Friday, May 10, 2013
Yesterday W the PT I work with told me that since I didn't have to go on to work after our session we were going to go to failure.
"Failure!!!" I cried - "that sounds horrible!"
He quickly explained that he wanted my muscles to work till I couldn't perform another repetition. The point of this was to help me build more muscle over the next few days of rest (at least 48 hours of rest for this girl). I suggested we call it "Maxing Out" my muscles because somehow ... failure sounds so ... depressing.
And then we got lifting. He lowered the weights I was working with from 20 lb. dumbells to 10 pounders. Then we just worked each set of moves till I couldn't push, pull or lift any more. That is the point of failure.
A lot goes on between a personal trainer and a personal trainee. As the trainee what I'm looking for is someone who eyes me in an almost clinical fashion - who watches my form like a hawk - listens to my feedback as I give it - and who has the creativity to come up with something else if there's a problem. It's a mind game that's all about a body. In this case - his mind, my mind and my body.
And it's something we do together.
He knows I have goals - and he knows what they are. He also knows I have 'issues' with my neck and my back - and we work around them when needed. I have made a commitment to him, as well as to me, to listen closely to my body and tell him when something doesn't work. I trust him to push me beyond what I've ever done before but he trusts me to never put him in the position where I get injured following his instructions. He doesn't need the guilt. I don't need the pain. One of the exercises we tried yesterday ... I never even tried - because I knew it would do my back harm. We just did something else.
See how quickly this becomes all about "us" even though it's my body. It's like I step outside myself and see this body as if it belonged to a third person and we are the fitness team that will get it strong. It's almost as if my body was my avatar.
In fact, we didn't max out with every exercise. The chest presses went up to the point of failure but not to it. On the other hand, the Reverse Push-up .. where I lie beneath a barbell and lift my straight body up and down without bending or touching the ground - man - I totally maxed out on that one. There was another one involving a weight machine where I completely maxed out and of course - the final effort - full body push-ups - yeah. I maxed out on them too.
"Just keep doing it till you can't do it any more" he told me.
that is an amazing feeling - Contracting or pushing a muscle till it just stops - till it wont go on - how seldom life requires us to do that. There were times when I could feel the effort coming all the way from my toes.
I know enough to drink extra water after a new, unusual and extreme workout. I also follow an old tip I learned as a child - take a soaking bath as hot as you can stand as soon as you can. Did both yesterday and still fell asleep over dinner. Whew. That is maxing out.
Today I can feel it in my arms, of course, and a little in my back and across my chest. But I also feel it in the muscles that go around the outside of my hips. I feel it on my inner thigh muscles and outer calf muscles. Everything feels like it had to jump in and lend a hand and I guess that's the point of maxing out or working to failure.
Whatever it is - it's really addictive. I can't wait to max out again. I will have to wait - of course - because I have Other Things that require my attention. But we will do this again.
Just not today
Today is the day of rest
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
LeftBrainSchoolMarm Well, good morning. That was pretty cool, weighing in at goal yesterday, wasn't it?
RightBrainWildChild Whew. Yeah. It was a close one.
LB No it wasn't. We were right on goal
RB Yeah - almost didn't make it.
LB No. We had 2 lbs of wiggle room that we didn't need
RB sure didn't feel that way. It felt like we had gotten Fat Fat Fat again.
LB I don't see why. We had actually dropped a pound and a half since Graves Mt. The numbers looked good
RB I don't know about numbers. I just know how I felt.
LB Oh. I see. So how do you feel today?
RB I feel like I'm sick of trying to lose weight. I want to quit.
LB WHAT?! what was all that about being 143 and losing it by June 14 and all that stuff you said last month?
RB I don't know about what I said. I'm the FEELING part of us. You're supposed to keep track of what we SAY.
LB Harumph. So now you want to quit on me already, huh?
RB I don't know what I want. I only know that I'm tired of worrying about What If I Gain Weight Again.
LB I understand that. It is scary. But I thought you'd feel safe at 143
RB I'm not sure we can even GET to 143. I don't even know how to feel safe at 150.
LB I wish you wouldn't obessess about numbers.
RB Can't help it. I'm the feeler in this relationship. I'm scared. and tired. and I want to eat ice cream.
LB I'm sorry you're scared. (reaching out) Here's a hug. And you know - we can eat ice cream.
RB (Snuggling) Yeah but I I don't want the low fat raspberry stuff. I wanted that Klondike Heath Bar and you only let me eat 1/4 of one.
LB Ahhh. You're still angry about that. But aren't you glad now? and even though it was good - it was awfully rich. don't you think it would have made us sick in our tummy?
RB Oh. Yeah. I remember. I did sort of feel funny in my tummy.
LB And I bet you're glad you didn't throw up or anything.
RB Yeah. I am glad.
LB but you know ... I think we should have sat down and really S A V O R E D that ice cream. Really made it a .... a PARTY. Then maybe you wouldn't have felt so ... sort of cheated.
RB OH! You understand! See, I knew you'd stop me. I knew I had to eat fast if I was going to eat any of it. So I gobbled up that ice cream so fast I didn't even feel like I had any fun with it.
LB I'm sorry. Not sorry we stopped eating that ice cream when we did - but sorry we didn't have any fun with it. The truth is, we can eat a 'treat' now and then - and still reach 143 lbs. and we don't have to reach 143 right now. We just have to be honest about what we're trying to achieve. So, how about we choose one day and that will be the day we have the SuperDecadentRich'n'Creamy treat? And we'll put it on the good china - like Aunt Mimi's Wedgwood desert plate. And get out the McLean silver spoon and use that. And all the rest of it.
RB (eye's wide and round) Ooooooooo Yeah
LB (smiling) Yeah. That does sound like fun, doesn't it?
RB Yeah. I'd love that.
LB And you could pick a different day each week if you want. We'll decide each Tuesday after weigh-in and then we'll have something to look forward to. I know you like the feeling of anticipation.
RB (grinning) I sure do.
LB So - let's get back to the question of whether we're At Goal or still Losing Weight? How do you feel now?
RB hmmm. I'm still unsure.
LB Dig deep. And remember - this is just a plan. A plan is like a map. We can use a different map and still get where we want to go. but you have to be honest about where you want to go.
RB Hmmmm. Well, see. When I look in the mirror with clothes on I'm so HAPPY. I LOVE how we look. I could dance all over the world. But when I look in the mirror without clothes on I am not so happy. I don't hate how we look, but I'm not HAPPY either. I'm just a little frustrated by the extra flesh.
LB You know - we're 60 now. We're going to have to be careful about our face getting even wrinklier if we get too thin.
RB I'm not talking about a teen age body. I just wish we weren't so fleshy on the front.
LB So do you want to keep losing weight?
RB I don't know. I'm so tired of it.
LB Of what? I think we're going to have to keep tracking and keep exercising and keep paying attention even if all we want to do is maintain.
RB Yeah I know that. I don't even mind doing that. I just wish we could add more food to the plate.
LB Are you walking around hungry?
RB No. I just sort of crave more
LB More ice cream?
RB More cheese.
LB Ahhhh. It's the VEGAN stuff isn't it.
RB Yeah. I think so. I don't want to do without cheese
LB Well, you know. We aren't really, now, are we.
RB Yeah but I hate not having permission to eat stuff - to do stuff. I feel BAD. I feel like a CHEATER
LB I agree. I don't like it either. Alright. It is official. We are not VEGAN any more. We are people who eat a MOSTLY plant based diet. We have ADDED tons of vegetables to our life. We are not restricting dairy any more. and we are STILL GOOD
RB LOL I love that!
LB Goodness by fiat!
RB ROFL Yeah. We are Good, we are Good we are Good!
LB We are Good! Now. What do you, my Good Right Brain Wild Child, want to do the month of May. Do you want to lose weight or stay at 150?
RB I want to lose 2 lbs.
LB. Done. Can you tell me why?
RB Yeah. If we lose 2 lbs we won't have to struggle too hard. We'll mostly be getting used to the size we are. We won't have to change too much. There will be room for some fun eating. BUT it'll be safer and I won't be so scared to go weigh in that first Tuesday in June.
LB Wow. those are really good reasons. Okay then - the goal is 148. The plan is this.
1. Track - and eat all the calories in the weight loss category
2. Exercise like we already do - and get in those push-ups. Va Beach - here we come!
3. Drink more water - you know we're slacking on this and it doesn't feel good ... and let's cut back on those durn sodas.
4. One Decadent Treat a week - no more than 300 calories. Pick the day of the treat on Tuesdays and pick the treat whenever you want to. And those calories can come out of our exercise collumn. They are EXTRA.
5. Tell me if you have any trouble with this plan
RB (Grinning) Oh yeah. I like this plan.
RB and we can wear our new shoes today?
LB Love ya
RB Love ya back.
And here is a shot of Left Foot admiring Right Foot in the New Shoes
Sunday, May 05, 2013
I have a summertime goal to do 25 real military style push-ups. The reward for when I reach this goal will be to treat myself and a girlfriend ... who's on a minuscule budget and can't afford such treats - to an overnight mini-vacation at the beach. I'm a scant 100 miles from a great beach town. We'll go on a week day, so the crowds will be smaller, and pretend to be teenagers again.
To push myself harder - so this isn't just a pipe dream - I've actually told her about the treat. And I told her it was a reward for me reaching a private goal. Another spur to keep me working towards this goal is the time factor. We have to do it on a week when she doesn't have her kids. And I have to have an open space in my calendar at work. Summer is the busy season work, and though I have extra staff then too, it's tough (though not impossible) to get away between mid June and late August. The best week would be the first week of June - 4 short weeks away!!!
I'm not being fanatical about this ... just workin' at it. But the question remains ... Why push-ups? Why am I tying a desired treat that I could give myself anyway to some arbitrarily (well, maybe not so arbitrarily) selected physical activity?
Let's check in with the two Brains of Bess and see if they can shed some insight on this.
LeftBrainSchoolMarm So. What's with the push-ups? Why do you want to do 25 push-ups?
RightBrainWildChild I want to be strong strong strong. I want to soar!
LBSM Push-ups are hard.
RBWC I love them. I love hard. I am flying. I will look like Olga Korbut.
LBSM No you won't. She's blonde. and tiny.
RBWC I want to have strong muscles in my back and to stand up straight and not get a hump. I want to get rid of the back fat. I want to go neener neener neener to the 95 pound weakling/curled up old lady stereotypes. and I want to look hot hot hot.
LBSM (rolls eyes)
RBWC You want to too. you know you do.
LBSM Yes. I do too, but do you realize what it takes to do 25 guy push-ups? We have to lift a lot of weights and do a lot of other exercises. And why do you want to tie this to a trip to Virginia Beach?
RBWC hmm. well - because - going to the beach is an extravagance.
LBSM Since when did you shy away from extravagance?
RBWC It'll be hard to get away. We'll have to convince Himself that it's a good thing to do. He'll whine.
LBSM (laughs at the thought of Himself whining to WildChild)
RBWC And besides, otherwise we wouldn't go to the beach AT ALL this summer. I want to go to the beach. I'm willing to do the work to get you to agree that we can go. I'm willing to explain to Himself. I'm willing to do the exercises. I will do ANYTHING to go to the beach and play in the ocean and eat and swim and walk in the sand. And SHOP.
LBSM Wow. That's a huge concession from you. You really want both of these, don't you?
RBWC yes yes yes yes yes I want them both.
LBSM Well. Those seem like good healthy reasons. And it sounds like fun, too. I'm not all that interested in the push-up thing but I'd like to go to the beach.
RBWC You are SO lazy!
LBSM I am not lazy - I am measured.
RBWC Lazy. Chicken.
LBSM well, yeah. I am a little chicken.
RBWC You know you'll be glad we got this strong. You know it. Please please please. Figure it out.
LBSM Weh-ul. Okay. Then we need a plan. Because there's only a few weeks left till we're caught up in summer. In fact - we only have 4 weeks till June. That's 13 strength training days for doing push-ups. And we're only at 15 'real' push-ups. We'd have to add almost one a day to reach 25.
RBWC Can't we work out more days?
LBSM I don't think so. I don't know. Maybe. I'll ask W. the personal trainer. But I don't want to make a plan and a schedule and have you quit on me.
RBWC Pleeeeeeeeeease. I Promise I won't quit.
LBSM But I don't want to injure our body either. I am just not sure. Besides - we have never yet done a real, deep push-up. How do we know if what we're calling a push-up is a 'real' push-up?
RBWC We can ask W. the personal trainer.
LBSM hmmm. Yeah. We could ask that too. But how about we put it off till July. We could do it the week of July 14.
RBWC That's forever!
LBSM It is a long way off but ... it also gives us time to really reach the goal. Besides - the beach in hot hot hot July will be more welcome.
RBWC But it's not as pretty.
LBSM But it's more achievable. Besides - think how much you'll love jumping into the ocean on a sweltering hot July day. Think of how much fun it will be to walk Atlantic Ave. in the twilight. Deep Green Ocean Swells - salty sweet taffy. hmmmm.
RBWC Oh yeah. Yeah.
LBSM so you're okay with the July date? If you are ... I'll book the hotel room this week.
RBWC Oh! Really? Commit the money? Okay! I'm good with July.
LBSM We'll tell H this week then. So she can arrange to be off work. And we can put it in our work schedule too.
RBWC Yippeeee! I can't wait. I can't wait!
LBSM Well, I'm getting excited too. But remember - once we've made the reservation and scheduled with H there is A B S O L U T E L Y no going back on this. It's a total commitment.
RBWC I know. I promise. No whiny quitting.
LBSM Me too. No lazy quitting.
RBWC Thanks. I love you.
LBSM Welcome. I love you too.
So. There you have it. Why I've set a goal of 25 push-ups and tied it to a week day mini-vacation at the beach. I'll keep you posted - and of course - there will be photos of the beach. In July. When it's hot hot hot.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
The other day (in my quest for that bonus wheel spin ) I took the poll "Inspirational songs or sayings" I selected inspirational sayings. My own musical taste runs to classical or 17 and 18th century folk music or else other deeply ethnic music, none of which are trying to pump you up or challenge you with taunts about how much physical suffering you can do for the cause. No duh. that music was written when it was often hard - even impossible to get enough food to even stay alive.
anyway - I do love me some inspirational sayings and there are several that I've carried around with me on this journey. The first was a gift from my Weight Watcher leader and came last spring when I had been futzing around, sitting at the same weight for more months than I like to admit to. She told us that she did the same thing, dancing around those last 10 or 15 lbs, till her husband asked her one day "So. Do you plan on paying Weight Watcher's $10 a week for the rest of your life?"
That was a KaPow moment. Truth? If that was all I had to do to get and reach my goal, I would think $520 a year a cheap investment. If I could just buy weight loss I'd probably pay a lot more than that for it. I pay more than that for my satellite internet connection and I probably have paid that much for food I didn't eat that eventually went bad. So - No. I did not plan on being a perpetual paying member of Weight Watchers.
and of course, what he meant was ... if you are not going to walk the walk, perhaps you shouldn't lie about it. It was a gear shifting moment for me.
I've shared Tool #2 with you before but it's worthy of a second or even third repeating. It has to do with exercise and it's timely because in today's SparkPeopleBlog by Nicole she states (wrongly I think) that anyone who says they like the hard work of exercise is lying. It's not true. Well. It's not true in the way that blanket claims are never true. Had she qualified it with "most people ...." I'd have agreed. In my case, I LOVE exercise. But I often don't feel like making the shift - the change from what I'm already doing. One day while muttering to myself at the end of the work day about "Do I want to go to the gym? Do I want to go home? Do I? Don't I?" one of my staff walked by and said
"If you are asking yourself that question it means you NEED to go to the gym"
Oh My Goodness! Bulls Eye. Bingo.
How true that is. If I can't go to the gym, I already know it. Any Thing Else means I go to the gym. It's not up for discussion. Nothing else is an option. Either there is some compelling reason why I can't go to the gym or I go to the gym. I've never missed a gym date since he said that to me over a year ago. I don't even think about it. I kiss my husband every day. I pet my dogs every day. I brush my teeth twice a day. I go to the gym 4 days a week. period.
Today, one of my favorite Spark People bloggers, Pixilicious : www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
talked about boredom eating - one of my challenges. She said - next time you're prowling around the kitchen looking for "something" (a.k.a. ooey, gooey, I'm hungry whiny sugary, salty, whatever) to eat, ask yourself "Are you hungry enough to eat an apple?"
If you aren't, you probably aren't hungry anyway. You're bored, mad, tired, sad - you are something other than hungry. So don't try to fill an empty spiritual hole with tummy stuff.
But if you are hungry enough to eat an apple - follow her advice. "go get a big old apple".
Wow! Thanks Pixie - that tool is going into my kit!
Happy Thursday to you all.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
I wear a Weight Watchers Active Link. I love it because it helps me remember to "Git up offit" as my next door neighbor used to say. Not to me, of course. He was an ancient gentlemanly farmer and would never speak to a woman that way - but he used to say it to Himself and it always made me laugh.
anyway - I really did Git-up-offit yesterday. Saturday is usually house cleaning day around here anyway but I had to go into town before I jumped in on the routine stuff - and if I'm in town on a Saturday I am going to go to the gym. The plan was 30 minutes of aerobics and 30 of weights but there was a zumba class that I've always wished I could take ... just getting started. So instead I got in about 20 minutes of weight lifting (20 pound dumbells - YAY me! - and 13 pushups!) and then danced for an hour.
I'm not sure I'm going to go back because I tend to flop around a lot when I'm dancing and I have a bad spot in my neck and in my lower spine ... and Zumba is a very shimmying sort of activity. I may be to fragile for it. I had a little dizziness for a few hours after the class and I know that's a sign that the neck vertebrae were pinching a nerve. I have to be careful with elliptical machines for the same reason.
And worry not - my doctor is fully aware of this backbone of mine. We've just decided that as long as I can manage it without surgery we will just watch it like a hawk.
but the class was fun and full of women I know who are delightful people. the teacher is adorable - in her 50's - a high school teacher with a twinkle in her eye. And that's how I started my day.
It continued with a major house clean. I can sometimes live with skipping the usual Saturday jobs for a week by not looking at the dirt - especially if I know I'm going to be away like I was last week. But 2 weeks? not. I live in the country. I live on the east end of a farm (blowing dirt from plowed fields goes with the prevailing weather patterns - west to east). I have dogs. I have guys. I have dirt. A full house clean is worth a lot of activity points!
and when it was all done, Himself asked me to join him on a 2 mile walk. Woo woo. By the end of the day I'd earned 9 activity points ... which, according to Wikipedia, is 900 extra calories burned over and above the normal calorie baseline.
This is good. this is very good since I know that this week I've indulged in Restaurant Fare, Belgian Chocolates, and conference meals.
Today I'll be active, of course, but I'm not planning on it being a 9 pointer. I have 3 boxes of daffodils to plant - dug from an old 17th century back yard - not that these are all 17th century daffodils - probably they're no more than 75 years old but there are a lot of them and they're headed for the lane that leads up to my house. It's a 1/10th of a mile stretch that gets afternoon sunshine and filtered morning light. In the springtime it's spectacular - but there are gaps - and right now I can see where they are. I shall be diggin' in the dirt for hours this afternoon.
May your Sunday be blessed with all the love in the world. And daffodils.
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