Thursday, April 3, 2008

The mailman and the charlie horse

Every work day, I go home for lunch so I can let our dog out. On most days, the mailman (or postal carrier, if you prefer) comes by while I'm there. I don't usually interact with him. He drops off the mail, the dog freaks out, the mailman leaves, and the dog calms down. It's one of the most predictable parts of my day.

Today, I happened to be outside when he delivered our mail. The dog, of course, was having a total breakdown. Then, the mailman said, "You just look like a whole new person."

My mailman noticed my weight loss. We stood there for a minute chatting. Throughout the conversation, I wasn't paying much attention. All I could think was, "even the mailman noticed. That's awesome!"

Subject change...

Last night I awoke to the excruciating pain of leg cramps. I was having a cramp in both calves- at the same time. It was awful. This has been happening more and more lately, probably two or three times per week. Normally, the pain is unbearable for about 20 seconds, then it's gone, and there's no pain afterward. This morning is a different story. My leg muscles feel like someone put them through a taffy machine. I suspect if you plucked one like a violin string, it would play a tune. Really, really tight.

Because Meatfest 2008 is rapidly approaching, I'd planned some vigorous workouts the next couple of days. It's hard for me even to walk right now. I might have to- gulp- not work out for a day or two. That, on top of the diet disaster this weekend, will surely make for a bad scale experience. I'm not sure what to do. Something tells me that if I got the muscles nice and warm through vigorous walking, it would make them feel better and not worse. Then, another part of me says that I should just rest.

I've done some research on what causes these cramps and how to prevent them. Even though I already consider myself a very well-hydrated woman, I'll try to drink even more water. I might even include some tonic water in my diet. Tonic water contains a small amount of quinine, which can help with cramps. I started taking a multivitamin again, so hopefully that will help with any mineral deficiencies. Potassium, magnesium, and calcium are the main things to be concerned with.

If you've experienced leg cramps and figured out how to stop them, please leave me a comment. Here's a good article on the subject, if you're interested.


Sarah said...

I used to get those calf cramps ALL THE TIME. I started targeting them a lot more when I stretch and it seemed to make them go away!

I use the stretching method you can see in this picture:

I find it is the most affective.

VerseFameBeauty said...

More water and stretching are both good, but I've found the main thing that causes leg cramps is a lack of potassium. Eat just one banana a day for a couple days, and you'll be golden.

G.G. said...

I agree with both sarah and Versefamebeauty--I used to get awful charlie horses in my calves when I was waking up--yoga stretches and eating potassium-rich foods (like canteloupe) really seemed to help.

Amy said...

I used to get these once in awhile in the middle of the night, and i found that immediately getting out of bed and walking a few steps made them disappear.

Anonymous said...

Bananas, bananas, bananas

PS I love your blog thanks for your inspiration and your way with words!