Thursday, January 12, 2012
So, the one muscle group that has been complaining the loudest since Monday's personal trainer session is my glutes. I think it came from the combination of the bike work and the squats.
It was bad, though. Not injured bad, but beyond what I consider good muscle sore to be. As in, rolling over at night would hurt when that part was against the firm mattress. As in, every time I sat more than 30 minutes at work, standing and walking was a bit of a hobble. As in even after walking 20 minutes, I can feel the dull ache.
Yesterday afternoon, completely by accident, I did discover a way to stretch the particular muscles that hurt the most. I was sitting and waiting on the light rail and lifted my ankle of one leg up onto my knee and OH MY. So I gently used that to stretch it a bit. Turns out one of the glute stretches is very similar.
Today, they're still a little stiff, but mostly bearable and improving.
Of course, today I'm also feeling other muscle groups I worked well yesterday. Nowhere in the same level of sore as the glutes have been. More in the level of "oh, yeah, I definitely worked THAT muscle last night" way. It's nice.
I also had someone show me how to use the elliptical and tried it for a couple minutes. That will have to wait until I've got my knees happier with me. While they don't hurt as they do in lunges or full squats, I definitely feel them and have a lot of attention on them rather than my workout.
Oh, I also did briefly talk to the Personal Trainer when he went past me at one point last night. He asked about my appt. for next Monday (the follow-up) and I expressed that I was actually considering canceling it for now and explained how I'd felt that first session really didn't give me any sort of plan to work from. He had a client coming, so couldn't talk long, but we'll see if that helps this coming Monday be more useful for what I want. If not, no loss - these sessions were free.
It was a little amusing because he seemed more concerned that it meant I was planning to not show up at all. I reassured him I would definitely be AT the gym on Monday - it was only the session I wasn't convinced would be what I wanted. I realized that being a January joiner does make me one of the statistic, never mind the fact I've been consistently working out for four months. Hehe.
== A little edit to add - we did do stretches after the session, but the one we did for glutes may not have been as effective as it could be. Now I know a few others and will certainly use them. ^_^;; I wanted to purr doing the calf stretches, though. Having someone else push makes that stretch so much nicer. ==
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I wanted to acknowledge something brought up by BLOSSOM2344 and TABBYJO88 in my earlier blog "Last Lifestyle Strategy of Stage 3 - Simple Answer ... No".
Yes, there were / are definitely emotions at the core of why I gained weight. I agree wholeheartedly with that. I am most definitely afraid to extend myself out emotionally beyond a comfort zone.
I do a heck of a lot of over-analyzing, and one area in which I do that is risks versus rewards. I'm not the risk taker who would bungee jump. A brand new untested cord that CANNOT be tested and has only calculations to decide how far it will stretch is too great a risk. I am the risk taker who would parachute (in fact, that is a life goal for someday). Two chutes, carefully examined and packed, all equipment meeting very particular standards, considerable training all add up to a very calculated risk that is worth the reward.
I take that kind of analyzing into relationships, into activities, into just about all areas of my life. Scary sometimes.
(I did have to teach myself many years ago to set a deadline for any decision. If I waited until I was SURE of something, there's a lot I'd never get accomplished.)
Back on track, YES, fear definitely drives some of my decisions. Anger undoubtedly drives some. Emotions are most assuredly there and actively behind any reactive decisions I make. (Reactive = responding to a situation; as opposed to Active = creating a situation).
The difference, and I briefly said something at the end on that blog, is that it is the decision that subsequently drove the weight gain. I knew I'd made that decision, I acted based on that decision. The emotions themselves don't send me to the kitchen, refrigerator or pantry.
Emotional eating, as I understand it, is where the natural instinctive reactions to the emotion have been replace with constructed reactions. For example, the natural "fight or flight" instinct to fear has been replaced by "eat". (O_o Okay, that just made me imagine a deer smelling a mountain lion, and instead of running away, dropping its head and taking bite after bite of grass for as long as the fear controls it.)
Outright fear? Let's say some guy got suddenly very committed to me, triggering my fears of what relationships have to be like. I'm most likely to be found curled up in bed with my teddy, reading webcomics or playing WOW or another game to avoid thinking. I might disappear into my head, daydreaming, fantasizing, even going to sleep in the middle of the day - anything to hide from what has me that anxious.
Anger? I tend to vocalize it in a horrific growl/shriek noise or, at worst, with a fist pound on my desk (the latter rarely, because it HURTS! I don't like things that hurt and avoid repeating them.) If that doesn't help, I go walking. I'll walk, mentally rampaging until I run out of steam, planning revenge, ranting and raving to myself, sometimes vocal under my breath ... and burn it out.
Grief? I tend to just push on until something else unrelated occurs that I'm allowed to be upset about - and then I can let some tears fall. (It took Princess Di's accident before I'd cry about my divorce.)
Not one of the negative emotions I can think of triggers a response of "get food to feel better".
They do (or did) trigger other things that aren't healthy, such as the spending fits I mentioned or not getting needed things done because I'm playing a video game. I used to sleep from 2-8, work 8:30-5, come home and sit down to play from 5:30-2. I'd get up to make some food, get up for the restroom, get up to do swap laundry loads, get up just to walk around the room, but I was logged in for so many hours straight because it was how I dealt with the stress levels. I ~HATED~ having to go grocery shopping because it forced me out of the house and forced me to look at how little money I had for food this time. I ~REALLY HATED~ having to deal with any messes my kids created because it meant dealing with real life.
So this is why I say, no, I've never been an emotional eater.
I didn't "accidentally" eat an entire bag of chips. I went out and bought one of those party size bags of chips and ate until I couldn't stand the taste. I didn't "accidentally" eat a bag of Chips Ahoy. I took half the cookies out of the bag, filled a big mug of milk and set to. I didn't even do portion distortion all the time. Often enough, I simply refilled my plate that often - or ate out of the pan directly knowing it was 3-5 servings.
Most people buy one pastry with their coffee; I bought hot chocolate w/ whipped and two pastries. Most people buy one candy bar; I bought two king-size candy bars. I bought foot-long subs as a matter of routine, not to save half for later, but to eat it all, and chips, and three cookies.
Heck, it's amazing that I never started drinking soda again, but I'd broken that habit well before I set off to make myself unapproachable and found I disliked the flavor too much to ever get back into it.
Emotions vs Emotional Eating.
I have plenty of issues still to address in terms of my reactions to emotions. Learning to stop the Reaction and choose the Action is important to me.
My Reactions simply don't have to do with food.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
So, I think in one of my earlier blogs I touched on the fact that I love to write. The sheer volume of words I pour into my blogs, comments on others blogs, message boards and so on here ... is but a drop in the bucket.
Anyway, I have a Google+ account and through it and a ezine called MediaTapper I became aware of something called the Flash Fiction Project. Basically, the person running it provides inspirational prompts and those who want to participate write a piece of short fiction - maybe a short story, maybe a scene as though from a novel, whatever the person chooses.
I started with the first prompt of January. The prompts right now are about twice a week and are random pictures. I've written for three so far and the fourth just got posted.
Anyway, if anyone wants a peek at what my fiction looks like:
(A link to the image it is based on is at the bottom of each story. Might help to see that first, might be fun to wait until it's read.)
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
So, I'm on to the last Lifestyle Strategy of Stage 3 ... Is Emotional Eating a Problem? Er ... Nope. Never has been.
I know. I'm unlike maybe 99% of the SparkPeople I've read threads or blogs by. Maybe 99.9%?
I DO love food, don't get me wrong. And there was a very bad set of habits that set me up for the weight gain I have. I'll get into that.
But I don't eat because I'm bored, I don't eat because I'm under stress, I don't eat because my EX cheated on me, I don't eat because DDa dropped out of high school and aced the H.S. Equiv Exam instead, I don't eat because my employer is three+ weeks behind on paychecks and I'll be evicted in a day if I don't get one. Been there, done that, and so much more in my life.
There is no connection of food with comfort. Comforting things to me are things like a hot shower that lasts as long as possible. Just standing and letting the water run over me for 30 minutes is so amazingly soothing. (My bestest friend even knows that as a sign that I'm pretty darn frazzled.) Or curling up under all my blankets hugging my teddy bear. Yes, I'm 42 and I have a teddy bear I curl up with at night. Better than a body pillow, in my opinion. Or going for a walk until my brain runs out of ways to beat a dead horse and I'm looking around me instead of stuck in my head.
So that had me all ready to just give the simple answer ... No. Then I could blithely skip the whole section and forget about it. Right?
But I didn't want to shortchange myself. What IS my trigger; what underlies my weight gain? Is there anything lying there which could trip me up if I don't examine it now and prepare.
I could probably write a book and bore everyone to tears with the "Story of my Life". Lessee if I can condense this from the condensed version … (I'm on about attempt three here of chopping details.)
11-13 = boom, I've got bust. Flat to C in 30 seconds. No interest in the attention, just annoyance at having to get bras and then being accused of stuffing. Typical girl nonsense.
18 = still never dated a guy, so a coworker sets me up with her male friend on a date. To her shock and dismay, we spend an entire day together and come back friends.
19 years old = what happened? I dress skimpy and pick up rides from guys cruising their lowered truck or car along the city streets with the bass pumping. They get to show off a hot girl, I get a ride, and I pay for the ride later in the back seat.
20 years old = I have DDb (father uncertain) and give her up for adoption since I'm not "ready" to raise a kid. Right back to cruising after.
21 years old = Came up on birthday waking up thinking “What the heck was I doing and why”. I want stability. Meet EX at a night club. Before 22, we're married, DS is a month old, and EX and I fight a lot. First “other woman” shows up.
22 – 26 = fights, separations, reconciliations, at least three more “other women”
27-29 = permanently separated, still clinging to hopes. Brain finally says “No more.” Divorced, I try some dating sites just to see if I can get into the swing of things again. One wants sex, one wants an audience for his hobby, one wants partner for dance class. Bah.
Right around 30 years, I make the irrational decision that sets me off on the wrong path.
** Guys don't hit on fat girls.**
Now, I know that is neither entirely true nor rational. But it made loads of sense at the time. At most, I weighed 185 at this point, possibly closer to 175. It wasn't important to me. Somehow logic dictated “I need to get fat so guys stop hitting on me.”
So I went from eating normal enough to overindulging. All the delicious foods I normally ate only on rare occasions became fine to eat as often and as much as I wanted.
I remember going to the bakery near work and buying an apple pie, bringing it back to work, and eating the entire thing myself in an afternoon. Delicious, very delicious, but the only reason for eating that much was to make sure I'd get fat. I'd bring donuts to work for everyone, take at least one or two, but also have a separate bag or box just for me. I'd cook Hamburger Helper and eat it all (it's 4-5 servings as I recall) with 32 oz of milk to gulp down as well.
I don't even remember now at what point I passed 200 pounds. I remember my mother commenting about it because I had always before that said I'd never get over 200. I just shrugged and said it didn't matter any more.
Now, it wasn't constant. I would eat like that some days, then other days would just be so hectic I'd have one meal and several cups of milk. I sat at different weights for stretches of time. 205, 220, 235. I'd bounce up and down. One point of weight loss I had wasn't intentional ... my paychecks were so painfully late and irregular that I fed the kids and not me or had a slice of bread for dinner as my only food for the day. Once I had money, I went back to eating too much.
Other ideas joined in over time. Amongst those was the idea that no one really cared enough to know the real me. I wrote a little poem in a journal at one point:
When you look at me,
What do you see?
Do you see me
or do you see what I want you to see?
Even those who tried or thought they were close to me, deep down I felt like I couldn't lower enough masks to let them see the real me. I've even called it The 500 Masks of Blue. (Yes, a play on the book The "500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins".) I take off a mask here or there to let people closer, but there's always more underneath to keep that comfortable distance.
Then there's the whole side of sexual attraction. The few "lookers" I could crush over, I could never rationalize them being attracted to an obese body. Or, if they were? Worse. Gah! The horror of a guy who wanted me to keep my body like that. So somehow I wanted someone who could love me fat, but not love my fat. I made no sense, not even to myself at that point.
In the year or two before I started this whole journey, I was coming to recognize the irrational decision that started the whole mess. I've been slowly unraveling the pieces since, trying to untangle my messed up psyche, as it were. I was trying in a very sporadic way to lose weight, even mentioned it once, but it wasn't a focus - just an "I should ..."
When I finally made the decision that my physical weight had nothing to do with being able to avoid relationships, I was ready to start the journey.
It wasn't that hard to disconnect the two. I'd withdrawn from the world in so many other ways … and still had issues with online male friends. One got obsessive and jealous of another, having some fantasy of me being his soulmate because we're the same age and single. Others wanted cybering. Sometimes it felt like being friendly with most males in-game was a come-on, even after being honest about my weight.
I definitely still need to address the avoiding relationships angle (and the trust issues as well), but having mentally unlinked them from being fat, I simply stopped eating the way I was. In four months, I've had men make comments and pushed them away without thinking about food. I even ran into someone I knew from an earlier stage in my life who wanted to reconnect - and turned down several attempts to invite me to dinner, to a movie, to spend time together. There is no corresponding “ack, must fatten up to avoid attention” - just “ack, don't want to be that kind of woman again”.
Maybe I'm wrong, but right now I feel like I already broke the "trigger" as it were. Strategy-wise, I think I've got it under control.
And maybe some people would call it emotional eating even in the form I gained weight doing. (The key difference I think of, though, is that I never did so mindlessly. I ate with intention - because it tasted good or I craved a flavor and because eating as much as I could helped me add more to my body shield.)
Only time will tell.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I realized I did leave out one part of what I did with the personal trainer. We probably spent 20-30 minutes going over a variety of questions. Things like what I hoped to accomplish at the gym, what days and times I planned to work out, areas I wanted to work on, motivation for being there, why now, basic idea of nutrition (what I'm eating), all sorts of little things.
The exercises he took me through did then focus on a couple of those areas as well as things that helped the core while doing other things. He did an excellent job of being encouraging, pushing just enough, keeping it going.
One part of what I was trying to express is that I didn't really think about how things have changed in 15-25 years. Personal training in the late-'80s and mid-'90s was something you only paid for if you were already in pretty darn good condition and wanted very detailed attention to get specific results. In fact, I may be wrong, but I seem to remember many of them not being on the gym payroll - instead being paid directly for their time - and the gym allowing them to advertise.
What I learned last night is something a couple of people mentioned - that gyms make a lot of money on the Personal Training side. And commensurately, in thinking back I realize the price of a gym membership is actually about the same as it was 15-25 years ago. I remember paying $25 a month or thereabouts for 24-hour Nautilus, single location, any time, with a membership fee as well as being locked into a 2-year contract. I paid in advance for 2 years this time and paid notably less than that divided out by month.
My intention for next Monday is to still take advantage of the personal attention, work on a couple of other areas, still say "No", then over time work with the machines they have upstairs and the various equipment available to create my own routines from such things as exercises on SparkPeople.
And just a silly addendum ... I realized that part of this ties very well into the previous blog. I am independent, yes even obstinate. The amount of push to try to make me want a Personal Trainer has, in my case, backfired into making me more determined to do it on my own.
I am self-motivated. I've been doing these exercises for four months now with no one to tell me I have to, reviewing the demos every few weeks to see if I can correct my form, adding the light weights as it got easy.
I'm not motivated by "he can help you lose the weight and tone up in 6-8 months instead of 12-18". I'm motivated by "I can do this for years to come with enough variation to keep it fun and effective."
I ~WANT~ (and have) the gym membership -- unless they want to break the contract and refund that. Nope? Didn't think so. =P
And maybe a year or so down the road when I'm at a point where I feel I actually need a nudge in a new direction, I'll pay for a couple more sessions to add some life and momentum. Or not. I might just look up some advanced exercises on SparkPeople. ^_~
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