Monthly Archives: September 2011

Time for a Change

Time For Change Watch 3I’d been planning to do some kind of reward system for a while now. I have a paperclip chain hanging by my office chair, and I add a new paperclip with every pound I lose. But I wanted something that I could keep on me at almost all times. I’d thought about doing a charm bracelet before, but just couldn’t get a design figured out with the available charms at the local craft stores in mind. I thought about making a necklace and adding a bead or pearl, too. Nothing seemed to click.

The other night I was browsing around Etsy and saw a charm bracelet that had the look I was going for. It had 2 chain strands, which could support more beads than my original idea. (And hey, when you’re aiming to add on about 65 beads, you need the space!)

The next day I hopped over to Michael’s Craft Store and looked for ways to create my new vision. I found chain I liked, and beads I liked, but there was still something missing.

I happened by the watch faces and found two: one that supported 5 strands, and one that supported 3. I decided I REALLY liked the 3-strand idea (even better than just 2 strands for a bracelet) and the vision took further shape. I picked up 4 strings of different beads, plus some spacers. I knew I had beads at home that could work too. For the finishing touch, I picked up a rose gold plated butterfly charm.

I wasn’t sure how this vision would end up (it’s kind of like when you have a picture in your head that you want to draw, but putting it on paper never quite looks like what you have in your head), so I figured it would take some experimentation.

It took two days, lots of cursing, and flinging bits of wire all over the place, but long story short is my watch is now complete!

It’s a cross between a charm bracelet and a watch, and it’s very *me* with all the personal symbolism.  Read the rest of this entry

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And just when the motivation had struck again…

Lower Back Pain…I was struck down.

So I’d been going strong again with my workout plan. It was exciting to get back into it, and while I lamented the fact that some exercises were really hard again, it felt good at the same time. I got through the DOMS of the first week, got through my second week where I even FINALLY mastered some moves that I hadn’t been able to do before, and started on Week 3. Monday was fine, but Tuesday I didn’t feel well. I don’t know exactly what was wrong, but I had that feeling like when you take medicine on an empty stomach: nausea, dizziness, fatigue, upset stomach…but mostly nausea. I know I hadn’t taken supplements or anything on an empty stomach. I did nothing out of the ordinary. But I was miserable all day.

Hokay, so one bad day off-plan is all right. By that evening I was feeling better and was looking forward to getting back on track on Wednesday.

I remember getting up in the middle of the night to run to the bathroom (side effect of drinking all my water!) and was just fine. But in the morning I discovered I tweaked my back. Ow. Fucking ow.

Basically, this is the situation: I have a mild scoliosis in the lumbar region of my back. Normally it doesn’t bother me. I know I should take care of it better, like working on my posture while I’m at my computer. One of the things I like about the exercise program I was doing is that it helped me strengthen my core. A strong core helps that particular area of my back and keeps it from going crazy on me.

But all it takes is a wrong motion: I’ve hurt it from spending time shelving books, from sitting down on the couch wrong, twisting in an odd way, etc. These are usually not major movements that strain my muscles. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it happened this time from just sleeping wrong, like when you give yourself a crick in the neck by sleeping with your head hanging halfway off your pillow.

What happens to me is that my spine moves into a painful position. My muscles react by locking around my spine to keep it from going any further. However, they lock my spine in that painful position. Which makes them lock down harder. Which hurts more. Which makes them lock down even harder. It’s a vicious cycle.

I have seen a chiropractor about this, and the way I have to fix it is to stretch out and relax those muscles. So I have a series of stretching exercises that I go through to try to relieve the muscle lock. It takes a few days, but it’s nice when I can move again.

Right now I’m glad I can finally move. I can still feel some pain. It’s like when you get a really bad charlie horse at night (foot or calf cramp) and your entire leg feels sore the next day. Well, my muscles have been so locked up in that cramped position that there’s some residual pain.

The result? I had to stop exercising. Hell, there were days I spent most of my day in bed because walking and even sitting (putting pressure on my tailbone, which affected that locked area) hurt like hell. I still stretch as much as I can, and try to keep the pressure off my tailbone.

Let me tell you, though, I am SO restless and anxious to get back to my strength training. A good strong core doesn’t prevent this completely for me, but it certainly helps.

So yeah, there you go. That’s why I haven’t had anything to post lately: I haven’t been able to DO anything except lie in bed, stretch, and sit at my computer for only short periods of time. (The couch was more comfy.) It sucks, but I’m almost through it, and hope to get back on track on Monday.