Thursday, August 18, 2011
See, I did something a little silly. In an effort yesterday to find some sort of ST routine to follow so I wouldn't give up/get lost and waste my time, right before leaving work I pulled up the bodybuilding.com website and clicked on a 12-week program for muscle building. That wasn't the stupid part (and I'm actually quite happy to be clicking on muscle building instead of fat burning...I want to feel like I'm building something, not tearing something apart right now...the fat loss will come with the muscle building, I'm sure of it!). I pulled up the first day's routine and decided THAT was what I was doing. No excuses, I would do it - all of it. That wasn't the stupid part either. The stupid part, because I know you were hoping I'd get to it eventually, was not realizing that it was a Leg workout...on the same day I wanted to get a run in. OOPS! *lol*
Whatever, no excuses right? I had already started my day with some ST in the form of:
15 regular pushup
15 lunges on each leg
15 bicep curls on each arm
15 twist crunches
So, I get to the gym, change into my superheroine clothes, and get started.
First 15 freehand squat jumps to get me warmed up. Let me tell you, I've seen these things on the P90x program and I always thought "No effin' way, dude!" But I did them. All 2 sets of 15. And it felt crazy stupid powerful to conquer something right off the bat that I would've never done a year ago. So, I followed that with some more crazy stunts.
3 sets of 15 Plie Dumbbell Squats (weights: 15/25/35)
Not bad! The first time I've ever held a 35 pound dumbbell. I can't curl the things yet, but I can at least hold them and use them for my leg routines!
3 sets of 12-15 Narrow Stance Leg Press (weights: 270/290/290)
OMG, that hurt! I could feel the muscle on the inside of my left leg screaming at me already. I used to be able to leg press my weight..it's good to know I'm not that far from there still, though this was quite the struggle! (And I must say that this does not factor into play the actual weight of the plate of the machine, because I can't get a clear answer on how much it weighs. Now that I think of it, I may have been factoring that in before. Estimates range from 50 pounds - 200. I think they put it in the 200 range when they were walking me through the gym on day one but I'm not really sure about that. Either way, I realize now how bad@ss that was because my weight marks only count the weight I ADDED to the machine.)
3 sets of 12-15 Dumbbell Lunge (weights: 20/25/25)
Okay, now I was just getting cocky, and my legs were begging me to quit. I thought about giving in, about only doing 2 sets, or about cutting my reps short. But when I'd get to 8, I'd tell myself to go to 10, and when I got to 10, I'd tell myself to push for 12. Turns out I was able to make it to 12...any further and I would've fallen over though! *lol* My knee even popped on the second set, but it corrected itself and we moved on. (Don't worry, no pain in it today so it's fine...just something I will always live with. Much better now that I've got strong muscles supporting it though!!)
3 sets of 12-15 Stiff Legged Dumbbell Deadlift (weight: 15/25/35)
Somehow I'd recovered mostly from my lunges and was able to grab the 35 pound dumbbell again...but I nearly dropped it. I realized last night that if I'm going to lift this much, I'm going to need weightlifting gloves because the stupid things KILL my hands! I've got calluses already, which I just think is cute because it's proof of my workouts, but almost dropping a 35 pound dumbbell on your foot is not cute. Going to look in to gloves. (It isn't that I can't hold them, but that the grooves on the handles irritate me and I instinctively want to drop the stupid things, so I loosen my grip so it doesn't dig into my hand so much and suddenly I'm in danger of a broken foot!)
3 sets of 12-15 Lying Leg Curls (weights: 50/70/80)
OMG the cramping was starting. I've always hated this machine, but somehow I surprised myself with the weight I was able to handle. I guess since I started running I've started building up those leg muscles without even really realizing it. Here I was worried only about speed and distance, when I should've realized all the good it was doing for my legs. I did start running because I loved the idea of having "runner's legs" (and hated how mine look). I'm liking more how my legs look and I know they're a work in progress. With these exercises as well as the running, I should be rocking skirts feeling much more sure of myself in no time!
3 sets of 15-20 Standing Calf Raises holding dumbbells (weights: 15/20/25)
Well, first off, I messed up and didn't realize I was supposed to be doing 20 until the third set. Oops! Second of all - OMFG! Every calf raise my muscles would contract so fast it scared the crap out of me. I just giggled it off, but I could tell I'd pushed my legs to their near breaking point...and that felt good because it's been getting difficult to challenge my legs. Lately I've been doing things that I can feel in my legs, like the biking I did the other day, and then this workout, and I just keep reminding myself that this will only help to make my running stronger (and my legs SEXAY!).
And then what did I do after 50 minutes of craziness? I walked outside and (tried) to walk/run. HA! Walking was a challenge! My legs kept wanting to give out or quit. I told them to chill, that we needed to stretch them out anyhow, loosen them up after that hard ST workout. And they listened...mostly. I set out to do 20 minutes. I'd backed off already from 15 minutes running (my original goal) to 10 minutes....I completed 5 minutes running. *lol* I swear I was sure if I went any more I'd fall flat on my face on the concrete. So...5 minute warm-up walk, 5 minute SLOOOOOOW run, 5 minute cool down and then I stretched it out a bit. (*lol* I tried to bend over to stretch out like I always do following a run and I almost fell flat on my face. I laughed so hard. I don't remember the last time I felt quite this worn out. I worried I wouldn't be able to walk the next day and then laughed at how funny that was. I don't know why I was laughing...I guess to keep from crying....)
So, yes, this Superheroine kicked that little monster "You Can't" out of her head last night...and I'm going to keep fighting him. It's also funny to me that right before I got to the gym Gorillaz's Clint Eastwood came on my iPhone in the car and I started thinking about how "I got sunshine in a bag" was talking about my gym bag and "I'm useless, but not for long" was talking about my upcoming workout and "My future is comin' on" was talking about how this one workout could change my momentum. I feel different today. Not completely changed, but happy and proud of myself again...finally! I haven't felt pride in myself in a LOOOONG time. Suddenly the little slip ups don't mean as much to me, because I worked myself HARD yesterday and I survived it with a smile.
Want to see what a Superheroine looks like after kicking her own rear end crazy stupid?
Tonight, it's Zumba class. I haven't been in a while and I'm scared my legs won't hold out, but I'll be there, smiling, laughing, falling on my face if I have to, just reminding myself of what I've got in me and how I don't really NEED anyone, even though it's nice to have them around, cuz I got all the weapons I need...right here!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Lately I feel like the world is crashing down around me. Like nothing I can do or have done is good enough. I'm not where I thought I would be. I feel stuck. Not just in weight loss, but in life. The world is on my shoulders. I am the sole supporter of my family both emotionally and financially. And as much as Hubs is trying to be supportive of me, it doesn't feel like enough. I feel like I'm losing a cause that was already lost 30 years ago, the day I was born without a father around.
Friendships died. That's what happened in 2011 so far. People I thought were there for me, faltered and fell. They shattered my dreams of what a true friendship could be and I learned that I rely too much upon what they want, what they think, what they need, and when they didn't give it back in as much as I gave it out, I fell apart and felt abused. It's not their fault. I gave too much of myself, leaving none for me. I should've held back and protected myself. It's not what we're raised to believe, but I'm learning that *I* am the only one I can rely upon. When I was young I was told that friends would be there when you needed them, but they aren't, they can't be...they have their own crap to deal with. It's hard to let go of the thought of having someone in my corner and facing the fact that I'm in this alone. But I am a grown @ss woman, so it's time to start acting like one.
And, yes, I've had to fight tooth and nail to get to where I am. And, no, I don't ever think it's good enough. I apply for jobs I'm never considered for, but that isn't exactly always a reflection of me or my work ethic or ability. Sometimes it just means someone bigger, better, with more accolades was in the running. More often then not, it means that someone who knows someone was in the running...and I'm learning more and more that it's all about who you know. I know, however, that my work product is good. I've excelled where I am. I have my own supervisors coming to me asking for my advice. If I work hard and do what I know I can, I'm the one who people stand behind, point at and say, "She knows what she's doing." I know I can make that happen...and I know if I keep pushing against the door one day, someday, it just HAS to give.
I can be who I want to be, but I have to rely on ME to get there.
I have to become my own superhero.
Baby steps work for some, but I have to go for the grand gesture.
I have to fight to prove to myself that I can be my own superhero.
I can hold up the world and make dinner for a family of four that is balanced and healthy, all at the same time. I've done it before, I can do it again.
I can work 1, 2, or even 3 jobs if necessary.
I can make it work because I have the strength and power and determination and drive...I just have to remind myself of that.
For the next few weeks, I'm going to remind myself of that by using all the gym's weightlifting equipment. Nothing makes me feel stronger than seeing muscles become defined, even when the fat is hanging off them. People look at my arms with a strange look because, yes, I have a lot of fat there, but as I lift my arms to hug my children, make dinner, mow the lawn, lift 45 pounds over my head, you see the muscles too. They're there, and I can define them as a reminder to myself and others that I am strong.
Who cares what everyone else thinks? When push comes to shove, they won't be there to catch me. I'll fall, hard, right on my face. And only *I* can pull myself back up, dust myself off, and keep going. It's a testament to how I started life - alone. I came out alone. So did you! We fought and crawled and swam our way out. We spent 9 months developing bodies, doing what needed to be done without someone holding our hands and telling us we could. And then, when we were ready, we fought our way out into the world. And somehow we made it through school alone. No one helped us pass the tests. No one was there feeding answers into our heads. We did it alone. And we will continue to do it alone. It's nice to have the support of others, but I can NOT think they could do it for me. Impossible! I have to be my own superhero and save my own life.
I get it now...again.
And I'm fighting to get it back.
I can. And I will.
Monday, August 15, 2011
So this weekend was....eventful, I guess. I was so pumped on Friday and ready to take on the world. So I got on my running gear and headed to the gym. I did a short run on the treadmill, trying to baby my back a bit, but it wasn't really hurting while I was running, so that was good. I then tried to take the fitness test on the upright stationary bike at the gym, except, I got a little flustered at the end while taking my heartrate after the five minutes. *lol* Still, it was a heck of a workout in 5 minutes! My legs were so sore with the running + biking and it was good to feel like my body was being challenged again. I think I might add in some bike training here and there, maybe one day a week to start. In between my cardio, I squeezed in some ST moves. Nothing over the top, but I got in some pushups and walking lunges. By the time I left I'd put in at least 30 minutes and felt like I'd pushed myself a bit, so I was good with that, especially considering I planned to go home and get started immediately on the lawn.
Which I did. I mowed half the lawn before the gas ran out and I had to refill the tank, and that's where all Hades broke loose. While filling the tank, the stupid thing overflowed and before I knew what was happening it was splashing up on me, into my face. My eyes and nose and skin started burning and I started screaming. I won't draw this out. I'm fine. We called the MIL, who is the master of home remedies, and she said to wash my eye out with milk. Hubs helped me as I was already washing my face, hands, eye and nose with water and we doused my face in a milk bath of sorts. Within moments, the burning stopped. Crazy, right!? After it stopped burning, Hubs and Ethan both offered to finish the lawn, but I wasn't having it. I couldn't let anything stop me. I had to see it through. And I did. I finished. And it felt amazing to come back so quickly and do what I set out to do, so when I took a rest after that, I felt like I had really earned it.
Friday night was football practice. Saturday was Ethan's scrimmage, which meant 4 hours on the field while they played and tested positions and Ethan was pulled on and off the field and there were no scores. I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself. I had a bit of a problem staying seated during the scrimmage. I was restless and ended up getting my workout in by walking from the car to the field about 4 times, and then walking around the field here and there, following the team down the field, moving a good majority of the time. By Sunday, my legs were DONE! *lol* Saturday night we went to the drive-in - it's the oldest drive-in in WV that is still operational. Takes us a little over an hour to get there, but it's a great fun night and super cheap, so we think it's worth it. (BTW - it takes us about 45 minutes to get to the 2 main movie theatres either north or south of us, so this isn't much farther and it's MUCH cheaper!) Watched HP7-2 (again for me and the boys, first time for Hubs who actually gave a thumbs up for it) and then Green Lantern. Not a bad night overall, but not so stellar on the food front. And then Sunday? Lazy day as much as possible. We did hit the grocery store, but that was it. Felt good to relax a bit.
So that's my weekend in a nutshell. Things are about to get crazy again. In addition to Ethan's football practice and games every weekend, Logan is starting Middle School. They called us yesterday and I think they were talking about an orientation for students and parents tomorrow, so I need to call and confirm that. (It was an automated message and Hubs got it but he missed some of the details.) Football, school, work, and workouts. It's back to the grind. Even more important that I have detailed plans for each week!
This week's meals include:
* Vegetarian Chili
* Stuffed Eggplant
* Zucchini Parmesan
* Chicken Tacos
This week's workouts include:
- Monday: Run and ST
- Tuesday: Zumba (unless we have orientation, I need a backup plan!)
- Wednesday: Run and ST
- Thursday: Zumba
- Friday: XT and ST
- Saturday: Long Distance Run (Going to try for 2 straight miles running)
- Sunday: Rest Day
I also have my chiropractor appointment on Friday, so I'm super nervous, anxious, excited, and scared about that. The whole thought of it both thrills me and terrifies me, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Again, I think orientation might be tomorrow night. If that's the case, I'll have to squeeze something in some other time during that day or simply call it a rest night (which will likely happen, unless I get really eager).
And I know that 2 miles doesn't seem that long to anyone else, but I've topped out at being able to run a straight 1 1/2 miles without stopping. I NEED that 2 miles, so that's my main goal for Saturday. As far as my other runs...I try to make them easy. I do speed work and intervals sometimes. It's not a strict schedule, and that might have to change as time goes on, but right now I'm nursing a sore back and trying not to burn out. I still love running, and I really want to keep it that way. Hoping with the heat backing off again I might be able to love it even more because I now understand why people call it the "dreadmill". I have more drive and will and desire to run with I'm running on the road, through the trees, anywhere outside. Each step on the treadmill has me watching the clock, while outside I get lost in the scenery and the moment. There's something magical about that...
So that's the plan. And in addition to that plan is the plan that I get up every morning and start again. Each day is another chance to reach the goals I set:
1) Drink water
2) Stay within your ranges
3) Keep moving
4) Keep running
5) ST 3 times a week!
What kind of plans do you have this week? For the parents out there - do you find it more difficult to stick to your plans/schedule when school starts? I actually can't wait for the regularity of it because it puts me in that regular mindset of scheduling again. Summer is so crazy with all its randomness. I'm ready for a plan, a calendar and a schedule again! I thrive on to-do lists and scheduled appointments! *lol*
Have a good week!
Friday, August 12, 2011
Today I didn't wake up groaning from pain.
Today I woke up to the sun, the birds, and other noises I've drowned out with being too busy to notice for so long.
Today I realized that summer is winding down and I haven't done half the things I wanted to do.
Today I realized there is still time.
Today I don't care what I wear or what size I am.
Today I'm glad to be alive. Glad to have made it through a hard few months without gaining a bunch of weight back.
Today I'm ready to take on the world, however slowly because of my back.
Today I'm glad I skipped Zumba last night because my body needed the rest.
Today I actually WANT to go to the gym. I don't even know what I can do once I get there, but wanting to go is HUGE because I haven't felt that in a while.
Today I'm nervous, but not hiding.
Today it's the sunshine and smiling faces of family and friends that make me feel like this world isn't such a bad place after all.
Today I'm thinking of my grandparents, about how proud they would be of me for what I've accomplished against all odds and statistics.
Today I will make them smile with my bravery, courage, and lust for life.
Today I will remember that each moment is a precious one.
Today I will cook something, because I miss that creative outlet.
Today I will mow the lawn, because I miss being productive at home.
Today I will visit the gym, I will eat healthy because it feels right, I will do my chores while making it feel like the freedom I have to accomplish the things I want.
Today I will watch an entire football practice and get ready for my son's first scrimmage of the year.
Today I am happy that both my boys are growing into strong, capable young men.
Today I will think about how lucky I am to have Hubs as a support, lover, counselor, friend, and my constant companion.
Today I will poop rainbows and sunshine and let the world know that I'm back. I'm ready. I'm good. I'm capable.
For the past few months I've been caught up in a whirlwind of what's been going on around me, hanging on for dear life. But today, I take over the reigns, thanking myself for surviving the chaos and letting myself know that it's okay sometimes to lose control, because it makes fighting for it back that much more of an accomplishment.
Cardio and ST today with a smile! Who's with me?! :)
Thursday, August 11, 2011
So, yeah, remember all those amazing goals I had posted on Monday? HA! Thus far all I can be proud of is cutting soda mostly out of my diet and getting back to drinking my water. I've been trying so hard to be good, but it's been difficult. Thing is, I know there will be challenges...I've faced them before. I just have to learn how to get past them.
So first, let's give them a name.
1. Work. Yep, all my training is over now, but the real work of catching up really took on a whole new meaning on Monday. As of today, I am proud to say that I am pretty much caught up on everything. Still, it's kept me from staying up to date here and focusing on much else. I haven't really taken an actual lunch break all week. A shame considering how nice the weather has been!
2. My energy level is in the crapper. I know it's directly related to #3 but OMG! I don't want to do anything beyond work and sleep. Sometimes eating is even a chore. Lord knows cooking has been out of the question. No matter how strong the drive to do it, I can't seem to get myself moving because I just want to sleep, sleep, sleep.
3. My back. This is the main reason for the lagging this week. Last week in DC when we were doing all that walking around, I noticed some pinching in my right shoulder blade area. It hurt, but I kept going anyhow. (Not really a choice when your hotel is still a mile away..) On top of that (or below it actually) the right side of my tailbone hurts SOOOO MUCH! It hurts when I sit, stand, lay down. Sleeping is out of the question. I don't sleep longer than an hour or two before I'm awake again in pain. The pain in my back is causing headaches, bad migraines that make it hard to see or think or do anything without feeling like my head is about to burst. I took off all yesterday after leaving 45 minutes early the day before. I felt like a tool for doing it because I really need to be at work right now, but I couldn't move.
And that is why I haven't been to the gym since returning from DC. I've wanted to go...so much it hurts me emotionally right now. But the thought of working out with all this pain makes me want to vomit. And the lack of sleep and general wearing down of my body makes me tired all the time. Driving to and from work is dangerous. When Hubs is driving, I'm usually asleep. It's a nightmare!
Still, tonight I'm going to attempt the gym. Who knows, it might help right? There's another Zumba class tonight, and I'm going to try my best to make it through at least 30 minutes of it. I haven't put the back pain to the real test because it basically hurts to just stand or sit, so the thought of moving is not something I'm exactly thrilled over...but I should try. At least try.
As for healing the back? I'm stretching a lot like the PT showed me. It HURTS so much! The tension in my back is ridiculous! And then today I made an appointment with a chiropractor for next Friday. I'm terrified because I've never been, but I've heard nothing but good things, and I need something to help me get my body from rebelling! I can't lose weight if I can't move. I just don't have the drive.
So that's what's up. Gonna go cringe a bit more and then talk myself into trying that workout tonight...
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