30 minutes on elliptical trainer
20 minutes on spin bike
12 minutes on recumbent exercise bike
Hip abduction machines
This was a trial exercise session , a chance to test out more changes in my life. Just as beginning to exercise was a major change to my life, so has starting physical therapy initiated a new era for me.
I promised I wouldn't list my structural flaws, but in order to make sense of my exercise choices, I think I should bring them up. Also, these are problems other recovering fat people may encounter, so I'll share them here.
My right knee is knocked, and the foot is twisted outward. This has unbalanced the pelvis, giving me a limp and a right hip with 30 degrees less mobility than the left. My left hip is higher than the right, and my body's tried to compensate by causing my right shoulder to be higher than the left. Oh, and 30 years of obesity have given me a forward bending spine and flat feet. To top it off, my head leans to one side. (Please, no jokes about my not having my head on straight.)
My initial physical therapy session was devoted to bodyweight exercises to strengthen the neck and shoulders, and develop more range of motion in the right hip. The neck and shoulders work should help end the upper back pain I am experiencing.
As part of my physical therapy, I am now practicing correct posture. I've been slouching forward for three decades or more, and that's aggravated whatever original structural problems I've had. It's damn hard, let me tell you, to learn how to sit and stand properly. None of this is automatic, and I need to constantly be conscious of my posture. However, there are some benefits; I'm now actually 6 feet 1 inch in height, for instance. I'm taller than some people I used to think were about my height. And my head straightens itself out once it's correctly balanced on a vertical spine.
Part of posture starts at the feet, and so I now am wearing arch supports. Again, this takes getting used to. It won't solve the problem of the knocked knee, but perhaps it will prevent me from looking like an accordion as I walk, lessening the effect of the knee collapsing inward on each step.
I can say the arch supports, as odd as they feel, passed the exercise test with flying colors. I has no trouble with them on the elliptical trainer. On the spin bike, they made my cycling shoes a little tight, but nothing uncomfortable.
Some people might think I'm dwelling on negatives by discussing my structural problems. I prefer to think I'm being positive by doing so. As a friend wrote to me after one of my too-frequent whining emails, "the limits of what you can do are decided by you. You can decide to let all the obstacles slow you down or stop you, or you can decide to make them motivating factors."
I'll let you, the readers, guess the decision I made. Meanwhile, I'm down to 262, making two pounds lost this week, and in my workouts the next two days I am preparing for another assault on Mount Misery, taking place this Saturday.