Week 1 of the “new” exercise and eating routine is done and I survived!
I do have to say – I was skeptical about whether exercise and stretching were really going to help. Even though I knew I could do the exercises based on what I saw, the question of whether they would help me was still lingering in the back of my mind.
No one wants to spend time doing something that will have no benefit or that’s set up to fail.
Like I said in my last post, if the changes in mobility were as a result of Spina Bifida and nerve damage or hydrocephalus, well…I felt exercising would be a waste of time. I felt like things were too far gone to get back.
About 6 or 8 months ago, I was given a set of exercises to do by a Physiotherapist, which I did for about 3 days.
The exercises given at that time were TOUGH. Almost impossible for me, so I gave up. I felt like a failure and I stopped…thus proving to myself that I was past the point of no return.
This isn’t to say that Physiotherapists aren’t helpful for everyone…they just weren’t helpful for me for this situation.
Back to what I was saying about thinking I was too far gone and that this program may or may not work.
I was proven wrong. Very wrong.
The seemingly easy exercises are done while laying on my bed and they’re attainable, even at my level of fitness and weight. A
Day 1 was tough. Muscles that haven’t done much for many many years were being asked to work.
Day 2 wasn’t any easier.
But subsequent days, I could feel little changes and the stretches got easier and more enjoyable. It started to feel good.
I can’t believe that I look forward to exercising because, with each set of stretches, I can feel things happening.
Most people say mornings are the best time to exercise and get a jump on the day, but that just wasn’t working for me.
I decided to do my routine right before bed. Because I’m so out of shape, I’m pretty wiped out by the time the routine is done and going to bed seems to work for me at this stage. It gives my muscles and joints time to recover and I have been waking up feeling great.
I’m far less stiff than I was 1 week ago, my stomach is less bloated, I can walk a little straighter because I can activate muscles in my abdomen to help me stay upright.
When I wake up each morning, I don’t have the same stiffness and spastic muscles in my calves and thighs like I had been experiencing for the past couple of years. Mornings were always the hardest but even after a week, things are much different.
I’ve awakened muscles that I didn’t know I even had; Mostly in my pelvic and abdominal region.
Part of the DDPY program involves joining a private Facebook group with 30,000 other people who are part of the program. It’s a great place for people to share their successes and failures. People of varying weight levels and abilities encourage one another to meet their goals. I even met a few other men with Spina Bifida!
It’s amazing to see an online community of people who have lost 50, 100, 150, 200+ lbs in the DDPY program.
About the food
I’ve done a few “diets” in the past and lost various amounts of weight over the years but this is the first time I actually brought exercise into the equation.
I don’t like calling this a diet, but rather a lifestyle change because it’s something I will need to keep up, not stop once I think that I’ve lost enough weight.
Eating well and exercising just need to be part of my daily routine if I want to maintain a good quality of life into the future.
Over the course of the week, we didn’t go crazy with weird food and we didn’t starve. We didn’t do Keto, Atkins, South Beach, Paleo, Whole 30, 21 Day Fix, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free etc etc etc. I’m not saying those diets don’t work – They’re just not for me.
We just ate good food, prepared at home. Meat, vegetables and fruit. No fast food, no cookies, no cake, no butter tarts, no chips. Retraining my brain and body to want to eat good food is the goal. Nothing processed from a box, bag or can and no fast food. Less salt, less fat, less “fake” food.
The funny thing is that I didn’t really miss all the “bad” food. Joy made some really awesome meals that were healthy and tasted great. 🙂
Because I was feeling better mentally and finally dealing with something that I knew was an issue, I didn’t feel the need to emotionally eat everything that I could get my hands on. That’s an empowering feeling.
Prior to starting this, I was at a point where my body was feeling pretty rotten so that even 1 week of these slight amendments in diet and exercise changed the way that I feel dramatically.
I will give a plug for the program here, even though I don’t earn a cent from recommending it. Check out DDPY by clicking here.
I use the online app, which has all kinds of video content and exercise routines. I track all my measurements like weight, waist size, chest size, hips, thigh etc and I can hook up a Bluetooth heart rate monitor to the app, to track my heart rate, ensuring it’s in the proper range. I can also upload pictures of my progress. Overall, it’s helpful.
If you’re a person who has mobility issues, you’re older or you think you have passed the point of no return in your weight or fitness level, this program is for you. It starts at a very basic level, but just because it’s a beginner level exercise, doesn’t mean you won’t feel tremendous benefits!
And would you believe it if I told you that I lost 6 to 8 pounds this week! It all depends what time of day I weigh myself. I likely shed a lot of fluid…which would explain why I had to pee so often all week – that was annoying but necessary.
Looking forward to Week #2!