I have discovered the secret weapon in the vigorous exercise vs. persistent sciatica war: pregnancy workout DVDs.

In an entirely selfish effort to lose weight of my own, I have been encouraging my sister to use the Fit Mama Workout DVD I bought her in June so I can work out with her.  To her credit, I could tell she had used at least one of the sections once or twice because she said she did not enjoy the salsa dancing part as it was too shuffle-y.  Around the time Erika found out she was pregnant, I bent over to pick up my cell phone and apparently my back decided that was an egregious enough offense that it warranted retaliatory action.  Thus, I spent most of June and July with an ice pack shoved down the back of my pants–as attractive as it sounds, I assure you–and in and out of doctors’ offices being treated for a pinched sciatic nerve.  The sciatica flares up now and then, particularly when I have to sit in a car for long distances or when I do exercise that involves weird twisting.  I love yoga, particularly because it tones core muscles, the same muscles that support and protect against pinched nerves, but it doesn’t mesh well with sciatica.
Lo and behold, in doing the Fit Mama DVD with Erika, I discovered that it’s all about toning core muscles AND relieving pressure on the lower back and sciatic nerve!!  Because Amazon screwed up and lost the package with the original DVD, they sent her an extra one free a day before the original package made it out of post office limbo.  I took the extra one back to my apartment with me today.  I’m hoping Mark won’t notice, because I will get unending grief for it.  If I do that one every other day and mix it up with my Yoga Burn DVD, I’m going to be beach-ready in no time.