Tag Archives: physical therapy

Back at It {Food & Fitness Link-Up}


Was anyone else all messed up with the the holidays in the middle of week somewhere? I can tell you one thing, I don’t mind working just two days at a time!

It’s that time of year, where the cliché is to get back on track… And since I’m finally no longer on “vacation“, I thought I’d take the opportunity to make some plans for the week.

Since my surgery in March, I became discouraged, lost my Not on a Diet / healthy living mentality and gained back about 20 lbs of the 36 I lost. Ouch. Time to find a new way to adapt without running. Or at least build up my strength again. No more pouting, Carrie.

So here’s this week’s plan. One day at a time…


The last time I checked, today’s high was supposed to be -12 degrees.

That’s right, -12.

And that’s before any windchill factored in…

Sounds like a night for chili!


MondayChocolate Chili
TuesdayCrockpot Carnitas topped with shredded cheese, tomatoes, onions and guacamole
Wednesday – Leftovers
ThursdayChipotle Black Bean Burger with guacamole and tomato
Friday – Poker Night – Happy Hour at Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. I like the Chicken Kabob Munchies. They are all veg and protein and just 5 bucks during Happy Hour.
Saturday – Dinner Out
Sunday – TBD

Lunches – Leftovers from the weekend, leftover chili, leftover carnitas + one piece dark chocolate + one piece fruit

BreakfastsSlow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal


Walking 45 minutes on the treadmill every day except Friday. I have also uncovered my exercises I was given when I was in physical therapy. Back at it!

What are you making this week?


Finding a Walking Program – How I Got LOST


I remember the days when I could walk about a 12-minute mile. They were the days when my mom and I would power walk the neighborhood where I grew up. We’d kill four miles in under an hour.

About a year ago, I was happy to run that fast.

Since my back surgery, I’ve been healing and haven’t been cleared to run yet. I’ve been adapting. At my first physical therapy appointment, about 7 weeks post-op, I was given what seemed like simple exercises that have proven to be more challenging than I thought.

I can really tell the difference if I skip a day of my PT exercises. However, when I do them religiously, things start to improve. It’s amazing how slow of a process this is. Yet, when I think back, I know I am doing so much better than those first few weeks after surgery, not to mention the months before I was diagnosed with an extreme herniated disk!

I was also told to begin a Walking Program.

But how does one begin a Walking Program? You may be thinking… “Well, just get out and walk!” My physical therapist gave me a pedometer and said just to track how many steps I do in a day and keep increasing it. That’s all fine and dandy. But you know what I’m really missing?

I’m missing the endorphins of aerobic activity.

I don’t just want to track my daily steps. I want to feel like I’ve accomplished something.I’m missing the structure of a running schedule  leading up to the end result – a race… Then repeating the process for improvement.

I need to see progress.

So I started looking up walking training programs. Did you know that there are people out there who train to walk marathons?! While I have no intention of doing that, I knew I wanted to find a way to increase my time and mileage every week. When I found this link on training to walk a 10k, I created this schedule:

photo 2

It’s a little blurry, I know. And it’s very basic so that I can change it based on how I am feeling. You may also notice that it is taped to my mirror. Whenever I have a goal, I have a chart or motivator of some sort taped to my bathroom mirror so that it is the first thing I see when I get up. It reminds me of my goal and measures my progress.

I originally mentioned that I was hoping to get back to running in early June. My doc said at my six-week post-op appointment that after six weeks of physical therapy that I could slowly get back in to running again. However, as much as I have that urge to run {who thought I’d ever say that?!}, as much as I have that pang in my stomach to want it so badly when I drive by other runners on the road, I can tell by my body that I’m not ready. I still have some more physical therapy to do. There is still a lot of tightness in my muscles from trying to protect my back. I still need to continue my PT exercises and walk daily. I plan to complete this walking program first.

It’s giving me a place to start. The first week, I walked around the block for about 15 minutes at a leisurely place – sometimes with, sometimes without the dogs. {When I first started walking again I could barely walk 1 mile or and at 2.5 miles an hour without difficulty or being in pain.} This walking program gives me a chance to start out slowly and begin increasing my time, just as I did when I was aiming for running 5ks.

However, my goal is not to walk a 10k.

I have another motivator instead!

While this walking program is all fine and dandy with increasing the time for walks, it does nothing to encourage me to go faster.

I want to increase time AND mileage every week.

Come back on Thursday {after Wine Wednesday!} to learn how I got LOST!

What are your fitness goals for June?




I had my six-week post-op appointment last week. It’s all good news, yet still a little like Punxutawney Phil told me that I have six more weeks of winter. Which isn’t fair, because he already lied this year with the promise of an early spring!

So yes, things are looking good, but I have six more weeks of healing. It’s just nice to have answers with timing to get on with my life. My intent is not to whine about how I’m feeling, but rather to update those of you who have been asking. How can I when my husband sent me this article yesterday about a Boston Marathon victim?! My heart goes out to her.

The Surgery:

Doc says that my surgery involved one of the two biggest pieces of disks that he’s ever removed. When the surgical team got in there and moved over the nerve, the mass just popped right out. I’d like to try to figure out how to get a pic of my MRI online. When I first saw it, I was floored. I wanted to show my husband to give him an idea, but as I looked around the web for an L5/S1 herniated disk, NONE of them looked like mine! All of the others showed a slightly protuding disk. The best way to describe mine is that the disk cavity looked flattened and the majority of the disk squished out into the spinal canal.

For the next six weeks I still can’t:

  • Do any heavy lifting or lots of bending. (I think I’ve been taking some of this too far, as of late. I don’t lift anything heavy, but I’ve been bending more.)
  • Golf. Bye-bye summer couples golf league. He said that I can see where I’m at about 3 to 4 months post-op mark.
  • Run. I can walk briskly for now. After six weeks of physical therapy, I can slowly get back into running again.

Here’s what I can do:

I can walk, swim and I think he said biking… but from experience, when I have back issues, biking makes it worse. Actually, every time my back has acted up was after I spent a lot of my workouts on the recumbent bike! So I’m just going to stay away from that.

Physical Therapy:

I’ve been prescribed physical therapy for the next six weeks, three times per week. I am looking forward to this as I am anxious to have instructions and homework to increase stabilization, regain my strength and strengthen my core.

Yesterday was my first/evaluation appointment. I am told to being a walking program. It’s going to start out very basic – just tracking steps. This is the single most important exercise proven to strengthen and heal patients after back surgery. I’ve also been given a few simple daily exercises to start.

What does this mean?

It means that there are going to be some changes going on around here! I’m learning how to adapt. This list that I wrote on my birthday of things I wanted to accomplish over the coming year, will need to be revised. I won’t be able to complete the 13 Races in 2013 that I thought. I’ll need to revise that as well.

However, after the six weeks of PT and I get clearance to begin running, I’m going to start the Couch to 5k program again! Doc said that I can slowly get back into running again. So why not start here? My husband has declared that he is going to join me. I hope you will, too! I’ll actually be posting my Couch to 5k progress so those of you who many be new to running can follow along. I’m anticipating that will start at the beginning of June and that I’ll run my first post-op 5k in August. That is, if all goes well with therapy!

It’s great to have a starting point, a timeline and a plan. Not everyone gets second chances. For that, I am grateful.

Name a time in your life when you hard to start over at the beginning.