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02-13-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
Cat-a-Tonic
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Cat's Exercise Diary

I have been talking about exercise a lot in the Undiagnosed Club lately and figured it might need its own thread, so here we go. This first post might be particularly long and rambling, apologies in advance.

I'll start with a recap of how I got to where I am today. I used to work out regularly before I became ill, but I never really enjoyed it. I wanted to lose a few lbs, I wanted to look better, etc. It was all for superficial reasons and not for health reasons at all. I honestly hated going to the gym! I enjoyed things like going kayaking, but just plain working out in a gym? Hard work, not fun, boring! If I didn't feel like going to the gym that day, I'd skip it. I really had no concept of how important my health was or that I should make more of an effort to be healthy. I was shallow and unwise.

So, October 2009 rolls around and my life changes forever - I got so sick and never really recovered. Flare up after flare up and nobody could tell me what was wrong. I had so many tests and went into pretty significant medical debt. I lost a lot of weight - about 20 lbs, going from 136 (at 5'8") down to about 115. Exercise really didn't even factor into my thoughts at that time. I was very weak and was really struggling. I recall a time where I had to have my hubby carry laundry up and down the stairs for me and I was so weak and light-headed that I nearly passed out while folding the laundry. It was a really dark time. I didn't want to feel useless so I still insisted on doing the laundry, but really I couldn't even do it by myself without a lot of help.

October 2010 and my GI decides that enough is enough, he'd rather give me some relief from all the tests and the flares and try to put me into remission, even though I still didn't have a proper diagnosis (it's presumed that I probably have some form of IBD, but nothing is official). We already knew that I respond well to prednisone, so my GI put me on Entocort. I responded well to that too, and after about 7 months of being on it, I was officially in remission. Woo hoo!

But, as I was entering remission, I had been having some pain in my right hip. I went to my GP and it was diagnosed as arthritis. My GP felt like I was a good candidate for physical therapy as the arthritis was mild, so off to PT I went.

At my first PT appointment, my physical therapist assessed me. She was very thorough - I figured she would just want to look at the bad hip, but she looked at my whole body. She determined that my good hip was very weak, about as weak as the bad hip was. Also my knees were very weak, my ankles, and so on. I knew that I had lost muscle mass from being so ill, and I had also lost muscle mass from being on steroids for 7 months (corticosteroids apparently have the opposite effect as anabolic steroids; they rob muscle mass rather than build it up). But I didn't realize how far gone I really was. I was super weak, had almost no muscle mass at all and struggled to do even the simple exercises my physical therapist gave me to do. It was shocking and humiliating!

But it also drove me to action. I decided that day that I was going to start going back to the gym. Any physical exertion during the worst of my illness would just make my body get even more upset with me, but I was hoping that in remission I could get away with a bit of exercise. Fortunately I was right - my body responded wonderfully. I started working out 2 days a week, lifting very light weights. I knew I needed muscle mass so lifting weights seemed like the way to go. And it was, I felt very good doing it - sometimes I'd get pain from doing the abdominals machine, but other than that I felt great.

As I eased my way into a better and more stable incarnation of remission, I heard my body begging me for 2 things - food, and exercise! I hadn't really had either in a long time. So I gave it those things, and I felt great. I felt so strong, healthy and happy like I never had in the gym before. Suddenly the gym became a place I really wanted to go! I enjoyed working out, I felt like I was actively fighting to reclaim my health. I didn't feel like a sick person in the gym. For the first time in a long time, I could forget for a little while that I had an illness at all. And that was absolutely the best feeling in the world!

I pretty quickly moved up to lifting weights 3x per week and gradually increased the amount of weight I was lifting. I did that for about a year, 3x per week lifting weights. But I wondered if I might be doing myself some sort of harm by only really doing one type of exercise, so more recently I tried incorporating some cardio.

May I just say here that I hated cardio at first? I've never liked cardio, but getting back into the gym after being ill for so long, I really liked lifting weights - not so for cardio! I had to force myself to do it at first. I tried jogging, but with the hip arthritis it is not possible for me to jog for very long at all. I can jog for about 1/2 mile before the pain sets in - that's only about 5 or 6 minutes of jogging. If I push myself to keep going, the pain only gets worse and worse. On a couple of ocassions, I pushed myself to run one mile. Because really, I'm trying to get healthy, at a bare minimum I should be able to run one lousy mile! But it is not so. I was in pain for about 4 days the last time I ran a mile, it is just not worth it.

So I sought out other forms of cardio. I started riding the stationary bike in the gym. Since I hadn't really done any cardio, I could not ride for more than a few minutes without being completely winded! Just like with weights, I had to start small and slowly and build myself up. At first it was just, can I keep pedaling? And then I increased the resistance a little bit. Now I'm at the point where I can do a 30 minute hill program and I can keep pedaling the whole time. I sweat like crazy and sometimes I still feel like I hate cardio, but I'm keeping up with it! I'm looking forward to spring so that I can ride my real bike outside. I'm planning ride routes already.

So that pretty much brings me up to where I am today. I currently do a 6 day workout schedule - I do weights one day, cardio the next, weights, cardio, weights, then a rest day. Then start the whole thing over again. Sometimes I do yoga on my rest day, and I usually walk my dog on the weekends too, so I'm doing something active pretty much every single day. I feel great, I have muscles again, and I'm still in remission.

I personally see remission, specifically staying in remission, as a multi-pronged effort. I need to take my meds and supplements, I need to eat as healthily as I can, I need to get enough sleep, I need to stay hydrated, I need to keep my stress levels as low as I can, and of course I need to work out as often as I can! I know that all of those components contribute to me fighting my illness, but honestly, working out is the only one where I actively feel like I'm really fighting. I push myself, and with every rep or every time I don't give up, it feels like I'm punching IBD in the face. I feel like I'm actively beating this thing one workout at a time. I know I'll never truly beat it and that it can always come back - and really, that only makes me want to work harder. I have endless motivation, and as long as I am able to I will never stop fighting.

Okay, so that was wayyyy too long, but that's the story so far! I'm going to use this thread hopefully in a similar way to David's holistic treatment diary - I'll log what I've been up to in the gym and how I'm feeling and so on. Input is welcomed, questions are fine, threadjacking is okay too.
02-13-2013, 05:16 PM   #2
Cat-a-Tonic
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So, today! The arthritis has been giving me a little bit of trouble lately. It acts up more when the weather is bad (rain/snow/severe cold) so I'm hoping it's just due to the funky Wisconsin winter weather. I forgot to mention in my initial post that I also have really bad GERD. This means that I have to plan ahead for my workouts. I cannot have anything in my stomach except for water and antacids for at least 2 hours before I go to work out. Literally, I once drank some Gatorade before working out, and I became so nauseous that I could not continue. So I drink water for awhile beforehand, and then within 30 mins of going to the gym, I take a Zantac and a handful of Tums. That usually gets me through although I'm often fairly nauseous or refluxing by the end of my workout.

So, today I'm headed to the big gym in the evening. I should specify that there is a little gym in the basement of my workplace, and a big gym that I pay money to belong to. The little gym is free and convenient, but doesn't have a lot of machines. It is usually empty so I can crank my music and do my thing without anybody in my way and I never have to wait for a machine to open up. The big gym usually has a lot of people in it but it also has a ton of machines with a lot more variety than the little gym does. So I like both for different reasons.

Anyway, I'm going to the big gym to do weights in a couple of hours which means no more food for me until much later this evening. In the big gym, I usually do about 15 mins on the elliptical to warm up. Then I do every weight machine I can. There are a few I skip - the ones where something is pressing on the stomach area, I just can't do those, too uncomfortable. And there are 3 different abdominals machines, and I cannot do all 3 in one day or I'll either get super nauseous or be in some abdominal pain. I usually go for one abdominals machine, 2 if I'm feeling really good. But all the arms & legs machines I do - I aim for 12 to 15 reps of the heaviest weight I can lift. Once I'm done with all the machines, I immediately stretch while my muscles are still warm. I seem to get a better result from that than from stretching before working out. After stretching, I'll walk for about 10 mins on the treadmill at a leisurely pace to cool down. So that's the plan for tonight!
02-14-2013, 10:52 AM   #3
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2-14-13. I hit the big gym yesterday and it went mostly as planned. It was super busy there though and I always save the abdominals machine(s) for last. That way, if I'm already feeling nauseous or having any sort of abdo pain, I can just skip it. I was going to do one abdo machine, but there was a line for my favorite one! So I skipped it altogether. Not ideal, but I was not going to wait in line for one machine.

Tonight I'm going to ride the exercise bike in my home. I'm planning on at least 30 mins but I'm wondering if I might push myself and go longer than that. I'll definitely do a hill program. I'm also planning on doing some crunches to make up for yesterday's lack of abs workout. I still have a little bit of belly flab left over from that 7 months of being on Entocort - when I regained my weight, it seemed to all go to my tummy area, how uncute. It's really stubborn but so am I!

In other news, it's snowing, which is making my arthritis achey for the 10 millionth time this winter (may be a slight exaggeration). It's not too bad though, only slightly achey today. It's definitely been worse. Hopefully it will be okay when I ride the bike tonight too.
02-15-2013, 05:14 AM   #4
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I've just read through this!
Interesting what you say about corticosteroids doing the opposite of anabolic steroids! I have never thought about it before, and I have joined the gym while being on them! I take my last dose today though, so maybe I'll feel more of an improvement once I'm off them.
Do you ever do free weights? There are only two weight machines I like using at my gym so I have been thinking about doing free weights but I don't know what to do with them!
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02-15-2013, 08:23 AM   #5
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It's great your enjoying exercising so much and that it's helping you maintain good health.

I haven't been able to do any real exercise in years because I have so much trouble keeping weight on. But I do walk my dog everyday, which is as much for enjoyment (and for the dog!) as for keeping a certain level of fitness. I think exercise, outdoor exercise especially, is good for the mind as well.

I noticed the same thing about corticosteroids. I have no muscle left after taking them, and things like lifting shopping bags, standing up from sitting, etc. are actually quite difficult! I had assumed it was just from being underweight (I've always been a weakling!) until I read it was a side effect.

Your routine does sound quite exhausting though! Remember it's useful to keep some extra weight on in case of flare ups when you may not be able to eat as much.

Hope you continue to enjoy being healthy!
02-15-2013, 11:23 AM   #6
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LMV: I didn't know you are on steroids - it's very good then that you're going to the gym regulary now too. Here's an article with a lot of confusing medical words (I did not read the whole thing myself!) with lots more info on corticosteroids and muscle wasting:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2911625/

As for free weights, I really haven't done them myself. I prefer the weight machines. The little gym I go to has no free weights and there are 8 weight machines. The big gym I belong to has a ton of weight machines (at least 20 although I haven't actually counted) and also there are free weights there but I've never felt the desire to try them. I honestly wouldn't really know what to do with them either - is there a trainer in your gym that you could ask about this? Hopefully they can show you some exercises to do with the free weights. If not, maybe try looking for some videos online about what exercises to do with free weights?

UnXmas, I like walking with my dog too - due to our conflicting work schedules, my hubby walks her during the week and I walk her on weekends. As for my weight, no worries there. Thanks to Entocort, I regained all the weight I had lost and then some. I was up to about 140 lbs (a little bit chubby for me) by the time I finished with Entocort. Then I got some stubborn hemorrhoids and my GI tried me on steroid suppositories for those, so I gained about another 6 lbs and was at my heaviest ever at 146! I managed to lose that extra bit of flab and I'm at about 135 now which is a very healthy weight for me, and I've kept my weight steady right around there for over a year now. Although my workout routine is fairly intense, I like to eat too so my weight has been steady. I certainly have converted some flab into muscle but no worries about me wasting away, I like brownies and cookies and ice cream way too much for that.
02-15-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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So, my update for today 2-15-13 - I realized yesterday that not all stationary bikes are created equal! (This should have been obvious, in hindsight.) There is an exercise bike in the little gym that I often use, I do a 30 minute hill program on it and I usually end up going a little over 4 miles in that time. I also have an exercise bike at home, nothing fancy at all, just something I picked up used on craigslist for like $25. But I think my bike at home is actually better for me because it has one feature that the bike in the gym does not have. When I select the 30 minute hill program on my bike at home, it tells me if I'm "on pace" "too slow" or "too fast". Sometimes I have to pedal really hard to stay "on pace"! And the bike in the gym doesn't have anything like that, so I am probably pedaling too slowly when I'm using that one. I did something like 5.5 miles in a 30 minute hill program on my bike at home last night, so significantly more than the 4ish miles I do on the bike in the gym. Very interesting! I felt much more tired and sweaty after doing the bike at home too, so pushing myself to constantly stay "on pace" seems to be giving me a much better workout than just pedaling at my own pace in the gym. I think I'm going to be riding at home more often than I ride in the gym now!

It's kind of a shame though because when I go to the gym, I'm all business. I know I'm there to do one job and that's to get fit. I put on my workout clothes and it's like putting on a work uniform and I get in a particular mindset that now is the time to work. And when I work out at home, there are pets and TV and distractions galore and I just can't get myself properly in that frame of mind that I need to be in. I put on my workout clothes and then I think, oh I should really start a load of laundry before I work out. I should really put my dishes in the dishwasher. I should let the dog out and check my facebook and call my mother. Too many distractions! I'm the kind of person who needs to go to the gym, to get away from the rest of my life.

Anyway. I'm going to the big gym tonight to lift weights. My hubby usually goes with me to the big gym but he has to work late. I kind of like going by myself. When hubby is there, I feel like I need to constantly gauge, is he nearing the end of his workout? Should I go slower or faster to keep pace with him? Is he done, does he want to stretch? When I'm by myself, I can just do my thing and concentrate on me and not worry about anything else, so it is nice. I like that hubby is trying to get into shape too (he just recently started coming to the gym with me, he was literally getting jealous of how toned I'm getting!) but it is an added little bit of stress/distraction to have him come along. I like to do my own thing - the less people in the gym with me, the better.
02-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #8
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I normally prefer to get away from all the distractions by going to the gym myself, and do better joining classes rather than working out by myself. The instructor and other participants provide inspiration, and also place myself "front and center" where I can't whoose out in the middle of the class without everyone else noticing. The "embarrassment" factor keeps me going.

I don't know about your gym, but at ours, "spinning" classes are held on standard stationary bikes, but there are also recumbents bikes there, where you sit back, more like in a chair, rather than on a standard bicycle saddle. I would think the recumbent bikes would be, well, easier on the butt.

What I don't like about either type of bike at the gym is that you can't "clip in". some of the bikes have "clip less pedals" or straps, but they're not the same thing. No matter how much you try to tighten the straps, they don't replicate the same effect. Most stationary bikes just don't provide a very good workout for the front of your upper legs or abs.

Sounds like you're doing great!
02-15-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Ya noy, both the bike at the little gym and the bike in my home are the recumbent style. The bike in my home, I pretty much specifically chose it for the price and because it has a really cushy seat. It came "as is" and was pretty beat up, but my hubby fixed it up for me as best as he could, so it's in decent shape now. The electronic display and fan both work, although the heart rate monitor doesn't (one of the sensors on the handlebars is missing). All the cat hair from the previous owners is gone (replaced by hair from my cat, ha ha). But yeah, it is about as easy on the booty as a bike seat can be.

At the big gym, they have like 4 different types/styles of exercise bike. I have yet to try each type! There's not an elliptical in the little gym or at home though, so when I'm at the big gym I tend to gravitate towards the elliptical rather than the bikes.

I definitely agree that most exercise bikes don't do a thing for the abs/core. When I ride my actual bike outside, I get such a good core workout! There's so much balance and steering that just don't happen with a stationary bike. As for "clipping in", I'm not really sure what you mean. Like those loops on the pedals that go around your feet?

As for classes, the little gym has none and I don't think the big gym has any either! I belong to Planet Fitness (aka the big gym), which is a chain based around being really affordable but also kind of bare bones. So there aren't any classes that I've seen, there's no pool, etc. Mostly just treadmills, bikes, etc and weight machines and that's about it. It's in my price range ($10 per month!) and I don't need anything fancy so I'm just fine with it. I've never been big on fitness classes myself, I know I'm not going to sneak out halfway through my workout so no worries there. I'm a huge introvert too and I do better generally by myself rather than being in a group (that's true of most things in my life, not just exercise).
02-15-2013, 01:13 PM   #10
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LMV: I didn't know you are on steroids - it's very good then that you're going to the gym regulary now too. Here's an article with a lot of confusing medical words (I did not read the whole thing myself!) with lots more info on corticosteroids and muscle wasting:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2911625/

Lol that article is completely beyond me! It seems to be more focussed on why steroids cause muscle wasting than actually treating or preventing it?
02-15-2013, 02:17 PM   #11
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Those loops that go around your feet are what is commonly referred to as "clipless pedals".

If you've ever watched competitive cycling, those cyclists are not using pedals. The more expensive bikes do not come equipped with any pedals. Instead of pedals, they use "clips." Or "pedal clips".

The bike pedal clips correspond with "cleats" attached to the bottom of specialized cycle shoes. To "clip in" you stamp your foot down, which secures the cleat on your shoe to the clip on the bike. To "clip out" you have to twist your foot.

You can not just lift your foot off the pedal once it is clipped on. So if you don't twist your foot first, or don't do it properly, you will fall over. Most people fall over a LOT while getting used to clips, I did! But they make a world of difference in your ride.

With clips, you exert as much energy in your upstroke, as in the downstroke, because it adds all the strength and power provided by the muscles in the front of your upper leg, while also engaging the muscles in your abs, virtually doubling the overall effectiveness of your workout. It also enables you to ride much faster, and climb steep hills without overly taxing the muscles on the back of your leg.

By utilizing more large muscle groups, you can also ride longer distances, for longer periods of time without becoming exhausted. By clipping in with my road bike, I can ride 20 miles in an hour or less. On my old commuter/winter bike with standard pedals, 5 miles is a challenge.

There are different types of clip pedals. I use "frogs" . This is what a frog clip pedal looks like: http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f...=home.frogfaqs

There are some gyms that have stationary bike with clip pedals. My old gym did, but my current gym doesn't.


I belong to a women's only gym now. The instructors are just members, who receive free membership in return for leading classes. They're not professionals and most aren't that good, but there's notable exceptions. When I belonged to a coed gym, I didn't feel comfortable without makeup and a coordinating outfit. Now, I just throw on shorts and a T, and run out the door. We all have our own comfort levels.
02-15-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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UnXmas, I couldn't find any articles about preventing corticosteroid muscle wasting, other than things that generally said stuff like, "Keep working out while on corticosteroids to minimize the effect of muscle wasting." Yeah, I couldn't really follow the article either, but it was definitely the most comprehensive one I could find about corticosteroids & muscle wasting!

Ya noy, thanks for that info, I have never heard of this clipping-in thing before! I like riding my bike but definitely not competitively or anything like that, just for fun and exercise. Still, I live in a VERY bike-friendly city and I could probably find clip pedals and shoes at any number of shops here. I'm intrigued, I'm going to look into clips and see if I can find some for a decent price.
02-15-2013, 09:39 PM   #13
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Ya noy, thanks for that info, I have never heard of this clipping-in thing before! I like riding my bike but definitely not competitively or anything like that, just for fun and exercise. Still, I live in a VERY bike-friendly city and I could probably find clip pedals and shoes at any number of shops here. I'm intrigued, I'm going to look into clips and see if I can find some for a decent price.
We lived in Wisconsin before moving to Chicagoland. My best friend lives just outside Madison--Sun Prairie. We visit all the time. In fact, we usually ride our bikes there. There are bike trails that go from our house here, clear up to Madison, across to Milwaukee and back to Chicago. Very bike friendly city.

Our favorite trail in Wisconsin is the Elroy-Sparta, which is one the oldest "rails to trails" bike trail in the country, and one of the most popular, with really cool, long spooky old train tunnels. The longest tinnel is almost a mile, and you literally can't see the light at the end. If you haven't ridden the trail there yet, it's well worth the trip.

If you visit a Trek bike shop there in Madison, you'll see that the higher end bikes don't come with pedals. Clip pedals are transferred from onr bike to the next. They're not cheap, but Madison also has lots of great rummage sales.

Even if you never ride competitively, clips are well worth it, enabling you to ride longer, further, and faster, with far more ease-- while also exercising more large muscle groups.
02-15-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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Madison certainly does have excellent garage sales! I am thrifty almost to a fault and I go garage sale-ing almost every weekend in the summer. That's a very good idea about keeping an eye open for clips at garage sales - I'll look on craigslist and at local thrift stores too. There's a Trek shop close to my work so I'll have a meander around there sometime too. I haven't been on that trail you mentioned - mostly I just ride around the city, as there are so many excellent bike paths here. There's a bike path just up the block from my house that goes all the way downtown so I can ride to the farmer's market easily and avoid riding in traffic (and the Monona Terrace bike elevator is cool! ).
02-16-2013, 09:04 AM   #15
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Cyclists from all over the country visit Sparta-Elroy, just to ride that trail. It's 32 miles, and you do have to bing flashlights or headlights and walk your bike through the tunnels, which are pitch black. You can leave your vehicle at the cycling shops in Sparta, and they will drive you and bike to Elroy and drop you off at the beginning of the trail, so you can then ride the trail back to your car. There are some pretty cool hotels, such as an old train caboose converted into a hotel room, and a free campground (and you can pick up a map with the locations of all the many porti potties along the way).

With a decent bike, it's an easy ride. I ride my road bike with clips on the trails, but my husband uses "clips" on his mountain bike as well. Once you get used to them, regular pedals become tedious. We ride hundreds of miles, for days on end. We do what cyclists call "credit card camping" meaning that at the end of the day, you find a hotel, and hand them your credit card.

I bought my bike, shoes and clips all at different rummage sales. They still weren't cheap, but I got a very good deal. I rummage sale almost every weekend in the summer too--often in the Madison area with my best friend who lives there. We belong to a co-op in Madison, that we buy our stone ground flour and organic veggies from.

Yes, the bike elevator there is pretty cool! Madison is one of the most bike friendly cities in the entire nation

edit:

You'll never see higher end bikes or clips parked at any of the University campuses bike racks there though--too easy to steal. I don't ever leave my road bike at a rack, or even in my garage, not even with a dozen locks. Even if you have any components on your bike that say "Dura Ace" on them, they will be stolen. For shopping and commuting, you're best off with a Schwinn from the 70s.

Most cyclists use SPD clips, which are far cheaper (and less steal-able) than Frogs. Frogs are mainly for mountain bikes anyway.

Last edited by Ya noy; 02-16-2013 at 10:45 AM.
02-16-2013, 10:44 AM   #16
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That's crazy, what a small world. We've probably been to some of the same garage sales. You come up from the Chicago (suburbs?) area a lot of weekends? That's a long drive! The hubby and I sometimes go down to the Schaumburg area to do some shopping - we take the back roads to avoid tolls and that probably takes us at least 2.5 hours each way (it seems to take only slightly less on the toll roads, like 2 hours 15 min).
02-16-2013, 10:51 AM   #17
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Okay, so, my update today 2-16-13. Today is a rest day although I wish it weren't. Stress is piling up too high for a Saturday! My hubby lost his phone and he has to work soon so I might have to go try to retrace his steps and look for the stupid thing. Also my parents AND a friend both decided they're coming to town today and I have to try to juggle everyone or someone is going to get miffed at me. It's also really cold here and I've been coughing all morning, so I'm trying to explain to the dog that maybe we'll go for a walk later. Yuck, just a bunch of little stuff is piling up on me already and it's not even 10 AM yet. So I kind of want to exercise just for some stress relief. But I worked out hard the last 5 days in a row and I really need a rest day too. Blah. Wish I could actually rest on my rest day though!
02-16-2013, 12:00 PM   #18
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That's crazy, what a small world. We've probably been to some of the same garage sales. You come up from the Chicago (suburbs?) area a lot of weekends? That's a long drive! The hubby and I sometimes go down to the Schaumburg area to do some shopping - we take the back roads to avoid tolls and that probably takes us at least 2.5 hours each way (it seems to take only slightly less on the toll roads, like 2 hours 15 min).
My friend's daughter bought a hotel last year, so our visits are half to visit my friend, and the other half to do bookwork for the hotel, and we get a nice hotel suite in return.

In the summer, we ride our bikes to Madison! You take the Prairie Path to Elgin, and then hop onto the Fox River Trail that takes you clear up to Wisconsin, followed by the Badger State Trail and Glacial Drumline. Most of the dedicated bike paths along the way are even paved, and the scenery's amazing!

We often don't have time for the ride home. So instead, we take the Van Gelder bus line, which is only $14 and for an additional $10, transport our bikes in the underneath storage compartment. Works out cheaper than the cost of gas and tolls that way.

If you run across us at rummage sales, you'll recognize me because I'll be the one walking around, while firmly holding onto my bike! When out and about, it never leaves my hands, too steal-able. I even walk it inside Starbucks, and rather than complaining, the employees will come around the counter to check it out. It's so thin and light weight, it looks like a toy, but when riding long distance, every ounce matters.

Shopping in Schaumburg is great, and Gurney Mills is even better. Oh, and the outlet mall at Gurney Mills is 2 miles long, so with return trek back, you get the exercise benefit of a 4 mile walk.
02-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #19
AlliRuns
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I have a bum hip too, it's been bothering me this winter for some unknown reason. Anyhow, I find the spin bikes at the gym really bother it, (they bother my knees too), but if I spin on my own bike on my trainer that has been fitted to me and has proper crank length for me, it doesn't hurt at all.
02-16-2013, 05:49 PM   #20
Beach
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On Monday i think I'll join the new YMCA and get back into exercising at a gym. A new and very nice one opened about a mile from my place last year. Been joking for awhile that I should join the Y since they reportedly have an excellent sauna room. Sounds a bit odd to say that being a guy. Should be nice and warm though, which is a welcome thought about right now.

I've been going to gyms off and on for the past few years. Working out during that time was never easy. I was also tired going in to lift due to the MC and even more tired leaving. During that time I would work out with an exercise trainer. I needed the motivation counseling. I probably could have saved some money buying a tape recorder, with a recording of "Come on! You can do it! One more lift to feel the burnnnn." Can't complain about the results though. The hired trainers were money well spent I believe. I've gotten myself into good shape, more so than i thought possible.

Here of late I've been feeling half way decent to the gut. Seems what ever I'm doing I'm doing right. With that I should be able to workout well on my own. It is kind of an odd feeling I'm going through at the moment. At times, with the better behaving gut, I'm bouncing off the walls with energy - for me at least. Other times I'm back to the fatigued feeling. The good energy though, if it stays around, which i hope it does, should lead possibly to more time exercising. I was thinking I might have to expand outside of just lifting, and possibly into rock climbing as they have a wall there, or possibly swimming. We'll see, time will tell! Should be fun.
02-18-2013, 11:51 AM   #21
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Quick update 2-18-13: I lifted weights yesterday and felt good. I find that if I take a Zantac and about 8 Tums before lifting, the reflux stays fairly quiet (I don't get close to the point of vomiting anyway). Then I had a massage yesterday evening. I don't get them very often because I can't afford them regularly, but I really enjoy them when I do get to have one. We have a friend who is a massage therapist and he makes house calls and gives us a good rate, so I didn't even have to leave home. Sometimes though I feel awful the day(s) after a massage, I get such soreness. My last massage was like that, my neck is "a mess" according to my massage therapist and he worked on it a lot last time. As a result I could not move it much for days afterwards, it was too stiff & sore! This time though I feel really good, no soreness at all. (My neck was still proclaimed to be a mess, though.) I really wasn't sure how today would go, especially given how bad I felt after my last massage, but I'm feeling great so I plan on riding the exercise bike at home tonight. Lifting in the big gym again tomorrow, bike Wednesday, lifting in the little gym Thurs, rest day Friday. That's my plan for the week! Hopefully all will go as planned!
02-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #22
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Beach, you can totally do it! I hope that good energy sticks around. I find that no matter how I feel, if I push myself to work out, I usually end up feeling energized by the end of my workout. Maybe it's just the happy endorphins or whatever (I do get physically fatigued when I'm feeling depressed) but it is working for me. Please keep me posted on how you're doing, and I hope you stick with it!

AlliRuns, I saw your other thread about how you've just started running again - good for you! Can I ask, how is your bad hip doing after your run? I find that running is the one thing I just can't do - even if I push through the pain, I end up being in bad pain for days afterwards. So I hope you're not in pain like that! Well done with the run and I hope you continue feeling well enough to keep running!

Ya noy, wow, you are a hardcore cyclist! I get exhausted just riding a few miles around the city, even with the best bike in the world I couldn't imagine riding from the Chicago area to here! That must take ages! Speaking of ages, it's been forever since I've been to that outlet mall in Gurnee Mills. We prefer Schaumburg because the mall there is HUGE plus there's that cool Legoland and Ikea, and also this Japanese grocery store that the hubby and I really like (Mitsuwa). I don't think I'll be riding my bike there anytime soon though!

Another quickie update: It's supposed to rain/snow here later today. I woke up with my hip feeling fine, but it started aching a little while ago so I know the bad weather is on its way. I'm still planning on riding the bike tonight though. It seems like the worse the weather is, the worse my hip is, so I'm hoping for not too much precipitation. Things are tolerable right now, just a bit achey.
02-18-2013, 03:55 PM   #23
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Thanks Cat! Hope your workouts continue to go well. I'm getting off to a bad start with joining the Y this week! I was reminded that there is a decent chance I'll be leaving town for a few months in the near future. So the Y can wait till spring, but have been lightly exercising with workouts in the home gym of late, along with hitting tennis balls. I miss the gym. It's not the same as working out with others. It is to easy to get distracted.
02-18-2013, 04:31 PM   #24
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Beach, you can totally do it! I hope that good energy sticks around. I find that no matter how I feel, if I push myself to work out, I usually end up feeling energized by the end of my workout. Maybe it's just the happy endorphins or whatever (I do get physically fatigued when I'm feeling depressed) but it is working for me. Please keep me posted on how you're doing, and I hope you stick with it!

AlliRuns, I saw your other thread about how you've just started running again - good for you! Can I ask, how is your bad hip doing after your run? I find that running is the one thing I just can't do - even if I push through the pain, I end up being in bad pain for days afterwards. So I hope you're not in pain like that! Well done with the run and I hope you continue feeling well enough to keep running!

Ya noy, wow, you are a hardcore cyclist! I get exhausted just riding a few miles around the city, even with the best bike in the world I couldn't imagine riding from the Chicago area to here! That must take ages! Speaking of ages, it's been forever since I've been to that outlet mall in Gurnee Mills. We prefer Schaumburg because the mall there is HUGE plus there's that cool Legoland and Ikea, and also this Japanese grocery store that the hubby and I really like (Mitsuwa). I don't think I'll be riding my bike there anytime soon though!

Another quickie update: It's supposed to rain/snow here later today. I woke up with my hip feeling fine, but it started aching a little while ago so I know the bad weather is on its way. I'm still planning on riding the bike tonight though. It seems like the worse the weather is, the worse my hip is, so I'm hoping for not too much precipitation. Things are tolerable right now, just a bit achey.
Cat,

My hip bothered me on the run because it was cold, but running didn't seem to make it worse than normal. I find movements that are unnatural, I,e, riding an improperly fit bike, to be worse
02-18-2013, 04:49 PM   #25
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Beach, I'm not sure how the Y works - if you joined your local one, would you still be able to go to a Y in the city you might be living in for a few months (assuming there is one there too)? I belong to Planet Fitness and they have 2 types of membership. I have the $10/month membership which means I can only go to my local PF. If I paid $20 per month then I could go to any PF location. I'm poor and don't plan on travelling much so the $10 membership is just fine with me, but if I did have to travel for work or whatever then I would probably upgrade my membership. Anyway, just a thought. Whatever ends up happening with your situation, I hope that you can find ways to work out!

Alli, my hip is bothered by cold too, but it is also bothered by walking & jogging (jogging much moreso than walking). When I have to walk my dog in cold weather, that just does me in. When I first started having hip pains, before it was diagnosed as arthritis, it was so bad at times that I would limp and I was starting to think about needing a cane. Then I got it diagnosed and went through physical therapy and it's much better than it was, but cold & bad weather and walking/jogging are still triggers for my hip pain. Anyway, I'm glad to hear that running didn't make your hip any worse! And hopefully springtime will be here soon and we can get away from this cold yucky weather.

Speaking of my hip, the rain is here now and I am quite achey. Not fun! I'm still going to try the bike tonight, I have to at least try. If it's bad though I won't push it and will maybe try some yoga instead. I don't want to have to do that, when I can't do something I feel like such a failure, I hate when my health holds me back. So I'm going to give it my best shot on the bike. Wish me luck!
02-18-2013, 05:36 PM   #26
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Cat -that's a good question, and don't know. What crossed my mind is possibly signing up at the local Y now and then placing my membership on hold, if i should leave. I know of others that have done this. Then again I was thinking I'll just keep it simple, wait till I return to town and join then. Decisions, decision! I'll get something worked out, as it is nice to sometimes find myself of late with more energy than I know what to do with. This doesn't happen much! My IBD has made me a good planner over the years, having a good idea of how much energy I have to spend for what can be accomplish for the day.

Hope the bike ride goes well! I'm in another Big 10 (14) city down south of you, in Champaign at the moment. It's windy and cold here. My evening walk will not be happening.
02-18-2013, 06:10 PM   #27
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Beach, are you in remission? It wasn't until I got fully into remission that I started having enough energy to work out regularly. Up until that point, I was similar to how you described - I would sometimes have a really good day where I had a decent amount of energy, but I could never count on it reliably happening. I've been in remission for close to 2 years now and I've been working out regularly for close to 2 years as well. I still have bad days, but remission seems to mean that I can push through on bad days and still get in a decent workout and feel okay afterwards. If I weren't in remission, though, I doubt I'd be able to work out as often as I do now. A bad day in remission is still better than a good day when not in remission, it seems, at least for me it is.
02-18-2013, 08:00 PM   #28
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Cat - Oh, my health situation improved greatly when I began avoiding grains. It's all relative, but my energy levels increased, and the gut felt better when i did that. I could be ill, but the grain free diet was a nice energy boost from what I had been experiencing before.

It wasn't long after beginning the diet that I signed up with a personal trainer. I was always tired when I worked out. Overall, I'm greatly surprised at what i was able to accomplish at the gym the past few years. I didn't expect this. My gym goals were modest, gain 10lbs of muscle and be a happy camper. My trainer would jokingly disagree, and would point to some large muscled professional black weight lifters saying he was going to make me look like that! Well, I'm not nearly as big as those guys, but he pushed me enough that I'm close to 50lbs heavier. We never did workout in the sun, so didn't develop the dark tan either.

Since the middle of January I've been heading toward remission. Like you, I'm not well all the time, but being well and decently energetic frequently happens now. It has me thinking more about future projects, which is nice. Overall, I suspect I have a good long ways to go with my recovery.

What helped you with going into remission?
02-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #29
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As for remission, I'm kind of an anomaly I think. I'm still technically undiagnosed (I seem to have some form of IBD, likely either Crohn's or MC, but officially undiagnosed). I went through test after test with no result, but I tried pred at one point and it worked wonderfully for me. So at one point my GI could see that all the tests were wearing on me (and on my checkbook) so we decided to change course. No more tests, we were going to try to get me into remission instead as he felt I probably do have IBD and was comfortable treating me with one of the milder treatments. He put me on a long run of Entocort (it ended up being about 7 months total) and that got me into remission. Now I'm just on Asacol for maintenance of remission.

So, I'm officially in remission but also undiagnosed. I know I'm very lucky because most of the people in the Undiagnosed Club are really struggling and are not anywhere close to remission. But yeah, it was really just steroids that got me here, and I'm keeping myself in remission with mainly meds & exercise. I also try to make sure I get enough sleep, keep my stress levels as low as I reasonably can, take psyllium and other supplements daily, etc. I haven't really tried any special diets except for BRAT, low-res, and the "if it hurts, don't eat it" diet.

Like you said, it's a long journey to remission. I feel like it's not a black & white thing, but a lot of gradients. I'm in a good, stable remission now. When I was on Entocort, I was averaging 1 or 2 bad days per week. Now I only usually have bad days if I eat something I shouldn't or don't get enough sleep, etc. I guess technically I probably was in remission when I was on Entocort, but I didn't feel like it. I feel good nowadays. I know I'll never be 100% like how I was before I became ill, but I'm pretty close to 99% on a really good day and I'm definitely happy with that!
02-18-2013, 10:02 PM   #30
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I'm a big fan of the "if it hurts, don't eat it" diet
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