Some Lifestyle Changes

I’m having to make some lifestyle changes. I have a herniated disk, and my doctor and I figure it is from excessive sitting. How embarrassing. But I’m a software developer, and yes, we spend a lot of time planted on our butts. So do writers, so I got a two-fer going here.

So I’ve been trying to think of ways to 1) get off my butt and 2), to make it easier on my back when I must be there. One thing that has to change is my wardrobe.  Why? Because the hurt part of my back seems to be right at my waist. Most of my clothes sit at my waist–I’ve stubbornly clung to the old styles, yanno–right where the pain is. Pants are now absolutely uncomfortable. Even painful. I find myself wearing a housecoat around the house. Yes, a housecoat! Like my grandmother used to wear!

So I took an inventory of my closet and discovered that I have 7 skirts that will probably be loose enough. They are all rather formal looking, so I need to get some more casual skirts. In the meantime, I’ll be very well dressed at work. I do have a couple of informal pencil skirts that I love, but they drag at my waist so I can’t wear them now.

The other lifestyle change I need to make is more movement. I will begin each day with 15 minutes of Yoga. The only Yoga I know is the poses that are included on my Wii Fit, so I’ll start there. Yesterday it really helped, today, not as much. But I figure if I do Yoga in the morning and at night, it can only help. I’ve already started this. I didn’t want to do Yoga when I got up this morning, but I did anyway.

I am also fortunate enough to work at a place with a fitness center. I’ve been taking an hour lunch, but I only use a half hour of it and clock the extra time. I’ll stop doing that. Instead, I’ll go to the fitness center and do a mild workout. I’ll do some more Yoga and then get on a treadmill or an elliptical for 2o minutes. It won’t be an intense workout–I don’t want to have to shower in the middle of the day. It’s just intended to be movement, to keep my spine supple.

It’s a drag to get older, but I figure it doesn’t have to be if I can be smart about it. I know what I have to go to make the next 45 years as good as the last ones, but I can no longer live like I’m 25 and expect my body to keep up. My brain may still think it is 25 (well, maybe 28), but my body certainly does not. So adjustments are necessary.

So if you’ll excuse me, I have some Yoga to do before I begin my evening writing session.

20 Thoughts to “Some Lifestyle Changes”

  1. Karalynn

    So sorry to hear about the disk! I’ve got a similar issue with a day job at the computer, then more computer time because of writing.

    Ignore me if you don’t want unsolicited advice, but I’m curious whether you looked into a standing workstation? I’ve got one at the office and it’s worked great for me.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      I guess now’s a good time to mention my chronic foot problem …

      But by all means, any unsolicited advice is very much appreciated!

  2. Chicory

    I’m so sorry to hear about your difficulties, but I’m glad the yoga is helping, and that you were able to figure out ways to get some of the stress off your back. You mentioned clothes issues -have you considered jumpers? Or would that be too casual for work?

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Yes, too casual. I work in a business casual environment. Right now, I’m thinking dresses and skirts.

  3. How about long dresses? I find them incredibly comfy. I love the one I have from, but there are others as well. Make your shoulders do the lifting for a while. 🙂

    1. Tia Nevitt

      I would totally wear a long dress. I prefer them to short dresses. I don’t have any at present, but I was planning to go shopping today.

      I also have some long skirts–one is ankle-length and I have not worn it in ages.

  4. I hope the yoga helps. I’ve lived with my back problems for four years. Some days it is so hard to concentrate and write.

    Keep us posted.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      And you manage to be so prolific! Not to mention running that farm. I’m impressed.

  5. You could make a makeshift standing desk, if that would help. I just put a box fill with books on my file cabinet (which I use as a desk anyway) and, voila, a standing desk. They are useful for people who sit down too much.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      At work, I pretty much have to take what they give me, although I could rumble about ergonomics if things don’t improve. At home, I vary my position, but I have not tried a standing desk.

      Does anyone remember those kneeling chairs they used to sell in the 80s and 90s? They looked nothing like a chair, but you sort of knelt in them and leaned against a slanted surface. I have not seen one in years, so maybe it didn’t work so well.

      1. Oh, shoot. You reminded me when you mentioned the kneeling chair. I have two and neither have worked for me. I guess it doesn’t help me much since I have a bad knee too. (Look what you have to look forward to. LOL)

        Anyway, one thing that allows me to sit for more than 15 minutes is one of those giant balance balls. I used it as a chair at work and at home.

        Now it might not be good for your specific condition, but it has helped me.

        1. Oh, those balance balls rock. I keep meaning to get one for myself. I visited a friend’s home a while back and she had one of those–I just sat on it and read for a while. It popped all the cricks out of my back.

        2. Tia Nevitt

          I had one for a while, but it kind of deflated and got all squishy, and I got rid of it. And I thought they had been recalled due to a tendency to burst? I’d hate for you guys to be using one and end up with a bigger problem.

          Any solution that involves me being on my feet won’t work well due to my plantar fasciitis. Yeah, I’m a mess. Nowadays, I work in a recliner using a laptop. It’s worked well for me, but I can’t exactly do that at work.

  6. Kat

    I’ve been wanting a standing desk since I saw Joe Abercrombie talking about his. I think that’d be perfect for someone with a sit-down day job who writes at night.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      An impossibility for me–I have trouble standing still for long periods without pain. But maybe someone else will like the idea.

  7. Deborah Blake

    Try tai chi too. I have plantar f. too, and it helps to ice my heels first thing in the morning while I have breakfast, and stretch my heels out before I put my feet on the ground first thing.

    I’m a big fan of the elastic waistband 🙂

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Right now, any waistband just hurts.

      I climb stairs to relieve my PF. It really helps.

  8. Tia,
    I’m 52 and work as a programmer.Problems with neck, elbows and spinal disc is not unknown to me.
    I have a special chair at work and I use wrist rest.Every hour I walk around and stretch myself for five minutes.
    Regularly visits to gym are mandatory. Next month I will start with Qigong.

    1. Tia Nevitt

      Good idea about walking and stretching every hour. I certainly did that today. And half my lunch was in the gym. Hope I can keep it up.

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