...and boy are my arms tired.

weightbench.jpg So as you may have read from Deanne's blog, we've both embarked on a new fitness routine. We aimed to start January 1st but we both got sick and although the dieting started close to January 1st, the exercising has only been going on for a week for me. The diet part is going well; I've reduced my calorie intake dramatically. Deanne put together a binder with nutritional information for many of the restaurants I (used to) frequent. Some of the data is downright disturbing: Double Whopper w/ Cheese, large fries and a coke = 1900 calories, 95grams of fat! 6 Dollar Burger, large fries and a coke = 1950 calories, 91 grams of fat! That's your entire day's calorie intake in one meal. I used to eat that stuff all the time, no wonder I was getting fat.I have reduced my calorie intake to about 1600 calories per day. Deanne pointed me to a stat called your Basal Metabolic Rate which is the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day. So theoretically, I should lose weight by just sitting on my ass all day...but it would take time. If you add some exercise into the mix, you're going to increase the rate at which you burn calories, and as Deanne said on her blog "After elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time, your body will continue to burn calories for hours sometimes days at high rates." Encouraging. We got an eliptical trainer and weight bench for Christmas. I had used the eliptical trainer a few times and found it to be a very efficient but altogether exhausting piece of equipment - evidently doing it's job. I really appreciate the fact that it's zero impact because running even for a short period of time results in excruciating knee pain (damn British medical system.) Last night I used our weight bench for the first time (I think I burned several hundred calories just putting the damn thing together.) I did a lot of weight training when I was at school so I knew the basics but I refreshed my memory, if only to avoid knocking myself unconcious with a barbell. Now this may sound weird but for what it is, weight lifting is a lot of fun. I did it for 35 minutes, which is what was recommended for a beginner, and by the end of each rep, my muscles were burning, which is apparently the target sensation as it indicates the muscle will need to rebuild, adding strength and tolerance. By the end of the 35 minutes I felt great. I had worked my entire upper body and felt very satisfied. So I went to bed, a little sore but looking forward to my next session. My alarm clock went off at the usual time this morning and I said to myself "Ok, should probably get up n......SWEET MOTHER OF GOD I'M PARALYZED!" Turns out I was just in searing pain in my elbows from one particular exercise I was doing. Silly me. I a) hadn't stretched properly for it and b) hadn't even executed the exercise properly. Consequently while the rest of my muscles ached as they should after a work out, the tendon that attaches the tricep to the elbow felt like someone was holding a lighter under it. I couldn't even get a spoon to my mouth to eat my oatmeal...pathetic! Anyway a little tiger balm and some light stretching and it felt a little better. Still hurts a bit but at least tonight is cardio! ;-)