Saturday, May 30, 2009
A few months ago I witnessed two women working out with their trainer at a park and have been thinking about finding a trainer ever since. They seemed to get so much from the workout and it did not hurt that this was taking place outside on a beautiful Florida morning. I have been thinking about finding my own trainer ever since. So, when I recently joined a gym right near my home thinking only that I'd have a reasonable plan B for any missed opportunities to ride my bike during our rainy season, my chance opened up! I was so excited to meet with and be worked out by a trainer, I was sure I'd sign up and finally be like those women in the park!
The reality did not live up to the fantasy. I went in on Friday evening of Memorial Day weekend and weighed in and talked about goals and motivation and accountability. I went into this meeting so proud of myself having lost over 160 lbs, become so much more active than I had been, and joined sparkpeople.com to help me maintain and started strength training too. Surely I deserved some credit for coming this far. But no, according to my weight, some hand held device and quick math my body fat percentage is a whopping 27 % and I really should be at the target percentage of 17. I told him I was at my goal weight and could not see a reason to be smaller than a size 6. I had, in fact, gained a couple of pounds and lost a couple of inches working out at home with sparkpeople,com. He said it was impossible to have gained lean muscle mass in the month I'd been happily strength training and doing my boot camp workouts on top of all my cardio. He went on to say it would take 10 -12 months to replace all that excess fat with lean muscle mass, strength training with them. I'd be accountable to someone and that would help me stick to my program. I found myself being taken in and becoming disappointed with my progress up to that point. Oh, well, I thought , historically, I'd done better with actual goals for weight loss than maintaining my weight.
We went out to the gym and I joked with him saying,"Perhaps the timing of this workout is a bit off, as this weekend is my anniversary, and I sure don't need to be hobbled with post workout soreness!" He quipped back, "Ok. we'll focus on the upper body!" I really liked the super set I did and I was really surprised at how well I kept up and was extremely encouraged about the prospect of signing up and wanted to know all my options and the costs. The minimum commitment was 2 sessions per month for $80.00 a month. Quite frankly, tightening our belts, my husband and I could possibly come up with that, especially for my health, and because of my time and energy commitment I'd made to myself of late, it seemed like a good idea. Besides, I just have not managed to do well enough, thus far. I made an appointment for the next Wednesday to discuss signing up.
As I rode my bike home I became more bummed out that I had such a body fat percentage, was I really that far wrong about the state of my own body? Had I become so happy with not being plus sized, so sure my original goal was appropriate and attained, that I could not see how far I had left to go. No, I thought, I'm ok, there's no reason in the world that I should need to be smaller than a size 6, is there? Well, maybe if I'm unfit and unhealthily thin. No, I can palpate of very firm muscle, even at rest. Could I be so wrong? Probably, how else did I get myself morbidly obese? Unrealistic self image, yeah, that's it, I don't see myself as I really am, as others can. I guess I could use the help.
When I did wake up pretty paralyzed and depressed on Saturday morning, I got moving right away so I'd alleviate the stiffness. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I continued to work out in a minimal way, gently, but I did not want to, not happily, as I had before Friday. My heart wasn't in it. I rode my bike far less than I wanted to and I always want to ride. This feels, for something that's supposed to be the right thing for me, so wrong. I'm unhappy, unmotivated and uncomfortable.
By Monday, I was finally able to move almost normally and became happy to be doing my boot camp videos and favorite strength exercises again. I also wanted very badly to take the yoga class that my town offered at the rec. center. Cool, I thought, I'm still thrilled to be moving around and finding other activities that could be fun and healthful. I'm not doing so badly on my own. I feel good doing things that are good for me, for my mind, for my body and for my environment.
I'm happy about what I've done in the past 20 or so months, and here's the key:
I've done it because I wanted to do it, I am accountable to me, and no less importantly, I have found the help, resources and support here, at sparkpeople.com, to keep on the right track.
And my appointment? Sorry, yoga class was offered at the same time, and the need for a mind/body celebration of my wellness won out. I called and cancelled at the gym, my DH and I pedaled over to the Rec Center, enjoyed the splendid class together, got our rec cards and signed up for the next month! NAMASTE!!!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Well, I did it.
It, being what I've maintained I'd rather take a beating than do: join a gym.
I'm signed up for fitness 101 with a personal trainer this Thursday evening to learn my way around. I'm excited that I have a backup plan for when I cannot ride my bicycle and I hope that will translate to excitement over the new activities ahead. I was kind of afraid to commit. But tonight I did it and I'm a wee bit proud.
So far this whole adventure has provided lots of surprises for me. What I have been learning is that I can always prove myself wrong when I start believing something is beyond my reach or outside of my comfort zone. I'm just doing it. By simply acting positive, confident and brave, I can actually become positive, confident and brave.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Just a bit amused at how much I have to learn...
Rule #1-When you've ridden your bicycle from work in one town, clear into another town for dinner with the gals, and then home to yet another town, relax, you may just have ridden enough!
Rule #2-Don't wait 'til Jon Stewart is on to do today's strength training workout, you may find yourself too close to tomorrow!
Rule #3-Do all your boot camp challenges before you do your regular strength training, because those stretches after training sure are relaxing...and your husband is snoring on the couch...and the yoga mat is soooo comfy...and zzz...zzz....zzz
Monday, May 11, 2009
Oh, my Goddess! It happed yesterday.
When I woke up on a beautiful Mother's Day morning I could not wait to get going. I got dressed and ready to ride 22 miles down to my mother-in-law's condo.
I gathered up all the water bottles and started filling them with filtered water. I rode my bike out to the grocery store to pick up kibble for our cats, who would not see us for the rest of the day and needed to be set up for a long one! When I arrived back home, my husband was up and ready to go, so I checked off the list, bathing suits , spare clothes, extra batteries for our bike lights, sunscreen all the essentials for our all day outing. Loaded up my saddle bags and started off down the driveway. It was then, when my husband said, "I guess we'll stop somewhere and get some breakfast on the road?" I realized I had been more excited about getting onto our bikes, and having all the things to stay hydrated and ready for a bike trip, than I was bout food. Breakfast, or the planning of it, was not my first waking thought! I began to realize that like the thin person that I am, food is not foremost on my mind all the time. It was not automatic, I needed to be reminded that we had to fuel up! There was something more fun, and more rewarding to do yesterday than just eating, and this change in my thinking may just make the difference, this time, for lasting weight control.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I guess I'm all about extreme. I never do anything halfway...at first. I jump in and do everything with total concentration and abandon, until I burn myself out and my enthusiasm wanes or I develop such an aversion to it that I just stop. I guess that would explain my gaining and losing huge amounts of weight several times in my adult life. I'm either watching my portions very carefully, or not at all. This makes reducing easier for me than maintaining. I have discovered that this is all about habit, and while I have adopted some very healthy habits in the past 20 months, I do realize that I could revert to old habits just as easily. Since I made a commitment to personal accountability my weight loss and subsequent maintenance of this lifestyle has bordered on obsession. Ok, crossed that border and has eclipsed a bunch of other aspects of my life. I have all but stopped making glass beads, except to teach others. I have not designed or fabricated much jewelry this year as I worked on re-sculpting myself. This, then, is my new challenge, to seek balance through integration of my new self. I will enjoy being, in more equal parts, an artist, environmentalist, wife, athlete, lampworker, healthy cook, mother, friend, teacher, cyclist, graphic artist, grandmother, sister, daughter, silversmith and finally a good friend to myself.
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