Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I don't have a car during the week so I often am stuck at home. Contrary to what many believe, it's not as horrible as it sounds. With my chronic pain, many days I'm on high amounts of medication so although I'm not even close to "high" from them I think it's best not to drive as if I were to get in an accident and someone truly question I could get in a lot of trouble. I actually like not driving that much anymore. But the bad part is, I'm stuck NOT going to the gym more often than going.

When I do hit the gym it's ALWAYS to use the pool. In the pool the weightlessness of my body does amazing things to my chronic back pain. I've had cancer 6 times and the treatments have left me with a crumbling spine, degenerative discs, bulging discs and a ton more down my entire spine from my neck to my tailbone.  The ability to take almost all the pressure off my spine and move is nothing short of miraculous to me and one of the few times I feel ALMOST pain free in my life. You can imagine I love going to the gym/pool often and try to get there as much as I can.  While in the pool I "run". I used to be an avid "runner" and miss that adrenaline. In the water, running can take place because of the lack of pressure to my back. It also burns 2x the calories running in the water versus land so that's a huge plus! I also do a lot of treading, water aerobics, etc. to work all the muscles and hopefully burn some calories. To be honest, I could care less if I lost a pound more as long as I kept feeling healthy and going in that pool keeps me feeling healthy.

So what do I do when I can't make it to the gym?  As strange as some of these may sound, it truly does help burn off a few calories and get me moving a bit.  Of course everything is based upon my pain levels for that day but I can always change up how I do certain things to alleviate any pressure or jarring of my back.  Here's a few tips on how to just burn a bit without having to get to the gym.

  • Use the Wii - I love my Wii! I'm thinking I'd love to get the Xbox360 with Kinects too but that's not in my budget so I keep hoping Wii has something similar that will come out at a decent price but until then I'll use what I have.  Some of my favorite things to do is spend various amounts of time (again based upon my pain levels that day) playing Wii games. Some of my faves: Baseball, Tennis, Golf, Bowling and my all time newest fave Just Dance.  I have to be careful with the Just Dance game because it's very easy for me to forget I'm not able to do certain things and I make myself hurt more for the next 3 days or so because I'm pig headed but all in all I keep it at a low level. I've always loved to dance so this is a great way for me to do so in a modified method, without being out in front of others.  Might I add I would NEVER do the Just Dance in front of others. I'm certain, for me, it's just not pretty! LOL

  • Get Out The Cans... with having lost the weight I've lost I've always been concerned about those "floppy arms" that former fatties get when they lose a lot of weight. For this reason alone, I've been adamant about making sure I do exercises for my arms. I don't care if it's minimal exercising, it's still tightening up my "water wings" and can often be the exercise I pick on high pain days. As simple as it sounds, pulling out 2 soup cans and "lifting weights" with them truly helps tone those muscles.  I do this a lot when my pain levels are high because I can literally sit in a chair where my back is supported and lift the cans. I follow some very typical moves that are basic weight lifting techniques in order to tone your arms. It's minimal, but it's something and always better than just sitting on the couch!
  • Yoga/Meditation... while we're not talking about a huge number of calories being burned we are talking about pain management and relaxation. I can't get silly with the Yoga poses but I can do a few that don't twist and push on my back hard.  Again, when I find pain levels getting out of hand one of my absolute FAVORITE places to go to on the web is Meditation For Health with Dr. Puff. It's TOTALLY free podcasts and he even offers some iTune downloads if you want to take it with you or put it on your iPod.  I'm truly a beginner but I started with podcast number 1 and keep going from there. It's amazing what meditation can do for you.  They also show you man techniques as they explain how to do them.  Meditation is truly one of my new favorite ways of relaxation and pain management. The breathing and focusing, while not high calorie burning, do bring your body in tune and I can't imagine they do anything but benefit.  It's also a great way to take your mind off food if you want to eat due to boredom.  I've often gone to a podcast when I'm craving sweets and after 15 minutes the craving's gone and I'm relaxed! Check it out.

  • Turn on The Music ... years ago I was inspired by the morbidly obese Mexican man when I was watching a TV show about how he was losing weight. One of the things he did was "dance" in his bed. Here was this man, over 800 pounds, stuck in bed because of his problem with eating and he was finding a way to "exercise".  I thought about it. At the time I was close to bed ridden myself from pain that we couldn't get under control. I decided if this man could do it, my excuse of "it hurts to get up and move" was no longer an excuse. I often would sit in a comfy chair or even in my bed and "rock it out" to my favorite music.  So turn on the tunes, if you can't or don't feel like getting up off that couch or bed or chair... you don't have to... simply rock it out sitting there. You'll be amazed that given enough time and the right moves you can actually work up a sweat or at least you're burning SOME calories and getting some muscles moving! Go ahead, pull out those old CDs you've been meaning to listen to and boogie.  Nobody has to even know you do it!
So that's a few of the ways I manage to still "keep moving" or burning some calories even though I can't make it to the gym.  One other thing I do is find some exercise programs on our local cable network. While most of the time I can't participate in much of the movements I can usually find a thing or two I can do and keep moving.  If there's a will, there's a way. Believe me, I've made every excuse in the book how NOT to be active.  If you really want to change it's time to do it and find what works for you.  I'll share a secret... most people are not those die hard, "let's pump it up" types you see on television or read about in fitness magazines.  Most of us are busy with our lives and need to MAKE time and find ways to get moving. Ever calorie you burn, every muscle you move is a step closer to being fit.  Don't make it a numbers game.  Make it a game of fitness, of feeling good and of living longer and in better condition.  Your body was meant to be taken care of and it's time you do it! No excuses!!! Share your secrets to what you do when you can't get to the gym to work out! And until next time.....

Wish me luck on my journey to "eating clean" and  healthy! 
And please feel free to comment and share ideas for trying to live and eat "clean" and losing weight by changing to a healthy lifestyle!


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Who Else Helps me get healthy?
These are just a few of the people online that inspire me....


1. Weight Loss With  The Fabulous Fatties
Check out the Fab Fatties - tons of ideas, comic relief & great give-aways!

2. Joe Gigantino - Fitness Trainer
This is the guy that really set me on the path to physical fitness - Sign up for his FREE newsletter!

3. HK Weighs In

4. BWJEN - Another WW Buddy & A 'bookworm' too!?

5.Get Fit After 40

5.Green Lite Bites

6.Sean Anderson the formerly 500lb man!
Diary of A Winning Loser - Sean is an inspiration to anyone trying to get healthy!
Sean Anderson

*Note I am not affiliated nor endorsed by Weight Watchers® at all, in any way. I highly recommend their program and cannot say enough GOOD about it, but I also have decided that they were my "stepping stone" to making a change in my lifestyle. Any mention of Weight Watchers®, their program or their term of "points®" does not mean they have approved, seen, or endorsed anything on my blogs.

Also, if at any time Points® are mentioned it is always with the assumption that you will analyze the recipes, foods, ingredients and figure the points out specifically for your consumption of any product, as ingredients may vary by brand, size, etc. and Points® is a registered trademark of the Weight Watchers® company.