I had my first real day of physical therapy on Monday, and I learned two things: one, there are plenty of ab workouts you can do without contractions, and two, my abs need a LOT of work. I woke up on Tuesday feeling like someone had pounded my torso with a wiffle bat. I was sore in some of the strangest places, it was really astonishing. Most of the workouts were focused on the lower back, but those weren't as challenging as the front exercises.
The first ab exercise the therapist had me do was planks; I've done these before, and thought they'd be pretty easy. But he had me do six planks at one minute each, which is way more than I normally do. They weren't excruciating, but I was shaking by sets five and six. The next ab exercise we did was this thing where you lie on your back with your legs sticking up, and you slowly lower them while pushing your lower back into the floor. Again, I've done these before, but apparently I was doing them wrong, because I used to just let my back naturally curve as the legs went down. Apparently as soon as the lower back bends, you switch to the hip flexors to support the legs and the abs don't engage. This workout was really what did me in, because the two things that were sore the next day were my abs and my hip flexors.
I was so sore that I really couldn't do those exercises for a couple of days afterwards, so I went swimming instead. The BYU pool is closed for the entire month, so I've had to get creative to find places to swim. But the weather has been perfect here in Utah (90 degrees every day with no clouds in sight) so swimming outside has actually been great. I'm going to do another post on that soon, with maybe some pics and videos, so stay tuned.
Now it's time to report on my progress. I can't do the back strength test until I go back to the physical therapist because that machine isn't in the school weight room, but I've got good news on my weight. As of yesterday I was 130 lbs, which means I've dropped 5 lbs in the last two weeks! This is even faster than I was expecting, so I'm really excited about it. Those of you who are trying to lose weight should be happy to know that I didn't do any crash diet. What I have done is simple and not that hard. First, I cut the carbohydrate and protein part of my meals in half, and second, I replaced that missing food with more fruits and vegetables. You get some sugar from the fruit that helps to fill you up, and vegetables take up so much space in your stomach that they give you a feeling of fulness. This method does two things; it decreases the amount of calories you eat, and it floods your system with fiber, vitamins, and minerals which help keep you running more efficiently. In terms of weight, I'm already halfway to where I was in the beginning of the summer, and I'm a third of the way to where I want to be. More updates to follow!