Thursday

August 25, 2011

My exercise record has been very patchy the last couple of months. Right around May, my appetite for some reason shrunk to half its norm and I started losing weight — and a fair bit of muscle — quite quickly. Due to various reasons I also failed to keep up with my gym sessions so my body literally shrunk. I was pretty happy because that meant I could fit into all my pre H2 2010 clothes again. So out came the dresses and pants and skirts. At one point I was down to under 50kg, from about 55kg early this year. Now I’ve decided to ease off on the weight training a bit because as was evident last year, I can bulk up quite easily if I lift too much.

But in the last two weeks since getting back to the gym, I’m struck by how quickly the body can bounce back. Today’s BFA indicated that I’ve added about 500 g in overall weight, but lost 600g of fat mass so that means an addition of over 1kg to fat free mass.  i really hope most of that is water.

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Monday

January 24, 2011

Since I got sick last month, I have been finding it hard to get back into the gym. Friday was only my second time this year. I know, appalling.

Honestly this has been a really busy month, much more hectic than I expected so I haven’t been keeping all my appointments. But I made it back again on Sunday, despite my DOMS. Lost a fair bit of muscle in my off month so we are starting everything light again. 180 lbs on the leg press, 70 lbs on squat rack. My lack of exercise shocked Allan so, he even put me on the treadmill for a while yesterday.

Sunday

September 5, 2010

I decided to chill this weekend and took  my usual pastime of lazing around rather seriously.

My lats were already aching since Friday after PT and one hour of tennis with sx yesterday left me with an achey right arm and wrist, but I’m surprised we didn’t suck too badly after the long hiatus. There were even some moments of brilliance  and maybe two shots where my double backhand didn’t disappoint. Now that I consider a great success.  Great to see my arms are so much stronger now — I can stand at the baseline and hit all the way across.

Today I ditched both PT and yoga because I suddenly had a crazy urge to head all the way down to Macritchie for a run. It’s so darned far away that it took me the entire afternoon, both bus journeys were twice the actual on-trail time. But it was nice and not so hot under the shady canopy of the trail leading up to the HSBC treetop walk. Went in at 2.45pm and emerged an hour later. Running on trail is not easy and I think I only covered a miserable 5km. And by evening I could feel my calves starting to hurt.

Ended the day with a nice chat with Dorothea over fruity Starbucks drinks. She’s being a total taitai now before baby David is born. She is due this month but she still looks so tiny!

Thursday

September 2, 2010

I should schedule my gym sessions in the morning more often. Today I ambled out of the gym at 8.30am with a big smile on my face, and took a slow, leisurely walk and train rides to work while bopping my head along to Alicia Keys. Must be the endorphins released through all that exercise. 🙂

And yoga tonight!

Thursday

April 22, 2010

My meralgia paresthetica is back. I think it was slowly healing but I strained it again and now that (not un)familiar numbness is back.

Sigh

Tuesday

February 23, 2010

I’ve been exercising like a crazy woman the past three weeks or so, mostly to make up for the weeks/ months(?) of sloth in December/January when I hardly stepped anywhere near any of my preferred gyms and I became this blob of growing flab.

So the routine was either a run along the beach or hitting the machines at the gym, interspersed with twice weekly yoga with J, topo’s one-time intern who now teaches yoga. Those yoga sessions are a blast, I love doing them outdoors and she changes the routine every time so it’s not boring. I swear I was on the verge of tears on Sunday when we did this squat-ty pose, can’t remember what animal it was named after. Usually I just breathe deep and try and hold on while simultaneously making a face so she’ll count a little faster.  But this time my quads were BURNING so much I just collapsed halfway.

So anyway after all this insane exercise, I was very discouraged to find out that my ass had expanded, making quite a few pairs of pants very snug.

I’ve been fretting about this the past week and reading all kinds of articles and online forums brought up by the search words ‘exercising but getting fat’ or ‘getting fatter with exercise’. I know the whole drill about gaining more weight because muscle weighs more than fat yadah yadah yadah but hello, not fitting my clothes is serious shit in my book. And not fitting them because I’ve been exercising and watching what I eat is an even more perplexing issue.

I still haven’t figured out why. I guess there’s more definition in my thighs and my bum is perkier, which is why my pants are tighter. But it is little comfort because all my life — since puberty at least — I have longed to downsize my derriere and make it flat like a pancake. Becoming an Asian J Lo or Beyonce size-wise was never one of my childhood ambitions.

But after reading all these online resources, I’ve decided I should give resistance training a shot and not focus 90% of my workouts on cardio and endurance. So for the first time last night, I ran 1km to warm up on the treadmill and spent the next 75 minutes using free weights and the weight machines. The aim of all this is to build stronger muscles that will help raise my basal metabolic rate. Instead of sticking to the old lightweights and doing multiple repetitions, I’m going to try and increase the loads because that’s the only way to break down and rebuild muscle mass.

Another reason to weight train is to try to minimize muscle loss and maximise fat loss while on a restricted diet. i used to think it was all about the calorie deficit, but hadn’t really given a thought to what was actually being lost. Our bodies are quite cunning and can slow down metabolism or increase fat stores once we cut down our calories to below a certain level. Apparently if my aim is to lose fat and not lose weight (fat plus muscle), then it’s important to keep up with strength training and to work the muscles to a certain intensity during cardio, preferably through interval training. It’s all so very complicated.

Monday

February 15, 2010

For about three weeks now I’ve been experiencing what is known as meralgia paresthetica, or entrapment of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN).  Basically the layman explanation is that I’ve pinched a sensory nerve somewhere along my right thigh and I’m now suffering from diminished sensation along the outside — practically from my knee to about a foot and a half up. It’s actually a pretty common disorder. Some people get it when they put on a lot of weight, become pregnant or wear too-tight clothes (none of which apply to me!).

I know the exact moment when I probably damaged the nerve. It was a Sunday and I pushed myself a little too hard doing a crescent moon pose during yoga. Releasing from the stance, I felt this unfamiliar pain and discomfort shooting down my thigh but it eased somewhat after that. According to medical journals, what happens is that blood flow is constricted due to the entrapped position of the ligament where the nerve is found, resulting in numbness or a burning pain.

The doctor said two weeks ago there is no immediate cure and gave me a bunch of anti inflammation pills which I’ve long consumed. He said I just have to wait for it to heal on its own.

Because it only affects sensation and doesn’t impede any of my motor skills, I sometimes forget I’m supposed to ease off on pressure and excessive weight bearing activities around the area. I’ve been going to the gym everyday, treadmilling, cardiowaving, bicycling. Not forgetting yoga twice a week.

From time to time, I run my hand along my outer thigh just to see if I can feel it. It’s a very odd and altered sensation. I can vaguely feel something but not the exact texture of my hand. I can’t feel itch or pain and I wouldn’t know if my leg fell asleep from sitting in a cramped position for too long. Very weird, get better already.

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