Monday, January 28, 2013
Short answer: heck yeah it is. Funny thing, it took me a while to recognize it as such, and then only after reading about Emma’s (emmaekay) Zumba adventures. She mentioned needing to Macgyver herself a new belt, and I thought about a time, long ago, when…well, let’s just set the scene, shall we?
Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, a moocow…wait, wrong story…it was a light and refreshing morning when our hero (me!) went to the gym. I remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was Saturday, a whole TWO days ago. I was wearing a well loved pair of sweatpants, so loved that I’d failed to replace the drawstring, which had fallen to the ravages of a washing machine a few months before. Owing perhaps to the shorts worn under the sweats, perhaps due to leaving my wallet in the car, no mishap occurred on the way to the gym. Afterwards, however, afterwards was a slightly different story. Unencumbered by gym shorts removed due to an incident with a water bottle’s wayward cap, and burdened by a wallet and phone in addition to the jingle jangle of my keys, the sweats had a looming date with gravity.
And this encounter would take place, not in the privacy of a vehicle, or within the safe walls of my domicile, but rather in public, at a grocery store. For, you see, I had need of a few sundry items. Of which sun dried raisins were one. In order to procure these items, I ventured directly from the gymnasium to the nearest Kroger store. As I set foot within its hallowed and marshmallowed halls (on sale for 99 cents!) I noticed the weight of the wallet, sadly a weight born not of monetary heft, tugging upon the elastic waistband, dragging it groundward.
It was, then, an entirely good thing that I only had need of those three or four items. It was less of a good thing that those items were widely spaced through the store, and I didn’t know where one of them was located, such that I had to wander a bit until finding a kindly aproned one who could guide my steps. For at each step, the waistband fell a few millimeters. After a dozen or so steps, millimeters were measured in inches. By the time I got to the end of an aisle, I had both hands in my coat pockets, trying to discretely return said waistband to its former heights. The discretionary movements weren’t always so elegantly performed; on occasion, direct action was required, with hopes that no one was looking.
Usually, people walk around with guts sucked in, a pretense at health. That day, the opposite applied, as the belly was pushed out in an effort to make the sweatpants behave.
Those ten minutes inside that grocery store were a hilarious torture. I felt grimy from the exercise, and grungy in those sweats, constantly wondering if anyone was looking at me, and internally laughing my butt off about the absurdity of the situation. I shouldn’t have worried at all, really, as it was a Saturday morning, and I was hardly the only one in sweats, hardly the only one looking as if they were dashing in for a quick pickup, uncaring about what the world thought of them. But hey, when your pants are falling down, you kinda can’t help but freak a bit, y’know?
But in retrospect…that’s a solid nsv right there, since these sweats didn’t previously have this problem. That offending waistband used to stay put, without necessitating hitching up. I’m not sure exactly where the pants misbehaved, as the tape measure professes no major differences below the belt since July. But, I’ll take it, and gladly so.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
So it was snowing pretty hard (and unexpectedly, as I hadn't looked at the forecast for today) when I finally decided to go to the gym, and I let it stop me, rationalizing that I really didn't want to go anyway. I mean, I'd sat around reading all day, a bit of laundry, a bit of lunch breaking up the turning of the pages, until around 5 pm, when big ten basketball took over for the evening. I watched Iowa nearly knock off Purdue, and then saw my Michigan Wolverines stake a claim to the #1 ranking, for the first time since 1992. And then, at 8, I decided I might as well go to the gym, as after last weekend's spasm of running, I hadn't done any more. So i got changed, and then went to close the bedroom curtain (no, I wasn't flashing the neighbors, I changed in the bathroom), and happened to glance out the window and saw my car under a decent layer of snow. So I go and open the door and look outside, can't really see much as the light is out, and stick my head out the door, and get pelted by a very fast falling snow. That's all it takes to dissuade me on a night like tonight. There's a Red Wings game on. I can do a spell on the old exercise FRICK! the blackhawks just scored to win in overtime, the bastiges! bike (real time blogging, dont'cha know?), and I've got this new exercise ball that I've been using as a footrest for the past 40 minutes, I suppose I should actually sit on the darn thing and stretch something now. And this resistance band, which I rescued, along with its mates, from a box I hadn't looked in during the past month, maybe I could do something with that, too. But first, a cookie. I'm grumpy about how the hockey game ended. Harrumph!
3 hours later edit: seeing descriptions of the weather as "it's raining ice out there" makes me think maybe I made the right call by staying in, after all.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
BLC bloggy topic asking along the lines of “how are you going to feel when you get to your fitness/weight goals?” And the short answer is, “Heck if I know!” (aka HIIK!, a very useful acronym).
The extended edition of this flick has alternate endings, one where I get to my (just defined on Thursday) goal of reaching a healthy weight as defined by BMI, and then deciding that I’m close enough to being under 150 and just go for that instead. There’s a second ending where I reach that weight, and then think, hey, I should build some muscle, and bulk back up a bit. Might have to save that idea for a sequel. And then there’s the theatrical release where I reach the goal weight and then just maintain ad infinitum. Of course, since we’re in the middle of the movie right now, you’re going to have to imagine it as if we were in that scene from Spaceballs (0), watching the current action.
Then there’s the entirely different aspect of “fitness” goals, which entails, being happy with what I have (1), bodywise. That might be a longer term project, since there’s more mental baggage on that airplane than on the single prop “simply weight” puddle jumper. It’s perhaps not quite as complicated as the Dreamliner and its ‘splodey batteries, but happiness for those with body image issue can be a moving target. So, where is that straight line, that I can hold up to the light, and say, “Yes, this is all right”? (2) HIIK! I’m hoping that somewhere in one of those three alternate endings, there’s a boarding pass to this particular flight of fancy.
It’s part of the reason that I didn’t start this trip with a hard and fast goal, that I wanted to lose THIS MANY POUNDS. For me, doing something like that would have been counterproductive, as in this particular endeavor, I’m better off with the open ended “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” (3)….I mean, “just keep trending downwards” approach. That lets me shrug off the upward bounces, or the plateau that I may be coming near the end of. As long as there isn’t that significant, and lasting shift upward, it’s all good. Sure, there are physical benchmarks I have in mind (less belly fat chief on the list, perhaps), but the more that I think about it, it really does seem like a case of “I’ll know it when I get there”.
And in saying that, maybe I’ve made a mockery of the entire HIIK! premise of most of this entry, that I haven’t a clue of how I’ll feel when I reach my goals. It sure does sound like the bottom line is that all I want is to have my peace of mind (4). So when I get there, when the war against the scale ends, when the war inside my head (5) ends…that’s when I’ll have achieved my goal. When I feel peace.
The songs/clips that flitted through my head during the construction of this post
0) Spaceballs: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdHGS
1) King crimson: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkWMf
2) Spock’s Beard www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD-8o
3) Finding Nemo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxB_T
4) Boston: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaR2J
5) Dream Theater: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp4hi
Friday, January 25, 2013
A BLC teammate wondered aloud about losing some weight and then going into a self-sabotage phase, and as that's more or less been my story since jumping onto sparkpeople, I rambled on a bit about it.
I absolutely identify with her tale, because I've repeatedly gone through cycles of being good, and then coasting, or even going the wrong way for a bit. When I posted about the 2.4 lb loss the scale reported for the first week of the BLC (artifact, I'm sure...find out next week, I guess), I referred to it as "dancing", a pattern of 1 step forward, and a half step back that has characterized my whole SP trip.
In late September of 2011, I started at 205, and I dropped around 10 pounds between then and late November 2011. Then came Thanksgiving, and another weekend where I took a trip down to Chicago with friends (yearly tradition that had to be obeyed), and half that weight returned. I was down to 185 at the end of April 2012, but then came Craft Beer Week, and a trip home for my nephew's 1st birthday (huge party), and my own birthday (a couple nights out), and I gained back 7 pounds in May. You know, you could say I only lost 5 pounds from May 1 to January 16. But you could also just as accurately say I lost 12 pounds from June 1 to January 16. While other rebounds haven't been as dramatic, I have spent a lot of time re-losing the same weight that I'd already dumped once, and then got back together with. As with serial relationships, better to just get it over with!
With me, part of the relaxation phase is a sense that, "yay, I've accomplished something, let's celebrate!" Except the celebration isn't limited to just a day. Circumstances surely play a part, as with the multiple events in the month of May, but there's something more there. On occasion, I've realized that, yes, I'm sabotaging (half of) the good work that I've put in, but I really didn't care at the moment. Some of that, perversely, came from a new-found confidence, knowing that I now knew how to lose weight, in a way I hadn't put together before joining sparkpeople. Another piece is probably some latent yearning for the don't give a crap "food-lifestyle" I used to lead. It's just so much easier than paying attention to the details, y'know?
Look around this site, and obviously, I'm not alone in this bad habit of temporarily relapsing into the bad habits that brought us here in the first place. I'm of the opinion that everybody has different "relaxation phase" triggers, and it's absolutely worth putting in a little time to try and figure those out. After all, we joined up with the intent to turn things around, and having had some level of success, it (hello captain obvious!) doesn't make sense to go back to the old ways. And yet, we do just that, enough to moot a not insignificant portion of our good efforts.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
I’m one of those people who are slow to appreciate differences in others who have lost weight, sometimes saying nothing lest I insult someone who hasn’t actually lost weight. That tendency extends to my own self, in terms of not feeling like there was all that much difference in how I look from when I started this trip (September 2011) and now. I mean, I *know* there's a difference, between the scale telling me that 25 lbs have flown the coop, and the tape measure proclaiming a difference just since July (didn't measure at the outset, unfortunately), but...
I look at these two pics (the before is from October 2011, and the Now was something I posted last week) and, to me, there isn’t all that much difference. I mean, sure, I could claim the face is slightly less roundish, but it's not something I'd comment on if I perceived that degree of difference in someone else.
I'm not entirely sure what to think about it. After all, I can pull pics from various points along that timeline to prove pretty much whatever I want; witness the profile pic I'm using now, which certainly caught me at a good angle. Bottom line, there's still a way to go in this rather open-ended journey. I hate to use the BMI healthy range (top end is still ~25 lbs away) as any sort of actual goalpost, but it may end up as just that. We shall see.
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