Sunday, 23 January 2011

Ankle Arthroscopy Rehab Workout #2

Well hello!

Sorry for how long this has taken me to put up, but here's the second workout I completed post-ankle surgery.

To begin with I focussed on my upper half and on this day I was working my shoulders

I loaded up my dumbbells with 9kg of weight...

...and did the following shoulder exercises:

* Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press - 3 x 10 reps

* Standing Dumbbell Upright Rows - 3 x 10 reps

* Standing Dumbbell Shrugs - 3 x 10 reps

As you'll see from my workout notes... I had to do the last two exercises with my right leg bent on a stool behind me:

Next I took the weight down to 4kg

and worked on my Rotator Cuff:

* Seated Dumbbell Scarecrow - 3 x 10 reps

* Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Scaption - 3 x 10 reps

I used to use 3kg for the previous two exercises as they're surprisingly hard. However, the way my weight dumbbell weight plates work I couldn't get exactly 3kg so thought I'd up the weight and see if I could manage, which I could, which is fab as it's really difficult to make strength gains in subtle exercises like this that specifically target small and more-obscure muscles.

Upper body worked, I strapped on my ankle weights (2 on one leg)

and had a play around with a couple of exercises I hoped would target my leg muscles.

Before I continue I'd like to say again that these are only experimental exercises which will probably be a) too tame for most, but also b) not suitable for everyone... i.e. if you've had a knee arthroscopy as opposed to an ankle arthroscopy!

However, I am on a mission to get glutes and hamstrings like this amazing specimen: I need to train whichever way I am able to!!

Last time I exercised I wanted to try a seated leg extension, however I was worried that as my stool is so low (it's really my dressing table stool!), I would need to put weight (albeit slight) on my right foot while extending my left leg and I didn't want to risk that.

As you can see from this pic, the fella demonstrating the exercise has both legs hanging down which means there's no weight resting on either foot and also it enables him to get a better 'swing' when extending the leg - i.e. from slightly further back than 90 degrees:

I bought this Ironman Adjustable Aerobic Step for a very cheap price from the fabulous SS Healthfoods Ltd. If you've not visited their site before I'd recommend you do, they claim to be the "UK`s best price Bodybuilding supplements and sports nutrition store", not sure how true it is but they're certainly very competitively priced and they have a huuuuuge range of supplements, some of which I've only seen available from the US previously... well worth a look if you've not visited the store, it's where I buy my Scivation Xtend BCAAs, great store.

Anyway, onto the bench fix... here we go, not terribly scientific or attractive... but a decent workaround nonetheless:


So, was able to do ankle-weighted leg extensions.

Unfortunately... it wasn't terribly effective, even with both weights on one leg. I did 60 repetitions (3 x 20) each leg but didn't feel any effort in my quads :-(

You can see my frustration in my notes! See (2)

It's hardly surprising really given that I use 35kg on the leg extension in the gym!

I resolved then to buy some heavier ankle weights and ordered these 20lb adjustable ankle weights. More about that next workout update :-)

The exercise I devised that I *was* please with was the following.

I wanted to incorporate movements like reverse leg extensions, curls and kicks, into one effective exercise.

I couldn't find a video which had all the exercises in one move so have cobbled - Blue Peter style - together a series of screen prints from different exercises off

Hopefully it should be pretty self-explanatory from the pics but I've included some notes too:

(click image for bigger picture)


Point (1) couldn't get an image of the bloke pulling his knee into his chest enough, and it's not absolutely essential... however it does help to get a good kick out for the extension at point (2).

Speaking of (2), and also (4) (spot the difference... ;-) ), *try* and straighten your leg better than this guy (sorry mate!) and keep it at hip height not allowing it to drop.

Point (6) is KILLER! Haha, this is the money move, yeah baby, this is where the work happens ;-) stick with it and try and kick up as high toward the ceiling as you can... okay it's a very small move, but it's very effective too and my butt knew about it the next day - oooooowww!! :-D

I'm trying to think of a name for this move, I'm sure it's been thought of before and already has something snazzy and catchy - if you've seen it before and know of its name do let me know! In the meantime I'm going to wrack my brains and think of something... maybe "Tara's glute and hams multi-move"? Hmmmm

Okay, that's enough for me, this was meant to be a short update and has taken me forever! Maybe I should start doing video blog updates?! Something for the future eh?

Back soon with recovery update (I'm now able to do that 'walking' thing - albeit crutch-assisted!!)

Take care and stay strong!


Monday, 17 January 2011

Ankle Arthroscopy Rehab Workout... Take 1!

Shhh, I'm not meant to be on here blogging about *recent* events, I'm meant to be catching up on the past year! However, I've had a couple of great workouts so I thought I'd share them with you.

I'd like to add the caveat that these are 'great' for me right now as I'm fairly immobile... they are, however, drastically less energetic than my usual ones and might be quite boring for you, dear reader! Also, as I've never had an ankle arthroscopy in the past, so not had to deal with recovering from one, a lot of what I'm doing is of the suck-it-and-see nature of things given how limited my movements are right now!

Friday 14th January 2011

So after a week of total foot-up-in-the-air rest, I thought it was time to do a little gentle exercise.

I'd had Joe bring down some exercise equipment from the loft for me:

I've still got a Swiss Ball, a kettlebell and a case of lightweight dumbbells up there but, aside from the last item, I don't think it would be sensible for me to attempt to use the other two right now!

Firstly I worked my triceps and biceps. I could really do with a dumbbell tree, but for now I have a pair of adjustable York dumbbells which are pretty cool and you can go up to 10kg (which includes the bar - 1kg and the two end spinners - 0.25kg each) if you're using both at once... or more if you just want to load up the one dumbbell.

I started with an upper body workout, my usual biceps and triceps one to be exact:
(click here for links to pics/video clips)

1) Biceps Concentration Curls
1 x 7kg dumbbell
3 x 10 reps

This first exercise proved tricky from the outset as I didn't want to be resting any weight on my right foot, no matter how slight. I'd been told that I could be 'partial weight bearing' from the second day after the op, depending on how it felt (i.e. walking with crutches with teeeeny bit of weight on foot, but it was proving too painful - and indeed still is, so I figured I'd just go with how my body was feeling!)

To remedy the foot issue I did my concentration curls with my right leg up on my bed:

2) 1 arm Overhead Triceps Extension
1 x 5kg dumbbell
3 x 10 reps

This was the easiest exercise for me (no, not just because it was the lightest weight ;-)) as I always do these seated and had to make no modifications.

Zottman Curls
2 x 7kg
3 x 10 reps

The Zottman curls were trickier as I do these stood up to get a better range of movement. So for this exercise I stood on my left leg with my right leg bent and resting on the stool behind me. That worked a treat :-)

Triceps Kickbacks
1 x 7kg
3 x 10 reps

Again, these were a little tricky due to not being able to place my right foot down on the floor so instead I did these knelt on my bed... hey, whatever works huh?! ;-)

Core work

After I'd exercised my arms I thought I'd move to my abdominals.

I have a medicine ball... well, it's Joe's... I'd have a) bought one with handles and b) not bought such a heavy one!

Still, it makes for a challenging workout I suppose ;-)

So, firstly I did

Medicine ball Sit-up with Oblique (aka 'Russian') Twist

I'd not tried these before, they're pretty cool!

1) Start lying flat on your back with knees bent and arms behind your head holding onto the ball.

2) Slowly sit up to about 1/4 way (45 degrees) (if you don't come all the way up you end up engaging your core muscles for longer and improving the efficacy of the workout :-) ) at the same time moving the ball over your head so you end up holding it in front of you, arms bent.

a)Next slowly rotate your torso to the right, keeping your hands steady on the ball in the same angle so it moves in the same direction that you do.
b) Return to the middle again
c) Repeat the twist to the left before returning to the middle again, like so:

4) Slowly lower yourself back down bringing your arms back over your head with the ball so that it came to rest behind you on the floor again.

Repeat 10+ times!

I managed 3 sets of 10. I might have been able to do more but that felt like a good number and I didn't want to over do it. I did the sit-up first before the twist to work my upper abdominals as well as my transverse abdominis. The twisting movement brought into use my obliques... so it really was a multi-action exercise!

The next time I do this exercise I'm going to lift both feet off the ground at point 2), like so:

This is just to make the exercise even *more* effective as this will ensure that I'm using lower abdominals to help as stabilisers!

Evil >:-)

P.S. if you don't have a medicine ball you can easily do this exercise with a dumbbell or weight plate - no excuse!

Straight leg hip raise

At this exercise I utilised a pair of Everlast Ankle Weights I'd bought a while ago but not as yet put to use:

They're not terribly heavy at less 5lbs for the pair (less than 2 1/2 kg), but they do provide an additional layer of difficulty to already challenging exercises like this one, so that can't be bad! :-)

Click the image below for a video clip demonstrating this move in action:

I managed 3 sets of 10 of these - again, very challenging!

Lower Body Exercises

Before I called it a day I thought I'd experiment with some gentle leg exercises and see what, if any, effect they had.

Ankle weights are *not* cool, they will never be, or look so, but they are useful, so I kept them on during these exercises. I might buy a heavier pair like these if I continue to find that they help me with my ankle rehabilitation.

1) Straight leg raise with ankle weight

What I *would* have liked to have done was this exercise:

But it would have required some weight being placed on my right foot while I extended my left leg, and right now I can't bear any weight no matter how slight!

I did find a solution to this problem with my next workout but more about that in the next post :-)

So this is the exercise I did:

I think the picture is pretty self-explanatory but I would make a few notes.

1) Although the idea is to keep the leg straight, ensure you do not lock out the knee as you do this.
2) At the top of the leg raise, hold for a few seconds before beginning to lower back down again.
3) When returning the leg towards the ground, hover slightly above it to increase the challenge in the exercise.

2) Lying glute kick back

I *wanted* to do a glute-kickback on all fours:

But I was concerned that I might put pressure on my foot so I did them lying on my stomach instead. Definitely *not* as effective, as provided a reduced range of motion... but I thought it better to err on the side of caution than risk hurting myself!

3) Single Leg Reverse Curl

I don't have a picture for this, but it's not too difficult to explain:

1) lie back on a mat and prop yourself up on your elbows with both legs straight out in front of you (like in the pic for the first exercise), toes pointed.

2) very slowly, curl your right leg towards your stomach, hold for a few seconds and then extend and lower back down ensuring your knee doesn't lock out entirely and your leg doesn't touch the ground but hovers slightly above it.

3) continue until you've completed 10 repetitions.

4) swap legs and repeat on other side.


As I mentioned earlier, these exercises were all quite experimental and none of them were repeated exactly during the next session - instead, variations/modifications were brought into play - but as we all know life is a learning process and I really wanted to keep a record of them for future reference.

Finally, I donned my oh-so-attractive (and I've just discovered thanks to a 'surprise' hospital invoice - bloody expensive!) waterproof foot cover...

...and literally hopped into the en suite for a nice sit down shower... hmm, can't wait until I can have one standing up again!!

So that's all for me and my rehab workout part 1... will hopefully get part 2 up tomorrow.

Bye for now!


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Hello and happy 2011! Plus surgery & ankle rehab update...

Yes, I realise it's a little late in the year to be wishing you all a happy *new* year but then the last time I blogged was a *last* year so I think I qualify ;-)


Have you all made resolutions? Do people still do that? I haven't yet but I'm planning to sit down and think about what I'd like to achieve this year, which is kinda the same thing :-)

So, the good news is that I've got some time off work during which I'll try and update my blog with what's been going on in my life since... well, April 2010!

The bad news is that the only reason this is possible is because I can't actually *get* to work (unless I pay for a taxi there and back!) as I have had surgery on my ankle and I need to keep all weight off my right foot. I can't even leave the house in case I fall over or knock my foot etc as it's very much in the early healing stages so absolute rest is imperative.

However, it's not really *all* bad news as once I'm healed from my surgery I will be able to do things like run properly - for longer than 5k! Play netball again, try new and exciting sports (more about that when I list my goals for the year), and also wearing heels without feeling like I'm being stabbed in my ankle... which is never nice, especially when you wear 4" heels on stage during competitions as it makes posing practice almost impossible!

You see, I was diagnosed with an Osteochondral Defect (amusingly the acronym for this is OCD :-D), by the leading foot and ankle surgeon Mr Mark S Davies who works out of the London Foot and Ankle Centre. The picture at the head of this page features Mr Davies... bizarrely, the woman in the picture is wearing a jacket that I posses, spooky huh? Especially considering I got mine in a Sample Sale when I worked at House of Fraser - I hadn't expected it would get to the shop floor as I thought the hook&eye design was flawed... anyway, sorry, I'm going totally off topic there!

If you're interested about the condition, there's some good information available here:, and here:, but basically what's happened is some bone/cartilage became damaged and dislodged from the bone where my ankle bone (Talus) meets my leg bone (Tibia) and would 'catch' when my foot twisted (i.e. when playing netball, or just twisting when walking round a corner!) or was put in a non-flat position (i.e. when wearing heels or standing on tip-toe).

I had an MRI done and I have a zillion scan pics and am unable to identify much on them - not being a specialist - but basically you can see the damage here (the black area where the ankle and leg bones meet):

There was also a large patch of inflammation at the back of my heel - undoubtedly resulting from the injury - here:

Actually, if you're at all that interested, I have a whole album dedicated to MRI pics of my ankle, lol! Here on Flickr :-)

I had a cortisone (steroid) injection into the area where the inflammation was located to see if that would sort out the pain. We needed to rule out the possibility that the pain was a result of the inflammation and not the OCD. Unfortunately the injection had no effect on the pain so the only other option was to operate to remove the cause. I was told I'd need an ankle Arthroscopy, which is surgery during which two incisions are made. One is for the instruments which are used to remove the obstruction(s) and the other is for the camera to guide the surgeon's hand.

My surgery was first scheduled for November last year but as it got closer to the date it became apparent that it was just not going to be possible as a) I was horrendously busy at work and b) work on our bedroom to fit an en suite and walk-in wardrobe *still* hadn't finished despite having been going for weeks and weeks :-( Basically, our builder took on the work, then agreed to move to Wales with his other half and took on loads of extra work to facilitate this move... he was meant to be working on our bathroom himself, as he'd agreed, but he ended up subcontracting the work out and we had new people in all the time it felt and the work took about 3 times as long as it should!

Anyway, the surgery was rescheduled to Friday, January 7th and to be honest, it was a bit of a relief because Christmas would have been a bit of a pain in the arse if I'd been less-than-mobile! (As it turns out I was very much less-than-mobile during Christmas because of illness but that's for another post :-) )

Pre Surgery

I'd love to say that I prepared well for the surgery and was ultra-fit by the time last Friday came around but the truth was that most of December was spent battling various viruses and I didn't get much time to train at all!

My last workout before surgery was 25 mins on the rowing machine and I was shocked at a) how tiring it felt and b) what a rubbish time I got for 5,000m!

I'd managed to knock around 2 minutes off that time in the past but not being able to train because of being ill had really hit my cardio fitness :-(

The day before this (Tuesday), I'd done a pretty intense lower leg workout and my hamstrings were still rather sore so that might have had something to do with it *ahem* ;-)

So yes, Wednesday was my last day of exercise - over a week ago! I didn't get a chance after that point though as too much to prepare pre-surgery.

Ankle Arthroscopy - Surgery Day!

Friday morning we woke up silly early (05:30!!) and got a cab to the hospital.

I was really chuffed with my room, it was mahoosive!

There were even hotel-style toiletries in the en suite bathroom - sweet!

(I didn't actually get to use them though, and no I didn't steal them, ha!)

So, first of all I changed into my uber-attractive surgery gown.

Hubba Hubba!

(I'm not quite sure how it was that Joe was able to resist me at that point, seriously!)

No... having an open back didn't make me feel at *all* vulnerable, honest!! 8-O

Shortly afterwards my anaesthetist came to see me, as did my surgeon who drew a large arrow on my right leg, and also some dots on the nerves of my right ankle... I don't question these things!

Next I was taken down to have my anaesthetic... this, strangely perhaps, was the part I was most afraid of as I'd never had one in the past and I guess a) the control freak in me didn't like the thought of me being totally out of it and b) the unreasonable unrealistic pessimist in me thought I might not wake up... I've heard too many horror stories! I was even talking to Joe in the taxi on the way over about donating my organs in case anything went wrong!

By the time I was ready for surgery I felt a lot more calm though. The anaesthetist didn't do any of the "count down from/up to 10" that I've heard people mention before, instead she just administered first the painkiller... which she said would make me *very* light headed and she wasn't kidding! I was VERY light-headed, not unpleasantly so though, it was quite good fun, the room was spinning around all over the place! Next the anaesthetic came, together with an oxygen mask, the lady spoke to me for a few moments and that was the last I remember!

Next minute I was lying in the recovery room being brought round. The big arrow was still present on my leg and at the end of it was a super huge dressing encasing my entire ankle and most of my foot:

I became aware of my foot being a little painful so they fed some morphine into my line... that almost sent me back to sleep, lol! I remember feeling quite cold so they gave me this wonderful remarkable blanket which was completely hollow and had a tube at one end into which they pumped hot air. A hot-air blanket... I want one for my bed!! It was just about the most luxurious thing ever, ahhh. Also, the radio was tuned to XFM, it couldn't really get much better!

I was wheeled back up to my room and given some menus for breakfast, lunch etc. I felt enormously hungry so ordered a huge fatboy cooked breakfast with toast, coffee, juice and yoghurt... was ravenous, especially given that I'd been nil-by-mouth since midnight the previous day!

Unfortunately, my breakfast's arrival was timed perfectly with the departure of my appetite (I was told it was a 'Morphine thing', great).

I made a bold effort at the bacon and sausage and gave up and had the toast with apricot jam - was the best thing ever, my nurse was rather amused when I described it as 'epic toast', perhaps it was the Morphine talking but that's how it felt to me :-)

The staff at the hospital were super nice and attentive, especially my day nurse who regaled me with medical anecdotes and let slip that his alternative career choice that he tells people when he's out (he doesn't tell people he's a nurse in case an emergency happens when he's drunk that could land him in all kinds of trouble if he messed up due to intoxication - very wise!) is that he's a biscuit designer for Cadbury's. Apparently he started off as a humble sous chef specialising in pastries who happened to catch the eye of someone high up in the company. I *love* that story!

I had to have my observations taken quite frequently after the operation, especially as my blood pressure kept dropping. I do already have very low blood pressure though so it wasn't entirely surprising. I also had my temperature taken and my toes wiggled to see if I could feel anything... which I couldn't very well for a while as my toes were numb for half the day! Apparently after the operation I was given a local anaesthetic as well to help with any residual pain.

Aside from paracetamol and dihydrocodeine, I didn't have any other painkillers, which I'm quite pleased with as I was told I could have morphine tablets if I wanted! I think it's testament to Mr Davies, my fabulous surgeon, that I wasn't in a lot of pain :-)

Mr Davies came to see me a little later that morning (I was the first surgery of the day at about 8am) and said that operation went really well :-) he said there was actually a fair bit of loose cartilage in my ankle so he removed that, together with the inflamed tissue present in my heel - double whammy! :-)

Mr Davies also said that someone from the physiotherapy department would be up to provide me with crutches and a wedged shoe to keep my foot in the correct position.

I *finally* had a physiotherapist come and see me, who didn't want to give me a shoe at first, even though I'd been told I needed one... first she tried to squash my just-operated-on foot into one of my crocs!! V painful, not impressed :-( She adjusted the crutches to my height and then pretty much buggered off straight away. I guess she thought I was a big girl so could work it out on my own, lol! I was too relieved at not having to use a bed pan again to care really - freedom!

My Mum came to visit me next which was fabulous. She's suffered from various aggressive cancers over the last few years that have threatened to take her life and she still visits the hospice she's been attending since she was at her lowest ebb. The hospice was near to where I was staying so that was a happy coincidence :-)

Mum stayed for an hour or so then went off to the hospice to meet up with some people and have treatment.

Next came lunch which I was super excited about as my appetite had returned with a vengeance! Lunch was beef and mushroom casserole with 'seasonal veg' (broccoli & sweetcorn), additional side salad and some rather delicious melon too :-)

It was devoured, rapidly.

My male nurse disappeared at some point and my care tailed off somewhat - I missed the company! I did have the ward sister come round with a gorgeous cake-style biscuit fresh from the restaurant... plus some other naughty biccies for tea-dunking *slaps wrist* ;-)

Mum came back a little while later and we chatted for ages, it was lovely to have her all to myself! We spent Christmas all together... my parents, Joe's parents and older brother too - was a full house! - but didn't really get a chance to speak to her properly on her own so it was lovely to just have a bit of mother and daughter time :-)

I'd planned to have a nap during the afternoon but by the time Mum and I had finished gas-bagging it was time for dinner which was pretty darn special... tuna loin served with green beans and a spinach and tomato accompaniment.

Also had soup and side salad and fruit for dessert again - I figured I needed the nourishment, my body had been through a lot that day!

Dinner was pretty early at 6pm (I don't normally eat til closer to 9pm... a bad habit to break that will be on my resolutions/goals list for 2011!), but this was good as Joe and my son came to visit pretty soon after I'd finished - good timing :-)

Was lovely to see my boys but they couldn't stay too long as they had their own dinner to take care of (and Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3 from what I could make out!).

It was hard to sleep that night, the hospital was on a main road and my room was close to the nurse's station so I could hear everything that was being said there.

To top it off I was mega flushed, my cheeks were bright red like I'd been in a sauna, I'm guessing it was from the anaesthetic as I didn't have a high temperature?

I also had some hassle on Twitter from someone who long-term blog readers are familiar with. My mobile is registered to my Twitter account so every time I get so much as an '@' mention my phone beeps. This happened late the night of my surgery and there followed quite a bit of interchange between me and my less-than-fabulous blog and Twitter feed reader. I'm not going to go into it in detail on here, you can see from my Twitter history from the early hours of 08/01/2011 if you're interested and can be bothered to trawl back that far!!

Anyway, finally got to sleep sometime close to 4am, and then was up around 8am ish for breakfast... definitely *not* the restful night I'd hoped for the night after invasive surgery!!

Breakfast cheered me up :-) I didn't go for the cooked this time but still ordered a whopper of a meal... porridge, 1/2 a grapefruit, yoghurt and 2 pieces of (epic) wholemeal toast with apricot jam AND marmalade *glutton*... oh and I might have ordered a croissant too... whoops! ;-)

I was discharged at 11am and, although I knew I'd miss my multi-directional bed and help at the push of a button, I was also horrendously homesick too and couldn't wait to get home! I missed my boys, my quiet street, my cats...

Back home

So, I've been home for 5 days now and nothing adventurous has happened really. Stairs are challenging but not impossible, especially as we had an extra bannister fitted for Joe's parents while they were over at Christmas as they are both elderly and find it hard to move about as much.

The biggest challenges I've faced have been with transporting liquid... i.e. very important wake-up fluids like coffee! My son gets home from school around half 4 so until then when he assumes the role of Tea Boy, I have to make do on my own!

Fortunately, the same reason why I'm in this whole ankle injury mess - being a bona fide exercise nut - means that I have equipment to cope with carrying various items in a handsfree fashion, mainly during long runs.

So... for carrying flasks of hot coffee I have my Hilly bottle carrier:

and for all other stuff I have my Nathan running bag with its handy pockets and main pouch section!

Yes, I am a running geek *proud* :-D

Other than that, I have spent four out of the past five days sleeping in excess of 12 hours... not tried to fight it as I figure my body needed the time to repair itself... hopefully now the loose tissue has been removed, new healthy tissue will form in its place. In order for that to happen though, I need to rest and nourish my body accordingly to give it the best possible chance.

I have also restocked my vitamin and supplement supplies. I decided not to reorder Lycopene as most of my meals are tomato based so I figure I get plenty of it as it is! I did order some more Lutein for my eyes, pomegranate, CLA, multi-vits and L-Carnitine, which I discovered through Multipower's L-Carnitine Range of products (the drink and bar from which I'm hoping to review soon as they're lush!). L-Carnitine is an amino acid which plays an active part in the body's ability to use fat as an energy source - cool!

I have in past bought almost all of my supplements from ZipVit as they've always had very good deals. I still use them for Glucosamine Hydrochloride (I try and steer clear of the sulphate version for the higher salt content).

More recently I've been using JustVitamins, particularly as they have some awesome deals like buy-one-get-one-free on CLA, pomegranate and more.

There are more packets in the box and that all fit through my letterbox - neat huh? :-)

I also bought some more of the rather excellent Scivation Xtend which is a yummy drink containing all the BCAAs and L-Glutamine thrown in for good measure! Here's some additional scientific information regarding this fabulous product. My previous tub was watermelon flavour, these two are lemonade and blue raspberry - lush!

I've stocked up on my Udo's Choice Ultimate Oil Blend of Omega 3 & 6, used by athletes and bodybuilders alike. You can read an article with top fitness model Carly Thornton here.

Last but not least, from MyProtein, I bought some Nitric Oxide (NO/NO2), and MyProtein's own brand version of ZMA (Zinc & Magnesium).

So yes, I'm nicely stocked up now :-)

I can't actually remember what we had to eat on Saturday night but on Sunday we had a bit of a treat... Roast pork joint... complete with crackling!

Talk about a plateful eh? This doesn't happen very often, so when it does... boy do I savour it!

This week I've been mostly resting up and digesting my fill of daytime TV... it's not the most palatable I must admit!

Yesterday I started going through some of my training books as I'm pretty limited in what I can do exercise-wise.

In fact, pretty much all I can do is upper body (seated!) dumbbell training... but also, Pilates! Although saying that, quite a few exercises in my book I couldn't do as they required *some* pressure being put on my right foot and I just can't do that right now. Mostly it's okay

I've been trying to put together a workout... with a little help from my cat of course... hmmm

And I've also had Joe get most of my exercise equipment down from the loft:

I've left the resistance tubing and kettlebell as I don't think I can use them very well right now.

I've put up my PowerBar again...

...but I still suck at pull-ups so definitely something that needs working on while I'm off!!

Unfortunately I don't think it's something that will change overnight as I think my weight-to-strength ratio is a bit off :-/

In any case, I really can't stay sat on my backside entirely for the next week and a bit, I don't think it'll do my recovery any favours and muscle atrophy is *not* on my hit-list right now!

So today I found today that all I needed was a mat and a mirror:

...and I was able to do a decent core workout without stressing my foot. Fab!

Anyhoo, I'm going to get off now as this post was only meant to be a quick update, but in true Tara fashion it has metamorphosed into a behemoth of an entry - hey ho!

I'll be back tomorrow hopefully but this time with updates - as promised - of the past year... I'm determined to catch up!

In the meantime, sweet dreams and thanks for still reading despite my poor update rate!

Stay strong!