granted folks! This is just one example of ONE thing I’ve taken for granted and now wish I hadn’t. Let this be your reminder.

“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” – Evan Davis