efficient inefficiency

I'm having one of those awesome days where everything's going perfectly. I got a great night's sleep, unlike the night before where I only got about four hours or so. When I woke up, I evaluated myself in the mirror and could definitely see changes from six weeks ago. My lower belly pooch is disappearing! The rest of my belly is also getting slimmer! I can definitely see my bicep muscles! Such a great way to start off the day. Then I headed downstairs and did my daily body test on the WiiFit, and the numbers are still going in the right direction [if it keeps this way, I'll have another big loss come Sunday, but I don't want to jinx myself by revealing the number so far]. I also did well on the balance tests, giving me a WiiFit age of 24. I don't usually care about those tests [the walking test, in particular, doesn't register half my steps so it always ends up with horrible results!] but I'll celebrate this one, at any rate.

Then, to make things even better, MY ANKLE FEELS GREAT. It took me a few minutes to realize, since it wasn't bothering me, but I had no soreness at all, even when I flexed my foot [contracting the tendon hurt the most, for some reason, with this injury]. I'm hoping this isn't just a fluke and that means my ankle is finally fully healed. It's been more or less six weeks, so it should be, but you never know with my ankles. Anyway, I'm not feeling so confident that I'm going to go pounding the pavement today [plus it's gloomy and hailing out] but if this keeps up for the rest of the week, hopefully next week will see me out running. Do I even need to say how excited this makes me? Because I think it should be fairly obvious by now.

I've also noticed in the past couple of days that my fitness levels, including both my flexibility and my endurance, have improved a lot. They're still not absolutely stellar, of course, but they're loads better than they were before I started six weeks ago. Then, I couldn't do 30 seconds of jumping jacks without having to stop; now, they're not a struggle for even a few minutes. Climbing up the hill to my house left me breathless this winter, but not anymore. I'm reaching farther in my stretches, both in post-workout cool downs and during yoga. And, if you remember: six weeks ago, I couldn't do even 10 minutes of a moderate intensity workout [I had to pause my Jazzercise tape oh god how pathetic is that?] but now, I have no problem with an hour of moderate to moderately high intensity workouts.

Six weeks ago, I couldn't walk/slowly jog up the stairs of my house to the second floor without getting winded. Now I run up them without heavy breathing every time I make the trip. A lot of this distinct improvement is because I use a specific tactic: "becoming efficient with inefficiency". Instead of doing simple daily tasks as quickly as possible, I make my body more efficient by taking longer and being more active in my tasks. So, I make as many trips as possible up and down those stairs to grab things from my bedroom or library [also, the only bathroom is upstairs and with all the water I drink, I'm running up those stairs at least once an hour!]. I don't work in an office but if you do, take the time to walk to a coworker's desk to talk with them instead of emailing them. Just simple little changes like that can improve your step count for the day, and that eventually adds up.

It definitely took persistence and I've still got a long way to go before I reach my final fitness goals [and then I'll just set new ones!]. I even had to push back my short-term fitness goals because of my ankle but I'm still working towards them, just aiming for the end of May instead of April. Despite that, it's encouraging to see how much I've improved in just a month and a half, sprained ankle and all. I'm excited to see where the next six weeks take me!

[On that note, I've also decided to extend my 30 Day Shred challenge to the end of May, for various reasons. I already missed a few days because of my ankle and this way, I have time to catch up as well as take a few extra days on each level if I need to. Also, I'm thinking of going through it all with the current weights I have, and then doing it again with heavier weights. Right now, on day 9 of level one, the weights section is the only part I'm still consistently struggling with, even though I'm only using 3 pound weights. I want to make sure that I can complete it with 5 pound weights before I move onto something else. So, I haven't decided between doing P90X or Insanity yet, but it won't be until June anyway.]